Humans aren’t the only ones feeling anxiety about environmental destruction. As forests shrink, small mammals are also feeling stressed, and we can tell by their fur. A team of scientists collected fur samples from 106 small rodents and marsupials in six forest fragments in the Atlantic Forest of Paraguay. After grinding each fur sample into a powder, the researchers used a bioassay to measure the levels of glucocorticoids (e.g. corticosterone and cortisol), hormones that become elevated with stress. Animals living in smaller fragments of forest had higher levels of glucocorticoids than those in larger forest patches, according to the study, published in the journal Scientific Reports. “We suspected that organisms in deforested areas would show higher levels of stress than animals in more pristine forests, and we found evidence that that’s true,” Noé de la Sancha, associate professor of biology at Chicago State University and co-author of the paper, said in a statement. “Small mammals, primarily rodents and little marsupials, tend to be more stressed out, or show more evidence that they have higher levels of stress hormones, in smaller forest patches than in larger forest patches.” Pastor E. Perez is holding a mykureí, Marmosa (Micoureus) paraguayana, a small Neotropical marsupial, in Paraguay’s Tapytá Nature Reserve. Photo by Noé U. de la Sancha. The mammals were caught in both live traps (Sherman traps) and kill traps (Victor traps) and researchers were surprised to find that the type of trap used to capture the animals impacted the hormone levels as well. Fur…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer