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 […]

Ghosts in Our Midst: Coming to Terms with Amphibian Extinctions

A global mass extinction of amphibians is well under way, driven both by habitat loss and by environmental changes. As amphibian communities in Central America are being decimated by chytrid disease, scientists are working to fashion an emergency response. They are also sending out an urgent warning about what the loss of these environmentally sensitive […]

Widespread amphibian extinctions from epidemic disease driven by global warming

As the Earth warms, many species are likely to disappear, often because of changing disease dynamics. Here we show that a recent mass extinction associated with pathogen outbreaks is tied to global warming. Seventeen years ago, in the mountains of Costa Rica, the Monteverde harlequin frog (Atelopus sp.) vanished along with the golden toad (Bufo […]

Evaluating recovery strategies for an ocelot () population in the united states

The ocelot Leopardus pardalis population in the United States was listed as endangered in 1982, with only two known isolated breeding populations occurring in southern Texas. Conservation concerns for ocelots include loss of dense thornshrub habitat, mortality from ocelot-vehicle collisions, and genetic erosion. In this study, we used a population viability analysis (PVA) to evaluate […]

Paleoenvironmental basis of cognitive evolution in great apes

A bias favoring tree-dominated habitats and ripe-fruit frugivory has persisted in great ape evolution since the early Miocene. This bias is indicated by fossil ape paleoenvironments, molar morphology, dental microwear, the geographic pattern of extinctions, and extant apes’ reliance on wooded settings. The ephemeral aspect of high-quality fruit has placed a premium on cognitive and […]

Interactions of target population size, population parameters, and program management on viability of captive populations

Abstract When established conservation programs expand and evolve, management practices may become inconsistent with program goals. In the past decade, the American Zoo and Aquarium Association expanded species conservation programs by increasing the number of Species Survival Plans (SSP) and establishing more than 300 new Population Management Plan (PMP) programs. However, limited space in captive […]

Preservation of an extinct species

Chronicle of a carnivore at the brink of extinction

The african wild ass conseration status in the horn of Africa

From 1989 to 1996, surveys were made in most of the historic range of African wild asses in Somalia, Ethiopia, and Eritrea. From the 1970s to the mid 1990s populations of African wild asses (Equus africanus, Fitzinger, 1857) in Somalia and Ethiopia have declined from approximately 6 to 30 per 100 km2 to 1 or […]

Role of Brazilian zoos in ex situ bird conservation: from 1981 to 2005

Zoos may play an important role in conservation when they maintain and breed large numbers of animals that are threatened with extinction. Bird conservation is in a privileged situation owing to the extensive biological information available about this class. Annual inventories produced by the “Sociedade de Zoológicos do Brasil” in the years 1981, 1990, 2000, […]