In recent years fertility control has been proposed as an ethically acceptable alternative to lethal control techniques when managing overabundant kangaroo populations. A promising non-steroidal, non-immunological approach to contraception in female kangaroos involves the use of slow-release implants containing the gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist deslorelin. The practicality of using deslorelin implants as a management option is dependant on its effective inhibition of reproduction without negative physical or behavioural side-effects. This study investigated the behavioural effects of deslorelin implants in female eastern grey kangaroos. Treatment had no detectable effects on crepuscular activity. Alterations in the frequency of sexual interactions were observed in deslorelin-treated females, with a behavioural oestrus induced ~3 days after combined removal of pouch young and deslorelin administration. Copulation was observed during this early oestrous period, but conception was not achieved and pouch young were not observed in any treated females. Control females gave birth within 69.6 ± 10.4 days (mean ± s.e.m., n = 9) of placebo implant administration. The first births observed in treated animals were on Days 510, 637 and 643 after treatment. The remaining seven treated animals had not bred by the end of the study, a period of 647 days.
|Author||R. Woodward, M. E. Herberstein and C. A. Herbert|
|Secondary title||Wildlife Research|
|Control method||Fertility Control|