Determining Baseline Stress-Related Hormone Values in Large Cetaceans
Baylor University Waco United States
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The long-term goals of this project are four-fold 1 determine stress-related hormone cortisol baseline values from reconstructed lifetime hormone and contaminant profiles in both historic is less than 1970s and contemporary archived whale earplugs is greater than 1980s, 2 determine the potential relationship between stress-related hormones and contaminants concentrations within an individual earplug, 3 compare and contrast stress-related hormones and contaminants levels between historical and contemporary earplug samples among species, and 4 determine the potential relationship between stress-related hormones recovered in earplugs with hormones recovered from blubber. From these data, we will establish species specific baseline levels that can be used as a comparative tool in future cetacean stress research. The results of this study will contribute to improving mitigation strategies through improved assessments of the potential impacts of anthropogenic activity.