“Overall, we found these elephants to be highly resilient in that major life events (births, deaths, and changes in herd structure) had minimal effect on cycle dynamics over time. In conclusion, the higher range in cycle phase characteristics is likely because of the larger number of elephants studied and longer duration of longitudinal monitoring, and may be more representative of the captive population as a whole. Furthermore, identification of significant interanimal variability suggests that understanding the complexities of herd reproductive characteristics could facilitate development of more effective institution-specific breeding management strategies.”
This was such a cool study for me and really proved how much information you can get by revisiting vet and medical records already in existence at zoological facilities to learn new (or append already existing) scientific knowledge. So for all of you with access to this type of data – go and mine it, you never know what you’ll come up with!
I just got the news that our pygmy rabbit study is technically “in press” through the prestigious journal of Conservation Biology. With an impact factor of 4.894 and ISI Journal Citation Reports Ranking of 2/33 (Biodiversity Conservation); 2/34 (Biodiversity Conservation); 7/192 (Environmental Sciences); 15/129 (Ecology) that means we’ll have pretty good coverage in the scientific community. Conservation Biology is described as “Conservation Biology is the most influential and frequently cited journal in its field. The journal publishes groundbreaking papers and is instrumental in defining the key issues contributing to the science and practice of conserving Earth’s biological diversity“.
They rarely take single species studies so they must have thought our study would have a large impact on the conservation community. I’m so excited that this will spread the word about the need for mate choice in captive breeding settings and hope that this is the first step to a successful follow-up study on the pandas!