Vermilion-on-the-Lake, OH, United States
Vermilion-on-the-Lake, OH, United States

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PubMed | University of California at Riverside, San Diego State University, The Wilds and University of California at Davis
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2016

Disturbance is a primary mechanism structuring ecological communities. However, human activity has the potential to alter the frequency and intensity of natural disturbance regimes, with subsequent effects on ecosystem processes. In Southern California, human development has led to increased fire frequency close to urban areas that can form a positive feedback with invasive plant spread. Understanding how abiotic and biotic factors structure post-fire plant communities is a critical component of post-fire management and restoration. In this study we considered a variety of mechanisms affecting post-fire vegetation recovery in Riversidean sage scrub. Comparing recently burned plots to unburned plots, we found that burning significantly reduced species richness and percent cover of exotic vegetation the first two years following a 100-hectare wildfire. Seed rain was higher in burned plots, with more native forb seeds, while unburned plots had more exotic grass seeds. Moreover, there were significant correlations between seed rain composition and plant cover composition the year prior and the year after. Collectively, this case study suggests that fire can alter community composition, but there was not compelling evidence of a vegetation-type conversion. Instead, the changes in the community composition were temporary and convergence in community composition was apparent within two years post-fire.


News Article | February 18, 2017
Site: hosted2.ap.org

(AP) — An Ohio zoo says a litter of six African painted dog puppies born in December can now be viewed by the public. The Columbus Zoo says the puppies from the endangered species have begun exploring publicly visible areas of the zoo's conservation center, The Wilds, in Cumberland, Ohio. Dan Beetem, director of animal management at The Wilds, says the puppies are the center's first successful litter of painted dogs. Beetem says the dogs' mother, Quinn, was an attentive caregiver after their birth, a rarity for first-time painted dog mothers. The Wilds says that painted dogs are one of Africa's most endangered species because of continued habitat loss, conflict with humans, and infectious disease.


Wynne Collins C.,Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute | Wynne Collins C.,University of Maryland University College | Songsasen N.S.,Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute | Vick M.M.,Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute | And 4 more authors.
Biology of Reproduction | Year: 2012

The ex situ population of the Przewalski's horse (Equus ferus przewalskii) is not self-sustaining (20% foaling rate), and the demography is skewed toward aging individuals with low gene diversity. We designed the present study to gain a better understanding of the reproductive biology of the Przewalski's mare and to determine whether age and gene diversity influenced reproductive function. Urine samples were collected 3-7 days/wk from 19 mares from May to September, and ultrasound examinations of follicular structures were performed 3 days/wk for 5 wk from May through July in nine individuals. A high proportion of mares exhibited abnormal (endocrine, 5 [26.3%] of 19; follicular, 2 [22.2%] of 9) or acyclic (endocrine, 4 [21.1%] of 19; follicular, 3 [33.3%] of 9) reproductive patterns. In four cyclic mares, estrous cycle length was 25.1 ± 1.2 days, with 12.2 ± 0.9 days of diestrus. Follicles in cyclic mares grew 1.2 ± 0.6 mm per day and ovulated after reaching 40.4 ± 8.9 mm. Mares with a high coefficient of inbreeding excreted reduced levels of mean urinary estrogens (r2=0.476, P < 0.05), but age had no significant impact on reproductive patterns in this population. Overall, these data suggest that longterm genetic management of this population is necessary to maintain reproductive fitness. © 2012 by the Society for the Study of Reproduction, Inc.


PubMed | The Wilds and Texas A&M University
Type: | Journal: Veterinary parasitology | Year: 2016

Coccidiosis is an important disease of young goats leading to weight loss, diarrhea, and death. In the USA, both ionophores and decoquinate are labeled for prevention of coccidia in goats. However, there are no drugs approved for treatment of clinical cases of coccidiosis in this species. Amprolium is labeled for treatment of coccidiosis in calves while ponazuril, a metabolite of toltrazuril, is labeled for treatment of equine protozoal myeloencephalitis. In this study, 150 young goats housed on concrete lots had fecal samples collected and McMaster fecal oocyst per gram counts performed at 0, 7, 14, and 21 days post-processing. Goats were randomly assigned to receive either amprolium (50mg/kg once a day for 5 days by mouth) or ponazuril (10mg/kg by mouth once) if they had fecal oocyst counts >5,000 per gram. Fecal samples were obtained and oocyst counts performed at days 7, 14, 21, and 28 after the cessation of treatment. Goats were weighed on days 0 and 21 post-processing. Seven goats were enrolled into the amprolium group and 8 into the ponazuril group. Both treatments resulted in decreased oocyst counts post-treatment compared to before treatment. There was no significant difference between fecal coccidian oocyst counts between goats in each group. There was no significant difference in body weight between goats in each group. This study showed that both amprolium and ponazuril were effective in decreasing fecal coccidia oocyst counts in this group of goats. Use of both drugs is currently extra-label in the USA.


Seeley K.E.,Ohio State University | D'Angelo M.,The Wilds | Gowins C.,The Wilds | Greathouse J.,The Wilds
Journal of Wildlife Diseases | Year: 2016

The eastern hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis alleganiensis) is a North American salamander species in decline throughout its range. Efforts to identify the causes of decline have included surveillance for the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), which has been associated with global amphibian population losses. We evaluated the prevalence of Bd in 42 hellbenders at four sites in West Virginia, US, from June to September 2013, using standard swab protocols and real-time PCR. Overall prevalence of Bd was 52% (22/42; 37.7-66.6%; 95% confidence interval). Prevalence was highest in individuals with body weight ≥695 g (χ2=7.2487, df=1, P=0.007), and was higher in montane sampling sites than lowland sites (t=−2.4599, df=44, P=0.02). While increased prevalence in montane sampling sites was expected, increased prevalence in larger hellbenders was unexpected and hypothesized to be associated with greater surface area for infection or prolonged periods of exposure in older, larger hellbenders. Wild hellbenders have not been reported to display clinical disease associated with Bd; however, prevalence in the population is important information for evaluating reservoir status and risk to other species, and as a baseline for investigation in the face of an outbreak of clinical disease. © Wildlife Disease Association 2016.


Stoops M.A.,Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife | Atkinson M.W.,The Wilds | Blumer E.S.,The Wilds | Campbell M.K.,Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife | Roth T.L.,Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife
Theriogenology | Year: 2010

The objective was to identify an extender and cryoprotectant combination for Indian rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis) sperm that yielded high post-thaw sperm quality. Male Indian rhinoceroses (n = 6; 7.5-34 yr old) were anesthetized and subjected to a regimented electroejaculation procedure (75-100 mAmps; 4-10 volts; 7-150 stimuli; total of 10 electroejaculation procedures). High quality semen fractions from each ejaculate were divided into four aliquots and a 2 x 2 factorial design used to compare the effect of two sperm extenders (standard equine [EQ] and skim milk-egg-yolk-sugar [SMEY]), and two cryoprotectants (glycerol and dimethylsulfoxide [DMSO]). Cyropreserved samples were thawed and assessed for motility, viability and acrosome integrity over time. Electroejaculate fractions processed for cryopreservation had high sperm concentration (516 × 106/mL) and motility (79%). Post-thaw sperm characteristics were higher (P < 0.05) when semen was cryopreserved in EQ versus SMEY. Post-thaw motility of sperm cyropreserved in EQ averaged 50-55% compared to 22-37% in SMEY, with no significant differences in sperm characteristics of samples cyropreserved in glycerol and DMSO. In conclusion, sperm collected from Indian rhinoceroses via electroejaculation were cryopreserved using EQ extender with either glycerol or DMSO; post-thaw quality was adequate for use in assisted reproductive procedures. © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Schook M.W.,Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute | Wildt D.E.,Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute | Weiss R.B.,The Wilds | Wolfe B.A.,The Wilds | And 2 more authors.
Biology of Reproduction | Year: 2013

We studied the Persian onager (Equus hemionus onager), an endangered equid subspecies. The objective was to characterize endocrine patterns and ovarian follicular dynamics of females as well as seminal traits and sperm sensitivity to cryopreservation in males as a prerequisite to testing the feasibility of artificial insemination (AI). Urinary progesterone and estrogen metabolite profiles were determined by enzyme immunoassay in 11 females. Serial ultrasonography of ovarian activity was performed for 2 mo in a subset of four females. Females were seasonally polyestrous (June-November). Ovarian morphometry via ultrasonography and urinary progesterone profiles were more reflective of reproductive events than urinary estrogen patterns, and preovulatory follicle size was smaller than reported for other equid species. There was evidence for lactational suppression of estrus for up to 1.5 yr in nursing dams. Electroejaculation allowed recovery of highly motile sperm from 7, anesthetized males on 57% of occasions. Spermatozoa, including motility and acrosomal integrity, were resilient to freeze-thawing. Artificial insemination was successful in 2 of 3 females following detection of a dominant follicle and deslorelin administration, resulting in births of a healthy female and male foal by using fresh/chilled and frozen/thawed sperm, respectively. © 2013 by the Society for the Study of Reproduction, Inc.


Ter Beest J.M.,The Wilds | Schook M.W.,Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
Zoo Biology | Year: 2016

The endangered Persian onager (Equus hemionus onager) has experienced significant population declines over the past century due to poaching, habitat destruction, and resource competition. Remaining animals in zoos and the wild are regionally isolated. Artificial insemination (AI) may be particularly useful as a means of aiding in global genetic management of these isolated populations. The first successful AI in onagers was performed in 2009 utilizing urinary hormone analyses and regular transrectal ultrasound examinations that required specialized handling devices. A method for estrous synchronization in this species would alleviate the need for daily handling and provide a more feasible approach to AI. This study tested long-acting controlled-release preparations of estradiol and progesterone, followed by a single injection of prostaglandin 10 days later, in six adult female Persian onagers to determine whether ovulation would occur within a narrow window of time. Serial transrectal ultrasound exams were performed to determine the day of ovulation following hormone treatment. Means and standard deviations were determined for the lengths of follicular and luteal phases, follicle sizes, and time to ovulation, and compared to historical data in this species. All six onagers ovulated between Days 18 and 22, with three females ovulating on Day 19, as determined by the presence of a corpus luteum. This is an apparently safe and effective method for the synchronization of estrous cycles in the Persian onager, and may be used to develop a timed AI protocol for use at institutions that do not have specialized handling facilities to enable regular transrectal ultrasound. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


PubMed | Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and The Wilds
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Zoo biology | Year: 2016

The endangered Persian onager (Equus hemionus onager) has experienced significant population declines over the past century due to poaching, habitat destruction, and resource competition. Remaining animals in zoos and the wild are regionally isolated. Artificial insemination (AI) may be particularly useful as a means of aiding in global genetic management of these isolated populations. The first successful AI in onagers was performed in 2009 utilizing urinary hormone analyses and regular transrectal ultrasound examinations that required specialized handling devices. A method for estrous synchronization in this species would alleviate the need for daily handling and provide a more feasible approach to AI. This study tested long-acting controlled-release preparations of estradiol and progesterone, followed by a single injection of prostaglandin 10 days later, in six adult female Persian onagers to determine whether ovulation would occur within a narrow window of time. Serial transrectal ultrasound exams were performed to determine the day of ovulation following hormone treatment. Means and standard deviations were determined for the lengths of follicular and luteal phases, follicle sizes, and time to ovulation, and compared to historical data in this species. All six onagers ovulated between Days 18 and 22, with three females ovulating on Day 19, as determined by the presence of a corpus luteum. This is an apparently safe and effective method for the synchronization of estrous cycles in the Persian onager, and may be used to develop a timed AI protocol for use at institutions that do not have specialized handling facilities to enable regular transrectal ultrasound.


Poncelet D.M.,University of Akron | Cavender N.,The Wilds | Cutright T.J.,University of Akron | Senko J.M.,University of Akron
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment | Year: 2014

To assess the microbiological changes that occur during the maturation of overburden that has been disturbed by surface mining of coal, a surface mining-disturbed overburden unit in southeastern Ohio, USA was characterized. Overburden from the same unit that had been disturbed for 37 and 16 years were compared to undisturbed soil from the same region. Overburden and soil samples were collected as shallow subsurface cores from each subregion of the mined area (i.e., land 16 years and 37 years post-mining, and unmined land). Chemical and mineralogical characteristics of overburden samples were determined, as were microbial respiration rates. The composition of microbial communities associated with overburden and soil were determined using culture-independent, nucleic acid-based approaches. Chemical and mineralogical evaluation of overburden suggested that weathering of disturbed overburden gave rise to a setting with lower pH and more oxidized chemical constituents. Overburden-associated microbial biomass and respiration rates increased with time after overburden disturbance. Evaluation of 16S rRNA gene libraries that were produced by "next-generation" sequencing technology revealed that recently disturbed overburden contained an abundance of phylotypes attributable to sulfur-oxidizing Limnobacter spp., but with increasing time post-disturbance, overburden-associated microbial communities developed a structure similar to that of undisturbed soil, but retained characteristics of more recently disturbed overburden. Our results indicate that over time, the biogeochemical weathering of disturbed overburden leads to the development of geochemical conditions and microbial communities that approximate those of undisturbed soil, but that this transition is incomplete after 37 years of overburden maturation. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media.

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