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Singleton C.L.,Riverbanks Zoo and Garden | Norris A.M.,Riverbanks Zoo and Garden | Sauther M.L.,University of Colorado at Boulder | Cuozzo F.P.,University of North Dakota | Youssouf Jacky I.A.,University of Toliary
Folia Primatologica | Year: 2015

The health of 36 wild, free-ranging ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta) at the Bezà Mahafaly Special Reserve was assessed across 2 habitats of varied human impact: a reserve riverine gallery forest, and a degraded mixed dry deciduous and Alluaudia-dominated spiny forest. While there were no statistically significant differences in leukocyte count or differential between habitats, female lemurs in the reserve gallery forest had significantly higher percentages of monocytes and eosinophils than male lemurs in the gallery forest. Lemurs from the degraded spiny habitat had significantly higher mean packed cell volume, hematocrit, hemoglobin, total protein, blood urea nitrogen, chloride, ionized calcium and urine specific gravity than lemurs from the reserve gallery forest. These findings may reflect lower hydration levels in lemurs living in degraded habitat, providing evidence that environmental degradation has identifiable impacts on the physiology and health of wild, free-ranging ring-tailed lemurs living in nearby habitats. Given the greater evidence of human impact in the mixed dry deciduous/spiny forest habitat, a pattern seen throughout southern Madagascar, biomedical markers suggestive of decreased hydration can provide empirical data to inform new conservation policies facilitating the long-term survival of this lemur community. © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.

Lynch C.,Riverbanks Zoo and Garden | Lynch C.,Population Management Center | Snyder T.,Chicago Zoological Society
International Zoo Yearbook | Year: 2014

The sustainable management of zoological collections is the foundation for the successful implementation of institutional missions, enabling zoological facilities to meet all other programmatic objectives for conservation and public education. Yet the sustainability of many of the populations we manage and of our collections as a whole is in question. Evidence of the avian sustainability crisis is largely anecdotal but this is a growing area of research. Specific challenges to avian collection sustainability include both logistical and biological facets. Passerines are specifically important to our collections and are a taxon of high risk. One Species Survival Plan® (SSP), the Blue-grey tanager Thraupis episcopusSSP, has proposed a management strategy to address many of the sustainability challenges facing passerines. © 2013 The Zoological Society of London.

Herrick J.R.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign | Herrick J.R.,Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife | Campbell M.,Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife | Levens G.,Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife | And 12 more authors.
Biology of Reproduction | Year: 2010

Studies of in vitro fertilization (IVF) and sperm cryopreservation have been conducted in several small cat species, but virtually no data exist for black-footed cats (Felis nigripes) (BFCs) or sand cats (Felis margarita) (SCs). The objectives of this study were 1) to compare in vitro motility and acrosome status of fresh and cryopreserved (frozen in pellets on dry ice or in straws in liquid nitrogen vapor) BFC and SC spermatozoa cultured in feline-optimized culture medium (FOCM) or Ham F-10, 2) to assess ovarian responsiveness in BFCs and SCs following exogenous gonadotropin treatment and laparoscopic oocyte recovery, and 3) to evaluate the fertility of fresh and frozen-thawed spermatozoa from both species using homologous and heterologous (domestic cat oocytes) IVF in the two culture media. Motility and acrosomal integrity of fresh and frozen-thawed spermatozoa from BFCs and SCs were similar (P > 0.05) in both media during 6 h of culture. Although effects were more pronounced in SCs, cryopreservation in straws was superior (P < 0.05) to cryopreservation in pellets for both species. Gonadotropin stimulation produced ∼16 ovarian follicles per female, and >80% of recovered oocytes were of optimal (grade 1) quality. The BFC and SC spermatozoa fertilized 60.0%-79.4%of homologous and 37.7%-42.7% of heterologous oocytes in both culture media, with increased (P < 0.05) cleavage of homologous (SC) and heterologous (BFC and SC) oocytes in FOCM. These results provide the first information to date on the gamete biology of two imperiled cat species and further our capacity to apply reproductive technologies for their conservation. © 2010 by the Society for the Study of Reproduction, Inc.

Herrick J.R.,Urbana University | Herrick J.R.,Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife | Bond J.B.,Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife | Campbell M.,Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife | And 12 more authors.
General and Comparative Endocrinology | Year: 2010

Information regarding the reproductive biology of black-footed cats (BFC) and sand cats (SC) is extremely limited. Our objectives were to: (1) validate fecal hormone analysis (estrogens, E; progestagens, P; androgens, T) for noninvasive monitoring of gonadal activity; (2) characterize estrous cyclicity, ovulatory mechanisms, gestation, and seasonality; and (3) evaluate male reproductive activity via fecal androgen metabolites and ejaculate traits. In both species, the estrous cycle averaged 11-12 days. In BFC (n = 8), estrus lasted 2.2 ± 0.2 days with peak concentrations of E (2962.8 ± 166.3 ng/g feces) increasing 2.7-fold above basal concentrations. In SC (n = 6), peak concentrations of E (1669.9 ± 83.5 ng/g feces) during estrus (2.9 ± 0.2 days) were 4.0-fold higher than basal concentrations. Nonpregnant luteal phases occurred in 26.5% (26 of 98) of BFC estrous cycles, but were not observed in SC (0 of 109 cycles). In both species, P concentrations during pregnancy were elevated (32.3 ± 3.0 μg/g feces BFC; 8.5 ± 0.7 μg/g feces SC) ∼10-fold above basal concentrations. Fecal T concentrations in males averaged 3.1 ± 0.1 μg/g feces in BFC and 2.3 ± 0.0 μg/g feces in SC. Following electroejaculation, 200 to 250 μl of semen was collected containing 29.9 (BFC) to 36.5 (SC) × 10 6 spermatozoa with 40.4 (SC) to 46.8 (BFC)% normal morphology. All females exhibited estrous cycles during the study and spermatozoa were recovered from all males on every collection attempt, suggesting poor reproductive success in these species may not be due to physiological infertility. © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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