Big cats in zoos can face challenges associated with captive environments such as inadequate biological adaptation, increased occurrence abnormal behaviour and health-related problems. Conservation physiology is an emerging theme and a dynamic field of research, which aims to reduce these challenges of big cats captive management programmes through new scientific research integrating physiology and behaviour. This field of research applies cutting-edge physiological tools (e.g. non-invasive reproductive and stress hormone monitoring) in combination with traditional methods of behaviour and veterinary health assessments to provide a holistic account of how big cats respond to the captive environment. This book chapter discusses the applications of conservation physiology tools in the captive management of tigers in zoos. Our goal is to bolster tiger captive management in zoos by studying their stress physiology. Overall, the application of conservation physiology tools into captive management programmes for tigers and other big cat species can provide valuable information for evaluating and managing stress, thus improving tiger welfare.
Part of the book: Big Cats