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Aligning Species Conservation with Animal Welfare: Formulation of Vulture-Safe Meloxicam Manufactured in South Asia and the Reaction of Goats to its Administration
1. Resident vulture populations in South Asia have undergone catastrophic declines due to their toxicity to the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) diclofenac, which was widely used as a painkiller in treating domestic ungulates, the principal food source for vultures. As a result of the critically endangered status of resident vultures, the manufacture of veterinary products of diclofenac was banned in India, Nepal and Pakistan in 2006. 2. Preparations of the NSAID meloxicam are promoted as an alternative to diclofenac, due to its safety to vultures and the wide-scale use of meloxicam in Europe where it is the main NSAID of choice for treating livestock. However, veterinarians in South Asia have raised concerns on the pain and irritation reaction that meloxicam products were causing when injected in goats and cattle. 3. We investigated the pH, osmolarity and formulation of a range of veterinary NSAIDs that were available for purchase in India and Nepal, and undertook an experiment to measure the pain reaction of domestic goats (Capra hircus) to South Asian meloxicam products and to Metacam®, the meloxicam product used in Europe. 4. NSAIDs purchased in South Asia exhibited a wide range of pH values and osmolarities, with many products having high pH (strongly alkaline) and high osmolarities (hypertonic), far in excess of those found in mammalian plasma. All products contained the labelled ingredients and concentrations of active ingredient were generally within the stated range. Only Metacam® was found to contain meglumine, an excipient used in many pharmaceutical products. 5. Treatment of goats, undertaken in a replicated and blind experiment, revealed that both meloxicam products manufactured in South Asia caused acute pain reactions following intra-muscular injection. In contrast, there was no difference in the reaction of goats to injections of Metacam® in comparison to injections with saline solution. The degree of pain of South Asian products was related to both high pH and high osmolarity. While short-term pain reactions were observed, no lasting pain or tissue damage occurred with any product. 6. The high pH and osmolarity of South Asian products of meloxicam are a result of the low solubility of meloxicam in water, with solubility increasing in more alkaline solutions. The addition of the excipient meglumine (as found in Metacam®) increases the solubility of meloxicam, without creating concomitant problems of high pH and osmolarity. Boehringer Ingelheim, the German pharmaceutical company that developed and markets Metacam®, has waived copyright to their formulation in India, allowing this to be used to manufacture meloxicam in South Asia. Promotion of a safe, effective and pain-free veterinary meloxicam formulation will benefit vulture conservation, animal welfare and the pharmaceutical industry in South Asia.
Wildlife Conservation Society Papua New Guinea Country Program Annual Report 2020
Socio-Economic and Ecological Report for the Tulu 1 Community, Manus Province, Papua New Guinea
Protected Area Planning for the Kikori River Basin
Harnessing local ecological knowledge for conservation decision making via Wisdom of Crowds: The case of the Manus green tree snail Papustyla pucherrima
The shell of the Manus green tree snail Papustyla pulcherrima is renowned for its beauty and is subject to international protection under CITES, having been harvested intensively in the past. To determine its threat status, and whether further conservation action is justified, an inexpensive Wisdom of Crowds approach was used to estimate the change in relative density of the snail between 1998 and 2013. Local men and women were approached around the main market on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea, and asked to map the relative abundance of the snail on an ordinal scale, based on their personal observations in 2013 and 1998 (a year of cultural significance). The spatial abundance data from 400 surveys were analysed using an information-theoretic approach. A suite of cumulative link models incorporating geographical factors was used to determine the magnitude of the change and to investigate possible biological influences underpinning the reported pattern. High abundance of the snail was associated with intact forested areas, high elevation and low population density. A slow decline was evident, with the median percentage of map cells where the snail was categorized as plentiful decreasing by c. 20% between the 2 years. On this basis a categorization of Near Threatened was advocated for the species. Although it is arguable that Wisdom of Crowds methods cannot be substituted for in situ quantification, the approach appears to have utility as a preliminary assessment for further conservation expenditure, and as a tool for determining threat status.
Manus Cash Crop Feasibility Analysis
Gardening and Performance Assessment Report for all Ten ADB Sites: Manus Province, Papua New Guinea
Kavieng District Mangrove Health Analysis
Land Cover Mapping and Change Analyses for Manus Province, Papua New Guinea
Improving conservation outcomes for coral reefs affected by future oil palm development in Papua New Guinea
Clearing forests for oil palm plantations is a major threat to tropical terrestrial biodiversity, and may potentially have large impacts on downstream marine ecosystems (e.g., coral reefs). However, little is known about the impacts of runoff from oil palm plantations, so it is not clear how oil palm development should be modified to minimize the risk of degrading marine ecosystems, or how marine conservation plans should be modified to account for the impacts of oil palm development. We coupled terrestrial and marine biophysical models to simulate changes in sediment/nutrient composition on reefs as a result of oil palm development in Papua New Guinea, and predicted the response of coral and seagrass ecosystems to different land-use scenarios. The condition of almost 60% of coastal ecosystems were predicted to be substantially degraded (more than a 50% decline from their initial state) after 5 years if all suitable land was converted to oil palm, with only 4% of coastal ecosystems improving in condition as trees matured. We evaluated marine ecosystem condition if the oil palm developments were consistent with global sustainability guidelines and found that there were only slight improvements in ecosystems condition compared to the scenario with complete conversion of forest to oil palm. Substantially reducing the impact of oil palm development on marine ecosystems required limiting new plantings to hill slopes below 15°, a more stringent restriction than currently allowed for in the sustainability guidelines. We evaluated priority marine conservation areas given current land-use and found reef ecosystems in these areas will likely be heavily degraded in the future from runoff. We find that marine conservation plans should be modified to prioritize turbid areas where coral communities may be more tolerant of increased suspended sediment in the water. The approach developed here provides guidelines for modifying marine conservation priorities in areas with oil palm development. Importantly, oil palm development guidelines cannot be truly ecologically sustainable unless they are modified to account for the impacts of oil palm on coastal marine ecosystems.
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