Annual pattern of fecal corticoid excretion in captive Red-tailed parrots (Amazona brasiliensis)
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Annual patterns of fecal corticoid excretion were analyzed in the threatened Red-tailed parrot (Amazona brasiliensis) in captivity. Corticoid concentration over the 15 months of the study (mean ± standard error, 12.6 ± 0.32 ng g−1, n = 585) was lowest around May (the southern Fall), and greatest around September (late winter), just prior to their normal breeding period. Corticoid excretion follows a seasonal pattern best explained by reproductive cycles rather than climate, although climate may be involved in the timing of corticoid excretion. Fecal corticoids also show promise as a tool to measure stress levels. We demonstrate that fecal corticoid measurement is a simple, yet efficient method for monitoring adrenocortical activity in captive, and perhaps wild, parrots. Monitoring adrenocortical activity can inform researchers about imposed stress in captivity, whether pair-bonds are forming in captive birds, and of the timing of breeding both in captivity and in nature.