oa Quest - Non-invasive physiological measurements in wild animals : no touching please!

Volume 15 Number 4
  • ISSN : 1729-830X



Just like us, when animals experience stress, they show a physiological response in the body. This response can take many forms – an elevated heart rate, higher metabolic rate, an increase in circulating stress hormones (called cortisol in most mammals, including humans, and corticosterone in reptiles and birds) or, when heat stressed, a heightened risk of dehydration. Studying these responses in animals can tell us a lot about how much environmental stress animals can tolerate, helping to improve our understanding of animal biology and inform conservation management actions.

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