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Carnivore Ecology and ConservationA Handbook of Techniques$
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Luigi Boitani and Roger A. Powell

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199558520

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199558520.001.0001

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Reproductive biology and endocrine studies

Reproductive biology and endocrine studies

(p.273) 12 Reproductive biology and endocrine studies
Carnivore Ecology and Conservation

Cheryl S. Asa

Oxford University Press

This chapter begins with basic information on the reproductive patterns of carnivores as a background for developing research questions and designing sampling strategies for carnivore studies. It describes female estrus cycle stages along with the associated hormones. The chapter discusses reproductive phenomena that vary among species, such as induced ovulation, pregnancy, delayed implantation, and seasonal and lactational anovulation, as well as characteristic cycle patterns, such as monestrum and polyestrum. It presents an overview of the endocrinology of stress with an emphasis on mechanisms of action of glucocorticoids and the role of social stability in the stress response. This general introduction is followed by more specific information on sample collection, comparing the advantages and disadvantages of blood, urine, faeces, saliva, and hair for endocrine analysis, in addition to the hormones that can be detected in each type of sample. The chapter ends with a brief overview of methods for controlling reproduction, such as contraception or permanent sterilization, along with the possible effects on behaviour and social organization.

Keywords:   reproduction, hormones, estrus, pregnancy, stress

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