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Byrnes G.,University of California at Berkeley | Lim N.T.-L.,National University of Singapore | Yeong C.,Wildlife Reserves Singapore | Spence A.J.,Lane College
Journal of Mammalogy | Year: 2011

Fundamental differences could exist in the fitness-limiting resources between males and females; therefore, movement strategies might differ between the sexes. We used custom-designed animal-borne data loggers to record the locomotor behaviors of free-ranging Malayan colugos (Galeopterus variegatus). Locomotor behavior, and especially gliding, make up a very small percentage of a colugo's time budget. Furthermore, although glide distance is widely variable, most glides are much shorter than the maximum distance achievable. Males perform more glides and travel a greater distance each night than females. Females glide primarily to access foraging trees, but the greater distance traveled by males is from visiting trees to feed and transiting quickly among trees for other behaviors that include territorial defense and mate searching. This study recorded all locomotor behaviors for each animal during the sampling period and provides a starting point for the evaluation of hypotheses for the evolution of gliding and examining the differential effects of selective pressures between the sexes. The evidence suggests that ability to forage in a number of trees each night is an important aspect of the locomotor ecology of colugos and therefore could have played a role in the origins of gliding. © 2011 American Society of Mammalogists.


Mendenhall I.H.,National University of Singapore | Low D.,National University of Singapore | Neves E.S.,National University of Singapore | Anwar A.,Wildlife Reserves Singapore | And 4 more authors.
One Health | Year: 2016

Cross-species transmission can often lead to deleterious effects in incidental hosts. Parvoviruses have a wide host range and primarily infect members of the order Carnivora. Here we describe juvenile common palm civet cats (Paradoxurus musangus) that were brought to the Singapore zoo and fell ill while quarantined. The tissues of two individual civets that died tested PCR-positive for parvovirus infection. Phylogenetic analysis revealed this parvovirus strain falls in a basal position to a clade of CPV that have infected dogs in China and Uruguay, suggesting cross-species transmission from domestic to wild animals. Our analysis further identified these viruses as genotype CPV-2a that is enzootic in carnivores. The ubiquity of virus infection in multiple tissues suggests this virus is pathogenic to civet cats. Here we document the cross-species transmission from domestic dogs and cats to wild civet populations, highlighting the vulnerability of wildlife to infectious agents in companion animals. © 2016 The Authors


Yeo D.S.-Y.,Defence Medical and Environmental Research Institute | Lian J.E.,Nanyang Technological University | Fernandez C.J.,Agri Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore | Lin Y.-N.,Agri Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore | And 10 more authors.
Virology Journal | Year: 2013

Background: In 2001 and 2002, fatal myocarditis resulted in the sudden deaths of four, two adult and two juvenile, orang utans out of a cohort of 26 in the Singapore Zoological Gardens. Methods. Of the four orang utans that underwent post-mortem examination, virus isolation was performed from the tissue homogenates of the heart and lung obtained from the two juvenile orang utans in Vero cell cultures. The tissue culture fluid was examined using electron microscopy. Reverse transcription and polymerase chain reaction with Encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV)-specific primers targeting the gene regions of VP3/VP1 and 3D polymerase (3Dpol) confirmed the virus genus and species. The two EMCV isolates were sequenced and phylogenetic analyses of the virus genes performed. Serological testing on other animal species in the Singapore Zoological Gardens was also conducted. Results: Electron microscopy of the two EMCV isolates, designated Sing-M100-02 and Sing-M105-02, revealed spherical viral particles of about 20 to 30 nm, consistent with the size and morphology of members belonging to the family Picornaviridae. In addition, infected-Vero cells showed positive immunoflorescence staining with antiserum to EMCV. Sequencing of the viral genome showed that the two EMCV isolates were 99.9% identical at the nucleotide level, indicating a similar source of origin. When compared with existing EMCV sequences in the VP1 and 3Dpol gene regions, the nucleotide divergence were at a maximum of 38.8% and 23.6% respectively, while the amino acid divergence were at a maximum of 33.9% and 11.3% respectively. Phylogenetic analyses of VP1 and 3Dpol genes further grouped the Sing-M100-02 and Sing-M105-02 isolates to themselves, away from existing EMCV lineages. This strongly suggested that Sing-M100-02 and Sing-M105-02 isolates are highly divergent variants of EMCV. Apart from the two deceased orang utans, a serological survey conducted among other zoo animals showed that a number of other animal species had neutralizing antibodies to Sing-M105-02 isolate, indicating that the EMCV variant has a relatively wide host range. Conclusions: The etiological agent responsible for the fatal myocarditis cases among two of the four orang utans in the Singapore Zoological Gardens was a highly divergent variant of EMCV. This is the first report of an EMCV infection in Singapore and South East Asia. © 2013 Yeo et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Srivathsan A.,National University of Singapore | Srivathsan A.,Imperial College London | Sha J.C.M.,Wildlife Reserves Singapore | Vogler A.P.,Imperial College London | And 2 more authors.
Molecular Ecology Resources | Year: 2015

Faecal samples are of great value as a non-invasive means to gather information on the genetics, distribution, demography, diet and parasite infestation of endangered species. Direct shotgun sequencing of faecal DNA could give information on these simultaneously, but this approach is largely untested. Here, we used two faecal samples to characterize the diet of two red-shanked doucs langurs (Pygathrix nemaeus) that were fed known foliage, fruits, vegetables and cereals. Illumina HiSeq produced ~74 and 67 million paired reads for these samples, of which ~10 000 (0.014%) and ~44 000 (0.066%), respectively, were of chloroplast origin. Sequences were matched against a database of available chloroplast 'barcodes' for angiosperms. The results were compared with 'metabarcoding' using PCR amplification of the P6 loop of trnL. Metagenomics identified seven and nine of the likely 16 diet plants while six and five were identified by metabarcoding. Metabarcoding produced thousands of reads consistent with the known diet, but the barcodes were too short to identify several plant species to genus. Metagenomics utilized multiple, longer barcodes that combined had greater power of identification. However, rare diet items were not recovered. Read numbers for diet species in metagenomic and metabarcoding data were correlated, indicating that both are useful for determining relative sequence abundance. Metagenomic reads were uniformly distributed across the chloroplast genomes; thus, if chloroplast genomes were used as reference, the precision of identifications and species recovery would improve further. Metagenomics also recovered the host mitochondrial genome and numerous intestinal parasite sequences in addition to generating data useful for characterizing the microbiome. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Lloyd R.,University of Swansea | Sham N.,Wildlife Reserves Singapore
Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine | Year: 2014

Three silver arowana (Osteoglossum bicirrhosum) were presented with unstable fractures of the mandibular symphyses. Surgical repair was performed to reduce and stabilize the fractures using interfragmentary wire. The fish returned to light feeding at 2 days and normal feeding at 5 days postsurgery. The wires were removed at 6 wk postsurgery with good alignment of the mandibular symphyses and stable fracture sites. There had been no further complications at the time of writing 18 wk postsurgery. © Copyright 2014 by American Association of Zoo Veterinarians.


Sha J.,Wildlife Reserves Singapore | Han S.,Nanyang Technological University | Marlena D.,Singapore Zoo | Kee J.,Singapore Zoo
Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science | Year: 2012

Four food-based enrichment devices were used to test the effects of single-use and group-use enrichment devices on stereotypy, intragroup aggression, and affiliation in a compatible group of 5 squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus). All enrichment devices were found to reduce overall stereotypic behavior from baseline levels (without enrichment). The occurrence of stereotypic behavior differed between individual squirrel monkeys with an adult female showing the highest level of stereotypic behavior. This individual also showed the highest usage of enrichment devices, and stereotypic behavior was significantly reduced when enrichment was applied. The occurrence of stereotypic behavior did not differ significantly between single-use and group-use enrichment treatments. Higher intragroup aggression and lower affiliation were observed during the provision of enrichment compared with baseline levels. However, aggressive behavior was higher and affiliation lower during single-use enrichment compared with group-use enrichment. The results of this study showed that enrichment had positive effects on alleviating stereotypic behavior in a group of zoo-housed squirrel monkeys and such effects were similar when group-use and single-use enrichment devices were used, but with variations between individuals. The application of enrichment, particularly single-use enrichment devices, elicited higher levels of aggression within the group and lower affiliation. Such effects could curtail the benefits of original enrichment goals as higher intragroup aggression could lead to higher stress levels within the group. When food-based enrichment for social nonhuman primates is implemented, the most appropriate methods to alleviate undesirable behavior without additional negative effects such as increased group aggression should be considered. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.


Sha J.C.M.,Wildlife Reserves Singapore | Sha J.C.M.,Kyoto University | Hanya G.,Kyoto University
American Journal of Primatology | Year: 2013

We conducted observations of two neighboring groups of food-enhanced long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis) over a period of one year. We examined their diet, behavior, habitat use, and ranging and how within-population variability reflected differential utilization of anthropogenic food resources. The group that consumed more anthropogenic food spent less time feeding on wild fruits and flowers, less time resting, and more time locomoting. They used forest habitats less often, and had a larger total home range and mean monthly home range. Some of these results contrasted with previous studies of food-enhanced primates which reported that food-enhancement resulted in smaller home ranges, shorter daily ranges, less time traveling and feeding, and more time resting. These contrasting patterns may relate to the nature of anthropogenic foods. In most studies of food-enhanced primates, anthropogenic food resources were abundant and concentrated but the macaques in this study used anthropogenic foods mainly from a few refuse sites where they had limited access, and from dispersed and irregular human provisioning. The group consuming more anthropogenic food therefore showed more spatially dispersed feeding activity and home range use, an effect that was likely further enhanced by lower natural food resource availability within their home range. The Singapore macaque population shows small-scale variability in feeding and ranging behavior, contributing to the complexity of their adaptive variability in a human-altered habitat. Our findings could have important implications for mitigating human-macaque conflict as measures applied at a higher spatial or population level may achieve highly inconsistent results, intensifying the challenges for wildlife managers. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


PubMed | Wildlife Reserves Singapore
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of applied animal welfare science : JAAWS | Year: 2012

Four food-based enrichment devices were used to test the effects of single-use and group-use enrichment devices on stereotypy, intragroup aggression, and affiliation in a compatible group of 5 squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus). All enrichment devices were found to reduce overall stereotypic behavior from baseline levels (without enrichment). The occurrence of stereotypic behavior differed between individual squirrel monkeys with an adult female showing the highest level of stereotypic behavior. This individual also showed the highest usage of enrichment devices, and stereotypic behavior was significantly reduced when enrichment was applied. The occurrence of stereotypic behavior did not differ significantly between single-use and group-use enrichment treatments. Higher intragroup aggression and lower affiliation were observed during the provision of enrichment compared with baseline levels. However, aggressive behavior was higher and affiliation lower during single-use enrichment compared with group-use enrichment. The results of this study showed that enrichment had positive effects on alleviating stereotypic behavior in a group of zoo-housed squirrel monkeys and such effects were similar when group-use and single-use enrichment devices were used, but with variations between individuals. The application of enrichment, particularly single-use enrichment devices, elicited higher levels of aggression within the group and lower affiliation. Such effects could curtail the benefits of original enrichment goals as higher intragroup aggression could lead to higher stress levels within the group. When food-based enrichment for social nonhuman primates is implemented, the most appropriate methods to alleviate undesirable behavior without additional negative effects such as increased group aggression should be considered.


PubMed | Wildlife Reserves Singapore
Type: Journal Article | Journal: American journal of primatology | Year: 2013

We conducted observations of two neighboring groups of food-enhanced long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis) over a period of one year. We examined their diet, behavior, habitat use, and ranging and how within-population variability reflected differential utilization of anthropogenic food resources. The group that consumed more anthropogenic food spent less time feeding on wild fruits and flowers, less time resting, and more time locomoting. They used forest habitats less often, and had a larger total home range and mean monthly home range. Some of these results contrasted with previous studies of food-enhanced primates which reported that food-enhancement resulted in smaller home ranges, shorter daily ranges, less time traveling and feeding, and more time resting. These contrasting patterns may relate to the nature of anthropogenic foods. In most studies of food-enhanced primates, anthropogenic food resources were abundant and concentrated but the macaques in this study used anthropogenic foods mainly from a few refuse sites where they had limited access, and from dispersed and irregular human provisioning. The group consuming more anthropogenic food therefore showed more spatially dispersed feeding activity and home range use, an effect that was likely further enhanced by lower natural food resource availability within their home range. The Singapore macaque population shows small-scale variability in feeding and ranging behavior, contributing to the complexity of their adaptive variability in a human-altered habitat. Our findings could have important implications for mitigating human-macaque conflict as measures applied at a higher spatial or population level may achieve highly inconsistent results, intensifying the challenges for wildlife managers.

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