Urine collection conditioning in determining the oestrous cycle of a captive female giant panda Ailuropoda melanoleuca
Keywords:training, endocrine, hormone, bear, breeding
The breeding of giant pandas Ailuropoda melanoleuca in captivity can be a challenge, especially if natural mating is unsuccessful and artificial insemination is the only way to achieve fertilisation. The best chance of successful artificial insemination is when the female is inseminated within 24 hours of ovulation, right after oestrogen levels peak and start declining during her oestrous period. Hence, determining the exact point at which the female reaches her oestrous peak is crucial. Besides monitoring behavioural and physical changes in the female, urinary oestrogen is a common non-invasive biomarker in determining the female’s oestrogen hormone profile. However, urine may be hard to collect in a naturalistic environment when the female is out on display. Conditioning a female panda to urinate on cue allows for direct urine collection and hence accurate monitoring of oestrogen levels at a consistent rate while ensuring that the sample collected is fresh and clean. This has led to improvement of the oestrogen hormone profile over recent years, allowing for a more accurate determination of the female’s oestrous peak and a better grasp of timing for artificial insemination.
How to Cite
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).