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Sample records for free-ranging african elephants

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

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    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.

  2. Age group estimation in free-ranging African elephants based on acoustic cues of low-frequency rumbles

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    Stoeger, Angela S.; Zeppelzauer, Matthias; Baotic, Anton

    2014-01-01

    Animal vocal signals are increasingly used to monitor wildlife populations and to obtain estimates of species occurrence and abundance. In the future, acoustic monitoring should function not only to detect animals, but also to extract detailed information about populations by discriminating sexes, age groups, social or kin groups, and potentially individuals. Here we show that it is possible to estimate age groups of African elephants (Loxodonta africana) based on acoustic parameters extracte...

  3. Surgical treatment of an umbilical hernia in a free-ranging sub-adult African elephant in Samburu National Reserve, Kenya

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    Mijele D

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Domnic Mijele, Michael Njoroge, Titus Kaitho Veterinary Services Department, Species Conservation and Management Division, Kenya Wildlife Service, Nairobi, Kenya Abstract: A 10-year-old male African elephant (Loxodonta africana at Samburu National Reserve in Northern Kenya, weighing approximately 1,600 kg, presented with an umbilical hernia in October 2013. Umbilical herniorrhaphy was carried out under field conditions. Anesthesia was induced and maintained using etorphine hydrochloride for 3 hours during the surgery. This case report details both the surgical and anesthetic procedure carried out to correct the hernia, and the eventual successful recovery of the elephant from anesthesia. However, the elephant died weeks after the surgery and a postmortem could not reveal the cause of death because predators had scavenged the carcass. The challenges of the surgical procedure and outcome including possible causes of death are highlighted in this report. Keywords: African elephant, general anesthesia, etorphine hydrochloride, local anesthesia Lignocaine + adrenaline, umbilical herniorrhaphy

  4. Non-invasive assessment of the reproductive cycle in free-ranging female African elephants (Loxodonta africana treated with a gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH vaccine for inducing anoestrus

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    Benavides Valades Gabriela

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In southern Africa, various options to manage elephant populations are being considered. Immunocontraception is considered to be the most ethically acceptable and logistically feasible method for control of smaller and confined populations. In this regard, the use of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH vaccine has not been investigated in female elephants, although it has been reported to be safe and effective in several domestic and wildlife species. The aims of this study were to monitor the oestrous cycles of free-ranging African elephant cows using faecal progestagen metabolites and to evaluate the efficacy of a GnRH vaccine to induce anoestrus in treated cows. Methods Between May 2009 - June 2010, luteal activity of 12 elephant cows was monitored non-invasively using an enzyme immunoassay detecting faecal 5alpha-reduced pregnanes (faecal progestagen metabolites, FPM on a private game reserve in South Africa. No bulls of breeding age were present on the reserve prior to and for the duration of the study. After a 3-month control period, 8 randomly-selected females were treated twice with 600 micrograms of GnRH vaccine (Improvac®, Pfizer Animal Health, Sandton, South Africa 5-7 weeks apart. Four of these females had been treated previously with the porcine zona pellucida (pZP vaccine for four years (2004-2007. Results All 12 monitored females (8 treated and 4 controls showed signs of luteal activity as evidenced by FPM concentrations exceeding individual baseline values more than once. A total of 16 oestrous cycles could be identified in 8 cows with four of these within the 13 to 17 weeks range previously reported for captive African elephants. According to the FPM concentrations the GnRH vaccine was unable to induce anoestrus in the treated cows. Overall FPM levels in samples collected during the wet season (mean 4.03 micrograms/gram dry faeces were significantly higher (P Conclusions The GnRH vaccination protocol failed

  5. Surgical treatment of an umbilical hernia in a free-ranging sub-adult African elephant in Samburu National Reserve, Kenya

    OpenAIRE

    Kaitho, Titus; Mijele,Dominic; Njoroge,Michael

    2015-01-01

    Domnic Mijele, Michael Njoroge, Titus Kaitho Veterinary Services Department, Species Conservation and Management Division, Kenya Wildlife Service, Nairobi, Kenya Abstract: A 10-year-old male African elephant (Loxodonta africana) at Samburu National Reserve in Northern Kenya, weighing approximately 1,600 kg, presented with an umbilical hernia in October 2013. Umbilical herniorrhaphy was carried out under field conditions. Anesthesia was induced and maintained using etorphine hydrochloride for...

  6. Non-invasive assessment of the reproductive cycle in free-ranging female African elephants (Loxodonta africana) treated with a gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) vaccine for inducing anoestrus.

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    Benavides Valades, Gabriela; Ganswindt, Andre; Annandale, Henry; Schulman, Martin L; Bertschinger, Henk J

    2012-08-25

    In southern Africa, various options to manage elephant populations are being considered. Immunocontraception is considered to be the most ethically acceptable and logistically feasible method for control of smaller and confined populations. In this regard, the use of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) vaccine has not been investigated in female elephants, although it has been reported to be safe and effective in several domestic and wildlife species. The aims of this study were to monitor the oestrous cycles of free-ranging African elephant cows using faecal progestagen metabolites and to evaluate the efficacy of a GnRH vaccine to induce anoestrus in treated cows. Between May 2009-June 2010, luteal activity of 12 elephant cows was monitored non-invasively using an enzyme immunoassay detecting faecal 5alpha-reduced pregnanes (faecal progestagen metabolites, FPM) on a private game reserve in South Africa. No bulls of breeding age were present on the reserve prior to and for the duration of the study. After a 3-month control period, 8 randomly-selected females were treated twice with 600 micrograms of GnRH vaccine (Improvac®, Pfizer Animal Health, Sandton, South Africa) 5-7 weeks apart. Four of these females had been treated previously with the porcine zona pellucida (pZP) vaccine for four years (2004-2007). All 12 monitored females (8 treated and 4 controls) showed signs of luteal activity as evidenced by FPM concentrations exceeding individual baseline values more than once. A total of 16 oestrous cycles could be identified in 8 cows with four of these within the 13 to 17 weeks range previously reported for captive African elephants. According to the FPM concentrations the GnRH vaccine was unable to induce anoestrus in the treated cows. Overall FPM levels in samples collected during the wet season (mean 4.03 micrograms/gram dry faeces) were significantly higher (Pelephants. These results indicate that irregular oestrous cycles occur amongst free-ranging

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

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    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

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

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    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.

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

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    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

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

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    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

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

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    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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. African bees to control African elephants

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    Vollrath, Fritz; Douglas-Hamilton, Iain

    2002-11-01

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

  15. Tourism-induced disturbance of wildlife in protected areas: A case study of free ranging elephants in Sri Lanka

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    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.

  16. Tuberculosis serosurveillance and management practices of captive African elephants (Loxodonta africana) in the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area.

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    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.

  17. Pandemic H1N1 influenza isolated from free-ranging Northern Elephant Seals in 2010 off the central California coast.

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    Tracey Goldstein

    Full Text Available Interspecies transmission of influenza A is an important factor in the evolution and ecology of influenza viruses. Marine mammals are in contact with a number of influenza reservoirs, including aquatic birds and humans, and this may facilitate transmission among avian and mammalian hosts. Virus isolation, whole genome sequencing, and hemagluttination inhibition assay confirmed that exposure to pandemic H1N1 influenza virus occurred among free-ranging Northern Elephant Seals (Mirounga angustirostris in 2010. Nasal swabs were collected from 42 adult female seals in April 2010, just after the animals had returned to the central California coast from their short post-breeding migration in the northeast Pacific. Swabs from two seals tested positive by RT-PCR for the matrix gene, and virus was isolated from each by inoculation into embryonic chicken eggs. Whole genome sequencing revealed greater than 99% homology with A/California/04/2009 (H1N1 that emerged in humans from swine in 2009. Analysis of more than 300 serum samples showed that samples collected early in 2010 (n = 100 were negative and by April animals began to test positive for antibodies against the pH1N1 virus (HI titer of ≥1∶40, supporting the molecular findings. In vitro characterizations studies revealed that viral replication was indistinguishable from that of reference strains of pH1N1 in canine kidney cells, but replication was inefficient in human epithelial respiratory cells, indicating these isolates may be elephant seal adapted viruses. Thus findings confirmed that exposure to pandemic H1N1 that was circulating in people in 2009 occurred among free-ranging Northern Elephant Seals in 2010 off the central California coast. This is the first report of pH1N1 (A/Elephant seal/California/1/2010 in any marine mammal and provides evidence for cross species transmission of influenza viruses in free-ranging wildlife and movement of influenza viruses between humans and wildlife.

  18. Mitochondrial DNA analysis of two southern African elephant populations

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    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.

  19. Application of stereo photogrammetric techniques for measuring African Elephants

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    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.

  20. 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

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

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    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.

  2. 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...

  3. BRIDGING GAPS BETWEEN ZOO AND WILDLIFE MEDICINE: ESTABLISHING REFERENCE INTERVALS FOR FREE-RANGING AFRICAN LIONS (PANTHERA LEO).

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    Broughton, Heather M; Govender, Danny; Shikwambana, Purvance; Chappell, Patrick; Jolles, Anna

    2017-06-01

    The International Species Information System has set forth an extensive database of reference intervals for zoologic species, allowing veterinarians and game park officials to distinguish normal health parameters from underlying disease processes in captive wildlife. However, several recent studies comparing reference values from captive and free-ranging animals have found significant variation between populations, necessitating the development of separate reference intervals in free-ranging wildlife to aid in the interpretation of health data. Thus, this study characterizes reference intervals for six biochemical analytes, eleven hematologic or immune parameters, and three hormones using samples from 219 free-ranging African lions ( Panthera leo ) captured in Kruger National Park, South Africa. Using the original sample population, exclusion criteria based on physical examination were applied to yield a final reference population of 52 clinically normal lions. Reference intervals were then generated via 90% confidence intervals on log-transformed data using parametric bootstrapping techniques. In addition to the generation of reference intervals, linear mixed-effect models and generalized linear mixed-effect models were used to model associations of each focal parameter with the following independent variables: age, sex, and body condition score. Age and sex were statistically significant drivers for changes in hepatic enzymes, renal values, hematologic parameters, and leptin, a hormone related to body fat stores. Body condition was positively correlated with changes in monocyte counts. Given the large variation in reference values taken from captive versus free-ranging lions, it is our hope that this study will serve as a baseline for future clinical evaluations and biomedical research targeting free-ranging African lions.

  4. Monitoring stress in captive and free-ranging African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) using faecal glucocorticoid metabolites.

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    Van der Weyde, L K; Martin, G B; Paris, M C J

    2016-01-15

    An understanding of stress physiology is important for species management because high levels of stress can hamper reproduction and affect an individual's ability to cope with threats to their survival, such as disease and human-wildlife conflict. A commonly used indicator of stress, faecal concentrations of cortisol metabolites (FCM), can be used to assess the impact of social, biological and environmental factors. Measurements of FCM are particularly valuable for endangered species that are logistically challenging to study and where non-invasive techniques are preferred. As the second most endangered canid in Africa, the African wild dog (Lycaon pictus) has been the focus of considerable conservation research, yet there is still little understanding of factors associated with stress, in either captive or free-ranging populations. The present study therefore aimed to determine whether stress levels differ between captive and free-ranging populations, and to detect social, biological and environmental factors that are stressful in these populations. Faecal samples were collected from 20 captive and 62 free-ranging animals. Within free-ranging populations, the sexes differed significantly, but there was no effect of social status, age or breeding period for either sex. Captive females had higher FCM concentrations than free-ranging females. In captive populations, FCM concentrations differed among zoos and with reproductive status in females, but were not related to age class or group-housing structure. In conclusion, FCM is a useful indicator of stress and should be considered an integrative aspect of management, for both in situ and ex situ African wild dog populations. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

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    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

  6. Geographic variation of stable isotopes in African elephant ivory

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    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.

  7. 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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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...

  16. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  18. Host immunity, nutrition and coinfection alter longitudinal infection patterns of schistosomes in a free ranging African buffalo population.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brianna R Beechler

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Schistosomes are trematode parasites of global importance, causing infections in millions of people, livestock, and wildlife. Most studies on schistosomiasis, involve human subjects; as such, there is a paucity of longitudinal studies investigating parasite dynamics in the absence of intervention. As a consequence, despite decades of research on schistosomiasis, our understanding of its ecology in natural host populations is centered around how environmental exposure and acquired immunity influence acquisition of parasites, while very little is known about the influence of host physiology, coinfection and clearance in the absence of drug treatment. We used a 4-year study in free-ranging African buffalo to investigate natural schistosome dynamics. We asked (i what are the spatial and temporal patterns of schistosome infections; (ii how do parasite burdens vary over time within individual hosts; and (iii what host factors (immunological, physiological, co-infection and environmental factors (season, location explain patterns of schistosome acquisition and loss in buffalo? Schistosome infections were common among buffalo. Microgeographic structure explained some variation in parasite burdens among hosts, indicating transmission hotspots. Overall, parasite burdens ratcheted up over time; however, gains in schistosome abundance in the dry season were partially offset by losses in the wet season, with some hosts demonstrating complete clearance of infection. Variation among buffalo in schistosome loss was associated with immunologic and nutritional factors, as well as co-infection by the gastrointestinal helminth Cooperia fuelleborni. Our results demonstrate that schistosome infections are surprisingly dynamic in a free-living mammalian host population, and point to a role for host factors in driving variation in parasite clearance, but not parasite acquisition which is driven by seasonal changes and spatial habitat utilization. Our study illustrates

  19. Prevalence and spectrum of helminths in free-ranging African buffaloes (Syncerus caffer in wildlife protected areas, Tanzania

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emanuel Senyael Swai

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Objective: To determine the prevalence and spectrum of helminths in free-ranging African buffaloes in Tanzania by a cross-sectional study. Methods: Faecal samples (n=1 23 from Arusha National Park and Ngorongoro Crater were examined for helminth eggs using sedimentation and floatation techniques during the period of March to June 2012. Results: Coprological examination revealed that 34.1% (n=42 of the buffaloes excreted nematodes and trematodes eggs and protozoan oocyst in their faces. The pattern of infection was either single or mixed. Single (52.4% and concurrent infections with two, three, four and five parasites were recorded in 19.0%, 11.9%, 14.3% and 2.3% respectively of the cases. The nematode eggs encountered were those of Trichostrongylus sp. (20.3%, Oesophagostomum sp. (7.3%, Strongyle sp. (4.1%, Bunostomum sp. (4.1%, Ostertegia sp. (3.3% and Toxocara sp. (2.4%. The trematode eggs encountered were those of Fasciola sp. (9.8%, Paramphistomum sp. (4.9%, Gastrothylax sp. (1.6%, Ornithobilharzia sp. (0.81% and Fischoederius sp (0.81%. The protozoan oocyst recorded was that of Eimeria sp. (8.1%. Geographical location of buffaloes had significant influence on the prevalence of infection with Trichostrongylus (P=0.046 and Fasciola (P=0.001, and the mean prevalances in Arusha National Park are significantly higher than those in Ngorongoro Crater. Age had significant influence on infection with Fasciola (P=0.036, and juvenile recorded higher levels of infection than sub-adults. Health status, body condition score and sex-wise prevalence of helminths were not significant (P>0.05. Conclusions: This study indicates that helminths species are numerous and highly prevalent in the two protected areas and may be one of the contributing factors to lower buffalo productivity.

  20. 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 ...

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. The influence of life history milestones and association networks on crop-raiding behavior in male African elephants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick I Chiyo

    Full Text Available Factors that influence learning and the spread of behavior in wild animal populations are important for understanding species responses to changing environments and for species conservation. In populations of wildlife species that come into conflict with humans by raiding cultivated crops, simple models of exposure of individual animals to crops do not entirely explain the prevalence of crop raiding behavior. We investigated the influence of life history milestones using age and association patterns on the probability of being a crop raider among wild free ranging male African elephants; we focused on males because female elephants are not known to raid crops in our study population. We examined several features of an elephant association network; network density, community structure and association based on age similarity since they are known to influence the spread of behaviors in a population. We found that older males were more likely to be raiders than younger males, that males were more likely to be raiders when their closest associates were also raiders, and that males were more likely to be raiders when their second closest associates were raiders older than them. The male association network had sparse associations, a tendency for individuals similar in age and raiding status to associate, and a strong community structure. However, raiders were randomly distributed between communities. These features of the elephant association network may limit the spread of raiding behavior and likely determine the prevalence of raiding behavior in elephant populations. Our results suggest that social learning has a major influence on the acquisition of raiding behavior in younger males whereas life history factors are important drivers of raiding behavior in older males. Further, both life-history and network patterns may influence the acquisition and spread of complex behaviors in animal populations and provide insight on managing human

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Why do African elephants (Loxodonta africana) simulate oestrus? An analysis of longitudinal data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bates, Lucy A; Handford, Rosie; Lee, Phyllis C; Njiraini, Norah; Poole, Joyce H; Sayialel, Katito; Sayialel, Soila; Moss, Cynthia J; Byrne, Richard W

    2010-04-07

    Female African elephants signal oestrus via chemicals in their urine, but they also exhibit characteristic changes to their posture, gait and behaviour when sexually receptive. Free-ranging females visually signal receptivity by holding their heads and tails high, walking with an exaggerated gait, and displaying increased tactile behaviour towards males. Parous females occasionally exhibit these visual signals at times when they are thought not to be cycling and without attracting interest from musth males. Using demographic and behavioural records spanning a continuous 28-year period, we investigated the occurrence of this "simulated" oestrus behaviour. We show that parous females in the Amboseli elephant population do simulate receptive oestrus behaviours, and this false oestrus occurs disproportionately in the presence of naïve female kin who are observed coming into oestrus for the first time. We compare several alternative hypotheses for the occurrence of this simulation: 1) false oestrus has no functional purpose (e.g., it merely results from abnormal hormonal changes); 2) false oestrus increases the reproductive success of the simulating female, by inducing sexual receptivity; and 3) false oestrus increases the inclusive fitness of the simulating female, either by increasing the access of related females to suitable males, or by encouraging appropriate oestrus behaviours from female relatives who are not responding correctly to males. Although the observed data do not fully conform to the predictions of any of these hypotheses, we rule out the first two, and tentatively suggest that parous females most likely exhibit false oestrus behaviours in order to demonstrate to naïve relatives at whom to direct their behaviour.

  8. Why do African elephants (Loxodonta africana simulate oestrus? An analysis of longitudinal data.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucy A Bates

    Full Text Available Female African elephants signal oestrus via chemicals in their urine, but they also exhibit characteristic changes to their posture, gait and behaviour when sexually receptive. Free-ranging females visually signal receptivity by holding their heads and tails high, walking with an exaggerated gait, and displaying increased tactile behaviour towards males. Parous females occasionally exhibit these visual signals at times when they are thought not to be cycling and without attracting interest from musth males. Using demographic and behavioural records spanning a continuous 28-year period, we investigated the occurrence of this "simulated" oestrus behaviour. We show that parous females in the Amboseli elephant population do simulate receptive oestrus behaviours, and this false oestrus occurs disproportionately in the presence of naïve female kin who are observed coming into oestrus for the first time. We compare several alternative hypotheses for the occurrence of this simulation: 1 false oestrus has no functional purpose (e.g., it merely results from abnormal hormonal changes; 2 false oestrus increases the reproductive success of the simulating female, by inducing sexual receptivity; and 3 false oestrus increases the inclusive fitness of the simulating female, either by increasing the access of related females to suitable males, or by encouraging appropriate oestrus behaviours from female relatives who are not responding correctly to males. Although the observed data do not fully conform to the predictions of any of these hypotheses, we rule out the first two, and tentatively suggest that parous females most likely exhibit false oestrus behaviours in order to demonstrate to naïve relatives at whom to direct their behaviour.

  9. 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...

  10. 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.

  11. Molecular characterization of adipose tissue in the African elephant (Loxodonta africana.

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    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

  12. Antemortem diagnosis of Mycobacterium bovis infection in free-ranging African lions (Panthera leo) and implications for transmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Michele; Buss, Peter; Hofmeyr, Jennifer; Olea-Popelka, Francisco; Parsons, Sven; van Helden, Paul

    2015-04-01

    Diagnosis of tuberculosis in wildlife often relies on postmortem samples because of logistical challenges and lack of field-friendly techniques for live animal testing. Confirmation of infection through detection of infectious organisms is essential for studying the pathogenesis and epidemiology of disease. We describe the application of a technique to obtain respiratory samples from free-ranging living lions to facilitate detection of viable Mycobacterium bovis under field conditions. We identified M. bovis by mycobacterial culture and PCR in tracheobronchial lavage samples from 8/134 (6.0%) lions tested in Kruger National Park, South Africa. This confirms the respiratory shedding of viable M. bovis in living lions. The implications of these results are that infected lions have the potential to transmit this disease and serve as maintenance hosts.

  13. 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

  14. Evaluation of butorphanol, medetomidine and midazolam as a reversible narcotic combination in free-ranging African lions (Panthera leo).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wenger, Sandra; Buss, Peter; Joubert, Jenny; Steenkamp, Johan; Shikwambana, Purvance; Hatt, Jean-Michel

    2010-11-01

    To evaluate the effects of the combination butorphanol, medetomidine and midazolam (BMM) and its reversibility in lions. Prospective clinical trial. Thirty free-ranging lions, 10 male and 20 female, weighing 81-210 kg. Lions were immobilised with butorphanol mean 0.31 ± SD 0.034 mg kg(-1), medetomidine 0.052 ± 0.006 mg kg(-1), midazolam 0.21 ± 0.024 mg kg(-1) and hyaluronidase 1250 IU administered intramuscularly with a dart gun. Upon recumbency, physiological parameters and anaesthetic depth were monitored 10-15 minutes after darting (T1) and repeated every 10 minutes for a further 30 minutes (T2, T3, T4). Arterial blood gas analyses were performed at T1 and T4. At the end of the procedure, 45-60 minutes after initial darting, immobilisation was reversed with naltrexone 0.68 ± 0.082 mg kg(-1), atipamezole 0.26 ± 0.031 mg kg(-1), and flumazenil 0.0032 ± 0.0007 mg kg(-1) administered intravenously and subcutaneously. The BMM combination rapidly induced immobilisation and lateral recumbency was reached within 7.25 ± 2.3 minutes. Median induction score [scored 1 (excellent) to 4 (poor)] was 1.4 (range 1-2). Cardio-respiratory parameters were stable. Heart rate varied from 32 to 72 beats per minute, respiratory rate from 14 to 32 breaths minute(-1) and rectal temperature from 36.6 to 40.3 °C. No sudden arousals were observed. Arterial blood gas analyses revealed a mean pH of 7.33, PaCO(2) of 33 mmHg and PaO(2) of 87 mmHg. Mild to moderate hypoxemia was seen in four lions. Recovery was smooth and lions were walking within 4.4 ± 4.25 minutes. Median recovery score [scored 1 (excellent) to 4 (poor)] was 1.3 (range 1-2). The drug combination proved to be effective in immobilising free-ranging healthy lions of both sexes with minimal cardio-respiratory changes. © 2010 The Authors. Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia © 2010 Association of Veterinary Anaesthetists and the American College of Veterinary Anesthesiologists.

  15. 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 ...

  16. 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

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

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    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

  18. An Infectious Disease and Mortality Survey in a Population of Free-Ranging African Wild Dogs and Sympatric Domestic Dogs

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    G. Flacke

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Disease can cause declines in wildlife populations and significantly threaten their survival. Recent expansion of human and domestic animal populations has made wildlife more susceptible to transmission of pathogens from domestic animal hosts. We conducted a pathogen surveillance and mortality survey for the population of African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN, South Africa, from January 2006–February 2007. Samples were obtained from 24 wild dogs for canine distemper virus (CDV and canine parvovirus (CPV serological testing. Data were collected on the presence of CDV, CPV, and rabies virus in the KZN domestic dog (Canis familiaris population from 2004–06. The presence of these pathogens was confirmed in domestic dogs throughout KZN. Wild dogs exhibited 0% and 4.2% prevalence for CDV and CPV antibodies, respectively. In 2006 the largest wild dog pack in KZN was reduced from 26 individuals to a single animal; disease due to rabies virus was considered the most probable cause. This study provides evidence that CDV, CPV and rabies are potential threats to African wild dog conservation in KZN. The most economical and practical way to protect wild dogs from canine pathogens may be via vaccination of sympatric domestic dogs; however, such programmes are currently limited.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

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

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    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

  5. 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.

  6. 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, ...

  7. 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

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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)

  10. 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

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Connell, Caitlin Elizabeth

    were responsible for the greatest number of wildlife conflicts in the region, while lions had the greatest financial impact on farmers. Attempts were made to reduce conflicts between elephants and farmers using deterrents such as electrical fencing, trip-alarm techniques and elephant warning calls. Success of deterrents depended on the frequency of exposure to elephants, maintenance and the ecology of both humans and elephants in the region. Of the deterrent strategies explored, only electrical fencing reduced elephant damage at the community level. The future efficacy of electric fencing is uncertain, however, if elephants do not associate it with fear and possible death. Deterrent efforts played a role in improving relations between communities and conservationists. Scenarios for how human agricultural communities might co-exist with free-ranging elephants are discussed.

  15. 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...

  16. 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.

  17. The African Elephant as a Game Ranch Animal

    OpenAIRE

    G. de Graaff

    1992-01-01

    The Wildlife Group of the South African Veterinary Association (SAVA) was constituted in the beginning of the 1970s by a number of persons interested in theoretical and practical aspects of wildlife {sensu lato), wildlife diseases, and the handling of game and wild animals {^ensit stricto}.

  18. The African Elephant as a Game Ranch Animal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. de Graaff

    1992-09-01

    Full Text Available The Wildlife Group of the South African Veterinary Association (SAVA was constituted in the beginning of the 1970s by a number of persons interested in theoretical and practical aspects of wildlife {sensu lato, wildlife diseases, and the handling of game and wild animals {^ensit stricto}.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    African Zoology. Journal Home · ABOUT · Advanced Search · Current Issue · Archives · Journal Home > Vol 19, No 4 (1984) >. Log in or Register to get access to full text downloads. Username, Password, Remember me, or Register · Download this PDF file. The PDF file you selected should load here if your Web browser ...

  20. 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.

  1. Humans and elephants as treefall drivers in African savannas

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Mograbi, PJ

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available and composition refl ect the ecological context of multiple spatial and temporal pro- cesses (Watt 1947, Vanak et al. 2012, Scholtz et al. 2014), complex interactive eff ects with other species (Dean et al. 1999, Sankaran et al. 2005), humans (Turner et al.... Southern African fi re regimes as revealed by remote sensing. – Int. J. Wildland Fire 19: 861 – 878. Archibald, S. et al. 2013. Defi ning pyromes and global syndromes of fi re regimes. – Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 110: 6442 – 6447. Asner, G. P...

  2. Measuring positive and negative affect in the voiced sounds of African elephants (Loxodonta africana).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soltis, Joseph; Blowers, Tracy E; Savage, Anne

    2011-02-01

    As in other mammals, there is evidence that the African elephant voice reflects affect intensity, but it is less clear if positive and negative affective states are differentially reflected in the voice. An acoustic comparison was made between African elephant "rumble" vocalizations produced in negative social contexts (dominance interactions), neutral social contexts (minimal social activity), and positive social contexts (affiliative interactions) by four adult females housed at Disney's Animal Kingdom®. Rumbles produced in the negative social context exhibited higher and more variable fundamental frequencies (F(0)) and amplitudes, longer durations, increased voice roughness, and higher first formant locations (F1), compared to the neutral social context. Rumbles produced in the positive social context exhibited similar shifts in most variables (F(0 )variation, amplitude, amplitude variation, duration, and F1), but the magnitude of response was generally less than that observed in the negative context. Voice roughness and F(0) observed in the positive social context remained similar to that observed in the neutral context. These results are most consistent with the vocal expression of affect intensity, in which the negative social context elicited higher intensity levels than the positive context, but differential vocal expression of positive and negative affect cannot be ruled out.

  3. 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...

  4. Elephants - a conservation overview

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H.S. Riddle

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michele A Miller

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

  6. Exploring the value of overseas biodiversity to Chinese netizens based on willingness to pay for the African elephants' protection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zhengzao; Gong, Yazhen; Mao, Xianqiang

    2018-10-01

    For a long time, Chinese people have been considered to be concerned only with commercial interests but not ecological systems and biodiversity conservation, even though their trade and investment footprints are globalizing rapidly. This study intended to reveal the non-market valuation on the non-use value of African elephant to Chinese people. Taking the ban of ivory trade as the background, in this study, Chinese netizens' willingness to pay for African elephant conservation was investigated using the contingent valuation method. Four versions of questionnaires were designed and distinguished by offering different background information and payment vehicles (tax and donation). It was demonstrated that the differences in both given information and payment vehicles had no significant impacts on the estimated mean willingness to pay value. 53.36% of the respondents gave positive responses for the hypothetical projects of African elephant protection. The mean willingness to pay was 83.62 RMB (12.59 USD) and 158.58 RMB (23.88 USD) per year per household and the aggregated willingness to pay or benefits for the protection of African elephants from Chinese netizens were estimated to be 16.31 billion RMB (2.45 billion USD) and 30.92 billion RMB (4.65 billion USD) per year after grouping regression and benefit transfer adjustments, respectively. The current research shows that Chinese people, living thousands kilometers away from Africa, have a high public awareness for and valuation to the endangered elephants. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Acute death associated with Citrobacter freundii infection in an African elephant (Loxodonta africana).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortega, Joaquín; Corpa, Juan M; Orden, José A; Blanco, Jorge; Carbonell, María D; Gerique, Amalia C; Latimer, Erin; Hayward, Gary S; Roemmelt, Andreas; Kraemer, Thomas; Romey, Aurore; Kassimi, Labib B; Casares, Miguel

    2015-09-01

    A 21-year-old male African elephant (Loxodonta africana) died suddenly with no previous medical history. Grossly, there were severe multifocal epicardial and endocardial hemorrhages of the atria and ventricles, hydropericardium, multifocal pleural hemorrhages, and severe pulmonary congestion and edema. Histologically, there was fibrinoid vasculitis and thrombosis in the heart and lung and myocardial necrosis. Citrobacter freundii was isolated in abundance in pure culture from liver and heart samples. Low levels of multiples types of elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus (EEHV-6, EEHV-2B, and EEHV-3A) were detected in spleen samples, but not in heart samples. The levels of EEHV DNA found were much lower than those usually associated with acute EEHV hemorrhagic disease, and many other genomic loci that would normally be found in such cases were evidently below the level of detection. Therefore, these findings are unlikely to indicate lethal EEHV disease. Polymerase chain reaction for encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV) and toxicology for oleander (Nerium oleander) were negative. Stress, resulting from recent transport, and antimicrobial therapy may have contributed to the death of this animal. © 2015 The Author(s).

  8. Etorphine-halothane anaesthesia in two five-year-old African elephants (Loxodonta africana : clinical communication

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G.F. Stegmann

    1999-07-01

    Full Text Available Anaesthesia of 2 five-year-old femaleAfrican elephants (Loxodonta africana was required for dental surgery. The animals were each premedicated with 120 mg of azaperone 60 min before transportation to the hospital. Before offloading, 1 mg etorphine was administered intramuscularly (i.m. to each elephant to facilitate walking them to the equine induction / recovery room. For induction, 2 mg etorphine was administered i.m. to each animal. Induction was complete within 6 min. Surgical anaesthesia was induced with halothane-in-oxygen after intubation of the trunk. During surgery the mean heart rate was 61 and 45 beats / min respectively. Systolic blood pressures increased to 27.5 and 25.6 kPa respectively, and were treated with intravenous azaperone. Blood pressure decreased thereafter to a mean systolic pressure of 18.1 and 19.8 kPa, respectively. Rectal temperature was 35.6 and 33.9 oC at the onset of surgery, and decreased to 35.3 and 33.5 oC, respectively, at the end of anaesthesia. Etorphine anaesthesia was reversed with 5mg diprenorphine at the completion of 90 min of surgery.

  9. 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.

  10. Comparative Intradermal Tuberculin Testing of Free-Ranging African Buffaloes (Syncerus caffer Captured for Ex Situ Conservation in the Kafue Basin Ecosystem in Zambia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hetron Mweemba Munang'andu

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Bovine tuberculosis (BTB is endemic in African buffaloes (Syncerus caffer in some National Parks in Southern Africa, whilst no studies have been conducted on BTB on buffalo populations in Zambia. The increased demand for ecotourism and conservation of the African buffalo on private owned game ranches has prompted the Zambian Wildlife Authority (ZAWA and private sector in Zambia to generate a herd of “BTB-free buffaloes” for ex situ conservation. In the present study, 86 African buffaloes from four different herds comprising a total of 530 animals were investigated for the presence of BTB for the purpose of generating “BTB free” buffalo for ex-situ conservation. Using the comparative intradermal tuberculin test (CIDT the BTB status at both individual animal and herd level was estimated to be 0.0% by the CIDT technique. Compared to Avian reactors only, a prevalence of 5.8% was determined whilst for Bovine-only reactors a prevalence of 0.0% was determined. These results suggest the likelihood of buffalo herds in the Kafue National Park being free of BTB.

  11. 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.

  12. Dietary management, husbandry, and body weights of African elephants (Loxodonta africana) during successful pregnancies at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sullivan, Kathleen; Kerr, Katherine; Wanty, Rachel; Amaral, Bryan; Olea-Popelka, Francisco; Valdes, Eduardo

    2016-11-01

    Successful pregnancy in African elephants is influenced by biological and environmental factors. For managed elephants many of these factors are set directly or indirectly by their human care takers, including nutrition and husbandry. While African elephants often struggle to conceive and produce healthy offspring under human care, Disney's Animal Kingdom (DAK) has effectively managed six gestations to fruition in three cows. Despite differences between mothers in terms of BW and growth curves during gravidity, each pregnancy successfully resulted in the birth of a healthy calf. Body weight (BW) gain during pregnancy ranged from 245 to 558 kg. Obesity in elephants is associated with increased occurrence of dystocia and mortality of the fetus and mother, hence understanding normal weight gains is an integral concept. Diet (dry matter basis) included high levels of fiber throughout pregnancies (60-70% neutral detergent fiber), vitamin E supplementation (116-214 mg/kg diet of alpha-tocopherol), as well as low levels of starch (2.5-5.1%) and crude fat (1.9-2.4%). Caretaker directed exercise during pregnancy at DAK served to prevent ventral edema, and increase muscle tone to prepare cows for parturition. Demonstrating techniques for effective care of pregnant females, as well as normal growth curves and fluctuations under ex situ conditions are necessary for future positive outcomes. Ensuring reproductive success through proper husbandry and nutrition are a key to long-term conservation of elephants. Zoo Biol. 35:574-578, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kari A Morfeld

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

  14. The impact of male contraception on dominance hierarchy and herd association patterns of African elephants (Loxodonta africana) in a fenced game reserve

    OpenAIRE

    L.S. Doughty; K. Slater; H. Zitzer; Tomos Avent; S. Thompson

    2014-01-01

    Overpopulation of African elephants (Loxodonta africana) in fenced reserves in South Africa is becoming increasingly problematic to wildlife managers. With growing opposition to culling and the high cost of translocation, alternative management strategies focusing on male elephants are being investigated. In this study, hormonal treatment via Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone (GnRH) suppression, and surgical treatment via vasectomy were trialled. Focusing on behavioural responses, we tested the ...

  15. The ties that bind: genetic relatedness predicts the fission and fusion of social groups in wild African elephants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Archie, Elizabeth A; Moss, Cynthia J; Alberts, Susan C

    2006-03-07

    Many social animals live in stable groups. In contrast, African savannah elephants (Loxodonta africana) live in unusually fluid, fission-fusion societies. That is, 'core' social groups are composed of predictable sets of individuals; however, over the course of hours or days, these groups may temporarily divide and reunite, or they may fuse with other social groups to form much larger social units. Here, we test the hypothesis that genetic relatedness predicts patterns of group fission and fusion among wild, female African elephants. Our study of a single Kenyan population spans 236 individuals in 45 core social groups, genotyped at 11 microsatellite and one mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) locus. We found that genetic relatedness predicted group fission; adult females remained with their first order maternal relatives when core groups fissioned temporarily. Relatedness also predicted temporary fusion between social groups; core groups were more likely to fuse with each other when the oldest females in each group were genetic relatives. Groups that shared mtDNA haplotypes were also significantly more likely to fuse than groups that did not share mtDNA. Our results suggest that associations between core social groups persist for decades after the original maternal kin have died. We discuss these results in the context of kin selection and its possible role in the evolution of elephant sociality.

  16. 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.

  17. SUCCESSFUL TREATMENT OF DIGITAL OSTEITIS BY INTRAVENOUS REGIONAL PERFUSION OF CEFTIOFUR IN AN AFRICAN ELEPHANT (LOXODONTA AFRICANA).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dutton, Christopher J; Delnatte, Pauline G; Hollamby, Simon R; Crawshaw, Graham J

    2017-06-01

    A 41-yr-old African elephant ( Loxodonta africana ) presented with a swollen third digit of the left forelimb and a 2-cm hole in the pad. Corrective trimming, topical treatments, and an oral antibiotic resulted in apparent resolution; however, it reoccurred after 4 mo. Radiographs suggested bone lysis in the third phalanx, with the primary differential diagnosis being septic osteitis. Flushing with metronidazole solution and intravenous regional perfusion (IVRP) of the foot were commenced. A tourniquet was applied just above the carpus, an interdigital vein was identified by ultrasound, and into this vein 2 g (20 ml) of ceftiofur sodium solution, followed by 60 ml of heparinized saline, was administered. The foot was kept raised for 25 min and then the tourniquet was removed. IVRP was repeated every other day for 70 treatments over 6 mo. Healing occurred, which was confirmed radiographically. IVRP offers an excellent treatment modality in a well-trained elephant.

  18. Enduring consequences of early experiences: 40 year effects on survival and success among African elephants (Loxodonta africana).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Phyllis C; Bussière, Luc F; Webber, C Elizabeth; Poole, Joyce H; Moss, Cynthia J

    2013-04-23

    Growth from conception to reproductive onset in African elephants (Loxodonta africana) provides insights into phenotypic plasticity, individual adaptive plastic responses and facultative maternal investment. Using growth for 867 and life histories for 2652 elephants over 40 years, we demonstrate that maternal inexperience plus drought in early life result in reduced growth rates for sons and higher mortality for both sexes. Slow growth during early lactation was associated with smaller adult size, later age at first reproduction, reduced lifetime survival and consequently limited reproductive output. These enduring effects of trading slow early growth against immediate survival were apparent over the very long term; delayed downstream consequences were unexpected for a species with a maximum longevity of 70+ years and unpredictable environmental experiences.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 dependent intercalving interval of 4–8 years. The trophoblast erodes the lumenal epithelium of the endometrium and stimulates upgrowths of blood vessel-containing stromal villi, which develop eventually into the broad, tightly folded lamellae of the zonary, endotheliochorial placenta. Significant quantities of leaked maternal erythrocytes and ferric iron are phagocytosed by specialized trophoblast cells in the haemophagous zones at the lateral edges of the placental band. Although the placenta itself is endocrinologically inert, the foetal gonads, which enlarge greatly during the second half of pregnancy can synthesize 5α-dihydryoprogesterone and other 5α pregnane derivatives from cholesterol and pregnenolone. These products may synergize with progestagens secreted by the 2–8 large corpora lutea which are always present in the maternal ovaries throughout gestation to maintain the pregnancy state. PMID:16627297

  20. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicole I Stacy

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

  2. 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.

  3. A legacy of low-impact logging does not elevate prevalence of potentially pathogenic protozoa in free-ranging gorillas and chimpanzees in the Republic of Congo: logging and parasitism in African apes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillespie, Thomas R; Morgan, David; Deutsch, J Charlie; Kuhlenschmidt, Mark S; Salzer, Johanna S; Cameron, Kenneth; Reed, Trish; Sanz, Crickette

    2009-12-01

    Many studies have examined the long-term effects of selective logging on the abundance and diversity of free-ranging primates. Logging is known to reduce the abundance of some primate species through associated hunting and the loss of food trees for frugivores; however, the potential role of pathogens in such primate population declines is largely unexplored. Selective logging results in a suite of alterations in host ecology and forest structure that may alter pathogen dynamics in resident wildlife populations. In addition, environmental pollution with human fecal material may present a risk for wildlife infections with zoonotic protozoa, such as Cryptosporidium and Giardia. To better understand this interplay, we compared patterns of infection with these potentially pathogenic protozoa in sympatric western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) and chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes troglodytes) in the undisturbed Goualougo Triangle of Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park and the adjacent previously logged Kabo Concession in northern Republic of Congo. No Cryptosporidium infections were detected in any of the apes examined and prevalence of infection with Giardia was low (3.73% overall) and did not differ between logged and undisturbed forest for chimpanzees or gorillas. These results provide a baseline for prevalence of these protozoa in forest-dwelling African apes and suggest that low-intensity logging may not result in long-term elevated prevalence of potentially pathogenic protozoa.

  4. 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....

  5. The mummified brain of a pleistocene woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) compared with the brain of the extant African elephant (Loxodonta africana).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kharlamova, Anastasia S; Saveliev, Sergei V; Protopopov, Albert V; Maseko, Busisiwe C; Bhagwandin, Adhil; Manger, Paul R

    2015-11-01

    This study presents the results of an examination of the mummified brain of a pleistocene woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) recovered from the Yakutian permafrost in Siberia, Russia. This unique specimen (from 39,440-38,850 years BP) provides the rare opportunity to compare the brain morphology of this extinct species with a related extant species, the African elephant (Loxodonta africana). An anatomical description of the preserved brain of the woolly mammoth is provided, along with a series of quantitative analyses of various brain structures. These descriptions are based on visual inspection of the actual specimen as well as qualitative and quantitative comparison of computed tomography imaging data obtained for the woolly mammoth in comparison with magnetic resonance imaging data from three African elephant brains. In general, the brain of the woolly mammoth specimen examined, estimated to weigh between 4,230 and 4,340 g, showed the typical shape, size, and gross structures observed in extant elephants. Quantitative comparative analyses of various features of the brain, such as the amygdala, corpus callosum, cerebellum, and gyrnecephalic index, all indicate that the brain of the woolly mammoth specimen examined has many similarities with that of modern African elephants. The analysis provided here indicates that a specific brain type representative of the Elephantidae is likely to be a feature of this mammalian family. In addition, the extensive similarities between the woolly mammoth brain and the African elephant brain indicate that the specializations observed in the extant elephant brain are likely to have been present in the woolly mammoth. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. Using genetic profiles of African forest elephants to infer population structure, movements, and habitat use in a conservation and development landscape in Gabon

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Eggert, L. S.; Buij, R.; Lee, M. E.; Campbell, P.; Dallmeier, F.; Fleischer, R. C.; Alonso, A.; Maldonado, J. E.

    Conservation of wide-ranging species, such as the African forest elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis), depends on fully protected areas and multiple-use areas (MUA) that provide habitat connectivity. In the Gamba Complex of Protected Areas in Gabon, which includes 2 national parks separated by a MUA

  7. using genetic profiles of african forest elephants to infer population structure, movements, and habitat use in a conservation and development landscape in gabon

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Eggert, L.S.; Buij, R.; Lee, M.E.; Campbell, P.; Dallmeier, F.; Fleischer, R.C.; Alonso, A.; Maldonado, J.

    2014-01-01

    Conservation of wide-ranging species, such as the African forest elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis), depends on fully protected areas and multiple-use areas (MUA) that provide habitat connectivity. In the Gamba Complex of Protected Areas in Gabon, which includes 2 national parks separated by a MUA

  8. Standing sedation in African elephants (Loxodonta africana) using detomidine-butorphanol combinations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neiffer, Donald L; Miller, Michele A; Weber, Martha; Stetter, Mark; Fontenot, Deidre K; Robbins, P K; Pye, Geoffrey W

    2005-06-01

    Standing sedation was provided for 14 clinical procedures in three African elephants (Loxodonta africana) managed by combined protected and modified-protected contact and trained through operant conditioning. An initial hand-injection of detomidine hydrochloride and butorphanol tartrate at a ratio of 1:1 on a microg:microg basis was administered intramuscularly, with a dosage range of 50-70 mg (12.9-19.7 microg/kg) for each drug. The initial injection resulted in adequate sedation for initiation and completion of eight procedures, whereas supplemental doses were required for the remaining procedures. The dosage range for the supplemental injections of each drug was 4.0-7.3 microg/kg. Initial effect was noted within 3.0-25 min (mean = 11.6 min, SD +/- 5.9 min), with maximal effect occurring at 25-30 min for those procedures not requiring supplementation. In all but one procedure, this effect was maintained until the end of the procedure, which ranged from 47 to 98 min (mean = 74.7 min, SD +/- 18.8 min). No cardiac or respiratory depression was appreciated. Recovery after administration of reversal agents was rapid and complete, ranging from 2 to 20 min (mean = 9.0 min, SD +/- 7.0 min). On the basis of the authors' experience, recommended dosage ranges for reversal agents would be intravenous yohimbine (73.4-98.5 microg/kg), intravenous naltrexone (48.9-98.5 microg/kg), and intramuscular naltrexone (73.4-98.5 microg/kg). Approximately one-third to one-half of the total naltrexone dose should be administered intravenously. Mild adverse side effects limited to the gastrointestinal tract were observed in association with five procedures including abdominal distention with or without transient anorexia. Administration of reversal agents, encouraging exercise and water consumption, and administration of flunixin meglumine were helpful in the resolution of signs. In addition to gastrointestinal signs, slight ataxia was observed before initiation of surgical stimulation

  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. 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

  11. Elucidating the significance of spatial memory on movement decisions by African savannah elephants using state-space models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polansky, Leo; Kilian, Werner; Wittemyer, George

    2015-04-22

    Spatial memory facilitates resource acquisition where resources are patchy, but how it influences movement behaviour of wide-ranging species remains to be resolved. We examined African elephant spatial memory reflected in movement decisions regarding access to perennial waterholes. State-space models of movement data revealed a rapid, highly directional movement behaviour almost exclusively associated with visiting perennial water. Behavioural change point (BCP) analyses demonstrated that these goal-oriented movements were initiated on average 4.59 km, and up to 49.97 km, from the visited waterhole, with the closest waterhole accessed 90% of the time. Distances of decision points increased when switching to different waterholes, during the dry season, or for female groups relative to males, while selection of the closest waterhole decreased when switching. Overall, our analyses indicated detailed spatial knowledge over large scales, enabling elephants to minimize travel distance through highly directional movement when accessing water. We discuss the likely cognitive and socioecological mechanisms driving these spatially precise movements that are most consistent with our findings. By applying modern analytic techniques to high-resolution movement data, this study illustrates emerging approaches for studying how cognition structures animal movement behaviour in different ecological and social contexts. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. The impact of male contraception on dominance hierarchy and herd association patterns of African elephants (Loxodonta africana in a fenced game reserve

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L.S. Doughty

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Overpopulation of African elephants (Loxodonta africana in fenced reserves in South Africa is becoming increasingly problematic to wildlife managers. With growing opposition to culling and the high cost of translocation, alternative management strategies focusing on male elephants are being investigated. In this study, hormonal treatment via Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone (GnRH suppression, and surgical treatment via vasectomy were trialled. Focusing on behavioural responses, we tested the male dominance hierarchy for transitivity, and examined the rank order of individuals in relation to age and contraceptive treatment received. Additionally, we studied association patterns between males within the male population and with the female herds.Findings suggest that the treatment of one individual with GnRH suppressant is affecting the rank order of the dominance hierarchy, though it is still transitive, yet fluid (Landau’s linearity index h=0.7, as expected in a normal elephant population. Between males, association patterns were found to be weak. However, some males had relatively strong associations with the female herds, with association indices between 0.25 and 0.41. This suggests that the reduction on births is resulting in the males spending atypically large amounts of time with the female herds. The future conservation implications of this population control mechanism are discussed. Keywords: African elephant, Population control, Contraception, Social dynamics, Dominance, Association patterns

  15. 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.

  16. Using genetic profiles of African forest elephants to infer population structure, movements, and habitat use in a conservation and development landscape in Gabon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eggert, L S; Buij, R; Lee, M E; Campbell, P; Dallmeier, F; Fleischer, R C; Alonso, A; Maldonado, J E

    2014-02-01

    Conservation of wide-ranging species, such as the African forest elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis), depends on fully protected areas and multiple-use areas (MUA) that provide habitat connectivity. In the Gamba Complex of Protected Areas in Gabon, which includes 2 national parks separated by a MUA containing energy and forestry concessions, we studied forest elephants to evaluate the importance of the MUA to wide-ranging species. We extracted DNA from elephant dung samples and used genetic information to identify over 500 individuals in the MUA and the parks. We then examined patterns of nuclear microsatellites and mitochondrial control-region sequences to infer population structure, movement patterns, and habitat use by age and sex. Population structure was weak but significant, and differentiation was more pronounced during the wet season. Within the MUA, males were more strongly associated with open habitats, such as wetlands and savannas, than females during the dry season. Many of the movements detected within and between seasons involved the wetlands and bordering lagoons. Our results suggest that the MUA provides year-round habitat for some elephants and additional habitat for others whose primary range is in the parks. With the continuing loss of roadless wilderness areas in Central Africa, well-managed MUAs will likely be important to the conservation of wide-ranging species. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.

  17. 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

  18. Organic and free-range egg production

    OpenAIRE

    Hammershøj, M.

    2011-01-01

    This chapter includes information on the development of the free range and the organic egg production and their market shares in different countries. Consumer behaviour is investigated particularly in relation to the price and availability of non-cage eggs. Regulations on the production of free range and organic eggs and their present and future impact are examined. Nutrient supply, animal welfare, productivity, safety and environmental impact of the types of egg production are covered with a...

  19. The role of foraging behaviour in the sexual segregation of the African elephant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shannon, Graeme; Page, Bruce R; Duffy, Kevin J; Slotow, Rob

    2006-11-01

    Elephants (Loxodonta africana) exhibit pronounced sexual dimorphism, and in this study we test the prediction that the differences in body size and sociality are significant enough to drive divergent foraging strategies and ultimately sexual segregation. Body size influences the foraging behaviour of herbivores through the differential scaling coefficients of metabolism and gut size, with larger bodied individuals being able to tolerate greater quantities of low-quality, fibrous vegetation, whilst having lower mass-specific energy requirements. We test two distinct theories: the scramble competition hypothesis (SCH) and the forage selection hypothesis (FSH). Comprehensive behavioural data were collected from the Pongola Game Reserve and the Phinda Private Game Reserve in South Africa over a 2.5-year period. The data were analysed using sex as the independent variable. Adult females targeted a wider range of species, adopted a more selective foraging approach and exhibited greater bite rates as predicted by the body size hypothesis and the increased demands of reproductive investment (lactation and pregnancy). Males had longer feeding bouts, displayed significantly more destructive behaviour (31% of observations, 11% for females) and ingested greater quantities of forage during each feeding bout. The independent ranging behaviour of adult males enables them to have longer foraging bouts as they experience fewer social constraints than females. The SCH was rejected as a cause of sexual segregation due to the relative abundance of low quality forage, and the fact that feeding heights were similar for both males and females. However, we conclude that the differences in the foraging strategies of the sexes are sufficient to cause spatial segregation as postulated by the FSH. Sexual dimorphism and the associated behavioural differences have important implications for the management and conservation of elephant and other dimorphic species, with the sexes effectively

  20. Calling Out the Elephant: An Examination of African American Male Achievement in Community Colleges

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edward C. Bush

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available This mixed method study examines the effects of community college institutional factors on the academic achievement of African American males and their perceptions of their college experience. We found that African American men in comparison to other ethnic and gender sub-groups (for both the California community college system and at Inland Community College are disproportionately underachieving in all segments of the academic outcomes measured. African American men throughout California’s community college system (including Inland Community College are the lowest performing subgroup when one considers: percentage of degrees earned, persistence rates, and average cumulative grade point average. The analysis of African American men’s perceptions of their college experience suggest that African American men have greater amounts of dissatisfaction and do not engage with the various segments of the college when compared to the other subgroups in the study. African American males were more likely not to meet with faculty members or have contact with them outside of the classroom. More importantly, faculty interaction predicted if African American male students persisted, transferred, and maintained a higher grade point average at the case study institution. The variables associated with campus climate predicted if African American male students transferred, had higher grade point averages, and graduated at higher rates from the case institution.

  1. 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...

  2. 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

  3. Effects of GnRH vaccination in wild and captive African Elephant bulls (Loxodonta africana on reproductive organs and semen quality.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Imke Lueders

    Full Text Available Although the African elephant (Loxodonta africana is classified as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN, in some isolated habitats in southern Africa, contraception is of major interest due to local overpopulation. GnRH vaccination has been promoted as a non-invasive contraceptive measure for population management of overabundant wildlife. We tested the efficacy of this treatment for fertility control in elephant bulls.In total, 17 male African elephants that were treated with a GnRH vaccine were examined in two groups. In the prospective study group 1 (n = 11 bulls, ages: 8-36 years, semen quality, the testes, seminal vesicles, ampullae and prostate, which were all measured by means of transrectal ultrasound, and faecal androgen metabolite concentrations were monitored over a three-year period. Each bull in the prospective study received 5 ml of Improvac® (1000 μg GnRH conjugate intramuscularly after the first examination, followed by a booster six weeks later and thereafter every 5-7 months. In a retrospective study group (group 2, n = 6, ages: 19-33 years, one examination was performed on bulls which had been treated with GnRH vaccine for 5-11 years.In all bulls of group 1, testicular and accessory sex gland sizes decreased significantly after the third vaccination. In six males examined prior to vaccination and again after more than five vaccinations, the testis size was reduced by 57.5%. Mean testicular height and length decreased from 13.3 ± 2.6 cm x 15.2 ± 2.8 cm at the beginning to 7.6 ± 2.1 cm x 10.2 ± 1.8 cm at the end of the study. Post pubertal bulls (>9 years, n = 6 examined prior to vaccination produced ejaculates with viable spermatozoa (volume: 8-175 ml, sperm concentration: 410-4000x106/ml, total motility: 0-90%, while after 5-8 injections, only 50% of these bulls produced ejaculates with a small number of immotile spermatozoa. The ejaculates of group 2 bulls (vaccinated >8 times were

  4. Effective population size dynamics reveal impacts of historic climatic events and recent anthropogenic pressure in African elephants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2008-01-01

    Two hundred years of elephant hunting for ivory, peaking in 1970-1980s, caused local extirpations and massive population declines across Africa. The resulting genetic impacts on surviving populations have not been studied, despite the importance of understanding the evolutionary repercussions...... of such human-mediated events on this keystone species. Using Bayesian coalescent-based genetic methods to evaluate time-specific changes in effective population size, we analysed genetic variation in 20 highly polymorphic microsatellite loci from 400 elephants inhabiting the greater Samburu-Laikipia region...... of northern Kenya. This area experienced a decline of between 80% and 90% in the last few decades when ivory harvesting was rampant. The most significant change in effective population size, however, occurred approximately 2500 years ago during a mid-Holocene period of climatic drying in tropical Africa...

  5. History of Animals using Isotope Records (HAIR): a 6-year dietary history of one family of African elephants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cerling, Thure E; Wittemyer, George; Ehleringer, James R; Remien, Christopher H; Douglas-Hamilton, Iain

    2009-05-19

    The dietary and movement history of individual animals can be studied using stable isotope records in animal tissues, providing insight into long-term ecological dynamics and a species niche. We provide a 6-year history of elephant diet by examining tail hair collected from 4 elephants in the same social family unit in northern Kenya. Sequential measurements of carbon, nitrogen, and hydrogen isotope rations in hair provide a weekly record of diet and water resources. Carbon isotope ratios were well correlated with satellite-based measurements of the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) of the region occupied by the elephants as recorded by the global positioning system (GPS) movement record; the absolute amount of C(4) grass consumption is well correlated with the maximum value of NDVI during individual wet seasons. Changes in hydrogen isotope ratios coincided very closely in time with seasonal fluctuations in rainfall and NDVI whereas diet shifts to relatively high proportions of grass lagged seasonal increases in NDVI by approximately 2 weeks. The peak probability of conception in the population occurred approximately 3 weeks after peak grazing. Spatial and temporal patterns of resource use show that the only period of pure browsing by the focal elephants was located in an over-grazed, communally managed region outside the protected area. The ability to extract time-specific longitudinal records on animal diets, and therefore the ecological history of an organism and its environment, provides an avenue for understanding the impact of climate dynamics and land-use change on animal foraging behavior and habitat relations.

  6. Effective population size dynamics reveal impacts of historic climatic events and recent anthropogenic pressure in African elephants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okello, J B A; Wittemyer, G; Rasmussen, H B; Arctander, P; Nyakaana, S; Douglas-Hamilton, I; Siegismund, H R

    2008-09-01

    Two hundred years of elephant hunting for ivory, peaking in 1970-1980s, caused local extirpations and massive population declines across Africa. The resulting genetic impacts on surviving populations have not been studied, despite the importance of understanding the evolutionary repercussions of such human-mediated events on this keystone species. Using Bayesian coalescent-based genetic methods to evaluate time-specific changes in effective population size, we analysed genetic variation in 20 highly polymorphic microsatellite loci from 400 elephants inhabiting the greater Samburu-Laikipia region of northern Kenya. This area experienced a decline of between 80% and 90% in the last few decades when ivory harvesting was rampant. The most significant change in effective population size, however, occurred approximately 2500 years ago during a mid-Holocene period of climatic drying in tropical Africa. Contrary to expectations, detailed analyses of four contemporary age-based cohorts showed that the peak poaching epidemic in the 1970s caused detectable temporary genetic impacts, with genetic diversity rebounding as juveniles surviving the poaching era became reproductively mature. This study demonstrates the importance of climatic history in shaping the distribution and genetic history of a keystone species and highlights the utility of coalescent-based demographic approaches in unravelling ancestral demographic events despite a lack of ancient samples. Unique insights into the genetic signature of mid-Holocene climatic change in Africa and effects of recent poaching pressure on elephants are discussed.

  7. Inter-generational change in African elephant range use is associated with poaching risk, primary productivity and adult mortality.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-30

    Repeated use of the same areas may benefit animals as they exploit familiar sites, leading to consistent home ranges over time that can span generations. Changing risk landscapes may reduce benefits associated with home range fidelity, however, and philopatric animals may alter movement in response to new pressures. Despite the importance of range changes to ecological and evolutionary processes, little tracking data have been collected over the long-term nor has range change been recorded in response to human pressures across generations. Here, we investigate the relationships between ecological, demographic and human variables and elephant ranging behaviour across generations using 16 years of tracking data from nine distinct female social groups in a population of elephants in northern Kenya that was heavily affected by ivory poaching during the latter half of the study. Nearly all groups-including those that did not experience loss of mature adults-exhibited a shift north over time, apparently in response to increased poaching in the southern extent of the study area. However, loss of mature adults appeared to be the primary indicator of range shifts and expansions, as generational turnover was a significant predictor of range size increases and range centroid shifts. Range expansions and northward shifts were associated with higher primary productivity and lower poached carcass densities, while westward shifts exhibited a trend to areas with higher values of primary productivity and higher poached carcass densities relative to former ranges. Together these results suggest a trade-off between resource access, mobility and safety. We discuss the relevance of these results to elephant conservation efforts and directions meriting further exploration in this disrupted society of a keystone species. © 2018 The Author(s).

  8. Effects of daily management changes on behavioral patterns of a solitary female African elephant (Loxodonta africana) in a zoo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koyama, Nao; Ueno, Yoshikazu; Eguchi, Yusuke; Uetake, Katsuji; Tanaka, Toshio

    2012-07-01

    This study investigated the effects of changes in daily management on behavior of a solitary female elephant in a zoo. The activity budget and space utilization of the subject and the management changes were recorded for 1 year after the conspecific male died. The observation days could be categorized into five clusters (C1-C5) by the characteristic behavioral pattern of each day. C1 had the highest percentage of resting of all clusters, and was observed after the loss of the conspecific and the beginning of use of the indoor exhibition room at night. C2, which had the highest percentage of stereotypy of any cluster, was observed after the beginning of habituation to the indoor exhibition room. Also, when the time schedule of management was changed irregularly, the subject frequently exhibited stereotypic pacing (C2, C4). The subject tended to rest when exhibiting lameness in the left hind limb (C3). In C5, activity reached a high level when she could utilize a familiar place under a stable management schedule. These results indicate that management changes affected the mental stability of an elephant in the early stage of social isolation. © 2012 The Authors. Animal Science Journal © 2012 Japanese Society of Animal Science.

  9. 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

  10. First evidence of hemoplasma infection in free-ranging Namibian cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krengel, Annika; Meli, Marina L; Cattori, Valentino; Wachter, Bettina; Willi, Barbara; Thalwitzer, Susanne; Melzheimer, Jörg; Hofer, Heribert; Lutz, Hans; Hofmann-Lehmann, Regina

    2013-03-23

    Infections with feline hemotropic mycoplasmas (hemoplasmas) have been documented in domestic cats and free-ranging feline species with high prevalences in Iberian lynxes (Lynx pardinus), Eurasian lynxes (Lynx lynx), European wildcats (Felis silvestris silvestris), African lions (Panthera leo) in Tanzania and domestic cats in South Africa. The prevalence of hemoplasmas has not yet been investigated in free-ranging felids in southern Africa. In this study we screened 73 blood samples from 61 cheetahs in central Namibia for the presence of hemoplasmas using quantitative real-time PCR. One of the cheetahs tested PCR-positive. Phylogenetic analysis based on partial sequencing of the 16S rRNA and RNAse P genes revealed that the isolate belongs to the Mycoplasma haemofelis/haemocanis group. This is the first molecular evidence of a hemoplasma infection in a free-ranging cheetah. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Behaviour - The keystone in optimizing free-ranging ungulate production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Free-ranging animal behaviour is a keystone to optimizing free-ranging domestic animal production. This chapter focuses on several aspects that emanate from foraging including defining terms, concepts and the complexity that underlie managing animals and landscapes. Behaviour is investigated in li...

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Functional CD1d and/or NKT cell invariant chain transcript in horse, pig, African elephant and guinea pig, but not in ruminants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Looringh van Beeck, Frank A; Reinink, Peter; Hermsen, Roel; Zajonc, Dirk M; Laven, Marielle J; Fun, Axel; Troskie, Milana; Schoemaker, Nico J; Morar, Darshana; Lenstra, Johannes A; Vervelde, Lonneke; Rutten, Victor P M G; van Eden, Willem; Van Rhijn, Ildiko

    2009-04-01

    CD1d-restricted invariant natural killer T cells (NKT cells) have been well characterized in humans and mice, but it is unknown whether they are present in other species. Here we describe the invariant TCR alpha chain and the full length CD1d transcript of pig and horse. Molecular modeling predicts that porcine (po) invariant TCR alpha chain/poCD1d/alpha-GalCer and equine (eq) invariant TCR alpha chain/eqCD1d/alpha-GalCer form complexes that are highly homologous to the human complex. Since a prerequisite for the presence of NKT cells is the expression of CD1d protein, we performed searches for CD1D genes and CD1d transcripts in multiple species. Previously, cattle and guinea pig have been suggested to lack CD1D genes. The CD1D genes of European taurine cattle (Bos taurus) are known to be pseudogenes because of disrupting mutations in the start codon and in the donor splice site of the first intron. Here we show that the same mutations are found in six other ruminants: African buffalo, sheep, bushbuck, bongo, N'Dama cattle, and roe deer. In contrast, intact CD1d transcripts were found in guinea pig, African elephant, horse, rabbit, and pig. Despite the discovery of a highly homologous NKT/CD1d system in pig and horse, our data suggest that functional CD1D and CD1d-restricted NKT cells are not universally present in mammals.

  15. 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.

  16. Hypothermia Induction and Recovery in Free-Ranging Rats

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    DuBose, D. A; Leon, L. R; Morehouse, D. H; Rufolo, D. M; Blaha, M. D; Gordon, C. J

    2007-01-01

    1. To avoid anesthesia confounders, free-ranging rats were exposed to cool water, warm water, or temperate air to induce hypothermia, or control for water or novel environment stress, respectively. 2...

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Extrinsic factors significantly affect patterns of disease in free-ranging and captive cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munson, Linda; Terio, Karen A; Worley, Michael; Jago, Mark; Bagot-Smith, Arthur; Marker, Laurie

    2005-07-01

    The cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) has been considered a paradigm for disease vulnerability due to loss of genetic diversity. This species monomorphism has been suspected to be the basis for their general poor health and dwindling populations in captivity. North American and South African captive populations have high prevalences of hepatic veno-occlusive disease, glomerulosclerosis, gastritis, and systemic amyloidosis, diseases that are rare in other species. Unusually severe inflammatory reactions to common infectious agents have also been documented in captive cheetahs. The current study compared disease prevalences in free-ranging Namibian cheetahs with those in two captive populations of similar ages. The occurrence of diseases in the free-ranging population was determined from 49 necropsies and 27 gastric biopsies obtained between 1986 and 2003 and compared with prevalences in 147 North American and 80 South African captive cheetahs. Except for two cheetahs, the free-ranging population was in robust health with only mild lesions present, in contrast with significantly higher prevalences in the captive populations. Despite widespread heavy Helicobacter colonization in wild cheetahs, only 3% of the free-ranging population had moderate to severe gastritis, in contrast with 64% of captive cheetahs. No severe inflammatory reactions to viral infections were detected in the free-ranging animals. Because free-ranging Namibian cheetahs are as genetically impoverished as captive cheetahs, these findings caution against attributing loss of fitness solely to genetic factors and attest to the fundamental importance of extrinsic factors in wildlife health.

  20. Assessment of helminth load in faecal samples of free range ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Helminths load in faecal sample of free range indigenous chicken in Port Harcourt Metropolis was examined. Faecal samples were collected from 224 birds in 15 homesteads and 4 major markets - Mile 3, Mile 1, Borokiri and Eneka Village market where poultry birds are gathered for sale. 0.2-0.5g of feacal sample was ...

  1. Avian Bornavirus in Free-Ranging Psittacine Birds, Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Encinas-Nagel, Nuri; Enderlein, Dirk; Piepenbring, Anne; Herden, Christiane; Heffels-Redmann, Ursula; Felippe, Paulo A.N.; Arns, Clarice; Hafez, Hafez M.

    2014-01-01

    Avian bornavirus (ABV) has been identified as the cause of proventricular dilatation disease in birds, but the virus is also found in healthy birds. Most studies of ABV have focused on captive birds. We investigated 86 free-ranging psittacine birds in Brazil and found evidence for natural, long-term ABV infection. PMID:25417715

  2. Pathogen Prevalence From Traditional Cage and Free Range Production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Overview: A study was conducted to determine if differences in pathogen prevalence occurred between a sister flock of conventional cage and free range laying hens. Both environmental and egg microbiology was monitored throughout 20 – 79 weeks of age. Salmonella, Campylobacter, and Listeria preval...

  3. Chasing Salmonella Typhimurium in free range egg production system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chousalkar, Kapil; Gole, Vaibhav; Caraguel, Charles; Rault, Jean-Loup

    2016-08-30

    Free range production systems are becoming a major source of egg production in Australia and worldwide. This study investigated shedding and ecology of Salmonella Typhimurium and Salmonella species in a free range layer flock, wild birds and foxes in the vicinity of the free range farm in different seasons. Shedding of Salmonella was significantly higher in summer. Within the shed, overall, Salmonella prevalence was highest in dust. Corticosterone level in faeces was highest in spring and lowest in winter. There was no direct association between the Salmonella shedding (MPN/gm) and corticosterone levels in faeces. Salmonella Typhimurium MLVA types isolated from fox and wild birds were similar to MLVA types isolated from layer flock and reported during human food borne illness. Wild birds and foxes appear to play an important role in S. Typhimurium ecology and food safety. Environmental factors could play a role in evolution of S. Typhimurium in free range environment. Crown Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. 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...

  5. Consumer attitudes to injurious pecking in free range egg production

    OpenAIRE

    Bennett, Richard M..; Jones, Philip J.; Nicol, Christine J.; Tranter, Richard B.; Weeks, Claire A.

    2016-01-01

    Free range egg producers face continuing problems from injurious pecking (IP) which has financial consequences for farmers and poor welfare implications for birds. Beak trimming has been practised for many years to limit the damage caused by IP, but with the UK Government giving notification that they intend to ban beak trimming in 2016, considerable efforts have been made to devise feasible housing, range and management strategies to reduce IP.A recent research project investigated the effic...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-03-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. The spatial ecology of free-ranging domestic pigs (Sus scrofa) in western Kenya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Lian F; de Glanville, William A; Cook, Elizabeth A; Fèvre, Eric M

    2013-03-07

    In many parts of the developing world, pigs are kept under low-input systems where they roam freely to scavenge food. These systems allow poor farmers the opportunity to enter into livestock keeping without large capital investments. This, combined with a growing demand for pork, especially in urban areas, has led to an increase in the number of small-holder farmers keeping free range pigs as a commercial enterprise. Despite the benefits which pig production can bring to a household, keeping pigs under a free range system increases the risk of the pig acquiring diseases, either production-limiting or zoonotic in nature. This study used Global Positioning System (GPS) technology to track free range domestic pigs in rural western Kenya, in order to understand their movement patterns and interactions with elements of the peri-domestic environment. We found that these pigs travel an average of 4,340 m in a 12 hr period and had a mean home range of 10,343 m(2) (range 2,937-32,759 m(2)) within which the core utilisation distribution was found to be 964 m(2) (range 246-3,289 m(2)) with pigs spending on average 47% of their time outside their homestead of origin. These are the first data available on the home range of domestic pigs kept under a free range system: the data show that pigs in these systems spend much of their time scavenging outside their homesteads, suggesting that these pigs may be exposed to infectious agents over a wide area. Control policies for diseases such as Taenia solium, Trypanosomiasis, Trichinellosis, Toxoplasmosis or African Swine Fever therefore require a community-wide focus and pig farmers require education on the inherent risks of keeping pigs under a free range system. The work presented here will enable future research to incorporate movement data into studies of disease transmission, for example for the understanding of transmission of African Swine Fever between individuals, or in relation to the life-cycle of parasites including Taenia

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  17. Bovine tuberculosis in free-ranging carnivores from Michigan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruning-Fann, C S; Schmitt, S M; Fitzgerald, S D; Fierke, J S; Friedrich, P D; Kaneene, J B; Clarke, K A; Butler, K L; Payeur, J B; Whipple, D L; Cooley, T M; Miller, J M; Muzo, D P

    2001-01-01

    During a survey of carnivores and omnivores for bovine tuberculosis conducted in Michigan (USA) since 1996, Mycobacterium bovis was cultured from lymph nodes pooled from six coyotes (Canis latrans) (four adult female, two adult male), two adult male raccoons (Procyon lotor), one adult male red fox (Vulpes vulpes), and one 1.5-yr-old male black bear (Ursus americanus). One adult, male bobcat (Felis rufus) with histologic lesions suggestive of tuberculosis was negative on culture but positive for organisms belonging to the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex when tested by polymerase chain reaction. All the tuberculous animals were taken from three adjoining counties where M. bovis is known to be endemic in the free-ranging white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) population. There were two coyotes, one raccoon, one red fox, and one bobcat infected in Alpena county. Montmorency County had two coyotes and one raccoon with M. bovis. Two coyotes and a bear were infected from Alcona County. These free-ranging carnivores/omnivores probably became infected with M. bovis through consumption of tuberculous deer. Other species included in the survey were opossum (Didelphis virginiana), gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus), and badger (Taxidea taxus); these were negative for M. bovis.

  18. The greenhouse emissions footprint of free-range eggs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, R C; Omed, H; Edwards-Jones, G

    2014-01-01

    Eggs are an increasingly significant source of protein for human consumption, and the global poultry industry is the single fastest-growing livestock sector. In the context of international concern for food security and feeding an increasingly affluent human population, the contribution to global greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions from animal protein production is of critical interest. We calculated the GHG emissions footprint for the fastest-growing sector of the UK egg market: free-range production in small commercial units on mixed farms. Emissions are calculated to current Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and UK standards (PAS2050): including direct, indirect, and embodied emissions from cradle to farm gate compatible with a full product life-cycle assessment. We present a methodology for the allocation of emissions between ruminant and poultry enterprises on mixed farms. Greenhouse gas emissions averaged a global warming potential of 2.2 kg of CO2e/dozen eggs, or 1.6 kg of CO2equivalent (e)/kg (assuming average egg weight of 60 g). One kilogram of protein from free-range eggs produces 0.2 kg of CO2e, lower than the emissions from white or red meat (based on both kg of meat and kg of protein). Of these emissions, 63% represent embodied carbon in poultry feed. A detailed GHG emissions footprint represents a baseline for comparison with other egg production systems and sources of protein for human consumption. Eggs represent a relatively low-carbon supply of animal protein, but their production is heavily dependent on cereals and soy, with associated high emissions from industrial nitrogen production, land-use change, and transport. Alternative sources of digestible protein for poultry diets are available, may be produced from waste processing, and would be an effective tool for reducing the industry's GHG emissions and dependence on imported raw materials.

  19. Avian spirochaetosis associated with colisepticemia in free ranging ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    apra.v2i3.36331 · AJOL African Journals Online. HOW TO USE AJOL... for Researchers · for Librarians · for Authors · FAQ's · More about AJOL · AJOL's Partners · Terms and Conditions of Use · Contact AJOL · News. OTHER RESOURCES.

  20. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timothy J. Fullman

    2014-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. Ranging Behaviour of Commercial Free-Range Laying Hens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chielo, Leonard Ikenna; Pike, Tom; Cooper, Jonathan

    2016-04-26

    In this study, the range use and behaviour of laying hens in commercial free-range flocks was explored. Six flocks were each visited on four separate days and data collected from their outdoor area (divided into zones based on distance from shed and available resources). These were: apron (0-10 m from shed normally without cover or other enrichments); enriched belt (10-50 m from shed where resources such as manmade cover, saplings and dust baths were provided); and outer range (beyond 50 m from shed with no cover and mainly grass pasture). Data collection consisted of counting the number of hens in each zone and recording behaviour, feather condition and nearest neighbour distance (NND) of 20 birds per zone on each visit day. In addition, we used techniques derived from ecological surveys to establish four transects perpendicular to the shed, running through the apron, enriched belt and outer range. Number of hens in each 10 m × 10 m quadrat was recorded four times per day as was the temperature and relative humidity of the outer range. On average, 12.5% of hens were found outside. Of these, 5.4% were found in the apron; 4.3% in the enriched zone; and 2.8% were in the outer range. This pattern was supported by data from quadrats, where the density of hens sharply dropped with increasing distance from shed. Consequently, NND was greatest in the outer range, least in the apron and intermediate in the enriched belt. Hens sampled in outer range and enriched belts had better feather condition than those from the apron. Standing, ground pecking, walking and foraging were the most commonly recorded activities with standing and pecking most likely to occur in the apron, and walking and foraging more common in the outer range. Use of the outer range declined with lower temperatures and increasing relative humidity, though use of apron and enriched belt was not affected by variation in these measures. These data support previous findings that outer range areas tend to be

  4. Ranging Behaviour of Commercial Free-Range Laying Hens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leonard Ikenna Chielo

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available In this study, the range use and behaviour of laying hens in commercial free-range flocks was explored. Six flocks were each visited on four separate days and data collected from their outdoor area (divided into zones based on distance from shed and available resources. These were: apron (0–10 m from shed normally without cover or other enrichments; enriched belt (10–50 m from shed where resources such as manmade cover, saplings and dust baths were provided; and outer range (beyond 50 m from shed with no cover and mainly grass pasture. Data collection consisted of counting the number of hens in each zone and recording behaviour, feather condition and nearest neighbour distance (NND of 20 birds per zone on each visit day. In addition, we used techniques derived from ecological surveys to establish four transects perpendicular to the shed, running through the apron, enriched belt and outer range. Number of hens in each 10 m × 10 m quadrat was recorded four times per day as was the temperature and relative humidity of the outer range. On average, 12.5% of hens were found outside. Of these, 5.4% were found in the apron; 4.3% in the enriched zone; and 2.8% were in the outer range. This pattern was supported by data from quadrats, where the density of hens sharply dropped with increasing distance from shed. Consequently, NND was greatest in the outer range, least in the apron and intermediate in the enriched belt. Hens sampled in outer range and enriched belts had better feather condition than those from the apron. Standing, ground pecking, walking and foraging were the most commonly recorded activities with standing and pecking most likely to occur in the apron, and walking and foraging more common in the outer range. Use of the outer range declined with lower temperatures and increasing relative humidity, though use of apron and enriched belt was not affected by variation in these measures. These data support previous findings that outer range

  5. Diversity and evolutionary patterns of immune genes in free-ranging Namibian leopards (Panthera pardus pardus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castro-Prieto, Aines; Wachter, Bettina; Melzheimer, Joerg; Thalwitzer, Susanne; Sommer, Simone

    2011-01-01

    The genes of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) are a key component of the mammalian immune system and have become important molecular markers for fitness-related genetic variation in wildlife populations. Currently, no information about the MHC sequence variation and constitution in African leopards exists. In this study, we isolated and characterized genetic variation at the adaptively most important region of MHC class I and MHC class II-DRB genes in 25 free-ranging African leopards from Namibia and investigated the mechanisms that generate and maintain MHC polymorphism in the species. Using single-stranded conformation polymorphism analysis and direct sequencing, we detected 6 MHC class I and 6 MHC class II-DRB sequences, which likely correspond to at least 3 MHC class I and 3 MHC class II-DRB loci. Amino acid sequence variation in both MHC classes was higher or similar in comparison to other reported felids. We found signatures of positive selection shaping the diversity of MHC class I and MHC class II-DRB loci during the evolutionary history of the species. A comparison of MHC class I and MHC class II-DRB sequences of the leopard to those of other felids revealed a trans-species mode of evolution. In addition, the evolutionary relationships of MHC class II-DRB sequences between African and Asian leopard subspecies are discussed.

  6. 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.

  7. Fatal toxoplasmosis in free-ranging endangered 'Alala from Hawaii

    Science.gov (United States)

    Work, Thierry M.; Massey, J. Gregory; Rideout, Bruce A.; Gardiner, Chris H.; Ledig, David B.; Kwok, O.C.H.; Dubey, J.P.

    2000-01-01

    The ‘Alala (Corvus hawaiiensis) is the most endangered corvid in the world, and intensive efforts are being made to reintroduce it to its former native range in Hawaii. We diagnosed Toxoplasma gondii infection in five free-ranging ‘Alala. One ‘Alala, recaptured from the wild because it was underweight and depressed, was treated with diclazuril (10 mg/kg) orally for 10 days. Antibodies were measured before and after treatment by the modified agglutination test (MAT) using whole T. gondii tachyzoites fixed in formalin and mercaptoethanol. The MAT titer decreased four-fold from an initial titer of 1:1,600 with remarkable improvement in physical condition. Lesions of toxoplasmosis also were seen in two partially scavenged carcasses and in a third fresh intact carcass. Toxoplasma gondii was confirmed immunohistochemically by using anti-T. gondii specific serum. The organism was also cultured by bioassay in mice from tissues of one of these birds and the brain of a fifth ‘Alala that did not exhibit lesions. The life cycle of the parasite was experimentally completed in cats. This is the first record of toxoplasmosis in ‘Alala, and the parasite appears to pose a significant threat and management challenge to reintroduction programs for ‘Alala in Hawaii.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Novel paramyxoviruses in free-ranging European bats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas Kurth

    Full Text Available The zoonotic potential of paramyxoviruses is particularly demonstrated by their broad host range like the highly pathogenic Hendra and Nipah viruses originating from bats. But while so far all bat-borne paramyxoviruses have been identified in fruit bats across Africa, Australia, South America, and Asia, we describe the detection and characterization of the first paramyxoviruses in free-ranging European bats. Moreover, we examined the possible impact of paramyxovirus infection on individual animals by comparing histo-pathological findings and virological results. Organs from deceased insectivorous bats of various species were sampled in Germany and tested for paramyxovirus RNA in parallel to a histo-pathological examination. Nucleic acids of three novel paramyxoviruses were detected, two viruses in phylogenetic relationship to the recently proposed genus Jeilongvirus and one closely related to the genus Rubulavirus. Two infected animals revealed subclinical pathological changes within their kidneys, suggestive of a similar pathogenesis as the one described in fruit bats experimentally infected with Hendra virus.Our findings indicate the presence of bat-born paramyxoviruses in geographic areas free of fruit bat species and therefore emphasize a possible virus-host co-evolution in European bats. Since these novel viruses are related to the very distinct genera Rubulavirus and Jeilongvirus, a similarly broad genetic diversity among paramyxoviruses in other Microchiroptera compared to Megachiroptera can be assumed. Given that the infected bats were either found in close proximity to heavily populated human habitation or areas of intensive agricultural use, a potential risk of the emergence of zoonotic paramyxoviruses in Europe needs to be considered.

  11. Personality and information gathering in free-ranging great tits.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thijs van Overveld

    Full Text Available One aspect of animal personality that has been well described in captivity, but received only little attention in studies in the wild, is that personality types may vary in their behavioural flexibility towards environmental changes. A fundamental factor underlying such differences is believed to be the degree to which individual behavior is guided by environmental stimuli. We tested this hypothesis in the wild using free-ranging great tits. Personality variation was quantified using exploratory behaviour in a novel environment, which has previously been shown to be repeatable and correlated with other behaviours in this and other populations of the same species. By temporarily removing food at feeding stations we examined whether birds with different personality differed in returning to visit empty feeders as this may provide information on how birds continue to sample their environment after a sudden change in conditions. In two summer experiments, we found that fast-exploring juveniles visited empty feeders less often compared to slow-exploring juveniles. In winter, sampling behaviour was sex dependent but not related to personality. In both seasons, we found that birds who sampled empty feeders more often were more likely to rediscover food after we again re-baited the feeding stations, but there was no effect of personality. Our results show that personality types may indeed differ in ways of collecting environmental information, which is consistent with the view of personalities as different styles of coping with environmental changes. The adaptive value of these alternative behavioural tactics, however, needs to be further explored.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L.E.O Braack

    1984-12-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Interactions between macroparasites and microparasites drive infection patterns in free-ranging African buffalo

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jolles, Anna E.; Ezenwa, Vanessa O.; Etienne, Rampal S.; Turner, Wendy C.; Olff, Han; Antolin, M.F.

    Epidemiological studies typically focus on single-parasite systems, although most hosts harbor multiple parasite species; thus, the potential impacts of co-infection on disease dynamics are only beginning to be recognized. Interactions between macroparasites, such as gastrointestinal nematodes, and

  19. Interactions between macroparasites and microparasites drive infection patterns in free-ranging African buffalo

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jolles, A.E.; Ezenwa, V.O.; Etienne, R.S.

    2008-01-01

    Epidemiological studies typically focus on single-parasite systems, although most hosts harbor multiple parasite species; thus, the potential impacts of co-infection on disease dynamics are only beginning to be recognized. Interactions between macroparasites, such as gastrointestinal nematodes, and

  20. 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

  1. Processing of acceleration and dive data on-board satellite relay tags to investigate diving and foraging behaviour in free-ranging marine predators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cox, Sam L; Orgeret, Florian; Gesta, Mathieu; Rodde, Charles; Heizer, Isaac; Weimerskirch, Henri; Guinet, Christophe

    2018-01-01

    Biologging technologies are changing the way in which the marine environment is observed and monitored. However, because device retrieval is typically required to access the high-resolution data they collect, their use is generally restricted to those animals that predictably return to land. Data abstraction and transmission techniques aim to address this, although currently these are limited in scope and do not incorporate, for example, acceleration measurements which can quantify animal behaviours and movement patterns over fine-scales.In this study, we present a new method for the collection, abstraction and transmission of accelerometer data from free-ranging marine predators via the Argos satellite system. We test run the technique on 20 juvenile southern elephant seals Mirounga leonina from the Kerguelen Islands during their first months at sea following weaning. Using retrieved archival data from nine individuals that returned to the colony, we compare and validate abstracted transmissions against outputs from established accelerometer processing procedures.Abstracted transmissions included estimates, across five segments of a dive profile, of time spent in prey catch attempt (PrCA) behaviours, swimming effort and pitch. These were then summarised and compared to archival outputs across three dive phases: descent, bottom and ascent. Correlations between the two datasets were variable but generally good (dependent on dive phase, marginal R 2 values of between .45 and .6 to >.9) and consistent between individuals. Transmitted estimates of PrCA behaviours and swimming effort were positively biased to those from archival processing.Data from this study represent some of the first remotely transmitted quantifications from accelerometers. The methods presented and analysed can be used to provide novel insight towards the behaviours and movements of free-ranging marine predators, such as juvenile southern elephant seals, from whom logger retrieval is challenging

  2. Elevated PCDD/F levels and distinctive PCDD/F congener profiles in free range eggs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsu, Jing-Fang; Chen, Chun; Liao, Pao-Chi

    2010-07-14

    Chicken eggs are one of the most important foods in the human diet all over the world, and the demand for eggs from free range hens has steadily increased. Congener-specific analyses of 17 polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs) were performed on 6 free range and 12 caged chicken egg samples collected in Taiwan. The mean level of PCDD/Fs in the free range egg samples was 5.7 (1.79/0.314) times higher than those in the caged egg samples. Principle component analysis revealed that at least three characteristic patterns of PCDD/F congener were observed among the 18 egg samples. The different PCDD/F congener patterns between free range and caged egg samples may reflect distinctive exposure scenarios among the free range and caged hens. We suggest that the differences of PCDD/F levels and congener patterns between free range and caged egg samples give rise to the issues related to the safety of eating free range chicken eggs. The present data may provide useful information for further investigation of the possible PCDD/F sources in the contaminated free range eggs.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew R Holdgate

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

  4. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian J Greco

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

  6. 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.

  7. Effect of free-range access, shelter type and weather conditions on free-range use and welfare of slow-growing broiler chickens

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stadig, Lisanne M.; Rodenburg, Bas; Ampe, Bart; Reubens, Bert; Tuyttens, Frank A.M.

    2017-01-01

    Free-range access for broiler chickens can benefit animal welfare because the birds have access to a more natural environment and more opportunities to perform natural behaviours than in indoor systems. Also, they have more space and more environmental enrichment, which could lead to better leg

  8. Detection and zoonotic potential of Trichinella spp. from free-range pig farming in Greece.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papatsiros, V G; Boutsini, S; Ntousi, D; Stougiou, D; Mintza, D; Bisias, A

    2012-06-01

    Trichinellosis is a serious parasitic zoonosis, which is widely distributed around the world. Pork meat is still the predominant source of outbreaks of human trichinellosis in many countries. The aim of this study is to examine the impact of Trichinella spp. as an important risk factor on the free-range pig farming sector in Greece. In 2009, during routine testing for the detection of Trichinella larvae at slaughterhouses and the National Reference Laboratory for Parasites (NRL), a total of 826,426 pigs were tested with the magnetic stirrer method for Trichinella spp. at slaughterhouses, including 2,892 samples from free-range pigs. Two positive samples were detected: one positive for Trichinella britovi and one positive for Trichinella spp. (unspecified) in the samples from wild farmed free-range pigs. It is alarming that one of these cases was connected with clinical signs of trichinellosis in five persons of the same family in northeastern Greece, who consumed undercooked pork meat from a free-range pig farm. During 2010, a total number of 1,295,034 pigs were tested with same method, including 4,159 samples from free-range pig farms. Five positive samples for Trichinella spp. (unspecified) were detected from 4,159 free-range pigs tested by the Greek NRL. Moreover, 363 serum samples from free-range pigs were serologically tested with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Moreover, 363 serum samples from farmed free-range pigs were serologically tested with ELISA, and 15 samples were found positive. Finally, the present study is the first report of detection of T. britovi in Greece. In conclusion, based on the results of the present study, Trichinella spp. is a high-risk factor for the free-range pig farming in Greece.

  9. Task path planning, scheduling and learning for free-ranging robot systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wakefield, G. Steve

    1987-01-01

    The development of robotics applications for space operations is often restricted by the limited movement available to guided robots. Free ranging robots can offer greater flexibility than physically guided robots in these applications. Presented here is an object oriented approach to path planning and task scheduling for free-ranging robots that allows the dynamic determination of paths based on the current environment. The system also provides task learning for repetitive jobs. This approach provides a basis for the design of free-ranging robot systems which are adaptable to various environments and tasks.

  10. Comparison of antimicrobial resistance patterns in enterococci from intensive and free range chickens in Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Obeng, Akua Serwaah; Rickard, Heather; Ndi, Olasumbo; Sexton, Margaret; Barton, Mary

    2013-02-01

    Resistance to antimicrobials in enterococci from poultry has been found throughout the world and is generally recognized as associated with antimicrobial use. This study was conducted to evaluate the phenotypic and genotypic profile of enterococcal isolates of intensive (indoor) and free range chickens from 2008/09 and 2000 in order to determine the patterns of antimicrobial resistance associated with different management systems. The minimum inhibitory concentrations in faecal enterococci isolates were determined by agar dilution. Resistance to bacitracin, ceftiofur, erythromycin, lincomycin, tylosin and tetracycline was more common among meat chickens (free range and intensive) than free range egg layers (Pfree range meat chickens.

  11. The impact of age-class and social context on fecal glucocorticoid metabolite levels in free-ranging male giraffes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolf, T E; Bennett, N C; Burroughs, R; Ganswindt, A

    2018-01-01

    One of the primary sources of perceived stress is the social environment of an animal and the interactions with conspecifics. An essential component of the response to a stressor is the activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical axis, which results amongst others in a temporal increase in circulating glucocorticoid (GC) levels. Giraffes occur in a highly flexible fission-fusion social system and group compositions can change on a daily basis, with bulls establishing an age-related dominance hierarchy and showing a roaming strategy in the search for fertile females. The aim of this study was to non-invasively monitor the influence of different group compositions (mixed sex groups vs. all-male groups) on GC concentrations in free ranging giraffe bulls of different age classes. We collected fecal samples from free-ranging giraffe bulls for 12months in a South African Private Game Reserve to examine age- and social context-related patterns of fecal GC metabolite (fGCM) concentrations. We found that fGCM levels in giraffe bulls are age-class dependent, as well asassociated with changes in the social environment. Independently of the social setting, bulls of the youngest age class exhibited the highest fGCM levels compared to bulls of the other two older age-classes, with differences most pronounced when the bulls are associated in all-male groups. In contrast, an almost reversed picture appears when looking at the fGCM levels of sexually active individuals in mixed sex groups, where highest levels were found for the bulls in the oldest age-class, and the lowest for the bulls in the youngest age-class. The study stresses the importance to taking factors such asage-related status and social settings into account, when interpreting fGCM levels in free ranging giraffes. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Role of the Office International des Epizooties in protecting the health of free-ranging mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blancou, J

    1992-12-01

    The various activities undertaken by the Office International des Epizooties (OIE) since 1924 to protect the helth of free-ranging mammals are outlined and discussed. Two types of activity have been conducted over the years: --The first type promotes measures to protect the health of free-ranging mammals in order to safeguard the health of domestic animals and human beings. These measures have prevented the propagation of the highly contagious diseases of animals and the more serious zoonoses. --The second type aims at protecting the health of free-ranging mammals in order to maintain the fauna and the natural equilibrium. Ecological and epidemiological studies are promoted with a view to effective management of wildlife populations and overcoming the associated health risks. By virtue of its close contacts with officials in charge of animal health in 126 Member Countries, the OIE has made a noteworthy contribution to the protection of populations of free-ranging mammals.

  13. Human exposure to rabid free-ranging cats: a continuing public health concern in Pennsylvania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campagnolo, E R; Lind, L R; Long, J M; Moll, M E; Rankin, J T; Martin, K F; Deasy, M P; Dato, V M; Ostroff, S M

    2014-08-01

    Rabid free-ranging cats have been a public health concern in Pennsylvania since raccoon variant rabies first was recognized in the state in the early 1980s. Over the last decade, between 1.5 and 2.5% of cats submitted to Pennsylvania's state laboratories for rabies testing have been positive. In this report, we describe the extent of rabies in free-ranging cats in Pennsylvania. We also present two examples of human exposure to rabid free-ranging cats that occurred in Pennsylvania during 2010-2011 and the public health actions taken to address rabies exposure in the humans and animals. We then describe the concerns surrounding the unvaccinated and free-ranging cat population in Pennsylvania and possible options in managing this public and animal health problem. Published 2013. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  14. Free-range pork: Innovation and control of a new credence good

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Philipsen, Kristian; Andersen, Esben Sloth

    -range pork should be analysed as a "credence good". In this way a whole set of problems related to production and sale of this kind of pork becomes clear. 2. The problem of evaluating a credence good is intensified in the case of free-range pork, because the responsibility for the credence quality is divided...... among a large number of parties, and the fact that there is no common "standard" or "definition" of what is meant by free-range pork. Thi aggravates the control aspect of free-range pork. This report focuses on this point. 3. The study's empirical basis is three cases, one Dutch and two Danish, about...... withdrawn from the Danish free-range pork market. 8. The Dutch system with an independent control organisation may be a paradigm or a standard for establishing an inspection system for credence goods. The Dutch system, therefore, seems to be more advanced than the other control systems with regard...

  15. Evaluation of Free-Range broilers using the welfare quality® protocol

    OpenAIRE

    Sans, ECO; Federici, JF; Dahlke, F; Molento, CFM

    2014-01-01

    Scientific information on the welfare of broilers reared in alternative systems is scarce. The objective of this study was to assess the welfare of free-range broilers using the Welfare Quality® protocol. Free-range broilers reared in ten farms were observed, and measures were made in broilers of five of these farms. The collected data were transformed into scores (0-100), with higher scores indicating better welfare, except for emotional states. Prevalence percentages were calculated for the...

  16. Do dogs live in joint families? Understanding allo-parental care in free-ranging dogs

    OpenAIRE

    Paul, Manabi; Bhadra, Anindita

    2016-01-01

    Cooperative breeding is an excellent example of altruistic cooperation in social groups. Domestic dogs have evolved from cooperatively hunting and breeding ancestors, but have adapted to a facultatively social scavenging lifestyle on streets, and solitary living in human homes. Pets typically breed and reproduce under human supervision, but free-ranging dogs can provide insights into the natural breeding biology of dogs. We conducted a five year long study on parental care of free-ranging dog...

  17. Comparison of environmental and egg microbiology associated with conventional and free-range laying hen management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, D R; Anderson, K E; Musgrove, M T

    2011-09-01

    Eggs from alternative production practices are a growing niche in the market. Meeting consumer requests for greater diversity in retail egg options has resulted in some unique challenges such as understanding the food safety implications of eggs from alternative production practices. A study was conducted to determine what, if any, differences exist between nest run conventional cage-produced eggs and free range-produced eggs. A sister flock of brown egg layers was maintained in conventional cage and free-range production with egg and environmental sampling every 6 wk from 20 to 79 wk of age. Aerobic, coliform, and yeast and mold populations were monitored. Environmental microbial levels were not always indicative of egg contamination levels. When significant differences (P free-range nest box eggs and free-range floor eggs were always greater than those of conventional cage eggs, which remained low throughout the study (0.42-0.02 log cfu/mL). Shell yeast and mold levels were significantly greater in free-range floor eggs than in free-range nest box eggs and conventional cage eggs throughout the entire study. Egg contents contamination levels were extremely low for all monitored populations and treatments. Season of the year played a role in both environmental and egg microbial levels. Winter had the lowest levels of all populations monitored for all treatments, except for aerobic free-range floor egg shell emulsions, which were increased (3.6 log cfu/mL). Understanding the differences in microbial populations present on conventional cage-produced and free range-produced eggs can lead to the development of effective cleaning procedures, enhancing food safety.

  18. Serosurvey of viral infections in free-ranging Namibian cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munson, Linda; Marker, Laurie; Dubovi, Edward; Spencer, Jennifer A; Evermann, James F; O'Brien, Stephen J

    2004-01-01

    Cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) in captivity have unusually high morbidity and mortality from infectious diseases, a trait that could be an outcome of population homogeneity or the immunomodulating effects of chronic stress. Free-ranging Namibian cheetahs share ancestry with captive cheetahs, but their susceptibility to infectious diseases has not been investigated. The largest remaining population of free-ranging cheetahs resides on Namibian farmlands, where they share habitat with domestic dogs and cats known to carry viruses that affect cheetah health. To assess the extent to which free-ranging cheetahs are exposed to feline and canine viruses, sera from 81 free-ranging cheetahs sampled between 1992 and 1998 were evaluated for antibodies against canine distemper virus (CDV), feline coronavirus (feline infectious peritonitis virus; FCoV/ FIPV), feline herpesvirus 1 (FHV1), feline panleukopenia virus (FPV), feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), and feline calicivirus (FCV) and for feline leukemia virus (FeLV) antigens. Antibodies against CDV, FCoV/FIPV, FHV1, FPV, and FCV were detected in 24, 29, 12, 48, and 65% of the free-ranging population, respectively, although no evidence of viral disease was present in any animal at the time of sample collection. Neither FIV antibodies nor FeLV antigens were present in any free-ranging cheetah tested. Temporal variation in FCoV/FIPV seroprevalence during the study period suggested that this virus is not endemic in the free-ranging population. Antibodies against CDV were detected in cheetahs of all ages sampled between 1995 and 1998, suggesting the occurrence of an epidemic in Namibia during the time when CDV swept through other parts of sub-Saharan Africa. This evidence in free-ranging Namibian cheetahs of exposure to viruses that cause severe disease in captive cheetahs should direct future guidelines for translocations, including quarantine of seropositive cheetahs and preventing contact between cheetahs and domestic pets.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  1. Studies on elephant tusks and hippopotamus teeth collected from the early 17th century Portuguese shipwreck off Goa, West coast of India: Evidence of maritime trade between Goa, Portugal and African countries

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Tripati, S.; Godfrey, I.

    of excavated stoneware dated the wreck to the early 17th century AD. The Carbon 14 date of the ivory is 740 ± 130 yrs; with a calibrated age range of 740 to 560 yrs BP. The elephant tusks are highly degraded, discoloured and soft to the touch where...

  2. 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.

  3. Comparative analyses of tooth wear in free-ranging and captive wild equids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, L A; Müller, D W H; Schwitzer, C; Kaiser, T M; Castell, J C; Clauss, M; Schulz-Kornas, E

    2016-03-01

    Captive breeding has played a crucial role in the conservation of threatened equid species. Grazing ruminants and rhinoceros in captivity have less abrasion-dominated tooth wear than their free-ranging conspecifics, with potential negative consequences for their health. However, a similar study on wild equids in captivity is missing. The aim was to establish if different tooth wear patterns are exhibited by free-ranging and captive equids. Cross-sectional study of museum specimens comparing free-ranging and captive equids. Dental casts of maxillary cheek teeth of 228 museum specimens (122 from free-ranging and 106 from captive individuals) of 7 wild equid species were analysed using the extended mesowear method. Although teeth showing specific abnormalities were not scored, the presence of focal overgrowths (hooks) of the rostral premolars (106, 206) was recorded. Captive Equus ferus przewalskii, E. grevyi, E. hemionus, E. quagga boehmi and E. zebra hartmannae have less abrasion-dominated tooth wear on their premolars than their free-ranging conspecifics (P<0.001). Fewer differences were exhibited between populations in the molars. No differences were exhibited in the distal cusp of the molars (110, 210) between populations, except in a small sample of E. kiang. Captive equids exhibited more homogeneous wear along the tooth row whereas free-ranging equids exhibited a tooth wear gradient, with more abrasion on premolars than molars. There were more rostral hooks on the premolars (106, 206) in the captive than the free-ranging population (P = 0.02). Captive equids did experience less abrasion-dominated tooth wear than their free-ranging conspecifics, but the differences in tooth wear were less pronounced than those between captive and free-ranging wild ruminant and rhinoceros species. This indicates that feeding regimes for captive equids deviate less from natural diets than those for captive ruminants and rhinoceros but that factors leading to hook

  4. Effect of lipopolysaccharide on sickness behaviour in hens kept in cage and free range environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gregory, N G; Payne, S R; Devine, C D; Cook, C J

    2009-08-01

    The aim of this study was to assess whether environmental enrichment and environmental conditions can influence the expression of sickness behaviour. The behaviour in response to injection of lipopolysaccharide or saline was examined in a total of 96 62-weeks old hatchmate hens kept in a free range or cage environment. There were eight experimental treatments, each with 12 birds. Half the birds were sourced from a commercial cage layer unit (C/-) and half from a commercial free range unit (FR/-). After intraperitoneal injection with either lipopolysaccharide or saline (as a control), the hens were placed in either a cage (-/C) or free range (-/FR) environment. Lipopolysaccharide caused greater suppression of activity in free range (FR/FR) than in caged hens, including less walking (53% reduction), roosting (-86%) and preening (-60%) (pfree range, nor in free range birds introduced to cages, suggesting that both the presence of and the familiarity with an environment affected sickness behaviour patterns. Increased sleeping was the most consistent response (+147%; pfree range layer hens can express a greater range of sickness behaviours than caged hens, and this may make it more difficult to recognise disease expression in the caged environment.

  5. Bacterial contamination of eggs and behaviour of poultry flocks in the free range environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moyle, Talia; Drake, Kelly; Gole, Vaibhav; Chousalkar, Kapil; Hazel, Susan

    2016-12-01

    The free range production system is becoming more common in Australia and is expected to increase. Free range hens are exposed to more stressors in comparison to hens from barn and cage systems and it is suggested that stress can increase bacterial shedding on eggs. The aims of this study were to examine the level of total bacteria and Enterobacteriaceae populations, as well as the presence of Salmonella and Campylobacter, in eggs collected from two free range flocks on two different farms and to conduct longitudinal observations of the behaviour and welfare of hens in the free range production system. Hen age (weeks) was shown to have a significant effect (increase) on the level of total bacteria on the egg shell surface and in shell pores, as well as having an effect on feather condition score. As the hens aged, the frequency of external visual egg characteristics increased, as did feather condition score (where feather condition was poorer). These observations indicate areas which should be investigated further to improve the food safety of eggs and optimise the welfare of free range hens. Crown Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. PRODUCTIVITY OF LAYERS AND EGG QUALITY IN FREE RANGE AND CAGE SYSTEM OF HOUSING

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Đ. Senčić

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available The research was conducted with two groups of Lohmann Brown hybrid layers. Production of eggs lasted for 52 weeks. A control group of layers was kept in the conventional housing system, that is, in cages, while experimental group was kept in the free range system. Layers from the free range system, compared to those kept in cages, laid fewer eggs, (266:295, they consumed more feed on daily basis (129 g : 115 g, more feed per kilogram of egg weight (2.83 kg : 2.35 kg, they had higher mortality rate (6.80 % : 5.50 % and lower end of lay body weight (1.95 kg : 2.10 kg. Eggs from free range layers, compared to those from the cages system, had significantly (P0.05 were determined between the free range and the cages system of housing hens. Considering somewhat lower productivity and higher mortality rate of hens, higher feed consumption per kilogram of egg mass, but also better quality of eggs, profitability of egg production in the free range system will depend, to the maximum extent, on market evaluation of the production.

  7. 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...

  8. Molecular detection of Plasmodium in free-ranging birds and captive flamingos (Phoenicopterus chilensis) in Chicago.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thurber, Mary Irene; Gamble, Kathryn C; Krebs, Bethany; Goldberg, Tony L

    2014-12-01

    Frozen blood samples from 13 species of free-ranging birds (n = 65) and captive Chilean flamingos (Phoenicopterus chilensis) (n = 46) housed outdoors in the Chicago area were screened for Plasmodium. With the use of a modified polymerase chain reaction, 20/65 (30.8%) of free-ranging birds and 26/46 (56.5%) of flamingos were classified as positive for this parasite genus. DNA sequencing of the parasite cytochrome b gene in positive samples demonstrated that eight species of free-ranging birds were infected with five different Plasmodium spp. cytochrome b lineages, and all positive Chilean flamingos were infected with Plasmodium spp. cytochrome b lineages most closely related to organisms in the Novyella subgenus. These results show that Chilean flamingos may harbor subclinical malaria infections more frequently than previously estimated, and that they may have increased susceptibility to some Plasmodium species.

  9. Haematological and biochemical reference intervals for free-ranging brown bears (Ursus arctos) in Sweden

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Græsli, Anne Randi; Fahlman, Åsa; Evans, Alina L.

    2014-01-01

    BackgroundEstablishment of haematological and biochemical reference intervals is important to assess health of animals on individual and population level. Reference intervals for 13 haematological and 34 biochemical variables were established based on 88 apparently healthy free-ranging brown bears...... and marking for ecological studies. For each of the variables, the reference interval was described based on the 95% confidence interval, and differences due to host characteristics sex and age were included if detected. To our knowledge, this is the first report of reference intervals for free-ranging brown...... and the differences due to host factors age and gender can be useful for evaluation of health status in free-ranging European brown bears....

  10. Newcastle disease and infectious bursal disease among free range village chickens in Tanzania

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yongolo, M.G.S.; Maeda Machangu, A.; Minga, U.M.

    2002-01-01

    Newcastle disease in free-range village chickens was confirmed by retrospective data analysis and epidemiological cross-sectional studies. The combination of serological survey and virus isolation and characterisation established seasonal occurrence of Newcastle disease (ND) in free-range village chickens. The highest sero-prevalence (81.5) and virus isolation frequency (18/27) were found in the period between June and October. The field isolates of Newcastle virus (NDV) were confirmed to be PMV-1 serotype by polyclonal PMV-1 antiserum and monoclonal antibody (mAb) U85. All isolates were not inhibited by mAb 716/161 specific for pigeon panzootic NDV, showing that the current Tanzanian field isolates have antigenic variation and were not involved in the recent pigeon NDV panzootic. Mean death time determination characterised isolates into velogenic, mesogenic and lentogenic pathotypes. Isolation of NDV from apparently healthy ducks revealed the role of ducks in the epidemiology of ND in free-range village chickens in Tanzania. Studies are recommended to determine the similarities of the field isolates from different sources within Tanzania and to panzootic NDV from other countries. Strategic control of ND in free-range village chickens is recommended taking into consideration the presence of different age groups. Infectious bursal disease was histologically diagnosed in free-range village chickens. Therefore, there is a need of carrying out research on the role of other diseases and determine their prevalence and their contribution to the mortalities experienced in the free-range village chickens. (author)

  11. Extinguishing a learned response in a free-ranging gray wolf (Canis lupus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mech, L. David

    2017-01-01

    A free-ranging Gray Wolf (Canis lupus), habituated to human presence (the author) on Ellesmere Island, Canada, learned to anticipate experimental feeding by a human, became impatient, persistent, and bold and exhibited stalking behaviour toward the food source. Only after the author offered the wolf about 90 clumps of dry soil over a period of 45 minutes in three bouts, did the wolf give up this behaviour. To my knowledge, this is the first example of extinguishing a learned response in a free-ranging wolf and provides new insight into the learning behaviour of such animals.

  12. Recording and quantification of ultrasonic echolocation clicks from free-ranging toothed whales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Madsen, Peter Teglberg; Wahlberg, Magnus

    2007-01-01

    Toothed whales produce short, ultrasonic clicks of high directionality and source level to probe their environment acoustically. This process, termed echolocation, is to a large part governed by the properties of the emitted clicks. Therefore derivation of click source parameters from free......-ranging animals is of increasing importance to understand both how toothed whales use echolocation in the wild and how they may be monitored acoustically. This paper addresses how source parameters can be derived from free-ranging toothed whales in the wild using calibrated multi-hydrophone arrays and digital...... of discrete versions of toothed whale clicks that are meaningful in a biosonar context....

  13. Free range hens use the range more when the outdoor environment is enriched.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagle, T A D; Glatz, P C

    2012-04-01

    To evaluate the role of using forage, shade and shelterbelts in attracting birds into the range, three trials were undertaken with free range layers both on a research facility and on commercial farms. Each of the trials on the free range research facility in South Australia used a total of 120 laying hens (Hyline Brown). Birds were housed in an eco-shelter which had 6 internal pens of equal size with a free range area adjoining the shelter. The on-farm trials were undertaken on commercial free range layer farms in the Darling Downs in Southeast Queensland with bird numbers on farms ranging from 2,000-6,800 hens. The first research trial examined the role of shaded areas in the range; the second trial examined the role of forage and the third trial examined the influence of shelterbelts in the range. These treatments were compared to a free range area with no enrichment. Aggressive feather pecking was only observed on a few occasions in all of the trials due to the low bird numbers housed. Enriching the free range environment attracted more birds into the range. Shaded areas were used by 18% of the hens with a tendency (p = 0.07) for more hens to be in the paddock. When forage was provided in paddocks more control birds (55%) were observed in the range in morning than in the afternoon (30%) while for the forage treatments 45% of the birds were in the range both during the morning and afternoon. When shelterbelts were provided there was a significantly (prange (43% vs. 24%) and greater numbers of birds were observed in areas further away from the poultry house. The results from the on-farm trials mirrored the research trials. Overall 3 times more hens used the shaded areas than the non shaded areas, with slightly more using the shade in the morning than in the afternoon. As the environmental temperature increased the number of birds using the outdoor shade also increased. Overall 17 times more hens used the shelterbelt areas than the control areas, with slightly

  14. Combined production of free-range pigs and energy crops – animal behaviour and crop damages

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Horsted, Klaus; Kongsted, Anne Grete; Jørgensen, Uffe

    2012-01-01

    Intensive free-range pig production on open grasslands has disadvantages in that it creates nutrient hotspots and little opportunity for pigs to seek shelter from the sun. Combining a perennial energy crop and pig production might benefit the environment and animal welfare because perennial energy...... crops like willow (Salix sp.) and Miscanthus offer the pigs protection from the sun while reducing nutrient leaching from pig excrements due to their deep rooting system. The objectives of this study were to evaluate how season and stocking density of pigs in a free-range system with zones of willow...

  15. PRODUCTIVITY OF LAYERS AND EGG QUALITY IN FREE RANGE AND CAGE SYSTEM OF HOUSING

    OpenAIRE

    Đ. Senčić; Danijela Butko

    2006-01-01

    The research was conducted with two groups of Lohmann Brown hybrid layers. Production of eggs lasted for 52 weeks. A control group of layers was kept in the conventional housing system, that is, in cages, while experimental group was kept in the free range system. Layers from the free range system, compared to those kept in cages, laid fewer eggs, (266:295), they consumed more feed on daily basis (129 g : 115 g), more feed per kilogram of egg weight (2.83 kg : 2.35 kg), they had higher mor...

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-06-15

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

  18. Elephants (and extinct relatives) as earth-movers and ecosystem engineers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haynes, Gary

    2012-07-01

    Modern African elephants affect habitats and ecosystems in significant ways. They push over trees to feed on upper branches and often peel large sections of bark to eat. These destructive habits sometimes transform woody vegetation into grasslands. Systems of elephant trails may be used and re-used for centuries, and create incised features that extend for many kilometers on migration routes. Elephants, digging in search of water or mineral sediments, may remove several cubic meters of sediments in each excavation. Wallowing elephants may remove up to a cubic meter of pond sediments each time they visit water sources. Accumulations of elephant dung on frequented land surfaces may be over 2 kg per square meter. Elephant trampling, digging, and dust-bathing may reverse stratigraphy at archeological localities. This paper summarizes these types of effects on biotic, geomorphic, and paleontological features in modern-day landscapes, and also describes several fossil sites that indicate extinct proboscideans had very similar effects, such as major sediment disturbances.

  19. Potential semiochemicals in urine from free ranging wolverines (Gulo gulo Pallas, 1780)

    Science.gov (United States)

    William F. Wood; Jeffrey P. Copeland; Richard E. Yates; Iman K. Horsey; Lynne R. McGreevy

    2009-01-01

    Urine deposition has been observed as an important scent-marking behaviour among wolverines (Gulo gulo, Mustelinae, Mustelidae). Solid phase microextraction (SPME) of headspace volatiles of the urine from free ranging wolverines were examined by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Urine samples were collected directly from the bladder of live-trapped animals...

  20. Seasonal regulation of condensed tannin consumption by free-ranging goats in a semiarid savanna

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mkhize, Ntuthuko R.; Heitkönig, Ignas M.A.; Scogings, Peter F.; Hattas, Dawood; Dziba, Luthando E.; Prins, Herbert H.T.; Boer, De Willem F.

    2018-01-01

    Although condensed tannins (CTs) are known to reduce forage intake by mammalian herbivores in controlled experiments, few studies have tested these effects in the field. Thus the role of CTs on foraging ecology of free-ranging herbivores is inadequately understood. To investigate the effects of CTs

  1. Real-time monitoring of Salmonella enterica in free-range geese

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Laurids Siig; Josefsen, Mathilde Hartmann; Pedersen, Karl

    2011-01-01

    Free-range geese were sampled longitudinally and Salmonella isolates characterized to reveal highly diverging colonization dynamics. One flock was intermittently colonized with one strain of Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis from 2 weeks of age, while in another, S. enterica serovar Mbandaka...

  2. Consumers' motivational associations favoring free-range meat or less meat

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Boer, J.; Boersema, J.J.; Aiking, H.

    2009-01-01

    The present paper analyzed the motivational orientations of consumers who choose to eat (1) small portions of meat or (2) ethically distinctive meat, such as free-range meat, in relation to the motivational orientations of their opposites. Going beyond the conventional approach to consumer behavior,

  3. Daily energy expenditure in free-ranging Gopher Tortoises (Gopherus polyphemus)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jodice, PGR; Epperson, DM; Visser, GH

    2006-01-01

    Studies of ecological energetics in chelonians are rare. Here, we report the first measurements of daily energy expenditure (DEE) and water influx rates (WIRS) in free-ranging adult Gopher Tortoises (Gopherus polyphemus). We used the doubly labeled water (DLW) method to measure DEE in six adult

  4. Detection of a second novel gammaherpesvirus in a free-ranging koala (Phascolarctos cinereus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaz, Paola; Whiteley, Pam L; Wilks, Colin R; Browning, Glenn F; Gilkerson, James R; Ficorilli, Nino; Devlin, Joanne M

    2012-01-01

    A second novel gammaherpesvirus was detected in a free-ranging koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) shown previously to be infected with phascolarctid herpesvirus 1. Analysis of the DNA polymerase gene showed that the virus was genetically distinct from all known gammaherpesviruses. This is the first reported dual gammaherpesvirus infection in an Australian marsupial.

  5. Effect of thermal processing on retinol levels of free-range and caged hen eggs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramalho, Héryka M M; Santos, Videanny V A; Medeiros, Vanessa P Q; Silva, Keith H D; Dimenstein, Roberto

    2006-01-01

    Purpose Eggs are a food item of high nutritional value, a source of vitamin A and readily accessible to the general population. Methods This paper analysed the effect of cooking on the retinol levels of free-range and caged hen eggs, using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The retinol levels of hen and quail eggs were also compared. Results The raw egg yolk retinol concentrations of free-range and caged hen eggs were 476.53+/-39.44 and 474.93+/-41.10 microg/100 g and cooked egg yolk concentrations were 393.53+/-24.74 and 379.01+/-30.78 microg/100 g, respectively; quail egg concentration was 636.56+/-32.71 microg retinol/100 g. No significant difference was found between the retinol of free-range and caged hen egg yolks; however, cooking diminished retinol levels, causing a loss of 17 and 20% in the free-range and caged hen egg yolks, respectively. Quail egg retinol concentration was significantly higher than that of the hens. Conclusion The retinol found in 100 g of hen and quail egg yolks could supply around 42 and 70.7% of the vitamin A requirements of an adult man, and is accordingly considered an excellent source of this vitamin.

  6. Free-ranging dogs show age related plasticity in their ability to follow human pointing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhattacharjee, Debottam; N, Nikhil Dev; Gupta, Shreya; Sau, Shubhra; Sarkar, Rohan; Biswas, Arpita; Banerjee, Arunita; Babu, Daisy; Mehta, Diksha; Bhadra, Anindita

    2017-01-01

    Differences in pet dogs' and captive wolves' ability to follow human communicative intents have led to the proposition of several hypotheses regarding the possession and development of social cognitive skills in dogs. It is possible that the social cognitive abilities of pet dogs are induced by indirect conditioning through living with humans, and studying free-ranging dogs can provide deeper insights into differentiating between innate abilities and conditioning in dogs. Free-ranging dogs are mostly scavengers, indirectly depending on humans for their sustenance. Humans can act both as food providers and as threats to these dogs, and thus understanding human gestures can be a survival need for the free-ranging dogs. We tested the responsiveness of such dogs in urban areas toward simple human pointing cues using dynamic proximal points. Our experiment showed that pups readily follow proximal pointing and exhibit weaker avoidance to humans, but stop doing so at the later stages of development. While juveniles showed frequent and prolonged gaze alternations, only adults adjusted their behaviour based on the reliability of the human experimenter after being rewarded. Thus free-ranging dogs show a tendency to respond to human pointing gestures, with a certain level of behavioural plasticity that allows learning from ontogenic experience.

  7. 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

  8. 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...

  9. Knowledge of Chemical Indicators of Eggs from Hens Reared in Conventional and Free Range System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucia Iuliana Cotfas

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Introduction Many consumers prefer nowadays eggs from alternative production systems because of their concerns about its own food safety and welfare of laying hens (Anderson. K. E., 2009. According to the regulations, a free range egg is obtained in poultry farms were laying hens have access to outdoor paddock, where they can show all the instincts of physiological and ethological (Usturoi M.G., 2004. Aims: The aim of this research was the correct information on the quality of these products and comparative study of chemical characteristics of eggs obtain from different production systems (conventional and free range. Materials and Methods: Chemical indicators’ determination was made through specific methods, in according with actual standards and consists in establishing of water, proteins, fats, ash and non-nitrogenous extractive substances contents. The biological material was represented by 90 eggs produced by Lohmann Brown laying hens aged 33 weeks: 45 gathered from birds exploited in free range system and 45 from birds reared in cages agreed by EU. Results: Egg obtained from free range system have a slightly higher content of protein (10.35±0.12 % vs. 9.97±0.03 % compared with conventional system, from albumen and from yolk (17.46±0.00 % vs. 17.19±0.01 %, this fact was happened because of aport of green grass from the outside paddock (Morris T.R., 2004. Comparative with conventional system, eggs from free range system have a higher content of lipids of yolk with 2.23%.Chemical analysis of melange from studied eggs showed a higher rate of dry matter at free range eggs (23.374% vs. 22.969%, but also for proteins (12.952% vs. 12.520% and lipids (7.676% vs. 7.398%. Conclusions: The increase in freedom of laying hens (free range caused a qualitative improvement of dry components of both the egg components (yolk and albumen but also the quantitative one, and eggs obtained has a high nutritional value  

  10. Seroprevalences to viral pathogens in free-ranging and captive cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) on Namibian Farmland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thalwitzer, Susanne; Wachter, Bettina; Robert, Nadia; Wibbelt, Gudrun; Müller, Thomas; Lonzer, Johann; Meli, Marina L; Bay, Gert; Hofer, Heribert; Lutz, Hans

    2010-02-01

    Cheetah populations are diminishing rapidly in their natural habitat. One reason for their decline is thought to be a high susceptibility to (infectious) diseases because cheetahs in zoos suffer from high disease-induced mortality. Data on the health status of free-ranging cheetahs are scarce, and little is known about their exposure and susceptibility to infectious diseases. We determined seroprevalences to nine key viruses (feline herpesvirus 1, feline calicivirus, feline parvovirus, feline coronavirus, canine distemper virus, feline immunodeficiency virus [FIV], puma lentivirus, feline leukemia virus, and rabies virus) in 68 free-ranging cheetahs on east-central Namibian farmland, 24 nonvaccinated Namibian captive cheetahs, and several other wild carnivore species and conducted necropsies of cheetahs and other wild carnivores. Eight of 11 other wild carnivores were seropositive for at least one of the viruses, including the first record of an FIV-like infection in a wild felid west of the Kalahari, the caracal (Felis caracal). Seroprevalences of the free-ranging cheetahs were below 5% for all nine viruses, which is significantly lower than seroprevalences in nonvaccinated captive cheetahs and those for five of seven viruses in previously studied free-ranging cheetahs from north-central Namibia (L. Munson, L. Marker, E. Dubovi, J. A. Spencer, J. F. Evermann, and S. J. O'Brien, J. Wildl. Dis. 40:23-31, 2004). There was no clinical or pathological evidence of infectious diseases in living or dead cheetahs. The results suggest that while free-ranging wild carnivores may be a source of pathogens, the distribution of seroprevalences across studies mirrored local human population density and factors associated with human habitation, probably reflecting contact opportunities with (nonvaccinated) domestic and feral cats and dogs. They also suggest that Namibian cheetahs respond effectively to viral challenges, encouraging consistent and sustainable conservation efforts.

  11. Effects of dietary Tenebrio molitor meal inclusion in free-range chickens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biasato, I; De Marco, M; Rotolo, L; Renna, M; Lussiana, C; Dabbou, S; Capucchio, M T; Biasibetti, E; Costa, P; Gai, F; Pozzo, L; Dezzutto, D; Bergagna, S; Martínez, S; Tarantola, M; Gasco, L; Schiavone, A

    2016-12-01

    Insects are currently being considered as a novel protein source for animal feeds, because they contain a large amount of protein. The larvae of Tenebrio molitor (TM) have been shown to be an acceptable protein source for broiler chickens in terms of growth performance, but till now, no data on histological or intestinal morphometric features have been reported. This study has had the aim of evaluating the effects of dietary TM inclusion on the performance, welfare, intestinal morphology and histological features of free-range chickens. A total of 140 medium-growing hybrid female chickens were free-range reared and randomly allotted to two dietary treatments: (i) a control group and (ii) a TM group, in which TM meal was included at 75 g/kg. Each group consisted of five pens as replicates, with 14 chicks per pen. Growth performance, haematological and serum parameters and welfare indicators were evaluated, and the animals were slaughtered at the age of 97 days. Two birds per pen (10 birds/treatment) were submitted to histological (liver, spleen, thymus, bursa of Fabricius, kidney, heart, glandular stomach and gut) and morphometric (duodenum, jejunum and ileum) investigations. The inclusion of TM did not affect the growth performance, haematological or serum parameters. The morphometric and histological features were not significantly affected either, thus suggesting no influence on nutrient metabolization, performance or animal health. Glandular stomach alterations (chronic flogosis with epithelial squamous metaplasia) were considered paraphysiological in relation to free-range farming. The observed chronic intestinal flogosis, with concomitant activation of the lymphoid tissue, was probably due to previous parasitic infections, which are very frequently detected in free-range chickens. In conclusion, the findings of this study show that yellow mealworm inclusion does not affect the welfare, productive performances or morphological features of free-range chickens

  12. Prevalence and Characteristics of Salmonella Isolated from Free-Range Chickens in Shandong Province, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Xiaonan; Gao, Yanxia; Ye, Chaoqun; Yang, Lingling; Wang, Tao; Chang, Weishan

    2016-01-01

    Compared with chickens raised in intensively managed breeding farms, free-range chickens in China are quite popular due to lower breeding density and less antibiotics usage. However, investigations about Salmonella enterica from free-range chickens are quite rare. The aim of the present study was to investigate prevalence and characteristics of Salmonella in free-range chickens in Shandong province, China. During the period of August and November 2015, 300 fresh fecal swabs from different broilers in three free-range chicken farms (100 samples per farm) were collected to isolate Salmonella , and then these isolates were subjected to serotyping, antibiotic sensitivity testing, enterobacterial repetitive intergenic consensus-polymerase chain reaction (ERIC-PCR), and multilocus sequence typing (ST). A total of 38 Salmonella isolates (38/300, 12.7%) were recovered. The most common serotype was Enteritidis (81.6%), followed by Indiana (13.2%) and Typhimurium (5.3%). Twenty-two out of 38 isolates (57.9%) were resistant to ampicillin, the highest resistance rate, but resistance rates to cefazolin, cefotaxime, and ceftazidime were only 7.9%. The multidrug resistance (MDR) rate was 26.3%. Additionally, the Salmonella isolates could be classified into 25 genotypes by ERIC-PCR and were divided into three ST types (ST11, ST17, and ST19), with ST11 the highest isolation rate (81.6%). In summary, as with other poultry, free-ranging chickens may also serve as potential reservoir for antibiotic resistant Salmonella , thereby posing a threat to public health.

  13. Seroprevalences to Viral Pathogens in Free-Ranging and Captive Cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) on Namibian Farmland▿

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thalwitzer, Susanne; Wachter, Bettina; Robert, Nadia; Wibbelt, Gudrun; Müller, Thomas; Lonzer, Johann; Meli, Marina L.; Bay, Gert; Hofer, Heribert; Lutz, Hans

    2010-01-01

    Cheetah populations are diminishing rapidly in their natural habitat. One reason for their decline is thought to be a high susceptibility to (infectious) diseases because cheetahs in zoos suffer from high disease-induced mortality. Data on the health status of free-ranging cheetahs are scarce, and little is known about their exposure and susceptibility to infectious diseases. We determined seroprevalences to nine key viruses (feline herpesvirus 1, feline calicivirus, feline parvovirus, feline coronavirus, canine distemper virus, feline immunodeficiency virus [FIV], puma lentivirus, feline leukemia virus, and rabies virus) in 68 free-ranging cheetahs on east-central Namibian farmland, 24 nonvaccinated Namibian captive cheetahs, and several other wild carnivore species and conducted necropsies of cheetahs and other wild carnivores. Eight of 11 other wild carnivores were seropositive for at least one of the viruses, including the first record of an FIV-like infection in a wild felid west of the Kalahari, the caracal (Felis caracal). Seroprevalences of the free-ranging cheetahs were below 5% for all nine viruses, which is significantly lower than seroprevalences in nonvaccinated captive cheetahs and those for five of seven viruses in previously studied free-ranging cheetahs from north-central Namibia (L. Munson, L. Marker, E. Dubovi, J. A. Spencer, J. F. Evermann, and S. J. O'Brien, J. Wildl. Dis. 40:23-31, 2004). There was no clinical or pathological evidence of infectious diseases in living or dead cheetahs. The results suggest that while free-ranging wild carnivores may be a source of pathogens, the distribution of seroprevalences across studies mirrored local human population density and factors associated with human habitation, probably reflecting contact opportunities with (nonvaccinated) domestic and feral cats and dogs. They also suggest that Namibian cheetahs respond effectively to viral challenges, encouraging consistent and sustainable conservation efforts

  14. Assessing behavior in Aseel pullets under free-range, part-time free-range, and cage system during growing phase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rehman, M S; Mahmud, A; Mehmood, S; Pasha, T N; Khan, M T; Hussain, J

    2018-03-01

    The objective of this study was to explore the effects of free-range (FR), part-time free-range (PTFR), and cage system (CS) on behavioral repertoire in Lakha (LK), Mushki (MS), Peshawari (PW), and Sindhi (SN) varieties of Aseel chicken during the growing phase (9 to 18 wk of age). In total, 144 Aseel pullets were allotted to 12 treatment groups in a 3 × 4 (rearing system × Aseel variety) factorial arrangement, according to a randomized complete block design (RCBD). Each treatment group was replicated 3 times with 4 birds in each replicate (12 birds per treatment group). The pullets were randomly marked weekly for identification, and their behavior was observed through the focal animal sampling method. Time spent on different behavioral activities was recorded and converted to a percentage. The data were analyzed using 2-way ANOVA under a factorial arrangement using SAS 9.1, and the behavioral parameters were evaluated. The results indicated greater (P < 0.05) sitting, standing, drinking, preening, and aggressiveness in CS; walking, running, and jumping in PTFR; and foraging and dustbathing in both FR and PTFR, whereas feather pecking was found to be reduced in FR compared with PTFR and CS. Among varieties, PW showed the least feeding/foraging and feather pecking behavior, and greater standing, running, and jumping behavior (P < 0.05). However, SN spent less time in walking and preening, and more time in sitting, drinking, and aggressiveness. Dustbathing was found to be similar in all Aseel varieties (P = 0.135). In conclusion, the PTFR system could be suggested as a substitute for conventional housing systems because it better accommodates normal behavior in Aseel pullets.

  15. Variability of Hormonal Stress Markers and Stress Responses in a Large Cross-Sectional Sample of Elephant Seals

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    regulation in a captive dolphin population PI: Cory Champagne This project examines roles of CBG and rT3 in the sister study on the Navy captive...bottlenose dolphin population. Molecular indicators of chronic stress in a model pinniped - the northern elephant seal. PI: Cory Champagne This...Khudyakov J.I., C.D. Champagne , L. Preeyanon, R.M. Ortiz, D.E. Crocker. 2015. Muscle transcriptome response to ACTH administration in a free-ranging

  16. The happy hen on your supermarket shelf: what choice does industrial strength free-range represent for consumers?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parker, Christine; Brunswick, Carly; Kotey, Jane

    2013-06-01

    This paper investigates what "free-range" eggs are available for sale in supermarkets in Australia, what "free-range" means on product labelling, and what alternative "free-range" offers to cage production. The paper concludes that most of the "free-range" eggs currently available in supermarkets do not address animal welfare, environmental sustainability, and public health concerns but, rather, seek to drive down consumer expectations of what these issues mean by balancing them against commercial interests. This suits both supermarkets and egg producers because it does not challenge dominant industrial-scale egg production and the profits associated with it. A serious approach to free-range would confront these arrangements, and this means it may be impossible to truthfully label many of the "free-range" eggs currently available in the dominant supermarkets as free-range.

  17. 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.

  18. Immobilization of free-ranging maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus) with tiletamine and zolazepam in central Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Furtado, Mariana Malzoni; Kashivakura, Cynthia Kayo; Ferro, Claudia; de Almeida, Jácomo Anah Tereza; Silveira, Leandro; Astete, Samuel

    2006-03-01

    A tiletamine hydrochloride-zolazepam hydrochloride combination was used successfully to immobilize 27 free-ranging maned wolves (Chrysocyon brachyurus) at a mean dose of 2.77+/-0.56 (mean+/-SD) mg/kg. The induction time ranged from 3-15 min. Animals remained immobilized for periods of 48.56 +/-12.65 min. Compulsive licking, excessive salivation, muscle twitching, muscle tremors, tachypnea, and bradycardia were observed associated with the induction of the anesthesia in 13 of 27 maned wolves. Muscle twitching, pedal withdrawal reflex, muscle tremors, and ataxia were observed during recovery in three (11%) maned wolves. There were no significant differences in heart rates (P = 0.44), respiratory rates (P = 0.82), and rectal temperatures (P = 0.54) recorded at 5, 15, and 25 min after induction at these dosages. The tiletamine hydrochloride-zolazepam hydrochloride combination was shown to be an effective and safe immobilizing agent for free-ranging maned wolves.

  19. The need for a holistic view on disease problems in free-range chickens

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Permin, A.; Pedersen, G.

    2002-01-01

    In contrast to modern poultry production, village-based poultry production is often characterised by a range of diseases occurring at the same time. Most often free-range poultry have sub-clinical infections with a high number of endo- and ecto-parasites. The significance of these infections is not known in detail, but there are some indications that parasites have an immuno-suppressive effect on the animals thus enhancing the pathogenicity of other diseases. Further, it is postulated that other diseases than Newcastle disease (ND) are present in free-range poultry production systems and that a successful development of this production system is only achieved when the exact causes of death and the effect of concurrent diseases are known. (author)

  20. Hematologic and serum chemistry reference intervals for free-ranging lions (Panthera leo).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maas, Miriam; Keet, Dewald F; Nielen, Mirjam

    2013-08-01

    Hematologic and serum chemistry values are used by veterinarians and wildlife researchers to assess health status and to identify abnormally high or low levels of a particular blood parameter in a target species. For free-ranging lions (Panthera leo) information about these values is scarce. In this study 7 hematologic and 11 serum biochemistry values were evaluated from 485 lions from the Kruger National Park, South Africa. Significant differences between sexes and sub-adult (≤ 36 months) and adult (>36 months) lions were found for most of the blood parameters and separate reference intervals were made for those values. The obtained reference intervals include the means of the various blood parameter values measured in captive lions, except for alkaline phosphatase in the subadult group. These reference intervals can be utilized for free-ranging lions, and may likely also be used as reference intervals for captive lions. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii in free-ranging and feral cats on Amami Oshima Island, Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsuu, Aya; Yokota, Shin-Ichi; Ito, Keiko; Masatani, Tatsunori

    2017-11-17

    On Amami Oshima Island, free-ranging and feral cats are harmful to wildlife populations. In this study, the seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii in these cats was examined using a newly developed Gaussia luciferase immunoprecipitation system assay. Of 1,363 cats, 123 cats (9.0%) was positive for T. gondii. The prevalence was significantly different in different areas; among cats in the rural area, where many wild animals live, including endangered species, T. gondii infection was more prevalent than in the urban area of the island. This finding indicates a possible risk to wildlife of infection from free-ranging and feral cats. Therefore, management of cats is important for wildlife conservation.

  2. Free Range Hens Use the Range More When the Outdoor Environment Is Enriched

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. A. D. Nagle

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available To evaluate the role of using forage, shade and shelterbelts in attracting birds into the range, three trials were undertaken with free range layers both on a research facility and on commercial farms. Each of the trials on the free range research facility in South Australia used a total of 120 laying hens (Hyline Brown. Birds were housed in an eco-shelter which had 6 internal pens of equal size with a free range area adjoining the shelter. The on-farm trials were undertaken on commercial free range layer farms in the Darling Downs in Southeast Queensland with bird numbers on farms ranging from 2,000–6,800 hens. The first research trial examined the role of shaded areas in the range; the second trial examined the role of forage and the third trial examined the influence of shelterbelts in the range. These treatments were compared to a free range area with no enrichment. Aggressive feather pecking was only observed on a few occasions in all of the trials due to the low bird numbers housed. Enriching the free range environment attracted more birds into the range. Shaded areas were used by 18% of the hens with a tendency (p = 0.07 for more hens to be in the paddock. When forage was provided in paddocks more control birds (55% were observed in the range in morning than in the afternoon (30% while for the forage treatments 45% of the birds were in the range both during the morning and afternoon. When shelterbelts were provided there was a significantly (p<0.05 higher % of birds in the range (43% vs. 24% and greater numbers of birds were observed in areas further away from the poultry house. The results from the on-farm trials mirrored the research trials. Overall 3 times more hens used the shaded areas than the non shaded areas, with slightly more using the shade in the morning than in the afternoon. As the environmental temperature increased the number of birds using the outdoor shade also increased. Overall 17 times more hens used the shelterbelt

  3. Environmental and Intrinsic Correlates of Stress in Free-Ranging Wolves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molnar, Barbara; Fattebert, Julien; Palme, Rupert; Ciucci, Paolo; Betschart, Bruno; Smith, Douglas W; Diehl, Peter-Allan

    2015-01-01

    When confronted with a stressor, animals react with several physiological and behavioral responses. Although sustained or repeated stress can result in severe deleterious physiological effects, the causes of stress in free-ranging animals are yet poorly documented. In our study, we aimed at identifying the main factors affecting stress levels in free-ranging wolves (Canis lupus). We used fecal cortisol metabolites (FCM) as an index of stress, after validating the method for its application in wolves. We analyzed a total of 450 fecal samples from eleven wolf packs belonging to three protected populations, in Italy (Abruzzo), France (Mercantour), and the United States (Yellowstone). We collected samples during two consecutive winters in each study area. We found no relationship between FCM concentrations and age, sex or social status of individuals. At the group level, our results suggest that breeding pair permanency and the loss of pack members through processes different from dispersal may importantly impact stress levels in wolves. We measured higher FCM levels in comparatively small packs living in sympatry with a population of free-ranging dogs. Lastly, our results indicate that FCM concentrations are associated with endoparasitic infections of individuals. In social mammals sharing strong bonds among group members, the death of one or several members of the group most likely induces important stress in the remainder of the social unit. The potential impact of social and territorial stability on stress levels should be further investigated in free-ranging populations, especially in highly social and in territorial species. As persistent or repeated stressors may facilitate or induce pathologies and physiological alterations that can affect survival and fitness, we advocate considering the potential impact of anthropogenic causes of stress in management and conservation programs regarding wolves and other wildlife.

  4. Anthropozoonotic Endoparasites in Free-Ranging ?Urban? South American Sea Lions (Otaria flavescens)

    OpenAIRE

    Hermosilla, Carlos; Silva, Liliana M. R.; Navarro, Mauricio; Taubert, Anja

    2016-01-01

    The present study represents the first report on the gastrointestinal endoparasite fauna of a free-ranging “urban” colony of South American sea lions (Otaria flavescens) living within the city of Valdivia, Chile. A total of 40 individual faecal samples of South American sea lions were collected during the year 2012 within their natural habitat along the river Calle-Calle and in the local fish market of Valdivia. Coprological analyses applying sodium acetate acetic formalin methanol (SAF) tech...

  5. Environmental and Intrinsic Correlates of Stress in Free-Ranging Wolves.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara Molnar

    Full Text Available When confronted with a stressor, animals react with several physiological and behavioral responses. Although sustained or repeated stress can result in severe deleterious physiological effects, the causes of stress in free-ranging animals are yet poorly documented. In our study, we aimed at identifying the main factors affecting stress levels in free-ranging wolves (Canis lupus.We used fecal cortisol metabolites (FCM as an index of stress, after validating the method for its application in wolves. We analyzed a total of 450 fecal samples from eleven wolf packs belonging to three protected populations, in Italy (Abruzzo, France (Mercantour, and the United States (Yellowstone. We collected samples during two consecutive winters in each study area. We found no relationship between FCM concentrations and age, sex or social status of individuals. At the group level, our results suggest that breeding pair permanency and the loss of pack members through processes different from dispersal may importantly impact stress levels in wolves. We measured higher FCM levels in comparatively small packs living in sympatry with a population of free-ranging dogs. Lastly, our results indicate that FCM concentrations are associated with endoparasitic infections of individuals.In social mammals sharing strong bonds among group members, the death of one or several members of the group most likely induces important stress in the remainder of the social unit. The potential impact of social and territorial stability on stress levels should be further investigated in free-ranging populations, especially in highly social and in territorial species. As persistent or repeated stressors may facilitate or induce pathologies and physiological alterations that can affect survival and fitness, we advocate considering the potential impact of anthropogenic causes of stress in management and conservation programs regarding wolves and other wildlife.

  6. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii in free-ranging and feral cats on Amami Oshima Island, Japan

    OpenAIRE

    MATSUU, Aya; YOKOTA, Shin-ichi; ITO, Keiko; MASATANI, Tatsunori

    2017-01-01

    On Amami Oshima Island, free-ranging and feral cats are harmful to wildlife populations. In this study, the seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii in these cats was examined using a newly developed Gaussia luciferase immunoprecipitation system assay. Of 1,363 cats, 123 cats (9.0%) was positive for T. gondii. The prevalence was significantly different in different areas; among cats in the rural area, where many wild animals live, including endangered species, T. gondii infection was more prevalen...

  7. Clever mothers balance time and effort in parental care: a study on free-ranging dogs

    OpenAIRE

    Paul, Manabi; Sau, Shubhra; Nandi, Anjan K.; Bhadra, Anindita

    2016-01-01

    Mammalian offspring require parental care, at least in the form of suckling during their early development. While mothers need to invest considerable time and energy in ensuring the survival of their current offspring, they also need to optimize their investment in one batch of offspring in order to ensure future reproduction and hence lifetime reproductive success. Free-ranging dogs live in small social groups, mate promiscuously, and lack the cooperative breeding biology of other group livi...

  8. Foraging effort in relation to the constraints of reproduction in free-ranging albatrosses

    OpenAIRE

    Shaffer, Scott A; Costa, D P; Weimerskirch, H

    2003-01-01

    1. Theoretical models predict that animals will vary their effort to maximize different currencies such as time and energy when the constraints of reproduction change during breeding, but this has been poorly studied in free-ranging animals. 2. Foraging effort (energy per unit time) was examined by comparing mass changes, foraging costs and activity-specific behaviours of Wandering Albatrosses (Diomedea exulans Linnaeus) during the incubation and chick-brooding stages. In 1998, 38 albatrosses...

  9. Seroprevalences to viral pathogens in free-ranging and captive cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) on Namibian farmland

    OpenAIRE

    Thalwitzer, S; Wachter, B; Robert, N; Wibbelt, G; Müller, T; Lonzer, J; Meli, M L; Bay, G; Hofer, H; Lutz, H

    2010-01-01

    Cheetah populations are diminishing rapidly in their natural habitat. One reason for their decline is thought to be a high susceptibility to (infectious) diseases because cheetahs in zoos suffer from high disease-induced mortality. Data on the health status of free-ranging cheetahs are scarce, and little is known about their exposure and susceptibility to infectious diseases. We determined seroprevalences to nine key viruses (feline herpesvirus 1, feline calicivirus, feline parvovirus, feline...

  10. Comparison of three diagnostic methods for the detection of Toxoplasma gondii in free range chickens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamidinejat, H; Nabavi, L; Mayahi, M; Ghourbanpoor, M; Pourmehdi Borojeni, M; Norollahi Fard, S; Shokrollahi, M

    2014-09-01

    Detection of Toxoplasma gondii in free range chickens is an indicator of the prevalence and distribution pattern of T. gondii in the environment. For this purpose, serologic assays especially modified agglutination test (MAT) is the main approach in the literature. The main goal of this study was to compare the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) based on amplification of first internal transcribed spacer (ITS-1) of ribosomal DNA gene, ELISA, and MAT to demonstrate T. gondii infection in free range chicken. A total of 106 adult free - range chickens were killed. Blood, whole heart and brain samples were taken. Sera were examined for the presence of T. gondii antibodies by ELISA and MAT as well. Selected tissues were used for PCR and bioassay in mice. The results revealed that 48.11%, 51.89%, 46.23% and 27.36% of chickens were positive in ELISA, MAT, PCR and bioassay in mice respectively. Good correlation between the results of PCR, ELISA and MAT were detected, but not with bioassay in mice. Compared with PCR, the sensitivity and specificity of ELISA were 92.16% and 96.36% respectively and also for MAT, the sensitivity was 81.81% and the specificity was 92.15%. The specific diagnosis of T. gondii infection in chickens is central to a better understanding of the epidemiology and dynamics of transmission among the various host population and is particularly important for planning effective optimal prevention and control programs. Our data in the present study demonstrated that PCR, ELISA and the MAT are helpful and precise methods to detect T. gondii in naturally infected free-range chickens.

  11. Age-Related Variations in Intestinal Microflora of Free-Range and Caged Hens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cui, Yizhe; Wang, Qiuju; Liu, Shengjun; Sun, Rui; Zhou, Yaqiang; Li, Yue

    2017-01-01

    Free range feeding pattern puts the chicken in a mixture of growth materials and enteric bacteria excreted by nature, while it is typically unique condition materials and enteric bacteria in commercial caged hens production. Thus, the gastrointestinal microflora in two feeding patterns could be various. However, it remains poorly understood how feeding patterns affect development and composition of layer hens' intestinal microflora. In this study, the effect of feeding patterns on the bacteria community in layer hens' gut was investigated using free range and caged feeding form. Samples of whole small intestines and cecal digesta were collected from young hens (8-weeks) and mature laying hens (30-weeks). Based on analysis using polymerase chain reaction-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and sequencing of bacterial 16S rDNA gene amplicons, the microflora of all intestinal contents were affected by both feeding patterns and age of hens. Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, Actinobacteria, Proteobacteria, and Fusobacteria were the main components. Additionally, uncultured environmental samples were found too. There were large differences between young hens and adult laying hens, the latter had more Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes, and bacterial community is more abundant in 30-weeks laying hens of all six phyla than 8-weeks young hens of only two phyla. In addition, the differences were also observed between free range and caged hens. Free range hens had richer Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Proteobacteria. Most of strains found were detected more abundant in small intestines than in cecum. Also the selected Lactic acid bacteria from hens gut were applied in feed and they had beneficial effects on growth performance and jejunal villus growth of young broilers. This study suggested that feeding patterns have an importance effect on the microflora composition of hens, which may impact the host nutritional status and intestinal health.

  12. European brown hare syndrome virus in free-ranging European brown hares from Argentina

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Frolich, K.; Kujawski, G.E.J.G.; Rudolph, M.

    2003-01-01

    From 1998 to 2000, serum samples of 80 shot European brown hares (Lepus europaeus) from Argentina were examined for antibodies against European brown hare syndrome virus (EBHSV) and 80 spleen samples were tested for EBHSV-antigen by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Nine hares were posit...... in these hares. This is the first report of antibodies to EBHSV, EBHSV-antigen, and electron microscopy findings in free-ranging European brown hares from South America....

  13. Does the Animal Welfare Act apply to free-ranging animals?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulcahy, Daniel M.

    2003-01-01

    Despite the long-standing role that institutional animal care and use committees (IACUCs) have played in reviewing and approving studies at academic institutions, compliance with the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) is not always complete for government natural resource agencies that use free-ranging animals in research and management studies. Even at universities, IACUCs face uncertainties about what activities are covered and about how to judge proposed research on free-ranging animals. One reason for much of the confusion is the AWA vaguely worded exemption for "field studies." In particular, fish are problematic because of the AWA exclusion of poikilothermic animals. However, most university IACUCs review studies on all animals, and the Interagency Research Animal Committee (IRAC) has published the "IRAC Principles," which extend coverage to all vertebrates used by federal researchers. Despite this extended coverage, many scientists working on wild animals continue to view compliance with the AWA with little enthusiasm. IACUCs, IACUC veterinarians, wildlife veterinarians, and fish and wildlife biologists must learn to work together to comply with the law and to protect the privilege of using free-ranging animals in research.

  14. Haematological and biochemical reference intervals for free-ranging brown bears (Ursus arctos) in Sweden

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Background Establishment of haematological and biochemical reference intervals is important to assess health of animals on individual and population level. Reference intervals for 13 haematological and 34 biochemical variables were established based on 88 apparently healthy free-ranging brown bears (39 males and 49 females) in Sweden. The animals were chemically immobilised by darting from a helicopter with a combination of medetomidine, tiletamine and zolazepam in April and May 2006–2012 in the county of Dalarna, Sweden. Venous blood samples were collected during anaesthesia for radio collaring and marking for ecological studies. For each of the variables, the reference interval was described based on the 95% confidence interval, and differences due to host characteristics sex and age were included if detected. To our knowledge, this is the first report of reference intervals for free-ranging brown bears in Sweden. Results The following variables were not affected by host characteristics: red blood cell, white blood cell, monocyte and platelet count, alanine transaminase, amylase, bilirubin, free fatty acids, glucose, calcium, chloride, potassium, and cortisol. Age differences were seen for the majority of the haematological variables, whereas sex influenced only mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration, aspartate aminotransferase, lipase, lactate dehydrogenase, β-globulin, bile acids, triglycerides and sodium. Conclusions The biochemical and haematological reference intervals provided and the differences due to host factors age and gender can be useful for evaluation of health status in free-ranging European brown bears. PMID:25139149

  15. Avian bornavirus in free-ranging waterfowl: prevalence of antibodies and cloacal shedding of viral RNA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delnatte, Pauline; Nagy, Éva; Ojkic, Davor; Leishman, David; Crawshaw, Graham; Elias, Kyle; Smith, Dale A

    2014-07-01

    We surveyed free-ranging Canada Geese (Branta canadensis), Trumpeter Swans (Cygnus buccinator), Mute Swans (Cygnus olor), and Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) to estimate the prevalence of antibodies to avian bornavirus (ABV) and of cloacal shedding of ABV RNA in southern Ontario, Canada. Blood samples and cloacal swabs were collected from 206 free-ranging Canada Geese, 135 Trumpeter Swans, 75 Mute Swans, and 208 Mallards at 10 main capture sites between October 2010 and May 2012. Sera were assessed for antibodies against ABV by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and swabs were evaluated for ABV RNA using real-time reverse-transcription PCR. Serum antibodies were detected in birds from all four species and at each sampling site. Thirteen percent of the geese caught on the Toronto Zoo site shed ABV RNA in feces compared with 0% in geese sampled at three other locations. The proportions of shedders among Mute Swans, Trumpeter Swans, and Mallards were 9%, 0%, and 0%, respectively. Birds that were shedding viral RNA were more likely to have antibodies against ABV and to have higher antibody levels than those that were not, although many birds with antibodies were not shedding. We confirmed that exposure to, or infection with, ABV is widespread in asymptomatic free-ranging waterfowl in Canada; however, the correlation between cloacal shedding, presence of antibodies, and presence of disease is not fully understood.

  16. Prevalence of Coccidiosis in Free-Range Chicken in Sidi Thabet, Tunisia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Khaled Kaboudi

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Background. Enteric diseases are an important concern to the poultry industry and coccidiosis is imposing a significant economic burden worldwide. Objectives. The main goal of the present study was to investigate the prevalence of coccidiosis in free-range chicken in Sidi Thabet, northeast Tunisia. Methods. Six hundred and thirty free-range chickens along with fecal samples were collected from 15 flocks in this region and two hundred chickens were found positive for oocysts of Eimeria spp. Intestines were dissected and examined for macroscopic lesions. The mucosa of small intestine and the caeca were examined for the presence and identification of parasitic forms using parasitology methods. The mean lesion scores were usually low (2+ were attributed mainly to the caeca. Results. The overall rate of coccidiosis was 31.8%: E. tenella (61.5%, E. maxima (12%, and E. acervulina (1.5%. Mixed Eimeria species infection was observed with overall prevalence 26.5%. There was a statistically significant difference (P<0.05 among infection rates, age groups, season, diarrhea, and type of chicken. Conclusion. This is the first report of coccidiosis rate in free-range chicken in this region. Further additional studies are needed to develop better preventive measures against coccidiosis in the country.

  17. Compositional Signatures of Conventional, Free Range, and Organic Pork Meat Using Fingerprint Techniques

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gislene B. Oliveira

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Consumers’ interest in the way meat is produced is increasing in Europe. The resulting free range and organic meat products retail at a higher price, but are difficult to differentiate from their counterparts. To ascertain authenticity and prevent fraud, relevant markers need to be identified and new analytical methodology developed. The objective of this pilot study was to characterize pork belly meats of different animal welfare classes by their fatty acid (Fatty Acid Methyl Ester—FAME, non-volatile compound (electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry—ESI-MS/MS, and volatile compound (proton-transfer-reaction mass spectrometry—PTR-MS fingerprints. Well-defined pork belly meat samples (13 conventional, 15 free range, and 13 organic originating from the Netherlands were subjected to analysis. Fingerprints appeared to be specific for the three categories, and resulted in 100%, 95.3%, and 95.3% correct identity predictions of training set samples for FAME, ESI-MS/MS, and PTR-MS respectively and slightly lower scores for the validation set. Organic meat was also well discriminated from the other two categories with 100% success rates for the training set for all three analytical approaches. Ten out of 25 FAs showed significant differences in abundance between organic meat and the other categories, free range meat differed significantly for 6 out of the 25 FAs. Overall, FAME fingerprinting presented highest discrimination power.

  18. Experimental mouse lethality of Escherichia coli strains isolated from free ranging Tibetan yaks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rehman, Mujeeb Ur; Zhang, Hui; Wang, Yajing; Mehmood, Khalid; Huang, Shucheng; Iqbal, Muhammad Kashif; Li, Jiakui

    2017-08-01

    The present study has examined the virulence potential of Escherichia coli isolates harboring at least one virulence gene (associated with ExPEC or InPEC pathotype and belonging to different phylogenetic groups: A, B1, B2 or D), isolated from free ranging Tibetan yak feces. The E. coli isolates (n = 87) were characterized for different serogroups and a mouse model of subcutaneous-infection was used to envisage the virulence within these E. coli strains. Of the 87 E. coli isolates examined, 23% of the E. coli isolates caused lethal infections in a mouse model of subcutaneous infection and were classified as killer. Moreover, the majority of the killer strains belonged to phylogroup A (65%) and serogroup O 60 or O 101 (35%). Phylogroup B1, serogroups O 60 and O 101 were statistically associated with the killer status (P 1) were observed between the killer status isolates and all other bacterial virulence traits. This study comprises the first report on the virulence potential of E. coli strains isolated from free-ranging Tibetan yaks feces. Our findings suggest that pathogenic E. coli of free ranging yaks is highly worrisome, as these feces are used as manures by farmers and therewith pose a health risk to humans upon exposure. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Aleutian Disease: An Emerging Disease in Free-Ranging Striped Skunks (Mephitis mephitis) From California.

    Science.gov (United States)

    LaDouceur, E E B; Anderson, M; Ritchie, B W; Ciembor, P; Rimoldi, G; Piazza, M; Pesti, D; Clifford, D L; Giannitti, F

    2015-11-01

    Aleutian disease virus (ADV, Amdovirus, Parvoviridae) primarily infects farmed mustelids (mink and ferrets) but also other fur-bearing animals and humans. Three Aleutian disease (AD) cases have been described in captive striped skunks; however, little is known about the relevance of AD in free-ranging carnivores. This work describes the pathological findings and temporospatial distribution in 7 cases of AD in free-ranging striped skunks. All cases showed neurologic disease and were found in a 46-month period (2010-2013) within a localized geographical region in California. Lesions included multisystemic plasmacytic and lymphocytic inflammation (ie, interstitial nephritis, myocarditis, hepatitis, meningoencephalitis, pneumonia, and splenitis), glomerulonephritis, arteritis with or without fibrinoid necrosis in several organs (ie, kidney, heart, brain, and spleen), splenomegaly, ascites/hydrothorax, and/or encephalomalacia with cerebral microangiopathy. ADV infection was confirmed in all cases by specific polymerase chain reaction and/or in situ hybridization. The results suggest that AD is an emerging disease in free-ranging striped skunks in California. © The Author(s) 2014.

  20. Compositional Signatures of Conventional, Free Range, and Organic Pork Meat Using Fingerprint Techniques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliveira, Gislene B; Alewijn, Martin; Boerrigter-Eenling, Rita; van Ruth, Saskia M

    2015-08-25

    Consumers' interest in the way meat is produced is increasing in Europe. The resulting free range and organic meat products retail at a higher price, but are difficult to differentiate from their counterparts. To ascertain authenticity and prevent fraud, relevant markers need to be identified and new analytical methodology developed. The objective of this pilot study was to characterize pork belly meats of different animal welfare classes by their fatty acid (Fatty Acid Methyl Ester-FAME), non-volatile compound (electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry-ESI-MS/MS), and volatile compound (proton-transfer-reaction mass spectrometry-PTR-MS) fingerprints. Well-defined pork belly meat samples (13 conventional, 15 free range, and 13 organic) originating from the Netherlands were subjected to analysis. Fingerprints appeared to be specific for the three categories, and resulted in 100%, 95.3%, and 95.3% correct identity predictions of training set samples for FAME, ESI-MS/MS, and PTR-MS respectively and slightly lower scores for the validation set. Organic meat was also well discriminated from the other two categories with 100% success rates for the training set for all three analytical approaches. Ten out of 25 FAs showed significant differences in abundance between organic meat and the other categories, free range meat differed significantly for 6 out of the 25 FAs. Overall, FAME fingerprinting presented highest discrimination power.

  1. Impacts of visitor number on Kangaroos housed in free-range exhibits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherwen, Sally L; Hemsworth, Paul H; Butler, Kym L; Fanson, Kerry V; Magrath, Michael J L

    2015-01-01

    Free range exhibits are becoming increasingly popular in zoos as a means to enhance interaction between visitors and animals. However very little research exists on the impacts of visitors on animal behaviour and stress in free range exhibits. We investigated the effects of visitor number on the behaviour and stress physiology of Kangaroo Island (KI) Kangaroos, Macropus fuliginosus fuliginosus, and Red Kangaroos, Macropus rufus, housed in two free range exhibits in Australian zoos. Behavioural observations were conducted on individual kangaroos at each site using instantaneous scan sampling to record activity (e.g., vigilance, foraging, resting) and distance from the visitor pathway. Individually identifiable faecal samples were collected at the end of each study day and analysed for faecal glucocorticoid metabolite (FGM) concentration. When visitor number increased, both KI Kangaroos and Red Kangaroos increased the time spent engaged in visitor-directed vigilance and KI Kangaroos also increased the time spent engaged in locomotion and decreased the time spent resting. There was no effect of visitor number on the distance kangaroos positioned themselves from the visitor pathway or FGM concentration in either species. While there are limitations in interpreting these results in terms of fear of visitors, there was no evidence of adverse effects animal welfare in these study groups based on avoidance behaviour or stress physiology under the range of visitor numbers that we studied. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  2. Prevalence of Coccidiosis in Free-Range Chicken in Sidi Thabet, Tunisia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaboudi, Khaled; Umar, Sajid; Munir, Muhammad Tanveer

    2016-01-01

    Background. Enteric diseases are an important concern to the poultry industry and coccidiosis is imposing a significant economic burden worldwide. Objectives. The main goal of the present study was to investigate the prevalence of coccidiosis in free-range chicken in Sidi Thabet, northeast Tunisia. Methods. Six hundred and thirty free-range chickens along with fecal samples were collected from 15 flocks in this region and two hundred chickens were found positive for oocysts of Eimeria spp. Intestines were dissected and examined for macroscopic lesions. The mucosa of small intestine and the caeca were examined for the presence and identification of parasitic forms using parasitology methods. The mean lesion scores were usually low (2+) were attributed mainly to the caeca. Results. The overall rate of coccidiosis was 31.8%: E. tenella (61.5%), E. maxima (12%), and E. acervulina (1.5%). Mixed Eimeria species infection was observed with overall prevalence 26.5%. There was a statistically significant difference (P free-range chicken in this region. Further additional studies are needed to develop better preventive measures against coccidiosis in the country.

  3. Molecular detection of viral agents in free-ranging and captive neotropical felids in Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Furtado, Mariana M; Taniwaki, Sueli A; de Barros, Iracema N; Brandão, Paulo E; Catão-Dias, José L; Cavalcanti, Sandra; Cullen, Laury; Filoni, Claudia; Jácomo, Anah T de Almeida; Jorge, Rodrigo S P; Silva, Nairléia Dos Santos; Silveira, Leandro; Ferreira Neto, José S

    2017-09-01

    We describe molecular testing for felid alphaherpesvirus 1 (FHV-1), carnivore protoparvovirus 1 (CPPV-1), feline calicivirus (FCV), alphacoronavirus 1 (feline coronavirus [FCoV]), feline leukemia virus (FeLV), feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), and canine distemper virus (CDV) in whole blood samples of 109 free-ranging and 68 captive neotropical felids from Brazil. Samples from 2 jaguars ( Panthera onca) and 1 oncilla ( Leopardus tigrinus) were positive for FHV-1; 2 jaguars, 1 puma ( Puma concolor), and 1 jaguarundi ( Herpairulus yagouaroundi) tested positive for CPPV-1; and 1 puma was positive for FIV. Based on comparison of 103 nucleotides of the UL24-UL25 gene, the FHV-1 sequences were 99-100% similar to the FHV-1 strain of domestic cats. Nucleotide sequences of CPPV-1 were closely related to sequences detected in other wild carnivores, comparing 294 nucleotides of the VP1 gene. The FIV nucleotide sequence detected in the free-ranging puma, based on comparison of 444 nucleotides of the pol gene, grouped with other lentiviruses described in pumas, and had 82.4% identity with a free-ranging puma from Yellowstone Park and 79.5% with a captive puma from Brazil. Our data document the circulation of FHV-1, CPPV-1, and FIV in neotropical felids in Brazil.

  4. Comparative Serum Fatty Acid Profiles of Captive and Free-Ranging Cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) in Namibia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wachter, Bettina; Heinrich, Sonja K.; Reyers, Fred; Mienie, Lodewyk J.

    2016-01-01

    Cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) are highly specialised large felids, currently listed as vulnerable on the IUCN red data list. In captivity, they are known to suffer from a range of chronic non-infectious diseases. Although low heterozygosity and the stress of captivity have been suggested as possible causal factors, recent studies have started to focus on the contribution of potential dietary factors in the pathogenesis of these diseases. Fatty acids are an important component of the diet, not only providing a source of metabolisable energy, but serving other important functions in hormone production, cellular signalling as well as providing structural components in biological membranes. To develop a better understanding of lipid metabolism in cheetahs, we compared the total serum fatty acid profiles of 35 captive cheetahs to those of 43 free-ranging individuals in Namibia using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The unsaturated fatty acid concentrations differed most remarkably between the groups, with all of the polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids, except arachidonic acid and hypogeic acid, detected at significantly lower concentrations in the serum of the free-ranging animals. The influence of age and sex on the individual fatty acid concentrations was less notable. This study represents the first evaluation of the serum fatty acids of free-ranging cheetahs, providing critical information on the normal fatty acid profiles of free-living, healthy individuals of this species. The results raise several important questions about the potential impact of dietary fatty acid composition on the health of cheetahs in captivity. PMID:27992457

  5. Comparative Serum Fatty Acid Profiles of Captive and Free-Ranging Cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) in Namibia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tordiffe, Adrian S W; Wachter, Bettina; Heinrich, Sonja K; Reyers, Fred; Mienie, Lodewyk J

    2016-01-01

    Cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) are highly specialised large felids, currently listed as vulnerable on the IUCN red data list. In captivity, they are known to suffer from a range of chronic non-infectious diseases. Although low heterozygosity and the stress of captivity have been suggested as possible causal factors, recent studies have started to focus on the contribution of potential dietary factors in the pathogenesis of these diseases. Fatty acids are an important component of the diet, not only providing a source of metabolisable energy, but serving other important functions in hormone production, cellular signalling as well as providing structural components in biological membranes. To develop a better understanding of lipid metabolism in cheetahs, we compared the total serum fatty acid profiles of 35 captive cheetahs to those of 43 free-ranging individuals in Namibia using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The unsaturated fatty acid concentrations differed most remarkably between the groups, with all of the polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids, except arachidonic acid and hypogeic acid, detected at significantly lower concentrations in the serum of the free-ranging animals. The influence of age and sex on the individual fatty acid concentrations was less notable. This study represents the first evaluation of the serum fatty acids of free-ranging cheetahs, providing critical information on the normal fatty acid profiles of free-living, healthy individuals of this species. The results raise several important questions about the potential impact of dietary fatty acid composition on the health of cheetahs in captivity.

  6. Comparisons of management practices and farm design on Australian commercial layer and meat chicken farms: Cage, barn and free range.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, Angela Bullanday; Singh, Mini; Toribio, Jenny-Ann; Hernandez-Jover, Marta; Barnes, Belinda; Glass, Kathryn; Moloney, Barbara; Lee, Amanda; Groves, Peter

    2017-01-01

    There are few published studies describing the unique management practices, farm design and housing characteristics of commercial meat chicken and layer farms in Australia. In particular, there has been a large expansion of free range poultry production in Australia in recent years, but limited information about this enterprise exists. This study aimed to describe features of Australian commercial chicken farms, with particular interest in free range farms, by conducting on-farm interviews of 25 free range layer farms, nine cage layer farms, nine barn layer farms, six free range meat chicken farms and 15 barn meat chicken farms in the Sydney basin bioregion and South East Queensland. Comparisons between the different enterprises (cage, barn and free range) were explored, including stocking densities, depopulation procedures, environmental control methods and sources of information for farmers. Additional information collected for free range farms include range size, range characteristics and range access. The median number of chickens per shed was greatest in free range meat chicken farms (31,058), followed by barn meat chicken (20,817), free range layer (10,713), barn layer (9,300) and cage layer farms (9,000). Sheds had cooling pads and tunnel ventilation in just over half of both barn and free range meat chicken farms (53%, n = 8) and was least common in free range layer farms (16%, n = 4). Range access in free range meat chicken farms was from sunrise to dark in the majority (93%, n = 14) of free range meat chicken farms. Over half of free range layer farms (56%, n = 14) granted range access at a set time each morning; most commonly between 9:00 to 10.00am (86%, n = 12), and chickens were placed back inside sheds when it was dusk.

  7. Gastrointestinal parasites in captive and free-ranging Cebus albifrons in the Western Amazon, Ecuador

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah Martin-Solano

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Currently, there is a lack of surveys that report the occurrence of gastrointestinal parasites in the white-headed capuchin monkey (Cebus albifrons. We therefore assessed the presence and richness (= number of different parasite genera of parasites in C. albifrons in wildlife refuges (n = 11 and in a free-ranging group near a human village (n = 15 in the Ecuadorian Amazon. In the 78 samples collected (median of 3 samples per animal, we identified a total of 6 genera of gastrointestinal parasites, representing protozoa, nematodes, acanthocephalans and cestodes. We observed a high prevalence (84% across the 26 individuals, with the most prevalent parasite being Strongyloides sp. (76.9%, followed by Hymenolepis sp. (38.5% and Prosthenorchis elegans (11.5%. We found Entamoeba histolytica/dispar/moskovskii/nuttalli and Capillaria sp. in only a minority of the animals (3.8%. In addition, we observed unidentified strongyles in approximately one-third of the animals (34.6%. We found a total of 6 parasite genera for the adult age group, which showed higher parasite richness than the subadult age group (5 and the juvenile age group (3. Faecal egg/cyst counts were not significantly different between captive and free-ranging individuals or between sexes or age groups. The free-ranging group had a higher prevalence than the captive group; however, this difference was not significant. The only genus common to captive and free-ranging individuals was Strongyloides sp. The high prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites and the presence of Strongyloides in both populations support results from previous studies in Cebus species. This high prevalence could be related to the high degree of humidity in the region. For the free-ranging group, additional studies are required to gain insights into the differences in parasite prevalence and intensity between age and sex groups. Additionally, our study demonstrated that a serial sampling of each individual increases

  8. Dynamics of Salmonella Shedding and Welfare of Hens in Free-Range Egg Production Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gole, Vaibhav C.; Woodhouse, Rebecca; Caraguel, Charles; Moyle, Talia; Rault, Jean-Loup; Sexton, Margaret

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT The current study investigated the effect of environmental stressors (i.e., weather changes) on Salmonella shedding in free-range production systems and the correlations with behavioral and physiological measures (i.e., fecal glucocorticoid metabolites). This involved longitudinal and point-in-time surveys of Salmonella shedding and environmental contamination on four commercial free-range layer farms. The shedding of Salmonella was variable across free-range farms and in different seasons. There was no significant effect of season on the Salmonella prevalence during this investigation. In this study, the combined Salmonella most probable number (MPN) counts in environmental (including feces, egg belt, dust, nest box, and ramp) samples were highest in samples collected during the summer season (4th sampling, performed in February). The predominant serovars isolated during this study were Salmonella enterica serovar Mbandaka and Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium phage types 135 and 135a. These two phage types were involved in several egg product-related Salmonella outbreaks in humans. Multilocus variable-number tandem-repeat analysis (MLVA) results indicated that MLVA types detected from human food poisoning cases exhibited MLVA patterns similar to the strains isolated during this study. All Salmonella isolates (n = 209) were tested for 15 different genes involved in adhesion, invasion, and survival of Salmonella spp. We also observed variations for sopA, ironA, and misL. There were no positive correlations between fecal corticosterone metabolite (FCM) and Salmonella prevalence and/or shedding in feces. Also, there were no positive correlations between Salmonella prevalence and Salmonella count (log MPN) and any of the other welfare parameters. IMPORTANCE In this study, the welfare of laying hens and Salmonella shedding were compared over a prolonged period of time in field conditions. This study investigated the long-term shedding of Salmonella

  9. Dynamics of Salmonella Shedding and Welfare of Hens in Free-Range Egg Production Systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gole, Vaibhav C; Woodhouse, Rebecca; Caraguel, Charles; Moyle, Talia; Rault, Jean-Loup; Sexton, Margaret; Chousalkar, Kapil

    2017-03-01

    The current study investigated the effect of environmental stressors (i.e., weather changes) on Salmonella shedding in free-range production systems and the correlations with behavioral and physiological measures (i.e., fecal glucocorticoid metabolites). This involved longitudinal and point-in-time surveys of Salmonella shedding and environmental contamination on four commercial free-range layer farms. The shedding of Salmonella was variable across free-range farms and in different seasons. There was no significant effect of season on the Salmonella prevalence during this investigation. In this study, the combined Salmonella most probable number (MPN) counts in environmental (including feces, egg belt, dust, nest box, and ramp) samples were highest in samples collected during the summer season (4th sampling, performed in February). The predominant serovars isolated during this study were Salmonella enterica serovar Mbandaka and Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium phage types 135 and 135a. These two phage types were involved in several egg product-related Salmonella outbreaks in humans. Multilocus variable-number tandem-repeat analysis (MLVA) results indicated that MLVA types detected from human food poisoning cases exhibited MLVA patterns similar to the strains isolated during this study. All Salmonella isolates ( n = 209) were tested for 15 different genes involved in adhesion, invasion, and survival of Salmonella spp. We also observed variations for sopA , ironA , and misL There were no positive correlations between fecal corticosterone metabolite (FCM) and Salmonella prevalence and/or shedding in feces. Also, there were no positive correlations between Salmonella prevalence and Salmonella count (log MPN) and any of the other welfare parameters. IMPORTANCE In this study, the welfare of laying hens and Salmonella shedding were compared over a prolonged period of time in field conditions. This study investigated the long-term shedding of Salmonella serovars in

  10. 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

  11. 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 ...

  12. 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.

  13. The epidemiology of lion lentivirus infection among a population of free-ranging lions (Panthera leo) in the Kruger National Park, South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, H; van Vuuren, M; Bosman, A-M; Keet, D; New, J; Kennedy, M

    2009-09-01

    Feline immunodeficiency virus is a lentivirus of domestic cats that causes significant lifelong infection. Infection with this or similar lentiviruses has been detected in several nondomestic feline species, including African lions (Panthera leo). Although lion lentivirus (FIVple) infection is endemic in certain lion populations in eastern and southern Africa, little is known about its pathogenic effects or its epidemiological impact in free-ranging lions. This report describes the epidemiological investigation of lentivirus positivity of free-ranging lions in the Kruger National Park, South Africa. A nested polymerase chain reaction assay for virus detection was performed on all whole blood samples collected. In addition, serum samples were tested for cross-reactive antibodies to domestic feline lentivirus antigens and to puma lentivirus synthetic envelope peptide antigen. The results were analysed in conjunction with epidemiological data to provide a descriptive epidemiological study on lion lentivirus infection in a free-ranging population of lions. The overall prevalence of lentivirus infection was 69%, with a prevalence of 41% in the north of the park, and 80% in the south. Adult males had the highest prevalence when combining the factors of sex and age: 94%. The lowest prevalences were found among juveniles, with male juveniles at 29%. Adults were 5.58 times more likely to test positive for FIVple than juveniles, with adult males being 35 times more likely to be test positive for FIVple compared with juvenile males. This research represents the 1st epidemiological study of the lion lentivirus among free-ranging lions in the Kruger National Park.

  14. The epidemiology of lion lentivirus infection among a population of free-ranging lions (Panthera leo in the Kruger National Park, South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. Adams

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available Feline immunodeficiency virus is a lentivirus of domestic cats that causes significant lifelong infection. Infection with this or similar lentiviruses has been detected in several non-domestic feline species, including African lions (Panthera leo. Although lion lentivirus (FIVple infection is endemic in certain lion populations in eastern and southern Africa, little is known about its pathogenic effects or its epidemiological impact in free-ranging lions. This report describes the epidemiological investigation of lentivirus positivity of free-ranging lions in the Kruger National Park, South Africa. A nested polymerase chain reaction assay for virus detection was performed on all whole blood samples collected. In addition, serum samples were tested for cross-reactive antibodies to domestic feline lentivirus antigens and to puma lentivirus synthetic envelope peptide antigen. The results were analysed in conjunction with epidemiological data to provide a descriptive epidemiological study on lion lentivirus infection in a free-ranging population of lions. The overall prevalence of lentivirus infection was 69 %, with a prevalence of 41 % in the north of the park, and 80 %in the south. Adult males had the highest prevalence when combining the factors of sex and age: 94 %. The lowest prevalences were found among juveniles, with male juveniles at 29 %. Adults were 5.58 times more likely to test positive for FIVple than juveniles, with adult males being 35 times more likely to be test positive for FIVple compared with juvenile males. This research represents the 1st epidemiological study of the lion lentivirus among free-ranging lions in the Kruger National Park.

  15. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-09-01

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

  17. 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

  18. Reversible anaesthesia of free-ranging lions (Panthera leo in Zimbabwe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Fahlman

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available The combination of medetomidine-zolazepam-tiletamine with subsequent antagonism by atipamezole was evaluated for reversible anaesthesia of free-ranging lions (Panthera leo. Twenty-one anaesthetic events of 17 free-ranging lions (5 males and 12 females, body weight 105-211 kg were studied in Zimbabwe. Medetomidine at 0.027-0.055 mg / kg (total dose 4-11 mg and zolazepam-tiletamine at 0.38-1.32 mg / kg (total dose 50-275 mg were administered i.m. by dart injection. The doses were gradually decreased to improve recovery. Respiratory and heart rates, rectal temperature and relative haemoglobin oxygen saturation (SpO2 were recorded every 15 min. Arterial blood samples were collected from 5 lions for analysis of blood gases and acid-base status. For anaesthetic reversal, atipamezole was administered i.m. at 2.5 or 5 times the medetomidine dose. Induction was smooth and all lions were anaesthetised with good muscle relaxation within 3.4-9.5 min after darting. The predictable working time was a minimum of 1 h and no additional drug doses were needed. Respiratory and heart rates and SpO2 were stable throughout anaesthesia, whereas rectal temperature changed significantly over time. Atipamezole at 2.5 times the medetomidine dose was sufficient for reversal and recoveries were smooth and calm in all lions independent of the atipamezole dose. First sign of recovery was observed 3-27 min after reversal. The animals were up walking 8-26 min after reversal when zolazepamtiletamine doses <1 mg / kg were used. In practice, a total dose of 6 mg medetomidine and 80 mg zolazepam-tiletamine and reversal with 15 mg atipamezole can be used for either sex of an adult or subadult lion. The drugs and doses used in this study provided a reliable, safe and reversible anaesthesia protocol for free-ranging lions.

  19. Prevalence of gastrointestinal helminth infections in free-range laying hens under mountain farming production conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wuthijaree, K; Lambertz, C; Gauly, M

    2017-12-01

    1. A cross-sectional study was conducted from September 2015 to July 2016 in South Tyrol, Northern Italy to examine the prevalence of gastrointestinal helminths in free-range laying hens under mountain farming production conditions. 2. A total of 280 laying hens from 14 free-range mountain farms (4 organic, 10 conventional) were randomly collected at the end of the laying period. Faecal samples were taken to analyse faecal egg counts (FEC) and faecal oocyst counts (FOC). The gastrointestinal tracts were removed post mortem and examined for the presence of helminths. 3. In faeces, FEC values averaged 258 eggs per g of faeces, which were dominated by Ascaridia galli and Heterakis gallinarum. Mean FOC was 80 oocysts/g. In the gastrointestinal tract, at least one nematode species was found in 99.3% of the examined hens. H. gallinarum was the most prevalent nematode (95.7%), followed by Capillaria spp. (66.8%) and A. galli (63.6%). Thirty per cent of the chickens were infected with cestodes (tapeworms). Correlation coefficients between worm counts of H. gallinarum, Capillaria spp. and A. galli ranged from 0.41 to 0.51. 5. The helminth prevalence did not differ between conventional and organic farms, whereas total worm burden was higher in organic compared with conventional farms (318.9 vs. 112.0). Prevalence and infection intensity did not differ between farms that used anthelmintic treatments and those that did not. 6. In conclusion, free-range laying hens under the studied mountain farming conditions are at high risk of nematode infection, especially in organic systems. The vast majority of hens are subclinical infected with at least one helminth species.

  20. Natural infection of free-range chickens with the ascarid nematode Toxocara sp.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campos-da-Silva, Danielle R; da Paz, Jeanne S; Fortunato, Viviane R; Beltrame, Marcus A V; Valli, Luis C P; Pereira, Fausto E L

    2015-11-01

    Human toxocariasis may be acquired by eating raw chicken liver. However, there are no reports on the prevalence of natural infection of chickens with Toxocara. The aim of this study was to evaluate the presence of anti-Toxocara antibodies as indicators of natural infection with Toxocara, in free-range chickens from Espírito Santo State, Brazil. An ELISA test with secretory and excretory Toxocara canis antigens was used. Negative controls were 20 industrial chickens reared in a high hygiene standard environment. Positive control serum was from a chicken infected with embryonated eggs of T. canis. Sera were adsorbed with Ascaridia galli extract to reduce cross-reactivity. Cut-off was the mean plus four times the standard deviation of optical density (OD) in negative group. One hundred and fifty-seven sera from free-range chicken were investigated. Results showed 58.5% of the chickens were positive with ELISA test; 12.7% had OD over the positive control and may be considered as true infected chickens. The results between the cut-off and the positive control may include infections with low titers of antibodies or may represent serum scar of past infection or may be the result of cross-reaction with other nematodes rather than A. galli which is used for the adsorption of sera. In conclusion, high prevalence of Toxocara sp. antibodies demonstrates natural infection of free-range chickens from Espírito Santo State which may represent a risk of infection with this nematode in people who have the habit of eating raw or undercooked chicken meat or viscera. The results also suggest that chickens may be useful as sentinels to detect soil contaminated with Toxocara eggs.

  1. Methicillin resistance gene diversity in staphylococci isolated from captive and free-ranging wallabies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michelle M. S. Chen

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Background: Infection with methicillin-resistant staphylococci (MRS can be life-threatening in humans and its presence in animals is a cause for public health concern. The aim of this study was to measure the prevalence of MRS in captive and free-ranging wallabies over a 16-month period in South Australia, Australia. Materials and methods: Eighty-nine purified staphylococcal isolates recovered from 98 captive and free-ranging wallabies' anterior nasal swabs were used in this study. All isolates were tested for the presence of the mecA, mecA1, and mecC genes. Multiplex PCR-directed SCCmec-typing, ccrB-typing, and determination of the minimal inhibitory concentration of oxacillin were performed on mec-positive isolates. Results and discussion: In total, 11 non-Staphylococcus aureus MRS were isolated from 7 out of 98 animals, corresponding to a 7.1% carriage rate. The SCCmec types I, III, and V were identified by multiplex PCR and sequencing of the ccrB gene. This is the first report of MRS carriage in both captive and free-ranging wallabies in Australia. These data demonstrate a low prevalence of MRS and no association between wallaby captivity status and MRS carriage could be assigned. These animals may act as a reservoir for the exchange of genetic elements between staphylococci. Furthermore, the mecA genes of animal isolates were identical to that found in human MRS strains and thus the possibility of zoonotic transfer must be considered.

  2. Capillariidae Eggs Found in the Urine of a Free Ranging Maned Wolf from Argentina

    OpenAIRE

    Martín Beldomenico,Pablo; Hunzicker,Daniel; Lopez Taverna,Julio; Rejf,Paula K

    2002-01-01

    The first finding of a Capillariid in the urinary tract of a free ranging maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus) is described. The individual was an adult male attacked by dogs in the locality of Cayastacito (Santa Fe, Argentina, 31º05' S, 60º 34' W). Eggs found in urine measured 64.6-66.9µm (mean 65.4µm) x 26.9-31µm (mean 29µm). Further studies are needed to determine whether this finding corresponds to a new Capillariid species, related to C. brachyurus, or it is an already described species th...

  3. Capillariidae Eggs Found in the Urine of a Free Ranging Maned Wolf from Argentina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martín Beldomenico Pablo

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available The first finding of a Capillariid in the urinary tract of a free ranging maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus is described. The individual was an adult male attacked by dogs in the locality of Cayastacito (Santa Fe, Argentina, 31º05' S, 60º 34' W. Eggs found in urine measured 64.6-66.9µm (mean 65.4µm x 26.9-31µm (mean 29µm. Further studies are needed to determine whether this finding corresponds to a new Capillariid species, related to C. brachyurus, or it is an already described species that has been introduced by domestic dogs.

  4. Capillariidae eggs found in the urine of a free ranging maned wolf from Argentina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beldomenico, Pablo Martín; Hunzicker, Daniel; Lopez Taverna, Julio; Rejf, Paula K

    2002-06-01

    The first finding of a Capillariid in the urinary tract of a free ranging maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus) is described. The individual was an adult male attacked by dogs in the locality of Cayastacito (Santa Fe, Argentina, 31 degrees 05' S, 60 degrees 34' W). Eggs found in urine measured 64.6-66.9 micrometer (mean 65.4 micrometer) x 26.9-31 micrometer (mean 29 micrometer). Further studies are needed to determine whether this finding corresponds to a new Capillariid species, related to C. brachyurus, or it is an already described species that has been introduced by domestic dogs.

  5. First documented case of snake fungal disease in a free-ranging wild snake in Louisiana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glorioso, Brad M.; Waddle, J. Hardin; Green, David E.; Lorch, Jeffrey M.

    2016-01-01

    Snake fungal disease (SFD) is a recently documented mycotic disease characterized by scabs or crusty scales, subcutaneous nodules, abnormal molting, cloudiness of the eyes (not associated with molting), and localized thickening or crusting of the skin. SFD has been documented in many species in the Eastern and Midwestern United States within the last decade. SFD has proven lethal in many snakes, and the disease is recognized as an emerging threat to wild snake populations. Here, we describe the first documented case of SFD in Louisiana in a free-ranging wild snake.

  6. Sustainable production and sales of meat from free-range pigs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bredahl, Lone; Andersen, Lone Schreiber

    2002-01-01

    These years, the consumption of pork is not only stagnating in Denmark but also on many other European markets. This coincides with a rise in consumer demand for increased welfare among farm animals. In a project about sustainable production and sales of meat from free-range pigs, guidelines...... are developed on a European level for the production of pork from outdoors production systems, which combine animal welfare with high quality of consumption and high quality of health. In cooperation with colleagues in France, Great Britain and Sweden, MAPP is examining the market potential of this type of meat......, based on consumer surveys in these four countries....

  7. 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.

  8. Novel acoustic technology for studying free-ranging shark social behaviour by recording individuals' interactions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tristan L Guttridge

    Full Text Available Group behaviours are widespread among fish but comparatively little is known about the interactions between free-ranging individuals and how these might change across different spatio-temporal scales. This is largely due to the difficulty of observing wild fish groups directly underwater over long enough time periods to quantify group structure and individual associations. Here we describe the use of a novel technology, an animal-borne acoustic proximity receiver that records close-spatial associations between free-ranging fish by detection of acoustic signals emitted from transmitters on other individuals. Validation trials, held within enclosures in the natural environment, on juvenile lemon sharks Negaprion brevirostris fitted with external receivers and transmitters, showed receivers logged interactions between individuals regularly when sharks were within 4 m ( approximately 4 body lengths of each other, but rarely when at 10 m distance. A field trial lasting 17 days with 5 juvenile lemon sharks implanted with proximity receivers showed one receiver successfully recorded association data, demonstrating this shark associated with 9 other juvenile lemon sharks on 128 occasions. This study describes the use of acoustic underwater proximity receivers to quantify interactions among wild sharks, setting the scene for new advances in understanding the social behaviours of marine animals.

  9. Snake fungal disease caused by Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola in a free-ranging mud snake (Farancia abacura).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Last, Lisa A; Fenton, Heather; Gonyor-McGuire, Jessica; Moore, Matthew; Yabsley, Michael J

    2016-11-01

    Snake fungal disease is an emerging infectious disease caused by the fungus Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola leading to severe dermatitis and facial disfiguration in numerous free-ranging and captive snakes. A free-ranging mud snake (Farancia abacura) from Bulloch County, Georgia, was presented for autopsy because of facial swelling and emaciation. Extensive ulceration of the skin, which was especially severe on the head, and retained shed were noted on external examination. Microscopic examination revealed severe heterophilic dermatitis with intralesional fungal hyphae and arthroconidia consistent with O. ophiodiicola A skin sample incubated on Sabouraud dextrose agar yielded a white-to-tan powdery fungal culture that was confirmed to be O. ophiodiicola by polymerase chain reaction and sequence analysis. Heavy infestation with adult tapeworms (Ophiotaenia faranciae) was present within the intestine. Various bacterial and fungal species, interpreted to either be secondary invaders or postmortem contaminants, were associated with oral lesions. Although the role of these other organisms in the overall health of this individual is not known, factors such as concurrent infections or immunosuppression should be considered in order to better understand the overall manifestation of snake fungal disease, which remains poorly characterized in its host range and geographic distribution. © 2016 The Author(s).

  10. Clever mothers balance time and effort in parental care: a study on free-ranging dogs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul, Manabi; Sau, Shubhra; Nandi, Anjan K; Bhadra, Anindita

    2017-01-01

    Mammalian offspring require parental care, at least in the form of nursing during their early development. While mothers need to invest considerable time and energy in ensuring the survival of their current offspring, they also need to optimize their investment in one batch of offspring in order to ensure future reproduction and hence lifetime reproductive success. Free-ranging dogs live in small social groups, mate promiscuously and lack the cooperative breeding biology of other group-living canids. They face high early-life mortality, which in turn reduces fitness benefits of the mother from a batch of pups. We carried out a field-based study on free-ranging dogs in India to understand the nature of maternal care. Our analysis reveals that mothers reduce investment in energy-intensive active care and increase passive care as the pups grow older, thereby keeping overall levels of care more or less constant over pup age. Using the patterns of mother-pup interactions, we define the different phases of maternal care behaviour.

  11. Johnson Space Center's Free Range Bicycle Program.- Fall 2015 Intern Report

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee-Stockton, Willem

    2015-01-01

    NASA's Johnson Space Center is a big place, encompassing 1,620 acres and more than a hundred buildings. Furthermore, there are reportedly 15 thousand employees, all of which have somewhere to be. To facilitate the movement of all these people JSC has historically relied on human power. Pedaling their way towards deep space, bicycles have been the go to method. Currently there are about 200 Free Range Bicycles at JSC. Free Range Bicycles belong to nobody, except NASA, and are available for anybody to use. They are not to be locked or hidden (although frequently are) and the intention is that there will always be a bike to hop on to get where you're going (although it may not be the bike you rode in on). Although not without its own shortcomings, the Free Range Bicycle Program has continued to provide low cost, simple transportation for NASA's JSC. In addition to the approximately 200 Free Range Bicycles, various larger divisions (like engineering) will often buy a few dozen bikes for their team members to use or individuals will bring their own personal bike to either commute or use on site. When these bicycles fall into disrepair or are abandoned (from retirees etc) they become a problem at JSC. They are an eye sore, create a safety hazard and make it harder to find a working bike in a time of need. The Free Range Program hopes to address this first problem by "tagging out" abandoned or out of service bicycles. A bright orange "DO NOT OPERATE" tag is placed on the bike and given a serial number for tracking purposes. See picture to the right. If the bike has an active owner with intentions to repair the bike the bottom of the tag has instructions for how to claim the abandoned bicycle. After being tagged the owner of the bicycle has 30 days to claim the bicycle and either haul it off site or get it repaired (and labeled) in accordance with Johnson's Bicycle Policy. If the abandoned bicycle is not claimed within 30 days it becomes the property of the Government. The

  12. Immunogenetic variation and differential pathogen exposure in free-ranging cheetahs across Namibian farmlands.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aines Castro-Prieto

    Full Text Available Genes under selection provide ecologically important information useful for conservation issues. Major histocompatibility complex (MHC class I and II genes are essential for the immune defence against pathogens from intracellular (e.g. viruses and extracellular (e.g. helminths origins, respectively. Serosurvey studies in Namibian cheetahs (Acinonyx juabuts revealed higher exposure to viral pathogens in individuals from north-central than east-central regions. Here we examined whether the observed differences in exposure to viruses influence the patterns of genetic variation and differentiation at MHC loci in 88 free-ranging Namibian cheetahs.Genetic variation at MHC I and II loci was assessed through single-stranded conformation polymorphism (SSCP analysis and sequencing. While the overall allelic diversity did not differ, we observed a high genetic differentiation at MHC class I loci between cheetahs from north-central and east-central Namibia. No such differentiation in MHC class II and neutral markers were found.Our results suggest that MHC class I variation mirrors the variation in selection pressure imposed by viruses in free-ranging cheetahs across Namibian farmland. This is of high significance for future management and conservation programs of this species.

  13. Repeatability and heritability of reproductive traits in free-ranging snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, G P; Shine, R

    2007-03-01

    The underlying genetic basis of life-history traits in free-ranging animals is critical to the effects of selection on such traits, but logistical constraints mean that such data are rarely available. Our long-term ecological studies on free-ranging oviparous snakes (keelbacks, Tropidonophis mairii (Gray, 1841), Colubridae) on an Australian floodplain provide the first such data for any tropical reptile. All size-corrected reproductive traits (egg mass, clutch size, clutch mass and post-partum maternal mass) were moderately repeatable between pairs of clutches produced by 69 female snakes after intervals of 49-1152 days, perhaps because maternal body condition was similar between clutches. Parent-offspring regression of reproductive traits of 59 pairs of mothers and daughters revealed high heritability for egg mass (h2= 0.73, SE=0.24), whereas heritability for the other three traits was low (snakes occurs because each female snake must allocate a finite amount of energy into eggs of a genetically determined size.

  14. Chemical capture of free-ranging red deer (Cervus elaphus with medetomidine-ketamine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J.M. Arnemo

    1994-12-01

    Full Text Available Seventeen free-ranging red deer (Cervus elaphus (12 calves and 5 yearling hinds were immobilized with a combination of medetomidine hydrochloride (MED and ketamine hydrochloride (KET in winter (January-March. Immobilizations were performed with plastic projectile syringes fired from a dart gun. Mean (SD doses of 0.147 (0.024 mg MED/kg and 2.5 (0.4 mg KET/kg induced recumbency in 5.0 (2.0 minutes in the calves and all of them were completely immobilized. The initial doses in the yearling hinds were 0.099 (0.016 mg MED/kg and 1.9 (0.2 mg KET/kg but three of them required addirional dosing for induction of reliable restraint. The distance covered by the animals between darting and recumbency ranged from 40-250 m for calves and 100-300 m for yearling hinds. The animals were translocated to deer farms for breeding purposes and were given 12.5-25.0 mg of atipamezole hydrochloride before transportation. All animals recovered completely. Haematological and serum biochemical comparisons between free-ranging calves immobilized with medetomidine-ketamine (n=3 and captive unmedicated calves (n=4 showed that chemical capture induce very little stress in red deer.

  15. Smothering in UK free-range flocks. Part 1: incidence, location, timing and management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrett, J; Rayner, A C; Gill, R; Willings, T H; Bright, A

    2014-07-05

    Smothering in poultry is an economic and welfare-related concern. This study presents the first results from a questionnaire addressing the incidence, location, timing and management of smothering of free-range farm managers from two commercial egg companies (representing 35 per cent of the UK free-range egg supply). Overall, nearly 60 per cent of farm mangers experienced smothering in their last flock, with an average of 25.5 birds lost per incidence, although per cent mortality due to smothering was low (x̄=1.6 per cent). The majority of farm managers also reported that over 50 per cent of all their flocks placed had been affected by smothering. The location and timing of smothering (excluding smothering in nest boxes) tended to be unpredictable and varied between farms. Blocking off corners/nest boxes and walking birds more frequently were identified as popular smothering reduction measures, although there was a wide variety of reduction measures reported overall. The motivation to implement reduction measures was related to a farm manager's previous experience of smothering. To our knowledge, this is the first study to provide a representative industry estimate on the incidence, location, timing and management of smothering. The results suggest that smothering is a common problem, unpredictable between flocks with no clear, effective reduction strategies. A follow-up study will investigate the correlations among smothering, disease and other welfare problems and may shed further light on management solutions. British Veterinary Association.

  16. Quality of broiler meat of the free-range type submitted to diets containing alternative feedstuffs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P.B. Faria

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available The work had the intention of investigating the effect of the use of alternative feeds as part replacers in diet-formulating, evaluating the characteristic physicochemical alterations and centesimal composition of the free-range chicken. In the experiment a total of 192 (one hundred and ninety-two birds of the Pescoço Pelado (Label Rouge strain arranged in a completely randomized design (CRD formed by 4 treatments (Treatment 1 (Control, Treatment 2 (10% of the inclusion of rice bran, Treatment 3 (10% of the inclusion of ground cassava leaf and Treatment 4 (10% of the inclusion of ground leucaena hay with 8 replicates per treatment were used. The results revealed greater values of b* (yellow, Saturation (C* and pH for broiler meat with inclusion of ground cassava leaf and leucaena, while for the other variables of physicochemical composition, no influences of the treatments were not found. For centesimal composition the treatments showed greater values of moisture in relation to the control treatment. For sex, only a difference for the content of b* and C* was found, with higher values for female. The use of the alternative feedstuffs has not revealed marked influences on the chemical composition and quality parameters of free-ranging chicken’s meat with the use of replacement up to 10% in the diets.

  17. Monitoring reproduction and contraception in free ranging wildlife: tule elk (Cervus elaphus nannodes) at Point Reyes National Seashore

    Science.gov (United States)

    Susan E. Shideler

    2000-01-01

    The desire of the public to protect free-ranging animals in environments that are devoid of natural regulators can lead to overabundance of urban wildlife in closed habitats. In some parks and reserves, innovative management plans are needed that will include protocols to determine when and if artificial methods of population control should be applied to free-ranging...

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Disentangling the effects of forage, social rank, and risk on movement autocorrelation of elephants using Fourier and wavelet analyses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wittemyer, George; Polansky, Leo; Douglas-Hamilton, Iain; Getz, Wayne M

    2008-12-09

    The internal state of an individual-as it relates to thirst, hunger, fear, or reproductive drive-can be inferred by referencing points on its movement path to external environmental and sociological variables. Using time-series approaches to characterize autocorrelative properties of step-length movements collated every 3 h for seven free-ranging African elephants, we examined the influence of social rank, predation risk, and seasonal variation in resource abundance on periodic properties of movement. The frequency domain methods of Fourier and wavelet analyses provide compact summaries of temporal autocorrelation and show both strong diurnal and seasonal based periodicities in the step-length time series. This autocorrelation is weaker during the wet season, indicating random movements are more common when ecological conditions are good. Periodograms of socially dominant individuals are consistent across seasons, whereas subordinate individuals show distinct differences diverging from that of dominants during the dry season. We link temporally localized statistical properties of movement to landscape features and find that diurnal movement correlation is more common within protected wildlife areas, and multiday movement correlations found among lower ranked individuals are typically outside of protected areas where predation risks are greatest. A frequency-related spatial analysis of movement-step lengths reveal that rest cycles related to the spatial distribution of critical resources (i.e., forage and water) are responsible for creating the observed patterns. Our approach generates unique information regarding the spatial-temporal interplay between environmental and individual characteristics, providing an original approach for understanding the movement ecology of individual animals and the spatial organization of animal populations.

  2. Probable causes of increasing brucellosis in free-ranging elk of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cross, P.C.; Cole, E.K.; Dobson, A.P.; Edwards, W.H.; Hamlin, K.L.; Luikart, G.; Middleton, A.D.; Scurlock, B.M.; White, P.J.

    2010-01-01

    While many wildlife species are threatened, some populations have recovered from previous overexploitation, and data linking these population increases with disease dynamics are limited. We present data suggesting that free-ranging elk (Cervus elaphus) are a maintenance host for Brucella abortus in new areas of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE). Brucellosis seroprevalence in free-ranging elk increased from 0-7% in 1991-1992 to 8-20% in 2006-2007 in four of six herd units around the GYE. These levels of brucellosis are comparable to some herd units where elk are artificially aggregated on supplemental feeding grounds. There are several possible mechanisms for this increase that we evaluated using statistical and population modeling approaches. Simulations of an age-structured population model suggest that the observed levels of seroprevalence are unlikely to be sustained by dispersal from supplemental feeding areas with relatively high seroprevalence or an older age structure. Increases in brucellosis seroprevalence and the total elk population size in areas with feeding grounds have not been statistically detectable. Meanwhile, the rate of seroprevalence increase outside the feeding grounds was related to the population size and density of each herd unit. Therefore, the data suggest that enhanced elk-to-elk transmission in free-ranging populations may be occurring due to larger winter elk aggregations. Elk populations inside and outside of the GYE that traditionally did not maintain brucellosis may now be at risk due to recent population increases. In particular, some neighboring populations of Montana elk were 5-9 times larger in 2007 than in the 1970s, with some aggregations comparable to the Wyoming feeding-ground populations. Addressing the unintended consequences of these increasing populations is complicated by limited hunter access to private lands, which places many ungulate populations out of administrative control. Agency-landowner hunting access

  3. Relationship between welfare and individual ranging behaviour in commercial free-range laying hens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larsen, H; Hemsworth, P H; Cronin, G M; Gebhardt-Henrich, S G; Smith, C L; Rault, J-L

    2018-01-24

    Laying hens housed in free-range systems have access to an outdoor range, and individual hens within a flock differ in their ranging behaviour. Whether there is a link between ranging and laying hen welfare remains unclear. We analysed the relationships between ranging by individual hens on a commercial free-range layer farm and behavioural, physiological and health measures of animal welfare. We hypothesised that hens that access the range more will be (1) less fearful in general and in response to novelty and humans, (2) have better health in terms of physical body condition and (3) have a reduced physiological stress response to behavioural tests of fear and health assessments than hens that use the range less. Using radio frequency identification tracking across two flocks, we recorded individual hens' frequency, duration and consistency of ranging. We also assessed how far hens ventured into the range based on three zones: 0 to 2.4, 2.4 to 11.4 or >11.4 m from the shed. We assessed hen welfare using a variety of measures including: tonic immobility, open field, novel object, human approach, and human avoidance (HAV) behavioural tests; stress-induced plasma corticosterone response and faecal glucocorticoid metabolites; live weight, comb colour, and beak, plumage, footpad, and keel bone condition. Range use was positively correlated with plasma corticosterone response, faecal glucocorticoid metabolites, and greater flight distance during HAV. Hens that used the range more, moved towards rather than away from the novel object more often than hens that ranged less. Distance ranged from the shed was significantly associated with comb colour and beak condition, in that hens with darker combs and more intact beaks ranged further. Overall the findings suggest that there is no strong link between outdoor range usage and laying hen welfare. Alternatively, it may be that hens that differed in their ranging behaviour showed few differences in measures of welfare because

  4. Investigation into levels of dioxins, furans and PCBs in battery, free range, barn and organic eggs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tlustos, C.; Pratt, I. [Food Safety Authority of Ireland, Dublin (Ireland); Moylan, R.; Neilan, R. [Dept. of Agriculture and Food, Maynooth (Ireland); White, S.; Fernandes, A.; Rose, M. [Central Science Lab., York (United Kingdom)

    2004-09-15

    The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has a statutory responsibility to assure the safety of food consumed, distributed, produced and sold on the Irish market. The results of a targeted surveillance study on levels of dioxins, furans and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in battery, free-range, barn and organic eggs are presented here. The study was undertaken against the background of increased awareness in the European Union of the possible health risks posed by dioxins, furans and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in the food chain, and builds on previous studies undertaken by FSAI into levels of these contaminants in milk, fish and fish oils. The opportunity was taken at the same time to investigate the levels of a number of metals in these eggs, and results of the full study are available on the FSAI website.

  5. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii from free-ranging black bears ( Ursus americanus ) from Florida.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chambers, D L; Ulrey, W A; Guthrie, J M; Kwok, O C H; Cox, J J; Maehr, D S; Dubey, J P

    2012-06-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is a significant worldwide parasitic protozoan. In the present study, prevalence of antibodies of T. gondii was examined from 29 free-ranging black bears ( Ursus americanus ) from south-central Florida where the host species was listed as state threatened during this project. Overall T. gondii prevalence was found to be 44.8%, specifically 46.2% in male and 43.8% in female U. americanus , using a modified agglutination test (1:25 titer). Seroprevalence differences between sexes were not significant (P > 0.05). Results of the present study add supportive data to the growing body of evidence suggesting that U. americanus has one of the highest T. gondii seroprevalences among all known intermediate hosts. In addition, our data emphasize the importance of understanding parasitic disease dynamics from a conservation perspective.

  6. Weights, hematology and serum chemistry of seven species of free-ranging tropical pelagic seabirds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Work, Thierry M.

    1996-01-01

    I established reference values for weight, hematology, and serum chemistry for seven species of free-ranging Hawaiian tropical pelagic seabirds comprising three orders (Procellariiformes, Pelecaniformes, Charadriiformes) and six families (Procellariidae, Phaethontidae, Diomedeidae, Sulidae, Fregatidae, and Laridae). Species examined included 84 Hawaiian dark-rumped petrels (Pterodoma phaeopygia), 90 wedge-tailed shearwaters (Puffinus pacificus), 151 Laysan albatrosses (Diomedea immutabilis), 69 red-footed boobies (Sula sula), 154 red-tailed tropicbirds (Phaeton rubricauda), 90 great frigatebirds (Fregata minor), and 72 sooty terns (Sterna fuscata). Hematocrit, total plasma solids, total and differential white cell counts, serum glucose, calcium, phosphorus, uric acid, total protein, albumin, globulin, aspartate aminotransferase and creatinine phosphokinase were analyzed. Among and within species, hematology and chemistry values varied with age, sex, season, and island of collection. Despite this variation, order-wide trends were observed.

  7. Body size development of captive and free-ranging Leopard tortoises (Geochelone pardalis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ritz, Julia; Hammer, Catrin; Clauss, Marcus

    2010-01-01

    The growth and weight development of Leopard tortoise hatchings (Geochelone pardalis) kept at the Al Wabra Wildlife Preservation (AWWP), Qatar, was observed for more than four years, and compared to data in literature for free-ranging animals on body weight or carapace measurements. The results document a distinctively faster growth in the captive animals. Indications for the same phenomenon in other tortoise species (Galapagos giant tortoises, G. nigra; Spur-thighed tortoises, Testudo graeca; Desert tortoises, Gopherus agassizi) were found in the literature. The cause of the high growth rate most likely is the constant provision with highly digestible food of low fiber content. Increased growth rates are suspected to have negative consequences such as obesity, high mortality, gastrointestinal illnesses, renal diseases, "pyramiding," fibrous osteodystrophy or metabolic bone disease. The apparently widespread occurrence of high growth rates in intensively managed tortoises underlines how easily ectothermic animals can be oversupplemented with nutrients. (c) 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  8. Spatial Cognition and Range Use in Free-Range Laying Hens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Dana L M; Talk, Andrew C; Loh, Ziyang A; Dyall, Tim R; Lee, Caroline

    2018-02-08

    Radio-frequency identification tracking shows individual free-range laying hens vary in range use, with some never going outdoors. The range is typically more environmentally complex, requiring navigation to return to the indoor resources. Outdoor-preferring hens may have improved spatial abilities compared to indoor-preferring hens. Experiment 1 tested 32 adult ISA Brown hens in a T-maze learning task that showed exclusively-indoor birds were slowest to reach the learning success criterion ( p 0.05), the age that coincided with the onset of lay. Enriched birds that were faster to learn the maze task showed more range visits in the first 4 weeks of range access. Enriched and non-enriched birds showed no differences in telencephalon or hippocampal volume ( p > 0.05). Fear may reduce spatial abilities but further testing with more pen replicates per early rearing treatments would improve our understanding of the relationship between spatial cognitive abilities and range use.

  9. A serosurvey of diseases of free-ranging gray wolves (Canis lupus) in Minnesota

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carstensen, Michelle; Giudice, John H.; Hildebrand, Erik C.; Dubey, J. P.; Erb, John; Stark, Dan; Hart, John; Barber-Meyer, Shannon M.; Mech, L. David; Windels, Steve K.; Edwards, Andrew J.

    2017-01-01

    We tested serum samples from 387 free-ranging wolves (Canis lupus) from 2007 to 2013 for exposure to eight canid pathogens to establish baseline data on disease prevalence and spatial distribution in Minnesota's wolf population. We found high exposure to canine adenoviruses 1 and 2 (88% adults, 45% pups), canine parvovirus (82% adults, 24% pups), and Lyme disease (76% adults, 39% pups). Sixty-six percent of adults and 36% of pups exhibited exposure to the protozoan parasite Neospora caninum. Exposure to arboviruses was confirmed, including West Nile virus (37% adults, 18% pups) and eastern equine encephalitis (3% adults). Exposure rates were lower for canine distemper (19% adults, 5% pups) and heartworm (7% adults, 3% pups). Significant spatial trends were observed in wolves exposed to canine parvovirus and Lyme disease. Serologic data do not confirm clinical disease, but better understanding of disease ecology of wolves can provide valuable insight into wildlife population dynamics and improve management of these species.

  10. Detection of Toxoplasma gondii in a free-ranging giant anteater

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thais Oliveira Morgado

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT: Toxoplasmosis is caused by Toxoplasma gondii, an obligatory intracellular protozoan, which establishes acute and chronic infections in birds and mammals, including humans. This note reports, for the first time, the detection and sequencing of DNA from T. gondii in the peripheral blood of a young free range giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla. For the diagnosis, the following methods were used: polymerase chain reaction (PCR and positive serology (1:800 by means of the modified agglutination test (MAT. Since this species may be consumed by humans and predated by wild felids, its importance is emphasized as a probable source of zoonotic infection, in addition to its possible participation in the infection enzootic cycle. Although, parasitemia has been confirmed in this specimen, it presented no clinical sign of infection.

  11. Avian bornavirus in free-ranging waterfowl in North America and Europe

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brinkmann, Jesper; Thomsen, Anders F.; Bertelsen, Mads Frost

    The first avian bornavirus (ABV) was identified in 2008 by researchers investigating the cause of proventricular dilation disease in psittacine birds 3,4. A distinctly separate genotype (ABV-CG) was discovered in 2009 in association with neurological disease in free-ranging Canada geese (Branta...... canadensis) and trumpeter swans (Cygnus buccinator) in Ontario, Canada 1. Since then this genotype, now identified as ABBV-1, has been identified from a variety of wild avian species 5, predominantly waterfowl, in North America at prevalences ranging from 10 to 50%, and in 2014 an additional genotype...... was identified in mallard ducks (Anas platyrhynchos) 2. In order to determine whether avian bornavirus was present in European waterfowl, the brains of 333 hunter killed geese in Denmark were examined by real time RT-PCR for the presence of avian bornavirus; seven birds (2.1%) were positive. Sequences were 98...

  12. Factors affecting velvet antler weights in free-ranging reindeer in Alaska

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander K. Prichard

    1999-04-01

    Full Text Available Free-ranging reindeer on the Seward Peninsula in western Alaska are rounded up from late May to early July and antlers are removed. We used data collected from 1987 to 1997 to determine how velvet antler weights of males and females varied with age, year, reproductive status, Julian date, and body weight. Male antler weights increased with age up to age five years, and were lower in castrates than in bulls. There was a significant positive relationship between body weight and antler weight in both sexes. Female antler weights increased with age until at least age nine. Lactating females had lower antler weights than non-lactating females, but this effect is better explained by differences in body weight. Antler weight of individual reindeer at age two years was better predicted by their antler weights as yearlings than their body weight as yearlings.

  13. Leukocyte Reference Intervals for Free-Ranging Hummingbirds in Northern California.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Safra, Noa; Christopher, Mary M; Ernest, Holly B; Bandivadekar, Ruta; Tell, Lisa A

    2018-04-04

      Hummingbirds are specialized nectarivores and important ecological pollinators that are the focus of conservation efforts as well as scientific investigations of metabolism and flight dynamics. Despite their importance, basic information is lacking about hummingbird blood cells. We aimed to establish reference intervals for total and differential leukocyte counts from healthy free-ranging hummingbirds in northern California. Hummingbirds were captured in five counties in spring and summer of 2012. A drop of blood was used to prepare smears for total white blood cell estimate and 200-cell differential leukocyte counts. Reference Value Advisor was used for descriptive statistics and calculation of reference intervals. Blood smears from 42 Anna's Hummingbirds ( Calypte anna) and 33 Black-chinned Hummingbirds ( Archilochus alexandri) were included. The only significant differences in leukocyte counts were due to age, and juvenile hummingbirds had significantly higher lymphocyte counts than adult hummingbirds ( Phummingbirds.

  14. Erysipelas in a free-range layer flock with conjunctival oedema as an unusual clinical sign.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmitt, Ferdinand; Schade, Benjamin; Böhm, Brigitte; Shimoji, Yoshihiro; Pfahler, Corinna

    2014-01-01

    Erysipelas was diagnosed in a free-range laying flock with a high mortality of up to 7% per day and a severe decrease in egg production to 45%. The disease had a short course and unusual clinical features for erysipelas, including swollen, lacrimating and encrusted eyes. Bacteriologically, trapped poultry red mites and affected animals were culture-positive for Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae. Isolates from layers and mites were both serotype 1b. Histopathology revealed disseminated intravasal coagulopathy in conjunctival small vessels as the cause of the oedema of the eye adnexes. After treatment with penicillin, mortality and egg production returned to normal levels. Although erysipelas in laying hens is rarely reported, it can develop as an emerging disease in alternative rearing systems and should always be considered if mortality increases in an older flock, especially with a high infestation of poultry red mites.

  15. 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...

  16. Lungworm seroprevalence in free-ranging harbour seals and molecular characterisation of marine mammal MSP

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sophia Arlena Ulrich

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Harbour seals (Phoca vitulina are frequently infected with the lungworms Otostrongylus circumlitus and Parafilaroides gymnurus. The infection is often accompanied by secondary bacterial infections and can cause severe bronchopneumonia and even death in affected animals. Hitherto, the detection of lungworm infections was based on post mortem investigations from animals collected within stranding networks and a valid detection method for live free-ranging harbour seals was not available. Recently, an ELISA was developed for detecting lungworm antibodies in harbour seal serum, using major sperm protein (MSP of the bovine lungworm, Dictyocaulus viviparus as recombinant diagnostic antigen. To determine lungworm seroprevalence in free-ranging harbour seals, serum was taken from four different seal age groups (n = 313 resulting in an overall prevalence of 17.9% (18.9% of males, 16.7% of females. 0.7% of harbour seals up to six weeks of age were seropositive, as were 89% of seals between six weeks and six months, 53.6% between six and 18 months and 24.2% of seals over 18 months of age. In the 18 months and over age group, seropositive animals showed statistically significant reductions in body weight (P = 0.003 and length (P < 0.001. Sera from lungworm infected harbour seals in rehabilitation (n = 6 revealed that duration of antibody persistence may be similar to that of lungworm infected cattle, but further studies are needed to confirm this. Phylogenetic analyses of MSP sequences of different marine and terrestrial mammal parasitic nematodes revealed that lungworm MSP of the genus Dictyocaulus (superfamily Trichostrongyloidea is more closely related to metastrongylid marine mammal lungworms than to trichostrongylid nematodes of terrestrial hosts.

  17. Free-ranging dogs prefer petting over food in repeated interactions with unfamiliar humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhattacharjee, Debottam; Sau, Shubhra; Das, Jayjit; Bhadra, Anindita

    2017-12-15

    Dogs ( Canis lupus familiaris ) are the first species to have been domesticated and, unlike other domesticated species, they have developed a special bond with their owners. The ability to respond to human gestures and language, and the hypersocial behaviours of dogs are considered key factors that have led them to become man's best friend. Free-ranging dogs provide an excellent model system for understanding the dog-human relationship in various social contexts. In India, free-ranging dogs occur in all possible human habitations. They scavenge among garbage, beg for food from humans, give birth in dens close to human habitations, and establish social bonds with people. However, there is ample dog-human conflict on the streets, leading to morbidity and mortality of dogs. Hence, the ability to assess an unfamiliar human before establishing physical contact could be adaptive for dogs, especially in the urban environment. We tested a total of 103 adult dogs to investigate their response to immediate social and long-term food and social rewards. The dogs were provided a choice of obtaining food either from an experimenter's hand or the ground. The dogs avoided making physical contact with the unfamiliar human. While immediate social reward was not effective in changing this response, the long-term test showed a strong effect of social contact. Our results revealed that these dogs tend to build trust based on affection, not food. This study provides significant insights into the dynamics of dog-human interactions on the streets and subsequent changes in behaviour of dogs through the process of learning. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  18. Epidemiology and pathology of Toxoplasma gondii in free-ranging California sea lions (Zalophus californianus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson-Bremer, Daphne; Colegrove, Kathleen M; Gulland, Frances M D; Conrad, Patricia A; Mazet, Jonna A K; Johnson, Christine K

    2015-04-01

    The coccidian parasite Toxoplasma gondii infects humans and warm-blooded animals worldwide. The ecology of this parasite in marine systems is poorly understood, although many marine mammals are infected and susceptible to clinical toxoplasmosis. We summarized the lesions associated with T. gondii infection in the California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) population and investigated the prevalence of and risk factors associated with T. gondii exposure, as indicated by antibody. Five confirmed and four suspected cases of T. gondii infection were identified by analysis of 1,152 medical records of necropsied sea lions from 1975-2009. One suspected and two confirmed cases were identified in aborted fetuses from a sea lion rookery. Toxoplasmosis was the primary cause of death in five cases, including the two fetuses. Gross and histopathologic findings in T. gondii-infected sea lions were similar to those reported in other marine mammals. The most common lesions were encephalitis, meningitis, and myocarditis. The antibody prevalence in stranded, free-ranging sea lions for 1998-2009 was 2.5% (±0.03%; IgG titer 640). There was an increase in odds of exposure in sea lions with increasing age, suggesting cumulative risk of exposure and persistent antibody over time. The occurrence of disseminated T. gondii infection in aborted fetuses confirms vertical transmission in sea lions, and the increasing odds of exposure with age is consistent with additional opportunities for horizontal transmission in free-ranging sea lions over time. These data suggest that T. gondii may have two modes of transmission in the sea lion population. Overall, clinical disease was uncommon in our study which, along with low prevalence of T. gondii antibody, suggests substantially less-frequent exposure and lower susceptibility to clinical disease in California sea lions as compared to sympatric southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis).

  19. Growth performance of free-range village chickens fed dehydrated processed food waste

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hossein, S.

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The effect of dehydrated processed food waste (DPFW inclusion in the diets on the growth performance (feed intake, body weight gain, body weight change and feed conversion ratio of free-range village chickens was investigated. Food waste collected from 20 different restaurants of Universiti Putra Malaysia Serdang Selangor was processed into DPFW containing 89.3% dry matter, 16% crude protein, 7.1% crude fat, 3.7% crude fiber, 7.4% crude ash, 3.07% NaCl, 1.56% Ca, 0.87% phosphorous and 4053 kcal/kg GE. A total of of 180 village chickens of the Arabian breed were randomly allocated into four dietary treatments of 0 (control, 20, 40 and 60% DPFW for 5-9 week grower and 10-14 week finisher periods with three replicates (15 birds for each replicate. The results showed that the highest feed intake in grower and finisher phases was observed in the control group by 634.0 g and 2,722.1 g, respectively, while the lowest was in 60% DPFW with 586.3 g for grower and 2,542.6 g for finisher phases (P0.05. Body weight gain and body weight change declined linearly with increasing levels of DPFW of more than 20% in the village chicken diets during both grower and finisher rearing phases. FAR increased (P0.05. In conclusion it seems that the dehydrated processed food waste could substitute 20% of formulated feed in grower and finisher phases of free-range village chickens without any adverse effects on growth performance.

  20. Free-range farming: a natural alternative to produce vitamin D-enriched eggs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kühn, Julia; Schutkowski, Alexandra; Kluge, Holger; Hirche, Frank; Stangl, Gabriele I

    2014-04-01

    Food-based strategies need to be developed to improve the vitamin D status of individuals. Recent studies identified ultraviolet B irradiation as an efficient method to enrich mushrooms and eggs with vitamin D. The aim of this study was to determine whether free-range farming of hens could provide a valuable method to produce vitamin D-enriched eggs. Laying hens were randomly assigned to three groups of 33 to 34 animals each, and were kept either indoors (indoor group), outdoors (outdoor group), or with an indoor/outdoor option (indoor/outdoor group) over 4 wk. The study shows that the vitamin D3 content of egg yolk was three- to fourfold higher in the groups that were exposed to sunlight (outdoor and indoor/outdoor groups) compared with the indoor group (P Egg yolk from the outdoor group revealed the highest vitamin D3 content, which averaged 14.3 μg/100 g dry matter (DM), followed by that from the indoor/outdoor group (11.3 μg/100 g DM). Yolk from indoor eggs contained only 3.8 μg vitamin D/100 g DM. The 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D3) content of egg yolk was also influenced by sunlight exposure, although less pronounced than the vitamin D content (P eggs randomly acquired from supermarkets had relatively low vitamin D contents. Free-range farming offers an efficient alternative to fortify eggs with vitamin D, provided that farming conditions are sufficiently attractive for hens to range outside. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Cheetah paradigm revisited: MHC diversity in the world's largest free-ranging population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castro-Prieto, Aines; Wachter, Bettina; Sommer, Simone

    2011-04-01

    For more than two decades, the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) has been considered a paradigm of disease vulnerability associated with low genetic diversity, particularly at the immune genes of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC). Cheetahs have been used as a classic example in numerous conservation genetics textbooks as well as in many related scientific publications. However, earlier studies used methods with low resolution to quantify MHC diversity and/or small sample sizes. Furthermore, high disease susceptibility was reported only for captive cheetahs, whereas free-ranging cheetahs show no signs of infectious diseases and a good general health status. We examined whether the diversity at MHC class I and class II-DRB loci in 149 Namibian cheetahs was higher than previously reported using single-strand conformation polymorphism analysis, cloning, and sequencing. MHC genes were examined at the genomic and transcriptomic levels. We detected ten MHC class I and four class II-DRB alleles, of which nine MHC class I and all class II-DRB alleles were expressed. Phylogenetic analyses and individual genotypes suggested that the alleles belong to four MHC class I and three class II-DRB putative loci. Evidence of positive selection was detected in both MHC loci. Our study indicated that the low number of MHC class I alleles previously observed in cheetahs was due to a smaller sample size examined. On the other hand, the low number of MHC class II-DRB alleles previously observed in cheetahs was further confirmed. Compared with other mammalian species including felids, cheetahs showed low levels of MHC diversity, but this does not seem to influence the immunocompetence of free-ranging cheetahs in Namibia and contradicts the previous conclusion that the cheetah is a paradigm species of disease vulnerability.

  2. Searching for the Haplorrhine Heterotherm: Field and Laboratory Data of Free-Ranging Tarsiers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shaun Welman

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The observation of heterothermy in a single suborder (Strepsirrhini only within the primates is puzzling. Given that the placental-mammal ancestor was likely a heterotherm, we explored the potential for heterothermy in a primate closely related to the Strepsirrhini. Based upon phylogeny, body size and habitat stability since the Late Eocene, we selected western tarsiers (Cephalopachus bancanus from the island of Borneo. Being the sister clade to Strepsirrhini and basal in Haplorrhini (monkeys and apes, we hypothesized that C. bancanus might have retained the heterothermic capacity observed in several small strepsirrhines. We measured resting metabolic rate, subcutaneous temperature, evaporative water loss and the percentage of heat dissipated through evaporation, at ambient temperatures between 22 and 35°C in fresh-caught wild animals (126.1 ± 2.4 g. We also measured core body temperatures in free-ranging animals. The thermoneutral zone was 25–30°C and the basal metabolic rate was 3.52 ± 0.06 W.kg−1 (0.65 ± 0.01 ml O2.g−1.h−1. There was no evidence of adaptive heterothermy in either the laboratory data or the free-ranging data. Instead, animals appeared to be cold sensitive (Tb ~ 31°C at the lowest temperatures. We discuss possible reasons for the apparent lack of heterothermy in tarsiers, and identify putative heterotherms within Platyrrhini. We also document our concern for the vulnerability of C. bancanus to future temperature increases associated with global warming.

  3. The isolation and characterization of Campylobacter jejuni bacteriophages from free range and indoor poultry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Owens, Jane; Barton, Mary D; Heuzenroeder, Michael W

    2013-02-22

    Six hundred and sixty one samples - primarily fresh chicken faeces - were processed to isolate wild type Campylobacter jejuni bacteriophages, via overlay agar methods using C. jejuni NCTC 12662. The aims of this study were to isolate and purify bacteriophages and then test for their ability to lyse field strains of C. jejuni in vitro. Of all samples processed, 130 were positive for bacteriophages. A distinct difference was observed between samples from different poultry enterprises. No bacteriophages could be isolated from indoor broilers. The majority of bacteriophages were isolated from free range poultry - both broilers and egg layers. Bacteriophages were purified and then selected for characterization based on their ability to produce clear lysis on plaque assay, as opposed to turbid plaques. Two hundred and forty one C. jejuni field isolates were tested for sensitivity to the bacteriophages. Lysis was graded subjectively and any minimal lysis was excluded. Using this system, 59.0% of the C. jejuni isolates showed significant sensitivity to at least one bacteriophage. The sensitivity to individual bacteriophages ranged from 10.0% to 32.5% of the C. jejuni isolates. Five bacteriophages were examined by electron microscopy and determined to belong to the Myoviridae family. The physical size, predicted genetic composition and genome size of the bacteriophages correlated well with other reported Campylobacter bacteriophages. The reasons for the observed difference between indoor broilers and free range poultry is unknown, but are postulated to be due to differences in the Campylobacter population in birds under different rearing conditions. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Prediction of the metabolizable energy requirements of free-range laying hens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brainer, M M A; Rabello, C B V; Santos, M J B; Lopes, C C; Ludke, J V; Silva, J H V; Lima, R A

    2016-01-01

    This experiment was conducted with the aim of estimating the ME requirements of free-range laying hens for maintenance, weight gain, and egg production. These experiments were performed to develop an energy requirement prediction equation by using the comparative slaughter technique and the total excreta collection method. Regression equations were used to relate the energy intake, the energy retained in the body and eggs, and the heat production of the hens. These relationships were used to determine the daily ME requirement for maintenance, the efficiency energy utilization above the requirements for maintenance, and the NE requirement for maintenance. The requirement for weight gain was estimated from the energy content of the carcass, and the diet's efficiency energy utilization was determined from the weight gain, which was measured during weekly slaughter. The requirement for egg production was estimated by considering the energy content of the eggs and the efficiency of energy deposition in the eggs. The requirement and efficiency energy utilization for maintenance were 121.8 kcal ME/(kg∙d)and 0.68, respectively. Similarly, the NE requirement for maintenance was 82.4 kcal ME/(kg∙d), and the efficiency energy utilization above maintenance was 0.61. Because the carcass body weight and energy did not increase during the trial, the weight gain could not be estimated. The requirements for egg production requirement and efficiency energy utilization for egg production were 2.48 kcal/g and 0.61, respectively. The following energy prediction equation for free-range laying hens (without weight gain) was developed: ME /(hen ∙ d) = 121.8 × W + 2.48 × EM, in which W = body weight (kg) and EM = egg mass (g/[hen ∙ d]).

  5. Use of prebiotics and probiotics of bacterial and yeast origin for free-range broiler chickens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K Pelícia

    2004-09-01

    Full Text Available This study aimed to evaluate the effects of probiotics and prebiotics of bacterial and yeast origin on the performance, development of the digestive system, carcass yield and meat quality of free-range broiler chickens. Five hundred and sixty male chicks of the strain ISA S757-N were reared from one to 84 days old. The birds were distributed in four treatments according to a completely randomized block design: T1 = Control, T2 = Probiotics and Prebiotics of bacterial origin, T3 = Probiotics and prebiotics of yeast origin, T4 = Probiotics and prebiotics of bacterial origin + probiotics and prebiotics of yeast origin. There were four repetitions with 35 birds per repetition, and the birds had access to a pasture area after 35 days of age. Characteristics evaluated were performance, development of the digestive system, carcass and parts yield, abdominal fat, breast meat physical measurements (length, width and height and meat quality parameters (pH from breast and leg meat, cooking loss and shearing force from breast meat. Lower mortality (p<0.05 and higher weight gain from 64 to 77 and 64 to 84 days of age were seen in birds supplemented with probiotics and prebiotics of bacterial origin compared to the non-supplemented birds (control. There were significant differences (p<0.05 among treatments for carcass yield. Birds supplemented with both probiotics and prebiotics of microbial and yeast origin (T4 showed higher carcass yield than control birds. Supplementation with probiotics and prebiotics of bacterial origin (T2 or the supplementation of these together with those of yeast origin (T4 reduced mortality and increased the carcass yield in free-range broiler chickens.

  6. 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

  7. 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 ...

  8. 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.

  9. 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…

  10. 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

  11. Osteochondrosis, but not lameness, is more frequent among free-range pigs than confined herd-mates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Etterlin, Pernille Engelsen; Morrison, David A; Österberg, Julia; Ytrehus, Bjørnar; Heldmer, Eva; Ekman, Stina

    2015-09-29

    Organic pig production is expanding and amongst the objectives of organic farming are enhancing animal health and welfare. However, some studies have reported a higher prevalence of lameness and joint condemnation at slaughter in free-range/organic pigs than in conventionally raised pigs. Organic slaughter pigs have free-range housing in which indoor and outdoor access is compulsory, while in conventional farming the pigs are commonly confined to indoor pens. The present study evaluated the effects of free-range and confined housing on lameness prevalence in a herd of 106 finisher pigs, and whether osteochondrosis and Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae associated arthritis influences these effects. We also evaluated the association between clinical lameness during the rearing period and joint condemnations at slaughter. Seventy free-range and 36 confined housed fattener pigs were scored for their gait twice during the rearing period and 848 joints were evaluated post mortem. Osteochondrosis was more frequent among free-range than confined pigs (P free-range pigs than the confined pigs. E. rhusiopathiae associated arthritis was not diagnosed. The association between gait remarks/clinical lameness and joint condemnations at slaughter was not significant. The results indicate that free-range housing may have both positive and negative effects on locomotory traits. Free-range pigs may be less clinically affected by osteochondrosis than are confined pigs. One explanation for this effect may be strengthening of joint supportive tissue and pain relief promoted by exercise. Visual gait scoring missed serious joint lesions that probably were harmful to the pigs, and should therefore not be used as a sole indicator of joint/leg health in welfare inspection of pigs. The association between gait scores and joint condemnation appeared to be poor. This study was limited to one herd, and so more and larger studies on the effects of free-range housing on lameness severity and

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cheryl L Meehan

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

  14. Gastrointestinal symbionts of free-ranging western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kalousová, B.; Profousová, I.; Pomajbíková, K.; Modrý, David; Shutt, K. A.; Hasegawa, H.; Benavides, J. A.; Todd, A.; Petrželková, Klára Judita

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 75, S1 (2013), s. 85 ISSN 0275-2565. [Annual Meeting of the American Society of Primatologists /36./. 19.06.2013-22.06.2013, San Juan] Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : Gorilla * Central African Republic Subject RIV: EG - Zoology http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ajp.22188/pdf

  15. Morphometrics and behavior of a wild Asian elephant exhibiting disproportionate dwarfism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Silva, Shermin; Weerathunga, U Sameera; Pushpakumara, Tennekoon V

    2014-12-19

    Dwarfism is a condition characterized by shorter stature, at times accompanied by differential skeletal growth proportions relative to the species-typical physical conformation. Causes vary and are well-documented in humans as well as certain mammalian species in captive or laboratory conditions, but rarely observed in the wild. We report on a single case of apparent dwarfism in a free-ranging adult male Asian elephant in Sri Lanka, comparing physical dimensions to those of other males in the population as well as in previous literature. The subject M459 was found to have a shoulder height of approximately 195 cm, is shorter than the average height of typical mature males, with a body length of 218 cm. This ratio of body length to height deviates from what is typically observed, which is approximately 1:1, but was similar to the attributes of a dwarf elephant in captivity documented in 1955. We report on behavior including the surprising observation that M459 appears to have a competitive advantage in intrasexual contests. We discuss how this phenotype compares to cases of dwarfism in other non-human animals. M459 exemplifies a rare occurrence of disproportionate dwarfism in a free-ranging wild mammal that has survived to reproductive maturity and appears otherwise healthy.

  16. A SINGLE GENOTYPE OF ENCEPHALITOZOON INTESTIINALIS INFECTS FREE-RANGING GORILLAS AND PEOPLE SHARING THEIR HABITATS, UGANDA

    Science.gov (United States)

    For conservation purposes and due to ecotourism free-ranging gorillas of Uganda have been habituated to humans, and molecular epidemiology evidence indicates that this habituation might have enhanced transmission of anthropozoonotic pathogens. Microsporidian spores have been det...

  17. Effects of free-range and confined housing on joint health in a herd of fattening pigs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Etterlin, Pernille Engelsen; Ytrehus, Bjørnar; Lundeheim, Nils; Heldmer, Eva; Österberg, Julia; Ekman, Stina

    2014-09-11

    Free-range housing, in which pigs have access to both indoor and outdoor areas, is mandatory in organic pig production in Europe, but little is known about the effects of this housing on joint health in pigs. A high level of joint condemnations at slaughter has been reported in organic free-range pigs in Sweden, compared with pigs raised in conventional confined housing. We hypothesised that biomechanical forces imposed on the joints of pigs that range freely promote the development of osteochondrosis and lead to joint condemnation. We compared the prevalence of osteochondrosis and other joint lesions (e.g. arthritis, traumatic) in the elbow and hock joints of 91 crossbred Hampshire (Yorkshire × Landrace) fattening pigs that were housed in a free-range indoor/outdoor system with that in 45 pigs housed in confined indoor pens. A larger proportion of free-range than confined pigs had osteochondrosis in the elbow joints (69 vs. 50%, p free-range pigs showed moderate or severe lesions (33 vs. 16%, p free-range pigs also showed a higher prevalence of osteochondrosis in the hock joints (83 vs. 62%, p free-range pigs had condemned joints, all of which showed severe osteochondrosis, while no joints of confined pigs were condemned. In this experiment the prevalence of osteochondrosis in the elbow and the hock was higher, and lesions were more severe, in free-range than in confined pigs, suggesting that free-range housing increases the risk of acquiring osteochondrosis. Increased biomechanical stress to vulnerable joint structures may be the mechanism behind this effect, however more studies are needed to verify these results. This study suggests that modification of housing, and breeding for joints that are more adapted to free-range movement may be needed in free-range pig production. Severe osteochondrosis is a cause of joint condemnation, but the condemnation rate at slaughter underestimates the actual frequency of joint lesions and hence is a poor assessment of joint

  18. Evaluation of Free-Range broilers using the welfare quality® protocol

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ECO Sans

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Scientific information on the welfare of broilers reared in alternative systems is scarce. The objective of this study was to assess the welfare of free-range broilers using the Welfare Quality® protocol. Free-range broilers reared in ten farms were observed, and measures were made in broilers of five of these farms. The collected data were transformed into scores (0-100, with higher scores indicating better welfare, except for emotional states. Prevalence percentages were calculated for the remaining data. Median (min-max scores were 81 (63-98 for lameness, 93 (83-99 for hock burn on the farm, 100 (95-100 for plumage cleanliness, 35 (8-70 for podermatitis on the farm, 56 (26-88 for density, 53 (20-53 for dust, 34 (14-67 for litter quality, 93 (41-100 for drinkers, and 100 (100-100 for birds panting or huddling on the farm. The following average (min-max prevalence percentages were obtained: total mortality 2.0% (1.4-7.2%, culling 0.0% (0.0-2.2%, feed withdrawal time 875 min (715-945 min, water withdrawal time 220 min (170-275 min, dead on arrival at the processing plant 0.00% (0.00-0.01%, broken wings 0%, (0-0%, inefficient stunning 3.9% (1.3-6.7%, pre-stun shock 49.3% (26.7-56.8%, hepatitis 4.5% (1.8-11.0%, bruising 9.3% (6.7-16.7%, and ascites 0% (0-0%. The negative broiler welfare points detected were pododermatitis, litter quality, density, dust, culling, feed withdrawal time, inefficient stunning, pre-stun shock, and hepatitis. The positive points identified were the absence of birds panting or huddling on the farm; low prevalence of lameness, hock lesions, dead on arrival, broken wings, and ascites; good plumage cleanliness scores, and short water withdrawal time.

  19. 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....

  20. 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.

  1. Effect of Free-range Rearing on Meat Composition, Physical Properties and Sensory Evaluation in Taiwan Game Hens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Cheng-Yung; Kuo, Hsiao-Yun; Wan, Tien-Chun

    2014-06-01

    Experiments were conducted to evaluate the effect of an outdoor-grazed raising model on meat composition, physical properties and sensory attributes of Taiwan game hens. Six hundred 1-d old female chicks were raised on a floor for 8 weeks. On day 57, 600 healthy birds, with similar body weight, were selected and randomly assigned to three treatment groups (cage, floor-pen and free-range). The results showed that different feeding models had no effect on drip loss, cooking loss, moisture, crude protein, crude fat, crude ash, zinc and calorie contents in breast meat and moisture content in thigh meat. The free-range group had the lowest fat content in both breast and thigh meat, and the lowest calorie content in thigh meat. The firmness and toughness in both thigh and breast of the free-range group were the highest values (pmeat and total collagen content in breast meat of the free-range group were significantly higher than those of the cage-feeding group (pmeat sensory scores of flavor, chewiness and overall acceptability of both thigh and breast meat of the free-range group were significantly (pgame hens of the free-range feeding model displayed well-received carcass traits and meat quality, with higher scores for flavor, chewiness and overall acceptability for greater sensory satisfaction in both breast and thigh meat. In addition, the thigh meat contained high protein and total collage but low fat, offering a healthier diet choice.

  2. Free range and deep litter poultry production systems: effect on performance, carcass yield and meat composition of cockerel chickens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sogunle, Olajide Mark; Olaniyi, Olagoke Ayobami; Egbeyale, Lawrence Tokunbo; Akinola, Olufemi Sunday; Shittu, Taofeek A; Abiola, Samuel Soladoye; Ladokun, Abimbola O; Sobayo, Richard Abayomi

    2013-01-01

    This study was carried out on 150 cockerel chickens each of Harco Black and Novogen strains to determine their performance, carcass yield and meat composition on free range and deep litter production systems. The birds were brooded for 4 weeks and thereafter allotted to the different production systems for a period of 12 weeks. Each production system was allotted 150 chicks (75 chicks per strain) with three replicates of 25 chicks. The birds on deep litter production system were fed ad libitum while each bird on free range was fed 50 % of its daily feed requirement. On the 84 th day, a total of 36 birds were randomly selected for analysis of the carcass yield and meat composition. The data generated were subjected to a two-way analysis of variance in a 2 × 2 factorial experimental arrangement. Novogen strain consumed less feed (P free range and had the best feed/gain (2.72). A higher (P free range. The tibia proximal length and breadth, and tibia distal length and breadth were significantly (P free range, Harco black had more meat (85.69 g) than bone (18.07 g) in the breast while Novogen had the lowest meat/bone (2.38). Conclusively, Novogen strain should be raised on free range for a better performance in terms of feed/gain, but for higher meat composition, Harco black is a better strain.

  3. Rangelia vitalii in a free-ranging maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus) and co-infections.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silveira, Julia Angélica Gonçalves; D'Elia, Mirella Lauria; de Oliveira Avelar, Isabela; de Almeida, Lara Ribeiro; Dos Santos, Hudson Andrade; de Magalhães Soares, Danielle Ferreira; Ribeiro, Múcio Flávio Barbosa; Dos Santos Lima, Walter; Ecco, Roselene

    2016-12-01

    An adult free-ranged female maned wolf was rescued from a periurban area subject to anthropogenic disturbances in the Minas Gerais, Brazil. The animal presented poor body condition and anemia. The clinical condition rapidly deteriorated culminating in dead and a necropsy was performed. The main gross lesions were marked anemia and blood content in the intestines accompanied by many types of parasites. The protozoa Rangelia vitalii was identified by histopathological analysis predominantly within the cytoplasm of endothelial cells of capillaries of the small intestine. The lymph nodes, spleen, bone marrow, dermis, lungs and kidney had similar protozoal forms but with mild or moderate intensity. Rangelia vitalii was confirmed by molecular assays. Hepatozoon sp., Leishmania sp., and Entamoeba spp., apparently not related to the clinical signs were also detected. The myriad parasites found in the intestines included nematodes ( Ancylostoma caninum , A . braziliensis ,, Molineus sp., Pterygodermatites sp., and Trichuris sp.), cestodes ( Spirometra sp.) and (acanthocephalans. To our knowledge, R . vitalii was identified in C . brachyurus for the first time. These findings emphasize the fragility of Brazilian ecosystems, especially in disturbed areas, reinforcing the necessity of efforts to preserve these areas and wild carnivores, some of which are threatened with extinction, such as the maned wolf.

  4. Parasites of free-ranging black howler monkeys (Alouatta pigra) from Belize and Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vitazkova, Sylvia K; Wade, Susan E

    2006-11-01

    Parasites are important members of the ecological web within which an animal lives, and can be used as indicators of ecosystem health. However, few baseline parasitological data are available for free-ranging animals, particularly for the black howler monkey (Alouatta pigra). In this study a total of 283 fecal samples were collected from 50 individually identified A. pigra during 2003 and 2004 and examined for parasites. The samples were processed using standard quantitative centrifugation concentration techniques, with sugar and zinc sulfate used as flotation media. The slides were examined using bright-field and phase microscopy. Antigen capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) were used to detect protozoa. Four parasites were detected: 1) Controrchis biliophilus (Dicrocoeliidae), 2) Trypanoxyuris minutus (Oxyuridae), 3) Giardia sp. (Hexamitidae), and 4) Entamoeba sp. (Endamoebidae). Controrchis biliophilus was detected in 80% (wet season) and 81% (dry season) of the A. pigra samples; Trypanoxyuris minutus was detected in 8% (wet season) and 27% (dry season) of samples; and Giardia sp. was detected in 40% (wet season) and 27% (dry season) of samples. For the first time, DNA from Giardia sp.-positive fecal samples was extracted from A. pigra. Alouatta pigra individuals that lived near human settlements in Belize were infected with Giardia duodenalis (syn. G. lamblia, G. intestinalis) Assemblages A and B. These results suggest that G. duodenalis is transmitted from people and/or domestic animals to A. pigra. (c) 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  5. Performance of free-range chickens reared in production modules enriched with shade net and perches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MJB Santos

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available An experiment was carried out to evaluate the effect of environmental enrichment in a free-range chicken production system on live performance as a function of microclimate, physiological parameters, and performance parameters. Four production modules were divided into four pens with 10 birds each, totaling 60 birds. The following treatments were applied: access to a paddock (TEST, access to a paddock with perches (PER, access to a paddock with artificial shade (SHA, and access to the paddock with perches and artificial shade (PESH. The PESH production module presented the best globe temperature (Tbg,ºC and enthalpy (h, kJ/kg, and thereby, the best thermal environmental conditions, which ensured the longest permanence time of the birds in the paddock. The SHA and PESH modules promoted the lowest respiratory rate and shank and comb temperatures. Live performance was influenced by the presence of environmental enrichment (modules SHA and PESH, with the highest live weight (LW and weight gain (WG and the lowest feed conversion ratio (FCR and metabolizable energy intake (MEI. Parts yield, such as giblets, were not influenced by production modules, except for PESH, which promoted higher offal weight. In general, chickens reared in enriched production modules presented greatest performance and comfort results and were considered close to optimal rearing conditions.

  6. Mortality factors and diseases in free-ranging Eurasian cranes (Grus grus) in Germany.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fanke, Jane; Wibbelt, Gudrun; Krone, Oliver

    2011-07-01

    Detailed postmortem examinations were performed on 167 free-ranging Eurasian Cranes (Grus grus) from Germany, collected between September 1998 and December 2008 to evaluate causes of death and diseases. The most common causes of mortality were traumatic injuries (n=105, 62.9%) from collisions with power lines (n=39, 23.4%) and wire fences (n=12, 7.2%). A group of 28 Eurasian Cranes (16.8%) died from organophosphate intoxication. Predation by White-tailed Sea Eagles (Haliaeetus albicilla) and red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) occurred in four cases (2.4%). Pathologic changes due to infectious diseases were associated with Aspergillus spp. (n=7, 4.2%), endoparasites (n=7, 4.2%), avian poxvirus (n=6, 3.6%), Mycobacterium spp. (n=2, 1.2%), and adenovirus infection (n=1, 0.6%). A severe Strigea spp. infection (n=1, 0.6%) and a leiomyosarcoma (n=1, 0.6%) were newly recognized diseases in Eurasian Cranes in this study.

  7. Serosurvey for selected pathogens in free-ranging American black bears (Ursus americanus) in Maryland, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bronson, Ellen; Spiker, Harry; Driscoll, Cindy P

    2014-10-01

    American black bears (Ursus americanus) in Maryland, USA, live in forested areas in close proximity to humans and their domestic pets. From 1999 to 2011, we collected 84 serum samples from 63 black bears (18 males; 45 females) in five Maryland counties and tested them for exposure to infectious, including zoonotic, pathogens. A large portion of the bears had antibody to canine distemper virus and Toxoplasma gondii, many at high titers. Prevalences of antibodies to zoonotic agents such as rabies virus and to infectious agents of carnivores including canine adenovirus and canine parvovirus were lower. Bears also had antibodies to vector-borne pathogens common to bears and humans such as West Nile virus, Borrelia burgdorferi, Rickettsia rickettsii, and Anaplasma phagocytophilum. Antibodies were detected to Leptospira interrogans serovars Pomona, Icterohaemorrhagiae, Canicola, Grippotyphosa, and Bratislava. We did not detect antibodies to Brucella canis or Ehrlichia canis. Although this population of Maryland black bears demonstrated exposure to multiple pathogens of concern for humans and domesticated animals, the low levels of clinical disease in this and other free-ranging black bear populations indicate the black bear is likely a spillover host for the majority of pathogens studied. Nevertheless, bear populations living at the human-domestic-wildlife interface with increasing human and domestic animal exposure should continue to be monitored because this population likely serves as a useful sentinel of ecosystem health.

  8. Sarcoptic mange in free-ranging raccoon dogs (Nyctereutes procyonoides) in Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ninomiya, Hiroyoshi; Ogata, Munetsugu

    2005-06-01

    Sarcoptes scabiei infestation was diagnosed in three freshly dead free-ranging raccoon dogs (Nyctereutes procyonoides) in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. The dogs presented with an alopecic pruritic skin disease, with signs of alopecia on the ears, muzzle, around the eyes, elbow, thigh and the neck, and hyperpigmented and crusted skin lesions, which had a severe malodour. Skin scrapings revealed the presence of the mite Sarcoptes scabiei. Histopathology of lesions demonstrated marked acanthosis, hyperkeratosis, parakeratosis and fungal elements, which were subsequently identified as Acremonium sp., Alternaria sp. and an unknown fungus. Mite segments were located mainly in the stratum corneum and also in the stratum granulosum. Tunnels could be observed in the hyperkeratotic stratum corneum. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) revealed the tortoise-like Sarcoptes scabiei with four long bristles, suckers and blade-like claws on legs 1 and 2, cuticular spines, prominent body striations and a terminal anus. SEM also revealed an adult female mite digging a tunnel with the head wedged into the very end of the closed burrow. Tunnels filled with eggshells, corneocyte debris and faecal pellets were also observed.

  9. Daily energy expenditure in free-ranging Gopher Tortoises (Gopherus polyphemus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jodice, P.G.R.; Epperson, D.M.; Visser, G. Henk

    2006-01-01

    Studies of ecological energetics in chelonians are rare. Here, we report the first measurements of daily energy expenditure (DEE) and water influx rates (WIRs) in free-ranging adult Gopher Tortoises (Gopherus polyphemus). We used the doubly labeled water (DLW) method to measure DEE in six adult tortoises during the non-breeding season in south-central Mississippi, USA. Tortoise DEE ranged from 76.7-187.5 kj/day and WIR ranged from 30.6-93.1 ml H2O/day. Daily energy expenditure did not differ between the sexes, but DEE was positively related to body mass. Water influx rates varied with the interaction of sex and body mass. We used a log/log regression model to assess the allometric relationship between DEE and body mass for Gopher Tortoises, Desert Tortoises (Gopherus agassizii), and Box Turtles (Terrapene carolina), the only chelonians for which DEE has been measured. The slope of this allometric model (0.626) was less than that previously calculated for herbivorous reptiles (0.813), suggesting that chelonians may expend energy at a slower rate per unit of body mass compared to other herbivorous reptiles. We used retrospective power analyses and data from the DLW isotope analyses to develop guidelines for sample sizes and duration of measurement intervals, respectively, for larger-scale energetic studies in this species. ?? 2006 by the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists.

  10. Rangelia vitalii in a free-ranging maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus and co-infections

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julia Angélica Gonçalves Silveira

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available An adult free-ranged female maned wolf was rescued from a periurban area subject to anthropogenic disturbances in the Minas Gerais, Brazil. The animal presented poor body condition and anemia. The clinical condition rapidly deteriorated culminating in dead and a necropsy was performed. The main gross lesions were marked anemia and blood content in the intestines accompanied by many types of parasites. The protozoa Rangelia vitalii was identified by histopathological analysis predominantly within the cytoplasm of endothelial cells of capillaries of the small intestine. The lymph nodes, spleen, bone marrow, dermis, lungs and kidney had similar protozoal forms but with mild or moderate intensity. Rangelia vitalii was confirmed by molecular assays. Hepatozoon sp., Leishmania sp., and Entamoeba spp., apparently not related to the clinical signs were also detected. The myriad parasites found in the intestines included nematodes (Ancylostoma caninum, A. braziliensis,, Molineus sp., Pterygodermatites sp., and Trichuris sp., cestodes (Spirometra sp. and (acanthocephalans. To our knowledge, R. vitalii was identified in C. brachyurus for the first time. These findings emphasize the fragility of Brazilian ecosystems, especially in disturbed areas, reinforcing the necessity of efforts to preserve these areas and wild carnivores, some of which are threatened with extinction, such as the maned wolf.

  11. Lead exposure affects health indices in free-ranging ducks in Argentina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferreyra, Hebe; Beldomenico, Pablo M; Marchese, Krysten; Romano, Marcelo; Caselli, Andrea; Correa, Ana I; Uhart, Marcela

    2015-05-01

    Numerous experiments under controlled conditions and extensive investigation of waterfowl die-offs have demonstrated that exposure to lead from spent gunshot is highly detrimental to the health of waterfowl. However, few studies have focused on examining the more subtle sub-lethal effects of lead toxicity on ducks in non-experimental settings. In our study, the health of ducks exposed to varying amounts of lead under natural conditions was assessed by correlating individual lead exposure with relevant indices of health. Based on hunter-killed wild ducks in Argentina, we measured spleen mass, body condition, examined bone marrow smears, and determined Ca and P in bone tissue. In free-ranging live-trapped ducks we determined basic hematology and aminolevulinic acid dehydratase activity. Using multivariate analyses, we found that, when controlling for the potential confounding effect of site type, year, duck species, body mass and age, lead levels in the liver were negatively associated with body condition and spleen mass. Spleen mass was also lower in ducks with higher lead levels in their bones. In live ducks, high blood lead levels were associated with low packed cell volume and red cell morphologic abnormalities. These findings suggest that, despite the lack of recorded lead-induced mortality in the region, lead exposure results in less conspicuous but still significant impacts on the health of ducks, which could have serious implications for their conservation. Moreover, this evidence further supports the need for urgently banning lead shot in the region.

  12. Scents of adolescence: the maturation of the olfactory phenotype in a free-ranging mammal.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara A Caspers

    Full Text Available Olfaction is an important sensory modality for mate recognition in many mammal species. Odorants provide information about the health status, genotype, dominance status and/or reproductive status. How and when odor profiles change during sexual maturation is, however often unclear, particularly in free-ranging mammals. Here, we investigated whether the wing sac odorant of male greater sac-winged bats (Saccopteryx bilineata, Emballonuridae differs between young and adults, and thus offers information about sexual maturity to potential mating partners. Using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, we found differences in the odorants of young and adult males prior and during, but not after the mating period. The wing sac odorant of adult males consists of several substances, such as Pyrocoll, 2,6,10-trimethyl-3-oxo-6,10-dodecadienolide, and a so far unidentified substance; all being absent in the odor profiles of juveniles prior to the mating season. During the mating season, these substances are present in most of the juvenile odorants, but still at lower quantities compared to the wing sac odorants of adults. These results suggest that the wing sac odorant of males encodes information about age and/or sexual maturity. Although female S. bilineata start to reproduce at the age of half a year, most males of the same age postpone the sexual maturation of their olfactory phenotype until after the first mating season.

  13. Anthropozoonotic Endoparasites in Free-Ranging “Urban” South American Sea Lions (Otaria flavescens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Hermosilla

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The present study represents the first report on the gastrointestinal endoparasite fauna of a free-ranging “urban” colony of South American sea lions (Otaria flavescens living within the city of Valdivia, Chile. A total of 40 individual faecal samples of South American sea lions were collected during the year 2012 within their natural habitat along the river Calle-Calle and in the local fish market of Valdivia. Coprological analyses applying sodium acetate acetic formalin methanol (SAF technique, carbol fuchsin-stained faecal smears and Giardia/Cryptosporidium coproantigen ELISAs, revealed infections with 8 different parasites belonging to protozoan and metazoan taxa with some of them bearing anthropozoonotic potential. Thus, five of these parasites were zoonotic (Diphyllobothriidae gen. sp., Anisakidae gen. sp., Giardia, Cryptosporidium, and Balantidium. Overall, these parasitological findings included four new parasite records for Otaria flavescens, that is, Giardia, Cryptosporidium, Balantidium, and Otostrongylus. The current data serve as a baseline for future monitoring studies on anthropozoonotic parasites circulating in these marine mammals and their potential impact on public health.

  14. Anthropozoonotic Endoparasites in Free-Ranging “Urban” South American Sea Lions (Otaria flavescens)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Liliana M. R.; Navarro, Mauricio; Taubert, Anja

    2016-01-01

    The present study represents the first report on the gastrointestinal endoparasite fauna of a free-ranging “urban” colony of South American sea lions (Otaria flavescens) living within the city of Valdivia, Chile. A total of 40 individual faecal samples of South American sea lions were collected during the year 2012 within their natural habitat along the river Calle-Calle and in the local fish market of Valdivia. Coprological analyses applying sodium acetate acetic formalin methanol (SAF) technique, carbol fuchsin-stained faecal smears and Giardia/Cryptosporidium coproantigen ELISAs, revealed infections with 8 different parasites belonging to protozoan and metazoan taxa with some of them bearing anthropozoonotic potential. Thus, five of these parasites were zoonotic (Diphyllobothriidae gen. sp., Anisakidae gen. sp., Giardia, Cryptosporidium, and Balantidium). Overall, these parasitological findings included four new parasite records for Otaria flavescens, that is, Giardia, Cryptosporidium, Balantidium, and Otostrongylus. The current data serve as a baseline for future monitoring studies on anthropozoonotic parasites circulating in these marine mammals and their potential impact on public health. PMID:27051860

  15. Anthropozoonotic Endoparasites in Free-Ranging "Urban" South American Sea Lions (Otaria flavescens).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hermosilla, Carlos; Silva, Liliana M R; Navarro, Mauricio; Taubert, Anja

    2016-01-01

    The present study represents the first report on the gastrointestinal endoparasite fauna of a free-ranging "urban" colony of South American sea lions (Otaria flavescens) living within the city of Valdivia, Chile. A total of 40 individual faecal samples of South American sea lions were collected during the year 2012 within their natural habitat along the river Calle-Calle and in the local fish market of Valdivia. Coprological analyses applying sodium acetate acetic formalin methanol (SAF) technique, carbol fuchsin-stained faecal smears and Giardia/Cryptosporidium coproantigen ELISAs, revealed infections with 8 different parasites belonging to protozoan and metazoan taxa with some of them bearing anthropozoonotic potential. Thus, five of these parasites were zoonotic (Diphyllobothriidae gen. sp., Anisakidae gen. sp., Giardia, Cryptosporidium, and Balantidium). Overall, these parasitological findings included four new parasite records for Otaria flavescens, that is, Giardia, Cryptosporidium, Balantidium, and Otostrongylus. The current data serve as a baseline for future monitoring studies on anthropozoonotic parasites circulating in these marine mammals and their potential impact on public health.

  16. Haptoglobin concentrations in free-range and temporarily captive juvenile steller sea lions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomton, Jamie D; Mellish, Jo-Ann E

    2007-04-01

    Haptoglobin (Hp) is an acute-phase protein synthesized in the liver that circulates at elevated concentrations in response to tissue damage caused by inflammation, infection, and trauma. As part of a larger study, sera Hp concentrations were measured in temporarily captive (n = 21) and free-range (n = 38) western stock juvenile Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus) sampled from 2003 to 2006. Baseline Hp concentration at time of capture was 133.3 +/- 17.4 mg/dl. Temporarily captive animals exhibited a 3.2-fold increase in Hp concentrations during the first 4 wk of captivity, followed by a return to entry levels by week 5. Haptoglobin levels were not influenced by age, season, or parasite load. There was a significant positive correlation between Hp concentrations and white blood cell count (P < 0.001) and globulin levels (P < 0.001) and a negative correlation to red blood cell count and hematocrit (P < 0.001 for both). There was no correlation between Hp levels and platelet count (P = 0.095) or hemoglobin (P = 0.457). Routine blubber biopsies collected under gas anesthesia did not produce a measurable Hp response. One animal with a large abscess had an Hp spike of 1,006.0 mg/dl that returned to entry levels after treatment. In conclusion, serum Hp levels correlate to the stable clinical health status observed during captivity, with moderate Hp response during capture and initial acclimation to captivity and acute response to inflammation and infection.

  17. Plasma Vitellogenin in Free-Ranging Loggerhead Sea Turtles (Caretta caretta of the Northwest Atlantic Ocean

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    Kimberly Smelker

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Vitellogenin is the egg yolk precursor protein produced by oviparous vertebrates. As endogenous estrogen increases during early reproductive activity, hepatic production of vitellogenin is induced and is assumed to be complete in female sea turtles before the first nesting event. Until the present study, innate production of vitellogenin has not been described in free-ranging sea turtles. Our study describes circulating concentrations of vitellogenin in loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta from the Northwest Atlantic Ocean. We collected blood samples from juveniles and adults via in-water captures off the coast of the Southeast USA from May to August, and from nesting females in June and July at Hutchinson Island, Florida. All samples were analyzed using an in-house ELISA developed specifically to measure Caretta caretta vitellogenin concentration. As expected, plasma vitellogenin declined in nesting turtles as the nesting season progressed, although it still remained relatively elevated at the end of the season. In addition, mean vitellogenin concentration in nesting turtles was 1,000 times greater than that measured in samples from in-water captures. Our results suggest that vitellogenesis may continue throughout the nesting season, albeit at a decreasing rate. Further, vitellogenin detected in turtles captured in-water may have resulted from exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals.

  18. Leptospiral agglutinins in captive and free ranging non-human primates in Sarawak, Malaysia

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    S. Thayaparan

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Aim: The proposed study was carried out to determine the extent of exposure to leptospirosis in non-human primates. Materials and Methods: Trapping of non-human primates was carried out opportunistically around the Bako National Park and the Matang Wildlife Center in the vicinity of human settlements and tourism areas of Sarawak. Blood samples were obtained from the saphenous vein to determine the presence of antibodies by the Microscopic Agglutination Test (MAT to 17 serovars of Leptospira commonly found in Malaysia. Results: This study reports the screening of twelve primates (eight captive and four free ranging for leptospirosis. Eight of the 12 monkeys (66.6%; 95% CI 34.9-90.1 reacted against one or two serovars of Leptospira (Lai and Leptospira Lepto175. The serovar Lai is considered pathogenic for different mammals, including humans. Leptospira Lepto 175 has been identified as an intermediate strain and further studies are being undertaken on this serovar. Conclusion: These results are important as primates may act as reservoirs of Leptospira spp. for humans, which may potentially affect tourism (economic loss, conservation efforts and public health.

  19. Self-anointing behavior in free-ranging spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi) in Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laska, Matthias; Bauer, Verena; Salazar, Laura Teresa Hernandez

    2007-04-01

    During 250 h of observation, a total of 20 episodes of self-anointing, that is, the application of scent-bearing material onto the body, were recorded in a group of free-ranging Mexican spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi). The animals used the leaves of three species of plants (Brongniartia alamosana, Fabaceae; Cecropia obtusifolia, Cecropiaceae; and Apium graveolens, Umbelliferae) two of which have not been reported so far in this context in any New World primate species. The findings that only two males displayed self-anointing, that only the sternal and axillary regions of the body were rubbed with the mix of saliva and plant material, and a lack of correlation between the occurrence of self-anointing and time of day, season of the year, ambient temperature or humidity do not fit the hypothesis that this behavior functions in repelling insects and/or mitigating topical skin infections in this species. Rather, the data and the observation that the leaves of all three plant species spread an intensive and aromatic odor when crushed, support the hypothesis that self-anointing in A. geoffroyi may play a role in the context of social communication, possibly for signaling of social status or to increase sexual attractiveness.

  20. Molecular and Serological Survey of Selected Viruses in Free-Ranging Wild Ruminants in Iran.

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    Farhid Hemmatzadeh

    Full Text Available A molecular and serological survey of selected viruses in free-ranging wild ruminants was conducted in 13 different districts in Iran. Samples were collected from 64 small wild ruminants belonging to four different species including 25 Mouflon (Ovis orientalis, 22 wild goat (Capra aegagrus, nine Indian gazelle (Gazella bennettii and eight Goitered gazelle (Gazella subgutturosa during the national survey for wildlife diseases in Iran. Serum samples were evaluated using serologic antibody tests for Peste de petits ruminants virus (PPRV, Pestiviruses [Border Disease virus (BVD and Bovine Viral Diarrhoea virus (BVDV], Bluetongue virus (BTV, Bovine herpesvirus type 1 (BHV-1, and Parainfluenza type 3 (PI3. Sera were also ELISA tested for Pestivirus antigen. Tissue samples including spleen, liver, lung, tonsils, mesenteric and mediastinal lymph nodes and white blood cells (WBCs were tested using polymerase chain reaction (PCR for PPRV, Foot and Mouth Disease virus (FMDV, Pestivirus, BTV, Ovine herpesvirus type 2 (OvHV-2 and BHV-1. Serologic tests were positive for antibodies against PPRV (17%, Pestiviruses (2% and BTV (2%. No antibodies were detected for BHV-1 or PI3, and no Pestivirus antigen was detected. PCR results were positive for PPRV (7.8%, FMDV (11%, BTV (3%, OvHV-2 (31% and BHV-1 (1.5%. None of the samples were positive for Pestiviruses.

  1. Bilateral uric acid nephrolithiasis and ureteral hypertrophy in a free-ranging river otter (Lontra canadensis)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grove, Robert A.; Bildfell, Rob; Henny, Charles J.; Buhler, D.R.

    2003-01-01

    We report the first case of uric acid nephrolithiasis in a free-ranging river otter (Lontra canadensis). A 7 yr old male river otter collected from the Skagit River of western Washington (USA) had bilateral nephrolithiasis and severely enlarged ureters (one of 305 examined [0.33%]). The uroliths were 97% uric acid and 3% protein. Microscopic changes in the kidney were confined to expansion of renal calyces, minor loss of medullary tissue, and multifocal atrophy of the cortical tubules. No inflammation was observed in either kidney or the ureters. The ureters were enlarged due to marked hypertrophy of smooth muscle plus dilation of the lumen. Fusion of the major calyces into a single ureteral lumen was several cm distal to that of two adult male otters used as histopathologic control specimens. This case report is part of a large contaminant study of river otters collected from Oregon and Washington. It is important to understand diseases and lesions of the otter as part of our overall evaluation of this population.

  2. The echolocation transmission beam of free-ranging Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fang, Liang; Wu, Yuping; Wang, Kexiong; Pine, Matthew K; Wang, Ding; Li, Songhai

    2017-08-01

    While the transmission beam of odontocetes has been described in a number of studies, the majority of them that have measured the transmission beam in two dimensions were focused on captive animals. Within the current study, a dedicated cross hydrophone array with nine elements was used to investigate the echolocation transmission beam of free-ranging Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins. A total of 265 on-axis clicks were analyzed, from which the apparent peak to peak source levels ranged between 168 to 207 dB (mean 184.5 dB ± 6.6 dB). The 3-dB beam width along the horizontal and vertical plane was 9.6° and 7.4°, respectively. Measured separately, the directivity index of the horizontal and vertical plane was 12.6 and 13.5 dB, respectively, and the overall directivity index (both planes combined) was 29.5 dB. The beam shape was slightly asymmetrical along the horizontal and vertical axis. Compared to other species, the characteristics of the transmitting beam of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins were relatively close to the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), likely due to the similarity in the peak frequency and waveform of echolocation clicks and comparable body sizes of the two species.

  3. Size-Related Differences in the Thermoregulatory Habits of Free-Ranging Komodo Dragons

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    Henry J. Harlow

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Thermoregulatory processes were compared among three-size groups of free-ranging Komodo dragons (Varanus komodoensis comprising small (5–20 kg, medium (20–40 gm and large (40–70 kg lizards. While all size groups maintained a similar preferred body temperature of ≈35∘C, they achieved this end point differently. Small dragons appeared to engage in sun shuttling behavior more vigorously than large dragons as represented by their greater frequency of daily ambient temperature and light intensity changes as well as a greater activity and overall exposure to the sun. Large dragons were more sedentary and sun shuttled less. Further, they appear to rely to a greater extent on microhabitat selection and employed mouth gaping evaporative cooling to maintain their preferred operational temperature and prevent overheating. A potential ecological consequence of size-specific thermoregulatory habits for dragons is separation of foraging areas. In part, differences in thermoregulation could contribute to inducing shifts in predatory strategies from active foraging in small dragons to more sedentary sit-and-wait ambush predators in adults.

  4. Environmental conditions associated with lesions in introduced free-ranging sheep in Hawai‘i

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powers, Jenny G.; Duncan, Colleen G.; Spraker, Terry R.; Schuler, Bridget A.; Hess, Steven C.; Faford, Jonathan K.J.; Sin, Hans

    2014-01-01

    Wildlife species which have been translocated between temperate and tropical regions of the world provide unique opportunities to understand how disease processes may be affected by environmental conditions. European mouflon sheep (Ovis gmelini musimon) from the Mediterranean Islands were introduced to the Hawaiian Islands for sport hunting beginning in 1954 and were subsequently hybridized with feral domestic sheep (O. aries), which had been introduced in 1793. Three isolated mouflon populations have become established in the Hawaiian Islands but diseases in these populations have been little studied. The objective of this study was to evaluate and compare gross and histologic lesions in respiratory, renal, and hepatic systems of free-ranging sheep in two isolated volcanic environments on Hawai‘i Island. Tissue and fecal samples were collected in conjunction with population reductions during February 2011. We found gross or histologic evidence of lungworm infection in 44/49 sheep from Mauna Loa which were exposed to gaseous emissions from Kīlauea Volcano. In contrast, only 7/50 sheep from Mauna Kea had lesions consistent with lungworm, but Mauna Kea sheep had significantly more upper respiratory tract inflammation and hyperplasia consistent with chronic antigenic stimulation, possibly associated with exposure to fine airborne particulates during extended drought conditions. We hypothesize that gasses from Kīlauea Volcano contributed to severity of respiratory disease principally associated with chronic lungworm infections at Mauna Loa; however, there were numerous other potentially confounding environmental factors and interactions that merit further investigation.

  5. Outdoor stocking density in free-range laying hens: effects on behaviour and welfare.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, D L M; Hinch, G N; Downing, J A; Lee, C

    2017-06-01

    Free-range laying hen systems are increasing within Australia and research is needed to determine optimal outdoor stocking densities. Six small (n=150 hens) experimental flocks of ISA Brown laying hens were housed with access to ranges simulating one of three outdoor stocking densities with two pen replicates per density: 2000 hens/ha, 10 000 hens/ha or 20 000 hens/ha. Birds were provided daily range access from 21 to 36 weeks of age and the range usage of 50% of hens was tracked using radio-frequency identification technology. Throughout the study, basic external health assessments following a modified version of the Welfare Quality® protocol showed most birds were in visibly good condition (although keel damage was increasingly present with age) with few differences between stocking densities. Toenail length at 36 weeks of age was negatively correlated with hours spent ranging for all pens of birds (all r⩾-0.23, P⩽0.04). At 23 weeks of age, there were no differences between outdoor stocking densities in albumen corticosterone concentrations (P=0.44). At 35 weeks of age, density effects were significant (Prange and indoors showed more dust bathing and foraging (scratching followed by ground-pecking) was performed outdoors, but more resting indoors (all Prange but the most resting outdoors, with hens from the 20 000 hens/ha densities showing the least amount of resting outdoors (all Pfree-range system management practices.

  6. Individual Ranging Behaviour Patterns in Commercial Free-Range Layers as Observed through RFID Tracking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larsen, Hannah; Cronin, Greg M; Gebhardt-Henrich, Sabine G; Smith, Carolynn L; Hemsworth, Paul H; Rault, Jean-Loup

    2017-03-09

    In this exploratory study, we tracked free-range laying hens on two commercial flocks with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology with the aim to examine individual hen variation in range use. Three distinct outdoor zones were identified at increasing distances from the shed; the veranda [0-2.4 m], close range [2.4-11.4 m], and far range [>11.4 m]. Hens' movements between these areas were tracked using radio frequency identification technology. Most of the hens in both flocks (68.6% in Flock A, and 82.2% in Flock B) accessed the range every day during the study. Of the hens that accessed the range, most hens accessed all three zones (73.7% in Flock A, and 84.5% in Flock B). Hens spent half of their time outdoors in the veranda area. Within-individual consistency of range use (daily duration and frequency) varied considerably, and hens which were more consistent in their daily range use spent more time on the range overall ( p ranging behaviour may help elucidate the implications of ranging for laying hens.

  7. Ranging Behaviour of Commercial Free-Range Broiler Chickens 2: Individual Variation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Peta S; Hemsworth, Paul H; Groves, Peter J; Gebhardt-Henrich, Sabine G; Rault, Jean-Loup

    2017-07-20

    Little is known about broiler chicken ranging behaviour. Previous studies have monitored ranging behaviour at flock level but whether individual ranging behaviour varies within a flock is unknown. Using Radio Frequency Identification technology, we tracked 1200 individual ROSS 308 broiler chickens across four mixed sex flocks in two seasons on one commercial farm. Ranging behaviour was tracked from first day of range access (21 days of age) until 35 days of age in winter flocks and 44 days of age in summer flocks. We identified groups of chickens that differed in frequency of range visits: chickens that never accessed the range (13 to 67% of tagged chickens), low ranging chickens (15 to 44% of tagged chickens) that accounted for range visits and included chickens that used the range only once (6 to 12% of tagged chickens), and high ranging chickens (3 to 9% of tagged chickens) that accounted for 33 to 50% of all range visits. Males spent longer on the range than females in winter ( p ranging behaviour may help optimise ranging opportunities in free-range systems and is important to elucidate the potential welfare implications of ranging.

  8. Microbiological quality of air in free-range and box-stall stable horse keeping systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolny-Koładka, Katarzyna

    2018-04-07

    The aim of this study was to assess the microbiological quality of air in three horse riding centers differing in the horse keeping systems. The air samples were collected in one facility with free-range horse keeping system and two with box stalls of different sizes. The samples were collected over a period of 3 years (2015-2017), four times per year (spring, summer, autumn, winter) to assess the effect of seasonal changes. The prevalence of aerobic mesophilic bacteria, mold fungi, actinomycetes, Staphylococcus spp., and Escherichia coli was determined by the air collision method on Petri dishes with appropriate microbiological media. At the same time, air temperature, relative humidity, and particulate matter concentration (PM 10 , PM 2.5 ) were measured. It was found that the horse keeping system affects the occurrence of the examined airborne microorganisms. Over the 3-year period of study, higher temperature and humidity, as well as particulate matter concentration-which notoriously exceeded limit values-were observed in the facilities with the box-stall system. The air sampled from the largest horse riding center, with the largest number of horses and the box-stall system of horse keeping, was also characterized by the heaviest microbiological contamination. Among others, bacteria from the following genera: Staphylococcus spp., Streptococcus spp., Bacillus spp., and E. coli and fungi from the genera Aspergillus, Fusarium, Mucor, Rhizopus, Penicillium, Trichothecium, Cladosporium, and Alternaria were identified in the analyzed samples.

  9. Educating veterinarians for careers in free-ranging wildlife medicine and ecosystem health

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazet, J.A.K.; Hamilton, G.E.; Dierauf, L.A.

    2006-01-01

    In the last 10 years, the field of zoological medicine has seen an expansive broadening into the arenas of free-ranging wildlife, conservation medicine, and ecosystem health. During the spring/summer of 2005, we prepared and disseminated a survey designed to identify training and educational needs for individuals entering the wildlife medicine and ecosystem health fields. Our data revealed that few wildlife veterinarians believe that the training they received in veterinary school adequately prepared them to acquire and succeed in their field. Wildlife veterinarians and their employers ranked mentorship with an experienced wildlife veterinarian, training in leadership and communication, courses and externships in wildlife health, and additional formal training beyond the veterinary degree as important in preparation for success. Employers, wildlife veterinarians, and job seekers alike reported that understanding and maintaining ecosystem health is a key component of the wildlife veterinarian's job description, as it is critical to protecting animal health, including human health. Today's wildlife veterinarians are a new type of transdisciplinary professional; they practice medicine in their communities and hold titles in every level of government and academia. It is time that we integrate ecosystem health into our curricula to nurture and enhance an expansive way of looking at veterinary medicine and to ensure that veterinary graduates are prepared to excel in this new and complex world, in which the health of wildlife, domestic animals, and people are interdependent.

  10. Hematology, Parasitology, and Serology of Free-Ranging Coyotes (Canis latrans) from South Carolina.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Miller, Debra, Lee; Schrecengost, Joshua; Merrill, Anita; Kilgo, John; Ray, H., Scott; Karl V. Miller, Karl, V.; Baldwin, Charles, A.

    2009-07-01

    ABSTRACT: Blood and feces were collected from 34 adult (19 males, 15 females) and seven juvenile (three males, one female, three not reported) free-ranging coyotes (Canis latrans) on the US Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site (South Carolina, USA). Significant (P,0.05) hematologic differences by sex were noted for red blood cell counts, hemoglobin, and hematocrit. Biochemical differences by sex occurred only for albumen (P,0.05). Twentyone adults were antibody positive for at least one of four viruses: canine adenovirus type 1 (CAV-1; 68%), West Nile virus (WNV; 60%), Eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV; 38%), and Canine distemper virus (CDV; 15%). Of the seven Leptospira serovars tested for, seven (25%) of 28 adults were positive for one or more of five serovars: Pomona, Grippotyphosa, Icterohaemorrhagiae, Bratislava, and Autumnalis. Three (43%) of seven juveniles had seropositivity for a virus, one each for CDV, CAV-1, and WNV. No juveniles were seropositive for EEEV or any of the seven Leptospira serovars. Blood smears of 12 adults were positive for Dirofilaria immitis microfilaria, but blood smears from all juveniles were negative. Parvovirus was identified by electron microscopy from the feces of one adult. Ancylostoma spp., Trichuris spp., and Isospora spp. were observed in fecal samples. These data may aid in understanding the role of coyotes in disease ecology.

  11. Interactive drivers of activity in a free-ranging estuarine predator.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew D Taylor

    Full Text Available Animal activity patterns evolve as an optimal balance between energy use, energy acquisition, and predation risk, so understanding how animals partition activity relative to extrinsic environmental fluctuations is central to understanding their ecology, biology and physiology. Here we use accelerometry to examine the degree to which activity patterns of an estuarine teleost predator are driven by a series of rhythmic and arrhythmic environmental fluctuations. We implanted free-ranging bream Acanthopagrus australis with acoustic transmitters that measured bi-axial acceleration and pressure (depth, and simultaneously monitored a series of environmental variables (photosynthetically active radiation, tidal height, temperature, turbidity, and lunar phase for a period of approximately four months. Linear modeling showed an interaction between fish activity, light level and tidal height; with activity rates also negatively correlated with fish depth. These patterns highlight the relatively-complex trade-offs that are required to persist in highly variable environments. This study demonstrates how novel acoustic sensor tags can reveal interactive links between environmental cycles and animal behavior.

  12. Using Machine Learning to Discover Latent Social Phenotypes in Free-Ranging Macaques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madlon-Kay, Seth; Brent, Lauren J. N.; Heller, Katherine A.; Platt, Michael L.

    2017-01-01

    Investigating the biological bases of social phenotypes is challenging because social behavior is both high-dimensional and richly structured, and biological factors are more likely to influence complex patterns of behavior rather than any single behavior in isolation. The space of all possible patterns of interactions among behaviors is too large to investigate using conventional statistical methods. In order to quantitatively define social phenotypes from natural behavior, we developed a machine learning model to identify and measure patterns of behavior in naturalistic observational data, as well as their relationships to biological, environmental, and demographic sources of variation. We applied this model to extensive observations of natural behavior in free-ranging rhesus macaques, and identified behavioral states that appeared to capture periods of social isolation, competition over food, conflicts among groups, and affiliative coexistence. Phenotypes, represented as the rate of being in each state for a particular animal, were strongly and broadly influenced by dominance rank, sex, and social group membership. We also identified two states for which variation in rates had a substantial genetic component. We discuss how this model can be extended to identify the contributions to social phenotypes of particular genetic pathways. PMID:28754001

  13. Selfish Pups: Weaning Conflict and Milk Theft in Free-Ranging Dogs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manabi Paul

    Full Text Available Parent-offspring conflict theory predicts the emergence of weaning conflict between a mother and her offspring arising from skewed relatedness benefits. Empirical observations of weaning conflict have not been carried out in canids. In a field-based study on free-ranging dogs we observed that nursing/suckling bout durations decrease, proportion of mother-initiated nursing bouts decrease and mother-initiated nursing/suckling terminations increase with pup age. We identified the 7th - 13th week period of pup age as the zone of conflict between the mother and her pups, beyond which suckling solicitations cease, and before which suckling refusals are few. We also report for the first time milk theft by pups who take advantage of the presence of multiple lactating females, due to the promiscuous mating system of the dogs. This behaviour, though apparently disadvantageous for the mothers, is perhaps adaptive for the dogs in the face of high mortality and competition for resources.

  14. Use of hyaluronidase to improve chemical immobilization of free-ranging polar bears (Ursus maritimus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cattet, Marc R L; Obbard, Martyn E

    2010-01-01

    We assessed the efficacy and safety of hyaluronidase to improve chemical immobilization of free-ranging polar bears (Ursus maritimus) captured from helicopter by remote drug delivery along the Ontario coast line of northwestern James Bay and southern Hudson Bay during September 2005 and October 2007. We used a single blind study design in which one person prepared and loaded all darts without the shooter knowing whether hyaluronidase (150 IU per dart) or sterile water was added to the immobilizing drug mixture of xylazine and zolazepam-tiletamine (XZT). We found that we often required more than one dart to immobilize bears in the control group (XZT+sterile water; >1 dart for 15 of 28 captures) versus the treatment group (XZT+hyaluronidase; >1 dart for seven of 26 captures). As a consequence, treatment bears were generally immobilized with smaller XZT dosages (7.9 vs. 9.4 mg/kg; P = 0.08) and shorter induction (10 vs. 15 min; P = 0.004) than control bears. We found no differences in vital rates and serum biochemistry results between control and treatment bears. We did find, however, that induction times correlated directly with rectal temperature at polar bears. Overall we found hyaluronidase to be effective and safe for capture of polar bears. We recommend further study to determine whether effects of hyaluronidase are dose dependent and recommend that others involved with capture of seasonally fat species such as polar bears consider use of hyaluronidase to improve chemical immobilization.

  15. Serum vitamin D levels in free-ranging koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pye, Geoffrey W; Ellis, William; FitzGibbon, Sean; Opitz, Brian; Keener, Laura; Hollis, Bruce W

    2013-06-01

    Due to climatic conditions in Northern America and Europe, koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) are often housed indoors. Koala joeys raised in these environments are susceptible to the development of metabolic bone disease due to a lack of exposure to solar ultraviolet radiation to themselves and their dam. As an initial step toward describing vitamin D sufficiency and adequately measuring responses to supplementation, vitamin D values were calculated by using serum collected from 20 free-ranging koalas on St. Bees Island, Queensland, Australia. Vitamin D values ranged from 8.1 to 30.4 pg/ml (18.4 +/- 5.5 pg/ml) for 1, 25-hydroxyvitamin D, and from 1 to 14 nM/L (7.4 +/- 3.0 nM/L) for 25-hydroxyvitamin D. These koala serum vitamin D values are unusually low when compared with eutherian mammals. Although this study was limited in numbers and in the geographically range of the koalas sampled, it does suggest that the koala's requirement for vitamin D is low. Therefore, supplementation to prevent disease may be relatively easy to achieve because low doses will likely meet requirements. Caution should be taken to avoid intoxication if supplementing vitamin D in koalas.

  16. Serum protein electrophoresis values for free-ranging and zoo-based koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pye, Geoffrey W; Ellis, William; Fitzgibbon, Sean; Opitz, Brian; Keener, Laura; Arheart, Kristopher L; Cray, Carolyn

    2012-03-01

    In a clinical setting, especially with species of special interest, it is important to use all clinical pathology testing options for general health monitoring and diagnosis. Protein electrophoresis (EPH) has previously been shown to be an important adjunct tool in veterinary medicine. Serum samples from 18 free-ranging and 12 zoo-based koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) were subject to EPH analysis. Significant differences were found between the two groups for the following values: total protein, albumin, beta globulins, and albumin-globulin ratio (P < 0.05). By using the combined data, the minimum-maximum values for the EPH fractions were as follows: total protein 5.0-7.8 g/dl, albumin 2.8-4.7 g/dl, alpha-1 globulins 0.5-1.1 g/dl, alpha-2 globulins 0.3-0.7 g/dl, beta globulins 0.4-1.0 g/dl, gamma globulins 0.2-1.0 g/dl, and albumin-globulin ratio 1.0-2.1.

  17. Intensive vs. free-range organic beef. A preference study through consumer liking and conjoint analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Torres, S; López-Gajardo, A; Mesías, F J

    2016-04-01

    This paper evaluates consumer liking and preferences towards organic beef from two production systems allowed by EU regulation: i) free-range and ii) intensive (fattened in feed-lot with organic feedstuff) as compared with conventionally produced beef. Data were obtained in April-May 2014 with a sample of 150 regular beef consumers who completed two tasks: firstly a sensory test where consumers tasted and rated the meats and secondly a conjoint analysis to study beef purchasing preferences. Willingness-to-pay for the different meats was also calculated from conjoint results. Results show that consumers preferred organic-from-concentrate beef at sensory level while organic beef from animals fed on grass was preferred when process characteristics (i.e. farming system) or attributes perceived at the point of purchase (i.e. colour) were evaluated. It was also found that the price-premium for organic beef is over 40%, with organic-fed-on grass beef preferred slightly over that fed-on-concentrate. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Using diel movement behavior to infer foraging strategies related to ecological and social factors in elephants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polansky, Leo; Douglas-Hamilton, Iain; Wittemyer, George

    2013-01-01

    Adaptive movement behaviors allow individuals to respond to fluctuations in resource quality and distribution in order to maintain fitness. Classically, studies of the interaction between ecological conditions and movement behavior have focused on such metrics as travel distance, velocity, home range size or patch occupancy time as the salient metrics of behavior. Driven by the emergence of very regular high frequency data, more recently the importance of interpreting the autocorrelation structure of movement as a behavioral metric has become apparent. Studying movement of a free ranging African savannah elephant population, we evaluated how two movement metrics, diel displacement (DD) and movement predictability (MP - the degree of autocorrelated movement activity at diel time scales), changed in response to variation in resource availability as measured by the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index. We were able to capitalize on long term (multi-year) yet high resolution (hourly) global positioning system tracking datasets, the sample size of which allows robust analysis of complex models. We use optimal foraging theory predictions as a framework to interpret our results, in particular contrasting the behaviors across changes in social rank and resource availability to infer which movement behaviors at diel time scales may be optimal in this highly social species. Both DD and MP increased with increasing forage availability, irrespective of rank, reflecting increased energy expenditure and movement predictability during time periods of overall high resource availability. However, significant interactions between forage availability and social rank indicated a stronger response in DD, and a weaker response in MP, with increasing social status. Relative to high ranking individuals, low ranking individuals expended more energy and exhibited less behavioral movement autocorrelation during lower forage availability conditions, likely reflecting sub-optimal movement

  19. 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.

  20. Metabolic Changes in Summer Active and Anuric Hibernating Free-Ranging Brown Bears (Ursus arctos)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stenvinkel, Peter; Fröbert, Ole; Anderstam, Björn; Palm, Fredrik; Eriksson, Monica; Bragfors-Helin, Ann-Christin; Qureshi, Abdul Rashid; Larsson, Tobias; Friebe, Andrea; Zedrosser, Andreas; Josefsson, Johan; Svensson, My; Sahdo, Berolla; Bankir, Lise; Johnson, Richard J.

    2013-01-01

    The brown bear (Ursus arctos) hibernates for 5 to 6 months each winter and during this time ingests no food or water and remains anuric and inactive. Despite these extreme conditions, bears do not develop azotemia and preserve their muscle and bone strength. To date most renal studies have been limited to small numbers of bears, often in captive environments. Sixteen free-ranging bears were darted and had blood drawn both during hibernation in winter and summer. Samples were collected for measurement of creatinine and urea, markers of inflammation, the calcium-phosphate axis, and nutritional parameters including amino acids. In winter the bear serum creatinine increased 2.5 fold despite a 2-fold decrease in urea, indicating a remarkable ability to recycle urea nitrogen during hibernation. During hibernation serum calcium remained constant despite a decrease in serum phosphate and a rise in FGF23 levels. Despite prolonged inactivity and reduced renal function, inflammation does not ensue and bears seem to have enhanced antioxidant defense mechanisms during hibernation. Nutrition parameters showed high fat stores, preserved amino acids and mild hyperglycemia during hibernation. While total, essential, non-essential and branched chain amino acids concentrations do not change during hibernation anorexia, changes in individual amino acids ornithine, citrulline and arginine indicate an active, although reduced urea cycle and nitrogen recycling to proteins. Serum uric acid and serum fructose levels were elevated in summer and changes between seasons were positively correlated. Further studies to understand how bears can prevent the development of uremia despite minimal renal function during hibernation could provide new therapeutic avenues for the treatment of human kidney disease. PMID:24039826

  1. Epidemiology of sarcoptic mange in free-ranging raccoon dogs (Nyctereutes procyonoides) in Yokohama, Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kido, N; Itabashi, M; Takahashi, M; Futami, M

    2013-01-16

    Free-ranging raccoon dogs (Nyctereutes procyonoides) from Nogeyama Zoological Gardens, Kanazawa Zoological Gardens, and Yokohama Zoological Gardens frequently rescued dogs having Sarcoptes scabiei infestation. However, the epidemiology of S. scabiei infestation has not yet been elucidated. In the present study, we investigated the epidemiology of S. scabiei infestation in raccoon dogs and its influence on the population of masked palm civets in Yokohama, Japan. We examined records of raccoon dog rescue between 1981 and 2010 and classified the dogs into the following 4 categories on the basis of the reason for rescue: dogs with S. scabiei infestation, scabies-infested dogs involved in car accidents, uninfested dogs involved in car accidents, and other reasons for rescue. We found that the number of dogs rescued due to car accidents and other reasons increased from 1989 onwards, and an S. scabiei outbreak was recorded since 1993. The infestation spread from the southern to the northern regions of Yokohama. The total number of raccoon dogs rescued annually peaked in 1995 and declined thereafter. The number of masked palm civets (Paguma larvata) rescued gradually increased with a decline in the number of raccoon dogs rescued. In the present study, we revealed the epidemiology of S. scabiei infestation in the raccoon dog. The outbreak might be induced by the increased population density, and the infestation spread immediately from the southern to the northern regions of Yokohama since 1993. Further, the population of masked palm civets may have increased due to the decrease in the population of the raccoon dog. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Sequences and timing of dental eruption in semi-free-ranging mandrills (Mandrillus sphinx).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Setchell, Joanna M; Wickings, E Jean

    2004-01-01

    The chronology of tooth emergence is often used to examine the growth and development of individuals and to compare life histories across species. Emergence patterns are also used to age animals and to infer life history influences for extinct species. However, comparative studies of primates are hindered by a lack of dental development data for many species. Here we describe the sequences and timing of tooth emergence for a large sample of semi-free-ranging mandrills (Mandrillus sphinx) and compare this with other life history variables for this species. Deciduous dentition emerged in the sequence i1 i2 c p3 p4. The augmented sequence (including information about variability in emergence sequence) was i1 i2 [c p3] p4 for the female maxilla and the male mandible, and i1 i2 c p3 p4 for the female mandible and the male maxilla. Deciduous dentition was complete by 5.0 months in females and 6.4 months in males. The permanent dentition began to emerge at 26 months, and complete adult dentition had emerged by 68 months for males and 85 months for females. Sex differences occurred in the augmented eruption sequences: females M1 I1 I2 [M2 C] P3 P4 M3, males M1 I1 [I2 M2] [P4 = P3 = C] M3. The order of tooth eruption and the occurrence of sequence polymorphisms were very similar to those observed for baboons and macaques. Comparison with life history variables showed that mandrills have complete deciduous dentition at weaning, females possess both adult incisors and M1 when they first reproduce, but still have deciduous canines and premolars, and that both sexes have full adult dentition before they attain their full adult stature and mass.

  3. Circadian rhythms in blood pressure in free-ranging three-toed sloths (Bradypus variegatus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Duarte D.P.F.

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available Blood pressure (BP profiles were monitored in nine free-ranging sloths (Bradypus variegatus by coupling one common carotid artery to a BP telemetry transmitter. Animals moved freely in an isolated and temperature-controlled room (24ºC with 12/12-h artificial light-dark cycles and behaviors were observed during resting, eating and moving. Systolic (SBP and diastolic (DBP blood pressures were sampled for 1 min every 15 min for 24 h. BP rhythm over 24 h was analyzed by the cosinor method and the mesor, amplitude, acrophase and percent rhythm were calculated. A total of 764 measurements were made in the light cycle and 721 in the dark cycle. Twenty-four-hour values (mean ± SD were obtained for SBP (121 ± 22 mmHg, DBP (86 ± 17 mmHg, mean BP (MBP, 98 ± 18 mmHg and heart rate (73 ± 16 bpm. The SBP, DBP and MBP were significantly higher (unpaired Student t-test during the light period (125 ± 21, 88 ± 15 and 100 ± 17 mmHg, respectively than during the dark period (120 ± 21, 85 ± 17 and 97 ± 17 mmHg, respectively and the acrophase occurred between 16:00 and 17:45 h. This circadian variation is similar to that observed in cats, dogs and marmosets. The BP decreased during "behavioral sleep" (MBP down from 110 ± 19 to 90 ± 19 mmHg at 21:00 to 8:00 h. Both feeding and moving induced an increase in MBP (96 ± 17 to 119 ± 17 mmHg at 17:00 h and 97 ± 19 to 105 ± 12 mmHg at 15:00 h, respectively. The results show that conscious sloths present biphasic circadian fluctuations in BP levels, which are higher during the light period and are mainly synchronized with feeding.

  4. Energetic cost of bot fly parasitism in free-ranging eastern chipmunks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Careau, Vincent; Thomas, Donald W; Humphries, Murray M

    2010-02-01

    The energy and nutrient demands of parasites on their hosts are frequently invoked as an explanation for negative impacts of parasitism on host survival and reproductive success. Although cuterebrid bot flies are among the physically largest and most-studied insect parasites of mammals, the only study conducted on metabolic consequences of bot fly parasitism revealed a surprisingly small effect of bot flies on host metabolism. Here we test the prediction that bot fly parasitism increases the resting metabolic rate (RMR) of free-ranging eastern chipmunks (Tamias striatus), particularly in juveniles who have not previously encountered parasites and have to allocate energy to growth. We found no effect of bot fly parasitism on adults. In juveniles, however, we found that RMR strongly increased with the number of bot fly larvae hosted. For a subset of 12 juveniles during a year where parasite prevalence was particularly high, we also compared the RMR before versus during the peak of bot fly prevalence, allowing each individual to act as its own control. Each bot fly larva resulted in a approximately 7.6% increase in the RMR of its host while reducing juvenile growth rates. Finally, bot fly parasitism at the juvenile stage was positively correlated with adult stage RMR, suggesting persistent effects of bot flies on RMR. This study is the first to show an important effect of bot fly parasitism on the metabolism and growth of a wild mammal. Our work highlights the importance of studying cost of parasitism over multiple years in natural settings, as negative effects on hosts are more likely to emerge in periods of high energetic demand (e.g. growing juveniles) and/or in harsh environmental conditions (e.g. low food availability).

  5. Metabolic changes in summer active and anuric hibernating free-ranging brown bears (Ursus arctos.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Stenvinkel

    Full Text Available The brown bear (Ursus arctos hibernates for 5 to 6 months each winter and during this time ingests no food or water and remains anuric and inactive. Despite these extreme conditions, bears do not develop azotemia and preserve their muscle and bone strength. To date most renal studies have been limited to small numbers of bears, often in captive environments. Sixteen free-ranging bears were darted and had blood drawn both during hibernation in winter and summer. Samples were collected for measurement of creatinine and urea, markers of inflammation, the calcium-phosphate axis, and nutritional parameters including amino acids. In winter the bear serum creatinine increased 2.5 fold despite a 2-fold decrease in urea, indicating a remarkable ability to recycle urea nitrogen during hibernation. During hibernation serum calcium remained constant despite a decrease in serum phosphate and a rise in FGF23 levels. Despite prolonged inactivity and reduced renal function, inflammation does not ensue and bears seem to have enhanced antioxidant defense mechanisms during hibernation. Nutrition parameters showed high fat stores, preserved amino acids and mild hyperglycemia during hibernation. While total, essential, non-essential and branched chain amino acids concentrations do not change during hibernation anorexia, changes in individual amino acids ornithine, citrulline and arginine indicate an active, although reduced urea cycle and nitrogen recycling to proteins. Serum uric acid and serum fructose levels were elevated in summer and changes between seasons were positively correlated. Further studies to understand how bears can prevent the development of uremia despite minimal renal function during hibernation could provide new therapeutic avenues for the treatment of human kidney disease.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bettina Wachter

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

  7. GENETIC CHARACTERIZATION OF CANINE PARVOVIRUS IN SYMPATRIC FREE-RANGING WILD CARNIVORES IN PORTUGAL.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miranda, Carla; Santos, Nuno; Parrish, Colin; Thompson, Gertrude

    2017-10-01

    Since its emergence in the 1970s, canine parvovirus (CPV) has been reported in domestic and nondomestic carnivores worldwide with severe implications on their health and survival. Here, we aim to better understand CPV circulation in multihost-pathogens systems by characterizing CPV DNA or viruses in 227 free-ranging wild carnivores of 12 species from Portugal. Collected samples during 1995-2011 were analyzed by PCR and sequence analysis. The canine parvovirus DNA was detected in 4 (2%) animals of two species, namely in wolves (Canis lupus; 3/63, 5%, 95% confidence interval=1.6-3.15) and in a stone marten (Martes foina; 1/36, 3%, 95% confidence interval=0.5-14.2). Viruses in two wolves had VP2 residue 426 as aspartic acid (so-called CPV-2b) and the third had VP2 residue 426 as asparagine (CPV-2a), while the virus in the stone marten uniquely had VP2 residue 426 as glutamic acid (CPV-2c). The comparative analysis of the full-length VP2 gene of our isolates showed other nonsynonymous mutations. The phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that the sequences from wolves clustered together, showing a close relationship with European domestic dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) and wolf strains while the viral sequence from the stone marten grouped with other viruses contained the glutamic acid VP2 426 along with raccoon (Procyon lotor), bobcat (Lynx rufus), and domestic dog strains. This study confirmed that wild carnivores in Portugal are infected by CPV variants, strongly suggesting viral transmission between the wild and domestic populations and suggesting a need for a better understanding of the epidemiology of the disease and its management in wild populations.

  8. Semen characteristics and refrigeration in free-ranging giant anteaters (Myrmecophaga tridactyla).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luba, Camila do Nascimento; Boakari, Yatta Linhares; Costa Lopes, Alexandre Martins; da Silva Gomes, Marcelo; Miranda, Flávia Regina; Papa, Frederico Ozanan; Ferreira, João Carlos Pinheiro

    2015-12-01

    The giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla) is considered vulnerable to extinction. Scientific data on the reproductive parameters of this species are scarce. Semen from eight free-ranging giant anteaters was collected to establish its characteristics and the effects of cooling and storage at 5 °C after dilution with the BotuCrio extender without cryoprotectant. The ejaculate presented two distinct sequential fractions, including a whitish fraction, which was milky and rich in sperm cells, and a gel fraction, which was colorless, viscous, and azoospermic. The mean ± standard error of the mean values of the seminal characteristics were as follows: volume of the first fraction, 0.75 ± 0.1 mL; motility, 75 ± 2.9%; vigor, 3.2 ± 0.3; sperm motility index, 68.8 ± 4.3; concentration, 108.5 ± 13.4 × 10(6)/mL; plasma membrane integrity index, 71 ± 4.0%; spermatic defects detected using modified Karras staining, 35.5 ± 3.3%; and spermatic alterations identified by differential interference contrast microscopy, 48.3 ± 6.8%. During refrigeration, the semen presented decreasing motility from 0 to 18 hours, sperm motility index decreased from 0 to 24 hours, and vigor did not change in the first 6 hours and then decreased to 18 hours. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Can ethograms be automatically generated using body acceleration data from free-ranging birds?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kentaro Q Sakamoto

    Full Text Available An ethogram is a catalogue of discrete behaviors typically employed by a species. Traditionally animal behavior has been recorded by observing study individuals directly. However, this approach is difficult, often impossible, in the case of behaviors which occur in remote areas and/or at great depth or altitude. The recent development of increasingly sophisticated, animal-borne data loggers, has started to overcome this problem. Accelerometers are particularly useful in this respect because they can record the dynamic motion of a body in e.g. flight, walking, or swimming. However, classifying behavior using body acceleration characteristics typically requires prior knowledge of the behavior of free-ranging animals. Here, we demonstrate an automated procedure to categorize behavior from body acceleration, together with the release of a user-friendly computer application, "Ethographer". We evaluated its performance using longitudinal acceleration data collected from a foot-propelled diving seabird, the European shag, Phalacrocorax aristotelis. The time series data were converted into a spectrum by continuous wavelet transformation. Then, each second of the spectrum was categorized into one of 20 behavior groups by unsupervised cluster analysis, using k-means methods. The typical behaviors extracted were characterized by the periodicities of body acceleration. Each categorized behavior was assumed to correspond to when the bird was on land, in flight, on the sea surface, diving and so on. The behaviors classified by the procedures accorded well with those independently defined from depth profiles. Because our approach is performed by unsupervised computation of the data, it has the potential to detect previously unknown types of behavior and unknown sequences of some behaviors.

  10. Individual analyses of Lévy walk in semi-free ranging Tonkean macaques (Macaca tonkeana.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cédric Sueur

    Full Text Available Animals adapt their movement patterns to their environment in order to maximize their efficiency when searching for food. The Lévy walk and the Brownian walk are two types of random movement found in different species. Studies have shown that these random movements can switch from a Brownian to a Lévy walk according to the size distribution of food patches. However no study to date has analysed how characteristics such as sex, age, dominance or body mass affect the movement patterns of an individual. In this study we used the maximum likelihood method to examine the nature of the distribution of step lengths and waiting times and assessed how these distributions are influenced by the age and the sex of group members in a semi free-ranging group of ten Tonkean macaques. Individuals highly differed in their activity budget and in their movement patterns. We found an effect of age and sex of individuals on the power distribution of their step lengths and of their waiting times. The males and old individuals displayed a higher proportion of longer trajectories than females and young ones. As regards waiting times, females and old individuals displayed higher rates of long stationary periods than males and young individuals. These movement patterns resembling random walks can probably be explained by the animals moving from one location to other known locations. The power distribution of step lengths might be due to a power distribution of food patches in the enclosure while the power distribution of waiting times might be due to the power distribution of the patch sizes.

  11. No-scalpel vasectomy by electrocauterization in free range rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Raj

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available The objective of the study was to standardize a new method of vasectomy in male rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta. A total of 208 free range male rhesus macaques captured from different locations in Shivalik Hills in a population control programme of the rhesus macaques in India. General anaesthesia was achieved by using a combination of ketamine hydrochloride at 8 mg/kg body weight and xylazine hydrochloride at 2mg/kg body weight intramuscularly in squeeze cage. Surgical procedure of vasectomy was carried out by single-hole no-scalpel technique using a single pre-scrotal skin incision above the median raphae. Spermatic cord was grasped with ringed forceps and was pulled out through the single-hole incision. Vas deferens was separated from the artery-vein complexus and about 3-4 cm portion of vas deferens was resected. Cauterization of both ends of the vas deferens was achieved with electrocautery. The induction time for anaesthesia was 1.40±0.18 min while surgical time for vasectomy was found to be 5.09±0.22 min. Recovery from general anaesthesia was without side-effects after a mean duration of 36.07±1.22 min, whereas the duration of anaesthesia was observed to be 82.27±4.96 min. There were no major complications following the surgery and recovery of animals was smooth. Animals were kept in postoperative care for five days and released at the same capturing site.

  12. Histopathological changes in kidneys of free ranging animals in relation to lead and cadmium residues

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Beiglboeck, C.

    2000-05-01

    Kidney samples of 234 roe deer and 45 wild boars were collected in Lower Austria and Vienna, and were analyzed for lead and cadmium contents. Samples of the organs were examined histologically, considering 12 different morphological parameters. Influences of age, sex and origin of the animals on heavy metal burdens were assessed, and the possible correlation between histopathological changes and age, sex, origin and heavy metal concentrations in the kidneys was tested. Lead concentrations were low with medians (mg/kg wet tissue) being 0,062 in roe deer and 0,044 in wild boars. Neither age nor sex nor origin influenced the lead contents of the kidneys. Cadmium burden was fairly high, both in roe deer (median: 0,954) and wild boars (median: 3,009). It increased with age in both species, while female roe deer showed higher contents as well. No influence of the animals' origin was found. The correlation between histopathological changes and age, sex, origin and heavy metal concentrations in the kidneys was tested in 208 roe deer and 44 wild boars which showed no signs of kidney related diseases. In roe deer, the frequency of vacuolic degeneration, pycnotic nuclei, caryolysis and necrosis was related with increased cadmium concentrations. Increasing age correlated with lymphohistiocytic infiltration, interstitial fibrosis and swelling of glomeruli. Pigment deposits and thickening of the Bowman's capsule could be related to both cadmium and age. Furthermore, roe deer from Vienna more frequently showed alterations as observed in animals from Lower Austria. No correlation existed between morphological changes and lead concentrations or sex. In wild boars, there was no obvious relationship between all parameters tested and the frequency of histopathologic changes, except changes in pigmentation. Possible nephrotoxic agents in free ranging animals and the demonstrated influence of cadmium on severe kidney damage are discussed. (author)

  13. First detection of feline hemoplasmas in free-ranging jaguars (Panthera onca).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Furtado, Mariana Malzoni; Taniwaki, Sueli Akemi; Metzger, Betina; O'Dwyer, Lucia Helena; Paduan, Karina Dos Santos; Jácomo, Anah Tereza de Almeida; Porfírio, Grasiela Edith de Oliveira; Silveira, Leandro; Sollmann, Rahel; Tôrres, Natália Mundim; Ferreira Neto, José Soares

    2018-02-01

    Species of hemoplasmas have been described worldwide, but little information is available for wild felids. Between February 2000 and January 2010, blood samples were collected from 30 jaguars (Panthera onca) and 22 domestic cats (Felis catus) from the Cerrado, Pantanal and Amazon biomes of Brazil. In all samples molecular tests were performed for Mycoplasma haemofelis/Mycoplasma haemocanis (Mhf/Mhc), 'Candidatus Mycoplasma haemominutum' (CMhm) and 'Candidatus Mycoplasma turicensis' (CMt). Twenty-two (73.4%) jaguars and four domestic cats (18.2%) tested positive for infection with at least one feline hemoplasma: 73.4% jaguars from the three areas were positive for CMhm, 13.6% jaguars from the Pantanal and 50.0% from the Amazon were positive for Mhf/Mhc, and 9.1% of individuals from the Pantanal tested positive for CMt. Domestic cats from the Cerrado (28.6%) and the Pantanal (30.0%) were positive for feline hemoplasma. All but one jaguar from the three sites are healthy. One female adult jaguar showed low body weight and dehydration. This is the first record of feline hemoplasmas in free-ranging jaguars. The high prevalence of CMhm suggest the participation of jaguars in the maintenance of this hemoplasma in nature. Although susceptible to Mhf/Mhc and CMt, jaguars did not appear to participate in the maintenance of these agents in the environment. The involvement of domestic cats in the transmission of any of these hemoplasmas cannot be excluded. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Relationships between affiliative social behavior and hair cortisol concentrations in semi-free ranging rhesus monkeys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wooddell, Lauren J; Hamel, Amanda F; Murphy, Ashley M; Byers, Kristen L; Kaburu, Stefano S K; Meyer, Jerrold S; Suomi, Stephen J; Dettmer, Amanda M

    2017-10-01

    Sociality is a fundamental aspect of human behavior and health. One benefit of affiliative social relationships is reduced short-term levels of glucocorticoids (GCs), which are indicative of physiological stress. Less is known, however, about chronic GC production in relation to affiliative social behavior. To address this issue, we studied a semi-free ranging troop of rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) and collected hair samples to measure hair cortisol concentrations (HCCs), as a measure of chronic GC production, during routine biannual exams. We collected social behavior (both aggressive and affiliative) and hair samples for 32 adult female rhesus macaques over one year (Experiment 1). Our results indicated that adult females who initiated higher levels of social affiliation had significantly lower levels of HCCs. Neither the initiation nor the receipt of aggression were significantly related to HCCs in this study. In a second experiment we studied 28 mother-infant dyads for the first 90days postpartum to examine mother-infant facial interactions (i.e. mutual gazing). We analyzed HCCs during weaning approximately one year later, which is a major transitional period. We found that infants that engaged in higher levels of mutual gazing in the first 90days postpartum had significantly lower levels of HCCs during weaning. Finally, we studied 17 infant rhesus macaques (13 males) to examine whether social behavior (such as play) in the first five months of life correlated with infant HCCs over those months (Experiment 3). We found that infant males that engaged in more social play had significantly lower levels of HCCs. By relying on an animal model, our study shows that affiliative social traits are associated with lower long-term GC production. Future research should address the complex interactions between social behavior, chronic GC production, and mental and physical health. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Performance and carcass characteristics of free-range broiler chickens fed diets containing alternative feedstuffs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    PB Faria

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available The present study was carried out to evaluate the effects of alternative feedstuffs as partial substitutes of corn and soybean in free-range broiler diets on performance, carcass yield and technical-economic viability. A total of 400 Pescoço Pelado broilers were distributed in a completely randomized experimental design (CRD, with four treatments (treatment 1:Control; treatment 2: 10% rice bran inclusion; treatment 3: 10% ground cassava leaves; and treatment 4: 10% ground lead tree hay with four replicates per treatment. Each replicate consisted of a group of 25 birds per paddock, separated per sex. Initial weight (IW, final weight (FW, body weight (BW, daily weight gain (DWG, feed intake (FI and feed conversion ratio (FCR were evaluated. Carcass, cuts (breast, thigh, drumstick, back, neck, leg and wings, abdominal fat and giblets (gizzard, heart and liver yields were determined. The technical-economic viability of each treatment was assessed by determining the cost of feed per kg body weight, economic efficiency index and cost. The highest final weights were obtained with the use of rice bran. Rice bran and cassava leaves promoted higher carcass yield, as well as lower back and abdominal fat yields. The use of cassava leaves showed better economic efficiency among the treatments with alternative feedstuffs. The use of alternative feedstuffs at 10% inclusion in substitution of corn and soybean meal did not not result in major changes in performance and carcass parameters, and economic efficiency, and therefore, their use is recommended when the availability or the price of key ingredients, such as soybean meal and corn, increase.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Effect of Free-range Rearing on Meat Composition, Physical Properties and Sensory Evaluation in Taiwan Game Hens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Cheng-Yung; Kuo, Hsiao-Yun; Wan, Tien-Chun

    2014-01-01

    Experiments were conducted to evaluate the effect of an outdoor-grazed raising model on meat composition, physical properties and sensory attributes of Taiwan game hens. Six hundred 1-d old female chicks were raised on a floor for 8 weeks. On day 57, 600 healthy birds, with similar body weight, were selected and randomly assigned to three treatment groups (cage, floor-pen and free-range). The results showed that different feeding models had no effect on drip loss, cooking loss, moisture, crude protein, crude fat, crude ash, zinc and calorie contents in breast meat and moisture content in thigh meat. The free-range group had the lowest fat content in both breast and thigh meat, and the lowest calorie content in thigh meat. The firmness and toughness in both thigh and breast of the free-range group were the highest values (pmeat and total collagen content in breast meat of the free-range group were significantly higher than those of the cage-feeding group (pmeat sensory scores of flavor, chewiness and overall acceptability of both thigh and breast meat of the free-range group were significantly (pmeat quality, with higher scores for flavor, chewiness and overall acceptability for greater sensory satisfaction in both breast and thigh meat. In addition, the thigh meat contained high protein and total collage but low fat, offering a healthier diet choice. PMID:25050027

  20. 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.

  1. Capture, anesthesia, and disturbance of free-ranging brown bears (Ursus arctos) during hibernation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Alina L; Sahlén, Veronica; Støen, Ole-Gunnar; Fahlman, Åsa; Brunberg, Sven; Madslien, Knut; Fröbert, Ole; Swenson, Jon E; Arnemo, Jon M

    2012-01-01

    We conducted thirteen immobilizations of previously collared hibernating two- to four-year-old brown bears (Ursus arctos) weighing 21-66 kg in central Sweden in winter 2010 and 2011 for comparative physiology research. Here we report, for the first time, an effective protocol for the capture and anesthesia of free-ranging brown bears during hibernation and an assessment of the disturbance the captures caused. Bears were darted in anthill, soil, or uprooted tree dens on eleven occasions, but two bears in rock dens fled and were darted outside the den. We used medetomidine at 0.02-0.06 mg/kg and zolazepam-tiletamine at 0.9-2.8 mg/kg for anesthesia. In addition, ketamine at 1.5 mg/kg was hand-injected intramuscularly in four bears and in six it was included in the dart at 1.1-3.0 mg/kg. Once anesthetized, bears were removed from the dens. In nine bears, arterial blood samples were analyzed immediately with a portable blood gas analyzer. We corrected hypoxemia in seven bears (PaO(2) 57-74 mmHg) with supplemental oxygen. We placed the bears back into the dens and antagonized the effect of medetomidine with atipamezole. Capturing bears in the den significantly increased the risk of den abandonment. One of twelve collared bears that were captured remained at the original den until spring, and eleven, left their dens (mean ± standard deviation) 3.2±3.6 (range 0.5-10.5) days after capture. They used 1.9±0.9 intermediate resting sites, during 6.2±7.8 days before entering a new permanent den. The eleven new permanent dens were located 730±589 m from the original dens. We documented that it was feasible and safe to capture hibernating brown bears, although they behaved differently than black bears. When doing so, researchers should use 25% of the doses used for helicopter darting during the active period and should consider increased energetic costs associated with den abandonment.

  2. Capture, anesthesia, and disturbance of free-ranging brown bears (Ursus arctos during hibernation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alina L Evans

    Full Text Available We conducted thirteen immobilizations of previously collared hibernating two- to four-year-old brown bears (Ursus arctos weighing 21-66 kg in central Sweden in winter 2010 and 2011 for comparative physiology research. Here we report, for the first time, an effective protocol for the capture and anesthesia of free-ranging brown bears during hibernation and an assessment of the disturbance the captures caused. Bears were darted in anthill, soil, or uprooted tree dens on eleven occasions, but two bears in rock dens fled and were darted outside the den. We used medetomidine at 0.02-0.06 mg/kg and zolazepam-tiletamine at 0.9-2.8 mg/kg for anesthesia. In addition, ketamine at 1.5 mg/kg was hand-injected intramuscularly in four bears and in six it was included in the dart at 1.1-3.0 mg/kg. Once anesthetized, bears were removed from the dens. In nine bears, arterial blood samples were analyzed immediately with a portable blood gas analyzer. We corrected hypoxemia in seven bears (PaO(2 57-74 mmHg with supplemental oxygen. We placed the bears back into the dens and antagonized the effect of medetomidine with atipamezole. Capturing bears in the den significantly increased the risk of den abandonment. One of twelve collared bears that were captured remained at the original den until spring, and eleven, left their dens (mean ± standard deviation 3.2±3.6 (range 0.5-10.5 days after capture. They used 1.9±0.9 intermediate resting sites, during 6.2±7.8 days before entering a new permanent den. The eleven new permanent dens were located 730±589 m from the original dens. We documented that it was feasible and safe to capture hibernating brown bears, although they behaved differently than black bears. When doing so, researchers should use 25% of the doses used for helicopter darting during the active period and should consider increased energetic costs associated with den abandonment.

  3. Factors affecting fecal glucocorticoid levels in semi-free-ranging female mandrills (Mandrillus sphinx).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Setchell, Joanna M; Smith, Tessa; Wickings, E Jean; Knapp, Leslie A

    2008-11-01

    Subordinate female cercopithecine primates often experience decreased reproductive success in comparison with high-ranking females, with a later age at sexual maturity and first reproduction and/or longer interbirth intervals. One explanation that has traditionally been advanced to explain this is high levels of chronic social stress in subordinates, resulting from agonistic and aggressive interactions and leading to higher basal levels of glucocorticoids. We assessed the relationships among fecal cortisol levels and reproductive condition, dominance rank, degree of social support, and fertility in female mandrills (Mandrillus sphinx) living in a semi-free-ranging colony in Franceville, Gabon. Lower-ranking females in this colony have a reproductive disadvantage relative to higher-ranking females, and we were interested in determining whether this relationship between dominance rank and reproductive success is mediated through stress hormones. We analyzed 340 fecal samples from 19 females, collected over a 14-month period. We found that pregnant females experienced higher fecal cortisol levels than cycling or lactating females. This is similar to results for other primate species and is likely owing to increased metabolic demands and interactions between the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis, estrogen, and placental production of corticotrophin releasing hormones during pregnancy. There was no influence of dominance rank on fecal cortisol levels, suggesting that subordinate females do not suffer chronic stress. This may be because female mandrills have a stable social hierarchy, with low levels of aggression and high social support. However, we found no relationship between matriline size, as a measure of social support, and fecal cortisol levels. Subordinates may be able to avoid aggression from dominants in the large enclosure or may react only transiently to specific aggressive events, rather than continuously expecting them. Finally, we found no relationship

  4. Toxoplasma gondii: prevalence and characterization of new genotypes in free-range chickens from south Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vieira, Fernando Emmanuel Gonçalves; Sasse, João Pedro; Minutti, Ana Flávia; Miura, Ana Carolina; de Barros, Luiz Daniel; Cardim, Sergio Tosi; Martins, Thais Agostinho; de Seixas, Mércia; Yamamura, Milton Issashi; Su, Chunlei; Garcia, João Luis

    2018-03-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is an intracellular parasite that can infect all warm-blooded animals including humans. Recent studies showed that T. gondii strains from South America are genetically diverse. The present work aimed to determine T. gondii prevalence in free-ranging chicken in northwest Parana state in Brazil by two serological tests, to isolate the parasites from seropositive chickens and to genotype the isolates. Antibodies to T. gondii in 386 serum samples from 24 farms were investigated by immunofluorescence antibody assay (IFA) and modified agglutination test (MAT). Samples having titers ≥ 16 were considered positive for both tests. Among the 386 serum samples, 102 (26.4%) were positive for IFA, 64 (16.6%) were positive for MAT, 47 (12.2%) were positive in both tests, and 119 (30.8%) were positive in at least one of the two tests. Brain and pool of heart, lung, and liver from the 119 seropositive chickens were used for mouse bioassay to isolate the parasites. Thirty eight (31.9%) of these seropositive chickens were considered positives in mouse bioassay and 18 isolates were obtained. The isolates were characterized by 10 PCR-RFLP genetic markers including SAG1, SAG2 (5'-3'SAG2, alt.SAG2), SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, c22-8, c29-2, L358, PK1, and Apico. Results of genotyping were compared with the genotypes in ToxoDB database. It revealed ten genotypes, including ToxoDB PCR-RFLP genotypes #6 (n = 2), #19 (n = 1), #21 (n = 2), #111 (n = 2), #152 (n = 1), and #175 (n = 1) and four new types not described before. Our results confirmed a high genetic diversity of this parasite in southern Brazil and also showed that the use of two serological tests in combination can improve the chance of T. gondii isolation. More studies should be taken to determine the zoonotic potential of chickens in the transmission of T. gondii.

  5. Low-Input Intervention for Traditional Free-Range Indigenous Chicken

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Okitoi, L.O.

    2002-01-01

    improved local poultry production. VACC was the best intervention in terms of survival rates, return to labour and acceptability by farmers because it was cheap and effective. Subsequent cash requiring interventions in the free-range system should be introduced as farmers moved from subsistence to semi-commercial production

  6. Haematological and serum biochemical reference values in free-ranging red deer (Cervus elaphus atlanticus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olav Rosef

    2004-04-01

    Full Text Available Analyses of haematological and biochemical constituents were carried out on the Norwegian subspecies of free-ranging red deer (Cervus elaphus atlanticus. All animals were captured from January to March by using a mixture of xylazine and tiletamin-zolazepam. Immobilisation was performed with plastic projectile syringes fired from a dart gun. Fourteen haematological parameters were analysed. There were no differences in the values between hinds and stags and between adults and calves (P > 0.01. Of the 22 biochemical compounds investigated there was a significant difference (P < 0.01 between calves and adults for lactate dehydrogenase (LD, globulin, beta globulin, gamma globulin, and the minerals Na, K, Mg, Zn, Ca, and P. Differences (P < 0.01 between hinds and stags were found in cholesterol, gamma glutamyl transferase (GGT, alpha-1 globulin, alpha-2 globulin and Cu. The blood values determined in this study can be used as reference values for this red deer subspecies immobilised with a mixture of xylazine-tiletamin-zolazepam for health control and diagnosis of diseases.Abstract in Norwegian /Sammendrag:Hematologiske og biokjemiske parametere er analysert på norsk frittlevende hjort (Cervus elaphus atlanticus. Hjorten ble immobilisert i tidsrommet januar til mars ved hjelp av et spesialgevær ladet med plast kanyler som inneholdt en blanding av xylazin og tiletamin-zolazepam. Det var ingen forskjeller i de14 undersøkte hematologiske verdiene mellom hinder, kalver og bukker (P>0,01. Av de 22 biokjemiske parametrene som ble undersøkt var det en signifikant forskjell mellom kalver og voksne (P<0,01 når det gjelder laktat dehydrogenase, globulin, beta globulin, gamma globulin og mineralene Na, K, Mg, Zn, Ca og P. Det var en signifikant forskjell mellom hinder og bukker (P<0.01 på parametrene kolesterol, gamma glutamyl transferase, alfa-1 globulin, alfa-2 globulin og Cu. Blodverdiene som ble målt i dette studiet kan bli brukt som referanseverdier

  7. Organochlorines in free-range hen and duck eggs from Shanghai: occurrence and risk assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Meng; Qiu, Yanling; Bignert, Anders; Zhou, Yihui; Zhu, Zhiliang; Zhao, Jianfu

    2015-02-01

    As an important part of the residents' diet in China, the consumption of hen and duck eggs has been increasing rapidly in the past decades. Being rich in protein and lipid, eggs may be one of the main exposure routes for persistent organic pollutants (POPs) to human beings. In this study, four kinds of free-range hen and duck eggs were collected from two traditional egg-producing areas in Shanghai, namely Dianshan Lake Area and Jinshan Industry Zone. Organochlorine pesticides (OCPs, 18 compounds) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs, 14 compounds) were analyzed with 41 egg samples. Among all OCPs, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethanes (DDTs) were the dominant contaminant, with the concentrations ranging from 100 to 730 ng/g, lw. Unlike the 4,4'-DDE as the predominant DDTs congener in other three kinds of eggs, the duck eggs from Jinshan Industrial Zone had an abnormally high concentration of 2,4'-DDD, which may be related to ducks' feedings in the water. The levels of hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs) and pentachloroanisole (PCA) in eggs from different places were similar to each other, while hexchlorobenzene (HCB) for hen eggs from Dianshan Lake was much higher than other eggs. According to the results, the DDTs residues detected in this study were mainly due to the historical usage, whereas the high ratio of γ-HCH/α-HCH suggested that there might be some recent input of lindane in these two areas. For PCBs, the congener profiles varied among species. Low molecular PCBs (Tri-PCBs and Tetra-PCBs) were main congeners for duck eggs from Dianshan Lake and all hen eggs, while high molecular PCBs accounted for more than 50 % for duck eggs from Jinshan Industrial Zone, which was consistent with the water analysis results of the synchronous study from our group. This study suggests that Dianshan Lake Area may not be a good reference area for POPs monitoring in Shanghai. The estimated daily intakes of DDTs, HCHs, HCBs, and PCBs were far below the reference limits, showing no

  8. Effect of pain-free range exercise on shoulder pain and range of motion in an amateur skier.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoo, Won-Gyu

    2016-12-01

    [Purpose] This study prescribed pain-free range exercises for a female amateur skier who complained of limitations in her shoulder range of motion, and pain caused by protective spasms; the tester evaluated the effects of such exercise on pain. [Subject and Methods] A 23-year-old female who complained of pain of 3 weeks in duration in the right glenohumoral and scapulothoracic joints was enrolled. [Results] After pain-free range exercises, the visual analog pain score was 2 and the shoulder flexion and abduction angles improved compared to the initial values. [Conclusion] Thus, this study suggests muscle-strengthening exercises within the pain-free range, rather than simple pain treatments, as therapy for acute muscle injuries in skiers.

  9. High Prevalence of Aleutian Mink Disease Virus in Free-ranging Mink on a Remote Danish Island

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Trine Hammer; Christensen, Laurids Siig; Chriél, Mariann

    2012-01-01

    Aleutian mink disease virus (AMDV) causes severe disease in farmed mink (Neovison vison) worldwide. In Denmark, AMDV in farmed mink has been confined to the northern part of the mainland since 2002. From 1998 to 2009, samples from 396 free-ranging mink were collected from mainland Denmark......, and a low AMDV antibody prevalence (3% of 296) was found using countercurrent immune electrophoresis. However, on the island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea, a high prevalence (45% of 142 mink) was detected in the free-ranging mink. Aleutian mink disease virus was detected by polymerase chain reaction in 32...... of 49 antibody-positive free-ranging mink on Bornholm, but not in mink collected from other parts of Denmark. Sequence analysis of 370 base pairs of the nonstructural gene of the AMDV of 17 samples revealed two clusters with closest similarity to Swedish AMDV strains....

  10. Fat-soluble vitamin and mineral comparisons between zoo-based and free-ranging koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Debra A; Pye, Geoffrey W; Hamlin-Andrus, Chris C; Ellis, William A; Bercovitch, Fred B; Ellersieck, Mark R; Chen, Tai C; Holick, Michael F

    2013-12-01

    As part of a health investigation on koalas at San Diego Zoo, serum samples were analyzed from 18 free-ranging and 22 zoo-based koalas, Phascolarctos cinereus. Serum concentrations of calcium, chloride, cobalt, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium, zinc, and vitamins A, E, and 25(OH)D3 were quantified. Calcium, chloride, molybdenum, selenium, and vitamin E concentrations were significantly higher in zoo-based koalas than in free-ranging koalas, whereas magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, and zinc concentrations were significantly higher in the free-ranging koalas. No significant differences were found between genders. The results from this study will help to establish a starting point for determining target circulating nutrient concentrations in koalas.

  11. 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

  12. Effect of Free-range Rearing on Meat Composition, Physical Properties and Sensory Evaluation in Taiwan Game Hens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cheng-Yung Lin

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Experiments were conducted to evaluate the effect of an outdoor-grazed raising model on meat composition, physical properties and sensory attributes of Taiwan game hens. Six hundred 1-d old female chicks were raised on a floor for 8 weeks. On day 57, 600 healthy birds, with similar body weight, were selected and randomly assigned to three treatment groups (cage, floor-pen and free-range. The results showed that different feeding models had no effect on drip loss, cooking loss, moisture, crude protein, crude fat, crude ash, zinc and calorie contents in breast meat and moisture content in thigh meat. The free-range group had the lowest fat content in both breast and thigh meat, and the lowest calorie content in thigh meat. The firmness and toughness in both thigh and breast of the free-range group were the highest values (p<0.05. The crude protein, total collagen, zinc and iron contents in thigh meat and total collagen content in breast meat of the free-range group were significantly higher than those of the cage-feeding group (p<0.05. The meat sensory scores of flavor, chewiness and overall acceptability of both thigh and breast meat of the free-range group were significantly (p<0.05 better than those of the other two groups. Moreover, the current findings also indicate that the Taiwan game hens of the free-range feeding model displayed well-received carcass traits and meat quality, with higher scores for flavor, chewiness and overall acceptability for greater sensory satisfaction in both breast and thigh meat. In addition, the thigh meat contained high protein and total collage but low fat, offering a healthier diet choice.

  13. Biochemical and hematologic reference values for free-ranging, chemically immobilized wild norwegian reindeer (rangifer tarandus tarandus) during early winter.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Andrea L; Evans, Alina L; Os, Øystein; Arnemo, Jon M

    2013-04-01

    Hematologic and serum biochemistry values were evaluated in free-ranging, wild Norwegian reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus) as part of a reintroduction program in southwestern Norway in November 1995 and 1996. Animals were immobilized with medetomidine-ketamine by dart from a helicopter. Blood was drawn for serum chemistry from 31 adults (nine males and 22 females) and for hematology from 29 adults (eight males and 21 females). Significant differences (Ppaper provides the first report of baseline hematologic and serum biochemistry reference ranges for free-ranging, wild Norwegian reindeer during early winter.

  14. Low cardiac output as physiological phenomenon in hibernating, free-ranging Scandinavian brown bears (Ursus arctos) - an observational study

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Peter Godsk; Arnemo, Jon; Swenson, Jon E

    2014-01-01

    cardiac function associated with metabolic depression in the hibernating vs. active states in free-ranging Scandinavian brown bears. METHODS: We performed echocardiography on seven free-ranging brown bears in Dalarna, Sweden, anesthetized with medetomidine-zolazepam-tiletamine-ketamine during winter.......31) l/min vs. 3.54 (SD: 1.04) l/min (P=0.003), and mean cardiac index 0.63 (SD: 0.21) l/min/kg vs. 2.45 (SD: 0.52) l/min/ m2 (Pdisease...

  15. Emerging infectious diseases in free-ranging wildlife-Australian zoo based wildlife hospitals contribute to national surveillance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keren Cox-Witton

    Full Text Available Emerging infectious diseases are increasingly originating from wildlife. Many of these diseases have significant impacts on human health, domestic animal health, and biodiversity. Surveillance is the key to early detection of emerging diseases. A zoo based wildlife disease surveillance program developed in Australia incorporates disease information from free-ranging wildlife into the existing national wildlife health information system. This program uses a collaborative approach and provides a strong model for a disease surveillance program for free-ranging wildlife that enhances the national capacity for early detection of emerging diseases.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Effects of shelter type, early environmental enrichment and weather conditions on free-range behaviour of slow-growing broiler chickens

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stadig, L.M.; Rodenburg, T.B.; Ampe, B.; Reubens, B.; Tuyttens, F.A.M.

    2017-01-01

    Free-range use by broiler chickens is often limited, whereas better use of the free-range area could benefit animal welfare. Use of free-range areas could be stimulated by more appropriate shelter or environmental enrichment (by decreasing birds’ fearfulness). This study aimed to assess the

  19. 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...

  20. Enriching the captive elephant population genetic pool through artificial insemination with frozen-thawed semen collected in the wild.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hildebrandt, T B; Hermes, R; Saragusty, J; Potier, R; Schwammer, H M; Balfanz, F; Vielgrader, H; Baker, B; Bartels, P; Göritz, F

    2012-10-01

    The first successful AI in an elephant was reported in 1998, using fresh semen. Since then almost 40 calves have been produced through AI in both Asian and African elephants worldwide. Following these successes, with the objective of enriching the captive population with genetic material from the wild, we evaluated the possibility of using frozen-thawed semen collected from wild bulls for AI in captivity. Semen, collected from a 36-yr-old wild African savanna elephant (Loxodonta africana) in South Africa was frozen using the directional freezing technique. This frozen-thawed semen was used for four inseminations over two consecutive days, two before and two after ovulation, in a 26-yr-old female African savanna elephant in Austria. Insemination dose of 1200 × 10(6) cells per AI with 61% motility resulted in pregnancy, which was confirmed through ultrasound examination 75, 110 and 141 days after the AI procedure. This represents the first successful AI using wild bull frozen-thawed semen in elephants. The incorporation of AI with frozen-thawed semen into the assisted reproduction toolbox opens the way to preserve and transport semen between distant individuals in captivity or, as was done in this study, between wild and captive populations, without the need to transport stressed or potentially disease-carrying animals or to remove animals from the wild. In addition, cryopreserved spermatozoa, in combination with AI, are useful methods to extend the reproductive lifespan of individuals beyond their biological lifespan and an important tool for genetic diversity management and phenotype selection in these endangered mammals. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Practice makes perfect: familiarity of task determines success in solvable tasks for free-ranging dogs (Canis lupus familiaris).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhattacharjee, Debottam; Dasgupta, Sandipan; Biswas, Arpita; Deheria, Jayshree; Gupta, Shreya; Nikhil Dev, N; Udell, Monique; Bhadra, Anindita

    2017-07-01

    Domestic dogs' (Canis lupus familiaris) socio-cognitive faculties have made them highly sensitive to human social cues. While dogs often excel at understanding human communicative gestures, they perform comparatively poorly in problem-solving and physical reasoning tasks. This difference in their behaviour could be due to the lifestyle and intense socialization, where problem solving and physical cognition are less important than social cognition. Free-ranging dogs live in human-dominated environments, not under human supervision and are less socialized. Being scavengers, they often encounter challenges where problem solving is required in order to get access to food. We tested Indian street dogs in familiar and unfamiliar independent solvable tasks and quantified their persistence and dependence on a novel human experimenter, in addition to their success in solving a task. Our results indicate that free-ranging dogs succeeded and persisted more in the familiar task as compared to the unfamiliar one. They showed negligible amount of human dependence in the familiar task, but showed prolonged gazing and considerable begging behaviour to the human experimenter in the context of the unfamiliar task. Cognitive abilities of free-ranging dogs thus play a pivotal role in determining task-associated behaviours based on familiarity. In addition to that, these dogs inherently tend to socialize with and depend on humans, even if they are strangers. Our results also illustrate free-ranging dogs' low competence at physical cognitive tasks.

  2. Nitrogen distribution as affected by stocking density in a combined production system of energy crops and free-range pigs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Uffe; Thuesen, Janni; Eriksen, Jørgen

    2018-01-01

    Free-range pig production is typically associated with high risks of nitrogen (N) leaching due to the pigs excretory behaviour creating nitrogen ‘hotspots’ and rooting behaviour destroying the grass sward. This challenge is reinforced at high animal densities causing high nitrogen deposition. A c...

  3. Granulomatous pneumonia due to Spirocerca lupi in two free-ranging maned wolves (Chrysocyon brachyurus) from central Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    This case report describes the anatomic pathology findings in two free-ranging maned wolves (Chrysocyon brachyurus) from central-western region of Brazil presenting granulomatous pneumonia associated with intralesional infection by Spirocerca lupi. Both wolves had multiple, white, 1-1.5 cm in diamet...

  4. New Toxoplasma gondii genotypes isolated from free-range chickens from the Fernando de Noronha, Brazil: unexpected findings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Worldwide comparison of Toxoplasma gondii isolates from free range chickens has indicated that T. gondii isolates from Brazil are phenotypically and genetically different than isolates from other countries; most strains from Brazil are pathogenic to mice, there is great genetic variability, most iso...

  5. Quality characteristics of broiler chicken meat from free-range and industrial poultry system for the consumers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    da Silva, Débora Cristina Fernandes; de Arruda, Alex Martins Varela; Gonçalves, Alex Augusto

    2017-06-01

    The aim of this study was to determine and compare the quality parameters of broiler chicken meat from free-range and industrial poultry system. Proximate composition, color, pH, shear force, microbial quality and sensory characteristics were evaluated. Both free-range and industrial chicken meat presented PSE (pale, soft and exudative) anomaly ( L * > 53). An inverse correlation between lightness, pH and shear force was observed. The free range broiler meat had higher yellow color ( b * 11.56) and shear force (2.75 kgf) and lower red color ( a * 1.65) and pH (5.75) in comparison to the industrial broiler meat, due intensive physical activity on growing phase and influence of the pre-slaughter stress on the rigor mortis. The thigh cut from free range broiler meat showed higher protein levels (18.00%), while to the thigh and drumstick cuts of industrial broiler meat showed higher total fat levels (3.4 and 5.0%, respectively). In general, each strain and chickens producing methods gave the peculiar characteristics to meat (chemical, physical, microbiological and sensorial).

  6. Effects of dark brooders and overhangs on free-range use and behaviour of slow-growing broilers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stadig, L.M.; Rodenburg, T.B.; Reubens, B.; Ampe, B.; Tuyttens, F.A.M.

    2017-01-01

    Broiler chickens often make limited use of the free-range area. Range use is influenced by type of shelter available. Range use may possibly be improved by a more gradual transition from the house to the range and by using dark brooders (secluded warm, dark areas in the home pen) that mimic aspects

  7. Effect of production system (barn and free range) and slaughter age on some production traits of guinea fowl.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamak, U S; Sarica, M; Boz, M A; Ucar, A

    2018-01-01

    A total of 200 guinea fowl was reared in either barn or free-range systems and slaughtered at 14, 16, or 18 wk of age in order to determine the effects of production system on live weight, feed consumption, and some carcass and slaughter traits. Production system had a significant effect on live weight until 14 wk of age. Live weights were similar between free-range and indoor production systems at 16 (1,150 g vs. 1,152 g) and 18 (1,196 g vs. 1,203 g) wk of age. Guinea fowl reared in a free-range system consumed more feed (7,693 g vs. 6,983 g), and guinea fowl reared in a barn had better feed conversion ratio (5.80 vs. 6.43) (P free-range system had significantly less abdominal fat (P < 0.05). © 2017 Poultry Science Association Inc.

  8. Performance of commercial laying hen genotypes on free range and organic farms in Switzerland, France and The Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leenstra, F.R.; Maurer, V.; Bestman, M.W.P.; Sambeek van, F.; Zeltner, E.; Reuvekamp, B.F.J.; Galea, F.; Niekerk, van T.G.C.M.

    2012-01-01

    1. A total of 257 farmers with free ranging laying hens (organic and conventional) in Switzerland, France and The Netherlands with 273 flocks were interviewed to determine the relationships between the genotype of the hens, management conditions and performance. 2. Almost 20 different genotypes

  9. Stable isotopes as a tool to differentiate eggs laid by caged, barn, free range, and organic hens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, Karyne M

    2009-05-27

    Stable carbon and nitrogen isotope values of whole yolk, delipidized yolk, albumen, and egg membrane were analyzed from 18 different brands of chicken eggs laid under caged, barn, free range, and organic farming regimes. In general, free range and organic egg components showed enrichment of (15)N values up to 4‰ relative to caged and barn laid eggs, suggesting a higher animal protein (trophic) contribution to the chicken's diet than pure plant-based foods and/or that the feed was organically manufactured. One sample of free range and two samples of organic eggs had δ(15)N values within the range of caged or barn laid eggs, suggesting either that these eggs were mislabeled (the hens were raised under "battery" or "barn" conditions, and not permitted to forage outside) or that there was insufficient animal protein gained by foraging to shift the δ(15)N values of their primary food source. δ(13)C values of potential food sources are discussed with respect to dietary intake and contribution to the isotopic signature of the eggs to determine mixing of C(3) and C(4) diets, although they did not elucidate laying regimen. The study finds that stable nitrogen isotope analysis of egg components is potentially a useful technique to unravel dietary differences between caged or barn hens and free range hens (both conventional and organic) and could be further developed as an authentication tool in the egg industry.

  10. Challenges in identifying and determining the impacts of infection with pestiviruses on the herd health of free ranging cervid populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Although most commonly associated with the infection of domestic livestock, the replication of pestiviruses, in particular bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV), occurs in a wide range of free ranging cervids including white-tailed deer, mule deer, fallow deer, elk, red deer, roe deer, eland and moused...

  11. 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 ...

  12. 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 ...

  13. Patch-occupancy models indicate human activity as major determinant of forest elephant Loxodonta cyclotis seasonal distribution in an industrial corridor in Gabon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buij, R.; McShea, W.J.; Campbell, P.; Lee, M.E.; Dallmeier, F.; Guimondou, S.; Mackaga, L.; Guisseougou, N.; Mboumba, S.; Hines, J.E.; Nichols, J.D.; Alonso, A.

    2007-01-01

    The importance of human activity and ecological features in influencing African forest elephant ranging behaviour was investigated in the Rabi-Ndogo corridor of the Gamba Complex of Protected Areas in southwest Gabon. Locations in a wide geographical area with a range of environmental variables were selected for patch-occupancy surveys using elephant dung to assess seasonal presence and absence of elephants. Patch-occupancy procedures allowed for covariate modelling evaluating hypotheses for both occupancy in relation to human activity and ecological features, and detection probability in relation to vegetation density. The best fitting models for old and fresh dung data sets indicate that (1) detection probability for elephant dung is negatively related to the relative density of the vegetation, and (2) human activity, such as presence and infrastructure, are more closely associated with elephant distribution patterns than are ecological features, such as the presence of wetlands and preferred fresh fruit. Our findings emphasize the sensitivity of elephants to human disturbance, in this case infrastructure development associated with gas and oil production. Patch-occupancy methodology offers a viable alternative to current transect protocols for monitoring programs with multiple covariates.

  14. Evidence for chronic stress in captive but not free-ranging cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) based on adrenal morphology and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terio, Karen A; Marker, Laurie; Munson, Linda

    2004-04-01

    The cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) is highly endangered because of loss of habitat in the wild and failure to thrive in captivity. Cheetahs in zoos reproduce poorly and have high prevalences of unusual diseases that cause morbidity and mortality. These diseases are rarely observed in free-ranging cheetahs but have been documented in cheetahs that have been captured and held in captive settings either temporarily or permanently. Because captivity may be stressful for this species and stress is suspected as contributing to poor health and reproduction, this study aimed to measure chronic stress by comparing baseline concentrations of fecal corticoid metabolites and adrenal gland morphology between captive and free-ranging cheetahs. Additionally, concentrations of estradiol and testosterone metabolites were quantified to determine whether concentrations of gonadal steroids correlated with corticoid concentration and to assure that corticosteroids in the free-ranging samples were not altered by environmental conditions. Concetntrations of fecal corticoids, estradiol, and testosterone were quantified by radioimmunoassay in 20 free-ranging and 20 captive cheetahs from samples collected between 1994 and 1999. Concentrations of baseline fecal corticoids were significantly higher (p = 0.005) in captive cheetahs (196.08 +/- 36.20 ng/g dry feces) than free-ranging cheetahs (71.40 +/- 14.35 ng/g dry feces). Testosterone concentrations were lower in captive male cheetahs (9.09 +/- 2.84 ng/g dry feces) than in free-ranging cheetahs (34.52 +/- 12.11 ng/g dry feces), which suggests suppression by elevated corticoids in the captive males. Evidence for similar sulppression of estradiol concentrations in females was not present. Adrenal corticomedullary ratios were determined on midsagittal sections of adrenal glands from 13 free-ranging and 13 captive cheetahs obtained between 1991 and 2002. The degree of vacuolation of cortical cells in the zona fasciculata was graded for each animal

  15. 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.

  16. Risk of Transmission of Antimicrobial Resistant Escherichia coli from Commercial Broiler and Free-Range Retail Chicken in India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arif Hussain

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Multidrug-resistant Escherichia coli infections are a growing public health concern. This study analyzed the possibility of contamination of commercial poultry meat (broiler and free-range with pathogenic and or multi-resistant E. coli in retail chain poultry meat markets in India. We analyzed 168 E. coli isolates from broiler and free-range retail poultry (meat/ceca sampled over a wide geographical area, for their antimicrobial sensitivity, phylogenetic groupings, virulence determinants, extended-spectrum-β-lactamase (ESBL genotypes, fingerprinting by Enterobacterial Repetitive Intergenic Consensus (ERIC PCR and genetic relatedness to human pathogenic E. coli using whole genome sequencing (WGS. The prevalence rates of ESBL producing E. coli among broiler chicken were: meat 46%; ceca 40%. Whereas, those for free range chicken were: meat 15%; ceca 30%. E. coli from broiler and free-range chicken exhibited varied prevalence rates for multi-drug resistance (meat 68%; ceca 64% and meat 8%; ceca 26%, respectively and extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli (ExPEC contamination (5 and 0%, respectively. WGS analysis confirmed two globally emergent human pathogenic lineages of E. coli, namely the ST131 (H30-Rx subclone and ST117 among our poultry E. coli isolates. These results suggest that commercial poultry meat is not only an indirect public health risk by being a possible carrier of non-pathogenic multi-drug resistant (MDR-E. coli, but could as well be the carrier of human E. coli pathotypes. Further, the free-range chicken appears to carry low risk of contamination with antimicrobial resistant and extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli (ExPEC. Overall, these observations reinforce the understanding that poultry meat in the retail chain could possibly be contaminated by MDR and/or pathogenic E. coli.

  17. Phenotypic and genotypic characterization of two Toxoplasma gondii isolates in free-range chickens from Uberlândia, Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopes, C S; Franco, P S; Silva, N M; Silva, D A O; Ferro, E A V; Pena, H F J; Soares, R M; Gennari, S M; Mineo, J R

    2016-07-01

    The aim of this study was to determine the seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii infection in free-range chickens from Uberlândia, Minas Gerais state, Brazil, and characterize the genotypic and phenotypic features of two isolates of this parasite, considering the importance of these hosts in the epidemiology of toxoplasmosis. Serum samples from 108 free-range chickens were obtained from ten different districts, and submitted to the modified agglutination test (MAT) for the presence of anti-T. gondii antibodies, and brain and heart tissue samples from infected chickens were processed for mouse bioassay. An overall seroprevalence of 71·3% was found and antibody titres ranged from 16 to 4096. After confirmation of seropositivity by mouse bioassay, the determination of the T. gondii genotypes of two isolates was performed by PCR-RFLP, using primers for the following markers: SAG1, SAG2, SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, c22-8, c29-2, L358, PK1, new SAG2, Apico and CS3. These T. gondii isolates, designated TgChBrUD1and TgChBrUD2, were obtained from heart samples of free-range chickens. The TgChBrUD1 isolate belonged to ToxoDB PCR-RFLP genotype 11 and the TgChBrUD2 isolate belonged to ToxoDB PCR-RFLP genotype 6. Both isolates demonstrated high virulence in a rodent model, with the TgChBrUD1 isolate able to induce brain cysts, in accord with its pattern of multiplication rates in human fibroblast culture. Taken together, these results reveal high prevalence of T. gondii infection in free-range chickens throughout Uberlândia, indicating an important degree of oocyst environmental contamination and the existence of considerable risk for T. gondii transmission to humans by consumption of free-range chicken as a food source.

  18. Risk of Transmission of Antimicrobial Resistant Escherichia coli from Commercial Broiler and Free-Range Retail Chicken in India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hussain, Arif; Shaik, Sabiha; Ranjan, Amit; Nandanwar, Nishant; Tiwari, Sumeet K; Majid, Mohammad; Baddam, Ramani; Qureshi, Insaf A; Semmler, Torsten; Wieler, Lothar H; Islam, Mohammad A; Chakravortty, Dipshikha; Ahmed, Niyaz

    2017-01-01

    Multidrug-resistant Escherichia coli infections are a growing public health concern. This study analyzed the possibility of contamination of commercial poultry meat (broiler and free-range) with pathogenic and or multi-resistant E. coli in retail chain poultry meat markets in India. We analyzed 168 E. coli isolates from broiler and free-range retail poultry (meat/ceca) sampled over a wide geographical area, for their antimicrobial sensitivity, phylogenetic groupings, virulence determinants, extended-spectrum-β-lactamase (ESBL) genotypes, fingerprinting by Enterobacterial Repetitive Intergenic Consensus (ERIC) PCR and genetic relatedness to human pathogenic E. coli using whole genome sequencing (WGS). The prevalence rates of ESBL producing E. coli among broiler chicken were: meat 46%; ceca 40%. Whereas, those for free range chicken were: meat 15%; ceca 30%. E. coli from broiler and free-range chicken exhibited varied prevalence rates for multi-drug resistance (meat 68%; ceca 64% and meat 8%; ceca 26%, respectively) and extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli (ExPEC) contamination (5 and 0%, respectively). WGS analysis confirmed two globally emergent human pathogenic lineages of E. coli , namely the ST131 ( H 30-Rx subclone) and ST117 among our poultry E. coli isolates. These results suggest that commercial poultry meat is not only an indirect public health risk by being a possible carrier of non-pathogenic multi-drug resistant (MDR)- E. coli , but could as well be the carrier of human E. coli pathotypes. Further, the free-range chicken appears to carry low risk of contamination with antimicrobial resistant and extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli (ExPEC). Overall, these observations reinforce the understanding that poultry meat in the retail chain could possibly be contaminated by MDR and/or pathogenic E. coli.

  19. Walking Behavior of Zoo Elephants: Associations between GPS-Measured Daily Walking Distances and Environmental Factors, Social Factors, and Welfare Indicators.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew R Holdgate

    Full Text Available Research with humans and other animals suggests that walking benefits physical health. Perhaps because these links have been demonstrated in other species, it has been suggested that walking is important to elephant welfare, and that zoo elephant exhibits should be designed to allow for more walking. Our study is the first to address this suggestion empirically by measuring the mean daily walking distance of elephants in North American zoos, determining the factors that are associated with variations in walking distance, and testing for associations between walking and welfare indicators. We used anklets equipped with GPS data loggers to measure outdoor daily walking distance in 56 adult female African (n = 33 and Asian (n = 23 elephants housed in 30 North American zoos. We collected 259 days of data and determined associations between distance walked and social, housing, management, and demographic factors. Elephants walked an average of 5.3 km/day with no significant difference between species. In our multivariable model, more diverse feeding regimens were correlated with increased walking, and elephants who were fed on a temporally unpredictable feeding schedule walked 1.29 km/day more than elephants fed on a predictable schedule. Distance walked was also positively correlated with an increase in the number of social groupings and negatively correlated with age. We found a small but significant negative correlation between distance walked and nighttime Space Experience, but no other associations between walking distances and exhibit size were found. Finally, distance walked was not related to health or behavioral outcomes including foot health, joint health, body condition, and the performance of stereotypic behavior, suggesting that more research is necessary to determine explicitly how differences in walking may impact elephant welfare.

  20. Walking Behavior of Zoo Elephants: Associations between GPS-Measured Daily Walking Distances and Environmental Factors, Social Factors, and Welfare Indicators.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    Research with humans and other animals suggests that walking benefits physical health. Perhaps because these links have been demonstrated in other species, it has been suggested that walking is important to elephant welfare, and that zoo elephant exhibits should be designed to allow for more walking. Our study is the first to address this suggestion empirically by measuring the mean daily walking distance of elephants in North American zoos, determining the factors that are associated with variations in walking distance, and testing for associations between walking and welfare indicators. We used anklets equipped with GPS data loggers to measure outdoor daily walking distance in 56 adult female African (n = 33) and Asian (n = 23) elephants housed in 30 North American zoos. We collected 259 days of data and determined associations between distance walked and social, housing, management, and demographic factors. Elephants walked an average of 5.3 km/day with no significant difference between species. In our multivariable model, more diverse feeding regimens were correlated with increased walking, and elephants who were fed on a temporally unpredictable feeding schedule walked 1.29 km/day more than elephants fed on a predictable schedule. Distance walked was also positively correlated with an increase in the number of social groupings and negatively correlated with age. We found a small but significant negative correlation between distance walked and nighttime Space Experience, but no other associations between walking distances and exhibit size were found. Finally, distance walked was not related to health or behavioral outcomes including foot health, joint health, body condition, and the performance of stereotypic behavior, suggesting that more research is necessary to determine explicitly how differences in walking may impact elephant welfare.

  1. 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...

  2. Insightful problem solving in an Asian elephant.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Preston Foerder

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

  3. Summation by Asian Elephants (Elephas maximus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mathias Ackermann

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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Effects of dark brooders and overhangs on free-range use and behaviour of slow-growing broilers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stadig, L M; Rodenburg, T B; Reubens, B; Ampe, B; Tuyttens, F A M

    2017-12-04

    Broiler chickens often make limited use of the free-range area. Range use is influenced by type of shelter available. Range use may possibly be improved by a more gradual transition from the house to the range and by using dark brooders (secluded warm, dark areas in the home pen) that mimic aspects of a broody hen and possibly reduce fearfulness. The aim of this study was to assess effects of dark brooders on fearfulness, free-range use and behaviour later in life. Another aim was to test the chickens' preference for shelter type and the effects of overhangs outside of the pop holes to provide a gradual transition to the range. Three production rounds, each with 440 Sasso broiler chickens (110/group), were completed. Chicks were housed indoors from days 0 to 25; per round, two groups had access to a dark brooder, whereas the other two groups had conventional IR lamps. Fearfulness was assessed by the open field (OF) and tonic immobility (TI) tests on days 22 to 24 on 25 chicks/group per round. Birds were then moved to four mobile houses from which they could access both grassland with artificial shelter (AS) and short rotation coppice (SRC). Two of the houses had overhangs extending from the pop holes; these were switched between the four houses weekly. Free-range use and behaviour were observed three times daily from Monday to Friday. Dark brooders did not affect results from the OF or TI test, except for jumps in the OF test which tended to occur less often in brooded chicks. Neither dark brooders (34.9% without v. 31.7% with brooder) nor overhangs (32.5% without v. 34.1% with overhangs) influenced the percentage of chickens outside. Chickens showed a clear preference for SRC, range use increased over time in SRC, and more birds ranged farther from the house in SRC. Behaviours of chickens observed outside were mainly influenced by shelter type, age of the birds and distance from the house. Locomotion tended to occur more in the presence of overhangs. Overall

  9. Yet another call for a greater Role for good Faith in the South African Law of Contract: Can we banish the Law of the Jungle, while avoiding the Elephant in the Room?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andre M Louw

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available This article examines the current approach of the South African courts to the role of good faith or bona fides in contracts, as well as the courts’ stated reasons for this approach. The article specifically examines how arguments based on good faith have fared in the Constitutional Court to date, and the prospects for law reform to emanate from that court in the near future. The author suggests an understanding of good faith which he believes is in line with the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 and argues that in terms of such an understanding of a robust good faith doctrine the legal fraternity or the courts can avoid some of the dangers that the judges of the Supreme Court of Appeal have warned about in this context in recent years. The author shares some concluding thoughts on the pressing need for law reform with respect to the role and presence of good faith in contracts.

  10. Outbreaks of sarcoptic mange in free-ranging koala populations in Victoria and South Australia: a case series.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Speight, K N; Whiteley, P L; Woolford, L; Duignan, P J; Bacci, B; Lathe, S; Boardman, W; Scheelings, T F; Funnell, O; Underwood, G; Stevenson, M A

    2017-07-01

    To describe outbreaks of sarcoptic mange caused by Sarcoptes scabiei in free-ranging koalas in Victoria (December 2008 to November 2015) and South Australia (October 2011 to September 2014). Koalas affected by mange-like lesions were reported by wildlife carers, veterinary practitioners or State Government personnel to the Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences at The University of Melbourne and the School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences at The University of Adelaide. Skin scrapings were taken from live and dead koalas and S. scabiei mites were identified. Tissues from necropsied koalas were examined histologically. Outbreaks of sarcoptic mange were found to occur in koalas from both Victoria (n = 29) and South Australia (n = 29) for the first time. The gross pathological and histopathological changes are described. We present the first reported cases of sarcoptic mange outbreaks in free-ranging koalas. © 2017 Australian Veterinary Association.

  11. Comparison of the measurement of heart rate in adult free-range chickens (Gallus domesticus) by auscultation and electrocardiography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, C F; Gavaghan, B J; McSweeney, D; Powell, V; Lisle, A

    2014-12-01

    To compare the heart rates of adult free-range chickens (Gallus domesticus) measured by auscultation with a stethoscope with those measured simultaneously using electrocardiography (ECG). With each bird in a standing position, estimation of the heart rate was performed by placing a mark on paper for every 4 beats for roosters and 8 beats for hens as detected by auscultation over 30 s, while simultaneous ECG was performed. Heart rates measured by auscultation showed a high correlation (r = 0.97) with those measured by ECG. There was a high correlation between the heart rates of adult free-range chickens measured by auscultation with a stethoscope and those measured simultaneously using ECG. © 2014 Australian Veterinary Association.

  12. Serological evidence of avian encephalomyelitis virus and Pasteurella multocida infections in free-range indigenous chickens in Southern Mozambique.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taunde, Paula; Timbe, Palmira; Lucas, Ana Felicidade; Tchamo, Cesaltina; Chilundo, Abel; Dos Anjos, Filomena; Costa, Rosa; Bila, Custodio Gabriel

    2017-06-01

    A total of 398 serum samples from free-range indigenous chickens originating from four villages in Southern Mozambique were tested for the presence of avian encephalomyelitis virus (AEV) and Pasteurella multocida (PM) antibodies through commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kits. AEV and PM antibodies were detected in all villages surveyed. The proportion of positive samples was very high: 59.5% (95% confidence interval (CI) 51.7-67.7%) for AEV and 71.5% (95% CI 67.7-77.3%) for PM. Our findings revealed that these pathogens are widespread among free-range indigenous chickens in the studied villages and may represent a threat in the transmission of AEV and PM to wild, broiler or layer chickens in the region. Further research is warranted on epidemiology of circulating strains and impact of infection on the poultry industry.

  13. 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.

  14. Indirect Effects on Heathland Conservation and Wolf Persistence of Contradictory Policies that Threaten Traditional Free-Ranging Horse Husbandry

    OpenAIRE

    López-Bao, José V.; Sazatorníl, V.; LLaneza, Luis; Rodríguez, Alejandro

    2013-01-01

    Conservation agencies within the European Union promote the restoration of traditional land uses as a cost-effective way to preserve biodiversity outside reserves. Although the European Union pursues the integration of the environment into strategic decision-making, it also dictates sectoral policies that may damage farmland biodiversity. We illustrate this point by outlining the socioeconomic factors that allow the persistence of traditional free-ranging horse husbandry in Galicia, northwest...

  15. Free Dietary Choice and Free-Range Rearing Improve the Product Quality, Gait Score, and Microbial Richness of Chickens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Siyu Chen

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Poultry welfare has been extensively studied; however, there is a lack of rigorous scientific knowledge relating to the different aspects of welfare factors and how this may contribute to the production quantity and product quality as well as the welfare of chickens. Therefore, we conducted an integrated study to compare welfare factors in chickens by providing free dietary choice under cage rearing, and further comparing cage rearing with free-range rearing. One hundred chickens each were allocated to a cage rearing group with conventional feeding (CC, a cage rearing group with free dietary choice of mealworms (FDM, a cage rearing group with free dietary choice of mealworms and fresh grass (FDMG, and a free-range rearing system group with free dietary choice of mealworms and fresh grass (FRMG. Results showed that under cage rearing, free dietary choice contributed to better meat quality and gait score, higher values of blood platelets, and a richer gut microbial composition, but poorer egg production than CC chickens. As compared to FDMG, FRMG chickens showed better meat quality, gait score, and feather conditions, as well as a richer gut microbial composition; however, they had poorer egg production and a poorer foot pad and foot feather condition. We conclude that free dietary choice and free-range rearing systems improve the product quality, gait score, and microbial richness of chickens.

  16. Blood Chemistry Reference Values for Free-Ranging Asiatic Black Bears ( Ursus thibetanus) by Season, Age, and Sex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Jeong-Jin; Jeong, Dong-Hyuk; Lim, Yoon-Kyu

    2018-04-19

    Physiological characteristics, such as blood chemistry values, are valuable for evaluating the health of the animals. To our knowledge, these values have never been reported for the free-ranging Asiatic black bear ( Ursus thibetanus; ABB). Thus, 28 blood chemistry values from 50 free-ranging ABBs captured in Jirisan National Park, Republic of Korea, from 2005 to 2016 were evaluated. The aim of this study was to establish blood chemistry reference values for the free-ranging ABBs during both the hibernating and nonhibernating seasons. During hibernation, mean values of creatinine (CRE), total cholesterol, total protein (TP), albumin (ALB), triglycerides, and Mg were significantly higher than those during nonhibernation; however, mean values of blood urea nitrogen, urea nitrogen to creatinine (U/C) ratio, inorganic phosphorous (IP), aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, gamma-glutamyl transferase, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) were significantly lower. Age differences (young vs. adult) were found in IP, LDH, TP, and ALB values during hibernation and in the U/C ratio, Ca, IP, ALP, creatine kinase myocardial band, CRE, total bilirubin, and uric acid values during nonhibernation. However, there were no sex differences (male vs. female).

  17. Behavioural repertoire of free-range laying hens indoors and outdoors, and in relation to distance from the shed.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thuy Diep, A; Larsen, H; Rault, J-L

    2018-04-01

    Access to an outdoor area is believed to allow free-range hens to express a greater behavioural repertoire. However, very little research has been done in this area. We hypothesised that the type and frequency of behaviours would differ between areas that vary in their characteristics and distance from the shed. This preliminary study investigated the behaviour of free-range laying hens in indoor and outdoor areas on one commercial free-range farm, through video recordings and scan sampling of focal hens, with the aim of determining their behavioural repertoire and time budget. While ranging, hens spent most of their time foraging. Indoors, hens preened and rested. Behaviour in the wintergarden showed similarities to both the indoor and outdoor areas, with preening, resting and foraging behaviours. Differences were not in the main behavioural repertoire, but rather in terms of time budget, with access to the range and wintergarden encouraging exploration. There was no difference in the types of behaviours that hens performed in the outdoor range compared with inside the shed, but access to a wintergarden and the outdoor range were favoured by the hens for foraging. © 2018 Australian Veterinary Association.

  18. Adenovirus and Herpesvirus Diversity in Free-Ranging Great Apes in the Sangha Region of the Republic of Congo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seimon, Tracie A.; Olson, Sarah H.; Lee, Kerry Jo; Rosen, Gail; Ondzie, Alain; Cameron, Kenneth; Reed, Patricia; Anthony, Simon J.; Joly, Damien O.; McAloose, Denise; Lipkin, W. Ian

    2015-01-01

    Infectious diseases have caused die-offs in both free-ranging gorillas and chimpanzees. Understanding pathogen diversity and disease ecology is therefore critical for conserving these endangered animals. To determine viral diversity in free-ranging, non-habituated gorillas and chimpanzees in the Republic of Congo, genetic testing was performed on great-ape fecal samples collected near Odzala-Kokoua National Park. Samples were analyzed to determine ape species, identify individuals in the population, and to test for the presence of herpesviruses, adenoviruses, poxviruses, bocaviruses, flaviviruses, paramyxoviruses, coronaviruses, filoviruses, and simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV). We identified 19 DNA viruses representing two viral families, Herpesviridae and Adenoviridae, of which three herpesviruses had not been previously described. Co-detections of multiple herpesviruses and/or adenoviruses were present in both gorillas and chimpanzees. Cytomegalovirus (CMV) and lymphocryptovirus (LCV) were found primarily in the context of co-association with each other and adenoviruses. Using viral discovery curves for herpesviruses and adenoviruses, the total viral richness in the sample population of gorillas and chimpanzees was estimated to be a minimum of 23 viruses, corresponding to a detection rate of 83%. These findings represent the first description of DNA viral diversity in feces from free-ranging gorillas and chimpanzees in or near the Odzala-Kokoua National Park and form a basis for understanding the types of viruses circulating among great apes in this region. PMID:25781992

  19. Treatment of a forelimb fracture and rehabilitation of a free-ranging Iberian Wolf (Canis lupus signatus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Filipe C. Silva

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract: The surgical treatment of an exposed compounded comminuted fracture of the right radius and ulna in a free-ranging adult female Iberian Wolf (Canis lupus signatus with an osteosynthesis plate and screws and subsequent post-operative care are described. The evolution of the fracture healing was very similar to those expected in a dog of the same size. The prompt surgical intervention and a proper housing, feeding and wound management adapted to a free-ranging wolf, in view to reduce manipulation and post-operative complications, allowed the subsequent rehabilitation and release of the animal. After 10th post-operative weeks the wolf was fitted with a Global Positioning System (GPS for wildlife tracking collar and released in the same area where it has been caught. GPS telemetry data showed that the animal covered increasingly large distances confirming a complete functionality of the right thoracic limb and its successfully return to the wild. This report could constitute the first detailed report of a long bone fracture treatment in a free-ranging wolf and its successfully rehabilitation, release and adaptation to the wild.

  20. Comparison of Antibiotic Resistance and Virulence Factors among Escherichia coli Isolated from Conventional and Free-Range Poultry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanessa L. Koga

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Microbiological contamination in commercial poultry production has caused concerns for human health because of both the presence of pathogenic microorganisms and the increase in antimicrobial resistance in bacterial strains that can cause treatment failure of human infections. The aim of our study was to analyze the profile of antimicrobial resistance and virulence factors of E. coli isolates from chicken carcasses obtained from different farming systems (conventional and free-range poultry. A total of 156 E. coli strains were isolated and characterized for genes encoding virulence factors described in extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli (ExPEC. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing was performed for 15 antimicrobials, and strains were confirmed as extended spectrum of β-lactamases- (ESBLs- producing E. coli by phenotypic and genotypic tests. The results indicated that strains from free-range poultry have fewer virulence factors than strains from conventional poultry. Strains from conventionally raised chickens had a higher frequency of antimicrobial resistance for all antibiotics tested and also exhibited genes encoding ESBL and AmpC, unlike free-range poultry isolates, which did not. Group 2 CTX-M and CIT were the most prevalent ESBL and AmpC genes, respectively. The farming systems of poultries can be related with the frequency of virulence factors and resistance to antimicrobials in bacteria.

  1. CHARACTERIZING THE 25-HYDROXYVITAMIN D STATUS OF TWO POPULATIONS OF FREE-RANGING EASTERN BOX TURTLES (TERRAPENE CAROLINA CAROLINA).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watson, Megan K; Byrd, John; Phillips, Christopher A; Allender, Matthew C

    2017-09-01

    Ultraviolet B radiation is recommended for captive reptiles to stimulate production of adequate levels of vitamin D; however, little is known regarding the vitamin D status in many free-ranging populations. Current reference ranges for vitamin D in eastern box turtles have not yet been established. Sixty free-ranging eastern box turtles (Terrapene carolina carolina) from two well-studied populations in Illinois (n = 24) and Tennessee (n = 36) were assayed for plasma vitamin D concentration in 2014. There were no significant differences in concentrations between individuals in Illinois (mean: 117.5 nM/L) and Tennessee (mean: 98.7 nM/L) (P = 0.129) populations. Similarly, there were no differences in concentrations based on age class (P = 0.533) or sex (P = 0.532). There was a significant correlation between UV at the time of capture and vitamin D concentrations (R = 0.301, P = 0.030). Vitamin D was not correlated with total calcium (R = 0.018, P = 0.89) or Ca : P ratio (R = 0.025, P = 0.85). Diseases in captive individuals, including secondary nutritional hyperparathyroidism, may commonly be associated with vitamin D deficiencies, and clinical intervention relies on reference data. Vitamin D supplementation may be recommended if animals are deemed to be deficient. Data obtained can be used to improve the care of captive and free-ranging turtles by providing reference ranges, as well as better characterize the health of wild populations.

  2. Pathological and parasitological characterization of Prosthenorchis elegans in a free-ranging marmoset Callithrix geofroyi from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ayisa R. de Oliveira

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT: Prosthenorchis elegans is an acanthocephalan intestinal parasite reported in neotropical primates. Despite parasitism by P. elegans having already been described in wild marmosets in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest, there are no reports of this infection in wild Geoffroy’s marmoset (Callithrix geofroyi. The aim of this study is to report one case of P. elegans parasitism in a free-ranging C. geoffroyi from Brazilian Atlantic Forest in Espírito Santo state, and characterize the pathological and parasitological findings of this infection. One Geoffroy’s marmoset necropsied at the Vila Velha University’s Veterinary Pathology Laboratory presented intense chronic transmural ulcerative enteritis associated with twenty cylindrical helminths present in the jejunum and ileum. We can conclude that parasitism by P. elegans occurs in free-ranging groups of Geoffroy’s marmosets. Its infection produced severe intestinal lesions even in free-ranging marmoset and therefore is a threat to this animal’s survival in wildlife and can have some impact on primate conservation in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest.

  3. 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.

  4. Demographics and practices of semi-intensive free-range farming systems in Australia with an outdoor stocking density of ≤1500 hens/hectare

    OpenAIRE

    Singh, Mini; Ruhnke, Isabelle; de Koning, Carolyn; Drake, Kelly; Skerman, Alan G.; Hinch, Geoff N.; Glatz, Philip C.

    2017-01-01

    Baseline information on demographics and practices on semi-intensive free-range egg farms with an outdoor stocking density of ≤1500 hens/hectare in Australia is presented. Free-range egg production is changing the structure of the egg industry in Australia and a broad variety and tiers of free-range systems have emerged due to lack of concrete legislative standards on outdoor stocking densities in the past. Information was extracted from a pre-existing online free-range poultry survey dataset...

  5. 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 ...

  6. 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…

  7. 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...

  8. 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-.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heleen Druce

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available 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 spatial ecology. In Pilanesberg National Park, this abnormal behaviour was corrected by introducing older bulls and culling certain problem elephants. In July 2003, three older bulls (29–41 years old were introduced into Phinda Private Game Reserve, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa in order to normalise the bull age structure. These introduced bulls were monitored intensively after release, as was the resident bull population, both before and after introduction of the older bulls. The introduced bulls settled into restricted ranges separate from the family groups. All the resident bulls decreased their home ranges at first, with most increasing their home ranges a year later. The resident bulls’ change in ranging patterns was due more to ecological factors than to the influence of the mature bull introduction. This study indicates that the introduction of older male elephants into small populations does not pose major risks or animal welfare concerns.

  10. 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

  11. Sticky snack for sengis: The Cape rock elephant-shrew, Elephantulus edwardii (Macroscelidea), as a pollinator of the Pagoda lily, Whiteheadia bifolia (Hyacinthaceae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wester, Petra

    2010-12-01

    Following the recent discovery of rodent pollination in the Pagoda lily, Whiteheadia bifolia (Hyacinthaceae) in South Africa, now the Cape rock elephant-shrew, Elephantulus edwardii (Macroscelidea, Afrotheria) is reported as an additional pollinator. Elephant-shrews, live-trapped near W. bifolia plants, were released in two terraria, containing the plants. The animals licked nectar with their long and slender tongues while being dusted with pollen and touching the stigmas of the flowers with their long and flexible noses. The captured elephant-shrews had W. bifolia pollen in their faeces, likely as a result of grooming their fur as they visited the flowers without eating or destroying them. The animals mostly preferred nectar over other food. This is the first record of pollination and nectar consumption in the primarily insectivorous E. edwardii, contributing to the very sparse knowledge about the behaviour of this unique clade of African mammals, as well as pollination by small mammals.

  12. Low cardiac output as physiological phenomenon in hibernating, free-ranging Scandinavian brown bears (Ursus arctos) - an observational study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jørgensen, Peter Godsk; Arnemo, Jon; Swenson, Jon E; Jensen, Jan S; Galatius, Søren; Frøbert, Ole

    2014-09-16

    Despite 5-7 months of physical inactivity during hibernation, brown bears (Ursus arctos) are able to cope with physiological conditions that would be detrimental to humans. During hibernation, the tissue metabolic demands fall to 25% of the active state. Our objective was to assess cardiac function associated with metabolic depression in the hibernating vs. active states in free-ranging Scandinavian brown bears. We performed echocardiography on seven free-ranging brown bears in Dalarna, Sweden, anesthetized with medetomidine-zolazepam-tiletamine-ketamine during winter hibernation in February 2013 and with medetomidine-zolazepam-tiletamine during active state in June 2013. We measured cardiac output noninvasively using estimates of hemodynamics obtained by pulsed wave Doppler echocardiography and 2D imaging. Comparisons were made using paired T-tests. During hibernation, all hemodynamic indices were significantly decreased (hibernating vs. active state): mean heart rate was 26.0 (standard deviation (SD): 5.6) beats per min vs. 75.0 (SD: 17.1) per min (P=0.002), mean stroke volume 32.3 (SD: 5.2) ml vs. 47.1 (SD: 7.9) ml (P=0.008), mean cardiac output 0.86 (SD: 0.31) l/min vs. 3.54 (SD: 1.04) l/min (P=0.003), and mean cardiac index 0.63 (SD: 0.21) l/min/kg vs. 2.45 (SD: 0.52) l/min/ m2 (Pbears during hibernation, despite the absence of atrial arrhythmias and valvular disease. Free-ranging brown bears demonstrate hemodynamics comparable to humans during active state, whereas during hibernation, we documented extremely low-flow hemodynamics. Understanding these physiological changes in bears may help to gain insight into the mechanisms of cardiogenic shock and heart failure in humans.

  13. Free-ranging domestic cats (Felis catus) on public lands: estimating density, activity, and diet in the Florida Keys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cove, Michael V.; Gardner, Beth; Simons, Theodore R.; Kays, Roland; O'Connell, Allan F.

    2017-01-01

    Feral and free-ranging domestic cats (Felis catus) can have strong negative effects on small mammals and birds, particularly in island ecosystems. We deployed camera traps to study free-ranging cats in national wildlife refuges and state parks on Big Pine Key and Key Largo in the Florida Keys, USA, and used spatial capture–recapture models to estimate cat abundance, movement, and activities. We also used stable isotope analyses to examine the diet of cats captured on public lands. Top population models separated cats based on differences in movement and detection with three and two latent groups on Big Pine Key and Key Largo, respectively. We hypothesize that these latent groups represent feral, semi-feral, and indoor/outdoor house cats based on the estimated movement parameters of each group. Estimated cat densities and activity varied between the two islands, with relatively high densities (~4 cats/km2) exhibiting crepuscular diel patterns on Big Pine Key and lower densities (~1 cat/km2) exhibiting nocturnal diel patterns on Key Largo. These differences are most likely related to the higher proportion of house cats on Big Pine relative to Key Largo. Carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios from hair samples of free-ranging cats (n = 43) provided estimates of the proportion of wild and anthropogenic foods in cat diets. At the population level, cats on both islands consumed mostly anthropogenic foods (>80% of the diet), but eight individuals were effective predators of wildlife (>50% of the diet). We provide evidence that cat groups within a population move different distances, exhibit different activity patterns, and that individuals consume wildlife at different rates, which all have implications for managing this invasive predator.

  14. Innovative use of Distributed Temperature Sensing and Meteorological Data to Understand Thermoregulation of Free-Ranging Howling Monkeys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suarez, F. I.; Vinyard, C. J.; Williams, S. H.; Hausner, M. B.; Tyler, S. W.; Glander, K.

    2011-12-01

    Temperature fluctuations are a major driver of change in natural habitats and influence the lifestyle of all organisms because temperature impacts molecular, physiological, and behavioral processes. However, there is a lack of understanding on how temperature affects metabolism, behavior, and ecology at the organismal level. Even though physiological responses to temperature fluctuations have been well documented in laboratory conditions, it has been challenging to collect the required environmental data to study thermoregulation of free-ranging mammals such as mantled howling monkeys (Alouatta palliata). Fortunately, recent advances in fiber-optic distributed temperature sensing (DTS) now permit the observation of temperature fields in the environment at scales ranging from millimeters to kilometers. This has opened an exciting opportunity for temperature monitoring at scales that were previously not feasible. This study addresses the main limitations of previous studies of primate behavior by integrating real-time environmental data with the behavior and physiological response of free-ranging primates. In this work, we present preliminary DTS data collected in a natural habitat of howling monkeys. Fiber-optic cables were hung between the ground and an elevation of approximately 15 m within the forest canopy, providing continuous profiles of temperature without any disturbance due to the animals and habitat. These measurements were integrated with conventional meteorological data and with the ambient temperature at the location of the animal, as well as with measurements of primate's subcutaneous and core body temperatures. These data will be utilized to determine how environmental conditions relate to primate behavioral and physiological responses in time and space. The methodologies used in this study provide tools to test theories of physiological thermoregulation of other free-ranging animals.

  15. Free-ranging farm cats: home range size and predation on a livestock unit in Northwest Georgia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susanna E Kitts-Morgan

    Full Text Available This study's objective was to determine seasonal and diurnal vs. nocturnal home range size, as well as predation for free-ranging farm cats at a livestock unit in Northwest Georgia. Seven adult cats were tracked with attached GPS units for up to two weeks for one spring and two summer seasons from May 2010 through August 2011. Three and five cats were tracked for up to two weeks during the fall and winter seasons, respectively. Feline scat was collected during this entire period. Cats were fed a commercial cat food daily. There was no seasonal effect (P > 0.05 on overall (95% KDE and 90% KDE or core home range size (50% KDE. Male cats tended (P = 0.08 to have larger diurnal and nocturnal core home ranges (1.09 ha compared to female cats (0.64 ha. Reproductively intact cats (n = 2 had larger (P < 0.0001 diurnal and nocturnal home ranges as compared to altered cats. Feline scat processing separated scat into prey parts, and of the 210 feline scats collected during the study, 75.24% contained hair. Of these 158 scat samples, 86 contained non-cat hair and 72 contained only cat hair. Other prey components included fragments of bone in 21.43% of scat and teeth in 12.86% of scat. Teeth were used to identify mammalian prey hunted by these cats, of which the Hispid cotton rat (Sigmodon hispidus was the primary rodent. Other targeted mammals were Peromyscus sp., Sylvilagus sp. and Microtus sp. Invertebrates and birds were less important as prey, but all mammalian prey identified in this study consisted of native animals. While the free-ranging farm cats in this study did not adjust their home range seasonally, sex and reproductive status did increase diurnal and nocturnal home range size. Ultimately, larger home ranges of free-ranging cats could negatively impact native wildlife.

  16. Outdoor stocking density in free-range laying hens: radio-frequency identification of impacts on range use.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, D L M; Hinch, G N; Dyall, T R; Warin, L; Little, B A; Lee, C

    2017-01-01

    The number and size of free-range laying hen (Gallus gallus domesticus) production systems are increasing within Australia in response to consumer demand for perceived improvement in hen welfare. However, variation in outdoor stocking density has generated consumer dissatisfaction leading to the development of a national information standard on free-range egg labelling by the Australian Consumer Affairs Ministers. The current Australian Model Code of Practice for Domestic Poultry states a guideline of 1500 hens/ha, but no maximum density is set. Radio-frequency identification (RFID) tracking technology was used to measure daily range usage by individual ISA Brown hens housed in six small flocks (150 hens/flock - 50% of hens tagged), each with access to one of three outdoor stocking density treatments (two replicates per treatment: 2000, 10 000, 20 000 hens/ha), from 22 to 26, 27 to 31 and 32 to 36 weeks of age. There was some variation in range usage across the sampling periods and by weeks 32 to 36 individual hens from the lowest stocking density on average used the range for longer each day (Prange with 2% of tagged hens in each treatment never venturing outdoors and a large proportion that accessed the range daily (2000 hens/ha: 80.5%; 10 000 hens/ha: 66.5%; 20 000 hens/ha: 71.4%). On average, 38% to 48% of hens were seen on the range simultaneously and used all available areas of all ranges. These results of experimental-sized flocks have implications for determining optimal outdoor stocking densities for commercial free-range laying hens but further research would be needed to determine the effects of increased range usage on hen welfare.

  17. Effect of baseplate size on primary glenoid stability and impingement-free range of motion in reverse shoulder arthroplasty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chae, Soo-Won; Kim, Soung-Yon; Lee, Haea; Yon, Joung-Ro; Lee, Juneyoung; Han, Seung-Ho

    2014-12-09

    Use of a baseplate with a smaller diameter in reverse shoulder arthroplasty is increasing, especially in patients with a small glenoid or glenoid wear. However, the effect of a smaller baseplate on stability of the glenoid component has not been evaluated. Thus, the purpose of this study was to determine whether a smaller baseplate (25 mm) is beneficial to the initial stability of the glenoid component compared to that with a baseplate of a commonly used size (29 mm). Micromotion of glenoid components attached to 14 scapulae of fresh-frozen cadavers was measured and compared between 25- and 29-mm baseplates in biomechanical testing. Impingement-free range of motion in abduction, adduction, internal rotation, and external rotation was evaluated by using a simulated computer model constructed based on the same fresh-frozen cadavers used in biomechanical testing. Micromotion at the inferior third of the glenoid-glenosphere interface was higher in the 29-mm baseplate group than in the 25-mm baseplate group during both 0.7- and 1-body weight cyclic loading in biomechanical testing. Adduction deficit was smaller, and total impingement-free range of motion from abduction to adduction and rotation were greater in the 25-mm baseplate group than in the 29-mm baseplate group in the simulated computer model. Use of a baseplate with a smaller diameter (25 mm) in reverse shoulder arthroplasty is suitable for improving the primary stability of the glenoid component. With a smaller baseplate, impingement-free range of motion is optimized in a smaller glenoid.

  18. Free-ranging farm cats: home range size and predation on a livestock unit in Northwest Georgia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kitts-Morgan, Susanna E; Caires, Kyle C; Bohannon, Lisa A; Parsons, Elizabeth I; Hilburn, Katharine A

    2015-01-01

    This study's objective was to determine seasonal and diurnal vs. nocturnal home range size, as well as predation for free-ranging farm cats at a livestock unit in Northwest Georgia. Seven adult cats were tracked with attached GPS units for up to two weeks for one spring and two summer seasons from May 2010 through August 2011. Three and five cats were tracked for up to two weeks during the fall and winter seasons, respectively. Feline scat was collected during this entire period. Cats were fed a commercial cat food daily. There was no seasonal effect (P > 0.05) on overall (95% KDE and 90% KDE) or core home range size (50% KDE). Male cats tended (P = 0.08) to have larger diurnal and nocturnal core home ranges (1.09 ha) compared to female cats (0.64 ha). Reproductively intact cats (n = 2) had larger (P ranges as compared to altered cats. Feline scat processing separated scat into prey parts, and of the 210 feline scats collected during the study, 75.24% contained hair. Of these 158 scat samples, 86 contained non-cat hair and 72 contained only cat hair. Other prey components included fragments of bone in 21.43% of scat and teeth in 12.86% of scat. Teeth were used to identify mammalian prey hunted by these cats, of which the Hispid cotton rat (Sigmodon hispidus) was the primary rodent. Other targeted mammals were Peromyscus sp., Sylvilagus sp. and Microtus sp. Invertebrates and birds were less important as prey, but all mammalian prey identified in this study consisted of native animals. While the free-ranging farm cats in this study did not adjust their home range seasonally, sex and reproductive status did increase diurnal and nocturnal home range size. Ultimately, larger home ranges of free-ranging cats could negatively impact native wildlife.

  19. Production traits of artificially and naturally hatched geese in intensive and free-range systems: I. Growth traits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boz, M A; Sarica, M; Yamak, U S

    2017-04-01

    1. This study investigated the effect of incubation type and production system on geese growth traits. 2. A total of 216 geese were either naturally (114) or artificially (102) hatched and reared in intensive or free-range production systems (4 replicates each) until 18 weeks of age. 3. Weights of naturally hatched goslings (NHG) were significantly higher than artificially hatched goslings (AHG) at 2 weeks (644 vs. 536 g); however, weights of AHG were significantly higher than NHG at both 6 weeks (3245 vs. 3010 g) and 18 weeks (5212 vs. 4353 g). 4. AHG had better feed conversion ratios (FCRs) than NHG (6.21 vs. 6.46 at 18 weeks). Feed consumption of naturally hatched geese was found higher in first 4 weeks when compared to artificially hatched geese and artificially hatched geese consumed more feed than naturally hatched geese after 8 weeks. 5. Production system had insignificant effects on feed consumption, FCRs, viability and mutilation rates. 6. Slipped wings were more frequent in NHG than AHG (8.32% vs. 1.68% at 6 weeks; 23.84% vs. 5.12% between 7 and 18 weeks) and in free-range production when compared to intensive production (17.88% vs. 11.08% over the course of the production period). 7. The study results indicate that both artificially and NHG can be reared in free-range production systems without any loss in performance and in deference to animal welfare.

  20. Free-Ranging Farm Cats: Home Range Size and Predation on a Livestock Unit In Northwest Georgia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kitts-Morgan, Susanna E.; Caires, Kyle C.; Bohannon, Lisa A.; Parsons, Elizabeth I.; Hilburn, Katharine A.

    2015-01-01

    This study’s objective was to determine seasonal and diurnal vs. nocturnal home range size, as well as predation for free-ranging farm cats at a livestock unit in Northwest Georgia. Seven adult cats were tracked with attached GPS units for up to two weeks for one spring and two summer seasons from May 2010 through August 2011. Three and five cats were tracked for up to two weeks during the fall and winter seasons, respectively. Feline scat was collected during this entire period. Cats were fed a commercial cat food daily. There was no seasonal effect (P > 0.05) on overall (95% KDE and 90% KDE) or core home range size (50% KDE). Male cats tended (P = 0.08) to have larger diurnal and nocturnal core home ranges (1.09 ha) compared to female cats (0.64 ha). Reproductively intact cats (n = 2) had larger (P cats. Feline scat processing separated scat into prey parts, and of the 210 feline scats collected during the study, 75.24% contained hair. Of these 158 scat samples, 86 contained non-cat hair and 72 contained only cat hair. Other prey components included fragments of bone in 21.43% of scat and teeth in 12.86% of scat. Teeth were used to identify mammalian prey hunted by these cats, of which the Hispid cotton rat (Sigmodon hispidus) was the primary rodent. Other targeted mammals were Peromyscus sp., Sylvilagus sp. and Microtus sp. Invertebrates and birds were less important as prey, but all mammalian prey identified in this study consisted of native animals. While the free-ranging farm cats in this study did not adjust their home range seasonally, sex and reproductive status did increase diurnal and nocturnal home range size. Ultimately, larger home ranges of free-ranging cats could negatively impact native wildlife. PMID:25894078

  1. Use of Atlantic Forest protected areas by free-ranging dogs: estimating abundance and persistence of use

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paschoal, Ana Maria; Massara, Rodrigo; Bailey, Larissa L.; Kendall, William L.; Doherty, Paul F.; Hirsch, Andre; Chiarello, Adriano; Paglia, Adriano

    2016-01-01

    Worldwide, domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) are one of the most common carnivoran species in natural areas and their populations are still increasing. Dogs have been shown to impact wildlife populations negatively, and their occurrence can alter the abundance, behavior, and activity patterns of native species. However, little is known about abundance and density of the free-ranging dogs that use protected areas. Here, we used camera trap data with an open-robust design mark–recapture model to estimate the number of dogs that used protected areas in Brazilian Atlantic Forest. We estimated the time period these dogs used the protected areas, and explored factors that influenced the probability of continued use (e.g., season, mammal richness, proportion of forest), while accounting for variation in detection probability. Dogs in the studied system were categorized as rural free-ranging, and their abundance varied widely across protected areas (0–73 individuals). Dogs used protected areas near human houses for longer periods (e.g., >50% of sampling occasions) compared to more distant areas. We found no evidence that their probability of continued use varied with season or mammal richness. Dog detection probability decreased linearly among occasions, possibly due to the owners confining their dogs after becoming aware of our presence. Comparing our estimates to those for native carnivoran, we found that dogs were three to 85 times more abundant than ocelots (Leopardus pardalis), two to 25 times more abundant than puma (Puma concolor), and approximately five times more abundant than the crab-eating fox (Cerdocyon thous). Combining camera trapping data with modern mark–recapture methods provides important demographic information on free-ranging dogs that can guide management strategies to directly control dogs' abundance and ranging behavior.

  2. Use of stable isotopes to identify dietary differences across subpopulations and sex for a free-ranging generalist herbivore.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walter, W David

    2014-01-01

    Carbon and nitrogen isotopes in tissues can be used to understand plants consumed by various taxa, but can they provide additional information about consumers? Values of δ(13)C and δ(15)N were assessed from tissue of free-ranging elk (Cervus elaphus) occupying disparate habitats of mixed prairie-oak savannah that contained C3 agricultural crops in a C4-dominated landscape and in key plants consumed by elk. Muscle and hoof samples were collected from female and male elk in two subpopulations (forested land and grassland) from private land and one subpopulation from the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge (refuge) in 2001-2006. Previous research identified differences between mean muscle δ(13)C and δ(15)N and mean hoof δ(13)C and δ(15)N indicating that isotopes differed between tissues of varying metabolic activity. Mean δ(13)C in hoof of elk on forested land and grassland were lower than hoof δ(13)C from elk in the refuge indicating greater long-term consumption of C3 plants by elk on forested land and grassland subpopulations. The δ(15)N in hoof was greater for elk outside the refuge than that for elk in the refuge. Interaction of sex and subpopulation only occurred for hoof δ(15)N suggesting that factors such as tissue type, sex, and habitat need to be considered to understand free-ranging ecology of generalist herbivores using stable isotopes. Availability of C3 agricultural crops high in percent nitrogen on a nearly annual basis in a C4-dominated landscape was likely driving differences in tissue δ(13)C and δ(15)N among subpopulations of free-ranging elk. An increase in tissue δ(15)N resulted from an increase in the consumption of higher δ(15)N in forage for sexes and subpopulations of a free-ranging ungulate in North America but δ(15)N should be further evaluated as an index of nutrition for subpopulations of generalist herbivores.

  3. Behavior and mortality of free-ranging raccoons, snowshoe hares, and striped skunks after exposure to 300 R γ radiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tester, J.R.; Ternes, J.W.; Siniff, D.B.

    1977-01-01

    Free-ranging raccoons (Procyon lotor), snowshoe hares (Lepus americanus), and striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis) exposed to 300 R cesium-137 radiation were monitored by an automatic radio-tracking system. Five irradiated juvenile raccoons died within 30 days postirradiation, but no controls died. One irradiated and one control snowshoe hare were killed by predators within 30 days after irradiation. No skunks died. No consistent patterns of effects of the irradiation were detected in terms of size or location of home range or in the circadian rhythms

  4. Medicinal management of corneal opacity in free ranging rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta of Shivalik hills in Western Himalayas, Northern India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. Kumar

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Corneal opacification was diagnosed in 17 free ranging rhesus macaques during detailed ophthalmic examination as a part of clinical health examination, at the monkey rescue sterilization centre in Hamirpur Himachal Pradesh, India. The cornea was completely opaque permitting only a little vision with respect to the affected eye. Medical management with topical ciprofloxacin and prednisolone along with ketoprofen and vitamin A was instituted. The corneal lesions subsided completely within one week following treatment. The treatment protocol successfully eliminated the discomfort and intraocular lesions with no serious subsequent irritation due to the treatment in these animals.

  5. Isolation and characterisation of a ruminant alphaherpesvirus closely related to bovine herpesvirus 1 in a free-ranging red deer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Belák Sándor

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The genus Varicellovirus of the Herpesviridae subfamily Alphaherpesvirinae includes a cluster of viruses antigenically and genetically related to bovine herpesvirus 1 (BoHV-1: namely bovine herpesvirus 5 (BoHV-5, bubaline herpesvirus 1 (BuHV-1, caprine herpesvirus 1 (CpHV-1, cervid herpesviruses 1 (CvHV-1 and 2 (CvHV-2 and elk herpesvirus 1 (ElkHV-1. Considering the serological relationship between these ruminant alphaherpesviruses, several surveys have studied the occurrence of BoHV-1 related virus infection in wild and domestic ruminant species. In this way, a recent investigation has indicated, in Belgium, a high increase in the serological prevalence of BoHV-1 related virus infection in free-ranging red deer population. In this context, it has been decided to investigate the presence of an alphaherpesvirus spreading in the Belgian free-ranging red deer population. Results The current study reports the first isolation in a free-ranging red deer of a BoHV-1 closely related virus. The isolate was antigenically, genomically and genetically characterised by comparison with several ruminant alphaherpesvirus. Immunofluorescence assays revealed the isolate was antigenically distinct from bovine and caprine alphaherpesviruses. Similarly, BamHI and BstEII restriction analyses demonstrated the genomic difference between the isolate and the other ruminant alphaherpesviruses. Next, the sequencing of selected parts of UL27 and US8 genes showed a high degree of homologies between each BoHV-1 related ruminant alphaherpesvirus and the isolate. Besides the close relationship between all ruminant alphaherpesviruses, the phylogenetic analysis revealed that the isolate clustered with CvHV-1. Conclusion The first isolation of a virus closely related to BoHV-1 in a free-ranging red deer is reported. Data demonstrate that a CvHV-1 strain, named Anlier, circulates in wild red deer in continental Europe. Anlier strain show consistent differences

  6. Effects of Hen Age and Egg Weight Class on the Hatchability of Free Range Indigenous Chicken Eggs

    OpenAIRE

    Abudabos, AM; Aljumaah, RS; Algawaan, AS; Al-Sornokh, H; Al-Atiyat, RM

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT In total, 806 eggs of free-range Hassawi indigenous chickens were collected from local farm in Saudi Arabia. Eggs were weekly collected for 11 weeks. Initial egg weight (IEW) was recorded, and eggs were graded into four classes (A: 35-40 g, B: 40-45 g, C: 45-50 g, and D: 50-55 g). Eggs were stored for seven days at 75-80% relative humidity and 14-16 C, after which egg weight losses (WL0) were calculated. During incubation, eggs were weighed on days 7 (W7) and 14 (W14), and egg weight...

  7. Effect of free-range days on a local chicken breed: growth performance, carcass yield, meat quality, and lymphoid organ index.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tong, H B; Wang, Q; Lu, J; Zou, J M; Chang, L L; Fu, S Y

    2014-08-01

    An experiment was conducted to evaluate the effect of free-range days on growth performance, carcass yield, meat quality, and lymphoid organ index of a local chicken breed. In total, 1,000 one-day-old male Suqin yellow chickens were raised for 21 d. On d 21, 720 birds with similar BW (536 ± 36 g) were selected and randomly assigned to free-range treatment at 21, 28, 35, and 42 d of age (assigned to free-range treatment for 21, 14, 7, and 0 d, respectively). Each treatment was represented by 5 replicates (pens) containing 36 birds (180 birds per treatment). All the birds were raised in indoor floor pens measuring 1.42 × 1.42 m (2 m(2), 18 birds/m(2)) in conventional poultry research houses before free-range treatment. In the free-range treatment, the chickens were raised in indoor floor houses measuring 3 × 5 m (15 m(2), 2.4 birds/m(2)). In addition, they also had an outdoor free-range paddock measuring 3 × 8 m (24 m(2), 1.5 birds/m(2)). The BW of birds after being assigned to free-range treatment for 7 d decreased significantly compared with that in the conventional treatment (P free-range days on the BW at 42 d of age (P > 0.05). The daily weight gain, feed per gain, daily feed intake, and mortality from 21 to 42 d of age were unaffected by free-range days (P > 0.05). At 42 d of age, the breast yield increased linearly with increasing free-range days (P free-range days (P free-range days (P 0.05). The absolute thymus weight and thymus:BW ratio showed a significant increasing and then decreasing quadratic response to increasing free-range days (P free-range days advantageously affects breast yield, but decreases thigh, leg, thigh bone, and foot yields as well as the water-holding capacity of thigh. No evidence was found that increasing free-range days caused changes in growth performance, meat quality, and lymphoid organs except for changes in water-holding capacity and thymus. © Poultry Science Association Inc.

  8. Seasonal variation in haematological and biochemical variables in free-ranging subadult brown bears (Ursus arctos) in Sweden.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Græsli, Anne Randi; Evans, Alina L; Fahlman, Åsa; Bertelsen, Mads F; Blanc, Stéphane; Arnemo, Jon M

    2015-12-08

    Free-ranging brown bears exhibit highly contrasting physiological states throughout the year. They hibernate 6 months of the year, experiencing a decrease in body temperature, heart rate, respiratory rate and metabolism. An increase in food consumption and the resulting weight gain (mostly through fat storage) prior to hibernation are also part of the brown bear's annual cycle. Due to these physiological changes, haematological and biochemical variables vary dramatically throughout the year. Seasonal changes in 12 haematological and 34 biochemical variables were evaluated in blood samples collected from 40 free-ranging subadult brown bears (22 females, 18 males) immobilised in Sweden in winter (February-March), spring (April-May), and summer (June). Higher levels of haemoglobin, haematocrit and red blood cell count, and a lower white blood cell count and mean cell volume was found during hibernation than in spring and summer. Lower values of the enzymes; aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine transaminase (ALT), alkaline phosphatase (AP), γ-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT), glutamate dehydrogenase (GD) and amylase, and increased values of β-hydroxybutyrate (β-HBA) and blood lipids; triglycerides, cholesterol and free fatty acids, were present during hibernation compared to spring and summer. This study documents significant shifts in haematological and biochemical variables in samples collected from brown bears anaesthetised in winter (February-March) compared to in spring and summer (April-June), reflecting the lowered metabolic, renal and hepatic activity during hibernation. Lower values of enzymes and higher values of blood lipids during hibernation, likely reflect a lipid-based metabolism.

  9. High rates of energy expenditure and water flux in free-ranging Point Reyes mountain beavers Aplodontia rufa phaea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crocker, D.E.; Kofahl, N.; Fellers, G.D.; Gates, N.B.; Houser, D.S.

    2007-01-01

    We measured water flux and energy expenditure in free-ranging Point Reyes mountain beavers Aplodontia rufa phaea by using the doubly labeled water method. Previous laboratory investigations have suggested weak urinary concentrating ability, high rates of water flux, and low basal metabolic rates in this species. However, free-ranging measurements from hygric mammals are rare, and it is not known how these features interact in the environment. Rates of water flux (210 ?? 32 mL d-1) and field metabolic ra