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Journal Article

Measuring Stress in Mammals Using Fecal Glucocorticoids: Opportunities and Challenges

Christina G. von der Ohe and Christopher Servheen
Wildlife Society Bulletin (1973-2006)
Vol. 30, No. 4 (Winter, 2002), pp. 1215-1225
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Wildlife Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3784291
Page Count: 11

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Topics: Glucocorticoids, Hormones, Endocrinology, Secretion, Steroids, Estrogens, Excretion, Feces, Physiology, Animals
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Measuring Stress in Mammals Using Fecal Glucocorticoids: Opportunities and Challenges
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Abstract

Measurement of fecal glucocorticoids is a new and non-invasive approach to studying stress in free-ranging animals and is being applied to an increasing number of species. The purpose of this review is to discuss the physiology underlying the stress response, measurement of fecal glucocorticoids in mammals, and nonstress factors affecting fecal excretion of glucocorticoid metabolites. We argue that adaptation and sensitization, sex, reproductive events, diet, prehibernatory preparations, inter-species differences, and assay methods are potential sources of difficulty in interpreting data when adapting this approach to studies of stress in wildlife.

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