Animal-borne video and environmental data collection systems (AVEDs) are an advanced form of biotelemetry that combines video with other sensors. As a proxy for physiological stress, we assessed fecal glucocorticoid metabolite (FGM) excretion in 7 white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) fitted with AVED dummy collars; 9 additional deer served as controls. We collected fecal samples over 3 2-week periods: pretreatment, treatment, and posttreatment periods. There were no differences in FGMs across time periods (F2,218 = 1.94, P = 0.147) and no difference between FGMs of control and treatment individuals (F1,14 = 0.72, P = 0.411). Fecal glucocorticoid metabolite excretion in AVED-collared deer was indistinguishable from uncollared animals and within the normal, baseline range for this species. Absence of an adrenal response to collaring suggested that AVED collaring does not induce physiological stress in deer.
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Vol. 73 • No. 4