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Clifton, United Kingdom

Petchey A.,University of Salford | Gray A.,University of Manchester | Andren C.,Nordens Ark | Skelton T.,Bristol Zoological Society | And 2 more authors.
Conservation Genetics Resources | Year: 2014

We characterise nine polymorphic microsatellites for the Critically Endangered lemur leaf frog, Agalychnis lemur. We found between 3 and 8 alleles per locus in 48 captive individuals originating from the last two currently known remaining wild populations of these frogs in Costa Rica. We attribute observed deviations from Hardy–Weinberg and linkage equilibrium to inbreeding and population substructure in captivity. The newly designed loci will be used to establish the first genetically-informed amphibian studbook for captive breeding and conservation purposes. © 2014, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. Source

Schwitzer C.,Bristol Zoological Society | Mittermeier R.A.,Wildlife Conservation Society | Johnson S.E.,University of Calgary | Donati G.,Oxford Brookes University | And 16 more authors.
Science | Year: 2014

Community-based management, ecotourism, and researchers' presence are proposed to prevent lemur extinctions. Source

Wilmet L.,University of Liege | Schwitzer C.,Bristol Zoological Society | Devillers P.,Royal Belgian Institute Of Natural Sciences | Beudels-Jamar R.C.,Royal Belgian Institute Of Natural Sciences | Vermeulen C.,University of Liege
Biotechnology, Agronomy and Society and Environment | Year: 2014

Literature. Genus Lepilemur, in family Lepilemuridae, is a genus of small, nocturnal, exclusively arboreal Malagasy folivores. All species in the genus have small ranges of distribution. Fully forest-dependent, they have a high risk of extinction. Various models and theories of speciation mechanisms have been developed for the fauna and flora of Madagascar. For instance, in the northwestern part of the island, some authors used Lepilemur spp. to test two existing models of distribution: the “Martin model” and “Wilmé model”.Introduction. Madagascar is one of the highest biodiversity hotspots on the planet; however, it is also one of the most heavily impacted countries in the world in terms of forest degradation and general habitat destruction.Conclusion. Regarding the impact of forest destruction and habitat degradation in Madagascar, conservation strategies for Lepilemur need to be put in place. This paper gives an overview of the current knowledge of the genus Lepilemur and examines speciation for Malagasy lemurs. The understanding of species distribution within biodiversity hotspots is important to identify target for conservation. Therefore, we summarize and compare three biogeography models related to lemurs distribution in order to understand the reasons behind the high diversity (26 species in total) among the genus Lepilemur. Particular attention is also given to the concept of species regarding biodiversity issues and the taxonomic explosion in genus Lepilemur. © 2014 FAC UNIV SCIENCES AGRONOMIQUES GEMBLOUX. All rights reserved. Source

News Article
Site: http://phys.org/biology-news/

The population crunch is the result of large-scale habitat destruction—particularly the burning and clearing of tropical forests—as well as the hunting of primates for food and the illegal wildlife trade. Species long-known to be at risk, including the Sumatran orangutan, have been joined on the most endangered list for the first time by the Philippine tarsier and the Lavasoa Mountains dwarf lemur from Madagascar, scientists meeting in Singapore said. "This research highlights the extent of the danger facing many of the world's primates," leading primatologist Christoph Schwitzer, director of conservation at Bristol Zoological Society in Britain, said in a statement. "We hope it will focus people's attention on these lesser known primate species, some of which most people will probably have never heard of." This includes the Lavasoa Mountains dwarf lemur—a species only discovered two years ago—and the Roloway monkey from Ghana and Ivory Coast, which experts say "are on the very verge of extinction". There are 703 species and sub-species of primates in the world. Madagascar and Vietnam are home to large numbers of highly threatened primate species, the statement said. In Africa, the red colobus monkeys was under "particular threat", as were some of South America's howler monkeys and spider monkeys, it added. "All of these species are relatively large and conspicuous, making them prime targets for bushmeat hunting," the statement said. Russell Mittermeier, chair of the Species Survival Commission of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), said he hoped the report would encourage governments to commit to "desperately needed biodiversity conservation measures". Mittermeier said ahead of next month's global climate conference in Paris, there was growing evidence some primate species might play key roles in dispersing tropical forest tree seeds, which in turn "have a critically important role in mitigating climate change". Here is the list of the world's top 25 most endangered primates for 2014-2016 and their estimated numbers remaining in the wild. The list is compiled by the IUCN, Bristol Zoological Society, International Primatological Society and Conservation International and is updated every two years: Rondo dwarf galago—unknown but remaining habitat is just 100 square kilometres (40 square miles) Roloway monkey—unknown but thought to be on the very verge of extinction Explore further: Dozens of primate species on the brink: study

Hampson M.C.,Bristol Zoological Society | Hampson M.C.,University of Bristol | Schwitzer C.S.,Bristol Zoological Society
PLoS ONE | Year: 2016

Species Survival Plans and European Endangered Species Programmes have been developed for several species of endangered felids in order to build up captive reserve populations and support their conservation in the wild. The Siberian tiger (Panthera tigris altaica), snow leopard (Uncia uncia), cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) and clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa) are managed in such ex situ conservation programmes. Many zoological institutions hand-rear offspring if rearing by the mother fails. Hand-rearing can cause behavioural problems, resulting in decreased copulation and lower breeding success in some species. In this study, studbook data subsets were examined: from 1901 to 2011; and 2000 to 2011. We analysed records from 4273 Siberian tigers, 2045 snow leopards, 3435 cheetahs, and 804 clouded leopards. We assessed the number of offspring produced, litter size, age at first reproduction, longevity, infant mortality and generational rearing of hand-reared versus parent-reared individuals. Hand-reared Siberian tigers (p<0.01; p = 0.0113), snow leopards (p<0.01), male cheetahs (p<0.01) and female clouded leopards (p<0.01) produced fewer offspring than parent-reared individuals. Hand-reared snow leopard breeding pairs had larger litters than parent-reared pairs (p = 0.0404). Hand-reared snow leopard females reproduced later in life (p<0.01). Hand-reared female Siberian tigers lived shorter lives, while hand-reared cheetahs lived longer (p<0.01; p = 0.0107). Infant mortality was higher in hand-reared snow leopards (p<0.01) and male cheetahs (p = 0.0395) in the 1901-2011 dataset and lower in hand-reared female Siberian tiger and male snow leopard cubs (p = 0.0404; p = 0.0349) in the 2000-2011 dataset. The rearing of the mother and subsequent rearing of offspring showed a significant relationship for all species (p<0.01 for Siberian tiger and snow leopard cubs; p<0.001 for cheetah and snow leopard cubs). Taking into account the limited carrying capacity of zoos, the results of this study highlight that careful consideration should be taken when deciding whether or not to hand-rear individuals that are part of Species Survival Plans and European Endangered Species Programmes. © 2016 Hampson, Schwitzer.This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Source

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