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|Title:||Non-invasive endocrine monitoring indicates seasonal variations in gonadal hormone metabolites in dholes (cuon alpinus)|
|Abstract:||© The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press and the Society for Experimental Biology. To date, there is no information on reproductive endocrinology of dholes (Cuon alpinus). The objectives of the present study were as follows: (i) to characterize longitudinal profiles of gonadal steroids; and (ii) to examine the relationship between gonadal hormones and sexual behaviours in dholes. Three breeding pairs and two bachelor males were included in the study. Among these, four animals (2 males and 2 females; 4 years old) were imported from The Netherlands to Thailand 3 months before the study onset; the remaining individuals (3 males and 1 female; 5-7 years old) were native born. Faecal samples were collected 3-7 days/week for 12 months, extracted and assessed for gonadal hormone metabolites using a validated enzyme immunoassay. Observations of behaviour were conducted in 30 min sessions, 3-5 days/week. For the three breeding males, testosterone was elevated (P < 0.05) from October to January in the two imported males, whereas the concentration of steroid metabolites was high from April to June and from September to November in the native male. However, there was no clear seasonal pattern of reproductive hormone in the bachelor group. Oestrogen metabolite level of imported females was elevated for 9-12 days in January, followed by a rise in progestagen concentration. For native females, oestrogen metabolites were above the basal values in April and September, each of which was followed by a rise in progestagen concentration that remained elevated for 77 and 112 days, respectively. Sexual behaviours, including solicitation, mounting and copulations, were observed during the oestrogen peak in all females. Our findings indicate that reproductive seasonality of dholes may depend on the animals' origin and social group.|
|Appears in Collections:||CMUL: Journal Articles|
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