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Zoo Biology

Lauren Lee, Nathan Tirrell, Christian Burrell, Scott Chambers, Steve Vogel, Eric T Domyan
Maintenance of ex situ populations for species conservation is a collaborative effort involving multiple agencies, institutions, and individuals around the world. Gentoo penguins (Pyogoscelis papua) are one species involved in such a conservation effort, and a Species Survival Plan (SSP) has been put in place by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) to foster their long-term sustainability. As a part of their SSP, a Breeding and Transfer Plan has been created to support interagency exchanges of specimens...
July 11, 2018: Zoo Biology
Mark James Learmonth, Sally Sherwen, Paul H Hemsworth
The behavior of zoo animals may be influenced by visitors, with possible implications on animal welfare. We examined the effects of the presence of visitors on the presence and visibility of free-ranging quokkas (Setonix brachyurus) in preferred areas of a walk-through enclosure at Melbourne Zoo, Australia. In a controlled experiment, two visitor treatments were randomly imposed: (1) enclosure open to visitors as normal ("Open") and (2) enclosure closed to visitors ("Closed"). Treatments were imposed for 2-day periods, with five replicates of each treatment (10 2-day periods in total)...
July 10, 2018: Zoo Biology
Priscilla P Grunauer, Justin W Walguarnery
Digital devices, including tablet computers and other touchscreens, can potentially serve as flexible and convenient means for providing behavioral enrichment activities to captive primates. Despite increased interest in incorporating technology into enrichment programs, no direct quantitative comparison has previously been made between the effectiveness of typical tactile enrichment activities and enrichment activities on digital devices. One way in which these activities differ is in the degree of controllability afforded the animals in interacting with the enrichment objects, since digital devices will be limiting to varying degrees based on the particulars of software and the interface format...
July 5, 2018: Zoo Biology
Mary I Thurber, Mark Greenberg, Dawn Weiss, Lynn Richardson, Andrew Stallard, Nadine Lamberski
A female western lowland gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) infant was delivered by cesarean section (C-section) to an 18-year-old primiparous dam after prolonged labor. The infant required resuscitation at birth and was hospitalized for management of pneumonia and associated respiratory distress secondary to the aspiration of meconium-stained amniotic fluid. The infant received nine days of intensive care with respiratory support, antibiotics, intravenous fluid therapy, anti-inflammatory drugs, bronchodilators, and chest physiotherapy...
July 4, 2018: Zoo Biology
Gail M Simpson, Grace Fuller, Kristen E Lukas, Christopher W Kuhar, Helena Fitch-Snyder, Jessica Taylor, Patricia M Dennis
Delineating patterns of morbidity can reveal management practices in need of reassessment to improve individual welfare, as well as population health and sustainability. We reviewed medical records from 38 North American zoological institutions for 276 slender lorises, slow lorises, and pottos born between January 1, 1980 and December 31, 2010. This sample included animals identified as 116 Nycticebus pygmaeus, 84 N. coucang, 48 Loris tardigradus tardigradus, 6 L.t. nordicus (now classified as L. lydekkerianus nordicus), and 22 Perodicticus potto...
July 3, 2018: Zoo Biology
Sabrina J Muns, Julia M Hoy, Peter J Murray
Commercially available microchip-automated devices for companion animals also have potential application with captive wildlife. To explore this potential, a captive bridled nailtail wallaby was trained to use a SureFlap Microchip Pet Door. Throughout the 62 day study the wallaby's interactions with the door increased in frequency and intensity, culminating in the repeated use of the microchip-automated door. This was the first record of any captive macropod being trained to use a microchip-automated device and demonstrates proof-of-concept that captive macropods can successfully utilize commercially available microchip-automated devices...
June 19, 2018: Zoo Biology
Regina H Mossotti, Eli A Baskir, Corinne P Kozlowski, Ashley D Franklin, George A Feldhamer, Cheryl S Asa
Understanding the factors used by female cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) to make mate choice decisions could benefit zoo breeding programs, which currently assign mates based primarily on genetic distance. Because transporting animals between institutions is costly and can be stressful, females are often limited in the number of males available for mating. One solution would be to determine if an easily transported substance could be used to gauge interest by a female to a potential mate. Here, we investigate female interest in urine samples from males of different genetic distances...
June 13, 2018: Zoo Biology
Érika A Praxedes, Alana A Borges, Maria V O Santos, Alexsandra F Pereira
The conservation of biological resources is an interesting strategy for the maintenance of biodiversity, especially for wild felids who are constantly threatened with extinction. For this purpose, cryopreservation techniques have been used for the long-term storage of gametes, embryos, gonadal tissues, and somatic cells and tissues. The establishment of these banks has been suggested as a practical approach to the preservation of species and, when done in tandem with assisted reproductive techniques, could provide the means for reproducing endangered species...
May 3, 2018: Zoo Biology
Lori Smith, Sara Hallager, Erin Kendrick, Katharine Hope, Raymond M Danner
Conservation and research efforts occasionally rely upon bringing wild animals into human care to establish breeding programs and to understand their biology. Wild-caught birds may have husbandry requirements that differ from captive-reared animals due, in part, to their social development in the wild and potential exposure to novel pathogens. We developed husbandry techniques to minimize stress and monitor health in a population of wild-caught song sparrows (Melospiza melodia). We describe enclosure conditions, diet and enrichment, and best practices for stress reduction...
May 2018: Zoo Biology
Linh M Chau, Amy M Groh, Emily C Anderson, Micaela O Alcala, Joseph R Mendelson, Stephanie B Slade, Kenton Kerns, Steve Sarro, Clinton Lusardi, Michael A D Goodisman
The naked mole rat, Heterocephalus glaber, is a highly unusual mammal that displays a complex social system similar to that found in eusocial insects. Colonies of H. glaber are commonly maintained in zoo collections because they represent fascinating educational exhibits for the public. However, little is known about the genetic structure or sex ratio of captive populations of H. glaber. In this study, we developed a set of microsatellite markers to examine genetic variation in three captive zoo populations of H...
May 2018: Zoo Biology
Morgan E Shapiro, Hannah G Shapiro, Erin E Ehmke
Environmental enrichment is a tool used to promote the welfare and well-being of captive animals by encouraging the display of species-specific behaviors and reducing the stress or boredom induced by captive environments. Lemurs are highly endangered, yet few studies have analyzed the behavioral impacts of enrichment on captive populations. We studied the impacts of two novel enrichment devices on three lemur species (ring-tailed lemurs [Lemur catta], red-ruffed lemurs [Varecia rubra], and Coquerel's sifaka [Propithecus coquereli]) to determine both the overall and species-specific impacts of enrichment on lemur behavior...
May 2018: Zoo Biology
Shih-Yu Chen, Yi-Lun Tsai, Suen-Chuain Lin, Yeong-Huey Wu, Ming-Huei Liao, Ching-Dong Chang, Tsung-Hsien Li, Hsiao-Kuang Ho
Hematology and serum biochemistry reference values are essential for health evaluation and disease diagnosis in penguins. However, there are currently no published physiological values for captive Adélie (Pygoscelis adeliae) and Chinstrap penguins (P. antarcticus), nor for wild or captive Macaroni penguins (Eudyptes chrysolophus). The present study is the first investigation regarding hematology and serum biochemistry reference values for captive Adélie, Gentoo (P. papua), Chinstrap, and Macaroni penguins in Asia...
May 2018: Zoo Biology
Bethany K Hansen, Amy L Fultz, Lydia M Hopper, Stephen R Ross
Video cameras are increasingly being used to monitor captive animals in zoo, laboratory, and agricultural settings. This technology may also be useful in sanctuaries with large and/or complex enclosures. However, the cost of camera equipment and a lack of formal evaluations regarding the use of cameras in sanctuary settings make it challenging for facilities to decide whether and how to implement this technology. To address this, we evaluated the feasibility of using a video camera system to monitor chimpanzees at Chimp Haven...
May 2018: Zoo Biology
Amber J de Vere
The effects of visitor presence on zoo and aquarium animals have become increasingly well studied, using measures such as behavioral responses and exhibit usage. Many taxa remain underrepresented in this literature; this is the case for marine mammals, despite widespread public concern for their welfare in managed care settings. The current study therefore used behavioral activity budgets and exhibit usage to assess the responses of California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) and harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) to visitors at the Seal Cove exhibit at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, Vallejo CA...
May 2018: Zoo Biology
Stephanie Jayson, Luke Harding, Christopher J Michaels, Benjamin Tapley, Joanna Hedley, Matthias Goetz, Alberto Barbon, Gerardo Garcia, Javier Lopez, Edmund Flach
The Critically Endangered mountain chicken frog (Leptodactylus fallax) has undergone drastic population decline due to habitat loss, hunting, invasive species, and chytridiomycosis. In response, several partner institutions initiated a conservation breeding program. It is important to maintain the captive population in good health. Therefore the program partners have recommended establishment of protocols for health examination of the species, including body condition assessment. Visual body condition scoring is a useful means to assess body condition in zoo animals for which regular bodyweight measurements are impractical or associated with capture-related stress...
May 2018: Zoo Biology
Christian Schiffmann, Stefan Hoby, Christian Wenker, Therese Hård, Robert Scholz, Marcus Clauss, Jean-Michel Hatt
Little attention has been paid to the resting and sleeping behavior of zoo elephants so far. An important concern is when elephants avoid lying down, due to degenerative joint and foot disease, social structure, or stressful environmental changes. Inability or unwillingness to lie down for resting is an important welfare issue, as it may impair sleep. We emphasize the importance of satisfying rest in elephants by reviewing the literature on resting behavior in elephants (Loxodonta africana and Elephas maximus) as well as the documentation of four cases from European zoos and our own direct observations in a zoo group of four female African elephants during 12 entire days...
May 2018: Zoo Biology
Trisha T N Tay, Desheng Li, Yan Huang, Pengyan Wang, Tasha Tahar, Josephine Kawi
The female giant panda's estrus is known to be photoperiod sensitive, triggered by increasing day length. A pair of giant pandas was brought to Singapore in September 2012 and exposed to a constant temperature and photoperiod during the first 2 years. The female did not show any signs of estrus during that period. In November 2014, photoperiod and temperature were manipulated to simulate seasonal changes, to investigate the effects of environmental factors on the sexual behavior of the giant pandas. This paper documents the changes and observations carried out from 2012 to 2016, in the attempt to breed this vulnerable species...
March 2018: Zoo Biology
Leila Siciliano-Martina, Jason P Martina
Maternal deprivation can cause long-term behavioral changes in captive mammals. Studies regarding captive ungulates have also indicated behavioral shifts in the presence of the animal keeping staff; however, little is known about these effects in captive giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis). To examine this, we observed a population of reticulated giraffes composed of maternally raised and maternally deprived individuals by direct and camera observations at Binder Park Zoo, Battle Creek, Michigan. We conducted observations using a unique ethogram with special regard for behaviors that might indicate stress or anti-social tendencies...
March 2018: Zoo Biology
Ai Tanaka, Tadatoshi Ogura
The red panda (Ailurus fulgens) is an endangered semi-arboreal folivore with a specialized diet of bamboo leaves. Zoos worldwide maintain red pandas under a variety of housing environments and husbandry procedures that may affect the reproductive success and longevity of captive red pandas. The aims of the present study were to investigate how red pandas are kept in Japan and to obtain useful insights to increase their longevity by comparing the results from a questionnaire sent to Japanese zoos and those from a previous survey conducted in other countries...
March 2018: Zoo Biology
Nobuhide Kido, Sohei Tanaka, Yuko Wada, Sumito Sato
Eastern grey kangaroos (Macropus giganteus) younger than 19 months at Kanazawa Zoological Gardens, Japan, frequently died of enteritis. The main cause of death was coccidiosis. This study aimed to reveal retrospectively the clinical features of enteritis and factors contributing to its high occurrence. In addition, haematological and serum biochemical parameters in kangaroos younger than 24 months were analyzed. The findings suggested that enteritis occurrence was higher in 10- to 12-month-old kangaroos than other ages and during seasons with high temperature and humidity than during seasons with low temperature and humidity...
March 2018: Zoo Biology
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