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Home » Archive » 2017

TDK conference 2017

Long-term monitoring of faecal reproductive steroids in red pandas (Ailurus fulgens)
Kremán Dóra Szilvia - year 5
University of veterinary Medicine, Department of Exotic Animal and Wildlife Medicine
Supervisors: Dr. Endre Sós, Dr. János Gál

Abstract:

The red panda (Ailurus fulgens) has been listed as an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) since 2015. There is an international breeding program concerned with this issue and many zoological gardens around the world are members of it. As a part of this initiative, my research examined the reproductive status of red pandas in Hungary.

We have collected faecal samples in five Hungarian zoos (Budapest, Veszprém, Nyíregyháza, Jászberény, and Szeged) once a week (twice in the breeding season) from five female red pandas (three of them paired with males; two of them unmated, as control animals) over a six month period, using a non-invasive method. Meanwhile, we have collected samples from the three males too (mates of the females) once a week. Observed matings were also documented. In order to distinguish the faeces individually in the case of females and males housed together, they received food colouring in their breakfast, as a novel method.

We have created appropriate hormone profiles by measuring P4, E2 and (in the case of the males) testosterone levels by RIA.

The red panda is known to be seasonally polyoestrus and an induced ovulator and these facts could be proven by my research as well.

This is the first time, when the breeding season of the red pandas living in the Hungarian climate has been examined. According to the hormone profiles their breeding season starts earlier than expected, nevertheless, the results prove that they are seasonally polyoestrus and induced ovulators. In addition, we have managed to keep track of the hormonal background of pregnancy, offering a non-invasive tool for pregnancy diagnostic.

We could also see increased testosterone secretion of the males during the breeding season.

Overall, my results suggest that the method I have presented is suitable to follow up the hormonal activity of this species.



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