Billings, MT, United States
Billings, MT, United States

Time filter

Source Type

Delsink A.K.,University of KwaZulu - Natal | Kirkpatrick J.,Science and Conservation Center | Van Altena J.J.,Global Supplies | Bertschinger H.J.,University of Pretoria | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine | Year: 2013

Opinions are divided as to whether human intervention to control elephant (Loxodonta africana) population growth is desirable, partly because of elephant welfare concerns. Female contraception through immunization with porcine zona pellucida (PZP) proteins is viable. The effects of sustained use and application of the PZP vaccine on elephant behavioral and spatial responses were examined by evaluating herd ranging, fission-fusion dynamics, association patterns, and reproductive and sexual behaviors. Minimal change was anticipated as a result of long calf dependence on and association with cows, a reduced but not indefinite 0% growth rate and the known mechanism of action of PZP vaccines, and minimal expected change in resource requirements necessitating behavioral or spatial use adaptations. Although behavioral effects identified in previous hormonal contraceptive trials were evident, it was demonstrated that immunocontraception caused no prolonged behavioral, social, or spatial changes over the 11-yr study period. Individually identified elephants were monitored from 1999 to 2011. Minimal, short-term social disruption, with temporary changes to the herds' core ranges, was observed during the annual treatment events, particularly in the first three treatment years, when vaccinations were conducted exclusively from the ground. Thereafter, when vaccinations were conducted aerially, minor disruptions were confined to the morning of administration only. Despite sustained treatments resulting in demographic changes of fewer calves being born, treatments did not alter spatial range use, and no adverse interherd-intraherd relations were observed. Similarly, resource requirements did not change as calving still occurred, although in fewer numbers. It was concluded that PZP immunocontraception has no detectable behavioral or social consequences in elephants over the course of 11 yr, providing a convincing argument for the use of sustained immunocontraception in the medium to long term as an important tool for elephant management. Behavioral consequences of alternative management approaches should all receive similar scrutiny to enable managers to make informed decisions when weighing management interventions. © Copyright 2013 by American Association of Zoo Veterinarians.


Duncan C.L.,Catalina Island Conservancy | Duncan C.L.,California State University, Fullerton | King J.L.,Catalina Island Conservancy | Kirkpatrick J.F.,Science and Conservation Center
Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine | Year: 2013

Prior to 2010, the introduced population of American bison (Bison bison) on Santa Catalina Island, California, was managed through the shipment of surplus bison to private ranches, Native American reservations, and livestock auctions on the mainland. In response to escalating costs, transport-induced stress to the animals, and ecologic impacts associated with high bison numbers on-island between shipments, the use of the immunocontraceptive vaccine porcine zona pellucida (PZP) as a fertility control option for managing the population was investigated. Between 2009 and 2012, a total of 64 bison cows (≥1 yr old) received primer inoculations of 100 μg PZP emulsified with 0.5 ml Freund's modified adjuvant (FMA) delivered through a combination of intramuscular injections by hand (50 bison cows) during roundups and via field darting (14 bison cows). Pre-rut booster inoculations of 100 μg PZP emulsified with 0.5 ml Freund's incomplete adjuvant (FIA) were administered exclusively via field darting in 2010, 2011, and 2012 to 45, 48, and 61 bison cows (≥1 yr old), respectively. During the present study, 38 adult cows (marked and unmarked) received one or more PZP inoculations during their first, second, or third trimesters of pregnancy, and of these individuals, 35 successfully produced calves. Low pregnancy values detected in the remaining three cows have been attributed to residual progesterone associated with unsuccessful fertilization. The 2010 pretreatment calving rate (calves born per cow) determined via direct observation was 67.4% (29 calves from 43 cows). Through the use of PZP, the calving rate was reduced to 10.4% by 2011 and to 3.3% by 2012. Considering the annual mortality rate of 2-5% documented during this study, the results demonstrate the potential of PZP use as an effective nonlethal tool for controlling population growth in free-ranging bison. © Copyright 2013 by American Association of Zoo Veterinarians.


Lyda R.O.,Science and Conservation Center | Frank K.M.,Science and Conservation Center | Wallace R.,Milwaukee County Zoo | Lamberski N.,San Diego Zoo Safari Park | Kirkpatrick J.F.,Science and Conservation Center
Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine | Year: 2013

Native porcine zona pellucida (PZP) immunocontraception has been used to inhibit fertility in more than 80 species of ungulates, although the duration of contraception efficacy varies among species in both Perissodactyla and Artiodactyla. This study examined anti-PZP antibody titers in Dall sheep and domestic goats at the Milwaukee County Zoo, and also Himalayan tahr and Armenian Mouflon sheep at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and, for comparison, Altai wapiti, lowland wisent, Javan banteng, and southern pudu at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, all were given a primer dose and booster dose of PZP. Of the San Diego Zoo Safari Park animals, the 4 comparison species demonstrated the typical 1-yr pattern of anti-PZP antibodies, whereas the Armenian sheep and Himalayan tahr showed prolonged (2-3 yr) antibody responses after a single primer and booster dose. The Dall sheep and domestic goats had significantly longer durations of antibody titers (3 yr) from a single year's treatment (primer plus booster). Analysis of the data indicates that Armenian sheep, Himalayan tahr, Dall sheep, and domestic goats have prolonged responses, and are more sensitive to PZP in that they produce a protracted antibody response. © Copyright 2013 by American Association of Zoo Veterinarians.

Loading Science and Conservation Center collaborators
Loading Science and Conservation Center collaborators