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"Viau, Priscilla"

Amaral, Rodrigo de Souza; Rosas, Fernando César Weber; Viau, Priscilla; D'Affonsêca Neto, José Anselmo; Silva, Vera Maria Ferreira da; Oliveira, Cláudio Alvarenga de (detail)
Noninvasive monitoring of androgens in male Amazonian manatee (Trichechus inunguis): biologic validation.
Jour. Zoo Wildlife Med. 40(3): 458-465. 2 tabs. 1 fig.
Amaral, Rodrigo de Souza; Rosas, Fernando César Weber; Viau, Priscilla; Nichi, Marcilio; Silva, Vera Maria Ferreira da; Oliveira, Cláudio Alvarenga (detail)
Monitoring salivary testosterone concentrations from captive Amazonian manatees (Trichechus inunguis): Is there seasonal pattern?
Reproduction, Fertility and Development 23(1): 181-181. DOI:10.1071/RDv23n1Ab156. Dec. 2010.
–ABSTRACT: Seasonality of reproduction in many nondomestic animal species appears to represent an accommodation to environmental variables, as food availability, in which influence reproductive success. Males can show a decrease of testicular size, sperm concentration, and serum concentration of testosterone because of food restriction. The Amazonian manatee (Trichechus inunguis, Mammalia: Sirenia) is a threatened aquatic mammal, endemic of the Amazon basin (South America), and is the only sirenian that occurs exclusively in fresh water. Although information is lacking about the reproductive endocrinology of free-ranging T. inunguis, they are considered seasonal breeders, with copulation and births occurring between December and July, coinciding with the increase in Amazon basin water levels and the period of most availability of food for the species (Best 1982 Biotropica 14, 76–78). Salivary steroid measurement is a noninvasive way to monitor steroid concentration, which is well correlated with the level of steroids in the serum. The aim of this study was to verify if testosterone concentrations of male T. inunguis kept in captivity, without variation of food availability, show a seasonal pattern. We used 4 adult male Amazonian manatees kept in captivity in the Laboratory of Aquatic Mammals of the National Institute of Amazonian Research–LMA/INPA, Brazil. They were fed all year with paragrass and vegetables, at not less than 8% of body weight per day. For sample collection, the pool was drained and saliva was collected from mouth mucosa using a metal spoon. Samples were collected weekly for 12 weeks in 2 periods (March–June and September–November). Salivary testosterone was measured by RIA for total testosterone using an adapted protocol previously validated for the species (Amaral et al. 2009 J. Zoo Wildl. Med. 40, 458–465) The data were analysed in a 3 × 2 factorial design, where the factors were month (each 4 weeks = 1 month) and period, using GLM test for repeated-measures. The means of salivary androgen levels were 28.80 ± 18.56 pg mL–1 and 30.77 ± 16.76 pg mL–1 for first and second periods, respectively. There were no significant main effects of month (P = 0.454), period (P = 0.607), or interaction between factors (P = 0.635). These results suggest that captive male Amazonian manatees apparently do not show reproductive seasonality. However, it is recommended to verify the existence of variation in testicular size and sperm concentration. This finding is important information for the future reproductive management of captive Amazonian manatee.

Daryl P. Domning, Research Associate, Department of Paleobiology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. 20560, and Laboratory of Evolutionary Biology, Department of Anatomy, College of Medicine, Howard University, Washington, D.C. 20059.
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