Reproductive Viability Analysis (RVA) as a new tool for ex situ population management

Many animal populations managed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plans® (SSPs) have low rates of reproductive success. It is critical that individuals recommended to breed are successful to achieve genetic and demographic goals set by the SSP. Identifying factors that impact reproductive success can inform managers on best practices and […]

Lessons from 30 years of population viability analysis of wildlife populations

Population viability analysis (PVA) has been used for three decades to assess threats and evaluate conservation options for wildlife populations. What has been learned from PVA on in situ populations are valuable lessons also for assessing and managing viability and sustainability of ex situ populations. The dynamics of individual populations are unpredictable, due to limited […]

Sexual recruitment of the corals Favia fragum and Agaricia humilis in a 30-m3 exhibit aquarium: species-specific limitations and implications on reproductive ecology

Abstract 10.1002/zoo.20120.abs We studied the recruitment of the Caribbean reef building corals Favia fragum (F. fragum) and Agaricia humilis(A. humilis) in captivity. Thirty colonies of each species collected in Curaçao, Netherlands Antilles, reproduced sexually during a temporary stay in a 30-m3 closed system from November 2001–January 2002. Twelve months later, the F1 generation of F. […]

Transportation techniques for massive scleractinian corals

Abstract 10.1002/zoo.10127.abs Transportation techniques for scleractinian corals have been described mainly for fragments and small colonies. As part of a recent study on captive sexual reproduction of the Caribbean species Montastrea annularis and Diploria strigosa, we transported relatively large (max. diameter of 21 cm), heavy (max. weight of 9,200 g) colonies of both species from […]

Impact of social management on reproductive, adrenal and behavioural activity in the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus)

Cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) held ex situ can provide an important resource for obtaining new biological information that usually cannot be gleaned from free-living individuals. However, consistent captive propagation of the cheetah, a prerequisite for establishing a self-sustaining population, has not been accomplished so far. This study examined the effect of a husbandry regimen commonly used […]

The causes of the low breeding success of european mink (Mustela lutreola) in captivity

High among-individual variation in mating success often causes problems in conservation breeding programs. This is also the case for critically endangered European mink and may jeopardize the long-term maintenance of the species’ genetic diversity under the European mink EEP Program. In this study, breeding success of wild and captive born European minks at Tallinn Zoological […]

Nutrition and health in amphibian husbandry

Amphibian biology is intricate, and there are many inter-related factors that need to be understood before establishing successful Conservation Breeding Programs (CBPs). Nutritional needs of amphibians are highly integrated with disease and their husbandry needs, and the diversity of developmental stages, natural habitats, and feeding strategies result in many different recommendations for proper care and […]

Effects of temporary captivity on ranging behaviour in urban red foxes (Vulpes vulpes)

Temporary removal of wild animals from a resident territory has the potential to markedly impact subsequent ranging behaviour, and may negatively affect post-release welfare and survival. Admission of sick or injured wildlife into temporary captivity (termed ‘rehabilitation’) is a common practice in the UK. However, post-release monitoring of rehabilitated animals is unusual or restricted to […]

Initial founders of captive populations are genetically representative of natural populations in critically endangered dusky gopher frogs, Lithobates sevosus

The rapid rate of decline in amphibian populations has urged many researchers and conservationists to establish captive, or ex situ, populations. Such populations are guarded against effects of habitat loss and degradation, and if actively managed, can serve as a reservoir for rare alleles that might be lost in the wild. Without proper management, ex […]