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News Article | November 8, 2016

Oakland Zoo has raised over $104,000 this past year through ‘Quarters for Conservation,’ an ongoing program where 25¢ of every ticket sold is designated for helping animals in the wild through the Zoo’s conservation partners worldwide. “The future of wild animals is in the hands of each and every one of us and it is our job as a conservation-focused zoo to engage our community in real wildlife conservation actions. With Quarters for Conservation, our visitors are taking action every time they visit the zoo. We thank our community for their role in offering vital support to these inspirational projects,” said Amy Gotliffe, Director of Conservation at Oakland Zoo. Fifty percent of the funds will go directly to three featured conservation programs in the field that help save wolves, chimpanzees, and Bay Area birds. The three recipients of the funds this past year are The California Wolf Center, the Budongo Snare Removal Project in Uganda, and the Golden Gate Audubon Society. "California Wolf Center is incredibly grateful to have been involved in Oakland Zoo's Quarters for Conservation program this year. We are honored to be supported by an organization that so highly values preservation of wild species and their habitat. Wild wolves thank the Oakland Zoo!," Christina Souto, Associate Director of California Wolf Recovery, California Wolf Center. Twenty-five percent of the funds raised will be used towards Oakland Zoo’s onsite conservation programs such as veterinary care for wild California condors and the Western Pond Turtle head-start program. The remaining twenty-five percent of the monies helps support the Zoo’s conservation field partners around the world, including: ARCAS, the Bay Area Puma Project, Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Center, the Kibale Fuel Wood Project, the Reticulated Giraffe Project, the Marine Mammal Center, the Mountain Lion Foundation, EWASO Lions, Ventana Wildlife Society, and the Uganda Carnivore Program. Oakland Zoo’s Quarters for Conservation Program has raised more than $500,000 since it launched in 2012. Now, a new year of Quarters for Conservation (Q4C) begins again with featured beneficiaries including Proyecto Tití for cotton-top tamarins, the Iinnii Initiative for bison, and Oakland Zoo’s Biodiversity Program for amphibians. See below descriptions for additional information about the 2017 partners: Proyecto Tití (South America) Cotton-top tamarins are tiny monkeys that only exist in the tropical forests of northern Colombia in South America. They are losing their home to deforestation, and are also victims of the illegal pet trade. Proyecto Tití (Project Tamarin) is working to guarantee a future for this charismatic little monkey, by protecting their habitat and working with local communities, providing conservation education and income alternatives to reduce the unsustainable use of forest resources. "We are so happy Cotton-top tamarins and Proyecto Tití were chosen as one of the Quarters for Conservation projects; it's exciting to know that many more people will be able to learn about the 'cutest' monkey on earth, and about our hard work to secure a long-term future for this amazing and charismatic primate, which is in the brink of extinction." – Rosamira Guillen, Executive Director, Fundación Proyecto Tití Iinnii Initiative (Montana, USA) Bison, North America’s largest land mammal, once roamed the continent and played an important role in the prairie landscape. But today, wild bison are absent from most of their historic range, and their genetic diversity is threatened by isolated herds. Native Americans have long had an important spiritual and cultural relationship with bison. Oakland Zoo has partnered with the Blackfeet Nation and Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) through the Iinnii Initiative, which will return bison to tribal lands in Montana, provide educational programs, and promote bison conservation and cultural preservation. “We are excited to have Oakland Zoo’s partnership in the Iinnii Initiative, which has and will continue to push forward the cultural and ecological significance of bison on the restoration of the Glacier-Waterton landscape,” Keith Aune, Director, Bison Conservation Program, WCS North America Oakland Zoo’s Biodiversity Program Frogs and toads may be small, but they are important species that show how healthy their environment is. All around the world, amphibians are struggling with the threats of habitat loss, climate change, non-native predators, and disease. Oakland Zoo’s Biodiversity Program is working to save these special animals through intensive onsite conservation efforts for Puerto Rican Crested Toads and Mountain Yellow-Legged Frogs. “Amphibian populations are declining at a much faster rate than either birds or mammals. In fact, more than 30% of the world’s amphibian species are currently threatened with extinction, including the two species in Oakland Zoo’s Biodiversity Program. Quarters for Conservation funds will allow us to breed and/or treat the critically endangered Puerto Rican Crested Toads and Mountain Yellow-Legged Frogs so they can re-populate in the wild,” said Margaret Rousser, Zoological Manager, Oakland Zoo. For more information on the above programs, visit: ABOUT OAKLAND ZOO The Bay Area's award-winning Oakland Zoo is home to more than 660 native and exotic animals. The Zoo offers many educational programs and kid's activities perfect for science field trips, family day trips and exciting birthday parties. Oakland Zoo is dedicated to the humane treatment of animals and wildlife conservation onsite and worldwide; with 25¢ from each ticket donated to support conservation partners and programs around the world. The California Trail, a transformational project that more than doubles our size, opens in 2018, and will further our commitment to animal care, education, and conservation with a focus on this state’s remarkable native wildlife. Nestled in the Oakland Hills, in 500-acre Knowland Park, the Zoo is located at 9777 Golf Links Road, off Highway 580. The East Bay Zoological Society (Oakland Zoo) is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization supported in part by members, contributions, the City of Oakland and the East Bay Regional Parks. For more information, go to:

Dietz L.,Ruhr University Bochum | Mayer C.,Ruhr University Bochum | Arango C.P.,Biodiversity Program | Leese F.,Ruhr University Bochum
Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution | Year: 2011

We present the almost complete (16,007. bp) mitochondrial genome of a Colossendeis megalonyx specimen from the Southern Ocean and discuss gene order and tRNA structure in a comparative phylogenetic context. Our data suggest a basal position of the colossendeid lineage corroborating earlier phylogenetic studies but disagreeing with results of a recently published study that supported a highly derived sister-group relationship of Colossendeidae and Nymphonidae. Our results, together with BLAST searches and phylogenetic comparisons, indicate that the specimen presented as Colossendeis sp. in a series of recent studies had been misidentified. It has now been identified as a nymphonid species. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.

Miller T.L.,Biodiversity Program | Bray R.A.,Natural History Museum in London | Cribb T.H.,University of Queensland
Parasitology | Year: 2011

The taxonomy of trematodes of Great Barrier Reef (GBR) fishes has been studied in some detail for over 20 years. Understanding of the fauna has been informed iteratively by approaches to sampling, understanding of morphology, the advent of molecular methodology and a feed-back loop from the emergent understanding of host specificity. Here we analyse 658 host-parasite combinations for 290 trematode species, 152 genera and 28 families from GBR fishes. These are reported from 8 orders, 38 families, 117 genera and 243 species of fishes. Of the 290 species, only 4 (14%) have been reported from more than one order of fishes and just 23 (79%) infect more than one family; 779% of species are known from only one genus, and 60% from only one species of fish. Molecular studies have revealed several complexes of cryptic species and others are suspected; we conclude that no euryxenous host distribution should be accepted on the basis of morphology only. The occurrence of individual trematode species in potential hosts is patchy and difficult to predict reliably a priori or explain convincingly a posteriori. These observations point to the need for a vigorous iterative interaction between the accretion of host specificity data and its interpretation. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2011.

Brenneis G.,Humboldt University of Berlin | Arango C.P.,Biodiversity Program | Scholtz G.,Humboldt University of Berlin
Development Genes and Evolution | Year: 2011

Pycnogonida (sea spiders) are bizarre marine arthropods that are nowadays most frequently considered as being the sister group to all other chelicerates. The majority of pycnogonid species develops via a protonymphon larva with only three pairs of limbs affiliated with the future head region. Deviating from this, the hatching stage of some representatives shows already an advanced degree of trunk differentiation. Using scanning electron microscopy, fluorescent nucleic staining, and bright-field stereomicroscopy, postembryonic development of Pseudopallene sp. (Callipallenidae), a pycnogonid with an advanced hatching stage, is described. Based on external morphology, six postembryonic stages plus a sub-adult stage are distinguished. The hatching larva is lecithotrophic and bears the chelifores as only functional appendage pair and unarticulated limb buds of walking leg pairs 1 and 2. Palpal and ovigeral larval limbs are absent. Differentiation of walking leg pairs 3 and 4 is sequential. Apart from the first pair, each walking leg goes through a characteristic sequence of three externally distinct stages with two intermittent molts (limb bud-seven podomeres-nine podomeres). First external signs of oviger development are detectable in postembryonic stage 3 bearing three articulated walking leg pairs. Following three more molts, the oviger has attained adult podomere composition. The advanced hatching stages of different callipallenids are compared and the inclusive term "walking leg-bearing larva" is suggested, as opposed to the behavior-based name "attaching larva". Data on temporal and structural patterns of walking leg differentiation in other pycnogonids are reviewed and discussed. To facilitate comparisons of walking leg differentiation patterns across many species, we propose a concise notation in matrix fashion. Due to deviating structural patterns of oviger differentiation in another callipallenid species as well as within other pycnogonid taxa, evolutionary conservation of characteristic stages of oviger development is not apparent even in closely related species. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.

Brenneis G.,Humboldt University of Berlin | Arango C.P.,Biodiversity Program | Scholtz G.,Humboldt University of Berlin
Development Genes and Evolution | Year: 2011

Embryonic development of Pycnogonida (sea spiders) is poorly understood in comparison to other euarthropod lineages with well-established model organisms. However, given that pycnogonids potentially represent the sister group to chelicerates or even to all other euarthropods, their development might yield important data for the reconstruction of arthropod evolution. Using scanning electron microscopy, fluorescent nucleic staining and immunohistochemistry, the general course of embryonic morphogenesis in Pseudopallene sp. (Callipallenidae), a pycnogonid with prolonged embryonic development, is described. A staging system comprising ten stages is presented, which can be used in future studies addressing specific developmental processes. The initially slit-like stomodeum anlage forms at the anterior end of an eight-shaped germ band and predates proboscis outgrowth. The latter process is characterized by the protrusion of three cell populations that are subsequently involved in pharynx formation. In later stages, the proboscis assumes distally a horseshoe-like shape. At no time, a structure corresponding to the euarthropod labrum is detectable. Based on the complete lack of palpal and ovigeral embryonic limbs and the early differentiation of walking leg segments 1 and 2, the existence of an embryonized protonymphon stage during callipallenid development is rejected. The evolution of pycnogonid hatching stages, especially within Callipallenidae and Nymphonidae, is re-evaluated in the light of recent phylogenetic analyses. Specifically, the re-emergence of the ancestral protonymphon larva (including re-development of palpal and ovigeral larval limbs) and a possible re-appearance of adult palps in the nymphonid lineage are discussed. This challenges the perception of pycnogonid head appendage evolution as being driven by reduction events alone. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.

A survey of the myxosporean fauna of Australian marine fishes revealed the presence of a number of putative species of Kudoidae (Multivalvulida) forming pseudocysts between the outer meningeal layer and the outer surface of the brains of the lutjanids Caesio cuning, Lutjanus carponotatus, Lutjanus ehrenbergii and Lutjanus fulviflamma and the mugilid Liza vaigiensis from Lizard Island on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia and Lutjanus lemniscatus off Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia. Morphometric data combined with Bayesian inference and maximum likelihood analyses of small subunit (SSU) and large subunit (LSU) ribosomal DNA (rDNA) was used for species identification and to explore relationships among these taxa. The brain-infecting taxa examined here formed a well-supported clade to the exclusion of non-brain infecting species in the phylogenetic analyses. The combined diagnostic approach identified an undescribed taxon, Kudoa lemniscati n. sp., from the brain of L. lemniscatus (Perciformes: Lutjanidae) off Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia, which we describe and characterise here. K. lemniscati n. sp. can be distinguished from all other species of Kudoa based on the combination of the distinct tropism for forming pseudocysts in the brain tissue, spores with 7 or 8 equal shell valves and 7 or 8 polar capsules, spore size and the differences in the SSU and LSU rDNA sequence data relative to other kudoids. Kudoa chaetodoni was found in the lutjanids C. cuning and L. carponotatus, expanding the known host range for this species to include chaetodontids and lutjanids. L. ehrenbergii and L. fulviflamma were infected with Kudoa lethrini off Lizard Island, a parasite previously known only from lethrinids. Specimens putatively identified as Kudoa yasunagai from Liza vaigiensis and Lutjanus ehrenbergii were morphologically similar and genetically identical over the SSU rDNA dataset to previously reported specimens, but differed by 4 to 11 nucleotides over the LSU dataset from the remaining isolates examined here. While these data are not definitive, they suggest the presence of a K. yasunagai complex. © 2012.

Polyrhachis (Myrmothrinax) nepenthicola, a new species of the thrinax species-group, is described from Sarawak, Borneo. The characters distinguishing it from similar species of the thrinax-group are provided and the species is illustrated. A preliminary note on its unusual nesting habit is included.

Heiniger H.,Biodiversity Program | Heiniger H.,University of Queensland | Adlard R.D.,Biodiversity Program | Adlard R.D.,University of Queensland
Parasitology International | Year: 2012

Kudoa leptacanthae n. sp. was identified within the pericardial cavities of two apogonid species, Zoramia leptacantha and Zoramia viridiventer, from waters off Lizard Island on the Great Barrier Reef. The species shows a close taxonomic affinity, both morphologically and genetically, to Kudoa shiomitsui Egusa & Shiomitsu 1983 reported from a tetraodontid and scombrid, both from Japan. The infection was at high prevalences (average = 75.8% ± 0.63, n = 343) within schools of the two host species. Different sporogonic stages ('developing' and 'fully-developed') were observed in pseudocysts within the pericardium of the hosts. Kudoa leptacanthae n. sp. appears to be a persistent infection within the Zoramia species hosts. No seasonal variation was detected for this host/parasite system and the parasite did not affect host condition, when assessed using host length/weight ratio as a coarse indicator. We hypothesise that a source of infection in close proximity to the home patch reef of apogonid schools may lead to the high prevalence and intensity of infection reported in this study. © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

Adlard R.D.,Biodiversity Program | Nolan M.J.,Biodiversity Program | Nolan M.J.,Royal Veterinary College University of London
International Journal for Parasitology | Year: 2015

Marteilia sydneyi (Phylum Paramyxea, Class Marteiliidea, Order Marteiliida) (the causative agent of QX disease) is recognised as the most severe parasite to infect Saccostrea glomerata, the Sydney rock oyster, on the east coast of Australia. Despite its potential impact on industry (>95% mortality), research towards lessening these effects has been hindered by the lack of an experimental laboratory model of infection as a consequence of our incomplete understanding of the life cycle of this parasite. Here, we explored the presence of this parasite in hosts other than a bivalve mollusc from two study sites on the Hawkesbury River, New South Wales, Australia. We employed PCR-based in situ hybridisation and sequence analysis of a portion of the first internal transcribed spacer of rDNA in an attempt to detect M. sydneyi DNA in 21 species of polychaete worm. Marteilia DNA was detected in 6% of 1247 samples examined by PCR; the analysis of all amplicons defined one distinct sequence type for first internal transcribed spacer, representing M. sydneyi. Of the polychaete operational taxonomic units test-positive in PCR, we examined 116 samples via in situ hybridisation DNA probe staining and identified M. sydneyi DNA in the epithelium of the intestine of two specimens of Nephtys australiensis. Two differing morphological forms were identified: a 'primordial' cell that contained a well-defined nucleus but had little differentiation in the cytoplasm, and a 'plasmodial' cell that showed an apparent syncytial structure. This finding represents the first known record of the identification of M. sydneyi being parasitic in an organism other than an oyster, and only the third record of any species of Marteilia identified from non-molluscan hosts. Future work aims at determining if N. australiensis and S. glomerata are the only hosts in the life cycle of this paramyxean, and the development of experimental models to aid the production of QX disease-resistant oysters. © 2015 Australian Society for Parasitology Inc.

Sixteen species of the Polyrhachis continua species-group of the subgenus Myrma Billberg are presently recognised, including eight previously described: Polyrhachis conops Forel, P. continua Emery, P. inusitata Kohout, P. procera Emery, P. sericeopubescens Donishorpe, P. simpla Santschi, P. spinifera Stitz and P. stitzi Santschi; and eight species described as new: P. gazelle sp. n., P. manusensis sp. n., P. neuguinensis sp. n., P. planoculata sp. n, P. pulleni sp. n., P. robusta sp. n., P. sinuata sp. n. and P. tapini sp. n. Polyrhachis stitzi Santschi, originally described by Karavaiev as P. conops bismarckensis, is raised to specific status and redescribed. The former subspecies and junior primary homonym P. conops cuspidata Stitz is considered a synonym of P. sericeopubescens Donisthorpe. A key to the species of the group is provided and all species are illustrated.

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