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Keywords:

  • chimpanzee;
  • fecal glucocorticoid metabolites;
  • field methods;
  • ACTH;
  • parturition;
  • circadian rhythm

Monitoring adrenocortical activity in wild primate populations is critical, given the well-documented relationship between stress, health, and reproduction. Although many primate studies have quantified fecal glucocorticoid metabolite (FGM) concentrations, it is imperative that researchers validate their method for each species. Here, we describe and validate a technique for field extraction and storage of FGMs in wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). Our method circumvents many of the logistical challenges associated with field studies while yielding similar results to a commonly used laboratory method. We further validate that our method accurately reflects stress physiology using an adrenocorticotropic hormone challenge in a captive chimpanzee and an FGM peak at parturition in a wild subject. Finally, we quantify circadian patterns for FGMs for the first time in this species. Understanding these patterns may allow researchers to directly link specific events with the stress response. Am. J. Primatol. 75:57-64, 2013. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.