Salivary Cortisol Reaction Norms in Zoo-Housed Great Apes

Autor(en)
Verena Behringer, Jeroen M. G. Stevens, Ruth Sonnweber
Abstrakt

Monitoring changes in cortisol levels is a widespread tool for measuring individuals’ stress responses. However, an acute increase in cortisol levels does not necessarily denote an individual in distress, as increases in cortisol can be elicited by all factors that signal the need to mobilize energy. Nor are low levels of cortisol indicative for a relaxed, healthy individual. Therefore, a more fine-grained description of cortisol patterns is warranted in order to distinguish between cortisol fluctuations associated with different stress response qualities. In most species, cortisol shows a distinct diurnal pattern. Using a reaction norm approach, cortisol levels across the day can be described by the two regression coefficients: the intercept and the slope of the curve. We measured immunoreactive salivary cortisol in three zoo-housed ape species under three conditions (routine days, enrichment days, and after the move to a new house). We examined salivary cortisol intercepts (SCI) and salivary cortisol slopes (SCS) of the diurnal curves. SCI and SCS were independent from each other. SCI was highest on enrichment days and lowest on routine days. SCS was steep on routine days and blunted after the move. Only SCI was species-specific. Our study provides evidence that combining SCI and SCS measures allows us to differentiate between types of stress responses, thereby constituting a useful tool for welfare assessment.

Organisation(en)
Department für Verhaltens- und Kognitionsbiologie
Externe Organisation(en)
Leibnitz Institut für Primatenforschung, University of Antwerp, Odisee University of Applied Sciences
Journal
Animals
Band
12
Anzahl der Seiten
16
ISSN
2076-2615
DOI
https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12040522
Publikationsdatum
02-2022
Peer-reviewed
Ja
ÖFOS 2012
106048 Tierphysiologie
Schlagwörter
ASJC Scopus Sachgebiete
Veterinary Medicine(all), Animal Science and Zoology
Link zum Portal
https://ucris.univie.ac.at/portal/de/publications/salivary-cortisol-reaction-norms-in-zoohoused-great-apes(6a391694-248e-4e16-94b5-476f0126de42).html