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Deriving observation distances for camera trap distance sampling

Camera trap distance sampling (CTDS)o is a recently developed survey method to estimate animal abundance from camera trap data for unmarked populations. It requires the estimation of camera-animal observation distances, which previously was done by comparing animal positions to reference labels at predefined intervals. Here, we test a photogrammetry approach to derive camera-animal observation distances. We applied both, the reference label and photogrammetry approaches to five ungulate species varying widely in body size (Giraffa camelopardalis, Equus grevyi, Oryx dammah, Kobus

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Shedding light into the dark: Age and light shape nocturnal activity and sleep behaviour of giraffe

The interaction of internal clocks and environmental conditions determines the daily behavioural rhythm of an animal. Due to the strong influence of light, these circadian rhythms oscillate in mammals over a cycle length of about 24 h, equivalent to the daily light-dark cycle. The relation between activity and rest within this cycle is species-specific and age dependent. Since strong deviations from existing rhythms can harm health seriously, the observation of animal behaviour using activity budgets is a common tool to

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Giraffes go for more: a quantity discrimination study in giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis)

Many species, including humans, rely on an ability to differentiate between quantities to make decisions about social relationships, territories, and food. This study is the first to investigate whether giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis) are able to select the larger of two sets of quantities in different conditions, and how size and density affect these decisions. In Task 1, we presented five captive giraffes with two sets containing a different quantity of identical foods items. In Tasks 2 and 3, we also

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Molecular and Serological Footprints of Mycobacterium avium Subspecies Infections in Zoo Animals

Background: Mycobacteria of the Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) pose a significant risk to zoological collections. Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP) is a member of MAC and the causative agent of Johne’s disease. Despite many reports in animals kept in zoological gardens, systemic surveillance has rarely been reported. Methods: In this study, archived serum samples collected from animal species at the Wilhelma Zoological and Botanical Gardens in Stuttgart, Germany, were screened for the presence of antibodies against MAC and MAP. In

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Influence of ration composition on nutritive and digestive variables in captive giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis) indicating the appropriateness of feeding practice

The nutrition of captive giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis), a browsing ruminant, is challenging because browse availability is limited in zoos and rations need to be composed of compensatory feeds. In this study, ration composition for giraffes in 12 German zoos was documented and linked to animal variables that indicate suitability of nutrition. Rations differed in proportion of ration items and chemical composition resulting in various grades of accordance with feeding recommendations. An estimated daily metabolisable energy (ME) intake (MEI; mean ±

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