Integrating gut bacterial diversity and captive husbandry to optimize vulture conservation

Becker, A.A., Harrison, S.W., Whitehouse-Tedd, G., Budd, J.A. and Whitehouse-Tedd, K. ORCID: 0000-0003-0061-489X, 2020. Integrating gut bacterial diversity and captive husbandry to optimize vulture conservation. Frontiers in Microbiology. (Forthcoming)

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Abstract

Endangered species recovery plans often include captive breeding and reintroduction, but success remains rare. Critical for effective recovery is an assessment of captivity-induced changes in adaptive traits of reintroduction candidates. The gut microbiota is one such trait and is particularly important for scavengers exposed to carcass microbiomes. We investigated husbandry-associated differences in the gut microbiota of two Old World vulture species using 16S RNA gene amplicon sequencing. Increased abundance of Actinobacteria occurred when vultures were fed quail but not rat or chicken. Conversely, diet preparation (sanitization) had no effect, although bacterial diversity differed significantly between vulture species, likely reflective of evolved feeding ecologies. Whilst the relative lack of influence of a sanitized diet is encouraging, changes in bacterial abundance associated with the type of prey occurred, representing a dietary influence on host-microbiome condition warranting consideration in ex-situ species recovery plans. Incorporation of microbiome research in endangered species management, therefore, provides an opportunity to refine conservation practice.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Frontiers in Microbiology
Creators: Becker, A.A., Harrison, S.W., Whitehouse-Tedd, G., Budd, J.A. and Whitehouse-Tedd, K.
Publisher: Frontiers Media
Date: 27 April 2020
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.3389/fmicb.2020.01025DOI
1318667Other
Divisions: Schools > School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 28 Apr 2020 10:39
Last Modified: 20 May 2020 07:52
Related URLs:
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/39750

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