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    Abstract
2011 (Vol. 3, Issue: 2)
Article Information:

Non-invasive Sampling Strategy for Monitoring Free-ranging Mountain Gorilla (Gorilla berengi berengi) Fecal Corticoid Excretion in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, South-Western Uganda

J.B. Nizeyi, S.L. Monfort, N.M. Taha, M. Cranfield and K. Gilardi
Corresponding Author:  John Bosco Nizeyi 

Key words:  Corticoid degeneration, distribution along fecal strand, excretion rhythm, ICN RIA, nests, trails,
Vol. 3 , (2): 94-103
Submitted Accepted Published
2011 February, 09 2011 February, 28 2011 April, 05
Abstract:

Health monitoring of the critically endangered mountain gorilla (Gorilla berengei berengei) as one of the strategies for their conservation requires establishment of non-invasive methods that do not interfere with their natural behaviors. Therefore a fecal sampling strategy was established for use in assessing their adrenocortical activity non-invasively by investigating corticoid distribution along the fecal strand, possible existence of fecal corticoid excretion rhythms and environmental effect. Fecal samples were collected from nests and along the trails, preserved in 99.7% ethanol and analyzed using validated ICN RIA. The results revealed that gorilla fecal corticoid concentrations increased till 72 h after defecation and thereafter began to decline towards the original levels. At 60 h the corticoid levels began showing significant difference (p<0.001) from the concentrations measured in samples collected at the time of defecation (0 h). There was no difference in fecal corticoid concentrations measured from Nest, Morning Trail and Afternoon Trail samples (S; p>0.05, SC; p = 0.65). There was a strong similarity (SC = 0.79 and ICC = 0.75) between corticoid concentrations of previous night nest and morning trail fecals; supporting the assumption among field workers that gorillas defecate in the nests early morning just before they leave their nests. No difference (S; p>0.05) in corticoid levels among the fecal strand sections was observed. Thus corticoids measured from any section of the firm fecal strand up to 60 h post-defecation effectively represent the non rhythmic fecal corticoid excretory profile, offering the best non-invasive and non-intrusive sampling strategy for study of corticoids in this species.
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  Cite this Reference:
J.B. Nizeyi, S.L. Monfort, N.M. Taha, M. Cranfield and K. Gilardi, 2011. Non-invasive Sampling Strategy for Monitoring Free-ranging Mountain Gorilla (Gorilla berengi berengi) Fecal Corticoid Excretion in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, South-Western Uganda.  International Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances, 3(2): 94-103.
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