South Perth, Australia
South Perth, Australia

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PubMed | University of Queensland, University of Pennsylvania, 1 Melbourne Zoo, 4 Gribbles Veterinary Pathology and 0 Labouchere Road
Type: | Journal: Journal of wildlife diseases | Year: 2017

Hereditary disorders and genetic predispositions to disease are rarely reported in captive and free-ranging wildlife, and none have been definitively identified and characterized in elephants. A wild-caught, 41-yr-old male Asian elephant ( Elephas maximus ) without an apparent increased bleeding tendency was consistently found to have prolonged prothrombin times (PTs, mean = 5535 s) compared to 17 other elephants (PT=102 s). This elephants partial thromboplastin times (PTT) fell within the normal range of the other elephants (12-30 s). A prolonged PT in the presence of a normal PTT suggests disruption of the extrinsic pathway via deficiency of coagulation factor VII (FVII). This elephants plasma FVII activity was very low (2%) compared to that of 15 other elephants (57-80%), but other coagulation factors activities did not differ from the control elephants. Sequencing of genomic DNA from EDTA blood revealed a single homozygous point mutation (c.202A>G) in the F7 gene of the FVII deficient elephant that was not present in unrelated elephants. This mutation causes an amino acid substitution (p.Arg68Gly) that is predicted to be deleterious. Two living offspring of the affected elephant were heterozygous for the mutation and had normal plasma FVII activities and coagulation profiles. Tissue from a third offspring, a deceased calf, was utilized to show that it was also a heterozygote. A DNA test has been developed to enable the screening of additional elephants for this mutation. Consistent with FVII deficiency investigations in other species, the condition did not cause a serious bleeding tendency in this individual elephant.


Johnston T.R.,Bentley Delivery Center | Stock W.D.,Edith Cowan University | Mawson P.R.,0 Labouchere Road
Emu | Year: 2016

Human-wildlife conflicts around the loss and use of habitat are common reasons for species being listed as threatened. In order to reduce such conflicts it is important to have a clear understanding of the resource requirements of threatened species and the environmental factors that influence the availability and continued supply of those resources. The availability of Banksia cones and temporal patterns of their use by Carnaby's Black-Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus latirostris), was measured bi-monthly in proteaceous woodlands of the Swan Coastal Plain, south-Western Australia. Availability of Banksia cones was assessed at sites that differed in soil-types, time since last fire and occurrence of Phytophthora cinnamomi. The mean number of available cones differed significantly in relation to P. cinnamomi presence and time since last fire. This study revealed a strong association between availability of Banksia cones and their consumption by Carnaby's Black-Cockatoo. Over 12 months, Carnaby's Black-Cockatoos handled approximately half of the available Banksia cones, and over three-quarters of those handled involved feeding. Banksia attenuata and B. sessilis produced the greatest number of cones, with consumption proportionate to cone availability. Understanding the patterns of availability and consumption of food resources by Carnaby's Black-Cockatoos provides critical pieces of information that will help implement more effective conservation and management to stem the decline of this species. © BirdLife Australia 2016.


Mayberry C.,University of Western Australia | Mawson P.,University of Western Australia | Mawson P.,0 Labouchere Road | Maloney S.K.,University of Western Australia
Journal of Pharmacological and Toxicological Methods | Year: 2015

Introduction: Plasma cholinesterase activity levels of various species may be of interest to toxicologists or pathologists working with chemicals that interfere with the activity of plasma cholinesterase. Methods: We used a pH titration method to measure the plasma cholinesterase activity of six mammalian species. Results: Plasma cholinesterase activity varied up to 50-fold between species: sheep (88. ±. 45. nM acetylcholine degraded per ml of test plasma per minute), cattle (94. ±. 35), western grey kangaroos (126. ±. 92), alpaca (364. ±. 70), rats (390. ±. 118) and horses (4539. ±. 721). Discussion: We present a simple, effective technique for the assay of plasma cholinesterase activity levels from a range of species. Although labour-intensive, it requires only basic laboratory equipment. © 2015 Elsevier Inc.


Saunders D.A.,CSIRO | Wintle B.A.,University of Melbourne | Mawson P.R.,0 Labouchere Road | Dawson R.,Locked Bag 104
Biological Conservation | Year: 2013

Birds use a number of environmental cues to time their breeding season to maximise their chances of raising young when food is most abundant. Such cues include photoperiod, temperature and rainfall. In very arid regions, birds may start egg-laying with the onset of rain to allow fledging to coincide with the availability of grass seeds. However the influence of rainfall on timing of egg-laying in areas with variable, but more reliable, rainfall has not been as clear. Carnaby's Cockatoo, an endemic species of southwestern Australia, a region with a Mediterranean climate, is known colloquially as " the rainbird" as its movements to the breeding areas appear to coincide with the start of the wetter part of the year. Here we use a long-term data set on the breeding of this species (24. years of data from 1969 to 2011) to quantify the link between the timing of autumn rains and the commencement of egg-laying in this endangered cockatoo. We found a tight synchrony which indicates a strong reliance of the species on early autumn rains as a cue for breeding. We describe the conservation implications of increased variability in timing and quantity of rainfall for the long-term viability of Carnaby's Cockatoo. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


In the mid-1990s commercial Tasmanian blue gum (Eucalyptus globulus) plantations were established in south-west Western Australia. We examined the extent of loss of potential nesting trees for an endangered obligate hollow-nesting cockatoo, Muir's corella (Cacatua pastinator pastinator), resulting from establishment of these plantations during 1995-2004. Clearing of native vegetation was extensive in both Tonebridge (51%) and Frankland (76%) study sites. The proportion of land used for timber plantation increased significantly from 2.4% to 12.1% (Tonebridge) and 0.5% to 9% (Frankland) in the period 1995-2004. Plantations were predominantly established on already cleared farmland, but during the rapid development of plantations, large numbers of remnant paddock trees (mean≤56%) in cleared farmland were removed. Despite the loss of more than 50% of potential nesting habitat over an area of 376km2 within its current distribution, Muir's corella continued to increase in numbers. However, there are concerns about delayed impacts of the clearing of potential nest trees we have observed, and consequences of further tree loss during future plantation harvesting. Evidence-based demonstration of biodiversity protection is increasingly needed to fulfil forest and plantation stewardship requirements, so greater care needs to be directed towards the management of extant remnant vegetation in paddocks. © 2015 CSIRO.


Ferguson A.,0 Labouchere Road | Turner B.,0 Labouchere Road
Australian Mammalogy | Year: 2013

Despite a long history of captive short-beaked echidnas in zoos worldwide, there have been very few successful attempts to breed them. Perth Zoo has been successful in breeding echidnas on five occasions, with young produced over 3 consecutive years. In this paper we document the results of intensive monitoring undertaken before and during these successful breeding seasons. Video camera surveillance was used to monitor activity and reproductive behaviour of adults during the courtship and mating period and to identify the timing and duration of incubation. Temperature data loggers were used to record and compare proximal body temperature with observed behaviours. Echidnas were found to breed in June and July, with courtship lasting a mean 5.75±1.7 days (range 4-9 days, n≤8). Mean duration of gestation was 21.8±2.4 days (range 19-27 days, n≤7). Females incubated their single egg for a mean 11±0.75 days (range 11-13 days, n≤5) in an artificial burrow with increased temperature stability. © Australian Mammal Society 2013.


Cheyne S.M.,University of Oxford | Cheyne S.M.,University of Palangka Raya | Campbell C.O.,0 Labouchere Road | Payne K.L.,0 Labouchere Road
International Zoo Yearbook | Year: 2012

Sanctuaries and rehabilitation centres must strive to demonstrate not only a welfare benefit to individuals but also a measurable contribution to the conservation of species. We will discuss how to carry out the rescue, rehabilitation and reintroduction of gibbons and the rationale behind the process, based on what is known and is being learnt about rehabilitating these species. This document is focused on guidelines for in situ rescue, rehabilitation and release, to account for the limitations in access to resources in developing countries. Some of the suggestions mentioned here may not be practical for all rehabilitation centres. This essay is not designed to be a complete guide to the rehabilitation and welfare of gibbons but should be used as a template. It is intended to be the beginnings of a living document and is formed from personal observations and, where noted, from procedures being used at the Kalaweit Gibbon Rehabilitation Project in Kalimantan, Indonesia, from the Javan Gibbon Centre in Java, Indonesia, and from an extensive search of the literature. Standardizing procedures across all in situ rehabilitation centres will help to prevent the repetition of mistakes and ensure that all centres follow similar medical and husbandry procedures for these threatened species. © 2011 The Authors. International Zoo Yearbook © 2011 The Zoological Society of London.


This paper describes the captive husbandry and breeding information gained from 11 wild-born banded knob-tailed geckos, Nephrurus wheeleri cinctus, held at Perth Zoo from May 2009 to June 2014. Geckos bred from late October through to late May. Females produced 2-4 clutches per season initially, with older females producing 5-6 clutches per season. Incubation lasted 51-60 days, with 33-63 day intervals between clutches, shortening to 23-46 days in the more fecund females. Regardless of the number of clutches produced each breeding season, the inter-season interval remained similar, at 225-268 days. Egg weights and dimensions are described, along with hatchling birth weights. Hatchling growth rates are provided for seven individuals, from hatching through to 300 days of age.


Saunders D.A.,CSIRO | Mawson P.R.,0 Labouchere Road | Dawson R.,Locked Bag 104
Conservation Physiology | Year: 2014

Of the five species of black cockatoo in the genus Calyptorhynchus, those species with red tail bands (Red-tailed Black Cockatoo and Glossy Black Cockatoo) lay clutches of only one egg and those with white or yellow tail bands (Carnaby's Cockatoo, Baudin's Cockatoo and Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo) usually lay clutches of two. The breeding of the endangered Carnaby's Cockatoo has been studied from 1969 to 2012 at a number of localities throughout its range in south-western Australia within a region largely cleared for agriculture. When raising nestlings the species feeds on seeds of native vegetation, and there was a strong but not significant negative relationship between nesting success and percentage loss of native vegetation within 6 and 12 km of nest hollows. There was a significant negative relationship between the health of nestlings and percentage loss of native vegetation around nest hollows. While the usual clutch size is two, average clutch size tended to be lower in areas where much native vegetation has been cleared. While both eggs hatch in 77% of two-egg clutches, the species normally fledges only one young. However, the species is capable of fledging both nestlings from a breeding attempt. Sets of siblings are usually the product of older, more experienced females nesting in areas where more native vegetation has been retained. The conservation implications of these findings are discussed in the light of predicted changes to the climate of south-western Australia. © The Author 2014.


Saunders D.A.,CSIRO | Mawson P.R.,0 Labouchere Road | Dawson R.,Locked Bag 104
Biological Conservation | Year: 2014

The loss of hollow-bearing trees and lack of replacements are important issues throughout the world where development of intensive agriculture has resulted in the reduction and fragmentation of natural woodlands. Many species of animal depend on hollows (cavities) for breeding and shelter, and are impacted by these changes. One such species is the endangered Carnaby's Cockatoo Calyptorhynchus latirostris, an endemic of southwestern Australia, which nests in large hollows in eucalypt trees. Nest hollow selection by a breeding population at Coomallo Creek, in the wheatbelt of Western Australia, was studied from 1969 to 2013. The cockatoos nested in any hollow large enough to access (mean entrance diameter 270 mm, floor diameter 407 mm and depth 1.24. m). Nesting attempts in shallow hollows (<400 mm) were less successful than those in deeper hollows (>1000 mm). Breeding females returned to the same hollow they used previously, provided they had been successful in the previous breeding attempt and the hollow was not occupied. During the study, the cockatoos used 252 large hollow-bearing trees. By 2013 40% of these had fallen or been pushed over, had been burnt deliberately or by wildfire, or had been damaged such that they were no longer suitable for use by the cockatoos; an average annual loss rate of 0.91%. Based on this rate of loss, only 29% of large hollow-bearing trees standing in 2013 will be extant in 2125 and not all of these can be expected to offer useable nest hollows. The conservation implications arising from the results of the study are discussed. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

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