• A Global Survey of Current Zoo Housing and Husbandry Practices for Fossa: A Preliminary Review

      Harley, Jessica J; orcid: 0000-0002-9355-9641; O’Hara, Lisa; email: education@taytopark.ie; Rose, Paul E.; orcid: 0000-0002-5375-8267; email: p.rose@exeter.ac.uk (MDPI, 2021-07-20)
      The fossa is a specialized Malagasy carnivore housed in ex situ facilities since the late 19th century. Moderate breeding success has occurred since the 1970s, and welfare issues (notably stereotypic pacing behaviour) are commonly documented. To understand challenges relating to fossa housing and husbandry (H) across global facilities and to identify areas of good practice that dovetail with available husbandry standards, a survey was distributed to ZIMS-registered zoos in 2017. Results showed that outdoor housing area and volume varied greatly across facilities, the majority of fossa expressed unnatural behaviours, with pacing behaviour the most frequently observed. All fossa received enrichment, and most had public access restricted to one or two sides of the enclosure. The majority of fossa were locked in/out as part of their daily management and forty-one percent of the fossa surveyed as breeding individuals bred at the zoo. Dense cover within an enclosure, restricted public viewing areas, a variable feeding schedule and limited view of another species from the fossa exhibit appear to reduce the risk of unnatural behavior being performed. The achievement of best practice fossa husbandry may be a challenge due to its specialized ecology, the limited wild information guiding captive care, and the range of housing dimensions and exhibit features provided by zoos that makes identification of standardized practices difficult. We recommended that holders evaluate how and when enrichment is provided and assess what they are providing for environmental complexity as well as consider how the public views their fossa.
    • A method for measuring robusticity in long bones

      Lewis, Stephen J.; Chester College of Higher Education (Oxbow Books (for the Osteoarchaeological Research Group), 1999-12-01)
      The robusticity of a long bone is usually determined by dividing its width at its mid-point by its lenght. Finding this mid-point can be cumbersome. Using two-dimensional radiographic (or photographic) images; it is possible to find the mid-point of a bone quickly and easily using the transparent overlay tool described.
    • ABO Blood Groups Do Not Predict Schistosoma mansoni Infection Profiles in Highly Endemic Villages of Uganda

      Francoeur, Rachel; Atuhaire, Alon; Arinaitwe, Moses; Adriko, Moses; Ajambo, Diana; Nankasi, Andrina; Babayan, Simon A.; Lamberton, Poppy H. L.; University of Glasgow; University of Chester; Ministry of Health, Uganda
      Schistosoma mansoni is a parasite which causes significant public-health issues, with over 240 mil-lion people infected globally. In Uganda alone, approximately 11.6 million people are affected. Despite over a decade of mass drug administration in this country, hyper-endemic hotspots persist, and individuals who are repeatedly heavily and rapidly reinfected are observed. Human blood-type antigens are known to play a role in the risk of infection for a variety of diseases, due to cross-reactivity between host antibodies and pathogenic antigens. There have been conflicting results on the effect of blood type on schistosomiasis infection and pathology. Moreover, the ef-fect of blood type as a potential intrinsic host factor on S. mansoni prevalence, intensity, clearance, and reinfection dynamics and on co-infection risk remains unknown. Therefore, the epidemio-logical link between host blood type and S. mansoni infection dynamics was assessed in three hyper-endemic communities in Uganda. Longitudinal data incorporating repeated pretreatment S. mansoni infection intensities and clearance rates were used to analyse associations between blood groups in school-aged children. Soil-transmitted helminth coinfection status and biometric parameters were incorporated in a generalised linear mixed regression model including age, gender, and body mass index (BMI), which have previously been established as significant factors influencing the prevalence and intensity of schistosomiasis. The analysis revealed no associations between blood type and S. mansoni prevalence, infection intensity, clearance, reinfection, or coinfection. Variations in infection profiles were significantly different between the villages, and egg burden significantly decreased with age. While blood type has proven to be a predictor of several diseases, the data collected in this study indicate that it does not play a significant role in S. mansoni infection burdens in these high-endemicity communities.
    • Activating KIR Haplotype Influences Clinical Outcome Following HLA-Matched Sibling Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation.

      Heatley, Susan L.; Mullighan, Charles G.; Doherty, Kathleen; O'Connor, Geraldine M.; Hahn, Uwe; Szer, Jeff; Schwarer, Anthony; Bradstock, Kenneth; Sullivan, Lucy C.; Bardy, Peter G.; et al. (Wiley, 2018-06-25)
      Natural killer cells are thought to influence the outcome of hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT), impacting on relapse, overall survival, graft versus host disease and the control of infection, in part through the complex interplay between the large and genetically diverse killer immunoglobulin-like receptor (KIR) family and their ligands. This study examined the relationship between KIR gene content and clinical outcomes including the control of opportunistic infections such as cytomegalovirus in the setting of human leucocyte antigen (HLA)-matched sibling HSCT in an Australian cohort. The presence of the KIR B haplotype which contain more activating receptors in the donor, in particular centromeric B haplotype genes (Cen-B), was associated with improved overall survival of patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) undergoing sibling HSCT and receiving myeloablative conditioning. Donor Cen-B haplotype was also associated with reduced acute graft versus host disease grades II-IV whereas donor telomeric-B haplotype was associated with decreased incidence of CMV reactivation. In contrast, we were not able to demonstrate a reduced rate of relapse when the donor had KIR Cen-B, however relapse with a donor Cen-A haplotype was a competing risk factor to poor overall survival. Here we show that the presence of donor activating KIR led to improved outcome for the patient, potentially through reduced relapse rates and decreased incidence of acute GvHD translating to improved overall survival.
    • Alpine ibex, Capra ibex, Linnaeus 1758

      Brambillla, Alice; Bassano, Bruno; Biebach, Iris; Bollmann, Kurt; Keller, Lukas; Toïgo, Carole; von Hardenberg, Achaz; University of Zurich; Gran Paradiso National Park; Swiss Federal Research Institute; Office National de la Chasse et de la Faune Sauvage; University of Chester (Springer, 2022-05-26)
      In this chapter we review the current status of knowledge about Alpine ibex Capra ibex. We cover taxonomy, systematics, distribution, habitat, genetics, life history, behaviour, parasites and disease, population ecology and conservation. We conclude examining the future challenges for research and management of this species.
    • Androgens in a female primate: relationships with reproductive status, age, dominance rank, fetal sex and secondary sexual color

      Setchell, Joanna M.; Smith, Tessa E.; Knapp, Leslie A.; Durham University; University of Chester; University of Cambridge (Elsevier, 2015-05-01)
      A comprehensive understanding of the role of androgens in reproduction, behavior andmorphology requires the examination of female, aswell as male, hormone profiles. However, we know far less about the biological significance of androgens in females than in males. We investigated the relationships between fecal androgen (immunoreactive testosterone) levels and reproductive status, age, dominance rank, fetal sex and a secondary sexual trait (facial color) in semi-free-ranging femalemandrills (Mandrillus sphinx), using samples collected from19 reproductively mature females over 13 months. Fecal androgens varied with reproductive status, being highest during gestation. Fecal androgens began to increase at 3 months of gestation, and peaked at 5 months. This pattern is more similar to that found in a platyrrhine than in other cercopithecine species, suggesting that such patterns are not necessarily phylogenetically constrained. Fecal androgens did not vary systematically with rank, in contrast to the relationship we have reported for male mandrills, and in line with sex differences in how rank is acquired and maintained. Offspring sex was unrelated to fecal androgens, either prior to conception or during gestation, contrasting with studies of other primate species. Mean facial color was positively related to mean fecal androgens across females, reflecting the same relationship inmalemandrills. However, the relationship between color and androgens was negative within females. Future studies of the relationship between female androgens and social behavior, reproduction and secondary sexual traits will help to elucidate the factors underlying the similarities and differences found between the sexes and among studies.
    • Animal Social Network Theory Can Help Wildlife Conservation

      Snijders, Lysanne; Blumstein, Daniel; Franks, Daniel Wayne; Stanley, Christina R.; University of Chester; Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries, Berlin; Wageningen University & Research; University of California; University of York (Elsevier, 2017-06-22)
      Many animals preferentially associate with certain other individuals. This social structuring can influence how populations respond to changes to their environment, thus making network analysis a promising technique for understanding, predicting and potentially manipulating population dynamics. Various network statistics can correlate with individual fitness components and key population-level processes, yet the logical role and formal application of animal social network theory for conservation and management have not been well articulated. We outline how understanding of direct and indirect relationships between animals can be profitably applied by wildlife managers and conservationists. By doing so, we aim to stimulate the development and implementation of practical tools for wildlife conservation and management and to inspire novel behavioral research in this field.
    • ANNING, Mary (1799-1847)

      Burek, Cynthia V.; University College Chester (Thoemmes Continuum, 2004-06-01)
      This dictionary entry discusses the life and work of British fossil hunter Mary Anning (1799-1847).
    • Anthropogenic influences on habitat use by African Houbaras Chlamydotis undulata on Lanzarote, Canary Islands

      Geary, Matthew; Cooper, Joseph R.; Collar, Nigel J.; University of Chester; BirdLife International (Elsevier, 2022-06-27)
      African Houbara Chlamydotis undulata is threatened in North Africa by unsustainable hunting and massive overuse of captive-bred birds to replace wild losses. A small population on the Canary Islands is protected from these threats, but the archipelago is economically dependent on tourism which has led to extensive land-use change, particularly close to the coasts. We investigated the drivers of houbara distribution and abundance in and around the large semi-desert El Jable region of northern Lanzarote in order to identify potential measures to conserve this important population. All houbaras seen during point counts in the centre of 30 tetrads (2 km ×2 km) were recorded, along with their location. We used negative binomial regression to evaluate the effects of land use and human activity on the abundance of birds at tetrad scale. At finer scale we used logistic regression to assess the effect of land use on the distribution of displaying males. We recorded 196 houbara sightings on our surveys, although only 10 males were observed displaying. Houbara abundance had a quadratic relationship with the proportion of huerta (agricultural gardens) in a tetrad. The distribution of male displays was positively related to the proportion of long-abandoned farmland within a 100 m radius of their display site. African Houbaras favour the vicinity of small-scale agriculture and abandoned farmland, but avoid areas with higher levels of human land-use. Reduction of extensive land-use change and disturbance in El Jable are key conservation measures.
    • Application of immunological methods for the detection of species adulteration in dairy products

      Hurley, Ian P.; Ireland, H. Elyse; Coleman, Robert C.; Williams, John H. H.; University College Chester (Wiley, 2004-10-20)
      A number of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) have been developed for the detection of milk adulteration in dairy products. Target antigens have been caseins, lactoglobulins, immunoglobulins and other whey proteins. Polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies have been used in a variety of formats including direct, indirect, competitive and sandwich ELISAs. ELISAs have been successfully applied to the detection of cows' milk adulteration of sheep, goat and buffalo milk. Goat milk adulteration of sheep milk has also been detected. A number of ELISAs have also been applied to cheese. It is recommended that ELISA should be used in combination with PCR to ensure compliance with current legislation.
    • Approaching the problem of defining 'health' and 'disease' from the perspectives of evolutionary psychology and Darwinian medicine

      Lewis, Stephen J.; Chester College of Higher Education (2001-09)
      Concepts of 'health' and 'disease' are of fundamental importance to ethical considerations regarding medical provision. Yet the terms have no clearly agreed definitions. In fact, the difficulty of defining health has led to most attention being given to defining disease instead. Here, two schools of thought have arisen: the 'naturalist' which argues that disease is an objective entity in itself and the 'normativist' which gives emphasis to the subjective nature of disease experience differing between cultures and through history. Respectively, these two schools characterize quantitative (or functional) and qualitative (or evaluative) views of disease. Although both schools offer important insights, they are essentially at odds. This poster outlines an approach that seeks to find a basis for a meeting (if not a unification) of these schools by adopting ideas and approaches from evolutionary psychology and Darwinian medicine. From the perspective of reproductive fitness, the question of whether health and disease can be said to exist as biological entities is addressed and the idea that all that matters is reproductivity is considered. It is suggested that attitudes regarding certain biological entities, such as physical or physiological states, serve adaptive functions. The suggestion is then made that, although open to social and cultural influence, attitudes towards and qualitative definitions of health and disease also have biological bases. Thus, it may be argued that evaluative definitions of disease have functional (evolutionary) bases, thereby linking the naturalist and normativist schools of thought. Important in this linkage, however, is acceptance of ideas from evolutionary psychology. The only discipline that currently unites the study of health and disease with that of evolutionary biology (including evolutionary psychology) is Darwinian medicine. It is within this discipline that new theoretical and evidence-based understanding of 'health' and 'disease' is likely to prove fruitful – in particular, in giving 'health' appropriately weighted attention.
    • Archibald Geikie: His influence on and support for the roles of female geologists

      Burek, Cynthia V.; University of Chester (Geological Society of London, 2019-06-19)
      This chapter explores the interaction between Archibald Geikie and female geologists in their many different roles and within the social context of his life time (1835-1924). The roles adopted by female geologists altered around 1875 due to a change in the educational and legal background. Geikie’s attitude to female fieldwork and research publications changes through time too. His life is divided up into 5 different stages according to his influence. Case studies of both single and married women are explored looking at the influence and interaction they had with Archibald Geikie. They include Maria Ogilvie Gordon, Catherine Raisin, Annie Greenly, Gertrude Elles, Ethel Skeat and Ethel Wood. Was one female role more acceptable to him than others? Geikie seems to accept most of the roles they undertook and he supported them wherever he could.
    • Assessing Risk Factors for Reproductive Failure and Associated Welfare Impacts in Elephants in European Zoos

      Hartley, Matt; University of Chester (European Association of Zoos and Aquaria, 2016-08-02)
      Reproductive failure in elephants is thought to be caused or influenced by a range of factors such as obesity, infectious disease, husbandry, facilities, stress, behaviour, maternal experience, herd size and social grouping. Due to the low reproductive activity of the small zoo elephant population, scientific study into the relative importance of these factors is limited. This study takes an epidemiological approach using risk analysis methodologies to collate information from expert opinion, data set analysis and a targeted questionnaire to identify and assess a range of physical, behavioural and husbandry based risk factors, which may affect reproductive success in elephants housed in European Zoos. Much of our knowledge on reproduction in zoo elephant populations originates from North America where there are significant differences in herd structure, management practices, climate and mean age. By combining multiple sources of evidence including a large survey of reproduction in the European elephant population and eliciting expert opinion from scientists, zoo managers, veterinarians and keepers working with European zoo elephants in a structured, transparent and scientifically recognised process it has been possible to identify the most important causes of reproductive failure and assess the influence of a range of potential confounding factors. Important causes of reproductive failure included lack of access to a compatible bull, herd stability and compatibility, allomothering or maternal experience, management practices at parturition and the impact of Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpes Virus. This work is to be used in the development of evidence-based elephant management and welfare recommendations and highlights priority areas for further research.
    • Assessing the behaviour, welfare and husbandry of mouse deer (Tragulus spp.) in European zoos

      Lemos de Figueiredo, Ricardo; Hartley, Matthew; Fletcher, Alison W; University of Chester; Yorkshire Wildlife Park
      Mouse deer are primitive, forest ungulates found in Asia and Africa. Both the lesser mouse deer (Tragulus javanicus) and the Philippine mouse deer (T. nigricans) are managed in European zoos, but inconsistent breeding success between institutions, high neonatal mortality and a general lack of research on their husbandry and behaviour were identified by the coordinators of the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP) and the European Studbook (ESB) for each species, respectively. This study is the first to provide a behavioural description for the Philippine mouse deer and to compile a detailed behavioural repertoire for both species. Our aim was to identify the effects of current husbandry and management practices on the reproduction, behaviour and welfare of zoo-housed mouse deer. Questionnaires on husbandry and management practices were sent to all institutions in the EEP and ESB for the lesser and Philippine mouse deer, respectively, and behavioural data were collected in 15 of these zoos. For the lesser mouse deer, results show a positive effect of vegetation cover on breeding success, foraging and moving behaviours. The provision of enrichment and presence of water ponds also positively affected these behaviours. The time that pairs spent in close proximity had a negative effect on breeding success, but animals in more vegetated enclosures spent less time in close proximity to each other. Results could be partially explained by the natural habitat of this usually solitary species being tropical forest, which provides local water sources and undergrowth for cover from predators. For the Philippine mouse deer there were differences in activity measures recorded between zoos, but the sample size was small with differences in training, enrichment and vegetation cover likely to have been important. In conclusion, since mouse deer inhabit overlapping male and female territories, the usual practice of housing breeding pairs together may be appropriate, but we suggest that they should be provided with opportunities to avoid each other in complex enclosures with ample vegetation cover to maximise their natural behavioural repertoire and breeding success.
    • Baseline Behavioral Data and Behavioral Correlates of Disturbance for the Lake Oku Clawed Frog (Xenopus longipes)

      Dias, Jemma E.; Ellis, Charlotte; Smith, Tessa E; Hosie, Charlotte A; Tapley, Benjamin; Michaels, Christopher J.; University of Chester; Zoological Sciety of London Outer Circle
      Animal behavior and welfare science can form the basis of zoo animal management. However, even basic behavioral data are lacking for the majority of amphibian species, and species-specific research is required to inform management. Our goal was to develop the first ethogram for the critically endangered frog Xenopus longipes through observation of a captive population of 24 frogs. The ethogram was applied to produce a diurnal activity budget and to measure the behavioral impact of a routine health check where frogs were restrained. In the activity budget, frogs spent the vast majority of time swimming, resting in small amounts of time devoted to feeding, foraging, breathing, and (in males) amplexus. Using linear mixed models, we found no effect of time of day or sex on baseline behavior, other than for breathing, which had a greater duration in females. Linear mixed models indicated significant effects of the health check on duration of swimming, resting, foraging, feeding, and breathing behaviors for all frogs. This indicates a welfare trade-off associated with veterinary monitoring and highlights the importance of non-invasive monitoring where possible, as well as providing candidates for behavioral monitoring of acute stress. This investigation has provided the first behavioral data for this species which can be applied to future research regarding husbandry and management practices.
    • Behavioural and physiological adaptations to low-temperature environments in the common frog, Rana temporaria

      Muir, Anna P.; Biek, Roman; Mable, Barbara K.; University of Chester; University of Glasgow (BioMed Central, 2014-05-23)
      Background: Extreme environments can impose strong ecological and evolutionary pressures at a local level. Ectotherms are particularly sensitive to low-temperature environments, which can result in a reduced activity period, slowed physiological processes and increased exposure to sub-zero temperatures. The aim of this study was to assess the behavioural and physiological responses that facilitate survival in low-temperature environments. In particular, we asked: 1) do high-altitude common frog (Rana temporaria) adults extend the time available for larval growth by breeding at lower temperatures than low-altitude individuals?; and 2) do tadpoles sampled from high-altitude sites differ physiologically from those from low-altitude sites, in terms of routine metabolic rate (RMR) and freeze tolerance? Breeding date was assessed as the first day of spawn observation and local temperature recorded for five, paired high- and low-altitude R. temporaria breeding sites in Scotland. Spawn was collected and tadpoles raised in a common laboratory environment, where RMR was measured as oxygen consumed using a closed respiratory tube system. Freeze tolerance was measured as survival following slow cooling to the point when all container water had frozen. Results: We found that breeding did not occur below 5°C at any site and there was no significant relationship between breeding temperature and altitude, leading to a delay in spawning of five days for every 100 m increase in altitude. The relationship between altitude and RMR varied by mountain but was lower for individuals sampled from high- than low-altitude sites within the three mountains with the highest high-altitude sites (≥900 m). In contrast, individuals sampled from low-altitudes survived freezing significantly better than those from high-altitudes, across all mountains. Conclusions: Our results suggest that adults at high-altitude do not show behavioural adaptations in terms of breeding at lower temperatures. However, tadpoles appear to have the potential to adapt physiologically to surviving at high-altitude via reduced RMR but without an increase in freeze tolerance. Therefore, survival at high-altitude may be facilitated by physiological mechanisms that permit faster growth rates, allowing completion of larval development within a shorter time period, alleviating the need for adaptations that extend the time available for larval growth.
    • Behavioural Indicators of Intra- and Inter-Specific Competition: Sheep Co-Grazing with Guanaco in the Patagonian Steppe

      Fernandez, Tomas; Lancaster, Alex; Moraga, Claudio A.; Radic-Schilling, Sergio; von Hardenberg, Achaz; Corti, Paulo; Universidad Austral de Chile; University of Chester; Fundacion CEQUA; Universidad de Magallanes (MDPI, 2021-11-22)
      In extensive livestock production, high densities may inhibit regulation processes, main- taining high levels of intraspecific competition over time. During competition, individuals typically modify their behaviours, particularly feeding and bite rates, which can therefore be used as indicators of competition. Over eight consecutive seasons, we investigated if variation in herd density, food availability, and the presence of a potential competitor, the guanaco (Lama guanicoe), was related with behavioural changes in domestic sheep in Chilean Patagonia. Focal sampling, instantaneous scan sampling, measures of bite and movement rates were used to quantify behavioural changes in domestic sheep. We found that food availability increased time spent feeding, while herd density was associated with an increase in vigilant behaviour and a decrease in bite rate, but only when food availability was low. Guanaco presence appeared to have no impact on sheep behaviour. Our results suggest that the observed behavioural changes in domestic sheep are more likely due to intraspecific competition rather than interspecific competition. Consideration of intraspecific competition where guanaco and sheep co-graze on pastures could allow management strategies to focus on herd density, according to rangeland carrying capacity.