Samuel K. Wasser

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Noninvasive fecal glucocorticoid analysis has tremendous potential as a means of assessing stress associated with environmental disturbance in wildlife. However, interspecific variation in excreted glucocorticoid metabolites requires careful selection of the antibody used in their quantification. We compared four antibodies for detecting the major fecal(More)
Resurgence of illicit trade in African elephant ivory is placing the elephant at renewed risk. Regulation of this trade could be vastly improved by the ability to verify the geographic origin of tusks. We address this need by developing a combined genetic and statistical method to determine the origin of poached ivory. Our statistical approach exploits a(More)
Noninvasive fecal assays were used to study steroid metabolism and ovarian activity in several felid species. Using the domestic cat (Felis catus) as model, the excretory products of injected [14C]estradiol (E2) and [14C]progesterone (P4) were determined. Within 2 days, 97.0 +/- 0.6% and 96.7 +/- 0.5% of recovered E2 and P4 radioactivity, respectively, was(More)
The highly threatened African elephants have recently been subdivided into two species, Loxodonta africana (savannah or bush elephant) and L. cyclotis (forest elephant) based on morphological and molecular studies. A molecular genetic assessment of 16 microsatellite loci across 20 populations (189 individuals) affirms species level genetic differentiation(More)
Two unanaesthetized female yellow baboons (Papio cynocephalus cynocephalus) were infused (i.v.) with [3H]oestradiol and two with [3H]progesterone, early in the follicular phases of their cycles. One month later, the two females infused with [3H]oestradiol were simultaneously infused with [14C]progesterone and [3H]dehydroepiandrosterone. All urine and faeces(More)
The illegal ivory trade recently intensified to the highest levels ever reported. Policing this trafficking has been hampered by the inability to reliably determine geographic origin of contraband ivory. Ivory can be smuggled across multiple international borders and along numerous trade routes, making poaching hotspots and potential trade routes difficult(More)
Widespread poaching prior to the 1989 ivory ban greatly altered the demographic structure of matrilineal African elephant (Loxodonta africana) family groups in many populations by decreasing the number of old, adult females. We assessed the long-term impacts of poaching by investigating genetic, physiological, and reproductive correlates of a disturbed(More)
Female mammals experience a very high and often unappreciated rate of reproductive failure. Among human pregnancies alone, over 50 per cent fail between conception and parturition, and the majority of these failures are unexplained. These findings present important problems for evolutionary theory as well as for health care practices. This paper addresses(More)
Techniques were established for the extraction and measurement of 17 beta-estradiol (E2) and progestins (P4) from feces of Old World primates. Studies were conducted to show the sensitivity of these measures, means of preserving fecal samples in the field, effects of urinary contamination, and means to eliminate these effects. Our results show that excreted(More)