AbstractCaptive breeding is often a last resort management option in the conservation of endangered species which can in turn lead to increased risk of inbreeding depression and loss of genetic diversity. Thus, recording breeding events via studbook for the purpose of estimating relatedness, and facilitating mating pair selection to minimize inbreeding, is common practice. However, as founder relatedness is often unknown, loss of genetic variation and inbreeding cannot be entirely avoided. Molecular genotyping is slowly being adopted in captive breeding programs, however achieving sufficient resolution can be challenging in small, low diversity, populations. Here, we evaluate the success of the Vancouver Island marmot (Marmota vancouverensis; VIM; among the worlds most endangered mammals) captive breeding program in preventing inbreeding and maintaining genetic diversity. We explored the use of high-throughput amplicon sequencing of microsatellite regions to assay greater genetic variation in both captive and wild populations than traditional length-based fragment analysis. Contrary to other studies, this method did not considerably increase diversity estimates, suggesting: (1) that the technique does not universally improve resolution, and (2) VIM have exceedingly low diversity. Studbook estimates of pairwise relatedness and inbreeding in the current population were weakly, but positively, correlated to molecular estimates. Thus, current studbooks are moderately effective at predicting genetic similarity when founder relatedness is known. Finally, we found that captive and wild populations did not differ in allelic frequencies, and conservation efforts to maintain diversity have been successful with no significant decrease in diversity over the last three generations.
This paper highlights the development of an Indigenous Cultural Safety Training (ICST) impact assessment survey tool working in collaboration with Indigenous leaders, Elders, faculty, staff, and students from across four post-secondary institutions on the traditional lands of the Songhees, Esquimalt and WSÁNEĆ Peoples on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. What emerged from a series of Indigenous-led workshops was the development of an ICST impact assessment survey tool to measure the impact of the training as well as for ICST participants to reflect on their own cognitive and behavioural change within their practice over a 12-month period. In addition, a validation process with ICST experts, facilitators, staff, faculty, Elders, and participants was carried out to help refine the proposed co-constructed assessment variables, statements, and questions underpinning the survey tool. The finalized ICST impact assessment survey tool will not only improve the quality of ICST in post-secondary settings, but will also enable staff, faculty, and leaders to reflect on how the ICST improves their personal and professional practice working with Indigenous students in these settings.
Conservation translocations, which involve the intentional movement and release of organisms for conservation benefit, are increasingly required to recover species of conservation concern. In order to maximize post-release survival, and to accomplish conservation translocation objectives, animals must exhibit behaviors that facilitate survival in the wild. The Vancouver Island marmot (Marmota vancouverensis) is a critically endangered endemic in Canada which has been captive-bred for 24 years for reintroductions and reinforcements that have increased the wild population from ~30 to more than 200 individuals. Despite this success many marmots are killed by predators after release and predation represents a major hurdle to full marmot recovery. To better understand if captive-bred marmots are prepared for the novel environment into which they will be released, and to determine whether such suitability changes over time, we presented taxidermy mounts of mammalian predators and non-predators to marmots that were wild-caught, and captive born for between one and five generations. We also examined mortality of offspring from marmots we tested that had been released to the wild. A minimum of 43% of offspring were killed by predators in the wild over 17 years, most by cougars. Marmots in captivity generally responded to taxidermy mounts by decreasing foraging and increasing vigilance, and overall responded more strongly to predators than non-predators, especially wolves. However, marmots in captivity for more than two generations lacked discrimination between cougars, non-predators, and controls, suggesting a rapid loss of predator recognition. This study was only possible because predator-recognition trials were initiated early in the conservation translocation program, and could then be repeated after a number of generations. The finding that changes occurred relatively rapidly (within five generations during which changes in genetic diversity were negligible) suggests that behavioral suitability may deteriorate more rapidly than genetics would suggest. Strategies addressing potential behavior loss should be considered, including sourcing additional wild individuals or pre-release training of captive-born individuals. Subsequently, post-release survival should be monitored to determine the efficacy of behavior-optimization strategies.
The relationship between the “chain of survival” metrics of Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest (OHCA) and survival rates in rural settings has not been fully examined. In previous studies, low survival rate was attributable to the modifiable prehospital metrics and Return Of Spontaneous Circulation (ROSC). We sought to examine the association of the modifiable and non-modifiable OHCA characteristics and patient outcomes with rural settings.
We did a post-hoc analyses of data from the British Columbia cardiac arrest registry, which enrolled all emergency medical system (EMS)-treated OHCAs. All non-EMS-witnessed OHCAs on Vancouver Island from Jan. 2019 to Oct. 2020 were included. The independent variable of interest was rural versus urban settings. Rural areas were defined as all areas outside the urban clusters (population ≥ 1000 and a population density of ≥ 400/km2). Our outcomes were 1. Post resuscitation ROSC, and 2. Survival to hospital discharge. We reported gender-mediated measures and adjusted odds ratios using logistic regression models.
We included 1172 OHCA patients, with 23% in rural settings, 33% Female, 30% had ROSC, and 23% survived to hospital discharge. The median EMS response time, from 911-call to first EMS arrival, was prolonged [10.5 mins (IQR 7.5-15)] in rural settings compared to urban settings [6.5 mins (IQR 5-9)]
. Among females, rural settings were associated with higher odds of bystander CPR compared to males [(OR 1.86; 95% CI 1.04-3.35), (OR 1.42; 95% CI 0.95-2.13)], respectively. After adjusting for all covariates, rural settings were associated with lower odds of ROSC among males compared to females [(OR 0.53; 95% CI 0.31-0.90), (OR 0.70; 95% CI 0.34-1.41)], respectively; however, not associated with survival to hospital discharge.
There are significant disparities in the modifiable prehospital OHCA characteristics, and post resuscitation ROSC between rural and urban Vancouver Island. An officially integrated rural CPR community-based program, and innovations focused on gender-based implementation may significantly improve OHCA survival rates and subsequent prognostication.
The biotic and abiotic factors responsible for determining ranges of most species are poorly understood. The Canada jay (Perisoreus canadensis Linnaeus, 1766) relies on perishable cached food for over-winter survival and late-winter breeding and the persistence of cached food could be a driver of range limits. We confirmed that the Canada jay’s lower elevational limit on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, matches that of the subalpine zone (900 m) and then conducted simulated caching experiments to examine the influence of antimicrobial properties of subalpine tree species (biotic) and of temperature (abiotic) on the preservation of cached food. We found that two high-elevation species, Yellow cedar (Callitropsis nootkatensis D. Don, D.P. Little) and Amabilis fir (Abies amabilis Douglas ex J. Forbes) preserved cached blueberries and chicken flesh better than other trees but they also occurred well below the lower limit of Canada jays. The effect of temperature was similarly unclear; while food cached at 1150 m retained 17 % more mass than food cached at 550 m, there was no difference in percent mass remaining of food placed 70 m above, versus 120 m below, the Jay lower elevational limit. Thus we were unable to provide definitive evidence that either of the proposed abiotic or biotic factors was responsible for setting the Canada jay lower elevational limit of resident Canada jays.