Comparison of the Glucocorticoid Concentrations between Three Species of Lemuridae Kept in a Temporary Housing Facility

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Year of Publication:
Martina Volfova, Zuzana Machovcova, Eva Voslarova, Iveta Bedanova, Vladimir Vecerek
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We compared the glucocorticoid concentrations in response to various types of potential stressors present during standard operation of a temporary housing facility between three species, namely, ring-tailed lemurs, collared brown lemurs and white-headed lemurs. The levels of faecal glucocorticoid metabolites (FGMs) were measured non-invasively on a daily basis during a 30-day period. A total of 510 faecal samples were collected. Concentrations of immunoreactive glucocorticoid hormone metabolites were measured in the obtained extracts by using an enzyme immunoassay. The polyclonal antibodies used in this assay were directed against the metabolite 11-oxo-etiocholanolone I. We found all three monitored lemur species to respond to specific potentially stressful situations by increasing (p < 0.05) the FGM levels within one to two days after the event. Although housed in the same room, differences in response to potentially stressful situations were found in white-headed lemurs compared to ring-tailed lemurs. Increased mean levels of the FGMs were found more frequently in white-headed lemurs than in ring-tailed lemurs. The results suggest that this species may be more sensitive to changes in its surroundings. In general, the levels of the FGMs showed a similar pattern during 30 days of monitoring suggesting that all groups of lemurs responded in a similar manner to the same events. However, we recorded the differences in the absolute values of glucocorticoid concentrations between the monitored species likely due to the differences in sex ratios in the groups and presence of lactating females in the ring-tailed lemurs.


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