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Sze-Wing Yiu, Francesca Parrini, Leszek Karczmarski, Mark Keith
Understanding of animal spatial behavior is essential for informed management decisions. In southern Africa, reintroduction of lions (Panthera leo) to small reserves (<1000 km(2) ) has increased in recent years but studies on their ranging behavior in these enclosed systems remain lacking. We applied Time Local Convex Hull (T-LoCoH) methods to study the home range establishment and utilization of 11 lions reintroduced to Dinokeng Game Reserve, South Africa, during 2011 through 2014. Lions established home ranges close to their release sites and during the following three years their home range sizes continued to increase, but in each individual case it remained smaller than half of the reserve area (< 70 km(2) )...
October 13, 2016: Integrative Zoology
Ana Cecilia Mestre-Citrinovitz, Adrián Jorge Sestelo, María Belén Ceballos, José Lino Barañao, Patricia Saragüeta
Cell line establishment of somatic cells is a valuable resource to preserve genetic material of rare, difficult-to-find, endangered and giant species like Jaguar (Panthera onca), the largest South American felid. This unit focuses on the isolation and culture of fibroblasts from Jaguar skin and muscle biopsies, and ear cartilage dissection immediately after death to preserve one of the several endangered species in this biome. These culture techniques enabled us to contribute 570 samples from 45 autochthonous and endangered species, including Jaguar...
October 10, 2016: Current Protocols in Molecular Biology
Kimberly R McDermid, Andrei Snyman, Frederick J Verreynne, John P Carroll, Banie L Penzhorn, Michael J Yabsley
African lion ( Panthera leo ) numbers are decreasing rapidly and populations are becoming smaller and more fragmented. Infectious diseases are one of numerous issues threatening free-ranging lion populations, and low-density populations are particularly at risk. We collected data on the prevalence and diversity of viral and parasitic pathogens in a small lion population in eastern Botswana. During 2012 and 2014, blood samples were collected from 59% (n=13) of the adult-subadult lions in the Northern Tuli Game Reserve in eastern Botswana...
September 26, 2016: Journal of Wildlife Diseases
Ximena A Olarte-Castillo, Heribert Hofer, Katja V Goller, Vito Martella, Patricia D Moehlman, Marion L East
The genus Sapovirus, in the family Caliciviridae, includes enteric viruses of humans and domestic animals. Information on sapovirus infection of wildlife is limited and is currently lacking for any free-ranging wildlife species in Africa. By screening a large number of predominantly fecal samples (n = 631) obtained from five carnivore species in the Serengeti ecosystem, East Africa, sapovirus RNA was detected in the spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta, family Hyaenidae), African lion (Panthera leo, family Felidae), and bat-eared fox (Otocyon megalotis, family Canidae), but not in golden or silver-backed jackals (Canis aureus and C...
2016: PloS One
Henry Brink, Robert J Smith, Kirsten Skinner, Nigel Leader-Williams
It is argued that trophy hunting of large, charismatic mammal species can have considerable conservation benefits but only if undertaken sustainably. Social-ecological theory suggests such sustainability only results from developing governance systems that balance financial and biological requirements. Here we use lion (Panthera leo) trophy hunting data from Tanzania to investigate how resource ownership patterns influence hunting revenue and offtake levels. Tanzania contains up to half of the global population of free-ranging lions and is also the main location for lion trophy hunting in Africa...
2016: PloS One
Thállitha S Vieira, Rafael F Vieira, Felipe S Krawczak, Herbert S Soares, Ana M Guimarães, Ivan R Barros-Filho, Mary Marcondes, Marcelo B Labruna, Alexander W Biondo, Odilon Vidotto
Although well established in dogs, Ehrlichia sp. infection has been scarcely reported in horses. The aim was to perform a comprehensive serological and molecular survey for the detection of Ehrlichia spp. in carthorses from Southern Brazil. Blood samples from 190 carthorses from Paraná State were sampled. Horses were also tested for Borrelia burgdorferi and Anaplasma phagocytophilum. Anti-Ehrlichia sp. antibodies were detected by a commercial rapid ELISA, and immunofluorescence antibody assays (IFA) with E...
October 2016: Comparative Immunology, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
François Therrien, Annie Quinney, Kohei Tanaka, Darla K Zelenitsky
Mandibular force profiles apply the principles of beam theory to identify mandibular biomechanical properties that reflect the bite force and feeding strategies of extant and extinct predators. While this method uses external dimensions of the mandibular corpus to determine its biomechanical properties, more accurate results could potentially be obtained by quantifying its internal cortical bone distribution. To test this possibility, mandibular force profiles were calculated using both external mandibular dimensions ('solid mandible model') and quantification of internal bone distribution of the mandibular corpus obtained from CT scans ('hollow mandible model') for five carnivorans (Canis lupus, Crocuta crocuta, Panthera leo, Neofelis nebulosa, and the extinct Canis dirus)...
September 15, 2016: Journal of Experimental Biology
Taofeng Lu, Yujiao Sun, Qin Ma, Minghao Zhu, Dan Liu, Jianzhang Ma, Yuehui Ma, Hongyan Chen, Weijun Guan
The Siberian tiger, Panthera tigris altaica, is an endangered species, and much more work is needed to protect this species, which is still vulnerable to extinction. Conservation efforts may be supported by the genetic assessment of wild populations, for which highly specific microsatellite markers are required. However, only a limited amount of genetic sequence data is available for this species. To identify the genes involved in the lung transcriptome and to develop additional simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers for the Siberian tiger, we used high-throughput RNA-Seq to characterize the Siberian tiger transcriptome in lung tissue (designated 'PTA-lung') and a pooled tissue sample (designated 'PTA')...
September 8, 2016: Molecular Genetics and Genomics: MGG
Somkiat Huaijantug, Komsan Manatpreprem, Sukhumarn Manatpreprem, Paranee Yatmark
Ultrasonographic measurements of kidney size are useful in the practical diagnosis of kidney diseases in animals. In tigers, there is a lack of information regarding the ultrasonography methods used to measure the kidney size of the tiger. Thirty-three healthy captive tigers (Panthera tigris) were placed in lateral recumbency for ultrasonography. The measurements obtained from the ultrasonography were computed, and the results showed that there was a statistically significant difference between genders in terms of body weight and renal length...
September 3, 2016: Journal of Veterinary Medical Science
Geoffrey Gilfillan, Jessica Vitale, John Weldon McNutt, Karen McComb
Individual recognition is considered to have been fundamental in the evolution of complex social systems and is thought to be a widespread ability throughout the animal kingdom. Although robust evidence for individual recognition remains limited, recent experimental paradigms that examine cross-modal processing have demonstrated individual recognition in a range of captive non-human animals. It is now highly relevant to test whether cross-modal individual recognition exists within wild populations and thus examine how it is employed during natural social interactions...
August 2016: Biology Letters
Achyut Aryal, Uttam Babu Shrestha, Weihong Ji, Som B Ale, Sujata Shrestha, Tenzing Ingty, Tek Maraseni, Geoff Cockfield, David Raubenheimer
Future climate change is likely to affect distributions of species, disrupt biotic interactions, and cause spatial incongruity of predator-prey habitats. Understanding the impacts of future climate change on species distribution will help in the formulation of conservation policies to reduce the risks of future biodiversity losses. Using a species distribution modeling approach by MaxEnt, we modeled current and future distributions of snow leopard (Panthera uncia) and its common prey, blue sheep (Pseudois nayaur), and observed the changes in niche overlap in the Nepal Himalaya...
June 2016: Ecology and Evolution
Daniel Thornton, Kathy Zeller, Carlo Rondinini, Luigi Boitani, Kevin Crooks, Christopher Burdeh, Alan Rabinowitz, Howard Quigley
Umbrella species are employed as conservation short-cuts for the design of reserves or reserve networks. However, empirical data on the effectiveness of umbrellas is equivocal, which has prevented more widespread application of this conservation strategy. We perform a novel, large-scale evaluation of umbrella species by assessing the potential umbrella value of a jaguar (Panthera onca) conservation network (consisting of viable populations and corridors) that extends from Mexico to Argentina. Using species richness, habitat quality, and fragmentation indices of ~1500 co-occurring mammal species, we show that jaguar populations and corridors overlap a substantial amount and percentage of high-quality habitat for co-occurring mammals and that the jaguar network performs better than random networks in protecting high-quality, interior habitat...
June 2016: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
L D Bertola, H Jongbloed, K J van der Gaag, P de Knijff, N Yamaguchi, H Hooghiemstra, H Bauer, P Henschel, P A White, C A Driscoll, T Tende, U Ottosson, Y Saidu, K Vrieling, H H de Iongh
Comparative phylogeography of African savannah mammals shows a congruent pattern in which populations in West/Central Africa are distinct from populations in East/Southern Africa. However, for the lion, all African populations are currently classified as a single subspecies (Panthera leo leo), while the only remaining population in Asia is considered to be distinct (Panthera leo persica). This distinction is disputed both by morphological and genetic data. In this study we introduce the lion as a model for African phylogeography...
2016: Scientific Reports
Varsha Kapoor, Tyler Antonelli, Jennifer A Parkinson, Adam Hartstone-Rose
The predominant diet fed to captive carnivores in North America consists of ground meat formulated to provide full nutritional requirements. However, this ground meat diet completely lacks the mechanical properties (i.e., toughness and hardness) of the foods these animals would consume in the wild. The goal of this study is to evaluate the effect of captivity on oral health by comparing the prevalence of periodontal disease and dental calculus accumulation in wild and captive lions and tigers (Panthera leo and Panthera tigris), and to also correlate oral health with cranial morphology in these specimens...
August 2016: Research in Veterinary Science
Ryan A Sadler, Edward Ramsay, Denise McAloose, Robert Rush, Rebecca P Wilkes
Canine distemper virus (CDV) has caused clinical disease and death in nondomestic felids in both captive settings and in the wild. Outbreaks resulting in high mortality rates in tigers (Panthera tigris) have prompted some zoos to vaccinate tigers for CDV. In this study, six tigers received a recombinant canarypox-vectored CDV vaccine (1 ml s.c.) and were revaccinated with 3 ml s.c. (mean) 39 days later. Blood collection for CDV antibody detection via serum neutralization was performed on (mean) days 0, 26, and 66 post-initial vaccination...
June 2016: Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine: Official Publication of the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians
Edward Ramsay, Ryan Sadler, Robert Rush, Tracie Seimon, Ania Tomaszewicz, Ellen A Fleetwood, Denise McAloose, Rebecca P Wilkes
Three methods for delivering a live attenuated canine distemper virus (CDV) vaccine to domestic cats ( Felis catus ) were investigated, as models for developing vaccination protocols for tigers (Panthera tigris). Twenty domestic cats were randomly divided into four treatment groups: saline injection (negative controls); and oral, intranasal, and subcutaneous vaccinates. Cats were injected with saline or a CDV vaccine (Nobivac DP, Merck) at wk 0 and 4. Blood and nasal swabs were collected at wk 0 (prior to the initial vaccination) and weekly thereafter for 9 wk...
June 2016: Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine: Official Publication of the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians
S Molia, R W Kasten, M J Stuckey, H J Boulouis, J Allen, G M Borgo, J E Koehler, C C Chang, B B Chomel
Bartonellae are blood- and vector-borne Gram-negative bacteria, recognized as emerging pathogens. Whole-blood samples were collected from 58 free-ranging lions (Panthera leo) in South Africa and 17 cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) from Namibia. Blood samples were also collected from 11 cheetahs (more than once for some of them) at the San Diego Wildlife Safari Park. Bacteria were isolated from the blood of three (5%) lions, one (6%) Namibian cheetah and eight (73%) cheetahs from California. The lion Bartonella isolates were identified as B...
November 2016: Epidemiology and Infection
Li Yang, Mujiao Huang, Rui Zhang, Jiang Lv, Yueheng Ren, Zhe Jiang, Wei Zhang, Xiaofeng Luan
The range of the Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis) has decreased dramatically over the last 100 years. This species is still under extreme risk of extinction and conservation efforts are rigorous. Understanding the long-term dynamics of the population decline would be helpful to offer insight into the mechanism behind the decline and endangerment and improve conservation perspectives and strategies. Historical data collection has been the challenge for reconstructing the historical distribution. In China, new gazetteers having systematic compilation and considerable local ecological data can be considered as an important complementary for reconstruction...
2016: ZooKeys
Andrew M Kittle, John K Bukombe, Anthony R E Sinclair, Simon A R Mduma, John M Fryxell
BACKGROUND: Where apex predators move on the landscape influences ecosystem structure and function and is therefore key to effective landscape-level management and species-specific conservation. However the factors underlying predator distribution patterns within functional ecosystems are poorly understood. Predator movement should be sensitive to the spatial patterns of inter-specific competitors, spatial variation in prey density, and landscape attributes that increase individual prey vulnerability...
2016: Movement Ecology
Eric Scott, Kathleen B Springer
Late Pleistocene groundwater discharge deposits (paleowetlands) in the upper Las Vegas Wash north of Las Vegas, Nevada, have yielded an abundant and diverse vertebrate fossil assemblage, the Tule Springs local fauna (TSLF). The TSLF is the largest open-site vertebrate fossil assemblage dating to the Rancholabrean North American Land Mammal Age in the southern Great Basin and Mojave Desert. Over 600 discrete body fossil localities have been recorded from the wash, including an area that now encompasses Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument (TUSK)...
2016: PeerJ
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