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wildlife conservation

Guillermo M Wiemeyer, Miguel A Pérez, Laura Torres Bianchini, Luciano Sampietro, Guillermo F Bravo, N Luis Jácome, Vanesa Astore, Sergio A Lambertucci
Wildlife lead exposure is an increasing conservation threat that is being widely investigated. However, for some areas of the world (e.g., South America) and certain species, research on this subject is still scarce or only local information is available. We analyzed the extent and intensity of lead exposure for a widely distributed threatened species, the Andean Condor (Vultur gryphus). We conducted the study at two different scales: 1) sampling of birds received for rehabilitation or necropsy in Argentina, and 2) bibliographic review and extensive survey considering exposure event for the species' distribution in South America...
October 18, 2016: Environmental Pollution
Natalia Lifshitz, Colleen Cassady St Clair
Growth in human populations causes habitat degradation for other species, which is usually gauged by physical changes to landscapes. Corresponding habitat degradation to air and water is also common, but its effects on individuals can be difficult to detect until they result in the decline or disappearance of populations. More proactive measures of pollution usually combine abiotic samples of soil, water or air with invasive sampling of expendable species, but this approach sometimes creates ethical dilemmas and has limited application for threatened species...
2016: Conservation Physiology
Anne-Lise Chaber, Gabriele Cozzi, Femke Broekhuis, Robyn Hartley, John W McNutt
The recent increase in the creation of transboundary protected areas and wildlife corridors between them lends importance to information on pathogen prevalence and transmission among wildlife species that will become connected. One such initiative is the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area of which Botswana's Okavango Delta constitutes a major contribution for wildlife and ecosystems. Between 2008 and 2011, we collected serum samples from 14 lions ( Panthera leo ), four leopards ( Panthera pardus ), 19 spotted hyenas ( Crocuta crocuta ), and six cheetahs ( Acinonyx jubatus ) in the Okavango...
October 20, 2016: Journal of Wildlife Diseases
Christine L Madliger, Oliver P Love
The application of physiological measures to conservation monitoring has been gaining momentum and, while a suite of physiological traits are available to ascertain disturbance and condition in wildlife populations, glucocorticoids (i.e., GCs; cortisol and corticosterone) are the most heavily employed. The interpretation of GC levels as sensitive indicators of population change necessitates that GCs and metrics of population persistence are linked. However, the relationship between GCs and fitness may be highly context-dependent, changing direction, or significance, depending on the GC measure, fitness metric, life history stage, or other intrinsic and extrinsic contexts considered...
July 27, 2016: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
R K Bhomia, R A MacKenzie, D Murdiyarso, S D Sasmito, J Purbopuspito
Globally, mangrove forests represents only 0.7% of world's tropical forested area but are highly threatened due to susceptibility to climate change, sea level rise, and increasing pressures from human population growth in coastal regions. Our study was carried out in the Bhitarkanika Conservation Area (BCA), the second-largest mangrove area in eastern India. We assessed total ecosystem carbon (C) stocks at four land use types representing varying degree of disturbances. Ranked in order of increasing impacts, these sites included dense mangrove forests, scrub mangroves, restored/planted mangroves, and abandoned aquaculture ponds...
July 2016: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
Thitika Kitpipit, Phuvadol Thanakiatkrai, Kitichaya Penchart, Kanita Ouithavon, Chutamas Satasook, Adrian Linacre
Despite continuous conservation efforts by national and international organizations, the populations of the three extant elephant species are still dramatically declining due to the illegal trade in ivory leading to the killing of elephants. A requirement to aid investigations and prosecutions is the accurate identification of the elephant species from which the ivory was removed. We report on the development of the first fully validated multiplex PCR-electrophoresis assay for ivory DNA analysis that can be used as a screening or confirmatory test...
October 18, 2016: Electrophoresis
Guillermo Blanco, Alexandra Junza, Dolores Barrón
Pharmaceuticals from veterinary treatments may enter terrestrial food webs when medicated livestock are available to wildlife in supplementary feeding stations aimed at the conservation of endangered scavengers. Here, we hypothesized that the exposure risk to livestock fluoroquinolones, as indicators of pharmaceutical burden in food, is related to the variable reliance of scavengers on domestic versus wild animal carcasses. Since the misuse of broad-spectrum antibiotics is a major predisposing factor for opportunistic mycoses, we evaluated disease signs potentially associated with diet-dependent drug exposure in nestlings of two threatened vultures...
October 14, 2016: Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety
Manuela A Carneiro Dvm, Paula A Oliveira, Ricardo Brandão, Olga Nicolas Francisco, Roser Velarde, Santiago Lavín, Bruno Colaço
Avian scavengers that typically include game birds and mammals in their diets are at risk of lead poisoning from ingestion of carcasses with fragmented or residual lead ammunition that is used in hunting. Thus, lead may be one of the threats that the griffon vulture ( Gyps fulvus ) faces in the Iberian Peninsula and particularly in Portugal, where their conservation status is considered to be near-threatened. This is the first report that details 3 cases of lead poisoning, associated with the ingestion of lead shot, in adult female griffon vultures found in the Iberian Peninsula...
September 2016: Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery
Kanchan Thapa, Marcella J Kelly
While there are numerous wildlife ecology studies in lowland areas of Nepal, there are no in-depth studies of the hilly Churia habitat even though it comprises 7,642 km(2) of potential wildlife habitat across the Terai Arc. We investigated tiger, leopard, and prey densities across this understudied habitat. Our camera trapping survey covered 536 km(2) of Churia and surrounding areas within Chitwan National Park (CNP). We used 161 trapping locations and accumulated 2,097 trap nights in a 60-day survey period during the winter season of 2010-2011...
October 13, 2016: Integrative Zoology
Fabián Casas, Ana Benítez-López, Rocío Tarjuelo, Isabel Barja, Javier Viñuela, Jesús T García, Manuel B Morales, Francois Mougeot
Human recreational activities are becoming increasingly widespread and frequent, a fact that may potentially exacerbate their effects on wildlife. These human-related disturbances on animals may induce behavioural and physiological changes that can ultimately affect their fitness, showing a similar anti-predator response that against natural predator or other threats. Here, we combine the use of behavioural and physiological approaches to assess the potential effect of winter human activities on a threatened farmland bird in Europe, the pin-tailed sandgrouse (Pterocles alchata)...
December 2016: Die Naturwissenschaften
Mario Alvarado-Rybak, Laia Solano-Gallego, Javier Millán
Piroplasmids are tick-borne protozoan parasites that infect blood cells (erythrocytes, lymphocytes or other leukocytes) or endothelial cells of numerous wild and domestic vertebrates worldwide. They cause severe disease in livestock, dogs, cats, wild mammals and, occasionally, in humans. Piroplasmid infections are prevalent in wild carnivores worldwide although there is limited information about their clinical and epidemiological importance. There are currently nine recognized species of Babesia, two of Theileria, two of Cytauxzoon and one of Rangelia infecting captive and wild carnivores, including members of Canidae, Felidae, Mustelidae, Procyonidae, Ursidae, Viverridae, Hyaenidae and Herpestidae in the Americas, Eurasia and Africa...
October 10, 2016: Parasites & Vectors
Craig Stephen
The unprecedented threats to the health and sustainability of wildlife populations are inspiring conversations on the need to change the way knowledge is generated, valued, and used to promote action to protect wildlife health. Wildlife Health 2.0 symbolizes the need to investigate how to improve connections between research expertise and policy or practices to protect wildlife health. Two imperatives drive this evolution: 1) growing frustrations that research is inadequately being used to inform management decisions and 2) the realization that scientific certainty is context specific for complex socioecologic issues, such as wildlife health...
October 10, 2016: Journal of Wildlife Diseases
T J Poorten, E B Rosenblum
In the past century, recently emerged infectious diseases have become major drivers of species decline and extinction. The fungal disease chytridiomycosis has devastated many amphibian populations and exacerbated the amphibian conservation crisis. Biologists are beginning to understand what host traits contribute to disease susceptibility, but more work is needed to determine why some species succumb to chytridiomycosis while others do not. We conducted an integrative laboratory experiment to examine how two toad species respond to infection with the pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in a controlled environment...
October 1, 2016: Molecular Ecology
J Guyader, H H Janzen, R Kroebel, K A Beauchemin
Ruminants raised for meat and milk are important sources of protein in human diets worldwide. Their unique digestive system allows them to derive energy and nourishment from forages, making use of vast areas of grazing lands not suitable for arable cropping or biofuel production and avoiding direct competition for grain that can be used as human food. However, sustaining an ever-growing population of ruminants consuming forages poses a dilemma: while exploiting their ecological niche, forage-fed ruminants produce large amount of enteric methane, a potent greenhouse gas...
August 2016: Journal of Animal Science
Alison L Greggor, Oded Berger-Tal, Daniel T Blumstein, Lisa Angeloni, Carmen Bessa-Gomes, Bradley F Blackwell, Colleen Cassady St Clair, Kevin Crooks, Shermin de Silva, Esteban Fernández-Juricic, Shifra Z Goldenberg, Sarah L Mesnick, Megan Owen, Catherine J Price, David Saltz, Christopher J Schell, Andrew V Suarez, Ronald R Swaisgood, Clark S Winchell, William J Sutherland
Poor communication between academic researchers and wildlife managers limits conservation progress and innovation. As a result, input from overlapping fields, such as animal behaviour, is underused in conservation management despite its demonstrated utility as a conservation tool and countless papers advocating its use. Communication and collaboration across these two disciplines are unlikely to improve without clearly identified management needs and demonstrable impacts of behavioural-based conservation management...
September 27, 2016: Trends in Ecology & Evolution
Roberta Lecis, Fabio Secci, Lucio Mandas, Marco Muzzeddu, Marco Pittau, Alberti Alberti
Mycoplasma spp. have been detected in birds of prey, but their prevalence in free living raptors and their significance to birds' health need further investigation. Molecular techniques have been increasingly used to identify mycoplasmas in various avian species, due to the fastidious nature of these pathogens hampering traditional bacteriologic tests. This study reports the identification of 23 novel mycoplasma sequences during the monitoring of 62 birds of prey on admission to wildlife centers in Sardinia, Italy...
September 2016: Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine: Official Publication of the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians
Xue-Hong Zhou, Xiao-Tong Wan, Yu-Hui Jin, Wei Zhang
In recent years, wildlife conservation has attracted great public attention. However, substantial distinctions can be found in the prevailing concepts of wildlife conservation, particularly with the recent notion that emphasizes animal rights. Wildlife welfare and wildlife rights are not synonymous, with welfare more compatible with the reasonable and legal utilization of wildlife. The key to scientific wildlife conservation is the appropriate awareness and appreciation of the relationship between wildlife conservation and utilization and the theoretical basis of holism...
September 18, 2016: Dong Wu Xue Yan Jiu, Zoological Research
Victor K Muposhi, Edson Gandiwa, Abel Chemura, Paul Bartels, Stanley M Makuza, Tinaapi H Madiri
An understanding of the habitat selection patterns by wild herbivores is critical for adaptive management, particularly towards ecosystem management and wildlife conservation in semi arid savanna ecosystems. We tested the following predictions: (i) surface water availability, habitat quality and human presence have a strong influence on the spatial distribution of wild herbivores in the dry season, (ii) habitat suitability for large herbivores would be higher compared to medium-sized herbivores in the dry season, and (iii) spatial extent of suitable habitats for wild herbivores will be different between years, i...
2016: PloS One
Joseph O Ogutu, Hans-Peter Piepho, Mohamed Y Said, Gordon O Ojwang, Lucy W Njino, Shem C Kifugo, Patrick W Wargute
There is growing evidence of escalating wildlife losses worldwide. Extreme wildlife losses have recently been documented for large parts of Africa, including western, Central and Eastern Africa. Here, we report extreme declines in wildlife and contemporaneous increase in livestock numbers in Kenya rangelands between 1977 and 2016. Our analysis uses systematic aerial monitoring survey data collected in rangelands that collectively cover 88% of Kenya's land surface. Our results show that wildlife numbers declined on average by 68% between 1977 and 2016...
2016: PloS One
Edward Debrah Wiafe
INTRODUCTION: The wildlife laws of Ghana alienated the rural communities from forests and material well-being depended upon for their livelihood and this manifests itself in the progressive conflict between the park patrol staff and poachers from the fringes of the protected areas. CASE DESCRIPTION: The main aim of this study was to determine the impact of quantification of patrol efforts on indicators of illegal hunting activities that occur in rainforest protected areas, as a result of monitoring patrol operations and modifying the original plan...
2016: SpringerPlus
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