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The biological response elicited when an individual perceives a threat to its homeostasis is stress and this has been constantly a dwindling factor in animal populations playing an important role in performance and population dy- namics. During the past decade, measuring faecal steroid hormone metabolites had become a widely used tech- nique, because of its noninvasiveness, this tool has proven to provide important information about an animal population as well as the individual animal as they predict fitness quotient in the individuals. But a lot of variations and co-variations exist in the cortisol excretion patterns, animal variability, feeding habits, functional place in the ecosystem, predator pressure, human manipulation, coexistence of varied fauna and parasites. The variations related to age, sex, seasonal and reproductive stage variations are briefly discussed. The validation of cortisol as- sessment has also been reviewed to find out the best method of cortisol assessment. This manuscript aims to pro- vide considerable guidelines for cortisol assessment and its confounding factors, techniques of cortisol assessment and the simple physiology of stress and its effect in wild animals.
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