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Motile Sperm Output by Male Cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) Managed Ex Situ Is Influenced by Public Exposure and Number of Care-Givers.

Koester DC, Freeman EW, Brown JL, Wildt DE, Terrell KA, Franklin AD, Crosier AE - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: Males at institutions with ≤3 care-givers also produced more total motile sperm/ejaculate (P < 0.03) and spent more time behaviorally active (P < 0.01) than at facilities using >3 care-givers.Exposure to high numbers of conspecifics within the same institution did not impact (P > 0.05) seminal traits, and presence of the public, care-giver number, or animals/facility had no influence (P > 0.05) on androgen or glucocorticoid excretion or other behavioral metrics.Findings indicate that male cheetahs are sensitive to general public exposure and too many care-givers, resulting in compromised motile sperm output/ejaculate with mechanism of action unrelated to altered androgen or glucocorticoid excretion.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Center for Species Survival, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, Front Royal, Virginia, United States of America; Department of Environmental Science and Policy, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
The collective cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) population in zoological institutions has never been self-sustaining because of challenges in natural reproduction. A retrospective analysis of North American zoo-breeding records has revealed that >90% of litters produced since 2003 occurred in facilities 'off-display' from the public. We examined seminal, endocrine, and behavioral traits of 29 adult male cheetahs that were: 1) managed in public exhibit or off-display facilities; 2) maintained by different numbers of cheetah-specific care-givers; and 3) living adjacent to varying numbers of adult conspecifics. Cheetahs housed off-display produced more total motile sperm/ejaculate (P = 0.04) than on-exhibit males. This finding was mirrored in our laboratory's historical records where two-fold more total motile sperm (P < 0.01) were measured in ejaculates from individuals with no public exposure (n = 43) compared to on-exhibit (n = 116) counterparts. Males at institutions with ≤3 care-givers also produced more total motile sperm/ejaculate (P < 0.03) and spent more time behaviorally active (P < 0.01) than at facilities using >3 care-givers. Exposure to high numbers of conspecifics within the same institution did not impact (P > 0.05) seminal traits, and presence of the public, care-giver number, or animals/facility had no influence (P > 0.05) on androgen or glucocorticoid excretion or other behavioral metrics. Findings indicate that male cheetahs are sensitive to general public exposure and too many care-givers, resulting in compromised motile sperm output/ejaculate with mechanism of action unrelated to altered androgen or glucocorticoid excretion.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Mean (± SEM) seasonal ejaculate traits from cheetahs where semen was collected in different seasons at institutions throughout the USA (169 total ejaculates; number/season indicated in parentheses).There were no differences (P > 0.05) in any trait across seasons.
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pone.0135847.g001: Mean (± SEM) seasonal ejaculate traits from cheetahs where semen was collected in different seasons at institutions throughout the USA (169 total ejaculates; number/season indicated in parentheses).There were no differences (P > 0.05) in any trait across seasons.

Mentions: There was no influence (P > 0.05) of season on seminal metrics for males in this study and those in our historical database (Fig 1). Post-hoc analysis revealed that males maintained in off-exhibit conditions produced ejaculates with higher sperm concentration (63.8 ± 16.2 x 106/ml; U = 213.0; P = 0.03), more total spermatozoa (61.0 ± 11.4 x 106 cells; U = 215.0; P = 0.02), and total motile spermatozoa (42.3 ± 8.2 x 106; U = 211.0; P = 0.04) than on-exhibit counterparts (19.3 ± 7.62 x 106/ml, 20.5 ± 7.4 x 106, 15.4 ± 5.9 x 106, respectively). The magnitude of these differences is best illustrated in Fig 2 that also demonstrates that these same sperm metrics differed (P < 0.01) between on- versus off-display cheetahs in the historical database. Other traits evaluated, including testicular volume, seminal volume, the two cell motility traits, and the proportions of total malformed spermatozoa (S2 Table) and specific structural deformities (S3 Table) were not different (P > 0.06) between the on- versus off-exhibit treatment conditions.


Motile Sperm Output by Male Cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) Managed Ex Situ Is Influenced by Public Exposure and Number of Care-Givers.

Koester DC, Freeman EW, Brown JL, Wildt DE, Terrell KA, Franklin AD, Crosier AE - PLoS ONE (2015)

Mean (± SEM) seasonal ejaculate traits from cheetahs where semen was collected in different seasons at institutions throughout the USA (169 total ejaculates; number/season indicated in parentheses).There were no differences (P > 0.05) in any trait across seasons.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4558051&req=5

pone.0135847.g001: Mean (± SEM) seasonal ejaculate traits from cheetahs where semen was collected in different seasons at institutions throughout the USA (169 total ejaculates; number/season indicated in parentheses).There were no differences (P > 0.05) in any trait across seasons.
Mentions: There was no influence (P > 0.05) of season on seminal metrics for males in this study and those in our historical database (Fig 1). Post-hoc analysis revealed that males maintained in off-exhibit conditions produced ejaculates with higher sperm concentration (63.8 ± 16.2 x 106/ml; U = 213.0; P = 0.03), more total spermatozoa (61.0 ± 11.4 x 106 cells; U = 215.0; P = 0.02), and total motile spermatozoa (42.3 ± 8.2 x 106; U = 211.0; P = 0.04) than on-exhibit counterparts (19.3 ± 7.62 x 106/ml, 20.5 ± 7.4 x 106, 15.4 ± 5.9 x 106, respectively). The magnitude of these differences is best illustrated in Fig 2 that also demonstrates that these same sperm metrics differed (P < 0.01) between on- versus off-display cheetahs in the historical database. Other traits evaluated, including testicular volume, seminal volume, the two cell motility traits, and the proportions of total malformed spermatozoa (S2 Table) and specific structural deformities (S3 Table) were not different (P > 0.06) between the on- versus off-exhibit treatment conditions.

Bottom Line: Males at institutions with ≤3 care-givers also produced more total motile sperm/ejaculate (P < 0.03) and spent more time behaviorally active (P < 0.01) than at facilities using >3 care-givers.Exposure to high numbers of conspecifics within the same institution did not impact (P > 0.05) seminal traits, and presence of the public, care-giver number, or animals/facility had no influence (P > 0.05) on androgen or glucocorticoid excretion or other behavioral metrics.Findings indicate that male cheetahs are sensitive to general public exposure and too many care-givers, resulting in compromised motile sperm output/ejaculate with mechanism of action unrelated to altered androgen or glucocorticoid excretion.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Center for Species Survival, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, Front Royal, Virginia, United States of America; Department of Environmental Science and Policy, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
The collective cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) population in zoological institutions has never been self-sustaining because of challenges in natural reproduction. A retrospective analysis of North American zoo-breeding records has revealed that >90% of litters produced since 2003 occurred in facilities 'off-display' from the public. We examined seminal, endocrine, and behavioral traits of 29 adult male cheetahs that were: 1) managed in public exhibit or off-display facilities; 2) maintained by different numbers of cheetah-specific care-givers; and 3) living adjacent to varying numbers of adult conspecifics. Cheetahs housed off-display produced more total motile sperm/ejaculate (P = 0.04) than on-exhibit males. This finding was mirrored in our laboratory's historical records where two-fold more total motile sperm (P < 0.01) were measured in ejaculates from individuals with no public exposure (n = 43) compared to on-exhibit (n = 116) counterparts. Males at institutions with ≤3 care-givers also produced more total motile sperm/ejaculate (P < 0.03) and spent more time behaviorally active (P < 0.01) than at facilities using >3 care-givers. Exposure to high numbers of conspecifics within the same institution did not impact (P > 0.05) seminal traits, and presence of the public, care-giver number, or animals/facility had no influence (P > 0.05) on androgen or glucocorticoid excretion or other behavioral metrics. Findings indicate that male cheetahs are sensitive to general public exposure and too many care-givers, resulting in compromised motile sperm output/ejaculate with mechanism of action unrelated to altered androgen or glucocorticoid excretion.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus