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East Lansing, MI, United States

Harrison T.M.,Michigan State University | Harrison S.H.,Potter Park Zoo | Harrison S.H.,North Carolina A&T State University | Sikarskie J.G.,Michigan State University | Armstrong D.,Henry Doorly Zoo
Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine | Year: 2014

The current feline vaccine with a single strain of calicivirus has been used for captive tigers, yet it may not protect against virulent systemic calicivirus infections. A cross-institutional study investigated the humoral response to a new dual-strain, killed-virus calicivirus vaccine for nine captive tigers. The subspecies of these tigers were Amur (Panthera tigris altaica), Bengal (Panthera tigris tigris), and Malayan (Panthera tigris jacksoni). Serum neutralization titers for virulent feline calicivirus strain FCV-DD1 were higher following dual-strain vaccine administration. There were no reports of adverse vaccine reactions. Dual-strain vaccination may afford broadened cross-protection against different calicivirus strains and is desirable to reduce the risk of virulent systemic calicivirus disease in tigers. © American Association of Zoo Veterinarians. Source

Bailey R.L.,Michigan State University | Bailey R.L.,Cornell University | Campa III H.,Michigan State University | Harrison T.M.,Potter Park Zoo
Herpetologica | Year: 2011

The Eastern Massasauga rattlesnake, Sistrurus catenatus catenatus, is a candidate for US federal listing and is legally protected in every state or province in which it occurs. Habitat degradation and human persecution have contributed to range-wide population declines. Survival estimates are essential for a thorough understanding of population dynamics, yet are rarely reported for S. c. catenatus in the peer-reviewed literature. There has been little research on massasauga survival in managed areas of Michigan, USA, the state considered to be the last S. c. catenatus stronghold. Our objectives were to estimate survival of massasaugas during the active season (May-October) in southwestern Lower Michigan and describe causes of mortality. We captured (mid-May to late August), radiomarked, and monitored 27 adult massasaugas in 2008 and 2009 and pooled data for analyses. We observed snakes throughout the active season and estimated survival (Mayfield method) for that period (11 May-29 October; 168 d). Cause-specific mortality was investigated qualitatively. Estimated survival probability for the active season was 0.9472 (CI = 0.8518-1.0000), higher than any estimate for similar studies of which we are aware. The single mortality event observed was caused by predation. We suggest that the high massasauga survivorship in this area might be attributable to habitat management for S. c. catenatus combined with a relative lack of infrastructure and human persecution. Our results suggest that adult S. c. catenatus survival is potentially geographically variable and can be high in areas not well-investigated, such as southwestern Lower Michigan. More research would yield long-term survival trends for the studied population as well as throughout their range. © 2011 The Herpetologists' League, Inc. Source

Vital M.,Michigan State University | Gao J.,Michigan State University | Rizzo M.,Michigan State University | Harrison T.,Potter Park Zoo | And 2 more authors.
ISME Journal | Year: 2015

Butyrate-producing bacteria have an important role in maintaining host health. They are well studied in human and medically associated animal models; however, much less is known for other Vertebrata. We investigated the butyrate-producing community in hindgut-fermenting Mammalia (n=38), Aves (n=8) and Reptilia (n=8) using a gene-targeted pyrosequencing approach of the terminal genes of the main butyrate-synthesis pathways, namely butyryl-CoA:acetate CoA-transferase (but) and butyrate kinase (buk). Most animals exhibit high gene abundances, and clear diet-specific signatures were detected with but genes significantly enriched in omnivores and herbivores compared with carnivores. But dominated the butyrate-producing community in these two groups, whereas buk was more abundant in many carnivorous animals. Clustering of protein sequences (5% cutoff) of the combined communities (but and buk) placed carnivores apart from other diet groups, except for noncarnivorous Carnivora, which clustered together with carnivores. The majority of clusters (but: 5141 and buk: 2924) did not show close relation to any reference sequences from public databases (identity <90%) demonstrating a large 'unknown diversity'. Each diet group had abundant signature taxa, where buk genes linked to Clostridium perfringens dominated in carnivores and but genes associated with Ruminococcaceae bacterium D16 were specific for herbivores and omnivores. Whereas 16S rRNA gene analysis showed similar overall patterns, it was unable to reveal communities at the same depth and resolution as the functional gene-targeted approach. This study demonstrates that butyrate producers are abundant across vertebrates exhibiting great functional redundancy and that diet is the primary determinant governing the composition of the butyrate-producing guild. © 2015 International Society for Microbial Ecology All rights reserved. Source

Bailey R.L.,Michigan State University | Bailey R.L.,Cornell University | Campa H.,Michigan State University | Harrison T.M.,Potter Park Zoo
Journal of Wildlife Management | Year: 2012

The eastern massasauga rattlesnake (Sistrurus catenatus catenatus) has experienced population declines throughout its range and is now a candidate for federal protection. However, little is known about massasauga habitat selection in Michigan, particularly in actively managed landscapes. Our objectives were to: 1) quantify whether massasaugas in southwestern Michigan select certain vegetation types disproportionately to their availability and 2) quantify whether the vegetation structure associated with snake locations differed between managed (e.g., burning, woody species removal) and unmanaged stands. We implanted radio transmitters in 51 snakes from 2004 to 2005 and 2008 to 2009. We quantified second-order resource selection using compositional analysis, and modeled the effect of habitat management efforts on vegetation using 4 structural variables. All snakes selected cover types disproportionately to their availability (P = 0.001); a ranking matrix ordered the vegetation types, from most to least used, as: early-mid successional deciduous wetland > early-mid successional deciduous upland > developed > late successional mixed lowland forest > late successional deciduous upland forest. We found that snakes in managed areas were associated with greater amounts of dead herbaceous cover (P = 0.005) and less woody stem density (P < 0.001) and tree dominance (P < 0.001) than were snakes in unmanaged areas; however, live herbaceous cover was comparable. Our results can be used by regional managers to provide early and mid successional habitat with structure similar to that selected by snakes in Michigan. © 2011 The Wildlife Society. Source

Schlanser J.R.,Potter Park Zoo | Agnew D.,Michigan State University | Paperd D.W.,Potter Park Zoo | Harrison T.M.,Potter Park Zoo
Journal of Veterinary Medical Science | Year: 2014

A 10-year-old male red panda presented acutely with symptoms of shock due to acute abdominal distress and respiratory compromise. Abdominal ultrasound confirmed a severely distended stomach for which passage of an orogastric tube for relief was unsuccessful. Intra-operatively, the stomach was found to be distended and torsed around its long axis supporting the diagnosis of Gastric dilitationvolvulus (GDV). The animal arrested and died intra-operatively and was submitted for necropsy with lesions supportive of the diagnosis of GDV. No risk factors for GDV were found to correlate between the panda and those described in domestic dogs. This case suggests that red pandas can be susceptible to this condition in captive settings. © 2014 The Japanese Society of Veterinary Science. Source

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