Assessing the Environmental Adaptation of Wildlife and Production Animals: Applications of Physiological Indices and Welfare Assessment Tools (Volume II)

A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615). This special issue belongs to the section "Animal Physiology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2024 | Viewed by 9796

Special Issue Editor


E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Queensland, Gatton, Australia
Interests: animal welfare; conservation biology; conservation physiology; neuroendocrinology; production animal health and welfare; reproductive health; stress; immune system; zoology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Animals under human care and management respond to environmental change (e.g., capture and transportation). Physiological indices (e.g., heart rate, respiration, body temperatures, immune cells and stress hormonal biomarkers) can provide crucial information regarding the responses of animals to novel environments, and they could provide crucial determining factors for the long-term health and welfare of animals. This second volume of the Special Issue welcomes experimental research papers, perspectives and reviews that demonstrate the applications of physiological indices and welfare assessment methods (e.g., morphological and morphometric data, behavioral assessments, thermal profiles, and physiological markers) in animal (e.g., rescued and rehabilitated animals, pets, competition animals, farm animals and zoo animals), in response to environmental and management-related factors. The goal is to provide examples of new research and techniques that can be used to monitor the short- and long-term environmental adaptation of animals living under human care.

Dr. Edward Narayan
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Animals is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • welfare
  • physiology
  • immune function
  • metabolism
  • behavior
  • fitness
  • body condition
  • reproduction
  • health
  • survival
  • zoos
  • farms
  • rescue and rehabilitation
  • veterinary assessment

Published Papers (5 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

13 pages, 3950 KiB  
Article
Effects of Long-Term Cold Stress on Growth Performance, Behavior, Physiological Parameters, and Energy Metabolism in Growing Beef Cattle
by Siyuan Wang, Qi Li, Jianhao Peng and Huaxin Niu
Animals 2023, 13(10), 1619; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13101619 - 12 May 2023
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2321
Abstract
This study aimed to evaluate the effects of a long-term cold environment on growth performance, physiological behavior, biochemical blood indexes, and hormone levels in Simmental cattle. Thirty Simmental crossbred bulls (weight = 350 ± 17 kg, 13–14 months old) were selected for two [...] Read more.
This study aimed to evaluate the effects of a long-term cold environment on growth performance, physiological behavior, biochemical blood indexes, and hormone levels in Simmental cattle. Thirty Simmental crossbred bulls (weight = 350 ± 17 kg, 13–14 months old) were selected for two trials at autumn suitable temperatures (A-ST) and winter cold temperatures (W-CT) (15 cattle per season). The results showed that compared with the A-ST group, dry matter intake (p < 0.05) and feed:gain (p < 0.01) of the W-CT group increased, while body weight (p < 0.01) and average daily gain (p < 0.01) significantly decreased. Long-term cold stress also increased lying time (p < 0.01), feeding time (p < 0.05), and pulse rate (p < 0.01) in the W-CT group, while the rumen volatile fatty acids content (p < 0.01) and apparent digestibility of nutrients (p < 0.05) were significantly decreased. In terms of blood indicators, long-term cold stress increased the concentrations of glucose, glucose metabolic enzymes, glucocorticoids, triiodothyronine, and tetraiodothyronine in the plasma of the W-CT group (p < 0.05), but the levels of triglycerides, β-hydroxybutyrate, propionate, insulin, and growth hormone were decreased (p < 0.01). In summary, long-term cold stress may inhibit the digestive function of Simmental cattle and enhance the body’s energy metabolism and stress hormone imbalance, ultimately damaging the normal growth and development of the body. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

11 pages, 286 KiB  
Article
Measures of Adrenal and Gonadal Hormones in Relation to Biological and Management Factors among Captive Red Pandas in Indian Zoos
by Aamer Sohel Khan, Janine L. Brown, Vinod Kumar, Govindhaswamy Umapathy and Nagarajan Baskaran
Animals 2023, 13(8), 1298; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13081298 - 10 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2095
Abstract
Animals in human care are affected by stressors that can ultimately reduce fitness. When reproduction is affected, endangered species conservation programs can be severely compromised. Thus, understanding factors related to stress and reproduction, and related hormones, is important to ensure captive breeding success. [...] Read more.
Animals in human care are affected by stressors that can ultimately reduce fitness. When reproduction is affected, endangered species conservation programs can be severely compromised. Thus, understanding factors related to stress and reproduction, and related hormones, is important to ensure captive breeding success. Red pandas (Ailurus fulgens) are endangered, and populations in the wild are threatened with extinction. A global captive breeding program has been launched to conserve the species with the goal of reintroduction. However, there is little information on how stressors impact physiological aspects of the species. This study measured fecal glucocorticoid (fGCM), progestagen (fPM), and androgen (fAM) metabolite concentrations in 12 female and 8 male red pandas at 3 zoos in India to determine predictors of adrenal and gonadal steroid activity, and the influence of fGCM on reproduction. Based on the generalized linear mixed model (GLMM), fGCM concentrations were positively correlated with the number of visitors, number of nests and enclosure areas, and negatively related to frequency of feedings, log density, and social time, while fPM concentrations were negatively associated with enclosure areas. A confounder for enclosure areas and number of nests was the fact that these spaces were relatively barren, with limited hiding spaces, compared to the smaller enclosures. By contrast, no significant relationships were found for fAM, perhaps due to the smaller sample size. A negative relationship between fGCM and fPM was observed, indicating increasing adrenal hormones may decrease reproductive function among female red pandas. Results suggest that zoo management should consider increasing feeding frequency, providing larger enclosures with more enrichment and more nests in larger spaces, and regulating visitor numbers to support good welfare and potentially improve reproductive fitness of red pandas in captivity. Full article
11 pages, 1004 KiB  
Article
The Evanescent Bouquet of Individual Bear Fingerprint
by Andrea Mazzatenta, Serena Fiorito, Roberto Guadagnini, Salvatore Genovese, Alberto Valentini, Federica Bonadiman, Sofia Guadagnini, Francesco Epifano and Adriano Mollica
Animals 2023, 13(2), 220; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13020220 - 06 Jan 2023
Viewed by 1255
Abstract
The evanescent and invisible communication carried by chemical signals, pheromones, or signature mixtures or, as we prefer, the pheromonal individual fingerprint, between members of the same species is poorly studied in mammals, mainly because of the lack of identification of the molecules. The [...] Read more.
The evanescent and invisible communication carried by chemical signals, pheromones, or signature mixtures or, as we prefer, the pheromonal individual fingerprint, between members of the same species is poorly studied in mammals, mainly because of the lack of identification of the molecules. The difference between pheromones and the pheromonal individual fingerprint is that the former generate stereotyped innate responses while the latter requires learning, i.e., different receivers can learn different signature mixtures from the same individual. Furthermore, pheromones are usually produced by a particular gland, while the pheromonal individual fingerprint is the entire bouquet produced by the entire secreting gland of the body. In the present study, we aim to investigate the pheromonal individual fingerprint of brown bears in northern Italy. We collected the entire putative pheromone bouquet from all production sites in free-ranging bears and analyzed the entire crude extract to profile the individual fingerprint according to species-, sex- and subjective-specific characteristics. We were able to putatively characterize the brown bears’ pheromonal individual fingerprints and compare them with the partial pheromone identifications published by other studies. This work is a step forward in the study of the complexity of chemical communication, particularly in a solitary endangered species. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

10 pages, 466 KiB  
Article
Physiological, Immune Response, Antioxidant Capacity and Lipid Metabolism Changes in Grazing Sheep during the Cold Season
by Yanmei Zhang, Yabo Zhao, Changqing Li, Li Wang, Feng Tian and Hai Jin
Animals 2022, 12(18), 2332; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12182332 - 07 Sep 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1440
Abstract
Mongolian sheep are characteristically cold-tolerant. However, their cold adaptive processes, such as the physiological feedback adjustments that occur during the cold season, remain unexplored. Therefore, the present study aimed to evaluate the physiological adaptations of Mongolian sheep in cold plateau environments. A comparative [...] Read more.
Mongolian sheep are characteristically cold-tolerant. However, their cold adaptive processes, such as the physiological feedback adjustments that occur during the cold season, remain unexplored. Therefore, the present study aimed to evaluate the physiological adaptations of Mongolian sheep in cold plateau environments. A comparative analysis of the serum biochemical parameters, immune response, antioxidant capacity, and glucose and lipid metabolism of grazing Mongolian sheep in the cold and warm seasons was conducted. The results showed that in the cold season, the glucose and lipid metabolism and thermogenesis of the grazing Mongolian sheep were notably enhanced. Moreover, the immune responses were stimulated by increased levels of cytokines, such as IL-2, IL-1β, and IL-6, during the cold season. However, the antioxidant defense system was damaged; this damage was mainly characterized by decreased activity of antioxidant enzymes and an increased level of MDA during the cold season. Overall, glucose metabolism, lipid metabolism, thermogenesis, and immune responses were stimulated to meet the requirements of organismal metabolic regulation to enable grazing Mongolian sheep to physiologically adapt to cold climatic conditions. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

11 pages, 453 KiB  
Article
Thermoregulatory Response of Blackbelly Adult Ewes and Female Lambs during the Summer under Tropical Conditions in Southern Mexico
by Maricela Ruiz-Ortega, Ethel Caterina García y González, Pedro Enrique Hernández-Ruiz, Blanca Celia Pineda-Burgos, Mario Alberto Sandoval-Torres, José Vicente Velázquez-Morales, José del Carmen Rodríguez-Castillo, Elsa Lysbet Rodríguez-Castañeda, José Manuel Robles-Robles and José Luis Ponce-Covarrubias
Animals 2022, 12(14), 1860; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12141860 - 21 Jul 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1400
Abstract
High environmental temperatures cause heat stress in ewes, resulting in thermoregulatory problems. In this study, the thermoregulatory responses of Blackbelly adult ewes (G1, n = 14) and female lambs (G2, n = 7), during the summer under tropical conditions, in southern Mexico were [...] Read more.
High environmental temperatures cause heat stress in ewes, resulting in thermoregulatory problems. In this study, the thermoregulatory responses of Blackbelly adult ewes (G1, n = 14) and female lambs (G2, n = 7), during the summer under tropical conditions, in southern Mexico were analyzed. Different physiological variables and skin temperatures (ST) of the ewes were recorded. Breathing frequency (BF) values were similar between groups at 116.73 ± 33.598 bpm (G1) and 113.661 ± 34.515 bpm (G2) (p > 0.05). In the case of skin elasticity (SE), there were no significant differences between the time of day and the age of the ewes (p > 0.05). Significant differences were observed between groups for BF, rectal temperature (RT), and heart rate (HR) values (p < 0.05). All ST values, for both groups, were significantly higher during the afternoon (p < 0.001). In general, all Blackbelly adult ewes and female lambs during the summer present severe heat stress conditions as a result of an increase in physiological constants and ST. It is concluded that all ewes thermoregulate body temperature by modifying different physiological variables to counteract the effect of heat stress. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop