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Forskningsartikel2015Vetenskapligt granskad

Macroscopic and microscopic evaluation of Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx) female tubular reproductive organs in relation to ovarian structures

Axnér, E.; Holm, D.; Gavier-Widén, D.; Söderberg, A.; Bergqvist, A. S.


Although monitoring wild animals in the field is essential for estimations of population size and development, there are pitfalls associated with field monitoring. In addition, some detailed data about reproductive physiology can be difficult to obtain in wild live animals. Studying reproductive organs from the Eurasian lynx killed at hunting or found dead could be used as a valuable addition to other field data. We evaluated reproductive organs from 39 Eurasian lynx females (Lynx lynx) killed in Sweden during the hunting seasons in 2009, 2010, and 2011. According to notes on ovarian structures, the animals were categorized as being in one of four different reproductive stages: juvenile (n = 10), follicular stage (n = 8), luteal stage (n = 11), and anestrus (n = 10). Corpora lutea were classified as fresh CL from the present season or as luteal bodies from previous cycles. Microscopic evaluations were blindly coded while the outer measurements of the vagina and uterus were taken at the time of organ retrieval. The width of the endometrium, myometrium, outer width of the uterine horns, and the diameter of the vagina differed significantly with the reproductive stage (P < 0.001) and were largest in the follicular and luteal phases. The number of endometrial glands evaluated blindly coded on a subjective scale was significantly associated with the reproductive stage (P < 0.0001) and was significantly higher in the luteal phase than that in any other reproductive stages (P < 0.05). Cornification of the vaginal epithelium was only observed in females in the follicular stage or in females with signs of a recent ovulation. In conclusion, both macroscopic and histologic measurements are useful for a correct classification of the reproductive stage when evaluating reproductive organs in the Eurasian lynx killed during the hunting season. Routine evaluation of reproductive organs has a potential to be a useful additional tool to field studies of live lynx to monitor their reproduction. (C) 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Retained luteal body; Lynx reproduction; Population monitoring; Vagina; Uterus

Publicerad i

2015, Volym: 84, nummer: 5, sidor: 710-715