Advancing the science behind animal program sustainability: An overview of the special issue

Over the last ten years, zoos and aquariums around the world have been coming to grips with the “sustainability crisis” – the realization that most of our collaboratively managed animal populations are not viable for the long-term. Many initiatives have been launched at the regional, zoological association, program, and institutional levels to improve the long-term […]

Abiotic stressors and the conservation of social species

Human activities have profoundly changed the abiotic environment, which in many cases has resulted in the deterioration of natural ecosystems. This global problem requires collaborative efforts between scientific disciplines and between academics and wildlife managers if we are to preserve the remaining biodiversity. Here I discuss a potential application of behavioral ecology to the conservation […]

Quantifying the Shelter Rabbit Population: An Analysis of Massachusetts and Rhode Island Animal Shelters

Scholarly work on the nonhuman animal shelter population has widely focused on cats and dogs. As a result, little is known about the population dynamics of domestic rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) in shelters. The records from 4 companion animal shelters in Massachusetts and Rhode Island were analyzed to describe these dynamics. A majority of the rabbits […]

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 […]


Along the West Coast of Barbados a unique relationship has developed between endangered green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) and humans. Fishermen began inadvertently provisioning these foraging turtles with fish offal discarded from their boats. Although initially an indirect supplementation, this activity became a popular attraction for visitors. Subsequently, demand for this activity increased, and direct […]

Using behavioral observations and genetic markers to characterize the flexible reproductive system in an ex situ population of carmine bee-eaters (Merops n. nubicus)

Combining behavioral observations with population genetic analyses in ex situ populations can be used to evaluate factors that determine the success of a breeding program. Avian species living in a colony accrue reproductive benefits by taking advantage of multiple reproductive strategies. Growing evidence suggests that both extra pair fertilizations (EPFs) and intra-specific nest parasitism (ISNP) […]