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B-ultrasonography: An Accurate and Noninvasive Method for Pregnancy Diagnosis in Pangolins

B-ultrasonography: An Accurate and Noninvasive Method for Pregnancy Diagnosis in Pangolins

Fuhua Zhang, Yishuang Yu and Shibao Wu*

School of Life Science, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, P.R. China

*      Corresponding author: wushibao@163.com

ABSTRACT

Pregnancy diagnosis is critical to the management of captive breeding of wild animals, as accurate pregnancy diagnosis can improve the reproductive efficiency of captive animals. Pangolins do not show obvious morphological changes during pregnancy, which increases the difficulty of pregnancy diagnosis. In this study, pregnancies were diagnosed using B-ultrasonography in three Sunda pangolins (MJ-X2, MJ-X3, and MJ-X4) that had mated with males. B-ultrasonography revealed embryos in pangolins MJ-X2 and MJ-X3, but not in MJ-X4. Pangolins MJ-X2 and MJ-X3 gave birth to cubs 102 and 123 days, respectively, after B-ultrasound detection; pangolin MJ-X4 did not give birth to a cub. This study showed that B-ultrasound can accurately diagnose pregnancy in Sunda pangolins and detect the developmental status of their embryos and fetuses. As a method of pregnancy diagnosis, B-ultrasound is not only easy to operate, safe, and noninvasive, but also very intuitive and efficient compared with hormone detection methods. Efficient detection methods such as B-ultrasonography are critical to avoid housing already-pregnant pangolins together with males, which may mate with the females again or stress them, resulting in abortion. This approach also helps to conserve male reproductive resources, thereby improving the reproductive efficiency of captive Sunda pangolins. Effective and efficient captive breeding programs are critical for the conservation of Sunda pangolins and other pangolin species.
 

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Pakistan Journal of Zoology

August

Vol. 53, Iss. 4, Pages 1201-1601

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