3,232 research outputs found

    Diversity of selected toll-like receptor genes in cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) and African leopards (Panthera pardus pardus).

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    BackgroundThe growing world population amplifies the anthropogenic impact on wildlife globally. With shrinking habitats, wild populations are being pushed to co-exist in close proximity to humans, leading to an increased threat of infectious disease. Therefore, understanding the immune system of a species is key to assess its resilience in a changing environment. The innate immunity system (IIS) is the body’s first line of defense against pathogens. High variability in IIS-genes, such as the toll-like receptor (TLR) genes, appears to be associated with resistance to infectious diseases. However, few studies have investigated diversity in TLR genes in non-model organisms and drawn conclusions for the conservation of vulnerable species. Large predators are threatened globally, and their populations increasingly have been declining over the last decades. Big cats, such as leopards (Panthera pardus) and cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) are no exception to this trend and are listed as ‘vulnerable’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) including several subspecies, e.g., A. j. venaticus and P. p. melas, that already face extinction. To better understand vulnerability in terms of immune genetic diversity in the two sympatric occurring species, we compared selected TLR genes (TLR2, TLR4, TLR6 and TLR8) between modern African leopards (P. p. pardus) and Southern African cheetahs (A. j. jubatus). ResultsOur study supports the previously detected high genetic diversity in African leopards and confirms genetic impoverishment in Southern African cheetahs. Despite notable differences, both species share some haplotypic similarities in the investigated TLRs. Moreover, our historic cheetah samples from all five subspecies showed levels of genetic diversity comparable to modern African leopards. By including historic cheetahs and samples from all known subspecies, we put the observed IIS diversity into an evolutionary context.ConclusionThe genetic diversity in the investigated TLR genes in modern Southern African cheetahs and in historic cheetahs is low compared to African leopards. However, according to previous studies, the low immune genetic diversity might not yet affect the health of this cheetah subspecies. Compared to historic cheetah data and other subspecies, a more recent population decline might explain the observed genetic impoverishment of TLR genes in modern Southern African cheetahs.<br/

    Umjetno mlijeko za novorođenu siročad divljih životinja

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    Milk is a very complex nutrient and differs significantly between species. Monotreme and Marsupial milk contains only trace amounts of lactose, whereas in Eutherian species, lactose is the predominant saccharide. Within the Eutheria, the composition varies from 8.5% in Indian rhinoceros to 63.8% in Grey seal in concentration; from 0.3% in Indian rhinoceros to 9.3% in elephants in total fat; from 1.2% in Indian rhinoceros to 12.8% in Fin whale in total protein; and finally from 0.8% in Great panda to 6.5% in Indian rhinoceros in lactose. Milk components change during lactation and, especially in Marsupials, this should be considered in artificial feeding. Other factors to be taken into account are the amino acid panel, whey and casein fractions, iron and immunological components. In wildlife nursing, we often come across orphaned neonates that require artificial feeding. However, there are no specific formulas for each wildlife baby. The aim of this review is to compare which artificial milk replacer is best suited for selected species of wildlife neonates.Mlijeko je vrlo kompleksna hrana i znatno se razlikuje od vrste do vrste. Mlijeko jednootvora i tobolčara laktozu sadrži samo u tragovima, dok je u viših sisavaca ona prevladavajući ugljikohidrat. U viših sisavcima, koncentracija laktoze se kreće od: 8,5 % u indijskih nosoroga do 63,8 % u sivih tuljana. Ukupne masnoće kreću se od: 0,3 % u indijskih nosoroga do 9,3 % u slonova. Ukupne bjelančevine od 1,2 % u indijskih nosoroga do 12,8 % u kitova perajara i na kraju laktoza od 0,8 % u velikih panda do 6,5 % u indijskih nosoroga. Sastav mlijeka se tijekom laktacije mijenja, na što je posebno potrebno paziti prilikom hranjena tobolčara umjetnim mlijekom. Drugi čimbenici na koje je potrebno paziti su: panel aminokiselina, frakcije sirutke i kazeina, željezo i imunološke komponente. Kod skrbi za divlje životinje često pronalazimo novorođenu siročad koju je potrebno hraniti umjetnim mlijekom. Međutim, ne postoje posebne formule za svako mladunčedivlje životinje. Cilj je ovog preglednog rada bio usporediti koja je umjetna zamjena za mlijeko najprikladnija za novorođenčad divljih životinja određene vrste

    Biodiversity conservation and rural development: inseparable options for Protected Area management. A case study of four Nigerian national parks

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    The establishment and management of Protected Areas have become the cornerstones of biodiversity conservation strategies. However, efforts aimed to manage these areas have paid little or no attention to livelihoods and needs of the surrounding communities. Therefore, this study assesses the socio-economic predictors of the local people's needs and also establishes the link between biodiversity conservation and rural development. A survey of villages around four Nigerian national parks has been carried out to determine available infrastructural facilities, the facilities mostly desired by villagers and the socio-economic predictors of the local people's needs and their dependence on the national park resources. The selection of the study areas was performed through multi-stage random sampling, with a focus on villages within a 10-km radius of each national park boundaries. Primary data were collected from 1500 respondents in 106 local communities around four national parks, i.e. 22 around the Cross River National Park (CRNP), 22 around the Gashaka Gumti National Park (GGNP), 27 around the Kainji Lake National Park (KLNP), and 35 around the Old Oyo National Park (OONP). The collected data were analysed and presented descriptively, while logistic regression was used to identify the socio-demographic predictors of needs by local people. Results of the demographic characteristics show that there were more male respondents interviewed (73.2%) than female respondents (26.8%) in all four national parks. In all the four studied national parks, farming has a predominant occupation: CRNP (99.3%), GGNP (93.9%), KLNP (90.5%), and OONP (85.2%). The major number of respondents is married: CRNP (77.0%), GGNP (70.0%), KLNP (84.4%), and OONP (79.6%), and is within the age group of 15–25 years: CRNP (43.0%), GGNP (30.0%), KLNP (36.2%) and OONP (25.2%). All of the respondents interviewed in CRNP were Christians (100%), while the majority of respondents in GGNP (87.3%), KLNP (99.2%), and OONP (53.1%) were Muslims. In terms of educational qualifications, there was a high level of illiteracy among the people living around the studied national parks as most of the respondents in CRNP had primary (45.3%) and secondary education (32.7%). However, for the other three national parks, we demonstrated a higher percentage of non-formal education: GGNP (61.5%), KLNP (63.1%) and OONP (68.1%). The obtained results show that the study area is characterised by a lack of infrastructures, such as roads (96.4%), electricity (97.7%) and limited provision of service, such as medicine (91.1%), potable water (96.5%), and education services (86.6%). The majority of the interviewed respondents in communities around the national parks indicated the provision of health care centres (78.5%), boreholes/portable water (77.7%), roads (68.6%), the establishment of schools (59.7%) and employment (56.2%). Our results show that the communities' expectation was for basic infrastructures, such as the provision of potable water (77.5%), health care centres (78.5%), electricity (78.1%), and roads (68.9%). The logistic regression analysis indicated that the predictors of the respondents' infrastructural needs were gender (β = 0.068, p < 0.01), age (β = 0.032, p < 0.01), and education level (β = 0.047, p < 0.05). The study concludes that there is a need for the federal, state and local governments to provide the basic infrastructures in villages surrounding the studied national parks to reduce the pressure and over-dependence of the local people on the national park resources. The literacy campaign and conservation education should be taken to the grass-root because the majority of the local people are illiterates and live around biodiversity hotspots

    High-speed running quadruped robot with a multi-joint spine adopting a 1DoF closed-loop linkage

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    Improving the mobility of robots is an important goal for many real-world applications and implementing an animal-like spine structure in a quadruped robot is a promising approach to achieving high-speed running. This paper proposes a feline-like multi-joint spine adopting a one-degree-of-freedom closed-loop linkage for a quadruped robot to realize high-speed running. We theoretically prove that the proposed spine structure can realize 1.5 times the horizontal range of foot motion compared to a spine structure with a single joint. Experimental results demonstrate that a robot with the proposed spine structure achieves 1.4 times the horizontal range of motion and 1.9 times the speed of a robot with a single-joint spine structure

    Chronic lead intoxication in a jaguar (Panthera onca) shot with round lead pellets - case report

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    ABSTRACT Lead is a heavy metal and an important cause of acute or chronic toxicosis in humans, domestic, and wild animals. This report aims to describe a case of chronic lead poisoning in a jaguar (Panthera onca) kept under human care that was rescued from the wild environment. The animal was rescued in poor condition in 2004 and kept under human care at the Belo Horizonte Zoological Garden (Minas Gerais, Brazil) until 2020, when it presented with anorexia, vomiting and ataxia. Over the past years the animal had episodes of anemia and increased serum urea and creatinine. Radiography demonstrated 21 radiopaque projectiles on the right side of the face. At necropsy there were multiple projectiles surrounded by fibrous tissue in the subcutaneous of the right side of the face, fibrinous peritonitis, multiple gastric ulcers, and melena. The lead dosage was performed using the atomic absorption spectrometry technique using renal tissue collected at necropsy, with a result of 908 ppb (µg/kg). The findings of projectiles associated with the dosage of lead above the reference limits allow the diagnosis of chronic intoxication in this case

    Identification of Novel Feline Paramyxoviruses in Guignas (Leopardus guigna) from Chile

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    The family of paramyxoviruses has received growing attention as several new species have been identified recently, notably two different clusters in domestic cats, designated as feline morbillivirus (FeMV) and feline paramyxovirus (FPaV). Their phylogenetic origin and whether wild felids also harbor these viruses are currently unknown. Kidney samples from 35 guignas (Leopardus guigna), a wild felid from Chile, were investigated for paramyxoviruses using consensus-RT-PCR. In addition, thirteen serum samples of guignas were screened for the presence of FeMV-specific antibodies by an immunofluorescence assay (IFA). Viral RNA was detected in 31% of the kidney samples. Phylogenetic analyses revealed two well-supported clusters, related to isolates from domestic cats, rodents and bats. No significant histopathology changes were recorded in infected guignas. Serology identified two samples which were positive for FeMV-specific antibodies. Our study highlights the diversity of paramyxovirus infections in felids with special emphasis on guignas from Chile

    Spatial constraints and seasonal conditions but not poaching pressure are linked with elevated faecal glucocorticoid metabolite concentrations in white rhino

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    DATA AVAILABILTY : The data that support the findings of this study are available from the Science Manager at South African National Parks Mrs Judith Botha ([email protected]), upon reasonable request.CONTEXT : Due to considerable declines in African wildlife populations, most large African mammals are managed inside protected areas. Protected areas come in various sizes, and have different environmental features, climates and management strategies (i.e. ‘hands-on’ or ‘hands-off’) that can influence an animals’ homeostasis. White rhinos (Ceratotherium simum simum) are found almost exclusively within protected areas where population sizes are driven by natural factors and poaching pressures. AIMS : Our aim was to understand the effect of natural and anthropogenic factors on the adrenocortical response of white rhinos within three protected areas. Specifically, we wanted to understand how poaching pressure, protected area size (<500 km2), season (wet and dry) and rainfall patterns were responsible for driving adrenocortical activity in white rhino. METHODS : To understand the relationship between rhino adrenocortical responses and different environmental and anthropogenic stressors, we quantified glucocorticoid metabolites in faecal samples (fGCM) collected from four populations within three protected areas (i.e. two small parks, one big park) during the wet and dry seasons. KEY RESULTS : We found differences in seasonal fGCM concentrations, with a 42% increase during the dry season, and no differences in fGCM concentrations between the high and low poaching areas. Additionally, we found fGCM concentrations in samples from the small parks were respectively 38% and 42% higher than in samples from the large park during both the dry and wet seasons compared. CONCLUSIONS : Our results suggest that white rhinos may experience physiological stress in smaller parks, especially during the dry season when resources are limited. IMPLICATIONS : By mitigating stress associated with reduced access to resources and spatial constraints, managers may better promote the viability of large mammals in small protected areasThe South African National Parks.https://www.publish.csiro.au/WRhj2023Mammal Research Institut

    Fasted and furious? Considerations on the use of fasting days in large carnivore husbandry

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    Many large mammalian terrestrial carnivores do not hunt every day in their natural habitats, because given the right prey, they can gorge-feed more than their daily energy and nutrient requirements. At the same time, there is a tradition of exposing these species to one or several fasting days per week in zoos. In this study husbandry guidelines for large carnivores were surveyed, and feeding routines recorded in 44 European zoos. Husbandry guidelines did not suggest that fasting days should be preceded by gorge-feeding, and the most common practice observed at the zoos also did not include a gorge-feeding day prior to the fasting day. This raises the question why fasting days are implemented in zoo regimes in the first place. The observed practice of providing special enrichment on fasting days might stem from the impression that animals are not at ease when fasting after receiving a food portion basically corresponding to little more than their daily requirement on the day before, without a feeling of satiety related to gut distension. These current feeding regimes of zoo carnivores should be re-assessed. The combination of fasting days with preceding gorge-feeding, together with strenuous physical activity and cognitive challenges linked to the feeding event, might have the potential to mimic natural behaviours more closely than current practices. This should be investigated in future studies
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