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Chaithep Poolkhet, Pornsri Chairatanayuth, Sukanya Thongratsakul, Suwicha Kasemsuwan, Theera Rukkwamsuk, Social network analysis used to assess the relationship between the spread of avian influenza and movement patterns of backyard chickens in Ratchaburi, Thailand, Research in Veterinary Science, Available online 23 March 2013, ISSN 0034-5288, 10.1016/j.rvsc.2013.02.016.
In this study, we describe the movement and trading patterns of the backyard chicken in Ratchaburi, Thailand by using social network analysis with egocentric approach. From questionnaire results, we found that there is a close relationship between chicken owners’ houses and fresh markets, and we concluded that this relationship needs attention from authorities to prevent future outbreaks of avian flu. Control measures should be applied over pathways to prevent and control highly pathogenic avian influenza subtype H5N1 in the backyard farming system. Results of our study may be useful to relevant authorities and researchers seeking to understand how H5N1 spreads in Ratchaburi. This may reflect on the spread of H5N1 throughout Thailand.

Rui Han, Qiuwen Chen, Koen Blanckaert, Weiming Li, Ruonan Li1
Fish (Spinibarbus hollandi) dynamics in relation to changing hydrological conditions. Physical modelling, individual-based numerical modelling, and case study
DOI: 10.1002/eco.1388

The paper reports the development of an individual-based fish dynamics model, which the key components are the rules for the movement of individual fish, and the definition of the habitat suitability. The distribution of the fish mainly depends on the flow conditions (velocity, depth, substrate), and life cycle of the fish. A major contribution is the refinement of the rules for fish movement, based on laboratory experiments under volitional swimming conditions, which also provided the ranges of preferential velocities and substrate size for the target fish, S. hollandi. Moreover, they provided data on the fish trajectories and distribution patterns that allowed for validation of the movement rules. The validated fish dynamics model was applied to investigate the effect of discharge increase during the dry season by means of reservoir operation in the Lijiang River, which was the subject of field investigations in 2007 and 2008. The model results indicated that reservoir operation leads to an increase of fish biomass. According to the fish movement rules, fish cannot always escape from riverbed regions that dry during decreasing discharge events, which causes them to get trapped and die. Reservoir operation decreases the area of dry riverbed, and reduces the travel distance for fish to escape from dry regions. Critical advantages of the individual fish model over global models defined on the population level are, that they can account for the time that the fish needs to reach a region of suitable habitat, and for the spatial pattern of suitable zones and their connectivity.

Márta Gácsi, Judit Vas, József Topál, Ádám Miklósi, Wolves do not join the dance: Sophisticated aggression control by adjusting to human social signals in dogs, Applied Animal Behaviour Science, Available online 24 March 2013, ISSN 0168-1591, 10.1016/j.applanim.2013.02.007.
In this study we aimed to investigate novel aspects of dogs’ comprehension of human social behaviours by revealing potential differences in the responses of wolves and dogs when they interact with a human in socially ambiguous situations.
In Experiment 1, pet dogs (N = 13) and hand-reared wolves (N = 13) encountered a stranger who approached them first in a friendly, then a threatening way, and finally switched back to friendliness again (Approaching stranger; AS) while the passive owner/caregiver was standing close to the subjects. In contrast to dogs, wolves avoided eye contact with both the caregiver and the stranger, however, only dogs showed aggressive displays towards the stranger.
In Experiment 2, the same subjects were tested in an Object guarding (OG) situation. A familiar woman, communicating the playful nature of the encounter, pretended to aim at taking away her belt-bag from the subjects trying to make them respond with guarding behaviour. Finally, she tried to take away the object without using dominant/threatening behaviour. During the Game episode some dogs and wolves showed guarding displays, but only dogs switched their responses twice and finally allowed the human take hold of the object. All dogs but none of the wolves gazed at the owner/caregiver during the test.
In Experiment 3, we tested trained Belgian shepherd dogs (N = 13) in AS, OG, and in a Food guarding (FG) situation. In FG a familiar woman challenged the subject to guard a bone by applying enticement but otherwise not communicating the playful/pretended nature of the encounter. Dogs displayed aggressive behaviours in all three situations as a response to the human’s behaviour. In AS they adjusted their behaviour from passive/friendly to aggressive and then friendly again, according to the switch in the human partner’s actions. In OG and FG situations, after showing aggressive guarding displays they allowed the human to take away the guarded object, both the bag and the food. A characteristic high-pitched vocalisation observed during both guarding situations, typically before the first aggressive display, could refer to the dogs’ ambivalent emotions. This suggests that the human’s challenging behaviour alone might be effective to evoke a simulated guarding behaviour. Our results support the view that dogs have advanced abilities and readiness to combine seemingly contradicting behaviour responses to respond to human behaviours or expectations, whilst even hand-reared and extensively socialised wolves tend to display less human centred behaviours and adjust their behaviours less to that of humans’ in interspecific situations.

Zootaxa 3635 (1): 1–14 (25 Mar. 2013)
A new species of Noblella (Anura: Craugastoridae) from the Amazonian Slopes of the Ecuadorian Andes with Comments on Noblella lochites (Lynch)

We describe a new species of Noblella from wet, montane forest at the Sardinayacu Lake Complex between 1600–1920 m elevation in Morona Santiago, Ecuador. The new species differs from congeners in having three phalanges in the fourth finger, finely tuberculate skin on the dorsal body, pointed digital tips with marginal grooves on the fingers, a yellow to pale yellow venter, and a reduced facial mask not extending beyond the arm. The new species also lacks the pair of inguinal spots on the dorsal flanks of most congeners. Since its discovery in 1976, N. lochites has remained poorly known. We describe variation, color in life, and basic ecology of N. lochites based on a large series from the Cordillera del Condor.

Zootaxa 3635 (1): 51–61 (25 Mar. 2013)
A new species of masked-owl (Aves: Strigiformes: Tytonidae) from Seram, Indonesia

We describe a new species of masked-owl from the lower montane forest of Seram, one of the largest islands in the Moluccas of eastern Indonesia, for which we propose the name Tyto almae (Seram Masked-Owl), sp. nov. Molecular (mitochondrial cyt-b) differences show that Tyto sororcula of Buru and Tanimbar is closely related to T. novaehollandiae of Australia and New Guinea (~1% uncorrected pairwise distance), and that Tyto almae of Seram differs by ~3% (uncorrected pairwise distance) from both of them. These differences are further corroborated by morphology and colouration. Although a photograph from Seram published in 1987 had already established the presence of a Tyto owl on the island, ours represents the first specimen of this species. . The bird was mist-netted in wet, mossy lower montane forest at an elevation of 1,350 m. No further observations of the owl were made during four weeks of fieldwork in Seram.

Zootaxa 3635 (1): 62–70 (25 Mar. 2013)
The identity of the cyprinid fishes Rasbora dusonensis and R. tornieri (Teleostei: Cyprinidae)

Rasbora dusonensis, R. tornieri and R. myersi are valid species. Rasbora dusonensis sensu Brittan (1954) is R. tornieri and R. dusonensis sensu Kottelat (1991) is R. myersi. Both R. dusonensis and R. tornieri are members of the R. argyrotaenia group and can be distinguished from congeners in having a broad, dark, sharply-defined midlateral stripe on body extending from opercle to caudal-fin base and separated from the dark dorsum by a highly contrasting light longitudinal area; 12–14 predorsal scales; the dorsohypural distance equal to or slightly less than the distance between the dorsal-fin origin and the posterior orbital margin and 14 circumpeduncular scale rows. The two species differ from each other by the color and color pattern on the caudal fin, and caudal peduncle depth.

Alexandra Scope, Ilse Schwendenwein, Günther Schauberger, Characterization and quantification of the influence of season and gender on plasma chemistries of Hermann’s tortoises (Testudo hermanni, Gmelin 1789), Research in Veterinary Science, Available online 25 March 2013, ISSN 0034-5288, 10.1016/j.rvsc.2013.02.017.
The present study is the first to monitor plasma chemistries of a group of 30 Hermann’s tortoises (HTs) over two summer seasons to characterize and quantify seasonal and gender-related influences. The following analytes were analyzed: ALT, ALP, AST, BA, CA, CHO, CK, LDH, GLU, GLDH, P, TP, TRIG, urea and uric acid. Two-way repeated-measures ANOVA, mean values, confidence intervals were calculated. The overall results showed distinct patterns and somewhat unexpected results concerning the plasma chemistry changes induced by season and gender in a majority of routine biochemical analytes. TRIG, CHO, CA, and P were significantly higher in females. AST, ALT, BA, LDH and GLDH showed an increase in males in midsummer. ALP showed a significant and analogous seasonal variation for both sexes. GLU showed a moderate increase during midsummer. Uric acid and urea concentrations showed a distinct seasonal variation. For some analytes, fitted curves could be calculated describing the seasonal variation.

Marc Naguib, Kees van Oers, Annika Braakhuis, Maaike Griffioen, Piet de Goede, Joseph R. Waas, Noise annoys: effects of noise on breeding great tits depend on personality but not on noise characteristics, Animal Behaviour, Available online 25 March 2013, ISSN 0003-3472, 10.1016/j.anbehav.2013.02.015.
Anthropogenic noise can have serious implications for animals, especially when they communicate acoustically. Yet, the impacts of noise may depend not only on noise characteristics but also on an individual’s coping style or personality. We tested whether noise is more disturbing if it masks communication signals, and whether characteristics of both the noise and the individual affect its impact. Using a unique population of personality-typed great tits, Parus major, we tested whether the kind of noise and parental personality affect parental nestbox visits and nestling begging. Nestboxes were exposed to automated noise playbacks, differing in spectral composition (noise masking begging calls, nonmasking noise or no noise). Parental nestbox visits were recorded using RFID transponders. Video and audio recordings were used to quantify nestling begging. Nestlings mainly begged in silence and in the presence of parents. Parents reduced nestbox visits during noise treatments regardless of the kind of noise and initially reacted more strongly to nonmasking noise. Moreover, slower explorers took longer to enter the nestbox during noise than faster explorers. Total visit rates during noise depended on parental sex and personality. In females, bolder individuals, but in males shyer individuals, reduced total visits during noise. These results extend previous findings in showing experimentally that the disturbance effects of noise do not depend on whether or not the noise directly interferes with information exchange by masking signals. Moreover, personality- and sex-specific responses to noise indicate that anthropogenic disturbance can differentially affect individuals within populations, which will influence mitigation strategies.

Sandro Bertolino, Nicola Cordero di Montezemolo, Aurelio Perrone, Habitat use of coexisting introduced eastern cottontail and native European hare, Mammalian Biology – Zeitschrift für Säugetierkunde, Available online 25 March 2013, ISSN 1616-5047, 10.1016/j.mambio.2013.02.002.
The niche of introduced species and that of native ones may overlap, thus causing detrimental effects on the latter through competitive interactions. We used radio telemetry to investigate habitat partitioning during the active period by the introduced American eastern cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus) and the native European hare (Lepus europaeus) in sympatric conditions. Home ranges of cottontails varied from 1.1–2.2 ha in autumn to 3.0–3.6 ha in summer. In hares, home ranges were 30.5–33.8 ha in summer and increased to 49.5–85.9 ha in winter. Both species used an overall area composed of about 27% of natural habitats (i.e., meadows, woodlands, shrubby habitats, shores, and uncultivated land) and over 70% of field crops. The coexistence of the two species appeared to be facilitated by habitat partitioning. Habitat use of cottontails was characterized by a preference for natural habitats at the study area level as well as within the home ranges, while hares showed a preference for crop fields at both spatial scales and a seasonal selection of meadows within home ranges. Habitat overlap measured with the Pianka index was 0.57–0.64 in autumn and winter, and increased in summer and spring to 0.73–0.78. Our results provide evidence of different resource selection strategies adopted by these two sympatric lagomorph species. Hare populations are often found in agricultural landscapes at low-densities, while cottontails are currently spreading throughout Northern Italy to such an extent that an eradication programme appears unfeasible. In this situation, conservation measures for hares and other species should also take into consideration the presence or possible arrival of cottontails. Habitat restoration measures that would increase the amount of fallow lands and shrublands may favour cottontails more than hares. In areas where introduced lagomorphs are present, the necessity of natural open landscapes for hares may be better faced by increasing the presence of meadows, that are seasonally used by hares and not by cottontails.

Reid, G. McG., Contreras MacBeath, T. and Csatádi, K. (2013), Global challenges in freshwater-fish conservation related to public aquariums and the aquarium industry. International Zoo Yearbook. doi: 10.1111/izy.12020
Fresh waters in lakes, ponds, rivers, estuaries and wetlands are only 0·3% of available global surface water yet support 47–53% (> 15 000) of all extant fish species. Freshwater fishes are globally valuable yet threatened everywhere through overfishing, pollution, habitat loss, damming, alien invasive species and climate change. Hence, they are in dire need of effective and sustained conservation action, including through zoo and aquarium programmes in the wild and ex situ. To address these challenges, zoo and aquarium staff need to be familiar with the substantial issues, develop greater expertise, and become better integrated in wider regional and global initiatives in freshwater-fish conservation and sustainability. Resolving diverse issues requires knowledge of the many different values in the conservation of freshwater fishes, including sustainable commercial fisheries and the aquarium trade. It is necessary to assess and mitigate threats to fish survival through research and monitoring. An improved conservation-orientated science of threatened fish species is also needed in terms of taxonomy and biology. From this, the implementation and dissemination of appropriate conservation policies, strategies and legislation can be developed. All these factors enable direct practical action for fish conservation, in conjunction with improved zoo education, training and public communication. Finally, review and evaluation of the efficacy of various conservation actions must be carried out in order to plan future undertakings.

Soanes, L. M., Arnould, J. P. Y., Dodd, S. G., Sumner, M. D., Green, J. A. (2013), How many seabirds do we need to track to define home-range area?. Journal of Applied Ecology. doi: 10.1111/1365-2664.12069
1. In recent years, marine predator and seabird tracking studies have become ever more popular. However, they are often conducted without first considering how many individuals should be tracked and for how long they should be tracked in order to make reliable predictions of a population’s home-range area.
2.Home-range area analysis of two seabird-tracking data sets was used to define the area of active use (where birds spent 100% of their time) and the core foraging area (where birds spent 50% of their time). Analysis was conducted on the first foraging trip undertaken by the birds and then the first two, three and four foraging trips combined. Appropriate asymptotic models were applied to the data, and the calculated home-range areas were plotted as a function of an increasing number of individuals and trips included in the sample. Data were extrapolated from these models to predict the area of active use and the core foraging area of the colonies sampled.
3. Significant variability was found in the home-range area predictions made by analysis of the first foraging trip and the first four foraging trips combined. For shags, the first foraging trip predicted a 56% smaller area of active use when compared to the predictions made by combining the first four foraging trips. For kittiwakes, a 43% smaller area was predicted when comparing the first foraging trip with the four combined trips.
4. The number of individuals that would be required to predict the home range area of the colony depends greatly on the number of trips included in the analysis. This analysis predicted that 39 (confidence interval 29–73) shags and 83 (CI: 109–161) kittiwakes would be required to predict 95% of the area of active use when the first four foraging trips are included in the sample compared with 135 (CI 96–156) shags and 248 (164–484) kittiwakes when only the first trip is included in the analysis.
5.Synthesis and applications. Seabird and marine mammal tracking studies are increasingly being used to aid the designation of marine conservation zones and to predict important foraging areas. We suggest that many studies may be underestimating the size of these foraging areas and that better estimates could be made by considering both the duration and number of data logger deployments. Researchers intending to draw conclusions from tracking data should conduct a similar analysis of their data as used in this study to determine the reliability of their home-range area predictions.

Nuria Varo-Cruz, Lucy A. Hawkes, Daniel Cejudo, Pedro López, Michael S. Coyne, Brendan J. Godley, Luis Felipe López-Jurado, Satellite tracking derived insights into migration and foraging strategies of male loggerhead turtles in the eastern Atlantic, Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, Volume 443, May 2013, Pages 134-140, ISSN 0022-0981, 10.1016/j.jembe.2013.02.046.
In recent years, information about the movements and timing of migration by male sea turtles has begun to be unraveled. Here, we present the first satellite tracking of male loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) in the eastern Atlantic. Satellite linked transmitters were attached to five adult males, captured in the near shore waters off Boavista, Republic of Cape Verde. This archipelago hosts the single most important breeding site of loggerhead turtles in the eastern Atlantic. Animals were tracked for periods ranging between 48 and 537 days, including a probable annual remigration to the vicinity of the nesting ground for one turtle. Males showed a variety of movement patterns both during and after the breeding season. Of three males that transmitted for 85, 329 and 537 days, two (the smallest) migrated east and remained in oceanic waters for the tracking period and another (larger turtle) migrated 810 km northeast, to neritic waters off the coast of Mauritania, Western Africa. Results suggest males may show the same size-linked dichotomy in migratory strategies, as has been shown for females from this population.

King, R. S., Trutwin, J. J., Hunter, T. S. and Varner, D. M. (2013), Effects of environmental stressors on nest success of introduced birds. The Journal of Wildlife Management. doi: 10.1002/jwmg.528
Understanding the influence of environmental stressors on daily nest survival of introduced birds is important because it can affect introduction success as well as the ability to evaluate introduction programs. For long-lived birds with low annual production, adjustment to local breeding conditions can take many years. We examined nest success rates of 2 introduced bird species, whooping crane (Grus americana) and trumpeter swan (Cygnus buccinator), in Wisconsin. Both species are long-lived with low annual reproductive rates. Trumpeter swans were established in our study area approximately 10 years before whooping cranes. We predicted that trumpeter swans would show less sensitivity to environmental stressors. We used daily nest survival rates (DNSRs) as our response variable to model several environmental parameters including weather, phenology, and ornithophilic black flies (Diptera: Simuliidae). Additionally, we examined the influence of captive history, age, release method, energetics, and nesting experience on whooping crane DNSRs. Daily nest survival of whooping cranes was the most sensitive to stressors. Trumpeter swan daily nest survival showed less sensitivity to the same stressors. Daily nest survival for both species peaked later in the nesting season, after 30 April and before 30 May. We also found that the daily nest survival rate (DNSR) for whooping cranes was potentially affected by captive exposure (measured by generations removed from the wild). Our results highlight the difficulties associated with conservation of long-lived birds with low annual productivity as they adjust to local breeding conditions and that nest phenology at the source location can determine how these conditions are interfaced. We recommend that the juxtaposition of source and introduction location nest phenology be considered prior to introduction site selection. Additionally, strategically selecting offspring from captive pairs with nest phenology similar to that of sympatric species at the introduction location should be considered. Published 2013. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

More ornamented females produce higher-quality offspring in a socially monogamous bird: an experimental study in the great tit (Parus major)
Reme¿ V, Matysioková B
Frontiers in Zoology 2013

Animals are often conspicuously colored and explanations range from aposematism and mimicry to sexual selection. Although sexual selection explains vivid coloration in males, functional significance of vivid coloration in females of socially monogamous species remains unclear. The hypothesis of mutual mate choice predicts that more ornamented females produce offspring of higher quality. We tested this prediction in the great tit (Parus major), a small, insectivorous, socially monogamous passerine.
In both females and males we quantified three ornaments that have been hypothesized to have signaling role in this species (size of black breast stripe, carotenoid chroma of yellow breast feathers, immaculateness of the white cheek). We swapped broods between nests soon after hatching, thus separating genetic plus pre-hatching vs. post-hatching effects on offspring performance. Body mass of offspring at 14 days of age was positively related to the area of black breast stripe of genetic mothers. Immune response to a novel antigen (phytohaemagglutinin) at 14 days of age was positively related to the immaculateness of the white cheek patch of both genetic and foster mothers.
We showed that females with more elaborate ornaments produced higher-quality offspring and we discuss potential proximate mechanisms of these relationships. We conclude that as more elaborate ornaments were reliable signals of offspring quality, direct selection by male mate choice might have been responsible for the evolution and/or maintenance of these signaling traits in females.

Eva Verena Bärmann, Saskia Börner, Dirk Erpenbeck, Gertrud Elisabeth Rössner, Christiana Hebel, Gert Wörheide, The curious case of Gazella arabica, Mammalian Biology – Zeitschrift für Säugetierkunde, Volume 78, Issue 3, April 2013, Pages 220-225, ISSN 1616-5047, 10.1016/j.mambio.2012.07.003.
Gazella arabica Lichtenstein, 1827, a gazelle species currently classified as “data deficient” on the IUCN Red List, has puzzled researchers for more than a century. The type specimens have repeatedly been classified as subspecies of G. gazella, G. dorcas or a distinct species since their first description about 180 years ago. Especially the skull is causing problems, as no similar gazelle individual has ever been found. We unravel the identity of G. arabica by sequencing two mitochondrial markers from the skull and skin which constitute the G. arabica lectotype and by performing a phylogenetic analysis of the genus. The results show that the lectotype skull and skin are not derived from the same animal. They belong to two individuals representing the two monophyletic lineages within the Mountain gazelle clade, Gazella gazella. By tracing the taxonomic history of G. arabica and following the rules of the ICZN we are able to resolve the hypodigm of G. arabica.

I. Camerlink, S.P. Turner, The pig’s nose and its role in dominance relationships and harmful behaviour, Applied Animal Behaviour Science, Available online 26 March 2013, ISSN 0168-1591, 10.1016/j.applanim.2013.02.008.
Affiliative behaviour may have an essential role in many behavioural processes. Gently nosing between group members occurs in almost all social behavioural processes of pigs (Sus scrofa), but the reasons for its performance are unclear. We examined whether nosing between pigs was related to dominance relationships or harmful behaviours such as manipulation of the tail using 80 crossbred pigs. Both males and females, housed in straw pens, were studied at 8 weeks of age (10 pigs/pen). Dominance ranks were determined by a feed competition test. The behaviour of 64 focal pigs was observed for 2h per pig in total. Pigs nosed their pen mates on average 36±3 times within 2h, and nosing behaviour mainly consisted of nose-to-nose contact, nosing the head and nosing the body, rather than nosing the ear, groin, tail or ano-genital region. These gentle pig-directed nosing behaviours, i.e. gently touching another individual with the snout, was here defined as social nosing. Dominance relationships did not influence the amount of nosing given or received. Social nosing was largely unrelated to harmful behaviour. Nosing the tail correlated with tail biting (r s =0.37), but only 0.3 percent of social nosing was followed by this behaviour. Pigs which delivered much nosing did not receive less aggression, and nor did they receive a heightened amount of nosing in return. We suggest that pigs may nose each other for social recognition, as affiliative behaviour, to gain olfactory signals, or to satisfy an intrinsic need to nose. In conclusion, social nosing in pigs was largely unrelated to harmful behaviours, was not related to dominance relationships and should remain largely unaffected by efforts to minimise harmful behaviours in farming systems.

Rodin M. Rasoloarison, David W. Weisrock, Anne D. Yoder, Daniel Rakotondravony, Peter M. Kappeler
Two New Species of Mouse Lemurs (Cheirogaleidae: Microcebus) from Eastern Madagascar
International Journal of Primatology, March 2013

The number of newly discovered Malagasy vertebrate taxa has multiplied in recent years, emphasizing the importance of complete taxon sampling for phylogenetics, biogeography, functional ecology, and conservation biology, especially in such a biodiversity hotspot. In particular, the diversity of extant lemurs is much higher than previously thought, and we have yet to comprehend fully the full extent of lemuriform biodiversity. A recent genetic analysis of mtDNA and nDNA sequence data in Malagasy mouse lemurs revealed the existence of several novel mtDNA clades based on new field sampling. These geographically defined and previously unrecognized mtDNA clades corresponded precisely to patterns of population structure revealed in the analysis of the nDNA data, thus confirming their evolutionary divergence from other mouse lemur clades. Two of these independently evolving lineages correspond to specimens that were collected by us in the Marolambo and Manantantely/Ivorona regions. Here we summarize the genetic evidence and report on the morphometric and external characteristics of these animals, formally describing them as new species. This report thus brings the number of currently recognized and described mouse lemur species to 20. The forests in which these mouse lemurs were discovered have been heavily degraded in the past decade, prompting the classification of one of the new species as Endangered by the IUCN, even before its formal description. As with several other newly described lemur species, immediate field studies and appropriate conservation actions are therefore urgent.

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