Crocodilians are important keystone species and indicators of environmental health. Much remains unknown, however regarding utility of field-collected crocodilian blood samples for ecologic assessments. Field sampling sites are also often distant to analysis centers, necessitating development of new techniques and panels of assays that will yield environmentally relevant data. Stability and viability of hematological and immunological indices have been of particular interest for linking ecosystem health to biomarkers in resident species. In this study, we investigated the effect of time at analysis post-blood sampling at 4 and 24 hr on a panel of potential biomarkers in alligator blood. Our results suggest alligator blood samples can be reliably evaluated for both hematologic and immunologic profile 24 hr after sampling.
Keywords: alligator; blood collection; hematology; lymphocyte separation; proliferation; time.