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Sample records for eurasian badgers meles

  1. Physiological stress in the Eurasian badger (Meles meles): effects of host, disease and environment.

    PubMed

    George, Sheila C; Smith, Tessa E; Mac Cana, Pól S S; Coleman, Robert; Montgomery, William I

    2014-05-01

    A method for monitoring hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) responses of the Eurasian badger (Meles meles) to stressors was validated by measuring cortisol excretion in serum and faeces. Serum and faecal samples were collected under anaesthesia from live-captured, wild badgers and fresh faeces was collected from latrines at 15 social groups in County Down, Northern Ireland. Variation in levels of cortisol in wild badgers was investigated relative to disease status, season, age, sex, body mass, body condition and reproductive status and environmental factors that might influence stress. Faecal cortisol levels were significantly higher in animals testing culture-positive for Mycobacterium bovis. Prolonged elevation of cortisol can suppress immune function, which may have implications for disease transmission. There was a strong seasonal pattern in both serum cortisol, peaking in spring and faecal cortisol, peaking in summer. Cortisol levels were also higher in adults with poor body condition and low body mass. Faecal samples collected from latrines in grassland groups had significantly higher cortisol than those collected from woodland groups, possibly as a result of greater exposure to sources of environmental stress. This study is the first to investigate factors influencing physiological stress in badgers and indicates that serological and faecal excretion are valid indices of the HPA response to a range of stressors.

  2. Evidence of canine distemper and suggestion of preceding parvovirus-myocarditis in a Eurasian badger (Meles meles).

    PubMed

    Burtscher, Hugo; Url, Angelika

    2007-03-01

    An approximately 1.5-yr-old free-ranging male Eurasian badger (Meles meles) from the eastern part of Austria had macroscopic and microscopic lesions consistent with canine distemper virus infection, including nonsuppurative meningoencephalitis, interstitial pneumonia with accumulation of macrophages in alveoli that contained intranuclear inclusion bodies, vesicular exanthema of the ventral abdomen, and atrophy of lymphoid tissues. Canine distemper virus-antigen was demonstrable in a variety of organs by using immunohistology. In addition, there were widespread areas of fibrosis in the myocardium that were rich in collagen and paucicellular. Because such changes are comparable with sequelae of the acute cardiac form of canine parvovirus (CPV) infection in dogs, it was speculated that this badger may have experienced CPV myocarditis as a cub but that the corresponding antigen or DNA was not detectable due to resolution of the disease.

  3. Protection of Eurasian badgers (Meles meles) from tuberculosis after intra-muscular vaccination with different doses of BCG.

    PubMed

    Lesellier, Sandrine; Palmer, Si; Gowtage-Sequiera, Sonya; Ashford, Roland; Dalley, Deanna; Davé, Dipesh; Weyer, Ute; Salguero, F Javier; Nunez, Alejandro; Crawshaw, Timothy; Corner, Leigh A L; Hewinson, R Glyn; Chambers, Mark A

    2011-05-12

    Mycobacterium bovis infection is widespread in Eurasian badger (Meles meles) populations in Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland where they act as a wildlife reservoir of infection for cattle. Removal of infected badgers can significantly reduce the incidence of bovine tuberculosis (TB) in local cattle herds. However, control measures based on culling of native wildlife are contentious and may even be detrimental to disease control. Vaccinating badgers with bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) has been shown to be efficacious against experimentally induced TB of badgers when administered subcutaneously and orally. Vaccination may be an alternative or complementary strategy to other disease control measures. As the subcutaneous route is impractical for vaccinating wild badgers and an oral vaccine bait formulation is currently unavailable, we evaluated the intramuscular (IM) route of BCG administration. It has been demonstrated that the IM route is safe in badgers. IM administration has the practical advantage of being relatively easy to perform on trapped wild badgers without recourse to chemical immobilisation. We report the evaluation of the efficacy of IM administration of BCG Danish strain 1331 at two different doses: the dose prescribed for adult humans (2-8×10(5)colony forming units) and a 10-fold higher dose. Vaccination generated a dose-dependent cell-mediated immune response characterised by the production of interferon-γ (IFNγ) and protection against endobronchial challenge with virulent M. bovis. Protection, expressed in terms of a significant reduction in the severity of disease, the number of tissues containing acid-fast bacilli, and reduced bacterial excretion was statistically significant with the higher dose only.

  4. Low genetic variability, female-biased dispersal and high movement rates in an urban population of Eurasian badgers Meles meles.

    PubMed

    Reeve, John D; Frantz, Alain C; Dawson, Deborah A; Burke, Terry; Roper, Timothy J

    2008-09-01

    1. Urban and rural populations of animals can differ in their behaviour, both in order to meet their ecological requirements and due to the constraints imposed by different environments. The study of urban populations can therefore offer useful insights into the behavioural flexibility of a species as a whole, as well as indicating how the species in question adapts to a specifically urban environment. 2. The genetic structure of a population can provide information about social structure and movement patterns that is difficult to obtain by other means. Using non-invasively collected hair samples, we estimated the population size of Eurasian badgers Meles meles in the city of Brighton, England, and calculated population-specific parameters of genetic variability and sex-specific rates of outbreeding and dispersal. 3. Population density was high in the context of badger densities reported throughout their range. This was due to a high density of social groups rather than large numbers of individuals per group. 4. The allelic richness of the population was low compared with other British populations. However, the rate of extra-group paternity and the relatively frequent (mainly temporary) intergroup movements suggest that, on a local scale, the population was outbred. Although members of both sexes visited other groups, there was a trend for more females to make intergroup movements. 5. The results reveal that urban badgers can achieve high densities and suggest that while some population parameters are similar between urban and rural populations, the frequency of intergroup movements is higher among urban badgers. In a wider context, these results demonstrate the ability of non-invasive genetic sampling to provide information about the population density, social structure and behaviour of urban wildlife.

  5. An investigation of red fox (Vulpes vulpes) and Eurasian badger (Meles meles) scavenging, scattering, and removal of deer remains: forensic implications and applications.

    PubMed

    Young, Alexandria; Márquez-Grant, Nicholas; Stillman, Richard; Smith, Martin J; Korstjens, Amanda H

    2015-01-01

    Within northwest Europe, especially the United Kingdom, the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) and the Eurasian Badger (Meles meles) are the largest wild scavengers capable of modifying a set of remains through scavenging. Knowledge of region-specific and species-typical scavenging behaviors of scavengers within the crime scene area and surroundings can aid in more efficient and accurate interpretations. The scavenging behaviors of captive and wild foxes and badgers were recorded and compared through actualistic methods and direct observation. The scavenging by wild foxes and badgers of surface-deposited baits and whole deer (Cervus nippon; Capreolus capreolus) in a woodland was observed and analyzed. Wild foxes were found to scavenge deer more frequently than badgers. The scavenging of deer remains by foxes was also compared with forensic cases. The scavenging pattern and recovery distances of deer and human remains scavenged by foxes were similar but were potentially affected by the condition and deposition of a body, and the presence of clothing.

  6. Infection of Eurasian badgers (Meles meles) with Mycobacterium bovis and Mycobacterium avium complex in Spain.

    PubMed

    Balseiro, Ana; Rodríguez, Oscar; González-Quirós, Pablo; Merediz, Isabel; Sevilla, Iker A; Davé, Dipesh; Dalley, Deanna J; Lesellier, Sandrine; Chambers, Mark A; Bezos, Javier; Muñoz, Marta; Delahay, Richard J; Gortázar, Christian; Prieto, José M

    2011-11-01

    The prevalence, distribution and pathology related to infection with Mycobacterium bovis and other mycobacteria were determined in trapped (n=36) and road-killed (n=121) badgers in Spain from 2006 to 2010. The prevalence of M. bovis based on bacteriological culture from road-killed badgers was 8/121 (6.6%) and from trapped badgers was 0/36 (0%). Tuberculosis/M. bovis infection was evident in 15/121 (12.4%) road-killed badgers when bacteriology and histopathology were combined. Mycobacterium avium complex was isolated by culture from the tracheal aspirate of 1/36 (2.8%) trapped badgers and from tissue pools from 8/121 (6.6%) road-killed badgers.

  7. Spatial relationships between Eurasian badgers (Meles meles) and cattle infected with Mycobacterium bovis in Northern Spain.

    PubMed

    Balseiro, Ana; González-Quirós, Pablo; Rodríguez, Óscar; Francisca Copano, M; Merediz, Isabel; de Juan, Lucía; Chambers, Mark A; Delahay, Richard J; Marreros, Nelson; Royo, Luis J; Bezos, Javier; Prieto, José M; Gortázar, Christian

    2013-09-01

    Recent studies suggest that badgers may be a potential reservoir of Mycobacterium bovis infection for cattle in Northern Spain. The objective of this study was to investigate potential epidemiological links between cattle and badgers. Culture and molecular typing data were available for cattle culled during the national tuberculosis (TB) eradication campaigns between 2008 and 2012, as well as from 171 necropsied badgers and 60 live animals trapped and examined over the same time period. Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex strains were isolated from pooled tissues of 14 (8.2%) necropsied badgers, of which 11 were identified as M. bovis: six different spoligotypes of M. bovis were subsequently identified. In two geographical locations where these isolates were shared between cattle and badgers, infected cattle herds and badgers lived in close contact. Although it remains unclear if badgers are a maintenance or spill-over host of M. bovis in this setting, it would appear prudent to have precautionary measures in place to reduce contact between cattle and badgers.

  8. Infection of Eurasian badgers (Meles meles) with Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) bacteria.

    PubMed

    Balseiro, Ana; Merediz, Isabel; Sevilla, Iker A; García-Castro, Carmen; Gortázar, Christian; Prieto, José M; Delahay, Richard J

    2011-05-01

    There are few reports of infection with Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) bacteria in badgers. In this study archive data relating to the isolation of MAC organisms from badgers in the UK is presented, and information derived from recent cases of such infection in Spain is used to illustrate the associated pathology and to characterise strain types. Tissue samples were cultured for mycobacteria and, in the case of Spanish badgers, were examined both histopathologically and using immunohistochemistry, and DNA typing of M. avium isolates was also carried out. A total of 5 (7.35%) and 281 (0.51%) isolates of M. avium spp. were recovered from badgers from the studies in Spain and the UK, respectively. DNA typing of the isolates from Spain identified the sub-species M. avium hominissuis and M. avium avium. These findings provide new information on the prevalence of MAC organisms in badgers in the UK and Spain. The extent to which infected badgers may be involved in the epidemiology of M. avium in other wild or domestic hosts remains unknown.

  9. Arcanobacterium haemolyticum in a badger (Meles meles).

    PubMed

    Wragg, Peter N; Strugnell, Benjamin W; Whatmore, Adrian M; Foster, Geoffrey

    2011-11-01

    A 7.5-kg female European badger (Meles meles) was submitted under the United Kingdom Government's Wildlife Incident Investigation Scheme to the Thirsk Regional Laboratory of the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency. Postmortem examination revealed a large, poorly encapsulated retropharyngeal abscess full of necrotic debris and pus. Arcanobacterium haemolyticum was isolated from the lymph node and confirmed by phenotypic profiling and 16S ribosomal RNA DNA sequencing. Workers should be aware of the potential for badgers to harbor zoonoses other than those more traditionally associated with the species.

  10. Evaluation of a method to detect Mycobacterium bovis in air samples from infected Eurasian badgers (Meles meles) and their setts.

    PubMed

    Jones, R M; Ashford, R; Cork, J; Palmer, S; Wood, E; Spyvee, P; Parks, S; Bennett, A; Brewer, J; Delahay, R; Chambers, M; Sawyer, J

    2013-05-01

    Environmental air sampling was evaluated as a method to detect the presence of M. bovis in the vicinity of infected badgers and their setts. Airborne particles were collected on gelatine filters using a commercially available air sampling instrument and tested for the presence of M. bovis using bacteriological culture and real-time PCR. The sensitivity of bacteriological culture was broadly similar to that of real-time PCR when testing samples artificially spiked with M. bovis. Sampling was undertaken from directly under the muzzles of badgers which had been experimentally infected with M. bovis (37 samples), within enclosures housing the experimentally infected animals (50 samples), and in the vicinity of setts with resident infected wild badgers (52 samples). The methods employed did not detect M. bovis from either infected badgers or artificial or natural setts known to contain infected animals. However, samples taken at four of the six natural setts were positive for Mycobacterium gordonae.

  11. Phylogeographic sympatry and isolation of the Eurasian badgers (Meles, Mustelidae, Carnivora): Implications for an alternative analysis using maternally as well as paternally inherited genes.

    PubMed

    Tashima, Sara; Kaneko, Yayoi; Anezaki, Tomoko; Baba, Minoru; Yachimori, Shuuji; Abramov, Alexei V; Saveljev, Alexander P; Masuda, Ryuichi

    2011-04-01

    In the present study, to further understand the phylogenetic relationships among the Eurasian badgers (Meles, Mustelidae, Carnivora), which are distributed widely in the Palearctic, partial sequences of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region (539-545 base-pairs) as a maternal genetic marker, and the sex-determining region on the Y-chromosome gene (SRY: 1052-1058 base-pairs), as a paternal genetic marker, were examined. The present study revealed ten SRY haplotypes from 47 males of 112 individuals of the Eurasian Continent and Japan. In addition, 39 mtDNA haplotypes were identified from those animals. From the phylogeography of both the uniparentally inherited genes, four lineages were recognized as Japanese, eastern Eurasian, Caucasian, and western Eurasian. The distribution patterns of the mtDNA lineages showed the existence of a sympatric zone between the eastern and western Eurasian lineages around the Volga River in western Russia. Furthermore, the present study suggested that in the Japanese badgers, the larger genetic differentiation of the Shikoku population was attributable to geographic history in the Japanese islands.

  12. Immunological responses following experimental endobronchial infection of badgers (Meles meles) with different doses of Mycobacterium bovis.

    PubMed

    Lesellier, Sandrine; Corner, Leigh; Costello, Eamon; Sleeman, Paddy; Lyashchenko, Konstantin P; Greenwald, Rena; Esfandiari, Javan; Glyn Hewinson, R; Chambers, Mark; Gormley, Eamonn

    2009-01-15

    The Eurasian badger (Meles meles) is a wildlife reservoir for Mycobacterium bovis infection in Ireland and Great Britain and has been implicated in the transmission of tuberculosis to cattle. Vaccination of badgers is an option that could be used as part of a strategy to control the disease. In this study we used an endobronchial infection procedure to inoculate groups of badgers with three different doses (3x10(3), 2x10(2) and <10 Colony Forming Units (CFUs)) of M. bovis. After 17 weeks the disease status of each animal was determined by post-mortem pathology and culture for M. bovis. Each of the inoculum doses resulted in establishment of infection in the badgers. The cell-mediated immune (CMI) responses were measured by lymphocyte transformation assay (LTA) of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) cultured with bovine tuberculin (PPD-B). In each infected group the CMI responses increased with a kinetic profile corresponding to the delivered dose and the post-mortem pathology. The serological responses were measured by ELISA and a multi-antigen print immunoassay (MAPIA) in order to investigate any changes in the antigenic repertoire associated with different infective doses. In contrast to the CMI responses, the ELISA and MAPIA showed that the recognition of antigens by the badgers was intermittent and not strongly influenced by the dose of M. bovis.

  13. Cloning and sequencing of badger (Meles meles) interferon gamma and its detection in badger lymphocytes.

    PubMed

    Dalley, D J; Hogarth, P J; Hughes, S; Hewinson, R G; Chambers, M A

    2004-09-01

    The European badger (Meles meles) has been identified as a reservoir for Mycobacterium bovis and is implicated in the maintenance and transmission of tuberculosis in cattle. There is a need for a sensitive test of M. bovis infection in badgers and the current serodiagnostic test used for this purpose has low sensitivity. As observed for other species, assay of interferon-gamma (IFNgamma) produced in response to M. bovis antigens is a more sensitive test of tuberculosis. With this objective in sight, we report the first step in the development of an ELISA for badger IFNgamma. The badger IFNgamma gene was cloned and sequenced and used to generate a specific polyclonal antibody to the cytokine. The gene sequence demonstrated regions that were conserved within the IFNgamma genes of other mammals. The badger sequence was most similar to the canine, showing similar structural organisation of the gene and 88% amino acid identity. Rabbits were immunised with DNA encoding badger IFNgamma and the resulting polyclonal antiserum demonstrated specificity for canine IFNgamma by immunoblot of a commercial recombinant canine IFNgamma. The antiserum was used to detect intracellular badger IFNgamma by flow cytometry analysis of badger lymphocytes stimulated with mitogen.

  14. Oral vaccination of badgers (Meles meles) with BCG and protective immunity against endobronchial challenge with Mycobacterium bovis.

    PubMed

    Corner, Leigh A L; Costello, Eamon; O'Meara, Damien; Lesellier, Sandrine; Aldwell, Frank E; Singh, Mahavir; Hewinson, R Glyn; Chambers, Mark A; Gormley, Eamonn

    2010-08-31

    Eurasian badgers (Meles meles) are a reservoir host of Mycobacterium bovis and are implicated in the transmission of tuberculosis to cattle in Ireland and Great Britain. The development of a vaccine for use in badgers is considered a key element of any long-term sustainable campaign to eradicate the disease from livestock in both countries. The aim of this study was to investigate the protective response of badgers vaccinated orally with Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) encapsulated in a lipid formulation, followed by experimental challenge with M. bovis. A group of badgers was vaccinated by inoculating the BCG-lipid mixture containing approximately 10(8)colony forming units (cfu) of BCG into the oesophagus. The control group was sham inoculated with the lipid formulation only. Thirteen weeks after vaccination all the badgers were challenged with approximately 10(4)cfu of M. bovis delivered by endobronchial inoculation. Blood samples were taken throughout the study and the cell mediated immune (CMI) responses in peripheral blood were monitored by the IFN-gamma ELISA and ELISPOT assay. At 17 weeks after infection all the badgers were examined post-mortem to assess the pathological and bacteriological responses to challenge. All badgers in both groups were found to be infected. However, a significant protective effect of BCG vaccination was measured as a decrease in the number and severity of gross lesions, lower bacterial load in the lungs, and fewer sites of infection. The analysis of immune responses showed that vaccination with BCG did not generate any detectable CMI immunological responses, however the levels of the responses increased in both groups following M. bovis infection. The results of the study showed that vaccination with oral BCG in the lipid formulation generated a protective effect in the badgers.

  15. The taxonomic status of badgers (Mammalia, Mustelidae) from Southwest Asia based on cranial morphometrics, with the redescription of Meles canescens.

    PubMed

    Abramov, Alexei V; Puzachenko, Andrey Yu

    2013-01-01

    The Eurasian badgers (Meles spp.) are widespread in the Palaearctic Region, occurring from the British Islands in the west to the Japanese Islands in the east, including the Scandinavia, Southwest Asia and southern China. The morphometric variation in 30 cranial characters of 692 skulls of Meles from across the Palaearctic was here analyzed. This craniometric analysis revealed a significant difference between the European and Asian badger phylogenetic lineages, which can be further split in two pairs of taxa: meles - canescens and leucurus - anakuma. Overall, European badger populations are very similar morphologically, particularly with regards to the skull shape, but differ notably from those from Asia Minor, the Middle East and Transcaucasia. Based on the current survey of badger specimens available in main world museums, we have recognized four distinctive, parapatric species: Meles meles, found in most of Europe; Meles leucurus from continental Asia; M. anakuma from Japan; and M. canescens from Southwest Asia and the mountains of Middle Asia. These results are in agreement with those based on recent molecular data analyses. The morphological peculiarities and distribution range of M. canescens are discussed. The origin and evolution of Meles species, which is yet poorly understood, is also briefly discussed.

  16. Social group size affects Mycobacterium bovis infection in European badgers (Meles meles).

    PubMed

    Woodroffe, Rosie; Donnelly, Christl A; Wei, Gao; Cox, D R; Bourne, F John; Burke, Terry; Butlin, Roger K; Cheeseman, C L; Gettinby, George; Gilks, Peter; Hedges, Simon; Jenkins, Helen E; Johnston, W Thomas; McInerney, John P; Morrison, W Ivan; Pope, Lisa C

    2009-07-01

    1. In most social animals, the prevalence of directly transmitted pathogens increases in larger groups and at higher population densities. Such patterns are predicted by models of Mycobacterium bovis infection in European badgers (Meles meles). 2. We investigated the relationship between badger abundance and M. bovis prevalence, using data on 2696 adult badgers in 10 populations sampled at the start of the Randomized Badger Culling Trial. 3. M. bovis prevalence was consistently higher at low badger densities and in small social groups. M. bovis prevalence was also higher among badgers whose genetic profiles suggested that they had immigrated into their assigned social groups. 4. The association between high M. bovis prevalence and small badger group size appeared not to have been caused by previous small-scale culling in study areas, which had been suspended, on average, 5 years before the start of the current study. 5. The observed pattern of prevalence might occur through badgers in smaller groups interacting more frequently with members of neighbouring groups; detailed behavioural data are needed to test this hypothesis. Likewise, longitudinal data are needed to determine whether the size of infected groups might be suppressed by disease-related mortality. 6. Although M. bovis prevalence was lower at high population densities, the absolute number of infected badgers was higher. However, this does not necessarily mean that the risk of M. bovis transmission to cattle is highest at high badger densities, since transmission risk depends on badger behaviour as well as on badger density.

  17. Model of Selective and Non-Selective Management of Badgers (Meles meles) to Control Bovine Tuberculosis in Badgers and Cattle.

    PubMed

    Smith, Graham C; Delahay, Richard J; McDonald, Robbie A; Budgey, Richard

    2016-01-01

    Bovine tuberculosis (bTB) causes substantial economic losses to cattle farmers and taxpayers in the British Isles. Disease management in cattle is complicated by the role of the European badger (Meles meles) as a host of the infection. Proactive, non-selective culling of badgers can reduce the incidence of disease in cattle but may also have negative effects in the area surrounding culls that have been associated with social perturbation of badger populations. The selective removal of infected badgers would, in principle, reduce the number culled, but the effects of selective culling on social perturbation and disease outcomes are unclear. We used an established model to simulate non-selective badger culling, non-selective badger vaccination and a selective trap and vaccinate or remove (TVR) approach to badger management in two distinct areas: South West England and Northern Ireland. TVR was simulated with and without social perturbation in effect. The lower badger density in Northern Ireland caused no qualitative change in the effect of management strategies on badgers, although the absolute number of infected badgers was lower in all cases. However, probably due to differing herd density in Northern Ireland, the simulated badger management strategies caused greater variation in subsequent cattle bTB incidence. Selective culling in the model reduced the number of badgers killed by about 83% but this only led to an overall benefit for cattle TB incidence if there was no social perturbation of badgers. We conclude that the likely benefit of selective culling will be dependent on the social responses of badgers to intervention but that other population factors including badger and cattle density had little effect on the relative benefits of selective culling compared to other methods, and that this may also be the case for disease management in other wild host populations.

  18. Model of Selective and Non-Selective Management of Badgers (Meles meles) to Control Bovine Tuberculosis in Badgers and Cattle

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Graham C.; Delahay, Richard J.; McDonald, Robbie A.

    2016-01-01

    Bovine tuberculosis (bTB) causes substantial economic losses to cattle farmers and taxpayers in the British Isles. Disease management in cattle is complicated by the role of the European badger (Meles meles) as a host of the infection. Proactive, non-selective culling of badgers can reduce the incidence of disease in cattle but may also have negative effects in the area surrounding culls that have been associated with social perturbation of badger populations. The selective removal of infected badgers would, in principle, reduce the number culled, but the effects of selective culling on social perturbation and disease outcomes are unclear. We used an established model to simulate non-selective badger culling, non-selective badger vaccination and a selective trap and vaccinate or remove (TVR) approach to badger management in two distinct areas: South West England and Northern Ireland. TVR was simulated with and without social perturbation in effect. The lower badger density in Northern Ireland caused no qualitative change in the effect of management strategies on badgers, although the absolute number of infected badgers was lower in all cases. However, probably due to differing herd density in Northern Ireland, the simulated badger management strategies caused greater variation in subsequent cattle bTB incidence. Selective culling in the model reduced the number of badgers killed by about 83% but this only led to an overall benefit for cattle TB incidence if there was no social perturbation of badgers. We conclude that the likely benefit of selective culling will be dependent on the social responses of badgers to intervention but that other population factors including badger and cattle density had little effect on the relative benefits of selective culling compared to other methods, and that this may also be the case for disease management in other wild host populations. PMID:27893809

  19. BCG vaccination against tuberculosis in European badgers (Meles meles): a review.

    PubMed

    Robinson, Philip A; Corner, Leigh A L; Courcier, Emily A; McNair, Jim; Artois, Marc; Menzies, Fraser D; Abernethy, Darrell A

    2012-07-01

    Tuberculosis (TB) is a significant animal health problem in many parts of the world, and reservoirs of infection in wild animals complicate disease control efforts in farmed livestock, particularly cattle. Badgers (Meles meles) are a significant wildlife reservoir of Mycobacterium bovis infection for cattle in the United Kingdom (UK) and Republic of Ireland (ROI). Vaccination of badgers using an M. bovis strain bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine could potentially be an option in the national TB eradication strategy. Wildlife vaccination has been used successfully for other diseases in wildlife species, and may have a role to play in reducing M. bovis transmission at the wildlife-livestock interface. Research to date has provided evidence that BCG is protective in badgers, and a parenteral badger BCG vaccine has been licensed in the UK. Further research is required to develop effective strategies for vaccine deployment and to determine the effect of badger vaccination on cattle TB incidence.

  20. WIND TURBINES CAUSE CHRONIC STRESS IN BADGERS (MELES MELES) IN GREAT BRITAIN.

    PubMed

    Agnew, Roseanna C N; Smith, Valerie J; Fowkes, Robert C

    2016-07-01

    A paucity of data exists with which to assess the effects of wind turbines noise on terrestrial wildlife, despite growing concern about the impact of infrasound from wind farms on human health and well-being. In 2013, we assessed whether the presence of turbines in Great Britain impacted the stress levels of badgers ( Meles meles ) in nearby setts. Hair cortisol levels were used to determine if the badgers were physiologically stressed. Hair of badgers living <1 km from a wind farm had a 264% higher cortisol level than badgers >10 km from a wind farm. This demonstrates that affected badgers suffer from enhanced hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal activity and are physiologically stressed. No differences were found between the cortisol levels of badgers living near wind farms operational since 2009 and 2012, indicating that the animals do not become habituated to turbine disturbance. Cortisol levels in the affected badgers did not vary in relation to the distance from turbines within 1 km, wind farm annual power output, or number of turbines. We suggest that the higher cortisol levels in affected badgers is caused by the turbines' sound and that these high levels may affect badgers' immune systems, which could result in increased risk of infection and disease in the badger population.

  1. Molecular evidence for hemotropic Mycoplasma infection in a Japanese badger (Meles meles anakuma) and a raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides viverrinus).

    PubMed

    Harasawa, Ryô; Orusa, Riccardo; Giangaspero, Massimo

    2014-04-01

    We report detection of hemoplasma in wild Japanese badgers (Meles meles anakuma) and raccoon dogs (Nyctereutes procyonoides viverrinus). Sequence analysis of the entire 16S rRNA genes identified Mycoplasma haemocanis in the raccoon dog sample, and a potential novel Mycoplasma species in the Japanese badger.

  2. An assessment of injury to European badgers (meles meles) due to capture in stopped restraints.

    PubMed

    Murphy, Denise; O'Keeffe, James J; Martin, S Wayne; Gormley, Eamonn; Corner, Leigh A L

    2009-04-01

    As part of ongoing culling operations, European badgers (Meles meles) were captured using stopped restraints in winter (October to December 2005) and summer (May to June 2006) in the Republic of Ireland. A subset of these badgers, those caught during four consecutive nights, was examined postmortem to determine the frequency and severity of physical injuries resulting from capture in the restraints. The skin and the tissues underlying the restraint of 343 badgers were assessed for injury by visual examination. There was an absence of skin damage or only minor skin abrasions in 88% of badgers; an absence of subcutaneous tissue injury or only localized subcutaneous tissue injury in 69%; and an absence of muscle injury or only slight muscle bruising in 99% of badgers. Only 2% of badgers had cuts to the skin and 5.5% had extensive subcutaneous edema, whereas 1.2% had areas of hemorrhage and tearing of the underlying muscle. Our results show that the majority of badgers examined sustained minimal injuries attributable to capture in stopped restraints.

  3. Partial characterization of a novel gammaherpesvirus isolated from a European badger (Meles meles).

    PubMed

    Banks, Malcolm; King, Donald P; Daniells, Clare; Stagg, David A; Gavier-Widen, Dolores

    2002-06-01

    A herpesvirus causing a cytopathic effect was isolated from pulmonary fibroblast cultures established from a European badger (Meles meles). A study was undertaken to classify and to assess some in-vitro growth characteristics of this virus. From a panel of 27 mammalian cell lines, in-vitro replication of the badger herpesvirus (BadHV) was only demonstrated with a mink lung cell line, suggesting a high degree of host specificity. Using PCR with degenerate primers, three independent fragments of the BadHV genome were sequenced. The largest of these fragments comprised a 6.2 kb segment including the DNA polymerase and glycoprotein B genes. Phylogenetic analysis of these sequences demonstrated that the BadHV is novel and clearly grouped with members of the Gammaherpesvirinae. In view of the oncogenic and immunosuppressive potential of many related herpesviruses, it is possible that BadHV can impact on existing acute or chronic disease in badgers.

  4. Heterogeneity in the risk of Mycobacterium bovis infection in European badger (Meles meles) cubs.

    PubMed

    Tomlinson, A J; Chambers, M A; Carter, S P; Wilson, G J; Smith, G C; McDonald, R A; Delahay, R J

    2013-07-01

    The behaviour of certain infected individuals within socially structured populations can have a disproportionately large effect on the spatio-temporal distribution of infection. Endemic infection with Mycobacterium bovis in European badgers (Meles meles) in Great Britain and Ireland is an important source of bovine tuberculosis in cattle. Here we quantify the risk of infection in badger cubs in a high-density wild badger population, in relation to the infection status of resident adults. Over a 24-year period, we observed variation in the risk of cub infection, with those born into groups with resident infectious breeding females being over four times as likely to be detected excreting M. bovis than cubs from groups where there was no evidence of infection in adults. We discuss how our findings relate to the persistence of infection at both social group and population level, and the potential implications for disease control strategies.

  5. Isolation and phylogenetic characterization of Streptococcus halichoeri from a European badger (Meles meles) with pyogranulomatous pleuropneumonia.

    PubMed

    Moreno, B; Bolea, R; Morales, M; Martín-Burriel, I; González, Ch; Badiola, J J

    2015-01-01

    Clinical and pathological studies in European badgers (Meles meles) are limited. Badgers play a significant role in the epidemiology of bovine tuberculosis (TB) in some countries and an accurate diagnosis is needed for this infection. However, the lesions of bovine TB are similar to those associated with other pathogens, making pathological diagnosis difficult. In the present study, Streptococcus halichoeri was isolated from a European badger with pyogranulomatous pleuropneumonia and suspected of having tuberculosis. TB and other pathogens able to induce similar lesions were ruled out. Comparative 16S rRNA and rpoB gene sequencing studies showed an identity of 99.51% and 98.28%, respectively, with S. halichoeri. This report represents the third description of this bacterium and the first in an animal species other than the grey seal (Halichoerus grypus). It also shows that S. halichoeri can be associated with a pathological process characterized by granulomatous inflammation and resembling tuberculosis.

  6. Antigen specific immunological responses of badgers (Meles meles) experimentally infected with Mycobacterium bovis.

    PubMed

    Lesellier, Sandrine; Corner, Leigh; Costello, Eamon; Sleeman, Paddy; Lyashchenko, Konstantin; Greenwald, Rena; Esfandiari, Javan; Singh, Mahavir; Hewinson, R Glyn; Chambers, Mark; Gormley, Eamonn

    2008-03-15

    European badgers (Meles meles) are considered to be an important reservoir of infection for Mycobacterium bovis and are implicated in the transmission of tuberculosis to cattle in Ireland and Great Britain. Accurate tests are required for tuberculosis surveillance in badger populations and to provide a basis for the development of strategies, including vaccination, to reduce the incidence of the infection. In this study, we have developed an endobronchial M. bovis infection model in badgers in which we measured cell-mediated immune and serological responses for up to 24 weeks post-infection. Groups of badgers were subjected to necropsy at 6-week intervals and the gross lesion severity status compared with immune responses measured in blood samples taken throughout the course of the study. The panel of antigens included bovine and avian tuberculins (PPD) as well as single antigens, ESAT-6, CFP-10, MPB70, Rv3019c, Rv3873, Rv3878 and Rv3879, all known to be recognised by the immune system in other animal models of tuberculosis infection. Our results demonstrated that M. bovis infected badgers responded to specific antigens as early as 6 weeks post-infection, consistent with the presence of visible lesions. The data also revealed unique patterns of antigen recognition with high levels of PBMC proliferation in the presence of CFP-10 but low proliferation levels with ESAT-6. Using a multi-antigen print immunoassay (MAPIA), we were able to confirm that MPB83 is the dominant antigen recognised by serum antibodies in infected badgers.

  7. Reproductive Biology Including Evidence for Superfetation in the European Badger Meles meles (Carnivora: Mustelidae)

    PubMed Central

    Corner, Leigh A. L.; Stuart, Lynsey J.; Kelly, David J.; Marples, Nicola M.

    2015-01-01

    The reproductive biology of the European badger (Meles meles) is of wide interest because it is one of the few mammal species that show delayed implantation and one of only five which are suggested to show superfetation as a reproductive strategy. This study aimed to describe the reproductive biology of female Irish badgers with a view to increasing our understanding of the process of delayed implantation and superfetation. We carried out a detailed histological examination of the reproductive tract of 264 female badgers taken from sites across 20 of the 26 counties in the Republic of Ireland. The key results show evidence of multiple blastocysts at different stages of development present simultaneously in the same female, supporting the view that superfetation is relatively common in this population of badgers. In addition we present strong evidence that the breeding rate in Irish badgers is limited by failure to conceive, rather than failure at any other stages of the breeding cycle. We show few effects of age on breeding success, suggesting no breeding suppression by adult females in this population. The study sheds new light on this unusual breeding strategy of delayed implantation and superfetation, and highlights a number of significant differences between the reproductive biology of female Irish badgers and those of Great Britain and Swedish populations. PMID:26465324

  8. Reproductive Biology Including Evidence for Superfetation in the European Badger Meles meles (Carnivora: Mustelidae).

    PubMed

    Corner, Leigh A L; Stuart, Lynsey J; Kelly, David J; Marples, Nicola M

    2015-01-01

    The reproductive biology of the European badger (Meles meles) is of wide interest because it is one of the few mammal species that show delayed implantation and one of only five which are suggested to show superfetation as a reproductive strategy. This study aimed to describe the reproductive biology of female Irish badgers with a view to increasing our understanding of the process of delayed implantation and superfetation. We carried out a detailed histological examination of the reproductive tract of 264 female badgers taken from sites across 20 of the 26 counties in the Republic of Ireland. The key results show evidence of multiple blastocysts at different stages of development present simultaneously in the same female, supporting the view that superfetation is relatively common in this population of badgers. In addition we present strong evidence that the breeding rate in Irish badgers is limited by failure to conceive, rather than failure at any other stages of the breeding cycle. We show few effects of age on breeding success, suggesting no breeding suppression by adult females in this population. The study sheds new light on this unusual breeding strategy of delayed implantation and superfetation, and highlights a number of significant differences between the reproductive biology of female Irish badgers and those of Great Britain and Swedish populations.

  9. Use of cattle farm resources by badgers (Meles meles) and risk of bovine tuberculosis (Mycobacterium bovis) transmission to cattle.

    PubMed

    Garnett, B T; Delahay, R J; Roper, T J

    2002-07-22

    Nocturnal observations, radio telemetry and time-lapse camera surveillance were used to investigate visits by badgers (Meles meles L.) to two cattle farms. During 59 half-nights (ca. 295 h) of observation and 17 nights (ca. 154 h) of camera surveillance, 139 separate visits to farm buildings, by at least 26 individually identifiable badgers from two social groups, were recorded. The badgers, which included three individuals infected with bovine tuberculosis (Mycobacterium bovis), used cowsheds, feedsheds, barns, haystacks, slurry pits, cattle troughs and farmyards to exploit a range of food resources, including cattle feed and silage. Cattle feed was contaminated with badger faeces and badgers also came into close contact with cattle. The minimum number of badgers visiting farm buildings per night was negatively correlated with local 24 h rainfall. We conclude that exploitation by badgers of resources provided by cattle farms constitutes a potentially important mechanism for tuberculosis transmission from badgers to cattle.

  10. Development and evaluation of a gamma-interferon assay for tuberculosis in badgers (Meles meles).

    PubMed

    Dalley, Deanna; Davé, Dipesh; Lesellier, Sandrine; Palmer, Simonette; Crawshaw, Timothy; Hewinson, R Glyn; Chambers, Mark

    2008-05-01

    In this paper we report the development of a sensitive and specific assay for the detection of tuberculosis (TB) in European badgers (Meles meles), based on the stimulation of lymphocytes in whole-blood culture and the subsequent detection of gamma-interferon (IFNgamma) by sandwich ELISA. The comparative levels of IFNgamma produced to bovine and avian tuberculin (B-A) was used as the basis of determining the TB status of badgers, resulting in a more sensitive test than that based on the defined Mycobacterium bovis antigens ESAT6 and CFP10. The assay was evaluated using 235 badgers. The IFNgamma EIA (enzyme immunoassay) based on a monoclonal pair (mEIA) was more sensitive than one using a rabbit polyclonal antiserum (pEIA). At a specificity of 93.6%, the mEIA was 80.9% sensitive, compared to a sensitivity of 74.5% for the pEIA. At the same specificity as the EIA, the current serological ELISA test for TB in badgers (Brock test) had a sensitivity of 48.9%. Only one of the culture positive badgers missed by the mEIA was correctly diagnosed by the Brock test, suggesting that the combination of both a T-cell and serological test has little diagnostic advantage.

  11. Detection and characterization of Histoplasma capsulatum in a German badger (Meles meles) by ITS sequencing and multilocus sequencing analysis

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A wild badger (Meles meles) with a severe nodular dermatitis was presented for post mortem examination. Numerous cutaneous granulomas with superficial ulceration were present especially on head, dorsum, and forearms were found at necropsy. Histopathological examination of the skin revealed a severe ...

  12. Performance of a Noninvasive Test for Detecting Mycobacterium bovis Shedding in European Badger (Meles meles) Populations.

    PubMed

    King, Hayley C; Murphy, Andrew; James, Phillip; Travis, Emma; Porter, David; Sawyer, Jason; Cork, Jennifer; Delahay, Richard J; Gaze, William; Courtenay, Orin; Wellington, Elizabeth M

    2015-07-01

    The incidence of Mycobacterium bovis, the causative agent of bovine tuberculosis, in cattle herds in the United Kingdom is increasing, resulting in substantial economic losses. The European badger (Meles meles) is implicated as a wildlife reservoir and is the subject of control measures aimed at reducing the incidence of infection in cattle populations. Understanding the epidemiology of M. bovis in badger populations is essential for directing control interventions and understanding disease spread; however, accurate diagnosis in live animals is challenging and currently uses invasive methods. Here we present a noninvasive diagnostic procedure and sampling regimen using field sampling of latrines and detection of M. bovis with quantitative PCR tests, the results of which strongly correlate with the results of immunoassays in the field at the social group level. This method allows M. bovis infections in badger populations to be monitored without trapping and provides additional information on the quantities of bacterial DNA shed. Therefore, our approach may provide valuable insights into the epidemiology of bovine tuberculosis in badger populations and inform disease control interventions.

  13. Individual foraging specialisation in a social mammal: the European badger (Meles meles).

    PubMed

    Robertson, Andrew; McDonald, Robbie A; Delahay, Richard J; Kelly, Simon D; Bearhop, Stuart

    2014-10-01

    Individual specialisation has been identified in an increasing number of animal species and populations. However, in some groups, such as terrestrial mammals, it is difficult to disentangle individual niche variation from spatial variation in resource availability. In the present study, we investigate individual variation in the foraging niche of the European badger (Meles meles), a social carnivore that lives in a shared group territory, but forages predominantly alone. Using stable isotope analysis, we distinguish the extent to which foraging variation in badgers is determined by social and spatial constraints and by individual differences within groups. We found a tendency for individual badgers within groups to differ markedly and consistently in their isotope values, suggesting that individuals living with access to the same resources occupied distinctive foraging niches. Although sex had a significant effect on isotope values, substantial variation within groups occurred independently of age and sex. Individual differences were consistent over a period of several months and in some instances were highly consistent across the two years of the study, suggesting long-term individual foraging specialisations. Individual specialisation in foraging may, therefore, persist in populations of territorial species not solely as a result of spatial variation in resources, but also arising from individuals selecting differently from the same available resources. Although the exact cause of this behaviour is unknown, we suggest that specialisation may occur due to learning trade-offs which may limit individual niche widths. However, ecological factors at the group level, such as competition, may also influence the degree of specialisation.

  14. Trophic enrichment factors for blood serum in the European badger (Meles meles).

    PubMed

    Kelly, David J; Robertson, Andrew; Murphy, Denise; Fitzsimons, Tara; Costello, Eamon; Gormley, Eamonn; Corner, Leigh A L; Marples, Nicola M

    2012-01-01

    Ecologists undertaking stable isotopic analyses of animal diets require trophic enrichment factors (TEFs) for the specific animal tissues that they are studying. Such basic data are available for a small number of species, so values from trophically or phylogenetically similar species are often substituted for missing values. By feeding a controlled diet to captive European badgers (Meles meles) we determined TEFs for carbon and nitrogen in blood serum. TEFs for nitrogen and carbon in blood serum were +3.0 ± 0.4‰ and +0.4 ± 0.1‰ respectively. The TEFs for serum in badgers are notably different from those published for the red fox (Vulpes vulpes). There is currently no data for TEFs in the serum of other mustelid species. Our data show that species sharing similar niches (red fox) do not provide adequate proxy values for TEFs of badgers. Our findings emphasise the importance of having species-specific data when undertaking trophic studies using stable isotope analysis.

  15. Trophic Enrichment Factors for Blood Serum in the European Badger (Meles meles)

    PubMed Central

    Kelly, David J.; Robertson, Andrew; Murphy, Denise; Fitzsimons, Tara; Costello, Eamon; Gormley, Eamonn; Corner, Leigh A. L.; Marples, Nicola M.

    2012-01-01

    Ecologists undertaking stable isotopic analyses of animal diets require trophic enrichment factors (TEFs) for the specific animal tissues that they are studying. Such basic data are available for a small number of species, so values from trophically or phylogenetically similar species are often substituted for missing values. By feeding a controlled diet to captive European badgers (Meles meles) we determined TEFs for carbon and nitrogen in blood serum. TEFs for nitrogen and carbon in blood serum were +3.0±0.4‰ and +0.4±0.1‰ respectively. The TEFs for serum in badgers are notably different from those published for the red fox (Vulpes vulpes). There is currently no data for TEFs in the serum of other mustelid species. Our data show that species sharing similar niches (red fox) do not provide adequate proxy values for TEFs of badgers. Our findings emphasise the importance of having species-specific data when undertaking trophic studies using stable isotope analysis. PMID:23300863

  16. Winter Is Coming: Seasonal Variation in Resting Metabolic Rate of the European Badger (Meles meles)

    PubMed Central

    McClune, David W.; Kostka, Berit; Delahay, Richard J.; Montgomery, W. Ian; Marks, Nikki J.; Scantlebury, David M.

    2015-01-01

    Resting metabolic rate (RMR) is a measure of the minimum energy requirements of an animal at rest, and can give an indication of the costs of somatic maintenance. We measured RMR of free-ranging European badgers (Meles meles) to determine whether differences were related to sex, age and season. Badgers were captured in live-traps and placed individually within a metabolic chamber maintained at 20 ± 1°C. Resting metabolic rate was determined using an open-circuit respirometry system. Season was significantly correlated with RMR, but no effects of age or sex were detected. Summer RMR values were significantly higher than winter values (mass-adjusted mean ± standard error: 2366 ± 70 kJ⋅d−1; 1845 ± 109 kJ⋅d−1, respectively), with the percentage difference being 24.7%. While under the influence of anaesthesia, RMR was estimated to be 25.5% lower than the combined average value before administration, and after recovery from anaesthesia. Resting metabolic rate during the autumn and winter was not significantly different to allometric predictions of basal metabolic rate for mustelid species weighing 1 kg or greater, but badgers measured in the summer had values that were higher than predicted. Results suggest that a seasonal reduction in RMR coincides with apparent reductions in physical activity and body temperature as part of the overwintering strategy (‘winter lethargy’) in badgers. This study contributes to an expanding dataset on the ecophysiology of medium-sized carnivores, and emphasises the importance of considering season when making predictions of metabolic rate. PMID:26352150

  17. Winter Is Coming: Seasonal Variation in Resting Metabolic Rate of the European Badger (Meles meles).

    PubMed

    McClune, David W; Kostka, Berit; Delahay, Richard J; Montgomery, W Ian; Marks, Nikki J; Scantlebury, David M

    2015-01-01

    Resting metabolic rate (RMR) is a measure of the minimum energy requirements of an animal at rest, and can give an indication of the costs of somatic maintenance. We measured RMR of free-ranging European badgers (Meles meles) to determine whether differences were related to sex, age and season. Badgers were captured in live-traps and placed individually within a metabolic chamber maintained at 20 ± 1°C. Resting metabolic rate was determined using an open-circuit respirometry system. Season was significantly correlated with RMR, but no effects of age or sex were detected. Summer RMR values were significantly higher than winter values (mass-adjusted mean ± standard error: 2366 ± 70 kJ⋅d(-1); 1845 ± 109 kJ⋅d(-1), respectively), with the percentage difference being 24.7%. While under the influence of anaesthesia, RMR was estimated to be 25.5% lower than the combined average value before administration, and after recovery from anaesthesia. Resting metabolic rate during the autumn and winter was not significantly different to allometric predictions of basal metabolic rate for mustelid species weighing 1 kg or greater, but badgers measured in the summer had values that were higher than predicted. Results suggest that a seasonal reduction in RMR coincides with apparent reductions in physical activity and body temperature as part of the overwintering strategy ('winter lethargy') in badgers. This study contributes to an expanding dataset on the ecophysiology of medium-sized carnivores, and emphasises the importance of considering season when making predictions of metabolic rate.

  18. A histometrical study on the long bones of raccoon dogs, Nyctereutes procyonoides and badgers, Meles meles.

    PubMed

    Hidaka, S; Matsumoto, M; Ohsako, S; Toyoshima, Y; Nishinakagawa, H

    1998-03-01

    To obtain the data required for identification of skeletal remains excavated from archaeological sites, histometrical observations were made in the cross sections of the mid-shaft of humerus, radius, femur and tibia of raccoon dogs (Nyctereutes procyonoides) and badgers (Meles meles) captured in Kagoshima Prefecture. There were interspecific differences between both animals in the breadth, the depth and the area of medullary cavity at the mid-shaft of the bones, all measurements were greater in male than in female bones. The thickness and the area of compact bones in male raccoon dogs were larger than those of female. No differences in histological structure could be detected among the bones, but an interspecific difference was found in the shape of osteons; round and constant-sized osteons consisting of 3 to 5 lamellae in raccoon dogs, while round or elliptic osteons varying in size from 3 to 8 lamellae in badgers. The ratios, the osteon areas per unit compact bone areas, were higher in all the bones of raccoon dogs. The short diameters of osteons and the ratios were greater in males in both animals. In females, the short diameter of osteons was smaller, and the number of osteons was larger. The results revealed interspecific differences between both animals and sexual dimorphism in each species.

  19. New data on the prevalence of Trichodectes melis (Phthiraptera, Trichodectidae) on the European badger Meles meles (Carnivora, Mustelidae).

    PubMed

    Kozina, Paulina; Gólcz, Aleksandra; Izdebska, Joanna N

    2014-01-01

    Trichodectes melis is a specific ectoparasite of the European badger Meles meles. Distribution of this chewing louse is little known, although presumably it coincides with the range of its typical host. In Poland, it has been found in only a few stands in the western part of the country. It has recently been observed in the area of the Białowieża Primeval Forest, where 81 specimens of T. melis (48 females, 7 males and 26 nymph forms) were collected from two female European badgers, mainly from the fur of the head area. No symptoms of infestation were observed.

  20. Reproductive skew and relatedness in social groups of European badgers, Meles meles.

    PubMed

    Dugdale, Hannah L; Macdonald, David W; Pope, Lisa C; Johnson, Paul J; Burke, Terry

    2008-04-01

    Reproductive skew is a measure of the proportion of individuals of each sex that breed in a group and is a valuable measure for understanding the evolution and maintenance of sociality. Here, we provide the first quantification of reproductive skew within social groups of European badgers Meles meles, throughout an 18-year study in a high-density population. We used 22 microsatellite loci to analyse within-group relatedness and demonstrated that badger groups contained relatives. The average within-group relatedness was high (R = 0.20) and approximately one-third of within-group dyads were more likely to represent first-order kin than unrelated pairs. Adult females within groups had higher pairwise relatedness than adult males, due to the high frequency of extra-group paternities, rather than permanent physical dispersal. Spatial clustering of relatives occurred among neighbouring groups, which we suggest was due to the majority of extra-group paternities being attributable to neighbouring males. Reproductive skew was found among within-group candidate fathers (B = 0.26) and candidate mothers (B = 0.07), but not among breeding individuals; our power to detect skew in the latter was low. We use these results to evaluate reproductive skew models. Although badger society best fits the assumptions of the incomplete-control models, our results were not consistent with their predictions. We suggest that this may be due to female control of paternity, female-female reproductive suppression occurring only in years with high food availability resulting in competition over access to breeding sites, extra-group paternity masking the benefits of natal philopatry, and/or the inconsistent occurrence of hierarchies that are linear when established.

  1. Culling-induced changes in badger (Meles meles) behaviour, social organisation and the epidemiology of bovine tuberculosis.

    PubMed

    Riordan, Philip; Delahay, Richard John; Cheeseman, Chris; Johnson, Paul James; Macdonald, David Whyte

    2011-01-01

    In the UK, attempts since the 1970s to control the incidence of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in cattle by culling a wildlife host, the European badger (Meles meles), have produced equivocal results. Culling-induced social perturbation of badger populations may lead to unexpected outcomes. We test predictions from the 'perturbation hypothesis', determining the impact of culling operations on badger populations, movement of surviving individuals and the influence on the epidemiology of bTB in badgers using data dervied from two study areas within the UK Government's Randomised Badger Culling Trial (RBCT). Culling operations did not remove all individuals from setts, with between 34-43% of badgers removed from targeted social groups. After culling, bTB prevalence increased in badger social groups neighbouring removals, particularly amongst cubs. Seventy individual adult badgers were fitted with radio-collars, yielding 8,311 locational fixes from both sites between November 2001 and December 2003. Home range areas of animals surviving within removed groups increased by 43.5% in response to culling. Overlap between summer ranges of individuals from Neighbouring social groups in the treatment population increased by 73.3% in response to culling. The movement rate of individuals between social groups was low, but increased after culling, in Removed and Neighbouring social groups. Increased bTB prevalence in Neighbouring groups was associated with badger movements both into and out of these groups, although none of the moving individuals themselves tested positive for bTB. Significant increases in both the frequency of individual badger movements between groups and the emergence of bTB were observed in response to culling. However, no direct evidence was found to link the two phenomena. We hypothesise that the social disruption caused by culling may not only increase direct contact and thus disease transmission between surviving badgers, but may also increase social stress

  2. Tuberculosis in European badgers (Meles meles) and the control of infection with bacille Calmette-Guérin vaccination.

    PubMed

    Corner, L A L; Murphy, D; Costello, E; Gormley, E

    2009-10-01

    The eradication of tuberculosis (Mycobacterium bovis infection) from cattle herds may be compromised if infected wildlife species, such as European badgers (Meles meles), share the same environment and contribute to transfer of infection. Options for dealing with tuberculosis in this wild reservoir host are limited by conservation and social concerns, despite a clear implication that infected badgers are involved with the initiation of tuberculosis in cattle herds. Vaccination of badgers against M. bovis, if successfully employed, would directly facilitate the completion of bovine tuberculosis eradication in affected areas. Vaccine trials in captive badgers have established that the M. bovis bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine can induce a protective response that limits the distribution and severity of tuberculosis disease following experimental challenge. The protective effect of the vaccine has been demonstrated when the vaccine was delivered by subcutaneous injection, deposited on mucous membranes, and given orally in a lipid formulation. A large-scale field trial of oral BCG vaccine has been designed to measure the protection generated in wild badgers subjected to natural transmission of infection and to estimate vaccine efficacy. These parameters will be estimated by comparing the prevalence of M. bovis infection in vaccinated and nonvaccinated badgers. The results will provide a framework for the development and implementation of a national strategy to eliminate the disease in badger populations and if successful will remove this major impediment to bovine tuberculosis eradication.

  3. Sex-related heterogeneity in the life-history correlates of Mycobacterium bovis infection in European badgers (Meles meles).

    PubMed

    Tomlinson, A J; Chambers, M A; Wilson, G J; McDonald, R A; Delahay, R J

    2013-11-01

    Heterogeneity in the progression of disease amongst individual wild animals may impact on both pathogen and host dynamics at the population level, through differential effects on transmission, mortality and reproductive output. The role of the European badger (Meles meles) as a reservoir host for Mycobacterium bovis infection in the UK and Ireland has been the focus of intense research for many years. Here, we investigate life-history correlates of infection in a high-density undisturbed badger population naturally infected with M. bovis. We found no evidence of a significant impact of M. bovis infection on female reproductive activity or success, with evidence of reproduction continuing successfully for several years in the face of M. bovis excretion. We also found evidence to support the hypothesis that female badgers are more resilient to established M. bovis infection than male badgers, with longer survival times following the detection of bacterial excretion. We discuss the importance of infectious breeding females in the persistence of M. bovis in badger populations, and how our findings in male badgers are consistent with testosterone-induced immunosuppression. In addition, we found significant weight loss in badgers with evidence of disseminated infection, based on the culture of M. bovis from body systems other than the respiratory tract. For females, there was a gradual loss of weight as infection progressed, whereas males only experienced substantial weight loss when infection had progressed to the point of dissemination. We discuss how these differences may be explained in terms of resource allocation and physiological trade-offs.

  4. Discovery of a polyomavirus in European badgers (Meles meles) and the evolution of host range in the family Polyomaviridae.

    PubMed

    Hill, Sarah C; Murphy, Aisling A; Cotten, Matthew; Palser, Anne L; Benson, Phillip; Lesellier, Sandrine; Gormley, Eamonn; Richomme, Céline; Grierson, Sylvia; Bhuachalla, Deirdre Ni; Chambers, Mark; Kellam, Paul; Boschiroli, María-Laura; Ehlers, Bernhard; Jarvis, Michael A; Pybus, Oliver G

    2015-06-01

    Polyomaviruses infect a diverse range of mammalian and avian hosts, and are associated with a variety of symptoms. However, it is unknown whether the viruses are found in all mammalian families and the evolutionary history of the polyomaviruses is still unclear. Here, we report the discovery of a novel polyomavirus in the European badger (Meles meles), which to our knowledge represents the first polyomavirus to be characterized in the family Mustelidae, and within a European carnivoran. Although the virus was discovered serendipitously in the supernatant of a cell culture inoculated with badger material, we subsequently confirmed its presence in wild badgers. The European badger polyomavirus was tentatively named Meles meles polyomavirus 1 (MmelPyV1). The genome is 5187 bp long and encodes proteins typical of polyomaviruses. Phylogenetic analyses including all known polyomavirus genomes consistently group MmelPyV1 with California sea lion polyomavirus 1 across all regions of the genome. Further evolutionary analyses revealed phylogenetic discordance amongst polyomavirus genome regions, possibly arising from evolutionary rate heterogeneity, and a complex association between polyomavirus phylogeny and host taxonomic groups.

  5. Molecular identification of Trichinella britovi in martens (Martes martes) and badgers (Meles meles); new host records in Poland.

    PubMed

    Moskwa, Bożena; Goździk, Katarzyna; Bień, Justyna; Bogdaszewski, Marek; Cabaj, Władysław

    2012-12-01

    Trichinella larvae were detected in a marten (Martes martes) and a badger (Meles meles) in Poland. The animals were found dead following car accidents. All examined animals derived from the Mazurian Lake district, north-east Poland, near the village Kosewo Górne where Trichinella infection were earlier confirmed in wildlife; red foxes and wild boars. The muscle samples were examined by artificial pepsin-HCl digestion method. The parasites were identified as Trichinella britovi by multiplex polymerase chain reaction method. Larvae were found in two out of three martens and one out of seven examined badgers. This is the first report of the identification of Trichinella britovi larvae from martens and badgers in Poland.

  6. Dissections of fresh skulls confirm low prevalence of Troglotrema acutum (Trematoda: Troglotrematidae) in German badgers (Meles meles).

    PubMed

    Heddergott, M; Frantz, A C; Jenrich, J; Müller, F

    2015-02-01

    We examined 131 European badgers Meles meles (Linnaeus, 1758) from 67 localities in central Germany for the presence of the cranial trematode Troglotrema acutum, as previous studies based on museum skulls might have underestimated the prevalence of the parasite in this host. We detected the flatworm in only three individuals that originated from the Rhoen Mountains (Thurigina and Bavaria). While the cranium of one host individual showed the lesions and the sponge-like widening of certain regions of the skullcap that are typical of a T. acutum infection, the skulls of the two remaining badgers did not show any deformations. The three badgers were infected by eight, 20, and 49 T. acutum individuals, respectively. Eggs of the trematode parasite were detected in the paranasal sinuses of two badgers. While badgers infected with T. acutum may not show any surface bone lesions, the results of the present study do not contradict the conclusion that the badger is only an accidental host of T. acutum.

  7. Isolation of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato from the skin of the European badger (Meles meles) in Switzerland.

    PubMed

    Gern, Lise; Sell, Katy

    2009-04-01

    No data are available on the role of badgers in the ecology of Lyme borreliosis spirochetes in Europe. In a recent study describing validation of a molecular method allowing host DNA identification and Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato detection in Ixodes ricinus, the simultaneous presence of B. afzelii DNA and of European badger (Meles meles) DNA was detected in I. ricinus ticks in Switzerland. This suggested that badgers might be reservoir hosts for B. afzelii. Here, we present results obtained in a study on badgers conducted in 1996-1997. Thirty-one tissue samples (ear biopsy: n = 25, aspiration fluid: n = 6) from 8 badgers were placed in BSK medium to isolate B. burgdorferi sensu lato and were then examined by polymerase chain reaction/restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR/RFLP). Globally, six Borrelia isolates (6/31, 19.4%) were obtained from 3/8 (37.5%) badgers. These isolates were identified as B. afzelii (n = 3) and B. valaisiana (n = 3).

  8. Wildlife disease reservoirs: the epidemiology of Mycobacterium bovis infection in the European badger (Meles meles) and other British mammals.

    PubMed

    Delahay, R J; Cheeseman, C L; Clifton-Hadley, R S

    2001-01-01

    Mycobacterium bovis infection has been confirmed in a wide range of mammals hosts throughout the world. The European badger (Meles meles) and the brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) are implicated as significant sources of infection for domestic cattle in the UK and New Zealand respectively. The risk of transmission of infection between a wildlife population and domestic animals will be determined by both the epidemiology of the disease and the ecology of the host. In the UK, surveys by the UK Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF) have identified M. bovis infection in deer (Cervus sp., Capreolus sp., Dama sp.), red fox (Vulpes vulpes), mink (Mustela vison), feral ferret (Mustela furo), mole (Talpa europaea), brown rat (Rattus norvegicus) and feral cat (Felis catus). However, the potential contribution to cattle herd breakdowns, of reservoirs of M. bovis infection in mammals other than the badger is poorly understood and is the subject of current research. In contrast, M. bovis infection in the badger has been the subject of a long term ecological and epidemiological study at Woodchester Park in South-West England, where the prevalence and distribution of infection in a wild population has been intensively monitored. The pattern of infection in the population and potential risks to cattle, are profoundly influenced by badger social organization and behaviour. The pattern of land use and cattle farming practices in the UK brings badgers into close contact with domestic animals and provides conditions that may enhance the likelihood of disease transfer.

  9. Evolution of MHC class I genes in the European badger (Meles meles)

    PubMed Central

    Sin, Yung Wa; Dugdale, Hannah L; Newman, Chris; Macdonald, David W; Burke, Terry

    2012-01-01

    The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) plays a central role in the adaptive immune system and provides a good model with which to understand the evolutionary processes underlying functional genes. Trans-species polymorphism and orthology are both commonly found in MHC genes; however, mammalian MHC class I genes tend to cluster by species. Concerted evolution has the potential to homogenize different loci, whereas birth-and-death evolution can lead to the loss of orthologs; both processes result in monophyletic groups within species. Studies investigating the evolution of MHC class I genes have been biased toward a few particular taxa and model species. We present the first study of MHC class I genes in a species from the superfamily Musteloidea. The European badger (Meles meles) exhibits moderate variation in MHC class I sequences when compared to other carnivores. We identified seven putatively functional sequences and nine pseudogenes from genomic (gDNA) and complementary (cDNA) DNA, signifying at least two functional class I loci. We found evidence for separate evolutionary histories of the α1 and α2/α3 domains. In the α1 domain, several sequences from different species were more closely related to each other than to sequences from the same species, resembling orthology or trans-species polymorphism. Balancing selection and probable recombination maintain genetic diversity in the α1 domain, evidenced by the detection of positive selection and a recombination event. By comparison, two recombination breakpoints indicate that the α2/α3 domains have most likely undergone concerted evolution, where recombination has homogenized the α2/α3 domains between genes, leading to species-specific clusters of sequences. Our findings highlight the importance of analyzing MHC domains separately. PMID:22957169

  10. Pathogen burden, co-infection and major histocompatibility complex variability in the European badger (Meles meles).

    PubMed

    Sin, Yung Wa; Annavi, Geetha; Dugdale, Hannah L; Newman, Chris; Burke, Terry; MacDonald, David W

    2014-10-01

    Pathogen-mediated selection is thought to maintain the extreme diversity in the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes, operating through the heterozygote advantage, rare-allele advantage and fluctuating selection mechanisms. Heterozygote advantage (i.e. recognizing and binding a wider range of antigens than homozygotes) is expected to be more detectable when multiple pathogens are considered simultaneously. Here, we test whether MHC diversity in a wild population of European badgers (Meles meles) is driven by pathogen-mediated selection. We examined individual prevalence (infected or not), infection intensity and co-infection of 13 pathogens from a range of taxa and examined their relationships with MHC class I and class II variability. This population has a variable, but relatively low, number of MHC alleles and is infected by a variety of naturally occurring pathogens, making it very suitable for the investigation of MHC-pathogen relationships. We found associations between pathogen infections and specific MHC haplotypes and alleles. Co-infection status was not correlated with MHC heterozygosity, but there was evidence of heterozygote advantage against individual pathogen infections. This suggests that rare-allele advantages and/or fluctuating selection, and heterozygote advantage are probably the selective forces shaping MHC diversity in this species. We show stronger evidence for MHC associations with infection intensity than for prevalence and conclude that examining both pathogen prevalence and infection intensity is important. Moreover, examination of a large number and diversity of pathogens, and both MHC class I and II genes (which have different functions), provide an improved understanding of the mechanisms driving MHC diversity.

  11. Evolution of MHC class I genes in the European badger (Meles meles).

    PubMed

    Sin, Yung Wa; Dugdale, Hannah L; Newman, Chris; Macdonald, David W; Burke, Terry

    2012-07-01

    The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) plays a central role in the adaptive immune system and provides a good model with which to understand the evolutionary processes underlying functional genes. Trans-species polymorphism and orthology are both commonly found in MHC genes; however, mammalian MHC class I genes tend to cluster by species. Concerted evolution has the potential to homogenize different loci, whereas birth-and-death evolution can lead to the loss of orthologs; both processes result in monophyletic groups within species. Studies investigating the evolution of MHC class I genes have been biased toward a few particular taxa and model species. We present the first study of MHC class I genes in a species from the superfamily Musteloidea. The European badger (Meles meles) exhibits moderate variation in MHC class I sequences when compared to other carnivores. We identified seven putatively functional sequences and nine pseudogenes from genomic (gDNA) and complementary (cDNA) DNA, signifying at least two functional class I loci. We found evidence for separate evolutionary histories of the α1 and α2/α3 domains. In the α1 domain, several sequences from different species were more closely related to each other than to sequences from the same species, resembling orthology or trans-species polymorphism. Balancing selection and probable recombination maintain genetic diversity in the α1 domain, evidenced by the detection of positive selection and a recombination event. By comparison, two recombination breakpoints indicate that the α2/α3 domains have most likely undergone concerted evolution, where recombination has homogenized the α2/α3 domains between genes, leading to species-specific clusters of sequences. Our findings highlight the importance of analyzing MHC domains separately.

  12. MHC class II-assortative mate choice in European badgers (Meles meles).

    PubMed

    Sin, Yung Wa; Annavi, Geetha; Newman, Chris; Buesching, Christina; Burke, Terry; Macdonald, David W; Dugdale, Hannah L

    2015-06-01

    The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) plays a crucial role in the immune system, and in some species, it is a target by which individuals choose mates to optimize the fitness of their offspring, potentially mediated by olfactory cues. Under the genetic compatibility hypothesis, individuals are predicted to choose mates with compatible MHC alleles, to increase the fitness of their offspring. Studies of MHC-based mate choice in wild mammals are under-represented currently, and few investigate more than one class of MHC genes. We investigated mate choice based on the compatibility of MHC class I and II genes in a wild population of European badgers (Meles meles). We also investigated mate choice based on microsatellite-derived pairwise relatedness, to attempt to distinguish MHC-specific effects from genomewide effects. We found MHC-assortative mating, based on MHC class II, but not class I genes. Parent pairs had smaller MHC class II DRB amino acid distances and smaller functional distances than expected from random pairings. When we separated the analyses into within-group and neighbouring-group parent pairs, only neighbouring-group pairs showed MHC-assortative mating, due to similarity at MHC class II loci. Our randomizations showed no evidence of genomewide-based inbreeding, based on 35 microsatellite loci; MHC class II similarity was therefore the apparent target of mate choice. We propose that MHC-assortative mate choice may be a local adaptation to endemic pathogens, and this assortative mate choice may have contributed to the low MHC genetic diversity in this population.

  13. Testing of a palatable bait and compatible vaccine carrier for the oral vaccination of European badgers (Meles meles) against tuberculosis.

    PubMed

    Gowtage, Sonya; Williams, Gareth A; Henderson, Ray; Aylett, Paul; MacMorran, Duncan; Palmer, Si; Robertson, Andy; Lesellier, Sandrine; Carter, Stephen P; Chambers, Mark A

    2017-02-07

    The oral vaccination of wild badgers (Meles meles) with live Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) is one of the tools being considered for the control of bovine tuberculosis (caused by Mycobacterium bovis) in the UK. The design of a product for oral vaccination requires that numerous, and often competing, conditions are met. These include the need for a highly palatable, but physically stable bait that will meet regulatory requirements, and one which is also compatible with the vaccine formulation; in this case live BCG. In collaboration with two commercial bait companies we have developed a highly attractive and palatable bait recipe designed specifically for European badgers (Meles meles) that meets these requirements. The palatability of different batches of bait was evaluated against a standardised palatable control bait using captive badgers. The physical properties of the bait are described e.g. firmness and colour. The microbial load in the bait was assessed against European and US Pharmacopoeias. The bait was combined with an edible vaccine carrier made of hydrogenated peanut oil in which BCG vaccine was stable during bait manufacture and cold storage, demonstrating <0.5 log10 reduction in titre after 117weeks' storage at -20°C. BCG stability in bait was also evaluated at +4°C and under simulated environmental conditions (20°C, 98% Relative Humidity; RH). Finally, iophenoxic acid biomarkers were utilised as a surrogate for the BCG vaccine, to test variants of the vaccine-bait design for their ability to deliver biomarker to the gastrointestinal tract of individual animals. These data provide the first detailed description of a bait-vaccine delivery system developed specifically for the oral vaccination of badgers against Mycobacterium bovis using live BCG.

  14. Effect of culling and vaccination on bovine tuberculosis infection in a European badger (Meles meles) population by spatial simulation modelling.

    PubMed

    Abdou, Marwa; Frankena, Klaas; O'Keeffe, James; Byrne, Andrew W

    2016-03-01

    The control of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in cattle herds in the Republic of Ireland (ROI) is partially hindered by spill-back infection from wild badgers (Meles meles). The aim of this study was to determine the relative effects of interventions (combinations of culling and/or vaccination) on bTB dynamics in an Irish badger population. A spatial agent-based stochastic simulation model was developed to evaluate the effect of various control strategies for bovine tuberculosis in badgers: single control strategies (culling, selective culling, vaccination, and vaccine baits), and combined strategies (Test vaccinate/cull (TVC)), split area approaches using culling and vaccination, or selective culling and vaccination, and mixed scenarios where culling was conducted for five years and followed by vaccination or by a TVC strategy. The effect of each control strategy was evaluated over a 20-year period. Badger control was simulated in 25%, 50%, and 75% area (limited area strategy) or in the entire area (100%, wide area strategy). For endemic bTB, a culling strategy was successful in eradicating bTB from the population only if applied as an area-wide strategy. However, this was achieved only by risking the extinction of the badger population. Selective culling strategies (selective culling or TVC) mitigated this negative impact on the badger population's viability. Furthermore, both strategies (selective culling and TVC) allowed the badger population to recover gradually, in compensation for the population reduction following the initial use of removal strategies. The model predicted that vaccination can be effective in reducing bTB prevalence in badgers, when used in combination with culling strategies (i.e. TVC or other strategies). If fecundity was reduced below its natural levels (e.g. by using wildlife contraceptives), the effectiveness of vaccination strategies improved. Split-area simulations highlighted that interventions can have indirect effects (e.g. on

  15. The Effect of Oral Vaccination with Mycobacterium bovis BCG on the Development of Tuberculosis in Captive European Badgers (Meles meles).

    PubMed

    Chambers, Mark A; Aldwell, Frank; Williams, Gareth A; Palmer, Si; Gowtage, Sonya; Ashford, Roland; Dalley, Deanna J; Davé, Dipesh; Weyer, Ute; Salguero, Francisco J; Nunez, Alejandro; Nadian, Allan K; Crawshaw, Timothy; Corner, Leigh A L; Lesellier, Sandrine

    2017-01-01

    The European badger (Meles meles) is a reservoir host of Mycobacterium bovis and responsible for a proportion of the tuberculosis (TB) cases seen in cattle in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland. An injectable preparation of the bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine is licensed for use in badgers in the UK and its use forms part of the bovine TB eradication plans of England and Wales. However, there are practical limitations to the widespread application of an injectable vaccine for badgers and a research priority is the development of an oral vaccine deliverable to badgers in bait. Previous studies reported the successful vaccination of badgers with oral preparations of 10(8) colony forming units (CFU) of both Pasteur and Danish strains of BCG contained within a lipid matrix composed of triglycerides of fatty acids. Protection against TB in these studies was expressed as a reduction in the number and apparent progression of visible lesions, and reductions in the bacterial load and dissemination of infection. To reduce the cost of an oral vaccine and reduce the potential for environmental contamination with BCG, it is necessary to define the minimal efficacious dose of oral BCG for badgers. The objectives of the two studies reported here were to compare the efficacy of BCG Danish strain in a lipid matrix with unformulated BCG given orally, and to evaluate the efficacy of BCG Danish in a lipid matrix at a 10-fold lower dose than previously evaluated in badgers. In the first study, both BCG unformulated and in a lipid matrix reduced the number and apparent progression of visible lesions and the dissemination of infection from the lung. In the second study, vaccination with BCG in the lipid matrix at a 10-fold lower dose produced a similar outcome, but with greater intra-group variability than seen with the higher dose in the first study. Further research is needed before we are able to recommend a final dose of BCG for oral vaccination of badgers against TB

  16. The safety and immunogenicity of Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine in European badgers (Meles meles).

    PubMed

    Lesellier, S; Palmer, S; Dalley, D J; Davé, D; Johnson, L; Hewinson, R G; Chambers, M A

    2006-07-15

    European badgers (Meles meles) are a wildlife reservoir for Mycobacterium bovis (M. bovis) in Great Britain (GB) and the Republic of Ireland and therefore constitute a potential source of infection for cattle. Reduction of badger densities in the Republic of Ireland has resulted in an associated reduction in the risk of a herd break-down with bovine tuberculosis and a study to determine whether this is also the case in GB has been running since 1997. If badgers are a significant source of M. bovis infection for cattle, vaccinating badgers with Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) might prove to be a long term, cost-effective strategy for controlling bovine tuberculosis whilst preserving badger populations. As a first step towards BCG vaccination of wild badgers, it was necessary to demonstrate safety of the vaccine in captive badgers. Therefore, captive badgers were vaccinated with a commercial source of BCG that is already licensed for administration to humans in GB-BCG Danish SSI. Using a protocol prescribed by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) of GB, badgers were vaccinated with two consecutive doses of BCG via either the subcutaneous (s.c.) or intra-muscular (i.m.) routes. The first dose was high, ranging from 16 to 22 x 10(7) colony-forming units (CFU), and was followed 15 weeks later by a lower dose in the range of 4-7 x 10(5)CFU. Local reaction at the site of injection and general responses (body temperature, haematology and blood serum chemistry), behaviour and excretion of BCG were monitored for 28 weeks from the time of the first vaccination. The only side-effect observed was the occurrence of localised swelling at the site of BCG injection that disappeared 48 days after i.m. vaccination but persisted longer in the group vaccinated by the s.c. route. Immunological responses were measured at regular intervals. Strong cellular responses were observed 13 days after the first vaccination, which persisted for 76 days. The lower dose induced a weaker and

  17. The Effect of Oral Vaccination with Mycobacterium bovis BCG on the Development of Tuberculosis in Captive European Badgers (Meles meles)

    PubMed Central

    Chambers, Mark A.; Aldwell, Frank; Williams, Gareth A.; Palmer, Si; Gowtage, Sonya; Ashford, Roland; Dalley, Deanna J.; Davé, Dipesh; Weyer, Ute; Salguero, Francisco J.; Nunez, Alejandro; Nadian, Allan K.; Crawshaw, Timothy; Corner, Leigh A. L.; Lesellier, Sandrine

    2017-01-01

    The European badger (Meles meles) is a reservoir host of Mycobacterium bovis and responsible for a proportion of the tuberculosis (TB) cases seen in cattle in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland. An injectable preparation of the bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine is licensed for use in badgers in the UK and its use forms part of the bovine TB eradication plans of England and Wales. However, there are practical limitations to the widespread application of an injectable vaccine for badgers and a research priority is the development of an oral vaccine deliverable to badgers in bait. Previous studies reported the successful vaccination of badgers with oral preparations of 108 colony forming units (CFU) of both Pasteur and Danish strains of BCG contained within a lipid matrix composed of triglycerides of fatty acids. Protection against TB in these studies was expressed as a reduction in the number and apparent progression of visible lesions, and reductions in the bacterial load and dissemination of infection. To reduce the cost of an oral vaccine and reduce the potential for environmental contamination with BCG, it is necessary to define the minimal efficacious dose of oral BCG for badgers. The objectives of the two studies reported here were to compare the efficacy of BCG Danish strain in a lipid matrix with unformulated BCG given orally, and to evaluate the efficacy of BCG Danish in a lipid matrix at a 10-fold lower dose than previously evaluated in badgers. In the first study, both BCG unformulated and in a lipid matrix reduced the number and apparent progression of visible lesions and the dissemination of infection from the lung. In the second study, vaccination with BCG in the lipid matrix at a 10-fold lower dose produced a similar outcome, but with greater intra-group variability than seen with the higher dose in the first study. Further research is needed before we are able to recommend a final dose of BCG for oral vaccination of badgers against TB or

  18. Factors affecting European badger (Meles meles) capture numbers in one county in Ireland.

    PubMed

    Byrne, Andrew W; O'Keeffe, James; Sleeman, D Paddy; Davenport, John; Martin, S Wayne

    2013-04-01

    Understanding factors affecting the number of badgers captured at and around badger setts (burrows) is of considerable applied importance. These factors could be used to estimate probable badger densities for bovine tuberculosis (bTB) control and also for monitoring badger populations from a conservation perspective. Furthermore, badger management and vaccination programs would benefit by increasing the probability of efficiently capturing the target badger populations. Within this context, it was investigated whether badger capture numbers can be estimated from field signs and previous capture histories. Badger capture records (initial and repeated capture numbers at a sett) from a large-scale removal program (405 km(2), 643 setts) were used. Univariable count models indicated that there were a number of significant potential predictors of badger numbers, during initial capture attempts. Using a multivariable zero-inflated Poisson (ZIP) model of initial captures we found that badger capture numbers were significantly affected by sett type, season, year, and the number of sett entrances in active use. Badger capture numbers were also affected by the total previous catch during repeated capture events and by the number of previous capture attempts. There was a significant negative trend in badger captures across events. Measures of the ability of these models to estimate badger captures suggested that the models might be useful in estimating badger numbers across a population; however the confidence intervals associated with these predictions were large.

  19. Climate and the Individual: Inter-Annual Variation in the Autumnal Activity of the European Badger (Meles meles)

    PubMed Central

    Noonan, Michael J.; Markham, Andrew; Newman, Chris; Trigoni, Niki; Buesching, Christina D.; Ellwood, Stephen A.; Macdonald, David W.

    2014-01-01

    We establish intra-individual and inter-annual variability in European badger (Meles meles) autumnal nightly activity in relation to fine-scale climatic variables, using tri-axial accelerometry. This contributes further to understanding of causality in the established interaction between weather conditions and population dynamics in this species. Modelling found that measures of daylight, rain/humidity, and soil temperature were the most supported predictors of ACTIVITY, in both years studied. In 2010, the drier year, the most supported model included the SOLAR*RH interaction, RAIN, and30cmTEMP (w = 0.557), while in 2012, a wetter year, the most supported model included the SOLAR*RH interaction, and the RAIN*10cmTEMP (w = 0.999). ACTIVITY also differed significantly between individuals. In the 2012 autumn study period, badgers with the longest per noctem activity subsequently exhibited higher Body Condition Indices (BCI) when recaptured. In contrast, under drier 2010 conditions, badgers in good BCI engaged in less per noctem activity, while badgers with poor BCI were the most active. When compared on the same calendar dates, to control for night length, duration of mean badger nightly activity was longer (9.5 hrs ±3.3 SE) in 2010 than in 2012 (8.3 hrs ±1.9 SE). In the wetter year, increasing nightly activity was associated with net-positive energetic gains (from BCI), likely due to better foraging conditions. In a drier year, with greater potential for net-negative energy returns, individual nutritional state proved crucial in modifying activity regimes; thus we emphasise how a ‘one size fits all’ approach should not be applied to ecological responses. PMID:24465376

  20. Climate and the individual: inter-annual variation in the autumnal activity of the European badger (Meles meles).

    PubMed

    Noonan, Michael J; Markham, Andrew; Newman, Chris; Trigoni, Niki; Buesching, Christina D; Ellwood, Stephen A; Macdonald, David W

    2014-01-01

    We establish intra-individual and inter-annual variability in European badger (Meles meles) autumnal nightly activity in relation to fine-scale climatic variables, using tri-axial accelerometry. This contributes further to understanding of causality in the established interaction between weather conditions and population dynamics in this species. Modelling found that measures of daylight, rain/humidity, and soil temperature were the most supported predictors of ACTIVITY, in both years studied. In 2010, the drier year, the most supported model included the SOLAR*RH interaction, RAIN, and 30cmTEMP (w = 0.557), while in 2012, a wetter year, the most supported model included the SOLAR*RH interaction, and the RAIN*10cmTEMP (w = 0.999). ACTIVITY also differed significantly between individuals. In the 2012 autumn study period, badgers with the longest per noctem activity subsequently exhibited higher Body Condition Indices (BCI) when recaptured. In contrast, under drier 2010 conditions, badgers in good BCI engaged in less per noctem activity, while badgers with poor BCI were the most active. When compared on the same calendar dates, to control for night length, duration of mean badger nightly activity was longer (9.5 hrs ±3.3 SE) in 2010 than in 2012 (8.3 hrs ±1.9 SE). In the wetter year, increasing nightly activity was associated with net-positive energetic gains (from BCI), likely due to better foraging conditions. In a drier year, with greater potential for net-negative energy returns, individual nutritional state proved crucial in modifying activity regimes; thus we emphasise how a 'one size fits all' approach should not be applied to ecological responses.

  1. Social organization and movement influence the incidence of bovine tuberculosis in an undisturbed high-density badger Meles meles population.

    PubMed

    Vicente, J; Delahay, R J; Walker, N J; Cheeseman, C L

    2007-03-01

    1. The culling of European badgers Meles meles has been a central part of attempts to control bovine tuberculosis (TB) in British cattle for many years. Recent results, however, indicate that this approach could in practice enhance disease spread. 2. This paper looks at the relationship between TB incidence and badger ecology in a high-density population in south-west England, which has been the subject of a long-term intensive study. The principal aims were to relate the probability of TB incidence, as detected by culture of clinical samples (i.e. excretion of bacilli), at the level of the individual and of the social group to demographic processes, movement, social organization and disease dynamics. 3. The probability of an individual being an incident case was greater in groups where TB was already present, although this was less influential in groups that were subject to some instability in numbers. Both individuals and groups were more likely to be incident cases where the social group was diminishing in size, although no relationship was observed with group size itself. This suggests that the process of group size reduction rather than group size per se has most influence on disease dynamics. The likelihood that either an individual or a group was an incident case was positively correlated with both individual and group-level movement. When the proportion of females in a social group was high, the positive association between movement and incidence was found to be more pronounced and there was a significantly higher probability of incident cases among males. 4. These relationships highlight the importance of social structure in driving TB transmission dynamics in this stable, high-density badger population. The results support the idea that a stable social structure mitigates against new incident cases of disease, and are consistent with the contention that badger culling may create the social circumstances for enhanced transmission of TB.

  2. Vaccination of European badgers (Meles meles) with BCG by the subcutaneous and mucosal routes induces protective immunity against endobronchial challenge with Mycobacterium bovis.

    PubMed

    Corner, Leigh A L; Costello, Eamon; Lesellier, Sandrine; O'Meara, Damien; Gormley, Eamonn

    2008-11-01

    Mycobacterium bovis is endemic in badger (Meles meles) populations of Ireland and the United Kingdom and infected badgers are a potential source of infection for cattle. In domestic livestock tuberculosis causes economic losses from lost production and the costs associated with eradication programmes, and in addition there is a risk of zoonotic infection. Whereas culling is currently used to control tuberculous badger populations in Ireland, vaccination, if it were available, would be preferred. A study was undertaken to examine the protective responses of badgers vaccinated either by the subcutaneous or mucosal (intranasal and conjunctival) routes with bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG), when challenged with M. bovis by the endobronchial route. Three groups of badgers were used. The first group (n=4) was vaccinated with approximately 5 x 10(5) colony forming units (cfu) of BCG by subcutaneous injection. In the second group (n=5) badgers were vaccinated via the mucosal route by instilling 1.0 x 10(5)cfu into each conjunctival sac and spraying 1.0 x 10(5)cfu into each nostril (final vaccine dose of 4 x 10(5)cfu). The control (n=5) badgers served as a non-vaccinated group. Twelve weeks post-vaccination all badgers in the three groups were challenged with approximately 10(4)cfu of M. bovis by endobronchial inoculation. At 12 weeks post-infection all badgers were examined post-mortem to assess the pathological and bacteriological responses to challenge. Gross and histological lesions of tuberculosis were seen in all challenged badgers and M. bovis was recovered from all challenged badgers. However, across six of the eight parameters used to measure disease severity, the infection in the vaccinated badgers was significantly less severe than in the control group. The BCG vaccine induced a significant protective effect in the badgers and the protective immunity was generated by subcutaneous and mucosal vaccination.

  3. Revisiting the phylogeography and demography of European badgers (Meles meles) based on broad sampling, multiple markers and simulations

    PubMed Central

    Frantz, A C; McDevitt, A D; Pope, L C; Kochan, J; Davison, J; Clements, C F; Elmeros, M; Molina-Vacas, G; Ruiz-Gonzalez, A; Balestrieri, A; Van Den Berge, K; Breyne, P; Do Linh San, E; Ågren, E O; Suchentrunk, F; Schley, L; Kowalczyk, R; Kostka, B I; Ćirović, D; Šprem, N; Colyn, M; Ghirardi, M; Racheva, V; Braun, C; Oliveira, R; Lanszki, J; Stubbe, A; Stubbe, M; Stier, N; Burke, T

    2014-01-01

    Although the phylogeography of European mammals has been extensively investigated since the 1990s, many studies were limited in terms of sampling distribution, the number of molecular markers used and the analytical techniques employed, frequently leading to incomplete postglacial recolonisation scenarios. The broad-scale genetic structure of the European badger (Meles meles) is of interest as it may result from historic restriction to glacial refugia and/or recent anthropogenic impact. However, previous studies were based mostly on samples from western Europe, making it difficult to draw robust conclusions about the location of refugia, patterns of postglacial expansion and recent demography. In the present study, continent-wide sampling and analyses with multiple markers provided evidence for two glacial refugia (Iberia and southeast Europe) that contributed to the genetic variation observed in badgers in Europe today. Approximate Bayesian computation provided support for a colonisation of Scandinavia from both Iberian and southeastern refugia. In the whole of Europe, we observed a decline in genetic diversity with increasing latitude, suggesting that the reduced diversity in the peripheral populations resulted from a postglacial expansion processes. Although MSVAR v.1.3 also provided evidence for recent genetic bottlenecks in some of these peripheral populations, the simulations performed to estimate the method's power to correctly infer the past demography of our empirical populations suggested that the timing and severity of bottlenecks could not be established with certainty. We urge caution against trying to relate demographic declines inferred using MSVAR with particular historic or climatological events. PMID:24781805

  4. Revisiting the phylogeography and demography of European badgers (Meles meles) based on broad sampling, multiple markers and simulations.

    PubMed

    Frantz, A C; McDevitt, A D; Pope, L C; Kochan, J; Davison, J; Clements, C F; Elmeros, M; Molina-Vacas, G; Ruiz-Gonzalez, A; Balestrieri, A; Van Den Berge, K; Breyne, P; Do Linh San, E; Agren, E O; Suchentrunk, F; Schley, L; Kowalczyk, R; Kostka, B I; Cirović, D; Sprem, N; Colyn, M; Ghirardi, M; Racheva, V; Braun, C; Oliveira, R; Lanszki, J; Stubbe, A; Stubbe, M; Stier, N; Burke, T

    2014-11-01

    Although the phylogeography of European mammals has been extensively investigated since the 1990s, many studies were limited in terms of sampling distribution, the number of molecular markers used and the analytical techniques employed, frequently leading to incomplete postglacial recolonisation scenarios. The broad-scale genetic structure of the European badger (Meles meles) is of interest as it may result from historic restriction to glacial refugia and/or recent anthropogenic impact. However, previous studies were based mostly on samples from western Europe, making it difficult to draw robust conclusions about the location of refugia, patterns of postglacial expansion and recent demography. In the present study, continent-wide sampling and analyses with multiple markers provided evidence for two glacial refugia (Iberia and southeast Europe) that contributed to the genetic variation observed in badgers in Europe today. Approximate Bayesian computation provided support for a colonisation of Scandinavia from both Iberian and southeastern refugia. In the whole of Europe, we observed a decline in genetic diversity with increasing latitude, suggesting that the reduced diversity in the peripheral populations resulted from a postglacial expansion processes. Although MSVAR v.1.3 also provided evidence for recent genetic bottlenecks in some of these peripheral populations, the simulations performed to estimate the method's power to correctly infer the past demography of our empirical populations suggested that the timing and severity of bottlenecks could not be established with certainty. We urge caution against trying to relate demographic declines inferred using MSVAR with particular historic or climatological events.

  5. Long-term temporal trends and estimated transmission rates for Mycobacterium bovis infection in an undisturbed high-density badger (Meles meles) population.

    PubMed

    Delahay, R J; Walker, N; Smith, G C; Smith, G S; Wilkinson, D; Clifton-Hadley, R S; Cheeseman, C L; Tomlinson, A J; Chambers, M A

    2013-07-01

    We describe epidemiological trends in Mycobacterium bovis infection in an undisturbed wild badger (Meles meles) population. Data were derived from the capture, clinical sampling and serological testing of 1803 badgers over 9945 capture events spanning 24 years. Incidence and prevalence increased over time, exhibiting no simple relationship with host density. Potential explanations are presented for a marked increase in the frequency of positive serological test results. Transmission rates (R0) estimated from empirical data were consistent with modelled estimates and robust to changes in test sensitivity and the spatial extent of the population at risk. The risk of a positive culture or serological test result increased with badger age, and varied seasonally. Evidence consistent with progressive disease was found in cubs. This study demonstrates the value of long-term data and the repeated application of imperfect diagnostic tests as indices of infection to reveal epidemiological trends in M. bovis infection in badgers.

  6. MHC class II genes in the European badger (Meles meles): characterization, patterns of variation, and transcription analysis.

    PubMed

    Sin, Yung Wa; Dugdale, Hannah L; Newman, Chris; Macdonald, David W; Burke, Terry

    2012-04-01

    The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) comprises many genes, some of which are polymorphic with numerous alleles. Sequence variation among alleles is most pronounced in exon 2 of the class II genes, which encodes the α1 and β1 domains that form the antigen-binding site (ABS) for the presentation of peptides. The MHC thus plays an important role in pathogen defense. European badgers (Meles meles) are a good species in which to study the MHC, as they harbor a variety of pathogens. We present the first characterization of MHC class II genes, isolated from genomic DNA (gDNA) and complementary DNA (cDNA), in the European badger. Examination of seven individuals revealed four DRB, two DQB, two DQA, and two DRA putatively functional gDNA sequences. All of these sequences, except DRA, exhibited high variability in exon 2; DRB had the highest variability. The ABS codons demonstrated high variability, due potentially to balancing selection, while non-ABS codons had lower variability. Positively selected sites were detected in DRB and DQA. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrated trans-species polymorphism of class II genes. Comparison with cDNA from whole blood revealed that only DRB had a transcription pattern reflecting the alleles that were present in the gDNA, while the other three genes had disparities between gDNA and cDNA. Only one sequence was transcribed, even though two gDNA sequences were present, from each of both DQB and DRA. Our characterization of badger MHC sequences forms a basis for further studies of MHC variability, mate choice, and pathogen resistance in this, and other, species.

  7. Movement of badgers (Meles meles) in a high-density population: individual, population and disease effects.

    PubMed Central

    Rogers, L M; Delahay, R; Cheeseman, C L; Langton, S; Smith, G C; Clifton-Hadley, R S

    1998-01-01

    The movement of 1763 badgers trapped between 36 social groups in Woodchester Park, Gloucestershire, over 18 years was analysed to determine the frequency and duration of moves, the factors associated with a predisposition to move and the spatial pattern of movements. Of those badgers whose capture history could be categorized, nearly half had moved. Of these, 73.1% were classified as 'occasional movers', 22.1% as 'permanent movers' and 4.8% as 'frequent movers'. Most adult badgers that moved made occasional moves (78.8%, n = 67). Cubs made all types of move including permanent moves (29%, n = 10). Seventy per cent of females were non-movers compared with 37% of males. Badgers were significantly more likely to move to smaller groups, whereas male badgers were significantly more likely to move to groups with a greater proportion of females. The spatial pattern of movement differed from the distribution of groups with bovine tuberculosis in the study area. However, temporal changes in movement were significantly related to the incidence of Mycobacterium bovis infection in the following year, indicating that as the movement of badgers between groups varies so does the incidence of bovine tuberculosis in the population. This finding is of central importance in the formulation of badger control policy. PMID:9718736

  8. Molecular analysis of Ixodes rugicollis, Candidatus Neoehrlichia sp. (FU98) and a novel Babesia genotype from a European badger (Meles meles).

    PubMed

    Hornok, Sándor; Trauttwein, Klaudia; Takács, Nóra; Hodžić, Adnan; Duscher, Georg Gerhard; Kontschán, Jenő

    2017-01-01

    The European badger (Meles meles) is a widespread mammal in most countries of the European continent, with increasingly recognized veterinary/medical importance owing to its preferred habitats (including pastures and urban environments), broad spectrum of food items, and role as a game hunting target. However, ticks and tick-borne pathogens associated with badgers are only partly known, and most of them have not yet been analysed with molecular biological methods The aim of this study was to perform molecular taxonomic analysis of ticks collected from a road-killed European badger, as well as to molecularly investigate its ticks and blood sample for the presence of Anaplasmataceae and piroplasms. Ticks from the badger were morphologically identified as females of Ixodes rugicollis. Based on its cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) and 16S rRNA sequences, I. rugicollis phylogenetically clustered together with I. lividus and I. arboricola, i.e. other members of the subgenus Pholeoixodes. The blood sample of the badger contained the DNA of Candidatus Neoehrlichia sp. (FU98) recently identified in red fox in Austria and the Czech Republic. This genotype is most closely related to Ca. N. lotoris (from raccoons in North America), and has lower sequence identity with the I. ricinus-transmitted zoonotic agent, Ca. N. mikurensis found in Eurasia. In the blood of the badger and in one female I. rugicollis, the DNA of a new Babesia genotype was also present, which differed from a piroplasm detected in M. meles in Spain, and clustered phylogenetically in the B. microti clade. Phylogenetic analysis of I. rugicollis (based on two genetic markers) confirms its status in subgenus Pholeoixodes. Ca. Neoehrlichia sp. (FU98) was identified for the first time in M. meles and in Hungary. In addition, a molecularly previously not yet characterized Babesia genotype occurs in badgers in Central Europe.

  9. Using isolation-by-distance-based approaches to assess the barrier effect of linear landscape elements on badger (Meles meles) dispersal.

    PubMed

    Frantz, A C; Pope, L C; Etherington, T R; Wilson, G J; Burke, T

    2010-04-01

    As the European badger (Meles meles) can be of conservation or management concern, it is important to have a good understanding of the species' dispersal ability. In particular, knowledge of landscape elements that affect dispersal can contribute to devising effective management strategies. However, the standard approach of using Bayesian clustering methods to correlate genetic discontinuities with landscape elements cannot easily be applied to this problem, as badger populations are often characterized by a strong confounding isolation-by-distance (IBD) pattern. We therefore developed a two-step method that compares the location of pairs of related badgers relative to a putative barrier and utilizes the expected spatial genetic structure characterized by IBD as a null model to test for the presence of a barrier. If a linear feature disrupts dispersal, the IBD pattern characterising pairs of individuals located on different sides of a putative barrier should differ significantly from the pattern obtained with pairs of individuals located on the same side. We used our new approach to assess the impact of rivers and roads of different sizes on badger dispersal in western England. We show that a large, wide river represented a barrier to badger dispersal and found evidence that a motorway may also restrict badger movement. Conversely, we did not find any evidence for small rivers and roads interfering with badger movement. One of the advantages of our approach is that potentially it can detect features that disrupt gene flow locally, without necessarily creating distinct identifiable genetic units.

  10. Population estimation and trappability of the European badger (Meles meles): implications for tuberculosis management.

    PubMed

    Byrne, Andrew W; O'Keeffe, James; Green, Stuart; Sleeman, D Paddy; Corner, Leigh A L; Gormley, Eamonn; Murphy, Denise; Martin, S Wayne; Davenport, John

    2012-01-01

    Estimates of population size and trappability inform vaccine efficacy modelling and are required for adaptive management during prolonged wildlife vaccination campaigns. We present an analysis of mark-recapture data from a badger vaccine (Bacille Calmette-Guérin) study in Ireland. This study is the largest scale (755 km(2)) mark-recapture study ever undertaken with this species. The study area was divided into three approximately equal-sized zones, each with similar survey and capture effort. A mean badger population size of 671 (SD: 76) was estimated using a closed-subpopulation model (CSpM) based on data from capturing sessions of the entire area and was consistent with a separate multiplicative model. Minimum number alive estimates calculated from the same data were on average 49-51% smaller than the CSpM estimates, but these are considered severely negatively biased when trappability is low. Population densities derived from the CSpM estimates were 0.82-1.06 badgers km(-2), and broadly consistent with previous reports for an adjacent area. Mean trappability was estimated to be 34-35% per session across the population. By the fifth capture session, 79% of the adult badgers caught had been marked previously. Multivariable modelling suggested significant differences in badger trappability depending on zone, season and age-class. There were more putatively trap-wary badgers identified in the population than trap-happy badgers, but wariness was not related to individual's sex, zone or season of capture. Live-trapping efficacy can vary significantly amongst sites, seasons, age, or personality, hence monitoring of trappability is recommended as part of an adaptive management regime during large-scale wildlife vaccination programs to counter biases and to improve efficiencies.

  11. Molecular characterization of the microbial communities in the subcaudal gland secretion of the European badger (Meles meles).

    PubMed

    Sin, Yung Wa; Buesching, Christina D; Burke, Terry; Macdonald, David W

    2012-09-01

    Many mammals possess specialized scent glands, which convey information about the marking individual. As the chemical profile of scent marks is likely to be affected by bacteria metabolizing the primary gland products, the variation in bacterial communities between different individuals has been proposed to underpin olfactory communication. However, few studies have investigated the dependency of microbiota residing in the scent organs on the host's individual-specific parameters. Here, we used terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis of the PCR-amplified 16S rRNA gene and clone library construction to investigate the microbial communities in the subcaudal gland secretion of the European badger (Meles meles). As the secretion has been shown to encode individual-specific information, we investigated the correlation of the microbiota with different individual-specific parameters (age, sex, body condition, reproductive status, and season). We discovered a high number of bacterial species (56 operational taxonomic units from four phyla: Actinobacteria, Firmicutes, Proteobacteria, and Bacteroidetes), dominated by Actinobacteria (76.0%). The bacterial communities of cubs and adults differed significantly. Cubs possessed considerably more diverse communities dominated by Firmicutes, while in adults the communities were less diverse and dominated by Actinobacteria, suggesting that the acquisition of a 'mature bacterial community' is an ontogenetic process related to physiological changes during maturation.

  12. Association of quantitative interferon-γ responses with the progression of naturally acquired Mycobacterium bovis infection in wild European badgers (Meles meles).

    PubMed

    Tomlinson, Alexandra J; Chambers, Mark A; McDonald, Robbie A; Delahay, Richard J

    2015-02-01

    Bovine tuberculosis is one of the biggest challenges facing cattle farming in Great Britain. European badgers (Meles meles) are a reservoir host for the causal agent, Mycobacterium bovis. There have been significant recent advances in diagnostic testing for tuberculosis in humans, cattle and badgers, with the development of species-specific assays for interferon-γ (IFN-γ), an important cytokine in tuberculous infections. Using data collected from longitudinal studies of naturally infected wild badgers, we report that the magnitude of the IFN-γ response to M. bovis antigens at the disclosing test event was positively correlated with subsequent progression of disease to a seropositive or excreting state. In addition, we show that the magnitude of the IFN-γ response, despite fluctuation, declined with time after the disclosing event for all badgers, but remained significantly higher in those animals with evidence of disease progression. We discuss how our findings may be related to the immunopathogenesis of natural M. bovis infection in badgers.

  13. Lethal distemper in badgers (Meles meles) following epidemic in dogs and wolves.

    PubMed

    Di Sabatino, Daria; Di Francesco, Gabriella; Zaccaria, Guendalina; Malatesta, Daniela; Brugnola, Luca; Marcacci, Maurilia; Portanti, Ottavio; De Massis, Fabrizio; Savini, Giovanni; Teodori, Liana; Ruggieri, Enzo; Mangone, Iolanda; Badagliacca, Pietro; Lorusso, Alessio

    2016-12-01

    Canine distemper virus (CDV) represents an important conservation threat to many wild carnivores. A large distemper epidemic sustained by an Arctic-lineage strain occurred in Italy in 2013, mainly in the Abruzzi region, causing overt disease in domestic and shepherd dogs, Apennine wolves (Canis lupus) and other wild carnivores. Two badgers were collected by the end of September 2015 in a rural area of the Abruzzi region and were demonstrated to be CDV-positive by real time RT-PCR and IHC in several tissues. The genome of CDV isolates from badgers showed Y549H substitution in the mature H protein. By employing all publicly available Arctic-lineage H protein encoding gene sequences, six amino acid changes in recent Italian strains with respect to Italian strains of dogs from 2000 to 2008, were observed. A CDV strain belonging to the European-wildlife lineage was also identified in a fox found dead in the same region in 2016, proving co-circulation of an additional CDV lineage.

  14. Development and evaluation of a test for tuberculosis in live European badgers (Meles meles) based on measurement of gamma interferon mRNA by real-time PCR.

    PubMed

    Sawyer, J; Mealing, D; Dalley, D; Davé, D; Lesellier, S; Palmer, S; Bowen-Davies, J; Crawshaw, T R; Chambers, M A

    2007-08-01

    A real-time PCR assay for the measurement of gamma interferon (IFN-gamma) mRNA in European badger (Meles meles) blood cultures was developed. The levels of IFN-gamma mRNA in blood cultures stimulated with either bovine or avian tuberculin or specific mycobacterial antigens were compared with those in a nonstimulated control blood culture as the basis for determining the tuberculosis (TB) status of live badgers. The assay was validated by testing 247 animals for which there were matching data from postmortem examination and culture of tissues. Relative changes in the levels of IFN-gamma mRNA in response to bovine tuberculin and specific antigens were found to be greater among badgers with tissues positive for TB on culture. The test was at its most accurate (87% of test results were correct) by using blood cultures containing bovine tuberculin as the antigen and when the response to avian tuberculin was taken into account by subtracting the avian tuberculin response from the bovine tuberculin response. At a specificity of 90.7%, the test was 70.6% sensitive. At the same specificity, the current serological enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for TB in badgers was only 53% sensitive. This work demonstrates that measurement of IFN-gamma mRNA by real-time PCR is a valid method for the detection of TB in live badgers and may provide an alternative to the current serological methods of diagnosis, the Brock test. The testing procedure can be completed within 5 h of receipt of the blood culture samples. In addition, the use of a molecular biology-based test offers the potential to fully automate the testing procedure through the use of robotics.

  15. A forensic STR profiling system for the Eurasian badger: a framework for developing profiling systems for wildlife species.

    PubMed

    Dawnay, Nick; Ogden, Rob; Thorpe, Roger S; Pope, Lisa C; Dawson, Deborah A; McEwing, Ross

    2008-01-01

    Developing short tandem repeat (STR) profiling systems for forensic identification is complicated in animal species. Obtaining a representative number of individuals from populations, limited access to family groups and a lack of developed STR markers can make adhering to human forensic guidelines difficult. Furthermore, a lack of animal specific guidelines may explain why many wildlife forensic STR profiling systems developed to date have not appropriately addressed areas such as marker validation or the publication and analysis of population data necessary for the application of these tools to forensic science. Here we present a methodology used to develop an STR profiling system for a legally protected wildlife species, the Eurasian badger Meles meles. Ten previously isolated STR loci were selected based on their level of polymorphism, adherence to Hardy-Weinberg expectations and their fragment size. Each locus was individually validated with respect to its reproducibility, inheritance, species specificity, DNA template concentration and thermocycling parameters. The effects of chemical, substrate and environmental exposure were also investigated. All ten STR loci provided reliable and reproducible results, and optimal amplification conditions were defined. Allele frequencies from 20 representative populations in England and Wales are presented and used to calculate the level of population substructure (theta) and inbreeding (f). Accounting for these estimates, the average probability of identity (PI(ave)) was 2.18 x 10(-7). This case study can act as a framework for others attempting to develop wildlife forensic profiling systems.

  16. Female receptivity, embryonic diapause, and superfetation in the European badger (Meles meles): implications for the reproductive tactics of males and females.

    PubMed

    Yamaguchi, Nobuyuki; Dugdale, Hannah L; Macdonald, David W

    2006-03-01

    The European badger Meles meles is thought to mate throughout the year with two mating peaks occurring in late winter/spring and summer/autumn. After mating, fertilized ova enter embryonic diapause (delayed implantation) at the blastocyst stage, which lasts up to eleven months. Even if mating is successful, however, the estrous cycle may continue during embryonic diapause, which suggests that female badgers are capable of superfetation (conception during pregnancy). This may increase female fitness by facilitating polyandry, and reduce the risk of infanticide by resident males through paternity confusion. Detailed understanding of female receptivity, specifically the association of superfetation with embryonic diapause, may explain field observations of seemingly inconsistent reproductive tactics of male badgers with regard to, for instance, whether or not they guard mates or defend territories. The combination of embryonic diapause and superfetation may occur in other mustelids; if so, the sociobiology of mustelids will need reevaluating, and the Mustelidae may prove to be a good model taxon for studies of sexual conflict in the reproduction of eutherian mammals.

  17. Tuberculosis in cattle herds are sentinels for Mycobacterium bovis infection in European badgers (Meles meles): the Irish Greenfield Study.

    PubMed

    Murphy, D; Gormley, E; Collins, D M; McGrath, G; Sovsic, E; Costello, E; Corner, L A L

    2011-07-05

    In Ireland badgers are removed in response to tuberculosis (TB) breakdowns in cattle herds (focal culling). Prevalence studies, conducted using a detailed post mortem and bacteriological examination, showed that 36-50% of badgers were infected with Mycobacterium bovis. Focal culling forms part of the medium term national strategy for the control of bovine TB in cattle and is based on the premise that badgers in areas with herd breakdowns have a higher prevalence of infection than the badger population at large. However, the hypothesis that cattle can be used as sentinels for infection in the badger population has never been formally tested. In this study we tested the hypothesis by determining the infection prevalence in badgers in areas where there had been historically, a consistently low prevalence of infection in cattle. Low cattle TB prevalence areas were defined as those herds with ≤ 2 standard reactors in the annual round of skin testing over the preceding 5 years (Greenfield sites). Using GIS, and adjusting for variation in land use, previous culling and cattle density, 198 Greenfield sites were identified and surveyed, and 138 areas with badger setts or signs of badger activity were identified. A single badger was removed from 87 sites and all were examined using detailed post mortem and bacteriological procedures. A prevalence of M. bovis infection of 14.9% was found in the Greenfield site badgers. This prevalence was significantly lower (P<0.001) than in badgers removed during focal culling (36.6%). The results validate the use of cattle as sentinels for TB in badgers and support the medium term national strategy for the control of bovine TB. The geographic variation in M. bovis infection prevalence in the Irish badger populations will be used when devising strategies for the incorporation of badger vaccination into the long term bovine TB control programme.

  18. Seasonal and inter-individual variation in testosterone levels in badgers Meles meles: evidence for the existence of two endocrinological phenotypes.

    PubMed

    Buesching, Christina Dagmar; Heistermann, Michael; Macdonald, David W

    2009-09-01

    Elevated testosterone levels can lower condition and increase parasites. We analysed testosterone in 84 blood samples of wild European badgers Meles meles collected at regular intervals (winter = mating season; spring = end of mating season; summer = minor mating peak; autumn = reproductive quiescence), and related variation to body condition, subcaudal gland secretion, parasite burden, and bite wounding. All males showed elevated levels in winter and low levels in autumn. In neither season did testosterone correlate with fitness-related parameters. However, two different endocrinological phenotypes existed in spring and summer. Whilst some males lowered their testosterone to levels comparable to autumnal quiescence (Type 1), others maintained elevated levels comparable to those during winter (Type 2). In spring and summer high levels were correlated with lower body condition and increased parasite burden, and Type 2 males tended to suffer higher mortality rates than Type 1. No animals older than 6 years adopted phenotype 2, indicating that males either switch phenotypes with age or that Type 2 results in lower life expectancy, evidencing the costs of male reproduction in badgers.

  19. A multi-metric approach to investigate the effects of weather conditions on the demographic of a terrestrial mammal, the european badger (Meles meles).

    PubMed

    Nouvellet, Pierre; Newman, Chris; Buesching, Christina D; Macdonald, David W

    2013-01-01

    Models capturing the full effects of weather conditions on animal populations are scarce. Here we decompose yearly temperature and rainfall into mean trends, yearly amplitude of change and residual variation, using daily records. We establish from multi-model inference procedures, based on 1125 life histories (from 1987 to 2008), that European badger (Meles meles) annual mortality and recruitment rates respond to changes in mean trends and to variability in proximate weather components. Variation in mean rainfall was by far the most influential predictor in our analysis. Juvenile survival and recruitment rates were highest at intermediate levels of mean rainfall, whereas low adult survival rates were associated with only the driest, and not the wettest, years. Both juvenile and adult survival rates also exhibited a range of tolerance for residual standard deviation around daily predicted temperature values, beyond which survival rates declined. Life-history parameters, annual routines and adaptive behavioural responses, which define the badgers' climatic niche, thus appear to be predicated upon a bounded range of climatic conditions, which support optimal survival and recruitment dynamics. That variability in weather conditions is influential, in combination with mean climatic trends, on the vital rates of a generalist, wide ranging and K-selected medium-sized carnivore, has major implications for evolutionary ecology and conservation.

  20. Experimental tuberculosis in the European badger (Meles meles) after endobronchial inoculation with Mycobacterium bovis: II. Progression of infection.

    PubMed

    Corner, L A L; Costello, E; Lesellier, S; O'Meara, D; Gormley, E

    2008-12-01

    The aim of the study was to describe, over a period of 24 weeks, the pathological and bacteriological changes in badgers experimentally infected with Mycobacterium bovis. The badgers were infected by endobronchial instillation of 2.5 x10(4) colony forming units (cfu) M. bovis. After infection, the badgers were examined at 3 weekly intervals when blood and tracheal aspirates were collected. At 6, 12, 18 and 24 weeks post-infection (pi) three animals were euthanized and a detailed pathological and bacteriological examination was performed to assess the nature of the experimental disease. During the course of the study only one badger developed clinical signs of disease: a subcutaneous swelling on its head, first observed at 18 weeks pi. At post-mortem examination gross and histological lesions of tuberculosis were observed and M. bovis was recovered from all, except one badger. In the majority of badgers the endobronchial route of inoculation resulted in the establishment of infection that over 24 weeks was non-progressive with limited dissemination of infection from the thoracic cavity, mainly to the hepatic and mesenteric lymph nodes. However, in one of the badgers examined at 18 weeks pi and one at 24 weeks pi, infection was widely disseminated. The disease induced by the endobronchial inoculation displayed the characteristics of disease observed in naturally infected badgers.

  1. Experimental tuberculosis in the European badger (Meles meles) after endobronchial inoculation of Mycobacterium bovis: I. Pathology and bacteriology.

    PubMed

    Corner, L A L; Costello, E; Lesellier, S; O'Meara, D; Sleeman, D P; Gormley, E

    2007-08-01

    The aim was to develop an endobronchial infection procedure for the study of Mycobacterium bovis infection in badgers. The badgers were anaesthetised and a cannula was passed per os to the tracheal bifurcation. When in place 1 ml of M. bovis suspension was inoculated. Three concentrations of M. bovis suspension were used; <10 colony forming units (cfu), approximately 10(2) cfu and approximately 3 x 10(3) cfu. The badgers were examined at three weekly intervals for clinical signs of disease and a tracheal aspirate was collected at each examination. The badgers were euthanased 17 weeks post infection (pi) and at the post mortem examination a wide range of tissues were examined for gross and histopathological lesions of tuberculosis and cultured for M. bovis. A sample of bronchial alveolar lavage (BAL) fluid was collected at post mortem for culture. At post mortem examination 17 weeks after infection, gross and histopathological lesions of tuberculosis were observed in all badgers inoculated with the high and medium dose and 1/3 inoculated with the low dose. M. bovis was recovered from all inoculated badgers. Infection in the high dose group was more widely disseminated than in the other groups. The number of sites with gross and histopathological lesions increased with increasing dose of M. bovis. All tracheal aspirates were negative on culture and only one BAL, collected from a badger of the high dose group, was positive on culture. No clinical signs due to the experimental infection were observed. The endobronchial route of inoculation is an effective route for establishing experimental infection, and could be used for studies of tuberculosis pathogenesis, immunology of M. bovis infection in badgers and for challenging badgers in vaccine protection studies. Badgers appeared to be very susceptible to infection by this procedure even with a dose of < 10 cfu but appear to control and limit the resulting infection.

  2. Oral vaccination of badgers (Meles meles) against tuberculosis: comparison of the protection generated by BCG vaccine strains Pasteur and Danish.

    PubMed

    Murphy, Denise; Costello, Eamon; Aldwell, Frank E; Lesellier, Sandrine; Chambers, Mark A; Fitzsimons, Tara; Corner, Leigh A L; Gormley, Eamonn

    2014-06-01

    Vaccination of badgers by the subcutaneous, mucosal and oral routes with the Pasteur strain of Mycobacterium bovis bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) has resulted in significant protection against experimental infection with virulent M. bovis. However, as the BCG Danish strain is the only commercially licensed BCG vaccine for use in humans in the European Union it is the vaccine of choice for delivery to badger populations. As all oral vaccination studies in badgers were previously conducted using the BCG Pasteur strain, this study compared protection in badgers following oral vaccination with the Pasteur and the Danish strains. Groups of badgers were vaccinated orally with 10(8) colony forming units (CFU) BCG Danish 1331 (n = 7 badgers) or 10(8) CFU BCG Pasteur 1173P2 (n = 6). Another group (n = 8) served as non-vaccinated controls. At 12 weeks post-vaccination, the animals were challenged by the endobronchial route with 6 × 10(3) CFU M. bovis, and at 15 weeks post-infection, all of the badgers were euthanased. Vaccination with either BCG strain provided protection against challenge compared with controls. The vaccinated badgers had significantly fewer sites with gross pathology and significantly lower gross pathological severity scores, fewer sites with histological lesions and fewer sites of infection, significantly lower bacterial counts in the thoracic lymph node, and lower bacterial counts in the lungs than the control group. No differences were observed between either of the vaccine groups by any of the pathology and bacteriology measures. The ELISPOT analysis, measuring production of badger interferon - gamma (IFN-γ), was also similar across the vaccinated groups.

  3. Neighbouring-group composition and within-group relatedness drive extra-group paternity rate in the European badger (Meles meles).

    PubMed

    Annavi, G; Newman, C; Dugdale, H L; Buesching, C D; Sin, Y W; Burke, T; Macdonald, D W

    2014-10-01

    Extra-group paternity (EGP) occurs commonly among group-living mammals and plays an important role in mating systems and the dynamics of sexual selection; however, socio-ecological and genetic correlates of EGP have been underexplored. We use 23 years of demographic and genetic data from a high-density European badger (Meles meles) population, to investigate the relationship between the rate of EGP in litters and mate availability, mate incompatibility and mate quality (heterozygosity). Relatedness between within-group assigned mothers and candidate fathers had a negative quadratic effect on EGP, whereas the number of neighbouring-group candidate fathers had a linear positive effect. We detected no effect of mean or maximum heterozygosity of within-group candidate fathers on EGP. Consequently, EGP was associated primarily with mate availability, subject to within-group genetic effects, potentially to mitigate mate incompatibility and inbreeding. In badgers, cryptic female choice, facilitated by superfecundation, superfoetation and delayed implantation, prevents males from monopolizing within-group females. This resonates with a meta-analysis in group-living mammals, which proposed that higher rates of EGP occur when within-group males cannot monopolize within-group females. In contrast to the positive meta-analytic association, however, we found that EGP associated negatively with the number of within-group assigned mothers and the number of within-group candidate fathers; potentially a strategy to counter within-group males committing infanticide. The relationship between the rate of EGP and socio-ecological or genetic factors can therefore be intricate, and the potential for cryptic female choice must be accounted for in comparative studies.

  4. Will Trespassers Be Prosecuted or Assessed According to Their Merits? A Consilient Interpretation of Territoriality in a Group-Living Carnivore, the European Badger (Meles meles)

    PubMed Central

    Noonan, Michael J.; Newman, Chris; Zedrosser, Andreas; Rosell, Frank; Macdonald, David W.

    2015-01-01

    Socio-spatial interactions of Carnivores have traditionally been described using the vocabulary of territoriality and aggression, with scent marks interpreted as ‘scent fences’. Here, we investigate the role of olfactory signals in assumed territorial marking of group-living solitary foragers using European badgers Meles meles as a model. We presented anal gland secretions (n = 351) from known individuals to identifiable recipients (n = 187), to assess response-variation according to familiarity (own-group, neighbours, strangers) and spatial context (in-context: at a shared border; out-of-context: at an unshared border/ the main sett). Sniffing and over-marking (with subcaudal gland secretion) responses were strongest to anal gland secretions from strangers, intermediate to neighbouring-group and weakest to own-group members. Secretions from both, strangers and neighbours, were sniffed for longer than were own-group samples, although neighbour-secretion presented out-of-context evoked no greater interest than in-context. On an individual level, responses were further moderated by the relevance of individual-specific donor information encoded in the secretion, as it related to the physiological state of the responder. There was a trend bordering on significance for males to sniff for longer than did females, but without sex-related differences in the frequency of subcaudal over-marking responses, and males over-marked oestrous female secretions more than non-oestrous females. There were no age-class related differences in sniff-duration or in over-marking. Evaluating these results in the context of the Familiarity hypothesis, the Threat-level hypothesis, and the Individual advertisement hypothesis evidences that interpretations of territorial scent-marks depicting rigid and potentially agonistic discrimination between own- and foreign-group conspecifics are overly simplistic. We use our findings to advance conceptual understanding of badger socio-spatial ecology

  5. Will Trespassers Be Prosecuted or Assessed According to Their Merits? A Consilient Interpretation of Territoriality in a Group-Living Carnivore, the European Badger (Meles meles).

    PubMed

    Tinnesand, Helga V; Buesching, Christina D; Noonan, Michael J; Newman, Chris; Zedrosser, Andreas; Rosell, Frank; Macdonald, David W

    2015-01-01

    Socio-spatial interactions of Carnivores have traditionally been described using the vocabulary of territoriality and aggression, with scent marks interpreted as 'scent fences'. Here, we investigate the role of olfactory signals in assumed territorial marking of group-living solitary foragers using European badgers Meles meles as a model. We presented anal gland secretions (n = 351) from known individuals to identifiable recipients (n = 187), to assess response-variation according to familiarity (own-group, neighbours, strangers) and spatial context (in-context: at a shared border; out-of-context: at an unshared border/ the main sett). Sniffing and over-marking (with subcaudal gland secretion) responses were strongest to anal gland secretions from strangers, intermediate to neighbouring-group and weakest to own-group members. Secretions from both, strangers and neighbours, were sniffed for longer than were own-group samples, although neighbour-secretion presented out-of-context evoked no greater interest than in-context. On an individual level, responses were further moderated by the relevance of individual-specific donor information encoded in the secretion, as it related to the physiological state of the responder. There was a trend bordering on significance for males to sniff for longer than did females, but without sex-related differences in the frequency of subcaudal over-marking responses, and males over-marked oestrous female secretions more than non-oestrous females. There were no age-class related differences in sniff-duration or in over-marking. Evaluating these results in the context of the Familiarity hypothesis, the Threat-level hypothesis, and the Individual advertisement hypothesis evidences that interpretations of territorial scent-marks depicting rigid and potentially agonistic discrimination between own- and foreign-group conspecifics are overly simplistic. We use our findings to advance conceptual understanding of badger socio-spatial ecology

  6. Neighbouring-group composition and within-group relatedness drive extra-group paternity rate in the European badger (Meles meles)

    PubMed Central

    Annavi, G; Newman, C; Dugdale, H L; Buesching, C D; Sin, Y W; Burke, T; Macdonald, D W

    2014-01-01

    Extra-group paternity (EGP) occurs commonly among group-living mammals and plays an important role in mating systems and the dynamics of sexual selection; however, socio-ecological and genetic correlates of EGP have been underexplored. We use 23 years of demographic and genetic data from a high-density European badger (Meles meles) population, to investigate the relationship between the rate of EGP in litters and mate availability, mate incompatibility and mate quality (heterozygosity). Relatedness between within-group assigned mothers and candidate fathers had a negative quadratic effect on EGP, whereas the number of neighbouring-group candidate fathers had a linear positive effect. We detected no effect of mean or maximum heterozygosity of within-group candidate fathers on EGP. Consequently, EGP was associated primarily with mate availability, subject to within-group genetic effects, potentially to mitigate mate incompatibility and inbreeding. In badgers, cryptic female choice, facilitated by superfecundation, superfoetation and delayed implantation, prevents males from monopolizing within-group females. This resonates with a meta-analysis in group-living mammals, which proposed that higher rates of EGP occur when within-group males cannot monopolize within-group females. In contrast to the positive meta-analytic association, however, we found that EGP associated negatively with the number of within-group assigned mothers and the number of within-group candidate fathers; potentially a strategy to counter within-group males committing infanticide. The relationship between the rate of EGP and socio-ecological or genetic factors can therefore be intricate, and the potential for cryptic female choice must be accounted for in comparative studies. PMID:25234113

  7. Differential associations of Borrelia species with European badgers (Meles meles) and raccoon dogs (Nyctereutes procyonoides) in western Poland.

    PubMed

    Wodecka, Beata; Michalik, Jerzy; Lane, Robert S; Nowak-Chmura, Magdalena; Wierzbicka, Anna

    2016-07-01

    European badgers and raccoon dogs and their associated ticks and lice were assayed for the presence of Lyme borreliosis and relapsing fever-group spirochete DNA in western Poland. Analyses of blood, ear-biopsy and liver samples revealed that 25% of 28 raccoon dogs and 12% of 34 badgers were PCR positive for borreliae. Borrelia garinii was the dominant species in raccoon dogs (62.5%), followed by B. afzelii (25%) and B. valaisiana (12.5%). PCR-positive badgers were infected only with B. afzelii. A total of 351 attached ticks was recovered from 23 (82%) of the raccoon dogs and 13 (38%) of the badgers. Using a nested PCR targeting the ITS2 fragments of Ixodes DNA, four Ixodes species were identified: I. ricinus, I. canisuga, I. hexagonus, and one provisionally named I. cf. kaiseri. Ixodes canisuga and I. ricinus prevailed on both host species. The highest infection prevalence was detected in I. ricinus, followed by I. canisuga and I. cf. kaiseri. Borrelia garinii and B. afzelii accounted for 61.6% and 30.1% of the infections detected in all PCR-positive ticks, respectively. Four other Borrelia species (B. burgdorferi sensu stricto, B. valaisiana, B. lusitaniae and B. miyamotoi) were detected only in I. ricinus from raccoon dogs. Moreover, Borrelia DNA, mostly B. garinii, was detected in 57 (81.4%) of 70 Trichodectes melis lice derived from 12 badgers. The detection of B. afzelii in one-half of PCR-positive biopsies reconfirms previous associations of this species with mammalian hosts, whereas the high prevalence of B. garinii in feeding lice and I. ricinus ticks (including larvae) demonstrates that both carnivores serve as hosts for B. garinii. The lack of B. garinii DNA in the tissues of badgers versus its prevalence in raccoon-dog biopsies, however, incriminates only the latter carnivore as a potential reservoir host.

  8. A DNA vaccine encoding MPB83 from Mycobacterium bovis reduces M. bovis dissemination to the kidneys of mice and is expressed in primary cell cultures of the European badger (Meles meles).

    PubMed

    Chambers, M A; Stagg, D; Gavier-Widén, D; Lowrie, D; Newell, D; Hewinson, R G

    2001-10-01

    Nucleic acid (DNA) vaccination against tuberculosis in the European badger (Meles meles) is one approach to addressing the escalating problem of bovine tuberculosis in Great Britain. The aim of vaccination is to reduce the burden of tuberculosis within the badger population and the shedding of Mycobacterium bovis to levels that would break the transmission of infection to cattle. To this end, the vaccine would be required to limit the amount of disseminated tuberculosis in the badger, especially dissemination to the kidney from where M. bovis can be shed in the urine. A promising candidate DNA vaccine encoding a 26 kDa major antigen (MPB83) of M. bovis was evaluated in a mouse model of disseminated M. bovis infection. Using the DNA vaccine, protection against infection of the kidney was found to be greater than that achieved with the current live vaccine, Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG). Kidney tissue and skeletal muscle from the badger was used to derive primary cell cultures in which to examine the expression of MPB83 following transfection with the DNA vaccine. Kidney cortex gave rise to a monotypic culture of epithelial cells whilst the muscle gave rise to a mixed culture of fibroblasts and myoblasts. During culture the myoblasts differentiated into multinucleated myotubes, verified by immunofluorescent detection of mammalian desmin. Successful expression of MPB83 by transfected epithelial and myotube cells was confirmed by immunofluorescence using a monoclonal antibody specific to the protein. These observations fulfil the early requirements for the development of a DNA vaccine for badger tuberculosis.

  9. Evaluation of a rapid serological test for the determination of Mycobacterium bovis infection in badgers (Meles meles) found dead.

    PubMed

    Chambers, Mark A; Lyashchenko, Konstantin P; Greenwald, Rena; Esfandiari, Javan; James, Eurig; Barker, Leslie; Jones, Jeff; Watkins, Gavin; Rolfe, Simon

    2010-03-01

    Between October 2005 and May 2006, a total of 727 badgers found dead in Wales were reported, and 550 were delivered to the Regional Laboratories of the Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA). Of the 459 carcasses suitable for examination, 55 were deemed to be infected with Mycobacterium bovis on the basis of culture, spoligotyping, and variable-number tandem repeat typing. Acid-fast bacteria were observed histologically in a further six badgers, but these bacteria were not confirmed as M. bovis by culture. A rapid serological test (BrockTB Stat-Pak) performed on thoracic blood showed a sensitivity of 35% and a specificity of 99%. Presence of M. bovis infection was 45 times more likely to be confirmed postmortem by culture in BrockTB Stat-Pak-reactive animals than in seronegative ones. Using visible carcass lesions as a marker of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) infection had a similar sensitivity (38%) but was significantly less specific (84%) than serology. The overall accuracy of the antibody detection was 93% (346 correct results from 374 tests), whereas the accuracy of regarding visible lesions as a marker for bTB infection was 78% (354 correct from 453 carcasses examined). Culture remains the gold standard method for detecting M. bovis infection in badgers. However, where resources are limited and/or an instant result is preferred, the BrockTB Stat-Pak could be used in field surveillance efforts to identify animals which should be examined further by only submitting test-negative animals to more detailed postmortem examination and culture.

  10. Resource availability affects individual niche variation and its consequences in group-living European badgers Meles meles.

    PubMed

    Robertson, Andrew; McDonald, Robbie A; Delahay, Richard J; Kelly, Simon D; Bearhop, Stuart

    2015-05-01

    Although intra-population variation in niches is a widespread phenomenon with important implications for ecology, evolution and management of a range of animal species, the causes and consequences of this variation remain poorly understood. We used stable isotope analysis to characterise foraging niches and to investigate the causes and consequences of individual niche variation in the European badger, a mustelid mammal that lives in territorial social groups, but forages alone. We found that the degree of individual niche variation within social groups was negatively related to the availability of farmland habitats, which represent an important foraging habitat for badgers; and was positively related to territory size, supporting the idea that resource limitation and ecological opportunity lead to increased individual specialisation. We also found that the degree of individual specialisation related to an individual's body condition and that this effect varied with ecological context; such that specialisation had a stronger positive relationship with body condition in social groups with reduced availability of key farmland habitats. Body condition was also related to the utilisation of specific resources (woodland invertebrates), but again this relationship varied with the availability of farmland foraging habitats. This study supports the idea that resource availability plays an important role in determining patterns of individual niche variation, and identifies the potential adaptive consequences of specialised foraging strategies.

  11. Bacillus Calmette-Guérin vaccination reduces the severity and progression of tuberculosis in badgers.

    PubMed

    Chambers, Mark A; Rogers, Fiona; Delahay, Richard J; Lesellier, Sandrine; Ashford, Roland; Dalley, Deanna; Gowtage, Sonya; Davé, Dipesh; Palmer, Si; Brewer, Jacky; Crawshaw, Timothy; Clifton-Hadley, Richard; Carter, Steve; Cheeseman, Chris; Hanks, Chris; Murray, Alistair; Palphramand, Kate; Pietravalle, Stéphane; Smith, Graham C; Tomlinson, Alexandra; Walker, Neil J; Wilson, Gavin J; Corner, Leigh A L; Rushton, Stephen P; Shirley, Mark D F; Gettinby, George; McDonald, Robbie A; Hewinson, R Glyn

    2011-06-22

    Control of bovine tuberculosis (TB) in cattle has proven particularly challenging where reservoirs of infection exist in wildlife populations. In Britain and Ireland, control is hampered by a reservoir of infection in Eurasian badgers (Meles meles). Badger culling has positive and negative effects on bovine TB in cattle and is difficult, costly and controversial. Here we show that Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccination of captive badgers reduced the progression, severity and excretion of Mycobacterium bovis infection after experimental challenge. In a clinical field study, BCG vaccination of free-living badgers reduced the incidence of positive serological test results by 73.8 per cent. In common with other species, BCG did not appear to prevent infection of badgers subjected to experimental challenge, but did significantly reduce the overall disease burden. BCG vaccination of badgers could comprise an important component of a comprehensive programme of measures to control bovine TB in cattle.

  12. Polygynandry, extra-group paternity and multiple-paternity litters in European badger (Meles meles) social groups.

    PubMed

    Dugdale, Hannah L; Macdonald, David W; Pope, Lisa C; Burke, Terry

    2007-12-01

    The costs and benefits of natal philopatry are central to the formation and maintenance of social groups. Badger groups, thought to form passively according to the resource dispersion hypothesis (RDH), are maintained through natal philopatry and delayed dispersal; however, there is minimal evidence for the functional benefits of such grouping. We assigned parentage to 630 badger cubs from a high-density population in Wytham Woods, Oxford, born between 1988 and 2005. Our methodological approach was different to previous studies; we used 22 microsatellite loci to assign parent pairs, which in combination with sibship inference provided a high parentage assignment rate. We assigned both parents to 331 cubs at > or = 95% confidence, revealing a polygynandrous mating system with up to five mothers and five fathers within a social group. We estimated that only 27% of adult males and 31% of adult females bred each year, suggesting a cost to group living for both sexes. Any strong motivation or selection to disperse, however, may be reduced because just under half of the paternities were gained by extra-group males, mainly from neighbouring groups, with males displaying a mixture of paternity strategies. We provide the strongest evidence to date for multiple-paternity litters, and for the first time show that within-group and extra-group males can sire cubs in the same litter. We investigate the factors that may play a role in determining the degree of delayed dispersal and conclude that the ecological constraints hypothesis, benefits of philopatry hypothesis, and life history hypothesis may all play a part, as proposed by the broad constraints hypothesis.

  13. Acanthocheilonema delicata n. sp. (Nematoda: Filarioidea) from Japanese badgers (Meles anakuma): description, molecular identification, and Wolbachia screening.

    PubMed

    Uni, Shigehiko; Bain, Odile; Suzuki, Kazuo; Agatsuma, Takeshi; Harada, Masashi; Motokawa, Masaharu; Martin, Coralie; Lefoulon, Emilie; Fukuda, Masako; Takaoka, Hiroyuki

    2013-02-01

    Acanthocheilonema delicata n. sp. (Filarioidea: Onchocercidae: Onchocercinae) is described based on adult filarioids and microfilariae obtained from subcutaneous connective tissues and skin, respectively, of Japanese badgers (Meles anakuma) in Wakayama Prefecture, Japan. No endemic species of the genus had been found in Japan. Recently, some filarioids (e.g., Acanthocheilonema reconditum, Dirofilaria spp., and Onchocerca spp.) have come to light as causative agents of zoonosis worldwide. The new species was readily distinguished from its congeners by morphologic characteristics such as body length, body width, esophagus length, spicule length, and the length of microfilariae. Based on the molecular data of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (cox1) gene, A. delicata n. sp. was included in the clade of the genus Acanthocheilonema but differed from two other congeneric species available for study, A. viteae and A. reconditum. Acanthocheilonema delicata n. sp. did not harbor Wolbachia. It is likely that the fauna of filarioids from mammals on the Japanese islands is characterized by a high level of endemicity.

  14. Mitochondrial DNA reveals a strong phylogeographic structure in the badger across Eurasia.

    PubMed

    Marmi, J; López-Giráldez, F; Macdonald, D W; Calafell, F; Zholnerovskaya, E; Domingo-Roura, X

    2006-04-01

    The badger, Meles meles, is a widely distributed mustelid in Eurasia and shows large geographic variability in morphological characters whose evolutionary significance is unclear and needs to be contrasted with molecular data. We sequenced 512 bp of the mitochondrial DNA control region in 115 Eurasian badgers from 21 countries in order to test for the existence of structuring in their phylogeography, to describe the genetic relationships among their populations across its widespread geographic range, and to infer demographic and biogeographic processes. We found that the Eurasian badger is divided into four groups regarding their mitochondrial DNA: Europe, Southwest Asia, North and East Asia, and Japan. This result suggests that the separation of badgers into phylogeographic groups was influenced by cold Pleistocene glacial stages and permafrost boundaries in Eurasia, and by geographic barriers, such as mountains and deserts. Genetic variation within phylogeographic groups based on distances assuming the Tamura-Nei model with rate heterogeneity and invariable sites (d(T-N) range: 3.3-4.2) was much lower than among them (d(T-N) range: 10.7-38.0), and 80% of the variation could be attributed to differences among regions. Spatial analysis of molecular variance (samova), median-joining network, and Mantel test did not detect genetic structuring within any of the phylogeographic groups with the exception of Europe, where 50% of variation was explained by differences among groups of populations. Our data suggest that the European, Southwest Asian, and North and East Asian badgers evolved separately since the end of Pliocene, at the beginnings of glacial ages, whereas Japanese badgers separated from continental Asian badgers during the middle Pleistocene. Endangered badgers from Crete Island, classified as Meles meles arcalus subspecies, were closely related to badgers from Southwest Asia. We also detected sudden demographic growth in European and Southwest Asian badgers

  15. Oral Vaccination of Free-Living Badgers (Meles meles) with Bacille Calmette Guérin (BCG) Vaccine Confers Protection against Tuberculosis.

    PubMed

    Gormley, Eamonn; Ní Bhuachalla, Deirdre; O'Keeffe, James; Murphy, Denise; Aldwell, Frank E; Fitzsimons, Tara; Stanley, Paul; Tratalos, Jamie A; McGrath, Guy; Fogarty, Naomi; Kenny, Kevin; More, Simon J; Messam, Locksley L McV; Corner, Leigh A L

    2017-01-01

    A field trial was conducted to investigate the impact of oral vaccination of free-living badgers against natural-transmitted Mycobacterium bovis infection. For a period of three years badgers were captured over seven sweeps in three zones and assigned for oral vaccination with a lipid-encapsulated BCG vaccine (Liporale-BCG) or with placebo. Badgers enrolled in Zone A were administered placebo while all badgers enrolled in Zone C were vaccinated with BCG. Badgers enrolled in the middle area, Zone B, were randomly assigned 50:50 for treatment with vaccine or placebo. Treatment in each zone remained blinded until the end of the study period. The outcome of interest was incident cases of tuberculosis measured as time to seroconversion events using the BrockTB Stat-Pak lateral flow serology test, supplemented with post-mortem examination. Among the vaccinated badgers that seroconverted, the median time to seroconversion (413 days) was significantly longer (p = 0.04) when compared with non-vaccinated animals (230 days). Survival analysis (modelling time to seroconversion) revealed that there was a significant difference in the rate of seroconversion between vaccinated and non-vaccinated badgers in Zones A and C throughout the trial period (p = 0.015). For badgers enrolled during sweeps 1-2 the Vaccine Efficacy (VE) determined from hazard rate ratios was 36% (95% CI: -62%- 75%). For badgers enrolled in these zones during sweeps 3-6, the VE was 84% (95% CI: 29%- 97%). This indicated that VE increased with the level of vaccine coverage. Post-mortem examination of badgers at the end of the trial also revealed a significant difference in the proportion of animals presenting with M. bovis culture confirmed lesions in vaccinated Zone C (9%) compared with non-vaccinated Zone A (26%). These results demonstrate that oral BCG vaccination confers protection to badgers and could be used to reduce incident rates in tuberculosis-infected populations of badgers.

  16. Oral Vaccination of Free-Living Badgers (Meles meles) with Bacille Calmette Guérin (BCG) Vaccine Confers Protection against Tuberculosis

    PubMed Central

    Gormley, Eamonn; Ní Bhuachalla, Deirdre; O’Keeffe, James; Murphy, Denise; Aldwell, Frank E.; Fitzsimons, Tara; Stanley, Paul; Tratalos, Jamie A.; McGrath, Guy; Fogarty, Naomi; Kenny, Kevin; More, Simon J.; Messam, Locksley L. McV.; Corner, Leigh A. L.

    2017-01-01

    A field trial was conducted to investigate the impact of oral vaccination of free-living badgers against natural-transmitted Mycobacterium bovis infection. For a period of three years badgers were captured over seven sweeps in three zones and assigned for oral vaccination with a lipid-encapsulated BCG vaccine (Liporale-BCG) or with placebo. Badgers enrolled in Zone A were administered placebo while all badgers enrolled in Zone C were vaccinated with BCG. Badgers enrolled in the middle area, Zone B, were randomly assigned 50:50 for treatment with vaccine or placebo. Treatment in each zone remained blinded until the end of the study period. The outcome of interest was incident cases of tuberculosis measured as time to seroconversion events using the BrockTB Stat-Pak lateral flow serology test, supplemented with post-mortem examination. Among the vaccinated badgers that seroconverted, the median time to seroconversion (413 days) was significantly longer (p = 0.04) when compared with non-vaccinated animals (230 days). Survival analysis (modelling time to seroconversion) revealed that there was a significant difference in the rate of seroconversion between vaccinated and non-vaccinated badgers in Zones A and C throughout the trial period (p = 0.015). For badgers enrolled during sweeps 1–2 the Vaccine Efficacy (VE) determined from hazard rate ratios was 36% (95% CI: -62%– 75%). For badgers enrolled in these zones during sweeps 3–6, the VE was 84% (95% CI: 29%– 97%). This indicated that VE increased with the level of vaccine coverage. Post-mortem examination of badgers at the end of the trial also revealed a significant difference in the proportion of animals presenting with M. bovis culture confirmed lesions in vaccinated Zone C (9%) compared with non-vaccinated Zone A (26%). These results demonstrate that oral BCG vaccination confers protection to badgers and could be used to reduce incident rates in tuberculosis-infected populations of badgers. PMID:28121981

  17. Spatial and temporal analyses of metrics of tuberculosis infection in badgers (Meles meles) from the Republic of Ireland: Trends in apparent prevalence.

    PubMed

    Byrne, A W; Kenny, K; Fogarty, U; O'Keeffe, J J; More, S J; McGrath, G; Teeling, M; Martin, S W; Dohoo, I R

    2015-12-01

    Badgers are a wildlife host of Mycobacterium bovis, the causative agent of bovine tuberculosis (bTB), and an important contributor to the epidemiology of bTB in cattle in Ireland and Britain. Repeated culling of badgers in high prevalence cattle bTB areas has been used in the Republic of Ireland as one tool to reduce intra- and interspecific transmission of M. bovis. We assessed factors that influenced infection prevalence of culled badgers from 2009 to 2012 (n=4948) where spatial, temporal and intrinsic factor data were available using multivariable modelling. Prevalence appeared higher in western areas than eastern areas of Ireland and badgers were more likely to be test-positive if caught at a sett (burrow system) which was close to other infected setts (spatial clustering of infection). There was a significant positive association between badger test-status and cattle prevalence of M. bovis infection at a spatial scale of 1km around setts. Badgers were more likely to be deemed test positive if they were male (OR: 1.9) or a parous female (OR: 1.7), compared to a female who had never conceived. Our results are consistent with different groups within badger populations having differential exposures and therefore infection risk (for example, parous vs. non-parous females). Furthermore, bTB clusters within the badger population, with greater risk to badgers in setts that are closest to other infected setts. The effective scale of the association of bTB risk between badger and cattle populations may be relatively large in Ireland. Our data indicate that the overall trend in prevalence of M. bovis infection in badgers has decreased in Ireland (P<0.001) while controlling for significant confounders over the study period, and follows a longer temporal trend from 2007 to 2013, where unadjusted apparent prevalence declined from 26% to 11% during 2007 to mid-2011, followed by a stable trend between 9 and 11% thereafter (n=10,267).

  18. In situ adaptive response to climate and habitat quality variation: spatial and temporal variation in European badger (Meles meles) body weight.

    PubMed

    Byrne, Andrew W; Fogarty, Ursula; O'Keeffe, James; Newman, Chris

    2015-09-01

    Variation in climatic and habitat conditions can affect populations through a variety of mechanisms, and these relationships can act at different temporal and spatial scales. Using post-mortem badger body weight records from 15 878 individuals captured across the Republic of Ireland (7224 setts across ca. 15 000 km(2) ; 2009-2012), we employed a hierarchical multilevel mixed model to evaluate the effects of climate (rainfall and temperature) and habitat quality (landscape suitability), while controlling for local abundance (unique badgers caught/sett/year). Body weight was affected strongly by temperature across a number of temporal scales (preceding month or season), with badgers being heavier if preceding temperatures (particularly during winter/spring) were warmer than the long-term seasonal mean. There was less support for rainfall across different temporal scales, although badgers did exhibit heavier weights when greater rainfall occurred one or 2 months prior to capture. Badgers were also heavier in areas with higher landscape habitat quality, modulated by the number of individuals captured per sett, consistent with density-dependent effects reducing weights. Overall, the mean badger body weight of culled individuals rose during the study period (2009-2012), more so for males than for females. With predicted increases in temperature, and rainfall, augmented by ongoing agricultural land conversion in this region, we project heavier individual badger body weights in the future. Increased body weight has been associated with higher fecundity, recruitment and survival rates in badgers, due to improved food availability and energetic budgets. We thus predict that climate change could increase the badger population across the Republic of Ireland. Nevertheless, we emphasize that, locally, populations could still be vulnerable to extreme weather variability coupled with detrimental agricultural practice, including population management.

  19. Avoiding verisimilitude when modelling ecological responses to climate change: the influence of weather conditions on trapping efficiency in European badgers (Meles meles).

    PubMed

    Noonan, Michael J; Rahman, M Abidur; Newman, Chris; Buesching, Christina D; Macdonald, David W

    2015-10-01

    The signal for climate change effects can be abstruse; consequently, interpretations of evidence must avoid verisimilitude, or else misattribution of causality could compromise policy decisions. Examining climatic effects on wild animal population dynamics requires ability to trap, observe or photograph and to recapture study individuals consistently. In this regard, we use 19 years of data (1994-2012), detailing the life histories on 1179 individual European badgers over 3288 (re-) trapping events, to test whether trapping efficiency was associated with season, weather variables (both contemporaneous and time lagged), body-condition index (BCI) and trapping efficiency (TE). PCA factor loadings demonstrated that TE was affected significantly by temperature and precipitation, as well as time lags in these variables. From multi-model inference, BCI was the principal driver of TE, where badgers in good condition were less likely to be trapped. Our analyses exposed that this was enacted mechanistically via weather variables driving BCI, affecting TE. Notably, the very conditions that militated for poor trapping success have been associated with actual survival and population abundance benefits in badgers. Using these findings to parameterize simulations, projecting best-/worst-case scenario weather conditions and BCI resulted in 8.6% ± 4.9 SD difference in seasonal TE, leading to a potential 55.0% population abundance under-estimation under the worst-case scenario; 38.6% over-estimation under the best case. Interestingly, simulations revealed that while any single trapping session might prove misrepresentative of the true population abundance, due to weather effects, prolonging capture-mark-recapture studies under sub-optimal conditions decreased the accuracy of population estimates significantly. We also use these projection scenarios to explore how weather could impact government-led trapping of badgers in the UK, in relation to TB management. We conclude that

  20. The prevalence and distribution of Mycobacterium bovis infection in European badgers (Meles meles) as determined by enhanced post mortem examination and bacteriological culture.

    PubMed

    Murphy, D; Gormley, E; Costello, E; O'Meara, D; Corner, L A L

    2010-02-01

    The accurate diagnosis of Mycobacterium bovis infection in badgers is key to understanding the epidemiology of tuberculosis in this species and has significant implications for devising strategies to limit spread of the disease. In this study, badgers (n=215) in the Republic of Ireland were examined at post mortem and tissues were collected from a range of anatomical locations and pooled into groups for bacterial culture of M. bovis. By assessing confirmed gross visible lesions (VL) alone, infection was detected in 12.1% of badgers. However, by including the results of all culture positive pooled samples, the overall infection prevalence increased significantly to 36.3%. Two-thirds (66.7%) of infected animals had no visible lesions (NVL). While the thoracic cavity (lungs and pulmonary lymph nodes) was found to be the most common site of infection, in a proportion of animals infection was absent from the lungs and draining lymph nodes and was confined to the lymph nodes of the carcase or the head. This may indicate an early extrapulmonary dissemination of infection or alternatively, in the case of the head lymph nodes, a secondary pathogenic pathway involving the lymphoid tissues of the upper respiratory tract (URT).

  1. The distribution of Mycobacterium bovis infection in naturally infected badgers.

    PubMed

    Corner, Leigh A L; O'Meara, D; Costello, E; Lesellier, S; Gormley, E

    2012-11-01

    Populations of Eurasian badgers (Meles meles) with tuberculosis (Mycobacterium bovis infection) are a significant reservoir of infection for cattle in Ireland and the United Kingdom. In this study the distribution of infection, histological lesions and gross lesions was determined in a sample of 132 culled badgers from naturally-infected wild populations. Badgers were culled when an epidemiological investigation following a tuberculosis breakdown in a cattle herd implicated badgers as the probable source of infection. The definition of tuberculosis infection was based on the isolation of M. bovis from tissues or clinical samples. An accurate diagnosis of infection was achieved by culturing a wide range of lymph nodes (LN) and organ tissues (mean 32.1) and clinical samples (faeces and urine) from each badger. Infection was detected in 57/132 badgers (43.2%). Histological lesions consistent with tuberculosis were seen in 39/57 (68.4%) culture-positive and 7/75 (9.3%) culture-negative animals. Gross lesions were seen in only 30/57 (52.6%) infected badgers, leaving a high proportion (47.4%) of infected animals with latent infection (no grossly visible lesions). The most frequently infected tissues were the lungs and axillary LN, followed by the deep cervical LN, parotid LN and tracheobronchial LN. The data support the hypotheses that in badgers there are only two significant routes of infection, namely, the lower respiratory tract and bite wounds, and that badgers are very susceptible to infection but resistant to the development and progression of the disease. At all levels of disease severity, infection was found in widely dispersed anatomical locations suggesting that there is early dissemination of infection in the period preceding the development of active immunity.

  2. [The microclimate of an unoccupied wintering sett of the badger, Meles meles (Carnivora: Mustelidae), in the Darwin State Nature Reserve, Vologda Region].

    PubMed

    Sidorchuk, N V; Rozhnov, V V

    2008-01-01

    Data on the microclimate (air temperature and humidity) within an unoccupied badger sett in the Darwin Reserve (the Vologda Region) between September 2005 and May 2006 have been analyzed in relation to changes in the temperature and humidity of the ground air layer and soil. A positive correlation has been revealed between the temperature regime of the soil and air temperature within the sett. After the establishment of snow cover, air and soil temperatures within the sett vary slightly and barely depend on ambient air temperature.

  3. Localised Badger Culling Increases Risk of Herd Breakdown on Nearby, Not Focal, Land

    PubMed Central

    Bielby, Jon; Vial, Flavie; Woodroffe, Rosie; Donnelly, Christl A.

    2016-01-01

    Bovine tuberculosis is an important disease affecting the UK livestock industry. Controlling bovine tuberculosis (TB) is made more complex by the presence of a wildlife host, the Eurasian badger, Meles meles. Repeated large-scale badger culls implemented in the Randomised Badger Culling Trial (RBCT) were associated with decreased cattle risks inside the culling area, but also with increased cattle risks up to the 2km outside the culling area. Intermediate reductions in badger density, as achieved by localised reactive culling in the RBCT, significantly increased cattle TB. Using a matched-pairs case-control study design (n = 221 pairs of cattle herds), we investigated the spatial scale over which localised badger culling had its biggest impact. We found that reactive badger culling had a significant positive association with the risk of cattle TB at distances of 1-3km and 3-5km, and that no such association existed over shorter distances (<1km). These findings indicate that localised badger culls had significant negative effects, not on the land on which culling took place, but, perhaps more importantly, on adjoining lands and farms. PMID:27749934

  4. Multi-state modelling reveals sex-dependent transmission, progression and severity of tuberculosis in wild badgers.

    PubMed

    Graham, J; Smith, G C; Delahay, R J; Bailey, T; McDonald, R A; Hodgson, D

    2013-07-01

    Statistical models of epidemiology in wildlife populations usually consider diseased individuals as a single class, despite knowledge that infections progress through states of severity. Bovine tuberculosis (bTB) is a serious zoonotic disease threatening the UK livestock industry, but we have limited understanding of key epidemiological processes in its wildlife reservoirs. We estimated differential survival, force of infection and progression in disease states in a population of Eurasian badgers (Meles meles), naturally infected with bTB. Our state-dependent models overturn prevailing categorizations of badger disease states, and find novel evidence for early onset of disease-induced mortality in male but not female badgers. Males also have higher risk of infection and more rapid disease progression which, coupled with state-dependent increases in mortality, could promote sex biases in the risk of transmission to cattle. Our results reveal hidden complexities in wildlife disease epidemiology, with implications for the management of TB and other zoonotic diseases.

  5. Advances and prospects for management of TB transmission between badgers and cattle.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Gavin J; Carter, Stephen P; Delahay, Richard J

    2011-07-05

    Bovine tuberculosis (bTB) is the most serious endemic disease facing the livestock industry in the United Kingdom (UK) and Republic of Ireland (RoI), where its management has been confounded by the presence of persistent infection in the Eurasian badger (Meles meles). Field evidence suggests that the social structure of badger populations can have an important influence on disease dynamics, and on the outcome of management interventions. Recent, large-scale badger culling experiments in the UK and RoI had complex epidemiological outcomes. In the UK, proactive culling led to reduced bTB incidence in cattle herds inside culled areas, but a temporary increase in adjacent areas. Reactive culling in response to herd breakdowns was associated with an increase in the incidence of bTB in cattle. In contrast, badger culling in RoI was reported to have only beneficial effects on bTB incidence in cattle. The reasons for these differences are not clear. The complexity of the evidence base for culling is highlighted by the different management approaches currently being adopted by the different authorities of the UK and RoI. It is generally accepted that a holistic approach to bTB management, which targets both cattle and wildlife, is necessary. Consequently recent research activities have also focussed on cattle and badger vaccines, and biosecurity on farms. This paper describes recent advances in our understanding of the epidemiology of bTB in badgers and the consequences of culling, and current research to develop approaches for the vaccination of badgers, and methods of managing the risks of contact between badgers and cattle in farm buildings.

  6. Badger social networks correlate with tuberculosis infection.

    PubMed

    Weber, Nicola; Carter, Stephen P; Dall, Sasha R X; Delahay, Richard J; McDonald, Jennifer L; Bearhop, Stuart; McDonald, Robbie A

    2013-10-21

    Although disease hosts are classically assumed to interact randomly [1], infection is likely to spread across structured and dynamic contact networks [2]. We used social network analyses to investigate contact patterns of group-living European badgers, Meles meles, which are an important wildlife reservoir of bovine tuberculosis (TB). We found that TB test-positive badgers were socially isolated from their own groups but were more important for flow, potentially of infection, between social groups. The distinctive social position of infected badgers may help explain how social stability mitigates, and social perturbation increases, the spread of infection in badgers.

  7. Exclusions for resolving urban badger damage problems: outcomes and consequences

    PubMed Central

    Finney, Jason K.; Beatham, Sarah E.; Delahay, Richard J.; Robertson, Peter A.; Cowan, David P.

    2016-01-01

    Increasing urbanisation and growth of many wild animal populations can result in a greater frequency of human-wildlife conflicts. However, traditional lethal methods of wildlife control are becoming less favoured than non-lethal approaches, particularly when problems involve charismatic species in urban areas. Eurasian badgers (Meles meles) excavate subterranean burrow systems (setts), which can become large and complex. Larger setts within which breeding takes place and that are in constant use are known as main setts. Smaller, less frequently occupied setts may also exist within the social group’s range. When setts are excavated in urban environments they can undermine built structures and can limit or prevent safe use of the area by people. The most common approach to resolving these problems in the UK is to exclude badgers from the problem sett, but exclusions suffer a variable success rate. We studied 32 lawful cases of badger exclusions using one-way gates throughout England to evaluate conditions under which attempts to exclude badgers from their setts in urban environments were successful. We aimed to identify ways of modifying practices to improve the chances of success. Twenty of the 32 exclusion attempts were successful, but success was significantly less likely if a main sett was to be excluded in comparison with another type of sett and if vegetation was not completely removed from the sett surface prior to exclusion attempts. We recommend that during exclusions all vegetation is removed from the site, regardless of what type of sett is involved, and that successful exclusion of badgers from a main sett might require substantially more effort than other types of sett. PMID:27761352

  8. The European badger (Carnivora:Mustelidae) as intermediate host of further three Sarcocystis species (Sporozoa).

    PubMed

    Odening, K; Stolte, M; Walter, G; Bockhardt, I

    1994-03-01

    Three species of sarcocysts are described by light and electron microscopy from the European badger (Meles meles): Sarcocystis hofmanni n. sp. (a species otherwise occurring in roe deer, Capreolus capreolus), S. sp., cf. sebeki (c species usually parasitizing certain murids); and S. melis n. sp. (c species presumably specific for the badger).

  9. Modelling the impact of vaccination on tuberculosis in badgers.

    PubMed

    Hardstaff, J L; Bulling, M T; Marion, G; Hutchings, M R; White, P C L

    2013-07-01

    Tuberculosis (TB) in livestock, caused by Mycobacterium bovis, persists in many countries. In Britain, efforts to control TB through the culling of badgers (Meles meles), the principal wildlife host, have so far been unsuccessful, and there is significant interest in vaccination of badgers as an alternative or complementary strategy [corrected]. Using a simulation model, we show that where TB is self-contained within the badger population and there are no external sources of infection, limited-duration vaccination at a high level of efficacy can reduce or even eradicate TB from the badger population. However, where sources of external infection persist, benefits in TB reduction in badgers can only be achieved by ongoing, annual vaccination. Vaccination is likely to be most effective as part of an integrated disease management strategy incorporating a number of different approaches across the entire host community.

  10. Culling and cattle controls influence tuberculosis risk for badgers.

    PubMed

    Woodroffe, Rosie; Donnelly, Christl A; Jenkins, Helen E; Johnston, W Thomas; Cox, David R; Bourne, F John; Cheeseman, Chris L; Delahay, Richard J; Clifton-Hadley, Richard S; Gettinby, George; Gilks, Peter; Hewinson, R Glyn; McInerney, John P; Morrison, W Ivan

    2006-10-03

    Human and livestock diseases can be difficult to control where infection persists in wildlife populations. In Britain, European badgers (Meles meles) are implicated in transmitting Mycobacterium bovis, the causative agent of bovine tuberculosis (TB), to cattle. Badger culling has therefore been a component of British TB control policy for many years. However, large-scale field trials have recently shown that badger culling has the capacity to cause both increases and decreases in cattle TB incidence. Here, we show that repeated badger culling in the same area is associated with increasing prevalence of M. bovis infection in badgers, especially where landscape features allow badgers from neighboring land to recolonize culled areas. This impact on prevalence in badgers might reduce the beneficial effects of culling on cattle TB incidence, and could contribute to the detrimental effects that have been observed. Additionally, we show that suspension of cattle TB controls during a nationwide epidemic of foot and mouth disease, which substantially delayed removal of TB-affected cattle, was associated with a widespread increase in the prevalence of M. bovis infection in badgers. This pattern suggests that infection may be transmitted from cattle to badgers, as well as vice versa. Clearly, disease control measures aimed at either host species may have unintended consequences for transmission, both within and between species. Our findings highlight the need for policymakers to consider multiple transmission routes when managing multihost pathogens.

  11. Bovine tuberculosis in cattle and badgers in localized culling areas.

    PubMed

    Woodroffe, Rosie; Donnelly, Christl A; Cox, D R; Gilks, Peter; Jenkins, Helen E; Johnston, W Thomas; Le Fevre, Andrea M; Bourne, F John; Cheeseman, C L; Clifton-Hadley, Richard S; Gettinby, George; Hewinson, R Glyn; McInerney, John P; Mitchell, A P; Morrison, W Ivan; Watkins, Gavin H

    2009-01-01

    Bovine tuberculosis (TB) is a zoonotic disease that can have serious consequences for cattle farming and, potentially, for public health. In Britain, failure to control bovine TB has been linked to persistent infection of European badger (Meles meles) populations. However, culling of badgers in the vicinity of recent TB outbreaks in cattle has failed to reduce the overall incidence of cattle TB. Using data from a large-scale study conducted in 1998-2005, we show that badgers collected on such localized culls had elevated prevalence of Mycobacterium bovis, the causative agent of bovine TB, suggesting that infections in cattle and badgers were indeed associated. Moreover, there was a high degree of similarity in the M. bovis strain types isolated from cattle and associated badgers. This similarity between strain types appeared to be unaffected by time lags between the detection of infection in cattle and culling of badgers, or by the presence of purchased cattle that might have acquired infection elsewhere. However, localized culling appeared to prompt an increase in the prevalence of M. bovis infection in badgers, probably by disrupting ranging and territorial behavior and hence increasing intraspecific transmission rates. This elevated prevalence among badgers could offset the benefits, for cattle, of reduced badger densities and may help to explain the failure of localized culling to reduce cattle TB incidence.

  12. Impacts of removing badgers on localised counts of hedgehogs.

    PubMed

    Trewby, Iain D; Young, Richard; McDonald, Robbie A; Wilson, Gavin J; Davison, John; Walker, Neil; Robertson, Andrew; Doncaster, C Patrick; Delahay, Richard J

    2014-01-01

    Experimental evidence of the interactions among mammalian predators that eat or compete with one another is rare, due to the ethical and logistical challenges of managing wild populations in a controlled and replicated way. Here, we report on the opportunistic use of a replicated and controlled culling experiment (the Randomised Badger Culling Trial) to investigate the relationship between two sympatric predators: European badgers Meles meles and western European hedgehogs Erinaceus europaeus. In areas of preferred habitat (amenity grassland), counts of hedgehogs more than doubled over a 5-year period from the start of badger culling (from 0.9 ha-1 pre-cull to 2.4 ha-1 post-cull), whereas hedgehog counts did not change where there was no badger culling (0.3-0.3 hedgehogs ha-1). This trial provides experimental evidence for mesopredator release as an outcome of management of a top predator.

  13. Bovine tuberculosis and badgers in Britain: relevance of the past.

    PubMed

    Atkins, P J; Robinson, P A

    2013-07-01

    The European badger (Meles meles) has been identified as a wildlife reservoir of bovine tuberculosis and a source of transmission to cattle in Britain and Ireland. Both behavioural ecology and statistical ecological modelling have indicated the long-term persistence of the disease in some badger communities, and this is postulated to account for the high incidence of bovine tuberculosis in cattle across large tracts of England and Wales. This paper questions this consensus by using historical cartographic evidence to show that tuberculosis in cattle had a very different spatial distribution before 1960 to the present day. Since few of the badgers collected in road traffic accidents between 1972 and 1990 had tuberculosis in counties such as Cheshire, where the disease had until shortly before that been rife in the cattle population, the role of badgers as reservoirs in spreading disease in similar counties outside the south-west of England has to be questioned.

  14. Patterns of direct and indirect contact between cattle and badgers naturally infected with tuberculosis.

    PubMed

    Drewe, J A; O'Connor, H M; Weber, N; McDonald, R A; Delahay, R J

    2013-07-01

    Tuberculosis (TB) due to infection with Mycobacterium bovis is transmitted between cattle and badgers (Meles meles) in the UK and Ireland but it is unclear where or when transmission occurs. We investigated direct and indirect interactions between badgers and cattle using automated proximity loggers on animals and at badger latrines located on pasture, in an area of south-west England with a high-density badger population. Direct contacts (interactions within 1.4 m) between badgers and cattle at pasture were very rare (four out of >500000 recorded animal-to-animal contacts) despite ample opportunity for interactions to occur. Indirect interactions (visits to badger latrines by badgers and cattle) were two orders of magnitude more frequent than direct contacts: 400 visits by badgers and 1700 visits by cattle were recorded. This suggests that indirect contacts might be more important than direct contacts in terms of disease transmission at pasture. The TB infection status of individual badgers (ascribed with 93% accuracy using three diagnostic tests) did not affect the frequency or duration of their visits to latrines located on pasture grazed by cattle. Nevertheless, there was wide variation in contact behaviour between individuals, which highlights the importance of understanding heterogeneity in contact patterns when developing strategies to control disease spread in wildlife and livestock.

  15. Unusual odd-chain and trans-octadecenoic fatty acids in tissues of feral European beaver (Castorfiber), Eurasian badger (Melesmeles) and raccoon dog (Nyctereutesprocyonoides).

    PubMed

    Martysiak-Zurowska, Dorota; Zalewski, Kazimierz; Kamieniarz, Robert

    2009-06-01

    The fatty acid (FA) composition of depot adipose tissues in the raccoon dog (Nyctereutesprocyonoides) and the European beaver (Castorfiber) differs from that reported for the lipids of other monogastric animals, especially with regard to the presence of trans-octadecenoic acids. The concentrations of pentadecanoic acid 15:0 (PA) and heptadecanoic acid 17:0 (HA) in the lipids of the tested animals ranged from 0.23 to 0.79% and from 0.33 to 2.35% of total FAs, respectively. The total content of their monounsaturated cis isomers varied from 0.12 to 2.75% for pentadecanoic acid (c-PA) and from 0.38 to 2.45% for heptadecanoic acid (c-HA). It is interesting that the tissues of European beavers and raccoon dogs contained also trans isomers of octadecenoic acid C18:1 (t-OA) including vaccenic acid C18:1,11t (VA), typical of ruminants. The presence of FAs with an uneven number of carbon atoms and trans-octadecenoic acids in depot adipose tissue is indicative of the process of hydrogenation of polyunsaturated fatty acids (linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid) in the digestive tract. The tissues of badgers also contained t-OA (from below 0.05% in the liver to 0.44% in the kidneys), but no VA was found.

  16. BCG vaccination reduces risk of tuberculosis infection in vaccinated badgers and unvaccinated badger cubs.

    PubMed

    Carter, Stephen P; Chambers, Mark A; Rushton, Stephen P; Shirley, Mark D F; Schuchert, Pia; Pietravalle, Stéphane; Murray, Alistair; Rogers, Fiona; Gettinby, George; Smith, Graham C; Delahay, Richard J; Hewinson, R Glyn; McDonald, Robbie A

    2012-01-01

    Wildlife is a global source of endemic and emerging infectious diseases. The control of tuberculosis (TB) in cattle in Britain and Ireland is hindered by persistent infection in wild badgers (Meles meles). Vaccination with Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) has been shown to reduce the severity and progression of experimentally induced TB in captive badgers. Analysis of data from a four-year clinical field study, conducted at the social group level, suggested a similar, direct protective effect of BCG in a wild badger population. Here we present new evidence from the same study identifying both a direct beneficial effect of vaccination in individual badgers and an indirect protective effect in unvaccinated cubs. We show that intramuscular injection of BCG reduced by 76% (Odds ratio = 0.24, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.11-0.52) the risk of free-living vaccinated individuals testing positive to a diagnostic test combination to detect progressive infection. A more sensitive panel of tests for the detection of infection per se identified a reduction of 54% (Odds ratio = 0.46, 95% CI 0.26-0.88) in the risk of a positive result following vaccination. In addition, we show the risk of unvaccinated badger cubs, but not adults, testing positive to an even more sensitive panel of diagnostic tests decreased significantly as the proportion of vaccinated individuals in their social group increased (Odds ratio = 0.08, 95% CI 0.01-0.76; P = 0.03). When more than a third of their social group had been vaccinated, the risk to unvaccinated cubs was reduced by 79% (Odds ratio = 0.21, 95% CI 0.05-0.81; P = 0.02).

  17. Badger responses to small-scale culling may compromise targeted control of bovine tuberculosis.

    PubMed

    Bielby, Jon; Donnelly, Christl A; Pope, Lisa C; Burke, Terry; Woodroffe, Rosie

    2014-06-24

    Where wildlife disease requires management, culling is frequently considered but not always effective. In the British Isles, control of cattle tuberculosis (TB) is hindered by infection in wild badger (Meles meles) populations. Large-scale badger culling can reduce the incidence of confirmed cattle TB, but these benefits are undermined by culling-induced changes in badger behavior (termed perturbation), which can increase transmission among badgers and from badgers to cattle. Test-vaccinate/remove (TVR) is a novel approach that entails testing individual badgers for infection, vaccinating test-negative animals, and killing test-positive animals. Imperfect capture success, diagnostic sensitivity, and vaccine effectiveness mean that TVR would be expected to leave some infected and some susceptible badgers in the population. Existing simulation models predict that TVR could reduce cattle TB if such small-scale culling causes no perturbation, but could increase cattle TB if considerable perturbation occurs. Using data from a long-term study, we show that past small-scale culling was significantly associated with four metrics of perturbation in badgers: expanded ranging, more frequent immigration, lower genetic relatedness, and elevated prevalence of Mycobacterium bovis, the causative agent of TB. Though we could not reject the hypothesis that culling up to three badgers per social group might avoid perturbation, we also could not reject the hypothesis that killing a single badger prompted detectable perturbation. When considered alongside existing model predictions, our findings suggest that implementation of TVR, scheduled for 2014, risks exacerbating the TB problem rather than controlling it. Ongoing illegal badger culling is likewise expected to increase cattle TB risks.

  18. Behaviour of European badgers and non-target species towards candidate baits for oral delivery of a tuberculosis vaccine.

    PubMed

    Robertson, Andrew; Delahay, Richard J; McDonald, Robbie A; Aylett, Paul; Henderson, Ray; Gowtage, Sonya; Chambers, Mark A; Carter, Stephen P

    2016-12-01

    In the UK and the Republic of Ireland, the European badger (Meles meles) is a maintenance host for Mycobacterium bovis, and may transmit the infection to cattle causing bovine tuberculosis (TB). Vaccination of badgers using an injectable Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine is undertaken in some areas of the UK with the intention of interrupting this transmission, and vaccination research is underway in Ireland. An oral badger TB vaccine is also under development. We investigated the behaviour of badgers and non-target wildlife species towards three candidate baits being considered for delivering BCG to badgers orally. Bait preference was investigated by recording removal rates of baits and through the use of video surveillance at 16 badger setts. We found high variation in rates of bait removal by badgers among setts but no significant differences in removal rates among bait types or in preference behaviour from video footage. Variation in bait removal among setts correlated with the number of nights on which badgers were seen at the sett, with most baits being removed where badgers were seen on >50% of nights during the ten-day study period. Relatively few baits were removed at setts with low levels of recorded badger activity. Monitoring badger activity prior to bait deployment may therefore be useful in increasing bait uptake and vaccine coverage. Bait removal by badgers increased over the ten-day study period, suggesting initial neophobic behaviour at some setts and that a period of 'pre-feeding' may be required prior to vaccine deployment. Our results indicate that all three candidate baits are attractive to badgers. Removal of baits by non-target wildlife species was generally low, but varied among bait types, with smaller baits in packaging less likely to be removed. Enclosing baits in packaging is likely to deter non-target species, although in some cases non-target species did remove up to 13% of packaged baits.

  19. Density and abundance of badger social groups in England and Wales in 2011-2013

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Judge, Johanna; Wilson, Gavin J.; MacArthur, Roy; Delahay, Richard J.; McDonald, Robbie A.

    2014-01-01

    In the United Kingdom, European badgers Meles meles are a protected species and an important wildlife reservoir of bovine tuberculosis. We conducted a survey of badger dens (main setts) in 1614 1 km squares across England and Wales, between November 2011 and March 2013. Using main setts as a proxy for badger social groups, the estimated mean density of badger social groups in England and Wales was 0.485 km-2 (95% confidence interval 0.449-0.521) and the estimated abundance of social groups was 71,600 (66,400-76,900). In the 25 years since the first survey in 1985-88, the annual rate of increase in the estimated number of badger social groups was 2.6% (2.2-2.9%), equating to an 88% (70-105%) increase across England and Wales. In England, we estimate there has been an increase of 103% (83-123%) in badger social groups, while in Wales there has been little change (-25 to +49%).

  20. Density and abundance of badger social groups in England and Wales in 2011-2013.

    PubMed

    Judge, Johanna; Wilson, Gavin J; Macarthur, Roy; Delahay, Richard J; McDonald, Robbie A

    2014-01-23

    In the United Kingdom, European badgers Meles meles are a protected species and an important wildlife reservoir of bovine tuberculosis. We conducted a survey of badger dens (main setts) in 1614 1 km squares across England and Wales, between November 2011 and March 2013. Using main setts as a proxy for badger social groups, the estimated mean density of badger social groups in England and Wales was 0.485 km(-2) (95% confidence interval 0.449-0.521) and the estimated abundance of social groups was 71,600 (66,400-76,900). In the 25 years since the first survey in 1985-88, the annual rate of increase in the estimated number of badger social groups was 2.6% (2.2-2.9%), equating to an 88% (70-105%) increase across England and Wales. In England, we estimate there has been an increase of 103% (83-123%) in badger social groups, while in Wales there has been little change (-25 to +49%).

  1. Use of an electronic nose to diagnose Mycobacterium bovis infection in badgers and cattle.

    PubMed

    Fend, R; Geddes, R; Lesellier, S; Vordermeier, H-M; Corner, L A L; Gormley, E; Costello, E; Hewinson, R G; Marlin, D J; Woodman, A C; Chambers, M A

    2005-04-01

    It is estimated that more than 50 million cattle are infected with Mycobacterium bovis worldwide, resulting in severe economic losses. Current diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB) in cattle relies on tuberculin skin testing, and when combined with the slaughter of test-positive animals, it has significantly reduced the incidence of bovine TB. The failure to eradicate bovine TB in Great Britain has been attributed in part to a reservoir of the infection in badgers (Meles meles). Accurate and reliable diagnosis of infection is the cornerstone of TB control. Bacteriological diagnosis has these characteristics, but only with samples collected postmortem. Unlike significant wild animal reservoirs of M. bovis that are considered pests in other countries, such as the brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) in New Zealand, the badger and its sett are protected under United Kingdom legislation (The Protection of Badgers Act 1992). Therefore, an accurate in vitro test for badgers is needed urgently to determine the extent of the reservoir of infection cheaply and without destroying badgers. For cattle, a rapid on-farm test to complement the existing tests (the skin test and gamma interferon assay) would be highly desirable. To this end, we have investigated the potential of an electronic nose (EN) to diagnose infection of cattle or badgers with M. bovis, using a serum sample. Samples were obtained from both experimentally infected badgers and cattle, as well as naturally infected badgers. Without exception, the EN was able to discriminate infected animals from controls as early as 3 weeks after infection with M. bovis, the earliest time point examined postchallenge. The EN approach described here is a straightforward alternative to conventional methods of TB diagnosis, and it offers considerable potential as a sensitive, rapid, and cost-effective means of diagnosing M. bovis infection in cattle and badgers.

  2. Mele-Maat Revisited.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stone, James C.

    This study provides an evaluation of the quality of immersion instruction in English as a second language in the Mele-Maat School, an English-medium, British-administered Polynesian school in Vanuatu, an independent South Pacific nation. The study consisted of one year of baseline data gathering and a second year for replication using standardized…

  3. Immunological responses and protective immunity in BCG vaccinated badgers following endobronchial infection with Mycobacterium bovis.

    PubMed

    Lesellier, Sandrine; Corner, Leigh; Costello, Eamon; Lyashchenko, Konstantin; Greenwald, Rena; Esfandiari, Javan; Singh, Mahavir; Hewinson, R Glyn; Chambers, Mark; Gormley, Eamonn

    2009-01-14

    European badgers (Meles meles) are a reservoir host of Mycobacterium bovis and are implicated in the transmission of tuberculosis to cattle in Ireland and Great Britain. The development of a vaccine for use in badgers is considered a key element of any campaign to eradicate the disease in livestock in both countries. In this study we have vaccinated groups of badgers with approximately 5 x 10(5)cfu of the BCG vaccine delivered via two alternative routes, subcutaneous and mucosal (intranasal/conjunctival). Following experimental endobronchial infection with approximately 10(4)cfu of M. bovis, all badgers were euthanised at 12 weeks post-infection. At post-mortem examination both vaccinated groups had significantly reduced severity of disease compared with the non-vaccinated controls. The analysis of immune responses throughout the study showed that vaccination with BCG did not generate any detectable immunological responses as measured by IFN-gamma production in antigen-stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and IgG serological responses. However, the levels of the responses increased following M. bovis infection, and the kinetic profiles corresponded to the severity of lesions recorded post-mortem. Significant differences were observed in the timing of development of the immune responses between vaccinates and controls. The results suggest that the immunological responses are associated with the levels of protective immunity and could be used as markers to monitor control of disease in badgers following vaccination.

  4. The variability and seasonality of the environmental reservoir of Mycobacterium bovis shed by wild European badgers.

    PubMed

    King, Hayley C; Murphy, Andrew; James, Phillip; Travis, Emma; Porter, David; Hung, Yu-Jiun; Sawyer, Jason; Cork, Jennifer; Delahay, Richard J; Gaze, William; Courtenay, Orin; Wellington, Elizabeth M

    2015-08-06

    The incidence of Mycobacterium bovis, the causative agent of bovine tuberculosis, has been increasing in UK cattle herds resulting in substantial economic losses. The European badger (Meles meles) is implicated as a wildlife reservoir of infection. One likely route of transmission to cattle is through exposure to infected badger urine and faeces. The relative importance of the environment in transmission remains unknown, in part due to the lack of information on the distribution and magnitude of environmental reservoirs. Here we identify potential infection hotspots in the badger population and quantify the heterogeneity in bacterial load; with infected badgers shedding between 1 × 10(3)- 4 × 10(5) M. bovis cells g(-1) of faeces, creating a substantial and seasonally variable environmental reservoir. Our findings highlight the potential importance of monitoring environmental reservoirs of M. bovis which may constitute a component of disease spread that is currently overlooked and yet may be responsible for a proportion of transmission amongst badgers and onwards to cattle.

  5. Exploration of the power of routine surveillance data to assess the impacts of industry-led badger culling on bovine tuberculosis incidence in cattle herds

    PubMed Central

    Donnelly, C. A.; Bento, A. I.; Goodchild, A. V.; Downs, S. H.

    2015-01-01

    In the UK, badgers (Meles meles) are a well-known reservoir of infection, and there has been lively debate about whether badger culling should play a role within the British Government's strategy to control and eventually eradicate tuberculosis (TB) in cattle. The key source of information on the potential for badger culling to reduce cattle TB in high-cattle-TB-incidence areas remains the Randomised Badger Culling Trial (RBCT). In late 2013, two pilot areas were subjected to industry-led badger culls. These culls differed importantly from RBCT culling in that free-ranging as well as cage-trapped badgers were shot, and culling took place over a longer time period. Their impacts will be harder to evaluate because culling was not randomised between comparable areas for subsequent comparisons of culling versus no culling. However, the authors present calculations that explore the power of routine surveillance data to assess the impacts of industry-led badger culling on cattle TB incidence. The rollout of industry-led culling as a component of a national cattle TB control policy would be controversial. The best possible estimates of the effects of such culling on confirmed cattle TB incidence should be made available to inform all stakeholders and policy-makers. PMID:26374782

  6. Exploration of the power of routine surveillance data to assess the impacts of industry-led badger culling on bovine tuberculosis incidence in cattle herds.

    PubMed

    Donnelly, C A; Bento, A I; Goodchild, A V; Downs, S H

    2015-10-24

    In the UK, badgers (Meles meles) are a well-known reservoir of infection, and there has been lively debate about whether badger culling should play a role within the British Government's strategy to control and eventually eradicate tuberculosis (TB) in cattle. The key source of information on the potential for badger culling to reduce cattle TB in high-cattle-TB-incidence areas remains the Randomised Badger Culling Trial (RBCT). In late 2013, two pilot areas were subjected to industry-led badger culls. These culls differed importantly from RBCT culling in that free-ranging as well as cage-trapped badgers were shot, and culling took place over a longer time period. Their impacts will be harder to evaluate because culling was not randomised between comparable areas for subsequent comparisons of culling versus no culling. However, the authors present calculations that explore the power of routine surveillance data to assess the impacts of industry-led badger culling on cattle TB incidence. The rollout of industry-led culling as a component of a national cattle TB control policy would be controversial. The best possible estimates of the effects of such culling on confirmed cattle TB incidence should be made available to inform all stakeholders and policy-makers.

  7. Spatial Targeting for Bovine Tuberculosis Control: Can the Locations of Infected Cattle Be Used to Find Infected Badgers?

    PubMed

    Smith, Catherine M; Downs, Sara H; Mitchell, Andy; Hayward, Andrew C; Fry, Hannah; Le Comber, Steven C

    2015-01-01

    Bovine tuberculosis is a disease of historical importance to human health in the UK that remains a major animal health and economic issue. Control of the disease in cattle is complicated by the presence of a reservoir species, the Eurasian badger. In spite of uncertainty in the degree to which cattle disease results from transmission from badgers, and opposition from environmental groups, culling of badgers has been licenced in two large areas in England. Methods to limit culls to smaller areas that target badgers infected with TB whilst minimising the number of uninfected badgers culled is therefore of considerable interest. Here, we use historical data from a large-scale field trial of badger culling to assess two alternative hypothetical methods of targeting TB-infected badgers based on the distribution of cattle TB incidents: (i) a simple circular 'ring cull'; and (ii) geographic profiling, a novel technique for spatial targeting of infectious disease control that predicts the locations of sources of infection based on the distribution of linked cases. Our results showed that both methods required coverage of very large areas to ensure a substantial proportion of infected badgers were removed, and would result in many uninfected badgers being culled. Geographic profiling, which accounts for clustering of infections in badger and cattle populations, produced a small but non-significant increase in the proportion of setts with TB-infected compared to uninfected badgers included in a cull. It also provided no overall improvement at targeting setts with infected badgers compared to the ring cull. Cattle TB incidents in this study were therefore insufficiently clustered around TB-infected badger setts to design an efficient spatially targeted cull; and this analysis provided no evidence to support a move towards spatially targeted badger culling policies for bovine TB control.

  8. Spatial Targeting for Bovine Tuberculosis Control: Can the Locations of Infected Cattle Be Used to Find Infected Badgers?

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Catherine M.; Downs, Sara H.; Mitchell, Andy; Hayward, Andrew C.; Fry, Hannah; Le Comber, Steven C.

    2015-01-01

    Bovine tuberculosis is a disease of historical importance to human health in the UK that remains a major animal health and economic issue. Control of the disease in cattle is complicated by the presence of a reservoir species, the Eurasian badger. In spite of uncertainty in the degree to which cattle disease results from transmission from badgers, and opposition from environmental groups, culling of badgers has been licenced in two large areas in England. Methods to limit culls to smaller areas that target badgers infected with TB whilst minimising the number of uninfected badgers culled is therefore of considerable interest. Here, we use historical data from a large-scale field trial of badger culling to assess two alternative hypothetical methods of targeting TB-infected badgers based on the distribution of cattle TB incidents: (i) a simple circular ‘ring cull’; and (ii) geographic profiling, a novel technique for spatial targeting of infectious disease control that predicts the locations of sources of infection based on the distribution of linked cases. Our results showed that both methods required coverage of very large areas to ensure a substantial proportion of infected badgers were removed, and would result in many uninfected badgers being culled. Geographic profiling, which accounts for clustering of infections in badger and cattle populations, produced a small but non-significant increase in the proportion of setts with TB-infected compared to uninfected badgers included in a cull. It also provided no overall improvement at targeting setts with infected badgers compared to the ring cull. Cattle TB incidents in this study were therefore insufficiently clustered around TB-infected badger setts to design an efficient spatially targeted cull; and this analysis provided no evidence to support a move towards spatially targeted badger culling policies for bovine TB control. PMID:26565626

  9. Impact of external sources of infection on the dynamics of bovine tuberculosis in modelled badger populations

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The persistence of bovine TB (bTB) in various countries throughout the world is enhanced by the existence of wildlife hosts for the infection. In Britain and Ireland, the principal wildlife host for bTB is the badger (Meles meles). The objective of our study was to examine the dynamics of bTB in badgers in relation to both badger-derived infection from within the population and externally-derived, trickle-type, infection, such as could occur from other species or environmental sources, using a spatial stochastic simulation model. Results The presence of external sources of infection can increase mean prevalence and reduce the threshold group size for disease persistence. Above the threshold equilibrium group size of 6–8 individuals predicted by the model for bTB persistence in badgers based on internal infection alone, external sources of infection have relatively little impact on the persistence or level of disease. However, within a critical range of group sizes just below this threshold level, external infection becomes much more important in determining disease dynamics. Within this critical range, external infection increases the ratio of intra- to inter-group infections due to the greater probability of external infections entering fully-susceptible groups. The effect is to enable bTB persistence and increase bTB prevalence in badger populations which would not be able to maintain bTB based on internal infection alone. Conclusions External sources of bTB infection can contribute to the persistence of bTB in badger populations. In high-density badger populations, internal badger-derived infections occur at a sufficient rate that the additional effect of external sources in exacerbating disease is minimal. However, in lower-density populations, external sources of infection are much more important in enhancing bTB prevalence and persistence. In such circumstances, it is particularly important that control strategies to reduce bTB in badgers include

  10. Large-scale movements in European badgers: has the tail of the movement kernel been underestimated?

    PubMed

    Byrne, Andrew W; Quinn, John L; O'Keeffe, James J; Green, Stuart; Sleeman, D Paddy; Martin, S Wayne; Davenport, John

    2014-07-01

    Characterizing patterns of animal movement is a major aim in population ecology, and yet doing so at an appropriate spatial scale remains a major challenge. Estimating the frequency and distances of movements is of particular importance when species are implicated in the transmission of zoonotic diseases. European badgers (Meles meles) are classically viewed as exhibiting limited dispersal, and yet their movements bring them into conflict with farmers due to their potential to spread bovine tuberculosis in parts of their range. Considerable uncertainty surrounds the movement potential of badgers, and this may be related to the spatial scale of previous empirical studies. We conducted a large-scale mark-recapture study (755 km(2); 2008-2012; 1935 capture events; 963 badgers) to investigate movement patterns in badgers, and undertook a comparative meta-analysis using published data from 15 European populations. The dispersal movement (>1 km) kernel followed an inverse power-law function, with a substantial 'tail' indicating the occurrence of rare long-distance dispersal attempts during the study period. The mean recorded distance from this distribution was 2.6 km, the 95 percentile was 7.3 km and the longest recorded was 22.1 km. Dispersal frequency distributions were significantly different between genders; males dispersed more frequently than females, but females made proportionally more long-distance dispersal attempts than males. We used a subsampling approach to demonstrate that the appropriate minimum spatial scale to characterize badger movements in our study population was 80 km(2), substantially larger than many previous badger studies. Furthermore, the meta-analysis indicated a significant association between maximum movement distance and study area size, while controlling for population density. Maximum long-distance movements were often only recorded by chance beyond the boundaries of study areas. These findings suggest that the tail of the badger

  11. Evidence for a role of the host-specific flea (Paraceras melis) in the transmission of Trypanosoma (Megatrypanum) pestanai to the European badger.

    PubMed

    Lizundia, Regina; Newman, Chris; Buesching, Christina D; Ngugi, Daniel; Blake, Damer; Sin, Yung Wa; Macdonald, David W; Wilson, Alan; McKeever, Declan

    2011-02-14

    We investigated the epidemiology of Trypanosoma pestanai infection in European badgers (Meles meles) from Wytham Woods (Oxfordshire, UK) to determine prevalence rates and to identify the arthropod vector responsible for transmission. A total of 245 badger blood samples was collected during September and November 2009 and examined by PCR using primers derived from the 18S rRNA of T. pestanai. The parasite was detected in blood from 31% of individuals tested. T. pestanai was isolated from primary cultures of Wytham badger peripheral blood mononuclear cells and propagated continually in vitro. This population was compared with cultures of two geographically distinct isolates of the parasite by amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) and PCR analysis of 18S rDNA and ITS1 sequences. High levels of genotypic polymorphism were observed between the isolates. PCR analysis of badger fleas (Paraceras melis) collected from infected individuals at Wytham indicated the presence of T. pestanai and this was confirmed by examination of dissected specimens. Wet smears and Giemsa-stained preparations from dissected fleas revealed large numbers of trypanosome-like forms in the hindgut, some of which were undergoing binary fission. We conclude that P. melis is the primary vector of T. pestanai in European badgers.

  12. Host specificity of the badger's flea (Paraceras melis) and first detection on a bat host.

    PubMed

    Ancillotto, Leonardo; Mazza, Giuseppe; Menchetti, Mattia; Mori, Emiliano

    2014-10-01

    Defining the whole spectrum of potential hosts of a parasite has large epidemiological and evolutionary implications in biology. Specialized parasites might be able to occasionally exploit a range of different host species, increasing the individual survival and the chances of successful dispersal. For long time Paraceras melis has been considered a specific flea of European badger Meles meles. Anyway, it has occasionally been reported on different hosts. In this work, we summarize the host spectrum of P. melis from literature and we report its first detection on a bat host. Ten species were identified as occasional hosts, man included, and the plasticity of this flea in host exploitation is noteworthy because of possible increase of pathogens transmission to humans and domestic species.

  13. Badgers gasohol project

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1981-07-29

    It is reported that Badger Energy is to participate in a gasohol project that will utilize the Tate and Lyle fermentation process at the proposed plant at Thibodaux, La., to produce 20 million gal/year of ethanol. The facility will be able to process alternative feedstocks such as grain, sorghum and sugar cane. The Dept. of Energy is funding the first phase of the project, which includes a feasibility study, by a grant of $1.9 million.

  14. Estimating the risk of cattle exposure to tuberculosis posed by wild deer relative to badgers in England and Wales.

    PubMed

    Ward, Alastair I; Smith, Graham C; Etherington, Thomas R; Delahay, Richard J

    2009-10-01

    Wild deer populations in Great Britain are expanding in range and probably in numbers, and relatively high prevalence of bovine tuberculosis (bTB, caused by infection with Mycobacterium bovis) in deer occurs locally in parts of southwest England. To evaluate the M. bovis exposure risk posed to cattle by wild deer relative to badgers in England and Wales, we constructed and parameterized a quantitative risk model with the use of information from the literature (on deer densities, activity patterns, bTB epidemiology, and pathology) and contemporary data on deer, cattle, and badger (Meles meles) distribution and abundance. The median relative risk score for each of the four deer species studied--red (Cervus elaphus), fallow (Dama dama), and roe (Capreolus capreolus) deer, and muntjac (Muntiacus reevesi)--was lower than unity (the relative risk set for badgers, the putative main wildlife reservoir of M. bovis in England and Wales). However, the 95th percentiles associated with risk estimates were large, and the upper limits for all four deer species exceeded unity. Although M. bovis exposure risks to cattle from deer at pasture are likely to be lower than those from badgers across most areas of England and Wales where cattle are affected by bTB because these areas coincide with high-density badger populations but not high-density deer populations, we predict the presence of localized areas where relative risks posed by deer may be considerable. Moreover, wherever deer are infected, risks to cattle may be additive to those posed by badgers. There are considerable knowledge gaps associated with bTB in deer, badgers, and cattle, and data available for model parameterization were generally of low quality and high variability, and consequently model output were subject to some uncertainty. Improved estimates of the proportion of time that deer of each species spend at pasture, the likelihood and magnitude of M. bovis excretion, and local badger and deer densities appear

  15. Positive and negative effects of widespread badger culling on tuberculosis in cattle.

    PubMed

    Donnelly, Christl A; Woodroffe, Rosie; Cox, D R; Bourne, F John; Cheeseman, C L; Clifton-Hadley, Richard S; Wei, Gao; Gettinby, George; Gilks, Peter; Jenkins, Helen; Johnston, W Thomas; Le Fevre, Andrea M; McInerney, John P; Morrison, W Ivan

    2006-02-16

    Human and livestock diseases can be difficult to control where infection persists in wildlife populations. For three decades, European badgers (Meles meles) have been culled by the British government in a series of attempts to limit the spread of Mycobacterium bovis, the causative agent of bovine tuberculosis (TB), to cattle. Despite these efforts, the incidence of TB in cattle has risen consistently, re-emerging as a primary concern for Britain's cattle industry. Recently, badger culling has attracted controversy because experimental studies have reached contrasting conclusions (albeit using different protocols), with culled areas showing either markedly reduced or increased incidence of TB in cattle. This has confused attempts to develop a science-based management policy. Here we use data from a large-scale, randomized field experiment to help resolve these apparent differences. We show that, as carried out in this experiment, culling reduces cattle TB incidence in the areas that are culled, but increases incidence in adjoining areas. These findings are biologically consistent with previous studies but will present challenges for policy development.

  16. Physaloptera sibirica in foxes and badgers from the Western Alps (Italy).

    PubMed

    Ferroglio, E; Ragagli, C; Trisciuoglio, A

    2009-07-07

    We investigated the presence of Physaloptera sibirica and its distribution as well as the association among the parasite, host (i.e. mange due to Sarcoptes scabiei) and environmental factors (i.e. altitudes) in foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and badgers (Meles meles) from the North-West of Italy. From 1996 to 2008 a total of 608 foxes, culled by hunters or road killed, and 39 road killed badgers were examined in order to investigate the presence of nematodes in the stomach. P. sibirica was found in 16 foxes (2.63%) and one badger (2.56%). As regards foxes' habitat type, prevalence was significantly higher (chi(2) = 16.36, p < or = 0.05) in mountain foxes (6.43%; 95%CI 3.25-11.22%) than those from hills (2.22%; 95%CI 0.46-6.36%) or irrigated plains (0.34%; 95%CI 0.01-1.90%). There were no significant differences between sex, age, months and years of the sampling. P. sibirica presence is significantly (chi(2) = 241.63, p > 0.000001) higher (73.33%; 95%CI 44.83-91.09%) in foxes with sarcoptic mange than foxes without mange (0.84%; 95%CI 0.21-1.84%). According to previous studies, in Southern Europe this parasite is associated with mountain areas, probably due to its intermediate hosts which require cold climate. Further studies are needed to evaluate the pathogenic role of P. sibirica in wildlife and its effects on host life history.

  17. A Badger Teaches in Hawaii.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sumida, Anna

    2000-01-01

    Describes how a visit to the principal's office to see his family heirloom (a quilted Hawaiian flag), and reading the book "Badger's Parting Gifts," created powerful and ongoing lessons for the author's second graders, imparting an eternal way of thinking about gifts, family, friends, and human values. (SR)

  18. No Compensatory Relationship between the Innate and Adaptive Immune System in Wild-Living European Badgers

    PubMed Central

    Sin, Yung Wa; Newman, Chris; Dugdale, Hannah L.; Buesching, Christina; Mannarelli, Maria-Elena; Annavi, Geetha; Burke, Terry; Macdonald, David W.

    2016-01-01

    The innate immune system provides the primary vertebrate defence system against pathogen invasion, but it is energetically costly and can have immune pathological effects. A previous study in sticklebacks found that intermediate major histocompatibility complex (MHC) diversity correlated with a lower leukocyte coping capacity (LCC), compared to individuals with fewer, or many, MHC alleles. The organization of the MHC genes in mammals, however, differs to the highly duplicated MHC genes in sticklebacks by having far fewer loci. Using European badgers (Meles meles), we therefore investigated whether innate immune activity, estimated functionally as the ability of an individual’s leukocytes to produce a respiratory burst, was influenced by MHC diversity. We also investigated whether LCC was influenced by factors such as age-class, sex, body condition, season, year, neutrophil and lymphocyte counts, and intensity of infection with five different pathogens. We found that LCC was not associated with specific MHC haplotypes, MHC alleles, or MHC diversity, indicating that the innate immune system did not compensate for the adaptive immune system even when there were susceptible MHC alleles/haplotypes, or when the MHC diversity was low. We also identified a seasonal and annual variation of LCC. This temporal variation of innate immunity was potentially due to physiological trade-offs or temporal variation in pathogen infections. The innate immunity, estimated as LCC, does not compensate for MHC diversity suggests that the immune system may function differently between vertebrates with different MHC organizations, with implications for the evolution of immune systems in different taxa. PMID:27695089

  19. No Compensatory Relationship between the Innate and Adaptive Immune System in Wild-Living European Badgers.

    PubMed

    Sin, Yung Wa; Newman, Chris; Dugdale, Hannah L; Buesching, Christina; Mannarelli, Maria-Elena; Annavi, Geetha; Burke, Terry; Macdonald, David W

    2016-01-01

    The innate immune system provides the primary vertebrate defence system against pathogen invasion, but it is energetically costly and can have immune pathological effects. A previous study in sticklebacks found that intermediate major histocompatibility complex (MHC) diversity correlated with a lower leukocyte coping capacity (LCC), compared to individuals with fewer, or many, MHC alleles. The organization of the MHC genes in mammals, however, differs to the highly duplicated MHC genes in sticklebacks by having far fewer loci. Using European badgers (Meles meles), we therefore investigated whether innate immune activity, estimated functionally as the ability of an individual's leukocytes to produce a respiratory burst, was influenced by MHC diversity. We also investigated whether LCC was influenced by factors such as age-class, sex, body condition, season, year, neutrophil and lymphocyte counts, and intensity of infection with five different pathogens. We found that LCC was not associated with specific MHC haplotypes, MHC alleles, or MHC diversity, indicating that the innate immune system did not compensate for the adaptive immune system even when there were susceptible MHC alleles/haplotypes, or when the MHC diversity was low. We also identified a seasonal and annual variation of LCC. This temporal variation of innate immunity was potentially due to physiological trade-offs or temporal variation in pathogen infections. The innate immunity, estimated as LCC, does not compensate for MHC diversity suggests that the immune system may function differently between vertebrates with different MHC organizations, with implications for the evolution of immune systems in different taxa.

  20. Use of a commercial serologic test for Angiostrongylus vasorum for the detection of A. chabaudi in wildcats and A. daskalovi in badgers.

    PubMed

    Deak, Georgiana; Gherman, Călin Mircea; Ionică, Angela Monica; Daskalaki, Aikaterini Alexandra; Matei, Ioana Adriana; D'Amico, Gianluca; Domşa, Cristian; Pantchev, Nikola; Mihalca, Andrei Daniel; Cozma, Vasile

    2017-01-15

    Three species of the genus Angiostrongylus are known to infect European carnivores: A. vasorum (mainly in canids but also in other carnivores), A. chabaudi (in felids) and A. daskalovi (in mustelids). A. vasorum is responsible for clinically severe disease in domestic dogs, most commonly diagnosed based on fecal examination and serological detection of circulating antigens. Considering the poorly known host range and the challenging larval differentiation in the feces between the three species of Angiostrongylus infecting European carnivores, our aim was to evaluate the cross-reactivity of A. chabaudi and A. daskalovi with A. vasorum using a commercial serologic test developed for domestic dogs. Badgers (Meles meles) (n=10) and wildcats (Felis silvestris) (n=8) were examined between 2015 and 2016 by full parasitological necropsy with subsequent morphological and molecular identification of nematodes and by serology, using IDEXX Angio Detect™ tests. Five out of the ten badgers and two out of the eight wildcats were harboring nematodes in the pulmonary arteries. All nematodes were identified morphologically as A. daskalovi in badgers and A. chabaudi in wildcats, respectively. Serological examination of the plasma samples revealed the positivity of the same animals as found in necropsy. None of the animals negative at necropsy was positive at serology. The 100% correlation between the necropsy results and the serologic positivity to IDEXX Angio Detect™ in badgers infected with A. daskalovi and wildcats infected with A. chabaudi suggest that these rapid tests are able to identify circulating antigens of all species of Angiostrongylus found in European carnivores: A. vasorum, A. daskalovi and A. chabaudi. The possibility for future in-clinic use of this test in domestic cats should be further investigated.

  1. 10. VIEW OF THE BADGER STATE MINEYARD, LOOKING NORTHEAST, SHOWING ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    10. VIEW OF THE BADGER STATE MINEYARD, LOOKING NORTHEAST, SHOWING THE HOIST HOUSE ON THE LEFT, THE IDLER TOWER, AND A LEG OF THE HEADFRAME ON THE RIGHT - Butte Mineyards, Badger State Mine, Butte, Silver Bow County, MT

  2. 'Mister Badger' Pushing Mars Rock

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1976-01-01

    Viking's soil sampler collector arm successfully pushed a rock on the surface of Mars during the afternoon of Friday, October 8. The irregular-shaped rock was pushed several inches by the Lander's collector arm, which displaced the rock to the left of its original position, leaving it cocked slightly upward. Photographs and other information verified the successful rock push. Photo at left shows the soil sampler's collector head pushing against the rock, named 'Mister Badger' by flight controllers. Photo at right shows the displaced rock and the depression whence it came. Part of the soil displacement was caused by the collector s backhoe. A soil sample will be taken from the site Monday night, October 11. It will then be delivered to Viking s organic chemistry instrument for a series of analyses during the next few weeks. The sample is being sought from beneath a rock because scientists believe that, if there are life forms on Mars, they may seek rocks as shelter from the Sun s intense ultraviolet radiation.

  3. Use of water troughs by badgers and cattle.

    PubMed

    O'Mahony, D T

    2014-12-01

    The frequency of visits by badgers and cattle to five water troughs was examined using motion-activated infra-red cameras in a farming landscape in Northern Ireland between May and July 2013. Cattle visit rates varied significantly across troughs, were greatest during daylight periods, and more frequent during dry weather. Badgers were recorded visiting only one of the five water troughs. These visits were recorded on 14 different nights between midnight and 0300 h and were mainly by individual badgers. Water troughs were not used concurrently by badgers and cattle and the minimum period between badger and cattle use was 3 days. Although badgers used water troughs rarely during the study there remains the potential for indirect transmission of a bacterium such as Mycobacterium bovis that may merit further investigation.

  4. The BADGER Inline Equation of State Library

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heltemes, Thad A.

    The complex multiphysics capabilities of radiation hydrodynamics codes require detailed equation of state (EOS) data. These EOS data need to accurately describe the behavior of materials over a wide range of densities and temperatures. This is particularly true for integrated high-gain target explosion --- reaction chamber response simulations where conditions ranging from thermonuclear to solid-state are present throughout the simulation. The models employed to facilitate representing the desired material(s) need to represent solid, liquid, gas and plasma states of matter. Each of these states of matter have unique physical phenomena that must be described in an EOS model. In addition to pure material phase information, an ideal EOS model will incorporate phase-change and chemical reaction information. The BADGER Fortran EOS library was created to meet the needs of these multiphysics simulation codes. BADGER incorporates the most recently published ion EOS, electron EOS and ionization models. It was written as a software library with the express intent of being directly linked into external codes to eliminate the requirement of generating tabular data. The library accepts an arbitrary material composition of natural elements or isotopes and calculates the EOS variables and mean ionization based on the density, temperature and plasma condition (local thermodynamic equilibrium or non-LTE). The results are stored in a data array that is accessible to the external code. When an EOS calculation is requested, the material is broken down into individual isotopes and the EOS/ionization calculation is performed on each isotope. BADGER assumes a thermodynamically consistent average atom model, so the final material result is simply the sum of the isotopic constituents. The BADGER ion and electron EOS models have been verified against SESAME tabulated EOS data from Los Alamos National Laboratory for aluminum and tungsten and the ionization model was verified against FLYCHK

  5. Antibodies to Mycobacterium bovis in wild carnivores from Doñana National Park (Spain).

    PubMed

    Martín-Atance, P; León-Vizcaíno, L; Palomares, F; Revilla, E; González-Candela, M; Calzada, J; Cubero-Pablo, M J; Delibes, M

    2006-07-01

    We conducted a retrospective serologic survey for antibodies against the MPB70 protein of Mycobacterium bovis in wild carnivores from Doñana National Park (southwestern Spain). Serum samples from 118 red foxes (Vulpes vulpes), 39 Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus), 31 Eurasian badgers (Meles meles), five Egyptian mongoose (Herpestes ichneumon), four European genet (Genetta genetta), and one Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) were analyzed using an indirect competitive enzyme-linked immunoassay. Antibodies against the MPB70 protein of M. bovis were detected in seven badgers, five foxes, and one lynx. The frequency of positive animals was significantly higher in badger (23%) than in lynx (3%) and fox (4%). Antibodies were not detected in other species. Annual antibody frequency peaked at 38% in badgers and 11% for red fox. These species may contribute to persistence of bovine tuberculosis in Doñana.

  6. Farmers' confidence in vaccinating badgers against bovine tuberculosis.

    PubMed

    Enticott, G; Maye, D; Ilbery, B; Fisher, R; Kirwan, J

    2012-02-25

    This paper examines UK farmers' levels of confidence in vaccinating badgers against bovine tuberculosis (bTB) and their trust in the Government's ability to deal with bTB. In 2010, a badger vaccine based on the BCG vaccine was licensed following field trials and used as part of the UK Government's Badger Vaccination Deployment Project. A stratified random sample of cattle farmers in five different locations of England was surveyed using a telephone survey to elicit their views of badger vaccination. The survey provided a total of 341 responses with a response rate of 80 per cent. Results suggest that the farmers are cautious about badger vaccination, appearing to be neither overly confident nor unconfident in it. However, the farmers did not reveal high levels of trust in the Government to manage bTB policy or badger vaccination. There were no differences in the levels of confidence or trust between farms that were under bTB restrictions at the time of the survey and those that were not or between farms with historically high levels of bTB. Analysis of principal components suggests that 33 per cent of the farmers accepted badger vaccination, but that acceptance is dependent on the wider social and political environment.

  7. Trace elements in tissues of wild carnivores and omnivores in Croatia.

    PubMed

    Bilandžić, Nina; Dežđek, Danko; Sedak, Marija; Dokić, Maja; Simić, Branimir; Rudan, Nevenka; Brstilo, Mate; Lisicin, Tea

    2012-01-01

    The differences in metal exposure (As, Cd, Cu, Pb and Hg) in the muscle, liver and kidney tissues of brown bears (Ursus arctos), grey wolfs (Canis lupus), Eurasian lynxs (Lynx lynx), Eurasian badgers (Meles meles) and pine martens (Martes martes) from Croatia were observed. The highest mean Cd levels were found in kidney and liver of Eurasian badger (3.05 and 0.537 mg/kg). The highest Cu concentrations (mg/kg) measured in liver tissue were obtained in order: Eurasian badger (15.2) > brown bear (12.1) > pine marten (10.3) > Eurasian lynx (8.43) > grey wolf (6.44). Result presented that Eurasian badger accumulated the highest levels of elements: As, Cu and Pb in muscle; As, Cd, Cu and Pb in liver; Cd and Pb in kidney. Kidney of pine marten accumulated the highest concentrations of As, Cu and Hg. Omnivorous species observed present an important bioindicator for the accumulation of toxic elements indicating an enhanced vulnerability for response to ecological changes in forested terrain. Generally, element concentrations found in five species observed were lower in comparison to levels reported in previous studies and below levels related to toxicosis in mammals.

  8. Geographical association between the genotype of bovine tuberculosis in found dead badgers and in cattle herds.

    PubMed

    Goodchild, A V; Watkins, G H; Sayers, A R; Jones, J R; Clifton-Hadley, R S

    2012-03-10

    In a survey, 457 badgers that had been found dead in Wales were postmortem-examined, and samples were examined by histology and by extended culture (for up to 12 weeks). Mycobacterium bovis was cultured from 55 badgers (12.0 per cent), and the histology typical of M bovis infection was seen in a further six (1.3 per cent). The prevalence in badgers in each of 10 geographical areas varied between 0 and 26 per cent (P<0.001), and was associated with the incidence of confirmed M bovis infection in cattle herds in the same areas (P<0.01). In northern Wales, bTB was rare in both hosts. An infected badger was 12.3 times more likely to be within 5 km of a confirmed cattle bTB breakdown than an uninfected badger. The M bovis isolates from badgers belonged to one of four genotypes defined by spoligotype and variable number tandem repeat type. These genotypes were also found in 290 concurrent confirmed herd breakdowns, and tended to be similar to the genotypes in badgers in the same geographical areas. When badgers and cattle no more than 30 km apart were compared, the genotype diversity was greater in cattle than in badgers (P=0.016), suggesting that the movement of cattle plays a greater part in the spatial distribution of M bovis than the movement of badgers.

  9. The prevalence, distribution and severity of detectable pathological lesions in badgers naturally infected with Mycobacterium bovis.

    PubMed

    Jenkins, H E; Morrison, W I; Cox, D R; Donnelly, C A; Johnston, W T; Bourne, F J; Clifton-Hadley, R S; Gettinby, G; McInerney, J P; Watkins, G H; Woodroffe, R

    2008-10-01

    The Randomized Badger Culling Trial (RBCT) began in 1998 to determine the impact of badger culling in controlling bovine tuberculosis in cattle. A total of 1166 badgers (14% of total) proactively culled during the RBCT were found to be tuberculous, offering a unique opportunity to study the pathology caused by Mycobacterium bovis in a large sample of badgers. Of these, 39% of adults (approximately 6% of all adults culled) had visible lesions (detectable at necropsy) of bovine tuberculosis; cubs had a lower prevalence of infection (9%) but a higher percentage of tuberculous cubs (55.5%) had visible lesions. Only approximately 1% of adult badgers had extensive, severe pathology. Tuberculous badgers with recorded bite wounds (approximately 5%) had a higher prevalence of visible lesions and a different distribution of lesions, suggesting transmission via bite wounds. However, the predominance of lesions in the respiratory tract indicates that most transmission occurs by the respiratory route.

  10. Mathematical model for transmission of tuberculosis in badger population with vaccination

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tasmi, Aldila, D.; Soewono, E.; Nuraini, N.

    2016-04-01

    Badger was first time identified as a carrier of Bovine tuberculosis disease in England since 30 years ago. Bovine tuberculosis can be transmitted to another species through the faces, saliva, and breath. The control of tuberculosis in the badger is necessary to reduce the spread of the disease to other species. Many actions have been taken by the government to tackle the disease such as culling badgers with cyanide gas, but this way destroys the natural balance and disrupts the badger population. An alternative way to eliminate tuberculosis within badger population is by vaccination. Here in this paper a model for transmission of badger tuberculosis with vaccination is discussed. The existence of the endemic equilibrium, the stability and the basic reproduction ratio are shown analytically. Numerical simulations show that with proper vaccination level, the basic reproduction ratio could be reduced significantly. Sensitivity analysis for variation of parameters are shown numerically.

  11. 77 FR 51800 - Notice to All Interested Parties of the Termination of the Receivership of 10339, Badger State...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-08-27

    ... CORPORATION Notice to All Interested Parties of the Termination of the Receivership of 10339, Badger State... Receiver for Badger State Bank, Cassville, Wisconsin (``the Receiver'') intends to terminate its receivership for said institution. The FDIC was appointed receiver of Badger State Bank. The liquidation of...

  12. 75 FR 43556 - Badger Meter, Inc., Including On-Site Leased Workers From Sourcepoint Staffing, Seek, and...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-07-26

    ... Employment and Training Administration Badger Meter, Inc., Including On-Site Leased Workers From Sourcepoint... Adjustment Assistance on April 28, 2010, applicable to workers of Badger Meter, Inc., including on-site... Manpower were employed on-site at the Milwaukee, Wisconsin location of Badger Meter, Inc. The...

  13. 2d Fu-Kane-Mele invariant as Wess-Zumino action of the sewing matrix

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gawȩdzki, Krzysztof

    2017-04-01

    We show that the Fu-Kane-Mele invariant of the 2 d time-reversal invariant crystalline insulators is equal to the properly normalized Wess-Zumino action of the so-called sewing-matrix field defined on the Brillouin torus. Applied to 3 d, the result permits a direct proof of the known relation between the strong Fu-Kane-Mele invariant and the Chern-Simons action of the non-Abelian Berry connection on the bundle of valence states.

  14. 78 FR 2988 - Badger Creek Limited; Notice of Petition for Declaratory Order

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-01-15

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Badger Creek Limited; Notice of Petition for Declaratory Order Take notice..., as amended, 18 CFR 292.205(c) (2012), Badger Creek Limited filed a petition for declaratory...

  15. Badger (Taxidea taxus) disturbances increase soil heterogeneity in a degraded shrub-steppe ecosystem

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In the western United States, overgrazing, weed invasion and wildfire have resulted in the conversion of shrub-steppe to annual grasslands, with substantial effects on ecosystem function. In these landscapes, badgers disturb large areas of soil while foraging for prey. Mounds created by badgers cont...

  16. Physical characteristics of Eurasian winter temperature variability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Kwang-Yul; Son, Seok-Woo

    2016-04-01

    Despite the on-going global warming, recent winters in Eurasian mid-latitudes were much colder than average. In an attempt to better understand the physical characteristics for cold Eurasian winters, major sources of variability in surface air temperature (SAT) are investigated based on cyclostationary EOF analysis. The two leading modes of SAT variability represent the effect of Arctic amplification (AA) and the Arctic oscillation (AO), respectively. These two modes are distinct in terms of the physical characteristics, including surface energy fluxes and tropospheric circulations, and result in significantly different winter SAT patterns over the Eurasian continent. The AA-related SAT anomalies are dipolar with warm Arctic, centered at the Barents-Kara Seas, and cold East Asia. In contrast, the negative AO-related SAT anomalies are characterized by widespread cold anomalies in Northern Eurasia. Relative importance of the AA and the negative AO contributions to cold Eurasian winters is sensitive to the region of interest.

  17. Trial design to estimate the effect of vaccination on tuberculosis incidence in badgers.

    PubMed

    Aznar, Inma; McGrath, Guy; Murphy, Denise; Corner, Leigh A L; Gormley, Eamonn; Frankena, Klaas; More, Simon J; Martin, Wayne; O'Keeffe, James; De Jong, Mart C M

    2011-07-05

    The principal wildlife reservoir of Mycobacterium bovis in Ireland is the European badger. Studies in the Republic of Ireland (RoI) have shown that badgers culled in association with cattle herd tuberculosis breakdowns (focal culling) have a higher prevalence of infection than the badger population at large. This observation is one rationale for the medium term national strategy of focal badger culling. A vaccination strategy for the control of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in badgers is a preferred long-term option. The Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine has been shown to decrease disease severity in captive badgers under controlled conditions. As the vaccine has been tested in a controlled environment with precise information on infection pressure, it cannot be assumed a priori that the effects of vaccination are similar in the wild, where other environmental and/or ecological factors prevail. For this reason we have designed a vaccine field trial to assess the impact of vaccination on the incidence of TB infection in a wild badger population. The selected study area for the vaccine trial (approximately 755 square kilometers) is divided into three zones each of which has similar characteristics in terms of size, number of main badger setts, cattle herds, cattle and land classification type. Three vaccination levels (100%, 50% and 0%) will be allocated to the three zones in a way that a gradient of vaccination coverage North to South is achieved. The middle zone (zone B) will be vaccinated at a 50% coverage but zone A and C will be randomly allocated with 100% or 0% vaccination coverage. Vaccination within zone B will be done randomly at individual badger level. The objective of this paper is to describe the design of a field tuberculosis vaccination trial for badgers, the epidemiological methods that were used to design the trial and the subsequent data analysis. The analysis will enable us to quantify the magnitude of the observed vaccination effect on M. bovis

  18. Environmental silica in badger lungs: a possible association with susceptibility to Mycobacterium bovis infection

    SciTech Connect

    Higgins, D.A.; Kung, I.T.; Or, R.S.

    1985-04-01

    Badger lungs contain dark granular foci (0.2 to 2.0 mm) comprising aggregates of enlarged macrophages containing birefringent crystalline particles. Particles were examined from the lungs of three badgers; many were silicates and a significant number were pure silica (SiO/sub 2/). The particles and the accompanying pathology resembled mixed dust fibrosis and silicosis in humans, diseases associated with increased susceptibility to tuberculosis.

  19. Comparison of a standard and a detailed postmortem protocol for detecting Mycobacterium bovis in badgers.

    PubMed

    Crawshaw, T R; Griffiths, I B; Clifton-Hadley, R S

    2008-10-18

    A standard postmortem protocol, consisting of gross pathology, culture for mycobacteria and limited selective histopathology, was used in the randomised badger culling trial in Great Britain to detect Mycobacterium bovis infection. This standard protocol was compared with a more detailed protocol in which more tissues were examined grossly, more tissues were cultured, more culture slopes were seeded, the culture period was extended and tissues were examined routinely by histopathology. The standard protocol was more sensitive in badgers with gross visible lesions than in badgers with no gross visible lesions. When applied to the study population of badgers, the overall sensitivity of the standard protocol relative to the more detailed protocol was estimated to be 54.6 per cent (95 per cent confidence interval 44.9 to 69.8 per cent). Badgers with tuberculosis (tb) detected by the standard protocol had a mean of 7.6 tissues with microscopic lesions suspicious of tb. The additional badgers detected by the detailed protocol had a mean of 4.4 tissues with microscopic lesions suspicious of tb.

  20. Eliminating bovine tuberculosis in cattle and badgers: insight from a dynamic model.

    PubMed

    Brooks-Pollock, Ellen; Wood, James L N

    2015-06-07

    Bovine tuberculosis (BTB) is a multi-species infection that commonly affects cattle and badgers in Great Britain. Despite years of study, the impact of badgers on BTB incidence in cattle is poorly understood. Using a two-host transmission model of BTB in cattle and badgers, we find that published data and parameter estimates are most consistent with a system at the threshold of control. The most consistent explanation for data obtained from cattle and badger populations includes within-host reproduction numbers close to 1 and between-host reproduction numbers of approximately 0.05. In terms of controlling infection in cattle, reducing cattle-to-cattle transmission is essential. In some regions, even large reductions in badger prevalence can have a modest impact on cattle infection and a multi-stranded approach is necessary that also targets badger-to-cattle transmission directly. The new perspective highlighted by this two-host approach provides insight into the control of BTB in Great Britain.

  1. Farmer attitudes to vaccination and culling of badgers in controlling bovine tuberculosis.

    PubMed

    Warren, M; Lobley, M; Winter, M

    2013-07-13

    Controversy persists in England, Wales and Northern Ireland concerning methods of controlling the transmission of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) between badgers and cattle. The National Trust, a major land-owning heritage organisation, in 2011, began a programme of vaccinating badgers against bTB on its Killerton Estate in Devon. Most of the estate is farmed by 18 tenant farmers, who thus have a strong interest in the Trust's approach, particularly as all have felt the effects of the disease. This article reports on a study of the attitudes to vaccination of badgers and to the alternative of a culling programme, using face-to-face interviews with 14 of the tenants. The results indicated first that the views of the respondents were more nuanced than the contemporary public debate about badger control would suggest. Secondly, the attitude of the interviewees to vaccination of badgers against bTB was generally one of resigned acceptance. Thirdly, most respondents would prefer a combination of an effective vaccination programme with an effective culling programme, the latter reducing population of density sufficiently (and preferably targeting the badgers most likely to be diseased) for vaccination to have a reasonable chance of success. While based on a small sample, these results will contribute to the vigorous debate concerning contrasting policy approaches to bTB control in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

  2. Temporal labyrinths of eastern Eurasian Pleistocene humans

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Xiu-Jie; Crevecoeur, Isabelle; Liu, Wu; Xing, Song; Trinkaus, Erik

    2014-01-01

    One of the morphological features that has been identified as uniquely derived for the western Eurasian Neandertals concerns the relative sizes and positions of their semicircular canals. In particular, they exhibit a relatively small anterior canal, a relatively larger lateral one, and a more inferior position of the posterior one relative to the lateral one. These discussions have not included full paleontological data on eastern Eurasian Pleistocene human temporal labyrinths, which have the potential to provide a broader context for assessing Pleistocene Homo trait polarities. We present the temporal labyrinths of four eastern Eurasian Pleistocene Homo, one each of Early (Lantian 1), Middle (Hexian 1), and Late (Xujiayao 15) Pleistocene archaic humans and one early modern human (Liujiang 1). The labyrinths of the two earlier specimens and the most recent one conform to the proportions seen among western early and recent modern humans, reinforcing the modern human pattern as generally ancestral for the genus Homo. The labyrinth of Xujiayao 15 is in the middle of the Neandertal variation and separate from the other samples. This eastern Eurasian labyrinthine dichotomy occurs in the context of none of the distinctive Neandertal external temporal or other cranial features. As such, it raises questions regarding possible cranial and postcranial morphological correlates of Homo labyrinthine variation, the use of individual “Neandertal” features for documenting population affinities, and the nature of late archaic human variation across Eurasia. PMID:25002467

  3. Canine distemper virus in wild ferret-badgers of Taiwan.

    PubMed

    Chen, Chen-Chih; Pei, Kurtis Jai-Chyi; Liao, Ming-Huei; Mortenson, Jack A

    2008-04-01

    Canine distemper is an acute or subacute, highly contagious, febrile disease that is caused by canine distemper virus (CDV). Two CDV-infected wild Taiwan ferret-badgers (Melogale moschata subauantiaca) were found in Kaohsiung County, southern Taiwan, in 2005. Each case was confirmed by detecting CDV RNA in lung and brain tissues. A suspected third case was detected based on clinical signs and histology. These cases are the first record of wildlife infected by CDV in Taiwan. It is believed that domestic dogs or coexisting wild carnivores infected with the virus were the most likely source, and a serologic survey is needed to fully understand the host range of this virus in Taiwan. In addition, further genetic sequencing is needed to determine the source of these CDV cases.

  4. Ferret badger rabies origin and its revisited importance as potential source of rabies transmission in Southeast China

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The frequent occurrence of ferret badger-associated human rabies cases in southeast China highlights the lack of laboratory-based surveillance and urges revisiting the potential importance of this animal in rabies transmission. To determine if the ferret badgers actually contribute to human and dog rabies cases, and the possible origin of the ferret badger-associated rabies in the region, an active rabies survey was conducted to determine the frequency of rabies infection and seroprevalence in dogs and ferret badgers. Methods A retrospective survey on rabies epidemics was performed in Zhejiang, Jiangxi and Anhui provinces in southeast China. The brain tissues from ferret badgers and dogs were assayed by fluorescent antibody test. Rabies virus was isolated and sequenced for phylogenetic analysis. The sera from ferret badgers and dogs were titrated using rabies virus neutralizing antibodies (VNA) test. Results The ferret badgers presented a higher percentage of rabies seroconversion than dogs did in the endemic region, reaching a maximum of 95% in the collected samples. Nine ferret badger-associated rabies viruses were isolated, sequenced, and were phylogenetically clustered as a separate group. Nucleotide sequence revealed 99.4-99.8% homology within the ferret badger isolates, and 83-89% homology to the dog isolates in the nucleoprotein and glycoprotein genes in the same rabies endemic regions. Conclusions Our data suggest ferret badger-associated rabies has likely formed as an independent enzootic originating from dogs during the long-term rabies infestation in southeast China. The eventual role of FB rabies in public health remains unclear. However, management of ferret badger bites, rabies awareness and control in the related regions should be an immediate need. PMID:20691095

  5. 77 FR 71587 - Badger Creek Limited; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-12-03

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Badger Creek Limited; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market- Based Rate...-referenced proceeding, of Badger Creek Limited's application for market-based rate authority, with...

  6. American badgers selectively excavate burrows in areas used by black-footed ferrets: implications for predator avoidance

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eads, David A.; Biggins, Dean E.; Livieri, Travis M.; Millspaugh, Joshua J.

    2013-01-01

    We evaluated how American badgers (Taxidea taxus) might exert selective pressure on black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) to develop antipredator defenses. In a colony of black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) in South Dakota, badgers concentrated their activities where burrow openings and prairie dogs were abundant, a selective behavior that was exhibited by ferrets in the same colony. Badgers excavated burrows more often when in areas recently used by a ferret, suggesting that badgers hunt ferrets or steal prey from ferrets, or both. We also conducted an analysis of survival studies for ferrets and Siberian polecats (M. eversmanii) released onto prairie dog colonies. This polecat is the ferret's ecological equivalent but evolved without a digging predator. Badgers accounted for 30.0% of predation on polecats and 5.5% of predation on ferrets. In contrast, both polecats and ferrets have evolutionary experience with canids, providing a plausible explanation for the similar relative impact of coyotes (Canis latrans) on them (65.0% and 67.1% of predation, respectively). We hypothesize that ferrets and badgers coexist because ferrets are superior at exploitation competition and are efficient at avoiding badgers, and badgers are superior at interference competition.

  7. 75 FR 21663 - Maysteel, LLC Including On-Site Leased Workers From Staff One, Badger Tech, Boyd Hunter, Seek...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-04-26

    ... Tech, Boyd Hunter, Seek, QPS, and Service First, Menomonee Falls, WI; Amended Certification Regarding..., including on-site leased workers from Staff One, Badger Tech, Boyd Hunter, Seek, and QPS, Menomonee Falls... Maysteel, LLC, including on-site leased workers from Staff One, Badger Tech, Boyd Hunter, Seek, QPS,...

  8. Pathogen and rodenticide exposure in American badgers (Taxidea taxus) in California.

    PubMed

    Quinn, Jessica H; Girard, Yvette A; Gilardi, Kirsten; Hernandez, Yvette; Poppenga, Robert; Chomel, Bruno B; Foley, Janet E; Johnson, Christine K

    2012-04-01

    Urban and agricultural land use may increase the risk of disease transmission among wildlife, domestic animals, and humans as we share ever-shrinking and fragmented habitat. American badgers (Taxidae taxus), a species of special concern in California, USA, live in proximity to urban development and often share habitat with livestock and small peridomestic mammals. As such, they may be susceptible to pathogens commonly transmitted at this interface and to anticoagulant rodenticides used to control nuisance wildlife on agricultural lands. We evaluated free-ranging badgers in California for exposure to pathogens and anticoagulant rodenticides that pose a risk to wildlife, domestic animals, or public health. We found serologic evidence of badger exposure to Francisella tularensis, Toxoplasma gondii, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, canine distemper virus, and three Bartonella species: B. henselae, B. clarridgeiae, and B. vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii. Badger tissues contained anticoagulant rodenticides brodifacoum and bromadiolone, commonly used to control periurban rodent pests. These data provide a preliminary investigation of pathogen and toxicant exposure in the wild badger population.

  9. 'Big science' in the field: experimenting with badgers and bovine TB, 1995-2015.

    PubMed

    Cassidy, Angela

    2015-09-01

    Since wild badgers were first connected with outbreaks of bovine TB (bTB) in UK cattle herds in the early 1970s, the question of whether to cull them to control infections in cattle has been the subject of a protracted public and policy controversy. Following the recommendation of Prof. John Krebs that a "scientifically based experimental trial" be carried out to test the effectiveness of badger culling, the Randomised Badger Culling Trial (RBCT) was commissioned by Government in 1998. One of the largest field experiments ever conducted in the UK, the RBCT sought to recreate the conditions of a randomised controlled trial (RCT) across approximately 3000 km(2) of the South West of England. Despite widespread expectations that the RBCT would provide the necessary evidence to resolve the controversy, its findings have instead been widely contested and reinterpreted, while arguments over badger culling have become increasingly polarised. This paper will investigate the complexities of field experimental knowledge by following the story of the RBCT from this initial proposal, through processes of research design, implementation, analysis, interpretation and reinterpretation of the findings by multiple actors. It asks what kind of experiment the RBCT actually was, and examines how it has contributed to the protracted controversy over whether to cull badgers in order to control bTB in cattle. Finally, it will explore the wider implications of this case for contemporary debates over the contribution that RCTs can make to formulating public policy.

  10. Badger macrophages fail to produce nitric oxide, a key anti-mycobacterial effector molecule.

    PubMed

    Bilham, Kirstin; Boyd, Amy C; Preston, Stephen G; Buesching, Christina D; Newman, Chris; Macdonald, David W; Smith, Adrian L

    2017-04-06

    The European badger is recognised as a wildlife reservoir for bovine tuberculosis (bTB); the control of which is complex, costly and controversial. Despite the importance of badgers in bTB and the well-documented role for macrophages as anti-mycobacterial effector cells, badger macrophage (bdMφ) responses remain uncharacterised. Here, we demonstrate that bdMφ fail to produce nitric oxide (NO) or upregulate inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) mRNA following Toll-like receptor (TLR) agonist treatment. BdMφ also failed to make NO after stimulation with recombinant badger interferon gamma (bdIFNγ) or a combination of bdIFNγ and lipopolysaccharide. Exposure of bdMφ to TLR agonists and/or bdIFNγ resulted in upregulated cytokine (IL1β, IL6, IL12 and TNFα) mRNA levels indicating that these critical pathways were otherwise intact. Although stimulation with most TLR agonists resulted in strong cytokine mRNA responses, weaker responses were evident after exposure to TLR9 agonists, potentially due to very low expression of TLR9 in bdMφ. Both NO and TLR9 are important elements of innate immunity to mycobacteria, and these features of bdMφ biology would impair their capacity to resist bTB infection. These findings have significant implications for the development of bTB management strategies, and support the use of vaccination to reduce bTB infection in badgers.

  11. Badger macrophages fail to produce nitric oxide, a key anti-mycobacterial effector molecule

    PubMed Central

    Bilham, Kirstin; Boyd, Amy C.; Preston, Stephen G.; Buesching, Christina D.; Newman, Chris; Macdonald, David W.; Smith, Adrian L.

    2017-01-01

    The European badger is recognised as a wildlife reservoir for bovine tuberculosis (bTB); the control of which is complex, costly and controversial. Despite the importance of badgers in bTB and the well-documented role for macrophages as anti-mycobacterial effector cells, badger macrophage (bdMφ) responses remain uncharacterised. Here, we demonstrate that bdMφ fail to produce nitric oxide (NO) or upregulate inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) mRNA following Toll-like receptor (TLR) agonist treatment. BdMφ also failed to make NO after stimulation with recombinant badger interferon gamma (bdIFNγ) or a combination of bdIFNγ and lipopolysaccharide. Exposure of bdMφ to TLR agonists and/or bdIFNγ resulted in upregulated cytokine (IL1β, IL6, IL12 and TNFα) mRNA levels indicating that these critical pathways were otherwise intact. Although stimulation with most TLR agonists resulted in strong cytokine mRNA responses, weaker responses were evident after exposure to TLR9 agonists, potentially due to very low expression of TLR9 in bdMφ. Both NO and TLR9 are important elements of innate immunity to mycobacteria, and these features of bdMφ biology would impair their capacity to resist bTB infection. These findings have significant implications for the development of bTB management strategies, and support the use of vaccination to reduce bTB infection in badgers. PMID:28382943

  12. Sizeable Kane-Mele-like spin orbit coupling in graphene decorated with iridium clusters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qin, Yuyuan; Wang, Siqi; Wang, Rui; Bu, Haijun; Wang, Xuefeng; Wang, Xinran; Song, Fengqi; Wang, Baigeng; Wang, Guanghou

    2016-05-01

    The spin-orbit coupling strength of graphene can be enhanced by depositing iridium nanoclusters. Weak localization is intensely suppressed near zero fields after the cluster deposition, rather than changing to weak anti-localization. Fitting the magnetoresistance gives the spin relaxation time, which increases by two orders with the application of a back gate. The spin relaxation time is found to be proportional to the electronic elastic scattering time, demonstrating the Elliot-Yafet spin relaxation mechanism. A sizeable Kane-Mele-like coupling strength of over 5.5 meV is determined by extrapolating the temperature dependence to zero.

  13. Aboveground predation by an American badger (Taxidea taxus) on black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eads, D.A.; Biggins, D.E.

    2008-01-01

    During research on black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus), we repeatedly observed a female American badger (Taxidea taxus) hunting prairie dogs on a colony in southern Phillips County, Montana. During 1-14 June 2006, we observed 7 aboveground attacks (2 successful) and 3 successful excavations of prairie dogs. The locations and circumstances of aboveground attacks suggested that the badger improved her probability of capturing prairie dogs by planning the aboveground attacks based on perceptions of speeds, angles, distances, and predicted escape responses of prey. Our observations add to previous reports on the complex and varied predatory methods and cognitive capacities of badgers. These observations also underscore the individuality of predators and support the concept that predators are active participants in predator-prey interactions.

  14. Pan Eurasian Experiment (PEEX): a new research initiative focused on the Northern Pan-Eurasian Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petäjä, Tuukka; Lappalainen, Hanna; Zaytseva, Nina; Shvidenko, Anatoli; Kujansuu, Joni; Kerminen, Veli-Matti; Viisanen, Yrjö; Kotlyakov, Vladimir; Kasimov, Nikolai; Bondur, Valery; Matvienko, Gennadi; Zilitinkevich, Sergej; Kulmala, Markku

    2014-05-01

    The increasing human activities are changing the environment and the humanity is we are pushing the safe boundaries of the globe. It is of utmost importance to gauge with a comprehensive research program on the current status of the environment, particularly in the most vulnerable locations. Pan-Eurasian Experiment (PEEX) is a new multidisciplinary research approach aiming at resolving the major uncertainties in the Earth system science and global sustainability questions in the Arctic and boreal Pan-Eurasian regions. The PEEX program aims (i) to understand the Earth system and the influence of environmental and societal changes in pristine and industrialized Pan-Eurasian environments, (ii) to establish and sustain long-term, continuous and comprehensive ground-based airborne and seaborne research infrastructures, and to utilize satellite data and multi-scale model frameworks, (iii) to contribute to regional climate scenarios in the northern Pan-Eurasia and determine the relevant factors and interactions influencing human and societal wellbeing (iv) to promote the dissemination of PEEX scientific results and strategies in scientific and stake-holder communities and policy making, (v) to educate the next generation of multidisciplinary global change experts and scientists, and (vi) to increase the public awareness of climate change impacts in the Pan-Eurasian region. The development of PEEX research infrastructure will be one of the first activities of PEEX. PEEX will find synergies with the major European land-atmosphere observation infrastructures such as ICOS a research infrastructure to decipher the greenhouse gas balance of Europe and adjacent regions, ACTRIS (Aerosols, Clouds, and Trace gases Research InfraStructure Network-project), and ANAEE (The experimentation in terrestrial ecosystem research) networks and with the flag ship stations like the SMEARs (Station for Measuring Ecosystem-Atmosphere Relations) when design, re-organizing and networking existing

  15. The Ethno-Cultural Concept of Classical Eurasianism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ivanov, Andrey V.; Fotieva, Irina V.; Shishin, Michail Yu.; Belokurovac, Sofja M.

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to analyze of Eurasianism, which began during the Russian scientific and philosophical emigration and has generated sharp discussion over the last century. Within the framework of Eurasianism, extensive research has been conducted on a wide range of interrelated topics, much of whose theoretical and practical…

  16. European Transmission Interconnection; Eurasian power grid

    SciTech Connect

    Posch, J. )

    1991-09-01

    Systems and philosophies perceived on a grand scale, encompassing new ideas, are often characterized as a dream. But in fact, such dreams often lead to the first step to fruitful development. This article is based on a preliminary study of the existing electrical high-tension networks of Western Europe, Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union - which, as explained herein, may be merged into a multinational energy supply system. Such a system would constitute a completely interconnected Eurasian Power Grid. The idea of a Eurasian super grid, spanning from the Atlantic to the Ural and Siberia, is not new. Various studies have been conducted by both western Europe and the Soviet Union on this topic. Our world is currently in an era of extra high voltage (EHV) and ultra high voltage (UHV) electrical systems. This translates into existing UHV lines of 1150 kV which have already been proven in successful operation. Such UHV systems are capable of transmitting thousands of megawatts over a distance of a 1000 miles. Furthermore, national boundaries are not more a hindrance than the challenge of interconnecting complete networks into an overall synchronized working system with load exchange capabilities in all directions.

  17. Estimating the power of a Mycobacterium bovis vaccine trial in Irish badgers.

    PubMed

    Aznar, I; More, S J; Frankena, K; De Jong, M C M

    2013-09-01

    The aim of this study was to estimate the power, using simulation techniques, of a group randomized vaccine field trial designed to assess the effect of vaccination on Mycobacterium bovis transmission in badgers. The effects of sample size (recapture percentage), initial prevalence, sensitivity and specificity of the diagnostic test, transmission rate between unvaccinated badgers, Vaccine Efficacy for Susceptibility (VES) and Vaccine Efficacy for Infectiousness (VEI), on study power were determined. Sample size had a small effect on power. Study power increased with increasing transmission rate between non-vaccinated badgers. Changes in VES had a higher impact on power than changes in VEI. However, the largest effect on study power was associated with changes in the specificity of the diagnostic test, within the range of input values that were used for all other modelled parameters. Specificity values below 99.4% yielded a study power below 50% even when sensitivity was 100% and, VEI and VES were both equal to 80%. The effect of changes in sensitivity on study power was much lower. The results from our study are in line with previous studies, as study power was dependent not only on sample size but on many other variables. In this study, additional variables were studied, i.e. test sensitivity and specificity. In the current vaccine trial, power was highly dependent on the specificity of the diagnostic test. Therefore, it is critical that the diagnostic test used in the badger vaccine trial is optimized to maximize test specificity.

  18. Performing Arts Program, Badger High School: Justification, Proposal, Implementation, Stage One Implementation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Holmes, Dan

    This document presents a justification, proposal, and implementation plan for a comprehensive theatre arts program at Badger High School, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin that would offer a full schedule of amateur and professional arts programs involving the students and the community. The brief Justification section notes that every elementary and…

  19. Orthopoxvirus DNA in Eurasian lynx, Sweden.

    PubMed

    Tryland, Morten; Okeke, Malachy Ifeanyi; Af Segerstad, Carl Hård; Mörner, Torsten; Traavik, Terje; Ryser-Degiorgis, Marie Pierre

    2011-04-01

    Cowpox virus, which has been used to protect humans against smallpox but may cause severe disease in immunocompromised persons, has reemerged in humans, domestic cats, and other animal species in Europe. Orthopoxvirus (OPV) DNA was detected in tissues (lung, kidney, spleen) in 24 (9%) of 263 free-ranging Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) from Sweden. Thymidine kinase gene amplicon sequences (339 bp) from 21 lynx were all identical to those from cowpox virus isolated from a person in Norway and phylogenetically closer to monkeypox virus than to vaccinia virus and isolates from 2 persons with cowpox virus in Sweden. Prevalence was higher among animals from regions with dense, rather than rural, human populations. Lynx are probably exposed to OPV through predation on small mammal reservoir species. We conclude that OPV is widely distributed in Sweden and may represent a threat to humans. Further studies are needed to verify whether this lynx OPV is cowpox virus.

  20. Northern Eurasian Heat Waves and Droughts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schubert, Siegfried; Wang, Hailan; Koster, Randal; Suarez, Max; Groisman, Pavel

    2013-01-01

    This article reviews our understanding of the characteristics and causes of northern Eurasian summertime heat waves and droughts. Additional insights into the nature of temperature and precipitation variability in Eurasia on monthly to decadal time scales and into the causes and predictability of the most extreme events are gained from the latest generation of reanalyses and from supplemental simulations with the NASA GEOS-5 AGCM. Key new results are: 1) the identification of the important role of summertime stationary Rossby waves in the development of the leading patterns of monthly Eurasian surface temperature and precipitation variability (including the development of extreme events such as the 2010 Russian heat wave), 2) an assessment of the mean temperature and precipitation changes that have occurred over northern Eurasia in the last three decades and their connections to decadal variability and global trends in SST, and 3) the quantification (via a case study) of the predictability of the most extreme simulated heat wave/drought events, with some focus on the role of soil moisture in the development and maintenance of such events. A literature survey indicates a general consensus that the future holds an enhanced probability of heat waves across northern Eurasia, while there is less agreement regarding future drought, reflecting a greater uncertainty in soil moisture and precipitation projections. Substantial uncertainties remain in our understanding of heat waves and drought, including the nature of the interactions between the short-term atmospheric variability associated with such extremes and the longer-term variability and trends associated with soil moisture feedbacks, SST anomalies, and an overall warming world.

  1. Epidemic and maintenance of rabies in Chinese ferret badgers (Melogale moschata) indicated by epidemiology and the molecular signatures of rabies viruses.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Shoufeng; Liu, Ye; Hou, Yanli; Zhao, Jinghui; Zhang, Fei; Wang, Ying; Hu, Rongliang

    2013-06-01

    An epidemic of Chinese ferret badger-associated human rabies was investigated in Wuyuan county, Jiangxi province and rabies viruses isolates from ferret badgers in different districts in Jiangxi and Zhejiang provinces were sequenced with their nucleotides and amino acids and aligned for epidemiological analysis. The results showed that the human rabies in Wuyuan are only associated with ferret badger bites; the rabies virus can be isolated in a high percentage of ferret badgers in the epidemic areas in Jiangxi and Zhejiang provinces; the isolates share the same molecular features in nucleotides and have characteristic amino acid signatures, i.e., 2 sites in the nucleoprotein and 3 sites in the glycoprotein, that are distinct from virus isolates from dogs in the same region. We conclude that rabies in Chinese ferret badgers has formed an independent transmission cycle and ferret badgers may serve as another important rabies reservoir independent of dog rabies in China.

  2. Realization of the Haldane-Kane-Mele Model in a System of Localized Spins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Se Kwon; Ochoa, Héctor; Zarzuela, Ricardo; Tserkovnyak, Yaroslav

    2016-11-01

    We study a spin Hamiltonian for spin-orbit-coupled ferromagnets on the honeycomb lattice. At sufficiently low temperatures supporting the ordered phase, the effective Hamiltonian for magnons, the quanta of spin-wave excitations, is shown to be equivalent to the Haldane model for electrons, which indicates the nontrivial topology of the band and the existence of the associated edge state. At high temperatures comparable to the ferromagnetic-exchange strength, we take the Schwinger-boson representation of spins, in which the mean-field spinon band forms a bosonic counterpart of the Kane-Mele model. The nontrivial geometry of the spinon band can be inferred by detecting the spin Nernst effect. A feasible experimental realization of the spin Hamiltonian is proposed.

  3. Anomalous band inversion protected by symmetry in a topological insulator of the Kane-Mele model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Jie-Xiang; Che, J. G.

    2016-01-01

    Depositing Au on a graphene derivative, which involves substituting four C atoms with three N atoms in a 3 ×3 cell graphene, we realized a topological insulator of the Kane-Mele model with a gap of 50 meV surrounding the Dirac point of graphene. In this material, we observed an anomalous band inversion (BI) protected by the symmetry with character e of group C3 V. The symmetry constrains two e bands with mirror-symmetry combination and mirror-antisymmetry combination (MAC) of Au and N orbitals degenerate at Γ , whereas the interaction of π* of graphene on the e -MAC band tends to lift this degenerate, resulting in that the π* and e -MAC band exchange their orbital components near Γ , causing thus a discontinued BI.

  4. The topological Anderson insulator phase in the Kane-Mele model

    PubMed Central

    Orth, Christoph P.; Sekera, Tibor; Bruder, Christoph; Schmidt, Thomas L.

    2016-01-01

    It has been proposed that adding disorder to a topologically trivial mercury telluride/cadmium telluride (HgTe/CdTe) quantum well can induce a transition to a topologically nontrivial state. The resulting state was termed topological Anderson insulator and was found in computer simulations of the Bernevig-Hughes-Zhang model. Here, we show that the topological Anderson insulator is a more universal phenomenon and also appears in the Kane-Mele model of topological insulators on a honeycomb lattice. We numerically investigate the interplay of the relevant parameters, and establish the parameter range in which the topological Anderson insulator exists. A staggered sublattice potential turns out to be a necessary condition for the transition to the topological Anderson insulator. For weak enough disorder, a calculation based on the lowest-order Born approximation reproduces quantitatively the numerical data. Our results thus considerably increase the number of candidate materials for the topological Anderson insulator phase. PMID:27045779

  5. Foods of American badgers in west-central Minnesota and southeastern North Dakota during the duck nesting season

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sovada, M.A.; Roaldson, J.M.; Sargeant, A.B.

    1999-01-01

    Although the American badger (Taxidea taxus) is common in grasslands and preys on a wide diversity of foods including birds, little is known about badger diet in areas where nesting ducks are common. Small mammals, primarily Muridae and Geomyidae, were the most common food items in the diet of badgers collected from west-central Minnesota and southeastern North Dakota during April-July 1987 through 1990, based on analysis of gastrointestinal tracts of 47 adult ( 1/4 -y-old) and 5 juvenile (<6-mo-old) badgers. Remains of mammals occurred in 98% of samples from adult badgers. Small quantities of insects were found in 40% of adult samples. Bird remains were in 32% of adult samples, most birds identified as Anatidae; ducks or ducklings occurred in 27% and duck eggs in 60% of those samples. Remains of reptiles, amphibians and mollusks were present, but were less common than other foods. Insects and bird eggs were more common during spring (April-May) than summer (June-July). Birds were more frequent in diets of adults than juvenile badgers.

  6. Herd-level bovine tuberculosis risk factors: assessing the role of low-level badger population disturbance.

    PubMed

    Wright, David M; Reid, Neil; Ian Montgomery, W; Allen, Adrian R; Skuce, Robin A; Kao, Rowland R

    2015-08-17

    Bovine TB (bTB) is endemic in Irish cattle and has eluded eradication despite considerable expenditure, amid debate over the relative roles of badgers and cattle in disease transmission. Using a comprehensive dataset from Northern Ireland (>10,000 km(2); 29,513 cattle herds), we investigated interactions between host populations in one of the first large-scale risk factor analyses for new herd breakdowns to combine data on both species. Cattle risk factors (movements, international imports, bTB history, neighbours with bTB) were more strongly associated with herd risk than area-level measures of badger social group density, habitat suitability or persecution (sett disturbance). Highest risks were in areas of high badger social group density and high rates of persecution, potentially representing both responsive persecution of badgers in high cattle risk areas and effects of persecution on cattle bTB risk through badger social group disruption. Average badger persecution was associated with reduced cattle bTB risk (compared with high persecution areas), so persecution may contribute towards sustaining bTB hotspots; findings with important implications for existing and planned disease control programmes.

  7. Herd-level bovine tuberculosis risk factors: assessing the role of low-level badger population disturbance

    PubMed Central

    Wright, David M.; Reid, Neil; Ian Montgomery, W.; Allen, Adrian R.; Skuce, Robin A.; Kao, Rowland R.

    2015-01-01

    Bovine TB (bTB) is endemic in Irish cattle and has eluded eradication despite considerable expenditure, amid debate over the relative roles of badgers and cattle in disease transmission. Using a comprehensive dataset from Northern Ireland (>10,000 km2; 29,513 cattle herds), we investigated interactions between host populations in one of the first large-scale risk factor analyses for new herd breakdowns to combine data on both species. Cattle risk factors (movements, international imports, bTB history, neighbours with bTB) were more strongly associated with herd risk than area-level measures of badger social group density, habitat suitability or persecution (sett disturbance). Highest risks were in areas of high badger social group density and high rates of persecution, potentially representing both responsive persecution of badgers in high cattle risk areas and effects of persecution on cattle bTB risk through badger social group disruption. Average badger persecution was associated with reduced cattle bTB risk (compared with high persecution areas), so persecution may contribute towards sustaining bTB hotspots; findings with important implications for existing and planned disease control programmes. PMID:26279310

  8. Ancient west Eurasian ancestry in southern and eastern Africa

    PubMed Central

    Pickrell, Joseph K.; Patterson, Nick; Loh, Po-Ru; Lipson, Mark; Berger, Bonnie; Stoneking, Mark; Pakendorf, Brigitte; Reich, David

    2014-01-01

    The history of southern Africa involved interactions between indigenous hunter–gatherers and a range of populations that moved into the region. Here we use genome-wide genetic data to show that there are at least two admixture events in the history of Khoisan populations (southern African hunter–gatherers and pastoralists who speak non-Bantu languages with click consonants). One involved populations related to Niger–Congo-speaking African populations, and the other introduced ancestry most closely related to west Eurasian (European or Middle Eastern) populations. We date this latter admixture event to ∼900–1,800 y ago and show that it had the largest demographic impact in Khoisan populations that speak Khoe–Kwadi languages. A similar signal of west Eurasian ancestry is present throughout eastern Africa. In particular, we also find evidence for two admixture events in the history of Kenyan, Tanzanian, and Ethiopian populations, the earlier of which involved populations related to west Eurasians and which we date to ∼2,700–3,300 y ago. We reconstruct the allele frequencies of the putative west Eurasian population in eastern Africa and show that this population is a good proxy for the west Eurasian ancestry in southern Africa. The most parsimonious explanation for these findings is that west Eurasian ancestry entered southern Africa indirectly through eastern Africa. PMID:24550290

  9. Metagenomic analysis of the viral flora of pine marten and European badger feces.

    PubMed

    van den Brand, Judith M A; van Leeuwen, Marije; Schapendonk, Claudia M; Simon, James H; Haagmans, Bart L; Osterhaus, Albert D M E; Smits, Saskia L

    2012-02-01

    A thorough understanding of the diversity of viruses in wildlife provides epidemiological baseline information about potential pathogens. Metagenomic analysis of the enteric viral flora revealed a new anellovirus and bocavirus species in pine martens and a new circovirus-like virus and geminivirus-related DNA virus in European badgers. In addition, sequences with homology to viruses from the families Paramyxo- and Picornaviridae were detected.

  10. Risk of disease from wildlife reservoirs: badgers, cattle, and bovine tuberculosis.

    PubMed

    Scantlebury, M; Hutchings, M R; Allcroft, D J; Harris, S

    2004-02-01

    Livestock face complex foraging options associated with optimizing nutrient intake while being able to avoid areas posing risk of parasites or disease. Areas of tall nutrient-rich swards around fecal deposits may be attractive for grazing, but might incur fitness costs from parasites. We use the example of dairy cattle and the risks of tuberculosis transmission posed to them by pastures contaminated with badger excreta to examine this trade-off. A risk may be posed either by aerosolized inhalation through investigation or by ingestion via grazing contaminated swards. We quantified the levels of investigation and grazing of 150 dairy cows at badger latrines (accumulations of feces and urine) and crossing points (urination-only sites). Grazing behavior was compared between strip-grazed and rotation-grazed fields. Strip grazing had fields subdivided for grazing periods of <24 h, whereas rotational grazing involved access to whole fields for 1 to 7 d each. A higher proportion of the herd investigated badger latrines than crossing points or controls. Cattle initially avoided swards around badger latrines but not around crossing points. Avoidance periods were shorter in strip-compared with rotation-grazing systems. In rotation-grazing management, latrines were avoided for longer times, but there were more investigative contacts than with strip-grazing management. If investigation is a major route of tuberculosis transmission, the risk to cattle is greatest in extensive rotation-grazing systems. However, if ingestion of fresh urine is the primary method of transmission, strip-grazing management may pose a greater threat. Farming systems affect the level and type of contact between livestock and wildlife excreta and thus the risks of disease.

  11. "My Business Was Not with Lost Souls and the Underprivileged": The Contribution of Colin Badger (1906-1993) to Adult Education in Victoria, Australia.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rushbrook, Peter

    Colin Badger was an adult educator who contributed to Victorian adult education in Australia. After graduating from the University of Adelaide in 1936, Badger became a tutor for the South Australian Workers Education Association (WEA), where he became aware of the possibilities of adult education. After study in London, he returned to Australia to…

  12. Genotyping of Mycobacterium bovis isolates from badgers in four areas of the Republic of Ireland by restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis.

    PubMed

    Costello, E; Flynn, O; Quigley, F; O'Grady, D; Griffin, J; Clegg, T; McGrath, G

    2006-11-04

    An analysis of the molecular epidemiology of Mycobacterium bovis in badgers was made in four selected areas of the Republic of Ireland in which an intensive badger removal programme was being carried out over a period of five years. Tissue samples from 2310 badgers were cultured. Restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis with IS6110, polymorphic GC-rich sequence (PGRS) and direct repeat sequence (DR) probes was applied to the isolates from 398 badgers, and 52 different rflp types were identified. Most of the isolates belonged to seven predominant types, and the other 45 types were represented by few isolates. An analysis suggests that some of these 45 types may have been introduced by the inward migration of badgers and others may have been the result of genetic changes to one of the prevalent types. The badgers were divided into groups on the basis of the sett at which they were captured, and RFLP typing was applied to isolates from two or more badgers from 85 groups. Multiple RFLP types were identified among isolates from 50 of these groups, suggesting that badgers probably moved frequently between group territories.

  13. Orthopox virus infections in Eurasian wild rodents.

    PubMed

    Kinnunen, Paula M; Henttonen, Heikki; Hoffmann, Bernd; Kallio, Eva R; Korthase, Christian; Laakkonen, Juha; Niemimaa, Jukka; Palva, Airi; Schlegel, Mathias; Ali, Hanan Sheikh; Suominen, Paula; Ulrich, Rainer G; Vaheri, Antti; Vapalahti, Olli

    2011-08-01

    The genus Orthopoxvirus includes variola (smallpox) virus and zoonotic cowpox virus (CPXV). All orthopoxviruses (OPV) are serologically cross-reactive and cross-protective, and after the cessation of smallpox vaccination, CPXV and other OPV infections represent an emerging threat to human health. In this respect CPXV, with its reservoir in asymptomatically infected wild rodents, is of special importance. In Europe, clinical cowpox has been diagnosed in both humans and animals. The main objective of this study was to elucidate the prevalence of OPV infections in wild rodents in different parts of Eurasia and to compare the performance of three real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) methods in detecting OPV DNA in wildlife samples. We investigated 962 wild rodents from Northern Europe (Finland), Central Europe (Germany), and Northern Asia (Siberia, Russia) for the presence of OPV antibodies. According to a CPXV antigen-based immunofluorescence assay, animals from 13 of the 17 locations (76%) showed antibodies. Mean seroprevalence was 33% in Finland (variation between locations 0%-69%), 32% in Germany (0%-43%), and 3.2% (0%-15%) in Siberia. We further screened tissue samples from 513 of the rodents for OPV DNA using up to three real-time PCRs. Three rodents from two German and one Finnish location were OPV DNA positive. The amplicons were 96% to 100% identical to available CPXV sequences. Further, we demonstrated OPV infections as far east as the Baikal region and occurring in hamster and two other rodent species, ones previously unnoticed as possible reservoir hosts. Based on serological and PCR findings, Eurasian wild rodents are frequently but nonpersistently infected with OPVs. Results from three real-time PCR methods were highly concordant. This study extends the geographic range and wildlife species diversity in which OPV (or CPXV) viruses are naturally circulating.

  14. Zero-temperature phase diagram of the classical Kane-Mele-Heisenberg model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zare, Mohammad H.; Fazileh, Farhad; Shahbazi, Farhad

    2013-06-01

    The classical phase diagram of the Kane-Mele-Heisenberg model is obtained using three complementary methods: Luttinger-Tisza, variational minimization, and the iterative minimization method. Six distinct phases were obtained in the space of the couplings. Three phases are commensurate with long-range ordering: planar Néel states in horizontal plane (phase I), planar states in the plane vertical to the horizontal plane (phase VI), and collinear states normal to the horizontal plane (phase II). However, the other three are infinitely degenerate due to the frustrating competition between the couplings, and they are characterized by a manifold of incommensurate wave vectors. These phases are planar helical states in a horizontal plane (phase III), planar helical states in a vertical plane (phase IV), and non-coplanar states (phase V). Employing the linear spin-wave analysis, it is found that the quantum fluctuations select a set of symmetrically equivalent states in phase III through the quantum order-by-disorder mechanism. Based on some heuristic arguments, it is argued that the same scenario may also occur in the other two frustrated phases VI and V.

  15. Control strategies for wildlife tuberculosis in Ireland.

    PubMed

    Gormley, E; Corner, L A L

    2013-11-01

    The principal domestic maintenance host for Mycobacterium bovis is infected cattle. In countries where comprehensive surveillance schemes have been applied, tuberculosis rarely affects an animal to the extent that it presents with clinical disease. In the latter stages of an eradication campaign, the aim is to maintain the disease-free status of clear herds and eliminate foci of infection in herds as well as restricting movement of infected animals from these herds, other than to slaughter. However, the eradication of tuberculosis from cattle herds may be compromised if infected wildlife species, such as Eurasian badgers (Meles meles), share the same environment and contribute to transmission of infection. The options for dealing with tuberculosis in the wildlife reservoir hosts are limited to segregation of domestic animals from the wildlife, culling of the wildlife host or vaccination. Options are further limited by conservation and social reasons, particularly where culling is concerned. In Ireland and the UK, vaccination of badgers against M. bovis, if successfully employed, could directly facilitate the completion of bovine tuberculosis eradication. Programmes of research into vaccination of badgers are being undertaken in both countries, and there is clear evidence that vaccination induces protection. Vaccine trials in captive badgers have established that the M. bovis bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine can induce a protective response that limits the distribution and severity of tuberculosis disease following experimental challenge. In Ireland, a large-scale field trial of oral BCG vaccination is being conducted to measure the protection generated in wild badgers subjected to natural transmission of infection and to estimate vaccine efficacy. The results will provide a framework for the development and implementation of a national strategy to address the disease in badger populations and if successful will remove this major impediment to tuberculosis

  16. Hydrologic analysis of the proposed Badger-Beaver Creeks Artificial-Recharge Project : Morgan County, Colorado

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Burns, Alan W.

    1980-01-01

    A hydrologic analysis of the proposed Badger-Beaver Creeks artificial-recharge project in Morgan County, Colo., was made with the aid of three digital computer models: A canal-distribution model, a ground-water flow model, and a stream-aquifer model. Statistical summaries of probable diversions from the South Platte River based on a 27-year period of historical flows indicate that an average-annual diversion of 96,000 acre-feet and a median-annual diversion of 43,000 acre-feet would be available. Diversions would sustain water in ponds for waterfowl habitat for an average of about five months per year, with a miximum pond surface area of about 300 acres with the median diversions and a maximum pond surface area of about 1,250 acres at least one-half of the years with the historic diversions. If the annual diversion were 43,000 acre-feet, recharge to the two alluvial aquifers would raise water levels sufficiently to create flowing streams in the channels of Beaver and Badger Creeks while allowing an increase in current ground-water pumping. The only area of significant waterlogging would be along the proposed delivery canal on the west edge of Badger Creek valley. If the total water available were diverted, the aquifer system could not transmit the water fast enough to the irrigation areas to avoid considerable waterlogging in the recharge areas. The impact of the proposed project on the South Platte River basin would be minimal once the ground-water system attained steady-state conditions, but that may take decades with a uniform diversion of the 43,000 acre-feet annually. (USGS)

  17. Winter Eurasian Climate Variability: Role of Cyclone and Anticyclone Activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, C.; Zhang, X.; Guan, Z.

    2012-12-01

    This study investigates variability of extratropical Eurasian cyclone and anticyclone activity by using a modified automated cyclone and anticyclone identification and tracking algorithm. The cyclone and anticyclone activities are quantified by their regionally integrated intensity (CI and ACI) during 1978/79-2011/2012 winter seasons. We found that the time evolutions of the CI and ACI exhibit a general negative correlation of -0.7 between them at a significant level of 99.99%. This anticyclone (cyclone) variability contributes to the substantially large-scale sea level pressure variability over extratropical Eurasian continent, and explains the interannual fluctuation of surface air temperature over mid latitude Eurasia as well as the adjacent continents. The ACI swings from one phase to another, also producing large changes in snow cover extend, snow equivalent water as well as frequency of extreme cold events over the Eurasian continent. The strengthening of anticyclone intensity is preceded by retreated of the October sea-ice extent over Barents-Kara Sea, which associates tightly with an increasing stability at lower troposphere around the Ural Mountains and induces strengthening Eurasian anticyclones activity in the subsequent winter.

  18. Understanding Higher Education Admissions Reforms in the Eurasian Context

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Drummond, Todd W.; Gabrscek, Sergij

    2012-01-01

    In the twenty years since independence, new Eurasian nation-states of the former Soviet Union have introduced major changes to the way students are admitted to institutions of higher education. Azerbaijan (1992), Uzbekistan (1993), Kazakhstan (1999), Russia (2001), Kyrgyzstan (2002), Ukraine (2004), and Georgia (2005) have all created new state or…

  19. Pan-Eurasian experiment (PEEX) establishing a process towards high level Pan-Eurasian atmosphere-ecosystem observation networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lappalainen, Hanna K.; Petäjä, Tuukka; Zaytzeva, Nina; Viisanen, Yrjö; Kotlyakov, Vladimir; Kasimov, Nikolay; Bondur, Valery; Matvienko, Gennady; Zilitinkevich, Sergej; Kulmala, Markku

    2014-05-01

    Pan-Eurasian Experiment (PEEX) is a new multidisciplinary research approach aiming at resolving the major uncertainties in the Earth system science and global sustainability questions in the Arctic and boreal Pan-Eurasian regions (Kulmala et al. 2011). The main goal of PEEX Research agenda is to contribute to solving the scientific questions that are specifically important for the Pan-Eurasian region in the coming years, in particular the global climate change and its consequences to nature and human society. Pan Eurasian region represents one the Earth most extensive areas of boreal forest (taiga) and the largest natural wetlands, thus being a significant source area of trace gas emissions, biogenic aerosol particles, and source and sink area for the greenhouse gas (GHG) exchange in a global scale (Guenther et al. 1995, Timkovsky et al. 2010, Tunved et al. 2006, Glagolev et al. 2010). One of the first activities of the PEEX initiative is to establish a process towards high level Pan-Eurasian Observation Networks. Siberian region is currently lacking a coordinated, coherent ground based atmosphere-ecosystem measurement network, which would be crucial component for observing and predicting the effects of climate change in the Northern Pan- Eurasian region The vision of the Pan-Eurasion network will be based on a hierarchical SMEAR-type (Stations Measuring Atmosphere-Ecosystem Interactions) integrated land-atmosphere observation system (Hari et al. 2009). A suite of stations have been selected for the Preliminary Phase of PEEX Observation network. These Preliminary Phase stations includes the SMEAR-type stations in Finland (SMEAR-I-II-II-IV stations), in Estonia (SMEAR-Järviselja) and in China (SMEAR-Nanjing) and selected stations in Russia and ecosystem station network in China. PEEX observation network will fill in the current observational gap in the Siberian region and bring the Siberian observation setup into international context with the with standardized or

  20. THE OCCURRENCE OF PATHOGENS IN AN ENDANGERED POPULATION OF AMERICAN BADGERS (TAXIDEA TAXUS JACKSONI) IN ONTARIO, CANADA.

    PubMed

    Ethier, Danielle M; Sayers, Joshua B; Kyle, Christopher J; Nocera, Joseph J; Ojkic, Davor; Campbell, Douglas

    2017-01-01

    American badgers ( Taxidea taxus jacksoni) at the periphery of the species' range in Ontario, Canada, are listed as endangered because of an estimated population size of <200 mature individuals. The main threats faced by this population include habitat loss and road mortality. However, on 18 November 2013, a radio-implanted badger was found nonresponsive in an agricultural field with signs consistent with canine distemper virus infection, which was subsequently confirmed. This prompted our investigation into the occurrence of pathogens in this endangered carnivore to better quantify the level of risk infectious disease poses to population persistence. We examined serum samples from nine live-trapped individuals and 27 whole badger specimens submitted for postmortem examination. We found evidence of exposure to canine distemper virus, canine parvovirus, and leptospires. However, infection associated with disease was not the leading cause of mortality. Future research into the effects of disease on kit survival and a comprehensive understanding of disease severity and spread from reservoir populations (e.g., raccoons [ Procyon lotor ] and striped skunks [ Mephitis mephitis ]) to badgers will be of particular importance to the conservation of this endangered population.

  1. A cross-sectional study of intestinal parasitic infections of the European badgers in Woodchester Park, South West England.

    PubMed

    Massey, Stephanie; Elsheikha, Hany M; Morsy, Gazaa H

    2009-04-01

    Tuberculosis and helminthiosis often coincide geographically. So, question arises whether helminthes can modulate the host immune response and affect tuberculosis. Knowledge of the specific interactions between both enables better understanding of pathogenesis and potential controls. The study evaluated the hypothesis that badgers with a high parasitosis exhibit more susceptibility to tuberculosis compared to those with low or no parasitic infection. Faecal specimens from 28 badgers were examined by using standardised protocols. Fourteen different parasitic species were recovered; nine helminth species and five protozoa species. This diversity indicates that parasites are abundant in UK badgers. Results were compared with regards to age and sex. Parasitic prevalence tended to be higher in males than females and in cubs than adults. Two significant findings were obtained; (1) males had heavier infections with Strongyle nematode L1 larvae than females; (2) cubs showed both higher prevalence and intensity of infection with coccidian oocysts compared to adults. In the sampled population, no significant correlation was found between TB status and diversity or intensity of parasitic infection. This refutes the hypothesis that parasitism exacerbates TB status. Studies encompassing larger numbers of badgers are needed for confirmation of the present finding.

  2. The kinetics of serum antibody responses to natural infections with Mycobacterium bovis in one badger social group.

    PubMed Central

    Newell, D. G.; Clifton-Hadley, R. S.; Cheeseman, C. L.

    1997-01-01

    Bovine tuberculosis remains a significant problem in some parts of Great Britain and Ireland largely because of a reservoir of infection in badgers. Little is currently known about the immunopathology of Mycobacterium bovis infection in the badger. Badgers, from 31 social groups, in a study area of the Cotswold escarpment, have been trapped and sampled from 1981 to 1995. Serum antibody responses directed against the 25 kDa antigen (MPB83) of M. bovis have been studied in detail in a selected social group (JM) which has endemic infection. Sequential sera from 44 badgers were studied and results compared with culture from faeces, urine, tracheal aspirates, bite wound swabs and at post mortem. The results indicate that some badgers (about 10%) remain uninfected despite exposure to endemic M. bovis infection within the social group. In culture-positive animals active excretion of organisms is not necessarily concomitant with seropositivity. Conversely, seropositivity is not an indicator that culture positivity is present or imminent. This is particularly true in cubs when a transient seropositivity can occur within the first 6-8 months of life but these animals can remain culture-negative for up to 5 years. Western blotting confirms that at least some of these antibodies, detectable by ELISA in the culture-negative cubs, are directed against the 25 kDa M. bovis antigen. In contrast antibodies detectable in the culture-positive animals do not Western blot prior to a positive culture. Thus, differential reactivity in Western blotting may distinguish between serum antibodies indicative of potentially culture-positive animals and animals which will remain culture-negative. PMID:9129594

  3. The kinetics of serum antibody responses to natural infections with Mycobacterium bovis in one badger social group.

    PubMed

    Newell, D G; Clifton-Hadley, R S; Cheeseman, C L

    1997-04-01

    Bovine tuberculosis remains a significant problem in some parts of Great Britain and Ireland largely because of a reservoir of infection in badgers. Little is currently known about the immunopathology of Mycobacterium bovis infection in the badger. Badgers, from 31 social groups, in a study area of the Cotswold escarpment, have been trapped and sampled from 1981 to 1995. Serum antibody responses directed against the 25 kDa antigen (MPB83) of M. bovis have been studied in detail in a selected social group (JM) which has endemic infection. Sequential sera from 44 badgers were studied and results compared with culture from faeces, urine, tracheal aspirates, bite wound swabs and at post mortem. The results indicate that some badgers (about 10%) remain uninfected despite exposure to endemic M. bovis infection within the social group. In culture-positive animals active excretion of organisms is not necessarily concomitant with seropositivity. Conversely, seropositivity is not an indicator that culture positivity is present or imminent. This is particularly true in cubs when a transient seropositivity can occur within the first 6-8 months of life but these animals can remain culture-negative for up to 5 years. Western blotting confirms that at least some of these antibodies, detectable by ELISA in the culture-negative cubs, are directed against the 25 kDa M. bovis antigen. In contrast antibodies detectable in the culture-positive animals do not Western blot prior to a positive culture. Thus, differential reactivity in Western blotting may distinguish between serum antibodies indicative of potentially culture-positive animals and animals which will remain culture-negative.

  4. Angiostrongylus species in wild carnivores in the Iberian Peninsula.

    PubMed

    Gerrikagoitia, X; Barral, M; Juste, R A

    2010-11-24

    A survey of Angiostrongylus parasites was carried out between 2003 and 2006 in wild carnivore species in the Basque Country (Northern Spain). Parasitological examination consisted in the dissection of heart and lungs for the extraction of adult worms. Nematodes were identified using morphometrical features and also PCR amplification and sequencing analysis. The animal species included in this study were Eurasian badger (Meles meles), Weasel (Mustela nivalis), Beech marten (Martes foina), Pine marten (Martes martes), Polecat (Mustela putorius), American mink (Mustela vison), Red fox (Vulpes vulpes), Wolf (Canis lupus), Wild cat (Felis silvestris), and Small-spotted genet (Genetta genetta). Angiostrongylus parasites were only found in foxes and badgers at prevalences of 33.3% and 24%, respectively. Identification of the nematodes by morphometrical features revealed that foxes were infected with A. vasorum while badgers were infected by a different species of Angiostrongylus most likely A. daskalovi. Sequencing data of the second internal transcribed spacer region of ribosomal DNA (ITS2) of isolates from each species confirmed the species difference. The high prevalence of Angiostrongylus found in the present survey, indicates that the wild cycle of two different species of Angiostrongylus is present in the Basque Country. To our knowledge this is the first report of A. daskalovi in the Iberian Peninsula.

  5. Initial opening of the Eurasian Basin, Arctic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berglar, Kai; Franke, Dieter; Lutz, Rüdiger; Schreckenberger, Bernd; Damm, Volkmar

    2016-10-01

    Analysis of the transition from the NE Yermak Plateau into the oceanic Eurasian Basin sheds light on the Paleocene formation of this Arctic basin. Newly acquired multichannel seismic data with a 3600 m long streamer shot during ice-free conditions enables the interpretation of crustal structures. Evidence is provided that no major compressional deformation affected the NE Yermak Plateau. The seismic data reveal that the margin is around 80 km wide and consists of rotated fault blocks, major listric normal faults, and half-grabens filled with syn-rift sediments. Taking into account published magnetic and gravimetric data, this setting is interpreted as a rifted continental margin, implying that the NE Yermak Plateau is of continental origin. The transition from the Yermak Plateau to the oceanic Eurasian Basin might be located at a prominent basement high, probably formed by exhumed mantle. In contrast to the Yermak Plateau margin, the North Barents Sea continental margin shows a steep continental slope with a relatively abrupt transition to the oceanic domain. Based on one composite seismic line, it is speculated that the initial opening direction of the Eurasian Basin in the Arctic Ocean was highly oblique to the present day seafloor spreading direction.

  6. Evaluation of Eurasian Watermilfoil Control Techniques Using Aquatic Herbicides in Fort Peck Lake, Montana

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-07-01

    most likely to support spring growth of Eurasian watermilfoil and other invasive aquatic ERDC/EL TR-15-6 38 plants and to target areas that are...river that could support year-round or year-season growth of Eurasian watermilfoil or other invasive aquatic plants . • Increase boater awareness...ER D C/ EL T R- 15 -6 Aquatic Plant Control Research Program Evaluation of Eurasian Watermilfoil Control Techniques Using Aquatic

  7. Triplet p + ip pairing correlations in the doped Kane-Mele-Hubbard model: A quantum Monte Carlo study

    DOE PAGES

    Ma, Tianxing; Lin, Hai-Qing; Gubernatis, James E.

    2015-09-01

    By using the constrained-phase quantum Monte Carlo method, we performed a systematic study of the pairing correlations in the ground state of the doped Kane-Mele-Hubbard model on a honeycomb lattice. We find that pairing correlations with d + id symmetry dominate close to half filling, but pairing correlations with p+ip symmetry dominate as hole doping moves the system below three-quarters filling. We correlate these behaviors of the pairing correlations with the topology of the Fermi surfaces of the non-interacting problem. We also find that the effective pairing correlation is enhanced greatly as the interaction increases, and these superconducting correlations aremore » robust against varying the spin-orbit coupling strength. Finally, our numerical results suggest a possible way to realize spin triplet superconductivity in doped honeycomb-like materials or ultracold atoms in optical traps.« less

  8. BADGER v1.0: A Fortran equation of state library

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heltemes, T. A.; Moses, G. A.

    2012-12-01

    The BADGER equation of state library was developed to enable inertial confinement fusion plasma codes to more accurately model plasmas in the high-density, low-temperature regime. The code had the capability to calculate 1- and 2-T plasmas using the Thomas-Fermi model and an individual electron accounting model. Ion equation of state data can be calculated using an ideal gas model or via a quotidian equation of state with scaled binding energies. Electron equation of state data can be calculated via the ideal gas model or with an adaptation of the screened hydrogenic model with ℓ-splitting. The ionization and equation of state calculations can be done in local thermodynamic equilibrium or in a non-LTE mode using a variant of the Busquet equivalent temperature method. The code was written as a stand-alone Fortran library for ease of implementation by external codes. EOS results for aluminum are presented that show good agreement with the SESAME library and ionization calculations show good agreement with the FLYCHK code. Program summaryProgram title: BADGERLIB v1.0 Catalogue identifier: AEND_v1_0 Program summary URL:http://cpc.cs.qub.ac.uk/summaries/AEND_v1_0.html Program obtainable from: CPC Program Library, Queen's University, Belfast, N. Ireland Licensing provisions: Standard CPC licence, http://cpc.cs.qub.ac.uk/licence/licence.html No. of lines in distributed program, including test data, etc.: 41 480 No. of bytes in distributed program, including test data, etc.: 2 904 451 Distribution format: tar.gz Programming language: Fortran 90. Computer: 32- or 64-bit PC, or Mac. Operating system: Windows, Linux, MacOS X. RAM: 249.496 kB plus 195.630 kB per isotope record in memory Classification: 19.1, 19.7. Nature of problem: Equation of State (EOS) calculations are necessary for the accurate simulation of high energy density plasmas. Historically, most EOS codes used in these simulations have relied on an ideal gas model. This model is inadequate for low

  9. Remedial Investigation Badger Army Ammunition Plant, Baraboo, Wisconsin. Volume 2. Tables and Figures

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1993-04-01

    BASE BUNDAR r> BEROCK UTCRO 9NPoplanTE:nn~:G~on BASEMAP ROM SGS S-MNUT TOPOGSeAtliC CONOU MAPS, SAUK~~il CIT sAUl PRARIaNR BADGER ARM AMMNIIO PAN...ABLnEGnENDlSrvcs.Ic BASE BUNDAR cj ~ ~ ~ O , YM PLA Cm .. k I I I I f. * ’a ’W~9 ’%~ Li / Cbr ml . ’e IRE) N0 22 bPOW" 3_ - . .Lf A/t I- 10 -- I(: sg AU...DIRECTION OF GROUNDWATER QL., FLOW *W MONITORING WELL OR PIEZO1 " USED TO DETERMINE CONTOURS NOTES: 1. BASE MAP FROM USGS 7.5-MINUTE 4 TOPOGRAPHIC CONTOUR

  10. Domestication drive the changes of immune and digestive system of Eurasian perch (Perca fluviatilis)

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Xiaowen; Wang, Jun; Qian, Long; Gaughan, Sarah; Xiang, Wei; Ai, Tao; Fan, Zhenming; Wang, Chenghui

    2017-01-01

    Domestication has altered a variety of traits within the Eurasian perch (Perca fluviatilis), including phenotypic, physiological and behavioral traits of Eurasian perch (Perca fluviatilis). Little is known, however, about the genetic changes between domesticated and wild Eurasian perch. In this study, we assembled a high-quality de novo reference transcriptome and identified differentially expressed genes between wild and domesticated Eurasian perch. A total of 113,709 transcripts were assembled, and 58,380 transcripts were annotated. Transcriptomic comparison revealed 630 differentially expressed genes between domesticated and wild Eurasian perch. Within domesticated Eurasian perch there were 412 genes that were up-regulated including MHCI, MHCII, chia, ighm within immune system development. There were 218 genes including try1, ctrl, ctrb, cela3b, cpa1 and cpb1, which were down-regulated that were associated with digestive processes. Our results indicated domestication drives the changes of immune and digestive system of Eurasian perch. Our study not only provide valuable genetic resources for further studies in Eurasian perch, but also provide novel insights into the genetic basis of physiological changes in Eurasian perch during domestication process. PMID:28257494

  11. Domestication drive the changes of immune and digestive system of Eurasian perch (Perca fluviatilis).

    PubMed

    Chen, Xiaowen; Wang, Jun; Qian, Long; Gaughan, Sarah; Xiang, Wei; Ai, Tao; Fan, Zhenming; Wang, Chenghui

    2017-01-01

    Domestication has altered a variety of traits within the Eurasian perch (Perca fluviatilis), including phenotypic, physiological and behavioral traits of Eurasian perch (Perca fluviatilis). Little is known, however, about the genetic changes between domesticated and wild Eurasian perch. In this study, we assembled a high-quality de novo reference transcriptome and identified differentially expressed genes between wild and domesticated Eurasian perch. A total of 113,709 transcripts were assembled, and 58,380 transcripts were annotated. Transcriptomic comparison revealed 630 differentially expressed genes between domesticated and wild Eurasian perch. Within domesticated Eurasian perch there were 412 genes that were up-regulated including MHCI, MHCII, chia, ighm within immune system development. There were 218 genes including try1, ctrl, ctrb, cela3b, cpa1 and cpb1, which were down-regulated that were associated with digestive processes. Our results indicated domestication drives the changes of immune and digestive system of Eurasian perch. Our study not only provide valuable genetic resources for further studies in Eurasian perch, but also provide novel insights into the genetic basis of physiological changes in Eurasian perch during domestication process.

  12. Vaccination against tuberculosis in badgers and cattle: an overview of the challenges, developments and current research priorities in Great Britain.

    PubMed

    Chambers, M A; Carter, S P; Wilson, G J; Jones, G; Brown, E; Hewinson, R G; Vordermeier, M

    2014-07-26

    Bovine tuberculosis (TB) is a significant threat to the cattle industry in England and Wales. It is widely acknowledged that a combination of measures targeting both cattle and wildlife will be required to eradicate bovine TB or reduce its prevalence until European official freedom status is achieved. Vaccination of cattle and/or badgers could contribute to bovine TB control in Great Britain, although there are significant gaps in our knowledge regarding the impact that vaccination would actually have on bovine TB incidence. Laboratory studies have demonstrated that vaccination with BCG can reduce the progression and severity of TB in both badgers and cattle. This is encouraging in terms of the prospect of a sustained vaccination programme achieving reductions in disease prevalence; however, developing vaccines for tackling the problem of bovine TB is challenging, time-consuming and resource-intensive, as this review article sets out to explain.

  13. Late Quaternary paleoceanography of the Eurasian Basin, Arctic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cronin, T. M.; Holtz, T. R.; Stein, R.; Spielhagen, R.; Fütterer, D.; Wollenburg, J.

    1995-04-01

    We reconstructed late Quaternary deep (3000-4100 m) and intermediate depth (1000-2500 m) paleoceanographic history of the Eurasian Basin, Arctic Ocean from ostracode assemblages in cores from the Lomonosov Ridge, Gakkel Ridge, Yermak Plateau, Morris Jesup Rise, and Amundsen and Makarov Basins obtained during the 1991 Polarstern cruise. Modern assemblages on ridges and plateaus between 1000 and 1500 m are characterized by abundant, relatively species-rich benthic ostracode assemblages, in part, reflecting the influence of high organic productivity and inflowing Atlantic water. In contrast, deep Arctic Eurasian basin assemblages have low abundance and low diversity and are dominated by Krithe and Cytheropteron reflecting faunal exchange with the Greenland Sea via the Fram Strait. Major faunal changes occurred in the Arctic during the last glacial/interglacial transition and the Holocene. Low-abundance, low-diversity assemblages from the Lomonosov and Gakkel Ridges in the Eurasian Basin from the last glacial period have modern analogs in cold, low-salinity, low-nutrient Greenland Sea deep water; glacial assemblages from the deep Nansen and Amundsen Basins have modern analogs in the deep Canada Basin. During Termination 1 at intermediate depths, diversity and abundance increased coincident with increased biogenic sediment, reflecting increased organic productivity, reduced sea-ice, and enhanced inflowing North Atlantic water. During deglaciation deep Nansen Basin assemblages were similar to those living today in the deep Greenland Sea, perhaps reflecting deepwater exchange via the Fram Strait. In the central Arctic, early Holocene faunas indicate weaker North Atlantic water inflow at middepths immediately following Termination 1, about 8500-7000 year B.P., followed by a period of strong Canada Basin water overflow across the Lomonosov Ridge into the Morris Jesup Rise area and central Arctic Ocean. Modern perennial sea-ice cover evolved over the last 4000-5000 years

  14. PATHOLOGY AND MOLECULAR DETECTION OF RABIES VIRUS IN FERRET BADGERS ASSOCIATED WITH A RABIES OUTBREAK IN TAIWAN.

    PubMed

    Chiou, Hue-Ying; Jeng, Chian-Ren; Wang, Hurng-Yi; Inoue, Satoshi; Chan, Fang-Tse; Liao, Jiunn-Wang; Chiou, Ming-Tang; Pang, Victor Fei

    2016-01-01

    Until Rabies virus (RABV) infection in Taiwan ferret badgers (TWFB; Melogale moschata subaurantiaca) was diagnosed in mid-June 2013, Taiwan had been considered rabies free for >50 yr. Although rabies has also been reported in ferret badgers in China, the pathologic changes and distribution of viral antigens of ferret badger-associated rabies have not been described. We performed a comprehensive pathologic study and molecular detection of rabies virus in three necropsied rabid TWFBs and evaluated archival paraffin-embedded tissue blocks of six other TWFBs necropsied during 2004 and 2012. As in other RABV-infected species, the characteristic pathologic changes in TWFBs were nonsuppurative meningoencephalomyelitis, ganglionitis, and the formation of typical intracytoplasmic Negri bodies, with the brain stem most affected. There was also variable spongiform degeneration, primarily in the perikaryon of neurons and neuropil, in the cerebral cortex, thalamus, and brain stem. In nonnervous system tissues, representative lesions included adrenal necrosis and lymphocytic interstitial sialadenitis. Immunohistochemical staining and fluorescent antibody test demonstrated viral antigens in the perikaryon of the neurons and axonal or dendritic processes throughout the nervous tissue and in the macrophages in various tissues. Similar to raccoons (Procyon lotor) and skunks (Mephitidae), the nervous tissue of rabid TWFBs displayed widely dispersed lesions, RABV antigens, and large numbers of Negri bodies. We traced the earliest rabid TWFB case back to 2004.

  15. Predicting Eurasian watermilfoil's (Myriophylum spicatum L.) distribution and response to biological control in Fall River, California

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum L.), was first observed in Fall River, California in approximately 2001. Its presence has had impacts on the river. During 2009 and 2010 we determined Eurasian watermilfoil abundance and distribution. We also determined water temperature and total P conce...

  16. Denisovan Ancestry in East Eurasian and Native American Populations.

    PubMed

    Qin, Pengfei; Stoneking, Mark

    2015-10-01

    Although initial studies suggested that Denisovan ancestry was found only in modern human populations from island Southeast Asia and Oceania, more recent studies have suggested that Denisovan ancestry may be more widespread. However, the geographic extent of Denisovan ancestry has not been determined, and moreover the relationship between the Denisovan ancestry in Oceania and that elsewhere has not been studied. Here we analyze genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism data from 2,493 individuals from 221 worldwide populations, and show that there is a widespread signal of a very low level of Denisovan ancestry across Eastern Eurasian and Native American (EE/NA) populations. We also verify a higher level of Denisovan ancestry in Oceania than that in EE/NA; the Denisovan ancestry in Oceania is correlated with the amount of New Guinea ancestry, but not the amount of Australian ancestry, indicating that recent gene flow from New Guinea likely accounts for signals of Denisovan ancestry across Oceania. However, Denisovan ancestry in EE/NA populations is equally correlated with their New Guinea or their Australian ancestry, suggesting a common source for the Denisovan ancestry in EE/NA and Oceanian populations. Our results suggest that Denisovan ancestry in EE/NA is derived either from common ancestry with, or gene flow from, the common ancestor of New Guineans and Australians, indicating a more complex history involving East Eurasians and Oceanians than previously suspected.

  17. Niche relations among three sympatric Mediterranean carnivores.

    PubMed

    Fedriani, Jose M; Palomares, Francisco; Delibes, Miguel

    1999-10-01

    Previous studies carried out in the Doñana National Park reported that red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) were killed by Iberian lynxes (Lynx pardinus), whereas similar-sized Eurasian badgers (Meles meles) were not. Therefore, we predicted that fox would avoid lynx predation risk by niche segregation whereas we did not expect such a segregation between badger and lynx. As an approach for evaluating our predictions, we compared their diet, activity patterns, and habitat use in an area of Doñana where the three carnivores are sympatric. Lynxes preyed almost uniquely on European rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus), and though badgers and foxes were omnivorous, rabbits also were a major prey, resulting in high overlaps throughout the year. However, badgers preyed largely on small rabbits, whereas lynxes and foxes preyed mainly on medium-sized rabbits. There were also interspecific differences in activity patterns. Maximum levels of activity among lynxes were during sunrise and dusk (49-67%). Foxes were most active during dusk and night (34-67%), and badgers were mainly nocturnal (53-87%). Though there were seasonal differences in the amount of activity of each species, specific activity patterns changed little throughout the year. There was a strong difference in annual habitat use by the three species (P < 0.0001). Lynxes used mainly the Mediterranean scrubland during both the active (PMAX) and the resting (PMIN) periods. During PMIN, foxes used the Mediterranean scrubland intensively (40% of locations on average), but during PMAX, they used the pastureland much more intensively despite this habitat being poorer in their main prey (rabbits). As a consequence, foxes and lynxes exhibited segregation in their habitat use during the active period. Badgers also used the Mediterranean scrubland intensively, especially during PMIN. There were no seasonal differences in habitat use for lynx and fox, but there was for badgers (P < 0.015). Within the study area, the three species

  18. Deciphering the evolution of the last Eurasian ice sheets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hughes, Anna; Gyllencreutz, Richard; Mangerud, Jan; Svendsen, John Inge

    2016-04-01

    Glacial geologists need ice sheet-scale chronological reconstructions of former ice extent to set individual records in a wider context and compare interpretations of ice sheet response to records of past environmental changes. Ice sheet modellers require empirical reconstructions on size and volume of past ice sheets that are fully documented, specified in time and include uncertainty estimates for model validation or constraints. Motivated by these demands, in 2005 we started a project (Database of the Eurasian Deglaciation, DATED) to compile and archive all published dates relevant to constraining the build-up and retreat of the last Eurasian ice sheets, including the British-Irish, Scandinavian and Svalbard-Barents-Kara Seas ice sheets (BIIS, SIS and SBKIS respectively). Over 5000 dates were assessed for reliability and used together with published ice-sheet margin positions to reconstruct time-slice maps of the ice sheets' extent, with uncertainty bounds, every 1000 years between 25-10 kyr ago and at four additional periods back to 40 kyr ago. Ten years after the idea for a database was conceived, the first version of results (DATED-1) has now been released (Hughes et al. 2016). We observe that: i) both the BIIS and SBKIS achieve maximum extent, and commence retreat earlier than the larger SIS; ii) the eastern terrestrial margin of the SIS reached its maximum extent up to 7000 years later than the westernmost marine margin; iii) the combined maximum ice volume (~24 m sea-level equivalent) was reached c. 21 ka; iv) large uncertainties exist; predominantly across marine sectors (e.g. the timing of coalescence and separation of the SIS and BKIS) but also in well-studied areas due to conflicting yet equally robust data. In just three years since the DATED-1 census (1 January 2013), the volume of new information (from both dates and mapped glacial geomorphology) has grown significantly (~1000 new dates). Here, we present the DATED-1 results in the context of the

  19. Gauge-theoretic invariants for topological insulators: a bridge between Berry, Wess-Zumino, and Fu-Kane-Mele

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Monaco, Domenico; Tauber, Clément

    2017-02-01

    We establish a connection between two recently proposed approaches to the understanding of the geometric origin of the Fu-Kane-Mele invariant FKMin Z_2 , arising in the context of two-dimensional time-reversal symmetric topological insulators. On the one hand, the Z_2 invariant can be formulated in terms of the Berry connection and the Berry curvature of the Bloch bundle of occupied states over the Brillouin torus. On the other, using techniques from the theory of bundle gerbes, it is possible to provide an expression for FKM containing the square root of the Wess-Zumino amplitude for a certain U(N)-valued field over the Brillouin torus. We link the two formulas by showing directly the equality between the above-mentioned Wess-Zumino amplitude and the Berry phase, as well as between their square roots. An essential tool of independent interest is an equivariant version of the adjoint Polyakov-Wiegmann formula for fields T^2 → U(N) , of which we provide a proof employing only basic homotopy theory and circumventing the language of bundle gerbes.

  20. Helminth fauna of Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) in Estonia.

    PubMed

    Valdmann, H; Moks, E; Talvik, H

    2004-04-01

    Thirty-seven carcasses of Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) collected and examined in Estonia during 1999-2001 had helminths. Parasites identified and their prevalence included Diphyllobothrium latum (5%), Taenia pisiformis (100%), Taenia laticollis (41%), Taenia hydatigena (3%), Taenia taeniaeformis (3%), Toxocara cati (68%), and Trichinella spp. (22%). The only significant relationships (P < or = 0.05) between occurrence of helminths and host age and sex were a greater number of T. pisiformis and T. laticollis in older than in youger male lynx, and older males had a greater number of species of helminth than did younger lynx. Sixty-one fecal samples collected during snow tracking of nine lynx were examined; eggs of T. cati were identified in 38 samples, and Capillaria spp were found in eight samples. This is the first systematic investigation of parasites of lynx in Estonia.

  1. The effect of eurasian snow cover on global climate.

    PubMed

    Barnett, T P; Dümenil, L; Schlese, U; Roeckner, E

    1988-01-29

    Numerical simulations with a global atmospheric circulation model suggest that largescale variations in the amount of snowfall over Eurasia in the springtime are linked to the subsequent strength of the Asian summer monsoon. Large-scale changes in Eurasian snow cover are coupled to larger scale changes in the global climate system. There is a large, strong teleconnection to the atmospheric field over North America. The model results also show snow cover effects to subsequently alter other climatic fields known to be intimately associated with the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon. Thus the model results seem to challenge the current dogma that the ENSO phenomenon is solely the result of close coupling between the atmosphere and ocean by suggesting that processes over continental land masses may also have to be considered.

  2. Arctic moisture source for Eurasian snow cover variations in autumn

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wegmann, Martin; Orsolini, Yvan; Vázquez, Marta; Gimeno, Luis; Nieto, Raquel; Bulygina, Olga; Jaiser, Ralf; Handorf, Dörthe; Rinke, Annette; Dethloff, Klaus; Sterin, Alexander; Brönnimann, Stefan

    2015-05-01

    Eurasian fall snow cover changes have been suggested as a driver for changes in the Arctic Oscillation and might provide a link between sea-ice decline in the Arctic during summer and atmospheric circulation in the following winter. However, the mechanism connecting snow cover in Eurasia to sea-ice decline in autumn is still under debate. Our analysis is based on snow observations from 820 Russian land stations, moisture transport using a Lagrangian approach derived from meteorological re-analyses. We show that declining sea-ice in the Barents and Kara Seas (BKS) acts as moisture source for the enhanced Western Siberian snow depth as a result of changed tropospheric moisture transport. Transient disturbances enter the continent from the BKS region related to anomalies in the planetary wave pattern and move southward along the Ural mountains where they merge into the extension of the Mediterranean storm track.

  3. The effect of Eurasian snow cover on the Indian monsoon

    SciTech Connect

    Vernekar, A.D.; Zhou, J.; Shukla, J.

    1995-02-01

    More than a century ago, Blanford suggested the inverse relation between Himalayan winter and spring snow accumulation and subsequent summer monsoon rainfall over India. This relation was later substantiated with additional data by Walker. Because of an inadequate observational network to obtain the spatial variation of snow cover over the Himalayan region, little progress was made until the availability of satellite measurements. Snow cover data derived from satellite observations was used to show that the correlation between winter Eurasian snow cover south of 52{degrees}N and the following Indian summer monsoon rainfall is negative and statistically significant. This result was further supported by additional research. The relationship between snow cover and monsoon circulation is consistent with a suggestion that the Indian monsoon circulation is a dynamically stable system and its interannual variations are largely determined by slowly varying surface boundary conditions. 64 refs., 22 figs.

  4. The Effect of Eurasian Snow Cover on Global Climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barnett, T. P.; Dumenil, L.; Schlese, U.; Roeckner, E.

    1988-01-01

    Numerical simulations with a global atmospheric circulation model suggest that large-scale variations in the amount of snowfall over Eurasia in the springtime are linked to the subsequent strength of the Asian summer monsoon. Large-scale changes in Eurasian snow cover are coupled to larger scale changes in the global climate system. There is a large, strong teleconnection to the atmospheric field over North America. The model results also show cover effects to subsequently alter other climatic fields known to be intimately associated with the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon. Thus the model results seem to challenge the current dogma that the ENSO phenomenon is solely the result of close coupling between the atmosphere and ocean by suggesting that processes over continental land masses may also have to be considered.

  5. Dynamics and stress field of the Eurasian plate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Warners-Ruckstuhl, Karin; Govers, Rob; Wortel, Rinus

    2013-04-01

    We address the connection between forces on the Eurasian plate, the plate's motion and the intraplate stress field. Resistive forces along convergent plate boundaries have a major impact on surface deformation, most visibly at collisional plate boundaries. Although quantification of these forces is key to understanding the evolution and present state of mountain belts, they remain highly uncertain due to the complexity of plate boundary structures and rheologies. In this study we analyse the forces along the southern boundary of the Eurasian plate, presently the most prominent suture zone on Earth, resulting from the closure of the Neo-Tethys ocean. We address the dynamics of the Eurasian plate as a whole. This enables us to base our analysis on mechanical equilibrium of a tectonic plate and to evaluate the force distribution along the Tethyan boundary as part of an internally consistent set of forces driving and deforming Eurasia. We evaluate force distributions obeying this mechanical law on the basis of their ability to reproduce observed stress orientations. We incorporate tractions from convective mantle flow modelling in a lithospheric model in which edge and lithospheric body forces are modelled explicitly and compute resulting stresses in a homogeneous elastic thin shell. Our investigation is structured according to two research objectives, pursued in a corresponding step-wise approach: (1) a detailed understanding of the sensitivity of Eurasia's stress field to the distribution of all acting forces; and (2) a quantification of collision-related forces along the southern boundary of Eurasia, including their relation to observed plate boundary structure, in particular plateau height. Intraplate stress observations as compiled in the World Stress Map project are used to constrain the distribution of forces acting on Eurasia. Eurasia's stress field turns out to be sensitive to the distribution of collision forces on the plate's southern margin and, to a lesser

  6. Genome-wide patterns of selection in 230 ancient Eurasians.

    PubMed

    Mathieson, Iain; Lazaridis, Iosif; Rohland, Nadin; Mallick, Swapan; Patterson, Nick; Roodenberg, Songül Alpaslan; Harney, Eadaoin; Stewardson, Kristin; Fernandes, Daniel; Novak, Mario; Sirak, Kendra; Gamba, Cristina; Jones, Eppie R; Llamas, Bastien; Dryomov, Stanislav; Pickrell, Joseph; Arsuaga, Juan Luís; de Castro, José María Bermúdez; Carbonell, Eudald; Gerritsen, Fokke; Khokhlov, Aleksandr; Kuznetsov, Pavel; Lozano, Marina; Meller, Harald; Mochalov, Oleg; Moiseyev, Vyacheslav; Guerra, Manuel A Rojo; Roodenberg, Jacob; Vergès, Josep Maria; Krause, Johannes; Cooper, Alan; Alt, Kurt W; Brown, Dorcas; Anthony, David; Lalueza-Fox, Carles; Haak, Wolfgang; Pinhasi, Ron; Reich, David

    2015-12-24

    Ancient DNA makes it possible to observe natural selection directly by analysing samples from populations before, during and after adaptation events. Here we report a genome-wide scan for selection using ancient DNA, capitalizing on the largest ancient DNA data set yet assembled: 230 West Eurasians who lived between 6500 and 300 bc, including 163 with newly reported data. The new samples include, to our knowledge, the first genome-wide ancient DNA from Anatolian Neolithic farmers, whose genetic material we obtained by extracting from petrous bones, and who we show were members of the population that was the source of Europe's first farmers. We also report a transect of the steppe region in Samara between 5600 and 300 bc, which allows us to identify admixture into the steppe from at least two external sources. We detect selection at loci associated with diet, pigmentation and immunity, and two independent episodes of selection on height.

  7. Genome-wide patterns of selection in 230 ancient Eurasians

    PubMed Central

    Mathieson, Iain; Lazaridis, Iosif; Rohland, Nadin; Mallick, Swapan; Patterson, Nick; Roodenberg, Songül Alpaslan; Harney, Eadaoin; Stewardson, Kristin; Fernandes, Daniel; Novak, Mario; Sirak, Kendra; Gamba, Cristina; Jones, Eppie R.; Llamas, Bastien; Dryomov, Stanislav; Pickrel, Joseph; Arsuaga, Juan Luís; de Castro, José María Bermúdez; Carbonell, Eudald; Gerritsen, Fokke; Khokhlov, Aleksandr; Kuznetsov, Pavel; Lozano, Marina; Meller, Harald; Mochalov, Oleg; Moiseyev, Vayacheslav; Rojo Guerra, Manuel A.; Roodenberg, Jacob; Vergès, Josep Maria; Krause, Johannes; Cooper, Alan; Alt, Kurt W.; Brown, Dorcas; Anthony, David; Lalueza-Fox, Carles; Haak, Wolfgang; Pinhasi, Ron; Reich, David

    2016-01-01

    Ancient DNA makes it possible to directly witness natural selection by analyzing samples from populations before, during and after adaptation events. Here we report the first scan for selection using ancient DNA, capitalizing on the largest genome-wide dataset yet assembled: 230 West Eurasians dating to between 6500 and 1000 BCE, including 163 with newly reported data. The new samples include the first genome-wide data from the Anatolian Neolithic culture whose genetic material we extracted from the DNA-rich petrous bone and who we show were members of the population that was the source of Europe’s first farmers. We also report a complete transect of the steppe region in Samara between 5500 and 1200 BCE that allows us to recognize admixture from at least two external sources into steppe populations during this period. We detect selection at loci associated with diet, pigmentation and immunity, and two independent episodes of selection on height. PMID:26595274

  8. A comparison of fertility control and lethal control of bovine tuberculosis in badgers: the impact of perturbation induced transmission.

    PubMed Central

    Swinton, J; Tuyttens, F; MacDonald, D; Nokes, D J; Cheeseman, C L; Clifton-Hadley, R

    1997-01-01

    In this paper we use mathematical modelling to consider the broad advantages and disadvantages of fertility control over lethal control for bovine tuberculosis in badger populations. We use a deliberately simple model, attempting to capture only the key transmission processes. The model is parametrized with reference to the long-term Woodchester Park study. Estimates of mortality rate from this study suggest no significant extra mortality risk for animals with evidence of infection as indicated by the presence of anti-Mycobacterium bovis antibodies or M. bovis isolation. We find that large reductions in prevalence are sometimes the consequence of only moderate reductions in population numbers. If we assume that the act of control does not in itself affect transmission rates, then as far as eradication is concerned, both fertility control and mortality control operate through the same epidemiological mechanism, the removal of susceptibles: if one is in principle capable of keeping a population low enough to be infection free then so is the other. It is necessary to continue either form of control at regular intervals to maintain a constant level of infection in the long term. If control were to be stopped, return to precontrol levels of badger population and infection prevalence would be expected within a few years. Fertility control is less effective in reducing population density than lethal control since it can only act, at maximum, to remove one age cohort per year. It is also less effective in reducing transmission as it can only ever remove susceptibles, while lethal control also removes infectious badgers. However, if the social disturbance caused by lethal control does in fact increase contact rates for the remaining infectious badgers, the relative efficacies of the two strategies become a great deal less clear. While we have no quantitative data on the extent to which social perturbation does act to promote transmission, model simulations show that it is

  9. A comparison of fertility control and lethal control of bovine tuberculosis in badgers: the impact of perturbation induced transmission.

    PubMed

    Swinton, J; Tuyttens, F; MacDonald, D; Nokes, D J; Cheeseman, C L; Clifton-Hadley, R

    1997-05-29

    In this paper we use mathematical modelling to consider the broad advantages and disadvantages of fertility control over lethal control for bovine tuberculosis in badger populations. We use a deliberately simple model, attempting to capture only the key transmission processes. The model is parametrized with reference to the long-term Woodchester Park study. Estimates of mortality rate from this study suggest no significant extra mortality risk for animals with evidence of infection as indicated by the presence of anti-Mycobacterium bovis antibodies or M. bovis isolation. We find that large reductions in prevalence are sometimes the consequence of only moderate reductions in population numbers. If we assume that the act of control does not in itself affect transmission rates, then as far as eradication is concerned, both fertility control and mortality control operate through the same epidemiological mechanism, the removal of susceptibles: if one is in principle capable of keeping a population low enough to be infection free then so is the other. It is necessary to continue either form of control at regular intervals to maintain a constant level of infection in the long term. If control were to be stopped, return to precontrol levels of badger population and infection prevalence would be expected within a few years. Fertility control is less effective in reducing population density than lethal control since it can only act, at maximum, to remove one age cohort per year. It is also less effective in reducing transmission as it can only ever remove susceptibles, while lethal control also removes infectious badgers. However, if the social disturbance caused by lethal control does in fact increase contact rates for the remaining infectious badgers, the relative efficacies of the two strategies become a great deal less clear. While we have no quantitative data on the extent to which social perturbation does act to promote transmission, model simulations show that it is

  10. Stratospheric variability contributed to and sustained the recent hiatus in Eurasian winter warming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garfinkel, Chaim I.; Son, Seok-Woo; Song, Kanghyun; Aquila, Valentina; Oman, Luke D.

    2017-01-01

    The recent hiatus in global-mean surface temperature warming was characterized by a Eurasian winter cooling trend, and the cause(s) for this cooling is unclear. Here we show that the observed hiatus in Eurasian warming was associated with a recent trend toward weakened stratospheric polar vortices. Specifically, by calculating the change in Eurasian surface air temperature associated with a given vortex weakening, we demonstrate that the recent trend toward weakened polar vortices reduced the anticipated Eurasian warming due to increasing greenhouse gas concentrations. Those model integrations whose stratospheric vortex evolution most closely matches that in reanalysis data also simulate a hiatus. While it is unclear whether the recent weakening of the midwinter stratospheric polar vortex was forced, a properly configured model can simulate substantial deviations of the polar vortex on decadal timescales and hence such hiatus events, implying that similar hiatus events may recur even as greenhouse gas concentrations rise.

  11. Colonizing the High Arctic: Mitochondrial DNA Reveals Common Origin of Eurasian Archipelagic Reindeer (Rangifer tarandus)

    PubMed Central

    Kvie, Kjersti S.; Heggenes, Jan; Anderson, David G.; Kholodova, Marina V.; Sipko, Taras; Mizin, Ivan; Røed, Knut H.

    2016-01-01

    In light of current debates on global climate change it has become important to know more on how large, roaming species have responded to environmental change in the past. Using the highly variable mitochondrial control region, we revisit theories of Rangifer colonization and propose that the High Arctic archipelagos of Svalbard, Franz Josef Land, and Novaia Zemlia were colonized by reindeer from the Eurasian mainland after the last glacial maximum. Comparing mtDNA control region sequences from the three Arctic archipelagos showed a strong genetic connection between the populations, supporting a common origin in the past. A genetic connection between the three archipelagos and two Russian mainland populations was also found, suggesting colonization of the Eurasian high Arctic archipelagos from the Eurasian mainland. The age of the Franz Josef Land material (>2000 years before present) implies that Arctic indigenous reindeer colonized the Eurasian Arctic archipelagos through natural dispersal, before humans approached this region. PMID:27880778

  12. Experimental oral immunization of ferret badgers (Melogale moschata) with a recombinant canine adenovirus vaccine CAV-2-E3Δ-RGP and an attenuated rabies virus SRV9.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Jinghui; Liu, Ye; Zhang, Shoufeng; Fang, Lijun; Zhang, Fei; Hu, Rongliang

    2014-04-01

    Ferret badgers (Melogale moschata) are a major reservoir of rabies virus in southeastern China. Oral immunization has been shown to be a practical method for wildlife rabies management in Europe and North America. Two groups of 20 ferret badgers were given a single oral dose of a recombinant canine adenovirus-rabies vaccine, CAV-2-E3Δ-RGP, or an experimental attenuated rabies virus vaccine, SRV9. At 21 days, all ferret badgers had seroconverted, with serum virus-neutralizing antibodies ranging from 0.1 to 4.5 IU/mL. Titers were >0.50 IU/mL (an acceptable level) in 17/20 and 16/20 animals receiving CAV-2-E3Δ-RGP or SRV9, respectively. The serologic results indicate that the recombinant CAV-2-E3Δ-RGP is at least as effective as the attenuated rabies virus vaccine. Both may be considered for additional research as oral rabies vaccine candidates for ferret badgers.

  13. Severe mortality of a population of threatened Agassiz’s desert tortoises: the American badger as a potential predator

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Emblidge, Patrick G.; Nussear, Ken E.; Esque, Todd C.; Aiello, Christina M.; Walde, Andrew D.

    2015-01-01

    In the Mojave Desert of the southwestern United States, adult Agassiz’s desert tortoises Gopherus agassizii typically experience high survival, but population declines associated with anthropogenic impacts led to their listing as a threatened Species under the US Endangered Species Act in 1990. Predation of adult tortoises is not often considered a significant threat as they are adapted to deter most predation attempts. Despite these adaptations, some populations have experienced elevated mortality attributed to predators, suggesting that predation pressure may occasionally increase. During the tortoise activity seasons of 2012 and 2013, we observed unsustainably high mortality in 1 of 4 populations of adult desert tortoises (22 and 84%, respectively) in the western Mojave Desert in the vicinity of Barstow, CA. Photographic evidence from trail cameras and examination of carcass condition suggest that American badgers Taxidea taxus— a sometimes cited but unconfirmed predator of adult tortoises — may have been responsible for some of the mortality observed. We discuss the American badger as a plausible predator of a local tortoise population, but recommend further investigation into these events and the impacts such mortality can have on tortoise persistence.

  14. Seasonal acclimatization of metabolism in Eurasian tree sparrows (Passer montanus).

    PubMed

    Zheng, Wei-Hong; Li, Ming; Liu, Jin-Song; Shao, Shu-Li

    2008-12-01

    Acclimatization to winter conditions is an essential prerequisite for survival of small passerines of the northern temperate zone. Changes in photoperiod, ambient temperature and food availability trigger seasonal acclimatization in physiology and behavior of many birds. In the present study, seasonal adjustments in several physiological, hormonal, and biochemical markers were examined in wild-captured Eurasian tree sparrows (Passer montanus) from the Heilongjiang Province in China. In winter sparrows had higher body mass and basal metabolic rate (BMR). Consistently, the dry mass of liver, heart, gizzard, small intestine, large intestine and total digestive tract were higher in winter than in that in summer. The contents of mitochondrial protein in liver, and state-4 respiration and cytochrome c oxidase (COX) activity in liver and muscle increased significantly in winter. Circulating level of serum triiodothyronine (T3) was significantly higher in winter than in summer. Together, these data suggest that tree sparrows mainly coped with cold by enhancing thermogenic capacities through increased organ masses and heightened activity of respiratory enzymes activities. The results support the view that prominent winter increases in BMR are manifestations of winter acclimatization in tree sparrows and that seasonal variation in metabolism in sparrows is similar to that in other small temperate-wintering birds.

  15. Genotyping success of historical Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx L.) samples.

    PubMed

    Polanc, Primož; Sindičić, Magda; Jelenčič, Maja; Gomerčić, Tomislav; Kos, Ivan; Huber, Duro

    2012-03-01

    Historical samples, like tanned hides and trophy skulls, can be extremely important for genetic studies of endangered or elusive species. Selection of a sampling protocol that is likely to provide sufficient amount and quality of DNA with a minimum damage to the original specimen is often critical for a success of the study. We investigated microsatellite genotyping success of DNA isolated from three different types of Eurasian lynx historical samples. We analysed a total of 20 microsatellite loci in 106 historical samples from the endangered Dinaric lynx population, established from re-introduction of three pairs of lynx in 1973 from Slovakian Carpathians. Of the three tested sample types, turbinal bone and septum from the nasal cavity of the trophy skulls had the lowest percentage of samples successfully genotyped for all 20 microsatellite loci. Footpad samples, collected using a cork drill, exhibited better results in polymerase chain reaction amplification and genotyping than samples of footpad epidermis cut with a scalpel. We report simple and efficient sampling protocols, which could be widely applied for future studies utilizing historical samples.

  16. Renal calculi in wild Eurasian otters (Lutra lutra) in England.

    PubMed

    Simpson, V R; Tomlinson, A J; Molenaar, F M; Lawson, B; Rogers, K D

    2011-07-09

    Macroscopic renal calculi were seen in 50 of 492 (10.2 per cent) wild Eurasian otters found dead in England from 1988 to 2007. Forty-eight adults and two subadults were affected. Calculi were present in 15.7 per cent (31 of 197) of adult males and 12.7 per cent (17 of 134) of adult females. There was an increase in prevalence in the study population over time; no calculi were found in 73 otters examined between 1988 and 1996, but in most subsequent years they were observed with increased frequency. Calculi occurred in both kidneys but were more common in the right kidney. They varied greatly in shape and size; larger calculi were mostly seen in the calyces while the smallest ones were commonly found in the renal medulla. Calculi from 45 cases were examined by x-ray diffraction analysis; in 43 (96 per cent), they were composed solely of ammonium acid urate. Affected otters had heavier adrenal glands relative to their body size than unaffected otters (P<0.001). There was no significant association between body condition index and the presence of calculi (P>0.05). Many otters had fresh bite wounds consistent with intraspecific aggression. The proportion bitten increased over time and this coincided with the increased prevalence of renal calculi.

  17. Winter survival of Eurasian woodcock Scolopax rusticola in central Italy

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Aradis, A.; Miller, M.W.; Landucci, G.; Ruda, P.; Taddei, S.; Spina, F.

    2008-01-01

    The Eurasian woodcock Scolopax rusticola is a popular game bird in much of Europe. However, little is known about its population dynamics. We estimated winter survival of woodcock in a protected area with no hunting in central Italy. We radio-tagged 68 woodcocks with battery-powered radio-transmitters during 2001-2005. Woodcocks were captured in fields at night from November through February and fitted with radios. Birds were classified on capture as juveniles or adults using plumage characteristics. Woodcocks were relocated daily through March of each year or until they died, disappeared from the study area, or until their radio failed. We constructed a set of eight competing models of daily survival for the period 1 December - 28 February. Estimates of survival were obtained using the program SURVIV and Akaike's Information Criteria. The best model suggested daily survival was a constant 0.9985 (95% CI = 0.9972-0.9998), corresponding to a survival rate of 0.88 (SE = 0.05) for the 90-day winter study period. Our estimate of juvenile survival is higher than previously reported, and may reflect the protected status of the study area. Our estimates of winter survival may be helpful in managing harvested woodcock populations as well as in conserving populations in an increasingly urbanised environment. ?? Wildlife Biology (2008).

  18. The Developmental Performance of the Milfoil Weevil, Euhrychiopsis lecontei (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), on Northern Watermilfoil, Eurasian Watermilfoil, and Hybrid (Northern x Eurasian) Watermilfoil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roley, S. S.; Newman, R. M.

    2005-05-01

    The aquatic milfoil weevil (Euhrychiopsis lecontei) has expanded its range from the native northern watermilfoil (Myriophyllum sibiricum) to the non-native Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum). Previous studies show that it prefers M. spicatum over M. sibiricum for feeding and oviposition and that weevils that develop on M. spicatum are larger and have shorter development times. Eurasian and northern watermilfoil have hybridized, and this hybrid has been hypothesized to be more invasive by exhibiting resistance to the milfoil weevil. To test for resistance, we compared development times, mass, and survival of the milfoil weevil on Eurasian, northern and hybrid watermilfoils. Weevil development was followed from egg to adult on individual rooted plants (n = 17 to 20 for each taxa). Mean development times (19.7 to 20.3 d) and mean adult eclosion mass (1.3 to 1.5 mg) were comparable and not significantly different. Weevil survival rates differed significantly among the taxa and were lowest on northern (45%), intermediate on the hybrid (61%), and highest on Eurasian watermilfoil (88%), but stem diameter may account for some of these differences. This study suggests that hybrid watermilfoil is not exceptionally resistant to milfoil weevil herbivory; rather it possesses resistance intermediate between the native and exotic hosts.

  19. Quantifying the multiple, environmental benefits of reintroducing the Eurasian Beaver

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brazier, Richard; Puttock, Alan; Graham, Hugh; Anderson, Karen; Cunliffe, Andrew; Elliott, Mark

    2016-04-01

    Beavers are ecological engineers with an ability to modify the structure and flow of fluvial systems and create complex wetland environments with dams, ponds and canals. Consequently, beaver activity has potential for river restoration, management and the provision of multiple environmental ecosystem services including biodiversity, flood risk mitigation, water quality and sustainable drinking water provision. With the current debate surrounding the reintroduction of beavers into the United Kingdom, it is critical to monitor the impact of beavers upon the environment. We have developed and implemented a monitoring strategy to quantify the impact of reintroducing the Eurasian Beaver on multiple environmental ecosystem services and river systems at a range of scales. First, the experimental design and preliminary results will be presented from the Mid-Devon Beaver Trial, where a family of beavers has been introduced to a 3 ha enclosure situated upon a first order tributary of the River Tamar. The site was instrumented to monitor the flow rate and quality of water entering and leaving the site. Additionally, the impacts of beavers upon riparian vegetation structure, water/carbon storage were investigated. Preliminary results indicate that beaver activity, particularly the building of ponds and dams, increases water storage within the landscape and moderates the river response to rainfall. Baseflow is enhanced during dry periods and storm flow is attenuated, potentially reducing the risk of flooding downstream. Initial analysis of water quality indicates that water entering the site (running off intensively managed grasslands upslope), has higher suspended sediment loads and nitrate levels, than that leaving the site, after moving through the series of beaver ponds. These results suggest beaver activity may also act as a means by which the negative impact of diffuse water pollution from agriculture can be mitigated thus providing cleaner water in rivers downstream

  20. The Eurasian Ice Sheet and the deglaciation of western Norway

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Svendsen, John Inge; Mangerud, Jan; Briner, Jason; Hughes, Anna L. C.; Lohne, Øystein S.; Goehring, Brent M.; Gyllencreutz, Richard

    2013-04-01

    New time-slice reconstructions of the Eurasian Ice Sheet limits reveal that the timing of both the maximum ice sheet extent and the subsequent retreat were spatially variable. This variability most likely reflects regional contrasts in geographic setting, internal ice sheet dynamics and the forcing mechanisms. Here we report fresh results from an ongoing field campaign in southern Norway. The inferred ice sheet history is based on a number of radiocarbon dates from various geological contexts as well cosmogenic nuclide (CN) dating of glacially transported boulders. We discuss the ice-recession along the western flank of the Scandinavian Ice Sheet since the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and until the final deglaciation of the fjords. One important conclusion is that the ice stream that occupied the Norwegian Trough, and that was active during the LGM, broke up extremely rapid at around 20 ka leaving the islands Utsira and Karmøy permanently ice free. The adjacent areas of the Norwegian mainland remained ice covered for another 4 thousand years until about 16 ka when the ice margin along the coast gradually started to retreat eastwards. However, this second stage of ice sheet retreat was interrupted by several re-advances. The largest advance probably peaked at the very end of the Younger Dryas stadial (11.6 ka) forming a system of prominent end moraines along the coast. The outlet glaciers that filled the main fjord troughs during this event started to break up very rapidly by means of calving at the onset of the Holocene warming, evidently a climatic response. The main fjords became totally ice free not later than 500 years into the Holocene, and a thousand years later the remaining part of the ice sheet was gone. It is calculated that the melting during the early Holocene (11.6-10.0 ka) was more than ten times faster than at Greenland today.

  1. Impacts of Snow Darkening by Absorbing Aerosols on Eurasian Climate

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kim, Kyu-Myong; Lau, William K M.; Yasunari, Teppei J.; Kim, Maeng-Ki; Koster, Randal D.

    2016-01-01

    The deposition of absorbing aerosols on snow surfaces reduces snow-albedo and allows snowpack to absorb more sunlight. This so-called snow darkening effect (SDE) accelerates snow melting and leads to surface warming in spring. To examine the impact of SDE on weather and climate during late spring and early summer, two sets of NASA GEOS-5 model simulations with and without SDE are conducted. Results show that SDE-induced surface heating is particularly pronounced in Eurasian regions where significant depositions of dust transported from the North African deserts, and black carbon from biomass burning from Asia and Europe occur. In these regions, the surface heating due to SDE increases surface skin temperature by 3-6 degrees Kelvin near the snowline in spring. Surface energy budget analysis indicates that SDE-induced excess heating is associated with a large increase in surface evaporation, subsequently leading to a significant reduction in soil moisture, and increased risks of drought and heat waves in late spring to early summer. Overall, we find that rainfall deficit combined with SDE-induced dry soil in spring provide favorable condition for summertime heat waves over large regions of Eurasia. Increased frequency of summer heat waves with SDE and the region of maximum increase in heat-wave frequency are found along the snow line, providing evidence that early snowmelt by SDE may increase the risks of extreme summer heat wave. Our results suggest that climate models that do not include SDE may significantly underestimate the effect of global warming over extra-tropical continental regions.

  2. Teleconnections between Eurasian snow cover and the Maldives monsoon rainfall

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zahid, Zahid; Sturman, Andrew; Hart, Deirdre; Zawar-Reza, Peyman

    2010-05-01

    Anomalous snow cover over Eurasia can influence monsoon circulation through changes in surface energy balance. Much of the research on the snow-monsoon relationship has focused on the Indian or Chinese monsoon, without examining possible links between the snow-monsoon relationship and summer rainfall over other parts of Asia. Although the Maldives lies in the Indian Ocean (southwest of India), the Asian monsoon flow influences the circulation patterns over the Maldives. However, no previous studies have directly examined possible relationships between Eurasian snow and Maldives monsoon rainfall (MMR: June-September). This paper describes a first attempt to explore the possible relationships between Eurasian snow cover (ESC) and the MMR. The possible relationships between Eurasian snow and the rainfall over the Maldives has been investigated using composite and correlation analyses. The relationship between ESC and monsoon rainfall was also examined using lag-lead correlations. Anomalies of an area-weighted MMR index have been correlated with anomalies of ESC for October-December of the previous year and January-May of the current year. Correlations have also been carried out between MMR and snow cover anomalies for winter (December-January), spring (March-May) and with snowmelt (snow cover difference between February and May). The time series were de-trended to minimize the influence of trends on the strength and significance of the correlations between variables. Relatively very weak correlations were found between the MMR and ESC anomalies for January-May of the current year and October-December of the previous year. The highest correlation between MMR and ESC (r = -0.15, insignificant at 5% level) was found for the month of February. Significant positive correlations were found between ESC in subsequent months, with the highest correlation (r = 0.80) between April and May, significant at the 1% level. Correlations between MMR and snow cover anomaly for winter

  3. Traces of Early Eurasians in the Mansi of Northwest Siberia Revealed by Mitochondrial DNA Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Derbeneva, Olga A.; Starikovskaya, Elena B.; Wallace, Douglas C.; Sukernik, Rem I.

    2002-01-01

    The mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) of 98 Mansi, an ancient group (formerly known as “Vogul”) of Uralic-speaking fishers and hunters on the eastern slope of the northern Ural Mountains, were analyzed for sequence variants by restriction fragment–length polymorphism analysis, control-region sequencing, and sequencing of additional informative sites in the coding region. Although 63.3% of the mtDNA detected in the Mansi falls into western Eurasian lineages (e.g., haplogroups UK, TJ, and HV), the remaining 36.7% encompass a subset of eastern Eurasian lineages (e.g., haplogroups A, C, D, F, G, and M). Among the western Eurasian lineages, subhaplogroup U4 was found at a remarkable frequency of 16.3%, along with lineages U5, U7, and J2. This suggests that the aboriginal populations residing immediately to the east of the Ural Mountains may encompass remnants of the early Upper Paleolithic expansion from the Middle East/southeastern Europe. The added presence of eastern Eurasian mtDNA lineages in the Mansi introduces the possibilities that proto-Eurasians encompassed a range of macrohaplogroup M and N lineages that subsequently became geographically distributed and that the Paleolithic expansion may have reached this part of Siberia before it split into western and eastern human groups. PMID:11845409

  4. Traces of early Eurasians in the Mansi of northwest Siberia revealed by mitochondrial DNA analysis.

    PubMed

    Derbeneva, Olga A; Starikovskaya, Elena B; Wallace, Douglas C; Sukernik, Rem I

    2002-04-01

    The mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) of 98 Mansi, an ancient group (formerly known as "Vogul") of Uralic-speaking fishers and hunters on the eastern slope of the northern Ural Mountains, were analyzed for sequence variants by restriction fragment--length polymorphism analysis, control-region sequencing, and sequencing of additional informative sites in the coding region. Although 63.3% of the mtDNA detected in the Mansi falls into western Eurasian lineages (e.g., haplogroups UK, TJ, and HV), the remaining 36.7% encompass a subset of eastern Eurasian lineages (e.g., haplogroups A, C, D, F, G, and M). Among the western Eurasian lineages, subhaplogroup U4 was found at a remarkable frequency of 16.3%, along with lineages U5, U7, and J2. This suggests that the aboriginal populations residing immediately to the east of the Ural Mountains may encompass remnants of the early Upper Paleolithic expansion from the Middle East/southeastern Europe. The added presence of eastern Eurasian mtDNA lineages in the Mansi introduces the possibilities that proto-Eurasians encompassed a range of macrohaplogroup M and N lineages that subsequently became geographically distributed and that the Paleolithic expansion may have reached this part of Siberia before it split into western and eastern human groups.

  5. Chad Genetic Diversity Reveals an African History Marked by Multiple Holocene Eurasian Migrations.

    PubMed

    Haber, Marc; Mezzavilla, Massimo; Bergström, Anders; Prado-Martinez, Javier; Hallast, Pille; Saif-Ali, Riyadh; Al-Habori, Molham; Dedoussis, George; Zeggini, Eleftheria; Blue-Smith, Jason; Wells, R Spencer; Xue, Yali; Zalloua, Pierre A; Tyler-Smith, Chris

    2016-12-01

    Understanding human genetic diversity in Africa is important for interpreting the evolution of all humans, yet vast regions in Africa, such as Chad, remain genetically poorly investigated. Here, we use genotype data from 480 samples from Chad, the Near East, and southern Europe, as well as whole-genome sequencing from 19 of them, to show that many populations today derive their genomes from ancient African-Eurasian admixtures. We found evidence of early Eurasian backflow to Africa in people speaking the unclassified isolate Laal language in southern Chad and estimate from linkage-disequilibrium decay that this occurred 4,750-7,200 years ago. It brought to Africa a Y chromosome lineage (R1b-V88) whose closest relatives are widespread in present-day Eurasia; we estimate from sequence data that the Chad R1b-V88 Y chromosomes coalesced 5,700-7,300 years ago. This migration could thus have originated among Near Eastern farmers during the African Humid Period. We also found that the previously documented Eurasian backflow into Africa, which occurred ∼3,000 years ago and was thought to be mostly limited to East Africa, had a more westward impact affecting populations in northern Chad, such as the Toubou, who have 20%-30% Eurasian ancestry today. We observed a decline in heterozygosity in admixed Africans and found that the Eurasian admixture can bias inferences on their coalescent history and confound genetic signals from adaptation and archaic introgression.

  6. The Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) as a potential host for rickettsial pathogens in southern Italy.

    PubMed

    Santoro, Mario; D'Alessio, Nicola; Cerrone, Anna; Lucibelli, Maria Gabriella; Borriello, Giorgia; Aloise, Gaetano; Auriemma, Clementina; Riccone, Nunzia; Galiero, Giorgio

    2017-01-01

    Canine monocytic ehrlichiosis and rickettsiosis are zoonotic tick-borne diseases of canids caused by the intracellular obligate bacteria Ehrlichia canis and Rickettsia species respectively. In this study, we investigated using standard and real-time PCR and sequencing, the occurrence and molecular characterization of E. canis and Rickettsia species in the Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) from the southern Italian population. Samples were screened by using molecular assays also for Neospora caninum, Toxoplasma gondii, Clamydophyla spp., Coxiella burnetii, Leishmania spp., Cryptosporidium spp., and Giardia spp. detection, and helminths were studied by traditional methods. Out of six carcasses tested, three were positive for E. canis and co-infection with Rickettsia sp. occurred in one of those. Sequences of the 16S rRNA E. canis gene were identical to each other but differed from most of those previously found in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and wolves (Canis lupus) from southern Italy. Helminths included just cystacanths of Sphaerirostris spp. from the intestine of two Eurasian otters and the nematode Angiostrongylus vasorum from the lungs of a single Eurasian otter. None of the samples was positive for the other investigated selected pathogens. This study is the first report on the evidence of infection by rickettsial pathogens in the Eurasian otter. The present result prompts some inquiries into the pathogenic role of those bacteria for the isolated sub-populations of the endangered Eurasian otter in southern Italy.

  7. The Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) as a potential host for rickettsial pathogens in southern Italy

    PubMed Central

    D’Alessio, Nicola; Cerrone, Anna; Lucibelli, Maria Gabriella; Borriello, Giorgia; Aloise, Gaetano; Auriemma, Clementina; Riccone, Nunzia; Galiero, Giorgio

    2017-01-01

    Canine monocytic ehrlichiosis and rickettsiosis are zoonotic tick-borne diseases of canids caused by the intracellular obligate bacteria Ehrlichia canis and Rickettsia species respectively. In this study, we investigated using standard and real-time PCR and sequencing, the occurrence and molecular characterization of E. canis and Rickettsia species in the Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) from the southern Italian population. Samples were screened by using molecular assays also for Neospora caninum, Toxoplasma gondii, Clamydophyla spp., Coxiella burnetii, Leishmania spp., Cryptosporidium spp., and Giardia spp. detection, and helminths were studied by traditional methods. Out of six carcasses tested, three were positive for E. canis and co-infection with Rickettsia sp. occurred in one of those. Sequences of the 16S rRNA E. canis gene were identical to each other but differed from most of those previously found in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and wolves (Canis lupus) from southern Italy. Helminths included just cystacanths of Sphaerirostris spp. from the intestine of two Eurasian otters and the nematode Angiostrongylus vasorum from the lungs of a single Eurasian otter. None of the samples was positive for the other investigated selected pathogens. This study is the first report on the evidence of infection by rickettsial pathogens in the Eurasian otter. The present result prompts some inquiries into the pathogenic role of those bacteria for the isolated sub-populations of the endangered Eurasian otter in southern Italy. PMID:28267780

  8. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in wild carnivores from Spain.

    PubMed

    Sobrino, R; Cabezón, O; Millán, J; Pabón, M; Arnal, M C; Luco, D F; Gortázar, C; Dubey, J P; Almeria, S

    2007-09-30

    Serum samples from 282 wild carnivores from different regions of Spain were tested for antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii by the modified agglutination test using a cut-off value of 1:25. Antibodies to T. gondii were found in 22 of 27 (81.5%) of Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus), 3 of 6 European wildcats (Felis silvestris), 66 of 102 (64.7%) red foxes (Vulpes vulpes), 15 of 32 (46.9%) wolves (Canis lupus), 26 of 37 (70.3%) Eurasian badgers (Meles meles), 17 of 20 (85.0%) stone martens (Martes foina), 4 of 4 pine martens (Martes martes), 6 of 6 Eurasian otters (Lutra lutra), 4 of 4 polecats (Mustela putorius), 1 of 1 ferret (Mustela putorius furo), 13 of 21 (61.9%) European genets (Genetta genetta), and 13 of 22 (59.1%) Egyptian mongooses (Herpestes ichneumon). Serological results indicated a widespread exposure to T. gondii among wild carnivores in Spain. The high T. gondii seroprevalence in Iberian lynx and the European wildcat reported here may be of epidemiologic significance because seropositive cats might have shed oocysts.

  9. Brains of Native and Alien Mesocarnivores in Biomonitoring of Toxic Metals in Europe.

    PubMed

    Kalisinska, Elzbieta; Lanocha-Arendarczyk, Natalia; Kosik-Bogacka, Danuta; Budis, Halina; Podlasinska, Joanna; Popiolek, Marcin; Pirog, Agnieszka; Jedrzejewska, Ewa

    2016-01-01

    Mercury (Hg), lead (Pb) and cadmium (Cd) are involved in mammalian brain damage. However, little is known about Pb and Cd brain levels in wildlife that reflect the geochemical background. The aims of the study include the estimation of Hg, Pb and Cd concentrations, and the determination of relationships between these elements in the brains of 94 mesocarnivores. Road-killed or hunted animals were obtained from north-western Poland near the Polish-German border. The investigation covered the native Eurasian otter Lutra lutra, badger Meles meles, pine marten Martes martes, beech marten M. foina, European polecat Mustela putorius, red fox Vulpes vulpes, and alien species: feral and ranch American mink Neovison vison, raccoon Procyon lotor and raccoon dog Nyctereutes procyonoides. Depending on the diet and environmental pollution, the carnivore brains accumulated toxic metals in varying amounts. The highest median Hg levels (in mg/kg dry weight, dw) were found in the piscivorous Eurasian otter and feral mink (2.44 and 3.96), Pb in the omnivorous raccoon (0.47), while Cd in minks (~0.06). We indicated that Pb-based ammunition is a significant source of the element in scavengers from hunting area, and we also found a significant correlation between Pb and Cd levels in the fox brain. Finally, this study is the first to suggest background levels for brain Pb and Cd in mesocarnivores (<0.50 and <0.04 mg/kg dw, respectively).

  10. Wild boar tuberculosis in Iberian Atlantic Spain: a different picture from Mediterranean habitats

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Infections with Mycobacterium bovis and closely related members of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTC) are shared between livestock, wildlife and sporadically human beings. Wildlife reservoirs exist worldwide and can interfere with bovine tuberculosis (TB) eradication efforts. The Eurasian wild boar (Sus scrofa) is a MTC maintenance host in Mediterranean Iberia (Spain and Portugal). However, few systematic studies in wild boar have been carried out in Atlantic regions. We describe the prevalence, distribution, pathology and epidemiology of MTC and other mycobacteria from wild boar in Atlantic Spain. A total of 2,067 wild boar were sampled between 2008 and 2012. Results The results provide insight into the current status of wild boar as MTC and Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) hosts in temperate regions of continental Europe. The main findings were a low TB prevalence (2.6%), a low proportion of MTC infected wild boar displaying generalized TB lesions (16.7%), and a higher proportion of MAC infections (4.5%). Molecular typing revealed epidemiological links between wild boar and domestic – cattle, sheep and goat – and other wildlife – Eurasian badger (Meles meles) and red fox (Vulpes vulpes) – hosts. Conclusions This study shows that the likelihood of MTC excretion by wild boar in Atlantic habitats is much lower than in Mediterranean areas. However, wild boar provide a good indicator of MTC circulation and, given the current re-emergence of animal TB, similar large-scale surveys would be advisable in other Atlantic regions of continental Europe. PMID:24010539

  11. Brains of Native and Alien Mesocarnivores in Biomonitoring of Toxic Metals in Europe

    PubMed Central

    Kalisinska, Elzbieta; Lanocha-Arendarczyk, Natalia; Kosik-Bogacka, Danuta; Budis, Halina; Podlasinska, Joanna; Popiolek, Marcin; Pirog, Agnieszka; Jedrzejewska, Ewa

    2016-01-01

    Mercury (Hg), lead (Pb) and cadmium (Cd) are involved in mammalian brain damage. However, little is known about Pb and Cd brain levels in wildlife that reflect the geochemical background. The aims of the study include the estimation of Hg, Pb and Cd concentrations, and the determination of relationships between these elements in the brains of 94 mesocarnivores. Road-killed or hunted animals were obtained from north-western Poland near the Polish-German border. The investigation covered the native Eurasian otter Lutra lutra, badger Meles meles, pine marten Martes martes, beech marten M. foina, European polecat Mustela putorius, red fox Vulpes vulpes, and alien species: feral and ranch American mink Neovison vison, raccoon Procyon lotor and raccoon dog Nyctereutes procyonoides. Depending on the diet and environmental pollution, the carnivore brains accumulated toxic metals in varying amounts. The highest median Hg levels (in mg/kg dry weight, dw) were found in the piscivorous Eurasian otter and feral mink (2.44 and 3.96), Pb in the omnivorous raccoon (0.47), while Cd in minks (~0.06). We indicated that Pb-based ammunition is a significant source of the element in scavengers from hunting area, and we also found a significant correlation between Pb and Cd levels in the fox brain. Finally, this study is the first to suggest background levels for brain Pb and Cd in mesocarnivores (<0.50 and <0.04 mg/kg dw, respectively). PMID:27513467

  12. Emergence of canine distemper virus strains with modified molecular signature and enhanced neuronal tropism leading to high mortality in wild carnivores.

    PubMed

    Origgi, F C; Plattet, P; Sattler, U; Robert, N; Casaubon, J; Mavrot, F; Pewsner, M; Wu, N; Giovannini, S; Oevermann, A; Stoffel, M H; Gaschen, V; Segner, H; Ryser-Degiorgis, M-P

    2012-11-01

    An ongoing canine distemper epidemic was first detected in Switzerland in the spring of 2009. Compared to previous local canine distemper outbreaks, it was characterized by unusually high morbidity and mortality, rapid spread over the country, and susceptibility of several wild carnivore species. Here, the authors describe the associated pathologic changes and phylogenetic and biological features of a multiple highly virulent canine distemper virus (CDV) strain detected in and/or isolated from red foxes (Vulpes vulpes), Eurasian badgers (Meles meles), stone (Martes foina) and pine (Martes martes) martens, from a Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx), and a domestic dog. The main lesions included interstitial to bronchointerstitial pneumonia and meningopolioencephalitis, whereas demyelination--the classic presentation of CDV infection--was observed in few cases only. In the brain lesions, viral inclusions were mainly in the nuclei of the neurons. Some significant differences in brain and lung lesions were observed between foxes and mustelids. Swiss CDV isolates shared together with a Hungarian CDV strain detected in 2004. In vitro analysis of the hemagglutinin protein from one of the Swiss CDV strains revealed functional and structural differences from that of the reference strain A75/17, with the Swiss strain showing increased surface expression and binding efficiency to the signaling lymphocyte activation molecule (SLAM). These features might be part of a novel molecular signature, which might have contributed to an increase in virus pathogenicity, partially explaining the high morbidity and mortality, the rapid spread, and the large host spectrum observed in this outbreak.

  13. Arctic Moisture Source for Eurasian Snow Cover Variations in Autumn

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wegmann, M.

    2015-12-01

    Global warming is enhanced at high northern latitudes where the Arctic surface airtemperature has risen at twice the rate of the global average in recent decades - afeature called Arctic amplification. This recent Arctic warming signal likely resultsfrom several factors such as the albedo feedback due to a diminishing cryosphere,enhanced poleward atmospheric and oceanic transport, and change in humidity. Moreover, Arcticsummer sea-ice extent has declined by more than 10% per decade since the start ofthe satellite era (e.g. Stroeve et al., 2012), culminating in a new record low inSeptember 2012.Eurasian snow cover changes have been suggested as a driver for changes in theArctic Oscillation and might provide a link between sea ice decline in the Arcticduring summer and atmospheric circulation in the following winter. However, themechanism connecting snow cover in Eurasia to sea ice decline in autumn is stillunder debate. Our analysis focuses on sea ice decline in the Barents-Kara Sea region, which allowsus to specify regions of interest for FLEXPART forward and backwards moisturetrajectories. Based on Eularian and Lagrangian diagnostics from ERA-INTERIM, wecan address the origin and cause of late autumn snow depth variations in a dense(snow observations from 820 land stations), unutilized observational datasets over theCommonwealth of Independent States.Open waters in the Barents and Kara Sea have been shown to increase the diabaticheating of the atmosphere, which amplifies baroclinic cyclones and might induce aremote atmospheric response by triggering stationary Rossby waves (Honda et al.2009).In agreement with these studies, our results show enhanced storm activity originatingat the Barents and Kara with disturbances entering the continent through a smallsector from the Barents and Kara Seas. Maxima in storm activity trigger increasing uplift, oftenaccompanied by positive snowfall and snow depth anomalies.We show that declining sea ice in the Barents and Kara Seas

  14. Arctic moisture source for Eurasian snow cover variations in autumn

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wegmann, Martin; Orsolini, Yvan; Vázquez Dominguez, Marta; Gimeno Presa, Luis; Nieto, Raquel; Buligyna, Olga; Jaiser, Ralf; Handorf, Dörthe; Rinke, Anette; Dethloff, Klaus; Sterin, Alexander; Brönnimann, Stefan

    2015-04-01

    Global warming is enhanced at high northern latitudes where the Arctic surface air temperature has risen at twice the rate of the global average in recent decades - a feature called Arctic amplification. This recent Arctic warming signal likely results from several factors such as the albedo feedback due to a diminishing cryosphere, enhanced poleward atmospheric and oceanic transport, and change in humidity. The reduction in Arctic sea ice is without doubt substantial and a key factor. Arctic summer sea-ice extent has declined by more than 10% per decade since the start of the satellite era (e.g. Stroeve et al., 2012), culminating in a new record low in September 2012, with the long-term trend largely attributed to anthropogenic global warming. Eurasian snow cover changes have been suggested as a driver for changes in the Arctic Oscillation and might provide a link between sea ice decline in the Arctic during summer and atmospheric circulation in the following winter. However, the mechanism connecting snow cover in Eurasia to sea ice decline in autumn is still under debate. Our analysis focuses at sea ice decline in the Barents-Kara Sea region, which allows us to specify regions of interest for FLEXPART forward and backwards moisture trajectories. Based on Eularian and Lagrangian diagnostics from ERA-INTERIM, we can address the origin and cause of late autumn snow depth variations in a dense (snow observations from 820 land stations), unutilized observational datasets over the Commonwealth of Independent States. Open waters in the Barents and Kara Sea have been shown to increase the diabatic heating of the atmosphere, which amplifies baroclinic cyclones and might induce a remote atmospheric response by triggering stationary Rossby waves (Honda et al. 2009). In agreement with these studies, our results show enhanced storm activity originating at the Barents and Kara with disturbances entering the continent through a small sector from the Barents and Kara Seas

  15. Phylogenetic relationship of Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) revealed by complete mitochondrial genome.

    PubMed

    Ning, Yao; Liu, Hui; Jiang, Guangshun; Ma, Jianzhang

    2016-09-01

    The Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) is an Endangered species in northeast China. We first obtained muscle sample, extracted the sample DNA and sequenced the whole mtDNA genome of lynx from northeast China. We reconstructed the phylogenetic tree of Eurasian lynx and 10 other most closely related Felidae species. This lynx's complete mitogenome is 17 054bp in length, includes 13 protein-coding genes, 22 tRNA genes, 2 rRNA genes and one control region. The phylogenetic tree confirmed previous research results.

  16. Triplet p + ip pairing correlations in the doped Kane-Mele-Hubbard model: A quantum Monte Carlo study

    SciTech Connect

    Ma, Tianxing; Lin, Hai-Qing; Gubernatis, James E.

    2015-09-01

    By using the constrained-phase quantum Monte Carlo method, we performed a systematic study of the pairing correlations in the ground state of the doped Kane-Mele-Hubbard model on a honeycomb lattice. We find that pairing correlations with d + id symmetry dominate close to half filling, but pairing correlations with p+ip symmetry dominate as hole doping moves the system below three-quarters filling. We correlate these behaviors of the pairing correlations with the topology of the Fermi surfaces of the non-interacting problem. We also find that the effective pairing correlation is enhanced greatly as the interaction increases, and these superconducting correlations are robust against varying the spin-orbit coupling strength. Finally, our numerical results suggest a possible way to realize spin triplet superconductivity in doped honeycomb-like materials or ultracold atoms in optical traps.

  17. Relative abundance of American badger (Taxidea taxus) and red fox (Vulpes vulpes) in landscapes with high and low rodenticide poisoning levels.

    PubMed

    Proulx, Gilbert; MacKenzie, Neil

    2012-03-01

    Over the past decade, extensive poisoning campaigns have been conducted in southern Saskatchewan to control Richardson's ground squirrel Spermophilus richardsonii (Sabine, 1822) populations. Such campaigns might impact on predator abundance by decreasing prey levels, and also through secondary poisoning. Using spotlighting, we investigated the relative abundance of American badgers Taxidea taxus (Schreber, 1777) and red fox Vulpes vulpes (Linnaeus, 1758) in 2 study areas with road access and crops, but with different levels of poisoning. In the study area with relatively low poisoning (19.6% of the area traversed by roads), there were 2.2 times more American badgers per km of road and 6.4 times more red foxes per km than in the study area with high poisoning (89.7% of the area). It is recommended that an Integrated Pest Management program be developed to conserve natural predators across landscapes.

  18. Pan-Eurasian Experiment (PEEX): towards a holistic understanding of the feedbacks and interactions in the land-atmosphere-ocean-society continuum in the northern Eurasian region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lappalainen, Hanna K.; Kerminen, Veli-Matti; Petäjä, Tuukka; Kurten, Theo; Baklanov, Aleksander; Shvidenko, Anatoly; Bäck, Jaana; Vihma, Timo; Alekseychik, Pavel; Andreae, Meinrat O.; Arnold, Stephen R.; Arshinov, Mikhail; Asmi, Eija; Belan, Boris; Bobylev, Leonid; Chalov, Sergey; Cheng, Yafang; Chubarova, Natalia; de Leeuw, Gerrit; Ding, Aijun; Dobrolyubov, Sergey; Dubtsov, Sergei; Dyukarev, Egor; Elansky, Nikolai; Eleftheriadis, Kostas; Esau, Igor; Filatov, Nikolay; Flint, Mikhail; Fu, Congbin; Glezer, Olga; Gliko, Aleksander; Heimann, Martin; Holtslag, Albert A. M.; Hõrrak, Urmas; Janhunen, Juha; Juhola, Sirkku; Järvi, Leena; Järvinen, Heikki; Kanukhina, Anna; Konstantinov, Pavel; Kotlyakov, Vladimir; Kieloaho, Antti-Jussi; Komarov, Alexander S.; Kujansuu, Joni; Kukkonen, Ilmo; Duplissy, Ella-Maria; Laaksonen, Ari; Laurila, Tuomas; Lihavainen, Heikki; Lisitzin, Alexander; Mahura, Alexsander; Makshtas, Alexander; Mareev, Evgeny; Mazon, Stephany; Matishov, Dmitry; Melnikov, Vladimir; Mikhailov, Eugene; Moisseev, Dmitri; Nigmatulin, Robert; Noe, Steffen M.; Ojala, Anne; Pihlatie, Mari; Popovicheva, Olga; Pumpanen, Jukka; Regerand, Tatjana; Repina, Irina; Shcherbinin, Aleksei; Shevchenko, Vladimir; Sipilä, Mikko; Skorokhod, Andrey; Spracklen, Dominick V.; Su, Hang; Subetto, Dmitry A.; Sun, Junying; Terzhevik, Arkady Y.; Timofeyev, Yuri; Troitskaya, Yuliya; Tynkkynen, Veli-Pekka; Kharuk, Viacheslav I.; Zaytseva, Nina; Zhang, Jiahua; Viisanen, Yrjö; Vesala, Timo; Hari, Pertti; Christen Hansson, Hans; Matvienko, Gennady G.; Kasimov, Nikolai S.; Guo, Huadong; Bondur, Valery; Zilitinkevich, Sergej; Kulmala, Markku

    2016-11-01

    The northern Eurasian regions and Arctic Ocean will very likely undergo substantial changes during the next decades. The Arctic-boreal natural environments play a crucial role in the global climate via albedo change, carbon sources and sinks as well as atmospheric aerosol production from biogenic volatile organic compounds. Furthermore, it is expected that global trade activities, demographic movement, and use of natural resources will be increasing in the Arctic regions. There is a need for a novel research approach, which not only identifies and tackles the relevant multi-disciplinary research questions, but also is able to make a holistic system analysis of the expected feedbacks. In this paper, we introduce the research agenda of the Pan-Eurasian Experiment (PEEX), a multi-scale, multi-disciplinary and international program started in 2012 (https://www.atm.helsinki.fi/peex/). PEEX sets a research approach by which large-scale research topics are investigated from a system perspective and which aims to fill the key gaps in our understanding of the feedbacks and interactions between the land-atmosphere-aquatic-society continuum in the northern Eurasian region. We introduce here the state of the art for the key topics in the PEEX research agenda and present the future prospects of the research, which we see relevant in this context.

  19. Installation Restoration Program Environmental Technology Development. Task Order 3. Use of Activated Carbon for Treatment of Explosives-Contaminated Ground Water at the Badger Army Ammunition Plant (BAAP)

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1989-08-01

    PROGRAM ENVIRONMENTAL TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT Task Order - 3 Use of Activated Carbon for Treatment of Explosives-Contaminated Groundwater at the...CARBON FOR TREATMENT OF EXPLOSIVES-CONTAMINATED GROUNDWATER AT THE BADGER ARMY AMMUNITION PLANT (BAAP) Final Report Distribution Unlimited August 1989... Treatment of Explosj~ves Contaminated Groundwater. 121 PERSONAL AUTHOR(S) Walter J. Wuicik: William L. Lowe; Peter 3. Marks- 13.. TYPE OF REPORT 113b

  20. Leptospirosis in wild and domestic carnivores in natural areas in Andalusia, Spain.

    PubMed

    Millán, Javier; Candela, Mónica G; López-Bao, José Vicente; Pereira, Marian; Jiménez, María Angeles; León-Vizcaíno, Luis

    2009-10-01

    Leptospirosis is a zoonosis that affects humans, domestic animals, and wildlife. Carnivores are at the top of the feeding chain, thus being exposed to pathogens through their preys. From June 2004 to April 2007, we analyzed for evidences of contact with 14 serovars of Leptospira interrogans Sensu Lato serum (analyzed by indirect Microscopic Agglutination Test) and urine or kidney samples (analyzed by microscopic observation, immunostaining and culture) collected from 201 wild and domestic carnivores, including 26 free-living Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus), 33 red foxes (Vulpes vulpes), 33 Egyptian mongooses (Herpestes ichneumon), 25 common genets (Genetta genetta), two Eurasian badgers (Meles meles) and one Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra), and 53 free-roaming cats and 28 rural dogs in protected areas in Andalusia (southern Spain). Twenty-three percent of the animals presented evidences of contact, being the prevalence similar among wild (23.5%) and domestic species (22.2%). Contact with Lesptospira was detected in all the species but the otter. Prevalence was: lynx (11% by bacteriological detection, 32% by serology), fox (0%, 47%), mongoose (5%, 20%), genet (0%, 12%), badger (0%, 50%), cat (20%, 14%), dog (only serology: 36%). Serovar Icterohemorragiae accounted for 2/3 of the cases. Serovar Canicola was detected in half of the positive dogs and one lynx. Other serovars detected were Ballum, Sejroë, and Australis. No macroscopic lesions were observed in necropsied animals that showed evidence of contact with the agent, although histopathologic lesions (chiefly chronic interstitial nephritis) were observed in 7 out of the 11 microscopically analyzed individuals. Thus, L. interrogans may cause previously unrecorded disease in wild carnivores in Spain. Wild and free-roaming carnivores may not act as reservoir of L. interrogans but as a dead-end hosts, though the dog may act as reservoir of serovar Canicola. Carnivores are apparently good sentinels for the epidemiological

  1. Productivity of Northern Eurasian forests: Analysis of uncertainties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shvidenko, Anatoly; Schepaschenko, Dmitry; McCallum, Ian

    2010-05-01

    Indicators of biological productivity of forests (live and dead biomass, net primary production, net and gross growth) are crucial for both assessment of the impacts of terrestrial ecosystems on major biogeochemical cycles and practice of sustainable forest management. However, different information and the diversity of methods used in the assessments of forests productivity cause substantial variation in reported estimates. The paper contains a systems analysis of the existing methods, their uncertainties, and a description of available information. With respect to Northern Eurasian forests, the major reasons for uncertainties could be categorized as following: (1) significant biases that are inherent in a number of important sources of available information (e.g., forest inventory data, results of measurements of some indicators in situ); (2) inadequacy and oversimplification of models of different types (empirical aggregations, process-based models); (3) lack of data for some regions; and (4) upscaling procedure of 'point' observations. Based on as comprehensive as possible adherence to the principles of systems analysis, we made an attempt to provide a reanalysis of indicators of forests productivity of Russia aiming at obtaining the results for which uncertainties could be estimated in a reliable and transparent way. Within a landscape-ecosystem approach it has required (1) development of an expert system for refinement of initial data including elimination of recognized biases; (2) delineation of ecological regions based on gradients of major indicators of productivity; (3) transition to multidimensional models (e.g., for calculation of spatially distributed biomass expansion factors); (4) use of process-based elements in empirical models; and (5) development of some approaches which presumably do not have recognized biases. However, taking into account the fuzzy character of the problem, the above approach (as well as any other individually used method) is

  2. Eurasian Higher Education Leaders Forum Conference Proceedings (Astana, Kazakhstan, August 20-21, 2012)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reagan, Timothy, Ed.; Sagintayeva, Aida, Ed.

    2013-01-01

    This publication presents a diverse collection written by a well-respected group of speakers and authors which includes government leaders, policy makers, education experts and administrators from all over the higher education world. The papers collected hereunder represent the conference proceedings of the Eurasian Higher Education Leaders' Forum…

  3. Dietary specialization during the evolution of Western Eurasian hominoids and the extinction of European Great Apes.

    PubMed

    DeMiguel, Daniel; Alba, David M; Moyà-Solà, Salvador

    2014-01-01

    Given the central adaptive role of diet, paleodietary inference is essential for understanding the relationship between evolutionary and paleoenvironmental change. Here we rely on dental microwear analysis to investigate the role of dietary specialization in the diversification and extinction of Miocene hominoids from Western Eurasian between 14 and 7 Ma. New microwear results for five extinct taxa are analyzed together with previous data for other Western Eurasian genera. Except Pierolapithecus (that resembles hard-object feeders) and Oreopithecus (a soft-frugivore probably foraging opportunistically on other foods), most of the extinct taxa lack clear extant dietary analogues. They display some degee of sclerocarpy, which is most clearly expressed in Griphopithecus and Ouranopithecus (adapted to more open and arid environments), whereas Anoiapithecus, Dryopithecus and, especially, Hispanopithecus species apparently relied more strongly on soft-frugivory. Thus, contrasting with the prevailing sclerocarpic condition at the beginning of the Eurasian hominoid radiation, soft- and mixed-frugivory coexisted with hard-object feeding in the Late Miocene. Therefore, despite a climatic trend towards cooling and increased seasonality, a progressive dietary diversification would have occurred (probably due to competitive exclusion and increased environmental heterogeneity), although strict folivory did not evolve. Overall, our analyses support the view that the same dietary specializations that enabled Western Eurasian hominoids to face progressive climatic deterioration were the main factor ultimately leading to their extinction when more drastic paleoenvironmental changes took place.

  4. Propagation of the MIS4 Eurasian Meltwater Event in the Arctic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Polyak, L. V.; Spielhagen, R. F.; Norgaard-Pedersen, N.; Curry, W. B.

    2013-12-01

    Sediment records from the Arctic Ocean indicate multiple Pleistocene meltwater events from Eurasian and North American ice sheets. These events may have affected both the Arctic climate and the North Atlantic deep-water formation, and are important for understanding the stability of Pleistocene ice sheets. We investigate the distribution of meltwater during the discharge of large Eurasian proglacial lakes at the end of Marine Isotope Stage 4, approximately 50-60 ka, using stable isotope records in planktic and benthic foraminifers. Studies focused on lithological and radiogenic isotope proxies suggest that this meltwater pulse affected sedimentation in the Eurasian Basin all the way to the Lomonosov Ridge and at least part of the Amerasian Basin (Mendeleev Ridge). The analysis of stable-isotope data provides further insights. The spatial distribution of planktonic oxygen-18, with the lightest values in the Mendeleev Ridge area, reveals a strong cyclonic circulation extending into the western Arctic Ocean, similar to the negative Arctic Oscillation mode. This circulation pattern differs from that inferred from lithostratigraphy and neodymium isotopes indicating a stronger effect of Eurasian discharge on the Lomonosov Ridge. We propose that this discrepancy resulted from a decoupling of surface and deep-water circulation, where deep waters had a significant contribution of brines carrying deglacial sediments (hyperpicnal flows). The propagation of proglacial brines as far as the Amerasian Basin, suggested earlier from neodymium isotope data, is confirmed by benthic stable isotope records.

  5. Novel Eurasian highly pathogenic avian influenza A H5 viruses in wild birds, Washington, USA, 2014.

    PubMed

    Ip, Hon S; Torchetti, Mia Kim; Crespo, Rocio; Kohrs, Paul; DeBruyn, Paul; Mansfield, Kristin G; Baszler, Timothy; Badcoe, Lyndon; Bodenstein, Barbara; Shearn-Bochsler, Valerie; Killian, Mary Lea; Pedersen, Janice C; Hines, Nichole; Gidlewski, Thomas; DeLiberto, Thomas; Sleeman, Jonathan M

    2015-05-01

    Novel Eurasian lineage avian influenza A(H5N8) virus has spread rapidly and globally since January 2014. In December 2014, H5N8 and reassortant H5N2 viruses were detected in wild birds in Washington, USA, and subsequently in backyard birds. When they infect commercial poultry, these highly pathogenic viruses pose substantial trade issues.

  6. Novel Eurasian highly pathogenic influenza A H5 viruses in wild birds, Washington, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ip, Hon S.; Kim Torchetti, Mia; Crespo, Rocio; Kohrs, Paul; DeBruyn, Paul; Mansfield, Kristin G.; Baszler, Timothy; Badcoe, Lyndon; Bodenstein, Barbara L.; Shearn-Bochsler, Valerie I.; Killian, Mary Lea; Pederson, Janice C.; Hines, Nichole; Gidlewski, Thomas; DeLiberto, Thomas; Sleeman, Jonathan M.

    2015-01-01

    Novel Eurasian lineage avian influenza A(H5N8) virus has spread rapidly and globally since January 2014. In December 2014, H5N8 and reassortant H5N2 viruses were detected in wild birds in Washington, USA, and subsequently in backyard birds. When they infect commercial poultry, these highly pathogenic viruses pose substantial trade issues.

  7. 78 FR 48765 - Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs (EUR) Request for Proposals for the Fundraising...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-08-09

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF STATE Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs (EUR) Request for Proposals for the Fundraising, Construction, Development, Organization, Management, Disassembly and Removal of a USA Pavilion/Exhibition at Universal...

  8. Eurasian Higher Education Leaders Forum Conference Proceedings (Astana, Kazakhstan, Jun 11-12, 2014)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sagintayeva, Aida, Ed.; Kurakbayev, Kairat, Ed.

    2014-01-01

    This collection of papers introduces the proceedings of the Third Annual Conference--Eurasian Higher Education Leaders' Forum held 11-12 June, 2014 at Nazarbayev University in Astana, Kazakhstan. More than 350 speakers, delegates and participants from more 15 countries attended the Forum. The title of this year's Forum is "Successful…

  9. Using plasma-fuel systems at Eurasian coal-fired thermal power stations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karpenko, E. I.; Karpenko, Yu. E.; Messerle, V. E.; Ustimenko, A. B.

    2009-06-01

    The development of plasma technology for igniting solid fuels at coal-fired thermal power stations in Russia, Kazakhstan, China, and other Eurasian countries is briefly reviewed. Basic layouts and technical and economic characteristics of plasma-fuel systems installed in different coal-fired boiles are considered together with some results from using these systems at coal-fired thermal power stations.

  10. Dietary Specialization during the Evolution of Western Eurasian Hominoids and the Extinction of European Great Apes

    PubMed Central

    DeMiguel, Daniel; Alba, David M.; Moyà-Solà, Salvador

    2014-01-01

    Given the central adaptive role of diet, paleodietary inference is essential for understanding the relationship between evolutionary and paleoenvironmental change. Here we rely on dental microwear analysis to investigate the role of dietary specialization in the diversification and extinction of Miocene hominoids from Western Eurasian between 14 and 7 Ma. New microwear results for five extinct taxa are analyzed together with previous data for other Western Eurasian genera. Except Pierolapithecus (that resembles hard-object feeders) and Oreopithecus (a soft-frugivore probably foraging opportunistically on other foods), most of the extinct taxa lack clear extant dietary analogues. They display some degee of sclerocarpy, which is most clearly expressed in Griphopithecus and Ouranopithecus (adapted to more open and arid environments), whereas Anoiapithecus, Dryopithecus and, especially, Hispanopithecus species apparently relied more strongly on soft-frugivory. Thus, contrasting with the prevailing sclerocarpic condition at the beginning of the Eurasian hominoid radiation, soft- and mixed-frugivory coexisted with hard-object feeding in the Late Miocene. Therefore, despite a climatic trend towards cooling and increased seasonality, a progressive dietary diversification would have occurred (probably due to competitive exclusion and increased environmental heterogeneity), although strict folivory did not evolve. Overall, our analyses support the view that the same dietary specializations that enabled Western Eurasian hominoids to face progressive climatic deterioration were the main factor ultimately leading to their extinction when more drastic paleoenvironmental changes took place. PMID:24848272

  11. How might the North American ice sheet influence the northwestern Eurasian climate?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beghin, P.; Charbit, S.; Dumas, C.; Kageyama, M.; Ritz, C.

    2015-10-01

    It is now widely acknowledged that past Northern Hemisphere ice sheets covering Canada and northern Europe at the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) exerted a strong influence on climate by causing changes in atmospheric and oceanic circulations. In turn, these changes may have impacted the development of the ice sheets themselves through a combination of different feedback mechanisms. The present study is designed to investigate the potential impact of the North American ice sheet on the surface mass balance (SMB) of the Eurasian ice sheet driven by simulated changes in the past glacial atmospheric circulation. Using the LMDZ5 atmospheric circulation model, we carried out 12 experiments under constant LGM conditions for insolation, greenhouse gases and ocean. In these experiments, the Eurasian ice sheet is removed. The 12 experiments differ in the North American ice-sheet topography, ranging from a white and flat (present-day topography) ice sheet to a full-size LGM ice sheet. This experimental design allows the albedo and the topographic impacts of the North American ice sheet onto the climate to be disentangled. The results are compared to our baseline experiment where both the North American and the Eurasian ice sheets have been removed. In summer, the sole albedo effect of the American ice sheet modifies the pattern of planetary waves with respect to the no-ice-sheet case, resulting in a cooling of the northwestern Eurasian region. By contrast, the atmospheric circulation changes induced by the topography of the North American ice sheet lead to a strong decrease of this cooling. In winter, the Scandinavian and the Barents-Kara regions respond differently to the American ice-sheet albedo effect: in response to atmospheric circulation changes, Scandinavia becomes warmer and total precipitation is more abundant, whereas the Barents-Kara area becomes cooler with a decrease of convective processes, causing a decrease of total precipitation. The gradual increase of the

  12. Haematology and Serum Biochemistry Parameters and Variations in the Eurasian Beaver (Castor fiber)

    PubMed Central

    Girling, Simon J.; Campbell-Palmer, Roisin; Pizzi, Romain; Fraser, Mary A.; Cracknell, Jonathan; Arnemo, Jon; Rosell, Frank

    2015-01-01

    Haematology parameters (N = 24) and serum biochemistry parameters (N = 35) were determined for wild Eurasian beavers (Castor fiber), between 6 months – 12 years old. Of the population tested in this study, N = 18 Eurasian beavers were from Norway and N = 17 originating from Bavaria but now living extensively in a reserve in England. All blood samples were collected from beavers via the ventral tail vein. All beavers were chemically restrained using inhalant isoflurane in 100% oxygen prior to blood sampling. Results were determined for haematological and serum biochemical parameters for the species and were compared between the two different populations with differences in means estimated and significant differences being noted. Standard blood parameters for the Eurasian beaver were determined and their ranges characterised using percentiles. Whilst the majority of blood parameters between the two populations showed no significant variation, haemoglobin, packed cell volume, mean cell haemoglobin and white blood cell counts showed significantly greater values (p<0.01) in the Bavarian origin population than the Norwegian; neutrophil counts, alpha 2 globulins, cholesterol, sodium: potassium ratios and phosphorus levels showed significantly (p<0.05) greater values in Bavarian versus Norwegian; and potassium, bile acids, gamma globulins, urea, creatinine and total calcium values levels showed significantly (p<0.05) greater values in Norwegian versus Bavarian relict populations. No significant differences were noted between male and female beavers or between sexually immature (<3 years old) and sexually mature (≥3 years old) beavers in the animals sampled. With Eurasian beaver reintroduction encouraged by legislation throughout Europe, knowledge of baseline blood values for the species and any variations therein is essential when assessing their health and welfare and the success or failure of any reintroduction program. This is the first study to produce base

  13. Haematology and Serum Biochemistry Parameters and Variations in the Eurasian Beaver (Castor fiber).

    PubMed

    Girling, Simon J; Campbell-Palmer, Roisin; Pizzi, Romain; Fraser, Mary A; Cracknell, Jonathan; Arnemo, Jon; Rosell, Frank

    2015-01-01

    Haematology parameters (N = 24) and serum biochemistry parameters (N = 35) were determined for wild Eurasian beavers (Castor fiber), between 6 months - 12 years old. Of the population tested in this study, N = 18 Eurasian beavers were from Norway and N = 17 originating from Bavaria but now living extensively in a reserve in England. All blood samples were collected from beavers via the ventral tail vein. All beavers were chemically restrained using inhalant isoflurane in 100% oxygen prior to blood sampling. Results were determined for haematological and serum biochemical parameters for the species and were compared between the two different populations with differences in means estimated and significant differences being noted. Standard blood parameters for the Eurasian beaver were determined and their ranges characterised using percentiles. Whilst the majority of blood parameters between the two populations showed no significant variation, haemoglobin, packed cell volume, mean cell haemoglobin and white blood cell counts showed significantly greater values (p<0.01) in the Bavarian origin population than the Norwegian; neutrophil counts, alpha 2 globulins, cholesterol, sodium: potassium ratios and phosphorus levels showed significantly (p<0.05) greater values in Bavarian versus Norwegian; and potassium, bile acids, gamma globulins, urea, creatinine and total calcium values levels showed significantly (p<0.05) greater values in Norwegian versus Bavarian relict populations. No significant differences were noted between male and female beavers or between sexually immature (<3 years old) and sexually mature (≥3 years old) beavers in the animals sampled. With Eurasian beaver reintroduction encouraged by legislation throughout Europe, knowledge of baseline blood values for the species and any variations therein is essential when assessing their health and welfare and the success or failure of any reintroduction program. This is the first study to produce base

  14. Presence of Bartonella Species in Wild Carnivores of Northern Spain

    PubMed Central

    Gerrikagoitia, Xeider; Gil, Horacio; García-Esteban, Coral; Anda, Pedro; Juste, R. A.

    2012-01-01

    The genus Bartonella was detected by PCR in 5.7% (12/212) of wild carnivores from Northern Spain. Based on hybridization and sequence analyses, Bartonella henselae was identified in a wildcat (Felis silvestris), Bartonella rochalimae in a red fox (Vulpes vulpes) and in a wolf (Canis lupus), and Bartonella sp. in badgers (Meles meles). PMID:22138983

  15. [Sequencing and analysis of complete genome of rabies viruses isolated from Chinese Ferret-Badger and dog in Zhejiang province].

    PubMed

    Lei, Yong-Liang; Wang, Xiao-Guang; Tao, Xiao-Yan; Li, Hao; Meng, Sheng-Li; Chen, Xiu-Ying; Liu, Fu-Ming; Ye, Bi-Feng; Tang, Qing

    2010-01-01

    Based on sequencing the full-length genomes of four Chinese Ferret-Badger and dog, we analyze the properties of rabies viruses genetic variation in molecular level, get the information about rabies viruses prevalence and variation in Zhejiang, and enrich the genome database of rabies viruses street strains isolated from China. Rabies viruses in suckling mice were isolated, overlapped fragments were amplified by RT-PCR and full-length genomes were assembled to analyze the nucleotide and deduced protein similarities and phylogenetic analyses from Chinese Ferret-Badger, dog, sika deer, vole, used vaccine strain were determined. The four full-length genomes were sequenced completely and had the same genetic structure with the length of 11, 923 nts or 11, 925 nts including 58 nts-Leader, 1353 nts-NP, 894 nts-PP, 609 nts-MP, 1575 nts-GP, 6386 nts-LP, and 2, 5, 5 nts- intergenic regions(IGRs), 423 nts-Pseudogene-like sequence (psi), 70 nts-Trailer. The four full-length genomes were in accordance with the properties of Rhabdoviridae Lyssa virus by BLAST and multi-sequence alignment. The nucleotide and amino acid sequences among Chinese strains had the highest similarity, especially among animals of the same species. Of the four full-length genomes, the similarity in amino acid level was dramatically higher than that in nucleotide level, so the nucleotide mutations happened in these four genomes were most synonymous mutations. Compared with the reference rabies viruses, the lengths of the five protein coding regions had no change, no recombination, only with a few point mutations. It was evident that the five proteins appeared to be stable. The variation sites and types of the four genomes were similar to the reference vaccine or street strains. And the four strains were genotype 1 according to the multi-sequence and phylogenetic analyses, which possessed the distinct district characteristics of China. Therefore, these four rabies viruses are likely to be street viruses

  16. Greater role for Atlantic inflows on sea-ice loss in the Eurasian Basin of the Arctic Ocean.

    PubMed

    Polyakov, Igor V; Pnyushkov, Andrey V; Alkire, Matthew B; Ashik, Igor M; Baumann, Till M; Carmack, Eddy C; Goszczko, Ilona; Guthrie, John; Ivanov, Vladimir V; Kanzow, Torsten; Krishfield, Richard; Kwok, Ronald; Sundfjord, Arild; Morison, James; Rember, Robert; Yulin, Alexander

    2017-04-06

    Arctic sea-ice loss is a leading indicator of climate change and can be attributed, in large part, to atmospheric forcing. Here, we show that recent ice reductions, weakening of the halocline, and shoaling of intermediate-depth Atlantic Water layer in the eastern Eurasian Basin have increased winter ventilation in the ocean interior, making this region structurally similar to that of the western Eurasian Basin. The associated enhanced release of oceanic heat has reduced winter sea-ice formation at a rate now comparable to losses from atmospheric thermodynamic forcing, thus explaining the recent reduction in sea-ice cover in the eastern Eurasian Basin. This encroaching "atlantification" of the Eurasian Basin represents an essential step toward a new Arctic climate state, with a substantially greater role for Atlantic inflows.

  17. A brief review of Badger-Bauer rule and its validation from a first-principles approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhatta, Ram S.; Iyer, Prasad P.; Dhinojwala, Ali; Tsige, Mesfin

    2014-11-01

    Understanding the acid-base interactions is important in chemistry, biology and material science as it helps to rationalize materials properties such as interfacial properties, wetting, adhesion and adsorption. Quantitative relation between changes in enthalpy (ΔH) and frequency shift (Δν) during the acid-base complexation is particularly important. We investigate ΔH and Δν of twenty-five complexes of acids (methanol, ethanol, propanol, butanol and phenol) with bases (benzene, pyridine, DMSO, Et2O and THF) in CCl4 using intermolecular perturbation theory calculations. ΔH and Δν of complexes of all alcohols with bases except benzene fall in the range from -14 kJ mol-1 to -30 kJ mol-1 and 215 cm-1 to 523 cm-1, respectively. Smaller values of ΔH (-2 kJ mol-1 to -6 kJ mol-1) and Δν (23 cm-1 to 70 cm-1) are estimated for benzene. Linear correlations are found between theoretical and experimental values of ΔH as well as Δν. For all the studied complexes, ΔH varies linearly (R2 ≥ 0.97) with Δν concurrent with the Badger-Bauer rule yielding the average slope and intercept of 0.053(± 0.002) kJ mol-1 cm and 2.15(± 0.56) kJ mol-1, respectively.

  18. Spatial patterns of immunogenetic and neutral variation underscore the conservation value of small, isolated American badger populations.

    PubMed

    Rico, Yessica; Ethier, Danielle M; Davy, Christina M; Sayers, Josh; Weir, Richard D; Swanson, Bradley J; Nocera, Joseph J; Kyle, Christopher J

    2016-12-01

    Small and isolated populations often exhibit low genetic diversity due to drift and inbreeding, but may simultaneously harbour adaptive variation. We investigate spatial distributions of immunogenetic variation in American badger subspecies (Taxidea taxus), as a proxy for evaluating their evolutionary potential across the northern extent of the species' range. We compared genetic structure of 20 microsatellites and the major histocompatibility complex (MHC DRB exon 2) to evaluate whether small, isolated populations show low adaptive polymorphism relative to large and well-connected populations. Our results suggest that gene flow plays a prominent role in shaping MHC polymorphism across large spatial scales, while the interplay between gene flow and selection was stronger towards the northern peripheries. The similarity of MHC alleles within subspecies relative to their neutral genetic differentiation suggests that adaptive divergence among subspecies can be maintained despite ongoing gene flow along subspecies boundaries. Neutral genetic diversity was low in small relative to large populations, but MHC diversity within individuals was high in small populations. Despite reduced neutral genetic variation, small and isolated populations harbour functional variation that likely contribute to the species evolutionary potential at the northern range. Our findings suggest that conservation approaches should focus on managing adaptive variation across the species range rather than protecting subspecies per se.

  19. Ancestry and demography and descendants of Iron Age nomads of the Eurasian Steppe

    PubMed Central

    Unterländer, Martina; Palstra, Friso; Lazaridis, Iosif; Pilipenko, Aleksandr; Hofmanová, Zuzana; Groß, Melanie; Sell, Christian; Blöcher, Jens; Kirsanow, Karola; Rohland, Nadin; Rieger, Benjamin; Kaiser, Elke; Schier, Wolfram; Pozdniakov, Dimitri; Khokhlov, Aleksandr; Georges, Myriam; Wilde, Sandra; Powell, Adam; Heyer, Evelyne; Currat, Mathias; Reich, David; Samashev, Zainolla; Parzinger, Hermann; Molodin, Vyacheslav I.; Burger, Joachim

    2017-01-01

    During the 1st millennium before the Common Era (BCE), nomadic tribes associated with the Iron Age Scythian culture spread over the Eurasian Steppe, covering a territory of more than 3,500 km in breadth. To understand the demographic processes behind the spread of the Scythian culture, we analysed genomic data from eight individuals and a mitochondrial dataset of 96 individuals originating in eastern and western parts of the Eurasian Steppe. Genomic inference reveals that Scythians in the east and the west of the steppe zone can best be described as a mixture of Yamnaya-related ancestry and an East Asian component. Demographic modelling suggests independent origins for eastern and western groups with ongoing gene-flow between them, plausibly explaining the striking uniformity of their material culture. We also find evidence that significant gene-flow from east to west Eurasia must have occurred early during the Iron Age. PMID:28256537

  20. Transmission of Eurasian avian H2 influenza virus to shorebirds in North America.

    PubMed

    Makarova, N V; Kaverin, N V; Krauss, S; Senne, D; Webster, R G

    1999-12-01

    Influenza A virus of the H2 subtype caused a serious pandemic in 1957 and may cause similar outbreaks in the future. To assess the evolution and the antigenic relationships of avian influenza H2 viruses, we sequenced the haemagglutinin (HA) genes of H2 isolates from shorebirds, ducks and poultry in North America and derived a phylogenetic tree to establish their interrelationships. This analysis confirmed the divergence of H2 HA into two geographical lineages, American and Eurasian. One group of viruses isolated from shorebirds in North America had HA belonging to the Eurasian lineage, indicating an interregional transmission of the H2 gene. Characterization of HA with a monoclonal antibody panel revealed that the antigenicity of the Delaware strains differed from the other avian strains analysed. The data emphasizes the importance of avian influenza surveillance.

  1. Suspected flunixin poisoning of a wild Eurasian Griffon Vulture from Spain.

    PubMed

    Zorrilla, Irene; Martinez, Rosa; Taggart, Mark A; Richards, Ngaio

    2015-04-01

    Exposure to residues of the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) diclofenac present in livestock carcasses has caused extensive declines in 3 Gyps vulture species across Asia. The carcass of a wild Eurasian Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus) was found in 2012 on an Andalucian (Spain) game hunting reserve and examined forensically. The bird had severe visceral gout, a finding consistent with Gyps vultures from Asia that have been poisoned by diclofenac. Liver and kidney samples from this Eurasian Griffon Vulture contained elevated flunixin (an NSAID) levels (median = 2.70 and 6.50 mg/kg, respectively). This is the first reported case of a wild vulture being exposed to and apparently killed by an NSAID outside Asia. It is also the first reported instance of mortality in the wild resulting from environmental exposure to an NSAID other than diclofenac.

  2. Pan Eurasian EXperiment (PEEX) - towards a new multinational environment and climate research effort in Eurasia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petäjä, Tuukka; Kulmala, Markku; Lappalainen, Hanna; Sipilä, Mikko; Sorvari, Sanna; Alekseychik, Pavel; Paramonov, Mikhail; Kerminen, Veli-Matti; Zilitinkevich, Sergej

    2013-04-01

    Boreal forests are a substantial source of greenhouse gases, biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) and natural aerosols, the critical atmospheric components related to climate change processes. A large fraction of boreal forests of the world is situated in Siberian region. Representative measurements of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) concentrations, BVOC emissions and aerosols production from Siberian are of special importance when estimating global budgets of climate change relevant factors. The scope of a new concept of the Pan Eurasian Experiment (PEEX) is to set up a process for planning of a large-scale, long-term, coordinated observations and modeling experiment in the Pan Eurasian region, especially to cover ground base, airborne and satellite observations together with global and regional models to find out different forcing and feedback mechanisms in the changing climate. University of Helsinki together with Finnish Meteorological institute are organizing the Pan-Eurasian Experiment and to gather all the European and Russian key players in the field of climate and Earth system science to plan the future research activities in the Pan-Eurasian region. In the European scale PEEX is part of the JPI Climate Fast Track Activity 1.3. "Changing cryosphere in the climate system - from observations to climate modeling". PEEX research topics are closely related the NordForsk's Top Research Initiative CRAICC - Cryosphere - atmosphere interaction in the changing Arctic climate. PEEX is also a central part of the ongoing the Finnish Cultural Foundation - Earth System modeling Working Group activity (2012-2013). PEEX scientific aims and future actions to develop Pan Eurasian research infrastructure can be linked to several EC and ESA funded activities aiming to develop next generation research infrastructures and data products: EU-FP7-ACTRIS-I3-project (Aerosols, Clouds, and Trace gases Research InfraStructure Network-project 2011-2015); ICOS a research

  3. Ancestry and demography and descendants of Iron Age nomads of the Eurasian Steppe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Unterländer, Martina; Palstra, Friso; Lazaridis, Iosif; Pilipenko, Aleksandr; Hofmanová, Zuzana; Groß, Melanie; Sell, Christian; Blöcher, Jens; Kirsanow, Karola; Rohland, Nadin; Rieger, Benjamin; Kaiser, Elke; Schier, Wolfram; Pozdniakov, Dimitri; Khokhlov, Aleksandr; Georges, Myriam; Wilde, Sandra; Powell, Adam; Heyer, Evelyne; Currat, Mathias; Reich, David; Samashev, Zainolla; Parzinger, Hermann; Molodin, Vyacheslav I.; Burger, Joachim

    2017-03-01

    During the 1st millennium before the Common Era (BCE), nomadic tribes associated with the Iron Age Scythian culture spread over the Eurasian Steppe, covering a territory of more than 3,500 km in breadth. To understand the demographic processes behind the spread of the Scythian culture, we analysed genomic data from eight individuals and a mitochondrial dataset of 96 individuals originating in eastern and western parts of the Eurasian Steppe. Genomic inference reveals that Scythians in the east and the west of the steppe zone can best be described as a mixture of Yamnaya-related ancestry and an East Asian component. Demographic modelling suggests independent origins for eastern and western groups with ongoing gene-flow between them, plausibly explaining the striking uniformity of their material culture. We also find evidence that significant gene-flow from east to west Eurasia must have occurred early during the Iron Age.

  4. A comparative analysis of the complete mitochondrial genome of the Eurasian otter Lutra lutra (Carnivora; Mustelidae).

    PubMed

    Ki, Jang-Seu; Hwang, Dae-Sik; Park, Tae-Jin; Han, Sang-Hoon; Lee, Jae-Seong

    2010-04-01

    Otter populations are declining throughout the world and most otter species are considered endangered. Molecular methods are suitable tools for population genetic research on endangered species. In the present study, we analyzed the complete mitochondrial genome (mitogenome) sequence of the Eurasian otter Lutra lutra. The mitochondrial DNA sequence of the Eurasian otter is 16,505 bp in length and consists of 13 protein-coding genes, 22 tRNAs, 2 rRNAs, and a control region (CR). The CR sequence of otters from Europe and Asia showed nearly identical numbers and nucleotide sequences of minisatellites. Phylogenetic analysis of Mustelidae mitogenomes, including individual genes, revealed that Lutrinae and Mustelinae form a clade, and that L. lutra and Enhydra lutris are sister taxa within the Lutrinae. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that of the 13 mitochondrial protein-coding genes, ND5 is the most reliable marker for analysis of phylogenetic relationships within the Mustelidae.

  5. Timing vocal behavior: lack of temporal overlap avoidance to fluctuating noise levels in singing Eurasian wrens.

    PubMed

    Yang, Xiao-Jing; Slabbekoorn, Hans

    2014-10-01

    Many animals live in or near urban areas that have become increasingly widespread and noisy over the last century. Especially those species that rely heavily on acoustics for communication may be affected by these elevated anthropogenic noise levels. Many bird species that sing to defend their territories and to attract mates may have to exploit specific noise coping strategies to persist in such acoustically challenging conditions. Eurasian wrens (Troglodytes troglodytes), like several other bird species, have been shown in a previous experiment to time their vocalizations such that they avoid overlap with other singing birds. Here, we tested whether Eurasian wrens also time their songs to avoid overlap with fluctuating anthropogenic noise. However, we did not find any evidence in favor of this potential phenomenon. Territorial wrens persisted in singing without temporal adjustments in noisy territories with 'natural' fluctuations of traffic noise levels as well as during experimental exposure to intermittent white noise.

  6. The Conservation Knowledge and Attitudes of Teenagers in Slovenia toward the Eurasian Otter

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Torkar, Gregor; Mohar, Petra; Gregorc, Tatjana; Nekrep, Igor; Adamic, Marjana Honigsfeld

    2010-01-01

    This study focused on human-otter interactions in Slovenia. The aim of the study was to obtain data about secondary-school students' knowledge of and attitudes toward the Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) and its conservation. The survey was carried out in fall 2008 and winter 2008-09 and included 273 teenagers. Their average age was 15.57 (SD = 1.01,…

  7. Trace element analysis of three tissues from Eurasian otters (Lutra lutra) in South Korea.

    PubMed

    Kang, Sukmo; Kang, Jung-Hoon; Kim, Soohee; Lee, Seung Heon; Lee, Seungwoo; Yu, Hee Jeong; Oh, Su-Jun; Park, Jung-Duck; Nam, Ki-Hoan; Han, Sung Yong; Lim, Jong-Deock; Ryu, Doug-Young

    2015-07-01

    Eurasian otters (Lutra lutra) are endangered worldwide, but the specific cause of their decline has not been determined. This study analyzed the concentrations of potentially toxic trace elements, including As, Cd, Pb, Hg, Se, Cu, Mn, and Zn, in the liver, kidney, and lung tissues of Eurasian otters in South Korea. There were high individual variations in the tissue concentrations of all the elements analyzed. The kidneys had the highest concentrations of Cd and Se among the three tissue groups, and the livers had the highest concentrations of Cu, Mn, Zn, and Hg. The Pb and As concentrations in the livers were not significantly different from those in the kidneys, and the lungs had the lowest concentrations of all the elements analyzed. The age-related bioaccumulation of Cd and Hg was evident in the three tissue groups, and of Se in the kidneys. The Pb concentration was higher in the livers of juveniles compared with those of adults and the Zn concentration was higher in the lungs of juveniles. There were no apparent gender differences in the concentrations of the elements analyzed among the tissue groups. The Se concentration correlated with the Hg concentration in the livers and kidneys, and with the Cd concentration in the kidneys. The Hg and Cd levels correlated in the three tissue groups. The Cu and Zn levels also correlated in the livers and kidneys. In general, the element concentrations were within the ranges reported by previous studies of this species from European countries, except for Cd and Hg, the levels of which were mostly lower than those reported previously. These findings may provide baseline information to facilitate the conservation of the Eurasian otter. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first available study of trace element concentrations in the tissues of Eurasian otters from South Korea or Asian countries.

  8. Reconstructions of human history by mapping dental markers in living Eurasian populations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kashibadze, Vera F.; Nasonova, Olga G.; Nasonov, Dmitry S.

    2013-01-01

    Using advances in gene geography and anthropophenetics, the phenogeographical method for anthropological research was initiated and developed using dental data. Statistical and cartographical analyses are provided for 498 living Eurasian populations. Mapping principal components supplied evidence for the phene pool structure in Eurasian populations, and for reconstructions of Homo sapiens history on the continent. Longitudinal variability seems to be the most important regularity revealed by principal components analysis (PCA) and mapping, indicating the division of the whole area into western and eastern main provinces. So, the most ancient scenario in the history of Eurasian populations developed from two perspective different groups: a western group related to ancient populations of West Asia and an eastern one rooted in ancestry in South and/or East Asia. In spite of the enormous territory and the revealed divergence, the populations of the continent have undergone wide scale and intensive timeespace interaction. Many details in the revealed landscapes are background to different historical events. Migrations and assimilation are two essential phenomena in Eurasian history: the widespread of the western combination through the whole continent to the Pacific coastline and the movement of the paradoxical combinations of eastern and western markers from South or Central Asia to the east and west. Taking into account that no additional eastern combinations in the total variation in Asian groups have been found, but that mixed or western markers' sets and that eastern dental characteristics are traced in Asia since Homo erectus, the assumption is made in favour of the hetero-level assimilation in the eastern province and of net-like evolution of H. sapiens.

  9. The early opening of the Eurasian Basin - geophysical data from the Yermak Plateau

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berglar, Kai; Franke, Dieter; Lutz, Rüdiger; Damm, Volkmar

    2016-04-01

    The submarine Yermak Plateau north of the Svalbard archipelago is located at the junction between the Eurasian Basin in the Arctic Ocean and the Norwegian - Greenland Sea Basin of the North Atlantic. The NE Yermak Plateau and northern Barents Sea continental margins are poorly investigated areas because of a nearly permanent ice cover hampering investigation activities by seismic operations. The knowledge about the deeper structure of the area so far is based on the interpretation of magnetic and gravity data. Major open question related to the Yermak Plateau focus on the nature of the crust, the verification of suspected collision-related structures that may have developed in conjunction with the Paleogene Eurekan deformation, and crustal features that allow to analyse how the Lomonosov Ridge was separated from the Barents-Kara shelf, i.e. the early opening of the Eurasia Basin in the Arctic Ocean. It has been thought for a long time that the Eurasian Basin is the extension of the North Atlantic seafloor into the Arctic. Based on reflection seismic data we put this concept into question and propose Late Cretaceous to Paleocene rifting between the Yermak Plateau-Morris Jesup Rise in the west and the Lomonosov Ridge in the east, oblique to the present-day seafloor spreading system in the Eurasian Basin. The rift may have extended along the NE edges of the Yermak Plateau and the Morris Jesup Rise. We suggest that the opening of the Eurasian Basin and the detachment of the elongated and narrow continental splinter that forms the Lomonosov Ridge developed along a strike-slip fault offsetting this early rift.

  10. Seismic Tomography of the Arabian-Eurasian Collision Zone and Surrounding Areas

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-05-20

    zone . The crustal models correlate well with geologic and tectonic features. The upper mantle tomograms show the images of the subducted Neotethys...Zhao, D., A. Hasegawa, H. Kanamori (1994). Deep structure of Japan subduction zone as derived from local, regional and teleseismic events, J. Geophys...AFRL-RV-HA-TR-2010-1043 Seismic Tomography of the Arabian-Eurasian Collision Zone and Surrounding Areas M. Nafi Toksöz Robert D. Van

  11. Pleistocene Chinese cave hyenas and the recent Eurasian history of the spotted hyena, Crocuta crocuta.

    PubMed

    Sheng, Gui-Lian; Soubrier, Julien; Liu, Jin-Yi; Werdelin, Lars; Llamas, Bastien; Thomson, Vicki A; Tuke, Jonathan; Wu, Lian-Juan; Hou, Xin-Dong; Chen, Quan-Jia; Lai, Xu-Long; Cooper, Alan

    2014-02-01

    The living hyena species (spotted, brown, striped and aardwolf) are remnants of a formerly diverse group of more than 80 fossil species, which peaked in diversity in the Late Miocene (about 7-8 Ma). The fossil history indicates an African origin, and morphological and ancient DNA data have confirmed that living spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta) of Africa were closely related to extinct Late Pleistocene cave hyenas from Europe and Asia. The current model used to explain the origins of Eurasian cave hyena populations invokes multiple migrations out of Africa between 3.5-0.35 Ma. We used mitochondrial DNA sequences from radiocarbon-dated Chinese Pleistocene hyena specimens to examine the origin of Asian populations, and temporally calibrate the evolutionary history of spotted hyenas. Our results support a far more recent evolutionary timescale (430-163 kya) and suggest that extinct and living spotted hyena populations originated from a widespread Eurasian population in the Late Pleistocene, which was only subsequently restricted to Africa. We developed statistical tests of the contrasting population models and their fit to the fossil record. Coalescent simulations and Bayes Factor analysis support the new radiocarbon-calibrated timescale and Eurasian origins model. The new Eurasian biogeographic scenario proposed for the hyena emphasizes the role of the vast steppe grasslands of Eurasia in contrast to models only involving Africa. The new methodology for combining genetic and geological data to test contrasting models of population history will be useful for a wide range of taxa where ancient and historic genetic data are available.

  12. First description of adiaspiromycosis in an Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) in Italy.

    PubMed

    Malatesta, Daniela; Simpson, Vic R; Fontanesi, Luca; Fusillo, Romina; Marcelli, Manlio; Bongiovanni, Laura; Romanucci, Mariarita; Palmieri, Chiara; Della Salda, Leonardo

    2014-01-01

    Adiaspiromycosis is a pulmonary disease caused by the inhalation of the ubiquitous fungus Emmonsia spp., a common soil inhabitant. Information about the replication and dissemination of the fungus from the primary site is lacking. Members of the Family Mustelidae seem to be highly susceptible to this infection, which has been previously reported in otters (Lutra lutra) in Czech Republic/Slovakia, Finland and in the UK. In many cases, Emmonsia‑associated lesions have also been reported as incidental findings during necropsies of otherwise healthy animals. A road‑killed male Eurasian otter was submitted for the post‑mortem examination on 21st December 2009 at the Veterinary Pathology Unit of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Teramo, as part of the RECAL [RECovery and post‑mortem Analysis of Eurasian otters (Lutra lutra) in the National Park of Cilento, Vallo di Diano and Alburni (Salerno, Italy), and surrounding areas] project. Histologically, multifocal round structures with a PAS‑positive thick tri‑laminar wall and a central basophilic granular mass were observed within the alveoli. The adiaspores were surrounded by a severe granulomatous reaction with high number of macrophages, multinucleated giant cells, eosinophils, neutrophils and fibroblasts. Numerous multifocal cholesterol granulomas were observed close to those fungal‑induced. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first description of adiaspiromycosis in an Eurasian otter in Italy.

  13. Nuclear and mitochondrial genetic structure in the Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) – implications for future reintroductions

    PubMed Central

    Senn, Helen; Ogden, Rob; Frosch, Christiane; Syrůčková, Alena; Campbell-Palmer, Roisin; Munclinger, Pavel; Durka, Walter; Kraus, Robert H S; Saveljev, Alexander P; Nowak, Carsten; Stubbe, Annegret; Stubbe, Michael; Michaux, Johan; Lavrov, Vladimir; Samiya, Ravchig; Ulevicius, Alius; Rosell, Frank

    2014-01-01

    Many reintroduction projects for conservation fail, and there are a large number of factors that may contribute to failure. Genetic analysis can be used to help stack the odds of a reintroduction in favour of success, by conducting assessment of source populations to evaluate the possibility of inbreeding and outbreeding depression and by conducting postrelease monitoring. In this study, we use a panel of 306 SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism) markers and 487–489 base pairs of mitochondrial DNA control region sequence data to examine 321 individuals from possible source populations of the Eurasian beaver for a reintroduction to Scotland. We use this information to reassess the phylogenetic history of the Eurasian beavers, to examine the genetic legacy of past reintroductions on the Eurasian landmass and to assess the future power of the genetic markers to conduct ongoing monitoring via parentage analysis and individual identification. We demonstrate the capacity of medium density genetic data (hundreds of SNPs) to provide information suitable for applied conservation and discuss the difficulty of balancing the need for high genetic diversity against phylogenetic best fit when choosing source population(s) for reintroduction. PMID:25067948

  14. Persistent shift of the Arctic polar vortex towards the Eurasian continent in recent decades

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Jiankai; Tian, Wenshou; Chipperfield, Martyn P.; Xie, Fei; Huang, Jinlong

    2016-12-01

    The wintertime Arctic stratospheric polar vortex has weakened over the past three decades, and consequently cold surface air from high latitudes is now more likely to move into the middle latitudes. However, it is not known if the location of the polar vortex has also experienced a persistent change in response to Arctic climate change and whether any changes in the vortex position have implications for the climate system. Here, through the analysis of various data sets and model simulations, we show that the Arctic polar vortex shifted persistently towards the Eurasian continent and away from North America in February over the past three decades. This shift is found to be closely related to the enhanced zonal wavenumber-1 waves in response to Arctic sea-ice loss, particularly over the Barents-Kara seas (BKS). Increased snow cover over the Eurasian continent may also have contributed to the shift. Our analysis reveals that the vortex shift induces cooling over some parts of the Eurasian continent and North America which partly offsets the tropospheric climate warming there in the past three decades. The potential vortex shift in response to persistent sea-ice loss in the future, and its associated climatic impact, deserve attention to better constrain future climate changes.

  15. Is recent Eurasian winter cooling caused by Arctic sea ice loss?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Hye-Jin; Son, Seok-Woo; Kim, Kwang-Yul; Kug, Jong-Seong; Kim, Baek-Min; Jeong, Jee-Hoon

    2016-04-01

    The observed surface air temperature in the northern mid-latitudes shows a significant cooling trend in recent winters despite greenhouse gas concentrations continuing to rise. Such an unexpected cooling trend since late 1990's is especially strong over the Eurasia. Here, by performing statistical analyses and climate model experiment, we show that the recent Eurasian cooling trend is at least in part caused by Arctic sea ice loss over the Barents and Kara (BK) seas. A significant time-lagged co-variability is observed between autumn sea ice concentrations over BK seas and winter surface air temperature over the Eurasia. More importantly, the timing of a rapid sea ice loss is consistent with the timing of Eurasian cooling. These results indicate that both interannual variability and long-term trend of Eurasian winter surface air temperature are likely influenced by regional sea ice changes over BK seas. This conjecture is confirmed by climate model experiment. A coupled model, GFDL CM2.1, is integrated with a pre-industrial condition except for the Arctic regions where observed sea surface temperature is relaxed. Ensemble simulations successfully reproduce the recent cooling trend over the Eurasia although the timing is bit delayed (i.e., early 2000's instead of late 1990's). However, it is found that this cooling trend is unlikely explained by linear dynamics, and is not associated with changes in atmospheric blocks.

  16. Eurasian snow cover variability in relation to warming trend and Arctic Oscillation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yeo, Sae-Rim; Kim, WonMoo; Kim, Kwang-Yul

    2017-01-01

    Two distinct modes of snow cover variability over Eurasia are investigated using cyclostationary empirical orthogonal function (CSEOF) analysis. The first mode of Eurasian snow cover extent (SCE) represents a seasonally asymmetric trend between spring and fall. The spring SCE shows a decreasing trend, while the fall SCE particularly in October exhibits a clear increasing trend. This seasonally asymmetric trend of SCE is closely linked to Arctic sea ice decline accompanied by warming in the northern Eurasia. The decreased SCE during spring is primarily attributed to the warm air temperature anomalies, while the increased SCE in October results from the loss of sea ice and the ensuing moisture transport to the atmosphere, which is realized as increased snow in October. The second mode of Eurasian SCE, on the other hand, is closely related to Arctic Oscillation (AO), which is a dominant mode of Northern Hemisphere atmospheric variability. The snow cover variability over Europe during winter is largely affected by AO variability, rather than the warming signal represented by the first CSEOF mode. Detailed descriptions of the two distinct modes of Eurasian SCE and their interactions with oceanic and atmospheric variables are presented along with possible implications for future climate.

  17. Nuclear and mitochondrial genetic structure in the Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) - implications for future reintroductions.

    PubMed

    Senn, Helen; Ogden, Rob; Frosch, Christiane; Syrůčková, Alena; Campbell-Palmer, Roisin; Munclinger, Pavel; Durka, Walter; Kraus, Robert H S; Saveljev, Alexander P; Nowak, Carsten; Stubbe, Annegret; Stubbe, Michael; Michaux, Johan; Lavrov, Vladimir; Samiya, Ravchig; Ulevicius, Alius; Rosell, Frank

    2014-06-01

    Many reintroduction projects for conservation fail, and there are a large number of factors that may contribute to failure. Genetic analysis can be used to help stack the odds of a reintroduction in favour of success, by conducting assessment of source populations to evaluate the possibility of inbreeding and outbreeding depression and by conducting postrelease monitoring. In this study, we use a panel of 306 SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism) markers and 487-489 base pairs of mitochondrial DNA control region sequence data to examine 321 individuals from possible source populations of the Eurasian beaver for a reintroduction to Scotland. We use this information to reassess the phylogenetic history of the Eurasian beavers, to examine the genetic legacy of past reintroductions on the Eurasian landmass and to assess the future power of the genetic markers to conduct ongoing monitoring via parentage analysis and individual identification. We demonstrate the capacity of medium density genetic data (hundreds of SNPs) to provide information suitable for applied conservation and discuss the difficulty of balancing the need for high genetic diversity against phylogenetic best fit when choosing source population(s) for reintroduction.

  18. Nest survival patterns in Eurasian Bittern: effect of nest age, time and habitat variables.

    PubMed

    Polak, Marcin

    2016-01-01

    Determining the key factors affecting the reproductive success of nesting birds is crucial in order to better understand the population dynamics of endangered species and to introduce effective conservation programmes for them. Inhabiting a variety of wetland habitats, aquatic birds actively select safe nesting sites so as to protect their nests against predators. The main aim of the present work was to assess the effect of temporal and habitat variables on the daily nest survival rate of Eurasian Bitterns colonizing semi-natural fishpond habitat in eastern Poland. MARK software was used for the modelling. Eurasian Bittern nests were most vulnerable to depredation at the beginning of the breeding season. This was probably because the reedbed vegetation at this time was not yet dense enough to effectively conceal the nests. There was a positive relationship between nest age and the daily survival rate. Two of the habitat variables analysed were of the greatest significance: water depth and vegetation density. In the Eurasian Bittern population studied here, nests built over deep water and in dense vegetation had the best chances of survival. The results of this work may be useful in the preparation of plans for the conservation and management of populations of this rare and endangered species. Conservation and restoration efforts that attempt to maintain high water levels will be especially beneficial to this avian species that is dependent on wetland ecosystems for breeding.

  19. Genome-wide Evidence Reveals that African and Eurasian Golden Jackals Are Distinct Species.

    PubMed

    Koepfli, Klaus-Peter; Pollinger, John; Godinho, Raquel; Robinson, Jacqueline; Lea, Amanda; Hendricks, Sarah; Schweizer, Rena M; Thalmann, Olaf; Silva, Pedro; Fan, Zhenxin; Yurchenko, Andrey A; Dobrynin, Pavel; Makunin, Alexey; Cahill, James A; Shapiro, Beth; Álvares, Francisco; Brito, José C; Geffen, Eli; Leonard, Jennifer A; Helgen, Kristofer M; Johnson, Warren E; O'Brien, Stephen J; Van Valkenburgh, Blaire; Wayne, Robert K

    2015-08-17

    The golden jackal of Africa (Canis aureus) has long been considered a conspecific of jackals distributed throughout Eurasia, with the nearest source populations in the Middle East. However, two recent reports found that mitochondrial haplotypes of some African golden jackals aligned more closely to gray wolves (Canis lupus), which is surprising given the absence of gray wolves in Africa and the phenotypic divergence between the two species. Moreover, these results imply the existence of a previously unrecognized phylogenetically distinct species despite a long history of taxonomic work on African canids. To test the distinct-species hypothesis and understand the evolutionary history that would account for this puzzling result, we analyzed extensive genomic data including mitochondrial genome sequences, sequences from 20 autosomal loci (17 introns and 3 exon segments), microsatellite loci, X- and Y-linked zinc-finger protein gene (ZFX and ZFY) sequences, and whole-genome nuclear sequences in African and Eurasian golden jackals and gray wolves. Our results provide consistent and robust evidence that populations of golden jackals from Africa and Eurasia represent distinct monophyletic lineages separated for more than one million years, sufficient to merit formal recognition as different species: C. anthus (African golden wolf) and C. aureus (Eurasian golden jackal). Using morphologic data, we demonstrate a striking morphologic similarity between East African and Eurasian golden jackals, suggesting parallelism, which may have misled taxonomists and likely reflects uniquely intense interspecific competition in the East African carnivore guild. Our study shows how ecology can confound taxonomy if interspecific competition constrains size diversification.

  20. Musculoskeletal anatomy of the Eurasian lynx, Lynx lynx (Carnivora: Felidae) forelimb: Adaptations to capture large prey?

    PubMed

    Viranta, Suvi; Lommi, Hanna; Holmala, Katja; Laakkonen, Juha

    2016-06-01

    Mammalian carnivores adhere to two different feeding strategies relative to their body masses. Large carnivores prey on animals that are the same size or larger than themselves, whereas small carnivores prey on smaller vertebrates and invertebrates. The Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) falls in between these two categories. Lynx descend from larger forms that were probably large prey specialists, but during the Pleistocene became predators of small prey. The modern Eurasian lynx may be an evolutionary reversal toward specializing in large prey again. We hypothesized that the musculoskeletal anatomy of lynx should show traits for catching large prey. To test our hypothesis, we dissected the forelimb muscles of six Eurasian lynx individuals and compared our findings to results published for other felids. We measured the bones and compared their dimensions to the published material. Our material displayed a well-developed pectoral girdle musculature with some uniquely extensive muscle attachments. The upper arm musculature resembled that of the pantherine felids and probably the extinct sabertooths, and also the muscles responsible for supination and pronation were similar to those in large cats. The muscles controlling the pollex were well-developed. However, skeletal indices were similar to those of small prey predators. Our findings show that lynx possess the topographic pattern of muscle origin and insertion like in large felids. J. Morphol. 277:753-765, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. Large-Scale Genetic Structuring of a Widely Distributed Carnivore - The Eurasian Lynx (Lynx lynx)

    PubMed Central

    Rueness, Eli K.; Naidenko, Sergei; Trosvik, Pål; Stenseth, Nils Chr.

    2014-01-01

    Over the last decades the phylogeography and genetic structure of a multitude of species inhabiting Europe and North America have been described. The flora and fauna of the vast landmasses of north-eastern Eurasia are still largely unexplored in this respect. The Eurasian lynx is a large felid that is relatively abundant over much of the Russian sub-continent and the adjoining countries. Analyzing 148 museum specimens collected throughout its range over the last 150 years we have described the large-scale genetic structuring in this highly mobile species. We have investigated the spatial genetic patterns using mitochondrial DNA sequences (D-loop and cytochrome b) and 11 microsatellite loci, and describe three phylogenetic clades and a clear structuring along an east-west gradient. The most likely scenario is that the contemporary Eurasian lynx populations originated in central Asia and that parts of Europe were inhabited by lynx during the Pleistocene. After the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) range expansions lead to colonization of north-western Siberia and Scandinavia from the Caucasus and north-eastern Siberia from a refugium further east. No evidence of a Berinigan refugium could be detected in our data. We observed restricted gene flow and suggest that future studies of the Eurasian lynx explore to what extent the contemporary population structure may be explained by ecological variables. PMID:24695745

  2. Repetitive sequences in Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx L.) mitochondrial DNA control region.

    PubMed

    Sindičić, Magda; Gomerčić, Tomislav; Galov, Ana; Polanc, Primož; Huber, Duro; Slavica, Alen

    2012-06-01

    Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region (CR) of numerous species is known to include up to five different repetitive sequences (RS1-RS5) that are found at various locations, involving motifs of different length and extensive length heteroplasmy. Two repetitive sequences (RS2 and RS3) on opposite sides of mtDNA central conserved region have been described in domestic cat (Felis catus) and some other felid species. However, the presence of repetitive sequence RS3 has not been detected in Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) yet. We analyzed mtDNA CR of 35 Eurasian lynx (L. lynx L.) samples to characterize repetitive sequences and to compare them with those found in other felid species. We confirmed the presence of 80 base pairs (bp) repetitive sequence (RS2) at the 5' end of the Eurasian lynx mtDNA CR L strand and for the first time we described RS3 repetitive sequence at its 3' end, consisting of an array of tandem repeats five to ten bp long. We found that felid species share similar RS3 repetitive pattern and fundamental repeat motif TACAC.

  3. Large-scale genetic structuring of a widely distributed carnivore--the Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx).

    PubMed

    Rueness, Eli K; Naidenko, Sergei; Trosvik, Pål; Stenseth, Nils Chr

    2014-01-01

    Over the last decades the phylogeography and genetic structure of a multitude of species inhabiting Europe and North America have been described. The flora and fauna of the vast landmasses of north-eastern Eurasia are still largely unexplored in this respect. The Eurasian lynx is a large felid that is relatively abundant over much of the Russian sub-continent and the adjoining countries. Analyzing 148 museum specimens collected throughout its range over the last 150 years we have described the large-scale genetic structuring in this highly mobile species. We have investigated the spatial genetic patterns using mitochondrial DNA sequences (D-loop and cytochrome b) and 11 microsatellite loci, and describe three phylogenetic clades and a clear structuring along an east-west gradient. The most likely scenario is that the contemporary Eurasian lynx populations originated in central Asia and that parts of Europe were inhabited by lynx during the Pleistocene. After the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) range expansions lead to colonization of north-western Siberia and Scandinavia from the Caucasus and north-eastern Siberia from a refugium further east. No evidence of a Berinigan refugium could be detected in our data. We observed restricted gene flow and suggest that future studies of the Eurasian lynx explore to what extent the contemporary population structure may be explained by ecological variables.

  4. Nest survival patterns in Eurasian Bittern: effect of nest age, time and habitat variables

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Determining the key factors affecting the reproductive success of nesting birds is crucial in order to better understand the population dynamics of endangered species and to introduce effective conservation programmes for them. Inhabiting a variety of wetland habitats, aquatic birds actively select safe nesting sites so as to protect their nests against predators. The main aim of the present work was to assess the effect of temporal and habitat variables on the daily nest survival rate of Eurasian Bitterns colonizing semi–natural fishpond habitat in eastern Poland. MARK software was used for the modelling. Eurasian Bittern nests were most vulnerable to depredation at the beginning of the breeding season. This was probably because the reedbed vegetation at this time was not yet dense enough to effectively conceal the nests. There was a positive relationship between nest age and the daily survival rate. Two of the habitat variables analysed were of the greatest significance: water depth and vegetation density. In the Eurasian Bittern population studied here, nests built over deep water and in dense vegetation had the best chances of survival. The results of this work may be useful in the preparation of plans for the conservation and management of populations of this rare and endangered species. Conservation and restoration efforts that attempt to maintain high water levels will be especially beneficial to this avian species that is dependent on wetland ecosystems for breeding. PMID:27350897

  5. Utility of Surface Pollen Assemblages to Delimit Eastern Eurasian Steppe Types

    PubMed Central

    Qin, Feng; Wang, Yu-Fei; Ferguson, David K.; Chen, Wen-Li; Li, Ya-Meng; Cai, Zhe; Wang, Qing; Ma, Hong-Zhen; Li, Cheng-Sen

    2015-01-01

    Modern pollen records have been used to successfully distinguish between specific prairie types in North America. Whether the pollen records can be used to detect the occurrence of Eurasian steppe, or even to further delimit various steppe types was until now unclear. Here we characterized modern pollen assemblages of meadow steppe, typical steppe and desert steppe from eastern Eurasia along an ecological humidity gradient. The multivariate ordination of the pollen data indicated that Eurasian steppe types could be clearly differentiated. The different steppe types could be distinguished primarily by xerophilous elements in the pollen assemblages. Redundancy analysis indicated that the relative abundances of Ephedra, Tamarix, Nitraria and Zygophyllaceae were positively correlated with aridity. The relative abundances of Ephedra increased from meadow steppe to typical steppe and desert steppe. Tamarix and Zygophyllaceae were found in both typical steppe and desert steppe, but not in meadow steppe. Nitraria was only found in desert steppe. The relative abundances of xerophilous elements were greater in desert steppe than in typical steppe. These findings indicate that Eurasian steppe types can be differentiated based on recent pollen rain. PMID:25763576

  6. How might the North American ice sheet influence the Northwestern Eurasian climate?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beghin, P.; Charbit, S.; Kageyama, M.; Dumas, C.; Ritz, C.

    2015-01-01

    During the last glacial period (∼21 000 years ago), two continental-scale ice sheets covered the Canada and northern Europe. It is now widely acknowledged that these past ice sheets exerted a strong influence on climate by causing changes in atmospheric and oceanic circulations. In turn, these changes may have impacted the development of the ice sheets themselves through a combination of different feedback mechanisms. The present study is designed to investigate the potential impact of the North American ice sheet on the surface mass balance (SMB) of the Eurasian ice sheet through simulated changes in the past glacial atmospheric circulation. Using the LMDz5 atmospheric circulation model, we carried out twelve experiments run under constant Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) conditions for insolation, greenhouse gases and ocean. In the all experiments, the Eurasian ice sheet is removed. The twelve experiments differ in the North American ice-sheet topography, ranging from a white and flat (present-day topography) ice sheet to a full-size LGM ice sheet. This experimental design allows to disentangle the albedo and the topographic impacts of the North American ice sheet onto the climate. The results are compared to our baseline experiment where both the North American and the Eurasian ice sheets have been removed. In summer, we show that the only albedo effect of the American ice sheet modifies the pattern of planetary waves with respect to the no-ice sheet case, causing a cooling of the Eurasian region. By contrast, the atmospheric circulation changes induced by the topography of the North American ice sheet imply summer warming in Northwestern Eurasia. In winter, the Scandinavian and the Barents-Kara regions respond differently to the albedo effect: in response to atmospheric circulation changes, Scandinavia is warmed up and precipitation is more abundant whereas Barents-Kara area is cooled down, decreasing convection process and thus leading to less precipitation. The

  7. The origin of Eurasian Mammoth Faunas (Mammuthus-Coelodonta Faunal Complex)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kahlke, Ralf-Dietrich

    2014-07-01

    Pleistocene Mammoth Faunas were the most successful, cold-adapted large mammal assemblages in the history of the Earth. However, the causes for their emergence can not be attributed only to the global trend of climate cooling which occurred during the Neogene/Quaternary period. The formation of the Eurasian Mammuthus-Coelodonta Faunal Complex was a result of interacting tectonic, geographical, climatic, ecological and phylogenetic processes. The key environmental factors controlling the origin and evolution of Palaearctic cold-adapted large mammal faunas were successive aridification of major parts of Eurasia, rhythmic global climatic cooling with prolonged and intensified cold stages, and increasing continentality. Between 2.6 Ma and around 700 ka BP, largely independent mammal faunas became established in continental Asian steppe regions as well as in the circumpolar tundra. Both faunal complexes were adapted to open environmental conditions but were largely separated from each other. The principal requirements in order for species to evolve into members of Mammoth Faunas are progressing adaptation to aridity, decreasing temperatures and rapid temperature fluctuations. Eurasian Mammoth Faunas were mainly composed of the descendants of either Central Asian steppe or Arctic tundra faunal elements. The majority of species of Central Asian origin emerged in regions north of the Himalayan-Tibetan uplift. Between 640 and 480 ka BP, saiga, musk-ox and reindeer occasionally spread far beyond the limits of their respective traditional areas, thus anticipating the subsequent merge of steppe and tundra originated species in Eurasian Mammoth Faunas. During the pronounced cold period of MIS 12, tundra species regularly expanded south- and southwestward into a newly formed type of biome, the so-called tundra-steppe. In parallel, species originating from the Asian steppe dispersed into new habitats north and northwest of their ancestral distribution areas. This drastic faunal

  8. Emergence of a sylvatic enzootic formosan ferret badger-associated rabies in Taiwan and the geographical separation of two phylogenetic groups of rabies viruses.

    PubMed

    Tsai, K J; Hsu, W C; Chuang, W C; Chang, J C; Tu, Y C; Tsai, H J; Liu, H F; Wang, F I; Lee, S H

    2016-01-01

    Taiwan had been declared rabies-free in humans and domestic animals for five decades until July 2013, when surprisingly, three Formosan ferret badgers (FB) were diagnosed with rabies. Since then, a variety of wild carnivores and other wildlife species have been found dead, neurologically ill, or exhibiting aggressive behaviors around the island. To determine the affected animal species, geographic areas, and environments, animal bodies were examined for rabies by direct fluorescent antibody test (FAT). The viral genomes from the brains of selected rabid animals were sequenced for the phylogeny of rabies viruses (RABV). Out of a total of 1016 wild carnivores, 276/831 (33.2%) Formosan FBs were FAT positive, with occasional biting incidents in 1 dog and suspected spillover in 1 house shrew. All other animals tested, including dogs, cats, bats, mice, house shrews, and squirrels, were rabies-negative. The rabies was badger-associated and confined to nine counties/cities in sylvatic environments. Phylogeny of nucleoprotein and glycoprotein genes from 59 Formosan FB-associated RABV revealed them to be clustered in two distinct groups, TWI and TWII, consistent with the geographic segregation into western and eastern Taiwan provided by the Central Mountain Range and into northern rabies-free and central-southern rabies-affected regions by a river bisecting western Taiwan. The unique features of geographic and genetic segregation, sylvatic enzooticity, and FB-association of RABV suggest a logical strategy for the control of rabies in this nation.

  9. Fine-scale landscape genetics of the American badger (Taxidea taxus): disentangling landscape effects and sampling artifacts in a poorly understood species

    PubMed Central

    Kierepka, E M; Latch, E K

    2016-01-01

    Landscape genetics is a powerful tool for conservation because it identifies landscape features that are important for maintaining genetic connectivity between populations within heterogeneous landscapes. However, using landscape genetics in poorly understood species presents a number of challenges, namely, limited life history information for the focal population and spatially biased sampling. Both obstacles can reduce power in statistics, particularly in individual-based studies. In this study, we genotyped 233 American badgers in Wisconsin at 12 microsatellite loci to identify alternative statistical approaches that can be applied to poorly understood species in an individual-based framework. Badgers are protected in Wisconsin owing to an overall lack in life history information, so our study utilized partial redundancy analysis (RDA) and spatially lagged regressions to quantify how three landscape factors (Wisconsin River, Ecoregions and land cover) impacted gene flow. We also performed simulations to quantify errors created by spatially biased sampling. Statistical analyses first found that geographic distance was an important influence on gene flow, mainly driven by fine-scale positive spatial autocorrelations. After controlling for geographic distance, both RDA and regressions found that Wisconsin River and Agriculture were correlated with genetic differentiation. However, only Agriculture had an acceptable type I error rate (3–5%) to be considered biologically relevant. Collectively, this study highlights the benefits of combining robust statistics and error assessment via simulations and provides a method for hypothesis testing in individual-based landscape genetics. PMID:26243136

  10. Why the honey badger don't care: Convergent evolution of venom-targeted nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in mammals that survive venomous snake bites.

    PubMed

    Drabeck, Danielle H; Dean, Antony M; Jansa, Sharon A

    2015-06-01

    Honey badgers (Mellivora capensis) prey upon and survive bites from venomous snakes (Family: Elapidae), but the molecular basis of their venom resistance is unknown. The muscular nicotinic cholinergic receptor (nAChR), targeted by snake α-neurotoxins, has evolved in some venom-resistant mammals to no longer bind these toxins. Through phylogenetic analysis of mammalian nAChR sequences, we show that honey badgers, hedgehogs, and pigs have independently acquired functionally equivalent amino acid replacements in the toxin-binding site of this receptor. These convergent amino acid changes impede toxin binding by introducing a positively charged amino acid in place of an uncharged aromatic residue. In venom-resistant mongooses, different replacements at these same sites are glycosylated, which is thought to disrupt binding through steric effects. Thus, it appears that resistance to snake venom α-neurotoxin has evolved at least four times among mammals through two distinct biochemical mechanisms operating at the same sites on the same receptor.

  11. Fine-scale landscape genetics of the American badger (Taxidea taxus): disentangling landscape effects and sampling artifacts in a poorly understood species.

    PubMed

    Kierepka, E M; Latch, E K

    2016-01-01

    Landscape genetics is a powerful tool for conservation because it identifies landscape features that are important for maintaining genetic connectivity between populations within heterogeneous landscapes. However, using landscape genetics in poorly understood species presents a number of challenges, namely, limited life history information for the focal population and spatially biased sampling. Both obstacles can reduce power in statistics, particularly in individual-based studies. In this study, we genotyped 233 American badgers in Wisconsin at 12 microsatellite loci to identify alternative statistical approaches that can be applied to poorly understood species in an individual-based framework. Badgers are protected in Wisconsin owing to an overall lack in life history information, so our study utilized partial redundancy analysis (RDA) and spatially lagged regressions to quantify how three landscape factors (Wisconsin River, Ecoregions and land cover) impacted gene flow. We also performed simulations to quantify errors created by spatially biased sampling. Statistical analyses first found that geographic distance was an important influence on gene flow, mainly driven by fine-scale positive spatial autocorrelations. After controlling for geographic distance, both RDA and regressions found that Wisconsin River and Agriculture were correlated with genetic differentiation. However, only Agriculture had an acceptable type I error rate (3-5%) to be considered biologically relevant. Collectively, this study highlights the benefits of combining robust statistics and error assessment via simulations and provides a method for hypothesis testing in individual-based landscape genetics.

  12. Detection and identification of Bartonella sp. in fleas from carnivorous mammals in Andalusia, Spain.

    PubMed

    Márquez, F J; Millán, J; Rodríguez-Liébana, J J; García-Egea, I; Muniain, M A

    2009-12-01

    A total of 559 fleas representing four species (Pulex irritans, Ctenocephalides felis, Ctenocephalides canis and Spilopsyllus cuniculi) collected on carnivores (five Iberian lynx Lynx pardinus, six European wildcat Felis silvestris, 10 common genet Genetta genetta, three Eurasian badger Meles meles, 22 red fox Vulpes vulpes, 87 dogs and 23 cats) in Andalusia, southern Spain, were distributed in 156 pools of monospecific flea from each carnivore, and tested for Bartonella infection in an assay based on polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification of the 16 S-23 S rRNA intergenic spacer region. Twenty-one samples (13.5%) were positive and the sequence data showed the presence of four different Bartonella species. Bartonella henselae was detected in nine pools of Ctenocephalides felis from cats and dogs and in three pools of Ctenocephalides canis from cats; Bartonella clarridgeiae in Ctenocephalides felis from a cat, and Bartonella alsatica in Spilopsyllus cuniculi from a wildcat. DNA of Bartonella sp., closely related to Bartonella rochalimae, was found in seven pools of Pulex irritans from foxes. This is the first detection of B. alsatica and Bartonella sp. in the Iberian Peninsula. All of these Bartonella species have been implicated as agents of human diseases. The present survey confirms that carnivores are major reservoirs for Bartonella spp.

  13. Large-scale serosurvey of Besnoitia besnoiti in free-living carnivores in Spain.

    PubMed

    Millán, Javier; Sobrino, Raquel; Rodríguez, Alejandro; Oleaga, Alvaro; Gortazar, Christian; Schares, Gereon

    2012-11-23

    The disease bovine besnoitiosis is responsible for severe economic losses caused by the protozoan Besnoitia besnoiti. The identity of the definitive host (DH) of this parasite has yet to be determined, although it is presumed to be a carnivore. With the aim of advancing in the identification of B. besnoiti DH, a necessary step in implementing control strategies, the contact rate of 205 free-roaming carnivores with this parasite in Spain was studied. The study included 16 wolves (Canis lupus), 41 red foxes (Vulpes vulpes), 21 pine martens (Martes martes), eight stone martens (M. foina), 12 Eurasian badgers (Meles meles), 18 common genets (Genetta genetta), five Egyptian mongooses (Herpestes ichneumon), 28 European wildcats (Felis silvestris silvestris), 43 feral cats (Felis silvestris catus), and 13 other animals belonging to five other species. Serum samples were analysed by an indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT) and by two western immunoblots (WB, one with tachyzoite and the other with bradyzoite antigen). Twelve individuals (eight of which were cats) seroconverted by one or other of these techniques but no individual showed seroconversion by IFAT and one of the WBs. The results provided no evidence to support the idea that within the geographical regions covered by the analysis wild carnivores are implicated in the transmission of B. besnoiti in Spain.

  14. Survey of Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis in road-killed wild carnivores in Portugal.

    PubMed

    Matos, Ana Cristina; Figueira, Luis; Martins, Maria Helena; Loureiro, Filipa; Pinto, Maria Lurdes; Matos, Manuela; Coelho, Ana Cláudia

    2014-12-01

    A survey to determine the occurrence of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP) in wild carnivores in Portugal was conducted by testing samples from road-killed animals between 2009 and 2012. Postmortem examinations were performed and tissues were collected from wild carnivores representing four families and six different species, with a total of 74 animals analyzed. Cultures were performed by using Löwenstein-Jensen and Middlebrook 7H11 solid media and acid-fast isolates were identified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and mycobactin dependency characteristics. Tissues were also screened for MAP by directly extracting DNA and testing for the MAP-specific sequences. The occurrence of infected animals (an animal had at least one tissue that was positive for culture or direct PCR) was 27.0% (n = 20). MAP was isolated from culture of 25 tissue samples (3.8%) and was detected by direct PCR in 40 (6.0%) samples. Infection was recorded in 5/6 studied species: 7/49 (14.3%) red foxes (Vulpes vulpes), 3/3 (100%) beech martens (Martes foina), 2/4 (50.0%) Eurasian otters (Lutra lutra), 7/15 (46.7%) Egyptian mongooses (Herpestes ichneumon), and 1/1 (100%) European badger (Meles meles). These species represent three different taxonomic families: Canidae (14.3% were positive), Mustelidae (75.0% were positive), and Herpestidae (46.7% were positive). The results of this study confirm the presence of MAP infection in wild carnivores in Portugal.

  15. The Role of Recent Admixture in Forming the Contemporary West Eurasian Genomic Landscape.

    PubMed

    Busby, George B J; Hellenthal, Garrett; Montinaro, Francesco; Tofanelli, Sergio; Bulayeva, Kazima; Rudan, Igor; Zemunik, Tatijana; Hayward, Caroline; Toncheva, Draga; Karachanak-Yankova, Sena; Nesheva, Desislava; Anagnostou, Paolo; Cali, Francesco; Brisighelli, Francesca; Romano, Valentino; Lefranc, Gerard; Buresi, Catherine; Ben Chibani, Jemni; Haj-Khelil, Amel; Denden, Sabri; Ploski, Rafal; Krajewski, Pawel; Hervig, Tor; Moen, Torolf; Herrera, Rene J; Wilson, James F; Myers, Simon; Capelli, Cristian

    2015-10-05

    Over the past few years, studies of DNA isolated from human fossils and archaeological remains have generated considerable novel insight into the history of our species. Several landmark papers have described the genomes of ancient humans across West Eurasia, demonstrating the presence of large-scale, dynamic population movements over the last 10,000 years, such that ancestry across present-day populations is likely to be a mixture of several ancient groups [1-7]. While these efforts are bringing the details of West Eurasian prehistory into increasing focus, studies aimed at understanding the processes behind the generation of the current West Eurasian genetic landscape have been limited by the number of populations sampled or have been either too regional or global in their outlook [8-11]. Here, using recently described haplotype-based techniques [11], we present the results of a systematic survey of recent admixture history across Western Eurasia and show that admixture is a universal property across almost all groups. Admixture in all regions except North Western Europe involved the influx of genetic material from outside of West Eurasia, which we date to specific time periods. Within Northern, Western, and Central Europe, admixture tended to occur between local groups during the period 300 to 1200 CE. Comparisons of the genetic profiles of West Eurasians before and after admixture show that population movements within the last 1,500 years are likely to have maintained differentiation among groups. Our analysis provides a timeline of the gene flow events that have generated the contemporary genetic landscape of West Eurasia.

  16. Effects of trans-Eurasian transport of air pollutants on surface ozone concentrations over Western China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Xiaoyuan; Liu, Junfeng; Mauzerall, Denise L.; Emmons, Louisa K.; Walters, Stacy; Horowitz, Larry W.; Tao, Shu

    2014-11-01

    Due to a lack of industrialization in Western China, surface air there was, until recently, believed to be relatively unpolluted. However, recent measurements and modeling studies have found high levels of ozone (O3) there. Based on the state-of-the-science global chemical transport model MOZART-4, we identify the origin, pathway, and mechanism of trans-Eurasian transport of air pollutants to Western China in 2000. MOZART-4 generally simulates well the observed surface O3 over inland areas of China. Simulations find surface ozone concentrations over Western China on average to be about 10 ppbv higher than Eastern China. Using sensitivity studies, we find that anthropogenic emissions from all Eurasian regions except China contribute 10-15 ppbv surface O3 over Western China, superimposed upon a 35-40 ppbv natural background. Transport from European anthropogenic sources to Northwestern China results in 2-6 ppbv O3 enhancements in spring and summer. Indian anthropogenic sources strongly influence O3 over the Tibetan Plateau during the summer monsoon. Transport of O3 originating from emissions in the Middle East occasionally reach Western China and increase surface ozone there by about 1-4 ppbv. These influences are of similar magnitude as trans-Pacific and transatlantic transport of O3 and its precursors, indicating the significance of trans-Eurasian ozone transport in hemispheric transport of air pollution. Our study further indicates that mitigation of anthropogenic emissions from Europe, the Indian subcontinent, and the Middle East could benefit public health and agricultural productivity in Western China.

  17. Effects of trans-Eurasian transport of anthropogenic pollutants on surface ozone concentrations over China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, J.; Li, X.; Mauzerall, D. L.; Emmons, L. K.; Horowitz, L. W.; Guo, Y.; Tao, S.

    2015-12-01

    Due to a lack of industrialization in Western China, surface air there was, until recently, believed to be relatively unpolluted. However, recent measurements and modeling studies have found high levels of ozone (O3) there. Based on the state-of-the-science global chemical transport model MOZART-4, we identify the origin, pathway, and mechanism of trans-Eurasian transport of air pollutants to Western China in 2000. MOZART-4 generally simulates well the observed surface O3 over inland areas of China. Simulations find surface ozone concentrations over Western China on average to be about 10 ppbv higher than Eastern China. Using sensitivity studies as well as a fully-tagged approach, we find that anthropogenic emissions from all Eurasian regions except China contribute 10-15 ppbv surface O3 over Western China, superimposed upon a 35-40 ppbv natural background. Transport from European anthropogenic sources to Northwestern China results in 2-6 ppbv O3 enhancements in spring and summer. Indian anthropogenic sources strongly influence O3 over the Tibetan Plateau during the summer monsoon. Transport of O3 originating from emissions in the Middle East occasionally reach Western China and increase surface ozone there by about 1-4 ppbv. These influences are of similar magnitude as trans-Pacific and transatlantic transport of O3 and its precursors, indicating the significance of trans-Eurasian ozone transport in hemispheric transport of air pollution. Our study further indicates that mitigation of anthropogenic emissions from Europe, the Indian subcontinent, and the Middle East could benefit public health and agricultural productivity in Western China.

  18. Indigenous Arabs are descendants of the earliest split from ancient Eurasian populations

    PubMed Central

    Rodriguez-Flores, Juan L.; Fakhro, Khalid; Agosto-Perez, Francisco; Ramstetter, Monica D.; Arbiza, Leonardo; Vincent, Thomas L.; Robay, Amal; Malek, Joel A.; Suhre, Karsten; Chouchane, Lotfi; Badii, Ramin; Al-Nabet Al-Marri, Ajayeb; Abi Khalil, Charbel; Zirie, Mahmoud; Jayyousi, Amin; Salit, Jacqueline; Keinan, Alon; Clark, Andrew G.; Crystal, Ronald G.; Mezey, Jason G.

    2016-01-01

    An open question in the history of human migration is the identity of the earliest Eurasian populations that have left contemporary descendants. The Arabian Peninsula was the initial site of the out-of-Africa migrations that occurred between 125,000 and 60,000 yr ago, leading to the hypothesis that the first Eurasian populations were established on the Peninsula and that contemporary indigenous Arabs are direct descendants of these ancient peoples. To assess this hypothesis, we sequenced the entire genomes of 104 unrelated natives of the Arabian Peninsula at high coverage, including 56 of indigenous Arab ancestry. The indigenous Arab genomes defined a cluster distinct from other ancestral groups, and these genomes showed clear hallmarks of an ancient out-of-Africa bottleneck. Similar to other Middle Eastern populations, the indigenous Arabs had higher levels of Neanderthal admixture compared to Africans but had lower levels than Europeans and Asians. These levels of Neanderthal admixture are consistent with an early divergence of Arab ancestors after the out-of-Africa bottleneck but before the major Neanderthal admixture events in Europe and other regions of Eurasia. When compared to worldwide populations sampled in the 1000 Genomes Project, although the indigenous Arabs had a signal of admixture with Europeans, they clustered in a basal, outgroup position to all 1000 Genomes non-Africans when considering pairwise similarity across the entire genome. These results place indigenous Arabs as the most distant relatives of all other contemporary non-Africans and identify these people as direct descendants of the first Eurasian populations established by the out-of-Africa migrations. PMID:26728717

  19. The Role of Recent Admixture in Forming the Contemporary West Eurasian Genomic Landscape

    PubMed Central

    Busby, George B.J.; Hellenthal, Garrett; Montinaro, Francesco; Tofanelli, Sergio; Bulayeva, Kazima; Rudan, Igor; Zemunik, Tatijana; Hayward, Caroline; Toncheva, Draga; Karachanak-Yankova, Sena; Nesheva, Desislava; Anagnostou, Paolo; Cali, Francesco; Brisighelli, Francesca; Romano, Valentino; Lefranc, Gerard; Buresi, Catherine; Ben Chibani, Jemni; Haj-Khelil, Amel; Denden, Sabri; Ploski, Rafal; Krajewski, Pawel; Hervig, Tor; Moen, Torolf; Herrera, Rene J.; Wilson, James F.; Myers, Simon; Capelli, Cristian

    2015-01-01

    Summary Over the past few years, studies of DNA isolated from human fossils and archaeological remains have generated considerable novel insight into the history of our species. Several landmark papers have described the genomes of ancient humans across West Eurasia, demonstrating the presence of large-scale, dynamic population movements over the last 10,000 years, such that ancestry across present-day populations is likely to be a mixture of several ancient groups [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. While these efforts are bringing the details of West Eurasian prehistory into increasing focus, studies aimed at understanding the processes behind the generation of the current West Eurasian genetic landscape have been limited by the number of populations sampled or have been either too regional or global in their outlook [8, 9, 10, 11]. Here, using recently described haplotype-based techniques [11], we present the results of a systematic survey of recent admixture history across Western Eurasia and show that admixture is a universal property across almost all groups. Admixture in all regions except North Western Europe involved the influx of genetic material from outside of West Eurasia, which we date to specific time periods. Within Northern, Western, and Central Europe, admixture tended to occur between local groups during the period 300 to 1200 CE. Comparisons of the genetic profiles of West Eurasians before and after admixture show that population movements within the last 1,500 years are likely to have maintained differentiation among groups. Our analysis provides a timeline of the gene flow events that have generated the contemporary genetic landscape of West Eurasia. PMID:26387712

  20. Combined analysis of land cover change and NDVI trends in the Northern Eurasian grain belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wright, Christopher K.; de Beurs, Kirsten M.; Henebry, Geoffrey M.

    2012-06-01

    We present an approach to regional environmental monitoring in the Northern Eurasian grain belt combining time series analysis of MODIS normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) data over the period 2001-2008 and land cover change (LCC) analysis of the 2001 and 2008 MODIS Global Land Cover product (MCD12Q1). NDVI trends were overwhelmingly negative across the grain belt with statistically significant ( p⩽0.05) positive trends covering only 1% of the land surface. LCC was dominated by transitions between three classes; cropland, grassland, and a mixed cropland/natural vegetation mosaic. Combining our analyses of NDVI trends and LCC, we found a pattern of agricultural abandonment (cropland to grassland) in the southern range of the grain belt coinciding with statistically significant ( p⩽0.05) negative NDVI trends and likely driven by regional drought. In the northern range of the grain belt we found an opposite tendency toward agricultural intensification; in this case, represented by LCC from cropland mosaic to pure cropland, and also associated with statistically significant ( p⩽0.05) negative NDVI trends. Relatively small clusters of statistically significant ( p⩽0.05) positive NDVI trends corresponding with both localized land abandonment and localized agricultural intensification show that land use decision making is not uniform across the region. Land surface change in the Northern Eurasian grain belt is part of a larger pattern of land cover land use change (LCLUC) in Eastern Europe, Russia, and former territories of the Soviet Union following realignment of socialist land tenure and agricultural markets. Here, we show that a combined analysis of LCC and NDVI trends provides a more complete picture of the complexities of LCLUC in the Northern Eurasian grain belt, involving both broader climatic forcing, and narrower anthropogenic impacts, than might be obtained from either analysis alone.

  1. Sexual dimorphism in territorial scent marking by adult Eurasian beavers (Castor fiber).

    PubMed

    Rosell, Frank; Thomsen, Liat R

    2006-06-01

    Mammalian scent marking is often associated with territorial defense. However, males and females may demonstrate different activity patterns and play different roles. Female mammals nurture the young during lactation, while males purportedly perform other tasks more frequently, such as territorial maintenance and defense. This paper investigates the contribution made by mated pairs of adult males and females to territorial scent-marking in the obligate monogamous Eurasian beavers (Castor fiber). We hypothesized that both sexes should show territorial behavior, and predicted that they deposit a higher proportion of scent marks at borders. We also hypothesized that a sexual dimorphism exists due to reproductive constraints on the females, and predicted that males should invest significantly more in scent-marking behavior than females during summer. We obtained behavioral data by radio tracking six mated pairs of Eurasian beavers during spring and summer 2000-2001 on two rivers in southeastern Norway. Our results showed that both males and females clustered their scent marks near territorial borders, but males deposited a larger number of scent marks than females and spent more time at borders. Males were also found to have a higher scent marking rate and scent marks per night than females during summer, but not during spring. Overall, scent marks per night were higher in males than females. We conclude that both males and females Eurasian beavers carry out territorial behavior by scent marking, but males carry a larger part of the territorial defense during summer when females lactate. Our results are discussed in the light of the codefense hypothesis.

  2. Population Structure of UK Biobank and Ancient Eurasians Reveals Adaptation at Genes Influencing Blood Pressure.

    PubMed

    Galinsky, Kevin J; Loh, Po-Ru; Mallick, Swapan; Patterson, Nick J; Price, Alkes L

    2016-11-03

    Analyzing genetic differences between closely related populations can be a powerful way to detect recent adaptation. The very large sample size of the UK Biobank is ideal for using population differentiation to detect selection and enables an analysis of the UK population structure at fine resolution. In this study, analyses of 113,851 UK Biobank samples showed that population structure in the UK is dominated by five principal components (PCs) spanning six clusters: Northern Ireland, Scotland, northern England, southern England, and two Welsh clusters. Analyses of ancient Eurasians revealed that populations in the northern UK have higher levels of Steppe ancestry and that UK population structure cannot be explained as a simple mixture of Celts and Saxons. A scan for unusual population differentiation along the top PCs identified a genome-wide-significant signal of selection at the coding variant rs601338 in FUT2 (p = 9.16 × 10(-9)). In addition, by combining evidence of unusual differentiation within the UK with evidence from ancient Eurasians, we identified genome-wide-significant (p = 5 × 10(-8)) signals of recent selection at two additional loci: CYP1A2-CSK and F12. We detected strong associations between diastolic blood pressure in the UK Biobank and both the variants with selection signals at CYP1A2-CSK (p = 1.10 × 10(-19)) and the variants with ancient Eurasian selection signals at the ATXN2-SH2B3 locus (p = 8.00 × 10(-33)), implicating recent adaptation related to blood pressure.

  3. Warming of the Eurasian landmass is making the Arabian Sea more productive.

    PubMed

    Goes, Joaquim I; Thoppil, Prasad G; Gomes, Helga do R; Fasullo, John T

    2005-04-22

    The recent trend of declining winter and spring snow cover over Eurasia is causing a land-ocean thermal gradient that is particularly favorable to stronger southwest (summer) monsoon winds. Since 1997, sea surface winds have been strengthening over the western Arabian Sea. This escalation in the intensity of summer monsoon winds, accompanied by enhanced upwelling and an increase of more than 350% in average summertime phytoplankton biomass along the coast and over 300% offshore, raises the possibility that the current warming trend of the Eurasian landmass is making the Arabian Sea more productive.

  4. Eurasian blackbird predated by wild Rhinopithecus roxellana in the Qinling Mountains, China.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Dapeng; Wang, Xiaowei; Watanabe, Kunio; Li, Baoguo

    2008-09-01

    Although there are some reports that have described primates eating animals, it is unknown whether predation on vertebrates exists in herbivorous leaf-eating primates. We have witnessed firsthand wild Sichuan snub-nosed monkeys (Rhinopithecus roxellana) preying on and consuming Eurasian blackbirds (Turdus meruld) in the Qinling Mountains of China. This event suggests that R. roxellana, which has previously been described as a herbivorous leaf-eating primate, may be partially carnivorous and the correct classification of this species would be omnivorous. Furthermore, food-share behavior among higher-ranked members occurs in a one-male unit when vertebrate prey is hunted by this species.

  5. Isolation and characterization of unusual Mycoplasma spp. from captive Eurasian Griffon (Gyps fulvus) in Sicily.

    PubMed

    Loria, G R; Ferrantelli, E; Giardina, G; Li Vecchi, L; Sparacino, L; Oliveri, F; McAuliffe, L; Nicholas, R A J

    2008-01-01

    Mycoplasmas have been isolated from birds of prey during clinical examinations, but their significance to the health of raptors is unclear. We report the isolation and characterization of four mycoplasmas found in the upper respiratory tract of four sick Eurasian Griffon (Gyps fulvus) that were housed in a Sicilian rehabilitation center at Ficuzza, near Palermo in Sicily, before reintroduction into the wild. These included Mycoplasma gallinarum, an unidentified mycoplasma highly similar to Mycoplasma glycophilum, and two unidentified mycoplasmas with similarities to Mycoplasma falconis and Mycoplasma gateae.

  6. [Social play in the development of sibling relations in Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx)].

    PubMed

    Alekseeva, G S; Antonevich, A L; Erofeeva, M N; Naĭdenko, S V

    2014-01-01

    Social play fulfills an important function in creating and maintaining relations between siblings. However, its relationship with the intralitter social processes is poorly understood. It was noticed that, in Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) litters, sex differences in social play are absent in the first 2-3 months of life. Itwas found that the most intense periods of play behavior (at an age of 9 and 1-2 weeks) coincide with periods of aggression. Gradual change in play interactions, which require close physical contact by play elements with increased motor activity, are described. This reflects the changes in the relevance of certain skills of lynx cubs as they grow older.

  7. Tool-use in a display behaviour by Eurasian beavers (Castor fiber).

    PubMed

    Thomsen, Liat R; Campbell, Ruairidh D; Rosell, Frank

    2007-10-01

    Tool use is rare amongst rodents and has never been recorded in connection with agonistic displays. We witnessed a behaviour, stick display (StD), involving tool use in free-living Eurasian beavers (Castor fiber) that we conclude is a display behaviour. Two beavers were the main performers of the signal that was observed in at least six beavers from three families. Beavers reacted to displays by increased evasive and agonistic behaviours compared with their usual behavioural patterns when at territory borders. The behaviour was almost exclusively seen between rivals at territory borders. We suggest that the display is used in agonistic encounters, mainly in a territorial context.

  8. Ectoparasites of the endangered Iberian lynx Lynx pardinus and sympatric wild and domestic carnivores in Spain.

    PubMed

    Millán, J; Ruiz-Fons, F; Márquez, F J; Viota, M; López-Bao, J V; Paz Martín-Mateo, M

    2007-09-01

    Ectoparasites can cause important skin disorders in animals and can also transmit pathogens. The Iberian lynx Lynx pardinus has been stated to be the most endangered felid in the world and such vector-borne pathogens may threaten its survival. We surveyed 98 wild carnivores (26 Iberian lynxes, 34 red foxes Vulpes vulpes, 24 Egyptian mongooses Herpestes ichneumon, 11 common genets Genetta genetta, two Eurasian badgers Meles meles, one polecat Mustela putorius) and 75 domestic but free-ranging carnivores (46 cats Felis catus, 29 dogs Canis familiaris) from June 2004 to June 2006 in the two areas where the last lynx metapopulations survive: Sierra Morena and Doñana (Andalusia, southern Spain). A total of 65% of lynxes were parasitized (50% by ticks, 19% by fleas, 4% by lice, 31% by hippoboscid flies), as were 75% of foxes (58%, 60%, 0%, 19%), 71% of mongooses (50%, 4%, 46%, 0%), 54% of genets (18%, 36%, 0%, 0%), 30% of cats (22%, 14%, 0%, 2%), and 7% of dogs (surveyed only for ticks). Both badgers presented ticks, fleas and lice. Five species of ixodid ticks (Rhipicephalus pusillus Gil Collado, Rhipicephalus turanicus Pomerantzev and Matikashvili, Ixodes ricinus (Linnaeus), Ixodes hexagonus Leach and Ixodes ventalloi Gil Collado; and Hyalomma sp.), four species of fleas (Ctenocephalides canis Curtis, Pulex irritans Linnaeus, Spilopsyllus cuniculi (Dale), Xenopsylla cunicularis Smit), three species of chewing lice (Felicola (Felicola) inequalis (Piaget), Trichodectes (Trichodectes) melis (Fabricius), and Felicola (Lorisicola) isidoroi Pérez and Palma), and one species of hippoboscid fly (Hippobosca longipennis (Fabricius)) were found. We did not detect any cases of mange. Hippobosca longipennis is a new record for Spanish wildlife, and all the flea species are new records for the Iberian lynx. Fleas were more frequent on lynxes and foxes in winter than in spring. Rhipicephalus spp. were more frequent on cats in spring than in any other season. These and other

  9. Resurrection and redescription of Varestrongylus alces (Nematoda; Protostrongylidae), a lungworm of Eurasian elk (Alces alces), with a report on associated pathology

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Varestrongylus alces Demidova & Naumitscheva, 1953 is resurrected for protostrongylid nematodes of Eurasian elk in Europe. Descriptions of males (11.36-16.95 mm) and females (16.25- 21.52 mm) are based on specimens collected from the terminal bronchioles in the lungs of Eurasian elk, Alces alces (L...

  10. Monitoring testicular activity of male Eurasian (Lynx lynx) and Iberian (Lynx pardinus) lynx by fecal testosterone metabolite measurement.

    PubMed

    Jewgenow, K; Naidenko, S V; Goeritz, F; Vargas, A; Dehnhard, M

    2006-11-01

    The aim of the present study was to identify relevant fecal testosterone metabolites in the Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) using HPLC analysis and to evaluate the specificity of two testosterone immunoassays against these fecal metabolites. Finally, fecal hormone analysis was used to characterize seasonal reproductive activity of captive male Eurasian and Iberian (Lynx pardinus) lynx. Fecal samples from a male Eurasian lynx who received an i.v. injection of [3H]testosterone were subjected to HPLC analysis. All HPLC fractions were analyzed for radioactivity and androgen content by two testosterone immune assays (EIA and Testosterone-Immulite kits, DPC Biermann, Germany). Furthermore, fecal samples from four Eurasian lynx males (n=174) and three Iberian lynx (n=52) were collected throughout the year and fecal testosterone metabolites were determined with Testosterone-Immulite assay. HPLC separation of radiolabeled Eurasian lynx fecal extract indicated that the majority of testosterone metabolites are substances with a higher polarity than testosterone. Only minor proportion of radioactivity co-eluted with authentic testosterone and dihydrotestosterone. Enzymatic hydrolysis and solvolysis of the fecal extract were insufficient to liberate testosterone. After solvolysis relatively more activity was eluated the position of DHT, but the majority of metabolites remained unaffected. The EIA measured substantial amount of immunoreactivity, which corresponded with two radioactive peaks. Additionally, both immunoassays recognized two metabolites, which were only minor components according to their radioactivity. The Immulite assay was able to recognize a metabolite at the position of dihydrotestosterone. HPLC separation of Iberian lynx feces extracts revealed a similar metabolite pattern determined by EIA that were typical for Eurasian lynx fecal extracts. Simultaneous analyses of fecal samples with both testosterone assays provided comparative results for both lynx species

  11. Differential mobilization of terrestrial carbon pools in Eurasian Arctic river basins

    PubMed Central

    Feng, Xiaojuan; Vonk, Jorien E.; van Dongen, Bart E.; Gustafsson, Örjan; Semiletov, Igor P.; Dudarev, Oleg V.; Wang, Zhiheng; Montluçon, Daniel B.; Wacker, Lukas; Eglinton, Timothy I.

    2013-01-01

    Mobilization of Arctic permafrost carbon is expected to increase with warming-induced thawing. However, this effect is challenging to assess due to the diverse processes controlling the release of various organic carbon (OC) pools from heterogeneous Arctic landscapes. Here, by radiocarbon dating various terrestrial OC components in fluvially and coastally integrated estuarine sediments, we present a unique framework for deconvoluting the contrasting mobilization mechanisms of surface vs. deep (permafrost) carbon pools across the climosequence of the Eurasian Arctic. Vascular plant-derived lignin phenol 14C contents reveal significant inputs of young carbon from surface sources whose delivery is dominantly controlled by river runoff. In contrast, plant wax lipids predominantly trace ancient (permafrost) OC that is preferentially mobilized from discontinuous permafrost regions, where hydrological conduits penetrate deeper into soils and thermokarst erosion occurs more frequently. Because river runoff has significantly increased across the Eurasian Arctic in recent decades, we estimate from an isotopic mixing model that, in tandem with an increased transfer of young surface carbon, the proportion of mobilized terrestrial OC accounted for by ancient carbon has increased by 3–6% between 1985 and 2004. These findings suggest that although partly masked by surface carbon export, climate change-induced mobilization of old permafrost carbon is well underway in the Arctic. PMID:23940354

  12. Mitochondrial Genetic Diversity of Eurasian Red Squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris) from Denmark.

    PubMed

    Madsen, Corrie L; Vilstrup, Julia T; Fernández, Ruth; Marchi, Nina; Håkansson, Bo; Krog, Mogens; Asferg, Tommy; Baagøe, Hans; Orlando, Ludovic

    2015-01-01

    Melanistic Eurasian red squirrels Sciurus vulgaris are commonly found on the Danish island of Funen. They are thought to represent native Danish squirrel types and are presently under threat from admixture with introduced red squirrels. In response, a conservation program was started in 2009 that involves the translocation of melanistic squirrels from Funen to the squirrel-free island of Langeland. Using mitochondrial DNA of 101 historical and modern samples from throughout Denmark, we assess for the first time population structure and mitochondrial genetic diversity of Danish squirrels compared to its larger pan-Eurasian distribution. We find that Danish squirrels have low levels of genetic diversity, especially melanistic individuals. Bayesian skyline reconstructions show that Danish squirrels have most probably experienced a severe bottleneck within the last 200 years. Also, fine-scale genetic structure was found between squirrels from the regions of Funen, Zealand and Jutland, which mimics the insular geography of Denmark. Additional nuclear DNA analyses will be required to determine the precise admixture levels between original Danish and introduced squirrels and to locate unmixed candidate populations for specific conservation efforts.

  13. The Cenozoic Eurasian plate is not a single rigid plate: clues from paleomagnetism. (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cogné, J.

    2013-12-01

    The Cenozoic paleomagnetic inclination anomaly in Central Asia has been explained as a generalized error in the sedimentary magnetic field record over Asia due to an inclination flattening mechanism or as a persistent anomalous non-dipolar component of the magnetic field throughout the Tertiary. We propose that the inclination anomaly does not primarily result from either of these mechanisms. We present an analysis of the Asian paleomagnetic database for Meso-Cenozoic times from which we conclude that the inclination anomaly is most likely related to an underestimated global plate-tectonics cause. Based on this analysis, we propose that the wide so-called Eurasian plate has undergone sinistral transpressive north-south relative movements between its western and eastern parts since the end of the Cretaceous. These Cenozoic relative movements might have been located along the Ural Mountain chain with also some components along the Tornquist-Tesseyre line in central Europe. Therefore, we conclude that the Eurasian plate is not a rigid plate as commonly considered, at least since the late Mesozoic.

  14. Twenty-five winters of unexpected Eurasian cooling unlikely due to Arctic sea-ice loss

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCusker, Kelly E.; Fyfe, John C.; Sigmond, Michael

    2016-11-01

    Surface air temperature over central Eurasia decreased over the past twenty-five winters at a time of strongly increasing anthropogenic forcing and Arctic amplification. It has been suggested that this cooling was related to an increase in cold winters due to sea-ice loss in the Barents-Kara Sea. Here we use over 600 years of atmosphere-only global climate model simulations to isolate the effect of Arctic sea-ice loss, complemented with a 50-member ensemble of atmosphere-ocean global climate model simulations allowing for external forcing changes (anthropogenic and natural) and internal variability. In our atmosphere-only simulations, we find no evidence of Arctic sea-ice loss having impacted Eurasian surface temperature. In our atmosphere-ocean simulations, we find just one simulation with Eurasian cooling of the observed magnitude but Arctic sea-ice loss was not involved, either directly or indirectly. Rather, in this simulation the cooling is due to a persistent circulation pattern combining high pressure over the Barents-Kara Sea and a downstream trough. We conclude that the observed cooling over central Eurasia was probably due to a sea-ice-independent internally generated circulation pattern ensconced over, and nearby, the Barents-Kara Sea since the 1980s. These results improve our knowledge of high-latitude climate variability and change, with implications for our understanding of impacts in high-northern-latitude systems.

  15. Influence of October Eurasian snow on winter temperature over Northeast China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Huanlian; Wang, Huijun; Jiang, Dabang

    2017-01-01

    This paper addresses the interannual variation of winter air temperature over Northeast China and its connection to preceding Eurasian snow cover. The results show that there is a significant negative correlation between October Eurasian snow cover and following-winter air temperature over Northeast China. The snow cover located in eastern Siberia and to the northeast of Lake Baikal plays an important role in the winter air temperature anomaly. More (less) eastern Siberia snow in October can cause an atmospheric circulation anomaly pattern in which the atmospheric pressure is higher (lower) than normal in the polar region and lower (higher) in the northern mid-high latitudes. Due to the persistence of the eastern Siberia snow from October to the following winter, the winter atmospheric anomaly is favorable (unfavorable) to the widespread movement of cold air masses from the polar region toward the northern mid-high latitudes and, hence, lower (higher) temperature over Northeast China. Simultaneously, when the October snow cover is more (less), the SST in the northwestern Pacific is continuously lower (higher) as a whole; then, the Aleutian low and the East Asia trough are reinforced (weakened), favoring the lower (higher) temperature over Northeast China.

  16. Factors influencing territorial occupancy and reproductive success in a Eurasian Eagle-owl (Bubo bubo) population.

    PubMed

    León-Ortega, Mario; Jiménez-Franco, María V; Martínez, José E; Calvo, José F

    2017-01-01

    Modelling territorial occupancy and reproductive success is a key issue for better understanding the population dynamics of territorial species. This study aimed to investigate these ecological processes in a Eurasian Eagle-owl (Bubo bubo) population in south-eastern Spain during a seven-year period. A multi-season, multi-state modelling approach was followed to estimate the probabilities of occupancy and reproductive success in relation to previous state, time and habitat covariates, and accounting for imperfect detection. The best estimated models showed past breeding success in the territories to be the most important factor determining a high probability of reoccupation and reproductive success in the following year. In addition, alternative occupancy models suggested the positive influence of crops on the probability of territory occupation. By contrast, the best reproductive model revealed strong interannual variations in the rates of breeding success, which may be related to changes in the abundance of the European Rabbit, the main prey of the Eurasian Eagle-owl. Our models also estimated the probabilities of detecting the presence of owls in a given territory and the probability of detecting evidence of successful reproduction. Estimated detection probabilities were high throughout the breeding season, decreasing in time for unsuccessful breeders but increasing for successful breeders. The probability of detecting reproductive success increased with time, being close to one in the last survey. These results suggest that reproduction failure in the early stages of the breeding season is a determinant factor in the probability of detecting occupancy and reproductive success.

  17. Afghan Hindu Kush: Where Eurasian Sub-Continent Gene Flows Converge

    PubMed Central

    Mazières, Stéphane; Myres, Natalie M.; Lin, Alice A.; Temori, Shah Aga; Metspalu, Mait; Metspalu, Ene; Witzel, Michael; King, Roy J.; Underhill, Peter A.; Villems, Richard; Chiaroni, Jacques

    2013-01-01

    Despite being located at the crossroads of Asia, genetics of the Afghanistan populations have been largely overlooked. It is currently inhabited by five major ethnic populations: Pashtun, Tajik, Hazara, Uzbek and Turkmen. Here we present autosomal from a subset of our samples, mitochondrial and Y- chromosome data from over 500 Afghan samples among these 5 ethnic groups. This Afghan data was supplemented with the same Y-chromosome analyses of samples from Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia and updated Pakistani samples (HGDP-CEPH). The data presented here was integrated into existing knowledge of pan-Eurasian genetic diversity. The pattern of genetic variation, revealed by structure-like and Principal Component analyses and Analysis of Molecular Variance indicates that the people of Afghanistan are made up of a mosaic of components representing various geographic regions of Eurasian ancestry. The absence of a major Central Asian-specific component indicates that the Hindu Kush, like the gene pool of Central Asian populations in general, is a confluence of gene flows rather than a source of distinctly autochthonous populations that have arisen in situ: a conclusion that is reinforced by the phylogeography of both haploid loci. PMID:24204668

  18. Differential mobilization of terrestrial carbon pools in Eurasian Arctic river basins.

    PubMed

    Feng, Xiaojuan; Vonk, Jorien E; van Dongen, Bart E; Gustafsson, Örjan; Semiletov, Igor P; Dudarev, Oleg V; Wang, Zhiheng; Montluçon, Daniel B; Wacker, Lukas; Eglinton, Timothy I

    2013-08-27

    Mobilization of Arctic permafrost carbon is expected to increase with warming-induced thawing. However, this effect is challenging to assess due to the diverse processes controlling the release of various organic carbon (OC) pools from heterogeneous Arctic landscapes. Here, by radiocarbon dating various terrestrial OC components in fluvially and coastally integrated estuarine sediments, we present a unique framework for deconvoluting the contrasting mobilization mechanisms of surface vs. deep (permafrost) carbon pools across the climosequence of the Eurasian Arctic. Vascular plant-derived lignin phenol (14)C contents reveal significant inputs of young carbon from surface sources whose delivery is dominantly controlled by river runoff. In contrast, plant wax lipids predominantly trace ancient (permafrost) OC that is preferentially mobilized from discontinuous permafrost regions, where hydrological conduits penetrate deeper into soils and thermokarst erosion occurs more frequently. Because river runoff has significantly increased across the Eurasian Arctic in recent decades, we estimate from an isotopic mixing model that, in tandem with an increased transfer of young surface carbon, the proportion of mobilized terrestrial OC accounted for by ancient carbon has increased by 3-6% between 1985 and 2004. These findings suggest that although partly masked by surface carbon export, climate change-induced mobilization of old permafrost carbon is well underway in the Arctic.

  19. Free-ranging Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) as host of Toxoplasma gondii in Finland.

    PubMed

    Jokelainen, Pikka; Deksne, Gunita; Holmala, Katja; Näreaho, Anu; Laakkonen, Juha; Kojola, Ilpo; Sukura, Antti

    2013-07-01

    We investigated the presence of Toxoplasma gondii infections in Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) in Finland by analyzing samples from 337 lynx that were legally hunted during the 2010-2011 season and by performing a retrospective nationwide database search of postmortem toxoplasmosis diagnoses in this species. We detected specific anti-T. gondii IgG antibodies in 290 (86.1%) of the 337 lynx. The method used was a direct agglutination test, and samples positive at the used dilution 1:40 were defined as antibody positive. Older lynx had 14.3 times higher odds of being antibody-positive than did lynx of the presumed age of 7-10 mo, and lynx weighing >15 kg had 16.7 times higher odds of being antibody positive than did those ≤ 15 kg. Lynx from the southwest were more often antibody positive, with an odds ratio 6.3, than lynx from the northeast. None of the 332 fecal samples available was positive for the presence of T. gondii-like oocysts with a quantitative MgSO4 flotation technique, and none of the 167 free-ranging Eurasian lynx examined postmortem by veterinary pathologists from January 2000 to May 2010 had died from toxoplasmosis. Although Finnish lynx were confirmed to commonly encounter T. gondii, we found no evidence of an ongoing contribution to the environmental oocyst burden nor of the lynx dying from the infection.

  20. Arboreal locomotion in Eurasian harvest mice Micromys Minutus (Rodentia: Muridae): The gaits of small mammals.

    PubMed

    Karantanis, Nikolaos-Evangelos; Rychlik, Leszek; Herrel, Anthony; Youlatos, Dionisios

    2017-03-23

    Body size imposes significant constraints on arboreal locomotion. Despite the wealth of research in larger arboreal mammals, there is a lack of data on arboreal gaits of small mammals. In this context, the present study explores arboreal locomotion in one of the smallest rodents, the Eurasian harvest mice Micromys minutus (∼10 g). We examined gait metrics (i.e., diagonality, duty factor [DF], DF index, velocity, stride length, and stride frequency) of six adult male mice on simulated arboreal substrates of different sizes (2, 5, 10, and 25 mm) and inclinations (0(0) and 45(0) ). Micromys minutus employed slow, lateral sequence symmetrical gaits on the smaller substrates, which shifted to progressively faster symmetrical gaits of higher diagonality on larger substrates. Both ascents and descents were associated with a higher diagonality, and ascents with a higher DF index compared to horizontal locomotion, underscoring the role of the grasping hind feet. Velocity increase was brought about primarily by an increase in stride frequency, a pattern often encountered in other small mammals, with a secondary and significant contribution of stride length. These findings indicate that, except for velocity and the way it is regulated, there are no significant differences in gait metrics between larger and smaller arboreal mammals. Moreover, the locomotor adaptations of Eurasian harvest mice represent behavioral mechanisms that promote stable, safe, and continuous navigation along slender substrates and ultimately contribute to the successful exploitation of the arboreal milieu.

  1. Cryptosporidium suis and Cryptosporidium scrofarum in Eurasian wild boars (Sus scrofa) in Central Europe.

    PubMed

    Němejc, Karel; Sak, Bohumil; Květoňová, Dana; Hanzal, Vladimír; Janiszewski, Paweł; Forejtek, Pavel; Rajský, Dušan; Ravaszová, Petra; McEvoy, John; Kváč, Martin

    2013-11-08

    From 2011 to 2012, to identify Cryptosporidium spp. occurrence in Eurasian wild boars (Sus scrofa) 29 randomly selected localities (both forest areas and enclosures) across the Central European countries of Austria, the Czech Republic, Poland, and the Slovak Republic were investigated. Cryptosporidium oocysts were microscopicaly detected in 11 out of 460 faecal samples examined using aniline-carbol-methyl violet staining. Sixty-one Cryptosporidium infections, including the 11 infections that were detected by microscopy, were detected using genus- or species-specific nested PCR amplification of SSU rDNA. This represents a 5.5 fold greater sensitivity for PCR relative to microscopy. Combining genus- and species-specific PCR tools significantly changes the perspective on the occurrence of Cryptosporidium spp. in wild boars. While RFLP and direct sequencing of genus specific PCR-amplified products revealed 56 C. suis (20) and C. scrofarum (36) monoinfections and only 5 mixed infections of these species, species-specific molecular tools showed 44 monoinfections and 17 mixed infections with these species. PCR analysis of the gp60 gene did not reveal any other Cryptosporidium infections. Similar to domestic pigs, C. scrofarum was detected as a dominant species infecting adult Eurasian wild boars (Sus scrofa). Cryptosporidium infected wild boars did not show signs of clinical disease. This report is perhaps the most comprehensive survey of cryptosporidial infection in wild boars.

  2. Sexual dimorphism of the Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) in South Korea: Craniodental geometric morphometry

    PubMed Central

    LAU, Alice Ching Ching; ASAHARA, Masakazu; HAN, Sung Yong; KIMURA, Junpei

    2016-01-01

    Sexual dimorphism of the craniodental morphology of the Eurasian otter in South Korea was studied with geometric morphometrics. 29 adult skulls (15 males and 14 females) were used. Images of the dorsal and ventral view of the cranium and right lateral view of the mandible were taken and then digitized, and measurements were taken on the right side. Results showed that size difference between males and females was significant. Correlations between the size and shape variations have not been observed in this study. The bivariate plots with centroid size showed size dimorphism between males and females with some overlapping. Most relative warp (RW) scores were not significantly different between males and females. We observed only RW2 for dorsal and ventral view of the skull, and only RW1 for mandible was significantly different between the sexes. Shape dimorphisms were revealed at the postorbital constriction, temporal-mandibular joint, coronoid process, mandibular condyle and angular process of the skull. Based on our study, sexual dimorphism exists in Eurasian otter from the South Korean population in terms of both the size and shape. Furthermore, the degree of size dimorphism is greater than shape dimorphism. PMID:26983684

  3. Husbandry practices, badger sett density and habitat composition as risk factors for transient and persistent bovine tuberculosis on UK cattle farms.

    PubMed

    Reilly, L A; Courtenay, O

    2007-07-16

    Bovine tuberculosis (bTB) is a persistent problem in cattle herds in Great Britain and Ireland. Farm management and cattle husbandry practices can influence the risk of transmission of bTB and hence the likelihood of bTB breakdown (>or=1 reactor to the tuberculin skin test). Biological differences are expected in the transmission dynamics, and hence risk factors for bTB breakdown, on farms where infection persists in the herd compared to farms where infection is more sporadic or short-lived. Comparative case-control studies were performed to test farm management practices as potential risk factors for transient (under breakdown restrictions for 6 months) bTB breakdown over 5 years (1995-1999) on 179 and 171 UK cattle farms, respectively. Farms were characterised for badger sett density and farm habitat composition by ground survey, farmers were questioned retrospectively on management practices, and cases and controls were identified from national tuberculin test records. Controlling for routine tuberculin testing interval, log-transformed herd size, regional location, badger sett density and farm habitat complexity, multivariable logistic regression identified increased odds of both transient and persistent breakdown on farms that bought-in cows (odds ratio (OR)>or=4.9; 95% confidence interval (CI)>or=1.1;22.8). In addition, the purchase of >50 head of cattle (OR=4.0, 95% CI=1.0;16.0) and the storage of manure for >or/=6 months (OR=4.4; 95% CI=1.3;15.4) were risk factors for transient breakdown, whereas the use of silage clamps (OR=9.1; 95% CI=2.0;40.8) increased the risk of persistent breakdown. Decreased odds of both transient and persistent breakdown were associated with higher stocking densities (>3cattle/ha) (OR

  4. Operational control of Eurasian watermilfoil and impacts to the native submersed aquatic macrophyte community in Lake Pend Oreille, Idaho

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Lake Pend Oreille is the largest (36,000 ha or 91,000 acres) freshwater lake in Idaho. Approximately 27% or 10,000 ha of the lake is littoral zone habitat supporting aquatic plant growth. Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum L.) has invaded large areas of this littoral zone habitat, with e...

  5. Outbreaks of highly pathogenic Eurasian H5N8 avian influenza in two commercial poultry flocks in California

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In January 2015, a highly pathogenic Eurasian lineage H5N8 avian influenza (AI) virus was detected in a commercial meat turkey flock in Stanislaus County, California. Approximately 3 weeks later, a similar case was diagnosed in commercial chickens from a different company located in Kings County, C...

  6. Potential impacts of northeastern Eurasian snow cover on generation of dust storms in northwestern China during spring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Yun Gon; Ho, Chang-Hoi; Kim, Jhoon; Kim, Jinwon

    2013-08-01

    The effects of the northeastern Eurasian snow cover on the frequency of spring dust storms in northwestern China have been examined for the period 1979-2007. Averaged over all 43 stations in northwestern China, a statistically significant relationship has been found between dust-storm frequency (DSF) and Eurasian snow-water equivalent (SWE) during spring: mean DSF of 7.4 and 3.3 days for years of high- and low SWE, respectively. Further analyses reveal that positive SWE anomalies enhance the meridional gradients of the lower tropospheric temperatures and geopotential heights, thereby strengthening westerly jets and zonal wind shear over northwestern China and western Inner Mongolia of China, the regions of major dust sources. The anomalous atmospheric circulation corresponding to the Eurasian SWE anomalies either reinforces or weakens atmospheric baroclinicity and cyclogenesis, according to the sign of the anomaly, to affect the spring DSF. This study suggests that Eurasian SWE anomalies can be an influential factor of spring DSF in northwestern China and western Inner Mongolia of China.

  7. Development of sperm vitrification protocols for freshwater fish (Eurasian perch, Perca fluviatilis) and marine fish (European eel, Anguilla anguilla).

    PubMed

    Kása, Eszter; Bernáth, Gergely; Kollár, Tímea; Żarski, Daniel; Lujić, Jelena; Marinović, Zoran; Bokor, Zoltán; Hegyi, Árpád; Urbányi, Béla; Vílchez, M Carmen; Morini, Marina; Peñaranda, David S; Pérez, Luz; Asturiano, Juan F; Horváth, Ákos

    2016-05-09

    Vitrification was successfully applied to the sperm of two fish species, the freshwater Eurasian perch (Perca fluviatilis) and marine European eel (Anguilla anguilla). Sperm was collected, diluted in species-specific non-activating media and cryoprotectants and vitrified by plunging directly into liquid nitrogen without pre-cooling in its vapor. Progressive motility of fresh and vitrified-thawed sperm was evaluated with computer-assisted sperm analysis (CASA). Additional sperm quality parameters such as sperm head morphometry parameters (in case of European eel) and fertilizing capacity (in case of Eurasian perch) were carried out to test the effectiveness of vitrification. The vitrification method for Eurasian perch sperm resulting the highest post-thaw motility (14±1.6%) was as follows: 1:5 dilution ratio, Tanaka extender, 30% cryoprotectant (15% methanol+15% propylene-glycol), cooling device: Cryotop, 2μl droplets, and for European eel sperm: dilution ratio 1:1, with 40% cryoprotectant (20% MeOH and 20% PG), and 10% FBS, cooling device: Cryotop, with 2μl of sperm suspension. Viable embryos were produced by fertilization with vitrified Eurasian perch sperm (neurulation: 2.54±1.67%). According to the ASMA analysis, no significant decrease in head area and perimeter of vitrified European eel spermatozoa were found when compared to fresh spermatozoa.

  8. The first report on Cryptosporidium suis and Cryptosporidium pig genotype II in Eurasian wild boars (Sus scrofa) (Czech Republic).

    PubMed

    Němejc, Karel; Sak, Bohumil; Květoňová, Dana; Hanzal, Vladimír; Jeníková, Martina; Kváč, Martin

    2012-03-23

    A total of 193 faecal samples of adult Eurasian wild boars were collected at 12 enclosures across the Czech Republic and examined for Cryptosporidium infection using both microscopic and molecular tools. Cryptosporidium oocysts were not detected in any of the 193 faecal samples examined using the aniline-carbol-methyl violet staining method. Thirty-two positive cases of Cryptosporidium infection were detected using either genus- or species-specific nested PCR. Mono-infection with Cryptosporidium suis and Cryptosporidium pig genotype II were found in 13 and 7 cases, respectively. Five mixed infections of C. suis and Cryptosporidium pig genotype II were detected using PCR/RFLP with genus specific primers. The number of detected mixed infections increased 2.4 fold when a species-specific PCR was employed. No other Cryptosporidium spp. was detected. Unlike cryptosporidiosis of domestic pigs, C. suis was detected as a dominant species infecting adult Eurasian wild boars. There was no association between diarrhoea and the presence of Cryptosporidium infection in the Eurasian wild boars studied. This is the first report on the Cryptosporidium infection caused by C. suis and Cryptosporidium pig genotype II in Eurasian wild boars (Sus scrofa).

  9. Linking geological evidence from the Eurasian suture zones to a regional Indian Ocean plate tectonic model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gibbons, A.; Aitchison, J.; Müller, R.; Whittaker, J.

    2012-12-01

    We present a revised regional plate tectonic model for the Indian Ocean from the Late Jurassic to present, which assimilates both marine geophysical data constraining the seafloor spreading history as well as a variety of geological observations from the Eurasian collision zone. This model includes relative motion between Greater India, Sri Lanka, West Australia, East Antarctica, East Madagascar, the Seychelles and Argoland, a continental sliver which began migrating towards Eurasia in the Late Jurassic, forming the northern margins of Greater India and western Australia. Recently collected data offshore northwest Australia suggest that the majority of Greater India reached only halfway along the West Australian margin in an Early Mesozoic reconstruction, bounded by the Wallaby-Zenith Fracture Zone. The revised geometries and relative motion histories redefine the timing and nature of collisional events, as well as the history of back-arc basins and intra-oceanic arcs, such as the Kohistan-Ladakh intra-oceanic arc in northwest India and Pakistan. Abundant ophiolites have been identified throughout the Yarlung-Tsangpo Suture Zone, between the Indian-Himalaya and Tibet, several have boninitic compositions and almost all date to either the Mid Jurassic or late Early Cretaceous. Further evidence suggests that an intra-oceanic arc collided with Greater India before colliding with Eurasia. Our model features a transform boundary running north of East Africa, which initiated an oceanic arc following short-lived compression between the western and central Mesotethys in the Late Jurassic, coinciding with the initial motion of Argoland. The arc developed through extension and ophiolite generation until at least the mid-Cretaceous and consumed a narrow thinned sliver of West Argoland between ~120-65 Ma. The arc remained active in the same position until its eventual collision with Greater India ~55 Ma. The eastern portion of the intra-oceanic arc accreted to eastern Eurasia

  10. Differences in satellite-derived NOx emission factors between Eurasian and North American boreal forest fires

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schreier, S. F.; Richter, A.; Schepaschenko, D.; Shvidenko, A.; Hilboll, A.; Burrows, J. P.

    2015-11-01

    Current fire emission inventories apply universal emission factors (EFs) for the calculation of NOx emissions over large biomes such as boreal forest. However, recent satellite-based studies over tropical and subtropical regions have indicated spatio-temporal variations in EFs within specific biomes. In this study, satellite measurements of tropospheric NO2 vertical columns (TVC NO2) from the GOME-2 instrument and fire radiative power (FRP) from MODIS are used for the estimation of fire emission rates (FERs) of NOx over Eurasian and North American boreal forests. The retrieval of TVC NO2 is based on a stratospheric correction using simulated stratospheric NO2 instead of applying the reference sector method, which was used in a previous study. The model approach is more suitable for boreal latitudes. TVC NO2 and FRP are spatially aggregated to a 1° × 1° horizontal resolution and temporally averaged to monthly values. The conversion of the satellite-derived tropospheric NO2 columns into production rates of NOx from fire (Pf) is based on the NO2/NOx ratio as obtained from the MACC reanalysis data set and an assumed lifetime of NOx. A global land cover map is used to define boreal forests across these two regions in order to evaluate the FERs of NOx for this biome. The FERs of NOx, which are derived from the gradients of the linear relationship between Pf and FRP, are more than 30% lower for North American than for Eurasian boreal forest fires. We speculate that these discrepancies are mainly related to the variable nitrogen content in plant tissues, which is higher in deciduous forests dominating large parts in Eurasia. In order to compare the obtained values with EFs found in the literature, the FERs are converted into EFs. The satellite-based EFs of NOx are estimated at 0.83 and 0.61 g kg-1 for Eurasian and North American boreal forests, respectively, which is in good agreement with the value found in a recent emission factor compilation. However, recent fire

  11. Late Cretaceous-Paleogene transform zone between the Eurasian and North American lithospheric plates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chekhovich, V. D.; Lobkovskii, L. I.; Kononov, M. V.; Sheremet, O. G.

    2015-09-01

    Within the limits of the Chukchi Sea and the Amerasian Basin of the Arctic Ocean, study have been carried out to calculate D function anomalies. The result was the discovery of elongated faults that cut, according to the positions of the upper and lower extents of the disturbing masses, both the upper crust and the upper mantle. It is shown that these faults are right-lateral strike-slips continuing the Late Cretaceous-Paleogene structures of the same type in the Bering Sea. This suggests that the en echelon strike-slip system of the Bering Sea, Chukchi Sea, and Amerasian Basin is a relic of the Late Cretaceous-Paleogene transform fault zone between the Eurasian and North American lithospheric plates.

  12. Complete mitochondrial genome of the Eurasian siskin, Spinus spinus (Passeriformes: Fringillidae).

    PubMed

    Kan, Xianzhao; Ren, Qiongqiong; Wang, Ping; Jiang, Lan; Zhang, Liqin; Wang, Ying; Zhang, Qin

    2016-05-01

    The Eurasian siskin (Spinus spinus), also called the European siskin, common siskin or just siskin, is found throughout Europe and Asia. In this study, the complete mitochondrial genome of S. spinus was determined to be 16,828 bp. The size of protein-coding genes (PCGs) in the S. spinus mitochondrial genome was 11,400 bp. The longest PCG of S. spinus mtDNA was nad5 (1818 bp), whereas the shortest is atp8 (168 bp). The nad6 gene of S. spinus mitogenome had strong skews of T versus A (-0.54), and G versus C (0.64). According to the distribution of the conserved motifs in other avian CRs, the CR of S. spinus can be divided into three domains: ETAS domain I, central conserved domain II, and CSB domain III.

  13. Patterns of variation in reproductive parameters in Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx).

    PubMed

    Nilsen, Erlend B; Linnell, John D C; Odden, John; Samelius, Gustaf; Andrén, Henrik

    2012-07-01

    Detailed knowledge of the variation in demographic rates is central for our ability to understand the evolution of life history strategies and population dynamics, and to plan for the conservation of endangered species. We studied variation in reproductive output of 61 radio-collared Eurasian lynx females in four Scandinavian study sites spanning a total of 223 lynx-years. Specifically, we examined how the breeding proportion and litter size varied among study areas and age classes (2-year-old vs. >2-year-old females). In general, the breeding proportion varied between age classes and study sites, whereas we did not detect such variation in litter size. The lack of differences in litter sizes among age classes is at odds with most findings in large mammals, and we argue that this is because the level of prenatal investment is relatively low in felids compared to their substantial levels of postnatal care.

  14. Recent shift in Eurasian boreal forest greening response may be associated with warmer and drier summers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buermann, Wolfgang; Parida, Bikash; Jung, Martin; MacDonald, Glen M.; Tucker, Compton J.; Reichstein, Markus

    2014-03-01

    Terrestrial ecosystems in the northern high latitudes are currently experiencing drastic warming, and recent studies suggest that boreal forests may be increasingly vulnerable to warming-related factors, including temperature-induced drought stress as well as shifts in fire regimes and insect outbreaks. Here we analyze interannual relationships in boreal forest greening and climate over the last three decades using newly available satellite vegetation data. Our results suggest that due to continued summer warming in the absence of sustained increases in precipitation, a turning point has been reached around the mid-1990s that shifted western central Eurasian boreal forests into a warmer and drier regime. This may be the leading cause for the emergence of large-scale negative correlations between summer temperatures and forest greenness. If such a regime shift would be sustained, the dieback of the boreal forest induced by heat and drought stress as predicted by vegetation models may proceed more rapidly than anticipated.

  15. Suckling behavior in Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx L.) cubs: characteristics and correlation with competitive interactions.

    PubMed

    Glukhova, Alla; Naidenko, Sergey

    2014-01-01

    There is substantial evidence in the literature that the offspring of many mammal species prefer a particular pair of nipples. There is also a definite "nipple order" in individual litters in which each young predominantly uses one or two particular nipples. In combination with early competitive interactions, such "constancy" can play an important role in the social development of the young. In this study, we reveal an unequal use of different pairs of mothers' nipples by 42 Eurasian lynx cubs in 16 litters and investigate the relationship of this phenomenon with the early competitive interactions of the cubs and their physical development. For the lynx cubs, the most often used pair of nipples is the middle pair. There is also definite "nipple order" in each litter. We found a negative correlation between nipples use by the offspring and their competitive activity. No influence of "nipple order" on the cubs' growth rate was detected.

  16. [Maternal behavior of the Eurasian Lynx lynx L. during the early postnatal ontogeny of its cubs].

    PubMed

    Chagaeva, A A; Naĭdenko, S V

    2012-01-01

    The dynamics of the major elements of maternal behavior of Eurasian lynx females during the first month of life of their cubs and their association with litter parameters (number of kittens, sex, and mass) have been traced. By the end of the first month, the amount of time spent by the female outside of the den significantly increases. An association between the litter size and maternal behavior has been found. Females rearing small litters spend more time outside of their den; they also spend more time on allogrooming of each separate kitten than females with large litters. Concerning allogrooming duration, a preference for male kittens by lynx females has been noticed in the third week.

  17. SURGICAL CORRECTION OF TRAUMATIC PATELLAR LUXATION IN AN EURASIAN LYNX (LYNX LYNX).

    PubMed

    Devesa-Garcia, V; Bañeres-De la Torre, A; Cabezas-Salamanca, M A; Lucas-Lucas, N; Rodriguez-Quiros, J

    2016-09-01

    The aim of this report is to describe the successful surgical repair of a traumatic medial patellar luxation in a 4-yr-old female Eurasian lynx ( Lynx lynx ). The animal presented with hind limb lameness. Physical and radiographic examinations were performed under sedation. After diagnosing a medial patellar luxation, surgical repair was recommended. A combination of soft tissue reconstructive techniques was used to repair the medial patellar luxation. The limb was not immobilized postoperatively, but the animal was confined to a cage for 1 mo. The recovery was uneventful and return to normal activity was observed within 1 mo. Soft tissue reconstructive techniques can be used as the only surgical treatment for the repair of a traumatic patellar luxation in both domestic and wild animals.

  18. Immunoblotting for the serodiagnosis of alveolar echinococcosis in alive and dead Eurasian beavers (Castor fiber).

    PubMed

    Gottstein, B; Frey, C F; Campbell-Palmer, R; Pizzi, R; Barlow, A; Hentrich, B; Posautz, A; Ryser-Degiorgis, M-P

    2014-09-15

    A novel species-specific anti-beaver-IgG-alkaline-phosphatase conjugate was synthesized for the development of a new serological test for echinococcosis in beavers. Two different ELISAs conventionally used for human Echinococcus multilocularis serology (Em18-ELISA and Em2-ELISA) yielded diagnostic sensitivities of 0% and 46%, respectively. In contrast, the subsequently developed immunoblotting assay gave an 85% diagnostic sensitivity (11 out of 13 beavers with alveolar echinococcosis were immunoblotting-positive, i.e. showed reactivity with a specific 21 Mr band), and maximal specificity. In conclusion, this immunoblotting assay should be the method of choice for use in serological studies on E. multilocularis in Eurasian beavers, and the test proved suitable to investigate both animals alive and post-mortem.

  19. Antimicrobial-resistant Salmonella isolated from Eurasian otters (Lutra lutra Linnaeus, 1758) in Portugal.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, Manuela; Pedroso, Nuno Miguel; Sales-Luís, Teresa; Santos-Reis, Margarida; Tavares, Luís; Vilela, Cristina Lobo

    2010-10-01

    Eurasian otters (Lutra lutra Linnaeus, 1758) are present in a wide range of aquatic environments. Salmonella isolates have been obtained from otters at rehabilitation centers and in the wild and are sometimes associated with serious illnesses. Antimicrobial-resistant Salmonella were isolated from otter fecal samples collected in March 2006, September 2007, and March 2008 in two river basins in southern Portugal. From 67 samples tested, five were positive for Salmonella (7.58%). None of the isolates were susceptible to all antimicrobials tested, and all were resistant to multiple antimicrobials. Our results confirm the role of otters as potential carriers of Salmonella and the importance of environmental exposure to antimicrobial agents in selection for resistance in bacteria.

  20. Disseminated Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis infection in two wild Eurasian otters (Lutra lutra L.) from Portugal.

    PubMed

    Matos, Ana Cristina; Figueira, Luis; Martins, Maria Helena; Matos, Manuela; Alvares, Sofia; Pinto, Maria Lurdes; Coelho, Ana Cláudia

    2013-03-01

    Disseminated Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP) infections were found in two Eurasian otters (Lutra lutra, L. 1758) killed by vehicular trauma in February and March 2010 in Castelo Branco, Portugal. At postmortem examination, the organs showed no significant gross alterations; however, microscopically, both animals had diffuse lymphadenitis with macrophage infiltration and deposition of hyaline material in the center of the lymphoid follicles. Acid-fast organisms were isolated from gastrointestinal tissue samples via bacteriologic culture. These organisms were identified as M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis by IS900 polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Additionally, direct IS900 PCR-positive results were obtained for multiple organs of both animals. This is the first report of MAP infection of otters in Portugal.

  1. Use of electric and bubble barriers to limit the movement of Eurasian ruffe (Gymnocephalus cernuus)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dawson, Heather A.; Reinhardt, Ulrich G.; Savino, Jacqueline F.

    2006-01-01

    Eurasian ruffe (Gymnocephalus cernuus) is an aquatic invasive species accidentally introduced via ballast water to the Great Lakes in the mid-1980s. Fish barrier technology is being studied to stop the spread of invasive fish species such as ruffe. Electrical barriers have been constructed, most notably in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, to prevent non-indigenous species such as ruffe from spreading into areas where they are currently absent. Information on the response of an invasive fish to barriers can help managers determine strategies to prevent the spread of these species via artificial waterways. In this laboratory study electrical barriers were set up to determine effectiveness of four electrical settings for repelling Eurasian ruffe measuring 10 cm or more in length. In separate tests, airbubble curtains with two bubble sizes and densities were created to test this type of barrier in blocking movement of ruffe less than 10 cm in length. The most effective electrical settings found (5 ms, 6 Hz) repelled only about half of the attempted passes. When ruffe were offered food or shelter on the opposite side of the electrical barrier, neither food-starved nor shelter-deprived ruffe made significantly more attempts to cross the barrier. Ruffe were significantly repelled by all air-bubble curtains, but a large proportion of passes (4.5 passes per fish on average in the treatments) were still observed. Electrical barrier settings and air-bubble curtains used in this study were found ineffective at completely blocking the movement, but somewhat effective at inhibiting the passage of ruffe.

  2. Asymmetry in the response of central Eurasian winter temperature to AMO

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hao, Xin; He, Shengping; Wang, Huijun

    2016-10-01

    The asymmetry in the teleconnection of the central Eurasian winter surface air temperature (SAT) with the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation (AMO) is discussed using observations and model simulations. Observations indicate that the winter SAT over central Eurasia (30°-70°E, 30°-50°N) shows significant positive anomalies during the warm AMO period but weak and insignificant anomalies in the cold AMO period. In general, the warm winters in central Eurasia are associated with large-scale negative sea level pressure anomalies in Europe, anomalous southwesterly winds at 850 hPa over Europe, the "+ - +" geopotential height anomalies at 500 hPa in the south of Greenland, northern Europe, western Asia, and the slant north-south "+ -" pattern jet stream anomalies at 200 hPa in the north and south of the Caspian Sea. Reverse patterns occur during cold winters. These statistically significant features are observed in the warm phase of AMO. Reversed circulation anomalies are observed during the cold phase of AMO; however, these anomalies are weak and not statistically significant. Furthermore, the asymmetry in the atmospheric response to AMO is well supported by simulations with a suite of GFDL atmospheric model idealized experiments and four CMIP5 models historical experiments. Both observations and simulations indicate that Rossby waves propagating from the North Atlantic eastward to Eurasia emerge in the warm AMO and disappear in the cold AMO. Thus, the different propagations of Rossby waves, induced by the different surface thermal conditions of the warm and cold AMO, are the potential connection between the North Atlantic Ocean and central Eurasian climate, and may explain the asymmetry.

  3. On the relationship between the winter Eurasian teleconnection pattern and the following summer precipitation over China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Junhu; Yang, Liu; Gu, Bohui; Yang, Jie; Feng, Guolin

    2016-06-01

    The Eurasian teleconnection pattern (EU) is an important low-frequency pattern with well-known impacts on climate anomalies in Eurasia. The difference of low-level v-winds in several regions in the Eurasian mid-high latitudes is defined as the EU index (EUIV). In this study, the relationship between the winter EUIV and precipitation in the following summer over China is investigated. Results show that there is a significant positive (negative) correlation between the winter EUIV and the following summer precipitation over North China (the Yangtze River-Huaihe River basins). Meanwhile, an interdecadal variability exists in the interannual relationship, and the correlation has become significantly enhanced since the early 1980s. Thus, the proposed EUIV may have implications for the prediction of summer precipitation anomalies over China. In positive winter EUIV years, three cyclonic circulation anomalies are observed—over the Ural Mountains, the Okhotsk Sea, and the subtropical western North Pacific. That is, the Ural blocking and Okhotsk blocking are inactive, zonal circulation prevails in the mid-high latitudes, and the western Pacific subtropical high tends to be weaker and locates to the north of its normal position in the following summer. This leads to above-normal moisture penetrating into the northern part of East China, and significant positive (negative) precipitation anomalies over North China (the Yangtze River-Huaihe River basins), and vice versa. Further examination shows that the SST anomalies over the Northwest Pacific and subtropical central North Pacific may both contribute to the formation of EUIV-related circulation anomalies over the western North Pacific.

  4. Can the Tibetan Plateau snow cover influence the interannual variations of Eurasian heat wave frequency?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Zhiwei; Zhang, Peng; Chen, Hua; Li, Yun

    2016-06-01

    The Eurasian continent has experienced significant year-to-year variations of summer heat waves during the past decades. Several possible factors, such as ocean temperature, soil moisture, and changes in land use and greenhouse gases, have been identified in previous studies, but the mechanisms are still unclear. In this study, it is found that the Tibetan Plateau snow cover (TPSC) is closely linked to the interannual variations of summer heat waves over Eurasia. The TPSC variability explains more than 30 % of the total variances of heat wave variability in the southern Europe and northeastern Asia (SENA) region. A set of numerical experiments reveal that the reduced TPSC may induce a distinct teleconnection pattern across the Eurasian continent, with two anomalous high pressure centers in the upper troposphere over the SENA region, which may lead to a reduction of the cloud formation near the surface. The less cloud cover tends to increase the net shortwave radiation and favor a stronger surface sensible heat flux in the dry surface condition over the SENA region, resulting in a deeper, warmer and drier atmospheric boundary layer that would further inhibit the local cloud formation. Such a positive land-atmosphere feedback may dry the surface even further, heat the near-surface atmosphere and thereby intensify the local heat waves. The above dynamical processes also operate on interdecadal time scales. Given the reduction of the TPSC could become more pronounced with increasing levels of greenhouse gases in a warming climate, we infer that the TPSC may play an increasingly important role in shaping the summer heat waves over the SENA region in next decades.

  5. One size fits all: Eurasian lynx females share a common optimal litter size.

    PubMed

    Gaillard, Jean-Michel; Nilsen, Erlend B; Odden, John; Andrén, Henrik; Linnell, John D C

    2014-01-01

    Lack proposed that the average clutch size of altricial species should be determined by the average maximum number of young the parents can raise such that all females in a given population should share a common optimal clutch size. Support for this model remains equivocal and recent studies have suggested that intra-population variation in clutch size is adaptive because each female has its own optimal clutch size associated with its intrinsic ability to raise offspring. Although Lack litter size and condition-dependent litter size are presented as two competing models, both are based on the concept of individual optimization. We propose a unified optimal litter size model (called 'adaptive litter size') and identify a set of conditions under which a common vs. a state-dependent optimal litter size should be observed. We test whether females of Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) have a common optimal litter size, or whether they adjust their litter size according to their state. We used a detailed individual-based data set collected from contrasting populations of Eurasian lynx in Scandinavia. Observed reproductive patterns in female lynx provide strong support for the existence of a common optimal litter size. Litter size did not vary according to female body mass or reproductive category, or among contrasted populations and years. A litter size of 2 was associated with a higher fitness than both smaller and larger litters, and thus corresponded to the 'adaptive litter size' for female lynx. We suggest that the reproductive pattern of female lynx might correspond to a risk avoidance tactic common to all individuals, which has evolved in response to strong environmental constraints generated by a highly unpredictable food supply during lactation.

  6. Revealing turning points in ecosystem functioning over the Northern Eurasian agricultural frontier.

    PubMed

    Horion, Stéphanie; Prishchepov, Alexander V; Verbesselt, Jan; de Beurs, Kirsten; Tagesson, Torbern; Fensholt, Rasmus

    2016-08-01

    The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 has been a turning point in the World history that left a unique footprint on the Northern Eurasian ecosystems. Conducting large scale mapping of environmental change and separating between naturogenic and anthropogenic drivers is a difficult endeavor in such highly complex systems. In this research a piece-wise linear regression method was used for breakpoint detection in Rain-Use Efficiency (RUE) time series and a classification of ecosystem response types was produced. Supported by earth observation data, field data, and expert knowledge, this study provides empirical evidence regarding the occurrence of drastic changes in RUE (assessment of the timing, the direction and the significance of these changes) in Northern Eurasian ecosystems between 1982 and 2011. About 36% of the study area (3.4 million km(2) ) showed significant (P < 0.05) trends and/or turning points in RUE during the observation period. A large proportion of detected turning points in RUE occurred around the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 and in the following years which were attributed to widespread agricultural land abandonment. Our study also showed that recurrent droughts deeply affected vegetation productivity throughout the observation period, with a general worsening of the drought conditions in recent years. Moreover, recent human-induced turning points in ecosystem functioning were detected and attributed to ongoing recultivation and change in irrigation practices in the Volgograd region, and to increased salinization and increased grazing intensity around Lake Balkhash. The ecosystem-state assessment method introduced here proved to be a valuable support that highlighted hotspots of potentially altered ecosystems and allowed for disentangling human from climatic disturbances.

  7. Neospora caninum antibodies in wild carnivores from Spain.

    PubMed

    Sobrino, R; Dubey, J P; Pabón, M; Linarez, N; Kwok, O C; Millán, J; Arnal, M C; Luco, D F; López-Gatius, F; Thulliez, P; Gortázar, C; Almería, S

    2008-08-17

    Serum samples from 251 wild carnivores from different regions of Spain were tested for antibodies to Neospora caninum by the commercial competitive screening enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (c-ELISA) and confirmed by Neospora agglutination test (NAT) and/or by indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT). Samples with antibodies detected by at least two serological tests were considered seropositive. Antibodies to N. caninum were found in 3.2% of 95 red foxes (Vulpes vulpes); in 21.4% of 28 wolves (Canis lupus); in 12.0% of 25 Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus); in 16.7% of 6 European wildcats (Felis silvestris); in 6.4% of 31 Eurasian badgers (Meles meles); in 21.4% of 14 stone martens (Martes foina); in 66.7% of 3 pine martens (M. martes) and in 50% of 2 polecats (Mustela putorius). Antibodies to N. caninum in common genets (Genetta genetta) and Egyptian mongooses (Herpestes ichneumon) were only observed by c-ELISA but were not confirmed by IFAT and/or NAT. No antibodies were detected in 5 Eurasian otters (Lutra lutra) by any technique. Statistically significant differences were observed among species and among geographical areas. The highest seroprevalence of N. caninum infection was observed in the Cantabric Coastal region characterized by high humidity. To our knowledge, this is the first report of antibodies to N. caninum in free ranging wild carnivores, other than wild canids, in Europe. The existence of a possible sylvatic cycle could have important implications in both sylvatic and domestic cycles since they might influence the prevalence of infection in cattle farms in those areas.

  8. The dynamics of the Eurasian plate and the intraplate stress field in the Middle-Late Eocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van der Burgt, Janneke; Govers, Rob; Webb, Peter; Stampfli, Gérard; Vérard, Christian; Hochard, Cyril; Davies, J. Huw; Wortel, Rinus

    2013-04-01

    The forces driving and resisting plate motion together with the resulting intraplate stresses are analyzed for the Eurasian plate at 40 Ma with the aim to obtain a force model for which the stresses give the best fit to stress observations. Forces acting on a lithospheric plate can be categorized into three groups: i) edge forces due to interaction with neighboring plates; ii) lithospheric body forces and iii) mantle tractions. The direction of the edge forces is based on the boundary types of the Eurasian plate taken from the Lausanne Plate Tectonic Reconstruction (LPTR) from Stampfli and colleagues. Lithospheric body forces include ridge push, slab pull and topographic body forces and for these forces both the direction and magnitude can be computed. Since the uplift history of the Tibetan Plateau and the Himalayas is only incompletely constrained, the sensitivity of the model to uncertainties in the topography (and thus the topographic body forces) at 40 Ma is investigated. Mantle tractions acting on the bottom of a lithospheric plate consist of (i) 'passive' tractions due to the relative motion of the lithosphere with respect to the mantle and ii) 'active' tractions due to the actively convecting mantle. Warners-Ruckstuhl et al. (2012) found that for the present-day Eurasian plate both passive and active tractions are relevant. This suggests that these tractions were also important in the past. Here we use tractions for the Eurasian plate from the global mantle circulation model by Webb (2012), which is based on mantle convection code TERRA, driven by a 300 Myr integration of the LPTR. The Eurasian plate is assumed to be in mechanical equilibrium. The modeled intraplate stress field resulting from different force sets is compared to paleostress observations to select the force model that best fits the data. We find that in models with small active tractions and lithospheric body forces, the magnitude of collision forces at the boundary between India and Eurasia

  9. Mitochondrial haplogroup C in ancient mitochondrial DNA from Ukraine extends the presence of East Eurasian genetic lineages in Neolithic Central and Eastern Europe.

    PubMed

    Nikitin, Alexey G; Newton, Jeremy R; Potekhina, Inna D

    2012-09-01

    Recent studies of ancient mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) lineages have revealed the presence of East Eurasian mtDNA haplogroups in the Central European Neolithic. Here we report the finding of East Eurasian lineages in ancient mtDNA from two Neolithic cemeteries of the North Pontic Region (NPR) in Ukraine. In our study, comprehensive haplotyping information was obtained for 7 out of 18 specimens. Although the majority of identified mtDNA haplogroups belonged to the traditional West Eurasian lineages of H and U, three specimens were determined to belong to the lineages of mtDNA haplogroup C. This find extends the presence of East Eurasian lineages in Neolithic Europe from the Carpathian Mountains to the northern shores of the Black Sea and provides the first genetic account of Neolithic mtDNA lineages from the NPR.

  10. How will climate change affect the potential distribution of Eurasian Tree Sparrows Passer montanus in North America?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Graham, Jim; Jarnevich, Catherine; Young, Nick; Newman, Greg; Stohlgren, Thomas

    2011-01-01

    Habitat suitability models have been used to predict the present and future potential distribution of a variety of species. Eurasian tree sparrows Passer montanus, native to Eurasia, have established populations in other parts of the world. In North America, their current distribution is limited to a relatively small region around its original introduction to St. Louis, Missouri. We combined data from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility with current and future climate data to create habitat suitability models using Maxent for this species. Under projected climate change scenarios, our models show that the distribution and range of the Eurasian tree sparrow could increase as far as the Pacific Northwest and Newfoundland. This is potentially important information for prioritizing the management and control of this non-native species.

  11. Rapid growth of a Eurasian haplotype of Phragmites australis in a restored brackish marsh in Louisiana, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Howard, R.J.; Travis, S.E.; Sikes, B.A.

    2008-01-01

    While numerous studies have documented patterns of invasion by non-indigenous plant species, few have considered the invasive properties of non-native genotypes of native species. Characteristics associated with specific genotypes, such as tolerance to disturbance, may mistakenly be applied to an entire species in the absence of genetic information, which consequently may affect management decisions. We report here on the incidence and growth of an introduced lineage of Phragmites australis in the Gulf of Mexico coastal zone of Louisiana. P. australis was collected from nine separate locations for inclusion in a series of growth experiments. Chloroplast DNA analysis indicated that specimens collected from four locations in the Mississippi River Delta represented the introduced Eurasian haplotype; the remainder represented the gulf coast haplotype. Three distinct genotypes, or clones, were identified within each haplotype via analysis using amplified fragment length polymorphisms, which also revealed reduced genetic diversity of the gulf coast clones compared to the Eurasian clones. Clones of each haplotype were planted along with three other native macrophytes at similar densities in a restored brackish marsh and monitored for growth. After 14 months, the Eurasian haplotype had spread vegetatively to cover about 82% of the experimental plots, more than four times the coverage (18%) of the gulf coast haplotype. Thus, the use of P. australis plantings for wetland restoration should consider the genetic lineage of plants used since our results indicate the potential of the Eurasian haplotype to grow rapidly at newly restored sites. This rapid growth may limit the establishment of more slowly growing native species. ?? 2007 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  12. Interannual Variability of Eurasian Snow Cover in Spring and its Possible Link With Atmospheric Circulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Igarashi, H.; Yasunari, T.

    2003-12-01

    We investigate the interannual variability of Eurasian spring snow cover extent (SCE) during 1973-1998, especially focused on the relationship between the recent decreasing trend and the year-to-year variation. Two major patterns are detected by applying EOF analysis to the interannual component of the snow cover duration at each grid point derived from the NOAA satellite measurement data set. Recent Eurasian SCE change, mainly characterized by an abrupt decrease after the end of 1980's, is identified as the first component of EOF analysis (representing 18.3% of the total variance), which is located over the eastern part of the continent and has an apparent persistency from February to August. This pattern is the representative of spring-to-summer snow cover variability over the whole Eurasia. On the other hand, another dominant mode is found over the western Russia (50-65N,40-80E) as the second component (8.6%), which has a fluctuation of about 4-6-year cycle without a significant linear trend. The regression analysis shows that in April there is a close relationship between the variation of this mode and air temperature and geopotential height fields over western Russia from surface up to stratosphere, which indicates that this mode is strongly controlled by the atmospheric circulation in spring. Furthermore, the results of the atmospheric heat budget analysis over the western Russia shows that adiabatic compression in relation to its vertical motion plays an important role for heating the atmosphere and the decision of the timing of snow cover disappearance over western Russia, while horizontal advection is always working as a heating sense independently of the interannual variation of snow cover disappearance. Diabatic processes merely affect the fluctuation of the atmospheric heating. Many numerical studies have shown the influence of the continental scale variability of land surface processes induced by snow cover on the following climate variation, and some

  13. Tethyan collision forces and the stress field of the Eurasian Plate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Warners-Ruckstuhl, Karin N.; Govers, Rob; Wortel, Rinus

    2013-10-01

    Resistive forces along convergent plate boundaries have a major impact on surface deformation, most visibly at collisional plate boundaries. Although quantification of these forces is key to understanding the evolution and present state of mountain belts, they remain highly uncertain due to the complexity of plate boundary structures and rheologies. In previous studies of the Eurasian Plate, we have analysed the balance of plate boundary forces, tractions resulting from lithosphere-mantle coupling, and intraplate variations in topography and density structure. This yielded a range of acceptable force distributions. In this study, we investigate to which extent the observed present-day stress field provides further constraints on the distribution of forces. We address the dynamics of the Eurasian Plate as a whole. This enables us to base our analysis on mechanical equilibrium of a tectonic plate and to evaluate all forces as part of an internally consistent set of forces driving and deforming Eurasia. We incorporate tractions from convective mantle flow modelling in a lithospheric model in which edge and lithospheric body forces are modelled explicitly and compute resulting stresses in a homogeneous elastic thin shell. Intraplate stress observations used are from the World Stress Map project. Eurasia's stress field turns out to be particularly sensitive to the distribution of collision forces on the plate's southern margin and, to a much lesser extent, to lithospheric density structure and tractions from mantle flow. Stress observations require collision forces on the India-Eurasia boundary of 7.0-10.5 TN m-1 and on the Arabia-Eurasia boundary of 1.3-2.7 TN m-1. Implication of mechanical equilibrium of the plate is that forces on the contacts with the African and Australian plates amount to 1.0-2.5 and 0-1.3 TN m-1, respectively. We use our results to assess the validity of the classical view that the mean elevation of an orogenic plateau can be taken as a measure

  14. The differ respond of China continental to the collision between Eurasian and Philippine Sea plate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Q.; Gao, R.; He, C.; Guan, Y.; Li, W.

    2010-12-01

    The southeastern margin of China continental is one of ideal area to study modern plate interaction. This area most attract geologists attention is largely covered by widely distributed late Mesozoic igneous rocks. In the past decades many studies focus on the relations of the collision between the Philippine Sea plate and the Eurasian plate in the east of Taiwan region based on geological and geophysical data. In the recent decades the globe or large regional passive and active source seismic images proposed a fine geometry model in which the crust present gradually thinning from inner continent to southeastern margin. This is regarded as evidence of the southeastern margin of China continental —Eurasian plate respond to the collision over against the Taiwan Strait. Relatively the partition feature—the Model if there is difference and how to vary across margin of mainland, still remains poorly defined. In this study, the data recorded by 20 flexible broadband stations deployed onshore along the margin of main continental in Fujian province from 2008 to 2010 and 130 permanent stations of New China Digital Seismology Network (NCDSN), was combined used. And totally 16664 reliable receiver functions were obtained for imaging the structure of the crust and upper mantle beneath the stations array. Only visually comparison, we find the receiver functions are evident different for teleseismic events between the station located at the southwest and the northeast of Fujian province. After the auto-searching algorithm, H-k method, which sums the amplitudes of the receiver functions at the predicted arrival times of Ps and its multiple phases, has been used to determine the best estimations of crustal thickness (H) and VP/VS ratio (k). The preliminary result show that crustal thicknesses stepwise vary from 33-36,32-30 to 29-27km in average north to south, that is a poignant contras with northeastward surface tectonic.the subordinate characteristic, there seems is a Moho

  15. Summer precipitation anomalies in Asia and North America induced by Eurasian non-monsoon land heating versus ENSO.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Ping; Wang, Bin; Liu, Jiping; Zhou, Xiuji; Chen, Junming; Nan, Sulan; Liu, Ge; Xiao, Dong

    2016-02-26

    When floods ravage Asian monsoon regions in summer, megadroughts often attack extratropical North America, which feature an intercontinental contrasting precipitation anomaly between Asia and North America. However, the characteristics of the contrasting Asian-North American (CANA) precipitation anomalies and associated mechanisms have not been investigated specifically. In this article, we firmly establish this summer CANA pattern, providing evidence for a significant effect of the land surface thermal forcing over Eurasian non-monsoon regions on the CANA precipitation anomalies by observations and numerical experiments. We show that the origin of the CANA precipitation anomalies and associated anomalous anticyclones over the subtropical North Pacific and Atlantic has a deeper root in Eurasian non-monsoon land surface heating than in North American land surface heating. The ocean forcing from the ENSO is secondary and tends to be confined in the tropics. Our results have strong implications to interpretation of the feedback of global warming on hydrological cycle over Asia and North America. Under the projected global warming due to the anthropogenic forcing, the prominent surface warming over Eurasian non-monsoon regions is a robust feature which, through the mechanism discussed here, would favor a precipitation increase over Asian monsoon regions and a precipitation decrease over extratropical North America.

  16. Hybrid watermilfoil lineages are more invasive and less sensitive to a commonly used herbicide than their exotic parent (Eurasian watermilfoil)

    PubMed Central

    LaRue, Elizabeth A; Zuellig, Matthew P; Netherland, Michael D; Heilman, Mark A; Thum, Ryan A

    2013-01-01

    Hybridization may stimulate the evolution of invasiveness in human-impacted habitats if unique hybrid genotypes have higher fitness than parental genotypes. Human efforts to control invasive taxa frequently involve the intentional alteration of habitats, but few studies have considered whether hybridization can result in decreased sensitivity to control measures. Here, we investigate whether interspecific hybrids between introduced Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum) and native northern watermilfoil (M. sibiricum) are more invasive than parental Eurasian watermilfoil, especially in regard to their relative responses to an herbicide commonly applied for their control (2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid; 2,4-D). In two separate laboratory experiments, hybrids on average grew faster and were less sensitive to 2,4-D compared with parental Eurasian watermilfoil. These two invasive traits appear to be common in hybrid watermilfoils, as opposed to being restricted to a few unique lineages, because they were found in a diversity of hybrid genotypes from several independent hybridization events. In addition, we found that hybrids occurred more frequently than parental species in natural lakes previously treated with 2,4-D. Our results provide compelling empirical evidence that hybridization is associated with the evolution of increased invasiveness in watermilfoils, and have important implications for their management. PMID:23745138

  17. Summer precipitation anomalies in Asia and North America induced by Eurasian non-monsoon land heating versus ENSO

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Ping; Wang, Bin; Liu, Jiping; Zhou, Xiuji; Chen, Junming; Nan, Sulan; Liu, Ge; Xiao, Dong

    2016-01-01

    When floods ravage Asian monsoon regions in summer, megadroughts often attack extratropical North America, which feature an intercontinental contrasting precipitation anomaly between Asia and North America. However, the characteristics of the contrasting Asian-North American (CANA) precipitation anomalies and associated mechanisms have not been investigated specifically. In this article, we firmly establish this summer CANA pattern, providing evidence for a significant effect of the land surface thermal forcing over Eurasian non-monsoon regions on the CANA precipitation anomalies by observations and numerical experiments. We show that the origin of the CANA precipitation anomalies and associated anomalous anticyclones over the subtropical North Pacific and Atlantic has a deeper root in Eurasian non-monsoon land surface heating than in North American land surface heating. The ocean forcing from the ENSO is secondary and tends to be confined in the tropics. Our results have strong implications to interpretation of the feedback of global warming on hydrological cycle over Asia and North America. Under the projected global warming due to the anthropogenic forcing, the prominent surface warming over Eurasian non-monsoon regions is a robust feature which, through the mechanism discussed here, would favor a precipitation increase over Asian monsoon regions and a precipitation decrease over extratropical North America. PMID:26916258

  18. East Eurasian ancestry in the middle of Europe: genetic footprints of Steppe nomads in the genomes of Belarusian Lipka Tatars

    PubMed Central

    Pankratov, Vasili; Litvinov, Sergei; Kassian, Alexei; Shulhin, Dzmitry; Tchebotarev, Lieve; Yunusbayev, Bayazit; Möls, Märt; Sahakyan, Hovhannes; Yepiskoposyan, Levon; Rootsi, Siiri; Metspalu, Ene; Golubenko, Maria; Ekomasova, Natalia; Akhatova, Farida; Khusnutdinova, Elza; Heyer, Evelyne; Endicott, Phillip; Derenko, Miroslava; Malyarchuk, Boris; Metspalu, Mait; Davydenko, Oleg; Villems, Richard; Kushniarevich, Alena

    2016-01-01

    Medieval era encounters of nomadic groups of the Eurasian Steppe and largely sedentary East Europeans had a variety of demographic and cultural consequences. Amongst these outcomes was the emergence of the Lipka Tatars—a Slavic-speaking Sunni-Muslim minority residing in modern Belarus, Lithuania and Poland, whose ancestors arrived in these territories via several migration waves, mainly from the Golden Horde. Our results show that Belarusian Lipka Tatars share a substantial part of their gene pool with Europeans as indicated by their Y-chromosomal, mitochondrial and autosomal DNA variation. Nevertheless, Belarusian Lipkas still retain a strong genetic signal of their nomadic ancestry, witnessed by the presence of common Y-chromosomal and mitochondrial DNA variants as well as autosomal segments identical by descent between Lipkas and East Eurasians from temperate and northern regions. Hence, we document Lipka Tatars as a unique example of former Medieval migrants into Central Europe, who became sedentary, changed language to Slavic, yet preserved their faith and retained, both uni- and bi-parentally, a clear genetic echo of a complex population interplay throughout the Eurasian Steppe Belt, extending from Central Europe to northern China. PMID:27453128

  19. Group Contagion: The Mailbox Melee

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Morse, William C.

    2010-01-01

    In a group situation, something goes wrong but no individual feels personal responsibility. This is called the "pie" phenomenon because everybody has a piece of the action, but all believe they are innocent. Each contributes to contagion and chaos but all say, "We didn't do nothing." In this article, the author, a pioneer in work with troubled…

  20. Developmental impairment in eurasian dipper nestlings exposed to urban stream pollutants.

    PubMed

    Morrissey, Christy A; Stanton, David W G; Tyler, Charles R; Pereira, M Glória; Newton, Jason; Durance, Isabelle; Ormerod, Steve J

    2014-06-01

    Avian studies of endocrine disruption traditionally have focused on reproductive impairment, given that many environmental contaminants affect sex steroid hormones. There is also increasing interest in altered thyroid function, and associated early development, particularly in altricial species with extended developmental windows. Both types of effect are relevant under the complex pollutant conditions created in streams draining urban areas, but case studies are scarce. Therefore, the authors measured breeding performance, as well as nestling growth, condition, and plasma thyroid hormones, in 87 Eurasian dipper (Cinclus cinclus) nests on 36 urban and rural streams in south and mid-Wales (UK); invertebrate prey data were also collected. The objective of the present study was to evaluate whether urban stream pollution or food scarcity might affect reproduction or development in this specialized aquatic songbird. Clutch sizes and egg fertility were similar on rural and urban streams, whereas nest success was actually higher at urban sites and food abundance was not significantly reduced. However, subtle but important differences were apparent. Urban nestlings were significantly lighter than rural nestlings for their body size (condition index), and brood sex ratios were increasingly male biased with increasing urbanization. The nestling thyroid hormone profile closely reflected urban land use, whereas depressed triiodothyronine (T3) hormones and poorer body condition were associated with higher exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) at urbanized sites. These data suggest that PCBs, PBDEs, and/or accompanying contaminants in urban streams could be affecting dipper nestling development, with potential consequences for the birds' fitness.

  1. How do colonial Eurasian Griffon Vultures prevent extra-pair mating?

    PubMed Central

    Bertran, Joan; Macià, Francesc Xavier

    2016-01-01

    In colonial breeding species, preventive measures to reduce the risks of extra-pair copulations (EPCs) should reflect the actual risk perceived by males (e.g., proximity of neighbors, intrusions into the nest) mainly during the fertile period. In colonial vultures, specific studies examining the preventive measures that minimize the risks of EPCs occurring within the competitive context of colonial breeding have not been conducted. Here we tested at Eurasian Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus) nesting sites the intensity of paternity assurance behavior, shown as frequency and duration of within-pair copulations (WPCs), potential mate vigilance or nest attendance, and levels of aggressivity. This was measured according to the frequency of territorial intrusions and comparison of the fertile vs. the non-fertile period. Our findings suggest that the frequency of WPCs and their duration increased significantly during the presumed fertile period, regarded as the period when Griffon pairs spent significantly more time together at their nests. In addition, low levels of territorial intrusions were observed, an aggressive response of pairs towards intruders, and a relatively high presence of pairs at the nests during the fertile period. Thus, although nesting sites are subject to low exposure to EPC attempts, the increased frequency and duration of copulations during the fertile period suggests that, under pressure from the colonial breeding system, a higher rate of copulations is the most effective preventive mechanism against relative uncertainty of paternity. PMID:26966674

  2. Cross-amplification and sequence variation of microsatellite loci in Eurasian hard pines.

    PubMed

    González-Martínez, S C; Robledo-Arnuncio, J J; Collada, C; Díaz, A; Williams, C G; Alía, R; Cervera, M T

    2004-06-01

    Microsatellite transfer across coniferous species is a valued methodology because de novo development for each species is costly and there are many species with only a limited commodity value. Cross-species amplification of orthologous microsatellite regions provides valuable information on mutational and evolutionary processes affecting these loci. We tested 19 nuclear microsatellite markers from Pinus taeda L. (subsection Australes) and three from P. sylvestris L. (subsection Pinus) on seven Eurasian hard pine species ( P. uncinata Ram., P. sylvestris L., P. nigra Arn., P. pinaster Ait., P. halepensis Mill., P. pinea L. and P. canariensis Sm.). Transfer rates to species in subsection Pinus (36-59%) were slightly higher than those to subsections Pineae and Pinaster (32-45%). Half of the trans-specific microsatellites were found to be polymorphic over evolutionary times of approximately 100 million years (ten million generations). Sequencing of three trans-specific microsatellites showed conserved repeat and flanking regions. Both a decrease in the number of perfect repeats in the non-focal species and a polarity for mutation, the latter defined as a higher substitution rate in the flanking sequence regions close to the repeat motifs, were observed in the trans-specific microsatellites. The transfer of microsatellites among hard pine species proved to be useful for obtaining highly polymorphic markers in a wide range of species, thereby providing new tools for population and quantitative genetic studies.

  3. Genetic diversity of the Eurasian Otter (Lutra lutra) population in Israel.

    PubMed

    Cohen, Tali Magory; Narkiss, Tamar; Dolev, Amit; Ben-Ari, Yossi; Kronfeld-Schor, Noga; Guter, Amichai; Saltz, David; Bar-Gal, Gila Kahila

    2013-03-01

    The Israeli population of Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) marks the Palearctic southern boundary of the species' distribution in the Levant. During the 20th century, the otter population in Israel experienced a dramatic decline due to anthropogenic habitat alterations. Currently, the otter population in Israel is estimated at about 100 individuals and defined as "Critically Endangered". The aim of this research was to characterize the Israeli otter population in order to determine its genetic diversity and fragmentation state for conservation purposes. Monitoring spraint sites during 2000-2011 along active and historic otter distribution regions indicate both stable and unstable otter subpopulations, mainly along the Jordan River. Four otter subpopulations, representing 57 individuals, were characterized by 12 microsatellites, previously used to characterize the European otter populations. The genetic results indicated three subpopulations correlating with three geographical regions: the Hula Valley, Sea of Galilee, and the Harod Valley. A moderate genetic diversity (F (st) = 0.087-0.123) was found among the subpopulations, suggesting sporadic interactions between individuals from distinct geographical locations along the Jordan Rift Valley. The Israeli otter population was found to be very small, demographically remote and genetically distinct, harboring unique alleles absent from the studied European populations. Therefore, immediate conservation actions are recommended to prevent the deterioration of the isolated, unique, and critically endangered otter population in Israel.

  4. Estimation of cultivable bacterial diversity in the cloacae and pharynx in Eurasian griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus).

    PubMed

    Vela, Ana I; Casas-Díaz, Encarna; Fernández-Garayzábal, José F; Serrano, Emmanuel; Agustí, Susana; Porrero, María C; Sánchez del Rey, Verónica; Marco, Ignasi; Lavín, Santiago; Domínguez, Lucas

    2015-04-01

    In this work, we describe the biodiversity of cloacal and pharynx culture-based bacteria (commensal and pathogenic), in 75 Eurasian griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus) from two geographic areas. We address the question of whether the cultivable microbiota of vultures is organised into assemblages occurring by chance. In addition, we assess bacterial diversity in both anatomic regions and geographic areas. Bacterial diversity was represented by 26 Gram-negative and 20 Gram-positive genera. The most common genera were Escherichia, Enterococcus, Staphylococcus, Clostridium and Lactococcus. Escherichia coli and Enterococcus faecalis were the most common species in cloacal and pharyngeal samples. Staphylococcus and Erysipelothrix were isolated from the pharynx and Salmonella and Corynebacterium from the cloacae, and no Campylobacter was isolated from the cloacal swabs. Ten cloacal swabs were positive for Salmonella, of which five isolates were Salmonella enterica serotype 4,(5),12:i:-, one isolate was S. enterica serotype Derby, three isolates were S. enterica serotype 61:k:1,5,7 and one isolate was S. enterica serotype Infantis. The null modelling approach revealed that the commensal bacteria of vultures are not structured in assemblages. On the other hand, differences in bacterial genus and species richness between cloacal and pharyngeal samples or between geographic areas were clear, with the pharynx in vultures from both geographic areas being richer. The results of this study indicate also that vultures can serve as a reservoir of certain pathogenic zoonotic bacteria. The dissemination of these zoonotic pathogens in wildlife could be prevented by periodic sanitary surveys.

  5. A VLBI baseline post-adjustment approach for station velocity estimation in Eurasian continent

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Zhibin; Liu, Xiang

    2014-10-01

    Baseline lengths and their time-derivatives among 58 geodetic VLBI stations were fitted by using 4439 observing sessions from the International VLBI Service for Geodesy and Astrometry (IVS). First, the velocities of eight stations in Eurasian continent were set as unknown quantities. Then, two standard global solutions from 3523 IVS sessions and 1110 sessions from database code XA, respectively, were applied prior to all-station coordinates and the non-estimated station velocities. Finally, from the relations among the coordinates, velocities, baseline length and its time-derivative, two types of baseline post-adjustment (BPA) were used to estimate the velocities of the eight stations. We discuss the data processing details, including the effect of different prior values for the stations and the optimal solution. The results suggest that the precision of the station velocities based on the proposed approach is comparable to that of the global solution of the XA sessions. The baseline structure and the prior values of the stations affect the velocity estimates. Compared to the standard method of velocity estimation, there are no external constrains and conditions used in the proposed method.

  6. The development of support intuitions and object causality in juvenile Eurasian jays (Garrulus glandarius)

    PubMed Central

    Davidson, Gabrielle; Miller, Rachael; Loissel, Elsa; Cheke, Lucy G.; Clayton, Nicola S.

    2017-01-01

    Knowledge about the causal relationship between objects has been studied extensively in human infants, and more recently in adult animals using differential looking time experiments. How knowledge about object support develops in non-human animals has yet to be explored. Here, we studied the ontogeny of support relations in Eurasian jays (Garrulus glandarius), a bird species known for its sophisticated cognitive abilities. Using an expectancy violation paradigm, we measured looking time responses to possible and impossible video and image stimuli. We also controlled for experience with different support types to determine whether the emergence of support intuitions is dependent upon specific interactions with objects, or if reasoning develops independently. At age 9 months, birds looked more at a tool moving a piece of cheese that was not in contact than one that was in direct contact. By the age of 6 months, birds that had not experienced string as a support to hold up objects looked more at impossible images with string hanging from below (unsupported), rather than above (supported). The development of support intuitions may be independent of direct experience with specific support, or knowledge gained from interactions with other objects may be generalised across contexts. PMID:28053306

  7. The Macroanatomy of the Sacral Plexus and Its Nerves in Eurasian Eagle Owls (Bubo bubo).

    PubMed

    Akbulut, Y; Demiraslan, Y; Aslan, K; Coban, A

    2016-10-01

    This study was carried out to reveal the formation of the sacral plexus in the Eurasian Eagle Owls (Bubo bubo) and the nerves originating from this plexus. Five EEOs, three of them were male and two were female, were provided from Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Center of Kafkas University and used as materials. Following the euthanizing of the animals, abdominal cavity was opened. The nerves of plexus sacrales were dissected and photographed. It was detected that the sacral plexus was formed by the ventral ramus of five synsacral nerves. Moreover, it was determined that the roots of the sacral plexus formed three trunks: the truncus cranialis, the truncus medius and the truncus caudalis in fossa renalis. The availability of the n. ischiofemoralis and the availability of n. parafibularis were detected in the EEOs. Five branches were specified as having segregated from the sacral plexus: the n. cutaneus femoralis caudalis, the mutual root of n. fibularis with n. tibialis (n. ischiadicus), the rami musculares, the n. coxalis caudalis and the ramus muscularis. It was observed that the sacral plexus was linked to the lumbar plexus by the n. furcalis, to the pudendus plexus via the n. bigeminus. Consequently, the anatomic structure of the EEO's sacral plexus, the participating synsacral nerves to plexus and the innervation areas of these nerves were revealed.

  8. Determination of fluoroquinolone antibiotic residues in the plasma of Eurasian griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus) in Spain.

    PubMed

    Casas-Díaz, Encarna; Cristòfol, Carles; Cuenca, Rafaela; Agustí, Susana; Carneiro, Manuela; Marco, Ignasi; Lavín, Santiago; Margalida, Antoni

    2016-07-01

    Due to the possible toxicological impact, the accumulation of pharmaceuticals in wildlife as a consequence of human practices is of growing concern. The consumption of carrion at feeding stations - the so-called 'vulture restaurants' - with no management of the veterinary drugs it contains may expose scavengers to pharmaceuticals. To demonstrate this, we analyzed plasma from Eurasian griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus) originating from two different areas of Spain for antibiotics such as enrofloxacin and ciprofloxacin, its primary metabolite. Quinolone residues were detected in about 65% (n=106) of birds, of which 15.1% (16/106) had quantifiable amounts of enrofloxacin (0.049±0.102μg/mL) and 5.7% (6/106) of ciprofloxacin (0.009±0.007μg/mL). The differences in exposure between the two sampled areas are attributable to different types of carrion management: the vultures that fed in areas with a high density of dead livestock (supplied directly to feeding stations) were more prone to exposure than those that sought food in areas where carcass availability is more unpredictable. Our findings are evidence that vultures have access to medicated livestock and that there are quantifiable levels of livestock antibiotics in vulture plasma. However, the vultures analyzed in this study had maximum antibiotic concentrations of only 0.4μg/mL, much less than the concentrations used in the clinical treatment of scavengers and a level that is probably too small to cause intoxication.

  9. How do colonial Eurasian Griffon Vultures prevent extra-pair mating?

    PubMed

    Bertran, Joan; Macià, Francesc Xavier; Margalida, Antoni

    2016-01-01

    In colonial breeding species, preventive measures to reduce the risks of extra-pair copulations (EPCs) should reflect the actual risk perceived by males (e.g., proximity of neighbors, intrusions into the nest) mainly during the fertile period. In colonial vultures, specific studies examining the preventive measures that minimize the risks of EPCs occurring within the competitive context of colonial breeding have not been conducted. Here we tested at Eurasian Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus) nesting sites the intensity of paternity assurance behavior, shown as frequency and duration of within-pair copulations (WPCs), potential mate vigilance or nest attendance, and levels of aggressivity. This was measured according to the frequency of territorial intrusions and comparison of the fertile vs. the non-fertile period. Our findings suggest that the frequency of WPCs and their duration increased significantly during the presumed fertile period, regarded as the period when Griffon pairs spent significantly more time together at their nests. In addition, low levels of territorial intrusions were observed, an aggressive response of pairs towards intruders, and a relatively high presence of pairs at the nests during the fertile period. Thus, although nesting sites are subject to low exposure to EPC attempts, the increased frequency and duration of copulations during the fertile period suggests that, under pressure from the colonial breeding system, a higher rate of copulations is the most effective preventive mechanism against relative uncertainty of paternity.

  10. EVALUATION OF CARDIOLOGIC FUNCTIONS IN CAPTIVE EURASIAN BROWN BEARS (URSUS ARCTOS ARCTOS) IN TURKEY.

    PubMed

    Cihan, Huseyin; Yilmaz, Zeki; Aytug, Nilufer

    2016-03-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the cardiac functions in healthy Eurasian brown bears (Ursus arctos arctos) living in a seminatural area during their active season. Twelve clinically healthy brown bears were selected based on their normal physical examination, hematologic, and serum biochemistry results. These bears were divided into two groups based on age; subadult (<5 yr, n = 4) and adult (≥5 yr, n = 8). After the chemical immobilization (ketamine and xylazine), routine clinical and laboratory examinations were performed. Also, cardiologic examinations were performed using electrocardiogram and echocardiogram. There were no significant differences for the clinical parameters between the two groups including for body temperature, heart and respiratory rates, capillary refilling time, and oxygen saturation. The Q, R, and S wave (QRS) complexes and T wave amplitude were higher (P < 0.05) in the subadult group when compared to those of adult bears. Notching of QRS complexes and peaked T wave were also observed in both groups. Left ventricular diameter at systole and diastole in adult bears was wider (P < 0.05) than that of subadult bears. Subadult bears had reduced aortic diameter compared to adult bears (P < 0.05). Doppler variables of mitral, tricuspid, and aortic inflows between groups were similar; however, pulmonary artery variables such as flow velocity integral, mean velocity, and gradient were higher (P < 0.05) in the subadult group. These results suggest that electrocardiographic and echocardiographic parameters should be evaluated based on the age of brown bears.

  11. Repeatability and consistency of individual behaviour in juvenile and adult Eurasian harvest mice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schuster, Andrea C.; Carl, Teresa; Foerster, Katharina

    2017-04-01

    Knowledge on animal personality has provided new insights into evolutionary biology and animal ecology, as behavioural types have been shown to affect fitness. Animal personality is characterized by repeatable and consistent between-individual behavioural differences throughout time and across different situations. Behavioural repeatability within life history stages and consistency between life history stages should be checked for the independence of sex and age, as recent data have shown that males and females in some species may differ in the repeatability of behavioural traits, as well as in their consistency. We measured the repeatability and consistency of three behavioural and one cognitive traits in juvenile and adult Eurasian harvest mice ( Micromys minutus). We found that exploration, activity and boldness were repeatable in juveniles and adults. Spatial recognition measured in a Y Maze was only repeatable in adult mice. Exploration, activity and boldness were consistent before and after maturation, as well as before and after first sexual contact. Data on spatial recognition provided little evidence for consistency. Further, we found some evidence for a litter effect on behaviours by comparing different linear mixed models. We concluded that harvest mice express animal personality traits as behaviours were repeatable across sexes and consistent across life history stages. The tested cognitive trait showed low repeatability and was less consistent across life history stages. Given the rising interest in individual variation in cognitive performance, and in its relationship to animal personality, we suggest that it is important to gather more data on the repeatability and consistency of cognitive traits.

  12. Geographic variation of craniodental morphology of the Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) in East Asia

    PubMed Central

    LAU, Alice Ching Ching; ASAHARA, Masakazu; HAN, Sung Yong; KIMURA, Junpei

    2016-01-01

    Craniodental morphology of the Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) in the Korean Peninsula, Japanese islands and Kinmen Island (Taiwan) was studied using geometric morphometrics to identify the skull variations between the populations. Forty adult skulls were examined (29 specimens from the Korean Peninsula, six from Shikoku, Honshu and Hokkaido of Japan, and five from Kinmen Island). Images of the dorsal and ventral views of the skull and the right lateral view of the mandible were analyzed. Specimens from the Korean Peninsula were larger than those from the Japanese islands and Kinmen Island. However, no correlation was observed between the shape variations in the three populations and the centroid size of the skull. The Mann-Whitney U-test showed that relative warps (RWs) RW1, RW2 and RW4 of the dorsal view and RW2 of the ventral view of the skull differed significantly between the populations. Some craniodental differences between the populations were seen in the dorsal and ventral views of the skull, mostly at the snout and parietal regions. The MANOVA test revealed significant differences between the specimens from the Japanese islands and Korean Peninsula and between the specimens from the Korean Peninsula and Kinmen Island. RWs plots showed an overlap of all three populations. In conclusion, the comparisons of the three examined populations revealed significant differences in their craniodental morphology. PMID:27644315

  13. New evidence for the occurrence of Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) in medieval Britain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hetherington, David A.; Lord, Tom C.; Jacobi, Roger M.

    2006-01-01

    The presence of Eurasian lynx as a former native species in Britain during the Holocene is known from bones recovered from several sites. AMS radiocarbon dating of lynx bone recovered from two sites in the Craven area of northern England gave 1842 +/- 35 14C yr BP and 1550 +/- 24 14C yr BP, together representing the youngest dates for lynx from England, and in the case of the latter, the youngest for Britain as a whole. These dates support the view that the game animal whose occurrence in the nearby Lake District is described in the early 7th century Cumbric text Pais Dinogad, and whose translation to date has been problematic, is a lynx. The occurrence of lynx in early medieval Britain shows that earlier periods of climate change, previously blamed for the species' extinction in Britain, were not responsible. Instead, anthropogenic factors such as severe deforestation, declining deer populations, and persecution, are likely to have caused the extirpation of lynx in Britain. Consequently, the lynx qualifies as a candidate for reintroduction. Large-scale reafforestation, the growth of deer populations, and more positive attitudes towards carnivores in modern society, could permit the restoration of lynx to Britain, particularly in Scotland.

  14. Implications of Hybridization, NUMTs, and Overlooked Diversity for DNA Barcoding of Eurasian Ground Squirrels

    PubMed Central

    Ermakov, Oleg A.; Simonov, Evgeniy; Surin, Vadim L.; Titov, Sergey V.; Brandler, Oleg V.; Ivanova, Natalia V.; Borisenko, Alex V.

    2015-01-01

    The utility of DNA Barcoding for species identification and discovery has catalyzed a concerted effort to build the global reference library; however, many animal groups of economical or conservational importance remain poorly represented. This study aims to contribute DNA barcode records for all ground squirrel species (Xerinae, Sciuridae, Rodentia) inhabiting Eurasia and to test efficiency of this approach for species discrimination. Cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (COI) gene sequences were obtained for 97 individuals representing 16 ground squirrel species of which 12 were correctly identified. Taxonomic allocation of some specimens within four species was complicated by geographically restricted mtDNA introgression. Exclusion of individuals with introgressed mtDNA allowed reaching a 91.6% identification success rate. Significant COI divergence (3.5–4.4%) was observed within the most widespread ground squirrel species (Spermophilus erythrogenys, S. pygmaeus, S. suslicus, Urocitellus undulatus), suggesting the presence of cryptic species. A single putative NUMT (nuclear mitochondrial pseudogene) sequence was recovered during molecular analysis; mitochondrial COI from this sample was amplified following re-extraction of DNA. Our data show high discrimination ability of 100 bp COI fragments for Eurasian ground squirrels (84.3%) with no incorrect assessments, underscoring the potential utility of the existing reference librariy for the development of diagnostic ‘mini-barcodes’. PMID:25617768

  15. Forests synchronize their growth in contrasting Eurasian regions in response to climate warming

    PubMed Central

    Shestakova, Tatiana A.; Gutiérrez, Emilia; Kirdyanov, Alexander V.; Camarero, Jesús Julio; Génova, Mar; Knorre, Anastasia A.; Linares, Juan Carlos; Sánchez-Salguero, Raúl; Voltas, Jordi

    2016-01-01

    Forests play a key role in the carbon balance of terrestrial ecosystems. One of the main uncertainties in global change predictions lies in how the spatiotemporal dynamics of forest productivity will be affected by climate warming. Here we show an increasing influence of climate on the spatial variability of tree growth during the last 120 y, ultimately leading to unprecedented temporal coherence in ring-width records over wide geographical scales (spatial synchrony). Synchrony in growth patterns across cold-constrained (central Siberia) and drought-constrained (Spain) Eurasian conifer forests have peaked in the early 21st century at subcontinental scales (∼1,000 km). Such enhanced synchrony is similar to that observed in trees co-occurring within a stand. In boreal forests, the combined effects of recent warming and increasing intensity of climate extremes are enhancing synchrony through an earlier start of wood formation and a stronger impact of year-to-year fluctuations of growing-season temperatures on growth. In Mediterranean forests, the impact of warming on synchrony is related mainly to an advanced onset of growth and the strengthening of drought-induced growth limitations. Spatial patterns of enhanced synchrony represent early warning signals of climate change impacts on forest ecosystems at subcontinental scales. PMID:26729860

  16. Water Transparency Drives Intra-Population Divergence in Eurasian Perch (Perca fluviatilis)

    PubMed Central

    Bartels, Pia; Hirsch, Philipp E.; Svanbäck, Richard; Eklöv, Peter

    2012-01-01

    Trait combinations that lead to a higher efficiency in resource utilization are important drivers of divergent natural selection and adaptive radiation. However, variation in environmental features might constrain foraging in complex ways and therefore impede the exploitation of critical resources. We tested the effect of water transparency on intra-population divergence in morphology of Eurasian perch (Perca fluviatilis) across seven lakes in central Sweden. Morphological divergence between near-shore littoral and open-water pelagic perch substantially increased with increasing water transparency. Reliance on littoral resources increased strongly with increasing water transparency in littoral populations, whereas littoral reliance was not affected by water transparency in pelagic populations. Despite the similar reliance on pelagic resources in pelagic populations along the water transparency gradient, the utilization of particular pelagic prey items differed with variation in water transparency in pelagic populations. Pelagic perch utilized cladocerans in lakes with high water transparency and copepods in lakes with low water transparency. We suggest that under impaired visual conditions low utilization of littoral resources by littoral perch and utilization of evasive copepods by pelagic perch may lead to changes in morphology. Our findings indicate that visual conditions can affect population divergence in predator populations through their effects on resource utilization. PMID:22912895

  17. Water transparency drives intra-population divergence in Eurasian Perch (Perca fluviatilis).

    PubMed

    Bartels, Pia; Hirsch, Philipp E; Svanbäck, Richard; Eklöv, Peter

    2012-01-01

    Trait combinations that lead to a higher efficiency in resource utilization are important drivers of divergent natural selection and adaptive radiation. However, variation in environmental features might constrain foraging in complex ways and therefore impede the exploitation of critical resources. We tested the effect of water transparency on intra-population divergence in morphology of Eurasian perch (Perca fluviatilis) across seven lakes in central Sweden. Morphological divergence between near-shore littoral and open-water pelagic perch substantially increased with increasing water transparency. Reliance on littoral resources increased strongly with increasing water transparency in littoral populations, whereas littoral reliance was not affected by water transparency in pelagic populations. Despite the similar reliance on pelagic resources in pelagic populations along the water transparency gradient, the utilization of particular pelagic prey items differed with variation in water transparency in pelagic populations. Pelagic perch utilized cladocerans in lakes with high water transparency and copepods in lakes with low water transparency. We suggest that under impaired visual conditions low utilization of littoral resources by littoral perch and utilization of evasive copepods by pelagic perch may lead to changes in morphology. Our findings indicate that visual conditions can affect population divergence in predator populations through their effects on resource utilization.

  18. Methionine supplementation influences melanin-based plumage colouration in Eurasian kestrel, Falco tinnunculus, nestlings.

    PubMed

    Parejo, Deseada; Silva, Nadia

    2009-11-01

    The extent to which the expression of melanin-based plumage colouration in birds is genetically or environmentally determined is controversial. Here, we performed a between-nest design supplementation with either the sulphur amino acid dl-methionine or with water to investigate the importance of the non-genetic component of melanin-based plumage colouration in the Eurasian kestrel, Falco tinnunculus. Methionine affects growth and immunity, thus we aimed to modify nestling growth and immunity before feather development. Then, we measured the effect of the experiment on colouration of two melanin-based plumage patches of nestling kestrels. We found that methionine slowed down nestling growth through treatment administration and that nestlings compensated by speeding up their growth later. We did not find any effects of methionine on nestling immunity (i.e. lymphocyte counts, natural antibody levels or complement-mediated immunity). Effects on growth seemed to be mirrored by changes in nestling colouration in the two sexes: methionine-nestlings showed less intense brown plumage on their backs compared with control nestlings. These results provide support for a non-genetic determination of a melanin-based plumage patch in the two sexes of nestling kestrels.

  19. Forests synchronize their growth in contrasting Eurasian regions in response to climate warming.

    PubMed

    Shestakova, Tatiana A; Gutiérrez, Emilia; Kirdyanov, Alexander V; Camarero, Jesús Julio; Génova, Mar; Knorre, Anastasia A; Linares, Juan Carlos; Resco de Dios, Víctor; Sánchez-Salguero, Raúl; Voltas, Jordi

    2016-01-19

    Forests play a key role in the carbon balance of terrestrial ecosystems. One of the main uncertainties in global change predictions lies in how the spatiotemporal dynamics of forest productivity will be affected by climate warming. Here we show an increasing influence of climate on the spatial variability of tree growth during the last 120 y, ultimately leading to unprecedented temporal coherence in ring-width records over wide geographical scales (spatial synchrony). Synchrony in growth patterns across cold-constrained (central Siberia) and drought-constrained (Spain) Eurasian conifer forests have peaked in the early 21st century at subcontinental scales (∼ 1,000 km). Such enhanced synchrony is similar to that observed in trees co-occurring within a stand. In boreal forests, the combined effects of recent warming and increasing intensity of climate extremes are enhancing synchrony through an earlier start of wood formation and a stronger impact of year-to-year fluctuations of growing-season temperatures on growth. In Mediterranean forests, the impact of warming on synchrony is related mainly to an advanced onset of growth and the strengthening of drought-induced growth limitations. Spatial patterns of enhanced synchrony represent early warning signals of climate change impacts on forest ecosystems at subcontinental scales.

  20. Molecular identification of Taenia spp. in the Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) from Finland.

    PubMed

    Lavikainen, A; Haukisalmi, V; Deksne, G; Holmala, K; Lejeune, M; Isomursu, M; Jokelainen, P; Näreaho, A; Laakkonen, J; Hoberg, E P; Sukura, A

    2013-04-01

    Cestodes of the genus Taenia are parasites of mammals, with mainly carnivores as definitive and herbivores as intermediate hosts. Various medium-sized cats, Lynx spp., are involved in the life cycles of several species of Taenia. The aim of the present study was to identify Taenia tapeworms in the Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) from Finland. In total, 135 tapeworms from 72 lynx were subjected to molecular identification based on sequences of 2 mtDNA regions, the cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 and the NADH dehydrogenase subunit 1 genes. Available morphological characters of the rostellar hooks and strobila were compared. Two species of Taenia were found: T. laticollis (127 samples) and an unknown Taenia sp. (5 samples). The latter could not be identified to species based on mtDNA, and the rostellar hooks were short relative to those described among other Taenia spp. recorded in felids from the Holarctic region. In the phylogenetic analyses of mtDNA sequences, T. laticollis was placed as a sister species of T. macrocystis, and the unknown Taenia sp. was closely related to T. hydatigena and T. regis. Our analyses suggest that these distinct taeniid tapeworms represent a putative new species of Taenia. The only currently recognized definitive host is L. lynx and the intermediate host is unknown.

  1. Histological Evaluation of Selected Organs of the Eurasian Beavers (Castor fiber) Inhabiting Poland.

    PubMed

    Dolka, I; Giżejewska, A; Giżejewski, Z; Kluciński, W; Kołodziejska, J

    2015-10-01

    There is a general scarcity of data on the histological structure of major organs in the Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber). This study presents the histological characteristics of beaver organs such as the liver, spleen, cardiac muscle, lungs and kidneys. Tissue samples were collected from 21 beavers and analysed. Selected samples of tail tissue were additionally examined. Tissue samples were placed in neutral buffered formalin and embedded in paraffin. 4-μm-thick sections were stained with haematoxylin and eosin, and other staining techniques were also used. Scant amounts of inter-lobular connective tissue were found in the liver. Ion or copper deposition was not observed, but scattered cytoplasmic glycogen deposits were present in hepatocytes. Our results suggest that beavers have defensive rather than storage spleens. Interestingly, the presence of melanin in splenic red pulp was noted. The histological structure of the examined organs closely resembled that of other rodent species. According to our knowledge, this is the first study evaluating the histological structure of beaver organs. Nevertheless, precise characterization of the evaluated organs requires further work with the involvement of accurate and reliable techniques, such as molecular biology or electron microscopy methods.

  2. Do Eurasian beavers smear their pelage with castoreum and anal gland secretion?

    PubMed

    Rosell, Frank

    2002-08-01

    The scent-matching hypothesis postulates that scent marks provide an olfactory link between a resident owner and his territory, and that this enables intruding animals to recognize the chance of escalated conflicts. However, it is unclear if Eurasian beavers (Castor fiber) mark their own pelage with castoreum from their castor sacs (i.e., the same material used in territorial marking); and/or if beavers mark their pelage with anal gland secretion (AGS) from the anal glands to waterproof the pelage and to act as a "living-scent mark." Chemical analysis (gas chromatography and mass spectrometry) of hair samples from 22 live-trapped beavers revealed that castoreum compounds were not present in any samples, AGS compounds were found from 3 animals (13.6%) around the cloaca, and the compound squalene was found in all the samples. Beavers may release castoreum directly into the water when it meets an intruder. Thereby, the "scent mark" in the water can provide an olfactory link between a resident owner and his territory. Squalene, in contrast to AGS, may be essential for keeping beaver pelts water-repellant.

  3. Immunity and fitness in a wild population of Eurasian kestrels Falco tinnunculus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parejo, Deseada; Silva, Nadia

    2009-10-01

    The immune system of vertebrates consists of several components that partly interact and complement each other. Therefore, the assessment of the overall effectiveness of immune defence requires the simultaneous measurement of different immune components. In this study, we investigated intraspecific variability of innate [i.e. natural antibodies (NAb) and complement] and acquired (i.e. leucocyte profiles) immunity and its relationship with fitness correlates (i.e. blood parasite load and reproductive success in adults and body mass and survival until fledging in nestlings) in the Eurasian kestrel Falco tinnunculus. Immunity differed between nestlings and adults and also between adult males and females. Adult kestrels with higher levels of complement were less parasitised by Haemoproteus, and males with higher values of NAbs showed a higher reproductive success. In nestlings, the H/L ratio was negatively related to body mass. Survival until fledging was predicted by all measured immunological variables of nestlings as well as by their fathers' level of complement. This is the first time that innate immunity is linked to survival in a wild bird. Thus, intraspecific variation in different components of immunity predicts variation in fitness prospects in kestrels, which highlights the importance of measuring innate immune components together with components of the acquired immunity in studies assessing the effectiveness of the immune system in wild animals.

  4. Detection of shrew-borne hantavirus in Eurasian pygmy shrew (Sorex minutus) in Central Europe.

    PubMed

    Radosa, Lukáš; Schlegel, Mathias; Gebauer, Petra; Ansorge, Hermann; Heroldová, Marta; Jánová, Eva; Stanko, Michal; Mošanský, Ladislav; Fričová, Jana; Pejčoch, Milan; Suchomel, Josef; Purchart, Luboš; Groschup, Martin H; Krüger, Detlev H; Ulrich, Rainer G; Klempa, Boris

    2013-10-01

    Recently, it was found that not only rodents but also shrews are reservoir hosts of hantaviruses. In Central Europe, only Seewis virus, associated with the Eurasian common shrew (Sorex araneus), has been recognized until now. In the present report, tissue samples from shrews belonging to Crocidurinae and Soricinae subfamilies, trapped in Czech Republic, Germany, and Slovakia, were screened for the presence of novel hantaviruses. Three new hantavirus partial L-segment sequences were obtained from pygmy shrews (Sorex minutus) trapped in Czech Republic and Germany. Complete nucleocapsid protein- and glycoprotein precursor-coding S- and M-segment sequences were then determined for the newly recognized hantavirus strains, CZ/Beskydy/412/2010/Sm, CZ/Drahany/420/2010/Sm, and DE/Dürrbach/1912/2009/Sm. Phylogenetic analyses showed that they represent strains of Asikkala virus (ASIV), a novel hantavirus also found in pygmy shrews from Finland. Our study reveals a broad geographic distribution of ASIV across Europe and indicates pygmy shrew as the primary reservoir host. Future studies will have to determine the pathogenic relevance of ASIV.

  5. Implications of hybridization, NUMTs, and overlooked diversity for DNA Barcoding of Eurasian ground squirrels.

    PubMed

    Ermakov, Oleg A; Simonov, Evgeniy; Surin, Vadim L; Titov, Sergey V; Brandler, Oleg V; Ivanova, Natalia V; Borisenko, Alex V

    2015-01-01

    The utility of DNA Barcoding for species identification and discovery has catalyzed a concerted effort to build the global reference library; however, many animal groups of economical or conservational importance remain poorly represented. This study aims to contribute DNA barcode records for all ground squirrel species (Xerinae, Sciuridae, Rodentia) inhabiting Eurasia and to test efficiency of this approach for species discrimination. Cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (COI) gene sequences were obtained for 97 individuals representing 16 ground squirrel species of which 12 were correctly identified. Taxonomic allocation of some specimens within four species was complicated by geographically restricted mtDNA introgression. Exclusion of individuals with introgressed mtDNA allowed reaching a 91.6% identification success rate. Significant COI divergence (3.5-4.4%) was observed within the most widespread ground squirrel species (Spermophilus erythrogenys, S. pygmaeus, S. suslicus, Urocitellus undulatus), suggesting the presence of cryptic species. A single putative NUMT (nuclear mitochondrial pseudogene) sequence was recovered during molecular analysis; mitochondrial COI from this sample was amplified following re-extraction of DNA. Our data show high discrimination ability of 100 bp COI fragments for Eurasian ground squirrels (84.3%) with no incorrect assessments, underscoring the potential utility of the existing reference librariy for the development of diagnostic 'mini-barcodes'.

  6. Limitations of gravity models in predicting the spread of Eurasian watermilfoil.

    PubMed

    Rothlisberger, John D; Lodge, David M

    2011-02-01

    The effects of non-native invasive species are costly and environmentally damaging, and resources to slow their spread and reduce their effects are scarce. Models that accurately predict where new invasions will occur could guide the efficient allocation of resources to slow colonization. We assessed the accuracy of a model that predicts the probability of colonization of lakes in Wisconsin by Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum). We based this predictive model on 9 years (1990-1999) of sequence data of milfoil colonization of lakes larger than 25 ha (n =1803). We used milfoil colonization sequence data from 2000 to 2006 to test whether the model accurately predicted the number of lakes that actually were colonized from among the 200 lakes identified as being most likely to be colonized. We found that a lake's predicted probability of colonization was not correlated with whether a lake actually was colonized. Given the low predictability of colonization of specific lakes, we compared the efficacy of preventing milfoil from leaving occupied sites, which does not require predicting colonization probability, with protecting vacant sites from being colonized, which does require predicting colonization probability. Preventing organisms from leaving colonized sites reduced the likelihood of spread more than protecting vacant sites. Although we focused on the spread of a single species in a particular region, our results show the shortcomings of gravity models in predicting the spread of numerous non-native species to a variety of locations via a wide range of vectors.

  7. Establishment of a health surveillance program for reintroduction of the Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) into Scotland.

    PubMed

    Goodman, Gidona; Girling, Simon; Pizzi, Romain; Meredith, Anna; Rosell, Frank; Campbell-Palmer, Roisin

    2012-10-01

    In 2009 and 2010 16 Norwegian Eurasian beavers (Castor fiber) were reintroduced to Knapdale, Scotland as part of a 5-yr reintroduction trial (Scottish Beaver Trial). Despite numerous reintroduction programs throughout Europe there is no published information concerning recommended health surveillance during beaver reintroduction and only one publication describing causes of mortality. We describe the establishment of a health surveillance program based on International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and governmental guidelines, and report preliminary results based on the fecal and blood samples following the completion of the first stage of reintroduction. Animals underwent at least one general anesthetic to allow collection of fecal and blood samples and a thorough clinical examination. No bacterial enteric pathogens such as Salmonella spp., Campylobacter spp., or Yersinia pseudotuberculosis were isolated, nor were Giardia spp. or Cryptosporidium spp. However, numerous helminths including Travassosius rufus and Stichorchis subtriquetrus were detected. Five animals were positive for Leptospira antibodies. This included Leptospira saxkoebing, Leptospira canicola, Leptospira copenhageni, Leptospira icterohaemorrhagiae, Leptospira autumnalis, and Leptospira javanica. The highest loss of animals (20%) was during the statutory 6-mo rabies quarantine period. No common cause of death was determined. The rabies quarantine conditions were waived for four remaining animals, three of which were introduced to the wild successfully. The authors recommend the shortest possible quarantine period when introducing beavers, but allowing for the minimum recommended IUCN 35 days to allow for implementation of the initial stage of the health surveillance program, examination of animals, sample collection, and processing.

  8. Modeling the interdecadal eurasian snow cover variations influenced by large-scale atmospheric modes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shmakin, A. B.; Popova, V. V.

    2003-04-01

    The variations of snow water equivalent (SWE) in Eurasia during the last 100 years have been evaluated using a simplified model of heat/water exchange at the land surface. The model is designed for monthly time step, and its equations are written in deviations from average climatic regime. The forcing anomalies of meteorological parameters for 20th century at each grid cell were specified according to large-scale atmospheric indices (such as NAO, PNA, etc.) and regressions between the indices and the meteorological variables. The results were tested against the data observed in Russia during several decades at regular stations and in their vicinity in typical environment. The observed data, Former Soviet Union Hydrological Snow Surveys, were obtained from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), University of Colorado at Boulder. The main features of SWE spatial distribution and its interdecadal variance were reproduced satisfactorily, but the errors were greater in the regions with poorer correlation between atmospheric variables and circulation indices. The regions located closer to Atlantic and, to lesser extent, Pacific coast, demonstrated better agreement with observed data. The large-scale atmospheric modes most responsible for the Eurasian SWE variations at decadal time scale are NAO and intensity of Aleutian low. The study was supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (grants 01-05-64707 and 01-05-64395).

  9. Enhanced oil recovery utilizing high-angle wells in the Frontier Formation, Badger Basin Field, Park County, Wyoming. Final report for the period October 1992--October 1993

    SciTech Connect

    Walker, J.P.; Fortmann, R.G.

    1994-12-01

    Badger Basin Field, discovered in 1931, produces at stripper rates from low-permeability fractured sandstones of the Upper Cretaceous Frontier Formation. Only 15% of the estimated 25 million barrels of oil originally in-place will be produced from the twenty-two attempted vertical completions. This project will increase recoverable reserves through a better understanding of the reservoir and factors which control production. Characterization of the reservoir has been accomplished through an integrated engineering, geological and geophysical approach. Production data, drilling and completion techniques, and relative location of wells on the anticline were reviewed and related to productivity. Literature was reviewed for interpretations on preferred flow directions on anticlinal structures. A structure map of the producing Frontier reservoir was constructed. Porosity development and its relationship to fracture networks was examined petrographically. Fractures in core were described and oriented using paleomagnetic techniques. Azimuths of fractures in outcrop were compared to fracture azimuths measured in the core. A 17 square-mile 3D seismic survey was designed, acquired and processed. Interpretation is being performed on a Sun workstation using Landmark Graphics software. Time-structure and amplitude-distribution maps will be constructed on three Frontier horizons. A location for a high-angle well will be chosen. The slant/horizontal test will be drilled and completed to increase recovery of reserves. Transfer of successful technologies will be accomplished by technical publications and presentations, and access to project materials, data, and field facilities.

  10. Long Term Seasonality Changes and Short Term Climate Variability Recorded in Eurasian Loess: Examples from Serbia, Romania, Kazakhstan, and China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Machalett, B.; Oches, E. A.; Haam, E.; Lai, Z. P.; Endlicher, W.

    2012-04-01

    Past climate dynamics associated with the Eurasian continent are well studied. However, the impact of intra-hemispheric-scale climate variability on the entire Eurasian landmass, as well as the self-generated effects of the continent on the global climate system, is still a matter of considerable debate. While western Atlantic polar and tropical air masses penetrate into the continent and are modified and transformed as they cross Eurasia, the interior regions of Eurasia strongly influence Earth's climate system. Significant cooling and heating of Central and High Asia drive interactions between atmosphere and ocean processes and regulate teleconnection patterns of the Northern Hemisphere. The distribution of Eurasian loess deposits allows interregional palaeoclimatic investigations along a west-east transect across the entire Eurasian loess belt of the Northern Hemisphere, offering the potential to reconstruct Pleistocene atmospheric circulation patterns and aeolian dust dynamics on a wide spatial scale. This paper utilizes high resolution particle size data from several loess sequences across Eurasia (Serbia, Romania, Kazakhstan, and China) that provide a detailed signal of glacial-interglacial atmospheric dynamics and long term, semi-continuous trends in the aeolian dust record since marine isotope stage 10. In consideration of the modern synoptic atmospheric circulation patterns and aeolian dust transport across the Eurasian landmass, we propose that the observed data reflect oscillations superimposed on a long term signal of seasonality, triggered by changes in duration and permanency of the seasonal shift of the Eurasian polar front during the middle to late Pleistocene. As the activity of the polar front jet is intimately connected with the high level planetary frontal zone (HPFZ), the Eurasian loess archives may also serve as a recorder of intra-hemispheric climate connections in past atmospheric circulation. Although there are large scale similarities in

  11. Successes and Failures in Combating Desertification in the Eastern Edge of Eurasian Grassland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, X.-Y.; Huang, Gang; Huang, Ying-Xin; Wang, Shao-Kun; Luo, Ya-Yong; Qu, Hao; Lian, Jie

    2009-04-01

    Eurasian Grassland is one of the important biomes in the world. However, this biome is severely desertified since the middle of last century, particularly in the northeastern Inner-Mongolia of China. The Eastern Edge of Eurasian Grassland in Inner Mongolia covers 740.0th km² and the desertified grassland is approximately 225.98th km² in 2005, about 30.5% desertified. The desertified land in Horqin Sand Land is 43,200 km² in 1959, 56,571 km² in 1975, and 61,008 km² in 1987, and since then decreased to 50,197 in 2000 and 50,167km² in 2005. Reversion of desertification in Horqin Sand Land is mainly attributed to the successes in combating desertification, including large scale of tree planting, increase of irrigated cropland for reduction of rain-fed cropland to meet the need of growing expectation for capital income and grain production, and later combination of planting bushes and grasses with natural restoration. Large scale of tree planting is only effective in a short term but more fragile to drought. As a result, about 1.66m trees, equal to 830m hm² of planted woodland, died of water depletion. And the grassland productivity is reduced from 520g/m² in the middle of 1930 to 360 g/m² in 1982 and 220 g/m²in 2005. Rapid increase of irrigated cropland resulted in reduction of water availability, which is characterized with drying-up of lakes and wetland, stop-running of rivers, and reduction of underground water table. Observation found that the averaged reduction of water table is about 2-3m in this area, with a maximum of 16m in last ten years. The Xiliao River, one of the largest river in northeastern China, is dried up in 1999. These failures still put severe impacts on combating desertification in this region and even in the whole northern China, driven by improper land use, which is identified as one of the immediate causes of desertification in this region. Concerning these failures, in-depth researches have been launched since 2000 to reveal the

  12. Plate motions at the transition from the Lomonosov Ridge to Eurasian Continental Shelf

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Artyushkov, Eugene; Chekhovich, Peter; Petrov, Eugene

    2016-04-01

    Distribution of the Cenozoic plate motions in the Amerasian Basin is a serious problem. Cenozoic opening of the Gakkel Ridge has resulted in the eastward drift of the Lomonosov Ridge and Podvodnikov Basin. According to a popular point of view these two structures are separated from the Eurasian continent by the Khatanga-Lomonosov Transform Fault. It is supposed that this fault with a right-lateral displacement of about 300 km begins at the southern end of the Gakkel Ridge, passes between the southern end of the Lomonosov Ridge and the Asian Shelf probably continuing further to the east into the Podvodnikov Basin. During the last decade the area was covered by a number of seismic profiles. In 2007 reference profile A-7 was shot (Kazanin, Ivanov, UNCLOS Symposium, St.-Petersburg, May 26, 27 2014). This longitudinal profile 832 km long includes both seismic reflection and deep seismic profiling. It follows the eastern slope of the Lomonosov Ridge in the north and crosses the Asian Continental Rise and shelf of the Laptev Sea terminating near the Novosibirsk Islands in the south. The quality of the data is very high because at that time the area was completely free of ice. Transform faults with large strike-slip displacement are crossing many sedimentary basins (Liemiszki, Brown, GSA Bull., 1988, v. 100, p. 665-676 and others). In such basins the structure of the sedimentary cover changes completely across the fault. Not only sedimentary beds become disrupted but the thicknesses of synchronous sedimentary units on the fault walls commonly appear to be quite different. This indicates that during their movement the units were far one from another. The Khatanga-Lomonosov Transform Fault, if it exists, should cross profile A-7 in its middle part. The profile includes some normal faults slightly disrupting the sedimentary sequences. However, on both fault walls the thickness of the main units of the sedimentary cover separated by regional unconformities remains the same

  13. Effects of Experimental Brood Size Manipulation and Gender on Carotenoid Levels of Eurasian Kestrels Falco tinnunculus

    PubMed Central

    Laaksonen, Toni; Negro, Juan J.; Lyytinen, Sami; Valkama, Jari; Ots, Indrek; Korpimäki, Erkki

    2008-01-01

    Background Animals use carotenoid-pigments for coloration, as antioxidants and as enhancers of the immune system. Carotenoid-dependent colours can thus signal individual quality and carotenoids have also been suggested to mediate life-history trade-offs. Methodology To examine trade-offs in carotenoid allocation between parents and the young, or between skin coloration and plasma of the parents at different levels of brood demand, we manipulated brood sizes of Eurasian kestrels (Falco tinnunculus). Principal Findings Brood size manipulation had no overall effect on plasma carotenoid levels or skin hue of parents, but female parents had twice the plasma carotenoid levels of males. Males work physically harder than females and they might thus also use more carotenoids against oxidative stress than females. Alternatively, females could be gaining back the carotenoid stores they depleted during egg-laying by eating primarily carotenoid-rich food items during the early nestling stage. Fledglings in enlarged broods had higher plasma carotenoid concentrations than those in reduced broods. This difference was not explained by diet. In light of recent evidence from other species, we suggest it might instead be due to fledglings in enlarged broods having higher testosterone levels, which in turn increased plasma carotenoid levels. The partial cross-foster design of our experiment revealed evidence for origin effects (genetic or maternal) on carotenoid levels of fledglings, but no origin-environment interaction. Significance These results from wild birds differ from studies in captivity, and thus offer new insights into carotenoid physiology in relation to division of parental care and demands of the brood. PMID:18545646

  14. Incentivizing the public to support invasive species management: eurasian milfoil reduces lakefront property values.

    PubMed

    Olden, Julian D; Tamayo, Mariana

    2014-01-01

    Economic evaluations of invasive species are essential for providing comprehensive assessments of the benefits and costs of publicly-funded management activities, yet many previous investigations have focused narrowly on expenditures to control spread and infestation. We use hedonic modeling to evaluate the economic effects of Eurasian milfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum) invasions on lakefront property values of single-family homes in an urban-suburban landscape. Milfoil often forms dense canopies at the water surface, diminishing the value of ecosystem services (e.g., recreation, fishing) and necessitating expensive control and management efforts. We compare 1,258 lakeshore property sale transactions (1995-2006) in 17 lakes with milfoil and 24 un-invaded lakes in King County, Washington (USA). After accounting for structural (e.g., house size), locational (e.g., boat launch), and environmental characteristics (e.g., water clarity) of lakes, we found that milfoil has a significant negative effect on property sales price ($94,385 USD lower price), corresponding to a 19% decline in mean property values. The aggregate cost of milfoil invading one additional lake in the study area is, on average, $377,542 USD per year. Our study illustrates that invasive aquatic plants can significantly impact property values (and associated losses in property taxes that reduce local government revenue), justifying the need for management strategies that prevent and control invasions. We recommend coordinated efforts across Lake Management Districts to focus institutional support, funding, and outreach to prevent the introduction and spread of milfoil. This effort will limit opportunities for re-introduction from neighboring lakes and incentivize private landowners and natural resource agencies to commit time and funding to invasive species management.

  15. Protection against Tuberculosis in Eurasian Wild Boar Vaccinated with Heat-Inactivated Mycobacterium bovis

    PubMed Central

    Garrido, Joseba M.; Sevilla, Iker A.; Beltrán-Beck, Beatriz; Minguijón, Esmeralda; Ballesteros, Cristina; Galindo, Ruth C.; Boadella, Mariana; Lyashchenko, Konstantin P.; Romero, Beatriz; Geijo, Maria Victoria; Ruiz-Fons, Francisco; Aranaz, Alicia; Juste, Ramón A.; Vicente, Joaquín; de la Fuente, José; Gortázar, Christian

    2011-01-01

    Tuberculosis (TB) caused by Mycobacterium bovis and closely related members of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex continues to affect humans and animals worldwide and its control requires vaccination of wildlife reservoir species such as Eurasian wild boar (Sus scrofa). Vaccination efforts for TB control in wildlife have been based primarily on oral live BCG formulations. However, this is the first report of the use of oral inactivated vaccines for controlling TB in wildlife. In this study, four groups of 5 wild boar each were vaccinated with inactivated M. bovis by the oral and intramuscular routes, vaccinated with oral BCG or left unvaccinated as controls. All groups were later challenged with a field strain of M. bovis. The results of the IFN-gamma response, serum antibody levels, M. bovis culture, TB lesion scores, and the expression of C3 and MUT genes were compared between these four groups. The results suggested that vaccination with heat-inactivated M. bovis or BCG protect wild boar from TB. These results also encouraged testing combinations of BCG and inactivated M. bovis to vaccinate wild boar against TB. Vaccine formulations using heat-inactivated M. bovis for TB control in wildlife would have the advantage of being environmentally safe and more stable under field conditions when compared to live BCG vaccines. The antibody response and MUT expression levels can help differentiating between vaccinated and infected wild boar and as correlates of protective response in vaccinated animals. These results suggest that vaccine studies in free-living wild boar are now possible to reveal the full potential of protecting against TB using oral M. bovis inactivated and BCG vaccines. PMID:21935486

  16. Natural selection among Eurasians at genomic regions associated with HIV-1 control

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background HIV susceptibility and pathogenicity exhibit both interindividual and intergroup variability. The etiology of intergroup variability is still poorly understood, and could be partly linked to genetic differences among racial/ethnic groups. These genetic differences may be traceable to different regimes of natural selection in the 60,000 years since the human radiation out of Africa. Here, we examine population differentiation and haplotype patterns at several loci identified through genome-wide association studies on HIV-1 control, as determined by viral-load setpoint, in European and African-American populations. We use genome-wide data from the Human Genome Diversity Project, consisting of 53 world-wide populations, to compare measures of FST and relative extended haplotype homozygosity (REHH) at these candidate loci to the rest of the respective chromosome. Results We find that the Europe-Middle East and Europe-South Asia pairwise FST in the most strongly associated region are elevated compared to most pairwise comparisons with the sub-Saharan African group, which exhibit very low FST. We also find genetic signatures of recent positive selection (higher REHH) at these associated regions among all groups except for sub-Saharan Africans and Native Americans. This pattern is consistent with one in which genetic differentiation, possibly due to diversifying/positive selection, occurred at these loci among Eurasians. Conclusions These findings are concordant with those from earlier studies suggesting recent evolutionary change at immunity-related genomic regions among Europeans, and shed light on the potential genetic and evolutionary origin of population differences in HIV-1 control. PMID:21689440

  17. Towards modelling the evolution of intra plate stress: the Eurasian plate 20 Ma.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quéré, Sandrine; Ruckstuhl, Karin; Wortel, Rinus; Govers, Rob; Hochard, Cyril; Stampfli, Gérard

    2010-05-01

    In this study, we investige the evolution of the intra plate stress field. We use the classical characterisation of forces acting regionally on a plate such as 'slab pull/suction', 'ridge push' and 'mantle drag' as used by Forsyth & Uyeda (1975), Chapple & Tullis (1977) and later by Wortel et al. (1991) and Govers & Meijer (2001). So far, the interaction between the lithosphere and the underlying mantle flow was oversimplified and implemented via a coupling cœfficient in the direction of the plate motion and we propose improving this specific interaction. As the shear stress field at the base of the plates is unknown in the past, we propose using a mantle flow simulation induced by the imposition of past plate motions on top of a 3D spherical mantle convective code. To that purpose, we employ the new plate motion reconstruction developed by Stampfli et al. (2008) and a 3D convective code where plates are dynamically coupled to the mantle (Quéré & Forte, 2006). The first plate on which we apply this method is the Eurasian plate as Eurasia is a large plate with a small velocity (not attached to its own subduction zone) and the debate on the main driving forces acting on Eurasia is still going on. The stress field 20 Ma resulting from all plate tectonic forces is calculated by assuming mechanical equilibrium in an homogeneous elastic shell using the plane stress approximation. As direct stress indicators for the past are rare, the predicted paleo-stress field is compared to pertinent data from orogens and extensional basins which will provide new clues to oil exploration teams.

  18. Macroparasite community of the Eurasian red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris): poor species richness and diversity.

    PubMed

    Romeo, Claudia; Pisanu, Benoît; Ferrari, Nicola; Basset, Franck; Tillon, Laurent; Wauters, Lucas A; Martinoli, Adriano; Saino, Nicola; Chapuis, Jean-Louis

    2013-10-01

    The Eurasian red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) is the only naturally occurring tree squirrel throughout its range. We aim at improving current knowledge on its macroparasite fauna, expecting that it will have a poor parasite diversity because in species that have no sympatric congeners parasite richness should be lower than in hosts sharing their range with several closely related species, where host-switching events and lateral transmission are promoted. We examined gastro-intestinal helminth and ectoparasite communities (excluding mites) of, respectively, 147 and 311 red squirrel roadkills collected in four biogeographic regions in Italy and France. As expected, the macroparasite fauna was poor: we found five species of nematodes and some unidentified cestodes, three fleas, two sucking lice and two hard ticks. The helminth community was dominated by a single species, the oxyurid Trypanoxyuris (Rodentoxyuris) sciuri (prevalence, 87%; mean abundance, 373 ± 65 worms/host). Its abundance varied among seasons and biogeographic regions and increased with body mass in male hosts while decreased in females. The most prevalent ectoparasites were the flea Ceratophyllus (Monopsyllus) sciurorum (28%), whose presence was affected by season, and the generalist tick Ixodes (Ixodes) ricinus that was found only in France (34%). All the other helminths and arthropod species were rare, with prevalence below 10%. However, the first record of Strongyloides robustus, a common nematode of North American Eastern grey squirrels (S. carolinensis), in two red squirrels living in areas where this alien species co-inhabits, deserves further attention, since low parasite richness could result in native red squirrels being particularly vulnerable to parasite spillover.

  19. Stichorchis subtriquetrus (Digenea: Paramphistomatidae) from Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) in the Czech Republic.

    PubMed

    Máca, Ondřej; Pavlásek, Ivan; Vorel, Aleš

    2015-08-01

    Between March 2012 and April 2014, we performed post-mortem parasitological examinations of 11 Eurasian beavers (Castor fiber Linnaeus, 1758) from the basins of four main rivers (Dyje, Labe, Morava, Vltava) in the Czech Republic. The cause of death of five adult animals was unknown, three adult animals died after being hit by cars, while one young and one adult as a result of serious injuries and one juvenile male drowned. The trematode Stichorchis subtriquetrus (Rudolphi, 1814) Lühe, 1909 was only found in the caecum body and caecum apex of nine beavers (82%), with no significant differences in parasite intensity among beavers. The highest number of trematodes (271) occurred in an adult female in July 2013; while a range of 1-57 individuals were found in other positive beavers. S. subtriquetrus size in both parts of the caecum was 11.0-17.0 × 5.5-8.0 mm (mean 14.3 × 6.9 mm). Results demonstrated that for the optimal detection of eggs, it was necessary to examine at least 10 g of faeces with a new modified method of sedimentation. The size range of 30 eggs was 157.1-182.5 × 99.3-109.8 μm (mean 168.0 × 104.4 μm). There were no differences in prevalence and seasonal occurrence of S. subtriquetrus between male and female beavers. We did not find any other intestinal endoparasites or tissue parasites (Sarcocystis spp., Trichinella spp.).

  20. Long-Term Trends and Role of Climate in the Population Dynamics of Eurasian Reindeer

    PubMed Central

    Horstkotte, Tim; Kaarlejärvi, Elina; Sévêque, Anthony; Stammler, Florian; Olofsson, Johan; Forbes, Bruce C.; Moen, Jon

    2016-01-01

    Temperature is increasing in Arctic and sub-Arctic regions at a higher rate than anywhere else in the world. The frequency and nature of precipitation events are also predicted to change in the future. These changes in climate are expected, together with increasing human pressures, to have significant impacts on Arctic and sub-Arctic species and ecosystems. Due to the key role that reindeer play in those ecosystems, it is essential to understand how climate will affect the region’s most important species. Our study assesses the role of climate on the dynamics of fourteen Eurasian reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) populations, using for the first time data on reindeer abundance collected over a 70-year period, including both wild and semi-domesticated reindeer, and covering more than half of the species’ total range. We analyzed trends in population dynamics, investigated synchrony among population growth rates, and assessed the effects of climate on population growth rates. Trends in the population dynamics were remarkably heterogeneous. Synchrony was apparent only among some populations and was not correlated with distance among population ranges. Proxies of climate variability mostly failed to explain population growth rates and synchrony. For both wild and semi-domesticated populations, local weather, biotic pressures, loss of habitat and human disturbances appear to have been more important drivers of reindeer population dynamics than climate. In semi-domesticated populations, management strategies may have masked the effects of climate. Conservation efforts should aim to mitigate human disturbances, which could exacerbate the potentially negative effects of climate change on reindeer populations in the future. Special protection and support should be granted to those semi-domesticated populations that suffered the most because of the collapse of the Soviet Union, in order to protect the livelihood of indigenous peoples that depend on the species, and the multi

  1. The Eurasian and Makarov Basins target changes in the Arctic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Polyakov, I.; Padman, L.; Pnyushkov, A.; Rember, R.; Ivanov, V.; Lenn, Y. D.

    2015-12-01

    The Arctic Ocean interior is warming, and there is no indication that the rate of warming will decrease in the near future. The relative role of the interior ocean's warmth in setting net energy flux to, and the mass balance of, Arctic sea ice, however, is still under debate. Thus, quantifying this flux and understanding mechanisms for redistributing heat in the ocean interior are of particular importance. Warm (>0°C) intermediate-depth (150-900m) water of Atlantic origin (the so-called Atlantic Water, AW) is the major source of heat for the ocean interior. Ice thickness along the continental slope east of Svalbard is much less than that expected of first-year ice, suggesting that AW has a direct impact on sea ice just after entering the Arctic. However, in the Canadian Basin, far away from Fram Strait, overlying fresher and colder stable layers effectively insulate the upper mixed layer and ice from impacts of the AW heat. Even though the eastern Eurasian Basin (EEB) is separated from Fram Strait by hundreds of kilometers, the AW heat finds its ways for reaching the ice base in this part of the Arctic Ocean. A distinct process, double diffusion convection, plays an important role in vertical redistribution of AW heat in this region. Double diffusion convection is typically identified as a vertical sequence of almost-homogeneous convective layers separated by high-gradient interfaces, forming a double diffusive "staircase". The staircase structure is a consequence of the differing molecular diffusivities of heat and salt; surprisingly, even though molecular properties drive the instability, resulting net fluxes can be very large, up to several W/m2. The interaction of shear and diffusive layering can significantly alter the heat (and momentum) flux through a staircase. The existing data set are limited and further detailed process studies in the EEB targeting the unique mechanisms of oceanic heat exchange in the interior of the EEB are required.

  2. Testing Eurasian wild boar piglets for serum antibodies against Mycobacterium bovis.

    PubMed

    Che' Amat, A; González-Barrio, D; Ortiz, J A; Díez-Delgado, I; Boadella, M; Barasona, J A; Bezos, J; Romero, B; Armenteros, J A; Lyashchenko, K P; Venteo, A; Rueda, P; Gortázar, C

    2015-09-01

    Animal tuberculosis (TB) caused by infection with Mycobacterium bovis and closely related members of the M. tuberculosis complex (MTC), is often reported in the Eurasian wild boar (Sus scrofa). Tests detecting antibodies against MTC antigens are valuable tools for TB monitoring and control in suids. However, only limited knowledge exists on serology test performance in 2-6 month-old piglets. In this age-class, recent infections might cause lower antibody levels and lower test sensitivity. We examined 126 wild boar piglets from a TB-endemic site using 6 antibody detection tests in order to assess test performance. Bacterial culture (n=53) yielded a M. bovis infection prevalence of 33.9%, while serum antibody prevalence estimated by different tests ranged from 19% to 38%, reaching sensitivities between 15.4% and 46.2% for plate ELISAs and between 61.5% and 69.2% for rapid immunochromatographic tests based on dual path platform (DPP) technology. The Cohen kappa coefficient of agreement between DPP WTB (Wildlife TB) assay and culture results was moderate (0.45) and all other serological tests used had poor to fair agreements. This survey revealed the ability of several tests for detecting serum antibodies against the MTC antigens in 2-6 month-old naturally infected wild boar piglets. The best performance was demonstrated for DPP tests. The results confirmed our initial hypothesis of a lower sensitivity of serology for detecting M. bovis-infected piglets, as compared to older wild boar. Certain tests, notably the rapid animal-side tests, can contribute to TB control strategies by enabling the setup of test and cull schemes or improving pre-movement testing. However, sub-optimal test performance in piglets as compared to that in older wild boar should be taken into account.

  3. Impact and implications of the Afro-Eurasian collision south of Cyprus from reflection seismic data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klimke, Jennifer; Ehrhardt, Axel

    2014-06-01

    The Cyprus Arc in the Eastern Mediterranean represents the active collision front between the African and Eurasian (Anatolian) Plates. Along the Cyprus Arc, the Eratosthenes Seamount is believed to have been blocking the northward motion of the African Plate since the Late Pliocene-Early Pleistocene. Based on a dense grid of 2D reflection seismic profiles covering the Eratosthenes Seamount and western Levant Basin offshore Cyprus, new observations regarding the Cyprus Arc collision front at the triple transition zone Eratosthenes Seamount-Levant Basin-Hecataeus Rise are presented. The data show that the Levant Basin is filled with ~ 10 km of sediments of Early Mesozoic (probably Jurassic) to Plio-Quaternary age with only a localized deformation affecting the Miocene-Oligocene rock units. The sediments onlap directly against the steep eastern flank of the Eratosthenes Seamount to the west and the southern flank of the Hecataeus Rise to the north. The sediments show no deformation that could be associated with collision and are undeformed even very close to the two prominent structures. Pinching out of the Base Miocene reflector in the Levant Basin due to onlapping of the Middle Miocene reflector indicates uplift of the Eratosthenes Seamount and the Hecataeus Rise. In contrast to the Messinian Evaporites north of the Eratosthenes Seamount, the salt in the Levant Basin, even close to the Hecataeus Rise, is tectonically undeformed. It is proposed that the Eratosthenes Seamount, the western Levant Basin and the Hecataeus Rise act as one tectonic unit. This implies that the collision front is located north of this unit and that the Hecataeus Rise shields the sediments south of it from deformation associated with collision of the African and Anatolian Plates.

  4. Range expansion and population dynamics of an invasive species: the Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto).

    PubMed

    Scheidt, Spencer N; Hurlbert, Allen H

    2014-01-01

    Invasive species offer ecologists the opportunity to study the factors governing species distributions and population growth. The Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto) serves as a model organism for invasive spread because of the wealth of abundance records and the recent development of the invasion. We tested whether a set of environmental variables were related to the carrying capacities and growth rates of individual populations by modeling the growth trajectories of individual populations of the Collared-Dove using Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) and Christmas Bird Count (CBC) data. Depending on the fit of our growth models, carrying capacity and growth rate parameters were extracted and modeled using historical, geographical, land cover and climatic predictors. Model averaging and individual variable importance weights were used to assess the strength of these predictors. The specific variables with the greatest support in our models differed between data sets, which may be the result of temporal and spatial differences between the BBS and CBC. However, our results indicate that both carrying capacity and population growth rates are related to developed land cover and temperature, while growth rates may also be influenced by dispersal patterns along the invasion front. Model averaged multivariate models explained 35-48% and 41-46% of the variation in carrying capacities and population growth rates, respectively. Our results suggest that widespread species invasions can be evaluated within a predictable population ecology framework. Land cover and climate both have important effects on population growth rates and carrying capacities of Collared-Dove populations. Efforts to model aspects of population growth of this invasive species were more successful than attempts to model static abundance patterns, pointing to a potentially fruitful avenue for the development of improved invasive distribution models.

  5. Food availability and animal space use both determine cache density of Eurasian red squirrels.

    PubMed

    Rong, Ke; Yang, Hui; Ma, Jianzhang; Zong, Cheng; Cai, Tijiu

    2013-01-01

    Scatter hoarders are not able to defend their caches. A longer hoarding distance combined with lower cache density can reduce cache losses but increase the costs of hoarding and retrieving. Scatter hoarders arrange their cache density to achieve an optimal balance between hoarding costs and main cache losses. We conducted systematic cache sampling investigations to estimate the effects of food availability on cache patterns of Eurasian red squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris). This study was conducted over a five-year period at two sample plots in a Korean pine (Pinus koraiensis)-dominated forest with contrasting seed production patterns. During these investigations, the locations of nest trees were treated as indicators of squirrel space use to explore how space use affected cache pattern. The squirrels selectively hoarded heavier pine seeds farther away from seed-bearing trees. The heaviest seeds were placed in caches around nest trees regardless of the nest tree location, and this placement was not in response to decreased food availability. The cache density declined with the hoarding distance. Cache density was lower at sites with lower seed production and during poor seed years. During seed mast years, the cache density around nest trees was higher and invariant. The pine seeds were dispersed over a larger distance when seed availability was lower. Our results suggest that 1) animal space use is an important factor that affects food hoarding distance and associated cache densities, 2) animals employ different hoarding strategies based on food availability, and 3) seed dispersal outside the original stand is stimulated in poor seed years.

  6. Sex and testosterone effects on growth, immunity and melanin coloration of nestling Eurasian kestrels.

    PubMed

    Fargallo, Juan A; Martínez-Padilla, Jesús; Toledano-Díaz, Adolfo; Santiago-Moreno, Julián; Dávila, José A

    2007-01-01

    1. Sex differences in testosterone levels and sex-biased sensitivity to testosterone are the basis of some ideas postulated to account for sex-linked environmental vulnerability during early life. However, sex variation in circulating testosterone levels has been scarcely explored and never manipulated at post-natal stages of birds in the wild. 2. We measured and experimentally increased circulating testosterone levels in nestling Eurasian kestrels Falco tinnunculus. We investigated, possible sexual differences in testosterone levels and the effect of this hormone on growth (body mass and tarsus length) and cell-mediated immunity in males and females. We also explored testosterone effects on rump coloration, a highly variable melanin-based trait in male nestlings. We analysed data on circulating testosterone levels of nestlings in 15 additional bird species. 3. Increased levels of testosterone tended to negatively affect body condition, reduced cell-mediated immune responses in male and female nestlings and also diminished the expression of grey rump coloration in male nestlings. No sex differences were observed in testosterone levels in either control or increased testosterone group nestlings, and no interactions were found between sex and treatment. However, male nestlings showed a lower cell-mediated immune response than females in both groups. 4. Our results indicate first, that a high level of testosterone in all nestlings in a brood entails costs, at least in terms of immunity, coloration and probably growth. Secondly, sex differences in post-natal cell-mediated immunity, and consequently in the capacity to prevent diseases, cannot be explained by sex differences in circulating testosterone levels. Finally, by comparing published data at an interspecific level, contradictory sex patterns in circulating testosterone levels have been found, supporting the idea that circulating testosterone might not be a proximate factor causing sex-dependent vulnerability in

  7. Scent-marking behaviour and social dynamics in a wild population of Eurasian lynx Lynx lynx.

    PubMed

    Vogt, Kristina; Zimmermann, Fridolin; Kölliker, Mathias; Breitenmoser, Urs

    2014-07-01

    Scent-marking is widespread among mammals and has been observed in many felid species. Although the behaviour is well-described, little is known about its function in wild felid populations. We investigated patterns of scent-marking and its role in intra- and intersexual communication among resident and non-resident Eurasian lynx Lynx lynx by observing interactions among wild lynx at natural marking sites by means of infrared camera traps. Marking activity of resident animals showed a peak during the mating season and was lowest during the time when females gave birth and lactated. Both sexes scent-marked, but male lynx visited marking sites much more often than females and marked relatively more often when visiting a site. Most visits to marking sites were by residents but we also observed scent-marking by non-residents. Juveniles were never observed marking. We found no evidence of lynx regularly renewing scent-marks after a certain 'expiry date' but the presence of a strange scent-mark triggered over-marking. Males responded similarly to the presence of another individual's scent-mark, irrespective of whether it was the top- or the underlying scent-mark in a mixture of scent-marks they encountered. Our results suggest that marking sites could serve as 'chemical bulletin boards', where male lynx advertise their presence and gain information on ownership relationships in a given area. Females placed their urine marks on top of the ones left by resident males, but further studies are needed to explain the functions of over-marking in females.

  8. Histological and endocrine characterisation of the annual luteal activity in Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx).

    PubMed

    Carnaby, Kim; Painer, Johanna; Söderberg, Arne; Gavier-Widèn, Dolores; Göritz, Frank; Dehnhard, Martin; Jewgenow, Katarina

    2012-10-01

    Lynx presents a unique sexual cycle with persistent corpora lutea (CLs) and elevated serum progesterone (P₄) throughout parturition and lactation. In other mammals, CLs normally disintegrate after parturition, therefore the aim of our study was to characterise the annual life cycle of lynx CLs. Ovaries from Eurasian lynxes were obtained from the National Veterinary Institute in Sweden, where tissues from killed lynx were stored at -20 °C. Ovaries from 66 animals were weighed; each corpus luteum was segmented for histology and hormone analysis. Ovary and CLs weights were constant throughout the year, peaking during pregnancy. In non-pregnant lynxes, the seasonal level of intraluteal steroids was steady for P₄ (3.2±1.9 s.d. μg/g, n=53) and total oestrogens (18.3±15.5 s.d. ng/g, n=53). Within histology slides, structurally intact luteal cells were found throughout the year with the highest incidence in March/April; evidence of luteal regression was predominantly found in post-breeding season. Ovaries from pregnant animals contained two types of CLs. Group A was bigger in size with large luteal cells (P₄, 72.3±65.4 s.d. μg/g; oestrogen, 454.0±52.4 s.d. ng/g). In contrast, group B were smaller, with greater luteal regression and lower steroid concentrations (P₄, 8.3±2.9 s.d. μg/g; oestrogen, 31.5±20.4 s.d. ng/g). Our results suggest that structural luteolysis proceeds throughout the year and into next breeding cycle, resulting in two CLs types on the same ovary.

  9. Spatial spread of Eurasian beavers in river networks: a comparison of range expansion rates.

    PubMed

    Barták, Vojtěch; Vorel, Aleš; Símová, Petra; Puš, Vladimír

    2013-05-01

    1. Accurately measuring the rate of spread for expanding populations is important for reliably predicting their future spread, as well as for evaluating the effect of different conditions and management activities on that rate of spread. 2. Although a number of methods have been developed for such measurement, all these are designed only for one- or two-dimensional spread. Species dispersing along rivers, however, require specific methods due to the distinctly branching structure of river networks. 3. In this study, we analyse data regarding Eurasian beavers' modern recolonization of the Czech Republic. We developed a new methodology for quantifying spread of species dispersing along streams based on representation of the river network by means of a weighted graph. 4. We defined two different network-based spread rate measures, one estimating the rate of range expansion, with the range defined as the total length of occupied streams, and the second, named range diameter, quantifying the progress along one or several main streams. In addition, we estimated the population growth rates, and, dividing the population size by the range size, we measured the density of beaver records within their overall range. Using linear regression, we compared four beaver populations under different environmental conditions in terms of each of these measures. Finally, we discuss the differences between our method and the classical approaches. 5. Our method provided substantially higher spread rate values than did the classical methods. Both population growth and range expansion were found to follow logistic growth. In cases of there being no considerable barriers in dispersal routes, the rate of progress along main streams did not differ significantly among populations. In homogeneous environments, population densities remained relatively constant over time even though overall population sizes increased. This indicates that at large spatial scales, the population growth of beavers

  10. Living on the edge: Space use of Eurasian red squirrels in marginal high-elevation habitat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Romeo, Claudia; Wauters, Lucas A.; Preatoni, Damiano; Tosi, Guido; Martinoli, Adriano

    2010-11-01

    In marginal habitats located at the edge of a species' range, environmental conditions are frequently extreme and individuals may be subject to different selective pressures compared to central populations. These so-called edge or marginal populations tend to have lower densities and reproductive rates than populations located in more suitable habitats, but little is known about local adaptations in spacing behavior. We studied space use and social organization in a population of Eurasian red squirrels ( Sciurus vulgaris) in a high-elevation marginal habitat of dwarf mountain pine ( Pinus mugo) and compared it with spacing patterns in high-quality Scots pine ( Pinus sylvestris) forest at lower-elevation. Home ranges and core areas were larger in the marginal habitat. In both habitats, males used larger home ranges than females, but sex differences in core area size were significant only in the edge population. Patterns of core area overlap were similar in both habitats with intra-sexual territoriality among adult females and higher degrees of inter-sexual overlap, typical for the species throughout its range. However, low densities in the edge population resulted in higher female by males overlap in spring-summer, suggesting males increased home ranges and core areas during mating season to augment access to estrus females. Thus, in the marginal habitat, with low food abundance and low population densities, linked with extreme winter conditions, squirrels, especially males, used large home ranges. Finally, squirrels responded more strongly to variation in food availability (inverse relation between home range size and seed abundance), and even to fluctuations in density (inverse relation between core area size and density of animals of the same sex), in the marginal than in the high-quality habitat, suggesting high behavioral plasticity to respond to the ecological constraints in marginal habitats.

  11. Food Availability and Animal Space Use Both Determine Cache Density of Eurasian Red Squirrels

    PubMed Central

    Rong, Ke; Yang, Hui; Ma, Jianzhang; Zong, Cheng; Cai, Tijiu

    2013-01-01

    Scatter hoarders are not able to defend their caches. A longer hoarding distance combined with lower cache density can reduce cache losses but increase the costs of hoarding and retrieving. Scatter hoarders arrange their cache density to achieve an optimal balance between hoarding costs and main cache losses. We conducted systematic cache sampling investigations to estimate the effects of food availability on cache patterns of Eurasian red squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris). This study was conducted over a five-year period at two sample plots in a Korean pine (Pinus koraiensis)-dominated forest with contrasting seed production patterns. During these investigations, the locations of nest trees were treated as indicators of squirrel space use to explore how space use affected cache pattern. The squirrels selectively hoarded heavier pine seeds farther away from seed-bearing trees. The heaviest seeds were placed in caches around nest trees regardless of the nest tree location, and this placement was not in response to decreased food availability. The cache density declined with the hoarding distance. Cache density was lower at sites with lower seed production and during poor seed years. During seed mast years, the cache density around nest trees was higher and invariant. The pine seeds were dispersed over a larger distance when seed availability was lower. Our results suggest that 1) animal space use is an important factor that affects food hoarding distance and associated cache densities, 2) animals employ different hoarding strategies based on food availability, and 3) seed dispersal outside the original stand is stimulated in poor seed years. PMID:24265833

  12. Transcriptome Analysis in Sheepgrass (Leymus chinensis). A Dominant Perennial Grass of the Eurasian Steppe

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, Shuangyan; Huang, Xin; Yang, Xiaohan; Liu, Gongshe

    2013-07-04

    BACKGROUND: Sheepgrass [Leymus chinensis (Trin.) Tzvel.] is an important perennial forage grass across the Eurasian Steppe and is known for its adaptability to various environmental conditions. However, insufficient data resources in public databases for sheepgrass limited our understanding of the mechanism of environmental adaptations, gene discovery and molecular marker development. RESULTS: The transcriptome of sheepgrass was sequenced using Roche 454 pyrosequencing technology. We assembled 952,328 high-quality reads into 87,214 unigenes, including 32,416 contigs and 54,798 singletons. There were 15,450 contigs over 500 bp in length. BLAST searches of our database against Swiss-Prot and NCBI non-redundant protein sequences (nr) databases resulted in the annotation of 54,584 (62.6%) of the unigenes. Gene Ontology (GO) analysis assigned 89,129 GO term annotations for 17,463 unigenes. We identified 11,675 core Poaceae-specific and 12,811 putative sheepgrass-specific unigenes by BLAST searches against all plant genome and transcriptome databases. A total of 2,979 specific freezing-responsive unigenes were found from this RNAseq dataset. We identified 3,818 EST-SSRs in 3,597 unigenes, and some SSRs contained unigenes that were also candidates for freezing-response genes. Characterizations of nucleotide repeats and dominant motifs of SSRs in sheepgrass were also performed. Similarity and phylogenetic analysis indicated that sheepgrass is closely related to barley and wheat. CONCLUSIONS: This research has greatly enriched sheepgrass transcriptome resources. The identified stress-related genes will help us to decipher the genetic basis of the environmental and ecological adaptations of this species and will be used to improve wheat and barley crops through hybridization or genetic transformation. The EST-SSRs reported here will be a valuable resource for future gene-phenotype studies and for the molecular breeding of sheepgrass and other Poaceae species.

  13. Incentivizing the Public to Support Invasive Species Management: Eurasian Milfoil Reduces Lakefront Property Values

    PubMed Central

    Olden, Julian D.; Tamayo, Mariana

    2014-01-01

    Economic evaluations of invasive species are essential for providing comprehensive assessments of the benefits and costs of publicly-funded management activities, yet many previous investigations have focused narrowly on expenditures to control spread and infestation. We use hedonic modeling to evaluate the economic effects of Eurasian milfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum) invasions on lakefront property values of single-family homes in an urban-suburban landscape. Milfoil often forms dense canopies at the water surface, diminishing the value of ecosystem services (e.g., recreation, fishing) and necessitating expensive control and management efforts. We compare 1,258 lakeshore property sale transactions (1995–2006) in 17 lakes with milfoil and 24 un-invaded lakes in King County, Washington (USA). After accounting for structural (e.g., house size), locational (e.g., boat launch), and environmental characteristics (e.g., water clarity) of lakes, we found that milfoil has a significant negative effect on property sales price ($94,385 USD lower price), corresponding to a 19% decline in mean property values. The aggregate cost of milfoil invading one additional lake in the study area is, on average, $377,542 USD per year. Our study illustrates that invasive aquatic plants can significantly impact property values (and associated losses in property taxes that reduce local government revenue), justifying the need for management strategies that prevent and control invasions. We recommend coordinated efforts across Lake Management Districts to focus institutional support, funding, and outreach to prevent the introduction and spread of milfoil. This effort will limit opportunities for re-introduction from neighboring lakes and incentivize private landowners and natural resource agencies to commit time and funding to invasive species management. PMID:25333619

  14. Long-Term Trends and Role of Climate in the Population Dynamics of Eurasian Reindeer.

    PubMed

    Uboni, Alessia; Horstkotte, Tim; Kaarlejärvi, Elina; Sévêque, Anthony; Stammler, Florian; Olofsson, Johan; Forbes, Bruce C; Moen, Jon

    2016-01-01

    Temperature is increasing in Arctic and sub-Arctic regions at a higher rate than anywhere else in the world. The frequency and nature of precipitation events are also predicted to change in the future. These changes in climate are expected, together with increasing human pressures, to have significant impacts on Arctic and sub-Arctic species and ecosystems. Due to the key role that reindeer play in those ecosystems, it is essential to understand how climate will affect the region's most important species. Our study assesses the role of climate on the dynamics of fourteen Eurasian reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) populations, using for the first time data on reindeer abundance collected over a 70-year period, including both wild and semi-domesticated reindeer, and covering more than half of the species' total range. We analyzed trends in population dynamics, investigated synchrony among population growth rates, and assessed the effects of climate on population growth rates. Trends in the population dynamics were remarkably heterogeneous. Synchrony was apparent only among some populations and was not correlated with distance among population ranges. Proxies of climate variability mostly failed to explain population growth rates and synchrony. For both wild and semi-domesticated populations, local weather, biotic pressures, loss of habitat and human disturbances appear to have been more important drivers of reindeer population dynamics than climate. In semi-domesticated populations, management strategies may have masked the effects of climate. Conservation efforts should aim to mitigate human disturbances, which could exacerbate the potentially negative effects of climate change on reindeer populations in the future. Special protection and support should be granted to those semi-domesticated populations that suffered the most because of the collapse of the Soviet Union, in order to protect the livelihood of indigenous peoples that depend on the species, and the multi

  15. Spatiotemporal Variability of Snow Depth across Eurasian Continent from 1966 to 2008

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhong, X.; Zhang, T.; Wang, K.

    2013-12-01

    Snow depth is one of the important parameters of snow cover, and it affects the surface energy balance, assessment of snow water equivalent, ecosystem, soil temperatures, and water cycle as a whole. In this study, the long-term observed snow depth from 1972 meteorological stations and snow course sites were used to investigate snow depth climatology and its spatiotemporal variations over Eurasian Continent from 1966 to 2008. Preliminary results showed that snow depth was affected by latitude, which in general snow depth increased with the increasing latitude. The higher values of snow depth were found in the northeastern European Russia, the east of western Siberia, the west of central Siberia, Kamchatka Peninsula, and some areas of Sakhalin. While the lower snow accumulation occurred in most areas of China except for the north of Xinjiang Autonomous Region of China, Northeast China, and some regions of the southwestern Tibet. Both of the trends in inter-annual variability of annual mean snow depth and annual maximum snow depth were not significant. However, the long-term monthly mean snow depth had obvious increasing trends from February to May. There were similar spatial distributions of linear trend coefficients of annual mean snow depth and annual maximum snow depth across the former Soviet Union (USSR). The most significant trends of changes in annual mean snow depth and annual maximum snow depth were found between 40° to 70°N. The obvious trends of variability in monthly mean snow depth appeared in the areas between 50° to 60°N. The significant decreasing trends in monthly mean snow depth were observed in most areas of China from February to March. This may be largely influenced by climate change, which leads to an advancing of the end date of snow cover.

  16. Innovative techniques for estimating illegal activities in a human-wildlife-management conflict.

    PubMed

    Cross, Paul; St John, Freya A V; Khan, Saira; Petroczi, Andrea

    2013-01-01

    Effective management of biological resources is contingent upon stakeholder compliance with rules. With respect to disease management, partial compliance can undermine attempts to control diseases within human and wildlife populations. Estimating non-compliance is notoriously problematic as rule-breakers may be disinclined to admit to transgressions. However, reliable estimates of rule-breaking are critical to policy design. The European badger (Meles meles) is considered an important vector in the transmission and maintenance of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in cattle herds. Land managers in high bTB prevalence areas of the UK can cull badgers under license. However, badgers are also known to be killed illegally. The extent of illegal badger killing is currently unknown. Herein we report on the application of three innovative techniques (Randomized Response Technique (RRT); projective questioning (PQ); brief implicit association test (BIAT)) for investigating illegal badger killing by livestock farmers across Wales. RRT estimated that 10.4% of farmers killed badgers in the 12 months preceding the study. Projective questioning responses and implicit associations relate to farmers' badger killing behavior reported via RRT. Studies evaluating the efficacy of mammal vector culling and vaccination programs should incorporate estimates of non-compliance. Mitigating the conflict concerning badgers as a vector of bTB requires cross-disciplinary scientific research, departure from deep-rooted positions, and the political will to implement evidence-based management.

  17. Surveillance for Eurasian-origin and intercontinental reassortant highly pathogenic influenza A viruses in Alaska, spring and summer 2015

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ramey, Andrew M.; Pearce, John M.; Reeves, Andrew B.; Poulson, Rebecca L.; Dobson, Jennifer; Lefferts, Brian; Spragens, Kyle A.; Stallknecht, David E.

    2016-01-01

    BackgroundEurasian-origin and intercontinental reassortant highly pathogenic (HP) influenza A viruses (IAVs) were first detected in North America in wild, captive, and domestic birds during November–December 2014. Detections of HP viruses in wild birds in the contiguous United States and southern Canadian provinces continued into winter and spring of 2015 raising concerns that migratory birds could potentially disperse viruses to more northerly breeding areas where they could be maintained to eventually seed future poultry outbreaks.ResultsWe sampled 1,129 wild birds on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, Alaska, one of the largest breeding areas for waterfowl in North America, during spring and summer of 2015 to test for Eurasian lineage and intercontinental reassortant HP H5 IAVs and potential progeny viruses. We did not detect HP IAVs in our sample collection from western Alaska; however, we isolated five low pathogenic (LP) viruses. Four isolates were of the H6N1 (n = 2), H6N2, and H9N2 combined subtypes whereas the fifth isolate was a mixed infection that included H3 and N7 gene segments. Genetic characterization of these five LP IAVs isolated from cackling (Branta hutchinsii; n = 2) and greater white-fronted geese (Anser albifrons; n = 3), revealed three viral gene segments sharing high nucleotide identity with HP H5 viruses recently detected in North America. Additionally, one of the five isolates was comprised of multiple Eurasian lineage gene segments.ConclusionsOur results did not provide direct evidence for circulation of HP IAVs in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta region of Alaska during spring and summer of 2015. Prevalence and genetic characteristics of LP IAVs during the sampling period are concordant with previous findings of relatively low viral prevalence in geese during spring, non-detection of IAVs in geese during summer, and evidence for intercontinental exchange of viruses in western Alaska.

  18. Macroscopic and microscopic evaluation of Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) female tubular reproductive organs in relation to ovarian structures.

    PubMed

    Axnér, E; Holm, D; Gavier-Widén, D; Söderberg, A; Bergqvist, A S

    2015-09-15

    Although monitoring wild animals in the field is essential for estimations of population size and development, there are pitfalls associated with field monitoring. In addition, some detailed data about reproductive physiology can be difficult to obtain in wild live animals. Studying reproductive organs from the Eurasian lynx killed at hunting or found dead could be used as a valuable addition to other field data. We evaluated reproductive organs from 39 Eurasian lynx females (Lynx lynx) killed in Sweden during the hunting seasons in 2009, 2010, and 2011. According to notes on ovarian structures, the animals were categorized as being in one of four different reproductive stages: juvenile (n = 10), follicular stage (n = 8), luteal stage (n = 11), and anestrus (n = 10). Corpora lutea were classified as fresh CL from the present season or as luteal bodies from previous cycles. Microscopic evaluations were blindly coded while the outer measurements of the vagina and uterus were taken at the time of organ retrieval. The width of the endometrium, myometrium, outer width of the uterine horns, and the diameter of the vagina differed significantly with the reproductive stage (P < 0.001) and were largest in the follicular and luteal phases. The number of endometrial glands evaluated blindly coded on a subjective scale was significantly associated with the reproductive stage (P < 0.0001) and was significantly higher in the luteal phase than that in any other reproductive stages (P < 0.05). Cornification of the vaginal epithelium was only observed in females in the follicular stage or in females with signs of a recent ovulation. In conclusion, both macroscopic and histologic measurements are useful for a correct classification of the reproductive stage when evaluating reproductive organs in the Eurasian lynx killed during the hunting season. Routine evaluation of reproductive organs has a potential to be a useful additional tool to field studies of live lynx to monitor their

  19. Large Impact of Eurasian Lynx Predation on Roe Deer Population Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Andrén, Henrik; Liberg, Olof

    2015-01-01

    The effects of predation on ungulate populations depend on several factors. One of the most important factors is the proportion of predation that is additive or compensatory respectively to other mortality in the prey, i.e., the relative effect of top-down and bottom-up processes. We estimated Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) kill rate on roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) using radio-collared lynx. Kill rate was strongly affected by lynx social status. For males it was 4.85 ± 1.30 S.E. roe deer per 30 days, for females with kittens 6.23 ± 0.83 S.E. and for solitary females 2.71 ± 0.47 S.E. We found very weak support for effects of prey density (both for Type I (linear) and Type II (non-linear) functional responses) and of season (winter, summer) on lynx kill rate. Additionally, we analysed the growth rate in a roe deer population from 1985 to 2005 in an area, which lynx naturally re-colonized in 1996. The annual roe deer growth rate was lower after lynx re-colonized the study area, but it was also negatively influenced by roe deer density. Before lynx colonized the area roe deer growth rate was λ = 1.079 (± 0.061 S.E.), while after lynx re-colonization it was λ = 0.94 (± 0.051 S.E.). Thus, the growth rate in the roe deer population decreased by Δλ = 0.14 (± 0.080 S.E.) after lynx re-colonized the study area, which corresponded to the estimated lynx predation rate on roe deer (0.11 ± 0.042 S.E.), suggesting that lynx predation was mainly additive to other mortality in roe deer. To conclude, this study suggests that lynx predation together with density dependent factors both influence the roe deer population dynamics. Thus, both top-down and bottom-up processes operated at the same time in this predator-prey system. PMID:25806949

  20. Sexual conflict and consistency of offspring desertion in Eurasian penduline tit Remiz pendulinus

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

    Background The trade-off between current and future parental investment is often different between males and females. This difference may lead to sexual conflict between parents over care provisioning in animals that breed with multiple mates. One of the most obvious manifestations of sexual conflict over care is offspring desertion whereby one parent deserts the young to increase its reproductive success at the expense of its mate. Offspring desertion is a wide-spread behavior, and its frequency often varies within populations. We studied the consistency of offspring desertion in a small passerine bird, the Eurasian penduline tit Remiz pendulinus, that has an extremely variable breeding system. Both males and females are sequentially polygamous, and a single parent (either the male or the female) incubates the eggs and rears the young. About 28–40% of offspring are abandoned by both parents, and these offspring perish. Here we investigate whether the variation in offspring desertion in a population emerges either by each individual behaving consistently between different broods, or it is driven by the environment. Results Using a three-year dataset from Southern Hungary we show that offspring desertion by females is consistent between nests. Male desertion, however, depends on ambient environment, because all males desert their nests early in the season and some of them care late in the season. Therefore, within-population variation in parental care emerges by sexually different mechanisms; between-individual variation was responsible for the observed pattern of offspring desertion in females, whereas within-individual variation was responsible for the observed pattern in males. Conclusion To our knowledge, our study is the first that investigates repeatability of offspring desertion behavior in nature. The contrasting strategies of the sexes imply complex evolutionary trajectories in breeding behavior of penduline tits. Our results raise an intriguing question

  1. Large impact of Eurasian lynx predation on roe deer population dynamics.

    PubMed

    Andrén, Henrik; Liberg, Olof

    2015-01-01

    The effects of predation on ungulate populations depend on several factors. One of the most important factors is the proportion of predation that is additive or compensatory respectively to other mortality in the prey, i.e., the relative effect of top-down and bottom-up processes. We estimated Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) kill rate on roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) using radio-collared lynx. Kill rate was strongly affected by lynx social status. For males it was 4.85 ± 1.30 S.E. roe deer per 30 days, for females with kittens 6.23 ± 0.83 S.E. and for solitary females 2.71 ± 0.47 S.E. We found very weak support for effects of prey density (both for Type I (linear) and Type II (non-linear) functional responses) and of season (winter, summer) on lynx kill rate. Additionally, we analysed the growth rate in a roe deer population from 1985 to 2005 in an area, which lynx naturally re-colonized in 1996. The annual roe deer growth rate was lower after lynx re-colonized the study area, but it was also negatively influenced by roe deer density. Before lynx colonized the area roe deer growth rate was λ = 1.079 (± 0.061 S.E.), while after lynx re-colonization it was λ = 0.94 (± 0.051 S.E.). Thus, the growth rate in the roe deer population decreased by Δλ = 0.14 (± 0.080 S.E.) after lynx re-colonized the study area, which corresponded to the estimated lynx predation rate on roe deer (0.11 ± 0.042 S.E.), suggesting that lynx predation was mainly additive to other mortality in roe deer. To conclude, this study suggests that lynx predation together with density dependent factors both influence the roe deer population dynamics. Thus, both top-down and bottom-up processes operated at the same time in this predator-prey system.

  2. Collection of field reproductive data from carcasses of the female Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx).

    PubMed

    Axnér, E; Payan-Carreira, R; Setterlind, P; Åsbrink, J; Söderberg, A

    2013-11-01

    Information about reproductive physiology in the Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) would generate knowledge that could be useful in the management of the Swedish lynx population based on the knowledge about their reproductive potential and population development. Age-related differences in ovulation and implantation rates would affect the reproductive output and the development of the population. The aims of this study were to evaluate a protocol for collection of reproductive data from carcasses by comparisons with published field data and to generate data about reproduction in the Swedish lynx. Reproductive organs from 120 females that were harvested between March 1 and April 9 from 2009 to 2011 were collected and evaluated macroscopically for placental scars. Females had their first estrus as yearlings but did not have their first litter until the next season. Pregnancy rates were lower in 2-year-old females than in females aged 3 to 7 years but did not differ significantly from females aged 8 to 13 years (54.5%, 95.6%, and 75.0%, respectively). CL from the present season were morphologically distinctly different from luteal bodies from previous cycles (LBPC). All females ≥3 years had macroscopically visible LBPC, whereas only 67% of 22 to 23 months old females had one to three LBPC and no females <1 year of age had LBPC. Females aged 34 to 35 months had up to eight LPBC, whereas the highest number of LBPC counted in females ≥3 years of age was 11. These data would be in agreement with only one estrus per season and LBPC from at least three previous reproductive seasons in older females. The number of LBPC was significantly correlated with the weight of the ovaries rs = 0.648, P < 0.001) and the age of the animals (rs = 0.572, P < 0.001). Uterine weight differed significantly with the stage of the reproductive cycle and was highest for mature females in the luteal phase of the cycle. The estrous period, defined as occurrence of ovarian follicles lasted from March 5

  3. Constraints on Eurasian ship NOx emissions using OMI NO2 observations and GEOS-Chem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vinken, Geert C. M.; Boersma, Folkert; van Donkelaar, Aaron; Zhang, Lin

    2013-04-01

    Ships emit large quantities of nitrogen oxides (NOx = NO + NO2), important precursors for ozone (O3) and particulate matter formation. Ships burn low-grade marine heavy fuel due to the limited regulations that exist for the maritime sector in international waters. Previous studies showed that global ship NOx emission inventories amount to 3.0-10.4 Tg N per year (15-30% of total NOx emissions), with most emissions close to land and affecting air quality in densely populated coastal regions. Bottom-up inventories depend on the extrapolation of a relatively small number of measurements that are often unable to capture annual emission changes and can suffer from large uncertainties. Satellites provide long-term, high-resolution retrievals that can be used to improve emission estimates. In this study we provide top-down constraints on ship NOx emissions in major European ship routes, using observed NO2 columns from the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) and NO2 columns simulated with the nested (0.5°×0.67°) version of the GEOS-Chem chemistry transport model. We use a plume-in-grid treatment of ship NOx emissions to account for in-plume chemistry in our model. We ensure consistency between the retrievals and model simulations by using the high-resolution GEOS-Chem NO2 profiles as a priori. We find evidence that ship emissions in the Mediterranean Sea are geographically misplaced by up to 150 km and biased high by a factor of 4 as compared to the most recent (EMEP) ship emission inventory. Better agreement is found over the shipping lane between Spain and the English Channel. We extend our approach and also provide constraints for major ship routes in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean. Using the full benefit of the long-term retrieval record of OMI, we present a new Eurasian ship emission inventory for the years 2005 to 2010, based on the EMEP and AMVER-ICOADS inventories, and top-down constraints from the satellite retrievals. Our work shows that satellite retrievals can

  4. Long-term Radiation Budget Variability in the Northern Eurasian Region: Assessing the Interaction with Fire

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stackhouse, P. W.; Soja, A. J.; Zhang, T.; Mikovitz, J. C.

    2013-12-01

    In terms of global change, boreal regions are particularly important, because significant warming and change are already evident and significant future warming is predicted. Mean global air temperature has increased by 0.74°C in the last century, and temperatures are predicted to increase by 1.8°C to 4°C by 2090, depending on the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scenario. Some of the greatest temperature increases are currently found in the Northern Eurasian winter and spring, which has led to longer growing seasons, increased potential evapotranspiration and extreme fire weather [Groisman et al., 2007]. In the Siberian Sayan, winter temperatures have already exceeded a 2090 Hadley Centre scenario (HadCM3GGa1) [Soja et al., 2007]. There is evidence of climate-induced change across the circumboreal in terms of increased infestations, alterations in vegetation and increased fire regimes (area burned, fire frequency, severity and number of extreme fire seasons). In this paper, we analyzed long-term surface radiation data sets from the NASA/GEWEX (Global Energy and Water Exchanges) Surface Radiation Budget data products, CERES Surface EBAF and SYN data products and also the available surface radiation measurements in the region. First, we show that during overlap years SRB and CERES data products agree very well in terms of anomalies and we'll use this fact to evaluate 30 years of satellite based estimates of the variability of downwelling SW parameters first corresponding to locations of surface measurements and then for the region as a whole. We also show the observed variability of other SW components such as the net SW and the albedo. Next we assess the variability of the downward and LW fluxes over time and compare these to variability observed in the surface temperature and other meteorological measurements. We assess anomalies on various spatial scales. Finally, we assess the correlation of this variability in specific locations to known fire

  5. Climate relevant trace gases (N2O and CH4) in the Eurasian Basin (Arctic Ocean)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Verdugo, Josefa; Damm, Ellen; Snoeijs, Pauline; Díez, Beatriz; Farías, Laura

    2016-11-01

    The concentration of greenhouse gases, including nitrous oxide (N2O), methane (CH4), and compounds such as total dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSPt), along with other oceanographic variables were measured in the ice-covered Arctic Ocean within the Eurasian Basin (EAB). The EAB is affected by the perennial ice-pack and has seasonal microalgal blooms, which in turn may stimulate microbes involved in trace gas cycling. Data collection was carried out on board the LOMROG III cruise during the boreal summer of 2012. Water samples were collected from the surface to the bottom layer (reaching 4300 m depth) along a South-North transect (SNT), from 82.19°N, 8.75°E to 89.26°N, 58.84°W, crossing the EAB through the Nansen and Amundsen Basins. The Polar Mixed Layer and halocline waters along the SNT showed a heterogeneous distribution of N2O, CH4 and DMSPt, fluctuating between 42-111 and 27-649% saturation for N2O and CH4, respectively; and from 3.5 to 58.9 nmol L-1 for DMSPt. Spatial patterns revealed that while CH4 and DMSPt peaked in the Nansen Basin, N2O was higher in the Amundsen Basin. In the Atlantic Intermediate Water and Arctic Deep Water N2O and CH4 distributions were also heterogeneous with saturations between 52% and 106% and 28% and 340%, respectively. Remarkably, the Amundsen Basin contained less CH4 than the Nansen Basin and while both basins were mostly under-saturated in N2O. We propose that part of the CH4 and N2O may be microbiologically consumed via methanotrophy, denitrification, or even diazotrophy, as intermediate and deep waters move throughout EAB associated with the overturning water mass circulation. This study contributes to baseline information on gas distribution in a region that is increasingly subject to rapid environmental changes, and that has an important role on global ocean circulation and climate regulation.

  6. Structure and variability of the boundary current in the Eurasian Basin of the Arctic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pnyushkov, Andrey V.; Polyakov, Igor V.; Ivanov, Vladimir V.; Aksenov, Yevgeny; Coward, Andrew C.; Janout, Markus; Rabe, Benjamin

    2015-07-01

    The Arctic Circumpolar Boundary Current (ACBC) transports a vast amount of mass and heat around cyclonic gyres of the deep basins, acting as a narrow, topographically-controlled flow, confined to the continental margins. Current observations during 2002-2011 at seven moorings along the major Atlantic Water (AW) pathway, complemented by an extensive collection of measured temperatures and salinities as well as results of state-of-the-art numerical modeling, have been used to examine the spatial structure and temporal variability of the ACBC within the Eurasian Basin (EB). These observations and modeling results suggest a gradual, six-fold decrease of boundary current speed (from 24 to 4 cm/s) on the route between Fram Strait and the Lomonosov Ridge, accompanied by a transformation of the vertical flow structure from mainly barotropic in Fram Strait to baroclinic between the area north of Spitsbergen and the central Laptev Sea continental slope. The relative role of density-driven currents in maintaining AW circulation increases with the progression of the ACBC eastward from Fram Strait, so that baroclinic ACBC forcing dominates over the barotropic in the eastern EB. Mooring records have revealed that waters within the AW and the cold halocline layers circulate in roughly the same direction in the eastern EB. The seasonal signal, meanwhile, is the most powerful mode of variability in the EB, contributing up to ~70% of the total variability in currents (resolved by moorings records) within the eastern EB. Seasonal signal amplitudes for current speed and AW temperature both decrease with the eastward progression of AW flow from source regions, and demonstrate strong interannual modulation. In the 2000s, the state of the EB (e.g., circulation pattern, thermohaline conditions, and freshwater balance) experienced remarkable changes. Results showing anomalous circulation patterns for an extended period of 30 months in 2008-2010 for the eastern EB, and a two-core AW

  7. Physiologically Persistent Corpora lutea in Eurasian Lynx (Lynx lynx) – Longitudinal Ultrasound and Endocrine Examinations Intra-Vitam

    PubMed Central

    Painer, Johanna; Jewgenow, Katarina; Dehnhard, Martin; Arnemo, Jon M.; Linnell, John D. C.; Odden, John; Hildebrandt, Thomas B.; Goeritz, Frank

    2014-01-01

    Felids generally follow a poly-estrous reproductive strategy. Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) display a different pattern of reproductive cyclicity where physiologically persistent corpora lutea (CLs) induce a mono-estrous condition which results in highly seasonal reproduction. The present study was based around a sono-morphological and endocrine study of captive Eurasian lynx, and a control-study on free-ranging lynx. We verified that CLs persist after pregnancy and pseudo-pregnancy for at least a two-year period. We could show that lynx are able to enter estrus in the following year, while CLs from the previous years persisted in structure and only temporarily reduced their function for the period of estrus onset or birth, which is unique among felids. The almost constant luteal progesterone secretion (average of 5 ng/ml serum) seems to prevent folliculogenesis outside the breeding season and has converted a poly-estrous general felid cycle into a mono-estrous cycle specific for lynx. The hormonal regulation mechanism which causes lynx to have the longest CL lifespan amongst mammals remains unclear. The described non-felid like ovarian physiology appears to be a remarkably non-plastic system. The lynx's reproductive ability to adapt to environmental and anthropogenic changes needs further investigation. PMID:24599348

  8. Assessment of Water Use in Pan-Eurasian and African Continents by ETMonitor with Multi-Source Satellite Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zheng, Chaolei; Jia, Li; Hu, Guangcheng; Menenti, Massimo; Lu, Jing; Zhou, Jie; Wang, Kun; Li, Zhansheng

    2017-02-01

    The Pan-Eurasian and African Continents are characterized by large ranges of climates varying from humid, semi-humid, semi-arid and arid regions, and great challenges exist in water allocation for different sectors that related to water resource and food security, which depends strongly on the water use information. Quantitative information on water use is also important to understand the effectiveness of water allocation and further to prevent from water stress resulted by drought in water-scarce regions. Explosive development of satellite remote sensing observations provide great chance to provide useful spatiotemporal information for quantifying the water use at regional to global scales. In this paper, a process-based model ETMonitor was used in combination with biophysical and hydrological parameters retrieved from earth observations to estimate the actual evapotranspiration, i.e. the agricultural and ecological water use. The total water use is also partitioned into beneficial part, e.g. plant transpiration, and non-beneficial part, e.g. soil evaporation and canopy rainfall interception, according to the water accounting framework. The estimated water use show good agreements with the ground observation, indicating the ability of ETMonitor for global and continental scale water use estimation. The spatial and temporal patterns of the water use in the Pan-Eurasian and African Continents were further analysed, while large spatial variation of water use was convinced. Current study also highlights the great capability of satellite observations in studying the regional water resource and continental water cycle.

  9. Expansion of an exotic species and concomitant disease outbreaks: pigeon paramyxovirus in free-ranging Eurasian collared doves

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schuler, Krysten L.; Green, David E.; Justice-Allen, Anne E.; Jaffe, Rosemary; Cunningham, Mark; Thomas, Nancy J.; Spalding, Marilyn G.; Ip, Hon S.

    2012-01-01

    Eurasian collared doves (Streptopelia decaocto) have expanded their range across the United States since their introduction several decades ago. Recent mortality events in Eurasian collared doves in Arizona and Montana, USA, during the winter of 2009-2010 were the result of pigeon paramyxovirus (PPMV), a novel disease agent. The first instance of mortality by this emerging infectious disease in this species occurred in Florida in 2001 with subsequent disease events in 2006 and 2008. Full diagnostic necropsies were performed on carcasses from the three states. PPMV was identified by RT-PCR and virus isolation and was sequenced to the VIb genotype of avian paramyxovirus-1 (APMV). Other APMVs are common in a variety of free-ranging birds, but concern is warranted because of the potential for commingling of this species with native birds, virus evolution, and threats to domestic poultry. Improved surveillance for wildlife mortality events and efforts to prevent introduction of non-native animals could reduce the threat of introducing new pathogens.

  10. Aspergillus fumigatus infection in two wild Eurasian black vultures (Aegypius monachus Linnaeus) with carbofuran insecticide poisoning: a case report.

    PubMed

    Jung, Kwonil; Kim, Youngjun; Lee, Hang; Kim, Jong-Taek

    2009-02-01

    Aspergillus spp. are opportunistic pathogens which cause pulmonary aspergillosis in animals and humans with compromised immune systems. Two Eurasian black vultures (Aegypius monachus Linnaeus) were found dead or clinically ill from carbofuran insecticide during the winter of 2004. Carbofuran was detected in the stomach contents by gas chromatograph-mass spectrometry. Gross lesions showed severe granulomatous pneumonia and serofibrinous pleuropneumonia in both birds, with most lesions restricted to the pulmonary system. Histological lesions included pyogranulomatous pneumonia and suppurative parabronchiolitis/pleuritis/air sacculitis with a number of septated fungal hyphae, suggesting severe pulmonary aspergillosis. Fungal isolates from each vulture were identified as Aspergillus fumigatus by both lactophenol cotton blue staining and genetic analysis. This is the first report of pulmonary aspergillosis caused by A. fumigatus in wild Eurasian black vultures and suggests that Aspergillus infection could be an important cause of death in these birds which migrate from Mongolia to Korea during the winter. The incidence of the disease may be related to impaired immunity caused directly or indirectly by carbofuran poisoning.

  11. Introduction: The Pan-Eurasian Experiment (PEEX) - multidisciplinary, multiscale and multicomponent research and capacity-building initiative

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kulmala, M.; Lappalainen, H. K.; Petäjä, T.; Kurten, T.; Kerminen, V.-M.; Viisanen, Y.; Hari, P.; Sorvari, S.; Bäck, J.; Bondur, V.; Kasimov, N.; Kotlyakov, V.; Matvienko, G.; Baklanov, A.; Guo, H. D.; Ding, A.; Hansson, H.-C.; Zilitinkevich, S.

    2015-11-01

    The Pan-Eurasian Experiment (PEEX) is a multidisciplinary, multiscale and multicomponent research, research infrastructure and capacity-building program. PEEX has originated from a bottom-up approach by the science communities and is aiming at resolving the major uncertainties in Earth system science and global sustainability issues concerning the Arctic and boreal pan-Eurasian regions, as well as China. The vision of PEEX is to solve interlinked, global grand challenges influencing human well-being and societies in northern Eurasia and China. Such challenges include climate change; air quality; biodiversity loss; urbanization; chemicalization; food and freshwater availability; energy production; and use of natural resources by mining, industry, energy production and transport sectors. Our approach is integrative and supra-disciplinary, recognizing the important role of the Arctic and boreal ecosystems in the Earth system. The PEEX vision includes establishing and maintaining long-term, coherent and coordinated research activities as well as continuous, comprehensive research and educational infrastructure and related capacity-building across the PEEX domain. In this paper we present the PEEX structure and summarize its motivation, objectives and future outlook.

  12. Non cat-like ovarian cycle in the Eurasian and the Iberian lynx - ultrasonographical and endocrinological analysis.

    PubMed

    Göritz, F; Dehnhard, M; Hildebrandt, T B; Naidenko, S V; Vargas, A; Martinez, F; López-Bao, J V; Palomares, F; Jewgenow, K

    2009-07-01

    The Iberian lynx is considered the most endangered felid species. Therefore, an ex situ conservation program was initiated to protect this species from extinction. Additional knowledge on lynx reproduction biology and reliable methods for reproductive monitoring are important for developing a captive breeding program. The aim of this study in lynx was to implement transrectal ultrasonography to visualize ovarian structures (follicles, corpora lutea) and to assess ovarian activity in addition to analysis of serum progesterone and oestradiol. Because of limited access to Iberian lynxes, the less-endangered Eurasian lynx and bobcat were also studied in this comparative study. Recent endocrinological studies based on faecal and urinary progesterone and oestrogen metabolites revealed that steroid profiles in both these species were alike and did not follow the typical pattern of other felids. Pregnancy diagnosis was not possible, since progesterone concentrations did not differ between pregnant and pseudopregnant animals. Progesterone was also detected after parturition as well as after weaning until the onset of a new oestrous cycle. In the present study, the presence of corpora lutea during the non-breeding season was confirmed by ultrasonography and by elevated serum levels of progesterone averaging 3.56 +/- 1.3 ng/ml in Eurasian and 6.1 +/- 0.26 ng/ml in Iberian lynx, respectively. The ultrasonographical findings on the ovarian structures suggest strongly that corpora lutea developed after ovulation stay active until November and regress before the onset of the next oestrus.

  13. Physiologically persistent Corpora lutea in Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) - longitudinal ultrasound and endocrine examinations intra-vitam.

    PubMed

    Painer, Johanna; Jewgenow, Katarina; Dehnhard, Martin; Arnemo, Jon M; Linnell, John D C; Odden, John; Hildebrandt, Thomas B; Goeritz, Frank

    2014-01-01

    Felids generally follow a poly-estrous reproductive strategy. Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) display a different pattern of reproductive cyclicity where physiologically persistent corpo