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DETERMINING THE REPRODUCTIVE STATUS OF 3 FEMALE FREE-RANGING WHITE RHINOCEROS (CERATOTHERIUM SIMUM SIMUM) BY MEASURING FAECAL PROGESTAGEN LEVELS

By Y.N. Charbon

Abstract

There is still a lot unclear about the reproductive cycle of female white rhinoceroses. Limited information is available and the existing data are conflicting, especially regarding the oestrous cycle. This study was conducted from October 2008 until February 2009. In this period, three female free-ranging white rhinoceroses were monitored in the privately owned game reserve Lapalala. The aim was to collect as many faecal samples as possible in this period. The faeces were collected fresh and an Enzyme Immuno Assay (EIA) was performed to determine the progestagen levels in the samples. Reproductive progestagen levels were highly variable. The classification of Schwarzenberger et al. (1998) was used to categorize the animals according to their faecal progestagen levels. Due to the short study-period it is difficult to interpret the reproductive status of the three animals. It seems that measurement of the faecal progestagen levels is a reliable non-invasive way to collect information about the reproductive status of the animal. This is expected to become a valuable tool for the Lapalala-management and for conservation management in general

Topics: Diergeneeskunde
Year: 2008
OAI identifier: oai:dspace.library.uu.nl:1874/33498
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