Cinque, C., De Marco, A., Mairesse, J. et al. 2017. Relocation stress induces short-term fecal cortisol increase in Tonkean macaques (Macaca tonkeana). Primates 58(2), 315-321.
The level of glucocorticoids, especially if obtained from noninvasive sampling, can be used as an index of animal well-being, allowing evaluation of the animal’s response to environmental modifications. Despite evidence that these hormones play a relevant role in energy metabolism regulation in perceived or real stress events, little is known regarding the factors that could modify the capability of animals to cope with relocation events. The aim of this research was to assess fecal cortisol metabolite concentrations before, during and after acute stress (transfer and relocation event) in two well-established social groups of Tonkean macaques (Macaca tonkeana). The results showed that the fecal levels of cortisol increased in individuals of both groups in response to the stress event, with a similar trend in males and females. Hormone levels were back to baseline values in both groups a few days after transfer and relocation. The presence of known social partners could be one of the factors that possibly facilitated the adaptation process.