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|Title:||Gender, season and management affect fecal glucocorticoid metabolite concentrations in captive goral (naemorhedus griseus) in Thailand|
|Publisher:||Public Library of Science|
|Abstract:||Chinese goral (Naemorhedus griseus) are a threatened species in Thailand and the focus of captive breeding for possible reintroduction. However, little is known of their biology or what factors in the captive environment affect welfare. Our objective was to determine the impact of gender, season, and management on goral adrenal activity. We hypothesized that differences in fecal glucocorticoid concentrations would be related to animal density. Fecal samples were collected 3 days/ week for 1 year from 63 individuals (n = 32 males, 31 females) at two facilities that house the majority of goral in Thailand: Omkoi Wildlife Sanctuary (Omkoi), an off-exhibit breeding center that houses goral in individual pens (16 pens; n = 8 males, 8 females) and in small family groups (8 pens; n = 8 males, 8 females); and the Chiang Mai Night Safari (NS), a zoo that maintains 31 goral (n = 17 males, 14 females) in one large pen. Glucocorticoid metabolite concentrations were higher in male than female goral at Omkoi throughout the year, and there was a seasonal effect on adrenal activity (p,0.05). Goral at Omkoi and NS were used to test the effect of animal density on fecal glucocorticoid excretion of goral housed in similarsized enclosures. Overall, the highest levels were found at NS (n = 31 adults/pen; 27 m2 per animal) compared to Omkoi (n = 2 adults/pen; 400 m2 per animal) (p,0.05). Overall findings support our hypothesis that animal density and aspects of the captive environment impact adrenal steroid activity in captive goral. In addition, gender and season also had significant effects on glucocorticoid metabolite production. Potential stressors pertaining to the welfare of this species were identified, which will guide future efforts to improve management and create self-sustaining and healthy populations of this threatened species.|
|Appears in Collections:||VET: Journal Articles|
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