A.Prof. Dr. Franz Schwarzenberger studied veterinary medicine in Vienna, Austria. He did a post doc in Guelph, Canada. After he returned to the Vetmeduni Vienna, he achieved his habilitation. He is teaching first and second year veterinary students in biochemistry and endocrinology, and final year veterinary students in the specialization module ‘Conservation Medicine’. During the past 3 decades, Franz Schwarzenberger has studied the reproductive physiology in a large number of different wild and farm animal species by means of faecal steroid hormone analysis. Results of these studies have considerably contributed to the current knowledge on 1) the metabolism, extraction and analysis of steroid hormone metabolites from faecal samples and 2) on the reproductive physiology and pathology of several nondomestic animal species. Non-invasive fecal steroid analysis has become the most important method of endocrine monitoring in wildlife species. Dr. Schwarzenberger is involved in a large number of such projects on reproductive management. On a routine basis, he is analysing samples for reproductive monitoring in i.e. rhinoceros species, okapis, giraffes, tree kangaroos, tapirs, non-domestic felid and equine species. Today, impressive endocrine databases exist for many wildlife species. Of interest is the high degree of variability in endocrine mechanisms observed not only between taxonomic groups, but also between individuals of a certain species. Endocrine monitoring has enormous potential for wildlife conservation and has implications for how we manage wildlife species both in situ and ex situ.
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