Rotterdam Zoo

Rotterdam, Netherlands

Rotterdam Zoo

Rotterdam, Netherlands
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Hagedorn M.,Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute | Hagedorn M.,Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology | Carter V.,Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute | Carter V.,Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology | And 20 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Coral reefs are experiencing unprecedented degradation due to human activities, and protecting specific reef habitats may not stop this decline, because the most serious threats are global (i.e., climate change), not local. However, ex situ preservation practices can provide safeguards for coral reef conservation. Specifically, modern advances in cryobiology and genome banking could secure existing species and genetic diversity until genotypes can be introduced into rehabilitated habitats. We assessed the feasibility of recovering viable sperm and embryonic cells post-thaw from two coral species, Acropora palmata and Fungia scutaria that have diffferent evolutionary histories, ecological niches and reproductive strategies. In vitro fertilization (IVF) of conspecific eggs using fresh (control) spermatozoa revealed high levels of fertilization (>90% in A. palmata; >84% in F. scutaria; P>0.05) that were unaffected by tested sperm concentrations. A solution of 10% dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) at cooling rates of 20 to 30°C/min most successfully cryopreserved both A. palmata and F. scutaria spermatozoa and allowed producing developing larvae in vitro. IVF success under these conditions was 65% in A. palmata and 53% in F. scutaria on particular nights; however, on subsequent nights, the same process resulted in little or no IVF success. Thus, the window for optimal freezing of high quality spermatozoa was short (~5 h for one night each spawning cycle). Additionally, cryopreserved F. scutaria embryonic cells had~50% post-thaw viability as measured by intact membranes. Thus, despite some differences between species, coral spermatozoa and embryonic cells are viable after low temperature (-196°C) storage, preservation and thawing. Based on these results, we have begun systematically banking coral spermatozoa and embryonic cells on a large-scale as a support approach for preserving existing bio- and genetic diversity found in reef systems.


Erftemeijer P.L.A.,Deltares | Erftemeijer P.L.A.,Jacobs Engineering | Hagedorn M.,Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology | Hagedorn M.,Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute | And 3 more authors.
Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom | Year: 2012

The effect of increased levels of suspended sediment on fertilization success in the scleractinian coral Pectinia lactuca was investigated in a laboratory experiment following a mass coral spawning event on reefs off Singapore. Egg-sperm bundles were collected from tank-spawned coral colonies collected from the field several days prior to the anticipated mass spawning. Eggs and sperm from each colony were separated and distributed systematically across replicated treatments (N = 9) with three concentrations of fine suspended sediment. Spawning and embryo development in Pectinia lactuca followed a pattern similar to other scleractinian coral species. There was a significant effect of increased suspended sediment concentration on fertilization success (P < 0.05). Both high- (169 mg l-1) and medium- (43 mg l -1) suspended sediment treatments decreased fertilization success compared to controls. These results imply that increased turbidity levels (whether chronic, such as in the waters around Singapore, or short-term, caused by a dredging operation) when coinciding with the coral spawning season may affect the reproductive success of corals and compromise coral recruitment and recovery of degraded reefs. Copyright © Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 2012.


Tiedemann R.,University of Potsdam | Schneider A.R.R.,University of Potsdam | Havenstein K.,University of Potsdam | Blanck T.,Cuora Conservation Center | And 4 more authors.
Salamandra | Year: 2014

We isolated and characterized 16 new di and tetranucleotide micro satellite markers for the critically endangered Asian box turtle genus Cuora, focusing on the “Cuora trifasciata” species complex. Te new markers were then used to analyze genetic variability and divergence amongst five described species within this complex, namely C. aurocapitata (n = 18), C. cyclornata (n = 31), C. pani (n = 6), C. trifasciata (n = 58), and C. zhoui (n = 7). Our results support the view that all five species represent valid taxa. Within two species (C. trifasciata and C. cyclornata), two distinct morphotypes were corroborated by microsatellite divergence. For three individuals, morphologically identified as being of hybrid origin, the hybrid status was confirmed by our genetic analysis. Our results confrm the controversial species (Cuora aurocapitata, C. cyclornata) and subspecies/morphotypes (C. cyclornata meieri, C. trifasciata cf. trifasciata) to be genetically distinct, which has critical implications for conservation strategies. © 2014 Deutsche Gesellschaf für Herpetologie und Terrarienkunde e.V. (DGHT), Mannheim, Germany.


Siegenthaler A.,Wageningen University | Niemantsverdriet P.R.W.,Rotterdam Zoo | Laterveer M.,Rotterdam Zoo | Heitkonig I.M.A.,Wageningen University
Journal of Fish Biology | Year: 2016

This experimental study focused on the possible deterrent effect of permanent magnets on adult sandbar sharks Carcharhinus plumbeus. Results showed that the presence of a magnetic field significantly reduced the number of approaches of conditioned C. plumbeus towards a target indicating that adult C. plumbeus can be deterred by strong magnetic fields. These data, therefore, confirm that the use of magnetic devices to reduce shark by-catch is a promising avenue. © 2016 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles


PubMed | Wageningen University and Rotterdam Zoo
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of fish biology | Year: 2016

This experimental study focused on the possible deterrent effect of permanent magnets on adult sandbar sharks Carcharhinus plumbeus. Results showed that the presence of a magnetic field significantly reduced the number of approaches of conditioned C. plumbeus towards a target indicating that adult C. plumbeus can be deterred by strong magnetic fields. These data, therefore, confirm that the use of magnetic devices to reduce shark by-catch is a promising avenue.


The Egyptian tortoise Testudo kleinmanni (Family Testudinidae) is a small-sized tortoise with a carapace length of up to 140mm that inhabits an arid to semi-arid range extending over the coastal regions of Egypt and Libya, and some interior desert areas of Israel. The species is almost completely herbivorous. Population sizes have been under severe pressure for decades. Causes of the decline are overgrazing by cattle, intensification of agriculture and overcollecting for the international pet trade. In Egypt the species is virtually extinct. Since 2000, the breeding programmes of both the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria and the European Studbook Foundation have been coordinated. In the northern Sinai desert, a recovery project has been established, supported by the local Sweirki Bedouin tribe and coordinated by Nature Conservation Egypt. Linking the in situ project to the ex situ breeding programmes forms the basis for the conservation and recovery of the Egyptian tortoise in Egypt. © 2014 The Zoological Society of London.


Schaftenaar W.,Rotterdam Zoo | Schaftenaar W.,Erasmus Medical Center | Van Leeuwen J.P.T.M.,Rotterdam Zoo
Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine | Year: 2015

In order to prevent metabolic bone disease in growing captive-bred marabou storks (Leptoptilos crumeniferus), three hatchlings were exposed twice a day for 30 min each time to ultraviolet-B (UVB) radiation. During their first 35 days of life, body weights were monitored weekly, and blood was collected to determine total calcium, phosphorus, 25(OH)cholecalciferol, and 1.25(OH)2 cholecalciferol plasma levels. Data were compared with those obtained from two marabou stork nestlings that were raised before, without being exposed to UVB. These two birds developed metabolic bone disease, while the UVB-exposed birds developed into healthy adult animals. Plasma chemistry data obtained in this study demonstrate that nestling marabou storks produce vitamin D3 under the influence of UVB radiation. The absence of clinical metabolic bone disease in the nestlings that received UVB compared to the nestlings that were raised with the same diet without UVB radiation and that developed MBD demonstrates the importance of UVB radiation for normal development in this species. © Copyright 2015 by American Association of Zoo Veterinarians.


Schaftenaar W.,Rotterdam Zoo
Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine | Year: 2013

A 37-yr-old Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) started parturition after 640 days of pregnancy but no fetal parts entered the birth canal. Despite veterinary intervention, the calf was not delivered. After 13 mo calving resumed and a full-term dead calf advanced into and lodged within the vagina. With standing xylazine tranquilization, the dam received a vagino-vestibulotomy to permit total fetotomy of the calf, which presented with bilateral carpal arthrogryposis. Severe infection of the caudal vaginal vestibulum complicated wound healing, and over the following year two corrective surgeries were performed, which resolved the fistula 3 mo after the second debridement. The elephant not only survived the procedures but also resumed normal estrous cycles, as demonstrated by blood progesterone concentration monitoring. Copyright 2013 by American Association of Zoo Veterinarians.


Schaftenaar W.,Rotterdam Zoo | Reid C.,Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research | Martina B.,Erasmus Medical Center | Fickel J.,Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research | Osterhaus A.D.M.E.,Erasmus Medical Center
Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine | Year: 2010

Several different strains of elephant endotheliotropic herpes virus-1 (EEHV-1) have been identified via polymerase chain reaction (PCR) techniques in both African and Asian elephants. EEHV-1 has been identified in both cutaneous lesions in healthy African elephants and fatal cases of hemorrhagic syndrome in Asian elephants.6 However, until now, no EEHV-1 strain has been identified or associated with otherwise healthy Asian elephants. This article describes recurrent nonendothelial lesions associated with EEHV-1 infection in a herd of Asian elephants not exhibiting fatal hemorrhagic syndrome. Genotypes of EEHV-1 strains, based on viral DNA polymerase and glycoprotein B, associated with fatal hemorrhagic syndrome, were compared to those identified in nonendothelial lesions. The same EEHV-1 genotypes were identified in fatal cases and mucosal lesions in otherwise healthy Asian elephants in this herd. Further studies of the Asian elephant immune system and virologic studies to determine the triggers of tissue tropism are needed before any conclusion can be reached. Copyright 2010 by American Association of Zoo Veterinarians.


PubMed | Rotterdam Zoo
Type: Case Reports | Journal: Journal of zoo and wildlife medicine : official publication of the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians | Year: 2013

A 37-yr-old Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) started parturition after 640 days of pregnancy but no fetal parts entered the birth canal. Despite veterinary intervention, the calf was not delivered. After 13 mo calving resumed and a full-term dead calf advanced into and lodged within the vagina. With standing xylazine tranquilization, the dam received a vagino-vestibulotomy to permit total fetotomy of the calf, which presented with bilateral carpal arthrogryposis. Severe infection of the caudal vaginal vestibulum complicated wound healing, and over the following year two corrective surgeries were performed, which resolved the fistula 3 mo after the second debridement. The elephant not only survived the procedures but also resumed normal estrous cycles, as demonstrated by blood progesterone concentration monitoring.

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