2016 年 78 巻 12 号 p. 1785-1790
To clarify the reproductive cycle of female Rusa deer (Rusa timorensis), the fecal concentrations of progesterone and 17β-estradiol metabolites were measured. Fecal samples were collected on a weekly basis for one year (between October, 2012 and September, 2013) from five healthy adult hinds in Thailand. At the beginning of the study, three hinds were pregnant. Two hinds delivered one healthy offspring, and one hind delivered a stillborn calf. The mating period of Rusa hinds in Thailand is from November to April. In pregnant hinds, fecal progesterone metabolite concentration was high in late pregnancy and abruptly declined to the baseline around parturition, suggesting that the placenta secretes a large amount of progesterone. Fecal 17β-estradiol metabolite concentration remained elevated around the day of parturition. Both concentrations of fecal progesterone and 17β-estradiol metabolites in non-lactating hinds were significantly higher than those in lactating hinds, indicating that ovarian activity of lactating hinds is suppressed by the suckling stimulus of fawn during lactation. The present study demonstrated that monitoring of fecal steroid hormones is useful method for assessing ovarian function in this species.