87 (2) pp 59

Title: 
Stress in wild and captive snakes: quantification, effects and the importance of management
Author(s): 
J. VAN WAEYENBERGE, J. AERTS, T. HELLEBUYCK, F. PASMANS, A. MARTEL
Abstract: 

As in other animals, distress and impaired welfare have a deleterious effect on the mental,physical and behavioral health of snakes in the wild and in captivity. Besides anthropogenicdisturbance, the availability of food and shelter, the presence of predators, and environmentalfactors, such as seasonality and climatological changes, are important factors that affect thestress level and subsequent welfare in wild snake populations. In captive snakes, inappropriatemanagement is the most prominent cause of chronic stress and impaired welfare. Chronicstress can be assumed by looking at the snake’s behavior, but there is need for a standardizedquantification method to pin-point more accurately (chronic) stress levels. The biomarkersuitable in this framework is the level of corticosterone in plasma, feces and shed skin.

Full text: 
pp 059-065
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