The scientists in South Africa have been investigating how zebra faeces can predict what an animal's response to climate change and habitat destruction will be. They have been using zebra stools to understand how challenges or 'stressors', such as the destruction and breakup of habitats, impact on populations of South Africa's Cape mountain zebra. The glucocorticoid hormones of Cape zebra's stools are being analyzed to measure 'stress' levels of the animals.
Glucocorticoid hormones are a group of steroid hormones that help regulate the 'flight or fight' stress response in animals like Zebra. Poor habitat and gender imbalances are the key issues that Zebras have to face. These issues may affect their health and reproduction that will ultimately affect their long term survival. Scientists have been using zebra stools to understand how challenges such as the destruction and breakup of habitats, impact adversely on populations of South Africa's Cape mountain zebra.
Testing the hormones from faeces is an effective way of analyzing the impact of ecological and demographic factors on animal populations and survival. The research will help understanding how other animals and species are expected or respond to future environmental changes and stress factors. We are witnessing a huge decline in population that’s why they have been positively conserved for the past several years. New problems arise so frequently in an ever-changing environment, so it becomes essential to use evidence-based methods to continually evaluate the effectiveness of conservation policies.
By- Anita Aishvarya