A team of United Kingdom scientists is collecting rhino excrement for a new conservation initiative that seeks to prevent the global extinction of endangered species. Researchers at the Chester Zoo and the University of Manchester integrate the collaboration Save species with feces, which seeks to identify the causes of the poor population growth of African mega herbivores.
One of the main subjects of the study is the black rhinoceros , which is in danger of extinction. In recent years, the species has been successfully bred in captivity at the Chester Zoo and its excrement is a source of useful data to understand the animal’s health.
“Most of the research we are doing to assess health and stress involves collecting a lot of excrement,” said Professor Susanne Shultz of the University of Manchester.
We want to take models that have been developed with animals in captivity and apply it to wild populations and assess their relative health and well-being ,” Shultz added.
Scientists use hormonal biomarkers that are in the manure to understand stress and reproductive health in wild animals and say it can be collected without disturbing the animal.
“Through excrement we can see how stressed the animals are, in what condition they are, their individual health, if they are reproducing,” said Dr. Danielle Gilroy, who directs a project on another endangered species, the zebra. of Grévy.