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Sample records for free-ranging african elephants

  1. Tusklessness and tusk fractures in free-ranging African savanna elephants (Loxodonta africana

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    G. Steenkamp

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available The incidence of tusklessness varies between free-ranging African elephant populations. Sex-linked genetic drift predicts 2 outcomes - the condition becomes fixed and sex-specific incidences diverge when populations are small and/or heavily poached. By contrast, for large and intact populations, tusklessness diminishes and there is no variation between sexes. We tested these predictions by comparing sex-specific incidences between 15 populations: a small one with a skewed founder effect towards tusklessness; 5 that had experienced intense levels of poaching; 2 that had been subjected to non-selective culling and 7 that are relatively pristine. Patterns of rainfall were studied of tusk fractures amongst these populations to correct for any effect that acquired tusklessness may have on our predictions. The incidence of tusk fractures was related to annual rainfall, but the mechanism that leads to an increase of the condition in drier areas was not clear. Incidences of tusk fractures in free-ranging populations implied that the frequency of acquired bilateral tusklessness is low and should not affect our results. All males had tusks. Tusklessness in females was high in the small skewed founder population and some of those where there was a history of poaching. The incidence is expected to decline if the residual population is large.

  2. Fecal 20-oxo-pregnane concentrations in free-ranging African elephants (Loxodonta africana) treated with porcine zona pellucida vaccine.

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    Ahlers, M J; Ganswindt, A; Münscher, S; Bertschinger, H J

    2012-07-01

    Because of overpopulation of African elephants in South Africa and the consequent threat to biodiversity, the need for a method of population control has become evident. In this regard, the potential use of the porcine zona pellucida (pZP) vaccine as an effective means for population control is explored. While potential effects of pZP treatment on social behavior of African elephants have been investigated, no examination of the influence of pZP vaccination on the endocrine correlates in treated females has been undertaken. In this study, ovarian activity of free-ranging, pZP-treated African elephant females was monitored noninvasively for 1 yr at Thornybush Private Nature Reserve, South Africa, by measuring fecal 5α-pregnan-3β-ol-20-on concentrations via enzyme immunoassay. A total of 719 fecal samples from 19 individuals were collected over the study period, averaging 38 samples collected per individual (minimum, maximum: 16, 52). Simultaneously, behavioral observations were made to record the occurrence of estrous behavior for comparison. Each elephant under study showed 5α-pregnan-3β-ol-20-on concentrations rising above baseline at some period during the study indicating luteal activity. Average 5α-pregnan-3β-ol-20-on concentrations were 1.61 ± 0.46 μg/g (mean ± SD). Within sampled females, 42.9% exhibited estrous cycles within the range reported for captive African elephants, 14.3% had irregular cycles, and 42.9% did not appear to be cycling. Average estrous cycle duration was 14.72 ± 0.85 wk. Estrous behavior coincided with the onset of the luteal phase and a subsequent rise in 5α-pregnan-3β-ol-20-on concentrations. Average 5α-pregnan-3β-ol-20-on levels positively correlated with rainfall. No association between average individual 5α-pregnan-3β-ol-20-on concentrations or cyclicity status with age or parity were detected. Earlier determination of efficacy was established via fecal hormone analysis with no pregnancies determined 22 mo post

  3. 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.

  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; 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

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

    2014-07-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. THE AFRICAN ELEPHANTS' TOE NAILS

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    L.A

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

  12. Structure of African elephant populations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Siegismund, H R; Arctander, P

    1996-01-01

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

  13. African Elephant Play, Competence and Social Complexity

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    Phyllis C. Lee

    2014-05-01

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

  14. Development of a body condition scoring index for female African elephants validated by ultrasound measurements of subcutaneous fat.

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    Morfeld, Kari A; Lehnhardt, John; Alligood, Christina; Bolling, Jeff; Brown, Janine L

    2014-01-01

    Obesity-related health and reproductive problems may be contributing to non-sustainability of zoo African elephant (Loxodonta africana) populations. However, a major constraint in screening for obesity in elephants is lack of a practical method to accurately assess body fat. Body condition scoring (BCS) is the assessment of subcutaneous fat stores based on visual evaluation and provides an immediate appraisal of the degree of obesity of an individual. The objective of this study was to develop a visual BCS index for female African elephants and validate it using ultrasound measures of subcutaneous fat. To develop the index, standardized photographs were collected from zoo (n = 50) and free-ranging (n = 57) female African elephants for identifying key body regions and skeletal features, which were then used to visually determine body fat deposition patterns. This information was used to develop a visual BCS method consisting of a list of body regions and the physical criteria for assigning an overall score on a 5-point scale, with 1 representing the lowest and 5 representing the highest levels of body fat. Results showed that as BCS increased, ultrasound measures of subcutaneous fat thickness also increased (Pelephants, the median BCS in the free-ranging individuals (BCS = 3, range 1-5) was lower (Pelephants. This tool can be used to examine which factors impact body condition in zoo and free-ranging elephants, providing valuable information on how it affects health and reproductive potential of individual elephants.

  15. 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.

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

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    Goldstein, Tracey; Mena, Ignacio; Anthony, Simon J; Medina, Rafael; Robinson, Patrick W; Greig, Denise J; Costa, Daniel P; Lipkin, W Ian; Garcia-Sastre, Adolfo; Boyce, Walter M

    2013-01-01

    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.

  17. 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......, 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...

  18. Rectal prolapse associated with a healed pelvic fracture in a pregnant free-ranging African black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis. Part 2 : surgery and necropsy : case report

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    A. Olivier

    2001-07-01

    Full Text Available The oedematous and traumatised protruding section of the rectal tissue of an adult free-ranging female African black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis was surgically amputated. Immediately before completion of surgery, the rhinoceros died of anaesthetic-related cardiac arrest. At necropsy a deformed pelvis and sacrum associated with a healed fracture of the left ileal wing were noted. New bone formation in and around the left ventral sacral foramina may have resulted in neuropathy of particularly the 3rd and 4th left ventral sacral nerves, which (in the horse supply the majority of the nerve fibres innervating the caudal rectum and anus. The cause of the injury is not known, although back injuries, presumably sustained during mating by bulls, have been recorded in white rhinoceros. An encounter with elephants could also have been responsible for the injury in this case.

  19. 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.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The histology, particularly the ultrastructural cytology, of the adrenal gland of the African elephant, Loxodonta africana, is virtually unknown. Tissue from 14 adult male and female elephants was processed for light and transmission electron microscopy. The gland is surrounded by a thick capsule composed of an outer layer ...

  1. 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.

  2. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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    Dale, Robert H I

    2010-01-01

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

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

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    Zoë T. Rossman

    2017-04-01

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

  6. Will Elephants Soon Disappear from West African Savannahs?

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-08-01

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

  8. Trade-offs between reproduction and health in free-ranging African striped mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoepf, I; Pillay, N; Schradin, C

    2017-05-01

    Energy is limited and must be allocated among competing life-history traits. Reproduction is considered one of the most energetically demanding life-history stages. Therefore, the amount of energy an individual invests in reproduction might carry fitness costs through reduced energy allocation to other activities such as health maintenance. We investigated whether reproduction impacts health in the seasonally breeding African striped mouse (Rhabdomys pumilio). We measured health in individuals that reproduced (breeders) and individuals that did not reproduce (their adult offspring) and tested whether: (1) breeders' health before reproduction was similar to that of their offspring (representing a baseline); (2) breeders' health deteriorated after reproduction; (3) breeders' health after reproduction was worse than that of their offspring. We collected blood samples from 12 breeding females and 11 breeding males both at the onset and at the end of the breeding season and from 12 adult daughters and 11 adult sons that did not reproduce at the end of the breeding season. Health was assessed using serum biochemistry analysis with VetScan Abaxis. Breeders differed considerably in their health before and after reproduction, particularly in parameters associated with digestion (lower amylase in males), metabolism (lower albumin, alkaline phosphatase, creatinine and glucose), osmoregulation (lower potassium and phosphorous in females) and immunity (higher globulin and altered alanine aminotransferase). Our results suggest that with the onset of breeding striped mice shifted their energy allocation from maintaining health to reproduction, indicating that investment into reproduction carries significant health costs.

  9. Physiological Stress and Refuge Behavior by African Elephants

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  11. 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 ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smet, Anna F; Byrne, Richard W

    2014-11-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. Age determination by back length for African savanna elephants: extending age assessment techniques for aerial-based surveys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trimble, Morgan J; van Aarde, Rudi J; Ferreira, Sam M; Nørgaard, Camilla F; Fourie, Johan; Lee, Phyllis C; Moss, Cynthia J

    2011-01-01

    Determining the age of individuals in a population can lead to a better understanding of population dynamics through age structure analysis and estimation of age-specific fecundity and survival rates. Shoulder height has been used to accurately assign age to free-ranging African savanna elephants. However, back length may provide an analog measurable in aerial-based surveys. We assessed the relationship between back length and age for known-age elephants in Amboseli National Park, Kenya, and Addo Elephant National Park, South Africa. We also compared age- and sex-specific back lengths between these populations and compared adult female back lengths across 11 widely dispersed populations in five African countries. Sex-specific Von Bertalanffy growth curves provided a good fit to the back length data of known-age individuals. Based on back length, accurate ages could be assigned relatively precisely for females up to 23 years of age and males up to 17. The female back length curve allowed more precise age assignment to older females than the curve for shoulder height does, probably because of divergence between the respective growth curves. However, this did not appear to be the case for males, but the sample of known-age males was limited to ≤27 years. Age- and sex-specific back lengths were similar in Amboseli National Park and Addo Elephant National Park. Furthermore, while adult female back lengths in the three Zambian populations were generally shorter than in other populations, back lengths in the remaining eight populations did not differ significantly, in support of claims that growth patterns of African savanna elephants are similar over wide geographic regions. Thus, the growth curves presented here should allow researchers to use aerial-based surveys to assign ages to elephants with greater precision than previously possible and, therefore, to estimate population variables.

  15. Age Determination by Back Length for African Savanna Elephants: Extending Age Assessment Techniques for Aerial-Based Surveys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trimble, Morgan J.; van Aarde, Rudi J.; Ferreira, Sam M.; Nørgaard, Camilla F.; Fourie, Johan; Lee, Phyllis C.; Moss, Cynthia J.

    2011-01-01

    Determining the age of individuals in a population can lead to a better understanding of population dynamics through age structure analysis and estimation of age-specific fecundity and survival rates. Shoulder height has been used to accurately assign age to free-ranging African savanna elephants. However, back length may provide an analog measurable in aerial-based surveys. We assessed the relationship between back length and age for known-age elephants in Amboseli National Park, Kenya, and Addo Elephant National Park, South Africa. We also compared age- and sex-specific back lengths between these populations and compared adult female back lengths across 11 widely dispersed populations in five African countries. Sex-specific Von Bertalanffy growth curves provided a good fit to the back length data of known-age individuals. Based on back length, accurate ages could be assigned relatively precisely for females up to 23 years of age and males up to 17. The female back length curve allowed more precise age assignment to older females than the curve for shoulder height does, probably because of divergence between the respective growth curves. However, this did not appear to be the case for males, but the sample of known-age males was limited to ≤27 years. Age- and sex-specific back lengths were similar in Amboseli National Park and Addo Elephant National Park. Furthermore, while adult female back lengths in the three Zambian populations were generally shorter than in other populations, back lengths in the remaining eight populations did not differ significantly, in support of claims that growth patterns of African savanna elephants are similar over wide geographic regions. Thus, the growth curves presented here should allow researchers to use aerial-based surveys to assign ages to elephants with greater precision than previously possible and, therefore, to estimate population variables. PMID:22028925

  16. Age determination by back length for African savanna elephants: extending age assessment techniques for aerial-based surveys.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Morgan J Trimble

    Full Text Available Determining the age of individuals in a population can lead to a better understanding of population dynamics through age structure analysis and estimation of age-specific fecundity and survival rates. Shoulder height has been used to accurately assign age to free-ranging African savanna elephants. However, back length may provide an analog measurable in aerial-based surveys. We assessed the relationship between back length and age for known-age elephants in Amboseli National Park, Kenya, and Addo Elephant National Park, South Africa. We also compared age- and sex-specific back lengths between these populations and compared adult female back lengths across 11 widely dispersed populations in five African countries. Sex-specific Von Bertalanffy growth curves provided a good fit to the back length data of known-age individuals. Based on back length, accurate ages could be assigned relatively precisely for females up to 23 years of age and males up to 17. The female back length curve allowed more precise age assignment to older females than the curve for shoulder height does, probably because of divergence between the respective growth curves. However, this did not appear to be the case for males, but the sample of known-age males was limited to ≤27 years. Age- and sex-specific back lengths were similar in Amboseli National Park and Addo Elephant National Park. Furthermore, while adult female back lengths in the three Zambian populations were generally shorter than in other populations, back lengths in the remaining eight populations did not differ significantly, in support of claims that growth patterns of African savanna elephants are similar over wide geographic regions. Thus, the growth curves presented here should allow researchers to use aerial-based surveys to assign ages to elephants with greater precision than previously possible and, therefore, to estimate population variables.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Seismic Census Technique for African Elephants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, J. D.; O'Connell-Rodwell, C. E.; Klemperer, S. L.

    2005-12-01

    Large mammal populations are difficult to census and monitor in remote areas. In particular, elephant populations in Central Africa are difficult to census due to dense forest making aerial surveys impractical. Conservation management would be improved by a census technique that was accurate and precise, did not require large efforts in the field, and could record numbers of animals over a period of time. We report a new detection technique that relies on sensing the footfalls of large mammals. Geophones were used to record the footfalls of elephants and other large mammal species at a water hole in Etosha National Park, Namibia. We were able to discriminate between species using the spectral content of their footfalls with an 85% accuracy rate while only using a single geophone. This was done using correlation coefficients comparing the shape of the spectra for various species. An ANOVA found significant differences between these correlation coefficients (F4,1785 = 147.78, P = 0.000). An estimate of the energy created by passing elephants (the area under the amplitude envelope) can be used to estimate the number of elephants passing the geophone. Our best regression line plotting number of elephants versus energy recorded in the geophone explained 55% of the variance in the data. Much of the unexplained variance is due to the variation in distance from the geophone to the passing elephants. By subjecting the recordings to a narrow band-pass filter and using beamforming techniques on array data, we believe that we can control for the variation in distance between animal and geophones, and thus achieve better estimates of the number of animals passing the array. Using 7 pairs of geophones in a linear array, we offset the pairs of time series to correspond with the time delay associated with the signal intersecting the pair of geophones at increments of 2 degrees. The offset time series were then summed and the RMS value calculated. The largest RMS value was then

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-26

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

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

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    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

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

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    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.

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

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    Yasuko Ishida

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

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    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-08-01

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

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

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    E.J. Raubenheimer

    1999-07-01

    Full Text Available This study was aimed at determining the origin of the diamond shaped pattern and composition of ivory of the African elephant. Fragments of ivory and tusks were obtained through the National Parks Board from the Kruger Park, Addo Elephant Park, Kaokoveld, Caprivi, Etosha, Kavango and Tembe Elephant Park. Polished surfaces were prepared in different planes and examined with light and electron microscopical techniques. Analyses of the inorganic composition were performed using atomic absorption spectrophotometry, ion selective electrodes and inductively coupled optical emission spectroscopy. The total amino acid composition was determined with the aid of an amino acid analyser. Morphological investigations showed the distinctive diamond shaped pattern of ivory to be caused by the sinusoidal surface to pulpal course followed by odontoblastic tubules. This course is the result of pressure which builds up between tightly packed odontoblasts on their centripetal course along an ever decreasing pulpal circumference during formation of ivory. A total of 17 elements were detected in the inorganic fraction of ivory, some in concentrations as low as 0.25 ^g/g. The concentrations of calcium, magnesium, fluoride, cobalt and zinc showed statistically significant differences (P < 0.007 between selected regions and may prove valuable in distinguishing chemically between ivory from different geographical locations. The organic content of ivory showed 17 amino acids in varying concentrations. The possible causes of these variations are discussed.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  9. Effects of economic downturns on mortality of wild African elephants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wittemyer, George

    2011-10-01

    Declines in economic activity and associated changes in human livelihood strategies can increase threats of species overexploitation. This is exemplified by the effects of economic crises, which often drive intensification of subsistence poaching and greater reliance on natural resources. Whereas development theory links natural resource use to social-economic conditions, few empirical studies of the effect of economic downturns on wild animal species have been conducted. I assessed the relations between African elephant (Loxodonta africana) mortality and human-caused wounds in Samburu, Kenya and (1) livestock and maize prices (measures of local economic conditions), (2) change in national and regional gross domestic product (GDP) (measures of macroeconomic conditions), and (3) the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) (a correlate of primary productivity). In addition, I analyzed household survey data to determine the attitudes of local people toward protected areas and wild animals in the area. When cattle prices in the pastoralist study region were low, human-caused wounds to and adult mortality of elephants increased. The NDVI was negatively correlated with juvenile mortality, but not correlated with adult mortality. Changes in Kenyan and East Asian (primary market for ivory) GDP did not explain significant variation in mortality. Increased human wounding of elephants and elephant mortality during periods of low livestock prices (local economic downturns) likely reflect an economically driven increase in ivory poaching. Local but not macroeconomic indices explained significant variation in mortality, likely due to the dominance of the subsistence economy in the study area and its political and economic isolation. My results suggest economic metrics can serve as effective indicators of changes in human use of and resulting effects on natural resources. Such information can help focus management approaches (e.g., antipoaching effort or proffering of

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. Meteorological Controls on the Infrasonic Communication of the African Elephant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larom, David Lee

    Vertical atmospheric temperature and wind gradients exert a marked influence on sound propagation at the infrasonic frequencies used by the African elephant for long-distance communication. Tethered balloon profiles taken at Okaukuejo, Namibia, in the Etosha National Park, are used as input to a computer model of atmospheric sound propagation. The results show that high daytime temperature lapse rates can restrict the calling area A to as little as 20 km ^2. With the formation of the regularly occurring low-level nocturnal radiative temperature inversion, A can expand rapidly to 300 km^2 or more. Calling range commonly triples from one hour before to one hour after sunset. The formation of a nocturnal low level jet reduces calling area after 2200 hours; wind shear makes propagation strongly directional, with enhancement downwind and degradation upwind. The early evening is therefore the optimum calling time at Etosha, with a secondary maximum before dawn. Different topography may lead to a dawn maximum in other parts of the African savannas. Synoptic weather patterns and seasonal change can enhance or dampen the diurnal cycle in calling area. These results explain important facets of elephant behavior, and may contribute to the understanding of territoriality by giving a physical explanation for the evening and dawn chorus in birdsong and animal calls.

  12. The Influence of Life History Milestones and Association Networks on Crop-Raiding Behavior in Male African Elephants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiyo, Patrick I.; Moss, Cynthia J.; Alberts, Susan C.

    2012-01-01

    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-wildlife conflict. PMID:22347468

  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.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunninck, Louis; Ringstad, Iris H; Jackson, Craig R; May, Roel; 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 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.

  15. Distribution and status of the African elephant Loxodonta africana in South Africa, 1652-1992

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.J. Hall-Martin

    1992-09-01

    Full Text Available The historical decline of African elephants to a low of 120 animals in 1920, and their subsequent recovery to over 10 000 is described for the major populations of South Africa. Population growth rates of 6,8 and 6,7 per annum are derived from census and estimates for the Kruger National Park and the Addo Elephant National Park respectively. The reasons for elephant population control in the Kruger National Park, and the impact of elephants on both the Kruger and Addo environments, are discussed. The translocation of young elephants to found new populations is mentioned. The consequent increase of elephant range and numbers in the next decade to a possible maximum of 31 000 km2 and 13 000 animals, is envisaged.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

    2010-01-01

    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. PMID:20383331

  1. 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.

  2. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  4. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian J Greco

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nadine Gravett

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. Humans and elephants as treefall drivers in African savannas

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Mograbi, PJ

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available we capitalize on a macroscale experimental opportunity – brought about by the juxtaposition of an elephant-mediated landscape, human-utilized communal harvesting lands and a nature reserve fenced off from both humans and elephants – to investigate...

  12. 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 ...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah A Boyle

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  17. The Retina of Asian and African Elephants: Comparison of Newborn and Adult.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuhrt, Heidrun; Bringmann, Andreas; Härtig, Wolfgang; Wibbelt, Gudrun; Peichl, Leo; Reichenbach, Andreas

    2017-01-01

    Elephants are precocial mammals that are relatively mature as newborns and mobile shortly after birth. To determine whether the retina of newborn elephants is capable of supporting the mobility of elephant calves, we compared the retinal structures of 2 newborn elephants (1 African and 1 Asian) and 2 adult animals of both species by immunohistochemical and morphometric methods. For the first time, we present here a comprehensive qualitative and quantitative characterization of the cellular composition of the newborn and the adult retinas of 2 elephant species. We found that the retina of elephants is relatively mature at birth. All retinal layers were well discernible, and various retinal cell types were detected in the newborns, including Müller glial cells (expressing glutamine synthetase and cellular retinal binding protein; CRALBP), cone photoreceptors (expressing S-opsin or M/L-opsin), protein kinase Cα-expressing bipolar cells, tyrosine hydroxylase-, choline acetyltransferase (ChAT)-, calbindin-, and calretinin-expressing amacrine cells, and calbindin-expressing horizontal cells. The retina of newborn elephants contains discrete horizontal cells which coexpress ChAT, calbindin, and calretinin. While the overall structure of the retina is very similar between newborn and adult elephants, various parameters change after birth. The postnatal thickening of the retinal ganglion cell axons and the increase in ganglion cell soma size are explained by the increase in body size after birth, and the decreases in the densities of neuronal and glial cells are explained by the postnatal expansion of the retinal surface area. The expression of glutamine synthetase and CRALBP in the Müller cells of newborn elephants suggests that the cells are already capable of supporting the activities of photoreceptors and neurons. As a peculiarity, the elephant retina contains both normally located and displaced giant ganglion cells, with single cells reaching a diameter of more than

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Kate; Moore, Randall; Harris, Stephen

    2013-01-01

    A rapid rise in the number of captive African elephants (Loxodonta africana) used in the tourism industry in southern Africa and orphaned elephants in human care has led to concerns about their long-term management, particularly males. One solution is to release them into the wild at adolescence, when young males naturally leave their herd. However, this raises significant welfare concerns: little is known about how well released elephants integrate into wild populations and whether they pose a greater threat to humans than wild elephants. We document the release of three captive-raised adolescent male African elephants in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Despite having been part of a herd of working elephants for at least eight years, the three males progressively integrated into the complex fission-fusion society of wild bull elephants. In the three years following release, they showed no tendency to be closer to human habitation, and there were no significant differences between wild and captive-raised adolescent males in the total number of social interactions, size of ranges and habitat use. However, the captive-raised elephants sparred less and vocalised more, and spent more time alone and in smaller social groups. Thereafter the released elephants continued to expand their ranges and interact with both mixed-sex herds and males. One male was shot by farmers 94 months after release, along with ten wild elephants, on a ranch outside the protected area. We show that captive-raised adolescent male elephants can integrate into a wild population. Long-term studies are required to determine the longevity, breeding success, and eventual fate of released male elephants, but we identified no significant short-term welfare problems for the released elephants or recipient population. Release of captive-raised mammals with complex social systems is a husbandry option that should be explored further.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kate Evans

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: A rapid rise in the number of captive African elephants (Loxodonta africana used in the tourism industry in southern Africa and orphaned elephants in human care has led to concerns about their long-term management, particularly males. One solution is to release them into the wild at adolescence, when young males naturally leave their herd. However, this raises significant welfare concerns: little is known about how well released elephants integrate into wild populations and whether they pose a greater threat to humans than wild elephants. We document the release of three captive-raised adolescent male African elephants in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Despite having been part of a herd of working elephants for at least eight years, the three males progressively integrated into the complex fission-fusion society of wild bull elephants. In the three years following release, they showed no tendency to be closer to human habitation, and there were no significant differences between wild and captive-raised adolescent males in the total number of social interactions, size of ranges and habitat use. However, the captive-raised elephants sparred less and vocalised more, and spent more time alone and in smaller social groups. Thereafter the released elephants continued to expand their ranges and interact with both mixed-sex herds and males. One male was shot by farmers 94 months after release, along with ten wild elephants, on a ranch outside the protected area. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We show that captive-raised adolescent male elephants can integrate into a wild population. Long-term studies are required to determine the longevity, breeding success, and eventual fate of released male elephants, but we identified no significant short-term welfare problems for the released elephants or recipient population. Release of captive-raised mammals with complex social systems is a husbandry option that should be

  20. Six new polymorphic microsatellite loci isolated and characterized from the African savannah elephant genome

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nyakaana, Silvester; Okello, John Bosco A.; Muwanika, Vincent B.

    2005-01-01

    The African savannah elephant (Loxodonta africana) is a 'keystone' species that plays a vital role in regulating the dynamics of both plant and animal communities and yet it is endangered and its numbers have been reduced to approximately 500 000 across their entire continental range. Molecular...

  1. Protecting the African Elephant: A Dynamic Bioeconomic Model of Ivory Trade

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kooten, van G.C.

    2008-01-01

    A dynamic bioeconomic model of ivory trade is used to investigate the efficacy of conservation payments, tourism benefits, quota regimes and a trade ban on the protection of the African elephant (Laxadonta africana). The model consists of four ivory exporting regions and one demand region. Results

  2. Trichomonosis in free-ranging Eurasian collared doves (Streptopelia decaocto) and African collared dove hybrids (Streptopelia risoria) in the Caribbean and description of ITS-1 region genotypes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stimmelmayr, R; Stefani, L M; Thrall, M A; Landers, K; Revan, F; Miller, A; Beckstead, R; Gerhold, R

    2012-06-01

    We report the first documented occurrence of an outbreak of trichomonosis in a free-ranging small flock of Eurasian collared doves (Streptopelia decaocto) and African collared dove hybrids (Streptopelia risoria) in the Caribbean. In total, 18 birds were examined, including six African collared dove x Eurasian collared dove hybrids and 12 Eurasian collared doves. The affected age class consisted of adults. Sex distribution was equal. With a flock population size of 200 birds, mortality rate for the outbreak was estimated at 15-20%. Living birds were weak, showing evidence of mucus-stained beaks and open-mouth breathing. Caseous ulcerative yellow lesions were restricted to the upper gastrointestinal tract, with the exception of one bird, which had lesions in the upper gastrointestinal tract and in the liver. Ninety-four percent (17/18) of the affected birds had multiple extensive lesions. Lesions located on the roof of the oral cavity extended in 33% (6/18) into the orbit and in 11% (2/18) into the braincase. Using wet-mount microscopy, we were able to confirm Trichomonas gallinae in 22% (4/18) of the sampled animals. Fifteen samples submitted for PCR analysis tested positive. Sequence analysis of the internal transcribed spacer 1 (ITS-1) region of the ribosomal RNA (rRNA) revealed two distinct genotypes of Trichomonas. One sequence had 100% identity to the prototype T. gallinae isolate, whereas the other sequences had 98-100% identity to recently described Trichomonas-like parabasalid. On the basis of gross and histologic findings, along with the sequence results from the columbids in this report, it is likely that this Trichomonas-like parabasalid is pathogenic.

  3. Mapping the Elephants of the 19th Century East African Ivory Trade with a Multi-Isotope Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee-Thorp, Julia; Collins, Matthew J.; Lane, Paul J.

    2016-01-01

    East African elephants have been hunted for their ivory for millennia but the nineteenth century witnessed strongly escalating demand from Europe and North America. It has been suggested that one consequence was that by the 1880s elephant herds along the coast had become scarce, and to meet demand, trade caravans trekked farther into interior regions of East Africa, extending the extraction frontier. The steady decimation of elephant populations coupled with the extension of trade networks have also been claimed to have triggered significant ecological and socio-economic changes that left lasting legacies across the region. To explore the feasibility of using an isotopic approach to uncover a ‘moving frontier’ of elephant extraction, we constructed a baseline isotope data set (δ13C, δ15N, δ18O and 87Sr/86Sr) for historic East African elephants known to have come from three distinct regions (coastal, Rift Valley, and inland Lakes). Using the isotope results with other climate data and geographical mapping tools, it was possible to characterise elephants from different habitats across the region. This baseline data set was then used to provenance elephant ivory of unknown geographical provenance that was exported from East Africa during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to determine its likely origin. This produced a better understanding of historic elephant geography in the region, and the data have the potential to be used to provenance older archaeological ivories, and to inform contemporary elephant conservation strategies. PMID:27760152

  4. Mapping the Elephants of the 19th Century East African Ivory Trade with a Multi-Isotope Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coutu, Ashley N; Lee-Thorp, Julia; Collins, Matthew J; Lane, Paul J

    2016-01-01

    East African elephants have been hunted for their ivory for millennia but the nineteenth century witnessed strongly escalating demand from Europe and North America. It has been suggested that one consequence was that by the 1880s elephant herds along the coast had become scarce, and to meet demand, trade caravans trekked farther into interior regions of East Africa, extending the extraction frontier. The steady decimation of elephant populations coupled with the extension of trade networks have also been claimed to have triggered significant ecological and socio-economic changes that left lasting legacies across the region. To explore the feasibility of using an isotopic approach to uncover a 'moving frontier' of elephant extraction, we constructed a baseline isotope data set (δ13C, δ15N, δ18O and 87Sr/86Sr) for historic East African elephants known to have come from three distinct regions (coastal, Rift Valley, and inland Lakes). Using the isotope results with other climate data and geographical mapping tools, it was possible to characterise elephants from different habitats across the region. This baseline data set was then used to provenance elephant ivory of unknown geographical provenance that was exported from East Africa during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to determine its likely origin. This produced a better understanding of historic elephant geography in the region, and the data have the potential to be used to provenance older archaeological ivories, and to inform contemporary elephant conservation strategies.

  5. 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, ...

  6. Effects of rainfall, host demography, and musth on strongyle fecal egg counts in African elephants (Loxodonta africana) in Namibia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thurber, M I; O'Connell-Rodwell, C E; Turner, W C; Nambandi, K; Kinzley, C; Rodwell, T C; Faulkner, C T; Felt, S A; Bouley, D M

    2011-01-01

    Wild African elephants (Loxodonta africana) are commonly infected with intestinal strongyle parasites. Our objective was to determine baseline fecal strongyle egg counts for elephants in the northeast region of Etosha National Park, Namibia and determine if these numbers were affected by annual rainfall, elephant demography (age of individuals and composition of groups), and hormonal state of males. We found that matriarchal family group members have significantly higher fecal egg counts than male elephants (bulls). Among family group members, strongyle egg counts increased with age, whereas among bulls, strongyle egg counts decreased with age. Years of higher rainfall were correlated with decreased numbers of strongyle eggs among bulls. Finally, bulls were not affected by their physiologic (hormonal) status (musth vs. nonmusth). These results suggest that infection by strongyle parasites in Namibian African elephants is a dynamic process affected by intrinsic and extrinsic factors including host demography and rainfall.

  7. African elephants (Loxodonta africana) recognize visual attention from face and body orientation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smet, Anna F; Byrne, Richard W

    2014-07-01

    How do animals determine when others are able and disposed to receive their communicative signals? In particular, it is futile to make a silent gesture when the intended audience cannot see it. Some non-human primates use the head and body orientation of their audience to infer visual attentiveness when signalling, but whether species relying less on visual information use such cues when producing visual signals is unknown. Here, we test whether African elephants (Loxodonta africana) are sensitive to the visual perspective of a human experimenter. We examined whether the frequency of gestures of head and trunk, produced to request food, was influenced by indications of an experimenter's visual attention. Elephants signalled significantly more towards the experimenter when her face was oriented towards them, except when her body faced away from them. These results suggest that elephants understand the importance of visual attention for effective communication. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  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. 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

  10. Neocortical neuronal morphology in the newborn giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi) and African elephant (Loxodonta africana).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobs, Bob; Lee, Laura; Schall, Matthew; Raghanti, Mary Ann; Lewandowski, Albert H; Kottwitz, Jack J; Roberts, John F; Hof, Patrick R; Sherwood, Chet C

    2016-02-01

    Although neocortical neuronal morphology has been documented in the adult giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis tippelskirchi) and African elephant (Loxodonta africana), no research has explored the cortical architecture in newborns of these species. To this end, the current study examined the morphology of neurons from several cortical areas in the newborn giraffe and elephant. After cortical neurons were stained with a modified Golgi technique (N = 153), dendritic branching and spine distributions were analyzed by using computer-assisted morphometry. The results showed that newborn elephant neurons were considerably larger in terms of all dendritic and spine measures than newborn giraffe neurons. Qualitatively, neurons in the newborns appeared morphologically comparable to those in their adult counterparts. Neurons in the newborn elephant differed considerably from those observed in other placental mammals, including the giraffe, particularly with regard to the morphology of spiny projection neurons. Projection neurons were observed in both species, with a much larger variety in the elephant (e.g., flattened pyramidal, nonpyramidal multipolar, and inverted pyramidal neurons). Although local circuit neurons (i.e., interneurons, neurogliaform, Cajal-Retzius neurons) resembled those observed in other eutherian mammals, these were usually spiny, which contrasts with their adult, aspiny equivalents. Newborn projection neurons were smaller than the adult equivalents in both species, but newborn interneurons were approximately the same size as their adult counterparts. Cortical neuromorphology in the newborn giraffe is thus generally consistent with what has been observed in other cetartiodactyls, whereas newborn and adult elephant morphology appears to deviate substantially from what is commonly observed in other placental mammals. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Testing the Accuracy of Aerial Surveys for Large Mammals: An Experiment with African Savanna Elephants (Loxodonta africana).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlossberg, Scott; Chase, Michael J; Griffin, Curtice R

    2016-01-01

    Accurate counts of animals are critical for prioritizing conservation efforts. Past research, however, suggests that observers on aerial surveys may fail to detect all individuals of the target species present in the survey area. Such errors could bias population estimates low and confound trend estimation. We used two approaches to assess the accuracy of aerial surveys for African savanna elephants (Loxodonta africana) in northern Botswana. First, we used double-observer sampling, in which two observers make observations on the same herds, to estimate detectability of elephants and determine what variables affect it. Second, we compared total counts, a complete survey of the entire study area, against sample counts, in which only a portion of the study area is sampled. Total counts are often considered a complete census, so comparing total counts against sample counts can help to determine if sample counts are underestimating elephant numbers. We estimated that observers detected only 76% ± SE of 2% of elephant herds and 87 ± 1% of individual elephants present in survey strips. Detectability increased strongly with elephant herd size. Out of the four observers used in total, one observer had a lower detection probability than the other three, and detectability was higher in the rear row of seats than the front. The habitat immediately adjacent to animals also affected detectability, with detection more likely in more open habitats. Total counts were not statistically distinguishable from sample counts. Because, however, the double-observer samples revealed that observers missed 13% of elephants, we conclude that total counts may be undercounting elephants as well. These results suggest that elephant population estimates from both sample and total counts are biased low. Because factors such as observer and habitat affected detectability of elephants, comparisons of elephant populations across time or space may be confounded. We encourage survey teams to

  12. Testing the Accuracy of Aerial Surveys for Large Mammals: An Experiment with African Savanna Elephants (Loxodonta africana.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scott Schlossberg

    Full Text Available Accurate counts of animals are critical for prioritizing conservation efforts. Past research, however, suggests that observers on aerial surveys may fail to detect all individuals of the target species present in the survey area. Such errors could bias population estimates low and confound trend estimation. We used two approaches to assess the accuracy of aerial surveys for African savanna elephants (Loxodonta africana in northern Botswana. First, we used double-observer sampling, in which two observers make observations on the same herds, to estimate detectability of elephants and determine what variables affect it. Second, we compared total counts, a complete survey of the entire study area, against sample counts, in which only a portion of the study area is sampled. Total counts are often considered a complete census, so comparing total counts against sample counts can help to determine if sample counts are underestimating elephant numbers. We estimated that observers detected only 76% ± SE of 2% of elephant herds and 87 ± 1% of individual elephants present in survey strips. Detectability increased strongly with elephant herd size. Out of the four observers used in total, one observer had a lower detection probability than the other three, and detectability was higher in the rear row of seats than the front. The habitat immediately adjacent to animals also affected detectability, with detection more likely in more open habitats. Total counts were not statistically distinguishable from sample counts. Because, however, the double-observer samples revealed that observers missed 13% of elephants, we conclude that total counts may be undercounting elephants as well. These results suggest that elephant population estimates from both sample and total counts are biased low. Because factors such as observer and habitat affected detectability of elephants, comparisons of elephant populations across time or space may be confounded. We encourage survey

  13. 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.

  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. 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.

  16. Qualitative comparison of the cranio-dental osteology of the extant elephants, Elephas Maximus (Asian elephant) and Loxodonta africana (African elephant).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Todd, Nancy E

    2010-01-01

    Few osteological descriptions of the extant elephants and no detailed morphological comparison of the two genera, Elephas and Loxodonta, have been done in recent years. In this study, 786 specimens of extant elephants (crania, mandibles, and molars) were examined for characters unique to each species. Differences between sexes in each species were described, as well as differences between subspecies of each species. Striking differences in morphology were noted between sexes of both elephants and between subspecies, which may complement current genetic studies, the focus of which is to determine division at the subspecies or species level, particularly differences between the savanna elephant (Loxodonta africana africana) and the forest elephant (Loxodonta africana cyclotis). In addition, examination of the two living elephants provides an excellent dataset for identifying phylogenetic characters for use in examining evolutionary relationships within and between fossil lineages of elephantids. (c) 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  17. Simultaneous modeling of habitat suitability, occupancy, and relative abundance: African elephants in Zimbabwe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Julien; Chamaille-Jammes, Simon; Nichols, James D.; Fritz, Herve; Hines, James E.; Fonnesbeck, Christopher J.; MacKenzie, Darryl I.; Bailey, Larissa L.

    2010-01-01

    The recent development of statistical models such as dynamic site occupancy models provides the opportunity to address fairly complex management and conservation problems with relatively simple models. However, surprisingly few empirical studies have simultaneously modeled habitat suitability and occupancy status of organisms over large landscapes for management purposes. Joint modeling of these components is particularly important in the context of management of wild populations, as it provides a more coherent framework to investigate the population dynamics of organisms in space and time for the application of management decision tools. We applied such an approach to the study of water hole use by African elephants in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe. Here we show how such methodology may be implemented and derive estimates of annual transition probabilities among three dry-season states for water holes: (1) unsuitable state (dry water holes with no elephants); (2) suitable state (water hole with water) with low abundance of elephants; and (3) suitable state with high abundance of elephants. We found that annual rainfall and the number of neighboring water holes influenced the transition probabilities among these three states. Because of an increase in elephant densities in the park during the study period, we also found that transition probabilities from low abundance to high abundance states increased over time. The application of the joint habitat–occupancy models provides a coherent framework to examine how habitat suitability and factors that affect habitat suitability influence the distribution and abundance of organisms. We discuss how these simple models can further be used to apply structured decision-making tools in order to derive decisions that are optimal relative to specified management objectives. The modeling framework presented in this paper should be applicable to a wide range of existing data sets and should help to address important ecological

  18. Simultaneous modeling of habitat suitability, occupancy, and relative abundance: African elephants in Zimbabwe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Julien; Chamaillé-Jammes, Simon; Nichols, James D; Fritz, Hervé; Hines, James E; Fonnesbeck, Christopher J; MacKenzie, Darryl I; Bailey, Larissa L

    2010-06-01

    The recent development of statistical models such as dynamic site occupancy models provides the opportunity to address fairly complex management and conservation problems with relatively simple models. However, surprisingly few empirical studies have simultaneously modeled habitat suitability and occupancy status of organisms over large landscapes for management purposes. Joint modeling of these components is particularly important in the context of management of wild populations, as it provides a more coherent framework to investigate the population dynamics of organisms in space and time for the application of management decision tools. We applied such an approach to the study of water hole use by African elephants in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe. Here we show how such methodology may be implemented and derive estimates of annual transition probabilities among three dry-season states for water holes: (1) unsuitable state (dry water holes with no elephants); (2) suitable state (water hole with water) with low abundance of elephants; and (3) suitable state with high abundance of elephants. We found that annual rainfall and the number of neighboring water holes influenced the transition probabilities among these three states. Because of an increase in elephant densities in the park during the study period, we also found that transition probabilities from low abundance to high abundance states increased over time. The application of the joint habitat-occupancy models provides a coherent framework to examine how habitat suitability and factors that affect habitat suitability influence the distribution and abundance of organisms. We discuss how these simple models can further be used to apply structured decision-making tools in order to derive decisions that are optimal relative to specified management objectives. The modeling framework presented in this paper should be applicable to a wide range of existing data sets and should help to address important ecological

  19. Chemical signals in the reproduction of Asian (Elephas maximus) and African (Loxodonta africana) elephants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rasmussen, L E; Schulte, B A

    1998-10-01

    Asian (Elephas maximus) and African (Loxodonta africana) elephants exhibit polygynous mating that involves female choice of mates and male-male competition for access to females. Chemical signals mediate intersexual and intrasexual interactions associated with reproduction. The need for reliable and honest signals is accentuated by the markedly different social structure of adult males and females. Adult female elephants live in matriarchal herds consisting of a dominant female and several generations of offspring. Adult males are solitary or travel with other males except during breeding periods. Because females have a long 16-week oestrous cycle with a brief 1-week receptive period and a 4-5 year interval between births, a sexually active female is a limited resource. Asian elephant females advertise a forthcoming ovulation by releasing (Z)-7-dodecen-1-yl acetate in their urine during the preovulatory period. African elephants probably produce a sex pheromone as well. Females regularly contact the ano-genital region of other females and show heightened chemosensory responsiveness to urine during the follicular phase. The physiological impacts of this ability to detect reproductive condition (e.g. possible synchronizing or suppressing of oestrus) are uncertain. Males experience an annual period of heightened aggressiveness and highly elevated testosterone concentrations known as musth. Males secrete fluid copiously from their temporal gland and dribble strongly odoriferous urine during musth. Females appear to prefer musth males as mates, and captive Asian females exhibit greater chemosensory responses to urine from males in musth than not. Males in musth are competitively dominant to all other males, even those larger than themselves. Nonmusth males avoid males in musth, and captive Asian bulls show greater interest in musth than nonmusth urine. In captivity subordinate Asian females back away from musth secretions, and females with calves sometimes display

  20. 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...

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    African Journal of Psychiatry. Journal Home · ABOUT THIS JOURNAL · Advanced Search · Current Issue · Archives · Journal Home > Vol 16, No 3 (2013) >. 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 ...

  2. 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}.

  3. 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}.

  4. 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 ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. Host specificity and basic ecology of Mammomonogamus (Nematoda, Syngamidae) from lowland gorillas and forest elephants in Central African Republic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Červená, Barbora; Vallo, Peter; Pafčo, Barbora; Jirků, Kateřina; Jirků, Miloslav; Petrželková, Klára Judita; Todd, Angelique; Turkalo, Andrea K; Modrý, David

    2017-07-01

    Syngamid strongylids of the genus Mammomonogamus undoubtedly belong among the least known nematodes with apparent zoonotic potential and the real diversity of the genus remains hard to evaluate without extensive molecular data. Eggs of Mammomonogamus sp. are frequently found in feces of African forest elephants (Loxodonta cyclotis) and western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) in Dzanga-Sangha Protected Areas. Using sedimentation-based coproscopic techniques, we found the eggs of Mammomonogamus in 19·7% elephant and 54·1% gorilla fecal samples with 8-55 and 1-24 eggs per gram of fecal sediment for elephants and gorillas, respectively. We used a combination of light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy and analysis of cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (cox1) and a partial sequence of 18S rDNA isolated from single eggs to test the hypothesis of possible Mammomonogamus conspecificity in gorillas and elephants. Whereas 18S rDNA sequences were identical in both gorillas and elephants, we distinguished seven different haplotypes within the cox1. Two haplotypes were found in both gorillas and elephants suggesting sharing of Mammomonogamus. Assignment of the parasite to M. loxodontis is proposed. Provided sequences represent the first genomic data on Mammomonogamus spp.

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

  10. Impact of African elephants on baobab (Adansonia digitata L.) population structure in northern Gonarezhou National Park, Zimbabwe

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kupika, O.L.; Kativu, S.; Gandiwa, E.; Gumbie, A.

    2014-01-01

    The impact of African elephant (Loxodonta africana) on population structure of baobab trees (Adansonia digitata L.) was assessed in northern Gonarezhou National Park (GNP), southeast Zimbabwe. Baobabs were sampled in March 2008 and September 2012 using 11 randomly laid belt transects of variable

  11. 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.

  12. Detection of Quiescent Infections with Multiple Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesviruses (EEHVs), Including EEHV2, EEHV3, EEHV6, and EEHV7, within Lymphoid Lung Nodules or Lung and Spleen Tissue Samples from Five Asymptomatic Adult African Elephants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zong, Jian-Chao; Heaggans, Sarah Y; Long, Simon Y; Latimer, Erin M; Nofs, Sally A; Bronson, Ellen; Casares, Miguel; Fouraker, Michael D; Pearson, Virginia R; Richman, Laura K; Hayward, Gary S

    2015-12-30

    More than 80 cases of lethal hemorrhagic disease associated with elephant endotheliotropic herpesviruses (EEHVs) have been identified in young Asian elephants worldwide. Diagnostic PCR tests detected six types of EEHV in blood of elephants with acute disease, although EEHV1A is the predominant pathogenic type. Previously, the presence of herpesvirus virions within benign lung and skin nodules from healthy African elephants led to suggestions that African elephants may be the source of EEHV disease in Asian elephants. Here, we used direct PCR-based DNA sequencing to detect EEHV genomes in necropsy tissue from five healthy adult African elephants. Two large lung nodules collected from culled wild South African elephants contained high levels of either EEHV3 alone or both EEHV2 and EEHV3. Similarly, a euthanized U.S. elephant proved to harbor multiple EEHV types distributed nonuniformly across four small lung nodules, including high levels of EEHV6, lower levels of EEHV3 and EEHV2, and a new GC-rich branch type, EEHV7. Several of the same EEHV types were also detected in random lung and spleen samples from two other elephants. Sanger PCR DNA sequence data comprising 100 kb were obtained from a total of 15 different strains identified, with (except for a few hypervariable genes) the EEHV2, EEHV3, and EEHV6 strains all being closely related to known genotypes from cases of acute disease, whereas the seven loci (4.0 kb) obtained from EEHV7 averaged 18% divergence from their nearest relative, EEHV3. Overall, we conclude that these four EEHV species, but probably not EEHV1, occur commonly as quiescent infections in African elephants. Acute hemorrhagic disease characterized by high-level viremia due to infection by members of the Proboscivirus genus threatens the future breeding success of endangered Asian elephants worldwide. Although the genomes of six EEHV types from acute cases have been partially or fully characterized, lethal disease predominantly involves a variety

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. Interactive patterns of vocal communication in African elephant herds (Loxodonta africana)

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Connell-Rodwell, Caitlin E.; Wyman, Megan T.; Hart, Lynette A.; Redfield, Shay

    2004-05-01

    This study examines the interactive nature of vocalizations produced within African elephant herds during waterhole visits at Etosha National Park, Namibia. The temporal organization and physical characteristics of 1025 vocalizations, documented within 14.8 h of acoustic field recordings, were analyzed using a variety of statistical tests. Temporal distribution analyses indicated that calls were clumped in time (Kologorov-Smirnov, average significant p=0.00158) and the majority of the calls occurred after herds began the process of departing a waterhole (Wilcoxon signed rank, p=0.0012). In addition, 84% of all calls began within 30 s of another call. Based on the analysis of the temporal patterning of calls, a conversational series of vocalizations was defined as calls separated by less than 30 s of silence. The majority of calls in a conversational series are overlapping or contiguous, indicating that multiple elephants are involved in the exchange. A variety of physical characteristics (duration, frequency, frequency modulation, and frequency at peak amplitude) was compared across three different call types. These conversational call patterns may function to maintain intragroup cohesion and coordination as well as intergroup resource sharing and competition reduction. [Work supported by: Namibia Nature Foundation, Etosha Ecological Institute, UC Davis Block, Jastro Shields, and Faculty Research Grants.

  16. Recurrence of hyperprolactinemia and continuation of ovarian acyclicity in captive African elephants (Loxodonta africana) treated with cabergoline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morfeld, Kari A; Ball, Ray L; Brown, Janine L

    2014-09-01

    Hyperprolactinemia is associated with reproductive acyclicity in zoo African elephants (Loxodonta africana) and may contribute to the non-self-sustainability of the captive population in North America. It is a common cause of infertility in women and other mammals and can be treated with the dopamine agonist cabergoline. The objectives of this study were to assess prolactin responses to cabergoline treatment in hyperprolactinemic, acyclic African elephants and to determine the subsequent impact on ovarian cyclic activity. Five elephants, diagnosed as hyperprolactinemic (>11 ng/ml prolactin) and acyclic (maintenance of baseline progestagens for at least 1 yr), were treated with 1-2 mg cabergoline orally twice weekly for 16-82 wk. Cabergoline reduced (P elephants (11.5 +/- 3.2 vs. 9.1 +/- 3.4 ng/ml; 20.3 +/- 16.7 vs. 7.9 +/- 9.8 ng/ml; 26.4 +/- 15.0 vs. 6.8 +/- 1.5 ng/ml; 42.2 +/- 22.6 vs. 18.6 +/- 8.9 ng/ml). However, none of the females resumed ovarian cyclicity based on serum progestagen analyses up to 1 yr posttreatment. In addition, within 1 to 6 wk after cessation of oral cabergoline, serum prolactin concentrations returned to concentrations that were as high as or higher than before treatment (P elephant that exhibited the highest pretreatment prolactin concentration (75.2 +/- 10.5 ng/ml) did not respond to cabergoline and maintained elevated levels throughout the study. Thus, oral cabergoline administration reduced prolactin concentrations in elephants with hyperprolactinemia, but there was no resumption of ovarian cyclicity, and a significant prolactin rebound effect was observed. It is possible that higher doses or longer treatment intervals may be required for cabergoline treatment to result in permanent suppression of prolactin secretion and to mitigate associated ovarian cycle problems.

  17. Milk composition of free-ranging red hartebeest, giraffe, Southern reedbuck and warthog and a phylogenetic comparison of the milk of African Artiodactyla.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osthoff, G; Hugo, A; Madende, M; Deacon, F; Nel, P J

    2017-02-01

    The composition of major nutrients and fatty acids of the milk of three species, red hartebeest, Southern reedbuck and warthog, and milk fatty acids of giraffe, that have not been published before, are reported, and together with the same parameters of 11 species previously published, were incorporated in a phylogenetic comparison. Unique properties of milk composition have been observed. Southern reedbuck milk seems to have a complex casein composition, similar to that of sheep. Milk composition varies between species. Although some differences may be ascribed to biological condition, such as stage of lactation, or ecological factors, such as availability of certain nutrients, the contribution by evolutionary history is not well documented and the emphasis is usually on the composition of the macro nutrients. Phylogenetic comparisons often lack representatives of multiple species of taxonomic groups and sub-groups. To date phylogenetic comparisons of milk composition have been carried out by using data from different publications. The problem with this approach is that the ecological factors cannot be completely ruled out. A statistical phylogenetic comparison by PCA between 15 species representing 7 different suborders, families or subfamilies of African Artiodactyla was carried out. The phylogenetic properties showed that the milk composition of the Bovinae, represented here by the subfamilies Bovini and Tragelaphini, differs from the other taxonomic groups, in that the Alcelaphinae had a high milk fat content of the medium chain length fatty acids C8-C12 (>17% of total fatty acids) and the Hippotraginae high amounts of oligosaccharides (>0.4%). Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Demography of woody species in a semi-arid African savanna reserve following the re-introduction of elephants

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Connor, Timothy G.

    2017-01-01

    The hypothesis that African elephants may cause the local extirpation of selected woody species was evaluated in a medium-sized, semi-arid reserve following their reintroduction at low density. Mortality, state-change, and regeneration of 25 tree and 17 shrub species were studied between 1997 and 2010. Annual mortality of shrub species ranged from 0.2 to 8.0%, with six species experiencing 6-8%. Eight shrub species lost more than half their adult population (range 10-94%). Annual tree mortality ranged from 0.2 to 10.5%. The two dominant dryland tree species experienced Elephants accounted for >63% and stress-related agents >20% of tree deaths. The manner in which elephants induced tree death depended on species. The proportion of individuals of a species killed by pollarding or uprooting ranged from 0 to 74%, and by debarking from 0 to 100%. Complete uprooting was a common cause of death for three shrub species. Regeneration ranged from zero for six tree and one shrub species to a seedling every 7 m2 for Colophospermum mopane and 23 m2 for Dichrostachys cinerea in riparian habitat. Three shrub and eight tree species were identified as vulnerable to local extirpation owing to a combination of high mortality and poor regeneration that is likely to result in a considerably simplified system. Reintroduction of elephants into medium-sized reserves without regulation of their numbers may not be a desirable action.

  1. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. 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 (pSocial 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 (psocial 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-valuehousing and social variables evaluated herein have been used in a series of subsequent epidemiological analyses relating to various elephant welfare outcomes.

  4. 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 ...

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-01

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

  7. Response of African elephants (Loxodonta africana) to seasonal changes in rainfall.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garstang, Michael; Davis, Robert E; Leggett, Keith; Frauenfeld, Oliver W; Greco, Steven; Zipser, Edward; Peterson, Michael

    2014-01-01

    The factors that trigger sudden, seasonal movements of elephants are uncertain. We hypothesized that savannah elephant movements at the end of the dry season may be a response to their detection of distant thunderstorms. Nine elephants carrying Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers were tracked over seven years in the extremely dry and rugged region of northwestern Namibia. The transition date from dry to wet season conditions was determined annually from surface- and satellite-derived rainfall. The distance, location, and timing of rain events relative to the elephants were determined using the Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission (TRMM) satellite precipitation observations. Behavioral Change Point Analysis (BCPA) was applied to four of these seven years demonstrating a response in movement of these elephants to intra- and inter-seasonal occurrences of rainfall. Statistically significant changes in movement were found prior to or near the time of onset of the wet season and before the occurrence of wet episodes within the dry season, although the characteristics of the movement changes are not consistent between elephants and years. Elephants in overlapping ranges, but following separate tracks, exhibited statistically valid non-random near-simultaneous changes in movements when rainfall was occurring more than 100 km from their location. While the environmental trigger that causes these excursions remains uncertain, rain-system generated infrasound, which can travel such distances and be detected by elephants, is a possible trigger for such changes in movement.

  8. Tree cover and biomass increase in a southern African savanna despite growing elephant population

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kalwij, J.M.; Boer, de W.F.; Mucina, L.; Prins, H.H.T.; Skarpe, C.; Winterbach, C.

    2010-01-01

    The growing elephant populations in many parts of southern Africa raise concerns of a detrimental loss of trees, resulting in overall reduction of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Elephant distribution and density can be steered through artificial waterpoints (AWPs). However, this leaves

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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...... relations in the study population. These results suggest that inclusive fitness benefits may crystallize elephant hierarchical social structuring along genetic lines when populations are undisturbed. However, indirect benefits are not critical to the formation and maintenance of second-, third- or fourth......-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....

  15. Comparison of the milk composition of free-ranging indigenous ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The milk composition of free-ranging indigenous African cattle breeds was analysed. These breeds were chosen because they have not been bred specifically for milk production and might be considered the closest to a “natural” or “wild type” of the Bos species. It was found that the nutrient composition of the milk of these ...

  16. The bulldozer herbivore: how animals benefit from elephant modifying an African savanna

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kohi, E.

    2013-01-01

    Herbivore-vegetation interactions are important structuring forces in savanna that modify the availability and quality of forage resources. Elephant for example, are known for their ability to change the vegetation structure through toppling trees, uprooting, snapping, debarking and breaking

  17. 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...

  18. 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

  19. Ovarian acyclicity in zoo African elephants (Loxodonta africana) is associated with high body condition scores and elevated serum insulin and leptin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morfeld, Kari A; Brown, Janine L

    2016-04-01

    The purpose of the present study was to determine whether excessive body fat and altered metabolic hormone concentrations in the circulation were associated with ovarian acyclicity in the world's largest land mammal, the African elephant. We compared body condition, glucose, insulin and leptin concentrations and the glucose-to-insulin ratio (G:I) between cycling (n=23; normal 14-16 week cycles based on serum progestagens for at least 2 years) and non-cycling (n=23; consistent baseline progestagen concentrations for at least 2 years) females. A validated body condition score (BCS) index (five-point scale; 1=thinnest, 5=fattest) was used to assess the degree of fatness of the study elephants. The mean BCS of non-cycling elephants was higher than that of their cycling counterparts. There were differences in concentrations of serum metabolic biomarkers, with non-cycling elephants in the BCS 5 category having higher leptin and insulin concentrations and a lower G:I ratio than cycling BCS 5 females. Using 'non-cycling' as the outcome variable in regression models, high BCS was a strong predictor of a non-cycling status. This study provides the first evidence that ovarian acyclicity in zoo African elephants is associated with body condition indicative of obesity, as well as elevated, perturbed biomarkers of metabolic status.

  20. The measurement of glucocorticoid concentrations in the serum and faeces of captive African elephants (Loxodonta africana after ACTH stimulation : research communication

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S.K. Stead

    2000-07-01

    Full Text Available Conventionally, the assessment of adrenal responses to stress relies on blood sample collection. However, blood collection from animals is impossible without restraint or immobilisation that influences results. This study was undertaken to validate recently established enzyme immunoassays that measure faecal glucocorticoid metabolites in elephants, and to perform a preliminary investigation into the biological relevance of this non-invasive method for use in assessing the degree of stress in this species. Four juvenile African elephants were injected i.m. with 2.15 mg synthetic adrenocorticotrophic hormone (Synacthén, Novartis, Switzerland. Blood and faecal samples were collected over 4 h and 7 d respectively. Concentrations of serum cortisol and faecal cortisol metabolites were determined using immunoassay. Variability of basal and peak values in blood and faeces was observed among the elephants. After ACTH injection, serum cortisol concentrations increased by 400-700 %. An 11-oxoaetiocholanolone enzyme immunoassay (EIA proved best suited to measure cortisol metabolites (11,17-dioxoandrostanes when compared to a cortisol and corticosterone EIA in faecal samples. Concentrations of faecal 11,17-dioxoandrostanes increased by 570-1070 %, reaching peak levels after 20.0-25.5 h. Greater levels of glucocorticoid metabolites were measured in faecal samples from elephants kept in small enclosures compared to levels in the faeces of animals ranging over a larger area. The results of this preliminary study suggest that non-invasive faecal monitoring of glucocorticoid metabolites is useful in investigating adrenal activity in African elephants.

  1. Selective habitat utilisation and impact on vegetation by African elephant within a heterogeneous landscape

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Steyn

    2001-07-01

    Full Text Available Since 1992, a total of 33 elephants have been reintroduced to a 31 000 ha game-fenced section of the Songimvelo Game Reserve in the Barberton Mountainland, South Africa. The impact from elephant was assessed on the attainment of the primary management objectives which are the conservation of plant community and plant species diversity. A total of 160 semi-quantitative plots were systematically sampled along foraging paths. Vegetation was assessed in terms of dominant species composition and species utilised. Elephant activity is mostly confined to a rugged 1 200 ha portion of the reserve. Forest, thickets and woodlands are positively selected, whereas shrublands and grasslands are little utilised. A total of 73 woody species were recorded within the sample plots. Thirtynine of these species were utilised in the woodlands, 31 in the forest and thickets, and only 18 in the shrublands. Acacia ataxacantha, Dalbergia armata and Acacia caffra are ranked highest in dominance and in utilisation values. In contrast, Cussonia spicata and Pterocarpus angolensis are less common but are much selected. Continued utilisation at present levels could significantly threaten their persistence. These preliminary results indicate that the present low overall density of elephants relative to many other conservation areas already has a marked effect on certain plant species. Absolute elephant density figures are relatively meaningless within a heterogeneous landscape. The specific community and species make-up of the landscape needs to be taken into account for the determination of bounds to elephant numbers in order to ensure the maintenance of present plant species diversity levels.

  2. Tree cover and biomass increase in a southern African savanna despite growing elephant population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalwij, J M; De Boer, W F; Mucina, L; Prins, H H T; Skarpe, C; Winterbach, C

    2010-01-01

    The growing elephant populations in many parts of southern Africa raise concerns of a detrimental loss of trees, resulting in overall reduction of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Elephant distribution and density can be steered through artificial waterpoints (AWPs). However, this leaves resident vegetation no relief during dry seasons. We studied how the introduction of eight AWPs in 1996 affected the spatiotemporal tree-structure dynamics in central Chobe National Park, an unfenced savanna area in northern Botswana with a dry-season elephant density of approximately 3.34 individuals per square kilometer. We hypothesized that the impact of these AWPs amplified over time and expanded in space, resulting in a decrease in average tree density, tree height, and canopy volume. We measured height and canopy dimensions of all woody plants around eight artificial and two seasonal waterpoints for 172 plots in 1997, 2000, and 2008. Plots, consisting of 50 x 2 m transects for small trees (0.20-3.00 m tall) nested within 50 x 20 m transects for large trees (> or = 3.0 m tall), were located at 100, 500, 1000, 2000, and 5000 m distance classes. A repeated-measures mixed-effect model showed that tree density, cover, and volume had increased over time throughout the area, caused by a combination of an increase of trees in lower size classes and a decrease in larger size classes. Our results indicate that the decrease of large trees can be attributed to a growing elephant population. Decrease or loss of particular tree size classes may have been caused by a loss of browser-preferred species while facilitating the competitiveness of less-preferred species. In spite of 12 years of artificial water supply and an annual elephant population growth of 6%, we found no evidence that the eight AWPs had a negative effect on tree biomass or tree structure. The decreasing large-tree component could be a remainder of a depleted but currently restoring elephant population.

  3. Vitamin A storage in the liver of certain African wild ruminants and elephant

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Bartelmus

    1976-08-01

    Full Text Available The levels of vitamin A were determined in liver samples from 40 animals including ruminant species feeding on grass (4 buffalo, 6 blue wildebeest, 5 gemsbok or mainly on plant material other than grass (10 impala, 3 springbok, 7 kudu and 5 elephants. The mean values obtained for the ruminant species ranged from 212 to 1217 I.U. vitamin A/g liver fresh weight mass and showed no relationship to the percentage of grass in rumen contents. An unusually low level of 67 I.U. was found in elephant.

  4. Highly Accurate Antibody Assays for Early and Rapid Detection of Tuberculosis in African and Asian Elephants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tuberculosis (TB) in elephants is a re-emerging zoonotic disease caused primarily by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Current methods for screening and diagnosis rely on trunk wash culture, which has serious limitations due to low test sensitivity, slow turn-around time, and variable sample quality. Inn...

  5. 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

  6. 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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25808888

  7. Modeling the Distribution of African Savanna Elephants in Kruger National Park: AN Application of Multi-Scale GLOBELAND30 Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, W.; Hays, B.; Fayrer-Hosken, R.; Presotto, A.

    2016-06-01

    The ability of remote sensing to represent ecologically relevant features at multiple spatial scales makes it a powerful tool for studying wildlife distributions. Species of varying sizes perceive and interact with their environment at differing scales; therefore, it is important to consider the role of spatial resolution of remotely sensed data in the creation of distribution models. The release of the Globeland30 land cover classification in 2014, with its 30 m resolution, presents the opportunity to do precisely that. We created a series of Maximum Entropy distribution models for African savanna elephants (Loxodonta africana) using Globeland30 data analyzed at varying resolutions. We compared these with similarly re-sampled models created from the European Space Agency's Global Land Cover Map (Globcover). These data, in combination with GIS layers of topography and distance to roads, human activity, and water, as well as elephant GPS collar data, were used with MaxEnt software to produce the final distribution models. The AUC (Area Under the Curve) scores indicated that the models created from 600 m data performed better than other spatial resolutions and that the Globeland30 models generally performed better than the Globcover models. Additionally, elevation and distance to rivers seemed to be the most important variables in our models. Our results demonstrate that Globeland30 is a valid alternative to the well-established Globcover for creating wildlife distribution models. It may even be superior for applications which require higher spatial resolution and less nuanced classifications.

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. African White Gold: Elephant Ivory and Rhino Horn Trafficking - US Intervention and Interdiction

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-03-01

    and security.”5 Mozambique was recently admonished by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) for its porous borders, its...In response to the dramatic rise in poaching over the last half century, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna...bans on rhino horns and elephant ivory appeared to stabilize the respective herds and species by reducing the demand through punitive legal actions

  13. Use of handheld X-ray fluorescence as a non-invasive method to distinguish between Asian and African elephant tusks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buddhachat, Kittisak; Thitaram, Chatchote; Brown, Janine L; Klinhom, Sarisa; Bansiddhi, Pakkanut; Penchart, Kitichaya; Ouitavon, Kanita; Sriaksorn, Khanittha; Pa-in, Chalermpol; Kanchanasaka, Budsabong; Somgird, Chaleamchat; Nganvongpanit, Korakot

    2016-04-21

    We describe the use of handheld X-ray fluorescence, for elephant tusk species identification. Asian (n = 72) and African (n = 85) elephant tusks were scanned and we utilized the species differences in elemental composition to develop a functional model differentiating between species with high precision. Spatially, the majority of measured elements (n = 26) exhibited a homogeneous distribution in cross-section, but a more heterologous pattern in the longitudinal direction. Twenty-one of twenty four elements differed between Asian and African samples. Data were subjected to hierarchical cluster analysis followed by a stepwise discriminant analysis, which identified elements for the functional equation. The best equation consisted of ratios of Si, S, Cl, Ti, Mn, Ag, Sb and W, with Zr as the denominator. Next, Bayesian binary regression model analysis was conducted to predict the probability that a tusk would be of African origin. A cut-off value was established to improve discrimination. This Bayesian hybrid classification model was then validated by scanning an additional 30 Asian and 41 African tusks, which showed high accuracy (94%) and precision (95%) rates. We conclude that handheld XRF is an accurate, non-invasive method to discriminate origin of elephant tusks provides rapid results applicable to use in the field.

  14. 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

  15. Distances between individuals in an artificial herd of African elephants (Loxodonta africana africana) during resource utilisation in a semi-captive environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stagni, Elena; Normando, Simona; de Mori, Barbara

    2017-08-01

    Space allowance and resource dispersion is recognised as an important factor affecting the welfare of elephants in captivity. In the present pilot study, we investigated distances kept among individuals in an artificially created semi-captive mixed-sex group of African elephants, when individuals were free to disperse. The study involved a herd of six elephants, three females (aged 11 to 16years), and three males (aged 15 to 23years). They were observed through instantaneous scan sampling in order to assess distances between individuals and body orientation in space and through continuous focal animal sampling to assess inter-specific social behaviour and general activity. A total of 312 suitable scans were collected for evaluation of distances between individuals. While foraging in absence of discernible space constraints, elephants maintained a distance equalling five or more body lengths in 63.9% of the scans, with wide differences between dyads. Little social behaviour, mainly affiliative, was recorded. The results of this pilot study suggest further scientific investigation could help to understand whether placing resources at five body lengths distance or over in a controlled environment could increase their simultaneous utilisation by all members of a group and contribute to decrease aggression. However, caution is warranted when applying results to different groups, environments and management regimes. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. 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. Zoo visitor perceptions, attitudes, and conservation intent after viewing African elephants at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hacker, Charlotte E; Miller, Lance J

    2016-07-01

    Elephants in the wild face several conservation issues. With the rebranding of zoos as conservation and education pioneers, they have the ability to both educate and inspire guests to action. The purpose of this research was to analyze visitor perceptions and attitudes toward elephant conservation and outcomes post-exhibit visit. A one-page survey was randomly administered to assess perceptions of elephant behavior, attitudes about elephant conservation, and intended conservation-related outcomes from September 2013 to January 2014. Principle component analysis identified three major components: concern for elephants in zoos, importance of elephants in the wild, and modification of nature. Visitors who scored highly on conservation intent were those with positive attitudes towards elephants in the wild and negative attitudes regarding the modification of nature. The greatest changes in conservation intent were a result of a self-reported up-close encounter and the ability to witness active behaviors. Providing guests with the opportunity to witness or experience such occurrences may aid in a more successful delivery of the zoo's conservation message. Further research into guest emotions and affective states in relation to viewing elephants in a zoological institution would provide greater insight into improving the guest experience and helping zoos meet their conservation mission. Zoo Biol. 35:355-361, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. 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.

  19. The Release of a Captive-Raised Female African Elephant (Loxodonta africana in the Okavango Delta, Botswana

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen Harris

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Wild female elephants live in close-knit matrilineal groups and housing captive elephants in artificial social groupings can cause significant welfare issues for individuals not accepted by other group members. We document the release of a captive-raised female elephant used in the safari industry because of welfare and management problems. She was fitted with a satellite collar, and spatial and behavioural data were collected over a 17-month period to quantify her interactions with the wild population. She was then monitored infrequently for a further five-and-a-half years. We observed few signs of aggression towards her from the wild elephants with which she socialized. She used an area of comparable size to wild female elephants, and this continued to increase as she explored new areas. Although she did not fully integrate into a wild herd, she had three calves of her own, and formed a social unit with another female and her calf that were later released from the same captive herd. We recommend that release to the wild be considered as a management option for other captive female elephants.

  20. The Release of a Captive-Raised Female African Elephant (Loxodonta africana) in the Okavango Delta, Botswana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Kate; Moore, Randall J; Harris, Stephen

    2013-04-29

    Wild female elephants live in close-knit matrilineal groups and housing captive elephants in artificial social groupings can cause significant welfare issues for individuals not accepted by other group members. We document the release of a captive-raised female elephant used in the safari industry because of welfare and management problems. She was fitted with a satellite collar, and spatial and behavioural data were collected over a 17-month period to quantify her interactions with the wild population. She was then monitored infrequently for a further five-and-a-half years. We observed few signs of aggression towards her from the wild elephants with which she socialized. She used an area of comparable size to wild female elephants, and this continued to increase as she explored new areas. Although she did not fully integrate into a wild herd, she had three calves of her own, and formed a social unit with another female and her calf that were later released from the same captive herd. We recommend that release to the wild be considered as a management option for other captive female elephants.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  2. A comprehensive genomic history of extinct and living elephants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Palkopoulou, Eleftheria; Lipson, Mark; Mallick, Swapan

    2018-01-01

    elephantid history in profound ways, isolation also appears to have played an important role. Our data reveal nearly complete isolation between the ancestors of the African forest and savanna elephants for ∼500,000 y, providing compelling justification for the conservation of forest and savanna elephants...... that the genetic makeup of the straight-tusked elephant, previously placed as a sister group to African forest elephants based on lower coverage data, in fact comprises three major components. Most of the straight-tusked elephant's ancestry derives from a lineage related to the ancestor of African elephants while...... elephantid species including an ∼120,000-y-old straight-tusked elephant, a Columbian mammoth, and woolly mammoths. Earlier genetic studies modeled elephantid evolution via simple bifurcating trees, but here we show that interspecies hybridization has been a recurrent feature of elephantid evolution. We found...

  3. The elephant brain in numbers

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Growth and development of the ovary and small follicle pool from mid fetal life to pre-puberty in the African elephant (Loxodonta africana).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stansfield, Fiona J; Nöthling, Johan O; Allen, William R

    2012-07-23

    Follicle numbers and developing ovarian morphology, particularly with reference to the presence of interstitial tissue, are intimately linked within the ovary of the African elephant during the period spanning mid-gestation to puberty. These have not been previously quantified in any studies. The collection of 7 sets of elephant fetal ovaries between 11.2 and 20.2 months of gestation, and 29 pairs of prepubertal calf ovaries between 2 months and 9 years of age during routine management off-takes of complete family groups in private conservancies in Zimbabwe provided an opportunity for a detailed study of this period. The changing morphology of the ovary is described as the presumptive cortex and medulla components of the fetal ovary settled into their adult form. Interstitial tissue dominated the ovary in late fetal life and these cells stained strongly for 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase. This staining continued postnatally through to 4.5 years of age suggesting continued secretion of progestagens by the ovary during this period. The considerable growth of antral follicles peaked at 28% of ovarian volume at around 16.7 months of fetal age. The numbers of small follicles (primordial, early primary and true primary), counted in the cortex using stereological protocols, revealed fewer small follicles in the ovaries of animals aged 0 to 4.5 years of age than during either late fetal life or prepubertal life. The small follicle populations of the late-fetal and prepubertal ovaries of the African elephant were described along with the changing morphology of these organs. The changes noted represent a series of events that have been recorded only in the elephant and the giraffe species to date. The expansion of the interstitial tissue of the fetal ovary and its continued presence in early post natal life may well contribute to the control of follicle development in these early years. Further research is required to determine the reasons behind the variation

  5. Growth and development of the ovary and small follicle pool from mid fetal life to pre-puberty in the African elephant (Loxodonta africana

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stansfield Fiona J

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Follicle numbers and developing ovarian morphology, particularly with reference to the presence of interstitial tissue, are intimately linked within the ovary of the African elephant during the period spanning mid-gestation to puberty. These have not been previously quantified in any studies. The collection of 7 sets of elephant fetal ovaries between 11.2 and 20.2 months of gestation, and 29 pairs of prepubertal calf ovaries between 2 months and 9 years of age during routine management off-takes of complete family groups in private conservancies in Zimbabwe provided an opportunity for a detailed study of this period. Results The changing morphology of the ovary is described as the presumptive cortex and medulla components of the fetal ovary settled into their adult form. Interstitial tissue dominated the ovary in late fetal life and these cells stained strongly for 3β–hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase. This staining continued postnatally through to 4.5 years of age suggesting continued secretion of progestagens by the ovary during this period. The considerable growth of antral follicles peaked at 28% of ovarian volume at around 16.7 months of fetal age. The numbers of small follicles (primordial, early primary and true primary, counted in the cortex using stereological protocols, revealed fewer small follicles in the ovaries of animals aged 0 to 4.5 years of age than during either late fetal life or prepubertal life. Conclusions The small follicle populations of the late-fetal and prepubertal ovaries of the African elephant were described along with the changing morphology of these organs. The changes noted represent a series of events that have been recorded only in the elephant and the giraffe species to date. The expansion of the interstitial tissue of the fetal ovary and its continued presence in early post natal life may well contribute to the control of follicle development in these early years. Further

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-04-01

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

  7. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lueders, Imke; Young, Debbie; Maree, Liana; van der Horst, Gerhard; Luther, Ilse; Botha, Stephan; Tindall, Brendan; Fosgate, Geoffrey; Ganswindt, André; Bertschinger, Henk J

    2017-01-01

    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 devoid of

  9. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breuer, Thomas; Maisels, Fiona; Fishlock, Vicki

    2016-10-01

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

  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. 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.

  13. 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

    . 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......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 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-05-01

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

  15. 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

  16. Predicting factors influencing crop raiding by elephants in the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Nyirenda et al.

    investigations on underlying African elephant (Loxodonta africana) crop raiding processes and patterns, neither reliable predictive ... elephants prefer to move little, drink easily, eat well, and avoid people (Harris et al., 2008). .... forest within the study area were geo-referenced in GIS environ- ment. The farm area dimensions ...

  17. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  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. 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.

  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. Characteristics of Free-Range Chicken Production in Ogun State ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    landlord

    deworming of birds) are recommended extension capability to develop FPP ... The evolution of free-range chicken can be traced to village or rural poultry. ... reported that, it serves as source of nutrients of high biological (protein) value through eggs and meat. Sonaiya and Swam (2004) inferred that keeping poultry makes a.

  3. Medicinal management of corneal opacity in free ranging rhesus ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    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 ...

  4. 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.

  5. 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 ...

  6. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campos-Arceiz, Ahimsa; Blake, Steve

    2011-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. Musth in Elephants

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Elephants have had a chequered association with humans. They were used to push or drag heavy items in times of war and during peacetime, were employed in logging operations. Mughal em- perors captured and used elephants for hunting, in war and even for executions. The British managed hundreds of elephants for.

  11. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-11-01

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

  13. Palaeogenomes of Eurasian straight-tusked elephants challenge the current view of elephant evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Matthias; Palkopoulou, Eleftheria; Baleka, Sina; Stiller, Mathias; Penkman, Kirsty E H; Alt, Kurt W; Ishida, Yasuko; Mania, Dietrich; Mallick, Swapan; Meijer, Tom; Meller, Harald; Nagel, Sarah; Nickel, Birgit; Ostritz, Sven; Rohland, Nadin; Schauer, Karol; Schüler, Tim; Roca, Alfred L; Reich, David; Shapiro, Beth; Hofreiter, Michael

    2017-06-06

    The straight-tusked elephants Palaeoloxodon spp. were widespread across Eurasia during the Pleistocene. Phylogenetic reconstructions using morphological traits have grouped them with Asian elephants ( Elephas maximus ), and many paleontologists place Palaeoloxodon within Elephas . Here, we report the recovery of full mitochondrial genomes from four and partial nuclear genomes from two P. antiquus fossils. These fossils were collected at two sites in Germany, Neumark-Nord and Weimar-Ehringsdorf, and likely date to interglacial periods ~120 and ~244 thousand years ago, respectively. Unexpectedly, nuclear and mitochondrial DNA analyses suggest that P. antiquus was a close relative of extant African forest elephants ( Loxodonta cyclotis ). Species previously referred to Palaeoloxodon are thus most parsimoniously explained as having diverged from the lineage of Loxodonta , indicating that Loxodonta has not been constrained to Africa. Our results demonstrate that the current picture of elephant evolution is in need of substantial revision.

  14. 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

  15. Elephants can determine ethnicity, gender, and age from acoustic cues in human voices

    Science.gov (United States)

    McComb, Karen; Shannon, Graeme; Sayialel, Katito N.; Moss, Cynthia

    2014-01-01

    Animals can accrue direct fitness benefits by accurately classifying predatory threat according to the species of predator and the magnitude of risk associated with an encounter. Human predators present a particularly interesting cognitive challenge, as it is typically the case that different human subgroups pose radically different levels of danger to animals living around them. Although a number of prey species have proved able to discriminate between certain human categories on the basis of visual and olfactory cues, vocalizations potentially provide a much richer source of information. We now use controlled playback experiments to investigate whether family groups of free-ranging African elephants (Loxodonta africana) in Amboseli National Park, Kenya can use acoustic characteristics of speech to make functionally relevant distinctions between human subcategories differing not only in ethnicity but also in sex and age. Our results demonstrate that elephants can reliably discriminate between two different ethnic groups that differ in the level of threat they represent, significantly increasing their probability of defensive bunching and investigative smelling following playbacks of Maasai voices. Moreover, these responses were specific to the sex and age of Maasai presented, with the voices of Maasai women and boys, subcategories that would generally pose little threat, significantly less likely to produce these behavioral responses. Considering the long history and often pervasive predatory threat associated with humans across the globe, it is likely that abilities to precisely identify dangerous subcategories of humans on the basis of subtle voice characteristics could have been selected for in other cognitively advanced animal species. PMID:24616492

  16. Bacillary hemoglobinuria in a free-ranging elk calf.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bender, L C; Hall, P B; Garner, M M; Oaks, J L

    1999-06-01

    A dead elk (Cervus elaphus roosevelti) calf was diagnosed with bacillary hemoglobinuria, a toxemia caused by the bacterium Clostridium haemolyticum. The mortality occurred in southwest Washington, USA (46 degrees 13'N, 123 degrees 22'W), in an area in which several previous mortalities, suspected but not conclusively diagnosed to be either bacillary hemoglobinuria, enterotoxemia, or leptospirosis, occurred. This is the first reported incidence of mortality attributable to bacillary hemoglobinuria in free-ranging elk. Similar deaths of young elk in the area suggest that mortality from this disease may be common locally.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Jachmann, Hugo

    1984-01-01

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

  18. Atmospheric controls on elephant communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garstang, M; Larom, D; Raspet, R; Lindeque, M

    1995-04-01

    Atmospheric conditions conducive to long-range transmission of low-frequency sound as used by elephants are found to exist in the Etosha National Park in Namibia during the late dry season. Meteorological measurements show that strong temperature inversions form at the surface before sunset and decay with sunrise, often accompanied by calm wind conditions during the early evening. These observations are used in an acoustic model to determine the sensitivity of infrasound to the effects of (a) the strength, thickness and elevation of temperature inversions, and (b) the growth and decay of an inversion typical of dry, elevated African savannas. The results suggest that the range over which elephants communicate more than doubles at night. Optimum conditions occur 1-2 h after sunset on clear, relatively cold, calm nights. At these times, ranges of over 10 km are likely, with the greatest amplification occurring at the lowest frequency tested. This strong diurnal cycle in communication range may be reflected in longer-lasting changes in weather and may exert a significant influence on elephant behaviour on time scales from days to many years.

  19. Seed dispersal potential of Asian elephants

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-01

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

  20. Torpor in free-ranging antechinus: does it increase fitness?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rojas, A. Daniella; Körtner, Gerhard; Geiser, Fritz

    2014-02-01

    Antechinus are small, insectivorous, heterothermic marsupial mammals that use torpor from late summer to early winter and reproduce once a year in late winter/early spring. Males die after mating, most females produce only a single litter, but some survive a second winter and produce another litter. As it is not known how these females manage to survive the second winter after the energetically demanding reproductive period and then reproduce a second time, we aimed to provide the first data on thermal biology of free-ranging antechinus by using temperature telemetry. Male Antechinus stuartii and Antechinus flavipes rarely entered torpor in autumn/early winter in the wild, expressing only shallow bouts of mammals and show that torpor use is a complex process that is affected not only by the current energy availability and thermal conditions but also by the reproductive history and age of individuals.

  1. Diseases in free-ranging bats from Germany

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wibbelt Gudrun

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The emergence of important viral diseases and their potential threat to humans has increased the interest in bats as potential reservoir species. Whereas the majority of studies determined the occurrence of specific zoonotic agents in chiropteran species, little is known about actual bat pathogens and impacts of disease on bat mortality. Combined pathological and microbiological investigations in free-ranging bats are sparse and often limited by small sample sizes. In the present study about 500 deceased bats of 19 European species (family Vespertilionidae were subjected to a post-mortem examination followed by histo-pathological and bacteriological investigations. The bat carcasses originated from different geographical regions in Germany and were collected by bat researchers and bat rehabilitation centers. Results Pathological examination revealed inflammatory lesions in more than half of the investigated bats. Lung was the predominantly affected organ (40% irrespective of bat species, sex and age. To a lesser extent non-inflammatory organ tissue changes were observed. Comparative analysis of histo-pathology and bacteriology results identified 22 different bacterial species that were clearly associated with pathological lesions. Besides disease-related mortality, traumatic injuries represented an additional major cause of death. Here, attacks by domestic cats accounted for almost a half of these cases. Conclusions The present study shows that free-ranging bats not only serve as a reservoir of infectious agents, they are also vulnerable to various infectious diseases. Some of these microbial agents have zoonotic potential, but there is no evidence that European bats would pose a higher health hazard risk to humans in comparison to other wildlife.

  2. Hibernation energetics of free-ranging little brown bats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jonasson, Kristin A; Willis, Craig K R

    2012-06-15

    Hibernation physiology and energy expenditure have been relatively well studied in large captive hibernators, especially rodents, but data from smaller, free-ranging hibernators are sparse. We examined variation in the hibernation patterns of free-ranging little brown bats (Myotis lucifugus) using temperature-sensitive radio-transmitters. First, we aimed to test the hypothesis that age, sex and body condition affect expression of torpor and energy expenditure during hibernation. Second, we examined skin temperature to assess whether qualitative differences in the thermal properties of the hibernacula of bats, compared with the burrows of hibernating rodents, might lead to different patterns of torpor and arousal for bats. We also evaluated the impact of carrying transmitters on body condition to help determine the potential impact of telemetry studies. We observed large variation in the duration of torpor bouts within and between individuals but detected no effect of age, sex or body condition on torpor expression or estimates of energy expenditure. We observed the use of shallow torpor in the midst of periodic arousals, which may represent a unique adaptation of bats for conservation of energy during the most costly phase of hibernation. There was no difference in the body condition of hibernating bats outfitted with transmitters compared with that of control bats captured from the same hibernaculum at the same time. This study provides new information on the energetics of hibernation in an under-represented taxon and baseline data important for understanding how white-nose syndrome, a new disease devastating populations of hibernating bats in North America, may alter the expression of hibernation in affected bats.

  3. 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.

  4. Devastating decline of forest elephants in central Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Demography of a forest elephant population.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea K Turkalo

    Full Text Available 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Genetic connectivity across marginal habitats: the elephants of the Namib Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishida, Yasuko; Van Coeverden de Groot, Peter J; Leggett, Keith E A; Putnam, Andrea S; Fox, Virginia E; Lai, Jesse; Boag, Peter T; Georgiadis, Nicholas J; Roca, Alfred L

    2016-09-01

    Locally isolated populations in marginal habitats may be genetically distinctive and of heightened conservation concern. Elephants inhabiting the Namib Desert have been reported to show distinctive behavioral and phenotypic adaptations in that severely arid environment. The genetic distinctiveness of Namibian desert elephants relative to other African savanna elephant (Loxodonta africana) populations has not been established. To investigate the genetic structure of elephants in Namibia, we determined the mitochondrial (mt) DNA control region sequences and genotyped 17 microsatellite loci in desert elephants (n = 8) from the Hoanib River catchment and the Hoarusib River catchment. We compared these to the genotypes of elephants (n = 77) from other localities in Namibia. The mtDNA haplotype sequences and frequencies among desert elephants were similar to those of elephants in Etosha National Park, the Huab River catchment, the Ugab River catchment, and central Kunene, although the geographically distant Caprivi Strip had different mtDNA haplotypes. Likewise, analysis of the microsatellite genotypes of desert-dwelling elephants revealed that they were not genetically distinctive from Etosha elephants, and there was no evidence for isolation by distance across the Etosha region. These results, and a review of the historical record, suggest that a high learning capacity and long-distance migrations allowed Namibian elephants to regularly shift their ranges to survive in the face of high variability in climate and in hunting pressure.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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  12. Yew (Taxus intoxication in free-ranging cervids.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kjell Handeland

    Full Text Available Wild ruminants, including deer species (cervids have incorrectly been regarded as refractory to yew (Taxus intoxication. This assumption has been based upon anecdotal observations of individual deer browsing on yew over time without apparent adverse effect. A single case of yew intoxication was reported in a free-ranging Norwegian moose (Alces alces in 2008. The current report describes five additional cases of yew toxicosis in moose, seven in roe deer (Capreolus capreolus and two in reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus, all in Norway. The animals were found dead during the winter, close to or within gardens containing yew plants showing signs of browsing. Gross findings included lung congestion and edema, thoracic and pericardial effusion, bilateral heart dilatation, epi- and endocardial hemorrhage, and enlarged (congested spleen. Yew plant remnants were detected in the rumen of all animals with the exception of a single moose. Histology revealed multifocal acute myocardial degeneration and necrosis with hemorrhage in roe deer, but not in the two other species. A qualitative high performance liquid chromatography-ion trap mass spectrometry analysis was used to tentatively identify five major Taxus alkaloids (taxines in crude yew extracts and in heart and liver samples from the moose cases. All five major taxines were detected with good signal/noise ratio in tissue samples from the four moose with visible ruminal yew content, whereas lower levels of taxines were detected in the moose without visible ruminal yew content. Possible differences in interspecies tolerance to taxines and role of individual protective adaptation are discussed.

  13. 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.

  14. Mating System of Free-Ranging Dogs (Canis familiaris

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. K. Pal

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Fourteen females belonging to five groups were selected for the study of mating system in free-ranging domestic dogs (Canis familiaris All the matings occurred between August and December with a peak in late monsoon months (September to November. Both males and females differed in their degree of attractiveness to the opposite sex. The duration of courting association increased with the number of courting males in an association. The females exhibited selectivity by readily permitting some males to mate and avoiding, or even attacking others, if they attempted to mount. Frequency of mounting in courting association increased with the number of males present. There was a positive correlation between the duration of courting association and the frequency of mounting. The young adult males were more likely to copulate successfully than the old adult males. There was a negative correlation between the number of males present in an association and the number of successful copulations. In this study, six types of mating (monogamy, polygyny, promiscuity, polyandry, opportunity and rape were recorded. Mean (±S.E. duration of copulatory ties was 25.65 (±1.43 min. Several natural factors influencing the duration of copulatory ties were identified.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Serum iron and selected biochemical values in free-ranging black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) from South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Michele; Olea-Popelka, Francisco; Joubert, Jennifer; Mathebula, Nomkhosi; Zimmerman, David; Hausler, Guy; Dreyer, Cathy; Hofmeyr, Markus; Buss, Peter

    2012-09-01

    Serum samples collected from 20 black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) were analyzed for iron values from six different areas in South Africa. In addition, biochemical profiles were performed on individual samples. Comparisons of iron values from free-ranging black rhinoceros and from 28 free-ranging white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) were conducted by location and age. Among the free-ranging black rhinoceros, samples were compared from different regions to a set of samples from black rhinoceros that had been captured and held in bomas. Serum iron levels were not significantly different (P = 0.55) among the three locations with more than one animal (medians 5.57, 5.70, 6.47 ppm), but the median value from the boma group was significantly lower (2.91 ppm; P = 0.042), contrary to previous studies. Similar to reports in captive black rhinos, serum iron levels appeared to show a trend toward increasing values between subadult and adult animals, although differences were not statistically significant among black rhinoceros. Comparison of serum iron levels between free-ranging black and white rhinoceros showed significantly higher median value in black rhinoceros (5.73 ppm) versus white rhinoceros (3.38 ppm, P= 0.001). Other significant differences (P rhinoceros. Further investigations should be conducted to examine the role of age, location, and time in boma confinement on iron values in South African rhinoceros to understand iron metabolism in these species.

  19. Point prevalence and incidence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex in captive elephants in the United States of America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feldman, Melissa; Isaza, Ramiro; Prins, Cindy; Hernandez, Jorge

    2013-01-01

    Captive elephants infected with tuberculosis are implicated as an occupational source of zoonotic tuberculosis. However, accurate estimates of prevalence and incidence of elephant tuberculosis from well-defined captive populations are lacking in the literature. Studies published in recent years contain a wide range of prevalence estimates calculated from summary data. Incidence estimates of elephant tuberculosis in captive elephants are not available. This study estimated the annual point prevalence, annual incidence, cumulative incidence, and incidence density of tuberculosis in captive elephants within the USA during the past 52 years. We combined existing elephant census records from captive elephants in the USA with tuberculosis culture results obtained from trunk washes or at necropsy. This data set included 15 years where each elephant was screened annually. Between 1960 and 1996, the annual point prevalence of tuberculosis complex mycobacteria for both species was 0. From 1997 through 2011, the median point prevalence within the Asian elephant population was 5.1%, with a range from 0.3% to 6.7%. The incidence density was 9.7 cases/1000 elephant years (95% CI: 7.0-13.4). In contrast, the annual point prevalence during the same time period within the African elephant population remained 0 and the incidence density was 1.5 cases/1000 elephant years (95% CI: 0.7-4.0). The apparent increase in new cases noted after 1996 resulted from a combination of both index cases and the initiation of mandatory annual tuberculosis screening in 1997 for all the elephants. This study found lower annual point prevalence estimates than previously reported in the literature. These discrepancies in prevalence estimates are primarily due to differences in terminology and calculation methods. Using the same intensive testing regime, the incidence of tuberculosis differed significantly between Asian and African elephants. Accurate and species specific knowledge of prevalence and

  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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. HEREDITARY FACTOR VII DEFICIENCY IN THE ASIAN ELEPHANT (ELEPHAS MAXIMUS) CAUSED BY A F7 MISSENSE MUTATION.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lynch, Michael; McGrath, Ken; Raj, Karthik; McLaren, Philippa; Payne, Karen; McCoy, Richard; Giger, Urs

    2017-04-01

    Hereditary disorders and genetic predispositions to disease are rarely reported in captive and free-ranging wildlife, and none have been definitively identified and characterized in elephants. A wild-caught, 41-yr-old male Asian elephant ( Elephas maximus ) without an apparent increased bleeding tendency was consistently found to have prolonged prothrombin times (PTs, mean=55±35 s) compared to 17 other elephants (PT=10±2 s). This elephant's partial thromboplastin times (PTT) fell within the normal range of the other elephants (12-30 s). A prolonged PT in the presence of a normal PTT suggests disruption of the extrinsic pathway via deficiency of coagulation Factor VII (FVII). This elephant's plasma FVII activity was very low (2%) compared to that of 15 other elephants (57-80%), but other coagulation factors' activities did not differ from the control elephants. Sequencing of genomic DNA from ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid blood revealed a single homozygous point mutation (c.202A>G) in the F7 gene of the FVII deficient elephant that was not present in unrelated elephants. This mutation causes an amino acid substitution (p.Arg68Gly) that is predicted to be deleterious. Two living offspring of the affected elephant were heterozygous for the mutation and had normal plasma FVII activities and coagulation profiles. Tissue from a third offspring, a deceased calf, was utilized to show that it was also a heterozygote. A DNA test has been developed to enable the screening of additional elephants for this mutation. Consistent with FVII deficiency investigations in other species, the condition did not cause a serious bleeding tendency in this individual elephant.

  4. 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.

  5. Potential Mechanisms for Cancer Resistance in Elephants and Comparative Cellular Response to DNA Damage in Humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abegglen, Lisa M; Caulin, Aleah F; Chan, Ashley; Lee, Kristy; Robinson, Rosann; Campbell, Michael S; Kiso, Wendy K; Schmitt, Dennis L; Waddell, Peter J; Bhaskara, Srividya; Jensen, Shane T; Maley, Carlo C; Schiffman, Joshua D

    2015-11-03

    Evolutionary medicine may provide insights into human physiology and pathophysiology, including tumor biology. To identify mechanisms for cancer resistance in elephants and compare cellular response to DNA damage among elephants, healthy human controls, and cancer-prone patients with Li-Fraumeni syndrome (LFS). A comprehensive survey of necropsy data was performed across 36 mammalian species to validate cancer resistance in large and long-lived organisms, including elephants (n = 644). The African and Asian elephant genomes were analyzed for potential mechanisms of cancer resistance. Peripheral blood lymphocytes from elephants, healthy human controls, and patients with LFS were tested in vitro in the laboratory for DNA damage response. The study included African and Asian elephants (n = 8), patients with LFS (n = 10), and age-matched human controls (n = 11). Human samples were collected at the University of Utah between June 2014 and July 2015. Ionizing radiation and doxorubicin. Cancer mortality across species was calculated and compared by body size and life span. The elephant genome was investigated for alterations in cancer-related genes. DNA repair and apoptosis were compared in elephant vs human peripheral blood lymphocytes. Across mammals, cancer mortality did not increase with body size and/or maximum life span (eg, for rock hyrax, 1% [95% CI, 0%-5%]; African wild dog, 8% [95% CI, 0%-16%]; lion, 2% [95% CI, 0%-7%]). Despite their large body size and long life span, elephants remain cancer resistant, with an estimated cancer mortality of 4.81% (95% CI, 3.14%-6.49%), compared with humans, who have 11% to 25% cancer mortality. While humans have 1 copy (2 alleles) of TP53, African elephants have at least 20 copies (40 alleles), including 19 retrogenes (38 alleles) with evidence of transcriptional activity measured by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. In response to DNA damage, elephant lymphocytes underwent p53-mediated apoptosis

  6. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  8. Devastating Decline of Forest Elephants in Central Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. Wild Asian elephants distinguish aggressive tiger and leopard growls according to perceived danger.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thuppil, Vivek; Coss, Richard G

    2013-10-23

    Prey species exhibit antipredator behaviours such as alertness, aggression and flight, among others, in response to predators. The nature of this response is variable, with animals reacting more strongly in situations of increased vulnerability. Our research described here is the first formal study to investigate night-time antipredator behaviour in any species of elephants, Asian or African. We examined the provocative effects of elephant-triggered tiger and leopard growls while elephants attempted to crop-raid. Tigers opportunistically prey on elephant calves, whereas leopards pose no threat; therefore, we predicted that the elephant response would be reflective of this difference. Elephants reacted similarly cautiously to the simulated presence of felids of both species by eventually moving away, but differed markedly in their more immediate behavioural responses. Elephants retreated silently to tiger-growl playbacks, whereas they responded with aggressive vocalizations, such as trumpets and grunts, to leopard-growl playbacks. Elephants also lingered in the area and displayed alert or investigative behaviours in response to leopard growls when compared with tiger growls. We anticipate that the methods outlined here will promote further study of elephant antipredator behaviour in a naturalistic context, with applications for conservation efforts as well.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  12. NMCs, foreign contractors, "white elephants" and Nigeria's economy ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    NMCs, foreign contractors, "white elephants" and Nigeria's economy: An enquiry into 45 years of exploitation. S Folarin. Abstract. No Abstract. African Journal of International Affairs and Development Vol. 11 (1) 2006: 1-19. Full Text: EMAIL FULL TEXT EMAIL FULL TEXT · DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT.

  13. 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.

  14. Prevalence of coccidiosis in free-range fowls in Obio-Akpor Local ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Fifty faecal samples each were collected randomly from free range fowls of varied ages in five communities in Choba, Obio-Akpor, Local Government Area of Rivers State to determine the prevalence of coccidiosis in free range fowls. Samples were collected in sterile vials (between 6.00 and 7.00 a.m.) and analysed in the ...

  15. Aleutian Mink Disease Virus in Free-Ranging Mink from Sweden

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Persson, Sara; Jensen, Trine Hammer; Blomstrom, Anne-Lie

    2015-01-01

    Aleutian mink disease (AMD) is a chronic viral disease in farmed mink and the virus (AMDV) has been found in many free-ranging mink (Neovison vison) populations in Europe and North America. In this study, AMDV DNA and AMDV antibodies were analysed in 144 free-ranging mink hunted in Sweden. Associ...

  16. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Philipsen, Kristian; Andersen, Esben Sloth

    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...... and, eg, leanness have proven difficult to combine. To create free-range pork with certain desired characte may require the breeding of a different kind of pig, which may deviate from the standard pigs in several dimension. This is clearly a long-term project. 6. Improving the quality standards......Executive summary 1. Free-range pork deviates from pork from conventionally raised pigs mainly by the "ethical" aspect related to animal welfare. Consumers are unable to evaluate the animal welfare quality aspects of free-range pork by search or experience procedures. Instead it is argued that free...

  18. 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

  19. TB in Captive Elephants

    Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Podcasts

    2017-04-27

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

  20. Germany/Australia index of sperm sex sortability in elephants and rhinoceros.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behr, B; Rath, D; Hildebrandt, T B; Goeritz, F; Blottner, S; Portas, T J; Bryant, B R; Sieg, B; Knieriem, A; de Graaf, S P; Maxwell, W M C; Hermes, R

    2009-04-01

    Flow cytometric sexing of spermatozoa followed by application in artificial insemination or in vitro fertilization provides a unique opportunity to predetermine the sex of offspring and might enhance the conservation management of endangered species in captivity such as the elephant and rhinoceros. To obtain an indication of the sortability of spermatozoa from these species, the relative DNA differences between X and Y chromosome bearing spermatozoa (fresh, frozen thawed, epididymal) from three rhinoceros species [white (Ceratotherium simum), black (Diceros bicornis), Indian (Rhinoceros unicornis)] and both elephant species, the Asian and the African elephant (Elephas maximus, Loxodonta Africana), were determined through separation of spermatozoa into X and Y chromosome bearing populations, using a modified high speed flow cytometer. The head profile areas of spermatozoa from all five species were measured using light microscopy. By multiplying the relative DNA differences and the head profile areas, the sperm sorting indices were calculated to be 47, 48 and 51 for white, black and Indian rhinoceros respectively. The calculated sorting index for the Asian elephant was 66. In the African elephant, we determined the highest sorting index of 76. These results indicate the practicability of flow cytometric sex sorting of spermatozoa from the tested rhinoceros species and both elephant species. The lower sorting indices in rhinos indicate that sex sorting of spermatozoa from the rhinoceros will be more challenging than in elephants.

  1. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Philipsen, Kristian; Andersen, Esben Sloth

    1998-01-01

    Executive summary 1. Free-range pork deviates from pork from conventionally raised pigs mainly by the "ethical" aspect related to animal welfare. Consumers are unable to evaluate the animal welfare quality aspects of free-range pork by search or experience procedures. Instead it is argued that free-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 go...

  3. Detection of antibodies to tuberculosis antigens in free-ranging lions (Panthera leo) infected with Mycobacterium bovis in Kruger National Park, South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Michele; Joubert, Jennifer; Mathebula, Nomkhosi; De Klerk-Lorist, Lin-Marie; Lyashchenko, Konstantin P; Bengis, Roy; van Helden, Paul; Hofmeyr, Markus; Olea-Popelka, Francisco; Greenwald, Rena; Esfandiari, Javan; Buss, Peter

    2012-06-01

    Bovine tuberculosis (TB), caused by Mycobacterium bovis, has become established in Kruger National Park, South Africa, in the cape buffalo (Syncerus caffer) population and in other species. TB in prey species has resulted in infection and morbidity in the resident lion (Panthera leo) prides. The only validated live animal test currently available for lions is the intradermal tuberculin test. Because this test requires capture twice, 72 hr apart, of free-ranging lions to read results, it is logistically difficult to administer in a large ecosystem. Therefore, development of a rapid animal-side screening assay would be ideal in providing information for wildlife managers, veterinarians, and researchers working with free-living lion prides. This study reports preliminary descriptive results from an ongoing project evaluating two serologic tests for M. bovis (ElephantTB Stat-Pak and dual path platform VetTB). Disease status was determined by postmortem culture and presence of pathologic lesions in 14 free-ranging lions. Seropositivity was found to be associated with M. bovis infection. Extended field studies are underway to validate these rapid animal-side immunoassays for antemortem screening tests for TB in lions.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. High early life mortality in free-ranging dogs is largely influenced by humans

    OpenAIRE

    Manabi Paul; Sreejani Sen Majumder; Shubhra Sau; Anjan K. Nandi; Anindita Bhadra

    2016-01-01

    Free-ranging dogs are a ubiquitous part of human habitations in many developing countries, leading a life of scavengers dependent on human wastes for survival. The effective management of free-ranging dogs calls for understanding of their population dynamics. Life expectancy at birth and early life mortality are important factors that shape life-histories of mammals. We carried out a five year-long census based study in seven locations of West Bengal, India, to understand the pattern of popul...

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Do elephants need to sweat?

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    If the elephant does not secrete sweat, can its thick skin allow adequate water evaporation for thermoregulation in hot con- ditions? An answer to this question is sought from measure- ments of water loss from elephant skin now reported. Most observations were made on the ear which Wright (1984) has suggested plays an ...

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Serum biochemistry of captive and free-ranging gray wolves (Canis lupus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Constable, Peter; Hinchcliff, Ken; Demma, Nick; Callahan, Margaret; Dale, B.W.; Fox, Kevin; Adams, Layne G.; Wack, Ray; Kramer, Lynn

    1998-01-01

    Normal serum biochemistry values are frequently obtained from studies of captive sedentary (zoo) or free-ranging (wild) animals. It is frequently assumed that values from these two populations are directly referable to each other. We tested this assumption using 20 captive gray wolves (Canis lupus) in Minnesota, USA, and 11 free-ranging gray wolves in Alaska, USA. Free-ranging wolves had significantly (P<0.05) lower sodium, chloride, and creatine concentrations and significantly higher potassium and blood urea nitrogen (BUN) concentrations; BUN to creatine ratios; and alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, and creatine kinase activities relative to captive wolves. Corticosteroid-induced alkaline phosphatase activity (a marker of stress in domestic dogs) was detected in 3 of 11 free-ranging wolves and in 0 of 20 captive wolves (P = 0.037). This study provides clear evidence that serum biochemical differences can exist between captive and free-ranging populations of one species. Accordingly, evaluation of the health status of an animal should incorporate an understanding of the potential confounding effect that nutrition, activity level, and environmental stress could have on the factor(s) being measured.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Poultry abattoir survey of carcass condemnation for standard, vegetarian, and free range chickens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herenda, D; Jakel, O

    1994-01-01

    During the period April 1991 to March 1992, data concerning the condemnation rate of standard, vegetarian, and free-range chickens were collected and summarized from one federally inspected abattoir in Ontario. The purpose of this study was to discuss the effects of diet, management, and breed of chickens on pathological lesions, ensuing condemnation rates, and consequent losses to the growers and the poultry industry. The data collected at this abattoir revealed that vegetarian chickens showed a higher condemnation rate (5.23%) for disease and nondisease conditions compared with standard (1.48%) and free-range (0.94%) chickens. Free-range chickens were approximately two weeks older than vegetarian and standard chickens at the time of slaughter. The most common causes of condemnation in vegetarian chickens was cellulitis (1.18%), followed by ascites (0.77%). Ascites and cellulitis (0.26% both) were also the most common causes of condemnation in standard chickens. Cyanosis (0.21%) and mutilation (0.17%) represented the highest rate of condemnation in free-range chickens. The low rate of pathological lesions in free-range chickens is a positive trend in poultry disease management. PMID:8050075

  19. Mini-SNaPshot multiplex assays authenticate elephant ivory and simultaneously identify the species origin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kitpipit, Thitika; Thongjued, Kantima; Penchart, Kitichaya; Ouithavon, Kanita; Chotigeat, Wilaiwan

    2017-03-01

    Illegal trading of ivory is mainly responsible for the dramatic decline in elephant populations. Thailand is one of the largest laundering hotspots for African ivory, as the domestic Asian elephant ivory can be legally traded. So, to help combat ivory poaching and smuggling, an efficient method is needed to identify the elephant species from its ivory and ivory products. In this study, a mini-SNaPshot ® multiplex assay was developed and fully validated for the identification of confiscated ivory and low DNA template ivory products. Elephantid- and elephant species-specific mitochondrial single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were identified from 207 mammalian and 1705 elephant/mammoth cytochrome b sequence alignments. Seven informative SNPs were used for assay development. The assay unambiguously and accurately identified authentic elephant ivory and its species of origin on the basis of peak size and color observed in the haplotype profile. The assay was highly efficient for analysis of confiscated ivory and low-template ivory products with a 99.29% success rate (N=140). It was highly reproducible, exhibited no cross-reaction with eight other mammalian DNA; and had 100% identification accuracy. In addition, nested and direct PCR amplification were also compatible with the developed assay. This efficient assay should benefit wildlife forensic laboratories and aid in the prosecution of elephant-related crimes. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. High early life mortality in free-ranging dogs is largely influenced by humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul, Manabi; Sen Majumder, Sreejani; Sau, Shubhra; Nandi, Anjan K; Bhadra, Anindita

    2016-01-25

    Free-ranging dogs are a ubiquitous part of human habitations in many developing countries, leading a life of scavengers dependent on human wastes for survival. The effective management of free-ranging dogs calls for understanding of their population dynamics. Life expectancy at birth and early life mortality are important factors that shape life-histories of mammals. We carried out a five year-long census based study in seven locations of West Bengal, India, to understand the pattern of population growth and factors affecting early life mortality in free-ranging dogs. We observed high rates of mortality, with only ~19% of the 364 pups from 95 observed litters surviving till the reproductive age; 63% of total mortality being human influenced. While living near people increases resource availability for dogs, it also has deep adverse impacts on their population growth, making the dog-human relationship on streets highly complex.

  1. 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.

  2. 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)

  3. Elephants in the understory: opposing direct and indirect effects of consumption and ecosystem engineering by megaherbivores.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coverdale, Tyler C; Kartzinel, Tyler R; Grabowski, Kathryn L; Shriver, Robert K; Hassan, Abdikadir A; Goheen, Jacob R; Palmer, Todd M; Pringle, Robert M

    2016-11-01

    Positive indirect effects of consumers on their resources can stabilize food webs by preventing overexploitation, but the coupling of trophic and non-trophic interactions remains poorly integrated into our understanding of community dynamics. Elephants engineer African savanna ecosystems by toppling trees and breaking branches, and although their negative effects on trees are well documented, their effects on small-statured plants remain poorly understood. Using data on 117 understory plant taxa collected over 7 yr within 36 1-ha experimental plots in a semi-arid Kenyan savanna, we measured the strength and direction of elephant impacts on understory vegetation. We found that elephants had neutral effects on most (83-89%) species, with a similar frequency of positive and negative responses among the remainder. Overall, estimated understory biomass was 5-14% greater in the presence of elephants across a range of rainfall levels. Whereas direct consumption likely accounts for the negative effects, positive effects are presumably indirect. We hypothesized that elephants create associational refuges for understory plants by damaging tree canopies in ways that physically inhibit feeding by other large herbivores. As predicted, understory biomass and species richness beneath elephant-damaged trees were 55% and 21% greater, respectively, than under undamaged trees. Experimentally simulated elephant damage increased understory biomass by 37% and species richness by 49% after 1 yr. Conversely, experimentally removing elephant damaged branches decreased understory biomass by 39% and richness by 30% relative to sham-manipulated trees. Camera-trap surveys revealed that elephant damage reduced the frequency of herbivory by 71%, whereas we detected no significant effect of damage on temperature, light, or soil moisture. We conclude that elephants locally facilitate understory plants by creating refuges from herbivory, which countervails the direct negative effects of

  4. 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...... bears in Sweden.ResultsThe 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...... and the differences due to host factors age and gender can be useful for evaluation of health status in free-ranging European brown bears....

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

  7. 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

  8. 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...

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Assessing nutrient adequacy from the crop contents of free-ranging ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    22379916

    2015-05-21

    May 21, 2015 ... Table 1 Description of physical components of crop contents of free-ranging indigenous chickens in the. Vhembe district in Limpopo, South Africa. Type of feed. Physical components. Grains and seeds (cultivated). Maize, baked maize, groundnuts, beans and sorghum. Household (HH) waste: plant origin.

  12. Diet of free ranging Angora goats in a False Upper Karoo veld type

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    S. Afr. Tydskr. Veek., 1994,24(3). Diet of free ranging Angora goats in a False Upper Karoo veld type. O.B. Kok,* L.J. Fourie and L.M. Barkhuizen. Department of Zoology and Entomology, University of the Orange Free State, P.O. Box 339, Bloemfontein,. 9300 Republic of South Africa. Received4 May 1993; revised ll ...

  13. Acute lead toxicosis via ingestion of spent ammunition in a free-ranging cougar (Puma concolor).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burco, Julia; Myers, Anne Mary; Schuler, Krysten; Gillin, Colin

    2012-01-01

    Lead toxicity has long been documented and acknowledged as a significant health issue of water birds and avian scavengers. However, few instances of toxic effects to higher mammalian carnivores have been documented. Here we present an acute case of lead toxicity in a free-ranging cougar (Puma concolor) in Oregon.

  14. 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

    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. PMID:28715475

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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,

  18. 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.

  19. Serological survey of diseases of free-ranging gray wolves (Canis lupus) in Minnesota

    Science.gov (United States)

    We tested serologic samples from 387 free-ranging wolves (Canis lupus) from 2007–2013 for exposure to 8 canid pathogens to establish baseline data on disease prevalence and spatial distribution in Minnesota’s wolf population. We found high exposure to canine adenovirus 1 and 2 (88% adults, 45% pups...

  20. Detection of noroviruses in free-ranging jaguars (Panthera onca) in the Pantanal, Mato Grosso, Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    da Silveira, Marcelo Marques; Candido, Stéfhano Luis; Dutra, Valéria; Miyazaki, Selma Samiko; Nakazato, Luciano

    2018-03-07

    Nine free-ranging jaguars (Panthera onca) were captured, and rectal swabs were collected in the Pantanal of Cáceres, Mato Grosso, Brazil. Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction specific for noroviruses was performed. Six jaguars (66.6%) tested positive for norovirus genotype GII.11.

  1. Visualizing sound emission of elephant vocalizations: evidence for two rumble production types.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angela S Stoeger

    Full Text Available Recent comparative data reveal that formant frequencies are cues to body size in animals, due to a close relationship between formant frequency spacing, vocal tract length and overall body size. Accordingly, intriguing morphological adaptations to elongate the vocal tract in order to lower formants occur in several species, with the size exaggeration hypothesis being proposed to justify most of these observations. While the elephant trunk is strongly implicated to account for the low formants of elephant rumbles, it is unknown whether elephants emit these vocalizations exclusively through the trunk, or whether the mouth is also involved in rumble production. In this study we used a sound visualization method (an acoustic camera to record rumbles of five captive African elephants during spatial separation and subsequent bonding situations. Our results showed that the female elephants in our analysis produced two distinct types of rumble vocalizations based on vocal path differences: a nasally- and an orally-emitted rumble. Interestingly, nasal rumbles predominated during contact calling, whereas oral rumbles were mainly produced in bonding situations. In addition, nasal and oral rumbles varied considerably in their acoustic structure. In particular, the values of the first two formants reflected the estimated lengths of the vocal paths, corresponding to a vocal tract length of around 2 meters for nasal, and around 0.7 meters for oral rumbles. These results suggest that African elephants may be switching vocal paths to actively vary vocal tract length (with considerable variation in formants according to context, and call for further research investigating the function of formant modulation in elephant vocalizations. Furthermore, by confirming the use of the elephant trunk in long distance rumble production, our findings provide an explanation for the extremely low formants in these calls, and may also indicate that formant lowering functions to

  2. 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  

  3. Serum chemistry comparisons between captive and free-ranging giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Debra A; Barbiers, Robyn B; Ellersieck, Mark R; Ball, Ray L; Koutsos, Elizabeth A; Griffin, Mark E; Grobler, Douw; Citino, Scott B; Bush, Mitchell

    2011-03-01

    Serum chemistry analyses were compared between captive and free-ranging giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis) in an attempt to better understand some of the medical issues seen with captive giraffes. Illnesses, including peracute mortality, energy malnutrition, pancreatic disease, urolithiasis, hoof disease, and severe intestinal parasitism, may be related to zoo nutrition and management issues. Serum samples were collected from 20 captive giraffes at 10 United States institutions. Thirteen of the captive animal samples were collected from animals trained for blood collection; seven were banked samples obtained from a previous serum collection. These samples were compared with serum samples collected from 24 free-ranging giraffes in South Africa. Differences between captive and free-ranging giraffes, males and females, and adults and subadults were analyzed by using a 2 x 2 x 2 factorial and Fisher's least significant difference for mean separation; when necessary variables were ranked and analyzed via analysis of variance. Potassium and bilirubin concentrations and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) activities were different between captive and free-ranging giraffes, but all fell within normal bovid reference ranges. The average glucose concentration was significantly elevated in free-ranging giraffes (161 mg/dl) compared with captive giraffes (113 mg/dl). All giraffes in this study had glucose concentrations higher than bovine (42-75 mg/ dl) and caprine (48-76 mg/dl) reference ranges. Differences were also seen in lipase, chloride, and magnesium though these findings are likely not clinically significant. There were no differences detected between sexes. Adults had higher concentrations of potassium, total protein, globulins, and chloride and higher gamma glutamyltransferase activities, whereas subadults had higher concentrations of phosphorus. Within the captive group, nonimmobilized animals had higher concentrations of total protein and globulins. Captive giraffe diets

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Brief communication: Hip joint mobility in free-ranging rhesus macaques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammond, Ashley S.; Johnson, Victoria P.; Higham, James P.

    2016-01-01

    Objectives We aimed to test for differences in hip joint range of motion (ROM) between captive and free-ranging rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta), particularly for hip joint abduction, which previous studies of captive macaques have found to be lower than predicted. Materials and Methods Hip ROM was assessed following standard joint measurement methodology in anesthetized adult free-ranging rhesus macaques (n=39) from Cayo Santiago, and compared to published ROM data from captive rhesus macaques (n=16) (Hammond 2014a, American Journal of Physical Anthropology). Significant differences between populations were detected using one-way analysis of variance (p<0.05). Results In a sample of pooled sexes and ages, free-ranging macaques are capable of increased hip abduction, flexion, and internal rotation compared to captive individuals. These differences in joint excursion resulted in free-ranging individuals having significantly increased ROM for hip adduction-abduction, rotation, flexion-extension, and the distance spanned by the knee during hip abduction. When looking at data for a smaller sample of age-matched males, fewer ROM differences are significant, but free-ranging males have significantly increased hip abduction, internal rotation, range of flexion-extension, and distance spanned by the knee during hip abduction compared to captive males of similar age. Discussion Our results suggest that a spatially restrictive environment results in decreased hip mobility in cage-confined animals and ultimately limits the potential limb postures in captive macaques. These results have implications for selection of animal samples in model validation studies, as well as laboratory animal husbandry practices. PMID:27731892

  8. 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.

  9. Spranger´s Elephant

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Konečný, Lubomír

    -, č. 8 (2008), s. 68-72 ISSN 1213-5372 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z80330511 Keywords : Rudolfine art * Bartholomäus Spranger * elephant Subject RIV: AL - Art, Architecture, Cultural Heritage

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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...... recorders. We outline the properties required of hydrophones, amplifiers and analog to digital converters, and discuss the problems of recording echolocation clicks on the axis of a directional sound beam. For accurate localization the hydrophone array apertures must be adapted and scaled to the behavior of...

  14. 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.

  15. 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...... appeared after 9 weeks, without dissemination but with multiple serovars appearing at later stages. ©American Society for Microbiology. All rights reserved....

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yizhe Cui

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  19. Orchestration: The Movement and Vocal Behavior of Free-Ranging Norwegian Killer Whales (Orcinus Orca)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-06-01

    P. 2004. Understanding culture across species. Trends in Cognitive Sciences. 8, 341-346. Byrne, R. W. & Whiten, A. 1988. Macbiavellian Inteligence ...Spoken Language Processing. Sharpe, F. A. & Dill, L. M. 1997. The behavior of Pacific herring schools in response to artificial humpback whale bubbles...temporary. down towards the end. In this manuript. these signals will artificial restraint or voluntarily when they were free-ranging, be referred to as

  20. 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.

  1. 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

    Background 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). Methodology/Principal Findings 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. Conclusions/Significance 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

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. PMID:29166389

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. The impact of free-ranging domestic cats on wildlife of the United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loss, Scott R; Will, Tom; Marra, Peter P

    2013-01-01

    Anthropogenic threats, such as collisions with man-made structures, vehicles, poisoning and predation by domestic pets, combine to kill billions of wildlife annually. Free-ranging domestic cats have been introduced globally and have contributed to multiple wildlife extinctions on islands. The magnitude of mortality they cause in mainland areas remains speculative, with large-scale estimates based on non-systematic analyses and little consideration of scientific data. Here we conduct a systematic review and quantitatively estimate mortality caused by cats in the United States. We estimate that free-ranging domestic cats kill 1.4-3.7 billion birds and 6.9-20.7 billion mammals annually. Un-owned cats, as opposed to owned pets, cause the majority of this mortality. Our findings suggest that free-ranging cats cause substantially greater wildlife mortality than previously thought and are likely the single greatest source of anthropogenic mortality for US birds and mammals. Scientifically sound conservation and policy intervention is needed to reduce this impact.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 coccidiosis rate in free-range chicken in this region. Further additional studies are needed to develop better preventive measures against coccidiosis in the country. PMID:27213084

  14. 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.

  15. Fat soluble vitamins in blood and tissues of free-ranging and captive rhinoceros.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clauss, Marcus; Jessup, David A; Norkus, Edward B; Chen, Tai C; Holick, Michael F; Streich, W Juergen; Dierenfeld, Ellen S

    2002-04-01

    Several disease syndromes in captive rhinoceroses have been linked to low vitamin status. Blood samples from captive and free-ranging black (Diceros bicornis) and white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) and tissue samples of captive individuals from four rhinoceros species were analysed for vitamins A and E. Circulating vitamin A levels measured as retinol for free-ranging versus captive black and white rhinoceros were 0.04 (+/- 0.03 SD) vs. 0.08 (+/- 0.08) and 0.07 (+/- 0.04) vs. 0.06 (+/- 0.02) microgram/ml, respectively. Circulating vitamin E levels measured as alpha-tocopherol were 0.58 (+/- 0.30) vs. 0.84 (+/- 0.96) and 0.62 (+/- 0.48) vs. 0.77 (+/- 0.32) microgram/ml, respectively. In contrast to earlier findings, there was no significant difference in vitamin E concentration between captive and free-ranging black rhinoceros. When the samples of captive black rhinoceros were grouped into those taken before 1990 and after 1990, however, those collected before 1990 had significantly lower (P white rhinoceroses appear to be adequately supplemented in vitamin A and E. Captive Indian rhinoceroses (Rhinoceros unicornis) had significantly lower vitamin A concentrations in blood (P rhinoceros species. Equine requirements are not recommended as a model for rhinoceros vitamin requirements.

  16. Simultaneous Visual Discrimination in Asian Elephants

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  17. Seed Dispersal Potential of Asian Elephants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

    of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus). We examined the effects of elephant fruit consumption on potential seed dispersal using the example of a tree species with mega-faunal characteristics, Dillenia indica L., in Thailand. We conducted feeding trials with Asian elephants to quantify seed survival and gut...

  18. Free-swimming northern elephant seals have low field metabolic rates that are sensitive to an increased cost of transport

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Maresh, Jennifer L; Simmons, Samantha E; Crocker, Daniel E

    2014-01-01

    , thereby decreasing foraging efficiency. We examined the ability of 12 free-ranging, juvenile northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) to mitigate the effects of experimentally increased transport costs by modifying their behaviour and/or energy use in a compensatory manner. Under normal...... locomotion, elephant seals had low energy requirements (106.5±28.2 kJ kg−1 day−1), approaching or even falling below predictions of basal requirements. Seals responded to a small increase in locomotion costs by spending more time resting between dives (149±44 s) compared with matched control treatments (102...... with time spent at sea under both treatments (Pelephant seals have a limited capacity to modify their locomotory behaviour without increasing their transport costs. Based on this, we conclude that elephant seals and other ocean predators occupying similar...

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Dating Studies of Elephant Tusks Using Accelerator Mass Spectrometry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sideras-Haddad, E; Brown, T A

    2002-10-03

    A new method for determining the year of birth, the year of death, and hence, the age at death, of post-bomb and recently deceased elephants has been developed. The technique is based on Accelerator Mass Spectrometry radiocarbon analyses of small-sized samples extracted from along the length of a ge-line of an elephant tusk. The measured radiocarbon concentrations in the samples from a tusk can be compared to the {sup 14}C atmospheric bomb-pulse curve to derive the growth years of the initial and final samples from the tusk. Initial data from the application of this method to two tusks will be presented. Potentially, the method may play a significant role in wildlife management practices of African national parks. Additionally, the method may contribute to the underpinnings of efforts to define new international trade regulations, which could, in effect, decrease poaching and the killing of very young animals.

  4. 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

  5. Making sense of elephants in the shamba

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bond, Jennifer Lauren

    This article applies sensemaking theory to instances of human-elephant interaction to understand how farmers make sense of elephants in their crops and how this fits into a broader discussion of human-wildlife coexistence. The concept of sensemaking is extended to discuss the institutional context...... in the future and viewed them as dangerous. In comparison, farmers who had not experienced direct physical contact and subsequent injury from an elephant reported that they would continue to engage in interactions with elephants to remove them from their crops, viewing the elephants primarily as a pest...

  6. 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...

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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 free-range 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. The epidemiology of gastrointestinal parasitism and body condition in free-ranging herbivores

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Singh

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available This study examined the prevalence of gastrointestinal parasitic infections and pasture contamination, and assessed the body condition of free-ranging wild herbivores (i.e. Chital or Spotted Deer, Sambar and Nilgai in Van Vihar National Park, Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh. The work was carried out in three distinct seasons (i.e. winter, summer and rainy for a period of 1 year (2005-06. Faecal samples were collected and screened for the presence of eggs/oocysts/cysts of parasites on the basis of qualitative and quantitative estimation techniques, and the body condition of animals was evaluated on a point scale.

  15. 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.

  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. Septicaemic pasteurellosis in free-range pigs associated with an unusual biovar 13 of Pasteurella multocida.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardoso-Toset, Fernando; Gómez-Laguna, Jaime; Callejo, María; Vela, Ana Isabel; Carrasco, Librado; Fernández-Garayzábal, Jose Francisco; Maldonado, Alfonso; Luque, Inmaculada

    2013-12-27

    Biochemical profiles, PFGE typing and MLST analysis were used to investigate an outbreak of septicaemic pasteurellosis in a free-range pig farm in Spain. Signs of coughing, dyspnoea and a visible inflammation of the ventral area of the neck (jowl), which acquired a cyanotic and necrotic appearance, were the characteristic findings in affected animals, associated with a high morbidity (70%) and case mortality (95%). Diffuse, haemorrhagic and fibrinous pleuroneumonia and acute, focally extensive and haemorrhagic myositis and panniculitis were observed in the histopathological analysis from three analyzed animals. Pasteurella multocida subsp. multocida, capsular type B, biovar 13 was isolated in pure culture from lung, submandibular tissue (jowl), liver, spleen and kidney tissue from diseased pigs. After PFGE typing, all P. multocida isolates displayed undistinguishable macrorestriction patterns with Bsp120I restriction enzyme demonstrating that the infection was caused by a single strain. With the multihost P. multocida MLST database, all P. multocida isolates were assigned to the new sequence type ST47 which was highly related with other bovine isolates of P. multocida type B associated with haemorrhagic septicaemia. This is the first description of an outbreak of septicaemic pasteurellosis in free-range pigs associated with P. multocida type B of the unusual biovar 13. The communication and complete diagnosis of cases of swine septicaemia and the possible role of pigs as reservoirs of this new pathogen must be evaluated to determine the importance of this disease for pigs. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Age and socially related changes in fecal androgen metabolite concentrations in free-ranging male giraffes.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

    In many mammal species, androgen levels in males are elevated during periods of mating activity, often to facilitate aggressive behavior between males over access to fertile females. However, this pattern might be less obvious in species with a rather low male-male aggression rate, or in those that are not strictly seasonal breeders. A complex social structure, as well as additional social and environmental factors, might add more to the complexity. Here, we applied a non-invasive method to monitor fecal androgen metabolite (fAM) levels in free-ranging giraffe bulls over a period of months to examine longitudinal patterns of androgen metabolite concentrations in relation to observed male sexual behavior in different age classes. Giraffes are non-seasonal breeders, living in a fission-fusion social system and males show a roaming strategy to search for fertile females. Our results show that season has an impact on fAM levels in free-ranging giraffes, with respective steroid concentrations being higher in summer. In the presence of females, fAM levels of bulls are significantly higher compared to when found in all-male groups, with old adult bulls showing the highest fAM levels. In contrast, young adult bulls have overall slightly higher fAM levels compared to old adult bulls when residing in all male groups. Sexual behavior increases fAM levels only in old adult bulls. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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).

  3. 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.

  4. Biochemical values in free-ranging white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) in Kruger National Park, South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathebula, Nomkhosi; Miller, Michele; Buss, Peter; Joubert, Jennifer; Martin, Laura; Kruger, Marius; Hofmeyr, Markus; Olea-Popelka, Francisco

    2012-09-01

    Biochemical panels were analyzed on 181 individual free-ranging white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) from Kruger National Park, South Africa. These animals were immobilized between July 2006 and May 2010 for management purposes. Serum and heparinized plasma samples were analyzed using an in-house chemistry analyser (ABAXIS VetScan2). The objectives of this study were to establish biochemical references ranges for Kruger National Park's population of white rhinoceros; to assess differences in values obtained using sera or plasma; and to assess differences in values between gender and different age categories. Significant differences between plasma and serum values were found in most measured parameters except minerals (calcium and magnesium). Because all animals appeared clinically healthy at the time of blood collection, it is hypothesized that choice of anticoagulant may affect certain parameters. Comparison between age categories and gender also resulted in significant differences in a few measured parameters. Identifying differences are important when establishing baseline reference ranges for wildlife populations to allow accurate monitoring of trends that may change over time. The paucity of data on normal biochemical ranges for free-ranging white rhinoceros demonstrates the value of this study and importance of evaluating potential confounding variables.

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Immobilization of Free-ranging Red Foxes (Vulpes vulpes) with Tiletamine Hydrochloride and Zolazepam Hydrochloride

    OpenAIRE

    Travaini, Alejandro; Delibes, M.

    1994-01-01

    We evaluated Zoletil on free-rang­ ing red foxes (Vulpes wipes) in Spain. Twenty- two pup and 49 adult wild-caught red foxes (Vulpes vuipes) were immobilized with a com­ bination of tiletamine hydrochloride and zola­ zepam hydrochloride in a 1:1 proportion (Zo­ letil). Mean (±SE) Zoletil doses were 10.57 (±0.41) mg/kg (range = 7.58—15.39 mg/kg, n 22) for pups and 10.51 (±0.33) mg/kg (range 5.88—16.67 mg/kg, n = 45) for adults. Mean induction and first recovery times for pups were ...

  10. A SEROSURVEY OF DISEASES OF FREE-RANGING GRAY WOLVES (CANIS LUPUS) IN MINNESOTA, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

    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.

  11. 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.

  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. 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......, Miscanthus and grass influence the behaviour of growing-finishing pigs, site preference for excretory behaviour, and damage to the energy crops. In total, 72 growing pigs were included in the two-season study with 36 pigs in each spring and autumn season. For each season the pigs were randomly assigned......) and a feeding area. Overall, ‘resting’ was the most frequent behaviour of all observations followed by ‘rooting’ with 54.4% and 19.3% of all behavioural observations, respectively. There were no main effects of stocking density for any of the behavioural elements. The excretory behaviour was significantly more...

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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...

  17. Preliminary report of transfrontier disease surveillance in free-ranging buffalo in the Caprivi Strip, Namibia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Massimo Scacchia

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available A capture operation to ascertain the health status of free-ranging buffalo (Syncerus caffer from six areas in the Caprivi Strip in the north-east corner of Namibia is described. In-depth reports on buffalo capture operations and their cost, with detailed descriptions of diseases for research purposes, sampling techniques, field processing of samples and laboratory-related costs are still lacking in the literature. This paper describes materials, methods and the related costs of a disease surveillance operation conducted among buffalo in Namibia. The survey attempted to provide information designed to improve the control of infectious diseases in the Caprivi Strip, a key area bordering Angola, Zambia, Botswana and Zimbabwe.

  18. Occurrence of mycoplasmas in free-ranging birds of prey in Germany.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lierz, M; Hagen, N; Hernadez-Divers, S J; Hafez, H M

    2008-10-01

    Mycoplasmas are well-known avian pathogens of poultry and some passerines. Although reported in birds of prey, their role as pathogens is still unclear. Healthy, free-ranging raptor nestlings sampled during a routine ringing (banding) program, and birds of prey from rehabilitation centers, tested positive for Mycoplasma spp. by culture and a genus-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Given the lack of clinical signs and disease, we suggest that mycoplasmas in raptors may be commensal rather than pathogenic. Using immunobinding assay and species-specific PCR tests, Mycoplasma buteonis, M. falconis, and M. gypis were identified; M. falconis was only detected in falcons. Additionally, some isolates could not be identified. This is the first report of Mycoplasma spp. isolations from Western Marsh Harriers (Circus aeroginosus), a Eurasian Hobby (Falco subbuteo), and a Barn Owl (Tyto alba).

  19. Copulation in free-ranging black-handed spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Christina J

    2006-05-01

    I report ad libitum data on 18 copulations involving free-ranging black-handed spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi) on Barro Colorado Island, Panama. All copulations were performed in a dorsoventral position, as is typically reported for this genus. Intromission often appeared difficult to achieve, possibly as a result of the large size of the glans penis in these animals. The average length from intromission to termination of thrusting exceeded 17 min, followed by an average period of almost 2 min before separation occurred, which suggests the possibility of a copulatory lock. Offspring of the female participant were almost always in close proximity to or in contact with the pair, and harassment by the offspring was observed only during the final stages of the copulation. All but one copulatory event occurred in complete seclusion from other adult males, and sexual behavior was not limited to any one adult male in the group. 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  20. 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.

  1. Sublethal Lead Exposure Alters Movement Behavior in Free-Ranging Golden Eagles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ecke, Frauke; Singh, Navinder J; Arnemo, Jon M; Bignert, Anders; Helander, Björn; Berglund, Åsa M M; Borg, Hans; Bröjer, Caroline; Holm, Karin; Lanzone, Michael; Miller, Tricia; Nordström, Åke; Räikkönen, Jannikke; Rodushkin, Ilia; Ågren, Erik; Hörnfeldt, Birger

    2017-05-16

    Lead poisoning of animals due to ingestion of fragments from lead-based ammunition in carcasses and offal of shot wildlife is acknowledged globally and raises great concerns about potential behavioral effects leading to increased mortality risks. Lead levels in blood were correlated with progress of the moose hunting season. Based on analyses of tracking data, we found that even sublethal lead concentrations in blood (25 ppb, wet weight), can likely negatively affect movement behavior (flight height and movement rate) of free-ranging scavenging Golden Eagles (Aquila chrysaetos). Lead levels in liver of recovered post-mortem analyzed eagles suggested that sublethal exposure increases the risk of mortality in eagles. Such adverse effects on animals are probably common worldwide and across species, where game hunting with lead-based ammunition is widespread. Our study highlights lead exposure as a considerably more serious threat to wildlife conservation than previously realized and suggests implementation of bans of lead ammunition for hunting.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul, Manabi; Bhadra, Anindita

    2017-01-01

    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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Flexibility in food extraction techniques in urban free-ranging bonnet macaques, Macaca radiata.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Madhur Mangalam

    Full Text Available Non-human primate populations, other than responding appropriately to naturally occurring challenges, also need to cope with anthropogenic factors such as environmental pollution, resource depletion, and habitat destruction. Populations and individuals are likely to show considerable variations in food extraction abilities, with some populations and individuals more efficient than others at exploiting a set of resources. In this study, we examined among urban free-ranging bonnet macaques, Macaca radiata (a local differences in food extraction abilities, (b between-individual variation and within-individual consistency in problem-solving success and the underlying problem-solving characteristics, and (c behavioral patterns associated with higher efficiency in food extraction. When presented with novel food extraction tasks, the urban macaques having more frequent exposure to novel physical objects in their surroundings, extracted food material from PET bottles and also solved another food extraction task (i.e., extracting an orange from a wire mesh box, more often than those living under more natural conditions. Adults solved the tasks more frequently than juveniles, and females more frequently than males. Both solution-technique and problem-solving characteristics varied across individuals but remained consistent within each individual across the successive presentations of PET bottles. The macaques that solved the tasks showed lesser within-individual variation in their food extraction behavior as compared to those that failed to solve the tasks. A few macaques appropriately modified their problem-solving behavior in accordance with the task requirements and solved the modified versions of the tasks without trial-and-error learning. These observations are ecologically relevant - they demonstrate considerable local differences in food extraction abilities, between-individual variation and within-individual consistency in food extraction

  8. 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 (PBehavioural observations of hens both on the range and indoors showed more dust bathing and foraging (scratching followed by ground-pecking) was performed outdoors, but more resting indoors (all Pbehavioural measures there were differences between pen replicates within stocking densities. These data show outdoor stocking density has some effects on hen welfare, and it appears that consideration of both individual and group-level behaviour is necessary when developing optimal stocking density guidelines and free-range system management practices.

  9. 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.

  10. Flexibility in food extraction techniques in urban free-ranging bonnet macaques, Macaca radiata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mangalam, Madhur; Singh, Mewa

    2013-01-01

    Non-human primate populations, other than responding appropriately to naturally occurring challenges, also need to cope with anthropogenic factors such as environmental pollution, resource depletion, and habitat destruction. Populations and individuals are likely to show considerable variations in food extraction abilities, with some populations and individuals more efficient than others at exploiting a set of resources. In this study, we examined among urban free-ranging bonnet macaques, Macaca radiata (a) local differences in food extraction abilities, (b) between-individual variation and within-individual consistency in problem-solving success and the underlying problem-solving characteristics, and (c) behavioral patterns associated with higher efficiency in food extraction. When presented with novel food extraction tasks, the urban macaques having more frequent exposure to novel physical objects in their surroundings, extracted food material from PET bottles and also solved another food extraction task (i.e., extracting an orange from a wire mesh box), more often than those living under more natural conditions. Adults solved the tasks more frequently than juveniles, and females more frequently than males. Both solution-technique and problem-solving characteristics varied across individuals but remained consistent within each individual across the successive presentations of PET bottles. The macaques that solved the tasks showed lesser within-individual variation in their food extraction behavior as compared to those that failed to solve the tasks. A few macaques appropriately modified their problem-solving behavior in accordance with the task requirements and solved the modified versions of the tasks without trial-and-error learning. These observations are ecologically relevant - they demonstrate considerable local differences in food extraction abilities, between-individual variation and within-individual consistency in food extraction techniques among free-ranging

  11. 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.

  12. Ranavirus infection of free-ranging and captive box turtles and tortoises in the United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, April J; Pessier, Allan P; Wellehan, James F X; Childress, April; Norton, Terry M; Stedman, Nancy L; Bloom, David C; Belzer, William; Titus, Valorie R; Wagner, Robert; Brooks, Jason W; Spratt, Jeffrey; Jacobson, Elliott R

    2008-10-01

    Iridoviruses of the genus Ranavirus are well known for causing mass mortality events of fish and amphibians with sporadic reports of infection in reptiles. This article describes five instances of Ranavirus infection in chelonians between 2003 and 2005 in Georgia, Florida, New York, and Pennsylvania, USA. Affected species included captive Burmese star tortoises (Geochelone platynota), a free-ranging gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus), free-ranging eastern box turtles (Terrapene carolina carolina), and a Florida box turtle (Terrepene carolina bauri). Evidence for Ranavirus infection was also found in archived material from previously unexplained mass mortality events of eastern box turtles from Georgia in 1991 and from Texas in 1998. Consistent lesions in affected animals included necrotizing stomatitis and/or esophagitis, fibrinous and necrotizing splenitis, and multicentric fibrinoid vasculitis. Intracytoplasmic inclusion bodies were rarely observed in affected tissues. A portion of the major capsid protein (MCP) gene was sequenced from each case in 2003-2005 and found to be identical to each other and to Frog virus 3 (FV3) across 420 base pairs. Ranavirus infections were also documented in sympatric species of amphibians at two locations with infected chelonians. The fragment profiles of HindIII-digested whole genomic DNA of Ranavirus, isolated from a dead Burmese star tortoise and a southern leopard frog (Rana utricularia) found nearby, were similar. The box turtle isolate had a low molecular weight fragment that was not seen in the digestion profiles for the other isolates. These results suggest that certain amphibians and chelonians are infected with a similar virus and that different viruses exist among different chelonians. Amphibians may serve as a reservoir host for susceptible chelonians. This report also demonstrated that significant disease associated with Ranavirus infections are likely more widespread in chelonians than previously suspected.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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]).

  16. Use of butorphanol during immobilization of free-ranging white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Michele; Buss, Peter; Joubert, Jenny; Mathebula, Nomkhosi; Kruger, Marius; Martin, Laura; Hofmeyr, Markus; Olea-Popelka, Francisco

    2013-03-01

    Forty free-ranging white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) were anesthetized with etorphine, azaperone, and hyaluronidase in Kruger National Park, South Africa, between February and August 2009. Eighteen rhinoceros received butorphanol in the dart combination, and 22 rhinoceros had butorphanol administered intravenously within 15 min of darting. Body position, blood gas values, heart rate, respiratory rate, and temperature were measured at two time points after darting, approximately 10 min apart (sample 1 mean collection time after darting, 9.4 +/- 2.7 min; sample 2 mean collection time, 18.6 +/- 2.8 min). A significant number of field-captured rhinoceros remained standing at the first sample period when butorphanol was administered in the dart. Higher median values for arterial partial pressure of oxygen (PaO2) in combination with lower arterial partial pressure of carbon dioxide (PaCO2) in standing versus recumbent rhinoceros suggested improved ventilation in this posture (P rhinoceros that received butorphanol in the dart (P rhinoceros receiving butorphanol in the dart. Intravenous administration of butorphanol resulted in significantly decreased median PaCO2 and heart rate in recumbent rhinoceros (P rhinoceros remained hypoxemic during the short anesthetic procedure despite butorphanol administration. Preliminary results suggest that administration of butorphanol (either in the dart or intravenously) improves some metabolic parameters in free-ranging recumbent white rhinoceros without significantly affecting ventilation. It is hypothesized that this may be due to a lighter state of immobilization. Addition of butorphanol to the dart provides handling and physiologic advantages because the majority of rhinoceros remain standing.

  17. Where do livestock guardian dogs go? Movement patterns of free-ranging Maremma sheepdogs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Bommel, Linda; Johnson, Chris N

    2014-01-01

    In many parts of the world, livestock guardian dogs (LGDs) are a relatively new and increasingly popular method for controlling the impact of wild predators on livestock. On large grazing properties in Australia, LGDs are often allowed to range freely over large areas, with minimal supervision by their owners. How they behave in this situation is mostly unknown. We fitted free-ranging Maremma sheepdogs with GPS tracking collars on three properties in Victoria, Australia; on two properties, four sheep were also fitted with GPS collars. We investigated how much time the Maremmas spent with their livestock, how far they moved outside the ranges of their stock, and tested whether they use their ranges sequentially, which is an effective way of maintaining a presence over a large area. The 95% kernel isopleth of the Maremmas ranged between 31 and 1161 ha, the 50% kernel isopleth ranged between 4 and 252 ha. Maremmas spent on average 90% of their time in sheep paddocks. Movements away from sheep occurred mostly at night, and were characterised by high-speed travel on relatively straight paths, similar to the change in activity at the edge of their range. Maremmas used different parts of their range sequentially, similar to sheep, and had a distinct early morning and late afternoon peak in activity. Our results show that while free-ranging LGDs spend the majority of their time with livestock, movements away from stock do occur. These movements could be important in allowing the dogs to maintain large territories, and could increase the effectiveness of livestock protection. Allowing LGDs to range freely can therefore be a useful management decision, but property size has to be large enough to accommodate the large areas that the dogs use.

  18. Density of wild prey modulates lynx kill rates on free-ranging domestic sheep.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Odden, John; Nilsen, Erlend B; Linnell, John D C

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the factors shaping the dynamics of carnivore-livestock conflicts is vital to facilitate large carnivore conservation in multi-use landscapes. We investigated how the density of their main wild prey, roe deer Capreolus capreolus, modulates individual Eurasian lynx Lynx lynx kill rates on free-ranging domestic sheep Ovis aries across a range of sheep and roe deer densities. Lynx kill rates on free-ranging domestic sheep were collected in south-eastern Norway from 1995 to 2011 along a gradient of different livestock and wild prey densities using VHF and GPS telemetry. We used zero-inflated negative binomial (ZINB) models including lynx sex, sheep density and an index of roe deer density as explanatory variables to model observed kill rates on sheep, and ranked the models based on their AICc values. The model including the effects of lynx sex and sheep density in the zero-inflation model and the effect of lynx sex and roe deer density in the negative binomial part received most support. Irrespective of sheep density and sex, we found the lowest sheep kill rates in areas with high densities of roe deer. As roe deer density decreased, males killed sheep at higher rates, and this pattern held for both high and low sheep densities. Similarly, females killed sheep at higher rates in areas with high densities of sheep and low densities of roe deer. However, when sheep densities were low females rarely killed sheep irrespective of roe deer density. Our quantification of depredation rates can be the first step towards establishing fairer compensation systems based on more accurate and area specific estimation of losses. This study demonstrates how we can use ecological theory to predict where losses of sheep will be greatest, and can be used to identify areas where mitigation measures are most likely to be needed.

  19. 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).

  20. 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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Roadless wilderness area determines forest elephant movements in the Congo Basin.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen Blake

    Full Text Available A dramatic expansion of road building is underway in the Congo Basin fuelled by private enterprise, international aid, and government aspirations. Among the great wilderness areas on earth, the Congo Basin is outstanding for its high biodiversity, particularly mobile megafauna including forest elephants (Loxodonta africana cyclotis. The abundance of many mammal species in the Basin increases with distance from roads due to hunting pressure, but the impacts of road proliferation on the movements of individuals are unknown. We investigated the ranging behaviour of forest elephants in relation to roads and roadless wilderness by fitting GPS telemetry collars onto a sample of 28 forest elephants living in six priority conservation areas. We show that the size of roadless wilderness is a strong determinant of home range size in this species. Though our study sites included the largest wilderness areas in central African forests, none of 4 home range metrics we calculated, including core area, tended toward an asymptote with increasing wilderness size, suggesting that uninhibited ranging in forest elephants no longer exists. Furthermore we show that roads outside protected areas which are not protected from hunting are a formidable barrier to movement while roads inside protected areas are not. Only 1 elephant from our sample crossed an unprotected road. During crossings her mean speed increased 14-fold compared to normal movements. Forest elephants are increasingly confined and constrained by roads across the Congo Basin which is reducing effective habitat availability and isolating populations, significantly threatening long term conservation efforts. If the current road development trajectory continues, forest wildernesses and the forest elephants they contain will collapse.

  3. Elephants, fire, and frost can determine community structure and composition in Kalahari Woodlands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holdo, Ricardo M

    2007-03-01

    Fire, elephants, and frost are important disturbance factors in many African savannas, but the relative magnitude of their effects on vegetation and their interactions have not been quantified. Understanding how disturbance shapes savanna structure and composition is critical for predicting changes in tree cover and for formulating management and conservation policy. A simulation model was used to investigate how the disturbance regime determines vegetation structure and composition in a mixed Kalahari sand woodland savanna in western Zimbabwe. The model consisted of submodels for tree growth, tree damage caused by disturbance, mortality, and recruitment that were parameterized from field data collected over a two-year period. The model predicts that, under the current disturbance regime, tree basal area in the study area will decline by two-thirds over the next two decades and become dominated by species unpalatable to elephants. Changes in the disturbance regime are predicted to greatly modify vegetation structure and community composition. Elephants are the primary drivers of woodland change in this community at present-day population densities, and their impacts are exacerbated by the effects of fire and frost. Frost, in particular, does not play an important role when acting independently but appears to be a key secondary factor in the presence of elephants and/or fire. Unlike fire and frost, which cannot suppress the woodland phase on their own in this ecosystem, elephants can independently drive the vegetation to the scrub phase. The results suggest that elephant and fire management may be critical for the persistence of certain woodland communities within dry-season elephant habitats in the eastern Kalahari, particularly those dominated by Brachystegia spiciformis and other palatable species.

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Dana L. M.; Loh, Ziyang A.; Dyall, Tim R.; Lee, Caroline

    2018-01-01

    Simple Summary Individual free-range laying hens vary in their use of the outdoor range. The outdoor environment is typically more complex and variable than indoor housing and thus range use may be related to differences in spatial abilities. Individual adult hens that never went outside were slower to learn a T-maze task—which requires birds to repeatedly find a food reward in one arm of the maze, compared to outdoor-preferring hens. Pullets that were faster to learn the maze also showed more visits to the range in their first month of range access but only in one of two tested groups. Early enrichment improved learning of the maze but only when the birds were tested before onset of lay. Fear may play a role in inhibiting bird’s spatial learning and their range use. More studies of different enriched rearing treatments and their impacts on fear and learning would be needed to confirm these findings. Overall, these results contribute to our understanding of why some birds choose to never access the outdoor range area. Abstract 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 birds reached learning success criterion faster at 15–16 weeks (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

  7. Immobilization of free-ranging moose (Alces alces with medetomidine-ketamine and remobilization with atipamezole

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jon M. Arnemo

    1995-12-01

    Full Text Available Seventeen free-ranging moose {Alces alces (2 adult males, 13 adult females and 2 female calves were immobilized with a combination of medetomidine hydochloride (MED and ketamine hydrochloride (KET in early autumn (August-September. Drugs were administrated with plastic projectile syringes fired from a dart gun, either from a car or by approaching the animals on foot. MED at 30 mg/adult and 15 mg/calf in combination with KET at 400 mg/adult and 200 mg/calf induced complete immobilization with sternal or lateral recumbency and loss of the corneal reflex in all individuals. The mean ± SD time from darting to when the animals were found was 18.3 ± 8.7 min for adults and the mean distance covered by these animals between darting and recumbency was 320 + 200 m. No side effects of clinical significance were detected and registration of the rectal temperature (38.8 ± 0.5°C, heart rate (44 ± 7 beats/min, respiratory rate (31 ±20 breaths/min and relative arterial oxygen saturation (89 ± 3 %, n=8 during immobilization in adults showed that these physiological parameters were within the safe ranges established for moose. Blood samples from adults were analyzed for 17 haematological and 33 serum biochemical constituents and the results were compared to corresponding values found in moose immobilized with etorphine (ETO. Although the lower levels (p<0.05 found for haematocrit, red blood cells, haemoglobin and Cortisol in the MED-KET group may indicate a difference in the stress response, the low muscle enzyme levels in both groups show that these immobilizing drugs and capture methods induce very little physical stress in moose. A hyperglycaemic response was found in MED-KET treated animals. Atipamezole hydrochloride (ATI rapidly remobilized all animals and the time elapsing from ATI administration to standing was 3-9 ± 1.8 min after i.v./s.c. treatment (n=7 and 6.9 ± 3.4 min after i.m./s.c. injection (n=8. No side effects were detected after

  8. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    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, e...

  10. Health assessment of free-ranging and captive Matschie's tree kangaroos (Dendrolagus matschiei) in Papua New Guinea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Travis, Erika K; Watson, Patricia; Dabek, Lisa

    2012-03-01

    Medical evaluations were performed on free-ranging and captive Matschie's tree kangaroos (Dendrolagus matschiei) in Papua New Guinea. The health assessment included physical examination, morphometrics, cloacal swab; and blood, hair, and feces collection. Radio-collars were placed on free-ranging tree kangaroos to determine home range and forest habitat use. The free-ranging tree kangaroos were lightly anesthetized with tiletamine/zolazepam for the data collection. A total of nine free-ranging and seven captive tree kangaroos were evaluated; medical samples were collected from six and five animals, respectively. Results of physical examination, anesthetic monitoring, serum vitamin, mineral, trace nutrient, and electrolytes, whole blood heavy metal analysis, mycobacterial screening, and fecal examinations are presented. Free-ranging tree kangaroos had significantly lower values for beta carotene, copper, selenium, molybdenum, lead, and arsenic and significantly higher values for vitamin E than captive individuals. Cloacal swabs were all negative for Mycobacterium avium via polymerase chain reaction. Some free-ranging and captive individuals had positive coprologic exams revealing Eimeria spp. oocysts and strongyle spp. type ova. These are the first medical and anesthetic data published on Matschie's tree kangaroos from Papua New Guinea.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

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    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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. The efficacy of anthelmintic drugs against nematodes infecting free-ranging eastern grey kangaroos, Macropus giganteus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cripps, Jemma; Beveridge, Ian; Coulson, Graeme

    2013-07-01

    Effective anthelmintics are valuable tools for biologists conducting manipulative field experiments to examine effects of parasites on wildlife. However, before such experiments are carried out the efficacy of these drugs must be determined. We conducted three field experiments (May 2010-September 2011) on free-ranging eastern grey kangaroos (Macropus giganteus) at a golf course in Victoria, Australia, treating animals with the anthelmintic drugs moxidectin (subcutaneous, 1 mg/kg, 2 mg/kg), ivermectin (subcutaneous, 200 μg/kg), and albendazole (oral, 3.8 mg/kg). After treatment we monitored strongylid fecal egg counts (FECs) over time and assessed anthelmintic efficacy using fecal egg count reduction tests (FECRTs). We also performed a larval development assay (LDA) to evaluate directly the efficacy in the nematode population. Unexpectedly, moxidectin and ivermectin had low efficacy with maximum FEC reductions of 82% and 28%, respectively. However, treatment with albendazole reduced FECs by 100% in all kangaroos and egg counts remained low for up to 3 mo. The results from the LDA supported the FECRTs, with low macrocyclic lactone efficacy and high albendazole efficacy. Macrocyclic lactones, at recommended dose rates, were much less effective against strongylid nematodes in kangaroos than has been reported for domestic herbivores. This may be partly due to pharmacokinetics in the host and partly due to low susceptibility in some of the nematodes infecting eastern grey kangaroos.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Probiotic and prebiotic utilization in diets for free-range broiler chickens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K Pelícia

    2004-06-01

    Full Text Available This work aimed to evaluate the effects of probiotic associated to prebiotic on performance, carcass and cut yields, qualitative traits of meat, development and score of lesions due to coccidiosis in digestive tract of broiler chickens raised in a free-range system during 85 days. One thousand, six hundred and ninety-six day-old male broiler chicks from naked-neck ISA S757-N Label Rouge line were used in a randomized block design with factorial scheme of 4x2 and four repetitions. The effect of four additive (1 - biologic promoter + coccidiosis vaccine; 2 - biologic promoter + anti-coccidiosis; 3 - chemical promoter + coccidiosis vaccine; 4 - chemical promoter + anti-coccidiosis and two breeding systems from 35th day of age (one with no-access to pasture or confined and the other with free-access to pasture or semi-confined on performance parameters, carcass and cut yields, qualitative meat traits, coccidiosis development and lesions in digestive tract were evaluated. There was effect (p<0.05 of additives only on sensorial analysis (meat quality and percentage of large intestine. Breeding systems affected (p<0.05 live weight (LW and LW gains, being the better results observed in semi-confined birds.

  6. 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.

  7. Using Domestic and Free-Ranging Arctic Canid Models for Environmental Molecular Toxicology Research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harley, John R; Bammler, Theo K; Farin, Federico M; Beyer, Richard P; Kavanagh, Terrance J; Dunlap, Kriya L; Knott, Katrina K; Ylitalo, Gina M; O'Hara, Todd M

    2016-02-16

    The use of sentinel species for population and ecosystem health assessments has been advocated as part of a One Health perspective. The Arctic is experiencing rapid change, including climate and environmental shifts, as well as increased resource development, which will alter exposure of biota to environmental agents of disease. Arctic canid species have wide geographic ranges and feeding ecologies and are often exposed to high concentrations of both terrestrial and marine-based contaminants. The domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris) has been used in biomedical research for a number of years and has been advocated as a sentinel for human health due to its proximity to humans and, in some instances, similar diet. Exploiting the potential of molecular tools for describing the toxicogenomics of Arctic canids is critical for their development as biomedical models as well as environmental sentinels. Here, we present three approaches analyzing toxicogenomics of Arctic contaminants in both domestic and free-ranging canids (Arctic fox, Vulpes lagopus). We describe a number of confounding variables that must be addressed when conducting toxicogenomics studies in canid and other mammalian models. The ability for canids to act as models for Arctic molecular toxicology research is unique and significant for advancing our understanding and expanding the tool box for assessing the changing landscape of environmental agents of disease in the Arctic.

  8. 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 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.

  9. Free-ranging Cayo Santiago rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta): III. Dental eruption patterns and dental pathology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Qian; Turnquist, Jean E; Kessler, Matthew J

    2016-01-01

    This article describes the dental eruption patterns, dentition, and dental wear, including tooth loss and breakage, of the free-ranging population of rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) on Cayo Santiago (CS), Puerto Rico, ranging from 24 hr to 25 years old. Of the 694 monkeys on the island in the year 1985, 688 (99.1%; 366 males, 322 females) were captured and the dentition of 685 subjects (98.7% of the total population; 366 males, 319 females) was examined. Animals ranged in age from less than 24 hr to 331 months (27.58 years), encompassing the entire life span of the CS macaques. Results demonstrated that the first deciduous teeth appeared as early as the third day of life and that the sequence of dental eruption was comparable to the pattern observed in laboratory rhesus. However, there were slight differences in the age of eruption of individual teeth. For example, the canines and third molars erupted about a year later in the CS macaques compared to some laboratory rhesus. Overall, CS rhesus had good oral health and dental condition although tooth wear, loss, and breakage were common in aged animals, especially in males. This report, combined with earlier studies on morphological characteristics and skeletal remains of the CS macaques, provides the basis for further studies on the biology, genetics, life history, and effects of the environment on rhesus monkeys. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. 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.

  11. 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 < 0.001). Understanding variation within and between individuals in ranging behaviour may help elucidate the implications of ranging for laying hens.

  12. Disease survey of free-ranging grey brocket deer (Mazama gouazoubira) in the Gran Chaco, Bolivia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deem, Sharon L; Noss, Andrew J; Villarroel, Richard; Uhart, Marcela M; Karesh, William B

    2004-01-01

    Samples from 17 free-ranging hunter-killed grey brocket deer (Mazama gouazoubira) in the Gran Chaco, Bolivia, were collected during June-August 1999. All 17 deer appeared to be in good condition at the time of death. Gross necropsies were performed, serum was collected for serologic evaluation of selected infectious disease agents, and feces and ectoparasites were collected for evaluation of internal and external parasites. Serologic tests were positive for antibodies against bovine respiratory syncytial virus and four Leptospira interrogans serovars, with questionable results for epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus serotypes 1 and 2. No antibodies were detected to Anaplasma marginale, Babesia bigemina, Babesia bovis, Babesia odocoilei, bluetongue virus (serotypes 2, 10, 11, 13, and 17), bovine viral diarrhea virus, Brucella abortus, foot-and-mouth disease virus, infectious bovine rhinotracheitis virus, Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis, and parainfluenza-3 virus. Sixty-four percent (7/11) of the deer had endoparasites. Amblyomma spp. ticks were found on seven deer, flies of the family Hippoboscidae on six deer, and lice on six deer.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfeffer, Pierre

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

  19. 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

  20. 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…

  1. Brain and arterial blood temperatures of free-ranging oryx ( Oryx gazella).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maloney, Shane K; Fuller, Andrea; Mitchell, Graham; Mitchell, Duncan

    2002-01-01

    We used implanted miniature data loggers to measure brain and arterial blood temperatures every 5 min for up to 15 days in four free-ranging oryx ( Oryx gazella) in their natural habitat. Globe temperatures exceeded 45 degrees C and average peak radiant heat load was 800 W.m(-2). Arterial blood temperature exhibited a moderate amplitude nychthemeral rhythm of 1.8+/-0.3 degrees C (mean +/-SD). The amplitude of the nychthemeral rhythm was not influenced by variations in ambient heat load. Average brain temperature exceeded carotid arterial blood temperature by 0.29 degrees C but there was a range of body temperatures over which the brain could be up to 0.4 degrees C cooler or 0.5 degrees C warmer than arterial blood. At high body temperatures (>39.5 degrees C) at rest, three of the animals tended to maintain the brain cooler than arterial blood. During exercise the brain was always warmer than arterial blood. The slope of the regression line relating brain temperature to carotid blood temperature was less than one. At short time scales of 5-20 min, brain temperature varied significantly more than did carotid blood temperature. We attribute part of the variability in brain temperature to transient stress responses and the influence of sympathetic activation attenuating selective brain cooling. We conclude that, contrary to the widely cited postulate, the carotid rete does not protect the brain during hyperthermia. Oryx also do not show adaptive heterothermy and, over short time intervals, have a brain temperature more variable than carotid blood temperature.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  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. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Extreme plasticity in thermoregulatory behaviors of free-ranging black-tailed prairie dogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehmer, E.M.; Savage, L.T.; Antolin, M.F.; Biggins, D.E.

    2006-01-01

    In the natural environment, hibernating sciurids generally remain dormant during winter and enter numerous deep torpor bouts from the time of first immergence in fall until emergence in spring. In contrast, black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) remain active throughout winter but periodically enter short and shallow bouts of torpor. While investigating body temperature (Tb) patterns of black-tailed prairie dogs from six separate colonies in northern Colorado, we observed one population that displayed torpor patterns resembling those commonly seen in hibernators. Five individuals in this population experienced multiple torpor bouts in immediate succession that increased in length and depth as winter progressed, whereas 16 prairie dogs in five neighboring colonies remained euthermic for the majority of winter and entered shallow bouts of torpor infrequently. Our results suggest that these differences in torpor patterns did not result from differences in the physiological indicators that we measured because the prairie dogs monitored had similar body masses and concentrations of stored lipids across seasons. Likewise, our results did not support the idea that differences in overwinter Tb patterns between prairie dogs in colonies with differing torpor patterns resulted from genetic differences between populations; genetic analyses of prairie dog colonies revealed high genetic similarity between the populations and implied that individuals regularly disperse between colonies. Local environmental conditions probably played a role in the unusual T b patterns experienced by prairie dogs in the colony where hibernation-like patterns were observed; this population received significantly less rainfall than neighboring colonies during the summer growing seasons before, during, and after the year of the winter in which they hibernated. Our study provides a rare example of extreme plasticity in thermoregulatory behaviors of free-ranging prairie dogs and provides

  8. 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.

  9. 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)

  10. Mucocutaneous lesions in free-ranging Atlantic bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus from the southeastern USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bossart, Gregory D; Schaefer, Adam M; McCulloch, Stephen; Goldstein, Juli; Fair, Patricia A; Reif, John S

    2015-08-20

    Mucocutaneous lesions were biopsied from free-ranging Atlantic bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus inhabiting the Indian River Lagoon (IRL), Florida, and estuarine waters of Charleston (CHS), South Carolina, USA, between 2003 and 2013. A total of 78 incisional biopsies from 58 dolphins (n=43 IRL, n=15 CHS) were examined. Thirteen dolphins had 2 lesions biopsied at the same examination, and 6 dolphins were re-examined and re-biopsied at time intervals varying from 1 to 8 yr. Biopsy sites included the skin (n=47), tongue (n=2), and genital mucosa (n=29). Pathologic diagnoses were: orogenital sessile papilloma (39.7%), cutaneous lobomycosis (16.7%), tattoo skin disease (TSD; 15.4%), nonspecific chronic to chronic-active dermatitis (15.4%), and epidermal hyperplasia (12.8%). Pathologic diagnoses from dolphins with 2 lesions were predominately orogenital sessile papillomas (n=9) with nonspecific chronic to chronic-active dermatitis (n=4), TSD (n=3), lobomycosis (n=1), and epidermal hyperplasia (n=1). Persistent pathologic diagnoses from the same dolphins re-examined and re-biopsied at different times included genital sessile papillomas (n=3), lobomycosis (n=2), and nonspecific dermatitis (n=2). This is the first study documenting the various types, combined prevalence, and progression of mucocutaneous lesions in dolphins from the southeastern USA. The data support other published findings describing the health patterns in dolphins from these geographic regions. Potential health impacts related to the observed suite of lesions are important for the IRL and CHS dolphin populations, since previous studies have indicated that both populations are affected by complex infectious diseases often associated with immunologic disturbances and anthropogenic contaminants.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  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. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-01

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

  17. Effect of acepromazine on the signs of capture stress in captive and free-ranging roe deer (Capreolus capreolus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montané, J; Marco, I; López-Olvera, J R; Rossi, L; Manteca, X; Lavín, S

    2007-05-26

    The differences between the capture stress responses of captive and free-ranging roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) and their modulation by acepromazine, during a period of three hours' physical restraint after capture in drive-nets, were examined in 16 free-ranging and 16 captive roe deer. Eight of the free-ranging and eight of the captive animals received acepromazine intramuscularly, and the other eight free-ranging and eight captive deer received the same volume of saline. Heart rate, body temperature and haematological and serum biochemical parameters were analysed. In the groups treated with acepromazine, the heart rate stabilised sooner, and the red blood cell (RBC) count, haemoglobin concentration, packed-cell volume, the serum activities of creatine kinase (CK), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and the concentrations of creatinine and lactate were significantly lower, and serum glucose started to decrease earlier, than in the untreated groups. Serum potassium levels decreased over time only in the untreated groups. The body temperature stabilised earlier, and the RBC count, haemoglobin concentration, serum CK, AST, ALT and LDH activities, and serum creatinine, lactate, cholesterol and glucose concentrations were significantly lower in the free-ranging roe deer than in the captive deer.

  18. Assessing reproductive patterns and disorders in free-ranging dogs in Jodhpur, India to optimize a population control program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Totton, Sarah C; Wandeler, Alex I; Gartley, Cathy J; Kachhawaha, Subhash; Suman, Mahesh; Ribble, Carl S; Rosatte, Rick C; McEwen, Scott A

    2010-10-15

    The objectives were to test the hypothesis that estrus and pregnancy are seasonal in free-ranging female dogs (>3 mo old) in Jodhpur, India, and to determine litter size, and the prevalence of fetal resorption in this population. The prevalence of estrus and pregnancy was determined in 5400 free-ranging bitches (trapped and released) at the time of ovariohysterectomy. In a separate study, the uteri and ovaries of 246 free-ranging bitches were examined to determine litter size and fetal resorption. The bitches exhibited seasonal estrus and pregnancy (P dogs based upon placental sites. Litter size data from this study will be used in a population demographic model to predict the long-term impact of animal birth control (ABC) on the free-ranging dog population in Jodhpur. Increasing the efforts to surgically sterilize bitches prior to the time of year of peak pregnancy or whelping will help maximize the impact of an ABC program on the Jodhpur free-ranging dog population. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. GASTROINTESTINAL PARASITES IN CAPTIVE AND FREE-RANGING BIRDS AND POTENTIAL CROSS-TRANSMISSION IN A ZOO ENVIRONMENT.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrera-Játiva, Patricio D; Morgan, Eric R; Barrows, Michelle; Wronski, Torsten

    2018-03-01

    Gastrointestinal parasites are commonly reported in wild birds, but transmission amongst avifauna in zoological settings, and between these captive birds and wild birds in surrounding areas, remains poorly understood. A survey was undertaken to investigate the occurrence of gastrointestinal parasites in captive and free-ranging birds at Bristol Zoo Gardens between May and July 2016. A total of 348 fecal samples from 32 avian species were examined using the Mini-FLOTAC flotation method. Parasites were detected in 31% (45/145) of samples from captive birds and in 65.5% (133/203) of samples from free-ranging birds. Parasites of captive individuals included ascarids ( Heterakis spp. and other morphotypes), capillarids, oxyurids, strongyles, a trematode, and protozoans ( Eimeria spp., Isospora spp., Caryospora sp., and Entamoeba spp.). Parasites of free-ranging birds included ascarids ( Ascaridia spp., Porrocaecum spp., and other morphotypes), capillarids, oxyurids, strongyles ( Syngamus spp. and other morphotypes), cestodes ( Choanotaenia spp., Hymenolepis spp., and other morphotypes), a trematode, and protozoans ( Eimeria spp., Isospora spp., Entamoeba spp.). Similar types of parasites were detected in captive and free-ranging birds, but capillarid ova morphology was similar only between closely related species, eg in corvids (captive azure-winged magpies [ Cyanipica cyana] and wild jackdaws [ Corvus monedula]) and between wild columbids (collared doves [ Streptopelia decaocto], rock doves [ Columba livia], and wood pigeons [ Columba palumbus]). The prevalence and intensity of nematodes and coccidia in birds housed outdoors did not differ statistically from species housed indoors. Results indicate that captive and free-ranging birds may share parasites when closely related, but this would need to be confirmed by the study of adult specimens and molecular tests. Determining which parasites are present in captive and free-ranging species in zoological parks will support

  7. 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.

  8. Asian elephants acquire inaccessible food by blowing.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. Cross sectional epidemiological investigation on the prevalence of gastrointestinal helminths in free range chickens in Narsingdi district, Bangladesh

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ferdushy, T.; Hasan, Mohammed Tabaruk; Golam Kadir, A. K. M.

    2016-01-01

    Rural poultry production in Bangladesh is mainly based on the free range or backyard poultry production system. This backyard poultry plays a vital tool for poverty alleviation as well as for empowerment of poor women of this country. However, this production system has disadvantage...

  11. 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.

  12. 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).

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. 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

  18. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-09-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Self-recognition in an Asian elephant.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-11-07

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

  4. 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

  5. Role of delinquent young "orphan" male elephants in high mortality of white rhinoceros in Pilanesberg National Park, South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Slotow

    2001-07-01

    Full Text Available We describe white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum mortality at Pilanesberg National Park, South Africa, focussing on mortality caused by African elephant (Loxodonta africana. We reconstructed records from a range of historical sources, and estimated that up to 49 rhino were killed by elephant. There was confirmed mortality in 1994 and 1996, and based on patterns, we suggest a set of rhino mortality from elephant in 1992. Both sexes and all age classes were victims. There was no significant bias to older animals, but given the rhino population structure, there was a significant bias towards males in adult deaths. The culprits were identified as young male elephants that entered musth about 10 years younger than expected, and maintained musth for a full term at first occurrence. We attributed this to the lack of a mature bull hierarchy in the park, because these elephants were the product of translocation of young animals (<10 years old remaining from culls in Kruger National Park. We emphasise the need for accurate monitoring and record keeping, and a focus on individual identification of key species in small reserves.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

    BACKGROUND: 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. 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 (Pbears during hibernation, despite the absence of atrial arrhythmias and valvular disease...

  9. Serologic survey for canine distemper virus and canine parvovirus in free-ranging wild carnivores from Portugal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, Nuno; Almendra, Cláudia; Tavares, Luís

    2009-01-01

    A serologic survey for Canine distemper virus (CDV) and canine parvovirus (CPV) was performed on serum and lung extract from an opportunistic sample of 120 free-ranging wild carnivores (13 species) from Portugal, collected from 1995 to 2006. Antibodies to CDV were detected in wolf (Canis lupus; 3/27) and red fox (Vulpes vulpes; 2/22). Antibodies to CPV were detected in wolf (9/28), red fox (2/14), wildcat (Felis silvestris;1/8), genet (Genetta genetta; 17/18), and stone marten (Martes foina; 3/17). Antibodies to CPV were detected throughout the study, whereas for CDV antibodies were detected in 3 of 10 yr and only during winter. The extremely high CPV antibody prevalence in genets is unprecedented. Although based on a limited sample, these data suggest widespread exposure of free-ranging Iberian carnivores to CDV and CPV.

  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. FREE RANGE AND DEEP LITTER HOUSING SYSTEMS: EFFECT ON PERFORMANCE AND BLOOD PROFILE OF TWO STRAINS OF COCKEREL CHICKENS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olagoke Ayobami Olaniyi

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available This study was conducted to determine the performance and blood profile of one hundred and fifty cockerel chickens each of Harco Black and Novogen strains raised on deep litter and free range production systems. Each production system was allotted 150 chicks in three replications of 25 chicks per strain. The birds on deep litter production system were fed ad libitum while each of the birds on free range was fed 50 % of its daily feed requirement. The birds were weighed weekly. Blood plasma and serum were collected at the 4th and 12th weeks for laboratory analyses. Data generated were subjected to analysis of variance in a 2×2 factorial arrangement. Novogen strain consumed less feed (P

  12. Baseline Hematologic Results for Free-ranging White Rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) in Kruger National Park, South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Michele; Buss, Peter; Wanty, Rachel; Parsons, Sven; van Helden, Paul; Olea-Popelka, Francisco

    2015-10-01

    Complete blood counts (n = 115) and red blood cell analytes (n = 80) were assessed in free-ranging white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) from Kruger National Park (KNP), South Africa. Blood was collected from healthy animals immobilized between February and September 2009-11 for management purposes. Our objectives were to establish baselines for KNP's white rhinoceros population and to compare results based on sex and age group. Significant differences in total white blood cells, total eosinophils, and hemoglobin were found between adult and subadult rhinoceros. Female rhinoceros had significantly higher total white blood cells and lower hemoglobin compared with males. Hematologic analytes were similar to those published for other rhinoceros populations, although the impact of capture and sampling methods, nutritional status, and habitat should be considered when comparing data. This baseline hematology for healthy free-ranging white rhinoceros in KNP may be useful in assessing health status for translocation and medical interventions, including treatment of poaching cases.

  13. 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...... of nitrate leaching by investigating the distribution of soil mineral N as influenced by stocking density in a system with zones of perennial energy crops and grass. For each of two seasons 36 growing pigs with an initial mean live weight of 55 kg (spring) and 48 kg (autumn), respectively, were separated...... systems was low at the low stocking density, which therefore represents a promising pathway for a combined production of energy crops and free-range pigs....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  15. Serum chemistry, hematologic, and post-mortem findings in free-ranging bobcats (Lynx rufus) with notoedric mange

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serieys, Laurel E.K.; Foley, Janet; Owens, Sean; Woods, Leslie; Boydston, Erin E.; Lyren, Lisa M.; Poppenga, Robert H.; Clifford, Deana L.; Stephenson, Nicole; Rudd, Jaime; Riley, Seth P.D.

    2013-01-01

    Notoedric mange was responsible for a population decline of bobcats (Lynx rufus) in 2 Southern California counties from 2002–2006 and is now reported to affect bobcats in Northern and Southern California. With this study we document clinical laboratory and necropsy findings for bobcats with mange. Bobcats in this study included free-ranging bobcats with mange (n = 34), a control group of free-ranging bobcats without mange (n = 11), and a captive control group of bobcats without mange (n = 19). We used 2 control groups to evaluate potential anomalies due to capture stress or diet. Free-ranging healthy and mange-infected bobcats were trapped or salvaged. Animals were tested by serum biochemistry, complete blood count, urine protein and creatinine, body weight, necropsy, and assessment for anticoagulant rodenticide residues in liver tissue. Bobcats with severe mange were emaciated, dehydrated, and anemic with low serum creatinine, hyperphosphatemia, hypoglycemia, hypernatremia, and hyperchloremia, and sometimes septicemic when compare