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Sample records for elephas maximus elephants

  1. Genetic assessment of captive elephant (Elephas maximus) populations in Thailand

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Thitaram, Chatchote; Somgird, Chaleamchart; Mahasawangkul, Sittidet; Angkavanich, Taweepoke; Roongsri, Ronnachit; Thongtip, Nikorn; Colenbrander, Ben; van Steenbeek, Frank G.; Lenstra, Johannes A.

    2010-01-01

    The genetic diversity and population structure of 136 captive Thai elephants (Elephas maximus) with known region of origin were investigated by analysis of 14 highly polymorphic microsatellite loci. We did not detect significant indications of inbreeding and only a low differentiation of elephants

  2. Delayed postpartum fetotomy in an Asian elephant (Elephas maximus).

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    Schaftenaar, Willem

    2013-03-01

    A 37-yr-old Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) started parturition after 640 days of pregnancy but no fetal parts entered the birth canal. Despite veterinary intervention, the calf was not delivered. After 13 mo calving resumed and a full-term dead calf advanced into and lodged within the vagina. With standing xylazine tranquilization, the dam received a vagino-vestibulotomy to permit total fetotomy of the calf, which presented with bilateral carpal arthrogryposis. Severe infection of the caudal vaginal vestibulum complicated wound healing, and over the following year two corrective surgeries were performed, which resolved the fistula 3 mo after the second debridement. The elephant not only survived the procedures but also resumed normal estrous cycles, as demonstrated by blood progesterone concentration monitoring.

  3. Summation by Asian Elephants (Elephas maximus

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    Naoko Irie

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Recent empirical evidence for complex cognition in elephants suggests that greater attention to comparative studies between non-human primates and other animals is warranted. We have previously shown that elephants possess the ability to judge the difference between two discrete quantities, and unlike other animals, their choice does not appear to be affected by distance or overall quantity. In this study, we investigated Asian elephants’ ability to perform summation, as exemplified by the ability to combine four quantities into two sums and subsequently compare them. We presented two discrete sums (3–7 to the elephants by baiting two buckets; they were loaded sequentially with two discrete quantities (1–5 pieces of food per bucket. All three elephants selected the larger grand sum significantly more often than the smaller grand sum. Moreover, their performance was not affected by either distance to the bait or the overall quantity evaluated. Studies report that the performance of other animal species on similar tasks declines as distance to the bait decreases and as the overall quantities evaluated increase. These results suggest that the numerical cognition of Asian elephants may be different from that of other animals, but further study is required to elucidate the differences precisely.

  4. Suspected seminal vesiculitis in an Asian elephant (Elephas maximus).

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    Kilburn, Jennifer J; Velguth, Karen E; Backues, Kay A

    2011-09-01

    A 32-year-old male Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) underwent routine transrectal stimulation for semen collection as part of an artificial insemination program. The procedure consisted of a preinsemination semen collection followed by two consecutive days of semen collections for artificial insemination. The second day's sample contained large numbers of inflammatory cells, intracellular bacteria, and phagocytized sperm. Semen was submitted for culture and sensitivity. Culture revealed Acinetobacter lwoffii, Staphylococcus intermedius, Kocuria roseus, and an unidentified gram-positive organism. Empirical antibiotic therapy with trimethoprim sulfa was initiated and then changed to enrofloxacin based on sensitivity panel results for a total of 28 days of treatment. Diagnostic semen collections were performed during treatment and 2 wk posttreatment to determine the success of therapy. Posttreatment collections revealed resolution of the inflammation. The origin of the infection was suspected to be the seminal vesicles.

  5. Identification of bifidobacteria isolated from Asian elephant (Elephas maximus)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Bunešová, V.; Vlková, E.; Rada, V.; Killer, Jiří; Kmeť, V.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 38, č. 2 (2013), s. 239-243 ISSN 0250-5991 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA523/08/1091 Institutional support: RVO:67985904 Keywords : 16S rRNA genes sequencing * bifidobacteria * Elephas maximus Subject RIV: EE - Microbiology, Virology Impact factor: 1.939, year: 2013

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Morphology and surface topography of the schistosome Bivitellobilharzia nairi from the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus maximus) in Sri Lanka.

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    Rajapakse, R P V J; Iwagami, M; Wickramasinghe, S; Walker, S M; Agatsuma, T

    2013-09-01

    Bivitellobilharzia nairi was first recorded from an Indian elephant (Elephas maximus) in Berlin. Infections with this parasite have become increasingly important in E. maximus maximus populations in Sri Lanka. The present work is the first morphological description of this schistosome from Sri Lanka. A number of adult worms were recovered from a dead Asian elephant near the elephant orphanage, Pinnawala, in Sri Lanka. The observed clinical features of the infected elephant included emaciation, subventral oedema and anaemia. Post-mortem results indicated that the liver was enlarged and adult schistosomes were found in the blood vessels of the liver parenchyma. The total number of worms recovered from a portion of the liver was 129,870, which is an average of 22 worms per 100 g of liver. The present study uses both light microscopic and scanning electron microscope (SEM) techniques for the morphological and topographical characterization of this parasite and to permit comparison with other species of schistosomes. Morphologically, these worms correspond very well to the description of B. nairi by Dutt & Srivastava (1955). Moreover, it is clear that B. nairi is a distinctive species easily differentiated from other schistosomes. The SEM study of the tegument of male worms shows that the surface of B. nairi is smoother than in other schistosomes.

  11. Esophageal dissection and hematoma associated with obstruction in an Indian elephant (Elephas maximus indicus).

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    Phair, Kristen A; Sutherland-Smith, Meg; Pye, Geoffrey W; Pessier, Allan P; Clippinger, Tracy L

    2014-06-01

    A 42-year-old female Indian elephant (Elephas maximus indicus) developed a sudden onset of excessive salivation and dysphagia. Esophageal obstruction was suspected; possibly related to palm frond ingestion. Esophageal endoscopy revealed a mat of plant material in the distal esophagus. An initial attempt at relieving the obstruction was unsuccessful, but subsequent use of custom-made instruments along with insufflation and hydropulsion enabled partial removal of the material. Postimmobilization care included aggressive intravenous and rectal fluids, anti-inflammatory and antibiotic administration, and fasting. Despite treatment, the dysphagia persisted and the elephant was euthanized due to lack of improvement and grave prognosis. Postmortem examination revealed remaining plant material in the esophagus, complicated by an esophageal dissection, mural hematoma, and secondary bacterial infection. Iatrogenic trauma may have contributed to the extent of esophageal injury. Although treatment was ultimately unsuccessful, the supportive care employed could potentially aid recovery in cases of less severe esophageal trauma.

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

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    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.

  13. VITAL SIGNS AND FIRST OCCURRENCES IN NORMAL AND ABNORMAL NEWBORN ASIAN ELEPHANT ( ELEPHAS MAXIMUS) CALVES.

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    Wiedner, Ellen; Kiso, Wendy K; Aria, Janice; Isaza, Ramiro; Lindsay, William; Jacobson, Gary; Jacobson, Kathy; Schmitt, Dennis

    2017-12-01

    Sixteen years of medical records documenting 19 births within a herd of Asian elephants ( Elephas maximus) at a private facility in the southeastern United States were reviewed. Of the 19 calves, 11 were normal at birth, requiring no additional veterinary care, and eight were abnormal, requiring veterinary care immediately or within the first week of birth. Descriptive statistics were used to evaluate morphometrics, vital signs, and behavioral milestones in newborn calves both normal and abnormal. Blood work and urinalysis results from all calves were compared to values for adult elephants. Medical management of abnormal calves is described. All calves had faster heart rates and respiratory rates than did adult elephants, but rectal temperatures were the same. Calves were precocious with regard to sitting and standing but could be very slow to nurse. The most-common medical conditions of newborn calves were umbilical abnormalities and problems associated with nursing. Two calves required cardiopulmonary resuscitation after birth but made full recoveries. Some conditions were not apparent at birth but were recognized a few hours or days later. Following veterinary intervention, six of the eight calves made full recoveries, suggesting that early identification and treatment of problems can greatly decrease mortality. This is the first report of multiple veterinary and behavioral parameters in normal and abnormal neonatal Asian elephants from a facility with a calf survival rate above 90%. This information may be helpful to other elephant-holding facilities in providing care to their newborn elephant calves.

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

  16. THROMBOELASTOGRAPHY IN THE HEALTHY ASIAN ELEPHANT (ELEPHAS MAXIMUS)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Perrin, Kathryn L.; Krogh, Anne K.; Kjelgaard-Hansen, Mads

    2018-01-01

    elephants. Kaolin-activated TEG was performed on whole blood at 60 min and 24 hr postsampling (to replicate shipment to an external laboratory) as well as on freeze–thawed plasma samples, 12–14 mo postsampling. Reference intervals were calculated for fresh whole blood and freeze–thawed plasma samples...

  17. KINETICS OF VIRAL LOADS AND GENOTYPIC ANALYSIS OF ELEPHANT ENDOTHELIOTROPIC HERPESVIRUS-1 INFECTION IN CAPTIVE ASIAN ELEPHANTS (ELEPHAS MAXIMUS)

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    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.

    2013-01-01

    Elephant endotheliotropic herpesviruses (EEHVs) can cause fatal hemorrhagic disease in juvenile Asian elephants (Elephas 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. PMID:23505702

  18. Asian elephants (Elephas maximus reassure others in distress

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    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.

  19. Medical management of bilateral corneal opacity in an Asian elephant (Elephas maximus: A case report

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    Pranab Paul

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Objective: This study was aimed at studying efficacy of medical management of corneal opacity in an Asian elephant (Elephas maximus. Material and methods: A 42 years old male Asian elephant was brought to the Teaching Veterinary Hospital (TVH at Chittagong Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (CVASU with a history of chronic lacrimation and impaired vision. On clinical examination, the animal was found apparently healthy. Opthalmological examination tentatively revealed the condition as corneal opacity. The left eye was much more affected as compared to the right one. Medical management was instituted with topical administration of ciprofloxacin, dexamethasone, subconjunctival prednisolone and dexamethasone along with intramuscular ketoprofen (at 1 mg/Kg bwt and vitamin A (at 5000 IU/Kg bwt. Results: The “mahout” (elepenat caretaker of the elephant was kept in close contact over cell phone to follow up the progress of the condition. Clinical examination after 19 days revealed complete recovery of the cornel opacity. There was no sign of lacrimation and the animal regained its normal vision. Conclusion: The treatment protocol successfully eliminated the discomfort along with corneal opacity and lacrimation in an Asian elephant. [J Adv Vet Anim Res 2018; 5(1.000: 98-100

  20. Histological and immunohistochemical characterization of uterine adenocarcinoma in an Asian elephant (Elephas Maximus).

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    Laricchiuta, Pietro; Russo, Valeria; Costagliola, Alessandro; Piegari, Giuseppe; Capasso, Michele; Silvestre, Pasquale; Martano, Manuela; Paciello, Orlando

    2018-03-23

    A 56 year old nulliparous female Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) living at the zoological garden of Naples (Italy), with a clinical history of recurrent colic, was found in agonal state and humane euthanasia was elected. At necropsy the uterine body was moderately increased in size and the lumen was reduced due to a poorly demarcated and infiltrative neoplasm. Furthermore, multiple, whitish, firm nodules were present in both lungs. Histological examination of the uterine mass revealed epithelial cells arranged in tubular or solid pattern infiltrating the endometrium and the muscular layer. Immunohistochemical examination showed immunoreactivity of neoplastic cells to estrogen receptors antibody. Pulmonary lesions were histologically and immunohistochemically superimposable to the epithelial uterine neoplasm. A definitive diagnosis of uterine adenocarcinoma with pulmonary metastases was made.

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

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    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.

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

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    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

  3. A standardised faecal collection protocol for intestinal helminth egg counts in Asian elephants, Elephas maximus

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    Carly L. Lynsdale

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The quantitative assessment of parasite infection is necessary to measure, manage and reduce infection risk in both wild and captive animal populations. Traditional faecal flotation methods which aim to quantify parasite burden, such as the McMaster egg counting technique, are widely used in veterinary medicine, agricultural management and wildlife parasitology. Although many modifications to the McMaster method exist, few account for systematic variation in parasite egg output which may lead to inaccurate estimations of infection intensity through faecal egg counts (FEC. To adapt the McMaster method for use in sampling Asian elephants (Elephas maximus, we tested a number of possible sources of error regarding faecal sampling, focussing on helminth eggs and using a population of over 120 semi-captive elephants distributed across northern Myanmar. These included time of day of defecation, effects of storage in 10% formalin and 10% formol saline and variation in egg distribution between and within faecal boluses. We found no significant difference in the distribution of helminth eggs within faecal matter or for different defecation times, however, storage in formol saline and formalin significantly decreased egg recovery. This is the first study to analyse several collection and storage aspects of a widely-used traditional parasitology method for helminth parasites of E. maximus using known host individuals. We suggest that for the modified McMaster technique, a minimum of one fresh sample per elephant collected from any freshly produced bolus in the total faecal matter and at any point within a 7.5 h time period (7.30am–2.55 pm will consistently represent parasite load. This study defines a protocol which may be used to test pre-analytic factors and effectively determine infection load in species which produce large quantities of vegetative faeces, such as non-ruminant megaherbivores.

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

  6. Serodiagnosis of tuberculosis in Asian elephants (Elephas maximus in Southern India: a latent class analysis.

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    Shalu Verma-Kumar

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Mycobacterium tuberculosis, a causative agent of chronic tuberculosis disease, is widespread among some animal species too. There is paucity of information on the distribution, prevalence and true disease status of tuberculosis in Asian elephants (Elephas maximus. The aim of this study was to estimate the sensitivity and specificity of serological tests to diagnose M. tuberculosis infection in captive elephants in southern India while simultaneously estimating sero-prevalence. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Health assessment of 600 elephants was carried out and their sera screened with a commercially available rapid serum test. Trunk wash culture of select rapid serum test positive animals yielded no animal positive for M. tuberculosis isolation. Under Indian field conditions where the true disease status is unknown, we used a latent class model to estimate the diagnostic characteristics of an existing (rapid serum test and new (four in-house ELISA tests. One hundred and seventy nine sera were randomly selected for screening in the five tests. Diagnostic sensitivities of the four ELISAs were 91.3-97.6% (95% Credible Interval (CI: 74.8-99.9 and diagnostic specificity were 89.6-98.5% (95% CI: 79.4-99.9 based on the model we assumed. We estimate that 53.6% (95% CI: 44.6-62.8 of the samples tested were free from infection with M. tuberculosis and 15.9% (97.5% CI: 9.8 - to 24.0 tested positive on all five tests. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results provide evidence for high prevalence of asymptomatic M. tuberculosis infection in Asian elephants in a captive Indian setting. Further validation of these tests would be important in formulating area-specific effective surveillance and control measures.

  7. Isolation and culture of primary adult skin fibroblasts from the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus

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    Puntita Siengdee

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Background Primary cultures from Asian elephants (Elephas maximus allow scientists to obtain representative cells that have conserved most of their original characteristics, function, physiology and biochemistry. This technique has thus gained significant importance as a foundation for further cellular, cell biology and molecular research. Therefore, the aim of this study was to describe conditions for the successful establishment of primary adult fibroblasts from Asian elephant carcasses. Methods Ear tissue sample collection from Asian elephant carcasses and our recommendations are given. We describe here a simple modified protocol for successful isolation and maintenance of primary adult fibroblasts from elephant ear skin. Ear samples from each individual (five 3 × 3 cm2 pieces were brought to the laboratory within 3 h after collection, kept in transportation medium at 0–4 °C. The ear tissues were prepared by a combination of 10% collagenase type II digestion procedure together with a simple explant procedure. Primary fibroblasts were cultured at 37 °C in Dulbecco’s modified Eagle’s medium (DMEM with 20% fetal calf serum (FCS in a humidified atmosphere containing 5% CO2. After the third passage, fibroblasts were routinely trypsinized with 0.25% trypsin/EDTA and cultured in DMEM with 10% FCS at 37 °C and 5% CO2. Traditional cell counting method was used to measure cell viability and growth curve. Long-term storage of cells used freezing medium consisting of 40% FCS (v/v. Results We explored the most suitable conditions during sample collection (post-mortem storage time and sample storage temperature, which is the most important step in determining primary outgrowth. Our study successfully established and cultured primary adult skin fibroblasts obtained from post-mortem E. maximus ear skin tissues from six carcasses, with a success rate of around 83.3%. Outgrowth could be seen 4–12 days after explantation, and epithelial

  8. 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.

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23505714

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

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    Joshua M Plotnik

    Full Text Available 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.

  13. Food and feeding behaviour of Asiatic elephant (Elephas maximus Linn.) in Kuldiha Wild Life Sanctuary, Odisha, India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohapatra, Kalpana K; Patra, A K; Paramanik, D S

    2013-01-01

    The feeding behaviour of Asiatic elephant (Elephas maximus) with food reference was studied in Kuldiha Wildlife Sanctuary in Odisha during 2007 to 2009. Though the study area houses a good number of plant species only 71 species were identified as elephant fodder plants. The food trail of elephant was observed as twig breaking, bark peeling, branch breaking, stem twisting uprooting and flower plucking in different regions of study area during different seasons. Alteration of predominantly browsing strategy with that of grazing around the year was related to seasonal variation of food plants. Consumption of tree species (56%) was highest as compared to shrubs (20%), herbs (14%) and climbers (10%). A high degree of variation in dicot- monocot ratio (61:10)) was marked during identification of elephant fodder plant by direct observation. Microscopic analysis of dung showing a high degree of variation in average dicot- monocot ratio suggested that the food plant selection of elephant was highly opportunistic and seasonal. The elephants extensively fed on the plant species like Careya arborea, Kydia calycina, Helicteres isora, Mallotus philippinensis, Aegle marmelos, Zizyphus mauritiona, Bauhinia racemosa, Bauhinia vahlii, Mimosa pudica, Asparagus racemosus, Smilax zeylanica and Diosporea species. They were fond of Madhuca indica (Mahula) flowers in winter and fruits of Mangifera indica (Mango) in summer. They were never found feeding on Tectona grandis and Eucalyptus maculate inside the study area.

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

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    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.

  15. Activity budgets and the relationship between feeding and stereotypic behaviors in Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) in a Zoo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rees, Paul A

    2009-03-01

    Activity budgets were studied in eight Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) at Chester Zoo (UK) for 35 days, between January and November 1999. Recordings were made between 10:00 and 16:00 hr (with most behavior frequencies calculated between 10:00 and 14:00 hr). The elephants exhibited variation in activity depending on their age, sex, the time of day and the time of year. Only the five adult cows exhibited stereotypic behavior, with frequencies ranging from 3.9 to 29.4% of all observations. These elephants exhibited individual, diurnal and seasonal variation in stereotypic behavior. This has implications for studies that use short sampling periods and may make comparisons of data collected at different times of the day or year invalid. The six adult elephants spent 27.4-41.4% of the time feeding (between 10:00 and 14:00 hr), 22.9-42.0% standing still, 6.1-19.2% walking and 3.9-9.6% dusting. The hypothesis that the frequency of stereotypic behavior in adult cow elephants was negatively correlated with the frequency of feeding behavior was tested and was found to be true. Stereotypic behavior increased in frequency toward the end of the day-while waiting to return to the elephant house for food--and elephants spent more time stereotyping during the winter months than during the summer months. Elephants were inactive (i.e. exhibited behaviors other than locomotion) for between 70.1 and 93.9% of the time. Creating more opportunities for elephants to exhibit foraging behavior and the introduction of greater unpredictability into management regimes, especially feeding times, may reduce the frequency of stereotypic behavior and increase general activity levels.

  16. CLINICAL INFECTION OF TWO CAPTIVE ASIAN ELEPHANTS (ELEPHAS MAXIMUS) WITH ELEPHANT ENDOTHELIOTROPIC HERPESVIRUS 1B.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuery, Angela; Tan, Jie; Peng, RongSheng; Flanagan, Joseph P; Tocidlowski, Maryanne E; Howard, Lauren L; Ling, Paul D

    2016-03-01

    The ability of prior infection from one elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus (EEHV) type to protect against clinical or lethal infection from others remains an important question. This report describes viremia and subsequent shedding of EEHV1B in two juvenile 4-yr-old Asian elephants within 3 wk or 2 mo following significant infections caused by the rarely seen EEHV4. High levels of EEHV1B shedding were detected in the first elephant prior to emergence of infection and viremia in the second animal. The EEHV1B virus associated with both infections was identical to the strain causing infection in two herd mates previously. High EEHV viremia correlated with leukopenia and thrombocytopenia, which was followed by leukocytosis and thrombocytosis when clinical signs started to resolve. The observations from these cases should be beneficial for helping other institutions monitor and treat elephants infected with EEHV1, the most common virus associated with lethal hemorrhagic disease.

  17. CLINICAL INFECTION OF CAPTIVE ASIAN ELEPHANTS (ELEPHAS MAXIMUS) WITH ELEPHANT ENDOTHELIOTROPIC HERPESVIRUS 4.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuery, Angela; Browning, Geoffrey R; Tan, Jie; Long, Simon; Hayward, Gary S; Cox, Sherry K; Flanagan, Joseph P; Tocidlowski, Maryanne E; Howard, Lauren L; Ling, Paul D

    2016-03-01

    Elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus (EEHV) can cause lethal hemorrhagic disease in juvenile Asian elephants. A number of EEHV types and subtypes exist, where most deaths have been caused by EEHV1A and EEHV1B. EEHV4 has been attributed to two deaths, but as both diagnoses were made postmortem, EEHV4 disease has not yet been observed and recorded clinically. In this brief communication, two cases of EEHV4 infection in juvenile elephants at the Houston Zoo are described, where both cases were resolved following intensive treatment and administration of famciclovir. A quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction detected EEHV4 viremia that correlated with clinical signs. High levels of EEHV4 shedding from trunk wash secretions of the first viremic elephant correlated with subsequent infection of the second elephant with EEHV4. It is hoped that the observations made in these cases--and the successful treatment regimen used--will help other institutions identify and treat EEHV4 infection in the future.

  18. Effects of a gonadotropin-releasing hormone vaccine on ovarian cyclicity and uterine morphology of an Asian elephant (Elephas maximus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boedeker, Nancy C; Hayek, Lee-Ann C; Murray, Suzan; de Avila, David M; Brown, Janine L

    2012-09-01

    This report describes the successful use of a gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) vaccine to suppress ovarian steroidogenic activity and to treat hemorrhage and anemia associated with reproductive tract pathology in a 59-year-old Asian elephant (Elephas maximus). The Repro-BLOC GnRH vaccine was administered subcutaneously as a series of 4 boosters of increasing dose from 3 to 30 mg of recombinant ovalbumin-GnRH fusion protein given at variable intervals after initial vaccination with 3 mg protein. Efficacy was confirmed over a year after initial vaccination based on complete ovarian cycle suppression determined by serum progestagen analyses. Estrous cycle suppression was associated with a significant increase in GnRH antibody binding and subsequent decrease in serum luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone concentrations. Ultrasonographic examinations of the reproductive tract documented a reduction in uterine size and vascularity after immunization. The hematocrit level normalized soon after the initial intrauterine hemorrhage, and no recurrence of anemia has been detected. No substantive adverse effects were associated with GnRH vaccination. The results indicate that GnRH vaccination in elephants shows potential for contraception and management of uterine pathology in older elephants.

  19. 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 (pElephants 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 (pelephants having larger Total Space Experience than Asian and female elephants, respectively (P-valueelephant welfare outcomes.

  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.

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    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

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  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

    .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...

  6. 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.

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    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.

  7. Investigating temporary acyclicity in a captive group of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus): Relationship between management, adrenal activity and social factors.

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    Edwards, Katie L; Trotter, Jessica; Jones, Martin; Brown, Janine L; Steinmetz, Hanspeter W; Walker, Susan L

    2016-01-01

    Routine faecal steroid monitoring has been used to aid the management of five captive Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) females at Chester Zoo, UK, since 2007. Progestagen analysis initially revealed synchronised oestrous cycles among all females. However, a 14- to 20-week period of temporary acyclicity subsequently occurred in three females, following several management changes (increased training, foot-care and intermittent matriarch removal for health reasons) and the initiation of pregnancy in another female. The aim of this study was to retrospectively investigate whether these management changes were related to increased adrenal activity and disruption of ovarian activity, or whether social factors may have been involved in the temporary cessation of cyclicity. Faecal samples collected every other day were analysed to investigate whether glucocorticoid metabolites were related to reproductive status (pregnant, cycling, acyclic) or management (training, foot-care, matriarch presence). Routine training and foot-care were not associated with adrenal activity; however, intensive foot-care to treat an abscess in one female was associated with increased glucocorticoid concentration. Matriarch presence influenced adrenal activity in three females, being lower when the matriarch was separated from the group at night compared to being always present. However, in the females that exhibited temporary acyclicity, there was no consistent relationship between glucocorticoids and cyclicity state. Although the results of this study do not fully explain this occurrence, the highly synchronised nature of oestrous cycles within this group, and the concurrent acyclicity in three females, raises the question of whether social factors could have been involved in the temporary disruption of ovarian activity. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Ultrasonographically documented early pregnancy loss in an Asian elephant (Elephas maximus).

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    Lueders, Imke; Drews, Barbara; Niemuller, Cheryl; Gray, Charlie; Rich, Peter; Fickel, Jörns; Wibbelt, Gudrun; Göritz, Frank; Hildebrandt, Thomas B

    2010-01-01

    Early embryonic resorption or fetal loss is known to occur occasionally in captive elephants; however, this has mostly been reported anecdotally. The present study documents the case of a 24-year-old, multiparous Asian elephant cow that suffered embryonic death and resorption at around 18 weeks of gestation. From ovulation onwards, this female was sonographically examined 58 times. Blood was collected twice weekly for progestagen determination via enzyme immunoassay. On Day 42 after ovulation, a small quantity of fluid was detected in the uterine horn, which typically indicates the presence of a developing conceptus. Repeated inspections followed what appeared to be a normal pregnancy until Day 116. However, on Day 124, signs of embryonic life were absent. Progestagen concentrations started declining two weeks later, reaching baseline levels one month after embryonic death. Retrospectively, ultrasound examination revealed several abnormalities in the uterine horn. Besides an existing leiomyoma, multiple small cystic structures had formed in the endometrium at the implantation site and later in the placenta. These pathological findings were considered as possible contributors to the early pregnancy failure. PCR for endotheliotropic elephant herpes virus (EEHV) (which had occurred previously in the herd) as well as serology for other infectious organisms known to cause abortion in domestic animals did not yield any positive results. Although no definitive reason was found for this pregnancy to abort, this ultrasonographically and endocrinologically documented study of an early pregnancy loss provides important insights into the resorption process in Asian elephants.

  14. Variation in the composition of milk of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) throughout lactation.

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    Abbondanza, Frances N; Power, Michael L; Dickson, Melissa A; Brown, Janine; Oftedal, Olav T

    2013-01-01

    We investigated milk nutrient composition from three Asian elephant cows over the first 3 years of lactation, including two consecutive lactations in one cow. Body mass gain is presented for three calves during the first year. Milk samples (n = 74) were analyzed for dry matter (DM), fat, crude protein (CP), sugar, ash, calcium (Ca), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K); gross energy (GE) was calculated. Concentrations of most nutrients changed over lactation: DM, fat, CP, Ca, P, and GE were positively correlated to calf age; sugar was negatively correlated to calf age. GE doubled between birth (1 kcal/g) and 2 years of age (2 kcal/g). After accounting for calf age, GE, fat, Ca, and P concentrations differed among the cows. Milk composition also differed between two lactations from the same cow. When milk nutrients were expressed on a mg per kcal basis, the pattern changes: CP, Ca, and P remained relatively constant over lactation on a per energy basis. Calf mass quadrupled over the first year of life; mass gain was linear at 0.9 kg/day. Asian elephant milk composition is variable, both across lactations and between cows, complicating efforts to determine representative values for comparative studies and for the formulation of elephant milk formulas. The fact that CP, Ca, and P were all relatively constant when expressed on a per energy basis may be of biological significance. The increase in nutrient density over lactation undoubtedly limits maternal water loss, reducing the volume of milk necessary to support the calf. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. 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.

  16. Detection of pathogenic elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus in routine trunk washes from healthy adult Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) by use of a real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction assay

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    Stanton, Jeffrey J.; Zong, Jian-Chao; Latimer, Erin; Tan, Jie; Herron, Alan; Hayward, Gary S.; Ling, Paul D.

    2013-01-01

    Objective To investigate the pathogenesis and transmission of elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus (EEHV1) by analyzing various elephant fluid samples with a novel EEHV1-specific real-time PCR assay. Animals 5 apparently healthy captive Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) from the same herd. Procedures A real-time PCR assay was developed that specifically detects EEHV1. The assay was used to evaluate paired whole blood and trunk-wash samples obtained from the 5 elephants during a 15-week period. Deoxyribonucleic acid sequencing and viral gene subtyping analysis were performed on trunk-wash DNA preparations that had positive results for EEHV1. Viral gene subtypes were compared with those associated with past fatal cases of herpesvirus-associated disease within the herd. Results The PCR assay detected viral DNA to a level of 1,200 copies/mL of whole blood. It was used to detect EEHV1 in trunk secretions of 3 of the 5 elephants surveyed during the 15-week period. Viral gene subtyping analysis identified 2 distinct elephant herpesviruses, 1 of which was identical to the virus associated with a previous fatal case of herpesvirus-associated disease within the herd. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance EEHV1 was shed in the trunk secretions of healthy Asian elephants. Trunk secretions may provide a mode of transmission for this virus. Results of this study may be useful for the diagnosis, treatment, and management of EEHV1-associated disease and the overall management of captive elephant populations. PMID:20673092

  17. REPRODUCTIVE PARAMETERS AND BIRTH STATISTICS FOR A HERD OF ASIAN ELEPHANTS ( ELEPHAS MAXIMUS) IN NORTH AMERICA OVER A 20-YEAR PERIOD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiso, Wendy K; Wiedner, Ellen; Isaza, Ramiro; Lindsay, William; Aria, Janice; Jacobson, Gary; Jacobson, Kathy; Schmitt, Dennis

    2017-12-01

    We reviewed medical records documenting 28 pregnancies occurring within a herd of Asian elephants ( Elephas maximus) over a 20-yr (1994-2014) period at a private facility in the southeastern United States. Twenty-six pregnancies resulted in live calves and two ended in stillbirths. The 26 live births represented the offspring of 11 cows and 5 bulls. Twenty-four calves survived their first year, including two critically ill calves born after dystocias. Male and female calves occurred in almost equal numbers. Mean duration of labor in this group was 36 hr although the median duration was 13 hr. Although oxytocin was administered to several cows, parturition did not always immediately ensue. Female fecundity ranged from 1-6 calves while female age at parturition ranged from 9-46 yr. Females delivered their first calves between 9 and 26 yr of age whereas bulls sired their first calves in their 20s, on average. The number of live births and the 93% calf survival rate are among the highest reported in any western hemisphere elephant-holding facility. This may reflect the intensive management of cows before, during, and after each pregnancy, the number of experienced multiparous cows, and the skill level of staff, most of whom had worked with each other and with this herd for many years. The data presented here may assist facilities planning to breed Asian elephants.

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

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    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

  19. 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).

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    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.

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

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

    2016-04-15

    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 after musth has not been studied in detail. The aim of this study was to evaluate LH and testosterone responses to GnRH challenge in nine adult Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) bulls during three periods relative to musth: premusth, postmusth, and nonmusth. Bulls were administered 80 μg of a GnRH agonist, and blood was collected before and after injection to monitor serum hormone concentrations. The same bulls were injected with saline 2 weeks before each GnRH challenge and monitored using the same blood collection protocol. All bulls responded to GnRH, but not saline, with an increase in LH and testosterone during all three periods. The mean peak LH (1.76 ± 0.19 ng/mL; P elephants. Furthermore, although the hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal axis is active throughout the year, the testis appears to be more responsive to LH in terms of testosterone production in the period leading up to musth, compared to the nonmusth and postmusth periods. This heightened sensitivity, perhaps as a result of LH receptor up-regulation, may prime the testis for maximal testosterone production, leading to the physiological and behavioral changes associated with musth. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

    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

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

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    Natalia A Prado-Oviedo

    Full Text Available 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 (p<0.05 between the categories: African elephants were 6 years younger than Asian elephants, males were 12 years younger than females, and captive-born elephants were 20 years younger than imported elephants. Overall, the number of transfers ranged from 0 to 10, with a 33% higher age-adjusted transfer rate for imported African than imported Asian elephants, and 37% lower rate for imported females than males (p<0.05. Other differences (p<0.05 included a 96% higher rate of offspring births for captive-born females than those imported from range countries, a 159% higher rate of birthing event exposures for captive-born males than for their imported counterparts, and Asian elephant females being 4 years younger than African females when they produced their first calf. In summarizing demographic and social life events of elephants in North American zoos, we found both qualitative and quantitative differences in the early lives of imported versus captive-born elephants that could have long-term welfare implications.

  3. Management Training of Sumatra Elephant (Elephas maximus sumatranus and Daily Behavior in Flying Squad WWF Tesso Nilo National Park, Riau

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    Arum Ratnasari

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Flying squad is an established strategy in the effort to resolve the conflict elephants in Tesso Nilo National Park. Flying squad utilizes trainedelephants to chase away wild elephants that come out the national park area. The study aims to identify management training and daily behavior ofSumatran elephant. The study was conducted in the Flying Squad WWF's Tesso Nilo National Park, Riau in March-April 2016 using focal animalsampling and interview. The elephant training curriculum consist of basic training, advanced training and exercise development by combined verbalcommands, visual, and physical. The measured success of training will be seen if the elephants could perform mahout’s commands without any error.Percentage of ingestive behavior showed the highest value at noon, while percentage of shelter seeking and other behavior showed the highest valueat night. It caused the elephants do more displacement to get the food at noon.Keywords: daily behavior, flying squad, focal animal sampling, sumatran elephant, training management

  4. THE PERCEPTION OF COMMUNITY TOWARDS THE DISTURBANCE OF SUMATERAN ELEPHANT (ELEPHAS MAXIMUS SUMATRANUS IN OGAN KOMERING ILIR REGENCY

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    Anita Rianti

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Research of elephant conflict with community have been conducted in Sungai Menang District, Ogan Komering Ilir Regency, South Sumatera Province. This study was conducted in three villages in September through December 2015. This study aimed to identify the perception and socio-economic characteristics of the community related to the conflict towards elephant conservation value. Data was collected through structured interview, while respondents were selected intentionally (purposive sampling. The results are shown that the level of community education in the village of Gajah Mati dan Gajah Mulya are low, 51% and 47% respectively, which are elementary school graduates, while the level of education in the village of Gajah Mukti is 58% of high school graduates. The majority of respondents are in productive age classes and worked as a farmer. The average income per month of people in the village of Gajah Mati is Rp1,814,583, while in Gajah Mukti and Gajah Mulya Village are Rp1,158,750 and Rp1,060,833 respectively. Elephants disturbance occur in all respondent villages and has an impact on the community perception of the elephant conservation becomes negative. Most respondents want that the elephants are relocated to Padang Sugihan Wildlife Sanctuary which is suitable for the habitat of the elephants.

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

  7. 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_maxim...us_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+maxim...us&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 ...

  8. 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

  9. Natural food monitoring of Sumatran elephant (Elephas maximus sumatraensis in Taman Hutan Raya Cut Nya’ Dhien Seulawah, Aceh Besar

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    DJUFRI

    2003-07-01

    Full Text Available The objectives of this research were to monitoring natural food of Sumatran elephant; determine rank taxonomy of species, and to give information quantitative value of taxa for vegetation analysis. The wide of area total Taman Hutan Raya Cut Nya’ Dhien Seulawah were 6.220 Ha. About 20% of area total used as an observed area. The data was collected by transect and quadratic plot method. The observed area it was took 10 transect with 500 m of long for observed station. Each observed station was put seven and ten plot samples systematically. Each plot samples has a 5 m2 of width. The result indicated that there were 69 species of the plant including 23 families. Diversity index was between 1.9838-2.7202; an evenness index was between 1.6868-2.0631. The importance value is relatively low on all station observed. The refer of importance value show that Oplismenus burmanii, Imperata cylindrica, Crassocephalum crepidiodes, Mimosa pudica, and Zingiber aquosum were dominated on secondary forest and Zingiber zerumbet, Zingiber purpureum, and Oplismenus burmanii were dominated on primary forest. The result of diversity index show that regeneration of natural food in Taman Hutan Raya Cut Nya’ Dhien Seulawah is available constant because grazing occurred with continue by elephant.

  10. Physiological stress responses in wild Asian elephants Elephas maximus in a human-dominated landscape in the Western Ghats, southern India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vijayakrishnan, Sreedhar; Kumar, Mavatur Ananda; Umapathy, G; Kumar, Vinod; Sinha, Anindya

    2018-05-16

    Increasing anthropogenic pressures on forests, especially in the tropical regions of the world, have restricted several large mammalian species such as the Asian elephant to fragmented habitats within human-dominated landscapes. In this study, we assessed the effects of an anthropogenic landscape and its associated conflict with humans on the physiological stress responses displayed by Asian elephants in the Anamalai Hills of the Western Ghats mountains in south India. We have quantified faecal glucocorticoid metabolite (FGM) concentrations in focal individual elephants within and across herds, inhabiting both anthropogenic and natural habitats, and evaluated their physiological responses to different socio-ecological situations between November 2013 and April 2014. Physiological stress responses varied significantly among the tested elephant age- and sex categories but not across different types of social organisation. Adults generally showed higher FGM concentrations, even in the absence of stressors, than did any other age category. Males also appeared to have higher stress responses than did females. Although there was no significant variation in mean stress levels between elephants on the plateau in the absence of human interactions and those in adjacent, relatively undisturbed forest habitats, FGM concentrations increased significantly for adult and subadult individuals as well as for calves following drives, during which elephants were driven off aggressively by people. Our study emphasises the general importance of understanding individual variation in physiology and behaviour within a population of a seriously threatened mammalian species, the Asian elephant, and specifically highlights the need for long-term monitoring of the stress physiology and behavioural responses of individual elephants across both human-dominated and natural landscapes. Such studies would not only provide comprehensive insights into the adaptive biology of elephants in changing

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

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    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.

  12. 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. PMID:26407173

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. CEPF Western Ghats Special Series: Frugivory and seed dispersal by the Asian Elephant Elephas maximus in the tropical forests of Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, southern India

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    N. Baskaran

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Seed dispersal plays a potential role in plant species demographic processes. Elephants are important seed-dispersing agents. We studied frugivory and seed dispersal by Asian Elephants in the tropical deciduous and thorn forests of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, southern India. We determined fruit consumption based on the presence of seeds and fruit remnants in elephant dung piles. In total, we identified seeds of eight plant species belonging to seven families in 16% out of 455 dung piles examined between 1991 and 2004. Coinciding with a peak fruiting season in the study area, seeds and other fruit parts appeared in the dung piles significantly more frequently during the dry season than in the wet seasons (southwest and northeast monsoons. Owing to differences in fruit species abundance in different habitats, there was more evidence of fruit consumption in the dry thorn than in the dry and moist deciduous forests. This corresponds with insufficient grass availability in thorn forests during the dry season and an increase in browse consumption as a supplementary diet. Seeds of Tamarindus indica and Acacia intsia were found in elephant dung more frequently than other species. Seed and fruit remnants were found in almost an equal number of dung piles of both bulls and herds.

  16. Prevalence of intestinal parasites among captive Asian Elephants Elephas maximus: effect of season, host demography, and management systems in Tamil Nadu, India

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    V. Vanitha

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Maintenance of wild animals in captivity is fraught with numerous challenges, including the control of disease. This study evaluates the effect of season, host demography (age-sex, and differing management systems on the prevalence of intestinal parasites among elephants managed in three captive systems: temple, private, and forest department, in Tamil Nadu. In addition, the study also assessed the availability of veterinary care for elephants in these systems. The parasitic prevalence was evaluated by direct microscopic identification of helminth eggs in faecal samples (n = 115 collected from different age/sex classes of elephants. Of the 115 elephants examined, 37% showed positive results, being infected only with Strongyles sp. The prevalence rate varied significantly across seasons, with the highest rate during summer (49% followed by monsoon (41% and the lowest rate during winter (15%. While males had a significantly lower parasite prevalence compared to females (29% vs. 40%, age classes showed no significant difference. Despite the fact that the proportion of animals receiving veterinary care was higher under the forest department system (100% compared to the private system (26%, parasite prevalence was significantly higher under the former (48% than the latter (31% system. The difference in the proportion of animals with parasitic prevalence among the three systems could be due to differing management practices (i.e. in solitary versus groups and the details are discussed.

  17. 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

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

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    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.  

  19. 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

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    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.

  20. 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...

  1. Problem-elephant translocation: translocating the problem and the elephant?

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    Prithiviraj Fernando

    Full Text Available Human-elephant conflict (HEC threatens the survival of endangered Asian elephants (Elephas maximus. Translocating "problem-elephants" is an important HEC mitigation and elephant conservation strategy across elephant range, with hundreds translocated annually. In the first comprehensive assessment of elephant translocation, we monitored 16 translocations in Sri Lanka with GPS collars. All translocated elephants were released into national parks. Two were killed within the parks where they were released, while all the others left those parks. Translocated elephants showed variable responses: "homers" returned to the capture site, "wanderers" ranged widely, and "settlers" established home ranges in new areas soon after release. Translocation caused wider propagation and intensification of HEC, and increased elephant mortality. We conclude that translocation defeats both HEC mitigation and elephant conservation goals.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Thitaram, C.

    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

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

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    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.

  4. Elephants - a conservation overview

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    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.

  5. 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

  6. Spectrum of antibody profiles in tuberculous elephants, cervids, and cattle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyashchenko, Konstantin P; Gortázar, Christian; Miller, Michele A; Waters, W Ray

    2018-02-01

    Using multi-antigen print immunoassay and DPP ® VetTB Assay approved in the United States for testing captive cervids and elephants, we analyzed antibody recognition of MPB83 and CFP10/ESAT-6 antigens in Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis and in white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), fallow deer (Dama dama), elk (Cervus elaphus), and cattle (Bos taurus) infected with Mycobacterium bovis. Serum IgG reactivity to MPB83 was found in the vast majority of tuberculous cattle and cervid species among which white-tailed deer and elk also showed significant CFP10/ESAT-6 recognition rates with added serodiagnostic value. In contrast, the infected elephants developed antibody responses mainly to CFP10/ESAT-6 with MPB83 reactivity being relatively low. The findings demonstrate distinct patterns of predominant antigen recognition by different animal hosts in tuberculosis. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Insightful problem solving in an Asian elephant.

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    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.

  8. Monitoring and controlling ovarian activity in elephants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thitaram, Chatchote; Brown, Janine L

    2018-03-15

    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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Spatial and Temporal Habitat Use of an Asian Elephant in Sumatra

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Todd K. Fuller

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Increasingly, habitat fragmentation caused by agricultural and human development has forced Sumatran elephants into relatively small areas, but there is little information on how elephants use these areas and thus, how habitats can be managed to sustain elephants in the future. Using a Global Positioning System (GPS collar and a land cover map developed from TM imagery, we identified the habitats used by a wild adult female elephant (Elephas maximus sumatranus in the Seblat Elephant Conservation Center, Bengkulu Province, Sumatra during 2007–2008. The marked elephant (and presumably her 40–60 herd mates used a home range that contained more than expected medium canopy and open canopy land cover. Further, within the home range, closed canopy forests were used more during the day than at night. When elephants were in closed canopy forests they were most often near the forest edge vs. in the forest interior. Effective elephant conservation strategies in Sumatra need to focus on forest restoration of cleared areas and providing a forest matrix that includes various canopy types.

  13. When elephants fall asleep: A literature review on elephant rest with case studies on elephant falling bouts, and practical solutions for zoo elephants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schiffmann, Christian; Hoby, Stefan; Wenker, Christian; Hård, Therese; Scholz, Robert; Clauss, Marcus; Hatt, Jean-Michel

    2018-05-01

    Little attention has been paid to the resting and sleeping behavior of zoo elephants so far. An important concern is when elephants avoid lying down, due to degenerative joint and foot disease, social structure, or stressful environmental changes. Inability or unwillingness to lie down for resting is an important welfare issue, as it may impair sleep. We emphasize the importance of satisfying rest in elephants by reviewing the literature on resting behavior in elephants (Loxodonta africana and Elephas maximus) as well as the documentation of four cases from European zoos and our own direct observations in a zoo group of four female African elephants during 12 entire days. The common denominator in the case reports is the occurrence of a falling bout out of a standing position subsequently to a cessation of lying rest for different periods of time. Although well-known in horses as "episodic collapse" or "excessive drowsiness," this syndrome has not been described in elephants before. To enable its detection, we recommend nocturnal video monitoring for elephant-keeping institutions. The literature evaluation as well as own observational data suggest an inverse relationship between lying rest and standing rest. Preventative measures consist of enclosure modifications that facilitate lying rest (e.g., sand hills) or standing rest in a leaning position as a substitute. Anecdotal observations suggest that the provision of appropriate horizontal environmental structures may encourage safe, sleep-conducive standing rest. We provide drawings on how to install such structures. Effects of providing such structures should be evaluated in the future. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

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    de Silva, Shermin; Webber, C Elizabeth; Weerathunga, U S; Pushpakumara, T V; Weerakoon, Devaka K; Wittemyer, George

    2013-01-01

    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. Demographic variables for wild Asian elephants using longitudinal observations.

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    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.

  16. Patterns and Determinants of Habitat Occupancy by the Asian Elephant in the Western Ghats of Karnataka, India.

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    Devcharan Jathanna

    Full Text Available Understanding species distribution patterns has direct ramifications for the conservation of endangered species, such as the Asian elephant Elephas maximus. However, reliable assessment of elephant distribution is handicapped by factors such as the large spatial scales of field studies, survey expertise required, the paucity of analytical approaches that explicitly account for confounding observation processes such as imperfect and variable detectability, unequal sampling probability and spatial dependence among animal detections. We addressed these problems by carrying out 'detection--non-detection' surveys of elephant signs across a c. 38,000-km(2 landscape in the Western Ghats of Karnataka, India. We analyzed the resulting sign encounter data using a recently developed modeling approach that explicitly addresses variable detectability across space and spatially dependent non-closure of occupancy, across sampling replicates. We estimated overall occupancy, a parameter useful to monitoring elephant populations, and examined key ecological and anthropogenic drivers of elephant presence. Our results showed elephants occupied 13,483 km(2 (SE = 847 km(2 corresponding to 64% of the available 21,167 km(2 of elephant habitat in the study landscape, a useful baseline to monitor future changes. Replicate-level detection probability ranged between 0.56 and 0.88, and ignoring it would have underestimated elephant distribution by 2116 km(2 or 16%. We found that anthropogenic factors predominated over natural habitat attributes in determining elephant occupancy, underscoring the conservation need to regulate them. Human disturbances affected elephant habitat occupancy as well as site-level detectability. Rainfall is not an important limiting factor in this relatively humid bioclimate. Finally, we discuss cost-effective monitoring of Asian elephant populations and the specific spatial scales at which different population parameters can be estimated. We

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

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    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

  18. Preliminary validation of assays to measure parameters of calcium metabolism in captive Asian and African elephants in western Europe.

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

    2011-05-01

    Hypocalcemia is a well known cause of dystocia in animals, including elephants in captivity. In order to study calcium metabolism in elephants, it is of utmost importance to use properly validated assays, as these might be prone to specific matrix effects in elephant blood. The aim of the current study was to conduct preliminary work for validation of various parameters involved in calcium metabolism in both blood and urine of captive elephants. Basal values of these parameters were compared between Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) and African elephants (Loxodonta africana). Preliminary testing of total calcium, inorganic phosphorus, and creatinine appeared valid for use in plasma and creatinine in urine in both species. Furthermore, measurements of bone alkaline phosphatase and N-terminal telopeptide of type I collagen appeared valid for use in Asian elephants. Mean heparinized plasma ionized calcium concentration and pH were not significantly affected by 3 cycles of freezing and thawing. Storage at 4 °C, room temperature, and 37 °C for 6, 12, and 24 hr did not alter the heparinized plasma ionized calcium concentration in Asian elephants. The following linear regression equation using pH (range: 6.858-7.887) and ionized calcium concentration in heparinized plasma was utilized: iCa(7.4) (mmol/l) = -2.1075 + 0.3130·pH(actual) + 0.8296·iCa(actual) (mmol/l). Mean basal values for pH and plasma in Asian elephant whole blood were 7.40 ± 0.048 and 7.49 ± 0.077, respectively. The urinary specific gravity and creatinine concentrations in both Asian and African elephants were significantly correlated and both were significantly lower in Asian elephants. © 2011 The Author(s)

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

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    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.

  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

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    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.

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    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. 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%; pyear 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.

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

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

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

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    Janine L Brown

    Full Text Available 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, <0.1 ng/ml throughout, and having Low/Normal (<14 or 18 ng/ml or High (≥14 or 18 ng/ml prolactin for Asian and African 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 < 0.05. For African 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

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

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

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    Sophie Regnault

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available 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.

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

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    Ying Chen

    Full Text Available 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.

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

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

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    Chen, Ying; Marino, Jorgelina; Chen, Yong; Tao, Qing; Sullivan, Casey D; Shi, Kun; Macdonald, David W

    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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    English, Megan; Gillespie, Graeme; Goossens, Benoit; Ismail, Sulaiman; Ancrenaz, Marc; Linklater, Wayne

    2015-01-01

    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 quantities have

  15. 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

  16. Community-based human-elephant conflict mitigation: The value of an evidence-based approach in promoting the uptake of effective methods.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Donny Gunaryadi

    Full Text Available Human-elephant conflict (HEC is a serious threat to elephants and can cause major economic losses. It is widely accepted that reduction of HEC will often require community-based methods for repelling elephants but there are few tests of such methods. We tested community-based crop-guarding methods with and without novel chili-based elephant deterrents and describe changes in farmers' willingness to adopt these methods following our demonstration of their relative effectiveness. In three separate field-trials that took place over almost two years (October 2005 -May 2007 in two villages adjacent to Way Kambas National Park (WKNP in Indonesia, we found that community-based crop-guarding was effective at keeping Asian elephants (Elephas maximus out of crop fields in 91.2% (52 out of 57, 87.6% (156 out of 178, and 80.0% (16 out of 20 of attempted raids. Once the method had been shown to be effective at demonstration sites, farmers in 16 villages around WKNP voluntarily adopted it during the July 2008 to March 2009 period and were able to repel elephants in 73.9% (150 out of 203 of attempted raids, with seven villages repelling 100% of attempted raids. These 16 villages had all experienced high levels of HEC in the preceding years; e.g. they accounted for >97% of the 742 HEC incidents recorded for the entire park in 2006. Our work shows, therefore, that a simple evidence-based approach can facilitate significant reductions in HEC at the protected area scale.

  17. 78 FR 9725 - Endangered Species; Receipt of Applications for Permit

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-02-11

    ...-66682A The applicant requests a permit to re-export a captive-born male Asian elephant (Elephas maximus... species (Mescocapromys species), African elephant (Loxodonta Africana), Asian elephant (Elephas maximus... covers activities to be conducted by the applicant over a 5-year period Applicant: Hawthorn Corporation...

  18. Surviving and fatal Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesvirus-1A infections in juvenile Asian elephants - lessons learned and recommendations on anti-herpesviral therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dastjerdi, Akbar; Seilern-Moy, Katharina; Darpel, Karin; Steinbach, Falko; Molenaar, Fieke

    2016-08-27

    Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesviruses (EEHVs) can cause acute haemorrhagic disease in young Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) and clinical EEHV infections account for the majority of their fatalities. The anti-herpesviral drug famciclovir (FCV) has been used routinely to treat viraemic at-risk elephants, but thus far without proven efficacy. This paper presents clinical and virological investigations of two EEHV-1A infected elephants treated with FCV, and discusses anti-herpesvirus therapies of viraemic elephants. Two 1.5 year old male Asian elephants at a zoological collection in the UK developed clinical EEHV-1A infections. Case 1 showed signs of myalgia for the duration of 24 hours before returning back to normal. EEHV-1A DNAemia was confirmed on the day of clinical signs and continued to be present for 18 days in total. Trunk shedding of the virus commenced 10 days after detection of initial DNAemia. Case 2 tested positive for EEHV-1A DNAemia in a routine blood screening sample in the absence of clinical signs. The blood viral load increased exponentially leading up to fatal clinical disease seven days after initial detection of DNAemia. Both calves were treated with 15 mg/kg FCV per rectum on detection of DNAemia and penciclovir, the FCV metabolite, could be detected in the blood at assumed therapeutic levels. The early indicators for clinical disease were a marked absolute and relative drop in white blood cells, particularly monocytes prior to the detection of viraemia. The most prognostic haematological parameter at later stages of the disease was the platelet count showing a continuous sharp decline throughout, followed by a dramatic drop at the time of death. The EEHV-1A viraemic animals investigated here further highlight the ongoing threat posed by these viruses to juvenile Asian elephants. The findings call into question the efficacy of rectal FCV in clinical cases and direct towards the use of alternative anti-herpesvirus drugs and complementary

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

  3. Fine-scale genetic structure and cryptic associations reveal evidence of kin-based sociality in the African forest elephant.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie G Schuttler

    Full Text Available Spatial patterns of relatedness within animal populations are important in the evolution of mating and social systems, and have the potential to reveal information on species that are difficult to observe in the wild. This study examines the fine-scale genetic structure and connectivity of groups within African forest elephants, Loxodonta cyclotis, which are often difficult to observe due to forest habitat. We tested the hypothesis that genetic similarity will decline with increasing geographic distance, as we expect kin to be in closer proximity, using spatial autocorrelation analyses and Tau K(r tests. Associations between individuals were investigated through a non-invasive genetic capture-recapture approach using network models, and were predicted to be more extensive than the small groups found in observational studies, similar to fission-fusion sociality found in African savanna (Loxodonta africana and Asian (Elephas maximus species. Dung samples were collected in Lopé National Park, Gabon in 2008 and 2010 and genotyped at 10 microsatellite loci, genetically sexed, and sequenced at the mitochondrial DNA control region. We conducted analyses on samples collected at three different temporal scales: a day, within six-day sampling sessions, and within each year. Spatial autocorrelation and Tau K(r tests revealed genetic structure, but results were weak and inconsistent between sampling sessions. Positive spatial autocorrelation was found in distance classes of 0-5 km, and was strongest for the single day session. Despite weak genetic structure, individuals within groups were significantly more related to each other than to individuals between groups. Social networks revealed some components to have large, extensive groups of up to 22 individuals, and most groups were composed of individuals of the same matriline. Although fine-scale population genetic structure was weak, forest elephants are typically found in groups consisting of kin and

  4. Fine-scale genetic structure and cryptic associations reveal evidence of kin-based sociality in the African forest elephant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuttler, Stephanie G; Philbrick, Jessica A; Jeffery, Kathryn J; Eggert, Lori S

    2014-01-01

    Spatial patterns of relatedness within animal populations are important in the evolution of mating and social systems, and have the potential to reveal information on species that are difficult to observe in the wild. This study examines the fine-scale genetic structure and connectivity of groups within African forest elephants, Loxodonta cyclotis, which are often difficult to observe due to forest habitat. We tested the hypothesis that genetic similarity will decline with increasing geographic distance, as we expect kin to be in closer proximity, using spatial autocorrelation analyses and Tau K(r) tests. Associations between individuals were investigated through a non-invasive genetic capture-recapture approach using network models, and were predicted to be more extensive than the small groups found in observational studies, similar to fission-fusion sociality found in African savanna (Loxodonta africana) and Asian (Elephas maximus) species. Dung samples were collected in Lopé National Park, Gabon in 2008 and 2010 and genotyped at 10 microsatellite loci, genetically sexed, and sequenced at the mitochondrial DNA control region. We conducted analyses on samples collected at three different temporal scales: a day, within six-day sampling sessions, and within each year. Spatial autocorrelation and Tau K(r) tests revealed genetic structure, but results were weak and inconsistent between sampling sessions. Positive spatial autocorrelation was found in distance classes of 0-5 km, and was strongest for the single day session. Despite weak genetic structure, individuals within groups were significantly more related to each other than to individuals between groups. Social networks revealed some components to have large, extensive groups of up to 22 individuals, and most groups were composed of individuals of the same matriline. Although fine-scale population genetic structure was weak, forest elephants are typically found in groups consisting of kin and based on matrilines

  5. Fulltext PDF

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    linking local management, regional planning and global con- servation efforts. 393. Frederick ... women from Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. 135. Lakra G .... on the intestinal para- site loads of the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) in southern.

  6. 77 FR 15383 - Endangered Species; Receipt of Applications for Permit

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-03-15

    ... notification covers activities to be conducted by the applicant over a 5-year period. Applicant: Riverbanks... or survival. This notification covers activities to be conducted by the applicant over a 5-year... Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) [[Page 15384

  7. 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

  8. Elephant logging and environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tin-Aung-Hla

    1995-01-01

    The natural environment comprises non-biological elements such as air, water, light, heat and biological elements of animal and plant life; all interact with each other to create an ecosystem. Human activities like over-exploitation of forest results in deforestation and desertification. This consequently changes ecological balance. Topics on: (1) history of elephants utilization; (2) elephant logging; (3) classification of elephants; (4) dragging gear; (5) elephant power; (6) elephant logging and environment, are discussed

  9. 76 FR 14985 - Endangered Species; Receipt of Applications for Permit

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-03-18

    ... the applicant over a 5-year period. Applicant: Rosamond Gifford Zoo at Burnet Park, Syracuse, NY; PRT- 28295A The applicant requests a permit to re-import two captive born female Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) and one captive born male Asian elephant from African Lion Safari and Game Farm, Ontario, Canada...

  10. 77 FR 41198 - Endangered Species; Marine Mammals; Receipt of Applications for Permit

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-07-12

    ... scientific research. This notification covers activities conducted by the applicant over a 5-year period... Foundation, Denver, CO; PRT-69465A The applicant requests a permit to import two male Asian elephants... elephant (Elephas maximus) born in captivity from Dublin Zoo, Dublin, Ireland, for the purpose of...

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. A fatal elephant attack.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hejna, Petr; Zátopková, Lenka; Safr, Miroslav

    2012-01-01

    A rare case of an elephant attack is presented. A 44-year-old man working as an elephant keeper was attacked by a cow elephant when he tripped over a foot chain while the animal was being medically treated. The man fell down and was consequently repeatedly attacked with elephant tusks. The man sustained multiple stab injuries to both groin regions, a penetrating injury to the abdominal wall with traumatic prolapse of the loops of the small bowel, multiple defects of the mesentery, and incomplete laceration of the abdominal aorta with massive bleeding into the abdominal cavity. In addition to the penetrating injuries, the man sustained multiple rib fractures with contusion of both lungs and laceration of the right lobe of the liver, and comminuted fractures of the pelvic arch and left femoral body. The man died shortly after he had been received at the hospital. The cause of death was attributed to traumatic shock. © 2011 American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

  15. Journal of Biosciences | Indian Academy of Sciences

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Journal of Biosciences; Volume 40; Issue 5. 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 ...

  16. The effect of some ecological factors on the intestinal parasite loads ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Some ecological factors that might potentially influence intestinal parasite loads in the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus Linn.) were investigated in the Nilgiris, southern India. Fresh dung samples from identified animals were analysed, and the number of eggs/g of dung used as an index of parasite load. Comparisons ...

  17. 76 FR 68205 - Endangered Species; Receipt of Applications for Permit

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-11-03

    ... be conducted by the applicant over a 5-year period. Applicant: Honolulu Zoo, Honolulu, HI; PRT 699515... activities to be conducted by the applicant over a 5-year period. Families: Callithricidae, Canidae... include Aplonis pelzelni), Pelomedusidae, Testudinidae. Species: Asian elephant (Elephas maximus...

  18. 78 FR 25296 - Endangered Species; Receipt of Applications for Permit

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-04-30

    ... requests a permit to re-import one live Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) born in captivity from Calgary Zoo... applicant over a 5-year period. Families Bovidae Cebidae Camelidae Cathartidae Cercopithecidae Cervidae... notification covers activities to be conducted by the applicant over a 5-year period. Families Bovidae Canidae...

  19. 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.

  20. Incidence of elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus in Asian elephants in India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barman, Nagendra N; Choudhury, Bhaskar; Kumar, Vishnu; Koul, Monika; Gogoi, Sophia M; Khatoon, Elina; Chakroborty, A; Basumatary, P; Barua, B; Rahman, T; Das, S K; Kumar, Sachin

    2017-09-01

    Elephant endotheliotropic herpesviruses (EEHVs) are the cause of acute hemorrhagic disease in endangered Asian and African elephants. In the present study, we report the incidence of EEHV infection and associated mortality in the captive elephant of Assam, India. Our result showed the gross morphology and histopathological changes of EEHV infection in the elephant. Moreover, the phylogenetic analysis of the polymerase, helicase, and GPCR genes from the infected tissue samples suggested the presence of EEHV1A virus. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Elephant-to-Human Transmission of Tuberculosis

    Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Podcasts

    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.

  6. STRENGTHENING THE GLUTEUS MAXIMUS IN SUBJECTS WITH SACROILIAC DYSFUNCTION.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Added, Marco Aurélio N; de Freitas, Diego G; Kasawara, Karina T; Martin, Robroy L; Fukuda, Thiago Y

    2018-02-01

    Case series. The literature has emphasized the use of exercise as an intervention for individuals with lumbopelvic pain. However, there is limited information to guide clinicians in exercise selection for those with sacroiliac (SI) joint dysfunction. Altered function of the gluteus maximus has been found in those with SI joint dysfunction. The objective of this case series was to assess the effectiveness of an exercise program directed at increasing gluteus maximus strength in those with clinical tests positive for SI joint dysfunction. The eight subjects in this series presented with lumbopelvic pain and clinical evidence of SI joint dysfunction. Each subject underwent 10 treatments over five weeks consisting of five exercises directed at strengthening the gluteus maximus. Radiological assessment and clinical examination were performed to rule out potential concurrent pathologies. Visual analog pain scale, the Oswestry Disability Index, and strength assessed via hand held dynamometry were measured pre- and post-intervention. A significant (pjoint dysfunction.

  7. Subclinical infection of a young captive Asian elephant with elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus 1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azab, Walid; Damiani, Armando Mario; Ochs, Andreas; Osterrieder, Nikolaus

    2018-02-01

    Elephant endotheliotropic herpesviruses (EEHVs) are a continuous threat for young Asian elephants. We report a laboratory-confirmed infection of a 5-year-old female Asian elephant (AZ_2016) in the Berlin Zoologischer Garten. Initially, high EEHV-1 loads were detected in trunk swabs obtained from the young elephant during routine screening. The animal showed no clinical signs except for slight irritability. EEHV-1 was continuously shed for almost one year, with fluctuations in viral load from time to time. Our investigations highlight the continuous threat of EEHV-1 to young captive Asian elephants and stress the importance of routine monitoring of captive elephants to allow early detection of infection.

  8. 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.

  9. Do elephants need to sweat?

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    (1936) measured a daily water intake of about ISO f by his elephant of 3 672 kg under cool ... the edge and the remaining tissue is stiffened by outwardly directed delicate fIngers of .... sity Council for fInancial assistance. Figure 3 (upper) is ...

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

    OpenAIRE

    R.G.T. Paley; G.I.H. Kerley

    1998-01-01

    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...

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

    2007-01-01

    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. PMID:17407383

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R.G.T. Paley

    1998-07-01

    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.

  15. 800,000 year old mammoth DNA, modern elephant DNA or PCR artefact?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Binladen, Jonas; Gilbert, M Thomas P; Willerslev, Eske

    2007-02-22

    Poulakakis and colleagues (Poulakakis et al. 2006: Biol. Lett. 2, 451-454), report the recovery of 'authentic' mammoth DNA from an 800,000-year-old fragment of bone excavated on the island of Crete. In light of results from other ancient DNA studies that indicate how DNA survival is unlikely in samples, which are recovered from warm environments and are relatively old (e.g. more than 100,000 years), these findings come as a great surprise. Here, we show that problems exist with the methodological approaches used in the study. First, the nested PCR technique as reported is nonsensical--one of the second round 'nested' primers falls outside the amplicon of the first round PCR. More worryingly, the binding region of one of the first round primers (Elcytb320R) falls within the short 43 base pair reported mammoth sequence, specifically covering two of the three reportedly diagnostic Elephas polymorphisms. Finally, we demonstrate using a simple BLAST search in GenBank that the claimed 'uniquely derived character state' for mammoths is in fact also found within modern elephants.

  16. 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.

  17. Finding Elephant Flows for Optical Networks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fioreze, Tiago; Oude Wolbers, Mattijs; van de Meent, R.; Pras, Aiko

    2007-01-01

    Optical networks are fast and reliable networks that enable, amongst others, dedicated light paths to be established for elephant IP flows. Elephant IP flows are characterized by being small in number, but long in time and high in traffic volume. Moving these flows from the general IP network to

  18. 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 of As...

  19. 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 ...

  20. The Elephant Trunk Technique: A New Complication

    OpenAIRE

    Neri, Eugenio; Toscano, Thomas; Frati, Giacomo; Sassi, Carlo

    2001-01-01

    We describe a complication that occurred during the 2nd stage of an “elephant trunk” aortic replacement. The patient was a 58-year-old woman who had undergone graft replacement of the ascending aorta and aortic arch with the elephant trunk technique for an acute, Stanford type-A aortic dissection.

  1. 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…

  2. The Dartmouth Elephant plasma facility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lynch, K. A.

    2017-12-01

    The Elephant facility in the Dartmouth Dept of Physics and Astronomyis a 1m by 2m chamber with a microwave-resonant plasma source togetherwith a higher energy electron/ion electrostatic gun. In this chamber weaim to re-create features of the auroral ionosphere including both thethermal plasma background, and the precipitating energetic auroral beam.We can manipulate the position and attitude of various sensors withinthe chamber and monitor their response to the various sources. Recentefforts have focussed on the sheath environment near and around thermalion RPA sensors and the small payloads which carry them into theionosphere.

  3. 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.

  4. Modeling the Dispersal of Spiny Lobster (Palinurus elephas Larvae: Implications for Future Fisheries Management and Conservation Measures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul Whomersley

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Knowledge of larval dispersal, population dynamics and connectivity in relation to the management and conservation of commercially important species is vital if existing fisheries are to remain sustainable into the future. Larval dispersal of the commercially exploited spiny lobster, Palinurus elephas, was modeled from Marine Protected Areas located in the southwest of England for a 16-month period using a General Individuals Transport Model (GITM. The model included physical particle advection based on current fields from a 3D hydrodynamics model and a larval behavior module. Our results demonstrate the overall dispersal patterns of P. elephas larvae and highlight populations capable of self-seeding and those which are seemingly reliant on larvae from more distant populations. The results indicate where further research may be required to fully understand how populations of P. elephas are maintained at regional, national and international scales while providing us with the opportunity to discuss the effectiveness of current approaches to conservation and fisheries management.

  5. Knowledge management and the elephant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marcus, G.H.

    2004-01-01

    Full text: I am pleased that NEA is a sponsor of this important conference and that I have been given the opportunity to welcome all of you on behalf of NEA. Knowledge management has been a personal interest of mine for some time now, and I have been gratified to see the increasing interest in this area. This international conference is therefore most timely, and by drawing in experts from across the spectrum of knowledge management, has the potential to help integrate different aspects of this field, and thereby help chart its future course. I would like to try to set the stage for your meeting by posing a few issues that I hope you will consider during the course of this conference.1 Discussing knowledge management sometimes reminds me a little of the parable of the blind men and the elephant - or, if I may be politically correct, of the visually challenged people and the elephant. In this story, a number of sightless men approach an elephant and touch it in different places. 'Ah,' says the first, who is touching the elephant's massive leg, 'An elephant looks like a tree.' 'No,' objects the second, who is holding the ear, 'The elephant is clearly like a giant fan.' 'Come, come,' chides a third, who has grabbed the elephant by its trunk, 'The elephant most resembles a snake.' Others, touching the side of the animal conclude it is like a wall, or feeling the tusk believe it resembles a spear, or grasping the tail likens it to a rope.2 Likewise, in my discussions on knowledge management (KM), I come away with a sense that different nuclear communities have somewhat different perceptions of what it is, and therefore, of what the issues or problems are. For educators, KM is education, and the most important need is to develop the right academic courses to train the next generation of nuclear professionals. Corporate management sees KM in terms of its strategic market advantages, and considers the passing on of corporate knowledge a major need. In some parts of the

  6. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew Mutinda

    Full Text Available 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.

  8. Vegetation attached to the elephant trunk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanaka, Akiko; Sakamoto, Toshihito; Okada, Kenji; Okita, Yutaka

    2013-09-01

    The elephant trunk technique is used as a standard method in the approach to staged repair of extensive thoracic aneurysms. Here, we present a rare case of a graft infection, in which vegetation was attached to the distal end of the elephant trunk. A 36-year old male who had undergone total arch replacement with elephant trunk installation for type A aortic dissection was readmitted for high-grade fever. At the time of admission, Osler's nodules were present and brain magnetic resonance imaging showed multiple small emboli and haemorrhages. Transoesophageal echocardiography could not locate any sign of infection within the cardiac chambers, but disclosed vegetation attached to the elephant trunk. He underwent successful emergent graft replacement of the lesion, and no recurrence of the infection has been observed.

  9. 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...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

    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

  11. 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.

  12. Water-body use by Asian elephants in Southern Sri Lanka

    OpenAIRE

    Pastorini, J; Nishantha, H G; Janaka, H K; Isler, K; Prithiviraj, F

    2010-01-01

    We assessed water-body use by elephants through monitoring elephant signs around them. Elephant footprints and dung piles were recorded at 25 water bodies fortnightly for one year. Elephants preferred perennial water bodies and avoided those with temporary human dwellings. Human activities did not significantly affect elephant use of water bodies, suggesting low incidence of activities and behavioral adaptation to them by elephants. Elephant signs at perennial water bodies increased in the dr...

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The route commonly traversed by elephants was mapped using Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) techniques. Two elephant sightings, footprints ... A majority of the respondents were aware of importance of elephants in tourism, as agents of seed dispersal, sources of bush meat ...

  14. The southern elephant seal Mirounga leonina at Gough Island

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    haul-out in December coincided with the elephant seal moulting season, the elephant seals were found on the vegetated areas whilst the majority of fur seals hauled out onto the boulder beach. No interactions between the two species were recorded. Potential predators of elephant seals, i.e. the killer whales Orcinus orca ...

  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. Mitochondrial DNA analysis of two southern African elephant populations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M.F. Essop

    1996-08-01

    Full Text Available The modern view is that there are at most only two valid forms of the African elephant namely Loxodonta qfricana africana, the bush elephant, and L.a. cyclotis, the forest elephant (Ansell 1974; Meester et al. 1986. The Knysna elephant which was also described as a separate sub-species is now almost extinct. Plans to augment the remnant population by introducing other animals must take into account the taxonomic questions and issue of conserving elephant gene pools (Greig 1982a. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA restriction fragment-size comparisons were performed on specimens from the Kruger National Park and the Addo Elephant National Park. If the Addo population's results are extrapolated to the Knysna population, it may be concluded that there is no genetic evidence for the Kruger and Knysna elephant populations to be considered as different sub-species.

  17. Demography of a forest elephant population

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turkalo, Andrea K.; Wrege, Peter H.

    2018-01-01

    African forest elephants face severe threats from illegal killing for ivory and bushmeat and habitat conversion. Due to their cryptic nature and inaccessible range, little information on the biology of this species has been collected despite its iconic status. Compiling individual based monitoring data collected over 20 years from the Dzanga Bai population in Central African Republic, we summarize sex and age specific survivorship and female age specific fecundity for a cohort of 1625 individually identified elephants. Annual mortality (average = 3.5%) and natality (average = 5.3%) were lower and markedly less variable relative to rates reported for savanna elephant populations. New individuals consistently entered the study system, leading to a 2.5% average annual increase in the registered population. Calf sex ratios among known birth did not differ from parity. A weak seasonal signal in births was detected suggesting increased conceptions during the wet season. Inter-calf intervals and age of primiparity were longer relative to savanna elephant populations. Within the population, females between the ages of 25–39 demonstrated the shortest inter-calf intervals and highest fecundity, and previous calf sex had no influence on the interval. Calf survivorship was high (97%) the first two years after birth and did not differ by sex. Male and female survival began to differ by the age of 13 years, and males demonstrated significantly lower survival relative to females by the age of 20. It is suspected these differences are driven by human selection for ivory. Forest elephants were found to have one of the longest generation times recorded for any species at 31 years. These data provide fundamental understanding of forest elephant demography, providing baseline data for projecting population status and trends. PMID:29447207

  18. 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.

  19. 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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Abstract. Population extinction evaluations, based on the model developed by Dennis et al. (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 ...

  1. Discovery Learning: Zombie, Phoenix, or Elephant?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bakker, Arthur

    2018-01-01

    Discovery learning continues to be a topic of heated debate. It has been called a zombie, and this special issue raises the question whether it may be a phoenix arising from the ashes to which the topic was burnt. However, in this commentary I propose it is more like an elephant--a huge topic approached by many people who address different…

  2. Making sense of elephants in the shamba

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bond, Jennifer Lauren

    . The discussion posited that institutional failures such as the lack of an efficient compensation policy, politics, and the top-down approach to wildlife policy indirectly impact on farmers’ perceptions and subsequent sensemaking processes regarding their interactions with elephants in their crops. This article...

  3. The Asian Elephant: Ecology and Management

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    or simply interested in elephant ecology and management in. Africa. the ... also discussed. The final chapters cover some problems of interaction between ... phylogeny and evolution now available. One such section ... animal and plant parasitic nematodes. .... infonnation on the adaptations to pollination in vygies, the photo-.

  4. EVALUATION OF FISHING LOBSTERS PALINURUS ELEPHAS (FABRICIUS, 1787 BY LOBSTER TRAPS IN THE MIDDLE ADRIATIC SEA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Perica Cetinić

    1997-04-01

    Full Text Available The work contains the results of fishing lobsters Palinurus elephas by lobsters traps from Komiža, island Vis with one eye side size of 60 mm as well as the evaluation of its effect to their population. The correct size of her eye was evaluated by the analysis of representation of immature lobsters in the catchs of the lobsters traps. 171 examples of lobsters were analyzed (116 males and 55 females with their lengths ranging from 22 to 45 cm. Total of 53 units (31% were less than 28 mm and at that length lobsters are barred from catch and transport. Such a length has been regulated by the valid Regulation on protection of fish and other sea organisms. Therefore, the lobster trap from Komiža, island Vis was evaluated as having the negative impact on the lobsters population.

  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. Complex vibratory patterns in an elephant larynx.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herbst, Christian T; Svec, Jan G; Lohscheller, Jörg; Frey, Roland; Gumpenberger, Michaela; Stoeger, Angela S; Fitch, W Tecumseh

    2013-11-01

    Elephants' low-frequency vocalizations are produced by flow-induced self-sustaining oscillations of laryngeal tissue. To date, little is known in detail about the vibratory phenomena in the elephant larynx. Here, we provide a first descriptive report of the complex oscillatory features found in the excised larynx of a 25 year old female African elephant (Loxodonta africana), the largest animal sound generator ever studied experimentally. Sound production was documented with high-speed video, acoustic measurements, air flow and sound pressure level recordings. The anatomy of the larynx was studied with computed tomography (CT) and dissections. Elephant CT vocal anatomy data were further compared with the anatomy of an adult human male. We observed numerous unusual phenomena, not typically reported in human vocal fold vibrations. Phase delays along both the inferior-superior and anterior-posterior (A-P) dimension were commonly observed, as well as transverse travelling wave patterns along the A-P dimension, previously not documented in the literature. Acoustic energy was mainly created during the instant of glottal opening. The vestibular folds, when adducted, participated in tissue vibration, effectively increasing the generated sound pressure level by 12 dB. The complexity of the observed phenomena is partly attributed to the distinct laryngeal anatomy of the elephant larynx, which is not simply a large-scale version of its human counterpart. Travelling waves may be facilitated by low fundamental frequencies and increased vocal fold tension. A travelling wave model is proposed, to account for three types of phenomena: A-P travelling waves, 'conventional' standing wave patterns, and irregular vocal fold vibration.

  7. Characterization of gonadal transcriptomes from the turbot (Scophthalmus maximus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Yulong; Huang, Meng; Wang, Weiji; Guan, Jiantao; Kong, Jie

    2016-01-01

    The mechanisms underlying sexual reproduction and sex ratio determination remains unclear in turbot, a flatfish of great commercial value. And there is limited information in the turbot database regarding genes related to the reproductive system. Here, we conducted high-throughput transcriptome profiling of turbot gonad tissues to better understand their reproductive functions and to supply essential gene sequence information for marker-assisted selection programs in the turbot industry. In this study, two gonad libraries representing sex differences in Scophthalmus maximus yielded 453 818 high-quality reads that were assembled into 24 611 contigs and 33 713 singletons by using 454 pyrosequencing, 13 936 contigs and singletons (CS) of which were annotated using BLASTx. GO (Gene Ontology) and KEGG (Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes) pathway analyses revealed that various biological functions and processes were associated with many of the annotated CS. Expression analyses showed that 510 genes were differentially expressed in males versus females; 80% of these genes were annotated. In addition, 6484 and 6036 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were identified in male and female libraries, respectively. This transcriptome resource will serve as the foundation for cDNA or SNP microarray construction, gene expression characterization, and sex-specific linkage mapping in turbot.

  8. 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

  9. Application of stereo photogrammetric techniques for measuring African Elephants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. J Hall-Martin

    1979-12-01

    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.

  10. Ecological consequences of forest elephant declines for Afrotropical forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poulsen, John R; Rosin, Cooper; Meier, Amelia; Mills, Emily; Nuñez, Chase L; 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 large consequences for the composition and structure of Afrotropical forests. Through a comprehensive literature review, 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, and tree species composition will depend 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 with release from browsing pressures. Diminished seed dispersal by elephants and high stem density are likely to reduce the recruitment of large trees and thus increase homogeneity of forest structure and decrease carbon stocks. The loss of ecological services by forest elephants likely means Central African forests will 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. © 2017 Society for Conservation Biology.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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....

  14. 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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    and seals (Laws 1973). Predation. Carrick and Ingham (1962) indicated that the killer whale. Orcinus orca is an important predator of elephant seals, es- pecially of immature individuals. Moreover, Condy (1977) suggests that the observed decrease in the elephant seal population at Marion Island is due to a lowered recruit-.

  16. 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 .... Lupande Game Management Area (GMA), covering an area of 4 840 km2 constitutes the ...... Temporal trends in elephant ... the modern conservation paradigm: Can agricultural communities co- exist with elephant?

  17. 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 ...

  18. 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. 

  19. '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

  20. Radiation Protection Elephants in the Room

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vetter, R. J.

    2004-01-01

    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 e lephants 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 evolution of the system of

  1. Characterization of chitinolytic bacteria and histological aspects of Shell Disease Syndrome in European spiny lobsters (Palinurus elephas) (Fabricius 1787).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mancuso, M; Costanzo, M T; Maricchiolo, G; Gristina, M; Zaccone, R; Cuccu, D; Genovese, L

    2010-07-01

    The present research reports the first description of Shell Disease Syndrome in European spiny lobsters Palinurus elephas (Fabricius 1787), which occurred in an experimental aquaculture facility in Sicily (Italy). Both bacterial characterization and histopathological examination of the exoskeleton at site of lesions was carried out. Infected specimens showed tail fan erosions, and in one case uropod ulceration and complete loss of periods. Identified species included: Listonella anguillarum 50.5%, Vibrio parahaemolyticus 27.5% and Vibrio alginolyticus 22%. Microscopic evaluation of lesions indicate the presence of inflammatory responses, which include melanization and pseudomembrane formation, similar to those described for other crustaceans affected by SDS. (c) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. A novel antigen capture ELISA for the specific detection of IgG antibodies to elephant endotheliotropic herpes virus

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    P. van den Doel (Petra); V.R. Prieto (Víctor Rodríguez); S.E. Van Rossum-Fikkert (Sarah E.); W. Schaftenaar (Willem); E. Latimer (Erin); L. Howard (Lauren); S. Chapman (Sarah); N. Masters (Nic); A.D.M.E. Osterhaus (Albert); P.D. Ling (Paul D.); A. Dastjerdi (Akbar); B.E.E. Martina (Byron)

    2015-01-01

    textabstractBackground: Elephants are classified as critically endangered animals by the International Union for Conservation of Species (IUCN). Elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus (EEHV) poses a large threat to breeding programs of captive Asian elephants by causing fatal haemorrhagic disease.

  3. 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.

  4. Investigating the depth of thermal burns in elephants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Shakespeare

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available Histological examination of burn injuries in elephants revealed that the depth was not as severe as expected from clinical observation. Although the actual burn depth was deep, the thickness of elephant skin, especially the dermis, resulted in the lesions being classified as less severe than expected. Examination of skin samples from selected areas showed that most lesions were either superficial (1st degree or superficial partial-thickness (superficial 2nd degree burns with the occasional deep partial thickness (deep 2nd degree wound. These lesions however, resulted in severe complications that eventually led to the death of a number of the elephants.

  5. Elephant management: a scientific assessment of South Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Scholes, RJ

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available families between Sabi Sand Game Reserve and Kruger 359 xiiiList of figures Chapter 10 1 Values for the environment 448 2 Impact of crop damage costs due to elephants on the economic gross output, the contribution to the gross national income... Impact of elephant crop damage costs on the measures of private and economic viability for a model CBNRM community trust investment in the Okavango Delta, Botswana 459 6 Valuation studies on African elephants 463 7 Summary of main economic values...

  6. Rogue-Elephant-Inflicted Panfacial Injuries: A Rare Case Report

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Santosh Kumar Yadav

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Attacks by elephants, the largest of the “large animals,” produce many fatalities a year. Most attacks are provoked, although rogue elephants are occasionally responsible. Trampling, goring, tossing the individual with the trunk, or crushing with the knees produces the injuries. Injuries from encounters with large animals represent a significant health risk for rural communities. Wild-animal-inflicted maxillofacial injuries are rare, and limited literature is available describing their management. We present a case of severe maxillofacial injuries caused by the attack of a rogue elephant.

  7. 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.

  8. The relative host status of rock elephant shrews Elephantulus ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    1991-10-18

    Oct 18, 1991 ... rocky terrain, occur in South Africa (Smithers 1983) and the distribution of ... elephant shrews on northern and on southern slopes on the farm 'Preezfon- .... this has caused paralysis in Angora goat kids (Fourie et al. 1988a).

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. A Case of an Aortic Abscess around the Elephant Trunk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujii, Takeshiro; Kawasaki, Muneyasu; Katayanagi, Tomoyuki; Okuma, Shinnosuke; Masuhara, Hiroshi; Shiono, Noritsugu; Watanabe, Yoshinori

    2015-01-01

    A 52-year-old male patient with a history of total arch replacement using the elephant trunk technique for acute aortic dissection 4 years before visited our hospital with the chief complaint of persistent fever. Chest computed tomography (CT) suggested prosthetic vascular graft infection, which was treated surgically after chemotherapy. The first surgery consisted of debridement of an abscess around the vascular graft and in the aorta around the elephant trunk, and thoracic descending aorta replacement and vacuum-assisted closure (VAC) in view of the risk of bleeding from the peripheral region of the elephant trunk. One week later, omental filling was performed as the second step. This is a very rare case of aortic abscess around the elephant trunk that could successfully be managed by graft-conserving treatment.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Physiological stress and refuge behavior by African elephants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David S Jachowski

    Full Text Available 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

  16. Pulmonary aspergillosis in an African elephant (Loxodonta africana).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaim, Ute; Paltian, Vanja; Krudewig, Christiane; Nieder, Anne; Wohlsein, Peter

    2009-04-01

    A 26-year-old female African elephant (Loxodonta africana) with a history of purulent pododermatitis, recurrent abdominal pain, and severe weight loss died spontaneously after a period of deteriorating disease. The main pathological finding was a severe bilateral pyogranulomatous, partially necrotizing pneumonia with numerous intralesional fungal hyphae. At microbiological examination Aspergillus spp. were isolated. The present case indicates that mycotic pneumonia should to be considered as a differential diagnosis of pulmonary disorders in elephants.

  17. Towards an Automated Acoustic Detection System for Free Ranging Elephants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeppelzauer, Matthias; Hensman, Sean; Stoeger, Angela S

    The human-elephant conflict is one of the most serious conservation problems in Asia and Africa today. The involuntary confrontation of humans and elephants claims the lives of many animals and humans every year. A promising approach to alleviate this conflict is the development of an acoustic early warning system. Such a system requires the robust automated detection of elephant vocalizations under unconstrained field conditions. Today, no system exists that fulfills these requirements. In this paper, we present a method for the automated detection of elephant vocalizations that is robust to the diverse noise sources present in the field. We evaluate the method on a dataset recorded under natural field conditions to simulate a real-world scenario. The proposed method outperformed existing approaches and robustly and accurately detected elephants. It thus can form the basis for a future automated early warning system for elephants. Furthermore, the method may be a useful tool for scientists in bioacoustics for the study of wildlife recordings.

  18. Has the VA Become a White Elephant?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robbins RA

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available No abstract available. Article truncated at 150 words. As I write this Dennis Wagner is publishing a series of articles in the Arizona Republic describing his quest to find out if care at VA hospitals have improved over the last 2 years (1. To begin the article Wagner describes the fable of the King of Siam who presented albino pachyderms to his enemies knowing they would be bankrupted because the cost of food and care outweighed all usefulness. A modern expression derives from this parable: the white elephant. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA has prided itself on being a leader in healthcare. It is the largest healthcare system in the US, implemented the first electronic medical record, and more than 70 percent of all US doctors have received training in the VA healthcare system (2. This year the VA is celebrating the 70th anniversary of its partnership with US medical schools. Beginning in 1946, the VA partnered ...

  19. A demographic model to predict future growth of the Addo elephant population

    OpenAIRE

    A.M. Woodd

    1999-01-01

    An age-structured demographic model of the growth of the Addo elephant population was developed using parameters calculated from long-term data on the population. The model was used to provide estimates of future population growth. Expansion of the Addo Elephant National Park is currently underway, and the proposed target population size for elephant within the enlarged park is 2700. The model predicts that this population size will be reached during the year 2043, so that the Addo elephant p...

  20. Making sense of human–elephant conflict in Laikipia County, Kenya

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bond, Jennifer Lauren

    2015-01-01

    This article proposes sensemaking theory to understand human–elephant interactions. The article draws on a case study of human–elephant interaction in Laikipia County, Kenya, to understand how farmers make sense of elephants in their crops. Drawing on eight interviews, the analysis showed that re...

  1. 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.

  2. Elephant distribution around a volcanic shield dominated by a mosaic of forest and savanna (Marsabit, Kenya)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ngene, S.M.; Skidmore, A.K.; Gils, H.; Douglas-Hamilton, I.; Omondi, P.

    2009-01-01

    We investigated the factors that influenced the distribution of the African elephant around a volcanic shield dominated by a mosaic of forest and savanna in northern Kenya. Data on elephant distribution were acquired from four female and five bull elephants, collared with satellite-linked

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Should humans interfere in the lives of elephants?

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    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

  6. Unusual Behavioural Responses of Elephants: A Challenge for Mitigating Man – Elephant Conflict in “Shivalik Elephant Reserve”, Northwest India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ritesh JOSHI

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Drastic changes in the Shivalik landscape and rapid rate of developmental and anthropogenic activities are expected to lead to a severe threat and unusual behavioural changes in elephants. Some unusual behavioural responses of Asian elephants were observed from northwest India, which were rather abnormal and were directly linked with increasing man–elephant conflict. To evaluate ground based data, we used ground surveys to generate database on these behavioural responses and to identify potential impact of developmental projects and anthropogenic activities and for this we made 387 extensive surveys in the crucial elephant’s reserve and on the motor roads, which are running across different habitats during March 2005 to December 2008. All the behaviours studied represents the severe interaction scenario between man and elephant and the prime reason found behind this was human encroachment into the deeper forest regime and shrinking of large migratory corridors. Understanding how animal populations react to such vast adverse activities and their behavioural response is thus essential for addressing future challenges for wildlife management and conservation. There have been little scientific studies available on such type of catastrophic impacts even though such reports are highly required to know the status and our competence in illustrating success and failures of wildlife management besides in conservation of an endangered wildlife. An adaptive management approach will be crucial with corridor connectivity being of paramount importance, as we continue to gain knowledge of wildlife and elephant’s response to such derisive impacts.

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

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    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

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

  10. Ovarian cycle activity varies with respect to age and social status in free-ranging elephants in Addo Elephant National Park, South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freeman, Elizabeth W; Meyer, Jordana M; Putman, Sarah B; Schulte, Bruce A; Brown, Janine L

    2013-01-01

    Free-ranging African elephants live in a fission-fusion society, at the centre of which is the matriarch. Matriarchs are generally older females that guide their families to resources and co-ordinate group defense. While much is known about elephant society, knowledge is generally lacking about how age affects the physiology of wild elephants. Investigation of the ovarian activity of free-ranging elephants could provide insight into the reproductive ageing process, with implications for population management. Faecal samples were collected from 46 individuals ranging in age from 14 to 60 years for a 2-year period, and progestagen metabolite analyses were used to examine relationships between social status, age, season, and ovarian activity in female elephants in Addo Elephant National Park, South Africa. Social status was the strongest predictor of faecal progestagen metabolite concentrations in non-pregnant elephants, with grand matriarchs (n = 6) having the lowest values compared with matriarchs (n = 21) and non-matriarch females (n = 19). Likewise, social status and age were the strongest predictors of faecal progestagen metabolite concentrations in pregnant elephants (n = 27). The number of years since a non-pregnant female gave birth to her last calf (post-partum duration) was longer for older females with a higher social status, as well as during the dry season. Our results indicate that social standing and age of elephants are related to reproductive function, and that older females exhibit reductions in ovarian capacity. These results expand our understanding of reproduction and fertility throughout an elephant's lifespan, and the factors that impact gonadal function in free-ranging females. Given that possible over-abundance of elephants in areas such as Addo Elephant National Park is fuelling the debate over how best to manage these populations, knowledge about the reproductive potential of high-ranking females can provide managers with

  11. Poaching and human encroachment reverse recovery of African savannah elephants in south-east Angola despite 14 years of peace

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chase, Michael J.; Griffin, Curtice R.

    2018-01-01

    With populations of African savannah elephants (Loxodonta africana) declining across the continent, assessing the status of individual elephant populations is important for conservation. Angola’s elephant population represents a key linkage between the larger populations of Namibia and Botswana. Elephants in Angola were decimated during the 1975–2002 Angolan civil war, but a 2005 survey showed that populations were recolonizing former habitats. Between 2005 and 2015, no research was permitted on elephants in Angola, but elsewhere in Africa many elephant populations experienced a poaching crisis. In 2015, we were able to resume elephant research in Angola. We used aerial surveys and satellite monitoring of collared elephants to determine the current status of elephant populations in Angola and to learn how human populations may be affecting elephant habitat usage. The aerial survey revealed a population of 3,395 ± SE of 797 elephants, but populations had declined 21% from the 2005 estimate. The high number of carcasses observed on the survey suggests that populations may have increased after the 2005 survey but were declining rapidly as of 2015. Satellite-collared elephants avoided areas elephants from preferred habitats near rivers. Taken together, these results suggest that Angola’s elephant population is experiencing intense poaching and may be losing habitat to human settlements. Without action to conserve their populations, Angola’s elephants face an uncertain future. PMID:29538387

  12. 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.

  13. Geographic variation of stable isotopes in African elephant ivory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ziegler, S.; Merker, S.; Jacob, D.

    2012-04-01

    In 1989, the international community listed the African elephant in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) thus prohibiting commercial ivory trade. Recent surveillance data show that the illegal trade in ivory has been growing worldwide. Long-term preservation of many of the African elephant populations can be supported with a control mechanism that helps with the implementation of remedial conservation action. Therefore, setting up a reference database that predicts the origin of ivory specimens can assist in determining smuggling routes and the provenance of illegal ivory. Our research builds on earlier work to seek an appropriate method for determining the area of origin for individual tusks. Several researchers have shown that the provenance of elephant ivory can be traced by its isotopic composition, but this is the first attempt to produce an integrated isotopic reference database of elephant ivory provenance. We applied a combination of various routine geochemical analyses to measure the stable isotope ratios of hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and sulphur. Up to now, we analysed 606 ivory samples of known geographical origin from African range states, museums and private collections, comprising 22 African elephant range states. The isotopic measurements were superimposed with data layers from vegetation, geology and climate. A regression function for the isotope composition of the water isotopes in precipitation and collagen in ivory was developed to overcome the problem of imprecise origin of some of the sampled material. Multivariate statistics, such as nearest neighborhood and discriminate analysis were applied to eventually allow a statistical determination of the provenance for ivory of unknown origin. Our results suggest that the combination of isotopic parameters have the potential to provide predictable and complementary markers for estimating the origin of seized elephant ivory.

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

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    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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

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    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sam M. Ferreira

    2017-08-01

    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.

  19. Human-elephant conflict in western Thailand: Socio-economic drivers and potential mitigation strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matteson, Kevin

    2018-01-01

    Understanding human-wildlife conflict is an important first step in the conservation of highly endangered species that can have adverse effects on human communities, such as elephants. To gain insights into variables that shape attitudes toward elephant conservation in Asia, we surveyed 410 households and 46 plantation owners in seven villages around the Salakpra Wildlife Sanctuary in western Thailand, an area of high human-elephant conflict. We sought to evaluate how past experiences with elephants (positive or negative), as well as socio-economic variables (age, income level, gender, and employment type) affect attitudes toward elephant conservation and coexistence in this area. In addition, we quantified deterrence methods currently used and identify potential mitigation strategies supported by community members. In general, less supportive attitudes toward elephant conservation and coexistence were held by individuals older than 35 years of age, those who had previously had experienced negative interactions with elephants, those with lower incomes, and those working in the agricultural sector. Conversely, those who had received benefits from living near elephants (e.g., supplemental income or feelings of pride from hosting volunteers or participating in conservation work) had more supportive views of elephant coexistence. Plantation owners reported using a variety of deterrence methods with varying success, with firecrackers being the most commonly utilized method. Community members identified several potentially beneficial mitigation strategies including forest restorations and patrol teams, adding water sources to wild elephant habitat, and education of local school and community groups. Overall, our results highlight the value of community members receiving benefits from living near elephants and suggest that special incentives may be needed for demographic groups disproportionately affected by elephants (e.g. those at lower income levels, those working in

  20. 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

  1. Preemergence herbicides on weed control in elephant grass pasture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandre Magno Brighenti

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Elephant grass (Pennisetum purpureum Schum. is an important forage crop that has been proposed as a potential feedstock for bioenergy production. However, weed interference is a major factor limiting elephant grass production. Field experiments were conducted in 2014 and 2015 to evaluate preemergence herbicides for selective weed control in an elephant grass pasture. Herbicide treatments included atrazine + S-metolachlor, atrazine + simazine, ametryn, ethoxysulfuron, S-metolachlor, diuron + hexazinone, sulfentrazone, imazethapyr, and atrazine at label use rates. Weedy and weed-free treatments were included. Atrazine + S-metolachlor, atrazine + simazine, ametryn, ethoxysulfuron, S-metolachlor, sulfentrazone, and atrazine did not cause phytotoxicity on elephantgrass 35 days after treatment (DAT. However, diuron + hexazinone and imazethapyr were the most phytotoxic on elephantgrass, resulting in 81 and 70% phytotoxicity in 2014, and 7 and 6% phytotoxicity in 2015 respectively 35 DAT. All treatments provided effective weed control (>81% with the exception of ethoxysulfuron (0 and 11% in 2014 and 2015, respectively, and atrazine (59% in 2014. These results show that atrazine + S-metolachlor, atrazine + simazine, ametryn, ethoxysulfuron, S-metolachlor, sulfentrazone, and atrazine were selectives when applied in preemergence in elephant grass pasture.

  2. Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection of domesticated Asian elephants, Thailand.

    OpenAIRE

    2011-01-01

    Four Asian elephants were confirmed to be infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis by bacterial culture, other diagnostic procedures, and sequencing of 16S–23S rDNA internal transcribed spacer region, 16S rRNA, and gyrase B gene sequences. Genotyping showed that the infectious agents originated from 4 sources in Thailand. To identify infections, a combination of diagnostic assays is essential.

  3. 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 ...

  4. 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 ...

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    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 equipment. A pride of 30 lions ...

  6. Meteorology and elephant infrasound at Etosha National Park, Namibia

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Larom, D

    1997-03-01

    Full Text Available are used to estimate elephant infrasonic calling range and calling area, Directionality and calling range are shown to be controlled by the diurnal cycle in wind (shear) and temperature. Low-level nocturnal radiative temperature inversions and low surface...

  7. 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, ...

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. The dynamics of social networks among female Asian elephants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    de Silva Shermin

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Patterns in the association of individuals can shed light on the underlying conditions and processes that shape societies. Here we characterize patterns of association in a population of wild Asian Elephants at Uda Walawe National Park in Sri Lanka. We observed 286 individually-identified adult female elephants over 20 months and examined their social dynamics at three levels of organization: pairs of individuals (dyads, small sets of direct companions (ego-networks, and the population level (complete networks. Results Corroborating previous studies of this and other Asian elephant populations, we find that the sizes of elephant groups observed in the field on any particular day are typically small and that rates of association are low. In contrast to earlier studies, our longitudinal observations reveal that individuals form larger social units that can be remarkably stable across years while associations among such units change across seasons. Association rates tend to peak in dry seasons as opposed to wet seasons, with some cyclicity at the level of dyads. In addition, we find that individuals vary substantially in their fidelity to companions. At the ego-network level, we find that despite these fluctuations, individuals associate with a pool of long-term companions. At the population level, social networks do not exhibit any clear seasonal structure or hierarchical stratification. Conclusions This detailed longitudinal study reveals different social dynamics at different levels of organization. Taken together, these results demonstrate that low association rates, seemingly small group sizes, and fission-fusion grouping behavior mask hidden stability in the extensive and fluid social affiliations in this population of Asian elephants.

  13. 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.

  14. Being stressed outside the park — conservation of African elephants (Loxodonta africana) in Namibia

    OpenAIRE

    Hunninck, Louis; Ringstad, Iris; Jackson, Craig Ryan; May, Roelof Frans; Fossøy, Frode; Uiseb, Kenneth; Killian, Werner; Røskaft, Eivin

    2017-01-01

    The conservation of the African savanna elephant (Loxodonta africana) is of prime importance for many African countries. Interactions between elephants and humans are known to induce stress and thereby have the potential to affect elephants’ fitness. In Namibia, anthropogenic disturbances are increasing due to increasing human population size and development, particularly near protected areas, such as national parks. In this study, we investigated elephant stress levels in relation to their l...

  15. How elephants utilize a miombo-wetland ecosystem in Ugalla landscape, Western Tanzania

    OpenAIRE

    Kalumanga, Elikana

    2015-01-01

    African elephants are ‘keystone’ species with respect to biodiversity conservation in Africa since they maintain habitats that support several animal communities by changing vegetation structure through foraging and by dispersing seeds between landscapes. Elephants are also ‘flagship’ species because, given their impressive size, they can make people sympathetic and stimulate local and international concerns for their protection. Economically, elephants contribute to national revenues as tour...

  16. Forage mass and stocking rate of elephant grass pastures managed under agroecological and conventional systems

    OpenAIRE

    Clair Jorge Olivo; Carlos Alberto Agnolin; Priscila Flôres Aguirre; Cláudia Marques de Bem; Tiago Luís da Ros de Araújo; Michelle Schalemberg Diehl; Gilmar Roberto Meinerz

    2014-01-01

    The objective was to evaluate elephant grass (Pennisetum purpureum Schum.) pastures, under the agroecological and conventional systems, as forage mass and stocking rate. In the agroecological system, the elephant grass was established in rows spaced by 3.0 m from each other. During the cool season ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lam.) was established between these rows, which allowed the development of spontaneous growth species during the warm season. In the conventional system the elephant gra...

  17. Granulomas caused by Mycobacterium sp. in farmed Turbot Scopthalmus maximus (Linnaeus, 1758

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. JERONIMO

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Turbot, Scophthlalmus maximus, is a Pleuronectiformes fish that occurs in northeast Atlantic along the European coast and in the Mediterranean Sea and is produced in aquaculture since the last quarter of the twentieth century. During a survey conducted in a turbot fish farm nodular formations were occasionally observed in several organs, especially in the kidney and in the spleen. Microscopic observations showed that these nodules contained acid-fast bacilli. The molecular identification of the isolated bacteria conducted to the Mycobacterium genus. Although no abnormal mortalities were evident morbidity was observed. The normal development and welfare of infected fish decrease and the condition factor, the haematocrit and the haemoglobin concentration in blood decreases significantly with the increase of nodules abundance.

  18. Relationship between hamstring length and gluteus maximus strength with and without normalization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Dong-Kyu; Oh, Jae-Seop

    2018-01-01

    [Purpose] This study assessed the relationship between hamstring length and gluteus maximus (GM) strength with and without normalization by body weight and height. [Subjects and Methods] In total, 34 healthy male subjects volunteered for this study. To measure GM strength, subjects performed maximal hip joint extension with the knee joints flexed to 90° in the prone position. GM strength was normalized for body weight and height. [Results] GM strength with normalization was positively correlated with hamstring length, whereas GM strength without normalization was negatively correlated with hamstring length. [Conclusion] The normalization of GM strength by body weight and height has the potential to lead to more appropriate conclusions and interpretations about its correlation with hamstring length. Hamstring length may be related to GM strength.

  19. Dietary gossypol suppressed postprandial TOR signaling and elevated ER stress pathways in turbot (Scophthalmus maximus L.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bian, Fuyun; Jiang, Haowen; Man, Mingsan; Mai, Kangsen; Zhou, Huihui; Xu, Wei; He, Gen

    2017-01-01

    Gossypol is known to be a polyphenolic compound toxic to animals. However, its molecular targets are far from fully characterized. To evaluate the physiological and molecular effects of gossypol, we chose turbot (Scophthalmus maximus L.), a carnivorous fish, as our model species. Juvenile turbots (7.83 ± 0.02 g) were fed diets containing gradient levels of gossypol at 0 (G0), 600 (G1), and 1,200 (G2) mg/kg diets for 11 wk. After the feeding trial, fish growth, body protein, and fat contents were significantly reduced in the G2 group compared with those of the G0 group (P TOR) signaling and induced endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress pathway in both the feeding experiment and cell cultures. Our results demonstrated that gossypol inhibited TOR signaling and elevated ER stress pathways both in vivo and in vitro, thus providing new mechanism of action of gossypol in nutritional physiology. Copyright © 2017 the American Physiological Society.

  20. 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.

  1. Settlement and juvenile habitat of the European spiny lobster Palinurus elephas (Crustacea: Decapoda: Palinuridae in the western Mediterranean Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Díaz

    2001-12-01

    Full Text Available Settlement characteristics, like timing, depth, microhabitat and density of European spiny lobster Palinurus elephas are described for the very first time. Regular SCUBA-diving surveys were conducted from July 1998 to January 2000 on rocky bottoms of three different geologic origins to assess substratum-dependent differences in recruitment density. Settlement of pueruli took place in June-July, a few weeks after sea surface temperature started to rise. The highest density of juveniles was found at 10-15 m depth. Most spiny lobsters settled in limestone rocks, into empty holes of the date mussel Lithophaga lithophaga, which provided daytime refuge. As they grew, individuals were increasingly found in larger holes and crevices of the rock surface. Sizes were estimated from photographs taken at night when the animals were actively foraging. The smallest observed individuals measured 7.5-8 mm carapace length (CL, but they reached 15-18 mm CL at the end of October. The consequences of our results for the management of the spiny lobster populations in the northwestern Mediterranean are summarily discussed.

  2. 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.

  3. A demographic model to predict future growth of the Addo elephant population

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.M. Woodd

    1999-07-01

    Full Text Available An age-structured demographic model of the growth of the Addo elephant population was developed using parameters calculated from long-term data on the population. The model was used to provide estimates of future population growth. Expansion of the Addo Elephant National Park is currently underway, and the proposed target population size for elephant within the enlarged park is 2700. The model predicts that this population size will be reached during the year 2043, so that the Addo elephant population can continue to increase for a further 44 years before its target size within the enlarged park is attained.

  4. 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

  5. Camera traps to study the forest elephant's (Loxodonta cyclotis) response to chilli pepper repellent devices in Gamba, Gabon

    OpenAIRE

    Steeve Ngama; Lisa Korte; Mireille Johnson; Cédric Vermeulen; Jérôme Bindelle

    2018-01-01

    In Central Africa, Gabon is a forested country with a rich biodiversity where conflict between wild animals and humans is common and causes innumerable damage to crops. The worst crop raiders are elephants, which can destroy an entire crop in a single night. These raids threaten people's livelihoods as well as elephants because angry farmers often retaliate with killing campaigns against crop raiding elephants. To keep elephants out of farms the use of chilli pepper is recommended as a non-le...

  6. Development of the tush and tusk and tusklessness in African elephant (Loxodonta africana)

    OpenAIRE

    E.J. Raubenheimer

    2000-01-01

    The embryologic development of the tush and tusk of the African elephant was studied by means of serial histologic sections prepared from elephant embryos with masses varying between Ig and 240 g. Statistics on tusklessness obtained during a four year population control programme in the Kruger National Park were analysed and compared with those reported in other elephant reserves in Southern Africa. Maxillae of eight elephant embryos, the maternal histories of which were available in six case...

  7. TL dating of vases with elephant ears in Yuan Dynasty

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xia Junding; Wang Weida; Leung, P.L.

    2005-01-01

    Thermoluminescence (TL) dating using an activation method in pre-dose technique was described. Three vases in underglaze blue with elephant ears and one vase in underglaze red with elephant ears in Yuan Dynasty were dated by this method. The results show that the TL ages are all less than 100 a B.P., and in which sbc 648 and sbc 649 were imitated in recent years. This method is quick, convenient and reliable for porcelain dating with the age of less than 1000 a B.P.. As a comparison, a porcelain sample with underglaze blue in Yuan Dynasty was dated too, and its TL age is 620 ± 140 B.P.. In addition, some complex factors associated with dating have been discussed and a resolution has been raised, which will help improve the accuracy of TL dating. (authors)

  8. DNA analysis indicates that Asian elephants are native to Borneo and are therefore a high priority for conservation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Prithiviraj Fernando

    2003-10-01

    Full Text Available The origin of Borneo's elephants is controversial. Two competing hypotheses argue that they are either indigenous, tracing back to the Pleistocene, or were introduced, descending from elephants imported in the 16th-18th centuries. Taxonomically, they have either been classified as a unique subspecies or placed under the Indian or Sumatran subspecies. If shown to be a unique indigenous population, this would extend the natural species range of the Asian elephant by 1300 km, and therefore Borneo elephants would have much greater conservation importance than if they were a feral population. We compared DNA of Borneo elephants to that of elephants from across the range of the Asian elephant, using a fragment of mitochondrial DNA, including part of the hypervariable d-loop, and five autosomal microsatellite loci. We find that Borneo's elephants are genetically distinct, with molecular divergence indicative of a Pleistocene colonisation of Borneo and subsequent isolation. We reject the hypothesis that Borneo's elephants were introduced. The genetic divergence of Borneo elephants warrants their recognition as a separate evolutionary significant unit. Thus, interbreeding Borneo elephants with those from other populations would be contraindicated in ex situ conservation, and their genetic distinctiveness makes them one of the highest priority populations for Asian elephant conservation.

  9. Discovery of a predynastic elephant burial at Hierakonpolis, Egypt

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara Adams

    1998-11-01

    Full Text Available It has long been known that the ancient Egyptians buried such animals as dogs, baboons and cattle, sometimes in human tombs and sometimes in separate graves of their own. Now excavation in a cemetery associated with the large settlement of Hierakonpolis has led to the unexpected discovery of a 5700-year-old elephant burial. Here the Research Curator of the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology at UCL describes the discovery and discusses its significance.

  10. Prolonged fasting increases glutathione biosynthesis in postweaned northern elephant seals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vázquez-Medina, José Pablo; Zenteno-Savín, Tania; Forman, Henry Jay; Crocker, Daniel E.; Ortiz, Rudy M.

    2011-01-01

    SUMMARY Northern elephant seals experience prolonged periods of absolute food and water deprivation (fasting) while breeding, molting or weaning. The postweaning fast in elephant seals is characterized by increases in the renin–angiotensin system, expression of the oxidant-producing protein Nox4, and NADPH oxidase activity; however, these increases are not correlated with increased oxidative damage or inflammation. Glutathione (GSH) is a potent reductant and a cofactor for glutathione peroxidases (GPx), glutathione-S transferases (GST) and 1-cys peroxiredoxin (PrxVI) and thus contributes to the removal of hydroperoxides, preventing oxidative damage. The effects of prolonged food deprivation on the GSH system are not well described in mammals. To test our hypothesis that GSH biosynthesis increases with fasting in postweaned elephant seals, we measured circulating and muscle GSH content at the early and late phases of the postweaning fast in elephant seals along with the activity/protein content of glutamate-cysteine ligase [GCL; catalytic (GCLc) and modulatory (GCLm) subunits], γ-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT), glutathione disulphide reductase (GR), glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PDH), GST and PrxVI, as well as plasma changes in γ-glutamyl amino acids, glutamate and glutamine. GSH increased two- to four-fold with fasting along with a 40–50% increase in the content of GCLm and GCLc, a 75% increase in GGT activity, a two- to 2.5-fold increase in GR, G6PDH and GST activities and a 30% increase in PrxVI content. Plasma γ-glutamyl glutamine, γ-glutamyl isoleucine and γ-glutamyl methionine also increased with fasting whereas glutamate and glutamine decreased. Results indicate that GSH biosynthesis increases with fasting and that GSH contributes to counteracting hydroperoxide production, preventing oxidative damage in fasting seals. PMID:21430206

  11. 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

  12. Discovery of a predynastic elephant burial at Hierakonpolis, Egypt

    OpenAIRE

    Barbara Adams

    1998-01-01

    It has long been known that the ancient Egyptians buried such animals as dogs, baboons and cattle, sometimes in human tombs and sometimes in separate graves of their own. Now excavation in a cemetery associated with the large settlement of Hierakonpolis has led to the unexpected discovery of a 5700-year-old elephant burial. Here the Research Curator of the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology at UCL describes the discovery and discusses its significance.

  13. Comparative demography of an at-risk African elephant population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wittemyer, George; Daballen, David; Douglas-Hamilton, Iain

    2013-01-01

    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 influenced by human

  14. Elephant's foot phenomenon in liquid storage tanks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chen, C.Q.

    1983-01-01

    This paper presents a method for analyzing the seismic response of a flat bottomed cylindrical liquid storage tank to vertical earthquake excitation. Here, vertical earthquake acceleration is considered to correspond to an increase in the density of a stored liquid. Taking into account the vertical and horizontal earthquake loads, hydrostatic pressure, and considering restrictive moment and shear forces at shell-bottom welded joint, the author has calculated circumferential and longitudinal stresses. These are combined to more accurately approximate the stresses at the base shell course. The calculated result closely conforms to the actual damage, termed ''elephant's foot,'' observed in the fuel storage tanks damaged in the Tangshan earthquake. This result shows that the ''elephant's foot'' phenomenon is not caused by buckling of the tank shell due to longitudinal compressive stresses resulting from horizontal earthquake acceleration, but rather by the combined stresses in the base shell course of the storage tank exceeding the yield strength of the shell course material. The effect due to vertical earthquake load is more than the effect from the horizontal load. Finally, some earthquake resistant methods to prevent the ''elephant's foot'' phenomenon are suggested by the author.

  15. Morphological aspects and composition of African elephant (Loxodonta africana ivory

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    E.J. Raubenheimer

    1999-07-01

    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.

  16. Nearby grandmother enhances calf survival and reproduction in Asian elephants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lahdenperä, Mirkka; Mar, Khyne U; Lummaa, Virpi

    2016-06-10

    Usually animals reproduce into old age, but a few species such as humans and killer whales can live decades after their last reproduction. The grandmother hypothesis proposes that such life-history evolved through older females switching to invest in their existing (grand)offspring, thereby increasing their inclusive fitness and selection for post-reproductive lifespan. However, positive grandmother effects are also found in non-menopausal taxa, but evidence of their associated fitness effects is rare and only a few tests of the hypothesis in such species exist. Here we investigate the grandmother effects in Asian elephants. Using a multigenerational demographic dataset on semi-captive elephants in Myanmar, we found that grandcalves from young mothers (years) had 8 times lower mortality risk if the grandmother resided with her grandcalf compared to grandmothers residing elsewhere. Resident grandmothers also decreased their daughters' inter-birth intervals by one year. In contrast to the hypothesis predictions, the grandmother's own reproductive status did not modify such grandmother benefits. That elephant grandmothers increased their inclusive fitness by enhancing their daughter's reproductive rate and success irrespective of their own reproductive status suggests that fitness-enhancing grandmaternal effects are widespread, and challenge the view that grandmother effects alone select for menopause coupled with long post-reproductive lifespan.

  17. Being stressed outside the park—conservation of African elephants (Loxodonta africana) in Namibia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ringstad, Iris H; Jackson, Craig R; May, Roel; Fossøy, Frode; Uiseb, Kenneth; Killian, Werner; Palme, Rupert; Røskaft, Eivin

    2017-01-01

    Abstract The conservation of the African savanna elephant (Loxodonta africana) is of prime importance for many African countries. Interactions between elephants and humans are known to induce stress and thereby have the potential to affect elephants’ fitness. In Namibia, anthropogenic disturbances are increasing due to increasing human population size and development, particularly near protected areas, such as national parks. In this study, we investigated elephant stress levels in relation to their land use, specifically their protection status, comparing elephants within Etosha National Park in Namibia with elephants residing outside the park. We noninvasively collected dung samples of 91 elephants and determined the concentration of faecal glucocorticoid metabolites (fGCM), an indicator of physiological stress. Elephants outside the park (N = 35) had significantly higher concentrations of fGCM than those inside ENP (N = 56), suggesting that, despite including community-based conservancies, unprotected areas are more stressful for elephants than protected areas, most likely due to increased interactions with humans. We also found that males had lower fGCM concentrations than females, but no significant effect of age, body size or group size was detected. Additionally, herd sizes were significantly smaller and calf recruitment was potentially lower in unprotected areas. These findings underpin the importance of protected areas such as ENP, while encouraging decision-makers to continue reducing and mitigating potential human-induced disturbances. PMID:29270294

  18. Genomic DNA sequences from mastodon and woolly mammoth reveal deep speciation of forest and savanna elephants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nadin Rohland

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available To elucidate the history of living and extinct elephantids, we generated 39,763 bp of aligned nuclear DNA sequence across 375 loci for African savanna elephant, African forest elephant, Asian elephant, the extinct American mastodon, and the woolly mammoth. Our data establish that the Asian elephant is the closest living relative of the extinct mammoth in the nuclear genome, extending previous findings from mitochondrial DNA analyses. We also find that savanna and forest elephants, which some have argued are the same species, are as or more divergent in the nuclear genome as mammoths and Asian elephants, which are considered to be distinct genera, thus resolving a long-standing debate about the appropriate taxonomic classification of the African elephants. Finally, we document a much larger effective population size in forest elephants compared with the other elephantid taxa, likely reflecting species differences in ancient geographic structure and range and differences in life history traits such as variance in male reproductive success.

  19. Survey sequencing and comparative analysis of the elephant shark (Callorhinchus milii genome.

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    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.

  20. Patch-occupancy survey of elephant (Loxodonta africana surrounding Livingstone, Zambia

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    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.

  1. Prospects for managing African elephant population growth by immunocontraception: a review

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Perdok, A.A.; Boer, de W.F.; Stout, T.A.E.

    2007-01-01

    Immunocontraception has been proposed as a tool for managing African elephant populations threatening to. 'outgrow' a wildlife reserve. To date, however, the only immunocontraceptive technique tested on elephant cows is porcine zona pellucida (pZP) vaccination, in which solubilized pZP is injected

  2. 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

  3. Systematic review on the conservation genetics of African savannah elephants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zacarias, Daniel; Bini, Luis Mauricio; Loyola, Rafael

    2016-01-01

    In this paper we review the conservation genetics of African savannah elephants, aiming to understand the spatio-temporal research trends and their underlying factors. As such, we explore three questions associated to the conservation genetics and molecular ecology of these elephants: (1) what are the research trends concerning the conservation genetics of Loxodonta africana ? (2) Do richer countries conduct more research on the genetics of African elephants? (3) Which attributes influence where scholars conduct their research? We examined available peer-reviewed publications from 1993 to 2014 in complementary online databases, including the ISI/Web of Science (WoS), Scopus and Google Scholar (GS), and searched for publications in scientific journals as well as in the reference section of these publications. We analyzed the annual trend of publications in this field of research, including the number of authors, levels of collaboration among authors, year of publication, publishing journal and the countries from where genetic samples were collected. Additionally, we identified main research clusters, authors, and institutional collaborations, based on co-citation and co-occurrence networks. We found that during the study period there was a positive trend in the number of publications and a reduction in the number of authors per paper. Twenty-five countries contributed, with the majority of publications authored by researchers in the USA, Kenya and South Africa. The majority of samples were collected in Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa. Research outputs are associated with the existence of long-term conservation/research projects and research potential as measured by the literacy rate and the number of higher education institutions in a country. Five research clusters were identified, focusing on the origin and evolution of the species, methodological issues and the relatedness among elephant species. Research in this field should be expanded to additional countries

  4. Systematic review on the conservation genetics of African savannah elephants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Zacarias

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Background In this paper we review the conservation genetics of African savannah elephants, aiming to understand the spatio-temporal research trends and their underlying factors. As such, we explore three questions associated to the conservation genetics and molecular ecology of these elephants: (1 what are the research trends concerning the conservation genetics of Loxodonta africana? (2 Do richer countries conduct more research on the genetics of African elephants? (3 Which attributes influence where scholars conduct their research? Materials and Methods We examined available peer-reviewed publications from 1993 to 2014 in complementary online databases, including the ISI/Web of Science (WoS, Scopus and Google Scholar (GS, and searched for publications in scientific journals as well as in the reference section of these publications. We analyzed the annual trend of publications in this field of research, including the number of authors, levels of collaboration among authors, year of publication, publishing journal and the countries from where genetic samples were collected. Additionally, we identified main research clusters, authors, and institutional collaborations, based on co-citation and co-occurrence networks. Results We found that during the study period there was a positive trend in the number of publications and a reduction in the number of authors per paper. Twenty-five countries contributed, with the majority of publications authored by researchers in the USA, Kenya and South Africa. The majority of samples were collected in Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa. Research outputs are associated with the existence of long-term conservation/research projects and research potential as measured by the literacy rate and the number of higher education institutions in a country. Five research clusters were identified, focusing on the origin and evolution of the species, methodological issues and the relatedness among elephant species. Conclusions

  5. Development of the tush and tusk and tusklessness in African elephant (Loxodonta africana

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E.J. Raubenheimer

    2000-07-01

    Full Text Available The embryologic development of the tush and tusk of the African elephant was studied by means of serial histologic sections prepared from elephant embryos with masses varying between Ig and 240 g. Statistics on tusklessness obtained during a four year population control programme in the Kruger National Park were analysed and compared with those reported in other elephant reserves in Southern Africa. Maxillae of eight elephant embryos, the maternal histories of which were available in six cases, were radiographed, dissected and examined microscopically. This study has shown that the tush and tusk develop from one tooth germ in a deciduous to permanent tooth relationship. Tusklessness was found to be unilateral or bilateral and associated with either the absence or presence of a tush. The possible causes of the differences in the frequency of bilateral tusklessness in different elephant populations are discussed.

  6. Asian elephants in China: estimating population size and evaluating habitat suitability.

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    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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

    2014-11-01

    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.

  9. Effect of dietary vitamin E on the sperm quality of turbot ( Scophthalmus maximus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Houguo; Huang, Lina; Liang, Mengqing; Zheng, Keke; Wang, Xinxing

    2015-08-01

    A 3-month feeding experiment was conducted in an in-door seawater system to investigate the effect of dietary vitamin E (Ve) on the sperm quality of turbot ( Scophthalmus maximus). D-α-tocopherol acetate was supplemented to the basal (control) diet (65.14 mg kg-1 Ve) to obtain low and high levels of dietary Ve (244.60 mg kg-1, LVe; 721.60 mg kg-1, HVe). Compared with the control, sperm concentration was significantly increased in Ve-supplemented groups (LVe and HVe); while relative sperm volume and testis-somatic index were significantly increased in group HVe only. Sperm motility duration was significantly longer in group HVe than in the control, but no significant difference was observed in percent motility among groups. Sperm size, the uniformity of mitochondrial size, and the integrity of mitochondria cristae and plasma membrane were improved by dietary Ve, especially in HVe. The content of Ve in testis and liver as well as polyunsaturated fatty acids in sperm increased with dietary Ve. These results suggested that dietary Ve, especially at the high level (721.60 mg kg-1), significantly improved sperm concentration and motility duration and maintained normal sperm morphology of turbot.

  10. Metabolic Post-feeding Changes in Fat Body and Hemolymph of Dipetalogaster maximus (Hemiptera:Reduviidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lilián E Canavoso

    1998-03-01

    Full Text Available Lipids and glycogen in fat body as well as the modifications in the wet weight of this organ were evaluated in an unfed insect, Dipetalogaster maximus, on day 5 after adult ecdysis (time 0 and during a 30-day period after ingestion of blood meal. Total lipids, high density lipophorin (HDLp, carbohydrates, total proteins and uric acid were determined in the hemolymph during the same period. Fat body wet weight was maximum on day 10 post-feeding and represented on day 30 only 42% of the maximum weight. Lipids stored in the fat body increased up to day 15 reaching 24% of the total weight of tissue. Glycogen was maximum on day 20, representing approximately 3% of the fat body weight. HDLp represented at all times between 17-24% of the total proteins, whose levels ranged between 35 and 47 mg/ml. Uric acid showed at 20, 25 and 30 days similar levels and significantly higher than the ones shown at days 10 and 15. Hemolymphatic lipids fluctuated during starvation between 3-4.4 mg/ml and carbohydrates showed a maximum on day 15 after a blood meal, decreasing up to 0.26 mg/ml on day 25. The above results suggest that during physiological events such as starvation, the availability of nutrients is affected, involving principally the fat body reserves

  11. Combined V-Y Fasciocutaneous Advancement and Gluteus Maximus Muscle Rotational Flaps for Treating Sacral Sores

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hyun Ho Han

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The sacral area is the most common site of pressure sore in bed-ridden patients. Though many treatment methods have been proposed, a musculocutaneous flap using the gluteus muscles or a fasciocutaneous flap is the most popular surgical option. Here, we propose a new method that combines the benefits of these 2 methods: combined V-Y fasciocutaneous advancement and gluteus maximus muscle rotational flaps. A retrospective review was performed for 13 patients who underwent this new procedure from March 2011 to December 2013. Patients’ age, sex, accompanying diseases, follow-up duration, surgical details, complications, and recurrence were documented. Computed tomography was performed postoperatively at 2 to 4 weeks and again at 4 to 6 months to identify the thickness and volume of the rotational muscle portion. After surgery, all patients healed within 1 month; 3 patients experienced minor complications. The average follow-up period was 13.6 months, during which time 1 patient had a recurrence (recurrence rate, 7.7%. Average thickness of the rotated muscle was 9.43 mm at 2 to 4 weeks postoperatively and 9.22 mm at 4 to 6 months postoperatively (p=0.087. Muscle thickness had not decreased, and muscle volume was relatively maintained. This modified method is relatively simple and easy for reconstructing sacral sores, provides sufficient padding, and has little muscle donor-site morbidity.

  12. Anti-predator adaptations in a great scallop (Pecten maximus) - a palaeontological perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brom, Krzysztof Roman; Szopa, Krzysztof; Krzykawski, Tomasz; Brachaniec, Tomasz; Salamon, Mariusz Andrzej

    2015-12-01

    Shelly fauna was exposed to increased pressure exerted by shell-crushing durophagous predators during the so-called Mesozoic Marine Revolution that was initiated in the Triassic. As a result of evolutionary `arms race', prey animals such as bivalves, developed many adaptations to reduce predation pressure (e.g. they changed lifestyle and shell morphology in order to increase their mechanical strength). For instance, it was suggested that Pectinidae had acquired the ability to actively swim to avoid predator attack during the early Mesozoic. However, pectinids are also know to have a specific shell microstructure that may effectively protect them against predators. For instance, we highlight that the shells of some recent pectinid species (e.g. Pecten maximus) that display cross-lamellar structures in the middle part playing a significant role in the energy dissipation, improve the mechanical strength. In contrast, the outer layers of these bivalves are highly porous, which allow them to swim more efficiently by reducing the shell weight. Pectinids are thus perfect examples of animals optimising their skeletons for several functions. We suggest that such an optimisation of their skeletons for multiple functions likely occurred as a results of increased predation pressure during the so-called Mesozoic Marine Revolution.

  13. FDG PET/CT and MR imaging of intramuscular myxoma in the gluteus maximus

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    Nishio Jun

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Intramuscular myxoma is a rare benign soft tissue tumor which may be mistaken for other benign and low-grade malignant myxoid neoplasms. We present the case of a 63-year-old woman with an asymptomatic intramuscular myxoma discovered incidentally on a whole-body F-18 fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG positron emission tomography (PET/computed tomography. PET images showed a mild FDG uptake (maximum standardized uptake value, 1.78 in the left gluteus maximus. Subsequent magnetic resonance (MR imaging revealed a well-defined ovoid mass with homogenous low signal intensity on T1-weighted sequences and markedly high signal intensity on T2-weighted sequences. Contrast-enhanced MR images showed heterogeneous enhancement throughout the mass. The diagnosis of intramuscular myxoma was confirmed on histopathology after surgical excision of the tumor. The patient had no local recurrence at one year follow-up. Our case suggests that intramuscular myxoma should be considered in the differential diagnosis of an oval-shaped intramuscular soft tissue mass with a mild FDG uptake.

  14. 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

    2018-04-01

    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.

  15. Conventional versus frozen elephant trunk surgery for extensive disease of the thoracic aorta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Eusanio, Marco; Borger, Michael; Petridis, Francesco D; Leontyev, Sergey; Pantaleo, Antonio; Moz, Monica; Mohr, Friedrich; Di Bartolomeo, Roberto

    2014-11-01

    To compare early and mid-term outcomes after repair of extensive aneurysm of the thoracic aorta using the conventional elephant trunk or frozen elephant trunk (FET) procedures. Fifty-seven patients with extensive thoracic aneurysmal disease were treated using elephant trunk (n = 36) or FET (n = 21) procedures. Patients with aortic dissection, descending thoracic aorta (DTA) diameter less than 40 mm, and thoracoabdominal aneurysms were excluded from the analysis, as were those who did not undergo antegrade selective cerebral perfusion during circulatory arrest. Short-term and mid-term outcomes were compared according to elephant trunk/FET surgical management. Preoperative and intraoperative variables were similar in the two groups, except for a higher incidence of female sex, coronary artery disease and associated procedures in elephant trunk patients. Hospital mortality (elephant trunk: 13.9% versus FET: 4.8%; P = 0.2), permanent neurologic dysfunction (elephant trunk: 5.7% versus FET: 9.5%; P = 0.4) and paraplegia (elephant trunk: 2.9% versus FET: 4.8%; P = 0.6) rates were similar in the two groups. Follow-up was 100% complete. In the elephant trunk group, 68.4% of patients did not undergo a second-stage procedure during follow-up for a variety of reasons. Of these patients, the DTA diameter was greater than 51 mm in 72.2% and two (6.7%) died due to aortic rupture while awaiting stage-two intervention. Endovascular second-stage procedures were successfully performed in all FET patients with residual DTA aneurysmal disease (n = 3), whereas nine of 11 elephant trunk patients who returned for second-stage procedures required conventional surgical replacement through a lateral thoracotomy. Kaplan-Meier estimate of 4-year survival was 75.8 ± 7.6 and 72.8 ± 10.6 in elephant trunk and FET patients, respectively (log-rank P = 0.8). In patients with extensive aneurysmal disease of thoracic aorta, elephant trunk and FET procedures

  16. 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......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...

  17. Water conservation in fasting northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lester, Christopher W; Costa, Daniel P

    2006-11-01

    Prolonged terrestrial fasting is a key element in the life history of elephant seals. While on land seals typically fast without access to fresh water, and thus must maintain positive water balance by reductions in water loss such that they can subsist primarily on metabolic water production (MWP). The terrestrial apnea demonstrated by seals may reduce respiratory evaporative water loss (REWL) to levels that allow seals to make a net gain of water from MWP. We empirically measured REWL in 13 fasting northern elephant seal pups and determined the effects on water conservation of a breathing mode that incorporates a regular pattern of apneas, of > or =1 min in duration, followed by eupneic recovery, compared with a breathing mode with no apneas longer than 20 s and resembling typical breathing patterns in other mammals (normative breathing). Overall REWL fell 41% from 0.075+/-0.013 g min(-1) (mean +/- s.d.) during normative breathing to 0.044+/-0.006 g min(-1) during apneic breathing. The decline in REWL is attributed to a decrease in overall ventilation rate, made possible by a decline in metabolic rate along with an increase in oxygen extraction that would occur during apneic breathing. Data on the range of ambient humidity conditions at the local breeding site were collected and used to bound the range of environmental conditions used in laboratory measurements. Our data showed that the observed variations in ambient humidity had no significant effect on REWL. A combination of apneic breathing and the complex nasal turbinates allows fasting elephant seals to reduce REWL well below the rate of MWP so that they can maintain water balance during the fast.

  18. 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.

  19. New elephant crisis in Asia-Early warning signs from Myanmar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sampson, Christie; McEvoy, John; Oo, Zaw Min; Chit, Aung Myo; Chan, Aung Nyein; Tonkyn, David; Soe, Paing; Songer, Melissa; Williams, A Christy; Reisinger, Klaus; Wittemyer, George; Leimgruber, Peter

    2018-01-01

    In the southern Bago Yoma mountain range in Myanmar, Asian elephants are being killed at a disturbing rate. This emerging crisis was identified initially through a telemetry study when 7 of 19 of collared elephants were poached within a year of being fitted with a satellite-GPS collar. Subsequent follow up of ground teams confirmed the human caused death or disappearance of at least 19 elephants, including the seven collared individuals, within a 35 km2 area in less than two years. The carcasses of 40 additional elephants were found in areas located across south-central Myanmar once systematic surveys began by our team and collaborators. In addition to the extreme rate of loss, this study documents the targeting of elephants for their skin instead of the more common ivory, an increasing trend in Myanmar. Intensive research programs focused on other conservation problems identified this issue and are now encouraging local authorities to prioritize anti-poaching efforts and improve conservation policies within the country. Myanmar represents one of the last remaining countries in Asia with substantial wildlands suitable for elephants. Increasing rates of human-elephant conflict and poaching events in this country pose a dire threat to the global population.

  20. New elephant crisis in Asia-Early warning signs from Myanmar.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christie Sampson

    Full Text Available In the southern Bago Yoma mountain range in Myanmar, Asian elephants are being killed at a disturbing rate. This emerging crisis was identified initially through a telemetry study when 7 of 19 of collared elephants were poached within a year of being fitted with a satellite-GPS collar. Subsequent follow up of ground teams confirmed the human caused death or disappearance of at least 19 elephants, including the seven collared individuals, within a 35 km2 area in less than two years. The carcasses of 40 additional elephants were found in areas located across south-central Myanmar once systematic surveys began by our team and collaborators. In addition to the extreme rate of loss, this study documents the targeting of elephants for their skin instead of the more common ivory, an increasing trend in Myanmar. Intensive research programs focused on other conservation problems identified this issue and are now encouraging local authorities to prioritize anti-poaching efforts and improve conservation policies within the country. Myanmar represents one of the last remaining countries in Asia with substantial wildlands suitable for elephants. Increasing rates of human-elephant conflict and poaching events in this country pose a dire threat to the global population.

  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. Age profiles in elephant and mammoth bone assemblages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haynes, Gary

    1985-11-01

    Age profiles of modern African elephant ( Loxodonta africana) populations are significantly affected by drought conditions that cause local die-offs. Subadult animals die in proportions that may be nearly twice what is recorded in live populations. Such biasing of death sample age profiles might also have occurred during late Pleistocene die-offs of Mammuthus. This comparative study of modern and fossil proboscidean age structures supports a tentative interpretation that late Pleistocene extinction of Mammuthus (at least in the southwestern United States) resulted from severe drought conditions, at which Clovis hunters were witnesses, but not necessarily frequent participants.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. [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 (Pmuscle strength was protected,stretch strength and motor ability of hip joint were recovered well. Among them,31 cases got excellent results and 4 good. For severe gluteal muscles contracture,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.

  8. Evidence for distinct roles of the SEPALLATA gene LEAFY HULL STERILE1 in Eleusine indica and Megathyrsus maximus (Poaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reinheimer, Renata; Malcomber, Simon T; Kellogg, Elizabeth A

    2006-01-01

    LEAFY HULL STERILE1 (LHS1) is an MIKC-type MADS-box gene in the SEPALLATA class. Expression patterns of LHS1 homologs vary among species of grasses, and may be involved in determining palea and lemma morphology, specifying the terminal floret of the spikelet, and sex determination. Here we present LHS1 expression data from Eleusine indica (subfamily Chloridoideae) and Megathyrsus maximus (subfamily Panicoideae) to provide further insights into the hypothesized roles of the gene. E. indica has spikelets with three to eight florets that mature acropetally; E. indica LHS1 (EiLHS1) is expressed in the palea and lemma of all florets. In contrast, M. maximus has spikelets with two florets that mature basipetally; M. maximus LHS1 (MmLHS1) is expressed in the palea and lemma of the distal floret only. These data are consistent with the hypothesis that LHS1 plays a role in determining palea and lemma morphology and specifies the terminal floret of basipetally maturing grass spikelets. However, LHS1 expression does not correlate with floret sex expression; MmLHS1 is restricted to the bisexual distal floret, whereas EiLHS1 is expressed in both sterile and bisexual floret meristems. Phylogenetic analyses reconstruct a complex pattern of LHS1 expression evolution in grasses. LHS1 expression within the gynoecium has apparently been lost twice, once before diversification of a major clade within tribe Paniceae, and once in subfamily Chloridoideae. These data suggest that LHS1 has multiple roles during spikelet development and may have played a role in the diversification of spikelet morphology.

  9. 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

  10. [Intravascular Hemolysis Caused by Stenosis of an Elephant Trunk;Report of a Case].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takamaru, Rikako; Kawahito, Koji; Aizawa, Kei; Misawa, Yoshio

    2017-07-01

    Symptomatic intravascular hemolysis after prosthetic aortic graft replacement is rare. It is primarily attributed to mechanical injury of red blood cells caused by stenosis of the vascular graft. A 50-year-old man presented with hemolytic anemia, 5 years after total arch replacement with an elephant trunk for type A aortic dissection. The hemolysis was caused by graft stenosis of the elephant trunk. Endovascular treatment for the stenotic elephant trunk was successfully performed. The postoperative course was uneventful, and the hemolysis was resolved immediately after operation.

  11. 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.

  12. Well-Being Impacts of Human-Elephant Conflict in Khumaga, Botswana: Exploring Visible and Hidden Dimensions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Allison L Mayberry

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available High densities of wild African savannah elephants (Loxodonta africana combined with widespread human land-use have increased human-elephant conflict in northern Botswana. Visible impacts (e.g. crop/property damage, injury/fatality of elephants on human well-being are well documented in scholarly literature while hidden impacts (e.g. emotional stress, restricted mobility are less so. This research uses qualitative methods to explore human experiences with elephants and perceived impacts of elephants on human well-being. Findings reveal participants are concerned about food insecurity and associated visible impacts of elephant crop raids. Findings also reveal participants are concerned about reduced safety and restricted mobility as hidden impacts threatening livelihoods and everyday life. Both visible and hidden impacts of elephants contribute to people's negative feelings towards elephants, as does the broader political context. This research emphasises the importance of investigating both visible and hidden impacts of elephants on human well-being to foster holistic understanding of human-elephant conflict scenarios and to inform future mitigation strategies.

  13. The factory of illusions in the ‘Third Rome’:Circus Maximus as a space of fascist simulation

    OpenAIRE

    Kallis, Aristotle

    2014-01-01

    Although the site of the ancient Circus Maximus was one of the most loaded spaces of the Fascist ‘Third Rome’, it has received limited attention as a privileged site where a dizzying array of myths and illusions were entertained, simulated, and deposited as new Fascist layers on Rome’s urban and mnemonic palimpsest. Previously a decayed, ‘unsightly’, and overcrowded hodgepodge of layers of life, history, and memory, it was substantially restored, ruthlessly emptied of its previous life, and t...

  14. The social and ecological integration of captive-raised adolescent male African elephants (Loxodonta africana into a wild population.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kate Evans

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: 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. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: 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. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: 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

  15. Certification for Trace Elements and Methyl Mercury Mass Fractions in IAEA-452 Scallop (Pecten maximus) Sample

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2013-01-01

    to poor environmental management decisions. The IAEA has a long history of organizing interlaboratory studies, which have evolved to include an increasing array of potential contaminants in the marine environment. A marine certified reference material (CRM), IAEA-452, prepared with a scallop (Pecten maximus) sample, was recently produced by the IAEA and certified for trace elements and methylmercury (MeHg). This species of scallop is a common, widely consumed seafood that is also used as a bioindicator for trace metal contamination in marine pollution studies. This publication presents the sample preparation methodology, material homogeneity and stability studies, evaluation of certification campaign results, and assignment of property values and their associated uncertainty. The reference values and associated expanded uncertainty for nine trace elements (As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Hg, Mn, Pb and Zn) and MeHg in the scallop sample are established. The informative value for one more element (Ni) is also given. The new CRM can be used for the development and validation of analytical methods in the determination of trace elements and MeHg in seafood Pecten maximus as well as for QA/QC purposes

  16. Variation in size and growth of the great scallop Pecten maximus along a latitudinal gradient.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laurent Chauvaud

    Full Text Available Understanding the relationship between growth and temperature will aid in the evaluation of thermal stress and threats to ectotherms in the context of anticipated climate changes. Most Pecten maximus scallops living at high latitudes in the northern hemisphere have a larger maximum body size than individuals further south, a common pattern among many ectotherms. We investigated differences in daily shell growth among scallop populations along the Northeast Atlantic coast from Spain to Norway. This study design allowed us to address precisely whether the asymptotic size observed along a latitudinal gradient, mainly defined by a temperature gradient, results from differences in annual or daily growth rates, or a difference in the length of the growing season. We found that low annual growth rates in northern populations are not due to low daily growth values, but to the smaller number of days available each year to achieve growth compared to the south. We documented a decrease in the annual number of growth days with age regardless of latitude. However, despite initially lower annual growth performances in terms of growing season length and growth rate, differences in asymptotic size as a function of latitude resulted from persistent annual growth performances in the north and sharp declines in the south. Our measurements of daily growth rates throughout life in a long-lived ectothermic species provide new insight into spatio-temporal variations in growth dynamics and growing season length that cannot be accounted for by classical growth models that only address asymptotic size and annual growth rate.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Estimating population sizes for elusive animals: the forest elephants of Kakum National Park, Ghana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eggert, L S; Eggert, J A; Woodruff, D S

    2003-06-01

    African forest elephants are difficult to observe in the dense vegetation, and previous studies have relied upon indirect methods to estimate population sizes. Using multilocus genotyping of noninvasively collected samples, we performed a genetic survey of the forest elephant population at Kakum National Park, Ghana. We estimated population size, sex ratio and genetic variability from our data, then combined this information with field observations to divide the population into age groups. Our population size estimate was very close to that obtained using dung counts, the most commonly used indirect method of estimating the population sizes of forest elephant populations. As their habitat is fragmented by expanding human populations, management will be increasingly important to the persistence of forest elephant populations. The data that can be obtained from noninvasively collected samples will help managers plan for the conservation of this keystone species.

  20. 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

  1. Blood Volume and Other Hematologic Values in Young Elephant Seals (Mirounga angustirostris)

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Simpson, John G; Gilmartin, William G; Ridgway, Sam H

    1970-01-01

    ... (Mirounga angustirostris) by a method that could be accurate to 2 percent. The blood volumes of 7 young northern elephant seals were analyzed using a dilution of radioactive iodinated human serum albumin...

  2. Generation and Analysis of Full-length cDNA Sequences from Elephant Shark (Callorhinchus milii)

    KAUST Repository

    Kodzius, Rimantas; Tay, Boon-Hui; Tan, Yue Ying; Brenner, Sydney; Venkatesh, Byrappa

    2009-01-01

    Cartilaginous fishes are the oldest living group of jawed vertebrates and therefore is an important group for understanding the evolution of vertebrate genomes including the human genome. Our laboratory has proposed elephant shark (C. milii) as a

  3. Effect of supplementing crossbt·ed lactating dairy cows fed elephant ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Effect of supplementing lactating c.rosshrcd dairy cows fed on elephant grass based diets with labjab hay ... causes a reduction in overall digestibility of herbage dry matter. ..... Selected Topics in animal. Nutrition. ... Working paper No. 99:pp.

  4. Relación entre la colonización de la encina por Curculio elephas Gyllenhal (Coleoptera, Curculionidae) y el periodo de caída natural de frutos

    OpenAIRE

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

    2005-01-01

    En un encinar del SW de España se ha realizado el seguimiento de una población del gorgojo Curculio elephas Gyll. (Coleóptera, Curculionidae) durante 2001 y 2002. La finalidad del trabajo fue valorar y relacionar la incidencia de la infestación del insecto con el proceso de maduración y caída natural de frutos de la encina. Durante ...

  5. 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......-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....

  6. Meiosis in elephant grass (Pennisetum purpureum), pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum) (Poaceae, Poales) and their interspecific hybrids

    OpenAIRE

    Techio, Vânia Helena; Davide, Lisete Chamma; Pereira, Antônio Vander

    2006-01-01

    The cultivated and sexually compatible species Pennisetum purpureum (elephant grass, 2n = 4x = 28) and Pennisetum glaucum (pearl millet, 2n = 2x = 14) can undergo hybridization which favors the amplification of their genetic background and the introgression of favorable alleles into breeding programs. The main problem with interspecific hybrids of these species is infertility due to triploidy (2n = 3x = 21). This study describes meiosis in elephant grass x pearl millet hybrids and their proge...

  7. 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

  8. 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%.

  9. 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

  10. Molecular Indicators of Chronic Stress in a Model Pinniped - The Northern Elephant Seal

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    Pinniped - The Northern Elephant Seal Cory Champagne , Jane Kyudyakov, & Dorian Houser National Marine Mammal Foundation 2240 Shelter Island Dr, Suite...in studies of stress and its impacts ( Champagne et al, 2012). Measurements will be conducted in juvenile elephant seals that reliably haul out each...their large adipose stores) and a reduced amino acid release (potentially resulting from a protein sparing adaptation during fasting; Champagne et

  11. Effects of trajectory exercise using a laser pointer on electromyographic activities of the gluteus maximus and erector spinae during bridging exercises.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Yu-Ri; Yoo, Won-Gyu

    2016-01-01

    [Purpose] The purpose of this study was to investigate activities of the hip extensors and erector spinae during bridging exercise by using instruments with a laser pointer on the pelvic belt. [Subjects] Twelve subjects (age, 23 to 33 years) with non-specific low back pain volunteered for this study. [Methods] Subjects performed bridging exercises with and without trajectory exercises by using a laser pointer fixed to a pelvic strap. The erector spinae, gluteus maximus and hamstring activities with and without trajectory exercises using a laser pointer were recorded on using electromyography. [Results] Compared to the without laser pointer group, the group that underwent bridging with trajectory exercises using a laser pointer had significantly higher gluteus maximus activity and significantly lower erector spinae activity. Significantly higher gluteus maximus/erector spinae activity ratios were observed when performing trajectory exercises using a laser pointer during bridging exercises. [Conclusion] This result suggests that trajectory exercises using a laser pointer during a bridging exercise would be effective for improving gluteus maximus activity.

  12. Optimal graft diameter and location reduce postoperative complications after total arch replacement with long elephant trunk for arch aneurysm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kondoh, Haruhiko; Funatsu, Toshihiro; Toda, Koich; Kainuma, Satoshi; Kuki, Satoru; Taniguchi, Kazuhiro

    2011-08-01

    Total arch replacement with an elephant trunk is a standard treatment for arch aneurysm, but serious complications, such as paraplegia and peripheral embolization caused by flapping of the elephant trunk, remain. Moreover, dilation of the descending aorta and retrograde flow into the peri-graft space at the distal elephant trunk are frequent problems. We hypothesized that optimal graft diameter and location would reduce complications after total arch replacement with a long elephant trunk by achieving complete thrombosis and minimal dilation of the descending aorta around the elephant trunk. We treated 65 patients with arch aneurysm by total arch replacement with a long elephant trunk anastomosed at the base of the innominate artery. The graft diameter was undersized (10%-20% of the distal aorta's diameter). Elephant trunk length was determined by preoperative computed tomography to locate the distal end at Th6 to Th8. Thrombosis around the elephant trunk, diameter of the descending aorta, and distance between the descending aorta and the graft near the distal end of the elephant trunk were evaluated using computed tomography. The distal end of the elephant trunk was located at Th 8 ± 1. There were no operative deaths, 3 patients (5%) died in the hospital, and 3 patients (5%) experienced spinal cord injury, including 1 in whom permanent paraplegia developed. Computed tomography revealed complete thrombosis around the elephant trunk in 58 patients (89%). The descending aorta did not dilate further, and distance between the descending aorta and the graft progressively decreased. Optimal graft diameter and location minimized postoperative complications, with complete thrombosis and no dilation of the descending aorta around the long elephant trunk in most patients. Copyright © 2011 The American Association for Thoracic Surgery. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. A survey of elephant husbandry and foot health in North American zoos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Karen D; Shepherdson, David J; Owens, Terrah M; Keele, Mike

    2010-01-01

    The foot health of elephants in human care is a longstanding concern. In 2001, the AZA Standards for Elephant Management and Care were published recommending husbandry to improve foot health. This article reports the results of a 2006 survey: basic statistics describing facility, husbandry, and foot health attributes are reported and relationships among variables are investigated. Median area available to elephants exceeded Standard recommendations (755 ft(2) per elephant indoor and 10,000 ft(2) outdoor). Concrete makes up 69% of indoor area and natural substrates account for 85% of outdzoor area. Elephants in AZA facilities received an average of 45.5 min/day of exercise, and facilities with a structured exercise plan provided significantly more exercise than did facilities without a structured exercise plan (z=-2.522, P=0.012). Enrichment is important to psychological health and may also stimulate activity beneficial to foot health; 95% of institutions had a structured enrichment program. Preventative foot care was nearly universal, and 100% of facilities performed routine nail and pad trimming. However, foot pathology has not been eradicated; 33% of institutions reported at least one pathology in the previous year. This study found a strong inverse relationship between foot pathology and exercise (chi(2)(3)=24.34, Pelephants seemed to experience lower rates of foot pathology and arthritis than Asian elephants; however, this was explained by differences in age.

  17. 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.

  18. Mediational influence of spent mushroom compost on phytoremediation of black-oil hydrocarbon polluted soil and response of Megathyrsus maximus Jacq.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asemoloye, Michael Dare; Jonathan, Segun Gbolagade; Jayeola, Adeniyi A; Ahmad, Rafiq

    2017-09-15

    Ability of a plant to develop different adaptive strategies can also determine its capability for effective soil remediation. In this study, influence of spent mushroom compost (SMC) was tested on the phytoremediation of black oil hydrocarbon polluted soil and the response of Megathyrsus maximus (guinea grass). Studies were carried out in microcosm conditions by mixing different concentration of SMC viz., 10, 20, 30 and 40% in a 5 kg of contaminated soil along with control. Seeds of M. maximus was sown in tray for two weeks and allowed to grow for height of 10 cm and transplanted in to the different experimental pots. Soil nutrient, heavy metal and PAH contents were analyzed before and after the experiment. Ecophysiological and anatomical responses due to the contaminants in the soil by M. Maximus were analyzed after 120 days. Phytomass efficiency, potential photosynthesis (Amax) and contents of chlorophylls (a and b) as well as the total chlorophyll along with anatomical evaluations were recorded. Plant alone (control) reduced the soil heavy metal and PAH contents but further improvements were observed in SMC treatments, similar results were also observed as regards to the plant's phytoremediation efficiency (PE), phytomass and potential photosynthetic rates (m mol O 2  M -2 S -1 ). The plant's root and shoot anatomical responses were enhanced in treatments compared to control, study infers that the treatment enhances the biostimulation and development of adaptive characteristics for M. maximus survival in contaminated soils and promotes its co-degradation of hydrocarbon. SMC supports remediation and as well enhances the anatomical evaluations, we therefore recommend the use of SMC on response of Megathyrsus maximus Jacq for remediation of petrochemical based phytoremediation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Effect of stocking density on performances of juvenile turbot ( Scophthalmus maximus) in recirculating aquaculture systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xian; Liu, Ying; Blancheton, Jean-Paul

    2013-05-01

    Limited information has been available about the influence of loading density on the performances of Scophthalmus maximus, especially in recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS). In this study, turbot (13.84±2.74 g; average weight±SD) were reared at four different initial densities (low 0.66, medium 1.26, sub-high 2.56, high 4.00 kg/m2) for 10 weeks in RAS at 23±1°C. Final densities were 4.67, 7.25, 14.16, and 17.47 kg/m2, respectively, which translate to 82, 108, 214, and 282 percent coverage of the tank bottom. Density had both negative and independent impacts on growth. The final mean weight, specific growth rate (SGR), and voluntary feed intake significantly decreased and the coefficient of variation (CV) of final body weight increased with increase in stocking density. The medium and sub-high density groups did not differ significantly in SGR, mean weight, CV, food conversion rate (FCR), feed intake, blood parameters, and digestive enzymes. The protease activities of the digestive tract at pH 7, 8.5, 9, and 10 were significantly higher for the highest density group, but tended to be lower (not significantly) at pH 4 and 8.5 for the lowest density group. The intensity of protease activity was inversely related to feed intake at the different densities. Catalase activity was higher (but not significantly) at the highest density, perhaps because high density started to induce an oxidative effect in turbot. In conclusion, turbot can be cultured in RAS at a density of less than 17.47 kg/m2. With good water quality and no feed limitation, initial density between 1.26 and 2.56 kg/m2 (final: 7.25 and 14.16 kg/m2) would not negatively affect the turbot cultured in RAS. For culture at higher density, multi-level feeding devices are suggested to ease feeding competition.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Age structure of elephants in Liwonde National Park, Malawi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Bhima

    1997-08-01

    Full Text Available The age structure of the elephant population in Liwonde National Park, Malawi was determined for the first time in 1993 and again in 1995 using the photogrammetric method. Sampling was done during a four year-long severe drought from 1991/92 to 1994/95. The drought reached its highest intensity in the first year. Therefore, the study also attempted to assess the impact of the drought on the population. The results show that the population consisted of mostly young animals 20 years old - 18.3 and 20.5 . The population is young and growing. The prolonged drought did not have any significant impact on the population.

  3. Performance of rotary kiln reactor for the elephant grass pyrolysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Conto, D; Silvestre, W P; Baldasso, C; Godinho, M

    2016-10-01

    The influence of process conditions (rotary speed/temperature) on the performance of a rotary kiln reactor for non-catalytic pyrolysis of a perennial grass (elephant grass) was investigated. The product yields, the production of non-condensable gases as well as the biochar properties were evaluated. The maximum H2 yield was close to that observed for catalytic pyrolysis processes, while the bio-oil yield was higher than reported for pyrolysis of other biomass in rotary kiln reactors. A H2/CO ratio suitable for Fischer-Tropsch synthesis (FTS) was obtained. The biochars presented an alkaline pH (above 10) and interesting contents of nutrients, as well as low electrical conductivity, indicating a high potential as soil amendment. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Establishing the fundamentals for an elephant early warning and monitoring system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeppelzauer, Matthias; Stoeger, Angela S

    2015-09-04

    The decline of habitat for elephants due to expanding human activity is a serious conservation problem. This has continuously escalated the human-elephant conflict in Africa and Asia. Elephants make extensive use of powerful infrasonic calls (rumbles) that travel distances of up to several kilometers. This makes elephants well-suited for acoustic monitoring because it enables detecting elephants even if they are out of sight. In sight, their distinct visual appearance makes them a good candidate for visual monitoring. We provide an integrated overview of our interdisciplinary project that established the scientific fundamentals for a future early warning and monitoring system for humans who regularly experience serious conflict with elephants. We first draw the big picture of an early warning and monitoring system, then review the developed solutions for automatic acoustic and visual detection, discuss specific challenges and present open future work necessary to build a robust and reliable early warning and monitoring system that is able to operate in situ. We present a method for the automated detection of elephant rumbles that is robust to the diverse noise sources present in situ. We evaluated the method on an extensive set of audio data recorded under natural field conditions. Results show that the proposed method outperforms existing approaches and accurately detects elephant rumbles. Our visual detection method shows that tracking elephants in wildlife videos (of different sizes and postures) is feasible and particularly robust at near distances. From our project results we draw a number of conclusions that are discussed and summarized. We clearly identified the most critical challenges and necessary improvements of the proposed detection methods and conclude that our findings have the potential to form the basis for a future automated early warning system for elephants. We discuss challenges that need to be solved and summarize open topics in the context of

  5. Stress and body condition are associated with climate and demography in Asian elephants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mumby, Hannah S; Mar, Khyne U; Thitaram, Chatchote; Courtiol, Alexandre; Towiboon, Patcharapa; Min-Oo, Zaw; Htut-Aung, Ye; Brown, Janine L; Lummaa, Virpi

    2015-01-01

    Establishing links between ecological variation, physiological markers of stress and demography is crucial for understanding how and why changes in environmental conditions affect population dynamics, and may also play a key role for conservation efforts of endangered species. However, detailed longitudinal studies of long-lived species are rarely available. We test how two markers of stress and body condition vary through the year and are associated with climatic conditions and large-scale mortality and fertility variation in the world's largest semi-captive population of Asian elephants employed in the timber industry in Myanmar. Glucocorticoid metabolites (used as a proxy for stress levels in 75 elephants) and body weight (used as a proxy for condition in 116 elephants) were monitored monthly across a typical monsoon cycle and compared with birth and death patterns of the entire elephant population over half a century (n = 2350). Our results show seasonal variation in both markers of stress and condition. In addition, this variation is correlated with population-level demographic variables. Weight is inversely correlated with population mortality rates 1 month later, and glucocorticoid metabolites are negatively associated with birth rates. Weight shows a highly positive correlation with rainfall 1 month earlier. Determining the factors associated with demography may be key to species conservation by providing information about the correlates of mortality and fertility patterns. The unsustainability of the studied captive population has meant that wild elephants have been captured and tamed for work. By elucidating the correlates of demography in captive elephants, our results offer management solutions that could reduce the pressure on the wild elephant population in Myanmar.

  6. Elephant movement closely tracks precipitation-driven vegetation dynamics in a Kenyan forest-savanna landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bohrer, Gil; Beck, Pieter Sa; Ngene, Shadrack M; Skidmore, Andrew K; Douglas-Hamilton, Ian

    2014-01-01

    This study investigates the ranging behavior of elephants in relation to precipitation-driven dynamics of vegetation. Movement data were acquired for five bachelors and five female family herds during three years in the Marsabit protected area in Kenya and changes in vegetation were mapped using MODIS normalized difference vegetation index time series (NDVI). In the study area, elevations of 650 to 1100 m.a.s.l experience two growth periods per year, while above 1100 m.a.s.l. growth periods last a year or longer. We find that elephants respond quickly to changes in forage and water availability, making migrations in response to both large and small rainfall events. The elevational migration of individual elephants closely matched the patterns of greening and senescing of vegetation in their home range. Elephants occupied lower elevations when vegetation activity was high, whereas they retreated to the evergreen forest at higher elevations while vegetation senesced. Elephant home ranges decreased in size, and overlapped less with increasing elevation. A recent hypothesis that ungulate migrations in savannas result from countervailing seasonally driven rainfall and fertility gradients is demonstrated, and extended to shorter-distance migrations. In other words, the trade-off between the poor forage quality and accessibility in the forest with its year-round water sources on the one hand and the higher quality forage in the low-elevation scrubland with its seasonal availability of water on the other hand, drives the relatively short migrations (the two main corridors are 20 and 90 km) of the elephants. In addition, increased intra-specific competition appears to influence the animals' habitat use during the dry season indicating that the human encroachment on the forest is affecting the elephant population.

  7. The Mitotic and Metabolic Effects of Phosphatidic Acid in the Primary Muscle Cells of Turbot (Scophthalmus maximus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tingting Wang

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Searching for nutraceuticals and understanding the underlying mechanism that promote fish growth is at high demand for aquaculture industry. In this study, the modulatory effects of soy phosphatidic acids (PA on cell proliferation, nutrient sensing, and metabolic pathways were systematically examined in primary muscle cells of turbot (Scophthalmus maximus. PA was found to stimulate cell proliferation and promote G1/S phase transition through activation of target of rapamycin signaling pathway. The expression of myogenic regulatory factors, including myoD and follistatin, was upregulated, while that of myogenin and myostatin was downregulated by PA. Furthermore, PA increased intracellular free amino acid levels and enhanced protein synthesis, lipogenesis, and glycolysis, while suppressed amino acid degradation and lipolysis. PA also was found to increased cellular energy production through stimulated tricarboxylic acid cycle and oxidative phosphorylation. Our results identified PA as a potential nutraceutical that stimulates muscle cell proliferation and anabolism in fish.

  8. Insights into the mechanism of ligand binding to octopine dehydrogenase from Pecten maximus by NMR and crystallography.

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    Sander H J Smits

    Full Text Available Octopine dehydrogenase (OcDH from the adductor muscle of the great scallop, Pecten maximus, catalyzes the NADH dependent, reductive condensation of L-arginine and pyruvate to octopine, NAD(+, and water during escape swimming and/or subsequent recovery. The structure of OcDH was recently solved and a reaction mechanism was proposed which implied an ordered binding of NADH, L-arginine and finally pyruvate. Here, the order of substrate binding as well as the underlying conformational changes were investigated by NMR confirming the model derived from the crystal structures. Furthermore, the crystal structure of the OcDH/NADH/agmatine complex was determined which suggests a key role of the side chain of L-arginine in protein cataylsis. Thus, the order of substrate binding to OcDH as well as the molecular signals involved in octopine formation can now be described in molecular detail.

  9. a Method for Virtual Anastylosis: the Case of the Arch of Titus at the Circus Maximus in Rome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Canciani, M.; Falcolini, C.; Buonfiglio, M.; Pergola, S.; Saccone, M.; Mammì, B.; Romito, G.

    2013-07-01

    This paper is the first report about the development of a methodology for the virtual Anastylosis of elements belonging to an archaeological site, based on the 3d modeling of fragments. This research is the result of the cooperation between Università Roma Tre, Dipartimento di Architettura and Sovrintendenza Capitolina ai Beni Culturali; several 3D survey, modeling, information systems and archaeology experts were involved. The purpose of the research was to study the complex and stratified site of the Arch of Titus at the Circus Maximus aiming, first of all, at completing the existing traditional graphic documentation using cataloguing and survey innovative methodologies, and, secondly, at supporting new proposals for the reconstruction and Anastylosis of the Arch itself. This tested methodology whose fundamental element is the three-dimensional textured model of each fragment, can also be used in other sites and contexts.

  10. Spatial changes in fatty acids signatures of the great scallop Pecten maximus across the Bay of Biscay continental shelf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nerot, Caroline; Meziane, Tarik; Schaal, Gauthier; Grall, Jacques; Lorrain, Anne; Paulet, Yves-Marie; Kraffe, Edouard

    2015-10-01

    The spatial variability of food resources along continental margins can strongly influence the physiology and ecology of benthic bivalves. We explored the variability of food sources of the great scallop Pecten maximus, by determining their fatty acid (FA) composition along an inshore-offshore gradient in the Bay of Biscay (from 15 to 190 m depth). The FA composition of the digestive gland showed strong differences between shallow and deep-water habitats. This trend was mainly driven by their content in diatom-characteristic fatty acids, which are abundant near the coast. Scallops collected from the middle of the continental shelf were characterized by higher contents of flagellate markers than scallops from shallow habitats. This could be related to a permanent vertical stratification in the water column, which reduced vertical mixing of waters, thereby enhancing organic matter recycling through the microbial loop. In the deeper water station (190 m), FA compositions were close to the compositions found in scallops from shallow areas, which suggest that scallops could have access to the same resources (i.e. diatoms). Muscle FA composition was more indicative of the physiological state of scallops over this depth range, revealing contrasting reproductive strategies among the two coastal sites and metabolic or physiological adaptation at greater depth (e.g. structural and functional adjustments of membrane composition). This study therefore revealed contrasted patterns between shallow and deeper habitats for both P. maximus muscle and digestive gland tissues. This emphasizes the variability in the diet of this species along its distribution range, and stresses the importance of analyzing different tissues for their FA composition in order to better understand their physiology and ecology.

  11. Survey of Forest Elephants Loxodonta cyclotis (Matschie, 1900 (Mammalia: Proboscidea: Elephantidae in the Bia Conservation Area, Ghana

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    Emmanuel Danquah

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Information on elephant ranges and numbers is vital for effective conservation and management, especially in western Africa where elephant populations are small and scattered.  The Bia Conservation Area (BCA in southwestern Ghana is a priority site for the conservation of Forest Elephants in western Africa.  A dung count was conducted using a systematic segmented track line design to determine the density and distribution of the BCA elephant population.  The mean density of dung-piles was 452.15 per sq.km. and mean dung survival time was estimated to be 54.64 days (SD 2 days, leading to an estimate of 146 elephants (95% confidence interval 98-172 with a density of 0.48/km2 for the BCA. This estimate probably makes the Bia forest elephant population the largest in Ghana.  Records of BCA elephant activities were also made.  This study augments the Regional African Elephant Database and should facilitate strategic planning and management programmes.

  12. Synergistic effects of fire and elephants on arboreal animals in an African savanna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pringle, Robert M; Kimuyu, Duncan M; Sensenig, Ryan L; Palmer, Todd M; Riginos, Corinna; Veblen, Kari E; Young, Truman P

    2015-11-01

    Disturbance is a crucial determinant of animal abundance, distribution and community structure in many ecosystems, but the ways in which multiple disturbance types interact remain poorly understood. The effects of multiple-disturbance interactions can be additive, subadditive or super-additive (synergistic). Synergistic effects in particular can accelerate ecological change; thus, characterizing such synergies, the conditions under which they arise, and how long they persist has been identified as a major goal of ecology. We factorially manipulated two principal sources of disturbance in African savannas, fire and elephants, and measured their independent and interactive effects on the numerically dominant vertebrate (the arboreal gekkonid lizard Lygodactylus keniensis) and invertebrate (a guild of symbiotic Acacia ants) animal species in a semi-arid Kenyan savanna. Elephant exclusion alone (minus fire) had negligible effects on gecko density. Fire alone (minus elephants) had negligible effects on gecko density after 4 months, but increased gecko density twofold after 16 months, likely because the decay of fire-damaged woody biomass created refuges and nest sites for geckos. In the presence of elephants, fire increased gecko density nearly threefold within 4 months of the experimental burn; this occurred because fire increased the incidence of elephant damage to trees, which in turn improved microhabitat quality for geckos. However, this synergistic positive effect of fire and elephants attenuated over the ensuing year, such that only the main effect of fire was evident after 16 months. Fire also altered the structure of symbiotic plant-ant assemblages occupying the dominant tree species (Acacia drepanolobium); this influenced gecko habitat selection but did not explain the synergistic effect of fire and elephants. However, fire-driven shifts in plant-ant occupancy may have indirectly mediated this effect by increasing trees' susceptibility to elephant damage. Our

  13. Expression of Wnt signaling skeletal development genes in the cartilaginous fish, elephant shark (Callorhinchus milii).

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Souza, Damian G; Rana, Kesha; Milley, Kristi M; MacLean, Helen E; Zajac, Jeffrey D; Bell, Justin; Brenner, Sydney; Venkatesh, Byrappa; Richardson, Samantha J; Danks, Janine A

    2013-11-01

    Jawed vertebrates (Gnasthostomes) are broadly separated into cartilaginous fishes (Chondricthyes) and bony vertebrates (Osteichthyes). Cartilaginous fishes are divided into chimaeras (e.g. ratfish, rabbit fish and elephant shark) and elasmobranchs (e.g. sharks, rays and skates). Both cartilaginous fish and bony vertebrates are believed to have a common armoured bony ancestor (Class Placodermi), however cartilaginous fish are believed to have lost bone. This study has identified and investigated genes involved in skeletal development in vertebrates, in the cartilaginous fish, elephant shark (Callorhinchus milii). Ctnnb1 (β-catenin), Sfrp (secreted frizzled protein) and a single Sost or Sostdc1 gene (sclerostin or sclerostin domain-containing protein 1) were identified in the elephant shark genome and found to be expressed in a number of tissues, including cartilage. β-catenin was also localized in several elephant shark tissues. The expression of these genes, which belong to the Wnt/β-catenin pathway, is required for normal bone formation in mammals. These findings in the cartilaginous skeleton of elephant shark support the hypothesis that the common ancestor of cartilaginous fishes and bony vertebrates had the potential for making bone. Crown Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Molecular characterization of Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates from elephants of Nepal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paudel, Sarad; Mikota, Susan K; Nakajima, Chie; Gairhe, Kamal P; Maharjan, Bhagwan; Thapa, Jeewan; Poudel, Ajay; Shimozuru, Michito; Suzuki, Yasuhiko; Tsubota, Toshio

    2014-05-01

    Mycobacterium tuberculosis was cultured from the lung tissues of 3 captive elephants in Nepal that died with extensive lung lesions. Spoligotyping, TbD1 detection and multi-locus variable number of tandem repeat analysis (MLVA) results suggested 3 isolates belonged to a specific lineage of Indo-Oceanic clade, EAI5 SIT 138. One of the elephant isolates had a new synonymous single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) T231C in the gyrA sequence, and the same SNP was also found in human isolates in Nepal. MLVA results and transfer history of the elephants suggested that 2 of them might be infected with M. tuberculosis from the same source. These findings indicated the source of M. tuberculosis infection of those elephants were local residents, presumably their handlers. Further investigation including detailed genotyping of elephant and human isolates is needed to clarify the infection route and eventually prevent the transmission of tuberculosis to susceptible hosts. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Information content and acoustic structure of male African elephant social rumbles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoeger, Angela S; Baotic, Anton

    2016-06-08

    Until recently, the prevailing theory about male African elephants (Loxodonta africana) was that, once adult and sexually mature, males are solitary and targeted only at finding estrous females. While this is true during the state of 'musth' (a condition characterized by aggressive behavior and elevated androgen levels), 'non-musth' males exhibit a social system seemingly based on companionship, dominance and established hierarchies. Research on elephant vocal communication has so far focused on females, and very little is known about the acoustic structure and the information content of male vocalizations. Using the source and filter theory approach, we analyzed social rumbles of 10 male African elephants. Our results reveal that male rumbles encode information about individuality and maturity (age and size), with formant frequencies and absolute fundamental frequency values having the most informative power. This first comprehensive study on male elephant vocalizations gives important indications on their potential functional relevance for male-male and male-female communication. Our results suggest that, similar to the highly social females, future research on male elephant vocal behavior will reveal a complex communication system in which social knowledge, companionship, hierarchy, reproductive competition and the need to communicate over long distances play key roles.

  16. Climate change and the northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris population in Baja California, Mexico.

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    María C García-Aguilar

    Full Text Available The Earth's climate is warming, especially in the mid- and high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere. The northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris breeds and haul-outs on islands and the mainland of Baja California, Mexico, and California, U.S.A. At the beginning of the 21st century, numbers of elephant seals in California are increasing, but the status of Baja California populations is unknown, and some data suggest they may be decreasing. We hypothesize that the elephant seal population of Baja California is experiencing a decline because the animals are not migrating as far south due to warming sea and air temperatures. Here we assessed population trends of the Baja California population, and climate change in the region. The numbers of northern elephant seals in Baja California colonies have been decreasing since the 1990s, and both the surface waters off Baja California and the local air temperatures have warmed during the last three decades. We propose that declining population sizes may be attributable to decreased migration towards the southern portions of the range in response to the observed temperature increases. Further research is needed to confirm our hypothesis; however, if true, it would imply that elephant seal colonies of Baja California and California are not demographically isolated which would pose challenges to environmental and management policies between Mexico and the United States.

  17. Dynamics of forage accumulation in Elephant grass subjected to rotational grazing intensities

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    Braulio Maia de Lana Sousa

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available We assessed the accumulation dynamics of forage and its components in Elephant grass cv. Napier (Pennisetum purpureum Schum. that were subjected to three post-grazing height treatments (30, 50, and 70 cm from February through May 2009 (experiment one and December 2009 through May 2010 (experiment two. In experiment one, the grazing events started when the light interception by the canopy reached 95%. The same was adopted for experiment two, except for the first grazing event, which was based on the height of the apical meristems of basal tillers. The experimental design for both experiments was a randomized complete block with three replications. The pastures that were managed at a post-grazing height of 30 cm exhibited lower rates of leaf and stem growth, total growth and forage accumulation than those that were managed at 50 or 70 cm, indicating that post-grazing height affects Elephant grass. The pastures that were managed at 50 cm exhibited relatively stable accumulation rates and less stem accumulation. Pastures managed at 70 cm of pos-grazing height presented more leaf and stem accumulation. Most apical meristems of Elephant grass should be removed in the first grazing when they reach the post-grazing target height of 50 cm. The elevation in the residual post-grazing height, especially in the summer, raises the regrowth vigor in the Elephant grass cv. Napier pasture. The post-grazing height of 30 cm reduces the growth of the Elephant grass cv. Napier.

  18. Occurrence and seasonality of internal parasite infection in elephants, Loxodonta africana, in the Okavango Delta, Botswana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baines, Lydia; Morgan, Eric R; Ofthile, Mphoeng; Evans, Kate

    2015-04-01

    It is known from studies in a wide range of wild and domestic animals, including elephants, that parasites can affect growth, reproduction and health. A total of 458 faecal samples from wild elephants were analysed using a combination of flotation and sedimentation methods. Coccidian oocysts (prevalence 51%), and nematode (77%) and trematode (24%) eggs were found. Species were not identified, though trematode egg morphology was consistent with that of the intestinal fluke Protofasciola robusta. The following factors were found to have a significant effect on parasite infection: month, year, sex, age, and group size and composition. There was some evidence of peak transmission of coccidia and nematodes during the rainy season, confirmed for coccidia in a parallel study of seven sympatric domesticated elephants over a three month period. Nematode eggs were more common in larger groups and nematode egg counts were significantly higher in elephants living in maternal groups (mean 1116 eggs per gram, standard deviation, sd 685) than in all-male groups (529, sd 468). Fluke egg prevalence increased with increasing elephant age. Preservation of samples in formalin progressively decreased the probability of detecting all types of parasite over a storage time of 1-15 months. Possible reasons for associations between other factors and infection levels are discussed.

  19. Forage mass and stocking rate of elephant grass pastures managed under agroecological and conventional systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clair Jorge Olivo

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The objective was to evaluate elephant grass (Pennisetum purpureum Schum. pastures, under the agroecological and conventional systems, as forage mass and stocking rate. In the agroecological system, the elephant grass was established in rows spaced by 3.0 m from each other. During the cool season ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lam. was established between these rows, which allowed the development of spontaneous growth species during the warm season. In the conventional system the elephant grass was established singularly in rows spaced 1.4 m from each other. Organic and chemical fertilizers were applied at 150 kg of N/ha/year with in the pastures under agroecological and conventional systems, respectively. Lactating Holstein cows which received 5.0 kg/day supplementary concentrate feed were used for evaluation. The experimental design was completely randomized, with two treatments (agroecological and conventional systems two replications (paddocks and independent evaluations (grazing cycles. The pastures were used during the whole year for the agroecological system and for 195 days in the conventional year. The average values of forage mass were 3.5 and 4.2 t/ha and the stocking rates were 2.08 and 3.23 AU/ha for the respective systems. The results suggest that the use of the elephant grass under the agroecological system allows for best distribution of forage and stocking rate to be more uniform throughout the year than the use of elephant grass in conventional system.

  20. Attitudes Towards Forest Elephant Conservation Around a Protected Area in Northern Congo

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    Félicien Nsonsi

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available An assessment of local attitudes towards conservation can guide wildlife managers in the effective application of measurements to improve these perceptions. Here we conducted a quantitative questionnaire survey around a protected area in northern Congo surveying 314 households living in four villages around the Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park. We investigated the impact of the benefits of a conservation project (led by an international non-governmental organisation, the experience with human-elephant conflict and the respondents' socio-economic profile on local people's attitudes towards forest elephant conservation. Using multivariate analysis, we found overall positive attitudes towards elephant conservation with more positive answers in the village where a conservation project is based. Furthermore, people employed in the conservation project stated more positive attitudes compared to logging company employees famers, natural resource users and people conducting other jobs. Experience of human elephant conflict negatively impacted people's perceptions. Socio-economic variables, such as ethnic group, education level or salary category had relatively little impact on people's responses. Qualitative statements largely supported the questionnaire results. We discuss our results in the light of the limits of attitude surveys and suggest further investigations to identify the activities needed to foster positive attitudes for elephant conservation in all villages around the Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park in partnership with the logging company.

  1. Occurrence and seasonality of internal parasite infection in elephants, Loxodonta africana, in the Okavango Delta, Botswana

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lydia Baines

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available It is known from studies in a wide range of wild and domestic animals, including elephants, that parasites can affect growth, reproduction and health. A total of 458 faecal samples from wild elephants were analysed using a combination of flotation and sedimentation methods. Coccidian oocysts (prevalence 51%, and nematode (77% and trematode (24% eggs were found. Species were not identified, though trematode egg morphology was consistent with that of the intestinal fluke Protofasciola robusta. The following factors were found to have a significant effect on parasite infection: month, year, sex, age, and group size and composition. There was some evidence of peak transmission of coccidia and nematodes during the rainy season, confirmed for coccidia in a parallel study of seven sympatric domesticated elephants over a three month period. Nematode eggs were more common in larger groups and nematode egg counts were significantly higher in elephants living in maternal groups (mean 1116 eggs per gram, standard deviation, sd 685 than in all-male groups (529, sd 468. Fluke egg prevalence increased with increasing elephant age. Preservation of samples in formalin progressively decreased the probability of detecting all types of parasite over a storage time of 1–15 months. Possible reasons for associations between other factors and infection levels are discussed.

  2. Movements and corridors of African elephants in relation to protected areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Douglas-Hamilton, I.; Krink, T.; Vollrath, F.

    2005-04-01

    Understanding how mammals satisfy their need for space in fragmenting ecosystems is crucial for ecosystem conservation. Using state-of-the-art global positioning system (GPS) technology we tracked 11 focal African elephants (Loxodonta africana) in Kenya at 3-hourly fix intervals and collected between 34 and 406 days per individual. Our recordings gave a high spatio-temporal resolution compared to previous studies and allowed novel insights into range use. The actual ranges of the tracked elephants are smaller than usually represented. Moreover, the ranges in our sample were complex and not confined to officially designated protected areas, except where fenced. All the unfenced elephants in our sample had distinct `home sectors' linked by `travel' corridors. Within each home sector the elephants concentrated in favourite `core zones'. Such core zones tended to lie in protected areas whereas corridors typically crossed unprotected range. Elephants moved significantly faster along corridors than elsewhere in their range, which suggests awareness of danger outside the protected area. We conclude that understanding the complex use of an animal's range is crucial for conservation planning aiming to balance animal interests with those of human beings that co-habit in their range.

  3. Using Poaching Levels and Elephant Distribution to Assess the Conservation Efficacy of Private, Communal and Government Land in Northern Kenya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ihwagi, Festus W; Wang, Tiejun; Wittemyer, George; Skidmore, Andrew K; Toxopeus, Albertus G; Ngene, Shadrack; King, Juliet; Worden, Jeffrey; Omondi, Patrick; Douglas-Hamilton, Iain

    2015-01-01

    Efforts to curb elephant poaching have focused on reducing demand, confiscating ivory and boosting security patrols in elephant range. Where land is under multiple uses and ownership, determining the local poaching dynamics is important for identifying successful conservation models. Using 2,403 verified elephant, Loxodonta africana, mortality records collected from 2002 to 2012 and the results of aerial total counts of elephants conducted in 2002, 2008 and 2012 for the Laikipia-Samburu ecosystem of northern Kenya, we sought to determine the influence of land ownership and use on diurnal elephant distribution and on poaching levels. We show that the annual proportions of illegally killed (i.e., poached) elephants increased over the 11 years of the study, peaking at 70% of all recorded deaths in 2012. The type of land use was more strongly related to levels of poaching than was the type of ownership. Private ranches, comprising only 13% of land area, hosted almost half of the elephant population and had significantly lower levels of poaching than other land use types except for the officially designated national reserves (covering only 1.6% of elephant range in the ecosystem). Communal grazing lands hosted significantly fewer elephants than expected, but community areas set aside for wildlife demonstrated significantly higher numbers of elephants and lower illegal killing levels relative to non-designated community lands. While private lands had lower illegal killing levels than community conservancies, the success of the latter relative to other community-held lands shows the importance of this model of land use for conservation. This work highlights the relationship between illegal killing and various land ownership and use models, which can help focus anti-poaching activities.

  4. Elephant trunk in a small-calibre true lumen for chronic aortic dissection: cause of haemolytic anaemia?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Araki, Haruna; Kitamura, Tadashi; Horai, Tetsuya; Shibata, Ko; Miyaji, Kagami

    2014-12-01

    The elephant trunk technique for aortic dissection is useful for reducing false lumen pressure; however, a folded vascular prosthesis inside the aorta can cause haemolysis. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether an elephant trunk in a small-calibre lumen can cause haemolysis. Inpatient and outpatient records were retrospectively reviewed. Two cases of haemolytic anaemia after aortic surgery using the elephant trunk technique were identified from 2011 to 2013. A 64-year-old man, who underwent graft replacement of the ascending aorta for acute Stanford type A aortic dissection, presented with enlargement of the chronic dissection of the descending aorta and moderate aortic regurgitation. A two-stage surgery was scheduled. Total arch replacement with an elephant trunk in the true lumen and concomitant aortic valve replacement were performed. Postoperatively, he developed severe haemolytic anaemia because of the folded elephant trunk. The anaemia improved after the second surgery, including graft replacement of the descending aorta. Similarly, a 61-year-old man, who underwent total arch replacement for acute Stanford type A aortic dissection, presented with enlargement of the chronic dissection of the descending aorta. Graft replacement of the descending aorta with an elephant trunk inserted into the true lumen was performed. The patient postoperatively developed haemolytic anaemia because of the folded elephant trunk, which improved after additional stent grafting into the elephant trunk. A folded elephant trunk in a small-calibre lumen can cause haemolysis. Therefore, inserting an elephant trunk in a small-calibre true lumen during surgery for chronic aortic dissection should be avoided. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery. All rights reserved.

  5. Tuberculosis at the human-animal interface: an emerging disease of elephants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mikota, Susan K; Maslow, Joel N

    2011-05-01

    Over the past 15 years, cases of infection with organisms of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex have been diagnosed among captive elephants in the United States and worldwide. Outbreak investigations have documented that among staff employed at facilities housing infected animals, skin test conversion to purified protein derivative have been documented. Clonal spread among animals in close contact and even inter-species spread between elephant and human has been documented. Detection of actively infected animals relies on samples obtained by trunk wash. Diagnosis has been augmented by the development of a multi-antigen serologic assay with excellent specificity and sensitivity. Treatment regimens are still in development with efficacy largely unknown due to a paucity of both premortem follow-up and necropsy data of treated animals. The epidemiology, diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis in elephants require additional careful study of clinical data. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Stock enhancement or sea ranching? Insights from monitoring the genetic diversity, relatedness and effective population size in a seeded great scallop population (Pecten maximus)

    OpenAIRE

    Morvezen, R; Boudry, P; Laroche, J; Charrier, G

    2016-01-01

    The mass release of hatchery-propagated stocks raises numerous questions concerning its efficiency in terms of local recruitment and effect on the genetic diversity of wild populations. A seeding program, consisting of mass release of hatchery-produced juveniles in the local naturally occurring population of great scallops (Pecten maximus L.), was initiated in the early 1980s in the Bay of Brest (France). The present study aims at evaluating whether this seeding program leads to actual popula...

  7. Accuracy of two optical chlorophyll meters in predicting chemical composition and in vitro ruminal organic matter degradability of Brachiaria hybrid, Megathyrsus maximus, and Paspalum atratum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin P. Hughes

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this study was to determine the accuracy and reliability of 2 optical chlorophyll meters: FieldScout CM 1,000 NDVI and Yara N-Tester, in predicting neutral detergent fibre (NDF, acid detergent fibre (ADF, acid detergent lignin (ADL, acid detergent insoluble nitrogen (ADIN and in vitro ruminal organic matter degradability (IVOMD of 3 tropical grasses. Optical chlorophyll measurements were taken at 3 stages (4, 8 and 12 weeks of regrowth in Brachiaria hybrid, and Megathyrsus maximus and at 6 and 12 weeks of regrowth in Paspalum atratum (cv. Ubon. Optical chlorophyll measurements showed the highest correlation (r = 0.57 to 0.85 with NDF concentration. The FieldScout CM 1,000 NDVI was better than the Yara N-Tester in predicting NDF (R2 = 0.70 and ADF (R2 = 0.79 concentrations in Brachiaria hybrid and NDF (R2 = 0.79 in M. maximus. Similarly, FieldScout CM 1,000 NDVI produced better estimates of 24 h IVOMD (IVOMD24h in Brachiaria hybrid (R2 = 0.81 and IVOMD48h in Brachiaria hybrid (R2 = 0.65 and M. maximus (R2 = 0.75. However, these prediction models had relatively low concordance correlation coefficients, i.e., CCC >0.90, but random errors were the main source of bias. It was, therefore, concluded that both optical chlorophyll meters were poor and unreliable predictors of ADIN and ADL concentrations. Overall, the FieldScout CM 1,000 NDVI shows potential to produce useful estimates of IVOMD24h and ADF in Brachiaria hybrid and IVOMD48h and NDF concentrations in M. maximus.

  8. Comparing the catch composition, profitability and discard survival from different trammel net designs targeting common spiny lobster (Palinurus elephas) in a Mediterranean fishery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Catanese, Gaetano; Hinz, Hilmar; Gil, Maria Del Mar; Palmer, Miquel; Breen, Michael; Mira, Antoni; Pastor, Elena; Grau, Amalia; Campos-Candela, Andrea; Koleva, Elka; Grau, Antoni Maria; Morales-Nin, Beatriz

    2018-01-01

    In the Balearic Islands, different trammel net designs have been adopted to promote fisheries sustainability and reduce discards. Here, we compare the catch performance of three trammel net designs targeting the spiny lobster Palinurus elephas in terms of biomass, species composition and revenue from commercial catches and discards. Designs differ in the netting fiber type (standard polyfilament, PMF, or a new polyethylene multi-monofilament, MMF) and the use of a guarding net or greca , a mesh piece intended to reduce discards. Catches were surveyed by an on-board observer from 1,550 netting walls corresponding to 70 nets. The number of marketable species captured indicated that the lobster trammel net fishery has multiple targets, which contribute significantly to the total revenue. The discarded species ranged from habitat-forming species to elasmobranches, but the magnitude of gear-habitat interactions on the long term dynamics of benthos remains unclear. No relevant differences in revenue and weight of discards were detected after Bayesian analyses. However, the species composition of discards was different when using greca . Interestingly, high immediate survival was found for discarded undersized lobsters, while a seven day survival assessment, using captive observation, gave an asymptotic estimate of survival probability as 0.64 (95% CI [0.54-0.76]). Therefore, it is recommended that it would be beneficial for this stock if an exemption from the EU landing obligation regulation was sought for undersized lobsters in the Balearic trammel net fishery.

  9. Comparing the catch composition, profitability and discard survival from different trammel net designs targeting common spiny lobster (Palinurus elephas in a Mediterranean fishery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gaetano Catanese

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available In the Balearic Islands, different trammel net designs have been adopted to promote fisheries sustainability and reduce discards. Here, we compare the catch performance of three trammel net designs targeting the spiny lobster Palinurus elephas in terms of biomass, species composition and revenue from commercial catches and discards. Designs differ in the netting fiber type (standard polyfilament, PMF, or a new polyethylene multi-monofilament, MMF and the use of a guarding net or greca, a mesh piece intended to reduce discards. Catches were surveyed by an on-board observer from 1,550 netting walls corresponding to 70 nets. The number of marketable species captured indicated that the lobster trammel net fishery has multiple targets, which contribute significantly to the total revenue. The discarded species ranged from habitat-forming species to elasmobranches, but the magnitude of gear-habitat interactions on the long term dynamics of benthos remains unclear. No relevant differences in revenue and weight of discards were detected after Bayesian analyses. However, the species composition of discards was different when using greca. Interestingly, high immediate survival was found for discarded undersized lobsters, while a seven day survival assessment, using captive observation, gave an asymptotic estimate of survival probability as 0.64 (95% CI [0.54–0.76]. Therefore, it is recommended that it would be beneficial for this stock if an exemption from the EU landing obligation regulation was sought for undersized lobsters in the Balearic trammel net fishery.

  10. Implementing immunocontraception in free-ranging African elephants at Makalali Conservancy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.K. Delsink

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available The goal of programmes to provide contraception for elephants should be to formulate an approach that does not require the relocation or immobilisation of the same individual year after year, which would be long-lasting and cause minimal disruption to social and reproductive behaviour. The programmes should be simple to administer, safe and cost-effective, and must meet the objectives defined by managers in the field. An immunocontraceptive programme was initiated in a small free-roaming population of elephants at the Greater Makalali Private Game Reserve in Limpopo Province in 2000 to determine whether the porcine zona pellucida (pZP vaccine can successfully control population sizes. Further objectives were to determine implementation costs and efficiency through a multi-faceted approach. We have demonstrated that immunocontraception meets the objectives set by managers in the field. Minimal social disruption was observed over the course of treatment, with the mode of delivery (ground or aerial vaccinations determining the degree of stress within herds and speed of resumption of normal movement patterns. Aerial vaccinations resulted in the least disturbance, with target herds being approachable within a day. In 2005, implementation costs were R880-R1000 / elephant / year, inclusive of darts, vaccine, helicopter and veterinary assistance. Irrespective of the source or method of vaccine delivery, a non-pregnant elephant is rendered infertile from 1st vaccine administration. The sooner immunocontraception is implemented, the sooner population growth rates can be controlled. pZP contraception is a realistic alternative management tool, particularly if used as part of a long-termmanagement strategy. Mass-darting from the air eliminates the need for detailed individual histories of each elephant or for employing a person to monitor elephants. Thus, implementation of immunocontraception in larger populations is feasible and practical.

  11. Inferring ecological and behavioral drivers of African elephant movement using a linear filtering approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boettiger, Alistair N; Wittemyer, George; Starfield, Richard; Volrath, Fritz; Douglas-Hamilton, Iain; Getz, Wayne M

    2011-08-01

    Understanding the environmental factors influencing animal movements is fundamental to theoretical and applied research in the field of movement ecology. Studies relating fine-scale movement paths to spatiotemporally structured landscape data, such as vegetation productivity or human activity, are particularly lacking despite the obvious importance of such information to understanding drivers of animal movement. In part, this may be because few approaches provide the sophistication to characterize the complexity of movement behavior and relate it to diverse, varying environmental stimuli. We overcame this hurdle by applying, for the first time to an ecological question, a finite impulse-response signal-filtering approach to identify human and natural environmental drivers of movements of 13 free-ranging African elephants (Loxodonta africana) from distinct social groups collected over seven years. A minimum mean-square error (MMSE) estimation criterion allowed comparison of the predictive power of landscape and ecological model inputs. We showed that a filter combining vegetation dynamics, human and physical landscape features, and previous movement outperformed simpler filter structures, indicating the importance of both dynamic and static landscape features, as well as habit, on movement decisions taken by elephants. Elephant responses to vegetation productivity indices were not uniform in time or space, indicating that elephant foraging strategies are more complex than simply gravitation toward areas of high productivity. Predictions were most frequently inaccurate outside protected area boundaries near human settlements, suggesting that human activity disrupts typical elephant movement behavior. Successful management strategies at the human-elephant interface, therefore, are likely to be context specific and dynamic. Signal processing provides a promising approach for elucidating environmental factors that drive animal movements over large time and spatial

  12. Is the frozen elephant trunk procedure superior to the conventional elephant trunk procedure for completion of the second stage?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rustum, Saad; Beckmann, Erik; Wilhelmi, Mathias; Krueger, Heike; Kaufeld, Tim; Umminger, Julia; Haverich, Axel; Martens, Andreas; Shrestha, Malakh

    2017-10-01

    Our goal was to compare the results and outcomes of second-stage completion in patients who had previously undergone the elephant trunk (ET) or the frozen elephant trunk (FET) procedure for the treatment of complex aortic arch and descending aortic disease. Between August 2001 and December 2014, 53 patients [mean age 61 ± 13 years, 64% (n = 34) male] underwent a second-stage completion procedure. Of these patients, 32% (n = 17) had a previous ET procedure and 68% (n = 36) a previous FET procedure as a first-stage procedure. The median times to the second-stage procedure were 7 (0-78) months in the ET group and 8 (0-66) months in the FET group. The second-stage procedure included thoracic endovascular aortic repair in 53% (n = 28) of patients and open surgical repair in 47% (n = 25). More endovascular interventions were performed in FET patients (61%, n = 22) than in the ET group (35%, n = 6, P = 0.117). The in-hospital mortality rate was significantly lower in the FET (8%, n = 3) group compared with the ET group (29%, n = 5, P = 0.045). The median follow-up time after the second-stage operation for the entire cohort was 4.6 (0.4-10.4) years. The 5-year survival rate was 76% in the ET patients versus 89% in the FET patients (log-rank: P = 0.11). We observed a significantly lower in-hospital mortality rate in the FET group compared to the ET group. This result might be explained by the higher rate of endovascular completion in the FET group. We assume that the FET procedure offers the benefit of a more ideal landing zone, thus facilitating endovascular completion. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery. All rights reserved.

  13. Muscle activation levels of the gluteus maximus and medius during standing hip-joint strengthening exercises using elastic-tubing resistance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Youdas, James W; Adams, Kady E; Bertucci, John E; Brooks, Koel J; Nelson, Meghan M; Hollman, John H

    2014-02-01

    No published studies have compared muscle activation levels simultaneously for the gluteus maximus and medius muscles of stance and moving limbs during standing hip-joint strengthening while using elastic-tubing resistance. To quantify activation levels bilaterally of the gluteus maximus and medius during resisted lower-extremity standing exercises using elastic tubing for the cross-over, reverse cross-over, front-pull, and back-pull exercise conditions. Repeated measures. Laboratory. 26 active and healthy people, 13 men (25 ± 3 y) and 13 women (24 ± 1 y). Subjects completed 3 consecutive repetitions of lower-extremity exercises in random order. Surface electromyographic (EMG) signals were normalized to peak activity in the maximum voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC) trial and expressed as a percentage. Magnitudes of EMG recruitment were analyzed with a 2 × 4 repeated-measures ANOVA for each muscle (α = .05). For the gluteus maximus an interaction between exercise and limb factor was significant (F3,75 = 21.5; P tubing.

  14. Endovascular Retrieval of Entrapped Elephant Trunk Graft During Complex Hybrid Aortic Arch Repair

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Damodharan, Karthikeyan, E-mail: drdkarthik@hotmail.com [Singapore General Hospital, Department of Diagnostic Radiology (Singapore); Chao, Victor T. T., E-mail: victor.chao.t.t@singhealth.com.sg [National Heart Centre, Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery (Singapore); Tay, Kiang Hiong, E-mail: tay.kiang.hiong@singhealth.com.sg [Singapore General Hospital, Department of Diagnostic Radiology (Singapore)

    2016-12-15

    Entrapment of the elephant trunk graft within the false lumen is a rare complication of surgical repair of an aortic dissection. This is normally retrieved by emergent open surgery. We describe a technique of endovascular retrieval of the dislodged graft, during hybrid aortic arch repair. The elephant trunk was cannulated through and through from a femoral access and the free end of the wire was snared and retrieved from a brachial access. The wire was externalised from both accesses and was used to reposition the graft into the true lumen using a body flossing technique.

  15. A method for determining the extent of thermal burns in elephants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Shakespeare

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available A practical method was developed to assess the extent of burns suffered by elephants caught in bush fires. In developing this method, the surface areas of the different body parts of juvenile, subadult and adult elephants were first determined using standard equations, and then expressed as a percentage of the total body surface area. When viewed from a distance, the burnt proportion of all body segments is estimated, converted to percentages of total body surface area, and then summed to determine the extent of burns suffered.

  16. Endoparasitic infections in free-ranging Asiatic elephants of Mudumalai and Anamalai Wildlife Sanctuary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vimalraj, P G; Jayathangaraj, M G

    2015-09-01

    Free-ranging Asiatic elephants dung samples from various forest divisions of Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary (MWLS) and Anamalai Wildlife Sanctuary (AWLS) were examined for identification of endoparasitic infection. The dung samples revealed 100 % endoparasitic infection, with a high prevalence of Strongyles (64 %) in MWLS and Anoplocephala sp. (46 %) in AWLS. Similarly, from the same samples egg per gram of feces was done to ascertain the individual parasitic load. The present research paper communicates the high parasitic prevalence of free-ranging Asian elephants in dry seasons of (February-June 2010) MWLS and AWLS.

  17. Human cowpox virus infection acquired from a circus elephant in Germany.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hemmer, Christoph J; Littmann, Martina; Löbermann, Micha; Meyer, Hermann; Petschaelis, Angelika; Reisinger, Emil C

    2010-09-01

    A 40-year-old Asian circus elephant developed mouth and trunk ulcers. Three weeks later, her 19-year-old animal warden noticed a vesicle on his forearm, evolving into a scab. Identical cowpox strains were isolated from lesions of the elephant and the warden. Cowpox virus could no longer be isolated after the scab disappeared, but PCR still revealed orthopox DNA. Healing was complete seven weeks later, leaving a 1 cm scar. Copyright © 2010 International Society for Infectious Diseases. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Herbage intake, methane emissions and animal performance of steers grazing dwarf elephant grass v. dwarf elephant grass and peanut pastures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrade, E A; Almeida, E X; Raupp, G T; Miguel, M F; de Liz, D M; Carvalho, P C F; Bayer, C; Ribeiro-Filho, H M N

    2016-10-01

    Management strategies for increasing ruminant legume consumption and mitigating methane emissions from tropical livestock production systems require further study. The aim of this work was to evaluate the herbage intake, animal performance and enteric methane emissions of cattle grazing dwarf elephant grass (DEG) (Pennisetum purpureum cv. BRS Kurumi) alone or DEG with peanut (Arachis pintoi cv. Amarillo). The experimental treatments were the following: DEG pastures receiving nitrogen fertilization (150 kg N/ha as ammonium nitrate) and DEG intercropped with peanut plus an adjacent area of peanut that was accessible to grazing animals for 5 h/day (from 0700 to 1200 h). The animals grazing legume pastures showed greater average daily gain and herbage intake, and shorter morning and total grazing times. Daily methane emissions were greater from the animals grazing legume pastures, whereas methane emissions per unit of herbage intake did not differ between treatments. Allowing animals access to an exclusive area of legumes in a tropical grass-pasture-based system can improve animal performance without increasing methane production per kg of dry matter intake.

  19. Non-invasive assessment of reproductive status and stress in captive Asian elephants in three south Indian zoos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Vinod; Palugulla Reddy, Vivekananda; Kokkiligadda, Adiseshu; Shivaji, Sisinthy; Umapathy, Govindhaswamy

    2014-05-15

    Asian elephants in captivity need immediate attention to be bred so as to meet the increasing demand for captive elephants and to overcome the dependence on supplementing the captive stock with wild animals. Unfortunately, captive breeding programs across the globe have met with limited success and therefore more effort is needed to improve breeding in captivity. Endocrine profiling of reproductive hormones (progestagens and androgens) and the stress hormone (glucocorticoids) could facilitate better management and breeding strategies. In the present study, we investigated reproductive and stress physiology of 12 captive Asian elephants for 10-27 months using a non-invasive method based on steroid analysis of 1700 elephant dung samples. Most of the elephants were cycling regularly. Males during musth showed increased fecal androgen metabolite concentrations and exhibited a slight increase in fecal glucocorticoid metabolite levels. Elephants used in public festivals and processions showed significantly increased in faecal glucocorticoid metabolite levels. The results indicate that captive elephants require periodic health care, better husbandry practices and scientific management for sustainable captive population. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Effect of increased pCO2 level on early shell development in great scallop (Pecten maximus Lamarck larvae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Andersen

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available As a result of high anthropogenic CO2 emissions, the concentration of CO2 in the oceans has increased, causing a decrease in pH, known as ocean acidification (OA. Numerous studies have shown negative effects on marine invertebrates, and also that the early life stages are the most sensitive to OA. We studied the effects of OA on embryos and unfed larvae of the great scallop (Pecten maximus Lamarck, at pCO2 levels of 469 (ambient, 807, 1164, and 1599 μatm until seven days after fertilization. To our knowledge, this is the first study on OA effects on larvae of this species. A drop in pCO2 level the first 12 h was observed in the elevated pCO2 groups due to a discontinuation in water flow to avoid escape of embryos. When the flow was restarted, pCO2 level stabilized and was significantly different between all groups. OA affected both survival and shell growth negatively after seven days. Survival was reduced from 45% in the ambient group to 12% in the highest pCO2 group. Shell length and height were reduced by 8 and 15%, respectively, when pCO2 increased from ambient to 1599 μatm. Development of normal hinges was negatively affected by elevated pCO2 levels in both trochophore larvae after two days and veliger larvae after seven days. After seven days, deformities in the shell hinge were more connected to elevated pCO2 levels than deformities in the shell edge. Embryos stained with calcein showed fluorescence in the newly formed shell area, indicating calcification of the shell at the early trochophore stage between one and two days after fertilization. Our results show that P. maximus embryos and early larvae may be negatively affected by elevated pCO2 levels within the range of what is projected towards year 2250, although the initial drop in pCO2 level may have overestimated the effect of the highest pCO2 levels. Future work should focus on long-term effects on this species from hatching, throughout the larval stages, and further into the

  1. Chemical purification of Gunungpati elephant foot yam flour to improve physical and chemical quality on processed food

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paramita, Octavianti; Wahyuningsih, Ansori, Muhammad

    2017-03-01

    This study was aimed at improving the physicochemical quality of elephant foot yam flour in Gunungpati, Semarang by chemical purification. The utilization of elephant foot yam flour in several processed food was also discussed in this study. The flour purification discussed in this study was expected to become a reference for the manufacturers of elephant foot yam flour and its processed food in Gunungpati. This study modified the elephant foot yam flour using pre - gelatinization method. The physical and chemical quality of each elephant foot yam flour purification sample were assessed using proximate analysis. The likability test was conducted for its processed food. 20 grams of elephant foot yam flour was put into a beaker glass, then 60 ml of water was added. The suspension was then heated at a temperature of 60 ° C and 70 ° C while stirred until it was homogeneous and thickened for 10, 30 and 60 minutes. The flour which had been heated was then cooled at room temperature for 1 hour and then at a temperature of 0 ° C until it was frozen. Furthermore, flour was dried in an oven at a temperature of 60 ° C for 9 hours. The dried flour was sifted with a 80 mesh sieve. Chemical test was conducted after elephant foot yam was pre-gelatinized to determine changes in the quality flour: test levels of protein, fat, crude fiber content, moisture content, ash content and starch content. In addition, color tests and granular test on elephant foot yam flour were also conducted. The pre-gelatinization as chemical treatment on elephant foot yam flour in this study was able to change the functional properties of elephant foot yam flour towards a better processing characterized by a brighter color (L = 70, a = 6 and b = 12), the hydrolysis of polysaccharides flour into shorter chain (flour content decreased to 44%), the expansion of granules in elephant foot yam resulting in a process - ready flour, and better monolayer water content of 9%. The content of protein and fiber

  2. Meiosis in elephant grass (Pennisetum purpureum, pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum (Poaceae, Poales and their interspecific hybrids

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vânia Helena Techio

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available The cultivated and sexually compatible species Pennisetum purpureum (elephant grass, 2n = 4x = 28 and Pennisetum glaucum (pearl millet, 2n = 2x = 14 can undergo hybridization which favors the amplification of their genetic background and the introgression of favorable alleles into breeding programs. The main problem with interspecific hybrids of these species is infertility due to triploidy (2n = 3x = 21. This study describes meiosis in elephant grass x pearl millet hybrids and their progenitors. Panicles were prepared according to the conventional protocol for meiotic studies and Alexander’s stain was used for assessing pollen viability. Pearl millet accessions presented regular meiosis with seven bivalents and high pollen viability. For elephant grass, 14 bivalents in diakinesis and metaphase I were observed. The BAG 63 elephant grass accession, derived from tissue culture, presented a high frequency of meiotic abnormalities. The three hybrid accessions presented a high frequency of abnormalities characterized by irregular chromosomal segregation which resulted in the formation of sterile pollen.

  3. Refining Asian elephant semen technologies: The need for improved quality analysis and preservation techniques

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wattananit, P.

    2014-01-01

    The ultimate aim of a breeding management programme for captive Asian elephants is to establish a self-sustaining population, while maintaining maximal genetic diversity. In this respect, artificial insemination (AI) is considered a crucial tool for facilitating the exchange of genetic material

  4. Proboscidean mitogenomics: chronology and mode of elephant evolution using mastodon as outgroup.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nadin Rohland

    2007-08-01

    Full Text Available We have sequenced the complete mitochondrial genome of the extinct American mastodon (Mammut americanum from an Alaskan fossil that is between 50,000 and 130,000 y old, extending the age range of genomic analyses by almost a complete glacial cycle. The sequence we obtained is substantially different from previously reported partial mastodon mitochondrial DNA sequences. By comparing those partial sequences to other proboscidean sequences, we conclude that we have obtained the first sequence of mastodon DNA ever reported. Using the sequence of the mastodon, which diverged 24-28 million years ago (mya from the Elephantidae lineage, as an outgroup, we infer that the ancestors of African elephants diverged from the lineage leading to mammoths and Asian elephants approximately 7.6 mya and that mammoths and Asian elephants diverged approximately 6.7 mya. We also conclude that the nuclear genomes of the African savannah and forest elephants diverged approximately 4.0 mya, supporting the view that these two groups represent different species. Finally, we found the mitochondrial mutation rate of proboscideans to be roughly half of the rate in primates during at least the last 24 million years.

  5. Blood dynamics of mercury and selenium in northern elephant seals during the lactation period

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Habran, Sarah; Debier, Cathy; Crocker, Daniel E.; Houser, Dorian S.; Das, Krishna

    2011-01-01

    The effects of reproduction and maternal investment (i.e., milk transfer) on trace element levels remain poorly understood in marine mammals. We examined the blood dynamics of mercury (Hg) and selenium (Se) during lactation in the northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris), a top predator from the North Pacific Ocean. Total Hg and Se levels were measured in whole blood and milk of 10 mother-pup pairs on days 5 and 22 of lactation. Both Hg and Se were transferred to offspring through the milk. Results suggested that the maternal transfer of Se was prominent during lactation, whereas the Hg transfer was larger during gestation. The lactation period affected Hg and Se levels in the blood of elephant seal mothers and pups. Physiological processes and their relationship to body condition should be considered carefully when interpreting trace element levels in the framework of biomonitoring. - Graphical abstract: Display Omitted Highlights: → The lactation period affects Hg and Se blood levels in elephant seal mothers and pups. → The Hg maternal transfer to offspring is larger during gestation. → The Se maternal transfer to offspring is prominent during lactation via the milk. - Blood levels of total Hg and Se are modified during the 4-week lactating period in northern elephant seals.

  6. Fermentative characteristics and nutritional value of elephant grass silage added with dehydrated banana peel

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lara Maria Santos Brant

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to evaluate the fermentative losses and nutritional value of elephant grass silages with the increasing of inclusion levels of dehydrated banana peel. The experiment was conducted in a completely randomized design, with six treatments and four replications, being the silage exclusively from elephant grass, and five levels of inclusion of banana peel to the elephant grass silage, as the following - 5; 10; 15; 20 and 25%, being added based on natural matter. The addition of the banana peel in the silage reduced linearly (p < 0.05 the pH, the ammoniacal nitrogen and the losses of the fermentative process. In addition, the inclusion of banana peel increased linearly (p < 0.05 the dry matter and non-fibrous carbohydrates. On the other hand, the neutral detergent fiber and the acid detergent fiber were linearly reduced with the inclusion of the banana peel (p < 0.05, but there was no change in the dry matter digestibility in situ. The inclusion of dehydrated banana peel in elephant grass silage reduces the losses of the fermentation process with more consistent results at the 25% inclusion level, however, it reduces the silage nutritional value due to fibrous and protein quality.

  7. Ontogenetic scaling of fish metabolism in the mouse-to-elephant mass magnitude range

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Moran, Damian; Wells, R.M.G.

    2007-01-01

    , and are therefore not statistically comparable. In this study the metabolic rate of yellowtail kingfish was measured from 0.6 mg-2.2 kg, a mass range comparable to that between a mouse and an elephant. Linear regression of the log transformed data resulted in a scaling exponent of 0.90 and high correlation...

  8. Feronia limonia (L.) Swingle (Elephant apple; Hindi-Kaithbelj is a ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Feronia limonia (L.) Swingle (Elephant apple; Hindi-Kaithbelj is a deciduous thorny tree with aromatic leaves and small white flowers. Fruits are large, globose ofthe size of tennis balls with a hard shell. The pulp of ripe fruit is sweet and edible. The gum exudate from the tree is used in dying and coloring. The wood is made ...

  9. Blood dynamics of mercury and selenium in northern elephant seals during the lactation period

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Habran, Sarah, E-mail: S.Habran@ulg.ac.be [Laboratory for Oceanology - MARE Center B6c, University of Liege, 4000 Liege (Belgium); Debier, Cathy, E-mail: cathy.debier@uclouvain.be [Unite de Biochimie de la Nutrition, Institut des Sciences de la vie, Universite catholique de Louvain, Place Croix du Sud 2/8, 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium); Crocker, Daniel E., E-mail: crocker@sonoma.edu [Department of Biology, Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, CA 94928 (United States); Houser, Dorian S., E-mail: biomimetica@cox.net [BIOMIMETICA, Santee, CA 92071 (United States); Das, Krishna, E-mail: Krishna.Das@ulg.ac.be [Laboratory for Oceanology - MARE Center B6c, University of Liege, 4000 Liege (Belgium)

    2011-10-15

    The effects of reproduction and maternal investment (i.e., milk transfer) on trace element levels remain poorly understood in marine mammals. We examined the blood dynamics of mercury (Hg) and selenium (Se) during lactation in the northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris), a top predator from the North Pacific Ocean. Total Hg and Se levels were measured in whole blood and milk of 10 mother-pup pairs on days 5 and 22 of lactation. Both Hg and Se were transferred to offspring through the milk. Results suggested that the maternal transfer of Se was prominent during lactation, whereas the Hg transfer was larger during gestation. The lactation period affected Hg and Se levels in the blood of elephant seal mothers and pups. Physiological processes and their relationship to body condition should be considered carefully when interpreting trace element levels in the framework of biomonitoring. - Graphical abstract: Display Omitted Highlights: > The lactation period affects Hg and Se blood levels in elephant seal mothers and pups. > The Hg maternal transfer to offspring is larger during gestation. > The Se maternal transfer to offspring is prominent during lactation via the milk. - Blood levels of total Hg and Se are modified during the 4-week lactating period in northern elephant seals.

  10. Anaerobic Co-digestion of Fresh Maize Leaves with Elephant Grass ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Anaerobic co-digestion of maize leaves (ML) with Elephant grass (EG) was studied in a single phase digester at ambient temperature (29+3oC). Special attention was paid to synergistic and antagonistic effect of co-digestion of the substrates on biogas production in order to establish the best blend. Six different treatments ...

  11. 78 FR 690 - Guidelines for the Control of Tuberculosis in Elephants

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-04

    ... Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). The APHIS Animal Care program ensures compliance with AWA... DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service [Docket No. APHIS-2011-0079] Guidelines for the Control of Tuberculosis in Elephants AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service...

  12. [Perception and attitude of rural community to the construction of Asian elephant conservation corridors in Xishuangbanna].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Zheng-Ling; Chen, Ming-Yong; Wu, Zhao-Lu; Wang, Qian; Dong, Yong-Hua

    2009-06-01

    By using contingent valuation method (CVM), an investigation was made from November 2007 to March 2008 on the perception and attitude of 196 households in 5 villages within 2 planned Asian elephant conservation corridors in Xishuangbanna to the construction of the corridors. 80.61% of the interviewees conditionally supported the corridors construction. The main factors affecting the interviewees' support willingness included their education level, per capita income, and perceptions to Asian elephant protection, human-elephant relations, and corridor utilization patterns and its beneficiaries, among which, the interviewees' awareness of Asian elephant conservation, corridor utilization patterns, and corridor beneficiaries had strong influence on the support willingness, with the correlation coefficient being 0.231, 0.236, and -0.304, respectively. The rural community holding the land tenure played a key role in the corridors construction. To effectively design and planning the construction of biological conservation corridor, it is necessary to have a deep understanding on the perceptions and attitudes of rural community to the construction of the corridor and to obtain their support and participation for this construction.

  13. Molecular phylogenetics of the elephant schistosome Bivitellobilharzia loxodontae (Trematoda: Schistosomatidae) from the Central African Republic

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Brant, S. V.; Pomajbíková, K.; Modrý, David; Petrželková, Klára Judita; Todd, A.; Loker, E. S.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 87, č. 01 (2013), s. 102-107 ISSN 0022-149X R&D Projects: GA ČR GA206/09/0927 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60220518 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 ; RVO:60077344 Keywords : schistosomes * elephant Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 1.303, year: 2013

  14. Influence of dominance status on adrenal activity and ovarian cyclicity status in captive African elephants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Proctor, Christine M; Freeman, Elizabeth W; Brown, Janine L

    2010-01-01

    The North American African (Loxodonta africana) elephant population is not self-sustaining, in part because of a high rate of abnormal ovarian activity. About 12% of adult females exhibit irregular cycles and 31% do not cycle at all. Our earlier work revealed a relationship between dominance status and ovarian acyclicity, with dominant females being more likely to not cycle normally. One theory is that dominant females may be expending more energy to maintaining peace within the captive herd than for supporting reproduction. The goal of this study was to determine if there was a relationship among dominance status, serum cortisol concentrations, and ovarian acyclicity. We hypothesized that adrenal glucocorticoid activity would be increased in dominant, noncycling elephants as compared with subdominant individuals. Blood samples were collected weekly over a 2-year period in 81 females of known dominance and cyclicity status, and analyzed for cortisol. Based on a path analysis model (Reticular Action Model Or Near Approximation [RAMONA]), noncycling, dominant African elephant females did not have higher mean serum cortisol concentrations, or exhibit more variability (i.e., coefficient of variation, standard deviation) in cortisol secretion. This study suggests that alterations in adrenal activity are not related to dominance status nor contribute directly to acyclicity in captive African elephants.

  15. 130000-year-old fossil elephant found near Durban, South-Africa: preliminary-report

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Ramsay, PJ

    1993-04-01

    Full Text Available A modern African elephant tusk was discovered within a late Pleistocene aeolianite at Reunion Rocks, south of Durban. Ionium dating indicates that the tusk is older than 112 kyr BP with stratigraphic control suggesting a date at ca. 130 kyr BP...

  16. Ureteropelvic junction obstruction - mimicking an “elephant head” on magnetic resonance imaging

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sony Bhaskar Mehta

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Ureteropelvic junction obstruction (UPJO with giant hydronephrosis is relatively rare in adults as compared to children. Most of the UPJO reported or seen in daily practice have a distinct hydronephrosis with a narrow ureteropelvic junction and a collapsed ureter distally. We present images a case of an adult female with Left UPJO, which on MRI mimicked an 'elephant head'.

  17. Movements and foraging areas of naove, recently weaned southern elephant seal pups

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    McConnell, B.; Fedak, M.; Burton, H.R.; Engelhard, G.H.; Reijnders, P.J.H.

    2002-01-01

    1. Female southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina L. ) expend variable, often large, amounts of their stored body resources on their pups during lactation. There is some evidence that pups with higher weaning masses have a better chance of survivingtheir first year. But in order to understand what

  18. Movements and foraging areas of naive, recently weaned southern elephant seal pups

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    McConnell, B; Fedak, M; Burton, HR; Engelhard, GH; Reijnders, PJH

    1. Female southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina L.) expend variable, often large, amounts of their stored body resources on their pups during lactation. There is some evidence that pups with higher weaning masses have a better chance of surviving their first year. But in order to understand what

  19. Diet selection of African elephant over time shows changing optimization currency

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pretorius, Y.; Stigter, J.D.; Boer, de W.F.; Wieren, van S.E.; Jong, de C.B.; Knegt, de H.J.; Grant, R.C.; Heitkonig, I.M.A.; Knox, N.; Kohi, E.; Mwakiwa, E.; Peel, M.J.S.; Skidmore, A.K.; Slotow, R.; Waal, van der C.; Langevelde, van F.; Prins, H.H.T.

    2012-01-01

    Multiple factors determine diet selection of herbivores. However, in many diet studies selection of single nutrients is studied or optimization models are developed using only one currency. In this paper, we use linear programming to explain diet selection by African elephant based on plant

  20. African elephants can use human pointing cues to find hidden food.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smet, Anna F; Byrne, Richard W

    2013-10-21

    How animals gain information from attending to the behavior of others has been widely studied, driven partly by the importance of referential pointing in human cognitive development [1-4], but species differences in reading human social cues remain unexplained. One explanation is that this capacity evolved during domestication [5, 6], but it may be that only those animals able to interpret human-like social cues were successfully domesticated. Elephants are a critical taxon for this question: despite their longstanding use by humans, they have never been domesticated [7]. Here we show that a group of 11 captive African elephants, seven of them significantly as individuals, could interpret human pointing to find hidden food. We suggest that success was not due to prior training or extensive learning opportunities. Elephants successfully interpreted pointing when the experimenter's proximity to the hiding place was varied and when the ostensive pointing gesture was visually subtle, suggesting that they understood the experimenter's communicative intent. The elephant's native ability in interpreting social cues may have contributed to its long history of effective use by man. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Steers performance in dwarf elephant grass pastures alone or mixed with Arachis pintoi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crestani, Steben; Ribeiro Filho, Henrique Mendonça Nunes; Miguel, Marcolino Frederico; de Almeida, Edison Xavier; Santos, Flávio Augusto Portela

    2013-08-01

    The inclusion of legumes in pasture reduces the need for mineral nitrogen applications and the pollution of groundwater; however, the agronomic and animal husbandry advantages with tropical legumes are still little known. The objective of this study was to quantify the effect of the use of forage peanut (Arachis pintoi cv. Amarillo) in dwarf elephant grass pastures (Pennisetum purpureum cv. BRS Kurumi) on forage intake and animal performance. The experimental treatments were dwarf elephant grass fertilized with 200 kg N/ha, and dwarf elephant grass mixed with forage peanut without mineral fertilizers. The animals used for the experiment were 12 Charolais steers (body weight (BW) = 288 ± 5.2 kg) divided into four lots (two per treatment). Pastures were managed under intermittent stocking with an herbage allowance of 5.4 kg dry matter of green leaves/100 kg BW. Dry matter intake (mean = 2.44% BW), the average daily gain (mean = 0.76 kg), and the stocking rate (mean = 3.8 AU/ha) were similar between the studied pastures, but decreased drastically in last grazing cycle with the same herbage allowance. The presence of peanut in dwarf elephant grass pastures was enough to sustain the stocking rate, but did not allow increasing forage intake and animal performance.

  2. Characterization of casein and alpha lactalbumin of African elephant (Loxodonta africana) milk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madende, M; Osthoff, G; Patterton, H-G; Patterton, H E; Martin, P; Opperman, D J

    2015-12-01

    The current research reports partial characterization of the caseins and α-lactalbumin (α-LA) of the African elephant with proposed unique structure-function properties. Extensive research has been carried out to understand the structure of the casein micelles. Crystallographic structure elucidation of caseins and casein micelles is not possible. Consequently, several models have been developed in an effort to describe the casein micelle, specifically of cow milk. Here we report the characterization of African elephant milk caseins. The κ-caseins and β-caseins were investigated, and their relative ratio was found to be approximately 1:8.5, whereas α-caseins were not detected. The gene sequence of β-casein in the NCBI database was revisited, and a different sequence in the N-terminal region is proposed. Amino acid sequence alignment and hydropathy plots showed that the κ-casein of African elephant milk is similar to that of other mammals, whereas the β-casein is similar to the human protein, and displayed a section of unique AA composition and additional hydrophilic regions compared with bovine caseins. Elephant milk is destabilized by 62% alcohol, and it is speculated that the β-casein characteristics may allow maintenance of the colloidal nature of the casein micelle, a role that was previously only associated with κ-casein. The oligosaccharide content of milk was reported to be low in dairy animals but high in some other species such as humans and elephants. In the milk of the African elephant, lactose and oligosaccharides both occur at high levels. These levels are typically related to the content of α-LA in the mammary gland and thus point to a specialized carbohydrate synthesis, where the whey protein α-LA plays a role. We report the characterization of African elephant α-LA. Homology modeling of the α-LA showed that it is structurally similar to crystal structures of other mammalian species, which in turn may be an indication that its functional

  3. Effects of waterborne Fe(II) on juvenile turbot Scophthalmus maximus: analysis of respiratory rate, hematology and gill histology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Zhihao; You, Feng; Liu, Hongjun; Liu, Mengxia; Li, Jun; Zhang, Peijun

    2012-03-01

    The concentration of Fe(II) is high in some groundwater supplies used in turbot culture, and the toxicity of waterborne Fe(II) is unknown. We investigated the stress responses of juvenile turbot, Scophthalmus maximus, exposed to Fe(II) of different concentrations (0.01, 0.05, 0.1, 0.5, 1, and 2 mg/L) for 1, 7, 14, and 28 d, under the same ambient conditions of other parameters. Changes in respiratory rate, hematological parameters, and gill structure were determined. The results show that waterborne Fe(II) did not cause severe hematological perturbation to turbot. A low-medium Fe(II) concentration (lower than 0.1 mg/L) could boost the respiratory rate, and caused no or very limited damage to fish. A high Fe(II) concentration (0.1 mg/L or higher), however, caused gill damage, such as vacuoles in branchial lamellae, epithelial necrosis, and hypertrophy of epithelial cells, and even death after extended exposure time. Therefore, excess waterborne Fe(II) and long-term exposure to Fe(II) could be responsible for poor growth and high mortality of turbot in culture. The concentration of waterborne Fe(II) in turbot culture should be kept below 0.1 mg/L.

  4. Postprandial nutrient-sensing and metabolic responses after partial dietary fishmeal replacement by soyabean meal in turbot (Scophthalmus maximus L.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Dandan; He, Gen; Mai, Kangsen; Zhou, Huihui; Xu, Wei; Song, Fei

    2016-02-14

    In this study, we chose a carnivorous fish, turbot (Scophthalmus maximus L.), to examine its nutrient-sensing and metabolic responses after ingestion of diets with fishmeal (FM), or 45% of FM replaced by soyabean meal (34·6% dry diet) balanced with or without essential amino acids (EAA) to match the amino acid profile of FM diet for 30 d. After a 1-month feeding trial, fish growth, feed efficiency and nutrient retention were markedly reduced by soyabean meal-incorporated (SMI) diets. Compared with the FM diet, SMI led to a reduction of postprandial influx of free amino acids, hypoactivated target of rapamycin signalling and a hyperactivated amino acid response pathway after refeeding, a status associated with reduced protein synthesis, impaired postprandial glycolysis and lipogenesis. These differential effects were not ameliorated by matching an EAA profile of soyabean meal to that of the FM diet through dietary amino acid supplementation. Therefore, this study demonstrated that the FM diet and SMI diets led to distinct nutrient-sensing responses, which in turn modulated metabolism and determined the utilisation efficiency of diets. Our results provide a new molecular explanation for the role of nutrient sensing in the inferior performance of aquafeeds in which FM is replaced by soyabean meal.

  5. Germ cell differentiation and proliferation in the developing testis of the South American plains viscacha, Lagostomus maximus (Mammalia, Rodentia).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzalez, C R; Muscarsel Isla, M L; Fraunhoffer, N A; Leopardo, N P; Vitullo, A D

    2012-08-01

    Cell proliferation and cell death are essential processes in the physiology of the developing testis that strongly influence the normal adult spermatogenesis. We analysed in this study the morphometry, the expression of the proliferation cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), cell pluripotency marker OCT-4, germ cell marker VASA and apoptosis in the developing testes of Lagostomus maximus, a rodent in which female germ line develops through abolished apoptosis and unrestricted proliferation. Morphometry revealed an increment in the size of the seminiferous cords with increasing developmental age, arising from a significant increase of PCNA-positive germ cells and a stable proportion of PCNA-positive Sertoli cells. VASA showed a widespread cytoplasmic distribution in a great proportion of proliferating gonocytes that increased significantly at late development. In the somatic compartment, Leydig cells increased at mid-development, whereas peritubular cells showed a stable rate of proliferation. In contrast to other mammals, OCT-4 positive gonocytes increased throughout development reaching 90% of germ cells in late-developing testis, associated with a conspicuous increase in circulating FSH from mid- to late-gestation. TUNEL analysis was remarkable negative, and only a few positive cells were detected in the somatic compartment. These results show that the South American plains viscacha displays a distinctive pattern of testis development characterized by a sustained proliferation of germ cells throughout development, with no signs of apoptosis cell demise, in a peculiar endocrine in utero ambiance that seems to promote the increase of spermatogonial number as a primary direct effect of FSH.

  6. Genetic variation at hair length candidate genes in elephants and the extinct woolly mammoth

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tisdale Michele

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Like humans, the living elephants are unusual among mammals in being sparsely covered with hair. Relative to extant elephants, the extinct woolly mammoth, Mammuthus primigenius, had a dense hair cover and extremely long hair, which likely were adaptations to its subarctic habitat. The fibroblast growth factor 5 (FGF5 gene affects hair length in a diverse set of mammalian species. Mutations in FGF5 lead to recessive long hair phenotypes in mice, dogs, and cats; and the gene has been implicated in hair length variation in rabbits. Thus, FGF5 represents a leading candidate gene for the phenotypic differences in hair length notable between extant elephants and the woolly mammoth. We therefore sequenced the three exons (except for the 3' UTR and a portion of the promoter of FGF5 from the living elephantid species (Asian, African savanna and African forest elephants and, using protocols for ancient DNA, from a woolly mammoth. Results Between the extant elephants and the mammoth, two single base substitutions were observed in FGF5, neither of which alters the amino acid sequence. Modeling of the protein structure suggests that the elephantid proteins fold similarly to the human FGF5 protein. Bioinformatics analyses and DNA sequencing of another locus that has been implicated in hair cover in humans, type I hair keratin pseudogene (KRTHAP1, also yielded negative results. Interestingly, KRTHAP1 is a pseudogene in elephantids as in humans (although fully functional in non-human primates. Conclusion The data suggest that the coding sequence of the FGF5 gene is not the critical determinant of hair length differences among elephantids. The results are discussed in the context of hairlessness among mammals and in terms of the potential impact of large body size, subarctic conditions, and an aquatic ancestor on hair cover in the Proboscidea.

  7. PRODUCTION OF PRINTING AND WRITING PAPER GRADE PULP FROM ELEPHANT GRASS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcela Freitas Andrade

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The main goal of this study was to characterize chemically and morphologically elephant grass (Pennisetum purpureum, and evaluate the potential of its fibers for production of printing and writing paper grade pulp. The elephant grass was chemically and morphologically characterized and cooked by the soda process to two different degrees of delignification (kappa 17.5 and 10.6. The resulting pulps were fully bleached by the O-D*-(EP-D sequence and characterized for their beatability, drainability and physical-mechanical properties. The lignin content (20.2% was low, indicating that this grass should be easier to pulp. The morphological analyses of the elephant grass indicated a short fiber material, similar to hardwoods. The soda pulp from elephant grass cooked to kappa number 17.5 presented higher screened yield than 10.6 kappa pulp, with alkali demands of 15.0% and 20.0%, respectively. The total active chlorine required by the 17.5 and 10.6 kappa pulps, were 42.1 and 35.1 kg/odt pulp, respectively, to achieve an ISO brightness of approximately 90.0%. The bleached soda pulps cooked to 17.5 and 10.6 kappa number showed similar refinability and resistance to drainage, but the tensile and burst index were highest for the 17.5 kappa pulp at beating energy consumptions in the range of 0-6 Wh. It was concluded that both 10.6 and 17.5 kappa pulps from elephant grass are suitable for the production of printing and writing paper grade pulps, but the highest kappa 17.5 pulp is more economically attractive given its highest pulping yield, despite the significantly increased of chemical demand for bleaching A produção de papel para impressão e escrita Grau de celulose a partir de capim-elefante.

  8. Animal perception of seasonal thresholds: changes in elephant movement in relation to rainfall patterns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Birkett, Patricia J; Vanak, Abi T; Muggeo, Vito M R; Ferreira, Salamon M; Slotow, Rob

    2012-01-01

    The identification of temporal thresholds or shifts in animal movement informs ecologists of changes in an animal's behaviour, which contributes to an understanding of species' responses in different environments. In African savannas, rainfall, temperature and primary productivity influence the movements of large herbivores and drive changes at different scales. Here, we developed a novel approach to define seasonal shifts in movement behaviour by examining the movements of a highly mobile herbivore (elephant; Loxodonta africana), in relation to local and regional rainfall patterns. We used speed to determine movement changes of between 8 and 14 GPS-collared elephant cows, grouped into five spatial clusters, in Kruger National Park, South Africa. To detect broad-scale patterns of movement, we ran a three-year daily time-series model for each individual (2007-2009). Piecewise regression models provided the best fit for elephant movement, which exhibited a segmented, waveform pattern over time. Major breakpoints in speed occurred at the end of the dry and wet seasons of each year. During the dry season, female elephant are constrained by limited forage and thus the distances they cover are shorter and less variable. Despite the inter-annual variability of rainfall, speed breakpoints were strongly correlated with both local and regional rainfall breakpoints across all three years. Thus, at a multi-year scale, rainfall patterns significantly affect the movements of elephant. The variability of both speed and rainfall breakpoints across different years highlights the need for an objective definition of seasonal boundaries. By using objective criteria to determine behavioural shifts, we identified a biologically meaningful indicator of major changes in animal behaviour in different years. We recommend the use of such criteria, from an animal's perspective, for delineating seasons or other extrinsic shifts in ecological studies, rather than arbitrarily fixed definitions

  9. Animal perception of seasonal thresholds: changes in elephant movement in relation to rainfall patterns.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia J Birkett

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The identification of temporal thresholds or shifts in animal movement informs ecologists of changes in an animal's behaviour, which contributes to an understanding of species' responses in different environments. In African savannas, rainfall, temperature and primary productivity influence the movements of large herbivores and drive changes at different scales. Here, we developed a novel approach to define seasonal shifts in movement behaviour by examining the movements of a highly mobile herbivore (elephant; Loxodonta africana, in relation to local and regional rainfall patterns. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We used speed to determine movement changes of between 8 and 14 GPS-collared elephant cows, grouped into five spatial clusters, in Kruger National Park, South Africa. To detect broad-scale patterns of movement, we ran a three-year daily time-series model for each individual (2007-2009. Piecewise regression models provided the best fit for elephant movement, which exhibited a segmented, waveform pattern over time. Major breakpoints in speed occurred at the end of the dry and wet seasons of each year. During the dry season, female elephant are constrained by limited forage and thus the distances they cover are shorter and less variable. Despite the inter-annual variability of rainfall, speed breakpoints were strongly correlated with both local and regional rainfall breakpoints across all three years. Thus, at a multi-year scale, rainfall patterns significantly affect the movements of elephant. The variability of both speed and rainfall breakpoints across different years highlights the need for an objective definition of seasonal boundaries. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: By using objective criteria to determine behavioural shifts, we identified a biologically meaningful indicator of major changes in animal behaviour in different years. We recommend the use of such criteria, from an animal's perspective, for delineating seasons or

  10. Harry Pye postkaart Londonist : Elevant ja Kindlus = Harry Pye's Postcard from London : The Elephant & Castle / Harry Pye

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    Pye, Harry, 1973-

    2008-01-01

    Londoni kirjanik ja kunstnik Harry Pye Lõuna-Londoni linnaosast Elephant & Castle, mille võlu ta avastab koos sõpradega linnaosast näituse jaoks fotosid tehes. Fotod eksponeeritakse grupinäitusel "Tõeline elu"

  11. The effect of mature elephant bull introductions on ranging patterns of resident bulls: Phinda Private Game Reserve, South Africa

    OpenAIRE

    Heleen Druce; K. Pretorius; D. Druce; R. Slotow

    2006-01-01

    Increasing popularity of wildlife viewing has resulted in a rapid increase in small, enclosed reserves in South Africa. The African elephant is one of the many species that has been reintroduced into these reserves for eco-tourism. These elephant populations were established as young (smaller that 10 years old) orphans from prior Kruger National Park culling operations. Consequently, this abnormal sex and age structure of these introduced populations has influenced their behavioural and spati...

  12. An attitude assessment of human-elephant conflict in a critical wildlife corridor within the Terai Arc Landscape, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Biba Jasmine

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available This study entails an attitude assessment of the local people living at Mankanthpur Village, one of the bottlenecks in the Bailparao-Kotabagh corridor, Terai West Forest Division, on the issue of elephant conservation, human-(wildlife elephant conflict, and the measures to mitigate it.  Data was collected through a questionnaire survey and several group discussions among the villagers.  The frequency of crop raids and group size of elephants were calculated.  Sixty-two crop raids took place during the study period (February–April 2010, and a mean sighting of 1.08 elephants per day was recorded.  Data from the survey reflects that about 3.53ha of crop land was damaged by the elephants during the survey period.  The people residing on the fringes of the park and in the villages along the Bailparao-Kotabagh Corridor were surveyed about the conflict impact.  Survey results indicate that the most effective management measures used were a combination of loud noise and scaring away elephants using fire.  Local peoples’ views regarding the current status of elephant raids and conservation were also documented.  Peoples’ reaction to compensation schemes was studied; 89% of the respondents feel an effective approach to compensation is a way to reduce sufferings due to conflict with wildlife.  Attempts to reduce the conflict by forming local elephant control teams and enclosing the affected village with a tall cemented wall are under trial.  The underlying assumption in this study is that if damage severely affects the livelihood of local communities, getting their active support, which is essential for conservation, will be difficult. 

  13. Streptococcus agalactiae in elephants - A comparative study with isolates from human and zoo animal and livestock origin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisenberg, Tobias; Rau, Jörg; Westerhüs, Uta; Knauf-Witzens, Tobias; Fawzy, Ahmad; Schlez, Karen; Zschöck, Michael; Prenger-Berninghoff, Ellen; Heydel, Carsten; Sting, Reinhard; Glaeser, Stefanie P; Pulami, Dipen; van der Linden, Mark; Ewers, Christa

    2017-05-01

    Streptococcus (S.) agalactiae represents a significant pathogen for humans and animals. However, there are only a few elderly reports on S. agalactiae infections in wild and zoo elephants even though this pathogen has been isolated comparatively frequently in these endangered animal species. Consequently, between 2004 and 2015, we collected S. agalactiae isolates from African and Asian elephants (n=23) living in four different zoos in Germany. These isolates were characterised and compared with isolates from other animal species (n=20 isolates) and humans (n=3). We found that the isolates from elephants can be readily identified by classical biochemistry and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. Further characterisations for epidemiological issues were achieved using Fourier transform-infrared spectroscopy, capsule typing and molecular fingerprinting (PFGE, RAPD PCR). We could demonstrate that our elephant isolate collection contained at least six different lineages that were representative for their source of origin. Despite generally broad antimicrobial susceptibility of S. agalactiae, many showed tetracycline resistance in vitro. S. agalactiae plays an important role in bacterial infections not only in cattle and humans, but also in elephants. Comparative studies were able to differentiate S. agalactiae isolates from elephants into different infectious clusters based on their epidemiological background. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Seed dispersal of Diospyros virginiana in the past and the present: Evidence for a generalist evolutionary strategy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rebein, Mimi; Davis, Charli N; Abad, Helena; Stone, Taylor; Del Sol, Jillian; Skinner, Natalie; Moran, Matthew D

    2017-06-01

    Several North American trees are hypothesized to have lost their co-evolved seed disperser during the late-Pleistocene extinction and are therefore considered anachronistic. We tested this hypothesis for the American persimmon ( Diospyros virginiana ) by studying the effects of gut passage of proposed seed dispersers on seedling survival and growth, natural fruiting characteristics, and modern animal consumption patterns. We tested gut passage effects on persimmon seeds using three native living species, the raccoon ( Procyon lotor ), Virginia opossum ( Didelphis virginiana ), and coyote ( Canis latrans ), and two Pleistocene analogs; the Asian elephant ( Elephas maximus ) and alpaca ( Vicugna pacos ). Persimmon seeds excreted by raccoons, coyotes, and elephants survived gut transit. Gut passage did not affect sprouting success, but did tend to decrease time to sprout and increase seedling quality. Under field conditions, persimmon fruits were palatable on the parent tree and on the ground for an equal duration, but most fruits were consumed on the ground. Seven vertebrate species fed upon persimmon fruits, with the white-tailed deer ( Odocoileus virginianus )-a species not capable of dispersing persimmon seeds-comprising over 90% of detections. Conversely, potential living seed dispersers were rarely detected. Our results suggest the American persimmon evolved to attract a variety of seed dispersers and thus is not anachronistic. However, human-induced changes in mammal communities could be affecting successful seed dispersal. We argue that changes in the relative abundance of mammals during the Anthropocene may be modifying seed dispersal patterns, leading to potential changes in forest community composition.

  15. The symbiotic intestinal ciliates and the evolution of their hosts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moon-van der Staay, Seung Yeo; van der Staay, Georg W M; Michalowski, Tadeusz; Jouany, Jean-Pierre; Pristas, Peter; Javorský, Peter; Kišidayová, Svetlana; Varadyova, Zora; McEwan, Neil R; Newbold, C Jamie; van Alen, Theo; de Graaf, Rob; Schmid, Markus; Huynen, Martijn A; Hackstein, Johannes H P

    2014-04-01

    The evolution of sophisticated differentiations of the gastro-intestinal tract enabled herbivorous mammals to digest dietary cellulose and hemicellulose with the aid of a complex anaerobic microbiota. Distinctive symbiotic ciliates, which are unique to this habitat, are the largest representatives of this microbial community. Analyses of a total of 484 different 18S rRNA genes show that extremely complex, but related ciliate communities can occur in the rumen of cattle, sheep, goats and red deer (301 sequences). The communities in the hindgut of equids (Equus caballus, Equus quagga), and elephants (Elephas maximus, Loxodonta africanus; 162 sequences), which are clearly distinct from the ruminant ciliate biota, exhibit a much higher diversity than anticipated on the basis of their morphology. All these ciliates from the gastro-intestinal tract constitute a monophyletic group, which consists of two major taxa, i.e. Vestibuliferida and Entodiniomorphida. The ciliates from the evolutionarily older hindgut fermenters exhibit a clustering that is specific for higher taxa of their hosts, as extant species of horse and zebra on the one hand, and Africa and Indian elephant on the other hand, share related ciliates. The evolutionary younger ruminants altogether share the various entodiniomorphs and the vestibuliferids from ruminants. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  16. Elephant’s breast milk contains large amounts of glucosamine

    Science.gov (United States)

    TAKATSU, Zenta; TSUDA, Muneya; YAMADA, Akio; MATSUMOTO, Hiroshi; TAKAI, Akira; TAKEDA, Yasuhiro; TAKASE, Mitsunori

    2016-01-01

    Hand-reared elephant calves that are nursed with milk substitutes sometimes suffer bone fractures, probably due to problems associated with nutrition, exercise, sunshine levels and/or genetic factors. As we were expecting the birth of an Asian elephant (Elephas maximus), we analyzed elephant’s breast milk to improve the milk substitutes for elephant calves. Although there were few nutritional differences between conventional substitutes and elephant’s breast milk, we found a large unknown peak in the breast milk during high-performance liquid chromatography-based amino acid analysis and determined that it was glucosamine (GlcN) using liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry. We detected the following GlcN concentrations [mean ± SD] (mg/100 g) in milk hydrolysates produced by treating samples with 6M HCl for 24 hr at 110°C: four elephant’s breast milk samples: 516 ± 42, three cow’s milk mixtures: 4.0 ± 2.2, three mare’s milk samples: 12 ± 1.2 and two human milk samples: 38. The GlcN content of the elephant’s milk was 128, 43 and 14 times greater than those of the cow’s, mare’s and human milk, respectively. Then, we examined the degradation of GlcN during 0–24 hr hydrolyzation with HCl. We estimated that elephant’s milk contains >880 mg/100 g GlcN, which is similar to the levels of major amino acids in elephant’s milk. We concluded that a novel GlcN-containing milk substitute should be developed for elephant calves. The efficacy of GlcN supplements is disputed, and free GlcN is rare in bodily fluids; thus, the optimal molecular form of GlcN requires a further study. PMID:28049867

  17. Rome’s seat of passion: An assessment of the archeology and history of the Circus Maximus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cody Scott Ames

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available It is a place where the general public can gather communally to watch ludi, provisionally erasing invisible boundary lines which sharply divide one social class from another. The Circus is also a location which has the capability to eradicate personal and societal perceptions potentially rendering a crowd in an intoxicated, wanton state. The association existent between society and its predetermined allocation of space in many venues (e.g. hippodromes, theaters, amphitheaters, etc. which exhibit sports and spectacles, more generally, is well attested to in the Circus Maximus’s history. Using this as the conceptual framework, this article attempts to assess the recurrent, measured, and far-ranging evolutions and interdependencies between the aristocracy and the Circus they constructed. The construction methodology, I argue, was constantly being adapted to suit specific political agendas beginning with its legendary foundation under the Etruscan kings in the sixth-century BCE and ending with its usage during late Empire in the fifth-century CE. The fictional rape of the Sabine women, for example, relates Roman notions of losing self and spatial awareness as a hazardous mistake which can be purposely leveraged by manipulating a predestined, popular situation “monstra.” The organization of this article which traces the Circus’s transitions will begin with the Regal Period, move to the Republican Period, then to the Empire. The variations and modifications the Circus Maximus has undergone since the sixth-century BCE—architecturally and usage wise—serves as evidence to both the flexibility of public spaces and usages by the aristocracy from pre-Roman times through the Roman Empire.

  18. Activation of the gluteus maximus and hamstring muscles during prone hip extension with knee flexion in three hip abduction positions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Sun-Young; Jeon, Hye-Seon; Kwon, Ohyun; Cynn, Heon-Seock; Choi, Boram

    2013-08-01

    The direction of fiber alignment within a muscle is known to influence the effectiveness of muscle contraction. However, most of the commonly used clinical gluteus maximus (GM) exercises do not consider the direction of fiber alignment within the muscle. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of hip abduction position on the EMG (electromyography) amplitude and onset time of the GM and hamstrings (HAM) during prone hip extension with knee flexion (PHEKF) exercise. Surface EMG signals were recorded from the GM and HAM during PHEKF exercise in three hip abduction positions: 0°, 15°, and 30°. Thirty healthy subjects voluntarily participated in this study. The results show that GM EMG amplitude was greatest in the 30° hip abduction position, followed by 15° and then 0° hip abduction during PHEKF exercise. On the other hand, the HAM EMG amplitude at 0° hip abduction was significantly greater than at 15° and 30° hip abduction. Additionally, GM EMG onset firing was delayed relative to that of the HAM at 0° hip abduction. On the contrary, the GM EMG onset occurred earlier than the HAM in the 15° and 30° hip abduction positions. These findings indicate that performing PHEKF exercise in the 30° hip abduction position may be recommended as an effective way to facilitate the GM muscle activity and advance the firing time of the GM muscle in asymptomatic individuals. This finding provides preliminary evidence that GM EMG amplitude and onset time can be modified by the degree of hip abduction. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Neutral N-glycan patterns of the gastropods Limax maximus, Cepaea hortensis, Planorbarius corneus, Arianta arbustorum and Achatina fulica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutternigg, Martin; Bürgmayr, Sabine; Pöltl, Gerald; Rudolf, Judith; Staudacher, Erika

    2007-11-01

    The N-glycosylation potentials of Limax maximus, Cepaea hortensis, Planorbarius corneus, Arianta arbustorum and Achatina fulica were analysed by investigation of the N-glycan structures of the skin and viscera glycoproteins by a combination of HPLC and mass-spectrometry methods. It is one of the first steps to enlarge the knowledge on the glycosylation abilities of gastropods, which may help to establish new cell culture systems, to uncover new means for pest control for some species, and to identify carbohydrate-epitopes which may be relevant for immune response. All snails analysed contained mainly oligomannosidic and small paucimannosidic structures, often terminated with 3-O-methylated mannoses. The truncated structures carried modifications by beta1-2-linked xylose to the beta-mannose residue, and/or an alpha-fucosylation, mainly alpha1,6-linked to the innermost N-acetylglucosaminyl residue of the core. Many of these structures were missing the terminal N-acetylglucosamine, which has been shown to be a prerequisite for processing to complex N-glycans in the Golgi. In some species (Planorbarius corneus and Achatina fulica) traces of large structures, terminated by 3-O-methylated galactoses and carrying xylose and/or fucose residues, were also detected. In Planorbarius viscera low amounts of terminal alpha1-2-fucosylation were determined. Combining these results, gastropods seem to be capable to produce all kinds of structures ranging from those typical in mammals through to structures similar to those found in plants, insects or nematodes. The detailed knowledge of this very complex glycosylation system of the gastropods will be a valuable tool to understand the principle rules of glycosylation in all organisms.

  20. Effects of probiotic on microfloral structure of live feed used in larval breeding of turbot Scophthalmus maximus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Yan; Zhang, Zheng; Wang, Yingeng; Jing, Yayun; Liao, Meijie; Rong, Xiaojun; Li, Bin; Chen, Guiping; Zhang, Hesen

    2017-08-01

    The effects of an exogenous probiotic (Bacillus amyloliquefaciens) on microbial community structure of Branchionus plicatils and Artemia sinica were evaluated in this study during turbot (Scophthalmus maximus) larval breeding. The analysis and comparison of the microfloral composition of live feed with probiotic was conducted using the Illumina HiSeq PE250. The abundance of microbial species and diversity of microflora in live feed with B. amyloliquefaciens were higher than those in the control. The microfloral composition was similar among the three replicate experimental groups of B. plicatils compared with the control after enrichment. Lactococcus, Pseudoalteromonas, and Alteromonas were always dominant. Additionally, some other bacterial species became dominant during the enrichment process. The microbial community during nutrient enrichment of A. sinica was rather similar among the three control replicates. Relative abundance of Cobetia sp., the most dominant species, was 54%-65.2%. Similarity in the microbial community was still high after adding B. amyloliquefaciens. Furthermore, Pseudoalteromonas and Alteromonas replaced Cobetia as the dominant species, and the abundance of Cobetia decreased to 4.3%-25.3%. Mean common ratios at the operational taxonomic unit level were 50%-60% between the two B. plicatils and A. sinica treatments. Therefore, the microbial community structure changed after adding B. amyloliquefaciens during nutrient enrichment of B. plicatils or A. sinica and tended to stabilize. Additionally, the abundance of Vibrio in any kind of live feed was not significantly different from that in the control. These results will help improve the microflora of B. plicatils and A. sinica and can be used to understand the multiple-level transfer role of probiotic species among probiotic products, microflora of live feed, and fish larvae.

  1. RNA-seq analysis of early enteromyxosis in turbot (Scophthalmus maximus): new insights into parasite invasion and immune evasion strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ronza, Paolo; Robledo, Diego; Bermúdez, Roberto; Losada, Ana Paula; Pardo, Belén G; Sitjà-Bobadilla, Ariadna; Quiroga, María Isabel; Martínez, Paulino

    2016-07-01

    Enteromyxum scophthalmi, an intestinal myxozoan parasite, is the causative agent of a threatening disease for turbot (Scophthalmus maximus, L.) aquaculture. The colonisation of the digestive tract by this parasite leads to a cachectic syndrome associated with high morbidity and mortality rates. This myxosporidiosis has a long pre-patent period and the first detectable clinical and histopathological changes are subtle. The pathogenic mechanisms acting in the early stages of infection are still far from being fully understood. Further information on the host-parasite interaction is needed to assist in finding efficient preventive and therapeutic measures. Here, a RNA-seq-based transcriptome analysis of head kidney, spleen and pyloric caeca from experimentally-infected and control turbot was performed. Only infected fish with early signs of infection, determined by histopathology and immunohistochemical detection of E. scophthalmi, were selected. The RNA-seq analysis revealed, as expected, less intense transcriptomic changes than those previously found during later stages of the disease. Several genes involved in IFN-related pathways were up-regulated in the three organs, suggesting that the IFN-mediated immune response plays a main role in this phase of the disease. Interestingly, an opposite expression pattern had been found in a previous study on severely infected turbot. In addition, possible strategies for immune system evasion were suggested by the down-regulation of different genes encoding complement components and acute phase proteins. At the site of infection (pyloric caeca), modulation of genes related to different structural proteins was detected and the expression profile indicated the inhibition of cell proliferation and differentiation. These transcriptomic changes provide indications regarding the mechanisms of parasite attachment to and invasion of the host. The current results contribute to a better knowledge of the events that characterise the early

  2. Elephants and human intervention in the Lower and Middle Pleistocene sites of Africa and Europe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martos Romero, Juan Antonio

    1998-06-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, we review some African and European sites at which it is claimed that elephants were exploted by humans. The differences between sites with only one individual (type 1 and sites with a large number of elephants (type 2 are related to different formation processes and particular problems which limit the informative potential of sites.

    En el presente artículo se revisan yacimientos africanos y europeos donde se ha planteado la existencia de una intervención humana sobre elefantes. Se establece una diferencia entre sitios con un sólo individuo (tipo 1 o un número alto de elefantes (tipo 2. Con independencia del carácter de la intervención humana, cuando ésta es evidente, tales diferencias responden a unos procesos de formación distintos con problemáticas singulares que condicionan finalmente la capacidad informativa del yacimiento.

  3. Spotted hyaenas Crocuta crocuta prey on new-born elephant calves in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julia Salnicki

    2001-07-01

    Full Text Available Spotted hyaena Crocuta crocuta are known to be opportunists and to have a varied diet including mammals, reptiles and birds. Prey most often hunted are medium sized ungulates but spotted hyaenas will on occasion take larger species such as giraffe Giraffa camelopardalis and zebra Equus burchellii. They are also known to hunt whichever species are most abundant and will vary their prey seasonally. In this study spotted hyaenas were observed to take an unusual prey species in the form of elephant calves (Loxodonta africana. On a number of occasions hyaenas were observed feeding on or killing newborn and very young elephant calves. These observations were made whilst the authors were conducting research on spotted hyaena ecology in the woodlands of Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe and were made during the dry season between September and November 1999.

  4. Age- and tactic-related paternity success in male African elephants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rasmussen, Henrik Barner; Okello, J. B. A.; Wittemyer, G.

    2008-01-01

    on age- and tactic-specific paternity success in male African elephants are the first from a free-ranging population and demonstrate that paternity success increases dramatically with age, with the small number of older bulls in the competitive state of musth being the most successful sires. However......, nonmusth males sired 20% of genotyped calves, and 60% of mature bulls (>20 years old) were estimated to have sired offspring during the 5-year study period. The 3 most successful males sired less than 20% of the genotyped offspring. Hence, contrary to prediction from behavior and life-history traits......, reproduction was not heavily skewed compared with many other mammalian systems with a similar breeding system. Nevertheless, these results indicate that trophy hunting and ivory poaching, both of which target older bulls, may have substantial behavioral and genetic effects on elephant populations. In addition...

  5. The influence of chemical methods (acid modification) on elephant foot yam flour to improve physical and chemical quality on processed food

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paramita, Octavianti; Wahyuningsih, Ansori, Muhammad

    2018-03-01

    This study was aimed at improving the physicochemical quality of elephant foot yam flour in Gunungpati, Semarang by acid modification. The utilization of elephant foot yam flour in several processed food was also discussed in this study. The flour of the experimental result discussed in this study was expected to become a reference for the manufacturers of elephant foot yam flour and its processed food in Gunungpati. This study modified the elephant foot yam flour using acid modification method. The physical and chemical quality of each elephant foot yam flour of the experimental result sample were assessed using proximate analysis. The resulting tuber flour weighed 50 grams and the soaked in acid solution with various concentrations 5 %, 10 % and 15 % with soaking duration 30, 60 and 90 minutes at temperature 35 °C. The resulting suspension was washed 3 times, filtered and then dried by cabinet dryer using 46 °C for 2 days. The dried flour was sifted with a 80 mesh sieve. Chemical test was conducted after elephant foot yam was acid modification to determine changes in the quality flour: test levels of protein, fat, crude fiber content, moisture content, ash content and starch content. In addition, color tests and granular test on elephant foot yam flour were also conducted. The acid modification as chemical treatment on elephant foot yam flour in this study was able to change the functional properties of elephant foot yam flour towards a better processing characterized by a brighter color (L = 80, a = 8 and b = 12), the hydrolysis of polysaccharides flour into shorter chain (flour content decreased to 72%), the expansion of granules in elephant foot yam resulting in a process - ready flour, and better monolayer water content of 11%. The content of protein and fiber on the elephant foot yam flour also can be maintained at a level of 8% and 1.9% levels.

  6. Population genetic structure of savannah elephants in Kenya: conservation and management implications

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Okello, John B A; Masembe, Charles; Rasmussen, Henrik B

    2008-01-01

    We investigated population genetic structure and regional differentiation among African savannah elephants in Kenya using mitochondrial and microsatellite markers. We observed mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) nucleotide diversity of 1.68% and microsatellite variation in terms of average number of allele...... through male-mediated gene flow. Our results depicting 3 broad regional mtDNA groups and the observed population genetic differentiation as well as connectivity patterns should be incorporated in the planning of future management activities such as translocations....

  7. Chemical composition and fermentation characteristics of elephant grass silage with biodiesel industry co-products

    OpenAIRE

    Cleef,Eric Haydt Castello Branco van; Silva Filho,José Cleto da; Neiva Júnior,Arnaldo Prata; Patiño Pardo,René Maurício; Rêgo,Aníbal Coutinho do; Gonçalves,Josemir de Souza

    2012-01-01

    The objective of this research was to evaluate the effect of three concentrations (3, 6, and 9%) of forage turnip (Raphanus sativus) and physic nut (Jatropha curcas) cakes on dry matter, crude protein, ether extract, neutral detergent fiber, acid detergent fiber, lignin, acid detergent insoluble nitrogen neutral detergent insoluble nitrogen contents, in vitro dry matter digestibility, pH values and concentrations of N-NH3 in elephant grass silages. It was used an entirely randomized design in...

  8. Whole body perfusion in patients undergoing frozen elephant trunk for type A acute aortic dissections.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cappabianca, Giangiuseppe; Roscitano, Claudio; Bichi, Samuele; Cricco, Antonio; Parrinello, Matteo; Beghi, Cesare; Albano, Giovanni; Esposito, Giampiero

    2017-03-01

    The Frozen Elephant Trunk (FET) can be adopted in selected type A acute aortic dissections (TAAAD). During FET, a prolonged distal circulatory arrest exposes the spine and visceral organs to potential ischemic injuries. Antegrade distal aortic perfusion (ADAP) could minimize this risk: we describe the technical aspects of the simultaneous use of antegrade cerebral perfusion (ACP) and ADAP achieving a "Whole Body Perfusion" (WBP) during FET.

  9. Conservation planning for a widespread, threatened species: WWF and the African elephant Loxodonta africana

    OpenAIRE

    Stephenson, Peter J.; Ntiamoa-Baidu, Yaa

    2017-01-01

    In a case study of conservation planning by a conservation organization working at a continental scale we examine how WWF identified and prioritized its African elephant Loxodonta africana conservation activities. We (1) review lessons learnt from previous work, (2) identify priority landscapes using biological criteria (e.g. population size and viability) and institutional criteria (e.g. feasibility, sustainability and cost-effectiveness of WWF interventions), and (3) conduct a threat analys...

  10. Prolonged fasting increases purine recycling in post-weaned northern elephant seals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soñanez-Organis, José Guadalupe; Vázquez-Medina, José Pablo; Zenteno-Savín, Tania; Aguilar, Andres; Crocker, Daniel E; Ortiz, Rudy M

    2012-05-01

    Northern elephant seals are naturally adapted to prolonged periods (1-2 months) of absolute food and water deprivation (fasting). In terrestrial mammals, food deprivation stimulates ATP degradation and decreases ATP synthesis, resulting in the accumulation of purines (ATP degradation byproducts). Hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyl transferase (HGPRT) salvages ATP by recycling the purine degradation products derived from xanthine oxidase (XO) metabolism, which also promotes oxidant production. The contributions of HGPRT to purine recycling during prolonged food deprivation in marine mammals are not well defined. In the present study we cloned and characterized the complete and partial cDNA sequences that encode for HGPRT and xanthine oxidoreductase (XOR) in northern elephant seals. We also measured XO protein expression and circulating activity, along with xanthine and hypoxanthine plasma content in fasting northern elephant seal pups. Blood, adipose and muscle tissue samples were collected from animals after 1, 3, 5 and 7 weeks of their natural post-weaning fast. The complete HGPRT and partial XOR cDNA sequences are 771 and 345 bp long and encode proteins of 218 and 115 amino acids, respectively, with conserved domains important for their function and regulation. XOR mRNA and XO protein expression increased 3-fold and 1.7-fold with fasting, respectively, whereas HGPRT mRNA (4-fold) and protein (2-fold) expression increased after 7 weeks in adipose tissue and muscle. Plasma xanthine (3-fold) and hypoxanthine (2.5-fold) levels, and XO (1.7- to 20-fold) and HGPRT (1.5- to 1.7-fold) activities increased during the last 2 weeks of fasting. Results suggest that prolonged fasting in elephant seal pups is associated with increased capacity to recycle purines, which may contribute to ameliorating oxidant production and enhancing the supply of ATP, both of which would be beneficial during prolonged food deprivation and appear to be adaptive in this species.

  11. Renaut bodies in nerves of the trunk of the African elephant, Loxodonta africana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Witter, Kirsti; Egger, Gunter F; Boeck, Peter

    2007-05-01

    Renaut bodies are loosely textured, cell-sparse structures in the subperineurial space of peripheral nerves, frequently found at sites of nerve entrapment. The trunk of the elephant is a mobile, richly innervated organ, which serves for food gathering, object grasping and as a tactile organ. These functions of the trunk lead to distortion and mechanical compression of its nerves, which can therefore be expected to contain numerous Renaut bodies. Samples of the trunk wall of an adult African elephant (Loxodonta africana) were examined histologically using conventional staining methods, immunohistochemistry, and lectin histochemistry. Architecture of nerve plexuses and occurrence of Renaut bodies in the elephant trunk were compared with those in tissues surrounding the nasal vestibule of the pig. Prominent nerve plexuses were found in all layers of the elephant trunk. Almost all (81%) nerve profiles contained Renaut bodies, a basophilic, discrete subperineurial layer resembling cushions around the nerve core. In contrast, Renaut bodies were seen in only 15% of nerve profiles in the porcine nasal vestibule. Within Renaut bodies, fusiform fibroblasts and round, ruff-like cells were placed into a matrix of acidic glycosaminoglycans with delicate collagen and very few reticular fibers. The turgor of this matrix is thought to protect nerves against compression and shearing strain. Renaut bodies are readily stained with alcian blue (pH 2.5) favorably in combination with immunohistochemical markers of nerve fibers. They should be regarded as a physiological response to repeated mechanical insults and are distinct from pathological alterations. alterations. (c) 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  12. An assessment of human-elephant conflict in Manas National Park, Assam, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N.K. Nath

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available An assessment of human-elephant conflict was carried out in the fringe villages around Manas National Park, Assam during 2005-06. The available forest department conflict records since 1991 onwards were also incorporated during analysis. Conflict was intense in the months of July-August and was mostly concentrated along the forest boundary areas, decreasing with distance from the Park. Crop damage occurred during two seasons; paddy (the major crop suffered the most due to raiding. Crop maturity and frequency of raiding were positively correlated. Single bull elephants were involved in conflicts more frequently (59% than female herds (41%, while herds were involved in majority of crop raiding cases. Of the single elephants, 88% were makhnas and 11.9% were tuskers. The average herd size recorded was 8 individuals, with group size ranging up to 16. Mitigation measures presently adopted involve traditional drive-away techniques including making noise by shouting, drum beating, bursting fire crackers and firing gun shots into the air, and using torch light, pelting stones and throwing burning torches. Kunkis have been used in severe cases. Machans are used for guarding the crops. Combinations of methods are most effective. Family herds were easily deflected, while single bulls were difficult to ward off. Affected villagers have suggested methods like regular patrolling (39% by the Forest Department officials along the Park boundary, erection of a concrete wall (18% along the Park boundary, electric fencing (13%, simply drive away (13%, culling (11% and lighting the Park boundary during night hours (6%. Attempts to reduce conflict by changing the traditional cropping pattern by introducing some elephant-repellent alternative cash crops (e.g. lemon and chilli are under experiment.

  13. How should the psychological well-being of zoo elephants be objectively investigated?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mason, Georgia J; Veasey, Jake S

    2010-01-01

    Animal welfare (sometimes termed "well-being") is about feelings - states such as "suffering" or "contentment" that we can infer but cannot measure directly. Welfare indices have been developed from two main sources: studies of suffering humans, and of research animals deliberately subjected to challenges known to affect emotional state. We briefly review the resulting indices here, and discuss how well they are understood for elephants, since objective welfare assessment should play a central role in evidence-based elephant management. We cover behavioral and cognitive responses (approach/avoidance; intention, redirected and displacement activities; vigilance/startle; warning signals; cognitive biases, apathy and depression-like changes; stereotypic behavior); physiological responses (sympathetic responses; corticosteroid output - often assayed non-invasively via urine, feces or even hair; other aspects of HPA function, e.g. adrenal hypertrophy); and the potential negative effects of prolonged stress on reproduction (e.g. reduced gametogenesis; low libido; elevated still-birth rates; poor maternal care) and health (e.g. poor wound-healing; enhanced disease rates; shortened lifespans). The best validated, most used welfare indices for elephants are corticosteroid outputs and stereotypic behavior. Indices suggested as valid, partially validated, and/or validated but not yet applied within zoos include: measures of preference/avoidance; displacement movements; vocal/postural signals of affective (emotional) state; startle/vigilance; apathy; salivary and urinary epinephrine; female acyclity; infant mortality rates; skin/foot infections; cardio-vascular disease; and premature adult death. Potentially useful indices that have not yet attracted any validation work in elephants include: operant responding and place preference tests; intention and vacuum movements; fear/stress pheromone release; cognitive biases; heart rate, pupil dilation and blood pressure

  14. Legal ivory trade in a corrupt world and its impact on African elephant populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, Elizabeth L

    2015-02-01

    Illegal hunting of African elephants (Loxodonta africana) for ivory is causing rapid declines in their populations. Since 2007, illegal ivory trade has more than doubled. African elephants are facing the most serious conservation crisis since 1989, when international trade was banned. One solution proposed is establishment of a controlled legal trade in ivory. High prices for ivory mean that the incentives to obtain large quantities are high, but the quantity of tusks available for trade are biologically constrained. Within that context, effective management of a legal ivory trade would require robust systems to be in place to ensure that ivory from illegally killed elephants cannot be laundered into a legal market. At present, that is not feasible due to corruption among government officials charged with implementing wildlife-related legislation. With organized criminal enterprises involved along the whole commodity chain, corruption enables the laundering of illegal ivory into legal or potentially legal markets. Poachers and traffickers can rapidly pay their way out of trouble, so the financial incentives to break the law heavily outweigh those of abiding by it. Maintaining reliable permitting systems and leak-proof chains of custody in this context is challenging, and effective management breaks down. Once illegal ivory has entered the legal trade, it is difficult or impossible for enforcement officers to know what is legal and illegal. Addressing corruption throughout a trade network that permeates countries across the globe will take decades, if it can ever be achieved. That will be too late for wild African elephants at current rates of loss. If we are to conserve remaining wild populations, we must close all markets because, under current levels of corruption, they cannot be controlled in a way that does not provide opportunities for illegal ivory being laundered into legal markets. © 2014 Society for Conservation Biology.

  15. Risk factors for saddle-related skin lesions on elephants used in the tourism industry in Thailand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magda, Scarlett; Spohn, Olivia; Angkawanish, Taweepoke; Smith, Dale A; Pearl, David L

    2015-05-19

    Lesions related to working conditions and improper saddle design are a concern for a variety of working animals including elephants. The objectives of the present study were to determine the prevalence of cutaneous lesions in anatomic regions (i.e., neck, girth, back, tail) in contact with saddle-related equipment among elephants in Thailand working in the tourism industry, and to identify potential risk factors associated with these lesions. Data for this cross-sectional study were collected between May 2007 and July 2007 on 194 elephants from 18 tourism camps across Thailand. There was a high prevalence (64.4 %; 95 % CI 57.3 - 71.2) of active lesions, most often located on the back region. Using multilevel multivariable logistic regression modelling containing a random intercept for camp we identified the following risk factors: increasing elephant age, the use of rice sacks as padding material in contact with the skin, and the provision of a break for the elephants. Working hours had a quadratic relationship with the log odds of an active lesion where the probability of an active lesion initially increased with the number of working hours per day and then declined possibly reflecting a "healthy worker" bias where only animals without lesions continue to be able to work these longer hours. While we recognize that the cross-sectional nature of the study posed some inferential limitations, our results offer several potential intervention points for the prevention of these lesions. Specifically, we recommend the following until longitudinal studies can be conducted: increased monitoring of older elephants and the back region of all elephants, working less than 6 hours per day, and the avoidance of rice sacks as padding material in contact with skin.

  16. The impact of an increasing elephant population on the woody vegetation in southern Sabi Sand Wildtuin, South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kay Hiscocks

    1999-07-01

    Full Text Available In 1961, a fence was erected between privately owned Sabi Sand Wildtuin (SSW and the Kruger National Park (KNP, which largely prevented elephants entering the SSW. In 1993, the fence was removed. This lead to a rapid influx of elephants into the SSW during the winter months, most of which move back into the KNP during the wet summer season. In 1993, the SSW elephant population was 1/1045 ha but increased to 1/305.8 ha in 1996. It more than doubled to 1/146 ha in 1998. This study was undertaken on the property Kingston, in southern SSW, to assess the impact of elephants on woody vegetation and determine why they show seasonal dietary preferences for specific tree parts. Vegetation utilisation was recorded on a five kilometer transect of vehicle track in 1996 and repeated in 1998. From the transect, species density was calculated for those trees impacted on. Trees that had been newly bark stripped were recorded in 1996 and 1998. Cambium samples were collected in summer and winter from eight tree species. Field observations of elephants impacting on woody vegetation augmented the data base. Transect analysis showed a strong correlation between tree utilisation and density. The most visual damage was of Combretum apiculatum, Acacia burkei, Pterocarpus rotundifolius and Grewia species. Tree damage increased by 73 from 1996 to 1998. Significantly higher levels of nitrogen, sodium and magnesium were found in the species most regularly bark stripped. Bull elephants were responsible for 94 of the trees seen uprooted. The results suggested that SSW can sustain the present elephant population, but further influx at the present rate of increase, will have a negative impact on the reserve.

  17. Interspecific interference competition at the resource patch scale: do large herbivores spatially avoid elephants while accessing water?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferry, Nicolas; Dray, Stéphane; Fritz, Hervé; Valeix, Marion

    2016-11-01

    Animals may anticipate and try to avoid, at some costs, physical encounters with other competitors. This may ultimately impact their foraging distribution and intake rates. Such cryptic interference competition is difficult to measure in the field, and extremely little is known at the interspecific level. We tested the hypothesis that smaller species avoid larger ones because of potential costs of interference competition and hence expected them to segregate from larger competitors at the scale of a resource patch. We assessed fine-scale spatial segregation patterns between three African herbivore species (zebra Equus quagga, kudu Tragelaphus strepsiceros and giraffe Giraffa camelopardalis) and a megaherbivore, the African elephant Loxodonta africana, at the scale of water resource patches in the semi-arid ecosystem of Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe. Nine waterholes were monitored every two weeks during the dry season of a drought year, and observational scans of the spatial distribution of all herbivores were performed every 15 min. We developed a methodological approach to analyse such fine-scale spatial data. Elephants increasingly used waterholes as the dry season progressed, as did the probability of co-occurrence and agonistic interaction with elephants for the three study species. All three species segregated from elephants at the beginning of the dry season, suggesting a spatial avoidance of elephants and the existence of costs of being close to them. However, contrarily to our expectations, herbivores did not segregate from elephants the rest of the dry season but tended to increasingly aggregate with elephants as the dry season progressed. We discuss these surprising results and the existence of a trade-off between avoidance of interspecific interference competition and other potential factors such as access to quality water, which may have relative associated costs that change with the time of the year. © 2016 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology

  18. Modeling The Fate of Sumatran Elephants in Bukit Tigapuluh Indonesia: Research Needs & Implications for Population Management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander Markus Moßbrucker

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The critically endangered Sumatran elephant persists in mainly small and isolated populations that may require intensive management to be viable in the long term. Population Viability Analysis (PVA provides the opportunity to evaluate conservation strategies and objectives prior to implementation, which can be very valuable for site managers by supporting their decision making process. This study applies PVA to a local population of Sumatran elephants roaming the Bukit Tigapuluh landscape, Sumatra, with the main goal to explore the impact of pre-selected conservation measures and population scenarios on both population growth rate and extinction probability. Sensitivity testing revealed considerable parameter uncertainties that should be addressed by targeted research projects in order to improve the predictive power of the baseline population model. Given that further habitat destruction can be prevented, containing illegal killings appears to be of highest priority among the tested conservation measures and represents a mandatory pre-condition for activities addressing inbreeding depression such as elephant translocation or the establishment of a conservation corridor.

  19. Recurrent neural network-based modeling of gene regulatory network using elephant swarm water search algorithm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mandal, Sudip; Saha, Goutam; Pal, Rajat Kumar

    2017-08-01

    Correct inference of genetic regulations inside a cell from the biological database like time series microarray data is one of the greatest challenges in post genomic era for biologists and researchers. Recurrent Neural Network (RNN) is one of the most popular and simple approach to model the dynamics as well as to infer correct dependencies among genes. Inspired by the behavior of social elephants, we propose a new metaheuristic namely Elephant Swarm Water Search Algorithm (ESWSA) to infer Gene Regulatory Network (GRN). This algorithm is mainly based on the water search strategy of intelligent and social elephants during drought, utilizing the different types of communication techniques. Initially, the algorithm is tested against benchmark small and medium scale artificial genetic networks without and with presence of different noise levels and the efficiency was observed in term of parametric error, minimum fitness value, execution time, accuracy of prediction of true regulation, etc. Next, the proposed algorithm is tested against the real time gene expression data of Escherichia Coli SOS Network and results were also compared with others state of the art optimization methods. The experimental results suggest that ESWSA is very efficient for GRN inference problem and performs better than other methods in many ways.

  20. Increased release of fermentable sugars from elephant grass by enzymatic hydrolysis in the presence of surfactants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Menegol, Daiane; Scholl, Angélica Luisi; Fontana, Roselei Claudete; Dillon, Aldo José Pinheiro; Camassola, Marli

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • Milling is an attractive method to enhance the enzymatic hydrolysis of biomass. • Surfactants improve the efficiency of lignocellulose enzymatic hydrolysis. • Pretreatment with NaOH, smaller particle size and Tween 80® were more efficient. - Abstract: In the search for renewable energy sources, elephant grass is an alternative substrate for ethanol production, but this substrate must be hydrolyzed by cellulases and xylanases to liberate fermentable sugars. During enzymatic hydrolysis, cellulase activity is reduced by the irreversible adsorption of cellulase onto cellulose, decreasing the rate of hydrolysis. Adding surfactants during hydrolysis can improve the process. The effects of Tween® and Triton® surfactants on the enzymatic hydrolysis of elephant grass were evaluated in this context. The data indicate that pretreatment with sodium hydroxide, along with a smaller particle size (0.075–0.152 mm) and the use of Tween 80®, increased the efficiency of releasing reducing sugars from pretreated elephant grass biomass. Thus, it is possible to reduce grinding costs in second-generation ethanol production through the use of surfactants, as they allow efficient hydrolysis of larger biomass particles

  1. Extended aortic repair using frozen elephant trunk technique for Marfan syndrome with acute aortic dissection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uchida, Naomichi; Katayama, Akira; Kuraoka, Masatsugu; Katayama, Keijiro; Takahashi, Shinya; Takasaki, Taiichi; Sueda, Taijiro

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this study was to analyze midterm results of frozen elephant trunk technique for Marfan syndrome with acute aortic dissection. Between February 1999 and August 2011 we performed arch replacement uisng frozen elephant trunk technique for acute aortic dissection in 8 patients with Marfan syndrome containing two complicated type B dissections and six type A dissections.Five patients compromised annulo-aortic ectasia who performed Bentall operation. No patients died in the initial operation. Fate of false lumen on the stent graft border was expressed by CT scan follow-up that were patent in 0, thrombosis in 5 and absorption in 3 patients. One patient who had new aortic dissection 8 years after initial surgery required the Crawford V operation. Ten-years-survival rate was 100% and ten years-event free rate was 67%. Frozen elephant trunk technique was feasible for Marfan syndrome with acute aortic dissection and might become alternative prophylactic treatment to the downstream aorta for acute aortic dissection.

  2. Kinetic study of the catalytic pyrolysis of elephant grass using Ti-MCM-41

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fontes, Maria do Socorro Braga; Melo, Dulce Maria de Araujo; Rodrigues, Glicelia, E-mail: socorro.fontes@yahoo.com.br [Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN), Natal, RN (Brazil); Barros, Joana Maria de Farias [Universidade Federal de Campina Grande (UFCG), Cuite, PB (Brazil). Dept. de Quimica; Braga, Renata Martins [Universidade Federal da Paraiba (UFPB/CEAR/DEER), Joao Pessoa, PB (Brazil). Centro de Energias Alternativas e Renovaveis. Dept. de Engenharia de Energia Renovaveis

    2014-08-15

    This work aimed to study the kinetics of thermal and catalytic pyrolysis using Ti-MCM-41 as catalyst in order to assess the catalytic pyrolysis efficiency compared to thermal pyrolysis of elephant grass. Ti-MCM-41 molecular sieve was synthesized by hydrothermal method from hydrogel with the following molar composition: 1.00 CTMABr: 4.00 SiO{sub 2}:X TiO{sub 2}: 1 + X Na{sub 2}O: 200.00 H{sub 2}O, which structure template used was cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTMABr). The materials synthesized were characterized by X-ray diffraction, IR spectroscopy, thermogravimetric analysis and specific area by the BET method, for subsequent application in the biomass pyrolysis process. The kinetic models proposed by Vyazovkin and Flynn-Wall were used to determine the apparent activation energy involved in the thermal and catalytic pyrolysis of elephant grass and the results showed that the catalyst used was effective in reducing the apparent activation energy involved in the thermal decomposition of elephant grass. (author)

  3. Prediction of genetic gains by selection indices using mixed models in elephant grass for energy purposes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, V B; Daher, R F; Araújo, M S B; Souza, Y P; Cassaro, S; Menezes, B R S; Gravina, L M; Novo, A A C; Tardin, F D; Júnior, A T Amaral

    2017-09-27

    Genetically improved cultivars of elephant grass need to be adapted to different ecosystems with a faster growth speed and lower seasonality of biomass production over the year. This study aimed to use selection indices using mixed models (REML/BLUP) for selecting families and progenies within full-sib families of elephant grass (Pennisetum purpureum) for biomass production. One hundred and twenty full-sib progenies were assessed from 2014 to 2015 in a randomized block design with three replications. During this period, the traits dry matter production, the number of tillers, plant height, stem diameter, and neutral detergent fiber were assessed. Families 3 and 1 were the best classified, being the most indicated for selection effect. Progenies 40, 45, 46, and 49 got the first positions in the three indices assessed in the first cut. The gain for individual 40 was 161.76% using Mulamba and Mock index. The use of selection indices using mixed models is advantageous in elephant grass since they provide high gains with the selection, which are distributed among all the assessed traits in the most appropriate situation to breeding programs.

  4. The Influence of Rainfall, Vegetation, Elephants and People on Fire Frequency of Miombo Woodlands, Northern Mozambique

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ribeiro, N. S.; Okin, G. S.; Shugart, H. H.; Swap, R. J.

    2008-12-01

    Miombo woodlands are important in southern Africa as they occupy over 50% of the land and, their good and services support a large proportion of people in the region. Anthropogenic fires occur in miombo every year especially in the dry season (May - October). This study explores the influence of annual rainfall, elephant density, human density and corridors, and vegetation on the fire frequency. It was carried out in Niassa Reserve located in northern Mozambique, the largest and more pristine conservation area of miombo woodlands in the world. We used a time series analysis and statistical t-test of MODIS-derived Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) to explore the relationship between biomass and fire frequency. The influence of rainfall, elephants, people and vegetation on fire return was explored using a stepwise logistic regression analysis. The results of this study indicate that fire frequency is higher in places with high biomass at beginning of the dry season. In these areas fire seems to be more intense and to strongly reduce biomass in the late dry season. Land cover is the strongest predictor of fire frequency, but elephant density, annual rainfall and human corridors are also important.

  5. Deep-ocean foraging northern elephant seals bioaccumulate persistent organic pollutants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Peterson, Sarah H.; Peterson, Michael G.; Debier, Cathy; Covaci, Adrian; Dirtu, Alin C.; Malarvannan, Govindan; Crocker, Daniel E.; Schwarz, Lisa K.; Costa, Daniel P.

    2015-01-01

    As top predators in the northeast Pacific Ocean, northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) are vulnerable to bioaccumulation of persistent organic pollutants (POPs). Our study examined a suite of POPs in blubber (inner and outer) and blood (serum) of free-ranging northern elephant seals. For adult females (N = 24), we satellite tracked and sampled the same seals before and after their approximately seven month long foraging trip. For males, we sampled different adults and sub-adults before (N = 14) and after (N = 15) the same foraging trip. For females, we calculated blubber burdens for all compounds. The highest POP concentrations in males and females were found for ∑ DDTs and ∑ PCBs. In blubber and serum, males had significantly greater concentrations than females for almost all compounds. For males and females, ∑ DDT and ∑ PBDEs were highly correlated in blubber and serum. While ∑ PCBs were highly correlated with ∑ DDTs and ∑ PBDEs in blubber and serum for males, ∑ PCBs showed weaker correlations with both compounds in females. As females gained mass while foraging, concentrations of nearly all POPs in inner and outer blubber significantly decreased; however, the absolute burden in blubber significantly increased, indicating ingestion of contaminants while foraging. Additionally, we identified three clusters of seal foraging behavior, based on geography, diving behavior, and stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes, which corresponded with differences in ∑ DDTs, ∑ PBDEs, MeO-BDE 47, as well as the ratio of ∑ DDTs to ∑ PCBs, indicating the potential for behavior to heighten or mitigate contaminant exposure. The greatest concentrations of ∑ DDTs and ∑ PBDEs were observed in the cluster that foraged closer to the coast and had blood samples more enriched in 13 C. Bioaccumulation of POPs by elephant seals supports mesopelagic food webs as a sink for POPs and highlights elephant seals as a potential sentinel of contamination in deep

  6. Deep-ocean foraging northern elephant seals bioaccumulate persistent organic pollutants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Peterson, Sarah H., E-mail: sarahpeterson23@gmail.com [Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Santa Cruz, 100 Shaffer Road, Santa Cruz, CA 95060 (United States); Peterson, Michael G. [Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, University of California, Berkeley, 130 Mulford Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); Debier, Cathy [Institut des Sciences de la Vie, Université catholique de Louvain, Croix du Sud 2/L7.05.08, 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium); Covaci, Adrian [Toxicological Center, Campus Drie Eiken, Universiteit Antwerpen, Universiteitsplein 1, 2610 Wilrijk (Belgium); Dirtu, Alin C. [Toxicological Center, Campus Drie Eiken, Universiteit Antwerpen, Universiteitsplein 1, 2610 Wilrijk (Belgium); Department of Chemistry, “Al. I. Cuza” University of Iasi, 700506 Iasi (Romania); Malarvannan, Govindan [Toxicological Center, Campus Drie Eiken, Universiteit Antwerpen, Universiteitsplein 1, 2610 Wilrijk (Belgium); Crocker, Daniel E. [Department of Biology, Sonoma State University, 1801 East Cotati Ave, Rohnert Park, CA 94928 (United States); Schwarz, Lisa K. [Institute of Marine Sciences, University of California, Santa Cruz, 100 Shaffer Road, Santa Cruz, CA 95060 (United States); Costa, Daniel P. [Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Santa Cruz, 100 Shaffer Road, Santa Cruz, CA 95060 (United States)

    2015-11-15

    As top predators in the northeast Pacific Ocean, northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) are vulnerable to bioaccumulation of persistent organic pollutants (POPs). Our study examined a suite of POPs in blubber (inner and outer) and blood (serum) of free-ranging northern elephant seals. For adult females (N = 24), we satellite tracked and sampled the same seals before and after their approximately seven month long foraging trip. For males, we sampled different adults and sub-adults before (N = 14) and after (N = 15) the same foraging trip. For females, we calculated blubber burdens for all compounds. The highest POP concentrations in males and females were found for ∑ DDTs and ∑ PCBs. In blubber and serum, males had significantly greater concentrations than females for almost all compounds. For males and females, ∑ DDT and ∑ PBDEs were highly correlated in blubber and serum. While ∑ PCBs were highly correlated with ∑ DDTs and ∑ PBDEs in blubber and serum for males, ∑ PCBs showed weaker correlations with both compounds in females. As females gained mass while foraging, concentrations of nearly all POPs in inner and outer blubber significantly decreased; however, the absolute burden in blubber significantly increased, indicating ingestion of contaminants while foraging. Additionally, we identified three clusters of seal foraging behavior, based on geography, diving behavior, and stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes, which corresponded with differences in ∑ DDTs, ∑ PBDEs, MeO-BDE 47, as well as the ratio of ∑ DDTs to ∑ PCBs, indicating the potential for behavior to heighten or mitigate contaminant exposure. The greatest concentrations of ∑ DDTs and ∑ PBDEs were observed in the cluster that foraged closer to the coast and had blood samples more enriched in {sup 13}C. Bioaccumulation of POPs by elephant seals supports mesopelagic food webs as a sink for POPs and highlights elephant seals as a potential sentinel of contamination in

  7. Monitoring great ape and elephant abundance at large spatial scales: measuring effectiveness of a conservation landscape.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emma J Stokes

    Full Text Available Protected areas are fundamental to biodiversity conservation, but there is growing recognition of the need to extend beyond protected areas to meet the ecological requirements of species at larger scales. Landscape-scale conservation requires an evaluation of management impact on biodiversity under different land-use strategies; this is challenging and there exist few empirical studies. In a conservation landscape in northern Republic of Congo we demonstrate the application of a large-scale monitoring program designed to evaluate the impact of conservation interventions on three globally threatened species: western gorillas, chimpanzees and forest elephants, under three land-use types: integral protection, commercial logging, and community-based natural resource management. We applied distance-sampling methods to examine species abundance across different land-use types under varying degrees of management and human disturbance. We found no clear trends in abundance between land-use types. However, units with interventions designed to reduce poaching and protect habitats--irrespective of land-use type--harboured all three species at consistently higher abundance than a neighbouring logging concession undergoing no wildlife management. We applied Generalized-Additive Models to evaluate a priori predictions of species response to different landscape processes. Our results indicate that, given adequate protection from poaching, elephants and gorillas can profit from herbaceous vegetation in recently logged forests and maintain access to ecologically important resources located outside of protected areas. However, proximity to the single integrally protected area in the landscape maintained an overriding positive influence on elephant abundance, and logging roads--even subject to anti-poaching controls--were exploited by elephant poachers and had a major negative influence on elephant distribution. Chimpanzees show a clear preference for unlogged or

  8. Evolutionary and demographic processes shaping geographic patterns of genetic diversity in a keystone species, the African forest elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis).

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-01

    The past processes that have shaped geographic patterns of genetic diversity may be difficult to infer from current patterns. However, in species with sex differences in dispersal, differing phylogeographic patterns between mitochondrial (mt) and nuclear (nu) DNA may provide contrasting insights into past events. Forest elephants ( Loxodonta cyclotis ) were impacted by climate and habitat change during the Pleistocene, which likely shaped phylogeographic patterns in mitochondrial (mt) DNA that have persisted due to limited female dispersal. By contrast, the nuclear (nu) DNA phylogeography of forest elephants in Central Africa has not been determined. We therefore examined the population structure of Central African forest elephants by genotyping 94 individuals from six localities at 21 microsatellite loci. Between forest elephants in western and eastern Congolian forests, there was only modest genetic differentiation, a pattern highly discordant with that of mtDNA. Nuclear genetic patterns are consistent with isolation by distance. Alternatively, male-mediated gene flow may have reduced the previous regional differentiation in Central Africa suggested by mtDNA patterns, which likely reflect forest fragmentation during the Pleistocene. In species like elephants, male-mediated gene flow erases the nuclear genetic signatures of past climate and habitat changes, but these continue to persist as patterns in mtDNA because females do not disperse. Conservation implications of these results are discussed.

  9. Major P.J. Pretorius and the decimation of the Addo elephant herd in 1919-1920: important reassessments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M.T. Hoffman

    1993-09-01

    Full Text Available Between June 1919 and August 1920, the largest population of elephants in South Africa at the time was reduced from about 130 to 16 individuals by one man. Major P. J. Pretorius. Conflict between farmers and the elephants over dwindling water resources, coupled with the threat that the elephants posed to the future agricultural development of the region, precipitated the Provincial Administration's extermination order. Major Pretorius' figure of "120-odd" elephants killed during the year is reasonably accurate and the fate of the animal products is traced. Most of the skins were processed, by Pretorius himself, to make whips. A few specimens can be traced to local and overseas museums. Because records of the sex and age of animals killed by Major Pretorius have either been lost or were never detailed, reconstruction of the Addo elephant herd before the decimation, is difficult. Finally, details of the alleged public debate are discussed. It is concluded that it was probably a handful of individuals that convinced the Provincial Administration to spare 16 animals. The Rev J.R.L. Kingon as well as Major Pretorius himself are two key figures in the debate. There is little evidence to confirm the view that a public outcry, in the modem sense of the word, stopped the killing. Six photographs are included as an appendix. They show Major Pretorius at work in the Addo Bush.

  10. Characterization and differential expression of three GnRH forms during reproductive development in cultured turbot Schophthalmus maximus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Chunyan; Xu, Shihong; Feng, Chengcheng; Liu, Yifan; Yang, Yang; Wang, Yanfeng; Xiao, Yongshuang; Song, Zongcheng; Liu, Qinghua; Li, Jun

    2017-10-01

    Turbots (Schophthalmus maximus), one of the most important economic marine flatfish species, fail to undergo final spawning and spermiation naturally under artificial farming conditions. In vertebrates, reproduction is regulated by the brain-pituitary-gonadal axis (BPG-axis), and gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) is one of its key components. Therefore, to better understand the physiology of reproduction in the turbot, three of the genes encoding GnRH subtypes—sbGnRH, cGnRH-II and sGnRH—were cloned and sequenced by isolating the cDNA sequences. The localizations and patterns of expression of their mRNAs were also evaluated during seasonal gonadal development. All three mRNAs were expressed abundantly in the brain; sbGnRH and sGnRH mRNAs were also detected in the gonads and pituitary gland, and sbGnRH expression was much higher than that of sGnRH, indicating the critical role of sbGnRH in regulating the BPG-axis. Moreover, the brain expression patterns of sbGnRH and sGnRH mRNAs showed an increased trend during gonadal development, peaking in mature stages. This indicated the direct regulation of gonadal development by the GnRH system. In addition, cGnRH-II mRNA expression showed no significant variations, suggesting that cGnRH-II is not critically involved in the control of reproduction. Further, the mRNA abundances of the three GnRH forms in the breeding season were significantly higher than those in immature and post-breeding stages in all analyzed brain areas. Therefore, we propose that sbGnRH is the most important hormone for the regulation of reproduction in turbot via the BPG-axis. These results will help in better understanding the reproductive endocrine mechanisms of turbots and lay the groundwork for additional studies aimed at comparing the reproductive physiology of wild individuals with those raised under artificial conditions.

  11. Pharmacokinetics and tissue behavior of enrofloxacin and its metabolite ciprofloxacin in turbot Scophthalmus maximus at two water temperatures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Junping; Li, Jian; Zhao, Fazhen; Liu, Ping; Chang, Zhiqiang

    2012-07-01

    Turbot Scophthalmus maximus, an important aquaculture species in China, currently suffers from epizootic diseases because of high density aquaculture. Enrofloxacin has been used to treat various systemic bacterial fish infections. However, studies concerning the pharmacokinetics of enrofloxacin in turbot are limited. In this study, the pharmacokinetics of enrofloxacin and its metabolite ciprofloxacin, were investigated in the turbot following intravenous and oral administration at 10 mg enrofloxacin/kg body weight, at 16°C and 10°C water temperatures. The concentrations of enrofloxacin and ciprofloxacin in the main tissues (plasma, muscle, liver and kidney) were detected by HPLC. The results show that the plasma concentration-time data for enrofloxacin were best described as a two-compartment open model after intravenous and oral administration. Three pharmacokinetic equations were established between the concentrations and temperatures. The kinetic profile of enrofloxacin was temperature dependent. The absorption half-life of enrofloxacin was 1.99 h and 2.17 h after oral administration, whereas the elimination half-life of the drug was 98.63 h and 136.59 h at 16°C and 10°C, respectively. The peak concentration of enrofloxacin in plasma and tissues was higher at 16°C than that at 10°C, and the peak plasma concentration time in the liver was the shortest at both temperatures among those of other tissues. The plasma C max /MIC ratio varied between 11.08 and 5 540.00 at 16°C; and between 7.92 and 3 960.00 at 10°C. The AUC/MIC ratio was 467.82-280 690.00 at 16°C, and 359.48-215 690.00 at 10°C. These ratios indicate that it is possible to obtain therapeutic efficacy. Very low levels of ciprofloxacin were detected. The AUC ratios of ciprofloxacin and enrofloxacin in plasma suggest that plasma ciprofloxacin might play a minor role in enrofloxacin treatment for turbot.

  12. Use of Photo-Identification and Mark-Recapture Methodology to Assess Basking Shark (Cetorhinus maximus) Populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gore, Mauvis A.; Frey, Peter H.; Ormond, Rupert F.; Allan, Holly; Gilkes, Gabriella

    2016-01-01

    Following centuries of exploitation, basking sharks (Cetorhinus maximus) are considered by IUCN as Endangered in the Northeast Atlantic, where they have now been substantially protected for over two decades. However, the present size of this population remains unknown. We investigated the use of photo-identification of individuals’ dorsal fins, combined with mark-recapture methodology, to investigate the size of populations of basking shark within the west coast of Scotland. From a total of 921 encounters photographed between 2004 and 2011, 710 sharks were found to be individually identifiable based on dorsal fin damage and natural features. Of these, only 41 individuals were re-sighted, most commonly both within days of, and close to the site of, the initial encounter. A smaller number were re-sighted after longer periods of up to two years. A comparison of the distinguishing features of individuals on first recording and subsequent re-sighting showed that in almost all cases these features remained little changed, suggesting the low re-sighting rate was not due to a loss of distinguishing features. Because of the low number of re-sighting we were not able to produce reliable estimates for the long-term regional population. However, for one 50 km diameter study area between the islands of Mull, Coll and Tiree, we were able to generate closed-population estimates for 6–9 day periods in 2010 of 985 (95% CI = 494–1683), and in 2011 of 201 (95% CI = 143–340). For the same 2011 period an open-population model generated a similar estimate of 213 (95% CI = 111–317). Otherwise the low rate and temporal patterning of re-sightings support the view that such local basking shark populations are temporary, dynamic groupings of individuals drawn from a much larger regional population than previously supposed. The study demonstrated the feasibility and limitations of photo-identification as a non-invasive technique for identifying individual basking sharks. PMID

  13. CEPF Western Ghats Special Series: An overview of Asian Elephants in the Western Ghats, southern India: implications for the conservation of Western Ghats ecology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Baskaran

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available The Western Ghats region is a global biodiversity hotspot and the source of all the major rivers of peninsular India. The conservation of this region is important for the biodiversity it harbours, and for ecological functions that include climate stability, erosion control, clean water and air, which are essential to safeguard economic growth, social stability and quality of life for the people of peninsular India. Possessing a unique diversity in topography, climate, vegetation, faunal communities, endemism and human communities, the Western Ghats is also known for its spectacular assemblage of larger mammals, including 25% of the global population of Asian Elephants. There are four major landscapes in the Western Ghats: (1 Uttara Kannada, (2 Brahmagiri-Nilgiris, (3 Anamalai-Nelliyampathy-High Range, and (4 Periyar-Agasthyamalai, spread across 30,000km2, harbouring a minimum 10,000 elephants in six different populations with signs of an increasing trend in some populations. The second landscape (Brahmagiri-Nilgiris with over 50% of the Ghats elephant population, along with its contiguity to the Eastern Ghats elephant landscape, forms the single largest global population of Asian Elephants. However, major threats to the long-term conservation of the elephant include further fragmentation of habitat, continued poaching of bulls for ivory, and escalation in human-elephant conflicts resulting in public antagonism toward the species. The goals of management should thus be to: (1 consolidate habitats and preserve corridors to avoid further fragmentation; (2 take steps through integrated land use planning at the landscape level to reduce human-elephant conflicts; and (3 build up a demographically and genetically viable elephant population by protecting the tusked males from ivory poaching. Being a wide-ranging umbrella species, ensuring the long-term conservation of Asian Elephants in the Ghats implies protecting its biodiversity and ecological

  14. Radiocarbon dating of seized ivory confirms rapid decline in African elephant populations and provides insight into illegal trade

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cerling, Thure E.; Barnette, Janet E.; Chesson, Lesley A.; Douglas-Hamilton, Iain; Gobush, Kathleen S.; Uno, Kevin T.; Wasser, Samuel K.; Xu, Xiaomei

    2016-11-01

    Carbon-14 measurements on 231 elephant ivory specimens from 14 large ivory seizures (≥0.5 ton) made between 2002 and 2014 show that most ivory (ca. 90%) was derived from animals that had died less than 3 y before ivory was confiscated. This indicates that the assumption of recent elephant death for mortality estimates of African elephants is correct: Very little “old” ivory is included in large ivory shipments from Africa. We found only one specimen of the 231 analyzed to have a lag time longer than 6 y. Patterns of trade differ by regions: East African ivory, based on genetic assignments of geographic origin, has a much higher fraction of “rapid” transit than ivory originating in the Tridom region of Cameroon-Gabon-Congo. Carbon-14 is an important tool in understanding patterns of movement of illegal wildlife products.

  15. Human Elephant Conflict in the Waza-Logone Region of Northern Cameroon: An Assessment of Management Effectiveness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tchamba, MN.

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available An investigation into the current level of humanelephant conflicts in the Waza Logone region was carried out during the 2005 rainy season to assess the effectiveness of conflict management. This was done by talking mainly to wildlife authorities, the local agricultural service, the local communities and consulting sequential reports from the nearest enumerators. The number of villages affected was declining in the dry season compared to the rainy season crop raiding. However, general pattern indicates a decline in the number of villages impacted by elephants since the 1992 to 1993 surveys, but comparatively more damaging as shown by the estimated costs. Therefore, the improve in ecological management of the Waza National Park and its elephant population has had a positive impact in the number of villages crop raided but has not definitely resolved the conflicts between man and elephant. Other approaches are needed to buttress the effort been undertaken in the region to date.

  16. Mistletoes, their host plants and the effects of browsing by large mammals in Addo Elephant National Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J.J. Midgley

    1991-09-01

    Full Text Available There are at least four plant hemiparasites [=mistletoes, viz. Viscaceae (3 species, Loranthaceae (1 species] within the Addo Elephant National Park. Highly selective utilisation of these plant parasites by large browsing animals has resulted in severe decline of these plants within the elephant enclosure. The parasites are often associated with spinescent host plants. We suggest this has less to do with escaping herbivory by large mammals and more to do with spinescent plants being optimum hosts because they are a richer nutritient source for plant parasites than most non-spinescent plants.

  17. ELEPHANT TRUNK” AND ENDOVASCULAR STENTGRAFTING – A HYBRID APPROACH TO THE TREATMENT OF EXTENSIVE THORACIC AORTIC ANEURYSM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomáš Holubec

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available A hybrid approach to elephant trunk technique for treatment of thoracic aortic aneurysms combines a conventional surgical and endovascular therapy. Compared to surgery alone, there is a presumption that mortality and morbidity is reduced. We present a case report of a 42-year-old man with a giant aneurysm of the entire thoracic aorta, significant aortic and tricuspid regurgitation and ventricular septum defect. The patient underwent multiple consecutive operations and interventions having, among others, finally replaced the entire thoracic aorta with the use of the hybrid elephant trunk technique.

  18. Meat Composition and Quality Assessment of King Scallops (Pecten maximus) and Frozen Atlantic Sea Scallops (Placopecten magellanicus) on a Retail Level

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manthey-Karl, Monika; Lehmann, Ines; Ostermeyer, Ute; Rehbein, Hartmut; Schröder, Ute

    2015-01-01

    An enlarged range of scallop products on the market allows the consumer to buy lower priced alternatives, which often raises the question of quality and control. Frozen meat of king scallops (Pecten maximus) and Atlantic sea scallops (Placopecten magellanicus) were purchased on the German market and compared with fresh shell-on king scallops of various origin. The approximate composition, inclusive citric acid and phosphates, minerals, free amino acids (FAA) and fatty acid profiles were examined in the muscle to identify changes as a result of processing. The FAA glycine and taurine as well the fatty acids 20:5n-3 (EPA) and 22:6n-3 (DHA) were the most abundant, but were reduced in processed samples. Di- and triphosphate contents were not detectable (additives. Labelling does not readily allow the consumer to recognize the extent of processing effects. PMID:28231221

  19. Automatic detection of potentially illegal online sales of elephant ivory via data mining

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julio Hernandez-Castro

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available In this work, we developed an automated system to detect potentially illegal elephant ivory items for sale on eBay. Two law enforcement experts, with specific knowledge of elephant ivory identification, manually classified items on sale in the Antiques section of eBay UK over an 8 week period. This set the “Gold Standard” that we aim to emulate using data-mining. We achieved close to 93% accuracy with less data than the experts, as we relied entirely on metadata, but did not employ item descriptions or associated images, thus proving the potential and generality of our approach. The reported accuracy may be improved with the addition of text mining techniques for the analysis of the item description, and by applying image classification for the detection of Schreger lines, indicative of elephant ivory. However, any solution relying on images or text description could not be employed on other wildlife illegal markets where pictures can be missing or misleading and text absent (e.g., Instagram. In our setting, we gave human experts all available information while only using minimal information for our analysis. Despite this, we succeeded at achieving a very high accuracy. This work is an important first step in speeding up the laborious, tedious and expensive task of expert discovery of illegal trade over the internet. It will also allow for faster reporting to law enforcement and better accountability. We hope this will also contribute to reducing poaching, by making this illegal trade harder and riskier for those involved.

  20. Neurofibromatosis type 1 and the "elephant man's" disease: the confusion persists: an ethnographic study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Legendre, Claire-Marie; Charpentier-Côté, Catherine; Drouin, Régen; Bouffard, Chantal

    2011-02-09

    In 1986, two Canadian geneticists had demonstrated that Joseph Merrick, better known as the Elephant Man, suffered from the Proteus syndrome and not from neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), as was alleged by dermatologist Parkes in 1909. Despite this and although the two diseases differ at several levels: prevalence, diagnostic criteria, clinical manifestations and transmission, the confusion between NF1 and the "elephant man's" disease continues in medical and social representations by current linguistic usage, and in some media reports. With this article, we want to 1) document the persistence and extent of this fallacy, 2) identify certain critical factors that contribute to its persistence, and 3) evaluate its impact on the health and well being of patients with NF1 and their family members. Participant observation in the course of an ethnographic study on intergenerational dialogue between individuals with neurofibromatosis and their parents - Analysis of the scientific literature and of pinpoint articles in the print and online news media. Our findings show that because physicians have little knowledge about NF1, several print and online news media and a lot of physicians continue to make the confusion between NF1 and the disease the "elephant man". This misconception contributes to misinformation about the disease, feeding prejudices against affected patients, exacerbating the negative impacts of the disease on their quality of life, their cognitive development, their reproductive choices, as well as depriving them of proper care and appropriate genetic counseling. If family physicians and pediatricians were properly informed about the disease, they could refer their patients with NF1 to NF clinics and to specialists. Thus, patients and their family members would benefit from better-tailored clinical management of their cases, perhaps even optimal management. [corrected

  1. Neurofibromatosis type 1 and the "elephant man's" disease: the confusion persists: an ethnographic study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claire-Marie Legendre

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available In 1986, two Canadian geneticists had demonstrated that Joseph Merrick, better known as the Elephant Man, suffered from the Proteus syndrome and not from neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1, as was alleged by dermatologist Parkes in 1909. Despite this and although the two diseases differ at several levels: prevalence, diagnostic criteria, clinical manifestations and transmission, the confusion between NF1 and the "elephant man's" disease continues in medical and social representations by current linguistic usage, and in some media reports. With this article, we want to 1 document the persistence and extent of this fallacy, 2 identify certain critical factors that contribute to its persistence, and 3 evaluate its impact on the health and well being of patients with NF1 and their family members.Participant observation in the course of an ethnographic study on intergenerational dialogue between individuals with neurofibromatosis and their parents - Analysis of the scientific literature and of pinpoint articles in the print and online news media.Our findings show that because physicians have little knowledge about NF1, several print and online news media and a lot of physicians continue to make the confusion between NF1 and the disease the "elephant man". This misconception contributes to misinformation about the disease, feeding prejudices against affected patients, exacerbating the negative impacts of the disease on their quality of life, their cognitive development, their reproductive choices, as well as depriving them of proper care and appropriate genetic counseling.If family physicians and pediatricians were properly informed about the disease, they could refer their patients with NF1 to NF clinics and to specialists. Thus, patients and their family members would benefit from better-tailored clinical management of their cases, perhaps even optimal management. [corrected

  2. Oxygen minimum zone: An important oceanographic habitat for deep-diving northern elephant seals, Mirounga angustirostris.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naito, Yasuhiko; Costa, Daniel P; Adachi, Taiki; Robinson, Patrick W; Peterson, Sarah H; Mitani, Yoko; Takahashi, Akinori

    2017-08-01

    Little is known about the foraging behavior of top predators in the deep mesopelagic ocean. Elephant seals dive to the deep biota-poor oxygen minimum zone (OMZ) (>800 m depth) despite high diving costs in terms of energy and time, but how they successfully forage in the OMZ remains largely unknown. Assessment of their feeding rate is the key to understanding their foraging behavior, but this has been challenging. Here, we assessed the feeding rate of 14 female northern elephant seals determined by jaw motion events (JME) and dive cycle time to examine how feeding rates varied with dive depth, particularly in the OMZ. We also obtained video footage from seal-mounted videos to understand their feeding in the OMZ. While the diel vertical migration pattern was apparent for most depths of the JME, some very deep dives, beyond the normal diel depth ranges, occurred episodically during daylight hours. The midmesopelagic zone was the main foraging zone for all seals. Larger seals tended to show smaller numbers of JME and lower feeding rates than smaller seals during migration, suggesting that larger seals tended to feed on larger prey to satisfy their metabolic needs. Larger seals also dived frequently to the deep OMZ, possibly because of a greater diving ability than smaller seals, suggesting their dependency on food in the deeper depth zones. Video observations showed that seals encountered the rarely reported ragfish ( Icosteus aenigmaticus ) in the depths of the OMZ, which failed to show an escape response from the seals, suggesting that low oxygen concentrations might reduce prey mobility. Less mobile prey in OMZ would enhance the efficiency of foraging in this zone, especially for large seals that can dive deeper and longer. We suggest that the OMZ plays an important role in structuring the mesopelagic ecosystem and for the survival and evolution of elephant seals.

  3. Short-term and delayed effects of mother death on calf mortality in Asian elephants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lahdenperä, Mirkka; Mar, Khyne U; Lummaa, Virpi

    2016-01-01

    Long-lived, highly social species with prolonged offspring dependency can show long postreproductive periods. The Mother hypothesis proposes that a need for extended maternal care of offspring together with increased maternal mortality risk associated with old age select for such postreproductive survival, but tests in species with long postreproductive periods, other than humans and marine mammals, are lacking. Here, we investigate the Mother hypothesis with longitudinal data on Asian elephants from timber camps of Myanmar 1) to determine the costs of reproduction on female age-specific mortality risk within 1 year after calving and 2) to quantify the effects of mother loss on calf survival across development. We found that older females did not show an increased immediate mortality risk after calving. Calves had a 10-fold higher mortality risk in their first year if they lost their mother, but this decreased with age to only a 1.1-fold higher risk in the fifth year. We also detected delayed effects of maternal death: calves losing their mother during early ages still suffered from increased mortality risk at ages 3-4 and during adolescence but such effects were weaker in magnitude. Consequently, the Mother hypothesis could account for the first 5 years of postreproductive survival, but there were no costs of continued reproduction on the immediate maternal mortality risk. However, the observed postreproductive lifespan of females surviving to old age commonly exceeds 5 years in Asian elephants, and further studies are thus needed to determine selection for (postreproductive) lifespan in elephants and other comparably long-lived species.

  4. Prolonged fasting activates Nrf2 in post-weaned elephant seals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vázquez-Medina, José Pablo; Soñanez-Organis, José G; Rodriguez, Ruben; Viscarra, Jose A; Nishiyama, Akira; Crocker, Daniel E; Ortiz, Rudy M

    2013-08-01

    Elephant seals naturally experience prolonged periods of absolute food and water deprivation (fasting). In humans, rats and mice, prolonged food deprivation activates the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) and increases oxidative damage. In elephant seals, prolonged fasting activates RAS without increasing oxidative damage likely due to an increase in antioxidant defenses. The mechanism leading to the upregulation of antioxidant defenses during prolonged fasting remains elusive. Therefore, we investigated whether prolonged fasting activates the redox-sensitive transcription factor Nrf2, which controls the expression of antioxidant genes, and if such activation is potentially mediated by systemic increases in RAS. Blood and skeletal muscle samples were collected from seals fasting for 1, 3, 5 and 7 weeks. Nrf2 activity and nuclear content increased by 76% and 167% at week 7. Plasma angiotensin II (Ang II) and transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) were 5000% and 250% higher at week 7 than at week 1. Phosphorylation of Smad2, an effector of Ang II and TGF signaling, increased by 120% at week 7 and by 84% in response to intravenously infused Ang II. NADPH oxidase 4 (Nox4) mRNA expression, which is controlled by smad proteins, increased 430% at week 7, while Nox4 protein expression, which can activate Nrf2, was 170% higher at week 7 than at week 1. These results demonstrate that prolonged fasting activates Nrf2 in elephant seals and that RAS stimulation can potentially result in increased Nox4 through Smad phosphorylation. The results also suggest that Nox4 is essential to sustain the hormetic adaptive response to oxidative stress in fasting seals.

  5. Is bigger better? The relationship between size and reproduction in female Asian elephants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crawley, J A H; Mumby, H S; Chapman, S N; Lahdenperä, M; Mar, K U; Htut, W; Thura Soe, A; Aung, H H; Lummaa, V

    2017-10-01

    The limited availability of resources is predicted to impose trade-offs between growth, reproduction and self-maintenance in animals. However, although some studies have shown that early reproduction suppresses growth, reproduction positively correlates with size in others. We use detailed records from a large population of semi-captive elephants in Myanmar to assess the relationships between size (height and weight), reproduction and survival in female Asian elephants, a species characterized by slow, costly life history. Although female height gain during the growth period overlapped little with reproductive onset in the population, there was large variation in age at first reproduction and only 81% of final weight had been reached by peak age of reproduction at the population level (19 years). Those females beginning reproduction early tended to be taller and lighter later in life, although these trends were not significant. We found that taller females were more likely to have reproduced by a given age, but such effects diminished with age, suggesting there may be a size threshold to reproduction which is especially important in young females. Because size was not linked with female survival during reproductive ages, the diminishing effect of height on reproduction with age is unlikely to be due to biased survival of larger females. We conclude that although reproduction may not always impose significant costs on growth, height may be a limiting factor to reproduction in young female Asian elephants, which could have important implications considering their birth rates are low and peak reproduction is young - 19 years in this population. © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  6. Fermentation characteristics and nutritional quality of elephant grass silage added the buriti fruit peel

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raimundo Ribeiro Ferreira

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this research was to evaluated the inclusion of buriti fruit peel as additive on the fermentation profile, losses, chemical composition and degradability of elephant grass silage. We used a completely randomized design with five levels of buriti fruit peel (0, 50, 100, 200 and 400 g kg-1. The silos were opened after 28 days of storage. In situ degradability monitoring was conducted using a split-plot design in which four animals represented the blocks and silage supplemented with five levels of buriti fruit peel represented the treatments. The use of the additive in elephant silage increased dry matter (DM (P < 0.001, ether extract (EE (P < 0.001, ash (P < 0.001, neutral detergent fiber (NDF (P < 0.001 and acid detergent fiber (ADF (P= 0.0000. The pH (P= 0.0000, N-NH3 (P = 0.024 and there was a decrease in gas losses (P < 0.001, effluent losses and dry matter recovery (P = 0.218 not were influenced by the addition of buriti fruit peel. The inclusion of buriti fruit peel linearly reduced the ruminal degradability DM of soluble fraction (a (P < 0.001 and potentially degradable insoluble fraction (b (P < 0.001. The DM content increase with the addition of the buriti fruit peel to the elephant grass silage promotes improvements in the fermentation process, reduces losses of nutrients and ruminal disappearance of dry matter and does not significantly change the chemical composition with the inclusion of 166.7 g kg-1 of the buriti fruit peel.

  7. Experience with the conventional and frozen elephant trunk techniques: a single-centre study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leontyev, Sergey; Borger, Michael A; Etz, Christian D; Moz, Monica; Seeburger, Joerg; Bakhtiary, Farhard; Misfeld, Martin; Mohr, Friedrich W

    2013-12-01

    The treatment of patients with extensive thoracic aortic disease involving the arch and descending/thoracoabdominal aorta is often performed using an elephant trunk procedure. We retrospectively analysed our results comparing two different techniques: the conventional elephant trunk (cET) and the frozen elephant trunk (FET) operation. Between January 2003 and December 2011, 171 consecutive patients underwent total aortic arch replacement with either a cET (n = 125) or FET (n = 46) technique. The mean age was 64 ± 13 years and was significantly higher in the FET group (P 40 min was an independent predictor for permanent spinal cord injury (OR 5.0, 95% CI 1.1-20, P = 0.038). The estimated 1-, 3- and 5-year survival were 70 ± 4, 70 ± 4 and 68 ± 4% (cET) and 4 ± 7 and 60 ± 9, 40 ± 1% (FET), with mean survival time 5.2 ± 0.3 vs 3.8 ± 0.5 years (cET vs FET, log-rank P = 0.9). The FET procedure for extensive thoracic aortic disease is associated with an acceptable mortality rate, but with a higher incidence of perioperative spinal cord injury than cET. Arch replacement with a cET technique should be strongly considered in patients with expected prolonged circulatory arrest times, particularly if operated on under mild or moderate hypothermia. Axillary cannulation is associated with superior neurological outcomes and Type A acute aortic dissection is a risk factor for mortality and poor neurological outcomes in this patient population.

  8. Vertical Transmission of Social Roles Drives Resilience to Poaching in Elephant Networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldenberg, Shifra Z; Douglas-Hamilton, Iain; Wittemyer, George

    2016-01-11

    Network resilience to perturbation is fundamental to functionality in systems ranging from synthetic communication networks to evolved social organization [1]. While theoretical work offers insight into causes of network robustness, examination of natural networks can identify evolved mechanisms of resilience and how they are related to the selective pressures driving structure. Female African elephants (Loxodonta africana) exhibit complex social networks with node heterogeneity in which older individuals serve as connectivity hubs [2, 3]. 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]. Here we tested the response of this natural network to selective knockouts. We find that the hierarchical network topology characteristic of elephant societies was highly conserved across the 16-year study despite ∼70% turnover in individual composition of the population. At a population level, the oldest available individuals persisted to fill socially central positions in the network. For analyses using known mother-daughter pairs, social positions of daughters during the disrupted period were predicted by those of their mothers in years prior, were unrelated to individual histories of family mortality, and were actively built. As such, daughters replicated the social network roles of their mothers, driving the observed network resilience. Our study provides a rare bridge between network theory and an evolved system, demonstrating social redundancy to be the mechanism by which resilience to perturbation occurred in this socially advanced species. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Activity of invasive slug Limax maximus in relation to climate conditions based on citizen's observations and novel regularization based statistical approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morii, Yuta; Ohkubo, Yusaku; Watanabe, Sanae

    2018-05-13

    Citizen science is a powerful tool that can be used to resolve the problems of introduced species. An amateur naturalist and author of this paper, S. Watanabe, recorded the total number of Limax maximus (Limacidae, Pulmonata) individuals along a fixed census route almost every day for two years on Hokkaido Island, Japan. L. maximus is an invasive slug considered a pest species of horticultural and agricultural crops. We investigated how weather conditions were correlated to the intensity of slug activity using for the first time in ecology the recently developed statistical analyses, Bayesian regularization regression with comparisons among Laplace, Horseshoe and Horseshoe+ priors for the first time in ecology. The slug counts were compared with meteorological data from 5:00 in the morning on the day of observation (OT- and OD-models) and the day before observation (DBOD-models). The OT- and OD-models were more supported than the DBOD-models based on the WAIC scores, and the meteorological predictors selected in the OT-, OD- and DBOD-models were different. The probability of slug appearance was increased on mornings with higher than 20-year-average humidity (%) and lower than average wind velocity (m/s) and precipitation (mm) values in the OT-models. OD-models showed a pattern similar to OT-models in the probability of slug appearance, but also suggested other meteorological predictors for slug activities; positive effect of solar radiation (MJ) for example. Five meteorological predictors, mean and highest temperature (°C), wind velocity (m/s), precipitation amount (mm) and atmospheric pressure (hPa), were selected as the effective factors for the counts in the DBOD-models. Therefore, the DBOD-models will be valuable for the prediction of slug activity in the future, much like a weather forecast. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Differential effects of exposure to parasites and bacteria on stress response in turbot Scophthalmus maximus simultaneously stressed by low water depth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Quiroga, J J; Otero-Rodiño, C; Suárez, P; Nieto, T P; García Estévez, J M; San Juan, F; Soengas, J L

    2017-07-01

    The stress response of turbot Scophthalmus maximus was evaluated in fish maintained 8 days under different water depths, normal (NWD, 30 cm depth, total water volume 40 l) or low (LWD, 5 cm depth, total water volume 10 l), in the additional presence of infection-infestation of two pathogens of this species. This was caused by intraperitoneal injection of sublethal doses of the bacterium Aeromonas salmonicida subsp. salmonicida or the parasite Philasterides dicentrarchi (Ciliophora:Scuticociliatida). The LWD conditions were stressful for fish, causing increased levels of cortisol in plasma, decreased levels of glycogen in liver and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADP) and increased activities of G6Pase and GSase. The presence of bacteria or parasites in fish under NWD resulted in increased cortisol levels in plasma whereas in liver, changes were of minor importance including decreased levels of lactate and GSase activity. The simultaneous presence of bacteria and parasites in fish under NWD resulted a sharp increase in the levels of cortisol in plasma and decreased levels of glucose. Decreased levels of glycogen and lactate and activities of GSase and glutathione reductase (GR), as well as increased activities of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PDH), 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase (6PGDH) and levels of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) occurred in the same fish in liver. Finally, the presence of pathogens in S. maximus under stressful conditions elicited by LWD resulted in synergistic actions of both type of stressors in cortisol levels. In liver, the presence of bacteria or parasites induced a synergistic action on several variables such as decreased activities of G6Pase and GSase as well as increased levels of NADP and NADPH and increased activities of GPase, G6PDH and 6PGDH. © 2017 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

  11. Inter- and intra-specimen variability masks reliable temperature control on shell Mg/Ca ratios in laboratory- and field-cultured Mytilus edulis and Pecten maximus (bivalvia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. A. Kennedy

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available The Mg/Ca ratios of biogenic calcite is commonly seen as a valuable palaeo-proxy for reconstructing past ocean temperatures. The temperature dependence of Mg/Ca ratios in bivalve calcite has been the subject of contradictory observations. The palaeoceanographic use of a geochemical proxy is dependent on initial, rigorous calibration and validation of relationships between the proxy and the ambient environmental variable to be reconstructed. Shell Mg/Ca ratio data are reported for the calcite of two bivalve species, Mytilus edulis (common mussel and Pecten maximus (king scallop, which were grown in laboratory culturing experiments at controlled and constant aquarium seawater temperatures over a range from ~10 to ~20°C. Furthermore, Mg/Ca ratio data of laboratory- and field-grown M. edulis specimens were compared. Only a weak, albeit significant, shell Mg/Ca ratio–temperature relationship was observed in the two bivalve species: M. edulis (r2=0.37, p0.001 for laboratory-cultured specimens and r2=0.50, p0.001 for field-cultured specimens and P. maximus (r2=0.21, p0.001 for laboratory-cultured specimens only. In the two species, shell Mg/Ca ratios were not found to be controlled by shell growth rate or salinity. The Mg/Ca ratios in the shells exhibited a large degree of variability among and within species and individuals. The results suggest that the use of bivalve calcite Mg/Ca ratios as a temperature proxy is limited, at least in the species studied to date. Such limitations are most likely due to the presence of physiological effects on Mg incorporation in bivalve calcite. The utilization is further limited by the great variability both within and among shells of the same species that were precipitated under the same ambient conditions.

  12. Ovulation, pregnancy, placentation and husbandry in the African elephant (Loxodonta africana)

    OpenAIRE

    Allen, W.R

    2006-01-01

    The African elephant reproduces so efficiently in the wild that overpopulation is now a serious problem in some game parks in Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa. The female reaches puberty between 10 and 12 years of age in the wild and, when in captivity, shows oestrous cycles of 14–15 weeks duration. She readily conceives a singleton in the wild yet her uterus has the capacity for twins. She shows a gestation length of 22 months and, in the wild, shows a population density and feed dependen...

  13. Composition of phytoplankton in the Bransfield Strait and Elephant Island during austral summer of 1999

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sonia Sánchez

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The authors inform about the composition and distribution of phytoplanktonic community between the first 75 m of depth in Bransfield Strait y around the Elephant island, during the ANTAR X expedition in the 1999 Austral Summer (22nd–29th January 1999. The higher cellular concentration (500 cel/mL was given by the autotrophic nanoplankton, with a high density mainly on the bay stations and down the first 25 m of depth. Among the most representative species we have Leucocryptos marina, Phaeocystis antarctica, the Monadas and the pennate diatoms.

  14. The Executive and the Elephant A Leader's Guide for Achieving Inner Excellence

    CERN Document Server

    Daft, Richard L

    2010-01-01

    Lessons for leaders on resolving the ongoing struggle between instinct and the creative mind. Kings, heads of government, and corporate executives lead thousands of people and manage endless resources, but may not have mastery over themselves. Often leaders know that right action is important, but have little (if any) understanding of what prevents them from acting in accordance with their intentions. In this important book, leadership expert Richard Daft portrays this dilemma as a struggle between instinct (elephant) and intention (the executive) using the most current research on the intenti

  15. Generation and Analysis of Full-length cDNA Sequences from Elephant Shark (Callorhinchus milii)

    KAUST Repository

    Kodzius, Rimantas

    2009-03-17

    Cartilaginous fishes are the oldest living group of jawed vertebrates and therefore is an important group for understanding the evolution of vertebrate genomes including the human genome. Our laboratory has proposed elephant shark (C. milii) as a model cartilaginous fish genome because of its relatively small genome size (910 Mb). The whole genome of C. milii is being sequenced (first cartilaginous fish genome to be sequenced completely). To characterize the transcriptome of C. milii and to assist in annotating exon-intron boundaries, transcriptional start sites and alternatively spliced transcripts, we are generating full-length cDNA sequences from C. milii.

  16. Chemical compatibility study of Cooley L18KU, Herculite, and Elephant Mat with Hanford tank waste

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mercado, J.E.

    1998-01-01

    An independent chemical compatibility review of various wrapping and absorbent/padding materials was conducted to evaluate resistance to chemicals and constituents present in liquid waste from the Hanford underground tanks. These materials will be used to wrap long-length contaminated equipment when such equipment is removed from the tanks and prepared for transportation and subsequent disposal or storage. The materials studied were Cooley L18KU, Herculite, and Elephant Mat. The study concludes that these materials are appropriate for use in this application

  17. "Elephant trunk" and endovascular stentgrafting : a hybrid approach to the treatment of extensive thoracic aortic aneurysm

    OpenAIRE

    Holubec, Tomás; Raupach, Jan; Dominik, Jan; Vojácek, Jan

    2013-01-01

    A hybrid approach to elephant trunk technique for treatment of thoracic aortic aneurysms combines a conventional surgical and endovascular therapy. Compared to surgery alone, there is a presumption that mortality and morbidity is reduced. We present a case report of a 42-year-old man with a giant aneurysm of the entire thoracic aorta, significant aortic and tricuspid regurgitation and ventricular septum defect. The patient underwent multiple consecutive operations and interventions having, am...

  18. [Life cycle of Maupasina weissi Seurat, 1913, Subuluroidea Nematode, parasite of the elephant shrew (author's transl)].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quentin, J C; Verdier, J M

    1979-01-01

    The life cycle of Maupasina weissi Seurat, 1913, the parasite of the elephant shrew, has been experimentally obtained from the intermediate host Locusta migratoria. The biology of this Nematoda is considered as being more primitive than the Subuluridae: -- egg maturation in external environment is in fact necessary to the Maupasina larvae to penetrate into the insect, -- The different localizations of the infective larvae, such as mesenteron regeneration crypta, fat body, demonstrate that the parasite is not completely adaptated to its intermediate host, -- the ontogenesis of cephalic structures is characterized by an hypertrophy of the archaic structures mainly from cuticular origin.

  19. Does hip joint positioning affect maximal voluntary contraction in the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, tensor fasciae latae and sartorius muscles?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernard, J; Beldame, J; Van Driessche, S; Brunel, H; Poirier, T; Guiffault, P; Matsoukis, J; Billuart, F

    2017-11-01

    Minimally invasive total hip arthroplasty (THA) is presumed to provide functional and clinical benefits, whereas in fact the literature reveals that gait and posturographic parameters following THA do not recover values found in the general population. There is a significant disturbance of postural sway in THA patients, regardless of the surgical approach, although with some differences between approaches compared to controls: the anterior and anterolateral minimally invasive approaches seem to be more disruptive of postural parameters than the posterior approach. Electromyographic (EMG) study of the hip muscles involved in surgery [gluteus maximus (GMax), gluteus medius (GMed), tensor fasciae latae (TFL), and sartorius (S)] could shed light, the relevant literature involves discordant methodologies. We developed a methodology to assess EMG activity during maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) of the GMax, GMed, TFL and sartorius muscles as a reference for normalization. A prospective study aimed to assess whether hip joint positioning and the learning curve on an MVC test affect the EMG signal during a maximal voluntary contraction. Hip positioning and the learning curve on an MVC test affect EMG signal during MVC of GMax, GMed, TFL and S. Thirty young asymptomatic subjects participated in the study. Each performed 8 hip muscle MVCs in various joint positions recorded with surface EMG sensors. Each MVC was performed 3 times in 1 week, with the same schedule every day, controlling for activity levels in the preceding 24h. EMG activity during MVC was expressed as a ratio of EMG activity during unipedal stance. Non-parametric tests were applied. Statistical analysis showed no difference according to hip position for abductors or flexors in assessing EMG signal during MVC over the 3 sessions. Hip abductors showed no difference between abduction in lateral decubitus with hip straight versus hip flexed: GMax (19.8±13.7 vs. 14.5±7.8, P=0.78), GMed (13.4±9.0 vs. 9.9±6

  20. Effect of Initiation Time of Hydrostatic Pressure Shock on Chromosome Set Doubling of Tetraploidization in Turbot Scophthalmus maximus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Xiangping; Lin, Zhengmei; Wu, Zhihao; Li, Jiandong; You, Feng

    2017-10-01

    The objective of the study was to clarify the effects of initiation time on chromosome set doubling induced by hydrostatic pressure shock through nuclear phase fluorescent microscopy in turbot Scophthalmus maximus. The ratio of developmentally delayed embryo and chromosome counting was used to assess induction efficiency. For the embryos subjected to a pressure of 67.5 MPa for 6 min at prometaphase (A group), chromosomes recovered to the pre-treatment condition after 11-min recovering. The first nuclear division and cytokinesis proceeded normally. During the second cell cycle, chromosomes did not enter into metaphase after prometaphase, but spread around for about 13 min, then assembled together and formed a large nucleus without anaphase separation; the second nuclear division and cytokinesis was inhibited. The ratio of developmentally delayed embryo showed that the second mitosis of 78% A group embryo was inhibited. The result of chromosome counting showed that the tetraploidization rate of A group was 72%. For the embryos subjected to a pressure of 67.5 MPa for 6 min at anaphase (B group), chromosomes recovered to the pre-treatment condition after about 31-min recovering. Afterwards, one telophase nucleus formed without anaphase separation; the first nuclear division was inhibited. The time of the first cleavage furrow occurrence of B group embryos delayed 27 min compared with that of A group embryos. With the first cytokinesis proceeding normally, 81.3% B group embryos were at two-cell stage around the middle of the second cell cycle after treatment. Those embryos were one of the two blastomeres containing DNA and the other without DNA. The first nuclear division of those embryos was inhibited. During the third cell cycle after treatment, 65.2% of those abovementioned embryos were at four-cell stage, cytokinesis occurred in both blastomeres, and nuclear division only occurred in the blastomere containing DNA. Of those abovementioned embryos, 14.0% were at

  1. Sequencing and analysis of full-length cDNAs, 5'-ESTs and 3'-ESTs from a cartilaginous fish, the elephant shark (Callorhinchus milii).

    KAUST Repository

    Brenner, Sydney; Kodzius, Rimantas; Tan, Yue Ying; Tay, Alice; Tay, Boon-Hui; Venkatesh, Byrappa

    2012-01-01

    Cartilaginous fishes are the most ancient group of living jawed vertebrates (gnathostomes) and are, therefore, an important reference group for understanding the evolution of vertebrates. The elephant shark (Callorhinchus milii), a holocephalan cartilaginous fish, has been identified as a model cartilaginous fish genome because of its compact genome (∼910 Mb) and a genome project has been initiated to obtain its whole genome sequence. In this study, we have generated and sequenced full-length enriched cDNA libraries of the elephant shark using the 'oligo-capping' method and Sanger sequencing. A total of 6,778 full-length protein-coding cDNA and 10,701 full-length noncoding cDNA were sequenced from six tissues (gills, intestine, kidney, liver, spleen, and testis) of the elephant shark. Analysis of their polyadenylation signals showed that polyadenylation usage in elephant shark is similar to that in mammals. Furthermore, both coding and noncoding transcripts of the elephant shark use the same proportion of canonical polyadenylation sites. Besides BLASTX searches, protein-coding transcripts were annotated by Gene Ontology, InterPro domain, and KEGG pathway analyses. By comparing elephant shark genes to bony vertebrate genes, we identified several ancient genes present in elephant shark but differentially lost in tetrapods or teleosts. Only ∼6% of elephant shark noncoding cDNA showed similarity to known noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs). The rest are either highly divergent ncRNAs or novel ncRNAs. In addition to full-length transcripts, 30,375 5'-ESTs and 41,317 3'-ESTs were sequenced and annotated. The clones and transcripts generated in this study are valuable resources for annotating transcription start sites, exon-intron boundaries, and UTRs of genes in the elephant shark genome, and for the functional characterization of protein sequences. These resources will also be useful for annotating genes in other cartilaginous fishes whose genomes have been targeted for whole

  2. Sequencing and analysis of full-length cDNAs, 5'-ESTs and 3'-ESTs from a cartilaginous fish, the elephant shark (Callorhinchus milii).

    KAUST Repository

    Brenner, Sydney

    2012-10-08

    Cartilaginous fishes are the most ancient group of living jawed vertebrates (gnathostomes) and are, therefore, an important reference group for understanding the evolution of vertebrates. The elephant shark (Callorhinchus milii), a holocephalan cartilaginous fish, has been identified as a model cartilaginous fish genome because of its compact genome (∼910 Mb) and a genome project has been initiated to obtain its whole genome sequence. In this study, we have generated and sequenced full-length enriched cDNA libraries of the elephant shark using the \\'oligo-capping\\' method and Sanger sequencing. A total of 6,778 full-length protein-coding cDNA and 10,701 full-length noncoding cDNA were sequenced from six tissues (gills, intestine, kidney, liver, spleen, and testis) of the elephant shark. Analysis of their polyadenylation signals showed that polyadenylation usage in elephant shark is similar to that in mammals. Furthermore, both coding and noncoding transcripts of the elephant shark use the same proportion of canonical polyadenylation sites. Besides BLASTX searches, protein-coding transcripts were annotated by Gene Ontology, InterPro domain, and KEGG pathway analyses. By comparing elephant shark genes to bony vertebrate genes, we identified several ancient genes present in elephant shark but differentially lost in tetrapods or teleosts. Only ∼6% of elephant shark noncoding cDNA showed similarity to known noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs). The rest are either highly divergent ncRNAs or novel ncRNAs. In addition to full-length transcripts, 30,375 5\\'-ESTs and 41,317 3\\'-ESTs were sequenced and annotated. The clones and transcripts generated in this study are valuable resources for annotating transcription start sites, exon-intron boundaries, and UTRs of genes in the elephant shark genome, and for the functional characterization of protein sequences. These resources will also be useful for annotating genes in other cartilaginous fishes whose genomes have been targeted for

  3. Resource wars and conflict ivory: the impact of civil conflict on elephants in the Democratic Republic of Congo--the case of the Okapi Reserve.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rene L Beyers

    Full Text Available Human conflict generally has substantial negative impacts on wildlife and conservation. The recent civil war (1995-2006 in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC resulted in a significant loss of wildlife, including elephants, due to institutional collapse, lawlessness and unbridled exploitation of natural resources such as minerals, wood, ivory and bushmeat. We used data from distance sampling surveys conducted before and after the war in a protected forest, the Okapi Faunal Reserve, to document changes in elephant abundance and distribution. We employed Generalized Additive Models to relate changes in elephant distribution to human and environmental factors. Populations declined by nearly fifty percent coinciding with a major increase in elephant poaching as indicated by reports of ivory trade during the war. Our results suggest that humans influenced elephant distribution far more than habitat, both before and after the war, but post-war models explained more of the variation. Elephant abundance declined more, closer to the park boundary and to areas of intense human activity. After the war, elephant densities were relatively higher in the centre of the park where they were better protected, suggesting that this area may have acted as a refuge. In other sites in Eastern DRC, where no protection was provided, elephants were even more decimated. Post-war dynamics, such as weakened institutions, human movements and availability of weapons, continue to affect elephants. Survival of remaining populations and recovery will be determined by these persistent factors and by new threats associated with growing human populations and exploitation of natural resources. Prioritizing wildlife protection, curbing illegal trade in ivory and bushmeat, and strengthening national institutions and organizations in charge of conservation will be crucial to counter these threats.

  4. A Spanner in the Works: Human–Elephant Conflict Complicates the Food–Water–Energy Nexus in Drylands of Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mwangi Githiru

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The two major conservation issues for drylands of Africa are habitat loss or degradation and habitat fragmentation, largely from agriculture, charcoal production, and infrastructural development. A key question for management is how these landscapes can retain their critical ecological functions and services, while simultaneously supporting resilient livelihoods. It is a clear nexus question involving food (agriculture, water, and energy (fuelwood, which is complicated by human–wildlife conflicts. While these could appear disparate issues, they are closely connected in dryland forest landscapes of Africa where elephants occur close to areas of human habitation. For instance, crop failure, whether due to weather or wildlife damage, is a key driver for rural farmers seeking alternative livelihoods and incomes, one of the commonest being charcoal production. Similarly, heavy reliance on wood-based energy often leads to degradation of wildlife habitat, which heightens competition with wildlife for food and water, increasing the possibility of crop-raiding. So, for multifunctional landscapes where elephants occur in close proximity with humans, any food–water–energy nexus activities toward achieving sustainability and resilience should consider human–elephant conflicts (HECs. Here, we broach these food–water–energy nexus issues with a focus on dryland areas of Africa and HECs. We highlight an ongoing study attempting to address this nexus holistically by employing a climate-smart agriculture (CSA and agro-forestry based design, augmented by an elephant deterrent study and an eco-charcoal production venture.

  5. Population structure of the African savannah elephant inferred from mitochondrial control region sequences and nuclear microsatellite loci

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nyakaana, S; Arctander, P; Siegismund, H R

    2002-01-01

    Two hundred and thirty-six mitochondrial DNA nucleotide sequences were used in combination with polymorphism at four nuclear microsatellite loci to assess the amount and distribution of genetic variation within and between African savannah elephants. They were sampled from 11 localities in easter...

  6. Natural resource use, crop damage and attitudes of rural people in the vicinity of the Maputo Elephant Reserve, Mozambique

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    De Boer, WF; Baquete, DS

    Participation by local communities in management is widely considered a means of sustaining protected areas. In parts of the world with a history of armed conflict, the chances of such an approach being successfully adopted might seem remote. One such area is the Maputo Elephant Reserve in southern

  7. P53 at the start of the 21st century: lessons from elephants [version 1; referees: 3 approved

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    Sue Haupt

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Crucial, natural protection against tumour onset in humans is orchestrated by the dynamic protein p53. The best-characterised functions of p53 relate to its cellular stress responses. In this review, we explore emerging insights into p53 activities and their functional consequences. We compare p53 in humans and elephants, in search of salient features of cancer protection.

  8. A novel application of mark-recapture to examine behaviour associated with the online trade in elephant ivory

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCrea, Rachel S.; Roberts, David L.

    2017-01-01

    The illegal trade in elephant ivory is driving the unlawful killing of elephants such that populations are now suffering unsustainable reductions. The internet is increasingly being used as a platform to conduct illegal wildlife trade, including elephant ivory. As a globally accessible medium the internet is as highly attractive to those involved in the illegal trade as it is challenging to regulate. Characterising the online illegal wildlife (ivory) trade is complex, yet key to informing enforcement activities. We applied mark-recapture to investigate behaviour associated with the online trade in elephant ivory on eBay UK as a generalist online marketplace. Our results indicate that trade takes place via eBay UK, despite its policy prohibiting this, and that two distinct trading populations exist, characterised by the pattern of their ivory sales. We suggest these may represent a large number of occasional (or non-commercial) sellers and a smaller number of dedicated (or commercial) sellers. Directing resource towards reducing the volume of occasional sales, such as through education, would enable greater focus to be placed upon characterising the extent and value of the illegal, “commercial” online ivory trade. MRC has the potential to characterise the illegal trade in ivory and diverse wildlife commodities traded using various online platforms. PMID:28289565

  9. Determinants of seasonal changes in availability of food patches for elephants (Loxodonta africana in a semi-arid African savanna

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruce W. Clegg

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Loss of biodiversity caused by impact of elephants (Loxodonta africana on African woodlands may require a management response, but any action should be based on an understanding of why elephants choose to utilise trees destructively. Comprehension of elephant feeding behaviour requires consideration of the relative value of the plant groups they may potentially consume. Profitability of available food is partly determined by the time to locate a food patch and, therefore, as a foundation for understanding the influence of food availability on diet selection, key controls on the density of grass, forb, and browse patches were investigated across space and time in a semi-arid African savanna. Density of food patches changed seasonally because plant life-forms required different volumes of soil water to produce green forage; and woody plants and forbs responded to long-term changes in soil moisture, while grasses responded to short-term moisture pulses. Soil texture, structure of woody vegetation and fire added further complexity by altering the soil water thresholds required for production of green forage. Interpolating between regularly-timed, ground-based measurements of food density by using modelled soil water as the predictor in regression equations may be a feasible method of quantifying food available to elephants in complex savanna environments.

  10. Human disturbance, nursing behaviour, and lactational pup growth in a declining southern elephant seal (Mirounga leonina) population

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Engelhard, GH; Baarspul, ANJ; Broekman, M; Creuwels, JCS; Reijnders, PJH

    We studied lactation behaviour in relation to pup growth in southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina) at Macquarie Island, and compared harems in areas of high and low human presence to determine if there is an effect attributable to human activities, including scientific research. Pup weaning

  11. Elephant (Loxodonta africana home ranges in Sabi Sand Reserve and Kruger National Park: a five-year satellite tracking study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bindi Thomas

    Full Text Available During a five-year GPS satellite tracking study in Sabi Sand Reserve (SSR and Kruger National Park (KNP we monitored the daily movements of an elephant cow (Loxodonta africana from September 2003 to August 2008. The study animal was confirmed to be part of a group of seven elephants therefore her position is representative of the matriarchal group. We found that the study animal did not use habitat randomly and confirmed strong seasonal fidelity to its summer and winter five-year home ranges. The cow's summer home range was in KNP in an area more than four times that of her SSR winter home range. She exhibited clear park habitation with up to three visits per year travelling via a well-defined northern or southern corridor. There was a positive correlation between the daily distance the elephant walked and minimum daily temperature and the elephant was significantly closer to rivers and artificial waterholes than would be expected if it were moving randomly in KNP and SSR. Transect lines established through the home ranges were surveyed to further understand the fine scale of the landscape and vegetation representative of the home ranges.

  12. Elephant (Loxodonta africana) home ranges in Sabi Sand Reserve and Kruger National Park: a five-year satellite tracking study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Bindi; Holland, John D; Minot, Edward O

    2008-01-01

    During a five-year GPS satellite tracking study in Sabi Sand Reserve (SSR) and Kruger National Park (KNP) we monitored the daily movements of an elephant cow (Loxodonta africana) from September 2003 to August 2008. The study animal was confirmed to be part of a group of seven elephants therefore her position is representative of the matriarchal group. We found that the study animal did not use habitat randomly and confirmed strong seasonal fidelity to its summer and winter five-year home ranges. The cow's summer home range was in KNP in an area more than four times that of her SSR winter home range. She exhibited clear park habitation with up to three visits per year travelling via a well-defined northern or southern corridor. There was a positive correlation between the daily distance the elephant walked and minimum daily temperature and the elephant was significantly closer to rivers and artificial waterholes than would be expected if it were moving randomly in KNP and SSR. Transect lines established through the home ranges were surveyed to further understand the fine scale of the landscape and vegetation representative of the home ranges.

  13. Human disturbance, nursing behaviour, and lactational pup growth in a declining southern elephant seal (Mirounga leonina) population

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Engelhard, G.H.; Baarspul, A.N.J.; Broekman, M.; Creuwels, J.C.S.; Reijnders, P.J.H.

    2002-01-01

    We studied lactation behaviour in relation to pup growth in southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina) at Macquarie Island, and compared harems in areas of high and low human presence to determine if there is an effect attributable to human activitiesincluding scientific research. Pup weaning mass,

  14. Adrenocortical responsiveness in southern elephant seal mothers and pups during