Effect of the GnRH vaccine GonaCon on the fertility, physiology and behaviour of wild boar  [2008]

Massei, G. Cowan, D.P. Coats, J. Gladwell, F. et al.

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Fertility control has the potential to be used as an attractive alternative to lethal methods for limiting population growth in overabundant species. This study tested the effectiveness and potential side effects of the single-dose gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) vaccine GonaCon on the physiology and behaviour of two groups of captive female wild boar in two sequential trials (Trial 1 and Trial 2). Following vaccination with GonaCon, data on contraceptive effectiveness were recorded as well as data on time budget, social rank, bodyweight, haematology and biochemistry. The concentration of GnRH-antibody titres peaked 2-6 weeks after vaccination and remained relatively high 12 weeks after vaccination. In Trial 1, all control females and none of the treated females gave birth. In Trial 2, faecal progesterone of treated females decreased to basal levels within a month of vaccination. No differences in time budget, social rank and blood parameters were observed between treated and control females. Bodyweight increased more in treated females than in controls. These results indicated that GonaCon can suppress reproduction of wild boar with no significant short-term effects on behaviour and physiology. GonaCon can be regarded as an effective, humane and safe contraceptive for managing wild boar populations.

Other subjects

  • antibody formation
  • blood composition
  • vaccines
  • animal behavior
  • temporal variation
  • progesterone
  • immunocontraception
  • wild boars
  • contraceptive vaccines
  • behavioral time budget
  • contraception
  • social dominance
  • body weight
  • gonadotropin-releasing hormone
  • adverse effects
  • female fertility
  • antifertility effect
  • vaccination

From the journal

Wildlife research