WorldWideScience

Sample records for free-ranging seabirds pinnipeds

  1. NCCOS Assessment: Predictive Mapping of Seabirds, Pinnipeds and Cetaceans off the Pacific Coast of Washington from 1995-07-21 to 2015-12-08 (NCEI Accession 0148762)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data collection comprises seasonal distribution maps and model outputs of selected seabird, pinniped and cetacean species off the Pacific coast of Washington....

  2. Congruent and synchronic patterns in biogeography and speciation among seabirds, pinnipeds, and cestodes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoberg, E P

    1992-08-01

    Congruence in biogeographic patterns among diverse assemblages of taxa indicates uniformity in the historical determinants of biotic distributions. Comparisons of host and parasite phylogenies and the elucidation of distributional area relationships are requisite components of analyses in historical biogeography. Host-parasite associations with broad geographic ranges are often archaic and have been structured largely by coevolutionary processes. In contrast, the origins and radiation of the primary cestode faunas of some seabirds (Alcataenia spp./Alcidae) and pinnipeds (Anophryocephalus spp./Phocidae and Otariidae) are associated with colonization. These young colonizing faunas, in the Holarctic Region, were influenced by a common history during the late Pliocene and Pleistocene epochs. Periodic range contraction, with isolation in refugial centers, and subsequent expansion into postglacial habitats for hosts and parasites coincided with the cyclic pattern of stadials and interstadials. During the past 2-3 million years following colonization, these dramatic climatic fluctuations strongly influenced the continuity of ecological associations in marine habitats and appear to have been the determinants of congruent and synchronic patterns of speciation among these disparate taxa of marine homeotherms and eucestodes.

  3. 77 FR 73989 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Seabird and Pinniped Research...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-12-12

    ... IHA (77 FR 59377, September 27, 2012), as behavioral modification. Mitigation In order to issue an... species may exhibit behavioral modifications, including temporarily vacating the area during the seabird... causing disruption of behavioral patterns, including, but not limited to, migration, breathing,...

  4. Spatial auditory processing in pinnipeds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holt, Marla M.

    Given the biological importance of sound for a variety of activities, pinnipeds must be able to obtain spatial information about their surroundings thorough acoustic input in the absence of other sensory cues. The three chapters of this dissertation address spatial auditory processing capabilities of pinnipeds in air given that these amphibious animals use acoustic signals for reproduction and survival on land. Two chapters are comparative lab-based studies that utilized psychophysical approaches conducted in an acoustic chamber. Chapter 1 addressed the frequency-dependent sound localization abilities at azimuth of three pinniped species (the harbor seal, Phoca vitulina, the California sea lion, Zalophus californianus, and the northern elephant seal, Mirounga angustirostris). While performances of the sea lion and harbor seal were consistent with the duplex theory of sound localization, the elephant seal, a low-frequency hearing specialist, showed a decreased ability to localize the highest frequencies tested. In Chapter 2 spatial release from masking (SRM), which occurs when a signal and masker are spatially separated resulting in improvement in signal detectability relative to conditions in which they are co-located, was determined in a harbor seal and sea lion. Absolute and masked thresholds were measured at three frequencies and azimuths to determine the detection advantages afforded by this type of spatial auditory processing. Results showed that hearing sensitivity was enhanced by up to 19 and 12 dB in the harbor seal and sea lion, respectively, when the signal and masker were spatially separated. Chapter 3 was a field-based study that quantified both sender and receiver variables of the directional properties of male northern elephant seal calls produce within communication system that serves to delineate dominance status. This included measuring call directivity patterns, observing male-male vocally-mediated interactions, and an acoustic playback study

  5. Global Seabird Ammonia Emissions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riddick, S. N.; Blackall, T. D.; Dragosits, U.; Daunt, F. H.; Braban, C. F.; Tang, Y. S.; Trathan, P.; Wanless, S.; Sutton, M. A.

    2010-12-01

    Seabird colonies represent a major source of atmospheric ammonia (NH3) in remote coastal and marine systems in temperate, tropical and polar regions. Previous studies have shown that NH3 emissions from Scottish seabird colonies were substantial - of similar magnitude to the most intensive agricultural point source emissions. The UK data were used to model global seabird NH3 emissions and suggested that penguins are a major source of emissions on and around the Antarctic continent. The largest seabird colonies are in the order of millions of seabirds. Due to the isolation of these colonies from anthropogenic nitrogen sources, they may play a major role in the nitrogen cycle within these ecosystems. A global seabird database was constructed and used in conjunction with a species-specific seabird bioenergetics model to map the locations of NH3 emissions from seabird colonies. The accuracy of the modelled emissions was validated with field data of NH3 emissions measured at key seabird colonies in different climatic regions of the world: temperate (Isle of May, Scotland), tropical (Ascension Island) and polar (Signy Island, South Georgia). The field data indicated good agreement between modelled and measured NH3 emissions. The measured NH3 emissions also showed the variability of emission with climate. Climate dependence of seabird NH3 emissions may have further implications under a changing global climate. Seabird colonies represent NH3 emission ‘hotspots’, often far from anthropogenic sources, and are likely to be the major source of nitrogen input to these remote coastal ecosystems. The direct manuring by seabirds at colony locations may strongly influence species richness and biodiversity. The subsequent volatilisation and deposition of NH3 increases the spatial extent of seabird influence on nitrogen cycling in their local ecosystem. As many seabird populations are fluctuating due to changing food supply, climate change or anthropogenic pressures, these factors

  6. Skin biopsies for cell cultures from Mediterranean free-ranging cetaceans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marsili, L; Fossi, M C; Neri, G; Casini, S; Gardi, C; Palmeri, S; Tarquini, E; Panigada, S

    2000-01-01

    The aim of this study was to develop a useful method for obtaining viable tissue samples for establishing cell cultures from skin biopsies of free-ranging cetaceans. The skin biopsies were performed by two methods: dart from an air gun and dart from a crossbow. The dart tip was modified to collect tissue. The tissue was kept in tissue culture medium at ambient temperature, then processed within 24 h. Many modifications in culture technique, with respect to conventional culture methods for human fibroblasts, were made. The cultures thus obtained can be used for many purposes, including genetic and toxicological studies. In toxicology they are an alternative in vitro system for studying threatened animals such as marine mammals. In particular, fibroblasts can be used to test the vulnerability of cetaceans and pinnipeds to different environmental contaminants such as organochlorine compounds, heavy metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.

  7. Genetically diverse herpesviruses in South American Atlantic coast seabirds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Favero, Cíntia Maria; Shivaprasad, H. L.; Uhart, Marcela; Musso, Cesar Meyer; Rago, María Virginia; Silva-Filho, Rodolfo Pinho; Canabarro, Paula Lima; Craig, María Isabel; Olivera, Valeria; Pereda, Ariel; Brandão, Paulo Eduardo; Catão-Dias, José Luiz

    2017-01-01

    Different herpesviruses have been associated with respiratory and enteric disease and mortality among seabirds and waterfowl. In 2011, a respiratory disease outbreak affected 58.3% (98/168) of the Magellanic penguins undergoing rehabilitation due to an oil spill off the southern Brazilian coast. Etiology was attributed to a novel herpesvirus identified by histopathology, immunohistochemistry, electron microscopy and molecular studies with partial DNA sequencing. Since migration, rehabilitation and translocation may facilitate the spread of pathogens between populations and trigger the onset of clinical disease in animals with latent infections, investigation of herpesvirus occurrence in asymptomatic seabirds was performed. Samples from free-ranging seabirds were collected in Argentinian Patagonia (Magellanic penguins) and the Abrolhos Archipelago in Brazil (Brown boobies, Masked boobies, Red-billed tropicbirds, White-tailed tropicbirds and South American tern). Furthermore, asymptomatic seabirds housed at the facility where the outbreak occurred were also sampled. In total, 354 samples from eight seabird species were analyzed by PCR for herpesvirus. Four different sequences of herpesviruses were identified, one in Yellow-nosed Albatross, one in Boobies and Tropicbirds and two in Magellanic penguins. Magellanic penguin herpesvirus 1 was identified during the penguin outbreak at the rehabilitation facility in Brazil, while Magellanic penguin herpesvirus 2 was recovered from free-ranging penguins at four reproduction sites in Argentina. Phylogenic analysis of the herpesviruses sequences tentatively identified suggested that the one found in Suliformes and the one associated with the outbreak are related to sequences of viruses that have previously caused seabird die-offs. These findings reinforce the necessity for seabird disease surveillance programs overall, and particularly highlight the importance of quarantine, good hygiene, stress management and pre

  8. Surgical procedures in pinniped and cetacean species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Higgins, Jennifer L; Hendrickson, Dean A

    2013-12-01

    Significant advances in veterinary diagnostic and surgical techniques have been made over the past several decades. Many of these advances, however, have not reached the field of marine mammal medicine. A number of limitations exist: risks of anesthesia, anatomical challenges, difficulties with wound closure, environmental constraints, equipment limitations, and perceived risks. Despite these limitations, surgical treatments have been successfully utilized in marine mammals. While surgery is performed in pinnipeds more frequently than in cetaceans, studies conducted in the 1960s and 1970s on dolphin sleep and hearing demonstrated that general anesthesia can be successfully induced in cetaceans. Since this pioneering work, a small number of successful surgeries have been performed in dolphins under both general anesthesia and heavy sedation. While these surgical procedures in pinnipeds and cetaceans have typically been limited to wound management, dentistry, ophthalmic procedures, fracture repair, and superficial biopsy, a number of abdominal surgeries have also been performed. Recently there have been pioneering successes in the application of minimally invasive surgery in marine mammals. Many of the anatomical challenges that almost prohibit traditional laparotomies in cetacean species and present challenges in pinnipeds can be overcome through the use of laparoscopic techniques. Due to the limited number of pinnipeds and cetaceans in captivity and, thus, the limited case load for veterinarians serving marine mammal species, it is vital for knowledge of surgical procedures to be shared among those in the field. This paper reviews case reports of surgical procedures, both traditional and laparoscopic, in pinnipeds and cetaceans. Limitations to performing surgical procedures in marine mammals are discussed and surgical case reports analyzed in an effort to determine challenges that must be overcome in order to make surgery a more feasible diagnostic and treatment

  9. Giardiasis in pinnipeds from eastern Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Measures, L N; Olson, M

    1999-10-01

    Cysts of Giardia sp. were detected in feces from the rectum of 20 of 74 pinnipeds examined from the eastern coast of Canada in 1997 and 1998 using a monoclonal antibody technique. Infected pinnipeds included 15 adult harp seals (Phoca groenlandica), four adult grey seals (Halichoerus grypus), and one juvenile harbor seal (Phoca vitulina). Cysts were not detected in 15 seal pups St. Lawrence. The overall prevalence of Giardia sp. in grey and harbor seals, excluding pups, from the Gulf and St. Lawrence estuary was 23%. Feces from 11 beluga (Delphinapterus leucas) and one northern bottle-nosed whale (Hyperoodon ampullatus) stranded in the St. Lawrence estuary were negative for Giardia sp. cysts. The significance of Giardia sp. in marine mammals, shown here for the first time in eastern coastal Canada, is unknown.

  10. 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...

  11. Business Plan for the Conservation of Pacific Seabirds: A 5-Year Plan to Help Secure Alaskan Seabirds, Seabirds of the California Current, Chilean Seabirds and Hawaiian Seabirds

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Pacific Seabird Program will yield unprecedented gains in the conservation status of ten nationally imperiled seabird...

  12. Mycobacterium tuberculosis: an emerging disease of free-ranging wildlife.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexander, Kathleen A; Pleydell, Eve; Williams, Mark C; Lane, Emily P; Nyange, John F C; Michel, Anita L

    2002-06-01

    Expansion of ecotourism-based industries, changes in land-use practices, and escalating competition for resources have increased contact between free-ranging wildlife and humans. Although human presence in wildlife areas may provide an important economic benefit through ecotourism, exposure to human pathogens may represent a health risk for wildlife. This report is the first to document introduction of a primary human pathogen into free-ranging wildlife. We describe outbreaks of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, a human pathogen, in free-ranging banded mongooses (Mungos mungo) in Botswana and suricates (Suricata suricatta) in South Africa. Wildlife managers and scientists must address the potential threat that humans pose to the health of free-ranging wildlife.

  13. Plutonium bioaccumulation in seabirds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strumińska-Parulska, Dagmara I; Skwarzec, Bogdan; Fabisiak, Jacek

    2011-12-01

    The aim of the paper was plutonium (²³⁸Pu and ²³⁹⁺²⁴⁰Pu) determination in seabirds, permanently or temporarily living in northern Poland at the Baltic Sea coast. Together 11 marine birds species were examined: 3 species permanently residing in the southern Baltic, 4 species of wintering birds and 3 species of migrating birds. The obtained results indicated plutonium is non-uniformly distributed in organs and tissues of analyzed seabirds. The highest plutonium content was found in the digestion organs and feathers, the smallest in skin and muscles. The plutonium concentration was lower in analyzed species which feed on fish and much higher in herbivorous species. The main source of plutonium in analyzed marine birds was global atmospheric fallout.

  14. 78 FR 66686 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Seabird and Pinniped Research...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-11-06

    ... full species, separated from the Galapagos sea lion (Z. wollebaeki) and the extinct Japanese sea lion... permanent effects on the habitats used by the marine mammals in the proposed area, including the food...

  15. 77 FR 59377 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Seabird and Pinniped Research...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-09-27

    ... Japanese sea lion (Z. japonicus) (Brunner 2003, Wolf et al., 2007, Schramm et al., 2009). The estimated... the proposed area, including the food sources they use (i.e., fish and invertebrates). While it is...

  16. 76 FR 46724 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Seabird and Pinniped Research...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-08-03

    ... have the potential to cause California sea lions (Zalophus californianus), Pacific harbor seals (Phoca... the surrounding water or to cause a short-term behavioral disturbance for marine mammals in the areas... Wildlife Refuge. The islands are located near the edge of the continental shelf 28 miles (mi) (45.1 km...

  17. 75 FR 8677 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Seabird and Pinniped Research...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-02-25

    ... required mitigation measures and monitoring are carried out (e.g., researchers speaking in hushed voices... must not be disturbed until the area is free of predators. (7) Keep voices hushed and bodies low in the...

  18. 76 FR 30311 - Takes of Marine Mammals Incidental to Specified Activities; Seabird and Pinniped Research...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-05-25

    ... breed from late November to March. Females typically give birth to a single pup and attend the pup for... low numbers there currently (S. Allen, unpubl. data). Steller sea lions give birth in May through July.... The potential for incidental take related to the mark/recapture studies is very low as...

  19. 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; Lierz, Michael

    2014-12-01

    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.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    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.

  1. Husbandry of free-ranging cows using virtual fencing concepts

    Science.gov (United States)

    A directional virtual fencing (DVF™) system approach employing 1 Hz GPS data acquisition and using audio cuing only was successfully used to gather mature free-ranging beef cattle from a 466 ha arid brush infested rangeland paddock into a corral in which drinking water was located . Gathering was ...

  2. Emerging Trichinella britovi infections in free ranging pigs of Greece.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boutsini, S; Papatsiros, V G; Stougiou, D; Marucci, G; Liandris, E; Athanasiou, L V; Papadoudis, A; Karagiozopoulos, E; Bisias, A; Pozio, E

    2014-01-31

    Trichinella infections in humans and pigs have been documented in Greece since 1945 and a high prevalence of infection in pigs occurred in the 1950s. Up to 1984 only sporadic infections in humans were documented, and this zoonosis was not considered as a public health problem until 2009 when a human outbreak caused by the consumption of pork from an organic pig farm occurred. In the present study, we describe the re-emergence of Trichinella spp. infections in free-ranging pigs from organic farms of 3 counties (Dramas, Evros and Kavala) in Northern-Eastern Greece during the period 2009-2012. Totally 37 out of 12,717 (0.29%) free-ranging pigs which were tested during the period in question, were positive for Trichinella spp. larvae. The etiological agent was identified as Trichinella britovi. The average larval burden was 13.7 in the masseter, 6.2 in the foreleg muscles and 7.5 in the diaphragm. The 37 positive animals originated from seven free range pig farms. The practice of organic pig production systems in Greece has grown in popularity over the last years due to the increasing interest of consumers for products considered as traditional. However, this type of pig production increases the risk for Trichinella spp. infections, since animals can acquire the infection by feeding on carcasses or the offal of hunted or dead wild animals. The awareness and education of hunters and farmers is extremely important to reduce the transmission among free ranging pigs and the risk for humans.

  3. Monitoring of Dermanyssus gallinae in free-range poultry farms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zenner, L; Bon, G; Chauve, C; Nemoz, C; Lubac, S

    2009-06-01

    Various methods for monitoring Dermanyssus gallinae infestations within free-range egg production units were compared. The study was carried out in five egg-producing free-range poultry buildings infested with D. gallinae. Each farm was divided into six zones (each zone including nest boxes, perches and duckboard) for placing two types of traps (corrugated cardboard and thick card traps) or examining dried droppings for presence of mites. Traps were removed 24 h later, placed into bags and mites were counted at the laboratory using binocular magnification. Droppings were also inspected by eye and mite numbers were estimated. All the methods used allowed us to detect mites although their efficacy differed. The number of mites collected was independent of the type of trap used. Examination of the droppings did not differentiate between buildings with differing mite populations. Placing traps in the nest boxes is a less reliable indicator than placing them on the perches. It appears that the most coherent method for evaluating the D. gallinae population within a free-range flock is to place thick card traps throughout the building, on perches favoured by birds.

  4. Ammonia emissions from seabird colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blackall, Trevor D.; Wilson, Linda J.; Theobald, Mark R.; Milford, Celia; Nemitz, Eiko; Bull, Jennifer; Bacon, Philip J.; Hamer, Keith C.; Wanless, Sarah; Sutton, Mark A.

    2007-05-01

    Ammonia emissions were measured from two entire seabird colonies with contrasting species assemblages, to ascertain the ammonia volatilisation potentials among seabird species in relation to their nesting behaviour. Emissions were calculated from downwind plume measurements of ammonia concentration using both inverse dispersion and tracer ratio methods. Measured colony emissions ranged 1-90 kg NH3 hour-1, and equated to 16 and 36% volatilization of excreted nitrogen for colonies dominated by ground/burrow nesting and bare rock nesting birds, respectively. The results were applied in a bioenergetics model with a global seabird database. Seabird colonies are found to represent the largest point sources of ammonia globally (up to ~6 Gg NH3 colony-1 year-1). Moreover the largest emissions occur mainly in remote environments with otherwise low NH3 emissions. These ammonia ``hot spots'' explain significant perturbations of the nitrogen cycle in these regions and add ~20% to oceanic ammonia emissions south of latitude 45°S.

  5. Seabirds - Alaska's most neglected resource

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Our purpose in this paper is to describe the nature of current and potential problems confronting seabirds in Alaska and to identify approaches to management and...

  6. Atlantic Offshore Seabird Dataset Catalog

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — Several bureaus within the Department of Interior compiled available information from seabird observation datasets from the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf into a...

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Seabird Colonies in Western Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Boertmann, D.; Mosbech, A.; Falk, K.;

    surveys of seabird colonies are needed, due to a lack of information or because the present information probably is outdated. The most immediate threats to the colonial seabirds in western Greenland during the breeding time is hunting and egging. Oil pollution is a minor threat to-day, but will increase...... if offshore areas with oil potential are explored and developed. Tab. 6 gives an overview of each species sensitivity to oil spills and the capacity to recover, as well as a comparison of the western Greenland population numbers to the North Atlantic population numbers. The most significant western Greenland...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-26

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Overveld, Thijs; Matthysen, Erik

    2013-01-01

    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.

  14. Chemical contamination of free-range eggs from Belgium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Overmeire, I; Pussemier, L; Hanot, V; De Temmerman, L; Hoenig, M; Goeyens, L

    2006-11-01

    The elements manganese, cobalt, nickel, copper, zinc, arsenic, selenium, molybdenum, cadmium, antimony, thallium, lead and mercury, and selected persistent organochlorine compounds (dioxins, marker and dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls, dichlorodiphenyltricholroethane (DDT) and metabolites as well as other chlorinated pesticides) were analysed in Belgian free-range eggs obtained from hens of private owners and of commercial farms. It was found that eggs from private owners were more contaminated than eggs from commercial farms. The ratios of levels in eggs from private owners to the levels in eggs from commercial farms ranged from 2 to 8 for the toxic contaminants lead, mercury, thallium, dioxins, polychlorinated biphenyls and the group of DDT. DDT contamination was marked by the substantial presence of p,p'-DDT in eggs from private owners in addition to dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p-DDE) and dichlorodiphenyl-dichloroethane (p,p'-DDD). It is postulated that environmental pollution is at the origin of the higher contamination of eggs from private owners. Extensive consumption of eggs from private owners is likely to result in toxic equivalent quantity intake levels exceeding the tolerable weekly intake.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Levonorgestrel, not etonogestrel, provides contraception in free-ranging koalas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hynes, E F; Handasyde, K A; Shaw, Geoff; Renfree, Marilyn B

    2010-01-01

    Management of high-density koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) populations is essential because of the browsing damage they inflict on their habitat. We have tested two types of gestagen implant, namely levonorgestrel and etonogestrel, as contraceptives for koalas. Free-ranging female koalas were given either a control, levonorgestrel (70 mg) or etonogestrel (34 or 68 mg) implant before the breeding season. Koalas were monitored every 4-12 weeks for births. Plasma progesterone was measured and a cytological smear of the urogenital sinus was taken. Fertility was high in the control group and the two etonogestrel-treated groups, with approximately 90% of females giving birth. In contrast, no levonorgestrel-treated female produced young during the study. Removal of levonorgestrel implants from six females reversed the contraceptive effect in the next breeding season, whereas the eight females in which the levonorgestrel implants were left in remained infertile for six breeding seasons. Vaginal cytology showed evidence of oestrous cycles during the breeding season in all females from all groups and there was no difference seen in the prevalence of cornified epithelial cells in the oestrous smears. This indirectly suggests that levonorgestrel does not prevent follicular development and oestrous cycling. Plasma progesterone in levonorgestrel-treated females remained low all year, but rose in controls concurrent with the onset of the breeding season. This suggests that levonorgestrel prevents pregnancy by blocking ovulation. Etonogestrel had absolutely no contraceptive effect at the two doses delivered and so is not suitable for controlling koala populations. In contrast, levonorgestrel was effective as a long-term, reversible contraceptive in wild koalas.

  18. Sound localization of aerial broadband noise in pinnipeds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holt, Marla M.; Schusterman, Ronald J.; Kastak, David; Southall, Brandon L.

    2003-04-01

    Pinnipeds (seals, sea lions, and walruses) emit broadband calls on land as part of their communication system in order to coordinate their reproductive activities. How well do they localize these types of signals? In this study, the aerial sound localization acuities of a harbor seal (Phoca vitulina), a California sea lion (Zalophus californianus), and a northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris) were measured in the horizontal plane with a broadband white noise stimulus. Testing was conducted in a hemi-anechoic chamber using a left/right forced choice procedure to measure the minimum audible angle (MAA) for each subject. MAAs were defined as half the angular separation of two sound sources relative to a subject's midline that corresponded to 75% correct discrimination. MAAs were 3.6, 4.2, and 4.7 deg for the harbor seal, California sea lion, and northern elephant seal, respectively. These results demonstrate that these pinniped species had sound localization abilities comparable to the domestic cat and rhesus macaques. The acuity differences between our subjects were small, were not predicted by head size, and therefore likely reflect the relatively acute abilities of other pinniped species to localize aerial broadband signals.

  19. Immobilization of free-ranging male pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) with carfentanil citrate and naltrexone hydrochloride

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulcahy, Daniel M.; Tuomi, P.A.; Garner, Gerald W.; Jay, Chadwick V.

    2003-01-01

    The major challenges in immobilization of free-ranging walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) are to produce a deep level of anesthesia very quickly (to avoid darted animals from entering the water and drowning), and to find a drug or drug combination that requires only a small volume to be delivered by dart, is safe, reversible, and that provides an adequate period of immobilization to permit attachment of instruments, phlebotomy, and measuring. Tiletamine-zolazepam is recommended for immobilization of pinnipeds, with inhalant anesthesia recommended for more extensive procedures requiring better analgesia (Gales 1989). Drugs that have been used on free-ranging walruses include ketamine (Hagenbeck et al. 1975), phencyclidine combined with acepromazine (DeMaster et al. 1981), etorphine (Born and Knutsen 1990, Hills 1992, Griffiths et al. 1993), tiletamine-zolazepam (Stirling and Sjare 1988, Griffiths et al. 1993), medetomidine and ketamine (Lydersen et al. 1992), and carfentanil (Hills 1992, Lanthier et al. 1999). Carfentanil but not etorphine is presently licensed and available in the United States.Forty-eight adult male walruses were immobilized with carfentanil citrate in the summers of 1995-1997 at Maggy Beach (58°57’N, 161°76’W), a land haul-out located at Cape Peirce within the Togiak National Wildlife Refuge in southwest Alaska. The number of animals present during immobilizations ranged from three to several thousand. Criteria for choosing individual walruses included good body condition, the presence of two tusks of sufficient diameter for the attachment of radio transmitters, and presence of the animal at the edge of the herd. In addition, we chose animals that were resting quietly and which had not recently hauled out (as judged by skin color). Walruses were darted from ranges of approximately 10-15 m using a Cap-Chur rifle (Palmer Chemical and Equipment Co., Douglasville, Georgia, GA 30133). Carfentanil citrate (Wildlife Pharmaceuticals, Fort

  20. Low Density of Top Predators (Seabirds and Marine Mammals in the High Arctic Pack Ice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claude R. Joiris

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The at-sea distribution of top predators, seabirds and marine mammals, was determined in the high Arctic pack ice on board the icebreaker RV Polarstern in July to September 2014. In total, 1,620 transect counts were realised, lasting 30 min each. The five most numerous seabird species represented 74% of the total of 15,150 individuals registered: kittiwake Rissa tridactyla, fulmar Fulmarus glacialis, puffin Fratercula arctica, Ross’s gull Rhodostethia rosea, and little auk Alle alle. Eight cetacean species were tallied for a total of 330 individuals, mainly white-beaked dolphin Lagenorhynchus albirostris and fin whale Balaenoptera physalus. Five pinniped species were represented by a total of 55 individuals and the polar bear Ursus maritimus was represented by 12 individuals. Four main geographical zones were identified: from Tromsø to the outer marginal ice zone (OMIZ, the Arctic pack ice (close pack ice, CPI, the end of Lomonosov Ridge off Siberia, and the route off Siberia and northern Norway. Important differences were detected between zones, both in species composition and in individual abundance. Low numbers of species and high proportion of individuals for some of them can be considered to reflect very low biodiversity. Numbers encountered in zones 2 to 4 were very low in comparison with other European Arctic seas. The observed differences showed strong patterns.

  1. Do White Shark Bites on Surfers Reflect Their Attack Strategies on Pinnipeds?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erich Ritter

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The theory of mistaken identity states that sharks, especially white sharks, Carcharodon carcharias, mistake surfers for pinnipeds when looking at them from below and thus bite them erroneously. Photographs of surfer wounds and board damage were interpreted with special emphasis on shark size, wound severity, and extent of damage to a board. These were compared with the concurrent literature on attack strategies of white sharks on pinnipeds and their outcomes. The results show that the majority of damage to surfers and their boards is at best superficial-to-moderate in nature and does not reflect the level of damage needed to immobilize or stun a pinniped. It is further shown that the size distribution of sharks biting surfers differs from that in pinnipeds. The results presented show that the theory of mistaken identity, where white sharks erroneously mistake surfers for pinnipeds, does not hold true and should be rejected.

  2. Hematology and serum chemistry of free-ranging jaguars (Panthera onca).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Widmer, Cynthia E; Hagiwara, Mitika K; Ferreira, Fernando; Azevedo, Fernando C C

    2012-10-01

    We collected and analyzed blood samples from 12 free-ranging jaguars (Panthera onca). Clinical examinations, hematology, and serum chemistry indicate the jaguars were in good overall health. Results may help as values for free-ranging jaguars under the same handling conditions.

  3. 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...

  4. Seasonal spatial patterns in seabird and marine mammal distribution in the eastern Chukchi and western Beaufort seas: Identifying biologically important pelagic areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuletz, Kathy J.; Ferguson, Megan C.; Hurley, Brendan; Gall, Adrian E.; Labunski, Elizabeth A.; Morgan, Tawna C.

    2015-08-01

    The Chukchi and Beaufort seas are undergoing rapid climate change and increased human activity. Conservation efforts for upper trophic level predators such as seabirds and marine mammals require information on species' distributions and identification of important marine areas. Here we describe broad-scale distributions of seabirds and marine mammals. We examined spatial patterns of relative abundance of seabirds and marine mammals in the eastern Chukchi and western Beaufort seas during summer (15 June-31 August) and fall (1 September-20 November) from 2007 to 2012. We summarized 49,206 km of shipboard surveys for seabirds and 183,157 km of aerial surveys for marine mammals into a grid of 40-km × 40-km cells. We used Getis-Ord Gi∗ hotspot analysis to test for cells with higher relative abundance than expected when compared to all cells within the study area. We identified cells representing single species and taxonomic group hotspots, cells representing hotspots for multiple species, and cells representing hotspots for both seabirds and marine mammals. The locations of hotspots varied among species but often were located near underwater canyons or over continental shelf features and slopes. Hotspots for seabirds, walrus, and gray whales occurred primarily in the Chukchi Sea. Hotspots for bowhead whales and other pinnipeds (i.e., seals) occurred near Barrow Canyon and along the Beaufort Sea shelf and slope. Hotspots for belugas occurred in both the Chukchi and Beaufort seas. There were three hotspots shared by both seabirds and marine mammals in summer: off Wainwright in the eastern Chukchi Sea, south of Hanna Shoal, and at the mouth of Barrow Canyon. In fall, the only identified shared hotspot occurred at the mouth of Barrow Canyon. Shared hotspots are characterized by strong fronts caused by upwelling and currents, and these areas can have high densities of euphausiids in summer and fall. Due to the high relative abundance of animals and diversity of taxa

  5. Monitoring populations of breeding seabirds: Final report

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — At Cape Thompson, Alaska, the University of Alaska, mapped locations of census plots during his 1959-61 studies (see Swartz 1966) of the seabird colony there....

  6. Seabird mortality caused by Japanese gillnet fisheries

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The meeting covered three aspects: (1) review of data collected by the Fishery Agency on gillnetting of seabirds, (2) U.S. participation as observers aboard Japanese...

  7. North Pacific Pelagic Seabird Database (NPPSD)

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — The North Pacific Pelagic Seabird Database (NPPSD) was created in 2005 to consolidate data on the oceanic distribution of marine bird species in the North Pacific....

  8. Seabirds and climate: knowledge, pitfalls and opportunities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel eOro

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available As a physical driver of ecosystem functioning, it is not surprising that climate influences seabird demography and population dynamics, generally by affecting food availability. However, if we zoom in ecologically, seabirds are in fact very heterogeneous, ranging in size from very small to very large species (with a difference of more than two orders of magnitude in body weight, from planktivorous forms to predators of large fish and squid, from benthic to pelagic, from species with small foraging ranges to species feeding throughout the whole circumpolar region, and from resident species (at a spatial mesoscale to trans-equatorial migrating seabirds that travel large distances across several oceanographic systems. Due to this high variability and the difficulty in obtaining direct reliable estimates of long-term food availability, global climatic indices have been extensively used in studying seabird demography and population dynamics. However, the use made by researchers of these indices has certain conceptual and methodological pitfalls, which I shall address in this review. Other factors, such as anthropogenic impacts (including oil-spills and interaction with fisheries, may further alter or confound the association between climate and seabird demography. These pitfalls and environmental noise, together with the inability to incorporate resilience, may bias our predictions regarding the future impact of global warming on seabirds, many of which have vulnerable populations.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-06-01

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

  10. Fused traditional and geometric morphometrics demonstrate pinniped whisker diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ginter, Carly C; DeWitt, Thomas J; Fish, Frank E; Marshall, Christopher D

    2012-01-01

    Vibrissae (whiskers) are important components of the mammalian tactile sensory system, and primarily function as detectors of vibrotactile information from the environment. Pinnipeds possess the largest vibrissae among mammals and their vibrissal hair shafts demonstrate a diversity of shapes. The vibrissae of most phocid seals exhibit a beaded morphology with repeating sequences of crests and troughs along their length. However, there are few detailed analyses of pinniped vibrissal morphology, and these are limited to a few species. Therefore, we comparatively characterized differences in vibrissal hair shaft morphologies among phocid species with a beaded profile, phocid species with a smooth profile, and otariids with a smooth profile using traditional and geometric morphometric methods. Traditional morphometric measurements (peak-to-peak distance, crest width, trough width and total length) were collected using digital photographs. Elliptic Fourier analysis (geometric morphometrics) was used to quantify the outlines of whole vibrissae. The traditional and geometric morphometric datasets were subsequently combined by mathematically scaling each to true rank, followed by a single eigendecomposition. Quadratic discriminant function analysis demonstrated that 79.3, 97.8 and 100% of individuals could be correctly classified to their species based on vibrissal shape variables in the traditional, geometric and combined morphometric analyses, respectively. Phocids with beaded vibrissae, phocids with smooth vibrissae, and otariids each occupied distinct morphospace in the geometric morphometric and combined data analyses. Otariids split into two groups in the geometric morphometric analysis and gray seals appeared intermediate between beaded- and smooth-whiskered species in the traditional and combined analyses. Vibrissal hair shafts modulate the transduction of environmental stimuli to the mechanoreceptors in the follicle-sinus complex (F-SC), which results in

  11. Fused Traditional and Geometric Morphometrics Demonstrate Pinniped Whisker Diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ginter, Carly C.; DeWitt, Thomas J.; Fish, Frank E.; Marshall, Christopher D.

    2012-01-01

    Vibrissae (whiskers) are important components of the mammalian tactile sensory system, and primarily function as detectors of vibrotactile information from the environment. Pinnipeds possess the largest vibrissae among mammals and their vibrissal hair shafts demonstrate a diversity of shapes. The vibrissae of most phocid seals exhibit a beaded morphology with repeating sequences of crests and troughs along their length. However, there are few detailed analyses of pinniped vibrissal morphology, and these are limited to a few species. Therefore, we comparatively characterized differences in vibrissal hair shaft morphologies among phocid species with a beaded profile, phocid species with a smooth profile, and otariids with a smooth profile using traditional and geometric morphometric methods. Traditional morphometric measurements (peak-to-peak distance, crest width, trough width and total length) were collected using digital photographs. Elliptic Fourier analysis (geometric morphometrics) was used to quantify the outlines of whole vibrissae. The traditional and geometric morphometric datasets were subsequently combined by mathematically scaling each to true rank, followed by a single eigendecomposition. Quadratic discriminant function analysis demonstrated that 79.3, 97.8 and 100% of individuals could be correctly classified to their species based on vibrissal shape variables in the traditional, geometric and combined morphometric analyses, respectively. Phocids with beaded vibrissae, phocids with smooth vibrissae, and otariids each occupied distinct morphospace in the geometric morphometric and combined data analyses. Otariids split into two groups in the geometric morphometric analysis and gray seals appeared intermediate between beaded- and smooth-whiskered species in the traditional and combined analyses. Vibrissal hair shafts modulate the transduction of environmental stimuli to the mechanoreceptors in the follicle-sinus complex (F-SC), which results in

  12. Fused traditional and geometric morphometrics demonstrate pinniped whisker diversity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carly C Ginter

    Full Text Available Vibrissae (whiskers are important components of the mammalian tactile sensory system, and primarily function as detectors of vibrotactile information from the environment. Pinnipeds possess the largest vibrissae among mammals and their vibrissal hair shafts demonstrate a diversity of shapes. The vibrissae of most phocid seals exhibit a beaded morphology with repeating sequences of crests and troughs along their length. However, there are few detailed analyses of pinniped vibrissal morphology, and these are limited to a few species. Therefore, we comparatively characterized differences in vibrissal hair shaft morphologies among phocid species with a beaded profile, phocid species with a smooth profile, and otariids with a smooth profile using traditional and geometric morphometric methods. Traditional morphometric measurements (peak-to-peak distance, crest width, trough width and total length were collected using digital photographs. Elliptic Fourier analysis (geometric morphometrics was used to quantify the outlines of whole vibrissae. The traditional and geometric morphometric datasets were subsequently combined by mathematically scaling each to true rank, followed by a single eigendecomposition. Quadratic discriminant function analysis demonstrated that 79.3, 97.8 and 100% of individuals could be correctly classified to their species based on vibrissal shape variables in the traditional, geometric and combined morphometric analyses, respectively. Phocids with beaded vibrissae, phocids with smooth vibrissae, and otariids each occupied distinct morphospace in the geometric morphometric and combined data analyses. Otariids split into two groups in the geometric morphometric analysis and gray seals appeared intermediate between beaded- and smooth-whiskered species in the traditional and combined analyses. Vibrissal hair shafts modulate the transduction of environmental stimuli to the mechanoreceptors in the follicle-sinus complex (F-SC, which

  13. Comparative Analysis of the Flexural Stiffness of Pinniped Vibrissae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carly C Ginter Summarell

    Full Text Available Vibrissae are important components of the mammalian tactile sensory system and are used to detect vibrotactile stimuli in the environment. Pinnipeds have the largest and most highly innervated vibrissae among mammals, and the hair shafts function as a biomechanical filter spanning the environmental stimuli and the neural mechanoreceptors deep in the follicle-sinus complex. Therefore, the material properties of these structures are critical in transferring vibrotactile information to the peripheral nervous system. Vibrissae were tested as cantilever beams and their flexural stiffness (EI was measured to test the hypotheses that the shape of beaded vibrissae reduces EI and that vibrissae are anisotropic. EI was measured at two locations on each vibrissa, 25% and 50% of the overall length, and at two orientations to the point force. EI differed in orientations that were normal to each other, indicating a functional anisotropy. Since vibrissae taper from base to tip, the second moment of area (I was lower at 50% than 25% of total length. The anterior orientation exhibited greater EI values at both locations compared to the dorsal orientation for all species. Smooth vibrissae were generally stiffer than beaded vibrissae. The profiles of beaded vibrissae are known to decrease the amplitude of vibrations when protruded into a flow field. The lower EI values of beaded vibrissae, along with the reduced vibrations, may function to enhance the sensitivity of mechanoreceptors to detection of small changes in flow from swimming prey by increasing the signal to noise ratio. This study builds upon previous morphological and hydrodynamic analyses of vibrissae and is the first comparative study of the mechanical properties of pinniped vibrissae.

  14. San Francisco Littoral Cell CRSMP Pinniped Haul-Out Sites 2011

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Department of Resources — NMFS does not have a GIS-based database for all of the pinniped haulout sites in California. Much of the information is known through word of mouth or in unpublished...

  15. San Francisco Littoral Cell CRSMP Pinniped Haul-Out Sites 2011

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Department of Resources — NMFS does not have a GIS-based database for all of the pinniped haulout sites in California. Much of the information is known through word of mouth or in unpublished...

  16. AFSC/NMML/CCEP: Food Habits of Pinnipeds at San Miguel Island, California

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The National Marine Mammal Laboratories' California Current Ecosystem Program (AFSC/NOAA) collects fecal samples to examine the diet of pinnipeds, including...

  17. Do White Shark Bites on Surfers Reflect Their Attack Strategies on Pinnipeds?

    OpenAIRE

    Erich Ritter; Alexandra Quester

    2016-01-01

    The theory of mistaken identity states that sharks, especially white sharks, Carcharodon carcharias, mistake surfers for pinnipeds when looking at them from below and thus bite them erroneously. Photographs of surfer wounds and board damage were interpreted with special emphasis on shark size, wound severity, and extent of damage to a board. These were compared with the concurrent literature on attack strategies of white sharks on pinnipeds and their outcomes. The results show that the majori...

  18. Re-Evaluation of Morphological Characters Questions Current Views of Pinniped Origins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Koretsky I. A.

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The origin of pinnipeds has been a contentious issue, with opposite sides debating monophyly or diphyly. This review uses evidence from the fossil record, combined with comparative morphology, molecular and cytogenetic investigations to evaluate the evolutionary history and phylogenetic relationships of living and fossil otarioid and phocoid pinnipeds. Molecular investigations support a monophyletic origin of pinnipeds, but disregard vital morphological data. Likewise, morphological studies support diphyly, but overlook molecular analyses. This review will demonstrate that a monophyletic origin of pinnipeds should not be completely accepted, as is the current ideology, and a diphyletic origin remains viable due to morphological and paleobiological analyses. Critical examination of certain characters, used by supporters of pinniped monophyly, reveals different polarities, variability, or simply convergence. The paleontological record and our morphological analysis of important characters supports a diphyletic origin of pinnipeds, with otarioids likely arising in the North Pacific from large, bear-like animals and phocids arising in the North Atlantic from smaller, otter-like ancestors. Although members of both groups are known by Late Oligocene time, each developed and invaded the aquatic environment separately from their much earlier, common arctoid ancestor. Therefore, we treat the superfamily Otarioidea as being monophyletic, including the families Enaliarctidae, Otariidae (fur seals/sea lions, Desmatophocidae, and Odobenidae (walruses and extinct relatives, and the superfamily Phocoidea as monophyletic, including only the family Phocidae, with four subfamilies (Devinophocinae, Phocinae, Monachinae, and Cystophorinae.

  19. Misleading the ethical consumer: The regulation of free-range egg labelling

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Parker, Christine; de Costa, Josephine

    2016-01-01

    ...'. A response to significant conflict, claims and counterclaims about what free-range should mean, the proposed code could take the form of a mandatory information standard under the Australian Consumer Law...

  20. 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.

  1. Gammaretrovirus-Specific Antibodies in Free-Ranging and Captive Namibian Cheetahs

    OpenAIRE

    Krengel, Annika; Cattori, Valentino; Meli, Marina L.; Wachter, Bettina; Böni, Jürg; Leslie R Bisset; Thalwitzer, Susanne; Melzheimer, Jörg; Jago, Mark; Hofmann-Lehmann, Regina; Hofer, Heribert; Lutz, Hans

    2015-01-01

    The cheetah population in Namibia is the largest free-ranging population in the world and a key population for research regarding the health status of this species. We used serological methods and quantitative real-time PCR to test free-ranging and captive Namibian cheetahs for the presence of feline leukemia virus (FeLV), a gammaretrovirus that can be highly aggressive in populations with low genetic diversity, such as cheetahs. We also assessed the presence of antibodies to other gammaretro...

  2. AFSC/REFM: Seabird Necropsy dataset of North Pacific

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The seabird necropsy dataset contains information on seabird specimens that were collected under salvage and scientific collection permits primarily by...

  3. Incidental mortality of seabirds in selected commercial fisheries in Alaska

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Fishery-seabird observers monitored the incidental mortality of seabirds between 1989 and 1993 in three groundfish longline, trawl, and pot fisheries in the Bering...

  4. Seabird mortality in the Japanese salmon mothership fishery, summer 1982

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Recent studies have demonstrated a serious conflict between certain kinds of fishing gear, particularly gillnets, and seabirds. A study of seabird mortality in the...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-08-01

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

  6. Accuracy of ARGOS locations of Pinnipeds at-sea estimated using Fastloc GPS.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel P Costa

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: ARGOS satellite telemetry is one of the most widely used methods to track the movements of free-ranging marine and terrestrial animals and is fundamental to studies of foraging ecology, migratory behavior and habitat-use. ARGOS location estimates do not include complete error estimations, and for many marine organisms, the most commonly acquired locations (Location Class 0, A, B, or Z are provided with no declared error estimate. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We compared the accuracy of ARGOS Locations to those obtained using Fastloc GPS from the same electronic tags on five species of pinnipeds: 9 California sea lions (Zalophus californianus, 4 Galapagos sea lions (Zalophus wollebaeki, 6 Cape fur seals (Arctocephalus pusillus pusillus, 3 Australian fur seals (A. p. doriferus and 5 northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris. These species encompass a range of marine habitats (highly pelagic vs coastal, diving behaviors (mean dive durations 2-21 min and range of latitudes (equator to temperate. A total of 7,318 ARGOS positions and 27,046 GPS positions were collected. Of these, 1,105 ARGOS positions were obtained within five minutes of a GPS position and were used for comparison. The 68(th percentile ARGOS location errors as measured in this study were LC-3 0.49 km, LC-2 1.01 km, LC-1 1.20 km, LC-0 4.18 km, LC-A 6.19 km, LC-B 10.28 km. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The ARGOS errors measured here are greater than those provided by ARGOS, but within the range of other studies. The error was non-normally distributed with each LC highly right-skewed. Locations of species that make short duration dives and spend extended periods on the surface (sea lions and fur seals had less error than species like elephant seals that spend more time underwater and have shorter surface intervals. Supplemental data (S1 are provided allowing the creation of density distributions that can be used in a variety of filtering algorithms to improve the

  7. Chemical kin label in seabirds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Célérier, Aurélie; Bon, Cécile; Malapert, Aurore; Palmas, Pauline; Bonadonna, Francesco

    2011-01-01

    Chemical signals yield critical socio-ecological information in many animals, such as species, identity, social status or sex, but have been poorly investigated in birds. Recent results showed that chemical signals are used to recognize their nest and partner by some petrel seabirds whose olfactory anatomy is well developed and which possess a life-history propitious to olfactory-mediated behaviours. Here, we investigate whether blue petrels (Halobaena caerulea) produce some chemical labels potentially involved in kin recognition and inbreeding avoidance. To overcome methodological constraints of chemical analysis and field behavioural experiments, we used an indirect behavioural approach, based on mice olfactory abilities in discriminating odours. We showed that mice (i) can detect odour differences between individual petrels, (ii) perceive a high odour similarity between a chick and its parents, and (iii) perceive this similarity only before fledging but not during the nestling developmental stage. Our results confirm the existence of an individual olfactory signature in blue petrels and show for the first time, to our knowledge, that birds may exhibit an olfactory kin label, which may have strong implications for inbreeding avoidance. PMID:21525047

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Mapping seabird sensitivity to offshore wind farms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradbury, Gareth; Trinder, Mark; Furness, Bob; Banks, Alex N; Caldow, Richard W G; Hume, Duncan

    2014-01-01

    We present a Geographic Information System (GIS) tool, SeaMaST (Seabird Mapping and Sensitivity Tool), to provide evidence on the use of sea areas by seabirds and inshore waterbirds in English territorial waters, mapping their relative sensitivity to offshore wind farms. SeaMaST is a freely available evidence source for use by all connected to the offshore wind industry and will assist statutory agencies in assessing potential risks to seabird populations from planned developments. Data were compiled from offshore boat and aerial observer surveys spanning the period 1979-2012. The data were analysed using distance analysis and Density Surface Modelling to produce predicted bird densities across a grid covering English territorial waters at a resolution of 3 km×3 km. Coefficients of Variation were estimated for each grid cell density, as an indication of confidence in predictions. Offshore wind farm sensitivity scores were compiled for seabird species using English territorial waters. The comparative risks to each species of collision with turbines and displacement from operational turbines were reviewed and scored separately, and the scores were multiplied by the bird density estimates to produce relative sensitivity maps. The sensitivity maps reflected well the amassed distributions of the most sensitive species. SeaMaST is an important new tool for assessing potential impacts on seabird populations from offshore development at a time when multiple large areas of development are proposed which overlap with many seabird species' ranges. It will inform marine spatial planning as well as identifying priority areas of sea usage by marine birds. Example SeaMaST outputs are presented.

  11. Mapping Seabird Sensitivity to Offshore Wind Farms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradbury, Gareth; Trinder, Mark; Furness, Bob; Banks, Alex N.; Caldow, Richard W. G.; Hume, Duncan

    2014-01-01

    We present a Geographic Information System (GIS) tool, SeaMaST (Seabird Mapping and Sensitivity Tool), to provide evidence on the use of sea areas by seabirds and inshore waterbirds in English territorial waters, mapping their relative sensitivity to offshore wind farms. SeaMaST is a freely available evidence source for use by all connected to the offshore wind industry and will assist statutory agencies in assessing potential risks to seabird populations from planned developments. Data were compiled from offshore boat and aerial observer surveys spanning the period 1979–2012. The data were analysed using distance analysis and Density Surface Modelling to produce predicted bird densities across a grid covering English territorial waters at a resolution of 3 km×3 km. Coefficients of Variation were estimated for each grid cell density, as an indication of confidence in predictions. Offshore wind farm sensitivity scores were compiled for seabird species using English territorial waters. The comparative risks to each species of collision with turbines and displacement from operational turbines were reviewed and scored separately, and the scores were multiplied by the bird density estimates to produce relative sensitivity maps. The sensitivity maps reflected well the amassed distributions of the most sensitive species. SeaMaST is an important new tool for assessing potential impacts on seabird populations from offshore development at a time when multiple large areas of development are proposed which overlap with many seabird species’ ranges. It will inform marine spatial planning as well as identifying priority areas of sea usage by marine birds. Example SeaMaST outputs are presented. PMID:25210739

  12. Mapping seabird sensitivity to offshore wind farms.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gareth Bradbury

    Full Text Available We present a Geographic Information System (GIS tool, SeaMaST (Seabird Mapping and Sensitivity Tool, to provide evidence on the use of sea areas by seabirds and inshore waterbirds in English territorial waters, mapping their relative sensitivity to offshore wind farms. SeaMaST is a freely available evidence source for use by all connected to the offshore wind industry and will assist statutory agencies in assessing potential risks to seabird populations from planned developments. Data were compiled from offshore boat and aerial observer surveys spanning the period 1979-2012. The data were analysed using distance analysis and Density Surface Modelling to produce predicted bird densities across a grid covering English territorial waters at a resolution of 3 km×3 km. Coefficients of Variation were estimated for each grid cell density, as an indication of confidence in predictions. Offshore wind farm sensitivity scores were compiled for seabird species using English territorial waters. The comparative risks to each species of collision with turbines and displacement from operational turbines were reviewed and scored separately, and the scores were multiplied by the bird density estimates to produce relative sensitivity maps. The sensitivity maps reflected well the amassed distributions of the most sensitive species. SeaMaST is an important new tool for assessing potential impacts on seabird populations from offshore development at a time when multiple large areas of development are proposed which overlap with many seabird species' ranges. It will inform marine spatial planning as well as identifying priority areas of sea usage by marine birds. Example SeaMaST outputs are presented.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Validation of a commercial canine assay kit to measure pinniped cytokines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levin, Milton; Romano, Tracy; Matassa, Keith; De Guise, Sylvain

    2014-07-15

    The present study was conducted to assess and validate the cross-reactivity of commercially available multiplex human and canine cytokine kits coupled with the Bio-Plex 200 platform to measure cytokines in three pinniped species, harbor seals (Phoca vitulina), gray seals (Halichoerus grypus), and harp seals (Pagophilus groenlandicus). Cytokines are important small proteins that help direct a proper immune response to pathogens. The human cytokine kit allowed the detection of cytokines in the supernatant of mitogen-stimulated human peripheral blood mononuclear cells, but not in the three pinniped species studied, with the exception of TNFα and GM-CSF. In contrast, the canine cytokine kit appeared to cross-react with the majority of cytokines in the three pinniped species tested, including the pro-inflammatory cytokine TNFα, the Th1 cytokine INFγ, and the Th2 cytokine IL-10, an anti-inflammatory cytokine. In addition, the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-6 and IL-8 were also measured in all pinniped species. Overall, the Bio-Plex 200 platform and the canine multiplex cytokine kit allowed the successful measurement of potentially clinically important pinniped cytokines. This additional tool may provide veterinarians with additional information to detect sub-clinical signs of inflammation or evidence for immune response, which may not be revealed during regular medical evaluation, e.g. physical examination, hematology, and serum chemistry.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Madsen, Peter Teglberg; Wahlberg, Magnus

    2007-01-01

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

  17. Preliminary catalog of seabird colonies and photographic mapping of seabird colonies: Annual report

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This preliminary catalog identifies 339 seabird colonies lying along the North Pacific coast of Alaska between Cape Fairweather and Unimak Pass. Information is given...

  18. Seabird Nesting Colonies in Louisiana, Geographic NAD83, LSU (1997) [seabirds_LSU_1997

    Data.gov (United States)

    Louisiana Geographic Information Center — This is a point dataset for seabird nesting colonies derived from GPS locations in the field. The attributes of the habitat points are based upon visual assessment...

  19. 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.

  20. Malignant catarrhal fever virus identified in free-ranging musk ox (Ovibos moschatus) in Norway

    Science.gov (United States)

    To study the epizootiology of malignant catarrhal fever viruses (MCFV), sera and spleen samples collected in 2004-2011 from a free-ranging musk ox (Ovibos moschatus) population in Dovrefjell, Norway, were examined. Sera were tested for antibodies against MCFV by competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbe...

  1. 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 tort

  2. 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...

  3. 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 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.

  4. 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 tort

  5. 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 Mbandak...

  6. 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  

  7. Seabird metapopulations: searching for alternative breeding habitats

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schippers, P.; Snep, R.P.H.; Schotman, A.G.M.; Jochem, R.; Stienen, E.W.M.; Slim, P.A.

    2009-01-01

    Today, many seabird species nest in port areas, which are also necessary for human economic activity. In this paper, we evaluate, using a metapopulation model, the possibilities for creating alternative breeding sites for the Common Tern (Sterna hirundo) in the Rhine¿Meuse¿Scheldt estuary. We explor

  8. Masterplan Wind - Seabirds Cruise Report January 2011

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Witte, R.H.; Witte, L.

    2011-01-01

    This cruise report presents the seabird and marine mammal data collected during the 10th ‘fish egg and fish larvae’ survey on the Dutch Continental Shelf, in a series of 12 monthly surveys from April 2010 till March 2011.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin-Solano, Sarah; Carrillo-Bilbao, Gabriel A; Ramirez, William; Celi-Erazo, Maritza; Huynen, Marie-Claude; Levecke, Bruno; Benitez-Ortiz, Washington; Losson, Bertrand

    2017-12-01

    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 the

  10. The fear levels after transport of hens from cages and a free-range system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, G B; Connell, B J; Lambe, N R

    1998-01-01

    All end-of-lay hens must be transported from the production site to the site for slaughter, usually by road. The acts of being crated and transported are likely to be novel and potentially frightening. Frightened birds can be put into tonic immobility (TI), an unlearned, catatonic state, the duration of which is positively related to the fear level of the birds. Ninety ISA Brown free-range birds (in three groups of 30) and 90 caged ISA Brown birds (in similar groups) were transported (one group from cages and free-range per day) on a journey of 68 km (74 min approximately). On their return, each of the birds was subjected to TI. Although no significant differences were recorded between free-range and caged birds after they were transported (P = 0.087), in the comparison between the same birds after 7 wk, without transport, a significant difference in fear levels was observed (P birds were less frightened than the caged birds. No significant difference was ever found in fear levels for caged birds from different tiers. Handling and transport on this relatively short journey was apparently equally frightening for caged and free-range birds. It cannot be assumed that just because fear levels differ between free-range and caged birds, this difference will be apparent for all novel stimuli. If all birds, at all tiers, receive the same amount of human contact during the production period, there is no reason to expect differences to occur in fear levels of birds from different tiers.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaonan Zhao

    2016-01-01

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

  15. Colony Foundation in an Oceanic Seabird.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ignacio Munilla

    Full Text Available Seabirds are colonial vertebrates that despite their great potential for long-range dispersal and colonization are reluctant to establish in novel locations, often recruiting close to their natal colony. The foundation of colonies is therefore a rare event in most seabird species and little is known about the colonization process in this group. The Cory's shearwater (Calonectris diomedea is a pelagic seabird that has recently established three new colonies in Galicia (NE Atlantic thus expanding its distribution range 500 km northwards. This study aimed to describe the establishment and early progress of the new Galician populations and to determine the genetic and morphometric characteristics of the individuals participating in these foundation events. Using 10 microsatellite loci, we tested the predictions supported by different seabird colonization models. Possibly three groups of non-breeders, adding up to around 200 birds, started visiting the Galician colonies in the mid 2000's and some of them eventually laid eggs and reproduced, thus establishing new breeding colonies. The Galician populations showed a high genetic diversity and a frequency of private alleles similar to or even higher than some of the large historical populations. Most individuals were assigned to several Atlantic populations and a few (if any to Mediterranean colonies. Our study suggests that a large and admixed population is settling in Galicia, in agreement with predictions from island metapopulation models of colonization. Multiple source colonies imply that some birds colonizing Galicia were dispersing from very distant colonies (> 1500 km. Long-distance colonizations undertaken by relatively large and admixed groups of colonizers can help to explain the low levels of genetic structure over vast areas that are characteristic of most oceanic seabird species.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parker, Christine; Brunswick, Carly; Kotey, Jane

    2013-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  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. Evaluating two systems of poultry production: conventional and free-range

    OpenAIRE

    AMC Lima; IA Nääs

    2005-01-01

    The improvement in production technology was the major factor that lead Brazil to become the third largest poultry producer. The improvement was world´s based on the careful control of several aspects, including which nutrition and management (environment, health and rearing systems). Nowadays, the search for good welfare conditions is a global tendency in animal production. Concomitantly, an extensive production system of free-range broilers has been increasing in Brazil. This study ev...

  2. Endoparasites in cattle nearby tribal areas of free-ranging protected areas of Tamil Nadu state.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vimalraj, P G; Jayathangaraj, M G; Sridhar, R; Senthilkumar, T M A; Latchumikanthan, A

    2014-12-01

    Fresh dung samples from cattle nearby and tribal areas of free-ranging regions, Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, Anamalai Tiger Reserve and forest divisions of Sathyamangalam-Erode of Tamil Nadu state were examined for identification of endoparasitic infection. A total of 50 dung samples were collected and examination of samples revealed the presence of eggs of Strongyle, Strongyloides sp., amphistomes, Toxocara sp. and oocysts of Eimeria sp. The risk of parasitic disease transmission from domestic livestock to wild populations was discussed.

  3. Gammaretrovirus-specific antibodies in free-ranging and captive Namibian cheetahs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krengel, Annika; Cattori, Valentino; Meli, Marina L; Wachter, Bettina; Böni, Jürg; Bisset, Leslie R; Thalwitzer, Susanne; Melzheimer, Jörg; Jago, Mark; Hofmann-Lehmann, Regina; Hofer, Heribert; Lutz, Hans

    2015-06-01

    The cheetah population in Namibia is the largest free-ranging population in the world and a key population for research regarding the health status of this species. We used serological methods and quantitative real-time PCR to test free-ranging and captive Namibian cheetahs for the presence of feline leukemia virus (FeLV), a gammaretrovirus that can be highly aggressive in populations with low genetic diversity, such as cheetahs. We also assessed the presence of antibodies to other gammaretroviruses and the responses to a FeLV vaccine developed for domestic cats. Up to 19% of the free-ranging cheetahs, 27% of the captive nonvaccinated cheetahs, and 86% of the captive vaccinated cheetahs tested positive for FeLV antibodies. FeLV-antibody-positive free-ranging cheetahs also tested positive for Rauscher murine leukemia virus antibodies. Nevertheless, FeLV was not detectable by quantitative real-time PCR and no reverse transcriptase activity was detectable by product-enhanced reverse transcriptase assay in the plasma of cheetahs or the supernatants from cultures of peripheral blood mononuclear cells. The presence of antibodies to gammaretroviruses in clinically healthy specimens may be caused either by infection with a low-pathogenic retrovirus or by the expression of endogenous retroviral sequences. The strong humoral immune responses to FeLV vaccination demonstrate that cheetahs can respond to the vaccine and that vaccination against FeLV infection may be beneficial should FeLV infection ever become a threat, as was seen in Iberian lynx and Florida panthers. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2009-01-01

    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...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Nephrolithiasis in free-ranging North American river otter (Lontra canadensis) in North Carolina, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niemuth, Jennifer N; Sanders, Charles W; Mooney, Charles B; Olfenbuttel, Colleen; DePerno, Christopher S; Stoskopf, Michael K

    2014-03-01

    The North American river otter (Lontra canadensis) serves as an indicator species for environmental monitoring, is prized as a valuable furbearer, and is a popular display animal in zoologic collections. Nephrolithiasis has been reported as a frequent problem in other free-ranging and captive otter species but is rarely reported in North American river otters. In this study, we compared the prevalence of nephrolithiasis diagnosed using routine gross pathologic examination techniques with the use of computed tomography (CT) of excised kidneys. We also evaluated whether otter nephroliths could be accurately classified by their CT densities, and we examined the renal tissue uric acid concentrations in free-ranging otters in North Carolina, USA. Kidneys were collected from carcasses of legally trapped, free-ranging animals. Nephroliths were observed in 16.2% of the individuals (n = 229). Associations were found between age and nephrolith status and between capture location and nephrolith status (P = 0.026 and < 0.001, respectively). Computed tomography Hounsfield unit density measurements were not useful in determining nephrolith chemical composition in this study. Renal tissue uric acid concentrations were similar across genders, age groups, and stone status. The chemical composition of the nephroliths was determined by scanning electron microscopy-energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy to be calcium phosphate in the carbonate form.

  9. Hematology and serum clinical chemistry reference intervals for free-ranging Scandinavian gray wolves (Canis lupus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thoresen, Stein I; Arnemo, Jon M; Liberg, Olof

    2009-06-01

    Scandinavian free-ranging wolves (Canis lupus) are endangered, such that laboratory data to assess their health status is increasingly important. Although wolves have been studied for decades, most biological information comes from captive animals. The objective of the present study was to establish reference intervals for 30 clinical chemical and 8 hematologic analytes in Scandinavian free-ranging wolves. All wolves were tracked and chemically immobilized from a helicopter before examination and blood sampling in the winter of 7 consecutive years (1998-2004). Seventy-nine blood samples were collected from 57 gray wolves, including 24 juveniles (24 samples), 17 adult females (25 samples), and 16 adult males (30 samples). Whole blood and serum samples were stored at refrigeration temperature for 1-3 days before hematologic analyses and for 1-5 days before serum biochemical analyses. Reference intervals were calculated as 95% confidence intervals except for juveniles where the minimum and maximum values were used. Significant differences were observed between adult and juvenile wolves for RBC parameters, alkaline phosphatase and amylase activities, and total protein, albumin, gamma-globulins, cholesterol, creatinine, calcium, chloride, magnesium, phosphate, and sodium concentrations. Compared with published reference values for captive wolves, reference intervals for free-ranging wolves reflected exercise activity associated with capture (higher creatine kinase activity, higher glucose concentration), and differences in nutritional status (higher urea concentration).

  10. WEST NILE VIRUS ANTIBODY DECAY RATE IN FREE-RANGING BIRDS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKee, Eileen M; Walker, Edward D; Anderson, Tavis K; Kitron, Uriel D; Brawn, Jeffrey D; Krebs, Bethany L; Newman, Christina; Ruiz, Marilyn O; Levine, Rebecca S; Carrington, Mary E; McLean, Robert G; Goldberg, Tony L; Hamer, Gabriel L

    2015-07-01

    Antibody duration, following a humoral immune response to West Nile virus (WNV) infection, is poorly understood in free-ranging avian hosts. Quantifying antibody decay rate is important for interpreting serologic results and for understanding the potential for birds to serorevert and become susceptible again. We sampled free-ranging birds in Chicago, Illinois, US, from 2005 to 2011 and Atlanta, Georgia, US, from 2010 to 2012 to examine the dynamics of antibody decay following natural WNV infection. Using serial dilutions in a blocking enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, we quantified WNV antibody titer in repeated blood samples from individual birds over time. We quantified a rate of antibody decay for 23 Northern Cardinals (Cardinalis cardinalis) of 0.198 natural log units per month and 24 individuals of other bird species of 0.178 natural log units per month. Our results suggest that juveniles had a higher rate of antibody decay than adults, which is consistent with nonlinear antibody decay at different times postexposure. Overall, most birds had undetectable titers 2 yr postexposure. Nonuniform WNV antibody decay rates in free-ranging birds underscore the need for cautious interpretation of avian serology results in the context of arbovirus surveillance and epidemiology.

  11. Phylogenetic analysis of avian poxviruses among free-ranging birds of Virginia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Cary J; Feldman, Sanford H; Sleeman, Jonathan M

    2005-12-01

    Polymerase chain reaction was used to amplify a portion of the avian poxvirus core 4b gene of infected free-ranging birds that presented at the Wildlife Center of Virginia during the 2003 and early 2004 years. The species of bird infected were a great blue heron (Ardea herodias), two American crows (Corvus brachyrhyncos), two American robins (Turdus migratorius), two mourning doves (Zenaida macroura), a red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis), a blue-gray gnatcatcher (Polioptila caerulea), a northern mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos), a house finch (Carpodacus mexicanus), and a northern cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis). Phylogenetic analysis was performed using the consensus sequences determined for each avian case in Virginia in combination with avian poxvirus core 4b gene sequence from isolates previously described in Europe and that of vaccinia virus. Alignment of DNA sequences identified areas of point mutations and, in the case of a single mourning dove, the incorporation of a triplet of nucleotides. Maximum-likelihood analysis grouped the 2003-2004 Virginia avian poxviruses into a clade distinct from those reported in European free-ranging birds, with the exception of a single case in a mourning dove that clustered within one European clade. The cladogram that resulted from our analysis of the European isolates is in agreement with those previously published. This study identified a distinct clade of avian poxvirus unique from four clades previously described and associated with epornitics in free-ranging birds, where the core 4b gene DNA sequence has been the basis of comparison.

  12. 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.

  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. 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.

  15. What Pinnipeds Have to Say about Human Speech, Music, and the Evolution of Rhythm

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ravignani, Andrea; Fitch, W Tecumseh; Hanke, Frederike D; Heinrich, Tamara; Hurgitsch, Bettina; Kotz, Sonja A; Scharff, Constance; Stoeger, Angela S; de Boer, Bart

    2016-01-01

    Research on the evolution of human speech and music benefits from hypotheses and data generated in a number of disciplines. The purpose of this article is to illustrate the high relevance of pinniped research for the study of speech, musical rhythm, and their origins, bridging and complementing curr

  16. Metal distribution in tissues of free-range chickens near a lead-zinc mine in Kabwe, Zambia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yabe, John; Nakayama, Shouta M M; Ikenaka, Yoshinori; Muzandu, Kaampwe; Choongo, Kennedy; Mainda, Geoffrey; Kabeta, Matthew; Ishizuka, Mayumi; Umemura, Takashi

    2013-01-01

    Concentrations of Pb, Cd, and other metals in tissues of 17 free-range and 32 commercial broiler chickens from the Kabwe mining town in Zambia were determined. Mean concentrations of Pb and Cd exceeded maximum levels for human consumption in some organs including muscle (Pb only) in free-range chickens, in contrast to low levels in broiler chickens. Human consumers in Kabwe could be exposed to Pb and Cd in free-range chickens.

  17. Behavioral thermal tolerances of free-ranging rattlesnakes (Crotalus oreganus) during the summer foraging season.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putman, Breanna J; Clark, Rulon W

    2017-04-01

    Increasing temperature due to climate change is one of the greatest challenges for wildlife worldwide. Behavioral data on free-ranging individuals is necessary to determine at what temperatures animals modify activity as this would determine their capacity to continue to move, forage, and mate under altered thermal regimes. In particular, high temperatures could limit available surface activity time and time spent on fitness-related activities. Conversely, performance, such as feeding rate, can increase with temperature potentially having positive fitness effects. Here, we examine how the hunting behaviors of free-ranging Northern Pacific Rattlesnakes (Crotalus oreganus) associate with air temperature and body temperature. We continuously recorded snakes in the field using videography, capturing behaviors rarely considered in past studies such as movements in and out of refuge and strikes on prey. We found that as mean daily air temperature increased, hunting activity and the likelihood of hunting at night decreased, while the number of movements and distance moved per day increased. Snakes typically retreated to refuge before body temperatures reached 31°C. Body temperatures of snakes hunting on the surface were lower compared to temperatures of non-hunting snakes in refuge in the morning, while this relationship was inverted in the afternoon. Snake body size influenced the disparity of these temperatures. Finally, strike initiation and success occurred across a wide range of body temperatures, indicating hunting performance may not be strongly constrained by temperature. These results on the temperatures at which free-ranging rattlesnakes exhibit fitness-related behaviors could be valuable for understanding their vulnerabilities to future climates. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Noninvasive saliva collection techniques for free-ranging mountain gorillas and captive eastern gorillas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smiley, Tierra; Spelman, Lucy; Lukasik-Braum, Magdalena; Mukherjee, Jean; Kaufman, Gretchen; Akiyoshi, Donna E; Cranfield, Michael

    2010-06-01

    This study was designed to develop a simple, noninvasive method for saliva collection: a first step toward developing new diagnostic tests to survey gorillas for infectious diseases. The subjects included free-ranging mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei) in the Parc National des Volcans, Rwanda, and a group of orphan mountain and Grauer's gorillas (Gorilla heringei graueri) housed nearby in a temporary holding facility. Three collection methods were used to recover saliva from discarded forest food: swabbing, soaking, and washing. Saliva was also collected from orphan gorillas maintained in a captive setting by using dental ropes inside mesh bags. The presence of gorilla saliva in each sample was confirmed by using a salivary s-amylase assay and forensic press test paper. The recovery of gorilla DNA was verified by polymerase chain reaction by using primers specific to mountain and Grauer's gorillas. Of the three collection techniques used to recover saliva from forest food, directly swabbing plant bite marks was the most effective. Wild celery (Peucedanum linderi) provided for the most consistent saliva recovery and is eaten year round by mountain gorillas in Rwanda. This study shows that gorilla saliva can be recovered easily and noninvasively from known individual free-ranging gorillas by collecting pieces of wild celery discarded as the gorillas forage and from captive gorillas by offering them juice-soaked dental ropes inside mesh bags. Both methods can be used to recover gorilla DNA for genetic studies. Saliva collected from free-ranging and captive gorillas may prove to be a useful biologic sample for the development of new diagnostic tests and hormonal analysis.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  20. Anti Microbial Resistance Profile of E. coli isolates From Tropical Free Range Chickens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Okoli CI

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available Normal intestinal flora of humans and animals constitute enormous reservoir of resistance genes for potentially pathogenic bacteria and may serve as major indictors of selection pressure exerted by anti-microbial use in a given population. A study was conducted in September 2003 at 3 purposively selected peri-urban sites spread across 3 senatorial zones of Imo state, Nigeria to determines the anti-microbial resistance profile of commensal E. coli isolated from free range chickens. The isolates were screened for anti-microbial resistance profile against 10 antibiotics using the disc diffusion method. E. coli strains from local fowls, recorded 100 and 78.9% resistances against ampicillin and cotrimoxazole respectively, while resistance rates against ciprofloxacin, gentamycin and norfloxacin were 0.0, 5.3 and 5.3% respectively. Isolates from free-range cockerels recorded 100% resistance against norfloxacin, cotrimoxazole and ampicillin and 83.3% against nitrofurantoin. Similarly, isolates from old layers, recorded 100% resistance against nitrofurantoin, cotrimoxazole, tetracycline, chloramphenicol and ampicillin and 80% against nalidixic acid. Similar resistance trends were observed in E. coli isolates from free-range turkeys and broiler roosters against the inexpensive broad-spectrum first line antibiotics (ampicillin, nalidixic acid, cotrimoxazole, nitrofurantoin and chloramphenicol, although values varied slightly across poultry types. Resistances against gentamycin were consistently low in isolates from the different types of poultry. Twenty-nine resistance patterns were observed in the E. coli isolates with predominant patterns being distributed widely across poultry types indicating a striking diversity of resistance patterns in the areas.

  1. 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...... 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...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bredahl, Lone; Andersen, Lone Schreiber

    2002-01-01

    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......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...

  3. 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.

  4. Pansteatitis in a free-ranging red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, E; Mikaelian, I; Desnoyers, M; Fitzgerald, G

    1999-12-01

    A free-ranging juvenile female red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) that was unable to fly was admitted to a rehabilitation center and died 1 day later. Hematology and serum chemistry abnormalities included moderate regenerative anemia, elevated creatine kinase, and hyperphosphatemia. Necropsy revealed a generalized steatitis, and histology showed a necrotizing and granulomatous pansteatitis with intralesional pigment compatible with ceroid. There was also moderate diffuse myodegeneration, mild multifocal cardiomyopathy, and mild multifocal hepatic necrosis. These changes and lesions resemble those caused by vitamin E deficiency in mammals and fish-eating birds.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Philipsen, Kristian; Andersen, Esben Sloth

    illustrate that it has been difficult to combine the animal welfare aspects with other quality dimensions, eg, taste. This indicates that welfare characteristics cannot be added to the characteristics of standard pork. There are considerable trade-offs between various product characteristics. Animal welfare...... withdrawn from the Danish free-range pork market. 8. The Dutch system with an independent control organisation may be a paradigm or a standard for establishing an inspection system for credence goods. The Dutch system, therefore, seems to be more advanced than the other control systems with regard...

  6. TERATOMA OF THE OVARY IN A FREE-RANGING JAPANESE RACCOON DOG (NYCTEREUTES PROCYONOIDES VIVERRINUS).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshimura, Hisashi; Yamamoto, Masami; Moriya, Maiko; Endo, Tomohiko; Sugiura, Natsuko; Kato, Takuya; Matsuda, Yoko; Ishiwata, Toshiyuki; Kajigaya, Hiroshi; Kamiya, Shinji

    2017-03-01

    A young adult, female, free-ranging Japanese raccoon dog ( Nyctereutes procyonoides viverrinus) with scabies infection was found dead as a result of traumatic injuries presumed to reflect vehicular trauma. Necropsy showed a large solid mass located on the left ovarian region, occupying a third of the abdominal cavity. Histologically, the mass contained complex tissues derived from three germinal layers, with areas of cuboidal or columnar epithelium, keratinized squamous epithelium, bone, cartilage, and adipose tissue. This paper presents the first morphologic description of ovarian teratoma in a raccoon dog.

  7. Anthrax immunization of free-ranging Roan Antelope Hippotragus Equinus in the Kruger National Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. de Vos

    1973-07-01

    Full Text Available An aerial method of immunization is presented as afeasible means of vaccinating free-ranging roan antelope Hippotragus equinus against anthrax in the Kruger National Park. Themethod is described in detail and the results, obtained aftertwo consecutive years of application, are noted, tabulated andevaluated. A helicopter and a fixed wing aircraft were success-fully utilized in the location of widely dispersed roan antelopeherds and to bring the operator within effective firing rangeof the animal to be darted. A disposable projectile syringe,which simultaneously administers vaccine and effectively marksthe animal for later identification, is considered a vital part inthe successful implementation of the aerial method of immunization.

  8. Characterization of phocid herpesvirus-1 and -2 as putative alpha- and gamma-herpesviruses of North American and European pinnipeds.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    T.C. Harder (Timm); M. Harder; H. Vos; K. Kulonen; S. Kennedy-Stoskopf; B. Liess; M.J.G. Appel (Max); A.D.M.E. Osterhaus (Albert)

    1996-01-01

    textabstractTo study the relationships between herpesvirus recently isolated from different pinniped species, antigenic and genetic analyses were performed. First, herpesviruses isolated from North American harbour seals (Phoca vitulina), a Californian sea lion (Zalophus californianus) and a Europea

  9. Survival of captive and free-ranging Harlequin Ducks (Histrionicus histrionicus) following surgical liver biopsy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulcahy, Daniel M.; Esler, Daniel N.

    2010-01-01

    We measured intra- and postoperative mortality rates of captive and free-ranging Harlequin Ducks (Histrionicus histrionicus) undergoing surgical liver biopsy sampling for determination of the induction of cytochrome P4501A, a biomarker of oil exposure. Liver biopsies were taken from and radio transmitters were implanted into 157 free-ranging Harlequin Ducks over three winters (55 in 2000, 55 in 2001, and 47 in 2002). No birds died during surgery, but seven (4.5%) died during recovery from anesthesia (three in 2001 and four in 2002). None of the deaths could be attributed directly to the liver biopsy. Four of the 150 (2.7%) birds that were released died in the 2 wk period after surgery. All post-release deaths occurred in 2001; no birds died after release in 2000 or 2002. No mortalities of 36 captive birds occurred during surgery or recovery or in the 2 wk period following surgery. Hemorrhage was a minor problem with one captive bird. Surgical liver biopsies appear to be a safe procedure, but anesthetic complications may occur with overwintering ducks.

  10. Immunogenetic Variation and Differential Pathogen Exposure in Free-Ranging Cheetahs across Namibian Farmlands

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

    Background 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. Methodology/Principal Findings 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. Conclusions/Significance 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. PMID:23145096

  11. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  13. Evaluation of procedures for the conservation and culture of gastrointestinal parasites from free ranging primates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernando Nassar Montoya

    2005-05-01

    Full Text Available Obtaining good quality fecal samples from freeranging New World Primates is normally a slow and expensive task. So, it is necessary to ensure good sample handling for the optimisation of preservation and diagnosis. During some parasitological studies carried out by the Centro Araguatos, we obtained larvae from coprocultures and fecal samples preserved in a preservative (MIF. These procedures allowed us to study deeper the parasites of free-ranging monkeys. However, we have found problems: like the rapid desiccation of fecal samples in the coprocultures and some limitations on the implementation of the quantitative diagnostic procedures. This study evaluated the effect, use and limitations of using coprocultures and conserving the parasite eggs and cysts in MIF for the study of parasites in free-ranging New World Primates. The results show that it is possible to implement an efficient methodology for the conservation and parasitological analysis of fecal samples of New World Primates using both coprocultures and eggs conserved in MIF. This enhances the capacity of studies and improves diagnostic possibility. The larvae in the fecal samples show better growth in a proportion of fecal sample: substrate (sawdust of 1:1, in culturing periods ranging from 7 to 15 days. A good dilution of feces: MIF for the conservation of eggs and quists is 1:10.

  14. Denning habits of free-ranging dogs reveal preference for human proximity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sen Majumder, Sreejani; Paul, Manabi; Sau, Shubhra; Bhadra, Anindita

    2016-01-01

    Dens are crucial in the early development of many mammals, making den site selection an important component of parental care in such species. Resource availability and shelter from predators primarily govern den selection. Species inhabiting human-dominated landscapes typically den away from human disturbance, often shifting dens to avoid humans during the early life of their young. Domesticated dogs have evolved in human proximity over centuries, being bred and reared in human homes for generations. While pets rely on their owners for shelter and care, free-ranging dogs roam uncared, and typically whelp in dens. We conducted a study on 148 free-ranging dog dens in India to understand their denning habits. Distance from resources influenced den choice, but anthropogenic disturbance did not. Dens were found in areas of high human activity, and begging from humans was preferred over scavenging. A study on 15 pregnant females revealed that females actively searched for denning sites, rejecting several intermediate ones before selecting the final den. We propose that the obvious preference of dogs for denning close to humans is a behavioural adaptation that helps them to survive in the urban landscape, in spite of the high human induced mortality during the early life of pups. PMID:27535214

  15. Is the free-ranging jaguar (Panthera onca) a reservoir for Cytauxzoon felis in Brazil?

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

    This study investigated the occurrence of Cytauxzoon felis and Babesia spp. in free-ranging jaguars (Panthera onca), domestic dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) and domestic cats (Felis catus) from the Cerrado, Amazon and Pantanal biomes of Brazil. Blood samples were collected from 30 jaguars, 129 dogs and 22 cats for detection of the 18S rRNA genes of piroplasmids. All of the jaguars from the Pantanal (n=22) and Cerrado (n=4) and three of four jaguars from the Amazon were positive for C. felis, but no dogs or cats were positive for the agent. All of the jaguars and domestic cats were negative for Babesia spp., while dogs from the Cerrado (7.9%; 5/63) and Amazon (10.6%; 5/47) biomes tested positive for the hemoparasite. Cytauxzoon nucleotide sequences detected were closely related to C. felis; and Babesia nucleotide sequences showed 100% of identity with Babesia vogeli. Although the pathogenicity of Cytauxzoon spp. genotypes that circulate in Brazil is still unknown, free-ranging jaguars probably play an important role in the maintenance of C. felis in nature. In addition, even though there is no evidence of the circulation of Babesia spp. between jaguars and dogs, the presence of this hemoparasite should be monitored in jaguar populations. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  16. A survey of ectoparasites, cestodes and management of free-range indigenous chickens in rural Zimbabwe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukaratirwa, S; Hove, T

    2009-09-01

    A survey of ectoparasites, cestodes and husbandry aspects of indigenous free-range chickens was carried out in selected districts from the highveld and lowveld of rural Zimbabwe. The survey recorded infection with 4 species from the order Phthiraptera (lice), 1 species from the order Siphonaptera (fleas), 6 species from the order Acarina (ticks and mites) and 9 species of cestodes. Among the ectoparasites, the most prevalent was Menacanthus stramineus (87.7%) followed by Echidinophaga gallinacea (71.9%). Chickens in the Mazowe district had the highest number of ectoparasites species (10 of 11) followed by Goromonzi district (9 of 11) both these districts are situated in the highveld of Zimbabwe. The most prevalent cestode species was Raillietina tetragona (84.4%), followed by Raillietina echinobothrida (32.2%). Chickens in the Goromonzi district had the highest number of cestode species (7 of 9), followed by Mazowe district (one subgenus and 5 of 9). In all the districts sampled the main purpose of keeping free-range chickens was for meat for the household, with few households using the birds as a source of income. The majority of households kept their birds extensively with barely any appropriate housing, and supplementary feeding was only occasionally practised.

  17. A survey of ectoparasites, cestodes and management of free-range indigenous chickens in rural Zimbabwe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Mukaratirwa

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available A survey of ectoparasites, cestodes and husbandry aspects of indigenous free-range chickens was carried out in selected districts from the highveld and lowveld of rural Zimbabwe. The survey recorded infection with 4 species from the order Phthiraptera (lice, 1 species from the order Siphonaptera (fleas, 6 species from the order Acarina (ticks and mites and 9 species of cestodes. Among the ectoparasites, the most prevalent was Menacanthus stramineus (87.7 % followed by Echidinophaga gallinacea (71.9 %. Chickens in the Mazowe district had the highest number of ectoparasites species (10 of 11 followed by Goromonzi district (9 of 11 both these districts are situated in the highveld of Zimbabwe. The most prevalent cestode species was Raillietina tetragona (84.4 %, followed by Raillletina echinobothrida (32.2 %. Chickens in the Goromonzi district had the highest number of cestode species (7 of 9, followed by Mazowe district (one subgenus and 5 of 9. In all the districts sampled the main purpose of keeping free-range chickens was for meat for the household, with few households using the birds as a source of income. The majority of households kept their birds extensively with barely any appropriate housing, and supplementary feeding was only occasionally practised.

  18. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  20. Reproduction in free-ranging male Propithecus verreauxi: the hormonal correlates of mating and aggression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brockman, D K; Whitten, P L; Richard, A F; Schneider, A

    1998-02-01

    Endocrine studies of captive strepsirrhine primates suggest that physical environment and social factors mediate inter-individual variations in testicular function and serum testosterone (sT) in males. While these studies have made major contributions to our understanding of the individual proximate mechanisms influencing androgen activity in male strepsirrhines, none have investigated how these mechanisms work coincidentally in free-ranging populations. In this study we used fecal steroid analysis to examine androgen-behavior interactions associated with reproduction in free-ranging male Propithecus verreauxi. Behavioral and hormone data were collected from two social groups during the 1990-91 and 1991-92 breeding seasons at Beza Mahafaly, Madagascar. Solid phase and radioimmunoassay techniques were used to quantify testosterone (T) in 105 desiccated fecal samples collected weekly from seven males. Results suggest that 1) solid phase extraction and radioimmunoassay techniques were reliable and accurate methods for quantifying T in sifaka feces; 2) fecal T (fT) elevations spanned a minimum of 4 months, peak levels occurring 1 month prior to the January onset of the breeding season; 3) fecal T concentrations were influenced by developmental factors and, among mature males, social factors associated with rank, intergroup aggression, and group instability.

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

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    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.

  2. Evaluating two systems of poultry production: conventional and free-range

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    AMC Lima

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available The improvement in production technology was the major factor that lead Brazil to become the third largest poultry producer. The improvement was world´s based on the careful control of several aspects, including which nutrition and management (environment, health and rearing systems. Nowadays, the search for good welfare conditions is a global tendency in animal production. Concomitantly, an extensive production system of free-range broilers has been increasing in Brazil. This study evaluated in situ production indexes of two different commercial broiler productions, an intensive and conventional (farm A and a semi-extensive free-range production (farm B, in order to assess the relationship between productivity and management. It was observed that the physical environment in farm A presented higher temperatures and relative humidity. Based on the results, the production index was better in farm A than in farm B. It was not clear that the production index was related to inadequate welfare of broilers under the conventional rearing system.

  3. Genotypic characterization of ten microsatellite loci in two Brazilian free range (Caipira chicken lines

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    Mari Helen Pagani Possamai

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available This study aimed to investigate the genetic variability of two Brazilian free range (Caipira chickens lines using microsatellites analysis of ten loci. It was collected a total of 99 blood samples, which 49 were from Paraíso Pedrês (PP and 50 were from Rubro Negra (RN lines. The amplification of the DNA fragments was performed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR and the genotyping was conduct using ABI 3130 sequencer. The allele number variation was among 3 (LEI0254 to 32 (LEI0212 in the PP line, and 4 (LEI0254 to 31 (LEI0212 in the RN line. The allelic average per locus was 13.3 and 13.1 in the PP and RN lines, respectively. The average observed and the expected heterozygosity were 0.650 and 0.820 in the PP line, and 0.671 and 0.804 in the RN line. All of the analyzed loci were informative (PIC>0.5. These results indicate that these free-range animals have a high genetic variability, at least for the majority of the analyzed loci, and this genetic variation is higher than the commercial chickens and similar for the no-commercial birds

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

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

    2012-01-01

    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.

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

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    Aines Castro-Prieto

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

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

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    Steenkamp, G; Ferreira, S M; Bester, M N

    2007-06-01

    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.

  7. Histomoniasis outbreak in free-range chickens in semiarid Paraíba, Brazil

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    Jeann Leal Araújo

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available We describe an outbreak of histomoniasis in free-range chickens (Gallus gallus domesticus in the semiarid region of Paraíba State, Brazil. Juvenile chickens aged approximately 48 days showed disease over a 15-day period. Seven of 16 chickens showed yellow, watery stool, anorexia, lethargy, and death within 3-5 days of clinical illness. The mortality rate was 43.7%. The chickens were raised in a backyard with 12 adult birds that remained healthy. None of the chickens were vaccinated or dewormed. A necropsy on one deceased bird showed lesions confined to the cecum and liver. The left cecum was distended and had yellow, slightly elevated areas on the serosa. The liver was reddened with centrally depressed areas surrounded by a pale halo, which were distributed throughout the capsular surface and extended deep throughout the parenchyma. Microscopically, typhlitis and pyogranulomatous necrotizing hepatitis associated with numerous intralesional Histomonas trophozoites was observed. The birds were administered metronidazole and albendazole, which effectively controlled the histomoniasis. Although histomoniasis is rare in free-range poultry, it can occur and cause high mortality and significant economic losses.

  8. Blood lead concentrations in free-ranging Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus) from South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warner, Jonathan K; Combrink, Xander; Myburgh, Jan G; Downs, Colleen T

    2016-07-01

    Generally crocodilians have received little attention with regard to the effects of lead toxicity despite their trophic status as apex, generalist predators that utilize both aquatic and terrestrial habitats, thereby exposing them to a potentially wide range of environmental contaminants. During July-October 2010 we collected whole blood from 34 sub-adult and adult free-ranging Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus) from three separate populations in northeastern South Africa in order to analyze their blood lead concentrations (BPb). Concentrations ranged from below detectability (crocodile size and population sampled. On average, crocodiles had higher BPbs at Lake St Lucia than at Ndumo Game Reserve or Kosi Bay, which we attribute to lead sinker ingestion during normal gastrolith acquisition. No clinical effects of lead toxicosis were observed in these crocodiles, even though the highest concentration (960 μg/dL) we report represents the most elevated BPb recorded to date for a free-ranging vertebrate. Although we suggest adult Nile crocodiles are likely tolerant of elevated Pb body burdens, experimental studies on other crocodilian species suggest the BPb levels reported here may have harmful or fatal effects to egg development and hatchling health. In light of recent Nile crocodile nesting declines in South Africa we urge further BPb monitoring and ecotoxicology research on reproductive females and embryos.

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

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    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.

  10. Bacteremia in free-ranging Hawaiian green turtles, Chelonia mydas, with fibropapillomatosis

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    Work, T.M.; Balazs, G.H.; Wolcott, M.; Morris, Robert

    2003-01-01

    Past studies of free-ranging green turtles Chelonia mydas with fibropapillomatosis (FP) in Hawaii have shown that animals become immunosuppressed with increasing severity of this disease. Additionally, preliminary clinical examination of moribund turtles with FP revealed that some animals were also bacteraemic. We tested the hypothesis that bacteraemia in sea turtles is associated with the severity of FP. We captured free-ranging green turtles from areas in Hawaii where FP is absent, and areas where FP has been endemic since the late 1950s. Each turtle was given an FP severity score ranging from 0 (no tumours) to 3 (severely affected). A fifth category included turtles that were stranded ashore and moribund with FP. We found that the percentage of turtles with bacteraemia increased with the severity of FP, and that the majority of bacteria cultured were Vibrio spp. Turtles with severe FP were more susceptible to bactaeremia, probably in part due to immunosuppression. The pattern of bacteraemia in relation to severity of disease strengthens the hypothesis that immunosuppression is a sequel to FP.

  11. Bacteraemia in free-ranging Hawaiian green turtles Chelonia mydas with fibropapillomatosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Work, Thierry M; Balazs, George H; Wolcott, Mark; Morris, Robert

    2003-01-22

    Past studies of free-ranging green turtles Chelonia mydas with fibropapillomatosis (FP) in Hawaii have shown that animals become immunosuppressed with increasing severity of this disease. Additionally, preliminary clinical examination of moribund turtles with FP revealed that some animals were also bacteraemic. We tested the hypothesis that bacteraemia in sea turtles is associated with the severity of FP. We captured free-ranging green turtles from areas in Hawaii where FP is absent, and areas where FP has been endemic since the late 1950s. Each turtle was given an FP severity score ranging from 0 (no tumours) to 3 (severely affected). A fifth category included turtles that were stranded ashore and moribund with FP. We found that the percentage of turtles with bacteraemia increased with the severity of FP, and that the majority of bacteria cultured were Vibrio spp. Turtles with severe FP were more susceptible to bactaeremia, probably in part due to immunosuppression. The pattern of bacteraemia in relation to severity of disease strengthens the hypothesis that immunosuppression is a sequel to FP.

  12. Specialized use of two fingers in free-ranging aye-ayes (Daubentonia madagascariensis).

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    Lhota, Stanislav; Jůnek, Tomás; Bartos, Ludĕk; Kubĕna, Ales A

    2008-08-01

    The aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis) possesses a highly specialized hand with two fingers, the third and the fourth, being used in a way unparalleled by any other primate. We observed the use of the third and the fourth fingers in various activities in four free-ranging aye-ayes. We found that the thin third finger was used exclusively or preferably for tapping, inserting into the mouth (probably for cleaning the teeth) and probing for nectar, kernels and insects in bamboo, twigs and live wood. In contrast, the robust fourth finger was used preferably when eating jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus). When probing for invertebrates in soft plant tissues and in dead wood, both fingers were used in high proportions. To extract the contents from coconuts, the two fingers were apparently used for different tasks. From this small (686 observations), but unique, study of free-ranging aye-ayes, we conclude that the third finger appears to be specialized for use in tasks requiring high mobility, sensitivity and precision, whereas the fourth finger appears to be specialized for tasks requiring strength, scooping action and deep access.

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

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    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.

  14. Enhanced levels of dioxins in eggs from free range hens; a fast evaluation approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pussemier, Luc; Mohimont, Luc; Huyghebaert, André; Goeyens, Leo

    2004-08-08

    As a consequence of an initiative of the local authorities of the city of Antwerp (Belgium), dioxin levels were determined in eggs from free range hens owned by private owners in the Northern districts of Antwerp. The reasons for this survey stem from some fears that free range eggs could be contaminated by local environmental sources (e.g. soil, grass, earthworms) as a result of the presence in this area of intensive industrial and domestic activities. The analyses revealed high levels of PCDD/F in the home-produced eggs (average = 9.9pg WHO-TEQ per g of fat; n = 15). An evaluation of the available results has been carried out by the Scientific Committee of the Belgian Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain. From this evaluation, it appeared that the analysis of congener profiles was of limited use because all profiles were dominated by the OCDD congener, independently of the level of contamination. There were not enough indications allowing a causal link to be established between high dioxin levels in eggs and soil contamination and, on the other hand, it was assumed that other factors such as feeding habits, physiological state and egg laying rhythm of the hens could not be ruled out as potential causes of aggravation. A quick risk assessment led to the conclusion that the impact of this contamination is highly relevant for the consumer's health due to the important contribution of such home-produced eggs in the estimations of total body burden.

  15. Feeding behaviour of free-ranging walruses with notes on apparent dextrality of flipper use

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    Ehlme Göran

    2003-10-01

    four feeding behaviours observed are typical of walruses in general, although walruses in other parts of their range may have evolved other types of feeding behaviour. While based on small sample sizes both the underwater observations and skeletal measurements suggest lateralized limb use, which is the first time this has been reported in a pinniped.

  16. The global distribution of ammonia emissions from seabird colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riddick, S. N.; Dragosits, U.; Blackall, T. D.; Daunt, F.; Wanless, S.; Sutton, M. A.

    2012-08-01

    Seabird colonies represent a significant source of atmospheric ammonia (NH3) in remote maritime systems, producing a source of nitrogen that may encourage plant growth, alter terrestrial plant community composition and affect the surrounding marine ecosystem. To investigate seabird NH3 emissions on a global scale, we developed a contemporary seabird database including a total seabird population of 261 million breeding pairs. We used this in conjunction with a bioenergetics model to estimate the mass of nitrogen excreted by all seabirds at each breeding colony. The results combined with the findings of mid-latitude field studies of volatilization rates estimate the global distribution of NH3 emissions from seabird colonies on an annual basis. The largest uncertainty in our emission estimate concerns the potential temperature dependence of NH3 emission. To investigate this we calculated and compared temperature independent emission estimates with a maximum feasible temperature dependent emission, based on the thermodynamic dissociation and solubility equilibria. Using the temperature independent approach, we estimate global NH3 emissions from seabird colonies at 404 Gg NH3 per year. By comparison, since most seabirds are located in relatively cold circumpolar locations, the thermodynamically dependent estimate is 136 Gg NH3 per year. Actual global emissions are expected to be within these bounds, as other factors, such as non-linear interactions with water availability and surface infiltration, moderate the theoretical temperature response. Combining sources of error from temperature (±49%), seabird population estimates (±36%), variation in diet composition (±23%) and non-breeder attendance (±13%), gives a mid estimate with an overall uncertainty range of NH3 emission from seabird colonies of 270 [97-442] Gg NH3 per year. These emissions are environmentally relevant as they primarily occur as "hot-spots" in otherwise pristine environments with low anthropogenic

  17. Recent advances in the management of bovine tuberculosis in free-ranging wildlife.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Brien, Daniel J; Schmitt, Stephen M; Rudolph, Brent A; Nugent, Graham

    2011-07-05

    Established foci of Mycobacterium bovis (the causative agent of bovine tuberculosis [bTB]) in free-ranging wildlife are currently under various stages of management on three continents (Africa, Europe and North America) and in New Zealand. Other, as yet undiagnosed, foci seem likely to exist elsewhere. The complex roles that these wildlife foci play in the ecology of bTB remain among the greatest challenges facing bTB control globally. Conceptually, management of bTB in free-ranging wildlife can be thought of as progressing from the discovery of an outbreak through frequently overlapping stages of epidemiological characterization, initial control, simulation and forecasting, focused control, and verification of eradication. Surveillance in its various forms remains a critical component of assessment throughout. Since the Fourth International M. bovis Conference in 2005, research on management of bTB in free-ranging wildlife has encompassed such areas as the human dimensions of wildlife management, mitigation of bTB risks from wildlife on cattle farms, vaccine biology, and epidemiology, with a major contribution from simulation modeling. In order to advance the actual field management of bTB, however, research must be sufficiently grounded to aid development of practical, affordable and politically defensible management interventions which stand a reasonable chance of being implemented. The current management of two wildlife reservoirs of bTB, brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) in New Zealand, and white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in Michigan, USA, serve as contrasting examples of different wildlife management strategies aimed at achieving a common goal. In New Zealand, the importance of agricultural export markets and the status of the possum as a non-native pest have facilitated direct, aggressive management of the disease reservoir, resulting in considerable progress towards bTB freedom since 1994. In Michigan, the relative importance of the

  18. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groves, Peter J.; Rault, Jean-Loup

    2017-01-01

    Simple Summary Although the consumption of free-range chicken meat has increased, little is known about the ranging behaviour of meat chickens on commercial farms. Studies suggest range use is low and not all chickens access the range when given the opportunity. Whether ranging behaviour differs between individuals within a flock remains largely unknown and may have consequences for animal welfare and management. We monitored individual chicken ranging behaviour from four mixed sex flocks on a commercial farm across two seasons. Not all chickens accessed the range. We identified groups of chickens that differed in ranging behaviour (classified by frequency of range visits): chickens that accessed the range only once, low frequency ranging chickens and high frequency ranging chickens, the latter accounting for one-third to one half of all range visits. Sex was not predictive of whether a chicken would access the range or the number of range visits, but males spent more time on the range in winter. We found evidence that free-range chicken ranging varies between individuals within the same flock on a commercial farm. Whether such variation in ranging behaviour relates to variation in chicken welfare remains to be investigated. Abstract Little is known about broiler chicken ranging behaviour. Previous studies have monitored ranging behaviour at flock level but whether individual ranging behaviour varies within a flock is unknown. Using Radio Frequency Identification technology, we tracked 1200 individual ROSS 308 broiler chickens across four mixed sex flocks in two seasons on one commercial farm. Ranging behaviour was tracked from first day of range access (21 days of age) until 35 days of age in winter flocks and 44 days of age in summer flocks. We identified groups of chickens that differed in frequency of range visits: chickens that never accessed the range (13 to 67% of tagged chickens), low ranging chickens (15 to 44% of tagged chickens) that accounted for <15

  20. 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

    2017-01-01

    Simple Summary Understanding of how free-range laying hens on commercial farms utilize the outdoor space provided is limited. In order to optimise use of the range, it is important to understand whether hens vary in their ranging behaviour, both between and within individual hens. In our study, we used individual tracking technology to assess how hens in two commercial free-range flocks used the range and whether they varied in their use of the range. We assessed use of three areas at increasing distance from the shed; the veranda [0–2.4 m], close range [2.4–11.4 m], and far range [>11.4 m]. Most hens accessed the range every day (68.6% in Flock A, and 82.2% in Flock B), and most hens that ranged accessed all three areas (73.7% in Flock A, and 84.5% in Flock B). Hens spent half of their time outside in the veranda adjacent to the shed. We found that some hens within the flocks would range consistently (similar duration and frequency) daily, whereas others would range inconsistently. Hens that were more consistent in their ranging behaviour spent more time on the range overall than those that were inconsistent. These different patterns of range use should be taken into account to assess the implications of ranging for laying hens. Abstract 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

  1. Comparison of meat quality characteristics and oxidative stability between conventional and free-range chickens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Funaro, A; Cardenia, V; Petracci, M; Rimini, S; Rodriguez-Estrada, M T; Cavani, C

    2014-06-01

    The aim of this research was to evaluate quality traits and oxidative stability of meat products from free-range (FR) and conventionally (C) raised chickens as they actually reach consumers in the Italian retail market. Free-range female and male chickens (n = 1,500 + 1,500), medium growing ISA strain, were raised under commercial conditions for 56 (1.8 kg of live weight) and 70 d (3.1 kg of live weight), respectively; C female and male birds (n = 5,000 + 5,000) were a fast growing hybrid (Ross 708) and were separately raised for 39 (1.9 kg of live weight) and 50 d (3.1 kg of live weight), respectively. A total of 96 chickens (equally divided by production system and sex) were slaughtered in 2 separate sessions to obtain the main 2 commercial categories (rotisserie and cut-up, respectively). After slaughtering, 12 carcasses of each treatment group were randomly selected and used to assess quality properties, chemical composition, and oxidation stability of breast and leg meat. The C birds had dramatic higher carcass and breast meat yield, whereas FR had higher wing and leg yields. The FR birds exhibited higher water holding capacity in both breast and leg meat. Although shear force did not differ in breast meat, legs from FR birds were tougher. Fatty acid composition of FR breast and thigh meat of both categories were characterized by a higher polyunsaturated fatty acid n-6-/n-3 ratio. In general, a low lipid oxidation level (peroxide value < 1.3 mEq O2/kg of lipid and TBA reactive substances < 0.2 mg malondialdehyde/kg of sample) was found in breast and legs, regardless of the commercial category. However, the C system significantly increased peroxide value in rotisserie thigh meat, whereas FR led to a significantly higher TBA reactive substances in breast meat. Our results demonstrated that free range can modify the properties of chicken meat and also highlighted the importance of the bird genetic background to select nutritional strategies to improve meat

  2. 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.

  3. 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; Mech, L David; Windels, Steve K; Edwards, Andrew J

    2017-02-13

    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.

  4. Pesticide risk assessment in free-ranging bees is weather and landscape dependent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henry, Mickaël; Bertrand, Colette; Le Féon, Violette; Requier, Fabrice; Odoux, Jean-François; Aupinel, Pierrick; Bretagnolle, Vincent; Decourtye, Axel

    2014-07-10

    The risk assessment of plant protection products on pollinators is currently based on the evaluation of lethal doses through repeatable lethal toxicity laboratory trials. Recent advances in honeybee toxicology have, however, raised interest on assessing sublethal effects in free-ranging individuals. Here, we show that the sublethal effects of a neonicotinoid pesticide are modified in magnitude by environmental interactions specific to the landscape and time of exposure events. Field sublethal assessment is therefore context dependent and should be addressed in a temporally and spatially explicit way, especially regarding weather and landscape physiognomy. We further develop an analytical Effective Dose (ED) framework to help disentangle context-induced from treatment-induced effects and thus to alleviate uncertainty in field studies. Although the ED framework involves trials at concentrations above the expected field exposure levels, it allows to explicitly delineating the climatic and landscape contexts that should be targeted for in-depth higher tier risk assessment.

  5. Mycobacterium avium-related epizootic in free-ranging lesser flamingos in Kenya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kock, N D; Kock, R A; Wambua, J; Kamau, G J; Mohan, K

    1999-04-01

    An epizootic in free-ranging lesser flamingos (Phoeniconaias minor) in Kenya resulted in more than 18,500 deaths from August through mid-November 1993. Disease was concentrated along the shores of Rift Valley Lakes Bogoria and Nakuru (Kenya) and did not involve any of the other avian or mammalian species frequenting the lakes. Coincidental to the outbreak was a bloom of algae on Lake Bogoria, toxins from which were first suspected to be causative. Discrete necrotic and granulomatous lesions were often noted in spleen and liver, and Mycobacterium avium serovar I was isolated from both organs. Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa also were often recovered in pure culture from liver. Gross and histopathological evaluation of the cases disclosed signs of acute sepsis and also chronic, potentially life-threatening lesions of mycobacteriosis, primarily involving the spleen and liver. Lesions typical for algae toxicosis were not seen in any birds. Deaths were attributed to septicemia complicated in those affected, by mycobacteriosis.

  6. Hematology and plasma biochemistry reference range values for free-ranging desert tortoises in Arizona.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dickinson, Vanessa M; Jarchow, James L; Trueblood, Mark H

    2002-01-01

    Baseline values and ranges for 10 hematologic and 32 plasma chemistry parameters were analyzed for 36 free-ranging Sonoran desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizzi) collected in Yavapai and La Paz Counties (Arizona, USA) from 1990 to 1995. Tortoises were radio tagged from 1990 to 1994, and attempts were made to recapture them three times a year. Tortoises were weighed, measured, and chemically immobilized to collect blood for hematology and blood chemistry assessments. Tortoise biochemistry differed (P < 0.01) between sites and sexes and among seasons and years. Normal reference ranges for hematologic and plasma biochemistry parameters were determined. Seasonal and annual differences in hematology and blood chemistry were related to rainfall patterns, forage availability, and physiological condition.

  7. 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.

  8. First detection of sarcoptic mange in free-ranging wild boar (Sus scrofa) in Switzerland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haas, C; Origgi, F C; Akdesir, E; Batista Linhares, M; Giovannini, S; Mavrot, F; Casaubon, J; Ryser-Degiorgis, M-P

    2015-05-01

    In Switzerland sarcoptic mange is frequent in free-ranging wild carnivores but until recent years no cases had been recorded in wild ungulates. Since 2010, cases have been observed in wild boar in the cantons of Solothurn, Tessin and Thurgau. Here, we report the detection of mange-like skin lesions in wild boars by photo-trapping and the post-mortem findings in 6 culled animals presenting different stages of the disease. Potential sources of infection include mangy red foxes, outdoor domestic pigs and wild boars from surrounding countries. Disease spread in the wild boar population may become relevant not only for wildlife but also for domestic pig health in the future if piggeries' biosecurity is insufficient to prevent interactions with wild boar.

  9. Open Path Tracer Measurements of Methane Emissions from Free Ranging Cattle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffith, D. W.; Tonini, M.; Bryant, G. R.; Eckard, R.; Grainger, C.; McGinn, S. M.

    2006-12-01

    This paper addresses the need for more accurate and representative measurements of methane emissions from cattle in their natural environments. Improved measurements are or will be required to quantify methane emissions for national greenhouse gas budgets and future carbon trading schemes, and to assess the effectiveness of proposed mitigation strategies. We describe measurements of methane emissions from free- ranging cattle grazing in their natural outdoor environments in Australia and New Zealand. We employ a novel tracer method in which nitrous oxide is released at a known rate from fenceline tubing or canisters attached to individual cows, and the mixing ratios of methane, nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide are measured continuously and simultaneously downwind by open path FTIR spectroscopy. Correlations between methane, nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide can be used to infer the herd-average methane flux directly. Measurements will be compared with the more conventional SF6 ruminal tracer technique.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thais Oliveira Morgado

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

  11. Salmonellosis in a free-ranging population of javelinas (Pecari tajacu) in south central Arizona.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shender, Lisa A; Glock, Robert D; Spraker, Terry R

    2009-10-01

    The javelina, or collared peccary (Pecari tajacu), is indigenous to Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas in the United States and ranges throughout Latin America. From June 2004 to April 2005, an estimated 105 javelinas died in a mortality event that occurred in Tucson, Arizona, and neighboring areas. Clinical signs observed in sick animals included emaciation, dehydration, lethargy, and diarrhea. In addition, some animals showed labored breathing and hind limb weakness. We necropsied 34 animals, and enteritis was the most frequent clinical sign, followed by colitis, pulmonary congestion, and pneumonia. The only consistent findings were isolations of Clostridium perfringens type A and multiple Salmonella serotypes. Although it is likely that these javelinas ultimately succumbed to salmonellosis, it is unclear whether other unidentified underlying factors were involved. This is the first reported case of widespread salmonellosis in free-ranging javelinas.

  12. 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).

  13. 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 < 0.05). When the effect of time, body position, and age was controlled, median values for respiratory rate, lactate, and pH were better in rhinoceros that received butorphanol in the dart (P < 0.05). There was also a trend toward higher median values for SO2 and bicarbonate in rhinoceros receiving butorphanol in the dart. Intravenous administration of butorphanol resulted in significantly decreased median PaCO2 and heart rate in recumbent rhinoceros (P < 0.05) without changes in PaO2 between sample periods 1 and 2. However, 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John Odden

    Full Text Available 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.

  15. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hossein, S.

    2015-06-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K Pelícia

    2004-09-01

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

  18. Anti-Rickettsia spp. antibodies in free-ranging and captive capybaras from southern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernanda S. Fortes

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Capybaras (Hydrochaeris hydrochaeris are among the main hosts of Amblyomma spp. ticks, which is able to transmit Rickettsia species to human beings and animals. Since they are often infested with potential vector ticks, capybaras may be used as sentinels for rickettsiosis, such as the Brazilian Spotted Fever. The aim of the present study was to determine the prevalence of antibodies against Rickettsia spp. using the indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA in 21 free-ranging and 10 captive animals from the Zoological Park of the 'Bela Vista Biological Sanctuary' (BVBS, Itaipu Binational, Foz do Iguaçu, Southern Brazil. Antigens of six rickettsial species already identified in Brazil (Rickettsia rickettsii, R. parkeri, R. bellii, R. rhipicephali, R. amblyommii and R. felis were used for IFA. Ticks from each capybara were collected for posterior taxonomic identification. A total of 19 (61.3% samples reacted to at least one of tested species. Seropositivity was found in 14 (45.2%, 12 (38.7%, 5 (16.1%, 4 (12.9%, 3 (9.7% and 3 (9.7% animals for R. rickettsii, R. bellii, R. parkeri, R. amblyommii, R. felis and R. rhipicephali, respectively. Two captive capybaras presented suggestive titers of R. rickettsii infection and one sample showed homologous reaction to R. parkeri. Only one free-ranging capybara presented evidence R. bellii infection. Ticks collected on capybaras were identified as Amblyomma dubitatum e Amblyomma sp. Results evidenced the rickettsial circulation in the area, suggesting a potential role of capybaras on bacterial life cycle.

  19. Photographic identification of individuals of a free-ranging, small terrestrial vertebrate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Treilibs, Claire E; Pavey, Chris R; Hutchinson, Mark N; Bull, C Michael

    2016-02-01

    Recognition of individuals within an animal population is central to a range of estimates about population structure and dynamics. However, traditional methods of distinguishing individuals, by some form of physical marking, often rely on capture and handling which may affect aspects of normal behavior. Photographic identification has been used as a less-invasive alternative, but limitations in both manual and computer-automated recognition of individuals are particularly problematic for smaller taxa (photographic identification for individuals of a free-ranging, small terrestrial reptile using (a) independent observers, and (b) automated matching with the Interactive Individual Identification System (I(3)S Pattern) computer algorithm. We tested the technique on individuals of an Australian skink in the Egernia group, Slater's skink Liopholis slateri, whose natural history and varied scale markings make it a potentially suitable candidate for photo-identification. From 'photographic captures' of skink head profiles, we designed a multi-choice key based on alternate character states and tested the abilities of observers - with or without experience in wildlife survey - to identify individuals using categorized test photos. We also used the I(3)S Pattern algorithm to match the same set of test photos against a database of 30 individuals. Experienced observers identified a significantly higher proportion of photos correctly (74%) than those with no experience (63%) while the I(3)S software correctly matched 67% as the first ranked match and 83% of images in the top five ranks. This study is one of the first to investigate photo identification with a free-ranging small vertebrate. The method demonstrated here has the potential to be applied to the developing field of camera-traps for wildlife survey and thus a wide range of survey and monitoring applications.

  20. Aleutian mink disease virus in free-ranging mink from Sweden.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara Persson

    Full Text Available 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. Associations between being AMDV infected (defined as positive for both viral DNA and antibodies and the weight of the spleen, liver, kidneys, adrenal glands and body condition were calculated and the sequences of ten AMDV isolates were analysed in order to characterize the genetic relationships. In total, 46.1% of the mink were positive for AMDV antibodies and 57.6% were positive for AMDV DNA. Twenty-two percent of the mink tested on both tests (n = 133 had dissimilar results. The risk of having AMDV antibodies or being positive for AMDV DNA clearly increased with age and the majority of the mink that were two years or older were infected. Few macroscopic changes were found upon necropsy. However, the relative weight of the spleen was sexually dimorphic and was found to be slightly, but significantly (p = 0.006, heavier in AMDV infected male mink than uninfected. No association between AMDV infection and body condition, weight of the kidneys, liver or adrenal glands were found. Several different strains of AMDV were found across the country. Two of the AMDV sequences from the very north of Sweden did not group with any of the previously described groups of strains. In summary, AMDV seems to be prevalent in wild mink in Sweden and may subtly influence the weight of the spleen.

  1. Aleutian mink disease virus in free-ranging mink from Sweden.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Persson, Sara; Jensen, Trine H; Blomström, Anne-Lie; Appelberg, Mia Tjernström; Magnusson, Ulf

    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. Associations between being AMDV infected (defined as positive for both viral DNA and antibodies) and the weight of the spleen, liver, kidneys, adrenal glands and body condition were calculated and the sequences of ten AMDV isolates were analysed in order to characterize the genetic relationships. In total, 46.1% of the mink were positive for AMDV antibodies and 57.6% were positive for AMDV DNA. Twenty-two percent of the mink tested on both tests (n = 133) had dissimilar results. The risk of having AMDV antibodies or being positive for AMDV DNA clearly increased with age and the majority of the mink that were two years or older were infected. Few macroscopic changes were found upon necropsy. However, the relative weight of the spleen was sexually dimorphic and was found to be slightly, but significantly (p = 0.006), heavier in AMDV infected male mink than uninfected. No association between AMDV infection and body condition, weight of the kidneys, liver or adrenal glands were found. Several different strains of AMDV were found across the country. Two of the AMDV sequences from the very north of Sweden did not group with any of the previously described groups of strains. In summary, AMDV seems to be prevalent in wild mink in Sweden and may subtly influence the weight of the spleen.

  2. Archaeofaunal insights on pinniped-human interactions in the northeastern Pacific

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gifford-Gonzales, D; Newsome, S; Koch, P; Guilderson, T; Snodgrass, J; Burton, R

    2004-02-07

    Human exploitation of pinnipeds has considerable antiquity but shows increasing impacts on population numbers in the Holocene. Pinnipeds are a rich source of fat as well as protein. A few well-documented cases of regional extirpation of seals and sea lions by non-industrial peoples exist. The northeastern Pacific region, from southern California to Alaska, has yielded archaeological evidence for distributions and abundances of eared seals that differs markedly from historically documented biogeography. This is especially true of the northern fur seal (Callorhinus ursinus), among the most common pinnipeds in many archaeological sites from the Santa Barbara Channel area through to Kodiak Islands. This chapter reviews contemporary eared seal biogeography, evidence for the earlier timing and extent, of occurrence of northern fur seals along the northeastern Pacific coast, zooarchaeological and isotopic evidence for their foraging and probable maintenance of rookeries in lower latitudes, and for their disappearance from the southernmost part of their ancient distribution well before European contact. It also reviews ongoing debates over the behavioral ecology of ancient fur seals and over humans role in contributing to their disappearance.

  3. The biogeography of globally threatened seabirds and island conservation opportunities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spatz, Dena R; Newton, Kelly M; Heinz, Reina; Tershy, Bernie; Holmes, Nick D; Butchart, Stuart H M; Croll, Donald A

    2014-10-01

    Seabirds are the most threatened group of marine animals; 29% of species are at some risk of extinction. Significant threats to seabirds occur on islands where they breed, but in many cases, effective island conservation can mitigate these threats. To guide island-based seabird conservation actions, we identified all islands with extant or extirpated populations of the 98 globally threatened seabird species, as recognized on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List, and quantified the presence of threatening invasive species, protected areas, and human populations. We matched these results with island attributes to highlight feasible island conservation opportunities. We identified 1362 threatened breeding seabird populations on 968 islands. On 803 (83%) of these islands, we identified threatening invasive species (20%), incomplete protected area coverage (23%), or both (40%). Most islands with threatened seabirds are amenable to island-wide conservation action because they are small (57% were <1 km(2) ), uninhabited (74%), and occur in high- or middle-income countries (96%). Collectively these attributes make islands with threatened seabirds a rare opportunity for effective conservation at scale. © 2014 Society for Conservation Biology.

  4. Seabird mortality induced by land-based artificial lights.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez, Airam; Holmes, Nick D; Ryan, Peter G; Wilson, Kerry-Jayne; Faulquier, Lucie; Murillo, Yovana; Raine, André F; Penniman, Jay F; Neves, Verónica; Rodríguez, Beneharo; Negro, Juan J; Chiaradia, André; Dann, Peter; Anderson, Tracy; Metzger, Benjamin; Shirai, Masaki; Deppe, Lorna; Wheeler, Jennifer; Hodum, Peter; Gouveia, Catia; Carmo, Vanda; Carreira, Gilberto P; Delgado-Alburqueque, Luis; Guerra-Correa, Carlos; Couzi, François-Xavier; Travers, Marc; Corre, Matthieu Le

    2017-10-01

    Artificial lights at night cause high mortality of seabirds, one of the most endangered groups of birds globally. Fledglings of burrow-nesting seabirds, and to a lesser extent adults, are attracted to and then grounded (i.e., forced to land) by lights when they fly at night. We reviewed the current state of knowledge of seabird attraction to light to identify information gaps and propose measures to address the problem. Although species in families such as Alcidae and Anatidae can be grounded by artificial light, the most affected seabirds are petrels and shearwaters (Procellariiformes). At least 56 species of Procellariiformes, more than one-third of them (24) threatened, are subject to grounding by lights. Seabirds grounded by lights have been found worldwide, mainly on oceanic islands but also at some continental locations. Petrel breeding grounds confined to formerly uninhabited islands are particularly at risk from light pollution due to tourism and urban sprawl. Where it is impractical to ban external lights, rescue programs of grounded birds offer the most immediate and employed mitigation to reduce the rate of light-induced mortality and save thousands of birds every year. These programs also provide useful information for seabird management. However, these data are typically fragmentary, biased, and uncertain and can lead to inaccurate impact estimates and poor understanding of the phenomenon of seabird attraction to lights. We believe the most urgently needed actions to mitigate and understand light-induced mortality of seabirds are estimation of mortality and effects on populations; determination of threshold light levels and safe distances from light sources; documentation of the fate of rescued birds; improvement of rescue campaigns, particularly in terms of increasing recovery rates and level of care; and research on seabird-friendly lights to reduce attraction. © 2017 Society for Conservation Biology.

  5. Endoscopy as a novel method for assessing endoparasite burdens in free-ranging European shags (Phalacrocorax aristotelis)

    OpenAIRE

    2013-01-01

    1. Parasites are considered to be a key driver of evolutionary processes in wild animal populations. However, assessing host-endoparasite burdens non-destructively is problematic. Collection of faecal samples can be difficult, and faecal egg counts may not always be a reliable indicator of infection intensity. 2. Here we report on endoscopy as a method for assessing natural burdens of nematode parasites Contracaecum rudolphii Hartwich, 1964, in a wild seabird, the European shag (Phalacroco...

  6. 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...

  7. Field test of a paradigm: hysteresis of heart rate in thermoregulation by a free-ranging lizard (Pogona barbata).

    OpenAIRE

    Grigg, G C; Seebacher, F.

    1999-01-01

    The discovery that changes in heart rate and blood flow allow some reptiles to heat faster than they cool has become a central paradigm in our understanding of reptilian thermoregulation. However, this hysteresis in heart rate has been demonstrated only in simplistic laboratory heating and cooling trials, leaving its functional significance in free-ranging animals unproven. To test the validity of this paradigm, we measured heart rate and body temperature (Tb) in undisturbed, free-ranging bea...

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Infanticide risk and infant defence in multi-male free-ranging sooty mangabeys, Cercocebus atys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fruteau, Cécile; Range, Friederike; Noë, Ronald

    2010-01-01

    For years, infanticide by males was thought to be unlikely in multi-male primate species. Recent studies have, however, presented evidence of infanticide in such species and a recent model by Broom and colleagues predicts that males' age and rank influence the occurrence of infanticide: youngest and highest-ranking immigrant males are more likely to commit infanticide than their older and lower-ranking counterparts if putative fathers fail to protect infants. I collected data on adult free-ranging sooty mangabey females in the Taï National Park, Ivory Coast, over 11 months including a birth and a mating season. Infanticide had been previously reported in captivity for this species, but not in the wild. Several males entered the group prior to and during the mating season. As predicted by the model, only the more dominant immigrant ones attacked mother-infant pairs significantly more often than did other males. Mothers often reacted with counter-attacks. Potential fathers guarded and supported infants and mothers throughout the period of infant vulnerability. Furthermore, as only one of seven infants died despite 136 observed attacks on mother-infant pairs and unattended infants by immigrant males, we conclude that cooperation between putative fathers and mothers represents an effective protection against infanticide.

  11. Sheep-associated malignant catarrhal fever in free-ranging moose (Alces alces) in Saskatchewan, Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neimanis, Aleksija S; Hill, Janet E; Jardine, Claire M; Bollinger, Trent K

    2009-01-01

    Malignant catarrhal fever (MCF) is a sporadic disease of artiodactyls caused by several viruses in the Gammaherpesvirinae. We report two cases of MCF in free-living moose (Alces alces) from Saskatchewan. One was a thin, dehydrated, adult male found recumbent in 2006. At necropsy, ulcers were found in the intestine, bladder, and corneas. Microscopically, there was lymphocytic vasculitis and perivasculitis in many organs with infrequent fibrinoid necrosis. Ovine herpes virus-2 (OHV-2) was identified by polymerase chain reaction. A segment of the herpesviral DNA polymerase gene was 99% identical to published OHV-2 sequences. During a retrospective search of earlier cases, a female moose with lymphoplasmacytic meningoencephalitis examined in 2003 was identified and OHV-2 was amplified from paraffin-embedded tissues from this animal. We believe this to be the first description of MCF in free-ranging moose in North America. Infection requires contact with infected sheep or goats, and MCF in moose may become more prevalent as moose distribution continues to expand into agricultural prairie.

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  14. Tungiasis in a free-ranging jaguar (Panthera onca) population in Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Widmer, Cynthia E; Azevedo, Fernando C C

    2012-03-01

    Tungiasis is an ectoparasitic disease caused by fleas of the genus Tunga. The disease is reported to occur mostly in human populations. In wildlife, however, the occurrence and impact of this disease remains uncertain. We captured and examined 12 free-ranging jaguars for the presence of Tunga penetrans in the Pantanal region of Mato Grosso do Sul state, Brazil. Tungiasis prevalence was 100% in the population; lesions were confined to the jaguar's paws. T. penetrans was identified based on the characteristics of the embedded fleas and the morphological identification of a collected free-living flea. The intensity and stage of infestation varied between individual animals. However, in general, all captured jaguars were in good health. The 100% prevalence of tungiasis may be related to the fact that all captures were performed during the dry season. Their high ecological requirements for space make jaguars potential disseminators of T. penetrans in the Pantanal region. Because cattle ranching and ecotourism are the main economic activities in the Pantanal, further studies should evaluate the risks of tungiasis to human and animal health. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of tungiasis in jaguars.

  15. Parasites of free-ranging small canids and felids in the Bolivian Chaco.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fiorello, Christine V; Robbins, Richard G; Maffei, Leonardo; Wade, Susan E

    2006-06-01

    Parasite surveys of free-ranging wildlife provide important information for monitoring population health. Between March 2001 and March 2003, we sampled 10 ocelots (Leopardus pardalis), eight Geoffroy's cats (Oncifelis geoffroyi), a jaguarundi (Herpailurus yaguarondi), five pampas foxes (Pseudalopex gymnocercus), and three crab-eating foxes (Cerdocyon thous) at three sites in the Bolivian Chaco. The objective of the study was to survey the parasite fauna of these carnivores and compare prevalence of parasites among the sites. The parasite community of these carnivores was diverse, with representatives from eight genera of nematodes, two families of cestodes, two protozoan species, and six arthropod species. Fecal parasites identified from 12 of the 13 felids and five of the six canids examined included Aelurostrongylus abstrusus, Ancylostoma tubaeforme, Uncinaria sp., Crenosoma sp., Toxocara cati, Spirurida, Capillaria aerophila, Spirometra sp., Taeniidae, and Cystoisospora sp. Four tick species, Amblyomma parvum, A. tigrinum, A. ovale, and A. cajennense, and two flea species, Pulex irritans and Delostichus phyllotis, were identified. Two crab-eating foxes had serologic evidence of heartworm disease (HWD). Antibodies against Toxoplasma gondii were found in 15 of 26 animals. Although HWD was found only in canids inside the national park, parasite prevalence did not appear to differ among sites, and no evidence was found of parasite spillover from domestic to wild carnivores.

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-16

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

  18. 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.

  19. Thyroid hormone concentrations in captive and free-ranging West Indian manatees (Trichechus manatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortiz, R M; MacKenzie, D S; Worthy, G A

    2000-12-01

    Because thyroid hormones play a critical role in the regulation of metabolism, the low metabolic rates reported for manatees suggest that thyroid hormone concentrations in these animals may also be reduced. However, thyroid hormone concentrations have yet to be examined in manatees. The effects of captivity, diet and water salinity on plasma total triiodothyronine (tT(3)), total thyroxine (tT(4)) and free thyroxine (fT(4)) concentrations were assessed in adult West Indian manatees (Trichechus manatus). Free-ranging manatees exhibited significantly greater tT(4) and fT(4) concentrations than captive adults, regardless of diet, indicating that some aspect of a captive existence results in reduced T(4) concentrations. To determine whether this reduction might be related to feeding, captive adults fed on a mixed vegetable diet were switched to a strictly sea grass diet, resulting in decreased food consumption and a decrease in body mass. However, tT(4) and fT(4) concentrations were significantly elevated over initial values for 19 days. This may indicate that during periods of reduced food consumption manatees activate thyroid-hormone-promoted lipolysis to meet water and energetic requirements. Alterations in water salinity for captive animals did not induce significant changes in thyroid hormone concentrations. In spite of lower metabolic rates, thyroid hormone concentrations in captive manatees were comparable with those for other terrestrial and marine mammals, suggesting that the low metabolic rate in manatees is not attributable to reduced circulating thyroid hormone concentrations.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  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. Campylobacteriosis, salmonellosis, and shigellosis in free-ranging human-habituated mountain gorillas of Uganda.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nizeyi, J B; Innocent, R B; Erume, J; Kalema, G R; Cranfield, M R; Graczyk, T K

    2001-04-01

    For conservation purposes and due to growing ecotourism, free-ranging mountain gorillas (Gorilla gorilla beringei) have been habituated to humans. Fecal specimens (n = 62) collected in January 1999 from mountain gorillas of the Bwindi and Mgahinga National Parks, Uganda, were tested for Campylobacter spp., Salmonella spp., and Shigella spp., and the overall prevalence of infection was 19%, 13%, and 6%, respectively. The prevalence of positive specimens was not related to the year of habituation of a gorilla group to humans. Campylobacter spp., Salmonella, and Shigella spp. infections were not distributed equally among the age classes of gorillas; most of the enteropathogens (80%), and all Shigella spp. organisms, S. sonnei, S. boydii, and S. flexneri, were isolated from subadults and adult gorillas with ages ranging from 6.0 to 11.9 yr. The prevalence of Campylobacter spp. and Salmonella spp. infections among human-habituated gorillas has doubled during the last 4 yr, and isolation of Shigella spp. for the first time from mountain gorillas, may indicate enhanced anthropozoonotic transmission of these enteropathogens.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  5. Selfish mothers indeed! Resource-dependent conflict over extended parental care in free-ranging dogs.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

    Parent-offspring conflict (POC) theory provides an interesting premise for understanding social dynamics in facultatively social species. In free-ranging dogs, mothers increase conflict over extended parental care with their pups beyond the weaning stage. In this study, we investigated whether resource quality affects POC in the dogs that typically live in a highly competitive environment as scavengers. We built a theoretical model to predict the alternative options available to the mother in the context of food sharing with her pups when protein-rich food (meat) is provided, as compared to carbohydrate-rich food (biscuits). We fit the mothers' response from experimental data to the model and show that the mothers choose a selfish strategy, which can in turn ensure higher lifetime reproductive success, while depriving the current litter access to better resources. These results have interesting implications for understanding the social dynamics of the dogs, and the emergence of facultative sociality in a species that evolved from strongly social ancestors. We speculate that the tendency of increased conflict in resource-rich conditions might have driven the process of domestication in the ancestors of dogs which defected from their groups in favour of richer resources around human settlements.

  6. Body signals during social play in free-ranging rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta): A systematic analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yanagi, Akie; Berman, Carol M

    2014-02-01

    Social play involves one of the most sophisticated types of communication, that is, the use of play signals. Most primate research on play signals has focused on the use of the play face. However, some species appear to exhibit a variety of play signals. For example, rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) have been reported to use body movements or postures that might have signal value during social play, in addition to the play face. However, it is not clear whether these body signals actually meet several criteria necessary to label them as "play signals." Here we examine the forms and possible functions of seven candidate signals that we observed exclusively during social play contexts among free-ranging rhesus monkeys on Cayo Santiago. We aim to (1) distinguish them from actual play behavior (play involving contact or chasing) using loglinear analysis and (2) determine whether they predict playful behavior using modified PC-MC methods. Two candidate signals did not resemble any behaviors used in actual play. The other five signals contained elements that lasted longer or increased their conspicuousness over similar play behaviors, suggesting ritualized characteristics. Youngsters were likely to initiate contact or chasing play significantly sooner after candidate signals than in their absence. Thus, these candidate signals appear to meet critical criteria of signals that promote, moderate or facilitate play. As such, these findings open the door to questions about why multiple play signals have evolved. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Henry J. Harlow

    2010-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-06-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara A Caspers

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

  14. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julia Angélica Gonçalves Silveira

    2016-12-01

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

  16. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MJB Santos

    2014-03-01

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

  1. [Proposal] Legacy seabird monitoring data inventory, compilation, and standardization

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Population data on seabirds are essential for conservation of those species, and are widely used as indicators of change in marine ecosystems. Alaska Maritime,...

  2. Effects of oil and oil burn residues on seabird feathers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fritt-Rasmussen, Janne; Linnebjerg, Jannie Fries; Sørensen, Martin X.

    2016-01-01

    It is well known, that in case of oil spill, seabirds are among the groups of animals most vulnerable. Even small amounts of oil can have lethal effects by destroying the waterproofing of their plumage, leading to loss of insulation and buoyancy. In the Arctic these impacts are intensified....... To protect seabirds, a rapid removal of oil is crucial and in situ burning could be an efficient method. In the present work exposure effects of oil and burn residue in different doses was studied on seabird feathers from legally hunted Common eider (Somateria mollissima) by examining changes in total weight...... of the feather and damages on the microstructure (Amalgamation Index) of the feathers before and after exposure. The results of the experiments indicate that burn residues from in situ burning of an oil spill have similar or larger fouling and damaging effects on seabird feathers, as compared to fresh oil....

  3. Effects of oil and oil burn residues on seabird feathers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fritt-Rasmussen, Janne; Linnebjerg, Jannie Fries; Sørensen, Martin X; Brogaard, Nicholas L; Rigét, Frank F; Kristensen, Paneeraq; Jomaas, Grunde; Boertmann, David M; Wegeberg, Susse; Gustavson, Kim

    2016-08-15

    It is well known, that in case of oil spill, seabirds are among the groups of animals most vulnerable. Even small amounts of oil can have lethal effects by destroying the waterproofing of their plumage, leading to loss of insulation and buoyancy. In the Arctic these impacts are intensified. To protect seabirds, a rapid removal of oil is crucial and in situ burning could be an efficient method. In the present work exposure effects of oil and burn residue in different doses was studied on seabird feathers from legally hunted Common eider (Somateria mollissima) by examining changes in total weight of the feather and damages on the microstructure (Amalgamation Index) of the feathers before and after exposure. The results of the experiments indicate that burn residues from in situ burning of an oil spill have similar or larger fouling and damaging effects on seabird feathers, as compared to fresh oil.

  4. Mercury levels in seabirds in the Gulf of Maine

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — We conducted a pilot study to screen mercury (Hg) levels in Gulf of Maine seabirds in an effort to determine which species are most at risk, are the most appropriate...

  5. Effects of ship traffic on seabirds in offshore waters: implications for marine conservation and spatial planning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwemmer, Philipp; Mendel, Bettina; Sonntag, Nicole; Dierschke, Volker; Garthe, Stefan

    2011-07-01

    Most anthropogenic influences on marine ecosystems, except for river- or terrestrial-borne pollution, involve some sort of vessel activity. Increasing anthropogenic activities mean that many countries are being forced to develop spatial planning schemes, while at the same time implementing conservation sites for sensitive species at sea. The effects of ship traffic on seabirds sensitive to human disturbance are currently too poorly understood to allow for the development of proper planning and conservation guidelines. We therefore used aerial surveys and experimental disturbance to elucidate the effects of passing ships on the distribution patterns, habitat loss, and species-specific flight reactions of birds, as well as the potential for habituation. Loons (Gavia spp.) showed clear avoidance of areas with high shipping intensity. Flush distances of four sea duck species differed significantly, with the longest distances recorded for Common Scoters (Melanitta nigra) and the shortest for Common Eiders (Somateria mollissima). Flush distance was positively related to flock size. Among all the sea duck species studied, the duration of temporary habitat loss was longest for Common Scoters. We found indications of habituation in sea ducks within areas of channeled traffic. However, it is questionable if habituation to free-ranging ships is likely to occur, because of their unpredictable nature. We therefore recommend that spatial planning should aim to channel ship traffic wherever possible to avoid further habitat fragmentation and to allow for habituation, at least in some species. Information on the effects of shipping on other seabird species and during different periods of the year is urgently needed, together with information on the effects of different types of boats, including recreational and fishing vessels.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bettina Wachter

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

  7. 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.

  8. Individual analyses of Levy walk in semi-free ranging Tonkean macaques (Macaca tonkeana.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cédric Sueur

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

  9. Ecto-, endo- and haemoparasites in free-range chickens in the Goromonzi District in Zimbabwe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Permin, A; Esmann, J B; Hoj, C H; Hove, T; Mukaratirwa, S

    2002-07-25

    A cross-sectional study determined the prevalence of ecto-, endo- and haemoparasites in free-range chickens from the Goromonzi District, Zimbabwe. Fifty young and 50 adult birds were selected randomly. All chickens harboured ecto- and endoparasites, and 32% were infected with haemoparasites. Eight different ectoparasites were identified; the more prevalent ones had the following prevalences (young, %; adult, %): Argas persicus (6; 14), Cnemidocoptes mutans (6; 32), Echidnophaga gallinacea (72; 74), Goniocotes gallinae (0; 22), Menacanthus stramenius (90; 88) and Menopon gallinea (24; 66). The prevalences of C. mutans, G. gallinae and M. gallinae were higher in adults compared to young chickens. The mean (+/-S.D.) number of helminth species per chicken was 6.7+/-2.0 for young chickens and 6.4+/-2.0 for adult chickens with a range of 1-10 for young chickens and a range of 1-11 for adult chickens. The most prevalent nematodes identified were (with prevalence in % for young/adult birds): Allodapa suctoria (76; 72), Ascaridia galli (48; 24), Gongylonema ingluvicola (28; 56), Heterakis gallinarum (64; 62) and Tetrameres americana (70; 62). For cestodes the prevalences were: Amoebotaenia cuneata (60; 68), Hymenolepis spp. (62; 80), Raillietina echinobothrida (66; 34), Raillietina tetragona (94; 100) and Skrjabinia cesticillus (50; 76). The young chickens had higher prevalences of A. galli and R. echinobothrida compared to adults, but lower prevalence of G. ingluvicola and S. cesticillus. Eimeria spp. oocysts were isolated in 36% of 47 investigated samples. The prevalence was 47% for young chickens and 18% for adult chickens. Prevalences (in %) of haemoparasites in young and adult chickens were: Aegyptinella pullorum (7; 6), Leucocytozoon sabrazesi (3; 1), Plasmodium gallinaceum (8; 6) and Trypanosoma avium (2; 3).

  10. A survey of hemoparasite infections in free-ranging mammals and reptiles in French Guiana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Thoisy, B; Michel, J C; Vogel, I; Vié, J C

    2000-10-01

    Blood smears of 1,353 free-ranging mammals (35 species) and 112 reptiles (31 species) from French Guiana were examined for hemoparasites. Parasites from 3 major groups were recorded: Apicomplexa (including hemogregarines, piroplasms, and Plasmodium spp.), Trypanosomatidae, and Filaroidea. Fifty percent of the individuals (86% of the species) were infected by parasites from at least 1 group. Hemogregarines, identified as Hepatozoon sp., infected numerous snakes with high prevalences (30-100%); infection is reported for the first time in 5 host genera of snakes: Clelia, Oxybelis, Pseustes, Rhinobotryum, and Bothriopsis. Infections were also observed in 4 marsupial species and 1 rodent. Hepatozoon spp. recorded in Didelphis albiventris (Marsupialia) and Coendou prehensilis (Rodentia) may be new species. Plasmodium sp. were observed in 2 snake species, Dipsas indica (Colubridae) and Bothrops atrox (Viperidae). Plasmodium brasilianum was recorded in all 5 primate species examined. Piroplasms were observed in all mammal orders except primates. Large terrestrial rodents were the main hosts of members of the Babesidae; 42% of Myoprocta acouchy, 36% of Dasyprocta agouti, and 44% of Agouti paca were infected. Trypanosomes were common in mammals and were recorded in 70% of the examined genera. Trypanosoma cruzi-like infections were reported in 21 mammal species, including sloths, rodents, carnivores, and primates. Microfilariae were also widespread, with higher prevalences in sloths, anteaters, and porcupines (>40% of the individuals infected) and in tamarins (95% infected). This survey highlights some potential anthropozoonotic risks due to the recent further evidence of Plasmodium brasilianum and P. malariae as a single species and to the increased diversity of hosts for Trypanosoma cruzi.

  11. The value of DNA paternity identification in beef cattle: examples from Nevada's free-range ranches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomez-Raya, L; Priest, K; Rauw, W M; Okomo-Adhiambo, M; Thain, D; Bruce, B; Rink, A; Torell, R; Grellman, L; Narayanan, R; Beattie, C W

    2008-01-01

    The feasibility and economic value of DNA paternity identification were investigated and illustrated using Nevada beef cattle operations. A panel of 15 microsatellites was genotyped in 2,196 animals from 8 ranches with a total of 31,571 genotypes. Probabilities of exclusion for each marker within ranch and across ranches were computed. Joint probabilities of exclusion for the 15 microsatellites were also determined, resulting in values over 0.99 for any individual ranch and across ranches. Dropping 1 or 2 microsatellites with the lowest probabilities of exclusion resulted in joint probabilities greater than 0.99 and with marginal reduction compared with the probabilities with 15 microsatellites. Formulas for benefit-cost analysis for a DNA paternity identification program in beef cattle were derived. Genotyping 15 microsatellites with 20 calves per sire resulted in benefits of $1.71 and $2.44 per dollar invested at bull culling rates of 0.20 and 0.30, respectively. The breakpoints for the program to be profitable occurred when the ratio of the price of 1 kg of calf liveweight over the cost of genotyping 1 microsatellite was greater than 1.1 for a bull culling rate of 0.30. Benefit-cost analysis was also derived under incomplete DNA paternity identification using a lower number of DNA markers than necessary to achieve joint probabilities of exclusion of 0.99. Approximately a 20% increase in the benefit-cost ratio was achieved using 10 vs. 12 microsatellites with incomplete paternity identification. The greater the number of bulls in the operation, the lower the benefit-cost ratio of the paternity testing program. Low probabilities of exclusion and a high number of bulls in the beef operation reduced the benefit-cost ratio dramatically. The DNA paternity identification programs are feasible and may be profitable for free-range beef cattle operations.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Raj

    2012-02-01

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

  13. 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).

  14. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    PB Faria

    2011-09-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. Morphology and biomechanics of the pinniped jaw: mandibular evolution without mastication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Katrina E; Ruff, Christopher B; Goswami, Anjali

    2013-07-01

    Pinnipeds (seals, sea lions, and walruses) underwent a shift in jaw function away from typical carnivoran mastication to more novel marine behaviors during the terrestrial-aquatic transition. Here we test the effect of aquatic prey capture and male-male combat on the morphological evolution of a mammal jaw that does not masticate. Nine three-dimensional landmarks were taken along the mandible for 25 species (N = 83), and corpus and symphysis external and cortical breadths for a subset of five species (N = 33). Principal components analysis was performed on size-corrected landmark data to assess variation in overall jaw morphology across pinnipeds. Corpus breadths were input to a beam model to calculate strength properties and estimated bite force of specific species with contrasting behaviors (filter feeding, suction feeding, grip-and-tear feeding, and male-male combat). Results indicate that, although phylogenetic signal in jaw shape is strong, function is also important in determining morphology. Filter feeders display an elongate symphysis and a long toothrow that may play a role in filtering krill. Grip-and-tear feeders have a long jaw and large estimated bite force relative to non-biting species. However, the largest estimated bite forces were observed in males of male-male combative species, likely due to the high selection pressure associated with male success in highly polygynous species. The suction feeding jaw is weak in biting but has a different morphology in the two suction feeding taxa. In conclusion, familial patterns of pinniped jaw shape due to phylogenetic relatedness have been modified by adaptations to specialized behavior of individual taxa.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  19. Health evaluation of a radiocollared population of free-ranging Baird's tapirs (Tapirus bairdii) in Costa Rica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernandez-Divers, Sonia M; Aguilar, Roberto; Leandro-Loria, Danilo; Foerster, Charles R

    2005-06-01

    The health of a population of free-ranging tapirs (Tapirus bairdii) inhabiting Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica, was assessed as part of an ongoing ecologic study. Nineteen tapirs were immobilized between March 1997 and February 2000, and samples of blood, skin biopsies, and ectoparasites were collected. Ticks were identified as Amblyomma oblongoguttatum or A. coelebs. Hematology and serum biochemistry results suggest statistically significant differences between free-ranging and captive populations that should be interpreted with caution in view of inherent environmental differences between the two populations. Five of 17 animals tested positive for Leptospira bratislava, and 12 individuals tested positive for Venezuelan equine encephalitis. One of nine skin biopsies examined was abnormal and diagnosed as leukoderma. This report represents the first health assessment of a free-ranging population of tapirs.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  1. Land use in semi-free ranging Tonkean macaques Macaca tonkeana depends on environmental conditions: A geographical information system approach

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Cédric SUEUR; Paul SALZE; Christiane WEBER; Odile PETIT

    2011-01-01

    Wild animals use their habitat according to ecological pressures such as predaton, resource availability or temperature, yet little is known about how individuals use their environment in semi free-ranging conditions. We assessed whether a semi-free ranging group of Tonkean macaques Macaca tonkeana used its wooded parkland in a heterogeneous way. GIS and GPS were used to determine whether individuals adjusted their behaviors according to variation in environmental constraints over time of day and the course of a year. We demonstrated that social and resting activities occurred in high altitude areas and areas with a high density of bushes, whereas the group foraged in areas where the density of bushes and grass was low. In general, the animals used areas exposed to the sun that were not on a slope. Semi-free ranging Tonkean macaques seemed to behave like their wild counterparts in terms of activity budget, land use per activity and thermoregulation.

  2. AFSC/REFM: Seabird food habits dataset of the North Pacific

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The seabird food habits dataset contains information on the stomach contents from seabird specimens that were collected under salvage and scientific collection...

  3. Dynamics of Seabird Colonies Vulnerable to Sea-Level Rise at French Frigate Shoals, Hawaii

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Globally, seabirds are vulnerable to anthropogenic threats both at sea and on land. Seabirds typically nest colonially and show strong site fidelity; therefore,...

  4. Mortality of seabirds in the Japanese high seas salmon mothership fishery, 1981-1984

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Annual mortality of over 160,000 seabirds in the Japanese mothership fishery is apparently not causing significant harm to seabird populations in the North Pacific....

  5. Washington Maritime NWRC: Initial Survey Instructions for Surface-nesting Seabird Monitoring

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — In Region 1, the vast majority of seabirds nest on NWRs. Because seabirds are dependent on the marine environment and surface-nesters are easily observed on...

  6. Differential effects of experimental increases in sociality on ectoparasites of free-ranging raccoons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monello, Ryan J; Gompper, Matthew E

    2010-05-01

    1. Parasite transmission depends on the rate at which hosts come into contact with one another or the infectious stages of parasites. However, host contact rates and their influence on parasite transmission are difficult to quantify in natural settings and can fluctuate with host behaviour and the ecological constraints of parasites. 2. We investigated how experimental increases in rates of contact and social aggregation affected ectoparasite prevalence and intensity of free-ranging raccoons (Procyon lotor). Twelve independent raccoon populations were subjected to differential resource provisions for 2 years: a clumped food distribution to aggregate hosts (n = 5 aggregated populations), a dispersed food distribution to control for the effects of food without aggregating hosts (n = 3) and a no food treatment (n = 4). 3. Remote cameras indicated that aggregation sizes and rates of contact were three to four times greater in aggregated compared with that in non-aggregated populations. The number of ticks (adult Dermacentor variabilis) on raccoons in aggregated populations was 1.5-2.5 times greater from May to July, the primary time of tick seasonal occurrence. Conversely, louse (Trichodectes octomaculatus) populations were c. 40% sparser on male raccoons in aggregated (compared with that in non-aggregated) populations because of greater overdispersion of lice and a larger number of male hosts harbouring fewer parasites. No treatment-related differences were found among fleas (Orchopeas howardi). 4. These results were not consistent with our current understanding of parasite transmission; greater rates of host sociality led to increases in a parasite that does not rely on host contact for transmission (ticks) and declines in a parasite that depends on host contact for transmission (lice). We concluded that D. variabilis increased in aggregated sites because they can detect and seek out hosts and were more likely to drop off after obtaining a blood meal and re-attach to

  7. Ranging Behaviour of Commercial Free-Range Broiler Chickens 1: Factors Related to Flock Variability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hemsworth, Paul H.; Groves, Peter J.; Rault, Jean-Loup

    2017-01-01

    Simple Summary Free-range chicken meat consumption has increased. However, little is known about how meat chickens use the outdoor range. Understanding ranging behaviour could help improve management and shed and range design to ensure optimal ranging opportunities. We tracked 1200 individual broiler chickens in four mixed sex flocks on one commercial farm across two seasons. More chickens accessed the range in summer than winter. Chickens that accessed the range in winter did so less frequently and for a shorter period of time daily than chickens ranging in summer. The number of chickens ranging and the frequency and duration of range visits increased over the first two weeks of range access and stabilised thereafter. More chickens entered and exited the range through particular doors in the shed. More chickens ranged in the morning and evening compared to the middle of the day. Ranging behaviour decreased with increased rainfall and shed dew point. This study provides knowledge regarding ranging behaviour in commercial conditions that may guide improvements on farm to provide chickens with optimal ranging opportunities. Abstract Little is known about the ranging behaviour of chickens. Understanding ranging behaviour is required to improve management and shed and range design to ensure optimal ranging opportunities. Using Radio Frequency Identification technology, we tracked 300 individual broiler chickens in each of four mixed sex ROSS 308 flocks on one commercial farm across two seasons. Ranging behaviour was tracked from the first day of range access (21 days of age) until 35 days of age in winter and 44 days of age in summer. Range use was higher than previously reported from scan sampling studies. More chickens accessed the range in summer (81%) than winter (32%; p < 0.05). On average, daily frequency and duration of range use was greater in summer flocks (4.4 ± 0.1 visits for a total of 26.3 ± 0.8 min/day) than winter flocks (3.2 ± 0.2 visits for a total

  8. 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

  9. Genetic parameters for growth characteristics of free-range chickens under univariate random regression models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rovadoscki, Gregori A; Petrini, Juliana; Ramirez-Diaz, Johanna; Pertile, Simone F N; Pertille, Fábio; Salvian, Mayara; Iung, Laiza H S; Rodriguez, Mary Ana P; Zampar, Aline; Gaya, Leila G; Carvalho, Rachel S B; Coelho, Antonio A D; Savino, Vicente J M; Coutinho, Luiz L; Mourão, Gerson B

    2016-09-01

    Repeated measures from the same individual have been analyzed by using repeatability and finite dimension models under univariate or multivariate analyses. However, in the last decade, the use of random regression models for genetic studies with longitudinal data have become more common. Thus, the aim of this research was to estimate genetic parameters for body weight of four experimental chicken lines by using univariate random regression models. Body weight data from hatching to 84 days of age (n = 34,730) from four experimental free-range chicken lines (7P, Caipirão da ESALQ, Caipirinha da ESALQ and Carijó Barbado) were used. The analysis model included the fixed effects of contemporary group (gender and rearing system), fixed regression coefficients for age at measurement, and random regression coefficients for permanent environmental effects and additive genetic effects. Heterogeneous variances for residual effects were considered, and one residual variance was assigned for each of six subclasses of age at measurement. Random regression curves were modeled by using Legendre polynomials of the second and third orders, with the best model chosen based on the Akaike Information Criterion, Bayesian Information Criterion, and restricted maximum likelihood. Multivariate analyses under the same animal mixed model were also performed for the validation of the random regression models. The Legendre polynomials of second order were better for describing the growth curves of the lines studied. Moderate to high heritabilities (h(2) = 0.15 to 0.98) were estimated for body weight between one and 84 days of age, suggesting that selection for body weight at all ages can be used as a selection criteria. Genetic correlations among body weight records obtained through multivariate analyses ranged from 0.18 to 0.96, 0.12 to 0.89, 0.06 to 0.96, and 0.28 to 0.96 in 7P, Caipirão da ESALQ, Caipirinha da ESALQ, and Carijó Barbado chicken lines, respectively. Results indicate that

  10. Comparison of injectable anesthetic combinations in free-ranging two-toed sloths in French guiana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogel, I; de Thoisy, B; Vié, J C

    1998-07-01

    Immobilization was studied in 202 free-ranging two-toed sloths (Choloepus didactylus). All the sloths were in good condition with a body weight > 2 kg, and were anesthetized for a variety of minor clinical procedures. Intramuscular anesthetic combinations included 0.1 mg/kg acepromazine + 10 mg/kg ketamine (A/K, n = 30), 1 mg/kg xylazine + 10 mg/kg ketamine (X/K, n = 89), 10 mg/kg tiletamine/zolazepam (T/Z, n = 37), and 0.04 mg/kg medetomidine + 3 mg/kg ketamine (M/K, n = 46) antagonized by 0.2 mg/kg atipamezole. The animals were quiet during the induction stage and complete recumbency was reached in (mean +/- SD) 2.5 +/- 2.0 min with A/K, 2.7 +/- 1.7 min with X/K, 1.8 +/- 0.6 min with T/Z, and 2.5 +/- 5 with M/K. Utilization of A/K was not satisfactory because of poor anesthetic level and lack of muscle relaxation. T/Z induced immobilization was characterized by deep anesthesia and good myorelaxation, but often was associated with irregular respiration and low relative oxyhemoglobin saturation values (SpO2). Ketamine in combination with alpha2-agonists, xylazine or medetomidine, provided suitable anesthesia, with good to excellent muscular relaxation, good analgesia, high SpO2 values, moderate bradycardia, but strong bradypnea with medetomidine. Anesthesia with M/K was reversed after 41.6 min of immobilization with atipamezole. Calm recoveries were obtained and the animals were able to hang up after 10.0 +/- 7.9 min. The first signs of arousal were observed within an average of 43 to 51 min after the injection of the three other combinations. Recoveries from X/K immobilization were quiet; sloths held on after 34 min. With T/Z, recovery duration was long and very irregular at 76.7 +/- 31.3 min, some animals required 3 hr before being able to hang up. Finally, ketamine in association with an alpha2-agonist appeared to give the best chemical immobilization in wild two-toed sloths for 40 min procedures including minor surgery.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cheng-Yung Lin

    2014-06-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Emerging Infectious Diseases in Free-Ranging Wildlife–Australian Zoo Based Wildlife Hospitals Contribute to National Surveillance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cox-Witton, Keren; Reiss, Andrea; Woods, Rupert; Grillo, Victoria; Baker, Rupert T.; Blyde, David J.; Boardman, Wayne; Cutter, Stephen; Lacasse, Claude; McCracken, Helen; Pyne, Michael; Smith, Ian; Vitali, Simone; Vogelnest, Larry; Wedd, Dion; Phillips, Martin; Bunn, Chris; Post, Lyndel

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24787430

  14. BEST-PRACTICE GUIDELINES FOR FIELD-BASED SURGERY AND ANESTHESIA ON FREE-RANGING WILDLIFE. II. SURGERY.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fiorello, Christine V; Harms, Craig A; Chinnadurai, Sathya K; Strahl-Heldreth, Danielle

    2016-04-01

    The principles of surgical asepsis apply to field surgeries with few exceptions. The minimum level for performance of surgeries in the field on free-ranging animals should be the same as for domestic animals undergoing surgery in animal hospitals. Surgeries in the field are typically done as part of research and management projects and usually involve a combination of biologists and veterinarians with the possibility of conflicts in scientific cultures. This article outlines a minimum standard of care for field surgeries and will serve as a resource for Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees and biologists and veterinarians planning projects that involve surgeries on free-ranging wildlife in field conditions.

  15. Temporal variation in atmospheric ammonia concentrations above seabird colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blackall, T. D.; Wilson, L. J.; Bull, J.; Theobald, M. R.; Bacon, P. J.; Hamer, K. C.; Wanless, S.; Sutton, M. A.

    Recent studies have shown that seabirds are an important source of ammonia (NH 3) emissions in remote coastal ecosystems. Nesting behaviour, which varies between seabird species, is likely to be a major factor in determining the proportion of excreted nitrogen (N) volatilised to the atmosphere as NH 3. A long-term NH 3 monitoring programme was implemented at a Scottish seabird colony with a range of species and associated nesting behaviours. The average monthly NH 3 concentration was measured at 12 locations over a 14-month period, to infer spatial (i.e. species-specific) and temporal (seasonal) changes in NH 3 emissions from different seabird species. An emissions model of seabird NH 3, based on species-specific bioenergetics and behaviour, was applied to produce spatial estimates for input to a dispersion model. Atmospheric NH 3 concentrations demonstrated spatial variability as a result of differing local populations of breeding seabirds, with the highest concentrations measured above cliff nesting species such as Common guillemot Uria aalge, Razorbill Alca torda and Black-legged kittiwake Rissa tridactyla. NH 3 concentrations above a colony of burrow nesting Atlantic puffin Fratercula arctica were low, considering the high number of birds. Emission of NH 3 from excreted N exhibits a time lag of approximately a month. It is likely that all excreted N is lost from the colony by volatilisation as NH 3 or surface run-off between breeding seasons. Modelled NH 3 emissions and concentrations correlated with measured concentrations, but were much higher, reflecting uncertainties in the local turbulent characteristics. The results allow multi-species seabird population data to be used for the calculation of regional and global NH 3 emission inventories, whilst improving understanding of N budgets of remote coastal ecosystems.

  16. Male contest competition and the coevolution of weaponry and testes in pinnipeds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitzpatrick, John L; Almbro, Maria; Gonzalez-Voyer, Alejandro; Kolm, Niclas; Simmons, Leigh W

    2012-11-01

    Male reproductive success is influenced by competitive interactions during precopulatory and postcopulatory selective episodes. Consequently, males can gain reproductive advantages during precopulatory contest competition by investing in weaponry and during postcopulatory sperm competition by investing in ejaculates. However, recent theory predicts male expenditure on weaponry and ejaculates should be subject to a trade-off, and should vary under increasing risk and intensity of sperm competition. Here, we provide the first comparative analysis of the prediction that expenditure on weaponry should be negatively associated with expenditure on testes mass. Specifically, we assess how sexual selection influences the evolution of primary and secondary sexual traits among pinnipeds (seals, sea lions, and walruses). Using recently developed comparative methods, we demonstrate that sexual selection promotes rapid divergence in body mass, sexual size dimorphism (SSD), and genital morphology. We then show that genital length appears to be positively associated with the strength of postcopulatory sexual selection. However, subsequent analyses reveal that both genital length and testes mass are negatively associated with investment in precopulatory weaponry. Thus, our results are congruent with recent theoretical predictions of contest-based sperm competition models. We discuss the possible role of trade-offs and allometry in influencing patterns of reproductive trait evolution in pinnipeds. © 2012 The Author(s). Evolution© 2012 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  17. Inflation and deflation pressure-volume loops in anesthetized pinnipeds confirms compliant chest and lungs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas eFahlman

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available We examined structural properties of the marine mammal respiratory system, and tested Scholander’s hypothesis that the chest is highly compliant by measuring the mechanical properties of the respiratory system in five species of pinniped under anesthesia (Pacific harbor seal, Phoca vitulina; northern elephant seal, Mirounga angustirostris; northern fur seal Callorhinus ursinus; California sea lion, Zalophus californianus; and Steller sea lion, Eumetopias jubatus. We found that the chest wall compliance (CCW of all five species was greater than lung compliance (airways and alveoli, CL as predicted by Scholander, which suggests that the chest provides little protection against alveolar collapse or lung squeeze. We also found that specific respiratory compliance was significantly greater in wild animals than in animals raised under human care. While differences in ages between the two groups may affect this incidental finding, it is also possible that lung conditioning in free-living animals may increase pulmonary compliance and reduce the risk of lung squeeze during diving. Overall, our data indicate that compliance of excised pinniped lungs provide a good estimate of total respiratory compliance.

  18. 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...

  19. 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).

  20. 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...

  1. 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

    . CONCLUSION: Free-ranging brown bears demonstrate hemodynamics comparable to humans during active state, whereas during hibernation, we documented extremely low-flow hemodynamics. Understanding these physiological changes in bears may help to gain insight into the mechanisms of cardiogenic shock and heart...

  2. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  4. A catalog of Louisiana's nesting seabird colonies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fontenot, William R.; Cardiff, Steve W.; DeMay, Richard A.; Dittmann, Donna L.; Hartley, Stephen B.; Jeske, Clinton W.; Lorenz, Nicole; Michot, Thomas C.; Purrington, Robert Dan; Seymour, Michael; Vermillion, William G.

    2012-01-01

    Summarizing his colonial nesting waterbird survey experiences along the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico in a paper presented to the Colonial Waterbird Group of the Waterbird Society (Portnoy 1978), bird biologist John W. Portnoy stated, “This huge concentration of nesting waterbirds, restricted almost entirely to the wetlands and estuaries of southern Louisiana, is unmatched in all of North America; for example, a 1975 inventory of wading birds along the Atlantic Coast from Maine to Florida [Custer and Osborn, in press], tallied 250,000 breeding [waterbirds] of 14 species, in contrast with the 650,000 birds of 15 species just from Sabine Pass to Mobile Bay.” The “650,000 birds” to which Portnoy referred, were tallied by him in a 1976 survey of coastal Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama (see below, under “Major Surveys” section). According to the National Atlas of Coastal Waterbird Colonies in the Contiguous United States: 1976-82 (Spendelow and Patton 1988), the percentages of the total U.S. populations of Laughing Gull (11%), Forster's Tern (52%), Royal Tern (16%), Sandwich Tern (77%), and Black Skimmer (44%) which annually nest in Louisiana are significant – perhaps crucially so in the cases of Forster's Tern, Sandwich Tern, and Black Skimmer. Nearly three decades after Spendelow and Patton's determinations above, coastal Louisiana still stands out as the major center of colonial wading bird and seabird nesting in all of the United States. Within those three intervening decades, however, the

  5. Thyroid hormones correlate with resting metabolic rate, not daily energy expenditure, in two charadriiform seabirds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyle H. Elliott

    2013-04-01

    Thyroid hormones affect in vitro metabolic intensity, increase basal metabolic rate (BMR in the lab, and are sometimes correlated with basal and/or resting metabolic rate (RMR in a field environment. Given the difficulty of measuring metabolic rate in the field—and the likelihood that capture and long-term restraint necessary to measure metabolic rate in the field jeopardizes other measurements—we examined the possibility that circulating thyroid hormone levels were correlated with RMR in two free-ranging bird species with high levels of energy expenditure (the black-legged kittiwake, Rissa tridactyla, and thick-billed murre, Uria lomvia. Because BMR and daily energy expenditure (DEE are purported to be linked, we also tested for a correlation between thyroid hormones and DEE. We examined the relationships between free and bound levels of the thyroid hormones thyroxine (T4 and triiodothyronine (T3 with DEE and with 4-hour long measurements of post-absorptive and thermoneutral resting metabolism (resting metabolic rate; RMR. RMR but not DEE increased with T3 in both species; both metabolic rates were independent of T4. T3 and T4 were not correlated with one another. DEE correlated with body mass in kittiwakes but not in murres, presumably owing to the larger coefficient of variation in body mass during chick rearing for the more sexually dimorphic kittiwakes. We suggest T3 provides a good proxy for resting metabolism but not DEE in these seabird species.

  6. Using stable isotopes of nitrogen and carbon to study seabird ecology: applications in the Mediterranean seabird community

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuela G. Forero

    2003-07-01

    Full Text Available The application of the stable isotope technique to ecological studies is becoming increasingly widespread. In the case of seabirds, stable isotopes of nitrogen and carbon have been mainly used as dietary tracers. This approach relieson the fact that food web isotopic signatures are reflected in the tissues of the consumer. In addition to the study of trophic ecology, stable isotopes have been used to track the movement of seabirds across isotopic gradients, as individuals moving between isotopically distinct foodwebs can carry with them information on the location of previous feeding areas. Studies applying the stable isotope methodology to the study of seabird ecology show a clear evolution from broad and descriptive approaches to detailed and individual-based analyses. The purpose of this article is to show the different fields of application of stable isotopes to the study of the seabird ecology. Finally, we illustrate the utility of this technique by considering the particularities of the Mediterranean seabird community, suggesting different ecological questions and conservation problems that could be addressed by using the stable isotope approach in this community.

  7. Rock coasts and seabird breeding sites : a common optimization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marie, Eveillard-Buchoux

    2014-05-01

    The North-West coasts of Europe support a lot of part of Northern hemisphere breeding seabirds. In that context, Scotland has a preponderant place and Brittany has southernmost limit of these species areas, for most of them. Outside the breeding season these species live mainly on the open sea and when they do visit the land to breed, they nest on a specific sites : almost all the time they breed on the rock coasts, often on seacliffs. This specific habitat are defines by geomorphological characteristics which offer special forms of the coast. The forms of rock coasts are originally and different because of several proprieties of geology, of lithology, of structures. Breeding seabird, occupying these sites, reveals, in a new light, the richness of these forms and the originals geographic location of the coastline : seabirds prefer nest in exposed coastline like rock caps, rocky points or islands. Seabirds and rock coasts are research topics in environmental geography since several years. However, these combination studies is a new approach in this field and enlargement in the heritage field allows supplement scientific approach. For example, it show that in most important touristic sites, environmental protection measures focused on landscape, habitat or bird, but much more rarely on rock coasts for these intrinsic values. Indeed, in Brittany or in Scotland, seabirds are often stars species in lot of coastal nature reserves, where they're considered like greater ecological heritage. We could see it in touristic promotion field : bird is everywhere, cliff is mostly kept in the dark, as well in leaflets as in speech visitor's guides - without, for example, as a part of this landscape. In all cases, combination of these two heritages is extremely rare. Yet, this current research illustrates the interest and the issue of development of this comparative approach seabirds / rock coasts for optimization of nature tourism and geotourism.

  8. Phylogeny and divergence of the pinnipeds (Carnivora: Mammalia assessed using a multigene dataset

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beck Robin MD

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Phylogenetic comparative methods are often improved by complete phylogenies with meaningful branch lengths (e.g., divergence dates. This study presents a dated molecular supertree for all 34 world pinniped species derived from a weighted matrix representation with parsimony (MRP supertree analysis of 50 gene trees, each determined under a maximum likelihood (ML framework. Divergence times were determined by mapping the same sequence data (plus two additional genes on to the supertree topology and calibrating the ML branch lengths against a range of fossil calibrations. We assessed the sensitivity of our supertree topology in two ways: 1 a second supertree with all mtDNA genes combined into a single source tree, and 2 likelihood-based supermatrix analyses. Divergence dates were also calculated using a Bayesian relaxed molecular clock with rate autocorrelation to test the sensitivity of our supertree results further. Results The resulting phylogenies all agreed broadly with recent molecular studies, in particular supporting the monophyly of Phocidae, Otariidae, and the two phocid subfamilies, as well as an Odobenidae + Otariidae sister relationship; areas of disagreement were limited to four more poorly supported regions. Neither the supertree nor supermatrix analyses supported the monophyly of the two traditional otariid subfamilies, supporting suggestions for the need for taxonomic revision in this group. Phocid relationships were similar to other recent studies and deeper branches were generally well-resolved. Halichoerus grypus was nested within a paraphyletic Pusa, although relationships within Phocina tend to be poorly supported. Divergence date estimates for the supertree were in good agreement with other studies and the available fossil record; however, the Bayesian relaxed molecular clock divergence date estimates were significantly older. Conclusion Our results join other recent studies and highlight the need for a re

  9. Risk Factors for Seabird Bycatch in a Pelagic Longline Tuna Fishery.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric Gilman

    Full Text Available Capture in global pelagic longline fisheries threatens the viability of some seabird populations. The Hawaii longline tuna fishery annually catches hundreds of seabirds, primarily Laysan (Phoebastria immutabilis and black-footed (P. nigripes albatrosses. Since seabird regulations were introduced in 2001, the seabird catch rate has declined 74%. However, over the past decade, seabird catch levels significantly increased due to significant increasing trends in both effort and nominal seabird catch rates. We modelled observer data using a spatio-temporal generalized additive mixed model with zero-inflated Poisson likelihood to determine the significance of the effect of various risk factors on the seabird catch rate. The seabird catch rate significantly increased as annual mean multivariate ENSO index values increased, suggesting that decreasing ocean productivity observed in recent years in the central north Pacific may have contributed to the increasing trend in nominal seabird catch rate. A significant increasing trend in number of albatrosses attending vessels, possibly linked to declining regional ocean productivity and increasing absolute abundance of black-footed albatrosses, may also have contributed to the increasing nominal seabird catch rate. Largest opportunities for reductions are through augmented efficacy of seabird bycatch mitigation north of 23° N where mitigation methods are required and during setting instead of during hauling. Both side vs. stern setting, and blue-dyed vs. untreated bait significantly reduced the seabird catch rate. Of two options for meeting regulatory requirements, side setting had a significantly lower seabird catch rate than blue-dyed bait. There was significant spatio-temporal and seasonal variation in the risk of seabird capture with highest catch rates in April and May and to the northwest of the main Hawaiian Islands.

  10. Seabird bycatch in pelagic longline fisheries is grossly underestimated when using only haul data.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nigel Brothers

    Full Text Available Hundreds of thousands of seabirds are killed each year as bycatch in longline fisheries. Seabirds are predominantly caught during line setting but bycatch is generally recorded during line hauling, many hours after birds are caught. Bird loss during this interval may lead to inaccurate bycatch information. In this 15 year study, seabird bycatch was recorded during both line setting and line hauling from four fishing regions: Indian Ocean, Southern Ocean, Coral Sea and central Pacific Ocean. Over 43,000 albatrosses, petrels and skuas representing over 25 species were counted during line setting of which almost 6,000 seabirds attempted to take the bait. Bait-taking interactions were placed into one of four categories. (i The majority (57% of bait-taking attempts were "unsuccessful" involving seabirds that did not take the bait nor get caught or hooked. (ii One-third of attempts were "successful" with seabirds removing the bait while not getting caught. (iii One-hundred and seventy-six seabirds (3% of attempts were observed being "caught" during line setting, with three albatross species - Laysan (Phoebastria immutabilis, black-footed (P. nigripes and black-browed (Thalassarche melanophrys- dominating this category. However, of these, only 85 (48% seabird carcasses were retrieved during line hauling. Most caught seabirds were hooked through the bill. (iv The remainder of seabird-bait interactions (7% was not clearly observed, but likely involved more "caught" seabirds. Bait taking attempts and percentage outcome (e.g. successful, caught varied between seabird species and was not always related to species abundance around fishing vessels. Using only haul data to calculate seabird bycatch grossly underestimates actual bycatch levels, with the level of seabird bycatch from pelagic longline fishing possibly double what was previously thought.

  11. Seabird bycatch in pelagic longline fisheries is grossly underestimated when using only haul data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brothers, Nigel; Duckworth, Alan R; Safina, Carl; Gilman, Eric L

    2010-08-31

    Hundreds of thousands of seabirds are killed each year as bycatch in longline fisheries. Seabirds are predominantly caught during line setting but bycatch is generally recorded during line hauling, many hours after birds are caught. Bird loss during this interval may lead to inaccurate bycatch information. In this 15 year study, seabird bycatch was recorded during both line setting and line hauling from four fishing regions: Indian Ocean, Southern Ocean, Coral Sea and central Pacific Ocean. Over 43,000 albatrosses, petrels and skuas representing over 25 species were counted during line setting of which almost 6,000 seabirds attempted to take the bait. Bait-taking interactions were placed into one of four categories. (i) The majority (57%) of bait-taking attempts were "unsuccessful" involving seabirds that did not take the bait nor get caught or hooked. (ii) One-third of attempts were "successful" with seabirds removing the bait while not getting caught. (iii) One-hundred and seventy-six seabirds (3% of attempts) were observed being "caught" during line setting, with three albatross species - Laysan (Phoebastria immutabilis), black-footed (P. nigripes) and black-browed (Thalassarche melanophrys)- dominating this category. However, of these, only 85 (48%) seabird carcasses were retrieved during line hauling. Most caught seabirds were hooked through the bill. (iv) The remainder of seabird-bait interactions (7%) was not clearly observed, but likely involved more "caught" seabirds. Bait taking attempts and percentage outcome (e.g. successful, caught) varied between seabird species and was not always related to species abundance around fishing vessels. Using only haul data to calculate seabird bycatch grossly underestimates actual bycatch levels, with the level of seabird bycatch from pelagic longline fishing possibly double what was previously thought.

  12. Determining seabird body condition using nonlethal measures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobs, Shoshanah R; Elliott, Kyle; Guigueno, Mélanie F; Gaston, Anthony J; Redman, Paula; Speakman, John R; Weber, Jean-Michel

    2012-01-01

    Energy stores are critical for successful breeding, and longitudinal studies require nonlethal methods to measure energy stores ("body condition"). Nonlethal techniques for measuring energy reserves are seldom verified independently. We compare body mass, size-corrected mass (SCM), plasma lipids, and isotopic dilution with extracted total body lipid content in three seabird species (thick-billed murres Uria lomvia, all four measures; northern fulmars Fulmarus glacialis, three measures; and black-legged kittiwakes Rissa tridactyla, two measures). SCM and body mass were better predictors of total body lipids for the species with high percent lipids (fulmars; R2 = 0.5-0.6) than for the species with low percent lipids (murres and kittiwakes; R2 = 0.2-0.4). The relationship between SCM and percent body lipids, which we argue is often a better measure of condition, was also poor (R2 SCM be used as an index of energy stores only when lipids exceed 15% of body mass. Across all three species we measured, SCM based on the ordinary least squares regression of mass on the first principal component outperformed other measures. Isotopic dilution was a better predictor of both total body lipids and percent body lipids than were mass, SCM, or plasma lipids in murres. Total body lipids decreased through the breeding season at both sites, while total and neutral plasma lipid concentrations increased at one site but not another, suggesting mobilization of lipid stores for breeding. A literature review showed substantial variation in the reliability of plasma markers, and we recommend isotopic dilution (oxygen-18, plateau) for determination of energy reserves in birds where lipid content is below 15%.

  13. Celestial moderation of tropical seabird behavior.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick Pinet

    Full Text Available Most animals, including birds, have cyclic life histories and numerous studies generally conducted on captive animals have shown that photoperiod is the main factor influencing this periodicity. Moon cycles can also affect periodic behavior of birds. Few studies have investigated the influence of these environmental cues in natural settings, and particularly in tropical areas where the change in photoperiod is slight and some bird species keep cyclic behaviors. Using miniaturized light sensors, we simultaneously investigated under natural conditions the influence of photoperiod and moon phases on the migration dates and at-sea activity of a tropical seabird species, the Barau's petrel, throughout its annual cycle. Firstly, we found that birds consistently started their pre- and post-breeding migrations at precise dates corresponding in both cases to a day-duration of 12.5 hours, suggesting a strong influence of the photoperiod in the regulation of migration behavior. We also found that mean population arrival dates to the colony changed from year to year and they were influenced by moon phases. Returns at their colonies occurred around the last full moon of the austral winter, suggesting that moon cycle is used by birds to synchronize their arrival. Secondly, variations of day-time activity were sinusoidal and correlated to seasonal changes of daylength. We thus hypothesize that the photoperiod could directly affect the behavior of the birds at sea. Night-time at-sea activity exhibited a clear cycle of 29.2 days, suggesting that nocturnal foraging was highly regulated by moon phase, particularly during the non-breeding season. To our knowledge, this is the first study to document a mixed regulation of the behavior of a wild bird by photoperiod and moon phases throughout its annual cycle.

  14. Celestial moderation of tropical seabird behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinet, Patrick; Jaeger, Audrey; Cordier, Emmanuel; Potin, Gaël; Le Corre, Matthieu

    2011-01-01

    Most animals, including birds, have cyclic life histories and numerous studies generally conducted on captive animals have shown that photoperiod is the main factor influencing this periodicity. Moon cycles can also affect periodic behavior of birds. Few studies have investigated the influence of these environmental cues in natural settings, and particularly in tropical areas where the change in photoperiod is slight and some bird species keep cyclic behaviors. Using miniaturized light sensors, we simultaneously investigated under natural conditions the influence of photoperiod and moon phases on the migration dates and at-sea activity of a tropical seabird species, the Barau's petrel, throughout its annual cycle. Firstly, we found that birds consistently started their pre- and post-breeding migrations at precise dates corresponding in both cases to a day-duration of 12.5 hours, suggesting a strong influence of the photoperiod in the regulation of migration behavior. We also found that mean population arrival dates to the colony changed from year to year and they were influenced by moon phases. Returns at their colonies occurred around the last full moon of the austral winter, suggesting that moon cycle is used by birds to synchronize their arrival. Secondly, variations of day-time activity were sinusoidal and correlated to seasonal changes of daylength. We thus hypothesize that the photoperiod could directly affect the behavior of the birds at sea. Night-time at-sea activity exhibited a clear cycle of 29.2 days, suggesting that nocturnal foraging was highly regulated by moon phase, particularly during the non-breeding season. To our knowledge, this is the first study to document a mixed regulation of the behavior of a wild bird by photoperiod and moon phases throughout its annual cycle.

  15. 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.

  16. BEST-PRACTICE GUIDELINES FOR FIELD-BASED SURGERY AND ANESTHESIA OF FREE-RANGING WILDLIFE. I. ANESTHESIA AND ANALGESIA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chinnadurai, Sathya K; Strahl-Heldreth, Danielle; Fiorello, Christine V; Harms, Craig A

    2016-04-01

    Field anesthesia is often necessary for both invasive and noninvasive procedures on wild animals. We describe basic principles of safe anesthetic delivery, monitoring, and recovery for application in procedures involving free-ranging wildlife. For invasive procedures, the potential for immediate and lasting pain must be addressed and appropriate analgesia provided. In situations where the minimum standard of safe anesthesia and effective analgesia cannot be provided, the investigator and approving bodies should rigorously evaluate the risk to the patient against the value of the data obtained. This document is intended to serve as a resource for Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees, biologists, veterinarians, and other researchers planning projects that involve free-ranging wildlife in field conditions.

  17. Ultrasonic Measurement of Body Fat as a Means of Assessing Body Condition in Free-Ranging Raccoons (Procyon lotor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth M. Stringer

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Assessment of body condition of free-ranging animals is important when evaluating population health and fitness. The following study used body condition scoring, ultrasound, and dissected physical measurement to assess fat stores in free-ranging raccoons (Procyon lotor. Measurements were taken of subcutaneous fat at interscapular, thoracolumbar, and lumbosacral paraspinal and ventral midline sites. These measurements were examined in relationship to body condition scores and body weight. The ultrasound technique accurately measured the subcutaneous fat of raccoons when compared to dissected physical measurement and yielded data that strongly correlated with both body condition score and body weight, with the ventral midline measurement most strongly correlated. This noninvasive method may be useful in conjunction with body condition score and body weight when assessing the nutritional status of raccoons and potentially other small carnivore species.

  18. Evidence of Placentophagia and Mother-Infant Cannibalism in Free-Ranging Macaca mulatta tcheliensis in Mount Taihangshan, Jiyuan, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Jundong; Zhang, Shiqiang; Guo, Yongman; Garber, Paul A; Guo, Weijie; Kuang, San''ao; Lu, Jiqi

    2016-01-01

    Placentophagia or the consumption of the afterbirth is reported in many primate species, whereas cannibalism is a relatively rare event. Based on our field observations over the course of 3 years, we present evidence of placentophagia and mother-infant cannibalism in a free-ranging population of the Taihangshan macaque, Macaca mulatta tcheliensis, in the Mt. Taihangshan area, Jiyuan, Henan, China. We documented 1 case in which a mother consumed the afterbirth of her infant. In a second instance, we observed a fresh placenta discarded on the ground by an unknown individual. We also present a description of the first documented instance of mother-infant cannibalism in the same group of free-ranging rhesus macaques. © 2017 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  19. Testing for bias in a sentinel species: contaminants in free-ranging domestic, wild, and hybrid mink.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowman, Jeff; Kidd, Anne G; Martin, Pamela A; McDaniel, Tana V; Nituch, Larissa A; Schulte-Hostedde, Albrecht I

    2012-01-01

    Sentinel species are important tools for studies of biodiversity and environmental health. The American mink (Neovison vison) has long been considered a sentinel of environmental contamination, since the species is known to be sensitive to a number of common contaminants, including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) and mercury. Mink may not always satisfy an important criterion of sentinels however--that they are continuous residents of the environment being sampled. This is because domestic mink commonly escape from farms, and can be confused with wild mink in areas where mink ranching is prevalent, biasing estimates of environmental contamination taken from free-ranging mink samples. We tested for bias in a sample of free-ranging mink from Ontario, Canada, where both genetic ancestry (domestic, wild, and domestic-wild hybrid) and contaminant burdens (PCBs and mercury) were known. Of 133 mink sampled for both contaminants and genetic ancestry, 9% were determined to be domestic and 10.5% hybrid animals. We found that including domestic and hybrid mink in our analysis resulted in overestimating mean PCB burdens in wild mink by 27%, and underestimating mercury by 13%. We also investigated morphological methods to aid in excluding domestic mink from free-ranging mink samples and found that we had the highest classification success using skull size (condylobasal length), which was 15% and 12% greater in male and female domestic than wild mink, respectively. Given the potential use of mink as sentinels, and also the potential for bias, we recommend that researchers take steps to exclude domestic mink from free-ranging mink samples in studies of environmental health.

  20. 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 compared to control groups. Liver enzymes and leukocyte counts were elevated in free-ranging, recently captured bobcats whether or not they were infested with mange, suggesting capture stress. Bobcats with mange had lower levels of serum cholesterol, albumin, globulin, and total protein due to protein loss likely secondary to severe dermatopathy. Renal insufficiency was unlikely in most cases, as urine protein:creatinine ratios were within normal limits. A primary gastrointestinal loss of protein or blood was possible in a few cases, as evidenced by elevated blood urea nitrogen, anemia, intestinal parasitism, colitis, gastric hemorrhage, and melena. The prevalence of exposure to anticoagulant rodenticides was 100% (n = 15) in bobcats with mange. These findings paint a picture of debilitating, multisystemic disease with infectious and toxic contributing factors that can progress to death in individuals and potential decline in populations.

  1. Indirect Effects on Heathland Conservation and Wolf Persistence of Contradictory Policies that Threaten Traditional Free-Ranging Horse Husbandry

    OpenAIRE

    López-Bao, José V.; Sazatorníl, V.; Llaneza, Luis; Rodríguez, Alejandro

    2013-01-01

    Conservation agencies within the European Union promote the restoration of traditional land uses as a cost-effective way to preserve biodiversity outside reserves. Although the European Union pursues the integration of the environment into strategic decision-making, it also dictates sectoral policies that may damage farmland biodiversity. We illustrate this point by outlining the socioeconomic factors that allow the persistence of traditional free-ranging horse husbandry in Galicia, northwest...

  2. Treatment of a forelimb fracture and rehabilitation of a free-ranging Iberian Wolf (Canis lupus signatus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Filipe C. Silva

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract: The surgical treatment of an exposed compounded comminuted fracture of the right radius and ulna in a free-ranging adult female Iberian Wolf (Canis lupus signatus with an osteosynthesis plate and screws and subsequent post-operative care are described. The evolution of the fracture healing was very similar to those expected in a dog of the same size. The prompt surgical intervention and a proper housing, feeding and wound management adapted to a free-ranging wolf, in view to reduce manipulation and post-operative complications, allowed the subsequent rehabilitation and release of the animal. After 10th post-operative weeks the wolf was fitted with a Global Positioning System (GPS for wildlife tracking collar and released in the same area where it has been caught. GPS telemetry data showed that the animal covered increasingly large distances confirming a complete functionality of the right thoracic limb and its successfully return to the wild. This report could constitute the first detailed report of a long bone fracture treatment in a free-ranging wolf and its successfully rehabilitation, release and adaptation to the wild.

  3. Determining position, velocity and acceleration of free-ranging animals with a low-cost unmanned aerial system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harvey, Richard J; Roskilly, Kyle; Buse, Chris; Evans, Hannah K; Hubel, Tatjana Y; Wilson, Alan M

    2016-09-01

    Unmanned aerial systems (UASs), frequently referred to as 'drones', have become more common and affordable and are a promising tool for collecting data on free-ranging wild animals. We used a Phantom-2 UAS equipped with a gimbal-mounted camera to estimate position, velocity and acceleration of a subject on the ground moving through a grid of GPS surveyed ground control points (area ∼1200 m(2)). We validated the accuracy of the system against a dual frequency survey grade GPS system attached to the subject. When compared with GPS survey data, the estimations of position, velocity and acceleration had a root mean square error of 0.13 m, 0.11 m s(-1) and 2.31 m s(-2), respectively. The system can be used to collect locomotion and localisation data on multiple free-ranging animals simultaneously. It does not require specialist skills to operate, is easily transported to field locations, and is rapidly and easily deployed. It is therefore a useful addition to the range of methods available for field data collection on free-ranging animal locomotion.

  4. Comparison of Antibiotic Resistance and Virulence Factors among Escherichia coli Isolated from Conventional and Free-Range Poultry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koga, Vanessa L; Scandorieiro, Sara; Vespero, Eliana C; Oba, Alexandre; de Brito, Benito G; de Brito, Kelly C T; Nakazato, Gerson; Kobayashi, Renata K T

    2015-01-01

    Microbiological contamination in commercial poultry production has caused concerns for human health because of both the presence of pathogenic microorganisms and the increase in antimicrobial resistance in bacterial strains that can cause treatment failure of human infections. The aim of our study was to analyze the profile of antimicrobial resistance and virulence factors of E. coli isolates from chicken carcasses obtained from different farming systems (conventional and free-range poultry). A total of 156 E. coli strains were isolated and characterized for genes encoding virulence factors described in extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli (ExPEC). Antimicrobial susceptibility testing was performed for 15 antimicrobials, and strains were confirmed as extended spectrum of β-lactamases- (ESBLs-) producing E. coli by phenotypic and genotypic tests. The results indicated that strains from free-range poultry have fewer virulence factors than strains from conventional poultry. Strains from conventionally raised chickens had a higher frequency of antimicrobial resistance for all antibiotics tested and also exhibited genes encoding ESBL and AmpC, unlike free-range poultry isolates, which did not. Group 2 CTX-M and CIT were the most prevalent ESBL and AmpC genes, respectively. The farming systems of poultries can be related with the frequency of virulence factors and resistance to antimicrobials in bacteria.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-06-01

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

  6. THIAFENTANIL-AZAPERONE-XYLAZINE AND CARFENTANIL-XYLAZINE IMMOBILIZATIONS OF FREE-RANGING CARIBOU (RANGIFER TARANDUS GRANTI) IN ALASKA, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lian, Marianne; Beckmen, Kimberlee B; Bentzen, Torsten W; Demma, Dominic J; Arnemo, Jon M

    2016-04-28

    Carfentanil-xylazine (CX) has been the primary drug combination used for immobilizing free-ranging ungulates in Alaska, US since 1986. We investigated the efficacy of a potential new drug of choice, thiafentanil (Investigational New Animal Drug A-3080). Captive trials indicated that thiafentanil-azaperone-medetomidine could provide good levels of immobilization. However, field trials conducted in October 2013 on free-ranging caribou ( Rangifer tarandus granti) calves showed the combination too potent, causing three respiratory arrests and one mortality. The protocol was revised to thiafentanil-azaperone-xylazine (TAX), with good results. The induction time was not significantly different between the two combinations. However, the recovery time was significantly shorter for the TAX group than for the CX group. A physiologic evaluation was performed on 12 animals immobilized on CX and 15 animals on TAX. Arterial blood was collected after induction and again after 10 min of intranasal oxygen supplements (1 L/min). Both groups had significant increases in partial pressure of arterial oxygen after oxygen treatment. There was a concurrent significant increase in partial pressure of arterial carbon dioxide in both groups. Rectal temperature increased significantly in both groups during the downtime, which is consistent with other studies of potent opioids in ungulates. On the basis of our results, we found TAX to be a potential alternative for the current CX protocol for immobilizing free-ranging caribou calves via helicopter darting.

  7. Comparison of Antibiotic Resistance and Virulence Factors among Escherichia coli Isolated from Conventional and Free-Range Poultry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanessa L. Koga

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Microbiological contamination in commercial poultry production has caused concerns for human health because of both the presence of pathogenic microorganisms and the increase in antimicrobial resistance in bacterial strains that can cause treatment failure of human infections. The aim of our study was to analyze the profile of antimicrobial resistance and virulence factors of E. coli isolates from chicken carcasses obtained from different farming systems (conventional and free-range poultry. A total of 156 E. coli strains were isolated and characterized for genes encoding virulence factors described in extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli (ExPEC. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing was performed for 15 antimicrobials, and strains were confirmed as extended spectrum of β-lactamases- (ESBLs- producing E. coli by phenotypic and genotypic tests. The results indicated that strains from free-range poultry have fewer virulence factors than strains from conventional poultry. Strains from conventionally raised chickens had a higher frequency of antimicrobial resistance for all antibiotics tested and also exhibited genes encoding ESBL and AmpC, unlike free-range poultry isolates, which did not. Group 2 CTX-M and CIT were the most prevalent ESBL and AmpC genes, respectively. The farming systems of poultries can be related with the frequency of virulence factors and resistance to antimicrobials in bacteria.

  8. Outdoor stocking density in free-range laying hens: radio-frequency identification of impacts on range use.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, D L M; Hinch, G N; Dyall, T R; Warin, L; Little, B A; Lee, C

    2017-01-01

    The number and size of free-range laying hen (Gallus gallus domesticus) production systems are increasing within Australia in response to consumer demand for perceived improvement in hen welfare. However, variation in outdoor stocking density has generated consumer dissatisfaction leading to the development of a national information standard on free-range egg labelling by the Australian Consumer Affairs Ministers. The current Australian Model Code of Practice for Domestic Poultry states a guideline of 1500 hens/ha, but no maximum density is set. Radio-frequency identification (RFID) tracking technology was used to measure daily range usage by individual ISA Brown hens housed in six small flocks (150 hens/flock - 50% of hens tagged), each with access to one of three outdoor stocking density treatments (two replicates per treatment: 2000, 10 000, 20 000 hens/ha), from 22 to 26, 27 to 31 and 32 to 36 weeks of age. There was some variation in range usage across the sampling periods and by weeks 32 to 36 individual hens from the lowest stocking density on average used the range for longer each day (Pcommercial free-range laying hens but further research would be needed to determine the effects of increased range usage on hen welfare.

  9. Sexual selection uncouples the evolution of brain and body size in pinnipeds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitzpatrick, J L; Almbro, M; Gonzalez-Voyer, A; Hamada, S; Pennington, C; Scanlan, J; Kolm, N

    2012-07-01

    The size of the vertebrate brain is shaped by a variety of selective forces. Although larger brains (correcting for body size) are thought to confer fitness advantages, energetic limitations of this costly organ may lead to trade-offs, for example as recently suggested between sexual traits and neural tissue. Here, we examine the patterns of selection on male and female brain size in pinnipeds, a group where the strength of sexual selection differs markedly among species and between the sexes. Relative brain size was negatively associated with the intensity of sexual selection in males but not females. However, analyses of the rates of body and brain size evolution showed that this apparent trade-off between sexual selection and brain mass is driven by selection for increasing body mass rather than by an actual reduction in male brain size. Our results suggest that sexual selection has important effects on the allometric relationships of neural development.

  10. Skin histology and its role in heat dissipation in three pinniped species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Khamas Wael A

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Pinnipeds have a thick blubber layer and may have difficulty maintaining their body temperature during hot weather when on land. The skin is the main thermoregulatory conduit which emits excessive body heat. Methods Thorough evaluation of the skin histology in three pinniped species; the California sea lion-Zalophus californianus, the Pacific harbor seal-Phoca vitulina richardsi, and the Northern elephant seal-Mirounga angustirostris, was conducted to identify the presence, location and distribution of skin structures which contribute to thermoregulation. These structures included hair, adipose tissue, sweat glands, vasculature, and arteriovenous anastomoses (AVA. Thermal imaging was performed on live animals of the same species to correlate histological findings with thermal emission of the skin. Results The presence and distribution of skin structures directly relates to emissivity of the skin in all three species. Emissivity of skin in phocids (Pacific harbor and Northern elephant seals follows a different pattern than skin in otariids (California sea lions. The flipper skin in phocids tends to be the most emissive region during hot weather and least emissive during cold weather. On the contrary in otariids, skin of the entire body has a tendency to be emissive during both hot and cold weather. Conclusion Heat dissipation of the skin directly relates to the presence and distribution of skin structures in all three species. Different skin thermal dissipation patterns were observed in phocid versus otariid seals. Observed thermal patterns can be used for proper understanding of optimum thermal needs of seals housed in research facilities, rescue centers and zoo exhibits.

  11. Spatial variogram estimation from temporally aggregated seabird count data

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Perez-Lapena, Blanca; Wijnberg, Kathelijne Mariken; Stein, A.; Hulscher, Suzanne J.M.H.

    2013-01-01

    Seabird abundance is an important indicator for assessing impact of human activities on the marine environment. However, data collection at sea is time consuming and surveys are carried out over several consecutive days for efficiency reasons. This study investigates the validity of aggregating

  12. Mitigating seabird bycatch during hauling by pelagic longline vessels.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric Gilman

    Full Text Available Bycatch in longline fisheries threatens the viability of some seabird populations. The Hawaii longline swordfish fishery reduced seabird captures by an order of magnitude primarily through mitigating bycatch during setting. Now, 75% of captures occur during hauling. We fit observer data to a generalized additive regression model with mixed effects to determine the significance of the effect of various factors on the standardized seabird haul catch rate. Density of albatrosses attending vessels during hauling, leader length and year had largest model effects. The standardized haul catch rate significantly increased with increased albatross density during hauling. The standardized catch rate was significantly higher the longer the leader: shorter leaders place weighted swivels closer to hooks, reducing the likelihood of baited hooks becoming available to surface-scavenging albatrosses. There was a significant linear increasing temporal trend in the standardized catch rate, possibly partly due to an observed increasing temporal trend in the local abundance of albatrosses attending vessels during hauling. Swivel weight, Beaufort scale and season were also significant but smaller model effects. Most (81% haul captures were on branchlines actively being retrieved. Future haul mitigation research should therefore focus on reducing bird access to hooks as crew coil branchlines, including methods identified here of shorter leaders and heavier swivels, and other potentially effective methods, including faster branchline coiling and shielding the area where hooks becomes accessible. The proportion of Laysan albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis captures that occurred during hauling was significantly, 1.6 times, higher than for black-footed albatrosses (P. nigripes, perhaps due to differences in the time of day of foraging and in daytime scavenging competitiveness; mitigating haul bycatch would therefore be a larger benefit to Laysans. Locally, findings

  13. Mitigating seabird bycatch during hauling by pelagic longline vessels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilman, Eric; Chaloupka, Milani; Wiedoff, Brett; Willson, Jeremy

    2014-01-01

    Bycatch in longline fisheries threatens the viability of some seabird populations. The Hawaii longline swordfish fishery reduced seabird captures by an order of magnitude primarily through mitigating bycatch during setting. Now, 75% of captures occur during hauling. We fit observer data to a generalized additive regression model with mixed effects to determine the significance of the effect of various factors on the standardized seabird haul catch rate. Density of albatrosses attending vessels during hauling, leader length and year had largest model effects. The standardized haul catch rate significantly increased with increased albatross density during hauling. The standardized catch rate was significantly higher the longer the leader: shorter leaders place weighted swivels closer to hooks, reducing the likelihood of baited hooks becoming available to surface-scavenging albatrosses. There was a significant linear increasing temporal trend in the standardized catch rate, possibly partly due to an observed increasing temporal trend in the local abundance of albatrosses attending vessels during hauling. Swivel weight, Beaufort scale and season were also significant but smaller model effects. Most (81%) haul captures were on branchlines actively being retrieved. Future haul mitigation research should therefore focus on reducing bird access to hooks as crew coil branchlines, including methods identified here of shorter leaders and heavier swivels, and other potentially effective methods, including faster branchline coiling and shielding the area where hooks becomes accessible. The proportion of Laysan albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis) captures that occurred during hauling was significantly, 1.6 times, higher than for black-footed albatrosses (P. nigripes), perhaps due to differences in the time of day of foraging and in daytime scavenging competitiveness; mitigating haul bycatch would therefore be a larger benefit to Laysans. Locally, findings identify opportunities

  14. Seabird eggs as bioindicators of chemical contamination in Chile

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cifuentes, Jacqueline Munoz; Becker, Peter H.; Sommer, Ute; Pacheco, Patricia; Schlatter, Roberto

    2003-11-01

    Seabird eggs are proposed as biomonitors of chemical contamination in Chile. - Seabird eggs were used as bioindicators of chemical contamination in Chile. Brown-hooded Gull (Larus maculipennis), Kelp Gull (Larus dominicanus), Trudeau's Tern (Sterna trudeaui), Neotropic Cormorant (Phalacrocorax brasilianus), and Pink-footed Shearwater (Puffinus creatopus) eggs were sampled at different breeding sites during the 1990s. Mercury and organochlorines (PCBs, DDT, HCB, HCH, and PCP) were quantified to reveal the interspecific differences, spatial and temporal trends in contamination levels. Trudeau's Tern displayed the highest levels of mercury (486 ng g{sup -1} wet weight). The highest {sigma}DDT concentrations were measured in Brown-hooded Gulls (726 ng g{sup -1}). PCB levels were similar among the species (102-236 ng g{sup -1}), but the composition of the PCB mixture was different in Pink-footed Shearwaters. With the exception of the Brown-hooded Gull, all species studied presented similar and low levels of organochlorines ({sigma}OHa). Residues of PCB and related compounds were not detected in any of the seabird eggs analyzed in Chile. Geographical variation was low, although levels of industrial chemicals were slightly higher in eggs from Concepcion Bay, and agricultural chemicals in eggs from Valdivia. Also interannual variation was low, but some evidence was found of decreasing levels in gull eggs throughout the time of the study. The causes of the low levels and small variability in space and time of environmental chemicals in Chilean seabirds are discussed. We propose the use of seabirds in future monitoring of the development of chemical contamination in Chile.

  15. Correlation and toxicological inference of trace elements in tissues from stranded and free-ranging bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stavros, Hui-Chen W; Stolen, Megan; Durden, Wendy Noke; McFee, Wayne; Bossart, Gregory D; Fair, Patricia A

    2011-03-01

    The significance of metal concentrations in marine mammals is not well understood and relating concentrations between stranded and free-ranging populations has been difficult. In order to predict liver concentrations in free-ranging dolphins, we examined concentrations of trace elements (Al, As, Ba, Be, Cd, Co, Cu, Fe, Li, Mn, Ni, Pb, Sb, Se, Sn, total Hg (THg), V, Zn) in skin and liver of stranded bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from the South Carolina (SC) coast and the Indian River Lagoon, Florida (FL) during 2000-2008. Significantly higher concentrations of Zn, Fe, Se, Al, Cu and THg were found in skin while liver exhibited significantly higher Cu, Fe, Mn and THg concentrations for both study sites. Mean skin concentrations of Cu and Mn were significantly higher in SC dolphins while higher concentrations of THg and V were found in FL dolphins. In addition, liver tissues in SC dolphins exhibited significantly higher As concentrations while higher Fe, Pb, Se, THg, and V levels were found in FL dolphins. Two elements (Cu and THg) showed significant age-related correlations with skin concentration while five elements (Cu, Se, THg, Zn and V) showed age-related correlations with liver concentrations. Geographic location influenced age-related accumulation of several trace elements and age-related accumulation of THg in hepatic tissue was observed for both sites to have the highest correlations (r² = 0.90SC; r² = 0.69FL). Mean THg concentration in liver was about 10 times higher in FL dolphins (330 μg g⁻¹ dw) than those samples from SC dolphins (34.3 μg g⁻¹ dw). The mean molar ratio of Hg to Se was 0.93 ± 0.32 and 1.08 ± 0.38 for SC and FL dolphins, respectively. However, the Hg:Se ratio varied with age as much lower ratios (0.2-0.4) were found in younger animals. Of the 18 measured elements, only THg was significantly correlated in skin and liver of stranded dolphins and skin of free-ranging dolphins from both sites suggesting that skin may be

  16. Free-ranging farm cats: home range size and predation on a livestock unit in Northwest Georgia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kitts-Morgan, Susanna E; Caires, Kyle C; Bohannon, Lisa A; Parsons, Elizabeth I; Hilburn, Katharine A

    2015-01-01

    This study's objective was to determine seasonal and diurnal vs. nocturnal home range size, as well as predation for free-ranging farm cats at a livestock unit in Northwest Georgia. Seven adult cats were tracked with attached GPS units for up to two weeks for one spring and two summer seasons from May 2010 through August 2011. Three and five cats were tracked for up to two weeks during the fall and winter seasons, respectively. Feline scat was collected during this entire period. Cats were fed a commercial cat food daily. There was no seasonal effect (P > 0.05) on overall (95% KDE and 90% KDE) or core home range size (50% KDE). Male cats tended (P = 0.08) to have larger diurnal and nocturnal core home ranges (1.09 ha) compared to female cats (0.64 ha). Reproductively intact cats (n = 2) had larger (P cats. Feline scat processing separated scat into prey parts, and of the 210 feline scats collected during the study, 75.24% contained hair. Of these 158 scat samples, 86 contained non-cat hair and 72 contained only cat hair. Other prey components included fragments of bone in 21.43% of scat and teeth in 12.86% of scat. Teeth were used to identify mammalian prey hunted by these cats, of which the Hispid cotton rat (Sigmodon hispidus) was the primary rodent. Other targeted mammals were Peromyscus sp., Sylvilagus sp. and Microtus sp. Invertebrates and birds were less important as prey, but all mammalian prey identified in this study consisted of native animals. While the free-ranging farm cats in this study did not adjust their home range seasonally, sex and reproductive status did increase diurnal and nocturnal home range size. Ultimately, larger home ranges of free-ranging cats could negatively impact native wildlife.

  17. Health evaluation of free-ranging and captive blue-fronted Amazon parrots (Amazona aestiva) in the Gran chaco, Bolivia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deem, Sharon L; Noss, Andrew J; Cuéllar, Rosa Leny; Karesh, William B

    2005-12-01

    Bolivia has a total of 47 species of Psittacidae, seven of which have been identified in our study site, the semiarid Gran Chaco of the Isoso. One species, the blue-fronted parrot (Amazona aestiva), is frequently captured by local Isoseño Guaraní Indians for exploitation on the national and international market. These birds are often temporarily housed in small villages under unhygienic conditions with poultry and other domestic species. On occasion, these parrots escape back to the wild. Additionally, many of these birds are kept as pets or are used to lure wild. parrots within slingshot range for subsequent capture. In this study, we evaluated the health status, including the level of exposure to selected infectious agents, in the wild-caught captive birds and free-ranging birds. Physical examinations were performed, and blood was collected, from 54 live birds (20 captive and 34 free-ranging). Feces were collected from 15 birds (seven captive and eight free-ranging). Necropsies were also performed on four recently dead wild-caught birds. On serologic testing, no birds were found to have antibodies to avian influenza virus, Chlamydophila psittaci, infectious bronchitis virus, infectious bursal disease virus, infectious laryngotracheitis virus, Marek's disease virus, paramyxovirus-1, paramyxovirus-2, paramyxovirus-3, polyomavirus, eastern equine encephalitis virus, western equine encephalitis virus, or Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus. Positive antibody titers were found for psittacine herpesvirus (8/44, 18.2%), Aspergillus spp. (3/51, 5.9%), and Salmonella pullorum (33/49, 67.3%). All three of the birds that tested antibody positive for Aspergillus spp. were captive, whereas six of the eight and 15 of the 33 birds that tested positive for psittacine herpesvirus and S. pullorum, respectively, were wild.

  18. Endocrine, metabolic, and behavioral effects of and recovery from acute stress in a free-ranging bird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deviche, Pierre; Bittner, Stephanie; Davies, Scott; Valle, Shelley; Gao, Sisi; Carpentier, Elodie

    2016-08-01

    Acute stress in vertebrates generally stimulates the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis and is often associated with multiple metabolic changes, such as increased gluconeogenesis, and with behavioral alterations. Little information is available, especially in free-ranging organisms, on the duration of these reversible effects once animals are no longer exposed to the stressor. To investigate this question, we exposed free-ranging adult male Rufous-winged Sparrows, Peucaea carpalis, in breeding condition to a standard protocol consisting of a social challenge (conspecific song playback) followed with capture and restraint for 30min, after which birds were released on site. Capture and restraint increased plasma corticosterone (CORT) and decreased plasma testosterone (T), glucose (GLU), and uric acid (UA). In birds that we recaptured the next day after exposure to conspecific song playback, plasma CORT and UA levels no longer differed from levels immediately after capture the preceding day. However, plasma T was similar to that measured after stress exposure the preceding day, and plasma GLU was markedly elevated. Thus, exposure to social challenge and acute stress resulted in persistent (⩾24h) parameter-specific effects. In recaptured sparrows, the territorial aggressive response to conspecific song playback, as measured by song rate and the number of flights over the song-broadcasting speakers, did not, however, differ between the first capture and the recapture, suggesting no proximate functional association between plasma T and conspecific territorial aggression. The study is the first in free-ranging birds to report the endocrine, metabolic, and behavioral recovery from the effects of combined social challenge and acute stress.

  19. Innovative use of Distributed Temperature Sensing and Meteorological Data to Understand Thermoregulation of Free-Ranging Howling Monkeys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suarez, F. I.; Vinyard, C. J.; Williams, S. H.; Hausner, M. B.; Tyler, S. W.; Glander, K.

    2011-12-01

    Temperature fluctuations are a major driver of change in natural habitats and influence the lifestyle of all organisms because temperature impacts molecular, physiological, and behavioral processes. However, there is a lack of understanding on how temperature affects metabolism, behavior, and ecology at the organismal level. Even though physiological responses to temperature fluctuations have been well documented in laboratory conditions, it has been challenging to collect the required environmental data to study thermoregulation of free-ranging mammals such as mantled howling monkeys (Alouatta palliata). Fortunately, recent advances in fiber-optic distributed temperature sensing (DTS) now permit the observation of temperature fields in the environment at scales ranging from millimeters to kilometers. This has opened an exciting opportunity for temperature monitoring at scales that were previously not feasible. This study addresses the main limitations of previous studies of primate behavior by integrating real-time environmental data with the behavior and physiological response of free-ranging primates. In this work, we present preliminary DTS data collected in a natural habitat of howling monkeys. Fiber-optic cables were hung between the ground and an elevation of approximately 15 m within the forest canopy, providing continuous profiles of temperature without any disturbance due to the animals and habitat. These measurements were integrated with conventional meteorological data and with the ambient temperature at the location of the animal, as well as with measurements of primate's subcutaneous and core body temperatures. These data will be utilized to determine how environmental conditions relate to primate behavioral and physiological responses in time and space. The methodologies used in this study provide tools to test theories of physiological thermoregulation of other free-ranging animals.

  20. Free-Ranging Farm Cats: Home Range Size and Predation on a Livestock Unit In Northwest Georgia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kitts-Morgan, Susanna E.; Caires, Kyle C.; Bohannon, Lisa A.; Parsons, Elizabeth I.; Hilburn, Katharine A.

    2015-01-01

    This study’s objective was to determine seasonal and diurnal vs. nocturnal home range size, as well as predation for free-ranging farm cats at a livestock unit in Northwest Georgia. Seven adult cats were tracked with attached GPS units for up to two weeks for one spring and two summer seasons from May 2010 through August 2011. Three and five cats were tracked for up to two weeks during the fall and winter seasons, respectively. Feline scat was collected during this entire period. Cats were fed a commercial cat food daily. There was no seasonal effect (P > 0.05) on overall (95% KDE and 90% KDE) or core home range size (50% KDE). Male cats tended (P = 0.08) to have larger diurnal and nocturnal core home ranges (1.09 ha) compared to female cats (0.64 ha). Reproductively intact cats (n = 2) had larger (P cats. Feline scat processing separated scat into prey parts, and of the 210 feline scats collected during the study, 75.24% contained hair. Of these 158 scat samples, 86 contained non-cat hair and 72 contained only cat hair. Other prey components included fragments of bone in 21.43% of scat and teeth in 12.86% of scat. Teeth were used to identify mammalian prey hunted by these cats, of which the Hispid cotton rat (Sigmodon hispidus) was the primary rodent. Other targeted mammals were Peromyscus sp., Sylvilagus sp. and Microtus sp. Invertebrates and birds were less important as prey, but all mammalian prey identified in this study consisted of native animals. While the free-ranging farm cats in this study did not adjust their home range seasonally, sex and reproductive status did increase diurnal and nocturnal home range size. Ultimately, larger home ranges of free-ranging cats could negatively impact native wildlife. PMID:25894078

  1. Haematology and serum biochemical parameters in free-ranging African side neck turtle (Pelusios sinuatus in Ibadan, Nigeria

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    A.O. Omonona

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available The haematology and serum biochemical parameters in free-ranging African side neck turtle (Pelusios sinuatus in Ibadan, Nigeria was carried out with the view of establishing baseline blood health indices of this species and generating data which could be useful in the comparative physiology of turtles. A total of sixty free ranging turtles comprising juveniles and adults of both sexes were used for the study. The mean values for the RBC, PCV, Hb, MCV, MCH and WBC counts observed in male juvenile were significantly higher (P < 0.05 than those of the females. Nevertheless, in adult turtles, the mean values for the RBC, PCV, Hb, MCV, MCH and WBC counts observed in females were significantly higher (P < 0.05 than those of the males. Similarly, in juvenile turtles, the absolute heterophil, lymphocyte and monocyte counts in females were relatively higher (P < 0.05 than that of male while in adult turtles there were no significant differences (P < 0.05 in these parameters between the males and females. There were no significant difference (P < 0.05 in the values for the total protein, albumin, globulin, creatinine, serum glutamic-oxalacetic transaminase (SGOT, serum glutamic-pyruvic transaminase (SGPT and blood urea nitrogen in the males and females of both the juvenile and adult turtles. The outcome of this study presents baseline data on the haematology and serum biochemical parameters in free-ranging African side neck turtle (Pelusios sinuatus in Ibadan, Nigeria, which could also serve as a template for the comparative physiology of fresh and sea turtles.

  2. Occurrence and identification of hemotropic mycoplasmas (Hemoplasmas) in free ranging and laboratory rats (Rattus norvegicus) from two Brazilian zoos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conrado, Francisco de Oliveira; do Nascimento, Naíla Cannes; dos Santos, Andrea Pires; Zimpel, Cristina Kraemer; Messick, Joanne Belle; Biondo, Alexander Welker

    2015-11-23

    Hemotropic mycoplasmas (hemoplasmas), bacteria belonging to the class Mollicutes, are obligatory red blood cell pathogens of a variety of animal species. They may cause acute anemia that is life-threatening or chronic disease that is clinically silent, but may interfere with results of experimental studies when using infected animals. Since these bacteria cannot be cultivated, molecular techniques are the gold standard for diagnosing an infection, investigating its prevalence, and describing new species. Mycoplasma coccoides and M. haemomuris are the most commonly recognized hemoplasmas in the blood of wild and laboratory rodents. Neither the epidemiology nor clinical and molecular characterization of hemoplasma infection in free-ranging rodents in Brazil has been previously reported. The aims of this study were to investigate the occurrence of hemoplasmas in free-ranging rats (Rattus norvegicus) captured in the Passeio Público and Curitiba Zoo and compare hematologic parameters of infected and non-infected animals. Anti-coagulated blood samples collected from 43 free-ranging and 20 nursery rats were included in the study. Overall 63.5% were positive using SYBR® Green quantitative PCR (qPCR) of the 16S rRNA gene to screen for hemoplasma infection (72% among free-ranging rats; 45% among laboratory-raised rats). Sequencing of the qPCR products showed that all but one sample had >98% identity to M. haemomuris. Phylogenetic analysis based on a fragment of approximately 1300 bp of the 16S rRNA gene showed 99% identity to a new hemoplasma from European rats and 98% identity to a hemotropic mycoplasma described infecting a European harvest mouse (Micromys minutus). No statistically significant changes in hematologic parameters between infected and non-infected rats were found, confirming the low pathogenicity and/or silent characteristics of the infection. Our findings suggest that hemoplasmas are likely endemic in rodent species in this region. The epidemiology

  3. Isolation and characterisation of a ruminant alphaherpesvirus closely related to bovine herpesvirus 1 in a free-ranging red deer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Belák Sándor

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The genus Varicellovirus of the Herpesviridae subfamily Alphaherpesvirinae includes a cluster of viruses antigenically and genetically related to bovine herpesvirus 1 (BoHV-1: namely bovine herpesvirus 5 (BoHV-5, bubaline herpesvirus 1 (BuHV-1, caprine herpesvirus 1 (CpHV-1, cervid herpesviruses 1 (CvHV-1 and 2 (CvHV-2 and elk herpesvirus 1 (ElkHV-1. Considering the serological relationship between these ruminant alphaherpesviruses, several surveys have studied the occurrence of BoHV-1 related virus infection in wild and domestic ruminant species. In this way, a recent investigation has indicated, in Belgium, a high increase in the serological prevalence of BoHV-1 related virus infection in free-ranging red deer population. In this context, it has been decided to investigate the presence of an alphaherpesvirus spreading in the Belgian free-ranging red deer population. Results The current study reports the first isolation in a free-ranging red deer of a BoHV-1 closely related virus. The isolate was antigenically, genomically and genetically characterised by comparison with several ruminant alphaherpesvirus. Immunofluorescence assays revealed the isolate was antigenically distinct from bovine and caprine alphaherpesviruses. Similarly, BamHI and BstEII restriction analyses demonstrated the genomic difference between the isolate and the other ruminant alphaherpesviruses. Next, the sequencing of selected parts of UL27 and US8 genes showed a high degree of homologies between each BoHV-1 related ruminant alphaherpesvirus and the isolate. Besides the close relationship between all ruminant alphaherpesviruses, the phylogenetic analysis revealed that the isolate clustered with CvHV-1. Conclusion The first isolation of a virus closely related to BoHV-1 in a free-ranging red deer is reported. Data demonstrate that a CvHV-1 strain, named Anlier, circulates in wild red deer in continental Europe. Anlier strain show consistent differences

  4. Medicinal management of corneal opacity in free ranging rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta of Shivalik hills in Western Himalayas, Northern India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. Kumar

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Corneal opacification was diagnosed in 17 free ranging rhesus macaques during detailed ophthalmic examination as a part of clinical health examination, at the monkey rescue sterilization centre in Hamirpur Himachal Pradesh, India. The cornea was completely opaque permitting only a little vision with respect to the affected eye. Medical management with topical ciprofloxacin and prednisolone along with ketoprofen and vitamin A was instituted. The corneal lesions subsided completely within one week following treatment. The treatment protocol successfully eliminated the discomfort and intraocular lesions with no serious subsequent irritation due to the treatment in these animals.

  5. Trophic ecology drives contaminant concentrations within a tropical seabird community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sebastiano, Manrico; Bustamante, Paco; Eulaers, Igor; Malarvannan, Govindan; Mendez-Fernandez, Paula; Churlaud, Carine; Blévin, Pierre; Hauselmann, Antoine; Covaci, Adrian; Eens, Marcel; Costantini, David; Chastel, Olivier

    2017-08-01

    To support environmental management programs, there is an urgent need to know about the presence and understand the dynamics of major contaminants in seabird communities of key marine ecosystems. In this study, we investigated the concentrations and trophodynamics of trace elements in six seabird species and persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in three seabird species breeding on Grand Connétable Island (French Guiana), an area where the increase in human population and mining activities has raised concerns in recent years. Red blood cell Hg concentrations in adults were the highest in Magnificent frigatebirds Fregata magnificens (median: 5.6 μg g(-1) dw; range: 3.8-7.8 μg g(-1) dw) and lowest in Sooty terns Onychoprion fuscatus (median: 0.9 μg g(-1) dw; range: 0.6-1.1 μg g(-1) dw). Among POPs, dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p'-DDE) was the most abundant compound in plasma of Cayenne terns Thalasseus sandvicensis (median: 1100 pg g(-1) ww; range: 160 ± 5100 pg g(-1) ww), while polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were the most abundant compound class in plasma of Magnificent frigatebirds (median: 640 pg g(-1) ww; range 330 ± 2700 pg g(-1) ww). While low intensity of POP exposure does not appear to pose a health threat to this seabird community, Hg concentration in several adults Laughing gulls Leucophaeus atricilla and Royal terns Thalasseus maximus, and in all Magnificent frigatebirds was similar or higher than that of high contaminated seabird populations. Furthermore, nestling red blood cells also contained Hg concentrations of concern, and further studies should investigate its potential health impact in this seabird community. Differences in adult trophic ecology of the six species explained interspecific variation in exposure to trace element and POPs, while nestling trophic ecology provides indications about the diverse feeding strategies adopted by the six species, with the consequent variation in exposure to contaminants

  6. Biologic and genetic characteristics of Toxoplasma gondii isolates in free-range chickens from Nicaragua, Central America

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dubey, J.P.; Sundar, N.; Pineda, N.

    2006-01-01

    The prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii in free-ranging chickens is a good indicator of the prevalence of T. gondii oocysts in the soil because chickens feed from the ground. The prevalence of T. gondii in 98 free-range chickens (Gallus domesticus) from Nicragua was determined. Antibodies to T. gondi...

  7. Effects of free-range access on production parameters and meat quality, composition and taste in slow-growing broiler chickens

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stadig, Lisanne M.; Rodenburg, Bas; Reubens, Bert; Aerts, Johan; Duquenne, Barbara; Tuyttens, Frank A.M.

    2016-01-01

    Demand for meat from free-range broiler chickens is increasing in several countries. Consumers are motivated by better animal welfare and other product attributes such as quality and taste. However, scientific literature is not unanimous about whether free-range access influences quality,

  8. Efficacy of antemortem rectal biopsies to diagnose and estimate prevalence of chronic wasting disease in free-ranging elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is the naturally occurring transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) of captive and free ranging cervid ruminants. Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni) are a free-ranging species of large cervid with a habitat that includes large US national parks. Minimally ...

  9. Efficacy of immobilizing free-ranging elk with Telazol® and xylazine hydrochloride using transmitter-equipped darts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walter, W. David; Leslie, David M.; Herner-Thogmartin, Jennifer H.; Smith, Kimberly G.; Cartwright, Michael E.

    2005-01-01

    From January 1999 to April 2002, 14 free-ranging elk were darted with a mixture of Telazol® reconstituted with xylazine hydrochloride (HCl) in a forested habitat in southwestern Oklahoma and north-central Arkansas. Elk were darted from ground blinds, tree stands, or a vehicle at distances of 14–46 m and were recovered 37–274 m from the dart site. Elk were located using radiotelemetry with 3-cc disposable Pneu-dart® transmitter darts. Mean±SD dose of Telazol®and xylazine HCl was 590±192 mg/ml and 276±153 mg/ml, respectively, and mean time to standing after injection of reversal agent was 27 min (range: 1–65 min). The combination of Telazol® and xylazine HCl successfully immobilized free-ranging elk, and transmitter-equipped darts permitted successful location of sedated elk by two people in areas of dense forest cover. The dose required to sedate elk appeared to vary depending on physiology and behavior, but no drug-induced mortality occurred despite the wide variance in the doses administered. We recommend 500 mg Telazol® reconstituted with 300 mg xylazine HCl as an initial dose for a ≥200 kg elk. If needed to achieve full sedation, up to 3 additional ml of the mixture may be administered without adverse effects.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leenstra, F; Maurer, V; Bestman, M; van Sambeek, F; Zeltner, E; Reuvekamp, B; Galea, F; van Niekerk, T

    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 (brands) were present on the farms. In France, all birds were brown feathered hens laying brown eggs. In Switzerland and The Netherlands, there were brown, white (white feathered hens laying white eggs) and silver (white feathered hens laying brown eggs) hens. In Switzerland, mixed flocks were also present. 3. The overall effect of system (organic vs. conventional free range) on egg production and mortality was significant, with higher mortality and lower egg production among organic hens. In pair wise comparisons within country, the difference was highly significant in The Netherlands, and showed a non-significant tendency in the same direction in Switzerland and France. 4. White hens tended to perform better than brown hens. Silver hens appeared to have a higher mortality and lower production per hen housed at 60 weeks of age. 5. There were no significant relationships between production, mortality, feather condition and use of outside run or with flock size. 6. There was more variation in mortality and egg production among farms with a small flock size than among farms with a large flock size.

  11. HEALTH AND NUTRITIONAL ASSESSMENT OF FREE-RANGING EASTERN INDIGO SNAKES (DRYMARCHON COUPERI) IN GEORGIA, UNITED STATES.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knafo, S Emmanuelle; Norton, Terry M; Mitchell, Mark; Stevenson, Dirk J; Hyslop, Natalie; Poppenga, Robert; Oliva, Marcie; Chen, Tai; Cray, Carolyn; Gibbs, Samantha E J; Durden, Lance; Stedman, Nancy; Divers, Stephen; Dierenfeld, Ellen

    2016-12-01

    Clinical pathology and nutritional parameters are useful in evaluating and monitoring threatened and endangered wildlife populations, but reference ranges for most snake species are lacking. From 2001 to 2005, health assessments were performed on 58 eastern indigo snakes (EIS) (Drymarchon couperi) captured in the wild in southeastern Georgia, United States. Health and nutritional assessments performed included hematology, serum biochemistry, fat-soluble vitamins, heavy metals, pesticide contaminants, parasitology, and surveys of other pathogens. Significant differences in total solids, packed cell volume, glucose, blood urea nitrogen, albumin : globulin ratio, amylase, triglycerides, and bile acids between males and females were observed. Additionally, there was a significant difference between liver and kidney concentrations for vitamins A and E. As previously noted in captive EIS, total Ca was elevated in comparison to concentrations reported in other snake species. Parasitism was a common finding in sampled EIS, but the overall health status of this free-ranging population appeared good. A winter-time dermatitis was found in most snakes, which resolved in the summer months. This study represents the first health and nutritional assessment of free-ranging EIS, and provides needed data to guide monitoring and conservation efforts.

  12. Bacterial microbiota of the ocular surface of captive and free-ranging microbats: Desmodus rotundus, Diameus youngi and Artibeus lituratus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leigue Dos Santos, Lucianne; Montiani-Ferreira, Fabiano; Lima, Leandro; Lange, Rogério; de Barros Filho, Ivan R

    2014-05-01

    To investigate normal aerobic bacterial microbiota of the eye surface in vvcaptive and free-ranging bats belonging to the suborder Microchiroptera. A total of 36 bats belonging to three different species (Desmodus rotundus, Diameus youngi, and Artibeus lituratus) were used to perform this investigation. Thirteen Diameus youngi and six Desmodus rotundus were trapped in a cave, and 17 captive Artibeus lituratus were obtained from an experimental colony. Both free-ranging and captive bats were free of apparent ocular or systemic disease. Corneal and conjunctival swabs were collected from both eyes to identify the resident bacterial microbiota. Seventeen bats had positive bacterial cultures in one or both eyes. Considering all isolates, Gram-positive bacteria (82.6%) predominated over those that were Gram-negative bacteria (17.4%). Coagulase-negative staphylococci (30.4%) were the most isolated genus, followed by Bacillus spp. (26%) and Corynebacterium spp. (21%). Only four Gram-negative species were isolated: Shigella spp., Hafnia alvei, Morganella morganii, and Flavobacterium odoratum. In this study, bacterial microbiota of the ocular surface of bats was described, and Staphylococcus spp. were the most frequently isolated type of microorganism from healthy bat eyes. © 2013 American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists.

  13. Occurrence of porcine cysticercosis in free-ranging pigs delivered to slaughter points in Arapai, Soroti district, Uganda

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gerald Zirintunda

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Poverty, hunger and the need for production of pigs with meagre or zero inputs have made most farmers release their pigs to range freely, thus creating a pig-human cycle that maintains Taenia solium, the pig tapeworm and cause of porcine cysticercosis, in the ecosystem. A preliminary study was designed to establish the prevalence of porcine cysticercosis by postmortem examination of the tongue and carcass of free-range pigs from February to April 2014 in Arapai subcounty, Soroti district, eastern Uganda. The tongue of each pig was extended and examined before deep incisions were made and the cut surfaces were examined. The rest of the carcasses were examined for cysts. Out of 178 pigs examined, 32 were qualitatively positive for porcine cysticercosis, representing a prevalence of 18.0%. This high prevalence represents a marked risk to the communities in the study area of neurocysticercosis, a debilitating parasitic zoonosis. Proper human waste disposal by use of pit latrines, confinement of free-range pigs and treatment with albendazole and oxfendazole are recommended.

  14. Nonlethal acquisition of large liver samples from free-ranging river sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus) using single-entry endoscopic biopsy forceps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Divers, Stephen J; Boone, Shaun S; Berliner, Aimee; Kurimo, Elizabeth A; Boysen, Krista A; Johnson, David R; Killgore, K Jack; George, Steven G; Hoover, Jan Jeffrey

    2013-04-01

    Harvesting of liver samples for toxicologic and other laboratory analyses is frequently undertaken in free-ranging fish to evaluate accumulations of various pollutants and chemicals. However, commonly used, lethal techniques for collecting liver tissues are unacceptable when dealing with protected species. We report the use of a nonlethal, single-entry, endoscopic technique using saline infusion to examine and collect large liver samples using optical biopsy forceps from 16 free-ranging sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus spp.) during 25 and 27 January 2010. Under tricaine methanesulfonate anesthesia and following the introduction of the optical biopsy forceps (with a 5-mm telescope) through a 1-2-cm ventral midline skin incision, liver examination and collection of biopsies averaging 0.9 g, ranging up to 1.4 g, and representing up to 12% of total liver tissue were successful. All fish made uneventful recoveries and necropsy examinations the following day failed to indicate any significant hemorrhage or iatrogenic trauma. We recommend the use of large optical biopsy forceps as a practical, nonlethal alternative for collection of large liver biopsies from sturgeon and other fish.

  15. The long-term dynamics of Campylobacter colonizing a free-range broiler breeder flock: an observational study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colles, Frances M; McCarthy, Noel D; Bliss, Carly M; Layton, Ruth; Maiden, Martin C J

    2015-04-01

    A free-range broiler breeder flock was studied in order to determine the natural patterns of Campylobacter colonization over a period of 63 weeks. Campylobacter sequence types (STs) were not mutually exclusive and on average colonized only 17.7% of the birds tested at any time. Campylobacter STs typically reached a peak in prevalence upon initial detection in the flock before tailing off, although the ST and antigenic flaA short variable region in combination were stable over a number of months. There was evidence that, with a couple of exceptions, the ecology of C. jejuni and C. coli differed, with the latter forming a more stable population. Despite being free range, no newly colonizing STs were detected over a 6-week period in autumn and a 10-week period in winter, towards the end of the study. There was limited evidence that those STs identified among broiler chicken flocks on the same farm site were likely to colonize the breeder flock earlier (R(2) 0.16, P 0.01). These results suggest that there is natural control of Campylobacter dynamics within a flock which could potentially be exploited in designing new intervention strategies, and that the two different species should perhaps be considered separately.

  16. Serosurvey of Leptospirainterrogans, Brucellaabortus and Chlamydophilaabortus infection in free-ranging giant anteaters (Myrmecophaga tridactyla from Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Flávia R. Miranda

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract:A serological survey for antibodies against Leptospira interrogans, Brucella abortus, and Chlamydophila abortus was conducted in 21 clinically healthy, free-ranging giant ant- eaters (Myrmecophaga tridactyla from Parque Nacional das Emas (Goiás State, Brazil; n=6, Parque Nacional da Serra da Canastra (Minas Gerais State, Brazil; n=9, and RPPN SESC Pantanal (Mato Grosso State, Brazil; n=6 between July 2001 and September 2006. Sera were screened for antibodies against 22 serovars of Leptospira interrogans with a microscopic agglutination test. Twelve tested positive for L. interrogansserovars sentot (n=5 in PN Emas, n=2 in PN Serra da Canastra, butembo (n=2 in PN Serra da Canastra, autumnalis, bataviae, and shermani/icterohaemorrhagiae(n=1 each in SESC PantanalOne adult female tested positive for B. abortus with the buffered plate antigen test. All sera were negative for C. abortususing the complement fixation text. This is the first report of pathogens that may interfere with the reproduction and population dynamics of free-ranging giant anteaters.

  17. Field test of a paradigm: hysteresis of heart rate in thermoregulation by a free-ranging lizard (Pogona barbata).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grigg, G C; Seebacher, F

    1999-06-22

    The discovery that changes in heart rate and blood flow allow some reptiles to heat faster than they cool has become a central paradigm in our understanding of reptilian thermoregulation. However, this hysteresis in heart rate has been demonstrated only in simplistic laboratory heating and cooling trials, leaving its functional significance in free-ranging animals unproven. To test the validity of this paradigm, we measured heart rate and body temperature (Tb) in undisturbed, free-ranging bearded dragons (Pogona barbata), the species in which this phenomenon was first described. Our field data confirmed the paradigm and we found that heart rate during heating usually exceeded heart rate during cooling at any Tb. Importantly, however, we discovered that heart rate was proportionally faster in cool lizards whose Tb was still well below the 'preferred Tb range' compared to lizards whose Tb was already close to it. Similarly, heart rate during cooling was proportionally slower the warmer the lizard and the greater its cooling potential compared to lizards whose Tb was already near minimum operative temperature. Further, we predicted that, if heart rate hysteresis has functional significance, a 'reverse hysteresis' pattern should be observable when lizards risked overheating. This was indeed the case and, during heating on those occasions when Tb reached very high levels (> 40 degrees C), heart rate was significantly lower than heart rate during the immediately following cooling phase. These results demonstrate that physiological control of thermoregulation in reptiles is more complex than has been previously recognized.

  18. Seabirds as a subsistence and cultural resource in two remote Alaskan communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca C. Young

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Small rural Alaskan communities face many challenges surrounding rapid social and ecological change. The role of local subsistence resources may change over time because of changes in social perception, economic need, and cultural patterns of use. We look at the Bering Sea's Pribilof Islands, comprising two very small communities, and investigate the relationship between the local residents and seabirds as a natural resource. Seabirds may strengthen ties to older ways of life and have potential for future economic opportunities, or modernization may direct interest away from seabirds as a cultural and economic resource. We conducted a survey and interviews of residents of the two Pribilof Island communities, St. Paul and St. George, to assess opinions toward seabirds and harvest levels. Seabirds were generally regarded as important both to individuals and the wider community. However, current levels of subsistence harvest are low, and few people continue to actively harvest or visit seabird colonies. Respondents expressed desire for greater knowledge about seabirds and also concerns about the current economy of the islands and a lack of future development prospects. Despite the challenging economic conditions, the villages retain a strong sense of community and place value on their environment and on seabirds. Surveys indicated an interest in developing eco-tourism based around local resources, including seabirds, as a way to improve the economy.

  19. Polychlorinated biphenyls and organochlorine pesticides in plastics ingested by seabirds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colabuono, Fernanda Imperatrice; Taniguchi, Satie; Montone, Rosalinda Carmela

    2010-04-01

    The occurrence of plastic objects in the digestive tract was assessed in eight species of Procellariiformes collected in southern Brazil and the occurrence of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) in the ingested plastics pellets and plastic fragments was evaluated. PCBs were detected in plastic pellets (491 ng g(-1)) and plastic fragments (243-418 ng g(-1)). Among the OCPs, p,p'-DDE had the highest concentrations, ranging from 68.0 to 99.0 ng g(-1). The occurrence of organic pollutants in post-consumer plastics supports the fact that plastics are an important source carrying persistent organic pollutants in the marine environment. Although transfer through the food chain may be the main source of exposure to POPs to seabirds, plastics could be an additional source for the organisms which ingest them, like Procellariiformes which are the seabirds most affected by plastic pollution.

  20. Offshore Seabird Distributions during Summer and Autumn at West Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Boertmann, D.; Mosbech, A.

    This report presents the phenological and distributional results of seabird surveys carried out by ship in West Greenland waters. In 1977 observations were carried out from stationary platforms (oil exploration supply ships) and in the period 1992 to 2000 observations were carried out from sailing...... ships. The results from 1977 are presented as observations per 5-day periods and give an impression of the species temporal occurrence. The 1992-2000 results are presented as distribution maps. These show densities for more numerous and widespread species, and actual observations for the less numerous....... During the autumn the numbers of seabirds increase as migrants from local and international populations of mainly thick-billed murre and little auk arrive to spend the winter in West Greenland waters. Huge concentrations of thick-billed murres, common eiders and king-eiders may occur then...

  1. Surveillance strategies for detecting chronic wasting disease in free-ranging deer and elk: results of a CWD surveillance workshop

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samuel, Michael D.; Joly, Damien O.; Wild, Margaret A.; Wright, Scott D.; Otis, David L.; Werge, Rob W.; Miller, Michael W.

    2003-01-01

    Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), a fatal brain disease of North American deer and elk, has recently emerged as an important wildlife management issue. Interest and concern over the spread of this disease and its potential impact on free-ranging cervid populations has increased with discovery of the disease in numerous states and provinces. Current studies suggest that CWD may adversely affect of these highly visible, socially desirable, and economically valuable species. Despite the lack of evidence that CWD affects humans or livestock, a significant concern has been the perceived risk to humans and livestock. Uncertainty about whether CWD poses a health risk to hunters and their families who consume venison has resulted in testing of free-ranging cervids for CWD. In response to many of these concerns, wildlife management agencies across the nation have undertaken surveillance programs to detect CWD in their cervid populations. The nation-wide costs for an extensive CWD surveillance program have been estimated at several million dollars. This document provides guidance on the development and conduct of scientifically sound surveillance programs to detect CWD in free-ranging deer and elk populations. These guidelines will not apply equally to all jurisdictions. In many cases local circumstances, resources, area(s) of concern, disease risk, animal and landscape ecology, political, social, and many other factors will influence the objectives, design, and conduct of CWD surveillance programs. Part I of this report discusses the importance of management goals, strategies, and disease risks in developing a surveillance program. Part II describes surveillance methods, steps in designing a sampling strategy to detect CWD, alternative collection methods, and statistical considerations. Part III describes costs (personnel, time, and money) associated with implementation of these plans that will influence program design. Part IV outlines research that is needed to further

  2. Prevalence of blood parasites in seabirds - a review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Quillfeldt Petra

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Introduction While blood parasites are common in many birds in the wild, some groups seem to be much less affected. Seabirds, in particular, have often been reported free from blood parasites, even in the presence of potential vectors. Results From a literature review of hemosporidian prevalence in seabirds, we collated a dataset of 60 species, in which at least 15 individuals had been examined. These data were included in phylogenetically controlled statistical analyses of hemosporidian prevalence in relation to ecological and life-history parameters. Haemoproteus parasites were common in frigatebirds and gulls, while Hepatozoon occurred in albatrosses and storm petrels, and Plasmodium mainly in penguins. The prevalence of Haemoproteus showed a geographical signal, being lower in species with distribution towards polar environments. Interspecific differences in Plasmodium prevalence were explained by variables that relate to the exposure to parasites, suggesting that prevalence is higher in burrow nesters with long fledgling periods. Measures of Plasmodium, but not Haemoproteus prevalences were influenced by the method, with PCR-based data resulting in higher prevalence estimates. Conclusions Our analyses suggest that, as in other avian taxa, phylogenetic, ecological and life-history parameters determine the prevalence of hemosporidian parasites in seabirds. We discuss how these relationships should be further explored in future studies.

  3. The use of diagnostic imaging for identifying abnormal gas accumulations in cetaceans and pinnipeds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sophie eDennison

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Recent dogma suggested that marine mammals are not at risk of decompression sickness (DCS due to a number of evolutionary adaptations. Several proposed adaptations exist. Lung compression and alveolar collapse that terminate gas exchange before a depth is reached where supersaturation is significant and bradycardia with peripheral vasoconstriction affecting the distribution, and dynamics of blood and tissue nitrogen levels. Published accounts of gas and fat emboli and dysbaric osteonecrosis in marine mammals and theoretical modeling have challenged this view-point, suggesting that decompression-like symptoms may occur under certain circumstances, contrary to common belief. Diagnostic imaging modalities are invaluable tools for the non-invasive examination of animals for evidence of gas and have been used to demonstrate the presence of incidental decompression-related renal gas accumulations in some stranded cetaceans. Diagnostic imaging has also contributed to the recognition of clinically significant gas accumulations in live and dead cetaceans and pinnipeds. Understanding the appropriate application and limitations of the available imaging modalities is important for accurate interpretation of results. The presence of gas may be incidental and must be interpreted cautiously alongside all other available data including clinical examination, clinical laboratory testing, gas analysis, necropsy examination and histology results.

  4. Oral bacterial microbiota and traumatic injuries of free-ranging Phrynops geoffroanus (Testudines, Chelidae in southeastern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruno O. Ferronato

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available During 2006 and 2007, we collected free-ranging Phrynops geoffroanus, from two anthropogenically altered rivers in southeastern Brazil. Oral microbiological samples were taken for isolation of aerobic and facultative anaerobic bacteria; a physical examination was performed;and we evaluated possible effects on the turtles’ health. Twenty-nine species of bacteria were isolated in Piracicaba River turtles (n=10, and twenty-four species in Piracicamirim stream turtles (n=8, most of them gram-negative. In both sites, potential pathogens for reptiles were: Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Enterobacter agglomerans, Citrobacter freundii, and Bacillus sp. Although boatpropeller lesions were common on the carapace of the turtles, we have not found turtles with signs of clinical diseases. The oral bacterial microbiota of P. geoffroanus inhabiting the Piracicaba River basin are composed of a diverse microbe spectrum, and long-term studies of the effects of pollution and traumatic injuries on this population and its microbial flora are warranted.

  5. Neospora caninum-like oocysts observed in feces of free-ranging red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and coyotes (Canis latrans).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wapenaar, Wendela; Jenkins, Mark C; O'Handley, Ryan M; Barkema, Herman W

    2006-12-01

    The aim of this study was to examine the feces of free-ranging foxes and coyotes for the presence of Neospora caninum oocysts. Feces were collected from 271 foxes and 185 coyotes in the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island, processed by sucrose flotation, and examined by light microscopy for the presence of coccidian oocysts. In 2 fox and 2 coyote samples, oocysts morphologically and morphometrically similar to oocysts of N. caninum were observed. DNA was extracted from these samples and subjected to nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using primers to the N. caninum-specific Nc5 genomic sequence. Through DNA sequencing, alignment of the sequences of at least 3 clones from each isolate to sequences deposited in GenBank revealed 95-99% similarity to the Nc5 sequence of N. caninum. PCR using primers specific for Hammondia heydorni failed to yield an amplification product from these DNA samples.

  6. 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...... for the majority of the haematological variables, whereas sex influenced only mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration, aspartate aminotransferase, lipase, lactate dehydrogenase, ß-globulin, bile acids, triglycerides and sodium.ConclusionsThe biochemical and haematological reference intervals provided...

  7. The identification of Anaplasma spp. isolated from fallow deer (Dama dama) on a free-range farm in eastern Poland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adaszek, L; Klimiuk, P; Skrzypczak, M; Górna, M; Zietek, J; Winiarczyk, S

    2012-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate the occurrence of Anaplasma spp. in group of 50 fallow deer (Dama dama) from free-range farm in eastern Poland and determine what species of Anaplasma could infect these animals based on PCR gene sequencing. The PCR technique revealed the presence of 16S RNA Anaplasma spp. genetic material in the blood of 7 out of 50 examined animals. The sequences of the PCR products obtained showed a 100% homology with each other and 100% homology with GU 183908 sequence of A. phagocytophilum, isolated in our earlier study from a horse with clinical form of anaplasmosis. Here, we report the first molecular evidence of Anaplasma spp. among naturally infected fallow deer in eastern Poland.

  8. Prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections in free-ranging Red Panda Ailurus fulgens Cuvier, 1825 (Mammalia: Carnivora: Ailuridae in Nepal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sonam Tashi Lama

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The Red Panda Ailurus fulgens is a small carnivore that is adapted to a mainly herbivorous diet.  The present study was conducted to investigate the prevalence of parasitic infections in a free-ranging population of Red Pandas in a community forest in Nepal.  A total of 23 faecal samples were collected and examined.  Protozoa infections were the most common and cestode infections occurred the least.  Our findings suggest that parasites might be a significant problem for the health of the Red Pandas in the study area.  Molecular methods should be used to further investigate the taxonomic position of the parasites and their role in threatening the resilience of Red Panda populations in Nepal.  

  9. Evaluation of medetomidine-ketamine and atipamezole for reversible anesthesia of free-ranging gray wolves (Canis lupus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnemo, Jon M; Evans, Alina L; Ahlqvist, Per; Segerström, Peter; Liberg, Olof

    2013-04-01

    Twenty-eight anesthetic events were carried out on 24 free-ranging Scandinavian gray wolves (Canis lupus) by darting from a helicopter with 5 mg medetomidine and 250 mg ketamine during winter in 2002 and 2003. Mean±SD doses were 0.162±0.008 mg medetomidine/kg and 8.1±0.4 mg ketamine/kg in juveniles (7-10 mo old) and 0.110±0.014 mg medetomidine/kg and 5.7±0.5 mg ketamine/kg in adults (>19 mo old). Mean±SD induction time was shorter (Pwolves from helicopter at the doses presented here because of the severe hyperthermia seen in several wolves, two deaths, and prolonged recovery in one individual.

  10. 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.

  11. Molecular identification of a papilloma virus from cutaneous lesions of captive and free-ranging Florida manatees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodruff, R.A.; Bonde, R.K.; Bonilla, J.A.; Romero, C.H.

    2005-01-01

    Cutaneous papillomatous lesions were biopsied from three captive Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) at Homosassa Springs State Wildlife Park (HSSWP), Homosassa, Florida, USA, and from six free-ranging Florida manatees from Crystal and Homosassa rivers, Florida. Total DNA extracted from these lesions was assayed for the presence of papilloma virus genomes using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with primers that target the L1 capsid protein gene. The amplification generated DNA fragments 458 base pairs in length that encompassed a highly conserved domain within the L1 capsid protein and translated into identical polypeptides of 152 amino acids, suggesting the involvement of a single papilloma virus genotype. Multiple amino acid sequence and phylogenetic analyses of the L1 fragment indicated that the Florida manatee papilloma virus is a unique and quite distinct papillomavirus from other known papilloma viruses. The emergence of this new pathogen raises concerns about its potential impact on the already endangered Florida manatee.

  12. 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

    bird as well as among three studied villages (P > 0.05). We observed that most of chickens were infected with more than one species of parasites. This finding suggests that the poultry production system in rural areas of Bangladesh and the environmental conditions are very favourable......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...... of susceptibility to many diseases including higher burden of parasitic infection. Therefore this cross sectional epidemiological investigation was done to determine the prevalence and distribution of gastrointestinal helminths in Narsingdi district, Bangladesh. To conduct this study a total of 150 chickens from...

  13. Dietary supplementation of Artemisia annua to free range broilers and its effects on gastro-intestinal parasite infections

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Almeida, Gustavo Fonseca; Horsted, Klaus; Thamsborg, Stig Milan

    2012-01-01

    In a factorial experiment, effects of dried leaves of Artemisia annua as an anti-parasitic supplement in two different broiler genotypes, raised in a free range system, were investigated. Birds were grown indoors until 29 days of age free of parasites. Twelve groups, each of 35 randomly selected...... birds naturally infected with coccidia (Eimeria spp.), were placed in plots cultivated with a mix of grass and white clover (previous two years without poultry) thus forming three replicates for each treatment combination (2 genotypes and +/- supplementation of A. annua). Ten individual birds from each...... to treatment or genotype. A median of 3 larvae per broiler was observed. In conclusion, an integrated system for parasite management may benefit from A. annua supplementation to reduce negative effects of coccidiosis whereas it is difficult to avoid infections with A. galli, if paddocks are permanently used...

  14. Biochemical Foundations of Health and Energy Conservation in Hibernating Free-Ranging Subadult Brown Bear Ursus arctos

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Welinder, Karen Gjesing; Hansen, Rasmus; Overgaard, Michael Toft;

    2016-01-01

    hibernation physiology. We propose that energy for the costly protein synthesis is reduced by three mechanisms, (i) dehydration, which increases protein concentration without de novo synthesis; (ii) reduced protein degradation rates due to a 6 °C reduction in body temperature, and decreased protease activity......Brown bears (Ursus arctos) hibernate for 5-7 months without eating, drinking, urinating and defecating at a metabolic rate of only 25% of the summer activity rate. Nonetheless, they emerge healthy and alert in spring. We quantified the biochemical adaptations for hibernation by comparing...... the proteome, metabolome, and hematologic features of blood from hibernating and active free-ranging subadult brown bears with a focus on conservation of health and energy. We found that total plasma protein concentration increased during hibernation, even though the concentrations of most individual plasma...

  15. Hematological and serum chemistry profiles of free-ranging southern two-toed sloths in French Guiana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogel, I; Vié, J C; de Thoisy, B; Moreau, B

    1999-07-01

    Free-ranging southern two-toed sloths (Choloepus didactylus) were translocated during the flooding of a forest at a hydroelectric dam site in French Guiana. Over an 11 mo period blood samples were collected from 90 sloths (38 males, 52 females) in order to determine hematological and serum chemistry reference values. Mean values and range of values were calculated for 13 hematological and 21 serum chemistry parameters. Variations associated with sex, age and reproductive status were identified. Males had a significantly lower red blood cell count than females. Immature animals had more monocytes while adults had more neutrophils and higher mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration. Aspartate aminotransferase and triglyceride values were higher in young than in adult sloths but uric acid was lower. Lactating females showed lower red blood cells count and iron levels than non-lactating females. These profiles will help to provide reliable baseline data for medical evaluation of sloths.

  16. OUTBREAK OF HEMORRHAGIC SEPTICEMIA IN FREE RANGE BUFFALO AND CATTLE GRAZING AT RIVERSIDE GRASSLAND IN MURSHIDABAD DISTRICT, WEST BENGAL, INDIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joyjit Mitra

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available An outbreak of Haemorrhegic Septicaemia among free ranging buffaloes and cattle reared at the natural grassland at the embankment and surrounding area of Bhagirathi river in 3 blocks of Murshidabad district of West Bengal, India was diagnosed by clinical symptoms, postmortem examination, bacteriological study and biochemical tests. Among 154 affected animals (2.16% of total animals at risk buffalo were 85.71% and cattle were 14.28%. A total of 52 affected animals (33.76% died before starting treatment. Among the dead animals, 86.53% was buffalo and 13.46% was cattle. The ailing animals were successfully treated with antibiotic, analgesic and corticosteroid. The epidemic was finally controlled by vaccination, restriction of animal movement and proper disposal of carcasses.

  17. Effect of diatomaceous earth on parasite load, egg production, and egg quality of free-range organic laying hens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, D C; Yee, A; Rhee, Y-J; Cheng, K M

    2011-07-01

    The effectiveness of diatomaceous earth (DE) as a treatment against parasites and to increase feed efficiency and egg production of organically raised free-range layer hens was evaluated in 2 breeds of commercial egg layers [Bovan Brown (BB) and Lowmann Brown (LB)] that differ in their resistance to internal parasitic infections. Half the hens of each breed were fed diets supplemented with DE (2%). Their internal parasite loads were assessed by biweekly fecal egg counts (FEC) and by postmortem examination of the gastrointestinal tract. Supplementing DE in diets of LB hens, the more parasite-resistant breed, did not significantly affect their FEC and adult parasite load. However, BB hens treated with dietary DE had significantly lower Capillaria FEC, slightly lower Eimeria FEC, fewer birds infected with Heterakis, and significantly lower Heterakis worm burden than control BB hens. Both BB and LB hens fed the diet containing DE were significantly heavier, laid more eggs, and consumed more feed than hens fed the control diet, but feed efficiency did not differ between the 2 dietary treatments. Additionally, BB hens consuming the DE diet laid larger eggs containing more albumen and yolk than hens consuming the control diet. In a subsequent experiment, the effectiveness of DE to treat a Northern fowl mite (Ornithonyssus sylviarum) infestation was tested. Relative to controls, both breeds of hens that were dusted with DE had reduced number of mites. The results of this study indicate the DE has the potential to be an effective treatment to help control parasites and improve production of organically raised, free-range layer hens.

  18. Continuous monitoring of pop hole usage by commercially housed free-range hens throughout the production cycle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richards, G J; Wilkins, L J; Knowles, T G; Booth, F; Toscano, M J; Nicol, C J; Brown, S N

    2011-09-24

    Free-range laying hens are able to move between the indoor house and range through exits termed pop holes. The aim of this study was to examine the proportion of the flock that used the pop holes and to identify patterns of movement throughout the flock cycle. Four flocks of free-range hens each of 1500 birds were studied. Ten per cent of each flock were tagged with RFID (radio-frequency identification) transponders and their pop hole activity studied throughout the production cycle. Within two weeks of tagging at 25, 35, 45, 55 and 65 weeks of age, approximately 80 per cent of the tagged birds were seen in the pop holes and 50 per cent of the tagged birds were seen on 80 per cent of the days available to them after tagging. Within the flock, subpopulations of birds could be identified: those that never ventured to the pop holes (approximately 8 per cent), those that used the pop holes very infrequently (approximately 8 per cent), those that sat in the pop holes (approximately 4 per cent), and those that used the pop holes frequently (approximately 80 per cent). There was an effect of age of the birds, time of day and daily mean temperature on pop hole usage. Additional factors affecting activity on particular days were wind speed, rainfall and hours of sunshine. The findings show that a significant proportion of the flock accesses the pop holes on a regular basis with only a very small proportion preferring to stay in the house.

  19. EVALUATION OF ANTHELMINTIC FISHMEAL POLYMER BAITS FOR THE CONTROL OF BAYLISASCARIS PROCYONIS IN FREE-RANGING RACCOONS (PROCYON LOTOR).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smyser, Timothy J; Johnson, Shylo R; Stallard, Melissa D; McGrew, Ashley K; Page, L Kristen; Crider, Nikki; Ballweber, Lora R; Swihart, Robert K; VerCauteren, Kurt C

    2015-07-01

    Baylisascaris procyonis is a common gastrointestinal parasite of raccoons (Procyon lotor) and is a zoonotic helminth with the potential to cause severe or fatal infection. Raccoons thrive in human-dominated landscapes, and the fecal-oral transmission pathway and lack of effective treatment make B. procyonis a serious threat to public health. The distribution of medicinal baits has emerged as a socially acceptable and cost-effective method for managing disease in free-ranging wildlife. We assessed the suitability of a mass-producible anthelmintic bait for B. procyonis mitigation by evaluating the willingness of free-ranging raccoons to consume anthelmintic baits and determining whether bait consumption successfully cleared B. procyonis infections from raccoons. Anthelmintic baits were modified from standard fishmeal polymer baits, the food attractant commonly used in oral rabies vaccine baits, with the introduction of 220 mg of pyrantel pamoate into the fishmeal mixture. We captured 16 naturally infected raccoons, presented one anthelmintic bait, and monitored B. procyonis infection over 90 d by screening feces for eggs. Treatment cleared B. procyonis infections for nine of 12 raccoons that consumed >10 g of the 15 g bait. We used remote cameras to monitor in situ patterns of bait consumption for anthelmintic baits relative to standard baits. Both anthelmintic and standard baits were rapidly consumed, with no differences in the rate of consumption between bait types. However, after bait contact, raccoons demonstrated a greater willingness to consume standard baits while ignoring anthelmintic baits more frequently (P = 0.06). Initial trials of anthelmintic baits show promise, although refinement in both dose and palatability is needed. At mass production scales, the addition of pyrantel pamoate to fishmeal polymer baits would be inexpensive, potentially making anthelmintic baits a viable management option when coupled with an oral rabies vaccine or used independently

  20. Prevalence and sources of Campylobacter spp. contamination in free-range broiler production in the southern part of Belgium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vandeplas, S.

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available A one year epidemiological study was carried out between February 2005 and February 2006 in the southern part of Belgium to assess the Campylobacter prevalence in free-range broiler production. Three successive broiler flocks from six Belgian farms were investigated for the presence of Campylobacter spp. during the rearing period. Each flock was visited four times, before and after the outdoor rearing period. During each visit, samples were taken in the broiler house (litter, cecal droppings, water-lines, feed, anteroom as well as from the outer rearing environment (open-air range. The Campylobacter detection in all samples was carried out according to the ISO 10272 standard. Identification was based on colonial morphology, microscopic examination, and biochemical tests. PCR multiplex was used for genetic confirmation. Campylobacter jejuni was the main species isolated from all contaminated samples. Overall, mixed infections C. jejuni / Campylobacter coli represented 40.6%, while C. jejuni and C. coli represented 46.9% and 12.5% of chicken samples respectively. A 100% flock contamination was observed in the 6 farms during the summer-autumn period, whereas only 66.7% and 33.3% of the flocks became Campylobacter-positive in spring and winter respectively, at the end of the rearing period. Half of contaminated flocks were infected before chickens have access to the open-air range. Environmental samples, especially the open-air range soil, were found to be Campylobacter-positive before flock infection. The other potential sources of contamination were delivery tray, anteroom floor and water-lines. Other animal productions like cattle on the farm, no applied rodent control, no cleaning and disinfection of water-lines between flocks, no detergent used for cleaning and thinning were recorded as risk factors. In conclusion, the contact with the environment, particularly the access to an open-air range, appeared to be the major way of Campylobacter

  1. Gut microbiomes of free-ranging and captive Namibian cheetahs: Diversity, putative functions and occurrence of potential pathogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wasimuddin; Menke, Sebastian; Melzheimer, Jörg; Thalwitzer, Susanne; Heinrich, Sonja; Wachter, Bettina; Sommer, Simone

    2017-08-07

    Although the significance of the gut microbiome for host health is well acknowledged, the impact of host traits and environmental factors on the interindividual variation of gut microbiomes of wildlife species is not well understood. Such information is essential; however, as changes in the composition of these microbial communities beyond the natural range might cause dysbiosis leading to increased susceptibility to infections. We examined the potential influence of sex, age, genetic relatedness, spatial tactics and the environment on the natural range of the gut microbiome diversity in free-ranging Namibian cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus). We further explored the impact of an altered diet and frequent contact with roaming dogs and cats on the occurrence of potential bacterial pathogens by comparing free-ranging and captive individuals living under the same climatic conditions. Abundance patterns of particular bacterial genera differed between the sexes, and bacterial diversity and richness were higher in older (>3.5 years) than in younger individuals. In contrast, male spatial tactics, which probably influence host exposure to environmental bacteria, had no discernible effect on the gut microbiome. The profound resemblance of the gut microbiome of kin in contrast to nonkin suggests a predominant role of genetics in shaping bacterial community characteristics and functional similarities. We also detected various Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs) assigned to potential pathogenic bacteria known to cause diseases in humans and wildlife species, such as Helicobacter spp., and Clostridium perfringens. Captive individuals did not differ in their microbial alpha diversity but exhibited higher abundances of OTUs related to potential pathogenic bacteria and shifts in disease-associated functional pathways. Our study emphasizes the need to integrate ecological, genetic and pathogenic aspects to improve our comprehension of the main drivers of natural variation and shifts in

  2. Egg production and egg quality in free-range laying hens housed at different outdoor stocking densities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, D L M; Lee, C; Hinch, G N; Roberts, J R

    2017-09-01

    Free-range laying hen systems are increasing in number within Australia. Variation in outdoor stocking densities has led to development of a national information standard on free-range egg labeling, including setting a maximum density of 10,000 hens per hectare. However, there are few data on the impacts of differing outdoor densities on production and egg quality. ISA Brown hens in small (150 hens) flocks were housed in identical indoor pens, each with access (from 21 weeks) to different sized ranges simulating one of three outdoor stocking densities (2 replicates each: 2,000 hens/hectare (ha), 10,000 hens/ha, 20,000 hens/ha). Hen-day production was tracked from 21 through 35 weeks with eggs visually graded daily for external deformities. All eggs laid on one day were weighed each week. Eggs were collected from each pen at 25, 30, and 36 weeks and analyzed for egg quality. There were no effects of outdoor stocking density on average hen-day percentage production (P = 0.67), egg weight (P = 0.09), percentages of deformed eggs (P = 0.30), shell reflectivity (P = 0.74), shell breaking strength (P = 0.07), shell deformation (P = 0.83), or shell thickness (P = 0.24). Eggs from hens in the highest density had the highest percentage shell weight (P = 0.004) and eggs from the lowest density had the highest yolk color score (P quality is warranted. © 2017 Poultry Science Association Inc.

  3. Experimentally altered navigational demands induce changes in the cortical forebrain of free-ranging northern pacific rattlesnakes (Crotalus o. oreganus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holding, Matthew L; Frazier, Julius A; Taylor, Emily N; Strand, Christine R

    2012-01-01

    The hippocampus of birds and mammals plays a crucial role in spatial memory and navigation. The hippocampus exhibits plasticity in adulthood in response to diverse environmental factors associated with spatial demands placed on an animal. The medial and dorsal cortices of the telencephalon of squamate reptiles have been implicated as functional homologues to the hippocampus. This study sought to experimentally manipulate the navigational demands placed on free-ranging northern Pacific rattlesnakes (Crotalus o. oreganus) to provide direct evidence of the relationship between spatial demands and neuroplasticity in the cortical telencephalon of the squamate brain. Adult male rattlesnakes were radio-tracked for 2 months, during which time 1 of 3 treatments was imposed weekly, namely 225-meter translocation in a random direction, 225-meter walk and release at that day's capture site (handling control) or undisturbed (control). Snakes were then sacrificed and the brains were removed and processed for histological analysis of cortical features. The activity range was larger in the translocated (Tr) group compared to the handled (Hd) and undisturbed control (Cn) groups when measured via 95% minimum convex polygon (MCP). At the 100% MCP level, Tr snakes had larger activity ranges than the Cn snakes only. The volume of the medial cortex (MC) was larger in the Tr group compared to the Cn group. The MC of Hd snakes was not significantly different from that of either of the other groups. No differences in dorsal cortex (DC) or lateral cortex volumes were detected among the groups. Numbers of 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (BrdU)-labeled cells in the MC and DC 3 weeks after BrdU injection were not affected by treatment. This study establishes a causal relationship between navigational demands and greater MC volume in a free-ranging reptile.

  4. In utero transmission and tissue distribution of chronic wasting disease-associated prions in free-ranging Rocky Mountain elk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Selariu, Anca; Powers, Jenny G; Nalls, Amy; Brandhuber, Monica; Mayfield, Amber; Fullaway, Stephenie; Wyckoff, Christy A; Goldmann, Wilfred; Zabel, Mark M; Wild, Margaret A; Hoover, Edward A; Mathiason, Candace K

    2015-11-01

    The presence of disease-associated prions in tissues and bodily fluids of chronic wasting disease (CWD)-infected cervids has received much investigation, yet little is known about mother-to-offspring transmission of CWD. Our previous work demonstrated that mother-to-offspring transmission is efficient in an experimental setting. To address the question of relevance in a naturally exposed free-ranging population, we assessed maternal and fetal tissues derived from 19 elk dam-calf pairs collected from free-ranging Rocky Mountain elk from north-central Colorado, a known CWD endemic region. Conventional immunohistochemistry identified three of 19 CWD-positive dams, whereas a more sensitive assay [serial protein misfolding cyclic amplification (sPMCA)] detected CWD prion seeding activity (PrPCWD) in 15 of 19 dams. PrPCWD distribution in tissues was widespread, and included the central nervous system (CNS), lymphoreticular system, and reproductive, secretory, excretory and adipose tissues. Interestingly, five of 15 sPMCA-positive dams showed no evidence of PrPCWD in either CNS or lymphoreticular system, sites typically assessed in diagnosing CWD. Analysis of fetal tissues harvested from the 15 sPMCA-positive dams revealed PrPCWD in 80 % of fetuses (12 of 15), regardless of gestational stage. These findings demonstrated that PrPCWD is more abundant in peripheral tissues of CWD-exposed elk than current diagnostic methods suggest, and that transmission of prions from mother to offspring may contribute to the efficient transmission of CWD in naturally exposed cervid populations.

  5. Effect of free-range days on a local chicken breed: growth performance, carcass yield, meat quality, and lymphoid organ index.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tong, H B; Wang, Q; Lu, J; Zou, J M; Chang, L L; Fu, S Y

    2014-08-01

    An experiment was conducted to evaluate the effect of free-range days on growth performance, carcass yield, meat quality, and lymphoid organ index of a local chicken breed. In total, 1,000 one-day-old male Suqin yellow chickens were raised for 21 d. On d 21, 720 birds with similar BW (536 ± 36 g) were selected and randomly assigned to free-range treatment at 21, 28, 35, and 42 d of age (assigned to free-range treatment for 21, 14, 7, and 0 d, respectively). Each treatment was represented by 5 replicates (pens) containing 36 birds (180 birds per treatment). All the birds were raised in indoor floor pens measuring 1.42 × 1.42 m (2 m(2), 18 birds/m(2)) in conventional poultry research houses before free-range treatment. In the free-range treatment, the chickens were raised in indoor floor houses measuring 3 × 5 m (15 m(2), 2.4 birds/m(2)). In addition, they also had an outdoor free-range paddock measuring 3 × 8 m (24 m(2), 1.5 birds/m(2)). The BW of birds after being assigned to free-range treatment for 7 d decreased significantly compared with that in the conventional treatment (P 0.05). The daily weight gain, feed per gain, daily feed intake, and mortality from 21 to 42 d of age were unaffected by free-range days (P > 0.05). At 42 d of age, the breast yield increased linearly with increasing free-range days (P 0.05). The absolute thymus weight and thymus:BW ratio showed a significant increasing and then decreasing quadratic response to increasing free-range days (P < 0.05). The findings of this study suggest that increasing free-range days advantageously affects breast yield, but decreases thigh, leg, thigh bone, and foot yields as well as the water-holding capacity of thigh. No evidence was found that increasing free-range days caused changes in growth performance, meat quality, and lymphoid organs except for changes in water-holding capacity and thymus. © Poultry Science Association Inc.

  6. Prevalence of parasites and associated risk factors in domestic pigeons (Columba livia domestica) and free-range backyard chickens of Sistan region, east of Iran

    OpenAIRE

    RADFAR, Mohammad Hossein; Javad KHEDRI; Adinehbeigi, Keivan; NABAVI, Reza; Rahmani, Khatereh

    2012-01-01

    This study was carried out on free-range backyard chickens and domestic pigeons (Columba livia domestica) from December 2010 to November 2011 to determine the prevalence, intensity and species of internal and external parasites in Sistan region, east of Iran. Of the total of 59 (27 males and 32 females) free-range backyard chickens and 46 (26 males and 20 females) domestic pigeons inspected, 55 (93.22 %) and 39 (84.78 %) were infected respectively. Ten species of free-range backyard chickens ...

  7. Identification of an assembly site for migratory and tropical seabirds in the South Atlantic Ocean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. John Hughes

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Seabirds are good indicators of wider biodiversity and where they assemble in large numbers signifies sites important to many marine faunal species. Few such large assemblage sites have been identified and none in pelagic waters has been identified in the tropical Atlantic Ocean despite their importance for resident seabirds and those ‘on passage’ during migration. Here, we identify the likely location of just such an assembly site and provide preliminary information about the distribution of pelagic seabirds around Ascension Island in the tropical South Atlantic Ocean using a combination of trans-equatorial seabird migrant tracking data, records of at-sea surveys and land counts of seabirds returning from foraging trips. We found that waters north–north-west of Ascension Island are used more often by seabirds than those south and east of the island. Three-fifths of the species recorded in the assembly site breed at mid- or high-latitudes and some of these migratory seabirds stopover possibly to wait for favourable winds that facilitate onward flight. Our findings are important because to the best of our knowledge no seabird assembly sites have previously been identified in tropical Atlantic Ocean pelagic waters. We provide evidence to support the aspirations of the Marine Reserves Coalition that waters in the vicinity of Ascension Island should be recognised as a sanctuary for marine wildlife and we highlight an area that is worthy of further targeted investigation.

  8. Interspecies and spatial trends in polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in Atlantic and Mediterranean pelagic seabirds

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Roscales, Jose L., E-mail: jlroscales@iqog.csic.es [Research Institute of Biodiversity (IRBio) and department of Animal Biology (Vertebrates), Barcelona University, Av Diagonal 645, 08028 Barcelona (Spain); Department of Instrumental Analysis and Environmental Chemistry, Institute of Organic Chemistry, CSIC, Juan de la Cierva 3, 28006 Madrid (Spain); Gonzalez-Solis, Jacob [Research Institute of Biodiversity (IRBio) and department of Animal Biology (Vertebrates), Barcelona University, Av Diagonal 645, 08028 Barcelona (Spain); Calabuig, Pascual [Wildlife Fauna Tafira Recuperation Center, Cabildo de Gran Canaria, Canary Islands (Spain); Jimenez, Begona [Department of Instrumental Analysis and Environmental Chemistry, Institute of Organic Chemistry, CSIC, Juan de la Cierva 3, 28006 Madrid (Spain)

    2011-10-15

    PAHs were analyzed in the liver of 5 species of pelagic seabirds (Procellariiformes) from the northeast Atlantic and the Mediterranean. The main objective was to assess the trophic and geographic trends of PAHs in seabirds to evaluate their suitability as bioindicators of chronic marine pollution by these compounds. Although higher levels of PAHs have been described in the Mediterranean compared to other oceanic regions, we did not find significant spatial patterns and observed only minor effects of the geographic origin on seabird PAHs. However, we found significant higher PAH levels in petrel compared to shearwater species, which could be related to differences in their exploitation of mesopelagic and epipelagic resources, respectively, and the vertical dynamic of PAHs in the water column. Overall, although this study enhances the need of multi-species approaches to show a more comprehensive evaluation of marine pollution, seabirds emerged as poor indicators of pelagic chronic PAH levels. - Highlights: > PAHs in pelagic seabirds show specific inter-species patterns related to trophic ecology. > Geographic origin shows a minor effect over PAH levels in pelagic seabirds. > Pelagic seabirds seem to be poor indicators of chronic PAH levels. - PAH levels in Atlantic and Mediterranean pelagic seabirds show specific inter-species patterns related to trophic ecology but a minor influence of their geographic origin.

  9. Rickettsia spp. in seabird ticks from western Indian Ocean islands, 2011-2012.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dietrich, Muriel; Lebarbenchon, Camille; Jaeger, Audrey; Le Rouzic, Céline; Bastien, Matthieu; Lagadec, Erwan; McCoy, Karen D; Pascalis, Hervé; Le Corre, Matthieu; Dellagi, Koussay; Tortosa, Pablo

    2014-05-01

    We found a diversity of Rickettsia spp. in seabird ticks from 6 tropical islands. The bacteria showed strong host specificity and sequence similarity with strains in other regions. Seabird ticks may be key reservoirs for pathogenic Rickettsia spp., and bird hosts may have a role in dispersing ticks and tick-associated infectious agents over large distances.

  10. Reduced bone breakage and increased bone strength in free range laying hens fed omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplemented diets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarlton, John F; Wilkins, Lindsay J; Toscano, Michael J; Avery, Nick C; Knott, Lynda

    2013-02-01

    The omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are the immediate precursors to a number of important mediators of immunity, inflammation and bone function, with products of omega-6 generally thought to promote inflammation and favour bone resorption. Western diets generally provide a 10 to 20-fold deficit in omega-3 PUFAs compared with omega-6, and this is thought to have contributed to the marked rise in incidence of disorders of modern human societies, such as heart disease, colitis and perhaps osteoporosis. Many of our food production animals, fed on grains rich in omega-6, are also exposed to a dietary deficit in omega-3, with perhaps similar health consequences. Bone fragility due to osteoporotic changes in laying hens is a major economic and welfare problem, with our recent estimates of breakage rates indicating up to 95% of free range hens suffer breaks during lay. Free range hens housed in full scale commercial systems were provided diets supplemented with omega-3 alpha linolenic acid, and the skeletal benefits were investigated by comparison to standard diets rich in omega-6. There was a significant 40-60% reduction in keel bone breakage rate, and a corresponding reduction in breakage severity in the omega-3 supplemented hens. There was significantly greater bone density and bone mineral content, alongside increases in total bone and trabecular volumes. The mechanical properties of the omega-3 supplemented hens were improved, with strength, energy to break and stiffness demonstrating significant increases. Alkaline phosphatase (an osteoblast marker) and tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (an osteoclast marker) both showed significant increases with the omega-3 diets, indicating enhanced bone turnover. This was corroborated by the significantly lower levels of the mature collagen crosslinks, hydroxylysyl pyridinoline, lysyl pyridinoline and histidinohydroxy-lysinonorleucine, with a corresponding significant shift in the mature

  11. Campylobacter shared between free-ranging cattle and sympatric wild ungulates in a natural environment (NE Spain).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarro-Gonzalez, N; Ugarte-Ruiz, M; Porrero, M C; Zamora, L; Mentaberre, G; Serrano, E; Mateos, A; Lavín, S; Domínguez, L

    2014-09-01

    Campylobacter infections are a public health concern and an increasingly common cause of food-borne zoonoses in the European Union. However, little is known about their spill-over from free-ranging livestock to sympatric wild ungulates, especially in regards to uncommon Campylobacter species. In this study, we aim to determine the prevalence of C. coli, C. jejuni and other C. spp. in game ungulates (wild boar Sus scrofa and Iberian ibex Capra pyrenaica) and free-ranging sympatric cattle in a National Game Reserve in NE Spain. Furthermore, we explore the extent to which Campylobacter species are shared among these co-habiting hosts. Faecal samples from Iberian ibex (n = 181) were negative for C. spp. By direct plating, two wild boars out of 150 were positive for C. coli (1.3%, 95% CI 0.16-4.73), and one was positive for C. jejuni (0.67%, 95% CI 0.02-3.66). The latter was predominant in cattle: 5.45% (n = 55, 95% CI 1.14-5.12), while C. coli was not isolated from this host. C. lanienae was the most frequent species in wild boar at 10% (95% CI 5.7-15.96), and one cow cohabiting with positive wild boars in the same canyon also carried C. lanienae. Four enrichment protocols (using Bolton or Preston broth combined with either mCCDA or CFA) were added for 172 samples (57 from wild boars, 55 cattle and 60 Iberian ibexes) to increase the number of isolates obtained allowing the detection of statistically significant differences. The prevalence of C. lanienae was statistically significantly higher in wild boar than in cattle (P < 0.01), but the prevalence of C. jejuni was higher in the latter (P = 0.045). These results suggest that wild boar and cattle carry their own predominant Campylobacter species, while Iberian ibex do not seem to play an important role in the epidemiology of Campylobacter. However, there is a potential spill-over of C. spp., and thus, further research is needed to elucidate the factors determining inter-species transmission.

  12. Salmonella prevalence and characterization in a free-range pig processing plant: tracking in trucks, lairage, slaughter line and quartering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández, Manuela; Gómez-Laguna, Jaime; Luque, Inmaculada; Herrera-León, Silvia; Maldonado, Alfonso; Reguillo, Lucía; Astorga, Rafael J

    2013-03-01

    New consumer tendencies are focused on products derived from systems which allow both a high animal welfare condition and a high food safety level. However, sometimes animal welfare regulations make the adoption of adequate bio-security measures difficult, representing a barrier for animal health and food safety. Thus the aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of Salmonella at different points of the pig slaughtering process (Trucks, Lairage, Slaughter line and Quartering, TLSQ) from pigs reared in free-range systems. From eight samplings a total of 126 Salmonella isolates out of 1160 different samples were recovered (10.86%). The highest percentage of isolates was detected at the points of pre-scalding (29/80, 36.25%), trucks (13/56, 23.21%), cecal contents (17/80, 21.25%), tonsils (14/80, 17.50%), ileocecal lymph nodes (13/80, 16.25%) and lairage (9/64, 14.06%). Furthermore, eighteen isolates were obtained from different environmental samples from slaughter line and quartering plant (knives and surface of tables) (5.63%) and three isolates at the quartering plant samples (ham, shoulder and loin) (3.75%). Fourteen different serotypes were isolated: Bredeney, Rissen, Derby, Typhimurium, Montevideo, Israel, Anatum, Emek, Monophasic Salmonella Typhimurium (mST), Choleraesuis, Durban, Kentucky, London and Sandiego. S. Typhimurium phage types U311, 193, 104b and UT were identified. Moreover, mST strain was phage typed as U311. From TLSQ1, TLSQ2 and TLSQ4, different strains of S. Derby, S. Rissen and S. Bredeney serotypes were isolated from pig and environmental samples, pointing to a potential cross contamination. Molecular typing (Pulsed-Field Gel Electrophoresis, PFGE) of these strains confirmed the cross contamination. In the remaining samplings, different serotypes were obtained in each sampled point of the chain, assuming that the isolated serotypes belonged to different epidemiological origins. Our results show the isolation of different serotypes of

  13. Reversible immobilization of free-ranging snow leopards (panthera uncia) with a combination of medetomidine and tiletamine-zolazepam.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johansson, Örjan; Malmsten, Jonas; Mishra, Charudutt; Lkhagvajav, Purevjav; McCarthy, Tom

    2013-04-01

    Conservation and research of the elusive snow leopard (Panthera uncia) have been hampered by inadequate knowledge about its basic life history. Global positioning system (GPS) collars can provide useful information, but there has been limited information available on safe capture methods, drug doses, and efficacy for effective immobilization of free-ranging snow leopards. We describe a drug protocol using a combination of medetomidine and tiletamine-zolazepam for the chemical immobilization of free-ranging snow leopards. We also describe physiologic responses to immobilization drugs, including rectal temperature, heart rate, respiratory rate, and relative hemoglobin oxygen saturation (SpO2) recorded every 10 min. Our study was carried out in the Tost Mountains adjacent to the Great Gobi Desert, in southern Mongolia, between August 2008 and April 2012. Eighteen snow leopards were captured or recaptured with foot-snares on 42 occasions and anesthetized for marking with GPS collars. The snow leopards received on average (±SD) 0.020±0.04 mg/kg body mass medetomidine and 2.17±0.45 mg/kg tiletamine-zolazepam. The duration of ensuing anesthesia was 69±13 min, including an induction period of 10 (±4) min. Anesthesia was reversed with 4 mg (0.10±0.04 mg/kg) atipamezole administered intramuscularly. The mean value for SpO2 for the 37 captures where we could record physiologic values was 91±4. The SpO2 increased significantly during anesthesia (+0.06±0.02%/min), whereas rectal temperature (average 38.1±0.7 C/min, change -0.04±0.003 C/min), heart rate (average 97±9 beats/min, change -0.20±0.03 beats/min), and respiratory rate (average 26±6 breaths/min, change -0.11±0.03 breaths/min) decreased significantly. A dose of 80 mg tiletamine-zolazepam (2 mg/kg body weight) and 0.72 mg medetomidine (0.02 mg/kg body weight) safely immobilized all adult and subadult snow leopards (weight 25-45 kg) in our study. All measured physiologic values remained within clinically

  14. Biologic and genetic characteristics of Toxoplasma gondii isolates in free-range chickens from Nicaragua, Central America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dubey, J P; Sundar, N; Pineda, N; Kyvsgaard, N C; Luna, L A; Rimbaud, E; Oliveira, J B; Kwok, O C H; Qi, Y; Su, C

    2006-11-30

    The prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii in free-ranging chickens is a good indicator of the prevalence of T. gondii oocysts in the soil because chickens feed from the ground. The prevalence of T. gondii in 98 free-range chickens (Gallus domesticus) from Nicragua was determined. Antibodies to T. gondii were assayed by the modified agglutination test (MAT), and found in 84 (85.7%) of 98 chickens with titers of 1:5 in 10, 1:10 in eight, 1:20 in seven, 1:40 in nine, 1:80 in 11, 1:160 in one, 1:200 in 27, 1:400 in six, 1:800 four, and 1:3200 in one bird. Hearts and brains of 32 chickens with titers of 1:10 or less were pooled and fed to three T. gondii-free cats. Hearts and brains of 66 chickens with titers of 1:20 or higher were bioassayed in mice. Feces of cats were examined for oocysts. The cat fed tissues from eight chickens with titers of 1:10 shed T. gondii oocysts. The two cats fed tissues of 24 chickens with titers of 1:5 or less did not shed oocysts. T. gondii was isolated by bioassay in mice from 47 chickens with MAT titers of 1:20 or higher. All infected mice from six isolates died of toxoplasmosis. Overall, 41 of 170 (24.1%) mice that became infected after inoculation with chicken tissues died of toxoplasmosis. Genotyping of these 48 isolates (47 from mice and 1 from pooled tissues) using polymorphisms at the loci SAG1, SAG2, SAG3, BTUB and GRA6 revealed eight genotypes. Six isolates had Type I alleles, three isolate had Type II alleles and six isolates had Type III alleles at all loci. Four isolates had mixed infections. Two isolates have a unique allele at SAG1 locus and combination of I and III alleles at other loci. The rest 27 isolates contained the combination of Type I and III alleles and were divided into four genotypes. More than one genotypes were often isolated in chickens from the same household, indicating multiple genotypes were circulating in the same environment. This may explain the high frequency of mixed infections observed. High rate of mixed

  15. An Evaluation of the Infection Status and Source of Subgroup J Avian Leukosis Virus in Cloned Free-Range Layers

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHANG Pei-pei; LIU Shao-qiong; WANG Jian; WANG Bo; ZHAO Cheng-di; ZHANG Yong-guang; SUN Shu-hong

    2013-01-01

    In recent years, subgroup J avian leukosis virus (ALV-J) has been found to frequently infect layers in China. This virus is responsible for economic losses due to both mortality and decreased performance in chickens. In this study, 45-d-old cloned free-range layers were suspected to be infected with ALV and other immunosuppressive diseases because their feathers were unkempt and their growth rate was impaired. To estimate the infection status and determine the source of ALV-J in the flock, 30 cloacal swabs were randomly collected to measure the p27 antigen level by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Among the birds that were tested, 87%(26/30) were positive. In addition, 6 anticoagulant blood samples were aseptically collected at random from the flock when the layers were 60 d old. These samples were centrifuged to obtain the leukocytes, which were then used to inoculate chicken embryo fibroblast (CEF) cells for the identification of ALV-J by indirect immunofluorescence (IFA). Of the samples tested, 100%(6/6) were positive. The flock’s production performance was also investigated, and 10 layers were necropsied to evaluate pathological changes at 115 d of age. The flock never laid eggs even though they reached the age of the first laying (110 d). Furthermore, there were pathological changes present, including atrophy of the thymus and bursa of Fabricius, undeveloped ovaries, glandular stomach haemorrhage, and hepatosplenomegaly. Paraffin-embedded sections of intumescent liver and spleen were prepared for antigen localisation using IFA. Positive signals were prevalent in paraffin-embedded sections of the intumescent liver and spleen. Furthermore, provirus DNA was extracted from 4 cloned free-range layers, and 2 paternal parents (HR native cocks), and the gp85 gene of ALV-J was amplified by PCR to analyse the genetic variation. The results of the autogenous variation analysis showed that the 6 strains were 98.5-99.7%homologous. This study indicated that

  16. Evaluating hair as a predictor of blood mercury: the influence of ontogenetic phase and life history in pinnipeds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, Sarah H.; McHuron, Elizabeth A.; Kennedy, Stephanie N.; Ackerman, Josh; Rea, Lorrie D.; Castellini, J. Margaret; O'Hara, Todd M.; Costa, Daniel P.

    2016-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) biomonitoring of pinnipeds increasingly utilizes nonlethally collected tissues such as hair and blood. The relationship between total Hg concentrations ([THg]) in these tissues is not well understood for marine mammals, but it can be important for interpretation of tissue concentrations with respect to ecotoxicology and biomonitoring. We examined [THg] in blood and hair in multiple age classes of four pinniped species. For each species, we used paired blood and hair samples to quantify the ability of [THg] in hair to predict [THg] in blood at the time of sampling and examined the influence of varying ontogenetic phases and life history of the sampled animals. Overall, we found that the relationship between [THg] in hair and blood was affected by factors including age class, weaning status, growth, and the time difference between hair growth and sample collection. Hair [THg] was moderately to strongly predictive of current blood [THg] for adult female Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus), adult female California sea lions (Zalophus californianus), and adult harbor seals (Phoca vitulina), whereas hair [THg] was poorly predictive or not predictive (different times of year) of blood [THg] for adult northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris). Within species, except for very young pups, hair [THg] was a weaker predictor of blood [THg] for prereproductive animals than for adults likely due to growth, variability in foraging behavior, and transitions between ontogenetic phases. Our results indicate that the relationship between hair [THg] and blood [THg] in pinnipeds is variable and that ontogenetic phase and life history should be considered when interpreting [THg] in these tissues.

  17. Serologic evidence of Brucella infection in pinnipeds along the coast of Hokkaido, the northernmost main island of Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abe, Erika; Ohishi, Kazue; Ishinazaka, Tsuyoshi; Fujii, Kei; Maruyama, Tadashi

    2017-04-01

    Brucella infection in Hokkaido was serologically surveyed in four species of pinnipeds inhabiting Cape Erimo during 2008-2013 and the Shiretoko Peninsula in 1999 by ELISA using Brucella abortus and B. canis as antigens. Anti-Brucella positive sera showed higher absorbance to B. abortus than B. canis in almost all samples. Anti-B. abortus antibodies were detected in serum samples from 24% (n = 55) of Western Pacific harbor seals (Phoca vitulina stejnegeri) in Cape Erimo and from 66% (n = 41) of spotted seals (P. largha), 15% (n = 20) of ribbon seals (Histriophoca fasciata) and 18% (n = 17) of Western Steller's sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus jubatus) in the Shiretoko Peninsula. Anti-Brucella antibodies were detected at higher absorbance in 1- to 4-year-old harbor seals than in the pups and mature animals, suggesting either that Brucella infection mainly occurs after weaning or that it is maternally transmitted to pups with premature or suppressed immunity. Anti-Brucella antibodies were detected in both immature and mature spotted seals and ribbon seals, with higher absorbance in the former. The antibodies were detected only in mature Western Steller's sea lions. Western blot analysis of the serum samples showed some differences in band appearances, namely discrete versus smeary, and in the number of bands, indicating that multiple different Brucella may be prevalent in pinnipeds in Hokkaido. Alternatively, the Brucella of pinnipeds may have some intra-species diversity. © 2017 The Societies and John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.

  18. Coexposure of dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls and polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans in free-range hens and implications derived from congener profile analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Chingju; Hsu, Jing-Fang; Liao, Pao-Chi

    2012-02-29

    The consumption of free-range eggs is becoming more popular worldwide. We analyzed the levels of 12 dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (dl-PCBs) and their congener profiles from 6 free-range and 12 caged egg samples. The mean levels of dl-PCBs in the free-range samples were 5.4 times higher than those in caged eggs. All egg samples exhibited at least two characteristic dl-PCB congener patterns, which reflected distinctive contamination sources. Additionally, for the first time, we demonstrated that the dl-PCB levels in the free-range eggs were highly correlated with elevated levels of 17 polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs) (r = 0.986; p < 0.001), indicating a coexposure scenario in free-range hens. Cluster analysis of congener patterns implied that this coexposure scenario could be attributed to distinct dl-PCB and PCDD/F sources. This congener profile information provides insights from a different perspective for further identifying potential dl-PCB and PCDD/F sources in the polluted free-range eggs.

  19. On the Challenge of Interpreting Census Data: Insights from a Study of an Endangered Pinniped.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fritz Trillmich

    Full Text Available Population monitoring is vital for conservation and management. However, simple counts of animals can be misleading and this problem is exacerbated in seals (pinnipeds where individuals spend much time foraging away from colonies. We analyzed a 13-year-series of census data of Galapagos sea lions (Zalophus wollebaeki from the colony of Caamaño, an islet in the center of the Galapagos archipelago where a large proportion of animals was individually marked. Based on regular resighting efforts during the cold, reproductive (cold-R; August to January and the warm, non-reproductive (warm-nR; February to May season, we document changes in numbers for different sex and age classes. During the cold-R season the number of adults increased as the number of newborn pups increased. Numbers were larger in the morning and evening than around mid-day and not significantly influenced by tide levels. More adults frequented the colony during the warm-nR season than the cold-R season. Raw counts suggested a decline in numbers over the 13 years, but Lincoln-Petersen (LP- estimates (assuming a closed population did not support that conclusion. Raw counts and LP estimates were not significantly correlated, demonstrating the overwhelming importance of variability in attendance patterns of individuals. The probability of observing a given adult in the colony varied between 16% (mean for cold-R season and 23% (warm-nR season and may be much less for independent 2 to 4 year olds. Dependent juveniles (up to the age of about 2 years are observed much more frequently ashore (35% during the cold-R and 50% during the warm-nR seasons. Simple counts underestimate real population size by a factor of 4-6 and may lead to erroneous conclusions about trends in population size.

  20. Skin biopsy as a nondestructive tool for the toxicological assessment of endangered populations of pinnipeds: preliminary results on mixed function oxidase in Otaria flavescens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fossi, M C; Savelli, C; Marsili, L; Casini, S; Jimenez, B; Junin, M; Castello, H; Lorenzani, J A

    1997-10-01

    The aim of this study was to develop and validate a method for assessing the toxicological risk of endangered populations of pinnipeds based on a nondestructive biological tool, the skin biopsy specimen. Skin biopsies can be obtained from pinnipeds by anaesthetising the animals and taking a small amount of skin in the anterior flipper area, or by shooting a biopsy dart with a crossbow. Skin biopsy material is suitable for a wide range of chemical and biomarker analysis. Organochlorines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons can be analysed in subcutaneous fat and MFO activity (BPMO), Cyt.P450 isoforms, and DNA damage can be detected in epidermis.

  1. Commensal in conflict: Livestock depredation patterns by free-ranging domestic dogs in the Upper Spiti Landscape, Himachal Pradesh, India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Home, Chandrima; Pal, Ranjana; Sharma, Rishi Kumar; Suryawanshi, Kulbhushansingh R; Bhatnagar, Yash Veer; Vanak, Abi Tamim

    2017-01-10

    In human-populated landscapes worldwide, domestic dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) are the most abundant terrestrial carnivore. Although dogs have been used for the protection of livestock from wild carnivores, they have also been implicated as predators of livestock. We used a combination of methods (field surveys, interview surveys, and data from secondary sources) to examine the patterns and factors driving livestock depredation by free-ranging dogs, as well as economic losses to local communities in a Trans-Himalayan agro-pastoralist landscape in India. Our results show that livestock abundance was a better predictor of depredation in the villages than local dog abundance. Dogs mainly killed small-bodied livestock and sheep were the most selected prey. Dogs were responsible for the majority of livestock losses, with losses being comparable to that by snow leopards. This high level of conflict may disrupt community benefits from conservation programs and potentially undermine the conservation efforts in the region through a range of cascading effects.

  2. Reciprocation and interchange of grooming, agonistic support, feeding tolerance, and aggression in semi-free-ranging Barbary macaques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carne, Charlotte; Wiper, Sue; Semple, Stuart

    2011-11-01

    Evidence from a range of primate species indicates that grooming can be exchanged either for itself or for other rank-related "commodities," such as agonistic support, feeding tolerance, or reduced aggression. Patterns of exchange behavior have been found to vary considerably between species, and understanding the causes of this variation is central to the study of the evolution of primate social systems. It is, therefore, essential that exchange behavior is examined in a wide range of species and settings. This article is the first to explore the reciprocation and interchange of grooming in the Barbary macaque (Macaca sylvanus). We collected focal data on semi-free-ranging adult female Barbary macaques at Trentham Monkey Forest, England, and analyzed dyadic data using Generalized Linear Mixed Models. We found evidence for the reciprocal exchange of grooming and for the interchange of grooming for agonistic support and tolerance while feeding. There was no evidence that grooming was traded for a reduction in aggression; indeed, we found a positive relationship between aggression given and grooming received. This may reflect the "extortion" of grooming from subordinates by dominant animals. These results will facilitate comparative analyses of exchange behavior by adding to the current database a new species, characterized by a different social style from those macaque species previously investigated.

  3. Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in blubber of free-ranging bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from two southeast Atlantic estuarine areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fair, Patricia A; Mitchum, Gregory; Hulsey, Thomas C; Adams, Jeff; Zolman, Eric; McFee, Wayne; Wirth, Ed; Bossart, Gregory D

    2007-10-01

    Blubber tissue samples from bottlenose dolphins collected during the summers of 2003 and 2004 were screened for 13 (17, 28, 47, 66, 71, 85, 99, 100, 138, 154, 153, 183, 190) polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) from dolphin populations in the Indian River Lagoon, FL (n = 58) and the Charleston Harbor estuary, SC (n = 53). Within each population, we investigated contaminant levels of PBDEs and the effects of factors including age, sex, the interaction of age and sex, and location. Six PBDE congeners (28, 47, 99, 100, 153, and 154) were routinely detected in all samples using gas chromatography/mass spectometry methods. Significantly higher (p River Lagoon dolphins (X= 1,260 ng/g lipid; range = 195-3,790 ng/g lipid). PBDE 47 was the major congener representing approximately 61% of the SigmaPBDE in both dolphin populations, followed by BDE100, BDE154, BDE99, BDE153, and BDE28, respectively. Significantly higher (p River Lagoon and twelve-fold for Charleston. For Charleston dolphins, the juveniles in addition to the adult males also had significantly higher levels compared to pregnant and adult females. This study establishes baseline levels of PBDEs in bottlenose dolphins for these two areas and is the first assessment of PBDEs in free-ranging dolphins. The levels of PBDEs in Charleston dolphins represent some of the highest measured in marine mammals and warrants further investigation of these emerging, bioaccumulative chemicals and their potential deleterious effects.

  4. The Use of Acceleration to Code for Animal Behaviours; A Case Study in Free-Ranging Eurasian Beavers Castor fiber.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia M Graf

    Full Text Available Recent technological innovations have led to the development of miniature, accelerometer-containing electronic loggers which can be attached to free-living animals. Accelerometers provide information on both body posture and dynamism which can be used as descriptors to define behaviour. We deployed tri-axial accelerometer loggers on 12 free-ranging Eurasian beavers Castor fiber in the county of Telemark, Norway, and on four captive beavers (two Eurasian beavers and two North American beavers C. canadensis to corroborate acceleration signals with observed behaviours. By using random forests for classifying behavioural patterns of beavers from accelerometry data, we were able to distinguish seven behaviours; standing, walking, swimming, feeding, grooming, diving and sleeping. We show how to apply the use of acceleration to determine behaviour, and emphasise the ease with which this non-invasive method can be implemented. Furthermore, we discuss the strengths and weaknesses of this, and the implementation of accelerometry on animals, illustrating limitations, suggestions and solutions. Ultimately, this approach may also serve as a template facilitating studies on other animals with similar locomotor modes and deliver new insights into hitherto unknown aspects of behavioural ecology.

  5. Temporal and geographic clustering of polyomavirus-associated olfactory tumors in 10 free-ranging raccoons (Procyon lotor).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giannitti, F; Higgins, R J; Pesavento, P A; Dela Cruz, F; Clifford, D L; Piazza, M; Parker Struckhoff, A; Del Valle, L; Bollen, A W; Puschner, B; Kerr, E; Gelberg, H; Mete, A; McGraw, S; Woods, L W

    2014-07-01

    Reports of primary nervous system tumors in wild raccoons are extremely rare. Olfactory tumors were diagnosed postmortem in 9 free-ranging raccoons from 4 contiguous counties in California and 1 raccoon from Oregon within a 26-month period between 2010 and 2012. We describe the geographic and temporal features of these 10 cases, including the laboratory diagnostic investigations and the neuropathologic, immunohistochemical, and ultrastructural characteristics of these tumors in the affected animals. All 9 raccoons from California were found within a localized geographic region of the San Francisco Bay Area (within a 44.13-km radius). The tight temporal and geographic clustering and consistent anatomic location in the olfactory system of tumor types not previously described in raccoons (malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors and undifferentiated sarcomas) strongly suggest either a common cause or a precipitating factor leading to induction or potentiation of neuro-oncogenesis and so prompted an extensive diagnostic investigation to explore possible oncogenic infectious and/or toxic causes. By a consensus polymerase chain reaction strategy, a novel, recently reported polyomavirus called raccoon polyomavirus was identified in all 10 tumors but not in the normal brain tissue from the affected animals, suggesting that the virus might play a role in neuro-oncogenesis. In addition, expression of the viral protein T antigen was detected in all tumors containing the viral sequences. We discuss the potential role of raccoon polyomavirus as an oncogenic virus. © The Author(s) 2013.

  6. Age, but not anthelmintic treatment, is associated with urinary neopterin levels in semi-free ranging Barbary macaques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller, Nadine; Heistermann, Michael; Strube, Christina; Schülke, Oliver; Ostner, Julia

    2017-01-01

    Studying host parasite interactions and their implications for evolution and ecology recently received increasing attention, particularly with regard to host physiology and immunity. Here we assess variation of urinary neopterin (uNEO), a marker of cellular immune activation and iummunosenescence, in response to age and anthelmintic treatment in semi-free ranging Barbary macaques (Macaca sylvanus). Urinary NEO levels were measured via enzyme-immunoassay from 179 urine samples of 43 individuals between 5–29 years of age. Efficiency of treatment was assessed by Mc Master flotation on repeated faecal samples, including 18 untreated individuals as control group. We used linear mixed models with age and parasite status as main effects, controlling for sex and physical condition, assessed through urinary C-Peptide-levels, with social group and ID as random factors. Urinary NEO levels significantly increased with age, suggesting that changes in aging Barbary macaque immune responses are consistent with immunosenescence described in human and nonhuman primates and can be detected via uNEO measurements. Anthelmintic treatment, however, had no influence on uNEO levels, potentially due to quick reinfections or attenuated immune responses in repeated infections. We conclude that uNEO is a potential non-invasive marker for immune function and particularly immunosenescence in wildlife. PMID:28155915

  7. Sex-specific ecophysiological responses to environmental fluctuations of free-ranging Hermann's tortoises: implication for conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sibeaux, Adélaïde; Michel, Catherine Louise; Bonnet, Xavier; Caron, Sébastien; Fournière, Kévin; Gagno, Stephane; Ballouard, Jean-Marie

    2016-01-01

    Physiological parameters provide indicators to evaluate how organisms respond to conservation actions. For example, individuals translocated during reinforcement programmes may not adapt to their novel host environment and may exhibit elevated chronic levels of stress hormones and/or decreasing body condition. Conversely, successful conservation actions should be associated with a lack of detrimental physiological perturbation. However, physiological references fluctuate over time and are influenced by various factors (e.g. sex, age, reproductive status). It is therefore necessary to determine the range of natural variations of the selected physiological metrics to establish useful baselines. This study focuses on endangered free-ranging Hermann's tortoises (Testudo hermanni hermanni), where conservation actions have been preconized to prevent extinction of French mainland populations. The influence of sex and of environmental factors (site, year and season) on eight physiological parameters (e.g. body condition, corticosterone concentrations) was assessed in 82 individuals from two populations living in different habitats. Daily displacements were monitored by radio-tracking. Most parameters varied between years and seasons and exhibited contrasting sex patterns but with no or limited effect of site. By combining behavioural and physiological traits, this study provides sex-specific seasonal baselines that can be used to monitor the health status of Hermann's tortoises facing environmental threats (e.g. habitat changes) or during conservation actions (e.g. translocation). These results might also assist in selection of the appropriate season for translocation. PMID:27933166

  8. Relationships between flavour, lipid composition and antioxidants in organic, free-range and conventional chicken breasts from modelling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jahan, Kishowar; Paterson, Alistair; Spickett, Corinne M

    2006-01-01

    Consumers expect organic, free-range and corn-fed chicken to be nutritionally wholesome and have premium flavour characters. Interrelationships between flavour, fatty acids and antioxidants of retailed breasts were explored using simple correlations and chemometrics. Saturated fatty acid C16:0, and n-6 polyunsaturated C20:4 and C22:4 contents were correlated with lipid oxidation products (thiobarbituric acid reactive substances) and in partial least-squares regression (PLS1) with 32 high-resonance gas chromatography (flame ionization) flavour components (r2>0.90), and also linked (r2>0.80) to antioxidants (alpha-tocopherol, glutathione and catalase). A further 10 high-resonance gas chromatography nitrogen phosphorus detector flavour components were correlated (r2>0.85) with C18:3(n-3) content. Chicken character was correlated with C18:3(n-3), and C18:3(n-6) inversely with oily, off-flavour and lipid oxidation. Sweet, fruity and oily aromas were linked in PLS1 with 13 specific fatty acids (r2>0.6), and bland taste with total summed (six) fatty acid fractions (r2>0.81). Specific antioxidants were correlated with sweet, fruity and chicken aromas, and alpha-tocopherol inversely with lipid oxidation. PLS2 confirmed relationships between fatty acid composition, antioxidants and the subsets of 32 and 10 flavour components. Clear relationships were thus observed between lipid and antioxidant compositions and flavour in chicken breast meat.

  9. Risks of avian influenza transmission in areas of intensive free-ranging duck production with wild waterfowl.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cappelle, Julien; Zhao, Delong; Gilbert, Marius; Nelson, Martha I; Newman, Scott H; Takekawa, John Y; Gaidet, Nicolas; Prosser, Diann J; Liu, Ying; Li, Peng; Shu, Yuelong; Xiao, Xiangming

    2014-01-01

    For decades, southern China has been considered to be an important source for emerging influenza viruses since key hosts live together in high densities in areas with intensive agriculture. However, the underlying conditions of emergence and spread of avian influenza viruses (AIV) have not been studied in detail, particularly the complex spatiotemporal interplay of viral transmission between wild and domestic ducks, two major actors of AIV epidemiology. In this synthesis, we examine the risks of avian influenza spread in Poyang Lake, an area of intensive free-ranging duck production and large numbers of wild waterfowl. Our synthesis shows that farming of free-grazing domestic ducks is intensive in this area and synchronized with wild duck migration. The presence of juvenile domestic ducks in harvested paddy fields prior to the arrival and departure of migrant ducks in the same fields may amplify the risk of AIV circulation and facilitate the transmission between wild and domestic populations. We provide evidence associating wild ducks migration with the spread of H5N1 in the spring of 2008 from southern China to South Korea, Russia, and Japan, supported by documented wild duck movements and phylogenetic analyses of highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 sequences. We suggest that prevention measures based on a modification of agricultural practices may be implemented in these areas to reduce the intensity of AIV transmission between wild and domestic ducks. This would require involving all local stakeholders to discuss feasible and acceptable solutions.

  10. Social variables affecting mate preferences, copulation and reproductive outcome in a pack of free-ranging dogs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simona Cafazzo

    Full Text Available Mating and reproductive outcome is often determined by the simultaneous operation of different mechanisms like intra-sexual competition, mating preferences and sexual coercion. The present study investigated how social variables affected mating outcome in a pack of free-ranging dogs, a species supposed to have lost most features of the social system of wolves during domestication. We found that, although the pack comprised multiple breeding individuals, both male copulation success and female reproductive success were positively influenced by a linear combination of dominance rank, age and leadership. Our results also suggest that mate preferences affect mating outcome by reinforcing the success of most dominant individuals. In particular, during their oestrous period bitches clearly searched for the proximity of high-ranking males who displayed affiliative behaviour towards them, while they were more likely to reject the males who intimidated them. At the same time, male courting effort and male-male competition for receptive females appeared to be stronger in the presence of higher-ranking females, suggesting a male preference for dominant females. To our knowledge, these results provide the first clear evidence of social regulation of reproductive activities in domestic dogs, and suggest that some common organizing mechanisms may contribute to shape the social organization of both dogs and wolves.

  11. A comparison of the prevalence and burdens of helminth infections in growers and adult free-range chickens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magwisha, H B; Kassuku, A A; Kyvsgaard, N C; Permin, A

    2002-05-01

    Matched samples of 100 chickens of each of growers and adult rural free-range chickens in Morogoro, Tanzania, were purchased from the beginning to the end of the long rainy season. At necropsy, the trachea, the gastrointestinal tract and the oviduct were examined for helminth infections. The helminth species isolated comprised 18 nematodes and 8 cestodes but no trematodes. Tetrameres fissispina is a new record in Tanzania. All the chickens harboured at least three different helminth species. Growers contained 4-14 and adults 3-12 helminth species. The number of species isolated per chicken increased as the rainy season advanced. The prevalence of the following species were significantly higher in growers than in adults (p Raillietina tetragona (36%, 21%). Allodapa suctoria (3%, 20%) and Capillaria annulata (1%, 10%) had a significantly lower prevalence in growers than in adults (p tetragona, S. trachea, T. americana, T. fissispina and T. tenuis. Conversely, A. suctoria and C. annulata showed significantly higher worm burdens in adults (p < 0.05). The sex of the chickens influenced the burdens of Heterakis brevispiculum (p < 0.05). There was an interaction effect such that growing males and adult females had statistically higher (p < 0.05) burdens of T. tenuis and A. suctoria, respectively.

  12. Higher Storage Temperature Causes Greater Salmonella enterica Serovar Typhimurium Internal Penetration of Artificially Contaminated, Commercially Available, Washed Free Range Eggs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whiley, Alice; Fallowfield, Howard; Ross, Kirstin; McEvoy, Vanessa; Whiley, Harriet

    2016-07-01

    Foodborne salmonellosis is a major public health concern, with contaminated eggs identified as a significant source of infection. In Australia, the most prevalent cause of salmonellosis from eggs is Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Typhimurium. This study explored the effect of temperature after 1, 7, 14, 21, and 28 days of storage on commercially available washed free range eggs, artificially contaminated with Salmonella Typhimurium on the external surface. At each time point, the external surface of the egg, the crushed eggshell, and the internal egg yolk and albumen were analyzed for Salmonella. After 28 days of storage, 25% of eggs stored at 4°C, 50% of eggs stored at 14°C, and 100% of eggs stored at 23 and 35°C were internally contaminated with Salmonella. After 1 day of storage, more than 50% of all eggs had Salmonella present in the crushed shell after the external surface had been disinfected with ethanol. This is the first study to demonstrate that refrigeration reduced the potential for Salmonella Typhimurium to penetrate the eggshell membrane and internally contaminate table eggs commercially available in Australia. It also suggests that the processes of cracking eggs may be a source of cross-contamination within the kitchen.

  13. Reproduction in free-ranging Propithecus verreauxi: estrus and the relationship between multiple partner matings and fertilization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brockman, D K; Whitten, P L

    1996-05-01

    Female sifaka mate selectively with one or more resident and/or non-resident males during the breeding season. Various adaptive explanations have been advanced to explain why female primates mate with multiple males including that 1) females seek to confuse paternity and thereby forestall male infanticide and/or ensure male infant care or 2) females seek to ensure fertilization. Assessing the power of fertilization insurance to explain mating patterns in females requires information on the temporal relationship between mating and ovarian hormones. The hormonal correlates of reproduction and mating in free-ranging Propithecus verreauxi were investigated using excreted steroids as indices of reproductive state. Solid-phase extraction and radioimmunoassay techniques were used to measure unconjugated estradiol (E(2)) and progesterone (P(4)) in 485 desiccated fecal samples collected from five female sifaka before and during the breeding season at Beza Mahafaly, Madagascar. Results suggest that behavioral estrus was characterized by 10 to 15-day elevations in E(2); hormonal activity was observed to be similar to pseudo-estrus reported for other lemur species; apparent conception was associated with sustained P4 elevations beginning 1 to 3 days post-estrus with gestational phase elevations of E2 beginning 42 to 45 days post-conception; and mating with multiple partners appeared not to be a prerequisite to fertilization, as conception resulted from both monoandrous and polyandrous matings. These preliminary data suggest that fertilization insurance is not adequate to explain polyandrous mating in sifaka at Beza Mahafaly.

  14. Domestic dog origin of canine distemper virus in free-ranging wolves in Portugal as revealed by hemagglutinin gene characterization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller, Alexandra; Silva, Eliane; Santos, Nuno; Thompson, Gertrude

    2011-07-01

    Serologic evidence for canine distemper virus (CDV) has been described in grey wolves but, to our knowledge, virus strains circulating in wolves have not been characterized genetically. The emergence of CDV in several non-dog hosts has been associated with amino acid substitutions at sites 530 and 549 of the hemagglutinin (H) protein. We sequenced the H gene of wild-type canine distemper virus obtained from two free-ranging Iberian wolves (Canis lupus signatus) and from one domestic dog (Canis familiaris). More differences were found between the two wolf sequences than between one of the wolves (wolf 75) and the dog. The latter two had a very high nucleotide similarity resulting in identical H gene amino acid sequences. Possible explanations include geographic and especially temporal proximity of the CDV obtained from wolf 75 and the domestic dog, taken in 2007-2008, as opposed to that from wolf 3 taken more distantly in 1998. Analysis of the deduced amino acids of the viral hemagglutinin revealed a glycine (G) and a tyrosine (Y) at amino acid positions 530 and 549, respectively, of the partial signaling lymphocytic activation molecule (SLAM)-receptor binding region which is typically found in viral strains obtained from domestic dogs. This suggests that the CDV found in these wolves resulted from transmission events from local domestic dogs rather than from wildlife species.

  15. In vitro characterization and in vivo properties of Salmonellae lytic bacteriophages isolated from free-range layers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L Fiorentin

    2004-06-01

    Full Text Available Occurrence of food poisoning related to Salmonella-contaminated eggs and chicken meat has been frequent in humans. Salmonella Enteritidis (SE and Salmonella Typhimurium (ST are included among the most important paratyphoid salmonellae associated with chicken meat and eggs. Elimination of Salmonella at the pre-harvest stage can play a significant role in preventing the introduction of this pathogen into the food chain and consequently in the reduction of food poisoning in humans. Bactericidal bacteriophages may provide a natural, nontoxic, feasible and non-expensive component of the multi-factorial approach for a pre-harvest control of Salmonella in poultry. Five bacteriophages lytic for SE PT4 and ST were obtained from 107 samples of feces of free-range layers in Brazil. All bacteriophages were characterized in vitro and in vivo, showing head and tail morphology and dsDNA as nucleic acids. Results of "in vivo" studies suggested that bacteriophages do not remain in Salmonella-free birds longer than one day, whereas they multiply in Salmonella-infected birds for longer periods. Besides, selection for phage-resistant SE PT4 did not seem to occur in the short term. Isolated bacteriophages will be investigated for their potential for pre-harvest biocontrol of SE PT4 in poultry.

  16. Do owls use torpor? Winter thermoregulation in free-ranging pearl-spotted owlets and African scops-owls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smit, Ben; McKechnie, Andrew E

    2010-01-01

    Numerous avian taxa use torpor, which involves pronounced reductions in body temperature (T(b)) to below normothermic levels. However, the occurrence of this phenomenon in owls (Strigidae) remains largely unknown. We investigated winter patterns of thermoregulation in the crepuscular 80-g pearl-spotted owlet Glaucidium perlatum and the strictly nocturnal 61-g African scops-owl Otus senegalensis by obtaining telemetric measurements of skin temperature (T(skin)) from free-ranging individuals in the Kalahari Desert of southern Africa. Pearl-spotted owlets remained homeothermic throughout the study period, whereas African scops-owls routinely used shallow torpor, with T(skin) reduced by 3.3 degrees -8.6 degrees C (pooled mean, 5.3+/- 1.1 degrees C) below normothermic levels for 3-4 h after sunrise. The mean lowest T(skin) recorded in three African scops-owl individuals was 29.0 degrees C +/- 0.1 degrees C. The thermoregulatory differences between these two species may be related to their diets and activity patterns. African scops-owls are almost exclusively insectivorous and experience a marked reduction in food availability on cold winter nights. In contrast, pearl-spotted owlets have more flexible activity patterns and include larger or diurnal vertebrate prey in their diet.

  17. Genital and sperm characteristics of wild, free ranging red deer stags (Cervus elaphus L hunted in different regions of Poland

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    Zygmunt Gizejewski

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available In an attempt to establish reference values for sperm morphology in wild red deer, genital tracts were collected from thirty-six 3 11 years old free-ranging, wild red deer stags (Cervus elaphus L shot down during 3 consecutive mating seasons (1996-1998 at three different environmental regions of Poland, defining two major ecotypes: (i highland (outer eastern Carpathian range, Bieszczady mountains and, (ii lowland (Mazuria and Pomerania and studied within 4.5h 49h after death for testis (T, epididymides (E and vesicular gland (VG variables. Spermatozoa collected from the E-cauda were examined for motility and morphology (light and electron microscopy levels. Both T size and weight and VS-weight differed with age (P<0.05-0.01 while habitat influenced T size and weight (P<0.01 a well as sperm motility (P<0.05. Neither sperm numbers nor morphology showed significant differences, mostly owing to the large variation recorded among stags (range 1 72%. Domain-grouped sperm morphological deviations were <5%, the mean total proportion of abnormal spermatozoa ranging 7.2-17.5%. Although variation was present, the values ought to be used as reference for spermiogrammes.

  18. Effect of mating activity and dominance rank on male masturbation among free-ranging male rhesus macaques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dubuc, Constance; Coyne, Sean P; Maestripieri, Dario

    2013-11-01

    The adaptive function of male masturbation is still poorly understood, despite its high prevalence in humans and other animals. In non-human primates, male masturbation is most frequent among anthropoid monkeys and apes living in multimale-multifemale groups with a promiscuous mating system. In these species, male masturbation may be a non-functional by-product of high sexual arousal or be adaptive by providing advantages in terms of sperm competition or by decreasing the risk of sexually transmitted infections. We investigated the possible functional significance of male masturbation using behavioral data collected on 21 free-ranging male rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) at the peak of the mating season. We found some evidence that masturbation is linked to low mating opportunities: regardless of rank, males were most likely to be observed masturbating on days in which they were not observed mating, and lower-ranking males mated less and tended to masturbate more frequently than higher-ranking males. These results echo the findings obtained for two other species of macaques, but contrast those obtained in red colobus monkeys (Procolobus badius) and Cape ground squirrels (Xerus inauris). Interestingly, however, male masturbation events ended with ejaculation in only 15% of the observed masturbation time, suggesting that new hypotheses are needed to explain masturbation in this species. More studies are needed to establish whether male masturbation is adaptive and whether it serves similar or different functions in different sexually promiscuous species.

  19. Thermoregulation during flight: body temperature and sensible heat transfer in free-ranging Brazilian free-tailed bats (Tadarida brasiliensis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reichard, Jonathan D; Fellows, Spenser R; Frank, Alexander J; Kunz, Thomas H

    2010-01-01

    Bat wings are important for thermoregulation, but their role in heat balance during flight is largely unknown. More than 80% of the energy consumed during flight generates heat as a by-product, and thus it is expected that bat wings should dissipate large amounts of heat to prevent hyperthermia. We measured rectal (T(r)) and surface (T(s)) temperatures of Brazilian free-tailed bats (Tadarida brasiliensis) as they emerged from and returned to their daytime roosts and calculated sensible heat transfer for different body regions (head, body, wings, and tail membrane). Bats' T(r) decreased from 36.8°C during emergence flights to 34.4°C during returns, and T(s) scaled positively with ambient temperature (T(a)). Total radiative heat loss from bats was significantly greater for a radiative sink to the night sky than for a sink with temperature equal to T(a). We found that free-ranging Brazilian free-tailed bats, on average, do not dissipate heat from their wings by convection but instead dissipate radiative heat (L) to the cloudless night sky during flight ([Formula: see text] W). However, within the range of T(a) measured in this study, T. brasiliensis experienced net heat loss between evening emergence and return flights. Regional hypothermia reduces heat loss from wings that are exposed to potentially high convective fluxes. Additional research is needed to establish the role of wings in evaporative cooling during flight in bats.

  20. Papillomaviruses and herpesviruses: who is who in genital tumor development of free-ranging Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rehtanz, Manuela; Bossart, Gregory D; Fair, Patricia A; Reif, John S; Ghim, Shin-je; Jenson, Alfred B

    2012-12-01

    The number of studies addressing neoplasia in marine mammals has recently increased, giving rise to concern whether such lesions could be reflective of an emerging infectious disease. Eight species-specific viruses, seven papillomaviruses (PVs) and two herpesviruses (HVs) have separately been shown to be associated with genital tumors in Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus, Tt): TtPV1-6, as well as HVs provisionally assigned the names DeHV4 and -5 (Delphinid HVs). A definite causal role of these viruses in cell transformation remains to be demonstrated. Concurrent PV- and HV-infection has never been reported in marine mammals. DNA extractions from biopsies of genital tumors derived from 15 free-ranging Atlantic bottlenose dolphins were selected for molecular examination. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analyses revealed the presence of DeHV4, while a serological screening using an antibody-based TtPV enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) demonstrated previous and/or current infection of the HV-positive dolphins with at least one TtPV type. Therefore, care must be taken when drawing conclusions about viral causalities in tumor development, since the "hit and run" and other mechanisms have been described for types of both viral families. This study presents the first evidence of marine mammals having a history of PV- as well as HV-infection and discusses the disputed effects of viral co-infection.

  1. Free-ranging male koalas use size-related variation in formant frequencies to assess rival males.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin D Charlton

    Full Text Available Although the use of formant frequencies in nonhuman animal vocal communication systems has received considerable recent interest, only a few studies have examined the importance of these acoustic cues to body size during intra-sexual competition between males. Here we used playback experiments to present free-ranging male koalas with re-synthesised bellow vocalisations in which the formants were shifted to simulate either a large or a small adult male. We found that male looking responses did not differ according to the size variant condition played back. In contrast, male koalas produced longer bellows and spent more time bellowing when they were presented with playbacks simulating larger rivals. In addition, males were significantly slower to respond to this class of playback stimuli than they were to bellows simulating small males. Our results indicate that male koalas invest more effort into their vocal responses when they are presented with bellows that have lower formants indicative of larger rivals, but also show that males are slower to engage in vocal exchanges with larger males that represent more dangerous rivals. By demonstrating that male koalas use formants to assess rivals during the breeding season we have provided evidence that male-male competition constitutes an important selection pressure for broadcasting and attending to size-related formant information in this species. Further empirical studies should investigate the extent to which the use of formants during intra-sexual competition is widespread throughout mammals.

  2. Free-ranging male koalas use size-related variation in formant frequencies to assess rival males.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charlton, Benjamin D; Whisson, Desley A; Reby, David

    2013-01-01

    Although the use of formant frequencies in nonhuman animal vocal communication systems has received considerable recent interest, only a few studies have examined the importance of these acoustic cues to body size during intra-sexual competition between males. Here we used playback experiments to present free-ranging male koalas with re-synthesised bellow vocalisations in which the formants were shifted to simulate either a large or a small adult male. We found that male looking responses did not differ according to the size variant condition played back. In contrast, male koalas produced longer bellows and spent more time bellowing when they were presented with playbacks simulating larger rivals. In addition, males were significantly slower to respond to this class of playback stimuli than they were to bellows simulating small males. Our results indicate that male koalas invest more effort into their vocal responses when they are presented with bellows that have lower formants indicative of larger rivals, but also show that males are slower to engage in vocal exchanges with larger males that represent more dangerous rivals. By demonstrating that male koalas use formants to assess rivals during the breeding season we have provided evidence that male-male competition constitutes an important selection pressure for broadcasting and attending to size-related formant information in this species. Further empirical studies should investigate the extent to which the use of formants during intra-sexual competition is widespread throughout mammals.

  3. Male homosexual behavior in a free-ranging all-male group of Japanese macaques at minoo, Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leca, Jean-Baptiste; Gunst, Noëlle; Vasey, Paul L

    2014-07-01

    We documented nine male homosexual consortships within three different male-male dyads in a free-ranging all-male group of Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata), at Minoo, Japan. A total of 63 male-male mounts were observed during these consortships. Male homosexual interactions shared most of the behavioral components that have been reported to characterize heterosexual and female homosexual consortships in this species. Convergent behavioral data, including analysis of male-male solicitations, mounting postures, body orientations, inter-mount activities, and third-party male intrusions supported the conclusion that male-male consortships are a sexual phenomenon. We discussed a series of proximate and ultimate hypotheses that purport to account for the occurrence of male homosexual behavior in all-male groups of primates, including humans. This first report of male homosexual interactions in an all-male group of Japanese macaques contributes to the growing database used to provide insights into the developmental processes, causal mechanisms, adaptive significance, and phylogenetic pathways of same-sex sexual behavior.

  4. A retrospective study of presentation, treatment, and outcome of free-ranging raptors in Greece (1997-2000).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Komnenou, A Th; Georgopoulou, I; Savvas, I; Dessiris, A

    2005-06-01

    A retrospective study was conducted on free-ranging raptors (n = 402) presented to the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, School of Veterinary Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, during a 3-yr period (1997-2000). Representatives of 19 species were admitted from taxonomic orders Accipitriformes (n = 295), Falconiformes (n = 35), and Strigiformes (n = 72). Traumatic injuries (n = 305, 75.8%) were the most common cause of presentation in all raptors. Starvation (n = 38 birds, 9.4%) was the second most common reason, whereas toxicoses (n = 28, 6.9%) were suspected in a limited number of birds. Orphans (n = 31, 7.7%) were presented during breeding season primarily because of inappropriate human intervention. Surgical and medical treatment was given to all birds when necessary. In total, 229 (56.9%) of the presented raptors were successfully rehabilitated and released, 121 (30%) were rehabilitated but nonreleasable, whereas 52 (12.9%) of them died despite treatment. Human intervention (79.2%) plays the most important role in birds of prey morbidity and mortality.

  5. Physiological evaluation of free-ranging moose (Alces alces immobilized with etorphine-xylazine-acepromazine in Northern Sweden

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Evans Alina L

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Evaluation of physiology during capture and anesthesia of free-ranging wildlife is useful for determining the effect that capture methods have on both ecological research results and animal welfare. This study evaluates capture and anesthesia of moose (Alces alces with etorphine-xylazine-acepromazine in Northern Sweden. Methods Fifteen adult moose aged 3–15 years were darted from a helicopter with a combination of 3.37 mg etorphine, 75 mg xylazine, and 15 mg acepromazine. Paired arterial blood samples were collected 15 minutes apart with the first sample at 15–23 minutes after darting and were analyzed immediately with an i-STAT®1 Portable Clinical Analyzer. Results All animals developed hypoxemia (PaO2 2 5.5-8 kPa. All moose were acidemic (ph2, 14 moose had mild hypercapnia (PaCO2 6-8 kPa and two had marked hypercapnia (PaCO2>8 kPa. Pulse, respiratory rate, pH and HCO3 increased significantly over time from darting whereas lactate decreased. Conclusions The hypoxemia found in this study is a strong indication for investigating alternative drug doses or combinations or treatment with supplemental oxygen.

  6. Effects of free-range access on production parameters and meat quality, composition and taste in slow-growing broiler chickens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stadig, Lisanne M; Rodenburg, T Bas; Reubens, Bert; Aerts, Johan; Duquenne, Barbara; Tuyttens, Frank A M

    2016-12-01

    Demand for meat from free-range broiler chickens is increasing in several countries. Consumers are motivated by better animal welfare and other product attributes such as quality and taste. However, scientific literature is not unanimous about whether free-range access influences quality, composition, and taste of the meat. Because chickens normally do not use free-range areas optimally, it is possible that provision of more suitable shelter will lead to more pronounced differences between chickens raised indoors and outdoors. In this study, an experiment with 2 production rounds of 600 slow-growing broilers each was performed. In each round, 200 chickens were raised indoors (IN), 200 had free-range access to grassland with artificial shelter (AS), and 200 had free-range access to short-rotation coppice with willow (SRC). Free-range use, feed intake, and growth were monitored, and after slaughter (d72) meat quality, composition, and taste were assessed. Free-range use was higher in SRC than in AS chickens (42.8 vs. 35.1%, P free-range access was darker (P = 0.021) and yellower (P = 0.001) than that of IN chickens. Ultimate pH was lower (5.73 vs. 5.79; P = 0.006) and drip loss higher (1.29 vs. 1.09%; P = 0.05) in IN versus AS chickens. The percentage of polyunsaturated fatty acids was higher in AS than in IN meat (35.84 vs. 34.59%; P = 0.021). The taste panel judged breast meat of SRC chickens to be more tender (P = 0.003) and less fibrous (P = 0.013) compared to that of AS and IN chickens, and juicier compared to the IN chickens (P = 0.017). Overall, free-range access negatively affected slaughter weight, but positively affected meat quality, taste, and composition. Only a few differences between AS and SRC were found, possibly due to limited differences in free-range use. © 2016 Poultry Science Association Inc.

  7. Oceanographic gradients and seabird prey community dynamics in glacial fjords

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arimitsu, Mayumi L.; Piatt, John F.; Madison, Erica N.; Conaway, Jeff; Hillgruber, N.

    2012-01-01

    Glacial fjord habitats are undergoing rapid change as a result of contemporary global warming, yet little is known about how glaciers influence marine ecosystems. These ecosystems provide important feeding, breeding and rearing grounds for a wide variety of marine organisms, including seabirds of management concern. To characterize ocean conditions and marine food webs near tidewater glaciers, we conducted monthly surveys of oceanographic variables, plankton, fish and seabirds in Kenai Fjords, Alaska, from June to August of 2007 and 2008. We also measured tidal current velocities near glacial features. We found high sediment load from glacial river runoff played a major role in structuring the fjord marine ecosystem. Submerged moraines (sills) isolated cool, fresh, stratified and silt-laden inner fjord habitats from oceanic influence. Near tidewater glaciers, surface layers of turbid glacial runoff limited availability of light to phytoplankton, but macrozooplankton were abundant in surface waters, perhaps due to the absence of a photic cue for diel migration. Fish and zooplankton community structure varied along an increasing temperature gradient throughout the summer. Acoustic measurements indicated that low density patches of fish and zooplankton were available in the surface waters near glacial river outflows. This is the foraging habitat occupied most by Kittlitz's murrelet (Brachyramphus brevirostris), a rare seabird that appears to be specialized for life in glacially influenced environments. Kittlitz's murrelets were associated with floating glacial ice, and they were more likely to occur near glaciers, in deeper water, and in areas with high acoustic backscatter. Kittlitz's murrelet at-sea distribution was limited to areas influenced by turbid glacial outflows, and where prey was concentrated near the surface in waters with low light penetration. Tidewater glaciers impart unique hydrographic characteristics that influence marine plankton and fish

  8. Effect of a free-range raising system on growth performance, carcass yield, and meat quality of slow-growing chicken.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, K H; Shi, S R; Dou, T C; Sun, H J

    2009-10-01

    Experiments were conducted to evaluate the effect of free-range raising systems on growth performance, carcass yield, and meat quality of slow-growing chickens. Slow-growing female chickens, Gushi chickens, were selected as the experimental birds. Two hundred 1-d-old female chicks were raised in a pen for 35 d. On d 36, ninety healthy birds, with similar BW (353.7+/-32.1g), were selected and randomly assigned to 2 treatments (indoor treatment and free-range treatment, P>0.05). Each treatment was represented by 3 groups containing 15 birds (45 birds per treatment). During the indoor treatment, the chickens were raised in floor pens in a conventional poultry research house (7 birds/m2). In the free-range treatment, the chickens were housed in a similar indoor house (7 birds/m2); in addition, they also had a free-range grass paddock (1 bird/m2). All birds were provided with the same starter and finisher diets and were raised for 112 d. Results showed that the BW and weight gain of the chickens in the free-range treatment were much lower than that of the chickens in the indoor floor treatments (P0.05). However, the abdominal fat yield and tibia strength (Pmuscle were largely unaffected (P>0.05) by the free-range raising system. The data indicated that the free-range raising system could significantly reduce growth performance, abdominal fat, and tibia strength, but with no effect on carcass traits and meat quality in slow-growing chickens.

  9. Call rates of mothers change with maternal experience and with infant characteristics in free-ranging gray-cheeked mangabeys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arlet, Małgorzata E; Veromann, Linda-Liisa; Mänd, Raivo; Lemasson, Alban

    2016-09-01

    Studies have shown that becoming a mother triggers important social changes within females, according to both social experience and infant characteristics, showing different maternal concerns. But how this impacts call usage has been far less studied. Based on 6 months of observations of five free-ranging groups of gray-cheeked mangabeys, we investigated variations in the production of three call types (contact, excitement, and alarm calls) in 29 females of different ages, dominance ranks, and infant rearing experiences: 15 females with infants of different ages and sexes, and 14 females without infants. We found that in females with infants-both maternal and infant characteristics influenced call production in a call type-dependent way. Females produced contact calls at a higher rate during the first month of infant age and after weaning when infants start to move away. Mothers of daughters produced more contact calls than mothers of sons. More excitement calls were recorded for first-time and young mothers and for females with young infants, while alarm call rates were not influenced by any of these factors. Increased mother-infant spatial separation enhanced only contact and excitement call rates. Finally, we found that females with infants vocalized much more than females without infants. Our results contribute to the current debate about the social factors responsible for the flexibility of call usage in nonhuman primates and open new lines for research on mothering behavior in forest-dwelling species. Am. J. Primatol. 78:983-991, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. Vocal repertoire of free-ranging black howler monkeys' (Alouatta pigra): Call types, contexts, and sex-related contributions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briseño-Jaramillo, Margarita; Biquand, Véronique; Estrada, Alejandro; Lemasson, Alban

    2017-01-17

    Alouatta species utter the most powerful primate vocalizations in the Neotropics and are well-known for their loud and long-lasting male howling bouts. However, the diversity of acoustic structures used in these howling bouts, as well as in non-howling contexts, and the relative contribution of the different group members to the entire vocal repertoire, needed to be explored further. This report provides the first detailed description of the vocal repertoire of black howler monkeys (Alouatta pigra), focusing on acoustic structures and contexts of emission of both loud and soft calls as well as on the contribution rate of males and females to the different call types. Three free-ranging social groups of black howler monkeys living in Palenque National Park, Mexico were monitored. We identified twelve acoustically discriminable call types, eight described previously and four described here for the first time. A few call types were systematically emitted either isolated or during howling bouts, but most of them could be heard in both calling contexts. Three call types were emitted only by females and two only by males. Adult males' call rates (for the seven shared call types) were higher than those of females but only when considering calls emitted within howling bouts. Our contextual analysis enabled us to divide call types into potential functional categories, according to their degree of contribution, to intra-group versus inter-group interactions and to neutral-positive versus negative situations. We then discussed how socio-ecological factors, notably sex differences in social behaviors, may explain the variability found in the vocal repertoire of this species and compared our findings with the literature on other primate species.

  11. Diagnosis and treatment of Sarcocystis neurona-induced myositis in a free-ranging California sea lion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson-Bremer, Daphne P; Gulland, Frances M D; Johnson, Christine K; Colegrove, Kathleen M; Van Bonn, William G

    2012-02-01

    An underweight, lethargic adult female California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) became stranded along the California shore and was captured and transported to a rehabilitation hospital for assessment and care. Initial physical assessment revealed the sea lion was lethargic and in poor body condition. Active myositis was diagnosed on the basis of concurrent elevations in activities of alanine aminotransferase and creatine kinase detected during serum biochemical analysis. Infection with Sarcocystis neurona was diagnosed after serologic titers increased 4-fold over a 3-week period. Diagnosis was confirmed on the basis of histopathologic findings, positive results on immunohistochemical staining, and results of quantitative PCR assay on biopsy specimens obtained from the diaphragm and muscles of the dorsal cervical region. Anticoccidial treatment was instituted with ponazuril (10 mg/kg [4.5 mg/lb], PO, q 24 h) and continued for 28 days. Prednisone (0.2 mg/kg [0.09 mg/lb], PO, q 12 h) was administered for 2 days and then every 24 hours for 5 days to treat associated inflammation. At the end of treatment, the sea lion was clinically normal, alanine aminotransferase and creatine kinase values were within reference limits, and antibody titers against S neurona had decreased 6-fold. The sea lion was released approximately 3 months after becoming stranded. S neurona-induced myositis was diagnosed in a free-ranging California sea lion. On the basis of the successful treatment and release of this sea lion, anticoccidial treatment should be considered for marine mammals in which protozoal disease is diagnosed.

  12. Tolerance and Social Facilitation in the Foraging Behaviour of Free-Ranging Crows (Corvus corone corone; C. c. cornix).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Rachael; Schiestl, Martina; Whiten, Andrew; Schwab, Christine; Bugnyar, Thomas

    2014-12-01

    Social foraging provides animals with opportunities to gain knowledge about available food. Studies indicate that animals are influenced by social context during exploration and are able to learn socially. Carrion and hooded crows, which are opportunistic generalists with flexible social systems, have so far received little focus in this area. We combined observational and experimental approaches to investigate social interactions during foraging and social influences on crow behaviour within a free-ranging population at Vienna Zoo, which included 115 individually marked crows. We expected the crows to be tolerant of conspecifics during foraging due to high food abundance. We predicted that social context would enhance familiar object exploration, as well as a specific foraging strategy: predation by crows on other species. We found that crows were highly tolerant of one another, as reflected by their high rates of cofeeding - where they fed directly beside conspecific(s) - relative to affiliative or agonistic interactions. Evidence for social facilitation - when the observer's behaviour is affected by the mere presence of a model - was found in both object exploration and predation behaviour. Specifically, crows touched the objects more frequently when others were present (whilst only approaching the objects when alone), and conspecifics were present more frequently during predation events involving the high-risk target species. Evidence for enhancement during object exploration - where the observer's attention is drawn to a place or object by a model's actions - was not confirmed in this context. Our results highlight the role played by the presence of conspecifics across different contexts: natural foraging behaviour, familiar object exploration and a specific foraging strategy. To our knowledge, this is one of the first corvid studies aimed at teasing apart specific social influence and learning mechanisms in the field. These crows therefore make promising

  13. Blubber cortisol: a potential tool for assessing stress response in free-ranging dolphins without effects due to sampling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kellar, Nicholas M; Catelani, Krista N; Robbins, Michelle N; Trego, Marisa L; Allen, Camryn D; Danil, Kerri; Chivers, Susan J

    2015-01-01

    When paired with dart biopsying, quantifying cortisol in blubber tissue may provide an index of relative stress levels (i.e., activation of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis) in free-ranging cetacean populations while minimizing the effects of the act of sampling. To validate this approach, cortisol was extracted from blubber samples collected from beach-stranded and bycaught short-beaked common dolphins using a modified blubber steroid isolation technique and measured via commercially available enzyme immunoassays. The measurements exhibited appropriate quality characteristics when analyzed via a bootstraped stepwise parallelism analysis (observed/expected = 1.03, 95%CI: 99.6 - 1.08) and showed no evidence of matrix interference with increasing sample size across typical biopsy tissue masses (75-150 mg; r(2) = 0.012, p = 0.78, slope = 0.022 ng(cortisol deviation)/ul(tissue extract added)). The relationships between blubber cortisol and eight potential cofactors namely, 1) fatality type (e.g., stranded or bycaught), 2) specimen condition (state of decomposition), 3) total body length, 4) sex, 5) sexual maturity state, 6) pregnancy status, 7) lactation state, and 8) adrenal mass, were assessed using a Bayesian generalized linear model averaging technique. Fatality type was the only factor correlated with blubber cortisol, and the magnitude of the effect size was substantial: beach-stranded individuals had on average 6.1-fold higher cortisol levels than those of bycaught individuals. Because of the difference in conditions surrounding these two fatality types, we interpret this relationship as evidence that blubber cortisol is indicative of stress response. We found no evidence of seasonal variation or a relationship between cortisol and the remaining cofactors.

  14. A survey of gastrointestinal pig parasites on free-range, organic and conventional pig farms in The Netherlands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eijck, I A J M; Borgsteede, F H M

    2005-07-01

    The prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites in suckling piglets, weaners, fattening pigs and sows was studied from November 2001 to October 2002 on 16 free-range farms (FRF), 11 organic farms (OF) and 9 conventional farms (CF) by means of faecal examinations of composite samples. Each farm was visited four times with a 3-month interval. Infections with coccidia were found on 43.8% of the FRF, 90.9% of the OF and 66.7% of the CF. Sows had the highest prevalence, particularly on FRF (87.5%) and OF (80%). Ascaris suum was present on 50% of the FRF, 72.7% of the OF and 11.1% of the CF, whereas fattening pigs on FRF (42.9%) and OF (54.5%) had the highest prevalence. Oesophagostomum spp. were observed on 25% of the FRF, 27.2% of the OF and 22.2% of the CF. The infection was most prevalent in the sows on all farm types: 37.5% on FRF, 30% on OF and 22.2% on CF.Trichuris suis was found on 37.5% of the FRF, 36.4% of the OF and 11.1% of the CF. Again, this infection was most prevalent in the sows, particularly on the FRF (50%) and OF (30%). No other gastrointestinal parasite species were found and no clinical signs were observed. No seasonal trends could be distinguished. In many cases, when an age group on a farm was positive for a certain parasite, it remained so during the whole study. This indicates that this parasite was really 'endemic' on that farm. The results of this study demonstrate that the prevalence of helminth infections of pigs on farms with outdoor facilities is higher than in pigs on conventional farms.

  15. Efficacy of crude extract of Aloe secundiflora against Salmonella gallinarum in experimentally infected free-range chickens in Tanzania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waihenya, R K; Mtambo, M M A; Nkwengulila, G; Minga, U M

    2002-03-01

    The ethnoveterinary use of Aloe species extract in free-range local chickens against fowl typhoid was investigated. Five-months-old local chickens, free of antibodies against fowl typhoid were used. The chickens were randomly assorted into five groups including pretreated and infected (G1, n=21), infected and untreated (G2, n=21), infected and treated (G3, n=21), untreated and uninfected (G4, n=10) and treated uninfected (G5, n=10). Groups 1, 2 and 3 were inoculated with 5.0 x 10(8) c.f.u/ml of Salmonella gallinarum, following which the chickens were monitored for 15 days. There was a delay on the occurrence of the clinical signs and reduced severity of the disease in the Aloe treated chickens (G1 and G3). The mortality rates were 23.8% (5/21) in G1 (pretreated and infected), 42.8% (9/21) in G2 (infected and untreated) and 14.2% (3/21) in G3 (infected and treated). Antibody levels were raised among the infected and untreated group (G2) while they remained relatively low in the Aloe treated groups (G1 and G3). However, there was a sharp increase in the levels of interleukin 6 (IL-6) in the Aloe treated groups (G1 and G3) as compared to the untreated group (G2) until day 9 post-infection. The results of this work indicate that the extract of Aloe secundiflora may be used in the control of fowl typhoid in chickens. Studies to determine the active ingredients of the plant extract are in progress.

  16. Effects of early life adversity on cortisol/salivary alpha-amylase symmetry in free-ranging juvenile rhesus macaques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrullo, Lauren A; Mandalaywala, Tara M; Parker, Karen J; Maestripieri, Dario; Higham, James P

    2016-11-01

    Early life adversity (ELA) affects physiological and behavioral development. One key component is the relationship between the developing Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis and the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS). Recent studies suggest a relationship between early life adversity and asymmetry in cortisol (a measure of HPA activation) and salivary alpha-amylase (sAA: a correlate of SNS activation) responses to stress among human children, but to our knowledge there have been no comparable studies in nonhumans. Here, we investigate the responses of these two analytes in "low stress" and "high stress" situations in free-ranging juvenile rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) on Cayo Santiago, Puerto Rico. Behavioral data on maternal maltreatment were collected during the first 3months of life to determine individual rates of ELA, and saliva samples were collected from subjects noninvasively during juvenility. Irrespective of ELA, salivary alpha-amylase levels were lower in low stress situations and higher in high stress situations. For cortisol however, high ELA subjects exhibited higher low stress concentrations and blunted acute responses during high stress situations compared to moderate and low ELA subjects. Cortisol and sAA values were positively correlated among low ELA subjects, suggesting symmetry, but were uncorrelated or negatively correlated among moderate and high ELA subjects, suggesting asymmetry in these individuals. These findings indicate dysregulation of the stress response among juveniles maltreated during infancy: specifically, attenuated cortisol reactivity coupled with typical sAA reactivity characterize the stress response profiles of juveniles exposed to higher rates of ELA during the first 3months of life.

  17. Blubber cortisol: a potential tool for assessing stress response in free-ranging dolphins without effects due to sampling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas M Kellar

    Full Text Available When paired with dart biopsying, quantifying cortisol in blubber tissue may provide an index of relative stress levels (i.e., activation of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis in free-ranging cetacean populations while minimizing the effects of the act of sampling. To validate this approach, cortisol was extracted from blubber samples collected from beach-stranded and bycaught short-beaked common dolphins using a modified blubber steroid isolation technique and measured via commercially available enzyme immunoassays. The measurements exhibited appropriate quality characteristics when analyzed via a bootstraped stepwise parallelism analysis (observed/expected = 1.03, 95%CI: 99.6 - 1.08 and showed no evidence of matrix interference with increasing sample size across typical biopsy tissue masses (75-150 mg; r(2 = 0.012, p = 0.78, slope = 0.022 ng(cortisol deviation/ul(tissue extract added. The relationships between blubber cortisol and eight potential cofactors namely, 1 fatality type (e.g., stranded or bycaught, 2 specimen condition (state of decomposition, 3 total body length, 4 sex, 5 sexual maturity state, 6 pregnancy status, 7 lactation state, and 8 adrenal mass, were assessed using a Bayesian generalized linear model averaging technique. Fatality type was the only factor correlated with blubber cortisol, and the magnitude of the effect size was substantial: beach-stranded individuals had on average 6.1-fold higher cortisol levels than those of bycaught individuals. Because of the difference in conditions surrounding these two fatality types, we interpret this relationship as evidence that blubber cortisol is indicative of stress response. We found no evidence of seasonal variation or a relationship between cortisol and the remaining cofactors.

  18. Space Use and Movement Patterns in a Semi-Free-Ranging Herd of European Bison (Bison bonasus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amandine Ramos

    Full Text Available The successful reintroduction and restocking of the European Bison demands a reliable knowledge of the biology of this species. Yet little is known to date about the European bison, and empirical data remains insufficient to set up a reliable plan ensuring the reintroduction, maintenance and survival of populations in habitats that have been largely modified by human activity. Studies of the ecology, social behaviour and management of bison are therefore crucial to the conservation of this species and its cohabitation with humans. To meet these challenges, we focused on movement patterns and space use in a semi-free-ranging herd of European bison living in the Réserve Biologique des Monts-d'Azur (France. Bison spend over 80% of their time foraging and resting; foraging mainly occurs around the artificial feeding sites (i.e., hay racks or in meadows. The time of day and the presence of snow have no influence on the time budget allocated to each activity. Animals, however, spend more time at the food racks in winter. Bison also spend most of their time in small groups of individuals, confirming the occurrence of both fission-fusion dynamics and sexual segregation in this species. Bison seem to follow a Lévy walk pattern of movement, which is probably related to the geographical distribution and size of food patches in the reserve. The conclusions of this study provide a better understanding of the sociality, life habits and habitat use of bison, and also describe how the provision of hay affects all these behaviours. These results could be useful in the development of tools to select the most suitable habitats for the reintroduction, management and conservation of bison populations.

  19. Effect of Feed Additives on Productivity and Campylobacter spp. Loads in Broilers Reared under Free Range Conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muriel Guyard-Nicodème

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The poultry reservoir, especially broiler meat, is generally recognized as one of the most-important sources for human Campylobacteriosis. The measures to control Campylobacter targeted essentially the primary production level. The aim of this work was to evaluate the effectiveness of different treatments against natural Campylobacter colonization in a French experimental farm of free-range broilers during the whole rearing period. Five commercial products and a combination of two of them were tested and all the products were added to feed or to water at the dose recommended by the suppliers. Campylobacter loads in caeca and on carcasses of broilers at the slaughter were determined by culture methods. Natural contamination of the flock occurred at the end of the indoor rearing period between day 35 and day 42. At day 42, the multispecies probiotic added to the feed reduced the contamination of 0.55 log10 CFU/g (p = 0.02 but was not significant (p > 0.05 at the end of rearing at day 78. However, another treatment, a combination of a cation exchange clay-based product in feed and an organic acid mixture (formic acid, sodium formate, lactic acid, propionic acid in water, led to a slight but significant reduction of 0.82 ± 0.25 log10 CFU/g (p = 0.02 compared to the control group at day 78. Testing this combination in field conditions in several flocks is needed to determine if it is biologically relevant and if it could be a valuable measure to reduce Campylobacter in broiler flocks.

  20. Biochemical Foundations of Health and Energy Conservation in Hibernating Free-ranging Subadult Brown Bear Ursus arctos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welinder, Karen Gjesing; Hansen, Rasmus; Overgaard, Michael Toft; Brohus, Malene; Sønderkær, Mads; von Bergen, Martin; Rolle-Kampczyk, Ulrike; Otto, Wolfgang; Lindahl, Tomas L; Arinell, Karin; Evans, Alina L; Swenson, Jon E; Revsbech, Inge G; Frøbert, Ole

    2016-10-21

    Brown bears (Ursus arctos) hibernate for 5-7 months without eating, drinking, urinating, and defecating at a metabolic rate of only 25% of the summer activity rate. Nonetheless, they emerge healthy and alert in spring. We quantified the biochemical adaptations for hibernation by comparing the proteome, metabolome, and hematological features of blood from hibernating and active free-ranging subadult brown bears with a focus on conservation of health and energy. We found that total plasma protein concentration increased during hibernation, even though the concentrations of most individual plasma proteins decreased, as did the white blood cell types. Strikingly, antimicrobial defense proteins increased in concentration. Central functions in hibernation involving the coagulation response and protease inhibition, as well as lipid transport and metabolism, were upheld by increased levels of very few key or broad specificity proteins. The changes in coagulation factor levels matched the changes in activity measurements. A dramatic 45-fold increase in sex hormone-binding globulin levels during hibernation draws, for the first time, attention to its significant but unknown role in maintaining hibernation physiology. We propose that energy for the costly protein synthesis is reduced by three mechanisms as follows: (i) dehydration, which increases protein concentration without de novo synthesis; (ii) reduced protein degradation rates due to a 6 °C reduction in body temperature and decreased protease activity; and (iii) a marked redistribution of energy resources only increasing de novo synthesis of a few key proteins. The comprehensive global data identified novel biochemical strategies for bear adaptations to the extreme condition of hibernation and have implications for our understanding of physiology in general.

  1. Selection, diversity and evolutionary patterns of the MHC class II DAB in free-ranging Neotropical marsupials

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Otten Celine

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Research on the genetic architecture and diversity of the MHC has focused mainly on eutherian mammals, birds and fish. So far, studies on model marsupials used in laboratory investigations indicated very little or even no variation in MHC class II genes. However, natural levels of diversity and selection are unknown in marsupials as studies on wild populations are virtually absent. We used two endemic South American mouse opossums, Gracilinanus microtarsus and Marmosops incanus, to investigate characteristic features of MHC selection. This study is the first investigation of MHC selection in free-ranging Neotropical marsupials. In addition, the evolutionary history of MHC lineages within the group of marsupials was examined. Results G. microtarsus showed extensive levels of MHC diversity within and among individuals as 47 MHC-DAB alleles and high levels of sequence divergence were detected at a minimum of four loci. Positively selected codon sites were identified, of which most were congruent with human antigen binding sites. The diversity in M. incanus was rather low with only eight observed alleles at presumably two loci. However, these alleles also revealed high sequence divergence. Again, positive selection was identified on specific codon sites, all congruent with human ABS and with positively selected sites observed in G. microtarsus. In a phylogenetic comparison alleles of M. incanus interspersed widely within alleles of G. microtarsus with four alleles being present in both species. Conclusion Our investigations revealed extensive MHC class II polymorphism in a natural marsupial population, contrary to previous assumptions. Furthermore, our study confirms for the first time in marsupials the presence of three characteristic features common at MHC loci of eutherian mammals, birds and fish: large allelic sequence divergence, positive selection on specific sites and trans-specific polymorphism.

  2. Environmental contaminants in liver and kidney of free-ranging northern goshawks (Accipiter gentilis) from three regions of Germany.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kenntner, N; Krone, O; Altenkamp, R; Tataruch, F

    2003-07-01

    The northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) is a top predator in the terrestrial food web of large parts of the Holarctic. Due to its sedentary nature and well-investigated feeding ecology, it represents the most suitable bird of prey species in continental Europe for monitoring environmental pollutants. We analyzed the levels of organochlorine pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB), and nonessential heavy metals in organ samples of 62 free-ranging northern goshawks found dead or injured in Germany from 1995 to 2001. Our results indicate significant differences in the contaminant burden of northern goshawks between three regions in Germany. Presumably, these differences were caused by different application periods and legislative restrictions before the German reunion, especially for the use of DDT in agriculture and forestry. Extraordinarily high residues of PCBs and DDE, the main metabolite of DDT, were found mainly in livers of northern goshawks inhabiting Berlin. Body condition is highly negatively correlated with the contamination level of the individual, especially for the persistent and lipophilic organochlorines and for mercury. PCB concentrations in hepatic tissue increase rapidly with age, and birds in their first summer had significantly lower levels than birds in their first winter or older. Adult female northern goshawks from Berlin had significantly higher hepatic concentrations of most of the higher-chlorinated PCBs and of cadmium than males from the same region. Cadmium residues were in general higher in renal tissue than in hepatic tissue, and cadmium levels in kidneys increased with age. Lead concentrations indicative of acute lead poisoning were detected in one bird and suggested in two others. All other heavy metal concentrations were low and represent background levels for birds of prey in Germany.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Emanuel Senyael Swai; Deogratius Mshanga; Robert Fyumagwa; Deogratius Mpanduji; Idrisa Chuma; Sayael Kuya; Ernest Eblate; Zablon Katale; Julius Keyyu

    2013-01-01

    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=123) 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emanuel Senyael Swai

    2013-09-01

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

  5. Sex, Diet, and the Social Environment: Factors Influencing Hair Cortisol Concentration in Free-Ranging Black Bears (Ursus americanus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diana J R Lafferty

    Full Text Available Increasingly, measures of glucocorticoid levels (e.g., cortisol, key components of the neuroendocrine stress axis, are being used to measure past hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA activity to index psychological and physiological stress exhibited by wildlife for assessing individual and population-level well-being. However, many intrinsic and extrinsic factors affect HPA activity in animals. Using American black bears (Ursus americanus; n = 116 as an ecological model and hair cortisol concentration (HCC as an integrative measure of past HPA activity, we evaluated the influence of diet, sex and the social environment on black bear HCC in a free-ranging population that spanned adjoining ecoregions with differing densities of potential conspecific and heterospecific competitors. HCC varied by sex, with female HCC ranging from 0.6 to 10.7 pg/mg (median = 4.5 ± 1.2 mean absolute deviation [MAD] and male HCC ranging from 0.5 to 35.1 pg/mg (median = 6.2 ± 2.6 MAD. We also observed a three-way interaction among sex, δ14C and ecoregion, which may indicate that some differences in HCC between female and male black bears results from variability in the nutritional needs of larger-bodied males relative to smaller-bodied females, slight differences in food resources use between ecoregions as well as sex-based differences regarding the social environment. Once we understand what drives sex-specific differences in HCC, HCC may aid our understanding of the physiological responses by bears and other wildlife to diverse environmental challenges.

  6. Enamel ultrastructure of fossil and modern pinnipeds: evaluating hypotheses of feeding adaptations in the extinct walrus Pelagiarctos

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loch, Carolina; Boessenecker, Robert W.; Churchill, Morgan; Kieser, Jules

    2016-06-01

    This study aimed to assess the enamel ultrastructure in modern otariid pinnipeds and in the extinct walrus Pelagiarctos. Teeth of the New Zealand fur seal ( Arctocephalus forsteri), sea lion ( Phocarctos hookeri), and fossil walrus Pelagiarctos thomasi were embedded, sectioned, etched, and analyzed via scanning electron microscopy. The enamel of NZ otariids and Pelagiarctos was prismatic and moderately thick, measuring 150-450 μm on average. It consisted of transversely oriented Hunter-Schreger bands (HSBs) from the enamel-dentine junction (EDJ) to near the outer surface, where it faded into prismless enamel less than 10 μm thick. The width of HSB was variable and averaged between 6 and 10 prisms, and they presented an undulating course both in longitudinal and cross sections. The overall organization of the enamel was similar in all teeth sampled; however, the enamel was thicker in canines and postcanines than in incisors. The crowns of all teeth sampled were uniformly covered by enamel; however, the grooved incisors lacked an enamel cover on the posterior side of the buccal face. Large tubules and tuft-like structures were seen at the EDJ. HSB enamel as well as tubules and tufts at the EDJ suggest increased occlusal loads during feeding, a biomechanical adaptation to avoid enamel cracking and failure. Despite overall simplification in tooth morphology and reduced mastication, the fossil and modern pinnipeds analyzed here retained the complex undulating HSB structure of other fossils and living Carnivora, while other marine mammals such as cetaceans developed simplified radial enamel.

  7. Evidence for Borrelia bavariensis infections of Ixodes uriae within seabird colonies of the North Atlantic Ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munro, Hannah J; Ogden, Nicholas H; Lindsay, L Robbin; Robertson, Gregory J; Whitney, Hugh; Lang, Andrew S

    2017-08-11

    The first report of members of the spirochete genus Borrelia in the seabird tick, Ixodes uriae, and seabird colonies occurred during the early 1990s. Since then, Borrelia spp. have been detected in these ticks and seabird colonies around the world. To-date, the primary species detected has been B. garinii, with rare occurrences of B. burgdorferi sensu stricto and B. lusitaniae. During our research on Borrelia and I. uriae in seabird colonies of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, we have identified B. bavariensis in I. uriae To our knowledge, B. bavariensis has previously only been found in the Eurasian tick species, I. persulcatus and I. ricinus, and it was believed to be a rodent-specific Borrelia ecotype. We found B. bavariensis within I. uriae from three seabird colonies, over three calendar years. We also reanalyzed B. garinii sequences collected from I. uriae from Eurasian seabird colonies, and determined that sequences from two Russian seabird colonies likely also represent B. bavariensis The Canadian B. bavariensis sequences from I. uriae analysed in this study cluster with previously described sequences from Asia. Overall, this is an important discovery that illustrates and expands the range of hosts and vectors for B. bavariensis and it raises questions regarding the possible mechanisms of pathogen dispersal from Asia to North America.Importance To our knowledge this is the first documentation of B. bavariensis outside Eurasia. Additionally, the bacterium was found in a marine ecosystem involving the seabird tick, I. uriae, and its associated seabird hosts. This indicates the epizootiology of B. bavariensis transmission is much different from what was previously described, with this species previously believed to be a rodent-specific ecotype, and indicates that this pathogen is established, or establishing, much more widely. © Crown copyright 2017.

  8. Shrimp trawlers as a local attractor of seabirds in nearshore waters of South Carolina, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jodice, Patrick G.; Wickliffe, Lisa C.; Sachs, Elena B.

    2011-01-01

    Shrimp trawling is common throughout the southeastern and Gulf of Mexico coasts of the USA and is the primary contributor to fisheries discards in these regions. Tens of thousands of nearshore seabirds nest near shrimp trawling grounds in the USA, but to date, there has been no assessment of the relationship between seabirds and shrimp trawlers. We examined the taxonomic composition of bycatch, rate at which seabirds scavenged bycatch, and energy density of discarded bycatch in a nearshore commercial shrimp fishery. Bycatch was primarily comprised of demersal fish that are not typically accessible to the plunge-diving and surface-feeding seabirds that occur in the area. Hence, seabird diets in the region appear to be broadened taxonomically by the availability of discards. Results from discard experiments indicated that 70% of the nearly 5,500 items discarded by hand were scavenged by seabirds and that the fate of a discarded item was most strongly predicted by its taxonomic order. Laughing gulls scavenged the greatest proportion of discards, although brown pelicans were the only species to scavenge more discards than predicted based upon their abundance. Because this is the first such study in the region, it is difficult to ascertain the extent or intensity of the impact that discards have on nearshore seabirds. Nonetheless, our results suggest that it will be difficult for managers to clearly understand fluctuations in local seabird population dynamics without first understanding the extent to which these species rely upon discards. This may be especially problematic in situations where seabird populations are recovering following natural or anthropogenic stressors.

  9. Population dynamics of Hawaiian seabird colonies vulnerable to sea-level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatfield, Jeff S.; Reynolds, Michelle H.; Seavy, Nathaniel E.; Krause, Crystal M.

    2012-01-01

    Globally, seabirds are vulnerable to anthropogenic threats both at sea and on land. Seabirds typically nest colonially and show strong fidelity to natal colonies, and such colonies on low-lying islands may be threatened by sea-level rise. We used French Frigate Shoals, the largest atoll in the Hawaiian Archipelago, as a case study to explore the population dynamics of seabird colonies and the potential effects sea-level rise may have on these rookeries. We compiled historic observations, a 30-year time series of seabird population abundance, lidar-derived elevations, and aerial imagery of all the islands of French Frigate Shoals. To estimate the population dynamics of 8 species of breeding seabirds on Tern Island from 1980 to 2009, we used a Gompertz model with a Bayesian approach to infer population growth rates, density dependence, process variation, and observation error. All species increased in abundance, in a pattern that provided evidence of density dependence. Great Frigatebirds (Fregata minor), Masked Boobies (Sula dactylatra), Red-tailed Tropicbirds (Phaethon rubricauda), Spectacled Terns (Onychoprion lunatus), and White Terns (Gygis alba) are likely at carrying capacity. Density dependence may exacerbate the effects of sea-level rise on seabirds because populations near carrying capacity on an island will be more negatively affected than populations with room for growth. We projected 12% of French Frigate Shoals will be inundated if sea level rises 1 m and 28% if sea level rises 2 m. Spectacled Terns and shrub-nesting species are especially vulnerable to sea-level rise, but seawalls and habitat restoration may mitigate the effects of sea-level rise. Losses of seabird nesting habitat may be substantial in the Hawaiian Islands by 2100 if sea levels rise 2 m. Restoration of higher-elevation seabird colonies represent a more enduring conservation solution for Pacific seabirds.

  10. A mechanistic link between chick diet and decline in seabirds?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kitaysky, A.S.; Kitaiskaia, E.V.; Piatt, J.F.; Wingfield, J.C.

    2006-01-01

    A climatic regime shift during the mid-1970s in the North Pacific resulted in decreased availability of lipidrich fish to seabirds and was followed by a dramatic decline in number of kittiwakes breeding on the Pribilof Islands. Although production of chicks in the mid-1970s was adequate to sustain kittiwake populations in the early 1980s, the disappearance of birds from breeding colonies apparently exceeded recruitment. No mechanism has been proposed to explain why recruitment would differ among fledglings fed lipid-rich or lipid-poor fish during development. Here we show that diets low in lipids induce nutritional stress and impair cognitive abilities in young red-legged kittiwakes, Rissa brevirostris. Specifically, growth retardation, increased secretion of stress hormones and inferior ability to associate food distribution with visual cues were observed in individuals fed lipid-poor diets. We conclude that lipid-poor diets during development affect the quality of young seabirds, which is likely to result in their increased mortality and low recruitment. ?? 2005 The Royal Society.

  11. Metal concentrations in pelagic seabirds from the North Pacific Ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honda, K; Marcovecchio, J E; Kan, S; Tatsukawa, R; Ogi, H

    1990-01-01

    Concentrations of four essential elements (Fe, Mn, Zn, and Cu) and two toxic metals (Cd and Hg) were measured in selected tissues of 19 pelagic seabird species collected in the North Pacific and neighboring waters. Essential metal concentrations were generally highest in the liver and less variable than toxic metals among species and also within each species. Fe concentrations in the muscle were higher in Alcidae than in the other families, whereas the opposite trend was found for Fe and Mn in the liver. Zn concentrations varied among species, depending on the Cd concentrations. On the other hand, toxic metal concentrations were highest in the liver or kidney and varied widely among species, greatly depending on differences in the diet among species. Extraordinarily high Hg concentrations were found in Black-footed Albatrosses,Diomedea nigripes, exceeding 300 μg/g wet weight in some, and seemed to be due to constraints on the elimination of Hg. Also, some geographical differences in Cd and Hg concentrations of the seabirds were observed. The concentrations of Cd and Hg reported here, however, seem to be natural rather than due to environmental pollution.

  12. Detection of Pathogenic Leptospira Bacteria in Pinniped Populations via PCR and Identification of a Source of Transmission for Zoonotic Leptospirosis in the Marine Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leptospirosis, caused by the spirochete bacterium Leptospira, is a geographically widespread disease that affects a broad range of mammals, including marine mammals. During 2004 an outbreak of leptospirosis occurred among select pinniped populations along the West Coast of North America, with cases...

  13. The use of decision trees and naïve Bayes algorithms and trace element patterns for controlling the authenticity of free-range-pastured hens' eggs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbosa, Rommel Melgaço; Nacano, Letícia Ramos; Freitas, Rodolfo; Batista, Bruno Lemos; Barbosa, Fernando

    2014-09-01

    This article aims to evaluate 2 machine learning algorithms, decision trees and naïve Bayes (NB), for egg classification (free-range eggs compared with battery eggs). The database used for the study consisted of 15 chemical elements (As, Ba, Cd, Co, Cs, Cu, Fe, Mg, Mn, Mo, Pb, Se, Sr, V, and Zn) determined in 52 eggs samples (20 free-range and 32 battery eggs) by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Our results demonstrated that decision trees and NB associated with the mineral contents of eggs provide a high level of accuracy (above 80% and 90%, respectively) for classification between free-range and battery eggs and can be used as an alternative method for adulteration evaluation.

  14. Comparison of meat quality parameters in surgical castrated versus vaccinated against gonadotrophin-releasing factor male and female Iberian pigs reared in free-ranging conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez-Macipe, M; Rodríguez, P; Izquierdo, M; Gispert, M; Manteca, X; Mainau, E; Hernández, F I; Claret, A; Guerrero, L; Dalmau, A

    2016-01-01

    This study compared carcass and meat quality traits between 16 vaccinated (VF), 19 castrated (CF) and 8 entire (EF) female Iberian pigs, and between 21 vaccinated (VM) and 19 castrated (CM) male Iberian pigs reared in free ranging conditions. Vaccination consisted in the application of Improvac® at the age of 11, 12 and 14 months in VF and VM. Pigs were slaughtered at 16 months. In females, carcass and meat quality were found to be very similar regardless of the treatment. In males, VM had a leaner carcass, lower (P free-range conditions in terms of product qualities. Vaccination in females did not alter carcass and meat quality, and specific interests should consider reproductive behavior in free-range conditions.

  15. Cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) running the gauntlet: an evaluation of translocations into free-range environments in Namibia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lemeris, Joseph R.; Munro, Stuart J.; Bowden, Andrew; Venter, Cicelia; van Vuuren, Marlice; van Vuuren, Rudie J.

    2015-01-01

    Following dramatic range and population declines, the cheetah is Africa’s most endangered large felid. In Namibia, private land managers still trap cheetahs but increasingly consider moving animals instead of killing them. Across Africa, managers have translocated perceived conflict carnivores for decades, but rarely evaluated their actions. We analyse the outcomes of 15 cheetah translocations (for 23 adults and 10 dependent offspring) into free-range environments in Namibia. We released cheetahs at an average distance of 419.6 km ± 216.1 km SD (range: 71–816 km) after captive periods ranging from 1–1,184 days (350.6 days ± 439.0 days SD). An individual’s ability to survive the first year predominantly determined the overall translocation success of 40%. Post-release conflict and homing had less impact on success. Cheetah survival was lowest in the first three months after release. Human persecution (50% of deaths) and spotted hyaenas (29% of deaths) had the highest effect on survival. The degree of habituation to humans acquired during captivity significantly influenced chances of survival. Cheetahs surviving the initial post-release period (∼90 days) often settled into ranges and females reproduced successfully. However, all individuals exhibited extensive movements, frequently roaming >4,000 km2 in the first six months after release (with a maximum of 19,743 km2 in 112 days), resulting in low release site fidelity. Soft release and larger recipient area size did not improve site fidelity. Based on these outcomes, we evaluated which unfenced conservation areas in Namibia could potentially receive cheetahs. We found that there are currently few public and/or private reserves large enough to contain the movement profiles we observed in this study. This suggests that most translocations will result in cheetahs re-entering farmlands where they face a high risk of persecution. In conclusion, translocations into unconfined areas can successfully conserve

  16. Cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus running the gauntlet: an evaluation of translocations into free-range environments in Namibia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florian J. Weise

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Following dramatic range and population declines, the cheetah is Africa’s most endangered large felid. In Namibia, private land managers still trap cheetahs but increasingly consider moving animals instead of killing them. Across Africa, managers have translocated perceived conflict carnivores for decades, but rarely evaluated their actions. We analyse the outcomes of 15 cheetah translocations (for 23 adults and 10 dependent offspring into free-range environments in Namibia. We released cheetahs at an average distance of 419.6 km ± 216.1 km SD (range: 71–816 km after captive periods ranging from 1–1,184 days (350.6 days ± 439.0 days SD. An individual’s ability to survive the first year predominantly determined the overall translocation success of 40%. Post-release conflict and homing had less impact on success. Cheetah survival was lowest in the first three months after release. Human persecution (50% of deaths and spotted hyaenas (29% of deaths had the highest effect on survival. The degree of habituation to humans acquired during captivity significantly influenced chances of survival. Cheetahs surviving the initial post-release period (∼90 days often settled into ranges and females reproduced successfully. However, all individuals exhibited extensive movements, frequently roaming >4,000 km2 in the first six months after release (with a maximum of 19,743 km2 in 112 days, resulting in low release site fidelity. Soft release and larger recipient area size did not improve site fidelity. Based on these outcomes, we evaluated which unfenced conservation areas in Namibia could potentially receive cheetahs. We found that there are currently few public and/or private reserves large enough to contain the movement profiles we observed in this study. This suggests that most translocations will result in cheetahs re-entering farmlands where they face a high risk of persecution. In conclusion, translocations into unconfined areas can

  17. Trace element concentrations in skin of free-ranging bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from the southeast Atlantic coast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stavros, Hui-Chen W; Bossart, Gregory D; Hulsey, Thomas C; Fair, Patricia A

    2007-12-15

    Concentrations of trace elements (Al, As, Ba, Be, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Li, Mn, Ni, Pb, Sb, Se, Sn, Tl, U, V, Zn) and total mercury (THg) were determined in skin samples collected from free-ranging bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) populations. Dolphins were captured in the estuarine waters of Charleston (CHS), South Carolina (n=74) and the Indian River Lagoon (IRL), Florida (n=75) during 2003, 2004 and 2005. A subset of the skin tissue samples were used to determine methylmercury (MeHg) levels in CHS (n=17) and IRL (n=8) bottlenose dolphins. Distributions of trace element concentrations by age (adult vs. juvenile), gender (male vs. female) and study area (CHS vs. IRL) were examined. In general, higher elemental skin concentrations were found in CHS adult males than those of IRL adult males, except for THg and MeHg. For CHS dolphins, adult females showed significantly higher THg levels than juvenile females while higher Mn levels were found in juvenile females. For IRL dolphins, adult males showed significantly higher As concentrations than that in juvenile males and females while higher Co and V levels were found in juvenile males than adult males. Of all elements measured in this study, significantly higher levels of Fe, Se and Zn concentrations in skin tissue of both dolphin populations were similar to other studies reported previously. Percentage of MeHg/THg in skin tissue of CHS and IRL dolphin was about 72% and 73%, respectively. Dietary levels of trace elements may play an important role in contributing to concentration differences for As, Co, Mn, Sb, Se, THg and Tl between CHS and IRL dolphins. Total Hg concentrations were significantly correlated with the age of CHS dolphins, while an inverse relationship was detected for Cu, Mn, Pb, U and Zn. The only significant correlation found between trace element concentration and IRL dolphins' age was Mn. Geographic differences in several trace element concentrations (As, Co, Mn, Sb, Se, THg and Tl) in skin

  18. Reference intervals and physiologic alterations in hematologic and biochemical values of free-ranging desert tortoises in the Mojave Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christopher, Mary M.; Berry, Kristin H.; Wallis, I.R.; Nagy, K.A.; Henen, B.T.; Peterson, C.C.

    1999-01-01

    Desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) populations have experienced precipitous declines resulting from the cumulative impact of habitat loss, and human and disease-related mortality. Evaluation of hematologic and biochemical responses of desert tortoises to physiologic and environmental factors can facilitate the assessment of stress and disease in tortoises and contribute to management decisions and population recovery. The goal of this study was to obtain and analyze clinical laboratory data from free-ranging desert tortoises at three sites in the Mojave Desert (California, USA) between October 1990 and October 1995, to establish reference intervals, and to develop guidelines for the interpretation of laboratory data under a variety of environmental and physiologic conditions. Body weight, carapace length, and venous blood samples for a complete blood count and clinical chemistry profile were obtained from 98 clinically healthy adult desert tortoises of both sexes at the Desert Tortoise Research Natural area (western Mojave), Goffs (eastern Mojave) and Ivanpah Valley (northeastern Mojave). Samples were obtained four times per year, in winter (February/March), spring (May/June), summer (July/August), and fall (October). Years of near-, above- and below-average rainfall were represented in the 5 yr period. Minimum, maximum and median values, and central 95 percentiles were used as reference intervals and measures of central tendency for tortoises at each site and/or season. Data were analyzed using repeated measures analysis of variance for significant (P < 0.01) variation on the basis of sex, site, season, and interactions between these variables. Significant sex differences were observed for packed cell volume, hemoglobin concentration, aspartate transaminase activity, and cholesterol, triglyceride, calcium, and phosphorus concentrations. Marked seasonal variation was observed in most parameters in conjunction with reproductive cycle, hibernation, or seasonal

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  20. Cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) running the gauntlet: an evaluation of translocations into free-range environments in Namibia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weise, Florian J; Lemeris, Joseph R; Munro, Stuart J; Bowden, Andrew; Venter, Cicelia; van Vuuren, Marlice; van Vuuren, Rudie J

    2015-01-01

    Following dramatic range and population declines, the cheetah is Africa's most endangered large felid. In Namibia, private land managers still trap cheetahs but increasingly consider moving animals instead of killing them. Across Africa, managers have translocated perceived conflict carnivores for decades, but rarely evaluated their actions. We analyse the outcomes of 15 cheetah translocations (for 23 adults and 10 dependent offspring) into free-range environments in Namibia. We released cheetahs at an average distance of 419.6 km ± 216.1 km SD (range: 71-816 km) after captive periods ranging from 1-1,184 days (350.6 days ± 439.0 days SD). An individual's ability to survive the first year predominantly determined the overall translocation success of 40%. Post-release conflict and homing had less impact on success. Cheetah survival was lowest in the first three months after release. Human persecution (50% of deaths) and spotted hyaenas (29% of deaths) had the highest effect on survival. The degree of habituation to humans acquired during captivity significantly influenced chances of survival. Cheetahs surviving the initial post-release period (∼90 days) often settled into ranges and females reproduced successfully. However, all individuals exhibited extensive movements, frequently roaming >4,000 km(2) in the first six months after release (with a maximum of 19,743 km(2) in 112 days), resulting in low release site fidelity. Soft release and larger recipient area size did not improve site fidelity. Based on these outcomes, we evaluated which unfenced conservation areas in Namibia could potentially receive cheetahs. We found that there are currently few public and/or private reserves large enough to contain the movement profiles we observed in this study. This suggests that most translocations will result in cheetahs re-entering farmlands where they face a high risk of persecution. In conclusion, translocations into unconfined areas can successfully conserve

  1. Monitoring Salmonella, Campylobacter, Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus in traditional free-range 'Label Rouge' broiler production: a 23-year survey programme.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salvat, G; Guyot, M; Protino, J

    2017-01-01

    'Label Rouge' broiler free-range carcasses have been monitored since 1991, and broiler flocks since 2010, for contamination by the main foodborne zoonotic bacteria. Initially, the monitoring plan mainly focused on the surveillance of Salmonella, and on indicators of the overall microbiological quality of free-range broiler carcasses such as Staphylococcus aureus and coliforms, but was extended in 2007 to include Campylobacter enumeration on carcasses and in 2010, to Salmonella in the environment of live birds. Salmonella contamination of free-range broiler carcasses rose to a peak of 16% in 1994 but less than 1% of carcasses are now regularly found to be positive. Indicators of the overall microbiological quality of carcasses are also improving. These results correlate with the low prevalence of Salmonella in free-range broiler breeding and production flocks, and with the continuous improvement of hazard analysis and critical control points in slaughterhouses, the implementation of a good manufacturing practice guide since 1997 and the application of EU regulations on Salmonella since 1998 in France. Regarding Campylobacter counts on carcasses, the situation has been improving continuously over the last few years, even if 2·5% of the carcasses are still contaminated by more than 1000 Campylobacter per g of skin. Although the current control system focusing on Salmonella is based on firm epidemiologic data and offers effective means of control (e.g. slaughtering of positive breeder flocks), existing information on Campylobacter makes it more difficult to formulate an effective control plan for free-range broilers, due to their particular exposure to environmental contamination. This long-term surveillance programme provided an extended view of the evolution of the contamination of free-range broilers and a direct measurement of the impact of mandatory and profession-driven interventions on the microbiological quality of carcasses. © 2016 The Society for Applied

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Violetta R Beklemisheva

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

  3. Pacific Remote Islands MNM: Initial Survey Instructions for Seabird Colony Survey

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The purpose of the seabird survey is to assess, to the extent possible within the period of time available ashore, the species composition, number of adults, number...

  4. Reproductive ecology of seabirds at Middletown Island, Alaska, 14-26 June 1981: Trip report

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This report is a summary of reproductive ecology of seabirds at Middleton Island, Alaska from June 14-26 1981. Species covered include Black-legged kittiwakes and...

  5. 50 CFR Table 19 to Part 679 - Seabird Avoidance Gear Codes

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... groundline for the purpose of sinking the hook-and-line gear more quickly and preventing seabirds from... hours). Line Shooter: A hydraulic device designed to deploy hook-and-line gear at a speed...

  6. The historical status of nesting seabirds of the northern and western Gulf of Alaska

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The coming of the tanker terminal at Valdez and the pending development of oil and gas resources on the outer continental shelf threaten massive change for seabirds...

  7. Widespread mortality of adult seabirds in Alaska, August-September 1983

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — A widespread die-off of adult seabirds, affecting primarily the black-legged kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla), and short-tailed shearwater (Puffinus tenuirostris),...

  8. Breeding seabirds at Gull Island and Sixty-foot Rock during 1987-88

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This report summarizes the results of a series of breeding seabird surveys taken on Gull Island and Sixty-foot Rock during 1987 and 1988. A description of the study...

  9. Populations and productivity of seabirds on the pacific coast of Becharof National Wildlife Refuge

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Colonial seabirds (murres, cormorants, gulls, puffins, and kittiwakes) were monitored along the Pacific Coast of the Becharof National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) to...

  10. Breeding status, population trends and diets of seabirds in Alaska, 2008

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This report is the thirteenth in a series of annual reports summarizing the results of seabird monitoring efforts at breeding colonies on the Alaska Maritime...

  11. Challenges to Oil Spill Assessment for Seabirds in the Deep Ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haney, J Christopher; Jodice, Patrick G R; Montevecchi, William A; Evers, David C

    2017-07-01

    We synthesize impediments for evaluating effects to seabirds from open ocean hydrocarbon releases. Effects on seabirds from ship discharges, spills, and well blowouts often are poorly detected and monitored far from land. Regulatory regimes for ocean spills can result in monitoring efforts that are not entirely transparent. We illustrate how interdisciplinary technologies address deficits that hamper individual or population level assessments for seabirds, and we demonstrate where emerging technologies might be engaged to bridge gaps in oil spill monitoring. Although acute mortality from direct oil exposure poses the greatest risk to seabirds, other hazards from light-attraction, flaring, collisions, chronic pollution, and hydrocarbon inhalation around oil infrastructure also may induce bird mortality in the deep ocean.

  12. Distribution and abundance of breeding seabirds in Chiniak and southern Marmot Bays, Kodiak Island, Alaska, 1975

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — A census survey of breeding seabirds was conducted by boat and airplane in Chiniak and southern Marmot Bays, Kodiak Island, Alaska, from 15 June to 14 August 1975. A...

  13. Determine disturbance impacts of fireworks at the Coquille Point seabird colony complex near Bandon, Oregon

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The USFWS conducted a monitoring study at Pirate Cove Rock during 2011 to determine if the Independence Day fireworks display had any adverse effects on seabirds,...

  14. Results of the 1986 seabird monitoring program at Cape Lisburne, Alaska

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This report covers the results of the 1986 seabird monitoring program at Cape Lisburne, Alaska. Objectives of this reports includes determining reproductive success,...

  15. An effort to trap mink in Maine to protect nesting Seabirds 1998

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This report details and effort to trap minks on the islands of Otter, Roberts, Carvers and Hay during the spring of 1998. This is to benefit and protect the seabirds...

  16. An effort to trap mink in Maine to protect nesting Seabirds 2000

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Mink were trapped off the seabird nesting islands south east of Vinalhaven, Maine (outer Penobscot Bay) during the late 1990's, and the local Black Guillemot...

  17. Seabird diversity hotspot linked to ocean productivity in the Canary Current Large Marine Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Attrill, Martin J.; Becker, Peter H.; Egevang, Carsten; Furness, Robert W.; Grémillet, David; Kopp, Matthias; Lescroël, Amélie; Matthiopoulos, Jason; Peter, Hans-Ulrich; Phillips, Richard A.

    2016-01-01

    Upwelling regions are highly productive habitats targeted by wide-ranging marine predators and industrial fisheries. In this study, we track the migratory movements of eight seabird species from across the Atlantic; quantify overlap with the Canary Current Large Marine Ecosystem (CCLME) and determine the habitat characteristics that drive this association. Our results indicate the CCLME is a biodiversity hotspot for migratory seabirds; all tracked species and more than 70% of individuals used this upwelling region. Relative species richness peaked in areas where sea surface temperature averaged between 15 and 20°C, and correlated positively with chlorophyll a, revealing the optimum conditions driving bottom-up trophic effects for seabirds. Marine vertebrates are not confined by international boundaries, making conservation challenging. However, by linking diversity to ocean productivity, our research reveals the significance of the CCLME for seabird populations from across the Atlantic, making it a priority for conservation action. PMID:27531154

  18. Threat of plastic pollution to seabirds is global, pervasive, and increasing

    OpenAIRE

    Wilcox, Chris; van Sebille, Erik; Hardesty, Britta Denise

    2015-01-01

    Plastic pollution in the ocean is a rapidly emerging global environmental concern, with high concentrations (up to 580,000 pieces per km2) and a global distribution, driven by exponentially increasing production. Seabirds are particularly vulnerable to this type of pollution and are widely observed to ingest floating plastic. We used a mixture of literature surveys, oceanographic modeling, and ecological models to predict the risk of plastic ingestion to 186 seabird species globally. Impacts ...

  19. Modeling Nonresident Seabird Foraging Distributions to Inform Ocean Zoning in Central California.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Studwell, Anna J; Hines, Ellen; Elliott, Meredith L; Howar, Julie; Holzman, Barbara; Nur, Nadav; Jahncke, Jaime

    2017-01-01

    Seabird aggregations at sea have been shown to be associated with concentrations of prey. Previous research identified Central California as a highly used foraging area for seabirds, with locally breeding seabirds foraging close to their colonies on Southeast Farallon Island. Herein, we focus on nonresident (i.e. non-locally breeding) seabird species off of Central California. We hypothesized that high-use foraging areas for nonresident seabirds would be influenced by oceanographic and bathymetric factors and that spatial and temporal distributions would be similar within planktivorous and generalist foraging guilds but would differ between them. With data collected by the Applied California Current Ecosystem Studies (ACCESS) partnership during cruises between April and October from 2004-2013, we developed generalized linear models to identify high-use foraging areas for each of six nonresident seabird species. The four generalist species are Phoebastria nigripes (black-footed albatross), Ardenna griseus (sooty shearwater), Ardenna creatopus (pink-footed shearwater), and Fulmarus glacialis (northern fulmar). The two planktivorous species are Phalaropus lobatus (red-necked phalarope) and Phalaropus fulicarius (red phalarope). Sea surface temperature was significant for generalist species and sea surface salinity was important for planktivorous species. The distance to the 200-m isobath was significant in five of six models, Pacific Decadal Oscillation with a 3-month lag in four models, and sea surface fluorescence, the distance to Cordell Bank, and depth in three models. We did not find statistically significant differences between distributions of individual seabird species within a foraging guild or between guilds, with the exception of the sooty shearwater. Model results for a multi-use seabird foraging area highlighted the continental shelf break, particularly within the vicinity of Cordell Bank, as the highest use areas as did Marxan prioritization. Our

  20. Modeling Nonresident Seabird Foraging Distributions to Inform Ocean Zoning in Central California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hines, Ellen; Elliott, Meredith L.; Howar, Julie; Holzman, Barbara; Nur, Nadav; Jahncke, Jaime

    2017-01-01

    Seabird aggregations at sea have been shown to be associated with concentrations of prey. Previous research identified Central California as a highly used foraging area for seabirds, with locally breeding seabirds foraging close to their colonies on Southeast Farallon Island. Herein, we focus on nonresident (i.e. non-locally breeding) seabird species off of Central California. We hypothesized that high-use foraging areas for nonresident seabirds would be influenced by oceanographic and bathymetric factors and that spatial and temporal distributions would be similar within planktivorous and generalist foraging guilds but would differ between them. With data collected by the Applied California Current Ecosystem Studies (ACCESS) partnership during cruises between April and October from 2004–2013, we developed generalized linear models to identify high-use foraging areas for each of six nonresident seabird species. The four generalist species are Phoebastria nigripes (black-footed albatross), Ardenna griseus (sooty shearwater), Ardenna creatopus (pink-footed shearwater), and Fulmarus glacialis (northern fulmar). The two planktivorous species are Phalaropus lobatus (red-necked phalarope) and Phalaropus fulicarius (red phalarope). Sea surface temperature was significant for generalist species and sea surface salinity was important for planktivorous species. The distance to the 200-m isobath was significant in five of six models, Pacific Decadal Oscillation with a 3-month lag in four models, and sea surface fluorescence, the distance to Cordell Bank, and depth in three models. We did not find statistically significant differences between distributions of individual seabird species within a foraging guild or between guilds, with the exception of the sooty shearwater. Model results for a multi-use seabird foraging area highlighted the continental shelf break, particularly within the vicinity of Cordell Bank, as the highest use areas as did Marxan prioritization. Our

  1. Evaluation of etorphine reversed by diprenorphine for the immobilisation of free-ranging Atlantic walrus (Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus L.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mario Acquarone

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available To date no problem-free method exists for the immobilisation of free‑ranging walruses (Odobenus rosmarus. In the period 1989-2001, 69 immobilisations with etorphine HCl were performed by remote darting of 41 individual free-ranging adult Atlantic walruses (O. r. rosmarus, with body masses 633 ‑ 1883 kg, as a rerequisite for the attachment of radio tracking and dive recording instruments, and for studies of metabolism. Ten individuals were immobilised several times. We present data on these 69 immobilisations and evaluate the method. Full immobilisation was achieved in 58 cases (84 %. The animals were insufficiently restrained in 6 cases (9 % and 5 animals died (7 % following the immobilisation. The animals were fully immobilised and approachable after 5 min (n = 38, range = 1.9 ‑ 12.4 min, SD = 2.2 with a dose of etorphine of 6.1 μg/kg (range 2.4 ‑ 12.6 μg /kg, SD = 2.4. Induction time was negatively correlated with the dosage of etorphine. Etorphine-induced apnoea lasted 13.7 min (n = 36, range 17.0 ‑ 26.7 min, SD = 5.1 and was reversed by multiple doses of the antagonist diprenorphine HCl. The first dose of antagonist of 12.2 mg (n = 39, range 6.0 ‑ 21.0 mg, SD = 3.5 was administered 8.4 min (n = 38, range 4.7 ‑ 18.0 min, SD = 2.8 after injection of the agonist. The total dose of diprenorphine per animal ranged between 7.7 and 41.7 μg/kg (n = 31, mean = 17.2 μg/kg, SD = 7.5. For some animals blood pH values were measured following the apnoea and reached low levels (min pH 6.8. For animals that were immobilised several times there were no indications of changed sensitivity to etorphine as reflected in unchanged induction times. Mortalities could neither be related to the doses of agonist and antagonist, nor to the times of administration of the drugs. From this (n = 69 and other (n = 103 studies involving etorphine immobilisation of walruses (both Atlantic and Pacific the overall success

  2. EVALUATION OF SERUM FERRITIN AND SERUM IRON IN FREE-RANGING BLACK RHINOCEROS (DICEROS BICORNIS) AS A TOOL TO UNDERSTAND FACTORS AFFECTING IRON-OVERLOAD DISORDER.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Michele; Chavey, Patricia Sue; Hofmeyr, Jennifer; Mathebula, Nomkhosi; Doering, Alyssa; Buss, Peter; Olea-Popelka, Francisco

    2016-09-01

    Iron overload disorder (IOD) is a significant health issue for captive black rhinoceros ( Diceros bicornis ). Measurement of serum ferritin with a validated rhinoceros ferritin ELISA has been used extensively to detect animals in U.S. zoos that are at risk of developing IOD. However, there is limited information on serum ferritin levels in free-ranging black rhinoceros using this same assay. Serum ferritin, iron, and gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT) were determined in 194 black rhinoceros from southern Africa. Mean ferritin in free-ranging black rhinoceros (290.54 ±247.4 ng/ml) was significantly higher than in free-ranging white rhinoceros (64.0 ± 102.4 ng/ml) sampled in this study from Kruger National Park, South Africa. However, there were no significant differences between genders or age groups. Ferritin values varied with geographical location of the black rhinoceros, although this was not clinically significant. Serum iron values were also higher in black rhinoceros (40.4 ± 19.1 μmol/L) compared to white rhinoceros (29.7 ± 10.7 μmol/L). There was no association between ferritin and GGT. This study provides serum ferritin, iron, and GGT values from free-ranging black rhinoceros that can be used for as comparative target values for captive animals.

  3. Antimicrobial Resistance in Indicator Escherichia coli Isolates from Free-Ranging Livestock and Sympatric Wild Ungulates in a Natural Environment (Northeastern Spain)

    OpenAIRE

    Navarro-Gonzalez, N.; Porrero, M.C.; Mentaberre, G.; Serrano, E.; Mateos, A; Domínguez, L.; Lavín, S

    2013-01-01

    Antimicrobial resistance was assessed in indicator Escherichia coli isolates from free-ranging livestock and sympatric wild boar (Sus scrofa) and Iberian ibex (Capra pyrenaica) in a National Game Reserve in northeastern Spain. The frequency of antimicrobial resistance was low (0% to 7.9%). However, resistance to an extended-spectrum cephalosporin and fluoroquinolones was detected.

  4. Antimicrobial resistance in indicator Escherichia coli isolates from free-ranging livestock and sympatric wild ungulates in a natural environment (Northeastern Spain).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navarro-Gonzalez, N; Porrero, M C; Mentaberre, G; Serrano, E; Mateos, A; Domínguez, L; Lavín, S

    2013-10-01

    Antimicrobial resistance was assessed in indicator Escherichia coli isolates from free-ranging livestock and sympatric wild boar (Sus scrofa) and Iberian ibex (Capra pyrenaica) in a National Game Reserve in northeastern Spain. The frequency of antimicrobial resistance was low (0% to 7.9%). However, resistance to an extended-spectrum cephalosporin and fluoroquinolones was detected.

  5. Performance assessment of two whole-lake acoustic positional telemetry systems - is reality mining of free-ranging aquatic animals technologically possible?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baktoft, Henrik; Zajicek, Petr; Klefoth, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    to mine the reality of free ranging fish in their natural environment. This opens important opportunities to advance several fields of study such as movement ecology and animal social networks in the wild. It is recommended that thorough performance tests are conducted in any study utilizing APTs...

  6. Metal exposure and accumulation patterns in free-range cows (Bos taurus) in a contaminated natural area: Influence of spatial and social behavior

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roggeman, S.; Brink, van den N.W.; Praet, van N.; Blust, R.; Bervoets, L.

    2013-01-01

    Possible effects of spatial metal distribution, seasonal-, ecological- and ethological parameters, on the metal exposure of cows were investigated. Therefore the habitat use, vegetation selection and foraging behavior of two free ranging Galloway herds in a metal polluted nature reserve were

  7. Free-range pigs foraging on Jerusalem artichokes (Helianthus tuberosus L.) – Effect of feeding strategy on growth, feed conversion and animal behaviour

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kongsted, Anne Grete; Horsted, Klaus; Hermansen, John Erik

    2013-01-01

    The nutritional contributions from free-range foraging, growth, feed conversion and behaviour were investigated in 36 growing pigs foraging on Jerusalem artichokes (JA) and fed concentrates restrictedly (30% of energy recommendations) or ad libitum. Compared to the ad libitum fed pigs, the pigs fed...

  8. The impact of natural helminth infections and supplementary protein on growth performance of free-range chickens on smallholder farms in El Sauce, Nicaragua

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Skallerup, Per; Luna, Luz A; Johansen, Maria V;

    2005-01-01

    Three on-farm studies were conducted in Nicaragua during three consecutive years (1999-2001) to assess the impact of natural helminth infections on growth performance of free-range chickens aged 3-4 months. On all participating farms, half of the chickens were treated regularly with anthelmintics...

  9. Metal exposure and accumulation patterns in free-range cows (Bos taurus) in a contaminated natural area: Influence of spatial and social behavior

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roggeman, S.; Brink, van den N.W.; Praet, van N.; Blust, R.; Bervoets, L.

    2013-01-01

    Possible effects of spatial metal distribution, seasonal-, ecological- and ethological parameters, on the metal exposure of cows were investigated. Therefore the habitat use, vegetation selection and foraging behavior of two free ranging Galloway herds in a metal polluted nature reserve were observe

  10. Sensitivity of tropical seabirds to El Niño precursors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Devney, Carol A; Short, Michael; Congdon, Bradley C

    2009-05-01

    Intense El Niño events severely impact seabird populations, often months in advance of peak temperature anomalies. The trophic mechanisms responsible for these impacts are unknown but are assumed to operate at seasonal scales and to be linked to ocean productivity changes. Precursors to El Niño events include changes in both sea-surface temperature and the depth of the 20 degrees C thermocline. Foraging piscivorous seabirds are known to be sensitive to both thermocline depth and sea-surface temperature change, but the potential influence of these phenomena on breeding dynamics is unknown. Using 18 years of data on three seabirds of the western tropical Pacific, we show that pelagic seabird breeding participation is directly and independently related to changes in both surface chlorophyll concentration and thermocline depth that occur well in advance of El Niño generated sea-surface temperature anomalies. In contrast, breeding in an inshore foraging species is not correlated with any environmental/biological parameters investigated. These findings demonstrate that El Niño related phenomena do not affect seabird prey dynamics solely via productivity shifts at seasonal scales, nor in similar ways across different seabird foraging guilds. Our results also suggest that population declines observed in the western tropical Pacific may be directly related to the frequency and intensity of El Niño anomalies over the study period.

  11. Effects of invasive rats and burrowing seabirds on seeds and seedlings on New Zealand islands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grant-Hoffman, Madeline N; Mulder, Christa P H; Bellingham, Peter J

    2010-04-01

    Rats (Rattus rattus, Rattus norvegicus, Rattus exulans) are important invaders on islands. They alter vegetation indirectly by preying on burrowing seabirds. These seabirds affect vegetation through nutrient inputs from sea to land and physical disturbance through trampling and burrowing. Rats also directly affect vegetation though consumption of seeds and seedlings. Seedling communities on northern New Zealand islands differ in composition and densities among islands which have never been invaded by rats, are currently invaded by rats, or from which rats have been eradicated. We conducted experimental investigations to determine the mechanisms driving these patterns. When the physical disturbance of seabirds was removed, in soils collected from islands and inside exclosures, seedling densities increased with seabird burrow density. For example, seedling densities inside exclosures were 10 times greater than those outside. Thus the negative effects of seabirds on seedlings, by trampling and uprooting, overwhelm the potentially beneficial effects of high levels of seed germination, seedling emergence, and possibly seed production, which result from seed burial and nutrient additions. Potential seedling density was reduced on an island where rats were present, germination of seeds from soils of this island was approximately half that found on other islands, but on this island seedling density inside exclosures was 7 times the density outside. Although the total negative effects of seabirds and rats on seedling densities are similar (reduced seedling density), the differences in mechanisms and life stages affected result in very different filters on the plant community.

  12. Orbiviruses and bunyaviruses from a seabird colony in Scotland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nuttall, P A; Carey, D; Reid, H W; Harrap, K A

    1981-11-01

    Viruses isolated from ticks (Ixodes uriae) and a kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla) from a seabird colony at St. Abb's Head, Scotland, were shown by complement fixation tests (CFT) to be antigenically related to the Uukuniemi and Kemerovo serogroups. Electron microscopic examination of cell cultures infected with the Kemerovo group viruses revealed particles characteristic of orbiviruses, 72 +/- 3 nm in diam., with an inner core 37 +/- 3 nm in diam., in association with intracytoplasmic, densely staining granular areas, and with fibrillar and tubular structures. Cell cultures infected with the Uukuniemi group viruses revealed characteristic bunyavirus particles, 94 +/- 7 nm in diam., with a closely adherent envelope. Both orbi- and bunyaviruses were isolated from two tick pools and the kittiwake. A third tick pool contained an orbivirus which cross-reacted with the other isolates in CFT and fluorescent antibody tests, but was distinguished from them by neutralization tests.

  13. Investigating kleptothermy: a reptile-seabird association with thermal benefits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corkery, Ilse; Bell, Ben D; Nelson, Nicola J

    2014-01-01

    Studies on interspecific interactions between vertebrates based on thermal benefits are poorly represented in the literature. Ecologists know little about a category of thermoregulation termed kleptothermy. We provide evidence that a close association between a medium-sized reptile (tuatara, Sphenodon punctatus) and a small seabird (fairy prion, Pachyptila turtur) enables the reptile to maintain higher-than-average body temperatures. This is the first multiyear data set to reveal that the presence of an endotherm within a burrow has direct, transferable thermal benefits to an ectotherm. It is possible that such positive interspecific interactions may alleviate thermal stress across the range of a single species. Currently, we know little about the evolutionary consequences of such interactions, and future work should focus on whether these thermal benefits increase fitness through increased growth rates or reproductive output.

  14. Unexpected hydrogen isotope variation in oceanic pelagic seabirds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ostrom, Peggy H.; Wiley, Anne E.; Rossman, Sam; Stricker, Craig A.; James, Helen F.

    2014-01-01

    Hydrogen isotopes have significantly enhanced our understanding of the biogeography of migratory animals. The basis for this methodology lies in predictable, continental patterns of precipitation δD values that are often reflected in an organism's tissues. δD variation is not expected for oceanic pelagic organisms whose dietary hydrogen (water and organic hydrogen in prey) is transferred up the food web from an isotopically homogeneous water source. We report a 142% range in the δD values of flight feathers from the Hawaiian petrel (Pterodroma sandwichensis), an oceanic pelagic North Pacific species, and inquire about the source of that variation. We show δD variation between and within four other oceanic pelagic species: Newell's shearwater (Puffinus auricularis newellii), Black-footed albatross (Phoebastria nigripes), Laysan albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis) and Buller's shearwater (Puffinus bulleri). The similarity between muscle δD values of hatch-year Hawaiian petrels and their prey suggests that trophic fractionation does not influence δD values of muscle. We hypothesize that isotopic discrimination is associated with water loss during salt excretion through salt glands. Salt load differs between seabirds that consume isosmotic squid and crustaceans and those that feed on hyposmotic teleost fish. In support of the salt gland hypothesis, we show an inverse relationship between δD and percent teleost fish in diet for three seabird species. Our results demonstrate the utility of δD in the study of oceanic consumers, while also contributing to a better understanding of δD systematics, the basis for one of the most commonly utilized isotope tools in avian ecology.

  15. Unexpected hydrogen isotope variation in oceanic pelagic seabirds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ostrom, Peggy H; Wiley, Anne E; Rossman, Sam; Stricker, Craig A; James, Helen F

    2014-08-01

    Hydrogen isotopes have significantly enhanced our understanding of the biogeography of migratory animals. The basis for this methodology lies in predictable, continental patterns of precipitation δD values that are often reflected in an organism's tissues. δD variation is not expected for oceanic pelagic organisms whose dietary hydrogen (water and organic hydrogen in prey) is transferred up the food web from an isotopically homogeneous water source. We report a 142‰ range in the δD values of flight feathers from the Hawaiian petrel (Pterodroma sandwichensis), an oceanic pelagic North Pacific species, and inquire about the source of that variation. We show δD variation between and within four other oceanic pelagic species: Newell's shearwater (Puffinus auricularis newellii), Black-footed albatross (Phoebastria nigripes), Laysan albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis) and Buller's shearwater (Puffinus bulleri). The similarity between muscle δD values of hatch-year Hawaiian petrels and their prey suggests that trophic fractionation does not influence δD values of muscle. We hypothesize that isotopic discrimination is associated with water loss during salt excretion through salt glands. Salt load differs between seabirds that consume isosmotic squid and crustaceans and those that feed on hyposmotic teleost fish. In support of the salt gland hypothesis, we show an inverse relationship between δD and percent teleost fish in diet for three seabird species. Our results demonstrate the utility of δD in the study of oceanic consumers, while also contributing to a better understanding of δD systematics, the basis for one of the most commonly utilized isotope tools in avian ecology.

  16. Seasonality in marine ecosystems: Peruvian seabirds, anchovy, and oceanographic conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Passuni, Giannina; Barbraud, Christophe; Chaigneau, Alexis; Demarcq, Hervé; Ledesma, Jesus; Bertrand, Arnaud; Castillo, Ramiro; Perea, Angel; Mori, Julio; Viblanc, Vincent A; Torres-MaitaA, Jose; Bertrand, Sophie

    2016-01-01

    In fluctuating environments, matching breeding timing to periods of high resource availability is crucial for the fitness of many vertebrate species, and may have major consequences on population health. Yet, our understanding of the proximate environmental cues driving seasonal breeding is limited. This is particularly the case in marine ecosystems, where key environmental factors and prey abundance and availability are seldom quantified. The Northern Humboldt Current System (NHCS) is a highly productive, low-latitude ecosystem of moderate seasonality. In this ecosystem, three tropical seabird species (the Guanay Cormorant Phalacrocorax bougainvillii, the Peruvian Booby Sula variegata, and the Peruvian Pelican Pelecanus thagus) live in sympatry and prey almost exclusively on anchovy, Engraulis ringens. From January 2003 to December 2012, we monitored 31 breeding sites along the Peruvian coast to investigate the breeding cycle of these species. We tested for relationships between breeding timing, oceanographic conditions, and prey availability using occupancy models. We found that all three seabird species exhibited seasonal breeding patterns, with marked interspecific differences. Whereas breeding mainly started during the austral winter/early spring and ended in summer/early fall, this pattern was stronger in boobies and pelicans than in cormorants. Breeding onset mainly occurred when upwelling was intense but ecosystem productivity was below its annual maxima, and when anchovy were less available and in poor physiological condition. Conversely, the abundance and availability of anchovy improved during chick rearing and peaked around the time of fledging. These results suggest that breeding timing is adjusted so that fledging may occur under optimal environmental conditions, rather than being constrained by nutritional requirements during egg laying. Adjusting breeding time so that fledglings meet optimal conditions at independence is unique compared with other

  17. Assessment of biosecurity measures against highly pathogenic avian influenza risks in small-scale commercial farms and free-range poultry flocks in the northcentral Nigeria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alhaji, N B; Odetokun, I A

    2011-04-01

    There is considerable global concern over the emergence of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) that has affected domestic poultry flocks in Nigeria and other parts of the world. There have been little investigations on the proposition that free-range flocks are potentially at higher risk of HPAI than confined small-scale commercial enterprises. The objective is to analyse the biosecurity measures instituted in the small-scale commercial poultry farms and established free-range bird flocks owned by households in the rural areas and qualitatively assess the risk status at the two levels of poultry management systems in northcentral Nigeria. We used data collected through questionnaire administration to farms and flock owners and subjected them to a traffic light system model to test for relative risks of HPAI infection based on the biosecurity measures put in place at the farm and flock levels. The results indicate that free-range flocks are at lower risk compared to small-scale commercial operations. These findings are plausible as birds from free-range flocks have more opportunities to contact wild bird reservoirs of low-pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) strains than small-scale commercial poultry, thus providing them with constant challenge and maintenance of flock immunity. The development of efficient and effective biosecurity measures against poultry diseases on small-scale commercial farms requires adequate placement of barriers to provide segregation, cleaning and disinfection, while concerted community-led sanitary measures are required for free-range poultry flocks in the developing topical and subtropical economies.

  18. Molecular systematics of pinniped hookworms (Nematoda: Uncinaria): species delimitation, host associations and host-induced morphometric variation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nadler, Steven A; Lyons, Eugene T; Pagan, Christopher; Hyman, Derek; Lewis, Edwin E; Beckmen, Kimberlee; Bell, Cameron M; Castinel, Aurelie; Delong, Robert L; Duignan, Padraig J; Farinpour, Cher; Huntington, Kathy Burek; Kuiken, Thijs; Morgades, Diana; Naem, Soraya; Norman, Richard; Parker, Corwin; Ramos, Paul; Spraker, Terry R; Berón-Vera, Bárbara

    2013-12-01

    Hookworms of the genus Uncinaria have been widely reported from juvenile pinnipeds, however investigations of their systematics has been limited, with only two species described, Uncinaria lucasi from northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus) and Uncinaria hamiltoni from South American sea lions (Otaria flavescens). Hookworms were sampled from these hosts and seven additional species including Steller sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus), California sea lions (Zalophus californianus), South American fur seals (Arctocephalus australis), Australian fur seals (Arctocephalus pusillus), New Zealand sea lions (Phocarctos hookeri), southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina), and the Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus monachus). One hundred and thirteen individual hookworms, including an outgroup species, were sequenced for four genes representing two loci (nuclear ribosomal DNA and mitochondrial DNA). Phylogenetic analyses of these sequences recovered seven independent evolutionary lineages or species, including the described species and five undescribed species. The molecular evidence shows that U. lucasi parasitises both C. ursinus and E. jubatus, whereas U. hamiltoni parasitises O. flavescens and A. australis. The five undescribed hookworm species were each associated with single host species (Z. californianus, A. pusillus, P. hookeri, M. leonina and M. monachus). For parasites of otarids, patterns of Uncinaria host-sharing and phylogenetic relationships had a strong biogeographic component with separate clades of parasites from northern versus southern hemisphere hosts. Comparison of phylogenies for these hookworms and their hosts suggests that the association of U. lucasi with northern fur seals results from a host-switch from Steller sea lions. Morphometric data for U. lucasi shows marked host-associated size differences for both sexes, with U. lucasi individuals from E. jubatus significantly larger. This result suggests that adult growth of U. lucasi is reduced within the

  19. Food habit studies of pinnipeds conducted at San Miguel Island, California by Alaska Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Mammal Laboratory from 1980-02-01 to 2014-01-31 (NCEI Accession 0145166)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The National Marine Mammal Laboratories' California Current Ecosystem Program (AFSC/NOAA) collects fecal samples to examine the diet of pinnipeds, including...

  20. The role of seabirds of the Iles Eparses as reservoirs and disseminators of parasites and pathogens

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCoy, Karen D.; Dietrich, Muriel; Jaeger, Audrey; Wilkinson, David A.; Bastien, Matthieu; Lagadec, Erwan; Boulinier, Thierry; Pascalis, Hervé; Tortosa, Pablo; Le Corre, Matthieu; Dellagi, Koussay; Lebarbenchon, Camille

    2016-04-01

    The role of birds as reservoirs and disseminators of parasites and pathogens has received much attention over the past several years due to their high vagility. Seabirds are particularly interesting hosts in this respect. In addition to incredible long-distance movements during migration, foraging and prospecting, these birds are long-lived, site faithful and breed in dense aggregations in specific colony locations. These different characteristics can favor both the local maintenance and large-scale dissemination of parasites and pathogens. The Iles Eparses provide breeding and feeding grounds for more than 3 million breeding pairs of seabirds including at least 13 species. Breeding colonies on these islands are relatively undisturbed by human activities and represent natural metapopulations in which seabird population dynamics, movement and dispersal can be studied in relation to that of circulating parasites and pathogens. In this review, we summarize previous knowledge and recently-acquired data on the parasites and pathogens found in association with seabirds of the Iles Eparses. These studies have revealed the presence of a rich diversity of infectious agents (viruses, bacteria and parasites) carried by the birds and/or their local ectoparasites (ticks and louse flies). Many of these agents are widespread and found in other ecosystems confirming a role for seabirds in their large scale dissemination and maintenance. The heterogeneous distribution of parasites and infectious agents among islands and seabird species suggests that relatively independent metacommunities of interacting species may exist within the western Indian Ocean. In this context, we discuss how the patterns and determinants of seabird movements may alter parasite and pathogen circulation. We conclude by outlining key aspects for future research given the baseline data now available and current concerns in eco-epidemiology and biodiversity conservation.

  1. Assessing the role of seabirds in the ecology of influenza A viruses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lang, Andrew S.; Lebarbenchon, Camille; Robertson, Gregory J.; Ramey, Andrew M.; Waldenström, Jonas; Wille, Michelle

    2016-01-01

    Wild waterbirds, specifically waterfowl, gulls, and shorebirds, are recognized as the primordial reservoir of influenza A viruses (IAVs). However, the role of seabirds, an abundant, diverse, and globally distributed group of birds, in the perpetuation and transmission of IAVs is less clear. Here we summarize published and publicly available data for influenza viruses in seabirds, which for the purposes of this study are defined as birds that exhibit a largely or exclusively pelagic lifestyle and exclude waterfowl, gulls, and shorebirds, and we review this collective dataset to assess the role of seabirds in the influenza A ecology. Since 1961, more than 40,000 samples have been collected worldwide from the seabirds considered here and screened, using a variety of techniques, for evidence of active or past IAV infection. From these data, the overall prevalence of active infection has been estimated to be very low; however, serological data provide evidence that some seabird species are more frequently exposed to IAVs. Sequence data for viruses from seabirds are limited, except for murres (common murre, Uria aalge, and thick-billed murre, Uria lomvia; family Alcidae) for which there are full or partial genome sequences available for more than 80 viruses. Characterization of these viruses suggests that murres are infected with Group 1 hemagglutinin subtype viruses more frequently as compared to Group 2 and also indicates that these northern, circumpolar birds are frequently infected by intercontinental reassortant viruses. Greater temporal and spatial sampling and characterization of additional viruses are required to better understand the role of seabirds in global IAV dynamics.

  2. Assessing the Role of Seabirds in the Ecology of Influenza A Viruses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lang, Andrew S; Lebarbenchon, Camille; Ramey, Andrew M; Robertson, Gregory J; Waldenström, Jonas; Wille, Michelle

    2016-05-01

    Wild waterbirds, specifically waterfowl, gulls, and shorebirds, are recognized as the primordial reservoir of influenza A viruses (IAVs). However, the role of seabirds, an abundant, diverse, and globally distributed group of birds, in the perpetuation and transmission of IAVs is less clear. Here we summarize published and publicly available data for influenza viruses in seabirds, which for the purposes of this study are defined as birds that exhibit a largely or exclusively pelagic lifestyle and exclude waterfowl, gulls, and shorebirds, and we review this collective dataset to assess the role of seabirds in the influenza A ecology. Since 1961, more than 40,000 samples have been collected worldwide from the seabirds considered here and screened, using a variety of techniques, for evidence of active or past IAV infection. From these data, the overall prevalence of active infection has been estimated to be very low; however, serological data provide evidence that some seabird species are more frequently exposed to IAVs. Sequence data for viruses from seabirds are limited, except for murres (common murre, Uria aalge, and thick-billed murre, Uria lomvia; family Alcidae) for which there are full or partial genome sequences available for more than 80 viruses. Characterization of these viruses suggests that murres are infected with Group 1 hemagglutinin subtype viruses more frequently as compared to Group 2 and also indicates that these northern, circumpolar birds are frequently infected by intercontinental reassortant viruses. Greater temporal and spatial sampling and characterization of additional viruses are required to better understand the role of seabirds in global IAV dynamics.

  3. Laminosioptes cysticola in free-range chickens in Minas Gerais, Brazil Laminosioptes cysticola em galinhas de fundo de quintal em Minas Gerais, Brasil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nelson Rodrigo da Silva Martins

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available The subcutaneous acarid parasite Laminosioptes cysticola, the fowl cyst mite, has been found for a number of years in free-range chickens of peri-urban and rural Minas Gerais, forming collagen cysts which may be subsequently calcified after the parasite's death. The role of free-range chickens as hosts and the possible risk of food-borne human allergy, as a result of its consumption in feed, are considered.O parasito acarino subcutâneo Laminosioptes cysticola tem sido encontrado em galinhas de subsistência periurbanas e rurais em Minas Gerais, formando cistos arredondados que podem calcificar sob a pele após a morte do parasito. Detalhes do parasitismo e do parasito são discutidos, sendo especulado o risco potencial humano em alergia de origem alimentar pelo consumo da carne da ave contendo os cistos.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ratna Ghosal

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Prevalence of parasites and associated risk factors in domestic pigeons (Columba livia domestica) and free-range backyard chickens of Sistan region, east of Iran.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radfar, Mohammad Hossein; Khedri, Javad; Adinehbeigi, Keivan; Nabavi, Reza; Rahmani, Khatereh

    2012-10-01

    This study was carried out on free-range backyard chickens and domestic pigeons (Columba livia domestica) from December 2010 to November 2011 to determine the prevalence, intensity and species of internal and external parasites in Sistan region, east of Iran. Of the total of 59 (27 males and 32 females) free-range backyard chickens and 46 (26 males and 20 females) domestic pigeons inspected, 55 (93.22 %) and 39 (84.78 %) were infected respectively. Ten species of free-range backyard chickens parasites were collected from alimentary canals, body, head and neck, comprising of 3 species of nematodes, 4 species of cestodes and 3 species of ectoparasites as follows: Ascaridia galli (16.94 %), Heterakis gallinarum (23.72 %), Subulura brumpti (67.79 %), Raillietina tetragona (35.59 %), Raillietina echinobothrida (27.11 %), Raillietina cesticillus (15.25 %), Choanotaenia infundibulum (40.67 %), Argas persicus (16.94 %), Menopen gallinae (55.93 %) and Menacanthus stramineus (33.89 %). The domestic pigeons were infected with seven species of parasites including 2 species of nematodes, 2 species of cestodes and 3 species of ectoparasites as follows: Ascaridia colombae (15.21 %), Hadjelia truncata (17.39 %), Raillietina tetragona (26.08 %), Raillietina echinobothrida (28.26 %), Argas reflexus (13.04 %), Menopen gallinae (32.60 %), Columbicola Columba (41.30 %). This is the first survey to determine the prevalence and intensity of parasites among free-range backyard chicken and domestic pigeon species in Sistan region.

  8. Serum concentration comparisons of amino acids, fatty acids, lipoproteins, vitamins A and E, and minerals between zoo and free-ranging giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Debra A; Koutsos, Elizabeth A; Ellersieck, Mark R; Griffin, Mark E

    2009-03-01

    Serum concentrations of amino acids, fatty acids, lipoproteins, vitamins A and E, and minerals in zoo giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis) were compared to values obtained from free-ranging giraffes in an effort to identify potential nutritional differences in the zoo population. Zoo giraffes have a specific set of maladies that may be nutritionally related, including peracute mortality, energy malnutrition, pancreatic disease, urolithiasis, hoof disease, and severe intestinal parasitism. Dietary requirements for giraffes are not known; invasive studies used with domestic animals cannot be performed on zoo animals. Though domestic animal standards are often used to evaluate nutritional health of exotic animals, they may not be the most appropriate standards to use. Serum samples from 20 zoo giraffes at 10 zoological institutions in the United States were compared to previously collected samples from 24 free-ranging giraffes in South Africa. Thirteen of the zoo animal samples were collected from animals trained for blood collection, and seven were banked samples obtained from a previous serum collection. Dietary information was also collected on each zoo giraffe; most zoo giraffe diets consisted of alfalfa-based pellets (acid detergent fiber-16), alfalfa hay, and browse in varying quantities. Differences between zoo and free-ranging giraffes, males and females, and adults and subadults were analyzed with the use of a 2 x 2 x 2 factorial and Fisher's Least Significant Difference (LSD) for mean separation. Of the 84 parameters measured, 54 (60%) were significantly different (P zoo and free-ranging giraffes. Nine (11%) items were significantly different (P zoo giraffe diets is needed to address the differences seen in this study and the potentially related health problems.

  9. The effects of environmental and visitor variables on the behavior of free-ranging ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) in captivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collins, Courtney; Corkery, Ilse; Haigh, Amy; McKeown, Sean; Quirke, Thomas; O'Riordan, Ruth

    2017-07-01

    The effect of the zoo environment on captive animals is an increasingly studied area of zoo research, with visitor effects and exhibit design recognized as two of the factors that can contribute to animal welfare in captivity. It is known that in some situations, visitors may be stressful to zoo-housed primates, and this may be compounded by environmental factors such as the weather, the time of day, and zoo husbandry routines. Exhibit design and proximity of the public are also known to influence behavioral response of primates to visitors; however, there is minimal research on free-ranging zoo animals, even though they are potentially subjected to intense interactions with visitors. The current study explores the effect of the zoo environment, several visitor variables and specific animal-visitor interactions on the behavior of free-ranging ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) at Fota Wildlife Park, Ireland. Data were obtained through scan samples collected over 18 months (n = 12,263) and analyzed using a range of statistical tests, including general estimating equations (GEE). Results demonstrate that the free-ranging lemurs' behavior at Fota Wildlife Park is affected by season, weather and time of day. Similarities in feeding behavior exist between the free-ranging group and lemurs in the wild when resources are plentiful. Visitor variables had a limited effect on lemur behavior and behavioral diversity level. Lemurs rarely reacted to visitors when specific interactions were considered. Generally, the results indicate that the ring-tailed lemurs in this study have adapted well to the zoo environment and habituated to visitors. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. Acoustic characteristics of biossonar sounds of free-ranging botos (Inia geoffrensis) and tucuxis (Sotalia fluviatilis) in the Negro River, Amazon, Brazil

    OpenAIRE

    Yukiko Yamamoto; Tomonari Akamatso; Vera Maria Ferreira da Silva; Yayoi Yoshida; Shiro Kohshima

    2015-01-01

    Odontoceti emit broadband high-frequency clicks on echolocation for orientation or prey detection. In the Amazon Basin, two odontoceti species, boto (Amazon River dolphin, Inia geoffrensis) and tucuxi (Sotalia fluviatilis), live sympatrically. The acoustic characteristics of the echolocation clicks of free-ranging botos and tucuxis were measured with a hydrophone array consisting of a full-band and an acoustic event recorder (A-tag). The clicks of the two species were short-duration broadband...

  11. Antibiotic resistance, phylogenetic grouping and virulence potential of Escherichia coli isolated from the faeces of intensively farmed and free range poultry.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-27

    Antibiotic use in poultry production is a risk factor for promoting the emergence of resistant Escherichia coli. To ascertain differences in different classes of chickens, the resistance profile, some virulence genes and phylogenetic grouping on 251 E. coli isolates from intensive meat (free range and indoor commercial) and free range egg layer chickens collected between December 2008 and June 2009 in South Australia were performed. Among the 251 strains, 102 (40.6%) and 67 (26.7%) were found to be resistant to tetracycline and ampicillin respectively. Resistance was also observed to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (12.4%), streptomycin (10.8%), spectinomycin (9.6%), neomycin (6.0%) and florfenicol (2.0%) but no resistance was found to ceftiofur, ciprofloxacin or gentamicin. Amplification of DNA of the isolates by polymerase chain reaction revealed the presence of genes that code for resistant determinants: tetracycline (tet(A), tet(B) and tet(C)), ampicillin (bla(TEM) and bla(SHV)), trimethoprim (dhfrV and dhfrXIII), sulphonamide (sulI and sulII), neomycin (aph(3)-Ia(aphA1)), and spectinomycin-streptinomycin (aadA2). In addition, 32.3-39.4% of the isolates were found to belong to commensal groups (A and B1) and 11.2-17.1% belonged to the virulent groups (B2 and D). Among the 251 E. coli isolates, 25 (10.0%) carried two or more virulence genes typical of Extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli (ExPEC). Furthermore, 17 of the isolates with multi-resistance were identified to be groups B2 and D. Although no significant difference was observed between isolates from free range and indoor commercial meat chickens (P>0.05), significant differences was observed between the different classes of meat chickens (free range and indoor commercial) and egg layers (Ppoultry E. coli isolates. Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  12. Production traits of artificially and naturally hatched geese in intensive and free-range systems - II: slaughter, carcass and meat quality traits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boz, M A; Sarıca, M; Yamak, U S

    2017-04-01

    1. This study investigates the slaughter, carcass and meat quality traits of artificially and naturally hatched geese in intensive and free-range production systems. 2. The study was conducted with 114 naturally hatched and 102 artificially hatched geese. From each replicate of the intensive and free-range systems, one female and one male goose were slaughtered at the ages of 14, 16 and 18 weeks (a total of 32 geese per slaughter week). 3. Artificially hatched geese had higher slaughter weights (5280 vs. 4404 g), carcass weights (3520 vs. 2863), dressing percentages (66.6-65.2% vs. 65.0-63.6%) and carcass part, feather and edible inner organ weights. The ratio of both edible inner organs and abdominal fat was higher in naturally hatched geese. Breast meat L*, a* and pH values and thigh meat dry matter values were higher in artificially hatched geese, whereas thigh meat b* and pH values were higher in naturally hatched geese. 4. Intensively reared geese had higher slaughter weights (4900 vs. 4783 g), carcass weights (3253 vs. 3130 g) and abdominal fat weights (280 vs. 250 g), as well as higher dressing percentages (66.3-64.9% vs. 65.3-63.9%). Breast meat b* and thigh meat L* values were higher in the intensive system, while breast and thigh pH values, dripping loss and cooking loss were higher in the free-range system. Water-holding capacity was higher in the intensive system. 5. In conclusion, artificially hatched, intensively reared geese had the highest slaughter weights; however, both artificially and naturally hatched geese raised in a free-range system reached acceptable slaughter weights and can thus be recommended for use with this type of production system.

  13. Prevalence of ectoparasites in free-range backyard chickens, domestic pigeons (Columba livia domestica) and turkeys of Kermanshah province, west of Iran.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rezaei, Farid; Hashemnia, Mohammad; Chalechale, Abdolali; Seidi, Shahin; Gholizadeh, Maryam

    2016-06-01

    This study was carried out on free-range backyard chickens, domestic pigeons (Columba livia domestica) and turkeys from May 2012 to April 2013 to determine the prevalence and identify the species of ectoparasites in Kermanshah province, west of Iran. Of the total of 600 free-range backyard chickens (185 ♂ and 415 ♀), 700 domestic pigeons (278 ♂ and 422 ♀) and 150 turkeys (53 ♂ and 97 ♀), 389 (64.83 %), 608 (86.85 %) and 54 (36 %) were infected with one or more parasites respectively. Eleven ectoparasites species including five of lice (50.16 % Menacanthus stramineus, 13.66 % Menopon gallinae, 4.83 % Cuclotogaster heterographus, 5.16 % Goniocotes gallinae, 2.33 % Goniodes gigas), three of mites (26.33 % Dermanyssus gallinae, 8.5 % Ornithonyssus bursa, 7 % Cnemidocoptes mutans), one of tick (78.66 % Argas persicus) and two of flea (12.33 % Echidnophaga gallinacea, 2 % Pulex irritans) were found in the backyard chickens. The domestic pigeons were infected with six species of parasites including: Columbicola columbae (61.7 %), M. gallinae (10.43 %), M. stramineus (9 %), D. gallinae (8.28 %), Argas reflexus (74.14 %) and Pseudolynchia canariensis (27.7 %). The ectoparasites species recorded in turkeys were M. gallinae (14 %), M. stramineus (8 %), D. gallinae (12.66 %), C. mutans (6 %), A. persicus (24.66 %) and E. gallinacean (6 %). This is the first survey to determine the prevalence and identify the species of ectoparasites among free-range backyard chicken, domestic pigeons and turkeys in Kermanshah province. The high prevalence rate of ectoparasites in free-range backyard chickens and domestic pigeons indicates that parasitic infection is a common problem in this area.

  14. SEROSURVEY OF SELECTED ARBOVIRAL PATHOGENS IN FREE-RANGING, TWO-TOED SLOTHS (CHOLOEPUS HOFFMANNI) AND THREE-TOED SLOTHS (BRADYPUS VARIEGATUS) IN COSTA RICA, 2005–07

    OpenAIRE

    Medlin, Scott; Deardorff, Eleanor R.; Hanley, Christopher S.; Vergneau-Grosset, Claire; Siudak-Campfield, Asia; Dallwig, Rebecca; Travassos da Rosa, Amelia; Robert B Tesh; Pia Martin, Maria; Scott C. Weaver; Vaughan, Christopher; Ramirez, Oscar; Sladky, Kurt K.; Paul-Murphy, Joanne

    2016-01-01

    We screened for antibodies to 16 arboviruses in four populations of free-ranging sloths in Costa Rica. Blood samples were taken from 16 Hoffman’s two-toed sloths (HTSs; CHOLOEPUS HOFFMANNI) and 26 brown-throated sloths (BTSs; BRADYPUS VARIEGATUS) over a 3-yr period. We used serologic assays to detect antibodies against 10 arboviruses previously described in sloths (St. Louis encephalitis [SLEV], Changuinola, Venezuelan equine encephalitis, Ilheus [ILHV], Oropouche, Mayaro, Utinga, Murutucu, P...

  15. Diversity and evolution of avian influenza viruses in live poultry markets, free-range poultry and wild wetland birds in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Liang-Jun; Lin, Xian-Dan; Guo, Wen-Ping; Tian, Jun-Hua; Wang, Wen; Ying, Xu-Hua; Wang, Miao-Ruo; Yu, Bin; Yang, Zhan-Qiu; Shi, Mang; Holmes, Edward C; Zhang, Yong-Zhen

    2016-04-01

    The wide circulation of novel avian influenza viruses (AIVs) highlights the risk of pandemic influenza emergence in China. To investigate the prevalence and genetic diversity of AIVs in different ecological contexts, we surveyed AIVs in live poultry markets (LPMs), free-range poultry and the wetland habitats of wild birds in Zhejiang and Hubei provinces. Notably, LPMs contained the highest frequency of AIV infection, and the greatest number of subtypes (n = 9) and subtype co-infections (n = 14), as well as frequent reassortment, suggesting that they play an active role in fuelling AIV transmission. AIV-positive samples were also identified in wild birds in both provinces and free-range poultry in one sampling site close to a wetland region in Hubei. H9N2, H7N9 and H5N1 were the most commonly sampled subtypes in the LPMs from Zhejiang, whilst H5N6 and H9N2 were the dominant subtypes in the LPMs from Hubei. Phylogenetic analyses of the whole-genome sequences of 43 AIVs revealed that three reassortant H5 subtypes were circulating in LMPs in both geographical regions. Notably, the viruses sampled from the wetland regions and free-range poultry contained complex reassortants, for which the origins of some segments were unclear. Overall, our study highlights the extent of AIV genetic diversity in two highly populated parts of central and south-eastern China, particularly in LPMs, and emphasizes the need for continual surveillance.

  16. Efficiency of prebiotics and probiotics on the performance, yield, meat quality and presence of Salmonella spp in carcasses of free-range broiler chickens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    SE Takahashi

    2005-09-01

    Full Text Available Two trials were carried out in the present study. Trial I evaluated the performance, carcass yield and breast meat quality, whereas Trial II evaluated the efficacy of utilizing prebiotics + probiotics on the control of Salmonella spp incidence in the carcasses of free-range broilers. In Trial I, 688 one-day-old male chicks of the Naked Neck Label Rouge strain were used, distributed in a randomized block design arranged according to a 2 x 2 factorial: control diet or diet supplemented with probiotics and prebiotics; and two rearing systems (confined or with access to paddocks - 3m²/bird, using four replicates with 35 birds each. The birds were reared until 84 days of age following the recommendations of management and nutrition for free-range strains, and had access to paddocks after 35 days of age. Water and food were given inside the experimental poultry house. Birds fed probiotics and prebiotics in the diet and the confined birds showed better performance, carcass yield and meat quality compared to the birds of the other treatments. In Trial II, 128 one-day-old male chicks of the free-range Naked Neck Label Rouge strain were used. The birds were distributed into four treatments: NCC (non-challenged control, NCS (non-challenged supplemented, CC (challenged control and CS (challenged supplemented. There were no significant effects of adding probiotics and prebiotics in the diet in regard to Salmonella enteritidis recovery from the carcasses.

  17. 50 CFR Table 20 to Part 679 - Seabird Avoidance Gear Requirements for Vessels, based on Area, Gear, and Vessel Type. (See § 679...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 9 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Seabird Avoidance Gear Requirements for Vessels, based on Area, Gear, and Vessel Type. (See § 679.24(e) for complete seabird avoidance program...) FISHERIES OF THE EXCLUSIVE ECONOMIC ZONE OFF ALASKA Pt. 679, Table 20 Table 20 to Part 679—Seabird...

  18. Oceanographic influences on seabirds and cetaceans of the eastern tropical Pacific: A review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballance, Lisa T.; Pitman, Robert L.; Fiedler, Paul C.

    2006-05-01

    This paper is part of a comprehensive review of the oceanography of the eastern tropical Pacific, the oceanic region centered on the eastern Pacific warm pool, but also including the equatorial cold tongue and equatorial current system, and summarizes what is known about oceanographic influences on seabirds and cetaceans there. The eastern tropical Pacific supports on the order of 50 species of seabirds and 30 species of cetaceans as regular residents; these include four endemic species, the world’s largest populations for several others, three endemic sub-species, and a multi-species community that is relatively unique to this ecosystem. Three of the meso-scale physical features of the region are particularly significant to seabirds and cetaceans: the Costa Rica Dome for blue whales and short-beaked common dolphins, the Equatorial Front for planktivorous seabirds, and the countercurrent thermocline ridge for flocking seabirds that associate with mixed-species schools of spotted and spinner dolphins and yellowfin tuna. A few qualitative studies of meso- to macro-scale distribution patterns have indicated that some seabirds and cetaceans have species-specific preferences for surface currents. More common are associations with distinct water masses; these relationships have been quantified for a number of species using several different analytical methods. The mechanisms underlying tropical species-habitat relationships are not well understood, in contrast to a number of higher-latitude systems. This may be due to the fact that physical variables have been used as proxies for prey abundance and distribution in species-habitat research in the eastern tropical Pacific. Though seasonal and interannual patterns tend to be complex, species-habitat relationships appear to remain relatively stable over time, and distribution patterns co-vary with patterns of preferred habitat for a number of species. The interactions between seasonal and interannual variation in

  19. Seabird acoustic communication at sea: a new perspective using bio-logging devices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thiebault, Andréa; Pistorius, Pierre; Mullers, Ralf; Tremblay, Yann

    2016-08-05

    Most seabirds are very noisy at their breeding colonies, when aggregated in high densities. Calls are used for individual recognition and also emitted during agonistic interactions. When at sea, many seabirds aggregate over patchily distributed resources and may benefit from foraging in groups. Because these aggregations are so common, it raises the question of whether seabirds use acoustic communication when foraging at sea? We deployed video-cameras with built in microphones on 36 Cape gannets (Morus capensis) during the breeding season of 2010-2011 at Bird Island (Algoa Bay, South Africa) to study their foraging behaviour and vocal activity at sea. Group formation was derived from the camera footage. During ~42 h, calls were recorded on 72 occasions from 16 birds. Vocalization exclusively took place in the presence of conspecifics, and mostly in feeding aggregations (81% of the vocalizations). From the observation of the behaviours of birds associated with the emission of calls, we suggest that the calls were emitted to avoid collisions between birds. Our observations show that at least some seabirds use acoustic communication when foraging at sea. These findings open up new perspectives for research on seabirds foraging ecology and their interactions at sea.

  20. Assessing incidental bycatch of seabirds in Norwegian coastal commercial fisheries: Empirical and methodological lessons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kirstin Fangel

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available With diminishing seabird populations and little knowledge on incidental bycatch in fisheries in the Northeast Atlantic, this study aimed to screen seabird bycatch in Norwegian coastal fisheries in 2009. The purpose was to 1 quantify magnitude of seabird bycatch rates and estimate total bycatch from the entire fleet by different estimators 2 evaluate data from an access point survey against monitoring data from a reference fleet as methods for collecting data on bycatch mortality of seabirds and 3 give advice on further bycatch studies. The study focused on three small-vessel fisheries (11 000 birds estimated caught. The black guillemot Cepphus gryllealso stood out as a numerous victim, constituting almost two thirds of the >3000 birds estimated to have drowned in lumpfish gillnets. The two methods were both considered to hold merit and yielded approximately similar estimates of the bycatch in the coastal cod fisheries, however BPUE differs. Further studies are recommended especially on the lumpfish gillnet and Greenland halibut longline fisheries and on temporal and spatial variations in bycatch. More studies are also needed to model effects on seabirds at the population level.

  1. Seabird acoustic communication at sea: a new perspective using bio-logging devices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thiebault, Andréa; Pistorius, Pierre; Mullers, Ralf; Tremblay, Yann

    2016-08-01

    Most seabirds are very noisy at their breeding colonies, when aggregated in high densities. Calls are used for individual recognition and also emitted during agonistic interactions. When at sea, many seabirds aggregate over patchily distributed resources and may benefit from foraging in groups. Because these aggregations are so common, it raises the question of whether seabirds use acoustic communication when foraging at sea? We deployed video-cameras with built in microphones on 36 Cape gannets (Morus capensis) during the breeding season of 2010–2011 at Bird Island (Algoa Bay, South Africa) to study their foraging behaviour and vocal activity at sea. Group formation was derived from the camera footage. During ~42 h, calls were recorded on 72 occasions from 16 birds. Vocalization exclusively took place in the presence of conspecifics, and mostly in feeding aggregations (81% of the vocalizations). From the observation of the behaviours of birds associated with the emission of calls, we suggest that the calls were emitted to avoid collisions between birds. Our observations show that at least some seabirds use acoustic communication when foraging at sea. These findings open up new perspectives for research on seabirds foraging ecology and their interactions at sea.

  2. Geographical patterns of seabird attendance to a research trawler along the Iberian Mediterranean coast

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pere Abelló

    2003-07-01

    Full Text Available The attendance of seabirds to a research trawler along the Mediterranean coast of the Iberian Peninsula was monitored during six demersal surveys (MEDITS project. Cruises were performed in late spring during the period 1994-1999. Twenty seabird species were recorded, including both breeders and migrants. The four most common species behind the boat were local breeders, namely the Balearic shearwater Puffinus mauretanicus, Cory´s shearwater Calonectris diomedea, Audouin´s gull Larus audouinii and the yellow-legged gull Larus cachinnans. Most seabirds made use of trawler discards to some extent, with the exception of the Puffin Fratercula arctica. Geographically consistent patterns were identified in the six years surveyed. Seabirds were most abundant along the eastern coast of Iberia, especially off the Ebro Delta and around the Columbretes Islands, coinciding with one of the major areas of primary productivity and one of the largest trawling fleets in the western Mediterranean. The location of the main seabird colonies also influenced the distribution of breeders.

  3. Biogeography of top predators - seabirds and cetaceans - along four latitudinal transects in the Atlantic Ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jungblut, Simon; Nachtsheim, Dominik A.; Boos, Karin; Joiris, Claude R.

    2017-07-01

    The distribution, abundance, and species assemblage of top predators - seabirds and cetaceans - can be correlated to water masses as defined by hydrological parameters. In comparison to other oceans, information about the structuring effects of water masses on top predators in the Atlantic Ocean is limited. The present study aims 1) to provide baseline distributional data of top predators for future comparisons, for instance in the course of climate change, and 2) to test how water masses and seasons affect distributional patterns of seabirds and cetaceans in the temperate and tropical Atlantic. During four trans-equatorial expeditions of the RV Polarstern between 2011 and 2014, at-sea observation data of seabirds, cetaceans and other megafauna were collected. Counts of top predators were generally low in the surveyed regions. Statistical analyses for the eight most abundant seabird species and the pooled number of cetaceans revealed water masses and seasons to account for differences in counts and thus also distribution. In most cases, borders between water masses were not very distinct due to gradual changes in surface water properties. Thus, top predator counts were correlated to water masses but, in contrast to polar waters, not strongly linked to borders between water masses. Additional factors, e.g. distance to locally productive areas (upwelling), competition effects, and seabird associations to prey-accumulating subsurface predators may be similarly important in shaping distributional patterns of top predators in the tropical and temperate Atlantic, but could not be specifically tested for here.

  4. Modelling seabird collision risk with off-shore wind farms

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mateos, Maria; Arroyo, Gonzalo Munoz; Rosario, Jose Juan Alonso del

    2011-07-01

    Full text: Recent concern about the adverse effects of collision mortality of avian migrants at wind farms has highlighted the need to understand bird-wind turbine interactions. Here, a stochastic collision model, based on data of seabird behaviour collected on- site, is presented, as a flexible and easy to take tool to assess the collisions probabilities of off-shore wind farms in a pre-construction phase. The collision prediction model considering the wind farm area as a risk window has been constructed as a stochastic model for avian migrants, based on Monte Carlo simulation. The model calculates the probable number of birds collided per time unit. Migration volume, wind farm dimensions, vertical and horizontal distribution of the migratory passage, flight direction and avoidance rates, between other variables, are taken into account in different steps of the model as the input variables. In order to assess the weighted importance of these factors on collision probability predictions, collision probabilities obtained from the set of scenarios resulting from the different combinations of the input variables were modelled by using Generalised Additive Models. The application of this model to a hypothetical project for erecting a wind farm at the Strait of Gibraltar showed that collision probability, and consequently mortality rates, strongly depend on the values of the avoidance rates taken into account, and the distribution of birds into the different altitude layers. These parameters should be considered as priorities to be addressed in post-construction studies. (Author)

  5. Personality, foraging and fitness consequences in a long lived seabird.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samantha C Patrick

    Full Text Available While personality differences in animals are defined as consistent behavioural variation between individuals, the widely studied field of foraging specialisation in marine vertebrates has rarely been addressed within this framework. However there is much overlap between the two fields, both aiming to measure the causes and consequences of consistent individual behaviour. Here for the first time we use both a classic measure of personality, the response to a novel object, and an estimate of foraging strategy, derived from GPS data, to examine individual personality differences in black browed albatross and their consequences for fitness. First, we examine the repeatability of personality scores and link these to variation in foraging habitat. Bolder individuals forage nearer the colony, in shallower regions, whereas shyer birds travel further from the colony, and fed in deeper oceanic waters. Interestingly, neither personality score predicted a bird's overlap with fisheries. Second, we show that both personality scores are correlated with fitness consequences, dependent on sex and year quality. Our data suggest that shyer males and bolder females have higher fitness, but the strength of this relationship depends on year quality. Females who forage further from the colony have higher breeding success in poor quality years, whereas males foraging close to the colony always have higher fitness. Together these results highlight the potential importance of personality variation in seabirds and that the fitness consequences of boldness and foraging strategy may be highly sex dependent.

  6. The sub-annual breeding cycle of a tropical seabird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, S James; Martin, Graham R; Dawson, Alistair; Wearn, Colin P; Hughes, B John

    2014-01-01

    Breeding periodicity allows organisms to synchronise breeding attempts with the most favourable ecological conditions under which to raise offspring. For most animal species, ecological conditions vary seasonally and usually impose an annual breeding schedule on their populations; sub-annual breeding schedules will be rare. We use a 16-year dataset of breeding attempts by a tropical seabird, the sooty tern (Onychoprion fuscatus), on Ascension Island to provide new insights about this classical example of a population of sub-annually breeding birds that was first documented in studies 60 years previously on the same island. We confirm that the breeding interval of this population has remained consistently sub-annual. By ringing >17,000 birds and re-capturing a large sample of them at equivalent breeding stages in subsequent seasons, we reveal for the first time that many individual birds also consistently breed sub-annually (i.e. that sub-annual breeding is an individual as well as a population breeding strategy). Ascension Island sooty terns appear to reduce their courtship phase markedly compared with conspecifics breeding elsewhere. Our results provide rare insights into the ecological and physiological drivers of breeding periodicity, indicating that reduction of the annual cycle to just two life-history stages, breeding and moult, is a viable life-history strategy and that moult may determine the minimum time between breeding attempts.

  7. An evaluation of oil spill responses for offshore oil production projects in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada: Implications for seabird conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fraser, Gail S; Racine, Vincent

    2016-06-15

    Seabirds are vulnerable to oil pollution, particularly in cold-water regions. We investigated the response of small spills (oil production operations Environment Canada requested monitoring and mitigation of small spills potentially impacting seabird populations; suggestions supported by two independent reviews. An industry spill response plan states that operators would collect systematic observations on spills and deploy countermeasures where possible. Operators' spill reports were obtained under an Access to Information request. There were 220 daytime spills with sheens (out of 381 spills; 1997-2010). Of these, six reported time to oil dispersion and eleven the presence or absence of seabirds. Industry self-reporting has not permitted an evaluation of the impact of chronic oil spills on seabirds. We recommend that independent observers be placed on platforms to systematically collect data on spills and seabirds.

  8. Qualitative and numerical investigations of the impact of a novel pathogen on a seabird colony

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    O' Regan, S M; O' Callaghan, M J A; Pokrovskii, A V [Department of Applied Mathematics, Aras na Laoi, University College Cork (Ireland); Kelly, T C [Department of Zoology, Ecology and Plant Science, Distillery Fields, North Mall, University College Cork (Ireland); Korobeinikov, A [MACSI, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Limerick, Limerick (Ireland)], E-mail: s.m.oregan@student.ucc.ie

    2008-11-01

    Understanding the dynamics of novel pathogens in dense populations is crucial to public and veterinary health as well as wildlife ecology. Seabirds live in crowded colonies numbering several thousands of individuals. The long-term dynamics of avian influenza H5N1 virus in a seabird colony with no existing herd immunity are investigated using sophisticated mathematical techniques. The key characteristics of seabird population biology and the H5N1 virus are incorporated into a Susceptible-Exposed-Infected-Recovered (SEIR) model. Using the theory of integral manifolds, the SEIR model is reduced to a simpler system of two differential equations depending on the infected and recovered populations only, termed the IR model. The results of numerical experiments indicate that the IR model and the SEIR model are in close agreement. Using Lyapunov's direct method, the equilibria of the SEIR and the IR models are proven to be globally asymptotically stable in the positive quadrant.

  9. Qualitative and numerical investigations of the impact of a novel pathogen on a seabird colony

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Regan, S. M.; Kelly, T. C.; Korobeinikov, A.; O'Callaghan, M. J. A.; Pokrovskii, A. V.

    2008-11-01

    Understanding the dynamics of novel pathogens in dense populations is crucial to public and veterinary health as well as wildlife ecology. Seabirds live in crowded colonies numbering several thousands of individuals. The long-term dynamics of avian influenza H5N1 virus in a seabird colony with no existing herd immunity are investigated using sophisticated mathematical techniques. The key characteristics of seabird population biology and the H5N1 virus are incorporated into a Susceptible-Exposed-Infected-Recovered (SEIR) model. Using the theory of integral manifolds, the SEIR model is reduced to a simpler system of two differential equations depending on the infected and recovered populations only, termed the IR model. The results of numerical experiments indicate that the IR model and the SEIR model are in close agreement. Using Lyapunov's direct method, the equilibria of the SEIR and the IR models are proven to be globally asymptotically stable in the positive quadrant.

  10. Seasonal Variation in the Abundance of Seabirds in Areas of Mariculture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Branco Joaquim Olinto

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available Mariculture has emerged as a complementary income for small fishermen along the coast of the state of Santa Catarina, Brazil, causing significant alterations in the coastal landscape and creating a new substratum seabirds. From March 1998 to February 1999, 48 censuses were carried out at four sample times, registering an average annual occurrence of 4448.7 birds, distributed among five seabird species. Laridae dominated in diversity and abundance, contributing with 98.1% of the birds recorded. The number of birds per float varied depending on the time of day and season of the year, showing an average of 2.09/1. Seabirds use the mariculture area as a place to rest, to clean their feathers and to overnight.

  11. Using seabird habitat modeling to inform marine spatial planning in central California's National Marine Sanctuaries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGowan, Jennifer; Hines, Ellen; Elliott, Meredith; Howar, Julie; Dransfield, Andrea; Nur, Nadav; Jahncke, Jaime

    2013-01-01

    Understanding seabird habitat preferences is critical to future wildlife conservation and threat mitigation in California. The objective of this study was to investigate drivers of seabird habitat selection within the Gulf of the Farallones and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuaries to identify areas for targeted conservation planning. We used seabird abundance data collected by the Applied California Current Ecosystem Studies Program (ACCESS) from 2004-2011. We used zero-inflated negative binomial regression to model species abundance and distribution as a function of near surface ocean water properties, distances to geographic features and oceanographic climate indices to identify patterns in foraging habitat selection. We evaluated seasonal, inter-annual and species-specific variability of at-sea distributions for the five most abundant seabirds nesting on the Farallon Islands: western gull (Larus occidentalis), common murre (Uria aalge), Cassin's auklet (Ptychorampus aleuticus), rhinoceros auklet (Cerorhinca monocerata) and Brandt's cormorant (Phalacrocorax penicillatus). The waters in the vicinity of Cordell Bank and the continental shelf east of the Farallon Islands emerged as persistent and highly selected foraging areas across all species. Further, we conducted a spatial prioritization exercise to optimize seabird conservation areas with and without considering impacts of current human activities. We explored three conservation scenarios where 10, 30 and 50 percent of highly selected, species-specific foraging areas would be conserved. We compared and contrasted results in relation to existing marine protected areas (MPAs) and the future alternative energy footprint identified by the California Ocean Uses Atlas. Our results show that the majority of highly selected seabird habitat lies outside of state MPAs where threats from shipping, oil spills, and offshore energy development remain. This analysis accentuates the need for innovative marine spatial

  12. Predicting seasonal variations in coastal seabird habitats in the English Channel and the Bay of Biscay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Virgili, A.; Lambert, C.; Pettex, E.; Dorémus, G.; Van Canneyt, O.; Ridoux, V.

    2017-07-01

    Seabirds, like all animals, have to live in suitable habitats to fulfil their energetic needs for both somatic and reproductive growth and maintenance. Apart from migration trips, all coastal seabirds are linked to the coast, because they need to return daily to land for resting or breeding. Their use of marine habitats strongly depends on their biology, but also on environmental conditions, and can be described using habitat models. This study aimed to: (1) identify the processes that mostly influence seabird distributions along the coasts of the English Channel and the Bay of Biscay; (2) determine seasonal variations of these processes, (3) provide prediction maps that describe the species distributions. We collected data of coastal seabird sightings from aerial surveys carried out in the English Channel and the eastern North Atlantic in the winter 2011-2012 and summer 2012. We classified seabirds into morphological groups and described their habitats using physiographic and oceanographic variables in Generalised Additive Models (GAMs). Finally, we produced maps of predicted distributions by season for each group. The distributions of coastal seabirds were essentially determined by the distance to the nearest coast, with a weaker influence of oceanographic variables. The nature of the substrate, sand or rock, combined with the timing of reproduction, also contributed to determine seasonal at-sea distributions for some species. The highest densities were predicted near the coast, particularly in bays and estuaries for strictly coastal species with possible variations depending on the season. From this study, we were able to predict the seasonal distribution of the studied species according to varying environmental parameters that changed over time, allowing us to understand better their behaviour and ecology.

  13. Using seabird habitat modeling to inform marine spatial planning in central California's National Marine Sanctuaries.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer McGowan

    Full Text Available Understanding seabird habitat preferences is critical to future wildlife conservation and threat mitigation in California. The objective of this study was to investigate drivers of seabird habitat selection within the Gulf of the Farallones and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuaries to identify areas for targeted conservation planning. We used seabird abundance data collected by the Applied California Current Ecosystem Studies Program (ACCESS from 2004-2011. We used zero-inflated negative binomial regression to model species abundance and distribution as a function of near surface ocean water properties, distances to geographic features and oceanographic climate indices to identify patterns in foraging habitat selection. We evaluated seasonal, inter-annual and species-specific variability of at-sea distributions for the five most abundant seabirds nesting on the Farallon Islands: western gull (Larus occidentalis, common murre (Uria aalge, Cassin's auklet (Ptychorampus aleuticus, rhinoceros auklet (Cerorhinca monocerata and Brandt's cormorant (Phalacrocorax penicillatus. The waters in the vicinity of Cordell Bank and the continental shelf east of the Farallon Islands emerged as persistent and highly selected foraging areas across all species. Further, we conducted a spatial prioritization exercise to optimize seabird conservation areas with and without considering impacts of current human activities. We explored three conservation scenarios where 10, 30 and 50 percent of highly selected, species-specific foraging areas would be conserved. We compared and contrasted results in relation to existing marine protected areas (MPAs and the future alternative energy footprint identified by the California Ocean Uses Atlas. Our results show that the majority of highly selected seabird habitat lies outside of state MPAs where threats from shipping, oil spills, and offshore energy development remain. This analysis accentuates the need for innovative marine

  14. Cliff-nesting seabirds influence production and sediment chemistry of lakes situated above their colony.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hargan, K E; Michelutti, N; Coleman, K; Grooms, C; Blais, J M; Kimpe, L E; Gilchrist, G; Mallory, M; Smol, J P

    2017-01-15

    Seabirds that congregate in large numbers during the breeding season concentrate marine-derived nutrients to their terrestrial nesting sites, and these nutrients disperse and enhance production in nearby terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems. In the Canadian Arctic, large seabird colonies (>100,000 breeding pairs) nest on cliff faces that drain directly in the ocean, ultimately returning the nutrients back to the marine environment from which they were derived. However, strong winds blowing up cliff faces could transport nutrients up in elevation and onto surrounding terrestrial and aquatic environments. Here, we assess the degree to which seabird nutrients and metals have been delivered to coastal lakes near Hudson Strait (Nunavut, Canada) over the past century. Three lakes located at a higher elevation and increasing distance from a thick-billed murre (Uria lomvia) colony (~400,000 breeding pairs) were sampled for surface water chemistry. In addition, algal assemblages, nitrogen isotopes, and metal/metalloids were analyzed in four dated sediment cores. Elevated nutrients and major ions, as well as an enriched δ(15)N signature in the sediment cores, were measured in the lake lakes >1km from the seabird colony. In contrast, similar oligotrophic and benthic diatom assemblages were identified in all three lakes, suggesting that diatoms were not influenced by enhanced nutrient inputs in this Arctic environment. Chemical tracers (e.g., total mercury) and algal assemblages in the lake near the colony suggest climate warming since ~1950 was the most likely driver of limnological changes, but this effect was muted in the more distant lakes. These pronounced changes in the seabird-impacted lake suggest that, with warming air temperatures and diminished lake ice cover, longer growing seasons may allow for aquatic organisms to more fully exploit the seabird nutrient subsidies.

  15. Clinical and pathological features of toxoplasmosis in free-ranging common wombats (Vombatus ursinus) with multilocus genotyping of Toxoplasma gondii type II-like strains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donahoe, Shannon L; Šlapeta, Jan; Knowles, Graeme; Obendorf, David; Peck, Sarah; Phalen, David N

    2015-04-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is a cosmopolitan zoonotic protozoan parasite with the capacity to infect virtually any warm blooded vertebrate species. Australian native marsupials are thought to be highly susceptible to toxoplasmosis; however, most reports are in captive animals and little is known about T. gondii associated disease in free-ranging marsupials, including wombats (Vombatus ursinus). This study describes the clinical and pathological features of eight cases of toxoplasmosis in free-ranging common wombats in Tasmania and New South Wales (NSW) from 1992 to 2013, including a morbidity and mortality event investigated in the Southern Highlands NSW in the autumn of 2010. The diagnosis of T. gondii infection was confirmed using either immunohistochemistry, molecular diagnostics or both. Utilizing the combination of direct DNA sequencing of B1, SAG1, 5'- and 3'-SAG2, alt.SAG2, SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, c22-8, c29-2, L358, PK1 and Apico DNA markers and virtual RFLP to genetically characterize two of the T. gondii strains, we found a nonarchetypal type II-like strain (ToxoDB PCR-RFLP genotype #1) and an atypical type II-like strain (ToxoDB PCR-RFLP genotype #3) to be the causal agents of toxoplasmosis in wombats from the 2010 morbidity and mortality event. This study suggests that T. gondii may act as a significant disease threat to free-ranging common wombats. Our findings indicate neurologic signs are a very common clinical presentation in common wombats with toxoplasmosis and T. gondii infection should be considered as a likely differential diagnosis for any common wombat exhibiting signs of blindness, head tilt, circling and changes in mentation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

    Free-ranging African elephants live in a fission-fusion society, at the centre of which is the matriarch. Matriarchs are generally older females that guide their families to resources and co-ordinate group defense. While much is known about elephant society, knowledge is generally lacking about how age affects the physiology of wild elephants. Investigation of the ovarian activity of free-ranging elephants could provide insight into the reproductive ageing process, with implications for population management. Faecal samples were collected from 46 individ