Animal Welfare in Conservation Breeding: Applications and Challenges

Animal welfare and conservation breeding have overlapping and compatible goals that are occasionally divergent. Efforts to improve enclosures, provide enriching experiences, and address behavioral and physical needs further the causes of animal welfare in all zoo settings. However, by mitigating stress, increasing behavioral competence, and enhancing reproduction, health, and survival, conservation breeding programs must also […]

Use of molecular data in zoo and aquarium collection management: Benefits, challenges, and best practices

The global zoo and aquarium community widely recognizes that its animal collections and cooperative breeding programs are facing a sustainability crisis. It has become commonly accepted that numerous priority species cannot be maintained unless new management strategies are adopted. While molecular data have the potential to greatly improve management across a range of scenarios, they […]

Improving the sustainability of ex situ populations with mate choice

Many breeding programs managed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plans® (SSPs) are not meeting goals for population size and genetic diversity due to failure of recommended pairs to breed successfully. According to AZA Population Management Center analyses, as many as 80% of recommended breeding pairs fail to produce young before […]

Facility design and associated services for the study of amphibians

The role of facilities and associated services for amphibians has recently undergone diversification. Amphibians traditionally used as research models adjust well to captivity and thrive with established husbandry techniques. However, it is now necessary to maintain hundreds of novel amphibian species in captive breeding, conservation research, and biomedical research programs. These diverse species have a […]

Hormonal induction of spermiation, courting behavior and spawning in the southern bell frog, Litoria raniformis

Abstract We trialled the efficacy of various exogenous hormones to induce spermiation, courtship behavior, and spawning in the “endangered” southern bell frog, Litoria raniformis. Intralymphatic administration of Lucrin®, a synthetic nonapeptide luteinizing hormone releasing hormone (LHRH), was used successfully to induce courting behaviors and ejaculation of spermatozoa in males. Various hormones, including Lucrin®, another synthetic […]

Body size development of captive and free-ranging Leopard tortoises (Geochelone pardalis)

Abstract The growth and weight development of Leopard tortoise hatchings (Geochelone pardalis) kept at the Al Wabra Wildlife Preservation (AWWP), Qatar, was observed for more than four years, and compared to data in literature for free-ranging animals on body weight or carapace measurements. The results document a distinctively faster growth in the captive animals. Indications […]

Life span, reproductive output, and reproductive opportunity in captive Goeldi’s monkeys (Callimico goeldii)

Abstract 10.1002/zoo.20239.abs In the absence of long-term field studies, demographic and reproductive records from animals housed in zoos and research laboratories are a valuable tool for the study of life history variables relating to reproduction. In this study, we analyzed studbook records of more than 2,000 individuals born over a 40-year period (1965–2004) to describe […]

Learning from nature: bottlenose dolphin care and husbandry

Abstract 10.1002/zoo.20252.abs The world’s longest-running study of a wild dolphin population, operated by the Chicago Zoological Society since 1989, has focused on the multi-generational resident community of about 160 bottlenose dolphins in Sarasota Bay, Florida, since 1970. Observational and capture-release research on the biology, behavior, life history, ecology, and health of individually identifiable bay residents […]

Retrospective investigation of captive red wolf reproductive success in relation to age and inbreeding

Abstract 10.1002/zoo.20224.abs The critically endangered red wolf (Canis rufus) has been subject to a strictly managed captive breeding program for three decades. A retrospective demographic analysis of the captive population was performed based on data from the red wolf studbook. Data analyses revealed a decrease in the effective population size relative to the total population […]

Captive breeding and rearing of critically endangered Mauritius fodies Foudia rubra for reintroduction

Abstract 10.1002/zoo.20182.abs In-situ captive rearing of endangered passerines for reintroduction has rarely been used as a conservation tool. Nests of Mauritius fodies threatened with predation by introduced mammalian predators were harvested from the wild, and chicks were reared to independence for release onto an offshore, predator-free island. The daily probability of the survival was higher […]