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Khonmee J.,Chiang Mai University | Brown J.L.,Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute | Rojanasthien S.,Chiang Mai University | Aunsusin A.,Chiang Mai Night Safari | And 6 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Chinese goral (Naemorhedus griseus) are a threatened species in Thailand and the focus of captive breeding for possible reintroduction. However, little is known of their biology or what factors in the captive environment affect welfare. Our objective was to determine the impact of gender, season, and management on goral adrenal activity. We hypothesized that differences in fecal glucocorticoid concentrations would be related to animal density. Fecal samples were collected 3 days/ week for 1 year from 63 individuals (n = 32 males, 31 females) at two facilities that house the majority of goral in Thailand: Omkoi Wildlife Sanctuary (Omkoi), an off-exhibit breeding center that houses goral in individual pens (16 pens; n = 8 males, 8 females) and in small family groups (8 pens; n = 8 males, 8 females); and the Chiang Mai Night Safari (NS), a zoo that maintains 31 goral (n = 17 males, 14 females) in one large pen. Glucocorticoid metabolite concentrations were higher in male than female goral at Omkoi throughout the year, and there was a seasonal effect on adrenal activity (p,0.05). Goral at Omkoi and NS were used to test the effect of animal density on fecal glucocorticoid excretion of goral housed in similarsized enclosures. Overall, the highest levels were found at NS (n = 31 adults/pen; 27 m2 per animal) compared to Omkoi (n = 2 adults/pen; 400 m2 per animal) (p,0.05). Overall findings support our hypothesis that animal density and aspects of the captive environment impact adrenal steroid activity in captive goral. In addition, gender and season also had significant effects on glucocorticoid metabolite production. Potential stressors pertaining to the welfare of this species were identified, which will guide future efforts to improve management and create self-sustaining and healthy populations of this threatened species. Source

Khonmee J.,Chiang Mai University | Brown J.L.,Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute | Rojanasthien S.,Chiang Mai University | Thumasanukul D.,Omkoi Wildlife Sanctuary | And 5 more authors.
Animal Reproduction Science | Year: 2014

There is no information on the endocrinology of Chinese goral (Naemorhedus griseus), a high priority species for captive breeding and reintroduction in Thailand. This study characterized fecal androgen and glucocorticoid metabolites in male goral at Omkoi Wildlife Sanctuary to investigate seasonal relationships. Fecal samples were collected 3 days/week for 1 year from eight adult males. Mean androgen metabolite concentrations were greater (P< 0.05) during the rainy season (289.82. ±. 9.18. ng/g) and winter (224.09. ±. 11.97. ng/g) compared to the summer (195.48. ±. 8.23. ng/g), and were related to breeding activity. A similar pattern was observed for glucocorticoid concentrations (22.10. ±. 0.72. ng/g compared to 21.98. ±. 0.98. ng/g compared to 15.30. ±. 0.48. ng/g), respectively, and this resulted in a positive correlation between the two hormones (P< 0.05). There also were positive correlations between fecal androgen metabolite concentrations and temperature (P< 0.05) and day length (P< 0.05). In summary, this is the first study to assess endocrine function in male goral, and results showed seasonal variation in testicular and adrenal steroidogenic function, with greater activity in the rainy season and winter. Given that resources for captive male goral are consistent throughout the year, reproduction may be regulated primarily by photoperiod in this species. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. Source

Chaiprasertsri N.,Kasetsart University | Uno Y.,Nagoya University | Peyachoknagul S.,Kasetsart University | Prakhongcheep O.,Kasetsart University | And 8 more authors.
Journal of Heredity | Year: 2013

Two novel repetitive DNA sequences, VSAREP1 and VSAREP2, were isolated from the water monitor lizard (Varanus salvator macromaculatus, Platynota) and characterized using molecular cytogenetics. The respective lengths and guanine-cytosine (GC) contents of the sequences were 190bp and 57.5% for VSAREP1 and 185bp and 59.7% for VSAREP2, and both elements were tandemly arrayed as satellite DNA in the genome. VSAREP1 and VSAREP2 were each located at the C-positive heterochromatin in the pericentromeric region of chromosome 2q, the centromeric region of chromosome 5, and 3 pairs of microchromosomes. This suggests that genomic compartmentalization between macro- and microchromosomes might not have occurred in the centromeric repetitive sequences of V. salvator macromaculatus. These 2 sequences did only hybridize to genomic DNA of V. salvator macromaculatus, but no signal was observed even for other squamate reptiles, including Varanus exanthematicus, which is a closely related species of V. salvator macromaculatus. These results suggest that these sequences were differentiated rapidly or were specifically amplified in the V. salvator macromaculatus genome. © The American Genetic Association 2013. All rights reserved. Source

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