Conservation medicine is a discipline in which researchers and conservationists study and respond to the dynamic interplay between animals, humans, and the environment. From a wildlife perspective, animal species are encountering stressors from numerous sources. With the rapidly increasing human population, a corresponding increased demand for food, fuel, and shelter; habitat destruction; and increased competition for natural resources, the health and well-being of wild animal populations is increasingly at risk of disease and endangerment. Scientific data are needed to measure the impact that human encroachment is having on wildlife. Nonbiased biometric data provide a means to measure the amount of stress being imposed on animals from humans, the environment, and other animals. The stress response in animals functions via glucocorticoid metabolism and is regulated by the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis. Fecal glucocorticoids, in particular, may be an extremely useful biometric test, since sample collection is noninvasive to subjects and, therefore, does not introduce other variables that may alter assay results. For this reason, many researchers and conservationists have begun to use fecal glucocorticoids as a means to measure stress in various animal species. This review article summarizes the literature on many studies in which fecal glucocorticoids and their metabolites have been used to assess stress levels in various mammalian species. Variations between studies are the main focus of this review. Collection methods, storage conditions, shipping procedures, and laboratory techniques utilized by different researchers are discussed.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 37 • No. 3