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Wildlife Endocrine Lab

The Oregon Zoo Wildlife Endocrine Lab provides hormone monitoring services that benefit the conservation and welfare of wildlife. The lab focuses on non-invasive measures such as urine and fecal hormone metabolite monitoring utilizing enzyme-immunoassay (EIA) techniques.

elephants Samson and Samudra socializing

Common applications of hormone monitoring

  • Monitoring reproductive cycles in females
  • Diagnosing and monitoring pregnancy
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of contraception
  • Examining male reproductive physiology 
  • Assessing changes in hormones due to puberty or aging
  • Assessing seasonal hormonal patterns
  • Characterizing the reproductive and stress physiology of a new species
  • Investigating hormonal responses to specific events or management decisions
  • Correlating hormones with behavior, health and environmental measures
  • Assessing the reproductive health of a captive or free-ranging population

Available assays

We currently offer the following hormone assays:

  • Progesterone (P4)
  • Estradiol (E2)
  • Testosterone (T)
  • Corticosterone (CS)
  • Cortisol (CT)

All assays are carefully monitored for precision and reproducibility.

Examples of some species we have validated assays for

X=validated for fecals
O=validated for serum

Species P4 E2 T CS CT
African Lion X X      
Amur Leopard X X   X  
Asian Elephant O   O X  
Babirusa X        
Black Rhino X        
Bontebok     X X  
Caracal X X   X  
Cheetah       X  
Chimpanzee       X  
Giraffe       X  
Grey Wolf       X  
Mountain Goat X        
Ocelot X X   X  
Orangutan       X  
Painted Dog X   X X  
Polar Bear         X
Pygmy Hedgehog X       X
Ringtail X        
NA River Otter X        
Snow Leopard       X  
Speke's Gazelle X     X  
Swamp Monkey X        
Visayan Warty Pig X     X  

We are adding new species and assays on an ongoing basis. If the species you are interested in is not listed here, please contact us and we can discuss validation of an assay specifically for your needs.


Fecal Hormone Analysis: $21/sample
Urine Hormone Analysis: $18/sample
Serum Hormone Analysis: $15/sample

Prices include extraction (as needed) and analysis of all samples in duplicate and re-dilutions if needed. (Bulk discounts are available for batches of 50 or more samples)

New Species Assay Validation (biochemical validation): $250

Validation includes parallelism and recovery analyses. 

Sample collection protocol and submission form available upon request. 

Please contact us for sample collection protocols and any other questions you may have regarding hormone analyses:

Candace Scarlata, Ph.D.
Endocrinology Research Technician

Nadja Wielebnowski, Ph.D.
Conservation and Research Manager

Shipping information

Before sending any samples, please email: to verify that we will be able to receive your samples. 

Ship via FedEx overnight on dry ice or ice packs early in the week to:

Candace Scarlata 
Oregon Zoo
4001 SW Canyon Rd.
Portland, OR 97221