Stress In A Natural Environment

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In a natural environment, large herbivores like elephants may have to face various ecological challenges or perturbations. One of such challenges or threats that might impact their health is resource limitation, either in the form of quality or quantity. Such resource limitation in the natural ecosystem occurs temporally as a season. Such seasonal fluxes of resources have been documented in the tropical forests (Ahrestani et al., 2012). Moreover as demonstrated by Desai, 1991; Sukumar, 1992; almost all populations of Asian elephants live in seasonal environments which varies in the availability of forage, water and nutritional quality. Such seasonal transformation can hence impact the foraging behaviour or the physiology of an individual; which…show more content…
Physiological ‘Stress’, marked by the secretion of glucocorticoid hormones and often referred as the negative consequence of an animal’s failure to cope with changing environment, in certain circumstances, is a need in ensuring survival and allowing adaptation to such change (Wielebnowski et al. 2002; Moberg 2000; Mostl and Palme, 2002; Menargues et. al. 2008). But if it persists for a prolonged duration, the continuous action of high concentration of Glucocorticoid on liver, muscle and adipose tissues, loses it adaptive value, adversely impacts the muscle and bone impairing the endocrine and immune function, degrading the body mass, individual fitness and causing reproductive failure resulting the long-term behavioural changes as supported by the Cort-fitness hypothesis (Munck et al. 1984, Bonier, 2009; Muehlenbein et al .2012; Norman M…show more content…
al., 2008). Unlike the Nagarahole, it comes under the lower precipitation regime of BNE elephant landscape with average annual rainfall ranging from 1270 mm (mostly during the monsoon from June to October) to 914mm and with a mean annual temperation from 24.16°C to 29.66°C (Krishna,, 2008; . With the undulating topography and the altitude ranging from 780 m (Varanchi stream) to 1454.5 m (Gopalswamy hill) above a.s.l and with 3 major rivers, few perennial lakes, seasonal streams and man-made tanks, it shelters 1697 elephants (Synchronized Elephant Census, 2012). All seven and nine wildlife ranges (mostly N. Begur, Gundre, Kalkere, Moolehole, Kundakere, Bandipur) of the Nagarahole and the Bandipur, respectively, were extensively surveyed in the months of February to May and August to December during 2013-15. Beside these, a few samples (n=35 for hormonal study and n=45 for seasonal impact study) from the directly sighted and known individual elephants were also included from Yeslur, Allur and Sakhlespur ranges of the Hassan district of Karnataka,

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