Captive Big Cat Gut Microbiome Study

Microbiome Study
About This Project

In wildlife conservation, it is believed that successful management of species needs managing their microbiomes. It is thus evident that attention to microbiome of animals slated for reintroduction may increase the success of reintroduction efforts. Many of the failed attempts to reintroduce species may likely be due to microbiome alterations and subsequent physiological function in captive animals as compared to the wild populations due to conditions during captivity like controlled feeding and shifts in diet, etc. Thus, to improve the success of reintroduction program in wildlife conservation, it is important that these captive animals are free from any infectious or contagious pathogens/ parasites; warranting large scale Microbiome studies in these animals. With the advent of NGS technology, one can have high throughput data of microbial diversity based on 16S rRNA sequencing from any source. Gut microbiome studies are by far most studied due to their dynamic nature under the environmental influence and their contribution to the development of the host immune system.; and this is what we have attempted in our pilot study on the Captive Big Cats at the Hyderabad Zoo.