ESM2 from "Does the stress response predict the ability of wild birds to adjust to short-term captivity? A study in the rock pigeon (Columbia livia)" by Frédéric Angelier, Charline Parenteau, Colette Trouvé, Nicole Angelier. This analysis and thisfigure present the influence of a week of captivity on daily body mass of rock pigeons. from Does the stress response predict the ability of wild birds to adjust to short-term captivity? A study in the rock pigeon (<i>Columbia livia</i>)
2016-12-07T13:39:30Z (GMT) by
Although the transfer of wild animals to captivity is crucial for conservation purposes, this process is often challenging, because some species or individuals do not adjust well to captive conditions. Chronic stress has been identified as a major concern for animals held on long-term captivity. Surprisingly, the first hours or days of captivity have been relatively overlooked. However, they are certainly very stressful, because individuals are being transferred to a totally novel and confined environment. To ensure the success of conservation programmes, it appears crucial to better understand the proximate causes of interspecific and interindividual variability in the sensitivity to these first hours of captivity. In that respect, the study of stress hormones is relevant, because the hormonal stress response may help to assess whether specific individuals or species adjust, or not, to such captive conditions (‘the stress response-adjustment to captivity hypothesis’). We tested this hypothesis in rock pigeons by measuring their corticosterone stress response and their ability to adjust to short-term captivity (body mass loss and circulating corticosterone levels after a day of captivity). We showed that an increased corticosterone stress response is associated with a lower ability to adjust to short-term captivity (i.e. higher body mass loss and circulating corticosterone levels). Our study suggests, therefore, that a low physiological sensitivity to stress may be beneficial for adjusting to captivity. Future studies should now explore whether the stress response can be useful to predict the ability of individuals from different populations or species to not only adjust to short-term, but also long-term captivity.