Date of Graduation

Fall 2014


Master of Natural and Applied Science in Agriculture


College of Agriculture

Committee Chair

Dennis Schmitt


red kangaroo, leuprolide, testosterone, ethogram, contraception

Subject Categories



Members of the kangaroo family (Macropodidae), including the red kangaroo (Macropus rufus), are maintained in captive situations in parks and zoological institutions throughout the United States and the rest of the world. Kangaroos are prolific reproducers when adequate food and water are available and as a result, can become overpopulated in a short period of time; because of this there are needs for ways to control this captive population. This research was conducted to find nonlethal methods of dealing with reproductive management of red kanraroos as traditional lethal methods have become less acceptable to the general public. This case study was conducted on a male red kangaroo (Macropus rufus) housed at Dickerson Park Zoo in Springfield, Missouri. Leuprolide was given for a period of six months. Both serum and fecal samples were collected to validate testosterone immunoassays. After validation, blood was collected once weekly and fecal samples were collected three times per week for a period of six months. These samples were analyzed and the results indicated treatment with Leuprolide failed to bring testosterone down to levels necessary for temporary contraception in this case study. A behavioral ethogram was also compiled to compare testosterone levels to breeding behavior, aggressiveness, and activity levels and did show a decrease in breeding behavior and aggressiveness. This suggests that there may have been some desensitization that was sufficient to inhibit LH surges but it was not adequate to prevent basal secretion of LH.


© Ken Dale Harmon

Campus Only