Concentration Of Cortisol Metabolites In Captive Sumatran Elephants At Elephant Conservation Facilities In Aceh

Rosa Rika Wahyuni, Sri Wahyuni, Al Azhar, Gholib Gholib


This study was conducted to validate the DRG Cortisol ELISA EIA-1887 Germany kit for measure the concentration of stress hormone metabolites (cortisol) from the feces and its correlation to the stressor factor in captive elephants in PKG and CRU of Aceh. These factors are location, diet and presence of livestock. There is no special treatment, observation based on the activity, behavior or natural condition of the animals. The sampling technique was non invasive, fresh dung samples of each (±20 gram) were collected from 25 elephants in CRU and PKG. Feces taken in the morning (before the animals are bathed) along with the observation of animal behavior. All samples were collected and stored at -200C until the analysis process. The validation test are analytic (parallelilmsm) and biological validation test. The analytic test result (paralillsm), showed that the sample curve was not parallel to the standard curve, but crossed the standard curve. While the results of biological validation test, DRG Cortisol ELISA EIA-1887 Germany kit can measure the concentration of cortisol hormone feces of Sumatran elephant and able to describe the difference of cortisol concentration relation to physiological events (stress vs non-stress). The mean values of cortisol metabolite concentrations from PKG Saree (Komplek PKG and Hutan Seunapet), Sampoiniet CRU, Cot Girek, Das Peusangan, Meulaboh and Aceh Timur were (577 ng/g and 400 ng/g), 435ng /g, 419ng /g, 517ng / g, 401ng/g and 425ng /g. The measurement results correlate with the physiological conditions and observed  factors.

Full Text:



[AL] Ansh Labs. 2016. Assay Validation For Animals. animal. 445 Medical Center Blvd, Webster, TX 77598.

Anestis SF. (2010). Hormones and social behavior in primates. Evolutionary Anthropology. 2010;19: 66–78. doi: 10.1002/evan.20253. [Cross Ref]

Barja, I., G. Escribano-Avila, C. Lara-Romero, E. Virgos, J. Benito. And E. Rafart. 2012. Non-invasive monitoring of adrenocortical activity in European badgers (Meles meles) and effects of sample collection and storage on faecal cortisol metabolit concentrations. Animal Biology. 62:419-432.

Benhaiem, S., M. Dehnhard, R. Bonanni, H. Hofer, W. Goymann, K. Eulenberger, dan M.L. East. 2012. Validation of an Enzyme Immunoassay for the measurement of fecal glucocorticoid metabolites inspotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta). General and Comparative Endocrinology. 178:265-271.

Brown, J., Wasser, S. K., Wildt, D. E., and Graham, L. H. 1994. Comparative aspects of steroid Hormone metabolism and ovarian activity in felids, measured non- invasively in feces. Biol. Reprod. 51:776-86.

Erika T. Stevenson. (2015). Validation of a Non invasive Technique for the Assessment of Physiological Stress in Coyotes (Canis latrans). Utah State University.

Fulkerson WJ, Jamison P A 1982 Pattern of cortisol release in sheep following administrationf synthetic ACTH or imposition of stressor agents. Australian Journal of Biological Sciences 35: 215–222.

Gholib. 2011. Non- Invasive Hormone Monitoring: Faecal ndrogen and Glucocorticoid in Male Crested Macaques (macaca Nigra) in Relation to Seasonal and Social Factors. Thesis. Postgraduate School, IPB, Bogor

Goymann W, Möstl E, Van’t Hof T, East M, Hofer H1999 Noninvasive fecal monitoring of glucocorticoids in spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta). General and Comparative Endocrinology 114: 340–348.

Goymann, W., 2012. On the use of non-invasive hormone research in un controlled, natural environments: the problem with sex, diet, meta bolic rate and the individual. Methods Ecol. Evol. 3, 757–765.

Graham, L. H., Webster, T., Richards, M., Reid, K., and Joseph, S.2002. Ovarian function in the Nile hippopotamus and the eff ects of Depo- Provera (TM) administration. Reproduction 60:65-70

Hamasaki, S., Yamauchi, K., Ohki, T., Murakami, M., Takahara, Y.,Takeuchi, Y., & Mori, Y. (2001). Comparison of various reproductive status in sika deer (cerv us nippon) using fecal steroid analysis. The Journal of Veterinary Medical Science, 63(2), 195-198

Heistermann, M., Ademmer, C., and Kaumanns, W. 2004. Ovarian cycle and eff ect of social changes on adrenal and ovarian function in Pygathrix nemaeus. Int. J. Primatol.25:689-708

Heistermann, M., Palme, R., and Ganswindt, A. 2006. Comparison of diff erent enzymeimmunoassays for assessment of adrenocortical activity in primates based on fecal samples. Am. J. Primatol. 68:257-73

Heistermann M. (2010). Non-invasive monitoring of endocrine status in laboratory primates: Methods, guidelines and aplications. Adv. Sci. Res. 1: 1-9

Hirschenhauser, K., Kotrschal, K., & Möstl, E. (2005). Synthesis of measuring steroid

metabolites in goose feces. A nnals of the New York Academy of ciences,1046(1), 138-153.

Hodges, K., Brown, J., Heistermann, M., 2010. Endocrine monitoring of reproduc-tion and stress. In: Kleiman, D.G., Thompson, K.V., Baer, C.K. (Eds.), Wild Mammals in Captivity: Principles and Techniques for Zoo Management, second ed. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, Il, pp. 447–468

Hofer H, East ML (1998) Biological conservation and stress. In Moeller A P, Millinsky M, Slater P L (eds) Stress and behaviour: advances in the study of animal behaviour. Academic Press, San Diego: 405–426

IUCN, 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2013.2.

Keay, J.M., J. Singh, M.C. Gaunt, and T. KAUR. 2006. Fecal glucocorticoids and their metabolites as indicators of stress in various mammalian species: a literature. Review. Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 37: 234–244.

Kou, M.T., D. S. Jong, and W. S. Lai, 2011. A Biological validation procedur for the measurements of fecal outputs and fecal kortisol metabolites in male Syirian hamsters. Chinese Journal of Physiology. 54(5):347-355

Millspaugh, J.J., Washburn, B.E., 2004. Use of fecal glucocorticoid metabolite measures in conservation biology research: considerations for application and interpretation. Gen. Comp. Endocrinol. 138, 189–199.

MӦstl, E., and R. Palme. (2002). Hormones as indicators of stress. Domestic Animal Endocrinology 23:67–74.

MӦstl, E., E.S. Rettenbacher, and R. Palme. (2005). Measurement of corticosteron metabolit in birds’ dropping: an analytical approach. Ann. NY Acad. Sci. 1046: 17-34

Palme, R., S. Rettenbacher, C. Touma, S.M. EL-bahr, and E. MӦstl. (2005). Stress hormones in mammals and birds comparative aspects regarding metabolism, excretion, and non-invasive measurement in fecal samples. Annals the New York Academy of Sciences 1040: 162–171.

Palme, R., (2005). Measuring Fecal Steroids Guidelines for Practical Application. Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci.,1046: 75-80

[PB] Pierce Biotechnology. 2007. Spike-and-Recovery and Linearity of Dilution Assessment. Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. Rockford (USA). Tersedia pada:

Perez GC, Laita SGB, Illera del Portal JC, Leisa JP. 2004. Validation of an EIA technique for the determination of salivary cortisol in cattle. J Agricultural Res. 2 (1): 45-51

Pettitt, B.A., C.J Wheaton, and J.M. Waterman (2007). Effect of storage treatment on fecal steroid hormone concentrations of a rodent, the Cape ground squirrel (Xerus inauris). General Comparative Endocrinol. 150:1-11.

P.G. Vimalraj and M.G. Jayathangaraj. (2012). Non-Invasive Monitoring Of Fecal Cortisol Metabolites Level In Free-Ranging Asiatic Elephants In Response To Stress Due To Environmental Factors. Australian Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences, 6(13): 154-158.

PP Kemenhut RI. (2012). Peraturan Menteri Kehutanan Republik Indonesia. Nomor 31 Tahun 2012 Tentang Lembaga Konservasi

Rangel-Negrin, A., E. Flores-Escobar, R. Chavira, D. Canales-Espinosa, and P.A.D. Dias (2014). Physiological and analytical validations of fecal steroid hormone measures in black howler monkeys. Primates. 5:213-220.

Sapolsky RM, Romero LM, Munck AU (2000) How do glucocorticoids influence stress responses? Endocr Rev 21:55–89

Schwarzenberger, F., E., Mostl, R., Palme and E., Bamberg, 1996. Faecal steroid analysis for non-invasive monitor and of reproductive status in farm, wild and zoo animals. Animal Reproduction Science, 42: 5: 15-526.

Sheriff, M. J., Dantzer, B., Delehanty, B., Palme, R., & Boonstra, R. (2011). Measuring stress in wildlife: Techniques for quantifying glucocorticoids. Oecologia, 166(4), 869-887.

Shutt K, Setchell JM, Heistermann M (2012) Non-invasive monitoring of physiological stress in the Western lowland gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla): validation of a fecal glucocorticoid assay and methods for practical application in the field. Gen Comp Endocrinol 179: 167–177.

Sire J E, Blom A, Sjaatad O V, Ropstad E, Bergdahl Nilsen T A 1995 The effect of blood sampling on plasma cortisol in female reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus). Acta Veterinaria Scandinavia 36: 583–587

SK Menhut RI No: 173/Kpts-II/1991 tentang Penetapan lembaga konservasi

SK Menhut RI No. 479/Kpts-II/1998 tentang tujuan utama lembaga konservasi ex-situ

Sukumar, R. (1994), Elephant Days and Nights: Ten Years with the Indian Elephant, Oxford University Press, Delhi.

Tizard. 1988. Pengantar Imunologi Veteriner. Airlangga University Press

Touma, C., and Palme, R. 2005. Measuring fecal glucocorticoid metabolitesin mammals and birds:The importance of validation. Ann. N. Y. Acad. Sci. 1046:54-74

Velloso, A. L., Wasser, S. K., Monfort, S. L., & Dietz, J. M. (1998). Longitudinal fecal steroid excretion in maned wolves (chry socy on brachy urus). General and Comparative Endocrinology, 112(1), 96-107

Wasser, S.K., K.E. Hunt, J.L. Brown, K. Cooper, C.M. Crockett, U. Bechert, J.J. Millspaugh, S. Larson and S.L. Monfort, (2000). A Generalized Fecal Glucocorticoid Assay for Use in a Diverse Array of Nondomestic Mammalian and Avian Species. General and Comparitive Endocrinology, 120: 260-275.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Copyright© 2016 | ISSN: 2503-4715 

Published by:
The Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Syiah Kuala University
In cooperation with:
Center for Tropical Veterinary Studies of Syiah Kuala University
and Indonesian Veterinary Medical Association (PDHI)

Online Submissions & Guidelines Editorial Policies | Contact Statistics Indexing | Citations


Creative Commons License
is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.