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Sample records for elephas maximus elephants

  1. Tuberculosis surveillance of elephants (Elephas maximus) in Nepal at the captive-wild interface

    Science.gov (United States)

    A comprehensive elephant tuberculosis (TB) survey using culture and four serological screening tests was conducted in Nepal. Private and government-owned male and female captive Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) were included in the study. The mean reported age was 38 years (range 5-60 years). A tot...

  2. Detection of elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus infection among healthy Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) in South India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanton, Jeffrey J; Nofs, Sally A; Zachariah, Arun; Kalaivannan, N; Ling, Paul D

    2014-04-01

    Elephant endotheliotropic herpesviruses (EEHVs) can cause fatal hemorrhagic disease in Asian (Elephas maximus) and African (Loxodonta africana) elephants. Of the seven known EEHV species, EEHV1 is recognized as the most common cause of hemorrhagic disease among Asian elephants in human care worldwide. Recent data collected from ex situ Asian elephants located in multiple North American and European institutions suggest that subclinical EEHV1 infection is common in this population of elephants. Although fatal EEHV1-associated hemorrhagic disease has been reported in range countries, data are lacking regarding the prevalence of subclinical EEHV infections among in situ Asian elephants. We used previously validated EEHV-specific quantitative real-time PCR assays to detect subclinical EEHV infection in three regionally distinct Asian elephant cohorts, totaling 46 in situ elephants in South India, during October and November 2011. Using DNA prepared from trunk washes, we detected EEHV1, EEHV3/4, and EEHV5 at frequencies of 7, 9, and 20% respectively. None of the trunk washes was positive for EEHV2 or 6. At least one EEHV species was detectable in 35% (16/46) of the samples that were screened. These data suggest that subclinical EEHV infection among in situ Asian elephants occurs and that Asian elephants may be natural hosts for EEHV1, EEHV3 or 4, and EEHV5, but not EEHV2 and EEHV6. The methodology described in this study provides a foundation for further studies to determine prevalences of EEHV infection in Asian elephants throughout the world.

  3. Acute phase protein expression during elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus-1 viremia in Asian elephants (Elephas maximus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanton, Jeffrey J; Cray, Carolyn; Rodriguez, Marilyn; Arheart, Kristopher L; Ling, Paul D; Herron, Alan

    2013-09-01

    Infection of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) with elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus (EEHV) can be associated with rapid, lethal hemorrhagic disease and has been documented in elephant herds in human care and in the wild. Recent reports describe real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) assays used to monitor clinically ill elephants and also to detect subclinical EEHV1 infection in apparently healthy Asian elephants. Acute phase proteins have been demonstrated to increase with a variety of infectious etiologies in domesticated mammals but have not yet been described in elephants. In addition, the immune response of Asian elephants to EEHV1 infection has not been described. In this study, whole blood and trunk wash samples representing repeated measures from eight elephants were examined for the presence of EEHV1 using a qPCR assay. Elephants were classified into groups, as follows: whole blood negative and positive and trunk wash negative and positive. Serum amyloid A (SAA) and haptoglobin (HP) levels were compared between these groups. A significant difference in SAA was observed with nearly a threefold higher mean value during periods of viremia (P=0.011). Higher values of SAA were associated with >10,000 virus genome copies/ml EEHV1 in whole blood. There were no significant differences in HP levels, although some individual animals did exhibit increased levels with infection. These data indicate that an inflammatory process is stimulated during EEHV1 viremia. Acute phase protein quantitation may aid in monitoring the health status of Asian elephants.

  4. Development and evaluation of an interferon-γ release assay in Asian elephants (Elephas maximus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paudel, Sarad; Villanueva, Marvin A; Mikota, Susan K; Nakajima, Chie; Gairhe, Kamal P; Subedi, Suraj; Rayamajhi, Nabin; Sashika, Mariko; Shimozuru, Michito; Matsuba, Takashi; Suzuki, Yasuhiko; Tsubota, Toshio

    2016-08-01

    We developed an interferon-γ release assay (IGRA) specific for Asian elephants (Elephas maximus). Whole blood collected from forty captive Asian elephants was stimulated with three different mitogens i.e., phytohemagglutinin (PHA), pokweed mitogen (PWM) and phorbol myristate aceteate/ionomycin (PMA/I). A sandwich ELISA that was able to recognize the recombinant elephant interferon-γ (rEIFN-γ) as well as native interferon-γ from the Asian elephants was performed using anti-elephant IFN-γ rabbit polyclonal antibodies as capture antibodies and biotinylated anti-elephant IFN-γ rabbit polyclonal antibodies as detection antibodies. PMA/I was the best mitogen to use as a positive control for an Asian elephant IGRA. The development of an Asian elephant-specific IGRA that detects native IFN-γ in elephant whole blood provides promising results for its application as a potential diagnostic tool for diseases, such as tuberculosis (TB) in Asian elephants.

  5. Resolution of the type material of the Asian elephant, Elephas maximus Linnaeus, 1758 (Proboscidea, Elephantidae)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cappellini, Enrico; Gentry, A.; Palkopoulou, E.

    2014-01-01

    by Elephas maximus, one of the most iconic and well-known mammalian species, described and named by Linnaeus (1758) and today designating the Asian elephant. We used morphological, ancient DNA (aDNA), and high-throughput ancient proteomic analyses to demonstrate that a widely discussed syntype specimen of E.......maximus, a complete foetus preserved in ethanol, is actually an African elephant, genus Loxodonta. We further discovered that an additional E.maximus syntype, mentioned in a description by John Ray (1693) cited by Linnaeus, has been preserved as an almost complete skeleton at the Natural History Museum...... of the University of Florence. Having confirmed its identity as an Asian elephant through both morphological and ancient DNA analyses, we designate this specimen as the lectotype of E.maximus. The mass spectrometry proteomics data have been deposited in the ProteomeXchange Consortium with the data set identifier...

  6. Assessment of Pregnancy Status of Asian Elephants (Elephas maximus) by Measurement of Progestagen and Glucocorticoid and Their Metabolite Concentrations in Serum and Feces, Using Enzyme Immunoassay (EIA)

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    KAJAYSRI, Jatuporn; NOKKAEW, Weerapun

    2014-01-01

    The study was to find patterns of progestagen (progesterone and its metabolite) and glucocorticoid and their metabolite concentrations in serum and feces of pregnant Asian elephants (Elephas maximus...

  7. Identification of shedders of elephant endotheliotropic herpesviruses among Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) in Switzerland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ackermann, Mathias; Hatt, Jean-Michel; Schetle, Nelli; Steinmetz, Hanspeter

    2017-01-01

    Elephants, particularly Asian (Elephas maximus), are threatened by lethal elephant hemorrhagic disease (EHD) due to elephant endotheliotropic herpesviruses (EEHV). At least five of seven known EEHV types have been associated to EHD, with types 1, 4, and 5 predominantly affecting Asian elephants. In Switzerland, at least three Asian elephants have been lost due to EHD but nothing is known about the present EEHV1 circulation. Moreover, the prevalence of other EEHV types has never been assessed. Intermittent shedding of EEHV can be monitored through collecting trunk secretions and analyzing them by PCR methods that discriminate the different EEHV types. To identify EEHV shedders, seven of eight Asian elephants in a Swiss zoo were trained to provide trunk wash samples. These were collected at intervals over a period of four months and tested by PCR for presence of EEHV1 through 6. Moreover, the quality of each sample was assessed by testing for the elephant TNF-alpha gene. Overall, 57% of the samples were valid with five of seven participating elephants identified as EEHV shedders. Two of those shed virus only once, whereas the other three, all closely related among each other, shed virus on multiple occasions. One of the frequent shedders had been in very close contact to all of the three EHD victims. Therefore, we speculate that this particular animal may represent the virus source in all three cases. However, when subtyping was conducted, the presently circulating virus was identified as EEHV1B, while the virus subtype causing EHD had been 1A in all three cases. In addition to four animals excreting EEHV1, a recently introduced animal was observed to shed EEHV3/4. We suggest that the policy of trunk washing to identify and characterize EEHV-shedders is to be endorsed in zoos with ongoing or planned elephant breeding programs.

  8. Identification of shedders of elephant endotheliotropic herpesviruses among Asian elephants (Elephas maximus in Switzerland.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mathias Ackermann

    Full Text Available Elephants, particularly Asian (Elephas maximus, are threatened by lethal elephant hemorrhagic disease (EHD due to elephant endotheliotropic herpesviruses (EEHV. At least five of seven known EEHV types have been associated to EHD, with types 1, 4, and 5 predominantly affecting Asian elephants. In Switzerland, at least three Asian elephants have been lost due to EHD but nothing is known about the present EEHV1 circulation. Moreover, the prevalence of other EEHV types has never been assessed. Intermittent shedding of EEHV can be monitored through collecting trunk secretions and analyzing them by PCR methods that discriminate the different EEHV types. To identify EEHV shedders, seven of eight Asian elephants in a Swiss zoo were trained to provide trunk wash samples. These were collected at intervals over a period of four months and tested by PCR for presence of EEHV1 through 6. Moreover, the quality of each sample was assessed by testing for the elephant TNF-alpha gene. Overall, 57% of the samples were valid with five of seven participating elephants identified as EEHV shedders. Two of those shed virus only once, whereas the other three, all closely related among each other, shed virus on multiple occasions. One of the frequent shedders had been in very close contact to all of the three EHD victims. Therefore, we speculate that this particular animal may represent the virus source in all three cases. However, when subtyping was conducted, the presently circulating virus was identified as EEHV1B, while the virus subtype causing EHD had been 1A in all three cases. In addition to four animals excreting EEHV1, a recently introduced animal was observed to shed EEHV3/4. We suggest that the policy of trunk washing to identify and characterize EEHV-shedders is to be endorsed in zoos with ongoing or planned elephant breeding programs.

  9. Comparative cytogenetics of the African elephant (Loxodonta africana) and Asiatic elephant (Elephas maximus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Houck, M L; Kumamoto, A T; Gallagher, D S; Benirschke, K

    2001-01-01

    G- and C-banded karyotypes of the two extant species of the mammalian order Proboscidea are presented for the first time. Chromosome complements were 2n = 56 in both Loxodonta africana and Elephas maximus. Comparisons between the species demonstrated a high level of chromosome band homology, with 26 conserved autosomal pairs. The normal diploid karyotype of L. africana had 25 acrocentric/telocentric and two metacentric/submetacentric autosomal pairs. E. maximus differed by having one less acrocentric and one additional submetacentric pair due to either a heterochromatic arm addition or deletion involving autosomal pair 27. Several acrocentric autosomes of L. africana exhibited small short arms that were absent in homologous chromosomes of E. maximus. The X chromosomes in both species were large submetacentric elements and were homologous. However, the small acrocentric Y chromosomes differed; in E. maximus it was slightly larger and had more distinct G-bands than its counterpart in L. africana. Extant Elephantidae appear to be relatively conservative in their rates of chromosomal change compared to some other mammalian families. The high-quality banded karyotypes presented here should prove useful as references in future chromosome analyses of elephant populations and in comparative cytogenetic studies with other ungulate orders. Copyright 2001 S. Karger AG, Basel

  10. Osteocalcin and bone-specific alkaline phosphatase in Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) at different ages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arya, Nlin; Moonarmart, Walasinee; Cheewamongkolnimit, Nareerat; Keratikul, Nutcha; Poon-Iam, Sawinee; Routh, Andrew; Bumpenpol, Pitikarn; Angkawanish, Taweepoke

    2015-11-01

    Bone turnover markers could offer a potential alternative means for the early diagnosis of metabolic bone disease in young growing elephants although the baseline of bone turnover markers in elephant is not well established. The aim of this study was to determine any relationship between the age of captive Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) and markers of bone formation. Serum samples from 24 female Asian elephants were collected to evaluate levels of two bone formation markers, namely, osteocalcin (OC) and bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (BAP). Both intact and N-terminal midfragment OC and BAP were negatively correlated with age. The findings demonstrate that younger elephants have a higher rate of bone turnover than older elephants. Use of these and additional bone markers could lead to the establishment of validated protocols for the monitoring of bone disease in elephants. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Strangulating intestinal obstructions in four captive elephants (Elephas maximus and Loxodonta africana).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiedner, Ellen B; Peddie, James; Peddie, Linda Reeve; Abou-Madi, Noha; Kollias, George V; Doyle, Charles; Lindsay, William A; Isaza, Ramiro; Terrell, Scott; Lynch, Tim M; Johnson, Kari; Johnson, Gary; Sammut, Charlie; Daft, Barbara; Uzal, Francisco

    2012-03-01

    Three captive-born (5-day-old, 8-day-old, and 4-yr-old) Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) and one captive-born 22-yr-old African elephant (Loxodonta africana) from three private elephant facilities and one zoo in the United States presented with depression, anorexia, and tachycardia as well as gastrointestinal signs of disease including abdominal distention, decreased borborygmi, tenesmus, hematochezia, or diarrhea. All elephants showed some evidence of discomfort including agitation, vocalization, or postural changes. One animal had abnormal rectal findings. Nonmotile bowel loops were seen on transabdominal ultrasound in another case. Duration of signs ranged from 6 to 36 hr. All elephants received analgesics and were given oral or rectal fluids. Other treatments included warm-water enemas or walking. One elephant underwent exploratory celiotomy. Three animals died, and the elephant taken to surgery was euthanized prior to anesthetic recovery. At necropsy, all animals had severe, strangulating intestinal lesions.

  12. Resolution of the type material of the Asian elephant, Elephas maximus Linnaeus, 1758 (Proboscidea, Elephantidae)

    OpenAIRE

    Cappellini, Enrico; Gentry, Anthea; Palkopoulou, Eleftheria; Ishida, Yasuko; Cram, David; Roos, Anna-Marie; Watson, Mick; Johansson, Ulf S.; Fernholm, Bo; Agnelli, Paolo; Barbagli, Fausto; Littlewood, D. Tim J.; Kelstrup, Christian D.; Olsen, Jesper V; Lister, Adrian M.

    2014-01-01

    The understanding of Earth's biodiversity depends critically on the accurate identification and nomenclature of species. Many species were described centuries ago, and in a surprising number of cases their nomenclature or type material remain unclear or inconsistent. A prime example is provided by Elephas maximus, one of the most iconic and well-known mammalian species, described and named by Linnaeus (1758) and today designating the Asian elephant. We used morphological, ancient DNA (aDNA), ...

  13. DETECTION OF AEROSOLIZED BACTERIA IN EXPIRED AIR SAMPLES FROM ASIAN ELEPHANTS (ELEPHAS MAXIMUS).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burke, Sophie M; Vogelnest, Larry; Thompson, Paul; Tovey, Euan R; Williamson, Peter

    2017-06-01

    Elephant-mediated transmission of tuberculosis is assumed to be similar to human models, which state close and prolonged contact with an infected individual is required for transmission. Although considered a risk factor for infection, several case studies have reported that close contact with an elephant is not always necessary for transmission, and the role of aerosolized bacteria remains unclear. To investigate aerosol-mediated transmission of pathogenic bacteria from elephants, a method for the detection of aerosols using an adapted sampling system was developed. A commensal bacterium was isolated from the upper respiratory tract of elephants ( Elephas maximus ) and was used as a proxy organism to detect aerosolized droplets in the sampling system. It was found that elephants are capable of producing aerosolized bacterial particles of a size small enough to remain airborne for prolonged periods and penetrate the lower regions of the human respiratory tract.

  14. Birth statistics for African (Loxodonta africana) and Asian (Elephas maximus) elephants in human care: history and implications for elephant welfare.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dale, Robert H I

    2010-01-01

    African (Loxodonta africana) and Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) have lived in the care of humans for many years, yet there is no consensus concerning some basic parameters describing their newborn calves. This study provides a broad empirical basis for generalizations about the birth heights, birth weights, birth times and gestation periods of elephant calves born in captivity. I obtained data concerning at least one of these four characteristics for 218 newborn calves from 74 institutions. Over the past 30 years, newborn Asian elephants have been taller and heavier than newborn African elephants. Neonatal African elephants exhibited sex differences in both weight and height, whereas neonatal Asian elephants have exhibited sex differences only in height. Primiparous dams ex situ are at least as old as their in situ counterparts, whereas ex situ sires appear to be younger than sires in range countries. Confirming earlier anecdotal evidence, both African [N=47] and Asian [N=91] dams gave birth most often at night.

  15. Elephant (Elephas maximus Health and Management in Asia: Variations in Veterinary Perspectives

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    David Miller

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available There is a need to identify strategic investments in Asian elephant (Elephas maximus health that will yield maximal benefits for overall elephant health and conservation. As an exploratory first step, a survey was administered to veterinarians from Asian elephant range countries at a workshop and via email to help prioritize health-related concerns that will mostly benefit elephants. Responses were received from 45 veterinarians from eight countries that had a range of experience with captive and wild elephants. The occurrence of medical conditions and responses to treatment varied among responses. However, injuries, parasitism, and gastrointestinal disease were reported as the most common syndromes responsible for elephant morbidity, whereas injury and infectious disease not due to parasitism were the most commonly reported sources of elephant mortality. Substandard nutrition, water quality and quantity deficiencies, and inadequate or absent shelter were among the factors listed as barriers to optimal elephant health. While this survey’s results do not support definitive conclusions, they can be used to identify where and how subsequent investigations should be directed. Rigorous assessment of the relative costs and benefits of available options is required to ensure that investments in individual and population health yield the maximal benefits for elephants.

  16. Diurnal and Nocturnal Activity Time Budgets of Asian Elephants (Elephas maximus in a Zoological Park

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    Denise E. Lukacs

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available The diurnal and nocturnal activity time budgets of five adult female Asian elephants (Elephas maximus were studied in a zoological park for two 24-hour, five 14-hour, and one 9-hour observation periods between May and June 2011. Relatively few studies have looked at detailed daytime and nighttime activity time budgets in captive Asian elephants. Continuous observation was used to measure the activity time budgets of at least one focal animal per observation period. The activity time budgets varied between animals and observation periods. The elephants spent 17-49% of the day (daylight hours standing, 1-9% of the day walking, 19-44% of the day eating, and 1-20% of the day using enrichment items. At night, the elephants spent 29-87% of the observation period standing, 1-19% of the night eating, and 0.1-10% of the night using enrichment items. At night, elephants spent 0-45% of the observation period lying down. Variations in activity time budgets between elephants and observation periods have been observed in other studies of captive and wild elephants. Results of this observational study allow comparison between groups of captive elephants and between captive and wild elephants. Furthermore, results of this study can inform management strategies.

  17. EFFECT OF ε-AMINOCAPROIC ACID ON FIBRINOLYSIS IN PLASMA OF ASIAN ELEPHANTS (ELEPHAS MAXIMUS).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaye, Sarrah; Abou-Madi, Noha; Fletcher, Daniel J

    2016-06-01

    ε-Aminocaproic acid (EACA) is a lysine analogue antifibrinolytic drug used to treat bleeding disorders in humans and domestic animals. Use in zoological medicine is rare and dose recommendations are anecdotal, but EACA may be a valuable therapeutic option for bleeding disorders in exotic species, including Asian elephants ( Elephas maximus ). This study used an in vitro model of hyperfibrinolysis and a thromboelastograph-based assay to estimate the therapeutic plasma concentration of EACA in Asian elephants (61.5 μg/ml, 95% CI = 34.6-88.5 μg/ml). Substantial but incomplete inhibition of lysis was seen at relatively low concentrations of EACA (40 μg/ml). Asian elephants appear sensitive to EACA-mediated inhibition of hyperfibrinolysis. Doses published for domestic animals, targeting higher plasma concentrations, may be inappropriate in this species.

  18. Prenatal passive transfer of maternal immunity in Asian elephants (Elephas maximus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nofs, Sally A; Atmar, Robert L; Keitel, Wendy A; Hanlon, Cathleen; Stanton, Jeffrey J; Tan, Jie; Flanagan, Joseph P; Howard, Lauren; Ling, Paul D

    2013-06-15

    Asian (Elephas maximus) and African (Loxodonta africana) elephants exhibit characteristics of endotheliochorial placentation, which is common in carnivore species and is associated with modest maternal to fetal transplacental antibody transfer. However, it remains unknown whether the bulk of passive immune transfer in elephants is achieved prenatally or postnatally through ingestion of colostrum, as has been documented for horses, a species whose medical knowledgebase is often extrapolated for elephants. To address this issue, we took advantage of the fact that many zoo elephants are immunized with tetanus toxoid and/or rabies vaccines as part of their routine health care, allowing a comparison of serum antibody levels against these antigens between dams and neonates. Serum samples were collected from 3 newborn Asian elephant calves at birth (before ingestion of colostrum); 2-4 days after birth; and 2-3 months of age. The findings indicate that the newborns had anti-tetanus toxoid and anti-rabies titers that were equivalent to or higher than the titers of their dams from birth to approximately 3 months of age, suggesting that the majority of maternal-to-fetal transfer is transplacental and higher than expected based on the architecture of the Asian elephant placenta. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Tuberculosis in captive Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) in Peninsular Malaysia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ong, B L; Ngeow, Y F; Razak, M F A Abdul; Yakubu, Y; Zakaria, Z; Mutalib, A R; Hassan, L; Ng, H F; Verasahib, K

    2013-07-01

    A cross-sectional study was conducted from 10 January to 9 April 2012, to determine the seroprevalence of tuberculosis (TB) of all captive Asian elephants and their handlers in six locations in Peninsular Malaysia. In addition, trunk-wash samples were examined for tubercle bacillus by culture and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). For 63 elephants and 149 elephant handlers, TB seroprevalence was estimated at 20.4% and 24.8%, respectively. From 151 trunkwash samples, 24 acid-fast isolates were obtained, 23 of which were identified by hsp65-based sequencing as non-tuberculous mycobacteria. The Mycobacterium tuberculosis-specific PCR was positive in the trunk-wash samples from three elephants which were also seropositive. Conversely, the trunk wash from seven seropositive elephants were PCR negative. Hence, there was evidence of active and latent TB in the elephants and the high seroprevalence in the elephants and their handlers suggests frequent, close contact, two-way transmission between animals and humans within confined workplaces.

  20. PROPOSED SIMPLE METHOD FOR ELECTROCARDIOGRAM RECORDING IN FREE-RANGING ASIAN ELEPHANTS (ELEPHAS MAXIMUS).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chai, Norin; Pouchelon, Jean Louis; Bouvard, Jonathan; Sillero, Leonor Camacho; Huynh, Minh; Segalini, Vincent; Point, Lisa; Croce, Veronica; Rigaux, Goulven; Highwood, Jack; Chetboul, Valérie

    2016-03-01

    Electrocardiography represents a relevant diagnostic tool for detecting cardiac disease in animals. Elephants can present various congenital and acquired cardiovascular diseases. However, few electrophysiologic studies have been reported in captive elephants, mainly due to challenging technical difficulties in obtaining good-quality electrocardiogram (ECG) tracings, and no data are currently available for free-ranging Asian elephants (Elephas maximus). The purpose of this pilot prospective study was to evaluate the feasibility of using a simple method for recording ECG tracings in wild, apparently healthy, unsedated Asian elephants (n = 7) in the standing position. Successful six-lead recordings (I, II, III, aVR, aVL, and aVF) were obtained, with the aVL lead providing the best-quality tracings in most animals. Variables measured in the aVL lead included heart rate, amplitudes and duration of the P waves, QRS complexes, T and U waves, and duration of the PR, QT, and QU intervals. A negative deflection following positive P waves, representative of an atrial repolarization wave (Ta wave), was observed for five out of the seven elephants.

  1. Chronic endometritis in an Asian elephant (Elephas maximus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aupperle, Heike; Reischauer, Anne; Bach, Franz; Hildebrandt, Thomas; Göritz, Frank; Jäger, Kathrin; Scheller, Regina; Klaue, Hans-Jörg; Schoon, H A

    2008-03-01

    A 48-yr-old female Asian elephant with a history of pododermatitis developed recurrent hematuria beginning in 2002. Transrectal ultrasonography and endoscopic examination in 2004 identified the uterus as the source of hematuria and excluded hemorrhagic cystitis. Treatment with Desloreline implants, antibiotics, and homeopathic drugs led to an improved general condition of the elephant. In July 2005, the elephant was suddenly found dead. During necropsy, the severely enlarged uterus contained about 250 L of purulent fluid, and histopathology revealed ulcerative suppurative endometritis with high numbers of Streptococcus equi ssp. zooepidemicus and Escherichia coli identified on aerobic culture. Additional findings at necropsy included: multifocal severe pododermatitis, uterine leiomyoma, and numerous large calcified areas of abdominal fat necrosis. Microbiologic culture of the pododermatitis lesion revealed the presence of Streptococcus agalactiae, Streptococcus equi ssp. zooepidemicus, Staphylococcus sp., Corynebacterium sp., and Entercoccus sp.

  2. Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) reassure others in distress

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Waal, Frans B.M.

    2014-01-01

    Contact directed by uninvolved bystanders toward others in distress, often termed consolation, is uncommon in the animal kingdom, thus far only demonstrated in the great apes, canines, and corvids. Whereas the typical agonistic context of such contact is relatively rare within natural elephant families, other causes of distress may trigger similar, other-regarding responses. In a study carried out at an elephant camp in Thailand, we found that elephants affiliated significantly more with other individuals through directed, physical contact and vocal communication following a distress event than in control periods. In addition, bystanders affiliated with each other, and matched the behavior and emotional state of the first distressed individual, suggesting emotional contagion. The initial distress responses were overwhelmingly directed toward ambiguous stimuli, thus making it difficult to determine if bystanders reacted to the distressed individual or showed a delayed response to the same stimulus. Nonetheless, the directionality of the contacts and their nature strongly suggest attention toward the emotional states of conspecifics. The elephants’ behavior is therefore best classified with similar consolation responses by apes, possibly based on convergent evolution of empathic capacities. PMID:24688856

  3. Asian elephants (Elephas maximus reassure others in distress

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joshua M. Plotnik

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Contact directed by uninvolved bystanders toward others in distress, often termed consolation, is uncommon in the animal kingdom, thus far only demonstrated in the great apes, canines, and corvids. Whereas the typical agonistic context of such contact is relatively rare within natural elephant families, other causes of distress may trigger similar, other-regarding responses. In a study carried out at an elephant camp in Thailand, we found that elephants affiliated significantly more with other individuals through directed, physical contact and vocal communication following a distress event than in control periods. In addition, bystanders affiliated with each other, and matched the behavior and emotional state of the first distressed individual, suggesting emotional contagion. The initial distress responses were overwhelmingly directed toward ambiguous stimuli, thus making it difficult to determine if bystanders reacted to the distressed individual or showed a delayed response to the same stimulus. Nonetheless, the directionality of the contacts and their nature strongly suggest attention toward the emotional states of conspecifics. The elephants’ behavior is therefore best classified with similar consolation responses by apes, possibly based on convergent evolution of empathic capacities.

  4. Pharmacokinetics of orally administered phenylbutazone in African and Asian elephants (Loxodonta africana and Elephas maximus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bechert, Ursula; Christensen, J Mark; Nguyen, C; Neelkant, R; Bendas, E

    2008-06-01

    The pharmacokinetic parameters of phenylbutazone were determined in 18 elephants (Loxodonta africana and Elephas maximus) after single-dose oral administration of 2, 3, and 4 mg/kg phenylbutazone, as well as multiple-dose administrations with a 4-wk washout period between trials. After administration of 2 mg/kg phenylbutazone, mean serum concentrations peaked in approximately 7.5 hr at 4.3 +/- 2.02 microg/ml and 9.7 hr at 7.1 +/- 2.36 microg/ml for African and Asian elephants, respectively, while 3 mg/kg dosages resulted in peak serum concentrations of 7.2 +/- 4.06 microg/ml in 8.4 hr and 12.1 +/- 3.13 microg/ml in 14 hr. The harmonic mean half-life was long, ranging between 13 and 15 hr and 39 and 45 hr for African and Asian elephants, respectively. There was evidence of enterohepatic cycling of phenylbutazone in Asian elephants. Significant differences (P < 0.0001) in pharmacokinetic values occurred between African and Asian elephants for clearance (27.9 and 7.6 ml/hr/kg, respectively), terminal half-life (15.0 and 38.7 hr, respectively), and mean residence time (22.5 and 55.5 hr, respectively) using 2-mg/kg dosages as an example. This suggests that different treatment regimens for Asian and African elephants should be used. There were no apparent gender differences in these parameters for either elephant species.

  5. Anatomy, histology and elemental profile of long bones and ribs of the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nganvongpanit, Korakot; Siengdee, Puntita; Buddhachat, Kittisak; Brown, Janine L; Klinhom, Sarisa; Pitakarnnop, Tanita; Angkawanish, Taweepoke; Thitaram, Chatchote

    2017-09-01

    This study evaluated the morphology and elemental composition of Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) bones (humerus, radius, ulna, femur, tibia, fibula and rib). Computerized tomography was used to image the intraosseous structure, compact bones were processed using histological techniques, and elemental profiling of compact bone was conducted using X-ray fluorescence. There was no clear evidence of an open marrow cavity in any of the bones; rather, dense trabecular bone was found in the bone interior. Compact bone contained double osteons in the radius, tibia and fibula. The osteon structure was comparatively large and similar in all bones, although the lacuna area was greater (P < 0.05) in the femur and ulna. Another finding was that nutrient foramina were clearly present in the humerus, ulna, femur, tibia and rib. Twenty elements were identified in elephant compact bone. Of these, ten differed significantly across the seven bones: Ca, Ti, V, Mn, Fe, Zr, Ag, Cd, Sn and Sb. Of particular interest was the finding of a significantly larger proportion of Fe in the humerus, radius, fibula and ribs, all bones without an open medullary cavity, which is traditionally associated with bone marrow for blood cell production. In conclusion, elephant bones present special characteristics, some of which may be important to hematopoiesis and bone strength for supporting a heavy body weight.

  6. Phylogeography of the asian elephant (Elephas maximus) based on mitochondrial DNA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fleischer, R C; Perry, E A; Muralidharan, K; Stevens, E E; Wemmer, C M

    2001-09-01

    Populations of the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) have been reduced in size and become highly fragmented during the past 3,000 to 4,000 years. Historical records reveal elephant dispersal by humans via trade and war. How have these anthropogenic impacts affected genetic variation and structure of Asian elephant populations? We sequenced mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) to assay genetic variation and phylogeography across much of the Asian elephant's range. Initially we compare cytochrome b sequences (cyt b) between nine Asian and five African elephants and use the fossil-based age of their separation (approximately 5 million years ago) to obtain a rate of about 0.013 (95% CI = 0.011-0.018) corrected sequence divergence per million years. We also assess variation in part of the mtDNA control region (CR) and adjacent tRNA genes in 57 Asian elephants from seven countries (Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia). Asian elephants have typical levels of mtDNA variation, and coalescence analyses suggest their populations were growing in the late Pleistocene. Reconstructed phylogenies reveal two major clades (A and B) differing on average by HKY85/gamma-corrected distances of 0.020 for cyt b and 0.050 for the CR segment (corresponding to a coalescence time based on our cyt b rate of approximately 1.2 million years). Individuals of both major clades exist in all locations but Indonesia and Malaysia. Most elephants from Malaysia and all from Indonesia are in well-supported, basal clades within clade A. thus supporting their status as evolutionarily significant units (ESUs). The proportion of clade A individuals decreases to the north, which could result from retention and subsequent loss of ancient lineages in long-term stable populations or, perhaps more likely, via recent mixing of two expanding populations that were isolated in the mid-Pleistocene. The distribution of clade A individuals appears to have been impacted by human trade in elephants

  7. PHARMACOKINETICS OF A SINGLE DOSE OF METRONIDAZOLE AFTER RECTAL ADMINISTRATION IN CAPTIVE ASIAN ELEPHANTS (ELEPHAS MAXIMUS).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sander, Samantha J; Siegal-Willott, Jessica L; Ziegler, Jessie; Lee, Elizabeth; Tell, Lisa; Murray, Suzan

    2016-03-01

    Metronidazole is a nitroimidazole antibacterial and antiprotozoal drug with bacteriocidal activity against a broad range of anaerobic bacteria. It is a recognized treatment for elephants diagnosed with anaerobic bacterial infection or protozoal disease or exhibiting signs of colonic impaction, diarrhea, and colic. This study evaluated the pharmacokinetics of rectally administered metronidazole (15 mg/kg) in five adult female Asian elephants (Elephas maximus). Serum samples were collected from each animal for 96 hr after rectal administration of metronidazole. Serum concentrations of metronidazole and its primary metabolite, hydroxymetronidazole, were measured via ultraperformance liquid chromatography. Data were analyzed via a noncompartmental pharmacokinetic approach. Results indicated that serum levels of metronidazole were quantifiable at the 0.25 hr time point and absent in all elephants by the 96 hr time point. The serum peak concentration (mean ± SD, 13.15 ± 2.59 μg/ml) and area under the curve from time 0 to infinity (mean ± SD, 108.79 ± 24.77 hr × μg/ml) were higher than that reported in domestic horses after similar usage. Concurrently, the time of maximum serum concentration (mean ± SD, 1.2 ± 0.45 hr) and terminal elimination half-life (harmonic mean ± pseudo-SD, 7.85 ± 0.93 hr) were longer when compared to equine reports. Rectal administration of metronidazole was well tolerated and rapidly absorbed in all study elephants. Based on the findings in this study, metronidazole administered at a single dose of 15 mg/kg per rectum in the Asian elephant is likely to result in serum concentrations above 4 μg/ml for 8 hr and above 2 μg/ml for 24 hr after treatment is administered. Dosing recommendations should reflect the mean inhibitory concentration of metronidazole for each pathogen.

  8. Genitourinary and pulmonary multidrug resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection in an Asian elephant (Elephas maximus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dumonceaux, Genevieve A; St Leger, Judy; Olsen, John H; Burton, Michael S; Ashkin, David; Maslow, Joel N

    2011-12-01

    A female Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) developed vaginal and trunk discharge. Cultures were positive for pan-susceptible Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Isoniazid and pyrazinamide were given rectally and monitored by serum levels. After being trained at 10 mo to accept oral dosing, treatment was changed and rifampin was added. Oral medications were administered for another 10 mo. A year after completion of therapy, the vaginal discharge increased and cultures yielded M. tuberculosis, resistant to isoniazid and rifampin. Treatment with oral ethambutol, pyrazinamide, and enrofloxacin and intramuscular amikacin was initiated. Although followup cultures became negative, adverse reactions to medications precluded treatment completion. Due to public health concerns related to multidrug resistant M. tuberculosis (MDR-TB), the elephant was euthanized. Postmortem smears from the lung, peribronchial, and abdominal lymph nodes yielded acid-fast bacteria, although cultures were negative. This case highlights important considerations in the treatment of M. tuberculosis in animals and the need for a consistent approach to diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up.

  9. Lactotransferrin in Asian elephant (Elephas maximus seminal plasma correlates with semen quality.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wendy K Kiso

    Full Text Available Asian elephants (Elephas maximus have highly variable ejaculate quality within individuals, greatly reducing the efficacy of artificial insemination and making it difficult to devise a sperm cryopreservation protocol for this endangered species. Because seminal plasma influences sperm function and physiology, including sperm motility, the objectives of this study were to characterize the chemistry and protein profiles of Asian elephant seminal plasma and to determine the relationships between seminal plasma components and semen quality. Ejaculates exhibiting good sperm motility (≥65% expressed higher percentages of spermatozoa with normal morphology (80.3±13.0 vs. 44.9±30.8% and positive Spermac staining (51.9±14.5 vs. 7.5±14.4%, in addition to higher total volume (135.1±89.6 vs. 88.8±73.1 ml and lower sperm concentration (473.0±511.2 vs. 1313.8±764.7×10⁶ cells ml⁻¹ compared to ejaculates exhibiting poor sperm motility (≤10%; P<0.05. Comparison of seminal plasma from ejaculates with good versus poor sperm motility revealed significant differences in concentrations of creatine phosphokinase, alanine aminotransferase, phosphorus, sodium, chloride, magnesium, and glucose. These observations suggest seminal plasma influences semen quality in elephants. One- and two-dimensional (2D gel electrophoresis revealed largely similar compositional profiles of seminal plasma proteins between good and poor motility ejaculates. However, a protein of ∼80 kDa was abundant in 85% of ejaculates with good motility, and was absent in 90% of poor motility ejaculates (P<0.05. We used mass spectrometry to identify this protein as lactotransferrin, and immunoblot analysis to confirm this identification. Together, these findings lay a functional foundation for understanding the contributions of seminal plasma in the regulation of Asian elephant sperm motility, and for improving semen collection and storage in this endangered species.

  10. Foraging ecology and diet of Bornean elephants (Elephas maximus borneensis) in the Sebuku forest area, North Kalimantan Province of Indonesia: Do the choices matter?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suba, Rachmat B; Beveridge, Nils G P; Kustiawan, Wawan; de Snoo, Geert R; de Iongh, Hans H

    2017-10-27

    The Bornean elephant (Elephas maximus borneensis) was identified as a genetically distinct sub-species of the Asian elephant (E. maximus) (Fernando et al. 2003), possibly related to the Javan elephant, which became extinct following the disappearance of the Java-Borneo connection at the last glacial maximum (Cranbook et al. 2008). Nevertheless, Elephas maximus has been listed as an endangered species (EN) on the Global IUCN Red List since 1986 (IUCN 2016). Under Indonesian Law (Government Regulation No. 7/1999 for Preservation of Fauna and Flora), the Bornean elephant is also listed as an endangered species (Azmi & Gunaryadi 2011). This status would emphasize the urgency to conserve the Bornean elephant as an evolutionarily significant unit (Fernando et al. 2003; Alfred et al. 2011). This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  11. Structural determination of the oligosaccharides in the milk of an Asian elephant (Elephas maximus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uemura, Yusuke; Asakuma, Sadaki; Yon, Lisa; Saito, Tadao; Fukuda, Kenji; Arai, Ikichi; Urashima, Tadasu

    2006-12-01

    Milk of an Asian elephant (Elephas maximus), collected at 11 days post partum, contained 91 g/L of hexose and 3 g/L of sialic acid. The dominant saccharide in this milk sample was lactose, but it also contained isoglobotriose (Glc(alpha1-3)Gal(beta1-4)Glc) as well as a variety of sialyl oligosaccharides. The sialyl oligosaccharides were separated from neutral saccharides by anion exchange chromatography on DEAE-Sephadex A-50 and successive gel chromatography on Bio Gel P-2. They were purified by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) using an Amide-80 column and characterized by 1H-NMR spectroscopy. Their structures were determined to be those of 3'-sialyllactose, 6'-sialyllactose, monofucosyl monosialyl lactose (Neu5Ac(alpha2-3)Gal(beta1-4)[Fuc(alpha1-3)]Glc), sialyl lacto-N-neotetraose c (LST c), galactosyl monosialyl lacto-N-neohexaose, galactosyl monofucosyl monosialyl lacto-N-neohexaose and three novel oligosaccharides as follows: Neu5Ac(alpha2-3)Gal(beta1-4)[Fuc(alpha1-3)]GlcNAc(beta1-3)Gal(beta1-4)Glc, Neu5Ac(alpha2-6)Gal(beta1-4)GlcNAc(beta1-3)Gal(beta1-4)GlcNAc(beta1-3)Gal(beta1-4)Glc, and Neu5Ac(alpha2-3)Gal(beta1-4)[Fuc(alpha1-3)]GlcNAc(beta1-3)Gal(beta1-4)[Fuc(alpha1-3)]GlcNAc(beta1-3)Gal(beta1-4)Glc. The higher oligosaccharides contained only the type II chain (Gal(beta1-4)GlcNAc); this finding differed from previously published data on Asian elephant milk oligosaccharides.

  12. First report of changes in leukocyte morphology in response to inflammatory conditions in Asian and African elephants (Elephas maximus and Loxodonta africana)

    OpenAIRE

    Stacy, Nicole I.; Isaza, Ramiro; Wiedner, Ellen

    2017-01-01

    Although the hematology of healthy elephants has been well-described, published information on hematological changes during disease is limited. The objective of this study was to describe qualitative morphological changes in the leukocytes of Asian and African elephants (Elephas maximus and Loxodonta africana) diagnosed with a variety of inflammatory conditions. Twenty-five of 27 elephants had morphological changes in their leukocytes, although only 16 of these had a concurrent inflammatory l...

  13. Elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus 5, a newly recognized elephant herpesvirus associated with clinical and subclinical infections in captive Asian elephants (Elephas maximus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atkins, Lisa; Zong, Jian-Chao; Tan, Jie; Mejia, Alicia; Heaggans, Sarah Y; Nofs, Sally A; Stanton, Jeffrey J; Flanagan, Joseph P; Howard, Lauren; Latimer, Erin; Stevens, Martina R; Hoffman, Daryl S; Hayward, Gary S; Ling, Paul D

    2013-03-01

    Elephant endotheliotropic herpesviruses (EEHVs) can cause acute hemorrhagic disease with high mortality rates in Asian elephants (Elephas maximus). Recently, a new EEHV type known as EEHV5 has been described, but its prevalence and clinical significance remain unknown. In this report, an outbreak of EEHV5 infection in a herd of captive Asian elephants in a zoo was characterized. In February 2011, a 42-yr-old wild-born female Asian elephant presented with bilaterally swollen temporal glands, oral mucosal hyperemia, vesicles on the tongue, and generalized lethargy. The elephant had a leukopenia and thrombocytopenia. She was treated with flunixin meglumine, famciclovir, and fluids. Clinical signs of illness resolved gradually over 2 wk, and the white blood cell count and platelets rebounded to higher-than-normal values. EEHV5 viremia was detectable starting 1 wk before presentation and peaked at the onset of clinical illness. EEHV5 shedding in trunk secretions peaked after viremia resolved and continued for more than 2 mo. EEHV5 trunk shedding from a female herd mate without any detectable viremia was detected prior to onset of clinical disease in the 42-yr-old elephant, indicating reactivation rather than primary infection in this elephant. Subsequent EEHV5 viremia and trunk shedding was documented in the other five elephants in the herd, who remained asymptomatic, except for 1 day of temporal gland swelling in an otherwise-healthy 1-yr-old calf. Unexpectedly, the two elephants most recently introduced into the herd 40 mo previously shed a distinctive EEHV5 strain from that seen in the other five elephants. This is the first report to document the kinetics of EEHV5 infection in captive Asian elephants and to provide evidence that this virus can cause illness in some animals.

  14. Feeding ecology of two endangered sympatric megaherbivores: Asian elephant Elephas maximus and greater one-horned rhinoceros Rhinoceros unicornis in lowland Nepal

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pradhan, N.M.B.; Wegge, P.; Moe, S.R.; Shrestha, A.K.

    2008-01-01

    We studied the diets of low-density but increasing populations of sympatric Asian elephants Elephas maximus and greater one-horned rhinoceros Rhinoceros unicornis in the Bardia National Park in lowland Nepal. A microhistological technique based on faecal material was used to estimate the seasonal

  15. The Days and Nights of Zoo Elephants: Using Epidemiology to Better Understand Stereotypic Behavior of African Elephants (Loxodonta africana) and Asian Elephants (Elephas maximus) in North American Zoos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greco, Brian J; Meehan, Cheryl L; Hogan, Jen N; Leighty, Katherine A; Mellen, Jill; Mason, Georgia J; Mench, Joy A

    2016-01-01

    Stereotypic behavior is an important indicator of compromised welfare. Zoo elephants are documented to perform stereotypic behavior, but the factors that contribute to performance have not been systematically assessed. We collected behavioral data on 89 elephants (47 African [Loxodonta africana], 42 Asian [Elephas maximus]) at 39 North American zoos during the summer and winter. Elephants were videoed for a median of 12 daytime hours per season. A subset of 32 elephants (19 African, 13 Asian) was also observed live for a median of 10.5 nighttime hours. Percentages of visible behavior scans were calculated from five minute instantaneous samples. Stereotypic behavior was the second most commonly performed behavior (after feeding), making up 15.5% of observations during the daytime and 24.8% at nighttime. Negative binomial regression models fitted with generalized estimating equations were used to determine which social, housing, management, life history, and demographic variables were associated with daytime and nighttime stereotypic behavior rates. Species was a significant risk factor in both models, with Asian elephants at greater risk (daytime: pelephants (pelephant stereotypic behavior rates.

  16. USE OF COMPOSITE MATERIALS AS A COMPONENT OF TUSK FRACTURE MANAGEMENT IN AN ASIAN ELEPHANT (ELEPHAS MAXIMUS) AND AN AFRICAN ELEPHANT (LOXODONTA AFRICANA).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sim, Richard R; Stringer, Elizabeth; Donovan, Dennis; Chappell, Rachael; Flora, Pat; Hall, Jon; Pillay, Selvum; Willis, Benjamin G; McCain, Stephanie

    2017-09-01

    Tusk fractures in Asian (Elephas maximus) and African elephants (Loxodonta africana) can result in damage to the distal end or to longitudinal cracks, potentially progressing to pulpitis. With pulp exposure, endodontic therapy is the treatment of choice, but conservative therapy has sufficed for some elephants. This manuscript describes the use of composite materials as a component of tusk fracture management. A 7-yr-old male Asian elephant fractured the distal end of both tusks with pulp exposure in one. Capping of each tusk with a Kevlar/fiberglass composite prevented further damage, and a modification allowed care of the exposed pulp tissue. A 34-yr-old male African elephant with a longitudinal crack received a carbon fiber/fiberglass composite circumferential wrap to potentially stabilize the crack. Compression of the crack was achieved, but follow-up was truncated due to bacterial pulpitis. Both cases show that composite material allows for lightweight, durable management of tusk fractures with continued radiographic monitoring.

  17. Visual cues given by humans are not sufficient for Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) to find hidden food.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plotnik, Joshua M; Pokorny, Jennifer J; Keratimanochaya, Titiporn; Webb, Christine; Beronja, Hana F; Hennessy, Alice; Hill, James; Hill, Virginia J; Kiss, Rebecca; Maguire, Caitlin; Melville, Beckett L; Morrison, Violet M B; Seecoomar, Dannah; Singer, Benjamin; Ukehaxhaj, Jehona; Vlahakis, Sophia K; Ylli, Dora; Clayton, Nicola S; Roberts, John; Fure, Emilie L; Duchatelier, Alicia P; Getz, David

    2013-01-01

    Recent research suggests that domesticated species--due to artificial selection by humans for specific, preferred behavioral traits--are better than wild animals at responding to visual cues given by humans about the location of hidden food. \\Although this seems to be supported by studies on a range of domesticated (including dogs, goats and horses) and wild (including wolves and chimpanzees) animals, there is also evidence that exposure to humans positively influences the ability of both wild and domesticated animals to follow these same cues. Here, we test the performance of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) on an object choice task that provides them with visual-only cues given by humans about the location of hidden food. Captive elephants are interesting candidates for investigating how both domestication and human exposure may impact cue-following as they represent a non-domesticated species with almost constant human interaction. As a group, the elephants (n = 7) in our study were unable to follow pointing, body orientation or a combination of both as honest signals of food location. They were, however, able to follow vocal commands with which they were already familiar in a novel context, suggesting the elephants are able to follow cues if they are sufficiently salient. Although the elephants' inability to follow the visual cues provides partial support for the domestication hypothesis, an alternative explanation is that elephants may rely more heavily on other sensory modalities, specifically olfaction and audition. Further research will be needed to rule out this alternative explanation.

  18. Generation and characterization of antibodies against Asian elephant (Elephas maximus IgG, IgM, and IgA.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alan F Humphreys

    Full Text Available Asian elephant (Elephas maximus immunity is poorly characterized and understood. This gap in knowledge is particularly concerning as Asian elephants are an endangered species threatened by a newly discovered herpesvirus known as elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus (EEHV, which is the leading cause of death for captive Asian elephants born after 1980 in North America. While reliable diagnostic assays have been developed to detect EEHV DNA, serological assays to evaluate elephant anti-EEHV antibody responses are lacking and will be needed for surveillance and epidemiological studies and also for evaluating potential treatments or vaccines against lethal EEHV infection. Previous studies have shown that Asian elephants produce IgG in serum, but they failed to detect IgM and IgA, further hampering development of informative serological assays for this species. To begin to address this issue, we determined the constant region genomic sequence of Asian elephant IgM and obtained some limited protein sequence information for putative serum IgA. The information was used to generate or identify specific commercial antisera reactive against IgM and IgA isotypes. In addition, we generated a monoclonal antibody against Asian elephant IgG. These three reagents were used to demonstrate that all three immunoglobulin isotypes are found in Asian elephant serum and milk and to detect antibody responses following tetanus toxoid booster vaccination or antibodies against a putative EEHV structural protein. The results indicate that these new reagents will be useful for developing sensitive and specific assays to detect and characterize elephant antibody responses for any pathogen or vaccine, including EEHV.

  19. Investigation of individual and group variability in estrous cycle characteristics in female Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) at the Oregon Zoo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glaeser, S S; Hunt, K E; Martin, M S; Finnegan, M; Brown, J L

    2012-07-15

    Evaluating ovarian cycle activity through longitudinal progestagen monitoring is important for optimizing breeding management of captive elephants and understanding impact of life events (births, deaths, and transfers) on reproductive function. This study summarized serum progestagen profiles for eight Asian mainland elephants (Elephas maximus indicus) and one Bornean elephant (E. maximus borneensis) at the Oregon Zoo over a 20-yr interval, and represents the longest longitudinal dataset evaluated to date. Estrous cycle characteristics were more varied than previously reported for this species, with an overall duration of 12 to 19 wk, luteal phase duration of 4 to 15 wk, and follicular phase duration of 2 to 12 wk. In general, there was more cycle variability across than within individual elephants. Compared with other elephants in the group, the Borneo female exhibited consistently longer cycle lengths, higher progestagen concentrations, and greater cycle variability; however, it is not known if this represents a subspecies or an individual difference. Cycle durations did not appear to change over time or with age, and the first pubertal cycle was similar to subsequent cycles. Variability in duration of the follicular phase was greater than that of the luteal phase. In addition, there was a significant negative relationship between luteal and follicular phase durations, suggesting a possible regulatory role of the follicular phase in maintaining a relatively consistent cycle duration within individuals. Overall, we found these elephants to be highly resilient in that major life events (births, deaths, and changes in herd structure) had minimal effect on cycle dynamics over time. In conclusion, the higher range in cycle phase characteristics is likely because of the larger number of elephants studied and longer duration of longitudinal monitoring, and may be more representative of the captive population as a whole. Furthermore, identification of significant

  20. The Days and Nights of Zoo Elephants: Using Epidemiology to Better Understand Stereotypic Behavior of African Elephants (Loxodonta africana) and Asian Elephants (Elephas maximus) in North American Zoos

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greco, Brian J.; Meehan, Cheryl L.; Hogan, Jen N.; Leighty, Katherine A.; Mellen, Jill; Mason, Georgia J.; Mench, Joy A.

    2016-01-01

    Stereotypic behavior is an important indicator of compromised welfare. Zoo elephants are documented to perform stereotypic behavior, but the factors that contribute to performance have not been systematically assessed. We collected behavioral data on 89 elephants (47 African [Loxodonta africana], 42 Asian [Elephas maximus]) at 39 North American zoos during the summer and winter. Elephants were videoed for a median of 12 daytime hours per season. A subset of 32 elephants (19 African, 13 Asian) was also observed live for a median of 10.5 nighttime hours. Percentages of visible behavior scans were calculated from five minute instantaneous samples. Stereotypic behavior was the second most commonly performed behavior (after feeding), making up 15.5% of observations during the daytime and 24.8% at nighttime. Negative binomial regression models fitted with generalized estimating equations were used to determine which social, housing, management, life history, and demographic variables were associated with daytime and nighttime stereotypic behavior rates. Species was a significant risk factor in both models, with Asian elephants at greater risk (daytime: pzoo transfers (pzoo staff reduced this risk (p = 0.018, Risk Ratio = 0.988). At night, spending more time in environments with both indoor and outdoor areas (p = 0.013, Risk Ratio = 0.987) and in larger social groups (p = 0.039, Risk Ratio = 0.752) corresponded with reduced risk of performing higher rates of stereotypy, while having experienced inter-zoo transfers (p = 0.033, Risk Ratio = 1.115) increased this risk. Overall, our results indicate that factors related to the social environment are most influential in predicting elephant stereotypic behavior rates. PMID:27416071

  1. Estimates of the pharmacokinetics of famciclovir and its active metabolite penciclovir in young Asian elephants (Elephas maximus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brock, A Paige; Isaza, Ramiro; Hunter, Robert P; Richman, Laura K; Montali, Richard J; Schmitt, Dennis L; Koch, David E; Lindsay, William A

    2012-12-01

    To determine plasma pharmacokinetics of penciclovir following oral and rectal administration of famciclovir to young Asian elephants (Elephas maximus). 6 healthy Asian elephants (5 females and 1 male), 4.5 to 9 years old and weighing 1,646 to 2,438 kg. Famciclovir was administered orally or rectally in accordance with an incomplete crossover design. Three treatment groups, each comprising 4 elephants, received single doses of famciclovir (5 mg/kg, PO, or 5 or 15 mg/kg, rectally); there was a minimum 12-week washout period between subsequent famciclovir administrations. Serial blood samples were collected after each administration. Samples were analyzed for famciclovir and penciclovir with a validated liquid chromatography-mass spectroscopy assay. Famciclovir was tolerated well for both routes of administration and underwent complete biotransformation to the active metabolite, penciclovir. Mean maximum plasma concentration of penciclovir was 1.3 μg/mL at 1.1 hours after oral administration of 5 mg/kg. Similar results were detected after rectal administration of 5 mg/kg. Mean maximum plasma concentration was 3.6 μg/mL at 0.66 hours after rectal administration of 15 mg/kg; this concentration was similar to results reported for humans receiving 7 mg/kg orally. Juvenile Asian elephants are susceptible to elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus. Although most infections are fatal, case reports indicate administration of famciclovir has been associated with survival of 3 elephants. In Asian elephants, a dose of 8 to 15 mg of famciclovir/kg given orally or rectally at least every 8 hours may result in penciclovir concentrations that are considered therapeutic in humans.

  2. The Days and Nights of Zoo Elephants: Using Epidemiology to Better Understand Stereotypic Behavior of African Elephants (Loxodonta africana and Asian Elephants (Elephas maximus in North American Zoos.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian J Greco

    Full Text Available Stereotypic behavior is an important indicator of compromised welfare. Zoo elephants are documented to perform stereotypic behavior, but the factors that contribute to performance have not been systematically assessed. We collected behavioral data on 89 elephants (47 African [Loxodonta africana], 42 Asian [Elephas maximus] at 39 North American zoos during the summer and winter. Elephants were videoed for a median of 12 daytime hours per season. A subset of 32 elephants (19 African, 13 Asian was also observed live for a median of 10.5 nighttime hours. Percentages of visible behavior scans were calculated from five minute instantaneous samples. Stereotypic behavior was the second most commonly performed behavior (after feeding, making up 15.5% of observations during the daytime and 24.8% at nighttime. Negative binomial regression models fitted with generalized estimating equations were used to determine which social, housing, management, life history, and demographic variables were associated with daytime and nighttime stereotypic behavior rates. Species was a significant risk factor in both models, with Asian elephants at greater risk (daytime: p<0.001, Risk Ratio = 4.087; nighttime: p<0.001, Risk Ratio = 8.015. For both species, spending time housed separately (p<0.001, Risk Ratio = 1.009, and having experienced inter-zoo transfers (p<0.001, Risk Ratio = 1.175, increased the risk of performing higher rates of stereotypy during the day, while spending more time with juvenile elephants (p<0.001, Risk Ratio = 0.985, and engaging with zoo staff reduced this risk (p = 0.018, Risk Ratio = 0.988. At night, spending more time in environments with both indoor and outdoor areas (p = 0.013, Risk Ratio = 0.987 and in larger social groups (p = 0.039, Risk Ratio = 0.752 corresponded with reduced risk of performing higher rates of stereotypy, while having experienced inter-zoo transfers (p = 0.033, Risk Ratio = 1.115 increased this risk. Overall, our results

  3. Kinetics of viral loads and genotypic analysis of elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus-1 infection in captive Asian elephants (Elephas maximus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanton, Jeffrey J; Zong, Jian-Chao; Eng, Crystal; Howard, Lauren; Flanagan, Joe; Stevens, Martina; Schmitt, Dennis; Wiedner, Ellen; Graham, Danielle; Junge, Randall E; Weber, Martha A; Fischer, Martha; Mejia, Alicia; Tan, Jie; Latimer, Erin; Herron, Alan; Hayward, Gary S; Ling, Paul D

    2013-03-01

    Elephant endotheliotropic herpesviruses (EEHVs) can cause fatal hemorrhagic disease in juvenile Asian elephants (Elphas maximus); however, sporadic shedding of virus in trunk washes collected from healthy elephants also has been detected. Data regarding the relationship of viral loads in blood compared with trunk washes are lacking, and questions about whether elephants can undergo multiple infections with EEHVs have not been addressed previously. Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction was used to determine the kinetics of EEHV1 loads, and genotypic analysis was performed on EEHV1 DNA detected in various fluid samples obtained from five Asian elephants that survived detectable EEHV1 DNAemia on at least two separate occasions. In three elephants displaying clinical signs of illness, preclinical EEHV1 DNAemia was detectable, and peak whole-blood viral loads occurred 3-8 days after the onset of clinical signs. In two elephants with EEHV1 DNAemia that persisted for 7-21 days, no clinical signs of illness were observed. Detection of EEHV1 DNA in trunk washes peaked approximately 21 days after DNAemia, and viral genotypes detected during DNAemia matched those detected in subsequent trunk washes from the same elephant. In each of the five elephants, two distinct EEHV1 genotypes were identified in whole blood and trunk washes at different time points. In each case, these genotypes represented both an EEHV1A and an EEHV1B subtype. These data suggest that knowledge of viral loads could be useful for the management of elephants before or during clinical illness. Furthermore, sequential infection with both EEHV1 subtypes occurs in Asian elephants, suggesting that they do not elicit cross-protective sterilizing immunity. These data will be useful to individuals involved in the husbandry and clinical care of Asian elephants.

  4. Effect of concentrates restriction on feed consumption, diet digestibility, and nitrogen utilization in captive Asian elephants (Elephas maximus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das, A; Smith, M L; Saini, M; Katole, Shrikant; Kullu, S S; Gupta, B K; Sharma, A K; Swarup, D

    2015-01-01

    In order to study the effect of concentrates restriction on feed consumption, diet digestibility, and utilization of nitrogen in captive Asian elephants (Elephas maximus), two feeding trials were conducted on three juveniles, four sub-adults, and three adults. During trial I, the conventional zoo diets of juveniles, sub-adults, and adult contained 22, 17, and 16% of concentrates on dry matter (DM) basis, respectively. During trial II, the amount of concentrate was reduced by 50%. A digestion trial of five days collection period was conducted during each period. The animals ate more roughages when concentrates were restricted. Intake of DM (g/kg BW(0.75) /day) was highest in sub-adults, followed by juveniles and adults. Apparent digestibility of crude protein (CP), neutral detergent soluble (NDS), and supply of digestible energy (DE) was highest in juveniles, followed by sub-adults and adults. Based upon the estimated metabolic fecal nitrogen (MFN) and calculated endogenous urinary nitrogen (EUN) and dermal losses, minimum dietary CP required to meet maintenance requirement was estimated to be 6.12, 6.05, and 5.97% in juveniles, sub-adults, and adults, respectively. Restriction of concentrates resulted in decreased (P elephants should be fed in a restricted way so as to reduce the intake of excessive calories and the potential risk of obesity. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. Endocrine correlates of musth in free-ranging Asian elephants (Elephas maximus determined by non-invasive faecal steroid hormone metabolite measurements.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ratna Ghosal

    Full Text Available The occurrence of musth, a period of elevated levels of androgens and heightened sexual activity, has been well documented for the male Asian elephant (Elephas maximus. However, the relationship between androgen-dependent musth and adrenocortical function in this species is unclear. The current study is the first assessment of testicular and adrenocortical function in free-ranging male Asian elephants by measuring levels of testosterone (androgen and cortisol (glucocorticoid--a physiological indicator of stress metabolites in faeces. During musth, males expectedly showed significant elevation in faecal testosterone metabolite levels. Interestingly, glucocorticoid metabolite concentrations remained unchanged between musth and non-musth periods. This observation is contrary to that observed with wild and captive African elephant bulls and captive Asian bull elephants. Our results show that musth may not necessarily represent a stressful condition in free-ranging male Asian elephants.

  6. First report of changes in leukocyte morphology in response to inflammatory conditions in Asian and African elephants (Elephas maximus and Loxodonta africana).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stacy, Nicole I; Isaza, Ramiro; Wiedner, Ellen

    2017-01-01

    Although the hematology of healthy elephants has been well-described, published information on hematological changes during disease is limited. The objective of this study was to describe qualitative morphological changes in the leukocytes of Asian and African elephants (Elephas maximus and Loxodonta africana) diagnosed with a variety of inflammatory conditions. Twenty-five of 27 elephants had morphological changes in their leukocytes, although only 16 of these had a concurrent inflammatory leukogram. Morphological changes included heterophil left-shifting with or without concurrent dysgranulopoiesis, toxicity, or hypersegmentation, reactive lymphocytes, plasma cells, and/or vacuolated monocytes. Although the observed leukocyte morphological changes are non-specific, their early recognition upon blood film evaluation may provide important, clinically-relevant information, particularly if the leukogram is normal. This case series is the first description of qualitative morphological changes in the leukocytes of elephants in association with inflammation.

  7. First report of changes in leukocyte morphology in response to inflammatory conditions in Asian and African elephants (Elephas maximus and Loxodonta africana.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicole I Stacy

    Full Text Available Although the hematology of healthy elephants has been well-described, published information on hematological changes during disease is limited. The objective of this study was to describe qualitative morphological changes in the leukocytes of Asian and African elephants (Elephas maximus and Loxodonta africana diagnosed with a variety of inflammatory conditions. Twenty-five of 27 elephants had morphological changes in their leukocytes, although only 16 of these had a concurrent inflammatory leukogram. Morphological changes included heterophil left-shifting with or without concurrent dysgranulopoiesis, toxicity, or hypersegmentation, reactive lymphocytes, plasma cells, and/or vacuolated monocytes. Although the observed leukocyte morphological changes are non-specific, their early recognition upon blood film evaluation may provide important, clinically-relevant information, particularly if the leukogram is normal. This case series is the first description of qualitative morphological changes in the leukocytes of elephants in association with inflammation.

  8. Analysis of a collagen II degradation protein C2C and a collagen II formation protein CP II in serum of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kilgallon, Conor P; Larsen, Scott; Wong, Alice; Yellowley, Clare

    2015-03-01

    Osteoarthritis is a major cause of chronic lameness in Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) in captivity worldwide. Radiology and other imaging technologies are of limited use in the early diagnosis of this condition in elephants. Collagen II is a major component of articular cartilage. The degradation and formation of collagen II can be monitored by the measurement of specific biomarkers in biologic fluids such as serum. It is possible that these biomarkers could also prove useful in identifying disease in elephants. In this study two commercially available immunoassays which measure a marker of collagen II degradation (C2C) and a marker of collagen II formation (CPII) were evaluated in Asian elephants. The ability of the assays to detect and measure C2C and CPII in the serum of Asian elephants was confirmed. Median serum concentration of C2C was 148 ng/L in nonlame elephants (n=33) and 91.2 ng/L in lame elephants (n=7). The difference was statistically significant (P=0.0002). Median serum concentration of CPII was 519.3 ng/L in nonlame elephants and 318.7 ng/L in lame elephants. The difference was also statistically significant (P=0.039). Whereas CPII concentrations in lame elephants mirrored findings from human and animal osteoarthritis studies, C2C concentrations did not. Further studies which evaluate these and other similar biomarkers are necessary to elucidate their usefulness in the diagnosis of osteoarthritis in proboscidae.

  9. Housing and Demographic Risk Factors Impacting Foot and Musculoskeletal Health in African Elephants [Loxodonta africana] and Asian Elephants [Elephas maximus] in North American Zoos.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michele A Miller

    Full Text Available For more than three decades, foot and musculoskeletal conditions have been documented among both Asian [Elephas maximus] and African [Loxodonta africana] elephants in zoos. Although environmental factors have been hypothesized to play a contributing role in the development of foot and musculoskeletal pathology, there is a paucity of evidence-based research assessing risk. We investigated the associations between foot and musculoskeletal health conditions with demographic characteristics, space, flooring, exercise, enrichment, and body condition for elephants housed in North American zoos during 2012. Clinical examinations and medical records were used to assess health indicators and provide scores to quantitate conditions. Using multivariable regression models, associations were found between foot health and age [P value = 0.076; Odds Ratio = 1.018], time spent on hard substrates [P value = 0.022; Odds Ratio = 1.014], space experienced during the night [P value = 0.041; Odds Ratio = 1.008], and percent of time spent in indoor/outdoor exhibits during the day [P value < 0.001; Odds Ratio = 1.003]. Similarly, the main risk factors for musculoskeletal disorders included time on hard substrate [P value = 0.002; Odds Ratio = 1.050] and space experienced in indoor/outdoor exhibits [P value = 0.039; Odds Ratio = 1.037]. These results suggest that facility and management changes that decrease time spent on hard substrates will improve elephant welfare through better foot and musculoskeletal health.

  10. Housing and Demographic Risk Factors Impacting Foot and Musculoskeletal Health in African Elephants [Loxodonta africana] and Asian Elephants [Elephas maximus] in North American Zoos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Michele A; Hogan, Jennifer N; Meehan, Cheryl L

    2016-01-01

    For more than three decades, foot and musculoskeletal conditions have been documented among both Asian [Elephas maximus] and African [Loxodonta africana] elephants in zoos. Although environmental factors have been hypothesized to play a contributing role in the development of foot and musculoskeletal pathology, there is a paucity of evidence-based research assessing risk. We investigated the associations between foot and musculoskeletal health conditions with demographic characteristics, space, flooring, exercise, enrichment, and body condition for elephants housed in North American zoos during 2012. Clinical examinations and medical records were used to assess health indicators and provide scores to quantitate conditions. Using multivariable regression models, associations were found between foot health and age [P value = 0.076; Odds Ratio = 1.018], time spent on hard substrates [P value = 0.022; Odds Ratio = 1.014], space experienced during the night [P value = 0.041; Odds Ratio = 1.008], and percent of time spent in indoor/outdoor exhibits during the day [P value elephant welfare through better foot and musculoskeletal health.

  11. Housing and Social Environments of African (Loxodonta africana) and Asian (Elephas maximus) Elephants in North American Zoos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meehan, Cheryl L; Hogan, Jennifer N; Bonaparte-Saller, Mary K; Mench, Joy A

    2016-01-01

    We evaluated 255 African (Loxodonta africana) and Asian (Elephas maximus) elephants living in 68 North American zoos over one year to quantify housing and social variables. All parameters were quantified for the both the day and the night and comparisons were made across these time periods as well as by species and sex. To assess housing, we evaluated not only total exhibit size, but also individual animals' experiences based on the time they spent in the unique environments into which the exhibits were subdivided. Variables developed to assess housing included measurements of area as a function of time (Total Space Experience), environment type (Indoor, Outdoor, In/Out Choice) and time spent on hard and soft flooring. Over the year, Total Space Experience values ranged from 1,273 square feet to 169,692 square feet, with Day values significantly greater than Night values (panimals functionally housed together (Social Experience) and social group characteristics such as time spent with juveniles and in mixed-sex groups. Overall Social Experience scores ranged from 1 to 11.2 and were significantly greater during the Day than at Night (pwelfare outcomes.

  12. Housing and Social Environments of African (Loxodonta africana and Asian (Elephas maximus Elephants in North American Zoos.

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    Cheryl L Meehan

    Full Text Available We evaluated 255 African (Loxodonta africana and Asian (Elephas maximus elephants living in 68 North American zoos over one year to quantify housing and social variables. All parameters were quantified for the both the day and the night and comparisons were made across these time periods as well as by species and sex. To assess housing, we evaluated not only total exhibit size, but also individual animals' experiences based on the time they spent in the unique environments into which the exhibits were subdivided. Variables developed to assess housing included measurements of area as a function of time (Total Space Experience, environment type (Indoor, Outdoor, In/Out Choice and time spent on hard and soft flooring. Over the year, Total Space Experience values ranged from 1,273 square feet to 169,692 square feet, with Day values significantly greater than Night values (p<0.001. Elephants spent an average of 55.1% of their time outdoors, 28.9% indoors, and 16% in areas with a choice between being in or out. Time spent on hard flooring substrate ranged from 0% to 66.7%, with Night values significantly greater than Day (p<0.001. Social factors included number of animals functionally housed together (Social Experience and social group characteristics such as time spent with juveniles and in mixed-sex groups. Overall Social Experience scores ranged from 1 to 11.2 and were significantly greater during the Day than at Night (p<0.001. There were few significant social or housing differences between African (N = 138 and Asian (N = 117 species or between males (N = 54 and females (N = 201. The most notable exception was Total Space Experience, with African and male elephants having larger Total Space Experience than Asian and female elephants, respectively (P-value<0.05. The housing and social variables evaluated herein have been used in a series of subsequent epidemiological analyses relating to various elephant welfare outcomes.

  13. Lipid and protein oxidation levels in spermatozoa and seminal plasma of Asian Elephants (Elephas maximus) and their relationship with semen parameters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Satitmanwiwat, S; Promthep, K; Buranaamnuay, K; Mahasawangkul, S; Saikhun, K

    2017-04-01

    Peroxidation damage to spermatozoa and seminal plasma has an important role in sperm quality. Thus, the objective of this study was to determine the levels of lipid and protein oxidation in spermatozoa and seminal plasma of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) with varying percentage of progressive motility. Lipid and protein oxidation was measured by the thiobarbituric acid-reactive species (TBARS) assay and the 2, 4-dinitrophenylhydrazine (DNPH) carbonyl groups assay, respectively. Fresh semen samples were collected from Asian elephants and classified according to the percentage of motile spermatozoa into good (>60%) and poor (≤20%) motility. Results revealed that seminal plasma malondialdehyde (MDA) and seminal plasma protein carbonyls (PCs) were significantly higher in poor motility than in good motility (p elephants. © 2017 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  14. Assessment of Body Condition in African (Loxodonta africana) and Asian (Elephas maximus) Elephants in North American Zoos and Management Practices Associated with High Body Condition Scores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morfeld, Kari A; Meehan, Cheryl L; Hogan, Jennifer N; Brown, Janine L

    2016-01-01

    Obesity has a negative effect on health and welfare of many species, and has been speculated to be a problem for zoo elephants. To address this concern, we assessed the body condition of 240 elephants housed in North American zoos based on a set of standardized photographs using a 5-point Body Condition Score index (1 = thinnest; 5 = fattest). A multi-variable regression analysis was then used to determine how demographic, management, housing, and social factors were associated with an elevated body condition score in 132 African (Loxodonta africana) and 108 Asian (Elephas maximus) elephants. The highest BCS of 5, suggestive of obesity, was observed in 34% of zoo elephants. In both species, the majority of elephants had elevated BCS, with 74% in the BCS 4 (40%) and 5 (34%) categories. Only 22% of elephants had BCS 3, and less than 5% of the population was assigned the lowest BCS categories (BCS 1 and 2). The strongest multi-variable model demonstrated that staff-directed walking exercise of 14 hours or more per week and highly unpredictable feeding schedules were associated with decreased risk of BCS 4 or 5, while increased diversity in feeding methods and being female was associated with increased risk of BCS 4 or 5. Our data suggest that high body condition is prevalent among North American zoo elephants, and management strategies that help prevent and mitigate obesity may lead to improvements in welfare of zoo elephants.

  15. Assessment of Body Condition in African (Loxodonta africana and Asian (Elephas maximus Elephants in North American Zoos and Management Practices Associated with High Body Condition Scores.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kari A Morfeld

    Full Text Available Obesity has a negative effect on health and welfare of many species, and has been speculated to be a problem for zoo elephants. To address this concern, we assessed the body condition of 240 elephants housed in North American zoos based on a set of standardized photographs using a 5-point Body Condition Score index (1 = thinnest; 5 = fattest. A multi-variable regression analysis was then used to determine how demographic, management, housing, and social factors were associated with an elevated body condition score in 132 African (Loxodonta africana and 108 Asian (Elephas maximus elephants. The highest BCS of 5, suggestive of obesity, was observed in 34% of zoo elephants. In both species, the majority of elephants had elevated BCS, with 74% in the BCS 4 (40% and 5 (34% categories. Only 22% of elephants had BCS 3, and less than 5% of the population was assigned the lowest BCS categories (BCS 1 and 2. The strongest multi-variable model demonstrated that staff-directed walking exercise of 14 hours or more per week and highly unpredictable feeding schedules were associated with decreased risk of BCS 4 or 5, while increased diversity in feeding methods and being female was associated with increased risk of BCS 4 or 5. Our data suggest that high body condition is prevalent among North American zoo elephants, and management strategies that help prevent and mitigate obesity may lead to improvements in welfare of zoo elephants.

  16. Housing and Demographic Risk Factors Impacting Foot and Musculoskeletal Health in African Elephants [Loxodonta africana] and Asian Elephants [Elephas maximus] in North American Zoos

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Michele A.; Hogan, Jennifer N.; Meehan, Cheryl L.

    2016-01-01

    For more than three decades, foot and musculoskeletal conditions have been documented among both Asian [Elephas maximus] and African [Loxodonta africana] elephants in zoos. Although environmental factors have been hypothesized to play a contributing role in the development of foot and musculoskeletal pathology, there is a paucity of evidence-based research assessing risk. We investigated the associations between foot and musculoskeletal health conditions with demographic characteristics, space, flooring, exercise, enrichment, and body condition for elephants housed in North American zoos during 2012. Clinical examinations and medical records were used to assess health indicators and provide scores to quantitate conditions. Using multivariable regression models, associations were found between foot health and age [P value = 0.076; Odds Ratio = 1.018], time spent on hard substrates [P value = 0.022; Odds Ratio = 1.014], space experienced during the night [P value = 0.041; Odds Ratio = 1.008], and percent of time spent in indoor/outdoor exhibits during the day [P value welfare through better foot and musculoskeletal health. PMID:27415763

  17. Immune responses of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) to commercial tetanus toxoid vaccine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindsay, William A; Wiedner, Ellen; Isaza, Ramiro; Townsend, Hugh G G; Boleslawski, Maria; Lunn, D P

    2010-02-15

    Although captive elephants are commonly vaccinated annually against tetanus using commercially available tetanus toxoid vaccines marketed for use in horses and livestock, no data exists to prove that tetanus toxoid vaccination produces measurable antibody titers in elephants. An ELISA test was created to measure antibody responses to tetanus toxoid vaccinations in 22 Asian elephants ranging in age from 24 to 56 years (mean age 39 years) over a 7-month period. All animals had been previously vaccinated with tetanus toxoid vaccine, with the last booster administered 4 years before the start of the study. The great majority of elephants had titers prior to booster vaccination, and following revaccination all elephants demonstrated anamnestic increases in titers, indicating that this species does respond to tetanus vaccination. Surprisingly older animals mounted a significantly higher response to revaccination than did younger animals. Copyright 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Potential factors affecting semen quality in the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus)

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Thongtip, Nikorn; Saikhun, Jumnian; Mahasawangkul, Sittidet; Kornkaewrat, Kornchai; Pongsopavijitr, Pornsawan; Songsasen, Nucharin; Pinyopummin, Anuchai

    2008-01-01

    One of the major obstacles in using artificial insemination to manage genetics of elephant population in captivity is the large variations in semen quality among ejaculates within the same and among individuals...

  19. Successful artificial insemination in the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus using chilled and frozen-thawed semen

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    Wongkalasin Warut

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Artificial insemination (AI using frozen-thawed semen is well established and routinely used for breeding in various mammalian species. However, there is no report of the birth of elephant calves following AI with frozen-thawed semen. The objective of the present study was to investigate the fertilizing ability of chilled and frozen-thawed semen in the Asian elephant following artificial insemination (AI. Methods Semen samples were collected by from 8 bulls (age range, 12-to 42-years by manual stimulation. Semen with high quality were either cooled to 4°C or frozen in liquid nitrogen (-196°C before being used for AI. Blood samples collected from ten elephant females (age range, 12-to 52-years were assessed for estrus cycle and elephants with normal cycling were used for AI. Artificial insemination series were conducted during 2003 to 2008; 55 and 2 AI trials were conducted using frozen-thawed and chilled semen, respectively. Pregnancy was detected using transrectal ultrasonography and serum progestagen measurement. Results One female (Khod inseminated with chilled semen became pregnant and gave birth in 2007. The gestation length was 663 days and the sex of the elephant calf was male. One female (Sao inseminated with frozen-thawed semen showed signs of pregnancy by increasing progestagen levels and a fetus was observed for 5 months by transrectal ultrasonography. Conclusion This is the first report showing pregnancy following AI with frozen-thawed semen in the Asian elephant. Successful AI in the Asian elephant using either chilled or frozen-thawed semen is a stepping stone towards applying this technology for genetic improvement of the elephant population.

  20. Causes and correlates of calf mortality in captive Asian elephants (Elephas maximus.

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    Khyne U Mar

    Full Text Available Juvenile mortality is a key factor influencing population growth rate in density-independent, predation-free, well-managed captive populations. Currently at least a quarter of all Asian elephants live in captivity, but both the wild and captive populations are unsustainable with the present fertility and calf mortality rates. Despite the need for detailed data on calf mortality to manage effectively populations and to minimize the need for capture from the wild, very little is known of the causes and correlates of calf mortality in Asian elephants. Here we use the world's largest multigenerational demographic dataset on a semi-captive population of Asian elephants compiled from timber camps in Myanmar to investigate the survival of calves (n = 1020 to age five born to captive-born mothers (n = 391 between 1960 and 1999. Mortality risk varied significantly across different ages and was higher for males at any age. Maternal reproductive history was associated with large differences in both stillbirth and liveborn mortality risk: first-time mothers had a higher risk of calf loss as did mothers producing another calf soon (<3.7 years after a previous birth, and when giving birth at older age. Stillbirth (4% and pre-weaning mortality (25.6% were considerably lower than those reported for zoo elephants and used in published population viability analyses. A large proportion of deaths were caused by accidents and lack of maternal milk/calf weakness which both might be partly preventable by supplementary feeding of mothers and calves and work reduction of high-risk mothers. Our results on Myanmar timber elephants with an extensive keeping system provide an important comparison to compromised survivorship reported in zoo elephants. They have implications for improving captive working elephant management systems in range countries and for refining population viability analyses with realistic parameter values in order to predict future population

  1. Effect of calcium and cholecalciferol supplementation on several parameters of calcium status in plasma and urine of captive Asian (Elephas maximus) and African elephants (Loxodonta africana).

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Sonsbeek, Gerda R; van der Kolk, Johannes H; van Leeuwen, Johannes P T M; Everts, Hendrik; Marais, Johan; Schaftenaar, Willem

    2013-09-01

    The aim of the current study was to assess the effect of oral calcium and cholecalciferol supplementation on several parameters of calcium status in plasma and urine of captive Asian (Elephas maximus; n=10) and African elephants (Loxodonta africana; n=6) and to detect potential species differences. Calcium and cholecalciferol supplementation were investigated in a feeding trial using a crossover design consisting of five periods of 28 days each in summer. From days 28-56 (period 2), elephants were fed the Ca-supplemented diet and from days 84-112, elephants were fed the cholecalciferol-supplemented diet (period 4). The control diet was fed during the other periods and was based on their regular ration, and the study was repeated similarly during winter. Periods 1, 3, and 5 were regarded as washout periods. This study revealed species-specific differences with reference to calcium and cholecalciferol supplementation. Asian elephants showed a significant increase in mean plasma total calcium concentration following calcium supplementation during summer, suggesting summer-associated subclinical hypocalcemia in Western Europe. During winter, no effect was seen after oral calcium supplementation, but a significant increase was seen both in mean plasma, total, and ionized calcium concentrations after cholecalciferol supplementation in Asian elephants. In contrast, evidence of subclinical hypocalcemia could be demonstrated neither in summer nor in winter in African elephants, although 28 days of cholecalciferol supplementation during winter reversed the decrease in plasma 1,25(OH)2-cholecalciferol and was followed by a significant increase in mean plasma total calcium concentration. Preliminary findings indicate that the advisable permanent daily intake for calcium in Asian elephants and cholecalciferol in both elephant species at least during winter might be higher than current guidelines. It is strongly recommended to monitor blood calcium concentrations and, if

  2. The pharmacokinetics of a single oral or rectal dose of concurrently administered isoniazid, rifampin, pyrazinamide, and ethambutol in Asian elephants (Elephas maximus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    P Brock, A; Isaza, R; Egelund, E F; Hunter, R P; Peloquin, C A

    2014-10-01

    Tuberculosis, caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, is a disease of concern in captive Asian elephants (Elephas maximus). Treatment for tuberculosis in elephants utilizes multidrug protocols combining isoniazid, rifampin, pyrazinamide, and/or ethambutol. In this study, a single, coformulated dose of isoniazid 5 mg/kg, rifampin 10 mg/kg, pyrazinamide 30 mg/kg, and ethambutol 30 mg/kg was administered orally to six Asian elephants, and rectally to five elephants using a cross-over design. Blood samples were collected serially over 24 h. Pyrazinamide and ethambutol concentrations were determined using validated gas chromatography assays. Isoniazid and rifampin concentrations were determined using validated high-performance liquid chromatography assays. Rectal isoniazid produced an earlier Tmax compared with oral administration. Oral isoniazid resulted in a comparatively lower Cmax , but higher AUC values compared with rectal isoniazid. Oral rifampin and oral ethambutol were well absorbed while rectal rifampin was not. Oral pyrazinamide produced comparatively higher Cmax and AUC values compared with rectal pyrazinamide. Results of this study indicate that currently recommended therapeutic monitoring sample collection times for rectal isoniazid and oral rifampin do not provide an accurate assessment of exposure for these drugs. This study demonstrates notable individual variability, indicating that dosing of these medications requires individual monitoring and provides additional information to guide the clinician when treating elephants. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  3. Home range and ranging behaviour of Bornean elephant (Elephas maximus borneensis) females.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alfred, Raymond; Ahmad, Abd Hamid; Payne, Junaidi; Williams, Christy; Ambu, Laurentius Nayan; How, Phua Mui; Goossens, Benoit

    2012-01-01

    Home range is defined as the extent and location of the area covered annually by a wild animal in its natural habitat. Studies of African and Indian elephants in landscapes of largely open habitats have indicated that the sizes of the home range are determined not only by the food supplies and seasonal changes, but also by numerous other factors including availability of water sources, habitat loss and the existence of man-made barriers. The home range size for the Bornean elephant had never been investigated before. The first satellite tracking program to investigate the movement of wild Bornean elephants in Sabah was initiated in 2005. Five adult female elephants were immobilized and neck collars were fitted with tracking devices. The sizes of their home range and movement patterns were determined using location data gathered from a satellite tracking system and analyzed by using the Minimum Convex Polygon and Harmonic Mean methods. Home range size was estimated to be 250 to 400 km(2) in a non-fragmented forest and 600 km(2) in a fragmented forest. The ranging behavior was influenced by the size of the natural forest habitat and the availability of permanent water sources. The movement pattern was influenced by human disturbance and the need to move from one feeding site to another. Home range and movement rate were influenced by the degree of habitat fragmentation. Once habitat was cleared or converted, the availability of food plants and water sources were reduced, forcing the elephants to travel to adjacent forest areas. Therefore movement rate in fragmented forest was higher than in the non-fragmented forest. Finally, in fragmented habitat human and elephant conflict occurrences were likely to be higher, due to increased movement bringing elephants into contact more often with humans.

  4. Dung as a potential medium for inter-sexual chemical signaling in Asian elephants (Elephas maximus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghosal, Ratna; Seshagiri, P B; Sukumar, R

    2012-09-01

    Chemical signaling is a prominent mode of male-female communication among elephants, especially during their sexually active periods. Studies on the Asian elephant in zoos have shown the significance of a urinary pheromone (Z7-12:Ac) in conveying the reproductive status of a female toward the opposite sex. We investigated the additional possibility of an inter-sexual chemical signal being conveyed through dung. Sixteen semi-captive adult male elephants were presented with dung samples of three female elephants in different reproductive phases. Each male was tested in 3 separate trials, within an interval of 1-3 days. The trials followed a double-blind pattern as the male and female elephants used in the trials were strangers, and the observer was not aware of the reproductive status of females during the period of bioassays. Males responded preferentially (Pelephants were able to distinguish the reproductive phase of the female by possibly detecting a pre-ovulatory pheromone released in dung. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Hemorrhagic Septicemia in Asian Elephants Elephas maximus in Karnataka state, India

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    B.R. Harish

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available The wild animal’s health is of serious biodiversity concern and influenced by several factors like infectious, nutritional, environmental, behavioral and physiological factors. Among which infectious agents are crippling the wild life in terms of huge mortality and morbidity and terminating the life of several endangered species. The most common occurrence and Hemorrhagic Septicemia (HS or Pasturellosis has long been recognized as a serious disease in elephants. The present study revealed the occurrence of Hemorrhagic Septicemia (HS in three national parks of Karnataka state among elephants. The disease was diagnosed based on the clinical signs, gross lesions, histopathology and microbiological findings.

  6. Potential factors affecting semen quality in the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus

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    Pongsopavijitr Pornsawan

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background One of the major obstacles in using artificial insemination to manage genetics of elephant population in captivity is the large variations in semen quality among ejaculates within the same and among individuals. The objectives of this study were to determine the influences of (1 age (2 seasonality (3 and circulating testosterone (SrTest, triiodothyronine (SrT3 and tetraiodothyronine (SrT4, as well as seminal (4 testosterone (SpTest, zinc (SpZn and protein (SpTP on semen quality in the Asian elephant Methods Analyses, including motility, viability and morphology were performed in semen samples collected twice monthly from 13 elephant bulls (age range, 10-to 72-years by manual stimulation between July 2004 and June 2005. Serum samples obtained monthly were assessed for SrTest, SrT3, SrT4, and seminal plasma samples were evaluated for, SpTest, SpZn and SpTP. Results The highest semen quality was observed at age 23 to 43 years. Percentages of progressive motility and viable sperm were lowest at age 51 to 70 years (P Conclusion This study indicates that age and seasonality had influence on semen characteristics in the Asian elephant. The knowledge obtained in this study will improve our understanding of the reproductive biology of this species.

  7. Social relationships of wild juvenile Asian Elephants Elephas maximus in the Udawalawa National Park, Sri Lanka

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    D. Jayantha

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Social relationships of juvenile wild elephants (3-6 years old in the Udawalawa National Park were studied. Focal animal sampling was employed to quantify behaviour of juveniles encountered on 450 different occasions. Nearest neighbour (NN and nearest neighbour distance (NND were considered for proximity analysis and the social relationships of focal animals. Adult females and juveniles were the NN of the study group during 50.8% and 37.6% of the total observed time respectively. The mean NND was 1.62m (SD� plus or minus 2.8, and it was less than 5m 98% of the time while 33% of the time the study group was touching (NND<1m the NN. There was a significant difference between NND categories (p<0.05. Eighty percent of the NN infants stayed at a touching distance and were cared or allo-mothered by the juveniles under discussion. Time allocated for different behaviour patterns by the study group varied with the NN. When the study animals were accompanied by age-mates, they spent 17% of time in social playing and another 3% in non-play social contacts, but only 1% in each behaviour pattern when the adult females were in close proximity. Maximum social contacts were observed between study animals and infants. The findings suggest that juvenile elephants associate more frequently with adult females and near-age mates while they show social relationships in a varying degree with different associates. Play and social contacts of juveniles with conspecifics, especially with peers, provides opportunity to develop skills and social confidence necessary in adulthood.

  8. Effect of mine discharge on the pattern of riverine habitat use of elephants Elephas maximus and other mammals in Singhbhum forests, Bihar, India

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Singh, R.K.; Chowdhury, S.

    1999-11-01

    The aim of this paper is to access the influence of water quality both on the occurrence of, and utilization by, elephants (Elephas maximus) in a riverine habitat. Mining operations and other anthropogenic changes to natural river systems have caused degradation of the ecosystem for elephants. A decline in their numbers has been seen throughout the Singhbhum Forests, India due to fragmentation and loss of habitat. The need to preserve and restore the habitat of the elephant is accepted, but until the factors that influence their distribution are known and understood, suitable management plans cannot be implemented. The study area was the catchment of the river Koina where waste discharge from an iron oremine and processing plant impact upon water quality. The study period from April 1995 to March 1996 looked at sections of the river where unregulated mine discharge was made, and where regulation through tailing ponds controlled total suspended solids (TSS) output from the mine waste water to the river system. Various physico-chemical parameters recorded at seven sampling stations were quantified. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) segregated the key parameters in determining the discharge levels of both regulated and unregulated discharge at various sites.

  9. Nutritional evaluation of fodder, its preference and crop raiding by wild Asian elephant (Elephas maximus in Sonitpur District of Assam, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bidyut Jyoti Das

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Aim: The present investigation was carried out to evaluate the nutritive value of fodder in natural habitat, cultivated crops and their preference by wild Asian elephant (Elephas maximus in forest and non-forest areas in four seasons using field observation in Sonitpur District of Assam; since, there were frequent incidences of crop raiding by wild elephant leading to loss of property and human-elephant conflict. Materials and Methods: The study was conducted in four seasons. The study included forest areas of Sonai-Rupai Wildlife Sanctuary, part of Nameri National Park and high human-elephant conflicted areas of non-forest near to the sanctuary and parks. The consumed fodders were identified, collected and evaluated. The proximate composition was determined using AOAC (1990. Results: Total 39 different fodder species of 18 families including herbs, climber, grasses, paddy seeds, paddy saplings, plants and its leaves, bark, fruits, and roots were recorded to be utilized by elephants. The first three family of fodder that elephant relished more were Poaceae (46.15%, Musaceae (7.69% and Zingiberaceae (5.13% respectively. The crude protein content of fodder in all seasons, total ash content only in winter and post monsoon seasons and neutral detergent fiber content of fodder between forest and non-forest were significant (p<0.05. Elephants preferred to forage more on nutritionally rich fodder than poor natural fodder. Incidence of crop raiding was more in post monsoon season could be due to availability of nutritionally rich fodder than the poor natural fodder and generally happened in the night. Conclusions: The study revealed that during post monsoon season, there were abundant nutritionally rich sources of cultivated crops than the fodder of natural habitat that might provoke the wild elephants to raid crops. Poaceae shared a major portion of their diet. The findings will definitely help nutritionist, ecologist and policy makers to understand

  10. Assessment of pregnancy status of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) by measurement of progestagen and glucocorticoid and their metabolite concentrations in serum and feces, using enzyme immunoassay (EIA).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kajaysri, Jatuporn; Nokkaew, Weerapun

    2014-03-01

    The study was to find patterns of progestagen (progesterone and its metabolite) and glucocorticoid and their metabolite concentrations in serum and feces of pregnant Asian elephants (Elephas maximus). The 5 female Asian domestic elephants were naturally mated until pregnancy. After that, blood and feces samples were collected monthly during pregnancy for progestagen, glucocorticoid and their metabolites analysis by enzyme immunoassay (EIA). The results showed the serum progestagen concentration during gestation was 2.11 ± 0.60 to 18.44 ± 2.28 ng/ml. Overall, serum progestagen concentration rose from the 1st month to reach peak in the 11th month, after which it declined to its lowest level in the 22nd month of pregnancy. Fecal progestagen concentration varied from 1.18 ± 0.54 to 3.35 ± 0.45 µg/g during pregnancy. In general, fecal progestagen concentration increased from the 1st month to its highest level in the 12th month. After this, it declined reaching its lowest point in the 22nd month of pregnancy. Glucocorticoid hormones and their metabolite concentrations both in serum and feces fluctuated from low to medium throughout almost the entire pregnancy period and then rapidly increased around the last week before calving. Our study suggests that this profile of progestagen and glucocorticoid hormones and their metabolite concentration levels in serum and feces can be used to assess the pregnancy status of Asian elephants. If serum and fecal progestagen concentrations were found in very low levels and glucocorticoid and their metabolite concentrations were found in very high levels, it was indicated that the cow elephant would calve within 7 days.

  11. The Days and Nights of Zoo Elephants: Using Epidemiology to Better Understand Stereotypic Behavior of African Elephants (Loxodonta africana) and Asian Elephants (Elephas maximus) in North American Zoos

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Greco, Brian J; Meehan, Cheryl L; Hogan, Jen N; Leighty, Katherine A; Mellen, Jill; Mason, Georgia J; Mench, Joy A

    2016-01-01

    Stereotypic behavior is an important indicator of compromised welfare. Zoo elephants are documented to perform stereotypic behavior, but the factors that contribute to performance have not been systematically assessed...

  12. Secretory pattern of inhibin during estrous cycle and pregnancy in African (Loxodonta africana) and Asian (Elephas maximus) elephants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamamoto, Yuki; Yuto, Natsuki; Yamamoto, Tatsuya; Kaewmanee, Saroch; Shiina, Osamu; Mouri, Yasushi; Narushima, Etsuo; Katayanagi, Masayuki; Sugimura, Keisuke; Nagaoka, Kentaro; Watanabe, Gen; Taya, Kazuyoshi

    2012-01-01

    The ovary of female elephants has multiple corpora lutea (CL) during the estrous cycle and gestation. The previous reports clearly demonstrated that inhibin was secreted from lutein cells as well as granulosa cells of antral follicles in cyclic Asian elephants. The aim of this study is to investigate the inhibin secretion during the pregnancy in African and Asian elephants. Two African elephants and two Asian elephants were subjected to this study. Circulating levels of immunoreactive (ir-) inhibin and progesterone were measured by radioimmunoassay. Four pregnant periods of an African elephant and three pregnant periods of an Asian elephant were analyzed in this study. Circulating levels of ir-inhibin started to increase at 1 or 2 week before the ovulation and reached the peak level 3 or 4 weeks earlier than progesterone during the estrous cycle in both African and Asian elephants. After last luteal phase, the serum levels of ir-inhibin remained low throughout pregnancy in both an African and an Asian elephant. The mean levels of ir-inhibin during the pregnancy were lower than the luteal phase in the estrous cycle despite high progesterone levels were maintained throughout the pregnancy. These results strongly suggest that CL secrete a large amount of progesterone but not inhibin during the pregnancy in elephants. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. Evaluation of Demographics and Social Life Events of Asian (Elephas maximus) and African Elephants (Loxodonta africana) in North American Zoos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prado-Oviedo, Natalia A; Bonaparte-Saller, Mary K; Malloy, Elizabeth J; Meehan, Cheryl L; Mench, Joy A; Carlstead, Kathy; Brown, Janine L

    2016-01-01

    This study quantified social life events hypothesized to affect the welfare of zoo African and Asian elephants, focusing on animals that were part of a large multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional elephant welfare study in North America. Age was calculated based on recorded birth dates and an age-based account of life event data for each elephant was compiled. These event histories included facility transfers, births and deaths of offspring, and births and deaths of non-offspring herd mates. Each event was evaluated as a total number of events per elephant, lifetime rate of event exposure, and age at first event exposure. These were then compared across three categories: species (African vs. Asian); sex (male vs. female); and origin (imported vs. captive-born). Mean age distributions differed (pzoos, we found both qualitative and quantitative differences in the early lives of imported versus captive-born elephants that could have long-term welfare implications.

  14. Results of the third reproductive assessment survey of North American Asian (Elephas maximus) and African (Loxodonta africana) female elephants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dow, T L; Holásková, I; Brown, J L

    2011-01-01

    A written survey assessed reproductive status of female Asian and African elephants in AZA/SSP facilities in 2008, and data were compared to surveys conducted in 2002 and 2005. Results showed that ovarian acyclicity rates across the surveys remained unchanged for Asian (13.3, 10.9 and 11.1%) and African (22.1, 31.2 and 30.5%) elephants, respectively (P > 0.05), but were higher overall for African compared to Asian elephants (P elephants with irregular cycles (14.3 and 15.8%) and irregular + no cycles (25.4 and 46.4%) was similar to 2005 (7.6 and 11.8%; 18.5 and 43.0%), but were increased compared to 2002 (2.6 and 5.2%; 16.0 and 27.3%), respectively (P elephants compared to females at facilities with no male, respectively. Cyclicity rates were higher for Asian (86.8 vs. 65.2%) and African (67.9 vs. 56.7%) elephants managed in free compared to protected contact programs (P 0.05). In summary, incidence of ovarian cycle problems continues to predominantly affect African elephants. Although percentages of acyclicity did not increase between 2005 and 2008, 42.2% Asian and 30.2% African females were no longer being hormonally monitored; thus, reproductive cycle abnormalities could be worse than current data suggest. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Statistical parametric mapping of the regional distribution and ontogenetic scaling of foot pressures during walking in Asian elephants (Elephas maximus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panagiotopoulou, Olga; Pataky, Todd C; Hill, Zoe; Hutchinson, John R

    2012-05-01

    Foot pressure distributions during locomotion have causal links with the anatomical and structural configurations of the foot tissues and the mechanics of locomotion. Elephant feet have five toes bound in a flexible pad of fibrous tissue (digital cushion). Does this specialized foot design control peak foot pressures in such giant animals? And how does body size, such as during ontogenetic growth, influence foot pressures? We addressed these questions by studying foot pressure distributions in elephant feet and their correlation with body mass and centre of pressure trajectories, using statistical parametric mapping (SPM), a neuro-imaging technology. Our results show a positive correlation between body mass and peak pressures, with the highest pressures dominated by the distal ends of the lateral toes (digits 3, 4 and 5). We also demonstrate that pressure reduction in the elephant digital cushion is a complex interaction of its viscoelastic tissue structure and its centre of pressure trajectories, because there is a tendency to avoid rear 'heel' contact as an elephant grows. Using SPM, we present a complete map of pressure distributions in elephant feet during ontogeny by performing statistical analysis at the pixel level across the entire plantar/palmar surface. We hope that our study will build confidence in the potential clinical and scaling applications of mammalian foot pressures, given our findings in support of a link between regional peak pressures and pathogenesis in elephant feet.

  16. DIVERSITY OF FEED PLANTS OF SUMATRAN ELEPHANT HABITATS (ELEPHAS MAXIMUS SUMATRANUS IN JANTHO PINUS NATURE RESERVE, ACEH BESAR DISTRICT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ma’rifatin Zahrah

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available This research conducted to identify the kinds of feed plants sumatran elephant which is the main component of elephant habitats .The purpose of this research was to obtain data about kinds of feed plants sumatran elephant and analyzes the species diversity. The study conducted with analysis vegetation use of systematic sampling methods at any community different vegetation .The research results recorded there are 75 species of  feed plants  from 269 species of plants found , which means 28%  plants in the study locations is a source of feed for sumatran elephants. The data was obtained show that the number of species to spread of  feed plants of elephant more on a community of  I , a number of 36 species of all level vegetation began to the seedling, sapling, pole and tree; while community II and III each 30 and 23 species . Community IV and V had the same number of  feed plants species, a number of 31 species . Based on the analysis of the diversity of species to feed plants  of elephant, shows that community III have index the diversity of species ( H = 4,53; Hmax = 5,17 higher than other locations.

  17. Taxonomy Icon Data: Asiatic elephant [Taxonomy Icon

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available Asiatic elephant Elephas maximus Chordata/Vertebrata/Mammalia/Theria/Eutheria/etc. Elephas_max...imus_L.png Elephas_maximus_NL.png Elephas_maximus_S.png Elephas_maximus_NS.png http://bioscienced...bc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Elephas+maximus&t=L http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Elephas+max...imus&t=NL http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Elephas+maximus&t=S http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Elephas+maximus&t=NS ...

  18. Potential of a gonadotropin-releasing hormone vaccine to suppress musth in captive male Asian elephants (Elephas maximus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Somgird, Chaleamchat; Homkong, Pongpon; Sripiboon, Supaphen; Brown, Janine L; Stout, Tom A E; Colenbrander, Ben; Mahasawangkul, Sittidet; Thitaram, Chatchote

    2016-01-01

    Musth in adult bull elephants is a period of increased androgen concentrations ranging from a few weeks to several months. For captive elephant bull management, musth presents a serious challenge because of the aggressive behavior of musth bulls toward people and other elephants. Commercially available GnRH vaccines have been shown to suppress testicular function by interrupting the hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis in many species. The aim of this study was to test the efficacy of a GnRH vaccine in elephant bulls for suppressing the HPG axis and mitigating musth-related aggressive behavior. Five adult Asian elephant bulls (22-55 years old) were immunized with a GnRH vaccine starting with an initial injection 2-4 months before the predicted musth period, and followed by three boosters at approximately 4-week intervals. Blood samples were collected twice weekly for hormone and antibody titer analysis. An increase in GnRH antibody titers was observed in all bulls after the second or third booster, and titers remained elevated for 2-3 months after the final booster. Musth was attenuated and shortened in three bulls and postponed completely in two. We conclude that GnRH vaccination is capable of suppressing symptoms of musth in adult bull elephants. With appropriate timing, GnRH vaccination could be used to control or manage musth and aggressive behavior in captive elephant bulls. However, more work is needed to identify an optimal dose, booster interval, and vaccination schedule for complete suppression of testicular steroidogenesis. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Elephant Elephas maximus Linnaeus (Proboscidea: Elephantidae migration paths in the Nilgiri Hills, India in the late 1970s

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E.R.C. Davidar

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available The study presented was carried out in 1978 with the support of the Asian Elephant Specialist Group (AsESG of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC. Its objective was to investigate the impediments to elephant movement in the Nilgiri Hills, in the Western Ghats of India, in an attempt to suggest positive steps to encourage movement through the provision of corridors. The report was left unpublished, but given its importance as a reference document for the conservation of the Asian elephant in the Nilgiris, in 2011 the last two authors decided to publish it. The process of habitat fragmentation has been going on ever since man started agriculture. But this problem has, of late, become much more acute due to mounting pressure on land. The corridor concept applied to wildlife is the provision of a free and, as far as possible, unimpeded way for the passage of wild animals between two wildlife zones. A corridor’s more important function is to prevent wild animals from getting isolated in small pocket-like islands. Maintaining elephant habitat connectivity in and around the Nilgiris rests upon the understanding that elephant populations of the several protected areas of the now Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve must remain active. The first author surveyed the Nilgiris on foot and on elephant back for several months in 1978. It was concluded that four areas (the Nilgiri north slopes and Deccan Plateau, the south and southeastern slopes, the Gudalur Plateau, and the upper plateau harboured together 10 corridors that needed to be maintained, or restored, or even partially restored.

  20. Effect of alternate day collection on semen quality of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) with poor initial fresh semen quality

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Imrat, P.; Mahasawangkul, Sittidet; Thitaram, Chatchote; Suthanmapinanth, P.; Kornkaewrat, K.; Sombutputorn, P.; Jansittiwate, S.; Thongtip, Nikorn; Pinyopummin, A.; Colenbrander, B.; Holt, W.V.; Stout, Tom

    2014-01-01

    In captivity, male Asian elephants often yield poor quality semen after transrectal manually assisted semen collection; however, the reasons for the disappointing semen quality are not clear. Here we test the hypothesis that accumulation of senescent spermatozoa is a contributory factor, and that

  1. A comparative haematological analysis of Asian Elephants Elephas maximus Linnaeus, 1758 (Mammalia: Proboscidea: Elephantidae managed under different captive conditions in Sri Lanka

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R.K.D. Mel

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Haematological parameters were assessed from elephants of three institutions in Sri Lanka with different captive conditions, in order to evaluate if different captive conditions influence the physiology of the animals. The institutions were: The National Zoological Gardens (NZG, where elephants live a comparatively sedentary lifestyle, Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage (PEO, where elephants are allowed to walk and engage in intra-specific behaviours, and Millennium Elephant Foundation (MEF, where the elephants are used for tourist rides. Four adult females were examined from the NZG, while only two males and two females could be examined from PEO and MEF respectively. All animals were sampled on four consecutive days. Blood glucose levels, total white blood cells (WBC, red blood cells (RBC, packed cell volume (PCV, mean corpuscular volume (MCV and differential white blood cell counts were carried out. Certain blood parameters of the elephants from NZG differed significantly from the parameters of the elephants from PEO and MEF. These were, the total WBC counts (Kruskal-Wallis, H=21.92, 2d.f., P=0.000, the lymphocyte count (Kruskal-Wallis, H=16.40, 2d.f., P=0.00 and the Neutrophil: Lymphocyte ratios (Kruskal-Wallis , H=14.58, 2d.f., P less than 0.05. PCV , blood glucose levels and monocyte counts were also shown to be significantly different among the three groups (Kruskal-Wallis P less than 0.000. We suggest that differences in the stress levels associated with the different management methods might influence these haematological values.

  2. Asian Elephant (Elephas maximus, Pig-Tailed Macaque (Macaca nemestrina and Tiger (Panthera tigris Populations at Tourism Venues in Thailand and Aspects of Their Welfare.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan Schmidt-Burbach

    Full Text Available This study focused on determining the size and welfare aspects of Asian elephant, pig-tailed macaque and tiger populations at facilities open to tourists in Thailand. Data were gathered from 118 venues through direct observations and interviews with staff. A score sheet-based welfare assessment was used to calculate scores between 1 and 10, indicating each venue's welfare situation. Factors such as freedom of movement for the animals, access to veterinary care, environmental noise quality, hygiene standards and work intensity were included in the score sheet. 1688 elephants, 371 macaques and 621 tigers were found at the venues. 89 venues exclusively kept elephants, 9 designated 'Monkey schools' offered macaque shows, 4 venues kept primarily tigers, mostly for petting and photo opportunities, and the remaining venues kept a mix of these animals. A strong imbalance in female to male gender ratios was recorded with about 4:1 for adult elephants and 1:4 for adult macaques. Severely inadequate welfare conditions were common, with 75% of macaques and 99% of tigers being kept at venues with scores less than 5. 86% of elephants were kept in inadequate conditions at venues with scores between 3 and 5, but a significant number of venues with scores above 5 were found. 4.6% of elephants were provided commendable conditions, reaching assessment scores of 8 and above. 71% of venues did not offer any sort of education about animals to visitors. This study is the first to assess welfare aspects of captive wild animals at tourism venues across Thailand. It concludes that significant concerns exist about the welfare of wild animals in the tourism sector of Thailand. Urgent attention needs to be given to address these concerns and prevent further suffering. But also to ensure the demand for wild animals doesn't have a negative impact on wild populations.

  3. Asian Elephant (Elephas maximus), Pig-Tailed Macaque (Macaca nemestrina) and Tiger (Panthera tigris) Populations at Tourism Venues in Thailand and Aspects of Their Welfare.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt-Burbach, Jan; Ronfot, Delphine; Srisangiam, Rossukon

    2015-01-01

    This study focused on determining the size and welfare aspects of Asian elephant, pig-tailed macaque and tiger populations at facilities open to tourists in Thailand. Data were gathered from 118 venues through direct observations and interviews with staff. A score sheet-based welfare assessment was used to calculate scores between 1 and 10, indicating each venue's welfare situation. Factors such as freedom of movement for the animals, access to veterinary care, environmental noise quality, hygiene standards and work intensity were included in the score sheet. 1688 elephants, 371 macaques and 621 tigers were found at the venues. 89 venues exclusively kept elephants, 9 designated 'Monkey schools' offered macaque shows, 4 venues kept primarily tigers, mostly for petting and photo opportunities, and the remaining venues kept a mix of these animals. A strong imbalance in female to male gender ratios was recorded with about 4:1 for adult elephants and 1:4 for adult macaques. Severely inadequate welfare conditions were common, with 75% of macaques and 99% of tigers being kept at venues with scores less than 5. 86% of elephants were kept in inadequate conditions at venues with scores between 3 and 5, but a significant number of venues with scores above 5 were found. 4.6% of elephants were provided commendable conditions, reaching assessment scores of 8 and above. 71% of venues did not offer any sort of education about animals to visitors. This study is the first to assess welfare aspects of captive wild animals at tourism venues across Thailand. It concludes that significant concerns exist about the welfare of wild animals in the tourism sector of Thailand. Urgent attention needs to be given to address these concerns and prevent further suffering. But also to ensure the demand for wild animals doesn't have a negative impact on wild populations.

  4. Effect of feeding different levels of wheat roti on nutrient utilization and blood metabolite profile in semi-captive Asian elephants (Elephas maximus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das, A; Saini, M; Katole, S; Kullu, S S; Swarup, D; Sharma, A K

    2015-04-01

    This experiment was conducted to study the effect of different levels of wheat roti (WR) on nutrient utilization and blood metabolites in Asian elephants fed roughages ad libitum. Nine (3 M, 6 F) Asian elephants (14-52 years of age, 1909-3968 kg BW) were used in an experiment based on replicated Latin square design. Animals in each group (n = 3) were assigned to one of the three dietary treatments in a manner that animals in all the three groups were exposed to all the three treatments in three different periods. Each feeding trial comprised 30 days (25 days of adaptation and 5 days collection period). The amount of WR fed to the elephants was 0.18, 0.12 and 0.06% of BW in groups I, II and III, respectively. They were allowed to forage in the nearby forests for 6 h/day and to bathe for 2 h/day. The animals had ad libitum access to cut Rohini (Mallotus philippensis) trees in their night shelter. Intake and apparent digestibility of dry matter (DM), crude protein (CP), gross energy (GE), Ca, P, Fe, Cu and Zn were measured. Feed consumption was not significantly different among the groups. Significant (p elephants. Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition © 2014 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  5. Differential testosterone response to GnRH-induced LH release before and after musth in adult Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) bulls

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Somgird, Chaleamchat; Sripiboon, Supaphen; Mahasawangkul, Sittidet; Boonprasert, Khajohnpat; Brown, Janine L; Stout, Tom A E; Colenbrander, Ben; Thitaram, Chatchote

    2016-01-01

    Bull elephants exhibit marked increases in testosterone secretion during musth, and studies have shown a heightened sensitivity of the testis to GnRH-stimulated testosterone production in musth compared to nonmusth males. However, activity of the hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal axis before or soon

  6. Mortality records (1979–2011 shed light on threats to Asian Elephants Elephas maximus Linnaeus, 1758 (Mammalia: Proboscidea: Elephantidae in Nilgiris, southern India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Priya Davidar

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available We compiled records of 291 elephant deaths over a 33-year period (1979–2011 from the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve and the reserved forests of Nilgiri North and South divisions of southern India from the databases of the Tamil Nadu Forest Department, the Wildlife Protection Society of India and the Nilgiri Wildlife and Environment Association.  We tested the null hypothesis that the causes of elephant deaths would not differ with time, by gender and with level of protection.  We classified records by gender and age: adults (≥15 years, sub adults (5–15 years, juveniles (>1–<5 and calves (≤ 1. We organised records over 3-decade periods. The database consisted of 209 adults (≥15 years, 27 sub adults (5–15 years, 33 juveniles (>1–<5 and 22 calves (≤ 1. MTR had the maximum records (148 followed by NND (138 and NSD (4.  The median age of death was 20 years for adult males and 30 years for adult females.  Mean survival time for adult males was 22.45 years, and 31.84 for females.  Poaching was responsible for the majority of deaths (40%, particularly of male elephants (82%, and unknown causes (31% for the majority of female deaths (66%.  Human-caused deaths, which included poaching and some accidents, averaged 72% between 1979 and 2000 and decreased to 22% during 2001–2011. Deaths due to unknown causes and diseases increased from 28% in 1979-1989 to 69% in 2001–2011.  Relative to estimated population size, deaths attributed to poaching was higher in NND (47% than in MTR (34%.  The causes of death differed by region. In conclusion, the elephant population in the Nilgiris is at risk and needs stringent protection; the mortality database should be systematised; forensic capabilities upgraded, and detection of carcasses improved.  

  7. A quantification of damage and assessment of economic loss due to crop raiding by Asian Elephant Elephas maximus (Mammalia: Proboscidea: Elephantidae: a case study of Manas National Park, Assam, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naba K. Nath

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available A study was carried out in Manas National Park, Assam in northeastern India between 2007 and 2009 to understand the magnitude of human-elephant conflict through a quantification of damage and assessment of economic loss. A cluster of six villages adjacent to the Park was selected for this study. Five major agricultural crops were grown during the study period of which three were raided by elephants: winter paddy, autumn paddy and pulses. Paddy was the principle crop central to the farmers’ subsistence. Winter paddy was the most cultivated crop and autumn paddy was the least cultivated. The incidence rate of crop raiding was highest for autumn paddy and lowest for pulses. Overall economic loss due to crop raiding was negligible, however at the individual farmer level, it was quite high. The study revealed that human-elephant conflict is not so severe, indicating ample opportunity for human-elephant coexistence in the region. Crop fields adjacent to the Park were particularly vulnerable to crop raiding which necessitates creation of a buffer zone. The frequency of raiding and the extent of damage was found to be significantly less in crop fields which were guarded by farmers. This was due to traditional crop guarding practices being followed in the region, the strengthening of which could effectively reduce annual crop loss and thus human-elephant conflict could be minimized to a large extent.

  8. Elephant reproduction: improvement of breeding efficiency and development of a breeding strategy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Thitaram, C.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/304838608

    2009-01-01

    The efficiency of reproduction of the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) has become of major concern. Captive breeding programs worldwide have met with limited success and few ex situ elephant populations are self-sustaining. The low birth rate and high mortality cause the captive population to

  9. A note on the presence of the Elephant Louse Haematomyzus elephantis piaget (Mallophaga: Rhynchophthirina in the Kruger National Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L.E.O Braack

    1984-12-01

    Full Text Available First described in 1869, this rather unusual insect has been found to be a common ectoparasite on the Indian elephant (Elephas maximus, and has been collected in low numbers from the African elephant (Loxodonta africana in nearly all of sub-saharan Africa (Ledger 1979, The arthropod parasites of vertebrates in Africa south of the Sahara (Ethiopian Region Vol. IV.

  10. Elephants - a conservation overview

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H.S. Riddle

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Loss of habitat is one of the most significant problems facing elephants worldwide, leading to clashes over resources between wildlife and humans where elephants receive the largest part of blame - defined as Human Elephant Conflict (HEC. The sub-Saharan region of Africa contains an approximate population of 500,000 elephants that occupy 37 range countries. The African Elephant (Loxodonta africana is categorized as Vulnerable in the Red List of Threatened Species; they are listed there as two distinct subspecies: the Savanna Elephant (L. a. africana and the Forest Elephant (L. a. cyclotis. The Red List of Threatened Species categorizes the Asian Elephant (Elephas maximus as endangered, and today they are found in 13 range states. The Asian Elephant population is estimated to be 30,000 to 50,000 with approximately 60% of the population being present in India. Due to threats of poaching, the elephant ivory debate has been an important part of recent meetings of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES as Parties have debated proposals for one-time sales of legal government stockpiles of elephant tusks. To maintain elephant populations into the future, long-term and large-scale planning is necessary to ensure adequate space and protection for elephants and people living in elephant habitats.

  11. Fatal elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus-1 and -4 co-infection in a juvenile Asian elephant in Europe

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Seilern-Moy, Katharina; Bertelsen, Mads Frost; Leifsson, Páll S.

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus-1 (EEHV-1) is one of the major causes of fatality in juvenile Asian elephants (Elephas maximus). On occasions, other EEHV genotypes, i.e. EEHV-3, -4 and -5, have also been reported as the cause of Asian elephant deaths. In this case report we...... describe the investigation into a juvenile Asian elephant fatality in a European zoo. Case Presentation: A fatal case of haemorrhagic disease in a juvenile Asian elephant from a European zoo was diagnosed with co-infection of EEHV-1 and -4. EEHV-4 had a wider organ distribution and a higher viral load...

  12. The sizes of elephant groups in zoos: implications for elephant welfare.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rees, Paul A

    2009-01-01

    This study examined the distribution of 495 Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) and 336 African elephants (Loxodonta africana) in 194 zoos, most of which were located in Europe (49.1%) and North America (32.6%). Cows outnumbered bulls 4 to 1 (Loxodonta) and 3 to 1 (Elephas). Groups contained 7 or fewer: mean, 4.28 (sigma = 5.73). One fifth of elephants lived alone or with one conspecific. Forty-six elephants (5.5%) had no conspecific. Many zoos ignore minimum group sizes of regional zoo association guidelines. The American Zoo and Aquarium Association recommends that breeding facilities keep herds of 6 to 12 elephants. The British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums recommends keeping together at least 4 cows over 2 years old. Over 69% Asian and 80% African cow groups-including those under 2 years-consisted of fewer than 4 individuals. Recently, Europe and North America have made progress with some zoos no longer keeping elephants and with others investing in improved facilities and forming larger herds. The welfare of individual elephants should outweigh all other considerations; zoos should urgently seek to integrate small groups into larger herds.

  13. Vocal learning in elephants: neural bases and adaptive context.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoeger, Angela S; Manger, Paul

    2014-10-01

    In the last decade clear evidence has accumulated that elephants are capable of vocal production learning. Examples of vocal imitation are documented in African (Loxodonta africana) and Asian (Elephas maximus) elephants, but little is known about the function of vocal learning within the natural communication systems of either species. We are also just starting to identify the neural basis of elephant vocalizations. The African elephant diencephalon and brainstem possess specializations related to aspects of neural information processing in the motor system (affecting the timing and learning of trunk movements) and the auditory and vocalization system. Comparative interdisciplinary (from behavioral to neuroanatomical) studies are strongly warranted to increase our understanding of both vocal learning and vocal behavior in elephants. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  14. The elephant knee joint: morphological and biomechanical considerations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weissengruber, G E; Fuss, F K; Egger, G; Stanek, G; Hittmair, K M; Forstenpointner, G

    2006-01-01

    Elephant limbs display unique morphological features which are related mainly to supporting the enormous body weight of the animal. In elephants, the knee joint plays important roles in weight bearing and locomotion, but anatomical data are sparse and lacking in functional analyses. In addition, the knee joint is affected frequently by arthrosis. Here we examined structures of the knee joint by means of standard anatomical techniques in eight African (Loxodonta africana) and three Asian elephants (Elephas maximus). Furthermore, we performed radiography in five African and two Asian elephants and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in one African elephant. Macerated bones of 11 individuals (four African, seven Asian elephants) were measured with a pair of callipers to give standardized measurements of the articular parts. In one Asian and three African elephants, kinematic and functional analyses were carried out using a digitizer and according to the helical axis concept. Some peculiarities of healthy and arthrotic knee joints of elephants were compared with human knees. In contrast to those of other quadruped mammals, the knee joint of elephants displays an extended resting position. The femorotibial joint of elephants shows a high grade of congruency and the menisci are extremely narrow and thin. The four-bar mechanism of the cruciate ligaments exists also in the elephant. The main motion of the knee joint is extension-flexion with a range of motion of 142 degrees . In elephants, arthrotic alterations of the knee joint can lead to injury or loss of the cranial (anterior) cruciate ligament.

  15. Recumbence Behavior in Zoo Elephants: Determination of Patterns and Frequency of Recumbent Rest and Associated Environmental and Social Factors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holdgate, Matthew R.; Meehan, Cheryl L.; Hogan, Jennifer N.; Miller, Lance J.; Rushen, Jeff; de Passillé, Anne Marie; Soltis, Joseph; Andrews, Jeff; Shepherdson, David J.

    2016-01-01

    Resting behaviors are an essential component of animal welfare but have received little attention in zoological research. African savanna elephant (Loxodonta africana) and Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) rest includes recumbent postures, but no large-scale investigation of African and Asian zoo elephant recumbence has been previously conducted. We used anklets equipped with accelerometers to measure recumbence in 72 adult female African (n = 44) and Asian (n = 28) elephants housed in 40 North American zoos. We collected 344 days of data and determined associations between recumbence and social, housing, management, and demographic factors. African elephants were recumbent less (2.1 hours/day, S.D. = 1.1) than Asian elephants (3.2 hours/day, S.D. = 1.5; P zoo elephant welfare. PMID:27414809

  16. Recumbence Behavior in Zoo Elephants: Determination of Patterns and Frequency of Recumbent Rest and Associated Environmental and Social Factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holdgate, Matthew R; Meehan, Cheryl L; Hogan, Jennifer N; Miller, Lance J; Rushen, Jeff; de Passillé, Anne Marie; Soltis, Joseph; Andrews, Jeff; Shepherdson, David J

    2016-01-01

    Resting behaviors are an essential component of animal welfare but have received little attention in zoological research. African savanna elephant (Loxodonta africana) and Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) rest includes recumbent postures, but no large-scale investigation of African and Asian zoo elephant recumbence has been previously conducted. We used anklets equipped with accelerometers to measure recumbence in 72 adult female African (n = 44) and Asian (n = 28) elephants housed in 40 North American zoos. We collected 344 days of data and determined associations between recumbence and social, housing, management, and demographic factors. African elephants were recumbent less (2.1 hours/day, S.D. = 1.1) than Asian elephants (3.2 hours/day, S.D. = 1.5; P zoo elephant welfare.

  17. PENGELOLAAN DAN TINGKAT KESEJAHTERAAN GAJAH SUMATERA (Elephas maximus sumatranus Temminck, 1847 DI FLYING SQUAD WWF TAMAN NASIONAL TESSO NILO RIAU

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    Rizki Kurnia Tohir

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Conflict between human and elephants in Tesso Nilo National Park encourages WWF to establish the Flying Squad. Related to the function of the sumatran elephants in Flying Squad as the patrol team, it is necessary to conduct a proper management to ensure animal welfare. This study aims to examine the aspects of welfare management and asses the level of welfare of sumatran elephants in Flying Squad. The research methodology used for this study are literature review, interviews and field observation. Data analyzed by describing the suitability of management and tabulating the assessment. The management of cages, feed, health and reproduction requires some improvements such as the type, number and equipment of the cages, natural feed adequacy, medical infrastructure and reproduction management. The 76,98% percentage rate of sumatran elephant welfare, which is relatively good, is because there are only 14 priority components of 43 components of animal welfare assessment that need improvements and enhanced management. Keywords: animal welfare, flying squad, the patrol elephant

  18. Forensic species identification of elephant (Elephantidae) and giraffe (Giraffidae) tail hair using light microscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yates, Bonnie C; Espinoza, Edgard O; Baker, Barry W

    2010-09-01

    Here we present methods for distinguishing tail hairs of African elephants (Loxodonta africana), Asian elephants (Elephas maximus), and giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis) from forensic contexts. Such hairs are commonly used to manufacture jewelry artifacts that are often sold illegally in the international wildlife trade. Tail hairs from these three species are easily confused macroscopically, and morphological methods for distinguishing African and Asian tail hairs have not been published. We used cross section analysis and light microscopy to analyze the tail hair morphology of 18 individual African elephants, 18 Asian elephants, and 40 giraffes. We found that cross-sectional shape, pigment placement, and pigment density are useful morphological features for distinguishing the three species. These observations provide wildlife forensic scientists with an important analytical tool for enforcing legislation and international treaties regulating the trade in elephant parts.

  19. An investigation into resting behavior in Asian elephants in UK zoos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Ellen; Bremner-Harrison, Samantha; Harvey, Naomi; Evison, Emma; Yon, Lisa

    2015-01-01

    Maintaining adequate welfare in captive elephants is challenging. Few studies have investigated overnight rest behavior in zoo elephants, yet time spent resting has been identified as a welfare indicator in some species. We investigated resting behavior in Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) in UK zoos, with the aim of identifying patterns or preferences in lying rest. Details of standing (SR) and lying (LR) rest behavior were identified by observing video footage of inside enclosures collected for 14 elephants (2 male, 12 female) housed at three UK zoos (Zoo A: 18 nights; Zoo B: 27 nights; Zoo C: 46 nights) from 16:00 to 08:30 (approximately). Elephants engaged in a mean of 58-337 min rest per night. Time of night affected mean duration of LR bouts (P Elephants showed a substrate preference when lying to rest; LR was not observed on concrete or tiled flooring. Where sand was available (to 11/14 elephants), all elephants engaged in LR on sand flooring. Only two elephants engaged in LR on rubber flooring (available to 7/14 elephants). Mean duration of rest bouts was greater when a conspecific was within two body lengths than when conspecifics were not (P elephants show substrate preferences when choosing an area for rest and engage in more rest when conspecifics are in close proximity. The results of this study could be used as a basis for future studies investigating the link between rest and welfare in captive elephants. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  20. Asian elephants acquire inaccessible food by blowing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mizuno, Kaori; Irie, Naoko; Hiraiwa-Hasegawa, Mariko; Kutsukake, Nobuyuki

    2016-01-01

    Many animals acquire otherwise inaccessible food with the aid of sticks and occasionally water. As an exception, some reports suggest that elephants manipulate breathing through their trunks to acquire inaccessible food. Here, we report on two female Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) in Kamine Zoo, Japan, who regularly blew to drive food within their reach. We experimentally investigated this behaviour by placing foods in inaccessible places. The elephants blew the food until it came within accessible range. Once the food was within range, the elephants were increasingly less likely to blow as the distance to the food became shorter. One subject manipulated her blowing duration based on food distance: longer when the food was distant. These results suggest that the elephants used their breath to achieve goals: that is, they used it not only to retrieve the food but also to fine-tune the food position for easy grasping. We also observed individual differences in the elephants' aptitude for this technique, which altered the efficiency of food acquisition. Thus, we added a new example of spontaneous behaviour for achieving a goal in animals. The use of breath to drive food is probably unique to elephants, with their dexterous trunks and familiarity with manipulating the act of blowing, which is commonly employed for self-comfort and acoustic communication.

  1. Susceptibility of Cultivated Plants to Sumatran Elephant (Elephas maxi,us sumatranus in The Human Elephants Conflict Area in Aceh Province

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    Kaniwa Berliani

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Study on human-elephant conflict was conducted in Aceh Province in August 2013-April 2014 to assess susceptibility of farms by crop raiding elephants. The locations were determined by selected areas impacted by elephant conflict incuding Cot Girek, Mane, Meureudu, Sampoiniet, and Pantai Ceureumen. 150 respondents was interviewed to assess the variety of the commodity plants species cultivated by local community within study areas, species of damaged commodity plants, species of undamaged commodity plants, and the planting system. there were 29 species considered as commodity plants cultivated by farmers. Moreover, 5 commodity plants were considered as high risk plants damaged by elephant including areca, banana, oil palm, paddy, and rubber. on the other hand, species considered as low risk or undamaged consist of cacao, coffee, chili, candlenut, and patchioli. Those low risk or undemaged commodity plants species have a potential to be promoted as elephant-friendly crop commodities in area adjacent to elephant habitat based on the analysis and the categorization of susceptibility of cultivated plants against crop raiding elephant. One of the problem of humn-elephant conflict is crop raiding of village farms. it is a assumed that elephants might destroy a particular species therefore information on the species could assist farmers in selecting appropriate crop to be planted. there is a risk that current polyculture and monoculture planting system used by farmers will not prevent farms from crop raiding elephants.

  2. Self-recognition in an Asian elephant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plotnik, Joshua M.; de Waal, Frans B. M.; Reiss, Diana

    2006-01-01

    Considered an indicator of self-awareness, mirror self-recognition (MSR) has long seemed limited to humans and apes. In both phylogeny and human ontogeny, MSR is thought to correlate with higher forms of empathy and altruistic behavior. Apart from humans and apes, dolphins and elephants are also known for such capacities. After the recent discovery of MSR in dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), elephants thus were the next logical candidate species. We exposed three Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) to a large mirror to investigate their responses. Animals that possess MSR typically progress through four stages of behavior when facing a mirror: (i) social responses, (ii) physical inspection (e.g., looking behind the mirror), (iii) repetitive mirror-testing behavior, and (iv) realization of seeing themselves. Visible marks and invisible sham-marks were applied to the elephants' heads to test whether they would pass the litmus “mark test” for MSR in which an individual spontaneously uses a mirror to touch an otherwise imperceptible mark on its own body. Here, we report a successful MSR elephant study and report striking parallels in the progression of responses to mirrors among apes, dolphins, and elephants. These parallels suggest convergent cognitive evolution most likely related to complex sociality and cooperation. PMID:17075063

  3. Self-recognition in an Asian elephant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plotnik, Joshua M; de Waal, Frans B M; Reiss, Diana

    2006-11-07

    Considered an indicator of self-awareness, mirror self-recognition (MSR) has long seemed limited to humans and apes. In both phylogeny and human ontogeny, MSR is thought to correlate with higher forms of empathy and altruistic behavior. Apart from humans and apes, dolphins and elephants are also known for such capacities. After the recent discovery of MSR in dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), elephants thus were the next logical candidate species. We exposed three Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) to a large mirror to investigate their responses. Animals that possess MSR typically progress through four stages of behavior when facing a mirror: (i) social responses, (ii) physical inspection (e.g., looking behind the mirror), (iii) repetitive mirror-testing behavior, and (iv) realization of seeing themselves. Visible marks and invisible sham-marks were applied to the elephants' heads to test whether they would pass the litmus "mark test" for MSR in which an individual spontaneously uses a mirror to touch an otherwise imperceptible mark on its own body. Here, we report a successful MSR elephant study and report striking parallels in the progression of responses to mirrors among apes, dolphins, and elephants. These parallels suggest convergent cognitive evolution most likely related to complex sociality and cooperation.

  4. Development and characterization of microsatellite markers in the African forest elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gugala, Natalie A; Ishida, Yasuko; Georgiadis, Nicholas J; Roca, Alfred L

    2016-07-26

    African elephants comprise two species, the savanna elephant (Loxodonta africana) and the forest elephant (L. cyclotis), which are distinct morphologically and genetically. Forest elephants are seriously threatened by poaching for meat and ivory, and by habitat destruction. However, microsatellite markers have thus far been developed only in African savanna elephants and Asian elephants, Elephas maximus. The application of microsatellite markers across deeply divergent lineages may produce irregular patterns such as large indels or null alleles. Thus we developed novel microsatellite markers using DNA from two African forest elephants. One hundred microsatellite loci were identified in next generation shotgun sequences from two African forest elephants, of which 53 were considered suitable for testing. Twenty-three microsatellite markers successfully amplified elephant DNA without amplifying human DNA; these were further characterized in 15 individuals from Lope National Park, Gabon. Three of the markers were monomorphic and four of them carried only two alleles. The remaining sixteen polymorphic loci carried from 3 to 8 alleles, with observed heterozygosity ranging from 0.27 to 0.87, expected heterozygosity from 0.40 to 0.86, and the Shannon diversity index from 0.73 to 1.86. Linkage disequilibrium was not detected between loci, and no locus deviated from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. The markers developed in this study will be useful for genetic analyses of the African forest elephant and contribute to their conservation and management.

  5. Insightful Problem Solving in an Asian Elephant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foerder, Preston; Galloway, Marie; Barthel, Tony; Moore, Donald E.; Reiss, Diana

    2011-01-01

    The “aha” moment or the sudden arrival of the solution to a problem is a common human experience. Spontaneous problem solving without evident trial and error behavior in humans and other animals has been referred to as insight. Surprisingly, elephants, thought to be highly intelligent, have failed to exhibit insightful problem solving in previous cognitive studies. We tested whether three Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) would use sticks or other objects to obtain food items placed out-of-reach and overhead. Without prior trial and error behavior, a 7-year-old male Asian elephant showed spontaneous problem solving by moving a large plastic cube, on which he then stood, to acquire the food. In further testing he showed behavioral flexibility, using this technique to reach other items and retrieving the cube from various locations to use as a tool to acquire food. In the cube's absence, he generalized this tool utilization technique to other objects and, when given smaller objects, stacked them in an attempt to reach the food. The elephant's overall behavior was consistent with the definition of insightful problem solving. Previous failures to demonstrate this ability in elephants may have resulted not from a lack of cognitive ability but from the presentation of tasks requiring trunk-held sticks as potential tools, thereby interfering with the trunk's use as a sensory organ to locate the targeted food. PMID:21876741

  6. Insightful problem solving in an Asian elephant.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Preston Foerder

    Full Text Available The "aha" moment or the sudden arrival of the solution to a problem is a common human experience. Spontaneous problem solving without evident trial and error behavior in humans and other animals has been referred to as insight. Surprisingly, elephants, thought to be highly intelligent, have failed to exhibit insightful problem solving in previous cognitive studies. We tested whether three Asian elephants (Elephas maximus would use sticks or other objects to obtain food items placed out-of-reach and overhead. Without prior trial and error behavior, a 7-year-old male Asian elephant showed spontaneous problem solving by moving a large plastic cube, on which he then stood, to acquire the food. In further testing he showed behavioral flexibility, using this technique to reach other items and retrieving the cube from various locations to use as a tool to acquire food. In the cube's absence, he generalized this tool utilization technique to other objects and, when given smaller objects, stacked them in an attempt to reach the food. The elephant's overall behavior was consistent with the definition of insightful problem solving. Previous failures to demonstrate this ability in elephants may have resulted not from a lack of cognitive ability but from the presentation of tasks requiring trunk-held sticks as potential tools, thereby interfering with the trunk's use as a sensory organ to locate the targeted food.

  7. Monitoring and controlling ovarian activity in elephants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thitaram, Chatchote; Brown, Janine L

    2017-12-13

    Both Asian (Elephas maximus) and African (Loxodonta africana) elephants are important keystone, umbrella and flagship species. Paradoxically, world population numbers of both species are declining in many of their natural ranges due mainly to poaching, while over population of elephants in some areas is resulting in serious human-elephant conflict, and modifications of natural habitats that impact biodiversity. Understanding mechanisms of reproductive control is vital to effective population management, and for that reason significant advances have been made in endocrine and ultrasonographic monitoring techniques, particularly in studies of elephants ex situ. However, there remains a need to develop new methods to control ovarian activity, both for enhancing and inhibiting reproduction, to maintain population numbers at levels that ensure species survival and their ability to safely cohabitate with humans and other species. We present an overview of reproductive monitoring methods and how they have contributed to our knowledge of elephant reproductive biology, as well as their application for in situ and ex situ conservation purposes. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Erratum: Erratum to: Elephants Also Like Coffee: Trends and Drivers of Human-Elephant Conflicts in Coffee Agroforestry Landscapes of Kodagu, Western Ghats, India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bal, P.; Nath, C. D.; Nanaya, K. M.; Kushalappa, C. G.; Garcia, C.

    2011-08-01

    Kodagu district produces 2% of the world's coffee, in complex, multistoried agroforestry systems. The forests of the district harbour a large population of the Asian elephant ( Elephas maximus). The combined effects of high elephant density and major landscape changes due to the expansion of coffee cultivation are the cause of human-elephant conflicts (HEC). Mitigation strategies, including electric fences and compensation schemes implemented by the Forest Department have met with limited success. Building on previous studies in the area, we assessed current spatial and temporal trends of conflict, analysed local stakeholders' perceptions and identified factors driving elephants into the estates. Our study, initiated in May 2007, shows that the intensity of HEC has increased over the last 10 years, exhibiting new seasonal patterns. Conflict maps and the lack of correlation between physical features of the coffee plantations and elephant visits suggest elephants move along corridors between the eastern and western forests of the district, opportunistically foraging when crossing the plantations. Dung analyses indicate elephants have selectively included ripe coffee berries in their diet. This is, to our knowledge, the first report of wild elephants feeding on coffee berries. If this new behaviour spreads through the population, it will compound an already severe conflict situation. The behavioural plasticity, the multiplicity of stakeholders involved, the difficulty in defining the problem and the limits of technical solutions already proposed suggest that HEC in Kodagu has the ingredients of a "wicked" problem whose resolution will require more shared understanding and problem solving work amongst the stakeholders.

  9. Elephants Also Like Coffee: Trends and Drivers of Human-Elephant Conflicts in Coffee Agroforestry Landscapes of Kodagu, Western Ghats, India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bal, P.; Nath, C. D.; Nanaya, K. M.; Kushalappa, C. G.; Garcia, C.

    2011-05-01

    Kodagu district produces 2% of the world's coffee, in complex, multistoried agroforestry systems. The forests of the district harbour a large population of the Asian elephant ( Elephas maximus). The combined effects of high elephant density and major landscape changes due to the expansion of coffee cultivation are the cause of human-elephant conflicts (HEC). Mitigation strategies, including electric fences and compensation schemes implemented by the Forest Department have met with limited success. Building on previous studies in the area, we assessed current spatial and temporal trends of conflict, analysed local stakeholders' perceptions and identified factors driving elephants into the estates. Our study, initiated in May 2007, shows that the intensity of HEC has increased over the last 10 years, exhibiting new seasonal patterns. Conflict maps and the lack of correlation between physical features of the coffee plantations and elephant visits suggest elephants move along corridors between the eastern and western forests of the district, opportunistically foraging when crossing the plantations. Dung analyses indicate elephants have selectively included ripe coffee berries in their diet. This is, to our knowledge, the first report of wild elephants feeding on coffee berries. If this new behaviour spreads through the population, it will compound an already severe conflict situation. The behavioural plasticity, the multiplicity of stakeholders involved, the difficulty in defining the problem and the limits of technical solutions already proposed suggest that HEC in Kodagu has the ingredients of a "wicked" problem whose resolution will require more shared understanding and problem solving work amongst the stakeholders.

  10. Elephant Management in North American Zoos: Environmental Enrichment, Feeding, Exercise, and Training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greco, Brian J; Meehan, Cheryl L; Miller, Lance J; Shepherdson, David J; Morfeld, Kari A; Andrews, Jeff; Baker, Anne M; Carlstead, Kathy; Mench, Joy A

    2016-01-01

    The management of African (Loxodonta africana) and Asian (Elephas maximus) elephants in zoos involves a range of practices including feeding, exercise, training, and environmental enrichment. These practices are necessary to meet the elephants' nutritional, healthcare, and husbandry needs. However, these practices are not standardized, resulting in likely variation among zoos as well as differences in the way they are applied to individual elephants within a zoo. To characterize elephant management in North America, we collected survey data from zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, developed 26 variables, generated population level descriptive statistics, and analyzed them to identify differences attributable to sex and species. Sixty-seven zoos submitted surveys describing the management of 224 elephants and the training experiences of 227 elephants. Asian elephants spent more time managed (defined as interacting directly with staff) than Africans (mean time managed: Asians = 56.9%; Africans = 48.6%; pzoos in the midrange for these measures. There were an average of 7.2 feedings every 24-hour period, with only 1.2 occurring during the nighttime. Feeding schedules were predictable at 47.5% of zoos. We also calculated the relative use of rewarding and aversive techniques employed during training interactions. The population median was seven on a scale from one (representing only aversive stimuli) to nine (representing only rewarding stimuli). The results of our study provide essential information for understanding management variation that could be relevant to welfare. Furthermore, the variables we created have been used in subsequent elephant welfare analyses.

  11. Seed dispersal potential of Asian elephants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harich, Franziska K.; Treydte, Anna C.; Ogutu, Joseph O.; Roberts, John E.; Savini, Chution; Bauer, Jan M.; Savini, Tommaso

    2016-11-01

    Elephants, the largest terrestrial mega-herbivores, play an important ecological role in maintaining forest ecosystem diversity. While several plant species strongly rely on African elephants (Loxodonta africana; L. cyclotis) as seed dispersers, little is known about the dispersal potential of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus). We examined the effects of elephant fruit consumption on potential seed dispersal using the example of a tree species with mega-faunal characteristics, Dillenia indica L., in Thailand. We conducted feeding trials with Asian elephants to quantify seed survival and gut passage times (GPT). In total, 1200 ingested and non-ingested control seeds were planted in soil and in elephant dung to quantify differences in germination rates in terms of GPT and dung treatment. We used survival analysis as a novel approach to account for the right-censored nature of the data obtained from germination experiments. The average seed survival rate was 79% and the mean GPT was 35 h. The minimum and maximum GPT were 20 h and 72 h, respectively. Ingested seeds were significantly more likely to germinate and to do so earlier than non-ingested control seeds (P = 0.0002). Seeds with the longest GPT displayed the highest germination success over time. Unexpectedly, seeds planted with dung had longer germination times than those planted without. We conclude that D. indica does not solely depend on but benefits from dispersal by elephants. The declining numbers of these mega-faunal seed dispersers might, therefore, have long-term negative consequences for the recruitment and dispersal dynamics of populations of certain tree species.

  12. Fatal herpesvirus hemorrhagic disease in wild and orphan asian elephants in southern India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zachariah, Arun; Zong, Jian-Chao; Long, Simon Y; Latimer, Erin M; Heaggans, Sarah Y; Richman, Laura K; Hayward, Gary S

    2013-04-01

    Up to 65% of deaths of young Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) between 3 mo and 15 yr of age in Europe and North America over the past 20 yr have been attributed to hemorrhagic disease associated with a novel DNA virus called elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus (EEHV). To evaluate the potential role of EEHV in suspected cases of a similar lethal acute hemorrhagic disease occurring in southern India, we studied pathologic tissue samples collected from field necropsies. Nine cases among both orphaned camp and wild Asian elephants were identified by diagnostic PCR. These were subjected to detailed gene subtype DNA sequencing at multiple PCR loci, which revealed seven distinct strains of EEHV1A and one of EEHV1B. Two orphan calves that died within 3 days of one another at the same training camp had identical EEHV1A DNA sequences, indicating a common epidemiologic source. However, the high level of EEHV1 subtype genetic diversity found among the other Indian strains matches that among over 30 EEHV1 strains that have been evaluated from Europe and North America. These results argue against the previous suggestions that this is just a disease of captive elephants and that the EEHV1 virus has crossed recently from African elephant (Loxodonta africana) hosts to Asian elephants. Instead, both the virus and the disease are evidently widespread in Asia and, despite the disease severity, Asian elephants appear to be the ancient endogenous hosts of both EEHV1A and EEHV1B.

  13. Reproductive Health Assessment of Female Elephants in North American Zoos and Association of Husbandry Practices with Reproductive Dysfunction in African Elephants (Loxodonta africana).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Janine L; Paris, Stephen; Prado-Oviedo, Natalia A; Meehan, Cheryl L; Hogan, Jennifer N; Morfeld, Kari A; Carlstead, Kathy

    2016-01-01

    As part of a multi-institutional study of zoo elephant welfare, we evaluated female elephants managed by zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and applied epidemiological methods to determine what factors in the zoo environment are associated with reproductive problems, including ovarian acyclicity and hyperprolactinemia. Bi-weekly blood samples were collected from 95 African (Loxodonta africana) and 75 Asian (Elephas maximus) (8-55 years of age) elephants over a 12-month period for analysis of serum progestogens and prolactin. Females were categorized as normal cycling (regular 13- to 17-week cycles), irregular cycling (cycles longer or shorter than normal) or acyclic (baseline progestogens, elephants, respectively. Rates of normal cycling, acyclicity and irregular cycling were 73.2, 22.5 and 4.2% for Asian, and 48.4, 37.9 and 13.7% for African elephants, respectively, all of which differed between species (P elephants, univariate assessment found that social isolation decreased and higher enrichment diversity increased the chance a female would cycle normally. The strongest multi-variable models included Age (positive) and Enrichment Diversity (negative) as important factors of acyclicity among African elephants. The Asian elephant data set was not robust enough to support multi-variable analyses of cyclicity status. Additionally, only 3% of Asian elephants were found to be hyperprolactinemic as compared to 28% of Africans, so predictive analyses of prolactin status were conducted on African elephants only. The strongest multi-variable model included Age (positive), Enrichment Diversity (negative), Alternate Feeding Methods (negative) and Social Group Contact (positive) as predictors of hyperprolactinemia. In summary, the incidence of ovarian cycle problems and hyperprolactinemia predominantly affects African elephants, and increases in social stability and feeding and enrichment diversity may have positive influences on hormone status.

  14. Demographic variables for wild Asian elephants using longitudinal observations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shermin de Silva

    Full Text Available Detailed demographic data on wild Asian elephants have been difficult to collect due to habitat characteristics of much of the species' remaining range. Such data, however, are critical for understanding and modeling population processes in this endangered species. We present data from six years of an ongoing study of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus in Uda Walawe National Park, Sri Lanka. This relatively undisturbed population numbering over one thousand elephants is individually monitored, providing cohort-based information on mortality and reproduction. Reproduction was seasonal, such that most births occurred during the long inter-monsoon dry season and peaked in May. During the study, the average age at first reproduction was 13.4 years and the 50(th percentile inter-birth interval was approximately 6 years. Birth sex ratios did not deviate significantly from parity. Fecundity was relatively stable throughout the observed reproductive life of an individual (ages 11-60, averaging between 0.13-0.17 female offspring per individual per year. Mortalities and injuries based on carcasses and disappearances showed that males were significantly more likely than females to be killed or injured through anthropogenic activity. Overall, however, most observed injuries did not appear to be fatal. This population exhibits higher fecundity and density relative to published estimates on other Asian elephant populations, possibly enhanced by present range constriction. Understanding the factors responsible for these demographic dynamics can shed insight on the future needs of this elephant population, with probable parallels to other populations in similar settings.

  15. Usual populations, unusual individuals: insights into the behavior and management of Asian elephants in fragmented landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Srinivasaiah, Nishant M; Anand, Vijay D; Vaidyanathan, Srinivas; Sinha, Anindya

    2012-01-01

    A dearth in understanding the behavior of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) at the scale of populations and individuals has left important management issues, particularly related to human-elephant conflict (HEC), unresolved. Evaluation of differences in behavior and decision-making among individual elephants across groups in response to changing local ecological settings is essential to fill this gap in knowledge and to improve our approaches towards the management and conservation of elephants. We hypothesized certain behavioral decisions that would be made by Asian elephants as reflected in their residence time and movement rates, time-activity budgets, social interactions and group dynamics in response to resource availability and human disturbance in their habitat. This study is based on 200 h of behavioral observations on 60 individually identified elephants and a 184-km(2) grid-based survey of their natural and anthropogenic habitats within and outside the Bannerghatta National Park, southern India during the dry season. At a general population level, the behavioral decisions appeared to be guided by the gender, age and group-type of the elephants. At the individual level, the observed variation could be explained only by the idiosyncratic behaviors of individuals and that of their associating conspecific individuals. Recursive partitioning classification trees for residence time of individual elephants indicated that the primary decisions were taken by individuals, independently of their above-mentioned biological and ecological attributes. Decision-making by Asian elephants thus appears to be determined at two levels, that of the population and, more importantly, the individual. Models based on decision-making by individual elephants have the potential to predict conflict in fragmented landscapes that, in turn, could aid in mitigating HEC. Thus, we must target individuals, in addition to populations, in our efforts to manage and conserve this threatened

  16. Usual populations, unusual individuals: insights into the behavior and management of Asian elephants in fragmented landscapes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nishant M Srinivasaiah

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: A dearth in understanding the behavior of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus at the scale of populations and individuals has left important management issues, particularly related to human-elephant conflict (HEC, unresolved. Evaluation of differences in behavior and decision-making among individual elephants across groups in response to changing local ecological settings is essential to fill this gap in knowledge and to improve our approaches towards the management and conservation of elephants. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We hypothesized certain behavioral decisions that would be made by Asian elephants as reflected in their residence time and movement rates, time-activity budgets, social interactions and group dynamics in response to resource availability and human disturbance in their habitat. This study is based on 200 h of behavioral observations on 60 individually identified elephants and a 184-km(2 grid-based survey of their natural and anthropogenic habitats within and outside the Bannerghatta National Park, southern India during the dry season. At a general population level, the behavioral decisions appeared to be guided by the gender, age and group-type of the elephants. At the individual level, the observed variation could be explained only by the idiosyncratic behaviors of individuals and that of their associating conspecific individuals. Recursive partitioning classification trees for residence time of individual elephants indicated that the primary decisions were taken by individuals, independently of their above-mentioned biological and ecological attributes. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Decision-making by Asian elephants thus appears to be determined at two levels, that of the population and, more importantly, the individual. Models based on decision-making by individual elephants have the potential to predict conflict in fragmented landscapes that, in turn, could aid in mitigating HEC. Thus, we must target individuals

  17. Simultaneous Visual Discrimination in Asian Elephants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nissani, Moti; Hoefler-Nissani, Donna; Lay, U. Tin; Htun, U. Wan

    2005-01-01

    Two experiments explored the behavior of 20 Asian elephants ("Elephas aximus") in simultaneous visual discrimination tasks. In Experiment 1, 7 Burmese logging elephants acquired a white+/black- discrimination, reaching criterion in a mean of 2.6 sessions and 117 discrete trials, whereas 4 elephants acquired a black+/white- discrimination in 5.3…

  18. Heat storage in Asian elephants during submaximal exercise: behavioral regulation of thermoregulatory constraints on activity in endothermic gigantotherms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowe, M F; Bakken, G S; Ratliff, J J; Langman, V A

    2013-05-15

    Gigantic size presents both opportunities and challenges in thermoregulation. Allometric scaling relationships suggest that gigantic animals have difficulty dissipating metabolic heat. Large body size permits the maintenance of fairly constant core body temperatures in ectothermic animals by means of gigantothermy. Conversely, gigantothermy combined with endothermic metabolic rate and activity likely results in heat production rates that exceed heat loss rates. In tropical environments, it has been suggested that a substantial rate of heat storage might result in a potentially lethal rise in core body temperature in both elephants and endothermic dinosaurs. However, the behavioral choice of nocturnal activity might reduce heat storage. We sought to test the hypothesis that there is a functionally significant relationship between heat storage and locomotion in Asian elephants (Elephas maximus), and model the thermoregulatory constraints on activity in elephants and a similarly sized migratory dinosaur, Edmontosaurus. Pre- and post-exercise (N=37 trials) measurements of core body temperature and skin temperature, using thermography were made in two adult female Asian elephants at the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans, LA, USA. Over ambient air temperatures ranging from 8 to 34.5°C, when elephants exercised in full sun, ~56 to 100% of active metabolic heat production was stored in core body tissues. We estimate that during nocturnal activity, in the absence of solar radiation, between 5 and 64% of metabolic heat production would be stored in core tissues. Potentially lethal rates of heat storage in active elephants and Edmontosaurus could be behaviorally regulated by nocturnal activity.

  19. Elephants know when they need a helping trunk in a cooperative task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plotnik, Joshua M.; Lair, Richard; Suphachoksahakun, Wirot; de Waal, Frans B. M.

    2011-01-01

    Elephants are widely assumed to be among the most cognitively advanced animals, even though systematic evidence is lacking. This void in knowledge is mainly due to the danger and difficulty of submitting the largest land animal to behavioral experiments. In an attempt to change this situation, a classical 1930s cooperation paradigm commonly tested on monkeys and apes was modified by using a procedure originally designed for chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) to measure the reactions of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus). This paradigm explores the cognition underlying coordination toward a shared goal. What do animals know or learn about the benefits of cooperation? Can they learn critical elements of a partner's role in cooperation? Whereas observations in nature suggest such understanding in nonhuman primates, experimental results have been mixed, and little evidence exists with regards to nonprimates. Here, we show that elephants can learn to coordinate with a partner in a task requiring two individuals to simultaneously pull two ends of the same rope to obtain a reward. Not only did the elephants act together, they inhibited the pulling response for up to 45 s if the arrival of a partner was delayed. They also grasped that there was no point to pulling if the partner lacked access to the rope. Such results have been interpreted as demonstrating an understanding of cooperation. Through convergent evolution, elephants may have reached a cooperative skill level on a par with that of chimpanzees. PMID:21383191

  20. Using interviews and biological sign surveys to infer seasonal use of forested and agricultural portions of a human-dominated landscape by Asian elephants in Nepal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamichhane, Babu Ram; Subedi, Naresh; Pokheral, Chiranjibi Prasad; Dhakal, Maheshwar; Acharya, Krishna Prasad; Pradhan, Narendra Man Babu; Smith, James L. David; Malla, Sabita; Thakuri, Bishnu Singh; Yackulic, Charles B.

    2018-01-01

    Understanding how wide-ranging animals use landscapes in which human use is highly heterogeneous is important for determining patterns of human–wildlife conflict and designing mitigation strategies. Here, we show how biological sign surveys in forested components of a human-dominated landscape can be combined with human interviews in agricultural portions of a landscape to provide a full picture of seasonal use of different landscape components by wide-ranging animals and resulting human–wildlife conflict. We selected Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) in Nepal to illustrate this approach. Asian elephants are threatened throughout their geographic range, and there are large gaps in our understanding of their landscape-scale habitat use. We identified all potential elephant habitat in Nepal and divided the potential habitat into sampling units based on a 10 km by 10 km grid. Forested areas within grids were surveyed for signs of elephant use, and local villagers were interviewed regarding elephant use of agricultural areas and instances of conflict. Data were analyzed using single-season and multi-season (dynamic) occupancy models. A single-season occupancy model applied to data from 139 partially or wholly forested grid cells estimated that 0.57 of grid cells were used by elephants. Dynamic occupancy models fit to data from interviews across 158 grid cells estimated that monthly use of non-forested, human-dominated areas over the preceding year varied between 0.43 and 0.82 with a minimum in February and maximum in October. Seasonal patterns of crop raiding by elephants coincided with monthly elephant use of human-dominated areas, and serious instances of human–wildlife conflict were common. Efforts to mitigate human–elephant conflict in Nepal are likely to be most effective if they are concentrated during August through December when elephant use of human-dominated landscapes and human–elephant conflict are most common.

  1. Elephant Management in North American Zoos: Environmental Enrichment, Feeding, Exercise, and Training.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian J Greco

    Full Text Available The management of African (Loxodonta africana and Asian (Elephas maximus elephants in zoos involves a range of practices including feeding, exercise, training, and environmental enrichment. These practices are necessary to meet the elephants' nutritional, healthcare, and husbandry needs. However, these practices are not standardized, resulting in likely variation among zoos as well as differences in the way they are applied to individual elephants within a zoo. To characterize elephant management in North America, we collected survey data from zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, developed 26 variables, generated population level descriptive statistics, and analyzed them to identify differences attributable to sex and species. Sixty-seven zoos submitted surveys describing the management of 224 elephants and the training experiences of 227 elephants. Asian elephants spent more time managed (defined as interacting directly with staff than Africans (mean time managed: Asians = 56.9%; Africans = 48.6%; p<0.001, and managed time increased by 20.2% for every year of age for both species. Enrichment, feeding, and exercise programs were evaluated using diversity indices, with mean scores across zoos in the midrange for these measures. There were an average of 7.2 feedings every 24-hour period, with only 1.2 occurring during the nighttime. Feeding schedules were predictable at 47.5% of zoos. We also calculated the relative use of rewarding and aversive techniques employed during training interactions. The population median was seven on a scale from one (representing only aversive stimuli to nine (representing only rewarding stimuli. The results of our study provide essential information for understanding management variation that could be relevant to welfare. Furthermore, the variables we created have been used in subsequent elephant welfare analyses.

  2. Assisted reproduction in female rhinoceros and elephants--current status and future perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hermes, R; Göritz, F; Streich, Wj; Hildebrandt, Tb

    2007-09-01

    Over the last few decades, rhinoceroses and elephants became important icons in the saga of wildlife conservation. Recent surveys estimate the wild Asian (Elephas maximus) and African (Loxodonta africana) elephant populations to be, at most, 50 250 and 637 600 respectively. For the five rhinoceros species, black (Diceros bicornis), white (Ceratotherium simum), Indian (Rhinoceros unicornis), Javan (Rhinoceros sondaicus) and Sumatran rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus Sumatrensis), the population estimates of 3610, 11 330, 2400, 60 and 300, respectively, are of even greater concern. Protected against habitat loss, poaching and left undisturbed, rhinoceros and elephants reproduce well in the wild. But small and decreasing populations make successful captive management of these taxa increasingly important. In captivity, however, most populations face possible 'extinction' because of historically poor reproductive performance. From the first descriptions of the reproductive anatomy and the oestrous cycle (Laws 1969; Kassam and Lasley 1981; Balke et al. 1988a,b; Plotka et al. 1988; Godfrey et al. 1991) to the present use of advanced assisted reproduction technologies, researchers have strive to understand the function and dysfunction of the reproductive biology of these charismatic species. This paper reviewed the current knowledge on rhinoceros and elephant reproduction biology, reproductive cycle, gestation, dystocia, reproductive pathology, oestrous induction and artificial insemination, sperm sexing, IVF and contraception, and how this knowledge is or might be used to aid species conservation for maximal reproductive efficiency and enhancement of genetic management.

  3. Functional nonredundancy of elephants in a disturbed tropical forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sekar, Nitin; Lee, Chia-Lo; Sukumar, Raman

    2017-10-01

    Conservation efforts are often motivated by the threat of global extinction. Yet if conservationists had more information suggesting that extirpation of individual species could lead to undesirable ecological effects, they might more frequently attempt to protect or restore such species across their ranges even if they were not globally endangered. Scientists have seldom measured or quantitatively predicted the functional consequences of species loss, even for large, extinction-prone species that theory suggests should be functionally unique. We measured the contribution of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) to the dispersal of 3 large-fruited species in a disturbed tropical moist forest and predicted the extent to which alternative dispersers could compensate for elephants in their absence. We created an empirical probability model with data on frugivory and seed dispersal from Buxa Tiger Reserve, India. These data were used to estimate the proportion of seeds consumed by elephants and other frugivores that survive handling and density-dependent processes (Janzen-Connell effects and conspecific intradung competition) and germinate. Without compensation, the number of seeds dispersed and surviving density-dependent effects decreased 26% (Artocarpus chaplasha), 42% (Careya arborea), and 72% (Dillenia indica) when elephants were absent from the ecosystem. Compensatory fruit removal by other animals substantially ameliorated these losses. For instance, reductions in successful dispersal of D. indica were as low as 23% when gaur (Bos gaurus) persisted, but median dispersal distance still declined from 30% (C. arborea) to 90% (A. chaplasha) without elephants. Our results support the theory that the largest animal species in an ecosystem have nonredundant ecological functionality and that their extirpation is likely to lead to the deterioration of ecosystem processes such as seed dispersal. This effect is likely accentuated by the overall defaunation of many tropical

  4. Elephant Management in North American Zoos: Environmental Enrichment, Feeding, Exercise, and Training

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greco, Brian J.; Meehan, Cheryl L.; Miller, Lance J.; Shepherdson, David J.; Morfeld, Kari A.; Andrews, Jeff; Baker, Anne M.; Carlstead, Kathy; Mench, Joy A.

    2016-01-01

    The management of African (Loxodonta africana) and Asian (Elephas maximus) elephants in zoos involves a range of practices including feeding, exercise, training, and environmental enrichment. These practices are necessary to meet the elephants’ nutritional, healthcare, and husbandry needs. However, these practices are not standardized, resulting in likely variation among zoos as well as differences in the way they are applied to individual elephants within a zoo. To characterize elephant management in North America, we collected survey data from zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, developed 26 variables, generated population level descriptive statistics, and analyzed them to identify differences attributable to sex and species. Sixty-seven zoos submitted surveys describing the management of 224 elephants and the training experiences of 227 elephants. Asian elephants spent more time managed (defined as interacting directly with staff) than Africans (mean time managed: Asians = 56.9%; Africans = 48.6%; pzoos in the midrange for these measures. There were an average of 7.2 feedings every 24-hour period, with only 1.2 occurring during the nighttime. Feeding schedules were predictable at 47.5% of zoos. We also calculated the relative use of rewarding and aversive techniques employed during training interactions. The population median was seven on a scale from one (representing only aversive stimuli) to nine (representing only rewarding stimuli). The results of our study provide essential information for understanding management variation that could be relevant to welfare. Furthermore, the variables we created have been used in subsequent elephant welfare analyses. PMID:27414654

  5. Exposure of Asian Elephants and Other Exotic Ungulates to Schmallenberg Virus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molenaar, Fieke M.; La Rocca, S. Anna; Khatri, Meenakshi; Lopez, Javier; Steinbach, Falko; Dastjerdi, Akbar

    2015-01-01

    Schmallenberg virus (SBV) is an emerging Orthobunyavirus, first described in 2011 in cattle in Germany and subsequently spread throughout Europe, affecting mainly ruminant livestock through the induction of foetal malformations. To gain a better understanding of the spectrum of susceptible species and to assess the value of current SBV serological assays, screening of serum samples from exotic artiodactyls and perissodactyls collected at the Living Collections from the Zoological Society of London (Whipsnade and London Zoos) and Chester Zoo was carried out. There was compelling evidence of SBV infection in both zoological collections. The competitive ELISA has proved to be applicable for the detection of SBV in exotic Bovidae, Cervidae, Suidae, Giraffidae and most notably in endangered Asian elephants (Elephas maximus), but unreliable for the screening of Camelidae, for which the plaque reduction neutralisation test was considered the assay of choice. PMID:26274399

  6. Exposure of Asian Elephants and Other Exotic Ungulates to Schmallenberg Virus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fieke M Molenaar

    Full Text Available Schmallenberg virus (SBV is an emerging Orthobunyavirus, first described in 2011 in cattle in Germany and subsequently spread throughout Europe, affecting mainly ruminant livestock through the induction of foetal malformations. To gain a better understanding of the spectrum of susceptible species and to assess the value of current SBV serological assays, screening of serum samples from exotic artiodactyls and perissodactyls collected at the Living Collections from the Zoological Society of London (Whipsnade and London Zoos and Chester Zoo was carried out. There was compelling evidence of SBV infection in both zoological collections. The competitive ELISA has proved to be applicable for the detection of SBV in exotic Bovidae, Cervidae, Suidae, Giraffidae and most notably in endangered Asian elephants (Elephas maximus, but unreliable for the screening of Camelidae, for which the plaque reduction neutralisation test was considered the assay of choice.

  7. Recumbence Behavior in Zoo Elephants: Determination of Patterns and Frequency of Recumbent Rest and Associated Environmental and Social Factors.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew R Holdgate

    Full Text Available Resting behaviors are an essential component of animal welfare but have received little attention in zoological research. African savanna elephant (Loxodonta africana and Asian elephant (Elephas maximus rest includes recumbent postures, but no large-scale investigation of African and Asian zoo elephant recumbence has been previously conducted. We used anklets equipped with accelerometers to measure recumbence in 72 adult female African (n = 44 and Asian (n = 28 elephants housed in 40 North American zoos. We collected 344 days of data and determined associations between recumbence and social, housing, management, and demographic factors. African elephants were recumbent less (2.1 hours/day, S.D. = 1.1 than Asian elephants (3.2 hours/day, S.D. = 1.5; P < 0.001. Nearly one-third of elephants were non-recumbent on at least one night, suggesting this is a common behavior. Multi-variable regression models for each species showed that substrate, space, and social variables had the strongest associations with recumbence. In the African model, elephants who spent any amount of time housed on all-hard substrate were recumbent 0.6 hours less per day than those who were never on all-hard substrate, and elephants who experienced an additional acre of outdoor space at night increased their recumbence by 0.48 hours per day. In the Asian model, elephants who spent any amount of time housed on all-soft substrate were recumbent 1.1 hours more per day more than those who were never on all-soft substrate, and elephants who spent any amount of time housed alone were recumbent 0.77 hours more per day than elephants who were never housed alone. Our results draw attention to the significant interspecific difference in the amount of recumbent rest and in the factors affecting recumbence; however, in both species, the influence of flooring substrate is notably important to recumbent rest, and by extension, zoo elephant welfare.

  8. Predicting Hotspots of Human-Elephant Conflict to Inform Mitigation Strategies in Xishuangbanna, Southwest China

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    Research on the spatial patterns of human-wildlife conflict is fundamental to understanding the mechanisms underlying it and to identifying opportunities for mitigation. In the state of Xishuangbanna, containing China’s largest tropical forest, an imbalance between nature conservation and economic development has led to increasing conflicts between humans and Asian elephants (Elephas maximus), as both elephant numbers and conversion of habitable land to rubber plantations have increased over the last several decades. We analyzed government data on the compensation costs of elephant-caused damage in Xishuangbanna between 2008 and 2012 to understand the spatial and temporal patterns of conflict, in terms of their occurrence, frequency and distribution. More than 18,261 incidents were reported, including episodes involving damage to rubber trees (n = 10,999), damage to crops such as paddy, upland rice, corn, bananas and sugarcane (n = 11,020), property loss (n = 689) and attacks on humans (n = 19). The conflict data reconfirmed the presence of elephants in areas which have lacked records since the late 1990s. Zero Altered Negative Binomial models revealed that the risk of damage to crops and plantations increased with proximity to protected areas, increasing distance from roads, and lower settlement density. The patterns were constant across seasons and types of crop damaged. Damage to rubber trees was essentially incidental as elephants searched for crops to eat. A predictive map of risks revealed hotspots of conflict within and around protected areas, the last refuges for elephants in the region, and along habitat corridors connecting them. Additionally, we analyzed how mitigation efforts can best diminish the risk of conflict while minimizing financial costs and adverse biological impacts. Our analytical approach can be adopted, adjusted and expanded to other areas with historical records of human-wildlife conflict. PMID:27631976

  9. Determining Connections between the Daily Lives of Zoo Elephants and Their Welfare: An Epidemiological Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meehan, Cheryl L; Mench, Joy A; Carlstead, Kathy; Hogan, Jennifer N

    2016-01-01

    Concerns about animal welfare increasingly shape people's views about the acceptability of keeping animals for food production, biomedical research, and in zoos. The field of animal welfare science has developed over the past 50 years as a method of investigating these concerns via research that assesses how living in human-controlled environments influences the behavior, health and affective states of animals. Initially, animal welfare research focused on animals in agricultural settings, but the field has expanded to zoos because good animal welfare is essential to zoos' mission of promoting connections between animals and visitors and raising awareness of conservation issues. A particular challenge for zoos is ensuring good animal welfare for long-lived, highly social species like elephants. Our main goal in conducting an epidemiological study of African (Loxodonta africana) and Asian (Elephas maximus) elephant welfare in 68 accredited North American zoos was to understand the prevalence of welfare indicators in the population and determine the aspects of an elephant's zoo environment, social life and management that are most important to prevent and reduce a variety of welfare problems. In this overview, we provide a summary of the findings of the nine papers in the collection titled: Epidemiological Investigations of North American Zoo Elephant Welfare with a focus on the life history, social, housing, and management factors found to be associated with particular aspects of elephant welfare, including the performance of abnormal behavior, foot and joint problems, recumbence, walking rates, and reproductive health issues. Social and management factors were found to be important for multiple indicators of welfare, while exhibit space was found to be less influential than expected. This body of work results from the largest prospective zoo-based animal welfare study conducted to date and sets in motion the process of using science-based welfare benchmarks to

  10. Determining Connections between the Daily Lives of Zoo Elephants and Their Welfare: An Epidemiological Approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cheryl L Meehan

    Full Text Available Concerns about animal welfare increasingly shape people's views about the acceptability of keeping animals for food production, biomedical research, and in zoos. The field of animal welfare science has developed over the past 50 years as a method of investigating these concerns via research that assesses how living in human-controlled environments influences the behavior, health and affective states of animals. Initially, animal welfare research focused on animals in agricultural settings, but the field has expanded to zoos because good animal welfare is essential to zoos' mission of promoting connections between animals and visitors and raising awareness of conservation issues. A particular challenge for zoos is ensuring good animal welfare for long-lived, highly social species like elephants. Our main goal in conducting an epidemiological study of African (Loxodonta africana and Asian (Elephas maximus elephant welfare in 68 accredited North American zoos was to understand the prevalence of welfare indicators in the population and determine the aspects of an elephant's zoo environment, social life and management that are most important to prevent and reduce a variety of welfare problems. In this overview, we provide a summary of the findings of the nine papers in the collection titled: Epidemiological Investigations of North American Zoo Elephant Welfare with a focus on the life history, social, housing, and management factors found to be associated with particular aspects of elephant welfare, including the performance of abnormal behavior, foot and joint problems, recumbence, walking rates, and reproductive health issues. Social and management factors were found to be important for multiple indicators of welfare, while exhibit space was found to be less influential than expected. This body of work results from the largest prospective zoo-based animal welfare study conducted to date and sets in motion the process of using science-based welfare

  11. Skeletal pathology and variable anatomy in elephant feet assessed using computed tomography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dixon, Jonathon J.I.; Warren-Smith, Chris; Hutchinson, John R.; Weller, Renate

    2017-01-01

    Foot problems are a major cause of morbidity and mortality in elephants, but are underreported due to difficulties in diagnosis, particularly of conditions affecting the bones and internal structures. Here we evaluate post-mortem computer tomographic (CT) scans of 52 feet from 21 elephants (seven African Loxodonta africana and 14 Asian Elephas maximus), describing both pathology and variant anatomy (including the appearance of phalangeal and sesamoid bones) that could be mistaken for disease. We found all the elephants in our study to have pathology of some type in at least one foot. The most common pathological changes observed were bone remodelling, enthesopathy, osseous cyst-like lesions, and osteoarthritis, with soft tissue mineralisation, osteitis, infectious osteoarthriti, subluxation, fracture and enostoses observed less frequently. Most feet had multiple categories of pathological change (81% with two or more diagnoses, versus 10% with a single diagnosis, and 9% without significant pathology). Much of the pathological change was focused over the middle/lateral digits, which bear most weight and experience high peak pressures during walking. We found remodelling and osteoarthritis to be correlated with increasing age, more enthesopathy in Asian elephants, and more cyst-like lesions in females. We also observed multipartite, missing and misshapen phalanges as common and apparently incidental findings. The proximal (paired) sesamoids can appear fused or absent, and the predigits (radial/tibial sesamoids) can be variably ossified, though are significantly more ossified in Asian elephants. Our study reinforces the need for regular examination and radiography of elephant feet to monitor for pathology and as a tool for improving welfare. PMID:28123909

  12. Elephants know when their bodies are obstacles to success in a novel transfer task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dale, Rachel; Plotnik, Joshua M.

    2017-01-01

    The capacity to recognise oneself as separate from other individuals and objects is difficult to investigate in non-human animals. The hallmark empirical assessment, the mirror self-recognition test, focuses on an animal’s ability to recognise itself in a mirror and success has thus far been demonstrated in only a small number of species with a keen interest in their own visual reflection. Adapting a recent study done with children, we designed a new body-awareness paradigm for testing an animal’s understanding of its place in its environment. In this task, Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) were required to step onto a mat and pick up a stick attached to it by rope, and then pass the stick forward to an experimenter. In order to do the latter, the elephants had to see their body as an obstacle to success and first remove their weight from the mat before attempting to transfer the stick. The elephants got off the mat in the test significantly more often than in controls, where getting off the mat was unnecessary. This task helps level the playing field for non-visual species tested on cognition tasks and may help better define the continuum on which body- and self-awareness lie. PMID:28402335

  13. Assessment of Flooring Renovations on African Elephant (Loxodonta africana Behavior and Glucocorticoid Response.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah A Boyle

    Full Text Available Captive African (Loxodonta africana and Asian (Elephas maximus elephants can experience foot pathologies and arthritis. As a preventative measure against these pathologies and to alleviate the potential discomfort due to concrete substrates, some zoological institutions have renovated elephant housing to increase the amount of natural or shock-absorbent substrates. The objective of this study was to compare behavioral (diurnal and nocturnal and glucorticoid (e.g., serum cortisol responses of three female African elephants before, during, and after renovation to their indoor housing floor to assess whether renovations had short-term effects on the elephants' behavior and stress physiology. Behavioral data were collected using scan-sampling methods, and activity budgets were constructed for each of the three elephants. In addition, the duration of all lying rest activities were recorded. Weekly serum cortisol concentrations were determined with enzyme immunoassay (EIA. Overall, eating was the most prevalent behavior exhibited outdoors during the day, while resting (either in a lying or standing position were most common during the indoor, nocturnal periods. Although variation existed among the three elephants, all three females spent significantly more time walking and less time eating during the day after the completion of the renovations. The extent to which the three elephants exhibited nocturnal lying rest behavior varied among the elephants, with the oldest elephant exhibiting the least amount (an average of 13.2 ± 2.8% of the nightly behavioral scans compared to the two younger elephants (an average of 34.5 ± 2.1% and 56.6 ± 2.8% of the nightly behavioral scans. There was a significant increase in lying rest behavior for one elephant and standing rest for a second elephant following renovations. Baseline cortisol concentrations prior to renovations were 3.0 ± 0.4 ng/ml, 4.5 ± 0.5 ng/ml, and 4.9 ± 0.5 ng/ml for the three elephants

  14. Determining Connections between the Daily Lives of Zoo Elephants and Their Welfare: An Epidemiological Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meehan, Cheryl L.; Mench, Joy A.; Carlstead, Kathy; Hogan, Jennifer N.

    2016-01-01

    Concerns about animal welfare increasingly shape people’s views about the acceptability of keeping animals for food production, biomedical research, and in zoos. The field of animal welfare science has developed over the past 50 years as a method of investigating these concerns via research that assesses how living in human-controlled environments influences the behavior, health and affective states of animals. Initially, animal welfare research focused on animals in agricultural settings, but the field has expanded to zoos because good animal welfare is essential to zoos’ mission of promoting connections between animals and visitors and raising awareness of conservation issues. A particular challenge for zoos is ensuring good animal welfare for long-lived, highly social species like elephants. Our main goal in conducting an epidemiological study of African (Loxodonta africana) and Asian (Elephas maximus) elephant welfare in 68 accredited North American zoos was to understand the prevalence of welfare indicators in the population and determine the aspects of an elephant’s zoo environment, social life and management that are most important to prevent and reduce a variety of welfare problems. In this overview, we provide a summary of the findings of the nine papers in the collection titled: Epidemiological Investigations of North American Zoo Elephant Welfare with a focus on the life history, social, housing, and management factors found to be associated with particular aspects of elephant welfare, including the performance of abnormal behavior, foot and joint problems, recumbence, walking rates, and reproductive health issues. Social and management factors were found to be important for multiple indicators of welfare, while exhibit space was found to be less influential than expected. This body of work results from the largest prospective zoo-based animal welfare study conducted to date and sets in motion the process of using science-based welfare benchmarks

  15. Differences in immune cell function between tuberculosis positive and negative Asian elephants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landolfi, Jennifer A; Miller, Michele; Maddox, Carol; Zuckermann, Federico; Langan, Jennifer N; Terio, Karen A

    2014-07-01

    Tuberculosis is an important health concern for Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) populations worldwide, however, mechanisms underlying susceptibility to Mycobacterium tuberculosis are unknown. Proliferative responses assessed via brominated uridine incorporation and cytokine expression measured by real-time RT-PCR were evaluated in peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) cultures from 8 tuberculosis negative and 8 positive Asian elephants. Cultures were stimulated with Mycobacterium bovis purified protein derivative (PPD-B), M. tuberculosis culture filtrate protein (CFP)-10, and Mycobacterium avium PPD (PPD-A). Following stimulation with PPD-B, proliferation was higher (α = 0.005) in positive samples; no significant differences were detected following CFP-10 or PPD-A stimulation. Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-12, and interferon (IFN)-γ expression was greater in samples from positive elephants following stimulation with PPD-B (α = 0.025) and CFP-10 (α = 0.025 TNF-α and IL-12; α = 0.005 IFN-γ). Stimulation with PPD-A also produced enhanced IL-12 expression in positive samples (α = 0.025). Findings suggested that differences in immune cell function exist between tuberculosis positive and negative elephants. Proliferative responses and expression of TNF-α, IL-12, and IFN-γ in response to stimulation with PPD-B and CFP-10 differ between tuberculosis positive and negative elephants, suggesting these parameters may be important to tuberculosis immunopathogenesis in this species. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Assessment of Flooring Renovations on African Elephant (Loxodonta africana) Behavior and Glucocorticoid Response

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyle, Sarah A.; Roberts, Beth; Pope, Brittany M.; Blake, Margaret R.; Leavelle, Stephen E.; Marshall, Jennifer J.; Smith, Andrew; Hadicke, Amanda; Falcone, Josephine F.; Knott, Katrina; Kouba, Andrew J.

    2015-01-01

    Captive African (Loxodonta africana) and Asian (Elephas maximus) elephants can experience foot pathologies and arthritis. As a preventative measure against these pathologies and to alleviate the potential discomfort due to concrete substrates, some zoological institutions have renovated elephant housing to increase the amount of natural or shock-absorbent substrates. The objective of this study was to compare behavioral (diurnal and nocturnal) and glucorticoid (e.g., serum cortisol) responses of three female African elephants before, during, and after renovation to their indoor housing floor to assess whether renovations had short-term effects on the elephants’ behavior and stress physiology. Behavioral data were collected using scan-sampling methods, and activity budgets were constructed for each of the three elephants. In addition, the duration of all lying rest activities were recorded. Weekly serum cortisol concentrations were determined with enzyme immunoassay (EIA). Overall, eating was the most prevalent behavior exhibited outdoors during the day, while resting (either in a lying or standing position) were most common during the indoor, nocturnal periods. Although variation existed among the three elephants, all three females spent significantly more time walking and less time eating during the day after the completion of the renovations. The extent to which the three elephants exhibited nocturnal lying rest behavior varied among the elephants, with the oldest elephant exhibiting the least amount (an average of 13.2 ± 2.8% of the nightly behavioral scans) compared to the two younger elephants (an average of 34.5 ± 2.1% and 56.6 ± 2.8% of the nightly behavioral scans). There was a significant increase in lying rest behavior for one elephant and standing rest for a second elephant following renovations. Baseline cortisol concentrations prior to renovations were 3.0 ± 0.4 ng/ml, 4.5 ± 0.5 ng/ml, and 4.9 ± 0.5 ng/ml for the three elephants. Cortisol

  17. Climatic variation and age-specific survival in Asian elephants from Myanmar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mumby, Hannah S; Courtiol, Alexandre; Mar, Khyne U; Lummaa, Virpi

    2013-05-01

    Concern about climate change has intensified interest in understanding how climatic variability affects animal life histories. Despite such effects being potentially most dramatic in large, long-lived, and slowly reproducing terrestrial mammals, little is known of the effects of climatic variation on survival in those species. Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) are endangered across their distribution, and inhabit regions characterized by high seasonality of temperature and rainfall. We investigated the effects of monthly climatic variation on survival and causes of death in Asian elephants using a unique demographic data set of 1024 semi-captive, longitudinally monitored elephants from four sites in Myanmar between 1965 and 2000. Temperature had a significant effect on survival in both sexes and across all ages. For elephants between 1 month and 17 years of age, maximal survival was reached at -24 degrees C, and any departures from this temperature increased mortality, whereas neonates and mature elephants had maximal survival at even lower temperatures. Although males experienced higher mortality overall, sex differences in these optimal temperatures were small. Because the elephants spent more time during a year in temperatures above 24 degrees C than in temperatures below it, most deaths occurred at hot (temperatures>24 degrees C) rather than cold periods. Decreased survival at higher temperatures resulted partially from increased deaths from infectious disease and heat stroke, whereas the lower survival in the coldest months was associated with an increase in noninfectious diseases and poor health in general. Survival was also related to rainfall, with the highest survival rates during the wettest months for all ages and sexes. Our results show that even the normal-range monsoon variation in climate can exert a large impact on elephant survival in Myanmar, leading to extensive absolute differences in mortality; switching from favorable to unfavorable climatic

  18. 78 FR 76171 - Endangered Species; Receipt of Applications for Permit

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-12-16

    ...: Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) Pygmy slow loris (Nycticebus pygmaeus) Jackass penguin (Spheniscus... (Crocodylus niloticus) Radiated tortoise (Astrochelys radiata) Galapagos tortoise (Chelonoidis nigra...

  19. Comparative sequence analyses of genome and transcriptome ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    /fulltext/jbsc/040/05/0891-0907. Keywords. Asian elephant; comparative genomics; gene prediction; transcriptome. Abstract. The Asian elephant Elephas maximus and the African elephant Loxodonta africana that diverged 5-7 million years ...

  20. Species composition and community structure of dung beetles attracted to dung of gaur and elephant in the moist forests of South Western Ghats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vinod, K V; Sabu, Thomas K

    2007-01-01

    The community structure of dung beetles attracted to dung of gaur, Bos gaurus (H. Smith) (Artiodactyla: Bovidae) and Asian elephant, Elephas maximus Linnaeus (Proboscidea: Elephantidae), is reported from the moist forests of Western Ghats, in South India. The dominance of dwellers over rollers, presence of many endemic species, predominance of regional species and higher incidence of the old world roller, Ochicanthon laetum, make the dung beetle community in the moist forests of the region unusual. The dominance of dwellers and the lower presence of rollers make the functional guild structure of the dung beetle community of the region different from assemblages in the moist forests of south East Asia and Neotropics, and more similar to the community found in Ivory Coast forests. The ability of taxonomic diversity indices to relate variation in dung physical quality with phylogenetic structure of dung beetle assemblage is highlighted. Comparatively higher taxonomic diversity and evenness of dung beetle assemblage attracted to elephant dung rather than to gaur dung is attributed to the heterogeneous nature of elephant dung. Further analyses of community structure of dung beetles across the moist forests of Western Ghats are needed to ascertain whether the abundance of dwellers is a regional pattern specific to the transitional Wayanad forests of south Western Ghats.

  1. Recursion to food plants by free-ranging Bornean elephant

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Megan English

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Plant recovery rates after herbivory are thought to be a key factor driving recursion by herbivores to sites and plants to optimise resource-use but have not been investigated as an explanation for recursion in large herbivores. We investigated the relationship between plant recovery and recursion by elephants (Elephas maximus borneensis in the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary, Sabah. We identified 182 recently eaten food plants, from 30 species, along 14 × 50 m transects and measured their recovery growth each month over nine months or until they were re-browsed by elephants. The monthly growth in leaf and branch or shoot length for each plant was used to calculate the time required (months for each species to recover to its pre-eaten length. Elephant returned to all but two transects with 10 eaten plants, a further 26 plants died leaving 146 plants that could be re-eaten. Recursion occurred to 58% of all plants and 12 of the 30 species. Seventy-seven percent of the re-eaten plants were grasses. Recovery times to all plants varied from two to twenty months depending on the species. Recursion to all grasses coincided with plant recovery whereas recursion to most browsed plants occurred four to twelve months before they had recovered to their previous length. The small sample size of many browsed plants that received recursion and uneven plant species distribution across transects limits our ability to generalise for most browsed species but a prominent pattern in plant-scale recursion did emerge. Plant recovery time was a good predictor of time to recursion but varied as a function of growth form (grass, ginger, palm, liana and woody and differences between sites. Time to plant recursion coincided with plant recovery time for the elephant’s preferred food, grasses, and perhaps also gingers, but not the other browsed species. Elephants are bulk feeders so it is likely that they time their returns to bulk feed on these grass species when

  2. How Big Is It Really? Assessing the Efficacy of Indirect Estimates of Body Size in Asian Elephants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapman, Simon N; Mumby, Hannah S; Crawley, Jennie A H; Mar, Khyne U; Htut, Win; Thura Soe, Aung; Aung, Htoo Htoo; Lummaa, Virpi

    2016-01-01

    Information on an organism's body size is pivotal in understanding its life history and fitness, as well as helping inform conservation measures. However, for many species, particularly large-bodied wild animals, taking accurate body size measurements can be a challenge. Various means to estimate body size have been employed, from more direct methods such as using photogrammetry to obtain height or length measurements, to indirect prediction of weight using other body morphometrics or even the size of dung boli. It is often unclear how accurate these measures are because they cannot be compared to objective measures. Here, we investigate how well existing estimation equations predict the actual body weight of Asian elephants Elephas maximus, using body measurements (height, chest girth, length, foot circumference and neck circumference) taken directly from a large population of semi-captive animals in Myanmar (n = 404). We then define new and better fitting formulas to predict body weight in Myanmar elephants from these readily available measures. We also investigate whether the important parameters height and chest girth can be estimated from photographs (n = 151). Our results show considerable variation in the ability of existing estimation equations to predict weight, and that the equations proposed in this paper predict weight better in almost all circumstances. We also find that measurements from standardised photographs reflect body height and chest girth after applying minor adjustments. Our results have implications for size estimation of large wild animals in the field, as well as for management in captive settings.

  3. How Big Is It Really? Assessing the Efficacy of Indirect Estimates of Body Size in Asian Elephants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon N Chapman

    Full Text Available Information on an organism's body size is pivotal in understanding its life history and fitness, as well as helping inform conservation measures. However, for many species, particularly large-bodied wild animals, taking accurate body size measurements can be a challenge. Various means to estimate body size have been employed, from more direct methods such as using photogrammetry to obtain height or length measurements, to indirect prediction of weight using other body morphometrics or even the size of dung boli. It is often unclear how accurate these measures are because they cannot be compared to objective measures. Here, we investigate how well existing estimation equations predict the actual body weight of Asian elephants Elephas maximus, using body measurements (height, chest girth, length, foot circumference and neck circumference taken directly from a large population of semi-captive animals in Myanmar (n = 404. We then define new and better fitting formulas to predict body weight in Myanmar elephants from these readily available measures. We also investigate whether the important parameters height and chest girth can be estimated from photographs (n = 151. Our results show considerable variation in the ability of existing estimation equations to predict weight, and that the equations proposed in this paper predict weight better in almost all circumstances. We also find that measurements from standardised photographs reflect body height and chest girth after applying minor adjustments. Our results have implications for size estimation of large wild animals in the field, as well as for management in captive settings.

  4. Habitat relationships of Asian elephants in shifting-cultivation landscapes of Meghalaya, Northeast India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruce G. Marcot; Ashish Kumar; G. Talukdar; A.K. Srivastava

    2011-01-01

    In Asia and India, Asian elephants (Elaphas maximus) attain their highest densities and numbers in Meghalaya, particularly in Garo Hills, of northeast India. Little quantitative work has been done on elephant-habitat relationships in this region where the species' distribution is known to be highly fragmented. If elephants and their habitat...

  5. Molecular phylogeny of the extinct pleistocene dwarf elephant Palaeoloxodon antiquus falconeri from Tilos Island, Dodekanisa, Greece.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poulakakis, Nikos; Theodorou, Georgios E; Zouros, Eleftherios; Mylonas, Moysis

    2002-09-01

    A partial sequence of cytochrome b (228 bp) gene of mitochondrial DNA was successfully determined from rib bones of the dwarf elephant Palaeoloxodon antiquus falconeri BUSK, which were excavated from Charkadio cave of the island of Tilos, Dodekanisa, Greece. This is the first report of DNA sequence of a dwarf elephant. The sequences were used to examine the phylogenetic relationships among Elephantidae. Phylogenetic trees reconstructed by the neighbor-joining and maximum parsimony methods provided identical topologies. The results support the "Palaeoloxodon-Elephas" clade, which is consistent with previous morphological reports according to which Palaeoloxodon is more closely related to Elephas than to Loxodonta or Mammuthus.

  6. Metabolic health assessment of zoo elephants: Management factors predicting leptin levels and the glucose-to-insulin ratio and their associations with health parameters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morfeld, Kari A; Brown, Janine L

    2017-01-01

    Screening for metabolic-related health problems can enhance animal welfare, so the purpose of this study was to conduct the first metabolic health assessment of zoo elephants and use epidemiological methods to determine how factors in the captive environment were associated with metabolic hormone concentrations. In addition, we examined relationships between metabolic status and several fitness parameters: foot health, musculoskeletal health, reproductive cyclicity, and body condition. Two blood samples were collected 2 weeks apart from 87 Asian (Elephas maximus) and 105 African (Loxodonta africana) elephants managed by zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums for analysis of serum leptin, insulin, glucose and the glucose-to-insulin ratio (G:I). In females, mean (± SD) leptin concentrations and the G:I were lower (P0.05). As mean leptin concentration increased there was an increase in the odds of a female being non-cycling (P = 0.0083). The G:I was associated inversely with body condition (P = 0.0002); as the G:I increased there was a decreased risk of BCS = 4 or 5 as compared to the ideal, or BCS = 3. Neither leptin nor G:I were predictive of foot or musculoskeletal health scores. Factors related to walking and feeding practices were most influential in predicting metabolic status, whereas social and housing factors showed smaller, but significant effects. The metabolic health benefits of walking were detected if the time spent in staff-directed walking was 7 hours or more per week. The most protective feeding practices included implementing a random rather than predictable feeding schedule and limiting the number of methods presentation methods. Results indicate that leptin levels and G:I can be used as predictors of both ovarian cycle function and body condition, and are affected by zoo management in elephants.

  7. Metabolic health assessment of zoo elephants: Management factors predicting leptin levels and the glucose-to-insulin ratio and their associations with health parameters.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kari A Morfeld

    Full Text Available Screening for metabolic-related health problems can enhance animal welfare, so the purpose of this study was to conduct the first metabolic health assessment of zoo elephants and use epidemiological methods to determine how factors in the captive environment were associated with metabolic hormone concentrations. In addition, we examined relationships between metabolic status and several fitness parameters: foot health, musculoskeletal health, reproductive cyclicity, and body condition. Two blood samples were collected 2 weeks apart from 87 Asian (Elephas maximus and 105 African (Loxodonta africana elephants managed by zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums for analysis of serum leptin, insulin, glucose and the glucose-to-insulin ratio (G:I. In females, mean (± SD leptin concentrations and the G:I were lower (P0.05. As mean leptin concentration increased there was an increase in the odds of a female being non-cycling (P = 0.0083. The G:I was associated inversely with body condition (P = 0.0002; as the G:I increased there was a decreased risk of BCS = 4 or 5 as compared to the ideal, or BCS = 3. Neither leptin nor G:I were predictive of foot or musculoskeletal health scores. Factors related to walking and feeding practices were most influential in predicting metabolic status, whereas social and housing factors showed smaller, but significant effects. The metabolic health benefits of walking were detected if the time spent in staff-directed walking was 7 hours or more per week. The most protective feeding practices included implementing a random rather than predictable feeding schedule and limiting the number of methods presentation methods. Results indicate that leptin levels and G:I can be used as predictors of both ovarian cycle function and body condition, and are affected by zoo management in elephants.

  8. 12038_2013_9322_Article_ESM 1..5

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Identification of bifidobacteria isolated from Asian elephant. (Elephas maximus). VERA BUNESOVA, EVA VLKOVA, VOJTECH RADA, JIRI KILLER and VLADIMIR KMET. 1. B. adolescentis isolates: >07_JK1 sequence exported from 07_JK1_G03.ab1.

  9. 77 FR 2314 - Endangered Species; Receipt of Applications for Permit

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-17

    ... permit to import one captive-born male snow leopard (Uncia uncia) from Canada for the purpose of... 50 CFR 17.21(g) for leopard (Panthera pardus) and Asian elephant (Elephas maximus), to enhance their...

  10. Priodontes maximus (Cingulata: Chlamyphoridae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carter, Tracy S.; Superina, Mariella; Leslie, David M.

    2016-01-01

    Priodontes maximus (Kerr, 1792), called the giant armadillo, is monotypic and by far the largest extant armadillo. Average adult weight is about 30kg (in captivity, as high as 80kg). Its carapace extends about halfway down its sides, making it impossible to curl up tightly. It is dark brown to black dorsally, with a broad light band around the lower part of its carapace. It primarily digs to escape, enhanced by its 20-cm, sickle-shaped nail on its 3rd forefingers. P. maximus is widely distributed in South America but nowhere abundant. It is affected by habitat loss and fragmentation, agriculture, hunting, collection for museum specimens, and illegal animal trafficking. P. maximus is listed as “Vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.

  11. Aspects of elephant behavior, ecology, and interactions with humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Connell, Caitlin Elizabeth

    This dissertation is comprised of two chapters relating to the acoustic behavior of elephants, their surrounding ecology and interactions with humans. The first chapter investigates the seismic aspects of Asian elephant (Elephus maximus) acoustic communication. The second chapter is comprised of a synthesis of two separate studies conducted on the African elephant (Loxodonta africana) in Namibia, both in Etosha National Park and the Caprivi region. The two studies were combined and published in Biological Conservation as one large study on aspects of the economic and social impacts of elephant/human conflict and experiments conducted to reduce conflict. In chapter one, seismic and acoustic data were recorded simultaneously from Asian elephants during periods of vocalizations and locomotion. Acoustic and seismic signals from rumbles were highly correlated at near and far distances and were in phase near the elephant and were out of phase at an increased distance from the elephant. Data analyses indicated that elephant generated signals associated with rumbles and "foot stomps" propagated at different velocities in the two media, the acoustic signals traveling at 309 m/s and the seismic signals at 248--264 m/s. Both types of signals had predominant frequencies in the range of 20 Hz. Seismic signal amplitudes considerably above background noise were recorded at 40 m from the generating elephants for both the rumble and the stomp. Seismic propagation models suggest that seismic waveforms from vocalizations are potentially detectable by instruments at distances of up to 16 km, and up to 32 km for locomotion generated signals. Thus, if detectable by elephants, these seismic signals could be useful for long distance communication. In chapter two, the economic impact of elephants, Loxodonta africana , and predators, particularly lions, Panthera leo, on rural agriculturists in the Kwando region of the East Caprivi, Namibia was assessed from the years 1991 to 1995. Elephants

  12. Elephas Celebensis (Hooijer) from the Pleistocene of Java

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hooijer, D.A.

    1974-01-01

    In a recent monograph, Maglio (1973) states that Stegodon hypsilophus Hooijer (1954a) must be considered a synonym of Elephas celebensis (Hooijer, 1949). Though Elephas celebensis is smaller-toothed and more hypsodont than the "hypsilophous stegodont" of Java (width of M3 42-52 mm against 62-64 mm;

  13. Calcific tendinitis of the gluteus maximus tendon (Gluteus maximus tendinitis)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wepfer, J.F.; Reed, J.G.; Cullen, G.M.; McDevitt, W.P.

    1983-02-01

    Seven cases of calcific tendinitis of the gluteus maximus tendon are presented. Awareness of the precise anatomic location of the calcific deposit is essential for the accurate diagnosis of this uncommon site of tendinitis. Clinically, the presenting complaint is that of pain. In some instances, however, the patients are asymptomatic and the calcification is an incidental finding.

  14. Musth in Elephants

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    pronounced as in elephants. Since elephants have exceptional olfactory perception (as good or better than a bloodhound), they can smell the musth compo- nents even when the condition is just starting in one male. Box 2. Chemicals Implicated in Elephant Behaviour. Most of the work on chemical communication in ...

  15. Captive elephants - an overview

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H.S. Riddle

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Currently a significant portion of the world’s elephant population is in captivity, mainly in Asia. Elephants have a long history of captivity in both Africa and Asia, and have adapted to many environments. Today, due to evolving needs and philosophies, some changes have occurred in the use of captive elephants, and debate about their welfare and management is increasing. To address this, several countries are developing higher standards of care via policies and guidelines; unfortunately most elephant range countries do not have a national strategy concerning their captive elephant population. Challenges in elephant medicine are always present, yet there is a lack of standardized requirements for veterinary care in elephant range countries, and the ability of veterinarians to treat elephant diseases is often limited. In recent years, much has been learned about elephant physiology, biology, and communication from captive elephants, and this knowledge supports management decisions affecting both captive and wild populations. Captive elephants present important educational and fundraising opportunities in support of conservation, but these are often not fully leveraged. Future considerations include implementing changes to improve staff support and training, establishing comprehensive registration of all captive populations, and ensuring that captive management does not negatively impact wild elephant populations.

  16. Elephants in academic medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Souba, Wiley; Way, David; Lucey, Catherine; Sedmak, Daniel; Notestine, Mark

    2011-12-01

    To study the types, causes, and consequences of academic health center (AHC) "elephants," which the authors define as obvious problems that impair performance but which the community collectively does not discuss or confront. Between April and June 2010, the authors polled all the chairs of departments of medicine and of surgery at the then 127 U.S. medical-degree-granting medical schools, using a combination of Web and postal surveys. Of the 254 chairs polled, 139 (55%) responded. Of 137 chairs, 95 (69%) reported that elephants in their organizations were common or widespread. The most common elephant reported was misalignment between goals and available resources. Chairs felt that the main reason faculty are silent is their perception that speaking up will be ignored and that the consequences of elephants include impaired organizational learning, flawed information resulting in poor decisions, and negative effects on morale. Chairs felt elephants were more problematic among deans and hospital leaders than in their own departments. Of 139 chairs, 87 (63%) said that elephants were discussed inappropriately, and of 137 chairs, 92 (67%) believed that creating a culture that dealt with elephants would be difficult. Chairs felt the best antidote for elephants was having senior leaders lead by example, yet 77 of 139 (55%) reported that the actions of top leaders fed, rather than dispelled, elephants. AHC elephants are prevalent and detrimental to learning, organizational decision making, and morale, yet the academic medicine community, particularly its leadership, insufficiently confronts them.

  17. Taxonomic revision of the Elephant Pupinid snail genus Pollicaria Gould, 1856 (Prosobranchia, Pupinidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bangon Kongim

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The status of species currently assigned to the Southeast Asian Elephant Pupinid snail genus Pollicaria Gould, 1856 is reassessed. Shell, radular and reproductive morphology are investigated and analysed with reference to karyotype patterns previously reported and to distribution patterns among the species. Six previously described species are recognised: P. gravida (Benson, 1856, P. myersii (Haines, 1855, P. mouhoti (Pfeiffer, 1862, P. elephas (Morgan, 1885, P. crossei (Dautzenberg & d’Hamonville, 1887 and P. rochebruni (Mabille, 1887. A new subspecies, P. mouhoti monochroma ssp. n., is proposed and a dichotomous key to species is provided.

  18. Trunkloads of Viruses

    OpenAIRE

    Pellett, Philip E.

    2014-01-01

    Elephant populations are under intense pressure internationally from habitat destruction and poaching for ivory and meat. They also face pressure from infectious agents, including elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus 1 (EEHV1), which kills ∼20% of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) born in zoos and causes disease in the wild. EEHV1 is one of at least six distinct EEHV in a phylogenetic lineage that appears to represent an ancient but newly recognized subfamily (the Deltaherpesvirinae) in the ...

  19. Biogeography and molar morphology of Pleistocene African elephants: new evidence from Elandsfontein, Western Cape Province, South Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Kathlyn M.; Stynder, Deano D.

    2015-05-01

    Elandsfontein (EFT) is a Middle Pleistocene archaeological/paleontological site located in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. The largest herbivore in the assemblage is Loxodonta atlantica zulu, an extinct member of the genus that includes modern African elephants. No Elephas recki specimens were recovered at EFT, despite their common occurrence in other regions of Africa at the same time. Because E. recki and L. atlantica molars are similar in appearance, but the two species are traditionally viewed as dominating different regions of Africa during the Pleistocene, isolated molars may on occasions have been assessed to species level on the basis of geography rather than morphology. The last morphologic evaluation of EFT elephants was conducted in the 1970s, and revisiting this issue with new specimens provides added insight into the evolution of elephants in Africa. Reevaluating morphological characteristics of EFT elephant molars, through qualitative and quantitative description and comparison with Middle Pleistocene E. recki recki, L. atlantica atlantica, and L. atlantica zulu molar morphology, corroborates assessment of EFT elephants as L. a. zulu. Two recently discovered, previously undescribed molars from EFT show that molars of L. a. zulu exhibit greater variation in enamel thickness, lamellar frequency, and occlusal surface morphology than previously reported. An update of the Pleistocene biogeography of Loxodonta and Elephas indicates that fossil remains of both are often found at the same localities in eastern Africa. Their rare co-occurrences in the north and south, however, suggest geographic separation of the two genera in at least some regions of Africa, which may have been based on habitat preference.

  20. Diet and distribution of elephants in the Maputo Elephant Reserve

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boer, de W.F.; Ntumi, C.; Correia, A.; Mafuca, J.

    2000-01-01

    The distribution and diet of the elephants of the Maputo Elephant Reserve were studied using dung counts, satellite tracking and faecal analysis. The results were compared with earlier data from before the civil war in Mozambique. The elephant population decreased during the civil war, but 180

  1. 77 FR 17494 - Endangered Species; Receipt of Applications for Permit

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-03-26

    ... (Panthera pardus) Grevy's zebra (Equus grevyi) Galapagos tortoise (Chelonoidis nigra) Radiated tortoise... 66550A The applicant request permits to export, re-export, and re-import captive-born tigers (Panthera tigris) and Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) to worldwide locations for the purpose of enhancement of...

  2. 77 FR 298 - Endangered Species Receipt of Applications for Permit

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-04

    ... variegata), western lowland gorilla (Gorilla gorilla), Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus), leopard (Panthera pardus), Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae), and Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) to enhance their... their captive-bred wildlife registration under 50 CFR 17.21(g) for leopard (Panthera pardus) and Asian...

  3. Brief communication

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2013-04-26

    Apr 26, 2013 ... Bifidobacteria are considered as one of the key genera in intestinal tracts of animals, and their species composition vary depending on the host. The aim of this study was to identify faecal bifidobacteria from Asian elephants (Elephas maximus), housed in Zoological gardens (Ostrava, Czech Republic).

  4. Journal of Biosciences | Indian Academy of Sciences

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Volume 40 Issue 5 December 2015 pp 891-907 Articles. Comparative sequence analyses of genome and transcriptome reveal novel transcripts and variants in the Asian elephant Elephas maximus · Puli Chandramouli Reddy Ishani Sinha Ashwin Kelkar Farhat Habib Saurabh J Pradhan Raman Sukumar Sanjeev Galande.

  5. Observations on Barclay's elephant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaufman, M H

    1996-04-01

    This account attempts to trace the fate of the skeleton of an elephant that was gifted by George Ballingall to Dr John Barclay, one of the most important teachers of Anatomy in Edinburgh during the early 19th century. In his will, Barclay gifted his human and comparative anatomy collections, including the elephant, to the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh on two conditions, that a hall should be built to house the collection, and that it should be associated with his name in perpetuity. In the 1830s, the comparative collection, but particularly the skeleton of the elephant, was the pride of the College. Unfortunately, interest in the comparative material rapidly diminished, and, due to constraints on space, while the elephant's skull was retained the rest of the skeleton was disposed of. An unpublished poem written at the time of the Burke trial, in 1829, testifies to the fact that Barclay's elephant was closely associated in the minds of the public with the activities of Dr Robert Knox, the then Conservator of the College museum.

  6. TB in Captive Elephants

    Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Podcasts

    2017-04-27

    Dr. Barry Kreiswirth, founding director of the Public Health Research Institute, TB Center, at Rutgers University, discusses TB in three captive elephants.  Created: 4/27/2017 by National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID).   Date Released: 4/27/2017.

  7. Elephant crop damage and electric fence construction in the Maputo Elephant Reserve, Mozambique

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boer, de W.F.; Ntumi, C.P.

    2001-01-01

    An electric fence is at present being constructed around the Maputo Elephant Reserve, Mozambique, to protect farmers from elephant raids. Elephants cause crop damage, estimated at US$ 8800 yr-1, or US$ 50 elephant-1. Elephants preferred maize, melons and beans and their raid frequency increased

  8. THE AFRICAN ELEPHANTS' TOE NAILS

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    L.A

    Loxodonta africana Blumenbach, 1797 to test the contention that the savanna elephant. L. africana has four toe nails on the front foot and three on the hind, which differentiates it from the forest elephant L. cyclotis Matschie, 1900, which has five on the front foot and four on the hind (Frade, 1931). Smithers (1983) was among ...

  9. TB in Wild Asian Elephants

    Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Podcasts

    2017-05-10

    Dr. Susan Mikota, co-founder of Elephant Care International, discusses TB in wild Asian elephants.  Created: 5/10/2017 by National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID).   Date Released: 5/10/2017.

  10. Corridor use by Asian elephants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Wenjing; Lin, Liu; Luo, Aidong; Zhang, Li

    2009-06-01

    There are 18 km of Kunming-Bangkok Highway passing through the Mengyang Nature Reserve of Xishuangbanna National Nature Reserve in Yunnan Province, China. From September 2005 to September 2006 the impact of this highway on movement of wild Asian elephants between the eastern and western part of the nature reserve was studied using track transecting, rural surveys and direct monitoring. Our results showed that the number of crossroad corridors used by Asian elephants diminished from 28 to 23 following the construction of the highway. In some areas, the elephant activity diminished or even disappeared, which indicated a change in their home ranges. The utilization rate of artificial corridors was 44%. We also found that elephants preferred artificial corridors that were placed along their original corridors. During the research, wild elephants revealed their adaptation to the highway. They were found walking across the highway road surface many times and for different reasons. We suggest that the highway management bureau should revise their management strategies to mitigate the potential risks caused by elephants on the road for the safety of the public and to protect this endangered species from harm. It is also very important to protect and maintain current Asian elephants corridors in this region. © 2009 ISZS, Blackwell Publishing and IOZ/CAS.

  11. Calcific tendinitis of the gluteus maximus tendon: CT findings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hottat, N.; Fumiere, E.; Delcour, C. [C. H. U. de Charleroi (Belgium). Dept. of Radiology

    1999-08-01

    Two cases of calcific tendinitis of gluteus maximus muscle are presented. The CT findings, including amorphous calcification without soft tissue mass and possible cortical erosion at the femoral enthesis of the gluteus maximus muscle, are highly suggestive of calcific tendinitis at this unusual but classical location. Ossifying entheses with well-defined cortical defect are frequent at the femoral insertion of the gluteus maximus muscle in asymptomatic subjects and must be differentiated from a real cortical erosion sometimes associated with these calcific tendinitis. (orig.) With 3 figs., 7 refs.

  12. Are hills like white elephants?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sunil Sharma

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available 'Are Hills Like White Elephants?' is, of course, inspired by Hemingway; the tribute reflects on the abiding relevance of serious art in a changed world and extends the boundaries of his message to other human situations.

  13. Reproductive management in captive elephants

    OpenAIRE

    Fontes, Sónia Alexandra de Jesus

    2017-01-01

    Dissertação de Mestrado Integrado em Medicina Veterinária Elephants have been widely used by Humans for several centuries: for meat, as warriors through several kingdoms, for their heavy work power, for public entertainment, and for their unique tusks, leading them to be poached for the ivory trade. Nowadays we face the reality of a decreasing number of elephants in most of their range countries, leading them to be considered endangered (Asian) or vulnerable (African) to extinction. Being ...

  14. The elephant brain in numbers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herculano-Houzel, Suzana; Avelino-de-Souza, Kamilla; Neves, Kleber; Porfírio, Jairo; Messeder, Débora; Mattos Feijó, Larissa; Maldonado, José; Manger, Paul R.

    2014-01-01

    What explains the superior cognitive abilities of the human brain compared to other, larger brains? Here we investigate the possibility that the human brain has a larger number of neurons than even larger brains by determining the cellular composition of the brain of the African elephant. We find that the African elephant brain, which is about three times larger than the human brain, contains 257 billion (109) neurons, three times more than the average human brain; however, 97.5% of the neurons in the elephant brain (251 billion) are found in the cerebellum. This makes the elephant an outlier in regard to the number of cerebellar neurons compared to other mammals, which might be related to sensorimotor specializations. In contrast, the elephant cerebral cortex, which has twice the mass of the human cerebral cortex, holds only 5.6 billion neurons, about one third of the number of neurons found in the human cerebral cortex. This finding supports the hypothesis that the larger absolute number of neurons in the human cerebral cortex (but not in the whole brain) is correlated with the superior cognitive abilities of humans compared to elephants and other large-brained mammals. PMID:24971054

  15. Making sense of elephants in the shamba

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bond, Jennifer Lauren

    This article applies sensemaking theory to instances of human-elephant interaction to understand how farmers make sense of elephants in their crops and how this fits into a broader discussion of human-wildlife coexistence. The concept of sensemaking is extended to discuss the institutional context...... of wildlife management and the role this has on the individual farmers’ enacting and selection when confronted with an elephant in their crop. Analysis showed that respondents who had come into direct physical contact with an elephant reported to be more likely to refrain from attempting to scare elephants...... in the future and viewed them as dangerous. In comparison, farmers who had not experienced direct physical contact and subsequent injury from an elephant reported that they would continue to engage in interactions with elephants to remove them from their crops, viewing the elephants primarily as a pest...

  16. African elephant in a cleft stick

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wato, Yussuf

    2016-01-01

    Elephant population studies have become important especially because of the long standing perception that high elephant densities have negative impact on vegetation and other wildlife species. Thus, in areas of high elephant density, managers attempt to re-distribute them or keep their numbers low

  17. Trunkloads of viruses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pellett, Philip E

    2014-12-01

    Elephant populations are under intense pressure internationally from habitat destruction and poaching for ivory and meat. They also face pressure from infectious agents, including elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus 1 (EEHV1), which kills ~20% of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) born in zoos and causes disease in the wild. EEHV1 is one of at least six distinct EEHV in a phylogenetic lineage that appears to represent an ancient but newly recognized subfamily (the Deltaherpesvirinae) in the family Herpesviridae. Copyright © 2014, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  18. Structure of African elephant populations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Siegismund, H R; Arctander, P

    1996-01-01

    The structure of elephant populations from east and south Africa has been analyzed by Georgiadis et al. (1994) on the basis of restriction site variation of mitochondrial DNA. They used F statistics based on identity by descent in tests for subdivision and reached the conclusion that there was a ......The structure of elephant populations from east and south Africa has been analyzed by Georgiadis et al. (1994) on the basis of restriction site variation of mitochondrial DNA. They used F statistics based on identity by descent in tests for subdivision and reached the conclusion...

  19. Do elephants need to sweat?

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    higher increase (Clifford, Kerslake & Waddell 1959). Thus a number of factors studied under laboratory condi- tions in non-sweating human skin are pertinenl to this con- sideration of evaporative waler loss froro elephant skin and we have shown that the evaporative loss could provide the heat transfer necessary for thermal ...

  20. Mycobacterial infection in farmed turbot Scophthalmus maximus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    dos Santos, N M S; do Vale, A; Sousa, M J; Silva, M T

    2002-11-07

    Mycobacteriosis (piscine tuberculosis) has been reported to affect a wide range of freshwater and marine fish species; however, this is the first report describing mycobacterial infections in turbot Scophthalmus maximus. High numbers of granulomas were initially observed in the organs of moribund farmed turbot. Bacteriological analysis of organs with granulomas led to the isolation of Mycobacterium marinum. Further analysis, to determine the prevalence of the infection in the farm and to identify its source, showed the occurrence of a dual infection by M. marinum and M. chelonae. The presence of Nocardia sp. in some of the fish infected with mycobacteria was also detected. The presence of granulomas in internal organs of apparently healthy fish indicated a high prevalence of the disease, a conclusion that was supported by isolating mycobacteria from all fish with or without granulomas. The infection was probably responsible for the mortality observed (approximately 2% mo(-1)), as most of the recently dead fish presented high numbers of granulomas and isolation of mycobacteria was possible from all of the fish. The isolation of M. marinum from the inlet water suggested this as the most plausible source for the infection occurring in the farm.

  1. A contribution to the study of biology of Curculio elephas Gyll. (Coleoptera, Curculionidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Drekić Milan

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available One of the insects that feeds on pedunculate oak acorns and reduces its seed yield is Curculio elephas Gyll. The study of Curculio elephas Gyll is necessary because of the severe damages caused by this insect and also owing to its insufficiently investigated biology. The research was conducted in the common oak seed orchard at Banov Brod, forest estate „Sremska Mitrovica“, and in the entomological laboratory. The adults emerge from the soil chambers from mid July till the beginning of September. The presence of adults, as determined by crown fogging, ranged from the end of July till the beginning of September with the highest number in mid August. After emerging from the soil, females are already fertile with the developed eggs in the ovaries. They start egg laying after 1 to 8 days and they lay from one to seven eggs per day. Egg laying period lasts from 7 to 20 days. Fertility of C. elephas females ranges from 5 to 40 eggs, while their fecundity ranges from 19 to 45 eggs. At the end of the larval stage, larvae bore into the soil and stay there from one to three years. The species hibernates only in the larval stage. C. elephas has a one-year life cycle, while a minor part of the population has a two or three-year life cycle.

  2. Unmanned aerial survey of elephants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vermeulen, Cédric; Lejeune, Philippe; Lisein, Jonathan; Sawadogo, Prosper; Bouché, Philippe

    2013-01-01

    The use of a UAS (Unmanned Aircraft System) was tested to survey large mammals in the Nazinga Game Ranch in the south of Burkina Faso. The Gatewing ×100™ equipped with a Ricoh GR III camera was used to test animal reaction as the UAS passed, and visibility on the images. No reaction was recorded as the UAS passed at a height of 100 m. Observations, made on a set of more than 7000 images, revealed that only elephants (Loxodonta africana) were easily visible while medium and small sized mammals were not. The easy observation of elephants allows experts to enumerate them on images acquired at a height of 100 m. We, therefore, implemented an aerial strip sample count along transects used for the annual wildlife foot count. A total of 34 elephants were recorded on 4 transects, each overflown twice. The elephant density was estimated at 2.47 elephants/km(2) with a coefficient of variation (CV%) of 36.10%. The main drawback of our UAS was its low autonomy (45 min). Increased endurance of small UAS is required to replace manned aircraft survey of large areas (about 1000 km of transect per day vs 40 km for our UAS). The monitoring strategy should be adapted according to the sampling plan. Also, the UAS is as expensive as a second-hand light aircraft. However the logistic and flight implementation are easier, the running costs are lower and its use is safer. Technological evolution will make civil UAS more efficient, allowing them to compete with light aircraft for aerial wildlife surveys.

  3. Unmanned aerial survey of elephants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cédric Vermeulen

    Full Text Available The use of a UAS (Unmanned Aircraft System was tested to survey large mammals in the Nazinga Game Ranch in the south of Burkina Faso. The Gatewing ×100™ equipped with a Ricoh GR III camera was used to test animal reaction as the UAS passed, and visibility on the images. No reaction was recorded as the UAS passed at a height of 100 m. Observations, made on a set of more than 7000 images, revealed that only elephants (Loxodonta africana were easily visible while medium and small sized mammals were not. The easy observation of elephants allows experts to enumerate them on images acquired at a height of 100 m. We, therefore, implemented an aerial strip sample count along transects used for the annual wildlife foot count. A total of 34 elephants were recorded on 4 transects, each overflown twice. The elephant density was estimated at 2.47 elephants/km(2 with a coefficient of variation (CV% of 36.10%. The main drawback of our UAS was its low autonomy (45 min. Increased endurance of small UAS is required to replace manned aircraft survey of large areas (about 1000 km of transect per day vs 40 km for our UAS. The monitoring strategy should be adapted according to the sampling plan. Also, the UAS is as expensive as a second-hand light aircraft. However the logistic and flight implementation are easier, the running costs are lower and its use is safer. Technological evolution will make civil UAS more efficient, allowing them to compete with light aircraft for aerial wildlife surveys.

  4. Diet and distribution of elephant in the Maputo Elephant Reserve, Mozambique

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Boer, WF; Ntumi, CP; Correia, AU; Mafuca, JM

    The distribution and diet of the elephants of the Maputo Elephant Reserve were studied using dung counts, satellite tracking and faecal analysis. The results were compared with earlier data from before the civil war in Mozambique. The elephant population decreased during the civil war, but 180

  5. Elephant-to-Human Transmission of Tuberculosis

    Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Podcasts

    2011-02-23

    This podcast reports on the transmission of TB from elephants to humans. Dr. Rendi Murphree, Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Vanderbilt University Visiting Scholar, discusses the recent elephant-to-human transmission of tuberculosis at an elephant refuge in Tennessee.  Created: 2/23/2011 by National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID).   Date Released: 2/23/2011.

  6. Forest elephant crisis in the Congo Basin.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen Blake

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available Debate over repealing the ivory trade ban dominates conferences of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES. Resolving this controversy requires accurate estimates of elephant population trends and rates of illegal killing. Most African savannah elephant populations are well known; however, the status of forest elephants, perhaps a distinct species, in the vast Congo Basin is unclear. We assessed population status and incidence of poaching from line-transect and reconnaissance surveys conducted on foot in sites throughout the Congo Basin. Results indicate that the abundance and range of forest elephants are threatened from poaching that is most intense close to roads. The probability of elephant presence increased with distance to roads, whereas that of human signs declined. At all distances from roads, the probability of elephant occurrence was always higher inside, compared to outside, protected areas, whereas that of humans was always lower. Inside protected areas, forest elephant density was correlated with the size of remote forest core, but not with size of protected area. Forest elephants must be prioritised in elephant management planning at the continental scale.

  7. Forest elephant crisis in the Congo Basin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blake, Stephen; Strindberg, Samantha; Boudjan, Patrick; Makombo, Calixte; Bila-Isia, Inogwabini; Ilambu, Omari; Grossmann, Falk; Bene-Bene, Lambert; de Semboli, Bruno; Mbenzo, Valentin; S'hwa, Dino; Bayogo, Rosine; Williamson, Liz; Fay, Mike; Hart, John; Maisels, Fiona

    2007-04-01

    Debate over repealing the ivory trade ban dominates conferences of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Resolving this controversy requires accurate estimates of elephant population trends and rates of illegal killing. Most African savannah elephant populations are well known; however, the status of forest elephants, perhaps a distinct species, in the vast Congo Basin is unclear. We assessed population status and incidence of poaching from line-transect and reconnaissance surveys conducted on foot in sites throughout the Congo Basin. Results indicate that the abundance and range of forest elephants are threatened from poaching that is most intense close to roads. The probability of elephant presence increased with distance to roads, whereas that of human signs declined. At all distances from roads, the probability of elephant occurrence was always higher inside, compared to outside, protected areas, whereas that of humans was always lower. Inside protected areas, forest elephant density was correlated with the size of remote forest core, but not with size of protected area. Forest elephants must be prioritised in elephant management planning at the continental scale.

  8. The winter diet of elephant in Eastern Cape Subtropical Thicket, Addo Elephant National Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R.G.T. Paley

    1998-01-01

    Full Text Available Direct observational methods were used to establish the winter diet of elephants in Eastern Cape Subtropical Thicket in the Addo Elephant National Park, thereby determining which plant species were most at risk from elephant herbivory. A total of 70 species were identified as food plants for elephants, with the grass Cynodon dactylon and the succulents Portulacaria afra and Platythyra haeckeliana dominating, both in terms of frequency of feeding events and volume consumed. In view of the fact that elephants represent 78 of the herbivore biomass in the park, it appears likely that elephant feeding restricts the availability of forage for other browsers. Due to the limited time frame of this study, further research is needed to provide a comprehensive record of the elephant diet for all seasons of the year.

  9. Pattern of Innervation of the Upper Gluteus Maximus Muscle ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Having exposed the gluteus maximus, the muscle was transected close to its distal attachment and refl ected superiorly to expose the entry of the neurovascular structures into it from the greater sciatic foramen. The pattern of distribution of the inferior gluteal nerve to the muscle was noted and the left and right in the same ...

  10. Elephants: Big, Strong and Wise. Young Discovery Library Series.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfeffer, Pierre

    This book is written for children ages 5 through 10. Part of a series designed to develop their curiosity, fascinate them and educate them, this volume examines the characteristics and natural history of elephants. Topics included are: (1) elephant's ancestors; (2) elephant life; and (3) training elephants for work. Quiz items are included. (YP)

  11. Factors Influencing Elephants to Destroy Forest Trees Especially ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Elephants are terrestrial mammals which adapt to many habitats ranging from forests to deserts. At birth an elephant weighs up to 120 kg and an average of 4,000 to 6,500 kg at maturity. Elephants are herbivorous and their feeding pattern greatly impact on vegetation. This study examined factors which lead elephants to ...

  12. The Elephants Teach: Creative Writing since 1880

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myers, David Gershom

    2006-01-01

    When Vladimir Nabokov was up for a chair in literature at Harvard, the linguist Roman Jakobson protested: "What's next? Shall we appoint elephants to teach zoology?" That anecdote, with which D. G. Myers begins "The Elephants Teach", perfectly frames the issues this book tackles. Myers explores more than a century of debate over how writing should…

  13. Elephant invasion and escalated depletion of environmental ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    For decades, elephants' invasion is known to be associated with severe environmental consequences leading to escalated depletion o environmental resources (plants, water, wildlife and soil). This paper examined the effects of elephants' activity on the environmental resources inHong and Gombi Local Government areas ...

  14. African bees to control African elephants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vollrath, Fritz; Douglas-Hamilton, Iain

    2002-11-01

    Numbers of elephants have declined in Africa and Asia over the past 30 years while numbers of humans have increased, both substantially. Friction between these two keystone species is reaching levels which are worryingly high from an ecological as well as a political viewpoint. Ways and means must be found to keep the two apart, at least in areas sensitive to each species' survival. The aggressive African bee might be one such method. Here we demonstrate that African bees deter elephants from damaging the vegetation and trees which house their hives. We argue that bees can be employed profitably to protect not only selected trees, but also selected areas, from elephant damage.

  15. Seed Dispersal Potential of Asian Elephants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Harich, Franziska K.; Treydte, Anna Christina; Ogutu, Joseph Ochieng

    2016-01-01

    Elephants, the largest terrestrial mega-herbivores, play an important ecological role in maintaining forest ecosystem diversity. While several plant species strongly rely on African elephants (Loxodonta africana; L. cyclotis) as seed dispersers, little is known about the dispersal potential...... with the longest GPT displayed the highest germination success over time. Unexpectedly, seeds planted with dung had longer germination times than those planted without. We conclude that D. indica does not solely depend on but benefits from dispersal by elephants. The declining numbers of these mega-faunal seed...... dispersers might, therefore, have long-term negative consequences for the recruitment and dispersal dynamics of populations of certain tree species....

  16. African bees to control African elephants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vollrath, Fritz; Douglas-Hamilton, Iain

    2002-11-01

    Numbers of elephants have declined in Africa and Asia over the past 30 years while numbers of humans have increased, both substantially. Friction between these two keystone species is reaching levels which are worryingly high from an ecological as well as a political viewpoint. Ways and means must be found to keep the two apart, at least in areas sensitive to each species' survival. The aggressive African bee might be one such method. Here we demonstrate that African bees deter elephants from damaging the vegetation and trees which house their hives. We argue that bees can be employed profitably to protect not only selected trees, but also selected areas, from elephant damage.

  17. Secondary metabolites from the roots of Astragalus maximus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Ghasemian-Yadegari

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Background and objectives: Astragalus is one of the most abundant genera of flowering plants in Iran. There are a few reports on phytochemical investigation of this valuable genus. Saponins, flavonoids and polysaccharides have been reported as the most important metabolites in Astragalus species. In the present research, we aimed to identify the foremost constituents of Astragalus maximus. Method: Phytochemical analysis of the ethyl acetate (EtOAc fraction of Astragalus maximus roots was performed using different methods of chromatography such as HPLC, SPE and preparative TLC. The structures of the isolated compounds were elucidated on the basis of extensive spectral evidence from 1D and 2D NMR including DQF-COSY, HSQC, HMBC, and DEPT, in comparison with reported values in the literature. Results: Analysis of the extract yielded three flavonoids namely liquiritigenin, formononetin, isoquercitrin and one acylated cycloartane-type saponin, astragaloside I. Conclusion: According to the results of our study, cycloartane-type saponin and flavonoids were the important metabolites in A. maximus.

  18. The Mother of Elephants: 'Lek' Chailert, Elephant Nature Park, and the Gendering of Elephant Husbandry (Op-Ed)

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Jacqui Sadashige

    2015-01-01

    ...). [...]I ultimately argue that ENP has effectively 'feminized' both the management of elephants and the animal itself, a move that has not only become a key to its success but is now effecting a wide-ranging...

  19. Detusking fence-breaker elephants as an approach in human-elephant conflict mitigation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mutinda, Matthew; Chenge, Geoffrey; Gakuya, Francis; Otiende, Moses; Omondi, Patrick; Kasiki, Samuel; Soriguer, Ramón C; Alasaad, Samer

    2014-01-01

    Human-elephant conflict (HEC) is a recurring problem that appears wherever the range of elephants and humans overlap. Different methods including the use of electric fences are used worldwide to mitigate this conflict. Nonetheless, elephants learn quickly that their tusks do not conduct electricity and use them to break down fences (fence-breakers). In Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Kenya, destructive elephants (Loxodonta africana) were monitored between 2010 and 2013. The fence-breaking rate reached four incidents (fence-breaking) per elephant per 100 days. Ten bull males and 57 females were identified as fence-breakers. The bulls were involved in 85.07% and the females in 14.93% of incidents. The Kenya Wildlife Service approved detusking (partial cutting of tusks) in four of the 10 fence-breakers as a way of preventing them from breaking down fences, thereby mitigating HEC in the Conservancy. The result of the detusking was a drastic six-fold reduction in damage to fences (range: 1.67 to 14.5 times less fence-breaking) by the four worst fence-breaker elephants, because with trimmed tusks elephants lack the tools to break down fences. Detusking could not totally eliminate fence destruction because, despite lacking their tools, elephants can still destroy fences using their heads, bodies and trunks, albeit less effectively. On the other hand, apart from inherent aesthetic considerations, the detusking of elephants may have certain negative effects on factors such as elephants' social hierarchies, breeding, mate selection and their access to essential minerals and food. Elephant detusking seems to be effective in drastically reducing fence-breaking incidents, nonetheless its negative effects on behaviour, access to food and its aesthetical consequences still need to be further studied and investigated.

  20. Detusking Fence-Breaker Elephants as an Approach in Human-Elephant Conflict Mitigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mutinda, Matthew; Chenge, Geoffrey; Gakuya, Francis; Otiende, Moses; Omondi, Patrick; Kasiki, Samuel; Soriguer, Ramón C.; Alasaad, Samer

    2014-01-01

    Background Human-elephant conflict (HEC) is a recurring problem that appears wherever the range of elephants and humans overlap. Different methods including the use of electric fences are used worldwide to mitigate this conflict. Nonetheless, elephants learn quickly that their tusks do not conduct electricity and use them to break down fences (fence-breakers). Methodology/Principal Findings In Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Kenya, destructive elephants (Loxodonta africana) were monitored between 2010 and 2013. The fence-breaking rate reached four incidents (fence-breaking) per elephant per 100 days. Ten bull males and 57 females were identified as fence-breakers. The bulls were involved in 85.07% and the females in 14.93% of incidents. The Kenya Wildlife Service approved detusking (partial cutting of tusks) in four of the 10 fence-breakers as a way of preventing them from breaking down fences, thereby mitigating HEC in the Conservancy. The result of the detusking was a drastic six-fold reduction in damage to fences (range: 1.67 to 14.5 times less fence-breaking) by the four worst fence-breaker elephants, because with trimmed tusks elephants lack the tools to break down fences. Detusking could not totally eliminate fence destruction because, despite lacking their tools, elephants can still destroy fences using their heads, bodies and trunks, albeit less effectively. On the other hand, apart from inherent aesthetic considerations, the detusking of elephants may have certain negative effects on factors such as elephants' social hierarchies, breeding, mate selection and their access to essential minerals and food. Conclusions Elephant detusking seems to be effective in drastically reducing fence-breaking incidents, nonetheless its negative effects on behaviour, access to food and its aesthetical consequences still need to be further studied and investigated. PMID:24614538

  1. Onboard Acoustic Recording from Diving Elephant Seals

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Fletcher, Stacia

    1996-01-01

    The aim of this project was to record sounds impinging on free-ranging northern elephant seals, Mirounga angustirostris, a first step in determining the importance of LFS to these animals as they dive...

  2. Laparoscopic vasectomy in African elephants (Loxodonta africana).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubio-Martínez, Luis M; Hendrickson, Dean A; Stetter, Mark; Zuba, Jeffery R; Marais, Hendrik J

    2014-07-01

    To describe a surgical technique for, and outcome after, laparoscopic vasectomy of free-ranging elephants. Case series. African elephants (Loxodonta africana; n = 14). Male elephants (12-35 years old) were anesthetized with etorphine and supported in a sling in a modified standing position, and positive pressure ventilated with oxygen. Anesthesia was maintained with IV etorphine. Vasectomy was performed under field conditions by bilateral, open-approach, flank laparoscopy with the abdomen insufflated with filtered ambient air. A 4-cm segment of each ductus deferens was excised. Behavior and incision healing were recorded for 8 months postoperatively. Successful bilateral vasectomy (surgical time, 57-125 minutes) was confirmed by histologic examination of excised tissue. Recovery was uneventful without signs of abnormal behavior. Large intestine lacerations (3 elephants; 1 full and 2 partial thickness) were sutured extracorporeally. One elephant found dead at 6 weeks, had no prior abnormal signs. Skin incisions healed without complication. Laparoscopic vasectomy can be performed in African elephants in their natural environment. © Copyright 2014 by The American College of Veterinary Surgeons.

  3. How Bees Deter Elephants: Beehive Trials with Forest Elephants (Loxodonta africana cyclotis) in Gabon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ngama, Steeve; Korte, Lisa; Bindelle, Jérôme; Vermeulen, Cédric; Poulsen, John R

    2016-01-01

    In Gabon, like elsewhere in Africa, crops are often sources of conflict between humans and wildlife. Wildlife damage to crops can drastically reduce income, amplifying poverty and creating a negative perception of wild animal conservation among rural people. In this context, crop-raiding animals like elephants quickly become "problem animals". To deter elephants from raiding crops beehives have been successfully employed in East Africa; however, this method has not yet been tested in Central Africa. We experimentally examined whether the presence of Apis mellifera adansonii, the African honey bee species present in Central Africa, deters forest elephants (Loxodonta Africana cyclotis) from feeding on fruit trees. We show for the first time that the effectiveness of beehives as deterrents of elephants is related to bee activity. Empty hives and those housing colonies of low bee activity do not deter elephants all the time; but beehives with high bee activity do. Although elephant disturbance of hives does not impede honey production, there is a tradeoff between deterrence and the quantity of honey produced. To best achieve the dual goals of deterring elephants and producing honey colonies must maintain an optimum activity level of 40 to 60 bee movements per minute. Thus, beehives colonized by Apis mellifera adansonii bees can be effective elephant deterrents, but people must actively manage hives to maintain bee colonies at the optimum activity level.

  4. How Bees Deter Elephants: Beehive Trials with Forest Elephants (Loxodonta africana cyclotis in Gabon.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steeve Ngama

    Full Text Available In Gabon, like elsewhere in Africa, crops are often sources of conflict between humans and wildlife. Wildlife damage to crops can drastically reduce income, amplifying poverty and creating a negative perception of wild animal conservation among rural people. In this context, crop-raiding animals like elephants quickly become "problem animals". To deter elephants from raiding crops beehives have been successfully employed in East Africa; however, this method has not yet been tested in Central Africa. We experimentally examined whether the presence of Apis mellifera adansonii, the African honey bee species present in Central Africa, deters forest elephants (Loxodonta Africana cyclotis from feeding on fruit trees. We show for the first time that the effectiveness of beehives as deterrents of elephants is related to bee activity. Empty hives and those housing colonies of low bee activity do not deter elephants all the time; but beehives with high bee activity do. Although elephant disturbance of hives does not impede honey production, there is a tradeoff between deterrence and the quantity of honey produced. To best achieve the dual goals of deterring elephants and producing honey colonies must maintain an optimum activity level of 40 to 60 bee movements per minute. Thus, beehives colonized by Apis mellifera adansonii bees can be effective elephant deterrents, but people must actively manage hives to maintain bee colonies at the optimum activity level.

  5. Humans and elephants as treefall drivers in African savannas

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Mograbi, PJ

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available elephant Loxodonta africana alter woody vegetation in savannas through removal of large trees and activities that may increase shrub cover. Interactive effects of both humans and elephants with fire may also alter vegetation structure and composition. Here...

  6. Investigating the seismic signal of elephants: using seismology to mitigate elephant human conflict

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webb, S. J.; Manzi, M.; Naidoo, A.; Raveloson, A.

    2015-12-01

    Human interactions with wild elephants are often a source of conflict, as elephants invade inhabited lands looking for sustenance. In order to mitigate these interactions, a number of elephant defense systems are under development. These include electric fences, bees and the playback of warning calls recorded from elephants. With the discovery that elephants use seismic signals to communicate (O'Connell-Rodwell et al., 2006, Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol.), it is hoped that seismic signals can also be used to help reduce conflict. Our current research project investigates the spectral content of the elephant seismic signal that travels through the ground using a variety of geophones and seismometers. Our experimental setup used a Geometrics Geode 24 channel seismic system with an array of 24 geophones spaced 1 m apart in an area of compact soil overlying weathered granites. Initially we used 14 Hz vertical geophones. The ground and ambient noise conditions were characterized by recording several hammer shots. These were used to identify the air wave, wind noise, and the direct wave, which had a dominant frequency of ~50 Hz. Several trained elephants that 'rumble' on command were then deployed ~5 m perpendicular to a line of 24 (14 Hz) vertical geophones between the 1 and 10 m geophone positions. We recorded a number of different elephants and configurations, and digitally recorded video for comparison. An additional deployment of 20 (14 Hz) horizontal geophones was also used. For all data, the sample interval was 0.25 ms and the recording length was 16 s as the timing of the rumbles could not be precisely controlled. We were able to identify the airwave due to the elephant's rumble with velocities between 305-310 m/s and the ground seismic signal due to the rumble with frequencies between 20-30 Hz. Our next experiment will include broadband seismometers at a further distance, to more fully characterize the frequency content of the elephant signal.

  7. Minimum cost of transport in Asian elephants: do we really need a bigger elephant?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langman, Vaughan A; Rowe, Michael F; Roberts, Thomas J; Langman, Nathanial V; Taylor, Charles R

    2012-05-01

    Body mass is the primary determinant of an animal's energy requirements. At their optimum walking speed, large animals have lower mass-specific energy requirements for locomotion than small ones. In animals ranging in size from 0.8 g (roach) to 260 kg (zebu steer), the minimum cost of transport (COT(min)) decreases with increasing body size roughly as COT(min)∝body mass (M(b))(-0.316±0.023) (95% CI). Typically, the variation of COT(min) with body mass is weaker at the intraspecific level as a result of physiological and geometric similarity within closely related species. The interspecific relationship estimates that an adult elephant, with twice the body mass of a mid-sized elephant, should be able to move its body approximately 23% cheaper than the smaller elephant. We sought to determine whether adult Asian and sub-adult African elephants follow a single quasi-intraspecific relationship, and extend the interspecific relationship between COT(min) and body mass to 12-fold larger animals. Physiological and possibly geometric similarity between adult Asian elephants and sub-adult African elephants caused body mass to have a no effect on COT(min) (COT(min)∝M(b)(0.007±0.455)). The COT(min) in elephants occurred at walking speeds between 1.3 and ∼1.5 m s(-1), and at Froude numbers between 0.10 and 0.24. The addition of adult Asian elephants to the interspecific relationship resulted in COT(min)∝M (-0.277±0.046)(b). The quasi-intraspecific relationship between body mass and COT(min) among elephants caused the interspecific relationship to underestimate COT(min) in larger elephants.

  8. The consequences of poaching and anthropogenic change for forest elephants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breuer, Thomas; Maisels, Fiona; Fishlock, Vicki

    2016-10-01

    Poaching has devastated forest elephant populations (Loxodonta cyclotis), and their habitat is dramatically changing. The long-term effects of poaching and other anthropogenic threats have been well studied in savannah elephants (Loxodonta africana), but the impacts of these changes for Central Africa's forest elephants have not been discussed. We examined potential repercussions of these threats and the related consequences for forest elephants in Central Africa by summarizing the lessons learned from savannah elephants and small forest elephant populations in West Africa. Forest elephant social organization is less known than the social organization of savannah elephants, but the close evolutionary history of these species suggests that they will respond to anthropogenic threats in broadly similar ways. The loss of older, experienced individuals in an elephant population disrupts ecological, social, and population parameters. Severe reduction of elephant abundance within Central Africa's forests can alter plant communities and ecosystem functions. Poaching, habitat alterations, and human population increase are probably compressing forest elephants into protected areas and increasing human-elephant conflict, which negatively affects their conservation. We encourage conservationists to look beyond documenting forest elephant population decline and address the causes of these declines when developing conversation strategies. We suggest assessing the effectiveness of the existing protected-area networks for landscape connectivity in light of current industrial and infrastructure development. Longitudinal assessments of the effects of landscape changes on forest elephant sociality and behavior are also needed. Finally, lessons learned from West African elephant population loss and habitat fragmentation should be used to inform strategies for land-use planning and managing human-elephant interactions. © 2016 Society for Conservation Biology.

  9. Pica and the elephant's ear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mihailidou, Helen; Galanakis, Emmanouil; Paspalaki, Penelope; Borgia, Pelagia; Mantzouranis, Evangelia

    2002-11-01

    This is a case report of an otherwise healthy 2-year-old boy with a history of pica, associated with iron deficiency anemia. This boy was referred to our department for a neurologic evaluation because of an acute episode of sialorrhea, difficulty in speaking, dysphagia, and repeated swallowing movements. An uncertain episode of a brief-duration still gaze was also reported. In addition, the history revealed that the child had earlier ingested a leaf from a poisonous houseplant called Colocasia esculenta, also known as "elephant's ear." The habit of pica subsided after treatment with iron supplements. A 9-month follow-up period was uneventful. Neurologic manifestations can accompany accidental intoxications of some non-nutrient substances. Thus, pica must be suspected in children with acute behavior alterations.

  10. Prolonged drought results in starvation of African elephant (Loxodonta africana)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wato, Yussuf A.; Heitkonig, Ignas; Wieren, van Sipke E.; Wahungu, Geoffrey; Prins, Herbert H.T.; Langevelde, van Frank

    2016-01-01

    Elephant inhabiting arid and semi-arid savannas often experience periods of drought, which, if prolonged, may cause mortality. During dry periods, elephant aggregate around water sources and deplete local forage availability. However, the relationships between adult elephant mortality and both

  11. Mycobacterium tuberculosis Infection among Asian Elephants in Captivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simpson, Gary; Zimmerman, Ralph; Shashkina, Elena; Chen, Liang; Richard, Michael; Bradford, Carol M; Dragoo, Gwen A; Saiers, Rhonda L; Peloquin, Charles A; Daley, Charles L; Planet, Paul; Narachenia, Apurva; Mathema, Barun; Kreiswirth, Barry N

    2017-03-01

    Although awareness of tuberculosis among captive elephants is increasing, antituberculosis therapy for these animals is not standardized. We describe Mycobacterium tuberculosis transmission between captive elephants based on whole genome analysis and report a successful combination treatment. Infection control protocols and careful monitoring of treatment of captive elephants with tuberculosis are warranted.

  12. Calcific Tendinitis of the Gluteus Maximus in a Golfer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Ariel A; Stang, Thomas S; Fritz, Jan; Papp, Derek F

    2016-09-01

    Calcific tendinitis is a relatively rare condition in which calcium is inappropriately deposited in tendons, resulting in a local inflammatory reaction that can cause severe symptoms in certain cases. The cause of this disease process is not completely understood, although repetitive microtrauma likely plays a role in its development. Although the disorder most often involves the rotator cuff, it can affect other structures throughout the body, such as the tendons about the ankle and hip-including the rectus femoris and gluteus maximus. Nonoperative management typically involves using an anti-inflammatory medication and activity modification and can be augmented with formal physical therapy and modalities. Although nonoperative management provides adequate relief for many patients, sometimes operative debridement of the calcific deposit with or without repair of the involved tendon is required. The authors report an unusual case of calcific tendinitis of the gluteus maximus insertion in a golfer. The patient had tried nonoperative treatment for approximately 2 years with no real relief, and a recent exacerbation of the pain was significantly delaying his return to sport. Although plain radiographs did not show abnormalities, magnetic resonance imaging showed a calcific deposit in the insertion of the gluteus maximus tendon. After discussing further treatment options with the patient, the decision was made to remove the deposit and repair the insertion. He recovered completely and was able to return to play. The frequency, pathogenesis, and treatment of this condition are discussed in this case report, as well as the possible link to golf in this patient. [Orthopedics.2016; 39(5):e997-e1000.]. Copyright 2016, SLACK Incorporated.

  13. The elephant interferon gamma assay: a contribution to diagnosis of tuberculosis in elephants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angkawanish, T; Morar, D; van Kooten, P; Bontekoning, I; Schreuder, J; Maas, M; Wajjwalku, W; Sirimalaisuwan, A; Michel, A; Tijhaar, E; Rutten, V

    2013-11-01

    Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tb) has been shown to be the main causative agent of tuberculosis in elephants worldwide. M. tb may be transmitted from infected humans to other species including elephants and vice versa, in case of prolonged intensive contact. An accurate diagnostic approach covering all phases of the infection in elephants is required. As M. tb is an intracellular pathogen and cell-mediated immune (CMI) responses are elicited early after infection, the skin test is the CMI assay of choice in humans and cattle. However, this test is not applicable in elephants. The interferon gamma (IFN-γ) assay is considered a good alternative for the skin test in general, validated for use in cattle and humans. This study was aimed at development of an IFN-γ assay applicable for diagnosis of tuberculosis in elephants. Recombinant elephant IFN-γ (rEpIFN-γ) produced in eukaryotic cells was used to immunize mice and generate the monoclonal antibodies. Hybridomas were screened for IFN-γ-specific monoclonal antibody production and subcloned, and antibodies were isotyped and affinity purified. Western blot confirmed recognition of the rEpIFN-γ. The optimal combination of capture and detection antibodies selected was able to detect rEpIFN-γ in concentrations as low as 1 pg/ml. The assay was shown to be able to detect the native elephant IFN-γ, elicited in positive-control cultures (pokeweed mitogen (PWM), phorbol myristate acetate plus ionomycin (PMA/I)) of both Asian and African elephant whole-blood cultures (WBC). Preliminary data were generated using WBC from non-infected elephants, a M. tb infection-suspected elephant and a culture-confirmed M. tb-infected elephant. The latter showed measurable production of IFN-γ after stimulation with ESAT6/CFP10 PPDB and PPDA in concentration ranges as elicited in WBC by Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC)-specific antigens in other species. Hence, the IFN-γ assay presented potential as a diagnostic tool for the

  14. African Elephant Play, Competence and Social Complexity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Phyllis C. Lee

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Play in African elephants (Loxodonta africana is a life-long activity, with both males and females engaging in a variety of forms of play into their 40s and 50s. Play represents a potentially enriching social and physical activity for elephants, but also one with energetic costs and other risks. Having followed a cohort of individually recognized elephants from birth to adulthood in Amboseli, Kenya, we suggest here some long-term consequences for the role of play in the development of social and physical skills in elephants. Playful elephant calves appeared to be individuals with greater capacity to resist growth insults or stresses and had a reduced risk of dying as adults. The sexes differed in the social contexts and consequences of their early play experiences. Juvenile males used play as a mechanism to enable relaxed contacts with relative strangers, providing vital physical and behavioral information about future friends, associates and reproductive competitors. Females, by contrast, used play as one of the many mechanism for sustaining their social, protective and leadership roles within families.

  15. Emigration and retention of Palinurus elephas (Fabricius, 1787 in a central western Mediterranean marine protected area

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Cristina Follesa

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available This study describes the results obtained by applying the Arnason Schwartz multistate mark-recapture model to eight years of data collected in and around a small no-fishing marine protected area (MPA; 4 km2 in the central western Mediterranean. From 1997 to 2004, a total of 4044 specimens of Palinurus elephas (Fabr., 1787 were tagged and 317 recaptured. The most parsimonious model which best explained the data variability was that of a temporally constant rate of apparent survival and movement in each of the two strata. The absence of any temporal influence in the apparent survival rate inside the no-take area suggested that spillover and mortality are constant for each period of the study. The lower apparent survival rate in surrounding zones than inside the MPA (0.26 ± 0.04 (SE vs 0.94 ± 0.03 (SE is presumed to be a function of fishing effort. A continuous movement of P. elephas across the boundary of the small MPA was also tested. This information on retention of lobsters in the MPA contributes to our understanding of the effect of introducing MPAs into a managed commercial fishery system.

  16. Sexual dimorphism in African elephant social rumbles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baotic, Anton; Stoeger, Angela S

    2017-01-01

    This study used the source and filter theory approach to analyse sex differences in the acoustic features of African elephant (Loxodonta africana) low-frequency rumbles produced in social contexts ('social rumbles'). Permuted discriminant function analysis revealed that rumbles contain sufficient acoustic information to predict the sex of a vocalizing individual. Features primarily related to the vocalizer's size, i.e. fundamental frequency variables and vocal tract resonant frequencies, differed significantly between the sexes. Yet, controlling for age and size effects, our results indicate that the pronounced sexual size dimorphism in African elephants is partly, but not exclusively, responsible for sexual differences in social rumbles. This provides a scientific foundation for future work investigating the perceptual and functional relevance of specific acoustic characteristics in African elephant vocal sexual communication.

  17. What is the use of elephant hair?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Conor L Myhrvold

    Full Text Available The idea that low surface densities of hairs could be a heat loss mechanism is understood in engineering and has been postulated in some thermal studies of animals. However, its biological implications, both for thermoregulation as well as for the evolution of epidermal structures, have not yet been noted. Since early epidermal structures are poorly preserved in the fossil record, we study modern elephants to infer not only the heat transfer effect of present-day sparse hair, but also its potential evolutionary origins. Here we use a combination of theoretical and empirical approaches, and a range of hair densities determined from photographs, to test whether sparse hairs increase convective heat loss from elephant skin, thus serving an intentional evolutionary purpose. Our conclusion is that elephants are covered with hair that significantly enhances their thermoregulation ability by over 5% under all scenarios considered, and by up to 23% at low wind speeds where their thermoregulation needs are greatest. The broader biological significance of this finding suggests that maintaining a low-density hair cover can be evolutionary purposeful and beneficial, which is consistent with the fact that elephants have the greatest need for heat loss of any modern terrestrial animal because of their high body-volume to skin-surface ratio. Elephant hair is the first documented example in nature where increasing heat transfer due to a low hair density covering may be a desirable effect, and therefore raises the possibility of such a covering for similarly sized animals in the past. This elephant example dispels the widely-held assumption that in modern endotherms body hair functions exclusively as an insulator and could therefore be a first step to resolving the prior paradox of why hair was able to evolve in a world much warmer than our own.

  18. Elephant-Initiated Interactions with Humans: Individual Differences and Specific Preferences in Captive African Elephants (Loxodonta africana

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zoë T. Rossman

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available South Africa has seen a recent increase in the number of African elephants (Loxodonta africana maintained in reserves and parks and managed in free contact, where they may spend a significant amount of time in close proximity to humans. This study investigates how individual elephants choose to initiate interactions with humans by examining whether interaction types and frequencies vary both between elephants and with regards to the category of human involved in the interaction. Observations were made on a herd of seven captive African elephants frequently exposed to elephant handlers (guides, volunteers (who carry out general observations for the park’s research unit, and tourists. The elephants differed in the frequencies with which they initiated interactions with each category of human and in the types of behaviors they used to initiate interactions. However, all of the elephants interacted most frequently with guides. Certain individual elephants showed preferences in interacting with specific guides, indicating particular elephant-guide bonds. This study provides evidence for elephant-handler bonds as well as information on the extent of interactions between humans and African elephants managed in free contact.

  19. Elephant footprint Pegada de elefante

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Flávio Moura

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available This brief comment examines the reception of a specifi c book: Elephant (2000, by Francisco Alvim. The hiphotesys is that the book forms a particularly revealing fact of the relationship among authors, reviewers, editors and press in Brazil and therefore shows itself as adequated to illustrate ideas by Pierre Bourdieu about the literary fi eld functioning. Keywords: Elphant by Francisco Alvim. Pierre Bourdieu. Literary field. Literary production in Brazil. Este breve comentário examina a recepção de um livro específi co: Elefante (2000, de Francisco Alvim. A hipótese é a de que o livro confi gura caso particularmente revelador das relações entre escritores, críticos, editoras e imprensa no Brasil e portanto, mostra-se adequado para ilustrar apontamentos de Pierre Bourdieu a respeito do funcionamento do campo literário. Palavras-chave: Elefante de Francisco Alvim. Pierre Bourdieu. Campo literário. Produção literária no Brasil.

  20. Managing Heterogeneity in Elephant Distribution: Interactions between Elephant Population Density and Surface-Water Availability

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Simon Chamaillé-Jammes; Marion Valeix; Hervé Fritz

    2007-01-01

    1. Concerns over the ecological impacts of high African elephant Loxodonta africana densities suggest that it may be necessary to control their numbers locally, although the best management approach...

  1. The anatomical and functional relation between gluteus maximus and fascia lata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stecco, Antonio; Antonio, Stecco; Gilliar, Wolfgang; Wolfgang, Gilliar; Hill, Robert; Robert, Hill; Fullerton, Brad; Stecco, Carla; Carla, Stecco

    2013-10-01

    There is not full agreement regarding the distal insertions of the gluteus maximus muscle (GM), particularly the insertions into the iliotibial band and lateral intermuscular septum. 6 cadavers, 4 males and 2 females, mean age 69 yr, were dissected to evaluate the insertions of the GM into the iliotibial band, fascia lata, lateral intermuscular septum and femur. The iliotibial band is a reinforcement of the fascia lata and cannot be separated from it. Its inner side is in continuity with the lateral intermuscular septum, which divides the quadriceps from the hamstring. In all subjects the gluteus maximus presented a major insertion into the fascia lata, so large that the iliotibial tract could be considered a tendon of insertion of the gluteus maximus. The fascial insertion of the gluteus maximus muscle could explain the transmission of the forces from the thoracolumbar fascia to the knee. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Poaching empties critical Central African wilderness of forest elephants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poulsen, John R; Koerner, Sally E; Moore, Sarah; Medjibe, Vincent P; Blake, Stephen; Clark, Connie J; Akou, Mark Ella; Fay, Michael; Meier, Amelia; Okouyi, Joseph; Rosin, Cooper; White, Lee J T

    2017-02-20

    Elephant populations are in peril everywhere, but forest elephants in Central Africa have sustained alarming losses in the last decade [1]. Large, remote protected areas are thought to best safeguard forest elephants by supporting large populations buffered from habitat fragmentation, edge effects and human pressures. One such area, the Minkébé National Park (MNP), Gabon, was created chiefly for its reputation of harboring a large elephant population. MNP held the highest densities of elephants in Central Africa at the turn of the century, and was considered a critical sanctuary for forest elephants because of its relatively large size and isolation. We assessed population change in the park and its surroundings between 2004 and 2014. Using two independent modeling approaches, we estimated a 78-81% decline in elephant numbers over ten years - a loss of more than 25,000 elephants. While poaching occurs from within Gabon, cross-border poaching largely drove the precipitous drop in elephant numbers. With nearly 50% of forest elephants in Central Africa thought to reside in Gabon [1], their loss from the park is a considerable setback for the preservation of the species. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Elephant invasion and escalated depletion of environmental ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... emigration of wild animals (41.8%), blockage of water ways (35.8%) and extinction of some less resistant plant species (17.8%). Further investigation revealed that large sum of money was lost due to elephants' activity on the horticultural crops as mango (N1,547,946.67), orange (N648,120.00) and guava (N634600.00).

  4. Evaluating herbivore extinction probabilities in Addo Elephant ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    . (1991) that did not take density dependence into account and that were based on census data, suggest that many of the herbivore species in Addo Elephant National Park (AENP) are vulnerable to local extinction. As a result of low ...

  5. Behavioural and biochemical stress responses of Palinurus elephas after exposure to boat noise pollution in tank.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Filiciotto, Francesco; Vazzana, Mirella; Celi, Monica; Maccarrone, Vincenzo; Ceraulo, Maria; Buffa, Gaspare; Di Stefano, Vincenzo; Mazzola, Salvatore; Buscaino, Giuseppa

    2014-07-15

    This study examined the effects of boat noise on the behavioural and biochemical parameters of the Mediterranean spiny lobster (Palinurus elephas). The experiment was conducted in a tank equipped with a video and audio recording system. 18 experimental trials, assigned to boat noise and control conditions, were performed using lobsters in single and group of 4 specimens. After a 1h habituation period, we audio- and video-recorded the lobsters for 1h. During the experimental phase, the animals assigned to the boat groups were exposed to boat noise pollution (a random sequence of boat noises). Exposure to the noise produced significant variations in locomotor behaviours and haemolymphatic parameters. Our results indicate that the lobsters exposed to boat noises increased significantly their locomotor activities and haemolymphatic bioindicator of stressful conditions such as glucose, total proteins, Hsp70 expression and THC when tested both singly and in groups. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Mammoth and Elephant Phylogenetic Relationships: Mammut Americanum, the Missing Outgroup

    OpenAIRE

    Ludovic Orlando; Catherine Hänni; Douady, Christophe J

    2007-01-01

    At the morphological level, the woolly mammoth has most often been considered as the sister-species of Asian elephants, but at the DNA level, different studies have found support for proximity with African elephants. Recent reports have increased the available sequence data and apparently solved the discrepancy, finding mammoths to be most closely related to Asian elephants. However, we demonstrate here that the three competing topologies have similar likelihood, bayesian and parsimony suppor...

  7. A Comparison of Walking Rates Between Wild and Zoo African Elephants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Lance J; Chase, Michael J; Hacker, Charlotte E

    2016-01-01

    With increased scrutiny surrounding the welfare of elephants in zoological institutions, it is important to have empirical evidence on their current welfare status. If elephants are not receiving adequate exercise, it could lead to obesity, which can lead to many issues including acyclicity and potentially heart disease. The goal of the current study was to compare the walking rates of elephants in the wild versus elephants in zoos to determine if elephants are walking similar distances relative to their wild counterparts. Eleven wild elephants throughout different habitats and locations in Botswana were compared to 8 elephants at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Direct comparisons revealed no significant difference in average walking rates of zoo elephants when compared with wild elephants. These results suggest that elephants at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park walk similar rates to those of wild elephants and may be meeting their exercise needs.

  8. Insect pheromones and precursors in female African elephant urine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodwin, Thomas E; Eggert, Mindy S; House, Sam J; Weddell, Margaret E; Schulte, Bruce A; Rasmussen, L E L

    2006-08-01

    Using automated solid-phase dynamic extraction and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, our search for urinary chemical signals from ovulatory female African elephants (Loxodonta africana) has revealed the bark beetle aggregation pheromones frontalin, exo-brevicomin, and endo-brevicomin, as well as their precursors and the aphid alarm pheromones (E,E)-alpha-farnesene and (E)-beta-farnesene. Enantiomeric ratios for brevicomins have been determined. Prior discovery of common insect/elephant pheromones in Asian elephants, namely, (Z)-7-dodecenyl acetate and frontalin, suggests that the present findings may yield valuable insights into chemical communication among African elephants.

  9. Isoleucine epimerization ages of the dwarf elephants of Sicily

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belluomini, Giorgio; Bada, Jeffrey L.

    1985-07-01

    The isoleucine epimerization reaction has been used to date tooth enamel from dwarf elephants collected from the Sicilian caves of Spinagallo and Puntali. Elephant teeth from the Isernia la Pineta deposit in central Italy, dated at ˜700 ka by potassium-argon (K-Ar) and paleomagnetics, were used for calibration of the isoleucine epimerization rate. The ages determined for the dwarf elephants found at the Spinagallo Cave are considerably older than the more robust dwarf species found at the Puntali Cave. These dates suggest that more than one invasion of continental elephants have taken place on Sicily. The subsequent isolation of the continental species has apparently produced varying stages of dwarfism.

  10. Application of stereo photogrammetric techniques for measuring African Elephants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. J Hall-Martin

    1979-01-01

    Full Text Available Measurements of shoulder height and back length of African elephants were obtained by means of stereo photogrammetric techniques. A pair of Zeiss UMK 10/1318 cameras, mounted on a steel frame on the back of a vehicle, were used to photograph the elephants in the Addo Elephant National Park, Republic of South Africa. Several modifications of normal photogrammetry procedure applicable to the field situation (eg. control points and the computation of results (eg. relative orientation are briefly mentioned. Six elephants were immobilised after being photographed and the measurements obtained from them agreed within a range of 1 cm-10 cm with the photogrammetric measurements.

  11. Culture-independent investigation of the microbiome associated with the nematode Acrobeloides maximus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baquiran, Jean-Paul; Thater, Brian; Sedky, Sammy; De Ley, Paul; Crowley, David; Orwin, Paul M

    2013-01-01

    Symbioses between metazoans and microbes are widespread and vital to many ecosystems. Recent work with several nematode species has suggested that strong associations with microbial symbionts may also be common among members of this phylu. In this work we explore possible symbiosis between bacteria and the free living soil bacteriovorous nematode Acrobeloides maximus. We used a soil microcosm approach to expose A. maximus populations grown monoxenically on RFP labeled Escherichia coli in a soil slurry. Worms were recovered by density gradient separation and examined using both culture-independent and isolation methods. A 16S rRNA gene survey of the worm-associated bacteria was compared to the soil and to a similar analysis using Caenorhabditis elegans N2. Recovered A. maximus populations were maintained on cholesterol agar and sampled to examine the population dynamics of the microbiome. A consistent core microbiome was extracted from A. maximus that differed from those in the bulk soil or the C. elegans associated set. Three genera, Ochrobactrum, Pedobacter, and Chitinophaga, were identified at high levels only in the A. maximus populations, which were less diverse than the assemblage associated with C. elegans. Putative symbiont populations were maintained for at least 4 months post inoculation, although the levels decreased as the culture aged. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) using probes specific for Ochrobactrum and Pedobacter stained bacterial cells in formaldehyde fixed nematode guts. Three microorganisms were repeatedly observed in association with Acrobeloides maximus when recovered from soil microcosms. We isolated several Ochrobactrum sp. and Pedobacter sp., and demonstrated that they inhabit the nematode gut by FISH. Although their role in A. maximus is not resolved, we propose possible mutualistic roles for these bacteria in protection of the host against pathogens and facilitating enzymatic digestion of other ingested bacteria.

  12. Culture-independent investigation of the microbiome associated with the nematode Acrobeloides maximus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Paul Baquiran

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Symbioses between metazoans and microbes are widespread and vital to many ecosystems. Recent work with several nematode species has suggested that strong associations with microbial symbionts may also be common among members of this phylu. In this work we explore possible symbiosis between bacteria and the free living soil bacteriovorous nematode Acrobeloides maximus. METHODOLOGY: We used a soil microcosm approach to expose A. maximus populations grown monoxenically on RFP labeled Escherichia coli in a soil slurry. Worms were recovered by density gradient separation and examined using both culture-independent and isolation methods. A 16S rRNA gene survey of the worm-associated bacteria was compared to the soil and to a similar analysis using Caenorhabditis elegans N2. Recovered A. maximus populations were maintained on cholesterol agar and sampled to examine the population dynamics of the microbiome. RESULTS: A consistent core microbiome was extracted from A. maximus that differed from those in the bulk soil or the C. elegans associated set. Three genera, Ochrobactrum, Pedobacter, and Chitinophaga, were identified at high levels only in the A. maximus populations, which were less diverse than the assemblage associated with C. elegans. Putative symbiont populations were maintained for at least 4 months post inoculation, although the levels decreased as the culture aged. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH using probes specific for Ochrobactrum and Pedobacter stained bacterial cells in formaldehyde fixed nematode guts. CONCLUSIONS: Three microorganisms were repeatedly observed in association with Acrobeloides maximus when recovered from soil microcosms. We isolated several Ochrobactrum sp. and Pedobacter sp., and demonstrated that they inhabit the nematode gut by FISH. Although their role in A. maximus is not resolved, we propose possible mutualistic roles for these bacteria in protection of the host against pathogens and

  13. The ecological consequences of forest elephant declines for Afrotropical forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poulsen, John R; Rosin, Cooper; Meier, Amelia; Mills, Emily; Nunez, Chase; Koerner, Sally E; Blanchard, Emily; Callejas, Jennifer; Moore, Sarah; Sowers, Mark

    2017-10-27

    Poaching is rapidly extirpating African forest elephants (Loxodonta cyclotis) from most of their historical range, leaving vast areas of elephant-free tropical forest. Elephants are ecological engineers that create and maintain forest habitat, thus their loss will have strong consequences for the composition and structure of Afrotropical forests. We evaluated the roles of forest elephants in seed dispersal, nutrient recycling, and herbivory and physical damage to predict the cascading ecological effects of their population declines. Loss of seed dispersal by elephants will favor tree species dispersed abiotically and by smaller dispersal agents, with tree species composition depending on the downstream effects of changes in elephant nutrient cycling and browsing. Loss of trampling and herbivory of seedlings and saplings will result in high tree density as they are released from the pressures of browsing. Diminished seed dispersal by elephants and high stem density are likely to reduce the recruitment of large trees, resulting in a more homogeneous forest structure and decreased carbon stocks. In sum, the loss of ecological services by forest elephants will likely transform Central African forests to be more like Neotropical forests, from which megafauna were extirpated thousands of years ago. Without intervention, as much as 96% of Central African forests will have modified species composition and structure as elephants are compressed into remaining protected areas. Stopping elephant poaching is an urgent first step to mitigating these effects, but long-term conservation will require land use planning that incorporates elephant habitat into forested landscapes that are being rapidly transformed by industrial agriculture and logging. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  14. Radiological and anatomical investigation of calcific tendinitis of the gluteus maximus tendon

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Karakida, Osamu; Aoki, Jun; Fujioka, Fumio; Watanabe, Tomofumi; Seo, Gwy-Suk; Sone, Shusuke; Nagata, Tetsuji [Shinshu Univ., Matsumoto, Nagano (Japan). Faculty of Medicine

    1995-06-01

    The radiological findings in four cases of gluteus maximus tendinitis were retrospectively analyzed. All the patients underwent radiographic, CT and MRI examinations. Amorphous or round calcifications were detected on lateral radiographs in three cases, and on CT in all cases. A small cortical erosion was observed in three cases on both radiographs and CT. MRI showed a thickened gluteus maximus tendon, but no other specific features. In the supine position, which is common in routine CT and MRI studies, the calcific deposits appeared to be distributed along the vastus lateralis muscle tendon. To correlate these radiographic observations with the topographic anatomy of the tendon`s insertion, we investigated 14 thighs of seven cadavers, and clarified that the tendon`s insertion was the main component of the lateral femoral intermuscular septum. Consequently we performed MRI on a volunteer in a prone position who was asked to maintain contraction of the gluteus maximus and quadratus femoris muscles. The images obtained showed clearly that the gluteus maximus tendon was directed dorsally. In conclusion, radiography and CT are the modalities of choice for diagnosis of this entity. Additionally, radiologists should be aware that the gluteus maximus tendons are directed laterally as a main part of the lateral femoral intermuscular septum on routine CT and MRI. (author).

  15. Risk and ethical concerns of hunting male elephant: behavioural and physiological assays of the remaining elephants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tarryne Burke

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Hunting of male African elephants may pose ethical and risk concerns, particularly given their status as a charismatic species of high touristic value, yet which are capable of both killing people and damaging infrastructure. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We quantified the effect of hunts of male elephants on (1 risk of attack or damage (11 hunts, and (2 behavioural (movement dynamics and physiological (stress hormone metabolite concentrations responses (4 hunts in Pilanesberg National Park. For eleven hunts, there were no subsequent attacks on people or infrastructure, and elephants did not break out of the fenced reserve. For three focal hunts, there was an initial flight response by bulls present at the hunting site, but their movements stabilised the day after the hunt event. Animals not present at the hunt (both bulls and herds did not show movement responses. Physiologically, hunting elephant bulls increased faecal stress hormone levels (corticosterone metabolites in both those bulls that were present at the hunts (for up to four days post-hunt and in the broader bull and breeding herd population (for up to one month post-hunt. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: As all responses were relatively minor, hunting male elephants is ethically acceptable when considering effects on the remaining elephant population; however bulls should be hunted when alone. Hunting is feasible in relatively small enclosed reserves without major risk of attack, damage, or breakout. Physiological stress assays were more effective than behavioural responses in detecting effects of human intervention. Similar studies should evaluate intervention consequences, inform and improve best practice, and should be widely applied by management agencies.

  16. Elephants and Their Young: Science and Math Activities for Young Children. Teacher's Guide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Echols, Jean C.; Kopp, Jaine; Blinderman, Ellen

    This book contains a series of playful activities in which young children actively learn about the African elephant's body structure, family life, and social behavior. Children make model elephants out of paper and cardboard, then devise elephant puppets with sock trunks as well as create models of elephant's ears, trunks, tusks, make elephant…

  17. Ranging behaviour of elephants within a small, fenced area in Addo ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The elephant population (n = 324, December 2000) in Addo Elephant National Park (AENP), South Africa, is restricted to an area (103 km2) considerably smaller than most elephant ranges. The Addo elephants' ranging behaviour was studied in order to determine whether natural patterns of male and female ranging ...

  18. The Proteus syndrome: the Elephant Man diagnosed.

    OpenAIRE

    Tibbles, J A; Cohen, M M

    1986-01-01

    Sir Frederick Treves first showed Joseph Merrick, the famous Elephant Man, to the Pathological Society of London in 1884. A diagnosis of neurofibromatosis was suggested in 1909 and was widely accepted. There is no evidence, however, of café au lait spots or histological proof of neurofibromas. It is also clear that Joseph Merrick's manifestations were much more bizarre than those commonly seen in neurofibromatosis. Evidence indicates that Merrick suffered from the Proteus syndrome and had the...

  19. Clinical leadership: the elephant in the room.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edmonstone, John

    2009-01-01

    The article explores the concept of clinical leadership in the National Health Service in the UK by seeking to establish a workable definition and by contrasting it with managerial leadership, focussing on the 'disconnected hierarchy' in professional organizations. It proposes that the problems faced by clinical leadership relate to the current nature of general management in the NHS and concludes by suggesting that clinical leadership is the 'elephant in the room'-often ignored or unaddressed.

  20. Radiation Protection Elephants in the Room

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vetter, R. J.

    2004-07-01

    As our system of radiological protection evolves, several significant issues loom within radiation protection discussions and publications. These issues influence the nature of epidemiological and radiobiological research and the establishment of radiation protection recommendations, standards, and regulations. These issues are like the proverbial ''elephants in the room''. They are large, and it is unwise to ignore them. This paper discusses the impact of three young elephants as they make their presence increasingly obvious: increased cancer susceptibility from early-life exposure to radiation, terrorism and fear of radiation, and patient safety. Increased cancer susceptibility from early-life exposure to radiation is emerging as a discussion topic related to the safety of computed tomography (CT) and other medical modalities. Shortly after publication of CT dose data, manufacturers were helping to reduce doses to children by increasing flexibility for adjustment of technique factors. Also, radiation epidemiological data are being used in the development of guidance on exposure to chemical carcinogens during early life. Re-emergence of public fear of radiation has been fueled by threats of radiological dispersion devises and confusing messages about personal decontamination, emergency room acceptance or rejection of contaminated victims, and environmental clean-up. Finally, several professional publications have characterized risk of medical radiation exposure in terms of patient deaths even though epidemiological data do not support such conclusions. All three of these elephants require excellent science and sophisticated data analysis to coax them from the room. Anecdotal communications that confuse the public should be avoided. These are not the only elephants in the room, but these three are making their presence increasingly obvious. This paper discusses the need for radiation protection professionals to rely on good science in the

  1. Africa's elephants and rhinos: Flagships in crisis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Western, D

    1987-11-01

    Despite extensive conservation measures over the last two decades, populations of elephants and rhinos in Africa continue to decline. The plight of the black rhino is especially acute. Poaching for rhino horn and ivory, rather than habitat loss, remains the principal threat to these species. The only long-term hope may lie in the effective protection of small, isolated populations. Copyright © 1987. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  2. Why Do Elephants Flap Their Ears?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koffi, Moise; Jiji, Latif; Andreopoulos, Yiannis

    2009-11-01

    It is estimated that a 4200 kg elephant generates as much as 5.12 kW of heat. How the elephant dissipates its metabolic heat and regulates its body temperature has been investigated during the past seven decades. Findings and conclusions differ sharply. The high rate of metabolic heat coupled with low surface area to volume ratio and the absence of sweat glands eliminate surface convection as the primary mechanism for heat removal. Noting that the elephant ears have high surface area to volume ratio and an extensive vascular network, ear flapping is thought to be the principal thermoregulatory mechanism. A computational and experimental program is carried out to examine flow and heat transfer characteristics. The ear is modeled as a uniformly heated oscillating rectangular plate. Our computational work involves a three-dimensional time dependent CFD code with heat transfer capabilities to obtain predictions of the flow field and surface temperature distributions. This information was used to design an experimental setup with a uniformly heated plate of size 0.2m x 0.3m oscillating at 1.6 cycles per second. Results show that surface temperature increases and reaches a steady periodic oscillation after a period of transient oscillation. The role of the vortices shed off the plate in heat transfer enhancement will be discussed.

  3. Mammoth and Mastodon collagen sequences; survival and utility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buckley, M.; Larkin, N.; Collins, M.

    2011-04-01

    Near-complete collagen (I) sequences are proposed for elephantid and mammutid taxa, based upon available African elephant genomic data and supported with LC-MALDI-MS/MS and LC-ESI-MS/MS analyses of collagen digests from proboscidean bone. Collagen sequence coverage was investigated from several specimens of two extinct mammoths ( Mammuthus trogontherii and Mammuthus primigenius), the extinct American mastodon ( Mammut americanum), the extinct straight-tusked elephant ( Elephas ( Palaeoloxodon) antiquus) and extant Asian ( Elephas maximus) and African ( Loxodonta africana) elephants and compared between the two ionization techniques used. Two suspected mammoth fossils from the British Middle Pleistocene (Cromerian) deposits of the West Runton Forest Bed were analysed to investigate the potential use of peptide mass spectrometry for fossil identification. Despite the age of the fossils, sufficient peptides were obtained to identify these as elephantid, and sufficient sequence variation to discriminate elephantid and mammutid collagen (I). In-depth LC-MS analyses further failed to identify a peptide that could be used to reliably distinguish between the three genera of elephantids ( Elephas, Loxodonta and Mammuthus), an observation consistent with predicted amino acid substitution rates between these species.

  4. A systematic review of elephant impact across Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guldemond, Robert A R; Purdon, Andrew; van Aarde, Rudi J

    2017-01-01

    Contradictory findings among scientific studies that address a particular issue may impede the conversion of science to management implementation. A systematic review of peer-reviewed studies to generate a single outcome may overcome this problem. The contentious topic of the impact that a megaherbivore such as the savanna elephant have for other species and their environment can benefit from such an approach. After some 68 years, 367 peer-reviewed papers covered the topic and 51 of these papers provided sufficient data to be included in a meta-analysis. We separated the direct impact that elephants had on trees and herbs from the indirect effects on other vertebrates, invertebrates, and soil properties. Elephants have an impact on tree structure and abundance but no overall negative cascading effects for species that share space with them. Primary productivity explained a small amount of variation of elephant impact on vegetation. Elephant numbers (density), study duration, rainfall, tree cover, and the presence of artificial water and fences failed to describe patterns of impact. We conclude that published information do not support the calls made for artificially manipulating elephant numbers to ameliorate elephant impact, and call for the management of space use by elephants to maintain savanna heterogeneity.

  5. Elephant movement and local community attitudes towards the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A wider study to analyse human-elephant interactions in the area also sought the attitudes of local people towards re-opening migration between Mt Kenya forests and the nearby Sangare ranch. The route ... A majority of the respondents were aware of importance of elephants in tourism, as agents of seed dispersal ...

  6. Triangulating the provenance of African elephants using mitochondrial DNA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishida, Yasuko; Georgiadis, Nicholas J; Hondo, Tomoko; Roca, Alfred L

    2013-02-01

    African elephant mitochondrial (mt) DNA follows a distinctive evolutionary trajectory. As females do not migrate between elephant herds, mtDNA exhibits low geographic dispersal. We therefore examined the effectiveness of mtDNA for assigning the provenance of African elephants (or their ivory). For 653 savanna and forest elephants from 22 localities in 13 countries, 4258 bp of mtDNA was sequenced. We detected eight mtDNA subclades, of which seven had regionally restricted distributions. Among 108 unique haplotypes identified, 72% were found at only one locality and 84% were country specific, while 44% of individuals carried a haplotype detected only at their sampling locality. We combined 316 bp of our control region sequences with those generated by previous trans-national surveys of African elephants. Among 101 unique control region haplotypes detected in African elephants across 81 locations in 22 countries, 62% were present in only a single country. Applying our mtDNA results to a previous microsatellite-based assignment study would improve estimates of the provenance of elephants in 115 of 122 mis-assigned cases. Nuclear partitioning followed species boundaries and not mtDNA subclade boundaries. For taxa such as elephants in which nuclear and mtDNA markers differ in phylogeography, combining the two markers can triangulate the origins of confiscated wildlife products.

  7. Do elephants need to sweat? | Wright | African Zoology

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    An adequate rate of evaporative water loss is considered essential for the maintenance of thermal balance in the elephant in warm climatic conditions. Histological studies have failed to reveal the existence of sweat glands in elephant skin. Transepidermal water-loss rate has been measured and shown to be sufficiently ...

  8. Factors Influencing Elephants to Destroy Forest Trees Especially ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... Elephants to Destroy Forest Trees Especially Olea africana : The Case of Ngare Ndare ... weighs up to 120 kg and an average of 4,000 to 6,500 kg at maturity. ... This study examined factors which lead elephants to destroy trees such as ...

  9. Bee Threat Elicits Alarm Call in African Elephants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Douglas-Hamilton, Iain; Savage, Anne; Vollrath, Fritz

    2010-01-01

    Unlike the smaller and more vulnerable mammals, African elephants have relatively few predators that threaten their survival. The sound of disturbed African honeybees Apis meliffera scutellata causes African elephants Loxodonta africana to retreat and produce warning vocalizations that lead other elephants to join the flight. In our first experiment, audio playbacks of bee sounds induced elephants to retreat and elicited more head-shaking and dusting, reactive behaviors that may prevent bee stings, compared to white noise control playbacks. Most importantly, elephants produced distinctive “rumble” vocalizations in response to bee sounds. These rumbles exhibited an upward shift in the second formant location, which implies active vocal tract modulation, compared to rumbles made in response to white noise playbacks. In a second experiment, audio playbacks of these rumbles produced in response to bees elicited increased headshaking, and further and faster retreat behavior in other elephants, compared to control rumble playbacks with lower second formant frequencies. These responses to the bee rumble stimuli occurred in the absence of any bees or bee sounds. This suggests that these elephant rumbles may function as referential signals, in which a formant frequency shift alerts nearby elephants about an external threat, in this case, the threat of bees. PMID:20436682

  10. Resisting Elephants Lurking in the Music Education Classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Regelski, Thomas A.

    2014-01-01

    Music education has many "elephants" in its classrooms: obvious major problems that go unmentioned and suffered silently. Two of the larger, more problematic "elephants" are identified, analyzed, and critiqued: (1) the hegemony of university schools of music on school music and the resulting focus in school music on…

  11. Status and past and present distribution of elephants in the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    1986-02-17

    Feb 17, 1986 ... eso. , , , , , , , , ,. 1900. , , , , , , , ,. IVlO. , , ,. '- YEAR. '900. ----\\. ,. ,. , ,. 1900 198~. Figure 9 Trends in elephant numbers in the Kaokoveld since. ]880, based on estimates by selected authors ( see text). there probably was a sharp decline in elephant numbers after 1880, with the intensive hunting of the.

  12. Caracterisation des conflits homme-elephant dans le departement ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... at the time of the incursions of the elephants into the fields.The surfaces of destroyed cultures are significant.The cultures are attacked at critical stages such as the stage:maturation, intermediary and young person.The food crops remain the most touched cultures. Keywords: Human-elephant conflict, Damage, Phenology ...

  13. Haulout site selection by southern elephant seals at Marion Island ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Using data from an ongoing mark–resight programme at Marion Island, we tested empirically whether southern elephant seals prefer certain terrestrial sites to others during the breeding, moulting and winter haulouts, and whether the pattern of site use is the same for different age and sex groups. Southern elephant seals ...

  14. Aerial survey of Elephants (Loxodonta africana africana), other large ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    EJIRO

    2010-03-18

    Mar 18, 2010 ... an up to date population estimate. Waza National Park is one of the Cameroon's MIKE (monitoring of illegal killing of elephant) sites and is believed to hold the largest elephant population in Northern Cameroon with high con- centration of other large mammals, which makes Waza the focus of considerable ...

  15. Bee threat elicits alarm call in African elephants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucy E King

    Full Text Available Unlike the smaller and more vulnerable mammals, African elephants have relatively few predators that threaten their survival. The sound of disturbed African honeybees Apis meliffera scutellata causes African elephants Loxodonta africana to retreat and produce warning vocalizations that lead other elephants to join the flight. In our first experiment, audio playbacks of bee sounds induced elephants to retreat and elicited more head-shaking and dusting, reactive behaviors that may prevent bee stings, compared to white noise control playbacks. Most importantly, elephants produced distinctive "rumble" vocalizations in response to bee sounds. These rumbles exhibited an upward shift in the second formant location, which implies active vocal tract modulation, compared to rumbles made in response to white noise playbacks. In a second experiment, audio playbacks of these rumbles produced in response to bees elicited increased headshaking, and further and faster retreat behavior in other elephants, compared to control rumble playbacks with lower second formant frequencies. These responses to the bee rumble stimuli occurred in the absence of any bees or bee sounds. This suggests that these elephant rumbles may function as referential signals, in which a formant frequency shift alerts nearby elephants about an external threat, in this case, the threat of bees.

  16. Devastating decline of forest elephants in Central Africa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Maisels, F.; Strindberg, S.; Blake, S.; Wittemyer, G.; Hart, J.; Williamson, E.A.; Aba'a, R.G.; Amsini, F.; Ambahe, R.D.; Bakabana, P.C.; Hicks, T.C.; Bayogo, R.E.; Bechem, M.; Beyers, R.L.; Bezangoye, A.N.; Boundja, P.; Bout, N.; Akou, M.E.; Bene, L.E.; Fosso, B.; Greengrass, E.; Grossmann, F.; Ikamba-Nkulu, C.; Ilambu, O.; Inogwabini, B.I.; Iyenguet, F.; Kiminou, F.; Kokangoye, M.; Kujirakwinja, D.; Latour, S.; Liengola, I.; Mackaya, Q.; Madidi, J.; Madzoke, B.; Makoumbou, C.; Malanda, G.A.; Malonga, R.; Mbani, O.; Mbendzo, V.A.; Ambassa, E.; Ekinde, A.; Mihindou, Y.; Morgan, B.J.; Motsaba, P.; Moukala, G.; Mounguengui, A.; Mowawa, B.S.; Ndzai, C.; Nixon, S.; Nkumu, P.; Nzolani, F.; Pintea, L.; Plumptre, A.; Rainey, H.; de Semboli, B.B.; Serckx, A.; Stokes, E.; Turkalo, A.; Vanleeuwe, H.; Vosper, A.; Warren, Y.

    2013-01-01

    African forest elephants- taxonomically and functionally unique-are being poached at accelerating rates, but we lack range-wide information on the repercussions. Analysis of the largest survey dataset ever assembled for forest elephants (80 foot-surveys; covering 13,000 km; 91,600 person-days of

  17. Aerial survey of Elephants ( Loxodonta africana africana ), other ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Total aerial count of elephants, other large mammals and human activities in Waza National Park was conducted between 21st and 23rd February 2007. Total counts of elephants and other wildlife species were done and livestock numbers were estimated. A Cessna 206 Stationair six-seater aircraft fitted with GPS was used ...

  18. Lion predation on elephants in the Savuti, Chobe National Park ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Lions rarely prey on elephants. Botswana's Savuti lions, however, switch to preying on elephants during the late dry season (August–November), and the frequency of this has increased in the last two decades (1985–2005). An opportunity to document this phenomenon was made possible with infrared viewing and filming ...

  19. Effect of Bamboo ( Bambusa valgaris ) and Elephant grass ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Antioxidant potential of bamboo and elephant grass leaf extracts were evaluated in cooked and raw broiler meat stored under refrigeration at 3±20C. To a separate 350g of minced broiler meat, 1.5% bamboo leaf extract (BLE) or elephant grass extract (EGE) was added. There was a negative control without additive while a ...

  20. A comprehensive genomic history of extinct and living elephants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Palkopoulou, Eleftheria; Lipson, Mark; Mallick, Swapan

    2018-01-01

    elephantid history in profound ways, isolation also appears to have played an important role. Our data reveal nearly complete isolation between the ancestors of the African forest and savanna elephants for ∼500,000 y, providing compelling justification for the conservation of forest and savanna elephants...

  1. Structural traits of elephant grass ( Pennisetum purpureum Schum ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Despite the forage potential of elephant grass, controlling canopy structure during grazing has limited its use in pasture. This study was conducted to determine the effect of grazing frequency and post-grazing height on canopy structural characteristics of elephant grass genotypes. The treatments consisted of the factorial ...

  2. A Microsatellite Genetic Map of the Turbot (Scophthalmus maximus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouza, Carmen; Hermida, Miguel; Pardo, Belén G.; Fernández, Carlos; Fortes, Gloria G.; Castro, Jaime; Sánchez, Laura; Presa, Pablo; Pérez, Montse; Sanjuán, Andrés; de Carlos, Alejandro; Álvarez-Dios, José Antonio; Ezcurra, Susana; Cal, Rosa M.; Piferrer, Francesc; Martínez, Paulino

    2007-01-01

    A consensus microsatellite-based linkage map of the turbot (Scophthalmus maximus) was constructed from two unrelated families. The mapping panel was derived from a gynogenetic family of 96 haploid embryos and a biparental diploid family of 85 full-sib progeny with known linkage phase. A total of 242 microsatellites were mapped in 26 linkage groups, six markers remaining unlinked. The consensus map length was 1343.2 cM, with an average distance between markers of 6.5 ± 0.5 cM. Similar length of female and male maps was evidenced. However, the mean recombination at common intervals throughout the genome revealed significant differences between sexes, ∼1.6 times higher in the female than in the male. The comparison of turbot microsatellite flanking sequences against the Tetraodon nigroviridis genome revealed 55 significant matches, with a mean length of 102 bp and high sequence similarity (81–100%). The comparative mapping revealed significant syntenic regions among fish species. This study represents the first linkage map in the turbot, one of the most important flatfish in European aquaculture. This map will be suitable for QTL identification of productive traits in this species and for further evolutionary studies in fish and vertebrate species. PMID:18073440

  3. Chondroitin sulfate from Scophthalmus maximus for treating osteoarthritis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, Zhenkun; Ji, Yuanyuan; Wang, Yi; Dong, Liyuan

    2018-03-01

    Osteoarthritis (OA) is a common joint disease characterized by cartilage degradation. Chondroitin sulfate from shark (CS-S) has a good effect on OA in clinical, but due to source limited of CS from shark. Therefore, it is important to find a novel CS source with similar efficacy to CS-S in the treatment of OA. Herein, we reported a therapeutic effect of CS from scophthalmus maximus (CS-SM) for treating OA in rats. The OA model was established. After intervention with CS-SM by intragastric administration. Our results showed that CS-SM could protect articular cartilage in OA, inhibit the degradation of cartilage, decrease the apoptosis of chondrocytes, decline the content of interleukin-1, tumor necrosis factor-α and Prostaglandins E2 in synovial fluid, down-regulate the protein expression of matrix metalloproteinase-1 and up-regulate the protein expression of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1. Our results suggest that oral CS from SM is a new potential therapy for OA. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Determinants of elephant distribution at Nazinga Game Ranch, Burkina Faso

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenks, Jonathan A.; Klaver, Robert W.; Wicks, Zeno W.

    2007-01-01

    We used seasonal ground total counts and remote sensing and GIS technology to relate elephant (Loxodonta africana africana) distribution at Nazinga Game Ranch to environmental and anthropogenic factors. Variables used in analyses were normalized difference vegetation index, elevation, stream density, density of poaching and human illegal activities, distance to dams, distance to rivers, distance to roads, and distance to poaching risk. Contrary to our expectation, road traffic did not disturb elephants. Strong negative relationships were documented between elephant abundance and stream density, distance to dams, and poaching density. Density of poaching and other human illegal activities explained 81%, vegetation greenness 6%, and stream density 3% of the variation in elephant density. Elephant distribution represented a survival strategy affected by poaching, food quality and abundance, and water availability. 

  5. Bone scan findings in calcific tendinitis at the gluteus maximus insertion: some illustrative cases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karel Van Damme

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available We describe the bone scan and single-photon emission computed tomography/computed tomography findings in calcific tendinitis of the gluteus maximus and discuss its pathophysiology. Although this tendinopathy is mostly self-limiting, awareness of this disease is important for 2 reasons. First, it may explain acute hip symptoms in patients in the resorptive phase of the calcifications. Second, it should be considered as a differential diagnosis for bone scan hot spots in the vicinity of the gluteus maximus tendon and for cortical erosion seen in that region on X-rays or CT.

  6. "The Elephant in the Dark Room": Merrick and Menacing Mimicry in Bernard Pomerance's "The Elephant Man"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sasani, Samira

    2015-01-01

    This paper tries to look at Pomerance's "The Elephant Man," from a new perspective from which no critic has investigated the play, before. Applying postcolonial theory of Homi K. Bhabha to the play, the author scrutinizes how "mimicry strategy", employed by the colonizer and the Other, can be threatening for both and how the…

  7. 'When elephants battle, the grass suffers.' Power, ivory and the Syrian elephant

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Çakirlar, Canan

    2016-01-01

    The craftsmanship of the ivory objects in Late Bronze Age and Iron Age Eastern Mediterranean leave no doubt as to their intention to impress. Elephant teeth are an important raw material for the manufacture of these objects. Zooarchaeological research shows that cranial, dental, and postcranial

  8. Will Elephants Soon Disappear from West African Savannahs?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouché, Philippe; Douglas-Hamilton, Iain; Wittemyer, George; Nianogo, Aimé J.; Doucet, Jean-Louis; Lejeune, Philippe; Vermeulen, Cédric

    2011-01-01

    Precipitous declines in Africa's native fauna and flora are recognized, but few comprehensive records of these changes have been compiled. Here, we present population trends for African elephants in the 6,213,000 km2 Sudano-Sahelian range of West and Central Africa assessed through the analysis of aerial and ground surveys conducted over the past 4 decades. These surveys are focused on the best protected areas in the region, and therefore represent the best case scenario for the northern savanna elephants. A minimum of 7,745 elephants currently inhabit the entire region, representing a minimum decline of 50% from estimates four decades ago for these protected areas. Most of the historic range is now devoid of elephants and, therefore, was not surveyed. Of the 23 surveyed elephant populations, half are estimated to number less than 200 individuals. Historically, most populations numbering less than 200 individuals in the region were extirpated within a few decades. Declines differed by region, with Central African populations experiencing much higher declines (−76%) than those in West Africa (−33%). As a result, elephants in West Africa now account for 86% of the total surveyed. Range wide, two refuge zones retain elephants, one in West and the other in Central Africa. These zones are separated by a large distance (∼900 km) of high density human land use, suggesting connectivity between the regions is permanently cut. Within each zone, however, sporadic contacts between populations remain. Retaining such connectivity should be a high priority for conservation of elephants in this region. Specific corridors designed to reduce the isolation of the surveyed populations are proposed. The strong commitment of governments, effective law enforcement to control the illegal ivory trade and the involvement of local communities and private partners are all critical to securing the future of elephants inhabiting Africa's northern savannas. PMID:21731620

  9. Will elephants soon disappear from West African savannahs?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philippe Bouché

    Full Text Available Precipitous declines in Africa's native fauna and flora are recognized, but few comprehensive records of these changes have been compiled. Here, we present population trends for African elephants in the 6,213,000 km² Sudano-Sahelian range of West and Central Africa assessed through the analysis of aerial and ground surveys conducted over the past 4 decades. These surveys are focused on the best protected areas in the region, and therefore represent the best case scenario for the northern savanna elephants. A minimum of 7,745 elephants currently inhabit the entire region, representing a minimum decline of 50% from estimates four decades ago for these protected areas. Most of the historic range is now devoid of elephants and, therefore, was not surveyed. Of the 23 surveyed elephant populations, half are estimated to number less than 200 individuals. Historically, most populations numbering less than 200 individuals in the region were extirpated within a few decades. Declines differed by region, with Central African populations experiencing much higher declines (-76% than those in West Africa (-33%. As a result, elephants in West Africa now account for 86% of the total surveyed. Range wide, two refuge zones retain elephants, one in West and the other in Central Africa. These zones are separated by a large distance (∼900 km of high density human land use, suggesting connectivity between the regions is permanently cut. Within each zone, however, sporadic contacts between populations remain. Retaining such connectivity should be a high priority for conservation of elephants in this region. Specific corridors designed to reduce the isolation of the surveyed populations are proposed. The strong commitment of governments, effective law enforcement to control the illegal ivory trade and the involvement of local communities and private partners are all critical to securing the future of elephants inhabiting Africa's northern savannas.

  10. Shackleton's men: life on Elephant Island.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piggott, Jan R

    2004-09-01

    The experiences of the 22 men from Ernest Shackleton's Endurance expedition of 1914-1916 who were marooned on Elephant Island during the Antarctic winter are not as well known as the narrative of the ship being beset and sunk, and Shackleton's open boat journey to South Georgia to rescue them. Frank Wild was left in charge of the marooned men by Shackleton and saved them from starvation and despair. The morale of the men in the face of extreme exposure to the elements, the ingenuity of their devices for survival and their diet, conversation and entertainments all reveal heroic qualities of Shackletonian endurance.

  11. Genomic Sequencing of Ranaviruses Isolated from Turbot (Scophthalmus maximus) and Atlantic Cod (Gadus morhua).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ariel, Ellen; Steckler, Natalie K; Subramaniam, Kuttichantran; Olesen, Niels J; Waltzek, Thomas B

    2016-12-15

    Ranaviruses have been isolated from Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) and turbot (Scophthalmus maximus) in Denmark. Phylogenomic analyses revealed that these two ranaviruses are nearly identical and form a distinct clade at the base of the ranavirus tree branching off near other fish ranaviruses. Copyright © 2016 Ariel et al.

  12. Genomic Sequencing of Ranaviruses Isolated from Turbot (Scophthalmus maximus) and Atlantic Cod (Gadus morhua)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ariel, Ellen; Steckler, Natalie K.; Subramaniam, Kuttichantran

    2016-01-01

    Ranaviruses have been isolated from Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) and turbot (Scophthalmus maximus) in Denmark. Phylogenomic analyses revealed that these two ranaviruses are nearly identical and form a distinct clade at the base of the ranavirus tree branching off near other fish ranaviruses....

  13. Anchoring Pontifical Authority: A Reconsideration of the Papal Employment of the Title Pontifex Maximus

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dijkstra, R.; Espelo, D.B. van

    2016-01-01

    It is a common assumption that the title of supreme priesthood or pontifex maximus is included in the official papal titulature, and it has been supposed that the Roman bishop adopted it from the Roman emperor in late antiquity. In fact, however, it was probably not until the fifteenth century that

  14. Improving growth in juvenile turbot (Scophthalmus maximus Rafinesque) by rearing fish in switched temperature regimes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Imsland, A.K.; Schram, E.; Roth, B.; Schelvis-Smit, A.A.M.; Kloet, K.

    2007-01-01

    The effect of thermal history (16 and 20°C) on growth of juvenile turbot, Scophthalmus maximus (initial mean weight 72.6 g, n = 157) was studied. Fish were divided into four groups, two groups remaining at constant temperature (C16, C20), while fish in the other groups were transferred from either

  15. Mammoth and elephant phylogenetic relationships: Mammut americanum, the missing outgroup.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orlando, Ludovic; Hänni, Catherine; Douady, Christophe J

    2007-03-29

    At the morphological level, the woolly mammoth has most often been considered as the sister-species of Asian elephants, but at the DNA level, different studies have found support for proximity with African elephants. Recent reports have increased the available sequence data and apparently solved the discrepancy, finding mammoths to be most closely related to Asian elephants. However, we demonstrate here that the three competing topologies have similar likelihood, bayesian and parsimony supports. The analysis further suggests the inadequacy of using Sirenia or Hyracoidea as outgroups. We therefore argue that orthologous sequences from the extinct American mastodon will be required to definitively solve this long-standing question.

  16. Mammoth and Elephant Phylogenetic Relationships: Mammut Americanum, the Missing Outgroup

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ludovic Orlando

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available At the morphological level, the woolly mammoth has most often been considered as the sister-species of Asian elephants, but at the DNA level, different studies have found support for proximity with African elephants. Recent reports have increased the available sequence data and apparently solved the discrepancy, finding mammoths to be most closely related to Asian elephants. However, we demonstrate here that the three competing topologies have similar likelihood, bayesian and parsimony supports. The analysis further suggests the inadequacy of using Sirenia or Hyracoidea as outgroups. We therefore argue that orthologous sequences from the extinct American mastodon will be required to defi nitively solve this long-standing question.

  17. Random recursive trees and the elephant random walk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kürsten, Rüdiger

    2016-03-01

    One class of random walks with infinite memory, so-called elephant random walks, are simple models describing anomalous diffusion. We present a surprising connection between these models and bond percolation on random recursive trees. We use a coupling between the two models to translate results from elephant random walks to the percolation process. We calculate, besides other quantities, exact expressions for the first and the second moment of the root cluster size and of the number of nodes in child clusters of the first generation. We further introduce another model, the skew elephant random walk, and calculate the first and second moment of this process.

  18. Distribución espacial y variaciones temporales de curculio elephas gyllenhal en bellotas de quercus rotundifolia Lam.

    OpenAIRE

    Jiménez, A.; Soria Iglesias, Francisco Javier; Villagrán Pinteño, Miguel; Ocete Rubio, María Elvira

    2005-01-01

    En las dehesas españolas las especies arbóreas más frecuentes pertenecen al género Quercus L.Sus frutos son atacados por varios insectos carpófagos, entre los que hay que destacar a Curculio elephas, un pequeño curculiónido cuyas larvas se alimentan y desarrollan dentro de las bellotas. En este trabajo se ha realizado un seguimiento, durante tres años, de C. elephasen frutos de encina, Q. rotundifolia Lam. Los resultados obtenidos indican que: 1) la distribución espacial de esta ...

  19. Climate influences thermal balance and water use in African and Asian elephants: physiology can predict drivers of elephant distribution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunkin, Robin C; Wilson, Dinah; Way, Nicolas; Johnson, Kari; Williams, Terrie M

    2013-08-01

    Elephant movement patterns in relation to surface water demonstrate that they are a water-dependent species. Thus, there has been interest in using surface water management to mitigate problems associated with localized elephant overabundance. However, the physiological mechanisms underlying the elephant's water dependence remain unclear. Although thermoregulation is likely an important driver, the relationship between thermoregulation, water use and climate has not been quantified. We measured skin surface temperature of and cutaneous water loss from 13 elephants (seven African, 3768±642 kg; six Asian, 3834±498 kg) and determined the contribution of evaporative cooling to their thermal and water budgets across a range of air temperatures (8-33°C). We also measured respiratory evaporative water loss and resting metabolic heat production on a subset of elephants (N=7). The rate of cutaneous evaporative water loss ranged between 0.31 and 8.9 g min(-1) m(-2) for Asian elephants and 0.26 and 6.5 g min(-1) m(-2) for African elephants. Simulated thermal and water budgets using climate data from Port Elizabeth, South Africa, and Okaukuejo, Namibia, suggested that the 24-h evaporative cooling water debt incurred in warm climates can be more than 4.5 times that incurred in mesic climates. This study confirms elephants are obligate evaporative coolers but suggests that classification of elephants as water dependent is insufficient given the importance of climate in determining the magnitude of this dependence. These data highlight the potential for a physiological modeling approach to predicting the utility of surface water management for specific populations.

  20. Estudio sobre la distribución de frutos afectados por Curculio elephas (Gyllenhal) (Col., Curculionidae) en alcornoque (Quercus suber Linné)

    OpenAIRE

    Soria Iglesias, Francisco Javier; Villagrán Pinteño, Miguel; Martín Santana, Pedro; Ocete Rubio, María Elvira

    1997-01-01

    En este trabajo se realiza un estudio acerca de la distribución de frutos atacados por Curculio elephas (Gyllenhal) (Col., Curculionidae) en alcornoque {Quercus suber Linné), en relación con las diferentes orientaciones. Los resultados indican que este insecto coloniza de forma homogénea la copa del árbol.

  1. Predictors of elephant poaching in a wildlife crime hotspot

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zafra-Calvo, Noelia; Lobo, J.M.; Prada, C.

    2018-01-01

    Understanding the spatial distribution of elephant carcasses in relation to ecological characteristics and human activities is critical to developing targeted management strategies for reducing poaching. We employ a spatial modelling approach to quantify the relative contribution of multiple clim...

  2. Salmonella and Campylobacter spp. in northern elephant seals, California

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Stoddard, Robyn A; Gulland, M D Frances; Atwill, E Rob; Lawrence, Judy; Jang, Spencer; Conrad, Patricia A

    2005-01-01

    Campylobacter and Salmonella spp. prevalence and antimicrobial drug sensitivity were determined in northern elephant seals that had not entered the water and seals that were stranded on the California coast...

  3. On the Possible Detection of Lightning Storms by Elephants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael C. Kelley

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Theoretical calculations suggest that sounds produced by thunderstorms and detected by a system similar to the International Monitoring System (IMS for the detection of nuclear explosions at distances ≥100 km, are at sound pressure levels equal to or greater than 6 × 10−3 Pa. Such sound pressure levels are well within the range of elephant hearing. Frequencies carrying these sounds might allow for interaural time delays such that adult elephants could not only hear but could also locate the source of these sounds. Determining whether it is possible for elephants to hear and locate thunderstorms contributes to the question of whether elephant movements are triggered or influenced by these abiotic sounds.

  4. On the Possible Detection of Lightning Storms by Elephants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelley, Michael C; Garstang, Michael

    2013-04-18

    Theoretical calculations suggest that sounds produced by thunderstorms and detected by a system similar to the International Monitoring System (IMS) for the detection of nuclear explosions at distances ≥100 km, are at sound pressure levels equal to or greater than 6 × 10(-3) Pa. Such sound pressure levels are well within the range of elephant hearing. Frequencies carrying these sounds might allow for interaural time delays such that adult elephants could not only hear but could also locate the source of these sounds. Determining whether it is possible for elephants to hear and locate thunderstorms contributes to the question of whether elephant movements are triggered or influenced by these abiotic sounds.

  5. Devastating decline of forest elephants in central Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maisels, Fiona; Strindberg, Samantha; Blake, Stephen; Wittemyer, George; Hart, John; Williamson, Elizabeth A; Aba'a, Rostand; Abitsi, Gaspard; Ambahe, Ruffin D; Amsini, Fidèl; Bakabana, Parfait C; Hicks, Thurston Cleveland; Bayogo, Rosine E; Bechem, Martha; Beyers, Rene L; Bezangoye, Anicet N; Boundja, Patrick; Bout, Nicolas; Akou, Marc Ella; Bene, Lambert Bene; Fosso, Bernard; Greengrass, Elizabeth; Grossmann, Falk; Ikamba-Nkulu, Clement; Ilambu, Omari; Inogwabini, Bila-Isia; Iyenguet, Fortune; Kiminou, Franck; Kokangoye, Max; Kujirakwinja, Deo; Latour, Stephanie; Liengola, Innocent; Mackaya, Quevain; Madidi, Jacob; Madzoke, Bola; Makoumbou, Calixte; Malanda, Guy-Aimé; Malonga, Richard; Mbani, Olivier; Mbendzo, Valentin A; Ambassa, Edgar; Ekinde, Albert; Mihindou, Yves; Morgan, Bethan J; Motsaba, Prosper; Moukala, Gabin; Mounguengui, Anselme; Mowawa, Brice S; Ndzai, Christian; Nixon, Stuart; Nkumu, Pele; Nzolani, Fabian; Pintea, Lilian; Plumptre, Andrew; Rainey, Hugo; de Semboli, Bruno Bokoto; Serckx, Adeline; Stokes, Emma; Turkalo, Andrea; Vanleeuwe, Hilde; Vosper, Ashley; Warren, Ymke

    2013-01-01

    African forest elephants- taxonomically and functionally unique-are being poached at accelerating rates, but we lack range-wide information on the repercussions. Analysis of the largest survey dataset ever assembled for forest elephants (80 foot-surveys; covering 13,000 km; 91,600 person-days of fieldwork) revealed that population size declined by ca. 62% between 2002-2011, and the taxon lost 30% of its geographical range. The population is now less than 10% of its potential size, occupying less than 25% of its potential range. High human population density, hunting intensity, absence of law enforcement, poor governance, and proximity to expanding infrastructure are the strongest predictors of decline. To save the remaining African forest elephants, illegal poaching for ivory and encroachment into core elephant habitat must be stopped. In addition, the international demand for ivory, which fuels illegal trade, must be dramatically reduced.

  6. Devastating decline of forest elephants in central Africa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fiona Maisels

    Full Text Available African forest elephants- taxonomically and functionally unique-are being poached at accelerating rates, but we lack range-wide information on the repercussions. Analysis of the largest survey dataset ever assembled for forest elephants (80 foot-surveys; covering 13,000 km; 91,600 person-days of fieldwork revealed that population size declined by ca. 62% between 2002-2011, and the taxon lost 30% of its geographical range. The population is now less than 10% of its potential size, occupying less than 25% of its potential range. High human population density, hunting intensity, absence of law enforcement, poor governance, and proximity to expanding infrastructure are the strongest predictors of decline. To save the remaining African forest elephants, illegal poaching for ivory and encroachment into core elephant habitat must be stopped. In addition, the international demand for ivory, which fuels illegal trade, must be dramatically reduced.

  7. The elephants of Gash-Barka, Eritrea: nuclear and mitochondrial genetic patterns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandt, Adam L; Hagos, Yohannes; Yacob, Yohannes; David, Victor A; Georgiadis, Nicholas J; Shoshani, Jeheskel; Roca, Alfred L

    2014-01-01

    Eritrea has one of the northernmost populations of African elephants. Only about 100 elephants persist in the Gash-Barka administrative zone. Elephants in Eritrea have become completely isolated, with no gene flow from other elephant populations. The conservation of Eritrean elephants would benefit from an understanding of their genetic affinities to elephants elsewhere on the continent and the degree to which genetic variation persists in the population. Using dung samples from Eritrean elephants, we examined 18 species-diagnostic single nucleotide polymorphisms in 3 nuclear genes, sequences of mitochondrial HVR1 and ND5, and genotyped 11 microsatellite loci. The sampled Eritrean elephants carried nuclear and mitochondrial DNA markers establishing them as savanna elephants, with closer genetic affinity to Eastern than to North Central savanna elephant populations, and contrary to speculation by some scholars that forest elephants were found in Eritrea. Mitochondrial DNA diversity was relatively low, with 2 haplotypes unique to Eritrea predominating. Microsatellite genotypes could only be determined for a small number of elephants but suggested that the population suffers from low genetic diversity. Conservation efforts should aim to protect Eritrean elephants and their habitat in the short run, with restoration of habitat connectivity and genetic diversity as long-term goals.

  8. Physiological Stress and Refuge Behavior by African Elephants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jachowski, David S.; Slotow, Rob; Millspaugh, Joshua J.

    2012-01-01

    Physiological stress responses allow individuals to adapt to changes in their status or surroundings, but chronic exposure to stressors could have detrimental effects. Increased stress hormone secretion leads to short-term escape behavior; however, no studies have assessed the potential of longer-term escape behavior, when individuals are in a chronic physiological state. Such refuge behavior is likely to take two forms, where an individual or population restricts its space use patterns spatially (spatial refuge hypothesis), or alters its use of space temporally (temporal refuge hypothesis). We tested the spatial and temporal refuge hypotheses by comparing space use patterns among three African elephant populations maintaining different fecal glucocorticoid metabolite (FGM) concentrations. In support of the spatial refuge hypothesis, the elephant population that maintained elevated FGM concentrations (iSimangaliso) used 20% less of its reserve than did an elephant population with lower FGM concentrations (Pilanesberg) in a reserve of similar size, and 43% less than elephants in the smaller Phinda reserve. We found mixed support for the temporal refuge hypothesis; home range sizes in the iSimangaliso population did not differ by day compared to nighttime, but elephants used areas within their home ranges differently between day and night. Elephants in all three reserves generally selected forest and woodland habitats over grasslands, but elephants in iSimangaliso selected exotic forest plantations over native habitat types. Our findings suggest that chronic stress is associated with restricted space use and altered habitat preferences that resemble a facultative refuge behavioral response. Elephants can maintain elevated FGM levels for ≥6 years following translocation, during which they exhibit refuge behavior that is likely a result of human disturbance and habitat conditions. Wildlife managers planning to translocate animals, or to initiate other management

  9. Biomass of elephant grass and leucaena for bioenergy production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernanda Aparecida Sales

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this study was to evaluate the biomass production of elephant grass and leucaena in Paraná state, Brazil, for the generation of renewable energy. Two field studies were conducted in the municipality of Ibiporã (23° S, 51° 01?W. In the first study, the dry matter accumulation curves were calculated, with sampling at 30, 60, 90, 120, and 180 days after cultivation. The second study was conducted in a randomized complete block design with split plots. The total aboveground biomass production of elephant grass and leucaena was estimated in the main plot. Cutting times of 60 and 120 days after cultivation were evaluated in the subplots. The productivity of dry matter (kg.ha-1 was estimated using the biomass data. In addition, the potential production of energy from the burning of elephant grass biomass, and the potential production of total aboveground biomass and energy of elephant grass (in Paraná was estimated using an agrometeorological model. Elephant grass can be potentially used as an alternative energy source. Leucaena has slow initial growth, and it must therefore be evaluated over a longer period in order to determine its potential. Simulation analyses of the capability of power generation, conducted based on the annual dry matter production, revealed that elephant grass could be an important source of renewable energy in the state of Paraná.

  10. Complete mitochondrial genome and phylogeny of Pleistocene mammoth Mammuthus primigenius.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Evgeny I Rogaev

    2006-03-01

    Full Text Available Phylogenetic relationships between the extinct woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius, and the Asian (Elephas maximus and African savanna (Loxodonta africana elephants remain unresolved. Here, we report the sequence of the complete mitochondrial genome (16,842 base pairs of a woolly mammoth extracted from permafrost-preserved remains from the Pleistocene epoch--the oldest mitochondrial genome sequence determined to date. We demonstrate that well-preserved mitochondrial genome fragments, as long as approximately 1,600-1700 base pairs, can be retrieved from pre-Holocene remains of an extinct species. Phylogenetic reconstruction of the Elephantinae clade suggests that M. primigenius and E. maximus are sister species that diverged soon after their common ancestor split from the L. africana lineage. Low nucleotide diversity found between independently determined mitochondrial genomic sequences of woolly mammoths separated geographically and in time suggests that north-eastern Siberia was occupied by a relatively homogeneous population of M. primigenius throughout the late Pleistocene.

  11. Positive reinforcement training for a trunk wash in Nepal's working elephants: demonstrating alternatives to traditional elephant training techniques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fagen, Ariel; Acharya, Narayan; Kaufman, Gretchen E

    2014-01-01

    Many trainers of animals in the zoo now rely on positive reinforcement training to teach animals to voluntarily participate in husbandry and veterinary procedures in an effort to improve behavioral reliability, captive management, and welfare. However, captive elephant handlers in Nepal still rely heavily on punishment- and aversion-based methods. The aim of this project was to determine the effectiveness of secondary positive reinforcement (SPR) in training free-contact elephants in Nepal to voluntarily participate in a trunk wash for the purpose of tuberculosis testing. Five female elephants, 4 juveniles and 1 adult, were enrolled in the project. Data were collected in the form of minutes of training, number of offers made for each training task, and success rate for each task in performance tests. Four out of 5 elephants, all juveniles, successfully learned the trunk wash in 35 sessions or fewer, with each session lasting a mean duration of 12 min. The elephants' performance improved from a mean success rate of 39.0% to 89.3% during the course of the training. This study proves that it is feasible to efficiently train juvenile, free-contact, traditionally trained elephants in Nepal to voluntarily and reliably participate in a trunk wash using only SPR techniques.

  12. The Proteus syndrome: the Elephant Man diagnosed.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tibbles, J A; Cohen, M M

    1986-09-13

    Sir Frederick Treves first showed Joseph Merrick, the famous Elephant Man, to the Pathological Society of London in 1884. A diagnosis of neurofibromatosis was suggested in 1909 and was widely accepted. There is no evidence, however, of café au lait spots or histological proof of neurofibromas. It is also clear that Joseph Merrick's manifestations were much more bizarre than those commonly seen in neurofibromatosis. Evidence indicates that Merrick suffered from the Proteus syndrome and had the following features compatible with this diagnosis: macrocephaly; hyperostosis of the skull; hypertrophy of long bones; and thickened skin and subcutaneous tissues, particularly of the hands and feet, including plantar hyperplasia, lipomas, and other unspecified subcutaneous masses.

  13. Change in Mesoherbivore Browsing Is Mediated by Elephant and Hillslope Position

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lagendijk, D.D.G.; Thaker, M.; Boer, de W.F.; Page, B.R.; Prins, H.H.T.; Slotow, R.

    2015-01-01

    Elephant are considered major drivers of ecosystems, but their effects within small-scale landscape features and on other herbivores still remain unclear. Elephant impact on vegetation has been widely studied in areas where elephant have been present for many years. We therefore examined the

  14. Field application of serodiagnostics to identify elephants with Tuberculosis prior to case confirmation by culture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Three serologic methods for antibody detection in elephant tuberculosis (TB), multiantigen print immunoassay (MAPIA), ElephantTB STAT-PAK kit, and DPP VetTB test, were validated prospectively using serial serum samples from 14 captive elephants in 5 countries which were diagnosed with TB by positive...

  15. 78 FR 690 - Guidelines for the Control of Tuberculosis in Elephants

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-04

    ... Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Guidelines for the Control of Tuberculosis in Elephants AGENCY... regulations as related to elephant tuberculosis as well as to aid users in their compliance with those... Tuberculosis in Elephants'' developed by The National Tuberculosis Working Group for Zoo and Wildlife Species...

  16. Biophysical and human factors determine the distribution of poached elephants in Tsavo East National Park, Kenya

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kyale, D.M.; Ngene, S.M.; Maingi, J.

    2011-01-01

    This study investigates the distribution of poached elephants as well as the biophysical and anthropogenic factors that determine the distribution of the poached elephants in Tsavo East National Park (TENP), Kenya. Data on the distribution of poached elephants, from 1990 to 2005, were acquired from

  17. Elephant-mediated habitat modifications and changes in herbivore species assemblages in Sabi Sand, South Africa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boer, de W.F.; Oort, van J.W.A.; Grover, M.; Peel, M.J.S.

    2015-01-01

    Elephant Loxodonta africana conservation might indirectly influence the wider herbivore community structure, as elephants have the ability to significantly modify the savanna habitat. Uncertainty remains as to the consequences of these effects, as elephants might either compete with other species or

  18. The Assessment of elephant poaching in the population of the Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania

    OpenAIRE

    Kyando, Moses Titus

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Elephant poaching is a significant problem in Tanzania and many parts of Africa. This study assess the patterns of elephant poaching for the international ivory trade on the population of the Eastern Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania. Data for assessing the patterns of elephants poaching from 2009 to 2013 were acquired by doing inventory on the demography of poached skulls in the field an...

  19. Continent-wide survey reveals massive decline in African savannah elephants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chase, Michael J; Schlossberg, Scott; Griffin, Curtice R; Bouché, Philippe J C; Djene, Sintayehu W; Elkan, Paul W; Ferreira, Sam; Grossman, Falk; Kohi, Edward Mtarima; Landen, Kelly; Omondi, Patrick; Peltier, Alexis; Selier, S A Jeanetta; Sutcliffe, Robert

    2016-01-01

    African elephants (Loxodonta africana) are imperiled by poaching and habitat loss. Despite global attention to the plight of elephants, their population sizes and trends are uncertain or unknown over much of Africa. To conserve this iconic species, conservationists need timely, accurate data on elephant populations. Here, we report the results of the Great Elephant Census (GEC), the first continent-wide, standardized survey of African savannah elephants. We also provide the first quantitative model of elephant population trends across Africa. We estimated a population of 352,271 savannah elephants on study sites in 18 countries, representing approximately 93% of all savannah elephants in those countries. Elephant populations in survey areas with historical data decreased by an estimated 144,000 from 2007 to 2014, and populations are currently shrinking by 8% per year continent-wide, primarily due to poaching. Though 84% of elephants occurred in protected areas, many protected areas had carcass ratios that indicated high levels of elephant mortality. Results of the GEC show the necessity of action to end the African elephants' downward trajectory by preventing poaching and protecting habitat.

  20. Snapping hip caused by a venous hemangioma of the gluteus maximus muscle: a case report

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lin Cheng-Li

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Introduction Snapping hip, or coxa saltans, is defined as a clinical condition where a usually painful, audible snap occurs during hip flexion and extension. Its causes can be divided into external, internal or intra-articular origin. Accurate diagnosis is a prerequisite to successful treatment. We report a rare cause of snapping hip which is different from any previously reported cases. Case presentation A 23-year-old man presented to us with right hip pain of more than 10 years duration. Atrophy of the right gluteus maximus with snapping and tenderness were also noted. The imaging study revealed a focal intramuscular lesion in the lateral portion of the right gluteus maximus muscle. Surgery was performed and pathological examination concluded this mass to be a venous hemangioma. Conclusion Intramuscular hemangioma, though rare, should be considered in the differential diagnosis of a snapping hip even though muscle fibrosis is most frequently encountered.

  1. A comparison of two gluteus maximus EMG maximum voluntary isometric contraction positions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Contreras, Bret; Vigotsky, Andrew D; Schoenfeld, Brad J; Beardsley, Chris; Cronin, John

    2015-01-01

    Background. The purpose of this study was to compare the peak electromyography (EMG) of the most commonly-used position in the literature, the prone bent-leg (90°) hip extension against manual resistance applied to the distal thigh (PRONE), to a novel position, the standing glute squeeze (SQUEEZE). Methods. Surface EMG electrodes were placed on the upper and lower gluteus maximus of thirteen recreationally active females (age = 28.9 years; height = 164 cm; body mass = 58.2 kg), before three maximum voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC) trials for each position were obtained in a randomized, counterbalanced fashion. Results. No statistically significant (p < 0.05) differences were observed between PRONE (upper: 91.94%; lower: 94.52%) and SQUEEZE (upper: 92.04%; lower: 85.12%) for both the upper and lower gluteus maximus. Neither the PRONE nor SQUEEZE was more effective between all subjects. Conclusions. In agreement with other studies, no single testing position is ideal for every participant. Therefore, it is recommended that investigators employ multiple MVIC positions, when possible, to ensure accuracy. Future research should investigate a variety of gluteus maximus MVIC positions in heterogeneous samples.

  2. Influence of Gluteus Maximus Inhibition on Upper Trapezius Overactivity in Chronic Mechanical Neck Pain with Radiculopathy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ghada Mohamed Koura

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Background: Mechanical neck pain is the most common type of neck pain and commonly to accompany with radiculopathy. Patients of neck pain exhibit greater activation of accessory muscles, (sternocleidomastoid, anterior scalene, and upper trapezius muscles and may also show changed patterns of motor control of other postural muscles as pelvic muscles for reducing activation of painful muscles of neck. Aim of the study: To determine if there is an association between gluteus maximus inhibition and overactivity of upper fibres of trapezius in patients with chronic mechanical neck pain with radiculopathy. Materials and Methods: Forty female patients participated in this study diagnosed as chronic mechanical neck pain with radiculopathy. Amplitude and onset of muscle activation were assessed by using the surface electromyography (EMG during prone hip extension test. Results: The results of this study demonstrated that there is no correlation between the amplitude of EMG activity of right and left gluteus maximus and the amplitude of EMG activity of right and left upper trapezius (P<0.05. Conclusion: It can be concluded that the overactivity of the upper trapezius muscle in patients with chronic mechanical neck pain with radiculopathy is not related to the inhibition of the gluteus maximus muscle during prone hip extension test.

  3. A comparison of two gluteus maximus EMG maximum voluntary isometric contraction positions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Contreras, Bret; Schoenfeld, Brad J.; Beardsley, Chris; Cronin, John

    2015-01-01

    Background. The purpose of this study was to compare the peak electromyography (EMG) of the most commonly-used position in the literature, the prone bent-leg (90°) hip extension against manual resistance applied to the distal thigh (PRONE), to a novel position, the standing glute squeeze (SQUEEZE). Methods. Surface EMG electrodes were placed on the upper and lower gluteus maximus of thirteen recreationally active females (age = 28.9 years; height = 164 cm; body mass = 58.2 kg), before three maximum voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC) trials for each position were obtained in a randomized, counterbalanced fashion. Results. No statistically significant (p < 0.05) differences were observed between PRONE (upper: 91.94%; lower: 94.52%) and SQUEEZE (upper: 92.04%; lower: 85.12%) for both the upper and lower gluteus maximus. Neither the PRONE nor SQUEEZE was more effective between all subjects. Conclusions. In agreement with other studies, no single testing position is ideal for every participant. Therefore, it is recommended that investigators employ multiple MVIC positions, when possible, to ensure accuracy. Future research should investigate a variety of gluteus maximus MVIC positions in heterogeneous samples. PMID:26417543

  4. A comparison of two gluteus maximus EMG maximum voluntary isometric contraction positions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bret Contreras

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Background. The purpose of this study was to compare the peak electromyography (EMG of the most commonly-used position in the literature, the prone bent-leg (90° hip extension against manual resistance applied to the distal thigh (PRONE, to a novel position, the standing glute squeeze (SQUEEZE.Methods. Surface EMG electrodes were placed on the upper and lower gluteus maximus of thirteen recreationally active females (age = 28.9 years; height = 164 cm; body mass = 58.2 kg, before three maximum voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC trials for each position were obtained in a randomized, counterbalanced fashion.Results. No statistically significant (p < 0.05 differences were observed between PRONE (upper: 91.94%; lower: 94.52% and SQUEEZE (upper: 92.04%; lower: 85.12% for both the upper and lower gluteus maximus. Neither the PRONE nor SQUEEZE was more effective between all subjects.Conclusions. In agreement with other studies, no single testing position is ideal for every participant. Therefore, it is recommended that investigators employ multiple MVIC positions, when possible, to ensure accuracy. Future research should investigate a variety of gluteus maximus MVIC positions in heterogeneous samples.

  5. Molecular characterisation and genetic variation of Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesvirus infection in captive young Asian elephants in Thailand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sripiboon, Supaphen; Jackson, Bethany; Ditcham, William; Holyoake, Carly; Robertson, Ian; Thitaram, Chatchote; Tankaew, Pallop; Letwatcharasarakul, Preeda; Warren, Kristin

    2016-10-01

    Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesvirus (EEHV) is emerging as a new threat for elephant conservation, since being identified as the cause of severe, often fatal, haemorrhagic disease in young Asian elephants. To describe positive cases and the molecular relatedness of virus detected in elephants in Thailand, we re-examined all available of EEHV samples occurring in young elephants in Thailand between 2006 and 2014 (n=24). Results indicated 75% (18/24) of suspected cases were positive for EEHV by semi-nested PCR. Further gene analysis identified these positive cases as EEHV1A (72%, 13/18 cases), EEHV1B (11%, 2/18) and EEHV4 (17%, 3/18). This study is the first to phylogenetically analyse and provide an overview of most of the known EEHV cases that have occurred in Thailand. Positive individuals ranged in age from one to nine years, with no sex association detected, and occurred across geographical locations throughout the country. All individuals, except one, were captive-born. No history of direct contact among the cases was recorded, and this together with the fact that various subtype clusters of virus were found, implied that none of the positive cases were epidemiologically related. These results concur with the hypothesis that EEHV1 is likely to be an ancient endogenous pathogen in Asian elephants. It is recommended that active surveillance and routine monitoring for EEHV should be undertaken in all elephant range countries, to gain a better understanding of the epidemiology, transmission and prevention of this disease. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Entomogenous nematodes: a field study for biological control of Curculio elephas Gyl. (Coleoptera Curculionidae); Nematodi entomoparassiti: una prova di impiego in campo della lotta contro il balanino del castagno, Curculio elephas Gyl. (Coleoptera Curculionidae)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rapagnani, M.R.; Caffarelli, V.; Letardi, A.; Barlattani, M. [ENEA, Centro Ricerche Casaccia, Rome (Italy). Dipt. Innovazione; Lazzari, L.; Ruggeri, L. [BIOERRE, Crespellano, Bologna (Italy); Lelli, L.

    1999-02-01

    Biological control of chestnut weevil (Curculio elephas Gyl.) using entomogenous nematodes (Steinernematidae and Heterorhabditidae) was investigated under field conditions. Experiments of infectivity, soil persistence and mobility of the infective juveniles stage of the nematodes were carried out through laboratory tests. Experimental results on developing infectivity process if entomogenous nematodes, have shown both inhibition at low temperature (average value 12 C) and mechanic barrier of weevil pupal envelope. Use of dispersal media as water or peat, was not relevant on experimental results. Further researches are required to test low temperature-resistant strain. [Italiano] Vengono riportati i risultati di uno studio di lotta biologica contro il balanino del castagno (Curculio elephas Gyl.) realizzato utilizzando ceppi di nematodi entomoparassiti (Steinernematidae and Heterorhabditidae). Sono stati monitorati, in campo, l`andamento dell`infestazione del balanino del castagno, l`efficacia del trattamento e l`andamento della temperatura sia climatica che nel terreno a due diverse profondita`. Nel corso dello studio e` stata controllata periodicamente, con prove di laboratorio, la persistenza nel terreno e la capacita` infettiva dei nematodi utilizzati. Lo studio ha messo in evidenza la difficolta` da parte dei nematodi di esplicare la propria azione di entomoparassiti in condizioni di temperatura media attorno ai 12 C e di superare la barriera fisica operata dalla celletta entro cui si impupa il balanino. Il mezzo utilizzato per la dispersione dei nematodi (acqua o torba) risulta essere indifferente rispetto al risultato ottenuto. L`esperienza ha evidenziato l`interesse, in questo tipo di lotta, alla sperimentazione di ceppi di nematodi resistenti alle basse temperature.

  7. Should humans interfere in the lives of elephants?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H.P.P. Lötter

    2005-07-01

    Full Text Available Culling seems to be a cruel method of human interference in the lives of elephants. Culling is generally used to control population numbers of highly developed mammals to protect vegetation and habitat for other species. Many people are against human interference in the lives of elephants. In this article aspects of this highly controversial issue are explored. Three fascinating characteristics of this ethical dilemma are discussed in the introductory part, and then the major arguments raised against human interference in the lives of elephants are evaluated. These arguments are the following: First, that nature should be allowed to run its course and establish its own balance; nature will thus solve the problem of elephant over-population. The second argument raised by animal-rights activists as well as by animal-welfare groups either claim that animals have rights that humans must respect at all times, or that all sentient beings have interests that humans ought to respect, as those beings can experience pleasure or pain. The third argument often associates culling elephants as method for population control with the commercial use and exploitation of wilderness areas. Many people argue that it is unethical to use wildlife as a sustainable resource for fighting poverty. In conclusion it is stated that despite these arguments human

  8. Foot pressure distributions during walking in African elephants (Loxodonta africana)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pataky, Todd C.; Day, Madeleine; Hensman, Michael C.; Hensman, Sean; Hutchinson, John R.; Clemente, Christofer J.

    2016-01-01

    Elephants, the largest living land mammals, have evolved a specialized foot morphology to help reduce locomotor pressures while supporting their large body mass. Peak pressures that could cause tissue damage are mitigated passively by the anatomy of elephants' feet, yet this mechanism does not seem to work well for some captive animals. This study tests how foot pressures vary among African and Asian elephants from habitats where natural substrates predominate but where foot care protocols differ. Variations in pressure patterns might be related to differences in husbandry, including but not limited to trimming and the substrates that elephants typically stand and move on. Both species' samples exhibited the highest concentration of peak pressures on the lateral digits of their feet (which tend to develop more disease in elephants) and lower pressures around the heel. The trajectories of the foot's centre of pressure were also similar, confirming that when walking at similar speeds, both species load their feet laterally at impact and then shift their weight medially throughout the step until toe-off. Overall, we found evidence of variations in foot pressure patterns that might be attributable to husbandry and other causes, deserving further examination using broader, more comparable samples. PMID:27853539

  9. Interpretation of human pointing by African elephants: generalisation and rationality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smet, Anna F; Byrne, Richard W

    2014-11-01

    Factors influencing the abilities of different animals to use cooperative social cues from humans are still unclear, in spite of long-standing interest in the topic. One of the few species that have been found successful at using human pointing is the African elephant (Loxodonta africana); despite few opportunities for learning about pointing, elephants follow a pointing gesture in an object-choice task, even when the pointing signal and experimenter's body position are in conflict, and when the gesture itself is visually subtle. Here, we show that the success of captive African elephants at using human pointing is not restricted to situations where the pointing signal is sustained until the time of choice: elephants followed human pointing even when the pointing gesture was withdrawn before they had responded to it. Furthermore, elephants rapidly generalised their response to a type of social cue they were unlikely to have seen before: pointing with the foot. However, unlike young children, they showed no sign of evaluating the 'rationality' of this novel pointing gesture according to its visual context: that is, whether the experimenter's hands were occupied or not.

  10. Diagnosis of Tuberculosis in Three Zoo Elephants and a Human Contact - Oregon, 2013.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zlot, Amy; Vines, Jennifer; Nystrom, Laura; Lane, Lindsey; Behm, Heidi; Denny, Justin; Finnegan, Mitch; Hostetler, Trevor; Matthews, Gloria; Storms, Tim; DeBess, Emilio

    2016-01-08

    In 2013, public health officials in Multnomah County, Oregon, started an investigation of a tuberculosis (TB) outbreak among elephants and humans at a local zoo. The investigation ultimately identified three bull elephants with active TB and 118 human contacts of the elephants. Ninety-six (81%) contacts were evaluated, and seven close contacts were found to have latent TB infection. The three bulls were isolated and treated (elephants with TB typically are not euthanized) to prevent infection of other animals and humans, and persons with latent infection were offered treatment. Improved TB screening methods for elephants are needed to prevent exposure of human contacts.

  11. Quantity and configuration of available elephant habitat and related conservation concerns in the Lower Kinabatangan floodplain of Sabah, Malaysia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason G Estes

    Full Text Available The approximately 300 (298, 95% CI: 152-581 elephants in the Lower Kinabatangan Managed Elephant Range in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo are a priority sub-population for Borneo's total elephant population (2,040, 95% CI: 1,184-3,652. Habitat loss and human-elephant conflict are recognized as the major threats to Bornean elephant survival. In the Kinabatangan region, human settlements and agricultural development for oil palm drive an intense fragmentation process. Electric fences guard against elephant crop raiding but also remove access to suitable habitat patches. We conducted expert opinion-based least-cost analyses, to model the quantity and configuration of available suitable elephant habitat in the Lower Kinabatangan, and called this the Elephant Habitat Linkage. At 184 km(2, our estimate of available habitat is 54% smaller than the estimate used in the State's Elephant Action Plan for the Lower Kinabatangan Managed Elephant Range (400 km(2. During high flood levels, available habitat is reduced to only 61 km(2. As a consequence, short-term elephant densities are likely to surge during floods to 4.83 km(-2 (95% CI: 2.46-9.41, among the highest estimated for forest-dwelling elephants in Asia or Africa. During severe floods, the configuration of remaining elephant habitat and the surge in elephant density may put two villages at elevated risk of human-elephant conflict. Lower Kinabatangan elephants are vulnerable to the natural disturbance regime of the river due to their limited dispersal options. Twenty bottlenecks less than one km wide throughout the Elephant Habitat Linkage, have the potential to further reduce access to suitable habitat. Rebuilding landscape connectivity to isolated habitat patches and to the North Kinabatangan Managed Elephant Range (less than 35 km inland are conservation priorities that would increase the quantity of available habitat, and may work as a mechanism to allow population release, lower elephant density, reduce

  12. The influence of socioeconomic factors on the densities of high-value cross-border species, the African elephant

    OpenAIRE

    Selier, Sarah-Anne Jeanetta; Slotow, Rob; Di Minin, Enrico

    2016-01-01

    Unprecedented poaching levels triggered by demand for ivory in Far East Asia are threatening the persistence of African elephant Loxodonta africana. Southern African countries make an important contribution to elephant conservation and could soon become the last stronghold of elephant conservation in Africa. While the ecological factors affecting elephant distribution and densities have extensively been accounted for, there is a need to understand which socioeconomic factors affect elephant n...

  13. Personality assessment and its association with genetic factors in captive Asian and African elephants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yasui, Saki; Konno, Akitsugu; Tanaka, Masayuki; Idani, Gen'ichi; Ludwig, Arne; Lieckfeldt, Dietmar; Inoue-Murayama, Miho

    2013-01-01

    Elephants live in a complex society based on matrilineal groups. Management of captive elephants is difficult, partly because each elephant has a unique personality. For a better understanding of elephant well being in captivity, it would be helpful to systematically evaluate elephants' personalities and their underlying biological basis. We sent elephant' personality questionnaires to keepers of 75 elephants. We also used 196 elephant DNA samples to search for genetic polymorphisms in genes expressed in the brain that have been suggested to be related to personality traits. Three genes, androgen receptor (AR), fragile X related mental retardation protein interacting protein (NUFIP2), and acheate-scute homologs 1 (ASH1) contained polymorphic regions. We examined the association of personality with intraspecific genetic variation in 17 Asian and 28 African elephants. The results suggest that the ASH1 genotype was associated with neuroticism in Asian elephants. Subjects with short alleles had lower scores of neuroticism than those with long alleles. This is the first report of an association between a genetic polymorphism and personality in elephants. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. Megagardeners of the forest - the role of elephants in seed dispersal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campos-Arceiz, Ahimsa; Blake, Steve

    2011-11-01

    As the largest frugivores on Earth, elephants have unique ecological properties. Found in deserts, savannahs, and forests, they are the last remnants of a diverse lineage. Among the three currently recognized forms, African forest elephants are the most frugivorous, followed by Asian and African savannah elephants, although their role as seed dispersers is variable and context-dependent. African forest elephants may consume more seeds from more species than any other taxon of large vertebrate dispersers, defecating them over long distances in viable conditions into nutrient-rich and protective dung. In short, elephants are forest gardeners. The signature of elephant dispersal is evident in the spatial distribution of trees suggesting that elephants maintain tree diversity and retain low redundancy in seed dispersal systems. Large numbers of forest elephants ranging over large areas may be essential for ecosystem function. The loss of elephants will have important negative consequences for the ecological trajectories of some plant species and whole ecological communities, yet the conservation status of forest elephants is catastrophic in Asia and rapidly becoming so in Africa due to hunting and other conflicts with people. In this paper we review the current knowledge of elephants as seed dispersers, discuss the ecological consequences of their decline, and suggest priority areas for research and conservation action.

  15. Continent-wide survey reveals massive decline in African savannah elephants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael J. Chase

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available African elephants (Loxodonta africana are imperiled by poaching and habitat loss. Despite global attention to the plight of elephants, their population sizes and trends are uncertain or unknown over much of Africa. To conserve this iconic species, conservationists need timely, accurate data on elephant populations. Here, we report the results of the Great Elephant Census (GEC, the first continent-wide, standardized survey of African savannah elephants. We also provide the first quantitative model of elephant population trends across Africa. We estimated a population of 352,271 savannah elephants on study sites in 18 countries, representing approximately 93% of all savannah elephants in those countries. Elephant populations in survey areas with historical data decreased by an estimated 144,000 from 2007 to 2014, and populations are currently shrinking by 8% per year continent-wide, primarily due to poaching. Though 84% of elephants occurred in protected areas, many protected areas had carcass ratios that indicated high levels of elephant mortality. Results of the GEC show the necessity of action to end the African elephants’ downward trajectory by preventing poaching and protecting habitat.

  16. Evaluación del bienestar del elefante asiático (Elephas maximus) y del rinoceronte indio (Rinoceros unicornis) en cautividad a través del cortisol salivar

    OpenAIRE

    Menargues Marcilla, María Asunción

    2011-01-01

    La presente tesis estudia la medición del bienestar animal mediante el análisis del cortisol salivar como herramienta en el manejo de elefantes asiáticos y rinocerontes indios en parques zoológicos, para conocer y mejorar las condiciones de cautividad de estos animales con el fin de mejorar su bienestar. En este estudio se valida la técnica del análisis de cortisol salivar para las especies citadas y se analiza cómo afectan diversos estímulos estresantes al bienestar de estos animales, como l...

  17. The ecology of the elephants in the Kasungu National Park, Malawi with specific reference to management of elephant populations in the Brachystegia biome of Southern Central Africa

    OpenAIRE

    Jachmann, Hugo

    1984-01-01

    The elephant is one of the most important animals in African Wildlife Management, firstly because it is capable of modifying through cropping. The latter also makes it a prime poaching target. The main problems caused by elephant concern changes in the physiognomy of the habitat with its consequences for the population itself and the diversity of plant and animal species in the conservation area. The Kasungu National Park suffers simultaneously from heavy illegal offtake and an elephant probl...

  18. Inactivity/sleep in two wild free-roaming African elephant matriarchs ? Does large body size make elephants the shortest mammalian sleepers?

    OpenAIRE

    Gravett, Nadine; Bhagwandin, Adhil; Sutcliffe, Robert; Landen, Kelly; Michael J. Chase; Lyamin, Oleg I.; Siegel, Jerome M.; Manger, Paul R.

    2017-01-01

    The current study provides details of sleep (or inactivity) in two wild, free-roaming African elephant matriarchs studied in their natural habitat with remote monitoring using an actiwatch subcutaneously implanted in the trunk, a standard elephant collar equipped with a GPS system and gyroscope, and a portable weather station. We found that these two elephants were polyphasic sleepers, had an average daily total sleep time of 2 h, mostly between 02:00 and 06:00, and displayed the shortest dai...

  19. Devastating Decline of Forest Elephants in Central Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blake, Stephen; Wittemyer, George; Hart, John; Williamson, Elizabeth A.; Aba’a, Rostand; Abitsi, Gaspard; Ambahe, Ruffin D.; Amsini, Fidèl; Bakabana, Parfait C.; Hicks, Thurston Cleveland; Bayogo, Rosine E.; Bechem, Martha; Beyers, Rene L.; Bezangoye, Anicet N.; Boundja, Patrick; Bout, Nicolas; Akou, Marc Ella; Bene, Lambert Bene; Fosso, Bernard; Greengrass, Elizabeth; Grossmann, Falk; Ikamba-Nkulu, Clement; Ilambu, Omari; Inogwabini, Bila-Isia; Iyenguet, Fortune; Kiminou, Franck; Kokangoye, Max; Kujirakwinja, Deo; Latour, Stephanie; Liengola, Innocent; Mackaya, Quevain; Madidi, Jacob; Madzoke, Bola; Makoumbou, Calixte; Malanda, Guy-Aimé; Malonga, Richard; Mbani, Olivier; Mbendzo, Valentin A.; Ambassa, Edgar; Ekinde, Albert; Mihindou, Yves; Morgan, Bethan J.; Motsaba, Prosper; Moukala, Gabin; Mounguengui, Anselme; Mowawa, Brice S.; Ndzai, Christian; Nixon, Stuart; Nkumu, Pele; Nzolani, Fabian; Pintea, Lilian; Plumptre, Andrew; Rainey, Hugo; de Semboli, Bruno Bokoto; Serckx, Adeline; Stokes, Emma; Turkalo, Andrea; Vanleeuwe, Hilde; Vosper, Ashley; Warren, Ymke

    2013-01-01

    African forest elephants– taxonomically and functionally unique–are being poached at accelerating rates, but we lack range-wide information on the repercussions. Analysis of the largest survey dataset ever assembled for forest elephants (80 foot-surveys; covering 13,000 km; 91,600 person-days of fieldwork) revealed that population size declined by ca. 62% between 2002–2011, and the taxon lost 30% of its geographical range. The population is now less than 10% of its potential size, occupying less than 25% of its potential range. High human population density, hunting intensity, absence of law enforcement, poor governance, and proximity to expanding infrastructure are the strongest predictors of decline. To save the remaining African forest elephants, illegal poaching for ivory and encroachment into core elephant habitat must be stopped. In addition, the international demand for ivory, which fuels illegal trade, must be dramatically reduced. PMID:23469289

  20. The Elephant Vanishes: impact of human-elephant conflict on people's wellbeing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jadhav, Sushrut; Barua, Maan

    2012-11-01

    Human-wildlife conflicts impact upon the wellbeing of marginalised people, worldwide. Although tangible losses from such conflicts are well documented, hidden health consequences remain under-researched. Based on preliminary clinical ethnographic inquiries and sustained fieldwork in Assam, India, this paper documents mental health antecedents and consequences including severe untreated psychiatric morbidity and substance abuse. The case studies presented make visible the hidden mental health dimensions of human-elephant conflict. The paper illustrates how health impacts of conflicts penetrate far deeper than immediate physical threat from elephants, worsens pre-existing mental illness of marginalised people, and leads to newer psychiatric and social pathologies. These conflicts are enacted and perpetuated in institutional spaces of inequality. The authors argue that both wildlife conservation and community mental health disciplines would be enhanced by coordinated intervention. The paper concludes by generating questions that are fundamental for a new interdisciplinary paradigm that bridges ecology and the clinic. Crown Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Inactivity/sleep in two wild free-roaming African elephant matriarchs - Does large body size make elephants the shortest mammalian sleepers?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gravett, Nadine; Bhagwandin, Adhil; Sutcliffe, Robert; Landen, Kelly; Chase, Michael J; Lyamin, Oleg I; Siegel, Jerome M; Manger, Paul R

    2017-01-01

    The current study provides details of sleep (or inactivity) in two wild, free-roaming African elephant matriarchs studied in their natural habitat with remote monitoring using an actiwatch subcutaneously implanted in the trunk, a standard elephant collar equipped with a GPS system and gyroscope, and a portable weather station. We found that these two elephants were polyphasic sleepers, had an average daily total sleep time of 2 h, mostly between 02:00 and 06:00, and displayed the shortest daily sleep time of any mammal recorded to date. Moreover, these two elephants exhibited both standing and recumbent sleep, but only exhibited recumbent sleep every third or fourth day, potentially limiting their ability to enter REM sleep on a daily basis. In addition, we observed on five occasions that the elephants went without sleep for up to 46 h and traversed around 30 km in 10 h, possibly due to disturbances such as potential predation or poaching events, or a bull elephant in musth. They exhibited no form of sleep rebound following a night without sleep. Environmental conditions, especially ambient air temperature and relative humidity, analysed as wet-bulb globe temperature, reliably predict sleep onset and offset times. The elephants selected novel sleep sites each night and the amount of activity between sleep periods did not affect the amount of sleep. A number of similarities and differences to studies of elephant sleep in captivity are noted, and specific factors shaping sleep architecture in elephants, on various temporal scales, are discussed.

  2. Inactivity/sleep in two wild free-roaming African elephant matriarchs - Does large body size make elephants the shortest mammalian sleepers?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nadine Gravett

    Full Text Available The current study provides details of sleep (or inactivity in two wild, free-roaming African elephant matriarchs studied in their natural habitat with remote monitoring using an actiwatch subcutaneously implanted in the trunk, a standard elephant collar equipped with a GPS system and gyroscope, and a portable weather station. We found that these two elephants were polyphasic sleepers, had an average daily total sleep time of 2 h, mostly between 02:00 and 06:00, and displayed the shortest daily sleep time of any mammal recorded to date. Moreover, these two elephants exhibited both standing and recumbent sleep, but only exhibited recumbent sleep every third or fourth day, potentially limiting their ability to enter REM sleep on a daily basis. In addition, we observed on five occasions that the elephants went without sleep for up to 46 h and traversed around 30 km in 10 h, possibly due to disturbances such as potential predation or poaching events, or a bull elephant in musth. They exhibited no form of sleep rebound following a night without sleep. Environmental conditions, especially ambient air temperature and relative humidity, analysed as wet-bulb globe temperature, reliably predict sleep onset and offset times. The elephants selected novel sleep sites each night and the amount of activity between sleep periods did not affect the amount of sleep. A number of similarities and differences to studies of elephant sleep in captivity are noted, and specific factors shaping sleep architecture in elephants, on various temporal scales, are discussed.

  3. Inactivity/sleep in two wild free-roaming African elephant matriarchs – Does large body size make elephants the shortest mammalian sleepers?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gravett, Nadine; Bhagwandin, Adhil; Sutcliffe, Robert; Landen, Kelly; Chase, Michael J.; Lyamin, Oleg I.; Siegel, Jerome M.; Manger, Paul R.

    2017-01-01

    The current study provides details of sleep (or inactivity) in two wild, free-roaming African elephant matriarchs studied in their natural habitat with remote monitoring using an actiwatch subcutaneously implanted in the trunk, a standard elephant collar equipped with a GPS system and gyroscope, and a portable weather station. We found that these two elephants were polyphasic sleepers, had an average daily total sleep time of 2 h, mostly between 02:00 and 06:00, and displayed the shortest daily sleep time of any mammal recorded to date. Moreover, these two elephants exhibited both standing and recumbent sleep, but only exhibited recumbent sleep every third or fourth day, potentially limiting their ability to enter REM sleep on a daily basis. In addition, we observed on five occasions that the elephants went without sleep for up to 46 h and traversed around 30 km in 10 h, possibly due to disturbances such as potential predation or poaching events, or a bull elephant in musth. They exhibited no form of sleep rebound following a night without sleep. Environmental conditions, especially ambient air temperature and relative humidity, analysed as wet-bulb globe temperature, reliably predict sleep onset and offset times. The elephants selected novel sleep sites each night and the amount of activity between sleep periods did not affect the amount of sleep. A number of similarities and differences to studies of elephant sleep in captivity are noted, and specific factors shaping sleep architecture in elephants, on various temporal scales, are discussed. PMID:28249035

  4. Freezing African Elephant Semen as a New Population Management Tool

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hermes, Robert; Saragusty, Joseph; Göritz, Frank; Bartels, Paul; Potier, Romain; Baker, Barbara; Streich, W. Jürgen; Hildebrandt, Thomas B.

    2013-01-01

    Background The captive elephant population is not self-sustaining and with a limited number of breeding bulls, its genetic diversity is in decline. One way to overcome this is to import young and healthy animals from the wild. We introduce here a more sustainable alternative method - importation of semen from wild bulls without removing them from their natural habitat. Due to the logistics involved, the only practical option would be to transport cryopreserved sperm. Despite some early reports on African elephant semen cryopreservation, the utility of this new population management tool has not been evaluated. Methodology/Principal Findings Semen was collected by electroejaculation from 14 wild African savanna elephant (Loxodonta africana) bulls and cryopreserved using the directional freezing technique. Sperm treatments evaluated included the need for centrifugation, the use of hen or quail yolk, the concentration of glycerol (3%, 5% or 7%) in the extender, and maintenance of motility over time after thawing. Our results suggest that dilution in an extender containing hen yolk and 7% glycerol after centrifugation best preserved post-thaw sperm motility when compared to all other treatments (P≤0.012 for all). Using this approach we were able to achieve after thawing (mean ± SD) 54.6±3.9% motility, 85.3±2.4% acrosome integrity, and 86.8±4.6% normal morphology with no decrease in motility over 1 h incubation at 37°C. Sperm cryopreserved during this study has already lead to a pregnancy of a captive female elephant following artificial insemination. Conclusions/Significance With working techniques for artificial insemination and sperm cryopreservation of both African and Asian elephants in hand, population managers can now enrich captive or isolated wild elephant populations without removing valuable individuals from their natural habitat. PMID:23483917

  5. Freezing African elephant semen as a new population management tool.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert Hermes

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The captive elephant population is not self-sustaining and with a limited number of breeding bulls, its genetic diversity is in decline. One way to overcome this is to import young and healthy animals from the wild. We introduce here a more sustainable alternative method - importation of semen from wild bulls without removing them from their natural habitat. Due to the logistics involved, the only practical option would be to transport cryopreserved sperm. Despite some early reports on African elephant semen cryopreservation, the utility of this new population management tool has not been evaluated. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Semen was collected by electroejaculation from 14 wild African savanna elephant (Loxodonta africana bulls and cryopreserved using the directional freezing technique. Sperm treatments evaluated included the need for centrifugation, the use of hen or quail yolk, the concentration of glycerol (3%, 5% or 7% in the extender, and maintenance of motility over time after thawing. Our results suggest that dilution in an extender containing hen yolk and 7% glycerol after centrifugation best preserved post-thaw sperm motility when compared to all other treatments (P≤0.012 for all. Using this approach we were able to achieve after thawing (mean ± SD 54.6±3.9% motility, 85.3±2.4% acrosome integrity, and 86.8±4.6% normal morphology with no decrease in motility over 1 h incubation at 37°C. Sperm cryopreserved during this study has already lead to a pregnancy of a captive female elephant following artificial insemination. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: With working techniques for artificial insemination and sperm cryopreservation of both African and Asian elephants in hand, population managers can now enrich captive or isolated wild elephant populations without removing valuable individuals from their natural habitat.

  6. Curculio elephas (Gyllenhal)(Col:curculionidae) y Cydia fagiglandana (Zeller)(Lep.: tortricidae) en encina (Quercus rotundifolia Lam.): Infestación y relaciones interespecíficas

    OpenAIRE

    Soria Iglesias, Francisco Javier; Villagrán Pinteño, Miguel; Martín Santana, Pedro; Ocete Rubio, María Elvira

    1999-01-01

    Se estudia la infestación y distribución de frutos afectados por Curculio elephas (Gyllenhal) (Col.: Curculionidae) y Cydia fagiglandana (Zeller) (Lep.: Tortricidae) en encina. Los resultados muestran que, en ambas especies, la distribución es homogénea en la copa. También, se analizan las relaciones interespecíficas en la colonización de frutos ; encontrándose una mayor selectividad en el caso de C. fagiglandana.

  7. Elephant grass clones for silage production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rerisson José Cipriano dos Santos

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Ensiling warm-season grasses often requires wilting due to their high moisture content, and the presence of low-soluble sugars in these grasses usually demands the use of additives during the ensiling process. This study evaluated the bromatological composition of the fodder and silage from five Pennisetum sp. clones (IPA HV 241, IPA/UFRPE Taiwan A-146 2.114, IPA/UFRPE Taiwan A-146 2.37, Elephant B, and Mott. The contents of 20 Polyvinyl chloride (PVC silos, which were opened after 90 days of storage, were used for the bromatological analysis and the evaluation of the pH, nitrogen, ammonia, buffer capacity, soluble carbohydrates, and fermentation coefficients. The effluent losses, gases and dry matter recovery were also calculated. Although differences were observed among the clones (p < 0.05 for the concentrations of dry matter, insoluble nitrogen in acid detergents, insoluble nitrogen in neutral detergents, soluble carbohydrates, fermentation coefficients, and in vitro digestibility in the forage before ensiling, no differences were observed for most of these variables after ensiling. All of the clones were efficient in the fermentation process. The IPA/UFRPE TAIWAN A-146 2.37 clone, however, presented a higher dry matter concentration and the best fermentation coefficient, resulting in a better silage quality, compared to the other clones.

  8. Analyzing Vegetation Change in an Elephant-Impacted Landscape Using the Moving Standard Deviation Index

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timothy J. Fullman

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Northern Botswana is influenced by various socio-ecological drivers of landscape change. The African elephant (Loxodonta africana is one of the leading sources of landscape shifts in this region. Developing the ability to assess elephant impacts on savanna vegetation is important to promote effective management strategies. The Moving Standard Deviation Index (MSDI applies a standard deviation calculation to remote sensing imagery to assess degradation of vegetation. Used previously for assessing impacts of livestock on rangelands, we evaluate the ability of the MSDI to detect elephant-modified vegetation along the Chobe riverfront in Botswana, a heavily elephant-impacted landscape. At broad scales, MSDI values are positively related to elephant utilization. At finer scales, using data from 257 sites along the riverfront, MSDI values show a consistent negative relationship with intensity of elephant utilization. We suggest that these differences are due to varying effects of elephants across scales. Elephant utilization of vegetation may increase heterogeneity across the landscape, but decrease it within heavily used patches, resulting in the observed MSDI pattern of divergent trends at different scales. While significant, the low explanatory power of the relationship between the MSDI and elephant utilization suggests the MSDI may have limited use for regional monitoring of elephant impacts.

  9. Elephant population growth in Kruger National Park, South Africa, under a landscape management approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sam M. Ferreira

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available South African National Parks (SANParks manage landscapes rather than numbers of elephants (Loxodonta africana to mitigate the effects that elephants may have on biodiversity, tourism and stakeholder conservation values associated with protected areas. This management philosophy imposes spatial variability of critical resources on elephants. Restoration of such ecological processes through less intensive management predicts a reduction in population growth rates from the eras of intensive management. We collated aerial survey data since 1995 and conducted an aerial total count using a helicopter observation platform during 2015. A minimum of 17 086 elephants were resident in the Kruger National Park (KNP in 2015, growing at 4.2% per annum over the last generation of elephants (i.e. 12 years, compared to 6.5% annual population growth noted during the intensive management era ending in 1994. This may come from responses of elephants to density and environmental factors manifested through reduced birth rates and increased mortality rates. Authorities should continue to evaluate the demographic responses of elephants to landscape scale interventions directed at restoring the limitation of spatial variance in resource distribution on elephant spatiotemporal dynamics and the consequences that may have for other conservation values.Conservation implications: Conservation managers should continue with surveying elephants in a way that allows the extraction of key variables. Such variables should focus on measures that reflect on how theory predicts elephants should respond to management interventions.

  10. Elevated elephant density does not improve ecotourism opportunities: convergence in social and ecological objectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maciejewski, Kristine; Kerley, Graham I H

    2014-07-01

    In order to sustainably conserve biodiversity, many protected areas, particularly private protected areas, must find means of self-financing. Ecotourism is increasingly seen as a mechanism to achieve such financial sustainability. However, there is concern that ecotourism operations are driven to achieve successful game-viewing, influencing the management of charismatic species. An abundance of such species, including the African elephant (Loxodonta africana), has been stocked in protected areas under the assumption that they will increase ecotourism value. At moderate to high densities, the impact of elephants is costly; numerous studies have documented severe changes in biodiversity through the impacts of elephants. Protected areas that focus on maintaining high numbers of elephants may therefore face a conflict between socioeconomic demands and the capacity of ecological systems. We address this conflict by analyzing tourist elephant-sighting records from six private and one statutory protected area, the Addo Elephant National Park (AENP), in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, in relation to elephant numbers. We found no relationship between elephant density and elephant-viewing success. Even though elephant density in the AENP increased over time, a hierarchical partitioning analysis indicated that elephant density was not a driver of tourist numbers. In contrast, annual tourist numbers for the AENP were positively correlated with general tourist numbers recorded for South Africa. Our results indicate that the socioeconomic and ecological requirements of protected areas in terms of tourism and elephants, respectively, converge. Thus, high elephant densities and their associated ecological costs are not required to support ecotourism operations for financial sustainability. Understanding the social and ecological feedbacks that dominate the dynamics of protected areas, particularly within private protected areas, can help to elucidate the management

  11. Reconciling Apparent Conflicts between Mitochondrial and Nuclear Phylogenies in African Elephants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Georgiadis, Nicholas J.; David, Victor A.; Zhao, Kai; Stephens, Robert M.; Kolokotronis, Sergios-Orestis; Roca, Alfred L.

    2011-01-01

    Conservation strategies for African elephants would be advanced by resolution of conflicting claims that they comprise one, two, three or four taxonomic groups, and by development of genetic markers that establish more incisively the provenance of confiscated ivory. We addressed these related issues by genotyping 555 elephants from across Africa with microsatellite markers, developing a method to identify those loci most effective at geographic assignment of elephants (or their ivory), and conducting novel analyses of continent-wide datasets of mitochondrial DNA. Results showed that nuclear genetic diversity was partitioned into two clusters, corresponding to African forest elephants (99.5% Cluster-1) and African savanna elephants (99.4% Cluster-2). Hybrid individuals were rare. In a comparison of basal forest “F” and savanna “S” mtDNA clade distributions to nuclear DNA partitions, forest elephant nuclear genotypes occurred only in populations in which S clade mtDNA was absent, suggesting that nuclear partitioning corresponds to the presence or absence of S clade mtDNA. We reanalyzed African elephant mtDNA sequences from 81 locales spanning the continent and discovered that S clade mtDNA was completely absent among elephants at all 30 sampled tropical forest locales. The distribution of savanna nuclear DNA and S clade mtDNA corresponded closely to range boundaries traditionally ascribed to the savanna elephant species based on habitat and morphology. Further, a reanalysis of nuclear genetic assignment results suggested that West African elephants do not comprise a distinct third species. Finally, we show that some DNA markers will be more useful than others for determining the geographic origins of illegal ivory. These findings resolve the apparent incongruence between mtDNA and nuclear genetic patterns that has confounded the taxonomy of African elephants, affirm the limitations of using mtDNA patterns to infer elephant systematics or population structure

  12. Reconciling apparent conflicts between mitochondrial and nuclear phylogenies in African elephants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yasuko Ishida

    Full Text Available Conservation strategies for African elephants would be advanced by resolution of conflicting claims that they comprise one, two, three or four taxonomic groups, and by development of genetic markers that establish more incisively the provenance of confiscated ivory. We addressed these related issues by genotyping 555 elephants from across Africa with microsatellite markers, developing a method to identify those loci most effective at geographic assignment of elephants (or their ivory, and conducting novel analyses of continent-wide datasets of mitochondrial DNA. Results showed that nuclear genetic diversity was partitioned into two clusters, corresponding to African forest elephants (99.5% Cluster-1 and African savanna elephants (99.4% Cluster-2. Hybrid individuals were rare. In a comparison of basal forest "F" and savanna "S" mtDNA clade distributions to nuclear DNA partitions, forest elephant nuclear genotypes occurred only in populations in which S clade mtDNA was absent, suggesting that nuclear partitioning corresponds to the presence or absence of S clade mtDNA. We reanalyzed African elephant mtDNA sequences from 81 locales spanning the continent and discovered that S clade mtDNA was completely absent among elephants at all 30 sampled tropical forest locales. The distribution of savanna nuclear DNA and S clade mtDNA corresponded closely to range boundaries traditionally ascribed to the savanna elephant species based on habitat and morphology. Further, a reanalysis of nuclear genetic assignment results suggested that West African elephants do not comprise a distinct third species. Finally, we show that some DNA markers will be more useful than others for determining the geographic origins of illegal ivory. These findings resolve the apparent incongruence between mtDNA and nuclear genetic patterns that has confounded the taxonomy of African elephants, affirm the limitations of using mtDNA patterns to infer elephant systematics or population

  13. Elephant swarm water search algorithm for global optimization

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    S Mandal

    2018-02-07

    Feb 7, 2018 ... been tested against a benchmark problem of computational biology, i.e., inference of Gene Regulatory Network based on Recurrent ..... else. //Local Search local water search or update the elephant velocity , using Eq. (2); end if; update the position , using Eq. (3);. //Update positions evaluate fitness value ...

  14. Canonical correlations in elephant grass for energy purposes ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Elephant grass has the potential to be used as a source for energy production. Besides dry matter yield, other characteristics related to biomass quality are important. The canonic correlation analysis is a multivariate statistical procedure that allows for discovering characteristic associations among groups. The objective of ...

  15. Genetic variability and relationship between MT-1 elephant grass ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    indicate that the MT-1 and Mott have a closest genetic relationship; Huanan and N51 possess a relatively close relationship, and Guimu-1 is the most distinct from the other four cultivars. [Xie X-M., Zhou F., Zhang X-Q. and Zhang J-M. 2009 Genetic variability and relationship between MT-1 elephant grass and closely related.

  16. The African elephants' toe nails | Parker | Journal of East African ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Toe nails on front and hind feet of 689 culled elephants from three populations, two from Uganda and one from Kenya, were counted. Nineteen combinations were found, recorded as nails present on right front foot/left front foot/right hind foot/left hind foot. In addition, toenails from 33 foetuses are compared with their dams' ...

  17. ELEPHANT DECLINE IN LAKE-MANYARA-NATIONAL-PARK, TANZANIA

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    PRINS, HHT; VANDERJEUGD, HP; BEEKMAN, JH

    The population of African elephant (Loxodonta africana (Blumenbach)) in Lake Manyara National Park, northern Tanzania, declined from about 500 individuals in 1984, to about 150 in 1988 due to poaching (mortality rate about 60% p.a.). In 1991 the population had declined further to about 60

  18. Illegal killing for ivory drives global decline in African elephants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wittemyer, George; Northrup, Joseph M.; Blanc, Julian; Douglas-Hamilton, Iain; Omondi, Patrick; Burnham, Kenneth P.

    2014-01-01

    Illegal wildlife trade has reached alarming levels globally, extirpating populations of commercially valuable species. As a driver of biodiversity loss, quantifying illegal harvest is essential for conservation and sociopolitical affairs but notoriously difficult. Here we combine field-based carcass monitoring with fine-scale demographic data from an intensively studied wild African elephant population in Samburu, Kenya, to partition mortality into natural and illegal causes. We then expand our analytical framework to model illegal killing rates and population trends of elephants at regional and continental scales using carcass data collected by a Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species program. At the intensively monitored site, illegal killing increased markedly after 2008 and was correlated strongly with the local black market ivory price and increased seizures of ivory destined for China. More broadly, results from application to continental data indicated illegal killing levels were unsustainable for the species between 2010 and 2012, peaking to ∼8% in 2011 which extrapolates to ∼40,000 elephants illegally killed and a probable species reduction of ∼3% that year. Preliminary data from 2013 indicate overharvesting continued. In contrast to the rest of Africa, our analysis corroborates that Central African forest elephants experienced decline throughout the last decade. These results provide the most comprehensive assessment of illegal ivory harvest to date and confirm that current ivory consumption is not sustainable. Further, our approach provides a powerful basis to determine cryptic mortality and gain understanding of the demography of at-risk species. PMID:25136107

  19. The southern elephant seal Mirounga leonina at Gough Island ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Southern elephant seals Mirounga leonina selected mainly the gently sloping, smooth-surfaced beaches and vegetated areas of the sheltered north-east coast. Mainly adults hauled out during the spring breeding season, with all pups being born by late October and the majority of the pups dispersing from their birthsites by ...

  20. Natal site fidelity by breeding female southern elephant seals in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Of the four types of terrestrial haulout periods undertaken by southern elephant seals Mirounga leonina, only the purpose of the winter haulout is unknown. Returning to a haulout site from distant pelagic foraging grounds bears significant costs in terms of increased energy expenditure, reduced foraging time and increased ...

  1. Annual cycle of the southern elephant seal Mirounga leonina (Linn ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The annual cycle of southern elephant seals, Mirounga leonina, was studied at Marion Island (46°54'S, 37°45' E), between August 1973 and December 1976. Data on the breeding and moulting haul-out of different age and sex classes were obtained by conducting once weekly censuses in a selected study area.

  2. Ensiling of elephant grass with soybean hulls or rice bran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    India Joelma Gatass Monteiro

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The goal was to evaluate the chemical composition and fermentation pattern of elephant grass (Pennisetum purpureum Schum. cv. Roxo silage with different levels of soybean hulls or rice bran. Two trials were conducted, comprising of a completely randomized design, with four replicates each. Treatments consisted on the addition of 0%, 5%, 10%, and 15% of soybean hulls or rice bran to unwilted green elephant grass forage. Large PVC silos were used adopting a density of 600 kg of green mass m-3. The silos were opened 40 days after ensiling. The results revealed that the inclusion of 10% soybean hulls increased elephant grass forage dry matter (DM content to 31%, but did not alter the water soluble carbohydrate (WSC content or buffering capacity. The resultant silages exhibited good fermentation patterns in terms of pH (less than 3.97 and NH3-N (4.07% total N levels. The inclusion of rice bran increased both DM and WSC content in the forage, improving the fermentation pattern of silages (P < 0.05. This too was verified by a pH lower than 3.92 and a maximum NH3-N of 4.23% of the total N. The inclusion of 10% rice bran to the elephant grass improved the nutritional value of the forage to be ensiled and, hence, of the produced silage.

  3. Population status and distribution of forest elephants ( Loxodonta ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The Line Transect Survey Method, footprints analysis, trail cameras and in-depth discussion were used for data collection spanning between April 2015 and March 2016. ... The main factors contributing to the distribution of elephants in the study area are water and food availability, human disturbance and settlement camps.

  4. The histology of the adrenal gland of the African elephant ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    1991-01-22

    Jan 22, 1991 ... The histology of the adrenal gland of the African elephant, Loxodonta africana. Beverley Kramer * and Maria Teixeira. Department of General Anatomy, School of Dentistry, University of the Witwatersrand, P.O. Wits, 2050 Republic of South Africa. J. Hattingh. Department of General Physiology, University of ...

  5. Fluctuations in the population of southern elephant seals Mirounga ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    An analysis of census information published for the years 1952,. 1958,1960 and 1970 ..... With reference to the annual cycle, social organization and breeding ..... Fig.4 Population trend in the adult bull southern elephant seal population from 1958 - 1977, based en information available for the coastline from. Point Molloy to ...

  6. Aerial survey of Elephants (Loxodonta africana africana), other large ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    EJIRO

    2010-03-18

    Mar 18, 2010 ... sex, age, and social structure of this population. Tchamba (1993) hypothesized that there are three elephant sub-populations in Waza Park. The first sub- population resides in the northern part of the park and migrates to Kalamaloue National Park at the beginning of the dry season (December-January).

  7. Sengi (elephant-shrew) observations from northern coastal Kenya ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The biodiversity of northern coastal Kenya is poorly understood because security problems and poor infrastructure have discouraged access to the area. However, the wooded areas in the region have great potential for harbouring unique and rare species, including sengis or elephant-shrews (Macroscelidea). Based on ...

  8. Why do elephants flap their ears? | Wright | African Zoology

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The blood flow in the ear of the African elephant Loxodonta africana was measured In anaesthetized animals using the dye dilution technique at the same time as the arterio-venous temperature difference. The calculated heat loss from the ear is shown to be a substantial proportion of the total metabolic heat-loss ...

  9. Length-Weight Relationship And Condition Factor Of The Elephant ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A total of 791 elephant fish, Mormyrus rume specimens of various sizes were sampled from River Ose, southwestern Ngera. Length-weight relationship and condition factor of the M rume specimens were studied. Their standard lengths ranged from 15.0 to 45.0 cm. Mean standard lengthfor males, females and combined sex ...

  10. Retrospective: "Futki" and Some Other Elephants | Thomas | Uganda ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Retrospective: "Futki" and Some Other Elephants. HB Thomas. Abstract. No Abstract. Full Text: EMAIL FULL TEXT EMAIL FULL TEXT · DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT · http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/uj.v48i1.23010 · AJOL African Journals Online. HOW TO USE AJOL... for Researchers · for Librarians ...

  11. Intestinal protozoa of the African elephant Loxodonta africana ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The digestive tract of 15 elephants from South Africa and two from Zaïre were sampled in order to determine the identity, density and population composition of the intestinal protozoa. The following orders were represented: Gymnostomatida, Trichostomatida and Entodiniomorphida. Altogether 17 species were identified, ...

  12. Conflict of interest: The elephant in your practice | Kaliski | African ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Conflict of interest: The elephant in your practice. S Kaliski. Abstract. No Abstract. Full Text: EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT · DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT · AJOL African Journals Online. HOW TO USE AJOL... for Researchers · for Librarians · for Authors · FAQ's · More about AJOL ...

  13. The natural vegetation of Babile Elephant Sanctuary, Eastern Ethiopia

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A floristic analysis of the natural vegetation was carried out in the Babile Elephant Sanctuary (BES), in semi-arid part of eastern Ethiopia. A total of 75 quadrats, each 400 m2, were analyzed following a stratified sampling design. A total of 237 plant species, belonging to 155 genera and 57 families, were identified. Fabaceae ...

  14. Illegal killing for ivory drives global decline in African elephants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wittemyer, George; Northrup, Joseph M; Blanc, Julian; Douglas-Hamilton, Iain; Omondi, Patrick; Burnham, Kenneth P

    2014-09-09

    Illegal wildlife trade has reached alarming levels globally, extirpating populations of commercially valuable species. As a driver of biodiversity loss, quantifying illegal harvest is essential for conservation and sociopolitical affairs but notoriously difficult. Here we combine field-based carcass monitoring with fine-scale demographic data from an intensively studied wild African elephant population in Samburu, Kenya, to partition mortality into natural and illegal causes. We then expand our analytical framework to model illegal killing rates and population trends of elephants at regional and continental scales using carcass data collected by a Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species program. At the intensively monitored site, illegal killing increased markedly after 2008 and was correlated strongly with the local black market ivory price and increased seizures of ivory destined for China. More broadly, results from application to continental data indicated illegal killing levels were unsustainable for the species between 2010 and 2012, peaking to ∼ 8% in 2011 which extrapolates to ∼ 40,000 elephants illegally killed and a probable species reduction of ∼ 3% that year. Preliminary data from 2013 indicate overharvesting continued. In contrast to the rest of Africa, our analysis corroborates that Central African forest elephants experienced decline throughout the last decade. These results provide the most comprehensive assessment of illegal ivory harvest to date and confirm that current ivory consumption is not sustainable. Further, our approach provides a powerful basis to determine cryptic mortality and gain understanding of the demography of at-risk species.

  15. Managing African Elephant Populations: Act or let die

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Colenbrander, Ben; Gooijer, Jean de; Paling, Robert; Stout, Susanna; Stout, Tom; Allen, Twink

    2004-01-01

    During the last century, the number of African elephant (Loxodonta africana) declined dramatically as a result of over-hunting, poaching for ivory and, more recently, the loss of habitat area due to encroachment of the human population. In some areas, however, the trend to declining numbers was

  16. NMCs, foreign contractors, "white elephants" and Nigeria's economy ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    NMCs, foreign contractors, "white elephants" and Nigeria's economy: An enquiry into 45 years of exploitation. S Folarin. Abstract. No Abstract. African Journal of International Affairs and Development Vol. 11 (1) 2006: 1-19. Full Text: EMAIL FULL TEXT EMAIL FULL TEXT · DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT.

  17. Evaluation of pulp and paper making characteristics of elephant ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Cave-in-Rock) were determined in an effort to evaluate them as raw materials for pulp and paper production. Elephant grass had α-cellulose and Klasson lignin contents of 45.6 and 17.7%, respectively. The respective values for switchgrass were 41.2 and 23.89 %. Pulp yields, following a mild kraft process, were 48 and ...

  18. Predicting factors influencing crop raiding by elephants in the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Nyirenda et al.

    By developing predictive models of binary logistic regression and employing questionnaire surveys, we examined .... population size results in increased conflicts as elephants compete for food and space (Balfour et al., ..... definitive guide to questionnaire design – for market research, political polls, and social and health ...

  19. Identifying source populations and genetic structure for savannah elephants in human-dominated landscapes and protected areas in the Kenya-Tanzania borderlands

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Ahlering, Marissa A; Eggert, Lori S; Western, David; Estes, Anna; Munishi, Linus; Fleischer, Robert; Roberts, Melissa; Maldonado, Jesus E

    2012-01-01

    We investigated the genetic metapopulation structure of elephants across the trans Rift Valley region of Kenya and Tanzania, one of the remaining strongholds for savannah elephants (Loxodonata africana...

  20. Movement of southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina L. from Elephant Is. South Shetlands, Antarctica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mônica M. C. Muelbert

    2004-07-01

    Full Text Available In 1999, at-sea activity of two young southern elephant seal males (Mirounga leonina from Elephant Is. (61º13'S, 55º23'W, Antarctica, was monitored and tracked for 9 months. The individuals were randomly selected, captured, sedated (Zoletil 50®- 1mg/kg, weighed, measured, bled, paint-marked and fitted with satellite tags (STDR - ST-6PPT, Telonics®, USA. Deployment of the STDR took about 45 min since each animal had a lower incisor tooth extracted for age determination. The seals exhibited individual behaviors. Seal "V"-23842 (BM ~ 801kg moved from Elephant Is. (61.2ºS 55.3ºW in Jan. 1999 to King George Is. (62.2ºS 58.1ºW in Feb. 1999 when the tag stopped signaling. Seal "T"-23843 (BM ~ 656 kg was restricted to the area around Elephant Is. (61.2ºS 54.4ºW - 61.6ºS 55.4ºW from January to May 1999, when it started to move south-eastwards. Although the age of these individuals was not yet determined it was likely to explain the difference in the two patterns of movement reported here. The temporal and spatial association of these movements with areas of high productivity is being investigated to assess whether the observed distribution reflects foraging activity.O presente estudo descreve os movimentos de dois exemplares de elefante-marinho do sul (Mirounga leonina durante a fase pelágica de seu ciclo de vida. Os exemplares foram capturados no verão austral de 1999 na Ilha Elefante (61º13'S, 55º23'W, Antártica, e monitorados por aproximadamente 9 meses. Cada exemplar foi instrumentado com um medidor de tempo e profundidade de mergulho via satélite (Sattelite Time Depth Recorder, STDR mod. ST-6PPT, Telonics®, EUA com uma antena VHF acoplada ao instrumento, montado num molde de tela e resina, fixado com cintas plásticas, e colados na pelagem dorsal do animal com resina plástica. Para a instrumentação o animal era capturado com rede de contenção e imobilizado quimicamente com anestésico dissociativo (Zoletil 50®- 1mg/kg. Um

  1. A comparison of two gluteus maximus EMG maximum voluntary isometric contraction positions

    OpenAIRE

    Bret Contreras; Andrew D. Vigotsky; Brad J. Schoenfeld; Chris Beardsley; John Cronin

    2015-01-01

    Background. The purpose of this study was to compare the peak electromyography (EMG) of the most commonly-used position in the literature, the prone bent-leg (90°) hip extension against manual resistance applied to the distal thigh (PRONE), to a novel position, the standing glute squeeze (SQUEEZE). Methods. Surface EMG electrodes were placed on the upper and lower gluteus maximus of thirteen recreationally active females (age = 28.9 years; height = 164 cm; body mass = 58.2 kg), before three m...

  2. Congenital gluteus maximus contracture syndrome - a case report with review of imaging findings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kotha, Vamshi Krishna; Reddy, Rajasekhar; Reddy, M. Venkateshwar; Moorthy, Rangubatla Sathyanrayana; Kishan, Tatikonda Venkat

    2014-01-01

    Although the clinical features of gluteus maximus contracture syndrome have been frequently described, imaging features have been seldom described. Most commonly reported cases are those following intramuscular injection in the gluteal region although congenital contracture is an uncommon but important occurrence. This condition has most often been reported in children of school going age. These patients often present with difficulty in squatting, limitation of hip motion or specific deformities and often require surgical correction. We describe the plain radiography, ultrasonography (USG) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) features of this condition in a patient with no previous known history of intramuscular injections. PMID:24967033

  3. Congenital gluteus maximus contracture syndrome--a case report with review of imaging findings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kotha, Vamshi Krishna; Reddy, Rajasekhar; Reddy, M Venkateshwar; Moorthy, Rangubatla Sathyanrayana; Kishan, Tatikonda Venkat

    2014-04-01

    Although the clinical features of gluteus maximus contracture syndrome have been frequently described, imaging features have been seldom described. Most commonly reported cases are those following intramuscular injection in the gluteal region although congenital contracture is an uncommon but important occurrence. This condition has most often been reported in children of school going age. These patients often present with difficulty in squatting, limitation of hip motion or specific deformities and often require surgical correction. We describe the plain radiography, ultrasonography (USG) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) features of this condition in a patient with no previous known history of intramuscular injections.

  4. Low temperature stress on the hematological parameters and HSP gene expression in the turbot Scophthalmus maximus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ji, Liqin; Jiang, Keyong; Liu, Mei; Wang, Baojie; Han, Longjiang; Zhang, Mingming; Wang, Lei

    2016-05-01

    To study the effect of low temperature stress on hematological parameters and HSP gene expression in the turbot ( Scophthalmus maximus), water temperature was lowered rapidly from 18 to 1°C. During the cooling process, three individuals were removed from culture tanks at 18, 13, 8, 5, 3, and 1°C. Blood samples and tissues were taken from each individual, hematological indices and HSP gene expression in tissues were measured. The red blood cell count, white blood cell count, and hemoglobin concentration decreased significantly ( P fish.

  5. Exposure of juvenile turbot (Scophthalmus maximus) to silver nanoparticles and 17α-ethinylestradiol mixtures

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Farkas, Julia; Salaberria, Iurgi; Styrishave, Bjarne

    2017-01-01

    Combined exposure to engineered nanoparticles (ENPs) and anthropogenic contaminants can lead to changes in bioavailability, uptake and thus effects of both groups of contaminants. In this study we investigated effects of single and combined exposures of silver (Ag) nanoparticles (Ag......NPs) and the synthetic hormone 17α-ethinylestradiol (EE2) on tissue uptake of both contaminants in juvenile turbot (Scophthalmus maximus). Silver uptake and tissue distribution (gills, liver, kidney, stomach, muscle and bile) were analyzed following a 14-day, 2-h daily pulsed exposure to AgNPs (2 μg L(-1) and 200 μg L...

  6. The ecology of the elephants in the Kasungu National Park, Malawi with specific reference to management of elephant populations in the Brachystegia biome of Southern Central Africa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jachmann, Hugo

    1984-01-01

    The elephant is one of the most important animals in African Wildlife Management, firstly because it is capable of modifying through cropping. The latter also makes it a prime poaching target. The main problems caused by elephant concern changes in the physiognomy of the habitat with its

  7. Comparison of cortisol and thyroid hormones between tuberculosis-suspect and healthy elephants of Nepal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paudel, Sarad; Brown, Janine L; Thapaliya, Sharada; Dhakal, Ishwari P; Mikota, Susan K; Gairhe, Kamal P; Shimozuru, Michito; Tsubota, Toshio

    2016-12-01

    We compared cortisol and thyroid hormone (T3 and T4) concentrations between tuberculosis (TB)-suspected (n=10) and healthy (n=10) elephants of Nepal. Whole blood was collected from captive elephants throughout Nepal, and TB testing was performed using the ElephantTB STAT-PAK® and DPP VetTB® serological assays that detect antibodies against Mycobacterium tuberculosis and M. bovis in elephant serum. Cortisol, T3 and T4 were quantified by competitive enzyme immunoassays, and the results showed no significant differences in hormone concentrations between TB-suspect and healthy elephants. These preliminary data suggest neither adrenal nor thyroid function is altered by TB disease status. However, more elephants, including those positively diagnosed for TB by trunk wash cultures, need to be evaluated over time to confirm results.

  8. Distribution and status of the African elephant Loxodonta africana in South Africa, 1652-1992

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.J. Hall-Martin

    1992-09-01

    Full Text Available The historical decline of African elephants to a low of 120 animals in 1920, and their subsequent recovery to over 10 000 is described for the major populations of South Africa. Population growth rates of 6,8 and 6,7 per annum are derived from census and estimates for the Kruger National Park and the Addo Elephant National Park respectively. The reasons for elephant population control in the Kruger National Park, and the impact of elephants on both the Kruger and Addo environments, are discussed. The translocation of young elephants to found new populations is mentioned. The consequent increase of elephant range and numbers in the next decade to a possible maximum of 31 000 km2 and 13 000 animals, is envisaged.

  9. Estimating economic losses to tourism in Africa from the illegal killing of elephants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naidoo, Robin; Fisher, Brendan; Manica, Andrea; Balmford, Andrew

    2016-11-01

    Recent surveys suggest tens of thousands of elephants are being poached annually across Africa, putting the two species at risk across much of their range. Although the financial motivations for ivory poaching are clear, the economic benefits of elephant conservation are poorly understood. We use Bayesian statistical modelling of tourist visits to protected areas, to quantify the lost economic benefits that poached elephants would have delivered to African countries via tourism. Our results show these figures are substantial (~USD $25 million annually), and that the lost benefits exceed the anti-poaching costs necessary to stop elephant declines across the continent's savannah areas, although not currently in the forests of central Africa. Furthermore, elephant conservation in savannah protected areas has net positive economic returns comparable to investments in sectors such as education and infrastructure. Even from a tourism perspective alone, increased elephant conservation is therefore a wise investment by governments in these regions.

  10. En sammenligning av muskelaktivering i gluteus maximus i hip-thrust, vektløfterbøy og styrkeløfterbøy

    OpenAIRE

    Liljegren, Anja Margrethe; Sørlie, Eileen

    2016-01-01

    Objektivt. Hensikten med denne oppgaven er å finne ut om hip-thrust er en bedre øvelse for å trene gluteus maximus enn knebøy. Oppgaven tar utgangspunkt i å måle muskelaktiviteten i gluteus maximus i øvelsene, hip-thrust, vektløfterbøy og styrkeløfterbøy. Problemstillingen vi har jobbet ut fra er: Hvilken øvelse aktiverer gluteus maximus i større grad av hip-thrust, vektløfterbøy og styrkeløfterbøy? Metode. I denne oppgaven benytter vi oss av kvantitativ metode. Vi har gjennom ...

  11. Conflict between conservation and development: cash forest encroachment in Asian elephant distributions

    OpenAIRE

    Liu, Peng; Wen, Hui; Harich, Franziska K.; He, Changhuan; Wang, Lanxin; Guo, Xianming; Zhao, Jianwei; Luo, Aidong; Yang, Hongpei; Sun, Xiao; Yu, Yang; Zheng, Shaobo; Guo, Jing; Li, Li; Zhang, Li

    2017-01-01

    Over the last 4 decades, China has undergone major economic development, resulting in considerable impacts on its wildlife populations and habitats. It is essential to quantify the conflict between development and conservation to assist with policy-making because forestry policies and market trends affected indirectly the distribution of Asian elephants. Here, we mapped the historical distribution of elephants versus human land use. Elephant distributions appear to occur in unbroken natural f...

  12. Bioremediation of bacteria pollution using the marine sponge Hymeniacidon perlevis in the intensive mariculture water system of turbot Scophthalmus maximus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xichang; Zhang, Wei; Xue, Lingyun; Zhang, Bi; Jin, Meifang; Fu, Wantao

    2010-01-01

    Sessile filter-feeding marine sponges (Porifera) have been reported to possess high efficiency in removing bacteria pollution from natural or aquaculture seawater. However, no investigation has been carried out thus far in a true mariculture farm water system. Therefore this study sought to investigate the ability of the marine sponge Hymeniacidon perlevis to bioremediate the bacteria pollution in the intensive aquaculture water system of turbot Scophthalmus maximus. Sponge specimens were hung in fish culture effluent at different temperature to investigate the optimal temperature condition for bacteria removal by H. perlevis. Turbots S. maximus were co-cultured with sponge H. perlevis in 1.5 m(3) of water system at 15-18 degrees C for 6 weeks to control the growth of bacteria. It was found that H. perlevis was able to remove pathogenic bacteria efficiently at 10-20 degrees C, with a maximal removal of 71.4-78.8% of fecal coliform, 73.9-98.7% of pathogenic vibrio, and 75.0-83.7% of total culturable bacteria from fish-culture effluent at 15 degrees C; H. perlevis continuously showed good bioremediation of bacteria pollution in the S. maximus culture water system, achieving removal of 60.0-90.2% of fecal coliform, 37.6-81.6% of pathogenic vibrio, and 45.1-83.9% of total culturable bacteria. The results demonstrate that H. perlevis is an effective bioremediator of bacteria pollution in the turbot S. maximus culture farm water system.

  13. Restoration of native plant communities in a Hawaiian dry lowland ecosystem dominated by the invasive grass Megathyrsus maximus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Selita A. Ammondt; Creighton M. Litton; Lisa M. Ellsworth; James K. Leary

    2012-01-01

    How does a highly degraded Hawaiian tropical dry lowland ecosystem dominated by the non-native invasive Megathyrsus maximus (guinea grass) respond to different restoration treatments (three native species outplanting treatments; four native broadcast seed treatments)? What effect do restoration treatments have on invasive and native species...

  14. Strong kinetic effects on Sr/Ca ratios in the calcitic bivalve Pecten maximus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorrain, Anne; Gillikin, David P.; Paulet, Yves-Marie; Chauvaud, Laurent; Le Mercier, Alain; Navez, Jacques; André, Luc

    2005-12-01

    Although Sr/Ca ratios in abiogenic calcite are strongly controlled by precipitation rates, such a kinetic effect has never been demonstrated in calcitic bivalve shells. Therefore, we report Sr/Ca ratios together with daily growth rates in the calcitic shells of four individuals of the bivalve Pecten maximus (age class I). Ratios of Sr/Ca were found to be variable among individuals that grew at the same location, illustrating that vital effects dominate over environmental controls. Although daily growth rate was correlated with shell Sr/Ca ratios, it explained only half of the Sr/Ca variations. However, daily shell surface area increment, an estimation of the total quantity of carbonate precipitated for a given time, explained 74% of the Sr/Ca variability in the shells of P. maximus. This proves, for the first time in a calcitic bivalve, that shell Sr/Ca partitioning is mainly controlled by kinetic effects. The Sr/Ca ratio should therefore be tested as a potential proxy of calcification rate in modern or fossil calcitic biocarbonates.

  15. Anatomical Basis of the Myofascial Trigger Points of the Gluteus Maximus Muscle

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Flavia Emi Akamatsu

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Myofascial pain syndrome is characterized by pain and limited range of motion in joints and caused by muscular contracture related to dysfunctional motor end plates and myofascial trigger points (MTrPs. We aimed to observe the anatomical correlation between the clinically described MTrPs and the entry point of the branches of the inferior gluteal nerve into the gluteus maximus muscle. We dissected twenty gluteus maximus muscles from 10 human adult cadavers (5 males and 5 females. We measured the muscles and compiled the distribution of the nerve branches into each of the quadrants of the muscle. Statistical analysis was performed by using Student’s t-test and Kruskal-Wallis tests. Although no difference was observed either for muscle measurements or for distribution of nerve branching among the subjects, the topography of MTrPs matched the anatomical location of the entry points into the muscle. Thus, anatomical substract of the MTrPs may be useful for a better understanding of the physiopathology of these disorders and provide basis for their surgical and clinical treatment.

  16. Wild Asian elephants distinguish aggressive tiger and leopard growls according to perceived danger.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thuppil, Vivek; Coss, Richard G

    2013-10-23

    Prey species exhibit antipredator behaviours such as alertness, aggression and flight, among others, in response to predators. The nature of this response is variable, with animals reacting more strongly in situations of increased vulnerability. Our research described here is the first formal study to investigate night-time antipredator behaviour in any species of elephants, Asian or African. We examined the provocative effects of elephant-triggered tiger and leopard growls while elephants attempted to crop-raid. Tigers opportunistically prey on elephant calves, whereas leopards pose no threat; therefore, we predicted that the elephant response would be reflective of this difference. Elephants reacted similarly cautiously to the simulated presence of felids of both species by eventually moving away, but differed markedly in their more immediate behavioural responses. Elephants retreated silently to tiger-growl playbacks, whereas they responded with aggressive vocalizations, such as trumpets and grunts, to leopard-growl playbacks. Elephants also lingered in the area and displayed alert or investigative behaviours in response to leopard growls when compared with tiger growls. We anticipate that the methods outlined here will promote further study of elephant antipredator behaviour in a naturalistic context, with applications for conservation efforts as well.

  17. Distinguishing forest and savanna African elephants using short nuclear DNA sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishida, Yasuko; Demeke, Yirmed; van Coeverden de Groot, Peter J; Georgiadis, Nicholas J; Leggett, Keith E A; Fox, Virginia E; Roca, Alfred L

    2011-01-01

    A more complete description of African elephant phylogeography would require a method that distinguishes forest and savanna elephants using DNA from low-quality samples. Although mitochondrial DNA is often the marker of choice for species identification, the unusual cytonuclear patterns in African elephants make nuclear markers more reliable. We therefore designed and utilized genetic markers for short nuclear DNA regions that contain fixed nucleotide differences between forest and savanna elephants. We used M13 forward and reverse sequences to increase the total length of PCR amplicons and to improve the quality of sequences for the target DNA. We successfully sequenced fragments of nuclear genes from dung samples of known savanna and forest elephants in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, and Namibia. Elephants at previously unexamined locations were found to have nucleotide character states consistent with their status as savanna or forest elephants. Using these and results from previous studies, we estimated that the short-amplicon nuclear markers could distinguish forest from savanna African elephants with more than 99% accuracy. Nuclear genotyping of museum, dung, or ivory samples will provide better-informed conservation management of Africa's elephants.

  18. An improved real time image detection system for elephant intrusion along the forest border areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sugumar, S J; Jayaparvathy, R

    2014-01-01

    Human-elephant conflict is a major problem leading to crop damage, human death and injuries caused by elephants, and elephants being killed by humans. In this paper, we propose an automated unsupervised elephant image detection system (EIDS) as a solution to human-elephant conflict in the context of elephant conservation. The elephant's image is captured in the forest border areas and is sent to a base station via an RF network. The received image is decomposed using Haar wavelet to obtain multilevel wavelet coefficients, with which we perform image feature extraction and similarity match between the elephant query image and the database image using image vision algorithms. A GSM message is sent to the forest officials indicating that an elephant has been detected in the forest border and is approaching human habitat. We propose an optimized distance metric to improve the image retrieval time from the database. We compare the optimized distance metric with the popular Euclidean and Manhattan distance methods. The proposed optimized distance metric retrieves more images with lesser retrieval time than the other distance metrics which makes the optimized distance method more efficient and reliable.

  19. Modeling elephant-mediated cascading effects of water point closure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hilbers, Jelle P; Van Langevelde, Frank; Prins, Herbert H T; Grant, C C; Peel, Mike J S; Coughenour, Michael B; De Knegt, Henrik J; Slotow, Rob; Smit, Izak P J; Kiker, Greg A; De Boer, Willem F

    2015-03-01

    Wildlife management to reduce the impact of wildlife on their habitat can be done in several ways, among which removing animals (by either culling or translocation) is most often used. There are, however, alternative ways to control wildlife densities, such as opening or closing water points. The effects of these alternatives are poorly studied. In this paper, we focus on manipulating large herbivores through the closure of water points (WPs). Removal of artificial WPs has been suggested in order to change the distribution of African elephants, which occur in high densities in national parks in Southern Africa and are thought to have a destructive effect on the vegetation. Here, we modeled the long-term effects of different scenarios of WP closure on the spatial distribution of elephants, and consequential effects on the vegetation and other herbivores in Kruger National Park, South Africa. Using a dynamic ecosystem model, SAVANNA, scenarios were evaluated that varied in availability of artificial WPs; levels of natural water; and elephant densities. Our modeling results showed that elephants can indirectly negatively affect the distributions of meso-mixed feeders, meso-browsers, and some meso-grazers under wet conditions. The closure of artificial WPs hardly had any effect during these natural wet conditions. Under dry conditions, the spatial distribution of both elephant bulls and cows changed when the availability of artificial water was severely reduced in the model. These changes in spatial distribution triggered changes in the spatial availability of woody biomass over the simulation period of 80 years, and this led to changes in the rest of the herbivore community, resulting in increased densities of all herbivores, except for giraffe and steenbok, in areas close to rivers. The spatial distributions of elephant bulls and cows showed to be less affected by the closure of WPs than most of the other herbivore species. Our study contributes to ecologically

  20. Three Blind Men and the Elephant

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Long, J S

    2007-02-13

    Just like the blind men in the popular story of perceiving the elephant, the three major constituencies participating in the energy debate have greatly different perceptions of the problem. The constituency that is worried about climate change believes the energy problem is caused by profligate use of fossil fuel that has dramatically changed our atmosphere. The energy security group sees dangerous reliance on foreign sources of oil increasingly held by countries hostile to the US. The economic vitality group sees high energy prices and their effect on the economy and our life-style. Just like the blind men, each of the three constituencies perceives a different problem. And just as with the blind men, while each perspective is right as a piece of the elephant, it takes all the perspectives together to actually solve the problem. Environmentalists focus on solutions responding to the scientific consensus that greenhouse gases are creating rapid climate change. The tipping point has come: it is now a consensus position among scientists the global warming is being affected by anthropogenic activity to 90% certainty according to the last IPCC report. Although they still struggle with the prediction of how much global temperatures will rise if we do nothing--is it 5 deg or 10 under BAU? This group believes that we cannot afford to take a chance because we get only one chance. We can not afford to do this kind of experiment with the Earth. Any choice which decreases our CO{sub 2} footprint is favored, even if it means a decrease in standard of living. The energy security constituency sees the geo-politics of oil becoming increasingly dire. They look at oil money being used to fund anti-American activities of groups such as the Wahabis in Saudi Arabia, Hezbollah in Lebanon and the infamous Al Qaeda. They quip that the Iraq war is the first war where we are paying for both sides. They note Iran and the Shia throughout the Middle East seeing the possibility of controlling

  1. Movement patterns of the spiny lobster Palinurus elephas (Fabricius, 1787 from a central western Mediterranean protected area

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Cristina Follesa

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Movement patterns of the spiny lobster Palinurus elephas were determined from 389 individuals (total tagged 5666 tag-recaptured inside a no-take area of the central western Mediterranean and its surrounding zone. High site association and limited movements in tagged lobsters was observed; 60.4% of lobsters moved less than 2 km from the centre of the area (site of release. No clear relationship between lobster movement pattern and sex or size was observed; however, it seemed that the largest males and females tended to be more resident, thus contributing to the rebuilding of the biomass of local lobsters. Most lobsters undertook migrations in the southwest direction. The increased availability of shelters and food towards the southwest could have contributed to the lobsters’ movement. The results of our research indicate that the small size of the protected area and the scale of the movement exhibited by tagged lobsters allows a proportion of the lobster population to move out of the protected area and become susceptible to capture in the adjacent fishery.

  2. The influence of human induced factors on African elephant (Loxodonta africana) populations in Sub-Saharan Africa

    OpenAIRE

    Hunninck, Louis Marcel

    2015-01-01

    Numerous studies have been done on the conservation of the African elephant (Loxodonta africana) yet too few studies have focused on comparing the ultimate factors that influence the African elephant populations. Here, we looked at several human induced factors that reflect parts of the Human Elephant conflict and tried to find which one of those had the most important effect on African elephant populations in Sub-Saharan countries. Agricultural activity and deforestation together with increa...

  3. Potential Mechanisms for Cancer Resistance in Elephants and Comparative Cellular Response to DNA Damage in Humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abegglen, Lisa M; Caulin, Aleah F; Chan, Ashley; Lee, Kristy; Robinson, Rosann; Campbell, Michael S; Kiso, Wendy K; Schmitt, Dennis L; Waddell, Peter J; Bhaskara, Srividya; Jensen, Shane T; Maley, Carlo C; Schiffman, Joshua D

    2015-11-03

    Evolutionary medicine may provide insights into human physiology and pathophysiology, including tumor biology. To identify mechanisms for cancer resistance in elephants and compare cellular response to DNA damage among elephants, healthy human controls, and cancer-prone patients with Li-Fraumeni syndrome (LFS). A comprehensive survey of necropsy data was performed across 36 mammalian species to validate cancer resistance in large and long-lived organisms, including elephants (n = 644). The African and Asian elephant genomes were analyzed for potential mechanisms of cancer resistance. Peripheral blood lymphocytes from elephants, healthy human controls, and patients with LFS were tested in vitro in the laboratory for DNA damage response. The study included African and Asian elephants (n = 8), patients with LFS (n = 10), and age-matched human controls (n = 11). Human samples were collected at the University of Utah between June 2014 and July 2015. Ionizing radiation and doxorubicin. Cancer mortality across species was calculated and compared by body size and life span. The elephant genome was investigated for alterations in cancer-related genes. DNA repair and apoptosis were compared in elephant vs human peripheral blood lymphocytes. Across mammals, cancer mortality did not increase with body size and/or maximum life span (eg, for rock hyrax, 1% [95% CI, 0%-5%]; African wild dog, 8% [95% CI, 0%-16%]; lion, 2% [95% CI, 0%-7%]). Despite their large body size and long life span, elephants remain cancer resistant, with an estimated cancer mortality of 4.81% (95% CI, 3.14%-6.49%), compared with humans, who have 11% to 25% cancer mortality. While humans have 1 copy (2 alleles) of TP53, African elephants have at least 20 copies (40 alleles), including 19 retrogenes (38 alleles) with evidence of transcriptional activity measured by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. In response to DNA damage, elephant lymphocytes underwent p53-mediated apoptosis

  4. The locomotor kinematics of Asian and African elephants: changes with speed and size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutchinson, John R; Schwerda, Delf; Famini, Daniel J; Dale, Robert H I; Fischer, Martin S; Kram, Rodger

    2006-10-01

    For centuries, elephant locomotion has been a contentious and confusing challenge for locomotion scientists to understand, not only because of technical difficulties but also because elephant locomotion is in some ways atypical of more familiar quadrupedal gaits. We analyzed the locomotor kinematics of over 2400 strides from 14 African and 48 Asian elephant individuals (body mass 116-4632 kg) freely moving over ground at a 17-fold range of speeds, from slow walking at 0.40 m s(-1) to the fastest reliably recorded speed for elephants, 6.8 m s(-1). These data reveal that African and Asian elephants have some subtle differences in how size-independent kinematic parameters change with speed. Although elephants use a lateral sequence footfall pattern, like many other quadrupeds, they maintain this footfall pattern at all speeds, shifting toward a 25% phase offset between limbs (singlefoot) as they increase speed. The duty factors of elephants are greater for the forelimbs than for the hindlimbs, so an aerial phase for the hindquarters is reached at slower speeds than for the forequarters. This aerial phase occurs at a Froude number of around 1, matching theoretical predictions. At faster speeds, stance and swing phase durations approach asymptotes, with the duty factor beginning to level off, concurrent with an increase in limb compliance that likely keeps peak forces relatively low. This increase of limb compliance is reflected by increased compression of the hindlimbs. Like other tetrapods, smaller elephants are relatively more athletic than larger ones, but still move very similarly to adults even at <500 kg. At any particular speed they adopt greater relative stride frequencies and relative stride lengths compared to larger elephants. This extends to near-maximal locomotor performance as well - smaller elephants reach greater Froude numbers and smaller duty factors, hence likely reach relatively greater peak loads on their limbs and produce this force more rapidly

  5. Rates of reinforcement and measures of compliance in free and protected contact elephant management systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Megan L; Perdue, Bonnie M; Bloomsmith, Mollie A; Maple, Terry L

    2015-01-01

    Protected contact is an alternative to traditional captive elephant training techniques that emerged as a result of concerns for animal welfare and personnel safety. The present study documented the behavior of elephants and their animal care professionals to determine rates of reinforcement and measures of compliance under two handling systems. Behavioral data were collected from animal care professionals and elephants during the elephants' baths in both free contact (FC) and protected contact (PC). Positive reinforcement, in the form of food, was delivered, on average, nearly eight times more frequently in the PC condition. Further, the mean rate at which the animal care professionals used the ankus in the FC condition as negative reinforcement was similar to the mean rate at which they provided positive reinforcement to the elephants in the FC condition. Latencies between verbal commands and the elephants' behaviors demonstrated an inconsistent pattern, but were generally longer in the PC condition. The mean percent of "refusals" by the elephants was higher for most behaviors across elephants in the PC condition. The findings suggest that animal care professionals did not heavily rely on positive reinforcement in the FC condition to elicit desired behaviors from the elephants, but this was the case in the PC condition. We propose that longer latencies and higher mean percent of refusals by the elephants may indicate that they were exercising choice or control over their environment, which has been associated with improved well-being. Additional studies of this kind are needed to enable other institutions to make informed decisions about elephant management and welfare. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. The influence of socioeconomic factors on the densities of high-value cross-border species, the African elephant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Selier, Sarah-Anne Jeanetta; Slotow, Rob; Di Minin, Enrico

    2016-01-01

    Unprecedented poaching levels triggered by demand for ivory in Far East Asia are threatening the persistence of African elephant Loxodonta africana. Southern African countries make an important contribution to elephant conservation and could soon become the last stronghold of elephant conservation in Africa. While the ecological factors affecting elephant distribution and densities have extensively been accounted for, there is a need to understand which socioeconomic factors affect elephant numbers in order to prevent conflict over limited space and resources with humans. We used elephant count data from aerial surveys for seven years in a generalized linear model, which accounted for temporal correlation, to investigate the effect of six socioeconomic and ecological variables on the number of elephant at the country level in the Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area (GMTFCA). Important factors in predicting elephant numbers were the proportion of total land surface under cultivation, human population density and the number of tourists visiting the country. Specifically, elephant numbers were higher where the proportion of total land surface under cultivation was the lowest; where population density was the lowest and where tourist numbers had increased over the years. Our results confirm that human disturbance is affecting elephant numbers, but highlight that the benefits provided by ecotourism could help enhance elephant conservation. While future studies should include larger areas and more detailed data at the site level, we stress that the development of coordinated legislation and policies to improve land-use planning are needed to reduce the impact of increasing human populations and agriculture on elephant.

  7. Cochlear implant/Deaf World dispute: different bottom elephants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonsoulin, T P

    2001-11-01

    To examine the controversy between the proponents of cochlear implantation in children and the Deaf World opponents with the hope of offering a method for decreasing the acrimony of opposing positions. STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING (METHODS): The opposing arguments will be presented from a review of pertinent literature. The systemic philosophic process of bottom elephant analysis will be elucidated. Contrasting models of power will be described. The application of the bottom elephant analysis of each group's position plus a paradigm shift in the utilization of power offers possibilities for the implementation of mutually respectful dialogue that does not undermine each group's stature. Philosophic analysis and paradigm shift could lead to improvement in the interaction of cochlear implant proponents and Deaf World opponents.

  8. Dating Studies of Elephant Tusks Using Accelerator Mass Spectrometry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sideras-Haddad, E; Brown, T A

    2002-10-03

    A new method for determining the year of birth, the year of death, and hence, the age at death, of post-bomb and recently deceased elephants has been developed. The technique is based on Accelerator Mass Spectrometry radiocarbon analyses of small-sized samples extracted from along the length of a ge-line of an elephant tusk. The measured radiocarbon concentrations in the samples from a tusk can be compared to the {sup 14}C atmospheric bomb-pulse curve to derive the growth years of the initial and final samples from the tusk. Initial data from the application of this method to two tusks will be presented. Potentially, the method may play a significant role in wildlife management practices of African national parks. Additionally, the method may contribute to the underpinnings of efforts to define new international trade regulations, which could, in effect, decrease poaching and the killing of very young animals.

  9. A systematic review of elephant impact across Africa

    OpenAIRE

    Guldemond, Robert A. R.; Purdon, Andrew; van Aarde, Rudi J.

    2017-01-01

    Contradictory findings among scientific studies that address a particular issue may impede the conversion of science to management implementation. A systematic review of peer-reviewed studies to generate a single outcome may overcome this problem. The contentious topic of the impact that a megaherbivore such as the savanna elephant have for other species and their environment can benefit from such an approach. After some 68 years, 367 peer-reviewed papers covered the topic and 51 of these pap...

  10. Lets Talk About the Elephant in the Living Room

    OpenAIRE

    Cairns, John

    2009-01-01

    Overpopulation is the _elephant in the living room _ the issue everyone sees but no one will address. Exponential population growth on a finite planet is neither sustainable nor desirable; however, politicians refuse to discuss population control with constituents. They may believe that economic growth is linked to perpetual population growth or they fear alienating their audience. However, the fact is Earth s human population has more than doubled within the last 86 years and some projectio...

  11. Fall feeding aggregations of fin whales off Elephant Island (Antarctica)

    OpenAIRE

    Burkhardt, Elke; Lanfredi, Caterina

    2012-01-01

    From 13 March to 09 April 2012 Germany conducted a fisheries survey on board RV Polarstern in the Scotia Sea (Elephant Island - South Shetland Island - Joinville Island area) under the auspices of CCAMLR. During this expedition, ANT-XXVIII/4, an opportunistic marine mammal survey was carried out. Data were collected for 26 days along the externally preset cruise track, resulting in 295 hrs on effort. Within the study area 248 sightings were collected, including three different species of...

  12. Comparative demography of an at-risk African elephant population.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    George Wittemyer

    Full Text Available Knowledge of population processes across various ecological and management settings offers important insights for species conservation and life history. In regard to its ecological role, charisma and threats from human impacts, African elephants are of high conservation concern and, as a result, are the focus of numerous studies across various contexts. Here, demographic data from an individually based study of 934 African elephants in Samburu, Kenya were summarized, providing detailed inspection of the population processes experienced by the population over a fourteen year period (including the repercussions of recent increases in illegal killing. These data were compared with those from populations inhabiting a spectrum of xeric to mesic ecosystems with variable human impacts. In relation to variability in climate and human impacts (causing up to 50% of recorded deaths among adults, annual mortality in Samburu fluctuated between 1 and 14% and, unrelatedly, natality between 2 and 14% driving annual population increases and decreases. Survivorship in Samburu was significantly lower than other populations with age-specific data even during periods of low illegal killing by humans, resulting in relatively low life expectancy of males (18.9 years and females (21.8 years. Fecundity (primiparous age and inter-calf interval were similar to those reported in other human impacted or recovering populations, and significantly greater than that of comparable stable populations. This suggests reproductive effort of African savanna elephants increases in relation to increased mortality (and resulting ecological ramifications as predicted by life history theory. Further comparison across populations indicated that elongated inter-calf intervals and older ages of reproductive onset were related to age structure and density, and likely influenced by ecological conditions. This study provides detailed empirical data on elephant population dynamics strongly

  13. Effects of economic downturns on mortality of wild African elephants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wittemyer, George

    2011-10-01

    Declines in economic activity and associated changes in human livelihood strategies can increase threats of species overexploitation. This is exemplified by the effects of economic crises, which often drive intensification of subsistence poaching and greater reliance on natural resources. Whereas development theory links natural resource use to social-economic conditions, few empirical studies of the effect of economic downturns on wild animal species have been conducted. I assessed the relations between African elephant (Loxodonta africana) mortality and human-caused wounds in Samburu, Kenya and (1) livestock and maize prices (measures of local economic conditions), (2) change in national and regional gross domestic product (GDP) (measures of macroeconomic conditions), and (3) the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) (a correlate of primary productivity). In addition, I analyzed household survey data to determine the attitudes of local people toward protected areas and wild animals in the area. When cattle prices in the pastoralist study region were low, human-caused wounds to and adult mortality of elephants increased. The NDVI was negatively correlated with juvenile mortality, but not correlated with adult mortality. Changes in Kenyan and East Asian (primary market for ivory) GDP did not explain significant variation in mortality. Increased human wounding of elephants and elephant mortality during periods of low livestock prices (local economic downturns) likely reflect an economically driven increase in ivory poaching. Local but not macroeconomic indices explained significant variation in mortality, likely due to the dominance of the subsistence economy in the study area and its political and economic isolation. My results suggest economic metrics can serve as effective indicators of changes in human use of and resulting effects on natural resources. Such information can help focus management approaches (e.g., antipoaching effort or proffering of

  14. caracterisation des conflits homme-elephant dans le departement ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Figure 4 : Répartition spatiale des dégâts causés par les éléphants dans la localité de Sikensi d'août à septembre 2014. Figure 4: Space distribution of the damage caused by the elephants .... A et Bakanou B se traduit par l'exploration de leur nouveau milieu afin de définir un parcours pour s'y adapter. La zone de maraude ...

  15. Descripción del ciclo biológico de "Curculio elephas" Gyllenhal (1836) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) en un encinar del sur de España

    OpenAIRE

    Jiménez Pino, Agustina; Soria Iglesias, Francisco Javier; Villagrán Pinteño, Miguel; Ocete Rubio, María Elvira

    2005-01-01

    Curculio elephas Gyllenhal (1836) es un fitófago que ataca los frutos de frondosas, siendo, especialmente, dañino en especies del género Quercus sp. y Castanea sativa. El ciclo biológico de este insecto ha sido descrito en castañares por muchos autores, no así en encinares, a pesar de los daños que produce en los frutos. Las larvas de este curculiónido durante su desarrollo consumen parte del embrión de la bellota, por lo que ésta pierde peso y calidad, cualidades que son importantes tanto pa...

  16. RESULTS OF THE MEGAVERTEBRATE ANALGESIA SURVEY: ELEPHANTS AND RHINO.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kottwitz, Jack; Boothe, Matthew; Harmon, Roy; Citino, Scott B; Zuba, Jeffery R; Boothe, Dawn M

    2016-03-01

    An online survey utilizing Survey Monkey linked through the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians listserve examined current practices in megavertebrate analgesia. Data collected included drugs administered, dosing regimens, ease of administration, efficacy, and adverse events. Fifty-nine facilities (38 housing elephants, 33 housing rhinoceroses) responded. All facilities administered nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), with phenylbutazone (0.25-10 mg/kg) and flunixin meglumine (0.2-4 mg/kg) being most common. Efficacy was reported as "good" to "excellent" for these medications. Opioids were administered to elephants (11 of 38) and rhinoceroses (7 of 33), with tramadol (0.5-3.0 mg/kg) and butorphanol (0.05-1.0 mg/kg) being most common. Tramadol efficacy scores were highly variable in both elephants and rhinoceroses. While drug choices were similar among institutions, substantial variability in dosing regimens and reported efficacy between and within facilities indicates the need for pharmacokinetic studies and standardized methods of analyzing response to treatment to establish dosing regimens and clinical trials to establish efficacy and safety.

  17. Morphological aspects and composition of African elephant (Loxodonta africana ivory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E.J. Raubenheimer

    1999-02-01

    Full Text Available This study was aimed at determining the origin of the diamond shaped pattern and composition of ivory of the African elephant. Fragments of ivory and tusks were obtained through the National Parks Board from the Kruger Park, Addo Elephant Park, Kaokoveld, Caprivi, Etosha, Kavango and Tembe Elephant Park. Polished surfaces were prepared in different planes and examined with light and electron microscopical techniques. Analyses of the inorganic composition were performed using atomic absorption spectrophotometry, ion selective electrodes and inductively coupled optical emission spectroscopy. The total amino acid composition was determined with the aid of an amino acid analyser. Morphological investigations showed the distinctive diamond shaped pattern of ivory to be caused by the sinusoidal surface to pulpal course followed by odontoblastic tubules. This course is the result of pressure which builds up between tightly packed odontoblasts on their centripetal course along an ever decreasing pulpal circumference during formation of ivory. A total of 17 elements were detected in the inorganic fraction of ivory, some in concentrations as low as 0.25 ^g/g. The concentrations of calcium, magnesium, fluoride, cobalt and zinc showed statistically significant differences (P < 0.007 between selected regions and may prove valuable in distinguishing chemically between ivory from different geographical locations. The organic content of ivory showed 17 amino acids in varying concentrations. The possible causes of these variations are discussed.

  18. Electromyographic analysis of gluteus maximus and hamstring activity during the supine resisted hip extension exercise versus supine unilateral bridge to neutral.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Youdas, James W; Hartman, James P; Murphy, Brooke A; Rundle, Ashley M; Ugorowski, Jenna M; Hollman, John H

    2017-02-01

    Hip extension strengthening exercises which maximize gluteus maximus contributions and minimize hamstring influences may be beneficial for persons with hip pain. This study's aim was to compare muscle activation of the gluteus maximus and hamstrings from healthy subjects during a supine resisted hip extension exercise versus supine unilateral bridge to neutral. Surface electromyographic (EMG) signals were obtained from the right gluteus maximus and hamstrings in 13 healthy male and 13 healthy female subjects. Maximum voluntary isometric contractions (MVICs) were collected to normalize data and permit meaningful comparisons across muscles. Peak median activation of the gluteus maximus was 33.8% MVIC for the bridge and 34.7% MVIC for the hip extension exercise, whereas peak median recruitment for hamstrings was 28.4% MVIC for the bridge and 51% MVIC for the hip extension exercise. The gluteus maximus to hamstrings ratio was compared between the two exercises using the Wilcoxon signed-ranks test (α = 0.05). The ratio (p = 0.014) was greater in the supine unilateral bridge (median = 111.3%) than supine hip extension exercise (median = 59.2%), suggesting a reduction of hamstring recruitment in the unilateral bridge to neutral compared to the supine resisted hip extension exercise. The supine hip extension exercise demonstrated higher EMG activity of hamstrings in comparison with supine unilateral bridge and, therefore, may be less appropriate in subjects who need to increase gluteus maximus activation.

  19. Patch-occupancy survey of elephant (Loxodonta africana surrounding Livingstone, Zambia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David A. Youldon

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Wild elephants represent the biggest human–wildlife conflict issue in Livingstone, Zambia. However, little is known about their movements. This survey investigated elephants’ habitat use outside a core protected and fenced zone that forms part of Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, Zambia. Using ‘patch-occupancy’ methodology, indications of elephant presence (feeding behaviour, dung and tracks were surveyed. The survey aimed to assist proposed future monitoring exercises by defining the geographical extent that should be considered to improve accuracy in species abundance estimates. Results were supplemented using collected indications of elephant presence from prior monitoring exercises, and during this survey. Elephant presence was confirmed up to 8 km from the boundary of the protected core habitat, focussed in: (1 an unfenced zone of the national park, (2 along a road leading from the national park to the Dambwa Forest to the north and (3 along two rivers located to the west (Sinde River and east (Maramba River of the core area. Detection probability of elephant presence was high using these methods, and we recommend regular sampling to determine changes in habitat use by elephants, as humans continue to modify land-use patterns.Conservation implications: Identification of elephant ranging behaviour up to 8 km outside of the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park in southern Zambia will assist in managing human– elephant conflict in the area, as well as in assessing this seasonal population’s abundance.

  20. Response of African elephants (Loxodonta africana) to seasonal changes in rainfall.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garstang, Michael; Davis, Robert E; Leggett, Keith; Frauenfeld, Oliver W; Greco, Steven; Zipser, Edward; Peterson, Michael

    2014-01-01

    The factors that trigger sudden, seasonal movements of elephants are uncertain. We hypothesized that savannah elephant movements at the end of the dry season may be a response to their detection of distant thunderstorms. Nine elephants carrying Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers were tracked over seven years in the extremely dry and rugged region of northwestern Namibia. The transition date from dry to wet season conditions was determined annually from surface- and satellite-derived rainfall. The distance, location, and timing of rain events relative to the elephants were determined using the Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission (TRMM) satellite precipitation observations. Behavioral Change Point Analysis (BCPA) was applied to four of these seven years demonstrating a response in movement of these elephants to intra- and inter-seasonal occurrences of rainfall. Statistically significant changes in movement were found prior to or near the time of onset of the wet season and before the occurrence of wet episodes within the dry season, although the characteristics of the movement changes are not consistent between elephants and years. Elephants in overlapping ranges, but following separate tracks, exhibited statistically valid non-random near-simultaneous changes in movements when rainfall was occurring more than 100 km from their location. While the environmental trigger that causes these excursions remains uncertain, rain-system generated infrasound, which can travel such distances and be detected by elephants, is a possible trigger for such changes in movement.

  1. Tuberculosis in Laos, who is at risk: the mahouts or their elephants?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lassausaie, J; Bret, A; Bouapao, X; Chanthavong, V; Castonguay-Vanier, J; Quet, F; Mikota, S K; Théorêt, C; Buisson, Y; Bouchard, B

    2015-04-01

    SUMMARY Tuberculosis (TB) in elephants has the potential to infect humans and is an increasing public health concern. Lao PDR is one of the last countries where elephants are still used for timber extraction and where they live in close contact with their mahouts. There are 500 animals at work in the country, some interacting with wild herds. Although human TB prevalence is known to be high in Laos, studies on elephant TB had yet to be undertaken. From January to July 2012, screening was performed using the ElephantTB Stat-Pak assay on 80 elephants working around the Nam Pouy National Park in Sayaboury Province. This represents more than 18% of the total registered national working elephant population. Here we report that 36% of the elephants were seroreactive to the test. Of these, 31% had contacts with wild individuals, which suggests potential transmission of mycobacteria to the local wild herds. Clinical examination, chest X-rays, sputum microscopy and culture were performed on their 142 mahouts or owners. Despite high TB seroreactivity in elephants, no participant was smear- or culture-positive for Mycobacterium tuberculosis or M. bovis, although atypical mycobacteria were isolated from 4% of participants.

  2. Survey sequencing and comparative analysis of the elephant shark (Callorhinchus milii genome.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Byrappa Venkatesh

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available Owing to their phylogenetic position, cartilaginous fishes (sharks, rays, skates, and chimaeras provide a critical reference for our understanding of vertebrate genome evolution. The relatively small genome of the elephant shark, Callorhinchus milii, a chimaera, makes it an attractive model cartilaginous fish genome for whole-genome sequencing and comparative analysis. Here, the authors describe survey sequencing (1.4x coverage and comparative analysis of the elephant shark genome, one of the first cartilaginous fish genomes to be sequenced to this depth. Repetitive sequences, represented mainly by a novel family of short interspersed element-like and long interspersed element-like sequences, account for about 28% of the elephant shark genome. Fragments of approximately 15,000 elephant shark genes reveal specific examples of genes that have been lost differentially during the evolution of tetrapod and teleost fish lineages. Interestingly, the degree of conserved synteny and conserved sequences between the human and elephant shark genomes are higher than that between human and teleost fish genomes. Elephant shark contains putative four Hox clusters indicating that, unlike teleost fish genomes, the elephant shark genome has not experienced an additional whole-genome duplication. These findings underscore the importance of the elephant shark as a critical reference vertebrate genome for comparative analysis of the human and other vertebrate genomes. This study also demonstrates that a survey-sequencing approach can be applied productively for comparative analysis of distantly related vertebrate genomes.

  3. Observations on food remains in faeces of elephant, leopard and crabeater seals

    OpenAIRE

    Green, K.; Williams, R.

    1986-01-01

    Faecal material of leopard, crabeater and elephant seals was collected from the vicinity of Davis station, Antarctica. Very few identifiable remains were found in elephant seal droppings. Fish remains, mainly of Pleuragramma antarcticum, were found in both leopard and crabeater seal droppings. The mysid Antarctomysis maxima was also found in crabeater seal droppings and amphipods and decapod crustaceans in leopard seal droppings.

  4. The costs of living with elephants in the areas adjacent to Marsabit National Park and Reserve

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ngene, S.M.; Omondi, P.

    2008-01-01

    Crop raiding by elephants is a serious management problem around protected areas in Kenya. This is because of changes in the land use systems in these areas, with crop farming occurring in areas where it did not previously. Crop raiding by elephants was monitored in the area adjacent to Marsabit

  5. The Impact of Elephants on the Woody Vegetation of Mole National ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Elephant damage on trees ≥ 2 m tall involving uprooting and main trunk breakage, as well as debarking was assessed in the upper- to middle-slope and lower-slope savannas of the elephantoccupied section of Mole National Park. Elephant damage on trees in either vegetation type was light, but varied among the ...

  6. Wild Animals and Justice : The Case of the Dead Elephant in the Room

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kopnina, H.N.

    2016-01-01

    Elephants, the largest terrestrial representatives of the animal kingdom, are highorder mammals with complex ethology and social dynamics, looming large both in natural landscapes and cultural settings in diverse locations.1 Elephants are “wonderful or terrible, depending on where or who you are.”2

  7. Tree cover and biomass increase in a southern African savanna despite growing elephant population

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kalwij, J.M.; Boer, de W.F.; Mucina, L.; Prins, H.H.T.; Skarpe, C.; Winterbach, C.

    2010-01-01

    The growing elephant populations in many parts of southern Africa raise concerns of a detrimental loss of trees, resulting in overall reduction of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Elephant distribution and density can be steered through artificial waterpoints (AWPs). However, this leaves

  8. The Effects of One-Off Ivory Sales on Elephant Mortality

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bulte, E.H.; Damania, R.; Kooten, van G.C.

    2007-01-01

    We revisited the debate about whether the 1999 one-off sale of ivory promoted elephant (Loxodonta africana) poaching in Africa. Complementing earlier work based on ivory seizure data, we considered data on elephant mortality in Zimbabwe and Kenya. Our findings present a mixed picture. At the local

  9. Elephant behaviour and conservation: social relationships, the effects of poaching, and genetic tools for management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Archie, Elizabeth A; Chiyo, Patrick I

    2012-02-01

    Genetic tools are increasingly valuable for understanding the behaviour, evolution, and conservation of social species. In African elephants, for instance, genetic data provide basic information on the population genetic causes and consequences of social behaviour, and how human activities alter elephants' social and genetic structures. As such, African elephants provide a useful case study to understand the relationships between social behaviour and population genetic structure in a conservation framework. Here, we review three areas where genetic methods have made important contributions to elephant behavioural ecology and conservation: (1) understanding kin-based relationships in females and the effects of poaching on the adaptive value of elephant relationships, (2) understanding patterns of paternity in elephants and how poaching can alter these patterns, and (3) conservation genetic tools to census elusive populations, track ivory, and understand the behavioural ecology of crop-raiding. By comparing studies from populations that have experienced a range of poaching intensities, we find that human activities have a large effect on elephant behaviour and genetic structure. Poaching disrupts kin-based association patterns, decreases the quality of elephant social relationships, and increases male reproductive skew, with important consequences for population health and the maintenance of genetic diversity. In addition, we find that genetic tools to census populations or gather forensic information are almost always more accurate than non-genetic alternatives. These results contribute to a growing understanding of poaching on animal behaviour, and how genetic tools can be used to understand and conserve social species. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  10. Validation of a new radiographic protocol for Asian elephant feet and description of their radiographic anatomy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mumby, C; Bouts, T; Sambrook, L; Danika, S; Rees, E; Parry, A; Rendle, M; Masters, N; Weller, R

    2013-10-05

    Foot problems are extremely common in elephants and radiography is the only imaging method available but the radiographic anatomy has not been described in detail. The aims of this study were to develop a radiographic protocol for elephant feet using digital radiography, and to describe the normal radiographic anatomy of the Asian elephant front and hind foot. A total of fifteen cadaver foot specimens from captive Asian elephants were radiographed using a range of projections and exposures to determine the best radiographic technique. This was subsequently tested in live elephants in a free-contact setting. The normal radiographic anatomy of the Asian elephant front and hind foot was described with the use of three-dimensional models based on CT reconstructions. The projection angles that were found to be most useful were 65-70° for the front limb and 55-60° in the hind limb. The beam was centred 10-15 cm proximal to the cuticle in the front and 10-15 cm dorsal to the plantar edge of the sole in the hind foot depending on the size of the foot. The protocol developed can be used for larger-scale diagnostic investigations of captive elephant foot disorders, while the normal radiographic anatomy described can improve the diagnostic reliability of elephant feet radiography.

  11. Point prevalence and incidence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex in captive elephants in the United States of America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feldman, Melissa; Isaza, Ramiro; Prins, Cindy; Hernandez, Jorge

    2013-01-01

    Captive elephants infected with tuberculosis are implicated as an occupational source of zoonotic tuberculosis. However, accurate estimates of prevalence and incidence of elephant tuberculosis from well-defined captive populations are lacking in the literature. Studies published in recent years contain a wide range of prevalence estimates calculated from summary data. Incidence estimates of elephant tuberculosis in captive elephants are not available. This study estimated the annual point prevalence, annual incidence, cumulative incidence, and incidence density of tuberculosis in captive elephants within the USA during the past 52 years. We combined existing elephant census records from captive elephants in the USA with tuberculosis culture results obtained from trunk washes or at necropsy. This data set included 15 years where each elephant was screened annually. Between 1960 and 1996, the annual point prevalence of tuberculosis complex mycobacteria for both species was 0. From 1997 through 2011, the median point prevalence within the Asian elephant population was 5.1%, with a range from 0.3% to 6.7%. The incidence density was 9.7 cases/1000 elephant years (95% CI: 7.0-13.4). In contrast, the annual point prevalence during the same time period within the African elephant population remained 0 and the incidence density was 1.5 cases/1000 elephant years (95% CI: 0.7-4.0). The apparent increase in new cases noted after 1996 resulted from a combination of both index cases and the initiation of mandatory annual tuberculosis screening in 1997 for all the elephants. This study found lower annual point prevalence estimates than previously reported in the literature. These discrepancies in prevalence estimates are primarily due to differences in terminology and calculation methods. Using the same intensive testing regime, the incidence of tuberculosis differed significantly between Asian and African elephants. Accurate and species specific knowledge of prevalence and

  12. Use of elephant grass (Pennisetum purpureum) acid hydrolysate for microbial oil production by Trichosporon cutaneum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Xue-Fang; Huang, Chao; Xiong, Lian; Wang, Bo; Qi, Gao-Xiang; Lin, Xiao-Qing; Wang, Can; Chen, Xin-De

    2016-10-02

    Elephant grass (Pennisetum purpureum) dilute acid hydrolysate contains 34.6 g/L total sugars. The potential of lipid production by oleaginous yeast Trichosporon cutaneum grown on elephant grass acid hydrolysate was investigated for the first time. During the fermentation process on the elephant grass acid hydrolysate, glucose, xylose, and arabinose could be well utilized as carbon sources by T. cutaneum. Interestingly, xylose was almost no use before glucose was consumed completely. This illustrated that simultaneous saccharification of xylose and glucose by T. cutaneum did not occur on elephant grass acid hydrolysate. The highest biomass, lipid content, lipid yield, and lipid coefficient of T. cutaneum were measured after the sixth day of fermentation and were 22.76 g/L, 24.0%, 5.46 g/L, and 16.1%, respectively. Therefore, elephant grass is a promising raw material for microbial oil production by T. cutaneum.

  13. 'The Elephant Man' as 'self' and 'other': the psycho-social costs of a misdiagnosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ablon, J

    1995-06-01

    'The Elephant Man's Disease' acquired enormous notoriety through the portrayals of the life of Joseph Merrick, 'The Elephant Man', on American stage, screen and television. These portrayals, inspired by Ashley Montagu's book, The Elephant Man (1971) parleyed the designation of Merrick's condition into a household phrase, a metaphor for the grimmest extreme of ugliness. This paper explores the impact of 'The Elephant Man' as the chief referent and role model for persons who believed they shared the condition of neurofibromatosis 1, a neurological genetic disorder, which was erroneously believed at the time his story was popularized to have affected Joseph Merrick. Data were gathered through interviews with sixty affected individuals and families about their responses to the media representations of 'The Elephant Man'. Informants were recruited from three NF Support Groups and two urban hospital caseloads in Northern California.

  14. How much Dillenia indica seed predation occurs from Asian elephant dung?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sekar, Nitin; Giam, Xingli; Sharma, Netra Prasad; Sukumar, Raman

    2016-01-01

    Elephants are thought to be effective seed dispersers, but research on whether elephant dung effectively protects seeds from seed predation is lacking. Quantifying rates of seed predation from elephant dung will facilitate comparisons between elephants and alternative dispersers, helping us understand the functional role of megaherbivores in ecosystems. We conducted an experiment to quantify the predation of Dillenia indica seeds from elephant dung in Buxa Reserve, India from December 2012 to April 2013. Using dung boluses from the same dung pile, we compared the number of seeds in boluses that are a) opened immediately upon detection (control boluses), b) made available only to small seed predators (indica. Exposure to larger seed predators and secondary dispersers did not lead to a significant additional reduction in the number of seeds per dung bolus. Our findings suggest that post-dispersal seed predation by small insects (indica in a tropical moist forest habitat.

  15. Feeding and energetics of the great scallop, Pecten maximus, through a DEB model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lavaud, Romain; Flye-Sainte-Marie, Jonathan; Jean, Fred; Emmery, Antoine; Strand, Øivind; Kooijman, Sebastiaan A. L. M.

    2014-11-01

    We developed a full life-cycle bioenergetic model for the great scallop Pecten maximus relying on the concepts of the Dynamic Energy Budget (DEB) theory. The covariation method was implemented to estimate the parameters of a standard DEB model. Such models are able to predict various metabolic processes from a food availability marker and temperature in the environment. However, suspension-feeders are likely to feed on various trophic sources, from microalgae cells to detritus. They are also able to sort and select food particles very efficiently, depending on their size, energetic value or quality. The present model includes a mechanistic description of the feeding processes, based on Kooijman's Synthesizing Unit principle which allows to deal with several food sources. Moreover we tested the hypothesis of a differential selectivity between two potential substrates (phytoplankton cell and the remaining particulate organic matter). Simulations of shell length, daily shell growth rate, dry weight and gonado-somatic index (GSI) variations were realized and compared to field data from a monitoring conducted in the Bay of Brest (Brittany, France) for six years. The model shows its capacity to efficiently reproduce all life history traits of the wild great scallops. Predicted length data were estimated to the nearest millimeter. The fit of simulated weights to observed data was very satisfactory. GSI predictions were also in accordance with observations but improvements are required to better capture the sharp increase of gametogenesis at the beginning of the year. Finally, results bring evidences that P. maximus is actually preferentially feed on living algae cells rather than on the rest of organic particles.

  16. Asian elephants in China: estimating population size and evaluating habitat suitability.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Zhang

    Full Text Available We monitored the last remaining Asian elephant populations in China over the past decade. Using DNA tools and repeat genotyping, we estimated the population sizes from 654 dung samples collected from various areas. Combined with morphological individual identifications from over 6,300 elephant photographs taken in the wild, we estimated that the total Asian elephant population size in China is between 221 and 245. Population genetic structure and diversity were examined using a 556-bp fragment of mitochondrial DNA, and 24 unique haplotypes were detected from DNA analysis of 178 individuals. A phylogenetic analysis revealed two highly divergent clades of Asian elephants, α and β, present in Chinese populations. Four populations (Mengla, Shangyong, Mengyang, and Pu'Er carried mtDNA from the α clade, and only one population (Nangunhe carried mtDNA belonging to the β clade. Moreover, high genetic divergence was observed between the Nangunhe population and the other four populations; however, genetic diversity among the five populations was low, possibly due to limited gene flow because of habitat fragmentation. The expansion of rubber plantations, crop cultivation, and villages along rivers and roads had caused extensive degradation of natural forest in these areas. This had resulted in the loss and fragmentation of elephant habitats and had formed artificial barriers that inhibited elephant migration. Using Geographic Information System, Global Positioning System, and Remote Sensing technology, we found that the area occupied by rubber plantations, tea farms, and urban settlements had dramatically increased over the past 40 years, resulting in the loss and fragmentation of elephant habitats and forming artificial barriers that inhibit elephant migration. The restoration of ecological corridors to facilitate gene exchange among isolated elephant populations and the establishment of cross-boundary protected areas between China and Laos to secure

  17. Asian elephants in China: estimating population size and evaluating habitat suitability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Li; Dong, Lu; Lin, Liu; Feng, Limin; Yan, Fan; Wang, Lanxin; Guo, Xianming; Luo, Aidong

    2015-01-01

    We monitored the last remaining Asian elephant populations in China over the past decade. Using DNA tools and repeat genotyping, we estimated the population sizes from 654 dung samples collected from various areas. Combined with morphological individual identifications from over 6,300 elephant photographs taken in the wild, we estimated that the total Asian elephant population size in China is between 221 and 245. Population genetic structure and diversity were examined using a 556-bp fragment of mitochondrial DNA, and 24 unique haplotypes were detected from DNA analysis of 178 individuals. A phylogenetic analysis revealed two highly divergent clades of Asian elephants, α and β, present in Chinese populations. Four populations (Mengla, Shangyong, Mengyang, and Pu'Er) carried mtDNA from the α clade, and only one population (Nangunhe) carried mtDNA belonging to the β clade. Moreover, high genetic divergence was observed between the Nangunhe population and the other four populations; however, genetic diversity among the five populations was low, possibly due to limited gene flow because of habitat fragmentation. The expansion of rubber plantations, crop cultivation, and villages along rivers and roads had caused extensive degradation of natural forest in these areas. This had resulted in the loss and fragmentation of elephant habitats and had formed artificial barriers that inhibited elephant migration. Using Geographic Information System, Global Positioning System, and Remote Sensing technology, we found that the area occupied by rubber plantations, tea farms, and urban settlements had dramatically increased over the past 40 years, resulting in the loss and fragmentation of elephant habitats and forming artificial barriers that inhibit elephant migration. The restoration of ecological corridors to facilitate gene exchange among isolated elephant populations and the establishment of cross-boundary protected areas between China and Laos to secure their natural

  18. Tourism-induced disturbance of wildlife in protected areas: A case study of free ranging elephants in Sri Lanka

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eranga Ranaweerage

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Tourism-induced disturbance is a growing concern in wildlife conservation worldwide. This case study in a key protected area in Sri Lanka, examined the behavioral changes of Asian elephants in the context of elephant watching tourism activities. Observations of different age–sex-group classes of elephants were conducted focusing on the feeding activity of elephants in the presence vs. absence of tourists. Frequency and duration of alert, fear, stress and aggressive behaviors of elephants were significantly high in the presence of tourists and these behaviors occurred at a cost of feeding time. Tourist behavior, vehicle noise, close distances and time of the tours were closely associated with the behavioral changes of elephants. It is important to monitor tourism effects on endangered species such as Asian elephants and to take proper measures including controlled tourist behavior and vehicle activity in protected areas in order to reduce disturbance of wildlife behavior.

  19. Impact of elephant on two woody trees, Boscia oleoides and Pappea capensis, in an arid thicket-Nama Karoo mosaic, Greater Addo Elephant National Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marietjie Landman

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Despite extensive evidence of the influences of elephant on woody trees in savannah habitats, effects on trees in the succulent thickets of the Eastern Cape are relatively poorly described. Our study investigates the role and intensity of elephant impacts on Pappea capensis and the relatively rare Boscia oleoides in an arid thicket-Nama Karoo mosaic habitat of the Greater Addo Elephant National Park. We show that roughly 19% of the B. oleoides and nearly half of the P. capensis individuals recorded showed signs of elephant impact. Elephant often toppled our study trees, and where these individuals were uprooted, mortalities occurred: B. oleoides ~ 44% of the impacted trees (4 individuals; P. capensis ~ 22% of the impacted trees (29 individuals.Conservation implications: Whilst this study is restricted by limited spatial and temporal replication, P. capensis mortalities caused by elephant occurred at a rate exceeding that of other processes. Our results provide insight into the severity of the measured changes and the need to reduce the impacts. However, it would be critically important to establish the specific driver of elephant–tree interactions before any management intervention is implemented.

  20. Tuberculosis serosurveillance and management practices of captive African elephants (Loxodonta africana) in the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosen, L E; Hanyire, T G; Dawson, J; Foggin, C M; Michel, A L; Huyvaert, K P; Miller, M A; Olea-Popelka, F J

    2017-11-16

    Transfrontier conservation areas represent an international effort to encourage conservation and sustainable development. Their success faces a number of challenges, including disease management in wildlife, livestock and humans. Tuberculosis (TB) affects humans and a multitude of non-human animal species and is of particular concern in sub-Saharan Africa. The Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area encompasses five countries, including Zimbabwe, and is home to the largest contiguous population of free-ranging elephants in Africa. Elephants are known to be susceptible to TB; thus, understanding TB status, exposure and transmission risks to and from elephants in this area is of interest for both conservation and human health. To assess risk factors for TB seroprevalence, a questionnaire was used to collect data regarding elephant management at four ecotourism facilities offering elephant-back tourist rides in the Victoria Falls area of Zimbabwe. Thirty-five working African elephants were screened for Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex antibodies using the ElephantTB Stat-Pak and the DPP VetTB Assay for elephants. Six of 35 elephants (17.1%) were seropositive. The risk factor most important for seropositive status was time in captivity. This is the first study to assess TB seroprevalence and risk factors in working African elephants in their home range. Our findings will provide a foundation to develop guidelines to protect the health of captive and free-ranging elephants in the southern African context, as well as elephant handlers through simple interventions. Minimizing exposure through shared feed with other wildlife, routine TB testing of elephant handlers and regular serological screening of elephants are recommended as preventive measures. © 2017 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  1. Strong kinetic effects on Sr/Ca ratios in the calcitic bivalve Pecten maximus

    OpenAIRE

    A. Lorrain; Gillikin, D. P.; Paulet, Y.-M.; Chauvaud, L.; Le Mercier, A.; Navez, J.; André, L.

    2005-01-01

    Although Sr/Ca ratios in abiogenic calcite are strongly controlled by precipitation rates, such a kinetic effect has never been demonstrated in calcitic bivalve shells. Therefore, we report Sr/Ca ratios together with daily growth rates in the calcitic shells of four individuals of the bivalve Pecten maximus (age class I). Ratios of Sr/Ca were found to be variable among individuals that grew at the same location, illustrating that vital effects dominate over environmental controls. Although da...

  2. Sensitivity towards elevated pCO2 in great scallop (Pecten maximus Lamarck) embryos and fed larvae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersen, Sissel; Grefsrud, Ellen S.; Harboe, Torstein

    2017-02-01

    The increasing amount of dissolved anthropogenic CO2 has caused a drop in pH values in the open ocean known as ocean acidification. This change in seawater carbonate chemistry has been shown to have a negative effect on a number of marine organisms. Early life stages are the most vulnerable, and especially the organisms that produce calcified structures in the phylum Mollusca. Few studies have looked at effects on scallops, and this is the first study presented including fed larvae of the great scallop (Pecten maximus) followed until day 14 post-fertilization. Fertilized eggs from unexposed parents were exposed to three levels of pCO2 using four replicate units: 465 (ambient), 768 and 1294 µatm, corresponding to pHNIST of 7.94, 7.75 (-0.19 units) and 7.54 (-0.40 units), respectively. All of the observed parameters were negatively affected by elevated pCO2: survival, larval development, shell growth and normal shell development. The latter was observed to be affected only 2 days after fertilization. Negative effects on the fed larvae at day 7 were similar to what was shown earlier for unfed P. maximus larvae. Growth rate in the group at 768 µatm seemed to decline after day 7, indicating that the ability to overcome the environmental change at moderately elevated pCO2 was lost over time. The present study shows that food availability does not decrease the sensitivity to elevated pCO2 in P. maximus larvae. Unless genetic adaptation and acclimatization counteract the negative effects of long term elevated pCO2, recruitment in populations of P. maximus will most likely be negatively affected by the projected drop of 0.06-0.32 units in pH within year 2100.

  3. Juvenile king scallop, Pecten maximus, is potentially tolerant to low levels of ocean acidification when food is unrestricted.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew Burton Sanders

    Full Text Available The decline in ocean water pH and changes in carbonate saturation states through anthropogenically mediated increases in atmospheric CO2 levels may pose a hazard to marine organisms. This may be particularly acute for those species reliant on calcareous structures like shells and exoskeletons. This is of particular concern in the case of valuable commercially exploited species such as the king scallop, Pecten maximus. In this study we investigated the effects on oxygen consumption, clearance rates and cellular turnover in juvenile P. maximus following 3 months laboratory exposure to four pCO2 treatments (290, 380, 750 and 1140 µatm. None of the exposure levels were found to have significant effect on the clearance rates, respiration rates, condition index or cellular turnover (RNA: DNA of individuals. While it is clear that some life stages of marine bivalves appear susceptible to future levels of ocean acidification, particularly under food limiting conditions, the results from this study suggest that where food is in abundance, bivalves like juvenile P. maximus may display a tolerance to limited changes in seawater chemistry.

  4. A coupled biophysical model for the distribution of the great scallop Pecten maximus in the English Channel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Goff, Clément; Lavaud, Romain; Cugier, Philippe; Jean, Fred; Flye-Sainte-Marie, Jonathan; Foucher, Eric; Desroy, Nicolas; Fifas, Spyros; Foveau, Aurélie

    2017-03-01

    In this paper we used a modelling approach integrating both physical and biological constraints to understand the biogeographical distribution of the great scallop Pecten maximus in the English Channel during its whole life cycle. A 3D bio-hydrodynamical model (ECO-MARS3D) providing environmental conditions was coupled to (i) a population dynamics model and (ii) an individual ecophysiological model (Dynamic Energy Budget model). We performed the coupling sequentially, which underlined the respective role of biological and physical factors in defining P. maximus distribution in the English Channel. Results show that larval dispersion by hydrodynamics explains most of the scallop distribution and enlighten the main known hotspots for the population, basically corresponding to the main fishing areas. The mechanistic description of individual bioenergetics shows that food availability and temperature control growth and reproduction and explain how populations may maintain themselves in particular locations. This last coupling leads to more realistic densities and distributions of adults in the English Channel. The results of this study improves our knowledge on the stock and distribution dynamics of P. maximus, and provides grounds for useful tools to support management strategies.

  5. [Insertion of gluteus maximus tendo-chilles lengthening with Z-shaped for the treatment of severe gluteal muscle contracture].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Huan-shi; Yang, Xiao-long

    2015-06-01

    To investigate clinical curative effects of gluteal muscle contracture release combined with insertion of gluteus maximus tendo-chilles lengthening with Z-shaped in treating severe gluteal muscles contracture. From 2006 May to 2011 May, 20 patients (35 sides) with severe gluteal muscle contracture were collected, including 12 males and 8 females, aged from 8 to 34 years old with an average of 13 years old; the courses of disease ranged from 3 to 21 years. All patients manifested abnormal gait at different degree, knees close together cannot squat,positive syndrome of Ober, positive test of alice leg. Gluteus contracture fascia release were performed firstly in operation, then insertion of tendo-chilles lengthening with Z-shaped were carried out. Preoperative and postoperative gait, and knee flexion hip extensor squat test, cross leg test, adduction and internal rotary activity of hip joint, stretch strength and motor ability after hip abduction were observed and compared. Twenty patients were followed up for 1 to 5 years. Gluteus maximus were released thoroughly, and snapping hip was disappeared, Ober syndrome were negative. There was significant differences in knee flexion hip extensor squat test, adduction and internal rotary activity of hip joint,stretch before and after operation (Pcontracture,insertion of gluteus maximus tendo-chilles lengthening with Z-shaped performed after gluteus contracture fascia release could release gluteal muscle contracture to the greatest extent and obtain postoperative curative effect without resection of normal hip muscle fibers and destroy joint capsule.

  6. Is painting by elephants in zoos as enriching as we are led to believe?

    Science.gov (United States)

    English, Megan; Kaplan, Gisela; Rogers, Lesley J

    2014-01-01

    The relationship between the activity of painting and performance of stereotyped and other stress-related behaviour was investigated in four captive Asian elephants at Melbourne Zoo, Australia. The activity involved the elephant being instructed to paint on a canvas by its keeper in front of an audience. Painting by elephants in zoos is commonly believed to be a form of enrichment, but this assumption had not been based on any systematic research. If an activity is enriching we would expect stress-related behaviour to be reduced but we found no evidence of the elephants anticipating the painting activity and no effect on the performance of stereotyped or other stress-related behaviour either before or after the painting session. This indicates that the activity does not fulfil one of the main aims of enrichment. However, if an elephant was not selected to paint on a given day this was associated with higher levels of non-interactive behaviour, a possible indicator of stress. Behavioural observations associated with ear, eye and trunk positions during the painting session showed that the elephant's attentiveness to the painting activity or to the keeper giving instruction varied between individuals. Apart from positive reinforcement from the keeper, the results indicated that elephants gain little enrichment from the activity of painting. Hence, the benefits of this activity appear to be limited to the aesthetic appeal of these paintings to the people viewing them.

  7. Behavioral changes in female Asian elephants when given access to an outdoor yard overnight.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, David M; Vitale, Cathy

    2016-07-01

    A study was conducted at the Bronx Zoo to determine whether providing elephants with access to an outdoor corral at night had any significant effects on behavior, use of space, and use of a sand corral. Activity budgets for three female Asian elephants were compared when the subjects were housed indoors overnight and when they were given access to an outdoor yard overnight. Observations were recorded via infrared video cameras between the hours of 1900 and 0700 during the months of July-September. Two of the three elephants showed a significant preference for spending time outdoors, whereas, the third elephant spent most of her time indoors. Standing and play behavior increased when the elephants had outdoor access while lying down and feeding behavior decreased. Swaying behavior decreased significantly when the elephants had access to the outdoor yard. The elephants made very little use of a sand-floor stall regardless of whether or not they had access to outdoors. The results of this study, suggest that having access to alternate areas overnight can promote well-being by reducing repetitive behavior and allowing animals to express their preferences for different locations. The relative importance of choice alone vs. the behavioral opportunities provided by choice options for zoo animals is discussed. Zoo Biol. 35:298-303, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. A single glycine-alanine exchange directs ligand specificity of the elephant progestin receptor.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Wierer

    Full Text Available The primary gestagen of elephants is 5α-dihydroprogesterone (DHP, which is unlike all other mammals studied until now. The level of DHP in elephants equals that of progesterone in other mammals, and elephants are able to bind DHP with similar affinity to progesterone indicating a unique ligand-binding specificity of the elephant progestin receptor (PR. Using site-directed mutagenesis in combination with in vitro binding studies we here report that this change in specificity is due to a single glycine to alanine exchange at position 722 (G722A of PR, which specifically increases DHP affinity while not affecting binding of progesterone. By conducting molecular dynamics simulations comparing human and elephant PR ligand-binding domains (LBD, we observed that the alanine methyl group at position 722 is able to push the DHP A-ring into a position similar to progesterone. In the human PR, the DHP A-ring position is twisted towards helix 3 of PR thereby disturbing the hydrogen bond pattern around the C3-keto group, resulting in a lower binding affinity. Furthermore, we observed that the elephant PR ligand-binding pocket is more rigid than the human analogue, which probably explains the higher affinity towards both progesterone and DHP. Interestingly, the G722A substitution is not elephant-specific, rather it is also present in five independent lineages of mammalian evolution, suggesting a special role of the substitution for the development of distinct mammalian gestagen systems.

  9. Skeletal development in the African elephant and ossification timing in placental mammals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hautier, Lionel; Stansfield, Fiona J.; Allen, W. R. Twink; Asher, Robert J.

    2012-01-01

    We provide here unique data on elephant skeletal ontogeny. We focus on the sequence of cranial and post-cranial ossification events during growth in the African elephant (Loxodonta africana). Previous analyses on ossification sequences in mammals have focused on monotremes, marsupials, boreoeutherian and xenarthran placentals. Here, we add data on ossification sequences in an afrotherian. We use two different methods to quantify sequence heterochrony: the sequence method and event-paring/Parsimov. Compared with other placentals, elephants show late ossifications of the basicranium, manual and pedal phalanges, and early ossifications of the ischium and metacarpals. Moreover, ossification in elephants starts very early and progresses rapidly. Specifically, the elephant exhibits the same percentage of bones showing an ossification centre at the end of the first third of its gestation period as the mouse and hamster have close to birth. Elephants show a number of features of their ossification patterns that differ from those of other placental mammals. The pattern of the initiation of the ossification evident in the African elephant underscores a possible correlation between the timing of ossification onset and gestation time throughout mammals. PMID:22298853

  10. Mini-SNaPshot multiplex assays authenticate elephant ivory and simultaneously identify the species origin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kitpipit, Thitika; Thongjued, Kantima; Penchart, Kitichaya; Ouithavon, Kanita; Chotigeat, Wilaiwan

    2017-03-01

    Illegal trading of ivory is mainly responsible for the dramatic decline in elephant populations. Thailand is one of the largest laundering hotspots for African ivory, as the domestic Asian elephant ivory can be legally traded. So, to help combat ivory poaching and smuggling, an efficient method is needed to identify the elephant species from its ivory and ivory products. In this study, a mini-SNaPshot® multiplex assay was developed and fully validated for the identification of confiscated ivory and low DNA template ivory products. Elephantid- and elephant species-specific mitochondrial single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were identified from 207 mammalian and 1705 elephant/mammoth cytochrome b sequence alignments. Seven informative SNPs were used for assay development. The assay unambiguously and accurately identified authentic elephant ivory and its species of origin on the basis of peak size and color observed in the haplotype profile. The assay was highly efficient for analysis of confiscated ivory and low-template ivory products with a 99.29% success rate (N=140). It was highly reproducible, exhibited no cross-reaction with eight other mammalian DNA; and had 100% identification accuracy. In addition, nested and direct PCR amplification were also compatible with the developed assay. This efficient assay should benefit wildlife forensic laboratories and aid in the prosecution of elephant-related crimes. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Elevated carboxyhemoglobin in a marine mammal, the northern elephant seal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tift, Michael S; Ponganis, Paul J; Crocker, Daniel E

    2014-05-15

    Low concentrations of endogenous carbon monoxide (CO), generated primarily through degradation of heme from heme-proteins, have been shown to maintain physiological function of organs and to exert cytoprotective effects. However, high concentrations of carboxyhemoglobin (COHb), formed by CO binding to hemoglobin, potentially prevent adequate O2 delivery to tissues by lowering arterial O2 content. Elevated heme-protein concentrations, as found in marine mammals, are likely associated with greater heme degradation, more endogenous CO production and, consequently, elevated COHb concentrations. Therefore, we measured COHb in elephant seals, a species with large blood volumes and elevated hemoglobin and myoglobin concentrations. The levels of COHb were positively related to the total hemoglobin concentration. The maximum COHb value was 10.4% of total hemoglobin concentration. The mean (± s.e.m.) value in adult seals was 8.7 ± 0.3% (N=6), while juveniles and pups (with lower heme-protein contents) had lower mean COHb values of 7.6 ± 0.2% and 7.1 ± 0.3%, respectively (N=9 and N=9, respectively). Serial samples over several hours revealed little to no fluctuation in COHb values. This consistent elevation in COHb suggests that the magnitude and/or rate of heme-protein turnover is much higher than in terrestrial mammals. The maximum COHb values from this study decrease total body O2 stores by 7%, thereby reducing the calculated aerobic dive limit for this species. However, the constant presence of elevated CO in blood may also protect against potential ischemia-reperfusion injury associated with the extreme breath-holds of elephant seals. We suggest the elephant seal represents an ideal model for understanding the potential cytoprotective effects, mechanisms of action and evolutionary adaptation associated with chronically elevated concentrations of endogenously produced CO. © 2014. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  12. Serosurveillance for pandemic influenza A (H1N1) 2009 virus infection in domestic elephants, Thailand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paungpin, Weena; Wiriyarat, Witthawat; Chaichoun, Kridsada; Tiyanun, Ekasit; Sangkachai, Nareerat; Changsom, Don; Poltep, Kanaporn; Ratanakorn, Parntep; Puthavathana, Pilaipan

    2017-01-01

    The present study conducted serosurveillance for the presence of antibody to pandemic influenza A (H1N1) 2009 virus (H1N1pdm virus) in archival serum samples collected between 2009 and 2013 from 317 domestic elephants living in 19 provinces situated in various parts of Thailand. To obtain the most accurate data, hemagglutination-inhibition (HI) assay was employed as the screening test; and sera with HI antibody titers ≥20 were further confirmed by other methods, including cytopathic effect/hemagglutination based-microneutralization (microNT) and Western blot (WB) assays using H1N1pdm matrix 1 (M1) or hemagglutinin (HA) recombinant protein as the test antigen. Conclusively, the appropriate assays using HI in conjunction with WB assays for HA antibody revealed an overall seropositive rate of 8.5% (27 of 317). The prevalence of antibody to H1N1pdm virus was 2% (4/172) in 2009, 32% (17/53) in 2010, 9% (2/22) in 2011, 12% (1/8) in 2012, and 5% (3/62) in 2013. Notably, these positive serum samples were collected from elephants living in 7 tourist provinces of Thailand. The highest seropositive rate was obtained from elephants in Phuket, a popular tourist beach city. Young elephants had higher seropositive rate than older elephants. The source of H1N1pdm viral infection in these elephants was not explored, but most likely came from close contact with the infected mahouts or from the infected tourists who engaged in activities such as elephant riding and feeding. Nevertheless, it could not be excluded that elephant-to-elephant transmission did occur.

  13. Understanding long-term variations in an elephant piosphere effect to manage impacts.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marietjie Landman

    Full Text Available Surface water availability is a key driver of elephant impacts on biological diversity. Thus, understanding the spatio-temporal variations of these impacts in relation to water is critical to their management. However, elephant piosphere effects (i.e. the radial pattern of attenuating impact are poorly described, with few long-term quantitative studies. Our understanding is further confounded by the complexity of systems with elephant (i.e. fenced, multiple water points, seasonal water availability, varying population densities that likely limit the use of conceptual models to predict these impacts. Using 31 years of data on shrub structure in the succulent thickets of the Addo Elephant National Park, South Africa, we tested elephant effects at a single water point. Shrub structure showed a clear sigmoid response with distance from water, declining at both the upper and lower limits of sampling. Adjacent to water, this decline caused a roughly 300-m radial expansion of the grass-dominated habitats that replace shrub communities. Despite the clear relationship between shrub structure and ecological functioning in thicket, the extent of elephant effects varied between these features with distance from water. Moreover, these patterns co-varied with other confounding variables (e.g. the location of neighboring water points, which limits our ability to predict such effects in the absence of long-term data. We predict that elephant have the ability to cause severe transformation in succulent thicket habitats with abundant water supply and elevated elephant numbers. However, these piosphere effects are complex, suggesting that a more integrated understanding of elephant impacts on ecological heterogeneity may be required before water availability is used as a tool to manage impacts. We caution against the establishment of water points in novel succulent thicket habitats, and advocate a significant reduction in water provisioning at our study site

  14. Understanding long-term variations in an elephant piosphere effect to manage impacts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landman, Marietjie; Schoeman, David S; Hall-Martin, Anthony J; Kerley, Graham I H

    2012-01-01

    Surface water availability is a key driver of elephant impacts on biological diversity. Thus, understanding the spatio-temporal variations of these impacts in relation to water is critical to their management. However, elephant piosphere effects (i.e. the radial pattern of attenuating impact) are poorly described, with few long-term quantitative studies. Our understanding is further confounded by the complexity of systems with elephant (i.e. fenced, multiple water points, seasonal water availability, varying population densities) that likely limit the use of conceptual models to predict these impacts. Using 31 years of data on shrub structure in the succulent thickets of the Addo Elephant National Park, South Africa, we tested elephant effects at a single water point. Shrub structure showed a clear sigmoid response with distance from water, declining at both the upper and lower limits of sampling. Adjacent to water, this decline caused a roughly 300-m radial expansion of the grass-dominated habitats that replace shrub communities. Despite the clear relationship between shrub structure and ecological functioning in thicket, the extent of elephant effects varied between these features with distance from water. Moreover, these patterns co-varied with other confounding variables (e.g. the location of neighboring water points), which limits our ability to predict such effects in the absence of long-term data. We predict that elephant have the ability to cause severe transformation in succulent thicket habitats with abundant water supply and elevated elephant numbers. However, these piosphere effects are complex, suggesting that a more integrated understanding of elephant impacts on ecological heterogeneity may be required before water availability is used as a tool to manage impacts. We caution against the establishment of water points in novel succulent thicket habitats, and advocate a significant reduction in water provisioning at our study site, albeit with greater

  15. Serosurveillance for pandemic influenza A (H1N1 2009 virus infection in domestic elephants, Thailand.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Weena Paungpin

    Full Text Available The present study conducted serosurveillance for the presence of antibody to pandemic influenza A (H1N1 2009 virus (H1N1pdm virus in archival serum samples collected between 2009 and 2013 from 317 domestic elephants living in 19 provinces situated in various parts of Thailand. To obtain the most accurate data, hemagglutination-inhibition (HI assay was employed as the screening test; and sera with HI antibody titers ≥20 were further confirmed by other methods, including cytopathic effect/hemagglutination based-microneutralization (microNT and Western blot (WB assays using H1N1pdm matrix 1 (M1 or hemagglutinin (HA recombinant protein as the test antigen. Conclusively, the appropriate assays using HI in conjunction with WB assays for HA antibody revealed an overall seropositive rate of 8.5% (27 of 317. The prevalence of antibody to H1N1pdm virus was 2% (4/172 in 2009, 32% (17/53 in 2010, 9% (2/22 in 2011, 12% (1/8 in 2012, and 5% (3/62 in 2013. Notably, these positive serum samples were collected from elephants living in 7 tourist provinces of Thailand. The highest seropositive rate was obtained from elephants in Phuket, a popular tourist beach city. Young elephants had higher seropositive rate than older elephants. The source of H1N1pdm viral infection in these elephants was not explored, but most likely came from close contact with the infected mahouts or from the infected tourists who engaged in activities such as elephant riding and feeding. Nevertheless, it could not be excluded that elephant-to-elephant transmission did occur.

  16. Elephant management: a scientific assessment of South Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Scholes, RJ

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available awakening, walking backwards out of the wake-up crate into the transport truck 249 6 Specialised bull transport crates and truck 250 Chapter 6 1 Mean pro�les of serum progestins, prolactin, and FSH throughout the oestrous cycle in reproductively normal... African elephants 260 2 �e median faecal 5α-pregnane-3-ol-20-one (5α-P-3-OH) concentrations and inter-quartile ranges of all females are presented in relation to reproductive state and season 264 3 Serum progestin pro�le in a non-cycling African...

  17. Animal behaviour: elephants are capable of vocal learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poole, Joyce H; Tyack, Peter L; Stoeger-Horwath, Angela S; Watwood, Stephanie

    2005-03-24

    There are a few mammalian species that can modify their vocalizations in response to auditory experience--for example, some marine mammals use vocal imitation for reproductive advertisement, as birds sometimes do. Here we describe two examples of vocal imitation by African savannah elephants, Loxodonta africana, a terrestrial mammal that lives in a complex fission-fusion society. Our findings favour a role for vocal imitation that has already been proposed for primates, birds, bats and marine mammals: it is a useful form of acoustic communication that helps to maintain individual-specific bonds within changing social groupings.

  18. Analysis and experiments with an elephant's trunk robot

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hannan, M. W.; Walker, I. D.

    2001-01-01

    The area of tentacle and trunk type biological manipulation is not new, but there has been little progress in the development and application of a physical device to simulate these types of manipulation. Our research in this area is based on using an 'elephant trunk' robot. In this paper, we review the construction of the robot and how it compares to biological manipulators. We then apply our previously designed kinematic model to describe the kinematics of the robot. We finish by providing some examples of motion planning and intelligent manipulation using the robot.

  19. Touraine Solente Gole syndrome: The elephant skin disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. M. Sheeja Rajan

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Touraine Solente Gole syndrome is a rare hereditary syndrome of primary pachydermoperiostosis, with the characteristic triad of pachydermia (or elephant like skin, periostosis and acropachia. A 27-year-old patient presented with aesthetic deformity of forehead due to deep skin folds and coarsening of facial features due to progressive thickening of skin. Associated palmoplantar hyperkeratosis with broadened of finger and toe tips and digital clubbing were noticed. Dermatologic evaluation revealed cutis verticis gyrata of scalp, seborrhoeic hyperplasia of face and hyperhidrosis. Natural history of the disease and aetiopathogenesis were reviewed. Aesthetic correction of forehead through frontal rhytidectomy was attempted.

  20. Touraine Solente Gole syndrome: The elephant skin disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajan, T M Sheeja; Sreekumar, N C; Sarita, S; Thushara, K R

    2013-09-01

    Touraine Solente Gole syndrome is a rare hereditary syndrome of primary pachydermoperiostosis, with the characteristic triad of pachydermia (or elephant like skin), periostosis and acropachia. A 27-year-old patient presented with aesthetic deformity of forehead due to deep skin folds and coarsening of facial features due to progressive thickening of skin. Associated palmoplantar hyperkeratosis with broadened of finger and toe tips and digital clubbing were noticed. Dermatologic evaluation revealed cutis verticis gyrata of scalp, seborrhoeic hyperplasia of face and hyperhidrosis. Natural history of the disease and aetiopathogenesis were reviewed. Aesthetic correction of forehead through frontal rhytidectomy was attempted.

  1. Taxonomy Icon Data: African savanna elephant [Taxonomy Icon

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available African savanna elephant Loxodonta africana Chordata/Vertebrata/Mammalia/Theria/Eutheria/etc. Loxodonta_afri...cana_L.png Loxodonta_africana_NL.png Loxodonta_africana_S.png Loxodonta_africana_NS....png http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Loxodonta+africana&t=L http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonom...y_icon/icon.cgi?i=Loxodonta+africana&t=NL http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Loxodonta+afric...ana&t=S http://biosciencedbc.jp/taxonomy_icon/icon.cgi?i=Loxodonta+africana&t=NS ...

  2. Alternative futures for Borneo show the value of integrating economic and conservation targets across borders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Runting, Rebecca K; Meijaard, Erik; Abram, Nicola K; Wells, Jessie A; Gaveau, David L A; Ancrenaz, Marc; Posssingham, Hugh P; Wich, Serge A; Ardiansyah, Fitrian; Gumal, Melvin T; Ambu, Laurentius N; Wilson, Kerrie A

    2015-04-14

    Balancing economic development with international commitments to protect biodiversity is a global challenge. Achieving this balance requires an understanding of the possible consequences of alternative future scenarios for a range of stakeholders. We employ an integrated economic and environmental planning approach to evaluate four alternative futures for the mega-diverse island of Borneo. We show what could be achieved if the three national jurisdictions of Borneo coordinate efforts to achieve their public policy targets and allow a partial reallocation of planned land uses. We reveal the potential for Borneo to simultaneously retain ∼50% of its land as forests, protect adequate habitat for the Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) and Bornean elephant (Elephas maximus borneensis), and achieve an opportunity cost saving of over US$43 billion. Such coordination would depend on enhanced information sharing and reforms to land-use planning, which could be supported by the increasingly international nature of economies and conservation efforts.

  3. Proteomic analysis of a pleistocene mammoth femur reveals more than one hundred ancient bone proteins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cappellini, Enrico; Jensen, Lars Juhl; Szklarczyk, Damian Milosz

    2012-01-01

    We used high-sensitivity, high-resolution tandem mass spectrometry to shotgun sequence ancient protein remains extracted from a 43 000 year old woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) bone preserved in the Siberian permafrost. For the first time, 126 unique protein accessions, mostly low......-abundance extracellular matrix and plasma proteins, were confidently identified by solid molecular evidence. Among the best characterized was the carrier protein serum albumin, presenting two single amino acid substitutions compared to extant African (Loxodonta africana) and Indian (Elephas maximus) elephants. Strong...... described beyond subpolar environments. Mass spectrometry-based ancient protein sequencing offers new perspectives for future molecular phylogenetic inference and physiological studies on samples not amenable to ancient DNA investigation. This approach therefore represents a further step into the ongoing...

  4. Alternative futures for Borneo show the value of integrating economic and conservation targets across borders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Runting, Rebecca K.; Meijaard, Erik; Abram, Nicola K.; Wells, Jessie A.; Gaveau, David L.A.; Ancrenaz, Marc; Posssingham, Hugh P.; Wich, Serge A.; Ardiansyah, Fitrian; Gumal, Melvin T.; Ambu, Laurentius N.; Wilson, Kerrie A.

    2015-01-01

    Balancing economic development with international commitments to protect biodiversity is a global challenge. Achieving this balance requires an understanding of the possible consequences of alternative future scenarios for a range of stakeholders. We employ an integrated economic and environmental planning approach to evaluate four alternative futures for the mega-diverse island of Borneo. We show what could be achieved if the three national jurisdictions of Borneo coordinate efforts to achieve their public policy targets and allow a partial reallocation of planned land uses. We reveal the potential for Borneo to simultaneously retain ∼50% of its land as forests, protect adequate habitat for the Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) and Bornean elephant (Elephas maximus borneensis), and achieve an opportunity cost saving of over US$43 billion. Such coordination would depend on enhanced information sharing and reforms to land-use planning, which could be supported by the increasingly international nature of economies and conservation efforts. PMID:25871635

  5. Tuberculosis in elephants-a reemergent disease: diagnostic dilemmas, the natural history of infection, and new immunological tools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maslow, J N; Mikota, S K

    2015-05-01

    Tuberculosis (TB) in elephants has been described since ancient times. However, it was not until 1996 when infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis was identified in a herd of circus elephants that significant research into this disease began. The epidemiology and natural history of TB were unknown in elephants since there had been no comprehensive screening programs, and diagnostic techniques developed for cervidae and bovidae were of unknown value. And, while precepts of test and slaughter were the norm for cattle and deer, this was considered untenable for an endangered species. With no precedent for the treatment of TB in animals, treatment regimens for elephants were extrapolated from human protocols, which guided changes to the Guidelines for the Control of Tuberculosis in Elephants. In the absence of diagnostic testing to confirm cure in elephants, the efficacy of these treatment regimens is only beginning to be understood as treated elephants die and are examined postmortem. However, because of pressures arising from public relations related to elephant husbandry and the added considerations of TB infection in animals (whether real or imagined), sharing of information to aid in research and treatment has been problematic. Here we review the challenges and successes of the diagnosis of tuberculosis in elephants and discuss the natural history of the disease to put the work of Landolfi et al on the immunological response to tuberculosis in elephants in perspective. © The Author(s) 2015.

  6. Beehive fences as a multidimensional conflict-mitigation tool for farmers coexisting with elephants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Lucy E; Lala, Fredrick; Nzumu, Hesron; Mwambingu, Emmanuel; Douglas-Hamilton, Iain

    2017-08-01

    Increasing habitat fragmentation and human population growth in Africa has resulted in an escalation in human-elephant conflict between small-scale farmers and free-ranging African elephants (Loxodonta Africana). In 2012 Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) implemented the national 10-year Conservation and Management Strategy for the Elephant in Kenya, which includes an action aimed at testing whether beehive fences can be used to mitigate human-elephant conflict. From 2012 to 2015, we field-tested the efficacy of beehive fences to protect 10 0.4-ha farms next to Tsavo East National Park from elephants. We hung a series of beehives every 10 m around the boundary of each farm plot. The hives were linked with strong wire. After an initial pilot test with 2 farms, the remaining 8 of 10 beehive fences also contained 2-dimensional dummy hives between real beehives to help reduce the cost of the fence. Each trial plot had a neighboring control plot of the same size within the same farm. Of the 131 beehives deployed 88% were occupied at least once during the 3.5-year trial. Two hundred and fifty-three elephants, predominantly 20-45 years old entered the community farming area, typically during the crop- ripening season. Eighty percent of the elephants that approached the trial farms were kept out of the areas protected by the beehive fences, and elephants that broke a fence were in smaller than average groups. Beehive fences not only kept large groups of elephants from invading the farmland plots but the farmers also benefited socially and financially from the sale of 228 kg of elephant-friendly honey. As news of the success of the trial spread, a further 12 farmers requested to join the project, bringing the number of beehive fence protected farms to 22 and beehives to 297. This demonstrates positive adoption of beehive fences as a community mitigation tool. Understanding the response of elephants to the beehive fences, the seasonality of crop raiding and fence breaking, and the

  7. Six new polymorphic microsatellite loci isolated and characterized from the African savannah elephant genome

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nyakaana, Silvester; Okello, John Bosco A.; Muwanika, Vincent B.

    2005-01-01

    The African savannah elephant (Loxodonta africana) is a 'keystone' species that plays a vital role in regulating the dynamics of both plant and animal communities and yet it is endangered and its numbers have been reduced to approximately 500 000 across their entire continental range. Molecular...... genetic markers are important tools for providing genetic information useful in formulating effective management and conservation strategies for the surviving elephant populations. We describe the isolation and characterization of six new polymorphic microsatellite markers in the African savannah elephant...

  8. CONSERVATION. Genetic assignment of large seizures of elephant ivory reveals Africa's major poaching hotspots.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wasser, S K; Brown, L; Mailand, C; Mondol, S; Clark, W; Laurie, C; Weir, B S

    2015-07-03

    Poaching of elephants is now occurring at rates that threaten African populations with extinction. Identifying the number and location of Africa's major poaching hotspots may assist efforts to end poaching and facilitate recovery of elephant populations. We genetically assign origin to 28 large ivory seizures (≥0.5 metric tons) made between 1996 and 2014, also testing assignment accuracy. Results suggest that the major poaching hotspots in Africa may be currently concentrated in as few as two areas. Increasing law enforcement in these two hotspots could help curtail future elephant losses across Africa and disrupt this organized transnational crime. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  9. Elephants in the understory: opposing direct and indirect effects of consumption and ecosystem engineering by megaherbivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coverdale, Tyler C; Kartzinel, Tyler R; Grabowski, Kathryn L; Shriver, Robert K; Hassan, Abdikadir A; Goheen, Jacob R; Palmer, Todd M; Pringle, Robert M

    2016-11-01

    Positive indirect effects of consumers on their resources can stabilize food webs by preventing overexploitation, but the coupling of trophic and non-trophic interactions remains poorly integrated into our understanding of community dynamics. Elephants engineer African savanna ecosystems by toppling trees and breaking branches, and although their negative effects on trees are well documented, their effects on small-statured plants remain poorly understood. Using data on 117 understory plant taxa collected over 7 yr within 36 1-ha experimental plots in a semi-arid Kenyan savanna, we measured the strength and direction of elephant impacts on understory vegetation. We found that elephants had neutral effects on most (83-89%) species, with a similar frequency of positive and negative responses among the remainder. Overall, estimated understory biomass was 5-14% greater in the presence of elephants across a range of rainfall levels. Whereas direct consumption likely accounts for the negative effects, positive effects are presumably indirect. We hypothesized that elephants create associational refuges for understory plants by damaging tree canopies in ways that physically inhibit feeding by other large herbivores. As predicted, understory biomass and species richness beneath elephant-damaged trees were 55% and 21% greater, respectively, than under undamaged trees. Experimentally simulated elephant damage increased understory biomass by 37% and species richness by 49% after 1 yr. Conversely, experimentally removing elephant damaged branches decreased understory biomass by 39% and richness by 30% relative to sham-manipulated trees. Camera-trap surveys revealed that elephant damage reduced the frequency of herbivory by 71%, whereas we detected no significant effect of damage on temperature, light, or soil moisture. We conclude that elephants locally facilitate understory plants by creating refuges from herbivory, which countervails the direct negative effects of

  10. The social and ecological integration of captive-raised adolescent male African elephants (Loxodonta africana) into a wild population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Kate; Moore, Randall; Harris, Stephen

    2013-01-01

    A rapid rise in the number of captive African elephants (Loxodonta africana) used in the tourism industry in southern Africa and orphaned elephants in human care has led to concerns about their long-term management, particularly males. One solution is to release them into the wild at adolescence, when young males naturally leave their herd. However, this raises significant welfare concerns: little is known about how well released elephants integrate into wild populations and whether they pose a greater threat to humans than wild elephants. We document the release of three captive-raised adolescent male African elephants in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Despite having been part of a herd of working elephants for at least eight years, the three males progressively integrated into the complex fission-fusion society of wild bull elephants. In the three years following release, they showed no tendency to be closer to human habitation, and there were no significant differences between wild and captive-raised adolescent males in the total number of social interactions, size of ranges and habitat use. However, the captive-raised elephants sparred less and vocalised more, and spent more time alone and in smaller social groups. Thereafter the released elephants continued to expand their ranges and interact with both mixed-sex herds and males. One male was shot by farmers 94 months after release, along with ten wild elephants, on a ranch outside the protected area. We show that captive-raised adolescent male elephants can integrate into a wild population. Long-term studies are required to determine the longevity, breeding success, and eventual fate of released male elephants, but we identified no significant short-term welfare problems for the released elephants or recipient population. Release of captive-raised mammals with complex social systems is a husbandry option that should be explored further.

  11. Evidence and potential risk factors of tuberculosis among captive Asian elephants and wildlife staff in Peninsular Malaysia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yakubu, Yusuf; Ong, Bee Lee; Zakaria, Zunita; Hassan, Latiffah; Mutalib, Abdul Rahim; Ngeow, Yun Fong; Verasahib, Khebir; Razak, Mohd Firdaus Ariff Abdul

    2016-03-01

    Elephant tuberculosis (TB) caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis is an important re-emerging zoonosis with considerable conservation and public health risk. We conducted prospective cohort and cross-sectional studies in elephants and wildlife staff respectively in order to identify potential risk factors associated with TB in captive Asian elephants and their handlers in Peninsular Malaysia. Sixty elephants in six different facilities were screened for TB longitudinally using the ElephantTB STAT-PAK and DPP VetTB assays from February 2012 to May 2014, and 149 wildlife staff were examined for tuberculosis infection using the QuantiFERON-TB Gold In-tube (QFT) assay from January to April, 2012. Information on potential risk factors associated with infection in both elephants and staff were collected using questionnaires and facility records. The overall seroprevalence of TB amongst the elephants was 23.3% (95% CI: 13.8-36.3) and the risk of seroconversion was significantly higher among elephants with assigned mahouts [p=0.022, OR=4.9 (95% CI: 1.3-18.2)]. The percentage of QFT responders among wildlife staff was 24.8% (95% CI: 18.3-32.7) and the risk of infection was observed to be significantly associated with being a zoo employee [p=0.018, OR=2.7 (95% CI: 1.2-6.3)] or elephant handler [p=0.035, OR=4.1 (95% CI: 1.1-15.5)]. These findings revealed a potential risk of TB infection in captive elephants and handlers in Malaysia, and emphasize the need for TB screening of newly acquired elephants, isolating sero-positive elephants and performing further diagnostic tests to determine their infection status, and screening elephant handlers for TB, pre- and post-employment. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Effects of abdominal drawing-in during prone hip extension on the muscle activities of the hamstring, gluteus maximus, and lumbar erector spinae in subjects with lumbar hyperlordosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Tae-Woo; Kim, Yong-Wook

    2015-01-01

    [Purpose] The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of an abdominal drawing-in maneuver (ADIM), measured using a pressure bio-feedback unit, on the activities of the hamstring, gluteus maximus, and erector spinae muscles during prone hip extension. [Subjects and Methods] Thirty healthy adult subjects (14 male, 16 female), were recruited. Subjects’ lumbar lordosis and pelvic tilt angles were measured, and based on the results, the subjects were divided into two groups: a hyperlordotic lumbar angle (HLLA) group (n=15) and a normal lordotic lumbar angle (NLLA) group (n=15). The muscle activities of the hamstring and gluteus maximus, and of the erector spinae on the right side of the body, were recorded using surface electromyography. [Results] When performing ADIM with prone hip extension, the muscle activity of the gluteus maximus of the HLLA group significantly improved compared with that the NLLA group. [Conclusion] This study demonstrated that ADIM with prone hip extension was more effective at eliciting gluteus maximus activity in the HLLA group than in the NLLA group. Therefore, ADIM with prone hip extension may be useful for increasing the gluteus maximus activity of individuals with lumbar hyperlordosis. PMID:25729173

  13. Were Malagasy Uncarina fruits dispersed by the extinct elephant bird?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Illing

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available We hypothesise that the spiny fruits of the endemic Madagascar
    genus Uncarina (Pedaliaceae are trample burrs that evolved to be
    dispersed on the feet of the extinct elephant bird (Aepyornis. Our
    evidence is: i the morphology of the fruit with its large grapple
    hooks is more likely to attach to a foot than to adhere to fur and
    ii the presentation of mature fruits on the ground rather than in the
    canopy. These differences to adhesive burrs make lemurs unlikely
    dispersers. We argue, given the absence of other large terrestrial
    mammals in Madagascar, that the most likely dispersers of
    Uncarina fruits were the extinct large birds. If correct, our hypothesis
    has implications for conservation of Uncarina, the biogeography
    of the elephant birds and dispersal biology. For
    example, we predict that the demography of Uncarina will be
    skewed towards adult plants, and that the dispersal mutualism
    could possibly be rescued by domestic animals.

  14. Antimicrobial Activity of Elephant Garlic Oil against Vibrio cholerae in Vitro and in a Food Model

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    RATTANACHAIKUNSOPON, Pongsak; PHUMKHACHORN, Parichat

    2009-01-01

    .... Natural products inhibiting it can be used to improve the safety of foods. In this study, elephant garlic oil was studied for its major diallyl sulfide content and its antimicrobial activity against V. cholerae...

  15. The bulldozer herbivore: how animals benefit from elephant modifying an African savanna

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kohi, E.

    2013-01-01

    Herbivore-vegetation interactions are important structuring forces in savanna that modify the availability and quality of forage resources. Elephant for example, are known for their ability to change the vegetation structure through toppling trees, uprooting, snapping, debarking and breaking

  16. No evidence for an elephant-termite feedback loop in Sand Forest, South Africa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lagendijk, D. D G; Davies, A. B.; Eggleton, P.; Slotow, R.

    2016-01-01

    Termites and mammalian herbivores might derive mutual benefit from each other through positive feedback loops, but empirical evidence is lacking. One suggested positive feedback loop is between termites and elephant, both ecosystem engineers. Termites, as decomposer organisms, contribute to nutrient

  17. Ancient DNA reveals elephant birds and kiwi are sister taxa and clarifies ratite bird evolution

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Mitchell, Kieren J; Llamas, Bastien; Soubrier, Julien; Rawlence, Nicolas J; Worthy, Trevor H; Wood, Jamie; Lee, Michael S Y; Cooper, Alan

    2014-01-01

    ...) should be the oldest ratite lineages. We sequenced the mitochondrial genomes of two elephant birds and performed phylogenetic analyses, which revealed that these birds are the closest relatives of the New Zealand kiwi and are distant...

  18. Immobilisation of southern elephant seals and leopard seals with cyclohexamine anaesthetics and xylazine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, P J; Burton, H R

    1991-10-12

    Ketamine and xylazine were given to 55 southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina) for stomach lavaging, and to three leopard seals (Hydrurga leptonyx). The elephant seals showed prolonged apnoea and two of them died owing to aspiration of stomach contents. Two of the leopard seals died from unknown causes. Tiletamine and zolazepam were given to five elephant seals and one leopard seal. Two of the elephant seals and the leopard seal died from unknown causes. Xylazine alone was administered to 34 leopard seals. Sedation was poor at low dose rates (less than 1.7 mg/kg) but four of the seals given higher dose rates died owing to the aspiration of stomach contents.

  19. Vertical Transmission of Social Roles Drives Resilience to Poaching in Elephant Networks

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Goldenberg, Shifra Z; Douglas-Hamilton, Iain; Wittemyer, George

    2016-01-01

    ...]. Recent ivory poaching targeting older elephants in a well-studied population has mirrored the targeted removal of highly connected nodes in the theoretical literature that leads to structural collapse [4, 5...

  20. Elephant Herding Optimization for Solving Non-convex Optimal Power Flow Problem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    BENTOUATI Bachir

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The optimal power flow (OPF is becoming the most popular problem encountered in studies related to power system analysis. OPF is formulated as a nonlinear optimization problem with conflicting objectives and subjected to both equality and inequality constraints. In this paper, inspired by the herding behavior of elephant, a new type of swarm-based metaheuristic search method, called Elephant Herding Optimization (EHO, is proposed for solving OPF problem. EHO has a fast convergence rate due to the use of clan updating operator and separating operator. The elitism scheme is also used to save the best elephant during the process when updating the elephant. Case studies based on standard IEEE 30-bus test system are employed to prove the capability of the proposed EHO algorithm. The results clearly show the superiority of EHO in searching for the better function values than other well-known metaheuristic search algorithms that has been already done.

  1. Cloning, expression and characterization of translationally controlled tumor protein (TCTP) gene from flatfish turbot ( Scophthalmus maximus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jian; Guo, Huarong; Zhang, Shicui; Yin, Licheng; Guo, Bin; Wang, Shaojie

    2008-05-01

    A full-length cDNA encoding translationally controlled tumor protein of marine flatfish turbot ( Scophthalmus maximus), SmTCTP, was isolated with rapid amplification of cDNA Ends (RACE). SmTCTP consisted of a 5' untranslated region (UTR) of 84 bp, a 3' UTR of 451 bp and an open reading frame (ORF) of 513 bp, encoding a protein of 170 amino acid residues, which contained two signature sequences of TCTP family. The 5'UTR of SmTCTP started with a 5'-terminal oligopyrimidine tract (5'-TOP), a typical feature for translationally controlled mRNAs. The deduced amino acid sequence of SmTCTP was similar to the other known vertebrate TCTPs in a range of 58.8% to 64.1%. The length of fish TCTPs was diverse among species, e.g., TCP of turbot and sea perch ( Lateolabrax japonicus) is 170 aa in length, while that of zebrafish ( Danio rerio) and rohu ( Labeo rohita) is 171 aa in length. Northern blot analysis revealed that SmTCTP has only one type of mRNA. Its expression level in albino skin was slightly higher than that in normal skin. We constructed the pET30a- SmTCTP expression plasmid. The recombinant protein of His-tag SmTCTP was over-expressed in E. coli, purified and identified with peptide mass fingerprinting. These results may pave the way of further investigation of the biological function of TCTP in fish.

  2. Identification of the Major Sex-Determining Region of Turbot (Scophthalmus maximus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez, Paulino; Bouza, Carmen; Hermida, Miguel; Fernández, Jesús; Toro, Miguel Angel; Vera, Manuel; Pardo, Belén; Millán, Adrián; Fernández, Carlos; Vilas, Román; Viñas, Ana; Sánchez, Laura; Felip, Alicia; Piferrer, Francesc; Ferreiro, Isabel; Cabaleiro, Santiago

    2009-01-01

    Sex determination in fish is a labile character in evolutionary terms. The sex-determining (SD) master gene can differ even between closely related fish species. This group is an interesting model for studying the evolution of the SD region and the gonadal differentiation pathway. The turbot (Scophthalmus maximus) is a flatfish of great commercial value, where a strong sexual dimorphism exists for growth rate. Following a QTL and marker association approach in five families and a natural population, we identified the main SD region of turbot at the proximal end of linkage group (LG) 5, close to the SmaUSC-E30 marker. The refined map of this region suggested that this marker would be 2.6 cM and 1.4 Mb from the putative SD gene. This region appeared mostly undifferentiated between males and females, and no relevant recombination frequency differences were detected between sexes. Comparative genomics of LG5 marker sequences against five model species showed no similarity of this chromosome to the sex chromosomes of medaka, stickleback, and fugu, but suggested a similarity to a sex-associated QTL from Oreochromis spp. The segregation analysis of the closest markers to the SD region demonstrated a ZW/ZZ model of sex determination in turbot. A small proportion of families did not fit perfectly with this model, which suggests that other minor genetic and/or environmental factors are involved in sex determination in this species. PMID:19786621

  3. Digestive enzyme activities of turbot (Scophthalmus maximus L.) during early developmental stages under culture condition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tong, X H; Xu, S H; Liu, Q H; Li, J; Xiao, Z Z; Ma, D Y

    2012-06-01

    Digestive enzyme activities were analysed in turbot (Scophthalmus maximus) from hatching until 60 days after hatching (DAH). Trypsin sharply increased to the climax at 17 DAH and decreased until 31 DAH followed by a stable level thereafter. Amylase was determined at 4 DAH, reached the maximum value at 19 DAH and declined sharply to 39 DAH and remained at a low level thereafter, suggesting the carbohydrate component should remain at a low level in formulated diets. Pepsin was detected at 9 DAH and increased to 34 DAH and then remained at a stable level. The above results revealed pancreatic enzymes are no longer main enzymes for food digestion after the formation of functional stomach. Leucine-alanine peptidase (Leu-ala) and alkaline phosphatase (AP) and leucine aminopeptidase N (LAP) were found in newly hatched larvae. Both AP and LAP activities markedly increased to 23 DAH, decreased abruptly to 50 DAH and increased gradually to 60 DAH. Leu-ala reached the plateau from 23 to 39 DAH, followed by a decline to 46 DAH and an increase until 60 DAH. The brush border membrane (BBM)-bound enzyme activities increased from 30% at 31 DAH to 81% at 38 DAH of the total activities, indicating the maturation of intestinal tract.

  4. Gluteus maximus and soleus compensate for simulated quadriceps atrophy and activation failure during walking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Julie A; Chaudhari, Ajit M W; Schmitt, Laura C; Best, Thomas M; Siston, Robert A

    2013-09-03

    Important activities of daily living, like walking and stair climbing, may be impaired by muscle weakness. In particular, quadriceps weakness is common in populations such as those with knee osteoarthritis (OA) and following ACL injury and may be a result of muscle atrophy or reduced voluntary muscle activation. While weak quadriceps have been strongly correlated with functional limitations in these populations, the important cause-effect relationships between abnormal lower extremity muscle function and patient function remain unknown. As a first step towards determining those relationships, the purpose of this study was to estimate changes in muscle forces and contributions to support and progression to maintain normal gait in response to two sources of quadriceps weakness: atrophy and activation failure. We used muscle-driven simulations to track normal gait kinematics in healthy subjects and applied simulated quadriceps weakness as atrophy and activation failure to evaluate compensation patterns associated with the individual sources of weakness. We found that the gluteus maximus and soleus muscles display the greatest ability to compensate for simulated quadriceps weakness. Also, by simulating two different causes of muscle weakness, this model suggested different compensation strategies by the lower extremity musculature in response to atrophy and activation deficits. Estimating the compensation strategies that are necessary to maintain normal gait will enable investigations of the role of muscle weakness in abnormal gait and inform potential rehabilitation strategies to improve such conditions. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Maternally derived trypsin may have multiple functions in the early development of turbot (Scopthalmus maximus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chi, Liang; Liu, Qinghua; Xu, Shihong; Xiao, Zhizhong; Ma, Daoyuan; Li, Jun

    2015-10-01

    Trypsin is an important serine protease that is considered to be involved in digestion of protein in teleost fish. Nevertheless, studies on trypsin/trypsinogen in fish embryos are very limited. In this study, the trypsinogen of turbot (Scophthalmus maximus) (tTG) was identified and the expression patterns and activity of trypsinogen/trypsin were investigated. The results showed that the tTG mRNA was evenly distributed in the oocytes and was also expressed along the yolk periphery in early embryos. At later embryo stages and 1 days after hatching (dph), the tTG mRNA concentrated at the alimentary tract and head. Quantitative expression analysis showed that the tTG transcripts decreased after fertilization until the gastrula stage, then increased with the embryo and larvae development. This result was also confirmed by the specific activity analysis of trypsin and in-situ-hybridization (ISH). All of the results indicated that tTG in early embryo stages was maternally derived and expressed by itself after gastrula stages. Additionally, location of tTG mRNA in embryos and larvae was investigated; we considered that trypsin may have multiple functions during the embryo development process. Based on our results regarding trypsinogen in embryos and early development, we concluded that the trypsin/trypsinogen in turbot embryos was inherited from a maternal source and we suggested that trypsin in early development has multiple functions in the process of development. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Enhancing the culturability of bacteria from the gastrointestinal tract of farmed adult turbot Scophthalmus maximus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xing, Mengxin; Hou, Zhanhui; Qu, Yanmei; Liu, Bin

    2014-03-01

    Eighteen agar media were tested for the culture of gut-associated bacteria from farmed adult turbot ( Scophthalmus maximus), including 16 agar media with or without 1% gastrointestinal (GI) supernatant, or with 2% or 4% GI supernatant. A total of 1 711 colonies were analyzed and 24 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were identified. The greatest bacterial diversity was isolated on Zobell 2216E/Zobell 2216E+ agar media, whereas MRS/MRS+ agar media produced a low diversity of colonies. Agar media with GI supernatant (1%, 2%, or 4%) showed increased diversity and yielded different profiles of OTUs from the corresponding original media, suggesting that GI supernatant provides substances that enhance the culture efficiency of bacteria from the turbot GI tract. The large majority of the colonies (82%) were γ-Proteobacteria, whereas 15.6% and 2.4% of colonies were Firmicutes and Actinobacteria, respectively. At the genus level, 49.4% of all colonies were assigned to Vibrio. Other potential pathogens, including Pseudomonas, Photobacterium, and Enterobacter, and potential probiotics, including Bacillus, Paenibacillus, and Pseudomonas, were also isolated on agar media. Most cultured bacteria belonged to species that were first described in the turbot GI tract. The impact of these species on turbot physiology and health should be investigated further.

  7. Where sociality and relatedness diverge: the genetic basis for hierarchical social organization in African elephants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wittemyer, George; Okello, John B. A.; Rasmussen, Henrik B.

    2009-01-01

    Hierarchical properties characterize elephant fission-fusion social organization whereby stable groups of individuals coalesce into higher order groups or split in a predictable manner. This hierarchical complexity is rare among animals and, as such, an examination of the factors driving its emer......-tier level bonds, indicating the importance of direct benefits in the emergence of complex, hierarchical social relations among elephants. Future directions and conservation implications are discussed....

  8. Long-term monitoring of Dzanga Bai forest elephants: forest clearing use patterns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turkalo, Andrea K; Wrege, Peter H; Wittemyer, George

    2013-01-01

    Individual identification of the relatively cryptic forest elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis) at forest clearings currently provides the highest quality monitoring data on this ecologically important but increasingly threatened species. Here we present baseline data from the first 20 years of an individually based study of this species, conducted at the Dzanga Clearing, Central African Republic. A total of 3,128 elephants were identified over the 20-year study (1,244 adults; 675 females, 569 males). It took approximately four years for the majority of elephants visiting the clearing to be identified, but new elephants entered the clearing every year of the study. The study population was relatively stable, varying from 1,668 to 1,864 individuals (including juveniles and infants), with increasingly fewer males than females over time. The age-class distribution for females remained qualitatively unchanged between 1995 and 2010, while the proportion of adult males decreased from 20% to 10%, likely reflecting increased mortality. Visitation patterns by individuals were highly variable, with some elephants visiting monthly while others were ephemeral users with visits separated by multiple years. The number of individuals in the clearing at any time varied between 40 and 100 individuals, and there was little evidence of a seasonal pattern in this variation. The number of elephants entering the clearing together (defined here as a social group) averaged 1.49 (range 1-12) for males and 2.67 (range 1-14) for females. This collation of 20 years of intensive forest elephant monitoring provides the first detailed, long term look at the ecology of bai visitation for this species, offering insight to the ecological significance and motivation for bai use, social behavior, and threats to forest elephants. We discuss likely drivers (rainfall, compression, illegal killing, etc.) influencing bai visitation rates. This study provides the baseline for future demographic and behavioral

  9. Molecular characterization of adipose tissue in the African elephant (Loxodonta africana.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emeli M Nilsson

    Full Text Available Adipose tissue (AT is a dynamic and flexible organ with regulatory roles in physiological functions including metabolism, reproduction and inflammation; secreted adipokines, including leptin, and fatty acids facilitate many of these roles. The African elephant (Loxodonta africana is experiencing serious challenges to optimal reproduction in captivity. The physiological and molecular basis of this impaired fertility remains unknown. AT production of leptin is a crucial molecular link between nutritional status, adiposity and fertility in many species. We propose that leptin has a similar function in the African elephant. African elephant visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissue (AT was obtained from both sexes and a range of ages including females with known pregnancy status. RNA was extracted and histological sections created and analyzed by microarray, PCR and immunohistochemistry respectively. Gas-chromatography was used to determine the fatty acid composition of AT. Microarray expression profiling was used to compare gene expression profiles of AT from pre-pubertal versus reproductively competent adult African elephants. This study demonstrates, for the first time, leptin mRNA and protein expression in African elephant AT. The derived protein sequence of the elephant leptin protein was exploited to determine its relationship within the class I helical cytokine superfamily, which indicates that elephant leptin is most closely related to the leptin orthologs of Oryctolagus cuniculus (European rabbit, Lepus oiostolus (woolly hare, and members of the Ochotonidae (Pika. Immunohistological analysis identified considerable leptin staining within the cytoplasm of adipocytes. Significant differences in fatty acid profiles between pregnant and non-pregnant animals were revealed, most notably a reduction in both linoleic and α linoleic acid in pregnant animals. This report forms the basis for future studies to address the effect of nutrient composition

  10. Visualizing Sound Emission of Elephant Vocalizations: Evidence for Two Rumble Production Types

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoeger, Angela S.; Heilmann, Gunnar; Zeppelzauer, Matthias; Ganswindt, André; Hensman, Sean; Charlton, Benjamin D.

    2012-01-01

    Recent comparative data reveal that formant frequencies are cues to body size in animals, due to a close relationship between formant frequency spacing, vocal tract length and overall body size. Accordingly, intriguing morphological adaptations to elongate the vocal tract in order to lower formants occur in several species, with the size exaggeration hypothesis being proposed to justify most of these observations. While the elephant trunk is strongly implicated to account for the low formants of elephant rumbles, it is unknown whether elephants emit these vocalizations exclusively through the trunk, or whether the mouth is also involved in rumble production. In this study we used a sound visualization method (an acoustic camera) to record rumbles of five captive African elephants during spatial separation and subsequent bonding situations. Our results showed that the female elephants in our analysis produced two distinct types of rumble vocalizations based on vocal path differences: a nasally- and an orally-emitted rumble. Interestingly, nasal rumbles predominated during contact calling, whereas oral rumbles were mainly produced in bonding situations. In addition, nasal and oral rumbles varied considerably in their acoustic structure. In particular, the values of the first two formants reflected the estimated lengths of the vocal paths, corresponding to a vocal tract length of around 2 meters for nasal, and around 0.7 meters for oral rumbles. These results suggest that African elephants may be switching vocal paths to actively vary vocal tract length (with considerable variation in formants) according to context, and call for further research investigating the function of formant modulation in elephant vocalizations. Furthermore, by confirming the use of the elephant trunk in long distance rumble production, our findings provide an explanation for the extremely low formants in these calls, and may also indicate that formant lowering functions to increase call

  11. Chemical composition of elephant grass silages supplemented with different levels of dehydrated cashew bagasse

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danillo Glaydson Farias Guerra

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available The objective of the present study was to evaluate the chemical composition of elephant grass silages supplemented with different levels dried cashew bagasse (DCB. Our experiment used a randomized design replicated four times, each replicate consisting of the following five treatments: 100% elephant grass; 95% elephant grass + 5% DCB; 90% elephant grass + 10% DCB; 85% elephant grass + 15% DCB; and 80% elephant grass + 20% DCB. The elephant grass was cut manually to a residual height of 5 cm at 80 days of age, and cashew bagasse was obtained from the processing of cashew stalks used in fruit pulp manufacturing in Mossoró/RN. Plastic buckets were used as experimental silos, and 90 days after ensiling the experimental silos were opened and the contents analyzed. The addition of dried cashew bagasse to silage linearly increased the levels of dried matter and crude protein by 0.59% and 0.13%, respectively, for each 1% addition (P < 0.05. The neutral detergent fiber and acid detergent content of the silages was reduced by 0.22% and 0.09%, respectively, for each 1% addition of the bagasse. The total carbohydrate content was not influenced by the bagasse addition (P > 0.05, and averaged 82.29%. The levels of non-fiber carbohydrate showed linear growth (P < 0.05 as the dehydrated cashew bagasse was added, and pH and ammoniacal nitrogen levels were reduced. The addition of the dehydrated bagasse to elephant grass silage improves its chemical composition, and it can be effectively added up to the level of 20%.

  12. Visualizing sound emission of elephant vocalizations: evidence for two rumble production types.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angela S Stoeger

    Full Text Available Recent comparative data reveal that formant frequencies are cues to body size in animals, due to a close relationship between formant frequency spacing, vocal tract length and overall body size. Accordingly, intriguing morphological adaptations to elongate the vocal tract in order to lower formants occur in several species, with the size exaggeration hypothesis being proposed to justify most of these observations. While the elephant trunk is strongly implicated to account for the low formants of elephant rumbles, it is unknown whether elephants emit these vocalizations exclusively through the trunk, or whether the mouth is also involved in rumble production. In this study we used a sound visualization method (an acoustic camera to record rumbles of five captive African elephants during spatial separation and subsequent bonding situations. Our results showed that the female elephants in our analysis produced two distinct types of rumble vocalizations based on vocal path differences: a nasally- and an orally-emitted rumble. Interestingly, nasal rumbles predominated during contact calling, whereas oral rumbles were mainly produced in bonding situations. In addition, nasal and oral rumbles varied considerably in their acoustic structure. In particular, the values of the first two formants reflected the estimated lengths of the vocal paths, corresponding to a vocal tract length of around 2 meters for nasal, and around 0.7 meters for oral rumbles. These results suggest that African elephants may be switching vocal paths to actively vary vocal tract length (with considerable variation in formants according to context, and call for further research investigating the function of formant modulation in elephant vocalizations. Furthermore, by confirming the use of the elephant trunk in long distance rumble production, our findings provide an explanation for the extremely low formants in these calls, and may also indicate that formant lowering functions to

  13. Sex-specific foraging strategies and resource partitioning in the southern elephant seal (Mirounga leonina)

    OpenAIRE

    Lewis, Rebecca; O?Connell, Tamsin C.; Lewis, Mirtha; Campagna, Claudio; Hoelzel, A. Rus

    2006-01-01

    The evolution of resource specializations is poorly understood, especially in marine systems. The southern elephant seal (Mirounga leonina) is the largest of the phocid seals, sexually dimorphic, and thought to prey predominantly on fish and squid. We collected vibrissae from male and female southern elephant seals, and assessed stable C and N isotope ratios along the length of the vibrissae. Given that whiskers grow slowly, this sampling strategy reflects any variation in feeding behaviour o...

  14. Genetic assignment of large seizures of elephant ivory reveals Africa’s major poaching hotspots

    OpenAIRE

    Wasser, S. K.; Brown, L.; Mailand, C.; Mondol, S.; Clark, W.; Laurie, C.; Weir, B. S.

    2015-01-01

    Poaching of elephants is now occurring at rates that threaten African populations with extinction. Identifying the number and location of Africa’s major poaching hotspots may assist efforts to end poaching and facilitate recovery of elephant populations. We genetically assign origin to 28 large ivory seizures (≥0.5 metric tons) made between 1996 and 2014, also testing assignment accuracy. Results suggest that the major poaching hotspots in Africa may be currently concentrated in as few as two...

  15. An analysis of peak pelvis rotation speed, gluteus maximus and medius strength in high versus low handicap golfers during the golf swing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Callaway, Sarahann; Glaws, Kate; Mitchell, Melissa; Scerbo, Heather; Voight, Michael; Sells, Pat

    2012-06-01

    The kinematic sequence of the golf swing is an established principle that occurs in a proximal-to-distal pattern with power generation beginning with rotation of the pelvis. Few studies have correlated the influence of peak pelvis rotation to the skill level of the golfer. Furthermore, minimal research exists on the strength of the gluteal musculature and their ability to generate power during the swing. The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between peak pelvis rotation, gluteus medius and gluteus maximus strength, and a golfer's handicap. 56 healthy subjects. Each subject was assessed using a hand-held dynamometry device per standardized protocol to determine gluteus maximus and medius strength. The K-vest was placed on the subject with electromagnetic sensors at the pelvis, upper torso, and gloved lead hand to measure the rotational speed at each segment in degrees/second. After K-vest calibration and 5 practice swings, each subject hit 5 golf balls during which time, the sensors measured pelvic rotation speed. A one-way ANOVA was performed to determine the relationships between peak pelvis rotation, gluteus medius and gluteus maximus strength, and golf handicap. A significant difference was found between the following dependent variables and golf handicap: peak pelvis rotation (p=0.000), gluteus medius strength (p=0.000), and gluteus maximus strength (p=0.000). Golfers with a low handicap are more likely to have increased pelvis rotation speed as well as increased gluteus maximus and medius strength when compared to high handicap golfers. The relationships between increased peak pelvis rotation and gluteus maximus and medius strength in low handicap golfers may have implications in designing golf training programs. Further research needs to be conducted in order to further explore these relationships.

  16. 78 FR 14817 - Endangered Species; Receipt of Applications for Permit

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-03-07

    ... from wild populations of cheetah, (Acinonyx jubatus) and African wild dog (Lycaon pictus), for the... langur (Semnopithecus entellus) Mandrill (Mandrillus sphinx) African wild dog (Lycaon pictus) Snow... (Elephas maximus) African wild dog (Lycaon pictus) Philippine crocodile (Crocodylus mindorensis) Cuban...

  17. The influence of socioeconomic factors on the densities of high-value cross-border species, the African elephant

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah-Anne Jeanetta Selier

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Unprecedented poaching levels triggered by demand for ivory in Far East Asia are threatening the persistence of African elephant Loxodonta africana. Southern African countries make an important contribution to elephant conservation and could soon become the last stronghold of elephant conservation in Africa. While the ecological factors affecting elephant distribution and densities have extensively been accounted for, there is a need to understand which socioeconomic factors affect elephant numbers in order to prevent conflict over limited space and resources with humans. We used elephant count data from aerial surveys for seven years in a generalized linear model, which accounted for temporal correlation, to investigate the effect of six socioeconomic and ecological variables on the number of elephant at the country level in the Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area (GMTFCA. Important factors in predicting elephant numbers were the proportion of total land surface under cultivation, human population density and the number of tourists visiting the country. Specifically, elephant numbers were higher where the proportion of total land surface under cultivation was the lowest; where population density was the lowest and where tourist numbers had increased over the years. Our results confirm that human disturbance is affecting elephant numbers, but highlight that the benefits provided by ecotourism could help enhance elephant conservation. While future studies should include larger areas and more detailed data at the site level, we stress that the development of coordinated legislation and policies to improve land-use planning are needed to reduce the impact of increasing human populations and agriculture on elephant.

  18. Elephants (and extinct relatives) as earth-movers and ecosystem engineers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haynes, Gary

    2012-07-01

    Modern African elephants affect habitats and ecosystems in significant ways. They push over trees to feed on upper branches and often peel large sections of bark to eat. These destructive habits sometimes transform woody vegetation into grasslands. Systems of elephant trails may be used and re-used for centuries, and create incised features that extend for many kilometers on migration routes. Elephants, digging in search of water or mineral sediments, may remove several cubic meters of sediments in each excavation. Wallowing elephants may remove up to a cubic meter of pond sediments each time they visit water sources. Accumulations of elephant dung on frequented land surfaces may be over 2 kg per square meter. Elephant trampling, digging, and dust-bathing may reverse stratigraphy at archeological localities. This paper summarizes these types of effects on biotic, geomorphic, and paleontological features in modern-day landscapes, and also describes several fossil sites that indicate extinct proboscideans had very similar effects, such as major sediment disturbances.

  19. Conflict between conservation and development: cash forest encroachment in Asian elephant distributions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Peng; Wen, Hui; Harich, Franziska K; He, Changhuan; Wang, Lanxin; Guo, Xianming; Zhao, Jianwei; Luo, Aidong; Yang, Hongpei; Sun, Xiao; Yu, Yang; Zheng, Shaobo; Guo, Jing; Li, Li; Zhang, Li

    2017-08-03

    Over the last 4 decades, China has undergone major economic development, resulting in considerable impacts on its wildlife populations and habitats. It is essential to quantify the conflict between development and conservation to assist with policy-making because forestry policies and market trends affected indirectly the distribution of Asian elephants. Here, we mapped the historical distribution of elephants versus human land use. Elephant distributions appear to occur in unbroken natural forests only. However, over the 40-year period, the distribution ranges have become smaller and fragmented, with natural forest area also declining by 16%. The monoculture of cash trees is encroaching on natural forests. Over the past 10 years, rubber plantations have become concentrated in the south, with extensive natural forests and scattered rubber farms being converted to tea plantations, due to changes in governmental policies and product prices. Through mapping the spatial changes in the distribution of rubber and tea plantations, our study is expected to help local managers to incorporate the needs of endangered elephants through creating space when planning plantations, especially in Xishuangbanna and the south part of Pu'er. In conclusion, restoring elephant habitat and establishing ecological corridors are critical for the survival of elephants in this region.

  20. Is painting by elephants in zoos as enriching as we are led to believe?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaplan, Gisela; Rogers, Lesley J.

    2014-01-01

    The relationship between the activity of painting and performance of stereotyped and other stress-related behaviour was investigated in four captive Asian elephants at Melbourne Zoo, Australia. The activity involved the elephant being instructed to paint on a canvas by its keeper in front of an audience. Painting by elephants in zoos is commonly believed to be a form of enrichment, but this assumption had not been based on any systematic research. If an activity is enriching we would expect stress-related behaviour to be reduced but we found no evidence of the elephants anticipating the painting activity and no effect on the performance of stereotyped or other stress-related behaviour either before or after the painting session. This indicates that the activity does not fulfil one of the main aims of enrichment. However, if an elephant was not selected to paint on a given day this was associated with higher levels of non-interactive behaviour, a possible indicator of stress. Behavioural observations associated with ear, eye and trunk positions during the painting session showed that the elephant’s attentiveness to the painting activity or to the keeper giving instruction varied between individuals. Apart from positive reinforcement from the keeper, the results indicated that elephants gain little enrichment from the activity of painting. Hence, the benefits of this activity appear to be limited to the aesthetic appeal of these paintings to the people viewing them. PMID:25071994

  1. Runx family genes in a cartilaginous fish, the elephant shark (Callorhinchus milii.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giselle Sek Suan Nah

    Full Text Available The Runx family genes encode transcription factors that play key roles in hematopoiesis, skeletogenesis and neurogenesis and are often implicated in diseases. We describe here the cloning and characterization of Runx1, Runx2, Runx3 and Runxb genes in the elephant shark (Callorhinchus milii, a member of Chondrichthyes, the oldest living group of jawed vertebrates. Through the use of alternative promoters and/or alternative splicing, each of the elephant shark Runx genes expresses multiple isoforms similar to their orthologs in human and other bony vertebrates. The expression profiles of elephant shark Runx genes are similar to those of mammalian Runx genes. The syntenic blocks of genes at the elephant shark Runx gene loci are highly conserved in human, but represented by shorter conserved blocks in zebrafish indicating a higher degree of rearrangements in this teleost fish. Analysis of promoter regions revealed conservation of binding sites for transcription factors, including two tandem binding sites for Runx that are totally conserved in the distal promoter regions of elephant shark Runx1-3. Several conserved noncoding elements (CNEs, which are putative cis-regulatory elements, and miRNA binding sites were identified in the elephant shark and human Runx gene loci. Some of these CNEs and miRNA binding sites are absent in teleost fishes such as zebrafish and fugu. In summary, our analysis reveals that the genomic organization and expression profiles of Runx genes were already complex in the common ancestor of jawed vertebrates.

  2. Spatial Distribution of Elephants versus Human and Ecological Variables in Western Ghana

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emmanuel Danquah

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available An elephant survey was conducted in the Bia-Goaso Forest Block in western Ghana during the wet season month of November 2012 to determine the distribution of elephants and assess the human and ecological variables that affect them. One hundred and thirty 1-kilometre transects were systematically distributed in three strata (high, medium, and low density based on elephant dung pile density recorded in an initial reconnaissance. Elephant activity was concentrated in southern and mid-Bia Conservation Area, the southern tip of Bia North Forest Reserve, and eastern Mpameso Forest Reserve towards the adjoining Bia Shelter belt, indicating a clumped distribution. Secondary forest, water availability, poaching activity, and proximity to roads and settlements explained a high proportion of variance in elephant distribution. Given that the Bia-Goaso Forest Block forms an important biogeographic corridor between Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire, more effort should be directed at mitigating the problems such as poaching activity, vehicular traffic, and impacts of settlements that hinder seasonal movements of forest elephants between western Ghana and eastern Cote d’Ivoire.

  3. Is painting by elephants in zoos as enriching as we are led to believe?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Megan English

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available The relationship between the activity of painting and performance of stereotyped and other stress-related behaviour was investigated in four captive Asian elephants at Melbourne Zoo, Australia. The activity involved the elephant being instructed to paint on a canvas by its keeper in front of an audience. Painting by elephants in zoos is commonly believed to be a form of enrichment, but this assumption had not been based on any systematic research. If an activity is enriching we would expect stress-related behaviour to be reduced but we found no evidence of the elephants anticipating the painting activity and no effect on the performance of stereotyped or other stress-related behaviour either before or after the painting session. This indicates that the activity does not fulfil one of the main aims of enrichment. However, if an elephant was not selected to paint on a given day this was associated with higher levels of non-interactive behaviour, a possible indicator of stress. Behavioural observations associated with ear, eye and trunk positions during the painting session showed that the elephant’s attentiveness to the painting activity or to the keeper giving instruction varied between individuals. Apart from positive reinforcement from the keeper, the results indicated that elephants gain little enrichment from the activity of painting. Hence, the benefits of this activity appear to be limited to the aesthetic appeal of these paintings to the people viewing them.

  4. Mapping the Elephants of the 19th Century East African Ivory Trade with a Multi-Isotope Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coutu, Ashley N; Lee-Thorp, Julia; Collins, Matthew J; Lane, Paul J

    2016-01-01

    East African elephants have been hunted for their ivory for millennia but the nineteenth century witnessed strongly escalating demand from Europe and North America. It has been suggested that one consequence was that by the 1880s elephant herds along the coast had become scarce, and to meet demand, trade caravans trekked farther into interior regions of East Africa, extending the extraction frontier. The steady decimation of elephant populations coupled with the extension of trade networks have also been claimed to have triggered significant ecological and socio-economic changes that left lasting legacies across the region. To explore the feasibility of using an isotopic approach to uncover a 'moving frontier' of elephant extraction, we constructed a baseline isotope data set (δ13C, δ15N, δ18O and 87Sr/86Sr) for historic East African elephants known to have come from three distinct regions (coastal, Rift Valley, and inland Lakes). Using the isotope results with other climate data and geographical mapping tools, it was possible to characterise elephants from different habitats across the region. This baseline data set was then used to provenance elephant ivory of unknown geographical provenance that was exported from East Africa during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to determine its likely origin. This produced a better understanding of historic elephant geography in the region, and the data have the potential to be used to provenance older archaeological ivories, and to inform contemporary elephant conservation strategies.

  5. Elephant impact on Sclerocarya Caffra trees in Acacia Nigrescens tropical plains Thornveld of the Kruger National Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B.J Coetzee

    1979-01-01

    Full Text Available A survey of elephant impact at various distances from roads was conducted in June 1978 for Sclerocarya caffra (marula tree populations in Acacia nigrescens Tropical Plains Thornveld in the Kruger National Park, Republic of South Africa. Data from scar recovery indicate that widespread scarring of S. caffra trees by elephant commenced in 1973, coinciding with a wet cli- matic phase. Elephant impact, old and fresh and irrespective of kind, decreased with distance from roads. Substantially higher impact was also recorded along S. caffra population boundaries. The most recent impact on some populations was higher than expected from the established relationship between elephant impact and tree density.

  6. Potential Mechanisms for Cancer Resistance in Elephants and Comparative Cellular Response to DNA Damage in Humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abegglen, Lisa M.; Caulin, Aleah F.; Chan, Ashley; Lee, Kristy; Robinson, Rosann; Campbell, Michael S.; Kiso, Wendy K.; Schmitt, Dennis L.; Waddell, Peter J; Bhaskara, Srividya; Jensen, Shane T.; Maley, Carlo C.; Schiffman, Joshua D.

    2016-01-01

    IMPORTANCE Evolutionary medicine may provide insights into human physiology and pathophysiology, including tumor biology. OBJECTIVE To identify mechanisms for cancer resistance in elephants and compare cellular response to DNA damage among elephants, healthy human controls, and cancer-prone patients with Li-Fraumeni syndrome (LFS). DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS A comprehensive survey of necropsy data was performed across 36 mammalian species to validate cancer resistance in large and long-lived organisms, including elephants (n = 644). The African and Asian elephant genomes were analyzed for potential mechanisms of cancer resistance. Peripheral blood lymphocytes from elephants, healthy human controls, and patients with LFS were tested in vitro in the laboratory for DNA damage response. The study included African and Asian elephants (n = 8), patients with LFS (n = 10), and age-matched human controls (n = 11). Human samples were collected at the University of Utah between June 2014 and July 2015. EXPOSURES Ionizing radiation and doxorubicin. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES Cancer mortality across species was calculated and compared by body size and life span. The elephant genome was investigated for alterations in cancer-related genes. DNA repair and apoptosis were compared in elephant vs human peripheral blood lymphocytes. RESULTS Across mammals, cancer mortality did not increase with body size and/or maximum life span (eg, for rock hyrax, 1% [95%CI, 0%–5%]; African wild dog, 8%[95%CI, 0%–16%]; lion, 2%[95%CI, 0% –7%]). Despite their large body size and long life span, elephants remain cancer resistant, with an estimated cancer mortality of 4.81% (95%CI, 3.14%–6.49%), compared with humans, who have 11% to 25%cancer mortality. While humans have 1 copy (2 alleles) of TP53, African elephants have at least 20 copies (40 alleles), including 19 retrogenes (38 alleles) with evidence of transcriptional activity measured by reverse transcription polymerase chain

  7. Identifying Source Populations and Genetic Structure for Savannah Elephants in Human-Dominated Landscapes and Protected Areas in the Kenya-Tanzania Borderlands: e52288

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Marissa A Ahlering; Lori S Eggert; David Western; Anna Estes; Linus Munishi; Robert Fleischer; Melissa Roberts; Jesus E Maldonado

    2012-01-01

      We investigated the genetic metapopulation structure of elephants across the trans Rift Valley region of Kenya and Tanzania, one of the remaining strongholds for savannah elephants (Loxodonata africana...

  8. Spatio-temporal distribution of injured elephants in Masai Mara and the putative negative and positive roles of the local community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mijele, Domnic; Obanda, Vincent; Omondi, Patrick; Soriguer, Ramón C; Gakuya, Francis; Otiende, Moses; Hongo, Peter; Alasaad, Samer

    2013-01-01

    Very few studies have ever focused on the elephants that are wounded or killed as local communities attempt to scare these animals away from their settlements and farms, or on the cases in which local people take revenge after elephants have killed or injured humans. On the other hand, local communities live in close proximity to elephants and hence can play a positive role in elephant conservation by informing the authorities of the presence of injured elephants. Between 2007 and 2011, 129 elephants were monitored in Masai Mara (Kenya), of which 54 had various types of active (intentionally caused) or passive (non-intentionally caused) injuries. Also studied were 75 random control samples of apparently unaffected animals. The observed active injuries were as expected biased by age, with adults suffering more harm; on the other hand, no such bias was observed in the case of passive injuries. Bias was also observed in elephant sex since more males than females were passively and actively injured. Cases of passive and active injuries in elephants were negatively related to the proximity to roads and farms; the distribution of injured elephants was not affected by the presence of either human settlements or water sources. Overall more elephants were actively injured during the dry season than the wet season as expected. Local communities play a positive role by informing KWS authorities of the presence of injured elephants and reported 43% of all cases of injured elephants. Our results suggest that the negative effect of local communities on elephants could be predicted by elephant proximity to farms and roads. In addition, local communities may be able to play a more positive role in elephant conservation given that they are key informants in the early detection of injured elephants.

  9. Fat Residue and Use-Wear Found on Acheulian Biface and Scraper Associated with Butchered Elephant Remains at the Site of Revadim, Israel

    OpenAIRE

    Natalya Solodenko; Andrea Zupancich; Stella Nunziante Cesaro; Ofer Marder; Cristina Lemorini; Ran Barkai

    2015-01-01

    The archaeological record indicates that elephants must have played a significant role in early human diet and culture during Palaeolithic times in the Old World. However, the nature of interactions between early humans and elephants is still under discussion. Elephant remains are found in Palaeolithic sites, both open-air and cave sites, in Europe, Asia, the Levant, and Africa. In some cases elephant and mammoth remains indicate evidence for butchering and marrow extraction performed by huma...

  10. Bilateral ovarian cystadenoma in a geriatric African elephant (Loxodonta africana).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoby, Stefan; Aloisio, Fabio; Schumacher, Vanessa L

    2014-06-01

    A 59-yr-old, captive female African elephant (Loxodonta africana) died of a cardiovascular collapse. Necropsy revealed bilateral replacement of the ovarian tissue by multiple cystic formations of up to 10 cm in diameter. The cysts were thin walled and filled with clear watery fluid. Smaller solid masses with an irregular surface projected from the wall of a few of the cysts. Histologically, the cystic structures were characterized by a single layer of well-differentiated cuboidal epithelial cells resting on a basement membrane. Occasionally the cysts contained nodular proliferations of single-layered, well-differentiated cuboidal epithelial cells forming anastomosing tubules and occasional papillary projections. The ovarian neoplasia was diagnosed as a bilateral multilocular serous ovarian cystadenoma. The nulliparous status and the advanced age may have contributed to the ovarian pathology.

  11. Small mammals of the Addo Elephant National Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Swanepoel

    1975-07-01

    Full Text Available A survey of the small mammals of the Addo Elephant National Park resulted in a checklist, as well as information on relative numbers, distribution within the Park, reproductive activity, sex ratios, and body measurements. Forty mammals species occur in the Park, while three re-introduced species probably do not occur any longer. Of the 40 species 28 are considered small mammals comprising 13 rodent, eight carnivore, two shrew, two bat, one primate and one lagomorph species, as well as the aardvark: Crociduraflavescens, C. cyanea infumata, Rousettus aegyptiacus, Eptesicus capensis, Cercopithecus pygerythrus, Canis mesomelas, Ictonyx striatus, Poecilogale albinucha, Genetta sp., Herpestes pulverulentus, Suricata suricatta, Proteles cristatus, Felis caracal, Orycteropus afer, Lepus saxatilis, Cryptomys hottentotus, Hystrix africae-australis, Pedetes capensis, Graphiurus murinus, Aethomys namaquensis, Praomys natalensis, Rhabdomys pumilio, Mus minutoides, Rattus rattus, Saccostomys campestris, Desmodillus auricularis, Otomys irroratus and 0. unisulcatus.

  12. A martingale approach for the elephant random walk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bercu, Bernard

    2018-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to establish, via a martingale approach, some refinements on the asymptotic behavior of the one-dimensional elephant random walk (ERW). The asymptotic behavior of the ERW mainly depends on a memory parameter p which lies between zero and one. This behavior is totally different in the diffusive regime 0 ≤slant p <3/4 , the critical regime p=3/4 , and the superdiffusive regime 3/4. In the diffusive and critical regimes, we establish some new results on the almost sure asymptotic behavior of the ERW, such as the quadratic strong law and the law of the iterated logarithm. In the superdiffusive regime, we provide the first rigorous mathematical proof that the limiting distribution of the ERW is not Gaussian.

  13. Combining ability of elephant grass based on nutritional characters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanessa Quitete Ribeiro da Silva

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available The objective of the work was to evaluate the effects of general combining ability (CGC of the parents and specific combining ability (CEC in the elephant grass hybrids by diallel analysis adapted to partial diallel crosses based on nutritional characters. Sixteen hybrids and eight parents in a randomized block design with three replications were evaluated. The study considered percentage of dry matter (%DM, ash (%ASH, crude protein (%CP and neutral detergent fiber (NDF. There were significant differences among genotypes for the traits evaluated, with a predominance of dominance gene effect. Based on CGC, the best parents were Taiwan A-144, Vruckwona Africana e Taiwan A-146. The best intersections based on CEC were Taiwan A-144 x Taiwan A-146, Vruckwona Africana x Taiwan A-146, Vruckwona Africana x Mercker S.E.A., Vruckwona Africana x Napier nº2 e Pusa Napier nº2 x Mercker Santa Rita.

  14. Forest or the trees: At what scale do elephants make foraging decisions?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shrader, Adrian M.; Bell, Caroline; Bertolli, Liandra; Ward, David

    2012-07-01

    For herbivores, food is distributed spatially in a hierarchical manner ranging from plant parts to regions. Ultimately, utilisation of food is dependent on the scale at which herbivores make foraging decisions. A key factor that influences these decisions is body size, because selection inversely relates to body size. As a result, large animals can be less selective than small herbivores. Savanna elephants (Loxodonta africana) are the largest terrestrial herbivore. Thus, they represent a potential extreme with respect to unselective feeding. However, several studies have indicated that elephants prefer specific habitats and certain woody plant species. Thus, it is unclear at which scale elephants focus their foraging decisions. To determine this, we recorded the seasonal selection of habitats and woody plant species by elephants in the Ithala Game Reserve, South Africa. We expected that during the wet season, when both food quality and availability were high, that elephants would select primarily for habitats. This, however, does not mean that they would utilise plant species within these habitats in proportion to availability, but rather would show a stronger selection for habitats compared to plants. In contrast, during the dry season when food quality and availability declined, we expected that elephants would shift and select for the remaining high quality woody species across all habitats. Consistent with our predictions, elephants selected for the larger spatial scale (i.e. habitats) during the wet season. However, elephants did not increase their selection of woody species during the dry season, but rather increased their selection of habitats relative to woody plant selection. Unlike a number of earlier studies, we found that that neither palatability (i.e. crude protein, digestibility, and energy) alone nor tannin concentrations had a significant effect for determining the elephants' selection of woody species. However, the palatability:tannin ratio was

  15. Ethno-veterinary practices in Southern India for captive Asian elephant ailments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jayakumar, Samidurai; Sathiskumar, Selvarasu; Baskaran, Nagarajan; Arumugam, Radjasegarin; Vanitha, Varadhrajan

    2017-03-22

    India has a long tradition of practicing Ayurvedic medicine not only for human ailments, but also for the management of livestock in the form of ethno-veterinary practices. Asian elephant is a significant part of Indian culture, and ethno-veterinary practices have extended to manage and cure various ailments of Asian elephant in captivity. Much of this knowledge has been lost in the light of modern practices. This study is aimed at documenting the existing knowledge on ethno-veterinary medicines practiced by elephant keepers (mahouts) in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. The study was carried out between June 2015 and February 2016 employing a questionnaire survey among 50 selected informants (mahouts) with traditional knowledge on plants in veterinary medicine. Information was elicited from the informants on various diseases prevailing among captive elephants and the traditional treatment employed by them. In total, the study documented 53 plant species belonging to 29 families being used as medicine for 23 types of ailments prevailing among captive elephants. Ferula assa-foetida, Zingiber officinale, Piper longum, P. nigrum, Cuminum cyminum, Trachyspermum roxburghianum and Carum bulbocastanum were the most commonly used plants either independently or in combination. Among them, Ferula assa-foetida (12.4%) and Zingiber officinale (10.4%) had the highest usage. Of the 23 diseases reported, constipation was the most common ailment (14.6%) followed by bloating (8.7%) and flatulence (8.7%). Documentation of this indigenous knowledge is valuable for the communities concerned, both at present and in future and for scientific consideration for wider use of traditional knowledge in treating captive elephants. The study has identified 53 medicinal plants to treat various ailments among captive elephants in southern India. The most frequently used plants in the captive elephant health care practice are F. assafoetida, Z. officinale, P. longum and P.nigrum. Among the 29 families

  16. Molecular Population Genetics of the Northern Elephant Seal Mirounga angustirostris.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abadía-Cardoso, Alicia; Freimer, Nelson B; Deiner, Kristy; Garza, John Carlos

    2017-09-01

    The northern elephant seal, Mirounga angustirostris, was heavily hunted and declared extinct in the 19th century. However, a colony remained on remote Guadalupe Island, Mexico and the species has since repopulated most of its historical distribution. Here, we present a comprehensive evaluation of genetic variation in the species. First, we assess the effect of the demographic bottleneck on microsatellite variability and compare it with that found in other pinnipeds, demonstrating levels of variation similar to that in species that continue to be threatened with extinction. Next, we use sequence data from these markers to demonstrate that some of the limited polymorphism predates the bottleneck. However, most contemporary variation appears to have arisen recently and persisted due to exponential growth. We also describe how we use the range in allele size of microsatellites to estimate ancestral effective population size before the bottleneck, demonstrating a large reduction in effective size. We then employ a classical method for bacteria to estimate the microsatellite mutation rate in the species, deriving an estimate that is extremely similar to that estimated for a similar set of loci in humans, indicating consistency of microsatellite mutation rates in mammals. Finally, we find slight significant structure between some geographically separated colonies, although its biological significance is unclear. This work demonstrates that genetic analysis can be useful for evaluating the population biology of the northern elephant seal, in spite of the bottleneck that removed most genetic variation from the species. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The American Genetic Association 2017. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.

  17. Testing the Accuracy of Aerial Surveys for Large Mammals: An Experiment with African Savanna Elephants (Loxodonta africana).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlossberg, Scott; Chase, Michael J; Griffin, Curtice R

    2016-01-01

    Accurate counts of animals are critical for prioritizing conservation efforts. Past research, however, suggests that observers on aerial surveys may fail to detect all individuals of the target species present in the survey area. Such errors could bias population estimates low and confound trend estimation. We used two approaches to assess the accuracy of aerial surveys for African savanna elephants (Loxodonta africana) in northern Botswana. First, we used double-observer sampling, in which two observers make observations on the same herds, to estimate detectability of elephants and determine what variables affect it. Second, we compared total counts, a complete survey of the entire study area, against sample counts, in which only a portion of the study area is sampled. Total counts are often considered a complete census, so comparing total counts against sample counts can help to determine if sample counts are underestimating elephant numbers. We estimated that observers detected only 76% ± SE of 2% of elephant herds and 87 ± 1% of individual elephants present in survey strips. Detectability increased strongly with elephant herd size. Out of the four observers used in total, one observer had a lower detection probability than the other three, and detectability was higher in the rear row of seats than the front. The habitat immediately adjacent to animals also affected detectability, with detection more likely in more open habitats. Total counts were not statistically distinguishable from sample counts. Because, however, the double-observer samples revealed that observers missed 13% of elephants, we conclude that total counts may be undercounting elephants as well. These results suggest that elephant population estimates from both sample and total counts are biased low. Because factors such as observer and habitat affected detectability of elephants, comparisons of elephant populations across time or space may be confounded. We encourage survey teams to

  18. Testing the Accuracy of Aerial Surveys for Large Mammals: An Experiment with African Savanna Elephants (Loxodonta africana.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scott Schlossberg

    Full Text Available Accurate counts of animals are critical for prioritizing conservation efforts. Past research, however, suggests that observers on aerial surveys may fail to detect all individuals of the target species present in the survey area. Such errors could bias population estimates low and confound trend estimation. We used two approaches to assess the accuracy of aerial surveys for African savanna elephants (Loxodonta africana in northern Botswana. First, we used double-observer sampling, in which two observers make observations on the same herds, to estimate detectability of elephants and determine what variables affect it. Second, we compared total counts, a complete survey of the entire study area, against sample counts, in which only a portion of the study area is sampled. Total counts are often considered a complete census, so comparing total counts against sample counts can help to determine if sample counts are underestimating elephant numbers. We estimated that observers detected only 76% ± SE of 2% of elephant herds and 87 ± 1% of individual elephants present in survey strips. Detectability increased strongly with elephant herd size. Out of the four observers used in total, one observer had a lower detection probability than the other three, and detectability was higher in the rear row of seats than the front. The habitat immediately adjacent to animals also affected detectability, with detection more likely in more open habitats. Total counts were not statistically distinguishable from sample counts. Because, however, the double-observer samples revealed that observers missed 13% of elephants, we conclude that total counts may be undercounting elephants as well. These results suggest that elephant population estimates from both sample and total counts are biased low. Because factors such as observer and habitat affected detectability of elephants, comparisons of elephant populations across time or space may be confounded. We encourage survey

  19. Effects of PBDE-47 on thyroid and steroid hormone status in juvenile turbot (Schophtalamus maximus)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jenssen, G.; Tyrhaug, I.B.; Sormo, E.G. [Dept. of Biology, Norwegian Univ. of Science and Technology, Trondheim (Norway); Andersen, O.K. [Rogaland Research Akvamiljo, Mekjarvik (Norway)

    2004-09-15

    Many of the brominated flame retardant (BFR) chemicals, and particularly polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), has become of increasing concern to scientists over the past decade. Many of the PBDEs are persistent and lipophilic and have been shown to bioaccumulate. The levels of PBDEs in biota seem to be increasing, and several trends, including in humans, indicate that this increase may be rapid1. In general, BFRs have a low acute toxicity, but there is concern about their long-term toxic effects. Exposure studies have revealed a range of subtle biochemical, cellular and physiological effects following low-dose exposure, and many BFRs have been reported to have endocrine disruptive properties. Thus, there is concern about their potential to affect organisms and populations. Thyroid hormones (THs) play an important role in organism's development, metabolism, growth and behavior. Polyhalogenated aromatic hydrocarbons (PHAHs) including BFRs may affect the thyroid system through several mechanisms. They may directly affect the thyroid gland function, the peripheral metabolism of THs and/or the binding of THs to plasma transport proteins. Effects of PHAHs on TH homeostasis have been documented in a number of species, including fish. Du to its persistence against degradation PBDE-47 is among the most abundant PBDE congener in biota, and there is a great concern about its ecotoxicological effects on organisms and populations. The aim of the present study was to examine if PBDE-47 may affect levels of circulating steroid and thyroid hormones in juvenile turbot (Scophtalamus maximus). The turbot is a benthic living flatfish that can be exposed to PHAHs via the sediment living organisms. Thus, plasma levels of T, E, and the thyroid hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) were determined in juvenile turbot that had been continuously exposed to PBDE-47 via water for 3 weeks.

  20. Rapid screening for Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex in clinical elephant trunk wash samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magnuson, Roberta J; Linke, Lyndsey M; Isaza, Ramiro; Salman, Mo D

    2017-06-01

    Mycobacterium tuberculosis can infect and be transmitted between elephants and humans. In elephants, the 'gold standard' reference test for detection of tuberculosis is culture, which takes a minimum of eight weeks for results and has limited sensitivity. A screening test that is rapid, easily implemented, and accurate is needed to aid in diagnosis of tuberculosis in elephants. Ninety-nine clinical trunk wash samples obtained from 33 elephants were utilized to validate three molecular extraction techniques followed by a polymerase chain reaction for detection of M. tuberculosis. Diagnostic sensitivity and specificity were estimated compared to culture. Kappa coefficients were determined between molecular results and various culture categories and serological test results. An internal amplification control was developed and assessed to monitor for PCR inhibition. One molecular test (the Column method) outperformed the other two, with diagnostic sensitivity and kappa agreement estimates of 100% (CI 57-100) and 0.46 (CI 0.2-0.74), respectively, compared to culture alone. The percentage of molecular-positive/culture-negative samples was 8.4% overall. The molecular extraction technique followed by PCR provides a much-needed rapid screening tool for detection of tuberculosis in elephants. Immediate procedures can be implemented to further assess PCR-positive animals and provide personnel biosecurity. While a positive result is not a definitive test for elephant tuberculosis, the molecular test results can be used to support current diagnostic procedures applied by veterinarians for treatment decisions to prevent the spread of tuberculosis in elephants. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.