Clinical pathology of captive endangered mahogany gliders (Petaurus gracilis) in responses to environmental change

McMichael, Lee and Adam, Darlene and Tribe, Andrew and Bynon, Brian and Bradshaw, Lana and Hoy, Julia and Murray, Peter ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1143-1706 and Kopp, Steven (2021) Clinical pathology of captive endangered mahogany gliders (Petaurus gracilis) in responses to environmental change. Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine, 52 (1). pp. 268-275.


Abstract

The impetus of this study was the imperative to establish blood biomarker values for clinically healthy mahogany gliders (Petaurus gracilis) in order to monitor the health status of eight captive individuals during their movement to a new facility. The study established ranges for 18 hematologic and 21 biochemical blood biomarkers for healthy individuals in a captive environment. The reported values are consistent with those published for other Australian glider and possum species. No statistically significant differences were found between the sexes, but significant age effects were observed. Specifically, subadult animals reported significantly higher total white cell counts, lymphocyte counts, alkaline phosphatase, creatine kinase, and glucose and chloride levels, compared to adult animals. Although there were no clinically significant changes in blood biomarkers associated with the relocation, many of the hematologic and biochemical biomarkers demonstrated the expected changes associated with the physiological stress of relocation. Specifically, triglycerides, glucose, globulins, creatinine kinase, aspartate transferase (AST), total protein, urea, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, chloride, neutrophils, and hematocrit showed changes with the large environmental change. The majority of the blood biomarkers returned to baseline levels 5 wk postrelocation, with all but one aged animal showing no signs of chronic health derangements following the relocation. The abnormal blood biomarker profiles of two geriatric individuals, one male diagnosed with pericloacal and adrenal gland tumors at the beginning of the study, and one female diagnosed with chronic urinary tract infections and suspected bone marrow disease following the relocation, are presented. The findings of this study inform the health monitoring of native gliders in captivity, rehabilitation, and clinical research scenarios. These findings also provide useful baseline data to aid in the health assessment of captive-bred individuals during their reintroduction into free-living populations.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Copyright 2021 by American Association of Zoo Veterinarians.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Sciences (6 Sep 2019 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Sciences (6 Sep 2019 -)
Date Deposited: 09 Apr 2021 01:15
Last Modified: 09 Apr 2021 01:15
Uncontrolled Keywords: mahogany gliders; Petaurus gracilis; environmental change
Fields of Research (2008): 07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0707 Veterinary Sciences > 070709 Veterinary Pathology
05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity
05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050211 Wildlife and Habitat Management
Fields of Research (2020): 30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3009 Veterinary sciences > 300910 Veterinary pathology
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410401 Conservation and biodiversity
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4101 Climate change impacts and adaptation > 410199 Climate change impacts and adaptation not elsewhere classified
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410407 Wildlife and habitat management
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): D Environment > 96 Environment > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960899 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity of Environments not elsewhere classified
D Environment > 96 Environment > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960399 Climate and Climate Change not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 19 ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY, CLIMATE CHANGE AND NATURAL HAZARDS > 1999 Other environmental policy, climate change and natural hazards > 199999 Other environmental policy, climate change and natural hazards not elsewhere classified
18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1806 Terrestrial systems and management > 180606 Terrestrial biodiversity
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1638/2019-0163
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/41772

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