Abstract # 2580 Poster # 169:

Scheduled for Sunday, September 20, 2009 06:30 PM-09:00 PM: Session 13 (Mission Bay Ballroom CDE) Poster Presentation


VALIDATING FECAL HORMONE ANALYSIS IN THE PIED BARE FACED TAMARIN (SAGUINUS BICOLOR BICOLOR) AT LINCOLN PARK ZOO

D. Armstrong and R. Santymire
Lincoln Park Zoo, 2001 N Clark St, Conservation and Science, Chicago, IL 60614, USA
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Pied tamarins are critically endangered primates that have had limited breeding success in zoos. Unfortunately, little is known about their reproductive biology and adrenocortical activity, which may influence breeding success. Our hypothesis was fecal hormones can be utilized to monitor gonadal and adrenocortical activity. Objectives were: 1) characterize male and female gonadal and adrenocortical hormones; and 2) assess seasonal effects on reproduction. Uncontaminated feces [N=727] were collected in AM 3-7 times/week for 9 months from four [2 male; 2 female] individuals. Hormones were analyzed for progestin (FPM), androgen (FAM) and glucocorticoid (FGM) metabolites by EIA. FPM was validated by pregnancy [mean±S.E.M.; 28.8±16.0 µg/g; range, 4.1-59.6 µg/g] versus FPM non-pregnancy values [8.4±4.0 µg/g; range, 2.5-15.0 µg/g]. Mean FAM did not vary [ANOVA; F(8,353)=1.28; p=0.25] across months [849.8±39.4 µg/g; range, 715.6–1195.6 µg/g). FGM was validated by response to veterinary procedure with elevated values [7.3±1.5 µg/g; range, 5.8-8.8 µg/g] seven times the baseline [0.2±0.01 µg/g; range, 0.04-20.5 µg/g] at 24 hr post-physical for 48 hrs. Baseline FGMs differed [ANOVA; F(1,430)=257; p<0.05] between on-exhibit pair [0.84±0.03 µg/g; range, 0.06–27.44 µg/g] and off-exhibit pair [0.32±0.01 µg/g; range, 0.03–72.45 µg/g]. Pied tamarins may be sensitive to the presence of other species and the public resulting in increased adrenocortical activity. Fecal hormone monitoring in pied tamarins may provide insight on their limited breeding success in zoos.