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How do zoos thwart inadvertent adaptation to the captive environment? The relative efficacy of biotechnology to minimize adaptation to captivity has been variable, with sperm far more likely to be cryopreserved than ova, perhaps because oocytes are more sensitive to the disruption that can occur from freezing Williams and Hoffman These approaches, particularly if sperm are cryopreserved from wild populations and used to fertilize the eggs of captive females, are no panacea—sperm may not remain viable and larger numbers of sperm are required to fertilize ova, source populations may evolve between when the sperm was initially cryopreserved and fertilization of ova such that released offspring are not matched with the environment they are released in, and outbreeding depression may result if genetic divergence occurs between the source population and the population that is released Dylan Determining which phenotypic traits are most important to maintain will be challenging, but collaboration with researchers that conduct research on the focal or related species may provide useful insight.
Short-circuiting natural mating systems with captive breeding protocols One of the fundamental requirements of breeding an endangered species in captivity is to minimize inbreeding. To minimize the deleterious effects of inbreeding, especially in the small effective population sizes of zoo populations, managers of captive breeding programs preferentially breed individuals with the fewest close kin in the population.
The mating strategies each sex employs are adaptations to maximize Darwinian fitness and so reproductive failure should not be surprising when instituting a breeding protocol that does not allow aspects of the natural mating system of the species to be performed e.
Indeed, there is ample evidence from studies of both captive and natural populations suggesting that offspring quality is enhanced by sexual selection e. The need for natural behaviors to be expressed by captive wildlife has long been recognized reviewed in Wielebnowski ; McPhee and Carlstead , but only recently has the zoo community recognized that aspects of sexual selection [e.
In particular, it has been recognized that the genetic benefits of mate choice can improve reproductive outcomes in captive breeding programs Wedekind Although there is increasing interest in implementing mate choice and it has been discussed for various zoo-based breeding programs e.
Recent studies, however, have shown that integrating aspects of natural mating systems into supportive or captive breeding programs can enhance the productivity of these programs e. Nonetheless, despite the recent interest in mate choice, it is clear that integrating sexual selection into captive breeding programs must consider all aspects of sexual selection.
The use of mate choice to enhance outcomes is predicated on the assumption that mate choice is important in the mating system of the focal species. This may or may not be the case and any protocol that is used in which natural mating systems are integrated into captive breeding must have an understanding of what the natural mating system is in the wild.
For example, male—male competition in the form of combat or sperm competition may be integral to reproductive success, rather than mate choice. In some cases, field studies of endangered species are not possible, and so zoo managers may collaborate with researchers that study related species to develop experiments to determine whether better outcomes can be achieved than when using traditional captive breeding protocols.
Using a mate choice design e. These approaches would need to be balanced with the need to maintain effective population sizes in the face of a potential increase in variation in reproductive success. Expanding evolutionary perspectives in zoo population management Perhaps the greatest challenge faced by zoos and captive breeding programs is the mismatch between the environment in which the focal species has evolved and is adapted for, and the environment provided by the zoo.
Melatonin, photoperiod, and changes in latitude Translocating any species from its native range into captivity has a number of challenges, including the consequences associated with translocating an animal to a different latitude. For example, the housing of polar species in temperate zoos not only leads to these species experiencing a different climate assuming the species is housed outdoors but also a different photoperiod.
Over the course of a year, polar species are adapted for lengthy periods of complete to near darkness polar winter coupled with lengthy periods of light. Tropical species are adapted to equal periods of light and dark over the year. Photoperiod is tied to a number of hormonally mediated processes, and thus translocation from a locally adapted photoperiod may have effects on reproduction and health.
Reproductive physiology and health can be affected by changes in photoperiod through differences in melatonin levels in mammals. Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the mammalian pineal gland at increased levels in darkness that regulates circadian and circannual rhythms and functions especially as a seasonal clock regulating photoperiod-dependent systems, such as reproduction and behavior Morgan and Mercer Changes in the duration of melatonin secretion i.
Melatonin-related seasonality also triggers other physiological and morphological changes, such as coat condition, food intake, and body weight Morgan and Mercer Melatonin is involved in the regulation of numerous body functions, and alteration of melatonin levels and, therefore, circadian rhythms e. One consequence of these differences in photoperiod can be variation in melatonin secretion, especially in mammals.
Given the role of melatonin in regulating reproductive physiology and other aspects of health, one hypothesis that can be raised is whether examples of reproductive dysfunction found in some species may be the result of this mismatch in melatonin secretion dynamics. We know very little about the natural dynamics of melatonin secretion, whether populations are locally adapted to their photoperiod and associated melatonin secretion profiles and how this would be affected if they were exposed to different photoperiods.
The zoo literature divides species into long-day and short-day breeders e. It is clear that we know very little about variation in melatonin secretion and its effects on reproduction in captive zoo populations, but it would not be surprising if melatonin had a role to play in explaining reproductive dysfunction in some species. The degree of phenotypic plasticity in the response to melatonin secretion is also unknown, but we might expect that species with ranges that are limited to a specific latitude may be more susceptible to reproductive dysfunction as a result of translocation to a different latitude because of a higher degree of local adaption than a species with a broad range encompassing a wide latitude.
To date, there is no information in the scientific literature regarding the influence of photoperiod on melatonin levels in translocated wildlife species. Alterations in melatonin levels, and therefore, in circadian and circannual rhythms, can result in maladaptive patterns of reproduction and behavior, as well as long-term effects on overall health. Although extensive efforts are made to control lighting for species housed in indoor environments e.
Monitoring and supplementing melatonin levels may be a possible method for animal managers to regulate circadian and seasonal rhythms of translocated species to enhance reproduction and welfare. However, further research is required to develop a better understanding of the impact of changes in latitude on melatonin secretion and the potential benefits of therapeutic melatonin administration to captive breeding programs that are not sustainable.
Eradication of some disease-causing organisms can therefore have unforeseen consequences for the health of captive populations. Thus, the general approach of limited risk tolerance with respect to captive population husbandry Miller may have some important limitations.
The immune system is adapted to protect an individual from pathogens and parasites. Parasites are adapted to evade the defenses of the host immune system, and hosts evolve new defenses to prevent infection leading to coevolution between hosts and parasites. This hypothesis posits that the overemphasis on personal and public hygiene in Western society has lead to a rapid shift from the environment which humans are adapted for the hunter—gatherer environment to a modern lifestyle that includes intensive medical care.
This has lead to an environment devoid of many of the microorganisms and parasites that humans have coevolved with. For example, helminth infections were ubiquitous throughout human evolution, but are now rare in modern Western society Weinstock and Elliott There is some suggestion that gastrointestinal disorders, such as inflammatory bowel disease, may be the result of a dysfunctional immune system that is adapted for fighting helminth worms, but which does not encounter them Rook The anti-inflammatory properties of helminth worms are now recognized, and therapeutic use of selected species is being developed to treat a variety of inflammatory bowel conditions Weinstock and Elliott Many endangered species in captivity, especially those in breeding programs associated with reintroductions, are medicated, vaccinated, and protected from potential pathogens and parasites in an effort to maximize the outcomes for the captive population and avoid transmission of disease to the wild population.
Under these conditions, the immune systems of these species are no longer being exposed to the parasites and pathogens that they are adapted to deal with. Many chronic health conditions, especially those associated with inflammation, may be explained by these kinds of autoimmune effects.
Inflammation associated with the immune response and the gastrointestinal system may be one area in which autoimmunity may be involved in captive endangered species. Chronic inflammation can therefore be a serious health problem leading to a loss of functionality in many tissues e.
Captive populations may be at particular risk of chronic inflammation because of the interaction between stress and the immune system Mason Cancel Delete. Cancel Overwrite Save. Don't wait! Try Yumpu. Start using Yumpu now! Resources Blog Product changes Videos Magazines.
From into the filtering compartment then February to January , 23 overflowed into the pump and then specimens of Enhydrina schistosa 16 circulated through the two aquariums. The females, 7 males and 23 Hydrophis brookii aquariums were furnished with sand as a 13 females and 10 males were collected ground floor covering and stones and plastic from Songkhla Lake near Ban Khu Khut plants were included as hiding places.
Specimens temperature of the water was close to that of were housed in three aquariums at the Snake Songkhla Lake at The largest Unfortunately, none of the sea snakes aquarium measured x x 80 cm and collected for this study lived long in had a capacity of 1, liters of water.
The captivity. None ate any of the following fish two smaller aquariums measured x offered Anabas testudineus, Clarias x 80 cm and had capacities of liters of macrocephalus, Clarias garipinus, or water each.
The largest and one of the shrimp Macrobrachium lanchesteri. Many smaller aquariums were housed out of doors developed skin lesions and none survived in a shaded area and one of the smaller tank more than two months in captivity.
A fan was installed over the outdoor aquariums. They were trapped in Songkhla Lake.
Ten percent of transported and kept in aquariums at QSMI the artificial brackish water was changed snake farm on 24 September They every two weeks. A The first copulation of Hydrophis brookii was observed on 4 October at hrs. B The second copulation of Hydrophis brookii was observed on 9 October at hrs; female lower front , male upper back. C After union, the pair sank to the bottom of the aquarium.
D The second, introduced male finally succeeded in copulation with the female on 24 October at hrs. E Copulation of female uppermost and the second, introduced male seen coiled around the female. The first resident male can be seen swimming around the pair. F Autopsy of the mated female that died on 28 October revealed developing follicles, All photos by Lawan Chanhome.
He weighed The second male length was The first male had a snout to vent total length of What was observed from September 28 to October 28, The position to copulate with the female.
We are male swam around the female, and entwined not aware of any other observations of his body around her.