Non-invasive hormone analysis
Successful captive breeding programmes of wildlife require knowledge on the reproductive and stress physiology of managed species, and the ability to track gonadal and adrenal activity via hormones is a key to optimising health and reproduction.
During the last decades, non-invasive measurements of hormone metabolites in faeces and urine have become widely applied and are used to investigate hormone-behaviour relationships as well as questions in the fields of reproduction, animal welfare, animal husbandry, ecology and conservation biology.
The endocrinology laboratory of the IZW provides services for the non-invasive monitoring of hormones. We offer to analyse progesterone, estradiol, testosterone, cortisol, corticosterone, prostaglandin F2α-metabolite (PGFM) in blood, and their metabolites in urine and faeces, reflecting male and female reproductive and adrenocortical activity (stress).
More recently, we also explored hair as a matrix for non-invasive monitoring, particularly for sex steroids and glucocorticoids.
The Leibniz-IZW endocrinology laboratory has long-standing experience in the analysis of samples from a wide range of different mammal and bird species.
We organise workshops and teach an introductory laboratory course on non-invasive monitoring to postgraduate students and scientists. Since 2005 we have held a 5-day lab workshop, the “summer school on non-invasive monitoring of hormones”.