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Chester-le-Street, United Kingdom

Ogilvy V.,University of Manchester | Fidgett A.L.,North of England Zoological Society | Preziosi R.F.,University of Manchester
Zoo Biology | Year: 2012

There are a limited number of feeder-invertebrates available to feed captive insectivores, and many are deficient in certain nutrients. Gut-loading is used to increase the diversity of nutrients present in the captive insectivore diet; however, little is known about delivery of carotenoids via gut-loading. Carotenoids may influence health and reproduction due to their roles in immune and antioxidant systems. We assessed interspecific variation in carotenoid accumulation and retention in three feeder-cricket species (Gryllus bimaculatus, Gryllodes sigillatus and Acheta domesticus) fed one of three diets (wheat-bran, fish-food based formulated diet, and fresh fruit and vegetables). Out of the three species of feeder-cricket in the fish-food-based dietary treatment group, G. bimaculatus had the greatest total carotenoid concentration. All cricket species fed the wheat-bran diet had very low carotenoid concentrations. Species on the fish-food-based diet had intermediate carotenoid concentrations, and those on the fruit and vegetable diet had the highest concentrations. Carotenoid retention was poor across all species. Overall, this study shows that, by providing captive insectivores with G. bimaculatus crickets recently fed a carotenoid-rich diet, the quantity of carotenoids in the diet can be increased. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Source

Edwards K.L.,University of Liverpool | Walker S.L.,North of England Zoological Society | Bodenham R.F.,University of Liverpool | Ritchie H.,Thermo Fisher Scientific | And 2 more authors.
General and Comparative Endocrinology | Year: 2013

Faecal glucocorticoid metabolite (fGCM) concentrations have been used to evaluate adrenal activity in a variety of species; including as an indicator of the physiological response to social stress. However, across studies, the relationships between dominance rank, social behaviours and adrenal responses can be inconsistent. Differences in the relationship between rank and glucocorticoids may be due to the relative costs of social status, and the relative frequencies of social stressors and potential coping mechanisms. However, the differences in observed relationships between specific social behaviours and glucocorticoids may be partly explained by sampling frequency, as studies often use average fGCM concentrations collected over a period of weeks or months, rather than fGCM concentrations that are temporally-matched with behavioural data. In this study, we directly compared long-term average and temporally-matched data to determine whether particular social behaviours were related to adrenal activity in female Barbary macaques (Macaca sylvanus) at Trentham Monkey Forest, UK; and whether observed relationships were consistent using these two approaches. Average rates of autogrooming were positively correlated with average fGCM; however, this relationship was not robust in temporally-matched samples. Instead, specific social behaviours associated with agonism were associated with fGCM in temporally-matched samples within individuals. These results indicate that analyses of relationships using long-term average fGCM and temporally-matched samples do not necessarily provide comparable results, highlighting that study design is critical in determining associations between an individual's social behaviour and the relative physiological costs involved. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. Source

Yarnell K.,Nottingham Trent University | Hall C.,Nottingham Trent University | Royle C.,Nottingham Trent University | Walker S.L.,North of England Zoological Society
Physiology and Behavior | Year: 2015

The predominant housing system used for domestic horses is individual stabling; however, housing that limits social interaction and requires the horse to live in semi-isolation has been reported to be a concern for equine welfare. The aim of the current study was to compare behavioural and physiological responses of domestic horses in different types of housing design that provided varying levels of social contact. Horses (n. =. 16) were divided equally into four groups and exposed to each of four housing treatments for a period of five days per treatment in a randomized block design. The four housing treatments used were single housed no physical contact (SHNC), single housed semi-contact (SHSC), paired housed full contact (PHFC) and group housed full contact (GHFC). During each housing treatment, adrenal activity was recorded using non-invasive faecal corticosterone metabolite analysis (fGC). Thermal images of the eye were captured and eye temperature was assessed as a non-invasive measure of the stress response. Behavioural analysis of time budget was carried out and an ease of handling score was assigned to each horse in each treatment using video footage. SHNC horses had significantly higher (p. =. 0.01) concentrations of fGC and were significantly (p. =. 0.003) more difficult to handle compared to the other housing types. GHFC horses, although not significantly different, had numerically lower concentrations of fGC and were more compliant to handling when compared to all other housing treatments. Eye temperature was significantly (p. =. 0.0001) lower in the group housed treatment when compared to all other treatments. These results indicate that based on physiological and behavioural measures incorporating social contact into the housing design of domestic horses could improve the standard of domestic equine welfare. © 2015 Elsevier Inc. Source

Chartier L.,University of Oxford | Zimmermann A.,North of England Zoological Society | Zimmermann A.,University of Oxford | Ladle R.J.,University of Oxford
ORYX | Year: 2011

Human-elephant conflict in India, driven by habitat loss and an expanding human population, is a complex challenge for biodiversity conservation. Determining if, how and why this conflict has changed over time will be an important step towards managing landscapes where people and elephants Elephas maximus coexist. This study combines social surveys and remote sensing data to analyse patterns in human-elephant conflict and land-use change over time. The reported experience of conflict increased dramatically in the early 1980s, with 85% of those surveyed indicating that conflict began after 1980. The expansion of conflict showed a significant southward trend and was associated with forest cover dropping below 30-40%. Based on our results we propose that a critical habitat threshold for human-elephant conflict may exist at 30-40% forest cover. Below this level, conflict expanded across the landscape. The existence of such a deforestation threshold may have important implications for landscape management in elephant range states that seek to avoid or mitigate further conflict. Maintenance of remaining forest areas, reforestation, and the creation of habitat corridors are strategies that could help prevent further expansion of conflict. © 2011 Fauna & Flora International. Source

Rawson D.M.,University of Bedfordshire | Mcgregor Reid G.,North of England Zoological Society | Lloyd R.E.,UK Institute of Zoology
International Zoo Yearbook | Year: 2011

The conservation benefits of cryopreserving cells and tissues from species at risk are well illustrated in the case of fishes and amphibians. These are the most threatened vertebrate groups worldwide, with over 30% of species so far assessed being listed as threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Cryopreservation technologies now provide opportunities for the long-term storage in cryobanks of cells and tissues from these lower vertebrate taxa. Material maintained in cryobanks can be used to complement other in situ and ex situ conservation approaches. Cryobanks have been established in the United Kingdom for fishes and amphibians, drawing on specimens from zoos and aquariums, and also specimens collected in the field. Cryobanked material has to be of the highest quality to enable future exploitation in such areas as genomics, proteomics and managed breeding programmes. Currently, these cryobanks can hold viable sperm in the form of testes macerates, and material suitable for long-chain DNA mapping and cell-culturing, from somatic tissue and embryos. Successful cryobanking procedures are described here in detail. Viable oocytes and embryos have not yet been cryopreserved for fishes or amphibians. Hence, this is currently a key research area, which, if it delivers viable products for these taxa, would potentially bring major conservation and research benefits. © 2010 The Authors. International Zoo Yearbook © 2010 The Zoological Society of London. Source

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