Reproductive status of cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) in North American Zoos: The benefits of physiological surveys for strategic planning

D. E. Wildt, J. L. Brown, M. Bush, M. A. Barone, K. A. Cooper, J. Grisham, J. G. Howard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Under the mandate of a Species Survival Plan (SSP), reproductive status was assessed in 128 cheetahs maintained in 18 different institutions in North America. A mobile laboratory research team evaluated cheetahs using anesthesia, serial blood sampling, electroejaculation (males), and laparoscopy (females). Biomaterials were also collected for parallel studies of genetics, nutrition, and health. There was no mortality, and cheetahs were capable of reproducing naturally after these intense manipulatory examinations. No marked differences were observed in reproductive or endocrine characteristics between proven and unproven breeders. However, males consistently produced teratospermic ejaculates, and cheetah sperm were compromised in conspecific or heterologous in vitro fertilization systems. Structurally abnormal sperm were found to be filtered by the oocyte's zona pellucida. More than 80% of the females were anatomically sound, but morphological and endocrine evidence suggested that ∼50% or more of the population may have had inactive ovaries at the time of the examination. Males ranging in age from 15 to 182 months produced spermic ejaculates, but motile sperm numbers/ejaculate and circulating testosterone concentrations were highest in males 60 to 120 months old. Parovarian cysts were observed in 51.5% of female cheetahs, but comparisons between proven and unproven subpopulations revealed that this abnormality likely had no influence on fertility. Fresh luteal tissue was not observed in any nonpregnant or nonlactating female, strongly suggesting that the cheetah is an induced ovulator. Overall survey results were discussed in the context of the etiology of reproductive inefficiency, especially with respect to the potential importance of biological versus management factors. Four high priority research areas in cheetah reproductive biology were identified: 1) continuous monitoring of ejaculate quality in the extant population, while studying the impact of pleiomorphisms on fertility; 2) determining the potential relationship between libido and androgen production (excretion) in males; 3) confirming the extent of cyclic, or acyclic, ovarian activity in females; and 4) continued development of assisted reproductive techniques for enhancing man‐agement. In summary, a multidisciplinary, multi‐institutional survey coordinated through the SSP is both possible and useful for generating a physiological and health database beneficial to driving further research and management initiatives. © 1993 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-80
Number of pages36
JournalZoo Biology
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Acinonyx jubatus
zoos
planning
spermatozoa
libido
assisted reproductive technologies
biocompatible materials
laparoscopy
zona pellucida
blood sampling
in vitro fertilization
androgens
corpus luteum
testosterone
etiology
anesthesia
oocytes
excretion
nutrition
Biological Sciences

Keywords

  • assisted reproduction
  • follicle
  • hormone
  • ovary
  • reproductive performance
  • semen
  • sperm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology

Cite this

Wildt, D. E., Brown, J. L., Bush, M., Barone, M. A., Cooper, K. A., Grisham, J., & Howard, J. G. (1993). Reproductive status of cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) in North American Zoos: The benefits of physiological surveys for strategic planning. Zoo Biology, 12(1), 45-80. https://doi.org/10.1002/zoo.1430120107

Reproductive status of cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) in North American Zoos : The benefits of physiological surveys for strategic planning. / Wildt, D. E.; Brown, J. L.; Bush, M.; Barone, M. A.; Cooper, K. A.; Grisham, J.; Howard, J. G.

In: Zoo Biology, Vol. 12, No. 1, 1993, p. 45-80.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Wildt, D. E. ; Brown, J. L. ; Bush, M. ; Barone, M. A. ; Cooper, K. A. ; Grisham, J. ; Howard, J. G. / Reproductive status of cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) in North American Zoos : The benefits of physiological surveys for strategic planning. In: Zoo Biology. 1993 ; Vol. 12, No. 1. pp. 45-80.
@article{348b29f2300b4179a949ceae2807974c,
title = "Reproductive status of cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) in North American Zoos: The benefits of physiological surveys for strategic planning",
abstract = "Under the mandate of a Species Survival Plan (SSP), reproductive status was assessed in 128 cheetahs maintained in 18 different institutions in North America. A mobile laboratory research team evaluated cheetahs using anesthesia, serial blood sampling, electroejaculation (males), and laparoscopy (females). Biomaterials were also collected for parallel studies of genetics, nutrition, and health. There was no mortality, and cheetahs were capable of reproducing naturally after these intense manipulatory examinations. No marked differences were observed in reproductive or endocrine characteristics between proven and unproven breeders. However, males consistently produced teratospermic ejaculates, and cheetah sperm were compromised in conspecific or heterologous in vitro fertilization systems. Structurally abnormal sperm were found to be filtered by the oocyte's zona pellucida. More than 80{\%} of the females were anatomically sound, but morphological and endocrine evidence suggested that ∼50{\%} or more of the population may have had inactive ovaries at the time of the examination. Males ranging in age from 15 to 182 months produced spermic ejaculates, but motile sperm numbers/ejaculate and circulating testosterone concentrations were highest in males 60 to 120 months old. Parovarian cysts were observed in 51.5{\%} of female cheetahs, but comparisons between proven and unproven subpopulations revealed that this abnormality likely had no influence on fertility. Fresh luteal tissue was not observed in any nonpregnant or nonlactating female, strongly suggesting that the cheetah is an induced ovulator. Overall survey results were discussed in the context of the etiology of reproductive inefficiency, especially with respect to the potential importance of biological versus management factors. Four high priority research areas in cheetah reproductive biology were identified: 1) continuous monitoring of ejaculate quality in the extant population, while studying the impact of pleiomorphisms on fertility; 2) determining the potential relationship between libido and androgen production (excretion) in males; 3) confirming the extent of cyclic, or acyclic, ovarian activity in females; and 4) continued development of assisted reproductive techniques for enhancing man‐agement. In summary, a multidisciplinary, multi‐institutional survey coordinated through the SSP is both possible and useful for generating a physiological and health database beneficial to driving further research and management initiatives. {\circledC} 1993 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.",
keywords = "assisted reproduction, follicle, hormone, ovary, reproductive performance, semen, sperm",
author = "Wildt, {D. E.} and Brown, {J. L.} and M. Bush and Barone, {M. A.} and Cooper, {K. A.} and J. Grisham and Howard, {J. G.}",
year = "1993",
doi = "10.1002/zoo.1430120107",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "12",
pages = "45--80",
journal = "Zoo Biology",
issn = "0733-3188",
publisher = "Wiley-Liss Inc.",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Reproductive status of cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) in North American Zoos

T2 - The benefits of physiological surveys for strategic planning

AU - Wildt, D. E.

AU - Brown, J. L.

AU - Bush, M.

AU - Barone, M. A.

AU - Cooper, K. A.

AU - Grisham, J.

AU - Howard, J. G.

PY - 1993

Y1 - 1993

N2 - Under the mandate of a Species Survival Plan (SSP), reproductive status was assessed in 128 cheetahs maintained in 18 different institutions in North America. A mobile laboratory research team evaluated cheetahs using anesthesia, serial blood sampling, electroejaculation (males), and laparoscopy (females). Biomaterials were also collected for parallel studies of genetics, nutrition, and health. There was no mortality, and cheetahs were capable of reproducing naturally after these intense manipulatory examinations. No marked differences were observed in reproductive or endocrine characteristics between proven and unproven breeders. However, males consistently produced teratospermic ejaculates, and cheetah sperm were compromised in conspecific or heterologous in vitro fertilization systems. Structurally abnormal sperm were found to be filtered by the oocyte's zona pellucida. More than 80% of the females were anatomically sound, but morphological and endocrine evidence suggested that ∼50% or more of the population may have had inactive ovaries at the time of the examination. Males ranging in age from 15 to 182 months produced spermic ejaculates, but motile sperm numbers/ejaculate and circulating testosterone concentrations were highest in males 60 to 120 months old. Parovarian cysts were observed in 51.5% of female cheetahs, but comparisons between proven and unproven subpopulations revealed that this abnormality likely had no influence on fertility. Fresh luteal tissue was not observed in any nonpregnant or nonlactating female, strongly suggesting that the cheetah is an induced ovulator. Overall survey results were discussed in the context of the etiology of reproductive inefficiency, especially with respect to the potential importance of biological versus management factors. Four high priority research areas in cheetah reproductive biology were identified: 1) continuous monitoring of ejaculate quality in the extant population, while studying the impact of pleiomorphisms on fertility; 2) determining the potential relationship between libido and androgen production (excretion) in males; 3) confirming the extent of cyclic, or acyclic, ovarian activity in females; and 4) continued development of assisted reproductive techniques for enhancing man‐agement. In summary, a multidisciplinary, multi‐institutional survey coordinated through the SSP is both possible and useful for generating a physiological and health database beneficial to driving further research and management initiatives. © 1993 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.

AB - Under the mandate of a Species Survival Plan (SSP), reproductive status was assessed in 128 cheetahs maintained in 18 different institutions in North America. A mobile laboratory research team evaluated cheetahs using anesthesia, serial blood sampling, electroejaculation (males), and laparoscopy (females). Biomaterials were also collected for parallel studies of genetics, nutrition, and health. There was no mortality, and cheetahs were capable of reproducing naturally after these intense manipulatory examinations. No marked differences were observed in reproductive or endocrine characteristics between proven and unproven breeders. However, males consistently produced teratospermic ejaculates, and cheetah sperm were compromised in conspecific or heterologous in vitro fertilization systems. Structurally abnormal sperm were found to be filtered by the oocyte's zona pellucida. More than 80% of the females were anatomically sound, but morphological and endocrine evidence suggested that ∼50% or more of the population may have had inactive ovaries at the time of the examination. Males ranging in age from 15 to 182 months produced spermic ejaculates, but motile sperm numbers/ejaculate and circulating testosterone concentrations were highest in males 60 to 120 months old. Parovarian cysts were observed in 51.5% of female cheetahs, but comparisons between proven and unproven subpopulations revealed that this abnormality likely had no influence on fertility. Fresh luteal tissue was not observed in any nonpregnant or nonlactating female, strongly suggesting that the cheetah is an induced ovulator. Overall survey results were discussed in the context of the etiology of reproductive inefficiency, especially with respect to the potential importance of biological versus management factors. Four high priority research areas in cheetah reproductive biology were identified: 1) continuous monitoring of ejaculate quality in the extant population, while studying the impact of pleiomorphisms on fertility; 2) determining the potential relationship between libido and androgen production (excretion) in males; 3) confirming the extent of cyclic, or acyclic, ovarian activity in females; and 4) continued development of assisted reproductive techniques for enhancing man‐agement. In summary, a multidisciplinary, multi‐institutional survey coordinated through the SSP is both possible and useful for generating a physiological and health database beneficial to driving further research and management initiatives. © 1993 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.

KW - assisted reproduction

KW - follicle

KW - hormone

KW - ovary

KW - reproductive performance

KW - semen

KW - sperm

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84995157598&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84995157598&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1002/zoo.1430120107

DO - 10.1002/zoo.1430120107

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:84995157598

VL - 12

SP - 45

EP - 80

JO - Zoo Biology

JF - Zoo Biology

SN - 0733-3188

IS - 1

ER -