Non-invasive assessment of physiological stress in captive common palm civets (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus) in Vietnam
Keywords:animal behavior, fecal glucocorticoid metabolite, glucocorticoids, corticotropin, corticosterone
Common Palm Civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus) is a rare mammal appearing in South and Southeast Asia, first described in 1777. An expensive coffee is made of beans eaten and rejected by civets. In Vietnam, the animals are increasingly captured and kept captive to sell these beans, which has adversely affected their population. Because of the detrimental effects of stress, studying stress responses is important for this wildlife conservation. The stress response of the Common Palm Civet was investigated through the concentration of glucocorticoid hormones in feces under different conditions such as translocation and forced-pairing during the breeding season, among others. This is a non-invasive method for measuring glucocorticoid hormones in captive Common Palm Civet in Vietnam. Our results validated that fecal glucocorticoid metabolites (FGM) accurately reflect circulating glucocorticoid stress hormones in Common Palm Civet. FGM increased under adrenocorticotropic hormone stimulation and during the breeding season (April and November-December). FGM during estrus and parturition was high as well in female civets. Stress response was also observed in case of forced-pairing or residence change. These data could be useful for research and the conservation of this species.
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