Spercoski, K. M., Morais, R. N., Morato, R. G., de Paula, R. C., Azevedo, F. C., May-Júnior, J. A., Santos, J. P., Reghelin, A. L., Wildt, D. E., & Songsasen, N. (2012). Adrenal activity in maned wolves is higher on farmlands and park boundaries than within protected areas. General and Comparative Endocrinology, 179(2), 232–240.
In this study we measured excreted fecal corticoid metabolites (FCM) in maned wolves (Chrysocyon brachyurus) living within a protected reserve, on farmlands or in a boundary zone between the two habitats, and determined the impacts of season and reproductive status on adrenal activity. Feces were collected within a national park (n= 191 samples), a park boundary zone (n= 39) and on nearby farmlands (n= 27), processed and analyzed by enzyme immunoassay. FCM amounts from samples collected on farmlands were higher (P<. 0.05) than in those collected inside the reserve and from the boundary zone. In relation to seasonality, FCM were elevated (P<. 0.05) in spring (September-November) when wolf pairs were raising young. We then divided the samples collected during breeding season (March-August) into cycling females and male/non-cycling females based on fecal progesterone: fecal testosterone ratio. FCM concentrations of the former collected inside the park were higher than (P<. 0.05) than the latter group. However, there were no differences in FCM levels between the two groups for samples collected in the boundary zone and on farmlands. Furthermore, FCM concentrations of male/non-cycling females samples collected on farmlands were 2- to 5-fold higher (P<. 0.05) than in counterparts collected inside the park. The consistently high FCM concentrations in samples collected on farmlands indicate that, in addition to seasonality, gender and reproductive status, anthropogenic pressures also contribute to elevating adrenal steroid for individuals living in altered habitat.
© 2012 Elsevier Inc.