The reproductive status of adult Pekin drakes is very sensitive to nutritional status. Thus, the purpose of this study was to increase our understanding of the neurobiology underlying the depressive effect of fasting on the secretion of reproductive hormones. It was hypothesized that this effect was mediated by gonadotropin-inhibitory hormone (GnIH). Networks of GnIH fibers were present throughout the diencephalon, and cell bodies were present primarily, in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN). The duck GnIH gene was cloned and sequenced and found to encode GnIH and two GnIH-related peptides (GnIH-RP1, GnIH-RP2) which have a similar identity to those found in other avian species. Intracerebroventricular injection of GnIH, but not of GnIH-RP1, depressed plasma LH and stimulated feeding. Fasting for 48h depressed plasma LH and induced fos expression in about half the population of GnIH-ir neurons. These data suggest that GnIH neurons are mediators between feeding and reproductive systems in Pekin drakes.