Measurement of Fecal Testosterone Metabolites in Mice: Replacement of Invasive Techniques

Testosterone is the main reproductive hormone in male vertebrates and conventional methods to measure testosterone rely on invasive blood sampling procedures. Here, we aimed to establish a non-invasive alternative by assessing testosterone metabolites (TMs) in fecal and urinary samples in mice. We performed a radiometabolism study to determine the effects of daytime and sex on […]

Non-invasive measurement of glucocorticoids: Advances and problems

Glucocorticoids (GCs; i.e. cortisol/corticosterone) are a central component of the stress response and thus their measurement is frequently used to evaluate the impact of stressful situations. Their metabolites from faeces of various animal species are more and more taken as a non-invasive aid to assess GC release and thus adrenocortical activity. The current literature review […]

Comparative endocrine investigations in three bear species based on urinary steroid metabolites and volatiles

In order to improve breeding of in situ populations of bears, a comprehensive study of reproductive physiology in Brown (Ursus arctos), Spectacled (Tremarctos ornatus) and Giant panda bears (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) was performed. The objective was to perform non-invasive analyses of urinary and fecal steroid metabolites. In addition, we investigated the presence of reproduction-related urinary volatile […]

Urinary cortisol sampling: a non-invasive technique for examining cortisol concentrations in the Weddell seal, Leptonychotes weddellii

Abstract 10.1002/zoo.20088.abs This study investigated the feasibility and validity of using non-invasively collected ice urine samples to measure cortisol concentrations in Weddell seals. Radio-immunoassays were used to determine urinary cortisol, and spectrophotometric assay was used to determine creatinine concentrations. This allowed for urinary cortisol/creatinine ratios (UCCR) to be compared between pure urine and urine collected […]

Extraction, PCR amplification, and sequencing of mitochondrial DNA from scent mark and feces in the giant panda

Abstract 10.1002/(SICI)1098-2361(1998)17:63.3.CO;2-G To expand the feasibility of applying simple, efficient, non-invasive DNA preparation methods using samples that can be obtained from giant pandas living in the wild, we investigated the use of scent markings and fecal samples. Giant panda–specific oligonucleotide primers were used to amplify a portion of the mitochondrial DNA control region as well […]

Observer ratings: Validity and value as a tool for animal welfare research

Ratings by human observers have long been used by animal scientists and veterinarians to assess certain physical traits (e.g. body fat), and can also be applied to the assessment of behaviour and a variety of welfare-relevant variables (e.g. pain responsiveness, alopecia/barbering). Observer ratings offer a myriad of advantages, not just practical (e.g. money-saving) but also […]

Assessment of canine sensory function by using sine-wave electrical stimuli paradigm

The paradigm of sine-wave electrical stimuli has been used for sensory neurological assessment in humans. In the present study, we applied the paradigm to the dog for the quantitative assessment of sensory function. Sine-wave electrical current stimuli at frequencies of 2000, 250, and 5Hz were delivered to bipolar electrodes attached to the skin surface of […]

Faecal glucocorticoid level is not correlated with stereotypic pacing in two captive margays (Leopardus wiedii)

The ‘coping hypothesis’ of stereotypic behaviour — that stereotypies are performed as a means of helping the animal to cope with its environment by reducing stress — was tested using two adult female margays (Leopardus wiedii), an endangered neotropical small cat species. Within-individual and between-individual comparisons of the duration of stereotypic pacing and glucocorticoid concentration, […]

Can non-invasive glucocorticoid measures be used as reliable indicators of stress in animals?

Refinement techniques are being increasingly employed in all fields of animal research to try to ensure that the highest standards of welfare are upheld. This review concerns one of the main emerging techniques for the assessment of welfare itself, namely the non-invasive measurement of glucocorticoids (GCs) as indicators of stress. The paper is divided into […]

The Importance of Chemical Communication Studies to Mammalian Conservation Biology: A Review

The relevance of chemical communication to mammalian conservation is not often the focus of scientific investigation. Our review identifies and discusses ten key areas in which the study of chemical communication aids conservation behaviour. Articles (n = 140) were revealed, most were concerned with population monitoring (22.50%), reducing human-wildlife conflicts (18.93), influencing habitat selection (18.57%), […]