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Development of Novel Noninvasive Methods of Stress Assessment in Baleen Whales

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New England Aquarium Boston United States

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Project goals were to test new methods for assessing stress-related hormones in respiratory vapor blow and feces from North Atlantic right whales Eubalaena glacialis. We tested and compared three blow sampling devices, and successfully performed blow collection at sea from live whales. Blow hormone content, when corrected with a suitable internal controle .g. urea , may reflect physiological state of the whales. Fecal mineralocorticoids fMC were quantifiable in whale feces,and , complementing existing glucocorticoid techniques, could be used to assess adrenal activity. Together, respiratory and fecal analyses could help assess physiological stress in whales at different timescale after disturbance.

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Technical Report,01 Aug 2013,30 Sep 2016



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Approved For Public Release;

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