The stress response to environmental change in captive cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus)

Amy Wells, Karen A. Terio, Michael H Ziccardi, Linda Munson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The captive North American cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) population is not self-sustaining because of high prevalences of unusual diseases and poor reproductive success. Cheetahs are commonly moved between zoos for breeding purposes to maintain genetic diversity within the captive population, and movement may exacerbate infertility and disease. Fecal corticoids were analyzed by radioimmunoassay to measure the stress response of cheetahs to movement between facilities. Fecal samples were collected from 15 cheetahs for 14 days before movement and for at least 30 days after movement. For each cheetah, premovement fecal corticoid concentrations were used to determine baseline and then compared with trends in postmovement concentrations. In general, postmovement corticoid concentrations either increased (n = 8), did not change (n = 2), or decreased (n = 5). Although individual animal differences occurred, corticoid concentrations increased for most animals moved on-exhibit and decreased in animals moved off-exhibit. Animals moving on-exhibit had an 18-times greater risk of having corticoids elevated more than two standard deviations above baseline for 30 days after movement compared with animals that moved off-exhibit. In addition, greater day-to-day variation in corticoids occurred in animals moved on-exhibit. In general, animals with initially low baseline corticoid concentrations had a greater postmovement corticoid response than cheetahs with initially high baseline levels. These results indicate that some cheetahs have a prolonged stress response when moved between facilities, and the magnitude and character of this response is influenced by the exhibit environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8-14
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine
Volume35
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2004

Fingerprint

Acinonyx
Acinonyx jubatus
adrenal cortex hormones
stress response
environmental change
Adrenal Cortex Hormones
animal
animals
captive population
infertility
zoo
disease prevalence
reproductive success
radioimmunoassays
zoos
Individuality
Infertility
Population
Radioimmunoassay
Breeding

Keywords

  • Acinonyx jubatus
  • Cheetah
  • Corticoids
  • Fecal steroids
  • Movement
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • veterinary(all)

Cite this

The stress response to environmental change in captive cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus). / Wells, Amy; Terio, Karen A.; Ziccardi, Michael H; Munson, Linda.

In: Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine, Vol. 35, No. 1, 03.2004, p. 8-14.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{f4746d483b30436387fede2f0b21cbf4,
title = "The stress response to environmental change in captive cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus)",
abstract = "The captive North American cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) population is not self-sustaining because of high prevalences of unusual diseases and poor reproductive success. Cheetahs are commonly moved between zoos for breeding purposes to maintain genetic diversity within the captive population, and movement may exacerbate infertility and disease. Fecal corticoids were analyzed by radioimmunoassay to measure the stress response of cheetahs to movement between facilities. Fecal samples were collected from 15 cheetahs for 14 days before movement and for at least 30 days after movement. For each cheetah, premovement fecal corticoid concentrations were used to determine baseline and then compared with trends in postmovement concentrations. In general, postmovement corticoid concentrations either increased (n = 8), did not change (n = 2), or decreased (n = 5). Although individual animal differences occurred, corticoid concentrations increased for most animals moved on-exhibit and decreased in animals moved off-exhibit. Animals moving on-exhibit had an 18-times greater risk of having corticoids elevated more than two standard deviations above baseline for 30 days after movement compared with animals that moved off-exhibit. In addition, greater day-to-day variation in corticoids occurred in animals moved on-exhibit. In general, animals with initially low baseline corticoid concentrations had a greater postmovement corticoid response than cheetahs with initially high baseline levels. These results indicate that some cheetahs have a prolonged stress response when moved between facilities, and the magnitude and character of this response is influenced by the exhibit environment.",
keywords = "Acinonyx jubatus, Cheetah, Corticoids, Fecal steroids, Movement, Stress",
author = "Amy Wells and Terio, {Karen A.} and Ziccardi, {Michael H} and Linda Munson",
year = "2004",
month = "3",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "35",
pages = "8--14",
journal = "Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine",
issn = "1042-7260",
publisher = "American Association of Zoo Veterinarians",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - The stress response to environmental change in captive cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus)

AU - Wells, Amy

AU - Terio, Karen A.

AU - Ziccardi, Michael H

AU - Munson, Linda

PY - 2004/3

Y1 - 2004/3

N2 - The captive North American cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) population is not self-sustaining because of high prevalences of unusual diseases and poor reproductive success. Cheetahs are commonly moved between zoos for breeding purposes to maintain genetic diversity within the captive population, and movement may exacerbate infertility and disease. Fecal corticoids were analyzed by radioimmunoassay to measure the stress response of cheetahs to movement between facilities. Fecal samples were collected from 15 cheetahs for 14 days before movement and for at least 30 days after movement. For each cheetah, premovement fecal corticoid concentrations were used to determine baseline and then compared with trends in postmovement concentrations. In general, postmovement corticoid concentrations either increased (n = 8), did not change (n = 2), or decreased (n = 5). Although individual animal differences occurred, corticoid concentrations increased for most animals moved on-exhibit and decreased in animals moved off-exhibit. Animals moving on-exhibit had an 18-times greater risk of having corticoids elevated more than two standard deviations above baseline for 30 days after movement compared with animals that moved off-exhibit. In addition, greater day-to-day variation in corticoids occurred in animals moved on-exhibit. In general, animals with initially low baseline corticoid concentrations had a greater postmovement corticoid response than cheetahs with initially high baseline levels. These results indicate that some cheetahs have a prolonged stress response when moved between facilities, and the magnitude and character of this response is influenced by the exhibit environment.

AB - The captive North American cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) population is not self-sustaining because of high prevalences of unusual diseases and poor reproductive success. Cheetahs are commonly moved between zoos for breeding purposes to maintain genetic diversity within the captive population, and movement may exacerbate infertility and disease. Fecal corticoids were analyzed by radioimmunoassay to measure the stress response of cheetahs to movement between facilities. Fecal samples were collected from 15 cheetahs for 14 days before movement and for at least 30 days after movement. For each cheetah, premovement fecal corticoid concentrations were used to determine baseline and then compared with trends in postmovement concentrations. In general, postmovement corticoid concentrations either increased (n = 8), did not change (n = 2), or decreased (n = 5). Although individual animal differences occurred, corticoid concentrations increased for most animals moved on-exhibit and decreased in animals moved off-exhibit. Animals moving on-exhibit had an 18-times greater risk of having corticoids elevated more than two standard deviations above baseline for 30 days after movement compared with animals that moved off-exhibit. In addition, greater day-to-day variation in corticoids occurred in animals moved on-exhibit. In general, animals with initially low baseline corticoid concentrations had a greater postmovement corticoid response than cheetahs with initially high baseline levels. These results indicate that some cheetahs have a prolonged stress response when moved between facilities, and the magnitude and character of this response is influenced by the exhibit environment.

KW - Acinonyx jubatus

KW - Cheetah

KW - Corticoids

KW - Fecal steroids

KW - Movement

KW - Stress

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=2942588796&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=2942588796&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Article

C2 - 15193067

AN - SCOPUS:2942588796

VL - 35

SP - 8

EP - 14

JO - Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine

JF - Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine

SN - 1042-7260

IS - 1

ER -