Reproductive endocrine monitoring of elephants: An essential tool for assisting captive management

Considerable information now is available about the basic reproductive biology of elephants, especially females. However, as important as this knowledge is, it no longer is enough to simply compile it into a database. The potential exists for using endocrine monitoring techniques to solve real problems. This review summarizes our current knowledge of elephant endocrinology and […]

Zoo Research Guidelines: Monitoring Stress in Zoo Animals

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Reproductive steroid hormones and ovarian activity in felids of the Leopardus genus

Abstract 10.1002/zoo.1010.abs Reproductive endocrine patterns were characterized in female ocelots (Leopardus pardalis; n = 3), tigrinas (Leopardus tigrinus; n = 2), and margays (Leopardus wiedii; n = 2) housed in captivity in southern Brazil. Females were maintained as singletons and exposed to natural fluctuations in photoperiod. Cyclic changes in ovarian steroids were monitored by analyzing […]

Assessment of ovarian function in the African elephant (Loxodonta africana) by measurement of 5α-reduced progesterone metabolites in serum and urine

Abstract 10.1002/(SICI)1098-2361(1997)16:33.3.CO;2-6 We have previously shown that 5α-pregnane-3,20-dione (5αDHP), and 5α-pregnane-3-ol-20-one (5α-P-3-OH) are the major luteal and circulating progestins in the African elephant. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to determine (1) circulating levels and patterns of secretion of 5α-DHP in relation to progesterone (P4) throughout the ovarian cycle, (2) the presence and […]

The effects of sex, age and commensal way of life on levels of fecal glucocorticoid metabolites in spiny mice (Acomys cahirinus)

We studied levels of fecal glucocorticoid metabolites (GCM) in a social rodent — Egyptian spiny mouse. As breeding adults are socially dominant over subadults, and adolescent males are driven away by the dominant males, we addressed the question whether animals within extended families are stressed differently depending upon their social category. In addition, we evaluated […]

Assessing stress in animal populations: Do fecal and plasma glucocorticoids tell the same story?

Many studies have recently focused on stress as a marker of an animal’s well being. Since animals respond to a stressor by increasing their glucocorticoid (GC) levels there has been much interest in measuring these hormones. Fecal GC analyses have been used in a wide range of studies as they are an easily obtained, non-invasive […]

Influence of breeding season on fecal glucocorticoid levels in captive Greater Rhea (Rhea americana)

Sex hormones and stress-related changes can be seasonally influenced. We investigate whether fecal glucocorticoid metabolite (FGM) levels can differ between male and female captive Greater Rheas during the breeding and non-breeding seasons. Over a 3-year-period, fresh fecal samples from 10 individuals (five of each sex) were collected during the breeding months (October, November, and December) […]

Circadian rhythm of salivary cortisol secretion in female zoo-kept African elephants (Loxodonta africana)

Salivary samples were collected over a 24-hr period from one group of six juvenile (7–12 years) and one group of three adult (24–25 years) African elephant females, Loxodonta africana, and the cortisol concentration was measured in unextracted samples by EIA. Samples were collected during May, June, and November 2012 (n = 147) using cotton swabs at 4-hr […]

Integrating trans-abdominal ultrasonography with fecal steroid metabolite monitoring to accurately diagnose pregnancy and predict the timing of parturition in the red panda (Ailurus fulgens styani)

Red pandas (Ailurus fulgens styani) exhibit a variable gestation length and may experience a pseudopregnancy indistinguishable from true pregnancy; therefore, it is not possible to deduce an individual’s true pregnancy status and parturition date based on breeding dates or fecal progesterone excretion patterns alone. The goal of this study was to evaluate the use of […]