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Al Ain, United Arab Emirates

Santos-Guerra A.,Instituto Canario Of Investigaciones Agrarias | Jarvis C.E.,Natural History Museum in London | Carine M.A.,Natural History Museum in London | Maunder M.,Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort | And 4 more authors.
Taxon | Year: 2011

James Cuninghame (ca. 1665-1709) was the first person to explore, collect and send back to the West significant numbers of Chinese plants and animals. During his first voyage to the Far East, this distinguished Scottish surgeon and naturalist stopped at the island of La Palma (Canary Islands). Although we do not know the exact dates of his arrival and departure, it is clear that Cuninghame was on the island during January and February 1698. During his stay, Cuninghame collected plant specimens which are now preserved in three volumes of the Sloane Herbarium (BM-SL). A five-folio manuscript (deposited in the Sloane Manuscript collection of the British Library) listing 62 plant entries also survives, together with fragmentary lists of names prepared by James Petiver (ca. 1658-1718), the main recipient of Cuninghame's Canarian collection. These specimens comprise the earliest documented herbarium collection made in the Canary Islands and are one of the most important pre- Linnaean sources for the Macaronesian flora. A study of these specimens and documents shows that Cuninghame collected/ recorded material of 154 taxa including one lichen, nine bryophytes, 15 ferns, two gymnosperms, and 127 flowering plants. We were able to identify all but 16 of the herbarium specimens and one of Cuninghame's manuscript names below the rank of genus, and all but three of the specimens below family level. Source


Vincent O.,Kenya Wildlife Service | Stephen C.,Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort | Patrick C.,University of Notre Dame
African Journal of Ecology | Year: 2012

Ciliates are some of the most abundant gut fauna in wild chimpanzees. However, their presence in captive populations is usually low presumably due to anti-helmintic prophylaxis or feeding on low fibre diet. We studied a semi-captive colony of chimpanzees at the Sweetwaters Sanctuary in Kenya subject to routine prophylactic dose of albendazole to clear chimpanzees of parasitic helminths. Fresh faecal samples from known individuals were collected before and subsequently after prophylaxis. The samples were fixed in 10% formalin and examined by the sedimentation method. Troglodytella abrassarti had 42.5% prevalence whereas other ciliates had 65% prevalence. The prevalence of the T. abrassarti and other ciliates significantly declined immediately after prophylaxis and then rose slowly thereafter. Our results suggest that ciliates are susceptible to anti-helmintic prophylaxis and that treatment may eliminate ciliates or inhibit their proliferation within the host subsequently lowering their prevalence in the population. Variation in prevalence was not influenced by the age of the host. However, a steady recovery of ciliate prevalence was lower for male compared to female hosts. Our results imply that the intervals between prophylactic regimes could be prolonged differently for males and females to increase the prevalence of ciliates in captive populations. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Source


de Sequeira M.M.,University of Madeira | Santos-Guerra A.,Instituto Canario Of Investigaciones Agrarias | Jarvis C.E.,Natural History Museum in London | Oberli A.,Bermuda Mount | And 6 more authors.
Taxon | Year: 2010

The Macaronesian Islands comprise the Atlantic archipelagos of Azores, Madeira, Selvagens, Canaries and Cape Verde. These islands were a major focus for plant exploration during the 17th and 18th centuries. Sir Hans Sloane (1660-1753), one of the most important patrons and sponsors of natural sciences and botanical research, visited Madeira on his way to Jamaica in 1687. Although he stayed in Madeira for only three days, he collected plant specimens of 38 taxa (including one brown alga) and made important observations concerning the flora and fauna of Madeira from near Funchal. Sixty-six polynomial names of plants from the island are recorded in Sloane's published work along with 18 copperplate engravings, ostensibly from Madeira, although our study shows that only thirteen of them are of taxa occurring on the island. Fourteen of the sixty-six polynomials reported by Sloane relate to Macaronesian endemic taxa, six of them restricted to Madeira. Our study shows that nine of the fifteen polynomials that he putatively recorded for Madeira and/or the Antilles or for which he was unsure of their origin are from the West Indies and do not occur on this Macaronesian island. Two of the taxa that are listed for Madeira and the Carib-bean Islands were likely to be present in both insular systems. Although there is evidence of earlier botanical explorations in Macaronesia, the herbarium collections made by Sloane in Madeira represent the earliest documented plant hunting expedition to Macaronesia, and Sir Hans Sloane can be considered as one of the pioneers of botanical exploration in these Atlantic Islands. Sloane's records provide an early floristic study of a diverse island flora. Source


Hawkins E.,Lane College | Kock R.,Lane College | McKeever D.,Lane College | Gakuya F.,Kenya Wildlife Service | And 10 more authors.
Journal of Wildlife Diseases | Year: 2015

The role of equine piroplasmosis as a factor in the population decline of the Grevy’s zebra is not known. We determined the prevalence of Babesia caballi and Theileria equi in cograzing Grevy’s zebras (Equus grevyi) and donkeys (Equus africanus asinus) in northern Kenya and identified the associated tick vectors. Blood samples were taken from 71 donkeys and 16 Grevy’s zebras from March to May 2011. A nested PCR reaction using 18s ribosomal (r)RNA primers on 87 blood spots showed 72% (51/71; 95% confidence interval [CI] 60.4–81.0%) of donkeys and 100% (16/16; 95% CI, 77.3–100%) of Grevy’s zebras were T. equi positive. No samples were positive for B. caballi. Sequence comparison using the National Center for Biotechnology Information’s basic local alignment search tool identified homologous 18s rRNA sequences with a global geographic spread. The T. equi-derived sequences were evaluated using Bayesian approaches with independent Metropolis-coupled Markov chain Monte Carlo runs. The sequences clustered with those found in Sudan, Croatia, Mongolia, and the US, with statistical support greater than 80% for the two main clades. Hyalomma tick species were found on both donkeys and Grevy’s zebras, whereas Rhipicephalus pulchellus was found exclusively on Grevy’s zebras and Hyalomma marginatum rupfipes on donkeys. The prevalence of T. equi was 100% in Grevy’s zebras and 72% in donkeys with common tick vectors identified. Our results suggest that donkeys and Grevy’s zebras can be asymptomatic carriers and that piroplasmosis is endemic in the study area. © Wildlife Disease Association 2015. Source


Chege S.,Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort | Howlett J.,Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort | Qassimi M.A.,Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort | Toosy A.,Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort | And 2 more authors.
Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine | Year: 2013

Objective: To describe clinical signs, pathology, diagnosis and treatment of Cape vultures in which Aspergillus fumigatus (. A. fumigatus) and mixed species of bacteria were isolated. Methods: Six Cape vultures sourced from South Africa for exhibition at Al Ain Zoo developed illness manifesting as anorexia, dyspnea, polyuria and lethargy. Three vultures died manifesting " pneumonia-like syndrome" . These three vultures were necropsied and gross lesions recorded, while organ tissues were collected for histopathology. Internal organs were swabbed for bacteriology and mycology. From live vultures, blood was collected for hematology and biochemistry, oropharyngeal and cloacal swabs were collected for mycology and bacteriology. Results: A. fumigatus was isolated from the three dead vultures and two live ones that eventually survived. One of the dead vulture and two live vultures were co-infected with A. fumigatus and mixed species of bacteria that included Clostridium perfringens, Pseudomonas, Staphylococcus, Escherichia, Proteus, Enterococcus and Enterbacter. One of the Cape vulture and a Lappet-faced vulture, however, were free of Aspergillus or bacterial infections. At necropsy, intestinal hemorrhages were observed and the lungs were overtly congested with granulomas present on caudal air sac. Histopathological examinations demonstrated granulomatous lesions that were infiltrated by mononuclear cells and giant cells. Conclusions: Aspergillosis is a persistent threat to captive birds and we recommend routine health assessments so that early diagnosis may prompt early treatment. It is likely that prompt prophylaxis by broad spectrum antibiotics and antifungals medication contributed to the survival of some of the vultures. © 2013 Asian Pacific Tropical Biomedical Magazine. Source

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