Effect of Season and Social Environment on Semen Quality and Endocrine Profiles of Three Endangered Ungulates (Gazella cuvieri, G. dorcas and Nanger dama)

Lucía Arregui, José Julián Garde, Ana Josefa Soler, Gerardo Espeso, Eduardo R. S. Roldan
2021 Animals  
Knowledge of factors affecting semen quality could be of great importance for the collection and preservation of semen from threatened animals. To assess the effect of seasonality, sperm parameters and testosterone levels were examined throughout the year and compared with the distribution of conceptions. Cuvier's gazelle showed higher sperm quantity in April, coinciding with one peak of conceptions. In dorcas gazelle, sperm parameters showed a drop in October. However, percentage of
more » ... increased during that month. In Mohor gazelle, sperm quality was best in April and August, in agreement with higher conception rates and high testosterone levels. Percentage of conceptions was correlated with photoperiod and rainfall in Cuvier's gazelle and with temperature in Mohor gazelle. To assess the effect of social environment, semen quality, testosterone and cortisol levels were quantified in males housed alone, in bachelor groups or with females. No differences were seen in Cuvier's and Mohor gazelles' semen traits, whereas dorcas males housed with females showed lower semen quality than males kept alone or with other males. Overall, ejaculate quality is influenced by seasonal factors in the three gazelle species, while social factors only appear to affect that of dorcas gazelle.
doi:10.3390/ani11030901 pmid:33809860 fatcat:wbmbp6i7cjg6lhnglewnicn4oe