Natural enemies and food competitors, but also light pollution, noise or traffic disturb wildlife. Hormones such as cortisol can, in principle, be used to detect their "stress" level in the blood. "Traditional methods of capturing animals and taking blood samples to measure "stress" in itself causes considerable stress. They also have the disadvantage that we only get a snapshot of the blood cortisol anyway," says Prof. Katarina Jewgenow, head of the Department of Reproduction Biology at Leibniz-IZW. Cortisol metabolites can also be detected in faeces, which summarise cortisol levels over a time window of the past 24 to 48 hours. There is currently only one material known that can be used as a long-term archive of cortisol levels in mammals: hair.
As part of his dissertation, Leibniz-IZW doctoral student Alexandre Azevedo analysed 294 hair samples of Egyptian mongooses (Herpestes ichneumon) from seven provinces of Portugal, where these carnivores are legally captured within the framework of wildlife management activities. The hair of the mongooses was first cut into sections, then cleaned with alcohol, pulverized and extracted with methanol. The HPLC analysis of the extracts confirmed that cortisol was deposited in the hair of mongooses during its growth. Now the scientists will be able to investigate whether it is also suitable as a biomarker for stress.
Mongoose - Holy - Animal - Pharaohs - Egypt
The Egyptian mongoose -- which was worshipped as a holy animal by the pharaohs in ancient Egypt and therefore...
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