Noninvasive monitoring of adrenocortical activity in carnivores by fecal glucocorticoid analyses

Measurement of glucocorticoid metabolites in feces has become an accepted method for the noninvasive evaluation of adrenocortical activity. The objective of this study was to determine if a simple cortisol enzyme immunoassay (EIA) was suitable for monitoring adrenocortical activity in a variety of carnivore species. Performance of the cortisol EIA was gauged by comparison to […]

A Case Study: Fecal Corticosteroid and Behavior as Indicators of Welfare During Relocation of an Asian Elephant

This study was a preliminary investigation of an enzyme immunoassay for measuring fecal glucocorticoid metabolites in a male Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) by investigating changes in behavior and cortisol metabolite excretion associated with a putative stressful event. The study collected fecal samples for 10 days prior to, and 10 days after, 24-hr transport and relocation […]

Serum testosterone in captive male rhinoceros: Effects of season, age, stress, and sociosexual environment

All rhinoceros species are in some degree of endangerment. Understanding the reproductive physiology of rhinoceros species will help in management decisions with both free-ranging and captive populations. In mammalian species studied, testosterone plays a key role in spermatogenesis and libido. Testosterone concentrations, depending on the species, may vary according to age, season, social status, stress […]

Hormones as indicators of stress

Animal welfare is of increasing importance and absence of chronic stress is one of its prerequisites. During stress, various endocrine responses are involved to improve the fitness of the individual. The front-line hormones to overcome stressful situations are the glucocorticoids and catecholamines. These hormones are determined as a parameter of adrenal activity and thus of […]

Characterization of basal seminal traits and reproductive endocrine profiles in North American river otters and Asian small-clawed otters

Abstract 10.1002/zoo.20206.abs In this study, fecal samples were collected from 24 North American river (NARO) and 17 Asian small-clawed otters (ASCO) for 6–36 months and semen collected seasonally from NARO males (n=4/season) via electroejaculation. Our main objectives were to: (1) characterize endocrine parameters by longitudinal monitoring of fecal hormone metabolites and (2) investigate semen collection […]

Comparison of fecal storage methods for steroid analysis in black rhinoceroses (Diceros bicornis)

Abstract 10.1002/zoo.20017.abs Many field studies and conservation programs for wildlife species include noninvasive endocrine monitoring of gonadal function. Freezing fecal samples immediately after collection until further analysis is often not a viable option for researchers in remote areas. Phase 1 of this study was designed to compare different methods of preserving fecal samples over several […]

Enzyme-immunoassay for the measurement of luteinizing hormone in the serum of African elephants (Loxodonta africana)

Abstract Circulating patterns of progesterone and luteinizing hormone (LH) in the elephant have been well characterized, and routine monitoring of these hormones is now viewed as a valuable tool for making informed decisions about the reproductive management of elephants in captivity. Currently, LH monitoring in elephants is done with radio-immunoassays (RIAs); unfortunately, the use of […]

A versatile enzyme immunoassay for the determination of progestogens in feces and serum

Abstract The ability of zoos to monitor the reproductive status of their animals can vastly improve the effectiveness of husbandry/management practices, and noninvasive methods such as fecal steroid analysis are the easiest to apply in a zoo setting. Furthermore, enzyme immunoassay (EIA) is preferred to radioimmunoassay (RIA) as the method of quantifying hormones because EIAs […]

Effects of environmental conditions, human activity, reproduction, antler cycle and grouping on fecal glucocorticoids of free-ranging Pampas deer stags (Ozotoceros bezoarticus bezoarticus)

In this study, a commercial enzyme immunoassay (EIA) was validated in detecting glucocorticoids in Pampas deer feces, in order to investigate the influence of several factors on the adrenocortical function. Fecal samples, behavioral data and information concerning male grouping and antlers status were collected at a monthly basis during a 1 year period from free-ranging […]

Relationship between androgens, environmentalfactors and reproductive behavior in male white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum simum)

We conducted a longitudinal study of the endocrine activity of free-range male white rhinos. An enzyme immunoassay to measure androgens in the feces was developed and validated to show that it can be used to study testicular activity. We identified two fecal metabolites similar to testosterone and dihydrotestosterone. Several lines of evidence suggest that these […]