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Abstract

Zoos and aquaria have progressively evolved into conservation centres aimed at conserving biodiversity through educational, recreational, research and integrated conservation activities. Their work is based on a strong cooperation at national and international level, that enables the collaborative management of hundreds of thousands of animals and the protection of endangered species through integrated conservation programmes. The COVID-19 pandemic and the associated health, social and economic crisis have greatly impacted the zoological community, leading to multifaceted consequences especially for small private institutions. Here, we present the operational and ethical challenges, as well as the opportunities, arisen from the on-going crisis, focusing on Pistoia Zoo (Italy) as a case study. We finally discuss ethical and operational constraints and perspectives which could characterize the upcoming future of zoological facilities.

In: Journal of Applied Animal Ethics Research

Abstract

Although the sterilization of pregnant companion animals occurs regularly in private veterinary clinics and animal shelters, there is growing concern amongst veterinarians and animal welfare supporters about the appropriateness of carrying out this procedure. The ethical and legal perspectives of the procedure have not been widely discussed in the available literature. This paper aims to remedy this situation. It considers the sterilization of pregnant companion animals using four ethical frameworks: animal rights, utilitarian, relational and contractarian. The possible interests of all involved parties, including the animal itself, the unborn young, the veterinarian, shelter and clinic staff, and the wider community are included. Where the science on companion animals in this area is limited, the paper draws on science involving other species. The legal aspects are discussed with analogies to human abortion laws. The paper concludes by providing a framework that veterinarians and others can use when making ethical decisions.

In: Journal of Applied Animal Ethics Research

Abstract

The gobies (Gobiidae) are the most diverse fish family in the Mediterranean Sea. Nevertheless, knowledge on their diversity, taxonomy, and phylogenetic relationships is still inadequate. The phylogenetic analyses reveal two genetically highly distinct clades among specimens identified as Zebrus zebrus. A new species, Zebrus pallaoroi sp. nov., is described based on an integrative approach. The neotype of Zebrus zebrus is designated. Genetic data confirm a pronounced level of divergence between Z. pallaoroi and Z. zebrus, with the mean genetic distance on cytochrome b being 18.1% and 1.07% on rhodopsin. Phylogenetic relationships within the Gobius-lineage were estimated on both markers. Morphologically, Z. pallaoroi is distinguished from the only congener Z. zebrus by having a snout longer than its eye, posterior nostril about 4/5–9/10 of the anterior nostril, eye diameter 4.3−4.7 in head length, ventrolateral head ridges transversally connected on the anterior side by a short transversal ridge, anterior membrane midline depth about 2/3 of the spinous ray, head canal pore α diameter about half of the distance between pore ρ and ρ 1, suborbital sensory papillae row 5i going downwards to or near the level of row d, the distance between row 5i and row d absent or much smaller than the length of row 5i, and the body with ten to eleven vertical dark brown bands. Zebrus pallaoroi was recorded from the southern Adriatic, northern Ionian, and northern and western Aegean Seas, and is a cryptobenthic fish from very shallow waters.

In: Contributions to Zoology

Abstract

Human encroachment on the habitats of wild animals and the dense living conditions of farmed animals increase spill-over risk of emerging infectious diseases from animals to humans (such as COVID-19). In this article, we defend two claims: First, we argue that in order to limit the risk of emerging infectious disease outbreaks in the future, a One Health approach is needed, which focuses on human, animal, and environmental health. Second, we claim that One Health should not solely be grounded in collaborations between veterinary, medical, and environmental scientists, but should also involve more dialogue with animal and environmental ethicists. Such an interdisciplinary approach would result in epidemiology-driven measures that are ethically legitimate.

In: Journal of Applied Animal Ethics Research
Author: Bob Fischer

Abstract

When COVID-19 struck, tourists stopped visiting sites where they formally fed animals. As a result, the animals went hungry, with some starving to death. I argue, however, that this doesn’t show that it’s wrong to create such dependency: had we been willing to intervene on behalf of wild animals, there wouldn’t have been any moral issue. Moreover, I argue that we can identify the individuals who most plausibly have some responsibilities to help animals in crisis situations – namely, those who are bound up in caring relationships with those animals. At the same time, though, I don’t think it’s obvious how they should help, and I think there is a serious case to be made for not distinguishing between wild and domestic animals in this context. Given that, euthanization becomes an option that needs to be taken seriously.

In: Journal of Applied Animal Ethics Research
Author: Temple Grandin

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic caused major disruptions in the livestock industry. The sector that was most adversely affected in the U.S. was the pork industry. Thousands of pigs had to be destroyed on the farm when the processing plants were either completely shut down or ran at greatly reduced capacity.

In: Journal of Applied Animal Ethics Research

Abstract

COVID-19 has changed the world at unprecedented pace. The measures imposed by governments across the globe for containing the pandemic have severely affected all facets of economy and society, including scientific progress. Сonservation research has not been exempt from these negative effects, which we here summarize for the BioRescue project, aiming at saving the northern white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum cottoni), an important Central African keystone species, of which only two female individuals are left. The development of advanced assisted reproduction and stem-cell technologies to achieve this goal involves experts across five continents. Maintaining international collaborations under conditions of national shut-down and travel restrictions poses major challenges. The associated ethical implications and consequences are particularly troublesome when it comes to research directed at protecting biological diversity – all the more in the light of increasing evidence that biodiversity and intact ecological habitats might limit the spread of novel pathogens.

In: Journal of Applied Animal Ethics Research

Abstract

Anthropogenic environmental change is leading to changes in distribution for many organisms. While this is frequently discussed for prominent organisms of high conservation value, the same is true for the many cryptic species that rarely figure in debates on the human impact. One such cryptic taxon is the European Ptomaphagus sericatus () and related forms. During a citizen science expedition in the Vondelpark, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, we obtained two forms of this species complex. We placed the examination of these specimens in the context of a re-analysis of the species group, and, using DNA barcoding and genital study on material collected thoughout Europe, found that the P. sericatus species complex consists of three distinct, partly sympatric species, one of which was previously undescribed. On the basis of collection data, at least two species, P. medius and P. thebeatles sp. n., show signs of having recently undergone (possibly anthropogenic) range changes, with P. medius even reaching North America. We describe P. thebeatles sp. n.; we raise two subspecies, viz. P. sericatus sericatus (Chaudoir, 1854) and P. sericatus medius () to the level of species, and designate a neotype for the former; we identify P. dacicus and P. pyrenaeus as junior synonyms of P. sericatus, and P. compressitarsus () as a junior synonym of P. subvillosus Goeze, 1777; we identify P. septentrionalis and P. miser () as junior synonyms of P. medius; we designate lectotypes for P. medius and P. miser.

In: Contributions to Zoology
Volume Editor: Mikhail Danilevsky
The aim of Catalogue of Palaearctic Coleoptera is to provide a tool that addresses the most urgent needs:
1) a complete list of available names of taxa occurring in the Palaearctic Region with authors and publications dates,
2) a list of references to primary publications,
3) distributions of the species and subspecies.
Thus, the Catalogue is expected to respond to questions related to biodiversity, and to increase the badly needed nomenclatural stability.
The present updated and revised Catalogue is a collective international work by 12 authors from Austria, Belgium, China, Korea, Japan and Russia. It includes about 6453 species names of 913 genera. The general structure and the taxonomic, distributional and bibliographical information of the first edition of the Catalogue are followed with minor changes.
Dorylaims are probably the most diverse order of nematodes and are often an abundant component of the fauna in soils and freshwater habitats. As a result of their widespread distribution and many different feeding habits, they are considered as good bio-indicators of environmental quality and soil health. Their usefulness in this regard is only impeded by practical difficulties related to the accurate identification of the members of such a large and complex group. In this volume, Professor Reyes Peña-Santiago gives a detailed morphology of the dorylaims and provides a thorough overview of their feeding behaviour, reproduction, ecology, and diversity. You will learn what dorylaims are like and how they live, making this book an invaluable tool for nematologists, ecologists and other scientists who wish to embark on an in-depth study of the members of this fascinating group.