The collection of biological samples through non-invasive techniques represents one way of monitoring in vivo physiological changes associated with reproductive activity. Such techniques are particularly important for the study of animal species in the wild. The goals of this study were 1) to evaluate fecal progestogen (P), estrogen (E), and androgen (A) by means of radio- immunoassays, in male and female wild boars culled in the Piedmont, Italy area; 2) to compare them with plasmatic concentrations and the animals’ reproductive status; and 3) to assess variations in reproductive seasonality between two populations of wild boars living in a mountainous vs. a plain habitat in Piedmont. The results demonstrate a positive correlation between fecal and plasmatic steroid concentrations (r = 0.46, 0.58, and 0.45 for plasma P4 and P, E2 and E, and T and A; P < 0.05). Moreover, high fecal levels of both P and E (>170 ng/g and >100 pg/g respectively) were found in 70.6% of pregnant sows and in none of the non-pregnant animals, thus supporting the use of this technique for detecting pregnancy status in wild boar. Similar birth patterns were displayed by the mountain and plain populations, but births peaked significantly only in the mountain population, in the spring (46%, P < 0.05, vs. other seasons). A corresponding autumnal peak of plasma testosterone concentrations in males was displayed only by the mountain population (7.4 vs. < 2.0 ng/mL in the other seasons, P < 0.05). The correlation between fecal and plasmatic steroid concentrations obtained in this study supports the applicability of this non- invasive sampling technique for monitoring reproductive status in wild boar, thus enabling a more informed and correct management of the species.

Seasonality of reproduction in wild boar (Sus scrofa)assessed by fecal and plasmatic Steroids

MALFATTI, Alessandro
2010

Abstract

The collection of biological samples through non-invasive techniques represents one way of monitoring in vivo physiological changes associated with reproductive activity. Such techniques are particularly important for the study of animal species in the wild. The goals of this study were 1) to evaluate fecal progestogen (P), estrogen (E), and androgen (A) by means of radio- immunoassays, in male and female wild boars culled in the Piedmont, Italy area; 2) to compare them with plasmatic concentrations and the animals’ reproductive status; and 3) to assess variations in reproductive seasonality between two populations of wild boars living in a mountainous vs. a plain habitat in Piedmont. The results demonstrate a positive correlation between fecal and plasmatic steroid concentrations (r = 0.46, 0.58, and 0.45 for plasma P4 and P, E2 and E, and T and A; P < 0.05). Moreover, high fecal levels of both P and E (>170 ng/g and >100 pg/g respectively) were found in 70.6% of pregnant sows and in none of the non-pregnant animals, thus supporting the use of this technique for detecting pregnancy status in wild boar. Similar birth patterns were displayed by the mountain and plain populations, but births peaked significantly only in the mountain population, in the spring (46%, P < 0.05, vs. other seasons). A corresponding autumnal peak of plasma testosterone concentrations in males was displayed only by the mountain population (7.4 vs. < 2.0 ng/mL in the other seasons, P < 0.05). The correlation between fecal and plasmatic steroid concentrations obtained in this study supports the applicability of this non- invasive sampling technique for monitoring reproductive status in wild boar, thus enabling a more informed and correct management of the species.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11581/200105
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