Assessment of Faecal Cortisol Levels in Free-Ranging Nilgiri Tahrs (Nilgiritragus hylocrius) in Correlation with Meteorological Parameters: A Non-Invasive StudyBoon Allwin1*, Nishit S Gokarn1, Serma S Pandian1, Stalin Vedamanickam2, Sathish Gopal2, Manoj K3 and Bharath Jothi S2
- Corresponding Author:
- Boon Allwin
Madras Veterinary College, Chennai, TANUVAS, Tamil Nadu, India
Tel: 044 2538 1506
E-mail: [email protected]
Received Date: June 21, 2016; Accepted Date: October 25, 2016; Published Date:October 31, 2016
Citation: Allwin B, Gokarn NS, Pandian SS, Vedamanickam S, Gopal S, et al. (2016) Assessment of Faecal Cortisol Levels in Free-Ranging Nilgiri Tahrs (Nilgiritragus hylocrius) in Correlation with Meteorological Parameters: A Non-Invasive Study. J Climatol Weather Forecasting 4:175. doi: 10.4172/2332-2594.1000175
Copyright: © 2016 Allwin B, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
The faecal glucocorticoid metabolites of a free-ranging small Nilgiri tahr population of Western Ghats, Tamil Nadu was studied to investigate contributing confounding influences of season, ambient temperature, rainfall and water level on the annual secretion pattern. The was done for a period of one year Oct 2013-Sep 2014. Individuals may cope with environmental challenges through the secretion of stress hormones (glucocorticoids) which allows the integration of environmental change as essential life events such as predator stress, food and water availability, resting cover, influence of tourists and life history events such as birth, death, maintenance of an essential population size by means of an adaptive feedback mechanism. Adaptation and eventually acclimatization to cyclic day-to-day activities, short-term environmental stressors or long-term ecological pressures have been observed with these animals. However, being a highly limited population the animals maintained an effective population size. A clear cut seasonal pattern of glucocorticoid metabolites excretion was detected, with increasing levels in summer and winter. The confounding factors such temperature, rainfall, relative humidity, solar radiation, soil temperature were recorded throughout the study period and did not have any correlation with the stress the animals exhibited. The observed pattern might be due to lack of feed availability both during summer and winter, a declining nutritional intake and reduction of metabolism during winter, clearly the animals were not in their “Thermo comfort Zone”. However, broad retrospective studies are essential to identify potential contingent environmental stressors. This study reports the baseline cortisol level in Nilgiri Tahrs, with the relevant confounding factors correlating with their annual variation level.