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Sample records for gull larus crassirostris

  1. Heavy metal concentrations in Black-tailed Gull (Larus crassirostris) chicks, Korea.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jungsoo; Oh, Jon-Min

    2014-10-01

    The objectives of this study were to quantify concentrations of heavy metals in livers and stomach contents of Black-tailed Gull (Larus crassirostris) chicks from two islands in Korea. Iron and manganese concentrations were significantly higher in chick livers at Hongdo Island compared to Rando Islnad. In contrast, zinc, copper and cadmium concentrations were significantly higher at Rando Island than Hongdo Island. On Hongdo Island, Black-tailed Gull chicks at a lighthouse site had higher lead concentrations in livers and stomach contents than at a nearby reference site and stomach contents of Black-tailed Gull chicks had significantly higher lead concentrations than regurgitated diets. In Hongdo Island, manganese, lead and cadmium concentrations were significantly correlated between livers and stomach contents. Essential elements such as iron, zinc, manganese and copper concentrations from the present study were within the range reported for other seabird species including gulls. Livers of four individual gull chicks (13.3%) were at a level considered lead exposed (6-30 μg g(-1) dry weight), but cadmium concentrations in all specimens were within the background level (<3 μg g(-1) dry weight) for wild birds. Elevated lead concentrations on lighthouse site may be attributed to ingestion of paint chips and these concentrations may negatively affect chick behavior, growth and survival. PMID:25048929

  2. Trace element contamination in nestling black-tailed gulls (Larus crassirostris) in Korea.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jungsoo; Oh, Jong-Min

    2015-05-01

    At Hongdo Island, Gyeongsangnam-do, Korea, a breeding site of black-tailed gull (Larus crassirostris), we collected nestlings from two locations: a "reference" site (n = 10) with no known source of lead contamination and "lighthouse" site (n = 10) with suspected lead contamination from leaded paint. Iron concentrations in the kidney and bone, manganese in the muscle, copper in the bone, lead in the muscle and bone, and cadmium in the liver, muscle, and bone at the reference site were significantly higher than at the lighthouse. Manganese concentrations in the liver and kidney, and lead in the kidney were significantly greater at the lighthouse than at the reference site. Iron, zinc, manganese, copper, lead and cadmium concentrations had tissue-specific accumulation at both sites. Lead concentrations in 10 % of livers and in 80 % of kidneys at the lighthouse, and in 20 % of livers from the reference were within a range considered toxic (>6.00 μg/g dw in the liver and kidney). Lead concentrations in 50 % of black-tailed gull nestlings at the reference and 80 % nestlings at the lighthouse were greater in livers than in bones, which is suggestive of acute lead exposure. For cadmium, all liver and kidney concentrations from two sites were at a level considered background in birds. Cadmium concentrations of every sample were higher in kidneys than in livers, suggestive of chronic cadmium exposure. Lead concentrations in gull nestlings in the present study were relatively higher than other gull species worldwide, but cadmium concentrations were relatively lower. PMID:25763522

  3. Relationships of metals between feathers and diets of black-tailed gull (Larus crassirostris) chicks.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jungsoo; Oh, Jong-Min

    2014-03-01

    In birds, metal contaminants in feathers are influenced by prey concentrations and environmental quality. In Black-tailed Gull chicks, Cd, Pb and Cu concentrations were strongly correlated between feathers and stomach contents. Between feathers and livers, Pb, Zn and Fe concentrations were significantly correlated. Cd concentrations were within the range of other seabirds and within the background level for bird feathers (<2 μg/g dw). At the lighthouse, eight chicks exceeded the background for Pb level in feathers (>4 μg/g dw). Elevated Pb concentrations might be attributed to ingestion of paint-based chips and natural (soil and rocks) sources. There is evidence that the analyzed birds suffered from acute toxicity, including high levels of pecking from conspecifics and increased mortality from elevated Pb levels. It seems likely that these birds might experience negative health effects from this increased Pb exposure. As a result, Black-tailed Gull chick feathers are a very useful monitoring tool for assessing Cd, Pb and Cu contamination. Essential elements such as Fe, Zn, Mn and Cu were all within the acceptable range of normal concentrations for seabird species including gulls and may be maintained by normal homeostatic mechanisms. PMID:24414165

  4. Genetic affinities within the herring gull Larus argentatus assemblage revealed by AFLP genotyping.

    PubMed

    de Knijff P; Denkers, F; van Swelm, N D; Kuiper, M

    2001-01-01

    To date, the taxonomic status of circumpolar breeding populations of the Herring Gull Larus argentatus, the Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus, and the closely related Yellow-legged Gull Larus cachinnans has been based on differences or similarities in phenotype, morphology, and feeding and premating behavior. To shed some new light on the many taxonomic uncertainties surrounding these taxa, we describe the results of a large DNA study based on comparing the distribution of 209 biallelic markers among 109 gulls, representing 11 gull taxa of the Herring Gull assemblage and the Common Gull Larus canus. A detailed phylogenetic analysis failed to show clustering of individuals into groups representing either geographic origin or phenotype. Alternatively, birds were grouped into taxa defined on the basis of phenotype and geographic origin or phenotype alone. Genetic analyses revealed significantly different genetic distances between all pairs of taxa. However, based on these genetic distances, again no consistent phylogenetic tree could be constructed. Analysis of molecular variance indicated that about 77% of the total genetic variability among these gulls could be explained by within-taxon differences. Only 23% of the total genetic variability was due to genetic differences between taxa, irrespective of their species or subspecies status. Although this seems to challenge the current taxonomic treatment of the herring gull assemblage, our results are too premature and too incomplete to recommend a drastic change. PMID:11139298

  5. [Hematologic and hematochemical characteristics of the herring gull (Larus argentatus) and the buzzard (Buteo buteo)].

    PubMed

    Bini, P P; Floris, B; Nuvole, P; Pau, S; Zedda, M T

    1989-09-01

    Some hematological and hematochemical parameters in eight herring gulls (Larus argentatus) and in six buzzards (Buteo buteo) were checked. The buzzards were fed with ovine meat exclusively, while the herring gulls were fed with fish and ovine meat. Considerable differences between the two species were noted, particularly as far as the hematological and lipidic parameters are concerned. These differences are probably related to the aquatic life of the herring gull. PMID:2627341

  6. Monitoring organic contaminants in eggs of glaucous and glaucous-winged gulls (Larus hyperboreus and Larus glaucescens) from Alaska.

    PubMed

    Vander Pol, Stacy S; Becker, Paul R; Ellisor, Michael B; Moors, Amanda J; Pugh, Rebecca S; Roseneau, David G

    2009-03-01

    Gull eggs have been used to monitor contaminants in many parts of the world. The Seabird Tissue Archival and Monitoring Project (STAMP) is a long-term program designed to track trends in pollutants in northern marine environments using seabird eggs. Glaucous and glaucous-winged gull (Larus hyperboreus and Larus glaucescens) eggs collected in 2005 from seven Alaskan colonies were analyzed for organic contaminants. Concentrations ranged from below detection limits to 322 ng g(-1) wet mass in one egg for 4,4'-DDE and differed among the samples collected in the Gulf of Alaska and Bering and Chukchi Seas. Chick growth and survival rates may be affected by the contaminant levels found in the eggs, but the eggs should be safe for human consumption if they are eaten in small quantities. STAMP plans to continue collecting and banking gull eggs for future real-time and retrospective analyses. PMID:19110348

  7. Finding of pentastomes of genus Reighardia (Pentastomida) in the Belcher's gull (Larus belcheri).

    PubMed

    Naupay, Asucena I; Cribillero, Nelly G; Lopez-Urbina, Maria T; Gonzalez, Armando E; Gomez-Puerta, Luis A

    2016-06-01

    This report describes the finding of Reighardia sp. (Pentastomida) infecting the air sac of two Belcher's gulls (Larus belcheri) found dead on the beaches of Pucusana, a district in southern Lima, Peru. Three pentastomes were collected from two Belcher's gulls. Then, they were morphologically and molecular analyzed. Molecular characterization of the parasite was achieved by amplifying a fragment of the small subunit ribosomal RNA gene (SSU rRNA). Based on both morphological and molecular data the pentastomes were identified as pentastomes of the genus Reighardia. This is the first report showing that the Belcher's gull is a new natural definitive host for this pentastome. PMID:26892103

  8. Reduced oxygen diffusion across the shell of Gray gull (Larus modestus) eggs.

    PubMed

    Monge, C C; Ostojic, H; Aguilar, R; Cifuentes, V

    2000-01-01

    Gray gulls, Larus modestus, nest 1500 m above sea level in northern Chile's Atacama Desert, one of the driest in the world. Their eggshell gas permeability, one third of that found in other Larus species, is an adaptation that reduces water loss, but at the expense of oxygen diffusion into the air cell with resultant hypoxia and reduced metabolic rate. This contrasts with characteristics found in birds nesting at very high altitudes where oxygen diffusion across the egg shell is maximized at the expense of water conservation. The oxygen consumption (MO2) of Larus modestus is 66% that of Larus argentatus; the oxygen conductance (GO2) is equivalent to 48% of that obtained in 5 other bird species. The oxygen partial pressure (PAO2) in the air chamber of Larus modestus (84 Torr) is lower than that of 10 other bird species whose average (PAO2) is 106 Torr. The CO2 partial pressure (PACO2) in the air chamber of Larus modestus is 68 Torr, a higher value than that found in 9 other bird species whose average (PACO2) is 39 Torr. PMID:15696681

  9. Cytochrome P4501A induction and DNA adduct formation in glaucous gulls (Larus hyperboreus), fed with environmentally contaminated gull eggs.

    PubMed

    Østby, Lene; Gabrielsen, Geir Wing; Krøkje, Ase

    2005-11-01

    This study indicates that complex mixtures of pollutants found in the Arctic marine environment have genotoxic effects in glaucous gulls (Larus hyperboreus). DNA adducts were quantified, by the (32)P-postlabeling technique, in liver samples from gulls fed with hen eggs (controls) and from gulls fed with environmentally contaminated gull eggs (exposed). All birds were grown and fed under laboratory conditions. Hepatic homologues to mammalian cytochrome P4501A (CYP1A) proteins were also determined by Western blotting. DNA adducts were detected in all but one liver sample, but the exposed birds had a significantly increased level of DNA adducts relative to that of the controls. There was no clear significant correlation between the DNA adduct level and the level of organochlorine compounds (OCs) in blood. The level of CYP1A protein was significantly higher in the liver of exposed male gulls than in the liver of control males and positively correlated, with significance, to the level of OC compounds measured in blood. There was no significant correlation between the level of DNA adducts and the CYP1A protein content. PMID:16216630

  10. Complete mitochondrial genome of Relict Gull, Larus relictus (Charadriiformes: Laridae).

    PubMed

    Yang, Chao; Wang, Qing-Xiong; Huang, Yuan; Xiao, Hong

    2016-01-01

    The complete mitochondrial genome sequence of Larus relictus was 16,586-bp long, containing 13 protein-coding genes (PCGs), 22 tRNA genes, 2 rRNA genes, and a control region. Most PCGs begin with the typical ATN start codon with the exception of COI and ND5 genes, which use GTG as the initiation codon. Stop codons AGG, TAG, TAA and AGA are present in the PCGs; exceptions are COIII and ND4, which possess incomplete termination codons (T), and ND3, in which one extra C nucleotide is found. Secondary structure prediction of the 22 tRNA genes revealed the absence of the DHU arm in tRNA(Ser)((AGN)). Seven conserved sequence box elements, as well as the origin of H-strand replication (OH) and bidirectional light- and heavy-strand transcription promoters (LSP/HSP), are found in control region. PMID:24621217

  11. An outbreak of type C botulism in Herring Gulls (Larus argentatus) in Southeastern Sweden

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Neimanis, A.; Gavier-Widen, D.; Leighton, F.; Bollinger, T.; Rocke, T.; Morner, T.

    2007-01-01

    From 2000 to 2004, over 10,000 seabirds, primarily Herring Gulls (Larus argentatus), died from an undetermined cause in the Blekinge archipelago in southeastern Sweden. In June 2004, 24 affected Herring Gulls were examined clinically, killed humanely, and 23 were examined by necropsy. Seven and 10 unaffected Herring Gulls collected from a local landfill site and from Iceland, respectively, served as controls. All affected birds showed similar neurologic signs, ranging from mild incoordination and weakness to severe flaccid paralysis of legs and wings, but generally were alert and responsive. All affected gulls were in normal nutritional condition, but were dehydrated and had empty stomachs. No gross or microscopic lesions, and no bacterial or viral pathogens were identified. Type C botulinum toxin was detected in the sera of 11 of 16 (69%) affected gulls by mouse inoculation. Type C botulism was the proximate cause of disease in 2004. Sera from 31% of birds tested from outbreaks in 2000 to 2003 also had detectable type C botulinum toxin by mouse inoculation. No large-scale botulism outbreak has been documented previously in this area. The source of toxin, initiating conditions, and thus, the ultimate cause of this outbreak are not known. This epidemic might signal environmental change in the Baltic Sea. ?? Wildlife Disease Association 2007.

  12. Chiral organochlorine contaminants in blood and eggs of glaucous gulls (Larus hyperboreus) from the Norwegian Arctic.

    PubMed

    Ross, Matthew S; Verreault, Jonathan; Letcher, Robert J; Gabrielsen, Geir W; Wong, Charles S

    2008-10-01

    Glaucous gulls (Larus hyperboreus) and their eggs from Svalbard (Norwegian Arctic) have been used as biomonitors of contaminants in the marine environment. In this study, the enantiomer fractions (EFs) of chiral chlordanes and atropisomeric polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners were determined in the blood plasma of adult male and female glaucous gulls from three breeding colonies in Svalbard. Plasma EFs were similar in magnitude and direction to EFs previously reported in glaucous gulls from other arctic food webs, suggesting overall similarities in the biochemical processes influencing the EFs of bioaccumulated organochlorine (OC) contaminants within the food webs at those locations. Additionally, EFs in yolk of eggs collected concurrently from within the same nesting colonies varied with location, laying date, and OC concentrations, and may be influenced by changes in the local feeding ecology between those colonies. No differences were found between the EFs for any analyte in female gulls compared to those found in egg yolk, indicating that processes involved in the maternal transfer of chlordanes and PCBs to eggs do not modulate the stereochemical ratio between enantiomers. Therefore, the use of eggs as a valuable and noninvasive means of OC biomonitoring may also extend to enantiomer compositions in glaucous gulls, and perhaps also in other seabird species from arctic regions. PMID:18939544

  13. Vigilance and feeding behaviour in large feeding flocks of laughing gulls, Larus atricilla, on Delaware Bay

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burger, Joanna; Gochfeld, Michael

    1991-02-01

    Laughing gulls ( Larus atricilla) forage on horseshoe crab ( Limulus polyphemus) eggs during May in Delaware Bay each year. They feed in dense flocks, and foraging rates vary with vigilance, bird density, number of steps and location in the flock, whereas time devoted to vigilance is explained by number of steps, density, location and feeding rates. The time devoted to vigilance decreases with increasing density, increasing foraging rates and decreasing aggression. Birds foraging on the edge of flocks take fewer pecks and more steps, and devote more time to vigilance than those in the intermediate or central parts of a flock.

  14. Effects of organochlorine contaminants on thyroid hormone levels in Arctic breeding glaucous gulls, Larus hyperboreus.

    PubMed Central

    Verreault, Jonathan; Skaare, Janneche Utne; Jenssen, Bjørn Munro; Gabrielsen, Geir Wing

    2004-01-01

    Studies on glaucous gulls (Larus hyperboreus) breeding in the Barents Sea have reported that high blood levels of halogenated organic contaminants in this species might cause reproductive, behavioral, and developmental stress. However, potential endocrine system modulation caused by contaminant exposure has yet not been reported in this Arctic apical predator. In this present study we aimed to investigate whether the current levels of a selection of organochlorines (OCs) were associated with altered circulating levels of thyroid hormones (THs) in free-ranging adult glaucous gulls breeding at Bear Island in the Barents Sea. Blood concentrations of 14 polychlorinated biphenyls, hexachlorobenzene (HCB), oxychlordane, and p,p' -dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p' -DDE) were quantified, in addition to free and total thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), in plasma of 66 glaucous gulls in the spring of 2001. Negative correlations were found between plasma levels of T4 and T4:T3 ratio, and blood levels of OCs in male glaucous gulls. Despite their relatively low contribution to the total OC fraction, HCB and oxychlordane were the most prominent compounds in terms of their negative effect on the variation of the T4:T3 ratio. Moreover, lower T4 levels and T4:T3 ratios were measured in glaucous gulls breeding in a colony exposed to high levels of OCs, compared with a less exposed colony. Levels of T3 were elevated in the high-OC-exposed colony. This may indicate that the glaucous gull is susceptible to changes to TH homeostasis mediated by exposure to halogenated organic contaminants. PMID:15064156

  15. Contaminant levels in Herring (Larus argentatus) and Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus) eggs from colonies in the New York harbor complex between 2012 and 2013

    PubMed Central

    Elbin, Susan

    2014-01-01

    Birds living in coastal areas are exposed to severe storms and tidal flooding during the nesting season, but also to contaminants that move up the food chain from the water column and sediment to their prey items. We examine metals in Herring Gull (Larus argentatus) and Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus) eggs collected from the New York/New Jersey harbor estuary in 2012 and in 2013 to determine if there were significant yearly differences in metal levels. We test the null hypothesis that there were no significant yearly differences in metal levels. We investigate whether there were consistent differences in metals from 2012 to 2013 that might suggest a storm-related effect because Superstorm Sandy landed in New Jersey in October 2012 with high winds and extensive flooding, and view this research as exploratory. Except for arsenic, there were significant inter-year variations in the mean levels for all colonies combined for Herring Gull, and for lead, mercury and selenium for Great Black-backed Gulls. All metal levels in 2013 were less than in 2012, except for lead. These differences were present for individual colonies as well. Metal levels varied significantly among islands for Herring Gulls in both years (except for cadmium in 2013). No one colony had the highest levels of all metals for Herring Gulls. A long term data set on mercury levels in Herring Gulls indicated that the differences between 2012 and 2013 were greater than usual. Several different factors could account for these differences, and these are discussed. PMID:25471353

  16. Nesting biology of laughing gulls Larus atricilla in relation to agricultural chemicals in south Texas USA 1978-1981

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    White, D.H.; Mitchell, C.A.; Prouty, R.M.

    1983-01-01

    Various aspects of the breeding biology of Laughing Gulls (Larus atricilla) have been studied extensively in Florida (Dinsmore and Schreiber 1974, Schreiber et al. 1979, Schreiber and Schreiber 1980), New Jersey (Bongiorno 1970, Burger and Beer 1976, Burger 1976, Montevecchi 1978), and Massachusetts (Noble and Wurm 1943), but little is known of their yearly fledging success in Texas or elsewhere. The Laughing Gull is a common colonial nester along most of the Texas coast, second only to the Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis) in breeding abundance; however, the Laughing Gull may be threatened in Texas because of suspected declines at certain traditional nesting locales (Blacklock et al. 1979). Since Laughing Gulls often nest in proximity to agricultural and industrial areas, we were concerned that environmental pollutants might be adversely affecting productivity. In 1978-1981 we conducted studies along the south Texas coast to learn more about the nesting ecology of Laughing Gulls and to evaluate the effects of environmental contaminants on reproduction.

  17. Structural characteristics of the Relict Gull (Larus relictus) mitochondrial DNA control region and its comparison to other Laridae.

    PubMed

    Yang, Chao; Lian, Ting; Wang, Qing-Xiong; Huang, Yuan; Xiao, Hong

    2016-07-01

    The structure of the mitochondrial DNA control region in the Relict Gull (Larus relictus) was predicted and compared with data from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) on five other gulls. The results showed that the control regions of the six gulls comprise three domains. Sequences of CSB-1-like (domain I) and CSB-1 (domain III) in L. relictus have the highest similarity with those in the other five gulls. The insertion fragments are located in downstream domain I of L. ridibundus, L. brunnicephalus, and L. saundersi. Seven conserved sequence boxes (additional box, F-box, E-box, D-box, C-box, bird-similarity-box, and B-box) are located in domain II in all six gulls. It is suggested that the CSB-2/3 sequence, the origin of H-strand replication, and bidirectional light- and heavy-strand transcription promoters in domain III of L. relictus have some distinguishing features to those of other gulls. Some repeat units are contained in the 3' end of the control region in the five gulls; however, no repeat units are found in the sequence CAAACAACAAA in L. relictus. The distribution of nucleotide diversity analysis will provide the useful information on the selected DNA fragment within the control region for genetic analyses among gulls. PMID:26016878

  18. Hybridization among Arctic white-headed gulls (Larus spp.) obscures the genetic legacy of the Pleistocene

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sonsthagen, Sarah A.; Chesser, R. Terry; Bell, Douglas A.; Dove, Carla J.

    2012-01-01

    We studied the influence of glacial oscillations on the genetic structure of seven species of white-headed gull that breed at high latitudes (Larus argentatus, L. canus, L. glaucescens, L. glaucoides, L. hyperboreus, L. schistisagus, and L. thayeri). We evaluated localities hypothesized as ice-free areas or glacial refugia in other Arctic vertebrates using molecular data from 11 microsatellite loci, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region, and six nuclear introns for 32 populations across the Holarctic. Moderate levels of genetic structure were observed for microsatellites (FST= 0.129), introns (ΦST= 0.185), and mtDNA control region (ΦST= 0.461), with among-group variation maximized when populations were grouped based on subspecific classification. Two haplotype and at least two allele groups were observed across all loci. However, no haplotype/allele group was composed solely of individuals of a single species, a pattern consistent with recent divergence. Furthermore, northernmost populations were not well differentiated and among-group variation was maximized when L. argentatus and L. hyberboreus populations were grouped by locality rather than species, indicating recent hybridization. Four populations are located in putative Pleistocene glacial refugia and had larger t estimates than the other 28 populations. However, we were unable to substantiate these putative refugia using coalescent theory, as all populations had genetic signatures of stability based on mtDNA. The extent of haplotype and allele sharing among Arctic white-headed gull species is noteworthy. Studies of other Arctic taxa have generally revealed species-specific clusters as well as genetic structure within species, usually correlated with geography. Aspects of white-headed gull behavioral biology, such as colonization ability and propensity to hybridize, as well as their recent evolutionary history, have likely played a large role in the limited genetic structure observed.

  19. Impact of egg harvesting on breeding success of black-headed gulls, Larus ridibundus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wood, Philippa J.; Hudson, Malcolm D.; Doncaster, C. Patrick

    2009-01-01

    Gull colonies world-wide have been harvested for their eggs for centuries with minimal knowledge of the impacts on breeding. Although most Laridae can replace lost eggs, they have comparatively high energetic demands for egg production. In this paper we assess the impacts of a licensed egg harvest on the breeding success of black-headed gulls Larus ridibundus, which nest colonially in an EU Special Protection Area in Hampshire, southern England. We compared egg volume, hatching and chick survival from harvested and un-harvested nests in central and fringe positions within colonies of various sizes, including colonies with no harvesting activity. Eggs from various laying stages were collected from harvested and un-harvested colonies of similar pre-harvest intrinsic quality, for comparison of their volumes, yolk-to-albumen ratios and eggshell thickness. Egg volume and the yolk-to-albumen ratio depended on laying time and location, with the largest eggs laid during the peak period by birds breeding in central positions on large colonies. Eggs produced by these peak layers also had the largest yolk-to-albumen ratios. Harvested sites were characterised by reductions in egg volume, yolk-to-albumen ratio and eggshell thickness, which translated to poorer hatching success and chick survival. Harvested sites also had a higher proportion of abnormal eggs, particularly taking the forms of small yolkless eggs and unpigmented eggs. The reduced breeding success on harvested colonies is likely to be linked to depletion of the female's endogenous reserves which can also reduce future survival and breeding propensity.

  20. Diets of nesting laughing gulls (Larus atricilla) at the Virginia Coast Reserve: observations from stable isotope analysis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Knoff, A.J.; Macko, S.A.; Erwin, R.M.

    2001-01-01

    Food web studies often ignore details of temporal, spatial, and intrapopulation dietary variation in top-level consumers. In this study, intrapopulation dietary variation of a dominant carnivore, the Laughing Gull (Larus atricilla), was examined using carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur isotope analysis of gull tissues as well as their prey (fish, invertebrates, and insects) from the Virginia Coast Reserve estuarine system. As earlier traditional diet studies found evidence of individual dietary specialization within gull populations, this study used stable isotope analysis to assess specialization in a coastal Laughing Gull population. Specifically, blood, muscle, and feather isotope values indicated significant intrapopulation dietary specialization. Some gulls relied more heavily on estuarine prey (mean blood δ13C = -17.5, δ15N = 12.6, and δ34S = 9.3), whereas others appeared to consume more foods of marine origin (mean blood δ13C = -19.4, δ15N = 14.8, and δ34S = 10.4). It is important to account for such dietary variability when assessing trophic linkages in dynamic estuarine systems.

  1. Diets of nesting laughing gulls (Larus atricilla) at the Virginia Coast Reserve: observations from stable isotope analysis.

    PubMed

    Knoff, A J; Macko, S A; Erwin, R M

    2001-01-01

    Food web studies often ignore details of temporal, spatial, and intrapopulation dietary variation in top-level consumers. In this study, intrapopulation dietary variation of a dominant carnivore, the Laughing Gull (Larus atricilla), was examined using carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur isotope analysis of gull tissues as well as their prey (fish, invertebrates, and insects) from the Virginia Coast Reserve estuarine system. As earlier traditional diet studies found evidence of individual dietary specialization within gull populations, this study used stable isotope analysis to assess specialization in a coastal Laughing Gull population. Specifically, blood, muscle, and feather isotope values indicated significant intrapopulation dietary specialization. Some gulls relied more heavily on estuarine prey (mean blood delta13C = -17.5, delta15N = 12.6, and delta34S = 9.3), whereas others appeared to consume more foods of marine origin (mean blood delta13C = -19.4, delta15N = 14.8, and delta34S = 10.4). It is important to account for such dietary variability when assessing trophic linkages in dynamic estuarine systems. PMID:11558657

  2. Description of Maritrema formicae sp. nov. (Digenea, Microphallidae) parasitic in the kelp gull, Larus dominicanus, from the Patagonian coast, Argentina.

    PubMed

    Diaz, Julia I; Gilardoni, Carmen; Cremonte, Florencia

    2012-06-01

    Maritrema formicae sp. nov. is described from the Patagonian coast, Argentina, based on adults obtained from the kelp gull, Larus dominicanus. The new species fits with the "eroliae complex" and can be distinguished from other related species mainly in shape and size of body, shape, size, and pattern of distribution of cirrus spines, uterus extension, number and size of eggs, vitellarium in a complete ring in all specimens, and its Neotropical distribution. The new species is sympatric with another species of the genus, Maritrema madrynense, which was recorded in the same host and locality. PMID:22807050

  3. Mercury and other metals in eggs and feathers of glaucous-winged gulls (Larus glaucescens) in the Aleutians

    PubMed Central

    Gochfeld, Michael; Jeitner, Christian; Burke, Sean; Volz, Conrad D.; Snigaroff, Ronald; Snigaroff, Daniel; Shukla, Tara; Shukla, Sheila

    2014-01-01

    Levels of mercury and other contaminants should be lower in birds nesting on isolated oceanic islands and at high latitudes without any local or regional sources of contamination, compared to more urban and industrialized temperate regions. We examined concentrations of arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, manganese, mercury and selenium in the eggs, and the feathers of fledgling and adult glaucous-winged gulls (Larus glaucescens) nesting in breeding colonies on Adak, Amchitka, and Kiska Islands in the Aleutian Chain of Alaska in the Bering Sea/North Pacific. We tested the following null hypotheses: 1) There were no differences in metal levels among eggs and feathers of adult and fledgling glaucous-winged gulls, 2) There were no differences in metal levels among gulls nesting near the three underground nuclear test sites (Long Shot 1965, Milrow 1969, Cannikin 1971) on Amchitka, 3) There were no differences in metal levels among the three islands, and 4) There were no gender-related differences in metal levels. All four null hypotheses were rejected at the 0.05 level, although there were few differences among the three test sites on Amchitka. Eggs had the lowest levels of cadmium, lead, and mercury, and the feathers of adults had the lowest levels of selenium. Comparing only adults and fledglings, adults had higher levels of cadmium, chromium, lead and mercury, and fledglings had higher levels of arsenic, manganese and selenium. There were few consistent interisland differences, although levels were generally lower for eggs and feathers from gulls on Amchitka compared to the other islands. Arsenic was higher in both adult feathers and eggs from Amchitka compared to Adak, and chromium and lead were higher in adult feathers and eggs from Adak compared to Amchitka. Mercury and arsenic, and chromium and manganese levels were significantly correlated in the feathers of both adult and fledgling gulls. The feathers of males had significantly higher levels of chromium and

  4. Egg Production in a Coastal Seabird, the Glaucous-Winged Gull (Larus glaucescens), Declines during the Last Century

    PubMed Central

    Blight, Louise K.

    2011-01-01

    Seabirds integrate information about oceanic ecosystems across time and space, and are considered sensitive indicators of marine conditions. To assess whether hypothesized long-term foodweb changes such as forage fish declines may be reflected in a consumer's life history traits over time, I used meta-regression to evaluate multi-decadal changes in aspects of egg production in the glaucous-winged gull (Larus glaucescens), a common coastal bird. Study data were derived from literature searches of published papers and unpublished historical accounts, museum egg collections, and modern field studies, with inclusion criteria based on data quality and geographic area of the original study. Combined historical and modern data showed that gull egg size declined at an average of 0.04 cc y−1 from 1902 (108 y), equivalent to a decline of 5% of mean egg volume, while clutch size decreased over 48 y from a mean of 2.82 eggs per clutch in 1962 to 2.25 in 2009. There was a negative relationship between lay date and mean clutch size in a given year, with smaller clutches occurring in years where egg laying commenced later. Lay date itself advanced over time, with commencement of laying presently (2008–2010) 7 d later than in previous studies (1959–1986). This study demonstrates that glaucous-winged gull investment in egg production has declined significantly over the past ∼50–100 y, with such changes potentially contributing to recent population declines. Though gulls are generalist feeders that should readily be able to buffer themselves against food web changes, they are likely nutritionally constrained during the early breeding period, when egg production requirements are ideally met by consumption of high-quality prey such as forage fish. This study's results suggest a possible decline in the availability of such prey, and the incremental long-term impoverishment of a coastal marine ecosystem bordering one of North America's rapidly growing urban areas. PMID

  5. Egg production in a coastal seabird, the glaucous-winged gull (Larus glaucescens), declines during the last century.

    PubMed

    Blight, Louise K

    2011-01-01

    Seabirds integrate information about oceanic ecosystems across time and space, and are considered sensitive indicators of marine conditions. To assess whether hypothesized long-term foodweb changes such as forage fish declines may be reflected in a consumer's life history traits over time, I used meta-regression to evaluate multi-decadal changes in aspects of egg production in the glaucous-winged gull (Larus glaucescens), a common coastal bird. Study data were derived from literature searches of published papers and unpublished historical accounts, museum egg collections, and modern field studies, with inclusion criteria based on data quality and geographic area of the original study. Combined historical and modern data showed that gull egg size declined at an average of 0.04 cc y(-1) from 1902 (108 y), equivalent to a decline of 5% of mean egg volume, while clutch size decreased over 48 y from a mean of 2.82 eggs per clutch in 1962 to 2.25 in 2009. There was a negative relationship between lay date and mean clutch size in a given year, with smaller clutches occurring in years where egg laying commenced later. Lay date itself advanced over time, with commencement of laying presently (2008-2010) 7 d later than in previous studies (1959-1986). This study demonstrates that glaucous-winged gull investment in egg production has declined significantly over the past ∼50-100 y, with such changes potentially contributing to recent population declines. Though gulls are generalist feeders that should readily be able to buffer themselves against food web changes, they are likely nutritionally constrained during the early breeding period, when egg production requirements are ideally met by consumption of high-quality prey such as forage fish. This study's results suggest a possible decline in the availability of such prey, and the incremental long-term impoverishment of a coastal marine ecosystem bordering one of North America's rapidly growing urban areas. PMID:21789207

  6. Molecular Detection of Campylobacter spp. in California Gull (Larus californicus) Excreta

    EPA Science Inventory

    We examined the prevalence, quantity, and diversity of Campylobacter species in the excreta of 159 California gull samples using PCR and qPCR based detection assays. While Campylobacter prevalence and abundance was relatively high in the gull excreta examined, molecular data ind...

  7. Modelling terrestrial and marine foraging habitats in breeding Audouin's gulls Larus audouinii: timing matters.

    PubMed

    Bécares, Juan; García-Tarrasón, Manuel; Villero, Dani; Bateman, Santiago; Jover, Lluís; García-Matarranz, Víctor; Sanpera, Carolina; Arcos, José Manuel

    2015-01-01

    Although the breeding ecology of Audouin's gull has been widely studied, its spatial distribution patterns have received little attention. We assessed the foraging movements of 36 GPS-tracked adult Audouin's gulls breeding at the Ebro Delta (NW Mediterranean), coinciding with the incubation period (May 2011). This also coincided with a trawling moratorium northwards from the colony. We modelled the distribution of the gulls by combining these tracking data with environmental variables (including fishing activities from Vessel Monitoring System, VMS), using Maxent. The modelling range included both marine and terrestrial areas. Models were produced separately for every 2h time interval across the day, and for 2 fishing activity scenarios (workdays vs. weekends), allowing to assess the spatio-temporal distribution patterns of the gulls and the degree of association with fisheries. During workdays, gull distribution at sea fully matched with fishing activities, both trawling (daylight) and purse-seining (nightime). Gulls tended to avoid the area under trawling moratorium, confirming the high influence of fisheries on the distribution patterns of this species. On weekends, gulls made lesser use of the sea and tended to increase the use of rice fields. Overall, Audouin's gull activity was more intense during dailight hours, although birds also showed nocturnal activity, on both workdays and weekends. Nocturnal patterns at sea were more disperse during the latter, probably because these gulls are able to capture small pelagic fish at night in natural conditions, but tend to congregate around purse-seiners (which would enhance their foraging efficiency) in workdays. These results provide important insight for the management of this species. This is of particular relevance under the current scenario of European fisheries policies, since new regulations are aimed at eliminating discards, and this would likely influence Audouin's gull populations. PMID:25875597

  8. Modelling Terrestrial and Marine Foraging Habitats in Breeding Audouin's Gulls Larus audouinii: Timing Matters

    PubMed Central

    Bécares, Juan; García-Tarrasón, Manuel; Villero, Dani; Bateman, Santiago; Jover, Lluís; García-Matarranz, Víctor; Sanpera, Carolina; Arcos, José Manuel

    2015-01-01

    Although the breeding ecology of Audouin’s gull has been widely studied, its spatial distribution patterns have received little attention. We assessed the foraging movements of 36 GPS-tracked adult Audouin’s gulls breeding at the Ebro Delta (NW Mediterranean), coinciding with the incubation period (May 2011). This also coincided with a trawling moratorium northwards from the colony. We modelled the distribution of the gulls by combining these tracking data with environmental variables (including fishing activities from Vessel Monitoring System, VMS), using Maxent. The modelling range included both marine and terrestrial areas. Models were produced separately for every 2h time interval across the day, and for 2 fishing activity scenarios (workdays vs. weekends), allowing to assess the spatio-temporal distribution patterns of the gulls and the degree of association with fisheries. During workdays, gull distribution at sea fully matched with fishing activities, both trawling (daylight) and purse-seining (nightime). Gulls tended to avoid the area under trawling moratorium, confirming the high influence of fisheries on the distribution patterns of this species. On weekends, gulls made lesser use of the sea and tended to increase the use of rice fields. Overall, Audouin’s gull activity was more intense during dailight hours, although birds also showed nocturnal activity, on both workdays and weekends. Nocturnal patterns at sea were more disperse during the latter, probably because these gulls are able to capture small pelagic fish at night in natural conditions, but tend to congregate around purse-seiners (which would enhance their foraging efficiency) in workdays. These results provide important insight for the management of this species. This is of particular relevance under the current scenario of European fisheries policies, since new regulations are aimed at eliminating discards, and this would likely influence Audouin’s gull populations. PMID:25875597

  9. Insects, vegetation, and the control of laughing gulls (Larus atricilla) at Kennedy International Airport, New York

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Buckley, P.A.; McCarthy, M.

    1994-01-01

    1. In response to a purported 'bird-strike problem' at J.F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City, we examined short (5 cm) and long (45 cm) grass heights as gull deterrents, in a randomized-block experiment. 2. Vegetative cover, numbers of adult insects and of larval beetles (suspected on-airport food of the gulls) were sampled in the six-block, 36-plot study area, as well as gut contents of adult and downy young gulls in the immediately adjacent colony in the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. 3. We found that (i) Oriental beetle larvae were the most numerous and concentrated in one experimental block; (ii) beetle larvae numbers were uncorrelated with grass height; (iii) adult beetles were also uncorrelated with grass height; (iv) laughing gulls were distributed across blocks irrespective of percentage cover; (v) within blocks, laughing gulls were selecting short grass and avoiding long grass plots; (vi) laughing gull numbers were positively associated with numbers of Oriental beetle larvae; (vii) adult laughing gulls on the airport were eating lower-nutrition food of terrestrial origin (74-83% adult beetles, mostly Oriental plus green June and ground beetles); (viii) on the other hand, gull chicks in the adjacent breeding colony were being fed more easily digested, higher-protein food of marine origin (86-88% fishes, crustacea and molluscs); (ix) laughing gulls on the airport were taking their adult beetles only in short-grass plots, ignoring large numbers in adjacent long grass; (x) during the summer, on-airport gulls shifted from performing largely maintenance activities on pavement to feeding actively for beetles on newly mown short grass, the change coinciding with adult beetle emergence; (xi) standing water on the airport attracted significantly more gulls than dry areas all summer long. 4. We recommend a series of ecologically compatible, but aggressive habitat management actions for controlling laughing gulls on Kennedy Airport by rendering the airport

  10. Variation in Immune Parameters and Disease Prevalence among Lesser Black-Backed Gulls (Larus fuscus sp.) with Different Migratory Strategies

    PubMed Central

    Arriero, Elena; Müller, Inge; Juvaste, Risto; Martínez, Francisco Javier; Bertolero, Albert

    2015-01-01

    The ability to control infections is a key trait for migrants that must be balanced against other costly features of the migratory life. In this study we explored the links between migration and disease ecology by examining natural variation in parasite exposure and immunity in several populations of Lesser Black-backed Gulls (Larus fuscus) with different migratory strategies. We found higher activity of natural antibodies in long distance migrants from the nominate subspecies L.f.fuscus. Circulating levels of IgY showed large variation at the population level, while immune parameters associated with antimicrobial activity showed extensive variation at the individual level irrespective of population or migratory strategy. Pathogen prevalence showed large geographical variation. However, the seroprevalence of one of the gull-specific subtypes of avian influenza (H16) was associated to the migratory strategy, with lower prevalence among the long-distance migrants, suggesting that migration may play a role in disease dynamics of certain pathogens at the population level. PMID:25679797

  11. Effect of reduced food intake on toxicokinetics of halogenated organic contaminants in herring gull (Larus argentatus) chicks.

    PubMed

    Routti, Heli; Helgason, Lisa Bjørnsdatter; Arukwe, Augustine; Wolkers, Hans; Heimstad, Eldbjørg Sofie; Harju, Mikael; Berg, Vidar; Gabrielsen, Geir Wing

    2013-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate how contaminant exposure and reduced food intake affect tissue distribution and biotransformation of halogenated organic contaminants (HOCs) in Arctic seabirds using herring gull (Larus argentatus) as a model species. Herring gull chicks were exposed for 44 d to cod liver oil containing a typical mixture of contaminants. Following exposure, food intake was reduced for a one-week period in a subgroup of the chicks. Polyclorinated biphenyls, organochlorine pesticides, and brominated flame retardants, as well as a wide range of hydroxy, methyl sulfone, and methoxy compounds were measured in liver, brain, and plasma samples. Additionally, phase I biotransformation enzyme activities and phase I and II messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) expression were investigated in the liver, brain, or both. Both contaminant exposure and reduced food intake had an increasing effect on the concentrations of HOCs and their metabolites. The HOC exposure and reduced food intake also led to increased 7-ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylation (EROD) activity, whereas mRNA expression of the biotransformation enzymes increased only following the reduced food intake. Tissue distribution of HOCs and their metabolites was not affected by either contaminant exposure or reduced food intake. In conclusion, the results indicate that biotransformation capacity and formation of HOC metabolites increase during reduced food intake. This finding supports the hypothesis that reduced food intake increases the susceptibility of Arctic animals to the effects of lipophilic HOCs. PMID:23060285

  12. Gene expression, glutathione status and indicators of hepatic oxidative stress in laughing gull (Larus atricilla) hatchlings exposed to methylmercury

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jenko, Kathryn; Karouna-Renier, Natalie K.; Hoffman, David J.

    2012-01-01

    Despite extensive studies of methylmercury (MeHg) toxicity in birds, molecular effects on birds are poorly characterized. To improve our understanding of toxicity pathways and identify novel indicators of avian exposure to Hg, the authors investigated genomic changes, glutathione status, and oxidative status indicators in liver from laughing gull (Larus atricilla) hatchlings that were exposed in ovo to MeHg (0.05–1.6 µg/g). Genes involved in the transsulfuration pathway, iron transport and storage, thyroid-hormone related processes, and cellular respiration were identified by suppression subtractive hybridization as differentially expressed. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) identified statistically significant effects of Hg on cytochrome C oxidase subunits I and II, transferrin, and methionine adenosyltransferase RNA expression. Glutathione-S-transferase activity and protein-bound sulfhydryl levels decreased, whereas glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase activity increased dose-dependently. Total sulfhydryl concentrations were significantly lower at 0.4 µg/g Hg than in controls. T ogether, these endpoints provided some evidence of compensatory effects, but little indication of oxidative damage at the tested doses, and suggest that sequestration of Hg through various pathways may be important for minimizing toxicity in laughing gulls. This is the first study to describe the genomic response of an avian species to Hg. Laughing gulls are among the less sensitive avian species with regard to Hg toxicity, and their ability to prevent hepatic oxidative stress may be important for surviving levels of MeHg exposures at which other species succumb.

  13. Transmission of H5N1 high pathogenicity avian influenza virus to Herring gulls (Larus argentatus) through intranasal inoculation of virus and ingestion of virus-infected chicken meat

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In order to evaluate the susceptibility of herring gulls (Larus argentatus) to H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus under natural routes of infection, we exposed gulls to two Asian lineage H5N1 HPAI viruses (A/whooper swan/Mongolia/244/05 and A/duck meat/Anyang/AVL-1/01) via intranasa...

  14. Changes in food web structure affect rate of PCB decline in herring gull (Larus argentatus) eggs

    SciTech Connect

    Hebert, C.E.; Hobson, K.A.; Shutt, J.L.

    2000-05-01

    Biological monitors provide important information regarding temporal trends in levels of persistent organic pollutants. Correct interpretation of these trends is critical if one is to accurately assess his progress in eliminating these contaminants from the environment. In the Laurentian Great Lakes, polychlorinated biphenyl concentrations in herring gull eggs declined during the 1970s and early 1980s. By the mid-1980s, further declines were not as obvious. An exception to this trend was observed in eggs from Lake Erie. On that lake, egg PCB concentrations continued to decline rapidly during the 1980s/1990s. Evidence from stable isotope analysis indicated that temporal changes in the composition of the herring gull diet occurred on Lake Erie. In the eastern basin, declines in fish availability may have forced the gulls to incorporate a greater proportion of terrestrial food into their diets. Decreases in the proportion of fish in the gull diet would have resulted in reduced PCB exposure. This may be partially responsible for the continuing rapid rate of decline in egg PCB concentrations. This decline should be interpreted with caution. These trends may not be indicative of lake-wide declines in PCB bioavailability but only reflect changes in dietary exposure brought about by alterations in food web structure.

  15. A transactional analysis of changes in parent and chick behaviour prior to separation of Herring Gulls (Larus Argentatus): A three-term contingency model.

    PubMed

    Reed, Phil

    2015-09-01

    The effect of the passage of time on parent-offspring behaviour of urban Herring Gulls (Larus Argentatus) was studied and analysed using a three-term contingency model. A behavioural sequence was initiated by the arrival of a parental adult gull, which would lead to feeding in the chick. However, with the passage of time, and approach of the separation period, this pattern changed. Chicks' begging became more intense, and parent gulls more often withheld food. However, the chicks' begging became directed at a wider range of adults over the observation period. These activities are placed within a three-term contingency model, which may have implications for understanding some behavioural processes involved in parent-offspring separation. PMID:26003136

  16. Individual and population-level sex-dependent lateralization in yellow-legged gull (Larus michahellis) chicks.

    PubMed

    Romano, Maria; Parolini, Marco; Caprioli, Manuela; Spiezio, Caterina; Rubolini, Diego; Saino, Nicola

    2015-06-01

    Behavioral lateralization at the population level is widespread across vertebrates, with considerable variation among species. However, evidence for individual-level and sex-dependent lateralization is sparse and inconsistent in fish, reptiles and birds. In addition, covariation of lateralization with position in the laying sequence, which is expected because the concentration of maternal egg hormones varies with laying order, has never been investigated. We analyzed lateralization of yellow-legged gull (Larus michahellis) chicks in reverting from supine to prone posture ('RTP' response) and in pecking at a dummy parental bill to solicit food provisioning ('begging' response). Chicks were lateralized both at the population and at the individual level in the RTP response and at the individual level in begging. Lateralization in the RTP was sex-dependent, as females showed a leftward preference. Lateralization in either motor task was not correlated within individuals. Lateralization did not differ among families, suggesting little additive genetic variation. Lateral preference in begging response varied according to laying order and matched variation in egg androgens concentration. Our study confirms previous findings on population-level lateralization and adds to the scant information on individual-level and heritable variation in lateralization in birds. Moreover, it hints at epigenetic components in lateralization depending on maternal effects. PMID:25818662

  17. Increased Wounding of Southern Right Whale (Eubalaena australis) Calves by Kelp Gulls (Larus dominicanus) at Península Valdés, Argentina

    PubMed Central

    Marón, Carina F.; Beltramino, Lucas; Di Martino, Matías; Chirife, Andrea; Seger, Jon; Uhart, Marcela; Sironi, Mariano; Rowntree, Victoria J.

    2015-01-01

    At least 626 southern right whale (Eubalaena australis) calves died at the Península Valdés calving ground, Argentina, between 2003 and 2014. Intense gull harassment may have contributed to these deaths. In the 1970s, Kelp Gulls (Larus dominicanus) began feeding on skin and blubber pecked from the backs of living right whales at Valdés. The frequency of gull attacks has increased dramatically over the last three decades and mother-calf pairs are the primary targets. Pairs attacked by gulls spend less time nursing, resting and playing than pairs not under attack. In successive attacks, gulls open new lesions on the whales’ backs or enlarge preexisting ones. Increased wounding could potentially lead to dehydration, impaired thermoregulation, and energy loss to wound healing. The presence, number and total area of gull-inflicted lesions were assessed using aerial survey photographs of living mother-calf pairs in 1974–2011 (n = 2680) and stranding photographs of dead calves (n = 192) in 2003–2011. The percentage of living mothers and calves with gull lesions increased from an average of 2% in the 1970s to 99% in the 2000s. In the 1980s and 1990s, mothers and calves had roughly equal numbers of lesions (one to five), but by the 2000s, calves had more lesions (nine or more) covering a greater area of their backs compared to their mothers. Living mother-calf pairs and dead calves in Golfo Nuevo had more lesions than those in Golfo San José in the 2000s. The number and area of lesions increased with calf age during the calving season. Intensified Kelp Gull harassment at Península Valdés could be compromising calf health and thereby contributing to the high average rate of calf mortality observed in recent years, but it cannot explain the large year-to-year variance in calf deaths since 2000. PMID:26488493

  18. The influence of predation by herring gulls Larus argentatus and oystercatchers Haematopus ostralegus on a newly established mussel Mytilus edulis bed in autumn and winter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hilgerloh, G.; Herlyn, M.; Michaelis, H.

    1997-08-01

    Predation by herring gulls Larus argentatus and oystercatchers Haematopus ostralegus was evaluated on a newly established mussel Mytilus edulis bed on tidal flats of the German Wadden Sea. The mussel bed covered an area of 2 ha and showed a decrease in biomass of 40% in the most densely covered parts from August to January. Synchronously, the extent of the mussel bed was reduced, resulting in a decrease of average biomass of 98% over the whole mussel bed. From the beginning of August 1994 to mid January 1995, the average size of mussels increased from 10.7 to 20.3 mm. The P/B-ratio was 0.68 in August and 0.18 between September and November. Herring gulls and oystercatchers were the most important mussel predators. On average, 266 herring gulls and 63 oystercatchers were present on the mussel bed during one low tide; 34% of the herring gulls and 78% of the oystercatchers were observed to be feeding. Herring gulls fed at a rate of 4.2 mussels per minute and oystercatchers at a rate of 1.3 mussels per minute. While herring gulls took the most common mussel sizes (mean: 20 mm), oystercatchers searched for the largest mussels available (mean: 25 mm). Herring gulls consumed 13 mussels/m2 (0.3g AFDW) during one day and oystercatchers 1.7 mussels/m2 (0.1 g AFDW). Predation by birds was compensated by 33% of the production. The proportion removed by bird predation amounted to 10% of abundance and to 16% of biomass (including production). Oystercatchers were responsible for 1% of the reduction in abundance and for 3% of biomass. Removal was highest in the most common size classes of mussels, mainly caused by herring gulls. However, the highest proportion of mussels was eaten in the largest size classes, mainly by oystercatchers. *** DIRECT SUPPORT *** A03B6035 00004

  19. Increased Wounding of Southern Right Whale (Eubalaena australis) Calves by Kelp Gulls (Larus dominicanus) at Península Valdés, Argentina.

    PubMed

    Marón, Carina F; Beltramino, Lucas; Di Martino, Matías; Chirife, Andrea; Seger, Jon; Uhart, Marcela; Sironi, Mariano; Rowntree, Victoria J

    2015-01-01

    At least 626 southern right whale (Eubalaena australis) calves died at the Península Valdés calving ground, Argentina, between 2003 and 2014. Intense gull harassment may have contributed to these deaths. In the 1970s, Kelp Gulls (Larus dominicanus) began feeding on skin and blubber pecked from the backs of living right whales at Valdés. The frequency of gull attacks has increased dramatically over the last three decades and mother-calf pairs are the primary targets. Pairs attacked by gulls spend less time nursing, resting and playing than pairs not under attack. In successive attacks, gulls open new lesions on the whales' backs or enlarge preexisting ones. Increased wounding could potentially lead to dehydration, impaired thermoregulation, and energy loss to wound healing. The presence, number and total area of gull-inflicted lesions were assessed using aerial survey photographs of living mother-calf pairs in 1974-2011 (n = 2680) and stranding photographs of dead calves (n = 192) in 2003-2011. The percentage of living mothers and calves with gull lesions increased from an average of 2% in the 1970s to 99% in the 2000s. In the 1980s and 1990s, mothers and calves had roughly equal numbers of lesions (one to five), but by the 2000s, calves had more lesions (nine or more) covering a greater area of their backs compared to their mothers. Living mother-calf pairs and dead calves in Golfo Nuevo had more lesions than those in Golfo San José in the 2000s. The number and area of lesions increased with calf age during the calving season. Intensified Kelp Gull harassment at Península Valdés could be compromising calf health and thereby contributing to the high average rate of calf mortality observed in recent years, but it cannot explain the large year-to-year variance in calf deaths since 2000. PMID:26488493

  20. New organochlorine contaminants and metabolites in plasma and eggs of glaucous gulls (Larus hyperboreus) from the Norwegian Arctic.

    PubMed

    Verreault, Jonathan; Letcher, Robert J; Muir, Derek C G; Chu, Shaogang; Gebbink, Wouter A; Gabrielsen, Geir W

    2005-10-01

    The present study investigated new or lesser-studied and legacy organochlorine (OC) contaminants and metabolites in plasma and eggs of glaucous gulls (Larus hyperboreus) collected from major breeding colonies on Bear Island in the Norwegian Arctic. Hexachlorobutadiene was below the method limit of detection (< 0.07 ng/g lipid wt) in all samples. The sum (sum) of 20 chlorobornane congener concentrations ranged between 294 and 986 ng/g lipid weight and 104 and 1,121 ng/g lipid weight in plasma and eggs, respectively, whereas those of sum 20polychlorinated naphthalene ranged between 1.34 and 126 ng/g lipid weight in plasma and 1.82 and 162 ng/g lipid weight in eggs. Bis(4-chlorophenyl) sulfone concentrations ranged between 5.24 and 143 ng/ g lipid weight plasma, which is the first report of this contaminant in arctic biota north of Sweden. Based on 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin toxic equivalents (TEQs), partial dioxin-like toxicity varied between 3.04 and 20.8 ng TEQ/g lipid weight in plasma and 0.94 and 46.5 ng TEQ/g lipid weight in eggs, and largely was due to concentrations of non-ortho polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), with a very minor contribution from mono-ortho PCBs and polychlorinated naphthalenes. The major aryl sulfone metabolite in plasma was an unidentified hexachlorinated MeSO2-PCB congener (range: 13.5-551 ng/g lipid wt), whereas the pentachlorinated congeners 3'- and 4'-MeSO2-CB101 (range: 4.49-38.1 ng/g lipid wt) dominated in eggs. The predominant halogenated phenolic compound (HPC) in plasma was consistently the PCB metabolite 4-OH-CB187 (range: 0.29-17.5 ng/g wet wt), whereas in eggs, detectable HPCs were at very low and transient concentrations. As part of a complex profile of contaminant exposure, these chemical classes and metabolites may be contributing factors to enhance physiological stress in breeding glaucous gulls. PMID:16268150

  1. Maternal condition, yolk androgens and offspring performance: a supplemental feeding experiment in the lesser black-backed gull (Larus fuscus).

    PubMed Central

    Verboven, Nanette; Monaghan, Pat; Evans, Darren M; Schwabl, Hubert; Evans, Neil; Whitelaw, Christine; Nager, Ruedi G

    2003-01-01

    It has been proposed that the maternal androgens in avian egg yolk enhance offspring fitness by accelerating growth and improving competitive ability. Because egg quality is strongly influenced by maternal condition, we predicted that females in good condition would produce high-quality eggs with relatively high androgen content. We experimentally enhanced maternal condition by supplementary feeding lesser black-backed gulls (Larus fuscus) during egg formation and compared the concentrations of androstenedione (A4), 5alpha-dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and testosterone (T) in their eggs with those in eggs laid by control females. We also measured circulating levels of T in females immediately after laying. Egg androgens could affect offspring performance directly through chick development and/or indirectly through changes in the competitive ability of a chick relative to its siblings. To avoid confounding these two routes, and to separate effects operating through the egg itself with those operating through experimental changes in parental chick rearing capacity, we fostered eggs from both maternal treatment groups singly into the nests of unmanipulated parents. Contrary to expectation, mothers with experimentally enhanced body condition laid eggs with lower levels of androgens, while exhibiting higher circulating T concentrations post-laying. Despite these lower levels of egg androgen, offspring hatched from eggs laid by mothers in good condition did not show reduced growth or survival when reared in the absence of sibling competition. Our results demonstrate that yolk androgen concentrations vary with the body condition of the female at the time of egg formation and that females in good condition reduced the yolk androgen content of their eggs without altering offspring performance. PMID:14613608

  2. [A comparative analysis of the helminth fauna of kittiwake Rissa tridactyla (Linnaeus, 1758) and glaucous gull Larus hyperboreus Gunnerus, 1767 from different parts of the Barents Sea].

    PubMed

    Kuklin, V V; Galaktionov, K V; Galkin, A K; Marasaev, S F

    2005-01-01

    The article is based on the results of helminthological observations made on kittiwake Rissa tridactyla and glaucous gull Larus hyperboreus in 1991-2001 in different areas of the Barents Sea (Eastern Murman coast, Franz Josef Land, Novaya Zemlya, Spitzbergen). 18 helminth species (2 trematodes, 11 cestodes, 4 nematodes, and 2 acanthocephalans) were recorded in the kittiwakes and 19 (3 trematodes, 9 cestodes, 5 nematodes and 2 acanthocephalans) species were recorded in the glaucous gulls. Trematodes were absent in the birds collected at the Franz Josef Land and the northern island of Novaya Zemlya. 3 trematode species, namely Gymnophallus sp. (somateria?), Microphallus sp. 1 (M. pseudopygmaeus), and Cryptocotyle lingua were found in the glaucous gulls of western Spitzbergen. It was supposed that the life cycles of these parasites can be completed there. On the other hand, coastal ecosystems of Arctic archipelagoes turn out to be favourable for the transmission of some cestodes. This is closely connected with the regional traits in the marine bird diet, namely the increase of the amphipod (intermediate hosts of hymenolepidids and some dilepidids) and polar cod (supposed second intermediate host for some tetrabothriids) portion in Arctic. As a result, cestodes are the base of the helminth fauna of kittiwakes and glaucous gulls of the Barents Sea, by their species richness, prevalence and abundance. Nematodes and acanthocephalans were represented by a few species with low infection intensity. The main ecological factors affected the regional difference in the species richness and abundance of the helminths parasitising kittiwakes and glaucous gulls in the Barents Sea are proposed. Those are regional climatic features and regional traits in the behaviour and food priorities of birds, and also the distribution of the helminths intermediate hosts, invertebrates and fishes. The phenomenon of host specificity lowering with respect to the definitive host was recorded in some

  3. Developmental toxicity of PFOS and PFOA in great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis), herring gull (Larus argentatus) and chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus).

    PubMed

    Nordén, Marcus; Berger, Urs; Engwall, Magnus

    2016-06-01

    Perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) are found globally in environmental samples and have been studied in various species. In this study, we compare the sensitivity of three avian species to the toxic effects of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoate (PFOA). Eggs of great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis), herring gull (Larus argentatus) and the domestic White Leghorn chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus) were exposed in ovo by injection into the air sac. Effects on embryo survival were observed following exposure to PFOS and PFOA in chicken and herring gull. Chicken was found to be the most sensitive species with 50 % reduced embryo survival at 8.5 μg/g egg for PFOS and 2.5 μg/g egg for PFOA. Cormorant was shown to be the least sensitive species. The difference in sensitivity between chicken and herring gull was a factor of 2.7 for PFOS and 3.5 for PFOA. Between chicken and great cormorant, the sensitivity difference was 2.6 for PFOS and 8.2 for PFOA. Effects on embryo survival were seen at egg injection doses of PFOS close to levels found in environmental samples from wild birds, indicating that PFOS could be having effects in highly exposed populations of birds. This study also shows that there are differences in species sensitivity to PFOS and PFOA that should be taken into consideration in avian wildlife risk assessment. PMID:26895726

  4. Foraging movements of Audouin’s gull (Larus audouinii) in the Ebro Delta, NW Mediterranean: A preliminary satellite-tracking study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christel, Isadora; Navarro, Joan; del Castillo, Marcos; Cama, Albert; Ferrer, Xavier

    2012-01-01

    A knowledge of the foraging strategies of marine predators is essential to understand the intrinsic factors controlling their distribution, abundance and their ecological function within the marine ecosystem. Here, we investigated for the first time the foraging movements and activity patterns of Audouin's gull Larus audouinii by using satellite-tracking data from eight breeding adults in the main colony of the species worldwide (Ebro Delta, NW Mediterranean). Tagged gulls foraged in the marine area close to the breeding colony (62% of foraging locations) and in the terrestrial area of the Ebro Delta (mainly rice fields; 38% of foraging locations). The foraging activity patterns changed significantly throughout the day; lower from dusk through the first half of the night (19-1 h; 32% of active locations) and higher during the rest of the day (1-19 h; 75.5 ± 4.3% of active locations). These results confirm the foraging plasticity of this seabird and, based on previous information about the dietary habits of this species, we hypothesize how its time-dependent activity patterns and habitat use could be associated with variations in the availability of marine food resources (e.g. diel vertical migrations of pelagic fish) and the exploitation of terrestrial resources (e.g. American crayfish Procambarus clarkii).

  5. Field Metabolic Rate Is Dependent on Time-Activity Budget in Ring-Billed Gulls (Larus delawarensis) Breeding in an Anthropogenic Environment.

    PubMed

    Marteinson, Sarah C; Giroux, Jean-François; Hélie, Jean-François; Gentes, Marie-Line; Verreault, Jonathan

    2015-01-01

    Environmental and behavioral factors have long been assumed to affect variation in avian field metabolic rate (FMR). However, due to the difficulties in measuring continuous behavior of birds over prolonged periods of time, complete time-activity budgets have rarely been examined in relation to FMR. Our objective was to determine the effect of activity (measured by detailed time-activity budgets) and a series of extrinsic and intrinsic factors on FMR of the omnivorous ring-billed gull (Larus delawarensis). The experiment was conducted during the incubation period when both members of the pair alternate between attending the nest-site and leaving the colony to forage in aquatic and anthropogenic environments (city, agricultural). FMR was determined using the doubly labeled water method. Time-activity budgets were extrapolated from spatio-temporal data (2-5 days) obtained from bird-borne GPS data loggers. Gulls had low FMRs compared to those predicted by allometric equations based on recorded FMRs from several seabird species. Gulls proportioned their time mainly to nest-site attendance (71% of total tracking time), which reduced FMR/g body mass, and was the best variable explaining energy expenditure. The next best variable was the duration of foraging trips, which increased FMR/g; FMR/g was also elevated by the proportion of time spent foraging or flying (17% and 8% of tracking time respectively). Most environmental variables measured did not impact FMR/g, however, the percent of time birds were subjected to temperatures below their lower critical temperature increased FMR. Time-activity budgets varied between the sexes, and with temperature and capture date suggesting that these variables indirectly affected FMR/g. The gulls foraged preferentially in anthropogenic-related habitats, which may have contributed to their low FMR/g due to the high availability of protein- and lipid-rich foods. This study demonstrates that activities were the best predictors of FMR/g in

  6. Field Metabolic Rate Is Dependent on Time-Activity Budget in Ring-Billed Gulls (Larus delawarensis) Breeding in an Anthropogenic Environment

    PubMed Central

    Marteinson, Sarah C.; Giroux, Jean-François; Hélie, Jean-François; Gentes, Marie-Line; Verreault, Jonathan

    2015-01-01

    Environmental and behavioral factors have long been assumed to affect variation in avian field metabolic rate (FMR). However, due to the difficulties in measuring continuous behavior of birds over prolonged periods of time, complete time-activity budgets have rarely been examined in relation to FMR. Our objective was to determine the effect of activity (measured by detailed time-activity budgets) and a series of extrinsic and intrinsic factors on FMR of the omnivorous ring-billed gull (Larus delawarensis). The experiment was conducted during the incubation period when both members of the pair alternate between attending the nest-site and leaving the colony to forage in aquatic and anthropogenic environments (city, agricultural). FMR was determined using the doubly labeled water method. Time-activity budgets were extrapolated from spatio-temporal data (2-5 days) obtained from bird-borne GPS data loggers. Gulls had low FMRs compared to those predicted by allometric equations based on recorded FMRs from several seabird species. Gulls proportioned their time mainly to nest-site attendance (71% of total tracking time), which reduced FMR/g body mass, and was the best variable explaining energy expenditure. The next best variable was the duration of foraging trips, which increased FMR/g; FMR/g was also elevated by the proportion of time spent foraging or flying (17% and 8% of tracking time respectively). Most environmental variables measured did not impact FMR/g, however, the percent of time birds were subjected to temperatures below their lower critical temperature increased FMR. Time-activity budgets varied between the sexes, and with temperature and capture date suggesting that these variables indirectly affected FMR/g. The gulls foraged preferentially in anthropogenic-related habitats, which may have contributed to their low FMR/g due to the high availability of protein- and lipid-rich foods. This study demonstrates that activities were the best predictors of FMR/g in

  7. Maternal Antibody Transmission in Relation to Mother Fluctuating Asymmetry in a Long-Lived Colonial Seabird: The Yellow-Legged Gull Larus michahellis

    PubMed Central

    Hammouda, Abdessalem; Selmi, Slaheddine; Pearce-Duvet, Jessica; Chokri, Mohamed Ali; Arnal, Audrey; Gauthier-Clerc, Michel; Boulinier, Thierry

    2012-01-01

    Female birds transfer antibodies to their offspring via the egg yolk, thus possibly providing passive immunity against infectious diseases to which hatchlings may be exposed, thereby affecting their fitness. It is nonetheless unclear whether the amount of maternal antibodies transmitted into egg yolks varies with female quality and egg laying order. In this paper, we investigated the transfer of maternal antibodies against type A influenza viruses (anti-AIV antibodies) by a long-lived colonial seabird, the yellow-legged gull (Larus michahellis), in relation to fluctuating asymmetry in females, i.e. the random deviation from perfect symmetry in bilaterally symmetric morphological and anatomical traits. In particular, we tested whether females with greater asymmetry transmitted fewer antibodies to their eggs, and whether within-clutch variation in yolk antibodies varied according to the maternal level of fluctuating asymmetry. We found that asymmetric females were in worse physical condition, produced fewer antibodies, and transmitted lower amounts of antibodies to their eggs. We also found that, within a given clutch, yolk antibody level decreased with egg laying order, but this laying order effect was more pronounced in clutches laid by the more asymmetric females. Overall, our results support the hypothesis that maternal quality interacts with egg laying order in determining the amount of maternal antibodies transmitted to the yolks. They also highlight the usefulness of fluctuating asymmetry as a sensitive indicator of female quality and immunocompetence in birds. PMID:22590497

  8. Effect of rapid modulation of circulating plasma testosterone concentration on begging, aggressive behavior and competition for food in black-headed gull (Larus ridibundus) chicks.

    PubMed

    Boncoraglio, Giuseppe; Groothuis, Ton G G

    2013-08-01

    Sibling competition mediated by begging behavior is extremely common in avian species and recent studies have highlighted the role of endogenous testosterone in regulating such phenomenon. However, current literature depicts an inconsistent pattern in altricial vs. semi-precocial species, with stimulating versus inhibitory effects of the hormone respectively. This is possibly due to a difference in the methodology of hormone treatment (short-term moderate dose versus a long-term stronger elevation, respectively) between the studies performed so far. In this study, we induced short-term moderate peaks in plasma testosterone levels, as applied in altricial bird species, and assessed the effects of our manipulation on begging, competitive and aggressive behavior in black-headed gull (Larus ridibundus) chicks, a semi-precocial species. Our results suggest that, unlike in altricial songbirds, temporary increase of plasma testosterone concentration suppresses begging and enhances aggressiveness towards intruders. However, it also increases aggression and the chances of getting priority while scrambling with nest mates to gain access to food. Thus, the inconsistencies in the hormonal control of begging behavior observed between altricial vs. semi-precocial birds seem real and perhaps related to species differences in complexity of the display and the nature of competition. These may be elucidated by future comparative studies. PMID:23962563

  9. Recurrent hybridization and recent origin obscure phylogenetic relationships within the 'white-headed' gull (Larus sp.) complex.

    PubMed

    Sonsthagen, Sarah A; Wilson, Robert E; Chesser, R Terry; Pons, Jean-Marc; Crochet, Pierre-Andre; Driskell, Amy; Dove, Carla

    2016-10-01

    Species complexes that have undergone recent radiations are often characterized by extensive allele sharing due to recent ancestry and (or) introgressive hybridization. This can result in discordant evolutionary histories of genes and heterogeneous genomes, making delineating species limits difficult. Here we examine the phylogenetic relationships among a complex group of birds, the white-headed gulls (Aves: Laridae), which offer a unique window into the speciation process due to their recent evolutionary history and propensity to hybridize. Relationships were examined among 17 species (61 populations) using a multilocus approach, including mitochondrial and nuclear intron DNA sequences and microsatellite genotype information. Analyses of microsatellite and intron data resulted in some species-based groupings, although most species were not represented by a single cluster. Considerable allele and haplotype sharing among white-headed gull species was observed; no locus contained a species-specific clade. Despite this, our multilocus approach provided better resolution among some species than previous studies. Interestingly, most clades appear to correspond to geographic locality: our BEAST analysis recovered strong support for a northern European/Icelandic clade, a southern European/Russian clade, and a western North American/canus clade, with weak evidence for a high latitude clade spanning North America and northwestern Europe. This geographical structuring is concordant with behavioral observations of pervasive hybridization in areas of secondary contact. The extent of allele and haplotype sharing indicates that ecological and sexual selection are likely not strong enough to complete reproductive isolation within several species in the white-headed gull complex. This suggests that just a few genes are driving the speciation process. PMID:27369453

  10. Influence of trophic ecology on the accumulation of dioxins and furans (PCDD/Fs), non-ortho polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in Mediterranean gulls (Larus michahellis and L. audouinii): A three-isotope approach.

    PubMed

    Roscales, Jose L; Vicente, Alba; Muñoz-Arnanz, Juan; Morales, Laura; Abad, Esteban; Aguirre, Jose I; Jiménez, Begoña

    2016-05-01

    The impact of pollution caused by severe anthropogenic pressure in the Mediterranean Sea, an important biodiversity hotspot, requires continuous research efforts. Sources of highly toxic chemicals such as Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) are misunderstood in representative Mediterranean species, which limits our capability to establish proper conservation strategies. In the present study, eggs of Audouin's and yellow-legged gulls (Larus audouinii and L. michahellis) were used to investigate the trophic sources, as measured by δ(13)C, δ(15)N, and δ(34)S, of legacy POPs, in particular, polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and furans (PCDD/Fs) and non-ortho polychlorinated biphenyls (no-PCBs), as well as recently-regulated POPs, e.g., polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). Special attention was paid to the usefulness of rarely-explored δ(34)S ratios in explaining POP exposure in wildlife, and δ(34)S was the isotopic ratio that best explained POP variations among gulls in most cases, thus demonstrating its usefulness for understanding POP exposure in wildlife. Significant relationships between stable isotope signatures and POP concentrations revealed increasing levels of no-PCBs and low halogenated PCDD/Fs and PBDEs in Mediterranean gulls as the consumption of marine resources increases. In contrast, highly chlorinated and brominated congeners appeared to preferentially accumulate in gulls feeding primarily on refuse from dump sites and terrestrial food webs. The use of suitable dietary tracers in the study of POPs in yellow-legged gulls revealed the importance of dump sites as a source of POPs in Mediterranean seabirds, which has not previously been reported. In contrast, the preferential accumulation through marine food webs of low chlorinated PCCD/Fs and no-PCBs, which show the highest toxic equivalents factors (TEFs), led to a significantly greater toxicological concern in Audouin's as compared to yellow-legged gulls. Audouin's gull exposure to POPs appears

  11. Levels of DDT and PCB's in different stages of life cycle of the arctic tern Sterna paradisaea and the herring gull Larus argentatus

    SciTech Connect

    Lemmetyinen, R.; Rantamaki, P.; Karlin, A.

    1982-01-01

    ..sigma..DDT and PCB levels were analyzed in samples of arctic terns and herring gulls collected in the archipelago of southwestern Finland. Special attention was paid to the levels at various stages of the life cycle and in different sexes. The levels were nearly ten times higher in the herring gull. The highest loads were found in adult birds and in newly hatched chicks but the levels were much lower (only 7-12 % in the herring gull) in chicks just before fledgling. The levels in young gulls remained low until the end of August at least. Therefore it is plausible that the high levels found in adult gulls are a consequence of their wintering in the southern Baltic. The levels of ..sigma..DDT and PCB residues were significantly lower in female arctic terns than in male terns. Differences between the sexes were small in the herring gull. Thus it is possible that the female of the arctic tern is able to release pollutants, especially PCB residues, more effectively into eggs than the female of the herring gull. The biochemical mechanisms involved are not clear but a possible explanation may be different lipoprotein structures in the eggs of the species.

  12. Lesser black-backed gulls (Larus fuscus) consuming swimming crabs: An important link in the food web of the southern North Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwemmer, Henriette; Schwemmer, Philipp; Ehrich, Siegfried; Garthe, Stefan

    2013-03-01

    Swimming crabs (Liocarcinus spp.) are one of the most common brachyuran species in the North Sea, and their abundance has substantially increased over the last century. Seabirds such as lesser black-backed gulls (LBBG) commonly feed mainly on higher-trophic-level organisms such as fish. However, intensive use of swimming crabs by LBBGs in the eastern North Sea has been noted over several years. Our investigation of this aspect of the food web by examining food remains from breeding LBBGs showed that swimming crabs accounted for more than half of the nutrition of LBBGs. Gulls selected larger individuals than expected, based on sizes of free-living swimming crabs. A long-term data set (2002-2006) shows that gulls took swimming crabs mainly in the early morning and late evening, suggesting that they might migrate vertically in the water column. Moreover, it shows that although swimming crabs occurred at considerable distances from the shore, LBBGs took this prey item exclusively from near the shore where it was most abundant. This suggests the existence of a possible energy threshold above which gulls experience a net energy loss, if they have to travel too far from their colony, where the abundance of swimming crabs is lower and the energy intake might thus not compensate for the long-distance flights. Swimming-crab abundance did not appear to be the primary factor influencing overall gull distribution. A simple bioenergetic model showed that the 22,000 individual LBBGs in the most important breeding colony in the south-eastern North Sea consumed approximately 35 million swimming crabs annually (i.e. 1590 swimming crabs per individual gull) during the breeding period. However, considering the high numbers of swimming crabs in the south-eastern North Sea (demonstrated by bottom-trawl surveys in 2005 and 2007) LBBGs are unlikely to exert top-down control on this prey. Conversely, a bottom-up effect is more likely, potentially enabling further increases in LBBG

  13. Temporal and geographic variation of organochlorine residues in eggs of the common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina serpentina) (1981-1991) and comparisons to trends in the herring gull (Larus argentatus) in the Great Lakes basin in Ontario, Canada.

    PubMed

    Bishop, C A; Ng, P; Norstrom, R J; Brooks, R J; Pettit, K E

    1996-11-01

    Common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina serpentina) eggs from five sites within the Great Lakes basin, and from a reference site in north-central Ontario were collected during 1981-1991 and analyzed for four organochlorine pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) including six non-ortho PCBs, polychlorinated dibenzodioxins (PCDDs), and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs). The pattern of geographic variation was consistent over time in eggs with Cootes Paradise/ Hamilton Harbour and Lynde Creek eggs on Lake Ontario containing the highest concentrations and most PCDD and PCDF congeners among all sites. Eggs from Cranberry Marsh on Lake Ontario contained organochlorine concentrations similar to those from Big Creek Marsh and Rondeau Provincial Park on Lake Erie except PCDDs and PCDFs which occurred at higher concentrations and more congeners were detectable in Cranberry Marsh eggs. Concentrations of most contaminants in turtle eggs from Algonquin Park, the reference site, have significantly decreased in the past decade. Dieldrin concentrations, however, increased in Algonquin Park eggs from 1981 to 1989. Significant decreases in concentrations of hexachlorobenzene, mirex and PCBs occurred between turtle eggs collected in 1981/84 and 1989 at Big Creek Marsh and Rondeau Provincial Park, whereas there was no significant change in concentrations of p,p'-DDE and dieldrin. In Lake Ontario eggs, concentrations of PCBs, p,p'-DDE and dieldrin increased significantly between 1984 and 1991. Differences were also found in patterns of temporal variation in contamination between herring gulls (Larus argentatus) and snapping turtles which were attributed to differences in diet. Elevated and continued contamination in turtle eggs from Lake. Ontario is probably due to a combination of local sources of chemicals and consumption of large migratory fish that spawn in wetlands inhabited by these turtles. PMID:8975824

  14. Avian Bornaviruses in North American Gulls.

    PubMed

    Guo, Jianhua; Tizard, Ian; Baroch, John; Shivaprasad, H L; Payne, Susan L

    2015-07-01

    Avian bornaviruses, recently described members of the family Bornaviridae, have been isolated from captive parrots and passerines as well as wild waterfowl in which they may cause lethal neurologic disease. We report detection of avian bornavirus RNA in the brains of apparently healthy gulls. We tested 439 gull brain samples from 18 states, primarily in the northeastern US, using a reverse-transcriptase PCR assay with primers designed to detect a conserved region of the bornavirus M gene. Nine birds yielded a PCR product of appropriate size. Sequencing of PCR products indicated that the virus was closely related to aquatic bird bornavirus 1 (ABBV-1). Viral RNA was detected in Herring Gulls (Larus argentatus), Ring-billed Gulls (Larus delawarensis), and Laughing Gulls (Leucophaeus atricilla). Eight of the nine positive birds came from the New York/New Jersey area. One positive Herring Gull came from New Hampshire. Histopathologic examination of one well-preserved brain from a Herring Gull from Union County New Jersey, showed a lymphocytic encephalitis similar to that observed in bornavirus-infected parrots and geese. Bornavirus N protein was confirmed in two Herring Gull brains by immunohistochemistry. Thus ABBV-1 can infect gulls and cause encephalitic brain lesions similar to those observed in other birds. PMID:25973630

  15. Phosphorus in seagull colonies and the effect on the habitats. The case of yellow-legged gulls (Larus michahellis) in the Atlantic Islands National Park (Galicia-NW Spain).

    PubMed

    Otero, X L; Tejada, O; Martín-Pastor, M; De La Peña, S; Ferreira, T O; Pérez-Alberti, A

    2015-11-01

    During the period 1980-2000, the yellow-legged gull population underwent exponential growth due to an increase in the availability of anthropogenic food resources. The aim of this study was to highlight the effect of the gull colonies on the P soil cycle and the associated effects on coastal ecosystems. Samples of soil, water and faecal material were collected in a colony of yellow-legged gulls (Cíes Islands) and in a control area. Four sampling plots were installed in the study areas, and samples were collected in summer and winter in 1997 and 2011. Sample analysis included soil characterization and determination of the total P content (TP), bioavailable-P and fractionated-P forms in the soils and faecal material. The (31)P NMR technique was also used to determine organic P forms. Clear differences between the gull colony soils and the control soil were observed. The TP was 3 times higher in the gull colony soil, and the bioavailable P was 30 times higher than in the control soil. The P forms present at highest concentrations in the faecal material (P-apatite, P-residual and P-humic acid) were also present at high concentrations in the colony soil. The absence of any seasonal or annual differences in P concentration indicates that the P has remained stable in the soil over time, regardless of the changes in the gull population density. The degree of P saturation indicated that soils are saturated with P due to the low concentration of Fe/Al-hydroxides, which is consistent with a high P concentration in the run-off from the colonies. The P output from the colony soils to coastal waters may cause eutrophication of a nearby lagoon and the disappearance of a Zostera marina seagrass meadow. Similarly, the enrichment of P concentration in dune system of Muxieiro may induce irreversible changes in the plant communities. PMID:26081740

  16. Comparison of arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, manganese, mercury and selenium in feathers in bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), and comparison with common eider (Somateria mollissima), glaucous-winged gull (Larus glaucescens), pigeon guillemot (Cepphus columba), and tufted puffin (Fratercula cirrhata) from the Aleutian Chain of Alaska.

    PubMed

    Burger, Joanna; Gochfeld, Michael

    2009-05-01

    There is an abundance of field data for levels of metals from a range of places, but relatively few from the North Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea. In this paper we examine the levels of arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, manganese, mercury and selenium in feathers from common eiders (Somateria mollissima), glaucous-winged gulls (Larus glaucescens), pigeon guillemots (Cepphus columba), tufted puffins (Fratercula cirrhata) and bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) from the Aleutian Chain of Alaska. Our primary objective was to test the hypothesis that there are no trophic levels relationships for arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, manganese, mercury and selenium among these five species of birds breeding in the marine environment of the Aleutians. There were significant interspecific differences in all metal levels. As predicted bald eagles had the highest levels of arsenic, chromium, lead, and manganese, but puffins had the highest levels of selenium, and pigeon guillemot had higher levels of mercury than eagles (although the differences were not significant). Common eiders, at the lowest trophic level had the lowest levels of some metals (chromium, mercury and selenium). However, eiders had higher levels than all other species (except eagles) for arsenic, cadmium, lead, and manganese. Levels of lead were higher in breast than in wing feathers of bald eagles. Except for lead, there were no significant differences in metal levels in feathers of bald eagles nesting on Adak and Amchitka Island; lead was higher on Adak than Amchitka. Eagle chicks tended to have lower levels of manganese than older eagles. PMID:18521716

  17. Comparison of arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, manganese, mercury and selenium in feathers in bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), and comparison with common eider (Somateria mollissima), glaucous-winged gull (Larus glaucescens), pigeon guillemot (Cepphus columba), and tufted puffin (Fratercula cirrhata) from the Aleutian Chain of Alaska

    PubMed Central

    Burger, Joanna; Gochfeld, Michael

    2014-01-01

    There is an abundance of field data for levels of metals from a range of places, but relatively few from the North Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea. In this paper we examine the levels of arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, manganese, mercury and selenium in feathers from common eiders (Somateria mollissima), glaucous-winged gulls (Larus glaucescens), pigeon guillemots (Cepphus columba), tufted puffins (Fratercula cirrhata) and bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) from the Aleutian Chain of Alaska. Our primary objective was to test the hypothesis that there are no trophic levels relationships for arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, manganese, mercury and selenium among these five species of birds breeding in the marine environment of the Aleutians. There were significant interspecific differences in all metal levels. As predicted bald eagles had the highest levels of arsenic, chromium, lead, and manganese, but puffins had the highest levels of selenium, and pigeon guillemot had higher levels of mercury than eagles (although the differences were not significant). Common eiders, at the lowest trophic level had the lowest levels of some metals (chromium, mercury and selenium). However, eiders had higher levels than all other species (except eagles) for arsenic, cadmium, lead, and manganese. Levels of lead were higher in breast than in wing feathers of bald eagles. Except for lead, there were no significant differences in metal levels in feathers of bald eagles nesting on Adak and Amchitka Island; lead was higher on Adak than Amchitka. Eagle chicks tended to have lower levels of manganese than older eagles. PMID:18521716

  18. Retraction of a longevity record for a 36-year-old herring gull

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jonkel, G.M.; Pettingill, O.S., Jr.

    1974-01-01

    Full text: The longevity record for a 36-year-old Herring Gull, Larus argentatus (Pettingill 1967, Auk 84: 123), is erroneous. Herring Gull with band number A-676871, the basis of the record, was found dead on 20 June 1966 on the shore of Little Traverse Bay near Petoskey, Michigan, and reported to the Bird Banding Laboratory. The laboratory then mistakenly advised Pettingill that this gull was banded by him on 29 June 1930 on coastal Maine. He actually banded Herring Gull number A-676871 as a young bird on one of the Beaver Islands in Lake Michigan on 8 July 1948. The gull was thus 18 instead of 36 years old.

  19. Species differences in total mercury concentration in gulls from the Gulf of Gdansk (Southern Baltic).

    PubMed

    Szumiło-Pilarska, Emilia; Grajewska, Agnieszka; Falkowska, Lucyna; Hajdrych, Julia; Meissner, Włodzimierz; Frączek, Tomasz; Bełdowska, Magdalena; Bzoma, Szymon

    2016-01-01

    Aquatic birds occupy a high position in the trophic pyramid of the Baltic Sea. This means that they accumulate the greatest amount of harmful substances, including mercury, in their bodies. This element penetrates into their systems mainly via the alimentary canal. The amount of mercury absorbed from food depends on how badly the environment is polluted with this metal. The aim of this study was to discover the concentrations of total mercury (HgT) in the contour feathers, muscles, brain, lungs, liver, kidneys, heart and blood of four gull species Herring Gull (Larus argentatus), Common Gull (Larus canus), Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibundus) and Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus) and organic mercury (Hgorg) in the liver and brain of Herring Gull. The most important characteristic of the results obtained for the studied gulls was the statistically significant differences between the four species, probably resulting from their different diets-confirmed by stable-isotopes analysis (δ(15)N and δ(13)C). A logarithmic dependence was found between HgT in the blood and HgT in the brain of the Herring Gull. The authors suggest that among gulls burdened with the greatest mercury load, it is possible that the brain is protected by higher Hg accumulation in the muscles. The percentage share of Hgorg in the brain and liver of the Herring Gull depended on the concentration of HgT in these tissues and was always higher in the brain. In none of the cases, did the mercury levels assayed in the internal gulls' tissues exceed values associated with adverse health effects. PMID:26653750

  20. Pattern of mercury accumulation in different tissues of migratory and resident birds: Western reef heron (Egretta gularis) and Siberian gull (Larus heuglini) in Hara International Wetland-Persian Gulf.

    PubMed

    Majidi, Yousef; Bahramifar, Nader; Ghasempouri, Seyed Mahmoud

    2015-01-01

    The Hara Mangrove Forest of the Persian Gulf is undergoing increasing pollution from industrial, municipal, and petroleum sources; however, little research in ecotoxicology has been carried out in this ecosystem. In the present study, mercury distribution and accumulation were investigated in muscle, liver, kidney, and feather of the resident Western reef heron (n = 15) and the migratory Siberian gull (n = 15). We also evaluated the relation between Hg concentrations, sex, and age (juvenile vs. adult). Results showed that the highest concentrations of Hg were recorded in the feather (35 ± 0.14-3.0 ± 0.27 mg kg(-1) dw) and at 3.7-, 1.6-, and 1.3-fold in muscle, kidney, and liver, respectively. Concentrations of mercury in tissues of migratory birds were two times higher than in resident birds; geographical differences and feeding habits were used to explain these variations. We found a weak relationship between Hg concentrations in feathers and internal tissues (r ≤ 0.50); conversely, liver presented strong positive correlations with other soft tissues, especially kidney (p > 0.05; r = 0.82). Results showed that sex and age have no significant effects on T-Hg accumulation in these birds (p > 0.05; r < -0.01). Based on these findings, Hg concentrations were low in both species. Therefore, Hg contamination of this aquatic ecosystem is not a threat. Accordingly, we recommend the use of the Western reef heron as a bioindicator of mercury pollution in this region. PMID:25492705

  1. Glaucous gull predation of goslings on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bowman, T.D.; Stehn, R.A.; Scribner, K.T.

    2004-01-01

    Glaucous Gulls (Larus hyperboreus) nesting on the Yukon-Kuskokwim (Y-K) Delta frequently prey on juvenile waterfowl. We collected 434 Glaucous Gulls from late June to early August 1994 to examine diet. Identification of undigested prey tissue, based on DNA microsatellite loci, showed three species of goslings in gull stomachs: Emperor Goose (Chen canagica), White-fronted Goose (Anser albifrons), and Cackling Canada Goose (Branta canadensis minima). Gulls that nested inland and were collected > 1.6 km from the coast accounted for approximately 70% of the total gull predation on Emperor and Canada Geese, and 96% on White-fronted Geese. Our stratified sample of gull stomachs and aerial survey estimates of population size and distribution of gulls and juvenile geese enabled extrapolation of species-specific predation rates to the entire Y-K Delta. We estimated that a minimum of 21 000 Emperor Goose, 34 000 Canada Goose, and 16 000 White-fronted Goose goslings were consumed by 12 600 Glaucous Gulls during the brood-rearing period on the Y-K Delta in 1994. Minimum estimated take by gulls represented 33% of Cackling Canada Goose, 47% of Emperor Goose, and 39% of White-fronted Goose eggs estimated to have hatched in the same area as gull collections. Gulls selected the three species of geese approximately in proportion to their abundance. Although gull predation caused significant gosling mortality, its role in regulating goose populations on Y-K Delta remains unresolved.

  2. Observations of a live Glaucous-winged Gull chick in an active Bald Eagle nest

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anthony, R.G.; Faris, J.T.

    2003-01-01

    We report an apparent nonlethal predation attempt on and subsequent adoption of a Glaucous-winged Gull (Larus glaucescens) chick by a pair of Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) in the Aleutian Archipelago, Alaska. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of a live Glaucous-winged Gull chick in a Bald Eagle nest. We describe our observations of this occurrence and offer explanations on how it may have occurred.

  3. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Laughing Gull

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zale, Alexander V.; Mulholland, Rosemarie

    1985-01-01

    A review and synthesis of existing information were used to develop a habitat model for laughing gull (Larus atricilla). The model is scaled to produce an index of habitat suitability between 0 (unsuitable habitat) and 1.0 (optimally suitable habitat) for areas along the Gulf of Mexico coast. Habitat suitability indices are designed for use with the Habitat Evaluation Procedures previously developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Guidelines for application of the model and techniques for measuring model variables are described.

  4. Effects of introducing foxes and raccoons on herring gull colonies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kadlec, J.A.

    1971-01-01

    Red foxes (Vulpes fulva) and raccoons (Procyon lotor) released at colonies of herring gulls (Larus argentatus) on islands off the Massachusetts coast effectively eliminated the production of young gulls. Annual predator introductions for 2-4 years caused major reductions in colony size and occasionally total abandonment of the island as a colony site. Observations of the experimental islands for 2 years after cessation of predator introductions showed slow repopulation of the islands and lower breeding success than on control islands. The size of the regional population was reduced largely because of the movements of gulls off the experimental islands. The introduced predators are, in most cases, difficult to maintain on the islands; this restricts their utility in population management.

  5. Identification and characterization of a novel adenovirus in the cloacal bursa of gulls

    SciTech Connect

    Bodewes, R.; Bildt, M.W.G. van de; Schapendonk, C.M.E.; Leeuwen, M. van; Boheemen, S. van; Jong, A.A.W. de; Osterhaus, A.D.M.E.; Smits, S.L.; Kuiken, T.

    2013-05-25

    Several viruses of the family of Adenoviridae are associated with disease in birds. Here we report the detection of a novel adenovirus in the cloacal bursa of herring gulls (Larus argentatus) and lesser black-backed gulls (Larus fuscus) that were found dead in the Netherlands in 2001. Histopathological analysis of the cloacal bursa revealed cytomegaly and karyomegaly with basophilic intranuclear inclusions typical for adenovirus infection. The presence of an adenovirus was confirmed by electron microscopy. By random PCR in combination with deep sequencing, sequences were detected that had the best hit with known adenoviruses. Phylogenetic analysis of complete coding sequences of the hexon, penton and polymerase genes indicates that this novel virus, tentatively named Gull adenovirus, belongs to the genus Aviadenovirus. The present study demonstrates that birds of the Laridae family are infected by family-specific adenoviruses that differ from known adenoviruses in other bird species. - Highlights: ► Lesions typical for adenovirus infection detected in cloacal bursa of dead gulls. ► Confirmation of adenovirus infection by electron microscopy and deep sequencing. ► Sequence analysis indicates that it is a novel adenovirus in the genus Aviadenovirus. ► The novel (Gull) adenovirus was detected in multiple organs of two species of gulls.

  6. Forster's tern chick survival in response to a managed relocation of predatory California gulls

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ackerman, Joshua T.; Herzog, Mark P.; Hartman, C. Alex; Herring, Garth

    2014-01-01

    Gull populations can severely limit the productivity of waterbirds. Relocating gull colonies may reduce their effects on nearby breeding waterbirds, but there are few examples of this management strategy. We examined gull predation and survival of Forster's tern (Sterna forsteri) chicks before (2010) and after (2011) the managed relocation of the largest California gull (Larus californicus) colony (24,000 adults) in San Francisco Bay, California. Overall, survival of radio-marked Forster's tern chicks from hatching to fledging was 0.22 ± 0.03 (mean ± SE), and daily survival rates increased with age. Gulls were the predominant predator of tern chicks, potentially causing 54% of chick deaths. Prior to the gull colony relocation, 56% of radio-marked and 20% of banded tern chicks from the nearest tern colony were recovered dead in the gull colony, compared to only 15% of radio-marked and 4% of banded chicks recovered dead from all other tern colonies. The managed relocation of the gull colony substantially increased tern chick survival (by 900%) in the nearby (3.8 km) reference tern colony (0.29 ± 0.10 in 2010 and 0.25 ± 0.09 in 2011). Among 19 tern nesting islands, fledging success was higher when gull abundance was lower at nearby colonies and when gull colonies were farther from the tern colony. Our results indicate that the managed relocation of gull colonies away from preferred nesting areas of sensitive waterbirds can improve local reproductive success, but this conservation strategy may shift gull predation pressure to other areas or species.

  7. Does garbage in diet improve Glaucous Gull reproductive output?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Powell, Abby N.; Weiser, Emily L.

    2010-01-01

    Anthropogenic subsidies are used by a variety of predators in areas developed for human use or residence. If subsidies promote population growth, these predators can have a negative effect on local prey species. The Glaucous Gull (Larus hyperboreus) is an abundant predator in northern Alaska that is believed to benefit from garbage as a supplemental food source, but this supposition has never been tested. In summer 2008 and 2009, we recorded the Glaucous Gull's diet and reproduction at 10 breeding colonies in northern Alaska. Colonies were in industrial, residential, and undeveloped areas and ranged from 5 to 75 km from the nearest landfill. By colony, garbage occurred in zero to 85% of pellets and food remains produced during the chick-rearing period, and the average number of chicks fledged per pair ranged from zero to 2.9. Random-forest analysis indicated that percent occurrence of garbage in the diet was the second most important factor (after number of eggs per pair) explaining variance in fledging rate. There was a significant positive correlation between percent occurrence of garbage in the diet and fledging rate in each year. If this correlation reflects a causal relationship, it suggests that human development that increases gulls' access to garbage could result in increased local gull populations. Such an increase could affect the gulls' natural prey species, including at least 14 species of shorebirds and waterfowl of conservation concern.

  8. Sexing California gulls using morphometrics and discriminant function analysis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Herring, G.; Ackerman, J.T.; Eagles-Smith, C. A.; Takekawa, J.Y.

    2010-01-01

    A discriminant function analysis (DFA) model was developed with DNA sex verification so that external morphology could be used to sex 203 adult California Gulls (Larus californicus) in San Francisco Bay (SFB). The best model was 97% accurate and included head-to-bill length, culmen depth at the gonys, and wing length. Using an iterative process, the model was simplified to a single measurement (head-to-bill length) that still assigned sex correctly 94% of the time. A previous California Gull sex determination model developed for a population in Wyoming was then assessed by fitting SFB California Gull measurement data to the Wyoming model; this new model failed to converge on the same measurements as those originally used by the Wyoming model. Results from the SFB discriminant function model were compared to the Wyoming model results (by using SFB data with the Wyoming model); the SFB model was 7% more accurate for SFB California gulls. The simplified DFA model (head-to-bill length only) provided highly accurate results (94%) and minimized the measurements and time required to accurately sex California Gulls.

  9. What`s normal?: Body condition in Great Lakes herring gulls

    SciTech Connect

    Hebert, C.E.; Shutt, J.L.

    1994-12-31

    The Canadian Wildlife Service`s herring gull (Larus argentatus) surveillance program has demonstrated the usefulness of this species as a monitor of spatial and temporal trends in contaminant levels. However, the effects of environmental contaminants on gulls are difficult to distinguish from the effects of other anthropogenic stressors such as the introduction of exotic species, overfishing and habitat loss. To understand the relative importance of these factors in regulating the success of individual gulls and, hence, gull populations, the authors must first have a better understanding of what constitutes a ``normal`` bird. Improving the ability to differentiate between normal and abnormal birds is crucial in any health assessment of Great Lakes gulls. Body condition has been shown to be an important measure of a bird`s ability to provide energy for egg production, migration etc. Numerous approaches have been used to assess condition, most of which required that the bird be sacrificed. In this study, the authors describe a nonlethal technique to quantify body condition in herring gulls. Multivariate statistics are used to quantify body size, relate body size to total mass and from that, determine relative body condition. Initially, body condition is assessed in gulls from a reference colony where reproductive success is normal and anthropogenic influences are limited. This reference population is then used as a baseline against which other gull populations are compared.

  10. Infectious bursal disease virus antibodies in eider ducks and Herring Gulls

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hollmen, T.; Franson, J.C.; Docherty, D.E.; Kilpi, Mikael; Hario, Martti; Creekmore, L.H.; Petersen, M.R.

    2000-01-01

    We measured antibodies to infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV) in blood of nesting Common Eider (Somateria mollissima) females and immature Herring Gulls (Larus argentatus) in the Baltic Sea, and in blood of Spectacled Eider (Somateria fischeri) females nesting in a remote area of western Alaska. Positive (??? 1:16) IBDV titers occurred in 75% of the eiders and 45% of the Herring Gull chicks. In eiders, the prevalence of positive titers differed among locations. We found no evidence that IBDV exposure impaired the immune function of Herring Gull chicks, based on their response to inoculation of sheep red blood cells. We suggest that eider ducks and Herring Gulls have been exposed to IBDV, even in locations where contact with poultry is unlikely. The presence of this virus in wild bird populations is of concern because it causes mortality of up to 30% in susceptible poultry.

  11. Gulls Are Not "Seagulls"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wheat, Maxwell Corydon, Jr.

    1976-01-01

    The word "seagull" is included in the dictionary because the term is so often applied by the lay persons to almost any gull they notice. However, this is a generalized term which ignores the wide and facinating variety of the species. This article discusses some of the species of gulls. (NQ)

  12. Sleeping gulls monitor the vigilance behaviour of their neighbours

    PubMed Central

    Beauchamp, Guy

    2008-01-01

    Individuals in groups are often thought to scan their surroundings for threats independently of one another. Models, however, suggest that foragers should monitor the vigilance level of their neighbours to prevent cheating, and to gather information about incipient predation risk. Evidence for monitoring of vigilance is scant. Here, I examined changes in vigilance levels in sleeping gulls (Larus sp.) surrounded by neighbours in various states of alertness. Controlling for group size and neighbour density, gulls interrupted sleep more often to scan their surroundings, and were therefore more vigilant, when their neighbours were alert rather than sleeping or preening. The results provide evidence for copying of vigilance within groups of birds, suggesting a complex flow of information about predation risk in groups. PMID:18940772

  13. Dioxins, furans and AHH-active PCB congeners in eggs of two gull species from the western Mediterranean.

    PubMed

    Pastor, D; Ruiz, X; Barceló, D; Albaigés, J

    1995-09-01

    Polychlorinated biphenyls, dibenzodioxins and dibenzofurans were analysed in eggs of a protected gull species, the Audouin's Gull (Larus audouinii) and compared to those of the Yellow-legged Gull (Larus cachinnans), both breeding in the Western Mediterranean (Ebro Delta and Medes Islands, respectively). Differences in concentrations as well as in congener profiles reflected differences in both habitat and diet of the two species. Levels of AHH-active PCB congeners were lower in Yellow-legged Gull (0.4-1.6 micrograms/g d.w) than in Audouin's Gull eggs (1.2-33.9 micrograms/g d.w.). These concentrations, expressed in international toxic equivalence factors (i-TEQ/g d.w.), were on average 24 times higher in the Audouin's gull. I-TEQ levels due to dioxins were also higher in this species by a factor of ca. 7. I-TEQ levels related to PCBs resulted 90-230 times higher than those of dioxins and furans. Thus, AHH-inducing PCBs might represent even higher toxicological hazards than dioxins and furans to some populations of seabirds. The necessity of assessing the impact of these compounds in rare and protected species is pointed out. PMID:8528648

  14. The Efficiency of an Integrated Program Using Falconry to Deter Gulls from Landfills.

    PubMed

    Thiériot, Ericka; Patenaude-Monette, Martin; Molina, Pierre; Giroux, Jean-François

    2015-01-01

    Gulls are commonly attracted to landfills, and managers are often required to implement cost-effective and socially accepted deterrence programs. Our objective was to evaluate the effectiveness of an intensive program that integrated the use of trained birds of prey, pyrotechnics, and playback of gull distress calls at a landfill located close to a large ring-billed gull (Larus delawarensis) colony near Montreal, Quebec, Canada. We used long-term survey data on bird use of the landfill, conducted behavioral observations of gulls during one season and tracked birds fitted with GPS data loggers. We also carried out observations at another landfill located farther from the colony, where less refuse was brought and where a limited culling program was conducted. The integrated program based on falconry resulted in a 98% decrease in the annual total number of gulls counted each day between 1995 and 2014. A separate study indicated that the local breeding population of ring-billed gulls increased and then declined during this period but remained relatively large. In 2010, there was an average (±SE) of 59 ± 15 gulls/day using the site with falconry and only 0.4% ± 0.2% of these birds were feeding. At the other site, there was an average of 347 ± 55 gulls/day and 13% ± 3% were feeding. Twenty-two gulls tracked from the colony made 41 trips towards the landfills: twenty-five percent of the trips that passed by the site with falconry resulted in a stopover that lasted 22 ± 7 min compared to 85% at the other landfill lasting 63 ± 15 min. We concluded that the integrated program using falconry, which we consider more socially acceptable than selective culling, was effective in reducing the number of gulls at the landfill. PMID:26479231

  15. The herring gull complex is not a ring species.

    PubMed Central

    Liebers, Dorit; de Knijff, Peter; Helbig, Andreas J.

    2004-01-01

    Under what circumstances speciation in sexually reproducing animals can occur without geographical disjunction is still controversial. According to the ring-species model, a reproductive barrier may arise through 'isolation by distance' when peripheral populations of a species meet after expanding around some uninhabitable barrier. The classical example of this kind of speciation is the herring gull (Larus argentatus) complex, with a circumpolar distribution in the Northern Hemisphere. Based on mitochondrial DNA variation among 21 gull taxa, we show that members of this complex differentiated largely in allopatry following multiple vicariance and long-distance-colonization events, not primarily through isolation by distance. Reproductive isolation evolved more rapidly between some lineages than between others, irrespective of their genetic distance. Extant taxa are the result of divergent as well as reticulate evolution between two ancestral lineages originally separated in a North Atlantic refugium and a continental Eurasian refugium, respectively. Continental birds expanded along the entire north Eurasian coast and via Beringia into North America. Contrary to the ring-species model, we find no genetic evidence for a closure of the circumpolar ring through colonization of Europe by North American herring gulls. However, closure of the ring in the opposite direction may be imminent, with lesser black-backed gulls about to colonize North America. PMID:15255043

  16. Migration and wintering areas of glaucous-winged Gulls from south-central Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hatch, Shyla A.; Gill, V.A.; Mulcahy, D.M.

    2011-01-01

    We used satellite telemetry to investigate the migration patterns and wintering areas of Glaucouswinged Gulls (Larus glaucescens) from Middleton Island, Alaska, where this species' population increased tenfold from the 1970s to the 1990s. Fall migration spanned 11 weeks, including numerous stopovers en route, apparently for feeding. Spring migration from wintering sites to Middleton Island was shorter (4 weeks) and more direct. One juvenile spent several months in southern Prince William Sound. An adult spent several months near Craig, southeast Alaska, while three others overwintered in southern British Columbia. For all four wintering adults use of refuse-disposal sites was evident or strongly suggested. Commensalism with humans may have contributed to the increase on Middleton, but a strong case can also be made for a competing explanation-regional recruitment of gulls to high-quality nesting habitat in Alaska created after the earthquake of 1964. An analysis of band returns reveals broad overlap in the wintering grounds of gulls from different Alaska colonies and of gulls banded on the west coast from British Columbia to California. The seasonal movement of many gulls from Alaska is decidedly migratory, whereas gulls from British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon disperse locally in winter. ?? The Cooper Ornithological Society 2011.

  17. Migration And wintering areas Of Glaucous-winged Gulls From south-central Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hatch, Scott A.; Gill, V.A.; Mulcahy, Daniel M.

    2011-01-01

    We used satellite telemetry to investigate the migration patterns and wintering areas of Glaucous-winged Gulls (Larus glaucescens) from Middleton Island, Alaska, where this species' population increased tenfold from the 1970s to the 1990s. Fall migration spanned 11 weeks, including numerous stopovers en route, apparently for feeding. Spring migration from wintering sites to Middleton Island was shorter (4 weeks) and more direct. One juvenile spent several months in southern Prince William Sound. An adult spent several months near Craig, southeast Alaska, while three others overwintered in southern British Columbia. For all four wintering adults use of refuse-disposal sites was evident or strongly suggested. Commensalism with humans may have contributed to the increase on Middleton, but a strong case can also be made for a competing explanation-regional recruitment of gulls to high-quality nesting habitat in Alaska created after the earthquake of 1964. An analysis of band returns reveals broad overlap in the wintering grounds of gulls from different Alaska colonies and of gulls banded on the west coast from British Columbia to California. The seasonal movement of many gulls from Alaska is decidedly migratory, whereas gulls from British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon disperse locally in winter.

  18. Gull contributions of phosphorus and nitrogen to a Cape Cod kettle pond

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Portnoy, J.W.; Soukup, M.A.

    1990-01-01

    Nutrient excretion rates and the annual contribution of P from the feces of the gulls Larus argentatus and L. marinus (and of N from L. argentatus) to the nutrient budget of Gull Pond (Wellfleet), a soft water seepage lake, have been estimated. Intensive year-round gull counts by species were combined with determinations of defecation rate and the nutrient content of feces to quantitatively assess the P loading rates associated with regular gull use of this coastal pond on a seasonal and annual basis. Total P loading from gulls was estimated to be 52 kg yr?1, with 17 kg from L. argentatus and 35 kg from L. marinus, resulting from about 5.0 ? 106 h yr?1 and 1.7 ? 106 h yr?1 of pond use. This compares with P loading estimates of 67 kg yr?1 from upgradient septic systems, 2 kg yr?1 from precipitation and 3 kg yr?1 from unpolluted ground water. Fifty-six percent of annual gull P loading was associated with migratory activity in late fall. Estimated annual N loading by L. argentatus was 14 kg TKN, 206 g NO3-N, and 1.85 g g NH3-N.

  19. Environmental pollutants in endangered vs. increasing subspecies of the lesser black-backed gull on the Norwegian Coast.

    PubMed

    Bustnes, Jan Ove; Helberg, Morten; Strann, Karl-Birger; Skaare, Janneche Utne

    2006-12-01

    Organochlorine (OC) residues were measured in eggs and blood of different subspecies of the lesser black-backed gull, Larus fuscus, on the Norwegian coast: a) increasing L. f. intermedius in the North Sea; b) endangered L. f. fuscus near the Arctic Circle; c) L. f. fuscus and greyish-mantled gulls, with a L. f. intermedius appearance, in the Barents Sea region. The dominating OCs in lesser black-backed gulls were polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) and p,p'-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE). DDE and beta-hexachlorocyclohexane (beta-HCH) residues were higher in L. f. fuscus compared to L. f. intermedius and greyish-mantled birds in the Barents Sea region. In the latter area, blood residues of PCB and DDE in lesser black-backed gulls were as high as in great black-backed gulls, Larus marinus, while in the other regions they were lower. The higher DDE residues in endangered L. f. fuscus compared to increasing L. f. intermedius and greyish-mantled birds, which are invading northern Norway, suggest that OCs may have played a role in the population decline of L. f. fuscus, possibly in combination with nutrient stress. PMID:16564607

  20. Herring gulls and great black-backed gulls as indicators of contaminants in bald eagles in Lake Ontario, Canada.

    PubMed

    Weseloh, D Vaughn; Hughes, Kimberly D; Ewins, Peter J; Best, Dave; Kubiak, Timothy; Shieldcastle, Mark C

    2002-05-01

    In 2000, a pair of bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) nested successfully along the shorelines of Lake Ontario in North America for the first time since 1957. However, it is a continuing question whether bald eagles will be able to reproduce successfully as they return to nest on Lake Ontario. Great black-backed gulls (Larus marinus) and herring gulls (L. argentatus) were selected as surrogate species to predict contaminant levels in eggs of bald eagles nesting on Lake Ontario. Because of the suspected overlap in the diets of great black-backed gulls and bald eagles (i.e., fish, gull chicks, and waterfowl), the two species probably occupy a similar trophic level in the Lake Ontario food web and, thus, may have similar contaminant levels. Fresh great black-backed gull and herring gull eggs were collected from three study sites in eastern Lake Ontario in 1993 and 1994 and analyzed for contaminants. Average contaminant levels of dichlorodiphenyldichloroethane (p,p'-DDE), total polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and dieldrin in great black-backed gull eggs were 12.85, 26.27, and 0.27 microg/g, respectively. The mean ratio of contaminant levels in great black-backed gull eggs to contaminant levels in herring gull eggs for these three contaminants was 2.09 (range of means, 1.73-2.38). Predicted levels of contaminants in bald eagle eggs in Lake Ontario would be expected to be similar to the mean levels reported for great black-backed gull eggs. As a comparison, contaminant levels in bald eagle eggs collected from other Great Lakes nesting sites were compared to mean levels reported for herring gull eggs collected from nearby sites in 1986 to 1995. The mean ratio of contaminant levels in bald eagle eggs to contaminant levels in herring gull eggs from these sites for DDE, total PCBs, and dieldrin was 2.40 (range of means, 1.73-3.28). These ratios are very similar to those reported using great black-backed gull eggs, illustrating the apparent similarity in trophic status

  1. Reduction of garbage in the diet of nonbreeding glaucous gulls corresponding to a change in waste management

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Weiser, E.L.; Powell, A.N.

    2011-01-01

    Glaucous gulls (Larus hyperboreus) are major predators in the Arctic and may benefit from human development. We studied use of garbage by glaucous gulls in Barrow, Alaska, in 2007, when municipal waste was disposed of in a landfill, and in 2008, when it was incinerated. In both years, diet samples from breeding adult gulls contained less garbage than those from loafing nonbreeding gulls (mostly subadults of less than four years), possibly because the breeding colony was more distant than many loafing sites from the landfills. Although breeding gull samples showed no change, garbage in regurgitated pellets and food remains of nonbreeding gulls was significantly less prevalent in 2008 than in 2007 (28% vs. 43% occurrence in diet samples), and this reduction could be explained by the switch from landfill to waste incineration. Yet garbage remained a substantial part of nonbreeding gull diet after the management change. Other aspects of waste management, such as storage prior to disposal, may also be important in limiting scavengers' access to garbage and thus reducing the indirect impact of human development on prey species of conservation concern. ?? The Arctic Institute of North America.

  2. Geographic, temporal, and age-specific variation in diets of Glaucous Gulls in western Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schmutz, J.A.; Hobson, K.A.

    1998-01-01

    We collected boluses and food remains of adult Glaucous Gulls (Larus hyperboreus) at or near nests and chicks, and digestive tracts from adults at three sites on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, Alaska that differed in proximity to marine and terrestrial foods. We observed both geographic and temporal variation in diet; gulls consumed proportionately more terrestrial prey after peak hatch in late June, and gulls near the coast consumed proportionately more marine prey than gulls at two inland areas. Goslings occurred in > 60% of all samples from these inland areas. We compared these data to those from a previous study in western Alaska and found no marked differences. Evidence for similar patterns of geographic and temporal variation in diet was found using measurements of stable-carbon and nitrogen isotopes in gull and prey tissues. Stable isotope analysis further revealed that adult gulls consumed proportionately more marine prey (saffron cod, Eleginus gracilis) than they fed to their young. Using isotopic models, we estimated that 7-22% and 10-23% of the diet of adult and juvenile Glaucous Gulls, respectively, was comprised of terrestrial species. In addition to significant age-related variation, dietary estimates varied among geographic areas and between pre- and post-hatch periods. Overall, our isotopic estimates of the contribution of terrestrial prey to the diet of Glaucous Gulls was less than what may be inferred from conventional methods of diet analysis. Our study emphasizes the benefit of combining stable-isotope and conventional analyses to infer temporal and geographic changes in diet of wild birds and other organisms.

  3. The Efficiency of an Integrated Program Using Falconry to Deter Gulls from Landfills

    PubMed Central

    Thiériot, Ericka; Patenaude-Monette, Martin; Molina, Pierre; Giroux, Jean-François

    2015-01-01

    Simple Summary We evaluated the long-term effect of an intensive integrated program based on falconry to deter gulls, mostly ring-billed gulls (Larus delawarensis), from a landfill. Gulls were counted at different periods each day, and the annual sum of the maximum count at any observation period each day declined from over 1.1 million to only 20,300 during the 20 years of the study. This could not be explained by a decline in the local breeding population that remained relatively large throughout this period as determined in a concomitant study. The effectiveness of the falconry program was also confirmed by tracking individual birds fitted with GPS data loggers. The tagged gulls stopped less often and spent less time at the landfill with falconry than at another one where a selective culling program was conducted. We conclude that the use of an integrated program using falconry, which we consider more socially acceptable than culling, can be effective in deterring gulls from landfills. Abstract Gulls are commonly attracted to landfills, and managers are often required to implement cost-effective and socially accepted deterrence programs. Our objective was to evaluate the effectiveness of an intensive program that integrated the use of trained birds of prey, pyrotechnics, and playback of gull distress calls at a landfill located close to a large ring-billed gull (Larus delawarensis) colony near Montreal, Quebec, Canada. We used long-term survey data on bird use of the landfill, conducted behavioral observations of gulls during one season and tracked birds fitted with GPS data loggers. We also carried out observations at another landfill located farther from the colony, where less refuse was brought and where a limited culling program was conducted. The integrated program based on falconry resulted in a 98% decrease in the annual total number of gulls counted each day between 1995 and 2014. A separate study indicated that the local breeding population of ring

  4. Experimental infection and pathology of clade 2.2 H5N1 virus in gulls

    PubMed Central

    Gulyaeva, Marina A.; Zaykovskaia, Anna V.; Shestopalova, Lidia V.; Shestopalov, Aleksander M.

    2016-01-01

    During 2006, H5N1 HPAI caused an epizootic in wild birds, resulting in a die-off of Laridae in the Novosibirsk region at Chany Lake. In the present study, we infected common gulls (Larus canus) with a high dose of the H5N1 HPAI virus isolated from a common gull to determine if severe disease could be induced over the 28 day experimental period. Moderate clinical signs including diarrhea, conjunctivitis, respiratory distress and neurological signs were observed in virus-inoculated birds, and 50% died. The most common microscopic lesions observed were necrosis of the pancreas, mild encephalitis, mild myocarditis, liver parenchymal hemorrhages, lymphocytic hepatitis, parabronchi lumen hemorrhages and interstitial pneumonia. High viral titers were shed from the oropharyngeal route and virus was still detected in one bird at 25 days after infection. In the cloaca, the virus was detected sporadically in lower titers. The virus was transmitted to direct contact gulls. Thus, infected gulls can pose a significant risk of H5N1 HPAIV transmission to other wild migratory waterfowl and pose a risk to more susceptible poultry species. These findings have important implications regarding the mode of transmission and potential risks of H5N1 HPAI spread by gulls. PMID:26243601

  5. Experimental infection and pathology of clade 2.2 H5N1 virus in gulls.

    PubMed

    Gulyaeva, Marina A; Sharshov, Kirill A; Zaykovskaia, Anna V; Shestopalova, Lidia V; Shestopalov, Aleksander M

    2016-06-30

    During 2006, H5N1 HPAI caused an epizootic in wild birds, resulting in a die-off of Laridae in the Novosibirsk region at Chany Lake. In the present study, we infected common gulls (Larus canus) with a high dose of the H5N1 HPAI virus isolated from a common gull to determine if severe disease could be induced over the 28 day experimental period. Moderate clinical signs including diarrhea, conjunctivitis, respiratory distress and neurological signs were observed in virus-inoculated birds, and 50% died. The most common microscopic lesions observed were necrosis of the pancreas, mild encephalitis, mild myocarditis, liver parenchymal hemorrhages, lymphocytic hepatitis, parabronchi lumen hemorrhages and interstitial pneumonia. High viral titers were shed from the oropharyngeal route and virus was still detected in one bird at 25 days after infection. In the cloaca, the virus was detected sporadically in lower titers. The virus was transmitted to direct contact gulls. Thus, infected gulls can pose a significant risk of H5N1 HPAIV transmission to other wild migratory waterfowl and pose a risk to more susceptible poultry species. These findings have important implications regarding the mode of transmission and potential risks of H5N1 HPAI spread by gulls. PMID:26243601

  6. Does garbage in the diet improve reproductive output of Glaucous Gulls

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Weiser, E.L.; Powell, A.N.

    2010-01-01

    Anthropogenic subsidies are used by a variety of predators in areas developed for human use or residence. If subsidies promote population growth, these predators can have a negative effect on local prey species. The Glaucous Gull (Larus hyperboreus) is an abundant predator in northern Alaska that is believed to benefit from garbage as a supplemental food source, but this supposition has never been tested. In summer 2008 and 2009, we recorded the Glaucous Gull's diet and reproduction at 10 breeding colonies in northern Alaska. Colonies were in industrial, residential, and undeveloped areas and ranged from 5 to 75 km from the nearest landfill. By colony, garbage occurred in zero to 85% of pellets and food remains produced during the chick-rearing period, and the average number of chicks fledged per pair ranged from zero to 2.9. Random-forest analysis indicated that percent occurrence of garbage in the diet was the second most important factor (after number of eggs per pair) explaining variance in fledging rate. There was a significant positive correlation between percent occurrence of garbage in the diet and fledging rate in each year. If this correlation reflects a causal relationship, it suggests that human development that increases gulls' access to garbage could result in increased local gull populations. Such an increase could affect the gulls' natural prey species, including at least 14 species of shorebirds and waterfowl of conservation concern. ?? The Cooper Ornithological Society 2010.

  7. Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae isolated from gull-inflicted wounds in southern right whale calves.

    PubMed

    Fiorito, Carla D; Bentancor, Adriana; Lombardo, Daniel; Bertellotti, Marcelo

    2016-08-31

    Southern right whales Eubalaena australis from Peninsula Valdés, Argentina, show wounds produced by kelp gulls Larus dominicanus that feed on the whales' dorsal skin and blubber. During the 2013 whale season, several calves were reported showing kelp gull injuries with a swollen area surrounded by rhomboid-shaped raised edges. Samples from 9 calves were taken in order to establish the etiology of these rhomboid-shaped wounds; 2 calves (one living, one dead) showed gull-inflicted injuries with rhomboid-shaped edges. Samples from the dead calf were histologically characterized by the presence of dermal congestion, suppurative dermatitis and panniculitis, necrotizing vasculitis and vascular thrombosis. Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae was detected by culture and PCR in samples from both calves. In this study we report, for the first time to our knowledge, the isolation of E. rhusiopathiae from wounds produced by gull attacks on southern right whale calves, supplying evidence that these wounds may act as an entry route for pathogens. This work provides new information about the consequences of gull-inflicted injuries for whale health. PMID:27596861

  8. Dioxins and dl-PCBs in gull eggs from Spanish Natural Parks (2010-2013).

    PubMed

    Morales, Laura; Gene'rosa Martrat, Ma; Parera, Jordi; Bertolero, Albert; Ábalos, Manuela; Santos, Francisco Javier; Lacorte, Silvia; Abad, Esteban

    2016-04-15

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the presence and distribution of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins, dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs) and biphenyls (PCBs), concretely those so-called as dioxin-like PCBs, in yellow-legged gull eggs (Larus michahellis) collected from five Natural Parks (some of them National Parks) in Spain during the period 2010-2013. PCDD/Fs and dl-PCBs were detected in all the samples. Due to the proximity to important urban and industrial areas higher concentrations were determined in colonies located in the Northern Mediterranean coast than those found in the Southern Mediterranean or Atlantic colonies where a softer anthropogenic impact occurs. Mean ∑PCDD/F concentrations ranged from 49 to 223pg/g lipid weight (lw) and ∑dl-PCB concentrations varied from 146 to 911ng/g lw. In the Natural Park of the Ebro Delta (Northern Mediterranean coast) two gull species share habitat: yellow-legged and Audouin gull (Larus audouinii). Eggs from both species were collected and PCDD/F and dl-PCB levels compared. The species that feeds exclusively on pelagic fish (L. audouinii) had significantly higher PCDD/F and dl-PCB levels than the scavenger L. michahellis, pointing out the diet-dependent differences in the accumulation of persistent organic pollutants between similar cohabitant breeding species. Finally, mean TEQ values were in general below those considered as critical for toxicological effects in birds. PMID:26808402

  9. Mutagenicity studies on herring gulls from different locations on the Great Lakes. I. Sister chromatid exchange rates in herring-gull embryos.

    PubMed

    Ellenton, J A; McPherson, M F

    1983-01-01

    Unincubated herring-gull (Larus argentatus) eggs were collected from five colonies on the Great Lakes Basin and from one relatively pollutant-clean colony on the Atlantic coast. Eggs were incubated at 38 degrees C with 55% relative humidity, and sister chromatid exchange (SCE) levels were measured in 7-d embryos. For all of the colonies, the average SCE/chromosome frequency ranged from 0.069 to 0.101; however, no significant differences were found. Organochlorine analysis was carried out on egg homogenates for each colony, to determine the levels of several contaminants. There were no relationships found between any of the contaminant levels and the SCE frequencies. The study indicates that either the contaminants present in the herring-gull eggs are not having any genetic effects on the embryos or, alternatively, that there may be genetic damage that measurement of SCEs in the 7-d embryo is unable to detect. PMID:6655738

  10. Immunological and reproductive health assessment in herring gulls and black-crowned night herons in the Hudson-Raritan Estuary.

    PubMed

    Grasman, Keith A; Echols, Kathy R; May, Thomas M; Peterman, Paul H; Gale, Robert W; Orazio, Carl E

    2013-03-01

    Previous studies have shown inexplicable declines in breeding waterbirds within western New York/New Jersey Harbor between 1996 and 2002 and elevated polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) eggs. The present study assessed associations between immune function, prefledgling survival, and selected organochlorine compounds and metals in herring gulls (Larus argentatus) and black-crowned night herons (Nycticorax nycticorax) in lower New York Harbor during 2003. In pipping gull embryos, lymphoid cells were counted in the thymus and bursa of Fabricius (sites of T and B lymphocyte maturation, respectively). The phytohemagglutinin (PHA) skin response assessed T cell function in gull and heron chicks. Lymphocyte proliferation was measured in vitro in adult and prefledgling gulls. Reference data came from the Great Lakes and Bay of Fundy. Survival of prefledgling gulls was poor, with only 0.68 and 0.5 chicks per nest surviving to three and four weeks after hatch, respectively. Developing lymphoid cells were reduced 51% in the thymus and 42% in the bursa of gull embryos from New York Harbor. In vitro lymphocyte assays demonstrated reduced spontaneous proliferation, reduced T cell mitogen-induced proliferation, and increased B cell mitogen-induced proliferation in gull chicks from New York Harbor. The PHA skin response was suppressed 70 to 80% in gull and heron chicks. Strong negative correlations (r = -0.95 to -0.98) between the PHA response and dioxins and PCBs in gull livers was strong evidence suggesting that these chemicals contribute significantly to immunosuppression in New York Harbor waterbirds. PMID:23212976

  11. Weathered oil: effect on hatchability of heron and gull eggs

    SciTech Connect

    Macko, S.A.; King, S.M.

    1980-08-01

    Contact with weathered oil seems more likely for waterbirds than contact with fresh oil; however, the effects of weathered oil on embryo survival have only partially been explored. Results of one study showed that 20 ..mu..L of 4 week-old crude oil applied to the eggshell surface caused a significant decrease in embryo survival of mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) eggs. In that study, oil was weathered under laboratory conditions using fresh water. To our knowledge, there have been no tests to determine the effects on egg hatchability of oil naturally weathered in marine habitats. The present study assesses the effects of external applications of naturally weathered crude oil on embryo survival of Louisiana heron (Hydranassa tricolor) and laughing gull (Larus atricilla) eggs.

  12. Parasitic fauna of a yellow-legged gull colony in the island of Escombreras (South-eastern Mediterranean) in close proximity to a landfill site: potential effects on cohabiting species.

    PubMed

    Parejo, Sandra Hervías; Martínez-Carrasco, Carlos; Diaz, Julia I; Chitimia, Lidia; Ortiz, Juana; Mayo, Elvira; Ybáñez, Rocío Ruiz de

    2015-06-01

    We identified the ectoparasites and helminth fauna of yellow-legged gulls (Larus michahellis michahellis), breeding near to a solid waste landfill, and compared infection levels with those of other yellow-legged gull colonies. Moreover, we analysed correlations between parasites and sex and body condition of yellow-legged gulls, co-infections and the helminth community structure in order to propose the role of this species as reservoir of certain parasites. We also discuss the potential transmission of parasites between the yellow-legged gull and the endangered Audouin's gull, because interactions between these two species, such as kleptoparasitism and predation, occur frequently around colonies. The following species were recorded: Ornithodorus capensis (Arthropoda); Cosmocephalus obvelatus, Paracuaria adunca, Eucoleus contortus, Tetrameres skrjabini and Contracaecum sp. (Nematoda); Tetrabothrius cylindraceus (Cestoda); Acanthotrema armata, Cardiocephaloides longicollis and Ornithobilharzia intermedia (Digenea). Tetrabothrius cylindraceus, A. armata and O. capensis are new parasite records for this host. The dependence of yellow-legged-gulls on fishery discards is supported by the dominance of parasites transmitted through marine intermediate hosts with interest to fisheries in the study area. However, the shift in diet from natural resources to food derived from human activities seems not to affect the parasitic fauna of yellow-legged gull. Besides of direct physical contact between individuals in nesting and resting habitats, the high availability of fishery discards could increase the risk of Audouin's gulls to be infected by common parasites of yellow-legged gull. PMID:26203998

  13. California gull chicks raised near colony edges have elevated stress levels

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Herring, Garth; Ackerman, Joshua T.

    2011-01-01

    Coloniality in nesting birds represents an important life history strategy for maximizing reproductive success. Birds nesting near the edge of colonies tend to have lower reproductive success than individuals nesting near colony centers, and offspring of edge-nesting parents may be impaired relative to those of central-nesting parents. We used fecal corticosterone metabolites in California gull chicks (Larus californicus) to examine whether colony size or location within the colony influenced a chick's physiological condition. We found that chicks being raised near colony edges had higher fecal corticosterone metabolite concentrations than chicks raised near colony centers, but that colony size (ranging from 150 to 11,554 nests) had no influence on fecal corticosterone levels. Fecal corticosterone metabolite concentrations also increased with chick age. Our results suggest that similarly aged California gull chicks raised near colony edges may be more physiologically stressed, as indicated by corticosterone metabolites, than chicks raised near colony centers.

  14. Stable isotope analysis of temporal variation in the diets of pre-fledged Laughing Gulls

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Knoff, A.J.; Macko, S.A.; Erwin, R.M.; Brown, K.M.

    2002-01-01

    The *13C, *15N, and *34S stable isotopic values of feathers from pre-fledged Laughing Gulls (Larus atricilla) in coastal Virginia and Jamaica Bay, New York were used to examine dietary variation during the nestling period. The tip portions of the feathers were used to indicate diet during the initiation of primary feather growth, whereas the base portions indicated diet during the period immediately prior to fledging. The results indicate that diets of the nestlings in Virginia moved to a higher trophic level during the period prior to fledging, however the New York nestlings did not appear to undergo any appreciable dietary change during this period. Overall, nestlings from both colonies consumed proportionately more foods of marine origin than freshwater or terrestrial. Therefore, the results do not support those of earlier studies that suggested that partially developed salt glands in young gulls might restrict the diet to more terrestrial or freshwater prey in the early stages of nestling growth.

  15. Microsatellites identify depredated waterfowl remains from glaucous gull stomachs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Scribner, K.T.; Bowman, T.D.

    1998-01-01

    Prey remains can provide valuable sources of information regarding causes of predation and the species composition of a predator's diet. Unfortunately, the highly degraded state of many prey samples from gastrointestinal tracts often precludes unambiguous identification. We describe a procedure by which PCR amplification of taxonomically informative microsatellite loci were used to identify species of waterfowl predated by glaucous gulls (Larus hyperboreus). We found that one microsatellite locus unambiguously distinguished between species of the subfamily Anserinae (whistling ducks, geese and swans) and those of the subfamily Anatidae (all other ducks). An additional locus distinguished the remains of all geese and swan species known to nest on the Yukon-Kuskokwim delta in western Alaska. The study focused on two waterfowl species which have experienced precipitous declines in population numbers: emperor geese (Chen canagica) and spectacled eiders (Somateria fischeri). No evidence of predation on spectacled eiders was observed. Twenty-six percent of all glaucous gull stomachs examined contained the remains of juvenile emperor geese.

  16. Satellite Tracking on the Flyways of Brown-Headed Gulls and Their Potential Role in the Spread of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza H5N1 Virus

    PubMed Central

    Ratanakorn, Parntep; Wiratsudakul, Anuwat; Wiriyarat, Witthawat; Eiamampai, Krairat; Farmer, Adrian H.; Webster, Robert G.; Chaichoune, Kridsada; Suwanpakdee, Sarin; Pothieng, Duangrat; Puthavathana, Pilaipan

    2012-01-01

    Brown-headed gulls (Larus brunnicephalus), winter visitors of Thailand, were tracked by satellite telemetry during 2008–2011 for investigating their roles in the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 virus spread. Eight gulls negative for influenza virus infection were marked with solar-powered satellite platform transmitters at Bang Poo study site in Samut Prakarn province, Thailand; their movements were monitored by the Argos satellite tracking system, and locations were mapped. Five gulls completed their migratory cycles, which spanned 7 countries (China, Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam) affected by the HPAI H5N1 virus. Gulls migrated from their breeding grounds in China to stay overwinter in Thailand and Cambodia; while Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, and Vietnam were the places of stopovers during migration. Gulls traveled an average distance of about 2400 km between Thailand and China and spent 1–2 weeks on migration. Although AI surveillance among gulls was conducted at the study site, no AI virus was isolated and no H5N1 viral genome or specific antibody was detected in the 75 gulls tested, but 6.6% of blood samples were positive for pan-influenza A antibody. No AI outbreaks were reported in areas along flyways of gulls in Thailand during the study period. Distance and duration of migration, tolerability of the captive gulls to survive the HPAI H5N1 virus challenge and days at viral shedding after the virus challenging suggested that the Brown-headed gull could be a potential species for AI spread, especially among Southeast Asian countries, the epicenter of H5N1 AI outbreak. PMID:23209623

  17. Reductions in Gull Populations Improve Beachwater Quality.

    EPA Science Inventory

    BACKGROUND. Gulls are often cited as an important source of fecal pollution to surface waters, and fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) concentrations have been shown to be significantly correlated with gull populations. However, it is unclear whether gull contamination poses a risk to...

  18. Organohalogen contamination in breeding glaucous gulls from the Norwegian Arctic: associations with basal metabolism and circulating thyroid hormones.

    PubMed

    Verreault, Jonathan; Bech, Claus; Letcher, Robert J; Ropstad, Erik; Dahl, Ellen; Gabrielsen, Geir W

    2007-01-01

    Exposure to organohalogens in endotherms has been suggested to impose chemically induced stress by affecting functions related to maintenance energy requirements. Effects on basal metabolic rate (BMR) have been suggested to be, in part, mediated through interactions with the thyroid hormones (THs). We investigated the relationships between plasma concentrations of major organochlorines, PBDEs, hydroxylated (OH)- and methoxylated (MeO)-PBDEs and OH-PCBs, circulating TH levels and BMR in breeding glaucous gulls (Larus hyperboreus) from the Norwegian Arctic. Negative associations were found between BMR and concentrations of sigma PCB, Sigma DDT and particularly Sigma chlordane, which combined made up 91% of the total contaminant burden. Levels of THs (thyroxine and triiodothyronine) were not associated significantly with variation of BMR or concentrations of any of the compounds determined. The present study suggests that BMR may be altered in glaucous gulls exposed to high loadings of persistent contaminants in the Norwegian Arctic environment. PMID:16713050

  19. Antibiotic resistance patterns in Escherichia coli from gulls in nine European countries

    PubMed Central

    Stedt, Johan; Bonnedahl, Jonas; Hernandez, Jorge; McMahon, Barry J.; Hasan, Badrul; Olsen, Björn; Drobni, Mirva; Waldenström, Jonas

    2014-01-01

    Background The prevalence of antibiotic resistant faecal indicator bacteria from humans and food production animals has increased over the last decades. In Europe, resistance levels in Escherichia coli from these sources show a south-to-north gradient, with more widespread resistance in the Mediterranean region compared to northern Europe. Recent studies show that resistance levels can be high also in wildlife, but it is unknown to what extent resistance levels in nature conform to the patterns observed in human-associated bacteria. Methods To test this, we collected 3,158 faecal samples from breeding gulls (Larus sp.) from nine European countries and tested 2,210 randomly isolated E. coli for resistance against 10 antibiotics commonly used in human and veterinary medicine. Results Overall, 31.5% of the gull E. coli isolates were resistant to ≥1 antibiotic, but with considerable variation between countries: highest levels of isolates resistant to ≥1 antibiotic were observed in Spain (61.2%) and lowest levels in Denmark (8.3%). For each tested antibiotic, the Iberian countries were either the countries with the highest levels or in the upper range in between-country comparisons, while northern countries generally had a lower proportion of resistant E. coli isolates, thereby resembling the gradient of resistance seen in human and food animal sources. Conclusion We propose that gulls may serve as a sentinel of environmental levels of antibiotic resistant E. coli to complement studies of human-associated microbiota. PMID:24427451

  20. The effects of testosterone manipulation on the body condition of captive male yellow-legged gulls.

    PubMed

    Alonso-Alvarez, Carlos; Ferrer, Miguel; Figuerola, Jordi; Veira, José A R; Estepa, Julio; Torres, Luis M

    2002-02-01

    Persistently high testosterone levels are believed to be costly to males due to their negative effect on body condition. However, this assumption could not be validated when we analysed birds isolated from all social interactions. The hypothesis was tested on birds kept in isolation in order to analyse the effects of testosterone per se, and thereby exclude the influence of social interactions. Adult male yellow-legged gulls (Larus cachinnans) were captured, and after a period of adjustment, some individuals were subcutaneously implanted with testosterone, while the rest were used as controls. The gulls received ad libitum food for 10 days and were then fasted for 4 days. Thyroid hormones, body-mass change, daily food intake, hematocrit and several plasma biochemical parameters were analysed. Treated (T)-males maintained constant levels of plasma total protein throughout the experiment, whilst control (C)-males showed a decrease. We did not find any other differences between groups for the other variables analysed. Since the implanted birds sustained high testosterone levels for a number of days, any cost to body condition would have been revealed if these costs levels were actually important. Our results do not support the hypothesis that a reduction in body condition can be directly produced by plasma testosterone, although total protein changes do suggest different anabolic patterns in testosterone-treated gulls. PMID:11818219

  1. Mercury levels in Great Lakes herring gull eggs, 1972--1992

    SciTech Connect

    Weseloh, D.V.; Koster, M.D.; Ryckman, D.P.; Struger, J.

    1995-12-31

    Since 1971, the herring gull (Larus argentatus) has been used as a sentinel species for monitoring the levels of persistent contaminants in the Great Lakes ecosystem. In this study, 21 herring gull colonies in the Great Lakes and connecting channels were sampled for years 1972--1976, 1981--1983, 1985 and 1992. For each year, 10 eggs (usually) were collected from each colony site and analyzed for total mercury (ppm, wet weight). Results indicated that eggs from Lake Ontario displayed the highest mercury levels, mean = 0.28 (s.d. = 0.08) to 0.73 (0.23). Lake Erie typically displayed the lowest egg mercury levels, 0.18 (0.08) to 0.24 (0.11). Overall, mercury levels ranged from 0.12 (0.02) in 1985 to 0.88 (0.23) in 1982 for Channel-Shelter Island (Lake Huron) and Pigeon Island (Lake Ontario), respectively. Generally, all colony sites showed peak mercury levels in 1982. A significant decline in egg mercury levels was observed in six colony sites between 1972 and 1992 and in three colony sites between 1981 and 1992. The mean herring gull egg mercury levels observed in the early and mid 1970s and in 1982 for some colony sites were within the range found which potentially reduces hatchability in other fish-eating bird species.

  2. Adrenocortical function of Arctic-breeding glaucous gulls in relation to persistent organic pollutants.

    PubMed

    Verboven, Nanette; Verreault, Jonathan; Letcher, Robert J; Gabrielsen, Geir W; Evans, Neil P

    2010-03-01

    Unpredictable changes in the environment stimulate the avian hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis to produce corticosterone, which induces behavioural and metabolic changes that enhance survival in the face of adverse environmental conditions. In addition to profound environmental perturbations, such as severe weather conditions and unpredictable food shortages, many Arctic-breeding birds are also confronted with chronic exposure to persistent organic pollutants (POPs), some of which are known to disrupt endocrine processes. This study investigated the adrenocortical function of a top predator in the Arctic marine environment, the glaucous gull (Larus hyperboreus). High concentrations of organochlorines, brominated flame retardants and metabolically-derived products in blood plasma of incubating glaucous gulls were associated with high baseline corticosterone concentrations in both sexes and a reduced stress response in males. Contaminant-related changes in corticosterone concentration occurred over and above differences in body condition and seasonal variation. Chronically high corticosterone concentrations and/or a compromised adrenocortical response to stress can have negative effects on the health of an individual. The results of the present study suggest that exposure to POPs may increase the vulnerability of glaucous gulls to environmental stressors and thus could potentially compromise their ability to adapt to the rapidly changing environmental conditions associated with climate change that are currently seen in the Arctic. PMID:19932109

  3. Organochlorine contaminants in the muscle, liver and brain of seabirds (Larus) from the coastal area of the Southern Baltic.

    PubMed

    Falkowska, Lucyna; Reindl, Andrzej R; Grajewska, Agnieszka; Lewandowska, Anita U

    2016-11-01

    The presence of persistent organic pollutants in the environment manifests itself most strongly in the marine trophic chain, where the highest link is comprised of seabirds. At the same time, seabirds are excellent indicators of contamination in their habitat. The present study concentrates on toxic substances: polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxin (PCDDs), polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs) and chlorinated organic pesticides (OCPs) accumulated in the livers, pectoral muscles and brains of dead gulls collected along the Polish coast of the Baltic Sea in the years 2010-12. The highest toxic equivalence was determined in the livers of Larus argentatus (TEQ(birds TEF)-28.3pgg(-1) ww) and Larus marinus (TEQ(birds TEF)-29.9pgg(-1) ww.). However, the toxic equivalence of muscles was lower and amounted to 3.9pgg(-1) ww. and 7.8pgg(-1) ww. respectively for the two species. The lowest toxic equivalence was found in the brains of birds, where only one, the most toxic, 2,3,7,8 TCDD congener was found (TEQ(birds TEF) 0.87pgg(-1) ww). The highest concentration of chloroorganic pesticides was determined in the brains of the birds (total OCP 167.8pgg(-1) ww.), lower concentrations were found in the livers (total OCP 92.1pgg(-1) ww.) and muscles (total OCP 43.1pgg(-1) ww.). With regard to pesticides, the highest proportion in the total OCP content was constituted by DDT and its isomers (liver 81%, muscles 77% and brain 55%). High concentrations of the studied pollutants in the livers of gulls found dead on the coast of the Southern Baltic could have been effected by levels of contamination in the birds' last meals, which resulted in a seven-fold increase of the liver's toxic equivalence and a two-fold increase in OCP concentration in relation to muscles. PMID:27414257

  4. Heavy metals in laughing gulls: Gender, age and tissue differences

    SciTech Connect

    Gochfeld, M. |; Belant, J.L.; Shukla, T.; Benson, T.; Burger, J. |

    1996-12-01

    The authors examined concentrations of lead, cadmium, mercury, manganese, selenium, and chromium in feathers, liver, kidney, heart, and muscle of known-aged laughing gulls (Larus atricilla) that hatched in Barnegat Bay, New Jersey and were collected at John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York 1 to 7 years later. Concentrations differed significantly among tissues, and tissue entered all the regression models explaining the greatest variation in metal levels. Age of bird contributed significantly to the models for lead, cadmium, selenium, and chromium. Although there were significant gender differences in all body measurements except wing length, there were few differences in metal levels. Males had significantly higher lead levels in feathers, and females had significantly higher selenium levels in heart and muscle tissue. For lead, 3-year olds had the highest levels in the heart, liver, and kidney, and levels were lower thereafter. Mercury levels in feathers and heart decreased significantly with age. Cadmium levels increased significantly with age for feathers, heart, liver, and muscle, although there was a slight decrease in the 7-year olds. Selenium levels decreased significantly with age for all tissues. Chromium levels increased with age for liver and heart.

  5. Extinction risk to herring gull populations from DDT exposure.

    PubMed

    Nakamaru, Mayuko; Iwasa, Yoh; Nakanishi, Junko

    2002-01-01

    The impact of toxic chemicals on wild animals and plants can be quantified in terms of the enhanced risk of population extinction. To illustrate the method, we estimated it for herring gull (Larus argentatus) populations in Long Island (NY, USA) exposed to DDT (p,p'-dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane) and its metabolites (abbreviated as DDTs) with a strong biomagnification effect. The method is based on a formula of the mean time to population extinction derived for a stochastic differential equation (the canonical model). The intrinsic rate of natural population growth was estimated from the doubling time of an exponentially growing population and the intensity of the environmental fluctuation from the magnitude of population size fluctuation. The effect of exposure to DDTs in reducing the population growth rate was evaluated based on an age-structured population model by assuming that age-specific fertilities (including chick survivorship) are density dependent and sensitive to DDTs exposure but age-specific survivorships are not. The results are expressed in terms of the risk equivalent-the decrease in the carrying capacity K that causes the same enhancement of extinction risk as chemical exposure at a given level. The high concentration reported in Long Island in the 1960s corresponds to the equivalent loss of carrying capacity by 42.5% when K is 100 (the number of breeding females), and coefficient of variation (CV) = 0.2 (sigma2 = 0.0298) [corrected]. Risk equivalent allows us to compare different risk factors and is useful in mitigation banking. PMID:11804054

  6. Evaluating gull diets: A comparison of conventional methods and stable isotope analysis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Weiser, E.L.; Powell, A.N.

    2011-01-01

    Samples such as regurgitated pellets and food remains have traditionally been used in studies of bird diets, but these can produce biased estimates depending on the digestibility of different foods. Stable isotope analysis has been developed as a method for assessing bird diets that is not biased by digestibility. These two methods may provide complementary or conflicting information on diets of birds, but are rarely compared directly. We analyzed carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios of feathers of Glaucous Gull (Larus hyperboreus) chicks from eight breeding colonies in northern Alaska, and used a Bayesian mixing model to generate a probability distribution for the contribution of each food group to diets. We compared these model results with probability distributions from conventional diet samples (pellets and food remains) from the same colonies and time periods. Relative to the stable isotope estimates, conventional analysis often overestimated the contributions of birds and small mammals to gull diets and often underestimated the contributions of fish and zooplankton. Both methods gave similar estimates for the contributions of scavenged caribou, miscellaneous marine foods, and garbage to diets. Pellets and food remains therefore may be useful for assessing the importance of garbage relative to certain other foods in diets of gulls and similar birds, but are clearly inappropriate for estimating the potential impact of gulls on birds, small mammals, or fish. However, conventional samples provide more species-level information than stable isotope analysis, so a combined approach would be most useful for diet analysis and assessing a predator's impact on particular prey groups. ?? 2011 Association of Field Ornithologists.

  7. Immunological and reproductive health assessment in herring gulls and black-crowned night herons in the Hudson–Raritan Estuary and Black-Crowned Night Herons in the Hudson-Raritan Estuary

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grasman, Keith A.; Echols, Kathy R.; May, Thomas M.; Peterman, Paul H.; Gale, Robert W.; Orazio, Carl E.

    2013-01-01

    Previous studies have shown inexplicable declines in breeding waterbirds within western New York/New Jersey Harbor between 1996 and 2002 and elevated polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) eggs. The present study assessed associations between immune function, prefledgling survival, and selected organochlorine compounds and metals in herring gulls (Larus argentatus) and black-crowned night herons (Nycticorax nycticorax) in lower New York Harbor during 2003. In pipping gull embryos, lymphoid cells were counted in the thymus and bursa of Fabricius (sites of T and B lymphocyte maturation, respectively). The phytohemagglutinin (PHA) skin response assessed T cell function in gull and heron chicks. Lymphocyte proliferation was measured in vitro in adult and prefledgling gulls. Reference data came from the Great Lakes and Bay of Fundy. Survival of prefledgling gulls was poor, with only 0.68 and 0.5 chicks per nest surviving to three and four weeks after hatch, respectively. Developing lymphoid cells were reduced 51% in the thymus and 42% in the bursa of gull embryos from New York Harbor. In vitro lymphocyte assays demonstrated reduced spontaneous proliferation, reduced T cell mitogen-induced proliferation, and increased B cell mitogen-induced proliferation in gull chicks from New York Harbor. The PHA skin response was suppressed 70 to 80% in gull and heron chicks. Strong negative correlations (r = –0.95 to –0.98) between the PHA response and dioxins and PCBs in gull livers was strong evidence suggesting that these chemicals contribute significantly to immunosuppression in New York Harbor waterbirds.

  8. Nesting biology of laughing gulls in relation to agricultural chemicals in south Texas, 1978-81

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    White, D.H.; Mitchell, C.A.; Prouty, R.M.

    1983-01-01

    Laughing Gulls (Larus atricilla) were studied along the south Texas coast during 1978-1981 to determine productivity and to evaluate the effects of environmental pollutants on reproduction. The average clutch-size was 2.6, ranging from 2.3-2.8. Sixty-six percent of the eggs hatched and 82% of the pairs hatched at least one egg. Productivity (fledglings/total nests) averaged 1.0 fledgling per nest. DDE and other organochlorine residues were low in eggs (usually <3 ppm wet weight) and were not suspected of causing reproductive problems. However, organophosphate pesticides sprayed on crops near the study areas reduced productivity by as much as 33% during 3 of 4 years, implying that certain of these chemicals may pose serious threats to the population.

  9. Domestication as a Novel Approach for Improving the Cultivation of Calanoid Copepods: A Case Study with Parvocalanus crassirostris

    PubMed Central

    Alajmi, Fahad; Zeng, Chaoshu; Jerry, Dean R.

    2015-01-01

    Calanoid copepods are an important food source for most fish larvae. Their role as a natural prey item means that it is important to develop culture technology for copepods to meet the requirements of larvae culture in aquaculture hatcheries. Copepods have been cultured successfully for some time; however, the implications of long-term cultivation or domestication on copepod life history traits have not yet been assessed. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine if the domesticated and wild populations of Parvocalanus crassirostris are phenotypically or physiologically different. Wild-caught P. crassirostris were compared to a long-held domesticated strain (>2 years) for size of developmental stage, fecundity and lifespan of adult females, culture density, ingestion rates, faecal pellet production and fatty acid profiles. The domesticated strain was significantly different from the wild strain in size (eggs, nauplii, copepodites and adults were larger in the domesticated strain), egg production (112.3 ± 1.8 eggs female-1 vs. 64.6 ± 3.3 eggs female-1) and adult female lifespan (8.8 ± 0.1 days vs., 7.5 ± 0.1 days). At 1, 3 and 5 adults mL-1, the domesticated strain performed significantly better than the wild strain in egg production (4189.8 ± 61.2, 11224.0 ± 71.7 and 21860.6 ± 103.6 eggs vs. 1319.5 ± 54.3, 2374.5 ± 80.9 and 4933.8 ± 269.5 eggs, respectively) and mean daily mortality rate (5.6% across all densities vs. 22.9 ± 1.6, 29.8 ± 1.2 and 31.3 ± 1.3%, respectively). The domesticated strain had significantly higher ingestion rates than the wild stain (888.4 ± 9.9 ng C l-1 and 775.3 ± 11.2 ng C l-1, respectively), while faecal pellet production was not significantly different between strains. Fatty acid profiles indicated higher levels (as % of total fatty acid) of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in the domesticated strain (36.2±0.4%) than the wild strain (16.1±0.1%). Overall, this study found that the reproductive capacity and

  10. Susceptibility of North American Ducks and Gulls to H5N1 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Viruses

    PubMed Central

    Stallknecht, David E.; Beck, Joan R.; Suarez, David L.; Swayne, David E.

    2006-01-01

    Since 2002, H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) viruses have been associated with deaths in numerous wild avian species throughout Eurasia. We assessed the clinical response and extent and duration of viral shedding in 5 species of North American ducks and laughing gulls (Larus atricilla) after intranasal challenge with 2 Asian H5N1 HPAI viruses. Birds were challenged at ≈10 to 16 weeks of age, consistent with temporal peaks in virus prevalence and fall migration. All species were infected, but only wood ducks (Aix sponsa) and laughing gulls exhibited illness or died. Viral titers were higher in oropharyngeal swabs than in cloacal swabs. Duration of viral shedding (1–10 days) increased with severity of clinical disease. Both the hemagglutination-inhibition (HI) and agar gel precipitin (AGP) tests were able to detect postinoculation antibodies in surviving wood ducks and laughing gulls; the HI test was more sensitive than the AGP in the remaining 4 species PMID:17283615

  11. A pelagic outbreak of avian cholera in North American gulls: Scavenging as a primary mechanism for transmission?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wille, Michelle; McBurney, Scott; Robertson, Gregory J.; Wilhelm, Sabine; Blehert, David; Soos, Catherine; Dunphy, Ron; Whitney, Hugh

    2016-01-01

    Avian cholera, caused by the bacterium Pasteurella multocida, is an endemic disease globally, often causing annual epizootics in North American wild bird populations with thousands of mortalities. From December 2006 to March 2007, an avian cholera outbreak caused mortality in marine birds off the coast of Atlantic Canada, largely centered 300–400 km off the coast of the island of Newfoundland. Scavenging gulls (Larus spp.) were the primary species detected; however, mortality was also identified in Black-legged Kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla) and one Common Raven (Corvus corax), a nonmarine species. The most common gross necropsy findings in the birds with confirmed avian cholera were acute fibrinous and necrotizing lesions affecting the spleen, air sacs, and pericardium, and nonspecific hepatomegaly and splenomegaly. The etiologic agent, P. multocida serotype 1, was recovered from 77 of 136 carcasses examined, and confirmed or probable avian cholera was diagnosed in 85 cases. Mortality observed in scavenging gull species was disproportionately high relative to their abundance, particularly when compared to nonscavenging species. The presence of feather shafts in the ventricular lumen of the majority of larid carcasses diagnosed with avian cholera suggests scavenging of birds that died from avian cholera as a major mode of transmission. This documentation of an outbreak of avian cholera in a North American pelagic environment affecting primarily scavenging gulls indicates that offshore marine environments may be a component of avian cholera dynamics.

  12. Relationships between environmental organochlorine contaminant residues, plasma corticosterone concentrations, and intermediary metabolic enzyme activities in Great Lakes herring gull embryos.

    PubMed Central

    Lorenzen, A; Moon, T W; Kennedy, S W; Glen, G A

    1999-01-01

    Experiments were conducted to survey and detect differences in plasma corticosterone concentrations and intermediary metabolic enzyme activities in herring gull (Larus argentatus) embryos environmentally exposed to organochlorine contaminants in ovo. Unincubated fertile herring gull eggs were collected from an Atlantic coast control site and various Great Lakes sites in 1997 and artificially incubated in the laboratory. Liver and/or kidney tissues from approximately half of the late-stage embryos were analyzed for the activities of various intermediary metabolic enzymes known to be regulated, at least in part, by corticosteroids. Basal plasma corticosterone concentrations were determined for the remaining embryos. Yolk sacs were collected from each embryo and a subset was analyzed for organochlorine contaminants. Regression analysis of individual yolk sac organochlorine residue concentrations, or 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin equivalents (TEQs), with individual basal plasma corticosterone concentrations indicated statistically significant inverse relationships for polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins/polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDDs/PCDFs), total polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), non-ortho PCBs, and TEQs. Similarly, inverse relationships were observed for the activities of two intermediary metabolic enzymes (phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase and malic enzyme) when regressed against PCDDs/PCDFs. Overall, these data suggest that current levels of organochlorine contamination may be affecting the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis and associated intermediary metabolic pathways in environmentally exposed herring gull embryos in the Great Lakes. Images Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4 Figure 5 Figure 6 PMID:10064546

  13. Comparison of Helicobacter spp. genetic sequences in wild and captive seals, and gulls.

    PubMed

    Oxley, Andrew P A; McKay, David B

    2005-06-01

    Helicobacter species are widely distributed in the gastrointestinal system of humans and many animal taxa. Investigations of natural infections are essential to elucidating their role within the host. The feces of fur seals Arctocephalus pusillus doriferus and sea lions Neophoca cinerea from 3 separate captive populations, as well as a wild colony from Kangaroo Island, Australia, were examined for the occurrence of Helicobacter spp. The feces from several wild silver gulls Larus novahollandiae were also investigated. As detected by PCR, 18 of 21 samples from captive and 12 of 16 samples from wild seals were positive for Helicobacter spp. Three species were identified in these animals. Whilst one possibly novel type was identified from wild fur seals, the majority of wild and captive individuals had the same species. This species also occurred in more than 1 seal type and in silver gulls, and shared a 98.1 to 100% identity to other Helicobacter spp. from harp seals and sea otters. A similar sequence type to species identified from cetaceans was also detected in several captive seals. This study reports for the first time the presence of Helicobacter spp. in wild and captive seals and demonstrates the diversity and broad-host range of these organisms in the marine host. PMID:16060262

  14. Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances in entire clutches of Audouin's gulls from the Ebro Delta.

    PubMed

    Vicente, Joana; Sanpera, Carola; García-Tarrasón, Manuel; Pérez, Alba; Lacorte, Silvia

    2015-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to determine the distribution of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in three-egg clutches of Audouin's gull (Larus audouinii) breeding in Ebro Delta's colony according to the laying order (a, b and c eggs). Five PFASs were analyzed in 30 eggs (yolk and albumen separately), corresponding to 10 three-egg clutches. Carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes were measured as dietary tracers. PFASs were not detected in albumen. In egg yolks, perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) was the main compound detected followed by perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFBS) was not detected. Mean ΣPFASs for a-eggs was of 236±57 ng g(-1) yolk wet weight (ww), for b-eggs was of 140±56 ng g(-1) yolk ww and for c-eggs, 133±54 ng g(-1) yolk ww. PFOS concentration decreased according to the laying order of the eggs, showing significant differences between consecutive eggs. In addition, significant correlation (rs2=0.7-0.9) was observed for PFOS concentration within the eggs from the same clutch. No relationship was found between PFOS levels and stable isotopes signatures. Capsule: In Audouin gull's eggs, PFOS was the main PFASs detected and its concentration decreased according to the laying sequence. PMID:24815900

  15. Feathered Detectives: Real-Time GPS Tracking of Scavenging Gulls Pinpoints Illegal Waste Dumping

    PubMed Central

    Grémillet, David; Afán, Isabel; Ramírez, Francisco; Bouten, Willem; Forero, Manuela G.

    2016-01-01

    Urban waste impacts human and environmental health, and waste management has become one of the major challenges of humanity. Concurrently with new directives due to manage this human by-product, illegal dumping has become one of the most lucrative activities of organized crime. Beyond economic fraud, illegal waste disposal strongly enhances uncontrolled dissemination of human pathogens, pollutants and invasive species. Here, we demonstrate the potential of novel real-time GPS tracking of scavenging species to detect environmental crime. Specifically, we were able to detect illegal activities at an officially closed dump, which was visited recurrently by 5 of 19 GPS-tracked yellow-legged gulls (Larus michahellis). In comparison with conventional land-based surveys, GPS tracking allows a much wider and cost-efficient spatiotemporal coverage, even of the most hazardous sites, while GPS data accessibility through the internet enables rapid intervention. Our results suggest that multi-species guilds of feathered detectives equipped with GPS and cameras could help fight illegal dumping at continental scales. We encourage further experimental studies, to infer waste detection thresholds in gulls and other scavenging species exploiting human waste dumps. PMID:27448048

  16. Feathered Detectives: Real-Time GPS Tracking of Scavenging Gulls Pinpoints Illegal Waste Dumping.

    PubMed

    Navarro, Joan; Grémillet, David; Afán, Isabel; Ramírez, Francisco; Bouten, Willem; Forero, Manuela G

    2016-01-01

    Urban waste impacts human and environmental health, and waste management has become one of the major challenges of humanity. Concurrently with new directives due to manage this human by-product, illegal dumping has become one of the most lucrative activities of organized crime. Beyond economic fraud, illegal waste disposal strongly enhances uncontrolled dissemination of human pathogens, pollutants and invasive species. Here, we demonstrate the potential of novel real-time GPS tracking of scavenging species to detect environmental crime. Specifically, we were able to detect illegal activities at an officially closed dump, which was visited recurrently by 5 of 19 GPS-tracked yellow-legged gulls (Larus michahellis). In comparison with conventional land-based surveys, GPS tracking allows a much wider and cost-efficient spatiotemporal coverage, even of the most hazardous sites, while GPS data accessibility through the internet enables rapid intervention. Our results suggest that multi-species guilds of feathered detectives equipped with GPS and cameras could help fight illegal dumping at continental scales. We encourage further experimental studies, to infer waste detection thresholds in gulls and other scavenging species exploiting human waste dumps. PMID:27448048

  17. Hepatic cytochrome P450 activity and pollutant concentrations in paradise shelducks and southern black-backed gulls in the South Island of New Zealand.

    PubMed

    Numata, Mihoko; Fawcett, J Paul; Saville, Dorothy J; Rosengren, Rhonda J

    2008-11-01

    Cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes catalyse the oxidative metabolism of various xenobiotics including environmental pollutants. We investigated liver microsomal CYP marker activities in 60 paradise shelducks (Tadorna variegata; herbivore) and 77 southern black-backed gulls (Larus dominicanus; omnivore) collected at three sites with putatively different levels of pollution in the South Island of New Zealand. Ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase (EROD) activity was high in birds at an urban landfill site compared to those at a relatively pristine and an agricultural site. Analysis of p-nitrophenol hydroxylase and erythromycin demethylase activities indicated the presence of two additional CYP isoforms in shelducks but no additional form in gulls. Total polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) concentrations (ranges: shelducks, 0.073-6.2; gulls, 8.2-330 ng/g wet weight) were high in landfill samples suggesting a link to EROD induction and, in landfill shelducks, EROD was independently associated with Hg and Pb concentration. PCB congener-specific assessments indicated the metabolism of at least two congeners (#28 and #74) is induced in shelducks. DDE concentrations (ranges: shelducks, 0.85-320; gulls, 44-4800 ng/g) were high in birds at the landfill and agricultural sites. Body weight tended to be lower in landfill birds, but whether this reflects the greater energetic demands of pollutant detoxification remains to be investigated. PMID:18473165

  18. In Vitro Metabolism of Photolytic Breakdown Products of Tetradecabromo-1,4-diphenoxybenzene Flame Retardant in Herring Gull and Rat Liver Microsomal Assays.

    PubMed

    Su, Guanyong; Greaves, Alana K; Teclechiel, Daniel; Letcher, Robert J

    2016-08-01

    Tetradecabromo-1,4-diphenoxybenzene (TeDB-DiPhOBz) is used as a flame retardant chemical and has been hypothesized to be the precursor of methoxylated polybrominated diphenoxybenzene (MeO-PB-DiPhOBz) contaminants reported in herring gulls from sites across the Laurentian Great Lakes. Here, by irradiating the parent TeDB-DiPhOBz (solution 1) with natural sunlight or UV, we prepared three solutions where solution 2 was dominated by the Br8-11-PB-DiPhOBzs, along with Br5-8-PB-DiPhOBzs (solution 3) and Br4-6-PB-DiPhOBzs (solution 4). The in vitro metabolism of TeDB-DiPhOBz and PB-DiPhOBzs was investigated using harvested wild herring gull (Larus argentatus) and adult male Wister-Han rat liver microsomal assays. After a 90 min incubation period of solution 1 in gull or rat microsomal assays, there was no significant (p > 0.05) depletion of TeDB-DiPhOBz. OH-PB-DiPhOBz metabolites were detectable after gull and rat microsomal assay incubation with solutions 3 or 4, and showed clear species-specific differences. Also detected were two polybrominated hydroxylated metabolites having polybenzofuran structures. Overall, this study suggested that TeDB-DiPhOBz is slowly metabolized in vitro, and also indicated that if wild herring gulls are exposed (e.g., via the diet) to photolytic products of TeDB-DiPhOBz, OH-PB-DiPhOBz and other metabolites could be formed. OH-PH-DiPhOBz are likely precursors to MeO-PB-DiPhOBz contaminants that we reported previously in eggs of wild Great Lakes herring gulls. PMID:27351066

  19. Organohalogen and metabolically-derived contaminants and associations with whole body constituents in Norwegian Arctic glaucous gulls.

    PubMed

    Verreault, J; Shahmiri, S; Gabrielsen, G W; Letcher, R J

    2007-08-01

    Comprehensive surveys of organohalogen contaminants have been conducted in various tissues and blood of glaucous gulls (Larus hyperboreus), a top scavenger-predator species in Svalbard in the Norwegian Arctic. However, the physico-chemical properties of organohalogens (e.g., type and degree of halogenation and the presence or absence of additional phenyl group substituents) that may influence toxicokinetics, and subsequently tissue-specific accumulation, have yet to be studied in this species. We investigated the concentrations, total body burdens, and compositional patterns of legacy chlorinated compounds (PCBs and chlordanes (CHLs)), metabolically-derived PCBs (methylsulfonyl (MeSO(2))- and OH-PCBs), brominated flame retardants (polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs), total-hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD)), and PBDE metabolites and/or naturally-occurring compounds with similar structures (MeO- and OH-PBDEs) in liver, blood and whole body homogenate samples of adult glaucous gulls (n=19) from Svalbard. Further, we examined the distribution of these organohalogens and metabolites in relation to whole body composition of glaucous gulls, i.e., the total water, protein, lipid and mineral contents in whole homogenate carcasses. The total body burden of organohalogens and metabolites in glaucous gulls ranged between 3.3 and 33.0 mg. Compound class distribution showed that the relative proportions of sum (Sigma) OH-PCB and SigmaOH-PBDE to the total organohalogen concentrations were significantly highest in blood. Conversely, the SigmaCHL and SigmaPCB showed generally higher proportions in the lipid-rich liver as well as in whole body homogenates. No significant difference in the compositional patterns of individual congeners/compounds was found among tissues/blood, with the exception of the classes comprised of less polar brominated compounds (PBDEs, PBBs and total-(alpha)-HBCD). Total proteins isolated from the whole body homogenates of

  20. Circulation of a Meaban-Like Virus in Yellow-Legged Gulls and Seabird Ticks in the Western Mediterranean Basin

    PubMed Central

    Cerdà-Cuéllar, Marta; Lecollinet, Sylvie; Pearce-Duvet, Jessica; Busquets, Núria; García-Bocanegra, Ignacio; Pagès, Nonito; Vittecoq, Marion; Hammouda, Abdessalem; Samraoui, Boudjéma; Garnier, Romain; Ramos, Raül; Selmi, Slaheddine; González-Solís, Jacob; Jourdain, Elsa; Boulinier, Thierry

    2014-01-01

    In recent years, a number of zoonotic flaviviruses have emerged worldwide, and wild birds serve as their major reservoirs. Epidemiological surveys of bird populations at various geographical scales can clarify key aspects of the eco-epidemiology of these viruses. In this study, we aimed at exploring the presence of flaviviruses in the western Mediterranean by sampling breeding populations of the yellow-legged gull (Larus michahellis), a widely distributed, anthropophilic, and abundant seabird species. For 3 years, we sampled eggs from 19 breeding colonies in Spain, France, Algeria, and Tunisia. First, ELISAs were used to determine if the eggs contained antibodies against flaviviruses. Second, neutralization assays were used to identify the specific flaviviruses present. Finally, for colonies in which ELISA-positive eggs had been found, chick serum samples and potential vectors, culicid mosquitoes and soft ticks (Ornithodoros maritimus), were collected and analyzed using serology and PCR, respectively. The prevalence of flavivirus-specific antibodies in eggs was highly spatially heterogeneous. In northeastern Spain, on the Medes Islands and in the nearby village of L'Escala, 56% of eggs had antibodies against the flavivirus envelope protein, but were negative for neutralizing antibodies against three common flaviviruses: West Nile, Usutu, and tick-borne encephalitis viruses. Furthermore, little evidence of past flavivirus exposure was obtained for the other colonies. A subset of the Ornithodoros ticks from Medes screened for flaviviral RNA tested positive for a virus whose NS5 gene was 95% similar to that of Meaban virus, a flavivirus previously isolated from ticks of Larus argentatus in western France. All ELISA-positive samples subsequently tested positive for Meaban virus neutralizing antibodies. This study shows that gulls in the western Mediterranean Basin are exposed to a tick-borne Meaban-like virus, which underscores the need of exploring the spatial and

  1. Relationships between polybrominated diphenyl ethers and transcription and activity of type 1 deiodinase in a gull highly exposed to flame retardants.

    PubMed

    François, Anthony; Técher, Romy; Houde, Magali; Spear, Philip; Verreault, Jonathan

    2016-09-01

    Deca-brominated diphenyl ether (deca-BDE), composed mainly of BDE-209, is subject to usage restrictions in North America and Europe, although global action on its continued use has yet to be undertaken. Relatively large concentrations of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), especially BDE-209 and its higher brominated degradation products, have been reported in tissues of ring-billed gulls (Larus delawarensis) breeding near the densely populated city of Montreal (QC, Canada). There is limited knowledge of BDE-209 biotransformation and toxicokinetics in birds. Deiodinases, a class of enzymes catalyzing thyroid hormone conversion, have been suggested to be involved in BDE-209 debromination in birds. The objective of the present study was to investigate the relationships between PBDE concentrations and type 1 deiodinase (D1) transcription and in vitro activity (microsomes) in livers of Montreal-breeding ring-billed gulls. The ring-billed gulls exhibiting the highest D1 activity in liver microsomes accumulated the greatest liver concentrations of hepta-BDEs and octa-BDEs. Activity of D1 was inversely related to concentration ratios of BDE-209 to octa-BDEs and ∑hepta-BDE. An even stronger inverse relation was found between D1 activity and BDE-209 to ∑nona + octa + hepta-BDE concentration ratios. The messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) levels of D1 in gull livers were inversely associated with liver concentrations of ∑octa-BDE. The present study's findings suggest that D1 is potentially involved in BDE-209 biotransformation and accumulation of higher brominated PBDEs in livers of ring-billed gulls. Environ Toxicol Chem 2016;35:2215-2222. © 2016 SETAC. PMID:27336952

  2. Dramatic Improvements in Beach Water Quality Following Gull Removal

    EPA Science Inventory

    Gulls are often cited as important contributors of fecal contamination to surface waters, and some recreational beaches have used gull control measures to improve microbial water quality. In this study, gulls were chased from a Lake Michigan beach using specially trained dogs, a...

  3. Aerial estimation of the size of gull breeding colonies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kadlec, J.A.; Drury, W.H.

    1968-01-01

    Counts on photographs and visual estimates of the numbers of territorial gulls are usually reliable indicators of the number of gull nests, but single visual estimates are not adequate to measure the number of nests in individual colonies. To properly interpret gull counts requires that several islands with known numbers of nests be photographed to establish the ratio of gulls to nests applicable for a given local census. Visual estimates are adequate to determine total breeding gull numbers by regions. Neither visual estimates nor photography will reliably detect annual changes of less than about 2.5 percent.

  4. Changing gull diet in a changing world: a 150-year stable isotope (δ13C, δ15N) record from feathers collected in the Pacific Northwest of North America.

    PubMed

    Blight, Louise K; Hobson, Keith A; Kyser, T Kurt; Arcese, Peter

    2015-04-01

    The world's oceans have undergone significant ecological changes following European colonial expansion and associated industrialization. Seabirds are useful indicators of marine food web structure and can be used to track multidecadal environmental change, potentially reflecting long-term human impacts. We used stable isotope (δ(13)C, δ(15)N) analysis of feathers from glaucous-winged gulls (Larus glaucescens) in a heavily disturbed region of the northeast Pacific to ask whether diets of this generalist forager changed in response to shifts in food availability over 150 years, and whether any detected change might explain long-term trends in gull abundance. Sampled feathers came from birds collected between 1860 and 2009 at nesting colonies in the Salish Sea, a transboundary marine system adjacent to Washington, USA and British Columbia, Canada. To determine whether temporal trends in stable isotope ratios might simply reflect changes to baseline environmental values, we also analysed muscle tissue from forage fishes collected in the same region over a multidecadal timeframe. Values of δ(13)C and δ(15)N declined since 1860 in both subadult and adult gulls (δ(13)C, ~ 2-6‰; δ(15)N, ~4-5‰), indicating that their diet has become less marine over time, and that birds now feed at a lower trophic level than previously. Conversely, forage fish δ(13)C and δ(15)N values showed no trends, supporting our conclusion that gull feather values were indicative of declines in marine food availability rather than of baseline environmental change. Gradual declines in feather isotope values are consistent with trends predicted had gulls consumed less fish over time, but were equivocal with respect to whether gulls had switched to a more garbage-based diet, or one comprising marine invertebrates. Nevertheless, our results suggest a long-term decrease in diet quality linked to declining fish abundance or other anthropogenic influences, and may help to explain regional

  5. Nest-density distribution patterns in a yellow-legged gull archipelago colony

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vidal, Eric; Roche, Philip; Bonnet, Véronique; Tatoni, Thierry

    2001-12-01

    The nest density distribution of yellow-legged gulls Larus cachinnans was investigated on the large Marseille archipelago colony (south-east France) which houses c. 18 000 breeding pairs. The study was performed at two investigation scales, including both mean nesting density on the nine study islands and density distribution within 171 sampling plots. The mean nesting density on each island was negatively correlated with island surface area and with the distance from the initial colony location (south-east end of the archipelago). No significant correlation was found with the other island parameters analysed (maximum elevation, shape index and distance from continent). A partial least squares regression performed between denstiy data from 171 500 m 2 sampling plots and environmental variables showed that the mostly explaining factors were island isolation and percentage of rocks in the plots (positive correlation), and distance of the island from the south-east end of the archipelago, island area, distance from plot to seaside and percentage of stone in the plots (negative correlation). Thus in our case, vegetation parameters (cover and height) were not influencial factors in nest density distribution.

  6. Maternal transfer of organohalogen contaminants and metabolites to eggs of Arctic-breeding glaucous gulls.

    PubMed

    Verreault, Jonathan; Villa, Rosa A; Gabrielsen, Geir W; Skaare, Janneche U; Letcher, Robert J

    2006-12-01

    Eggs of seabirds have routinely been used as indicators of environmental pollution in the Arctic. However, the variability in organohalogen concentration and composition associated with the laying sequence, have not been defined. We examined a suite of PCBs, organochlorine (OC) pesticides and by-products, polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs) and methylsulfonyl- (MeSO2) PCBs in complete 3-egg clutches of glaucous gulls (Larus hyperboreus), and plasma samples of the laying females collected from the Norwegian Arctic. SigmaPCB, SigmaOC and SigmaPBDE, but not SigmaMeSO2-PCB, concentrations in eggs were positively associated, with increasing magnitude and significance from the first through the last-laid egg, with concentrations in female plasma. However, the concentrations of these organohalogen classes fluctuated irrespective of the laying order in the clutch. In general, maternal transfer favored low K(ow) and/or less persistent compounds, whereas the recalcitrant and/or higher-halogenated compounds were less readily transferred, and consequently more selectively retained in the mother. PMID:16563578

  7. Effects of herring gulls and great black-backed gulls on breeding piping plovers, South Monomoy Island, Massachusetts. Final Report

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Keane, S.E.; Fraser, J.D.; Buckley, P.A.

    2002-01-01

    The large population of breeding herring gulls and great black-backed gulls on South Monomoy Island, Cape Cod, Massachusetts has been thought to negatively affect the breeding success of the threatened piping plover. Following the Piping Plover Recovery Plan's call for gull colonies to be removed from piping plover breeding sites, in 1996, the USFWS conducted gull removal on part of South Monomoy Island. We determined relative gull abundance on South Monomoy Island from 1998-2000 by counting gulls within 100-m radius plots located on the shoreline. We quantified piping plover behavior and habitat use by conducting instantaneous and 5-minute behavioral observations. We quantified characteristics of piping plover nesting habitat by measuring characteristics along random transects. We measured gull abundance, beach width, and prey abundance, and then used logistic regression to determine what habitat characteristics influenced piping plover nesting area selection. We monitored piping plover reproductive success and population fluctuations on South Monomoy Island. Gull abundance in the gull-removal area was lower than gull abundance in the reference area throughout the piping plover breeding season. The difference in gull abundance between the areas did not affect piping plover behavior, nest success, chick survival, or productivity. We found that gull removal did not result in an increased piping plover population on the island. In both management areas, prenesting plovers preferred to forage in moist substrate habitats. Wide backshore and open vegetation habitats characterized nesting areas. Broods spent most of their time foraging and preferred moist substrate habitats when available. Plovers were not prevented from occupying more suitable habitat by large gulls. Fewer large gulls were observed near prenesting plovers, plover nests, and plover broods than near random plots. Fewer large gulls were observed in plover nesting areas than in unused areas when the nesting

  8. 78 FR 46410 - Requested Administrative Waiver of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel TWO BUOYS ONE GULL...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-07-31

    ... GULL; Invitation for Public Comments AGENCY: Maritime Administration, Department of Transportation... the applicant the intended service of the vessel TWO BUOYS ONE GULL is: Intended Commercial Use...

  9. Introduction of the air cushion vehicle 'Larus' to the North American market

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Makinen, E.; Wainwright, J.

    The 'Larus' ACV, which currently operates as a ferry in the Northern Baltic with a payload of 25 tonnes and 46 passengers, will be refurbished for operations in the Canadian Arctic. These modifications will encompass the incorporation of an Arctic-grade rubber skirt, additional fire and thermal insulation, more heating and washrooms for passenger compartments, a fire extinghuishing system, a second radar unit, and satellite navigation. A development history and performance evaluation of the Larus are given.

  10. Effects of oil transferred from incubating gulls to their eggs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    King, K.A.; LeFever, C.A.

    1979-01-01

    No. 2 fuel oil, or water, was applied to the breast feathers of incubating laughing gulls trapped at their nest site on an island colony in Texas. Gulls were released after treatment and allowed to incubate their eggs for 5 days. Oil was transferred from the feathers of incubating adults to their eggs and resulted in 41% embryo mortality compared with 2% in controls.

  11. Human-Induced Long-Term Shifts in Gull Diet from Marine to Terrestrial Sources in North America's Coastal Pacific: More Evidence from More Isotopes (δ2H, δ34S).

    PubMed

    Hobson, Keith A; Blight, Louise K; Arcese, Peter

    2015-09-15

    Measurements of naturally occurring stable isotopes in tissues of seabirds and their prey are a powerful tool for investigating long-term changes in marine foodwebs. Recent isotopic (δ(15)N, δ(13)C) evidence from feathers of Glaucous-winged Gulls (Larus glaucescens) has shown that over the last 150 years, this species shifted from a midtrophic marine diet to one including lower trophic marine prey and/or more terrestrial or freshwater foods. However, long-term isotopic patterns of δ(15)N and δ(13)C cannot distinguish between the relative importance of lower trophic-level marine foods and terrestrial sources. We examined 48 feather stable-hydrogen (δ(2)H) and -sulfur (δ(34)S) isotope values from this same 150-year feather set and found additional isotopic evidence supporting the hypothesis that gulls shifted to terrestrial and/or freshwater prey. Mean feather δ(2)H and δ(34)S values (± SD) declined from the earliest period (1860-1915; n = 12) from -2.5 ± 21.4 ‰ and 18.9 ± 2.7 ‰, respectively, to -35.5 ± 15.5 ‰ and 14.8 ± 2.4 ‰, respectively, for the period 1980-2009 (n = 12). We estimated a shift of ∼ 30% increase in dependence on terrestrial/freshwater sources. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that gulls increased terrestrial food inputs in response to declining forage fish availability. PMID:26302356

  12. ORGANOCHLORINE CHEMICAL RESIDUES IN HERRING GULLS, RING-BILLED GULLS, AND COMMON TERNS OF WESTERN LAKE SUPERIOR

    EPA Science Inventory

    Residues of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), DDE, DDT, and hexachlorobenzene (HCB) were analyzed for three age classes (e.g. pre-fledge muscle and blood, and post-fledge muscle) of the herring gull, ring-billed gull, and common tern for samples collected in the western end of La...

  13. Assessing gull abundance and food availability in urban parking lots

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Daniel E.; Whitney, Jillian J.; MacKenzie, Kenneth G.; Koenen, Kiana K. G.; DeStefano, Stephen

    2015-01-01

    Feeding birds is a common activity throughout the world; yet, little is known about the extent of feeding gulls in urban areas. We monitored 8 parking lots in central Massachusetts, USA, during the fall and winter of 2011 to 2013 in 4 monitoring sessions to document the number of gulls present, the frequency of human–gull feeding interactions, and the effectiveness of signage and direct interaction in reducing human-provisioned food. Parking lots were divided between “education” and “no-education” lots. In education lots, we erected signs about problems caused when people feed birds and also asked people to stop feeding birds. We did not erect signs or ask people to stop feeding birds at no-education lots. We spent >1,200 hours in parking lots (range = 136 to 200 hours per parking lot), and gulls were counted every 20 minutes. We conducted >4,000 counts, and ring-billed gulls (Lorus delawarensis) accounted for 98% of all gulls. Our educational efforts were minimally effective. There were fewer feedings (P = 0.01) in education lots during one of the monitoring sessions but significantly more gulls (P = 0.008) in education lots during 2 monitoring sessions. While there was a marginal decrease (P = 0.055) in the number of feedings after no-education lots were transformed into education lots, there was no difference in gull numbers in these lots (P = 0.16). Education appears to have some influence in reducing the number of people feeding gulls, but our efforts were not able to reduce the number of human feeders or the amount of food enough to influence the number of gulls using parking lots.

  14. Comparative body compartment composition and in ovo transfer of organophosphate flame retardants in North American Great Lakes herring gulls.

    PubMed

    Greaves, Alana K; Letcher, Robert J

    2014-07-15

    Although recent usage of organophosphate (OP) flame retardants has increased substantially, very few studies have reported on OPs in biota including wildlife, and essentially there is no information on OP body compartment composition and in ovo or in utero transfer for any given wildlife species. Concentrations and patterns of 16 OP triesters were presently screened for and/or determined in six body compartments from female herring gulls (Larus argentatus; n=8) and the separate egg yolk and albumen of their entire clutches of eggs (n=16) (collected in 2010 from a Lake Huron colony site, Laurentian Great Lakes of North America). Fat (32.3±9.8 ng/g wet weight; ww) contained the highest ΣOP concentration, followed by egg yolk (14.8±2.4 ng/g ww)≈egg albumen (14.8±5.9 ng/g ww)>muscle (10.9±5.1 ng/g ww)≫red blood cells (1.00±0.62 ng/g ww), whereas in liver, blood plasma, and brain all OPs were not detectable. Nine OPs accumulated in herring gulls, but the concentrations and proportions of OPs were dependent on the body and egg compartment. For example, tris(2-butoxyethyl) phosphate (TBOEP) accounted for 66% of the ΣOP concentration in albumen, but only for 13% in yolk. Tri-n-butyl phosphate (TNBP) accounted for 25% of the ΣOP concentration in yolk, but was not detected in albumen. Estimates showed that overall OP burdens in the body (3.5 μg) were greater than in the whole egg (1.2 μg), although depuration via in ovo transfer was substantial. PMID:24905208

  15. Associations between organohalogen concentrations and transcription of thyroid-related genes in a highly contaminated gull population.

    PubMed

    Técher, Romy; Houde, Magali; Verreault, Jonathan

    2016-03-01

    A number of studies have reported altered circulating thyroid hormone levels in birds exposed either in controlled settings or in their natural habitat to ubiquitous organohalogen compounds including organochlorines (OCs) and polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants. However, limited attention has been paid to underlying homeostatic mechanisms in wild birds such as changes in the expression of genes in the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) axis. The objective of the present study was to investigate the relationships between hepatic concentrations of major organohalogens (PBDEs and OCs), and circulating thyroid hormone (free and total thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3)) levels and transcription of 14 thyroid-related genes in three tissues (thyroid, brain, and liver) of an urban-adapted bird exposed to high organohalogen concentrations in the Montreal area (QC, Canada), the ring-billed gull (Larus delawarensis). Positive correlations were found between liver concentrations of several polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), PBDEs as well as chlordanes and total plasma T4 levels. Hepatic concentrations of several PBDEs were negatively correlated with mRNA levels of deiodinase type 3, thyroid peroxidase, and thyroid hormone receptor β (TRβ) in the thyroid gland. Liver PCB (deca-CB) correlated positively with mRNA levels of sodium-iodide symporter and TRα. In brain, concentrations of most PBDEs were positively correlated with mRNA levels of organic anion transporter protein 1C1 and transthyretin, while PCBs positively correlated with expression of TRα and TRβ as well as deiodinase type 2. These multiple correlative linkages suggest that organohalogens operate through several mechanisms (direct or compensatory) involving gene transcription, thus potentially perturbing the HPT axis of this highly organohalogen-contaminated ring-billed gull population. PMID:26747993

  16. Activity periods and questing behavior of the seabird tick Ixodes uriae (Acari: Ixodidae) on Gull Island, Newfoundland: the role of puffin chicks.

    PubMed

    Muzaffar, Sabir B; Jones, Ian L

    2007-04-01

    Questing behavior of Ixodes uriae and their associated seasonal, host-feeding patterns are crucial to our understanding of tick life history strategies and the ecology of diseases that they transmit. Consequently, we quantified questing behavior of nymphs and adult female I. uriae ticks at Gull Island, a seabird colony in Newfoundland, Canada, to examine seasonal variation of off-host and on-host tick activity. We sampled a total of 133 adult Atlantic puffins (Fratercula arctica), 152 puffin chicks, and 145 herring gull (Larus argentatus) chicks for ticks during the breeding seasons of 2004 and 2005. Questing ticks were sampled by dragging a white flannel cloth across the grassy breeding areas during the mo of May, June, July, and August. Nymph questing activity reached a peak during mid-July (79 and 110 individuals/hr in 2004 and 2005, respectively). The prevalence of nymphs and adult female ticks on different seabird hosts varied between years and during the seasons. Puffin chicks had the highest prevalence (above 70% in July) of nymphs in both years and this was correlated with questing activity. Female ticks rarely fed on puffin chicks, but were prevalent on adult puffins and gulls, although prevalence and questing of ticks were not correlated in these hosts. These patterns of off-host and on-host tick activity suggests that I. uriae ticks likely use a combination of questing and passive waiting, e.g., in puffin burrows, to detect hosts, depending on the tick stage and the host species. PMID:17539407

  17. Perfluorinated sulfonate and carboxylate compounds and precursors in herring gull eggs from across the Laurentian Great Lakes of North America: Temporal and recent spatial comparisons and exposure implications.

    PubMed

    Letcher, Robert J; Su, Guanyong; Moore, Jeremy N; Williams, Lisa L; Martin, Pamela A; de Solla, Shane R; Bowerman, William W

    2015-12-15

    Chemicals of emerging concern (CECs) in the basin of the Laurentian Great Lakes of North America include per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) classified as perfluoroalkyl acids. We investigated several PFASs, and specifically 13 C4-C16 perfluorinated carboxylic acids (PFCAs), 4 (C4, C6, C8 and C10) perfluorinated sulfonates (PFSAs), perfluoro-4-ethylcyclohexane sulfonate (PFEtCHxS) and selected precursors (e.g. perfluorobutane sulfonamide and perfluorooctane sulfonamide) in herring gull (Larus argentatus) eggs collected in 2012-2013 from 19 Canadian and U.S. colony sites across the Great Lakes. C6, C8 and C10 PFSAs, PFEtCHxS, and C7-14 and C16 PFCAs were quantifiable at >97% of the 114 egg samples. PFEtCHxS concentrations ranged from n.d. to 3.1ng/g ww (highest in Lake Michigan eggs). Mean Σ4PFSA (92 to 97% perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS)) and Σ9PFCA concentration ranges were 44 to 740 and 4.8 to 118ng/g ww, respectively. Σ4PFSA showed a clear increasing concentration trend from the northwest to the southeast colonies. Also, Σ4PFCA to Σ9PFSA concentration ratios in gull eggs were greater in eggs from Lake Superior relative to colonies in the other lakes. PFOS concentrations in some egg samples were greater than some of the known lowest observed effect concentrations (LOECs) measured and reported in captive bird model studies. This study showed the increasing complexity of PFAS-CECs, and emphasized the importance of continuing monitoring of bioaccumulative PFAS in Great Lakes herring gulls. PMID:26318684

  18. Aerodynamic implications of gull's drooped wing-tips.

    PubMed

    Andrews, S A; Perez, R E; Allan, W D E

    2013-12-01

    When in gliding flight, gulls are observed to adopt a drooped wing-tip configuration. This paper investigates whether this configuration might represent an aerodynamic optimum or if it is the result of constraints imposed by the gull's anatomy. A computational model was developed for the aerodynamic performance of a gull in gliding flight. This model was used in conjunction with both global and local optimizers to determine the most aerodynamically optimal configuration for cases where the gull was constrained to move its wing within its natural flapping cycle as well as when the wing had full freedom of motion. The results of this analysis determined the best wing configuration for a gull in gliding flight and demonstrated that such a configuration not only had the highest lift-to-drag ratio but also could be achieved within the constraints of the kinematics of the gull wing. These results are of interest outside studies of gulls, since the drooped wing-tip configuration could be relevant for new designs of small air vehicles. PMID:24106263

  19. DNA fingerprinting reveals elevated mutation rates in herring gulls inhabiting a genotoxically contaminated site

    SciTech Connect

    Yauk, C.L.; Quinn, J.S.

    1995-12-31

    The authors used multi-locus DNA fingerprinting to examine families of herring gulls (Larus argentatus) from a genotoxically contaminated site (Hamilton Harbour) and from a pristine location (Kent Island, Bay of Fundy) to show significant differences in mutation rates between the locations. Overall the authors identified 17 mutant bands from 15 individuals of the 35 examined from Hamilton Harbour, and 7 mutant fragments from 7 individuals, of the 43 examined from Kent Island; a mutation frequency of 0.429 per nestling for Hamilton Harbour and 0.163 for Kent Island. The total number of individuals with mutant bands was significantly higher at Hamilton Harbour than at Kent Island (X{sup 2}=6.734; df = 1; P < 0.01). Ongoing analysis of other less contaminated sites also reveals lower mutation rates than those seen in Hamilton Harbour. With multi-locus DNA fingerprinting many regions of the genome can be surveyed simultaneously. The tandemly repeated arrays of nucleotides examined with DNA fingerprinting are known to have elevated rates of mutation. Furthermore, the mutations seen with DNA fingerprinting are predominantly heritable. Other biomarkers currently used in situ are not able to monitor direct and heritable DNA mutation, or measure biological endpoints that frequently result in spontaneous abortion creating difficulty in observing significantly elevated levels in viable offspring. The authors suggest that multilocus DNA fingerprinting can be used as a biomarker to identify potentially heritable risks before the onset of other types of ecological damage. This approach provides a direct measure of mutation in situ and in vivo in a vertebrate species under ambient conditions.

  20. Seasonal variations in aldrin epoxidase (MFO) activity of yellow-legged herring gulls: the relationship to breeding and PCB residues

    SciTech Connect

    Fossi, C.; Leonzio, C.; Focardi, S.; Renzoni, A.

    1988-09-01

    The hepatic mixed function oxidases (MFO) constitute a defense mechanism which enables the organism to make xenobiotics more polar and thus render them more readily excretable. The degree of induction of this system is an expression of its exposure to xenobiotics, but it is also a function of endogenous physiological mechanisms. These two forms of induction may lead to mutual interference: foreign compounds may stimulate hepatic hydroxylation and affect the metabolism of steroid hormones; the later may in turn stimulate the activity of the MFO system favoring the degradation of the xenobiotics. Induction and detoxication processes of endogenous and exogenous compounds have been observed in mammals in laboratory experiments. Relationships between MRO activity, the reproductive cycle and variations in tissue levels of liposoluble xenobiotics, have been reported for marine organisms. In birds, seasonal variations of MFO levels have been observed, but the relationship between these enzyme variations and the levels of contaminants in the animal tissues has never been made clear. The authors aim to clarify this relationship by determining the levels of PCBs residues and aldrin epoxidase activities in Yellow-legged Herring gull (Larus cachinnans) specimens from different areas of Italy collected during two phases of the annual cycle, namely those of reproduction (spring) and of sexual inactivity (autumn). This species was chosen because of its wide distribution, its opportunistic feeding habits and its adaptive capacity in polluted environments.

  1. Phylogenetic Diversity and Molecular Detection of Bacteria in Gull Feces▿

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Jingrang; Santo Domingo, Jorge W.; Lamendella, Regina; Edge, Thomas; Hill, Stephen

    2008-01-01

    In spite of increasing public health concerns about the potential risks associated with swimming in waters contaminated with waterfowl feces, little is known about the composition of the gut microbial community of aquatic birds. To address this, a gull 16S rRNA gene clone library was developed and analyzed to determine the identities of fecal bacteria. Analysis of 282 16S rRNA gene clones demonstrated that the gull gut bacterial community is mostly composed of populations closely related to Bacilli (37%), Clostridia (17%), Gammaproteobacteria (11%), and Bacteriodetes (1%). Interestingly, a considerable number of sequences (i.e., 26%) were closely related to Catellicoccus marimammalium, a gram-positive, catalase-negative bacterium. To determine the occurrence of C. marimammalium in waterfowl, species-specific 16S rRNA gene PCR and real-time assays were developed and used to test fecal DNA extracts from different bird (n = 13) and mammal (n = 26) species. The results showed that both assays were specific to gull fecal DNA and that C. marimammalium was present in gull fecal samples collected from the five locations in North America (California, Georgia, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Toronto, Canada) tested. Additionally, 48 DNA extracts from waters collected from six sites in southern California, Great Lakes in Michigan, Lake Erie in Ohio, and Lake Ontario in Canada presumed to be impacted with gull feces were positive by the C. marimammalium assay. Due to the widespread presence of this species in gulls and environmental waters contaminated with gull feces, targeting this bacterial species might be useful for detecting gull fecal contamination in waterfowl-impacted waters. PMID:18469128

  2. Phylogenetic diversity and molecular detection of bacteria in gull feces.

    PubMed

    Lu, Jingrang; Santo Domingo, Jorge W; Lamendella, Regina; Edge, Thomas; Hill, Stephen

    2008-07-01

    In spite of increasing public health concerns about the potential risks associated with swimming in waters contaminated with waterfowl feces, little is known about the composition of the gut microbial community of aquatic birds. To address this, a gull 16S rRNA gene clone library was developed and analyzed to determine the identities of fecal bacteria. Analysis of 282 16S rRNA gene clones demonstrated that the gull gut bacterial community is mostly composed of populations closely related to Bacilli (37%), Clostridia (17%), Gammaproteobacteria (11%), and Bacteriodetes (1%). Interestingly, a considerable number of sequences (i.e., 26%) were closely related to Catellicoccus marimammalium, a gram-positive, catalase-negative bacterium. To determine the occurrence of C. marimammalium in waterfowl, species-specific 16S rRNA gene PCR and real-time assays were developed and used to test fecal DNA extracts from different bird (n = 13) and mammal (n = 26) species. The results showed that both assays were specific to gull fecal DNA and that C. marimammalium was present in gull fecal samples collected from the five locations in North America (California, Georgia, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Toronto, Canada) tested. Additionally, 48 DNA extracts from waters collected from six sites in southern California, Great Lakes in Michigan, Lake Erie in Ohio, and Lake Ontario in Canada presumed to be impacted with gull feces were positive by the C. marimammalium assay. Due to the widespread presence of this species in gulls and environmental waters contaminated with gull feces, targeting this bacterial species might be useful for detecting gull fecal contamination in waterfowl-impacted waters. PMID:18469128

  3. Parathion alters incubation behavior of laughing gulls

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    White, D.H.; Mitchell, C.A.; Hill, E.F.

    1983-01-01

    One member of each pair of incubating laughing gulls at 9 nests was trapped, orally dosed with either 6 mg/kg parathion in corn oil or corn oil alone, and marked about the neck with red dye. Each nest was marked with a numbered stake and the treatment was recorded. A pilot study with captive laughing gulls had determined the proper dosage of parathion that would significantly inhibit their brain AChE activity (about 50% of normal) without overt signs of poisoning. After dosing, birds were released and the nests were observed for 2 1/2 days from a blind on the nesting island. The activities of the birds at each marked nest were recorded at 10-minute intervals. Results indicated that on the day of treatment there was no difference (P greater than 0.05, Chi-square test) in the proportion of time spent on the nest between treated and control birds. However, birds dosed with 6 mg/kg parathion spent significantly less time incubating on days 2 and 3 than did birds receiving only corn oil. By noon on the third day, sharing of nest duties between pair members in the treated group had approached normal, indicating recovery from parathion intoxication. These findings suggest that sublethal exposure of nesting birds to an organophosphate (OP) insecticide, such as parathion, may result in decreased nest attentiveness, thereby making the clutch more susceptible to predation or egg failure. Behavioral changes caused by sublethal OP exposure could be especially detrimental in avian species where only one pair member incubates or where both members are exposed in species sharing nest duties.

  4. Distribution of Gull Specific Molecular Marker in Coastal Areas of Lake Ontario

    EPA Science Inventory

    Gulls have been implicated as primary sources of fecal contamination in the Great Lakes, a fact that may have health implications due to the potential spread of microbial pathogens by waterfowl. To better understand the spatial variability of gull fecal contamination, a gull-spe...

  5. GPS tracking data of Lesser Black-backed Gulls and Herring Gulls breeding at the southern North Sea coast.

    PubMed

    Stienen, Eric W M; Desmet, Peter; Aelterman, Bart; Courtens, Wouter; Feys, Simon; Vanermen, Nicolas; Verstraete, Hilbran; de Walle, Marc Van; Deneudt, Klaas; Hernandez, Francisco; Houthoofdt, Robin; Vanhoorne, Bart; Bouten, Willem; Buijs, Roland-Jan; Kavelaars, Marwa M; Müller, Wendt; Herman, David; Matheve, Hans; Sotillo, Alejandro; Lens, Luc

    2016-01-01

    In this data paper, Bird tracking - GPS tracking of Lesser Black-backed Gulls and Herring Gulls breeding at the southern North Sea coast is described, a species occurrence dataset published by the Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO). The dataset (version 5.5) contains close to 2.5 million occurrences, recorded by 101 GPS trackers mounted on 75 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and 26 Herring Gulls breeding at the Belgian and Dutch coast. The trackers were developed by the University of Amsterdam Bird Tracking System (UvA-BiTS, http://www.uva-bits.nl). These automatically record and transmit bird movements, which allows us and others to study their habitat use and migration behaviour in great detail. Our bird tracking network is operational since 2013. It is funded for LifeWatch by the Hercules Foundation and maintained in collaboration with UvA-BiTS and the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ). The recorded data are periodically released in bulk as open data (http://dataset.inbo.be/bird-tracking-gull-occurrences), and are also accessible through CartoDB and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). PMID:26877689

  6. GPS tracking data of Lesser Black-backed Gulls and Herring Gulls breeding at the southern North Sea coast

    PubMed Central

    Stienen, Eric W.M.; Desmet, Peter; Aelterman, Bart; Courtens, Wouter; Feys, Simon; Vanermen, Nicolas; Verstraete, Hilbran; de Walle, Marc Van; Deneudt, Klaas; Hernandez, Francisco; Houthoofdt, Robin; Vanhoorne, Bart; Bouten, Willem; Buijs, Roland-Jan; Kavelaars, Marwa M.; Müller, Wendt; Herman, David; Matheve, Hans; Sotillo, Alejandro; Lens, Luc

    2016-01-01

    Abstract In this data paper, Bird tracking - GPS tracking of Lesser Black-backed Gulls and Herring Gulls breeding at the southern North Sea coast is described, a species occurrence dataset published by the Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO). The dataset (version 5.5) contains close to 2.5 million occurrences, recorded by 101 GPS trackers mounted on 75 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and 26 Herring Gulls breeding at the Belgian and Dutch coast. The trackers were developed by the University of Amsterdam Bird Tracking System (UvA-BiTS, http://www.uva-bits.nl). These automatically record and transmit bird movements, which allows us and others to study their habitat use and migration behaviour in great detail. Our bird tracking network is operational since 2013. It is funded for LifeWatch by the Hercules Foundation and maintained in collaboration with UvA-BiTS and the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ). The recorded data are periodically released in bulk as open data (http://dataset.inbo.be/bird-tracking-gull-occurrences), and are also accessible through CartoDB and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). PMID:26877689

  7. Spatio-temporal trends and monitoring design of perfluoroalkyl acids in the eggs of gull (Larid) species from across Canada and parts of the United States.

    PubMed

    Gewurtz, Sarah B; Martin, Pamela A; Letcher, Robert J; Burgess, Neil M; Champoux, Louise; Elliott, John E; Weseloh, D V Chip

    2016-09-15

    A large spatial dataset of perfluoroalkyl acid (PFAA) concentrations in eggs of herring gulls (Larus argentatus or congeneric species) collected from late April to early June between 2009 and 2014 from 28 colonies across Canada and parts of the Unites States was used to evaluate location-specific patterns in chemical concentrations and to generate hypotheses on the major sources affecting PFAA distributions. The highly bioaccumulative perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) as well as other perfluoroalkyl sulfonic acids (PFSAs) showed the greatest concentrations in eggs from the lower Great Lakes of southern Ontario as well as from the St. Lawrence River. Despite the 2000 to 2002 phase-out of PFOS and related C8 chemistry by the major manufacturer at the time, ongoing losses from consumer products during use and disposal in urban/industrial locations continue to be major sources to the environment and are influencing the spatial trends of PFOS in Canada. In comparison to PFOS, perfluoroalkyl carboxylic acids (PFCAs) were not as concentrated in eggs in close proximity to urbanized/industrialized centers, but had surprisingly elevated levels in relatively remote regions such as Great Slave Lake, NT and East Bay in Hudson Bay, NU. The present results support the hypothesis that atmospheric transport and degradation of precursor chemicals, such as the fluorotelomer alcohols 8:2 FTOH and 10:2 FTOH, are influencing the spatial trends of PFCAs in Canada. A power analysis conducted on a representative urbanized/industrialized colony in the Toronto Harbour, ON, and a relatively remote colony in Lake Superior, emphasized the importance of consistent and long-term data collection in order to detect the anticipated changes in PFAA concentrations in Canadian gull eggs. PMID:27183458

  8. GEOGRAPHIC VARIATION IN BLOOD PLASMA PROTEIN CONCENTRATIONS IN YOUNG HERRING GULLS (LARUS ARGENTATUS) AND CASPIAN TERNS (STERNA CASPIA) FROM THE GREAT LAKES AND LAKE WINNIPEG. (R825216)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Concl...

  9. Effects of gulls on Piping Plover nest site selection at Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge, Massachusetts

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Keane, S.E.; Fraser, J.D.; Buckley, P.A.

    2001-01-01

    We examined the effects of Herring and Great Black-backed Gulls on Piping Plover nest site selection on South Monomoy Island, MA, from 1998 to 2000. We compared Piping Plover behavior and nest site selection in a gull-free area to a gull area, and compared Piping Plover nesting area characteristics to areas not used by plovers. We found no difference in the frequency of disturbance by gulls to pre-nesting adult plovers between the two areas. We found fewer gulls near pre-nesting adults than near random points, and fewer gulls in Piping Plover nesting areas than in areas not used by plovers. Proximity to prime foraging habitats and available nesting habitat (wide stretches of open vegetation) may be more important to Piping Plover nest site selection than the presence of gulls.

  10. POTENTIAL FOR GULLS TO TRANSPORT BACTERIA FROM HUMAN WASTE SITES

    EPA Science Inventory

    This study was designed as a first step in assessing whether gulls visiting human waste sites can acquire human microorganisms and distribute them across the coastal landscape. Beaches, landfills, and a lagoon of treated wastewater located in a coastal Lake Michigan county were t...

  11. Phylogenetic Diversity and Molecular Detection of Bacteria in Gull Feces

    EPA Science Inventory

    In spite of increasing public health concerns about the potential risks associated with swimming in waters contaminated with waterfowl feces, little is known about the composition of the gut microbial community of aquatic birds. To address this, a gull 16S rDNA fecal clone librar...

  12. Yolk testosterone affects growth and promotes individual-level consistency in behavioral lateralization of yellow-legged gull chicks.

    PubMed

    Possenti, Cristina Daniela; Romano, Andrea; Caprioli, Manuela; Rubolini, Diego; Spiezio, Caterina; Saino, Nicola; Parolini, Marco

    2016-04-01

    Behavioral lateralization is common in animals and may be expressed at the individual- and at the population-level. The ontogenetic processes that control lateralization, however, are largely unknown. Well-established sex-dependence in androgen physiology and sex-dependent variation in lateralization have led to the hypothesis that testosterone (T) has organizational effects on lateralization. The effects of T exposure in early life on lateralization can be efficiently investigated by manipulating T levels in the cleidoic eggs of birds, because the embryo is isolated from maternal and sibling physiological interference, but this approach has been adopted very rarely. In the yellow-legged gull (Larus michahellis) we increased yolk T concentration within the physiological limits and tested the effects on the direction of lateralization in two functionally fundamental behaviors (begging for parental care and escape to cover) of molecularly sexed hatchlings. We also speculated that T may intervene in regulating consistency, rather than direction of lateralization, and therefore tested if T affected the 'repeatability' of lateral preference in consecutive behavioral trials. T treatment had no effect on the direction of lateralization, but enhanced the consistency of lateral preference in escape responses. Sex did not predict lateralization. Neither behavior was lateralized at the population-level. We therefore showed for the first time in any species an effect of egg T on consistency in lateralization. The implications of the effect of T for the evolution of trade-offs in maternal allocation of egg hormones, and the evolutionary interpretations of findings from our studies on lateralization among unmanipulated birds are discussed. PMID:26836770

  13. Structure of the New England herring gull population

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kadlec, J.A.; Drury, W.H.

    1968-01-01

    Measurements of the rates of population increase, reproduction, and mortality together with an observed age ratio, were used to analyze the population of the Herring Gull in New England. Data from sporadic censuses prior to this study, aerial censuses by the authors, and National Audubon Society Christmas Bird Count indicated that the New England breeding population has been doubling every 12 to 15 years since the early 1900's. This increase has involved founding new colonies and expanding the breeding range There is evidence that 15 to 30% of the adults do not breed in any given year. Sixty-one productivity measurements on 43 islands from 1963 through 1966, involving almost 13,000 nests, showed that from 0.8 to 1.4 young/breeding pair/year is the usual range of rate of production. The age distribution in the population was determined by classifying Herring Gulls by plumage category on an aerial census of the coast from Tampico, Mexico, to Cape Sable, Nova Scotia. Of the 622,000 gulls observed, 68% were adults, 17% were second- and third-year birds, and 15% were first-year birds. Mortality rates derived from band recovery data were too high to be consistent with the observed rate of population growth, productivity, and age structure. Loss of bands increasing to the rate of about 20%/year 5 years after banding eliminates most of the discrepancy. The age structure and rate of population increase indicate a mortality rate of 4 to 9% for gulls 2 years old or older, compared with the 25 to 30% indicated by band recoveries. The population structure we have developed fits everything we have observed about Herring Gull population dynamics, except mortality based on band recoveries.

  14. Perfluorinated carboxylates and sulfonates and precursor compounds in herring gull eggs from colonies spanning the Laurentian Great Lakes of North America.

    PubMed

    Gebbink, Wouter A; Hebert, Craig E; Letcher, Robert J

    2009-10-01

    Environmentally important perfluorinated carboxylates and sulfonates, as well as per- and polyfluorinated precursor compounds including several sulfonamides, telomer acids, and alcohols were determined in individual herring gull (Larus argentatus) eggs collected (in 2007) from 15 colonies located at Canadian and some American sites across the Laurentian Great Lakes of North America. The pattern of perfluorosulfonates (PFSAs; C6, C8, C10 chain lengths) was dominated by PFOS (> 90% of sigmaPFSA concentration) regardless of collection location. Concentrations of sigmaPFSA were significantly (p < 0.03) higher in eggs from Middle Island (western Lake Erie; 507 +/- 47 ng/g ww), Toronto Harbour (484 +/- 49 ng/g ww), and Strachan Island (486 +/- 59 ng/g ww) (Lake Ontario) compared to eggs from colonies on Lakes Superior, Michigan, and Huron. Perfluorocarboxylic acids (PFCAs) ranging in chain length from C8 to C15 were detected in the eggs, with PFUnA and PFTrA being the dominant compounds. PFOA and PFNA were more abundant in the sigmaPFCA in eggs from Lake Superior and Michigan colonies, and PFUnA and longer chain PFCAs were more abundant in the sigmaPFCA in eggs from Lake Erie and Ontario colonies. In contrast to sigmaPFSA, the highest concentrations of sigmaPFCA were found in eggs from Double Island, Lake Huron (113 +/- 12 ng/g ww) followed by eggs from colonies on Lakes Erie and Ontario. Among the PFOS or PFCA precursor compounds assessed (6:2, 8:2, and 10:2 fluorotelomer alcohols and acids and PFOSA), none were detectable in eggs from any sampling location. The exception was PFOSA (average concentration < 1 ng/g ww), which suggests that PFOS in the gulls and subsequently in their eggs may be due, in part, to biotransformation of PFOSA to PFOS in the gull and/or in their diet and food web. The accumulation of PFSA and PFCA from mainly aquatic dietary sources was suggested, and were highly lake- and/ or colony-dependent especially showing a northwest and southeast

  15. Maternally derived testosterone and 17beta-estradiol in the eggs of Arctic-breeding glaucous gulls in relation to persistent organic pollutants.

    PubMed

    Verboven, Nanette; Verreault, Jonathan; Letcher, Robert J; Gabrielsen, Geir W; Evans, Neil P

    2008-08-01

    It is largely unknown if and how persistent organic pollutants (POPs) affect the transfer of maternal hormones to eggs. This occurs despite an increasing number of studies relating environmental conditions experienced by female birds at the time of egg formation to maternal hormonal effects. Here we report the concentrations of maternal testosterone, 17beta-estradiol and major classes of POPs (organochlorines, brominated flame retardants and metabolically-derived products) in the yolk of unincubated, third-laid eggs of the glaucous gull (Larus hyperboreus), a top-predator in the Arctic marine environment. Controlled for seasonal and local variation, positive correlations were found between the concentrations of certain POPs and testosterone. Contaminant-related changes in the relative concentrations of testosterone and 17beta-estradiol were also observed. In addition, yolk steroid concentrations were associated with contaminant profiles describing the proportions of different POPs present in the yolk. Eggs from nests in which two sibling eggs hatched or failed to hatch differed in POP profiles and in the relative concentrations of testosterone and 17beta-estradiol. Although the results of this correlative study need to be interpreted with caution, they suggest that contaminant-related changes in yolk steroids may occur, possibly affecting offspring performance over and above toxic effects brought about by POPs in eggs. PMID:18550446

  16. Comparison of Gull Feces-Specific Assays Targeting the 16S rRNA Genes of Catellicoccus marimammalium and Streptococcus spp.

    PubMed Central

    Ryu, Hodon; Griffith, John F.; Khan, Izhar U. H.; Hill, Stephen; Edge, Thomas A.; Toledo-Hernandez, Carlos; Gonzalez-Nieves, Joel

    2012-01-01

    Two novel gull-specific quantitative PCR (qPCR) assays were developed using 16S rRNA gene sequences from gull fecal clone libraries: a SYBR green assay targeting Streptococcus spp. (gull3) and a hydrolysis TaqMan assay targeting Catellicoccus marimammalium (gull4). The objectives of this study were to compare the host specificity of a previous C. marimammalium qPCR assay (gull2) with that of the new markers and to examine the presence of the three gull markers in environmental water samples from different geographic locations. Most of the gull fecal samples tested (n = 255) generated positive signals with the gull2 and gull4 assays (i.e., >86%), whereas only 28% were positive with gull3. Low prevalence and abundance of tested gull markers (0.6 to 15%) were observed in fecal samples from six nonavian species (n = 180 fecal samples), whereas the assays cross-reacted to some extent (13 to 31%) with other (nongull) avian fecal samples. The gull3 assay was positive against fecal samples from 11 of 15 avian species, including gull. Of the presumed gull-impacted water samples (n = 349), 86%, 59%, and 91% were positive with the gull2, the gull3, and the gull4 assays, respectively. Approximately 5% of 239 non-gull-impacted water samples were positive with the gull2 and the gull4 assays, whereas 21% were positive witg the gull3 assay. While the relatively high occurrence of gull2 and gull4 markers in waters impacted by gull feces suggests that these assays could be used in environmental monitoring studies, the data also suggest that multiple avian-specific assays will be needed to accurately assess the contribution of different avian sources in recreational waters. PMID:22226950

  17. Comparison of gull feces-specific assays targeting the 16S rRNA genes of Catellicoccus marimammalium and Streptococcus spp.

    PubMed

    Ryu, Hodon; Griffith, John F; Khan, Izhar U H; Hill, Stephen; Edge, Thomas A; Toledo-Hernandez, Carlos; Gonzalez-Nieves, Joel; Santo Domingo, Jorge

    2012-03-01

    Two novel gull-specific quantitative PCR (qPCR) assays were developed using 16S rRNA gene sequences from gull fecal clone libraries: a SYBR green assay targeting Streptococcus spp. (gull3) and a hydrolysis TaqMan assay targeting Catellicoccus marimammalium (gull4). The objectives of this study were to compare the host specificity of a previous C. marimammalium qPCR assay (gull2) with that of the new markers and to examine the presence of the three gull markers in environmental water samples from different geographic locations. Most of the gull fecal samples tested (n = 255) generated positive signals with the gull2 and gull4 assays (i.e., >86%), whereas only 28% were positive with gull3. Low prevalence and abundance of tested gull markers (0.6 to 15%) were observed in fecal samples from six nonavian species (n = 180 fecal samples), whereas the assays cross-reacted to some extent (13 to 31%) with other (nongull) avian fecal samples. The gull3 assay was positive against fecal samples from 11 of 15 avian species, including gull. Of the presumed gull-impacted water samples (n = 349), 86%, 59%, and 91% were positive with the gull2, the gull3, and the gull4 assays, respectively. Approximately 5% of 239 non-gull-impacted water samples were positive with the gull2 and the gull4 assays, whereas 21% were positive witg the gull3 assay. While the relatively high occurrence of gull2 and gull4 markers in waters impacted by gull feces suggests that these assays could be used in environmental monitoring studies, the data also suggest that multiple avian-specific assays will be needed to accurately assess the contribution of different avian sources in recreational waters. PMID:22226950

  18. Gulls identified as major source of fecal pollution in coastal waters: a microbial source tracking study.

    PubMed

    Araújo, Susana; Henriques, Isabel S; Leandro, Sérgio Miguel; Alves, Artur; Pereira, Anabela; Correia, António

    2014-02-01

    Gulls were reported as sources of fecal pollution in coastal environments and potential vectors of human infections. Microbial source tracking (MST) methods were rarely tested to identify this pollution origin. This study was conducted to ascertain the source of water fecal contamination in the Berlenga Island, Portugal. A total of 169 Escherichia coli isolates from human sewage, 423 isolates from gull feces and 334 water isolates were analyzed by BOX-PCR. An average correct classification of 79.3% was achieved. When an 85% similarity cutoff was applied 24% of water isolates were present in gull feces against 2.7% detected in sewage. Jackknifing resulted in 29.3% of water isolates classified as gull, and 10.8% classified as human. Results indicate that gulls constitute a major source of water contamination in the Berlenga Island. This study validated a methodology to differentiate human and gull fecal pollution sources in a real case of a contaminated beach. PMID:24140684

  19. True navigation in migrating gulls requires intact olfactory nerves.

    PubMed

    Wikelski, Martin; Arriero, Elena; Gagliardo, Anna; Holland, Richard A; Huttunen, Markku J; Juvaste, Risto; Mueller, Inge; Tertitski, Grigori; Thorup, Kasper; Wild, Martin; Alanko, Markku; Bairlein, Franz; Cherenkov, Alexander; Cameron, Alison; Flatz, Reinhard; Hannila, Juhani; Hüppop, Ommo; Kangasniemi, Markku; Kranstauber, Bart; Penttinen, Maija-Liisa; Safi, Kamran; Semashko, Vladimir; Schmid, Heidi; Wistbacka, Ralf

    2015-01-01

    During migratory journeys, birds may become displaced from their normal migratory route. Experimental evidence has shown that adult birds can correct for such displacements and return to their goal. However, the nature of the cues used by migratory birds to perform long distance navigation is still debated. In this experiment we subjected adult lesser black-backed gulls migrating from their Finnish/Russian breeding grounds (from >60°N) to Africa (to < 5°N) to sensory manipulation, to determine the sensory systems required for navigation. We translocated birds westward (1080 km) or eastward (885 km) to simulate natural navigational challenges. When translocated westwards and outside their migratory corridor birds with olfactory nerve section kept a clear directional preference (southerly) but were unable to compensate for the displacement, while intact birds and gulls with the ophthalmic branch of the trigeminal nerve sectioned oriented towards their population-specific migratory corridor. Thus, air-borne olfactory information seems to be important for migrating gulls to navigate successfully in some circumstances. PMID:26597351

  20. True navigation in migrating gulls requires intact olfactory nerves

    PubMed Central

    Wikelski, Martin; Arriero, Elena; Gagliardo, Anna; Holland, Richard A.; Huttunen, Markku J.; Juvaste, Risto; Mueller, Inge; Tertitski, Grigori; Thorup, Kasper; Wild, Martin; Alanko, Markku; Bairlein, Franz; Cherenkov, Alexander; Cameron, Alison; Flatz, Reinhard; Hannila, Juhani; Hüppop, Ommo; Kangasniemi, Markku; Kranstauber, Bart; Penttinen, Maija-Liisa; Safi, Kamran; Semashko, Vladimir; Schmid, Heidi; Wistbacka, Ralf

    2015-01-01

    During migratory journeys, birds may become displaced from their normal migratory route. Experimental evidence has shown that adult birds can correct for such displacements and return to their goal. However, the nature of the cues used by migratory birds to perform long distance navigation is still debated. In this experiment we subjected adult lesser black-backed gulls migrating from their Finnish/Russian breeding grounds (from >60°N) to Africa (to < 5°N) to sensory manipulation, to determine the sensory systems required for navigation. We translocated birds westward (1080 km) or eastward (885 km) to simulate natural navigational challenges. When translocated westwards and outside their migratory corridor birds with olfactory nerve section kept a clear directional preference (southerly) but were unable to compensate for the displacement, while intact birds and gulls with the ophthalmic branch of the trigeminal nerve sectioned oriented towards their population-specific migratory corridor. Thus, air-borne olfactory information seems to be important for migrating gulls to navigate successfully in some circumstances. PMID:26597351

  1. 75 FR 29574 - Final Legislative Environmental Impact Statement for the Harvest of Glaucous-Winged Gull Eggs by...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-05-26

    ... Gull Eggs by the Huna Tlingit in Glacier Bay National Park AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior... Glaucous-Winged Gull Eggs by the Huna Tlingit in Glacier Bay National Park. SUMMARY: The National Park... the harvest of glaucous-winged gull eggs by the Huna Tlingit in Glacier Bay National Park....

  2. Comparison of gull-specific assays targeting 16S rRNA gene of Catellicoccus marimammalium and Streptococcus spp.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Gulls have been implicated as a source of fecal contamination in inland and coastal waters. Only one gull-specific assay is currently available (i.e., gull2 qPCR assay). This assay is based on the 16S rRNA gene of Catellicocclls marimammalium and has showed a high level of host-s...

  3. Comparison of Gull Feces-specific Assays Targeting the 16S rRNA Gene of Catellicoccus Marimammalium and Streptococcus spp.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Two novel gull-specific qPCR assays were developed using 16S rRNA gene sequences from gull fecal clone libraries: a SYBR-green-based assay targeting Streptococcus spp. (i.e., gull3) and a TaqMan qPCR assay targeting Catellicoccus marimammalium (i.e., gull4). The main objectives ...

  4. Spatio-Temporal Structure of Hooded Gull Flocks

    PubMed Central

    Yomosa, Makoto; Mizuguchi, Tsuyoshi; Hayakawa, Yoshinori

    2013-01-01

    We analyzed the spatio-temporal structure of hooded gull flocks with a portable stereo camera system. The 3-dimensional positions of individuals were reconstructed from pairs of videos. The motions of each individual were analyzed, and both gliding and flapping motions were quantified based on the velocity time series. We analyzed the distributions of the nearest neighbor’s position in terms of coordinates based on each individual’s motion. The obtained results were consistent with the aerodynamic interaction between individuals. We characterized the leader-follower relationship between individuals by a delay time to mimic the direction of a motion. A relation between the delay time and a relative position was analyzed quantitatively, which suggested the basic properties of the formation flight that maintains order in the flock. PMID:24339960

  5. Diets of nestling gull-billed terns in coastal Virginia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Erwin, R.M.; Eyler, T.B.; Hatfield, J.S.; McGary, S.

    1998-01-01

    We studied the diets of nestling Gull-billed Terns (Sterna nilotica) at colonies in coastal Virginia during the breeding seasons of 1995 and 1996 as part of a long-term study of the species. No previous quantitative assessments had been made of diets of this species anywhere along the Atlantic Coast, and only a few observations had been reported from other coastal areas in the southern United States. During 80 h of observations over the two seasons, 757 feeding observations were made, primarily at two colony sites. We examined how prey type (fish, marine invertebrates, terrestrial prey) and size were influenced by year, tide cycle, season (early and late) and age of the young (small chicks 7 d). We did not find significant year differences, but all other factors revealed statistically significant results. Older (>7 d) chicks were fed relatively more terrestrial and marine invertebrate prey than were younger chicks. In June (early season), fewer fish and terrestrial prey were fed to chicks than later (July-August). Most prey were less than one bill length in size, with the majority of the smallest prey being marine invertebrates. Tide cycle influenced prey delivered with terrestrial prey becoming relatively more important during high and ebb periods than during low and flood tides when aquatic prey dominated. The major marine invertebrate prey taken was the fiddler crab (Uca spp.). Terrestrial prey consisted mostly of large odonates and orthopterans. Unlike earlier reports from Europe, we found no regurgitated food pellets in any of the colonies in either year. This study confirms that the Gull-billed Tern is an extremely opportunistic feeder and has adapted to a variety of habitats, helping to explain its cosmopolitan distribution.

  6. Diets of nestling Gull-billed Terns in coastal Virginia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Erwin, R.M.; Eyler, T.B.; Hatfield, J.S.; McGary, S.

    1998-01-01

    We studied the diets of nestling Gull-billed Terns (Sterna nilotica) at colonies in coastal Virginia during the breeding seasons of 1995 and 1996 as part of a long-term study of the species. No previous quantitative assessments had been made of diets of this species anywhere along the Atlantic Coast, and only a few observations had been reported from other coastal areas in the southern United States. During 80 h of observations over the two seasons, 757 feeding observations were made, primarily at two colony sites. We examined how prey type (fish, marine invertebrates, terrestrial prey) and size were influenced by year, tide cycle, season (early and late) and age of the young (small chicks 7 d). We did not find significant year differences, but all other factors revealed statistically significant results. Older (>7 d) chicks were fed relatively more terrestrial and marine invertebrate prey than were younger chicks. In June (early season), fewer fish and terrestrial prey were fed to chicks than later (July-August). Most prey were less than one bill length in size, with the majority of the smallest prey being marine invertebrates. Tide cycle influenced prey delivered with terrestrial prey becoming relatively more important during high and ebb periods than during low and flood tides when aquatic prey dominated. The major marine invertebrate prey taken was the fiddler crab (Uca spp.). Terrestrial prey consisted mostly of large odonates and orthopterans. Unlike earlier reports from Europe, we found no regurgitated food pellets in any of the colonies in either year. This study confirms that the Gull-billed Tern is an extremely opportunistic feeder and has adapted to a variety of habitats, helping to explain its cosmopolitan distribution.

  7. Quantifying fall migration of Ross's gulls (Rhodostethia rosea) past Point Barrow, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Uher-Koch, Brian D.; Davis, Shanti E.; Maftei, Mark; Gesmundo, Callie; Suydam, R.S.; Mallory, Mark L.

    2014-01-01

    The Ross's gull (Rhodostethia rosea) is a poorly known seabird of the circumpolar Arctic. The only place in the world where Ross's gulls are known to congregate is in the near-shore waters around Point Barrow, Alaska where they undertake an annual passage in late fall. Ross's gulls seen at Point Barrow are presumed to originate from nesting colonies in Siberia, but neither their origin nor their destination has been confirmed. Current estimates of the global population of Ross's gulls are based largely on expert opinion, and the only reliable population estimate is derived from extrapolations from previous counts conducted at Point Barrow, but these data are now over 25 years old. In order to update and clarify the status of this species in Alaska, our study quantified the timing, number, and flight direction of Ross's gulls passing Point Barrow in 2011. We recorded up to two-thirds of the estimated global population of Ross's gulls (≥ 27,000 individuals) over 39 days with numbers peaking on 16 October when we observed over 7,000 birds during a three-hour period.

  8. The Sound of Danger: Threat Sensitivity to Predator Vocalizations, Alarm Calls, and Novelty in Gulls

    PubMed Central

    MacLean, Sarah A.; Bonter, David N.

    2013-01-01

    The threat sensitivity hypothesis predicts that organisms will evaluate the relative danger of and respond differentially to varying degrees of predation threat. Doing so allows potential prey to balance the costs and benefits of anti-predator behaviors. Threat sensitivity has undergone limited testing in the auditory modality, and the relative threat level of auditory cues from different sources is difficult to infer across populations when variables such as background risk and experience are not properly controlled. We experimentally exposed a single population of two sympatric gull species to auditory stimuli representing a range of potential threats in order to compare the relative threat of heterospecific alarm calls, conspecific alarms calls, predator vocalizations, and novel auditory cues. Gulls were able to discriminate among a diverse set of threat indicators and respond in a graded manner commensurate with the level of threat. Vocalizations of two potential predators, the human voice and bald eagle call, differed in their threat level compared to each other and to alarm calls. Conspecific alarm calls were more threatening than heterospecfic alarm calls to the larger great black-backed gull, but the smaller herring gull weighed both equally. A novel cue elicited a response intermediate between known threats and a known non-threat in herring gulls, but not great black-backed gulls. Our results show that the relative threat level of auditory cues from different sources is highly species-dependent, and that caution should be exercised when comparing graded and threshold threat sensitive responses. PMID:24324780

  9. The sound of danger: threat sensitivity to predator vocalizations, alarm calls, and novelty in gulls.

    PubMed

    MacLean, Sarah A; Bonter, David N

    2013-01-01

    The threat sensitivity hypothesis predicts that organisms will evaluate the relative danger of and respond differentially to varying degrees of predation threat. Doing so allows potential prey to balance the costs and benefits of anti-predator behaviors. Threat sensitivity has undergone limited testing in the auditory modality, and the relative threat level of auditory cues from different sources is difficult to infer across populations when variables such as background risk and experience are not properly controlled. We experimentally exposed a single population of two sympatric gull species to auditory stimuli representing a range of potential threats in order to compare the relative threat of heterospecific alarm calls, conspecific alarms calls, predator vocalizations, and novel auditory cues. Gulls were able to discriminate among a diverse set of threat indicators and respond in a graded manner commensurate with the level of threat. Vocalizations of two potential predators, the human voice and bald eagle call, differed in their threat level compared to each other and to alarm calls. Conspecific alarm calls were more threatening than heterospecfic alarm calls to the larger great black-backed gull, but the smaller herring gull weighed both equally. A novel cue elicited a response intermediate between known threats and a known non-threat in herring gulls, but not great black-backed gulls. Our results show that the relative threat level of auditory cues from different sources is highly species-dependent, and that caution should be exercised when comparing graded and threshold threat sensitive responses. PMID:24324780

  10. Annual Movement Patterns of Endangered Ivory Gulls: The Importance of Sea Ice

    PubMed Central

    Spencer, Nora C.; Gilchrist, H. Grant; Mallory, Mark L.

    2014-01-01

    The ivory gull (Pagophila eburnea) is an endangered seabird that spends its entire year in the Arctic environment. In the past three decades, threats from various sources have contributed to a >70% decline in Canada. To assess the annual habitat needs of this species, we attached satellite transmitters to 12 ivory gulls on Seymour Island, Nunavut in 2010, which provided up to four breeding seasons of tracking data. Analysis of migratory behaviour revealed considerable individual variation of post-breeding migratory route selection. Ivory gulls traveled a median of 74 days during post-breeding migration, but only 18 days during pre-breeding migration. In contrast to predictions, ivory gulls did not use the Greenland coast during migratory periods. Ivory gulls overwintered near the ice edge in Davis Strait, but also used the Labrador Sea in late February and March. We suggest that the timing of formation and recession and extent of sea ice plays a large role in ivory gull distribution and migratory timing. PMID:25551556

  11. Evolution of a reassortant North American gull influenza virus lineage: drift, shift and stability

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The role of gulls in the ecology of avian influenza (AI) is different than that of waterfowl. Different constellations of subtypes circulate within the two groups of birds and AI viruses isolated from North American gulls frequently possess reassortant genomes with genetic elements from both North America and Eurasian lineages. A 2008 isolate from a Newfoundland Great Black-backed Gull contained a mix of North American waterfowl, North American gull and Eurasian lineage genes. Methods We isolated, sequenced and phylogenetically compared avian influenza viruses from 2009 Canadian wild birds. Results We analyzed six 2009 virus isolates from Canada and found the same phylogenetic lineage had persisted over a larger geographic area, with an expanded host range that included dabbling and diving ducks as well as gulls. All of the 2009 virus isolates contained an internal protein coding set of genes of the same Eurasian lineage genes except PB1 that was from a North American lineage, and these genes continued to evolve by genetic drift. We show evidence that the 2008 Great Black-backed Gull virus was derived from this lineage with a reassortment of a North American PA gene into the more stable core set of internal protein coding genes that has circulated in avian populations for at least 2 years. From this core, the surface glycoprotein genes have switched several times creating H13N6, H13N2, and H16N3 subtypes. These gene segments were from North American lineages except for the H16 and N3 vRNAs. Conclusions This process appears similar to genetic shifts seen with swine influenza where a stable “triple reassortant internal gene” core has circulated in swine populations with genetic shifts occurring with hemaggluttinin and neuraminidase proteins getting periodically switched. Thus gulls may serve as genetic mixing vessels for different lineages of avian influenza, similar to the role of swine with regards to human influenza. These findings illustrate the

  12. Evolution of a reassortant North American gull influenza virus lineage: drift, shift and stability

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hall, Jeffrey S.; TeSlaa, Joshua L.; Nashold, Sean W.; Halpin, Rebecca A.; Stockwell, Timothy; Wentworth, David E.; Dugan, Vivien; Ip, Hon S.

    2013-01-01

    Background: The role of gulls in the ecology of avian influenza (AI) is different than that of waterfowl. Different constellations of subtypes circulate within the two groups of birds and AI viruses isolated from North American gulls frequently possess reassortant genomes with genetic elements from both North America and Eurasian lineages. A 2008 isolate from a Newfoundland Great Black-backed Gull contained a mix of North American waterfowl, North American gull and Eurasian lineage genes. Methods: We isolated, sequenced and phylogenetically compared avian influenza viruses from 2009 Canadian wild birds. Results: We analyzed six 2009 virus isolates from Canada and found the same phylogenetic lineage had persisted over a larger geographic area, with an expanded host range that included dabbling and diving ducks as well as gulls. All of the 2009 virus isolates contained an internal protein coding set of genes of the same Eurasian lineage genes except PB1 that was from a North American lineage, and these genes continued to evolve by genetic drift. We show evidence that the 2008 Great Black-backed Gull virus was derived from this lineage with a reassortment of a North American PA gene into the more stable core set of internal protein coding genes that has circulated in avian populations for at least 2 years. From this core, the surface glycoprotein genes have switched several times creating H13N6, H13N2, and H16N3 subtypes. These gene segments were from North American lineages except for the H16 and N3 vRNAs. Conclusions: This process appears similar to genetic shifts seen with swine influenza where a stable "triple reassortant internal gene" core has circulated in swine populations with genetic shifts occurring with hemaggluttinin and neuraminidase proteins getting periodically switched. Thus gulls may serve as genetic mixing vessels for different lineages of avian influenza, similar to the role of swine with regards to human influenza. These findings illustrate the

  13. Functional Metagenomics Reveals Previously Unrecognized Diversity of Antibiotic Resistance Genes in Gulls

    PubMed Central

    Martiny, Adam C.; Martiny, Jennifer B. H.; Weihe, Claudia; Field, Andrew; Ellis, Julie C.

    2011-01-01

    Wildlife may facilitate the spread of antibiotic resistance (AR) between human-dominated habitats and the surrounding environment. Here, we use functional metagenomics to survey the diversity and genomic context of AR genes in gulls. Using this approach, we found a variety of AR genes not previously detected in gulls and wildlife, including class A and C β-lactamases as well as six tetracycline resistance gene types. An analysis of the flanking sequences indicates that most of these genes are present in Enterobacteriaceae and various Gram-positive bacteria. In addition to finding known gene types, we detected 31 previously undescribed AR genes. These undescribed genes include one most similar to an uncharacterized gene in Verrucomicrobium and another to a putative DNA repair protein in Lactobacillus. Overall, the study more than doubled the number of clinically relevant AR gene types known to be carried by gulls or by wildlife in general. Together with the propensity of gulls to visit human-dominated habitats, this high diversity of AR gene types suggests that gulls could facilitate the spread of AR. PMID:22347872

  14. Antibodies to Influenza A Viruses in Gulls at Delaware Bay, USA.

    PubMed

    Guinn, Kayla; Fojtik, Alinde; Davis-Fields, Nick; Poulson, Rebecca L; Krauss, Scott; Webster, Robert G; Stallknecht, David E

    2016-05-01

    Gulls are the known reservoir for H13 and H16 influenza A viruses (IAV) but also host a diversity of other IAV subtypes. Gulls also share habitats with both ducks and shorebirds, increasing the potential for cross-species IAV transmission. We serologically tested laughing gulls (Leucophaeus atricilla) collected at Delaware Bay during May when they were in direct contact with IAV-infected shorebirds; both species feed on horseshoe crab (Limulus polyphemus) eggs on beaches during this month. From 2010 to 2014, antibody prevalence as determined by competitive blocking enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay ranged from 25%-72%. Antibodies to H13 and H16 were detected by hemagglutination inhibition (HI) tests in 12% and 24% of tested gulls, respectively. Results from virus microneutralization (MN) tests for antibodies to H1-H12, H14, and H15 varied among years but the highest prevalence of neutralizing antibodies was detected against H1 (24%), H5 (25%), H6 (35%), H9 (33%), and H11 (42%) IAV. The subtype diversity identified by serology in gulls was dominated by Group 1 HA subtypes and only partially reflected the diversity of IAV subtypes isolated from shorebirds. PMID:27309077

  15. Distribution and potential significance of a gull fecal marker in urban coastal and riverine areas of southern Ontario, Canada

    EPA Science Inventory

    To better understand the distribution of gull fecal contamination in urban areas of southern Ontario, we used a gull-targeted PCR assay against 1309 water samples collected from 15 urban coastal and riverine locations during 2007. Approximately, 58 % of the water samples tested w...

  16. Dynamics of storage of organochlorine pollutants in herring gulls

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anderson, D.W.; Hickey, J.J.

    1976-01-01

    Several organochlorine pollutants were studied over the period of one annual cycle in caged juvenile and wild-collected adult herring gulls (Lagus argentatus) from Lake Michigan. Fish, mostly alewives (Alosa pseudoharengus), comprised the major year-round food items in the wild; alewives were also fed to the caged juveniles. Fish residues averaged around 3 mg/kg of p,p'-DDE, 2 mg/kg p,p'DDT + p,p'-TDE, and 2 mg/kg apparent PCBs. Juvenile body-burdens of DDE and PCBs showed a continual buildup after fledging, then a temporary dynamic equilibrium, related only in part to annual lipid deposition. Maximum body-burdens were reached in both juveniles and adults when winter fat deposits were declining prior to the breeding season?followed by a return to dynamic equilibrium. Residues of DDT and TDE followed closely the annual pattern of lipid deposition in both juveniles and adults. Total body-burdens in both age classes were similar after the buildups to equilibrium in juveniles in their eighth month after fledging. Seasonal variations of residues of DDE and PCBs were characterised by two phases in adults and three in juveniles, which gradually assumed the adult cyclic pattern. The maximum body-burdens attained by caged juveniles fed a diet of Lake Michigan alewives were 290 mg/kg DDE, 19 mg/kg DDT + TDE, and 200 mg/kg apparent PCBs. Residues in wild adults at the same time were 300, 4, and 200 mg/kg of the same residues. Apparent PCBs and DDE were highly accumulative, although DDE levels resulted from dietary DDE, as well as conversion from DDT.

  17. Hemosporidian blood parasites in seabirds—a comparative genetic study of species from Antarctic to tropical habitats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quillfeldt, Petra; Martínez, Javier; Hennicke, Janos; Ludynia, Katrin; Gladbach, Anja; Masello, Juan F.; Riou, Samuel; Merino, Santiago

    2010-09-01

    Whereas some bird species are heavily affected by blood parasites in the wild, others reportedly are not. Seabirds, in particular, are often free from blood parasites, even in the presence of potential vectors. By means of polymerase chain reaction, we amplified a DNA fragment from the cytochrome b gene to detect parasites of the genera Plasmodium, Leucocytozoon, and Haemoproteus in 14 seabird species, ranging from Antarctica to the tropical Indian Ocean. We did not detect parasites in 11 of these species, including one Antarctic, four subantarctic, two temperate, and four tropical species. On the other hand, two subantarctic species, thin-billed prions Pachyptila belcheri and dolphin gulls Larus scoresbii, were found infected. One of 28 thin-billed prions had a Plasmodium infection whose DNA sequence was identical to lineage P22 of Plasmodium relictum, and one of 20 dolphin gulls was infected with a Haemoproteus lineage which appears phylogenetically clustered with parasites species isolated from passeriform birds such as Haemoproteus lanii, Haemoproteus magnus, Haemoproteus fringillae, Haemoproteus sylvae, Haemoproteus payevskyi, and Haemoproteus belopolskyi. In addition, we found a high parasite prevalence in a single tropical species, the Christmas Island frigatebird Fregata andrewsi, where 56% of sampled adults were infected with Haemoproteus. The latter formed a monophyletic group that includes a Haemoproteus line from Eastern Asian black-tailed gulls Larus crassirostris. Our results are in agreement with those showing that (a) seabirds are poor in hemosporidians and (b) latitude could be a determining factor to predict the presence of hemosporidians in birds. However, further studies should explore the relative importance of extrinsic and intrinsic factors on parasite prevalence, in particular using phylogenetically controlled comparative analyses, systematic sampling and screening of vectors, and within-species comparisons.

  18. Hemosporidian blood parasites in seabirds—a comparative genetic study of species from Antarctic to tropical habitats

    PubMed Central

    Martínez, Javier; Hennicke, Janos; Ludynia, Katrin; Gladbach, Anja; Masello, Juan F.; Riou, Samuel; Merino, Santiago

    2010-01-01

    Whereas some bird species are heavily affected by blood parasites in the wild, others reportedly are not. Seabirds, in particular, are often free from blood parasites, even in the presence of potential vectors. By means of polymerase chain reaction, we amplified a DNA fragment from the cytochrome b gene to detect parasites of the genera Plasmodium, Leucocytozoon, and Haemoproteus in 14 seabird species, ranging from Antarctica to the tropical Indian Ocean. We did not detect parasites in 11 of these species, including one Antarctic, four subantarctic, two temperate, and four tropical species. On the other hand, two subantarctic species, thin-billed prions Pachyptila belcheri and dolphin gulls Larus scoresbii, were found infected. One of 28 thin-billed prions had a Plasmodium infection whose DNA sequence was identical to lineage P22 of Plasmodium relictum, and one of 20 dolphin gulls was infected with a Haemoproteus lineage which appears phylogenetically clustered with parasites species isolated from passeriform birds such as Haemoproteus lanii, Haemoproteus magnus, Haemoproteus fringillae, Haemoproteus sylvae, Haemoproteus payevskyi, and Haemoproteus belopolskyi. In addition, we found a high parasite prevalence in a single tropical species, the Christmas Island frigatebird Fregata andrewsi, where 56% of sampled adults were infected with Haemoproteus. The latter formed a monophyletic group that includes a Haemoproteus line from Eastern Asian black-tailed gulls Larus crassirostris. Our results are in agreement with those showing that (a) seabirds are poor in hemosporidians and (b) latitude could be a determining factor to predict the presence of hemosporidians in birds. However, further studies should explore the relative importance of extrinsic and intrinsic factors on parasite prevalence, in particular using phylogenetically controlled comparative analyses, systematic sampling and screening of vectors, and within-species comparisons. PMID:20652673

  19. Comparative susceptibility of waterfowl and gulls to highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 virus

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Wild avian species in the Orders Anseriformes (ducks, geese, swans) and Charadriiformes (gulls, terns, shorebirds) have traditionally been considered the natural reservoirs for avian influenza viruses (AIV) and morbidity or mortality is rarely associated with AIV infection in these hosts. However, ...

  20. No. 2 fuel oil decreases embryonic survival of great black-backed gulls

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Coon, N.C.; Albers, P.H.; Szaro, R.C.

    1979-01-01

    Field study of the effects of No. 2 fuel oil applications to the eggs of great black-backed gulls on an island off the coast of Maine. Fuel oil applied in amounts of either 5 or 20 ul. All eggs opened 8 da later. Measured survival and estimated age of embryo at time of egg oiling.

  1. Aspects of chick growth in Gull-billed Terns in coastal Virginia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Erwin, R.M.; Eyler, T.B.; Stotts, D.B.; Hatfield, J.S.

    1999-01-01

    Because of concerns about apparent population declines and low productivity of Gull-billed Terns (Sterna nilotica) along the coast of Virginia, we investigated whether food limitations may result in retarded growth rates of young. Several colonies of Gull-billed Terns were monitored from May to July each year from 1994 to 1996 on both sandy barrier islands and marsh/shellpile islands in coastal Virginia. Nests were visited one to three times a week to monitor clutch size and hatching success, and enclosures were installed around selected nests to monitor chick growth from hatching to at least two weeks of age. When comparing chick growth, we found significant year, habitat and hatch order effects. Chicks from marsh shellpiles had higher mass and culmen growth rates than did those from barrier islands, and first-hatched (A) chicks had significantly higher culmen growth rates than did second-hatched (B) chicks. Year effects were only found for mass growth rates. Growth rates of Gull- billed Terns in these Virginia colonies seem to be low relative to those of six other North American tern species from other geographic areas. These findings suggest that growth rates of young Gull-billed Terns, as well as other reproductive parameters, need to be examined in detail in other coastal areas such as Texas, where the species is more abundant, to determine whether our growth results are species- or region-specific.

  2. A Communicative Analysis of Chekhovian Drama as Portrayed in "The Sea Gull."

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hellweg, John D.; Hellweg, Susan A.

    The precision and poetic logic of the language used by Anton Chekhov in his plays, particularly "The Sea Gull," can be explored through an analysis of his use of dialogue, characterization, and imagery. Measuring the nature of a relationship, rather than providing a direct literal interchange, the dialogue is both social, when individual…

  3. Distribution patterns predict individual specialization in the diet of dolphin gulls.

    PubMed

    Masello, Juan F; Wikelski, Martin; Voigt, Christian C; Quillfeldt, Petra

    2013-01-01

    Many animals show some degree of individual specialization in foraging strategies and diet. This has profound ecological and evolutionary implications. For example, populations containing diverse individual foraging strategies will respond in different ways to changes in the environment, thus affecting the capacity of the populations to adapt to environmental changes and to diversify. However, patterns of individual specialization have been examined in few species. Likewise it is usually unknown whether specialization is maintained over time, because examining the temporal scale at which specialization occurs can prove difficult in the field. In the present study, we analyzed individual specialization in foraging in Dolphin Gulls Leucophaeus scoresbii, a scavenger endemic to the southernmost coasts of South America. We used GPS position logging and stable isotope analyses (SIA) to investigate individual specialization in feeding strategies and their persistence over time. The analysis of GPS data indicated two major foraging strategies in Dolphin Gulls from New I. (Falkland Is./Islas Malvinas). Tagged individuals repeatedly attended either a site with mussel beds or seabird and seal colonies during 5 to 7 days of tracking. Females foraging at mussel beds were heavier than those foraging at seabird colonies. Nitrogen isotope ratios (δ(15)N) of Dolphin Gull blood cells clustered in two groups, showing that individuals were consistent in their preferred foraging strategies over a period of at least several weeks. The results of the SIA as well as the foraging patterns recorded revealed a high degree of specialization for particular feeding sites and diets by individual Dolphin Gulls. Individual differences in foraging behavior were not related to sex. Specialization in Dolphin Gulls may be favored by the advantages of learning and memorizing optimal feeding locations and behaviors. Specialized individuals may reduce search and handling time and thus, optimize their

  4. Distribution Patterns Predict Individual Specialization in the Diet of Dolphin Gulls

    PubMed Central

    Masello, Juan F.; Wikelski, Martin; Voigt, Christian C.; Quillfeldt, Petra

    2013-01-01

    Many animals show some degree of individual specialization in foraging strategies and diet. This has profound ecological and evolutionary implications. For example, populations containing diverse individual foraging strategies will respond in different ways to changes in the environment, thus affecting the capacity of the populations to adapt to environmental changes and to diversify. However, patterns of individual specialization have been examined in few species. Likewise it is usually unknown whether specialization is maintained over time, because examining the temporal scale at which specialization occurs can prove difficult in the field. In the present study, we analyzed individual specialization in foraging in Dolphin Gulls Leucophaeus scoresbii, a scavenger endemic to the southernmost coasts of South America. We used GPS position logging and stable isotope analyses (SIA) to investigate individual specialization in feeding strategies and their persistence over time. The analysis of GPS data indicated two major foraging strategies in Dolphin Gulls from New I. (Falkland Is./Islas Malvinas). Tagged individuals repeatedly attended either a site with mussel beds or seabird and seal colonies during 5 to 7 days of tracking. Females foraging at mussel beds were heavier than those foraging at seabird colonies. Nitrogen isotope ratios (δ15N) of Dolphin Gull blood cells clustered in two groups, showing that individuals were consistent in their preferred foraging strategies over a period of at least several weeks. The results of the SIA as well as the foraging patterns recorded revealed a high degree of specialization for particular feeding sites and diets by individual Dolphin Gulls. Individual differences in foraging behavior were not related to sex. Specialization in Dolphin Gulls may be favored by the advantages of learning and memorizing optimal feeding locations and behaviors. Specialized individuals may reduce search and handling time and thus, optimize their

  5. Living on the Edge: Demography of the Slender-Billed Gull in the Western Mediterranean

    PubMed Central

    Sanz-Aguilar, Ana; Tavecchia, Giacomo; Afán, Isabel; Ramírez, Francisco; Doxa, Aggeliki; Bertolero, Albert; Gutiérrez-Expósito, Carlos; Forero, Manuela G.; Oro, Daniel

    2014-01-01

    Small and peripheral populations are typically vulnerable to local extinction processes but important for the metapopulation dynamics of species. The Slender-billed gull (Chroicocephalus genei) is a long-lived species breeding in unstable ephemeral coastal habitats. Their Western Mediterranean populations are relatively small and represent the edge of their global geographical distribution. At a local scale, using long-term data (14 years) on annual breeding success and capture-resights of marked individuals, we estimated and compared the vital rates and evaluated the connectivity of two Spanish populations (Ebro Delta and Doñana) varying in their local environmental conditions. At a metapopulation scale, we analyzed 22 years of data on breeding numbers to predict their future prospects by means of population demographic models. Local survival and breeding success of gulls from the Ebro Delta was lower than those from Doñana, which is likely the result of higher permanent emigration and/or winter mortality in the former. Gulls from the Ebro Delta wintered mostly in Mediterranean areas whereas those from Doñana did so in Atlantic coasts, where food availability is higher. Whereas adult local survival was constant, juvenile local survival showed temporal parallel variations between colonies, probably related to natal dispersal to other breeding colonies. Our results suggested that dispersal was higher at the Ebro Delta and gulls emigrating from their natal colonies settled preferentially in close patches. We found large fluctuations in breeding numbers among local populations probably related to the fact that the Slender-billed gull is a species adapted to unstable and unpredictable habitats with high abilities to disperse between suitable patches depending on environmental stochastic conditions during breeding. PMID:24664115

  6. Abundance and characteristics of the recreational water quality indicator bacteria Escherichia coli and enterococci in gull faeces

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fogarty, L.R.; Haack, S.K.; Wolcott, M.J.; Whitman, R.L.

    2003-01-01

    Aims: To evaluate the numbers and selected phenotypic and genotypic characteristics of the faecal indicator bacteria Escherichia coli and enterococci in gull faeces at representative Great Lakes swimming beaches in the United States. Methods and Results: E. coli and enterococci were enumerated in gull faeces by membrane filtration. E. coli genotypes (rep-PCR genomic profiles) and E. coli (Vitek?? GNI+) and enterococci (API?? rapid ID 32 Strep and resistance to streptomycin, gentamicin, vancomycin, tetracycline and ampicillin) phenotypes were determined for isolates obtained from gull faeces both early and late in the swimming season. Identical E. coli genotypes were obtained only from single gull faecal samples but most faecal samples yielded more than one genotype (median of eight genotypes for samples with 10 isolates). E. coli isolates from the same site that clustered at ???85% similarity were from the same sampling date and shared phenotypic characteristics, and at this similarity level there was population overlap between the two geographically isolated beach sites. Enterococcus API?? profiles varied with sampling date. Gull enterococci displayed wide variation in antibiotic resistance patterns, and high-level resistance to some antibiotics. Conclusions: Gull faeces could be a major contributor of E. coli (105-109 CFU g-1) and enterococci (104-108 CFU g-1) to Great Lakes recreational waters. E. coli and enterococci in gull faeces are highly variable with respect to their genotypic and phenotypic characteristics and may exhibit temporal or geographic trends in these features. Significance and Impact of the Study: The high degree of variation in genotypic or phenotypic characteristics of E. coli or enterococci populations within gull hosts will require extensive sampling for adequate characterization, and will influence methods that use these characteristics to determine faecal contamination sources for recreational waters.

  7. Anthropogenic input of heavy metals in two Audouin's gull breeding colonies.

    PubMed

    García-Tarrasón, Manuel; Pacho, Sergio; Jover, Lluís; Sanpera, Carolina

    2013-09-15

    Anthropogenic activities have become an important source of heavy metals to the marine environments. Biological sentinels like seabirds' chicks have been widely used to monitorize the levels of some heavy metals. Due to its mainly marine foraging habits, Audouin's gull fits well for this purpose. Mercury and lead levels were measured in mantle feathers of Audouin's gull chicks from two colonies in NE Iberian Peninsula: the Ebro Delta and the Llobregat Delta. Both are anthropized areas subject to differential pollutant inputs. Lead levels were significantly higher in the Llobregat Delta probably due to the use of leaded fuel in the nearby Barcelona airport. On the other side, mercury concentrations were higher in the Ebro Delta, in relation with the disposal of the toxic sediments at the Flix site carried down by the Ebro River. These mercury levels in the Ebro chicks reached values that have been described as toxic. PMID:23871579

  8. Rapidly increasing methyl mercury in endangered ivory gull (Pagophila eburnea) feathers over a 130 year record

    PubMed Central

    Bond, Alexander L.; Hobson, Keith A.; Branfireun, Brian A.

    2015-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) is increasing in marine food webs, especially at high latitudes. The bioaccumulation and biomagnification of methyl mercury (MeHg) has serious effects on wildlife, and is most evident in apex predators. The MeHg body burden in birds is the balance of ingestion and excretion, and MeHg in feathers is an effective indicator of overall MeHg burden. Ivory gulls (Pagophila eburnea), which consume ice-associated prey and scavenge marine mammal carcasses, have the highest egg Hg concentrations of any Arctic bird, and the species has declined by more than 80% since the 1980s in Canada. We used feathers from museum specimens from the Canadian Arctic and western Greenland to assess whether exposure to MeHg by ivory gulls increased from 1877 to 2007. Based on constant feather stable-isotope (δ13C, δ15N) values, there was no significant change in ivory gulls' diet over this period, but feather MeHg concentrations increased 45× (from 0.09 to 4.11 µg g−1 in adults). This dramatic change in the absence of a dietary shift is clear evidence of the impact of anthropogenic Hg on this high-latitude threatened species. Bioavailable Hg is expected to increase in the Arctic, raising concern for continued population declines in high-latitude species that are far from sources of environmental contaminants. PMID:25788594

  9. Rapidly increasing methyl mercury in endangered ivory gull (Pagophila eburnea) feathers over a 130 year record.

    PubMed

    Bond, Alexander L; Hobson, Keith A; Branfireun, Brian A

    2015-04-22

    Mercury (Hg) is increasing in marine food webs, especially at high latitudes. The bioaccumulation and biomagnification of methyl mercury (MeHg) has serious effects on wildlife, and is most evident in apex predators. The MeHg body burden in birds is the balance of ingestion and excretion, and MeHg in feathers is an effective indicator of overall MeHg burden. Ivory gulls (Pagophila eburnea), which consume ice-associated prey and scavenge marine mammal carcasses, have the highest egg Hg concentrations of any Arctic bird, and the species has declined by more than 80% since the 1980s in Canada. We used feathers from museum specimens from the Canadian Arctic and western Greenland to assess whether exposure to MeHg by ivory gulls increased from 1877 to 2007. Based on constant feather stable-isotope (δ(13)C, δ(15)N) values, there was no significant change in ivory gulls' diet over this period, but feather MeHg concentrations increased 45× (from 0.09 to 4.11 µg g(-1) in adults). This dramatic change in the absence of a dietary shift is clear evidence of the impact of anthropogenic Hg on this high-latitude threatened species. Bioavailable Hg is expected to increase in the Arctic, raising concern for continued population declines in high-latitude species that are far from sources of environmental contaminants. PMID:25788594

  10. Constraints on nest site selection: a comparison of predator and flood avoidance in four species of marsh-nesting birds (genera: Catoptrophorus, Larus, Rallus, and Sterna).

    PubMed

    Storey, A E; Montevecchi, W A; Andrews, H F; Sims, N

    1988-03-01

    Nest site characteristics associated with flood and predator avoidance were compared for four nonpasserine species of marsh-nesting birds: clapper rails, willets, laughing gulls, and common terns. Species with short nests, willets and terns, minimized flood damage by nesting on higher ground than did gulls and rails that build tall nests. Species with dispersed, cryptic nests had taller surrounding grass than did open-nesting colonial species. Total nest height was similar for species with tall nests and for terns whose short nests were elevated by placement on mats of dead Spartina grass. Willets had lower nest heights than the other species, probably because the inverse relation between grass height and ground height in the salt marsh makes it difficult for willets to find sites with high enough ground for flood avoidance while still retaining high enough grass for nest crypticity. Ground height for common terns and grass height for gulls and rails appear to be cues used in nest site selection. Nests of each species in which these characteristics were maximized were more successful in a major tidal flood. Laughing gulls and clapper rails appear to be more specialized salt marsh nesters than the other two species. PMID:3365941

  11. Breeding biology and relation of pollutants to black skimmers and gull-billed terns in South Carolina

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Blus, Lawrence J.; Stafford, Charles J.

    1980-01-01

    The breeding biology and relation of pollutants to black skimmers (Ryn chops niger) and gull-billed terns (Gelochelidon nilotica) were investigated in South Carolina from 1969 through 1975. With few exceptions, the two species nested together in colonies located on barrier islands. We located 10 colonies, 7 of which were on the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge (Cape Romain); references were located that described nesting on seven other islands in South Carolina that no longer support colonies. Gull-billed terns nested from early May through July; the skimmers started later (late May) but also continued later (early September). Both species nested in areas subject to tidal flooding, and the two species persisted in nesting in several colonies despite intense predation by rats and gulls. Estimated reproductive success varied greatly from year to year and colony to colony; success in most colonies seemed low, particularly for the gull-billed tern. Residues of organochlorine pollutants in several eggs seemed of sufficient magnitude to induce adverse effects on reproductivity and eggshell thickness: however, the overall effect of organochlorines appeared negligible. Maximum numbers of nests located in a single year were 790 for the skimmer and 340 for the gull-billed tern: the total breeding population in South Carolina is unknown. Although nesting islands at Cape Romain and Deveaux Bank are sanctuaries for nesting birds, both species will continue to lose nesting habitat as additional sea islands are developed and inhabited by man.

  12. Salmonella enterica resistant to antimicrobials in wastewater effluents and black-headed gulls in the Czech Republic, 2012.

    PubMed

    Masarikova, Martina; Manga, Ivan; Cizek, Alois; Dolejska, Monika; Oravcova, Veronika; Myskova, Petra; Karpiskova, Renata; Literak, Ivan

    2016-01-15

    We investigated the presence and epidemiological relatedness of Salmonella isolates from a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) in Brno, Czech Republic and from nestlings of black-headed gulls (Chroicocephalus ridibundus) at the Nove Mlyny waterworks, situated 35 km downstream from the WWTP. During 2012, we collected 37 wastewater samples and 284 gull cloacal swabs. From wastewater samples, we obtained 89 Salmonella isolates belonging to 19 serotypes. At least one resistant strain was contained in 89% of those samples. Ten different serotypes of Salmonella were detected in 38 young gulls, among which 14 (37%) were resistant to antimicrobials. Wastewater isolates were mostly resistant to sulphonamides and tetracycline, gull isolates to tetracycline and ampicillin. We detected the occurrence of blaTEM-1,tet(A), tet(B), tet(G), sul1, sul2, sul3, floR and strA resistance genes. For the first time, we identified a class 1 integron with the dfrA12-orfF-aadA2 gene cassette in S. Infantis. Using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, we confirmed the presence of identical clusters of S. Agona, S. Enteritidis PT8, S. Infantis and S. Senftenberg in wastewater and black-headed gulls, thus indicating the possibility of resistant Salmonella isolates spreading over long distances in the environment. PMID:26519571

  13. Molecular epidemiology of Salmonella spp. isolates from gulls, fish-meal factories, feed factories, animals and humans in Norway based on pulsed-field gel electrophoresis.

    PubMed Central

    Nesse, L. L.; Refsum, T.; Heir, E.; Nordby, K.; Vardund, T.; Holstad, G.

    2005-01-01

    The molecular epidemiology of 98 isolates of Salmonella serovar Agona (n = 27), S. Montevideo (n = 42) and S. Senftenberg (n = 29) from wild-living gulls, fish-meal factories, feed factories, humans and domestic animals was investigated using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and computerized numerical analysis. Two of the S. Agona profiles were identified both in gulls and in two of the factories. In addition, one of these profiles was detected in two infected poultry farms. Two of the S. Montevideo profiles were also identified both in gulls and in two of the factories, and one of these profiles was observed in a human isolate. Four factories shared an identical S. Senftenberg profile. The S. Senftenberg profile found in gulls was not identified in any other source investigated. The presence of isolates with identical PFGE profiles indicates potential epidemiological links between different factories, as well as between gulls and factories. PMID:15724711

  14. Genetic markers for rapid PCR-based identification of gull, Canada goose, duck, and chicken fecal contamination in water.

    PubMed

    Green, Hyatt C; Dick, Linda K; Gilpin, Brent; Samadpour, Mansour; Field, Katharine G

    2012-01-01

    Avian feces contaminate waterways but contribute fewer human pathogens than human sources. Rapid identification and quantification of avian contamination would therefore be useful to prevent overestimation of human health risk. We used subtractive hybridization of PCR-amplified gull fecal 16S RNA genes to identify avian-specific fecal rRNA gene sequences. The subtracters were rRNA genes amplified from human, dog, cat, cow, and pig feces. Recovered sequences were related to Enterobacteriaceae (47%), Helicobacter (26%), Catellicoccus (11%), Fusobacterium (11%), and Campylobacter (5%). Three PCR assays, designated GFB, GFC, and GFD, were based on recovered sequence fragments. Quantitative PCR assays for GFC and GFD were developed using SYBR green. GFC detected down to 0.1 mg gull feces/100 ml (corresponding to 2 gull enterococci most probable number [MPN]/100 ml). GFD detected down to 0.1 mg chicken feces/100 ml (corresponding to 13 Escherichia coli MPN/100 ml). GFB and GFC were 97% and 94% specific to gulls, respectively. GFC cross-reacted with 35% of sheep samples but occurred at about 100,000 times lower concentrations in sheep. GFD was 100% avian specific and occurred in gulls, geese, chickens, and ducks. In the United States, Canada, and New Zealand, the three markers differed in their geographic distributions but were found across the range tested. These assays detected four important bird groups contributing to fecal contamination of waterways: gulls, geese, ducks, and chickens. Marker distributions across North America and in New Zealand suggest that they will have broad applicability in other parts of the world as well. PMID:22081573

  15. Levels and trends of organochlorines and brominated flame retardants in ivory gull eggs from the Canadian Arctic, 1976 to 2004.

    PubMed

    Braune, Birgit M; Mallory, Mark L; Grant Gilchrist, H; Letcher, Robert J; Drouillard, Ken G

    2007-06-01

    The ivory gull (Pagophila eburnea) is a circumpolar marine bird which has recently been listed as an endangered species in Canada. To determine whether contaminants may be playing a role in the population decline of this species, ivory gull eggs collected in 1976, 1987 and 2004 from Seymour Island in the Canadian Arctic were analyzed for organochlorines, polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), dibenzofurans (PCDFs) and non-ortho PCBs. This study also provides the first account of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), hexabromocyclododecanes (HBCDs) and polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs) in ivory gulls. The most quantitatively abundant legacy organochlorines found in the ivory gull eggs were p,p'-DDE, SigmaPCB and oxychlordane. Concentrations of the organochlorines analyzed either decreased or showed little change between 1976 and 2004. Concentrations of SigmaPCDD in ivory gull eggs were greater than SigmaPCDF, and the non-ortho PCBs (primarily PCB-126) contributed the largest fraction to the total TEQ value in all years sampled. Concentrations of PCDDs, PCDFs and SigmaTEQ decreased from 1976 to 2004. In contrast, concentrations of the PBDEs steadily increased between 1976 and 2004 driven primarily by increases in BDE-47. Although concentrations of the persistent chlorinated compounds (i.e. organochlorine pesticides, PCBs, PCDDs, PCDFs) reported in this study were below published toxicological threshold values for eggs of wild birds, we cannot rule out the possibility of synergistic/additive, sublethal effects. Very few studies have been carried out to evaluate the exposure-effect relationship of the persistent brominated compounds in avian species. Given the scarcity of information on toxicity threshold levels for PBBs and PBDEs in avian species, coupled with the trend toward increasing concentrations in ivory gulls, continued monitoring and further toxicological studies of these compounds are warranted. PMID:17412396

  16. Geographical distribution of organochlorine contaminants and reproductive parameters in Herring Gulls on Lake Superior in 1983.

    PubMed

    Chip Weseloh, D V; Ewins, P J; Struger, J; Mineau, P; Norstrom, R J

    1994-02-01

    As part of the Great Lakes International Surveillance Plan, 1978-83, egg contaminant levels and reproductive output were determined for Herring Gull colonies on Lake Superior in 1983. Since 1974, the Herring Gull has been widely used in the Great Lakes as a spatial and temporal monitor of organochlorine (OC) contaminant levels and associated biological effects. Most eggs contained a wide range of OCs, the main compounds being DDE, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dieldrin, heptachlor epoxide, oxychlordane, hexachlorobenzene and mirex. Levels of an additional ten OCs and five polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxin (PCDD) congeners were also determined for some sites. Overall, levels varied significantly among colonies, but there was no obvious relationship to spatial distribution of contaminants in sediments or fish species. OC levels in eggs had declined by up to 84% since 1974. Eggshells were only 8% thinner than before the introduction of DDT, and shell thinning was not a cause of breeding failure. Average reproductive output varied from 0.15 to 1.57 young per apparently occupied nest in 1983: at 56% of colonies the value was below that thought necessary to maintain stable populations. The main causes of failure were egg disappearence and cannibalism of chicks. Despite this, the population appeared to have been increasing at about 4% per annum. Reduced availability of forage fish during the early 1980s was the most likely reason for the poor reproductive output in 1983. PMID:24221346

  17. Comparison of Extended-Spectrum β-Lactamase (ESBL) CTX-M Genotypes in Franklin Gulls from Canada and Chile

    PubMed Central

    Waldenström, Jonas; Svensson, Lovisa; Drobni, Mirva; Olsen, Björn

    2015-01-01

    Migratory birds have been suggested to contribute to long-distance dispersal of antimicrobial resistant bacteria, but tests of this hypothesis are lacking. In this study we determined resistance profiles and genotypes of ESBL-producing bacteria in randomly selected Escherichia coli from Franklin´s gulls (Leucophaeus pipixcan) at breeding sites in Canada and compared with similar data from the gulls' wintering grounds in Chile. Resistant E. coli phenotypes were common, most notably to ampicillin (30.1%) and cefadroxil (15.1%). Furthermore, 17.0% of the gulls in Canada carried ESBL producing bacteria, which is higher than reported from human datasets from the same country. However, compared to gulls sampled in Chile (30.1%) the prevalence of ESBL was much lower. The dominant ESBL variants in Canada were blaCTX-M-14 and blaCTX-M-15 and differed in proportions to the data from Chile. We hypothesize that the observed differences in ESBL variants are more likely linked to recent exposure to bacteria from anthropogenic sources, suggesting high local dissemination of resistant bacteria both at breeding and non-breeding times rather than a significant trans-hemispheric exchange through migrating birds. PMID:26496629

  18. Organochlorine-associated immunosuppression in prefledgling Caspian terns and herring gulls from the Great Lakes: an ecoepidemiological study.

    PubMed Central

    Grasman, K A; Fox, G A; Scanlon, P F; Ludwig, J P

    1996-01-01

    The objectives of study were to determine whether contaminant-associated immunosuppression occurs in prefledgling herring gulls and Caspian terns from the Great Lakes and to evaluate immunological biomarkers for monitoring health effects in wild birds. During 1992 to 1994, immunological responses and related variables were measured in prefledgling chicks at colonies distributed across a broad gradient of organochlorine contamination (primarily polychlorinated biphenyls), which was measured in eggs. The phytohemagglutinin skin test was used to assess T-lymphocyte function. In both species, there was a strong exposure-response relationship between organochlorines and suppressed T-cell-mediated immunity. Suppression was most severe (30-45%) in colonies in Lake Ontario (1992) and Saginaw Bay (1992-1994) for both species and in western Lake Erie (1992) for herring gulls. Both species exhibited biologically significant differences among sites in anti-sheep red blood cells antibody titers, but consistent exposure-response relationships with organochlorines were not observed. In Caspian terns and, to a lesser degree, in herring gulls, there was an exposure-response relationship between organochlorines and reduced plasma retinol (vitamin A). In 1992, altered White blood cell numbers were associated with elevated organochlorine concentrations in Caspian terns but not herring gulls. The immunological and hematological biomarkers used in this study revealed contaminant-associated health effects in wild birds. An epidemiological analysis strongly supported the hypothesis that suppression of T-cell-mediated immunity was associated with high perinatal exposure to persistent organochlorine contaminants. PMID:8880006

  19. Molecular characterization and phylogenetics of a reassortant H13N8 influenza virus isolated from gulls in Mongolia

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A double reassortant H13N8 influenza A virus was isolated from gulls in Mongolia. The basic virological characteristics were studied. Complete genome sequence analysis indicated the complicated evolutionary history. The PA gene belongs to classical Avian-like lineage and more likely originated fro...

  20. High Prevalence of SXT/R391-Related Integrative and Conjugative Elements Carrying blaCMY-2 in Proteus mirabilis Isolates from Gulls in the South of France.

    PubMed

    Aberkane, Salim; Compain, Fabrice; Decré, Dominique; Dupont, Chloé; Laurens, Chrislène; Vittecoq, Marion; Pantel, Alix; Solassol, Jérôme; Carrière, Christian; Renaud, François; Brieu, Nathalie; Lavigne, Jean-Philippe; Bouzinbi, Nicolas; Ouédraogo, Abdoul-Salam; Jean-Pierre, Hélène; Godreuil, Sylvain

    2016-02-01

    The genetic structures involved in the dissemination of blaCMY-2 carried by Proteus mirabilis isolates recovered from different gull species in the South of France were characterized and compared to clinical isolates. blaCMY-2 was identified in P. mirabilis isolates from 27/93 yellow-legged gulls and from 37/65 slender-billed gulls. It was carried by a conjugative SXT/R391-like integrative and conjugative element (ICE) in all avian strains and in 3/7 human strains. Two clinical isolates had the same genetic background as six avian isolates. PMID:26643344

  1. Novel flame retardants in urban-feeding ring-billed gulls from the St. Lawrence River, Canada.

    PubMed

    Gentes, Marie-Line; Letcher, Robert J; Caron-Beaudoin, Elyse; Verreault, Jonathan

    2012-09-01

    This study investigated the occurrence of a comprehensive suite of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and current-use flame retardants (FRs) in ring-billed gulls breeding in a highly industrialized section of the St. Lawrence River, downstream from Montreal (QC, Canada). Despite major point-sources and diffuse contamination by FRs, nearly no FR data have been reported in birds from this area. Bis(2-ethylhexyl)-2,3,4,5-tetrabromophthalate (BEHTBP) was detected in 89% of ring-billed gull livers (mean: 2.16 ng/g ww; max: 17.6 ng/g ww). To our knowledge, this is the highest detection frequency and highest concentrations reported thus far in any avian species or populations. Dechlorane Plus (DP) isomers were also particularly abundant (anti-DP detected in 100% and syn-DP in 93% of livers). Other detected FR compounds (3-14% detection) included 2-ethylhexyl-2,3,4,5-tetrabromobenzoate (EHTBB), hexachlorocyclopentenyl-dibromocyclooctane (HCDBCO) and β-1,2-dibromo-4-(1.2-dibromoethyl)-cyclohexane (β-TBECH). Mean BDE-209 (57.2 ± 12.2 ng/g ww) in ring-billed gull livers was unexpectedly high for this midtrophic gull species, exceeding levels reported in several apex raptors such as peregrine falcons. BDE-209's relative contribution to ∑PBDEs was on average 25% (exceeding BDE-47 and BDE-99) and contrasted with profiles typically reported for fish-eating gull species. The present study highlighted preoccupying gaps in upcoming FR regulations and stressed the need for further investigation of the sources of FR exposure in highly urbanized areas. PMID:22845168

  2. High prevalence of Salmonella and IMP-4-producing Enterobacteriaceae in the silver gull on Five Islands, Australia

    PubMed Central

    Dolejska, Monika; Masarikova, Martina; Dobiasova, Hana; Jamborova, Ivana; Karpiskova, Renata; Havlicek, Martin; Carlile, Nicholas; Priddel, David; Cizek, Alois; Literak, Ivan

    2016-01-01

    Objectives The objective of this study was to investigate the silver gull as an indicator of environmental contamination by salmonellae and carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE) in south-east Australia. Methods A total of 504 cloacal samples were collected from gull chicks at three nesting colonies in New South Wales, Australia [White Bay (n = 144), Five Islands (n = 200) and Montague Island (n = 160)] and were examined for salmonellae and CPE. Isolates were tested for carbapenemase genes and susceptibility to 14 antibiotics. Clonality was determined by PFGE and MLST. Genetic context and conjugative transfer of the carbapenemase gene were determined. Results A total of 120 CPE of 10 species, mainly Escherichia coli (n = 85), carrying the gene blaIMP-4, blaIMP-38 or blaIMP-26 were obtained from 80 (40%) gulls from Five Islands. Thirty percent of birds from this colony were colonized by salmonellae. Most isolates contained the gene within a class 1 integron showing a blaIMP-4-qacG-aacA4-catB3 array. The blaIMP gene was carried by conjugative plasmids of variable sizes (80–400 kb) and diverse replicons, including HI2-N (n = 30), HI2 (11), A/C (17), A/C-Y (2), L/M (5), I1 (1) and non-typeable (6). Despite the overall high genetic variability, common clones and plasmid types were shared by different birds and bacterial isolates, respectively. Conclusions Our data demonstrate a large-scale transmission of carbapenemase-producing bacteria into wildlife, likely as a result of the feeding habits of the birds at a local waste depot. The isolates from gulls showed significant similarities with clinical isolates from Australia, suggesting the human origin of the isolates. The sources of CPE for gulls on Five Islands should be explored and proper measures applied to stop the transmission into the environment. PMID:26472769

  3. Water balance dynamics of a boreal forest watershed: White Gull Creek basin, 1994-1996

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nijssen, Bart; Lettenmaier, Dennis P.

    2002-11-01

    Field measurements from the Boreal Ecosystem-Atmosphere Study (BOREAS) were combined to calculate the water balance of the White Gull Creek basin for the three year period 1994-1996. Evapotranspiration was mapped from the observations made at the BOREAS flux towers to the basin using a simple evaporation model with a bulk canopy resistance based on tower observations. Runoff ratios were low, and evapotranspiration accounted for most of the precipitation over the area. The accumulated storage change, over the 3 year period, was 47 mm or 3.4% of the total precipitation, but precipitation exceeded the sum of discharge and evapotranspiration by 80 mm or 15% of the precipitation in 1994. Five possible explanations for the discrepancy in the water balance are identified, with the most likely cause an underestimation of the evapotranspiration in 1994, especially during periods when the basin is wet.

  4. Landscape changes and colony site dynamics: How gull-billed terns cope at the sea's edge

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Erwin, R.M.; Williams, B.; Watts, B.; Truitt, B.; Stotts, D.; Eyler, B.

    1996-01-01

    Gull-billed Terns have declined dramatically in coastal Virginia over the past 20 years, with apparently low reproductive success. They nest, usually in mixed-species colonies, in two discrete habitat types: large, sandy barrier islands or shell/sandbars on the edges of marsh islands in the lagoon systems. The smaller shell/sandbars seem to provide more consistent nestling habitat and predation pressures than do barrier islands among years. We hypothesize that colony site turnover (between years) should be higher in the more uncertain barrier island habitats than among the shell/sandbar colonies. Our results do not corroborate the prediction. We postulate that social (and other) factors may explain these differences.

  5. Effects of laughing gull and shorebird predation on the intertidal fauna at Cape May, New Jersey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Botton, M. L.

    1984-02-01

    The intertidal flats of the Cape May, New Jersey shore of Delaware Bay are populated by large numbers of laughing gulls and migrating shorebirds during the spring and early summer. Exclusion of birds from a shallow slough and a sand bar had only minor effects on the infaunal benthic invertebrate assemblage at either site. The Cape May beaches provide a rich source of food in the form of horseshoe crab ( Limulus polyphemus) eggs; foraging on this item may be more profitable than probing the sediment for infauna. Gemma gemma, a small, thick-shelled bivalve, composed over 98% of the benthic infauna at both sites in 1980, and this species may be resistant to predation by certain shorebirds, as suggested by Schneider (1978).

  6. Aspects of hatching success and chick survival in Gull-billed Terns in coastal Virginia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eyler, T.B.; Erwin, R.M.; Stotts, D.B.; Hatfield, J.S.

    1999-01-01

    Because of a long-term population decline in Gull-billed Terns (Sterna nilotica) nesting along the coast of Virginia, we began a three year study in 1994 to monitor hatching success and survival of Gull-billed Tern chicks at several Virginia colony sites. Colonies were located on either small, storm-deposited shellpiles along marsh fringes or large, sandshell overwash fans of barrier islands. Nests were monitored one to three times a week for hatching success, and enclosures were installed around selected nests to monitor chick survival from hatching to about two weeks of age. Hatching success was lower in marsh colonies than island colonies, and was lower in 1995 than in 1994 and 1996, primarily because of flooding. The average brood size of nests where at least one chick hatched was 1.99 chicks. Survival rates of chicks to 14 days depended on hatch order and year but not brood size (one vs. two or more) or time of season. A-chicks had higher survival rates than B-chicks and third-hatched C-chicks (0.661 compared to 0.442 and 0.357, respectively). The year effect was significant only for A-chicks, with lower survival in 1994 (0.50) than in 1995 (0.765) or 1996 (0.758). Overall, productivity was low (0.53 chick per nest) compared to estimates for colonies in Denmark, and was attributable to nest flooding by spring and storm-driven high tides and chick predation, presumably mostly by Great Horned Owls (Bubo virginianus).

  7. Susceptibility of avian hosts to experimental Gymnophalloides seoi infection.

    PubMed

    Ryang, Y S; Yoo, J C; Lee, S H; Chai, J Y

    2001-04-01

    To determine whether avian species are susceptible to infection with Gymnophalloides seoi (a human-infecting intestinal trematode), we exposed 7 species of birds with metacercariae obtained from oysters. The birds were necropsied at days 2, 4, and 6 postinfection (PI). The highest worm recovery at day 6 PI was obtained from the Kentish plover (Charadrius alexandrinus; mean = 56.0%), followed by the Mongolian plover (C. mongolus; 49.3%), and the grey plover (Pluvialis squatarola; 32.3%). In contrast, no mature worms were recovered from the great knot (Calidris tenuirostris), dunlin (C. alpina), black-tailed gull (Larus crassirostris), and mallard (Anas platyrhynchos). Among the plovers, the worms attained the greatest size at day 6 PI (254.1 x 190.4 microm) in the Kentish plover, with a significantly higher number of eggs in the uterus. The 3 species of plovers are highly susceptible to experimental G. seoi infection, suggesting that they could play a role as definitive hosts for these worms in nature. PMID:11318587

  8. At–Sea Behavior Varies with Lunar Phase in a Nocturnal Pelagic Seabird, the Swallow-Tailed Gull

    PubMed Central

    Cruz, Sebastian M.; Hooten, Mevin; Huyvaert, Kathryn P.; Proaño, Carolina B.; Anderson, David J.; Afanasyev, Vsevolod; Wikelski, Martin

    2013-01-01

    Strong and predictable environmental variability can reward flexible behaviors among animals. We used long-term records of activity data that cover several lunar cycles to investigate whether behavior at-sea of swallow-tailed gulls Creagrus furcatus, a nocturnal pelagic seabird, varied with lunar phase in the Galápagos Islands. A Bayesian hierarchical model showed that nighttime at-sea activity of 37 breeding swallow-tailed gulls was clearly associated with changes in moon phase. Proportion of nighttime spent on water was highest during darker periods of the lunar cycle, coinciding with the cycle of the diel vertical migration (DVM) that brings prey to the sea surface at night. Our data show that at-sea behavior of a tropical seabird can vary with environmental changes, including lunar phase. PMID:23468889

  9. At-sea behavior varies with lunar phase in a nocturnal pelagic seabird, the swallow-tailed gull

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cruz, Sebastian M.; Hooten, Mevin; Huyvaert, Kathryn P.; Proaño, Carolina B.; Anderson, David J.; Afanasyev, Vsevolod; Wikelski, Martin

    2013-01-01

    Strong and predictable environmental variability can reward flexible behaviors among animals. We used long-term records of activity data that cover several lunar cycles to investigate whether behavior at-sea of swallow-tailed gulls Creagrus furcatus, a nocturnal pelagic seabird, varied with lunar phase in the Galápagos Islands. A Bayesian hierarchical model showed that nighttime at-sea activity of 37 breeding swallow-tailed gulls was clearly associated with changes in moon phase. Proportion of nighttime spent on water was highest during darker periods of the lunar cycle, coinciding with the cycle of the diel vertical migration (DVM) that brings prey to the sea surface at night. Our data show that at-sea behavior of a tropical seabird can vary with environmental changes, including lunar phase.

  10. Multi-laboratory evaluations of the performance of Catellicoccus marimammalium PCR assays developed to target gull fecal sources

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sinigalliano, Christopher D.; Ervin, Jared S.; Van De Werfhorst, Laurie C.; Badgley, Brian D.; Ballestée, Elisenda; Bartkowiaka, Jakob; Boehm, Alexandria B.; Byappanahalli, Muruleedhara N.; Goodwin, Kelly D.; Gourmelon, Michèle; Griffith, John; Holden, Patricia A.; Jay, Jenny; Layton, Blythe; Lee, Cheonghoon; Lee, Jiyoung; Meijer, Wim G.; Noble, Rachel; Raith, Meredith; Ryu, Hodon; Sadowsky, Michael J.; Schriewer, Alexander; Wang, Dan; Wanless, David; Whitman, Richard; Wuertz, Stefan; Santo Domingo, Jorge W.

    2013-01-01

    Here we report results from a multi-laboratory (n = 11) evaluation of four different PCR methods targeting the 16S rRNA gene of Catellicoccus marimammalium originally developed to detect gull fecal contamination in coastal environments. The methods included a conventional end-point PCR method, a SYBR® Green qPCR method, and two TaqMan® qPCR methods. Different techniques for data normalization and analysis were tested. Data analysis methods had a pronounced impact on assay sensitivity and specificity calculations. Across-laboratory standardization of metrics including the lower limit of quantification (LLOQ), target detected but not quantifiable (DNQ), and target not detected (ND) significantly improved results compared to results submitted by individual laboratories prior to definition standardization. The unit of measure used for data normalization also had a pronounced effect on measured assay performance. Data normalization to DNA mass improved quantitative method performance as compared to enterococcus normalization. The MST methods tested here were originally designed for gulls but were found in this study to also detect feces from other birds, particularly feces composited from pigeons. Sequencing efforts showed that some pigeon feces from California contained sequences similar to C. marimammalium found in gull feces. These data suggest that the prevalence, geographic scope, and ecology of C. marimammalium in host birds other than gulls require further investigation. This study represents an important first step in the multi-laboratory assessment of these methods and highlights the need to broaden and standardize additional evaluations, including environmentally relevant target concentrations in ambient waters from diverse geographic regions.

  11. Multi-laboratory evaluations of the performance of Catellicoccus marimammalium PCR assays developed to target gull fecal sources.

    PubMed

    Sinigalliano, Christopher D; Ervin, Jared S; Van De Werfhorst, Laurie C; Badgley, Brian D; Ballesté, Elisenda; Bartkowiak, Jakob; Boehm, Alexandria B; Byappanahalli, Muruleedhara; Goodwin, Kelly D; Gourmelon, Michèle; Griffith, John; Holden, Patricia A; Jay, Jenny; Layton, Blythe; Lee, Cheonghoon; Lee, Jiyoung; Meijer, Wim G; Noble, Rachel; Raith, Meredith; Ryu, Hodon; Sadowsky, Michael J; Schriewer, Alexander; Wang, Dan; Wanless, David; Whitman, Richard; Wuertz, Stefan; Santo Domingo, Jorge W

    2013-11-15

    Here we report results from a multi-laboratory (n = 11) evaluation of four different PCR methods targeting the 16S rRNA gene of Catellicoccus marimammalium originally developed to detect gull fecal contamination in coastal environments. The methods included a conventional end-point PCR method, a SYBR(®) Green qPCR method, and two TaqMan(®) qPCR methods. Different techniques for data normalization and analysis were tested. Data analysis methods had a pronounced impact on assay sensitivity and specificity calculations. Across-laboratory standardization of metrics including the lower limit of quantification (LLOQ), target detected but not quantifiable (DNQ), and target not detected (ND) significantly improved results compared to results submitted by individual laboratories prior to definition standardization. The unit of measure used for data normalization also had a pronounced effect on measured assay performance. Data normalization to DNA mass improved quantitative method performance as compared to enterococcus normalization. The MST methods tested here were originally designed for gulls but were found in this study to also detect feces from other birds, particularly feces composited from pigeons. Sequencing efforts showed that some pigeon feces from California contained sequences similar to C. marimammalium found in gull feces. These data suggest that the prevalence, geographic scope, and ecology of C. marimammalium in host birds other than gulls require further investigation. This study represents an important first step in the multi-laboratory assessment of these methods and highlights the need to broaden and standardize additional evaluations, including environmentally relevant target concentrations in ambient waters from diverse geographic regions. PMID:23916157

  12. Fine-scale flight strategies of gulls in urban airflows indicate risk and reward in city living.

    PubMed

    Shepard, Emily L C; Williamson, Cara; Windsor, Shane P

    2016-09-26

    Birds modulate their flight paths in relation to regional and global airflows in order to reduce their travel costs. Birds should also respond to fine-scale airflows, although the incidence and value of this remains largely unknown. We resolved the three-dimensional trajectories of gulls flying along a built-up coastline, and used computational fluid dynamic models to examine how gulls reacted to airflows around buildings. Birds systematically altered their flight trajectories with wind conditions to exploit updraughts over features as small as a row of low-rise buildings. This provides the first evidence that human activities can change patterns of space-use in flying birds by altering the profitability of the airscape. At finer scales still, gulls varied their position to select a narrow range of updraught values, rather than exploiting the strongest updraughts available, and their precise positions were consistent with a strategy to increase their velocity control in gusty conditions. Ultimately, strategies such as these could help unmanned aerial vehicles negotiate complex airflows. Overall, airflows around fine-scale features have profound implications for flight control and energy use, and consideration of this could lead to a paradigm-shift in the way ecologists view the urban environment.This article is part of the themed issue 'Moving in a moving medium: new perspectives on flight'. PMID:27528784

  13. The distribution and conservation status of the Gull-billed Tern (Gelochelidon nilotica) in North America

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Molina, K.C.; Erwin, R.M.

    2006-01-01

    The Gull-billed Tern (Gelochelidon nilotica) has until recently received little conservation and management attention within North America despite a relatively low overall population size and significant declines in parts of the breeding range. This lack of attention may stem in part from the wide distribution of the species, encompassing parts of six continents, and from its tendency to nest in relatively small, scattered and often ephemeral colonies. Populations of North American subspecies are alarmingly small. The current population of the eastern subspecies aranea in the U.S. is unlikely to exceed 3,600 pairs, with over 60% of these birds occurring in Texas. The Texas population has remained generally stable, but declines of populations in Maryland (where probably extirpated), Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, and possibly Georgia give cause for concern for this subspecies. For the western subspecies vanrossemi, as few as 250 pairs nest at only two locations in the U.S., both in California. When populations in western Mexico are considered, the entire vanrossemi population numbers only 600-800 pairs. Currently the Gull-billed Tern is listed as ?endangered? or ?threatened? in four states, and is considered to be of management concern in five others. The breeding range of the species has contracted and shifted slightly from its known historic range in the middle Atlantic states, but otherwise occupies its historic range in the United States and has expanded slightly to coastal southern California. Some range contraction in Mexico (e.g., in Sonora) may have occurred. In eastern Mexico, historical information is almost non-existent and knowledge of current distribution and abundance is incomplete. Main threats to populations in North America include loss of natural nesting islands through beach erosion or perturbations to estuarine functions, development or modification of upland habitats near breeding areas that may be important for foraging, and disturbances to

  14. Retrospective analysis of organophosphate flame retardants in herring gull eggs and relation to the aquatic food web in the Laurentian Great Lakes of North America.

    PubMed

    Greaves, Alana K; Letcher, Robert J; Chen, Da; McGoldrick, Daryl J; Gauthier, Lewis T; Backus, Sean M

    2016-10-01

    With the phase-out and regulation of some flame retardant chemicals, the production and usage of organophosphate triester flame retardants (OPFRs) has increased in recent years. In the present study, 14 OPFRs (either chlorinated, brominated or non-halogenated) were analyzed in egg pools of 10-13 individual herring gull eggs from five colonial nesting sites for 11 years spanning 1990-2010, (for a total of n=55 egg pools) in the Laurentian Great Lakes of North America (Chantry Island, Fighting Island, Agawa Rocks, Toronto Harbour and Gull Island). OPFR profiles varied slightly between colony sites and collection years. For all five sites tris(2-chloroisopropyl) phosphate (TCIPP), tris(2-chloroethyl) phosphate (TCEP) and tris(2-butoxyethyl) phosphate (TBOEP) were detected, while triphenyl phosphate (TPHP) was only quantifiable in eggs from Chantry Island and Gull Island collected in 2008 and 2010. For the 2010 egg pools, the ΣOPFR concentrations were generally low and ranged from 2.02 to 6.69 ng/g wet weight (ww). ΣOPFR concentrations in 2010 were significantly higher (p<0.05) than they were between 1990 and 2004 (4.06 vs. 1.55 ng/g ww, respectively). In a pilot examination of Great Lakes aquatic food webs, 2010-collected alewife and rainbow smelt (major herring gull fish prey) and lake trout from western Lake Erie and Ontario, only contained TBOEP at low to sub ng/g ww concentrations. These results demonstrate that low to sub-ppb concentrations of at least three OPFRs, TCIPP, TCEP and TBOEP, have been persistent in herring gull eggs from the Great Lakes for at least the past 20 years, probably bioaccumulate mainly via the fish diet, and are transferred to the eggs of exposed herring gulls. PMID:27322497

  15. Population recovery and natural recruitment of lake trout at Gull Island Shoal, Lake Superior, 1964-1992

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schram, Stephen T.; Selgeby, James H.; Bronte, Charles R.; Swanson, Bruce L.

    1995-01-01

    We documented an increase in the abundance of wild lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) at Gull Island Shoal in western Lake Superior and examined the relationship between parental-stock size and recruitment of age-0 fish in 1964–1992. Abundance of adult wild female lake trout and densities of age-0 fish both increased during the 28-year period. A significant positive, linear relationship (P = 0.0002) was found between the abundance of wild females on the spawning reef in the fall and density of age-0 lake trout on adjacent nursery grounds in August and September of the following year. The abundance of hatchery-origin females did not explain significant amounts (P = 0.107) of variation in recruitment. We concluded that most recruitment in 1965–1992 was the result of natural reproduction of wild females. After 28 years of recovery the Gull Island Shoal lake trout population appears to have additional capacity to increase because the stock-recruitment relationship is still linear. Therefore, restoration periods on the order of 30 years may be needed for other lake trout populations in the Great Lakes. We recommend that the refuge established to protect this population be maintained to allow further study of the relationship between parental stock and recruitment, and to provide a major source of recruitment to the lake trout population in the surrounding waters

  16. Hatching, dispersal, and bathymetric distribution of age-0 wild lake trout at the Gull Island Shoal complex, Lake Superior

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bronte, Charles R.; Selgeby, James H.; Saylor, James H.; Miller, Gerald S.; Foster, Neal R.

    1995-01-01

    We studied age-0 lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) associated with spawning and nursery areas of the Gull Island Shoal complex in western Lake Superior. Post-emergent age-0 lake trout were captured on rocky spawning substrate with a 3-m beam trawl and at the nursery area with a bottom trawl from June to September 1990 and June to August 1991. Catch data suggested that age-0 lake trout move distances of 7–11 km to the nursery area over a 3-month period. Water currents, measured at Gull Island Shoal, may be a part of the transport mechanism. Examination of daily-growth increments on the sagittae and back-calculation from the date of capture revealed that most fish hatched between 6 June and 19 July in 1990 and between 30 April and 30 May in 1991. The duration of the hatch was 100 days in 1990 and 120 days in 1991, and the estimated incubation period is about 7 months for lake trout eggs at this site. Similar hatch-date distributions of age-0 captured on different sampling dates suggested that natural mortality was low.

  17. Genetic structure, diversity and subspecies status of Gull-billed Terns (Gelochelidon nilotica) from the United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Miller, Mark P.; Mullins, Thomas D.; Haig, Susan M.

    2013-01-01

    Gull-billed Terns (Gelochelidon nilotica) are among the most widespread, yet scarce, Charadriiformes in the world. Two subspecies are recognized in the United States: G. n. aranea breeds along the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf coasts and G. n. vanrossemi breeds in the Salton Sea and San Diego Bay of California. Conservation concerns exist for the species due to its low abundance in the United States and apparent declines in some parts of its North American range. We used nuclear microsatellite markers and mitochondrial DNA sequences to assess genetic diversity and differentiation patterns among Gull-billed Tern populations from Virginia, Texas, and California. We also tested for evidence of population bottlenecks, and evaluated the support our data provide for the North American subspecies. Genetic diversity was highest in Texas and underscored the importance of habitat in that large population. Significant population differentiation existed, but could not be consistently identified using various analytical approaches and suggested that the magnitude of differentiation was low. No evidence for bottlenecks was identified. Our data could not distinguish individuals from different subspecies and therefore do not support the current intraspecific taxonomy. Tenable explanations for many findings are related to the low site tenacity demonstrated by the species.

  18. Use of a nesting platform by Gull-billed Terns and Black Skimmers at the Salton Sea, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Molina, K.C.; Ricca, M.A.; Miles, A.K.; Schoneman, C.

    2009-01-01

    In 2006, we constructed an elevated nesting platform at the Salton Sea, California, and monitored its use by Gull-billed Terns and Black Skimmers over three subsequent breeding seasons. Black Skimmers were the first to colonize the platform with a total of five nests in 2006. In 2007 Gull-billed Terns colonized the platform with a total of 28 nests and the number of Black Skimmer nests increased to 20. Neither species nested on the platform in 2008. Low success for both species was probably influenced by at least two factors. First, when both species nested on the platform, nest densities were higher than is typical of their colonies on larger, earthen islands, and colony success may have been reduced by overcrowding. Second, lack of access to water may have reduced chicks' ability to thermoregulate effectively in the hot environment of the Salton Sea. Refinements to the size, design, and location of artificial nesting habitats are necessary to enhance productivity of colonial groundnesting birds at the Salton Sea successfully.

  19. Long-Term Effect of Serial Infections with H13 and H16 Low-Pathogenic Avian Influenza Viruses in Black-Headed Gulls

    PubMed Central

    Verhagen, Josanne H.; van Amerongen, Geert; van de Bildt, Marco; Majoor, Frank; Fouchier, Ron A. M.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Infections of domestic and wild birds with low-pathogenic avian influenza viruses (LPAIVs) have been associated with protective immunity to subsequent infection. However, the degree and duration of immunity in wild birds from previous LPAIV infection, by the same or a different subtype, are poorly understood. Therefore, we inoculated H13N2 (A/black-headed gull/Netherlands/7/2009) and H16N3 (A/black-headed gull/Netherlands/26/2009) LPAIVs into black-headed gulls (Chroicocephalus ridibundus), their natural host species, and measured the long-term immune response and protection against one or two reinfections over a period of >1 year. This is the typical interval between LPAIV epizootics in wild birds. Reinfection with the same virus resulted in progressively less virus excretion, with complete abrogation of virus excretion after two infections for H13 but not H16. However, reinfection with the other virus affected neither the level nor duration of virus excretion. Virus excretion by immunologically naive birds did not differ in total levels of excreted H13 or H16 virus between first- and second-year birds, but the duration of H13 excretion was shorter for second-year birds. Furthermore, serum antibody levels did not correlate with protection against LPAIV infection. LPAIV-infected gulls showed no clinical signs of disease. These results imply that the epidemiological cycles of H13 and H16 in black-headed gulls are relatively independent from each other and depend mainly on infection of first-year birds. IMPORTANCE Low-pathogenic avian influenza viruses (LPAIVs) circulate mainly in wild water birds but are occasionally transmitted to other species, including humans, where they cause subclinical to fatal disease. To date, the effect of LPAIV-specific immunity on the epidemiology of LPAIV in wild birds is poorly understood. In this study, we investigated the effect of H13 and H16 LPAIV infection in black-headed gulls on susceptibility and virus excretion of

  20. Modeling colony site dynamics: a case study of gull-billed terns (Sterna nilotica) in coastal Virginia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Erwin, R.M.; Nichols, J.D.; Eyler, T.B.; Stotts, D.B.; Truitt, B.R.

    1998-01-01

    We developed a Markov process model for colony site dynamics of Gull-billed Terns (Sterna nilotica) in coastal Virginia. We used the model and data on colony site occupation from 1993 to 1996 to estimate model parameters. Each year, we monitored the breeding numbers of Gull-billed Terns and their frequent colony associates, Common Terns (Sterna hirundo) and Black Skimmers (Rynchops niger) at colony sites along about 80 km of the barrier island region of Virginia. We also monitored flooding events and renesting. We developed the model for colony survival, extinction, and recolonization at potential colony sites over the four-year period. We then used data on annual site occupation by Gull-billed Terns to estimate model parameters and test between different structures reflecting competing hypotheses. Results revealed a dynamic system, but provided no evidence that the dynamics were Markovian , i.e. the probability of occupancy of a site in one year was not influenced by whether it had been occupied the previous year. Nor did the colony-level reproductive success the previous season seem to affect the probability of site occupancy. Site survival and recolonization rates were similar, and the overall annual probability of a site being occupied over the course of the four-year period was estimated to be 0.59 Of the total of 25 sites that were used during the four-year period, 16 were used in only one or two years while only three were used all four years.. Flooding and renesting were frequent in both habitat types in all years. The frequent flooding of nests on shellpiles argues for more effective management; augmentation with shell and sand to increase elevations as little as 20 cm could have reduced flooding at a number of sites. The low colony-site fidelity we demonstrate suggests that an effective management approach is to provide a large number of alternative sand and/or shellpile sites that the terns may use. Sites not used one year may still be used in subsequent

  1. Investigation of suspected gulls in the Jurassic limestone strata of the Cotswold Hills, Gloucestershire, England using electrical resistivity tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barron, A. J. M.; Uhlemann, S.; Pook, G. G.; Oxby, L.

    2016-09-01

    An electrical resistivity tomography survey has clearly indicated the presence of substantial vertical zones of contrasting material beneath a set of conspicuous linear surface hollows that cut across a spur forming part of the Cotswold Hills escarpment in Gloucestershire. These zones are compared with nearby quarry exposures and are inferred to be gulls - graben-like structures at least 80 m deep filled with collapsed blocks of bedrock with intervening air-filled spaces, lying within areas of relatively undisrupted gently dipping strata, and which under some circumstances would present a significant geohazard. Our results confirm the great potential of this non-invasive and rapid survey technique for investigating such phenomena, and provide an exemplar for comparison with surveys elsewhere, to assist identification of similar features.

  2. Adapting to a Changing World: Unraveling the Role of Man-Made Habitats as Alternative Feeding Areas for Slender-Billed Gull (Chroicocephalus genei)

    PubMed Central

    Ramírez, Francisco; Navarro, Joan; Afán, Isabel; Hobson, Keith A.; Delgado, Antonio; Forero, Manuela G.

    2012-01-01

    Current rates of wildlife habitat loss have placed increasing demands on managers to develop, validate and implement tools aimed at improving our ability to evaluate such impacts on wildlife. Here, we present a case study conducted at the Natural Area of Doñana (SW Spain) where remote sensing and stable isotope (δ13C, δ15N) analyses of individuals were combined to unravel (1) the effect of variations in availability of natural food resources (i.e. from natural marshes) on reproductive performance of a Slender-billed Gull (Chroicocephalus genei) population, and (2) the role of two adjacent, artificial systems (a fish farm and saltmines) as alternate anthropogenic feeding areas. Based on long-term (1983–2004) remote-sensing, we inferred the average extent of flooded area at the marshland (a proxy to natural resource availability) annually. Estimated flooded areas (ranging from extreme drought [ca. 151 ha, 1995] to high moisture [15,049 ha, 2004]) were positively related to reproductive success of gulls (estimated for the 1993–2004 period, and ranging from ca. 0 to 1.7 fledglings per breeding pairs), suggesting that habitat availability played a role in determining their reproductive performance. Based on blood δ13C and δ15N values of fledglings, 2001–2004, and a Bayesian isotopic mixing model, we conclude that saltmines acted as the main alternative foraging habitat for gulls, with relative contributions increasing as the extent of marshland decreased. Although adjacent, anthropogenic systems have been established as the preferred breeding sites for this gull population, dietary switches towards exploitation of alternative (anthropogenic) food resources negatively affected the reproductive output of this species, thus challenging the perception that these man-made systems are necessarily a reliable buffer against loss of natural feeding habitats. The methodology and results derived from this study could be extended to a large suite of threatened natural

  3. Impact of changes in analytical techniques for the measurement of polychlorinated biphenyls and organochlorine pesticides on temporal trends in herring gull eggs.

    PubMed

    de Solla, Shane R; Weseloh, D V Chip; Hebert, Craig E; Pekarik, Cynthia

    2010-07-01

    Changes in analytical approaches during the tenure of monitoring programs for organochlorine (OC) pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) may affect estimates of temporal trends. We used an in-house reference material to create multiplication factors to adjust the estimates of OC pesticides and PCBs (Aroclor equivalents) in Great Lake herring gull eggs analyzed using electron capture detection (1987-1997) to be more equivalent to estimates using mass spectrometric detection (1998-2005) as well as accompanying differences in analytical procedures. We examined temporal trends in contaminant concentrations in herring gull eggs using change point regressions, to determine whether significant changes in long-term trends were associated with analytical methodology. The highest frequency of change point occurrences shifted from 1997 (when analytical methodology was altered) to 2003 after data adjustment. The explanatory power (r2) of the regressions was lower after adjustment, although only marginally so (mean r2 difference=0.04). The initial rates of decline before change points in contaminant concentrations were generally slower after the data adjustment, but after any change points the declines were not significantly different. The regression models did not change for 83.3% of the cases. The effects on the interpretation of long-term temporal trends in herring gull eggs, although not negligible, were minor relative to the magnitude of the temporal changes. PMID:20821596

  4. Newly discovered methoxylated polybrominated diphenoxybenzenes have been contaminants in the Great Lakes herring gull eggs for thirty years.

    PubMed

    Chen, Da; Letcher, Robert J; Gauthier, Lewis T; Chu, Shaogang; McCrindle, Robert

    2012-09-01

    We recently reported the discovery and identification of novel methoxylated polybrominated diphenoxybenzenes (MeO-PBDPBs) in herring gulls eggs from the Laurentian Great Lakes of North America. We presently investigated the temporal changes (1982-2010) in MeO-PBDPB concentrations and congener patterns, as well as chemical tracers of diet (ratios of carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes), in egg pool homogenates from five selected colony sites across the Great Lakes. Egg pool homogenates from the Channel-Shelter (C-S) Island (Lake Huron) contained ∑MeO-PBDPB concentrations orders of magnitude greater than those from other colonies, suggesting potential point contamination sources nearby. In the C-S Island egg pools, concentrations increased from the initial study year (31 ng/g wet weight) and peaked around the late 1990s, followed by a general decline until 2010. Over the period, concentrations generally increased in eggs from Fighting Island (Lake Erie), Toronto Harbour (Lake Ontario) and Big Sister Island (Lake Michigan) colonies, whereas the levels in Agawa Rock (Lake Superior) declined. Although other factors likely exist, changes over time in the carbon and nitrogen isotope tracers reflected a shift of the gull diet from aquatic to more terrestrial origins, and suggested this diet shift partially accounted for the temporal changes of ∑MeO-PBDPB levels in eggs from most colonies. The ratio of Br(6)- to Br(5)-MeO-PBDPB congeners generally decreased over time in the colonies at Channel-Shelter Island, Fighting Island and Agawa Rock. This suggested that Br(5)- versus Br(6)-MeO-PBDPB congeners and/or possibly their nonmethoxylated and higher brominated precursors may have been more abundant in diets of terrestrial origin. Notably, these MeO-PBDPB congeners are not "emerging" brominated substances, but rather "recently discovered" contaminants since, as of 2011, ∑MeO-PBDPB concentrations have been constantly in the range of 30-100 ng/g ww for at least the last 30

  5. Dissemination of Escherichia coli with CTX-M Type ESBL between Humans and Yellow-Legged Gulls in the South of France

    PubMed Central

    Gauthier-Clerc, Michel; Hernandez, Jorge; Granholm, Susanne; Kayser, Yves; Melhus, Åsa; Kahlmeter, Gunnar; Waldenström, Jonas; Johansson, Anders; Olsen, Björn

    2009-01-01

    Extended Spectrum β-Lactamase (ESBL) producing Enterobacteriaceae started to appear in the 1980s, and have since emerged as some of the most significant hospital-acquired infections with Escherichia coli and Klebsiella being main players. More than 100 different ESBL types have been described, the most widespread being the CTX-M β-lactamase enzymes (blaCTX-M genes). This study focuses on the zoonotic dissemination of ESBL bacteria, mainly CTX-M type, in the southern coastal region of France. We found that the level of general antibiotic resistance in single randomly selected E. coli isolates from wild Yellow-legged Gulls in France was high. Nearly half the isolates (47,1%) carried resistance to one or more antibiotics (in a panel of six antibiotics), and resistance to tetracycline, ampicillin and streptomycin was most widespread. In an ESBL selective screen, 9,4% of the gulls carried ESBL producing bacteria and notably, 6% of the gulls carried bacteria harboring CTX-M-1 group of ESBL enzymes, a recently introduced and yet the most common clinical CTX-M group in France. Multi locus sequence type and phylogenetic group designations were established for the ESBL isolates, revealing that birds and humans share E. coli populations. Several ESBL producing E. coli isolated from birds were identical to or clustered with isolates with human origin. Hence, wild birds pick up E. coli of human origin, and with human resistance traits, and may accordingly also act as an environmental reservoir and melting pot of bacterial resistance with a potential to re-infect human populations. PMID:19536298

  6. Spatial and temporal comparisons of legacy and emerging flame retardants in herring gull eggs from colonies spanning the Laurentian Great Lakes of Canada and United States.

    PubMed

    Su, Guanyong; Letcher, Robert J; Moore, Jeremy N; Williams, Lisa L; Martin, Pamela A; de Solla, Shane R; Bowerman, William W

    2015-10-01

    In the Laurentian Great Lakes basin of North America, an increasing number of chemicals of emerging concern (CECs) are being investigated, including legacy and replacement flame retardants (FRs). In the present study, 14 polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), 23 non-PBDEs halogenated FRs (NPHFRs) and 16 organophosphate ester FRs (OPE-FRs) were analyzed in 100 individual eggs collected in 2012 and 2013 and in 15 egg pools of herring gulls collected in 2012 from 20 colonies across the entire Laurentian Great Lakes basin. For CEC-FRs in eggs from all colonies, 14 PBDEs, 12 NPHFRs and 9 OPE-FRs were quantifiable in at least one of the 115 analyzed samples. The mean sum PBDE (Σ14PBDE) concentrations ranged from 244 to 657 ng/g wet weight (ww), and on average were 1-2 orders of magnitude greater than the Σ12NPHFR concentrations (13.8-35.6 ng/g ww), and 2-3 orders of magnitude greater than Σ9OPE-FR concentrations (0.31-2.14 ng/g ww). Mean Σ14PBDE and sum of syn- and anti-Dechlorane Plus isomer (Σ2DDC-CO) concentrations in eggs from colonies within Laurentian Great Lakes Areas of Concern (AOCs) were in most cases greater than in eggs from nearby colonies outside of AOCs. Comparing CEC-FR concentrations in eggs collected in 2012-2013 to those previously measured in eggs collected approximately 7 years earlier (2006 and 2008) showed that Σ7PBDE (BDE-28, -47, -100, -99, -154,-153 and -183) mean concentrations in eggs from 6 colonies were approximately 30% less than they were in eggs from the same colonies from the earlier time period, whereas 3 current-use FR (BDE-209, HBCDD and Σ2DDC-CO) concentrations were significantly greater (p<0.05) than previously measured. Between 2006 and 2013 there were significant changes in individual PBDE patterns for BDE-71, -138, -153, -203, -206 and -207. Among all of the examined CEC-FRs, concentrations of Σ4PBDE (BDE-47, -99, -100 and -153) and HBCDD in gull eggs from all colonies were greater than or comparable to their lowest

  7. Liquid chromatography-electrospray-tandem mass spectrometry method for determination of organophosphate diesters in biotic samples including Great Lakes herring gull plasma.

    PubMed

    Su, Guanyong; Greaves, Alana K; Gauthier, Lewis; Letcher, Robert J

    2014-12-29

    Environmentally relevant organophosphate (OP) triester flame retardants are known to degrade to OP diester phosphoric acids. In this study, a quantitatively sensitive method was developed for OP diesters in biological samples of varying complexity, bovine serum, chicken egg homogenate and pork liver. Fortified with 1ng or 10ng each of the six OP diester and six OP triester standards, samples were extracted by accelerated solvent extraction that completely separated OP diesters and triesters. OP diester fractions were cleaned up using weak anion exchange solid phase extraction and eluted with high ionic strength ammonium acetate buffer. Optimal analysis of chlorinated OP diesters was via decamethonium hydroxide dicationic reagent derivatization and by LC-ESI(+)-MS/MS, and for all non-chlorinated OP diesters by non-derivatized LC-ESI(-)-MS/MS. Except for derivatization LC-ESI(+)-MS/MS analysis of liver, at the 10ng spiking level for the three matrices, recovery efficiencies, matrix effects and method limits of quantification (MLOQs) of OP diesters ranged from 55-116%, 92-119%, and 0.02-0.31ng/g wet weight (ww) respectively. Plasma samples of n=6 herring gulls (2010, Chantry Is., Laurentian Great Lakes) contained triphenyl phosphate and tris(1-3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate ranging from 1.3 to 4.0ng/g ww and gulls. PMID:25476687

  8. Detection limits and cost comparisons of human- and gull-associated conventional and quantitative PCR assays in artificial and environmental waters.

    PubMed

    Riedel, Timothy E; Zimmer-Faust, Amity G; Thulsiraj, Vanessa; Madi, Tania; Hanley, Kaitlyn T; Ebentier, Darcy L; Byappanahalli, Muruleedhara; Layton, Blythe; Raith, Meredith; Boehm, Alexandria B; Griffith, John F; Holden, Patricia A; Shanks, Orin C; Weisberg, Stephen B; Jay, Jennifer A

    2014-04-01

    Some molecular methods for tracking fecal pollution in environmental waters have both PCR and quantitative PCR (qPCR) assays available for use. To assist managers in deciding whether to implement newer qPCR techniques in routine monitoring programs, we compared detection limits (LODs) and costs of PCR and qPCR assays with identical targets that are relevant to beach water quality assessment. For human-associated assays targeting Bacteroidales HF183 genetic marker, qPCR LODs were 70 times lower and there was no effect of target matrix (artificial freshwater, environmental creek water, and environmental marine water) on PCR or qPCR LODs. The PCR startup and annual costs were the lowest, while the per reaction cost was 62% lower than the Taqman based qPCR and 180% higher than the SYBR based qPCR. For gull-associated assays, there was no significant difference between PCR and qPCR LODs, target matrix did not effect PCR or qPCR LODs, and PCR startup, annual, and per reaction costs were lower. Upgrading to qPCR involves greater startup and annual costs, but this increase may be justified in the case of the human-associated assays with lower detection limits and reduced cost per sample. PMID:24583609

  9. Detection limits and cost comparisons of human- and gull-associated conventional and quantitative PCR assays in artificial and environmental waters

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Riedel, Timothy E.; Zimmer-Faust, Amity G.; Thulsiraj, Vanessa; Madi, Tania; Hanley, Kaitlyn T.; Ebentier, Darcy L.; Byappanahalli, Muruleedhara N.; Layton, Blythe; Raith, Meredith; Boehm, Alexandria B.; Griffith, John F.; Holden, Patricia A.; Shanks, Orin C.; Weisberg, Stephen B.; Jay, Jennifer A.

    2014-01-01

    Some molecular methods for tracking fecal pollution in environmental waters have both PCR and quantitative PCR (qPCR) assays available for use. To assist managers in deciding whether to implement newer qPCR techniques in routine monitoring programs, we compared detection limits (LODs) and costs of PCR and qPCR assays with identical targets that are relevant to beach water quality assessment. For human-associated assays targeting Bacteroidales HF183 genetic marker, qPCR LODs were 70 times lower and there was no effect of target matrix (artificial freshwater, environmental creek water, and environmental marine water) on PCR or qPCR LODs. The PCR startup and annual costs were the lowest, while the per reaction cost was 62% lower than the Taqman based qPCR and 180% higher than the SYBR based qPCR. For gull-associated assays, there was no significant difference between PCR and qPCR LODs, target matrix did not effect PCR or qPCR LODs, and PCR startup, annual, and per reaction costs were lower. Upgrading to qPCR involves greater startup and annual costs, but this increase may be justified in the case of the human-associated assays with lower detection limits and reduced cost per sample.

  10. Contributions to the non-linear integrated Sachs-Wolfe effect: Birkinshaw-Gull effect and gravitational self-energy density

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Merkel, Philipp M.; Schäfer, Björn Malte

    2013-05-01

    In this paper, we recompute contributions to the spectrum of the non-linear integrated Sachs-Wolfe (iSW)/Rees-Sciama effect in a dark energy cosmology. Focusing on the moderate non-linear regime, all dynamical fields involved are derived from the density contrast in Eulerian perturbation theory. Shape and amplitude of the resulting angular power spectrum are similar to that derived in previous work. With our purely analytical approach we identify two distinct contributions to the signal of the non-linear iSW effect: the change of the gravitational self-energy density of the large-scale structure with (conformal) time and gravitational lenses moving with the large-scale matter stream. In the latter we recover the Birkinshaw-Gull effect. As the non-linear iSW effect itself is inherently hard to detect, observational discrimination between its individual contributions is almost excluded. Our analysis, however, yields valuable insights into the theory of the non-linear iSW effect as a post-Newtonian relativistic effect on propagating photons.

  11. Miscellaneous pocosin peat deposits of North Carolina: Gull Rock; Van Swamp; Bay City - Gum Swamp. Open-grounds pocos in Hofmann Forest; Angola Swamp; Holly Shelter; Green Swamp

    SciTech Connect

    Ingram, R.L.; Otte, L.J.; Witner, T.W.

    1983-06-01

    In earlier reports the coastal swamp or pocosin peat deposits of Dismal Swamp, Pamlimarle Peninsula, Croatan Forest, and Light Ground Pocosin were described (Ingram and Otte, 1980, 1981a, 1981b, and 1982). This report describes the remaining coastal swamp or pocosin deposits of the North Carolina Coastal Plain. Total peat resources of these remaining deposits are: (1) Gull Rock - 8100 acres, 4.6 million tons, moisture free, (2) Van Swamp - 6600 acres, 5.8 million tons, (3) Bay City - Gum Swamp - 12,3000 acres, 5.9 million tons, (4) Open Grounds - 11,000 acres, 6.3 million tons, (5) Hofmann Forest - 5200 acres, 4.2 million tons, (6) Angola Swamp - 21,900 acres, 15.2 million tons, (7) Holly Shelter - 9200 acres, 6.7 million tons, and (8) Green Swamp - 16,400 acres, 10.3 million tons. A revised estimation of the total peat resources of North Carolina is 700,000 acres (1100 sq mi) of peatland with 500 million tons of peat. Of this total, 290,000 acres (460 sq mi) is underlain by peat greater than 4 ft thick with 330 million tons of peat.

  12. Age of First Breeding Interacts with Pre- and Post-Recruitment Experience in Shaping Breeding Phenology in a Long-Lived Gull

    PubMed Central

    Bosman, Davy S.; Vercruijsse, Harry J. P.; Stienen, Eric W. M.; Vincx, Magda; Lens, Luc

    2013-01-01

    Individual variation in timing of breeding is a key factor affecting adaptation to environmental change, yet our basic understanding of the causes of such individual variation is incomplete. This study tests several hypotheses for age-related variation in the breeding timing of Lesser Black-backed Gulls, based on a 13 year longitudinal data set that allows to decouple effects of age, previous prospecting behavior, and years of breeding experience on arrival timing at the colony. At the population level, age of first breeding was significantly associated with timing of arrival and survival, i.e. individuals tended to arrive later if they postponed their recruitment, and individuals recruiting at the age of 4 years survived best. However, up to 81% of the temporal variation in arrival dates was explained by within-individual effects. When excluding the pre-recruitment period, the effect of increasing age on advanced arrival was estimated at 11 days, with prior breeding experience accounting for a 7 days advance and postponed breeding for a 4 days delay. Overall, results of this study show that delayed age of first breeding can serve to advance arrival date (days after December 1st) in successive breeding seasons throughout an individual’s lifetime, in large part due to the benefits of learning or experience gained during prospecting. However, prospecting and the associated delay in breeding also bear a survival cost, possibly because prospectors have been forced to delay through competition with breeders. More generally, results of this study set the stage for exploring integrated temporal shifts in phenology, resource allocation and reproductive strategies during individual lifecycles of long-lived migratory species. PMID:24324750

  13. Persistent organic pollutant and mercury concentrations in eggs of ground-nesting marine birds in the Canadian high Arctic.

    PubMed

    Peck, Liam E; Gilchrist, H Grant; Mallory, Conor D; Braune, Birgit M; Mallory, Mark L

    2016-06-15

    We collected eggs of eight marine bird species from several colony sites in the Canadian high Arctic located at approximately 76°N and analyzed them for concentrations of legacy persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and mercury. We provide the first report on concentrations of POPs in eggs of three Arctic species (Thayer's gull Larus thayeri, Sabine's gull Xema sabini, Ross's Gull Rhodostethia rosea), and we found significant differences in each of the POP profiles among the five species with sufficient data for statistical comparisons (Thayer's gull, black guillemot Cepphus grylle, Sabine's gull, Arctic tern Sterna paradisaea and common eider Somateria mollissima borealis). The Ross's Gull had unexpectedly high POP concentrations relative to the other species examined, although this was based on a single egg, while glaucous gull Larus hyperboreus eggs from our sampling location had very low POPs. Sabine's gulls had the lowest Hg of the eggs studied, consistent with their low trophic position, but concentrations of their legacy POPs were higher than expected. We also noted that total hexachlorocyclohexanes were higher than reported elsewhere in the circumpolar Arctic in three species. PMID:26971212

  14. Novel Haemoproteus species (Haemosporida: Haemoproteidae) from the swallow-tailed gull (Lariidae), with remarks on the host range of hippoboscid-transmitted avian hemoproteids.

    PubMed

    Levin, Iris I; Valkiūnas, Gediminas; Iezhova, Tatjana A; O'Brien, Sarah L; Parker, Patricia G

    2012-08-01

    Haemoproteus (Haemoproteus) jenniae n. sp. (Haemosporida: Haemoproteidae) is described from a Galapagos bird, the swallow-tailed gull Creagrus furcatus (Charadriiformes, Laridae), based on the morphology of its blood stages and segments of the mitochondrial cytochrome b (cyt b) gene. The most distinctive features of H. jenniae development are the circumnuclear gametocytes occupying all cytoplasmic space in infected erythrocytes and the presence of advanced, growing gametocytes in which the pellicle is closely appressed to the erythrocyte envelope but does not extend to the erythrocyte nucleus. This parasite is distinguishable from Haemoproteus larae, which produces similar gametocytes and parasitizes closely related species of Laridae. Haemoproteus jenniae can be distinguished from H. larae primarily due to (1) the predominantly amoeboid outline of young gametocytes, (2) diffuse macrogametocyte nuclei which do not possess distinguishable nucleoli, (3) the consistent size and shape of pigment granules, and (4) the absence of rod-like pigment granules from gametocytes. Additionally, fully-grown gametocytes of H. jenniae cause both the marked hypertrophy of infected erythrocytes in width and the rounding up of the host cells, which is not the case in H. larae. Phylogenetic analyses identified the DNA lineages that are associated with H. jenniae and showed that this parasite is more closely related to the hippoboscid-transmitted (Hippoboscidae) species than to the Culicoides spp.-transmitted (Ceratopogonidae) species of avian hemoproteids. Genetic divergence between morphologically well-differentiated H. jenniae and the hippoboscid-transmitted Haemoproteus iwa, the closely related parasite of frigatebirds (Fregatidae, Pelecaniformes), is only 0.6%; cyt b sequences of these parasites differ only by 1 base pair. This is the first example of such a small genetic difference in the cyt b gene between species of the subgenus Haemoproteus. In a segment of caseinolytic

  15. Seabird bycatch in Alaska demersal longline fishery trials: a demographic summary

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Phillips, Elizabeth M.; Nevins, HannahRose M.; Hatch, Scott A.; Ramey, Andy M.; Miller, Melissa A.; Harvey, James T.

    2010-01-01

    The seasonal and spatial demographics are summarized for seabirds killed incidentally during gear modification trials for a demersal longline fishery in the Bering Sea. We examined 417 carcasses, including Northern Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis (n = 205), Glaucous-winged Gull Larus glaucescens (n = 103), Short-tailed Shearwater Puffinus tenuirostris (n = 48), Glaucous Gull Larus hyperboreus (n = 23), Slaty-backed Gull Larus schistisagus (n = 4), Black-legged Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla (n = 1), Laysan Albatross Diomedea immutabilis (n = 1), and unidentified gull species Larus spp. (n = 32). There was a significant male bias in the sex ratio of fulmars but not of gulls or shearwaters. For the top three species killed, the age composition of resident species was dominated numerically by adults (Northern Fulmar—86%; Glaucous-winged Gull—63%), whereas migrant species were primarily immature birds (Short-tailed Shearwater—71%). The majority of migratory Short-tailed Shearwaters (88%) were caught in July and August, whereas 70% of resident fulmars and gulls were caught in October and November. Age-class frequencies did not differ by month of capture, indicating that adult mortality is substantial. Eighty percent of the fulmars caught during July and August were within 200 km of two colonies in the Bering Sea, whereas only 7% of fulmars were caught in the same area during September to November. This is one of the first demographic summaries of seabird bycatch in Alaska longline fisheries. Additional studies of the species, age and sex of seabirds subject to fisheries-related mortality will provide data necessary to evaluate population-level impacts.

  16. How hype and glory gull

    SciTech Connect

    Pinsdorf, M.K. )

    1992-01-01

    Hyped expectations and lulling news, or no news translated as good news, are prescriptions for disasters. Such lulling encourages men to push themselves or their machines on missions impossible. It discourages constant vigilance or the plain speaking on which sound decisions must be made. Postdisaster, lulling intensifies the shock. When psychologically unprepared, victims are devastated more than necessary. This thesis will be illustrated by the historical example of Captain Robert F. Scott's 1910-1911 race to the South Pole against Roald Amundsen, the 1985 Challenger explosion, the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident, and the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill. Understanding the perils of treating such dangerous missions as milk runs will help managers avoid complacency, even accidents.

  17. Distribution of seabirds in the northern Gulf of Mexico in relation to mesoscale features: Initial observations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ribic, C.A.; Davis, R.; Hess, N.; Peake, D.

    1997-01-01

    The presence of seabirds was related to offshore surface eddies and the freshwater plume of the Mississippi River in the northern Gulf of Mexico during autumn, winter, spring, and summer 1992-1993. Skuas (Stercorarius spp.) were the most common bird seen in autumn, whereas skuas and gulls (Larus spp.) were the most common in winter. Few birds were seen in the spring, and terns (Sterna spp.) were the most common birds seen in late summer. During summer, terns were associated with the freshwater plume of the Mississippi River. In the winter, herring (Larus argentatus) and laughing gulls (L. artricilla) were associated with areas with steep thermoclines, while pomarine skuas (Stercorarius pomarinus) were found in areas of low productivity. Herring and laughing gulls in the winter, all birds in the spring, and terns in the summer were more common outside eddies. Only pomarine skuas in the winter were seen more commonly inside warm-core eddies.

  18. Avian wildlife reservoir of Campylobacter fetus subsp. jejuni, Yersinia spp., and Salmonella spp. in Norway.

    PubMed

    Kapperud, G; Rosef, O

    1983-02-01

    Cloacal swabs from 540 wild-living birds were cultured for Campylobacter fetus subsp. jejuni, Yersinia spp., and Salmonella spp. The carrier rates detected were as follows: C. fetus subsp. jejuni, 28.4%; Yersinia spp., 1.2%; and Salmonella spp., 0.8%. All birds were apparently healthy when captured. C. fetus subsp. jejuni was isolated from 11 of the 40 bird species examined. Among birds inhabiting the city of Oslo, the highest isolation rate was found in crows (Corvus corone cornix) (89.8%), followed by gulls (Larus spp.) (50.0%) and domestic pigeons (Columba livia domesticus) (4.2%). The gulls and crows scavenge on refuse dumps. High carrier rates were also detected among the following birds from nonurban, coastal areas: puffin (Fratercula arctica) (51.3%), common tern (Sterna hirundo) (5.6%), common gull (Larus canus) (18.9%), black-headed gull (Larus ridibundus) (13.2%), and herring gull (Larus argentatus) (4.2%). The list of species harboring C. fetus subsp. jejuni also includes the Ural owl (Strix uralensis), goldeneye (Bucephala clangula), and reed bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus). The following five Yersinia strains were isolated: Y. kristensenii (two strains), Y. intermedia (two strains), and "Yersinia X2" (one strain). Four strains belonging to the genus Salmonella were isolated from three different species of gulls. These isolates were identified as S. typhimurium, S. indiana, and S. djugu. The results indicate that campylobacters are a normal component of the intestinal flora in several bird species, whereas Salmonella and Yersinia carriers are more sporadic. PMID:6338824

  19. Depredation of common eider, Somateria mollissima, nests on a central Beaufort Sea barrier island: A case where no one wins

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reed, J.A.; Lacroix, D.L.; Flint, P.L.

    2007-01-01

    Along the central Beaufort Sea, Pacific Common Eiders (Somateria mollissima v-nigra) nest on unvegetated, barrier islands; often near nesting Glaucous Gulls (Larus hyperboreus). Nest-site choice likely reflects a strategy of predator avoidance: nesting on islands to avoid mammalian predators and near territorial gulls to avoid other avian predators. We observed a nesting colony of Common Eiders from first nest initiation through nesting termination on Egg Island near Prudhoe Bay, Alaska (2002 - 2003). Resident gulls depredated many eider nests, mostly during initiation. All nests failed when an Arctic Fox (Alopex lagopus) visited the island and flushed hens from their nests, exposing the eggs to depredation by the fox and gulls (resident and non-resident). Common Eiders actively defended nests from gulls, but not from foxes. Likely all three species (i.e., eiders, gulls, and foxes) ultimately achieved negligible benefit from their nest-site selection or predatory activity: (a) island nesting provided no safety from mammalian predators for eiders or gulls, (b) for Common Eiders, nesting near gulls increased egg loss, (c) for Glaucous Gulls, nesting near colonial eiders may have reduced nest success by attracting the fox, and (d) for Arctic Foxes, the depredation was of questionable value, as most eggs were cached and probably not recoverable (due to damage from fall storms). Thus, the predator-prey interactions we observed appear to be a case where little or no fitness advantage was realized by any of the species involved.

  20. Waterbird mortality from botulism type E in Lake Michigan (USA, Canada): an update

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brand, Christopher J.; Duncan, Ruth M.; Garrow, S.P.; Olson, D.; Schumann, L.E.

    1983-01-01

    Three outbreaks of botulism type E occurring in waterbirds on Lake Michigan since autumn 1976 are discussed. Natural ingestion of food containing type E toxin by Ring-billed Gulls (Larus delawarensis) and the presence of type E toxin in the blood from moribund gulls were demonstrated. Concurrent presence of type C and type E botulinal toxins was found in a die-off of Common Loons (Gavia immer). In combination with previous reported outbreaks, these incidents suggest that this disease is geographically widespread in Lake Michigan, and that environmental conditions conducive to type E botulinal toxin production and consumption occur in both summer and autumn.

  1. Avian cholera causes marine bird mortality in the Bering Sea of Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bodenstein, Barbara L.; Kimberlee Beckmen; Gay Sheffield; Kathy Kuletz; Van Hemert, Caroline R.; Berlowski-Zier, Brenda M.; Shearn-Bochsler, Valerie I.

    2015-01-01

    The first known avian cholera outbreak among wild birds in Alaska occurred during November 2013. Liver, intestinal, and splenic necrosis consistent with avian cholera was noted, and Pasteurella multocida serotype 1 was isolated from liver and lung or spleen in Crested Auklets (Aethia cristatella), Thick-billed Murres (Uria lomvia), Common Eider (Somateria mollissima), Northern Fulmars (Fulmarus glacialis), and Glaucous-winged Gulls (Larus glaucescens).

  2. At-sea distribution and abundance of seabirds off southern California: A 20-year comparison

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mason, J.W.; McChesney, G.J.; McIver, W.R.; Carter, H.R.; Takekawa, J.Y.; Golightly, R.T.; Ackerman, J.T.; Orthmeyer, D.L.; Perry, W.M.; Yee, J.L.; Pierson, M.O.; McCrary, M.D.

    2007-01-01

    We conducted aerial at-sea and coastal surveys to examine the distribution and abundance of seabirds off southern California, from Cambria, California, to the Mexican border. From May 1999-January 2002, we flew 102 d, covered >54,640 km of transect lines, and conducted nine complete surveys of southern California in January, May, and September. We identified 54 species comprising 12 families and counted >135,000 individuals. Seabird densities were greater along island and mainland coastlines than at sea and were usually greatest in January surveys. Densities were greatest at sea near the northern Channel Islands in January and north of Point Conception in May, and lowest in the southwestern portion of the Southern California Bight in all survey months. On coastal transects, seabird densities were greatest along central and southern portions of the mainland coastline from Point Arguello to Mexico. We estimated that 981,000 ?? 144,000 (x?? ?? SE) seabirds occurred in the study area in January, 862,000 ?? 95,000 in May, and 762,000 ?? 72,000 in September. California Gulls (Larus californicus), Western Grebes (Aechmophorus occidentalis), and Cassin's Auklets (Ptychoramphus aleuticus) were most abundant in January surveys at sea, whereas Sooty and Short-tailed shearwaters (Puffinus griseus and P. tenuirostris), phalaropes (Phalaropus spp.), and Western Gulls (Larus. occidentalis) were most abundant in May and September surveys. On coastal transects, California Gulls, Western Grebes, Western Gulls, and Surf Scoters (Melanitta perspicillata) were most abundant in January; Western Grebes, Western Gulls, Surf Scoters, and Brown Pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis) were most abundant in May; and Sooty Shearwaters, Short-tailed Shearwaters, Western Gulls, Western Grebes, Brown Pelicans, and Heermann's Gulls (Larus heermanni) were most abundant in September. Compared to historical seabird densities collected in the same area two decades ago (1975-1978 and 1980-1983), abundance

  3. An Evaluation of Techniques to Control Problem Bird Species on Landfill Sites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cook, Aonghais; Rushton, Steven; Allan, John; Baxter, Andrew

    2008-06-01

    Birds feeding on landfill sites cause problems in terms of nuisance to neighbors, flight safety, a threat to public health, and affecting the day to day site operation. A number of control measures exist to deter problem species; however, research into their effectiveness across sites and for multiple species has been limited. We use a modeling approach in order to assess the effectiveness of nine techniques — pyrotechnics, hand-held distress calls, static distress calls, blank ammunition, a combination of blank and lethal use of ammunition, the use of falcons, the use of hawks, wailers and helium-filled bird-scaring kites — at deterring three commonly recorded species — the Black-headed Gull ( Larus ridibundus), the Herring Gull ( Larus argentatus) and the Lesser Black-backed Gull ( Larus fuscus) — from six landfill sites across the United Kingdom. The use of distress calls, falconry, and combinations of lethal and nonlethal use of ammunition were the most effective techniques for initially deterring birds from these sites. However, when habituation is considered, there is a clear difference between techniques such as falconry, which have a lethal aspect and may act to reinforce the deterrence, and the use of techniques such as distress calls, which do not. However there are problems related to legislation and public perception when lethal techniques are used.

  4. Antimicrobial Resistance in Wildlife: Implications for Public Health.

    PubMed

    Carroll, D; Wang, J; Fanning, S; McMahon, B J

    2015-11-01

    The emergence and spread of antimicrobial-resistant (AMR) bacteria in natural environments is a major concern with serious implications for human and animal health. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of AMR Escherichia coli (E. coli) in wild birds and mammalian species. Thirty faecal samples were collected from each of the following wildlife species: herring gulls (Larus argentatus), black-headed gulls (Larus ridibundus), lesser black-back gulls (Larus fuscus), hybrid deer species (Cervus elaphus x Cervus nippon) and twenty-six from starlings (Sturnus vulgaris). A total of 115 E. coli isolates were isolated from 81 of 146 samples. Confirmed E. coli isolates were tested for their susceptibility to seven antimicrobial agents by disc diffusion. In total, 5.4% (8/146) of samples exhibited multidrug-resistant phenotypes. The phylogenetic group and AMR-encoding genes of all multidrug resistance isolates were determined by PCR. Tetracycline-, ampicillin- and streptomycin-resistant isolates were the most common resistant phenotypes. The following genes were identified in E. coli: bla(TEM), strA, tet(A) and tet(B). Plasmids were identified in all samples that exhibited multidrug-resistant phenotypes. This study indicates that wild birds and mammals may function as important host reservoirs and potential vectors for the spread of resistant bacteria and genetic determinants of AMR. PMID:25639901

  5. An evaluation of techniques to control problem bird species on landfill sites.

    PubMed

    Cook, Aonghais; Rushton, Steven; Allan, John; Baxter, Andrew

    2008-06-01

    Birds feeding on landfill sites cause problems in terms of nuisance to neighbors, flight safety, a threat to public health, and affecting the day to day site operation. A number of control measures exist to deter problem species; however, research into their effectiveness across sites and for multiple species has been limited. We use a modeling approach in order to assess the effectiveness of nine techniques--pyrotechnics, hand-held distress calls, static distress calls, blank ammunition, a combination of blank and lethal use of ammunition, the use of falcons, the use of hawks, wailers and helium-filled bird-scaring kites --at deterring three commonly recorded species--the Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibundus), the Herring Gull (Larus argentatus) and the Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus fuscus)--from six landfill sites across the United Kingdom. The use of distress calls, falconry, and combinations of lethal and nonlethal use of ammunition were the most effective techniques for initially deterring birds from these sites. However, when habituation is considered, there is a clear difference between techniques such as falconry, which have a lethal aspect and may act to reinforce the deterrence, and the use of techniques such as distress calls, which do not. However there are problems related to legislation and public perception when lethal techniques are used. PMID:18256779

  6. Distribution of Ground-Nesting Marine Birds Along Shorelines in Glacier Bay, Southeastern Alaska: An Assessment Related to Potential Disturbance by Back-Country Users

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Arimitsu, M.L.; Piatt, J.F.; Romano, Marc D.

    2007-01-01

    With the exception of a few large colonies, the distribution of ground-nesting marine birds in Glacier Bay National Park in southeastern Alaska is largely unknown. As visitor use increases in back-country areas of the park, there is growing concern over the potential impact of human activities on breeding birds. During the 2003i??05 breeding seasons, the shoreline of Glacier Bay was surveyed to locate ground-nesting marine birds and their nesting areas, including wildlife closures and historical sites for egg collection by Alaska Native peoples. The nesting distribution of four common ground-nesting marine bird species was determined: Arctic Tern (Sterna paradisaea), Black Oystercatcher (Haematopus bachmani), Mew Gull (Larus canus), and Glaucous-winged Gull (Larus glaucescens). Observations of less abundant species also were recorded, including Herring Gull (Larus argentatus), Red-throated Loon (Gavia stellata), Canada Goose (Branta canadensis), Willow Ptarmigan (Lagopus lagopus), Semipalmated Plover (Charadrius semipalmatus), Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularia), Least Sandpiper (Calidris minutilla), Parasitic Jaeger (Stercorarius parasiticus), and Aleutian Tern (Sterna aleutica). Nesting distribution for Arctic Terns was largely restricted to the upper arms of the bay and a few treeless islets in the lower bay, whereas Black Oystercatchers were more widely distributed along shorelines in the park. Mew Gulls nested throughout the upper bay in Geikie Inlet and in Fingers and Berg Bays, and most Glaucous-winged Gull nests were found at wildlife closures in the central and lower bays. Several areas were identified where human disturbance could affect breeding birds. This study comprises the first bay-wide survey for the breeding distribution of ground-nesting marine birds in Glacier Bay National Park, providing a minimum estimate of their numbers and distribution within the park. This information can be used to assess future human disturbance and track natural

  7. Avian paramyxoviruses in shorebirds and gulls

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Avian paramyxoviruses (APMV) consist of nine serotypes including APMV-1, or Newcastle disease virus (NDV). Although free-flying ducks and geese have been extensively monitored for APMV, limited information is available for species in the order Charadriiformes. From 2000 to 2005 we tested cloacal swa...

  8. The Gull Sees Farthest Who Flies Highest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pirri, Anthony N.

    2005-04-01

    The proverb from Richard Bach's book Jonathan Livingston Seagull expresses the theme that he in life who thinks and acts ahead of the flock lives live to the fullest and enjoys the freedom that is the very nature of being. This keynote address will give examples of three noted professionals who were not content to make small improvements in technology but strove to make giant leaps. Their work became the driving force for those of us who became their followers in seeking fulfillment from our professional lives.

  9. Huna Tlingit Traditional Gull Egg Use Act

    THOMAS, 113th Congress

    Sen. Murkowski, Lisa [R-AK

    2013-01-28

    06/27/2013 Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders. Calendar No. 105. (All Actions) Notes: For further action, see H.R.3110, which became Public Law 113-142 on 7/25/2014. Tracker: This bill has the status IntroducedHere are the steps for Status of Legislation:

  10. Mercury concentrations in feathers of marine birds in Arctic Canada.

    PubMed

    Mallory, Mark L; Braune, Birgit M; Provencher, Jennifer F; Callaghan, D Benjamin; Gilchrist, H Grant; Edmonds, Samuel T; Allard, Karel; O'Driscoll, Nelson J

    2015-09-15

    Mercury (Hg) concentrations are a concern in the Canadian Arctic, because they are relatively high compared to background levels and to similar species farther south, and are increasing in many wildlife species. Among marine birds breeding in the Canadian Arctic, Hg concentrations have been monitored regularly in eggs and intermittently in livers, but feathers have generally not been used as an indicator of Hg exposure or burden. We examined Hg concentrations in six marine bird species in the Canadian Arctic. Ivory gull Pagophila eburnea, feather Hg was exceptionally high, while glaucous gull Larus hyperboreus feather Hg was unexpectedly low, and ratios of feather THg to egg THg varied across species. The proportion of total Hg that was comprised of methyl Hg in ivory gull feathers was lower than in other species, and may be related to photo-demethylation or keratin breakdown in semi-opaque feather tissue. PMID:26130527