The Wilds

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

The Wilds

Vermilion-on-the-Lake, OH, United States
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Pitt A.L.,Trinity College at Hartford | Shinskie J.L.,Bloomsburg University | Tavano J.J.,Bloomsburg University | Hartzell S.M.,Bloomsburg University | And 2 more authors.
Freshwater Biology | Year: 2017

Freshwater species are declining rapidly but more complete data are needed for determining the extent and cause(s) of population declines and extirpations. Integrating newer survey techniques, freely available data, and traditional field work may allow for more effective assessment of population decline. We used detailed historical species records and environmental DNA (eDNA) survey methods to identify changes in population distribution of a long-lived, imperiled stream salamander, the eastern hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis alleganiensis: Cryptobranchidae). We used logistic regression with Bayesian inference to test whether selected environmental variables may be good predictors of hellbender population persistence and extirpation. Hellbenders persisted in only 42% of the 24 historical record sites. The best fit model indicated electrical conductivity (EC) was the strongest predictor of hellbender population persistence (EC < 278 μS/cm) and extirpation. Conductivity was strongly negatively correlated with canopy cover within the total watershed (r = −0.83, n = 21, p < 0.001) and riparian buffer of the watershed (r = −0.77, n = 21, p < 0.001). Electrical conductivity tends to increase following deforestation, and may inhibit sperm motility and thus limit recruitment of hellbenders and other aquatic vertebrate species with external fertilisation. By integrating historical data, eDNA, field data, and freely available high resolution remote sensing data, our study design allowed for rapid assessment of predictors of and changes in hellbender distribution over a relatively broad geographic area. This cost- and time-effective approach may be used for evaluating other rare aquatic species. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd


Gibbons P.,Texas A&M University | Love D.,The Wilds | Craig T.,Texas A&M University | Budke C.,Texas A&M University
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 (50 mg/kg once a day for 5 days by mouth) or ponazuril (10 mg/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. © 2016 Elsevier B.V.


Swab R.M.,The Wilds | Lorenz N.,Ohio State University | Byrd S.,The Dawes Arboretum | Dick R.,Ohio State University
Ecological Engineering | Year: 2017

In the Appalachian region, coal mining has impacted 600,000. ha historically. While a return to forest would be a preferable postmining land use, due to the difficulty and higher costs of reforestation, many sites are reclaimed into non-native grasslands. The typical seed mix for these grasslands is low diversity and consists of exotic, cool season grasses and forbs. For this study, we combined several species in standard reclamation mixes with prairie species native to North America to create a higher diversity planting on three mine sites in southeastern Ohio. Vegetation and soil microbial properties were assessed within two years after site establishment. Results were encouraging. The mix that included native plants met reclamation standards of ground cover two years after planting, indicating these alternative mixes can be successful. The first year species richness and diversity were higher in native planted areas when compared with traditional, the second year they were equal between treatments. Soil beta-glucosidase activities tended to be lower or higher in the native planted areas, in contrast to soil organic matter, which was generally higher under native prairie mix. Microbial biomass, Actinobacteria, and gram negative bacteria estimated by ester-linked Fatty acid methyl esters occasionally appeared to be higher under native prairie mix indicating that the experimental mix may have a positive effect on soil microbial biomass after almost two years of establishment. Incorporating hardy native prairie plants into reclamation seed mixes can increase the value of the ecosystem for pollinators and wildlife, and potentially improve soil conditions more quickly than non-native plantings alone. © 2017 Elsevier B.V.


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.


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.


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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