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Sample records for griffon vulture gyps

  1. Assessment of the exposure to heavy metals in Griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus) from the Iberian Peninsula.

    PubMed

    Carneiro, Manuela; Colaço, Bruno; Brandão, Ricardo; Azorín, Beatriz; Nicolas, Olga; Colaço, Jorge; Pires, Maria João; Agustí, Susana; Casas-Díaz, Encarna; Lavin, Santiago; Oliveira, Paula A

    2015-03-01

    Griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus), by virtue of their position at the top of the food chain and as obligate scavengers, are at risk of accumulating and concentrating heavy metals in their tissues and may be more predisposed to their toxic effects. The aim of this study is to investigate heavy metal concentrations in Griffon vultures in Portugal and Catalonia, Spain and to determine if heavy metal concentrations in the blood of weak and/or injured Griffon vultures admitted to wildlife rehabilitation centres (WRC) reflect contamination profiles in the local, free-living and outwardly healthy population. Whole-blood samples taken from 121 Griffon vultures caught in the wild or admitted to WRC in Portugal and Catalonia, Spain were examined for cadmium (Cd), mercury (Hg) and lead (Pb) by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Cd and Hg were not detected in most samples (98.3% and 95%, respectively), while Pb was detected in all birds in concentrations ranging between 4.97 and 300.23 µg/dl. Birds admitted to WRC had significantly lower Pb concentrations (24.15 ± 15.07 and 25.98 ± 18.04 µg/dl in Portugal and Catalonia, Spain, respectively) than animals caught in the wild (29.67 ± 13.19 and 42.22 ± 50.08 µg/dl in Portugal and Catalonia, Spain, respectively) (p<0.05). This may be explained by the fact that malnutrition was the main cause of admission of Griffon vultures to WRC, as ingestion has been described as the most significant pathway for Pb exposure in raptors. Therefore Griffon vultures admitted to WRC do not seem to be representative of the local, free-flying populations, so it remains necessary to continue catching when one intends to monitor Pb exposure in this species. The population of vultures captured in Catalonia, Spain showed the highest mean blood Pb concentration, perhaps due to the municipal rubbish dump located near the feeding station, with rubbish providing a significant fraction of their trophic needs. The ingestion of game meat

  2. Effects of heavy metals on biomarkers for oxidative stress in Griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus).

    PubMed

    Espín, Silvia; Martínez-López, Emma; Jiménez, Pedro; María-Mojica, Pedro; García-Fernández, Antonio J

    2014-02-01

    Metals are involved in the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) which may result in metal-related oxidative stress that can lead to oxidative damage to lipids, DNA and proteins. It is necessary to understand the mechanisms of metal toxicity in wild birds, and the concentrations that cause effects on oxidative stress biomarkers. The aim of this study is to assess the concentrations of lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), mercury (Hg), copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn) with regards to oxidative stress in blood samples of 66 Griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus) from two areas of the Autonomous Community of Valencia (East of Spain). The two study areas (Alcoy n=36 and Cinctorres n=30) were selected as random locations of interest that had not yet been studied, and are feeding stations where supplementary food, mainly of pork origin, is provided for vultures. Given that the two study areas are not considered polluted sites, we expected to find low metal concentrations. However, there are no known threshold concentrations at which metals can affect antioxidant systems, and low metal levels may have an effect on antioxidant biomolecules. In this study, since sampling was done at the beginning of the hunting season, the low Pb levels found in most Griffon vultures from Alcoy and Cinctorres (median=12.37 and 16.26μg/dl, respectively) are suggestive of background levels usually found in vultures that feed on pork carcasses all year round. The ingestion of game meat with bullet fragments in carcasses or with Pb shots embedded in the flesh could be the cause of the high blood Pb concentrations found in three vultures from Cinctorres (83, 290 and 362μg/dl). Griffon vultures feeding in Cinctorres had enhanced CAT and GST activities and tGSH concentrations, which may be interpreted as protective response against the higher TBARS levels. This study provides threshold concentrations at which metals affect antioxidant system derived from 66 samples of Griffon vulture. Blood Cd concentrations greater

  3. Effects of heavy metals on biomarkers for oxidative stress in Griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus)

    SciTech Connect

    Espín, Silvia; Martínez-López, Emma; Jiménez, Pedro; María-Mojica, Pedro; García-Fernández, Antonio J.

    2014-02-01

    Metals are involved in the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) which may result in metal-related oxidative stress that can lead to oxidative damage to lipids, DNA and proteins. It is necessary to understand the mechanisms of metal toxicity in wild birds, and the concentrations that cause effects on oxidative stress biomarkers. The aim of this study is to assess the concentrations of lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), mercury (Hg), copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn) with regards to oxidative stress in blood samples of 66 Griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus) from two areas of the Autonomous Community of Valencia (East of Spain). The two study areas (Alcoy n=36 and Cinctorres n=30) were selected as random locations of interest that had not yet been studied, and are feeding stations where supplementary food, mainly of pork origin, is provided for vultures. Given that the two study areas are not considered polluted sites, we expected to find low metal concentrations. However, there are no known threshold concentrations at which metals can affect antioxidant systems, and low metal levels may have an effect on antioxidant biomolecules. In this study, since sampling was done at the beginning of the hunting season, the low Pb levels found in most Griffon vultures from Alcoy and Cinctorres (median=12.37 and 16.26 μg/dl, respectively) are suggestive of background levels usually found in vultures that feed on pork carcasses all year round. The ingestion of game meat with bullet fragments in carcasses or with Pb shots embedded in the flesh could be the cause of the high blood Pb concentrations found in three vultures from Cinctorres (83, 290 and 362 μg/dl). Griffon vultures feeding in Cinctorres had enhanced CAT and GST activities and tGSH concentrations, which may be interpreted as protective response against the higher TBARS levels. This study provides threshold concentrations at which metals affect antioxidant system derived from 66 samples of Griffon vulture. Blood Cd concentrations

  4. Draft Genome Sequence of the Bacteriocin-Producing Strain Enterococcus faecium M3K31, Isolated from Griffon Vultures (Gyps fulvus subsp. fulvus).

    PubMed

    Arbulu, Sara; Frantzen, Cyril; Lohans, Christopher T; Cintas, Luis M; Herranz, Carmen; Holo, Helge; Diep, Dzung B; Vederas, John C; Hernández, Pablo E

    2016-01-01

    Enterococcus faeciumM3K31 is a bacteriocinogenic lactic acid bacterium (LAB) isolated from griffon vulture (Gyps fulvussubsp.fulvus) feces. The draft genome sequence of this strain provides genetic data that support its biotechnological potential. PMID:27013035

  5. Draft Genome Sequence of the Bacteriocin-Producing Strain Enterococcus faecium M3K31, Isolated from Griffon Vultures (Gyps fulvus subsp. fulvus)

    PubMed Central

    Arbulu, Sara; Frantzen, Cyril; Lohans, Christopher T.; Cintas, Luis M.; Herranz, Carmen; Holo, Helge; Diep, Dzung B.; Vederas, John C.

    2016-01-01

    Enterococcus faecium M3K31 is a bacteriocinogenic lactic acid bacterium (LAB) isolated from griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus subsp. fulvus) feces. The draft genome sequence of this strain provides genetic data that support its biotechnological potential. PMID:27013035

  6. Estimation of normal tear production in free-living Eurasian black vultures (Aegypius monachus) and griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus) in Dadia National Park, Greece.

    PubMed

    Komnenou, Anastasia T; Thomas, Angelos L N; Danika, Stefania E; Skartsi, Theodora; Vasilakis, Dimitris P; Cárcamo, Beatriz; Ofri, Ron

    2013-06-01

    The aim of this study was to record the Schirmer tear test I (STT I) measurements in free-living vultures in order to estimate normal values. The Eurasian black vulture (Aegypius monachus), which breeds in the Mediterranean region and Asia, is listed as near threatened; it is also classified as vulnerable at the European level and endangered in Greece. The griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus), once widespread across the continent, has undergone a dramatic decline which has led to its extinction in many regions. Sixty-two animals were examined in total including 54 black vultures and 8 griffon vultures. The birds were classified into five age groups while four age groups were then combined into one large group: free-flying. STT I measurements and complete ophthalmic examinations were performed. Mean STT I value for black vultures was 10.9 +/- 3.3 mm/min (right eye, oculus dexter, OD) and 11.9 +/- 3.3 mm/min (left eye, oculus sinister, OS) and for griffon vultures was 6.4 +/- 1.8 mm/min OD and 6.5 +/- 1.8 mm/min OS. In both eyes, STT I values in black vultures were significantly higher than those recorded in griffon vultures. Intraspecific comparisons yielded a significant difference between eyes of black vultures but not between those of griffon vultures, with OS producing higher STT I readings than did OD. When STT I was compared between OD and OS for each age group separately, a statistically significant difference was detected in the immature and free-flying black vultures. In addition, black vulture hatchlings had a significantly higher tear production than did free-flying juveniles, immatures, subadults, and adults. STT I values in black vultures are similar to those reported in other Accipitriformes but are lower in griffon vultures. This difference is probably related to anatomic, evolutionary, and feeding factors and requires further investigation. PMID:23805550

  7. Serum and Plasma Cholinesterase Activity in the Cape Griffon Vulture (Gyps coprotheres).

    PubMed

    Naidoo, Vinny; Wolter, Kerri

    2016-04-28

    Vulture (Accipitridae) poisonings are a concern in South Africa, with hundreds of birds dying annually. Although some of these poisonings are accidental, there has been an increase in the number of intentional baiting of poached rhinoceros (Rhinocerotidae) and elephant (Elephantidae) carcasses to kill vultures that alert officials to poaching sites by circling overhead. The primary chemicals implicated are the organophosphorous and carbamate compounds. Although most poisoning events can be identified by dead vultures surrounding the scavenged carcass, weak birds are occasionally found and brought to rehabilitation centers for treatment. The treating veterinarian needs to make an informed decision on the cause of illness or poisoning prior to treatment. We established the reference interval for serum and plasma cholinesterase activity in the Cape Griffon Vulture ( Gyps coprotheres ) as 591.58-1,528.26 U/L, providing a clinical assay for determining potential exposure to cholinesterase-depressing pesticides. Both manual and automated samplers were used with the butyrylthiocholine method. Species reference intervals for both serum and plasma cholinesterase showed good correlation and manual and automated measurements yielded similar results. PMID:26981685

  8. Determination of fluoroquinolone antibiotic residues in the plasma of Eurasian griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus) in Spain.

    PubMed

    Casas-Díaz, Encarna; Cristòfol, Carles; Cuenca, Rafaela; Agustí, Susana; Carneiro, Manuela; Marco, Ignasi; Lavín, Santiago; Margalida, Antoni

    2016-07-01

    Due to the possible toxicological impact, the accumulation of pharmaceuticals in wildlife as a consequence of human practices is of growing concern. The consumption of carrion at feeding stations - the so-called 'vulture restaurants' - with no management of the veterinary drugs it contains may expose scavengers to pharmaceuticals. To demonstrate this, we analyzed plasma from Eurasian griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus) originating from two different areas of Spain for antibiotics such as enrofloxacin and ciprofloxacin, its primary metabolite. Quinolone residues were detected in about 65% (n=106) of birds, of which 15.1% (16/106) had quantifiable amounts of enrofloxacin (0.049±0.102μg/mL) and 5.7% (6/106) of ciprofloxacin (0.009±0.007μg/mL). The differences in exposure between the two sampled areas are attributable to different types of carrion management: the vultures that fed in areas with a high density of dead livestock (supplied directly to feeding stations) were more prone to exposure than those that sought food in areas where carcass availability is more unpredictable. Our findings are evidence that vultures have access to medicated livestock and that there are quantifiable levels of livestock antibiotics in vulture plasma. However, the vultures analyzed in this study had maximum antibiotic concentrations of only 0.4μg/mL, much less than the concentrations used in the clinical treatment of scavengers and a level that is probably too small to cause intoxication. PMID:27037883

  9. Estimation of cultivable bacterial diversity in the cloacae and pharynx in Eurasian griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus).

    PubMed

    Vela, Ana I; Casas-Díaz, Encarna; Fernández-Garayzábal, José F; Serrano, Emmanuel; Agustí, Susana; Porrero, María C; Sánchez del Rey, Verónica; Marco, Ignasi; Lavín, Santiago; Domínguez, Lucas

    2015-04-01

    In this work, we describe the biodiversity of cloacal and pharynx culture-based bacteria (commensal and pathogenic), in 75 Eurasian griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus) from two geographic areas. We address the question of whether the cultivable microbiota of vultures is organised into assemblages occurring by chance. In addition, we assess bacterial diversity in both anatomic regions and geographic areas. Bacterial diversity was represented by 26 Gram-negative and 20 Gram-positive genera. The most common genera were Escherichia, Enterococcus, Staphylococcus, Clostridium and Lactococcus. Escherichia coli and Enterococcus faecalis were the most common species in cloacal and pharyngeal samples. Staphylococcus and Erysipelothrix were isolated from the pharynx and Salmonella and Corynebacterium from the cloacae, and no Campylobacter was isolated from the cloacal swabs. Ten cloacal swabs were positive for Salmonella, of which five isolates were Salmonella enterica serotype 4,(5),12:i:-, one isolate was S. enterica serotype Derby, three isolates were S. enterica serotype 61:k:1,5,7 and one isolate was S. enterica serotype Infantis. The null modelling approach revealed that the commensal bacteria of vultures are not structured in assemblages. On the other hand, differences in bacterial genus and species richness between cloacal and pharyngeal samples or between geographic areas were clear, with the pharynx in vultures from both geographic areas being richer. The results of this study indicate also that vultures can serve as a reservoir of certain pathogenic zoonotic bacteria. The dissemination of these zoonotic pathogens in wildlife could be prevented by periodic sanitary surveys. PMID:25388757

  10. Wild griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus) as a source of Salmonella and Campylobacter in Eastern Spain.

    PubMed

    Marin, Clara; Palomeque, Maria-Dolores; Marco-Jiménez, Francisco; Vega, Santiago

    2014-01-01

    The existence of Campylobacter and Salmonella reservoirs in wildlife is a potential hazard to animal and human health; however, the prevalence of these species is largely unknown. Until now, only a few studies have evaluated the presence of Campylobacter and Salmonella in wild griffon vultures and based on a small number of birds. The aim of this study was to evaluate the presence of Campylobacter and Salmonella in wild griffon vultures (n = 97) during the normal ringing programme at the Cinctorres Observatory in Eastern Spain. In addition, the effect of ages of individuals (juveniles, subadult and adult) on the presence were compared. Campylobacter was isolated from 1 of 97 (1.0%) griffon vultures and identified as C. jejuni. Salmonella was isolated from 51 of 97 (52.6%) griffon vultures. No significant differences were found between the ages of individuals for the presence of Salmonella. Serotyping revealed 6 different serovars among two Salmonella enterica subspecies; S. enterica subsp. enterica (n = 49, 96.1%) and S. enterica subsp. salamae (n = 2, 3.9%). No more than one serovar was isolated per individual. The serovars isolated were S. Typhimurium (n = 42, 82.3%), S. Rissen (n = 4, 7.8%), S. Senftenberg (n = 3, 5.9%) and S. 4,12:b[-] (n = 2, 3.9%). Our results imply that wild griffon vultures are a risk factor for Salmonella transmission, but do not seem to be a reservoir for Campylobacter. We therefore rule out vultures as a risk factor for human campylobacteriosis. Nevertheless, further studies should be undertaken in other countries to confirm these results. PMID:24710464

  11. Wild Griffon Vultures (Gyps fulvus) as a Source of Salmonella and Campylobacter in Eastern Spain

    PubMed Central

    Marin, Clara; Palomeque, Maria-Dolores; Marco-Jiménez, Francisco; Vega, Santiago

    2014-01-01

    The existence of Campylobacter and Salmonella reservoirs in wildlife is a potential hazard to animal and human health; however, the prevalence of these species is largely unknown. Until now, only a few studies have evaluated the presence of Campylobacter and Salmonella in wild griffon vultures and based on a small number of birds. The aim of this study was to evaluate the presence of Campylobacter and Salmonella in wild griffon vultures (n = 97) during the normal ringing programme at the Cinctorres Observatory in Eastern Spain. In addition, the effect of ages of individuals (juveniles, subadult and adult) on the presence were compared. Campylobacter was isolated from 1 of 97 (1.0%) griffon vultures and identified as C. jejuni. Salmonella was isolated from 51 of 97 (52.6%) griffon vultures. No significant differences were found between the ages of individuals for the presence of Salmonella. Serotyping revealed 6 different serovars among two Salmonella enterica subspecies; S. enterica subsp. enterica (n = 49, 96.1%) and S. enterica subsp. salamae (n = 2, 3.9%). No more than one serovar was isolated per individual. The serovars isolated were S. Typhimurium (n = 42, 82.3%), S. Rissen (n = 4, 7.8%), S. Senftenberg (n = 3, 5.9%) and S. 4,12:b[-] (n = 2, 3.9%). Our results imply that wild griffon vultures are a risk factor for Salmonella transmission, but do not seem to be a reservoir for Campylobacter. We therefore rule out vultures as a risk factor for human campylobacteriosis. Nevertheless, further studies should be undertaken in other countries to confirm these results. PMID:24710464

  12. Suspected flunixin poisoning of a wild Eurasian Griffon Vulture from Spain.

    PubMed

    Zorrilla, Irene; Martinez, Rosa; Taggart, Mark A; Richards, Ngaio

    2015-04-01

    Exposure to residues of the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) diclofenac present in livestock carcasses has caused extensive declines in 3 Gyps vulture species across Asia. The carcass of a wild Eurasian Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus) was found in 2012 on an Andalucian (Spain) game hunting reserve and examined forensically. The bird had severe visceral gout, a finding consistent with Gyps vultures from Asia that have been poisoned by diclofenac. Liver and kidney samples from this Eurasian Griffon Vulture contained elevated flunixin (an NSAID) levels (median = 2.70 and 6.50 mg/kg, respectively). This is the first reported case of a wild vulture being exposed to and apparently killed by an NSAID outside Asia. It is also the first reported instance of mortality in the wild resulting from environmental exposure to an NSAID other than diclofenac. PMID:25303011

  13. Toxicity of diclofenac to Gyps vultures

    PubMed Central

    Swan, Gerry E; Cuthbert, Richard; Quevedo, Miguel; Green, Rhys E; Pain, Deborah J; Bartels, Paul; Cunningham, Andrew A; Duncan, Neil; Meharg, Andrew A; Lindsay Oaks, J; Parry-Jones, Jemima; Shultz, Susanne; Taggart, Mark A; Verdoorn, Gerhard; Wolter, Kerri

    2006-01-01

    Three endemic vulture species Gyps bengalensis, Gyps indicus and Gyps tenuirostris are critically endangered following dramatic declines in South Asia resulting from exposure to diclofenac, a veterinary drug present in the livestock carcasses that they scavenge. Diclofenac is widely used globally and could present a risk to Gyps species from other regions. In this study, we test the toxicity of diclofenac to a Eurasian (Gyps fulvus) and an African (Gyps africanus) species, neither of which is threatened. A dose of 0.8 mg kg−1 of diclofenac was highly toxic to both species, indicating that they are at least as sensitive to diclofenac as G. bengalensis, for which we estimate an LD50 of 0.1–0.2 mg kg−1. We suggest that diclofenac is likely to be toxic to all eight Gyps species, and that G. africanus, which is phylogenetically close to G. bengalensis, would be a suitable surrogate for the safety testing of alternative drugs to diclofenac. PMID:17148382

  14. Toxicity of diclofenac to Gyps vultures.

    PubMed

    Swan, Gerry E; Cuthbert, Richard; Quevedo, Miguel; Green, Rhys E; Pain, Deborah J; Bartels, Paul; Cunningham, Andrew A; Duncan, Neil; Meharg, Andrew A; Oaks, J Lindsay; Parry-Jones, Jemima; Shultz, Susanne; Taggart, Mark A; Verdoorn, Gerhard; Wolter, Kerri

    2006-06-22

    Three endemic vulture species Gyps bengalensis, Gyps indicus and Gyps tenuirostris are critically endangered following dramatic declines in South Asia resulting from exposure to diclofenac, a veterinary drug present in the livestock carcasses that they scavenge. Diclofenac is widely used globally and could present a risk to Gyps species from other regions. In this study, we test the toxicity of diclofenac to a Eurasian (Gyps fulvus) and an African (Gyps africanus) species, neither of which is threatened. A dose of 0.8 mg kg(-1) of diclofenac was highly toxic to both species, indicating that they are at least as sensitive to diclofenac as G. bengalensis, for which we estimate an LD50 of 0.1-0.2 mg kg(-1). We suggest that diclofenac is likely to be toxic to all eight Gyps species, and that G. africanus, which is phylogenetically close to G. bengalensis, would be a suitable surrogate for the safety testing of alternative drugs to diclofenac. PMID:17148382

  15. Toxoplasma gondii prevalence in Israeli crows and Griffon vultures.

    PubMed

    Salant, H; Hamburger, J; King, R; Baneth, G

    2013-01-16

    A cross-sectional Toxoplasma gondii seroprevalence study was performed on free ranging crows (Corvus cornis, Corvus monedula, Corvus splendens) and Griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus) from Israel in order to assess exposure to this pathogen in scavenger birds that feed on animal carcasses and their possible role in the epidemiology of toxoplasmosis. Using the modified agglutination test (MAT) with a cutoff titer of 1:25, 52 of 122 crows (42.6%) and 40 of 101 Griffon vultures (39.6%) were found to be T. gondii seropositive. Crow T. gondii seroprevalence was significantly higher in northern areas of Israel (p=0.007) where annual precipitation is higher and annual summer maximum temperatures are lower than in the drier and warmer south. Seroprevalence in crows was positively associated with higher human population densities possibly related to the increased cat population in these areas. PCR analysis of brain extracts from crows resulted in the detection of T. gondii DNA in 1 seropositive crow from northern Israel. Genetic analysis of DNA from the positive crow brain confirmed infection with T. gondii type 2 using a multiplex multilocus nested PCR-RFLP (Mn-PCR-RFLP) of the SAG1, 5-3' SAG2, alt.SAG2, SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, C22-8, c29-2, L358, PK1 and Apico loci. The high T. gondii seroprevalence in these bird species suggests that infected carrion may be responsible for widespread infection of carcass scavenger birds which may further transmit infection to other carnivorous intermediate hosts or feline definitive hosts when consumed post-mortally. PMID:22920844

  16. Systematics within Gyps vultures: a clade at risk

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Jeff A; Lerner, Heather RL; Rasmussen, Pamela C; Mindell, David P

    2006-01-01

    Background Populations of the Oriental White-backed Vulture (Gyps bengalensis) have declined by over 95% within the past decade. This decline is largely due to incidental consumption of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory veterinary pharmaceutical diclofenac, commonly used to treat domestic livestock. The conservation status of other Gyps vultures in southern Asia is also of immediate concern, given the lack of knowledge regarding status of their populations and the continuing existence of taxonomic uncertainties. In this study, we assess phylogenetic relationships for all recognized species and the majority of subspecies within the genus Gyps. The continuing veterinary use of diclofenac is an unknown but potential risk to related species with similar feeding habits to Gyps bengalensis. Therefore, an accurate assessment of the phylogenetic relationships among Gyps vultures should aid in their conservation by clarifying taxonomic uncertainties, and enabling inference of their respective relatedness to susceptible G. bengalensis. Results Phylogenetic results using mitochondrial cytB, ND2 and control region sequence data indicate a recent and rapid diversification within the genus Gyps. All recognized species formed monophyletic groups with high statistical support, with the exception of the Eurasian Vulture, for which specimens identified as subspecies G. fulvus fulvescens appear closely related to the Himalayan Vulture (G. himalayensis). In all analyses, the earliest divergence separated the Oriental White-backed Vulture from other Gyps taxa, with the next diverging taxon being either the African White-backed Vulture (G. africanus), or the Himalayan Vulture. All analyses supported a sister relationship between the Eurasian Vulture (G. f. fulvus), and Rüppell's Vulture (G. rueppellii), with this clade being sister to another consisting of the two taxa of "Long-billed" Vulture (G. indicus indicus and G. i. tenuirostris), and the Cape Vulture (G. coprotheres). These

  17. How do colonial Eurasian Griffon Vultures prevent extra-pair mating?

    PubMed Central

    Bertran, Joan; Macià, Francesc Xavier

    2016-01-01

    In colonial breeding species, preventive measures to reduce the risks of extra-pair copulations (EPCs) should reflect the actual risk perceived by males (e.g., proximity of neighbors, intrusions into the nest) mainly during the fertile period. In colonial vultures, specific studies examining the preventive measures that minimize the risks of EPCs occurring within the competitive context of colonial breeding have not been conducted. Here we tested at Eurasian Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus) nesting sites the intensity of paternity assurance behavior, shown as frequency and duration of within-pair copulations (WPCs), potential mate vigilance or nest attendance, and levels of aggressivity. This was measured according to the frequency of territorial intrusions and comparison of the fertile vs. the non-fertile period. Our findings suggest that the frequency of WPCs and their duration increased significantly during the presumed fertile period, regarded as the period when Griffon pairs spent significantly more time together at their nests. In addition, low levels of territorial intrusions were observed, an aggressive response of pairs towards intruders, and a relatively high presence of pairs at the nests during the fertile period. Thus, although nesting sites are subject to low exposure to EPC attempts, the increased frequency and duration of copulations during the fertile period suggests that, under pressure from the colonial breeding system, a higher rate of copulations is the most effective preventive mechanism against relative uncertainty of paternity. PMID:26966674

  18. Toxicity of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to Gyps vultures: a new threat from ketoprofen

    PubMed Central

    Naidoo, Vinny; Wolter, Kerri; Cromarty, Duncan; Diekmann, Maria; Duncan, Neil; Meharg, Andrew A.; Taggart, Mark A.; Venter, Leon; Cuthbert, Richard

    2010-01-01

    Three Gyps vulture species are on the brink of extinction in South Asia owing to the veterinary non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) diclofenac. Carcasses of domesticated ungulates are the main food source for Asia's vultures and birds die from kidney failure after consuming diclofenac-contaminated tissues. Here, we report on the safety testing of the NSAID ketoprofen, which was not reported to cause mortality in clinical treatment of scavenging birds and is rapidly eliminated from livestock tissues. Safety testing was undertaken using captive non-releasable Cape griffon vultures (Gyps coprotheres) and wild-caught African white-backed vultures (G. africanus), both previously identified as susceptible to diclofenac and suitable surrogates. Ketoprofen doses ranged from 0.5 to 5 mg kg−1 vulture body weight, based upon recommended veterinary guidelines and maximum levels of exposure for wild vultures (estimated as 1.54 mg kg−1). Doses were administered by oral gavage or through feeding tissues from cattle dosed with ketoprofen at 6 mg kg−1 cattle body weight, before slaughter. Mortalities occurred at dose levels of 1.5 and 5 mg kg−1 vulture body weight (within the range recommended for clinical treatment) with the same clinical signs as observed for diclofenac. Surveys of livestock carcasses in India indicate that toxic levels of residual ketoprofen are already present in vulture food supplies. Consequently, we strongly recommend that ketoprofen is not used for veterinary treatment of livestock in Asia and in other regions of the world where vultures access livestock carcasses. The only alternative to diclofenac that should be promoted as safe for vultures is the NSAID meloxicam. PMID:20007163

  19. Toxicity of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to Gyps vultures: a new threat from ketoprofen.

    PubMed

    Naidoo, Vinny; Wolter, Kerri; Cromarty, Duncan; Diekmann, Maria; Duncan, Neil; Meharg, Andrew A; Taggart, Mark A; Venter, Leon; Cuthbert, Richard

    2010-06-23

    Three Gyps vulture species are on the brink of extinction in South Asia owing to the veterinary non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) diclofenac. Carcasses of domesticated ungulates are the main food source for Asia's vultures and birds die from kidney failure after consuming diclofenac-contaminated tissues. Here, we report on the safety testing of the NSAID ketoprofen, which was not reported to cause mortality in clinical treatment of scavenging birds and is rapidly eliminated from livestock tissues. Safety testing was undertaken using captive non-releasable Cape griffon vultures (Gyps coprotheres) and wild-caught African white-backed vultures (G. africanus), both previously identified as susceptible to diclofenac and suitable surrogates. Ketoprofen doses ranged from 0.5 to 5 mg kg(-1) vulture body weight, based upon recommended veterinary guidelines and maximum levels of exposure for wild vultures (estimated as 1.54 mg kg(-1)). Doses were administered by oral gavage or through feeding tissues from cattle dosed with ketoprofen at 6 mg kg(-1) cattle body weight, before slaughter. Mortalities occurred at dose levels of 1.5 and 5 mg kg(-1) vulture body weight (within the range recommended for clinical treatment) with the same clinical signs as observed for diclofenac. Surveys of livestock carcasses in India indicate that toxic levels of residual ketoprofen are already present in vulture food supplies. Consequently, we strongly recommend that ketoprofen is not used for veterinary treatment of livestock in Asia and in other regions of the world where vultures access livestock carcasses. The only alternative to diclofenac that should be promoted as safe for vultures is the NSAID meloxicam. PMID:20007163

  20. Using Wind Tunnels to Predict Bird Mortality in Wind Farms: The Case of Griffon Vultures

    PubMed Central

    de Lucas, Manuela; Ferrer, Miguel; Janss, Guyonne F. E.

    2012-01-01

    Background Wind farms have shown a spectacular growth during the last 15 years. Avian mortality through collision with moving rotor blades is well-known as one of the main adverse impacts of wind farms. In Spain, the griffon vulture incurs the highest mortality rates in wind farms. Methodology/Principal Findings As far as we know, this study is the first attempt to predict flight trajectories of birds in order to foresee potentially dangerous areas for wind farm development. We analyse topography and wind flows in relation to flight paths of griffon vultures, using a scaled model of the wind farm area in an aerodynamic wind tunnel, and test the difference between the observed flight paths of griffon vultures and the predominant wind flows. Different wind currents for each wind direction in the aerodynamic model were observed. Simulations of wind flows in a wind tunnel were compared with observed flight paths of griffon vultures. No statistical differences were detected between the observed flight trajectories of griffon vultures and the wind passages observed in our wind tunnel model. A significant correlation was found between dead vultures predicted proportion of vultures crossing those cells according to the aerodynamic model. Conclusions Griffon vulture flight routes matched the predominant wind flows in the area (i.e. they followed the routes where less flight effort was needed). We suggest using these kinds of simulations to predict flight paths over complex terrains can inform the location of wind turbines and thereby reduce soaring bird mortality. PMID:23152764

  1. The evolutionary pathway to obligate scavenging in Gyps vultures.

    PubMed

    Dermody, Brian J; Tanner, Colby J; Jackson, Andrew L

    2011-01-01

    The evolutionary pathway to obligate scavenging in Gyps vultures remains unclear. We propose that communal roosting plays a central role in setting up the information transfer network critical for obligate scavengers in ephemeral environments and that the formation of a flotilla-like foraging group is a likely strategy for foraging Gyps vultures. Using a spatial, individual-based, optimisation model we find that the communal roost is critical for establishing the information network that enables information transfer owing to the spatial-concentration of foragers close to the roost. There is also strong selection pressure for grouping behaviour owing to the importance of maintaining network integrity and hence information transfer during foraging. We present a simple mechanism for grouping, common in many animal species, which has the added implication that it negates the requirement for roost-centric information transfer. The formation of a flotilla-like foraging group also improves foraging efficiency through the reduction of overlapping search paths. Finally, we highlight the importance of consideration of information transfer mechanisms in order to maximise the success of vulture reintroduction programmes. PMID:21931786

  2. Lead toxicity: consequences and interventions in an intensively managed (Gyps coprotheres) vulture colony.

    PubMed

    Naidoo, Vinny; Wolter, Kerri; Espie, Ian; Kotze, Antoinette

    2012-09-01

    The National Zoological Gardens of South Africa (NZG) is involved in the ex situ conservation of Gyps coprotheres, the Cape Griffon vulture (CGV) and houses 24 birds in a 100-yr-old aviary. Following the death of one vulture with high liver lead concentrations, an investigation was launched to ascertain the source(s) and consequences of lead toxicity in this breeding colony. Whole blood from 24 CGV, paint from the enclosure, water, and soil sampled at various locations within the enclosure were evaluated for their lead concentration, and data were gathered from NZG's medical records. The lead concentration in the paint, water, and enclosure soil was 5,100 microg/g, 0.5 microg/dl, and 72.48 +/- 21.83 microg/g, respectively. The whole-blood lead concentrations were 56.58 +/- 11 microg/dl. The breeding history of six pairs within the contaminated enclosure since 2002 showed 45 eggs laid, of which 44% were infertile and 24% successfully reared. The medical records revealed evidence of osteodystrophy despite adequate nutrition. As intervention measures, six birds were treated with Ca2+EDTA and the topsoil inside the enclosure was replaced. As a result, the lead concentration in the enclosure soil dropped to 14.74 +/- 14.39 microg/g, and the whole-blood lead concentrations declined to 42.75 +/- 11.64 microg/dl. It was concluded that lead concentrations in whole blood in excess of 100 microg/dl leads to clinical signs of lead toxicity in the CGV. Lower levels appear to interfere mainly with reproductive potential. PMID:23082521

  3. Veterinary diclofenac threatens Africa's endangered vulture species.

    PubMed

    Naidoo, V; Wolter, K; Cuthbert, R; Duncan, N

    2009-04-01

    Veterinary diclofenac has been responsible for the devastation of three species of Gyps vulture on the Indian subcontinent, and it is now regarded as one of the worst environmental contaminants in the recent past. While measures have been taken to control the manufacture of veterinary diclofenac in South Asia, the promotion of diclofenac on the African continent poses a risk to vultures in this region. In Southern Africa, the species of greatest conservation concern is the Cape Griffon Vulture (Gyps coprotheres), as only 2900 breeding pairs remain in the wild. The objective of this study was to test if this species is toxicologically sensitive to diclofenac. In a single dose-toxicity study, two adult Cape Griffon Vultures with severe injuries, that were considered to have a very poor prognostic outcome, were dosed intravenously with diclofenac at 0.8mg/kg. The changes in the clinical pathology were compared to the normal reference range established for 24 healthy Cape Griffon Vultures. Both birds died within 48h of dosing. The clinical signs, clinical pathology, gross pathology and histopathological finding were typical for diclofenac toxicity. It would appear that the sensitivity of the Cape Griffon is similar to that of their Asian counterparts and the African White-backed Vulture (Gyps africanus). Diclofenac is almost certainly toxic to all Gyps vultures species and strong efforts must be taken to ensure that veterinary diclofenac products are not licensed or introduced to the African continent. PMID:19545505

  4. Molecular sexing of threatened Gyps vultures: an important strategy for conservation breeding and ecological studies.

    PubMed

    Ghorpade, Prabhakar B; Gupta, Praveen K; Prakash, Vibhu; Cuthbert, Richard J; Kulkarni, Mandar; Prakash, Nikita; Das, Asit; Sharma, Anil K; Saini, Mohini

    2012-12-01

    During the last two decades populations of three resident species of Gyps vulture have declined dramatically and are now threatened with extinction in South Asia. Sex identification of vultures is of key importance for the purpose of conservation breeding as it is desirable to have an equal sex ratio in these monogamous species which are housed together in large colony aviaries. Because vultures are monomorphic, with no differences in external morphology or plumage colour between the sexes, other methods are required for sex identification. Molecular methods for sex identification in birds rely on allelic length or nucleotide sequence discrimination of the chromohelicase-DNA binding (CHD) gene located on male and female chromosomes ZZ and ZW, respectively. We characterized the partial sequences of CHD alleles from Gyps indicus, Gyps bengalensis, Gyps himalayensis and Aegypius monachus and analysed the applicability of five molecular methods of sex identification of 46 individual vultures including 26 known-sex G. bengalensis and G. indicus. The results revealed that W-specific PCR in combination with ZW-common PCR is a quick, accurate and simple method, and is ideal for sex identification of vultures. The method is also suitable to augment ecological studies for identifying sex of these endangered birds during necropsy examinations especially when gonads are not apparent, possibly due to regression during non-breeding seasons. PMID:23316450

  5. Exceptional soft tissue fossilization of a Pleistocene vulture (Gyps fulvus): new evidence for emplacement temperatures of pyroclastic flow deposits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iurino, Dawid A.; Bellucci, Luca; Schreve, Danielle; Sardella, Raffaele

    2014-07-01

    Volcanic sediments are often unsuitable for the fossilization of both hard and soft organic tissues, however, in some circumstances, they can provide unusual conditions for the preservation of remains. Here we report an exceptional case of soft tissue fossilization of a Late Pleistocene Eurasian griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus) in the pyroclastic sequence of the Alban Hills volcanic region (SE Rome, Italy). CT analyses have revealed an exceptional natural cast of the complete head and neck that preserve extraordinary detail including the fossilized everted tongue, beak, feather insertions and the first record of the nictitating membrane of the eye. This fossilization (superior in detail even to the victims of the AD 79 Plinian eruption of Vesuvius) reveals no evidence of burning and requires re-evaluation of the thermal constraints in operation for the preservation of organic materials within pyroclastic sediments. The analysis of the external morphological features has provided key information regarding the taphonomic processes in operation, the emplacement temperatures of distal pyroclastic flow deposits and the relationships between organic materials and low temperature phreatomagmatic flows. This sheds light not only on the extremely rare situation of fossilization in volcanic contexts but also provides a new perspective on taphonomic studies of highly detailed casts of fossil vertebrates.

  6. Epileptiform seizures in captive African vultures.

    PubMed

    Mundy, P J; Foggin, C M

    1981-04-01

    African vultures are held in captivity at Salisbury, Johannesburg, and Durban, and in each place a number of birds showed epileptiform seizures. Of 17 griffon vultures (Gyps africanus and G. coprotheres) in Salisbury, three recovered and 11 died after one or more seizures. Of eight vultures of three other species, one Lappetfaced Vulture (Torgos tracheliotus) recovered and one Whiteheaded Vulture (Trigonoceps occipitalis) died. A variety of diagnostic tests, in particular levels of serum calcium and blood glucose, and histological examination of brains, has so far failed to reveal a cause. PMID:7241712

  7. Using tri-axial acceleration data to identify behavioral modes of free-ranging animals: general concepts and tools illustrated for griffon vultures.

    PubMed

    Nathan, Ran; Spiegel, Orr; Fortmann-Roe, Scott; Harel, Roi; Wikelski, Martin; Getz, Wayne M

    2012-03-15

    Integrating biomechanics, behavior and ecology requires a mechanistic understanding of the processes producing the movement of animals. This calls for contemporaneous biomechanical, behavioral and environmental data along movement pathways. A recently formulated unifying movement ecology paradigm facilitates the integration of existing biomechanics, optimality, cognitive and random paradigms for studying movement. We focus on the use of tri-axial acceleration (ACC) data to identify behavioral modes of GPS-tracked free-ranging wild animals and demonstrate its application to study the movements of griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus, Hablizl 1783). In particular, we explore a selection of nonlinear and decision tree methods that include support vector machines, classification and regression trees, random forest methods and artificial neural networks and compare them with linear discriminant analysis (LDA) as a baseline for classifying behavioral modes. Using a dataset of 1035 ground-truthed ACC segments, we found that all methods can accurately classify behavior (80-90%) and, as expected, all nonlinear methods outperformed LDA. We also illustrate how ACC-identified behavioral modes provide the means to examine how vulture flight is affected by environmental factors, hence facilitating the integration of behavioral, biomechanical and ecological data. Our analysis of just over three-quarters of a million GPS and ACC measurements obtained from 43 free-ranging vultures across 9783 vulture-days suggests that their annual breeding schedule might be selected primarily in response to seasonal conditions favoring rising-air columns (thermals) and that rare long-range forays of up to 1750 km from the home range are performed despite potentially heavy energetic costs and a low rate of food intake, presumably to explore new breeding, social and long-term resource location opportunities. PMID:22357592

  8. Using tri-axial acceleration data to identify behavioral modes of free-ranging animals: general concepts and tools illustrated for griffon vultures

    PubMed Central

    Nathan, Ran; Spiegel, Orr; Fortmann-Roe, Scott; Harel, Roi; Wikelski, Martin; Getz, Wayne M.

    2012-01-01

    Summary Integrating biomechanics, behavior and ecology requires a mechanistic understanding of the processes producing the movement of animals. This calls for contemporaneous biomechanical, behavioral and environmental data along movement pathways. A recently formulated unifying movement ecology paradigm facilitates the integration of existing biomechanics, optimality, cognitive and random paradigms for studying movement. We focus on the use of tri-axial acceleration (ACC) data to identify behavioral modes of GPS-tracked free-ranging wild animals and demonstrate its application to study the movements of griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus, Hablizl 1783). In particular, we explore a selection of nonlinear and decision tree methods that include support vector machines, classification and regression trees, random forest methods and artificial neural networks and compare them with linear discriminant analysis (LDA) as a baseline for classifying behavioral modes. Using a dataset of 1035 ground-truthed ACC segments, we found that all methods can accurately classify behavior (80–90%) and, as expected, all nonlinear methods outperformed LDA. We also illustrate how ACC-identified behavioral modes provide the means to examine how vulture flight is affected by environmental factors, hence facilitating the integration of behavioral, biomechanical and ecological data. Our analysis of just over three-quarters of a million GPS and ACC measurements obtained from 43 free-ranging vultures across 9783 vulture-days suggests that their annual breeding schedule might be selected primarily in response to seasonal conditions favoring rising-air columns (thermals) and that rare long-range forays of up to 1750 km from the home range are performed despite potentially heavy energetic costs and a low rate of food intake, presumably to explore new breeding, social and long-term resource location opportunities. PMID:22357592

  9. Do power lines and protected areas present a catch-22 situation for Cape vultures (Gyps coprotheres)?

    PubMed

    Phipps, W Louis; Wolter, Kerri; Michael, Michael D; MacTavish, Lynne M; Yarnell, Richard W

    2013-01-01

    Cape vulture Gyps coprotheres populations have declined across their range due to multiple anthropogenic threats. Their susceptibility to fatal collisions with the expanding power line network and the prevalence of carcasses contaminated with illegal poisons and other threats outside protected areas are thought to be the primary drivers of declines in southern Africa. We used GPS-GSM units to track the movements and delineate the home ranges of five adult (mean ±SD minimum convex polygon area = 121,655±90,845 km(2)) and four immature (mean ±SD minimum convex polygon area = 492,300±259,427 km(2)) Cape vultures to investigate the influence of power lines and their use of protected areas. The vultures travelled more than 1,000 km from the capture site and collectively entered five different countries in southern Africa. Their movement patterns and core foraging ranges were closely associated with the spatial distribution of transmission power lines and we present evidence that the construction of power lines has allowed the species to extend its range to areas previously devoid of suitable perches. The distribution of locations of known Cape vulture mortalities caused by interactions with power lines corresponded to the core ranges of the tracked vultures. Although some of the vultures regularly roosted at breeding colonies located inside protected areas the majority of foraging activity took place on unprotected farmland. Their ability to travel vast distances very quickly and the high proportion of time they spend in the vicinity of power lines and outside protected areas make Cape vultures especially vulnerable to negative interactions with the expanding power line network and the full range of threats across the region. Co-ordinated cross-border conservation strategies beyond the protected area network will therefore be necessary to ensure the future survival of threatened vultures in Africa. PMID:24137496

  10. Do Power Lines and Protected Areas Present a Catch-22 Situation for Cape Vultures (Gyps coprotheres)?

    PubMed Central

    Phipps, W. Louis; Wolter, Kerri; Michael, Michael D.; MacTavish, Lynne M.; Yarnell, Richard W.

    2013-01-01

    Cape vulture Gyps coprotheres populations have declined across their range due to multiple anthropogenic threats. Their susceptibility to fatal collisions with the expanding power line network and the prevalence of carcasses contaminated with illegal poisons and other threats outside protected areas are thought to be the primary drivers of declines in southern Africa. We used GPS-GSM units to track the movements and delineate the home ranges of five adult (mean ±SD minimum convex polygon area  =  121,655±90,845 km2) and four immature (mean ±SD minimum convex polygon area  =  492,300±259,427 km2) Cape vultures to investigate the influence of power lines and their use of protected areas. The vultures travelled more than 1,000 km from the capture site and collectively entered five different countries in southern Africa. Their movement patterns and core foraging ranges were closely associated with the spatial distribution of transmission power lines and we present evidence that the construction of power lines has allowed the species to extend its range to areas previously devoid of suitable perches. The distribution of locations of known Cape vulture mortalities caused by interactions with power lines corresponded to the core ranges of the tracked vultures. Although some of the vultures regularly roosted at breeding colonies located inside protected areas the majority of foraging activity took place on unprotected farmland. Their ability to travel vast distances very quickly and the high proportion of time they spend in the vicinity of power lines and outside protected areas make Cape vultures especially vulnerable to negative interactions with the expanding power line network and the full range of threats across the region. Co-ordinated cross-border conservation strategies beyond the protected area network will therefore be necessary to ensure the future survival of threatened vultures in Africa. PMID:24137496

  11. Ejaculate collection efficiency and post-thaw semen quality in wild-caught Griffon vultures from the Sardinian population

    PubMed Central

    Madeddu, Manuela; Berlinguer, Fiammetta; Ledda, Massimo; Leoni, Giovanni G; Satta, Valentina; Succu, Sara; Rotta, Andrea; Pasciu, Valeria; Zinellu, Angelo; Muzzeddu, Marco; Carru, Ciriaco; Naitana, Salvatore

    2009-01-01

    This study aimed to test the feasibility of a programme of semen collection and cryopreservation in Griffon vultures. Four wild-caught individuals kept in captivity because of unrecoverable traumas were used. Semen collection attempts were made twice a week during three consecutive reproductive seasons (December – March) using the abdominal massage method. Ejaculation was successfully induced between late January and late February. Semen collection efficiency was rather low (27.9%) and it did not vary among individuals (p > 0.05). No differences were found in ejaculate volumes (12.5 +/- 9.1 μl), spermatozoa concentration (28.4 +/- 30.9 million cells/ml) and viability (61.3 +/- 13.9%) among the 4 vultures. ATP values differed among the four vultures (p < 0.001); B showed higher nucleotide concentration than both C and D, while it did not differ form A, whose values were higher compared with D. After freezing and thawing, semen in vitro viability, DNA integrity and ATP intracellular concentration were determined. Spermatozoa viability after thawing did not differ among the four individuals (52.6 +/- 5.8 in A, 53.4 +/- 4.6 in B, 50.4 +/- 3.2 in C, 42.5 +/- 2.7 in D), but it decreased significantly compared to fresh semen (p < 0.05). During 4 hrs in vitro culture, spermatozoa collected from B maintained over time a higher viability in vitro when compared to A, C and D. As evaluated by the comet assay method, DNA fragmentation after freezing and thawing did not differ in the 4 vultures. ATP concentration in frozen/thawed semen was significantly lower than in fresh semen (p < 0.0001). This study indicates that semen cryopreservation can be considered as a useful tool in the conservation of Griffon vulture genetic resources, but further studies are needed to optimize this technique. PMID:19228408

  12. Foraging ranges of immature African white-backed vultures (Gyps africanus) and their use of protected areas in southern Africa.

    PubMed

    Phipps, W Louis; Willis, Stephen G; Wolter, Kerri; Naidoo, Vinny

    2013-01-01

    Vultures in the Gyps genus are declining globally. Multiple threats related to human activity have caused widespread declines of vulture populations in Africa, especially outside protected areas. Addressing such threats requires the estimation of foraging ranges yet such estimates are lacking, even for widespread (but declining) species such as the African white-backed vulture (Gyps africanus). We tracked six immature African white-backed vultures in South Africa using GPS-GSM units to study their movement patterns, their use of protected areas and the time they spent in the vicinity of supplementary feeding sites. All individuals foraged widely; their combined foraging ranges extended into six countries in southern Africa (mean (± SE) minimum convex polygon area =269,103±197,187 km(2)) and three of the vultures travelled more than 900 km from the capture site. All six vultures spent the majority of their tracking periods outside protected areas. South African protected areas were very rarely visited whereas protected areas in northern Botswana and Zimbabwe were used more frequently. Two of the vultures visited supplementary feeding sites regularly, with consequent reduced ranging behaviour, suggesting that individuals could alter their foraging behaviour in response to such sites. We show that immature African white-backed vultures are capable of travelling throughout southern Africa, yet use protected areas to only a limited extent, making them susceptible to the full range of threats in the region. The standard approach of designating protected areas to conserve species is unlikely to ensure the protection of such wide-ranging species against threats in the wider landscape. PMID:23382824

  13. Foraging Ranges of Immature African White-Backed Vultures (Gyps africanus) and Their Use of Protected Areas in Southern Africa

    PubMed Central

    Phipps, W. Louis; Willis, Stephen G.; Wolter, Kerri; Naidoo, Vinny

    2013-01-01

    Vultures in the Gyps genus are declining globally. Multiple threats related to human activity have caused widespread declines of vulture populations in Africa, especially outside protected areas. Addressing such threats requires the estimation of foraging ranges yet such estimates are lacking, even for widespread (but declining) species such as the African white-backed vulture (Gyps africanus). We tracked six immature African white-backed vultures in South Africa using GPS-GSM units to study their movement patterns, their use of protected areas and the time they spent in the vicinity of supplementary feeding sites. All individuals foraged widely; their combined foraging ranges extended into six countries in southern Africa (mean (± SE) minimum convex polygon area  = 269,103±197,187 km2) and three of the vultures travelled more than 900 km from the capture site. All six vultures spent the majority of their tracking periods outside protected areas. South African protected areas were very rarely visited whereas protected areas in northern Botswana and Zimbabwe were used more frequently. Two of the vultures visited supplementary feeding sites regularly, with consequent reduced ranging behaviour, suggesting that individuals could alter their foraging behaviour in response to such sites. We show that immature African white-backed vultures are capable of travelling throughout southern Africa, yet use protected areas to only a limited extent, making them susceptible to the full range of threats in the region. The standard approach of designating protected areas to conserve species is unlikely to ensure the protection of such wide-ranging species against threats in the wider landscape. PMID:23382824

  14. Effectiveness of Action in India to Reduce Exposure of Gyps Vultures to the Toxic Veterinary Drug Diclofenac

    PubMed Central

    Cuthbert, Richard; Taggart, Mark A.; Prakash, Vibhu; Saini, Mohini; Swarup, Devendra; Upreti, Suchitra; Mateo, Rafael; Chakraborty, Soumya Sunder; Deori, Parag; Green, Rhys E.

    2011-01-01

    Contamination of their carrion food supply with the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac has caused rapid population declines across the Indian subcontinent of three species of Gyps vultures endemic to South Asia. The governments of India, Pakistan and Nepal took action in 2006 to prevent the veterinary use of diclofenac on domesticated livestock, the route by which contamination occurs. We analyse data from three surveys of the prevalence and concentration of diclofenac residues in carcasses of domesticated ungulates in India, carried out before and after the implementation of a ban on veterinary use. There was little change in the prevalence and concentration of diclofenac between a survey before the ban and one conducted soon after its implementation, with the percentage of carcasses containing diclofenac in these surveys estimated at 10.8 and 10.7%, respectively. However, both the prevalence and concentration of diclofenac had fallen markedly 7–31 months after the implementation of the ban, with the true prevalence in this third survey estimated at 6.5%. Modelling of the impact of this reduction in diclofenac on the expected rate of decline of the oriental white-backed vulture (Gyps bengalensis) in India indicates that the decline rate has decreased to 40% of the rate before the ban, but is still likely to be rapid (about 18% year−1). Hence, further efforts to remove diclofenac from vulture food are still needed if the future recovery or successful reintroduction of vultures is to be feasible. PMID:21589920

  15. Opportunistic infection of Aspergillus and bacteria in captive Cape vultures (Gyps coprotheres)

    PubMed Central

    Chege, Stephen; Howlett, Judith; Al Qassimi, Majid; Toosy, Arshad; Kinne, Joerg; Obanda, Vincent

    2013-01-01

    Objective To describe clinical signs, pathology, diagnosis and treatment of Cape vultures in which Aspergillus fumigatus (A. fumigatus) and mixed species of bacteria were isolated. Methods Six Cape vultures sourced from South Africa for exhibition at Al Ain Zoo developed illness manifesting as anorexia, dyspnea, polyuria and lethargy. Three vultures died manifesting “pneumonia-like syndrome”. These three vultures were necropsied and gross lesions recorded, while organ tissues were collected for histopathology. Internal organs were swabbed for bacteriology and mycology. From live vultures, blood was collected for hematology and biochemistry, oropharyngeal and cloacal swabs were collected for mycology and bacteriology. Results A. fumigatus was isolated from the three dead vultures and two live ones that eventually survived. One of the dead vulture and two live vultures were co-infected with A. fumigatus and mixed species of bacteria that included Clostridium perfringens, Pseudomonas, Staphylococcus, Escherichia, Proteus, Enterococcus and Enterbacter. One of the Cape vulture and a Lappet-faced vulture, however, were free of Aspergillus or bacterial infections. At necropsy, intestinal hemorrhages were observed and the lungs were overtly congested with granulomas present on caudal air sac. Histopathological examinations demonstrated granulomatous lesions that were infiltrated by mononuclear cells and giant cells. Conclusions Aspergillosis is a persistent threat to captive birds and we recommend routine health assessments so that early diagnosis may prompt early treatment. It is likely that prompt prophylaxis by broad spectrum antibiotics and antifungals medication contributed to the survival of some of the vultures. PMID:23646305

  16. The pharmacokinetics of meloxicam in vultures.

    PubMed

    Naidoo, V; Wolter, K; Cromarty, A D; Bartels, P; Bekker, L; McGaw, L; Taggart, M A; Cuthbert, R; Swan, G E

    2008-04-01

    Vulture populations across the Asian subcontinent have declined dramatically in the last 15 years and are now on the verge of extinction. Although the cause of the population decline was initially unknown, the decrease has recently been conclusively linked to the use of the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac in cattle that inadvertently ended up in the vulture food chain. With the vulture numbers continuing to decline by up to 48% a year, the Indian, Nepali and Pakistan governments have recently banned the manufacture and importation of veterinary diclofenac. They have also suggested meloxicam as an alternate anti-inflammatory for use in cattle. This recommendation was based on extensive acute safety studies in the African White-backed vulture (Gyps africanus), which evaluated worst case scenarios of maximum intake based on a once in three day feeding pattern. However, the possible cumulative pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic effects in vultures receiving multiple daily doses of meloxicam over time were not assessed. At present very little pharmacokinetic or pharmacodynamic information is available to add further support for the safety of meloxicam in this animal species. This article discusses the oral and intramuscular pharmacokinetics of meloxicam in Cape Griffon vultures (Gyps coprotheres). Therapeutic drug monitoring was also undertaken in White-backed, Egyptian (Neophron pernopterus) and one Lappet Faced vulture (Torgos tracheliotos). In all these species, meloxicam was characterized by a short half-life of elimination. The rapid metabolism of meloxicam in combination with a short duration of effect in the studied species Gyps vultures shown in this study makes it unlikely that the drug could accumulate. This confirms the safety of repeated exposure to meloxicam in vultures of this genus. PMID:18307504

  17. Modelling the effects of sanitary policies on European vulture conservation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Margalida, Antoni; Colomer, M.A. Àngels

    2012-10-01

    Biodiversity losses are increasing as a consequence of negative anthropogenic effects on ecosystem dynamics. However, the magnitude and complexity of these effects may still be greatly underestimated. Most Old World vultures have experienced rapid population declines in recent years. In Europe, their immediate conservation depends on changes in health regulations affecting the availability of food provided by domestic carcasses. Information is lacking on the effects of a hypothetical food shortage on the population dynamics of vultures, and is necessary to assess the potential impacts of policy decisions on future changes in biodiversity and ecosystem services. A novel computational model (P-systems) was used to model these effects, forecasting a rapid decline in the Eurasian griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus). By contrast, vulture species with greater plasticity in their dietary range appeared less sensitive to declining food availability. This study extends our understanding of vulture ecosystem services, which have social and economic implications.

  18. Modelling the effects of sanitary policies on European vulture conservation

    PubMed Central

    Margalida, Antoni; Colomer, Ma Àngels

    2012-01-01

    Biodiversity losses are increasing as a consequence of negative anthropogenic effects on ecosystem dynamics. However, the magnitude and complexity of these effects may still be greatly underestimated. Most Old World vultures have experienced rapid population declines in recent years. In Europe, their immediate conservation depends on changes in health regulations affecting the availability of food provided by domestic carcasses. Information is lacking on the effects of a hypothetical food shortage on the population dynamics of vultures, and is necessary to assess the potential impacts of policy decisions on future changes in biodiversity and ecosystem services. A novel computational model (P-systems) was used to model these effects, forecasting a rapid decline in the Eurasian griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus). By contrast, vulture species with greater plasticity in their dietary range appeared less sensitive to declining food availability. This study extends our understanding of vulture ecosystem services, which have social and economic implications. PMID:23082243

  19. The Safety and Pharmacokinetics of Carprofen, Flunixin and Phenylbutazone in the Cape Vulture (Gyps coprotheres) following Oral Exposure.

    PubMed

    Fourie, Tamsyn; Cromarty, Duncan; Duncan, Neil; Wolter, Kerri; Naidoo, Vinny

    2015-01-01

    The following study evaluates the overt toxic potential of carprofen (CRP), flunixin (FXN) and phenylbutazone (PBZ) in Old world vultures in relation to historic toxicity data for diclofenac and ketoprofen, with the Cape vulture (Gyps coprotheres) being the indicator species. The toxic potential of a single oral dose of CRP (11.5 mg/kg), FXN (1 mg/kg),PBZ (1.7 mg/kg) or water was evaluated by means of a four-way parallel study (n = 2), as means of ascertaining if these drugs were as toxic as diclofenac in the vulture. No unscheduled deaths or pathological lesions were noted following exposure. Clinical signs of lethargy and depression were, however, noted in one CRP, two FXN and one PBZ treated birds. Mild reversible inhibition of UA excretion was evident in all three groups, although UA remained within the population reference interval in contrast to the effects previously described for diclofenac and ketoprofen. All treatment groups had a drug concentration responsive increase in alanine transferase activity. CRP, FXN and PBZ were characterised by a maximum plasma concentration (Cmax) of 1051.8 ± 620.7 ng/ml, 335.9 ± 36.3 ng/ml and 11150 ± 2474.9 ng/ml at 4 ± 4.3, 0.45 ± 0.02 and 5.3 ± 5.2 hours (Tmax) respectively and a half-life of elimination of 13.3 ±5, 1.8±1 and 18.7 ±11.4 hours respectively. While we could not demonstrate a lethal effect of the tested substances, the presence of toxic clinical signs, clinical pathological changes and/or long half-lives of elimination suggests that all three drugs have a potential for toxicity in a larger population or on repeat administration. In conclusion while the studied substances were not as overtly toxic as diclofenac, they are of safety concern. PMID:26512724

  20. The Safety and Pharmacokinetics of Carprofen, Flunixin and Phenylbutazone in the Cape Vulture (Gyps coprotheres) following Oral Exposure

    PubMed Central

    Fourie, Tamsyn; Cromarty, Duncan; Duncan, Neil; Wolter, Kerri; Naidoo, Vinny

    2015-01-01

    The following study evaluates the overt toxic potential of carprofen (CRP), flunixin (FXN) and phenylbutazone (PBZ) in Old world vultures in relation to historic toxicity data for diclofenac and ketoprofen, with the Cape vulture (Gyps coprotheres) being the indicator species. The toxic potential of a single oral dose of CRP (11.5 mg/kg), FXN (1 mg/kg),PBZ (1.7 mg/kg) or water was evaluated by means of a four-way parallel study (n = 2), as means of ascertaining if these drugs were as toxic as diclofenac in the vulture. No unscheduled deaths or pathological lesions were noted following exposure. Clinical signs of lethargy and depression were, however, noted in one CRP, two FXN and one PBZ treated birds. Mild reversible inhibition of UA excretion was evident in all three groups, although UA remained within the population reference interval in contrast to the effects previously described for diclofenac and ketoprofen. All treatment groups had a drug concentration responsive increase in alanine transferase activity. CRP, FXN and PBZ were characterised by a maximum plasma concentration (Cmax) of 1051.8 ± 620.7 ng/ml, 335.9 ± 36.3 ng/ml and 11150 ± 2474.9 ng/ml at 4 ± 4.3, 0.45 ± 0.02 and 5.3 ± 5.2 hours (Tmax) respectively and a half-life of elimination of 13.3 ±5, 1.8±1 and 18.7 ±11.4 hours respectively. While we could not demonstrate a lethal effect of the tested substances, the presence of toxic clinical signs, clinical pathological changes and/or long half-lives of elimination suggests that all three drugs have a potential for toxicity in a larger population or on repeat administration. In conclusion while the studied substances were not as overtly toxic as diclofenac, they are of safety concern. PMID:26512724

  1. Allozyme variation in four populations of African whitebacked vultures (Gyps africanus) and phylogenetic relationships between four vulture species from southern Africa.

    PubMed

    van Wyk, E; van der Bank, H; Verdoorn, G H.

    2001-05-01

    Genetic variation detected by protein electrophoresis at 41 presumptive gene loci was assayed in four populations of Gyps africanus and compared to values previously obtained for Gyps coprotheres. Values calculated for percentage of polymorphic loci (P=34.15%, 0.99 criterion) and average heterozygosity (&Hmacr;=0.108, +/-0.032) in G. africanus, confirm low levels of genetic variation as reported for G. coprotheres. Allele frequency data, assessed at 19 loci, were obtained to evaluate genetic differentiation among four vulture species. Six (31.58%) of the 19 shared loci were polymorphic. Values of 1.26 (+/-0.1), 26.32% and 0.076 (+/-0.047) for G. africanus, 1.21 (+/-0.1), 21.05% and 0.097 (+/-0.045) for Torgos tracheliotus, 1.11 (+/-0.7), 21.05% and 0.053 (+/-0.053) for Neophron percnopterus and 1.05 (+/-0.5), 5.26% and 0.044 (+/-0.047) for G. coprotheres were obtained for the mean number of alleles per locus, P and &Hmacr;, respectively. An average between-population fixation index (F(ST)) value of 0.322 was obtained, which is indicative of significant (P<0.01) differentiation between the four accipitrid species studied. Considerable concordance was obtained between dendograms produced from different analyses, pointing to the distinctiveness of N. percnopterus, which has evolved along a separate lineage as G. africanus, G. coprotheres and T. tracheliotus. Along the latter lineage G. africanus is clustered together with G. coprotheres which is consistent with the morphological similarities of these species. PMID:11274771

  2. Pathology and proposed pathophysiology of diclofenac poisoning in free-living and experimentally exposed oriental white-backed vultures (Gyps bengalensis)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Meteyer, C.U.; Rideout, B.A.; Gilbert, M.; Shivaprasad, H.L.; Oaks, J.L.

    2005-01-01

    Oriental white-backed vultures (Gyps bengalensis; OWBVs) died of renal failure when they ingested diclofenac, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), in tissues of domestic livestock. Acute necrosis of proximal convoluted tubules in these vultures was severe. Glomeruli, distal convoluted tubules, and collecting tubules were relatively spared in the vultures that had early lesions. In most vultures, however, lesions became extensive with large urate aggregates obscuring renal architecture. Inflammation was minimal. Extensive urate precipitation on the surface and within organ parenchyma (visceral gout) was consistently found in vultures with renal failure. Very little is known about the physiologic effect of NSAIDs in birds. Research in mammals has shown that diclofenac inhibits formation of prostaglandins. We propose that the mechanism by which diclofenac induces renal failure in the OWBV is through the inhibition of the modulating effect of prostaglandin on angiotensin II-mediated adrenergic stimulation. Renal portal valves open in response to adrenergic stimulation, redirecting portal blood to the caudal vena cava and bypassing the kidney. If diclofenac removes a modulating effect of prostaglandins on the renal portal valves, indiscriminant activation of these valves would redirect the primary nutrient blood supply away from the renal cortex. Resulting ischemic necrosis of the cortical proximal convoluted tubules would be consistent with our histologic findings in these OWBVs.

  3. Anticipating Knowledge to Inform Species Management: Predicting Spatially Explicit Habitat Suitability of a Colonial Vulture Spreading Its Range

    PubMed Central

    Mateo-Tomás, Patricia; Olea, Pedro P.

    2010-01-01

    Background The knowledge of both potential distribution and habitat suitability is fundamental in spreading species to inform in advance management and conservation planning. After a severe decline in the past decades, the griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus) is now spreading its breeding range towards the northwest in Spain and Europe. Because of its key ecological function, anticipated spatial knowledge is required to inform appropriately both vulture and ecosystem management. Methodology/Findings Here we used maximum entropy (Maxent) models to determine the habitat suitability of potential and current breeding distribution of the griffon vulture using presence-only data (N = 124 colonies) in north-western Spain. The most relevant ecological factors shaping this habitat suitability were also identified. The resulting model had a high predictive performance and was able to predict species' historical distribution. 7.5% (∼1,850 km2) of the study area resulted to be suitable breeding habitat, most of which (∼70%) is already occupied by the species. Cliff availability and livestock density, especially of sheep and goats, around 10 km of the colonies were the fundamental factors determining breeding habitat suitability for this species. Conclusions/Significance Griffon vultures could still spread 50–60 km towards the west, increasing their breeding range in 1,782 km2. According to our results, 7.22% of the area suitable for griffon vulture will be affected by wind farms, so our results could help to better plan wind farm locations. The approach here developed could be useful to inform management of reintroductions and recovery programmes currently being implemented for both the griffon vulture and other threatened vulture species. PMID:20811501

  4. Establishment of selected baseline blood chemistry and hematologic parameters in captive and wild-caught African white-backed vultures (Gyps africanus).

    PubMed

    Naidoo, V; Diekmann, M; Wolters, K; Swan, G E

    2008-07-01

    Despite the devastating collapse of three vulture populations on the Asian subcontinent as a result of their exposure to diclofenac, there is little available information on the normal physiology of many vulture species, including the African White-backed Vulture (Gyps africanus). Such information is needed to fully understand mechanisms for toxicity and to identify and prevent future health problems. The aim of this study was to establish baseline parameters for hematologic and selected serum chemistry parameters for this model species for further studies into the toxicity of diclofenac. Captive nonreleasable and wild African White-backed Vultures were used to determine reference values. For hematology, erythrocyte counts, hemoglobin concentration, hematocrit, packed cell volume, mean corpuscular volume, mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration, and total and differential leukocyte counts were measured. Chemical analytes measured included sodium, potassium, calcium, albumin, and globulin concentrations, aspartate aminotransferase, creatine kinase, and alanine aminotransferase activities. Uric acid and urea concentrations and the urea:uric acid ratio also were evaluated. Values are presented as means, standard deviations, and reference intervals. The serum chemistry parameters selected may provide a starting point for the evaluation of changes in renal and hepatic function; these organ systems are most severely affected by diclofenac. Results were also compared with values reported for G. africanus nestlings, and from these results it is evident that the clinical pathologic parameters are age related. This indicates that the use of nestling values for the evaluation of clinical pathologic findings in adults may be unreliable and could lead to incorrect assumptions. PMID:18689650

  5. Toxicity Assessment on the Levels of Select Metals in the Critically Endangered Indian White-backed Vulture, Gyps bengalensis, in India.

    PubMed

    Rajamani, Jayakumar; Subramanian, Muralidharan

    2015-06-01

    To assess the potential contribution of metals to the catastrophic population decline of the White-backed Vulture, Gyps bengalensis, their concentrations in various organs was quantified. Liver, kidney, pectoral muscle, gut contents and femur bone were collected from dead birds between 1999 and 2008. These samples were analysed for lead, cadmium, copper and zinc, which were detected in all organs with no significant variation among tissues or between sexes. Moreover, high lead levels in liver (8.56 µg/g wet weight) and kidney (9.31 µg/g wet weight) in some individuals indicate toxic effects. Nonetheless, the levels of most metals measured in the present study may be considered as normal. PMID:25904090

  6. Persistent organochlorine pesticide residues in tissues and eggs of white-backed vulture, Gyps bengalensis from different locations in India.

    PubMed

    Muralidharan, S; Dhananjayan, V; Risebrough, Robert; Prakash, V; Jayakumar, R; Bloom, Peter H

    2008-12-01

    Organochlorine pesticide residues were determined in tissues of five Indian white-backed vultures and two of their eggs collected from different locations in India. All the samples had varying levels of residues. p,p'-DDE ranged between 0.002 microg/g in muscle of vulture from Mudumali and 7.30 microg/g in liver of vulture from Delhi. Relatively higher levels of p,p'-DDT and its metabolites were documented in the bird from Delhi than other places. Dieldrin was 0.003 and 0.015 microg/g while p,p'-DDE was 2.46 and 3.26 microg/g in egg one and two respectively. Dieldrin appeared to be lower than the threshold level of 0.5 microg/g. p,p'-DDE exceeded the levels reported to have created toxic effects in eggs of other wild birds. Although varying levels of DDT, HCH, dieldrin, heptachlor epoxide and endosulfan residues were detected in the vulture tissues, they do not appear to be responsible for the present status of population in India. PMID:18806909

  7. The influence of non-toxic concentrations of DDT and DDE on the old world vulture estrogen receptor alpha.

    PubMed

    Naidoo, Vinny; Katsu, Yoshinao; Iguchi, Taisen

    2008-01-01

    Seven of the nine vulture species in South Africa are listed as endangered on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list. From these, the Cape Griffon vulture (Gyps corprotheres) is the most endangered species in the region. Although inadequate nutritional support has been blamed on the constant decline in populations, the process of vulture restaurants has failed to improve the population status over the last twenty years. One possible reason for the decline may be an underlying reproductive disorder as described in endocrine disruptive syndromes. Both DDT and p,p'-DDE have been detected previously at very high concentrations in the mid 1980s, with lower concentrations still being detectable as late as 2001. To establish the effect of DDT and DDE, the vulture estrogen receptor alpha (ERalpha) was sequenced from two species using 5' and 3' rapid amplification cDNA ends (RACE). Using transient transfected mammalian cell assays, vulture ERalpha estrogen-dependent transcription activity was validated using various estrogens and DDT derivatives. The receptor assay was sensitive to p,p'-DDT, o,p'-DDT and p,p'-DDE with EC(50) of 2.41x10(-6), 3.47x10(-7) and 3.81x10(-5)M. When compared to results obtained from human, zebrafish, chicken, salamander and turtle, the vulture ERalpha showed high sensitivity to o,p'-DDT and intermediately responsive to p,p'-DDE. Vulture ERalpha is, however, not responsive to the DDT and DDE levels reported in the plasma of vultures from the last population survey, indicating that the Southern African vulture are not currently exposed to disruptive levels of these contaminants. PMID:18801367

  8. Persistent organochlorine pesticides detected in blood and tissue samples of vultures from different localities in South Africa.

    PubMed

    van Wyk, E; Bouwman, H; van der Bank, H; Verdoorn, G H; Hofmann, D

    2001-07-01

    Gas chromatography was used to establish the presence of quantifiable residues of 14 persistent chlorinated hydrocarbon pollutants in whole blood, clotted blood, heart, kidney, liver and muscle samples obtained from individual African whitebacked (Pseudogyps africanus), Cape griffon (Gyps coprotheres) and Lappetfaced (Torgos tracheliotos) vultures from different localities in South Africa. The levels of pesticides measured in whole blood samples of live specimens were compared between nestlings from two natural breeding colonies, adults from a wildlife area and birds held in captivity. Statistically significant (P<0.05) differences between populations were detected in geometric means calculated for gamma-BHC (lindane), alpha(cis)-chlordane and alpha-endosulfan. Five of the organochlorine contaminants displayed significant variations between concentrations detected in the clotted blood, organs and muscles excised from vulture carcasses. This includes residues of gamma-BHC, alpha-chlordane, dieldrin, beta-endosulfan and heptachlor epoxide. Values of the respective biocides measured in vulture samples were generally low in comparison to results documented for a number of avian species. Although no threat is posed by any of the organochloride pesticides, continual monitoring of especially breeding colonies is recommended. Furthermore, the suitability of African whitebacked vulture nestlings as basic bioindicators is highly advocated. PMID:11461840

  9. Adult vultures outperform juveniles in challenging thermal soaring conditions.

    PubMed

    Harel, Roi; Horvitz, Nir; Nathan, Ran

    2016-01-01

    Due to the potentially detrimental consequences of low performance in basic functional tasks, individuals are expected to improve performance with age and show the most marked changes during early stages of life. Soaring-gliding birds use rising-air columns (thermals) to reduce energy expenditure allocated to flight. We offer a framework to evaluate thermal soaring performance, and use GPS-tracking to study movements of Eurasian griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus). Because the location and intensity of thermals are variable, we hypothesized that soaring performance would improve with experience and predicted that the performance of inexperienced individuals (<2 months) would be inferior to that of experienced ones (>5 years). No differences were found in body characteristics, climb rates under low wind shear, and thermal selection, presumably due to vultures' tendency to forage in mixed-age groups. Adults, however, outperformed juveniles in their ability to adjust fine-scale movements under challenging conditions, as juveniles had lower climb rates under intermediate wind shear, particularly on the lee-side of thermal columns. Juveniles were also less efficient along the route both in terms of time and energy. The consequences of these handicaps are probably exacerbated if juveniles lag behind adults in finding and approaching food. PMID:27291590

  10. How cheap is soaring flight in raptors? A preliminary investigation in freely-flying vultures.

    PubMed

    Duriez, Olivier; Kato, Akiko; Tromp, Clara; Dell'Omo, Giacomo; Vyssotski, Alexei L; Sarrazin, François; Ropert-Coudert, Yan

    2014-01-01

    Measuring the costs of soaring, gliding and flapping flight in raptors is challenging, but essential for understanding their ecology. Among raptors, vultures are scavengers that have evolved highly efficient soaring-gliding flight techniques to minimize energy costs to find unpredictable food resources. Using electrocardiogram, GPS and accelerometer bio-loggers, we report the heart rate (HR) of captive griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus and G. himalayensis) trained for freely-flying. HR increased three-fold at take-off (characterized by prolonged flapping flight) and landing (>300 beats-per-minute, (bpm)) compared to baseline levels (80-100 bpm). However, within 10 minutes after the initial flapping phase, HR in soaring/gliding flight dropped to values similar to baseline levels, i.e. slightly lower than theoretically expected. However, the extremely rapid decrease in HR was unexpected, when compared with other marine gliders, such as albatrosses. Weather conditions influenced flight performance and HR was noticeably higher during cloudy compared to sunny conditions when prolonged soaring flight is made easier by thermal ascending air currents. Soaring as a cheap locomotory mode is a crucial adaptation for vultures who spend so long on the wing for wide-ranging movements to find food. PMID:24454760

  11. How Cheap Is Soaring Flight in Raptors? A Preliminary Investigation in Freely-Flying Vultures

    PubMed Central

    Duriez, Olivier; Kato, Akiko; Tromp, Clara; Dell'Omo, Giacomo; Vyssotski, Alexei L.; Sarrazin, François; Ropert-Coudert, Yan

    2014-01-01

    Measuring the costs of soaring, gliding and flapping flight in raptors is challenging, but essential for understanding their ecology. Among raptors, vultures are scavengers that have evolved highly efficient soaring-gliding flight techniques to minimize energy costs to find unpredictable food resources. Using electrocardiogram, GPS and accelerometer bio-loggers, we report the heart rate (HR) of captive griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus and G. himalayensis) trained for freely-flying. HR increased three-fold at take-off (characterized by prolonged flapping flight) and landing (>300 beats-per-minute, (bpm)) compared to baseline levels (80–100 bpm). However, within 10 minutes after the initial flapping phase, HR in soaring/gliding flight dropped to values similar to baseline levels, i.e. slightly lower than theoretically expected. However, the extremely rapid decrease in HR was unexpected, when compared with other marine gliders, such as albatrosses. Weather conditions influenced flight performance and HR was noticeably higher during cloudy compared to sunny conditions when prolonged soaring flight is made easier by thermal ascending air currents. Soaring as a cheap locomotory mode is a crucial adaptation for vultures who spend so long on the wing for wide-ranging movements to find food. PMID:24454760

  12. Adult vultures outperform juveniles in challenging thermal soaring conditions

    PubMed Central

    Harel, Roi; Horvitz, Nir; Nathan, Ran

    2016-01-01

    Due to the potentially detrimental consequences of low performance in basic functional tasks, individuals are expected to improve performance with age and show the most marked changes during early stages of life. Soaring-gliding birds use rising-air columns (thermals) to reduce energy expenditure allocated to flight. We offer a framework to evaluate thermal soaring performance, and use GPS-tracking to study movements of Eurasian griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus). Because the location and intensity of thermals are variable, we hypothesized that soaring performance would improve with experience and predicted that the performance of inexperienced individuals (<2 months) would be inferior to that of experienced ones (>5 years). No differences were found in body characteristics, climb rates under low wind shear, and thermal selection, presumably due to vultures’ tendency to forage in mixed-age groups. Adults, however, outperformed juveniles in their ability to adjust fine-scale movements under challenging conditions, as juveniles had lower climb rates under intermediate wind shear, particularly on the lee-side of thermal columns. Juveniles were also less efficient along the route both in terms of time and energy. The consequences of these handicaps are probably exacerbated if juveniles lag behind adults in finding and approaching food. PMID:27291590

  13. Hematozoa from Southern African vultures, with a description of Haemoproteus janovyi sp. n.

    PubMed

    Greiner, E C; Mundy, P J

    1979-02-01

    This study represents the first major survey of avian hematozoa from southern Africa and the only one dealing with blood parasites of vultures. Blood smears from 506 Rhodesian, Botswanan and South African vultures (Hooded, White-headed, Lappetfaced, Cape Griffon and Whitebacked Vultures) were examined for hematozoa. Haemoproteus janovyi sp. n. was observed in 35.2% of the vultures, Leucocytozoon toddi in 0.8%, Plasmodium fallax in 0.6%, Atoxoplasma sp. in 1.4% and microfilariae in 0.2%. Hematozoan prevalence increased with age of the vultures. Only 2 of 133 nestlings sampled during the dry season had patent parasitemias (L. toddi). Haemoproteid prevalence in immature vultures was depressed during the dry season, whereas it was stable throughout the year in adults. The only species which nests on cliffs (the Cape Griffon Vulture) did not harbor hematozoa whereas the other species which nest and roost in trees were infected with at least one hematozoan species. PMID:109605

  14. Isolation of mycoplasmas from a buzzard, falcons and vultures.

    PubMed

    Poveda, J B; Giebel, J; Kirchhoff, H; Fernandez, A

    1990-10-01

    Thirteen mycoplasmas were isolated from a peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus), two saker falcons (Falco cherrug), a buzzard (Buteo buteo), a black vulture (Aegypius monachus), and two griffon vultures (Gypsfuhus). Six of them could be identified: Mycoplasma gallinarum (three isolates), M. columborale (two isolates) and M. anatis (one isolate). The remaining seven isolates did not react with antisera against the known avian mycoplasma species in the indirect immunofluorescence and growth inhibition tests. They may represent new species. PMID:18679987

  15. Removing the Threat of Diclofenac to Critically Endangered Asian Vultures

    PubMed Central

    Swan, Gerry; Naidoo, Vinasan; Cuthbert, Richard; Pain, Deborah J; Swarup, Devendra; Prakash, Vibhu; Taggart, Mark; Bekker, Lizette; Das, Devojit; Diekmann, Jörg; Diekmann, Maria; Killian, Elmarié; Meharg, Andy; Patra, Ramesh Chandra; Saini, Mohini; Wolter, Kerri

    2006-01-01

    Veterinary use of the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drug diclofenac in South Asia has resulted in the collapse of populations of three vulture species of the genusGyps to the most severe category of global extinction risk. Vultures are exposed to diclofenac when scavenging on livestock treated with the drug shortly before death. Diclofenac causes kidney damage, increased serum uric acid concentrations, visceral gout, and death. Concern about this issue led the Indian Government to announce its intention to ban the veterinary use of diclofenac by September 2005. Implementation of a ban is still in progress late in 2005, and to facilitate this we sought potential alternative NSAIDs by obtaining information from captive bird collections worldwide. We found that the NSAID meloxicam had been administered to 35 captiveGyps vultures with no apparent ill effects. We then undertook a phased programme of safety testing of meloxicam on the African white-backed vultureGyps africanus, which we had previously established to be as susceptible to diclofenac poisoning as the endangered AsianGyps vultures. We estimated the likely maximum level of exposure (MLE) of wild vultures and dosed birds by gavage (oral administration) with increasing quantities of the drug until the likely MLE was exceeded in a sample of 40G. africanus. Subsequently, sixG. africanus were fed tissues from cattle which had been treated with a higher than standard veterinary course of meloxicam prior to death. In the final phase, ten Asian vultures of two of the endangered species(Gyps bengalensis,Gyps indicus) were dosed with meloxicam by gavage; five of them at more than the likely MLE dosage. All meloxicam-treated birds survived all treatments, and none suffered any obvious clinical effects. Serum uric acid concentrations remained within the normal limits throughout, and were significantly lower than those from birds treated with diclofenac in other studies. We conclude that meloxicam is of low

  16. Removing the threat of diclofenac to critically endangered Asian vultures.

    PubMed

    Swan, Gerry; Naidoo, Vinasan; Cuthbert, Richard; Green, Rhys E; Pain, Deborah J; Swarup, Devendra; Prakash, Vibhu; Taggart, Mark; Bekker, Lizette; Das, Devojit; Diekmann, Jörg; Diekmann, Maria; Killian, Elmarié; Meharg, Andy; Patra, Ramesh Chandra; Saini, Mohini; Wolter, Kerri

    2006-03-01

    Veterinary use of the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drug diclofenac in South Asia has resulted in the collapse of populations of three vulture species of the genus Gyps to the most severe category of global extinction risk. Vultures are exposed to diclofenac when scavenging on livestock treated with the drug shortly before death. Diclofenac causes kidney damage, increased serum uric acid concentrations, visceral gout, and death. Concern about this issue led the Indian Government to announce its intention to ban the veterinary use of diclofenac by September 2005. Implementation of a ban is still in progress late in 2005, and to facilitate this we sought potential alternative NSAIDs by obtaining information from captive bird collections worldwide. We found that the NSAID meloxicam had been administered to 35 captive Gyps vultures with no apparent ill effects. We then undertook a phased programme of safety testing of meloxicam on the African white-backed vulture Gyps africanus, which we had previously established to be as susceptible to diclofenac poisoning as the endangered Asian Gyps vultures. We estimated the likely maximum level of exposure (MLE) of wild vultures and dosed birds by gavage (oral administration) with increasing quantities of the drug until the likely MLE was exceeded in a sample of 40 G. africanus. Subsequently, six G. africanus were fed tissues from cattle which had been treated with a higher than standard veterinary course of meloxicam prior to death. In the final phase, ten Asian vultures of two of the endangered species (Gyps bengalensis, Gyps indicus) were dosed with meloxicam by gavage; five of them at more than the likely MLE dosage. All meloxicam-treated birds survived all treatments, and none suffered any obvious clinical effects. Serum uric acid concentrations remained within the normal limits throughout, and were significantly lower than those from birds treated with diclofenac in other studies. We conclude that meloxicam is of

  17. The population crash of the white-rumped vulture, and its struggle to recover

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Meteyer, Carol U.; Gilbert, Martin

    2011-01-01

    The white-rumped vulture Gyps bengalensis was once the most abundant bird of prey on the Indian sub-continent. This species easily adapted to life in urban settings; thriving as a keystone species that maintained an ecological balance between the living and the dead. Dead livestock comprised the bulk of the white-rumped vulture diet and was ultimately responsible for its catastrophic population crash. Within ten years of the first documented population declines more than 99% of the white-rumped vultures were lost. The white-rumped vulture was listed as critically endangered in 2000 and has since remained at high risk for extinction.

  18. Dropping dead: causes and consequences of vulture population declines worldwide.

    PubMed

    Ogada, Darcy L; Keesing, Felicia; Virani, Munir Z

    2012-02-01

    Vultures are nature's most successful scavengers, and they provide an array of ecological, economic, and cultural services. As the only known obligate scavengers, vultures are uniquely adapted to a scavenging lifestyle. Vultures' unique adaptations include soaring flight, keen eyesight, and extremely low pH levels in their stomachs. Presently, 14 of 23 (61%) vulture species worldwide are threatened with extinction, and the most rapid declines have occurred in the vulture-rich regions of Asia and Africa. The reasons for the population declines are varied, but poisoning or human persecution, or both, feature in the list of nearly every declining species. Deliberate poisoning of carnivores is likely the most widespread cause of vulture poisoning. In Asia, Gyps vultures have declined by >95% due to poisoning by the veterinary drug diclofenac, which was banned by regional governments in 2006. Human persecution of vultures has occurred for centuries, and shooting and deliberate poisoning are the most widely practiced activities. Ecological consequences of vulture declines include changes in community composition of scavengers at carcasses and an increased potential for disease transmission between mammalian scavengers at carcasses. There have been cultural and economic costs of vulture declines as well, particularly in Asia. In the wake of catastrophic vulture declines in Asia, regional governments, the international scientific and donor communities, and the media have given the crisis substantial attention. Even though the Asian vulture crisis focused attention on the plight of vultures worldwide, the situation for African vultures has received relatively little attention especially given the similar levels of population decline. While the Asian crisis has been largely linked to poisoning by diclofenac, vulture population declines in Africa have numerous causes, which have made conserving existing populations more difficult. And in Africa there has been little

  19. Vulture rescue and rehabilitation in South Africa: an urban perspective.

    PubMed

    Naidoo, V; Wolter, K; Espie, I; Kotze, A

    2011-03-01

    South Africa is home to 9 vulture species, of which 7 are endangered. While the cause of the population declines remains largely speculative, a vast amount of effort has been dedicated towards the protection of populations by ensuring sustainable and safe food sources for the various colonies. Limited focus was placed in the past on efforts related to the rescue and/or rehabilitation (R&R) of injured birds and the release of these birds back into the wild. This paper provides an overview of the causes, the impact and success of 3 organisations involved in R&R efforts of vultures in the Magaliesberg mountain range and surrounding areas over a period of 10 years. Study material included 162 Cape griffon (CGV) and 38 African white-backed (AWBV) vultures. Datasets include the number, sex and age of birds received, the reason the vultures were brought in for R&R, surgical interventions performed and outcomes of rescue efforts. The CGV dominated the rehabilitation attempts. Results further show that a large number of apparently healthy birds were presented for veterinary treatment. The R&R data clearly indicate that the major cause of injuries was birds colliding with overhead pylons, as a high number of soft tissue and skeletal injuries were observed. The study also shows that successful releases of rescued birds are possible. It is concluded that urbanisation has had a major negative impact on vultures around the Magaliesberg mountain range. PMID:21826834

  20. Naturally acquired antibodies to Bacillus anthracis protective antigen in vultures of southern Africa.

    PubMed

    Turnbull, P C B; Diekmann, M; Kilian, J W; Versfeld, W; De Vos, V; Arntzen, L; Wolter, K; Bartels, P; Kotze, A

    2008-06-01

    Sera from 19 wild caught vultures in northern Namibia and 15 (12 wild caught and three captive bred but with minimal histories) in North West Province, South Africa, were examined by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for antibodies to the Bacillus anthracis toxin protective antigen (PA). As assessed from the baseline established with a control group of ten captive reared vultures with well-documented histories, elevated titres were found in 12 of the 19 (63%) wild caught Namibian birds as compared with none of the 15 South African ones. There was a highly significant difference between the Namibian group as a whole and the other groups (P < 0.001) and no significant difference between the South African and control groups (P > 0.05). Numbers in the Namibian group were too small to determine any significances in species-, sex- or age-related differences within the raw data showing elevated titres in four out of six Cape Vultures, Gyps coprotheres, six out of ten White-backed Vultures, Gyps africanus, and one out of three Lappet-faced Vultures, Aegypius tracheliotus, or in five of six males versus three of seven females, and ten of 15 adults versus one of four juveniles. The results are in line with the available data on the incidence of anthrax in northern Namibia and South Africa and the likely contact of the vultures tested with anthrax carcasses. It is not known whether elevated titre indicates infection per se in vultures or absorption of incompletely digested epitopes of the toxin or both. The results are discussed in relation to distances travelled by vultures as determined by new tracking techniques, how serology can reveal anthrax activity in an area and the issue of the role of vultures in transmission of anthrax. PMID:18788202

  1. Diclofenac residues as the cause of vulture population decline in Pakistan

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Oaks, J.L.; Gilbert, M.; Virani, M.Z.; Watson, R.T.; Meteyer, C.U.; Rideout, B.A.; Shivaprasad, H.L.; Ahmed, S.; Chaudhry, M.J.I.; Arshad, M.; Mahmood, S.; Ali, A.; Khan, A.A.

    2004-01-01

    The Oriental white-backed vulture (OWBV; Gyps bengalensis) was once one of the most common raptors in the Indian subcontinent. A population decline of >95%, starting in the 1990s, was first noted at Keoladeo National Park, India. Since then, catastrophic declines, also involving Gyps indicus and Gyps tenuirostris, have continued to be reported across the subcontinent. Consequently these vultures are now listed as critically endangered by BirdLife International. In 2000, the Peregrine Fund initiated its Asian Vulture Crisis Project with the Ornithological Society of Pakistan, establishing study sites at 16 OWBV colonies in the Kasur, Khanewal and Muzaffargarha??Layyah Districts of Pakistan to measure mortality at over 2,400 active nest sites5. Between 2000 and 2003, high annual adult and subadult mortality (5a??86%) and resulting population declines (34a??95%) (ref. 5 and M.G., manuscript in preparation) were associated with renal failure and visceral gout. Here, we provide results that directly correlate residues of the anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac with renal failure. Diclofenac residues and renal disease were reproduced experimentally in OWBVs by direct oral exposure and through feeding vultures diclofenac-treated livestock. We propose that residues of veterinary diclofenac are responsible for the OWBV decline.

  2. Apparent tolerance of turkey vultures (Cathartes aura) to the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rattner, B.A.; Whitehead, M.A.; Gasper, G.; Meteyer, C.U.; Link, W.A.; Taggart, M.A.; Meharg, A.A.; Pattee, O.H.; Pain, D.J.

    2008-01-01

    The nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac is extremely toxic to Old World Gyps vultures (median lethal dose 0.1?0.2 mg/kg), evoking visceral gout, renal necrosis, and mortality within a few days of exposure. Unintentional secondary poisoning of vultures that fed upon carcasses of diclofenac-treated livestock decimated populations in the Indian subcontinent. Because of the widespread use of diclofenac and other cyclooxygenase-2 inhibiting drugs, a toxicological study was undertaken in turkey vultures (Cathartes aura) as an initial step in examining sensitivity of New World scavenging birds. Two trials were conducted entailing oral gavage of diclofenac at doses ranging from 0.08 to 25 mg/kg body weight. Birds were observed for 7 d, blood samples were collected for plasma chemistry (predose and 12, 24, and 48 h and 7 d postdose), and select individuals were necropsied. Diclofenac failed to evoke overt signs of toxicity, visceral gout, renal necrosis, or elevate plasma uric acid at concentrations greater than 100 times the estimated median lethal dose reported for Gyps vultures. For turkey vultures receiving 8 or 25 mg/kg, the plasma half-life of diclofenac was estimated to be 6 h, and it was apparently cleared after several days as no residues were detectable in liver or kidney at necropsy. Differential sensitivity among avian species is a hallmark of cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors, and despite the tolerance of turkey vultures to diclofenac, additional studies in related scavenging species seem warranted.

  3. Metabolism of aceclofenac in cattle to vulture-killing diclofenac.

    PubMed

    Galligan, T H; Taggart, M A; Cuthbert, R J; Svobodova, D; Chipangura, J; Alderson, D; Prakash, V M; Naidoo, V

    2016-10-01

    The nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) diclofenac is highly toxic to Gyps vultures, and its recent widespread use in South Asia caused catastrophic declines in at least 3 scavenging raptors. The manufacture of veterinary formulations of diclofenac has since been banned across the region with mixed success. However, at least 12 other NSAIDs are available for veterinary use in South Asia. Aceclofenac is one of these compounds, and it is known to metabolize into diclofenac in some mammal species. The metabolic pathway of aceclofenac in cattle, the primary food of vultures in South Asia, is unknown. We gave 6 cattle the recommended dose of aceclofenac (2 mg/kg), collected blood thereafter at intervals for up to 12 h, and used liquid chromatography with mass spectrometry in a pharmacokinetic analysis of aceclofenac and diclofenac in the plasma. Nearly all the aceclofenac administered to the cattle was very rapidly metabolized into diclofenac. At 2 h, half the aceclofenac had been converted into diclofenac, and at 12 h four-fifths of the aceclofenac had been converted into diclofenac. Therefore, administering aceclofenac to livestock poses the same risk to vultures as administering diclofenac to livestock. This, coupled with the risk that aceclofenac may replace diclofenac in the veterinary market, points to the need for an immediate ban on all aceclofenac formulations that can be used to treat livestock. Without such a ban, the recovery of vultures across South Asia will not be successful. PMID:26931376

  4. Turkey vulture surveys in Cuba

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wotzkow, C.; Wiley, J.W.

    1988-01-01

    Turkey Vultures (Cathartes aura), were surveyed monthly in Cuba from March 1982-January 1983. A total of 25371 vultures were tallied in 7186 km (3.5 vultures/transect km) of roadside counting along main highways leading from the city of La Habana (northwestern Cuba) to the city of Las Tunas (southeast). Numbers of vultures counted declined substantially beyond 200 m from the transect road. Density of vultures observed within 200 m of the road along the transect route was 0.06/ha. Highest counts were obtained in March, April and June. Turkey Vulture flying activity was greatest during the periods 0900-1200 H and 1400-1700 H.

  5. Factors influencing foraging search efficiency: why do scarce lappet-faced vultures outperform ubiquitous white-backed vultures?

    PubMed

    Spiegel, Orr; Getz, Wayne M; Nathan, Ran

    2013-05-01

    The search phase is a critical component of foraging behavior, affecting interspecific competition and community dynamics. Nevertheless, factors determining interspecific variation in search efficiency are still poorly understood. We studied differences in search efficiency between the lappet-faced vulture (Torgos tracheliotus; LFV) and the white-backed vulture (Gyps africanus; WBV) foraging on spatiotemporally unpredictable carcasses in Etosha National Park, Namibia. We used experimental food supply and high-resolution GPS tracking of free-ranging vultures to quantify search efficiency and elucidate the factors underlying the observed interspecific differences using a biased correlated random walk simulation model bootstrapped with the GPS tracking data. We found that LFV's search efficiency was higher than WBV's in both first-to-find, first-to-land, and per-individual-finding rate measures. Modifying species-specific traits in the simulation model allows us to assess the relative role of each factor in LFV's higher efficiency. Interspecific differences in morphology (through the effect on perceptual range and motion ability) and searchers' spatial dispersion (due to different roost arrangements) are in correspondence with the empirically observed advantage of LFV over WBV searchers, whereas differences in other aspects of the movement patterns appear to play a minor role. Our results provide mechanistic explanations for interspecific variation in search efficiency for species using similar resources and foraging modes. PMID:23594555

  6. Assessing species habitat using Google Street View: a case study of cliff-nesting vultures.

    PubMed

    Olea, Pedro P; Mateo-Tomás, Patricia

    2013-01-01

    The assessment of a species' habitat is a crucial issue in ecology and conservation. While the collection of habitat data has been boosted by the availability of remote sensing technologies, certain habitat types have yet to be collected through costly, on-ground surveys, limiting study over large areas. Cliffs are ecosystems that provide habitat for a rich biodiversity, especially raptors. Because of their principally vertical structure, however, cliffs are not easy to study by remote sensing technologies, posing a challenge for many researches and managers working with cliff-related biodiversity. We explore the feasibility of Google Street View, a freely available on-line tool, to remotely identify and assess the nesting habitat of two cliff-nesting vultures (the griffon vulture and the globally endangered Egyptian vulture) in northwestern Spain. Two main usefulness of Google Street View to ecologists and conservation biologists were evaluated: i) remotely identifying a species' potential habitat and ii) extracting fine-scale habitat information. Google Street View imagery covered 49% (1,907 km) of the roads of our study area (7,000 km²). The potential visibility covered by on-ground surveys was significantly greater (mean: 97.4%) than that of Google Street View (48.1%). However, incorporating Google Street View to the vulture's habitat survey would save, on average, 36% in time and 49.5% in funds with respect to the on-ground survey only. The ability of Google Street View to identify cliffs (overall accuracy = 100%) outperformed the classification maps derived from digital elevation models (DEMs) (62-95%). Nonetheless, high-performance DEM maps may be useful to compensate Google Street View coverage limitations. Through Google Street View we could examine 66% of the vultures' nesting-cliffs existing in the study area (n = 148): 64% from griffon vultures and 65% from Egyptian vultures. It also allowed us the extraction of fine-scale features of cliffs

  7. Assessing Species Habitat Using Google Street View: A Case Study of Cliff-Nesting Vultures

    PubMed Central

    Olea, Pedro P.; Mateo-Tomás, Patricia

    2013-01-01

    The assessment of a species’ habitat is a crucial issue in ecology and conservation. While the collection of habitat data has been boosted by the availability of remote sensing technologies, certain habitat types have yet to be collected through costly, on-ground surveys, limiting study over large areas. Cliffs are ecosystems that provide habitat for a rich biodiversity, especially raptors. Because of their principally vertical structure, however, cliffs are not easy to study by remote sensing technologies, posing a challenge for many researches and managers working with cliff-related biodiversity. We explore the feasibility of Google Street View, a freely available on-line tool, to remotely identify and assess the nesting habitat of two cliff-nesting vultures (the griffon vulture and the globally endangered Egyptian vulture) in northwestern Spain. Two main usefulness of Google Street View to ecologists and conservation biologists were evaluated: i) remotely identifying a species’ potential habitat and ii) extracting fine-scale habitat information. Google Street View imagery covered 49% (1,907 km) of the roads of our study area (7,000 km2). The potential visibility covered by on-ground surveys was significantly greater (mean: 97.4%) than that of Google Street View (48.1%). However, incorporating Google Street View to the vulture’s habitat survey would save, on average, 36% in time and 49.5% in funds with respect to the on-ground survey only. The ability of Google Street View to identify cliffs (overall accuracy = 100%) outperformed the classification maps derived from digital elevation models (DEMs) (62–95%). Nonetheless, high-performance DEM maps may be useful to compensate Google Street View coverage limitations. Through Google Street View we could examine 66% of the vultures’ nesting-cliffs existing in the study area (n = 148): 64% from griffon vultures and 65% from Egyptian vultures. It also allowed us the extraction of fine-scale features of

  8. The microbiome of New World vultures.

    PubMed

    Roggenbuck, Michael; Bærholm Schnell, Ida; Blom, Nikolaj; Bælum, Jacob; Bertelsen, Mads Frost; Sicheritz-Pontén, Thomas; Pontén, Thomas Sicheritz; Sørensen, Søren Johannes; Gilbert, M Thomas P; Graves, Gary R; Hansen, Lars H

    2014-01-01

    Vultures are scavengers that fill a key ecosystem niche, in which they have evolved a remarkable tolerance to bacterial toxins in decaying meat. Here we report the first deep metagenomic analysis of the vulture microbiome. Through face and gut comparisons of 50 vultures representing two species, we demonstrate a remarkably conserved low diversity of gut microbial flora. The gut samples contained an average of 76 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) per specimen, compared with 528 OTUs on the facial skin. Clostridia and Fusobacteria, widely pathogenic to other vertebrates, dominate the vulture's gut microbiota. We reveal a likely faecal-oral-gut route for their origin. DNA of prey species detectable on facial swabs was completely degraded in the gut samples from most vultures, suggesting that the gastrointestinal tracts of vultures are extremely selective. Our findings show a strong adaption of vultures and their bacteria to their food source, exemplifying a specialized host-microbial alliance. PMID:25423494

  9. Levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, polychlorinated biphenyls, and organochlorine pesticides in various tissues of white-backed vulture in India.

    PubMed

    Dhananjayan, V; Muralidharan, S

    2013-01-01

    This study provides information on the current status of contamination by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) in the tissues of endangered White-backed Vulture Gyps bengalensis in India. Chemical analyses revealed detectable amounts of PAHs, PCBs, and OCPs. Concentration ranges of ∑ PAHs, ∑ PCBs, and ∑ OCPs in tissues were 60-2037 ng/g, 30-5790 ng/g, and 3.2-5836 ng/g wet weight, respectively. 1,1-Dichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethylene (p,p'-DDE) concentrations ranged from below detectable level to 599 ng/g wet weight, representing more than 90% of the total dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT). Among the various OCPs analyzed, p,p'-DDE was detected most frequently. All the contaminants recorded show higher accumulation in liver than other tissues. Levels of contaminants measured in the tissues of vulture are comparable with the levels documented in a number of avian species and are lower than those reported to have caused deleterious effects. Although no threat is expected from the current level of contamination, the presence of varying levels of contaminants and their additive or synergistic toxicity is a cause of concern to vultures. Values reported in this study can serve as guideline for future research. PMID:24288666

  10. Levels of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons, Polychlorinated Biphenyls, and Organochlorine Pesticides in Various Tissues of White-Backed Vulture in India

    PubMed Central

    Dhananjayan, V.; Muralidharan, S.

    2013-01-01

    This study provides information on the current status of contamination by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) in the tissues of endangered White-backed Vulture Gyps bengalensis in India. Chemical analyses revealed detectable amounts of PAHs, PCBs, and OCPs. Concentration ranges of ∑PAHs, ∑PCBs, and ∑OCPs in tissues were 60–2037 ng/g, 30–5790 ng/g, and 3.2–5836 ng/g wet weight, respectively. 1,1-Dichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethylene (p,p′-DDE) concentrations ranged from below detectable level to 599 ng/g wet weight, representing more than 90% of the total dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT). Among the various OCPs analyzed, p,p′-DDE was detected most frequently. All the contaminants recorded show higher accumulation in liver than other tissues. Levels of contaminants measured in the tissues of vulture are comparable with the levels documented in a number of avian species and are lower than those reported to have caused deleterious effects. Although no threat is expected from the current level of contamination, the presence of varying levels of contaminants and their additive or synergistic toxicity is a cause of concern to vultures. Values reported in this study can serve as guideline for future research. PMID:24288666

  11. The Computational Electromagnetic Modelling of the CH-146 Griffon Helicopter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rogers, Sarah Alicia

    Selecting the optimal location for a new antenna on an aircraft is a difficult task. Given the limited space that is available on the fuselage, there maybe only a few available locations from which to choose. The performance of a new antenna is often hindered by nearby structures on the aircraft, which may block or diffract the antenna's desired radiation. In addition, given that there are many other antennas and electronic systems onboard aircraft, potential interference produced by the new antenna must also be considered. The choice of the best antenna location must therefore be based on the careful study of the electromagnetic performance of the antenna at each location. Given that it is unlikely that a new antenna can be physically tested in various locations on an operational aircraft, recourse must be made to computer simulation. In this work, the selection of an appropriate location for a new satellite communication antenna is considered for the CH-146 Griffon helicopter. To this end, a new computer electromagnetic model of the CH-146 Griffon helicopter was created, validated, and used to characterize the helicopter's electromagnetic environment. A commercial computational software called FEKO was subsequently used to calculate the radiation patterns, near-fields, and surface current distribution generated on the helicopter model by a broad-patterned antenna installed at three different locations on the aircraft. A subsequent analysis of the calculated results was then used to determine the best of the three possible placements of the proposed satellite communications antenna.

  12. Validity of Bartram's Painted Vulture (Aves: Cathartidae).

    PubMed

    Snyder, Noel F R; Fry, Joel T

    2013-01-01

    William Bartram described the Painted Vulture (Vultur sacra) as a new species in his 1791 book on travels in Florida and other southeastern states. However, no specimen of this bird survives, and it has not been reported by any subsequent ornithologist. Bartram's detailed description is not presently endorsed by the American Ornithologists' Union and has been widely regarded as a myth, a misdescribed King Vulture Sarcoramphus papa (Linnaeus), a misdescribed Northern Caracara Caracara cheriway (Jacquin), or a garbled mixture of species. In fact, his description bears almost no resemblance to a Northern Caracara, but it does match the King Vulture in all important respects except tail color (which is uniform dark brown in all ages and sexes of King Vultures but was white with a dark brown or black tip in Bartram's description). Most 20th century ornithologists commenting on Bartram's bird have been reluctant to accept his description because of the tail-color discrepancy. Only McAtee (1942) concluded that his description could be fully accurate as written, indicating a bird closely related to, but different from, a typical King Vulture. Paralleling Bartram's description is an apparently independent account and painting of a vulture of uncertain geographic origin by Eleazar Albin (1734). Details of Albin's description, including tail color, are very similar to those of Bartram's description. The only discrepancies are minor differences in color of softparts and tail that seem explicable as intraspecific variation. Available evidence suggests that Bartram knew nothing of Albin's description, and if so, Albin's bird provides quite persuasive support for the validity of Bartram's bird. Equally important, none of the arguments offered historically against the validity of the Painted Vulture is persuasive when examined closely. Together, these and other factors make a strong case for acceptance of Bartram's Painted Vulture as a historic resident of northern Florida and

  13. Turkey vulture and California condor

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pattee, O.H.; Wilbur, S.R.

    1989-01-01

    Populations of turkey vultures in the western states appear stable, with no evidence of recent significant changes in distribution. Turkey vultures occupy a variety of habitats, nest in diverse situations and utilize a wide variety of carrion. Consequently, no particular limiting factor is likely to have a major effect on the total population. California condor numbers, in contrast, have continued to decline. With the capture of the last wild bird in 1987, the species has been extirpated from the wild. Reestablishment will depend on production and introduction of captive-reared birds, hopefully within the next 10 years. In the 18th century, condors inhabited areas along the Pacific coast from British Columbia to Baja California. Since 1950, the range has been restricted to a six county area adjacent to the southern San Joaquin Valley of California. Within this area, there appears to be no shortage of suitable nest sites; all recently used nest sites are within federally-controlled lands. Suitable foraging grounds have continued to diminish and are now largely limited to private rangelands and some Bureau of Land Management rangelands within the foothills of the San Joaquin Valley. Only these areas continue to supply the large mammal carcasses that the California condor needs for survival. The habitat of the condor is subject to a variety of land use practices and development pressures. Excessive mortality, coupled with low reproductive potential, continues to threaten the recovery of the species. Development of management practices to reduce mortality, particularly those that are contaminant-related, and of a preserve design to insure adequate habitat for the reintroduced population are still necessary for eventual recovery of the species.

  14. Case Report Associated with Aspergillosis and Hepatitis E Virus Coinfection in Himalayan Griffons

    PubMed Central

    Li, Heng; Zhu, Rining; She, Ruiping; Zhang, Chenglin; Shi, Ruihan; Li, Wei; Du, Fang; Wu, Qiaoxing; Hu, Fengjiao; Zhang, Yang; Soomro, Majid Hussain; Zheng, Changming

    2015-01-01

    This study involved a death which occurred in four Himalayan griffons housed in Beijing zoo, China. Based on pathogen identification and the pathological changes observed, we did characterize the fungi and Hepatitis E virus (HEV) in four dead Himalayan griffons. Pathological changes were severe. Membranous-like material was observed on the surface of the internal organs. Spleen was necrotic. Focal lymphocyte infiltration in the liver and many sunflower-like fungi nodules were evident in the tissues, especially in the kidney. PCR was used to identify the pathogen. Based on the 18SrRNA genomic sequence of known fungi, the results confirmed that all four dead Himalayan griffons were infected with Aspergillus. At the same time the detection of HEV also showed positive results. To the best of our knowledge, this work appears to be the first report of concurrent presence of Aspergillosis and Hepatitis E virus in rare avian species. PMID:26605326

  15. Bird sky networks: how do avian scavengers use social information to find carrion?

    PubMed

    Cortés-Avizanda, Ainara; Jovani, Roger; Donázar, José Antonio; Grimm, Volker

    2014-07-01

    The relative contribution of personal and social information to explain individual and collective behavior in different species and contexts is an open question in animal ecology. In particular, there is a major lack of studies combining theoretical and empirical approaches to test the relative relevance of different hypothesized individual behaviors to predict empirical collective patterns. We used an individual-based model to confront three hypotheses about the information transfer between social scavengers (Griffon Vultures, Gyps fulvus) when searching for carrion: (1) Vultures only use personal information during foraging ("nonsocial" hypothesis); (2) they create long chains of vultures by following both other vultures that are flying towards carcasses and vultures that are following other vultures that are flying towards carcasses ("chains of vultures" hypothesis); and (3) vultures are only attracted by other vultures that are sinking vertically to a carcass ("local enhancement" hypothesis). The chains of vultures hypothesis has been used in existing models, but never been confronted with field data. Testing is important, though, because these hypotheses could have different management implications. The model was parameterized to mimic the behavior and the densities of both Griffon Vultures and carcasses in a 10,000-km2 study area in northeastern Spain. We compared the number of vultures attending simulated carcasses with those attending 25 continuously monitored experimental carcasses in the field. Social hypotheses outperformed the nonsocial hypothesis. The chains of vultures hypothesis overestimated the number of vultures feeding on carcasses; the local enhancement hypothesis fitted closely to the empirical data. Supported by our results, we discuss mechanistic and adaptive considerations that reveal that local enhancement may be the key social mechanism behind collective foraging in this and likely other avian scavengers and/or social birds. It also

  16. Movement ecology of migration in turkey vultures

    PubMed Central

    Mandel, J. T.; Bildstein, K. L.; Bohrer, G.; Winkler, D. W.

    2008-01-01

    We develop individual-based movement ecology models (MEM) to explore turkey vulture (Cathartes aura) migration decisions at both hourly and daily scales. Vulture movements in 10 migration events were recorded with satellite-reporting GPS sensors, and flight behavior was observed visually, aided by on-the-ground VHF radio-tracking. We used the North American Regional Reanalysis dataset to obtain values for wind speed, turbulent kinetic energy (TKE), and cloud height and used a digital elevation model for a measure of terrain ruggedness. A turkey vulture fitted with a heart-rate logger during 124 h of flight during 38 contiguous days showed only a small increase in mean heart rate as distance traveled per day increased, which suggests that, unlike flapping, soaring flight does not lead to greatly increased metabolic costs. Data from 10 migrations for 724 hourly segments and 152 daily segments showed that vultures depended heavily upon high levels of TKE in the atmospheric boundary layer to increase flight distances and maintain preferred bearings at both hourly and daily scales. We suggest how the MEM can be extended to other spatial and temporal scales of avian migration. Our success in relating model-derived atmospheric variables to migration indicates the potential of using regional reanalysis data, as here, and potentially other regional, higher-resolution, atmospheric models in predicting changing movement patterns of soaring birds under various scenarios of climate and land use change. PMID:19060195

  17. Quantitative Analysis of Chiari-Like Malformation and Syringomyelia in the Griffon Bruxellois Dog

    PubMed Central

    Knowler, Susan P.; McFadyen, Angus K.; Freeman, Courtenay; Kent, Marc; Platt, Simon R.; Kibar, Zoha; Rusbridge, Clare

    2014-01-01

    This study aimed to develop a system of quantitative analysis of canine Chiari-like malformation and syringomyelia on variable quality MRI. We made a series of measurements from magnetic resonance DICOM images from Griffon Bruxellois dogs with and without Chiari-like malformation and syringomyelia and identified several significant variables. We found that in the Griffon Bruxellois dog, Chiari-like malformation is characterized by an apparent shortening of the entire cranial base and possibly by increased proximity of the atlas to the occiput. As a compensatory change, there appears to be an increased height of the rostral cranial cavity with lengthening of the dorsal cranial vault and considerable reorganization of the brain parenchyma including ventral deviation of the olfactory bulbs and rostral invagination of the cerebellum under the occipital lobes. PMID:24533070

  18. The Pied Crow (Corvus albus) is insensitive to diclofenac at concentrations present in carrion.

    PubMed

    Naidoo, Vinny; Mompati, Kefiloe Feliciity; Duncan, Neil; Taggart, Mark Anthony

    2011-10-01

    Diclofenac, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), kills vultures (Gyps spp.) that consume tainted carcasses. As a result, vulture populations in India, Nepal, and Pakistan have been devastated. Studies on meloxicam and ketoprofen demonstrated that the toxicity of the NSAIDs is unpredictable, thereby necessitating individual testing of all available NSAIDs. Because it is no longer practical to use vultures for toxicity testing, we evaluated the Pied Crow (Corvus albus) as a model. Pied Crows (n=6) were exposed to a dose of 0.8 and 10 mg/kg of diclofenac, with no signs of toxicity, and a rapid half-life of elimination. Using primary renal cell and hepatocyte cultures, a high tolerance was demonstrated at the cellular level. Meta-analysis of pharmacokinetic data for the Domestic Chicken (Gallus gallus) and the African White-backed (Gyps africanus), Cape Griffon (Gyps coprotheres), and Turkey Vultures (Cathartes aura) showed a trend toward toxicity when the half-life of elimination increased. We conclude that the crow is not susceptible to diclofenac and, more important, that toxicity in the Gyps species is probably related to zero-order metabolism. PMID:22102664

  19. Magma evolution at mount vulture (Southern Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Fino, M.; La Volpe, L.; Piccarreta, G.

    1982-06-01

    The Vulture complex is made up of foiditic, tephritic, phonolitic-trachytic and phonolitic products. New rock analyses have been performed in order to ascertain whether the various rock types derive from a unique parental magma and, if so, to define its nature. The data presented support that the Vulture suite originated from a foiditic melt which had differentiated at low pressures. The main process determining the foidite → → tephrite → phonolitic trachyte evolution seems to be the crystal fractionation of mainly clinopyroxenes, and opaques, with the contribution of plagioclases and haüyne too in the tephrite → trachyte evolution. Additionary role must have been played by a mixing of melts at different evolution stages occurred in a shallow seated magma chamber.

  20. Experimental lead poisoning in Turkey Vultures, Cathartes aura

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Carpenter, J.W.; Pattee, O.H.; Fritts, S.H.; Rattner, B.A.; Wiemeyer, Stanley N.; Royle, J. Andrew; Smith, M.R.

    2003-01-01

    Lead-induced mortality appears to have been a major factor in the decline of the California condor, Gymnogyps californianus. We orally dosed turkey vultures (Cathartes aura) with BB-sized lead shot from January 1988 through July 1988 to determine physiological response (delta-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase inhibition, erythrocyte protoporphyrin levels, anemia), diagnostic tissue lead concentrations (blood, liver, and kidney), and comparative sensitivity of this species. Two turkey vultures died and two became so intoxicated they were euthanized. Overall, responses of measured parameters were comparable to other species exposed to lead although there was considerable individual variation. Survival time (143-211 days), even with the large number of shot and constant redosing, was much longer than reported for other species of birds, suggesting considerable tolerance by turkey vultures to the deleterious effects of lead ingestion. Based on these observations, turkey vultures appear to be poor models for assessing the risk of lead poisoning to California condors or predicting their physiological response.

  1. Msb3/Gyp3 GAP selectively opposes Rab5 signaling at endolysosomal organelles

    PubMed Central

    Nickerson, Daniel P.; Chapin, Hannah C.; Milnes, Joshua; Merz, Alexey J.

    2014-01-01

    Traffic through endosomes and lysosomes is controlled by small G-proteins of the Rab5 and Rab7 families. Like humans, Saccharomyces cerevisiae has three Rab5s (Vps21, Ypt52, and Ypt53), and one Rab7 (Ypt7). Here, we elucidate the functional roles and regulation of the yeast Rab5s. Using GFP-tagged cargoes, a novel quantitative multivesicular body (MVB) sorting assay, and electron microscopy, we show that MVB biogenesis and cargo sorting are severely impaired in vps21Δ ypt52Δ double mutants. Ypt53, the third Rab5 paralog, is hardly expressed during normal growth but its transcription is strongly induced by cellular stress through the calcineurin-Crz1 pathway. The requirement for Rab5 activity in stress tolerance facilitated identification of Msb3/Gyp3 as the principal Rab5 GAP (GTPase accelerating protein), and in vitro GAP assays verified that Vps21 is a preferred Gyp3 target. Finally, we demonstrate that Gyp3 spatially restricts active Vps21 to intermediate endosomal compartments by preventing Vps21 accumulation on lysosomal vacuoles. Gyp3 therefore operates as a compartmental insulator that enforces the boundary between penultimate and terminal compartments of the endolysosomal pathway. PMID:22748138

  2. Vultures acquire information on carcass location from scavenging eagles.

    PubMed

    Kane, Adam; Jackson, Andrew L; Ogada, Darcy L; Monadjem, Ara; McNally, Luke

    2014-10-22

    Vultures are recognized as the scroungers of the natural world, owing to their ecological role as obligate scavengers. While it is well known that vultures use intraspecific social information as they forage, the possibility of inter-guild social information transfer and the resulting multi-species social dilemmas has not been explored. Here, we use data on arrival times at carcasses to show that such social information transfer occurs, with raptors acting as producers of information and vultures acting as scroungers of information. We develop a game-theoretic model to show that competitive asymmetry, whereby vultures dominate raptors at carcasses, predicts this evolutionary outcome. We support this theoretical prediction using empirical data from competitive interactions at carcasses. Finally, we use an individual-based model to show that these producer-scrounger dynamics lead to vultures being vulnerable to declines in raptor populations. Our results show that social information transfer can lead to important non-trophic interactions among species and highlight important potential links among social evolution, community ecology and conservation biology. With vulture populations suffering global declines, our study underscores the importance of ecosystem-based management for these endangered keystone species. PMID:25209935

  3. Vultures acquire information on carcass location from scavenging eagles

    PubMed Central

    Kane, Adam; Jackson, Andrew L.; Ogada, Darcy L.; Monadjem, Ara; McNally, Luke

    2014-01-01

    Vultures are recognized as the scroungers of the natural world, owing to their ecological role as obligate scavengers. While it is well known that vultures use intraspecific social information as they forage, the possibility of inter-guild social information transfer and the resulting multi-species social dilemmas has not been explored. Here, we use data on arrival times at carcasses to show that such social information transfer occurs, with raptors acting as producers of information and vultures acting as scroungers of information. We develop a game-theoretic model to show that competitive asymmetry, whereby vultures dominate raptors at carcasses, predicts this evolutionary outcome. We support this theoretical prediction using empirical data from competitive interactions at carcasses. Finally, we use an individual-based model to show that these producer–scrounger dynamics lead to vultures being vulnerable to declines in raptor populations. Our results show that social information transfer can lead to important non-trophic interactions among species and highlight important potential links among social evolution, community ecology and conservation biology. With vulture populations suffering global declines, our study underscores the importance of ecosystem-based management for these endangered keystone species. PMID:25209935

  4. Interdependence of the Ypt/RabGAP Gyp5p and Gyl1p for recruitment to the sites of polarized growth.

    PubMed

    Chesneau, Laurent; Prigent, Magali; Boy-Marcotte, Emmanuelle; Daraspe, Jean; Fortier, Guillaume; Jacquet, Michel; Verbavatz, Jean-Marc; Cuif, Marie-Hélène

    2008-04-01

    Gyp5p and Gyl1p are two members of the Ypt/Rab guanosine triphosphatases-activating proteins involved in the control of polarized exocytosis in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We had previously shown that Gyp5p and Gyl1p colocalize at the sites of polarized growth and belong to the same complex in subcellular fractions enriched in plasma membrane or secretory vesicles. Here, we investigate the interaction between Gyp5p and Gyl1p as well as the mechanism of their localization to the sites of polarized growth. We show that purified recombinant Gyp5p and Gyl1p interact directly in vitro. In vivo, both Gyp5p and Gyl1p are mutually required to concentrate at the sites of polarized growth. Moreover, the localization of Gyp5p and Gyl1p to the sites of polarized growth requires the formins Bni1p and Bnr1p and depends on actin cables. We show that, in a sec6-4 mutant, blocking secretion leads to coaccumulation of Gyp5p and Gyl1p, together with Sec4p. Electron microscopy experiments demonstrate that Gyp5p is associated with secretory vesicles. Altogether, our results indicate that both Gyp5p and Gyl1p access the sites of polarized growth by transport on secretory vesicles. Two polarisome components, Spa2p and Bud6p, are involved in maintaining Gyp5p and Gyl1p colocalized at the sites of polarized growth. PMID:18182006

  5. Historic and recent nesting records of Turkey Vultures in South Dakota

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Igl, Lawrence D.; Chepulis, Brian J.; McLean, Kyle E.

    2014-01-01

    Present-day vultures are generally classified into two distinct groups: Old World vultures and new World vultures. The two groups share morphological and behavioral characters (e.g. scavenger diet, energy-efficient soaring, mostly featherless head), but historically the two groups were considered phylogenetically distant with long and independent histories (Rich 198., Wink 1995, Zhang et al. 2012). Old World vultures occur in the family Accipitridae and are closely related to hawks and eagles. New World Vultures occur in the family Cathartidae but their taxonomic placement has been controversial. New World vultures were previously allied with storks (Ciconiidae) but were usually placed within the order Falconiformes. Recent phylogenomic analyses using DNA sequencing suggest that new World vultures show no affinity with storks and support placement of New World vultures with other landbirds (in the order Accipitriformes, near Accipitridae) rather than with waterbirds (Hackett et al. 2008). Old World vultures presently are confined to Europe, Asia, and Africa, and New World vultures presently occur in North and South America.

  6. Mapping the spatio-temporal risk of lead exposure in apex species for more effective mitigation.

    PubMed

    Mateo-Tomás, Patricia; Olea, Pedro P; Jiménez-Moreno, María; Camarero, Pablo R; Sánchez-Barbudo, Inés S; Rodríguez Martín-Doimeadios, Rosa C; Mateo, Rafael

    2016-07-27

    Effective mitigation of the risks posed by environmental contaminants for ecosystem integrity and human health requires knowing their sources and spatio-temporal distribution. We analysed the exposure to lead (Pb) in griffon vulture Gyps fulvus-an apex species valuable as biomonitoring sentinel. We determined vultures' lead exposure and its main sources by combining isotope signatures and modelling analyses of 691 bird blood samples collected over 5 years. We made yearlong spatially explicit predictions of the species risk of lead exposure. Our results highlight elevated lead exposure of griffon vultures (i.e. 44.9% of the studied population, approximately 15% of the European, showed lead blood levels more than 200 ng ml(-1)) partly owing to environmental lead (e.g. geological sources). These exposures to environmental lead of geological sources increased in those vultures exposed to point sources (e.g. lead-based ammunition). These spatial models and pollutant risk maps are powerful tools that identify areas of wildlife exposure to potentially harmful sources of lead that could affect ecosystem and human health. PMID:27466455

  7. Active Site Metal Occupancy and Cyclic Di-GMP Phosphodiesterase Activity of Thermotoga maritima HD-GYP.

    PubMed

    Miner, Kyle D; Kurtz, Donald M

    2016-02-16

    HD-GYPs make up a subclass of the metal-dependent HD phosphohydrolase superfamily and catalyze conversion of cyclic di(3',5')-guanosine monophosphate (c-di-GMP) to 5'-phosphoguanylyl-(3'→5')-guanosine (pGpG) and GMP. Until now, the only reported crystal structure of an HD-GYP that also exhibits c-di-GMP phosphodiesterase activity contains a His/carboxylate ligated triiron active site. However, other structural and phylogenetic correlations indicate that some HD-GYPs contain dimetal active sites. Here we provide evidence that an HD-GYP c-di-GMP phosphodiesterase, TM0186, from Thermotoga maritima can accommodate both di- and trimetal active sites. We show that an as-isolated iron-containing TM0186 has an oxo/carboxylato-bridged diferric site, and that the reduced (diferrous) form is necessary and sufficient to catalyze conversion of c-di-GMP to pGpG, but that conversion of pGpG to GMP requires more than two metals per active site. Similar c-di-GMP phosphodiesterase activities were obtained with divalent iron or manganese. On the basis of activity correlations with several putative metal ligand residue variants and molecular dynamics simulations, we propose that TM0186 can accommodate both di- and trimetal active sites. Our results also suggest that a Glu residue conserved in a subset of HD-GYPs is required for formation of the trimetal site and can also serve as a labile ligand to the dimetal site. Given the anaerobic growth requirement of T. maritima, we suggest that this HD-GYP can function in vivo with either divalent iron or manganese occupying di- and trimetal sites. PMID:26786892

  8. The type specimens, type localities and nomenclature of Sarcoramphus vultures (Aves: Cathartidae), with a note on their speciation.

    PubMed

    Mlíkovský, Jiří

    2015-01-01

    A nomenclatural review of Sarcoramphus vultures resulted in the following: The genus Sarcoramphus was described by Duméril in 1805 rather than 1806. Vultur papa Linnaeus, 1758, is the type of Sarcoramphus by subsequent monotypy (Froriep in Duméril 1806), not by Vigors's (1825) designation. The type of the genus Gypagus Vieillot, 1816, is, by monotypy, Vultur gryphus Linnaeus, 1758, not Vultur papa Linnaeus, 1758. Due to this, Gypagus is a junior objective synonym of Vultur Linnaeus, 1758. Gyparchus was created by Gloger (1841) as a new genus for Vultur papa Linnaeus, 1758, not as an emendation of Gypagus Vieillot, 1816. Vultur papa Linnaeus, 1758 was found to be possibly based on syntypes from two different taxa and a lectotype is here designated. The author of Vultur sacer is Zimmermann (in Bartram 1793), not Cassin (1853). Possible speciation events in the genus Sarcoramphus are also discussed. PMID:25781112

  9. Sublethal landrin toxicity: Behavioral and physiological effects on captive vultures

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Forthman-Quick, D.L.; Hill, E.F.

    1988-01-01

    Use of conditioned taste aversion (CTA) has been proposed to reduce consumption of California condor (Gymnogyps californianus) eggs by ravens (Corvus corax). Although landrin has induced aversions in ravens and other birds, no data were available on behavioral and physiological effects of landrin on condors, non-target birds that might consume treated eggs. Because condors are endangered, we selected taxonomically related surrogates to approximate the effects on condors of acute oral doses of landrin. Seven black vultures (Coragyps atratus), 2 turkey vultures (Cathartes aura), and 2 king vultures (Sarcoramphus papa) received landrin and placebo treatments 1 week apart. Plasma cholinesterase (ChE) activity was monitored at zero, 3, and 24 hours posttreatment, and behavioral observations were made for 2 hours posttreatment. The doses tested were nonlethal, and ChE levels approached normal within 24 hours after treatment. Only the frequency of vomiting differed statistically between the placebo and landrin treatment. We conclude that with appropriate precautions, landrin can be used in applications of CTA to discourage consumption of condor eggs by ravens, while posing no apparent risk to reintroduced condors.

  10. Genetic characterization of HPAI (H5N1) viruses from poultry and wild vultures, Burkina Faso.

    PubMed

    Ducatez, Mariette F; Tarnagda, Zekiba; Tahita, Marc C; Sow, Adama; de Landtsheer, Sebastien; Londt, Brandon Z; Brown, Ian H; Osterhaus, D M E; Fouchier, Ron A M; Ouedraogo, Jean-Bosco B; Muller, Claude P

    2007-04-01

    Genetic analysis of highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N1) viruses from poultry and hooded vultures in Burkina Faso shows that these viruses belong to 1 of 3 sublineages initially found in Nigeria and later in other African countries. Hooded vultures could potentially be vectors or sentinels of influenza subtype H5N1, as are cats and swans elsewhere. PMID:17553279

  11. First isolation of tandemly repeated DNA sequences in New World vultures and phylogenetic implications.

    PubMed

    Keyser, C; Montagnon, D; Schlee, M; Ludes, B; Pfitzinger, H; Mangin, P

    1996-02-01

    A highly repeated DNA sequence composed of closely related subunits that ranged from 171 to 176 base pairs has been cloned and characterized in the king vulture (Sarcoramphus papa). Related sequences were also isolated in the black vulture (Coragyps atratus). This new family of avian repetitive DNA elements is here termed the "HaeIII family." Genomic DNAs from a number of avian species were probed with one of the king vulture restriction fragments. In the cathartids, the hybridization patterns showed no individual or sexual variations. A strong HaeIII ladder was present in the two aforementioned species as well as in the Andean condor (Vultur gryphus), but in the black vulture the bands of the ladder alternated in intensity. Weaker hybridization signals were obtained in two ciconids, the jabiru stork (Jabiru mycteria) and the white stork (Ciconia ciconia). The HaeIII repeat was not detected in accipitrid birds of prey, a Polyborinae falconid, pelecanids, and psittacids. PMID:8851796

  12. Comparison of eye morphology and retinal topography in two species of New World vultures (Aves: Cathartidae).

    PubMed

    Lisney, Thomas J; Stecyk, Karyn; Kolominsky, Jeffrey; Graves, Gary R; Wylie, Douglas R; Iwaniuk, Andrew N

    2013-12-01

    Vultures are highly reliant on their sensory systems for the rapid detection and localization of carrion before other scavengers can exploit the resource. In this study, we compared eye morphology and retinal topography in two species of New World vultures (Cathartidae), turkey vultures (Cathartes aura), with a highly developed olfactory sense, and black vultures (Coragyps atratus), with a less developed sense of olfaction. We found that eye size relative to body mass was the same in both species, but that black vultures have larger corneas relative to eye size than turkey vultures. However, the overall retinal topography, the total number of cells in the retinal ganglion cell layer, peak and average cell densities, cell soma area frequency distributions, and the theoretical peak anatomical spatial resolving power were the same in both species. This suggests that the visual systems of these two species are similar and that vision plays an equally important role in the biology of both species, despite the apparently greater reliance on olfaction for finding carrion in turkey vultures. PMID:24249399

  13. Antibiotics Threaten Wildlife: Circulating Quinolone Residues and Disease in Avian Scavengers

    PubMed Central

    Lemus, Jesús Á.; Blanco, Guillermo; Grande, Javier; Arroyo, Bernardo; García-Montijano, Marino; Martínez, Felíx

    2008-01-01

    Antibiotic residues that may be present in carcasses of medicated livestock could pass to and greatly reduce scavenger wildlife populations. We surveyed residues of the quinolones enrofloxacin and its metabolite ciprofloxacin and other antibiotics (amoxicillin and oxytetracycline) in nestling griffon Gyps fulvus, cinereous Aegypius monachus and Egyptian Neophron percnopterus vultures in central Spain. We found high concentrations of antibiotics in the plasma of many nestling cinereous (57%) and Egyptian (40%) vultures. Enrofloxacin and ciprofloxacin were also found in liver samples of all dead cinereous vultures. This is the first report of antibiotic residues in wildlife. We also provide evidence of a direct association between antibiotic residues, primarily quinolones, and severe disease due to bacterial and fungal pathogens. Our results indicate that, by damaging the liver and kidney and through the acquisition and proliferation of pathogens associated with the depletion of lymphoid organs, continuous exposure to antibiotics could increase mortality rates, at least in cinereous vultures. If antibiotics ingested with livestock carrion are clearly implicated in the decline of the vultures in central Spain then it should be considered a primary concern for conservation of their populations. PMID:18197254

  14. Nested species-rich networks of scavenging vertebrates support high levels of interspecific competition.

    PubMed

    Sebastián-González, Esther; Moleón, Marcos; Gibert, Jean P; Botella, Francisco; Mateo-Tomás, Patricia; Olea, Pedro P; Guimarães, Paulo R; Sánchez-Zapata, José A

    2016-01-01

    Disentangling the processes that shape the organization of ecological assemblages and its implications for species coexistence is one of the foremost challenges of ecology. Although insightful advances have recently related community composition and structure with species coexistence in mutualistic and antagonistic networks, little is known regarding other species assemblages, such as those of scavengers exploiting carrion. Here we studied seven assemblages of scavengers feeding on ungulate carcasses in mainland Spain. We used dynamical models to investigate if community composition, species richness and structure (nestedness) affect species coexistence at carcasses. Scavenging networks showed a nested pattern in sites where highly efficient, obligate scavengers (i.e., vultures) were present and a non-nested pattern everywhere else. Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus) and certain meso-facultative mammalian scavengers (i.e., red fox, Vulpes vulpes, and stone marten, Martes foina) were the main species contributing to nestedness. Assemblages with vultures were also the richest ones in species. Nested species-rich assemblages with vulture presence were associated with high carcass consumption rates, indicating higher interspecific competition at the local scale. However, the proportion of species stopping the consumption of carrion (as derived from the competitive dynamic model) stabilized at high richness and nestedness levels. This suggests that high species richness and nestedness may characterize scavenging networks that are robust to high levels of interspecific competition for carrion. Some facilitative interactions driven by vultures and major facultative scavengers could be behind these observations. Our findings are relevant for understanding species' coexistence in highly competitive systems. PMID:27008779

  15. Lead poisoning in captive Andean condors (Vultur gryphus)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pattee, O.H.; Carpenter, J.W.; Fritts, S.H.; Rattner, B.A.; Wiemeyer, Stanley N.; Royle, J. Andrew; Smith, M.R.

    2006-01-01

    Elevated lead in the tissues of raptors, especially those that scavenge, is a common occurrence, and lead poisoning appears to be a significant problem in the ongoing recovery effort for California condors (Gymnogyps californianus). Elevated blood lead levels have been found in released birds, and a number of birds have died of lead poisoning. In earlier work, we dosed turkey vultures (Cathartes aura) with lead shot but found them to be a poor model for lead poisoning. In this study, we dosed four Andean condors (Vultur gryphus) with lead shot and found them to be quite sensitive, as two of the birds died and the other two exhibit signs of lead poisoning within 50 days. All lead-responsive parameters were affected, and regurgitation of dosed shot occurred only once. The response of the Andean condors appeared to mimic California condors, suggesting that once exposed to lead, the possibility of survival is poor. This is consistent with observations in the wild, where otherwise healthy birds exposed to metallic lead quickly succumb. At the very least, the release program has to maintain constant surveillance and an active lead monitoring program.

  16. How predictability of feeding patches affects home range and foraging habitat selection in avian social scavengers?

    PubMed

    Monsarrat, Sophie; Benhamou, Simon; Sarrazin, François; Bessa-Gomes, Carmen; Bouten, Willem; Duriez, Olivier

    2013-01-01

    Feeding stations are commonly used to sustain conservation programs of scavengers but their impact on behaviour is still debated. They increase the temporal and spatial predictability of food resources while scavengers have supposedly evolved to search for unpredictable resources. In the Grands Causses (France), a reintroduced population of Griffon vultures Gyps fulvus can find carcasses at three types of sites: 1. "light feeding stations", where farmers can drop carcasses at their farm (spatially predictable), 2. "heavy feeding stations", where carcasses from nearby farms are concentrated (spatially and temporally predictable) and 3. open grasslands, where resources are randomly distributed (unpredictable). The impact of feeding stations on vulture's foraging behaviour was investigated using 28 GPS-tracked vultures. The average home range size was maximal in spring (1272 ± 752 km(2)) and minimal in winter (473 ± 237 km(2)) and was highly variable among individuals. Analyses of home range characteristics and feeding habitat selection via compositional analysis showed that feeding stations were always preferred compared to the rest of the habitat where vultures can find unpredictable resources. Feeding stations were particularly used when resources were scarce (summer) or when flight conditions were poor (winter), limiting long-ranging movements. However, when flight conditions were optimal, home ranges also encompassed large areas of grassland where vultures could find unpredictable resources, suggesting that vultures did not lose their natural ability to forage on unpredictable resources, even when feeding stations were available. However during seasons when food abundance and flight conditions were not limited, vultures seemed to favour light over heavy feeding stations, probably because of the reduced intraspecific competition and a pattern closer to the natural dispersion of resources in the landscape. Light feeding stations are interesting tools for managing

  17. Geographic variation in the taphonomic effect of vulture scavenging: the case for Southern Illinois.

    PubMed

    Dabbs, Gretchen R; Martin, D C

    2013-01-01

    The taphonomic effect of vulture scavenging has been previously documented in central Texas (J Forensic Sci, 2009, 54, 524). This study reports on the behavioral differences between two species of vultures (Coragyps atratus, Cathartes aura) observed over a period of 1 year at the Complex for Forensic Anthropology Research in Southern Illinois. The decomposition of six research subjects and two control subjects was observed. Compared with the previous findings of vulture activity, the authors observed a severe delay in the time of first arrival (up to 28 days), decreased feeding time on remains (14-40 min), a less voracious feeding rate (7 days to 2 months to skeletonization), and a completely different feeding pattern of vultures in Southern Illinois. Additionally, no characteristic markings were observed on skeletal elements of research subjects. This study suggests the taphonomic effects of scavengers varies with climate and regions and may affect decomposition rates and patterns. PMID:23181511

  18. African Vultures Don’t Follow Migratory Herds: Scavenger Habitat Use Is Not Mediated by Prey Abundance

    PubMed Central

    Kendall, Corinne J.; Virani, Munir Z.; Hopcraft, J. Grant C.; Bildstein, Keith L.; Rubenstein, Daniel I.

    2014-01-01

    The ongoing global decline in vulture populations raises major conservation concerns, but little is known about the factors that mediate scavenger habitat use, in particular the importance of abundance of live prey versus prey mortality. We test this using data from the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem in East Africa. The two hypotheses that prey abundance or prey mortality are the main drivers of vulture habitat use provide alternative predictions. If vultures select areas based only on prey abundance, we expect tracked vultures to remain close to herds of migratory wildebeest regardless of season. However, if vultures select areas where mortality rates are greatest then we expect vultures to select the driest regions, where animals are more likely to die of starvation, and to be attracted to migratory wildebeest only during the dry season when wildebeest mortality is greatest. We used data from GSM-GPS transmitters to assess the relationship between three vulture species and migratory wildebeest in the Mara-Serengeti ecosystem. Results indicate that vultures preferentially cluster around migratory herds only during the dry season, when herds experience their highest mortality. Additionally during the wet season, Ruppell’s and Lappet-faced vultures select relatively dry areas, based on Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, whereas White-backed vultures preferred wetter areas during the wet season. Differences in habitat use among species may mediate coexistence in this scavenger guild. In general, our results suggest that prey abundance is not the primary driver of avian scavenger habitat use. The apparent reliance of vultures on non-migratory ungulates during the wet season has important conservation implications for vultures in light of on-going declines in non-migratory ungulate species and use of poisons in unprotected areas. PMID:24421887

  19. African vultures don't follow migratory herds: scavenger habitat use is not mediated by prey abundance.

    PubMed

    Kendall, Corinne J; Virani, Munir Z; Hopcraft, J Grant C; Bildstein, Keith L; Rubenstein, Daniel I

    2014-01-01

    The ongoing global decline in vulture populations raises major conservation concerns, but little is known about the factors that mediate scavenger habitat use, in particular the importance of abundance of live prey versus prey mortality. We test this using data from the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem in East Africa. The two hypotheses that prey abundance or prey mortality are the main drivers of vulture habitat use provide alternative predictions. If vultures select areas based only on prey abundance, we expect tracked vultures to remain close to herds of migratory wildebeest regardless of season. However, if vultures select areas where mortality rates are greatest then we expect vultures to select the driest regions, where animals are more likely to die of starvation, and to be attracted to migratory wildebeest only during the dry season when wildebeest mortality is greatest. We used data from GSM-GPS transmitters to assess the relationship between three vulture species and migratory wildebeest in the Mara-Serengeti ecosystem. Results indicate that vultures preferentially cluster around migratory herds only during the dry season, when herds experience their highest mortality. Additionally during the wet season, Ruppell's and Lappet-faced vultures select relatively dry areas, based on Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, whereas White-backed vultures preferred wetter areas during the wet season. Differences in habitat use among species may mediate coexistence in this scavenger guild. In general, our results suggest that prey abundance is not the primary driver of avian scavenger habitat use. The apparent reliance of vultures on non-migratory ungulates during the wet season has important conservation implications for vultures in light of on-going declines in non-migratory ungulate species and use of poisons in unprotected areas. PMID:24421887

  20. Testing problem solving in turkey vultures (Cathartes aura) using the string-pulling test.

    PubMed

    Ellison, Anne Margaret; Watson, Jane; Demers, Eric

    2015-01-01

    To examine problem solving in turkey vultures (Cathartes aura), six captive vultures were presented with a string-pulling task, which involved drawing a string up to access food. This test has been used to assess cognition in many bird species. A small piece of meat suspended by a string was attached to a perch. Two birds solved the problem without apparent trial-and-error learning; a third bird solved the problem after observing a successful bird, suggesting that this individual learned from the other vulture. The remaining birds failed to complete the task. The successful birds significantly reduced the time needed to solve the task from early trials compared to late trials, suggesting that they had learned to solve the problem and improved their technique. The successful vultures solved the problem in a novel way: they pulled the string through their beak with their tongue, and may have gathered the string in their crop until the food was in reach. In contrast, ravens, parrots and finches use a stepwise process; they pull the string up, tuck it under foot, and reach down to pull up another length. As scavengers, turkey vultures use their beak for tearing and ripping at carcasses, but possess large, flat, webbed feet that are ill-suited to pulling or grasping. The ability to solve this problem and the novel approach used by the turkey vultures in this study may be a result of the unique evolutionary pressures imposed on this scavenging species. PMID:25015133

  1. Enteric pathogens and antimicrobial resistance in turkey vultures (Cathartes aura) feeding at the wildlife-livestock interface.

    PubMed

    Sulzner, Kate; Kelly, Terra; Smith, Woutrina; Johnson, Christine K

    2014-12-01

    Free-flying turkey vultures (Cathartes aura) were sampled in California to investigate the fecal shedding prevalence and antimicrobial susceptibility of Salmonella enterica, Campylobacter spp., and Escherichia coli. Nine different serotypes of Salmonella enterica were detected in cloacal swabs from turkey vultures, and 6% of vultures were shedding Campylobacter spp.. Turkey vultures sampled at a location with range sheep were more likely to shed tetracycline-resistant E. coli, suggesting that proximity to livestock facilities could facilitate acquisition of drug-resistant bacteria in avian scavengers. These findings illustrate the importance of assessing drug-resistant pathogen transfer at the livestock-wildlife interface. PMID:25632686

  2. Aspidoscelis deppii (Black-bellied Racerunner). Predation by Turkey Vulture

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reynolds, Robert P.; Gebhard, Christina A.

    2014-01-01

    minimize wildlife hazards at the Aeropuerto Internacional de El Salvador (ca. 50 km SE of San Salvador, 13.4408°N 89.0556°W; datum WGS84) on 10 July 2012 and subsequently cataloged (USNM 646876) in the Bird Division at the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) in Washington, DC. Dissection during preparation of the bird as a museum specimen revealed a male A. deppii (ca. 56 mm SVL) in the stomach. It was cataloged at the NMNH in the Division of Amphibians and Reptiles (USNM 580989). Tissue samples were removed from both the lizard and the bird and deposited in the biorepository at the NMNH. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first documented record identifying A. deppii as a prey item of the Turkey Vulture.

  3. The TRAPP Subunit Trs130p Interacts with the GAP Gyp6p to Mediate Ypt6p Dynamics at the Late Golgi

    PubMed Central

    Brunet, Stephanie; Saint-Dic, Djenann; Milev, Miroslav P.; Nilsson, Tommy; Sacher, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Small GTPases of the Rab superfamily participate in virtually all vesicle-mediated trafficking events. Cycling between an active GTP-bound form and an inactive GDP-bound form is accomplished in conjunction with guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) and GTPase activating proteins (GAPs), respectively. Rab cascades have been described in which an effector of an activated Rab is a GEF for a downstream Rab, thus ensuring activation of a pathway in an ordered fashion. Much less is known concerning crosstalk between GEFs and GAPs although regulation between these factors could also contribute to the overall physiology of a cell. Here we demonstrate that a subunit of the TRAPP II multisubunit tethering factor, a Rab GEF, participates in the recruitment of Gyp6p, a GAP for the GTPase Ypt6p, to Golgi membranes. The extreme carboxy-terminal portion of the TRAPP II subunit Trs130p is required for the interaction between TRAPP II and Gyp6p. We further demonstrate that TRAPP II mutants, but not a TRAPP III mutant, display a defect in Gyp6p interaction. A consequence of this defective interaction is the enhanced localization of Ypt6p at late Golgi membranes. Although a ypt31/32 mutant also resulted in an enhanced localization of Gyp6p at the late Golgi, the effect was not as dramatic as that seen for TRAPP II mutants, nor was Ypt31/32 detected in the same TRAPP II purification that detected Gyp6p. We propose that the interaction between TRAPP II and Gyp6p represents a parallel mechanism in addition to that mediated by Ypt31/32 for the recruitment of a GAP to the appropriate membrane, and is a novel example of crosstalk between a Rab GAP and GEF. PMID:27252941

  4. Structural Basis of Functional Diversification of the HD-GYP Domain Revealed by the Pseudomonas aeruginosa PA4781 Protein, Which Displays an Unselective Bimetallic Binding Site

    PubMed Central

    Rinaldo, Serena; Paiardini, Alessandro; Stelitano, Valentina; Brunotti, Paolo; Cervoni, Laura; Fernicola, Silvia; Protano, Carmela; Vitali, Matteo; Giardina, Giorgio

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT The intracellular level of the bacterial secondary messenger cyclic di-3′,5′-GMP (c-di-GMP) is determined by a balance between its biosynthesis and degradation, the latter achieved via dedicated phosphodiesterases (PDEs) bearing a characteristic EAL or HD-GYP domain. We here report the crystal structure of PA4781, one of the three Pseudomonas aeruginosa HD-GYP proteins, which we have previously characterized in vitro. The structure shows a bimetallic active site whose metal binding mode is different from those of both HD-GYP PDEs characterized so far. Purified PA4781 does not contain iron in the active site as for other HD-GYPs, and we show that it binds to a wide range of transition metals with similar affinities. Moreover, the structural features of PA4781 indicate that this is preferentially a pGpG binding protein, as we previously suggested. Our results point out that the structural features of HD-GYPs are more complex than predicted so far and identify the HD-GYP domain as a conserved scaffold which has evolved to preferentially interact with a partner GGDEF but which harbors different functions obtained through diversification of the active site. IMPORTANCE In bacteria, the capability to form biofilms, responsible for increased pathogenicity and antibiotic resistance, is almost universally stimulated by the second messenger cyclic di-GMP (c-di-GMP). To design successful strategies for targeting biofilm formation, a detailed characterization of the enzymes involved in c-di-GMP metabolism is crucial. We solved the structure of the HD-GYP domain of PA4781 from Pseudomonas aeruginosa, involved in c-di-GMP degradation. This is the third structure of this class of phosphodiesterases to be solved, and with respect to its homologues, it shows significant differences both in the nature and in the binding mode of the coordinated metals, indicating that HD-GYP proteins are able to fine-tune their function, thereby increasing the chances of the microorganism

  5. Mycoplasma corogypsi associated polyarthritis and tenosynovitis in black vultures (Coragyps atratus)

    PubMed Central

    Van Wettere, A. J.; Ley, D. H.; Scott, D. E.; Buckanoff, H. D.; Degernes, L. A.

    2013-01-01

    Three wild American black vultures (Coragyps atratus) were presented to rehabilitation centers with swelling of multiple joints, including elbows, stifles, hocks, and carpal joints, and of the gastrocnemius tendons. Cytological examination of the joint fluid exudate indicated heterophilic arthritis. Radiographic examination in 2 vultures demonstrated periarticular soft tissue swelling in both birds and irregular articular surfaces with subchondral bone erosion in both elbows in 1 bird. Prolonged antibiotic therapy administered in 2 birds did not improve the clinical signs. Necropsy and histological examination demonstrated a chronic lymphoplasmacytic arthritis involving multiple joints and gastrocnemius tenosynovitis. Articular lesions varied in severity and ranged from moderate synovitis and cartilage erosion and fibrillation to severe synovitis, diffuse cartilage ulceration, subchondral bone loss and/or sclerosis, pannus, synovial cysts, and epiphyseal osteomyelitis. No walled bacteria were observed or isolated from the joints. However, mycoplasmas polymerase chain reactions were positive in at least 1 affected joint from each bird. Mycoplasmas were isolated from joints of 1 vulture that did not receive antibiotic therapy. Sequencing of 16S rRNA gene amplicons from joint samples and the mycoplasma isolate identified Mycoplasma corogypsi in 2 vultures and was suggestive in the third vulture. Mycoplasma corogypsi identification was confirmed by sequencing the 16S-23S intergenic spacer region of mycoplasma isolates. This report provides further evidence that M. corogypsi is a likely cause of arthritis and tenosynovitis in American black vultures. Cases of arthritis and tenosynovitis in New World vultures should be investigated for presence of Mycoplasma spp, especially M. corogypsi. PMID:22903399

  6. Effects of vehicle speed on flight initiation by Turkey vultures: implications for bird-vehicle collisions.

    PubMed

    DeVault, Travis L; Blackwell, Bradley F; Seamans, Thomas W; Lima, Steven L; Fernández-Juricic, Esteban

    2014-01-01

    The avoidance of motorized vehicles is a common challenge for birds in the modern world. Birds appear to rely on antipredator behaviors to avoid vehicles, but modern vehicles (automobiles and aircraft) are faster than natural predators. Thus, birds may be relatively ill-equipped, in terms of sensory capabilities and behaviors, to avoid vehicles. We examined the idea that birds may be unable to accurately assess particularly high speeds of approaching vehicles, which could contribute to miscalculations in avoidance behaviors and ultimately cause collisions. We baited turkey vultures (Cathartes aura) to roads with animal carcasses and measured flight initiation distance and effective time-to-collision in response to a truck driving directly towards vultures from a starting distance of 1.13 km and at one of three speeds: 30, 60, or 90 kph (no vultures were struck). Flight initiation distance of vultures increased by a factor of 1.85 as speed increased from 30 to 90 kph. However, for 90-kph approaches there was no clear trend in flight initiation distance across replicates: birds appeared equally likely to initiate escape behavior at 40 m as at 220 m. Time-to-collision decreased by a factor of 0.62 with approach speeds from 30 to 90 kph. Also, at 90 kph, four vehicle approaches (17%) resulted in near collisions with vultures (time-to-collision ≤ 1.7 s), compared to none during 60 kph approaches and one during 30 kph approaches (4%). Our findings suggest that antipredator behaviors in turkey vultures, particularly stimulus processing and response, might not be well tuned to vehicles approaching at speeds ≥ 90 kph. The possible inability of turkey vultures to react appropriately to high-speed vehicles could be common among birds, and might represent an important determinant of bird-vehicle collisions. PMID:24503622

  7. Effects of Vehicle Speed on Flight Initiation by Turkey Vultures: Implications for Bird-Vehicle Collisions

    PubMed Central

    DeVault, Travis L.; Blackwell, Bradley F.; Seamans, Thomas W.; Lima, Steven L.; Fernández-Juricic, Esteban

    2014-01-01

    The avoidance of motorized vehicles is a common challenge for birds in the modern world. Birds appear to rely on antipredator behaviors to avoid vehicles, but modern vehicles (automobiles and aircraft) are faster than natural predators. Thus, birds may be relatively ill-equipped, in terms of sensory capabilities and behaviors, to avoid vehicles. We examined the idea that birds may be unable to accurately assess particularly high speeds of approaching vehicles, which could contribute to miscalculations in avoidance behaviors and ultimately cause collisions. We baited turkey vultures (Cathartes aura) to roads with animal carcasses and measured flight initiation distance and effective time-to-collision in response to a truck driving directly towards vultures from a starting distance of 1.13 km and at one of three speeds: 30, 60, or 90 kph (no vultures were struck). Flight initiation distance of vultures increased by a factor of 1.85 as speed increased from 30 to 90 kph. However, for 90-kph approaches there was no clear trend in flight initiation distance across replicates: birds appeared equally likely to initiate escape behavior at 40 m as at 220 m. Time-to-collision decreased by a factor of 0.62 with approach speeds from 30 to 90 kph. Also, at 90 kph, four vehicle approaches (17%) resulted in near collisions with vultures (time-to-collision ≤1.7 s), compared to none during 60 kph approaches and one during 30 kph approaches (4%). Our findings suggest that antipredator behaviors in turkey vultures, particularly stimulus processing and response, might not be well tuned to vehicles approaching at speeds ≥90 kph. The possible inability of turkey vultures to react appropriately to high-speed vehicles could be common among birds, and might represent an important determinant of bird-vehicle collisions. PMID:24503622

  8. A helium isotope cross-section study through the Vulture line, southern Apennines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caracausi, Antonio; Martelli, Mauro; Nuccio, Mario; Paternoster, Michele; Stuart, Finlay

    2013-04-01

    We report the results of a geochemical study of gas emissions and spring waters collected along a NE-SW transect through the southern Apennines in order to quantify the contribution of mantle-derived helium in crustal fluids and consequently to evaluate the existence of a structural discontinuity (the "Vulture line"). This tectonic discontinuity is interpreted as N40°-50° trending deep fault, cutting the entire chain-foreland system in southern Apennines (Schiattarella et al., 2005). The lithospheric discontinuity was generated by variation in the velocity of subduction rollback along the length of the subducting plate and has generated a vertical slab window (i.e., Doglioni et al., 1994; D'Orazio et al., 2007), that is responsible for the origin of Mt. Vulture volcano. Mount Vulture is the eastern-most occurrence of the Quaternary Italian volcanism, and is the only volcano to the east of the Apennine mountain belt. Its volcanic activity started at 742±11 kyr and continued until 142±11 kyr, interrupted by several long inter-eruptive periods (Buettner et al., 2006, and references therein). The volcanism is strongly silica undersaturated, from alkaline potassic to ultrapotassic affinities. We investigated lavas from the Mt. Vulture displaying 3He/4He (up to ~6.0 Ra) and Sr isotopes that are consistent with an origin in mantle that has had minimal pollution from subducted Adriatic slab. This value is rather constant along the history of the volcano, and represent the highest helium isotope signature of the Italian peninsular magmatism even if it is slightly lower than that of the most uncontaminated Sicilian terms. Similar 3He/4He in fluids from around Mt. Vulture indicate that the deep volcanic system is still degassing. The 3He/4He of the investigated fluids along the NE-SW transect of the Vulture line highlights that degassing of mantle-derived helium occur from the Apulian foreland to the Tyrrhenian sea. The highest contribution of mantle-derived fluids is

  9. Presence of Toxoplasma gondii and Neospora caninum DNA in the brain of wild birds.

    PubMed

    Darwich, L; Cabezón, O; Echeverria, I; Pabón, M; Marco, I; Molina-López, R; Alarcia-Alejos, O; López-Gatius, F; Lavín, S; Almería, S

    2012-02-10

    Toxoplasma gondii infections are prevalent in many avian species and can cause mortality in some bird hosts. Although T. gondii has been isolated from various species of birds, the role of many different species of wild birds in the epidemiology of T. gondii remains unknown. Neospora caninum, a closely related parasite to T. gondii, has been recently confirmed to infect domestic chickens and wild birds such as house sparrows (Passer domesticus). The present study reports the presence of T. gondii and N. caninum DNA by PCR in brain tissues of 14 species of wild birds from Spain. From a total of 200 samples analyzed, 12 samples (6%) were positive for T. gondii [5 Eurasian jays (Garrulus glandarius), 5 magpies (Pica pica), 1 black kite (Milvus migrans) and 1 Griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus)], while 3 samples (1.5%) were positive for N. caninum [2 magpies and 1 common buzzard (Buteo buteo)]. This is the first report of detection of T. gondii in magpies, griffon vulture and black kite and of N. caninum in common buzzard and magpies, extending the list of natural intermediate hosts for T. gondii and N. caninum infections to these species. PMID:21831525

  10. Maintenance of syntenic groups between Cathartidae and Gallus gallus indicates symplesiomorphic karyotypes in new world vultures

    PubMed Central

    Tagliarini, Marcella M.; O'Brien, Patricia C.M.; Ferguson-Smith, Malcolm A.; de Oliveira, Edivaldo H.C.

    2011-01-01

    Similarities between New World and Old World vultures have been interpreted to reflect a close relationship and to suggest the inclusion of both in Accipitridae (Falconiformes). However, deeper analyses indicated that the placement of the New World vultures (cathartids) in this Order is uncertain. Chromosome analysis has shown that cathartids retained a karyotype similar to the putative avian ancestor. In order to verify the occurrence of intrachromosomal rearrangements in cathartids, we hybridized whole chromosome probes of two species (Gallus gallus and Leucopternis albicollis) onto metaphases of Cathartes aura. The results showed that not only were the syntenic groups conserved between Gallus and C. aura, but probably also the general gene order, suggesting that New World vultures share chromosomal symplesiomorphies with most bird lineages. PMID:21637548

  11. Food predictability determines space use of endangered vultures: implications for management of supplementary feeding.

    PubMed

    López-López, Pascual; García-Ripollés, Clara; Urios, Vicente

    2014-07-01

    Understanding space use of free-living endangered animals is key to informing management decisions for conservation planning. Like most scavengers, vultures have evolved under a context of unpredictability of food resources (i.e., exploiting scattered carcasses that are intermittently available). However, the role of predictable sources of food in shaping spatial ecology of vultures has seldom been studied in detail. Here, we quantify the home range of the Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus), a long-lived raptor that has experienced severe population decline throughout its range and is qualified as endangered worldwide. To this end, six adults were tracked by satellite telemetry in Spain during the breeding season, from 2007 to 2012, recording 10360 GPS locations. Using Resource Utilization Functions, we assessed the topology of the Utilization Distribution, a three-dimensional measure that shows the probability of finding an animal within the home range. Our results showed how food availability, and principally, how food predictability, determines ranging behavior of this species. Egyptian Vultures showed consistent site fidelity across years, measured as the two- and three-dimensional overlap in their home ranges. Space use varied considerably within the home range and remarkably, places located far from nesting sites were used more frequently than some areas located closer. Therefore, traditional conservation measures based on establishing restrictive rules within a fixed radius around nesting sites could be biologically meaningless if other areas within the home range are not protected too. Finally, our results emphasize the importance of anthropogenic predictable sources of food (mainly vulture restaurants) in shaping the space use of scavengers, which is in agreement with recent findings. Hence, measures aimed at ensuring food availability are essential to preserve this endangered vulture, especially in the present context of limiting carrion dumping in

  12. Isotopic ratio and concentration of sulfur in the undersaturated alkaline magmas of Vulture Volcano (Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marini, L.; Paiotti, A.; Principe, C.; Ferrara, G.; Cioni, R.

    1994-12-01

    Both the δ34S value and the total S content of products from Vulture Volcano, Italy are mainly controlled by the separation of S gases, predominantly SO2, from high f O2 magmas containing S predominantly as SO2 4. The addition of evaporites to such magmas appears to be a relatively uncommon and limited phenomenon. The total S content of the most primitive product of Vulture Volcano (5600 mg/kg) is very high. The high δ34S value of 4ö indicates an origin through the partial melting of a mantle containing high S, enriched in 34S of unknown origin.

  13. Quantitative Trait Loci (QTL) Study Identifies Novel Genomic Regions Associated to Chiari-Like Malformation in Griffon Bruxellois Dogs

    PubMed Central

    Lemay, Philippe; Knowler, Susan P.; Bouasker, Samir; Nédélec, Yohann; Platt, Simon; Freeman, Courtenay; Child, Georgina; Barreiro, Luis B.; Rouleau, Guy A.; Rusbridge, Clare; Kibar, Zoha

    2014-01-01

    Chiari-like malformation (CM) is a developmental abnormality of the craniocervical junction that is common in the Griffon Bruxellois (GB) breed with an estimated prevalence of 65%. This disease is characterized by overcrowding of the neural parenchyma at the craniocervical junction and disturbance of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flow. The most common clinical sign is pain either as a direct consequence of CM or neuropathic pain as a consequence of secondary syringomyelia. The etiology of CM remains unknown but genetic factors play an important role. To investigate the genetic complexity of the disease, a quantitative trait locus (QTL) approach was adopted. A total of 14 quantitative skull and atlas measurements were taken and were tested for association to CM. Six traits were found to be associated to CM and were subjected to a whole-genome association study using the Illumina canine high density bead chip in 74 GB dogs (50 affected and 24 controls). Linear and mixed regression analyses identified associated single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) on 5 Canis Familiaris Autosomes (CFAs): CFA2, CFA9, CFA12, CFA14 and CFA24. A reconstructed haplotype of 0.53 Mb on CFA2 strongly associated to the height of the cranial fossa (diameter F) and an haplotype of 2.5 Mb on CFA14 associated to both the height of the rostral part of the caudal cranial fossa (AE) and the height of the brain (FG) were significantly associated to CM after 10 000 permutations strengthening their candidacy for this disease (P = 0.0421, P = 0.0094 respectively). The CFA2 QTL harbours the Sall-1 gene which is an excellent candidate since its orthologue in humans is mutated in Townes-Brocks syndrome which has previously been associated to Chiari malformation I. Our study demonstrates the implication of multiple traits in the etiology of CM and has successfully identified two new QTL associated to CM and a potential candidate gene. PMID:24740420

  14. DNA sequence support for a close phylogenetic relationship between some storks and New World vultures.

    PubMed Central

    Avise, J C; Nelson, W S; Sibley, C G

    1994-01-01

    Nucleotide sequences from the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene were used to address a controversial suggestion that New World vultures are related more closely to storks than to Old World vultures. Phylogenetic analyses of 1-kb sequences from 18 relevant avian species indicate that the similarities in morphology and behavior between New World and Old World vultures probably manifest convergent adaptations associated with carrion-feeding, rather than propinquity of descent. Direct sequence evidence for a close phylogenetic alliance between at least some New World vultures and storks lends support to conclusions reached previously from DNA.DNA hybridization methods and detailed morphology-based appraisals, and it illustrates how mistaken assumptions of homology for organismal adaptations can compromise biological classifications. However, there was a lack of significant resolution for most other branches in the cytochrome b phylogenetic reconstructions. This irresolution is most likely attributable to a close temporal clustering of nodes, rather than to ceiling effects (mutational saturation) producing an inappropriate window of resolution for the cytochrome b sequences. Images PMID:8197203

  15. Lead toxicosis of captive vultures: case description and responses to chelation therapy

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Lead, a serious threat for raptors, can hamper the success of their conservation. This study reports on experience with accidental lead intoxication and responses to chelation therapy in captive Cinereous (Aegypius monachus) and Egyptian (Neophron percnopterus) Vultures. Results Soil contamination by lead-based paint sanded off the steel aviary resulted in poisoning of eight Cinereous and two Egyptian Vultures. A male Egyptian Vulture developed signs of apathy, polydipsia, polyuria, regurgitation, and stupor, and died on the next day. Liver, kidney and blood lead concentrations were 12.2, 8.16 and 2.66 μg/g, respectively. Laboratory analyses confirmed severe liver and kidney damage and anaemia. Blood Pb levels of Pb-exposed Cinereous Vultures were 1.571 ± 0.510 μg/g shortly after intoxication, decreased to 0.530 ± 0.165 μg/g without any therapy in a month and to 0.254 ± 0.097 μg/g one month after CaNa2EDTA administration. Eight months later, blood lead levels decreased to close to the background of the control group. Blood parameters of healthy Pb-non-exposed Cinereous Vultures were compared with those of the exposed group prior to and after chelation therapy. Iron levels in the lead-exposed pre-treatment birds significantly decreased after chelation. Haematocrit levels in Pb-exposed birds were significantly lower than those of the controls and improved one month after chelation. Creatine kinase was higher in pre-treatment birds than in the controls but normalised after therapy. Alkaline phosphatase increased after chelation. A marked increase in the level of lipid peroxidation measured as thiobarbituric acid reactive species was demonstrated in birds both prior to and after chelation. The ferric reducing antioxidant power was significantly lower in pre-treatment vultures and returned to normal following chelation therapy. Blood metallothionein levels in lead-exposed birds were higher than in controls. Reduced glutathione dropped after

  16. A Late Miocene Accipitrid (Aves: Accipitriformes) from Nebraska and Its Implications for the Divergence of Old World Vultures

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Zihui; Feduccia, Alan; James, Helen F.

    2012-01-01

    Background Old World vultures are likely polyphyletic, representing two subfamilies, the Aegypiinae and Gypaetinae, and some genera of the latter may be of independent origin. Evidence concerning the origin, as well as the timing of the divergence of each subfamily and even genera of the Gypaetinae has been elusive. Methodology/Principal Findings Compared with the Old World, the New World has an unexpectedly diverse and rich fossil component of Old World vultures. Here we describe a new accipitriform bird, Anchigyps voorhiesi gen. et sp. nov., from the Ash Hollow Formation (Upper Clarendonian, Late Miocene) of Nebraska. It represents a form close in morphology to the Old World vultures. Characteristics of its wing bones suggest it was less specialized for soaring than modern vultures. It was likely an opportunistic predator or scavenger having a grasping foot and a mandible morphologically similar to modern carrion-feeding birds. Conclusions/Significance The new fossil reported here is intermediate in morphology between the bulk of accipitrids and the Old World gypaetine vultures, representing a basal lineage of Accipitridae trending towards the vulturine habit, and of its Late Miocene age suggests the divergence of true gypaetine vultures, may have occurred during or slightly before the Miocene. PMID:23152811

  17. Modeling the consequences of the demise and potential recovery of a keystone-species: wild rabbits and avian scavengers in Mediterranean landscapes

    PubMed Central

    Cortés-Avizanda, Ainara; Colomer, Maria Àngels; Margalida, Antoni; Ceballos, Olga; Donázar, José Antonio

    2015-01-01

    Restoration of demised keystone-species populations is an overriding concern in conservation biology. However, since no population is independent of its environment, progress is needed in predicting the efficacy of restoration in unstable ecological contexts. Here, by means of Population Dynamics P-system Models (PDP), we studied long-term changes in the population size of Egyptian vultures (Neophron percnopterus) inhabiting a Natural Park, northern Spain, to changes in the numbers of wild rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus), a keystone-species of Mediterranean ecosystems that have suffered >90% population decline after a hemorrhagic disease outbreak. Low availability of rabbit carcasses leads Egyptian vultures to extend their foraging activities to unprotected areas with higher non-natural mortality whereas growing numbers of griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus), a dominant competitor, progressively monopolize trophic resources resulting in a focal population decrease. Modeling shows that, even if keystone-species populations recover in core protected areas, the return to the original studied population size may be unfeasible, due to both the high non-natural mortality rates in humanized areas and long-term changes in the scavenger guild structure. Policy decisions aimed to restore keystone-species should rely on holistic approaches integrating the effects of spatial heterogeneity on both producer and consumer populations as well as within-guild processes. PMID:26593338

  18. Modeling the consequences of the demise and potential recovery of a keystone-species: wild rabbits and avian scavengers in Mediterranean landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cortés-Avizanda, Ainara; Colomer, Maria Àngels; Margalida, Antoni; Ceballos, Olga; Donázar, José Antonio

    2015-11-01

    Restoration of demised keystone-species populations is an overriding concern in conservation biology. However, since no population is independent of its environment, progress is needed in predicting the efficacy of restoration in unstable ecological contexts. Here, by means of Population Dynamics P-system Models (PDP), we studied long-term changes in the population size of Egyptian vultures (Neophron percnopterus) inhabiting a Natural Park, northern Spain, to changes in the numbers of wild rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus), a keystone-species of Mediterranean ecosystems that have suffered >90% population decline after a hemorrhagic disease outbreak. Low availability of rabbit carcasses leads Egyptian vultures to extend their foraging activities to unprotected areas with higher non-natural mortality whereas growing numbers of griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus), a dominant competitor, progressively monopolize trophic resources resulting in a focal population decrease. Modeling shows that, even if keystone-species populations recover in core protected areas, the return to the original studied population size may be unfeasible, due to both the high non-natural mortality rates in humanized areas and long-term changes in the scavenger guild structure. Policy decisions aimed to restore keystone-species should rely on holistic approaches integrating the effects of spatial heterogeneity on both producer and consumer populations as well as within-guild processes.

  19. Modeling the consequences of the demise and potential recovery of a keystone-species: wild rabbits and avian scavengers in Mediterranean landscapes.

    PubMed

    Cortés-Avizanda, Ainara; Colomer, Maria Àngels; Margalida, Antoni; Ceballos, Olga; Donázar, José Antonio

    2015-01-01

    Restoration of demised keystone-species populations is an overriding concern in conservation biology. However, since no population is independent of its environment, progress is needed in predicting the efficacy of restoration in unstable ecological contexts. Here, by means of Population Dynamics P-system Models (PDP), we studied long-term changes in the population size of Egyptian vultures (Neophron percnopterus) inhabiting a Natural Park, northern Spain, to changes in the numbers of wild rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus), a keystone-species of Mediterranean ecosystems that have suffered >90% population decline after a hemorrhagic disease outbreak. Low availability of rabbit carcasses leads Egyptian vultures to extend their foraging activities to unprotected areas with higher non-natural mortality whereas growing numbers of griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus), a dominant competitor, progressively monopolize trophic resources resulting in a focal population decrease. Modeling shows that, even if keystone-species populations recover in core protected areas, the return to the original studied population size may be unfeasible, due to both the high non-natural mortality rates in humanized areas and long-term changes in the scavenger guild structure. Policy decisions aimed to restore keystone-species should rely on holistic approaches integrating the effects of spatial heterogeneity on both producer and consumer populations as well as within-guild processes. PMID:26593338

  20. Opposite roles of the F-box protein Rcy1p and the GTPase-activating protein Gyp2p during recycling of internalized proteins in yeast.

    PubMed Central

    Lafourcade, Céline; Galan, Jean-Marc; Peter, Matthias

    2003-01-01

    The F-box protein Rcy1p is part of a non-SCF (Skp1p-cullin-F-box protein) complex involved in recycling of internalized material. Like rcy1Delta, cells lacking the Rab-GTPase Ypt6p or its heterodimeric GEFs Rgp1p and Ric1p are unable to recycle the v-SNARE Snc1p. Here we provide genetic evidence suggesting that Rcy1p is a positive regulator of Ypt6p. Deletion of the GAP Gyp2p restores recycling in rcy1Delta, while overexpression of an active form of Ypt6p partially suppresses the recycling defect of rcy1Delta cells. Conversely, overexpression of Gyp2p in wild-type cells interferes with recycling of GFP-Snc1p, and the cells accumulate membrane structures as evidenced by electron microscopy. Gyp2p-GFP is distributed throughout the cytoplasm and accumulates in punctate structures, which concentrate in an actin-dependent manner at sites of polarized growth. Taken together, our results suggest that the F-box protein Rcy1p may activate the Ypt6p GTPase module during recycling. PMID:12807768

  1. Livestock Drugs and Disease: The Fatal Combination behind Breeding Failure in Endangered Bearded Vultures

    PubMed Central

    Blanco, Guillermo; Lemus, Jesús A.

    2010-01-01

    There is increasing concern about the impact of veterinary drugs and livestock pathogens as factors damaging wildlife health, especially of threatened avian scavengers feeding upon medicated livestock carcasses. We conducted a comprehensive study of failed eggs and dead nestlings in bearded vultures (Gypaetus barbatus) to attempt to elucidate the proximate causes of breeding failure behind the recent decline in productivity in the Spanish Pyrenees. We found high concentrations of multiple veterinary drugs, primarily fluoroquinolones, in most failed eggs and nestlings, associated with multiple internal organ damage and livestock pathogens causing disease, especially septicaemia by swine pathogens and infectious bursal disease. The combined impact of drugs and disease as stochastic factors may result in potentially devastating effects exacerbating an already high risk of extinction and should be considered in current conservation programs for bearded vultures and other scavenger species, especially in regards to dangerous veterinary drugs and highly pathogenic poultry viruses. PMID:21152405

  2. Risk assessment of bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) exposure to topical antiparasitics used in livestock within an ecotoxicovigilance framework.

    PubMed

    Mateo, Rafael; Sánchez-Barbudo, Inés S; Camarero, Pablo R; Martínez, José M

    2015-12-01

    Between 2004 and 2013, 486 suspected scavenger poisoning cases, including 24 bearded vultures (Gypaetus barbatus), were investigated in the Pyrenees and surrounding areas in Spain as part of a monitoring programme regarding accidental and intentional poisoning of wildlife. Poisoning was confirmed in 36% of all analysed cases where scavenger species were found dead within the distribution range of bearded vultures. Organophosphates and carbamates were the most frequently detected poisons. Four of the bearded vulture cases were positive for the presence of topical antiparasitics (3 with diazinon and 1 with permethrin). These likely represented accidental exposure due to the legal use of these veterinary pharmaceuticals. In order to confirm the risk of exposure to topical antiparasitics in bearded vultures, pig feet (n=24) and lamb feet (n=24) were analysed as these are one of the main food resources provided to bearded vultures at supplementary feeding stations. Pig feet had no detectable residues of topical antiparasitics. In contrast, 71.4% of lamb feet showed residues of antiparasitics including diazinon (64.3%), pirimiphos-methyl (25.4%), chlorpyrifos (7.1%), fenthion (1.6%), permethrin (0.8%) and cypermethrin (27.8%). Washing the feet with water significantly reduced levels of these topical antiparasitics, as such, this should be a recommended practice for lamb feet supplied at feeding stations for bearded vultures. Although the detected levels of antiparasitics were relatively low (≤1 μg/g), a risk assessment suggests that observed diazinon levels may affect brain acetylcholinesterase and thermoregulation in bearded vultures subject to chronic exposure. PMID:26254071

  3. The evolution of the Monte Vulture volcano (Southern Italy): Inferences from volcanological, geological and deep dipole electrical soundings data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    La Volpe, L.; Patella, D.; Rapisardi, L.; Tramacere, A.

    1984-10-01

    The activity of Monte Vulture started in the Middle Pleistocene; stratigraphic evidence suggests that the volcanic events may have occurred in the following succession: (1) formation of widespread pyroclastic pumice deposits; (2) sporadic and localized explosive and minor extrusive eruptions; (3) highly explosive eruptions with the formation of some tuff cones and of the oldest part of the Monte Vulture central volcano; and (4) activity at the central volcano, initially mainly explosive and successively increasingly effusive. The western part of the composite volcano, and probably also its summit part were affected by caldera collapses. The volcanic activity ended with hydromagmatic explosion, which formed two explosion craters. Monte Vulture was built up on the external units of the Southern Apennines at the western border of the foretrough. The upper part of the sedimentary substratum consists mainly of clayey formations of the Lagonegro and Sannitic units. Beneath these terrains radiolarites and cherty-limestones of the Lagonegro units outcrop west of Monte Vulture. Rocks of the Apulia carbonate platform were drilled east of the volcano. Deep dipole electrical soundings showed a resistant basement at a depth ranging from 0.2 km down to 4.3 km beneath Monte Vulture. Volcanological, geological and geoelectrical data allow us to hypothesize that: (a) the magma chamber could be located at the boundary between the rigid resistant basement and the overlying conductive plastic terrains; (b) the Apulia carbonate platform forms a structural high beneath the Monte Vulture; and (c) the overthrusting of the Lagonegro units on the Apulia platform may be located beneath the floors of the calderas of Monte Vulture.

  4. Chronostratigraphy of Monte Vulture volcano (southern Italy): secondary mineral microtextures and 39Ar-40Ar systematics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Villa, Igor M.; Buettner, Annett

    2009-12-01

    The eruptive history of Monte Vulture has been the subject of several geochronological investigations during the past decades, which reliably dated only a small number of eruptions. Understanding the causes of sub-optimum data yield in the past requires an interdisciplinary approach. We re-analyzed samples from previous works and present new data on samples from the main volcano-stratigraphic units of Monte Vulture, so as to provide an improved, consistent chronostratigraphic database. Imaging of minerals by cathodoluminescence and backscattered electrons reveals that heterochemical, high-temperature deuteric reaction textures are ubiquitous. Such observations are common in metamorphic rocks but had not frequently been reported from volcanic rocks. In view of the mineralogical complexity, we base our chronological interpretation on isochemical steps, defined as steps for which the Cl/K and/or the Ca/K ratios are constant. Isochemical steps carry the isotopic signature of chemically homogeneous mineral phases and therefore allow a well-constrained age interpretation. Comparison of old and new 39Ar-40Ar data proves the reproducibility of age spectra and their shapes. This quantifies the analytical reliability of the irradiation and mass-spectrometric analyses. Anomalous age spectra are a reproducible property of some specific samples and correlate with mineralogical anomalies. The present data allow us to fine-tune the age of the volcanostratigraphic units of Monte Vulture during the known interval of main volcanic activity from ca. 740 to 610 ka. After a very long stasis, the volcanic activity in the Monte Vulture area resumed with diatremic eruptions, one of which (Lago Piccolo di Monticchio, the site of a palynological-paleoclimatological drilling) was dated at ca. 140 ka.

  5. Lead Exposure in Free-Flying Turkey Vultures Is Associated with Big Game Hunting in California

    PubMed Central

    Kelly, Terra R.; Johnson, Christine K.

    2011-01-01

    Predatory and scavenging birds are at risk of lead exposure when they feed on animals injured or killed by lead ammunition. While lead ammunition has been banned from waterfowl hunting in North America for almost two decades, lead ammunition is still widely used for hunting big game and small game animals. In this study, we evaluated the association between big game hunting and blood lead concentration in an avian scavenger species that feeds regularly on large mammals in California. We compared blood lead concentration in turkey vultures within and outside of the deer hunting season, and in areas with varying wild pig hunting intensity. Lead exposure in turkey vultures was significantly higher during the deer hunting season compared to the off-season, and blood lead concentration was positively correlated with increasing wild pig hunting intensity. Our results link lead exposure in turkey vultures to deer and wild pig hunting activity at these study sites, and we provide evidence that spent lead ammunition in carrion poses a significant risk of lead exposure to scavengers. PMID:21494326

  6. Combining scales in habitat models to improve conservation planning in an endangered vulture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mateo-Tomás, Patricia; Olea, Pedro P.

    2009-07-01

    Predictive modelling of species' distributions has been successfully applied in conservation ecology, but effective conservation requires predictive and accurate models. The combination of different scales to build habitat models might improve their predictive ability and hence their usefulness for conservation, but this approach has rarely been evaluated. We developed habitat-occupancy models combining scales from nest-site to landscape for a key population at the northwestern edge of the distribution of the globally endangered Egyptian vulture ( Neophron percnopterus). We used generalised linear models (GLM) and an information-theoretic approach to identify the best combination of scales and resolutions for explaining occurrence. Those models that combined nest-site and landscape scales improved the predictive ability compared with the scale-specific ones. The best combined model had a very high predictive ability when used against an independent dataset (92% correct classifications). Egyptian vultures preferred to nest in caves with vegetation at the entrance that were situated at the base of long cliffs, provided that these cliffs are embedded within low-lying, heterogeneous areas with little topographic irregularity and with little human disturbance. The density of sheep around the nest positively influenced Egyptian vulture presence. Conservation of the studied population should focus on minimising human disturbance and on promoting sustainable development through conservation of traditional pastoralism. Our findings highlight the importance of developing region-specific multiscale models in order to design effective conservation strategies. The approach described here may be applied similarly in other populations and species.

  7. Wildlife contamination with fluoroquinolones from livestock: Widespread occurrence of enrofloxacin and marbofloxacin in vultures.

    PubMed

    Blanco, Guillermo; Junza, Alexandra; Segarra, David; Barbosa, José; Barrón, Dolores

    2016-02-01

    There is much recent interest in the presence and impact of veterinary pharmaceuticals in wildlife. Livestock carcasses are often disposed of in supplementary feeding stations for avian scavengers, as a management and conservation tool for these species worldwide. In feeding stations, vultures and other scavengers can consume carcasses almost immediately after disposal, which implies the potential ingestion of veterinary pharmaceuticals as a non-target consequence of supplementary feeding. Using UPLC-MS/MS and HPLC-TOF, we evaluated the presence and concentration of fluoroquinolone residues in plasma of nestling vultures feeding on domestic livestock carrion. Three different fluoroquinolones (marbofloxacin, enrofloxacin and its metabolite ciprofloxacin) and a non-targeted β-lactam (nafcillin) were detected in vulture plasma. The high proportion of individuals (92%) with fluoroquinolone residues at variable concentrations (up to ∼20 μg L(-1) of enrofloxacin and ∼150 μg L(-1) of marbofloxacin) sampled in several geographically distant colonies and on different dates suggests that these and other drugs were potentially ingested throughout nestling development. Contamination with veterinary fluoroquinolones and other pharmaceuticals should be considered as an unintended but alarming consequence of food management in threatened wildlife. PMID:26498102

  8. Monte Vulture Volcano (Basilicata, Italy): an analysis of morphology and volcaniclastic facies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guest, J. E.; Duncan, A. M.; Chester, D. K.

    1988-07-01

    The earliest activity of Monte Vulture, central Italy, included ignimbrites but the bulk of the volcano was built up by plinian airfall deposits. Contemporaneous remobilisation of these deposits formed an apron of lahars around the base of the main cone. The volcano was constructed on a ridge; the valley to the east and tributaries to the north and south became sediment traps for volcaniclastic materials emplaced by fluvial reworking and directly from volcanic activity. To the west the valley was swept clear by active downcutting. Instability of the west flank as a result of this erosion was probably a contributory cause of major gravitational sector collapse on the volcano's flank, terminating the main cone-building phase. The resultant scar is an amphitheatre-shaped hollow called here the Valle dei Grigi. Previous workers have attributed this feature to coalescing calderas formed by engulfment. The last volcanic phase was the production of the Monticchio calderas and associated phreatomagmatic explosions producing airfall and surge deposits. Because most of the activity at Vulture has been repeated plinian eruptions producing similar assemblages of products, detailed stratigraphy of the volcano is difficult to accomplish. To characterise Vulture in terms of its products, various facies are identified and interpreted in relation to volcanic processes, distance from vent and environmental conditions.

  9. Set a thief to catch a thief: brown-necked raven ( Corvus ruficollis) cooperatively kleptoparasitize Egyptian vulture ( Neophron percnopterus)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yosef, Reuven; Kabesa, Shai; Yosef, Nufar

    2011-05-01

    Our study describes how brown-necked ravens ( Corvus ruficollis) are able to take advantage of an ordinarily inaccessible, high-quality food source by relying upon their innovative and manipulative thinking capabilities to exploit methods used by Egyptian vulture ( Neophron percnopterus) to overcome the problem. In five observed interactions, the ravens were first seen in the vicinity of an abandoned clutch of ostrich eggs ( Struthio camelus). The area was frequented by a pair of Egyptian vultures that bred on the cliffs across the road from the nature reserve. The Egyptian vulture exhibits tool use in birds, and is able to crack the hard shells of ostrich eggs by lifting a rock in the beak and pounding at the egg till it breaks open or cracks. If the egg is only cracked, the vulture inserts its narrow bill into the fissure and widens it by opening the mandibles. Pieces of eggshell are removed from around the crack in order to further open the egg. This is the point at which the pair of ravens attacked the vulture and harassed it till it abandoned the egg and left the area. The ravens then jointly enjoyed the contents of the egg which was otherwise inaccessible to them because of the strong egg shell.

  10. Ochre Bathing of the Bearded Vulture: A Bio-Mimetic Model for Early Humans towards Smell Prevention and Health.

    PubMed

    Tributsch, Helmut

    2016-01-01

    Since primordial times, vultures have been competing with man for animal carcasses. One of these vultures, the once widespread bearded vulture ( Gypaetus barbatus ), has the habit of bathing its polluted feathers and skin in red iron oxide - ochre - tainted water puddles. Why? Primitive man may have tried to find out and may have discovered its advantages. Red ochre, which has accompanied human rituals and everyday life for more than 100,000 years, is not just a simple red paint for decoration or a symbol for blood. As modern experiments demonstrate, it is active in sunlight producing aggressive chemical species. They can kill viruses and bacteria and convert smelly organic substances into volatile neutral carbon dioxide gas. In this way, ochre can in sunlight sterilize and clean the skin to provide health and comfort and make it scentless, a definitive advantage for nomadic meat hunters. This research thus also demonstrates a sanitary reason for the vulture's habit of bathing in red ochre mud. Prehistoric people have therefore included ochre use into their rituals, especially into those in relation to birth and death. Significant ritual impulses during evolution of man may thus have developed bio-mimetically, inspired from the habits of a vulture. It is discussed how this health strategy could be developed to a modern standard helping to fight antibiotics-resistant bacteria in hospitals. PMID:26784238

  11. Need and Seek for Dietary Micronutrients: Endogenous Regulation, External Signalling and Food Sources of Carotenoids in New World Vultures

    PubMed Central

    Blanco, Guillermo; Hornero-Méndez, Dámaso; Lambertucci, Sergio A.; Bautista, Luis M.; Wiemeyer, Guillermo; Sanchez-Zapata, José A.; Garrido-Fernández, Juan; Hiraldo, Fernando; Donázar, José A.

    2013-01-01

    Among birds, vultures show low concentrations of plasma carotenoids due to the combination of their large size, general dull colouration and a diet based on carrion. We recorded the concentration of each carotenoid type present in plasma of the Andean condor (Vultur gryphus) according to age and sex, that determine colour signalling and dominance hierarchies in the carcasses. We compared the carotenoid profile in wild condors with that of captive condors fed with a controlled diet of flesh to test the hypothesis that wild individuals could acquire extra carotenoids from vegetal matter contained in carcass viscera and fresh vegetation. Wild American black vultures (Coragyps atratus) were also sampled to evaluate the potential influence of colouration in the integument on absorption and accumulation patterns of plasma carotenoids. A remarkably higher concentration of lutein than β-carotene was found in wild condors, while the contrary pattern was recorded in American black vultures and captive condors. We found a consistent decrease in all plasma carotenoids with age, and a lower concentration of most xanthophylls in male compared to female wild condors. Positive correlations of all carotenoids indicated general common absorption and accumulation strategies or a single dietary source containing all pigments found in plasma. The comparatively low total concentration of carotenoids, and especially of lutein rather than β-carotene, found in captive condors fed with a diet restricted to flesh supports the hypothesis that Andean condors can efficiently acquire carotenoids from vegetal matter in the wild. Andean condors seem to be physiologically more competent in the uptake or accumulation of xanthophylls than American black vultures, which agrees with the use of colour-signalling strategies in sexual and competitive contexts in the Andean condor. This study suggests that vultures may use dietary vegetal supplements that provide pigments and micronutrients that are

  12. Need and seek for dietary micronutrients: endogenous regulation, external signalling and food sources of carotenoids in new world vultures.

    PubMed

    Blanco, Guillermo; Hornero-Méndez, Dámaso; Lambertucci, Sergio A; Bautista, Luis M; Wiemeyer, Guillermo; Sanchez-Zapata, José A; Garrido-Fernández, Juan; Hiraldo, Fernando; Donázar, José A

    2013-01-01

    Among birds, vultures show low concentrations of plasma carotenoids due to the combination of their large size, general dull colouration and a diet based on carrion. We recorded the concentration of each carotenoid type present in plasma of the Andean condor (Vultur gryphus) according to age and sex, that determine colour signalling and dominance hierarchies in the carcasses. We compared the carotenoid profile in wild condors with that of captive condors fed with a controlled diet of flesh to test the hypothesis that wild individuals could acquire extra carotenoids from vegetal matter contained in carcass viscera and fresh vegetation. Wild American black vultures (Coragyps atratus) were also sampled to evaluate the potential influence of colouration in the integument on absorption and accumulation patterns of plasma carotenoids. A remarkably higher concentration of lutein than β-carotene was found in wild condors, while the contrary pattern was recorded in American black vultures and captive condors. We found a consistent decrease in all plasma carotenoids with age, and a lower concentration of most xanthophylls in male compared to female wild condors. Positive correlations of all carotenoids indicated general common absorption and accumulation strategies or a single dietary source containing all pigments found in plasma. The comparatively low total concentration of carotenoids, and especially of lutein rather than β-carotene, found in captive condors fed with a diet restricted to flesh supports the hypothesis that Andean condors can efficiently acquire carotenoids from vegetal matter in the wild. Andean condors seem to be physiologically more competent in the uptake or accumulation of xanthophylls than American black vultures, which agrees with the use of colour-signalling strategies in sexual and competitive contexts in the Andean condor. This study suggests that vultures may use dietary vegetal supplements that provide pigments and micronutrients that are

  13. Petrogenesis of Monte Vulture volcano (Italy): inferences from mineral chemistry, major and trace element data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Fino, M.; La Volpe, L.; Peccerillo, A.; Piccarreta, G.; Poli, G.

    1986-02-01

    The paper presents major and trace element data and mineral compositions for a series of foiditic-tephritic to phonolitic rocks coming from Monte Vulture, Southern Italy, and investigates their origin, evolution and relationship with the other centres of the Roman province. Major and trace element variation in the foiditic to tephritic suite agrees with a hypothesis of evolution by simple crystal/liquid fractionation, whereas the early erupted phonolitic trachytes and phonolites have geochemical characteristics which do not support their derivation from tephritic magma by crystal fractionation. Foiditic and phonolitic rocks have mineral compositions which are interpreted as indicating magma mixing. However geochemical evidence shows that this process did not play an important role during the magma evolution. The Vulture rocks have compositional peculiarities such as high abundance of Na2O, CaO, Cl and S, when compared with other Roman volcanics. Instead, the distribution of incompatible elements is similar to those of Roman rocks, except for a lower content of Rb and K, higher P and lower Th/Ta and Th/Nb ratios which are still close to the values of arc volcanics. The high contents of Na, Ca and of volatile components are tentatively attributed to the interaction of magma with aqueous solutions, rich in calcium sulphate and sodium chloride, related to the Miocene or Triassic evaporites occurring within the sedimentary sequence underlying the volcano. The distribution pattern of the incompatible elements is interpreted as indicative of magma-forming in a subduction modified upper mantle and of the peculiar location of M. Vulture.

  14. Carbonatites in a subduction system: The Pleistocene alvikites from Mt. Vulture (southern Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Orazio, Massimo; Innocenti, Fabrizio; Tonarini, Sonia; Doglioni, Carlo

    2007-10-01

    We report here, for the first time, on the new finding of extrusive calciocarbonatite (alvikite) rocks from the Pleistocene Mt. Vulture volcano (southern Italy). These volcanic rocks, which represent an outstanding occurrence in the wider scenario of the Italian potassic magmatism, form lavas, pyroclastic deposits, and feeder dikes exposed on the northern slope of the volcano. The petrography, mineralogy and whole-rock chemistry attest the genuine carbonatitic nature of these rocks, that are characterized by high to very high contents of Sr, Ba, U, LREE, Nb, P, F, Th, high Nb/Ta and LREE/HREE ratios, and low contents of Ti, Zr, K, Rb, Na and Cs. The O-C isotope compositions are close to the "primary igneous carbonatite" field and, thus, are compatible with an ultimate mantle origin for these rocks. The Sr-Nd-Pb-B isotope compositions, measured both in the alvikites and in the silicate volcanic rocks, indicate a close genetic relationship between the alvikites and the associated melilitite/nephelinite rocks. Furthermore, these latter products are geochemically distinct from the main foiditic-phonolitic association of Mt. Vulture. We propose a petrogenetic/geodynamic interpretation which has important implications for understanding the relationships between carbonatites and orogenic activity. In particular, we propose that the studied alvikites are generated through liquid unmixing at crustal levels, starting from nephelinitic or melilititic parent liquids. These latter were produced in a hybrid mantle resulting from the interaction through a vertical slab window, between a metasomatized mantle wedge, moving eastward from the Tyrrhenian/Campanian region, and the local Adriatic mantle. The occurrence of carbonatite rocks at Mt. Vulture, that lies on the leading edge of the Southern Apennines accretionary prism, is taken as an evidence for the carbonatation of the mantle sources of this volcano. We speculate that mantle carbonatation is related to the introduction of

  15. Rate of Decline of the Oriental White-Backed Vulture Population in India Estimated from a Survey of Diclofenac Residues in Carcasses of Ungulates

    PubMed Central

    Green, Rhys E.; Taggart, Mark A.; Senacha, Kalu Ram; Raghavan, Bindu; Pain, Deborah J.; Jhala, Yadvendradev; Cuthbert, Richard

    2007-01-01

    The non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac is a major cause of the rapid declines in the Indian subcontinent of three species of vultures endemic to South Asia. The drug causes kidney failure and death in vultures. Exposure probably arises through vultures feeding on carcasses of domesticated ungulates treated with the drug. However, before the study reported here, it had not been established from field surveys of ungulate carcasses that a sufficient proportion was contaminated to cause the observed declines. We surveyed diclofenac concentrations in samples of liver from carcasses of domesticated ungulates in India in 2004–2005. We estimated the concentration of diclofenac in tissues available to vultures, relative to that in liver, and the proportion of vultures killed after feeding on a carcass with a known level of contamination. We assessed the impact of this mortality on vulture population trend with a population model. We expected levels of diclofenac found in ungulate carcasses in 2004–2005 to cause oriental white-backed vulture population declines of 80–99% per year, depending upon the assumptions used in the model. This compares with an observed rate of decline, from road transect counts, of 48% per year in 2000–2003. The precision of the estimate based upon carcass surveys is low and the two types of estimate were not significantly different. Our analyses indicate that the level of diclofenac contamination found in carcasses of domesticated ungulates in 2004–2005 was sufficient to account for the observed rapid decline of the oriental white-backed vulture in India. The methods we describe could be used again to assess changes in the effect on vulture population trend of diclofenac and similar drugs. In this way, the effectiveness of the recent ban in India on the manufacture and importation of diclofenac for veterinary use could be monitored. PMID:17668064

  16. Environmental drivers of variability in the movement ecology of turkey vultures (Cathartes aura) in North and South America.

    PubMed

    Dodge, Somayeh; Bohrer, Gil; Bildstein, Keith; Davidson, Sarah C; Weinzierl, Rolf; Bechard, Marc J; Barber, David; Kays, Roland; Brandes, David; Han, Jiawei; Wikelski, Martin

    2014-01-01

    Variation is key to the adaptability of species and their ability to survive changes to the Earth's climate and habitats. Plasticity in movement strategies allows a species to better track spatial dynamics of habitat quality. We describe the mechanisms that shape the movement of a long-distance migrant bird (turkey vulture, Cathartes aura) across two continents using satellite tracking coupled with remote-sensing science. Using nearly 10 years of data from 24 satellite-tracked vultures in four distinct populations, we describe an enormous amount of variation in their movement patterns. We related vulture movement to environmental conditions and found important correlations explaining how far they need to move to find food (indexed by the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) and how fast they can move based on the prevalence of thermals and temperature. We conclude that the extensive variability in the movement ecology of turkey vultures, facilitated by their energetically efficient thermal soaring, suggests that this species is likely to do well across periods of modest climate change. The large scale and sample sizes needed for such analysis in a widespread migrant emphasizes the need for integrated and collaborative efforts to obtain tracking data and for policies, tools and open datasets to encourage such collaborations and data sharing. PMID:24733950

  17. Active degassing of mantle-derived fluid: A geochemical study along the Vulture line, southern Apennines (Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caracausi, A.; Martelli, M.; Nuccio, P. M.; Paternoster, M.; Stuart, F. M.

    2013-03-01

    We report the results of a geochemical study of gas emissions along a NE-SW transect in southern Italy in order to test the hypothesis that the region around Monte Vulture is affected by degassing of mantle-derived fluids through a lithospheric discontinuity. We also investigated lavas from the Monte Vulture volcano displaying 3He/4He (up to ~ 6.0 Ra) and Sr isotopes that are consistent with an origin in mantle that has had minimal pollution from subducted Adriatic slab. Similar 3He/4He in fluids from around Mt. Vulture indicate that the deep volcanic system is still degassing. Mantle-derived He occurs in fluids along the length of the Vulture line, reinforcing the hypothesis that it is a deep tectonic discontinuity along which mantle fluids and/or melts advect to the surface. The CO2/3He ratios are highly variable (2.7 × 108-2.15 × 1011) in response to processes such as gas dissolution into aquifers, addition of crustal gases and degassing fractionation.

  18. Environmental drivers of variability in the movement ecology of turkey vultures (Cathartes aura) in North and South America

    PubMed Central

    Dodge, Somayeh; Bohrer, Gil; Bildstein, Keith; Davidson, Sarah C.; Weinzierl, Rolf; Bechard, Marc J.; Barber, David; Kays, Roland; Brandes, David; Han, Jiawei; Wikelski, Martin

    2014-01-01

    Variation is key to the adaptability of species and their ability to survive changes to the Earth's climate and habitats. Plasticity in movement strategies allows a species to better track spatial dynamics of habitat quality. We describe the mechanisms that shape the movement of a long-distance migrant bird (turkey vulture, Cathartes aura) across two continents using satellite tracking coupled with remote-sensing science. Using nearly 10 years of data from 24 satellite-tracked vultures in four distinct populations, we describe an enormous amount of variation in their movement patterns. We related vulture movement to environmental conditions and found important correlations explaining how far they need to move to find food (indexed by the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) and how fast they can move based on the prevalence of thermals and temperature. We conclude that the extensive variability in the movement ecology of turkey vultures, facilitated by their energetically efficient thermal soaring, suggests that this species is likely to do well across periods of modest climate change. The large scale and sample sizes needed for such analysis in a widespread migrant emphasizes the need for integrated and collaborative efforts to obtain tracking data and for policies, tools and open datasets to encourage such collaborations and data sharing. PMID:24733950

  19. Calcio-carbonatite melts and metasomatism in the mantle beneath Mt. Vulture (Southern Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosatelli, Gianluigi; Wall, Frances; Stoppa, Francesco

    2007-12-01

    At Mt. Vulture volcano (Basilicata, Italy) calcite globules (5-150 μm) are hosted by silicate glass pools or veins cross-cutting amphibole-bearing, or more common spinel-bearing mantle xenoliths and xenocrysts. The carbonate globules are rounded or elongated and are composed of a mosaic of 2-20 μm crystals, with varying optical orientation. These features are consistent with formation from a quenched calciocarbonatite melt. Where in contact with carbonate amphibole has reacted to form fassaitic pyroxene. Some of these globules contain liquid/gaseous CO 2 bubbles and sulphide inclusions, and are pierced by quench microphenocrysts of silicate phases. The carbonate composition varies from calcite to Mg-calcite (3.8-5.0 wt.% MgO) both within the carbonate globules and from globule to globule. Trace element contents of the carbonate, determined by LAICPMS, are similar to those of carbonatites worldwide including ΣREE up to 123 ppm. The Sr-Nd isotope ratios of the xenolith carbonate are similar to the extrusive carbonatite and silicate rocks of Mt. Vulture testifying to derivation from the same mantle source. Formation of immiscibile silicate-carbonatite liquids within mantle xenoliths occurred via disequilibrium immiscibility during their exhumation.

  20. Ochre Bathing of the Bearded Vulture: A Bio-Mimetic Model for Early Humans towards Smell Prevention and Health

    PubMed Central

    Tributsch, Helmut

    2016-01-01

    Simple Summary The once widespread bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) has the habit of bathing its polluted feathers and skin in red iron oxide-ochre-tainted water puddles. Primitive man may have tried to find out why: ochre is active in sunlight producing aggressive chemical species. They can kill viruses and bacteria and convert smelly organic substances into volatile neutral carbon dioxide gas. There is consequently a sanitary reason for the vulture’s habit of bathing in red ochre mud and this explains why prehistoric people included ochre use into their habits and rituals. Abstract Since primordial times, vultures have been competing with man for animal carcasses. One of these vultures, the once widespread bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus), has the habit of bathing its polluted feathers and skin in red iron oxide - ochre - tainted water puddles. Why? Primitive man may have tried to find out and may have discovered its advantages. Red ochre, which has accompanied human rituals and everyday life for more than 100,000 years, is not just a simple red paint for decoration or a symbol for blood. As modern experiments demonstrate, it is active in sunlight producing aggressive chemical species. They can kill viruses and bacteria and convert smelly organic substances into volatile neutral carbon dioxide gas. In this way, ochre can in sunlight sterilize and clean the skin to provide health and comfort and make it scentless, a definitive advantage for nomadic meat hunters. This research thus also demonstrates a sanitary reason for the vulture’s habit of bathing in red ochre mud. Prehistoric people have therefore included ochre use into their rituals, especially into those in relation to birth and death. Significant ritual impulses during evolution of man may thus have developed bio-mimetically, inspired from the habits of a vulture. It is discussed how this health strategy could be developed to a modern standard helping to fight antibiotics-resistant bacteria in

  1. Investigating the impact of large carcass feeding on the behavior of captive Andean condors (Vultur gryphus) and its perception by zoo visitors.

    PubMed

    Gaengler, Hannah; Clum, Nancy

    2015-01-01

    Naturalistic feeding methods, such as the provision of whole carcasses to zoo animals, are potentially controversial because zoo visitors might not approve of them. However, since several species of zoo animals feed from large carcasses in the wild, this food type could benefit their welfare in captivity compared to other less-natural food types. Scavengers in particular almost exclusively live on carcasses in nature; therefore, their welfare in captivity could significantly depend on the opportunity to express behaviors related to carcass feeding. In this study, we assessed the frequency of carcass feeding for vultures in North American zoos and investigated the effect of different food types on the behavior of zoo-housed Andean condors (Vultur gryphus). We also evaluated the opinion of North American zoo visitors about carcass feeding. Our results show that small whole carcasses (rats, rabbits) are part of the diet of vultures in most North American zoos, but large whole carcasses (ungulates) are rarely fed. Our behavioral study indicated that Andean condors appear to be more motivated to feed on more natural food types, which also seem to physically engage the birds more and occupy them longer. Most zoo visitors approved of carcass feeding for captive vultures over a range of prey animals, and the majority would also like to observe the vultures eat. Collectively, our results demonstrate that carcass feeding, particularly with larger prey, potentially enriches both zoo-housed vultures as well as the visitor experience. PMID:25653198

  2. Crystal chemistry of clinopyroxene from alkaline undersaturated rocks of the Monte Vulture Volcano, Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bindi, Luca; Cellai, Daniela; Melluso, Leone; Conticelli, Sandro; Morra, Vincenzo; Menchetti, Silvio

    1999-02-01

    The Monte Vulture is a Late Pleistocene stratovolcano, composed of highly undersaturated alkaline potassic to ultrapotassic rocks belonging to the Roman Magmatic Province. These rocks are notably richer in Na 2O if compared to similar rocks of the Roman Province. Two distinct magmatic Series have been recognized: (1) feldspar-bearing series, ranging from basanite to phonolite, and a volumetrically subordinate (2) feldspar-free series, consisting of melilitite, melafoidite, and haüynophyre. The clinopyroxene compositions of the feldspar-bearing series ranges from diopside to ferro-salite (hedenbergite), and shows, from basanite to phonotephrite, increasing FeO tot, Al 2O 3, and TiO 2 and decreasing of MgO contents. Clinopyroxene in basanites and tephrites has generally high Fe 3+ contents, which is typical for clinopyroxene from the Roman Province. Clinopyroxene of the feldspar-free series shows a more restricted variation in MgO, and has often very high Al 2O 3, FeO tot, and TiO 2 contents. In all the crystals examined the Al 3+ content is high and is present mostly on the T site and for a minor part on the M1 site. The M1-O2 distance shows a good correlation with the R M13+ content; clinopyroxene from basanites (feldspar-bearing series) has the lowest R M13+ and that from melilitite and haüynophyre (feldspar-free series) the highest R M13+ contents. Clinopyroxene crystals from feldspar-free rocks have smaller M1 and larger T polyhedral volumes when compared to those in olivine-melilitites and melilitites (kamafugites) from Umbria, but they show similar polyhedral volumes as clinopyroxene crystals from leucite-bearing rocks. Although clinopyroxene from feldspar-free rocks has small M1 volumes due to the high R 3+ contents, M1 volumes of clinopyroxene from melilitites are larger than expected because of the higher (Fe 3+/Al 3+) M1 values. This larger M1 volume of clinopyroxene in melilitites causes a shortening of and a lengthening of the M2-O3 distance

  3. The HD-GYP Domain Protein RpfG of Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzicola Regulates Synthesis of Extracellular Polysaccharides that Contribute to Biofilm Formation and Virulence on Rice

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yuanbao; Wei, Chao; Jiang, Wendi; Wang, Lei; Li, Churui; Wang, Yunyue; Dow, John Maxwell; Sun, Wenxian

    2013-01-01

    Bacterial leaf streak caused by Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzicola (Xoc) is one of the most important diseases in rice. However, little is known about the pathogenicity mechanisms of Xoc. Here we have investigated the function of three HD-GYP domain regulatory proteins in biofilm formation, the synthesis of virulence factors and virulence of Xoc. Deletion of rpfG resulted in altered production of extracellular polysaccharides (EPS), abolished virulence on rice and enhanced biofilm formation, but had little effect on the secretion of proteases and motility. In contrast, mutational analysis showed that the other two HD-GYP domain proteins had no effect on virulence factor synthesis and tested phenotypes. Mutation of rpfG led to up-regulation of the type III secretion system and altered expression of three putative glycosyltransferase genes gumD, pgaC and xagB, which are part of operons directing the synthesis of different extracellular polysaccharides. The pgaABCD and xagABCD operons were greatly up-regulated in the Xoc ΔrpfG mutant, whereas the expression of the gum genes was unaltered or slightly enhanced. The elevated biofilm formation of the Xoc ΔrpfG mutant was dramatically reduced upon deletion of gumD, xagA and xagB, but not when pgaA and pgaC were deleted. Interestingly, only the ΔgumD mutant, among these single gene mutants, exhibits multiple phenotype alterations including reduced biofilm and EPS production and attenuated virulence on rice. These data indicate that RpfG is a global regulator that controls biofilm formation, EPS production and bacterial virulence in Xoc and that both gumD- and xagB-dependent EPS contribute to biofilm formation under different conditions. PMID:23544067

  4. Analysis of the HD-GYP Domain Cyclic Dimeric GMP Phosphodiesterase Reveals a Role in Motility and the Enzootic Life Cycle of Borrelia burgdorferi ▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Sultan, Syed Z.; Pitzer, Joshua E.; Boquoi, Tristan; Hobbs, Gerry; Miller, Michael R.; Motaleb, M. A.

    2011-01-01

    HD-GYP domain cyclic dimeric GMP (c-di-GMP) phosphodiesterases are implicated in motility and virulence in bacteria. Borrelia burgdorferi possesses a single set of c-di-GMP-metabolizing enzymes, including a putative HD-GYP domain protein, BB0374. Recently, we characterized the EAL domain phosphodiesterase PdeA. A mutation in pdeA resulted in cells that were defective in motility and virulence. Here we demonstrate that BB0374/PdeB specifically hydrolyzed c-di-GMP with a Km of 2.9 nM, confirming that it is a functional phosphodiesterase. Furthermore, by measuring phosphodiesterase enzyme activity in extracts from cells containing the pdeA pdeB double mutant, we demonstrate that no additional phosphodiesterases are present in B. burgdorferi. pdeB single mutant cells exhibit significantly increased flexing, indicating a role for c-di-GMP in motility. Constructing and analyzing a pilZ pdeB double mutant suggests that PilZ likely interacts with chemotaxis signaling. While virulence in needle-inoculated C3H/HeN mice did not appear to be altered significantly in pdeB mutant cells, these cells exhibited a reduced ability to survive in Ixodes scapularis ticks. Consequently, those ticks were unable to transmit the infection to naïve mice. All of these phenotypes were restored when the mutant was complemented. Identification of this role of pdeB increases our understanding of the c-di-GMP signaling network in motility regulation and the life cycle of B. burgdorferi. PMID:21670168

  5. Tephrochronology of a late quatternary lacustrine record from the monticchio maar (vulture volcano, southern Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Narcisi, Biancamaria

    With the aim of defining the chronological framework of the 51 m deep sedimentary sequence (core D) from Lago Grande di Monticchio (Mt Vulture volcano), macroscopic, microscopic and geochemical investigations have been carried out on the 14 thickest (at least 3 cm) tephra layers recorded in the core. The results indicate that the tephras are related to the main late Quaternary explosive events from Ischia, Vesuvius and the Phlegrean Fields districts of the Campanian area. Following these results, a usable time scale has been obtained, according to which the sequence spans the last 70 ka. Beyond the chronological information, this investigation has made it possible: (a) to identify widespread time-parallel markers for reliable correlations in the Central Mediterranean; (b) to collect useful data about past powerful eruptions, particularly from Vesuvius, for a better assessment of volcanic hazards in Central and Southern Italy.

  6. Dermatological remedies in the traditional pharmacopoeia of Vulture-Alto Bradano, inland southern Italy

    PubMed Central

    Quave, Cassandra L; Pieroni, Andrea; Bennett, Bradley C

    2008-01-01

    Background Dermatological remedies make up at least one-third of the traditional pharmacopoeia in southern Italy. The identification of folk remedies for the skin is important both for the preservation of traditional medical knowledge and in the search for novel antimicrobial agents in the treatment of skin and soft tissue infection (SSTI). Our goal is to document traditional remedies from botanical, animal, mineral and industrial sources for the topical treatment of skin ailments. In addition to SSTI remedies for humans, we also discuss certain ethnoveterinary applications. Methods Field research was conducted in ten communities in the Vulture-Alto Bradano area of the Basilicata province, southern Italy. We randomly sampled 112 interviewees, stratified by age and gender. After obtaining prior informed consent, we collected data through semi-structured interviews, participant-observation, and small focus groups techniques. Voucher specimens of all cited botanic species were deposited at FTG and HLUC herbaria located in the US and Italy. Results We report the preparation and topical application of 116 remedies derived from 38 plant species. Remedies are used to treat laceration, burn wound, wart, inflammation, rash, dental abscess, furuncle, dermatitis, and other conditions. The pharmacopoeia also includes 49 animal remedies derived from sources such as pigs, slugs, and humans. Ethnoveterinary medicine, which incorporates both animal and plant derived remedies, is addressed. We also examine the recent decline in knowledge regarding the dermatological pharmacopoeia. Conclusion The traditional dermatological pharmacopoeia of Vulture-Alto Bradano is based on a dynamic folk medical construct of natural and spiritual illness and healing. Remedies are used to treat more than 45 skin and soft tissue conditions of both humans and animals. Of the total 165 remedies reported, 110 have never before been published in the mainland southern Italian ethnomedical literature. PMID

  7. Impact of the California Lead Ammunition Ban on Reducing Lead Exposure in Golden Eagles and Turkey Vultures

    PubMed Central

    Kelly, Terra R.; Bloom, Peter H.; Torres, Steve G.; Hernandez, Yvette Z.; Poppenga, Robert H.; Boyce, Walter M.; Johnson, Christine K.

    2011-01-01

    Predatory and scavenging birds may be exposed to high levels of lead when they ingest shot or bullet fragments embedded in the tissues of animals injured or killed with lead ammunition. Lead poisoning was a contributing factor in the decline of the endangered California condor population in the 1980s, and remains one of the primary factors threatening species recovery. In response to this threat, a ban on the use of lead ammunition for most hunting activities in the range of the condor in California was implemented in 2008. Monitoring of lead exposure in predatory and scavenging birds is essential for assessing the effectiveness of the lead ammunition ban in reducing lead exposure in these species. In this study, we assessed the effectiveness of the regulation in decreasing blood lead concentration in two avian sentinels, golden eagles and turkey vultures, within the condor range in California. We compared blood lead concentration in golden eagles and turkey vultures prior to the lead ammunition ban and one year following implementation of the ban. Lead exposure in both golden eagles and turkey vultures declined significantly post-ban. Our findings provide evidence that hunter compliance with lead ammunition regulations was sufficient to reduce lead exposure in predatory and scavenging birds at our study sites. PMID:21494329

  8. Groundwater recharge areas of a volcanic aquifer system inferred from hydraulic, hydrogeochemical and stable isotope data: Mount Vulture, southern Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parisi, Serena; Paternoster, Michele; Kohfahl, Claus; Pekdeger, Asaf; Meyer, Hanno; Hubberten, Hans Wolfgang; Spilotro, Giuseppe; Mongelli, Giovanni

    2011-02-01

    Environmental isotope techniques, hydrogeochemical analysis and hydraulic data are employed to identify the main recharge areas of the Mt. Vulture hydrogeological basin, one of the most important aquifers of southern Italy. The groundwaters are derived from seepage of rainwater, flowing from the highest to the lowest elevations through the shallow volcanic weathered host-rock fracture zones. Samples of shallow and deep groundwater were collected at 48 locations with elevations ranging from 352 to 1,100 m above sea level (a.s.l.), for stable isotope (δ18O, δD) and major ion analyses. A complete dataset of available hydraulic information has been integrated with measurements carried out in the present study. Inferred recharge elevations, estimated on the basis of the local vertical isotopic gradient of δ18O, range between 550 and 1,200 m a.s.l. The isotope pattern of the Quaternary aquifer reflects the spatial separation of different recharge sources. Knowledge of the local hydrogeological setting was the starting point for a detailed hydrogeochemical and isotopic study to define the recharge and discharge patterns identifying the groundwater flow pathways of the Mt. Vulture basin. The integration of all the data allowed for the tracing of the groundwater flows of the Mt. Vulture basin.

  9. Nyerereite from carbonatite rocks at Vulture volcano: implications for mantle metasomatism and petrogenesis of alkali carbonate melts Research Article

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stoppa, Francesco; Jones, Adrian P.; Sharygin, Victor V.

    2009-06-01

    Vulture volcano displays a wide range of mafic to alkaline, carbonate-, and/or CaO-rich volcanic rocks, with subvolcanic and plutonic rocks together with mantle xenoliths in pyroclastic ejecta. The roles of magmatic volatiles such as CO2, S, and Cl have been determined from compositions and trapping temperatures of inclusions in phenocrysts, which include the Na-K-Ca-carbonate nyerereite within melilite. We surmise that this alkali carbonate crystallised from an appropriate carbonatitic melt at relatively high temperature. Carbonatitic metasomatic features are traceable throughout many of the mantle xenoliths, and various carbonatitic components are found in the late stage extrusive suite. There is no evidence that alkali carbonatite developed as a separate magma, but it may have been an important evolutionary stage. We compare the rare occurrence of nyerereite at Vulture with other carbonatites and with an unaltered kimberlite from the Udachnaya pipe. We review the evidence at Vulture for associated carbonatitic metasomatism in the mantle, and we suggest that low viscosity alkali carbonatitic melts may have a primary and much deeper origin than previously considered.

  10. Ar-Ar investigations on Quarternary volcanic sequences of Monte Vulture (Southern Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buettner, A.; Principe, C.; Villa, I. M.

    2003-04-01

    Volcanic sanidines and phlogopites from feldspathoid- or sanidine-bearing volcanic sequences of Monte Vulture (Southern Italy) were analysed using Ar-Ar stepwise heating. In all samples phlogopite and sanidine are internally inhomogeneous as observed in a plot of Cl/K ratio vs step-age. At least two phases that are degassed during different temperature steps can be distinguished, resulting in internal discordance. Hence, all samples are affected by impurities and have to be treated as heterochemical mixtures. These effects are strongest in phlogopite. The high uncertainty of the calculated ages mirrors the statistically significant age discordance. The calculation of average ages was focused on isochemical steps. Isochron calculations necessarily give less precise ages because of the excessive scatter of datapoints. Moreover, most coarse grained phlogopites could contain excess 40Ar (as suggested by non-atmospheric intercepts in isochron plots) which could be of mantle origin. The analysed phlogopites from carbonatitic and melilite-foiditolite rocks of the upper stratigraphical sequence of Monte Vulture are Mg-rich, which indicates a mantle provenance (Stoppa and Woolley, 1997). All calculated phlogopite ages have, therefore, to be considered with caution. One sample, PG5, contains both sanidine and matrix phlogopite. This offers the possibility to directly compare the analytical results and further decipher possible inconsistencies. Ages were calculated as the average of isochemical steps, and errors are indicated at the 95% confidence level. Sanidine gives a weighted average age of 752±13 ka in agreement with the phlogopite age of 801±88 ka. In comparison to these average step ages, an isochron over five sanidine-steps yields an age of 737±35 ka (MSWD=1.5) and an atmospheric intercept of 295±49. The eruptive time-span covered by the analysed samples is 75±20 ka, confirming that the eruption history of Monte Vulture has been organised in clusters of activity

  11. Comments on: Carbonatites in a subduction system: The Pleistocene alvikites from Mt. Vulture (southern Italy) by d'Orazio et al., (2007)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stoppa, F.; Principe, C.; Giannandrea, P.

    2008-07-01

    [D'Orazio, M., Innocenti, F., Tonarini, S., Doglioni, C., 2007. Carbonatites in a subduction system: the Pleistocene alvikites from Mt. Vulture (southern Italy). Lithos 98, 313-334] describe a new finding of alvikite Ca-carbonatite at Vulture. They stress its importance as being the first carbonatite to be discovered in a subduction environment. They suggest that this rock is different from the other Italian carbonatites, considered as 'rocks sharing a carbonatitic affinity', which are radiogenic and chemically diluted by addition of sedimentary limestone. They note that Vulture 'alvikite' is not diluted and is very unradiogenic with respect to other Italian carbonatites. However, they maintain that Vulture 'alvikite' carbonate is derived from subducted limestones. We present an account of the field relationships relating to the above-mentioned rocks, setting the geological and petrographic records straight and describing pyroclastic rocks. We did not find that these rocks are formed from alvikite dykes or lava, but instead recognised them to be a continuous blanket of 'flaggy', welded tuff. We found that the rocks consist of physically separated melilitite and carbonatite juvenile lapilli settled into a carbonatite ash matrix form the rock. We disagree with the geochemical interpretation of the rock by [D'Orazio, M., Innocenti, F., Tonarini, S., Doglioni, C., 2007. Carbonatites in a subduction system: the Pleistocene alvikites from Mt. Vulture (southern Italy). Lithos 98, 313-334], and are particularly concerned by their conclusion of its carbonate origin. We remark on the rock's geodynamic assignment in the frame of an extensional tectonic setting, also referring to the other Italian carbonatite occurrences. We reject any ad hoc modified subduction as a direct source of Vulture and Italian carbonatites.

  12. Characterization of exo-s, exo-u, and alg virulence factors and antimicrobial resistance in Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolated from migratory Egyptian vultures from India.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Pradeep; Faridi, Farah; Mir, Irfan A; Sharma, Sandeep K

    2014-01-01

    This study of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in fecal droppings of migratory Egyptian vultures (Neophron p. percnopterus) revealed eight positive samples (n=25) by a 16S rRNA gene-based PCR in two consecutive winter seasons. Disk diffusion sensitivity testing revealed three multiple antimicrobial resistant (MAR) isolates. Genotypic characterization showed mutually exclusive exo-s and exo-u virulence genes in five and three isolates, respectively, while the alg gene was present in all of the isolates. MAR isolates with virulence genes were detected in both seasons. The Egyptian vultures could potentially be vectors of pathogenic and MAR P. aeruginosa, thereby affecting regional control and preventive measures. PMID:25317261

  13. Stable isotope ratios in meteoric recharge and groundwater at Mt. Vulture volcano, southern Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paternoster, M.; Liotta, M.; Favara, R.

    2008-01-01

    SummaryA rain gauge network consisting of five sites located at different altitudes, ranging from 320 to 1285 m.a.s.l., was installed at Mt. Vulture volcano (southern Italy). Rain water samples were collected monthly over a two-year period and their isotopic composition (δ 18O and δD) was analyzed. During the same period, circulating groundwater was sampled from 24 springs and wells distributed throughout the study area. Monthly isotopic composition values were used to determine the local meteoric water line (LMWL). Its slope is slightly lower than the relationship defined by Longinelli and Selmo (Longinelli, A., Selmo, E., 2003. Isotopic composition of precipitation in Italy: a first overall map. J. Hydrol. 270, 75-88) for southern Italy. The groundwater samples analyzed were distributed essentially along the LMWL. The weighted local meteoric water line (WLMWL), defined through the mean values weighted by the rainfall amount, however, may define in a short range the meteoric end-member in the local hydrological cycle more precisely. Since most of the groundwater sampling locations do not show seasonal variations in their stable isotope values, the flow system appears to be relatively homogeneous. The mean altitude of the recharge by rainfall infiltration was estimated on the basis of the local vertical isotopic gradient δ 18O. A few springs, which show anomalous isotopic values, reveal more regional circulation systems, associated with tectonic structures responsible for the ascent of deeper water.

  14. Compositions of magmas and carbonate silicate liquid immiscibility in the Vulture alkaline igneous complex, Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solovova, I. P.; Girnis, A. V.; Kogarko, L. N.; Kononkova, N. N.; Stoppa, F.; Rosatelli, G.

    2005-11-01

    This paper presents a study of melt and fluid inclusions in minerals of an olivine-leucite phonolitic nephelinite bomb from the Monticchio Lake Formation, Vulture. The rock contains 50 vol.% clinopyroxene, 12% leucite, 10% alkali feldspars, 8% hauyne/sodalite, 7.5% nepheline, 4.5% apatite, 3.2% olivine, 2% opaques, 2.6% plagioclase, and < 1% amphibole. We distinguished three generations of clinopyroxene differing in composition and morphology. All the phenocrysts bear primary and secondary melt and fluid inclusions, which recorded successive stages of melt evolution. The most primitive melts were found in the most magnesian olivine and the earliest clinopyroxene phenocrysts. The melts are near primary mantle liquids and are rich in Ca, Mg and incompatible and volatile elements. Thermometric experiments with the melt inclusions suggested that melt crystallization began at temperatures of about 1200 °C. Because of the partial leakage of all primary fluid inclusions, the pressure of crystallization is constrained only to minimum of 3.5 kbar. Combined silicate-carbonate melt inclusions were found in apatite phenocrysts. They are indicative of carbonate-silicate liquid immiscibility, which occurred during magma evolution. Large hydrous secondary melt inclusions were found in olivine and clinopyroxene. The inclusions in the phenocrysts recorded an open-system magma evolution during its rise towards the surface including crystallization, degassing, oxidation, and liquid immiscibility processes.

  15. Susceptibility to Infection and Immune Response in Insular and Continental Populations of Egyptian Vulture: Implications for Conservation

    PubMed Central

    Gangoso, Laura; Grande, Juan M.; Lemus, Jesús A.; Blanco, Guillermo; Grande, Javier; Donázar, José A.

    2009-01-01

    Background A generalized decline in populations of Old World avian scavengers is occurring on a global scale. The main cause of the observed crisis in continental populations of these birds should be looked for in the interaction between two factors - changes in livestock management, including the increased use of pharmaceutical products, and disease. Insular vertebrates seem to be especially susceptible to diseases induced by the arrival of exotic pathogens, a process often favored by human activities, and sedentary and highly dense insular scavengers populations may be thus especially exposed to infection by such pathogens. Here, we compare pathogen prevalence and immune response in insular and continental populations of the globally endangered Egyptian vulture under similar livestock management scenarios, but with different ecological and evolutionary perspectives. Methods/Principal Findings Adult, immature, and fledgling vultures from the Canary Islands and the Iberian Peninsula were sampled to determine a) the prevalence of seven pathogen taxa and b) their immunocompetence, as measured by monitoring techniques (white blood cells counts and immunoglobulins). In the Canarian population, pathogen prevalence was higher and, in addition, an association among pathogens was apparent, contrary to the situation detected in continental populations. Despite that, insular fledglings showed lower leukocyte profiles than continental birds and Canarian fledglings infected by Chlamydophila psittaci showed poorer cellular immune response. Conclusions/Significance A combination of environmental and ecological factors may contribute to explain the high susceptibility to infection found in insular vultures. The scenario described here may be similar in other insular systems where populations of carrion-eaters are in strong decline and are seriously threatened. Higher susceptibility to infection may be a further factor contributing decisively to the extinction of island scavengers

  16. Trace element and isotopic variations from Mt. Vulture to Campanian volcanoes: constraints for slab detachment and mantle inflow beneath southern Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Astis, G.; Kempton, P. D.; Peccerillo, A.; Wu, T. W.

    2006-03-01

    New Sr-Nd-Pb isotopic ratios and trace element data for volcanic mafic rocks outcropping along a E-W transect in southern Italy, from Mt. Vulture to Neapolitan volcanoes, are reported. The variation of LILE/HFSE, HFSE/HFSE and radiogenic isotopes along this transect indicates that all of these volcanoes contain both intra-plate and subduction-related signatures, with the former decreasing from Mt. Vulture to Campanian volcanoes. New data are also reported for the Paleocene alkaline rocks from Pietre Nere (Apulia foreland), which show isotopic ratios mostly overlapping the values for Mediterranean intra-plate volcanoes as well as the Eocene-Oligocene alkaline mafic lavas from the northern Adria plate. Pietre Nere provides evidence for an OIB mantle composition of FOZO-type, free of subduction influences, that is present beneath the Adria plate (Africa) before its collision with Europe. After this collision, and formation of the southern Apennines, westward inflow of mantle from the Adria plate to the Campanian area occurred, as a consequence of slab break off. Interaction of subduction components with inflowing Adria mantle generated hybrid sources beneath the Vulture-Campania area, which can explain the compositional features of both Mt. Vulture and the Campanian mafic rocks. Therefore, mafic magmas from these volcanoes represent variable degrees of mixing between different mantle components.

  17. Density-dependent productivity in a colonial vulture at two spatial scales.

    PubMed

    Fernández-Bellon, Darío; Cortés-Avizanda, Ainara; Arenas, Rafael; Donázar, José Antonio

    2016-02-01

    Understanding how density dependence modifies demographic parameters in long-lived vertebrates is a challenge for ecologists. Two alternative hypotheses have been used to explain the mechanisms behind density-dependent effects on breeding output: habitat heterogeneity and individual adjustment (also known as interference competition). A number of studies have highlighted the importance of habitat heterogeneity in density dependence in territorial species, but less information exists on demographic processes in colonial species. For these, we expect density-dependent mechanisms to operate at two spatial scales: colony and breeding unit. In this study, we used long-term data from a recovering population of Cinereous Vultures (Aegypius monachus) in southern Spain. We analyzed a long-term data set with information on 2162 breeding attempts at four colonies over a nine-year period (2002-2010) to evaluate environmental and population parameters influencing breeding output. Our results suggest that breeding productivity is subject to density-dependent processes at the colony and the nest site scale and is best explained by interference competition. Factors intrinsic to each colony, as well as environmental constraints linked to physiography and human presence, also play a role in regulatory processes. We detected the existence of a trade-off between the disadvantages of nesting too close to conspecifics and the benefits of coloniality. These could be mediated by the agonistic interactions between breeding pairs and the benefits derived from social sharing of information by breeding individuals. We propose that this trade-off may play a role in defining colony structure and may hold true for other colonial breeding bird species. Our findings also have important management implications for the conservation of this threatened species. PMID:27145615

  18. Andean Condor (Vultur gryphus) in Ecuador: Geographic Distribution, Population Size and Extinction Risk.

    PubMed

    Naveda-Rodríguez, Adrián; Vargas, Félix Hernán; Kohn, Sebastián; Zapata-Ríos, Galo

    2016-01-01

    The Andean Condor (Vultur gryphus) in Ecuador is classified as Critically Endangered. Before 2015, standardized and systematic estimates of geographic distribution, population size and structure were not available for this species, hampering the assessment of its current status and hindering the design and implementation of effective conservation actions. In this study, we performed the first quantitative assessment of geographic distribution, population size and population viability of Andean Condor in Ecuador. We used a methodological approach that included an ecological niche model to study geographic distribution, a simultaneous survey of 70 roosting sites to estimate population size and a population viability analysis (PVA) for the next 100 years. Geographic distribution in the form of extent of occurrence was 49 725 km2. During a two-day census, 93 Andean Condors were recorded and a population of 94 to 102 individuals was estimated. In this population, adult-to-immature ratio was 1:0.5. In the modeled PVA scenarios, the probability of extinction, mean time to extinction and minimum population size varied from zero to 100%, 63 years and 193 individuals, respectively. Habitat loss is the greatest threat to the conservation of Andean Condor populations in Ecuador. Population size reduction in scenarios that included habitat loss began within the first 15 years of this threat. Population reinforcement had no effects on the recovery of Andean Condor populations given the current status of the species in Ecuador. The population size estimate presented in this study is the lower than those reported previously in other countries where the species occur. The inferences derived from the population viability analysis have implications for Condor management in Ecuador. This study highlights the need to redirect efforts from captive breeding and population reinforcement to habitat conservation. PMID:26986004

  19. Differential Range Use between Age Classes of Southern African Bearded Vultures Gypaetus barbatus

    PubMed Central

    Krüger, Sonja; Reid, Timothy; Amar, Arjun

    2014-01-01

    Bearded Vulture Gypaetus barbatus movements were investigated in southern Africa to determine whether an individual's age, sex or breeding status influenced its ranging behaviour and to provide the information required to guide conservation activities. Data from satellite transmitters fitted to 18 individuals of four age classes were used to determine range size and use. Because of the nature of the movements of marked individuals, these data could be used to determine the overall foraging range of the entire population, which was estimated to be 51 767 km2. Although juvenile, immature and sub-adult birds used different parts of the overall range, their combined foraging range was 65% (33 636 km2) of the overall range. Average adult home ranges (286 km2) were only around 1% the size of the average foraging ranges of non-adults (10 540 –25 985 km2), with those of breeding adults being even smaller (95 km2). Home ranges of breeding adults did not vary in size between seasons but adults utilized their home range more intensively whilst breeding, moving greater distances during the incubation and chick hatching period. Range size and use increased as non-adults aged. Immatures and sub-adults had larger range sizes during winter, but range use of non-adults did not vary seasonally. Range size and use did not differ between the sexes in any of the age classes. Information on home range size and use enables specific areas within the species' range to be targeted for management planning, education and conservation action. PMID:25551614

  20. Differential range use between age classes of southern African Bearded Vultures Gypaetus barbatus.

    PubMed

    Krüger, Sonja; Reid, Timothy; Amar, Arjun

    2014-01-01

    Bearded Vulture Gypaetus barbatus movements were investigated in southern Africa to determine whether an individual's age, sex or breeding status influenced its ranging behaviour and to provide the information required to guide conservation activities. Data from satellite transmitters fitted to 18 individuals of four age classes were used to determine range size and use. Because of the nature of the movements of marked individuals, these data could be used to determine the overall foraging range of the entire population, which was estimated to be 51 767 km(2). Although juvenile, immature and sub-adult birds used different parts of the overall range, their combined foraging range was 65% (33 636 km(2)) of the overall range. Average adult home ranges (286 km(2)) were only around 1% the size of the average foraging ranges of non-adults (10 540 -25 985 km(2)), with those of breeding adults being even smaller (95 km(2)). Home ranges of breeding adults did not vary in size between seasons but adults utilized their home range more intensively whilst breeding, moving greater distances during the incubation and chick hatching period. Range size and use increased as non-adults aged. Immatures and sub-adults had larger range sizes during winter, but range use of non-adults did not vary seasonally. Range size and use did not differ between the sexes in any of the age classes. Information on home range size and use enables specific areas within the species' range to be targeted for management planning, education and conservation action. PMID:25551614

  1. Andean Condor (Vultur gryphus) in Ecuador: Geographic Distribution, Population Size and Extinction Risk

    PubMed Central

    Naveda-Rodríguez, Adrián; Vargas, Félix Hernán; Kohn, Sebastián; Zapata-Ríos, Galo

    2016-01-01

    The Andean Condor (Vultur gryphus) in Ecuador is classified as Critically Endangered. Before 2015, standardized and systematic estimates of geographic distribution, population size and structure were not available for this species, hampering the assessment of its current status and hindering the design and implementation of effective conservation actions. In this study, we performed the first quantitative assessment of geographic distribution, population size and population viability of Andean Condor in Ecuador. We used a methodological approach that included an ecological niche model to study geographic distribution, a simultaneous survey of 70 roosting sites to estimate population size and a population viability analysis (PVA) for the next 100 years. Geographic distribution in the form of extent of occurrence was 49 725 km2. During a two-day census, 93 Andean Condors were recorded and a population of 94 to 102 individuals was estimated. In this population, adult-to-immature ratio was 1:0.5. In the modeled PVA scenarios, the probability of extinction, mean time to extinction and minimum population size varied from zero to 100%, 63 years and 193 individuals, respectively. Habitat loss is the greatest threat to the conservation of Andean Condor populations in Ecuador. Population size reduction in scenarios that included habitat loss began within the first 15 years of this threat. Population reinforcement had no effects on the recovery of Andean Condor populations given the current status of the species in Ecuador. The population size estimate presented in this study is the lower than those reported previously in other countries where the species occur. The inferences derived from the population viability analysis have implications for Condor management in Ecuador. This study highlights the need to redirect efforts from captive breeding and population reinforcement to habitat conservation. PMID:26986004

  2. Decision-making by a soaring bird: time, energy and risk considerations at different spatio-temporal scales.

    PubMed

    Harel, Roi; Duriez, Olivier; Spiegel, Orr; Fluhr, Julie; Horvitz, Nir; Getz, Wayne M; Bouten, Willem; Sarrazin, François; Hatzofe, Ohad; Nathan, Ran

    2016-09-26

    Natural selection theory suggests that mobile animals trade off time, energy and risk costs with food, safety and other pay-offs obtained by movement. We examined how birds make movement decisions by integrating aspects of flight biomechanics, movement ecology and behaviour in a hierarchical framework investigating flight track variation across several spatio-temporal scales. Using extensive global positioning system and accelerometer data from Eurasian griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus) in Israel and France, we examined soaring-gliding decision-making by comparing inbound versus outbound flights (to or from a central roost, respectively), and these (and other) home-range foraging movements (up to 300 km) versus long-range movements (longer than 300 km). We found that long-range movements and inbound flights have similar features compared with their counterparts: individuals reduced journey time by performing more efficient soaring-gliding flight, reduced energy expenditure by flapping less and were more risk-prone by gliding more steeply between thermals. Age, breeding status, wind conditions and flight altitude (but not sex) affected time and energy prioritization during flights. We therefore suggest that individuals facing time, energy and risk trade-offs during movements make similar decisions across a broad range of ecological contexts and spatial scales, presumably owing to similarity in the uncertainty about movement outcomes.This article is part of the themed issue 'Moving in a moving medium: new perspectives on flight'. PMID:27528787

  3. Active adaptive management for reintroduction of an animal population

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Runge, Michael C.

    2013-01-01

    Captive animals are frequently reintroduced to the wild in the face of uncertainty, but that uncertainty can often be reduced over the course of the reintroduction effort, providing the opportunity for adaptive management. One common uncertainty in reintroductions is the short-term survival rate of released adults (a release cost), an important factor because it can affect whether releasing adults or juveniles is better. Information about this rate can improve the success of the reintroduction program, but does the expected gain offset the costs of obtaining the information? I explored this question for reintroduction of the griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus) by framing the management question as a belief Markov decision process, characterizing uncertainty about release cost with 2 information state variables, and finding the solution using stochastic dynamic programming. For a reintroduction program of fixed length (e.g., 5 years of releases), the optimal policy in the final release year resembles the deterministic solution: release either all adults or all juveniles depending on whether the point estimate for the survival rate in question is above or below a specific threshold. But the optimal policy in the earlier release years 1) includes release of a mixture of juveniles and adults under some circumstances, and 2) recommends release of adults even when the point estimate of survival is much less than the deterministic threshold. These results show that in an iterated decision setting, the optimal decision in early years can be quite different from that in later years because of the value of learning. 

  4. Iron site populations from Mössbauer spectroscopy in Ti-bearing garnets from Mt Vulture (Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ortalli, I.; Pedrazzi, G.; Schingaro, E.; Scordari, F.

    1994-12-01

    The present work concerns the determination of the cation site populations and crystal chemical formulae of some Ti-rich silicate garnets. The samples come from Mt. Vulture, a volcanic complex located on the east side of the Lucania Apennines (south Italy). Mössbauer spectroscopy (MS) has been used in order to obtain the iron site occupancies. Two different models for interpreting the Fe2+ peak positions in the Mössbauer spectra are compared, and some methodological aspects are discussed. The derived iron distributions have then been combined with the data obtained by electron probe microanalysis (EPMA) and single-crystal X-ray diffraction analysis (XRD) to obtain consistent crystal chemical formulae for these compounds.

  5. Effect of Methodological and Ecological Approaches on Heterogeneity of Nest-Site Selection of a Long-Lived Vulture

    PubMed Central

    Moreno-Opo, Rubén; Fernández-Olalla, Mariana; Margalida, Antoni; Arredondo, Ángel; Guil, Francisco

    2012-01-01

    The application of scientific-based conservation measures requires that sampling methodologies in studies modelling similar ecological aspects produce comparable results making easier their interpretation. We aimed to show how the choice of different methodological and ecological approaches can affect conclusions in nest-site selection studies along different Palearctic meta-populations of an indicator species. First, a multivariate analysis of the variables affecting nest-site selection in a breeding colony of cinereous vulture (Aegypius monachus) in central Spain was performed. Then, a meta-analysis was applied to establish how methodological and habitat-type factors determine differences and similarities in the results obtained by previous studies that have modelled the forest breeding habitat of the species. Our results revealed patterns in nesting-habitat modelling by the cinereous vulture throughout its whole range: steep and south-facing slopes, great cover of large trees and distance to human activities were generally selected. The ratio and situation of the studied plots (nests/random), the use of plots vs. polygons as sampling units and the number of years of data set determined the variability explained by the model. Moreover, a greater size of the breeding colony implied that ecological and geomorphological variables at landscape level were more influential. Additionally, human activities affected in greater proportion to colonies situated in Mediterranean forests. For the first time, a meta-analysis regarding the factors determining nest-site selection heterogeneity for a single species at broad scale was achieved. It is essential to homogenize and coordinate experimental design in modelling the selection of species' ecological requirements in order to avoid that differences in results among studies would be due to methodological heterogeneity. This would optimize best conservation and management practices for habitats and species in a global context

  6. Uneven large-scale movement patterns in wild and reintroduced pre-adult bearded vultures: conservation implications.

    PubMed

    Margalida, Antoni; Carrete, Martina; Hegglin, Daniel; Serrano, David; Arenas, Rafael; Donázar, José A

    2013-01-01

    After the quasi-extinction of much of the European vertebrate megafauna during the last few centuries, many reintroduction projects seek to restore decimated populations. However, the future of numerous species depends on the management scenarios of metapopulations where the flow of individuals can be critical to ensure their viability. This is the case of the bearded vulture Gypaetus barbatus, an Old World, large body-sized and long-lived scavenger living in mountain ranges. Although persecution in Western Europe restrained it to the Pyrenees, the species is nowadays present in other mountains thanks to reintroduction projects. We examined the movement patterns of pre-adult non-breeding individuals born in the wild population of the Pyrenees (n = 9) and in the reintroduced populations of the Alps (n = 24) and Andalusia (n = 13). Most birds were equipped with GPS-GSM radio transmitters, which allowed accurate determination of individual dispersal patterns. Two estimators were considered: i) step length (i.e., the distance travelled per day by each individual, calculated considering only successive days); and ii) total dispersal distance (i.e., the distance travelled between each mean daily location and the point of release). Both dispersal estimators showed a positive relationship with age but were also highly dependent on the source population, birds in Andalusia and Alps moving farther than in Pyrenees. Future research should confirm if differences in dispersal distances are the rule, in which case the dynamics of future populations would be strongly influenced. In summary, our findings highlight that inter-population differences can affect the flow of individuals among patches (a key aspect to ensure the viability of the European metapopulation of the endangered bearded vulture), and thus should be taken into account when planning reintroduction programs. This result also raises questions about whether similar scenarios may occur in other restoration

  7. Uneven Large-Scale Movement Patterns in Wild and Reintroduced Pre-Adult Bearded Vultures: Conservation Implications

    PubMed Central

    Margalida, Antoni; Carrete, Martina; Hegglin, Daniel; Serrano, David; Arenas, Rafael; Donázar, José A.

    2013-01-01

    After the quasi-extinction of much of the European vertebrate megafauna during the last few centuries, many reintroduction projects seek to restore decimated populations. However, the future of numerous species depends on the management scenarios of metapopulations where the flow of individuals can be critical to ensure their viability. This is the case of the bearded vulture Gypaetus barbatus, an Old World, large body-sized and long-lived scavenger living in mountain ranges. Although persecution in Western Europe restrained it to the Pyrenees, the species is nowadays present in other mountains thanks to reintroduction projects. We examined the movement patterns of pre-adult non-breeding individuals born in the wild population of the Pyrenees (n = 9) and in the reintroduced populations of the Alps (n = 24) and Andalusia (n = 13). Most birds were equipped with GPS-GSM radio transmitters, which allowed accurate determination of individual dispersal patterns. Two estimators were considered: i) step length (i.e., the distance travelled per day by each individual, calculated considering only successive days); and ii) total dispersal distance (i.e., the distance travelled between each mean daily location and the point of release). Both dispersal estimators showed a positive relationship with age but were also highly dependent on the source population, birds in Andalusia and Alps moving farther than in Pyrenees. Future research should confirm if differences in dispersal distances are the rule, in which case the dynamics of future populations would be strongly influenced. In summary, our findings highlight that inter-population differences can affect the flow of individuals among patches (a key aspect to ensure the viability of the European metapopulation of the endangered bearded vulture), and thus should be taken into account when planning reintroduction programs. This result also raises questions about whether similar scenarios may occur in other restoration

  8. Multidrug-resistant Salmonella enterica Serovar Typhimurium Monophasic Variant 4,12:i:- Isolated from Asymptomatic Wildlife in a Catalonian Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, Spain.

    PubMed

    Molina-López, Rafael A; Vidal, Anna; Obón, Elena; Martín, Marga; Darwich, Laila

    2015-07-01

    Wildlife can act as long-term asymptomatic reservoirs for zoonotic bacteria, such as Salmonella. The prevalence and antimicrobial-susceptibility profiles of Salmonella spp. were assessed in 263 cases in wildlife from 22 animal orders from a wildlife rehabilitation center in Catalonia (NE Spain), September 2013-May 2014. Eleven of 263 tested animals were positive for Salmonella spp., representing an overall prevalence of 4.2%. Prevalences by taxonomic categories were 2% in mammals, 4.7% in birds, and 4.5% in reptiles. By species, one each of European hedgehog (Erinaceus europeus; from a sample of n = 26), Eurasian Eagle Owl (Bubo bubo; n = 2), Barn Owl (Tyto alba; n = 3), Tawny Owl (Strix aluco; n = 20), Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus; n = 1), Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus; n = 1), and Hoopoe (Upupa epops; n = 2), and two each Common Kestrels (Falco tinnunculus; n = 16) and pond sliders (Trachemys scripta; n = 25) were positive for Salmonella. By serotyping, seven of eleven isolates were classified as S. enterica subsp. enterica serovar Typhimurium, and five of seven belonged to the monophasic variant 4,12:i:-. All the monophasic variants were isolated from birds (4/5 in raptors) and showed a multidrug-resistance (MDR) profile to at least ampicillin, streptomycin, sulfonamide, and tetracycline (R-type ASSuT), and up to 12 antibiotics. The large proportion of S. Typhimurium monophasic MDR strains detected in wildlife never treated with antibiotics, especially in raptors, adds more complexity to the epidemiologic control of one of the most frequent serovars involved in human and livestock infection. PMID:25973627

  9. Age-Related Relationships between Innate Immunity and Plasma Carotenoids in an Obligate Avian Scavenger

    PubMed Central

    López-Rull, Isabel; Hornero-Méndez, Dámaso; Frías, Óscar; Blanco, Guillermo

    2015-01-01

    Variation in immunity is influenced by allocation trade-offs that are expected to change between age-classes as a result of the different environmental and physiological conditions that individuals encounter over their lifetime. One such trade-off occurs with carotenoids, which must be acquired with food and are involved in a variety of physiological functions. Nonetheless, relationships between immunity and carotenoids in species where these micronutrients are scarce due to diet are poorly studied. Among birds, vultures show the lowest concentrations of plasma carotenoids due to a diet based on carrion. Here, we investigated variations in the relationships between innate immunity (hemagglutination by natural antibodies and hemolysis by complement proteins), pathogen infection and plasma carotenoids in nestling and adult griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus) in the wild. Nestlings showed lower hemolysis, higher total carotenoid concentration and higher pathogen infection than adults. Hemolysis was negatively related to carotenoid concentration only in nestlings. A differential carotenoid allocation to immunity due to the incomplete development of the immune system of nestlings compared with adults is suggested linked to, or regardless of, potential differences in parasite infection, which requires experimental testing. We also found that individuals with more severe pathogen infections showed lower hemagglutination than those with a lower intensity infection irrespective of their age and carotenoid level. These results are consistent with the idea that intraspecific relationships between innate immunity and carotenoids may change across ontogeny, even in species lacking carotenoid-based coloration. Thus, even low concentrations of plasma carotenoids due to a scavenger diet can be essential to the development and activation of the immune system in growing birds. PMID:26544885

  10. Age-Related Relationships between Innate Immunity and Plasma Carotenoids in an Obligate Avian Scavenger.

    PubMed

    López-Rull, Isabel; Hornero-Méndez, Dámaso; Frías, Óscar; Blanco, Guillermo

    2015-01-01

    Variation in immunity is influenced by allocation trade-offs that are expected to change between age-classes as a result of the different environmental and physiological conditions that individuals encounter over their lifetime. One such trade-off occurs with carotenoids, which must be acquired with food and are involved in a variety of physiological functions. Nonetheless, relationships between immunity and carotenoids in species where these micronutrients are scarce due to diet are poorly studied. Among birds, vultures show the lowest concentrations of plasma carotenoids due to a diet based on carrion. Here, we investigated variations in the relationships between innate immunity (hemagglutination by natural antibodies and hemolysis by complement proteins), pathogen infection and plasma carotenoids in nestling and adult griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus) in the wild. Nestlings showed lower hemolysis, higher total carotenoid concentration and higher pathogen infection than adults. Hemolysis was negatively related to carotenoid concentration only in nestlings. A differential carotenoid allocation to immunity due to the incomplete development of the immune system of nestlings compared with adults is suggested linked to, or regardless of, potential differences in parasite infection, which requires experimental testing. We also found that individuals with more severe pathogen infections showed lower hemagglutination than those with a lower intensity infection irrespective of their age and carotenoid level. These results are consistent with the idea that intraspecific relationships between innate immunity and carotenoids may change across ontogeny, even in species lacking carotenoid-based coloration. Thus, even low concentrations of plasma carotenoids due to a scavenger diet can be essential to the development and activation of the immune system in growing birds. PMID:26544885

  11. Seropositivity and risk factors associated with Toxoplasma gondii infection in wild birds from Spain.

    PubMed

    Cabezón, Oscar; García-Bocanegra, Ignacio; Molina-López, Rafael; Marco, Ignasi; Blanco, Juan M; Höfle, Ursula; Margalida, Antoni; Bach-Raich, Esther; Darwich, Laila; Echeverría, Israel; Obón, Elena; Hernández, Mauro; Lavín, Santiago; Dubey, Jitender P; Almería, Sonia

    2011-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is a zoonotic intracellular protozoan parasite of worldwide distribution that infects many species of warm-blooded animals, including birds. To date, there is scant information about the seropositivity of T. gondii and the risk factors associated with T. gondii infection in wild bird populations. In the present study, T. gondii infection was evaluated on sera obtained from 1079 wild birds belonging to 56 species (including Falconiformes (n=610), Strigiformes (n=260), Ciconiiformes (n=156), Gruiformes (n=21), and other orders (n=32), from different areas of Spain. Antibodies to T. gondii (modified agglutination test, MAT titer ≥1:25) were found in 282 (26.1%, IC(95%:)23.5-28.7) of the 1079 birds. This study constitute the first extensive survey in wild birds species in Spain and reports for the first time T. gondii antibodies in the griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus), short-toed snake-eagle (Circaetus gallicus), Bonelli's eagle (Aquila fasciata), golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus), osprey (Pandion haliaetus), Montagu's harrier (Circus pygargus), Western marsh-harrier (Circus aeruginosus), peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus), long-eared owl (Asio otus), common scops owl (Otus scops), Eurasian spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia), white stork (Ciconia ciconia), grey heron (Ardea cinerea), common moorhen (Gallinula chloropus); in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) "vulnerable" Spanish imperial eagle (Aquila adalberti), lesser kestrel (Falco naumanni) and great bustard (Otis tarda); and in the IUCN "near threatened" red kite (Milvus milvus). The highest seropositivity by species was observed in the Eurasian eagle owl (Bubo bubo) (68.1%, 98 of 144). The main risk factors associated with T. gondii seropositivity in wild birds were age and diet, with the highest exposure in older animals and in carnivorous wild birds. The results showed that T. gondii infection is widespread and can be at a high level in

  12. Geochemistry and Sr-Nd isotopic compositions of mantle xenoliths from the Monte Vulture carbonatite-melilitite volcano, central southern Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Downes, H.; Kostoula, T.; Jones, A. P.; Beard, A. D.; Thirlwall, M. F.; Bodinier, J.-L.

    2002-08-01

    Spinel peridotite xenoliths found in the Monte Vulture carbonatite-melilitite volcano have been derived from the subcontinental lithospheric mantle beneath central southern Italy. Clinopyroxene-poor lherzolites and harzburgites are the most common rock types, with subordinate wehrlites and dunites. Small quantities of phlogopite and carbonate are present in a few samples. The peridotites record a large degree of partial melting and have experienced subsequent enrichment which has increased their LILE and LREE contents, but in most cases their HFSE contents are low. Despite being carried to the surface by a carbonatite-melilitite host, the whole-rock and clinopyroxene compositions of the xenoliths have a trace-element signature more closely resembling that of silicate-melt metasomatised mantle rather than carbonatite-metasomatised peridotites. 87Sr/86Sr and 143Nd/144Nd isotopic ratios for clinopyroxene from the Vulture peridotites are 0.7042-0.7058 and 0.51260-0.5131 respectively. They form a trend away from the depleted mantle to the composition of the host magmas, and show a significant enrichment in 87Sr/86Sr compared with most European mantle samples. The mantle beneath Monte Vulture has had a complex evolution - we propose that the lithosphere had already undergone extensive partial melting before being affected by metasomatism from a silicate melt which may have been subduction-related.

  13. Who are we feeding? Asymmetric individual use of surplus food resources in an insular population of the endangered Egyptian vulture Neophron percnopterus.

    PubMed

    García-Heras, Marie-Sophie; Cortés-Avizanda, Ainara; Donázar, José-Antonio

    2013-01-01

    Supplementary feeding stations, or "vulture restaurants", are common conservation management tools. While a number of studies have investigated the consequences of surplus food on the population dynamics of scavengers, relatively little is known about the effects of such practices at the individual level. Within the long-term monitored breeding population of Canarian Egyptian vultures (Neophron percnopterus majorensis) we investigated individual bird's patterns of use of a supplementary feeding station at Fuerteventura (Canary Islands), over the course of breeding (2001, 2002; 2004-2011) and non-breeding seasons (2000-2010). Our results show that during the breeding season the individual use of the supplementary feeding station was inversely related to the distance to the breeding territory, which suggests the existence of central-place foraging constraints. In addition, larger birds of poor body-condition and individuals that ultimately failed to fledge young were detected more frequently at the feeding station. During the non-breeding season, and because most breeding birds abandoned the breeding territories, the overall abundance of Egyptian vultures at the feeding station grew. Moreover, the only variable increasing the probability of presence of individuals was poor body condition so that birds with lower wing residual visited the feeding station more frequently. Supplementary feeding may benefit individuals who would otherwise have been subject to selective pressures. From our results it follows that this conservation strategy must be used with caution because it can have consequences on an individual level and thus potentially affect the viability of endangered populations. PMID:24244695

  14. Eruption style and petrology of a new carbonatitic suite from the Mt. Vulture Southern Italy/: The Monticchio Lakes Formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stoppa, Francesco; Principe, Claudia

    1997-09-01

    The Monticchio Lakes Formation MLF is a newly identified carbonatite-melilitite tuff sequence which is exposed in the southwestern sector of the Vulture volcano. It is the youngest example ca. 0.13 m.y. of this type of volcanism in Italy, although other carbonatites of smaller volume, but with similar characteristics, have been discovered recently. This volcanic event occurred in isolation after a 0.35 m.y. period of inactivity at Vulture. The eruption produced two maar-type vents and formed tuff aprons mainly composed of dune beds of lapilli. Depositional features suggest that a dry surge mechanism, possibly triggered by CO 2 expansion, was dominant during tuff emplacement. The MLF event involved a mixture of carbonatite and melilitite liquids which were physically separated before the eruption. Abundant mantle xenoliths are direct evidence of the deep-seated origin of the parental magma and its high velocity of propagation towards the surface. Often, these nodules form the core of lapilli composed of concentric shells of melilitite andror porphyritic carbonatite. Coarse-ash beds alternate with lapilli beds and consist of abundant lumps and spherulae of very fine-grained calcite immersed in a welded, highly compacted carbonatite matrix. Porphyritic carbonatite shells of the lapilli and fine-grained spherulae of calcite in the tuff matrix suggest incipient crystallisation of a carbonatite liquid in subvolcanic conditions and eruption of carbonatite-spray droplets. Dark coloured juvenile fragments mainly consist of melilite, phlogopite, calcite, apatite, perovskite, and häuyne crystals in a carbonatite or melilitite matrix. The rocks have an extremely primitive, ultramafic composition with very high Mga) 85. and Cr and Ni content 1500 ppm-. The calcite contains high SrO, BaO and REE of up to 1.5 wt.%. Similar compositions are typical of primary, magmatic carbonates which are found in both intrusive and extrusive carbonatites. The high modal Sr-Ba-REE-rich calcite

  15. Misleading Population Estimates: Biases and Consistency of Visual Surveys and Matrix Modelling in the Endangered Bearded Vulture

    PubMed Central

    Margalida, Antoni; Oro, Daniel; Cortés-Avizanda, Ainara; Heredia, Rafael; Donázar, José A.

    2011-01-01

    Conservation strategies for long-lived vertebrates require accurate estimates of parameters relative to the populations' size, numbers of non-breeding individuals (the “cryptic” fraction of the population) and the age structure. Frequently, visual survey techniques are used to make these estimates but the accuracy of these approaches is questionable, mainly because of the existence of numerous potential biases. Here we compare data on population trends and age structure in a bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) population from visual surveys performed at supplementary feeding stations with data derived from population matrix-modelling approximations. Our results suggest that visual surveys overestimate the number of immature (<2 years old) birds, whereas subadults (3–5 y.o.) and adults (>6 y.o.) were underestimated in comparison with the predictions of a population model using a stable-age distribution. In addition, we found that visual surveys did not provide conclusive information on true variations in the size of the focal population. Our results suggest that although long-term studies (i.e. population matrix modelling based on capture-recapture procedures) are a more time-consuming method, they provide more reliable and robust estimates of population parameters needed in designing and applying conservation strategies. The findings shown here are likely transferable to the management and conservation of other long-lived vertebrate populations that share similar life-history traits and ecological requirements. PMID:22039550

  16. Vultures of the seas: hyperacidic stomachs in wandering albatrosses as an adaptation to dispersed food resources, including fishery wastes.

    PubMed

    Grémillet, David; Prudor, Aurélien; le Maho, Yvon; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2012-01-01

    Animals are primarily limited by their capacity to acquire food, yet digestive performance also conditions energy acquisition, and ultimately fitness. Optimal foraging theory predicts that organisms feeding on patchy resources should maximize their food loads within each patch, and should digest these loads quickly to minimize travelling costs between food patches. We tested the prediction of high digestive performance in wandering albatrosses, which can ingest prey of up to 3 kg, and feed on highly dispersed food resources across the southern ocean. GPS-tracking of 40 wandering albatrosses from the Crozet archipelago during the incubation phase confirmed foraging movements of between 475-4705 km, which give birds access to a variety of prey, including fishery wastes. Moreover, using miniaturized, autonomous data recorders placed in the stomach of three birds, we performed the first-ever measurements of gastric pH and temperature in procellariformes. These revealed surprisingly low pH levels (average 1.50±0.13), markedly lower than in other seabirds, and comparable to those of vultures feeding on carrion. Such low stomach pH gives wandering albatrosses a strategic advantage since it allows them a rapid chemical breakdown of ingested food and therefore a rapid digestion. This is useful for feeding on patchy, natural prey, but also on fishery wastes, which might be an important additional food resource for wandering albatrosses. PMID:22701581

  17. Red micas from basal ignimbrites of Mt. Vulture (Italy): interlayer content appraisal by a multi-methodic approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scordari, Fernando; Schingaro, Emanuela; Ventruti, Gennaro; Lacalamita, Maria; Ottolini, Luisa

    2008-04-01

    The crystal chemistry of red phlogopites from Mt. Vulture (Italy) ignimbrites has been studied by electron microprobe, secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS), single crystal structural investigation and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. The analysed phlogopite has Fe/(Fe + Mg) ˜ 0.35, TiO2 (wt%): 2.8-5.0 and H2O (wt%): 1.24-3.37. Infrared spectra revealed the presence of bands due to the NH{4/+} and H2O stretching and bending vibrations. The samples belong to the 1 M polytype. The bimodal behaviour of several structural parameters allows red micas to be clustered into two distinct groups: K+ ↔ NH{4/+}, H2O and M3+-vacancy substitutions dominate in the first group; M3+,4+-oxy, in the second group. It has to be pointed out that quantitative analysis of hydrogen (via SIMS) together with the characterization of the local environment of the anionic site (via FTIR) are fundamental in assessing the correct structural formula and the substitution mechanisms in micas.

  18. Who Are We Feeding? Asymmetric Individual Use of Surplus Food Resources in an Insular Population of the Endangered Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus

    PubMed Central

    García-Heras, Marie-Sophie; Cortés-Avizanda, Ainara; Donázar, José-Antonio

    2013-01-01

    Supplementary feeding stations, or “vulture restaurants”, are common conservation management tools. While a number of studies have investigated the consequences of surplus food on the population dynamics of scavengers, relatively little is known about the effects of such practices at the individual level. Within the long-term monitored breeding population of Canarian Egyptian vultures (Neophron percnopterus majorensis) we investigated individual bird’s patterns of use of a supplementary feeding station at Fuerteventura (Canary Islands), over the course of breeding (2001, 2002; 2004-2011) and non-breeding seasons (2000-2010). Our results show that during the breeding season the individual use of the supplementary feeding station was inversely related to the distance to the breeding territory, which suggests the existence of central-place foraging constraints. In addition, larger birds of poor body-condition and individuals that ultimately failed to fledge young were detected more frequently at the feeding station. During the non-breeding season, and because most breeding birds abandoned the breeding territories, the overall abundance of Egyptian vultures at the feeding station grew. Moreover, the only variable increasing the probability of presence of individuals was poor body condition so that birds with lower wing residual visited the feeding station more frequently. Supplementary feeding may benefit individuals who would otherwise have been subject to selective pressures. From our results it follows that this conservation strategy must be used with caution because it can have consequences on an individual level and thus potentially affect the viability of endangered populations. PMID:24244695

  19. Delta-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase (δALAD) activity in four free-living bird species exposed to different levels of lead under natural conditions.

    PubMed

    Espín, Silvia; Martínez-López, Emma; Jiménez, Pedro; María-Mojica, Pedro; García-Fernández, Antonio J

    2015-02-01

    The purposes of this study were: (1) to determine the δALAD activity and δALAD ratio in blood of four free-living bird species (Griffon vulture, Eagle owl, Slender-billed gull and Audouin's gull); (2) and to investigate the correlations between δALAD activity/ratio and Pb concentrations in blood samples. A decrease was observed in δALAD activity in Griffon vultures and Eagle owls exposed to Pb. In addition, negative relationships were found between δALAD ratio or δALAD activity and Log blood Pb levels in Griffon vultures and Eagle owls, and these relationships were stronger in areas with the highest Pb exposure. We provide equations that may be helpful to estimate δALAD activity and δALAD ratio using blood Pb concentrations. Regarding gull species, δALAD activity found in the present study may be considered the normal activity in Slender-billed gull and Audouin's gull species, since very low blood Pb concentrations and no correlations were found in these species. Although both δALAD activity and δALAD ratio are sensitive biomarkers of Pb exposure and effect in birds, the use of δALAD ratio may improve the results. Besides, this study provides blood threshold concentrations at which Pb bears effects on δALAD enzyme (5µg/dl in Eagle owl; 8µg/dl in Griffon vulture; and probably >2µg/dl in Slender-billed gull and Audouin's gull). Our findings show that Eagle owl seems to be more sensitive to δALAD enzymatic inhibition by Pb than Griffon vultures. Eagle owls and Griffon vultures exhibited up to 79% and 94% decrease in δALAD activity when blood Pb concentrations exceeded 19 and 30µg/dl, respectively. Regarding the effects related with δALAD inhibition, significant negative correlations were found between δALAD activity and hematocrit in Eagle owls and Griffon vultures, which may be related to compensatory response associated with a decrease in δALAD activity. In addition, an effect on creatine kinase activity and total proteins in plasma was found

  20. Origin and transport of CH4 in two maar lakes fed by mantle-derived volatiles (Mt. Vulture volcano, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caracausi, Antonio; Cosenza, Paolo; Favara, Rocco; Foresta Martin, Luigi; Galli, Nunzio; Grassa, Fausto; Nuccio, Pasquale Mario; Paternoster, Michele; Riccobono, Giuseppe

    2014-05-01

    It has been assessed that lakes contribute 6 to 16% to global CH4 emission in atmosphere. Accumulation of CH4 in the water is strongly dependent on the input of gas and the dynamic of the lake's water. Lakes located on tectonically and volcanically active areas (e.g., Kivu, Nyos) generally contain relevant amount of mantle-derived volatiles. This generated an open debate on the origin of CO2 and CH4 in volcanic lakes because the complex bio-geological cycling of these two gases. This study is a part of larger investigation carried out on two maar lakes (LPM and LGM) formed about 140.000 years ago during the last eruption of Mt. Vulture (Italy). In spite of it generally is considered to be extinct, both lakes are characterized by an active inflow of mantle-derived fluids (Caracausi et al., 2013). Although the two lakes are only 150 m apart, their respective dynamics are different being LPM a meromictic lake, while LGM a monomictic one (Caracausi et al., 2013). The stagnant waters of LPM are enriched in CO2 and CH4 but the total gas pressure is below the hydrostatic pressure, so that the transfer of gas towards the surface doesn't occur via bubbles. Vertical profiles at LPM reveal a marked decrease of the dissolved CH4 content in the shallower layers due to aerated water. The amount of CH4 dissolved in LGM water column shows seasonal variations: in autumn it is comparable to that of LPM at the same depth; in winter CH4 is fully released into atmosphere through overturn of waters. C and H isotopes of CH4 clearly indicate in both lakes an active production both by acetoclastic methanogenesis and by CO2 reduction although with different proportions. Historical reports describe intense episodic releases of gases from both lakes occurred up to about 200 years ago. Caracausi et al. (2013) highlight that these events could be caused by a release of mantle-derived CO2 accumulated in the crust or directly linked to magma degassing. In the present study the knowledge gained

  1. Mantle CO2 degassing at Mt. Vulture volcano (Italy): Relationship between CO2 outgassing of volcanoes and the time of their last eruption

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caracausi, Antonio; Paternoster, Michele; Nuccio, Pasquale Mario

    2015-02-01

    Mantle volatiles are mainly lost from the Earth to the atmosphere through subaerial and submarine volcanism. Recent studies have shown that degassing of mantle volatiles also occurs from inactive volcanic areas and in tectonically active areas. A new challenge in Earth science is to quantify the mantle-derived flux of volatiles (e.g., CO2) which is important for understanding such diverse issues as the evolution of the atmosphere, the relationships between magma degassing and volcanic activity, gas pressure and seismogenic processes, and the hazards posed by volcanic lakes. Here we present a detailed study of mantle-derived CO2 budget from Mt. Vulture volcano in the Apennines, Italy, whose latest eruption occurred 141 ± 11 kyr ago. The relationship between δ13CCO2 and total dissolved carbon at Mt. Vulture volcano indicates that the emitted CO2 is a mixture of a biogenic end-member with an average δ13CCO2 of about - 17 ‰ and a mantle-derived CO2 end-member with δ13CCO2 values from - 3 ‰ to + 2 ‰. These values of mantle-derived δ13CCO2 are in the range of those for gas emitted from active volcanoes in the Mediterranean. We calculated the contribution of individual components (CO2 in groundwater, in lakes and from main pools) to the total CO2 budget in the area. We used new measurements of water flow, combined with literature data, to calculate the CO2 flux associated with groundwater, and measured the gas flux from the main pools on the volcanic edifice. Finally, we calculated the CO2 flow in the lakes based on the gradient concentration and eddy diffusivity. The total mantle-derived CO2 budget in the area is 4.85 ×108 molyr-1, which is more than double previous estimates. This is higher than those observed in younger volcanic systems elsewhere, thereby supporting the existence of actively degassing mantle melts below Mt. Vulture volcano. A structural map highlights the tectonic control on CO2 flow across the Mt. Vulture volcanic edifice. Indeed, the

  2. Chromosome banding and DNA replication patterns in bird karyotypes.

    PubMed

    Schmid, M; Enderle, E; Schindler, D; Schempp, W

    1989-01-01

    The karyotypes of the domestic chicken (Gallus domesticus), Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix), and griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus) were studied with a variety of banding techniques. The DNA replication patterns of bird chromosomes, analyzed by incorporation of 5-bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) and deoxythymidine (dT), are presented here for the first time. In particular, the time sequence of replication of the ZZ/ZW sex chromosomes throughout the S-phase was meticulously analyzed. BrdU and dT incorporation are very useful methods to identify homoeologies between karyotypes, as well as rearrangements that occurred in the macroautosomes during speciation. The Z chromosomes of the three birds displayed the same replication patterns, indicating a high degree of evolutionary conservation. In the homogametic male, BrdU and dT incorporation revealed no evidence of asynchronous replication between euchromatic bands in the ZZ pair. The same was true of the three Z chromosomes in a triploid-diploid chimeric chicken embryo. Minor replication asynchronies between the homologous ZZ or ZZZ chromosomes were restricted to heterochromatic C-bands. These results confirm that, in the ZZ male/ZW female sex-determining system of birds, dosage compensation for Z-linked genes does not occur by inactivation of one of the two Z chromosomes in the homogametic male. The heterochromatic W chromosomes of the three species showed bright labeling with distamycin A/mithramycin counterstain-enhanced fluorescence and exhibited significantly delayed DNA replication. The nucleolus organizers of birds, frequently located in microchromosomes, were also distinguished by bright distamycin A/mithramycin fluorescence. PMID:2630186

  3. Using Africa's protected area network to estimate the global population of a threatened and declining species: a case study of the Critically Endangered White-headed Vulture Trigonoceps occipitalis.

    PubMed

    Murn, Campbell; Mundy, Peter; Virani, Munir Z; Borello, Wendy D; Holloway, Graham J; Thiollay, Jean-Marc

    2016-02-01

    The White-headed Vulture Trigonoceps occipitalis (WhV) is uncommon and largely restricted to protected areas across its range in sub-Saharan Africa. We used the World Database on Protected Areas to identify protected areas (PAs) likely to contain White-headed Vultures. Vulture occurrence on road transects in Southern, East, and West Africa was adjusted to nests per km(2) using data from areas with known numbers of nests and corresponding road transect data. Nest density was used to calculate the number of WhV nests within identified PAs and from there extrapolated to estimate the global population. Across a fragmented range, 400 PAs are estimated to contain 1893 WhV nests. Eastern Africa is estimated to contain 721 nests, Central Africa 548 nests, Southern Africa 468 nests, and West Africa 156 nests. Including immature and nonbreeding birds, and accounting for data deficient PAs, the estimated global population is 5475 - 5493 birds. The identified distribution highlights are alarming: over 78% (n = 313) of identified PAs contain fewer than five nests. A further 17% (n = 68) of PAs contain 5 - 20 nests and 4% (n = 14) of identified PAs are estimated to contain >20 nests. Just 1% (n = 5) of PAs are estimated to contain >40 nests; none is located in West Africa. Whilst ranging behavior of WhVs is currently unknown, 35% of PAs large enough to hold >20 nests are isolated by more than 100 km from other PAs. Spatially discrete and unpredictable mortality events such as poisoning pose major threats to small localized vulture populations and will accelerate ongoing local extinctions. Apart from reducing the threat of poisoning events, conservation actions promoting linkages between protected areas should be pursued. Identifying potential areas for assisted re-establishment via translocation offers the potential to expand the range of this species and alleviate risk. PMID:26941945

  4. Trace elements and REE fractionation in subsoils developed on sedimentary and volcanic rocks: case study of the Mt. Vulture area, southern Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mongelli, Giovanni; Paternoster, Michele; Rizzo, Giovanna; Sinisi, Rosa

    2014-06-01

    There is an increasing interest in the distribution of rare earth elements (REEs) within soils, primarily as these elements can be used to identify pedogenetic processes and because soils may be future sources for REE extraction, despite much attention should be paid to the protection and preservation of present soils. Here, we evaluate the processes that control the distribution of REEs in subsoil horizons developed over differing lithologies in an area of low anthropogenic contamination, allowing estimates of the importance of source rocks and weathering. Specifically, this study presents new data on the distribution of REEs and other trace elements, including transition and high-field-strength elements, in subsoils developed on both Quaternary silica-undersaturated volcanic rocks and Pliocene siliciclastic sedimentary rocks within the Mt. Vulture area of the southern Apennines in Italy. The subsoils in the Mt. Vulture area formed during moderate weathering (as classified using the chemical index of alteration) and contain an assemblage of secondary minerals that is dominated by trioctahedral illite with minor vermiculite. The REEs, high-field-strength elements, and transition metals have higher abundances in subsoils that developed from volcanic rocks, and pedogenesis caused the Mt. Vulture subsoils to have REE concentrations that are an order of magnitude higher than typical values for the upper continental crust. This result indicates that the distribution of REEs in soils is a valuable tool for mineral exploration. A statistical analysis of inter-elemental relationships indicates that REEs are concentrated in clay-rich fractions that also contain significant amounts of low-solubility elements such as Zr and Th, regardless of the parent rock. This suggests that low-solubility refractory minerals, such as zircon, play a significant role in controlling the distribution of REEs in soils. The values of (La/Yb)N and (Gd/Yb)N fractionation indices are dependent on

  5. Silicate-carbonate-salt liquid immiscibility and origin of the sodalite-haüyne rocks: study of melt inclusions in olivine foidite from Vulture volcano, S. Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Panina, Liya; Stoppa, Francesco

    2009-12-01

    Melt inclusions in clinopyroxenes of olivine foidite bombs from Serra di Constantinopoli pyroclastic flows of the Vulture volcano (Southern Italy) were studied in detail. The rocks contain abundant zoned phenocrysts and xenocrysts of clinopyroxene, scarce grains of olivine, leucite, haüyne, glass with microlites of plagioclase and K-feldspar. The composition of clinopyroxene in xenocrysts (Cpx I), cores (Cpx II), and in rims (Cpx III) of phenocrysts differs in the content of Mg, Fe, Ti, and Al. All clinopyroxenes contain two types of primary inclusion-pure silicate and of silicate-carbonate-salt composition. This fact suggests that the phenomena of silicate-carbonate immiscibility took place prior to crystallization of clinopyroxene. Homogenization of pure silicate inclusions proceeded at 1 225 - 1 190°C. The composition of conserved melts corresponded to that of olivine foidite in Cpx I, to tephrite-phonolite in Cpx II, and phonolite-nepheline trachyte in Cpx III. The amount of water in them was no more than 0.9 wt.%. Silicate-carbonate inclusions decrepitated on heating. Salt globules contained salts of alkali-sulphate, alkali-carbonate, and Ca-carbonate composition somewhat enriched in Ba and Sr. This composition is typical of carbonatite melts when decomposed into immiscible fractions. The formation of sodalite-haüyne rocks from Vulture is related to the presence of carbonate-salt melts in magma chamber. The melts conserved in clinopyroxenes were enriched in incompatible elements, especially in Cpx III. High ratios of La, Nb, and Ta in melts on crystallization of Cpx I and Cpx II suggest the influence of a carbonatite melt as carbonatites have extremely high La/Nb and Nb/Ta and this is confirmed by the appearance of carbonatite melts in magma chamber. Some anomalies in the concentrations and relatives values of Eu and especially Ga seems typical of Italian carbonatite related melts. The mantle source for initial melts was, most likely, rather uniform

  6. Seropositivity and Risk Factors Associated with Toxoplasma gondii Infection in Wild Birds from Spain

    PubMed Central

    Cabezón, Oscar; García-Bocanegra, Ignacio; Molina-López, Rafael; Marco, Ignasi; Blanco, Juan M.; Höfle, Ursula; Margalida, Antoni; Bach-Raich, Esther; Darwich, Laila; Echeverría, Israel; Obón, Elena; Hernández, Mauro; Lavín, Santiago; Dubey, Jitender P.; Almería, Sonia

    2011-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is a zoonotic intracellular protozoan parasite of worldwide distribution that infects many species of warm-blooded animals, including birds. To date, there is scant information about the seropositivity of T. gondii and the risk factors associated with T. gondii infection in wild bird populations. In the present study, T. gondii infection was evaluated on sera obtained from 1079 wild birds belonging to 56 species (including Falconiformes (n = 610), Strigiformes (n = 260), Ciconiiformes (n = 156), Gruiformes (n = 21), and other orders (n = 32), from different areas of Spain. Antibodies to T. gondii (modified agglutination test, MAT titer ≥1∶25) were found in 282 (26.1%, IC95%:23.5–28.7) of the 1079 birds. This study constitute the first extensive survey in wild birds species in Spain and reports for the first time T. gondii antibodies in the griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus), short-toed snake-eagle (Circaetus gallicus), Bonelli's eagle (Aquila fasciata), golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus), osprey (Pandion haliaetus), Montagu's harrier (Circus pygargus), Western marsh-harrier (Circus aeruginosus), peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus), long-eared owl (Asio otus), common scops owl (Otus scops), Eurasian spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia), white stork (Ciconia ciconia), grey heron (Ardea cinerea), common moorhen (Gallinula chloropus); in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) “vulnerable” Spanish imperial eagle (Aquila adalberti), lesser kestrel (Falco naumanni) and great bustard (Otis tarda); and in the IUCN “near threatened” red kite (Milvus milvus). The highest seropositivity by species was observed in the Eurasian eagle owl (Bubo bubo) (68.1%, 98 of 144). The main risk factors associated with T. gondii seropositivity in wild birds were age and diet, with the highest exposure in older animals and in carnivorous wild birds. The results showed that T. gondii infection is

  7. Carbon sources and biogeochemical processes in Monticchio maar lakes, Mt Vulture volcano (southern Italy): New geochemical constrains of active degassing of mantle derived fluids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caracausi, A.; Nuccio, P. M.; Favara, R.; Grassa, F.

    2012-04-01

    Since the catastrophic releases of carbon dioxide from the African volcanic lakes Nyos and Monoun in the 1980s, the scientific community draw attention towards all those crater lakes able to accumulate massive amount of CO2, which could be catastrophically released following overturn of their deep waters. This implies a quantification of the gas accumulation rate into the lakes and the knowledge of recharge processes and their evolution in time. In fact the gaseous recharge in a lake occurs at alarming rates, when an active degassing of hazardous nature volatiles occurs into the lakes and the structure and dynamic of the lake permit the accumulation of gases into the water. The Monticchio lakes, LPM and LGM, occupies two maar craters formed during the last volcanic activity of Mt. Vulture occurred ˜ 140 000 years ago. LPM is a permanently stratified lake, with a thick deep volume of stagnant water and a shallower layer affected by seasonal overturn. On the contrary LGM is a monomittic lake with a complete overturn of the water during winter time. The major dissolved volatiles are methane and CO2. Dissolved helium is in trace amounts and its isotopic signature ranges between 6.1 and 5.3 Ra (Ra is the atmospheric 3He/4He isotopic ratio). These values are within the range of those measured in the olivine fluid inclusions (both of mantle xenoliths and dispersed in the pyroclastics) of LPM maar ejecta. During three years of investigations we observed that dissolved methane in the deep waters of LGM drastically decreases in wintertime as consequence of the complete overturn of the water. The isotopic signature of methane in the deepest portions of LGM (both sediment and water) is quite stable with time and highlights a biogenic origin, being produced both by acetate fermentation and by CO2-reduction in variable proportions. In contrast, a higher contribution of methane produced via CO2 reduction characterizes sediments at shallower depths. At LPM, there is a great

  8. Geochemical insight into differences in the physical structures and dynamics of two adjacent maar lakes at Mt. Vulture volcano (southern Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caracausi, A.; Nicolosi, M.; Nuccio, P. M.; Favara, R.; Paternoster, M.; Rosciglione, A.

    2013-05-01

    report on the first geochemical investigation of the Monticchio maar lakes (Mt. Vulture volcano, southern Italy) covering an annual cycle that aimed at understanding the characteristic features of the physical structures and dynamics of the two lakes. We provide the first detailed description of the lakes based on high-resolution conductivity-temperature-depth (CTD) profiles, chemical and isotopic (H and O) compositions of the water, and the amounts of dissolved gases (e.g., He, Ar, CH4, and CO2). The combined data set reveals that the two lakes, which are separated by less than 200 m, exhibit different dynamics: one is a meromictic lake, where the waters are rich in biogenic and mantle-derived gases, while the other is a monomictic lake, which exhibits complete turnover of the water in winter and the release of dissolved gases. Our data strongly suggest that the differences in the dynamics of the two lakes are due to different density profiles affected by dissolved solutes, mainly Fe, which is strongly enriched in the deep water of the meromictic lake. A conceptual model of water balance was constructed based on the correlation between the chemical composition of the water and the hydrogen isotopic signature. Gas-rich groundwaters that feed both of the lakes and evaporation processes subsequently modify the water chemistry of the lakes. Our data highlight that no further potential hazardous accumulation of lethal gases is expected at the Monticchio lakes. Nevertheless, geochemical monitoring is needed to prevent the possibility of vigorous gas releases that have previously occurred in historical time.

  9. Chemical zoning and colour changes in the phases of the sodalite group from the Mt. Vulture haüynophyre lava (Potenza-italy).

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    di Muro, A.; Bonaccorsi, E.; Principe, C.

    2003-04-01

    The haüynophyre is a sulfur-rich differentiated lava flow erupted from a parasitic vent of the Vulture volcano (Potenza-Italy). This porphyritic lithotype (43 vol%) is characterised by a very high content (20-30 vol%) of feldspathoids belonging to the sodalite group. Chemical and structural analysis of the sodalite-group minerals has led to the identification of i) a colourless to white nosean, ii) a blue to light-blue haüyne, and iii) a black to grey haüyne. Numerous phenocrysts present a resorbed core and/or a pronounced concentric division into zones with a complex colour sequence. The X-ray diffraction study (XRPD through Gandolfi technique and single crystal structure refinements) has confirmed the occurrence of nosean and has allowed to discard the presence of lazurite. All the analysed crystals, those chromatically homogeneous as well as the zoned ones, have marked core-rim chemical variations. Nosean crystals contain small pyrite inclusions and are characterised by an evolution from a Ca-K poor core to Ca-K rich rim. K_2O content increases towards the rim in blue haüyne, while Na_2O/CaO ratio remains almost constant. Black haüyne has chemical characteristics intermediate between the nosean and the blue haüyne-end members and has the highest S/Cl ratio in the core. Black and blue haüyne have similar patterns of depletion in REE and most other highly lithophile elements relative to the bulk rock. Positive anomaly for the Eu content and spinel composition are indicative of high fO_2 conditions in the magmas in which both haüyne varieties formed. Higher contents of compatible (Sr, Ba) and semicompatible (Ta) elements characterise the black phase. A high Fe content in the black variety could be at least in part responsible for the chromatic difference. Limited contamination by sedimentary evaporites and probably mixing between a sulfur-rich black haüyne-bearing magma and a more cooled magma having stable blue haüyne and nosean is proposed to explain

  10. Avian scavengers and the threat from veterinary pharmaceuticals.

    PubMed

    Cuthbert, Richard J; Taggart, Mark A; Prakash, Vibhu; Chakraborty, Soumya S; Deori, Parag; Galligan, Toby; Kulkarni, Mandar; Ranade, Sachin; Saini, Mohini; Sharma, Anil Kumar; Shringarpure, Rohan; Green, Rhys E

    2014-11-19

    Veterinary use of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac on domesticated ungulates caused populations of resident Gyps vultures in the Indian sub-continent to collapse. The birds died when they fed on carrion from treated animals. Veterinary diclofenac was banned in 2006 and meloxicam was advocated as a 'vulture-safe' alternative. We examine the effectiveness of the 2006 ban, whether meloxicam has replaced diclofenac, and the impact of these changes on vultures. Drug residue data from liver samples collected from ungulate carcasses in India since 2004 demonstrate that the prevalence of diclofenac in carcasses in 2009 was half of that before the ban and meloxicam prevalence increased by 44%. The expected vulture death rate from diclofenac per meal in 2009 was one-third of that before the ban. Surveys at veterinary clinics show that diclofenac use in India began in 1994, coinciding with the onset of rapid Gyps declines ascertained from measured rates of declines. Our study shows that one pharmaceutical product has had a devastating impact on Asia's vultures. Large-scale research and survey were needed to detect, diagnose and quantify the problem and measure the response to remedial actions. Given these difficulties, other effects of pharmaceuticals in the environment may remain undetected. PMID:25405963

  11. Avian scavengers and the threat from veterinary pharmaceuticals

    PubMed Central

    Cuthbert, Richard J.; Taggart, Mark A.; Prakash, Vibhu; Chakraborty, Soumya S.; Deori, Parag; Galligan, Toby; Kulkarni, Mandar; Ranade, Sachin; Saini, Mohini; Sharma, Anil Kumar; Shringarpure, Rohan; Green, Rhys E.

    2014-01-01

    Veterinary use of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac on domesticated ungulates caused populations of resident Gyps vultures in the Indian sub-continent to collapse. The birds died when they fed on carrion from treated animals. Veterinary diclofenac was banned in 2006 and meloxicam was advocated as a ‘vulture-safe’ alternative. We examine the effectiveness of the 2006 ban, whether meloxicam has replaced diclofenac, and the impact of these changes on vultures. Drug residue data from liver samples collected from ungulate carcasses in India since 2004 demonstrate that the prevalence of diclofenac in carcasses in 2009 was half of that before the ban and meloxicam prevalence increased by 44%. The expected vulture death rate from diclofenac per meal in 2009 was one-third of that before the ban. Surveys at veterinary clinics show that diclofenac use in India began in 1994, coinciding with the onset of rapid Gyps declines ascertained from measured rates of declines. Our study shows that one pharmaceutical product has had a devastating impact on Asia's vultures. Large-scale research and survey were needed to detect, diagnose and quantify the problem and measure the response to remedial actions. Given these difficulties, other effects of pharmaceuticals in the environment may remain undetected. PMID:25405963

  12. Erratum to ``Eruption style and petrology of a new carbonatitic suite from the Mt. Vulture (Southern Italy): The Monticchio Lakes Formation'' [Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 78 (1997) 251 265

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stoppa, Francesco; Principe, Claudia

    1998-01-01

    The Monticchio Lakes Formation (MLF) is a newly identified carbonatite-melilitite tuff sequence which is exposed in the southwestern sector of the Vulture volcano. It is the youngest example (ca. 0.13 m.y.) of this type of volcanism in Italy, although other carbonatites of smaller volume, but with similar characteristics, have been discovered recently. This volcanic event occurred in isolation after a 0.35 m.y. period of inactivity at Vulture. The eruption produced two maar-type vents and formed tuff aprons mainly composed of dune beds of lapilli. Depositional features suggest that a dry surge mechanism, possibly triggered by CO 2 expansion, was dominant during tuff emplacement. The MLF event involved a mixture of carbonatite and melilitite liquids which were physically separated before the eruption. Abundant mantle xenoliths are direct evidence of the deep-seated origin of the parental magma and its high velocity of propagation towards the surface. Often, these nodules form the core of lapilli composed of concentric shells of melilitite and/or porphyritic carbonatite. Coarse-ash beds alternate with lapilli beds and consist of abundant lumps and spherulae of very fine-grained calcite immersed in a welded, highly compacted carbonatite matrix. Porphyritic carbonatite shells of the lapilli and fine-grained spherulae of calcite in the tuff matrix suggest incipient crystallisation of a carbonatite liquid in subvolcanic conditions and eruption of carbonatite-spray droplets. Dark coloured juvenile fragments mainly consist of melilite, phlogopite, calcite, apatite, perovskite, and häuyne crystals in a carbonatite or melilitite matrix. The rocks have an extremely primitive, ultramafic composition with very high Mg# (> 85) and Cr and Ni content (1500 ppm). The calcite contains high SrO, BaO and REE of up to 1.5 wt.%. Similar compositions are typical of primary, magmatic carbonates which are found in both intrusive and extrusive carbonatites. The high modal Sr

  13. Lead and arsenic in bones of birds of prey from Spain.

    PubMed

    Mateo, R; Taggart, M; Meharg, A A

    2003-01-01

    The bones (humerus and/or femur) of 229 birds of prey from 11 species were analyzed for Pb and As to evaluate their exposure to Pb shot. The species with the highest mean Pb levels were red kite (Milvus milvus) and Eurasian griffon (Gyps fulvus), and the species with the lowest levels were Eurasian buzzard (Buteo buteo) and booted eagle (Hieraaetus pennatus). Red kite also had the highest mean As level, an element present in small amounts in Pb shot. Elevated bone Pb concentrations (>10 microg/g dry weight) were found in 10 birds from six species. Clinical signs compatible with lethal Pb poisoning and/or excessive bone Pb concentrations (>20 microg/g) were observed in one Eurasian eagle-owl (Bubo bubo), one red kite, and one Eurasian griffon. Pb poisoning has been diagnosed in eight upland raptor species in Spain to date. PMID:12860107

  14. Confirmed organophosphorus and carbamate pesticide poisonings in South African wildlife (2009-2014).

    PubMed

    Botha, Christo J; Coetser, Heleen; Labuschagne, Leonie; Basson, Andre

    2015-01-01

    During a six-year period (from January 2009 to December 2014), specimens collected from 344 cases of suspected organophosphorus and carbamate pesticide poisonings in wildlife, including birds, were submitted to the Toxicology Laboratory (ARC-OVI) for analysis. A positive diagnosis was made in 135 (39%) of these cases. The majority of cases were from birds, which included Cape vultures (Gyps coprotheres) and African white-backed vultures (Gyps africanus) and bateleur eagles (Terathopius ecaudatus). In one incident 49 vultures were killed when a farmer intentionally laced carcasses with carbofuran in an attempt to control jackal predation. There were 22 incidents of poisoning in helmeted guineafowl (Numida meleagris). On nine different occasions blue cranes (Anthropoides paradiseus) were poisoned, in one incident 14 birds were reported to have been killed. Over the period of investigation, there were 20 cases of poisoning involving mammalian species, the majority being vervet monkeys (Chlorocebus pygerythrus). The carbamate pesticides were responsible for 57 incidents of poisoning. Aldicarb, carbofuran and methomyl were detected in 26, 18 and 12 cases respectively. The majority of organophosphorus pesticide poisonings were caused by diazinon (n = 19), monocrotophos (n = 13) and methamidophos (n = 10). PMID:26824339

  15. VIGILANCE POISON: Illegal poisoning and lead intoxication are the main factors affecting avian scavenger survival in the Pyrenees (France).

    PubMed

    Berny, Philippe; Vilagines, Lydia; Cugnasse, Jean-Marc; Mastain, Olivier; Chollet, Jean-Yves; Joncour, Guy; Razin, Martine

    2015-08-01

    A specific surveillance program has been set up to monitor avian scavenger populations in the French Pyrenean Mountains, hosting a high proportion of the French populations. The two main purposes of the study were to identify all causes of death and to investigate poisoning cases. All 170 birds found dead during the 7-year program were submitted to full necropsy, X-Ray, parasitological investigations and consistent analytical toxicology screenings (Cholinesterase inhibitors, anticoagulant rodenticides, organochlorine insecticides, Pb, Cd). Over the study period, 8 Bearded Vultures, 120 Griffon Vultures, 8 Egyptian Vultures and 34 Red kites were eventually collected. Mortality events were often multifactorial, but poisoning was by far the most common cause of death (24.1%), followed by trauma/fall (12%), bacterial diseases and starvation (8%) and electrocution (6%). Illicit use of banned pesticides was identified as a common cause of poisoning (53% of all poisoning cases) and lead poisoning was also identified as a significant toxicant issue (17% of all poisoning cases). Lead isotopic signature could be associated primarily with ammunition. Last, a positive association between trauma and lead contamination was detected, indicating that lead could be a significant contributor to different causes of death. These results urge for severe restrictions on the use of lead ammunition to prevent scavengers from detrimental exposure. PMID:25913360

  16. Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs in Raptors

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Oaks, J. Lindsay; Meteyer, Carol U.

    2012-01-01

    The use of analgesia has become standard, and appropriate, practice in avian medicine. As in mammals, pain control in avian patients is usually accomplished with opioids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) used singly or in combination for a multimodal approach. Despite their usefulness, widespread use, and relative safety in clinical use, few controlled studies in birds have been conducted on efficacy, safety, and dosing. The guidelines for the use of NSAIDs in raptors and other birds have mainly been empirical. More recently, NSAIDs in free-living raptors have emerged as a major conservation issue with the discovery that diclofenac sodium was responsible for the population crash of three species of Gyps vultures in southern Asia. In this context, residues of veterinary NSAIDs in domestic animals are now considered environmental contaminants that can be significantly toxic to vultures and possibly other avian scavengers. Ironically, the disaster with Asian vultures has led to a considerable body of research on NSAIDs in raptors to the benefit of clinicians who now have scientific information available to help assess dosing, safety, toxicity, and pharmacokinetics of NSAIDs in their raptor patients.

  17. Carriage of Staphylococcus aureus by Free-Living Wild Animals in Spain

    PubMed Central

    Mentaberre, Gregorio; Sánchez, Sergio; Fernández-Llario, Pedro; Casas-Díaz, Encarna; Mateos, Ana; Vidal, Dolors; Lavín, Santiago; Fernández-Garayzábal, José-Francisco; Domínguez, Lucas

    2014-01-01

    The presence of methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) was analyzed in different free-living wild animals to assess the genetic diversity and predominant genotypes on each animal species. Samples were taken from the skin and/or nares, and isolates were characterized by spa typing, multilocus sequence typing (MLST) and antimicrobial susceptibility testing. The proportion of MSSA carriers were 5.00, 22.93, 19.78, and 17.67% in Eurasian griffon vulture, Iberian ibex, red deer, and wild boar, respectively (P = 0.057). A higher proportion of isolates (P = 0.000) were recovered from nasal samples (78.51%) than skin samples (21.49%), but the 9.26% of red deer and 18.25% of wild boar would have been undetected if only nasal samples had been tested. Sixty-three different spa types were identified, including 25 new spa types. The most common were t528 (43.59%) in Iberian ibex, t548 and t11212 (15.79% and 14.04%) in red deer, and t3750 (36.11%) in wild boar. By MLST, 27 STs were detected, of which 12 had not been described previously. The most frequent were ST581 for Iberian ibex (48.72%), ST425 for red deer (29.82%), and ST2328 for wild boar (42.36%). Isolates from Eurasian griffon vulture belong to ST133. Host specificity has been observed for the most frequent spa types and STs (P = 0.000). The highest resistance percentage was found against benzylpenicillin (average, 22.2%), although most of the S. aureus isolates were susceptible to all antimicrobial tested. Basically, MSSA isolates were different from those MRSA isolates previously detected in the same animal species. PMID:24907325

  18. Comparative metabolism as a key driver of wildlife species sensitivity to human and veterinary pharmaceuticals.

    PubMed

    Hutchinson, Thomas H; Madden, Judith C; Naidoo, Vinny; Walker, Colin H

    2014-11-19

    Human and veterinary drug development addresses absorption, distribution, metabolism, elimination and toxicology (ADMET) of the Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) in the target species. Metabolism is an important factor in controlling circulating plasma and target tissue API concentrations and in generating metabolites which are more easily eliminated in bile, faeces and urine. The essential purpose of xenobiotic metabolism is to convert lipid-soluble, non-polar and non-excretable chemicals into water soluble, polar molecules that are readily excreted. Xenobiotic metabolism is classified into Phase I enzymatic reactions (which add or expose reactive functional groups on xenobiotic molecules), Phase II reactions (resulting in xenobiotic conjugation with large water-soluble, polar molecules) and Phase III cellular efflux transport processes. The human-fish plasma model provides a useful approach to understanding the pharmacokinetics of APIs (e.g. diclofenac, ibuprofen and propranolol) in freshwater fish, where gill and liver metabolism of APIs have been shown to be of importance. By contrast, wildlife species with low metabolic competency may exhibit zero-order metabolic (pharmacokinetic) profiles and thus high API toxicity, as in the case of diclofenac and the dramatic decline of vulture populations across the Indian subcontinent. A similar threat looms for African Cape Griffon vultures exposed to ketoprofen and meloxicam, recent studies indicating toxicity relates to zero-order metabolism (suggesting P450 Phase I enzyme system or Phase II glucuronidation deficiencies). While all aspects of ADMET are important in toxicity evaluations, these observations demonstrate the importance of methods for predicting API comparative metabolism as a central part of environmental risk assessment. PMID:25405970

  19. Comparative metabolism as a key driver of wildlife species sensitivity to human and veterinary pharmaceuticals

    PubMed Central

    Hutchinson, Thomas H.; Madden, Judith C.; Naidoo, Vinny; Walker, Colin H.

    2014-01-01

    Human and veterinary drug development addresses absorption, distribution, metabolism, elimination and toxicology (ADMET) of the Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) in the target species. Metabolism is an important factor in controlling circulating plasma and target tissue API concentrations and in generating metabolites which are more easily eliminated in bile, faeces and urine. The essential purpose of xenobiotic metabolism is to convert lipid-soluble, non-polar and non-excretable chemicals into water soluble, polar molecules that are readily excreted. Xenobiotic metabolism is classified into Phase I enzymatic reactions (which add or expose reactive functional groups on xenobiotic molecules), Phase II reactions (resulting in xenobiotic conjugation with large water-soluble, polar molecules) and Phase III cellular efflux transport processes. The human–fish plasma model provides a useful approach to understanding the pharmacokinetics of APIs (e.g. diclofenac, ibuprofen and propranolol) in freshwater fish, where gill and liver metabolism of APIs have been shown to be of importance. By contrast, wildlife species with low metabolic competency may exhibit zero-order metabolic (pharmacokinetic) profiles and thus high API toxicity, as in the case of diclofenac and the dramatic decline of vulture populations across the Indian subcontinent. A similar threat looms for African Cape Griffon vultures exposed to ketoprofen and meloxicam, recent studies indicating toxicity relates to zero-order metabolism (suggesting P450 Phase I enzyme system or Phase II glucuronidation deficiencies). While all aspects of ADMET are important in toxicity evaluations, these observations demonstrate the importance of methods for predicting API comparative metabolism as a central part of environmental risk assessment. PMID:25405970

  20. Coxiella burnetii DNA detected in domestic ruminants and wildlife from Portugal.

    PubMed

    Cumbassá, Aminata; Barahona, Maria J; Cunha, Mónica V; Azórin, Beatriz; Fonseca, Carlos; Rosalino, Luís Miguel; Tilburg, Jeroen; Hagen, Ferry; Santos, Ana S; Botelho, Ana

    2015-10-22

    Coxiella burnetii is the etiological agent of Q fever or Coxiellosis, a zoonosis mainly affecting domestic ruminants. Information on the population structure and epidemiology of C. burnetii in animals is scarce in Portugal. Evidence of C. burnetti infection was sought in domestic, wild and captive animals based on the detection of bacterial DNA. Tissue samples from 152 domestic animals (cattle=24, goats=51, sheep=76 and swine=1), 55 wild carnivores (Egyptian mongoose=45, red fox=4, common genet=3, weasel=2 and European badger=1) and 22 zoo animals (antelopes=15, impala=1; rhinoceros=1, deer=2, zebras=2 and giraffe=1) were screened by nested-touchdown PCR. Cloacae swabs from 19 griffon vultures were also analysed. Among the domestic ruminants, goats presented the highest prevalence of infection (23.53%), followed by cattle, (20.83%) and sheep (10.53%). C. burnetii DNA was also detected in five Egyptian mongooses and two antelopes and one giraffe. Using a 6-locus multiple-locus variable-number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA-6) six complete genotypes, T, I and CM and the first reported CN, CO and CP, were identified, respectively, in small ruminants and Egyptian mongooses. Clustering analysis of genotypes exposed four distinct groups, according to detection source, enlightening an apparent association between C. burnetii genotype and host. PMID:26345258

  1. Road traffic noise impact assessment in a breeding colony of cinereous vultures (Aegypius monachus) in Spain.

    PubMed

    Iglesias-Merchán, Carlos; Diaz-Balteiro, Luis; de la Puente, Javier

    2016-03-01

    There is a global and growing concern with regard to anthropogenic noise impact on wildlife and natural habitats, but it is difficult to find consensus regarding scoping and assessment tools. This study adapts noise mapping procedures, common to most European countries, to a low traffic road (below 1000 vehicles per day) noise impact assessment in a breeding colony of the largest bird of prey in Europe. Results show that nest sites are located avoiding road traffic Leq levels higher than 40 dB. This means a road-effect zone of up to 500 m width from road margins, which previous scientific literature only refers in cases of traffic volumes higher than 10,000 vehicles per day. This finding is a noticeable impact by road traffic noise that reduces the breeding potential habitat more than 11% within the study area. This work shows the feasibility of expanding common methods and mapping tools for assessing and managing environmental noise in protected areas, which has worthwhile implications for both acoustics and conservation. PMID:27036249

  2. Lead and cadmium in wild birds in southeastern Spain

    SciTech Connect

    Garcia-Fernandez, A.J.; Sanchez-Garcia, J.A.; Luna, A.; Jimenez-Montalban, P.

    1995-12-01

    The main purpose of this study was to monitor exposure to lead and cadmium in wild birds in Murcia, a southeastern region of Spain on the Mediterranean coast. This region lies on one of the African-European flyways. Samples of liver, kidney, brain, bone, and whole blood from several species of wild birds were obtained during 1993. The authors found a clear relationship between cadmium and lead concentrations in birds and their feedings habits. Vultures (Gyps fulvus) had the highest concentrations of lead (mean 40 {micro}g/dl in blood), and seagulls (Larus argentatus and Larus ridibundus) the highest concentrations of cadmium (mean 4.43 {micro}g/g in kidney). Insectivores had high concentrations of both metals, and diurnal and nocturnal raptors showed the lowest tissue concentrations. The findings that tissue and blood concentrations were generally not elevated suggests environmental (rather than acute) exposure. Birds from more industrialized areas of the region studied here had higher concentrations of both lead and cadmium.

  3. Use of black vulture (Coragyps atratus) in complementary and alternative therapies for cancer in Colombia: A qualitative study

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Although Coragyps atratus has been used as a traditional therapy for patients with cancer, the scientific literature does not contain enough information on how this therapy is used or the mechanisms that explain this therapeutic practice. Objectives To understand the methods of use and the reasons given by patients and caregivers for the use of Coragyps atratus in cancer treatment. Methods This study used a qualitative design based on twenty in-depth interviews of patients with cancer or caregivers of patients with the disease. The analysis of the text was based on an inductive thematic approach. Results Resistance to disease and immune enhancement are properties attributed to Coragyps atratus when used for cancer treatment. The most recommended method of use is fresh blood ingestion, and the associated mechanism of action is transfer of immune factors to the individual who consumes it. Conclusions Use of Coragyps atratus as a treatment for cancer is a popular alternative therapy in Colombia. More studies are needed to understand the clinical effects of this intervention in cancer patients. Spanish abstract Introducción Aunque Coragyps atratus se usa tradicionalmente como terapia para pacientes con cáncer, no existe suficiente información en la literatura científica sobre su forma de utilización ni sobre los mecanismos explicativos que subyacen a esta práctica terapéutica. Objetivos Conocer métodos de utilización y mecanismos explicativos dados por los pacientes y cuidadores de pacientes sobre el uso de Coragyps atratus en el tratamiento del cáncer. Materiales y métodos Diseño cualitativo basado en veinte entrevistas en profundidad de pacientes con cáncer o cuidadores de pacientes con esta enfermedad. Análisis de texto basado en enfoque temático inductivo. Resultados Al Coragyps atratus se le atribuyen propiedades de resistencia y fortalecimiento del sistema inmune de personas enfermas de cáncer. La forma de utilización mas común es la ingesta de la sangre fresca y el mecanismo de acción asociado es la transferencia de defensas a quien lo consume. Conclusiones La utilización del Coragyps atratus como tratamiento para el cáncer es una terapia alternativa usada popularmente en Colombia. El uso de este animal debe estudiarse más a fondo para conocer los efectos clínicos en los pacientes con cáncer. PMID:22651097

  4. Assessment of the genetic polymorphism and physiological characterization of indigenous Oenococcus oeni strains isolated from Aglianico del Vulture red wine.

    PubMed

    Cafaro, Caterina; Bonomo, Maria Grazia; Guerrieri, Antonio; Crispo, Fabiana; Ciriello, Rosanna; Salzano, Giovanni

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study was a reliable intra-species discrimination and strain biodiversity in Oenococcus oeni populations of two different Aglianico wineries by molecular, biochemical, and physiological characterization. Pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) analysis revealed a high polymorphism related to the origin (winery) of strains, while differential display PCR (DD-PCR) allowed a further discrimination of strains from the same winery. Moreover, the heterogeneity of these natural populations was investigated by capillary electrophoresis and enzymatic assays. A variability related to a different surface charge distribution was observed among strains, linked to their origin. Malolactic activity study evidenced strain-specific differences in malic acid degradation, and then, only the presence of L(-)-malic acid in the medium induced the mle gene. This study provided evidences on the importance of intra-species biodiversity of malolactic bacterial populations in wine ecosystems, as each wine possess peculiar winemaking conditions and physical-chemical properties which make specific the bacterial survival and growth. This study highlighted a great biodiversity among O. oeni strains that can be also winery specific. Such biodiversity within a certain winery and winemaking area is important for selecting malolactic starters, and strain-specific trait identification is especially important to match individual strains to specific industrial process. PMID:26016849

  5. High seroprevalence of antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii in wild animals from Portugal.

    PubMed

    Lopes, Ana Patrícia; Sargo, Roberto; Rodrigues, Manuela; Cardoso, Luís

    2011-05-01

    We report an investigation of antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii in 52 wild birds and 20 wild mammals from northern and central areas of Portugal by using the modified agglutination test. The birds comprised 26 common buzzards (Buteo buteo), five tawny owls (Strix aluco), four white storks (Ceconia ceconia), three Eurasian eagle owls (Bubo bubo), three northern goshawks (Accipiter gentilis), two booted eagles (Hieraaetus pennatus), two common barn owls (Tyto alba), two Eurasian sparrowhawks (Accipiter nisus), two short-toed eagles (Circaetus gallicus), one black kite (Milvus migrans), one Griffin vulture (Gyps fulvus), and one peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus). The mammals were eight wild boars (Sus scrofa), six red foxes (Vulpes vulpes), two common genets (Genetta genetta), two European badgers (Meles meles), one European roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), and one Iberian wolf (Canis lupus signatus). Fifty percent of the wild birds and 90% of the wild mammals were seropositive; the overall seroprevalence of infection was 61.1%. When comparing the prevalence of antibodies in birds and mammals from northern Portugal, a significant difference was found, but the same was not true for birds and mammals from central Portugal. Seroprevalence levels were 30.0% in juvenile and 62.5% in adult birds (p=0.046), 0.0% in juvenile and 94.7% in adult mammals (p=0.100), 80.0% in female and 66.7% in male birds (p=1.000), and 81.8% in female and 100% in male mammals (p=0.479). This is the first study performed on T. gondii in birds of prey, white storks, and wild carnivores in Portugal. PMID:21104273

  6. Exposure of tilapia pituitary cells to saponins: insight into their mechanism of action.

    PubMed

    Levavi-Sivan, Berta; Hedvat, Rachel; Kanias, Tamir; Francis, George; Becker, Klaus; Kerem, Zohar

    2005-01-01

    Cell permeation and durable effects of triterpenoidal saponin preparations from soybean (SbS), Quillaja saponaria Molina (QsS) and Gypsophila paniculata (GypS), were studied. A concentration-dependent change in hemolysis rates was observed when cells were incubated with QsS or GypS, but not with SbS. Dose dependence was also observed for the leakage of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH; MW 142,000) and of Luteinizing Hormone (LH; MW 35,000) from tilapia pituitary dispersed cells. Exposure of pituitary fragments to a combination of GnRH and GypS or QsS, resulted in a significantly high release of LH. GypS were shown to be more potent in inducing hemolysis of human RBC's and LH release from tilapia pituitary fragments. Interestingly, tilapia pituitary fragments treated with QsS were able to secrete LH in a characteristic manner, in response to a second Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone (GnRH) pulse, while fragments exposed to GypS did not respond to the second hormone pulse. The rapid recovery of pituitary fragments after the removal of QsS, may suggest a rearrangement of membranes rather than pore formation as the mechanism of action of QsS. Understanding the structural features underlying the reversible rearrangement of membranes and the lack of hemolysing activity by specific saponins may lead to the development of novel bioactive drugs. PMID:15792626

  7. Instant and Persistent Antidepressant Response of Gardenia Yellow Pigment Is Associated with Acute Protein Synthesis and Delayed Upregulation of BDNF Expression in the Hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Wu, Ruyan; Tao, Weiwei; Zhang, Hailou; Xue, Wenda; Zou, Zhilu; Wu, Haoxin; Cai, Baochang; Doron, Ravid; Chen, Gang

    2016-08-17

    Gardenia yellow pigment (GYP) is a collection of compounds with shared structure of crocin, which confers antidepressant activity. GYP is remarkably enriched in Gardenia jasminoides Ellis, implicated in rapid antidepressant effects that are exerted through enhanced neuroplasticity. This study aims to investigate the rapid antidepressant-like activity of GYP and its underlying mechanism. After the optimal dose was determined, antidepressant responses in tail suspension test or forced swim test were monitored at 30 min, 1 day, 3 days, and 7 days post a single GYP administration. Rapid antidepressant potential was tested using learned helplessness paradigm. The expression of proteins involved in hippocampal neuroplasticity was determined. The effect of blockade of protein synthesis on GYP's antidepressant response was examined. Antidepressant response was detected at 30 min, and lasted for at least 3 days post a single administration of GYP. A single administration of GYP also reversed the deficits in learned helplessness test. Thirty minutes post GYP administration, ERK signaling was activated, and its downstream effector phosphorylated eukaryotic elongation factor 2 was inhibited, contributing to increased protein translation. Expression of synaptic proteins GluR1 and synapsin 1 was upregulated. Blockade of protein synthesis with anisomycin blunted the immediate antidepressant response of GYP. CREB signaling and BDNF expression were upregulated at 24 h, but not at 30 min. In conclusion, GYP-induced immediate antidepressant response was dependent on synthesis of proteins, including synaptic proteins. This was followed by enhanced expression of CREB and BDNF, which likely mediated the persistent antidepressant responses. PMID:27203575

  8. Eggshell thickness and DDE residue levels in vlulture eggs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kiff, L.F.; Peakall, D.B.; Morrison, M.L.; Wilbur, S.R.

    1983-01-01

    Post-DDT (post-1947) eggshell thickness was examined in samples of Turkey Vulture, Black Vulture, and Crested Caracara eggs from several parts of the United States. Highly significant post-DDT decreases in eggshell thickness indices of at least 10 percent were found in Turkey Vulture eggs from California, Florida, and Texas and in Black Vulture eggs from Texas and Florida. Over one-third of the Black VUlture eggs and about 30 percent of the Turkey Vulture eggs from Texas showed thinning exceeding 20 percent, a level associated with reproductive failure and population decline in other species. A strong negative correlation was found between eggshell thickness indices and DDE residues extracted from eggshell membranes in California and Texas samples of Turkey Vulture eggs and in Texas Black Vulture eggs. Crested Caracara eggs from Texas and Florida showed mean changes in eggshell thickness indices of only -5.6 and -8.2 percent, respectively, although thinning in a few eggs from both states exceeded 20 percent. Most of the post-DDT Old World vulture eggs examined appeared to be of normal thickness, with low DDE residue levels in eggshell membranes; but single eggs of Egyptian Vulture from India, Cinereous Vulture from Spain, and White-headed Vulture from Zambia showed apparent thinning. Further monitoring of vulture populations in tropical regions, where DDT use is still increasing, is recommended.

  9. Anti-Cancer Effect and the Underlying Mechanisms of Gypenosides on Human Colorectal Cancer SW-480 Cells

    PubMed Central

    Yan, Han; Wang, Xiaobing; Niu, Junfeng; Wang, Yaqin; Wang, Pan; Liu, Quanhong

    2014-01-01

    Background Gypenosides (Gyp), the main components from Gynostemma pentaphyllum Makino, are widely used in traditional Chinese medicine. The present study aimed to investigate the anti-cancer effect and the underlying mechanisms of Gyp on human colorectal cancer cells SW-480. Materials and Methods The inhibitory effect of Gyp on SW-480 cells was evaluated by MTT assay. Apoptotic cell death was detected by nuclear Hoechst 33342 staining and DNA fragmentation analysis. Apoptosis was analyzed using Annexin V-PE/7-amino-actinomycin D staining. Cell membrane integrity was evaluated with flow cytometry following PI staining. Changes of mitochondrial membrane potential (Δψm) were detected through flow cytometry analysis of rhodamine 123 (Rh123). The role of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in Gyp induced cell death was investigated by intracellular ROS generation and general ROS scavenger. Wound-healing assay was carried out to investigate Gyp-inhibited migration of SW-480 cells in vitro. Additionally, the alterations in F-actin microfilaments were analyzed by FITC-labeled phalloidin toxin staining and the morphological changes were evaluated under scanning electron microscope (SEM). Results After the Gyp treatment, the plasma membrane permeability of SW-480 cell was increased, Δψm was decreased significantly, the level of intracellular ROS level was increased, DNA fragmentation and apoptotic morphology were observed. Cells treated with Gyp exert serious microfilament network collapse as well as the significant decrease in the number of microvilli. Gyp induced the changes of cell viability, cell migration, intracellular ROS generation and nuclear morphology were alleviated obviously by NAC. Conclusion The results in this study implied that ROS play an important role in Gyp induced cell toxicity and apoptosis, and the mitochondria damage may be upstream of ROS generation post Gyp treatment. The findings of the present study provide new evidences for anti-tumor mechanisms

  10. Gypenosides Induce Apoptosis by Ca2+ Overload Mediated by Endoplasmic-Reticulum and Store-Operated Ca2+ Channels in Human Hepatoma Cells

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Da-Peng; Li, Xiao-Xi; Liu, Xin-Li; Zhao, Dan; Qiu, Feng-Qi; Li, Yan

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Gypenosides (Gyps) are triterpenoid saponins contained in an extract from Gynostemma pentaphyllum Makino and reported to induce apoptosis in human hepatoma cells through Ca2+-implicated endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and mitochondria-dependent pathways. The mechanism underlying the Gyp-increased intracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) is unclear. Here, we examined Gyp-induced necrosis and apoptosis in human hepatoma HepG2 cells. Gyp-induced apoptotic cell death was accompanied by a sustained increase in [Ca2+]i level. Gyp-increased [Ca2+]i level was partly inhibited by removal of extracellular Ca2+ by Ca2+ chelator EGTA, store-operated Ca2+ channel (SOC) inhibitor 2- aminoethoxydiphenyl borate (2-APB), and ER Ca2+-release-antagonist 3,4,5-trimethoxybenzoic acid 8-(diethylamino) octyl ester (TMB-8). The strongest inhibitory effect was observed with TMB-8. EGTA, 2-APB, and TMB-8 also protected against Gyp-induced apoptosis in HepG2 cells. The combination of 2-APB and TMB-8 almost completely abolished the Gyp-induced Ca2+ response and apoptosis. In contrast, the sarco/endoplasmic-reticulum-Ca2+-ATPase (SERCA) inhibitor thapsigargin slightly elevated Gyp-induced [Ca2+]i increase and apoptosis in HepG2 cells. Exposure to 300 μg/mL Gyp for 24 hours upregulated protein levels of inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor and SOC and downregulated that of SERCA for at least 72 hours. Thus, Gyp-induced increase in [Ca2+]i level and consequent apoptosis in HepG2 cells may be mainly due to enhanced Ca2+ release from ER stores and increased store-operated Ca2+ entry. PMID:25310348

  11. Pyruvatibacter mobilis gen. nov., sp. nov., a marine bacterium from the culture broth of Picochlorum sp. 122.

    PubMed

    Wang, Guanghua; Tang, Mingxing; Wu, Hualian; Dai, Shikun; Li, Tao; Chen, Chenghao; He, Hui; Fan, Jiewei; Xiang, Wenzhou; Li, Xiang

    2016-01-01

    A Gram-stain-negative, aerobic bacterium, designated strain GYP-11T, was isolated from the culture broth of a marine microalga, Picochloruma sp. 122. Cells were dimorphic rods; free living cells were motile by means of a single polar flagellum, and star-shaped-aggregate-forming cells were attached with stalks and non-motile. Sodium pyruvate or Tween 20 was required for growth on marine agar 2216.16S rRNA gene sequence analysis revealed that this isolate shared 94.07 % similarity with its closest type strain, Parvibaculum hydrocarboniclasticum EPR92T. Phylogenetic analyses indicated that strain GYP-11T represents a distinct lineage in a robust clade consisting of strain GYP-11T, alphaproteobacterium GMD21A06 and Candidatus Phaeomarinobacter ectocarpi Ec32. This clade was close to the genera Parvibaculum and Tepidicaulis in the order Rhizobiales. Chemotaxonomic and physiological characteristics, including cellular fatty acids and carbon source profiles, also readily distinguished strain GYP-11T from all established genera and species. Thus, it is concluded that strain GYP-11T represents a novel species of a new genus in the order Rhizobiales, for which the name Pyruvatibacter mobilis gen. nov., sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain of Pyruvatibacter mobilis is GYP-11T ( = CGMCC 1.15125T = KCTC 42509T). PMID:26476620

  12. Environmental contaminants in surrogates, foods, and feathers of California condors (Gymnogyps californianus)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wiemeyer, Stanley N.; Jurek, R.M.; Moore, J.F.

    1986-01-01

    California condor (Gymnogyps californianus) foods and feathers, and turkey vultures (Cathartes aura), common ravens (Corvus corax), and their eggs were collected within the condor range to determine exposure of condors to environmental contaminants. Samples were analyzed for organochlorines and trace elements. Food items contained low concentrations of organochlorines and generally low concentrations of lead. DDE was detected in all vulture carcasses and nearly all raven carcasses at generally moderate concentrations. Other organochlorines occurred infrequently in carcasses and generally at low concentrations. Turkey vulture eggshells were 16% thinner than the pre-DDT mean; there was no change in shell thickness of raven eggs. Vulture eggs contained an average of 6.9 ppm DDE and two contained excessive concentrations of endrin. DDE concentrations were low in raven eggs. Residues of As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Hg, Ni, Se, Tl, and Zn in tissues of vultures and ravens appeared normal when compared with reference values for other species. Lead concentrations in bone of turkey vultures and feathers of condors appeared to be elevated above normal background concentrations in some cases. Current exposure of condors to organochlorines appears low; however, we are concerned about the excessive exposure of turkey vultures to organochlorines, possibly in Central America. Lead exposure to vultures and condors has occurred, but its significance to their populations is unknown.

  13. Gypenoside XLIX, a naturally occurring gynosaponin, PPAR-alpha dependently inhibits LPS-induced tissue factor expression and activity in human THP-1 monocytic cells

    SciTech Connect

    Huang, Tom Hsun-Wei; Van Hoan Tran; Roufogalis, Basil D.; Li Yuhao . E-mail: yuhao@pharm.usyd.edu.au

    2007-01-01

    Tissue factor (TF) is involved not only in the progression of atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular diseases, but is also associated with tumor growth, metastasis, and angiogenesis and hence may be an attractive target for directed cancer therapeutics. Gynostemma pentaphyllum (GP) is widely used in the treatment of various cardiovascular diseases including atherosclerosis, as well as cancers. Gypenoside (Gyp) XLIX, a dammarane-type glycoside, is one of the prominent components in GP. We have recently reported Gyp XLIX to be a potent peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-alpha activator. Here we demonstrate that Gyp XLIX (0-300 {mu}M) concentration dependently inhibited TF promoter activity after induction by the inflammatory stimulus lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in human monocytic THP-1 cells transfected with promoter reporter constructs pTF-LUC. Furthermore, Gyp XLIX inhibited LPS-induced TF mRNA and protein overexpression in THP-1 monocyte cells. Its inhibition of LPS-induced TF hyperactivity was further confirmed by chromogenic enzyme activity assay. The activities of Gyp XLIX reported in this study were similar to those of Wy-14643, a potent synthetic PPAR-alpha activator. Furthermore, the Gyp XLIX-induced inhibitory effect on TF luciferase activity was completely abolished in the presence of the PPAR-alpha selective antagonist MK-886. The present findings suggest that Gyp XLIX inhibits LPS-induced TF overexpression and enhancement of its activity in human THP-1 monocytic cells via PPAR-alpha-dependent pathways. The data provide new insights into the basis of the use of the traditional Chinese herbal medicine G. pentaphyllum for the treatment of cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases, as well as cancers.

  14. Biotransformations of 6',7'-dihydroxybergamottin and 6',7'-epoxybergamottin by the citrus-pathogenic fungi diminish cytochrome P450 3A4 inhibitory activity

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Penicillium digitatum, as well as five other citrus pathogenic species, (P. ulaiense Link, Geotrichum citri Link, Botrytis cinerea P. Micheli ex Pers., Lasiodiplodia theobromae (Pat.)Griffon & Maubl. and Phomopsis citri (teleomorph Diaporthe citri)) was observed to convert 6',7'-epoxybergamottin (1)...

  15. Induction of p53-independent growth inhibition in lung carcinoma cell A549 by gypenosides.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jung-Sen; Chiang, Tzu-Hsuan; Wang, Jinn-Shyan; Lin, Li-Ju; Chao, Wei-Chih; Inbaraj, Baskaran Stephen; Lu, Jyh-Feng; Chen, Bing-Huei

    2015-07-01

    The objectives of this study are to investigate antiproliferative effect and mechanisms of bioactive compounds from Gynostemma pentaphyllum (G. pentaphyllum) on lung carcinoma cell A549. Saponins, carotenoids and chlorophylls were extracted and fractionated by column chromatography, and were subjected to high-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry analyses. The saponin fraction, which consisted mainly of gypenoside (Gyp) XXII and XXIII, rather than the carotenoid and chlorophyll ones, was effective in inhibiting A549 cell growth in a concentration- and a time-dependent manner as evaluated using 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. The estimated half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50 ) of Gyp on A549 cells was 30.6 μg/ml. Gyp was further demonstrated to induce an apparent arrest of the A549 cell cycle at both the S phase and the G2/M phase, accompanied by a concentration- and a time-dependent increase in the proportions of both the early and late apoptotic cells. Furthermore, Gyp down-regulated cellular expression of cyclin A and B as well as BCL-2, while up-regulated the expression of BAX, DNA degradation factor 35 KD, poly [ADP-ribose] polymerase 1, p53, p21 and caspase-3. Nevertheless, both the treatment of a p53 inhibitor, pifithrin-α, and the small hairpin RNA-mediated p53 knockdown in the A549 cells did not alter the growth inhibition effect induced by Gyp. As a result, the cell cycle arrest and apoptosis of A549 cells induced by Gyp would most likely proceed through p53-independent pathway(s). PMID:25781909

  16. Induction of p53-independent growth inhibition in lung carcinoma cell A549 by gypenosides

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Jung-Sen; Chiang, Tzu-Hsuan; Wang, Jinn-Shyan; Lin, Li-Ju; Chao, Wei-Chih; Inbaraj, Baskaran Stephen; Lu, Jyh-Feng; Chen, Bing-Huei

    2015-01-01

    The objectives of this study are to investigate antiproliferative effect and mechanisms of bioactive compounds from Gynostemma pentaphyllum (G. pentaphyllum) on lung carcinoma cell A549. Saponins, carotenoids and chlorophylls were extracted and fractionated by column chromatography, and were subjected to high-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry analyses. The saponin fraction, which consisted mainly of gypenoside (Gyp) XXII and XXIII, rather than the carotenoid and chlorophyll ones, was effective in inhibiting A549 cell growth in a concentration- and a time-dependent manner as evaluated using 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. The estimated half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) of Gyp on A549 cells was 30.6 μg/ml. Gyp was further demonstrated to induce an apparent arrest of the A549 cell cycle at both the S phase and the G2/M phase, accompanied by a concentration- and a time-dependent increase in the proportions of both the early and late apoptotic cells. Furthermore, Gyp down-regulated cellular expression of cyclin A and B as well as BCL-2, while up-regulated the expression of BAX, DNA degradation factor 35 KD, poly [ADP-ribose] polymerase 1, p53, p21 and caspase-3. Nevertheless, both the treatment of a p53 inhibitor, pifithrin-α, and the small hairpin RNA-mediated p53 knockdown in the A549 cells did not alter the growth inhibition effect induced by Gyp. As a result, the cell cycle arrest and apoptosis of A549 cells induced by Gyp would most likely proceed through p53-independent pathway(s). PMID:25781909

  17. Crystal Structures of Human TBC1D1 and TBC1D4 (AS160) RabGTPase-activating Protein (RabGAP) Domains Reveal Critical Elements for GLUT4 Translocation

    SciTech Connect

    S Park; W Jin; S Shoelson

    2011-12-31

    We have solved the x-ray crystal structures of the RabGAP domains of human TBC1D1 and human TBC1D4 (AS160), at 2.2 and 3.5 {angstrom} resolution, respectively. Like the yeast Gyp1p RabGAP domain, whose structure was solved previously in complex with mouse Rab33B, the human TBC1D1 and TBC1D4 domains both have 16 {alpha}-helices and no {beta}-sheet elements. We expected the yeast Gyp1p RabGAP/mouse Rab33B structure to predict the corresponding interfaces between cognate mammalian RabGAPs and Rabs, but found that residues were poorly conserved. We further tested the relevance of this model by Ala-scanning mutagenesis, but only one of five substitutions within the inferred binding site of the TBC1D1 RabGAP significantly perturbed catalytic efficiency. In addition, substitution of TBC1D1 residues with corresponding residues from Gyp1p did not enhance catalytic efficiency. We hypothesized that biologically relevant RabGAP/Rab partners utilize additional contacts not described in the yeast Gyp1p/mouse Rab33B structure, which we predicted using our two new human TBC1D1 and TBC1D4 structures. Ala substitution of TBC1D1 Met{sup 930}, corresponding to a residue outside of the Gyp1p/Rab33B contact, substantially reduced catalytic activity. GLUT4 translocation assays confirmed the biological relevance of our findings. Substitutions with lowest RabGAP activity, including catalytically dead RK and Met{sup 930} and Leu{sup 1019} predicted to perturb Rab binding, confirmed that biological activity requires contacts between cognate RabGAPs and Rabs beyond those in the yeast Gyp1p RabGAP/mouse Rab33B structure.

  18. Kennedy Space Center (KSC) Launch Pad Avian Abatement Efforts Including Related KSC Road Kill Reduction Effort

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schlierf, Roland; Hight, Ron; Payne, Stephen J.; Shaffer, John P.; Missimer, Brad; Willis, Christopher

    2007-01-01

    While birds might seem harmless, there's a good reason for the concern. During the July 2005 launch of Discovery on mission STS-1 14, a vulture soaring around the launch pad impacted the shuttle's external tank just after liftoff. With a vulture's average weight ranging from 3 to 5 pounds. a strike at a critical point on the Shuttle -- like the nose or wing leading thermal protection panels -- could cause catastrophic damage to the vehicle. The foam chunk that fatefully struck Columbia's wing in 2003 weighed only 1.7 pounds. (Cheryl L. Mansfield "Bye Bye Birdies" 2006) To address this issue, NASA formed an "Avian Abatement Team". The team goal is to have safer Shuttle missions by reducing the vulture population at KSC near the pad area thereby reducing the probability of another vulture strike during a Shuttle launch.

  19. 77 FR 298 - Endangered Species Receipt of Applications for Permit

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-01-04

    ... Departments and Agencies of January 21, 2009--Transparency and Open Government (74 FR 4685; January 26, 2009... condor (Vultur gryphus), Bali starling (Leucopsar rothschildi), black and white ruffed lemur...

  20. 77 FR 73511 - Clarification of Wildlife Hazard Management Requirements for Non-Certificated Federally Obligated...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-12-10

    ... ``Airport Improvement Program (AIP) Grant Assurances,'' 77 FR 22376). The FAA uses a standard set of...), turkey vultures (2.6 percent), American white pelicans (8.4 percent), double-crested cormorants...

  1. Assessment of Mercury in Soils, Crops, Earthworms, and Water when Soil is Treated with Gypsum

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Flue gas desulfurization (FGD) gypsum from fossil fuel combustion has many potential uses in agriculture, but there is concern about the potential environmental effects of its elevated mercury (Hg) concentration. The wet limestone scrubbing process that removes sulfur from flue gas (and produces gyp...

  2. Prospective, Randomized Ex Vivo Trial to Assess the Ideal Stapling Site for Endoscopic Fundoplication with Medigus Ultrasonic Surgical Endostapler.

    PubMed

    Gweon, Tae-Geun; Matthes, Kai

    2016-01-01

    Background and Aims. Endoscopic fundoplication is an emerging technique for the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The aim of this study is to determine the ideal position of the staples in relation to gastroesophageal junction (GEJ). Methods. Ten endoscopic fundoplication procedures were performed in each group using fresh ex vivo porcine stomachs: Group A: 2 staples each at 3 cm above the GEJ and 180° apart; Group B: 2 staples at 3 cm and 90° apart; Group C: 2 staples at 4 cm and 180° apart; Group D: 3 staples at 3 cm with 90° between each staple (180° total). After the procedure, the stomach was gradually filled with water. Gastric yield pressure (GYP) was determined by detection of reflux of the water in esophagus or by rupture of staples. Results. Mean increase of GYPs (±SD) after the procedure was as follows: Group A: 16.9 ± 8.7; Group B: 8.1 ± 7.9; Group C: 12.2 ± 9.4; Group D: 22.7 ± 13.3. GYP in Group A and Group D was higher than Group B (p = 0.03 and p = 0.01, resp.). Conclusions. We recommend the placement of 3 staples at 3 cm distance from the GEJ, which resulted in the highest increase of GYP. PMID:27547219

  3. Prospective, Randomized Ex Vivo Trial to Assess the Ideal Stapling Site for Endoscopic Fundoplication with Medigus Ultrasonic Surgical Endostapler

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Background and Aims. Endoscopic fundoplication is an emerging technique for the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The aim of this study is to determine the ideal position of the staples in relation to gastroesophageal junction (GEJ). Methods. Ten endoscopic fundoplication procedures were performed in each group using fresh ex vivo porcine stomachs: Group A: 2 staples each at 3 cm above the GEJ and 180° apart; Group B: 2 staples at 3 cm and 90° apart; Group C: 2 staples at 4 cm and 180° apart; Group D: 3 staples at 3 cm with 90° between each staple (180° total). After the procedure, the stomach was gradually filled with water. Gastric yield pressure (GYP) was determined by detection of reflux of the water in esophagus or by rupture of staples. Results. Mean increase of GYPs (±SD) after the procedure was as follows: Group A: 16.9 ± 8.7; Group B: 8.1 ± 7.9; Group C: 12.2 ± 9.4; Group D: 22.7 ± 13.3. GYP in Group A and Group D was higher than Group B (p = 0.03 and p = 0.01, resp.). Conclusions. We recommend the placement of 3 staples at 3 cm distance from the GEJ, which resulted in the highest increase of GYP. PMID:27547219

  4. 31. MAIN CANAL Photographic copy of historic photo, December ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    31. MAIN CANAL - Photographic copy of historic photo, December 13, 1939 (original print in '1939 Annual Report of the Carlsbad Project,' located at the Carlsbad Irrigation District offices, Carlsbad, New Mexico) photographer unknown 'LINING MAIN CANAL AROUND GYP BEND' - Carlsbad Irrigation District, Main Canal, 4 miles North to 12 miles Southeast of Carlsbad, Carlsbad, Eddy County, NM

  5. Levels of six antibiotics used in China estimated by means of wastewater-based epidemiology.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Su-Fen; Liu, Ze-Hua; Huang, Ri-Ping; Yin, Hua; Dang, Zhi

    2016-01-01

    Due to lack of proper regulation, information about antibiotics consumption in many countries such as China is difficult to obtain. In this study, a simple method based on wastewater-based epidemiology was adopted to estimate their usage in four megacities of China. Six antibiotics (norfloxacin, ofloxacin, sulfamethoxazole, trimethoprim, erythromycin and roxithromycin), which are the most frequently consumed antibiotics in China, were selected as the targets. Based on our results, Chongqing had the largest total annual consumption of the selected six antibiotics among the four megacities, followed by Guangzhou, then Hong Kong, with Beijing having the least, with values of 4.4 g/y/P, 4.0 g/y/P, 1.6 g/y/P, and 1.3 g/y/P, respectively. Compared with the daily consumption per capita in Italy, the estimated consumption levels of the selected six antibiotics in four cities of China were 12-41 times those of Italy. Our results suggested that the consumption of antibiotics in China was excessive. PMID:26901719

  6. Phaeodactylibacter luteus sp. nov., isolated from the oleaginous microalga Picochlorum sp.

    PubMed

    Lei, Xueqian; Li, Yi; Wang, Guanghua; Chen, Yao; Lai, Qiliang; Chen, Zhangran; Zhang, Jingyan; Liao, Pingping; Zhu, Hong; Zheng, Wei; Zheng, Tianling

    2015-08-01

    A Gram-staining-negative, orange-pigmented, non-motile, aerobic bacterial strain, designated GYP20T, was isolated from a culture of the alga Picochlorum sp., a promising feedstock for biodiesel production, which was isolated from the India Ocean. Growth was observed at temperatures from 20 to 37 °C, salinities from 0 to 3% and pH from 5 to 9.Mg2+ and Ca2+ ions were required for growth. Phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA gene sequencing revealed that the strain was a member of the genus Phaeodactylibacter, which belongs to the family Saprospiraceae. Strain GYP20T was most closely related to Phaeodactylibacter xiamenensis KD52T (95.5% sequence similarity). The major fatty acids were iso-C15 : 1 G, iso-C15 : 0, iso-C17 : 0 3-OH and summed feature 3. The predominant respiratory quinone was menaquinone-7 (MK-7). The polar lipids of strain GYP20T were found to consist of diphosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylglycerol, four unidentified glycolipids, two unidentified phospholipids and three unidentified aminolipids. According to its morphology, physiology, fatty acid composition and 16S rRNA sequence data, the novel strain most appropriately belongs to the genus Phaeodactylibacter, but can readily be distinguished from Phaeodactylibacter xiamenensis GYP20T. The name Phaeodactylibacter luteus sp. nov. is proposed with the type strain GYP20T ( = MCCC 1F01222T = KCTC 42180T). PMID:25964516

  7. Soaring flight in Guinea

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Idrac, P

    1920-01-01

    The term soaring is applied here to the flight of certain large birds which maneuver in the air without moving their wings. The author explains the methods of his research and here gives approximate figures for the soaring flight of the Egyptian Vulture and the African White backed Vulture. Figures are given in tabular form for relative air speed per foot per second, air velocity per foot per second, lift/drag ratio, and selected coefficients. The author argues that although the figures given were taken from a very limited series of observations, they have nevertheless thrown some light on the use by birds of the internal energy of the air.

  8. Aliidiomarina sanyensis sp. nov., a hexabromocyclododecane assimilating bacterium from the pool of Spirulina platensis cultivation, Sanya, China.

    PubMed

    Wang, Guanghua; Wu, Hualian; Zhang, Xiaoyong; Zhang, Hao; Yang, Xi; Tian, Xinpeng; Li, Jie; Xiang, Wenzhou; Li, Xiang

    2013-09-01

    A novel Gram-negative, rod shaped, motile, non-spore-forming, aerobic, brominated flame retardant hexabromocyclododecane-assimilating bacterium, designated strain GYP-17(T), was isolated from a pool of marine Spirulina platensis cultivation, Sanya, China. Colonies on 1/10 strength of marine Glycerol Enriched Medium plates were circular, dark-brown, 1-2 mm in diameter, and with regular margins. Growth occurred at 10-45 °C, 1-10 % (w/v) NaCl and pH of 7-9. The polar lipids were composed of phosphatidylethanolamine, three unidentified phospholipids and one unidentified polar lipid. The major fatty acids were iso-C17:1ω9c/10-methyl-C16:0 (summed feature 9, 20.75 %), iso-C15:0 (17.70 %) and C16:0 (6.40 %). The major respiratory quinone was Q-8. The DNA G + C content of the type strain was 53.6 mol%. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that strain GYP-17(T) was a member of the genus Aliidiomarina and closely related to Aliidiomarina haloalkalitolerans with a 16S rDNA sequence similarity of 96.36 %. Results from the polyphasic taxonomy study support the conclusion that strain GYP-17(T) represents a novel Aliidiomarina species, for which the name Aliidiomarina sanyensis sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain of A. sanyensis is GYP-17(T) (=KCTC 32218(T) =LMG 27471(T)). PMID:23748897

  9. Bacterioplanes sanyensis gen. nov., sp. nov., a PHB-accumulating bacterium isolated from a pool of Spirulina platensis cultivation.

    PubMed

    Wang, Guanghua; Jia, Qikun; Li, Tao; Dai, Shikun; Wu, Huanlian; He, Hui; Fan, Jiewei; Xiang, Wenzhou; Li, Xiang

    2014-10-01

    A Gram-negative, poly-3-hydroxybutyrate-accumulating rod bacterium, strain GYP-2(T), was isolated from a pool of marine Spirulina platensis cultivation, Sanya, China. Growth was observed at 10-45 °C and pH 6-10 in the presence of 1-10 % (w/v) NaCl. Phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA gene sequences indicated that the new isolate belonged to Gammaproteobacteria and displayed 93.8-95.3 % 16S rRNA gene sequences similarities to members of the genera Thalassolituus, Oleibacter, and Oceanobacter, but house-keeping gene gyrB (encode DNA gyrase beta subunit) demonstrated that the new isolate was distantly related to Thalassolituus, Oleibacter, and Oceanobacter species (only 77-83 % gene gyrB sequences similarities).The G+C content of genomic DNA was 55 mol%. The major respiratory quinone was Q-9, while that for Oceanobacter kriegii LMG 6238(T) was Q-8. Major polar lipids were diphosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylglycerol, and phosphatidylethanolamine. On the basis of its physiological, chemotaxonomic, and molecular properties, strain GYP-2(T) is suggested to represent a novel species of a new genus in Gammaproteobacteria, for which the name Bacterioplanes sanyensis gen. nov., sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is GYP-2(T) (=CGMCC 1.12392(T)=KCTC 32220(T)). PMID:25038945

  10. Functional link between Rab GTPase-mediated membrane trafficking and PI4,5P2 signaling.

    PubMed

    Li, Cuifang; Kita, Ayako; Hashimoto, Yuuka; Ihara, Misako; Kato, Ayaka; Ogura, Naoya; Doi, Akira; Oku, Masahide; Itoh, Toshiki; Sakai, Yasuyoshi; Sugiura, Reiko

    2014-03-01

    Fission yeast its3(+) encodes an essential phosphatidylinositol-4-phosphate 5-kinase (PI4P5K) that regulates cell integrity and cytokinesis. We performed a genetic screen to identify genes that function in PI4P5K-mediated signaling, and identified gyp10(+) encoding a Rab GTPase-activating protein (GAP), a negative regulator for Rab GTPase signaling. Its3 overproduction caused growth defects and abnormal cytoplasmic accumulation of the Its3 protein, which can be stained by calcofluor. Notably, Its3 overproducing cells displayed abnormal membranous structures, multilamella Golgi and fragmented vacuoles showed by Electron microscopy. Furthermore, the excess cytoplasmic Its3 structure partly colocalized with the fluorescence of FM4-64. Gyp10 rescued both growth defects and abnormal Its3 localization when it was over-expressed. Gyp10 functionally interacted with the Rab GTPases Ypt3 and Ryh1, both of which regulate Golgi membrane trafficking. Consistently, mutation or deletion of Ypt3 and Ryh1 suppressed phenotypes associated with Its3 overproduction. Importantly, the plasma membrane localization of Its3 was also affected by the impairment of the Ypt3/Ryh1 Rab membrane trafficking, thus suggesting that membrane trafficking events regulated by two Rab GTPases functionally interacts with PI4,5P2 signaling. These results suggest a mechanism whereby PI4P5K signaling/localization is affected by Golgi membrane trafficking, thus provide a functional link between the PI4,5P2 signaling and Rab-mediated trafficking. PMID:24350606

  11. Cyclic di-GMP signalling in the virulence and environmental adaptation of Xanthomonas campestris.

    PubMed

    Ryan, Robert P; Fouhy, Yvonne; Lucey, Jean F; Jiang, Bo-Le; He, Yong-Qiang; Feng, Jia-Xun; Tang, Ji-Liang; Dow, J Maxwell

    2007-01-01

    Cyclic di-GMP is a second messenger with a role in regulation of a range of cellular functions in diverse bacteria including the virulence of pathogens. Cellular levels of cyclic di-GMP are controlled through synthesis, catalysed by the GGDEF protein domain, and degradation by EAL or HD-GYP domains. Here we report a comprehensive study of cyclic di-GMP signalling in bacterial disease in which we examine the contribution of all proteins with GGDEF, EAL or HD-GYP domains to virulence and virulence factor production in the phytopathogen Xanthomonas campestris pathovar campestris (Xcc). Genes with significant roles in virulence to plants included those encoding proteins whose probable function is in cyclic-di-GMP synthesis as well as others (including the HD-GYP domain regulator RpfG) implicated in cyclic di-GMP degradation. Furthermore, RpfG controlled expression of a subset of these genes. A partially overlapping set of elements controlled the production of virulence factors in vitro. Other GGDEF-EAL domain proteins had no effect on virulence factor synthesis but did influence motility. These findings indicate the existence of a regulatory network that may allow Xcc to integrate information from diverse environmental inputs to modulate virulence factor synthesis as well as of cyclic di-GMP signalling systems dedicated to other specific tasks. PMID:17241199

  12. Acute oral toxicity of sodium cyanide in birds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wiemeyer, Stanley N.; Hill, E.F.; Carpenter, J.W.; Krynitsky, A.J.

    1986-01-01

    Sensitivities of six avian species, black vulture (Coragyps atratus), American kestrel (Falco sparverius), Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica), domestic chicken (Gallus domesticus), eastern screech-owl (Otus asio), and European starling (Sturnus vulgaris), to acute poisoning by sodium cyanide (NaCN) were compared by single dose LD50's. Three species, domestic chickens, black vultures, and turkey vultures (Cathartes aura), were dosed with NaCN to determine cyanide residues in those that died and also in survivors, in addition to postmortem fate. Three flesh-eating species (black vulture, American kestrel, and eastern screech-owl; LD50's 4.0-8.6 mg/kg) were more sensitive to NaCN than three species (Japanese quail, domestic chicken, and European starling; LD50's 9.4-21 mg/kg) that fed predominantly on plant material. Elevated concentrations of cyanide were found in the blood of birds that died of cyanide poisoning; however, concentrations in birds that died overlapped those in survivors. Blood was superior to liver as the tissue of choice for detecting cyanide exposure. No gross pathological changes related to dosing were observed at necropsy.

  13. Atmospheric radiation measurement program facilities newsletter, September 2002.

    SciTech Connect

    Holdridge, D. J.

    2002-10-02

    This Atmospheric radiation measurement program facilities newsletter covers the following topics: The Raman lidar at the SGP central facility is receiving upgrades to its environmental controls; The instrument tower at Okmulgee State Park is receiving upgrades to prevent Turkey Vultures from roosting on the booms.

  14. 78 FR 5861 - National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems: Clarification of Wildlife Hazard Management...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-01-28

    ... on December 10, 2012 (77 FR 73511) is extended. Send your comments on or before January 31, 2013. The... (see ``Airport Improvement Program (AIP) Grant Assurances,'' 77 FR 22376). The FAA uses a standard set...), turkey vultures (2.6 percent), American white pelicans (8.4 percent), double-crested cormorants...

  15. Wrong but seminal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seeman, Jeffrey I.; Cantrill, Stuart

    2016-03-01

    Publishing the wrong interpretation of experimental data can result in an immediate horde of chemists feeding on the error like vultures. On rare occasions, this phenomenon can open up an entire new field of science -- and the structure of ferrocene is a case in point.

  16. Dietary controls on extinction versus survival among avian megafauna in the late Pleistocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fox-Dobbs, Kena; Stidham, Thomas A.; Bowen, Gabriel J.; Emslie, Steven D.; Koch, Paul L.

    2006-08-01

    The late Pleistocene extinction decimated terrestrial megafaunal communities in North America, but did not affect marine mammal populations. In coastal regions, marine megafauna may have provided a buffer that allowed some large predators or scavengers, such as California condors (Gymnogyps californianus), to survive into the Holocene. To track the influence of marine resources on avifaunas we analyzed the carbon, nitrogen, and hydrogen isotope composition of collagen from late Pleistocene vultures and raptors, including species that survived the extinction (condor, bald eagle, golden eagle) and extinct species (teratorn, black vulture). At the Rancho La Brea and McKittrick tar pits of southern California, isotope values for extinct teratorns (Teratornis merriami, n = 10) and black vultures (Coragyps occidentalis, n = 8) show that they fed entirely in a terrestrial C3 ecosystem. In contrast, La Brea condors cluster into two groups, one with a terrestrial diet (n = 4), and the other with a strong marine influence (n = 5). At localities in the American southwest, Texas, and Florida, where condors became extinct, they have isotope values indicating entirely terrestrial diets (n = 10). Our results suggest that dependence upon terrestrial megafaunal carrion as a food source led to the extinction of inland California condor populations and coastal populations of teratorns and black vultures at the Pleistocene-Holocene boundary, whereas use of marine foods allowed coastal condor populations to survive.

  17. Chronic lead exposure is epidemic in obligate scavenger populations in eastern North America.

    PubMed

    Behmke, Shannon; Fallon, Jesse; Duerr, Adam E; Lehner, Andreas; Buchweitz, John; Katzner, Todd

    2015-06-01

    Lead is a prominent and highly toxic contaminant with important impacts to wildlife. To understand the degree to which wildlife populations are chronically exposed, we quantified lead levels within American black vultures (Coragyps atratus; BLVU) and turkey vultures (Cathartes aura; TUVU), two species that are useful as environmental sentinels in eastern North America. Every individual sampled (n=108) had bone lead levels indicative of chronic exposure to anthropogenic lead (BLVU: x¯=36.99 ± 55.21 mg Pb/kg tissue (±SD); TUVU: x¯=23.02 ± 18.77 mg/kg). Only a few showed evidence of recent lead exposure (BLVU liver: x¯=0.78 ± 0.93 mg/kg; TUVU liver: x¯=0.55 ± 0.34 mg/kg). Isotopic ratios suggested multiple potential sources of lead including ammunition, gasoline, coal-fired power plants, and zinc smelting. Black and turkey vultures range across eastern North America, from Quebec to Florida and individuals may traverse thousands of kilometers annually. The extent to which vultures are exposed suggests that anthropogenic lead permeates eastern North American ecosystems to a previously unrecognized degree. Discovery of an epidemic of chronic lead exposure in such widespread and common species and the failure of soft-tissue sampling to diagnose this pattern has dramatic implications for understanding modern wildlife and human health concerns. PMID:25795925

  18. India. Fulbright-Hays Summer Seminar Abroad 1994 (India).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dickler, Paul

    This curriculum packet on politics and international relations in India contains an essay, three lessons and a variety of charts, maps, and additional readings to support the unit. The essay is entitled "India 1994: The Peacock and the Vulture." The lessons include: (1) "The Kashmir Dispute"; (2) "India: Domestic Order and International Affairs, A…

  19. The role of humans in the diversification of a threatened island raptor

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Anthropogenic habitat modifications have led to the extinction of many species and have favoured the expansion of others. Nonetheless, the possible role of humans as a diversifying force in vertebrate evolution has rarely been considered, especially for species with long generation times. We examine the influence that humans have had on the colonization and phenotypic and genetic differentiation of an insular population of a long-lived raptor species, the Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus). Results The morphological comparison between the Canarian Egyptian vultures and the main and closest population in Western Europe (Iberia) indicated that insular vultures are significantly heavier (16%) and larger (about 3%) than those from Iberia. Bayesian and standard genetic analyses also showed differentiation (FST = 0.11, p < 0.01). The inference of changes in the effective size of the Canarian deme, using two likelihood-based Bayesian approaches, suggested that the establishment of this insular population took place some 2500 years ago, matching the date of human colonization. This is consistent with the lack of earlier fossils. Conclusions Archaeological remains show that first colonizers were Berber people from northern Africa who imported goats. This new and abundant food source could have allowed vultures to colonize, expand and adapt to the island environment. Our results suggest that anthropogenic environmental change can induce diversification and that this process may take place on an ecological time scale (less than 200 generations), even in the case of a long-lived species. PMID:21144015

  20. Trichomonas gypaetinii n. sp., a new trichomonad from the upper gastrointestinal tract of scavenging birds of prey.

    PubMed

    Martínez-Díaz, Rafael Alberto; Ponce-Gordo, Francisco; Rodríguez-Arce, Irene; del Martínez-Herrero, María Carmen; González, Fernando González; Molina-López, Rafael Ángel; Gómez-Muñoz, María Teresa

    2015-01-01

    In the context of an epidemiological study carried out by several wildlife recovery centers in Spain, trichomonads resembling Trichomonas gallinae were found in the oropharyngeal cavity of 2 Egyptian vultures (Neophron percnopterus) and 14 cinereous vultures (Aegypius monachus) which did not show any symptoms of trichomonosis. In order to characterize them, these isolates along with seven other T. gallinae isolates obtained from different hosts and from different geographical origin were analyzed. Genetic analyses were performed by sequencing the small subunit ribosomal RNA (SSU-rRNA) and the internal transcribed spacers (ITS1 and ITS2) and the 5.8S rRNA regions. The morphological study of the isolates in both light and scanning electron microscopy was also performed. The sequences obtained in the genetic analysis coincide with previously published sequences of an isolate named as Trichomonas sp., obtained from a bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus), and showed clear differences to the T. gallinae sequences (97 and 90-91% homology, respectively, for SSU-rRNA and ITS regions) and display higher similarity with Trichomonas vaginalis and Trichomonas stableri than with T. gallinae. Multivariate statistical analysis of the morphometric study also reveals significant differences between the trichomonads of vultures and the isolates of T. gallinae. The isolates from vultures presented smaller values for each variable except for the length of axostyle projection, which was higher. These results together with the different nature of their hosts suggest the possibility of a new species of trichomonad which we hereby name Trichomonas gypaetinii, whose main host are birds of the subfamily Gypaetinae. PMID:25273632

  1. PackBot: a versatile platform for military robotics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamauchi, Brian M.

    2004-09-01

    The iRobot PackBot is a combat-tested, man-portable UGV that has been deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq. The PackBot is also a versatile platform for mobile robotics research and development that supports a wide range of payloads suitable for many different mission types. In this paper, we describe four R&D projects that developed experimental payloads and software using the PackBot platform. CHARS was a rapid development project to develop a chemical/radiation sensor for the PackBot. We developed the CHARS payload in six weeks and deployed it to Iraq to search for chemical and nuclear weapons. Griffon was a research project to develop a flying PackBot that combined the capabilities of a UGV and a UAV. We developed a Griffon prototype equipped with a steerable parafoil and gasoline-powered motor, and we completed successful flight tests including remote-controlled launch, ascent, cruising, descent, and landing. Valkyrie is an ongoing research and development project to develop a PackBot payload that will assist medics in retrieving casualties from the battlefield. Wayfarer is an applied research project to develop autonomous urban navigation capabilities for the PackBot using laser, stereo vision, GPS, and INS sensors.

  2. Neutralization of calcite in mineral aerosols by acidic sullur species collected in China and Japan studied by ca K-edge X-ray absorption near-edge structure.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Yoshio; Miyoshi, Takuro; Higashi, Masayuki; Kamioka, Hikari; Kanai, Yutaka

    2009-09-01

    Calcium species in mineral aerosols collected simultaneously in Aksu (near the Taklimakan Desert), Qingdao (eastern China), and Tsukuba (Japan) during dust and nondust periods were determined using Ca K-edge X-ray absorption near-edge structure (XANES). From the fitting of XANES spectra, it was found that (i) calcite and gypsum were the main Ca species in the aerosol samples, and (ii) the gypsum fraction versus total Ca minerals [Gyp]/[Ca2+]t increased progressively in the order Aksu < Qingdao < Tsukuba. Surface-sensitive XANES in the conversion electron yield mode (CEY) showed that the gypsum is formed selectively at the surface of mineral aerosols for all the samples except for that taken in Aksu during the dust period. The decrease of the [Gyp]/[Ca2+]t ratio with an increase in particle size showed that the neutralization effect proceeds from the particle surface. For the Aksu sample in the dust period, however, (i) the [Gyp]/[Ca2+]t ratios obtained by XANES measured in the fluorescence (FL; regarded as bulk analysis) and CEY modes were similar and (ii) size dependence was not found, showing that neutralization is not important for the sample because of the large supply of mineral aerosol with little neutralization effect in Aksu. It was also found that the pH of the aerosol and the ratio of (NH4)2SO4 to gypsum were positively and negatively correlated with the Ca (or calcite) content, respectively. The speciation of Ca by XANES revealed the neutralization processes of acidic sulfur species by calcite during the long-range transport of mineral aerosols. PMID:19764213

  3. Protein electrophoresis as a diagnostic and prognostic tool in raptor medicine.

    PubMed

    Tatum, L M; Zaias, J; Mealey, B K; Cray, C; Bossart, G D

    2000-12-01

    Plasma proteins of 139 healthy adult birds of prey from 10 species were separated by electrophoresis to characterize and document normal reference ranges and species-specific electrophoretic patternsand to evaluate the value of this technique for health screening, disease diagnosis, and prognostic indication. Species studied included bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis), barn owl (Tyto alba), great horned owl (Bubo virginianus), turkey vulture (Cathartes aura), Harris' hawk (Parabuteo unicinctus), Stellar's sea eagle (Haliaeetus pelagicus), barred owl (Strix varia), screech owl (Otus asio), and black vulture (Coragyps atratus). Several clinical cases show the diagnostic/therapeutic value of protein electrophoresis in raptors. This study establishes species-specific reference ranges for several birds of prey and discusses the benefit of electrophoresis as a diagnostic technique in health screens, as a diagnostic aid in conjunction with other tests, and as a prognostic indicator in clinical evaluation of raptors. PMID:11428396

  4. Serologic evidence of exposure of raptors to influenza A virus.

    PubMed

    Redig, Patrick T; Goyal, Sagar M

    2012-06-01

    Serum or plasma samples from raptors that prey or scavenge upon aquatic birds were tested by a commercially available blocking enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for the evidence of antibodies to influenza A virus. Samples were taken from birds (n = 616) admitted to two rehabilitation centers in the United States. In addition, samples from 472 migrating peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus) trapped on autumnal and vernal migrations for banding purposes were also tested. Only bald eagles were notably seropositive (22/406). One each of peregrine falcon, great horned owl (Bubo virginianus), and Cooper's hawk (Accipiter cooperi) from a total of 472, 81, and 100, respectively, were also positive. None of the turkey vultures (n = 21) or black vultures (n = 8) was positive. No clinical signs referable to avian influenza were seen in any bird at the time of capture. These data indicate that, among raptors, bald eagles do have exposure to influenza A viruses. PMID:22856203

  5. The Andean condor as a research surrogate for the California condor

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Carpenter, J.W.; Dein, F.J.; Ellis, D.H.

    1985-01-01

    Captive propagation of Andean Condors (Vultur gryphus) was initiated at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in 1966 in anticipation of the need to apply resulting techniques to the captive breeding of the endangered California Condor (Gymnogyps californianus). This report summarizes the progress made on this Andean Condor breeding and research project, with emphasis on recent fostering/cross-fostering studies. These studies include: a) fostering eggs/chicks between Andean Condors; b) fostering of two chicks each to Andean Condor pairs; c) cross-fostering of a TurkeyVulture (Cathartes aura) to Andean Condors; and d) cross-fostering an Andean Condor chick to wild California Condors. Implications of these studies for the recovery of the California Condor will be discussed.

  6. The Andean condor as a research surrogate for the California condor

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Carpenter, J.W.; Dein, F.J.; Ellis, D.H.

    1985-01-01

    Captive propagation of Andean Condors (Vultur gryphus) was initiated at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in 1966 in anticipation of the need to apply resulting techniques to the captive breeding of the endangered California Condor (Gymnogyps californianus). This report summarizes the progress made on this Andean Condor breeding and research project, with emphasis on recent fostering/cross-fostering studies. These studies include: (a) fostering eggs/chicks between Andean Condors; (b) fostering of two chicks each to Andean Condor pairs; (c) cross-fostering of a Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura) to Andean Condors; and (d) cross-fostering an Andean Condor chick to wild California Condors. Implications of these studies for the recovery of the California Condor will be discussed.

  7. Lyra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

    (the Lyre; abbrev. Lyr, gen. Lyrae; area 286 sq. deg.) A northern constellation which lies between Hercules and Cygnus, and culminates at midnight in early July. It is an ancient constellation pattern, which was associated with an eagle or vulture in the Indian subcontinent and Arab countries, and with the mythical lyre invented by Hermes and given by Apollo to Orpheus in ancient Greece. Its brig...

  8. Man-induced activities modify demographic parameters in a long-lived species: effects of poisoning and health policies.

    PubMed

    Margalida, Antoni; Colomer, Ma Angels; Oro, Daniel

    2014-04-01

    Recent changes in sanitary policies within the European Union (EU) concerning disposal of carcasses of domestic animals and the increase of non-natural mortality factors, such as illegal poisoning, are threatening European vultures. However, the effects of anthropogenic activities on demographic parameters are poorly studied. Using a long-term study (1994-2011) of the threatened Pyrenean Bearded Vulture Gypaetus barbatus population, we assess the variation in the proportion of breeding pairs, egg-laying dates, clutch size, breeding success, and survival following a sharp reduction in food availability in 2005 due to the application of restrictive sanitary policies decreasing livestock carcass availability. We found a delay in laying dates and a regressive trend in clutch size, breeding success, and survival following policy change. The maintenance of specific supplementary feeding stations for Bearded Vultures probably reduced the negative effects of illegal poisoning and food shortages, which mainly affected subadult survival. A drop in food availability may have produced changes in demographic parameters and an increase in mortality due to an increased exposure to contaminated food. As a result, supplementary feeding as a precautionary measure can be a useful tool to reduce illegal poisoning and declines in demographic parameters until previous food availability scenarios are achieved. This study shows how anthropogenic activities through human health regulations that affect habitat quality can suddenly modify demographic parameters in long-lived species, including those, such as survival, with high sensitivity to population growth rate. PMID:24834731

  9. Temporal, Spatial, and Diurnal Patterns in Avian Activity at the Shuttle Landing Facility, John F. Kennedy Space Center, Florida, USA

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Larson, Vickie L.; Rowe, Sean P.; Breininger, David R.

    1997-01-01

    Spatial and temporal patterns in bird abundance within the five-mile airspace at the Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF) on John F. Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Florida, USA were investigated for purposes of quantifying Bird Aircraft Strike Hazards (BASH). The airspace is surrounded by the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge (MINWR) which provides habitat for approximately 331 resident and migratory bird species. Potential bird strike hazards were greatest around sunrise and sunset for most avian taxonomic groups, including wading birds, most raptors, pelicans, gulls/terns, shorebirds, and passerines. Turkey Vultures and Black Vultures were identified as a primary threat to aircraft operations and were represented in 33% of the samples. Diurnal vulture activity varied seasonally with the development of air thermals in the airspace surrounding the SLF. Variation in the presence and abundance of migratory species was shown for American Robins, swallows, and several species of shorebirds. Analyses of bird activities provides for planning of avionics operations during periods of low-dsk and allows for risk minimization measures during periods of high-risk.

  10. In-flight turbulence benefits soaring birds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mallon, Julie M; Bildstein, Keith L; Katzner, Todd Eli

    2015-01-01

    Birds use atmospheric updrafts to subsidize soaring flight. We observed highly variable soaring flight by Black Vultures (Coragyps atratus) and Turkey Vultures (Cathartes aura) in Virginia, USA, that was inconsistent with published descriptions of terrestrial avian flight. Birds engaging in this behavior regularly deviated vertically and horizontally from linear flight paths. We observed the soaring flight behavior of these 2 species to understand why they soar in this manner and when this behavior occurs. Vultures used this type of soaring mainly at low altitudes (<50 m), along forest edges, and when conditions were poor for thermal development. Because of the tortuous nature of this flight, we describe it as “contorted soaring.” The primary air movement suitable to subsidize flight at this altitude and under these atmospheric conditions is small-scale, shear-induced turbulence, which our results suggest can be an important resource for soaring birds because it permits continuous subsidized flight when other types of updraft are not available.

  11. Assessment of Trace Element Concentrations in Birds of Prey in Korea.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jungsoo; Oh, Jong-Min

    2016-07-01

    This study presents liver concentrations of trace elements of cinereous vultures (Aegypius monachus), common buzzards (Buteo buteo), common kestrels (Falco tinnunculus), and Eurasian eagle owls (Bubo bubo) collected in Korea from 2007 to 2008. Iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), copper (Cu), lead (Pb), and cadmium (Cd) concentrations in common kestrel juveniles were greater than in other juveniles of birds of prey. Adult cinereous vultures had greater Fe, Pb, and Cd concentrations than in those of other species, but common kestrels had greater Mn and Cu concentrations than in those of other birds of prey. Zinc concentrations in Eurasian eagle owl juveniles and adults were greater than in juveniles and adults of other species, respectively. In common kestrels, Fe, Cu, Pb, and Cd concentrations were significantly greater in adults than in juveniles. In Eurasian eagle owls, only Pb concentrations were greater in adults than in juveniles. Essential elements, such as Fe, Zn, Mn, and Cu concentrations, were within the range of other birds of prey studies. Seventeen individual birds of prey (30 %) were at a level considered Pb exposed (6-30 µg/g dw). This is a greater proportion than reported earlier in herons, egrets, and other birds from Korea. Elevated Pb concentration might be attributed to ingestion of Pb shot and bullet fragments for cinereous vultures and common buzzards, and urbanization for common kestrels. Cadmium concentrations in birds of prey were within the background concentrations (<3 µg/g dw) for wild birds. PMID:26662578

  12. Composition of aqueous extracts of broiler litter treated with aluminum sulfate, ferrous sulfate, ferric chloride and gypsum.

    PubMed

    Tasistro, Armando S; Kissel, David E

    2006-01-01

    More knowledge on the composition of aqueous extracts of broiler litter amended for Water Soluble P (WSP) reduction would help to understand how amendments work. We measured pH, concentrations of Ca, Mg, Fe, Al, Cu, Mn, Zn, Molybdate Reactive P (MRP), and Dissolved Unreactive P (DUP) in water extracts of broiler litter treated with aluminum sulfate (ALS), ferrous sulfate (FES), ferric chloride (FEC), and gypsum (GYP) at 0, 5, 15, and 25% w/w. In order to study the effects of acidification, the same properties were measured in aqueous extracts of broiler litter suspensions that were titrated to end-points 3, 4, or 6 with 0.5N HCl. Concentrations of MRP, DUP, Ca and Mg, were 61%, 53%, 3.8 times, and 2.6 times greater in extracts from suspensions acidified to pH 6 than at the original pH of 8.9. ALS, FES, and FEC reduced pH, and showed similar effects on WSP concentrations, which were greater than with GYP. The magnitude of the reductions in WSP by ALS, FES, and FEC is uncertain because the actual amount of WSP immobilized cannot be determined. This is because of two opposite effects: 1) Through adsorption, soluble aluminum and iron remove phosphates from solution, and 2) Through acidification, iron and aluminum compounds release phosphates to solution. PMID:16893785

  13. Judging the urgency of non-verbal auditory alarms: a case study.

    PubMed

    Arrabito, G Robert; Mondor, Todd; Kent, Kimberley

    2004-06-22

    When designed correctly, non-verbal auditory alarms can convey different levels of urgency to the aircrew, and thereby permit the operator to establish the appropriate level of priority to address the alarmed condition. The conveyed level of urgency of five non-verbal auditory alarms presently used in the Canadian Forces CH-146 Griffon helicopter was investigated. Pilots of the CH-146 Griffon helicopter and non-pilots rated the perceived urgency of the signals using a rating scale. The pilots also ranked the urgency of the alarms in a post-experiment questionnaire to reflect their assessment of the actual situation that triggers the alarms. The results of this investigation revealed that participants' ratings of perceived urgency appear to be based on the acoustic properties of the alarms which are known to affect the listener's perceived level of urgency. Although for 28% of the pilots the mapping of perceived urgency to the urgency of their perception of the triggering situation was statistically significant for three of the five alarms, the overall data suggest that the triggering situations are not adequately conveyed by the acoustic parameters inherent in the alarms. The pilots' judgement of the triggering situation was intended as a means of evaluating the reliability of the alerting system. These data will subsequently be discussed with respect to proposed enhancements in alerting systems as it relates to addressing the problem of phase of flight. These results call for more serious consideration of incorporating situational awareness in the design and assignment of auditory alarms in aircraft. PMID:15204277

  14. Age-dependent survival of island vs. mainland populations of two avian scavengers: delving into migration costs.

    PubMed

    Sanz-Aguilar, Ana; De Pablo, Félix; Donázar, José Antonio

    2015-10-01

    Large terrestrial long-lived birds (including raptors) are typically sedentary on islands, even when they are migratory on the mainland. Density-dependent variation in the age at first breeding has been described as responsible for the long-term persistence of long-lived bird populations on islands. However, sedentary island populations may also benefit from higher survival rates derived from the absence of migration costs, especially for young individuals. Thus, sedentary island populations can mimic a natural experiment to study migration costs. We estimated the age-dependent survival of two sedentary raptors on the island of Menorca (Egyptian vultures Neophron percnopterus and red kites Milvus milvus) and compared these estimates with those reported for other migratory and sedentary populations. In Menorca, Egyptian vultures, but not red kites, showed low levels of human-related mortality resulting in extremely high survival probabilities, probably due to different diet choices and behavioral patterns. Juvenile Egyptian vultures and red kites in the studied population had lower survival probabilities than adults. This difference, however, was smaller than those reported for mainland migrant populations, which showed a lower juvenile survival rate. In fact, between-population comparisons suggested that survival of the young in migrant populations may be triggered by mortality factors in wintering areas. In contrast, adult survival may respond to mortality factors in breeding areas. Our results suggest that raptor species that become sedentary on islands may benefit from higher pre-breeder survival prospects in comparison with their mainland migrant counterparts. This fact, in combination with an earlier age at first reproduction, may facilitate their persistence. PMID:26013875

  15. Assessing allowable take of migratory birds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Runge, M.C.; Sauer, J.R.; Avery, M.L.; Blackwell, B.F.; Koneff, M.D.

    2009-01-01

    Legal removal of migratory birds from the wild occurs for several reasons, including subsistence, sport harvest, damage control, and the pet trade. We argue that harvest theory provides the basis for assessing the impact of authorized take, advance a simplified rendering of harvest theory known as potential biological removal as a useful starting point for assessing take, and demonstrate this approach with a case study of depredation control of black vultures (Coragyps atratus) in Virginia, USA. Based on data from the North American Breeding Bird Survey and other sources, we estimated that the black vulture population in Virginia was 91,190 (95% credible interval = 44,520?212,100) in 2006. Using a simple population model and available estimates of life-history parameters, we estimated the intrinsic rate of growth (rmax) to be in the range 7?14%, with 10.6% a plausible point estimate. For a take program to seek an equilibrium population size on the conservative side of the yield curve, the rate of take needs to be less than that which achieves a maximum sustained yield (0.5 x rmax). Based on the point estimate for rmax and using the lower 60% credible interval for population size to account for uncertainty, these conditions would be met if the take of black vultures in Virginia in 2006 was <3,533 birds. Based on regular monitoring data, allowable harvest should be adjusted annually to reflect changes in population size. To initiate discussion about how this assessment framework could be related to the laws and regulations that govern authorization of such take, we suggest that the Migratory Bird Treaty Act requires only that take of native migratory birds be sustainable in the long-term, that is, sustained harvest rate should be

  16. A Capture to Remember: Monitoring the Health of Avian Scavengers on the Pacific Coast.

    PubMed

    Varland, Daniel E

    2015-09-01

    Because of concern over risks to the health of avian communities on the Washington and Oregon coasts, the nonprofit Coastal Raptors and other partners initiated a study where, to date, Coastal Raptors has live-captured and sampled 27 bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), 27 turkey vultures (Cathartes aura), and 6 common ravens (Corvus corax) for contaminants and disease study. In this article, the author highlights the events of one of the nearly 100 days on which trapping has occurred. An adult bald eagle was captured north of Ocean Shores, WA, USA, and the trapping team was visited by Quinault Indian Nation members. PMID:26378672

  17. The lead content of plants and animals as indicators of environmental contamination

    SciTech Connect

    Adaudi, A.O.; Gbodi, T.A.; Aliu, Y.O. )

    1990-10-01

    Lead content of tissues from some edible plants, pigeons and a vulture, and from human and cattle blood were determined to gain insight into the extent of environmental lead contamination in Zaria and Kaduna environs of Kaduna state of Nigeria. The results suggest that environmental lead contamination in these areas was insignificant when compared to values from developed countries like US. However, there is need for more work of this nature on a regional basis to ascertain the true picture of total environmental lead pollution in Nigeria.

  18. Shortfalls using second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides.

    PubMed

    Borst, G H A; Counotte, G H M

    2002-03-01

    Second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides can give rise to unexpected casualties in nontarget species in zoos. The first two offspring of a pair of turkey vultures (Cathartes aura) died of brodifacoum toxicosis. The adult birds fed rodenticide-killed mice to their offspring. There are previous case reports of small carnivorous birds (Dacelo novae-guinae and Tockus deckeni) killed eating poisoned (difenacoum and brodifacoum) mice. Even a granivorous species (Rollulus roulroul) died, probably by contamination of its food by cockroaches that transported the rodenticide. PMID:12216801

  19. Amylase production by endophytic fungi Cylindrocephalumsp. isolated from medicinal plant Alpinia calcarata (Haw.) Roscoe

    PubMed Central

    Sunitha, V. H.; Ramesha, A.; Savitha, J.; Srinivas, C

    2012-01-01

    Amylases are among the most important enzymes used in modern biotechnology particularly in the process involving starch hydrolysis. Fungal amylase has large applications in food and pharmaceutical industries. Considering these facts, endophytic fungi isolated from the plant Alpinia calcarata (Haw.) Roscoe were screened for amylolytic activity on glucose yeast extract peptone agar (GYP) medium. Among thirty isolates of endophytic fungi, isolate number seven identified as Cylindrocephalum sp. (Ac-7) showed highest amylolytic activity and was taken for further study. Influence of various physical and chemical factors such as pH, temperature, carbon and nitrogen sources on amylase production in liquid media were studied. The maximal amylase production was found to be at 30ºC and at pH 7.0 of the growth medium. Among the various carbon and nitrogen sources tested, maltose at 1.5% and Sodium nitrate at 0.3% respectively gave optimum amylase production. PMID:24031946

  20. Identification of a cyclic-di-GMP-modulating response regulator that impacts biofilm formation in a model sulfate reducing bacterium

    PubMed Central

    Rajeev, Lara; Luning, Eric G.; Altenburg, Sara; Zane, Grant M.; Baidoo, Edward E. K.; Catena, Michela; Keasling, Jay D.; Wall, Judy D.; Fields, Matthew W.; Mukhopadhyay, Aindrila

    2014-01-01

    We surveyed the eight putative cyclic-di-GMP-modulating response regulators (RRs) in Desulfovibrio vulgaris Hildenborough that are predicted to function via two-component signaling. Using purified proteins, we examined cyclic-di-GMP (c-di-GMP) production or turnover in vitro of all eight proteins. The two RRs containing only GGDEF domains (DVU2067, DVU0636) demonstrated c-di-GMP production activity in vitro. Of the remaining proteins, three RRs with HD-GYP domains (DVU0722, DVUA0086, and DVU2933) were confirmed to be Mn2+-dependent phosphodiesterases (PDEs) in vitro and converted c-di-GMP to its linear form, pGpG. DVU0408, containing both c-di-GMP production (GGDEF) and degradation domains (EAL), showed c-di-GMP turnover activity in vitro also with production of pGpG. No c-di-GMP related activity could be assigned to the RR DVU0330, containing a metal-dependent phosphohydrolase HD-OD domain, or to the HD-GYP domain RR, DVU1181. Studies included examining the impact of overexpressed cyclic-di-GMP-modulating RRs in the heterologous host E. coli and led to the identification of one RR, DVU0636, with increased cellulose production. Evaluation of a transposon mutant in DVU0636 indicated that the strain was impaired in biofilm formation and demonstrated an altered carbohydrate:protein ratio relative to the D. vulgaris wild type biofilms. However, grown in liquid lactate/sulfate medium, the DVU0636 transposon mutant showed no growth impairment relative to the wild-type strain. Among the eight candidates, only the transposon disruption mutant in the DVU2067 RR presented a growth defect in liquid culture. Our results indicate that, of the two diguanylate cyclases (DGCs) that function as part of two-component signaling, DVU0636 plays an important role in biofilm formation while the function of DVU2067 has pertinence in planktonic growth. PMID:25120537

  1. Bioconversion of ginsenosides Rb(1), Rb(2), Rc and Rd by novel β-glucosidase hydrolyzing outer 3-O glycoside from Sphingomonas sp. 2F2: cloning, expression, and enzyme characterization.

    PubMed

    Wang, Liang; Liu, Qing-Mei; Sung, Bong-Hyun; An, Dong-Shan; Lee, Hyung-Gwan; Kim, Song-Gun; Kim, Sun-Chang; Lee, Sung-Taik; Im, Wan-Taek

    2011-11-10

    A new β-glucosidase gene (bglSp) was cloned from the ginsenoside converting Sphingomonas sp. strain 2F2 isolated from the ginseng cultivating filed. The bglSp consisted of 1344 bp (447 amino acid residues) with a predicted molecular mass of 49,399 Da. A BLAST search using the bglSp sequence revealed significant homology to that of glycoside hydrolase superfamily 1. This enzyme was overexpressed in Escherichia coli BL21 (DE3) using a pET21-MBP (TEV) vector system. Overexpressed recombinant enzymes which could convert the ginsenosides Rb(1), Rb(2), Rc and Rd to the more pharmacological active rare ginsenosides gypenoside XVII, ginsenoside C-O, ginsenoside C-Mc(1) and ginsenoside F(2), respectively, were purified by two steps with Amylose-affinity and DEAE-Cellulose chromatography and characterized. The kinetic parameters for β-glucosidase showed the apparent K(m) and V(max) values of 2.9±0.3 mM and 515.4±38.3 μmol min(-1)mg of protein(-1) against p-nitrophenyl-β-d-glucopyranoside. The enzyme could hydrolyze the outer C3 glucose moieties of ginsenosides Rb(1), Rb(2), Rc and Rd into the rare ginsenosides Gyp XVII, C-O, C-Mc(1) and F(2) quickly at optimal conditions of pH 5.0 and 37°C. A little ginsenoside F(2) production from ginsenosides Gyp XVII, C-O, and C-Mc(1) was observed for the lengthy enzyme reaction caused by the side ability of the enzyme. PMID:21906640

  2. Modeling habitat suitability for complex species distributions by environmental-distance geometric mean.

    PubMed

    Hirzel, Alexandre H; Arlettaz, Raphaël

    2003-11-01

    This paper presents a new habitat suitability modeling method whose main properties are as follows: (1) It is based on the density of observation points in the environmental space, which enables it to fit complex distributions (e.g. nongaussian, bimodal, asymmetrical, etc.). (2) This density is modeled by computing the geometric mean to all observation points, which we show to be a good trade-off between goodness of fit and prediction power. (3) It does not need any absence information, which is generally difficult to collect and of dubious reliability. (4) The environmental space is represented either by an expert-selection of standardized variables or the axes of a factor analysis [in this paper we used the Ecological Niche Factor Analysis (ENFA)]. We first explain the details of the geometric mean algorithm and then we apply it to the bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) habitat in the Swiss Alps. The results are compared to those obtained by the "median algorithm" and tested by jack-knife cross-validation. We also discuss other related algorithms (BIOCLIM, HABITAT, and DOMAIN). All these analyses were implemented into and performed with the ecology-oriented GIS software BIOMAPPER 2.0.The results show the geometric mean to perform better than the median algorithm, as it produces a tighter fit to the bimodal distribution of the bearded vulture in the environmental space. However, the "median algorithm" being quicker, it could be preferred when modeling more usual distribution. PMID:15015699

  3. Prevalence of encysted Toxoplasma gondii in raptors from Alabama.

    PubMed

    Lindsay, D S; Smith, P C; Hoerr, F J; Blagburn, B L

    1993-12-01

    Little is known about the prevalence of encysted Toxoplasma gondii in wild birds. We examined the hearts and breast muscles from 101 raptors for encysted T. gondii. All of the raptors had been submitted for necropsy to the State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, Auburn, Alabama. Tissues were digested in acid-pepsin solution and inoculated into groups of 3-5 laboratory mice. Toxoplasma gondii was isolated from 27 of 101 (26.7%) raptors: 8 of 12 (66.7%) red-shouldered hawks (Buteo lineatus), 13 of 27 (41.1%) red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis), 1 of 4 (25%) Cooper's hawks (Accipiter cooperi), 1 of 5 (20%) great horned owls (Bubo virginianus), 4 of 15 (26.7%) barred owls (Strix varia), and 1 of 3 (33.3%) kestrels (Falco sparverius). Toxoplasma gondii was not isolated from 3 broad-winged hawks (Buteo platypterus), 3 sharp-shinned hawks (Accipiter striatus), 6 barn owls (Tyto alba), 9 screech owls (Asio otus), a Mississippi kite (Ictinia misisippiensis), 2 golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos), a bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), 4 ospreys (Pandion haliaetus), 4 turkey vultures (Cathartes aura), or 2 black vultures (Coragyps atratus). No significant difference (P > 0.05) in prevalence was detected based on sex using chi-square analysis. Chi-square analysis of the data demonstrated that adult raptors had encysted stages of T. gondii significantly (P < 0.05) more often than did immature raptors. PMID:8277379

  4. Prevalence of encysted apicomplexans in muscles of raptors.

    PubMed

    Lindsay, D S; Blagburn, B L

    1999-01-28

    An acid-pepsin digestion technique was used to examine portions of breast muscle and heart from raptors for encysted protozoans. Apicomplexan zoites were present in 52 (45.6%) of the 114 samples examined: 11 of 12 (91.7%) red-shouldered hawks (Buteo lineatus), 20 of 34 (58.8%) red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis), two of seven (28.6%) Cooper's hawks (Accipiter cooperi), three of four (75%) sharp-shinned hawks (Accipiter striatus), one (100%) Mississippi kites (Ictinia misisippiensis), one of two (50%) American kestrels (Falco sparverius), one bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), one of two (50%) golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos), one of three (33%) turkey vultures (Cathartes aura), two of three (66.7%) black vultures (Coragyps atratus), three of six (50%) great-horned owls (Bubo virginianus), five of 15 (33.3%) barred owls (Strix varia), and one of 12 (8.3%) screech owls (Asio otus). Encysted protozoans were not observed in digests of tissues from three broad-winged hawks (Buteo platypterus), four ospreys (Pandion haliaetus), and five barn owls (Tyto alba). Apicomplexan cysts resembling Sarcocystis species were observed in tissue sections of muscles from 28 (37.8%) of 74 raptors. PMID:9950339

  5. Microsatellite based ovine parentage testing to identify the source responsible for the killing of an endangered species.

    PubMed

    Rendo, Fernando; Iriondo, Mikel; Manzano, Carmen; Estonba, Andone

    2011-08-01

    In this study, we present an animal forensic genetics case in which we applied ovine microsatellite based parentage testing to the resolution of an act against protected wildlife. The aim was to identify the origin of the animal responsible for the death of an Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus) that had been poisoned through consumption of a Latxa Blond Face breed lamb. Thus, we carried out a 22 microsatellite based parentage test in order to identify the parents of the lamb in the flock which grazes in the same place where the vulture's remains were found. Multiple parentage analysis revealed two possible parents, one ewe and one ram, with a combined paternity/maternity index (PI) higher than 9.09E9 and a likelihood (W) value of 99.9999%, assuming 50% probability a priori. This result confirmed the flock of origin of the poisoned lamb and shows that the microsatellite panel described herein is a potentially useful tool for the resolution of animal forensic cases. PMID:20952265

  6. The influence of an interactive educational approach on visitors' learning in a Swiss zoo

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lindemann-Matthies, Petra; Kamer, Tobias

    2006-03-01

    A new but costly approach to providing visitors of zoos with information on conservation is the presentation of small exhibits by zoo professionals or volunteers. At these touch tables visitors can find out about the biology, ecology, and conservation of animals kept in the zoo. We studied the effect of a touch table on visitors' learning in a Swiss zoo (Tierpark Goldau) using an experimental approach. For half of each day, visitors could choose to gain information from labels next to the enclosures and posters. In addition, for the other half of the day visitors could also choose to make use of a touch table on the bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus). More than 600 visitors participated in the study. Results revealed that the modern approach was successful. Visitors using the touch table knew more about the biology, ecology, and conservation of bearded vultures, both immediately after their visit to the zoo and two months later. It is suggested that more use be made of touch tables in zoos, museums, visitor centers, and other settings for nature education.

  7. Seroepidemiologic Survey of Potential Pathogens in Obligate and Facultative Scavenging Avian Species in California.

    PubMed

    Straub, Mary H; Kelly, Terra R; Rideout, Bruce A; Eng, Curtis; Wynne, Janna; Braun, Josephine; Johnson, Christine K

    2015-01-01

    Throughout the world, populations of scavenger birds are declining rapidly with some populations already on the brink of extinction. Much of the current research into the factors contributing to these declines has focused on exposure to drug residues, lead, and other toxins. Despite increased monitoring of these declining populations, little is known about infectious diseases affecting scavenger bird species. To assess potential infectious disease risks to both obligate and facultative scavenger bird species, we performed a serosurvey for eleven potential pathogens in three species of scavenging birds in California: the California condor (Gymnogyps californianus), turkey vulture (Cathartes aura) and golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos). California condors were seropositive for avian adenovirus, infectious bronchitis virus, Mycoplasma gallisepticum, avian paramyxovirus-2, West Nile virus (WNV) and Toxoplasma gondii. Golden eagles were seropositive for avian adenovirus, Chlamydophila psittaci and Toxoplasma gondii, and turkey vultures were seropositive for avian adenovirus, Chlamydophila psittaci, avian paramyxovirus-1, Toxoplasma gondii and WNV. Risk factor analyses indicated that rearing site and original release location were significantly associated with a positive serologic titer to WNV among free-flying condors. This study provides preliminary baseline data on infectious disease exposure in these populations for aiding in early disease detection and provides potentially critical information for conservation of the endangered California condor as it continues to expand its range and encounter new infectious disease threats. PMID:26606755

  8. Improving conservation outcomes with insights from local experts and bureaucracies.

    PubMed

    Haenn, Nora; Schmook, Birgit; Reyes, Yol; Calmé, Sophie

    2014-08-01

    We describe conservation built on local expertise such that it constitutes a hybrid form of traditional and bureaucratic knowledge. Researchers regularly ask how local knowledge might be applied to programs linked to protected areas. By examining the production of conservation knowledge in southern Mexico, we assert local expertise is already central to conservation. However, bureaucratic norms and social identity differences between lay experts and conservation practitioners prevent the public valuing of traditional knowledge. We make this point by contrasting 2 examples. The first is a master's thesis survey of local experts regarding the biology of the King Vulture (Sarcoramphus papa) in which data collection took place in communities adjacent to the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve. The second is a workshop sponsored by the same reserve that instructed farmers on how to monitor endangered species, including the King Vulture. In both examples, conservation knowledge would not have existed without traditional knowledge. In both examples, this traditional knowledge is absent from scientific reporting. On the basis of these findings, we suggest conservation outcomes may be improved by recognizing the knowledge contributions local experts already make to conservation programming. PMID:24628468

  9. Seroepidemiologic Survey of Potential Pathogens in Obligate and Facultative Scavenging Avian Species in California

    PubMed Central

    Straub, Mary H.; Kelly, Terra R.; Rideout, Bruce A.; Eng, Curtis; Wynne, Janna; Braun, Josephine; Johnson, Christine K.

    2015-01-01

    Throughout the world, populations of scavenger birds are declining rapidly with some populations already on the brink of extinction. Much of the current research into the factors contributing to these declines has focused on exposure to drug residues, lead, and other toxins. Despite increased monitoring of these declining populations, little is known about infectious diseases affecting scavenger bird species. To assess potential infectious disease risks to both obligate and facultative scavenger bird species, we performed a serosurvey for eleven potential pathogens in three species of scavenging birds in California: the California condor (Gymnogyps californianus), turkey vulture (Cathartes aura) and golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos). California condors were seropositive for avian adenovirus, infectious bronchitis virus, Mycoplasma gallisepticum, avian paramyxovirus-2, West Nile virus (WNV) and Toxoplasma gondii. Golden eagles were seropositive for avian adenovirus, Chlamydophila psittaci and Toxoplasma gondii, and turkey vultures were seropositive for avian adenovirus, Chlamydophila psittaci, avian paramyxovirus-1, Toxoplasma gondii and WNV. Risk factor analyses indicated that rearing site and original release location were significantly associated with a positive serologic titer to WNV among free-flying condors. This study provides preliminary baseline data on infectious disease exposure in these populations for aiding in early disease detection and provides potentially critical information for conservation of the endangered California condor as it continues to expand its range and encounter new infectious disease threats. PMID:26606755

  10. Obligate vertebrate scavengers must be large soaring fliers.

    PubMed

    Ruxton, Graeme D; Houston, David C

    2004-06-01

    Among extant vertebrates, only the 23 species of vulture are obligate scavengers. We use an energetic modelling approach to explore the constraints imposed by an obligate scavenging lifestyle, and to ask whether obligate scavengers must always be avian and generally large-bodied users of soaring flight. Our model found that aerial scavengers always out-competed postulated terrestrial ones, mainly because flight allows area to be searched much more rapidly for carrion. Soaring was favoured over flapping flight because the reduction in flight speed (and so rate of area search) was more than compensated for by the decrease in the costs of transport. Large individual size is selected for if carrion is available in large packages, when obligate scavenger feed only infrequently, and so must be able to survive on body reserves in the periods between discovering food falls. In the absence of avian radiation, an obligate terrestrial scavenger seems energetically feasible, but we argue that such a beast is unlikely to have evolved. In birds, in order to become exclusive scavengers, vultures have needed to specialize for efficient soaring flight as a low energy form of travel, and as a consequence they have lost the agility needed to kill prey. In mammals, however, no comparable trade-off occurs. So for terrestrial carnivores there is probably no strong selection pressure towards being an exclusive scavenger. Indeed it will perhaps always be more advantageous to retain the flexibility of obtaining food by either predation or scavenging. PMID:15135041

  11. Georadar investigations to detect cavities in a historical town damaged by an earthquake of the past

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gizzi, F. T.; Loperte, A.; Satriani, A.; Lapenna, V.; Masini, N.; Proto, M.

    2010-03-01

    This paper aims to highlight the use of the georadar as a useful prospecting technique to identify the areal density and the geometrical features of the grottoes placed in a historical town characterised by high seismic hazard. The town considered here is Rionero in Vulture (Southern Italy) that was hit by several historical earthquakes, among which the 1930 Irpinia earthquake (Me=6.7, Is=VIII MCS). For this event a damage map was already available from a previous study (Gizzi and Masini, 2006). This map shows that some sectors of the town suffered higher damage. One factor causing the uneven distribution of the effects is considered to be the presence of grottoes. To strengthen this work hypothesis it was necessary to in-depth investigate the subsoil of Rionero in Vulture. Therefore, geophysical data were correlated and integrated with data obtained from field surveys and historical documentary sources. All these investigations allowed to obtain more insights about the influences of the man-made caves on seismic damage.

  12. The power of poison: pesticide poisoning of Africa's wildlife.

    PubMed

    Ogada, Darcy L

    2014-08-01

    Poisons have long been used to kill wildlife throughout the world. An evolution has occurred from the use of plant- and animal-based toxins to synthetic pesticides to kill wildlife, a method that is silent, cheap, easy, and effective. The use of pesticides to poison wildlife began in southern Africa, and predator populations were widely targeted and eliminated. A steep increase has recently been observed in the intensity of wildlife poisonings, with corresponding population declines. However, the majority of poisonings go unreported. Under national laws, it is illegal to hunt wildlife using poisons in 83% of African countries. Pesticide regulations are inadequate, and enforcement of existing legislation is poor. Few countries have forensic field protocols, and most lack storage and testing facilities. Methods used to poison wildlife include baiting carcasses, soaking grains in pesticide solution, mixing pesticides to form salt licks, and tainting waterholes. Carbofuran is the most widely abused pesticide in Africa. Common reasons for poisoning are control of damage-causing animals, harvesting fish and bushmeat, harvesting animals for traditional medicine, poaching for wildlife products, and killing wildlife sentinels (e.g., vultures because their aerial circling alerts authorities to poachers' activities). Populations of scavengers, particularly vultures, have been decimated by poisoning. Recommendations include banning pesticides, improving pesticide regulations and controlling distribution, better enforcement and stiffer penalties for offenders, increasing international support and awareness, and developing regional pesticide centers. PMID:24716788

  13. Shared epitopes of avian immunoglobulin light chains.

    PubMed

    Benčina, Mateja; Cizelj, Ivanka; Berčič, Rebeka Lucijana; Narat, Mojca; Benčina, Dušan; Dovč, Peter

    2014-04-15

    Like all jawed vertebrates, birds (Aves) also produce antibodies i.e. immunoglobulins (Igs) as a defence mechanism against pathogens. Their Igs are composed of two identical heavy (H) and light (L) chains which are of lambda isotype. The L chain consists of variable (VL), joining (JL) and constant (CL) region. Using enzyme immunoassays (EIA) and two monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) (3C10 and CH31) to chicken L chain, we analysed their cross-reactivity with sera from 33 avian species belonging to nine different orders. Among Galliformes tested, mAbs 3C10 and CH31 reacted with L chains of chicken, turkey, four genera of pheasants, tragopan and peafowl, but not with sera of grey partridge, quail and Japanese quail. Immunoglobulins of guinea-fowl reacted only with mAb 3C10. Both mAbs reacted also with the L chain of Eurasian griffon (order Falconiformes) and domestic sparrow (order Passeriformes). Sera from six other orders of Aves did not react with either of the two mAbs. EIA using mAbs 3C10 and CH31 enabled detection of antibodies to major avian pathogens in sera of chickens, turkeys, pheasants, peafowl, Eurasian griffon and guinea-fowl (only with mAb 3C10). The N-terminal amino acid sequence of pheasant L chain (19 residues) was identical to that of chicken. Sequences of genes encoding the L chain constant regions of pheasants, turkey and partridge were determined and deposited in the public database (GenBank accession numbers: FJ 649651, FJ 649652 and FJ 649653, respectively). Among them, amino acid sequence of pheasants is the most similar to that of chicken (97% similarity), whereas those of turkey and partridge have greater similarity to each other (89%) than to any other avian L chain sequence. The characteristic deletion of two amino acids which is present in the L chain constant region in Galliformes has been most likely introduced to their L chain after their divergence from Anseriformes. PMID:24603015

  14. Underwater and in-air sounds from a small hovercraft

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blackwell, Susanna B.; Greene, Charles R.

    2005-12-01

    Underwater and in-air recordings were made from a boat anchored near Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, while a Griffon 2000TD hovercraft drove by at or near full power on four passes. At the closest point of approach (CPA, 6.5 m), underwater broadband (10-10 000 Hz) levels reached 133 and 131 dB re: 1 μPa at depths of 1 and 7 m, respectively. In-air unweighted and A-weighted broadband (10-10 000 Hz) levels reached 104 and 97 dB re: 20 μPa, respectively. The hovercraft produced sound at a wide range of frequencies. Both underwater and in air, the largest spectral peak was near 87 Hz, which corresponded to the blade rate of the thrust propeller. In addition, the spectral composition included several harmonics of this frequency. The shaft or blade rate of the lift fan was barely detectable underwater despite its proximity to the water. The hovercraft was considerably quieter underwater than similar-sized conventional vessels and may be an attractive alternative when there is concern over underwater sounds.

  15. Operation of a Hovercraft Scientific Platform Over Sea Ice in the Arctic Ocean Transpolar Drift (81 - 85N): The FRAM-2012 Experience

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hall, J. K.; Kristoffersen, Y.

    2013-12-01

    We have tested the feasibility of hovercraft travel through predominantly first year ice of the Transpolar Drift between 81°N - 85°N north of Svalbard. With 2-9 ridges per kilometer, our hovercraft (Griffon TD2000 Mark II), with an effective hover height of about 0.5 m, had to travel a distance 1.3 times the great circle distance between the point of origin and the final destination. Instantaneous speeds were mostly 5-7 knots. Two weeks later icebreaker Oden completed the same transit under conditions with no significant pressure in the ice at a speed mostly 1 knot higher than the hovercraft and travelled 1.2 times the great circle distance. The hovercraft spent 25 days monitoring micro-earthquake activity of the Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge at a section of the spreading center where no seismicity has been recorded by the global seismograph network. More than ten small earthquake events per day were recorded. Visibility appears to be the most critical factor to hovercraft travel in polar pack ice. Improved control of hovercraft motion would substantially increase the potential usefulness of hovercraft in the sea ice environment. University of Bergen graduate student Gaute Hope emplacing one of the hydrophones in the triangular array used to locate small earthquakes over the Gakkel Ridge rift valley around 85N during FRAM-2012. The research hovercraft R/H SABVABAA is in the background.

  16. A Novel Genome-Wide Association Study Approach Using Genotyping by Exome Sequencing Leads to the Identification of a Primary Open Angle Glaucoma Associated Inversion Disrupting ADAMTS17

    PubMed Central

    Forman, Oliver P.; Pettitt, Louise; Komáromy, András M.; Bedford, Peter; Mellersh, Cathryn

    2015-01-01

    Closed breeding populations in the dog in conjunction with advances in gene mapping and sequencing techniques facilitate mapping of autosomal recessive diseases and identification of novel disease-causing variants, often using unorthodox experimental designs. In our investigation we demonstrate successful mapping of the locus for primary open angle glaucoma in the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen dog breed with 12 cases and 12 controls, using a novel genotyping by exome sequencing approach. The resulting genome-wide association signal was followed up by genome sequencing of an individual case, leading to the identification of an inversion with a breakpoint disrupting the ADAMTS17 gene. Genotyping of additional controls and expression analysis provide strong evidence that the inversion is disease causing. Evidence of cryptic splicing resulting in novel exon transcription as a consequence of the inversion in ADAMTS17 is identified through RNAseq experiments. This investigation demonstrates how a novel genotyping by exome sequencing approach can be used to map an autosomal recessive disorder in the dog, with the use of genome sequencing to facilitate identification of a disease-associated variant. PMID:26683476

  17. A Novel Genome-Wide Association Study Approach Using Genotyping by Exome Sequencing Leads to the Identification of a Primary Open Angle Glaucoma Associated Inversion Disrupting ADAMTS17.

    PubMed

    Forman, Oliver P; Pettitt, Louise; Komáromy, András M; Bedford, Peter; Mellersh, Cathryn

    2015-01-01

    Closed breeding populations in the dog in conjunction with advances in gene mapping and sequencing techniques facilitate mapping of autosomal recessive diseases and identification of novel disease-causing variants, often using unorthodox experimental designs. In our investigation we demonstrate successful mapping of the locus for primary open angle glaucoma in the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen dog breed with 12 cases and 12 controls, using a novel genotyping by exome sequencing approach. The resulting genome-wide association signal was followed up by genome sequencing of an individual case, leading to the identification of an inversion with a breakpoint disrupting the ADAMTS17 gene. Genotyping of additional controls and expression analysis provide strong evidence that the inversion is disease causing. Evidence of cryptic splicing resulting in novel exon transcription as a consequence of the inversion in ADAMTS17 is identified through RNAseq experiments. This investigation demonstrates how a novel genotyping by exome sequencing approach can be used to map an autosomal recessive disorder in the dog, with the use of genome sequencing to facilitate identification of a disease-associated variant. PMID:26683476

  18. Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Program Site Operator Program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kiser, D. M.; Warren, J. F.

    1994-08-01

    The Site Operator Program was initially established by the Department of Energy (DOE) to incorporate the electric vehicle activities dictated by the Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Research, Development and Demonstration Act of 1976. The Program currently includes thirteen sites located in diverse geographic, metrological,and metropolitan areas across the United States. Information is shared reciprocally with a fourteenth site, not under Program contract. The vehicles are operator-owned, except for two Griffon vans. The Mission Statement of the Site Operator Program includes three major activities: (1) Advancement of electric vehicle technologies. (2) Development of infrastructure elements necessary to support significant electric vehicle use; and (3) Increasing the awareness and acceptance of electric vehicles (EVs) by the public. The ultimate thrust of program activities varies among sites, reflecting not only the Operator's business interests but also geographic and climate-related operating conditions. These considerations are identified below for each Program Status entry. This second quarter report (FY-94) will include a summary of activities from the previous three quarters.

  19. Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Program, Site Operator Program. Quarterly progress report for July through September 1994 (Fourth quarter of fiscal year 1994)

    SciTech Connect

    Kiser, D.M.; Brown, H.L.

    1995-03-01

    The Site Operator Program was initially established by the Department of Energy (DOE) to incorporate the electric vehicle activities dictated by the Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Research, Development and Demonstration Act of 1976. In the ensuing years, the Program has evolved in response to new legislation and interests. The Program currently includes twelve sites located in diverse geographic, metrologic, and metropolitan areas across the US. Information is shared reciprocally with a thirteenth site, not under Program contract. The vehicles are operator-owned, except for two Griffon vans. The Mission Statement of the Site Operator Program includes three major activities: advancement of electric vehicle technologies; development of infrastructure elements necessary to support significant electric vehicle use; and increasing the awareness and acceptance of electric vehicles (EVs) by the public. The current participants in the Site Operator Program are shown. The ultimate thrust of program activities varies among sites, reflecting not only the Operator`s business interests but also geographic and climate-related operating conditions. This fourth quarter report (FY-94) includes a summary of activities from the previous three quarters. The report section sequence has been revised to provide a more easily seen program overview, and specific operator activities are now found in Appendix A.

  20. Solid Particle Erosion Behaviors of Carbon-Fiber Epoxy Composite and Pure Titanium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cai, Feng; Gao, Feng; Pant, Shashank; Huang, Xiao; Yang, Qi

    2016-01-01

    Rotor blades of Bell CH-146 Griffon helicopter experience excessive solid particle erosion at low altitudes in desert environment. The rotor blade is made of an advanced light-weight composite which, however, has a low resistance to solid particle erosion. Coatings have been developed and applied to protect the composite blade. However, due to the influence of coating process on composite material, the compatibility between coating and composite base, and the challenges of repairing damaged coatings as well as the inconsistency between the old and new coatings, replaceable thin metal shielding is an alternative approach; and titanium, due to its high-specific strength and better formability, is an ideal candidate. This work investigates solid particle erosion behaviors of carbon-fiber epoxy composite and titanium in order to assess the feasibility of titanium as a viable candidate for erosion shielding. Experiment results showed that carbon-fiber epoxy composite showed a brittle erosion behavior, whereas titanium showed a ductile erosion mode. The erosion rate on composite was 1.5 times of that on titanium at impingement angle 15° and increased to 5 times at impact angle 90°.

  1. Relationships between ultrapotassic and carbonate-rich volcanic rocks in central Italy: petrogenetic and geodynamic implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peccerillo, Angelo

    1998-09-01

    The Pleistocene intra-Apennine volcanic (IAV) centres occurring east of the potassium-rich Roman comagmatic province show variable petrological and geochemical composition. Some rocks have a strongly undersaturated ultrapotassic kamafugitic affinity with K 2O/Na 2O=8-20, whereas the rocks from the southern center of Mt. Vulture are still strongly undersaturated in silica but are enriched in both Na 2O and K 2O with K/Na around unity. Carbonate-rich pyroclastic rocks, believed to represent carbonatitic magmas, are found in the IAV centers. Kamafugites have high abundances of LILE and high LILE/HFSE ratios, and their incompatible element patterns resemble closely those of ultrapotassic rocks from the adjoining Roman province. The Vulture volcanics also display high contents of LILE, but their LILE/HFSE ratios are intermediate between intraplate alkaline rocks and kamafugites. The carbonate-rich rocks exhibit an exotic mineralogy and high enrichments in LILE, which speaks for a carbonatitic affinity. However, they have similar incompatible element patterns but consistently lower abundances of almost all the elements than the associated silicate volcanics. These data favour the hypothesis that the IAV carbonate rocks may represent mixtures of silicate magmas and geochemically depleted carbonate material. The sedimentary carbonates that crop out extensively along the Apennine chain may be the source of barren carbonate material. Overall, geochemical data of IAV centres and of the rocks from the Roman province display strong geochemical and isotopic evidence of being generated in an upper mantle that was modified by addition of upper crustal material brought down by subduction processes. A possible exception is represented by Mt. Vulture which, however, occurs east of the main axis of the Apennines, on the western margin of the foreland Adria plate. The occurrence of strongly undersaturated alkaline rocks requires magma generation at high pressures and XCO 2. This is in

  2. Mortality and morbidity associated with gunshot in raptorial birds from the province of Quebec: 1986 to 2007

    PubMed Central

    Desmarchelier, Marion; Santamaria-Bouvier, Ariane; Fitzgérald, Guy; Lair, Stéphane

    2010-01-01

    Although raptors have been protected for decades in Quebec they are still regular victims of poaching. The objective of this study was to characterize cases of raptor shootings in Quebec over the last 2 decades. We reviewed clinical files, radiographs, and pathology reports on 4805 free-flying birds of prey admitted to the Faculté de médecine vétérinaire between 1986 and 2007. Evidence of gunshots was detected in 6.4% of the birds. Large species, such as ospreys, turkey vultures, snowy owls, and bald eagles represented the most frequently targeted species. The percentage of shot birds has decreased from 13.4% during 1991 to 1992 to 2.2% in 2006 to 2007. Potential reasons for this trend include a decrease in the presence of firearms in raptor habitats and changes in human attitude towards raptorial birds. PMID:20357944

  3. Mortality and morbidity associated with gunshot in raptorial birds from the province of Quebec: 1986 to 2007.

    PubMed

    Desmarchelier, Marion; Santamaria-Bouvier, Ariane; Fitzgérald, Guy; Lair, Stéphane

    2010-01-01

    Although raptors have been protected for decades in Quebec they are still regular victims of poaching. The objective of this study was to characterize cases of raptor shootings in Quebec over the last 2 decades. We reviewed clinical files, radiographs, and pathology reports on 4805 free-flying birds of prey admitted to the Faculté de médecine vétérinaire between 1986 and 2007. Evidence of gunshots was detected in 6.4% of the birds. Large species, such as ospreys, turkey vultures, snowy owls, and bald eagles represented the most frequently targeted species. The percentage of shot birds has decreased from 13.4% during 1991 to 1992 to 2.2% in 2006 to 2007. Potential reasons for this trend include a decrease in the presence of firearms in raptor habitats and changes in human attitude towards raptorial birds. PMID:20357944

  4. Interpreting magnetic data by integral moments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tontini, F. Caratori; Pedersen, L. B.

    2008-09-01

    The use of the integral moments for interpreting magnetic data is based on a very elegant property of potential fields, but in the past it has not been completely exploited due to problems concerning real data. We describe a new 3-D development of previous 2-D results aimed at determining the magnetization direction, extending the calculation to second-order moments to recover the centre of mass of the magnetization distribution. The method is enhanced to reduce the effects of the regional field that often alters the first-order solutions. Moreover, we introduce an iterative correction to properly assess the errors coming from finite-size surveys or interaction with neighbouring anomalies, which are the most important causes of the failing of the method for real data. We test the method on some synthetic examples, and finally, we show the results obtained by analysing the aeromagnetic anomaly of the Monte Vulture volcano in Southern Italy.

  5. An immunohistochemical study of the endocrine pancreas in raptors.

    PubMed

    Palmieri, C; Shivaprasad, H L

    2014-12-01

    The cytoarchitecture of the endocrine pancreas of 10 raptors (golden eagles, peregrine falcons, Saker falcon, turkey vultures, red-tailed hawk and unspecified falcon) was examined by immunohistochemistry. Three islet types were identified: type A mixed islets composed mainly by glucagon (A)-secreting cells, type B mixed islets with predominantly insulin (B)-secreting cell component and type M mixed islets (type M) consisting of variable number of glucagon-, insulin- and somatostatin (D)-secreting cells. The latter were further characterized into Type I, II or III according to the cell distribution of the three cell types. A and D cells were also randomly scattered within the exocrine pancreas. The results of this study suggest that the classical concept in birds of a segregation of A and B cells in well-defined and distinct islets is not applicable in raptors, reflecting an evolutionary adaptation to different dietary habits and variation in developmental mechanisms. PMID:25468799

  6. KSC-04PD-1298

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. Near the top of the 525-foot-tall Vehicle Assembly Building, workers repair one of the huge nets strung across the upper door opening to prevent vultures from flying inside. The North Transfer Aisle and the High Bay 3 Vertical and Horizontal doors have entered a 13-month restoration period to repair damage caused by prolonged exposure to the Florida environment one of the most corrosive in the nation. Extensive corrosion damage exists on the interior of the framework of the existing doors in both locations. All exterior siding is to be replaced, as well as all the hardware. The work contributes to the ongoing safety infrastructure upgrade efforts at Kennedy Space Center.

  7. Risk Considerations of Bird Strikes to Space Launch Vehicles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hales, Christy; Ring, Robert

    2016-01-01

    Within seconds after liftoff of the Space Shuttle during mission STS-114, a turkey vulture impacted the vehicle's external tank. The contact caused no apparent damage to the Shuttle, but the incident led NASA to consider the potential consequences of bird strikes during a Shuttle launch. The environment at Kennedy Space Center provides unique bird strike challenges due to the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge and the Atlantic Flyway bird migration routes. NASA is currently refining risk assessment estimates for the probability of bird strike to space launch vehicles. This paper presents an approach for analyzing the risks of bird strikes to space launch vehicles and presents an example. The migration routes, types of birds present, altitudes of those birds, exposed area of the launch vehicle, and its capability to withstand impacts affect the risk due to bird strike. A summary of significant risk contributors is discussed.

  8. Weighted averages of magnetization from magnetic field measurements: A fast interpretation tool

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fedi, Maurizio

    2003-08-01

    Magnetic anomalies may be interpreted in terms of weighted averages of magnetization (WAM) by a simple transformation. The WAM transformation consists of dividing at each measurement point the experimental magnetic field by a normalizing field, computed from a source volume with a homogeneous unit-magnetization. The transformation yields a straightforward link among source and field position vectors. A main WAM outcome is that sources at different depths appear well discriminated. Due to the symmetry of the problem, the higher the considered field altitude, the deeper the sources outlined by the transformation. This is shown for single and multi-source synthetic cases as well as for real data. We analyze the real case of Mt. Vulture volcano (Southern Italy), where the related anomaly strongly interferes with that from deep intrusive sources. The volcanic edifice is well identified. The deep source is estimated at about 9 km depth, in agreement with other results.

  9. Late Neandertals and the intentional removal of feathers as evidenced from bird bone taphonomy at Fumane Cave 44 ky B.P., Italy

    PubMed Central

    Peresani, Marco; Fiore, Ivana; Gala, Monica; Romandini, Matteo; Tagliacozzo, Antonio

    2011-01-01

    A large and varied avifaunal bone assemblage from the final Mousterian levels of Grotta di Fumane, northern Italy, reveals unusual human modifications on species that are not clearly relatable to feeding or utilitarian uses (i.e., lammergeier, Eurasian black vulture, golden eagle, red-footed falcon, common wood pigeon, and Alpine chough). Cut, peeling, and scrape marks, as well as diagnostic fractures and a breakthrough, are observed exclusively on wings, indicating the intentional removal of large feathers by Neandertals. The species involved, the anatomical elements affected, and the unusual type and location of the human modifications indicate an activity linked to the symbolic sphere and the behavioral modernity of this European autochthonous population. PMID:21368129

  10. Biomass transformation webs provide a unified approach to consumer–resource modelling

    PubMed Central

    Getz, Wayne M.

    2011-01-01

    An approach to modelling food web biomass flows among live and dead compartments within and among species is formulated using metaphysiological principles that characterise population growth in terms of basal metabolism, feeding, senescence and exploitation. This leads to a unified approach to modelling interactions among plants, herbivores, carnivores, scavengers, parasites and their resources. Also, dichotomising sessile miners from mobile gatherers of resources, with relevance to feeding and starvation time scales, suggests a new classification scheme involving 10 primary categories of consumer types. These types, in various combinations, rigorously distinguish scavenger from parasite, herbivory from phytophagy and detritivore from decomposer. Application of the approach to particular consumer–resource interactions is demonstrated, culminating in the construction of an anthrax-centred food web model, with parameters applicable to Etosha National Park, Namibia, where deaths of elephants and zebra from the bacterial pathogen, Bacillus anthracis, provide significant subsidies to jackals, vultures and other scavengers. PMID:21199247

  11. The aerodynamics of Argentavis, the world's largest flying bird from the Miocene of Argentina

    PubMed Central

    Chatterjee, Sankar; Templin, R. Jack; Campbell, Kenneth E.

    2007-01-01

    We calculate the flight performance of the gigantic volant bird Argentavis magnificens from the upper Miocene (≈6 million years ago) of Argentina using a computer simulation model. Argentavis was probably too large (mass ≈70 kg) to be capable of continuous flapping flight or standing takeoff under its own muscle power. Like extant condors and vultures, Argentavis would have extracted energy from the atmosphere for flight, relying on thermals present on the Argentinean pampas to provide power for soaring, and it probably used slope soaring over the windward slopes of the Andes. It was an excellent glider, with a gliding angle close to 3° and a cruising speed of 67 kph. Argentavis could take off by running downhill, or by launching from a perch to pick up flight speed. Other means of takeoff remain problematic. PMID:17609382

  12. Live trapping of hawks and owls

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stewart, R.E.; Cope, J.B.; Robbins, C.S.

    1945-01-01

    1. Hawks of six species (80 individuals) and owls of five species (37 individuals) were trapped for banding from November 1, 1943, to. May 26,1944. 2. In general, pole traps proved better than hand-operated traps or automatic traps using live bait. 3. Verbail pole traps proved very efficient, and were much more humane than padded steel traps because they rarely injured a captured bird. 4: Unbaited Verbail traps took a variety of raptors, in rough proportion to their local abundance, although slightly more of beneficial species were caught than of harmful types. 5. Hawks and owls were retrapped more readily in Verbail traps than in other types tried. 6. The number of song birds caught in Verbail traps was negligible. 7. Crows and vultures were not taken in Verbail traps, but possibly could be caught with bait.

  13. Biomass transformation webs provide a unified approach to consumer-resource modelling.

    PubMed

    Getz, Wayne M

    2011-02-01

    An approach to modelling food web biomass flows among live and dead compartments within and among species is formulated using metaphysiological principles that characterise population growth in terms of basal metabolism, feeding, senescence and exploitation. This leads to a unified approach to modelling interactions among plants, herbivores, carnivores, scavengers, parasites and their resources. Also, dichotomising sessile miners from mobile gatherers of resources, with relevance to feeding and starvation time scales, suggests a new classification scheme involving 10 primary categories of consumer types. These types, in various combinations, rigorously distinguish scavenger from parasite, herbivory from phytophagy and detritivore from decomposer. Application of the approach to particular consumer-resource interactions is demonstrated, culminating in the construction of an anthrax-centred food web model, with parameters applicable to Etosha National Park, Namibia, where deaths of elephants and zebra from the bacterial pathogen, Bacillus anthracis, provide significant subsidies to jackals, vultures and other scavengers. PMID:21199247

  14. Detection and characterization of a Trichomonas isolate from a rehabilitated bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus).

    PubMed

    Kelly-Clark, Whitney K; McBurney, Scott; Forzán, María J; Desmarchelier, Marion; Greenwood, Spencer J

    2013-12-01

    A hatching-year bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) was presented for clinical examination after being found unable to fly. Upon admission, routine wet-mount microscopy detected no trichomonads. Five months later, oral cavity inspection found no abnormalities, but the eagle was swabbed for research on trichomonosis in maritime birds. The swab was used to inoculate an InPouch TF culture and trichomonads were visible within 24 hr. Genotyping (ITS) revealed a Trichomonas isolate that was 100% identical to an isolate from a bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) from the Czech Republic. The eagle was treated with metronidazole (50 mg/kg q 12h PO for 5 consecutive days). Following treatment, the eagle was swabbed and the inoculated InPouch TF culture was monitored daily for 1 wk. No trichomonads were observed. Rehabilitation centers interested in surveillance should consider combining the InPouch TF technique with clinical inspection of live birds to confirm trichomonosis and for future research. PMID:24450084

  15. Investigation of Aerodynamic Capabilities of Flying Fish in Gliding Flight

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, H.; Choi, H.

    In the present study, we experimentally investigate the aerodynamic capabilities of flying fish. We consider four different flying fish models, which are darkedged-wing flying fishes stuffed in actual gliding posture. Some morphological parameters of flying fish such as lateral dihedral angle of pectoral fins, incidence angles of pectoral and pelvic fins are considered to examine their effect on the aerodynamic performance. We directly measure the aerodynamic properties (lift, drag, and pitching moment) for different morphological parameters of flying fish models. For the present flying fish models, the maximum lift coefficient and lift-to-drag ratio are similar to those of medium-sized birds such as the vulture, nighthawk and petrel. The pectoral fins are found to enhance the lift-to-drag ratio and the longitudinal static stability of gliding flight. On the other hand, the lift coefficient and lift-to-drag ratio decrease with increasing lateral dihedral angle of pectoral fins.

  16. First record of Sarcoramphus Dumeril 1806 (Ciconiiformes: Vulturidae) from the Pleistocene of Buenos Aires province, Argentina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Noriega, Jorge I.; Areta, Juan I.

    2005-10-01

    The finding of an incomplete specimen of Sarcoramphus papa (Linné 1758), commonly known as the King Vulture, from the locality of Camet Norte (Buenos Aires province) in Argentina is reported. The bearing level is referred to the Late Pleistocene Santa Clara Formation (Late Lujanian). Sarcoramphus papa is actually a dweller of undisturbed areas of tropical rainforest and humid tropical and subtropical forests in Central and South America, ranging from Mexico to northern Argentina. It is rarely found in large open areas such as steppes and grasslands and/or habitats with extremely low temperatures in winter. The fossiliferous locality is located geographically more than 700 km south of the species' southern distributional limit and thus far away from suitable habitats for its survival. This fossil record contradicts previous paleoenvironmental reconstructions for the same place and time, suggesting a mixed community with some arboreal structures capable of holding this taxon.

  17. Distribution of anomalously high K2O volcanic rocks in Arizona: metasomatism at the Picacho Peak detachment fault.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brooks, W.E.

    1986-01-01

    Metasomatized Tertiary lavas with anomalously high K2O and lower Na2O content are distributed within the NW-trending extensional terrain of SW Arizona. These rocks are common near core-complex-related detachment faults at Picacho Peak and the Harcuvar Mountains and in listric-faulted terrain at the Vulture Mountains. These rocks are also enriched in Zr but depleted in MgO. Fine-grained, euhedral orthoclase (adularia) is the dominant K-mineral; other secondary introduced minerals are quartz and calcite. Spatial association of metasomatism with the detachment faults suggests that detachment provided a conduit for hydrothermal fluids that altered the initial chemistry of the Tertiary volcanics and charged the upper plate rocks with mineralizing fluids that carried Zr and Ba, along with Au, Ag and Cu during detachment 17-18 m.y. ago.-L.C.H.

  18. Can Wild Ungulate Carcasses Provide Enough Biomass to Maintain Avian Scavenger Populations? An Empirical Assessment Using a Bio-Inspired Computational Model

    PubMed Central

    Margalida, Antoni; Colomer, Ma. Àngels; Sanuy, Delfí

    2011-01-01

    Background The reduction in the amount of food available for European avian scavengers as a consequence of restrictive public health policies is a concern for managers and conservationists. Since 2002, the application of several sanitary regulations has limited the availability of feeding resources provided by domestic carcasses, but theoretical studies assessing whether the availability of food resources provided by wild ungulates are enough to cover energetic requirements are lacking. Methodology/Findings We assessed food provided by a wild ungulate population in two areas of NE Spain inhabited by three vulture species and developed a P System computational model to assess the effects of the carrion resources provided on their population dynamics. We compared the real population trend with to a hypothetical scenario in which only food provided by wild ungulates was available. Simulation testing of the model suggests that wild ungulates constitute an important food resource in the Pyrenees and the vulture population inhabiting this area could grow if only the food provided by wild ungulates would be available. On the contrary, in the Pre-Pyrenees there is insufficient food to cover the energy requirements of avian scavenger guilds, declining sharply if biomass from domestic animals would not be available. Conclusions/Significance Our results suggest that public health legislation can modify scavenger population trends if a large number of domestic ungulate carcasses disappear from the mountains. In this case, food provided by wild ungulates could be not enough and supplementary feeding could be necessary if other alternative food resources are not available (i.e. the reintroduction of wild ungulates), preferably in European Mediterranean scenarios sharing similar and socio-economic conditions where there are low densities of wild ungulates. Managers should anticipate the conservation actions required by assessing food availability and the possible scenarios in

  19. Scavengers on the Move: Behavioural Changes in Foraging Search Patterns during the Annual Cycle

    PubMed Central

    López-López, Pascual; Benavent-Corai, José; García-Ripollés, Clara; Urios, Vicente

    2013-01-01

    Background Optimal foraging theory predicts that animals will tend to maximize foraging success by optimizing search strategies. However, how organisms detect sparsely distributed food resources remains an open question. When targets are sparse and unpredictably distributed, a Lévy strategy should maximize foraging success. By contrast, when resources are abundant and regularly distributed, simple Brownian random movement should be sufficient. Although very different groups of organisms exhibit Lévy motion, the shift from a Lévy to a Brownian search strategy has been suggested to depend on internal and external factors such as sex, prey density, or environmental context. However, animal response at the individual level has received little attention. Methodology/Principal Findings We used GPS satellite-telemetry data of Egyptian vultures Neophron percnopterus to examine movement patterns at the individual level during consecutive years, with particular interest in the variations in foraging search patterns during the different periods of the annual cycle (i.e. breeding vs. non-breeding). Our results show that vultures followed a Brownian search strategy in their wintering sojourn in Africa, whereas they exhibited a more complex foraging search pattern at breeding grounds in Europe, including Lévy motion. Interestingly, our results showed that individuals shifted between search strategies within the same period of the annual cycle in successive years. Conclusions/Significance Results could be primarily explained by the different environmental conditions in which foraging activities occur. However, the high degree of behavioural flexibility exhibited during the breeding period in contrast to the non-breeding period is challenging, suggesting that not only environmental conditions explain individuals' behaviour but also individuals' cognitive abilities (e.g., memory effects) could play an important role. Our results support the growing awareness about the role of

  20. Hexose Oxidase-Mediated Hydrogen Peroxide as a Mechanism for the Antibacterial Activity in the Red Seaweed Ptilophora subcostata.

    PubMed

    Ogasawara, Kimi; Yamada, Kenji; Hatsugai, Noriyuki; Imada, Chiaki; Nishimura, Mikio

    2016-01-01

    Marine algae have unique defense strategies against microbial infection. However, their mechanisms of immunity remain to be elucidated and little is known about the similarity of the immune systems of marine algae and terrestrial higher plants. Here, we suggest a possible mechanism underlying algal immunity, which involves hexose oxidase (HOX)-dependent production of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). We examined crude extracts from five different red algal species for their ability to prevent bacterial growth. The extract from one of these algae, Ptilophora subcostata, was particularly active and prevented the growth of gram-positive and -negative bacteria, which was completely inhibited by treatment with catalase. The extract did not affect the growth of either a yeast or a filamentous fungus. We partially purified from P. subcostata an enzyme involved in its antibacterial activity, which shared 50% homology with the HOX of red seaweed Chondrus crispus. In-gel carbohydrate oxidase assays revealed that P. subcostata extract had the ability to produce H2O2 in a hexose-dependent manner and this activity was highest in the presence of galactose. In addition, Bacillus subtilis growth was strongly suppressed near P. subcostata algal fronds on GYP agar plates. These results suggest that HOX plays a role in P. subcostata resistance to bacterial attack by mediating H2O2 production in the marine environment. PMID:26867214

  1. Determinants for the activation and autoinhibition of the diguanylate cyclase response regulator WspR

    PubMed Central

    De, Nabanita; Navarro, Marcos V.A.S.; Raghavan, Rahul V.; Sondermann, Holger

    2009-01-01

    The bacterial second messenger c-di-GMP controls secretion, cell adhesion and motility leading to biofilm formation and increased cytotoxicity. Diguanylate cyclases containing GGDEF and phosphodiesterases containing EAL or HD-GYP domains have been identified as the enzymes controlling cellular c-di-GMP levels, yet less is known regarding the molecular mechanisms governing regulation and signaling specificity. We recently determined a product-inhibition pathway for the diguanylate cyclase response regulator WspR from Pseudomonas, a potent molecular switch that controls biofilm formation. In WspR, catalytic activity is modulated by a helical stalk motif that connects its phospho-receiver (REC) and GGDEF domains. The stalks facilitate the formation of distinct oligomeric states that contribute to both activation and autoinhibition. Here, we provide novel insights into the regulation of diguanylate cyclase activity in WspR based on the crystal structures of full-length WspR, the isolated GGDEF domain, and an artificially dimerized catalytic domain. The structures highlight that inhibition is achieved by restricting the mobility of rigid GGDEF domains, mediated by c-di-GMP binding to an inhibitory site at the GGDEF domain. Kinetic measurements and biochemical characterization corroborate a model in which the activation of WspR requires the formation of a tetrameric species. Tetramerization occurs spontaneously at high protein concentration or upon addition of the phosphomimetic compound beryllium fluoride. Our analyses elucidate common and WspR-specific mechanisms for the fine-tuning of diguanylate cyclase activity. PMID:19695263

  2. Hexose Oxidase-Mediated Hydrogen Peroxide as a Mechanism for the Antibacterial Activity in the Red Seaweed Ptilophora subcostata

    PubMed Central

    Ogasawara, Kimi; Yamada, Kenji; Hatsugai, Noriyuki; Imada, Chiaki; Nishimura, Mikio

    2016-01-01

    Marine algae have unique defense strategies against microbial infection. However, their mechanisms of immunity remain to be elucidated and little is known about the similarity of the immune systems of marine algae and terrestrial higher plants. Here, we suggest a possible mechanism underlying algal immunity, which involves hexose oxidase (HOX)-dependent production of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). We examined crude extracts from five different red algal species for their ability to prevent bacterial growth. The extract from one of these algae, Ptilophora subcostata, was particularly active and prevented the growth of gram-positive and -negative bacteria, which was completely inhibited by treatment with catalase. The extract did not affect the growth of either a yeast or a filamentous fungus. We partially purified from P. subcostata an enzyme involved in its antibacterial activity, which shared 50% homology with the HOX of red seaweed Chondrus crispus. In-gel carbohydrate oxidase assays revealed that P. subcostata extract had the ability to produce H2O2 in a hexose-dependent manner and this activity was highest in the presence of galactose. In addition, Bacillus subtilis growth was strongly suppressed near P. subcostata algal fronds on GYP agar plates. These results suggest that HOX plays a role in P. subcostata resistance to bacterial attack by mediating H2O2 production in the marine environment. PMID:26867214

  3. XbmR, a new transcription factor involved in the regulation of chemotaxis, biofilm formation and virulence in Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri.

    PubMed

    Yaryura, Pablo M; Conforte, Valeria P; Malamud, Florencia; Roeschlin, Roxana; de Pino, Verónica; Castagnaro, Atilio P; McCarthy, Yvonne; Dow, J Maxwell; Marano, María R; Vojnov, Adrián A

    2015-11-01

    Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri (Xcc) is the causal agent of citrus canker. Biofilm formation on citrus leaves plays an important role in epiphytic survival of Xcc. Biofilm formation is affected by transposon insertion in XAC3733, which encodes a transcriptional activator of the NtrC family, not linked to a gene encoding a sensor protein, thus could be considered as an 'orphan' regulator whose function is poorly understood in Xanthomonas spp. Here we show that mutation of XAC3733 (named xbmR) resulted in impaired structural development of the Xcc biofilm, loss of chemotaxis and reduced virulence in grapefruit plants. All defective phenotypes were restored to wild-type levels by the introduction of PA2567 from Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which encodes a phosphodiesterase active in the degradation of cyclic diguanosine monophosphate (c-di-GMP). A knockout of xbmR led to a substantial downregulation of fliA that encodes a σ(28) transcription factor, as well as fliC and XAC0350 which are potential member of the σ(28) regulon. XAC0350 encodes an HD-GYP domain c-di-GMP phosphodiesterase. These findings suggest that XbmR is a key regulator of flagellar-dependent motility and chemotaxis exerting its action through a regulatory pathway that involves FliA and c-di-GMP. PMID:25346091

  4. Cyclic-di-GMP signalling regulates motility and biofilm formation in Bordetella bronchiseptica

    PubMed Central

    Sisti, Federico; Ha, Dae-Gon; O'Toole, George A.; Hozbor, Daniela

    2013-01-01

    The signalling molecule bis-(3′–5′)-cyclic-dimeric guanosine monophosphate (c-di-GMP) is a central regulator of diverse cellular functions, including motility, biofilm formation, cell cycle progression and virulence, in bacteria. Multiple diguanylate cyclase and phosphodiesterase-domain-containing proteins (GGDEF and EAL/HD-GYP, respectively) modulate the levels of the second messenger c-di-GMP to transmit signals and obtain such specific cellular responses. In the genus Bordetella this c-di-GMP network is poorly studied. In this work, we evaluated the expression of two phenotypes in Bordetella bronchiseptica regulated by c-di-GMP, biofilm formation and motility, under the influence of ectopic expression of Pseudomonas aeruginosa proteins with EAL or GGDEF domains that regulates the c-di-GMP level. In agreement with previous reports for other bacteria, we observed that B. bronchiseptica is able to form biofilm and reduce its motility only when GGDEF domain protein is expressed. Moreover we identify a GGDEF domain protein (BB3576) with diguanylate cyclase activity that participates in motility and biofilm regulation in B. bronchiseptica. These results demonstrate for the first time, to our knowledge, the presence of c-di-GMP regulatory signalling in B. bronchiseptica. PMID:23475948

  5. TBC-Domain GAPs for Rab GTPases Accelerate GTP Hydrolysis by a Dual-Finger Mechanism

    SciTech Connect

    Pan,X.; Eathiraj, S.; Lambright, D.

    2006-01-01

    Rab GTPases regulate membrane trafficking by cycling between inactive (GDP-bound) and active (GTP-bound) conformations. The duration of the active state is limited by GTPase-activating proteins (GAPs), which accelerate the slow intrinsic rate of GTP hydrolysis. Proteins containing TBC (Tre-2, Bub2 and Cdc16) domains are broadly conserved in eukaryotic organisms and function as GAPs for Rab GTPases as well as GTPases that control cytokinesis. An exposed arginine residue is a critical determinant of GAP activity in vitro and in vivo. It has been expected that the catalytic mechanism of TBC domains would parallel that of Ras and Rho family GAPs. Here we report crystallographic, mutational and functional analyses of complexes between Rab GTPases and the TBC domain of Gyp1p. In the crystal structure of a TBC-domain-Rab-GTPase-aluminium fluoride complex, which approximates the transition-state intermediate for GTP hydrolysis, the TBC domain supplies two catalytic residues in trans, an arginine finger analogous to Ras/Rho family GAPs and a glutamine finger that substitutes for the glutamine in the DxxGQ motif of the GTPase. The glutamine from the Rab GTPase does not stabilize the transition state as expected but instead interacts with the TBC domain. Strong conservation of both catalytic fingers indicates that most TBC-domain GAPs may accelerate GTP hydrolysis by a similar dual-finger mechanism.

  6. MNSs genotyping by MALDI-TOF MS shows high concordance with serology, allows gene copy number testing and reveals new St(a) alleles.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Stefan; Vollmert, Caren; Trost, Nadine; Sigurdardottir, Sonja; Portmann, Claudia; Gottschalk, Jochen; Ries, Judith; Markovic, Alexander; Infanti, Laura; Buser, Andreas; Amar El Dusouqui, Soraya; Rigal, Emmanuel; Castelli, Damiano; Weingand, Bettina; Maier, Andreas; Mauvais, Simon M; Sarraj, Amira; Braisch, Monica C; Thierbach, Jutta; Hustinx, Hein; Frey, Beat M; Gassner, Christoph

    2016-08-01

    Results of genotyping with true high-throughput capability for MNSs antigens are underrepresented, probably because of technical issues, due to the high level of nucleotide sequence homology of the paralogous genes GYPA, GYPB and GYPE. Eight MNSs-specific single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) were detected using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization, time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) in 5800 serologically M/N and S/s pre-typed Swiss blood donors and 50 individuals of known or presumptive black African ethnicity. Comparison of serotype with genotype delivered concordance rates of 99·70% and 99·90% and accuracy of genotyping alone of 99·88% and 99·95%, for M/N and S/s, respectively. The area under the curve of peak signals was measured in intron 1 of the two highly homologous genes GYPB and GYPE and allowed for gene copy number variation estimates in all individuals investigated. Elevated GYPB:GYPE ratios accumulated in several carriers of two newly observed GYP*401 variants, termed type G and H, both encoding for the low incidence antigen St(a). In black Africans, reduced GYPB gene contents were proven in pre-typed S-s-U- phenotypes and could be reproduced in unknown specimens. Quantitative gene copy number estimates represented a highly attractive supplement to conventional genotyping, solely based on MNSs SNPs. PMID:27072601

  7. Involvement of complex sphingolipids and phosphatidylserine in endosomal trafficking in yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    PubMed

    Tani, Motohiro; Kuge, Osamu

    2012-12-01

    Sphingolipids play critical roles in many physiologically important events in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. In this study, we found that csg2Δ mutant cells defective in the synthesis of mannosylinositol phosphorylceramide exhibited abnormal intracellular accumulation of an exocytic v-SNARE, Snc1, under phosphatidylserine synthase gene (PSS1)-repressive conditions, although in wild-type cells, Snc1 was known to cycle between plasma membranes and the late Golgi via post-Golgi endosomes. The mislocalized Snc1 was co-localized with an endocytic marker dye, FM4-64, upon labelling for a short time. The abnormal distribution of Snc1 was suppressed by deletion of GYP2 encoding a GTPase-activating protein that negatively regulates endosomal vesicular trafficking, or expression of GTP-restricted form of Ypt32 GTPase. Furthermore, an endocytosis-deficient mutant of Snc1 was localized to plasma membranes in PSS1-repressed csg2Δ mutant cells as well as wild-type cells. Thus, the PSS1-repressed csg2Δ mutant cells were indicated to be defective in the trafficking of Snc1 from post-Golgi endosomes to the late Golgi. In contrast, the vesicular trafficking pathways via pre-vacuolar endosomes in the PSS1-repressed csg2Δ mutant cells seemed to be normal. These results suggested that specific complex sphingolipids and phosphatidylserine are co-ordinately involved in specific vesicular trafficking pathway. PMID:23062277

  8. A systematic analysis of the role of GGDEF-EAL domain proteins in virulence and motility in Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzicola.

    PubMed

    Wei, Chao; Jiang, Wendi; Zhao, Mengran; Ling, Junjie; Zeng, Xin; Deng, Jun; Jin, Dongli; Dow, John Maxwell; Sun, Wenxian

    2016-01-01

    The second messenger c-di-GMP is implicated in regulation of various aspects of the lifestyles and virulence of Gram-negative bacteria. Cyclic di-GMP is formed by diguanylate cyclases with a GGDEF domain and degraded by phosphodiesterases with either an EAL or HD-GYP domain. Proteins with tandem GGDEF-EAL domains occur in many bacteria, where they may be involved in c-di-GMP turnover or act as enzymatically-inactive c-di-GMP effectors. Here, we report a systematic study of the regulatory action of the eleven GGDEF-EAL proteins in Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzicola, an important rice pathogen causing bacterial leaf streak. Mutational analysis revealed that XOC_2335 and XOC_2393 positively regulate bacterial swimming motility, while XOC_2102, XOC_2393 and XOC_4190 negatively control sliding motility. The ΔXOC_2335/XOC_2393 mutant that had a higher intracellular c-di-GMP level than the wild type and the ΔXOC_4190 mutant exhibited reduced virulence to rice after pressure inoculation. In vitro purified XOC_4190 and XOC_2102 have little or no diguanylate cyclase or phosphodiesterase activity, which is consistent with unaltered c-di-GMP concentration in ΔXOC_4190. Nevertheless, both proteins can bind to c-di-GMP with high affinity, indicating a potential role as c-di-GMP effectors. Overall our findings advance understanding of c-di-GMP signaling and its links to virulence in an important rice pathogen. PMID:27053282

  9. Phenotype overlap in Xylella fastidiosa is controlled by the cyclic di-GMP phosphodiesterase Eal in response to antibiotic exposure and diffusible signal factor-mediated cell-cell signaling.

    PubMed

    de Souza, Alessandra A; Ionescu, Michael; Baccari, Clelia; da Silva, Aline M; Lindow, Steven E

    2013-06-01

    Eal is an EAL domain protein in Xylella fastidiosa homologous to one involved in resistance to tobramycin in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. EAL and HD-GYP domain proteins are implicated in the hydrolysis of the secondary messenger bis-(3'-5')-cyclic dimeric GMP (cyclic di-GMP). Cell density-dependent communication mediated by a Diffusible Signal Factor (DSF) also modulates cyclic di-GMP levels in X. fastidiosa, thereby controlling the expression of virulence genes and genes involved in insect transmission. The possible linkage of Eal to both extrinsic factors such as antibiotics and intrinsic factors such as quorum sensing, and whether both affect virulence, was thus addressed. Expression of eal was induced by subinhibitory concentrations of tobramycin, and an eal deletion mutant was more susceptible to this antibiotic than the wild-type strain and exhibited phenotypes similar to those of an rpfF deletion mutant blocked in DSF production, such as hypermotility, reduced biofilm formation, and hypervirulence to grape. Consistent with that, the rpfF mutant was more susceptible than the wild-type strain to tobramycin. Therefore, we propose that cell-cell communication and antibiotic stress can apparently lead to similar modulations of cyclic di-GMP in X. fastidiosa, resulting in similar phenotypes. However, the effect of cell density is dominant compared to that of antibiotic stress, since eal is suppressed by RpfF, which may prevent inappropriate behavioral changes in response to antibiotic stress when DSF accumulates. PMID:23542613

  10. Evaluation of antibacterial and anti-inflammatory activities of less polar ginsenosides produced from polar ginsenosides by heat-transformation.

    PubMed

    Wang, Lijun; Yang, Xiushi; Yu, Xiaona; Yao, Yang; Ren, Guixing

    2013-12-18

    Ginsenosides are the major active constituents in both white and red American ginseng (AG), and their pharmacological effects on central nervous, cardiovascular, and endocrine systems have been well elucidated. However, the anti-Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) activity of them is still unknown. In this study, 5 ginsenosides enriched fractions were obtained from the total ginsenosides extract of AG roots (TAG) by resin adsorption and heat-transformation. Resin purification decreased the total polyphenol (TP) content in the fractions. However, heat treatment increased the TP content and induced extensive conversion of the polar ginsenosides (Rg1, Re, Rb1, Rc, Rb2, Rd, and Gyp XVII) to less polar compounds (Rg2, Rg3, Rg6/F4, Rs3, and Rg5/Rk1). Only the heat-treated fraction from 65% methanol elution of the HP-20 column (HPHF) showed antibacterial activity against P. acnes (ATCC11827, MIC, 128 μg/mL; ATCC6919 MIC, 64 μg/mL), S. epidermidis (MIC, 4100 μg/mL) and S. aureus (MIC, 15000 μg/mL). In the anti-inflammatory activity assay, 10 μg/mL of HPHF significantly (P < 0.05) inhibited NO production in LPS-stimulated RAW264.7 cells. These results suggest that less polar ginsenosides enriched fraction HPHF obtained from AG might be useful to develop new types of antibacterial substances and new skin care cosmetics for acne prevention and therapy. PMID:24289140

  11. A systematic analysis of the role of GGDEF-EAL domain proteins in virulence and motility in Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzicola

    PubMed Central

    Wei, Chao; Jiang, Wendi; Zhao, Mengran; Ling, Junjie; Zeng, Xin; Deng, Jun; Jin, Dongli; Dow, John Maxwell; Sun, Wenxian

    2016-01-01

    The second messenger c-di-GMP is implicated in regulation of various aspects of the lifestyles and virulence of Gram-negative bacteria. Cyclic di-GMP is formed by diguanylate cyclases with a GGDEF domain and degraded by phosphodiesterases with either an EAL or HD-GYP domain. Proteins with tandem GGDEF-EAL domains occur in many bacteria, where they may be involved in c-di-GMP turnover or act as enzymatically-inactive c-di-GMP effectors. Here, we report a systematic study of the regulatory action of the eleven GGDEF-EAL proteins in Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzicola, an important rice pathogen causing bacterial leaf streak. Mutational analysis revealed that XOC_2335 and XOC_2393 positively regulate bacterial swimming motility, while XOC_2102, XOC_2393 and XOC_4190 negatively control sliding motility. The ΔXOC_2335/XOC_2393 mutant that had a higher intracellular c-di-GMP level than the wild type and the ΔXOC_4190 mutant exhibited reduced virulence to rice after pressure inoculation. In vitro purified XOC_4190 and XOC_2102 have little or no diguanylate cyclase or phosphodiesterase activity, which is consistent with unaltered c-di-GMP concentration in ΔXOC_4190. Nevertheless, both proteins can bind to c-di-GMP with high affinity, indicating a potential role as c-di-GMP effectors. Overall our findings advance understanding of c-di-GMP signaling and its links to virulence in an important rice pathogen. PMID:27053282

  12. Ultra-long fiber Raman lasers: design considerations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koltchanov, I.; Kroushkov, D. I.; Richter, A.

    2015-03-01

    In frame of the European Marie Currie project GRIFFON [http://astonishgriffon.net/] the usage of a green approach in terms of reduced power consumption and maintenance costs is envisioned for long-span fiber networks. This shall be accomplished by coherent transmission in unrepeatered links (100 km - 350 km) utilizing ultra-long Raman fiber laser (URFL)-based distributed amplification, multi-level modulation formats, and adapted Digital Signal Processing (DSP) algorithms. The URFL uses a cascaded 2-order pumping scheme where two (co- and counter-) ˜ 1365 nm pumps illuminate the fiber. The URFL oscillates at ˜ 1450 nm whereas amplification is provided by stimulated Raman scattering (SRS) of the ˜ 1365 nm pumps and the optical feedback is realized by two Fiber Bragg gratings (FBGs) at the fiber ends reflecting at 1450 nm. The light field at 1450 nm provides amplification for signal waves in the 1550 nm range due to SRS. In this work we present URFL design studies intended to characterize and optimize the power and noise characteristics of the fiber links. We use a bidirectional fiber model describing propagation of the signal, pump and noise powers along the fiber length. From the numerical solution we evaluate the on/off Raman gain and its bandwidth, the signal excursion over the fiber length, OSNR spectra, and the accumulated nonlinearities. To achieve best performance for these characteristics the laser design is optimized with respect to the forward/backward pump powers and wavelengths, input/output signal powers, reflectivity profile of the FBGs and other parameters.

  13. Inheritance of Chiari-Like Malformation: Can a Mixed Breeding Reduce the Risk of Syringomyelia?

    PubMed Central

    Knowler, Susan P.; v/d Berg, Henny; McFadyen, Angus; La Ragione, Roberto M.; Rusbridge, Clare

    2016-01-01

    Canine Chiari-like malformation (CM) is a complex abnormality of the skull and craniocervical junction associated with miniaturization and brachycephaly which can result in the spinal cord disease syringomyelia (SM). This study investigated the inheritance of CM in a Griffon Bruxellois (GB) family and feasibility of crossbreeding a brachycephalic CM affected GB with a mesaticephalic normal Australian terrier and then backcrossing to produce individuals free of the malformation and regain GB breed characteristics. The study family cohort (n = 27) included five founder dogs from a previous baseline study of 155 GB which defined CM as a global malformation of the cranium and craniocervical junction with a shortened skull base and increased proximity of the cervical vertebrae to the skull. T1-weighted sagittal DICOM images of the brain and craniocervical junction were analysed for five significant traits (two angles, three lines) identified from the previous study and subsequent Qualitative Trait Loci analysis. Mean measurements for mixed breed, pure-breed and baseline study groups were compared. Results indicated that mixed breed traits posed less risk for CM and SM and were useful to distinguish the phenotype. Moreover on the MR images, the filial relationships displayed by the traits exhibited segregation and those presenting the greatest risk for CM appeared additive towards the severity of the condition. The external phenotypes revealed that by outcrossing breed types and with careful selection of appropriate conformation characteristics in the first generation, it is possible to regain the GB breed standard and reduce the degree of CM. The four GB affected with SM in the study all exhibited reduced caudal skull development compared to their relatives. The craniocervical traits may be useful for quantifying CM and assessing the possibility of SM thus assisting breeders with mate selection. However, such a system requires validation to ensure appropriateness for

  14. Proteinase-producing halophilic lactic acid bacteria isolated from fish sauce fermentation and their ability to produce volatile compounds.

    PubMed

    Udomsil, Natteewan; Rodtong, Sureelak; Tanasupawat, Somboon; Yongsawatdigul, Jirawat

    2010-07-15

    Halophilic lactic acid bacteria were isolated from fish sauce mashes fermented at 1 to 12 months. Seven out of sixty-four isolates were selected according to their proteolytic activity and growth at 25% NaCl for characterization and investigation of volatile compound production. All selected isolates were Gram-positive cocci with pairs/tetrads and grew at 0-25% NaCl, pH 4.5-9.0. Results of 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis showed 99% homology to Tetragenococcus halophilus ATCC 33315. The restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) patterns of all isolates were also similar to those of T. halophilus ATCC 33315. These isolates were, thus, identified as T. halophilus. All isolates hydrolyzed fish protein in the medium containing 25% NaCl. Intracellular aminopeptidase of 7 isolates exhibited the highest activity of 2.85-3.67 U/ml toward Ala-p-nitroanilide (Ala-pNA). T.halophilus strains MS33 and M11 showed the highest alanyl aminopeptidase activity (P<0.05), and produced histamine in mGYP broth containing 5 and 25% NaCl in the level of 6.62-22.55 and 13.14-20.39 mg/100ml, respectively. Predominant volatile compounds of fish broth containing 25% NaCl inoculated with T. halophilus MS33 and MRC5-5-2 were 1-propanol, 2-methylpropanal, and benzaldehyde, corresponding to major volatile compounds in fish sauce. T.halophilus appeared to play an important role in volatile compound formation during fish sauce fermentation. PMID:20541276

  15. Cyclic diguanylate turnover mediated by the sole GGDEF/EAL response regulator in Pseudomonas putida: its role in the rhizosphere and an analysis of its target processes.

    PubMed

    Matilla, Miguel A; Travieso, María L; Ramos, Juan L; Ramos-González, María Isabel

    2011-07-01

    GGDEF and EAL/HD-GYP protein domains are responsible for the synthesis and hydrolysis of the bacterial secondary messenger cyclic diguanylate (c-di-GMP) through their diguanylate cyclase and phosphodiesterase activities, respectively. Forty-three genes in Pseudomonas putida KT2440 are putatively involved in the turnover of c-di-GMP. Of them only rup4959 (locus PP4959) encodes a GGDEF/EAL response regulator, which was identified in a genome wide analysis as preferentially induced while this bacterium colonizes roots and adjacent soil areas (the rhizosphere). By using fusions to reporter genes it was confirmed that the rup4959 promoter is active in the rhizosphere and inducible by corn plant root exudates and microaerobiosis. Transcription of rup4959 was strictly dependent on the alternative transcriptional factor σ(S) . The inactivation of the rup4959-4957 operon altered the expression of 22 genes in the rhizosphere and had a negative effect upon oligopeptide utilization and biofilm formation. In multicopy or when overexpressed, rup4959 enhanced adhesin LapA-dependent biofilm formation, the development of wrinkly colony morphology, and increased Calcofluor stainable exopolysaccharides (EPS). Under these conditions the inhibition of swarming motility was total and plant root tip colonization considerably less efficient, whereas swimming was partially diminished. This pleiotropic phenotype, which correlated with an increase in the global level of c-di-GMP, was not acquired with increased levels of Rup4959 catalytic mutant at GGDEF as a proof of this response regulator exhibiting diguanylate cyclase activity. A screen for mutants in putative targets of c-di-GMP led to the identification of a surface polysaccharide specific to KT2440, which is encoded by the genes cluster PP3133-PP3141, as essential for phenotypes associated with increased c-di-GMP. Cellulose and alginate were discarded as the overproduced EPS, and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) core and O-antigen were found

  16. Diversity of Cyclic Di-GMP-Binding Proteins and Mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Chou, Shan-Ho; Galperin, Michael Y

    2016-01-01

    Cyclic di-GMP (c-di-GMP) synthetases and hydrolases (GGDEF, EAL, and HD-GYP domains) can be readily identified in bacterial genome sequences by using standard bioinformatic tools. In contrast, identification of c-di-GMP receptors remains a difficult task, and the current list of experimentally characterized c-di-GMP-binding proteins is likely incomplete. Several classes of c-di-GMP-binding proteins have been structurally characterized; for some others, the binding sites have been identified; and for several potential c-di-GMP receptors, the binding sites remain to be determined. We present here a comparative structural analysis of c-di-GMP-protein complexes that aims to discern the common themes in the binding mechanisms that allow c-di-GMP receptors to bind it with (sub)micromolar affinities despite the 1,000-fold excess of GTP. The available structures show that most receptors use their Arg and Asp/Glu residues to bind c-di-GMP monomers, dimers, or tetramers with stacked guanine bases. The only exception is the EAL domains that bind c-di-GMP monomers in an extended conformation. We show that in c-di-GMP-binding signature motifs, Arg residues bind to the O-6 and N-7 atoms at the Hoogsteen edge of the guanine base, while Asp/Glu residues bind the N-1 and N-2 atoms at its Watson-Crick edge. In addition, Arg residues participate in stacking interactions with the guanine bases of c-di-GMP and the aromatic rings of Tyr and Phe residues. This may account for the presence of Arg residues in the active sites of every receptor protein that binds stacked c-di-GMP. We also discuss the implications of these structural data for the improved understanding of the c-di-GMP signaling mechanisms. PMID:26055114

  17. Characterization of membrane-bound small GTP-binding proteins from Nicotiana tabacum.

    PubMed Central

    Haizel, T; Merkle, T; Turck, F; Nagy, F

    1995-01-01

    We have cloned nine cDNAs encoding small GTP-binding proteins from leaf cDNA libraries of tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum). These cDNAs encode distinct proteins (22-25 kD) that display different levels of identity with members of the mammalian Rab family: Nt-Rab6 with Rab6 (83%), Nt-Rab7a-c with Rab7 (63-70%), and Nt-Rab11a-e with Rab11 (53-69%). Functionally important regions of these proteins, including the "effector binding" domain, the C-terminal Cys residues for membrane attachment, and the four regions involved in GTP-binding and hydrolysis, are highly conserved. Northern and western blot analyses show that these genes are expressed, although at slightly different levels, in all plant tissues examined. We demonstrate that the plant Rab5, Rab6, and Rab11 proteins, similar to their mammalian and yeast counterparts, are tightly bound to membranes and that they exhibit different solubilization characteristics. Furthermore, we show that the yeast GTPase-activating protein Gyp6, shown to be specifically required to control the GTP hydrolysis of the yeast Ypt6 protein, could interact with tobacco GTP-binding proteins. It increases in vitro the GTP hydrolysis rate of the wild-type Nt-Rab7 protein. In addition, it also increases, at different levels, the GTP hydrolysis rates of a Nt-Rab7m protein with a Rab6 effector domain and of two other chimaeric Nt-Rab6/Nt-Rab7 proteins. However, it does not interact with the wild-type Nt-Rab6 protein, which is most similar to the yeast Ypt6 protein. PMID:7784525

  18. Diversity of Cyclic Di-GMP-Binding Proteins and Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Cyclic di-GMP (c-di-GMP) synthetases and hydrolases (GGDEF, EAL, and HD-GYP domains) can be readily identified in bacterial genome sequences by using standard bioinformatic tools. In contrast, identification of c-di-GMP receptors remains a difficult task, and the current list of experimentally characterized c-di-GMP-binding proteins is likely incomplete. Several classes of c-di-GMP-binding proteins have been structurally characterized; for some others, the binding sites have been identified; and for several potential c-di-GMP receptors, the binding sites remain to be determined. We present here a comparative structural analysis of c-di-GMP-protein complexes that aims to discern the common themes in the binding mechanisms that allow c-di-GMP receptors to bind it with (sub)micromolar affinities despite the 1,000-fold excess of GTP. The available structures show that most receptors use their Arg and Asp/Glu residues to bind c-di-GMP monomers, dimers, or tetramers with stacked guanine bases. The only exception is the EAL domains that bind c-di-GMP monomers in an extended conformation. We show that in c-di-GMP-binding signature motifs, Arg residues bind to the O-6 and N-7 atoms at the Hoogsteen edge of the guanine base, while Asp/Glu residues bind the N-1 and N-2 atoms at its Watson-Crick edge. In addition, Arg residues participate in stacking interactions with the guanine bases of c-di-GMP and the aromatic rings of Tyr and Phe residues. This may account for the presence of Arg residues in the active sites of every receptor protein that binds stacked c-di-GMP. We also discuss the implications of these structural data for the improved understanding of the c-di-GMP signaling mechanisms. PMID:26055114

  19. Nocardioides rotundus sp. nov., isolated from deep seawater.

    PubMed

    Wang, Lina; Li, Jinglong; Zhang, Gaiyun

    2016-05-01

    A Gram-staining-positive, aerobic, coccoid-shaped, non-motile actinobacterium, designated strain GY0594T, was isolated from deep seawater of the western Pacific. Phylogenetic analyses based on 16S rRNA gene sequences showed that this strain was affiliated with the genus Nocardioides with low 16S rRNA gene sequence similarities ( ≤ 96.0 %) with members of the genus Nocardioides. Chemotaxonomic characterization of strain GYP0594T supported the result of the phylogenetic analysis. The diagnostic diamino acid in the cell-wall peptidoglycan was ll-2,6-diaminopimelic acid. The major menaquinone was MK-8(H4). The polar lipids detected were diphosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylinositol, one unidentified lipid and six unidentified phospholipids. The major cellular fatty acids were iso-C16 : 0 and C18 : 1ω9c. The DNA G+C content of strain GY0594T was determined to be 71.2 mol%. However, strain GY0594T could be distinguished from closely related species by cell morphology, nitrate reduction, aesculin hydrolysis, activity of urease, cystine arylamidase, trypsin and acid phosphatase, assimilation of N-acetylglucosamine, maltose, adipic acid, malic acid and phenylacetate, and significant differences in the proportions of several fatty acids. In conclusion, based on the data presented, strain GY0594T should be placed in the genus Nocardioides as a representative of a novel species, for which the name Nocardioides rotundus sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is GY0594T ( = MCCC 1A10561T = KCTC 39638T). PMID:26868488

  20. Assessing the exposure risk and impacts of pharmaceuticals in the environment on individuals and ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Arnold, Kathryn E.; Boxall, Alistair B. A.; Brown, A. Ross; Cuthbert, Richard J.; Gaw, Sally; Hutchinson, Thomas H.; Jobling, Susan; Madden, Judith C.; Metcalfe, Chris D.; Naidoo, Vinny; Shore, Richard F.; Smits, Judit E.; Taggart, Mark A.; Thompson, Helen M.

    2013-01-01

    The use of human and veterinary pharmaceuticals is increasing. Over the past decade, there has been a proliferation of research into potential environmental impacts of pharmaceuticals in the environment. A Royal Society-supported seminar brought together experts from diverse scientific fields to discuss the risks posed by pharmaceuticals to wildlife. Recent analytical advances have revealed that pharmaceuticals are entering habitats via water, sewage, manure and animal carcases, and dispersing through food chains. Pharmaceuticals are designed to alter physiology at low doses and so can be particularly potent contaminants. The near extinction of Asian vultures following exposure to diclofenac is the key example where exposure to a pharmaceutical caused a population-level impact on non-target wildlife. However, more subtle changes to behaviour and physiology are rarely studied and poorly understood. Grand challenges for the future include developing more realistic exposure assessments for wildlife, assessing the impacts of mixtures of pharmaceuticals in combination with other environmental stressors and estimating the risks from pharmaceutical manufacturing and usage in developing countries. We concluded that an integration of diverse approaches is required to predict ‘unexpected’ risks; specifically, ecologically relevant, often long-term and non-lethal, consequences of pharmaceuticals in the environment for wildlife and ecosystems. PMID:23804293

  1. Net Effects of Ecotourism on Threatened Species Survival.

    PubMed

    Buckley, Ralf C; Morrison, Clare; Castley, J Guy

    2016-01-01

    Many threatened species rely on ecotourism for conservation funding, but simultaneously suffer direct ecological impacts from ecotourism. For a range of IUCN-Redlisted terrestrial and marine bird and mammal species worldwide, we use population viability analyses to calculate the net effects of ecotourism on expected time to extinction, in the presence of other anthropogenic threats such as poaching, primary industries and habitat loss. Species for which these calculations are currently possible, for one or more subpopulations, include: orangutan, hoolock gibbon, golden lion tamarin, cheetah, African wild dog, New Zealand sealion, great green macaw, Egyptian vulture, and African penguin. For some but not all of these species, tourism can extend expected survival time, i.e., benefits outweigh impacts. Precise outcomes depend strongly on population parameters and starting sizes, predation, and ecotourism scale and mechanisms. Tourism does not currently overcome other major conservation threats associated with natural resource extractive industries. Similar calculations for other threatened species are currently limited by lack of basic population data. PMID:26886876

  2. Animal scavenging and scattering and the implications for documenting the deaths of undocumented border crossers in the Sonoran Desert.

    PubMed

    Beck, Jess; Ostericher, Ian; Sollish, Gregory; De León, Jason

    2015-01-01

    Since 1998, over 5500 people have died while attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border without authorization. These deaths have primarily occurred in the Arizona desert. Despite the high volume of deaths, little experimental work has been conducted on Sonoran Desert taphonomy. In this study, pig carcasses were used as proxies for human remains and placed in different depositional contexts (i.e., direct sunlight and shade) that replicate typical sites of migrant death. Decomposition was documented through daily site visits, motion-sensitive cameras and GIS mapping, while skeletal preservation was investigated through the collection of the remains and subsequent faunal analysis. Our results suggest that vultures and domestic dogs are underappreciated members of the Sonoran scavenging guild and may disperse skeletal remains and migrant possessions over 25 m from the site of death. The impact of scavengers and the desert environment on the decomposition process has significant implications for estimating death rates and identifying human remains along the Arizona/Mexico border. PMID:25399906

  3. Pedigree reconstruction of the Italian grapevine Aglianico (Vitis vinifera L.) from Campania.

    PubMed

    De Lorenzis, Gabriella; Imazio, Serena; Biagini, Barbara; Failla, Osvaldo; Scienza, Attilio

    2013-06-01

    A total of 41 accessions of Aglianico belonging to three different biotypes (Taburno, Taurasi, and Vulture) and 9 accessions of Sirica grapes were sampled from diverse areas of Campania (Italy). All accessions were first genotyped using 21 microsatellite markers (SSR) to evaluate possible homonymies, synonymies, and the genetic structure of each group. A larger dataset was then constructed adding Italian and International cultivars. On the basis of results obtained analyzing the first dataset, further investigations were carried out enlarging the number of investigated loci (up to 43). The addition of 22 SSRs was useful in the definition of likely genetic relationships linking Aglianico biotypes, Sirica and Syrah. According to their SSR allelic profiles, the monophyletic origin of the three Aglianico biotypes was confirmed. Among Aglianico Taburno accessions, eight samples (called Aglianico like-to-type) performed a different SSR allelic profile from Aglianico true-to-type. Sirica and Syrah proved to be synonyms. This work allowed to determine the genetic relationship between Aglianico and the cultivars supposed to be related. The parentage analysis was investigated. The most likely pedigree has been reconstructed; revealing a second-degree relationship between the worldwide cultivated Syrah from the Rhone Valley and Aglianico. Aglianico like-to-type appeared related to Aglianico in a parent-offspring fashion. PMID:23054630

  4. Table scraps: inter-trophic food provisioning by pumas

    PubMed Central

    Elbroch, L. Mark; Wittmer, Heiko U.

    2012-01-01

    Large carnivores perform keystone ecological functions through direct predation, or indirectly, through food subsidies to scavengers or trophic cascades driven by their influence on the distributions of their prey. Pumas (Puma concolor) are an elusive, cryptic species difficult to study and little is known about their inter-trophic-level interactions in natural communities. Using new GPS technology, we discovered that pumas in Patagonia provided 232 ± 31 kg of edible meat/month/100 km2 to near-threatened Andean condors (Vultur gryphus) and other members of a diverse scavenger community. This is up to 3.1 times the contributions by wolves (Canis lupus) to communities in Yellowstone National Park, USA, and highlights the keystone role large, solitary felids play in natural systems. These findings are more pertinent than ever, for managers increasingly advocate controlling pumas and other large felids to bolster prey populations and mitigate concerns over human and livestock safety, without a full understanding of the potential ecological consequences of their actions. PMID:22696284

  5. Decreasing prevalence and seasonal variation of gunshot trauma in raptors admitted to the wildlife center of Virginia: 1993-2002.

    PubMed

    Richards, Jean; Lickey, Adrienne; Sleeman, Jonathan M

    2005-09-01

    A retrospective study was conducted to identify the epidemiologic factors associated with gunshot injuries in raptors presented to the Wildlife Center of Virginia from 1993 to 2002. Of the 3,156 raptors admitted, 118 raptors (3.7%), representing 15 species, were admitted with gunshot trauma as the primary cause of morbidity and mortality. The majority of cases consisted of four species: red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis; 47%), red-shouldered hawk (Buteo lineatus; 14%), turkey vulture (Cathartes aura; 10%), and bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus; 8%). For species with greater than 40 admissions during the study period, the proportion of gunshot trauma of all causes of morbidity and mortality ranged from <1% to 11%. Greater numbers of raptors with gunshot trauma were admitted during the fall and winter months (75%) compared with the spring and summer (25%). A significant decrease in the absolute number of gunshot cases per year was observed over the time period studied. The population-level effect of gunshot trauma is unknown for these species; however, it appears to be minor compared with other causes of morbidity and mortality. PMID:17312769

  6. A bald eagle at KSC

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    A bald eagle joins two vultures at the site of an undetermined carcass on the grounds of the Kennedy Space Center. The Southern Bald Eagle ranges throughout Florida and along the coasts of California, Texas, Louisiana, and the south Atlantic states. Bald eagles are listed as endangered in the U.S., except in five states where they are listed as threatened. The number of nesting pairs of the southern race once numbered several thousand; recent estimates are only 350-375. Most of the southern race nests in Florida. Eagles arrive at KSC during late summer and leave for the north in late spring. They move to nest sites in October and November and lay one to three eggs. The young fledge from February to April. KSC shares a boundary with the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, which encompasses 92,000 acres that are a habitat for more than 331 species of birds, 31 mammals, 117 fishes, and 65 amphibians and reptiles. The marshes and open water of the refuge provide wintering areas for 23 species of migratory waterfowl, as well as a year-round home for great blue herons, great egrets, wood storks, cormorants, brown pelicans and other species of marsh and shore birds, as well as a variety of insects.

  7. A bald eagle at KSC

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    On the grounds of the Kennedy Space Center, a bald eagle takes wing away from two vultures at the site of an undetermined carcass. The Southern Bald Eagle ranges throughout Florida and along the coasts of California, Texas, Louisiana, and the south Atlantic states. Bald eagles are listed as endangered in the U.S., except in five states where they are listed as threatened. The number of nesting pairs of the southern race once numbered several thousand; recent estimates are only 350-375. Most of the southern race nests in Florida. Eagles arrive at KSC during late summer and leave for the north in late spring. They move to nest sites in October and November and lay one to three eggs. The young fledge from February to April. KSC shares a boundary with the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, which encompasses 92,000 acres that are a habitat for more than 331 species of birds, 31 mammals, 117 fishes, and 65 amphibians and reptiles. The marshes and open water of the refuge provide wintering areas for 23 species of migratory waterfowl, as well as a year-round home for great blue herons, great egrets, wood storks, cormorants, brown pelicans and other species of marsh and shore birds, as well as a variety of insects.

  8. Detection and drivers of exposure and effects of pharmaceuticals in higher vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Shore, Richard F.; Taggart, Mark A.; Smits, Judit; Mateo, Rafael; Richards, Ngaio L.; Fryday, Steve

    2014-01-01

    Pharmaceuticals are highly bioactive compounds now known to be widespread environmental contaminants. However, research regarding exposure and possible effects in non-target higher vertebrate wildlife remains scarce. The fate and behaviour of most pharmaceuticals entering our environment via numerous pathways remain poorly characterized, and hence our conception and understanding of the risks posed to wild animals is equally constrained. The recent decimation of Asian vulture populations owing to a pharmaceutical (diclofenac) offers a notable example, because the exposure route (livestock carcasses) and the acute toxicity observed were completely unexpected. This case not only highlights the need for further research, but also the wider requirement for more considered and comprehensive ‘ecopharmacovigilance’. We discuss known and potential high risk sources and pathways in terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems where pharmaceutical exposure in higher vertebrate wildlife, principally birds and mammals, may occur. We examine whether approaches taken within existing surveillance schemes (that commonly target established classes of persistent or bioaccumulative contaminants) and the risk assessment approaches currently used for pesticides are relevant to pharmaceuticals, and we highlight where new approaches may be required to assess pharmaceutical-related risk. PMID:25405960

  9. The Environmental-Data Automated Track Annotation (Env-DATA) System: Linking Animal Tracks with Environmental Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bohrer, G.; Dodge, S.; Weinzierl, R.; Davidson, S. C.; Kays, R.; Douglas, D. C.; Brandes, D.; Bildstein, K.; Wikelski, M.

    2013-12-01

    The movement of animals is strongly influenced by external factors in their surrounding environment such as weather, habitat types, and human land use. With the advances in positioning and sensor technologies, it is now possible to capture data of animal locations at high spatial and temporal granularities. Likewise, modern technology provides us with an increasing access to large volumes of environmental data, some of which changes on an hourly basis. Although there have been strong developments in computational methods for the analysis of movement in its environmental context, there remain challenges in efficiently linking the spatiotemporal locations of animals with the appropriate environmental conditions along their trajectories. To this end, our new Environmental-Data Automated Track Annotation (Env-DATA) system enhances Movebank, an open portal of animal tracking data, by automating access to environmental variables from global remote sensing, weather, and ecosystem products. The system automates the download and decryption of the data from open web resources of remote sensing and weather data, and provides several interpolation methods from the native grid resolution and structure to a global regular grid linked with the movement tracks in space and time. The system is open and free to any user with movement data. The aim is to facilitate new understanding and predictive capabilities of spatiotemporal patterns of animal movement in response to dynamic and changing environments from local to global scales. The system is illustrated with a series of case studies of pan-American migrations of turkey vultures, and foraging flights of Galapagos Albatross.

  10. Supplanting ecosystem services provided by scavengers raises greenhouse gas emissions

    PubMed Central

    Morales-Reyes, Zebensui; Pérez-García, Juan M.; Moleón, Marcos; Botella, Francisco; Carrete, Martina; Lazcano, Carolina; Moreno-Opo, Rubén; Margalida, Antoni; Donázar, José A.; Sánchez-Zapata, José A.

    2015-01-01

    Global warming due to human-induced increments in atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases (GHG) is one of the most debated topics among environmentalists and politicians worldwide. In this paper we assess a novel source of GHG emissions emerged following a controversial policy decision. After the outbreak of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in Europe, the sanitary regulation required that livestock carcasses were collected from farms and transformed or destroyed in authorised plants, contradicting not only the obligations of member states to conserve scavenger species but also generating unprecedented GHG emission. However, how much of this emission could be prevented in the return to traditional and natural scenario in which scavengers freely remove livestock carcasses is largely unknown. Here we show that, in Spain (home of 95% of European vultures), supplanting the natural removal of dead extensive livestock by scavengers with carcass collection and transport to intermediate and processing plants meant the emission of 77,344 metric tons of CO2 eq. to the atmosphere per year, in addition to annual payments of ca. $50 million to insurance companies. Thus, replacing the ecosystem services provided by scavengers has not only conservation costs, but also important and unnecessary environmental and economic costs. PMID:25589381

  11. In vitro antioxidant activity of non-cultivated vegetables of ethnic Albanians in southern Italy.

    PubMed

    Pieroni, A; Janiak, V; Dürr, C M; Lüdeke, S; Trachsel, E; Heinrich, M

    2002-08-01

    A total of 27 extracts from non-cultivated and weedy vegetables traditionally consumed by ethnic Albanians (Arbëreshë) in the Vulture area (southern Italy) were tested for their free radical scavenging activity (FRSA) in the DPPH (1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazil radical) screening assay, for their in vitro non-enzymatic inhibition of bovine brain lipid peroxidation and for their inhibition of xanthine oxidase (XO). In both antioxidant assays strong activity was shown for Leopoldia comosa (bulbs, syn.: Muscari comosum) and Centaurea calcitrapa (young whorls). In the lipid peroxidation assay, extracts from leaves of Origanum heracleoticum, Urtica dioica and Tordylium apulum showed a remarkable inhibitory activity (> 50%), too. In the case of Leopoldia comosa and Origanum heracleoticum this activity was comparable to quercetin (at a concentration of 50 microM) and Rhodiola rosea extract. Extracts from non-cultivated Cichorium intybus, Chondrilla juncea and Stellaria media showed strong in vitro inhibition of xanthine oxidase, with an activity higher than that of a reference extract from Ledum groenlandicum. These findings suggest that weedy vegetables may be useful antioxidants of interest in the prevention of ageing related diseases, CNS disorders and as potential sources of phytomedicines against hyperuricaemia and gout. PMID:12203269

  12. Large-Scale Age-Dependent Skewed Sex Ratio in a Sexually Dimorphic Avian Scavenger

    PubMed Central

    Lambertucci, Sergio A.; Carrete, Martina; Donázar, José Antonio; Hiraldo, Fernando

    2012-01-01

    Age-dependent skewed sex ratios have been observed in bird populations, with adult males generally outnumbering females. This trend is mainly driven by higher female mortality, sometimes associated with anthropogenic factors. Despite the large amount of work on bird sex ratios, research examining the spatial stability of adult sex ratios is extremely scarce. The Andean condor (Vultur gryphus) is the only bird of prey with strong sexual dimorphism favouring males (males are 30% heavier than females). By examining data from most of its South-American range, we show that while the juvenile sex ratio is balanced, or even female-skewed, the sex ratio becomes increasing male-skewed with age, with adult males outnumbering females by >20%, and, in some cases by four times more. This result is consistent across regions and independent of the nature of field data. Reasons for this are unknown but it can be hypothesized that the progressive disappearance of females may be associated with mortality caused by anthropogenic factors. This idea is supported by the asymmetric habitat use by the two sexes, with females scavenging in more humanized areas. Whatever the cause, male-skewed adult sex ratios imply that populations of this endangered scavenger face higher risks of extinction than previously believed. PMID:23029488

  13. Genetic diversity at neutral and adaptive loci determines individual fitness in a long-lived territorial bird.

    PubMed

    Agudo, Rosa; Carrete, Martina; Alcaide, Miguel; Rico, Ciro; Hiraldo, Fernando; Donázar, José Antonio

    2012-08-22

    There is compelling evidence about the manifest effects of inbreeding depression on individual fitness and populations' risk of extinction. The majority of studies addressing inbreeding depression on wild populations are generally based on indirect measures of inbreeding using neutral markers. However, the study of functional loci, such as genes of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC), is highly recommended. MHC genes constitute an essential component of the immune system of individuals, which is directly related to individual fitness and survival. In this study, we analyse heterozygosity fitness correlations of neutral and adaptive genetic variation (22 microsatellite loci and two loci of the MHC class II, respectively) with the age of recruitment and breeding success of a decimated and geographically isolated population of a long-lived territorial vulture. Our results indicate a negative correlation between neutral genetic diversity and age of recruitment, suggesting that inbreeding may be delaying reproduction. We also found a positive correlation between functional (MHC) genetic diversity and breeding success, together with a specific positive effect of the most frequent pair of cosegregating MHC alleles in the population. Globally, our findings demonstrate that genetic depauperation in small populations has a negative impact on the individual fitness, thus increasing the populations' extinction risk. PMID:22553093

  14. The collection and database of Birds of Angola hosted at IICT (Instituto de Investigação Científica Tropical), Lisboa, Portugal.

    PubMed

    Monteiro, Miguel; Reino, Luís; Beja, Pedro; Mills, Michael Stuart Lyne; Bastos-Silveira, Cristiane; Ramos, Manuela; Rodrigues, Diana; Neves, Isabel Queirós; Consciência, Susana; Figueira, Rui

    2014-01-01

    The bird collection of the Instituto de Investigação Cientítica Tropical (Lisbon, Portugal) holds 5598 preserved specimens (skins), mainly from Angola, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, São Tomé and Principe, and Cape Verde. The subset collection from Angola includes 1560 specimens, which were taxonomically revised and georeferenced for the publication of this data paper. The collection contains a total of 522 taxa, including 161 species and 361 subspecies. Two species are classified by the IUCN Red List as Endangered - the wattled crane (Grus carunculata) and the Gabela bush-shrike (Laniarius amboimensis) - and two are classified as vulnerable - African penguin (Spheniscus demersus) and the white-headed vulture (Trigonoceps occipitalis). The temporal span of the database ranges between 1943 and 1979, but 32% are from years 1958-1959, and 25% from years 1968-1969. The spatial coverage of the collection is uneven, with 2/3 of the records representing only four of the eighteen provinces of the country, namely Huíla, Moxico, Namibe and Cuanza Sul. It adds, however, valuable information for the Huíla area of the Angolan Scarp, which is probably a biodiversity hotspot of global conservation priority. Furthermore, this georeferenced database adds invaluable bird information to the GBIF network, for one of the countries with highest but less known biodiversity in Africa. PMID:24693221

  15. Experimental oral inoculations in birds to evaluate potential definitive hosts of Neospora caninum.

    PubMed

    Baker, D G; Morishita, T Y; Brooks, D L; Shen, S K; Lindsay, D S; Dubey, J P

    1995-10-01

    Experimental oral inoculations to evaluate potential definitive hosts of Neospora caninum were conducted by feeding infected rodent tissues to 9 carnivorous birds of 4 species. Birds included 2 red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis), 2 turkey vultures (Cathartes aura), 2 barn owls (Tyto alba), and 3 American crows (Corvus brachyrhynchus). The rodents (mice or rats) had been inoculated with 100,000 culture-derived tachyzoites of N. caninum 1-6 mo before feeding to the birds. Fecal samples were collected from each bird daily for 1 mo after feeding rodents and examined for oocysts by fecal flotation. In addition, processed aliquots from all avian fecal samples were fed to BALB/c mice. Five weeks after feeding, mice were bled and sera were tested for antibodies against N. caninum. One to two months later, mice were killed and brain tissue was examined microscopically for protozoal cysts. While occasional oocysts were found in avian fecal samples, these were likely not N. caninum because they were not infective to BALB/c mice. It was concluded that the bird species tested are not likely to be definitive hosts of N. caninum. PMID:7472875

  16. Effect of ACTH on plasma corticosterone and cortisol in eagles and condors

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zenoble, R.D.; Kemppainen, R.J.; Young, D.W.; Carpenter, J.W.

    1985-01-01

    The effect of ACTH on plasma corticosterone and cortisol was determined in 12 eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) and in 6 Andean condors (Vultur gryphus). In all raptors, the concentration of plasma corticosterone was substantially greater than that of cortisol. After ACTH administration, the eagles had a marked increase (P less than 0.001) in plasma corticosterone concentrations, but not in plasma cortisol. Administration of saline solution did not induce increased plasma corticosterone concentrations in the eagles. The condors had a smaller increase (P less than 0.002) in plasma corticosterone concentrations after ACTH administration, as compared with that of the eagles. However, administration of saline solution in 2 condors resulted in an increase in corticosterone similar to the increase after ACTH administration. In the condor, a stress-related release of endogenous ACTH may have an effect similar to that induced by exogenously administered ACTH. Plasma cortisol concentrations did not increase significantly after administration of ACTH or saline solution in either raptor species.

  17. Lead poisoning in upland-foraging birds of prey in Canada.

    PubMed

    Clark, A J; Scheuhammer, A M

    2003-01-01

    We examined the degree of lead exposure, based on tissue-lead concentrations, in 184 raptors of 16 species found dead across Canada. The most prevalent species available for examination were Red-tailed hawks, Great horned owls, and Golden eagles (n = 131). The majority of individuals examined had very low lead accumulation, however 3-4% of total mortality in these 3 most commonly encountered species was attributed to lead poisoning. In addition, 1 of 9 Bald Eagles found dead far from aquatic environments was lead poisoned; and a single Turkey Vulture had a highly elevated bone-lead concentration (58 microg/g dry weight). Evidence from our study, along with other published research, indicates that upland-foraging birds of prey and scavengers that typically include game birds and mammals in their diets, are at risk for lead poisoning from the ingestion of lead projectiles from ammunition used in upland hunting. The use of non-lead ammunition for hunting upland game would effectively remove the only serious source of high lead exposure and lead poisoning for upland-foraging raptors. PMID:12739854

  18. Promethean medicine: spirituality, stem cells, and cloning.

    PubMed

    Sulmasy, Daniel P

    2006-12-01

    Every ethos implies a mythos. That is, every ethical system depends upon some fundamental story disclosing its assumptions about human nature, freedom, good and evil, and the workings of the universe. A romanticized version of the myth of Prometheus, who stole fire from the gods and was punished by being chained to a rock and having his liver plucked out by vultures, seems to under-gird much of contemporary healthcare. Christianity offers a different view--one in which the universe is not a zero sum game and human beings do not need to steal fire because God has already freely given them all the fire they need in Christ and in his spirit. A critical virtue for physicians, taught by Christianity, is sagacious engagement--the ability to engage the world practically, discerning what can and should be changed and what should be accepted as unchangeable and given. The illusory quest for immortality through the practice of regenerative medicine using stem cells is a gross violation of that virtue. PMID:17233215

  19. Supplanting ecosystem services provided by scavengers raises greenhouse gas emissions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morales-Reyes, Zebensui; Pérez-García, Juan M.; Moleón, Marcos; Botella, Francisco; Carrete, Martina; Lazcano, Carolina; Moreno-Opo, Rubén; Margalida, Antoni; Donázar, José A.; Sánchez-Zapata, José A.

    2015-01-01

    Global warming due to human-induced increments in atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases (GHG) is one of the most debated topics among environmentalists and politicians worldwide. In this paper we assess a novel source of GHG emissions emerged following a controversial policy decision. After the outbreak of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in Europe, the sanitary regulation required that livestock carcasses were collected from farms and transformed or destroyed in authorised plants, contradicting not only the obligations of member states to conserve scavenger species but also generating unprecedented GHG emission. However, how much of this emission could be prevented in the return to traditional and natural scenario in which scavengers freely remove livestock carcasses is largely unknown. Here we show that, in Spain (home of 95% of European vultures), supplanting the natural removal of dead extensive livestock by scavengers with carcass collection and transport to intermediate and processing plants meant the emission of 77,344 metric tons of CO2 eq. to the atmosphere per year, in addition to annual payments of ca. $50 million to insurance companies. Thus, replacing the ecosystem services provided by scavengers has not only conservation costs, but also important and unnecessary environmental and economic costs.

  20. From daily movements to population distributions: weather affects competitive ability in a guild of soaring birds.

    PubMed

    Shepard, Emily L C; Lambertucci, Sergio A

    2013-11-01

    The ability of many animals to access and exploit food is dependent on the ability to move. In the case of scavenging birds, which use soaring flight to locate and exploit ephemeral resources, the cost and speed of movement vary with meteorological factors. These factors are likely to modify the nature of interspecific interactions, as well as individual movement capacity, although the former are less well understood. We used aeronautical models to examine how soaring performance varies with weather within a guild of scavenging birds and the consequences this has for access to a common resource. Birds could be divided broadly into those with low wing loading that are more competitive in conditions with weak updraughts and low winds (black vultures and caracaras), and those with high wing loading that are well adapted for soaring in strong updraughts and moderate to high winds (Andean condors). Spatial trends in meteorological factors seem to confine scavengers with high wing loading to the mountains where they out-compete other birds; a trend that is borne out in worldwide distributions of the largest species. However, model predictions and carcass observations suggest that the competitive ability of these and other birds varies with meteorological conditions in areas where distributions overlap. This challenges the view that scavenging guilds are structured by fixed patterns of dominance and suggests that competitive ability varies across spatial and temporal scales, which may ultimately be a mechanism promoting diversity among aerial scavengers. PMID:24026471

  1. Effects of exotic fish farms on bird communities in lake and marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Jiménez, Jaime E; Arriagada, Aldo M; Fontúrbel, Francisco E; Camus, Patricio A; Avila-Thieme, M Isidora

    2013-08-01

    Salmon farming is a widespread activity around the world, also known to promote diverse environmental effects on aquatic ecosystems. However, information regarding the impact of salmon farming on bird assemblages is notably scarce. We hypothesize that salmon farming, by providing food subsidies and physical structures to birds, will change their local community structure. To test this hypothesis, we conducted a seasonal monitoring of bird richness, abundance, and composition at paired salmon pen and control plots in two marine and two lake sites in southern Chile, from fall 2002 to summer 2004. Overall, salmon farming had no significant effects on species richness, but bird abundance was significantly and noticeably higher in salmon pens than in controls. Such aggregation was mainly accounted for by the trophic guilds of omnivores, diving piscivores, carrion eaters, and perching piscivores, but not by invertebrate feeders, herbivores, and surface feeders. Species composition was also significantly and persistently different between salmon pens and controls within each lake or marine locality. The patterns described above remained consistent across environment types and seasons indicating that salmon farming is changing the community structure of birds in both lake and marine habitats by promoting functional and aggregation responses, particularly by favoring species with broader niches. Such local patterns may thus anticipate potential threats from the ongoing expansion of the salmon industry to neighboring areas in Chile, resulting in regional changes of bird communities, toward a less diverse one and dominated by opportunistic, common, and generalist species such as gulls, vultures, and cormorants. PMID:23817947

  2. Inter-specific interactions linking predation and scavenging in terrestrial vertebrate assemblages.

    PubMed

    Moleón, Marcos; Sánchez-Zapata, José A; Selva, Nuria; Donázar, José A; Owen-Smith, Norman

    2014-11-01

    Predation and scavenging have been classically understood as independent processes, with predator-prey interactions and scavenger-carrion relationships occurring separately. However, the mere recognition that most predators also scavenge at variable rates, which has been traditionally ignored in food-web and community ecology, leads to a number of emergent interaction routes linking predation and scavenging. The general goal of this review is to draw attention to the main inter-specific interactions connecting predators (particularly, large mammalian carnivores), their live prey (mainly ungulates), vultures and carrion production in terrestrial assemblages of vertebrates. Overall, we report an intricate network of both direct (competition, facilitation) and indirect (hyperpredation, hypopredation) processes, and provide a conceptual framework for the future development of this promising topic in ecological, evolutionary and biodiversity conservation research. The classic view that scavenging does not affect the population dynamics of consumed organisms is questioned, as multiple indirect top-down effects emerge when considering carrion and its facultative consumption by predators as fundamental and dynamic components of food webs. Stimulating although challenging research opportunities arise from the study of the interactions among living and detrital or non-living resource pools in food webs. PMID:24602047

  3. Seismic structure of the southern Apennines as revealed by waveform modelling of regional surface waves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ökeler, Ahmet; Gu, Yu Jeffrey; Lerner-Lam, Arthur; Steckler, Michael S.

    2009-09-01

    We investigate the crust and upper-mantle structures beneath the southern Apennine mountain chain using three-component seismograms from the Calabria-Apennine-Tyrrhenian/Subduction-Collision-Accretion Network (CAT/SCAN) array. Surface wave waveforms from three moderate-sized (Mw > 5.0) regional earthquakes are modelled using multiple frequencies (0.03-0.06 and 0.05-0.2 Hz) and both forward and linearized-inversion algorithms. Our best-fitting shear velocity models clearly reflect the major tectonic units where, for example, the average seismic structure at depths above 50 km beneath Apulia is substantially faster than beneath the Apennine mountain chain. We identify a prominent low-velocity channel under the mountain belt at depths below ~25-30 km and a secondary low-velocity zone at 6-12 km depth near Mt Vulture (a once active volcano). Speed variations between Love and Rayleigh waves provide further constraints on the fabric and dynamic processes. Our analysis indicates that the crustal low-velocity zones are highly anisotropic (maximum 14 per cent) and allow transversely polarized shear waves to travel faster than vertically polarized shear waves. The upper crustal anomaly reveals a layer of highly deformed rocks caused by past collisions and by the active normal faults cutting across the thrust sheets, whereas hot mantle upwelling may be responsible for a high-temperature, partially molten lower crust beneath the southern Apennines.

  4. Assessing the impact of removal scenarios on population viability of a threatened, long-lived avian scavenger

    PubMed Central

    Margalida, Antoni; Colomer, Mª Àngels; Oro, Daniel; Arlettaz, Raphaël; Donázar, José A.

    2015-01-01

    The removal of eggs or chicks from wild populations to create captive populations, reinforce free-ranging populations or reintroduce species into the wild is a restoration tool that requires an assessment of potential detrimental effects upon the donor population. This is an absolute prerequisite when wild donor populations are scarce and small. Here, we forecast the population trend of the largest European population of the bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) over the next 30 years under different demographic and management scenarios (removal of eggs, chicks or fledglings). Projections derived from the combination of a PDP model (Population Dynamic P-system) and a Box-Behnken design would lead to a decline in 77% of all 57 scenarios analysed. Among the 13 scenarios predicting a population increase, only 4 seem realistic in terms of growth rate (0.04%–1.01%), at least if current age at first breeding and productivity would remain constant over time. Our simulations thus suggest that most extraction scenarios would have detrimental effects on the demography of the donor population. Release of captive-born young or removal of only the second hatched chick for subsequent captive rearing and translocation into the wild appear to represent much better supplementation and reintroduction options in this threatened species. PMID:26593059

  5. Biomimetic novelty detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ma, Lein W.; Szu, Harold

    2010-04-01

    In the crowded rain forest, how do animals locate camouflaged prey that resemble the environment, such as walking sticks? Birds will observe the suspected stick over a period of time to determine if its behavior matches that of a tree. If the stick's behavior exceeds normal tree behavior, such as moving faster than the other branches, the bird will determine that it is actually a walking stick and not a tree branch. Once this determination is made, they will prey on the insect. Studying this natural process of novelty detection, present in a variety of animals from birds to turkey vultures, can be beneficial for numerous human applications. The spatiotemporal novelty detector will be developed using self-referencing matched filters to go beyond auto-regression. This algorithm is more than the usual change detector for it will detect a novelty behavior that exceeds its predicted value based on past data, e.g. the bird who identifies a walking stick in the forest. A scalar model is presented; however, the application can be expanded to multiple modalities for more detailed applications. Some of these applications include gas pipeline leak detection, persistent surveillance, and the creation of a smart sensor web.

  6. Assessing the exposure risk and impacts of pharmaceuticals in the environment on individuals and ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Arnold, Kathryn E; Boxall, Alistair B A; Brown, A Ross; Cuthbert, Richard J; Gaw, Sally; Hutchinson, Thomas H; Jobling, Susan; Madden, Judith C; Metcalfe, Chris D; Naidoo, Vinny; Shore, Richard F; Smits, Judit E; Taggart, Mark A; Thompson, Helen M

    2013-08-23

    The use of human and veterinary pharmaceuticals is increasing. Over the past decade, there has been a proliferation of research into potential environmental impacts of pharmaceuticals in the environment. A Royal Society-supported seminar brought together experts from diverse scientific fields to discuss the risks posed by pharmaceuticals to wildlife. Recent analytical advances have revealed that pharmaceuticals are entering habitats via water, sewage, manure and animal carcases, and dispersing through food chains. Pharmaceuticals are designed to alter physiology at low doses and so can be particularly potent contaminants. The near extinction of Asian vultures following exposure to diclofenac is the key example where exposure to a pharmaceutical caused a population-level impact on non-target wildlife. However, more subtle changes to behaviour and physiology are rarely studied and poorly understood. Grand challenges for the future include developing more realistic exposure assessments for wildlife, assessing the impacts of mixtures of pharmaceuticals in combination with other environmental stressors and estimating the risks from pharmaceutical manufacturing and usage in developing countries. We concluded that an integration of diverse approaches is required to predict 'unexpected' risks; specifically, ecologically relevant, often long-term and non-lethal, consequences of pharmaceuticals in the environment for wildlife and ecosystems. PMID:23804293

  7. Avian risk behavior and fatalities at the Altamont Wind Resource Area: March 1998 - February 1999

    SciTech Connect

    Thelander, C.; Rugge, L.

    2000-05-08

    Since 1981, more than 7,000 wind turbines have been installed in the Altamont Wind Resource Area in north-central California. Currently, about 5,000 turbines are operating. Past research efforts demonstrated that wind turbines frequently kill birds, especially raptors. Little is known about the specific flight and perching behaviors by birds near wind turbines. A better understanding of these interactions may one day yield insights on how to minimize bird fatalities. This Phase 1 progress report summarizes research findings obtained at 20 study plots totaling 785 turbines of various configurations and conducted between March 1998 and February 1999. The authors examined bird use and behaviors and collected data on fatalities at the same turbines throughout the course of the surveys. They completed 745 30-minute point counts (1,702 bird observations) that quantified bird risk behaviors and bird use of the study plots. The four most frequently observed bird species were red-tailed hawks, common ravens, turkey vultures, and golden eagles. During the same period, the authors recorded 95 bird fatalities. Raptors represent 51% (n=49) of the kills found. The data indicate that the relative abundance of species observed does not predict the relative frequency of fatalities per species. Phase II of the research is underway.

  8. Shape similarities and differences in the skulls of scavenging raptors.

    PubMed

    Guangdi, S I; Dong, Yiyi; Ma, Yujun; Zhang, Zihui

    2015-04-01

    Feeding adaptations are a conspicuous feature of avian evolution. Bill and cranial shape as well as the jaw muscles are closely related to diet choice and feeding behaviors. Diurnal raptors of Falconiformes exhibit a wide range of foraging behaviors and prey preferences, and are assigned to seven dietary groups in this study. Skulls of 156 species are compared from the dorsal, lateral and ventral views, by using geometric morphometric techniques with those landmarks capturing as much information as possible on the overall shape of cranium, bill, orbits, nostrils and attachment area for different jaw muscles. The morphometric data showed that the skull shape of scavengers differ significantly from other raptors, primarily because of different feeding adaptations. As a result of convergent evolution, different scavengers share generalized common morphology, possessing relatively slender and lower skulls, longer bills, smaller and more sideward orbits, and more caudally positioned quadrates. Significant phylogenetic signals suggested that phylogeny also played important role in shape variation within scavengers. New World vultures can be distinguished by their large nostrils, narrow crania and small orbits; Caracaras typically show large palatines, crania and orbits, as well as short, deep and sharp bill. PMID:25826066

  9. Endurance running and its relevance to scavenging by early hominins.

    PubMed

    Ruxton, Graeme D; Wilkinson, David M

    2013-03-01

    It has been argued that endurance running ability may have been important in hominin evolution, giving hominins an enhanced ability to scavenge by allowing them to reach carcasses before other terrestrial vertebrate scavengers. This would have allowed them to exploit the carcass before eventually surrendering it on the arrival of potentially dangerous large terrestrial scavengers. Here, we use a simple spatial model to evaluate the ability of competitors to hominin scavengers to find carcasses. We argue that both hominin and nonhominin terrestrial scavengers would often first have been alerted to available carcasses by overflying aerial scavengers. Our model estimates that nonhominin scavengers will generally be able to reach the carcass within 30 min of detecting a plume of vultures above a nearby carcass. We argue that endurance running over periods greater than 30 min would not have provided a selective advantage to early hominins through increased scavenging opportunities. However, shorter distance running may have been selected, particularly if hominins could defend or usurp carcasses from other mammalian scavengers. PMID:23461334

  10. Table scraps: inter-trophic food provisioning by pumas.

    PubMed

    Elbroch, L Mark; Wittmer, Heiko U

    2012-10-23

    Large carnivores perform keystone ecological functions through direct predation, or indirectly, through food subsidies to scavengers or trophic cascades driven by their influence on the distributions of their prey. Pumas (Puma concolor) are an elusive, cryptic species difficult to study and little is known about their inter-trophic-level interactions in natural communities. Using new GPS technology, we discovered that pumas in Patagonia provided 232 ± 31 kg of edible meat/month/100 km(2) to near-threatened Andean condors (Vultur gryphus) and other members of a diverse scavenger community. This is up to 3.1 times the contributions by wolves (Canis lupus) to communities in Yellowstone National Park, USA, and highlights the keystone role large, solitary felids play in natural systems. These findings are more pertinent than ever, for managers increasingly advocate controlling pumas and other large felids to bolster prey populations and mitigate concerns over human and livestock safety, without a full understanding of the potential ecological consequences of their actions. PMID:22696284

  11. Anthrax in the Gambia: an epidemiological study

    PubMed Central

    Heyworth, B; Ropp, M E; Voos, U G; Meinel, H I; Darlow, H M

    1975-01-01

    Epidemiological data on 448 cases of human cutaneous anthrax from the Gambia showed that this particular strain of anthrax bacillus causes widespread morbidity and some mortality with, at the same time, subclinical infection. Analysis also showed that anthrax is not an occupationally related disease in the Gambia. The possibility of human-to-human spread, affecting all age groups and both sexes, by means of a communal toilet article was also shown. The fact that the strain is a good toxin producer but contains a weak antigen may have accounted for the repeated clinical infection and the fact that antibody titres were generally transient. Subclinical infection in animals was also found, particularly in sheep and goats, and also, with an unusually low mortality, in cows. Insect vectors were not excluded, but were unlikely. Vultures may spread the disease from village to village. Some possible public health and immunization procedures are discussed, with a view to containing this difficult problem in this part of west Africa. PMID:810213

  12. The diversity and biogeography of late Pleistocene birds from the lowland Neotropics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steadman, David W.; Oswald, Jessica A.; Rincón, Ascanio D.

    2015-05-01

    The Neotropical lowlands sustain the world's richest bird communities, yet little that we know about their history is based on paleontology. Fossils afford a way to investigate distributional shifts in individual species, and thus improve our understanding of long-term change in Neotropical bird communities. We report a species-rich avian fossil sample from a late Pleistocene tar seep (Mene de Inciarte) in northwestern Venezuela. A mere 175 identified fossils from Mene de Inciarte represent 73 species of birds, among which six are extinct, and eight others no longer occur within 100 km. These 14 species consist mainly of ducks (Anatidae), snipe (Scolopacidae), vultures/condors (Vulturidae), hawks/eagles (Accipitridae), and blackbirds (Icteridae). Neotropical bird communities were richer in the late Pleistocene than today; their considerable extinction may be related to collapse of the large mammal fauna at that time. The species assemblage at Mene de Inciarte suggests that biogeographic patterns, even at continental scales, have been remarkably labile over short geological time frames. Mene de Inciarte is but one of 300 + tar seeps in Venezuela, only two of which have been explored for fossils. We may be on the cusp of an exciting new era of avian paleontology in the Neotropics.

  13. Causes of mortality and unintentional poisoning in predatory and scavenging birds in California

    PubMed Central

    Kelly, Terra R.; Poppenga, Robert H.; Woods, Leslie A.; Hernandez, Yvette Z.; Boyce, Walter M.; Samaniego, Francisco J.; Torres, Steve G.; Johnson, Christine K.

    2014-01-01

    Objectives We documented causes of mortality in an opportunistic sample of golden eagles, turkey vultures and common ravens, and assessed exposure to several contaminants that have been found in carrion and common prey for these species. Methods Dead birds were submitted for testing through wildlife rehabilitation centres and a network of wildlife biologists in California from 2007 to 2009. Results The leading causes of mortality in this study were collision-related trauma (63 per cent), lead intoxication (17 per cent) and anticoagulant rodenticide poisoning (8 per cent). Elevated liver lead concentration (≥2 µg/g) and bone lead concentration (>6 µg/g) were detected in 25 and 49 per cent of birds tested, respectively. Approximately 84 per cent of birds tested had detectable rodenticide residues. The majority of rodenticide exposure occurred in peri-urban areas, suggesting that retail sale and use of commensal rodent baits, particularly in residential and semi-residential areas in California, may provide a pathway of exposure. Conclusions Monitoring anthropogenic causes of mortality in predatory and scavenging bird species provides important data needed to inform on mitigation and regulatory efforts aimed at reducing threats to these populations. PMID:26392875

  14. Energy Beyond Food: Foraging Theory Informs Time Spent in Thermals by a Large Soaring Bird

    PubMed Central

    Shepard, Emily L. C.; Lambertucci, Sergio A.; Wilson, Rory P.

    2011-01-01

    Current understanding of how animals search for and exploit food resources is based on microeconomic models. Although widely used to examine feeding, such constructs should inform other energy-harvesting situations where theoretical assumptions are met. In fact, some animals extract non-food forms of energy from the environment, such as birds that soar in updraughts. This study examined whether the gains in potential energy (altitude) followed efficiency-maximising predictions in the world's heaviest soaring bird, the Andean condor (Vultur gryphus). Animal-attached technology was used to record condor flight paths in three-dimensions. Tracks showed that time spent in patchy thermals was broadly consistent with a strategy to maximise the rate of potential energy gain. However, the rate of climb just prior to leaving a thermal increased with thermal strength and exit altitude. This suggests higher rates of energetic gain may not be advantageous where the resulting gain in altitude would lead to a reduction in the ability to search the ground for food. Consequently, soaring behaviour appeared to be modulated by the need to reconcile differing potential energy and food energy distributions. We suggest that foraging constructs may provide insight into the exploitation of non-food energy forms, and that non-food energy distributions may be more important in informing patterns of movement and residency over a range of scales than previously considered. PMID:22087301

  15. Net Effects of Ecotourism on Threatened Species Survival

    PubMed Central

    Buckley, Ralf C.; Morrison, Clare; Castley, J. Guy

    2016-01-01

    Many threatened species rely on ecotourism for conservation funding, but simultaneously suffer direct ecological impacts from ecotourism. For a range of IUCN-Redlisted terrestrial and marine bird and mammal species worldwide, we use population viability analyses to calculate the net effects of ecotourism on expected time to extinction, in the presence of other anthropogenic threats such as poaching, primary industries and habitat loss. Species for which these calculations are currently possible, for one or more subpopulations, include: orangutan, hoolock gibbon, golden lion tamarin, cheetah, African wild dog, New Zealand sealion, great green macaw, Egyptian vulture, and African penguin. For some but not all of these species, tourism can extend expected survival time, i.e., benefits outweigh impacts. Precise outcomes depend strongly on population parameters and starting sizes, predation, and ecotourism scale and mechanisms. Tourism does not currently overcome other major conservation threats associated with natural resource extractive industries. Similar calculations for other threatened species are currently limited by lack of basic population data. PMID:26886876

  16. Nuisance ecology: do scavenging condors exact foraging costs on pumas in Patagonia?

    PubMed

    Elbroch, L Mark; Wittmer, Heiko U

    2013-01-01

    Predation risk describes the energetic cost an animal suffers when making a trade off between maximizing energy intake and minimizing threats to its survival. We tested whether Andean condors (Vultur gryphus) influenced the foraging behaviors of a top predator in Patagonia, the puma (Puma concolor), in ways comparable to direct risks of predation for prey to address three questions: 1) Do condors exact a foraging cost on pumas?; 2) If so, do pumas exhibit behaviors indicative of these risks?; and 3) Do pumas display predictable behaviors associated with prey species foraging in risky environments? Using GPS location data, we located 433 kill sites of 9 pumas and quantified their kill rates. Based upon time pumas spent at a carcass, we quantified handling time. Pumas abandoned >10% of edible meat at 133 of 266 large carcasses after a single night, and did so most often in open grasslands where their carcasses were easily detected by condors. Our data suggested that condors exacted foraging costs on pumas by significantly decreasing puma handling times at carcasses, and that pumas increased their kill rates by 50% relative to those reported for North America to compensate for these losses. Finally, we determined that the relative risks of detection and associated harassment by condors, rather than prey densities, explained puma "giving up times" (GUTs) across structurally variable risk classes in the study area, and that, like many prey species, pumas disproportionately hunted in high-risk, high-resource reward areas. PMID:23301093

  17. Supplanting ecosystem services provided by scavengers raises greenhouse gas emissions.

    PubMed

    Morales-Reyes, Zebensui; Pérez-García, Juan M; Moleón, Marcos; Botella, Francisco; Carrete, Martina; Lazcano, Carolina; Moreno-Opo, Rubén; Margalida, Antoni; Donázar, José A; Sánchez-Zapata, José A

    2015-01-01

    Global warming due to human-induced increments in atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases (GHG) is one of the most debated topics among environmentalists and politicians worldwide. In this paper we assess a novel source of GHG emissions emerged following a controversial policy decision. After the outbreak of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in Europe, the sanitary regulation required that livestock carcasses were collected from farms and transformed or destroyed in authorised plants, contradicting not only the obligations of member states to conserve scavenger species but also generating unprecedented GHG emission. However, how much of this emission could be prevented in the return to traditional and natural scenario in which scavengers freely remove livestock carcasses is largely unknown. Here we show that, in Spain (home of 95% of European vultures), supplanting the natural removal of dead extensive livestock by scavengers with carcass collection and transport to intermediate and processing plants meant the emission of 77,344 metric tons of CO2 eq. to the atmosphere per year, in addition to annual payments of ca. $50 million to insurance companies. Thus, replacing the ecosystem services provided by scavengers has not only conservation costs, but also important and unnecessary environmental and economic costs. PMID:25589381

  18. Interspecific Comparison of the Performance of Soaring Migrants in Relation to Morphology, Meteorological Conditions and Migration Strategies

    PubMed Central

    Mellone, Ugo; Klaassen, Raymond H. G.; García-Ripollés, Clara; Limiñana, Ruben; López-López, Pascual; Pavón, Diego; Strandberg, Roine; Urios, Vicente; Vardakis, Michalis; Alerstam, Thomas

    2012-01-01

    Background Performance of migrating birds can be affected by a number of intrinsic and extrinsic factors like morphology, meteorological conditions and migration strategies. We compared travel speeds of four raptor species during their crossing of the Sahara desert. Focusing the analyses on this region allows us to compare different species under equivalent conditions in order to disentangle which factors affect migratory performance. Methodology/Principal Finding We tracked raptors using GPS satellite transmitters from Sweden, Spain and Italy, and evaluated their migratory performance at both an hourly and a daily scale. Hourly data (flight speed and altitude for intervals of two hours) were analyzed in relation to time of day, species and season, and daily data (distance between roosting sites) in relation to species, season, day length and tailwind support. Conclusions/Significance Despite a clear variation in morphology, interspecific differences were generally very small, and did only arise in spring, with long-distance migrants (>5000 km: osprey and Western marsh-harrier) being faster than species that migrate shorter distances (Egyptian vulture and short-toed eagle). Our results suggest that the most important factor explaining hourly variation in flight speed is time of day, while at a daily scale, tailwind support is the most important factor explaining variation in daily distance, raising new questions about the consequences of possible future changes in worldwide wind patterns. PMID:22768314

  19. Effects of exotic fish farms on bird communities in lake and marine ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiménez, Jaime E.; Arriagada, Aldo M.; Fontúrbel, Francisco E.; Camus, Patricio A.; Ávila-Thieme, M. Isidora

    2013-08-01

    Salmon farming is a widespread activity around the world, also known to promote diverse environmental effects on aquatic ecosystems. However, information regarding the impact of salmon farming on bird assemblages is notably scarce. We hypothesize that salmon farming, by providing food subsidies and physical structures to birds, will change their local community structure. To test this hypothesis, we conducted a seasonal monitoring of bird richness, abundance, and composition at paired salmon pen and control plots in two marine and two lake sites in southern Chile, from fall 2002 to summer 2004. Overall, salmon farming had no significant effects on species richness, but bird abundance was significantly and noticeably higher in salmon pens than in controls. Such aggregation was mainly accounted for by the trophic guilds of omnivores, diving piscivores, carrion eaters, and perching piscivores, but not by invertebrate feeders, herbivores, and surface feeders. Species composition was also significantly and persistently different between salmon pens and controls within each lake or marine locality. The patterns described above remained consistent across environment types and seasons indicating that salmon farming is changing the community structure of birds in both lake and marine habitats by promoting functional and aggregation responses, particularly by favoring species with broader niches. Such local patterns may thus anticipate potential threats from the ongoing expansion of the salmon industry to neighboring areas in Chile, resulting in regional changes of bird communities, toward a less diverse one and dominated by opportunistic, common, and generalist species such as gulls, vultures, and cormorants.

  20. Diversity of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Strains Isolated from Two Italian Wine-Producing Regions.

    PubMed

    Capece, Angela; Granchi, Lisa; Guerrini, Simona; Mangani, Silvia; Romaniello, Rossana; Vincenzini, Massimo; Romano, Patrizia

    2016-01-01

    Numerous studies, based on different molecular techniques analyzing DNA polymorphism, have provided evidence that indigenous Saccharomyces cerevisiae populations display biogeographic patterns. Since the differentiated populations of S. cerevisiae seem to be responsible for the regional identity of wine, the aim of this work was to assess a possible relationship between the diversity and the geographical origin of indigenous S. cerevisiae isolates from two different Italian wine-producing regions (Tuscany and Basilicata). For this purpose, sixty-three isolates from Aglianico del Vulture grape must (main cultivar in the Basilicata region) and from Sangiovese grape must (main cultivar in the Tuscany region) were characterized genotypically, by mitochondrial DNA restriction analysis and MSP-PCR by using (GTG)5 primers, and phenotypically, by determining technological properties and metabolic compounds of oenological interest after alcoholic fermentation. All the S. cerevisiae isolates from each region were inoculated both in must obtained from Aglianico grape and in must obtained from Sangiovese grape to carry out fermentations at laboratory-scale. Numerical analysis of DNA patterns resulting from both molecular methods and principal component analysis of phenotypic data demonstrated a high diversity among the S. cerevisiae strains. Moreover, a correlation between genotypic and phenotypic groups and geographical origin of the strains was found, supporting the concept that there can be a microbial aspect to terroir. Therefore, exploring the diversity of indigenous S. cerevisiae strains can allow developing tailored strategies to select wine yeast strains better adapted to each viticultural area. PMID:27446054

  1. Distribution of anomalously high K2O volcanic rocks in Arizona: Metasomatism at the Picacho Peak detachment fault

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brooks, William E.

    1986-04-01

    Metasomatized Tertiary lavas with anomalously high K2O and low Na2O content are distributed within the northwest-trending Miocene extensional terrane of southwestern Arizona. These rocks are common near core-complex related detachment faults at Picacho Peak and the Harcuvar Mountains and in listric-faulted terrane at the Vulture Mountains. In addition to systematic changes in K2O and Na2O, the rocks have been enriched in Zr and depleted in MgO. Secondary, introduced minerals include orthoclase, quartz, and calcite. Fine-grained, euhedral orthoclase (var. adularia), from 2 to 10 μm, is the dominant potassium mineral. Metasomatic changes at Picacho Peak are spatially associated with a major detachment fault. Thus, it is interpreted that detachment provided a conduit for hydrothermal fluids that altered the initial chemical composition of the Tertiary volcanics by potassium metasomatism and charged the upper-plate rocks with mineralizing fluids that carried Zr and Ba, along with Au, Ag, and Cu, during detachment 17 18 Ma.

  2. The last 30,000 years of faunal history within the Grand Canyon, Arizona

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mead, Jim I.

    1981-05-01

    The vertebrate fauna of the last 30,000 radiocarbon years in the Grand Canyon is reviewed. Faunas accompanied with 92 14C dates have been analyzed from nine cave sites (four systematically excavated) and 50 packrat middens. Reasonably precise chronological and environmental data of late Pleistocene and Holocene age were obtained through dung studies in Rampart, Muav, and Stanton's Caves; from the numerous packrat middens; and from a ringtail refuse deposit in Vulture Cave. The desert tortoise, 8 species of lizards, 12 species of snakes, 68 species of birds, and 33 species of mammals are identified. Extinct animals include the avian carrion feeder, Teratornis merriami, and the mammalian herbivores, Oreamnos harringtoni, Camelops cf. hesternus, Equus sp., and Nothrotheriops shastense. There is no apparent abrupt end to the late Pleistocene as observed in the Grand Canyon fossil faunal or floral record. Animal and plant taxa of the Grand Canyon responded individually to the changes in climate of the last 30,000 yr. Both animal and plant fossil assemblages indicate that a pre-full glacial, a full glacial, and a late glacial woodland community with many less dominant desert taxa were slowly replaced by a Holocene desert community. All woodland taxa were absent from the lower elevations of the Grand Canyon by 8500 yr B.P.

  3. Provenance and tectonic implications of heavy minerals in Pliocene-Pleistocene siliciclastic sediments of the southern Apennines, Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Acquafredda, P.; Fornelli, A.; Piccarreta, G.; Summa, V.

    1997-10-01

    During the late Tortonian-Pleistocene, rifting in the Tyrrhenian region and compression in the Apennines coexisted, with an eastward migration of the rift basin-thrust belt-foredeep systems. In a northwest-southeast area of the southern Apennine Pliocene deposits, accumulated in piggy-back basins, and Pliocene-Pleistocene sediments deposited in the foredeep basins, are contiguous. Here our attention is focused on the heavy minerals, which are sensitive indicators of source rocks. Garnet, blue amphibole, staurolite, clinopyroxene, epidote have been analysed and compared with the minerals of the likely protoliths. Blue amphibole and staurolite derive from Early Miocene 'Tufiti di Tusa e Arenarie di Corleto' Formation; pyroxenes derive from Pleistocene Vulture volcanics and, possibly from Pliocene volcaniclastic strata cropping out in Basilicata. Interestingly, blue amphibole and staurolite, present in the Early Miocene volcanolithic and quartzofeldspathic sandstones of the 'Tufiti di Tusa e Arenarie di Corleto' Formation, are absent in Tortonian siliciclastic strata, but appear again in Pliocene-Pleistocene siliciclastic sediments. The space-time distribution of these minerals was controlled by important morphostructural modifications affecting the southern Apennine thrust belt.

  4. Crystal chemistry of diagenetic zeolites in volcanoclastic deposits of Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Passaglia, Elio; Vezzalini, Giovanna

    1985-07-01

    Zeolites from the most important volcanoclastic deposits of Italy include: (1) phillipsite and heulandite from the cinerite of the central northern Apennines; (2) chabazite and phillipsite from the phonolitic tephritic ignimbrite with black pumices; (3) phillipsite from the “tufo lionato” of Vulcano Laziale; (4) chabazite and phillipsite from the Campanian ignimbrite; (5) phillipsite from the Neapolitan yellow tuff; and (6) chabazite and phillipsite from the pyroclastics of Monte Vulture. Compared with sedimentary phillipsites and chabazites described in the literature, the chabazites and phillipsites studied here have lower Si/Al ratios and higher K contents. These chemical peculiarities are correlated with both the K-rich vesuvitic-leucititic, latitic-phonolitic, and potassic alkali-trachytic chemistry of the ash from which they were derived and, very likely, with the character of the hydrologically open system environment in which they formed. The zeolite of the heulandite-clinoptilolite group from the cinerite of the central northern Apennines is classified as a true heulandite on the basis of its chemical composition and thermal behavior.

  5. A new Italian carbonatite occurrence at Cupaello (Rieti) and its genetic significance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stoppa, F.; Cundari, A.

    1995-12-01

    Field, mineralogical and petrological data are presented on a newly found carbonatite occurrence associated with “kamafugite” lava at Cupaello, central Italy. This carbonatite occurrence is part of the Late Pleistocene Umbria-Latium ultra-alkaline district (ULUD) which extends southwards within the Apennines to Mount Vulture, delineating an important magmatic province along the most peripheral belt of the Tyrrhenian extensional tectonic system. This province is distinct, but probably related genetically with the more abundant and common leucite-bearing assemblages of the Roman Comagmatic Region and represents the first reported occurrence of carbonatite assemblages in the Mediterranean Basin. The Cupaello suite indicates that primary or near-primary mantle silicate melts of “kamafugitic” composition are transitional with Ca-carbonatite liquid and provides direct evidence of immiscibility of carbonatite from “kamafugite” magma. It is inferred that a primary mantle origin of Ca-carbonatites is conditional upon a potential silicate magma that may be coupled with the carbonatite, but may not have reached the surface. The data indicate a strong genetic link between ULUD Ca-carbonatites and some African analogues, supporting the view that their genesis depends on similar source and associated tectonic conditions.

  6. A potential early middle Pleistocene tephrostratotype for the Mediterranean basin: the Vallo Di Diano, Campania, Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karner, D. B.; Juvigne, E.; Brancaccio, L.; Cinque, A.; Russo Ermolli, E.; Santangelo, N.; Bernasconi, S.; Lirer, L.

    1999-07-01

    A 207-m-long core was taken from the deposits of a paleolake formed in the Vallo di Diano tectonic basin of the southern Apennines, Italy. Fourteen major tephra beds were identified and distributed into three groups based on stratigraphic position, and chemical and mineralogical compositions. In a pilot dating program, glass ages were determined for three of these layers using the 40Ar/ 39Ar method; two of those layers produced discordant step-heating spectra and provided anomalously old ages. A third layer produced a well-defined plateau age of 0.596±0.006 Ma (2 σ) and from its stratigraphic position, is correlated to oxygen isotope (δ 18O) stage 15 of the deep-sea record. The climatic history of the paleolake can be interpreted from down-core pollen and δ 18O variations, which show a succession of two glacial-interglacial cycles. Extrapolation of ages from the astronomically tuned deep-sea δ 18O record to that of the paleolake indicates that the lake existed for almost 0.2 Ma. Potential eruptive source regions for the tephra layers include the Roman Volcanic Province, Roccamonfina and perhaps Mt. Vulture. While further dating is needed, the Vallo di Diano section provides valuable information on Middle Pleistocene climate history for the central Mediterranean region and offers a comparison of terrestrial environmental history to those preserved in marine records.

  7. Assessing the impact of removal scenarios on population viability of a threatened, long-lived avian scavenger.

    PubMed

    Margalida, Antoni; Colomer, Ma Àngels; Oro, Daniel; Arlettaz, Raphaël; Donázar, José A

    2015-01-01

    The removal of eggs or chicks from wild populations to create captive populations, reinforce free-ranging populations or reintroduce species into the wild is a restoration tool that requires an assessment of potential detrimental effects upon the donor population. This is an absolute prerequisite when wild donor populations are scarce and small. Here, we forecast the population trend of the largest European population of the bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) over the next 30 years under different demographic and management scenarios (removal of eggs, chicks or fledglings). Projections derived from the combination of a PDP model (Population Dynamic P-system) and a Box-Behnken design would lead to a decline in 77% of all 57 scenarios analysed. Among the 13 scenarios predicting a population increase, only 4 seem realistic in terms of growth rate (0.04%-1.01%), at least if current age at first breeding and productivity would remain constant over time. Our simulations thus suggest that most extraction scenarios would have detrimental effects on the demography of the donor population. Release of captive-born young or removal of only the second hatched chick for subsequent captive rearing and translocation into the wild appear to represent much better supplementation and reintroduction options in this threatened species. PMID:26593059

  8. Landscape-scale characterization of vegetation phenology using AVHRR-NDVI and Landsat-TM data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simoniello, Tiziana; Carone, M. T.; Lanfredi, Maria; Macchiato, Maria; Cuomo, Vincenzo

    2004-02-01

    The strict link between intra-annual vegetation dynamics (phenology) and Earth's climate makes phenological information fundamental to improve understanding and models of inter-annual variability in terrestrial carbon exchange and climate-biosphere interactions. In order to monitor phenology in a landscape characterized by heterogeneous features rapidly changing over the territory, we performed multitemporal classifications of NDVI-AVHRR data and interfaced them with Landsat-TM data and orography. The sample area is the Vulture basin (Southern Italy), where cultivated and densely vegetated areas coexist with urban and recently built industrial areas. These land cover patterns rapidly change over the territory at very small spatial scales; it is a complex zone very interesting for studying the use of remote sensing techniques in the integrated monitoring context. Clusters having homogeneous NDVI time behaviors were identified. In spite of its spatial resolution, AVHRR NDVI effectively picks up the characteristic phenology for different covers and altitudes. Moreover, some pixels having particular microclimate were clustered and their characterization was only possible by using orography and TM classification information. The comparison of two intra-annual classifications (1996 and 1998) showed that the proposed approach can be very useful for studying change in pattern of vegetation dynamics.

  9. From daily movements to population distributions: weather affects competitive ability in a guild of soaring birds

    PubMed Central

    Shepard, Emily L. C.; Lambertucci, Sergio A.

    2013-01-01

    The ability of many animals to access and exploit food is dependent on the ability to move. In the case of scavenging birds, which use soaring flight to locate and exploit ephemeral resources, the cost and speed of movement vary with meteorological factors. These factors are likely to modify the nature of interspecific interactions, as well as individual movement capacity, although the former are less well understood. We used aeronautical models to examine how soaring performance varies with weather within a guild of scavenging birds and the consequences this has for access to a common resource. Birds could be divided broadly into those with low wing loading that are more competitive in conditions with weak updraughts and low winds (black vultures and caracaras), and those with high wing loading that are well adapted for soaring in strong updraughts and moderate to high winds (Andean condors). Spatial trends in meteorological factors seem to confine scavengers with high wing loading to the mountains where they out-compete other birds; a trend that is borne out in worldwide distributions of the largest species. However, model predictions and carcass observations suggest that the competitive ability of these and other birds varies with meteorological conditions in areas where distributions overlap. This challenges the view that scavenging guilds are structured by fixed patterns of dominance and suggests that competitive ability varies across spatial and temporal scales, which may ultimately be a mechanism promoting diversity among aerial scavengers. PMID:24026471

  10. Detection and drivers of exposure and effects of pharmaceuticals in higher vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Shore, Richard F; Taggart, Mark A; Smits, Judit; Mateo, Rafael; Richards, Ngaio L; Fryday, Steve

    2014-11-19

    Pharmaceuticals are highly bioactive compounds now known to be widespread environmental contaminants. However, research regarding exposure and possible effects in non-target higher vertebrate wildlife remains scarce. The fate and behaviour of most pharmaceuticals entering our environment via numerous pathways remain poorly characterized, and hence our conception and understanding of the risks posed to wild animals is equally constrained. The recent decimation of Asian vulture populations owing to a pharmaceutical (diclofenac) offers a notable example, because the exposure route (livestock carcasses) and the acute toxicity observed were completely unexpected. This case not only highlights the need for further research, but also the wider requirement for more considered and comprehensive 'ecopharmacovigilance'. We discuss known and potential high risk sources and pathways in terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems where pharmaceutical exposure in higher vertebrate wildlife, principally birds and mammals, may occur. We examine whether approaches taken within existing surveillance schemes (that commonly target established classes of persistent or bioaccumulative contaminants) and the risk assessment approaches currently used for pesticides are relevant to pharmaceuticals, and we highlight where new approaches may be required to assess pharmaceutical-related risk. PMID:25405960

  11. Diversity of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Strains Isolated from Two Italian Wine-Producing Regions

    PubMed Central

    Capece, Angela; Granchi, Lisa; Guerrini, Simona; Mangani, Silvia; Romaniello, Rossana; Vincenzini, Massimo; Romano, Patrizia

    2016-01-01

    Numerous studies, based on different molecular techniques analyzing DNA polymorphism, have provided evidence that indigenous Saccharomyces cerevisiae populations display biogeographic patterns. Since the differentiated populations of S. cerevisiae seem to be responsible for the regional identity of wine, the aim of this work was to assess a possible relationship between the diversity and the geographical origin of indigenous S. cerevisiae isolates from two different Italian wine-producing regions (Tuscany and Basilicata). For this purpose, sixty-three isolates from Aglianico del Vulture grape must (main cultivar in the Basilicata region) and from Sangiovese grape must (main cultivar in the Tuscany region) were characterized genotypically, by mitochondrial DNA restriction analysis and MSP-PCR by using (GTG)5 primers, and phenotypically, by determining technological properties and metabolic compounds of oenological interest after alcoholic fermentation. All the S. cerevisiae isolates from each region were inoculated both in must obtained from Aglianico grape and in must obtained from Sangiovese grape to carry out fermentations at laboratory-scale. Numerical analysis of DNA patterns resulting from both molecular methods and principal component analysis of phenotypic data demonstrated a high diversity among the S. cerevisiae strains. Moreover, a correlation between genotypic and phenotypic groups and geographical origin of the strains was found, supporting the concept that there can be a microbial aspect to terroir. Therefore, exploring the diversity of indigenous S. cerevisiae strains can allow developing tailored strategies to select wine yeast strains better adapted to each viticultural area. PMID:27446054

  12. The collection and database of Birds of Angola hosted at IICT (Instituto de Investigação Científica Tropical), Lisboa, Portugal

    PubMed Central

    Monteiro, Miguel; Reino, Luís; Beja, Pedro; Mills, Michael Stuart Lyne; Bastos-Silveira, Cristiane; Ramos, Manuela; Rodrigues, Diana; Neves, Isabel Queirós; Consciência, Susana; Figueira, Rui

    2014-01-01

    Abstract The bird collection of the Instituto de Investigação Cientítica Tropical (Lisbon, Portugal) holds 5598 preserved specimens (skins), mainly from Angola, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, São Tomé and Principe, and Cape Verde. The subset collection from Angola includes 1560 specimens, which were taxonomically revised and georeferenced for the publication of this data paper. The collection contains a total of 522 taxa, including 161 species and 361 subspecies. Two species are classified by the IUCN Red List as Endangered - the wattled crane (Grus carunculata) and the Gabela bush-shrike (Laniarius amboimensis) - and two are classified as vulnerable - African penguin (Spheniscus demersus) and the white-headed vulture (Trigonoceps occipitalis). The temporal span of the database ranges between 1943 and 1979, but 32% are from years 1958–1959, and 25% from years 1968–1969. The spatial coverage of the collection is uneven, with 2/3 of the records representing only four of the eighteen provinces of the country, namely Huíla, Moxico, Namibe and Cuanza Sul. It adds, however, valuable information for the Huíla area of the Angolan Scarp, which is probably a biodiversity hotspot of global conservation priority. Furthermore, this georeferenced database adds invaluable bird information to the GBIF network, for one of the countries with highest but less known biodiversity in Africa. PMID:24693221

  13. Genomic regions associated with dermal hyperpigmentation, polydactyly and other morphological traits in the Silkie chicken.

    PubMed

    Dorshorst, Ben; Okimoto, Ron; Ashwell, Chris

    2010-01-01

    The Silkie chicken has been a model of melanoctye precursor and neural crest cell migration and proliferation in the developing embryo due to its extensive hyperpigmentation of dermal and connective tissues. Although previous studies have focused on the distribution and structure of the Silkie's pigment or the general mechanisms by which this phenotype presents itself, the causal genetic variants have not been identified. Classical breeding experiments have determined this trait to be controlled by 2 interacting genes, the sex-linked inhibitor of dermal melanin (Id) and autosomal fibromelanosis (Fm) genes. Genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)-trait association analysis was used to detect genomic regions showing significant association with these pigmentation genes in 2 chicken mapping populations designed to segregate independently for Id and Fm. The SNP showing the highest association with Id was located at 72.3 Mb on chromosome Z and 10.3-13.1 Mb on chromosome 20 showed the highest association with Fm. Prior to this study, the linkage group to which Fm belonged was unknown. Although the primary focus of this study was to identify loci contributing to dermal pigmentation in the Silkie chicken, loci associated with various other morphological traits segregating in these populations were also detected. A single SNP in a highly conserved cis-regulatory region of Sonic Hedgehog was significantly associated with polydactyly (Po). Genomic regions in association with silkie feathering or hookless (h), feathered legs (Pti), vulture hock (V), rose comb (R), and duplex comb (D) were also identified. PMID:20064842

  14. Molecular characterization of Cryptosporidium spp. from fecal samples of birds kept in captivity in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Nakamura, Alex Akira; Simões, Daniel Castendo; Antunes, Rômulo Godik; da Silva, Deuvânia Carvalho; Meireles, Marcelo Vasconcelos

    2009-12-01

    The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of Cryptosporidium species and genotypes in birds kept in captivity in Brazil. A total of 966 samples from 18 families of birds was collected and stored in 5% potassium dichromate solution at 4 degrees C until processing. Oocysts were purified in Sheather sugar solution following extraction of genomic DNA. Molecular analyses were performed using nested-PCR for amplification of fragments of the 18S subunit of rRNA gene and of the actin gene. Amplification of Cryptosporidium DNA fragments was obtained in 47 (4.86%) samples. Sequencing of amplified fragments and phylogenetic analyses allowed the identification of Cryptosporidium baileyi in a black vulture (Coragyps atratus), a domestic chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus) and a saffron finch (Sicalis flaveola); Cryptosporidium galli in canaries (Serinus canaria), a cockatiel (Nymphicus hollandicus) and lesser seed-finches (Oryzoborus angolensis); Cryptosporidium meleagridis in a domestic chicken (G. g. domesticus); Cryptosporidium parvum in a cockatiel (N. hollandicus); Cryptosporidium avian genotype I in a canary (S. canaria) and an Indian peafowl (Pavo cristatus); Cryptosporidium avian genotype II in ostriches (Struthio camelus) and Cryptosporidium avian genotype III in a cockatiel (N. hollandicus) and a peach-faced lovebird (Agapornis roseicolis). PMID:19683397

  15. Cliffs Used as Communal Roosts by Andean Condors Protect the Birds from Weather and Predators

    PubMed Central

    Lambertucci, Sergio A.; Ruggiero, Adriana

    2013-01-01

    The quality and availability of resources influence the geographical distribution of species. Social species need safe places to rest, meet, exchange information and obtain thermoregulatory benefits, but those places may also serve other important functions that have been overlooked in research. We use a large soaring bird that roosts communally in cliffs, the Andean condor (Vultur gryphus), as a model species to elucidate whether roost locations serve as a refuge from adverse weather conditions (climatic refuge hypothesis, CRH), and/or from predators or anthropogenic disturbances (threats refuge hypothesis, TRH). The CRH predicts that communal roosts will face in the opposite direction from where storms originate, and will be located in climatically stable, low precipitation areas. The TRH predicts that communal roosts will be large, poorly accessible cliffs, located far from human-made constructions. We surveyed cliffs used as communal roosts by condors in northwestern Patagonia, and compared them with alternative non-roosting cliffs to test these predictions at local and regional scales. We conclude that communal roosting places provide refuge against climate and disturbances such as, for instance, the threats of predators (including humans). Thus, it is not only the benefits gained from being aggregated per se, but the characteristics of the place selected for roosting that may both be essential for the survival of the species. This should be considered in management and conservation plans given the current scenario of global climate change and the increase in environmental disturbances. PMID:23826262

  16. Evaluation of various species demarcation criteria in attempts to classify ten new tombusvirus isolates.

    PubMed

    Koenig, R; Verhoeven, J Th J; Fribourg, C E; Pfeilstetter, E; Lesemann, D E

    2004-09-01

    The usefulness of various suggested species demarcation criteria was compared in attempts to determine the taxonomic status of ten new tombusvirus isolates. Five of them (Lim 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6) were obtained from different sources of commercially grown statice (Limonium sinuatum), two (Gyp 1 and 2) from different sources of commercially grown Gypsophila paniculata and three from water samples, i.e. from a small river (Schunter) in Northern Germany, from a brook (near Dossenheim) in Southern Germany and from the groundwater in a Limonium production glasshouse in the Netherlands (Lim 4). The immunoelectron microscopical decoration test allowed a quick preliminary assignment of various isolates to several known tombusviruses. A more precise analysis of the relationships was achieved by comparing the deduced amino acid sequences of the coat proteins. Sequence as well as serological data suggested that eight of the isolates should be classified as strains or variants of either Carnation Italian ringspot virus, Grapevine Algerian latent virus, Petunia asteroid mosaic virus or Sikte waterborne virus, respectively, whereas the 9th isolate (Lim 2) appears to represent a distinct new tombusvirus species. The case of the 10th isolate (Lim 5) illustrates the classification problems experienced when the properties of a virus place it close to the more or less arbitrary man-made borderline between virus species and virus strains. The coat protein gene sequences were also determined for some viruses for which these data had not yet been available, i.e. Neckar river virus, Sikte waterborne virus and Eggplant mottled crinkle virus. The sequences of the coat protein gene and also of ORF 1 of the latter virus proved to be almost identical to the corresponding genome regions of the recently described Pear latent virus, which for priority reasons should be renamed. Criteria which have been suggested in addition to serology and sequence comparisons for tombusvirus species demarcation, i

  17. Leukemia patient-derived lymphoblastoid cell lines exhibit increased induction of leukemia-associated transcripts following high-dose irradiation.

    PubMed

    Spencer, A; Granter, N

    1999-09-01

    Improvement in diagnostic cytogenetic techniques has led to the recognition of an increasing number of leukemia-associated chromosomal translocations and inversions. These genetic lesions frequently are associated with the disruption of putative transcription factors and the production of hybrid transcripts that are implicated in leukemogenesis. Epidemiologic evidence suggests that some, but not all, individuals with a history of gamma-irradiation exposure are at increased risk of developing chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). CML is characterized by the Philadelphia chromosome and transcription of the resulting hybrid BCR-ABL gene. Utilizing the leukemia-associated BCR-ABL p210 transcript as a marker, we sought differences in the induction of illegitimate genetic recombination following high-dose gamma-irradiation of karyotypically normal lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCL) derived from individuals with and without a history of myeloid leukemias. Six LCL [4 leukemia patient derived [2 acute myeloid leukemia and 2 CML] and 2 from normal individuals were analyzed with reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction for BCR-ABL under stringent conditions following exposure to 0, 50, or 100 Gy of LET gamma-irradiation delivered via a Varian linear accelerator at 4 MV. Transcripts identical to disease-associated b2a2 and b3a2 transcripts were detected both spontaneously (background illegitimate genetic recombination) and following gamma-irradiation. Background BCR-ABL positivity was demonstrable in 4 of the 6 LCL, with no significant difference in detection between leukemic- and nonleukemic-derived LCL. Overall, increasing gamma-irradiation dose resulted in an increased frequency of BCR-ABL transcript detection (0 Gy vs 50 Gy vs 100 Gy,p = 0.0023, Chi-square test). Within the leukemic- but not the nonleukemic-derived LCL there was significantly greater BCR-ABL positivity after gamma-irradiation compared to unirradiated equivalents. Furthermore, the BCR-ABL positivity of both

  18. Cyclic Di-GMP Regulates Type IV Pilus-Dependent Motility in Myxococcus xanthus

    PubMed Central

    Skotnicka, Dorota; Petters, Tobias; Heering, Jan; Hoppert, Michael; Kaever, Volkhard

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT The nucleotide-based second messenger bis-(3′-5′)-cyclic dimeric GMP (c-di-GMP) is involved in regulating a plethora of processes in bacteria that are typically associated with lifestyle changes. Myxococcus xanthus undergoes major lifestyle changes in response to nutrient availability, with the formation of spreading colonies in the presence of nutrients and spore-filled fruiting bodies in the absence of nutrients. Here, we investigated the function of c-di-GMP in M. xanthus and show that this bacterium synthesizes c-di-GMP during growth. Manipulation of the c-di-GMP level by expression of either an active, heterologous diguanylate cyclase or an active, heterologous phosphodiesterase correlated with defects in type IV pilus (T4P)-dependent motility, whereas gliding motility was unaffected. An increased level of c-di-GMP correlated with reduced transcription of the pilA gene (which encodes the major pilin of T4P), reduced the assembly of T4P, and altered cell agglutination, whereas a decreased c-di-GMP level correlated with altered cell agglutination. The systematic inactivation of the 24 genes in M. xanthus encoding proteins containing GGDEF, EAL, or HD-GYP domains, which are associated with c-di-GMP synthesis, degradation, or binding, identified three genes encoding proteins important for T4P-dependent motility, whereas all mutants had normal gliding motility. Purified DmxA had diguanylate cyclase activity, whereas the hybrid histidine protein kinases TmoK and SgmT, each of which contains a GGDEF domain, did not have diguanylate cyclase activity. These results demonstrate that c-di-GMP is important for T4P-dependent motility in M. xanthus. IMPORTANCE We provide the first direct evidence that M. xanthus synthesizes c-di-GMP and demonstrate that c-di-GMP is important for T4P-dependent motility, whereas we did not obtain evidence that c-di-GMP regulates gliding motility. The data presented uncovered a novel mechanism for regulation of T4P

  19. The underestimated role of olfaction in avian reproduction ?

    PubMed Central

    Balthazart, Jacques; Taziaux, Mélanie

    2009-01-01

    Until the second half of the 20th century, it was broadly accepted that most birds are microsmatic if not anosmic and unable to detect and use olfactory information. Exceptions were eventually conceded for species like procellariiforms, vultures or kiwis that detect their food at least in part based on olfactory signals. During the past 20–30 years, many publications have appeared indicating that this view is definitely erroneous. We briefly review here anatomical, electrophysiological and behavioral data demonstrating that birds in general possess a functional olfactory system and are able to use olfactory information in a variety of ethological contexts, including reproduction. Recent work also indicates that brain activation induced by sexual interactions with a female is significantly affected by olfactory deprivation in Japanese quail. Brain activation was measured via immunocytochemical detection of the protein product of the immediate early gene c-fos. Changes observed concerned two brain areas that play a key role in the control of male sexual behavior, the medial preoptic nucleus and the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis therefore suggesting a potential role of olfaction in the control of reproduction. The widespread idea that birds are anosmic or microsmatic is thus not supported by the available experimental data and presumably originates in our anthropomorphic view that leads us to think that birds do not smell because they have a rigid beak and nostrils and do not obviously sniff. Experimental analysis of this phenomenon is thus warranted and should lead to a significant change in our understanding of avian biology. PMID:18804490

  20. Sociocultural Variables That Impact High School Students' Perceptions of Native Fauna: a Study on the Species Component of the Biodiversity Concept

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bermudez, Gonzalo M. A.; Battistón, Luisina V.; García Capocasa, María C.; De Longhi, Ana L.

    2015-11-01

    This study investigates the influence of school sector (private versus state schools) and student gender on knowledge of native fauna. Our main objectives were (a) to describe the knowledge of high school students from the province of Cordoba, Argentina with respect to native animal species, (b) to determine if any exotic species (introduced or domestic) are considered native, and (c) to analyze the effects of school sector and gender on the students' knowledge of the native fauna. In total, 321 students aged 15-18 from 14 urban schools (8 state and 6 private schools) were asked to write down ten animals native to Córdoba, Argentina, in a free-list questionnaire. Relative frequencies and Generalized Linear Mixed Models (GLMM) were used to analyze the categorized (animal names) and continuous answers (quantity of responses, number of native animals, etc.), with the 25 most frequently mentioned species showing a predominance of native ones, of which "Puma" (Puma concolor) and "Andean condor" (Vultur gryphus) were the most prominent. An overrepresentation of mammalian species compared to other classes of chordates was also found, with high school students mentioning native and domestic species higher on the free-list. Using GLMM, we found that school sector had a significant effect on the number of native animals mentioned at both national and local levels, and on domestic and mixed species. Finally, male students mentioned more species and more native animals than their female counterparts. These findings were interpreted and discussed in light of sociocultural and traditional ecological knowledge theories, from which several implications arose related to research and practice.

  1. The humeroscapular bone of the great horned owl (Bubo virginianus) and other raptors.

    PubMed

    Smith, B J; Smith, S A

    1992-03-01

    A small, separate, bony density dorsal to the shoulder joint is radiographically visible in several species of large hawks and owls. Gross dissection and histological examination show the bone to lie on the deep surface of the major deltoid muscle in intimate association with the dorsal coracohumeral ligament of the shoulder joint. The tendon of the supracoracoideus muscle passes immediately cranial to the humeroscapular bone. Two ligaments distinct from the shoulder joint capsule attach the humeroscapular bone to the proximal humerus: one passes to the proximal edge of the pectoral crest of the humerus, and the other passes to the ventral tubercle of the humerus. The bone was described as the humeroscapular bone in reference to a similar fibrocartilaginous structure possessed by some birds. The humeroscapular bone is present in the great horned owl (Bubo virginianus), the screech owl (Otus asio), the barred owl (Strix varia), the red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicencis), the Cooper's hawk (Accipiter cooperii), and the sharp-shinned hawk (Accipiter striatus). The bone is absent in the barn owl (Tyto alba), the osprey (Pandion haliaetus), the golden eagle (Aquila chysaetos), and the turkey vulture (Cathartes aura), though some of these species possessed a similar fibrocartilaginous structure. Whether the humeroscapular structure develops as bone or cartilage in a given species may be related to other morphological features of the wing, and/or to characteristics of the predatory behavior of the species. Clinicians and anatomists dealing with birds of prey must be aware of the presence of the humeroscapular bone to avoid misinterpreting it as a fracture fragment. PMID:1585989

  2. Stop and Smell the Pollen: The Role of Olfaction and Vision of the Oriental Honey Buzzard in Identifying Food.

    PubMed

    Yang, Shu-Yi; Walther, Bruno A; Weng, Guo-Jing

    2015-01-01

    The importance of olfaction for various avian behaviors has become increasingly evident. So far, the use of olfaction for food detection among raptors has only been demonstrated for Cathartes vultures. The Oriental honey buzzard (Pernis orientalis) is a resident and migrant in Taiwan and regularly forages in apiaries. One of its foods in apiaries is yellow pollen dough, a softball-sized mixture of pollen, soybeans, and sugar that beekeepers provide as a supplementary food for bees. Given that pollen dough is not similar to any naturally occurring food, we hypothesized that buzzards identify the dough's nutritious contents using olfaction, perhaps in combination with vision. Using a series of choice experiments in which individuals could choose between two doughs, we showed that (1) buzzards almost unerringly chose pollen-containing over pollen lacking doughs when otherwise the doughs were identical in size, shape, and yellow color; (2) buzzards always preferred yellow over black or green doughs if both doughs contained pollen; (3) buzzards still preferred pollen-containing over pollen-lacking doughs when both doughs were black, but at a lower rate than in (1). We statistically excluded the possible influences of the doughs' relative brightness or of repeat visits by the same individuals. Our experiments thus suggest the use of a 'multi-modal foraging strategy' among buzzards whereby olfaction and vision are likely to be both used in identifying food at close distances. We also estimated the olfactory receptor gene repertoire size in the buzzard's genome which is almost five times as large as that of three other raptor species. Therefore, olfaction is likely of far greater ecological importance to this species than to other raptor species. We suggest that olfaction should be considered in the design of behavioral and genetic studies to better understand the use of multiple senses in avian behaviors. PMID:26177533

  3. Stop and Smell the Pollen: The Role of Olfaction and Vision of the Oriental Honey Buzzard in Identifying Food

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Shu-Yi; Walther, Bruno A.; Weng, Guo-Jing

    2015-01-01

    The importance of olfaction for various avian behaviors has become increasingly evident. So far, the use of olfaction for food detection among raptors has only been demonstrated for Cathartes vultures. The Oriental honey buzzard (Pernis orientalis) is a resident and migrant in Taiwan and regularly forages in apiaries. One of its foods in apiaries is yellow pollen dough, a softball-sized mixture of pollen, soybeans, and sugar that beekeepers provide as a supplementary food for bees. Given that pollen dough is not similar to any naturally occurring food, we hypothesized that buzzards identify the dough’s nutritious contents using olfaction, perhaps in combination with vision. Using a series of choice experiments in which individuals could choose between two doughs, we showed that (1) buzzards almost unerringly chose pollen-containing over pollen lacking doughs when otherwise the doughs were identical in size, shape, and yellow color; (2) buzzards always preferred yellow over black or green doughs if both doughs contained pollen; (3) buzzards still preferred pollen-containing over pollen-lacking doughs when both doughs were black, but at a lower rate than in (1). We statistically excluded the possible influences of the doughs’ relative brightness or of repeat visits by the same individuals. Our experiments thus suggest the use of a ‘multi-modal foraging strategy’ among buzzards whereby olfaction and vision are likely to be both used in identifying food at close distances. We also estimated the olfactory receptor gene repertoire size in the buzzard’s genome which is almost five times as large as that of three other raptor species. Therefore, olfaction is likely of far greater ecological importance to this species than to other raptor species. We suggest that olfaction should be considered in the design of behavioral and genetic studies to better understand the use of multiple senses in avian behaviors. PMID:26177533

  4. Soaring migratory birds avoid wind farm in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, southern Mexico.

    PubMed

    Villegas-Patraca, Rafael; Cabrera-Cruz, Sergio A; Herrera-Alsina, Leonel

    2014-01-01

    The number of wind farms operating in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, southern Mexico, has rapidly increased in recent years; yet, this region serves as a major migration route for various soaring birds, including Turkey Vultures (Cathartes aura) and Swainson's Hawks (Buteo swainsoni). We analyzed the flight trajectories of soaring migrant birds passing the La Venta II wind farm during the two migratory seasons of 2011, to determine whether an avoidance pattern existed or not. We recorded three polar coordinates for the flight path of migrating soaring birds that were detected using marine radar, plotted the flight trajectories and estimated the number of trajectories that intersected the polygon defined by the wind turbines of La Venta II. Finally, we estimated the actual number of intersections per kilometer and compared this value with the null distributions obtained by running 10,000 simulations of our datasets. The observed number of intersections per kilometer fell within or beyond the lower end of the null distributions in the five models proposed for the fall season and in three of the four models proposed for the spring season. Flight trajectories had a non-random distribution around La Venta II, suggesting a strong avoidance pattern during fall and a possible avoidance pattern during spring. We suggest that a nearby ridgeline plays an important role in this pattern, an issue that may be incorporated into strategies to minimize the potential negative impacts of future wind farms on soaring birds. Studies evaluating these issues in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec have not been previously published; hence this work contributes important baseline information about the movement patterns of soaring birds and its relationship to wind farms in the region. PMID:24647442

  5. A pilot golden eagle population study in the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area, California

    SciTech Connect

    Hunt, G.

    1995-05-01

    Orloff and Flannery (1992) estimated that several hundred reports are annually killed by turbine collisions, wire strikes, and electrocutions at the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area (WRA). The most common fatalities were those of red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis), American kestrels (Falco sparvatius), and golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos), with lesser numbers of turkey vultures (Cathartes aura), common ravens (Corvus corax), bam owls (Tyto alba), and others. Among the species of raptors killed at Altamont Pass, the one whose local population is most likely to be impacted is the golden eagle. Besides its being less abundant than the others, the breeding and recruitment rates of golden eagles are naturally slow, increasing their susceptibility to decline as a result of mortality influences. The golden eagle is a species afforded special federal protection because of its inclusion within the Bald Eagle Protection Act as amended in 1963. There are no provisions within the Act which would allow the killing ``taking`` of golden eagles by WRA structures. This report details the results of field studies conducted during 19941. The primary purpose of the investigation is to lay the groundwork for determining whether or not turbine strikes and other hazards related to energy at Altamont Pass may be expected to affect golden eagles on a population basis. We also seek an understanding of the physical and biotic circumstances which attract golden eagles to the WRA within the context of the surrounding landscape and the conditions under which they are killed by wind turbines. Such knowledge may suggest turbine-related or habitat modifications that would result in a lower incidence of eagle mortality.

  6. Resource selection by the California condor (Gymnogyps californianus) relative to terrestrial-based habitats and meteorological conditions.

    PubMed

    Rivers, James W; Johnson, J Matthew; Haig, Susan M; Schwarz, Carl J; Glendening, John W; Burnett, L Joseph; George, Daniel; Grantham, Jesse

    2014-01-01

    Condors and vultures are distinct from most other terrestrial birds because they use extensive soaring flight for their daily movements. Therefore, assessing resource selection by these avian scavengers requires quantifying the availability of terrestrial-based habitats, as well as meteorological variables that influence atmospheric conditions necessary for soaring. In this study, we undertook the first quantitative assessment of habitat- and meteorological-based resource selection in the endangered California condor (Gymnogyps californianus) within its California range and across the annual cycle. We found that condor use of terrestrial areas did not change markedly within the annual cycle, and that condor use was greatest for habitats where food resources and potential predators could be detected and where terrain was amenable for taking off from the ground in flight (e.g., sparse habitats, coastal areas). Condors originating from different release sites differed in their use of habitat, but this was likely due in part to variation in habitats surrounding release sites. Meteorological conditions were linked to condor use of ecological subregions, with thermal height, thermal velocity, and wind speed having both positive (selection) and negative (avoidance) effects on condor use in different areas. We found little evidence of systematic effects between individual characteristics (i.e., sex, age, breeding status) or components of the species management program (i.e., release site, rearing method) relative to meteorological conditions. Our findings indicate that habitat type and meteorological conditions can interact in complex ways to influence condor resource selection across landscapes, which is noteworthy given the extent of anthropogenic stressors that may impact condor populations (e.g., lead poisoning, wind energy development). Additional studies will be valuable to assess small-scale condor movements in light of these stressors to help minimize their risk to

  7. Why are some animal populations unaffected or positively affected by roads?

    PubMed

    Rytwinski, Trina; Fahrig, Lenore

    2013-11-01

    In reviews on effects of roads on animal population abundance we found that most effects are negative; however, there are also many neutral and positive responses [Fahrig and Rytwinski (Ecol Soc 14:21, 2009; Rytwinski and Fahrig (Biol Conserv 147:87-98, 2012)]. Here we use an individual-based simulation model to: (1) confirm predictions from the existing literature of the combinations of species traits and behavioural responses to roads that lead to negative effects of roads on animal population abundance, and (2) improve prediction of the combinations of species traits and behavioural responses to roads that lead to neutral and positive effects of roads on animal population abundance. Simulations represented a typical situation in which road mitigation is contemplated, i.e. rural landscapes containing a relatively low density (up to 1.86 km/km(2)) of high-traffic roads, with continuous habitat between the roads. In these landscapes, the simulations predict that populations of species with small territories and movement ranges, and high reproductive rates, i.e. many small mammals and birds, should not be reduced by roads. Contrary to previous suggestions, the results also predict that populations of species that obtain a resource from roads (e.g. vultures) do not increase with increasing road density. In addition, our simulations support the predation release hypothesis for positive road effects on prey (both small- and large-bodied prey), whereby abundance of a prey species increased with increasing road density due to reduced predation by generalist road-affected predators. The simulations also predict an optimal road density for the large-bodied prey species if it avoids roads or traffic emissions. Overall, the simulation results suggest that in rural landscapes containing high-traffic roads, there are many species for which road mitigation may not be necessary; mitigation efforts should be tailored to the species that show negative population responses to roads

  8. When David beats Goliath: the advantage of large size in interspecific aggressive contests declines over evolutionary time.

    PubMed

    Martin, Paul R; Ghalambor, Cameron K

    2014-01-01

    Body size has long been recognized to play a key role in shaping species interactions. For example, while small species thrive in a diversity of environments, they typically lose aggressive contests for resources with larger species. However, numerous examples exist of smaller species dominating larger species during aggressive interactions, suggesting that the evolution of traits can allow species to overcome the competitive disadvantage of small size. If these traits accumulate as lineages diverge, then the advantage of large size in interspecific aggressive interactions should decline with increased evolutionary distance. We tested this hypothesis using data on the outcomes of 23,362 aggressive interactions among 246 bird species pairs involving vultures at carcasses, hummingbirds at nectar sources, and antbirds and woodcreepers at army ant swarms. We found the advantage of large size declined as species became more evolutionarily divergent, and smaller species were more likely to dominate aggressive contests when interacting with more distantly-related species. These results appear to be caused by both the evolution of traits in smaller species that enhanced their abilities in aggressive contests, and the evolution of traits in larger species that were adaptive for other functions, but compromised their abilities to compete aggressively. Specific traits that may provide advantages to small species in aggressive interactions included well-developed leg musculature and talons, enhanced flight acceleration and maneuverability, novel fighting behaviors, and traits associated with aggression, such as testosterone and muscle development. Traits that may have hindered larger species in aggressive interactions included the evolution of morphologies for tree trunk foraging that compromised performance in aggressive contests away from trunks, and the evolution of migration. Overall, our results suggest that fundamental trade-offs, such as those associated with body size

  9. An analysis of monthly home range size in the critically endangered California Condor Gymnogyps californianus

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rivers, James W.; Johnson, Matthew J.; Haig, Susan M.; Schwarz, Carl J.; Burnett, Joseph; Brandt, Joseph; George, Daniel; Grantham, Jesse

    2014-01-01

    Condors and vultures comprise the only group of terrestrial vertebrates in the world that are obligate scavengers, and these species move widely to locate ephemeral, unpredictable, and patchily-distributed food resources. In this study, we used high-resolution GPS location data to quantify monthly home range size of the critically endangered California Condor Gymnogyps californianus throughout the annual cycle in California. We assessed whether individual-level characteristics (age, sex and breeding status) and factors related to endangered species recovery program efforts (rearing method, release site) were linked to variation in monthly home range size. We found that monthly home range size varied across the annual cycle, with the largest monthly home ranges observed during late summer and early fall (July–October), a pattern that may be linked to seasonal changes in thermals that facilitate movement. Monthly home ranges of adults were significantly larger than those of immatures, but males and females used monthly home ranges of similar size throughout the year and breeding adults did not differ from non-breeding adults in their average monthly home range size. Individuals from each of three release sites differed significantly in the size of their monthly home ranges, and no differences in monthly home range size were detected between condors reared under captive conditions relative to those reared in the wild. Our study provides an important foundation for understanding the movement ecology of the California Condor and it highlights the importance of seasonal variation in space use for effective conservation planning for this critically endangered species.

  10. Risks to Birds Traded for African Traditional Medicine: A Quantitative Assessment

    PubMed Central

    Williams, Vivienne L.; Cunningham, Anthony B.; Kemp, Alan C.; Bruyns, Robin K.

    2014-01-01

    Few regional or continent-wide assessments of bird use for traditional medicine have been attempted anywhere in the world. Africa has the highest known diversity of bird species used for this purpose. This study assesses the vulnerability of 354 bird species used for traditional medicine in 25 African countries, from 205 genera, 70 families, and 25 orders. The orders most represented were Passeriformes (107 species), Falconiformes (45 species), and Coraciiformes (24 species), and the families Accipitridae (37 species), Ardeidae (15 species), and Bucerotidae (12 species). The Barn owl (Tyto alba) was the most widely sold species (seven countries). The similarity of avifaunal orders traded is high (analogous to “morphospecies”, and using Sørensen's index), which suggests opportunities for a common understanding of cultural factors driving demand. The highest similarity was between bird orders sold in markets of Benin vs. Burkina Faso (90%), but even bird orders sold in two geographically separated countries (Benin vs. South Africa and Nigeria vs. South Africa) were 87% and 81% similar, respectively. Rabinowitz's “7 forms of rarity” model, used to group species according to commonness or rarity, indicated that 24% of traded bird species are very common, locally abundant in several habitats, and occur over a large geographical area, but 10% are rare, occur in low numbers in specific habitats, and over a small geographical area. The order with the highest proportion of rare species was the Musophagiformes. An analysis of species mass (as a proxy for size) indicated that large and/or conspicuous species tend to be targeted by harvesters for the traditional medicine trade. Furthermore, based on cluster analyses for species groups of similar risk, vultures, hornbills, and other large avifauna, such as bustards, are most threatened by selective harvesting and should be prioritised for conservation action. PMID:25162700

  11. Ferric Reducing Antioxidant Power and Square Wave Voltammetry for Assay of Low Molecular Weight Antioxidants in Blood Plasma: Performance and Comparison of Methods

    PubMed Central

    Pohanka, Miroslav; Bandouchova, Hana; Sobotka, Jakub; Sedlackova, Jana; Soukupova, Ivana; Pikula, Jiri

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of the present study was to employ two methods—square wave voltammetry (SWV) performed on screen printed sensors and ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP)—as suitable tools for the assay of low-molecular-weight antioxidants (LMWAs). LMWAs were assayed by both methods and the resulting data were statistically compared. Plasma samples from five Cinereous vultures accidentally intoxicated with lead were used to represent real biological matrices with different levels of LMWAs. Blood was collected from the birds prior to and one month after treatment with Ca-EDTA. SWV resulted in two peaks. The first peak, with the potential value of 466 ± 15 mV, was recognized as ascorbic and uric acids, while the second one (743 ± 30 mV) represented glutathione, tocopherol, ascorbic acid and in a minor effect by uric acid, too. Contribution of individual antioxidants was recognized by separate assays of LMWA standards. Correlation between peaks 1 and 2 as well as the sum of the two peaks and FRAP was analysed. While peak 1 and the sum of peaks were in close correlation to FRAP results (correlation coefficient of 0.97), the relation between peak 2 and FRAP may be expressed using a correlation coefficient of 0.64. The determination of thiols by the Ellman assay confirmed the accuracy of SWV. Levels of glutathione and other similar structures were stable in the chosen model and it may be concluded that SWV is appropriate for assay of LMWAs in plasma samples. The methods employed in the study were advantageous in minimal sample volume consumption and fast acquisition of results. PMID:22291555

  12. A Reappraisal of Azhdarchid Pterosaur Functional Morphology and Paleoecology

    PubMed Central

    Witton, Mark P.; Naish, Darren

    2008-01-01

    Azhdarchid pterosaurs were among the most widespread and successful of pterosaur clades, but their paleoecology remains controversial. Morphological features common to all azhdarchids include a long, shallow rostrum; elongate, cylindrical cervical vertebrae that formed a long and unusually inflexible neck; and proportionally short wings with an abbreviated fourth phalanx. While azhdarchids have been imagined as vulture-like scavengers, sediment probers, swimmers, waders, aerial predators, or stork-like generalists, most recent authors have regarded them as skim-feeders, trawling their lower jaws through water during flight and seizing aquatic prey from the water's surface. Although apparently widely accepted, the skim-feeding model lacks critical support from anatomy and functional morphology. Azhdarchids lack the many cranial specialisations exhibited by extant skim-feeding birds, most notably the laterally compressed lower jaw and shock absorbing apparatus required for this feeding style. Well-preserved azhdarchid skulls are rare, but their rostra and lower jaws appear to have been sub-triangular in cross-section, and thus dissimilar to those of skim-feeders and sediment probers. Taphonomic data indicates that azhdarchids predominately inhabited inland settings, and azhdarchid morphology indicates that they were poorly suited for all proposed lifestyles bar wading and terrestrial foraging. However, azhdarchid footprints show that their feet were relatively small, padded and slender, and thus not well suited for wading. We argue that azhdarchids were stork- or ground hornbill-like generalists, foraging in diverse environments for small animals and carrion. Proficient terrestrial abilities and a relatively inflexible neck are in agreement with this interpretation. PMID:18509539

  13. When David Beats Goliath: The Advantage of Large Size in Interspecific Aggressive Contests Declines over Evolutionary Time

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Paul R.; Ghalambor, Cameron K.

    2014-01-01

    Body size has long been recognized to play a key role in shaping species interactions. For example, while small species thrive in a diversity of environments, they typically lose aggressive contests for resources with larger species. However, numerous examples exist of smaller species dominating larger species during aggressive interactions, suggesting that the evolution of traits can allow species to overcome the competitive disadvantage of small size. If these traits accumulate as lineages diverge, then the advantage of large size in interspecific aggressive interactions should decline with increased evolutionary distance. We tested this hypothesis using data on the outcomes of 23,362 aggressive interactions among 246 bird species pairs involving vultures at carcasses, hummingbirds at nectar sources, and antbirds and woodcreepers at army ant swarms. We found the advantage of large size declined as species became more evolutionarily divergent, and smaller species were more likely to dominate aggressive contests when interacting with more distantly-related species. These results appear to be caused by both the evolution of traits in smaller species that enhanced their abilities in aggressive contests, and the evolution of traits in larger species that were adaptive for other functions, but compromised their abilities to compete aggressively. Specific traits that may provide advantages to small species in aggressive interactions included well-developed leg musculature and talons, enhanced flight acceleration and maneuverability, novel fighting behaviors, and traits associated with aggression, such as testosterone and muscle development. Traits that may have hindered larger species in aggressive interactions included the evolution of morphologies for tree trunk foraging that compromised performance in aggressive contests away from trunks, and the evolution of migration. Overall, our results suggest that fundamental trade-offs, such as those associated with body size

  14. Antibody Prevalence and Isolation of Viable Toxoplasma gondii from Raptors in the Southeastern USA.

    PubMed

    Love, David; Kwok, Oliver C; Verma, Shiv Kumar; Dubey, Jitender P; Bellah, Jamie

    2016-07-01

    Raptors are good indicators of the prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii in the environment because they prey on small mammals and birds. These prey species are a major source of infection in domestic cats ( Felis catus ), which shed the environmentally resistant oocysts. We assessed T. gondii infection in 281 opportunistically available raptors at a rehabilitation facility between 2012 and 2014. Antibodies to T. gondii were assayed by a modified agglutination test (cutoff 1:25) and found in serum of 22/71 Red-tailed Hawks ( Buteo jamaicensis ), 25/54 Barred Owls ( Strix varia ), 9/41 Red-shouldered Hawks ( Buteo lineatus ), 13/28 Great Horned Owls ( Bubo virginianus ), 6/20 Broad-winged Hawks ( Buteo platypterus ), 2/16 Eastern Screech Owls (Megascops asio), 12/13 Bald Eagles ( Haliaeetus leucocephalus ), 6/12 Cooper's Hawks ( Accipiter cooperii ), 1/8 Black Vultures ( Coragyps atratus ), and 1/1 Golden Eagle ( Aquila chrysaetos ). Antibodies were not detected in 5 Barn Owls ( Tyto alba ), 3 American Kestrels ( Falco sparverius ), 1 Mississippi Kite ( Ictinia mississippiensis ), and 1 Osprey ( Pandion haliaetus ). Viable T. gondii was isolated from the tissues of 1 antibody-positive Barred Owl and identified as a strain having type II alleles at all 10 loci tested, except one (ToxoDB polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism genotype 3). Type II strain is the most common strain in the US. Results of this study indicate a high prevalence of T. gondii in some raptor species and the first reported genotyping from a Barred Owl. PMID:27243150

  15. Implementing ecopharmacovigilance in practice: challenges and potential opportunities.

    PubMed

    Holm, Gisela; Snape, Jason R; Murray-Smith, Richard; Talbot, John; Taylor, David; Sörme, Pernilla

    2013-07-01

    Ecopharmacovigilance (EPV) is a developing science and it is currently very unclear what it might mean in practice. We have performed a comparison between pharmacovigilance (PV) and EPV and have identified that there are similarities, but also some important differences that must be considered before any practical implementation of EPV. The biggest difference and greatest challenge concerns signal detection in the environment and the difficulty of identifying cause and effect. We reflect on the dramatic vulture decline in Asia, which was caused by the veterinary use of diclofenac, versus the relative difficulty in identifying the specific causes of intersex fish in European rivers. We explore what EPV might mean in practice and have identified that there are some practical measures that can be taken to assess environmental risks across product life cycle, particularly after launch of a new drug, to ensure that our risk assessments and scientific understanding of pharmaceuticals in the environment remain scientifically and ecologically relevant. These include: Tracking environmental risks after launch of the product, via literature monitoring for emerging data on exposure and effects Using Environmental Risk Management Plans (ERMPs) as a centralized resource to assess and manage the risks of a drug throughout its life cycle Further research, testing or monitoring in the environment when a risk is identified Keeping a global EPV perspective Increasing transparency and availability of environmental data for medicinal products. These measures will help to ensure that any significant environmental issues associated with pharmaceuticals in the environment (PIE) are identified in a timely way, and can be managed appropriately. PMID:23620169

  16. Fluxes of deep CO 2 in the volcanic areas of central-southern Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gambardella, Barbara; Cardellini, Carlo; Chiodini, Giovanni; Frondini, Francesco; Marini, Luigi; Ottonello, Giulio; Vetuschi Zuccolini, Marino

    2004-08-01

    Both the shallow (organic-derived) and deep (mantellic-magmatic-metamorphic) fluxes of CO 2 [ ΦCO 2, mass time -1] and specific fluxes of CO 2 [ ϕCO 2 mass time -1 surface -1] dissolving in the shallow groundwaters of the volcanic areas of Amiata, Vulsini-Vico-Sabatini, Albani, Roccamonfina, Vesuvio, Vulture, and Etna were evaluated by partitioning the composed population of total dissolved inorganic carbon in two individual populations and subsequent subtraction of local background population. The flux of deep CO 2 released from the geothermal fields of Piancastagnaio (Amiata), Torre Alfina, Latera, Marta, Bracciano south, Cesano, and Mofete and from the Overall Northern Latium Hydrothermal Reservoir were also evaluated by means of the total surface heat flux and the enthalpy and CO 2 molality of the single liquid phase circulating in each geothermal reservoir. These data suggest that the ϕCO 2 released to the atmosphere varies from 9.5×10 6 to 3.0×10 6 mol year -1 km -2, over the geothermal fields of Bracciano south and Cesano, respectively, and that a total ΦCO 2 of 3.8×10 8 mol year -1 is cumulatively released from the geothermal fields of Torre Alfina, Latera and Cesano extending over an area of only 66 km 2. In addition, a flux of ˜2.2×10 11 to 3.8×10 11 mol year -1 of gaseous CO 2 entering the atmosphere is obtained for the entire anomalous area of central Italy, extending from the Tyrrhenian coastline to the Apennine chain (45,000 km 2). Thus terrestrial CO 2 emission in central-southern Italy appears to be a significant carbon source.

  17. Constraints on mantle source and interactions from He-Sr isotope variation in Italian Plio-Quaternary volcanism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martelli, M.; Nuccio, P. M.; Stuart, F. M.; di Liberto, V.; Ellam, R. M.

    2008-02-01

    Helium isotope ratios of olivine and pyroxene phenocrysts from Plio-Quaternary volcanic rocks from southern Italy (seven Aeolian Islands, Mt. Vulture, Etna, Ustica, and Pantelleria) range from 2.3 to 7.1 Ra. Importantly, the phenocryst 3He/4He correlate well with whole rock Sr isotopic composition (0.70309-0.70711), reflecting the mixing of two sources. A significant contribution of He from crustal contamination is recorded only occasionally (e.g., pyroxenes from Vulcano). When merged with data from the Roman Comagmatic Province, a remarkably strong near-linear He-Sr isotope correlation is apparent. The general northward decrease in 3He/4He corresponds to an increase in 87Sr/86Sr (and a decrease in 143Nd/144Nd and 206Pb/204Pb) that is due to increasing metasomatic enrichment of the mantle wedge via subduction of the Ionian-Adriatic plate. Calculations based on the ingrowth of 4He in the wedge and on the 4He content of the subducting crust show that mechanisms of enrichment in radiogenic He are effective only if the wedge is strongly depleted in He relative to best estimates of the depleted mantle. This can be accommodated if the process of metasomatism by the subduction fluids depletes the mantle wedge. The 3He/4He of Pantelleria, Etna, Iblei, Ustica, Alicudi, and Filicudi basalts (7.0 ± 0.6 Ra) define the mantle composition least affected by subduction-related metasomatism. Although these volcanoes are from a variety of tectonic regimes (subduction-related, intraplate, rifting), their similarities suggest a common origin of geochemical features. Their characteristics are consistent with a HIMU-type mantle that either is younger than the Cook-Austral island end-member or has a lower 238U/204Pb.

  18. The April 1996 Irpinia seismic sequence: Evidence for fault interaction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cocco, M.; Chiarabba, C.; Di Bona, M.; Selvaggi, G.; Margheriti, L.; Frepoli, A.; Lucente, F.P.; Basili, A.; Jongmans, D.; Campillo, M.

    The analysis of the Irpinia earthquake of 3 April 1996 (ML = 4.9), based on strong motion and short period local data, shows that it was a normal faulting event located within the epicentral area of the MS 6.9, 1980, earthquake. It was located at 40.67° N and 15.42° E at a depth of 8 km. The local magnitude (4.9) has been computed from the VBB stations of the MedNet network. The moment magnitude is Mw = 5.1 and the seismic moment estimated from the ground acceleration spectra is 5.0 1023 dyne cm. Spectral analysis of the strong motion recordings yields a Brune stress drop of 111 bars and a corner frequency of 1 Hz. The source radius associated to these values of seismic moment and stress drop is 1.3 km. The focal mechanism has two nodal planes having strike 297°, dip 74°, rake 290° and strike 64°, dip 25° and rake 220°, respectively. A fault plane solution with strike 295° ± 5°, dip 70° ± 5°, and rake 280° ± 10° is consistent with the S-wave polarization computed from the strong motion data recorded at Rionero in Vulture. We discuss the geometry and the dimensions of the fault which ruptured during the 1996 mainshock, its location and the aftershock distribution with respect to the rupture history of the 1980 Irpinia earthquake. The distribution of seismicity and the fault geometry of the 1996 earthquake suggest that the region between the two faults that ruptured during the first subevents of the 1980 event cannot be considered as a strong barrier (high strength zone), as it might be thought looking at the source model and at the sequence of historical earthquakes revealed by paleoseismological investigations.

  19. Subduction segmentation during slab rollback and the origin of Mediterranean oroclines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosenbaum, Gideon

    2013-04-01

    The intimately linked processes of slab rollback, subduction segmentation and oroclinal bending have played a major role in the Cenozoic geodynamics of the Mediterranean region. The initiation of rapid rollback occurred after final collision in the Alps and the indentation of Adria onto Europe. The resulting Mediterranean subduction zones, rather than accommodating the convergence of Africa and Europe, have facilitated escape tectonics by laterally migrating away from the collisional zone. Subduction rollback gave rise to the formation of extensional backarc basins, and was accompanied by oroclinal bending, and progressive segmentation of the subduction zone by lithospheric-scale tear faults. One of the most pronounced expressions of such tear faults is found in the area of the Tyrrhenian Sea, where progressive curvature of the retreating subduction zone resulted in vertical lithosphere tearing along tear faults and the development of a slab window beneath the central Apennines. Some of these tear faults provided pathways for asthenospheric-derived melting, giving rise to "tear-related" volcanism from the type recognized in Etna and Vulture. Lamproitic magmatism was possibly also associated with slab tear faulting, as demonstrated, for example, in the dextral strike-slip system of the northern Alboran domain. New data from one of these faults, the dextral Socovos Fault, show that clusters of lamproitic dykes along the fault zone become younger from east to west, in accordance with the westward propagation of the segmented subduction zone. The segmentation of the Mediterranean subduction zone has played a primary role in the formation of oroclines. Such oroclines could potentially be subjected to tightening due to subsequent collisional processes, giving rise to a complex contorted orogenic structure. The "Mediterranean-type" oroclines, therefore, could be used as a template for understanding complex ancient oroclines, such as those found in Variscan Europe, Central

  20. Ticks collected from humans, domestic animals, and wildlife in Yucatan, Mexico.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Vivas, R I; Apanaskevich, D A; Ojeda-Chi, M M; Trinidad-Martínez, I; Reyes-Novelo, E; Esteve-Gassent, M D; Pérez de León, A A

    2016-01-15

    Domestic animals and wildlife play important roles as reservoirs of zoonotic pathogens that are transmitted to humans by ticks. Besides their role as vectors of several classes of microorganisms of veterinary and public health relevance, ticks also burden human and animal populations through their obligate blood-feeding habit. It is estimated that in Mexico there are around 100 tick species belonging to the Ixodidae and Argasidae families. Information is lacking on tick species that affect humans, domestic animals, and wildlife through their life cycle. This study was conducted to bridge that knowledge gap by inventorying tick species that infest humans, domestic animals and wildlife in the State of Yucatan, Mexico. Amblyomma ticks were observed as euryxenous vertebrate parasites because they were found parasitizing 17 animal species and human. Amblyomma mixtum was the most eryxenous species found in 11 different animal species and humans. Both A. mixtum and A. parvum were found parasitizing humans. Ixodes near affinis was the second most abundant species parasitizing six animal species (dogs, cats, horses, white-nosed coati, white-tail deer and black vulture) and was found widely across the State of Yucatan. Ixodid tick populations may increase in the State of Yucatan with time due to animal production intensification, an increasing wildlife population near rural communities because of natural habitat reduction and fragmentation. The diversity of ticks across host taxa documented here highlights the relevance of ecological information to understand tick-host dynamics. This knowledge is critical to inform public health and veterinary programs for the sustainable control of ticks and tick-borne diseases. PMID:26790745

  1. Waveform modeling of historical seismograms of the 1930 Irpinia earthquake provides insight on ``blind'' faulting in Southern Apennines (Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pino, N. A.; Palombo, B.; Ventura, G.; Perniola, B.; Ferrari, G.

    2008-05-01

    The Southern Apennines chain is related to the west-dipping subduction of the Apulian lithosphere. The strongest seismic events mostly occurred in correspondence of the chain axis along normal NW-SE striking faults parallel to the chain axis. These structures are related to mantle wedge upwelling beneath the chain. In the foreland, faulting develops along E-W strike-slip to oblique-slip faults related to the roll-back of the foreland. Similarly to other historical events in Southern Apennines, the I0 = XI (MCS intensity scale) 23 July 1930 earthquake occurred between the chain axis and the thrust front without surface faulting. This event produced more than 1400 casualties and extensive damage elongated approximately E-W. The analysis of the historical waveforms provides the chance to study the fault geometry of this "anomalous" event and allow us to clarify its geodynamic significance. Our results indicate that the MS = 6.6 1930 event nucleated at 14.6 ± 3.06 km depth and ruptured a north dipping, N100°E striking plane with an oblique motion. The fault propagated along the fault strike 32 km to the east at about 2 km/s. The eastern fault tip is located in proximity of the Vulture volcano. The 1930 hypocenter, similarly to the 1990 (MW = 5.8) Southern Apennines event, is within the Mesozoic carbonates of the Apulian foredeep and the rupture developed along a "blind" fault. The 1930 fault kinematics significantly differs from that typical of large Southern Apennines earthquakes, which occur in a distinct seismotectonic domain on late Pleistocene to Holocene outcropping faults. These results stress the role played by pre-existing, "blind" faults in the Apennines subduction setting.

  2. Maar Lake Sediments in the Mediterranean: High-Resolution Archives for Tephra Recording and Paleoenvironmental Reconstruction - a Case Study From Lago Grande di Monticchio (Southern Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Negendank, J. F.; Wulf, S.; Brauer, A.; Mingram, J.

    2001-12-01

    Maar lake deposits with sedimentation rates of one or two order of magnitude higher than marine records are excellent archives for the preservation of annual laminations (varves) and thus make available information of the past with a high temporal resolution. In the Mediterranean, such archives are known from maar and crater lakes situated within Quaternary volcanic fields of the Italian Peninsula. Because of the vicinity to high-explosive volcanoes - most of them characterised by numerous tephra producing events during the Late Quaternary - sediments of these sites additionally provide considerable potential for tephrochronological and tephrostratigraphical studies. The maar lake Lago Grande di Monticchio (Mt. Vulture, Basilicata) has turned out to be one of the most suitable sites in Europe. On the one hand, intensive sedimentological, geochemical, palynological and palaeomagnetic studies on numerous laminated sediment cores spanning the last 101 kyr have demonstrated the great potential for palaeoenvironmental reconstruction. The results of these studies indicate a highly variable environment during the last glacial / interglacial cycle with numerous short and abrupt changes, that can be correlated to rapid climate changes recognized in ice-core and deep-sea records. For such comparisons independent chronologies are required. Regarding the sediment record of Lago Grande di Monticchio a varve-supported sedimentation rate chronology has been established based on the counting of annual laminations and interpolation of sedimentation rates for non-varved sections. This chronology has been confirmed by a high-resolution tephrochronology, numerous radiocarbon datings and three 40Ar/39Ar datings on prominent tephra layers. In addition to its value as a high-resolution palaeoclimatic archive, the Monticchio record has become a key position for inter-site correlation in the eastern Mediterranean. This is mainly due to the large number of intercalated tephra layers (n=344

  3. Geochemical Patterns of Geothermal Elements in Southern Italian Fumaroles and Thermal Springs in Relation with Mantle Intrusions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boudreau, A. E.; Minissale, A.; Donato, A.; Procesi, M.; Pizzino, L.; Giammanco, S.

    2015-12-01

    The review of published data together with some new data specifically made to fill gaps, to make a database of chemical and isotopic data for thermal emergences (springs, fumaroles and gas vents) in southern Italy, to be used for the publication of a Geothermal Atlas, has hallowed the re-interpretation of all the geochemical data gathered. The main conclusions are as follows. All active volcanic areas (Solfatara, Vesuvius, Ischia Isle, Mt Etna, Aeolian Islands and Pantelleria Isle) have i) high 3He/4He rations coupled with ii) high CO2 emissions and iii) geo-thermometric (isotopic) signatures that suggest the presence of active geothermal systems in all places at shallow depth. In spite of this, no one of these areas, is exploited for geothermal power generation. There are three further Quaternary volcanic areas at: Iblei Mts in Sicily, Vulture volcano in Basilicata region and Logudoro area in Sardinia Island that also have CO2-rich gas emissions, high in 3He/4He ratio, but they are not associated to any relevant thermal emission nearby. In terms of regional patterns, apart from the Calabria subduction arc area (Calabria region), the stable flat cratonic areas of Apulia in SE Italy, the Iblean Platform in SE Sicily, and most of Sardinia, the latter not involved in the Apennine Orogeny, the remaining southern Italy along the Tyrrhenian sector has huge emission of hydrothermally generated CO2 crossed, in counterflow, by descending topographically driven N2 solubilized in recharge meteoric water from the main Apennine belt. Iso-distribution maps of several of the parameters investigated even more clearly show the sectors of southern Italy affected by the intrusion of mantle magma and therefore the areas where the geothermal heat-flow is maximized by active tectonics.

  4. Risks to birds traded for African traditional medicine: a quantitative assessment.

    PubMed

    Williams, Vivienne L; Cunningham, Anthony B; Kemp, Alan C; Bruyns, Robin K

    2014-01-01

    Few regional or continent-wide assessments of bird use for traditional medicine have been attempted anywhere in the world. Africa has the highest known diversity of bird species used for this purpose. This study assesses the vulnerability of 354 bird species used for traditional medicine in 25 African countries, from 205 genera, 70 families, and 25 orders. The orders most represented were Passeriformes (107 species), Falconiformes (45 species), and Coraciiformes (24 species), and the families Accipitridae (37 species), Ardeidae (15 species), and Bucerotidae (12 species). The Barn owl (Tyto alba) was the most widely sold species (seven countries). The similarity of avifaunal orders traded is high (analogous to "morphospecies", and using Sørensen's index), which suggests opportunities for a common understanding of cultural factors driving demand. The highest similarity was between bird orders sold in markets of Benin vs. Burkina Faso (90%), but even bird orders sold in two geographically separated countries (Benin vs. South Africa and Nigeria vs. South Africa) were 87% and 81% similar, respectively. Rabinowitz's "7 forms of rarity" model, used to group species according to commonness or rarity, indicated that 24% of traded bird species are very common, locally abundant in several habitats, and occur over a large geographical area, but 10% are rare, occur in low numbers in specific habitats, and over a small geographical area. The order with the highest proportion of rare species was the Musophagiformes. An analysis of species mass (as a proxy for size) indicated that large and/or conspicuous species tend to be targeted by harvesters for the traditional medicine trade. Furthermore, based on cluster analyses for species groups of similar risk, vultures, hornbills, and other large avifauna, such as bustards, are most threatened by selective harvesting and should be prioritised for conservation action. PMID:25162700

  5. Molecular and antigenic evolution and geographical spread of H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses in western Africa.

    PubMed

    Ducatez, M F; Olinger, C M; Owoade, A A; Tarnagda, Z; Tahita, M C; Sow, A; De Landtsheer, S; Ammerlaan, W; Ouedraogo, J B; Osterhaus, A D M E; Fouchier, R A M; Muller, C P

    2007-08-01

    In Africa, highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 virus was first detected in northern Nigeria and later also in other regions of the country. Since then, seven other African countries have reported H5N1 infections. This study reports a comparison of full-length genomic sequences of H5N1 isolates from seven chicken farms in Nigeria and chicken and hooded vultures in Burkina Faso with earlier H5N1 outbreaks worldwide. In addition, the antigenicity of Nigerian H5N1 isolates was compared with earlier strains. All African strains clustered within three sublineages denominated A (south-west Nigeria, Niger), B (south-west Nigeria, Egypt, Djibouti) and C (northern Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Sudan, Côte d'Ivoire), with distinct nucleotide and amino acid signatures and distinct geographical distributions within Africa. Probable non-African ancestors within the west Asian/Russian/European lineage distinct from the south-east Asian lineages were identified for each sublineage. All reported human cases in Africa were caused by sublineage B. Substitution rates were calculated on the basis of sequences from 11 strains from a single farm in south-west Nigeria. As H5N1 emerged essentially at the same time in the north and south-west of Nigeria, the substitution rates confirmed that the virus probably did not spread from the north to the south, given the observed sequence diversity, but that it entered the country via three independent introductions. The strains from Burkina Faso seemed to originate from northern Nigeria. At least two of the sublineages also circulated in Europe in 2006 as seen in Germany, further suggesting that the sublineages had already emerged outside of Africa and seemed to have followed the east African/west Asian and Black Sea/Mediterranean flyways of migratory birds. PMID:17622635

  6. Erosion of the continental lithosphere at the cusps of the Calabrian arc: Evidence from S receiver functions analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, Meghan S.; Piana Agostinetti, Nicola

    2011-12-01

    Mediterranean tectonics has been characterized by an irregular, complex temporal evolution with episodic rollback and retreat of the subducted plate followed by period of slow trench-migration. To provide insight into the geodynamics of the Calabrian arc, we image the characteristics and lithospheric structure of the convergent, Apulian and Hyblean forelands at the cusps of the arc. Specifically we investigate the crustal and lithospheric thicknesses using teleseismic S-to-p converted phases, applied to the Adria-Africa plate margin for the first time. We find that the Moho in the Apulian foreland is nearly flat at ˜30 km depth, consistent with previous P receiver functions results, and that the Hyblean crustal thickness is more complex, which can be understood in terms of the nature of the individual pieces of carbonate platform and pelagic sediments that make up the Hyblean platform. The lithospheric thicknesses range between 70-120 km beneath Apulia and 70-90 km beneath Sicily. The lithosphere of the forelands at each end of the Calabrian arc are continental in nature, buoyant compared to the subducting oceanic lithosphere and have previously been interpreted as mostly undeformed carbonate platforms. Our receiver function images also show evidence of lithospheric erosion and thinning close to Mt. Etna and Mt. Vulture, two volcanoes which have been associated with asthenospheric upwelling and mantle flow around of the sides the slab. We suggest that as the continental lithosphere resists being subducted it is being thermo-mechanically modified by toroidal flow around the edges of the subducting oceanic lithosphere of the Calabrian arc.

  7. Ranking the risk of wildlife species hazardous to military aircraft

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zakrajsek, E.J.; Bissonette, J.A.

    2005-01-01

    Collisions between birds and aircraft (birdstrikes) pose a major threat to aviation safety. Different species pose different levels of threat; thus, identification of the most hazardous species can help managers identify the level of hazard and prioritize mitigation efforts. Dolbeer et al. (2000) assessed the hazard posed by birds to civilian aircraft by analyzing data from the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Wildlife Strike Database to rank the hazardous species and species groups. A similar analysis has not been done for the military but would be useful and necessary. Military flight characteristics differ from those of civilian flights. During the period 1985-1998, birdstrikes cost the United States Air Force (USAF) an average of $35 million/year in damage. Using the USAF Birdstrike Database, we selected and evaluated each species or species group by the number of strikes recorded in each of 3 damage categories. We weighted damage categories to reflect extent and cost of damage. The USAF Birdstrike Database contained 25,519 records of wildlife strikes in the United States. During the period 1985-1998, 22 (mean = 1.6/year) Class-A birdstrikes (>$1,000,000 damage, loss of aircraft, loss of life, or permanent total disability) were sustained, accounting for 80% of total monetary losses caused by birds. Vultures (Cathartes aura, Coragyps atratus, Caracara cheriway) were ranked the most hazardous species group (Hazard Index Rank [HIR] = 127) to USAF aircraft, followed by geese (Branta canadensis, Chen caerulescens, HIR = 76), pelicans (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos, P. occidentalis, HIR = 47), and buteos (Buteo sp., HIR = 30). Of the smaller flocking birds, blackbirds and starlings (mostly Agelaius phoeniceus, Euphagus cyanocephalus, Molothrus ater, Sturnus vulgaris, HIR = 46), horned larks (Eremophila alpestris, HIR = 24), and swallows (Families Hirundinidae, Apodidae, HIR = 23) were species groups ranked highest. Coupling these results with local bird census

  8. Soaring Migratory Birds Avoid Wind Farm in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Southern Mexico

    PubMed Central

    Villegas-Patraca, Rafael; Cabrera-Cruz, Sergio A.; Herrera-Alsina, Leonel

    2014-01-01

    The number of wind farms operating in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, southern Mexico, has rapidly increased in recent years; yet, this region serves as a major migration route for various soaring birds, including Turkey Vultures (Cathartes aura) and Swainson's Hawks (Buteo swainsoni). We analyzed the flight trajectories of soaring migrant birds passing the La Venta II wind farm during the two migratory seasons of 2011, to determine whether an avoidance pattern existed or not. We recorded three polar coordinates for the flight path of migrating soaring birds that were detected using marine radar, plotted the flight trajectories and estimated the number of trajectories that intersected the polygon defined by the wind turbines of La Venta II. Finally, we estimated the actual number of intersections per kilometer and compared this value with the null distributions obtained by running 10,000 simulations of our datasets. The observed number of intersections per kilometer fell within or beyond the lower end of the null distributions in the five models proposed for the fall season and in three of the four models proposed for the spring season. Flight trajectories had a non-random distribution around La Venta II, suggesting a strong avoidance pattern during fall and a possible avoidance pattern during spring. We suggest that a nearby ridgeline plays an important role in this pattern, an issue that may be incorporated into strategies to minimize the potential negative impacts of future wind farms on soaring birds. Studies evaluating these issues in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec have not been previously published; hence this work contributes important baseline information about the movement patterns of soaring birds and its relationship to wind farms in the region. PMID:24647442

  9. Resource Selection by the California Condor (Gymnogyps californianus) Relative to Terrestrial-Based Habitats and Meteorological Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Rivers, James W.; Johnson, J. Matthew; Haig, Susan M.; Schwarz, Carl J.; Glendening, John W.; Burnett, L. Joseph; George, Daniel; Grantham, Jesse

    2014-01-01

    Condors and vultures are distinct from most other terrestrial birds because they use extensive soaring flight for their daily movements. Therefore, assessing resource selection by these avian scavengers requires quantifying the availability of terrestrial-based habitats, as well as meteorological variables that influence atmospheric conditions necessary for soaring. In this study, we undertook the first quantitative assessment of habitat- and meteorological-based resource selection in the endangered California condor (Gymnogyps californianus) within its California range and across the annual cycle. We found that condor use of terrestrial areas did not change markedly within the annual cycle, and that condor use was greatest for habitats where food resources and potential predators could be detected and where terrain was amenable for taking off from the ground in flight (e.g., sparse habitats, coastal areas). Condors originating from different release sites differed in their use of habitat, but this was likely due in part to variation in habitats surrounding release sites. Meteorological conditions were linked to condor use of ecological subregions, with thermal height, thermal velocity, and wind speed having both positive (selection) and negative (avoidance) effects on condor use in different areas. We found little evidence of systematic effects between individual characteristics (i.e., sex, age, breeding status) or components of the species management program (i.e., release site, rearing method) relative to meteorological conditions. Our findings indicate that habitat type and meteorological conditions can interact in complex ways to influence condor resource selection across landscapes, which is noteworthy given the extent of anthropogenic stressors that may impact condor populations (e.g., lead poisoning, wind energy development). Additional studies will be valuable to assess small-scale condor movements in light of these stressors to help minimize their risk to

  10. Fossil bird eggs from the Pliocene of Laetoli, Tanzania: Their taxonomic and paleoecological relationships

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harrison, Terry

    2005-04-01

    Recent paleontological investigations at the Pliocene site of Laetoli and at neighboring localities on the Eyasi Plateau of northern Tanzania have led to the recovery of a sizable collection of fossil bird eggs. The material comes from the Upper Laetolil Beds, dated at ˜3.6-3.8 Ma, and the Lower Laetolil Beds, dated at 3.8 Ma to older than 4.3 Ma. The preservation of relatively complete eggs (other than those of ratites) is an extremely rare occurrence in the fossil record, and Laetoli is the only locality in Africa that has produced such well-preserved eggs. Deposition of carbonatite air-fall tuffs led to the rapid burial of the eggs sub-aerially, and they were then preserved in paleosols that were geochemically conducive to their preservation. The collection of fossil eggs from Laetoli can be assigned to at least five different species of ground-nesting birds, including two or three species of francolins, a species of guineafowl, and a larger bird of uncertain taxonomic status about the size of a bustard. Most of the eggs can be assigned to a large species of Francolinus, similar in size to the extant F. afer and F. leucoscepus. A smaller species of francolin, about the size of Francolinus coqui or F. sephaena, is also represented, but is less common. A single egg may represent an even smaller species of francolin, about the size of Francolinus lathami or F. nahani, but its attribution to Francolinus is less certain. The evidence of at least two species of Francolinus at Laetoli indicates that francolins were already taxonomically diverse in East Africa by the mid-Pliocene. Three eggs are similar in their overall dimensions and morphology to the living Numida meleagris, the helmeted guineafowl. An avian community including at least one small species of francolin, a larger francolin, and a guineafowl (as well as ostriches and a vulture) implies that the paleoecology at Laetoli was likely to have been open woodland, bushland, savanna or grassland. However

  11. Climate change and animals in Saudi Arabia

    PubMed Central

    Williams, Joseph B.; Shobrak, Mohammed; Wilms, Thomas M.; Arif, Ibrahim A.; Khan, Haseeb A.

    2011-01-01

    Global warming is occurring at an alarming rate and predictions are that air temperature (Ta) will continue to increase during this century. Increases in Ta as a result of unabated production of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere pose a threat to the distribution and abundance of wildlife populations worldwide. Although all the animals worldwide will likely be affected by global warming, diurnal animals in the deserts will be particularly threatened in the future because Tas are already high, and animals have limited access to water. It is expected that Saudi Arabia will experience a 3–5 °C in Ta over the next century. For predicting the consequences of global warming for animals, it is important to understand how individual species will respond to higher air temperatures. We think that populations will not have sufficient time to make evolutionary adjustments to higher Ta, and therefore they will be forced to alter their distribution patterns, or make phenotypic adjustments in their ability to cope with high Ta. This report examines how increases in Ta might affect body temperature (Tb) in the animals of arid regions. We chose three taxonomic groups, mammals, birds, and reptiles (Arabian oryx, Arabian spiny-tailed lizard, vultures, and hoopoe larks) from Saudi Arabia, an area in which Ta often reaches 45 °C during midday in summer. When Ta exceeds Tb, animals must resort to behavioral and physiological methods to control their Tb; failure to do so results in death. The observations of this study show that in many cases Tb is already close to the upper lethal limit of around 47° C in these species and therefore allowing their Tb to increase as Ta increases are not an option. We conclude that global warming will have a detrimental impact on a wide range of desert animals, but in reality we know little about the ability of most animals to cope with change in Ta. The data presented should serve as base-line information on Tb of animals in the Kingdom for

  12. Climate change and animals in Saudi Arabia.

    PubMed

    Williams, Joseph B; Shobrak, Mohammed; Wilms, Thomas M; Arif, Ibrahim A; Khan, Haseeb A

    2012-04-01

    Global warming is occurring at an alarming rate and predictions are that air temperature (T a) will continue to increase during this century. Increases in T a as a result of unabated production of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere pose a threat to the distribution and abundance of wildlife populations worldwide. Although all the animals worldwide will likely be affected by global warming, diurnal animals in the deserts will be particularly threatened in the future because T as are already high, and animals have limited access to water. It is expected that Saudi Arabia will experience a 3-5 °C in T a over the next century. For predicting the consequences of global warming for animals, it is important to understand how individual species will respond to higher air temperatures. We think that populations will not have sufficient time to make evolutionary adjustments to higher T a, and therefore they will be forced to alter their distribution patterns, or make phenotypic adjustments in their ability to cope with high T a. This report examines how increases in T a might affect body temperature (T b) in the animals of arid regions. We chose three taxonomic groups, mammals, birds, and reptiles (Arabian oryx, Arabian spiny-tailed lizard, vultures, and hoopoe larks) from Saudi Arabia, an area in which T a often reaches 45 °C during midday in summer. When T a exceeds T b, animals must resort to behavioral and physiological methods to control their T b; failure to do so results in death. The observations of this study show that in many cases T b is already close to the upper lethal limit of around 47° C in these species and therefore allowing their T b to increase as T a increases are not an option. We conclude that global warming will have a detrimental impact on a wide range of desert animals, but in reality we know little about the ability of most animals to cope with change in T a. The data presented should serve as base-line information on T b of animals in the

  13. The value of avian genomics to the conservation of wildlife

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background Genomic studies in non-domestic avian models, such as the California condor and white-throated sparrow, can lead to more comprehensive conservation plans and provide clues for understanding mechanisms affecting genetic variation, adaptation and evolution. Developing genomic tools and resources including genomic libraries and a genetic map of the California condor is a prerequisite for identification of candidate loci for a heritable embryonic lethal condition. The white-throated sparrow exhibits a stable genetic polymorphism (i.e. chromosomal rearrangements) associated with variation in morphology, physiology, and behavior (e.g., aggression, social behavior, sexual behavior, parental care). In this paper we outline the utility of these species as well as report on recent advances in the study of their genomes. Results Genotyping of the condor resource population at 17 microsatellite loci provided a better assessment of the current population's genetic variation. Specific New World vulture repeats were found in the condor genome. Using condor BAC library and clones, chicken-condor comparative maps were generated. A condor fibroblast cell line transcriptome was characterized using the 454 sequencing technology. Our karyotypic analyses of the sparrow in combination with other studies indicate that the rearrangements in both chromosomes 2m and 3a are complex and likely involve multiple inversions, interchromosomal linkage, and pleiotropy. At least a portion of the rearrangement in chromosome 2m existed in the common ancestor of the four North American species of Zonotrichia, but not in the one South American species, and that the 2m form, originally thought to be the derived condition, might actually be the ancestral one. Conclusion Mining and characterization of candidate loci in the California condor using molecular genetic and genomic techniques as well as linkage and comparative genomic mapping will eventually enable the identification of carriers of the

  14. Application of Critical-Taper Theory to Oligo-Miocene Extension and Core-Complex Exhumation in Western Arizona, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spencer, J. E.

    2006-12-01

    Restoration of 93 km of Oligo-Miocene extension in the area around the Harcuvar metamorphic core complex in western Arizona reveals three east-southeast-trending belts. From southwest to northeast these are: (1) a basin occupied by the Upper Jurassic to Upper Cretaceous McCoy Mountains Formation and its Jurassic volcanic substrate, (2) the generally southwest-vergent, Late Cretaceous Maria fold-and-thrust belt, and (3) the restored position of the Harcuvar metamorphic core complex in the middle crust beneath Proterozoic bedrock adjacent to the Colorado Plateau. Large-magnitude extension that exhumed the core-complex mylonites began along a narrow, southeast-trending belt that crossed the Maria fold-and-thrust belt at an angle of about ten degrees. Extension in the northwestern part of the area where the two belts crossed was unusual because mylonitic mid-crustal rocks were exhumed with almost no extension of overlying rocks (Buckskin, Rawhide, and Artillery Mountains). This is equivalent to stable sliding of an extensional wedge. In contrast, approximately 100 km to the southeast in the Vulture Mountains area, extension produced a highly distended array of tilted fault blocks with no exhumation of mylonitic mid-crustal rock. This is equivalent to highly unstable sliding of an extensional wedge. Almost every other area in Arizona that is both highly extended and at least moderately well exposed is intermediate in structural style of extension. Juxtaposition of end-member structural styles in western Arizona can be explained by application of critical taper theory to restored paleotopography characterized by a mountain range along the axis of the Maria fold-and-thrust belt. When extension began, the Buckskin-Rawhide detachment fault dipped to the northeast beneath a northeast-sloping surface on the northeast flank of the mountain range, resulting in stable sliding of the hanging-wall rocks. Along strike to the southeast the detachment fault dipped northeast beneath

  15. Depth-weighted Inverse and Imaging methods to study the Earth's Crust in Southern Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fedi, M.

    2012-04-01

    volcanic structure (Mt. Vulture) whose intense dipolar anomaly is superimposed on a longer wavelength regional anomaly. In the Southern Apennines the aeromagnetic field presents smooth and extended anomalies, with wavelength of the order of tens of kilometres, which are aligned along the external border of the Apennine overthrusts. Their origin is rather uncertain, some possible causes including the diffuse presence of intrasedimentary volcanic bodies proven by several exploratory wells, as well as deep seated intrusions. Application of either imaging or inversion techniques allows recognition of at least three distinct sources between about 5 km and 20 km depth. Their interpretation is discussed in light of borehole data and other geophysical constraints.

  16. Crystal chemistry of Ti-bearing garnets with volcanic origin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scordari, F.; Schingaro, E.; Malitesta, C.; Pedrazzi, G.

    2003-04-01

    The crystal chemistry of Ti-bearing andradites ("melanites") belonging to different pyroclastic units of Albani Hills (Lazio, Italy) has been investigated electron probe microanalysis (EPMA), single crystal X-ray diffraction (SCXRD), Mössbauer spectroscopy (MS) and X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS). The aim is to determine the correct cations distribution over the X(8-fold), Y(6-fold) and Z(4-fold) sites and accurate values of cations site populations. The analysed samples are characterized by a low Ti-content ( TiO_2 in the range 1.76-3.59 wt%) and cell edges in the range 11.996(3)-12.014(1). MS investigation reveald Fe to be present predominantly as Fe3+(Y) and subordinately as Fe2+(X). XPS analysis was accomplished according to the procedure developed by Malitesta et al.(1989). The fitting of Ti2p signals seem to indicate that two (octahedral Ti3+ and Ti4+) or three (octahedral Ti3+ and Ti4+, tetrahedral Ti4+) Ti species may occur in these specimen. From the combination of the results from different techniques the distribution of Al over the Y and Z sites has been deduced. By comparing the Albani Hills samples crystal chemistry with that of melanites from Mt. Vulture (Scordari et al., 1999), it has been found that in the latter samples the Z sites is occupied by Si, Fe3+ and Ti4+, whereas in the former by Si,Ti4+ and Al3+. Substitution mechanisms through which Fe and Ti enter the garnet structure are expected to be related to the geologic environment in which they occurr. It has been recently proposed that in samples from volcanic rocks schorlomite substitution, Ti4+(Y) + Fe3+(Z) leftrightarrow Si4+(Z) + Fe3+(Y) is predominant, associated to a low degree of hydrogarnet component, (SiO_4)4- leftrightarrow (O_4H_4)4-; on the contrary Ti-garnets from metamorphic rocks should be affected by morimotoite substitution Ti4+(Y) + Fe2+(Y) leftrightarrow 2Fe3+(Y) and a high degree of hydrogarnet component (Armbruster et al., 1998). The result obtained in the present

  17. Raised Marine Terraces in the Sibari Plain (Calabria, Southern Italy): the Geological Record of Fast Regional Uplift and Local Fault Deformation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cucci, L.

    2002-12-01

    Raised Upper Pleistocene marine terraces testifying rapid regional uplift are a prominent characteristic of the coastal landscape of Calabria (southern Italy). In particular, in the Sibari Plain, located at the boundary between the southern Apennines and the Calabrian Arc, the combination of Pleistocene sea-level fluctuations and uplift caused the progressive filling of a wide embayment of the Ionian Sea and originated a spectacular flight of marine terraces. Aerial photo interpretation, field observations and morphological correlation of inner edge fragments and wavecut platforms led to the identification of six marine terraces at elevations ranging from 60 m to ~650 m. Some characteristic geomorphic properties of the emerged cliff-platform systems such as the platform-cliff ratio and the dissection percentage were used to better correlate remote terrace remnants and to discriminate between the identified strandlines. Two comparable lower age boundaries for the marine terraces in the area can be inferred by geological observations: 1) in some areas, the terraces are cut into and therefore postdate 1.0 Ma Gilbert-type fan deltas; 2) marine deposits of the terraces at the northern end of the study area contain magnetite derived from the Vulture volcano (located about 150 km NW), which started activity around 0.73 Ma. Merging ad hoc aminostratigraphy datings with datings coming from literature permitted to correlate each terrace in the sequence with a highstand of the paleosea-level, thus reconstructing the evolution of this section of the Ionian coast. Typical average uplift rates of 1.0-1.1 millimeters per year affect the area since Middle Pleistocene, with a presumable time of inception of 0.6-0.7 million years ago; the uplift is still active during the Holocene, possibly at a similar rate. The flight of terraces shows a long wavelength increase of the rate of uplift moving southward along the coast, due to large-scale geodynamic processes. At a more local scale

  18. Subduction Related Crustal and Mantle Deformations and Their Implications for Plate Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Okeler, Ahmet

    Ocean-continent convergence and subsequent continental collision are responsible for continental growth, mountain building, and severe tectonic events including volcanic eruptions and earthquake activity. They are also key driving forces behind the extensive thermal and compositional heterogeneities at crustal and mantle depths. Active subduction along the Calabrian Arc in southern Italy and the Hellenic Arc are examples of such collisional tectonics. The first part of this thesis examines the subduction related deformations within the crust beneath the southern Apennines. By modeling regional surface wave recordings of the largest temporary deployment in the southern Apennines, a lower-crustal/upper-mantle low-velocity volume extending down to 50 km beneath the mountain chain is identified. The magnitude (˜ 0.4 km/s slower) and anisotropic nature (˜ 10%) of the anomaly suggest the presence of hot and partially molten emplacement that may extend into the upper-crust towards Mt. Vulture, a once active volcano. Since the Apulian basement units are deformed during the compressional and consequent extensional events, our observations favor the "thick-skin" tectonic growth model for the region. In the deeper mantle, active processes are thermodynamically imprinted on the depth and strength of the phase transitions. This thesis examines more than 15000 SS precursors and provides the present-day reflectivity structure and topography associated with these phase transitions. Through case studies I present ample evidence for both slab penetration into the lower mantle (beneath the Hellenic Arc, Kurile Island and South America) and slab stagnation at the bottom of the Mantle Transition Zone (beneath the Tyrrhenian Sea and eastern China). Key findings include (1) thermal anomalies (˜ 200 K) at the base of the MTZ, which represent the deep source for Cenozoic European Rift Zone, Mount Etna and Mount Cameroon volcanism, (2) significant depressions (by 20-40 km) at the bottom

  19. Tephrostratigraphy of the last 170 ka in sedimentary successions from the Adriatic Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Calanchi, Natale; Dinelli, Enrico

    2008-10-01

    In this study are discussed new SEM-EDS analyses performed on glass shards from five cores collected in the Central Adriatic Sea and two cores recovered from the South Adriatic Sea. A total of 26 tephra layers have been characterized and compared with the geochemical features of terrestrial deposits and other tephra archives in the area (South Adriatic Sea and Lago Grande di Monticchio, Vulture volcano). The compositions are compatible with either a Campanian or a Roman provenance. The cores, located on the Central Adriatic inner and outer shelf, recorded tephra referred to explosive events described in the literature: AP3 (sub-Plinian activity of the Somma-Vesuvius, 2710 ± 60 14C years BP); Avellino eruption (Somma-Vesuvius, 3548 ± 129 14C years BP); Agnano Monte Spina (Phlegrean Fields, 4100 ± 400 years BP); Mercato eruption (Somma-Vesuvius, 8010 ± 35 14C years BP; Agnano Pomici Principali eruption (Phlegrean Fields, 10,320 ± 50 14C years BP); Neapolitan Yellow Tuff (Phlegrean Fields, 12,100 ± 170 14C years BP). Some of these layers were also observed in the South Adriatic core IN68-9 in addition to younger ( AP2, sub-Plinian eruption, Somma-Vesuvius, 3225 ± 140 14C years BP), and older layers ( Pomici di Base eruption, Somma-Vesuvius, 18,300 ± 150 14C years BP). Significant is the tephra record of core RF95-7 that, for the first time in the Adriatic Sea, reports the occurrence of tephra layers older than 60 ka: the well known Mediterranean tephra layers X2 (ca. 70 ka), W1 (ca. 140 ka) and V2 (Roman origin, ca. 170 ka) as well as other tephra layers attributed, on the basis of geochemistry and biostratigraphy, to explosive eruptions occurred at Vico (138 ± 2 and 151 ± 3 ka BP) and Ischia (147-140 ka BP). Previous tephra correlations performed on other cores in the Central Adriatic Sea were also critically revised according to new available data, and integrated with the results of this study for a correlation at a regional scale. The most important key

  20. Post-collisional and intraplate Cenozoic volcanism in the rifted Apennines/Adriatic domain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bianchini, G.; Beccaluva, L.; Siena, F.

    2008-02-01

    The distinctive tectono-magmatic characteristics of rift volcanism in the Apennines/Adria domains are discussed focussing attention on the nature of mantle sources, stress regimes, and conditions of magma generation. Post-collisional intensive lithospheric rifting and tectonic collapse of the Apennines generate large amounts of Pliocene-Quaternary orogenic magmas which overlie a nearly vertical subducted slab along the peri-Tyrrhenian border. This magmatism includes the Roman Magmatic Province sensu lato (RMP-s.l.) and the Internal Apennines Volcanism (IAV), and consists of high-K calcalkaline, potassic (shoshonitic) and ultrapotassic (leucitites, leucite basanite and minor lamproites and kamafugites) products. Integrated petrological and geochemical studies of these rocks (and associated mantle xenoliths) indicate that most of them could have been generated by a restricted partial melting range ( F ≤ 5-10%) of extremely inhomogeneous phlogopite-veined lithospheric mantle sources, resulting from subduction related K-metasomatic processes. Moreover, the presence of both intermediate anorogenic and subduction related geochemical features in Mt. Vulture magmas support the existence of a slab window beneath the central-southern Apennines, which could have allowed inflow of subduction components to intraplate mantle sources. This slab discontinuity may mark the transition between the already collisioned Adriatic and the still subducting Ionian lithospheric slabs. By contrast, the Paleogene intraplate magmatism of the Adriatic foreland (i.e., the Veneto Province (VVP) and the minor Mt. Queglia and Pietre Nere magmatic bodies) is characterized by small volumes of basic magmas, varying from tholeiitic to strongly Na-alkaline in composition. This magmatism appears to be related to a limited extensional regime typical of the low volcanicity rifts. Petrogenetic modelling of the intraplate Adriatic foreland magmas indicates that their composition is remarkably depth

  1. Potassic and ultrapotassic magmatism in the circum-Tyrrhenian region: Significance of carbonated pelitic vs. pelitic sediment recycling at destructive plate margins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Avanzinelli, Riccardo; Lustrino, Michele; Mattei, Massimo; Melluso, Leone; Conticelli, Sandro

    2009-12-01

    subduction-related component shortly before magma generation is required to explain the isotopic composition of rocks from the Neapolitan district. In the last phases of circum-Tyrrhenian evolution, a within-plate component appears within south-eastern Italy. This component is evident at Vulture volcano, in the Lucanian Magmatic province (SE Italy).

  2. Genome-Based Comparison of Cyclic Di-GMP Signaling in Pathogenic and Commensal Escherichia coli Strains

    PubMed Central

    Povolotsky, Tatyana L.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT The ubiquitous bacterial second messenger cyclic di-GMP (c-di-GMP) has recently become prominent as a trigger for biofilm formation in many bacteria. It is generated by diguanylate cyclases (DGCs; with GGDEF domains) and degraded by specific phosphodiesterases (PDEs; containing either EAL or HD-GYP domains). Most bacterial species contain multiples of these proteins with some having specific functions that are based on direct molecular interactions in addition to their enzymatic activities. Escherichia coli K-12 laboratory strains feature 29 genes encoding GGDEF and/or EAL domains, resulting in a set of 12 DGCs, 13 PDEs, and four enzymatically inactive “degenerate” proteins that act by direct macromolecular interactions. We present here a comparative analysis of GGDEF/EAL domain-encoding genes in 61 genomes of pathogenic, commensal, and probiotic E. coli strains (including enteric pathogens such as enteroaggregative, enterohemorrhagic, enteropathogenic, enterotoxigenic, and adherent and invasive Escherichia coli and the 2011 German outbreak O104:H4 strain, as well as extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli, such as uropathogenic and meningitis-associated E. coli). We describe additional genes for two membrane-associated DGCs (DgcX and DgcY) and four PDEs (the membrane-associated PdeT, as well as the EAL domain-only proteins PdeW, PdeX, and PdeY), thus showing the pangenome of E. coli to contain at least 35 GGDEF/EAL domain proteins. A core set of only eight proteins is absolutely conserved in all 61 strains: DgcC (YaiC), DgcI (YliF), PdeB (YlaB), PdeH (YhjH), PdeK (YhjK), PdeN (Rtn), and the degenerate proteins CsrD and CdgI (YeaI). In all other GGDEF/EAL domain genes, diverse point and frameshift mutations, as well as small or large deletions, were discovered in various strains. IMPORTANCE Our analysis reveals interesting trends in pathogenic Escherichia coli that could reflect different host cell adherence mechanisms. These may either benefit from or be

  3. Isotopic composition of sulfate accumulations, Northern Calcareous Alps, Austria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bojar, Ana-Voica; Halas, Stanislaw; Bojar, Hans-Peter; Trembaczowski, Andrzej

    2015-04-01

    The Eastern Alps are characterised by the presence of three main tectonic units, such as the Lower, Middle and Upper Austroalpine, which overlie the Penninicum (Tollmann, 1977). The Upper Austroalpine unit consists of the Northern Calcareous Alps (NCA) overlying the Greywacke zone and corresponding to the Graz Paleozoic, Murau Paleozoic and the Gurktal Nappe. Evaporitic rocks are lacking in the later ones. The Northern Calcareous Alps are a detached fold and thrust belt. The sedimentation started in the Late Carboniferous or Early Permian, the age of the youngest sediments being Eocene. The NCA are divided into the Bajuvaric, Tirolic and Juvavic nappe complexes. The evaporitic Haselgebirge Formation occurs in connection with the Juvavic nappe complex at the base of the Tirolic units (Leitner et al., 2013). The Haselgebirge Formation consists mainly of salt, shales, gypsum and anhydrite and includes the oldest sediments of the NCA. The age of the Haselgebirge Formation, established by using spors and geochronological data, is Permian to Lower Triassic. For the Northern Calcareous Alps, the mineralogy of sulphate accumulations consists mainly of gypsum and anhydrite and subordonates of carbonates. The carbonates as magnesite, dolomite and calcite can be found either as singular crystals or as small accumulations within the hosting gypsum. Sulfides (sphalerite, galena, pyrite), sulfarsenides (enargite, baumhauerite) and native sulphur enrichments are known from several deposits (Kirchner, 1987; Postl, 1990). The investigated samples were selected from various gypsum and halite rich deposits of the Northern Calcareous Alps. A total of over 20 samples were investigated, and both oxygen and sulfur isotopic composition were determined for anhydrite, gyps, polyhalite, blödite and langbeinite. The sulfur isotopic values vary between 10.1 to 14 ‰ (CDT), with three values higher than 14 ‰. The Oxygen isotopic values show a range from 9 to 23 ‰ (SMOW). The sulfur

  4. Biogeochemical processes involving dissolved CO2 and CH4 at Albano, Averno, and Monticchio meromictic volcanic lakes (Central-Southern Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cabassi, Jacopo; Tassi, Franco; Vaselli, Orlando; Fiebig, Jens; Nocentini, Matteo; Capecchiacci, Francesco; Rouwet, Dmitri; Bicocchi, Gabriele

    2013-01-01

    This paper focuses on the chemical and isotopic features of dissolved gases (CH4 and CO2) from four meromictic lakes hosted in volcanic systems of Central-Southern Italy: Lake Albano (Alban Hills), Lake Averno (Phlegrean Fields), and Monticchio Grande and Piccolo lakes (Mt. Vulture). Deep waters in these lakes are characterized by the presence of a significant reservoir of extra-atmospheric dissolved gases mainly consisting of CH4 and CO2. The δ13C-CH4 and δD-CH4 values of dissolved gas samples from the maximum depths of the investigated lakes (from -66.8 to -55.6 ‰ V-PDB and from -279 to -195 ‰ V-SMOW, respectively) suggest that CH4 is mainly produced by microbial activity. The δ13C-CO2 values of Lake Grande, Lake Piccolo, and Lake Albano (ranging from -5.8 to -0.4 ‰ V-PDB) indicate a significant CO2 contribution from sublacustrine vents originating from (1) mantle degassing and (2) thermometamorphic reactions involving limestone, i.e., the same CO2 source feeding the regional thermal and cold CO2-rich fluid emissions. In contrast, the relatively low δ13C-CO2 values (from -13.4 to -8.2 ‰ V-PDB) of Lake Averno indicate a prevalent organic CO2. Chemical and isotopic compositions of dissolved CO2 and CH4 at different depths are mainly depending on (1) CO2 inputs from external sources (hydrothermal and/or anthropogenic); (2) CO2-CH4 isotopic exchange; and (3) methanogenic and methanotrophic activity. In the epilimnion, vertical water mixing, free oxygen availability, and photosynthesis cause the dramatic decrease of both CO2 and CH4 concentrations. In the hypolimnion, where the δ13C-CO2 values progressively increase with depth and the δ13C-CH4 values show an opposite trend, biogenic CO2 production from CH4 using different electron donor species, such as sulfate, tend to counteract the methanogenesis process whose efficiency achieves its climax at the water-bottom sediment interface. Theoretical values, calculated on the basis of δ13C-CO2 values, and

  5. Fault and fluid interaction in the Bradano Trough, southern Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sinisi, Rosa; Vita Petrullo, Angela; Agosta, Fabrizio; Paternoster, Michele; Belviso, Claudia; Grassa, Fausto

    2015-04-01

    We report the preliminary results of a multidisciplinary study directed toward a better understanding of the fault and fluid interaction in the Bradano Trough, the foredeep basin of the southern Apennines fold-and-thrust belt, Italy. The work focuses on fresh tuff deposits located along high-angle faults, which crosscut the foredeep basin infill and the Middle Pleistocene Vulture pyroclastic rocks. Two sites have been studied in detail by mean of integrated field and laboratory analyses. The field survey aimed at deciphering both fault architecture (nature, distribution, and relative timing of formation of the various structural elements) and stratigraphy of the fresh tuff deposits. Laboratory investigation of representative samples of both fresh tuff deposits and mineralized fault-related structural elements (e.g, veins and fluid pipe conduits) targeted their textural, mineralogical and stable isotope compositions. The fresh tuff deposits consist of a few m-thick, either well-layered or massive, carbonates that include fossils and syn-depositional calcite veins. These deposits grew primarily by lateral progradation. Optical microscopy analysis is consistent with seven main fresh tuff lithofacies, which all show the following similarities: (i) cement-supported textures; (ii) presence of peloids, phyto- and bio-clasts, imprints of gastropods, bivalves, and plants; (iii) occurrence of shrinkage pores, micropores, and fenestrae that are either partially or totally filled by secondary calcite. XRPD analysis of representative powders showed that calcite is the sole mineral phase except for quartz and feldspar, which are detected in trace in a few samples. Similarly, the mineralogical composition of the fault-related structural elements also shows minor amounts of quartz. Both nature and origin of the quartz mineral will be investigated in a future work. 13C and 18O signatures of representative fresh tuff powders are consistent with a pronounced different isotope

  6. GEMAS: Geochemical Distribution of Thallium in European Soil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Demetriades, Alecos; Birke, Manfred; Reimann, Clemens; Mann, Alan; Kaminari, Maria

    2014-05-01

    Thallium concentrations are reported for the <2 mm fraction of soil samples from agricultural (Ap horizon, 0-20 cm; N=2108) and grazing land (Gr, 0-10 cm; N=2024), covering 33 European countries and 5.6 million km2 at a sample density of 1 site/2500 km2. The median concentration of Tl in an aqua regia extraction is 0.116 mg/kg in the Ap and 0.115 mg/kg in the Gr samples. The maps of Tl in the aqua regia extraction show the southern limit of the last glaciation as a distinct concentration break; Tl concentrations are generally somewhat higher in southern (median Ap & Gr 0.14 mg/kg; ) than in northern (median Ap 0.086 mg/kg; Gr 0.082 mg/kg) European soil. A well-defined anomaly marks the Central Scandinavian Clay Belt, and highlights the tendency of Tl to accumulate in clay-rich soil. In Sweden, the high Tl concentrations may be correlated with sulphide mineralisation (e.g., Bergslagen mining district), and also in the Balkans (e.g., Allchar, Krstov Dol, Bujanovac). The principal Tl anomalies are spatially associated with the alkaline igneous rocks in Italy, and terra rossa soil developed on karst in Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro. The latter may actually also be influenced by ash input from former eruptions of the Italian volcanoes (Vesuvius, Campi Felgrei and Mount Vulture); similar anomalous patterns are shown by Be, Pd and Pt. Most granitic intrusions are also marked by high Tl values (e.g., northern Portugal, Massif Central in France, and Bohemian Massif in Czechia). The median Tl concentration of Ap soil samples in the mobile metal ion (MMI®) partial extraction is 0.0006 mg/kg, and almost 50% of all samples report concentrations below detection. There is no pronounced difference between northern and southern Europe anymore, and the ice age limit of the last glaciation remains invisible. The main anomaly is related to the alkaline volcanic rocks in Italy. Many granitic intrusions are indicated by somewhat enhanced Tl concentrations (e

  7. Occurrence and origin of Escherichia coli in water and sediments at two public swimming beaches at Lake of the Ozarks State Park, Camden County, Missouri, 2011-13

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wilson, Jordan L.; Schumacher, John G.; Burken, Joel G.

    2014-01-01

    (samples collected above the shoreline) than in samples collected in ankle-deep water below the shoreline, significantly larger in the left and middle areas of the beach than the right area, and substantially larger than similar studies at E. coli- contaminated beaches on Lake Erie in Ohio. Concentrations of E. coli in the water column also were significantly larger after resuspension of sediments. Results of MST indicate a predominance of waterfowl-associated markers in nearshore sediments at Grand Glaize Beach consistent with frequent observations of goose and vulture fecal matter in sediment, especially on the left and middle areas of the beach. The combination of spatial and temporal sampling and MST indicate that an important source of E. coli contamination at Grand Glaize Beach during 2012 was E. coli released into the water column by bathers resuspending E. coli-contaminated sediments, especially during high-use days early in the recreational season.

  8. Geophysical and petrological modelling of the structure and composition of the crust and upper mantle in complex geodynamic settings: The Tyrrhenian Sea and surroundings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Panza, G. F.; Peccerillo, A.; Aoudia, A.; Farina, B.

    2007-01-01

    Information on the physical and chemical properties of the lithosphere-asthenosphere system (LAS) can be obtained by geophysical investigation and by studies of petrology-geochemistry of magmatic rocks and entrained xenoliths. Integration of petrological and geophysical studies is particularly useful in geodynamically complex areas characterised by abundant and compositionally variable young magmatism, such as in the Tyrrhenian Sea and surroundings. A thin crust, less than 10 km, overlying a soft mantle (where partial melting can reach about 10%) is observed for Magnaghi, Vavilov and Marsili, which belong to the Central Tyrrhenian Sea backarc volcanism where subalkaline rocks dominate. Similar characteristics are seen for the uppermost crust of Ischia. A crust about 20 km thick is observed for the majority of the continental volcanoes, including Amiata-Vulsini, Roccamonfina, Phlegraean Fields-Vesuvius, Vulture, Stromboli, Vulcano-Lipari, Etna and Ustica. A thicker crust is present at Albani - about 25 km - and at Cimino-Vico-Sabatini — about 30 km. The structure of the upper mantle, in contrast, shows striking differences among various volcanic provinces. Volcanoes of the Roman region (Vulsini-Sabatini-Alban Hills) sit over an upper mantle characterised by Vs mostly ranging from about 4.2 to 4.4 km/s. At the Alban Hills, however, slightly lower Vs values of about 4.1 km/s are detected between 60 and 120 km of depth. This parallels the similar and rather homogeneous compositional features of the Roman volcanoes, whereas the lower Vs values detected at the Alban Hills may reflect the occurrence of small amounts of melts within the mantle, in agreement with the younger age of this volcano. The axial zone of the Apennines, where ultrapotassic kamafugitic volcanoes are present, has a mantle structure with high-velocity lid ( Vs ˜ 4.5 km/s) occurring at the base of a 40-km-thick crust. Beneath the Campanian volcanoes of Vesuvius and Phlegraean Fields, the mantle

  9. Sediment-palaeosol successions in Calabria and Sardinia suggest spatially differentiated palaeo-vegetation patterns in southern Italy during the Last Glacial period

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sauer, Daniela; Zucca, Claudio; Al-Sharif, Riyad; Zwanzig, Lisa; Madrau, Salvatore; Andreucci, Stefano; Pascucci, Vincenzo; Kadereit, Annette; Scarciglia, Fabio; Brückner, Helmut

    2016-04-01

    Several lakes on the southern Italian peninsula provide valuable palaeoenvironmental archives of the Last Glacial period. These archives include, e.g., the long high-resolution record from varved lake sediments of Lago Grande di Monticchio, the bigger one of two maar lakes situated on top of Mt. Vulture. Its pollen record indicates (1) temperate deciduous forest during MIS5.2-MIS5.1 (St. Germain 2); (2) frequent vegetation fluctuations, then Artemisia steppe during MIS5.1-MIS4; (3) alternations between open steppe (stadials) and wooded steppe (interstadials) during MIS3; and (4) open steppe during MIS2 (Last Glacial Maximum). However, only few palaeosol records of this period have been reported from southern Italy in the literature so far. Such records would allow for gaining insight also into spatial patterns of the vegetation cover during this period that should have formed, e.g., according to relief, elevation, and continentality gradient (related to the much lower coastline during the last glacial period). So far, we have studied three sediment-palaeosol successions in southern Italy, two in the Calabria region, and one in north-western Sardinia. All of them have developed in alluvial fan deposits resting on littoral sediments of the Last Interglacial period (MIS 5). The southernmost succession studied is located near Lazzaro (south of Reggio di Calabria). It is exposed in an alluvial fan overlying the MIS5.5 terrace. Due to strong tectonic uplift (1.3 m ka-1) the alluvial fan has been dissected by the same creek which previously had built it up. Therefore, its internal structure is exposed, exhibiting a detailed sediment-palaeosol sequence. The palaeosols are mainly characterized by accumulation of soil organic matter (SOM), bioturbation and secondary carbonates. They represent Chernozem- and Phaeozem-like soils that most likely formed under steppe to forest steppe. SOM of the two uppermost Lazzaro palaeosols was 14C-dated to 26.8-28.8 ka cal BP and 28