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Sample records for lagopus lagopus scoticus

  1. Ornamental comb colour predicts T-cell-mediated immunity in male red grouse Lagopus lagopus scoticus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mougeot, Francois

    2008-02-01

    Sexual ornaments might reliably indicate the ability to cope with parasites and diseases, and a better ability to mount a primary inflammatory response to a novel challenge. Carotenoid-based ornaments are amongst the commonest sexual signals of birds and often influence mate choice. Because carotenoids are immuno-stimulants, signallers may trade-off allocating these to ornamental colouration or using them for immune responses, so carotenoid-based ornaments might be particularly useful as honest indicators of immuno-compentence. Tetraonid birds, such as the red grouse Lagopus lagopus scoticus, exhibit supra-orbital yellow red combs, a conspicuous ornament which functions in intra- and inter-sexual selection. The colour of combs is due to epidermal pigmentation by carotenoids, while their size is testosterone-dependent. In this study, I investigated whether comb characteristics, and in particular, comb colour, indicated immuno-competence in free-living male red grouse. I assessed T-cell-mediated immunity using a standardised challenge with phytohaemagglutinin. Red grouse combs reflect in the red and in the ultraviolet spectrum of light, which is not visible to humans but that grouse most likely see, so I measured comb colour across the whole bird visible spectrum (300 700 nm) using a reflectance spectrometer. I found that males with bigger and redder combs, but with less ultraviolet reflectance, had greater T-cell-mediated immune response. Comb colour predicted T-cell-mediated immune response better than comb size, indicating that the carotenoid-based colouration of this ornament might reliably signal this aspect of male quality.

  2. The complete mitochondrial genome sequence of Alopex lagopus (Caniformia: Canidae).

    PubMed

    Sun, Wei-Li; Liu, Han-Lu; Zhong, Wei; Wang, Zhuo; Li, Guang-Yu

    2016-09-01

    The phylogenetic and taxonomic positions of the blue fox (Alopex lagopus) have long been unclear. In this study, we determined and described the complete mitogenome sequence of A. lagopus for the first time, which is 16,629 bp in length and contains 37 genes, including 13 protein-coding genes, 2 rRNAs, 22 tRNAs, 1 origin of replication on the light-strand and a putative control region. The overall base composition is A: 31.3%, T: 27.8%, C: 26.1% and G: 14.8%, with a slight AT bias (59.1%). Most of them have TAA as the stop codon, except ND2 uses TAG, ND4 uses AGG, Cytb uses AGA and COX3 and ND3 use an incomplete stop codon TA. This information could not only contribute to provide useful molecular data for the species identification, but also to further taxonomic and phylogenetic studies of Alopex and Canidae. PMID:25630723

  3. Fine-scale population epigenetic structure in relation to gastrointestinal parasite load in red grouse (Lagopus lagopus scotica)

    PubMed Central

    WENZEL, MARIUS A; PIERTNEY, STUART B

    2014-01-01

    Epigenetic modification of cytosine methylation states can be elicited by environmental stresses and may be a key process affecting phenotypic plasticity and adaptation. Parasites are potent stressors with profound physiological and ecological effects on their host, but there is little understanding in how parasites may influence host methylation states. Here, we estimate epigenetic diversity and differentiation among 21 populations of red grouse (Lagopus lagopus scotica) in north-east Scotland and test for association of gastrointestinal parasite load (caecal nematode Trichostrongylus tenuis) with hepatic genome-wide and locus-specific methylation states. Following methylation-sensitive AFLP (MSAP), 129 bands, representing 73 methylation-susceptible and 56 nonmethylated epiloci, were scored across 234 individuals. The populations differed significantly in genome-wide methylation levels and were also significantly epigenetically (FSC = 0.0227; P < 0.001) and genetically (FSC = 0.0058; P < 0.001) differentiated. Parasite load was not associated with either genome-wide methylation levels or epigenetic differentiation. Instead, we found eight disproportionately differentiated epilocus-specific methylation states (FST outliers) using bayescan software and significant positive and negative association of 35 methylation states with parasite load from bespoke generalized estimating equations (GEE), simple logistic regression (sam) and Bayesian environmental analysis (bayenv2). Following Sanger sequencing, genome mapping and geneontology (go) annotation, some of these epiloci were linked to genes involved in regulation of cell cycle, signalling, metabolism, immune system and notably rRNA methylation, histone acetylation and small RNAs. These findings demonstrate an epigenetic signature of parasite load in populations of a wild bird and suggest intriguing physiological effects of parasite-associated cytosine methylation. PMID:24943398

  4. First isolate of Toxoplasma gondii from arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) from Svalbard

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cats are considered essential for the maintenance of Toxoplasma gondii in nature. However, T. gondii infection has been reported in arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) from the Svalbard high arctic archipelago where felids are virtually absent. To identify the potential source of T. gondii, we attempted to ...

  5. The Mitochondrial Genomes of Aquila fasciata and Buteo lagopus (Aves, Accipitriformes): Sequence, Structure and Phylogenetic Analyses

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Lan; Chen, Juan; Wang, Ping; Ren, Qiongqiong; Yuan, Jian; Qian, Chaoju; Hua, Xinghong; Guo, Zhichun; Zhang, Lei; Yang, Jianke; Wang, Ying; Zhang, Qin; Ding, Hengwu; Bi, De; Zhang, Zongmeng; Wang, Qingqing; Chen, Dongsheng; Kan, Xianzhao

    2015-01-01

    The family Accipitridae is one of the largest groups of non-passerine birds, including 68 genera and 243 species globally distributed. In the present study, we determined the complete mitochondrial sequences of two species of accipitrid, namely Aquila fasciata and Buteo lagopus, and conducted a comparative mitogenome analysis across the family. The mitogenome length of A. fasciata and B. lagopus are 18,513 and 18,559 bp with an A + T content of 54.2% and 55.0%, respectively. For both the two accipitrid birds mtDNAs, obvious positive AT-skew and negative GC-skew biases were detected for all 12 PCGs encoded by the H strand, whereas the reverse was found in MT-ND6 encoded by the L strand. One extra nucleotide‘C’is present at the position 174 of MT-ND3 gene of A. fasciata, which is not observed at that of B. lagopus. Six conserved sequence boxes in the Domain II, named boxes F, E, D, C, CSBa, and CSBb, respectively, were recognized in the CRs of A. fasciata and B. lagopus. Rates and patterns of mitochondrial gene evolution within Accipitridae were also estimated. The highest dN/dS was detected for the MT-ATP8 gene (0.32493) among Accipitridae, while the lowest for the MT-CO1 gene (0.01415). Mitophylogenetic analysis supported the robust monophyly of Accipitriformes, and Cathartidae was basal to the balance of the order. Moreover, we performed phylogenetic analyses using two other data sets (two mitochondrial loci, and combined nuclear and mitochondrial loci). Our results indicate that the subfamily Aquilinae and all currently polytypic genera of this subfamily are monophyletic. These two novel mtDNA data will be useful in refining the phylogenetic relationships and evolutionary processes of Accipitriformes. PMID:26295156

  6. Vector-borne pathogens in arctic foxes, Vulpes lagopus, from Canada.

    PubMed

    Mascarelli, Patricia E; Elmore, Stacey A; Jenkins, Emily J; Alisauskas, Ray T; Walsh, Mary; Breitschwerdt, Edward B; Maggi, Ricardo G

    2015-04-01

    Because of the relatively low biodiversity within arctic ecosystems, arctic foxes, Vulpes lagopus, could serve as sentinels for the study of changes in the ecology of vector-borne zoonotic pathogens. The objective of this study was to determine the molecular prevalence of 5 different genera of vector borne pathogens (Anaplasma, Babesia, Bartonella, Ehrlichia, and Hemotropic Mycoplasma spp.) using blood collected from 28 live-trapped arctic foxes from the region of Karrak Lake, Nunavut, Canada. Bartonella henselae (n = 3), Mycoplasma haemocanis (n = 1), Ehrlichia canis (n = 1), and an Anaplasma sp. (n = 1) DNA were PCR amplified and subsequently identified by sequencing. This study provides preliminary evidence that vector borne pathogens, not typically associated with the arctic ecosystem, exist at low levels in this arctic fox population, and that vector exposure, pathogen transmission dynamics, and changes in the geographic distribution of pathogens over time should be investigated in future studies. PMID:25596149

  7. Isolation and characterization of polymorphic microsatellite markers for blue fox (Alopex lagopus).

    PubMed

    Li, Y M; Guo, P C; Lu, J Y; Bai, C Y; Zhao, Z H; Yan, S Q

    2016-01-01

    The blue fox, belonging to the family Canidae, is a coat color variant of the native arctic fox (Alopex lagopus). To date, microsatellite loci in blue fox are typically amplified using canine simple sequence repeat primers. In the present study, we constructed an (AC)n enrichment library, and isolated and identified 17 polymorphic microsatellite markers for blue fox. The number of alleles per locus is from two to seven based on 24 examined individuals. The expected and observed heterozygosities were in the range of 0.3112 to 0.8236 and 0.2917 to 0.8750, respectively. The polymorphic information content per locus ranged from 0.2583 to 0.8022. These polymorphic markers can be useful for future population genetic studies of both farmed blue foxes and wild arctic foxes. PMID:27323129

  8. Foods of arctic foxes (Alopex lagopus) during winter and spring in western Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anthony, M.; Barten, N.K.; Seiser, P.E.

    2000-01-01

    During 1986-1991, carcasses of 619 arctic fares (Alopex lagopus) collected from local trappers and at biological field camps on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta in western Alaska from November through May were analyzed to determine gastrointestinal contents, age, sex, and body condition. Prey in declining order of importance were small mammals (95% tundra voles, Microtus oeconomus), birds, marine mammals, and fishes. Foxes with small mammal remains in their stomachs were captured farther from the Bering Sea coast ((X) over bar = 5.2 km) than those without small-mammal remains (2.8 km); foxes consuming remains of marine mammals were closer to the coast (1.9 km) than others (4.9 km). Although eggshells had a poor likelihood of occurrence in stomachs, they were found in all months and years. In 1986 and 1987, foxes consumed fewer small mammals than in other years. Mean ages of foxes captured in 1986 (3.7 years) and 1987 (3.2) were greater than in all ether years (1.5). Capture of adults was more common as winter progressed. Indexes of subcutaneous fat decreased annually in April-May and were highest in 1991, when occurrence of carrion of marine mammals was highest.

  9. Morphological characteristics of Mesocestoides canislagopodis (Krabbe 1865) tetrathyridia found in rock ptarmigan (Lagopus muta) in Iceland.

    PubMed

    Skirnisson, Karl; Sigurðardóttir, Ólöf G; Nielsen, Ólafur K

    2016-08-01

    Necropsies of 1010 rock ptarmigans (Lagopus muta) sampled in autumn 2006-2015 in northeast Iceland revealed Mesocestoides canislagopodis tetrathyridia infections in six birds (0.6 %), two juvenile birds (3 month old), and four adult birds (15 months or older). Four birds had tetrathyridia in the body cavity, one bird in the liver, and one bird both in the body cavity and the liver. There were more tetrathyridia in the body cavity of the two juveniles (c. 50 in each) than in three adults (10-40), possibly indicating a host-age-related tetrathyridia mortality. Approximately, half of tetrathyridia in the body cavity were free or loosely attached to the serosa, the other half were encapsulated in a thin, loose connective tissue stroma, frequently attached to the lungs and the liver. Tetrathyridia in the liver parenchyma incited variably intense inflammation. Tetrathyridia from the juvenile hosts were whitish, heart-shaped, and flattened, with unsegmented bodies with a slightly pointed posterior end. In the adult hosts, tetrathyridia were sometimes almost rectangular-shaped, slightly wider compared to those in the juveniles, but more than twice as long as the younger-aged tetrathyridia. Tetrathyridia infections are most likely acquired during the brief insectivorous feeding phase of ptarmigan chicks, and the tetrathyridia persist throughout the lifespan of the birds. PMID:27117162

  10. Seasonal differences in jump performance in the Svalbard rock ptarmigan (Lagopus muta hyperborea).

    PubMed

    Lees, John J; Folkow, Lars P; Codd, Jonathan R; Nudds, Robert L

    2014-01-01

    Fat storage is essential to the survival of many bird species, providing energy reserves, but can have an effect on locomotor performance with an associated potential increase in predation risk. In particular, the ability to initiate flight through jumping is critical to predator avoidance and may be influenced by changes in body mass (Mb). Here we investigate seasonal differences in the jump take-off performance of high Arctic Svalbard rock ptarmigan (Lagopus muta hyperborea) resulting from around a 50% increase in Mb during winter as a result of fat deposition. Using force-plate data and videography, we reveal that, in the absence of alterations to take-off angle, winter Svalbard rock ptarmigan are unable to increase hind-limb power output during jumping to compensate for their increased Mb. As a result, peak take-off velocity is reduced by 42% and jump duration is also extended during winter. The consequences of reduced jumping performance upon Svalbard ptarmigan during winter may be relatively small given their low risk of predation during this season. It may be, however, that the observed reduction in jumping performance when fat may contribute to the sub-maximal pattern of fat acquisition observed in other bird species. PMID:24659246

  11. The annual breeding cycle of the high-arctic Svalbard ptarmigan (Lagopus mutus hyperboreus).

    PubMed

    Stokkan, K A; Sharp, P J; Unander, S

    1986-03-01

    Gonadal size, spermatogenesis, egg production, height of the supraorbital comb, moult, and plasma luteinizing hormone (LH) levels were measured during an annual cycle in wild Svalbard ptarmigans (Lagopus mutus hyperboreus). These birds live permanently at 77-81 degrees N where daylight is continuous from the beginning of April until mid September while the average ambient temperature is above freezing only between early June and mid September. The gonads and comb size began to enlarge in March coinciding with an increase in plasma LH, but sperm production and egg laying did not begin until the end of May and early June, respectively. This long lag between the onset of reproductive functions and the time of breeding reflects a slow rate of gonadal growth which may be caused by nonphotoperiodic, inhibitory input from the environment. Gonadal regression occurred in July and was associated with a steep decline in plasma LH levels indicating that the birds became long-day refractory. A moult from white to pigmented plumage occurred in females at the beginning and in males towards the end of the breeding season. This observation is consistent with the notion of an inhibitory effect of testosterone on moult in the males. Both sexes moulted simultaneously into white plumage in late September/early October. PMID:3956996

  12. Reduced Metabolic Cost of Locomotion in Svalbard Rock Ptarmigan (Lagopus muta hyperborea) during Winter

    PubMed Central

    Lees, John; Nudds, Robert; Stokkan, Karl-Arne; Folkow, Lars; Codd, Jonathan

    2010-01-01

    The Svalbard rock ptarmigan, Lagopus muta hyperborea experiences extreme photoperiodic and climatic conditions on the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard. This species, however, is highly adapted to live in this harsh environment. One of the most striking adaptations found in these birds is the deposition, prior to onset of winter, of fat stores which may comprise up to 32% of body mass and are located primarily around the sternum and abdominal region. This fat, while crucial to the birds' survival, also presents a challenge in that the bird must maintain normal physiological function with this additional mass. In particular these stores are likely to constrain the respiratory system, as the sternum and pelvic region must be moved during ventilation and carrying this extra load may also impact upon the energetic cost of locomotion. Here we demonstrate that winter birds have a reduced cost of locomotion when compared to summer birds. A remarkable finding given that during winter these birds have almost twice the body mass of those in summer. These results suggest that Svalbard ptarmigan are able to carry the additional winter fat without incurring any energetic cost. As energy conservation is paramount to these birds, minimising the costs of moving around when resources are limited would appear to be a key adaptation crucial for their survival in the barren Arctic environment. PMID:21125015

  13. Correlates between Feeding Ecology and Mercury Levels in Historical and Modern Arctic Foxes (Vulpes lagopus)

    PubMed Central

    Krone, Oliver; Stefanski, Volker; Wibbelt, Gudrun; Unnsteinsdóttir, Ester Rut; Hersteinsson, Páll; Schares, Gereon; Doronina, Lilia; Goltsman, Mikhail; Greenwood, Alex D.

    2013-01-01

    Changes in concentration of pollutants and pathogen distribution can vary among ecotypes (e.g. marine versus terrestrial food resources). This may have important implications for the animals that reside within them. We examined 1) canid pathogen presence in an endangered arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) population and 2) relative total mercury (THg) level as a function of ecotype (‘coastal’ or ‘inland’) for arctic foxes to test whether the presence of pathogens or heavy metal concentration correlate with population health. The Bering Sea populations on Bering and Mednyi Islands were compared to Icelandic arctic fox populations with respect to inland and coastal ecotypes. Serological and DNA based pathogen screening techniques were used to examine arctic foxes for pathogens. THg was measured by atomic absorption spectrometry from hair samples of historical and modern collected arctic foxes and samples from their prey species (hair and internal organs). Presence of pathogens did not correlate with population decline from Mednyi Island. However, THg concentration correlated strongly with ecotype and was reflected in the THg concentrations detected in available food sources in each ecotype. The highest concentration of THg was found in ecotypes where foxes depended on marine vertebrates for food. Exclusively inland ecotypes had low THg concentrations. The results suggest that absolute exposure to heavy metals may be less important than the feeding ecology and feeding opportunities of top predators such as arctic foxes which may in turn influence population health and stability. A higher risk to wildlife of heavy metal exposure correlates with feeding strategies that rely primarily on a marine based diet. PMID:23671561

  14. Factors Affecting Diet Variation in the Pyrenean Rock Ptarmigan (Lagopus muta pyrenaica): Conservation Implications

    PubMed Central

    García-González, Ricardo; Aldezabal, Arantza; Laskurain, Nere Amaia; Margalida, Antoni; Novoa, Claude

    2016-01-01

    The Pyrenean rock ptarmigan (Lagopus muta pyrenaica) lives at one of the southernmost limits of the ptarmigan range. Their small population sizes and the impacts of global changes are limiting factors in the conservation of this threatened subspecies. An effective conservation policy requires precise basic knowledge of a species' food and habitat requirements, information that is practically non-existent for this Pyrenean population. Here, we describe the diet of a ptarmigan population in the Eastern Pyrenees, the environmental factors influencing its variability and the relationship between diet floristic composition and quality. Diet composition was determined by microhistological analysis of faeces and diet quality was estimated from free-urate faecal N content. Our results show that grouse diet is based mainly on arctic-alpine shrubs of the Ericaceae family, as well as dwarf willows (Salix spp.) and Dryas octopetala. The most frequently consumed plant species was Rhododendron ferrugineum, but its abundance in the diet was negatively related to the diet nitrogen content. Conversely, the abundance of Salix spp., grass leaves and arthropods increased the nitrogen content of the diet. Seasonality associated with snow-melting contributed the most to variability in the Pyrenean ptarmigan diet, differentiating winter from spring/summer diets. The latter was characterised by a high consumption of dwarf willows, flowers, arthropods and tender forb leaves. Geographic area and sex-age class influenced diet variability to a lesser extent. Current temperature increases in the Pyrenees due to global warming may reduce the persistence and surface area of snow-packs where preferred plants for rock ptarmigan usually grow, thus reducing food availability. The high consumption of Rh. ferrugineum characterised the diet of the Pyrenean population. Given the toxicity of this plant for most herbivores, its potential negative effect on Pyrenean ptarmigan populations should be

  15. Factors Affecting Diet Variation in the Pyrenean Rock Ptarmigan (Lagopus muta pyrenaica): Conservation Implications.

    PubMed

    García-González, Ricardo; Aldezabal, Arantza; Laskurain, Nere Amaia; Margalida, Antoni; Novoa, Claude

    2016-01-01

    The Pyrenean rock ptarmigan (Lagopus muta pyrenaica) lives at one of the southernmost limits of the ptarmigan range. Their small population sizes and the impacts of global changes are limiting factors in the conservation of this threatened subspecies. An effective conservation policy requires precise basic knowledge of a species' food and habitat requirements, information that is practically non-existent for this Pyrenean population. Here, we describe the diet of a ptarmigan population in the Eastern Pyrenees, the environmental factors influencing its variability and the relationship between diet floristic composition and quality. Diet composition was determined by microhistological analysis of faeces and diet quality was estimated from free-urate faecal N content. Our results show that grouse diet is based mainly on arctic-alpine shrubs of the Ericaceae family, as well as dwarf willows (Salix spp.) and Dryas octopetala. The most frequently consumed plant species was Rhododendron ferrugineum, but its abundance in the diet was negatively related to the diet nitrogen content. Conversely, the abundance of Salix spp., grass leaves and arthropods increased the nitrogen content of the diet. Seasonality associated with snow-melting contributed the most to variability in the Pyrenean ptarmigan diet, differentiating winter from spring/summer diets. The latter was characterised by a high consumption of dwarf willows, flowers, arthropods and tender forb leaves. Geographic area and sex-age class influenced diet variability to a lesser extent. Current temperature increases in the Pyrenees due to global warming may reduce the persistence and surface area of snow-packs where preferred plants for rock ptarmigan usually grow, thus reducing food availability. The high consumption of Rh. ferrugineum characterised the diet of the Pyrenean population. Given the toxicity of this plant for most herbivores, its potential negative effect on Pyrenean ptarmigan populations should be

  16. Is alloparenting helpful for Mednyi Island arctic foxes, Alopex lagopus semenovi?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kruchenkova, Elena P.; Goltsman, Michael; Sergeev, Sergei; MacDonald, David W.

    2009-04-01

    The Arctic Fox Alopex lagopus semenovi population on Mednyi Island is completely isolated and subsists largely by scavenging on seabird colonies, which have remained abundant and spatio-temporally predictable for many years. We compared population data at the beginning of 1976/1978 and some time after 1994-2005, finding an 85% decline in fox numbers due to disease, to assess the effect of population size on social structure. A total of 81 groups of known size and composition was observed during this 29-year period. Overall, helpers (usually non-lactating yearling females) occurred in 25.7% of groups, and in 32.4% of groups there were two or three lactating females. Female engagement in alloparental behaviour decreased, but not statistically significantly, after the decline in population density. Total food availability was apparently constant throughout the study period, and therefore, the amount available per individual was much higher later in the study. Both communally nursing females and helpers brought food and helped to guard the litter. However, the benefits of communal rearing were unclear. While cubs were left without guards significantly more rarely in the groups with an additional adult, the number of cubs weaned per lactating female was greater in groups with one (3.93 ± 1.60), as opposed to two or three (3.06 ± 0.92), lactating females. Survival of cubs to 1 year of age in the groups with two lactating females and/or with helpers was lower than that in the families with one lactating female without helpers (22.2% vs 32.2%). Fewer second-generation litters were born to foxes produced by composite families than to those produced by pairs. Reproductive adults producing by pairs had, on average, 1.23 (±1.72) second-generation litters. In groups that initially included additional adults, the average number of second-generation litters per reproductive female was 0.21 (±0.49) and 0.46 (±0.81) litters per male. Thus, according to three measures

  17. Muscular sarcocystosis in two arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus) due to Sarcocystis arctica n. sp.: sarcocyst morphology, molecular characteristics and phylogeny.

    PubMed

    Gjerde, Bjørn; Schulze, Johan

    2014-03-01

    The arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) is a critically endangered species in Norway, and therefore, the small population is closely monitored, and most foxes found dead are subjected to necropsy. In two deceased foxes, thin-walled muscular sarcocysts were first detected in histological sections, and numerous sarcocysts were later found in frozen and thawed muscle samples from Fox 1. These sarcocysts measured 1-12 × 0.1-0.25 mm and had closely spaced, short, knob-like protrusions, giving the cysts a serrated outline. Genomic DNA was extracted from eight isolated sarcocysts (Fox 1) and two muscle samples (Fox 2) and subjected to polymerase chain reaction amplification at four loci: the nuclear 18S and 28S ribosomal RNA genes and internal transcribed spacer 1 region and the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 gene (cox1). Both foxes were infected by the same Sarcocystis sp., which displayed little or no genetic variation at the three nuclear loci (99.9-100% identity) and slightly more variation at cox1 (99.4-100% identity). Sequence comparisons and phylogenetic analyses revealed that this species was distinct from other named Sarcocystis spp. but was closely related to various species using avian intermediate hosts and possibly identical to an unnamed species reported from two American dogs. The species described from the two arctic foxes was named Sarcocystis arctica n. sp. PMID:24297693

  18. Seasonal and daily variations in plasma melatonin in the high-arctic Svalbard ptarmigan (Lagopus mutus hyperboreus).

    PubMed

    Reierth, E; Van't Hof, T J; Stokkan, K A

    1999-08-01

    This study presents the daily rhythm of melatonin secretion throughout one year in a bird from the northern hemisphere, the Svalbard ptarmigan (Lagopus mutus hyperboreus), which lives naturally at 76-80 degrees N. Eight Svalbard ptarmigan were caged outdoors at 70 degrees N and blood sampled throughout one day each month for 13 months. At this latitude, daylight is continuous between May and August, but there is a short period of civil twilight around noon from late November to mid January. There was no daily rhythm in plasma melatonin in May-July. Plasma melatonin levels varied significantly throughout the day in all other months of the year, with the nighttime increase reflecting the duration of darkness. The highest mean plasma concentration occurred at midnight in March (110.1 +/- 16.5 pg/ml) and represented the annual peak in estimated daily production. Around the winter solstice, melatonin levels were significantly reduced at noon and elevated during the nearly 18 h of consecutive darkness, and the estimated mean daily production of melatonin was significantly reduced. Thus, at the times of the year characterized by light-dark cycles, melatonin may convey information concerning the length of the day and, therefore, progression of season. The nearly undetectable low melatonin secretion in summer and the reduced amplitude and production in midwinter indicate a flexible circadian system that may reflect an important adaptation to life in the Arctic. PMID:10447312

  19. Organochlorine contaminant and stable isotope profiles in Arctic fox (Alopex lagopus) from the Alaskan and Canadian Arctic.

    PubMed

    Hoekstra, P F; Braune, B M; O'Hara, T M; Elkin, B; Solomon, K R; Muir, D C G

    2003-01-01

    Arctic fox (Alopex lagopus) is a circumpolar species distributed across northern Canada and Alaska. Arctic fox muscle and liver were collected at Barrow, AK, USA (n=18), Holman, NT, Canada (n=20), and Arviat, NU, Canada (n=20) to elucidate the feeding ecology of this species and relate these findings to body residue patterns of organochlorine contaminants (OCs). Stable carbon (delta 13C) and nitrogen (delta 15N) isotope analyses of Arctic fox muscle indicated that trophic position (estimated by delta 15N) is positively correlated with increasing delta 13C values, suggesting that Arctic fox with a predominantly marine-based foraging strategy occupy a higher trophic level than individuals mostly feeding from a terrestrial-based carbon source. At all sites, the rank order for OC groups in muscle was polychlorinated biphenyls (Sigma PCB) > chlordane-related compounds (Sigma CHLOR) > hexachlorocyclohexane (Sigma HCH) > total toxaphene (TOX) > or = chlorobenzenes (Sigma ClBz) > DDT-related isomers (Sigma DDT). In liver, Sigma CHLOR was the most abundant OC group, followed by Sigma PCB > TOX > Sigma HCH > Sigma ClBz > Sigma DDT. The most abundant OC analytes detected from Arctic fox muscle and liver were oxychlordane, PCB-153, and PCB-180. The comparison of delta 15N with OC concentrations indicated that relative trophic position might not accurately predict OC bioaccumulation in Arctic fox. The bioaccumulation pattern of OCs in the Arctic fox is similar to the polar bear. While Sigma PCB concentrations were highly variable, concentrations in the Arctic fox were generally below those associated with the toxicological endpoints for adverse effects on mammalian reproduction. Further research is required to properly elucidate the potential health impacts to this species from exposure to OCs. PMID:12547532

  20. Re-colonization by common eiders Somateria mollissima in the Aleutian Archipelago following removal of introduced arctic foxes Vulpes lagopus

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Petersen, Margaret R.; Sonsthagen, Sarah A.; Sexson, Matthew G.

    2015-01-01

    Islands provide refuges for populations of many species where they find safety from predators, but the introduction of predators frequently results in elimination or dramatic reductions in island-dwelling organisms. When predators are removed, re-colonization for some species occurs naturally, and inter-island phylogeographic relationships and current movement patterns can illuminate processes of colonization. We studied a case of re-colonization of common eiders Somateria mollissima following removal of introduced arctic foxes Vulpes lagopus in the Aleutian Archipelago, Alaska. We expected common eiders to resume nesting on islands cleared of foxes and to re-colonize from nearby islets, islands, and island groups. We thus expected common eiders to show limited genetic structure indicative of extensive mixing among island populations. Satellite telemetry was used to record current movement patterns of female common eiders from six islands across three island groups. We collected genetic data from these and other nesting common eiders at 14 microsatellite loci and the mitochondrial DNA control region to examine population genetic structure, historical fluctuations in population demography, and gene flow. Our results suggest recent interchange among islands. Analysis of microsatellite data supports satellite telemetry data of increased dispersal of common eiders to nearby areas and little between island groups. Although evidence from mtDNA is suggestive of female dispersal among island groups, gene flow is insufficient to account for recolonization and rapid population growth. Instead, near-by remnant populations of common eiders contributed substantially to population expansion, without which re-colonization would have likely occurred at a much lower rate. Genetic and morphometric data of common eiders within one island group two and three decades after re-colonization suggests reduced movement of eiders among islands and little movement between island groups after

  1. ESTIMATING TOXOPLASMA GONDII EXPOSURE IN ARCTIC FOXES (VULPES LAGOPUS) WHILE NAVIGATING THE IMPERFECT WORLD OF WILDLIFE SEROLOGY.

    PubMed

    Elmore, Stacey A; Samelius, Gustaf; Al-Adhami, Batol; Huyvaert, Kathryn P; Bailey, Larissa L; Alisauskas, Ray T; Gajadhar, Alvin A; Jenkins, Emily J

    2016-01-01

    Although the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii is ubiquitous in birds and mammals worldwide, the full suite of hosts and transmission routes is not completely understood, especially in the Arctic. Toxoplasma gondii occurrence in humans and wildlife can be high in Arctic regions, despite apparently limited opportunities for transmission of oocysts shed by felid definitive hosts. Arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus) are under increasing anthropogenic and ecologic pressure, leading to population declines in parts of their range. Our understanding of T. gondii occurrence in arctic foxes is limited to only a few regions, but mortality events caused by this parasite have been reported. We investigated the exposure of arctic foxes to T. gondii in the Karrak Lake goose colony, Queen Maud Gulf Migratory Bird Sanctuary, Nunavut, Canada. Following an occupancy-modeling framework, we performed replicated antibody testing on serum samples by direct agglutination test (DAT), indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT), and an indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) that can be used in multiple mammalian host species. As a metric of test performance, we then estimated the probability of detecting T. gondii antibodies for each of the tests. Occupancy estimates for T. gondii antibodies in arctic foxes under this framework were between 0.430 and 0.758. Detection probability was highest for IFAT (0.716) and lower for DAT (0.611) and ELISA (0.464), indicating that the test of choice for antibody detection in arctic foxes might be the IFAT. We document a new geographic record of T. gondii exposure in arctic foxes and demonstrate an emerging application of ecologic modeling techniques to account for imperfect performance of diagnostic tests in wildlife species. PMID:26745833

  2. Influence of Snowmelt Timing on the Diet Quality of Pyrenean Rock Ptarmigan (Lagopus muta pyrenaica): Implications for Reproductive Success

    PubMed Central

    García-González, Ricardo; Aldezabal, Arantza; Laskurain, Nere Amaia; Margalida, Antoni; Novoa, Claude

    2016-01-01

    The Pyrenean rock ptarmigan (Lagopus muta pyrenaica) is the southernmost subspecies of the species in Europe and is considered threatened as a consequence of changes in landscape, human pressure, climate change, and low genetic diversity. Previous studies have shown a relationship between the date of snowmelt and reproductive success in the Pyrenean ptarmigan. It is well established that birds laying early in the breeding season have higher reproductive success, but the specific mechanism for this relationship is debated. We present an explicative model of the relationship between snowmelt date and breeding success mediated by food quality for grouse in alpine environments. From microhistological analyses of 121 faecal samples collected during three years in the Canigou Massif (Eastern Pyrenees), and the assessment of the chemical composition of the main dietary components, we estimated the potential quality of individual diets. Potential dietary quality was correlated with free-urate faecal N, a proxy of the digestible protein content ingested by ptarmigan, and both were correlated with phenological stage of consumed plants, which in turn depends on snowmelt date. Our findings suggest that the average snowmelt date is subject to a strong interannual variability influencing laying date. In years of early snowmelt, hens benefit from a longer period of high quality food resources potentially leading to a higher breeding success. On the contrary, in years of late snowmelt, hens begin their breeding period in poorer nutrient condition because the peaks of protein content of their main food items are delayed with respect to laying date, hence reducing breeding performance. We discuss the possible mismatch between breeding and snowmelt timing. PMID:26849356

  3. Influence of Snowmelt Timing on the Diet Quality of Pyrenean Rock Ptarmigan (Lagopus muta pyrenaica): Implications for Reproductive Success.

    PubMed

    García-González, Ricardo; Aldezabal, Arantza; Laskurain, Nere Amaia; Margalida, Antoni; Novoa, Claude

    2016-01-01

    The Pyrenean rock ptarmigan (Lagopus muta pyrenaica) is the southernmost subspecies of the species in Europe and is considered threatened as a consequence of changes in landscape, human pressure, climate change, and low genetic diversity. Previous studies have shown a relationship between the date of snowmelt and reproductive success in the Pyrenean ptarmigan. It is well established that birds laying early in the breeding season have higher reproductive success, but the specific mechanism for this relationship is debated. We present an explicative model of the relationship between snowmelt date and breeding success mediated by food quality for grouse in alpine environments. From microhistological analyses of 121 faecal samples collected during three years in the Canigou Massif (Eastern Pyrenees), and the assessment of the chemical composition of the main dietary components, we estimated the potential quality of individual diets. Potential dietary quality was correlated with free-urate faecal N, a proxy of the digestible protein content ingested by ptarmigan, and both were correlated with phenological stage of consumed plants, which in turn depends on snowmelt date. Our findings suggest that the average snowmelt date is subject to a strong interannual variability influencing laying date. In years of early snowmelt, hens benefit from a longer period of high quality food resources potentially leading to a higher breeding success. On the contrary, in years of late snowmelt, hens begin their breeding period in poorer nutrient condition because the peaks of protein content of their main food items are delayed with respect to laying date, hence reducing breeding performance. We discuss the possible mismatch between breeding and snowmelt timing. PMID:26849356

  4. Mineral density and biomechanical properties of bone tissue from male Arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus) exposed to organochlorine contaminants and emaciation.

    PubMed

    Sonne, Christian; Wolkers, Hans; Rigét, Frank F; Jensen, Jens-Erik Beck; Teilmann, Jenni; Jenssen, Bjørn Munro; Fuglei, Eva; Ahlstrøm, Øystein; Dietz, Rune; Muir, Derek C G; Jørgensen, Even H

    2009-01-01

    We investigated the impact from dietary OC (organochlorine) exposure and restricted feeding (emaciation) on bone mineral density (BMD; g hydroxy-apatite cm(-2)) in femoral, vertebrate, skull and baculum osteoid tissue from farmed Arctic blue foxes (Vulpes lagopus). For femur, also biomechanical properties during bending (displacement [mm], load [N], energy absorption [J] and stiffness [N/mm]) were measured. Sixteen foxes (EXP) were fed a wet food containing 7.7% OC-polluted minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) blubber in two periods of body fat deposition (Aug-Dec) and two periods of body fat mobilisation (Jan-July) in which the food contained less energy and only 2% blubber. SigmaOC food concentration in the food containing 7.7% whale blubber was 309 ng/g wet mass. This corresponded to a SigmaOC exposure of ca. 17 microg/kg body mass/d and a responding SigmaOC residue in subcutaneous adipose tissue of ca. 1700 ng/g live mass in the 8 EXP fat foxes euthanized after 16 months. A control group (CON) composed of 15 foxes were fed equal daily caloric amounts of clean pork (Sus scrofa) fat. After 16 months, 8 EXP and 7 CON foxes were euthanized (mean body mass=9.25 kg) while the remaining 8 EXP and 8 CON foxes were given restricted food rations for 6 months resulting in a body weight reduction (mean body mass=5.46 kg). The results showed that only BMD(skull) vs. BMD(vertebrae) were significantly correlated (R=0.68; p=0.03; n=10) probably due to a similar composition of trabecular and cortical osteoid tissue. No difference in any of the BMD measurements or femoral biomechanical properties was found between EXP and CON foxes although BMD baculum was 1.6-folds lower in the EXP group. However, lean summer foxes had significantly lower femoral biomechanical properties measured as displacement (mm), energy absorption (J) and time (s) biomechanical properties than fat winter foxes (all p<0.004). This indicates lower stiffness and softer bones from fasting which is in

  5. Dietary contaminant exposure affects plasma testosterone, but not thyroid hormones, vitamin A, and vitamin E, in male juvenile arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus).

    PubMed

    Hallanger, Ingeborg G; Jørgensen, Even H; Fuglei, Eva; Ahlstrøm, Øystein; Muir, Derek C G; Jenssen, Bjørn Munro

    2012-01-01

    Levels of persistent organic pollutants (POP), such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB), are high in many Arctic top predators, including the Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus). The aim of this study was to examine possible endocrine-disruptive effects of dietary POP exposure in male juvenile Arctic foxes in a controlled exposure experiment. The study was conducted using domesticated farmed blue foxes (Vulpes lagopus) as a model species. Two groups of newly weaned male foxes received a diet supplemented with either minke whale (Baleneoptera acutorostrata) blubber that was naturally contaminated with POP (exposed group, n = 5 or 21), or pork (Sus scrofa) fat (control group, n = 5 or 21). When the foxes were 6 mo old and had received the 2 diets for approximately 4 mo (147 d), effects of the dietary exposure to POP on plasma concentrations of testosterone (T), thyroid hormones (TH), thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), retinol (vitamin A), and tocopherol (viramin E) were examined. At sampling, the total body concentrations of 104 PCB congeners were 0.1 ± 0.03 μg/g lipid weight (l.w.; n = 5 [mean ± standard deviation]) and 1.5 ± 0.17 μg/g l.w. (n = 5) in the control and exposed groups, respectively. Plasma testosterone concentrations in the exposed male foxes were significantly lower than in the control males, being approximately 25% of that in the exposed foxes. There were no between-treatment differences for TH, TSH, retinol, or tocopherol. The results suggest that the high POP levels experienced by costal populations of Arctic foxes, such as in Svalbard and Iceland, may result in delayed masculine maturation during adolescence. Sex hormone disruption during puberty may thus have lifetime consequences on all aspects of reproductive function in adult male foxes. PMID:23030655

  6. The fall and rise of the Icelandic Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus): a 50-year demographic study on a non-cyclic Arctic fox population.

    PubMed

    Unnsteinsdottir, E R; Hersteinsson, P; Pálsson, S; Angerbjörn, A

    2016-08-01

    In territorial species, observed density dependence is often manifest in lowered reproductive output at high population density where individuals have fewer resources or are forced to inhabit low-quality territories. The Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) in Iceland is territorial throughout the year and feeds mostly on birds, since lemmings are absent from the country. Thus, the population does not exhibit short-term population cycles that are evident in most of the species' geographical range. The population has, however, gone through a major long-term fluctuation in population size. Because of the stability in hunting effort and reliable hunting records since 1958, the total number of adult foxes killed annually can be used as an index of population size (N t ). An index of carrying capacity (K) from population growth data for five separate time blocks during 1958-2007 revealed considerable variation in K and allowed a novel definition of population density in terms of K, or N t /K. Correlation analysis suggested that the reproductive rate was largely determined by the proportion of territorial foxes in the population. Variation in litter size and cub mortality was, on the other hand, related to climatic variation. Thus, Arctic foxes in Iceland engage in typical contest competition but can adapt their territory sizes in response to both temporal and spatial variation in carrying capacity, resulting in surprisingly little variation in litter size. PMID:27126366

  7. Transport characteristics and morphology of the colon and coprodeum in two wild birds of different habitats, the rock ptarmigan (Lagopus mutus) and the common murre (Uria aalge).

    PubMed

    Árnason, Sighvatur S; Elbrønd, Vibeke S; Laverty, Gary

    2015-09-01

    Dietary salt intake in domestic fowl affects epithelial transport and morphology of the lower intestine (colon and coprodeum). This study investigated lower intestinal morphology and transport activity in two wild bird species with natural diets containing either low or high salt. Tissues from rock ptarmigan (Lagopus mutus) and common murres (Uria aalge) were sampled for histology and electrophysiological analyses. The ptarmigan exists on a low salt diet, while the murre lives on a high protein and high salt diet. The ptarmigan colon and coprodeum had villi/folds and crypts and the epithelium contained absorptive epithelial cells, mitochondria-rich cells and goblet cells. The colon had significant amiloride-inhibitable Isc, 5-15 μA/cm(2), with no glucose-stimulated Isc, and no significant phloridzin inhibition. The coprodeum also had high amiloride-inhibitable Isc. This transport pattern corresponded to that of chickens on low-salt diets. However, the ptarmigan colon also had a significant lysine/leucine-stimulated Isc of 3±1.0 μA/cm(2). The short U. aalge colon was similar to that of ptarmigans, but with no villi. It demonstrated a significant lysine/leucine-stimulated Isc (11±3.5 μA/cm(2)) with no amiloride-inhibitable Isc, similar to the high-salt chicken colon, but with no Na(+)-glucose cotransport. The murre coprodeum was inert to all substances and showed high resistance (1000 Ω·cm(2)), with a multilayered squamous epithelium. Despite some variations possibly associated with dietary protein intake, we conclude that natural high and low salt diets in different avian species are associated with different lower intestinal transport patterns, providing for post-renal adjustments in ion and water excretion. PMID:25937620

  8. Levels and temporal trends of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus) from Svalbard in relation to dietary habits and food availability.

    PubMed

    Andersen, Martin S; Fuglei, Eva; König, Max; Lipasti, Inka; Pedersen, Åshild Ø; Polder, Anuschka; Yoccoz, Nigel G; Routti, Heli

    2015-04-01

    Temporal trends of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus) from Svalbard, Norway, were investigated in relation to feeding habits and seasonal food availability. Arctic foxes from Svalbard forage in both marine and terrestrial ecosystems and the availability of their food items are impacted by climatic variability. Concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), organochlorinated pesticides (OCPs) and brominated flame retardants (polybrominated diphenyl ethers [PBDEs] and hexabromocyclododecane [HBCDD]) were analyzed in the liver of 141 arctic foxes collected between 1997 and 2013. Stable carbon isotope values (δ13C) were used as a proxy for feeding on marine versus terrestrial prey. The annual number of recovered reindeer carcasses and sea ice cover were used as proxies for climate influenced food availability (reindeers, seals). Linear models revealed that concentrations of PCBs, chlordanes, p,p'-DDE, mirex and PBDEs decreased 4-11% per year, while no trends were observed for hexachlorobenzene (HCB) or β-hexachlorocyclohexane (β-HCH). Positive relationships between POP concentrations and δ13C indicate that concentrations of all compounds increase with increasing marine dietary input. Increasing reindeer mortality was related to lower HCB concentrations in the foxes based on the linear models. This suggests that concentrations of HCB in arctic foxes may be influenced by high mortality levels of Svalbard reindeer. Further, β-HCH concentrations showed a positive association with sea ice cover. These results in addition to the strong effect of δ13C on all POP concentrations suggest that climate-related changes in arctic fox diet are likely to influence contaminant concentrations in arctic foxes from Svalbard. PMID:25536177

  9. Genetic parameters of pelt character, feed efficiency and size traits in Finnish blue fox (Vulpes lagopus).

    PubMed

    Kempe, R; Koskinen, N; Strandén, I

    2013-12-01

    Pelt character traits (size, quality, colour clarity, darkness) are important economic traits in blue fox breeding. Better feed efficiency (FE) is another economically important and new breeding goal for fur animals. The purpose of this study was to determine the correlations between pelt character traits, FE and size traits and to estimate genetic parameters for pelt character traits. Pelt size (pSIcm ) had a high positive genetic correlation with animal grading size (gSI), final body weight (BWFin), body length and daily gain (DG), and a moderate correlation with body condition score (BCS). Animal body length and BCS (describing fatness) were considered as genetically different traits. Genetic correlations between pelt quality and size traits were estimated without precision and did not differ from zero, but colour clarity (pCL) had a low antagonistic genetic correlation with FE. Pelt size and DG had a favourable genetic correlation with FE but a fairly high unfavourable genetic correlation with dry matter feed intake. The current emphasis on selection for larger animal and pelt size improves FE indirectly, but selection for larger pelt size favours fast-growing and fat individuals and simultaneously increases feed intake. The detected genetic connections between FE, size, feed intake and pCL should be taken into account in the Finnish blue fox breeding programme. PMID:24236607

  10. Evidence for energy savings from aerial running in the Svalbard rock ptarmigan (Lagopus muta hyperborea)

    PubMed Central

    Nudds, R. L.; Folkow, L. P.; Lees, J. J.; Tickle, P. G.; Stokkan, K.-A.; Codd, J. R.

    2011-01-01

    Svalbard rock ptarmigans were walked and run upon a treadmill and their energy expenditure measured using respirometry. The ptarmigan used three different gaits: a walking gait at slow speeds (less than or equal to 0.75 m s−1), grounded running at intermediate speeds (0.75 m s−1 < U < 1.67 m s−1) and aerial running at high speeds (greater than or equal to 1.67 m s−1). Changes of gait were associated with reductions in the gross cost of transport (COT; J kg−1 m−1), providing the first evidence for energy savings with gait change in a small crouched-postured vertebrate. In addition, for the first time (excluding humans) a decrease in absolute metabolic energy expenditure (rate of O2 consumption) in aerial running when compared with grounded running was identified. The COT versus U curve varies between species and the COT was cheaper during aerial running than grounded running, posing the question of why grounded running should be used at all. Existing explanations (e.g. stability during running over rocky terrain) amount to just so stories with no current evidence to support them. It may be that grounded running is just an artefact of treadmill studies. Research investigating the speeds used by animals in the field is sorely needed. PMID:21288943

  11. Den use by arctic foxes (Alopex lagopus) in a subarctic region of western Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anthony, R.M.

    1996-01-01

    Distribution, abundance, and use of arctic fox dens located in coastal tundra communities of the Yukon-Kuskokwim delta were determined in studies from 1985 to 1990. Dens were denser and less complex than those described in studies conducted above the Arctic Circle. Eighty-three dens of varying complexity were found in the 52-km2 study area. Nineteen dens were used by arctic foxes for whelping or rearing pups. Three females relocated litters to multiple dens; a maximum of four dens were used concurrently by pups from one litter. Although red foxes were common in the region, their use of dens in the study area was minimal. Differences in vegetation at den sites and nearby unoccupied sites were minimal. Furthermore, den sites could not be distinguished from non-den sites during aerial surveys.

  12. Kinematics and subpopulations' structure definition of blue fox (Alopex lagopus) sperm motility using the ISAS® V1 CASA system.

    PubMed

    Soler, C; García, A; Contell, J; Segervall, J; Sancho, M

    2014-08-01

    Over recent years, technological advances have brought innovation in assisted reproduction to the agriculture. Fox species are of great economical interest in some countries, but their semen characteristics have not been studied enough. To advance the knowledge of function of fox spermatozoa, five samples were obtained by masturbation, in the breeding season. Kinetic analysis was performed using ISAS® v1 system. Usual kinematic parameters (VCL, VSL, VAP, LIN, STR, WOB, ALH and BCF) were considered. To establish the standardization for the analysis of samples, the minimum number of cells to analyse and the minimum number of fields to capture were defined. In the second step, the presence of subpopulations in blue fox semen was analysed. The minimum number of cells to test was 30, because kinematic parameters remained constant along the groups of analysis. Also, the effectiveness of ISAS® D4C20 counting chamber was studied, showing that the first five squares presented equivalent results, while in the squares six and seven, the kinematic parameters showed a reduction in all of them, but not in the concentration or motility percentage. Kinematic variables were grouped into two principal components (PC). A linear movement characterized PC1, while PC2 showed an oscillatory movement. Three subpopulations were found, varying in structure among different animals. PMID:24890953

  13. Genotyping of Enterocytozoon bieneusi in Farmed Blue Foxes (Alopex lagopus) and Raccoon Dogs (Nyctereutes procyonoides) in China

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Wei; Zhang, Weizhe; Yang, Ziyin; Liu, Aiqin; Zhang, Longxian; Yang, Fengkun; Wang, Rongjun; Ling, Hong

    2015-01-01

    Enterocytozoon bieneusi is the most common species of microsporidia found both in humans and animals. Farmed animals, particularly closely associated to humans, may play an important role of zoonotic reservoir in transmitting this disease to humans. The fur industry is a major economic component in some parts of China. To understand the prevalence, genotype variety and zoonotic risk of E. bieneusi in farmed foxes and raccoon dogs, two species of fur animals, fecal specimens of 110 blue foxes and 49 raccoon dogs from Heilongjiang and Jilin provinces in China were examined by internal transcribed spacer (ITS)-based PCR. E. bieneusi was detected in 16.4% (18/110) blue foxes and 4.1% (2/49) raccoon dogs. Altogether, four genotypes of E. bieneusi were identified, including two known genotypes D (n = 13) and EbpC (n = 5), and two novel genotypes named as CHN-F1 (n = 1) in a fox and CHN-R1 (n = 1) in a raccoon dog. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that all the four genotypes were the members of zoonotic group 1. Genotypes D and EbpC were found in humans previously. The findings of zoonotic genotypes of E. bieneusi in the foxes and raccoon dogs suggest these animals infected with E. bieneusi may pose a threat to human health. PMID:26544711

  14. Influence of dietary protein level and the amino acids methionine and lysine on leather properties of blue fox (Alopex lagopus) pelts.

    PubMed

    Dahlman, Tuula; Mäntysalo, Marja; Rasmussen, Palle V; Skovløkke, L L

    2002-12-01

    The influence of dietary protein, methionine, and lysine on leather quality in blue fox pelts was studied. The pelt material originated from animals in two consecutive feeding trials (Exp. 1 and Exp. 2) with three protein levels: conventional, slightly lowered, and very low. The two lowest protein diets were fed as such or as supplemented with methionine or with lysine (lysine only in Exp. 2). The following physical leather properties were measured: breaking load (BRL), tensile strength (TEN), relative elongation at break (PEB), straining of skins at pelting, and shrinkage at dressing. A decline in the dietary protein content reduced BRL and, hence, leather firmness, and increased straining and the corresponding shrinking in Exp. 1. The supplemented methionine tended to improve leather strength and elasticity by increasing TEN and PEB in Exp. 1, whereas lysine elicited no response. Methionine supplementation at the slightly lowered protein level increased BRL in both experiments by almost 10% as compared with the respective non-supplemented diet. We conclude that with high protein quality diets, a level of 200 g/kg DM (as digestible protein) appears to be adequate for producing pelts with firm, elastic leather, provided that an adequate amount of methionine is included in the diet. PMID:12553694

  15. Calcium concrements in the pineal gland of the Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) and their relationship to pinealocytes, glial cells and type I and III collagen fibers.

    PubMed

    Bulc, M; Lewczuk, B; Prusik, M; Gugołek, A; Przybylska-Gornowicz, B

    2010-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to analyze the presence and morphology of the pineal concretions in the Arctic fox and their relationship to pinealocytes, glial cells and collagen fibers. Pineals collected from 7-8 month-old and 3-4 year-old foxes (6 in each age-group) were investigated. Sections of the glands were stained with HE, Mallory's method and alizarin red S as well as subjected to a combined procedure involving immunofluorescent staining with antibodies against antigen S, glial fibril acid protein (GFAP), type I and III collagen and histochemical staining with alizarin red S. The pineal concretions were found in 2 of 6 investigated Arctic foxes aged 3 years and they were not observed in animals aged 7-8 months. The acervuli were present in the parenchyma and the connective tissue septa. They were more numerous in the distal part than in the proximal part of the gland. The acervuli stained with alizarin red S revealed an intensive red fluorescence, what enabled the use of this compound in a combined histochemical-immunofluorescent procedure. A majority of cells in the fox pineal showed positive staining with antibodies against antigen S, a marker of pinealocytes. GFAP-positive cells were especially numerous in the proximal part of the gland. Both antigen S- and GFAP-positive cells were frequently observed close to the concrements. Collagen fibers of type I and III were found in the capsule, connective tissue septa and vessels. Immunoreactive fibers did not form any capsules or basket-like structures surrounding the concrements. PMID:20731181

  16. Effects of Dietary Copper and Zinc Supplementation on Growth Performance, Tissue Mineral Retention, Antioxidant Status, and Fur Quality in Growing-Furring Blue Foxes (Alopex lagopus).

    PubMed

    Liu, Zhi; Wu, Xuezhuang; Zhang, Tietao; Guo, Jungang; Gao, Xiuhua; Yang, Fuhe; Xing, Xiumei

    2015-12-01

    A 4×2 factorial experiment with four supplemental levels of copper (0, 20, 40, or 60 mg copper per kg dry matter) from copper sulfate and two supplemental levels of zinc (40 or 200 mg zinc per kg dry matter) from zinc sulfate was conducted to investigate the effects of dietary copper and zinc supplementation on growth performance, tissue mineral retention, antioxidant status, and fur quality in growing-furring blue foxes. One hundred and twenty healthy 15-week-old male blue foxes were randomly allocated to eight dietary treatments with 15 replicates per treatment for a 70-day trial from mid-September to pelting in December. The average daily gain and feed conversion ratio were increased with copper supplementation in the first 35 days as well as the overall period (P<0.05). In addition, copper supplementation tended to increase feed intake during the first 35 days (P<0.10). Diets supplemented with 200 mg/kg zinc did not affect body gain (P>0.10) and feed intake (P>0.10) but improved feed conversion (P<0.05) compared with those supplemented 40 mg/kg zinc throughout the experiment. No copper×zinc interaction was observed for growth performance except that a tendency (P=0.09) was found for feed intake in the first 35 days. Supplementation of copper or zinc improved crude fat digestibility (P<0.01) but had no effects on the digestibility of other nutrients. Fecal copper was increased with both copper (P<0.01) and zinc addition (P<0.05). However, fecal zinc was affected only by dietary zinc addition (P<0.01). Mineral contents in serum and kidney were not affected by dietary treatments (P>0.05). However, the level of copper in the liver was increased with copper supplementation (P<0.05) and tended to decrease with zinc supplementation (P=0.08). Dietary zinc addition tended to increase the activity of alkaline phosphatase (P=0.07). The activities of copper-zinc superoxide dismutase and catalase tended to increase by copper (P=0.08) and zinc addition (P=0.05). Moreover, a copper×zinc interaction was observed for catalase in the experiment (P<0.05). Serum malondialdehyde concentration decreased with the increasing of dietary copper and zinc levels (P<0.05). The activity of glutathione peroxidase tended to increase by copper addition (P=0.09). For fur quality, foxes fed diets supplemented with high copper had larger skin length and darker pelts than those fed the basal diet without copper addition (P<0.05). In conclusion, this study demonstrated that dietary copper and zinc supplementation can improve growth by increasing feed intake and improving fat digestibility. Additionally, copper and zinc can enhance the antioxidant capacity of blue foxes. This study also indicates that additional zinc up to 200 mg/kg did not exert significant adverse effects on the copper metabolism of growing-furring blue foxes. PMID:26032444

  17. The effect of different fat sources in the diet on the composition of adipose tissue in arctic foxes (Alopex lagopus L.).

    PubMed

    Nowicki, Sławomir; Przysiecki, Piotr; Filistowicz, Aneta; Potkański, Andrzej; Filistowicz, Andrzej; Wójtowski, Jacek

    2014-01-01

    The study investigated the effect of vegetable and animal fat in the feed ration on the fatty acid profile of reserve fat in the arctic fox. Varying proportions of saturated and unsaturated fats in the feed ration comprised the experimental factor. In order to differentiate contents of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids in the experimental feed rations, various percentages of rapeseed oil and turkey fat were applied. The subcutaneous and circum-organal fat in this study differed considerably in terms of contents of individual fatty acids and between individual groups of acids. The circum-organal fat contained much higher amounts of unsaturated acids, but at the same time it was characterized by a lower amount of monounsaturated acids. Significant differences were also found in the contents of as many as 11 fatty acids. Recorded results indicate a potential modification of reserve fat in the arctic fox, a model representative of carnivorous animals (Carnivora). The possibility of the partial substitution of animal fat with vegetable oil (rape oil) in the nutritive diet of artic foxes was confirmed. PMID:25134342

  18. RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN CLIMATE AND POPULATION DYNAMICS OF WHITE-TAILED PTARMIGAN LAGOPUS LEUCURUS IN ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK, COLORADO, USA. (R827449)

    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...

  19. Testing the interactive effects of testosterone and parasites on carotenoid-based ornamentation in a wild bird.

    PubMed

    Martínez-Padilla, J; Mougeot, F; Webster, L M I; Pérez-Rodríguez, L; Piertney, S B

    2010-05-01

    Testosterone underlies the expression of most secondary sexual traits, playing a key role in sexual selection. However, high levels might be associated with physiological costs, such as immunosuppression. Immunostimulant carotenoids underpin the expression of many red-yellow ornaments, but are regulated by testosterone and constrained by parasites. We manipulated testosterone and nematode burdens in red grouse (Lagopus lagopus scoticus) in two populations to tease apart their effects on carotenoid levels, ornament size and colouration in three time-step periods. We found no evidence for interactive effects of testosterone and parasites on ornament size and colouration. We showed that ornament colouration was testosterone-driven. However, parasites decreased comb size with a time delay and testosterone increased carotenoid levels in one of the populations. This suggests that environmental context plays a key role in determining how individuals resolve the trade-off between allocating carotenoids for ornamental coloration or for self-maintenance needs. Our study advocates that adequately testing the mechanisms behind the production or maintenance of secondary sexual characters has to take into account the dynamics of sexual trait expression and their environmental context. PMID:20536879

  20. Environmental heterogeneity influences the reliability of secondary sexual traits as condition indicators.

    PubMed

    Vergara, Pablo; Martinez-Padilla, J; Mougeot, F; Leckie, F; Redpath, S M

    2012-01-01

    Numerous studies have shown positive associations between ornaments and condition, as predicted by indicator models of sexual selection. However, this idea is continuously challenged by opposite results, which reveal our lack of full understanding of how sexual selection works. Environmental heterogeneity may explain such inconsistencies, but valid field tests of this idea are currently lacking. We first analysed the relationship between condition and ornament expression from nine populations over 7 years in a wild bird, the red grouse Lagopus lagopus scoticus. We then manipulated male aggressiveness at the population level by means of testosterone implants in a replicated field experiment. We found that the relationship between condition and ornamentation varied greatly between environments and became stronger when environmental conditions (ECs) were worse or when aggressiveness in the population was experimentally increased. Some ornaments may therefore reliably advertise a better condition only in adverse ECs. Considering environmental heterogeneity can help reconcile conflicting findings regarding the reliability of ornaments as indicators of condition and will help our understanding of sexual selection processes. PMID:22022806

  1. SkydancerPlex: A novel STR multiplex validated for forensic use in the hen harrier (Circus cyaneus).

    PubMed

    van Hoppe, Moniek J C; Dy, Mary A V; van den Einden, Marion; Iyengar, Arati

    2016-05-01

    The hen harrier (Circus cyaneus) is a bird of prey which is heavily persecuted in the UK because it preys on the game bird red grouse (Lagopus lagopus scoticus). To help investigations into illegal killings of hen harrier, a STR multiplex kit containing eight short tandem repeat (STR) markers and a chromohelicase DNA binding protein 1 (CHD 1) sexing marker was developed. The multiplex kit was tested for species specificity, sensitivity, robustness, precision, accuracy and stability. Full profiles were obtained with as little as 0.25 ng of template DNA. Concurrent development of an allelic ladder to ensure reliable and accurate allele designation across laboratories makes the SkydancerPlex the first forensic DNA profiling system in a species of wildlife to be fully validated according to SWGDAM and ISFG recommendations. An average profile frequency of 3.67 × 10(-8), a PID estimate of 5.3 × 10(-9) and a PID-SIB estimate of 9.7 × 10(-4) make the SkydancerPlex an extremely powerful kit for individualisation. PMID:26881329

  2. Louping ill virus in the UK: a review of the hosts, transmission and ecological consequences of control.

    PubMed

    Gilbert, Lucy

    2016-03-01

    Louping ill virus (LIV) is a tick-borne flavivirus that is part of the tick-borne encephalitis complex of viruses (TBEV) and has economic and welfare importance by causing illness and death in livestock, especially sheep, Ovies aries, and red grouse, Lagopus lagopus scoticus, an economically valuable gamebird. Unlike Western TBEV which is found primarily in woodlands and is reservoired by small rodents, LIV is not generally transmitted by small rodents but instead by sheep, red grouse and mountain hares and, therefore, is associated with upland heather moorland and rough grazing land. Red grouse are a particularly interesting transmission host because they may acquire most of their LIV infections through eating ticks rather than being bitten by ticks. Furthermore, the main incentive for the application of LIV control methods is not to protect sheep, but to protect red grouse, which is an economically important gamebird. The widespread intensive culling of mountain hares which has been adopted in several areas of Scotland to try to control ticks and LIV has become an important issue in Scotland in recent years. This review outlines the reservoir hosts and transmission cycles of LIV in the UK, then describes the various control methods that have been tried or modelled, with far-reaching implications for conservation and public opinion. PMID:26205612

  3. Reducing tick burdens on chicks by treating breeding female grouse with permethrin

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ticks are important arthropod vectors of diseases of human, livestock, and wildlife hosts. In the United Kingdom, the sheep tick (Ixodes ricinus) is increasingly recognized as a main limiting factor of red grouse (Lagopus lagopus) populations, a game bird of high economic value. We evaluated the e...

  4. Experimentally elevated levels of testosterone at independence reduce fitness in a territorial bird.

    PubMed

    Martínez-Padilla, J; Pérez-Rodríguez, L; Mougeot, F; Ludwig, S C; Redpath, S M

    2014-04-01

    Environmental conditions and individual strategies in early life may have a profound effect on fitness. A critical moment in the life of an organism occurs when an individual reaches independence and stops receiving benefits from its relatives. Understanding the consequences of individual strategies at the time of independence requires quantification of their fitness effects. We explored this period in the Red Grouse (Lagopus lagopus scoticus). In this system, testosterone and parasite (Trichostrongylus tenuis) levels are known to influence survival and reproduction, the two key components of individual fitness. We experimentally and simultaneously manipulated testosterone and parasites at three levels (high, intermediate, and control levels for both factors) in 195 young males in five populations using a factorial experimental design. We explored the effects of our treatments on fitness by monitoring reproduction and survival throughout the life of all males and estimating lambda(ind), a rate-sensitive index of fitness. Parasite challenges increased the number of worms with a time lag, as previously found. However, we did not find significant effects of parasite manipulations on fitness, possibly because parasite abundance did not increase to harmful levels. Our hormone manipulation was successful at increasing testosterone at three different levels. Such increases in hormone levels decreased overall fitness. This was caused by reduced offspring production in the first breeding attempt rather than by any effect of the treatment on bird survival. Our results highlight that investing in high testosterone levels at independence, a strategy that might enhance short-term recruitment probability in territorial species such as Red Grouse, has a fitness cost, and can influence the resolution of the trade-off between reproduction and survival later in life. PMID:24933821

  5. Multilocus DNA fingerprints in gallinaceous birds: general approach and problems.

    PubMed

    Hanotte, O; Bruford, M W; Burke, T

    1992-06-01

    Multilocus profiles were investigated in five different species of Galliformes (ring-necked pheasant Phasianus colchicus, Indian peafowl Pavo cristatus, Japanese quail Coturnix coturnix japonica, domestic chicken Gallus gallus, and red grouse Lagopus lagopus scoticus) using two human multilocus probes (33.6 and 33.15) in combination with each of four restriction enzymes (AluI, DdeI, HaeIII or HinfI). All the species show a DNA fingerprint-like pattern using at least one restriction enzyme in combination with each multilocus probe. The number of bands detected and the value of the index of similarity for each species differ significantly between the profiles obtained with each multilocus probe. Some enzyme/probe combinations reveal strong cross-hybridization of the multilocus probes with satellite or satellite-like DNA sequences in pheasant, peacock, quail and chicken, which partially or completely prevented scoring of the profile. The choice of restriction enzyme was found to influence the number of bands, the value of the index of similarity and the probability of obtaining an identical fingerprint between unrelated individuals. The Mendelian inheritance and independent segregation of the fragments detected using AluI was investigated in three species (ring-necked pheasant, Indian peafowl and red grouse). Some bands were shown to be tightly linked. An extreme case was encountered in the red grouse, where 12 of the 15 bands scored in one parent represented only two, apparently allelic, haplotypes and so derived from a single locus. However, fingerprint patterns will often be adequate for use in paternity analyses, such as in behavioural studies, despite the occurrence of haplotypic sets of bands. Identical DNA multilocus profiles were sometimes observed between captive-bred siblings in one species. These results emphasize the desirability of determining, in each new species, the optimal experimental conditions as a preliminary to any behavioural or population

  6. Mercury in feathers of Swedish gyrfalcons, Falco rusticolus, in relation to diet

    SciTech Connect

    Lindberg, P.

    1984-04-01

    The gyrfalcon (Falco rusticolus) is mainly a resident bird breeding in mountain areas in Fennoscandia. The population (estimated to 300-500 pairs) probably fluctuates according to the presence of willow grouse (Lagopus lagopus) and ptarmigan (Lagopus mutus). Little is known about pollutant levels in Fennoscandian gyrfalcons. Previous studies found low levels of DDE, PCB and mercury in organs from six Norwegian gyrfalcons. In this paper the author has included additional information on mercury levels, based on feather analyses from a few nests in northern Sweden. The use of feathers is a simple method to monitor mercury levels without sacrificing the birds. Food habits were checked by analyzing food remains at and near the nests.

  7. Offshore marine observation of Willow Ptarmigan, including water landings, Kuskokwim Bay, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zimmerman, C.E.; Hillgruber, N.; Burril, S.E.; St., Peters, M. A.; Wetzel, J.D.

    2005-01-01

    We report an observation of Willow Ptarmigan (Lagopus lagopus) encountered 8 to 17 km from the nearest shoreline on Kuskokwim Bay, Alaska, on 30 August 2003. The ptarmigan were observed flying, landing on our research vessel, and landing and taking off from the water surface. We also report on one other observation of ptarmigan sitting on the water surface and other marine observations of ptarmigan from the North Pacific Pelagic Seabird Database. These observations provide evidence that Willow Ptarmigan are capable of dispersing across large bodies of water and landing and taking off from the water surface.

  8. Molecular instability induced by aluminum stress in Plantago species.

    PubMed

    Correia, Sofia; Matos, Manuela; Ferreira, Vanessa; Martins, Neusa; Gonçalves, Sandra; Romano, Anabela; Pinto-Carnide, Olinda

    2014-08-01

    Aluminum (Al) is one of the most abundant metals on earth's crust and Al toxicity represents one of the major factors that limit plant growth and productivity in acid soils (with a pH≤5.0). In this study the mutagenic/genotoxic effects of Al were evaluated in roots and leaves of two Plantago, species, Plantago almogravensis and Plantago lagopus, using ISSRs markers. Both species were exposed to 400 μM Al during 7 and 21 days. Ten ISSR primers produced polymorphic bands. In P. almogravensis, a total of 257 and 258 bands in roots and 255 and 265 bands in leaves were produced in the presence and absence of Al, respectively. In P. lagopus were produced 279 and 278 a total bands in roots and 275 and 274 bands in leaves, under the same conditions. The changes in ISSR profiles after Al treatment were considered as gain and/or loss of bands compared with the controls. The results suggest that changes in genomic template stability (GTS) could be detected with ISSR profiles. This molecular marker proved to be a good tool to detect the effects of Al on DNA profiles. It seems that Al did not interfere significantly with DNA integrity in both species but generated less ISSR stability in P. almogravensis than in P. lagopus. The results confirm the tolerance of P. almogravensis and suggest the same behavior of P. lagopus. Although further studies are required for confirmation the Al tolerance behavior of P. lagopus, a potential application for phytoremediation can be also considered due its wide distribution. PMID:25344171

  9. Elemental characterization of wild edible plants from countryside and urban areas.

    PubMed

    Renna, Massimiliano; Cocozza, Claudio; Gonnella, Maria; Abdelrahman, Hamada; Santamaria, Pietro

    2015-06-15

    Thirteen elements (Na, K, Ca, Mg, Fe, Mn, Cu, Zn, Cr, Co, Cd, Ni and Pb) in 11 different wild edible plants (WEP) (Amaranthus retroflexus, Foeniculum vulgare, Cichorium intybus, Glebionis coronaria, Sonchus spp., Borago officinalis, Diplotaxis tenuifolia, Sinapis arvensis, Papaver rhoeas, Plantago lagopus and Portulaca oleracea) collected from countryside and urban areas of Bari (Italy) were determined. B.officinalis and P.rhoeas could represent good nutritional sources of Mn and Fe, respectively, as well as A.retroflexus and S.arvensis for Ca. High intake of Pb and Cd could come from P.lagopus and A.retroflexus (1.40 and 0.13 mg kg(-1) FW, respectively). WEP may give a substantial contribution to the elements intake for consumers, but in some cases they may supply high level of elements potentially toxic for human health. Anyway, both ANOVA and PCA analyses have highlighted the low influence of the harvesting site on the elements content. PMID:25660854

  10. Can acaricide-impregnated leg bands fitted to female red grouse reduce sheep tick parasitization of chicks and increase chick survival?

    PubMed

    Baines, D; Taylor, L

    2016-09-01

    In parts of northern England, North Wales and the Scottish Highlands, increasing numbers of sheep ticks Ixodes ricinus (Ixodida: Ixodidae), and the louping ill virus they can carry, are considered to be important factors that reduce red grouse Lagopus lagopus scotica productivity. The present study tested this hypothesis by fitting adult female grouse with leg bands impregnated with the acaricide cypermethrin to experimentally control ticks on their chicks on two managed grouse moors in northeast Scotland. The chicks of females fitted with acaricide leg bands showed reduced tick infestations and improved survival in one of the two study years, relative to chicks of control females. Acaricide leg bands constitute a potential management technique that may be adopted by grouse moor managers in circumstances of high tick infestations on grouse chicks. PMID:27377883

  11. Mortality of arctic fox pups in northern Alaska

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1982-01-01

    Reports of mortality among arctic foxes, Alopex lagopus, generally consist of isolated incidents of predation by bald eagles, Haliaeetus leucocephalus, snowy owls, Nyctea scandiaca, red foxes, Vulpes vulpes, and dogs, Canis familiaris. This is a report of observations made on mortality of arctic fox pups observed at dens in the Prudhoe Bay and Colville River Delta areas of northern Alaska during summers of 1975 to 1978 and 1976 to 1979, respectively.

  12. Fatal pox infection in a rough-legged hawk.

    PubMed

    Pearson, G L; Pass, D A; Beggs, E C

    1975-04-01

    Natural pox infection occurred in a free-living rough-legged hawk (Buteo lagopus) in northeastern North Dakota. Gross, histological and electron microscopic findings were typical of pox infection, and characteristic lesions developed in red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis) but not in great horned owls (Bubo virginianus) following inoculation with case material. Death of the rough-legged hawk was attributed to starvation rsulting from inability to capture prey and to blood loss from foot lesions. PMID:167207

  13. Fatal pox infection in a rough-legged hawk

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pearson, G.L.; Pass, D.A.; Beggs, E.C.

    1975-01-01

    Natural pox infection occurred in a free-living rough-legged hawk (Buteo lagopus) in northeastern North Dakota. Gross, histological and electron microscopic findings were typical of pox infection, and characteristic lesions developed in red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis) but not in great horned owls (Bubo virginianus) following inoculation with case material. Death of the rough-legged hawk was attributed to starvation resulting from inability to capture prey and to blood loss from foot lesions.

  14. Adoption in rock and white-tailed ptarmigan

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wong, M.M.L.; Fedy, B.C.; Wilson, S.; Martin, K.M.

    2009-01-01

    Reports of adoption in birds are widespread, but few studies report rates of adoption or possible mechanisms for this phenomenon, particularly in the Order Galliformes. We report incidents of adoption in Rock Ptarmigan (Lagopus muta) and White-tailed Ptarmigan (L. leucura) from two sites in western Canada. Adoption rates for White-tailed Ptarmigan on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, and the Ruby Ranges, Yukon Territory were 13% (n = 16 broods) and 4% (n = 27), respectively, while rates for Rock Ptarmigan were 14% (n = 29) in the Ruby Ranges. Low brood densities may result in lower rates of adoption for ptarmigan. ?? 2009 The Wilson Ornithological Society.

  15. Introduced predator removal from islands. Exxon Valdez oil spill restoration project final report

    SciTech Connect

    Byrd, G.V.; Bailey, E.P.; Stahl, W.

    1996-05-01

    In order to restore black oystercatchers (Haematopus bachmani) and pigeon guillemots (Cepphus columba), 2 species injured by the T/V Exxon Valdez oil spill, the introduced predator, artic fox (Alopex lagopus), was removed from 2 islands near the western edge of the trajectory of the oil. Surveys indicated that although adequate nesting habitat was available at Simeonof and Chernabura, oystercatcher and guillemot population densities were much lower than at nearby fox-free islands. Elimination of foxes is expected to dramatically increase populations of these injured species as well as other native birds.

  16. Cospeciation and Horizontal Transmission of Avian Sarcoma and Leukosis Virus gag Genes in Galliform Birds

    PubMed Central

    Dimcheff, Derek E.; Drovetski, Sergei V.; Krishnan, Mallika; Mindell, David P.

    2000-01-01

    In a study of the evolution and distribution of avian retroviruses, we found avian sarcoma and leukosis virus (ASLV) gag genes in 26 species of galliform birds from North America, Central America, eastern Europe, Asia, and Africa. Nineteen of the 26 host species from whom ASLVs were sequenced were not previously known to contain ASLVs. We assessed congruence between ASLV phylogenies based on a total of 110 gag gene sequences and ASLV-host phylogenies based on mitochondrial 12S ribosomal DNA and ND2 sequences to infer coevolutionary history for ASLVs and their hosts. Widespread distribution of ASLVs among diverse, endemic galliform host species suggests an ancient association. Congruent ASLV and host phylogenies for two species of Perdix, two species of Gallus, and Lagopus lagopus and L. mutus also indicate an old association with vertical transmission and cospeciation for these ASLVs and hosts. An inference of horizontal transmission of ASLVs among some members of the Tetraoninae subfamily (grouse and ptarmigan) is supported by ASLV monophyletic groups reflecting geographic distribution and proximity of hosts rather than host species phylogeny. We provide a preliminary phylogenetic taxonomy for the new ASLVs, in which named taxa denote monophyletic groups. PMID:10756010

  17. From 'third pole' to north pole: a Himalayan origin for the arctic fox.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiaoming; Tseng, Zhijie Jack; Li, Qiang; Takeuchi, Gary T; Xie, Guangpu

    2014-07-22

    The 'third pole' of the world is a fitting metaphor for the Himalayan-Tibetan Plateau, in allusion to its vast frozen terrain, rivalling the Arctic and Antarctic, at high altitude but low latitude. Living Tibetan and arctic mammals share adaptations to freezing temperatures such as long and thick winter fur in arctic muskox and Tibetan yak, and for carnivorans, a more predatory niche. Here, we report, to our knowledge, the first evolutionary link between an Early Pliocene (3.60-5.08 Myr ago) fox, Vulpes qiuzhudingi new species, from the Himalaya (Zanda Basin) and Kunlun Mountain (Kunlun Pass Basin) and the modern arctic fox Vulpes lagopus in the polar region. A highly hypercarnivorous dentition of the new fox bears a striking resemblance to that of V. lagopus and substantially predates the previous oldest records of the arctic fox by 3-4 Myr. The low latitude, high-altitude Tibetan Plateau is separated from the nearest modern arctic fox geographical range by at least 2000 km. The apparent connection between an ancestral high-elevation species and its modern polar descendant is consistent with our 'Out-of-Tibet' hypothesis postulating that high-altitude Tibet was a training ground for cold-environment adaptations well before the start of the Ice Age. PMID:24920475

  18. From ‘third pole’ to north pole: a Himalayan origin for the arctic fox

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xiaoming; Tseng, Zhijie Jack; Li, Qiang; Takeuchi, Gary T.; Xie, Guangpu

    2014-01-01

    The ‘third pole’ of the world is a fitting metaphor for the Himalayan–Tibetan Plateau, in allusion to its vast frozen terrain, rivalling the Arctic and Antarctic, at high altitude but low latitude. Living Tibetan and arctic mammals share adaptations to freezing temperatures such as long and thick winter fur in arctic muskox and Tibetan yak, and for carnivorans, a more predatory niche. Here, we report, to our knowledge, the first evolutionary link between an Early Pliocene (3.60–5.08 Myr ago) fox, Vulpes qiuzhudingi new species, from the Himalaya (Zanda Basin) and Kunlun Mountain (Kunlun Pass Basin) and the modern arctic fox Vulpes lagopus in the polar region. A highly hypercarnivorous dentition of the new fox bears a striking resemblance to that of V. lagopus and substantially predates the previous oldest records of the arctic fox by 3–4 Myr. The low latitude, high-altitude Tibetan Plateau is separated from the nearest modern arctic fox geographical range by at least 2000 km. The apparent connection between an ancestral high-elevation species and its modern polar descendant is consistent with our ‘Out-of-Tibet’ hypothesis postulating that high-altitude Tibet was a training ground for cold-environment adaptations well before the start of the Ice Age. PMID:24920475

  19. Gyrfalcon diet in central west Greenland during the nestling period

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Booms, Travis; Fuller, Mark R.

    2003-01-01

    We studied food habits of Gyrfalcons (Falco rusticolus) nesting in central west Greenland in 2000 and 2001 using three sources of data: time-lapse video (3 nests), prey remains (22 nests), and regurgitated pellets (19 nests). These sources provided different information describing the diet during the nesting period. Gyrfalcons relied heavily on Rock Ptarmigan (Lagopus mutus) and arctic hares (Lepus arcticus). Combined, these species contributed 79-91% of the total diet, depending on the data used. Passerines were the third most important group. Prey less common in the diet included waterfowl, arctic fox pups (Alopex lagopus), shorebirds, gulls, alcids, and falcons. All Rock Ptarmigan were adults, and all but one arctic hare were young of the year. Most passerines were fledglings. We observed two diet shifts, first from a preponderance of ptarmigan to hares in mid-June, and second to passerines in late June. The video-monitored Gyrfalcons consumed 94-110 kg of food per nest during the nestling period, higher than previously estimated. Using a combination of video, prey remains, and pellets was important to accurately document Gyrfalcon diet, and we strongly recommend using time-lapse video in future diet studies to identify biases in prey remains and pellet data.

  20. Gyrfalcon diet in central west Greenland during the nesting period

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Booms, T.L.; Fuller, M.R.

    2003-01-01

    We studied food habits of Gyrfalcons (Falco rusticolus) nesting in central west Greenland in 2000 and 2001 using three sources of data: time-lapse video (3 nests), prey remains (22 nests), and regurgitated pellets (19 nests). These sources provided different information describing the diet during the nesting period. Gyrfalcons relied heavily on Rock Ptarmigan (Lagopus mutus) and arctic hares (Lepus arcticus). Combined, these species contributed 79-91% of the total diet, depending on the data used. Passerines were the third most important group. Prey less common in the diet included waterfowl, arctic fox pups (Alopex lagopus), shorebirds, gulls, alcids, and falcons. All Rock Ptarmigan were adults, and all but one arctic hare were young of the year. Most passerines were fledglings. We observed two diet shifts, first from a preponderance of ptarmigan to hares in mid-June, and second to passerines in late June. The video-monitored Gyrfalcons consumed 94-110 kg of food per nest during the nestling period, higher than previously estimated. Using a combination of video, prey remains, and pellets was important to accurately document Gyrfalcon diet, and we strongly recommend using time-lapse video in future diet studies to identify biases in prey remains and pellet data.

  1. Pronounced variation in tarsal and foot feathering in the upland buzzard (Buteo hemilasius) in Mongolia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ellis, D.H.; Woffinden, N.; Whitlock, P.L.; Tsengeg, P.

    1999-01-01

    During 1994, 1995, 1997, and 1998 expeditions across Mongolia, we located over 250 upland buzzard (Buteo hemilasius) nests. At these, we noted considerable morphological variation in plumage coloration and in leg pterylosis. In 1997 and 1998, we examined 131 nests scattered across eastern and central Mongolia and report here the tarsal condition of 119 nestlings from 59 broods where young were at least 2 weeks of age. Of 119 birds carefully examined, 50 (42%) had less than fully feathered tarsi and 4 of the 69 with fully feathered tarsi had scattered feathers on their toes. Thus, 54 of 119 birds (45%) in some way deviated from the feathered tarsibare toes condition. This extraordinary degree of variability in feather patterns may be best explained as the result of extensive and relatively recent hybridization between the longlegged (Buteo rufinus) and roughlegged (B. lagopus) buzzards and/or between long-legged and upland buzzards.

  2. Capturing migration phenology of terrestrial wildlife using camera traps

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tape, Ken D.; Gustine, David D.

    2014-01-01

    Remote photography, using camera traps, can be an effective and noninvasive tool for capturing the migration phenology of terrestrial wildlife. We deployed 14 digital cameras along a 104-kilometer longitudinal transect to record the spring migrations of caribou (Rangifer tarandus) and ptarmigan (Lagopus spp.) in the Alaskan Arctic. The cameras recorded images at 15-minute intervals, producing approximately 40,000 images, including 6685 caribou observations and 5329 ptarmigan observations. The northward caribou migration was evident because the median caribou observation (i.e., herd median) occurred later with increasing latitude; average caribou migration speed also increased with latitude (r2 = .91). Except at the northernmost latitude, a northward ptarmigan migration was similarly evident (r2 = .93). Future applications of this method could be used to examine the conditions proximate to animal movement, such as habitat or snow cover, that may influence migration phenology.

  3. Kleptoparasitism by bald eagles wintering in south-central Nebraska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jorde, D.G.; Lingle, G.R.

    1988-01-01

    Kleptoparasitism on other raptors was one means by which Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) secured food along the North Platte and Platte rivers during the winters of 1978-1980. Species kelptoparasitized were Ferruginous Hawk (Buteo regalis), Red-tailed Hawk (B. jamaicensis), Rough-legged Hawk (B. lagopus), Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), and Bald Eagle. Stealing of prey occurred more often during the severe winter of 1978-1979 when ice cover restricted eagles from feeding on fish than during the milder winter of 1979-1980. Kleptoparasitism occurred principally in agricultural habitats where large numbers of Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) were foraging. Subadults watched adults steal food and participated in food-stealing with adults, which indicated interspecific kleptoparasitism may be a learned behavior. We suggest factors that may favor interspecific kleptoparasitism as a foraging strategy of Bald Eagles in obtaining waterfowl during severe winters.

  4. Mortality of arctic fox pups in northern Alaska

    SciTech Connect

    Garrott, R.A.; Eberhardt, L.E.

    1982-01-01

    Reports of mortality among arctic foxes, Alopex lagopus, generally consist of isolated incidents of predation by bald eagles, Haliaeetus leucocephalus, snowy owls, Nyctea scandiaca, red foxes, Vulpes vulpes, and dogs, Canis familiaris. This is a report of observations made on mortality of arctic fox pups observed at dens in the Prudhoe Bay and Colville River Delta areas of northern Alaska during summers of 1975 to 1978 and 1976 to 1979, respectively. Pup mortality was noted amng 15 (19%) of 79 families whose dens we visited. Evidence of at least 20 dead pups was found with remains ranging from intact carcasses to a few bone fragments and tufts of hair. Undoubtedly, researchers failed to detect some dead pups, as predators sometimes carry small pups away from the den before consuming them and adult foxes were observed to dispose of bodies of dead pups within den burrows.

  5. Cadmium toxicity among wildlife in the Colorado Rocky Mountains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Larison, J.R.; Likens, G.E.; Fitzpatrick, J.W.; Crock, J.G.

    2000-01-01

    Cadmium is known to be both extremely toxic and ubiquitous in natural environments. It occurs in almost all soils, surface waters and plants, and it is readily mobilized by human activities such as mining. As a result, cadmium has been named as a potential health threat to wildlife species; however, because it exists most commonly in the environment as a trace constituent, reported incidences of cadmium toxicity are rare. Here we have measured trace metals in the food web and tissues of white-tailed ptarmigan (Lagopus leucurus) in Colorado. Our results suggest that cadmium toxicity may be more common among natural populations of vertebrates than has been appreciated to date and that cadmium toxicity may often go undetected or unrecognized. In addition, our research shows that ingestion of even trace quantities of cadmium can influence not only the physiology and health of individual organisms, but also the demographics and the distribution of species.

  6. [Immunodiffusion analysis of plasma proteins in the canine family].

    PubMed

    Baranov, O K; Iurishina, N A; Savina, M A

    1976-01-01

    Immunodiffusion studies have been made on the plasma of 9 species (Vulpes vulpes, V. corsak, Alopex lagopus, Canis aureus, C. lupus, C. familiaris, C. dingo, Nyctereutes procynoides, Fennecus zerde) from the family of Canidae using milk antisera. Unlike rabbit antisera used earlier, milk antisera make it possible to detect more significant antigenic divergency with respect to 5 alpha- and beta-globulins. These globulins seem to have a higher evolution rate of antigenic mosaics as compared to other plasma proteins in the family investigated. The family Canidae serologically may be divided into two main groups: 1) the genus Canis which includes the wolf, domestic dog, dingo, jackal and 2) species which significantly differ from the former (the fox, polar fox, dog fox, fennec). In relation to these two groups, the raccoon dog occupies special position. PMID:62473

  7. Inferring the nature of anthropogenic threats from long-term abundance records.

    PubMed

    Shoemaker, Kevin T; Akçakaya, H Resit

    2015-02-01

    Diagnosing the processes that threaten species persistence is critical for recovery planning and risk forecasting. Dominant threats are typically inferred by experts on the basis of a patchwork of informal methods. Transparent, quantitative diagnostic tools would contribute much-needed consistency, objectivity, and rigor to the process of diagnosing anthropogenic threats. Long-term census records, available for an increasingly large and diverse set of taxa, may exhibit characteristic signatures of specific threatening processes and thereby provide information for threat diagnosis. We developed a flexible Bayesian framework for diagnosing threats on the basis of long-term census records and diverse ancillary sources of information. We tested this framework with simulated data from artificial populations subjected to varying degrees of exploitation and habitat loss and several real-world abundance time series for which threatening processes are relatively well understood: bluefin tuna (Thunnus maccoyii) and Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) (exploitation) and Red Grouse (Lagopus lagopus scotica) and Eurasian Skylark (Alauda arvensis) (habitat loss). Our method correctly identified the process driving population decline for over 90% of time series simulated under moderate to severe threat scenarios. Successful identification of threats approached 100% for severe exploitation and habitat loss scenarios. Our method identified threats less successfully when threatening processes were weak and when populations were simultaneously affected by multiple threats. Our method selected the presumed true threat model for all real-world case studies, although results were somewhat ambiguous in the case of the Eurasian Skylark. In the latter case, incorporation of an ancillary source of information (records of land-use change) increased the weight assigned to the presumed true model from 70% to 92%, illustrating the value of the proposed framework in bringing diverse sources of

  8. Occurrence of Mesocestoides canislagopodis (Rudolphi, 1810) (Krabbe, 1865) in mammals and birds in Iceland and its molecular discrimination within the Mesocestoides species complex.

    PubMed

    Skirnisson, Karl; Jouet, Damien; Ferté, Hubert; Nielsen, Ólafur K

    2016-07-01

    The life cycle of Mesocestoides tapeworms (Cestoda: Cyclophyllidea: Mesocestoididae) requires three hosts. The first intermediate host is unknown but believed to be an arthropod. The second intermediate host is a vertebrate. The primary definitive host is a carnivore mammal, or a bird of prey, that eats the tetrathyridium-infected second intermediate host. One representative of the genus, Mesocestoides canislagopodis, has been reported from Iceland. It is common in the arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) and has also been detected in domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) and cats (Felis domestica). Recently, scolices of a non-maturing Mesocestoides sp. have also been detected in gyrfalcon (Falco rusticolus) intestines, and tetrathyridia in the body cavity of rock ptarmigan (Lagopus muta). We examined the taxonomic relationship of Mesocestoides from arctic fox, gyrfalcon, and rock ptarmigan using molecular methods, both at the generic level (D1 domain LSU ribosomal DNA) and at the specific level (cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) and 12S mitochondrial DNA). All stages belonged to Mesocestoides canislagopodis. Phylogenetic analysis of the combined 12S-COI at the specific level confirmed that M. canislagopodis forms a distinct clade, well separated from three other recognized representatives of the genus, M. litteratus, M. lineatus, and M. corti/vogae. This is the first molecular description of this species. The rock ptarmigan is a new second intermediate host record, and the gyrfalcon a new primary definitive host record. However, the adult stage seemed not to be able to mature in the gyrfalcon, and successful development is probably restricted to mammalian hosts. PMID:26984208

  9. Herbivores Influence the Growth, Reproduction, and Morphology of a Widespread Arctic Willow

    PubMed Central

    Christie, Katie S.; Ruess, Roger W.; Lindberg, Mark S.; Mulder, Christa P.

    2014-01-01

    Shrubs have expanded in Arctic ecosystems over the past century, resulting in significant changes to albedo, ecosystem function, and plant community composition. Willow and rock ptarmigan (Lagopus lagopus, L. muta) and moose (Alces alces) extensively browse Arctic shrubs, and may influence their architecture, growth, and reproduction. Furthermore, these herbivores may alter forage plants in such a way as to increase the quantity and accessibility of their own food source. We estimated the effect of winter browsing by ptarmigan and moose on an abundant, early-successional willow (Salix alaxensis) in northern Alaska by comparing browsed to unbrowsed branches. Ptarmigan browsed 82–89% of willows and removed 30–39% of buds, depending on study area and year. Moose browsed 17–44% of willows and browsed 39–55% of shoots. Browsing inhibited apical dominance and activated axillary and adventitious buds to produce new vegetative shoots. Ptarmigan- and moose-browsed willow branches produced twice the volume of shoot growth but significantly fewer catkins the following summer compared with unbrowsed willow branches. Shoots on browsed willows were larger and produced 40–60% more buds compared to unbrowsed shoots. This process of shoot production at basal parts of the branch is the mechanism by which willows develop a highly complex “broomed” architecture after several years of browsing. Broomed willows were shorter and more likely to be re-browsed by ptarmigan, but not moose. Ptarmigan likely benefit from the greater quantity and accessibility of buds on previously browsed willows and may increase the carrying capacity of their own habitat. Despite the observed tolerance of willows to browsing, their vertical growth and reproduction were strongly inhibited by moose and ptarmigan. Browsing by these herbivores therefore needs to be considered in future models of shrub expansion in the Arctic. PMID:25047582

  10. Vegetation management with fire modifies peatland soil thermal regime.

    PubMed

    Brown, Lee E; Palmer, Sheila M; Johnston, Kerrylyn; Holden, Joseph

    2015-05-01

    Vegetation removal with fire can alter the thermal regime of the land surface, leading to significant changes in biogeochemistry (e.g. carbon cycling) and soil hydrology. In the UK, large expanses of carbon-rich upland environments are managed to encourage increased abundance of red grouse (Lagopus lagopus scotica) by rotational burning of shrub vegetation. To date, though, there has not been any consideration of whether prescribed vegetation burning on peatlands modifies the thermal regime of the soil mass in the years after fire. In this study thermal regime was monitored across 12 burned peatland soil plots over an 18-month period, with the aim of (i) quantifying thermal dynamics between burned plots of different ages (from <2 to 15 + years post burning), and (ii) developing statistical models to determine the magnitude of thermal change caused by vegetation management. Compared to plots burned 15 + years previously, plots recently burned (<2-4 years) showed higher mean, maximum and range of soil temperatures, and lower minima. Statistical models (generalised least square regression) were developed to predict daily mean and maximum soil temperature in plots burned 15 + years prior to the study. These models were then applied to predict temperatures of plots burned 2, 4 and 7 years previously, with significant deviations from predicted temperatures illustrating the magnitude of burn management effects. Temperatures measured in soil plots burned <2 years previously showed significant statistical disturbances from model predictions, reaching +6.2 °C for daily mean temperatures and +19.6 °C for daily maxima. Soil temperatures in plots burnt 7 years previously were most similar to plots burned 15 + years ago indicating the potential for soil temperatures to recover as vegetation regrows. Our findings that prescribed peatland vegetation burning alters soil thermal regime should provide an impetus for further research to understand the consequences of thermal regime

  11. 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

  12. Sarcoptic mange in Swedish wildlife.

    PubMed

    Mörner, T

    1992-12-01

    Mange caused by Sarcoptes scabiei var. vulpes appeared among red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in Scandinavia (south-west Finland) for the first time in this century in 1967. The disease was most probably introduced by foxes crossing the Gulf of Finland from Estonia. The mange epizootic spread northwards through Finland and reached Sweden in late 1975, when mangy foxes appeared in the northern part of the country. In 1984, mange was observed in most parts of Sweden. The disease was observed to spread rapidly in boreal areas, whereas it spread more slowly in agricultural areas. Mortality due to mange was very high. The duration of the disease before death due to emaciation has been shown experimentally to be over 90 days. An outbreak of fox mange among Arctic foxes (Alopex lagopus) occurred in 1986. The local population of Arctic foxes was caught and successfully treated. The following year, treated foxes were caught again and no signs of disease were found. Sporadic cases of fox mange have also been diagnosed in lynx (Lynx lynx), pine marten (Martes martes) and domestic dogs. Single cases have been observed in other species: wolf (Canis lupus), mountain hare (Lepus timidus), domestic cat and horse. No cases of sarcoptic mange have been recorded in the badger (Meles meles). At present, although fox mange occurs as an epizootic in local populations, the number of foxes has increased again in many parts of Sweden. PMID:1305857

  13. Unexpected diversity of the cestode Echinococcus multilocularis in wildlife in Canada.

    PubMed

    Gesy, Karen M; Schurer, Janna M; Massolo, Alessandro; Liccioli, Stefano; Elkin, Brett T; Alisauskas, Ray; Jenkins, Emily J

    2014-08-01

    Echinococcus multilocularis is a zoonotic cestode with a distribution encompassing the northern hemisphere that causes alveolar hydatid disease in people and other aberrant hosts. E. multilocularis is not genetically uniform across its distribution, which may have implications for zoonotic transmission and pathogenicity. Recent findings of a European-type haplotype of E. multilocularis in wildlife in one location in western Canada motivated a broader survey of the diversity of this parasite in wildlife from northern and western Canada. We obtained intact adult cestodes of E. multilocularis from the intestines of 41 wild canids (wolf - Canis lupus, coyote - Canis latrans, and red fox - Vulpes vulpes), taeniid eggs from 28 fecal samples from Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus), and alveolar hydatid cysts from 39 potential rodent intermediate hosts. Upon sequencing a 370-nucelotide region of the NADH dehydrogenase subunit 1 (nad1) mitochondrial locus, 17 new haplotypes were identified. This constitutes a much higher diversity than expected, as only two genotypes (European and an Asian/North American) had previously been identified using this locus. The European-type strain, recently introduced, may be widespread in wildlife within western Canada, possibly related to the large home ranges and wide dispersal range of wild canids. This study increased understanding of the biogeographic distribution, prevalence and genetic differences of a globally important pathogenic cestode in northern and western Canada. PMID:25161905

  14. Functional responses of the rough-legged buzzard in a multi-prey system.

    PubMed

    Hellström, P; Nyström, J; Angerbjörn, A

    2014-04-01

    The functional response is a key element of predator-prey interactions. Basic functional response theory explains foraging behavior of individual predators, but many empirical studies of free-ranging predators have estimated functional responses by using population-averaged data. We used a novel approach to investigate functional responses of an avian predator (the rough legged-buzzard Buteo lagopus Pontoppidan, 1763) to intra-annual spatial variation in rodent density in subarctic Sweden, using breeding pairs as the sampling unit. The rough-legged buzzards responded functionally to Norwegian lemmings (Lemmus lemmus L. 1758), grey-sided voles (Myodes rufocanus Sundevall, 1846) and field voles (Microtus agrestis L. 1761), but different rodent prey were not utilised according to relative abundance. The functional response to Norwegian lemmings was a steep type II curve and a more shallow type III response to grey-sided voles. The different shapes of these two functional responses were likely due to combined effects of differences between lemmings and grey-sided voles in habitat utilisation, anti-predator behaviour and size-dependent vulnerability to predation. Diet composition changed less than changes in relative prey abundance, indicating negative switching, with high disproportional use of especially lemmings at low relative densities. Our results suggest that lemmings and voles should be treated separately in future empirical and theoretical studies in order to better understand the role of predation in this study system. PMID:24448699

  15. Mechanism of gene amplification via yeast autonomously replicating sequences.

    PubMed

    Sehgal, Shelly; Kaul, Sanjana; Dhar, M K

    2015-01-01

    The present investigation was aimed at understanding the molecular mechanism of gene amplification. Interplay of fragile sites in promoting gene amplification was also elucidated. The amplification promoting sequences were chosen from the Saccharomyces cerevisiae ARS, 5S rRNA regions of Plantago ovata and P. lagopus, proposed sites of replication pausing at Ste20 gene locus of S. cerevisiae, and the bend DNA sequences within fragile site FRA11A in humans. The gene amplification assays showed that plasmid bearing APS from yeast and human beings led to enhanced protein concentration as compared to the wild type. Both the in silico and in vitro analyses were pointed out at the strong bending potential of these APS. In addition, high mitotic stability and presence of TTTT repeats and SAR amongst these sequences encourage gene amplification. Phylogenetic analysis of S. cerevisiae ARS was also conducted. The combinatorial power of different aspects of APS analyzed in the present investigation was harnessed to reach a consensus about the factors which stimulate gene expression, in presence of these sequences. It was concluded that the mechanism of gene amplification was that AT rich tracts present in fragile sites of yeast serve as binding sites for MAR/SAR and DNA unwinding elements. The DNA protein interactions necessary for ORC activation are facilitated by DNA bending. These specific bindings at ORC promote repeated rounds of DNA replication leading to gene amplification. PMID:25685838

  16. Mechanism of Gene Amplification via Yeast Autonomously Replicating Sequences

    PubMed Central

    Dhar, M. K.

    2015-01-01

    The present investigation was aimed at understanding the molecular mechanism of gene amplification. Interplay of fragile sites in promoting gene amplification was also elucidated. The amplification promoting sequences were chosen from the Saccharomyces cerevisiae ARS, 5S rRNA regions of Plantago ovata and P. lagopus, proposed sites of replication pausing at Ste20 gene locus of S. cerevisiae, and the bend DNA sequences within fragile site FRA11A in humans. The gene amplification assays showed that plasmid bearing APS from yeast and human beings led to enhanced protein concentration as compared to the wild type. Both the in silico and in vitro analyses were pointed out at the strong bending potential of these APS. In addition, high mitotic stability and presence of TTTT repeats and SAR amongst these sequences encourage gene amplification. Phylogenetic analysis of S. cerevisiae ARS was also conducted. The combinatorial power of different aspects of APS analyzed in the present investigation was harnessed to reach a consensus about the factors which stimulate gene expression, in presence of these sequences. It was concluded that the mechanism of gene amplification was that AT rich tracts present in fragile sites of yeast serve as binding sites for MAR/SAR and DNA unwinding elements. The DNA protein interactions necessary for ORC activation are facilitated by DNA bending. These specific bindings at ORC promote repeated rounds of DNA replication leading to gene amplification. PMID:25685838

  17. Serum lipid concentrations in six canid and four ursid species in four zoos.

    PubMed

    Crissey, Susan D; Ange, Kimberly D; Slifka, Kerri A; Sadler, William; Kahn, Stephen; Ward, Ann M

    2004-03-01

    Serum lipid levels were measured in healthy captive wild canids and ursids, and the values were compared with previously published data. Serum lipid levels were evaluated in blood samples collected from eight African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus), three arctic foxes (Alopex lagopus), nine gray wolves (Canis lupus), four maned wolves (Chrysocyon brachyurus), two Mexican wolves (Canis lupus baleiyi), nine red wolves (Canis rufus), two brown bears (Ursus arctos), six polar bears (Ursus maritimus), six spectacled bears (Tremarctos ornatus), and five sun bears (Ursus malayanus). Samples were analyzed for total cholesterol, triacylglycerides, high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol. Although the results showed a great variation among species, circulating lipids appeared especially high, sometimes extremely so, in the spectacled bears, polar bears, sun bears, and maned wolves compared with all other species sampled. The study provides a substantial basis for comparing lipid levels in presumed healthy animals and indicates a need for controlled study of the effects of diet on circulating lipid levels. PMID:15193071

  18. Using Domestic and Free-Ranging Arctic Canid Models for Environmental Molecular Toxicology Research.

    PubMed

    Harley, John R; Bammler, Theo K; Farin, Federico M; Beyer, Richard P; Kavanagh, Terrance J; Dunlap, Kriya L; Knott, Katrina K; Ylitalo, Gina M; O'Hara, Todd M

    2016-02-16

    The use of sentinel species for population and ecosystem health assessments has been advocated as part of a One Health perspective. The Arctic is experiencing rapid change, including climate and environmental shifts, as well as increased resource development, which will alter exposure of biota to environmental agents of disease. Arctic canid species have wide geographic ranges and feeding ecologies and are often exposed to high concentrations of both terrestrial and marine-based contaminants. The domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris) has been used in biomedical research for a number of years and has been advocated as a sentinel for human health due to its proximity to humans and, in some instances, similar diet. Exploiting the potential of molecular tools for describing the toxicogenomics of Arctic canids is critical for their development as biomedical models as well as environmental sentinels. Here, we present three approaches analyzing toxicogenomics of Arctic contaminants in both domestic and free-ranging canids (Arctic fox, Vulpes lagopus). We describe a number of confounding variables that must be addressed when conducting toxicogenomics studies in canid and other mammalian models. The ability for canids to act as models for Arctic molecular toxicology research is unique and significant for advancing our understanding and expanding the tool box for assessing the changing landscape of environmental agents of disease in the Arctic. PMID:26730740

  19. Unexpected diversity of the cestode Echinococcus multilocularis in wildlife in Canada

    PubMed Central

    Gesy, Karen M.; Schurer, Janna M.; Massolo, Alessandro; Liccioli, Stefano; Elkin, Brett T.; Alisauskas, Ray; Jenkins, Emily J.

    2014-01-01

    Echinococcus multilocularis is a zoonotic cestode with a distribution encompassing the northern hemisphere that causes alveolar hydatid disease in people and other aberrant hosts. E.multilocularis is not genetically uniform across its distribution, which may have implications for zoonotic transmission and pathogenicity. Recent findings of a European-type haplotype of E. multilocularis in wildlife in one location in western Canada motivated a broader survey of the diversity of this parasite in wildlife from northern and western Canada. We obtained intact adult cestodes of E. multilocularis from the intestines of 41 wild canids (wolf – Canis lupus, coyote – Canis latrans, and red fox – Vulpes vulpes), taeniid eggs from 28 fecal samples from Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus), and alveolar hydatid cysts from 39 potential rodent intermediate hosts. Upon sequencing a 370-nucelotide region of the NADH dehydrogenase subunit 1 (nad1) mitochondrial locus, 17 new haplotypes were identified. This constitutes a much higher diversity than expected, as only two genotypes (European and an Asian/North American) had previously been identified using this locus. The European-type strain, recently introduced, may be widespread in wildlife within western Canada, possibly related to the large home ranges and wide dispersal range of wild canids. This study increased understanding of the biogeographic distribution, prevalence and genetic differences of a globally important pathogenic cestode in northern and western Canada. PMID:25161905

  20. Association of wintering raptors with Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program grasslands in Pennsylvania

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wilson, A.; Brittingham, M.; Grove, G.

    2010-01-01

    Conservation grasslands can provide valuable habitat resource for breeding songbirds, but their value for wintering raptors has received little attention. We hypothesized that increased availability of grassland habitat through the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) has resulted in an increase or redistribution in numbers of four species of raptors in Pennsylvania since 2001. We tested this by analyzing winter raptor counts from volunteer surveys, conducted from 2001 to 2008, for Red-tailed Hawks (Buteo jamaicensis), Rough-legged Hawks (Buteo lagopus), Northern Harriers (Circus cyaneus), and American Kestrels (Falco sparverius). During that period, numbers of wintering Northern Harriers increased by more than 20% per year. Log-linear Poisson regression models show that all four species increased in the region of Pennsylvania that had the most and longest-established conservation grasslands. At the county scale (N= 67), Bayesian spatial models showed that spatial and temporal population trends of all four species were positively correlated with the amount of conservation grassland. This relationship was particularly strong for Northern Harriers, with numbers predicted to increase by 35.7% per year for each additional 1% of farmland enrolled in CREP. Our results suggest that conservation grasslands are likely the primary cause of the increase in numbers of wintering Northern Harriers in Pennsylvania since 2001. ?? 2010 The Authors. Journal of Field Ornithology ?? 2010 Association of Field Ornithologists.

  1. Arctic foxes as ecosystem engineers: increased soil nutrients lead to increased plant productivity on fox dens

    PubMed Central

    Gharajehdaghipour, Tazarve; Roth, James D.; Fafard, Paul M.; Markham, John H.

    2016-01-01

    Top predators can provide fundamental ecosystem services such as nutrient cycling, and their impact can be even greater in environments with low nutrients and productivity, such as Arctic tundra. We estimated the effects of Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) denning on soil nutrient dynamics and vegetation production near Churchill, Manitoba in June and August 2014. Soils from fox dens contained higher nutrient levels in June (71% more inorganic nitrogen, 1195% more extractable phosphorous) and in August (242% more inorganic nitrogen, 191% more extractable phosphorous) than adjacent control sites. Inorganic nitrogen levels decreased from June to August on both dens and controls, whereas extractable phosphorous increased. Pup production the previous year, which should enhance nutrient deposition (from urine, feces, and decomposing prey), did not affect soil nutrient concentrations, suggesting the impact of Arctic foxes persists >1 year. Dens supported 2.8 times greater vegetation biomass in August, but δ15N values in sea lyme grass (Leymus mollis) were unaffected by denning. By concentrating nutrients on dens Arctic foxes enhance nutrient cycling as an ecosystem service and thus engineer Arctic ecosystems on local scales. The enhanced productivity in patches on the landscape could subsequently affect plant diversity and the dispersion of herbivores on the tundra. PMID:27045973

  2. Two missense mutations in melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R) are strongly associated with dark ventral coat color in reindeer (Rangifer tarandus).

    PubMed

    Våge, D I; Nieminen, M; Anderson, D G; Røed, K H

    2014-10-01

    The protein-coding region of melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R) was sequenced to identify potential variation affecting coat color in reindeer (Rangifer tarandus). A T→C sequence variation at nucleotide position 218 (c.218T>C) causing an amino acid (aa) change from methionine to threonine at aa position 73 (p.Met73Thr) was identified. In addition, a T→G sequence variation was found at nucleotide position 839 (c.839T>G), causing phenylalanine to be exchanged by cysteine at aa position 280 (p.Phe280Cys). The two sequence variants (c.218C and c.839G) were found to be closely associated with a darker belly coat compared with animals not having any of these two variants. The aa acid change p.Met73Thr affects the same position as p.Met73Lys previously reported to give constitutive activation of MC1R in black sheep (Ovis aries), whereas p.Phe280Cys is identical to one of two variants previously reported to be associated with dark coat color in Arctic fox (Alopex lagopus), supporting that the two variants found in reindeer are functional. The complete absence of Thr73 and Cys280 among the 51 wild reindeer analyzed provides some evidence that these variants are more common in the domestic herds. PMID:25039753

  3. Arctic foxes as ecosystem engineers: increased soil nutrients lead to increased plant productivity on fox dens.

    PubMed

    Gharajehdaghipour, Tazarve; Roth, James D; Fafard, Paul M; Markham, John H

    2016-01-01

    Top predators can provide fundamental ecosystem services such as nutrient cycling, and their impact can be even greater in environments with low nutrients and productivity, such as Arctic tundra. We estimated the effects of Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) denning on soil nutrient dynamics and vegetation production near Churchill, Manitoba in June and August 2014. Soils from fox dens contained higher nutrient levels in June (71% more inorganic nitrogen, 1195% more extractable phosphorous) and in August (242% more inorganic nitrogen, 191% more extractable phosphorous) than adjacent control sites. Inorganic nitrogen levels decreased from June to August on both dens and controls, whereas extractable phosphorous increased. Pup production the previous year, which should enhance nutrient deposition (from urine, feces, and decomposing prey), did not affect soil nutrient concentrations, suggesting the impact of Arctic foxes persists >1 year. Dens supported 2.8 times greater vegetation biomass in August, but δ(15)N values in sea lyme grass (Leymus mollis) were unaffected by denning. By concentrating nutrients on dens Arctic foxes enhance nutrient cycling as an ecosystem service and thus engineer Arctic ecosystems on local scales. The enhanced productivity in patches on the landscape could subsequently affect plant diversity and the dispersion of herbivores on the tundra. PMID:27045973

  4. Effects of climate change on nutrition and genetics of White-tailed Ptarmigan

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Oyler-McCance, Sara J.; Stricker, Craig A.; St. John, Judy, Braun, Clait E.; Wann, Gregory T.; O'Donnell, Michael S.; Aldridge, Cameron L.

    2011-01-01

    White-tailed Ptarmigan (Lagopus leucura) are well suited as a focal species for the study of climate change because they are adapted to cool, alpine environments that are expected to undergo unusually rapid climate change. We compared samples collected in the late 1930s, the late 1960s, and the late 2000s using molecular genetic and stable isotope methods in an effort to determine whether White-tailed Ptarmigan on Mt. Evans, Colorado, have experiences recent environmental changes resulting in shifts in genetic diversity, gene frequency, and nutritional ecology. We genotyped 115 individuals spanning the three time periods, using nine polymorphic microsatellite loci in our genetic analysis. These samples were also analyzed for stable carbon and nitrogen isotopic composition. We found a slight trend of lower heterozygosity through time, and allelic richness values were significantly lower in more recent times, but not significantly using an alpha of 0.05 (P 13C and δ15N values decreased significantly across time periods, whereas the range in isotope values increased consistently from the late 1930s to the late time periods. Inferred changes in the nutritional ecology of White-tailed Ptarmigan on Mt. Evans relate primarily to increased atmospheric deposition of nutrients that likely influenced foraging habits and tundra plant composition and nutritional quality. Future work seeks to integrate genetic and isotopic data with long-term demographics to develop a detailed understanding of the interaction among environmental stressors on the long-term viability of ptarmigan populations.

  5. Abundance of diurnal raptors on open space grasslands in an urbanized landscape

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Berry, M.E.; Bock, C.E.; Haire, S.L.

    1998-01-01

    We conducted point counts of diurnal raptors on Boulder, Colorado, grasslands for three winters and summers, and compared results to landscape features of the count areas. Four wintering species were scarce on plots that included significant amounts of urban habitat, with a critical landscape threshold at about 5-7% urbanization: Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), Ferruginous Hawk (Buteo regalis), Rough-legged Hawk (B. lagopus), and Prairie Falcon (Falco mexicanus). Counts of the first three species also were positively correlated with proximity of the count plots to the nearest colony of black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus). Two breeding species, the Red-tailed Hawk (B. jamaicensis) and Swainson's Hawk (B. swainsoni), were more abundant on plots dominated by lowland hayfields and tallgrass prairies, as opposed to upland mixed and shortgrass prairies. They, along with the ubiquitous American Kestrel (Falco sparverius), were not sensitive to the amounts of urbanization (up to 30%) that occurred in the landscapes sampled. Results of this study suggest that urban open space grasslands can support sizable populations of most diurnal raptors, as long as prey populations persist, but that some species are highly sensitive to landscape urbanization.

  6. A conceptual model for the impact of climate change on fox rabies in Alaska, 1980-2010.

    PubMed

    Kim, B I; Blanton, J D; Gilbert, A; Castrodale, L; Hueffer, K; Slate, D; Rupprecht, C E

    2014-02-01

    The direct and interactive effects of climate change on host species and infectious disease dynamics are likely to initially manifest\\ at latitudinal extremes. As such, Alaska represents a region in the United States for introspection on climate change and disease. Rabies is enzootic among arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus) throughout the northern polar region. In Alaska, arctic and red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) are reservoirs for rabies, with most domestic animal and wildlife cases reported from northern and western coastal Alaska. Based on passive surveillance, a pronounced seasonal trend in rabid foxes occurs in Alaska, with a peak in winter and spring. This study describes climatic factors that may be associated with reported cyclic rabies occurrence. Based upon probabilistic modelling, a stronger seasonal effect in reported fox rabies cases appears at higher latitudes in Alaska, and rabies in arctic foxes appear disproportionately affected by climatic factors in comparison with red foxes. As temperatures continue a warming trend, a decrease in reported rabid arctic foxes may be expected. The overall epidemiology of rabies in Alaska is likely to shift to increased viral transmission among red foxes as the primary reservoir in the region. Information on fox and lemming demographics, in addition to enhanced rabies surveillance among foxes at finer geographic scales, will be critical to develop more comprehensive models for rabies virus transmission in the region. PMID:23452510

  7. Investigating variation in the nutritional ecology and genetics of White-tailed Ptarmigan: implications for climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oyler-McCance, S. J.; Stricker, C. A.; Braun, C. E.; Wann, G. T.; Aldridge, C. L.

    2010-12-01

    White-tailed Ptarmigan (Lagopus leucura) are well suited as a focal species for the study of climate change because they are adapted to cool, alpine environments that are expected to undergo unusually rapid climate change. We compared samples collected in the late 1930s, the late 1960s, and the late 2000s using molecular genetic and stable isotope methods in an effort to determine whether White-tailed Ptarmigan on Mt. Evans, Colorado have experienced recent environmental changes resulting in shifts in genetic diversity, gene frequency, and nutritional ecology. We genotyped 115 individuals spanning the three time periods using nine polymorphic microsatellite loci in our genetic analysis. These samples were also analyzed for stable carbon and nitrogen isotopic composition. We found a slight trend of lower heterozygosity through time and allelic richness values were lower in more recent times. We found no changes in allele frequencies across time periods suggesting that population sizes have not changed dramatically. Feather δ13C and δ15N values decreased significantly across time periods, whereas the range in isotope values increased consistently from the late 1930s to the later time periods. Inferred changes in the nutritional ecology of White-tailed Ptarmigan on Mt. Evans relates primarily to increased atmospheric deposition of nutrients that likely influenced foraging habits and tundra plant composition and nutritional quality. We briefly discuss similar ongoing work on the neighboring population in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado and tie in genetic results from across the species range.

  8. Serological and parasitological prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii in wild birds from Colorado.

    PubMed

    Dubey, J P; Felix, T A; Kwok, O C H

    2010-10-01

    Ground-feeding birds are considered important in the epidemiology of Toxoplasma gondii because they serve as indicators of soil contamination by oocysts, and birds of prey are indicators of T. gondii prevalence in rodents and other small mammals. Cats excrete environmentally resistant oocysts after consuming tissues of T. gondii -infected birds. In the present study, sera and tissues from 382 wild birds from Colorado were tested for T. gondii infection. Antibodies to T. gondii were found in 38 birds with the use of the modified agglutination test (MAT, 1∶25 titer). Tissues (brains, hearts) of 84 birds were bioassayed in mice. Viable T. gondii was isolated from 1 of 1 barn owl (Tyto alba), 1 of 5 American kestrels (Falco sparverius), 1 of 7 ferruginous hawks (Buteo regalis), 1 of 4 rough-legged hawks (Buteo lagopus), 2 of 13 Swainson's hawks (Buteo swainsoni), and 1 of 25 red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis). This is the first time T. gondii has been isolated from the barn owl, ferruginous hawk, rough-legged hawk, and Swainson's hawk. PMID:20950101

  9. Population structure of two rabies hosts relative to the known distribution of rabies virus variants in Alaska.

    PubMed

    Goldsmith, Elizabeth W; Renshaw, Benjamin; Clement, Christopher J; Himschoot, Elizabeth A; Hundertmark, Kris J; Hueffer, Karsten

    2016-02-01

    For pathogens that infect multiple species, the distinction between reservoir hosts and spillover hosts is often difficult. In Alaska, three variants of the arctic rabies virus exist with distinct spatial distributions. We tested the hypothesis that rabies virus variant distribution corresponds to the population structure of the primary rabies hosts in Alaska, arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus) and red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) to possibly distinguish reservoir and spillover hosts. We used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequence and nine microsatellites to assess population structure in those two species. mtDNA structure did not correspond to rabies virus variant structure in either species. Microsatellite analyses gave varying results. Bayesian clustering found two groups of arctic foxes in the coastal tundra region, but for red foxes it identified tundra and boreal types. Spatial Bayesian clustering and spatial principal components analysis identified 3 and 4 groups of arctic foxes, respectively, closely matching the distribution of rabies virus variants in the state. Red foxes, conversely, showed eight clusters comprising two regions (boreal and tundra) with much admixture. These results run contrary to previous beliefs that arctic fox show no fine-scale spatial population structure. While we cannot rule out that the red fox is part of the maintenance host community for rabies in Alaska, the distribution of virus variants appears to be driven primarily by the arctic fox. Therefore, we show that host population genetics can be utilized to distinguish between maintenance and spillover hosts when used in conjunction with other approaches. PMID:26661691

  10. Reproductive characteristics of migratory golden eagles in Denali National Park, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McIntyre, Carol L.; Adams, Layne G.

    1999-01-01

    We describe reproductive characteristics of Golden Eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) breeding in Denali National Park, Alaska during an entire snowshoe hare( Lepus americanus) cycle, 1988-1997. Data on nesting eagles were collected at 58 to 72 nesting areas annually using two aerial surveys. Surveys were conducted during the incubation period to determine occupancy and nesting activities and late in the nestling period to count nestlings and determine nesting success. Annual occupancy rates of nesting areas did not vary significantly, whereas laying rates, success rates, and mean brood size varied significantly over the study period. Fledgling production for the study population varied sevenfold during the ten-year period. Laying rates, mean brood size, and overall population productivity were significantly correlated with abundance of cyclic snowshoe hare and Willow Ptarmigan (Lugopus lagopus) populations. Reproductive rates of Golden Eagles in Denali were similar to those of Golden Eagles from other high latitude study areas in North America, but lower than for Golden Eagles from temperate zone study areas in North America.

  11. Serum concentrations of vitamin D metabolites, vitamins A and E, and carotenoids in six canid and four ursid species at four zoos.

    PubMed

    Crissey, S; Ange, K; Slifka, K; Bowen, P; Stacewicz-Sapuntzakis, M; Langman, C; Sadler, W; Ward, A

    2001-01-01

    Nutritional status for six captive canid species (n=34) and four captive ursid species (n=18) were analyzed. The species analyzed included: African wild dog (Lycaon pictus), arctic fox (Alopex lagopus), gray wolf (Canis lupus), maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus), Mexican wolf (Canis lupus baleiyi), red wolf (Canis rufus), brown bear (Ursus arctos), polar bear (Ursus maritimus), spectacled bear (Tremarctos ornatus), and sun bear (Ursus malayanus). Diet information was collected for these animals from each participating zoo (Brookfield Zoo, Fort Worth Zoo, Lincoln Park Zoological Gardens, and North Carolina Zoological Park). The nutritional composition of the diet for each species at each institution met probable dietary requirements. Blood samples were collected from each animal and analyzed for vitamin D metabolites 25(OH)D and 1,25(OH)(2)D, vitamin A (retinol, retinyl stearate, retinyl palmitate), vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol and gamma-tocopherol) and selected carotenoids. Family differences were found for 25(OH)D, retinol, retinyl stearate, retinyl palmitate and gamma-tocopherol. Species differences were found for all detectable measurements. Carotenoids were not detected in any species. The large number of animals contributing to these data, provides a substantial base for comparing the nutritional status of healthy animals and the differences among them. PMID:11137448

  12. Cecal bacterial communities in wild Japanese rock ptarmigans and captive Svalbard rock ptarmigans

    PubMed Central

    USHIDA, Kazunari; SEGAWA, Takahiro; TSUCHIDA, Sayaka; MURATA, Koichi

    2015-01-01

    Preservation of indigenous gastrointestinal microbiota is deemed to be critical for successful captive breeding of endangered wild animals, yet its biology is poorly understood. Here, we investigated cecal bacterial communities in wild Japanese rock ptarmigans (Lagopus muta japonica) and compared them with those in Svalbard rock ptarmigans (L. m. hyperborea) in captivity. Ultra-deep sequencing of 16S rRNA gene indicated that the community structure of cecal microbiota in wild rock ptarmigans was remarkably different from that in captive Svalbard rock ptarmigans. Fundamental differences between bacterial communities in the two groups of birds were detected at the phylum level. Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes and Synergistetes were the major phyla detected in wild Japanese rock ptarmigans, whereas Firmicutes alone occupied more than 80% of abundance in captive Svalbard rock ptarmigans. Furthermore, unclassified genera of Coriobacteriaceae, Synergistaceae, Bacteroidaceae, Actinomycetaceae, Veillonellaceae and Clostridiales were the major taxa detected in wild individuals, whereas in zoo-reared birds, major genera were Ruminococcus, Blautia, Faecalibacterium and Akkermansia. Zoo-reared birds seemed to lack almost all rock ptarmigan-specific bacteria in their intestine, which may explain the relatively high rate of pathogenic infections affecting them. We show evidence that preservation and reconstitution of indigenous cecal microflora are critical for successful ex situ conservation and future re-introduction plan for the Japanese rock ptarmigan. PMID:26468217

  13. Heptachlor seed treatment contaminates hawks, owls, and eagles of Columbia Basin, Oregon

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Henny, C.J.; Blus, L.J.; Kaiser, T.E.

    1984-01-01

    We evaluated organochlorine residues in 12 species of hawks. owls, and eagles from the Columbia Basin of Oregon between 1978 and 1981. Companion studies showed that heptachlor epoxide (HE) induced adult mortality and reduced productivity of the Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) and American Kestrel (Falco sparverius).ln this study, brain tissue from raptors found dead and sample eggs from 90 nests were analyzed for organochlorines. The primary concern was HE that entered raptor food chains through the ingestion of heptachlor-treated seed by their prey. HE residues were detected in eggs from 9 of 10 species and ranged as high as 4.75 ppm (wet wt), but no definite effects of HE on productivity were readily apparent from the limited series of nests. However, the hazard of heptachlor seed treatments to birds of prey was demonstrated by the occurrence of lethal residues of HE in brain tissue of 3 Golden Eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) and 1 Rough-legged Hawk (Buteo lagopus). Other organochlorine pesticides were present in the eggs and significant relationships were found between DDE and eggshell thickness for the Swainson's Hawk (Buteo swainsoni) and Western Screech-Owl (Otus kennicotti), although shell thinning (9.6% and 7.4%) was below the generally accepted range where reproductive problems have been known to occur.

  14. Reproductive responses to spatial and temporal prey availability in a coastal Arctic fox population.

    PubMed

    Eide, Nina E; Stien, Audun; Prestrud, Pål; Yoccoz, Nigel G; Fuglei, Eva

    2012-05-01

    1. Input of external subsidies in the Arctic may have substantial effects on predator populations that otherwise would have been limited by low local primary productivity. 2. We explore life-history traits, age-specific fecundity, litter sizes and survival, and the population dynamics of an Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) population to explore the influence of the spatial distribution and temporal availability of its main prey; including both resident and migrating (external) prey resources. 3. This study reveals that highly predictable cross-boundary subsidies from the marine food web, acting through seasonal access to seabirds, sustain larger local Arctic fox populations. Arctic fox dens located close to the coast in Svalbard were found to have higher occupancy rates, as expected from both high availability and high temporal and spatial predictability of prey resources (temporally stable external subsidies). Whereas the occupancy rate of inland dens varied between years in relation to the abundance of reindeer carcasses (temporally varying resident prey). 4. With regard to demography, juvenile Arctic foxes in Svalbard have lower survival rates and a high age of first reproduction compared with other populations. We suggest this may be caused by a lack of unoccupied dens and a saturated population. PMID:22211323

  15. Ancient DNA reveals lack of postglacial habitat tracking in the arctic fox

    PubMed Central

    Dalén, Love; Nyström, Veronica; Valdiosera, Cristina; Germonpré, Mietje; Sablin, Mikhail; Turner, Elaine; Angerbjörn, Anders; Arsuaga, Juan Luis; Götherström, Anders

    2007-01-01

    How species respond to an increased availability of habitat, for example at the end of the last glaciation, has been well established. In contrast, little is known about the opposite process, when the amount of habitat decreases. The hypothesis of habitat tracking predicts that species should be able to track both increases and decreases in habitat availability. The alternative hypothesis is that populations outside refugia become extinct during periods of unsuitable climate. To test these hypotheses, we used ancient DNA techniques to examine genetic variation in the arctic fox (Alopex lagopus) through an expansion/contraction cycle. The results show that the arctic fox in midlatitude Europe became extinct at the end of the Pleistocene and did not track the habitat when it shifted to the north. Instead, a high genetic similarity between the extant populations in Scandinavia and Siberia suggests an eastern origin for the Scandinavian population at the end of the last glaciation. These results provide new insights into how species respond to climate change, since they suggest that populations are unable to track decreases in habitat avaliability. This implies that arctic species may be particularly vulnerable to increases in global temperatures. PMID:17420452

  16. Evaluation of methane-utilising bacteria products as feed ingredients for monogastric animals.

    PubMed

    Øverland, Margareth; Tauson, Anne-Helene; Shearer, Karl; Skrede, Anders

    2010-06-01

    Bacterial proteins represent a potential future nutrient source for monogastric animal production because they can be grown rapidly on substrates with minimum dependence on soil, water, and climate conditions. This review summarises the current knowledge on methane-utilising bacteria as feed ingredients for animals. We present results from earlier work and recent findings concerning bacterial protein, including the production process, chemical composition, effects on nutrient digestibility, metabolism, and growth performance in several monogastric species, including pigs, broiler chickens, mink (Mustela vison), fox (Alopex lagopus), Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar), rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), and Atlantic halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus). It is concluded that bacterial meal (BM) derived from natural gas fermentation, utilising a bacteria culture containing mainly the methanotroph Methylococcus capsulatus (Bath), is a promising source of protein based on criteria such as amino acid composition, digestibility, and animal performance and health. Future research challenges include modified downstream processing to produce value-added products, and improved understanding of factors contributing to nutrient availability and animal performance. PMID:20578647

  17. Influence of dietary feathers on the fecal microbiota in captive Arctic fox: do dietary hair or feathers play a role in the evolution of carnivorous mammals?

    PubMed

    Zhang, Liang; Yang, Shuhui; Xu, Yanchun; Dahmer, Thomas D

    2014-11-01

    Hair and feathers are composed of keratin and are indigestible, inalimental and unpalatable for carnivores. However, carnivores often ingest hair and feathers during feeding or when grooming. We hypothesized that ingestion of hair and feathers changes species diversity and relative abundance of bacteria in the gut of carnivores. To test this hypothesis, we added disinfected poultry down feathers to the normal diet of captive Arctic foxes (Alopex lagopus). We then used fluorescently labeled terminal restriction fragments (T-RFs) to examine changes in fecal bacterial diversity and abundance. The results showed that the number of bacterial species increased significantly after feather ingestion, but that total abundance was unchanged. This demonstrated that addition of disinfected feathers to the diet stimulated increased production among less abundant bacteria, resulting in a balancing of relative abundance of different bacterial species, or that some newly-ingested microbial species would colonize the gut because a suitable microhabitat had become available. This implies that the overall production of bacterial metabolites would be made up of a greater range of substances after feather ingestion. On one hand, the host's immune response would be more diverse, increasing the capacity of the immune system to regulate gut microflora. On the other hand, the animal's physiological performance would also be affected. For wild animals, such altered physiological traits would be subjected to natural selection, and, hence, persistent geographic differences in the character of ingested feathers or fur would drive speciation. PMID:25420637

  18. 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.

  19. Virological Investigation of Avian Influenza Virus on Postglacial Species of Phasianidae and Tetraonidae in the Italian Alps

    PubMed Central

    Delogu, Mauro; Ghetti, Giulia; Gugiatti, Alessandro; Cotti, Claudia; Piredda, Isabella; Frasnelli, Matteo; De Marco, Maria A.

    2013-01-01

    Land-based birds, belonging to Galliformes order are considered to be potential intermediaries in the emergence of new strains of influenza A viruses (AIVs), but the viral circulation in these birds remains largely unknown. To gain insights into the circulation of AIV in the wild Galliformes populations in Italian Alps, we conducted a virological survey on rock partridge (Alectoris graeca saxatilis) belonging to Phasianidae family and on tetraonids including rock ptarmigan (Lagopus mutus helveticus) and black grouse (Tetrao tetrix tetrix). In 2003 and 2004, during the hunting seasons, 79 wild Galliformes, categorised into age and sex classes, were hunted in the Sondrio Province (Central Alps). Cloacal swabs were collected from 11 rock partridges and from 68 tetraonids including 23 alpine rock ptarmigans and 45 black grouses. We tested cloacal swabs by a high sensitive reverse transcription- (RT-) PCR detecting the matrix gene of AIV. No AIV was detected in the investigated samples, thus, suggesting the lack of AIV circulation in these relict populations in the study period. In terms of threatened species conservation, during wildlife management activities, it is very important to exclude the introduction of AIV-carrier birds in shared territories, a fact representing a health risk for these populations. PMID:24167732

  20. Cecal bacterial communities in wild Japanese rock ptarmigans and captive Svalbard rock ptarmigans.

    PubMed

    Ushida, Kazunari; Segawa, Takahiro; Tsuchida, Sayaka; Murata, Koichi

    2016-02-01

    Preservation of indigenous gastrointestinal microbiota is deemed to be critical for successful captive breeding of endangered wild animals, yet its biology is poorly understood. Here, we investigated cecal bacterial communities in wild Japanese rock ptarmigans (Lagopus muta japonica) and compared them with those in Svalbard rock ptarmigans (L. m. hyperborea) in captivity. Ultra-deep sequencing of 16S rRNA gene indicated that the community structure of cecal microbiota in wild rock ptarmigans was remarkably different from that in captive Svalbard rock ptarmigans. Fundamental differences between bacterial communities in the two groups of birds were detected at the phylum level. Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes and Synergistetes were the major phyla detected in wild Japanese rock ptarmigans, whereas Firmicutes alone occupied more than 80% of abundance in captive Svalbard rock ptarmigans. Furthermore, unclassified genera of Coriobacteriaceae, Synergistaceae, Bacteroidaceae, Actinomycetaceae, Veillonellaceae and Clostridiales were the major taxa detected in wild individuals, whereas in zoo-reared birds, major genera were Ruminococcus, Blautia, Faecalibacterium and Akkermansia. Zoo-reared birds seemed to lack almost all rock ptarmigan-specific bacteria in their intestine, which may explain the relatively high rate of pathogenic infections affecting them. We show evidence that preservation and reconstitution of indigenous cecal microflora are critical for successful ex situ conservation and future re-introduction plan for the Japanese rock ptarmigan. PMID:26468217

  1. Organophosphorous flame retardants in biota from Svalbard, Norway.

    PubMed

    Hallanger, Ingeborg G; Sagerup, Kjetil; Evenset, Anita; Kovacs, Kit M; Leonards, Pim; Fuglei, Eva; Routti, Heli; Aars, Jon; Strøm, Hallvard; Lydersen, Christian; Gabrielsen, Geir Wing

    2015-12-15

    Eight arctic species, including fish, birds and mammals, from diverse habitats (marine and terrestrial) within the Svalbard Archipelago, Norway, were screened for 14 organophosphorus flame retardant (PFR) compounds. Ten PFRs were detected: tris(2-chloroethyl)phosphate (TCEP), tris(2-chloroisopropyl)phosphate (TCIPP), tris(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl)phosphate (TDCIPP), triphenyl phosphate (TPHP); 2-ethylhexyl diphenyl phosphate (EHDPP); tris(2-butoxyethyl)phosphate (TBOEP); tritolyl phosphate (TCrP); triisobutyl phosphate (TIBP); tris(2-ethylhexyl)phosphate (TEHP); and butyl diphenyl phosphate (DPhBP). The greatest number of different PFR compounds, and the highest detection frequency were measured in capelin (Mallotus villotus), and the lowest in Brünnich's guillemot (Uria lomvia). The highest concentrations of ΣPFR, as well as the highest concentration of a single PFR compound, TBOEP, were measured in arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus). The presence of PFR compounds in arctic biota indicates that these compounds can undergo long-range transport and are, to some degree, persistent and bioaccumulated. The potential for biomagnification from fish to higher trophic levels seems to be limited. PMID:26453403

  2. Recent trends in counts of migrant hawks from northeastern North America

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Titus, K.; Fuller, M.R.

    1990-01-01

    Using simple regression, pooled-sites route-regression, and nonparametric rank-trend analyses, we evaluated trends in counts of hawks migrating past 6 eastern hawk lookouts from 1972 to 1987. The indexing variable was the total count for a season. Bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus), merlin (F. columbarius), osprey (Pandion haliaetus), and Cooper's hawk (Accipiter cooperii) counts increased using route-regression and nonparametric methods (P 0.10). We found no consistent trends (P > 0.10) in counts of sharp-shinned hawks (A. striatus), northern goshawks (A. gentilis) red-shouldered hawks (Buteo lineatus), red-tailed hawks (B. jamaicensis), rough-legged hawsk (B. lagopus), and American kestrels (F. sparverius). Broad-winged hawk (B. platypterus) counts declined (P < 0.05) based on the route-regression method. Empirical comparisons of our results with those for well-studied species such as the peregrine falcon, bald eagle, and osprey indicated agreement with nesting surveys. We suggest that counts of migrant hawks are a useful and economical method for detecting long-term trends in species across regions, particularly for species that otherwise cannot be easily surveyed.

  3. Population limitation in a non-cyclic arctic fox population in a changing climate.

    PubMed

    Pálsson, Snæbjörn; Hersteinsson, Páll; Unnsteinsdóttir, Ester R; Nielsen, Ólafur K

    2016-04-01

    Arctic foxes Vulpes lagopus (L.) display a sharp 3- to 5-year fluctuation in population size where lemmings are their main prey. In areas devoid of lemmings, such as Iceland, they do not experience short-term fluctuations. This study focusses on the population dynamics of the arctic fox in Iceland and how it is shaped by its main prey populations. Hunting statistics from 1958-2003 show that the population size of the arctic fox was at a maximum in the 1950s, declined to a minimum in the 1970s, and increased steadily until 2003. Analysis of the arctic fox population size and their prey populations suggests that fox numbers were limited by rock ptarmigan numbers during the decline period. The recovery of the arctic fox population was traced mostly to an increase in goose populations, and favourable climatic conditions as reflected by the Subpolar Gyre. These results underscore the flexibility of a generalist predator and its responses to shifting food resources and climate changes. PMID:26714829

  4. Behavioral interactions of penned red and arctic foxes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rudzinski, D.R.; Graves, H.B.; Sargeant, A.B.; Storm, G.L.

    1982-01-01

    Expansion of the geographical distribution of red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) into the far north tundra region may lead to competition between arctic (Alopex lagopus) and red foxes for space and resources. Behavioral interactions between red and arctic foxes were evaluated during 9 trials conducted in a 4.05-ha enclosure near Woodworth, North Dakota. Each trial consisted of introducing a male-female pair of arctic foxes into the enclosure and allowing them to acclimate for approximately a week before releasing a female red fox into the enclosure, followed by her mate a few days later. In 8 of 9 trials, red foxes were dominant over arctic foxes during encounters. Activity of the arctic foxes decreased upon addition of red foxes. Arctic foxes tried unsuccessfully to defend preferred den, resting, and feeding areas. Even though the outcome of competition between red and arctic foxes in the Arctic is uncertain, the more aggressive red fox can dominate arctic foxes in direct competition for den sites and other limited resources.

  5. Arctic foxes, lemmings, and canada goose nest survival at cape Churchill, Manitoba

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reiter, M.E.; Andersen, D.E.

    2011-01-01

    We examined factors influencing Canada Goose (Branta canadensis interior) annual nest success, including the relative abundance of collared lemmings (Dicrostonyx richardsoni), arctic fox (Alopex lagopus) den occupancy, nest density, and spring phenology using data collected during annual Canada Goose breeding area surveys at Cape Churchill, Manitoba. Nest density and arctic fox den occupancy strongly influenced Canada Goose nest success. High nest density resulted in higher nest success and high den occupancy reduced nest success. Nest success was not influenced by lemming abundance in the current or previous year as predicted by the "bird-lemming" hypothesis. Reducing arctic fox abundance through targeted management increased nest survival of Canada Geese; a result that further emphasizes the importance of arctic fox as nest predators in this system. The spatial distribution of nest predators, at least for dispersed-nesting geese, may be most important for nest survival, regardless of the abundance of small mammals in the local ecosystem. Further understanding of the factors influencing the magnitude and variance in arctic fox abundance in this region, and the spatial scale at which these factors are realized, is necessary to fully explain predator-prey-alternative prey dynamics in this system. ?? 2011 by the Wilson Ornithological Society.

  6. Characterization of a New Epidemic Necrotic Pyoderma in Fur Animals and Its Association with Arcanobacterium phocae Infection

    PubMed Central

    Nordgren, Heli; Aaltonen, Kirsi; Sironen, Tarja; Kinnunen, Paula M.; Kivistö, Ilkka; Raunio-Saarnisto, Mirja; Moisander-Jylhä, Anna-Maria; Korpela, Johanna; Kokkonen, Ulla-Maija; Hetzel, Udo; Sukura, Antti; Vapalahti, Olli

    2014-01-01

    A new type of pyoderma was detected in Finnish fur animals in 2007. The disease continues to spread within and between farms, with severe and potentially fatal symptoms. It compromises animal welfare and causes considerable economic losses to farmers. A case-control study was performed in 2010–2011 to describe the entity and to identify the causative agent. Altogether 99 fur animals were necropsied followed by pathological and microbiological examination. The data indicated that the disease clinically manifests in mink (Neovison vison) by necrotic dermatitis of the feet and facial skin. In finnraccoons (Nyctereutes procyonoides), it causes painful abscesses in the paws. Foxes (Vulpes lagopus) are affected by severe conjunctivitis and the infection rapidly spreads to the eyelids and facial skin. A common finding at necropsy was necrotic pyoderma. Microbiological analysis revealed the presence of a number of potential causative agents, including a novel Streptococcus sp. The common finding from all diseased animals of all species was Arcanobacterium phocae. This bacterium has previously been isolated from marine mammals with skin lesions but this is the first report of A. phocae isolated in fur animals with pyoderma. The results obtained from this study implicate A. phocae as a potential causative pathogen of fur animal epidemic necrotic pyoderma (FENP) and support observations that the epidemic may have originated in a species -shift of the causative agent from marine mammals. The variable disease pattern and the presence of other infectious agents (in particular the novel Streptococcus sp.) suggest a multifactorial etiology for FENP, and further studies are needed to determine the environmental, immunological and infectious factors contributing to the disease. PMID:25302603

  7. Alpine plant community trends on the elk summer range of Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado: An analysis of existing data

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zeigenfuss, Linda C.

    2006-01-01

    The majority of the elk (Cervus elaphus) population of Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado summer in the park’s high-elevation alpine and subalpine meadows and willow krummholz. The park’s population of white-tailed ptarmigan (Lagopus leucurus altipetens) depends on both dwarf and krummholz willows for food and cover. Concern about the effects of elk herbivory on these communities prompted the monitoring of 12 vegetation transects in these regions from 1971 to 1996. Over this 25-year period, data were collected on plant species cover and frequency and shrub heights. These data have not been statistically analyzed for trends in the measured variables over time to determine changes in species abundance. Krummholz willow species (Salix planifolia, S. brachycarpa) declined 17–20 percent in cover and about 25 centimeters in height over the study period. Graminoids (particularly Deschampsia caespitosa, Carex, and Poa) increased slightly from 1971 to 1996. No significant increases of nonnative plant species were observed. An increase in presence of bare ground over the 25-year period warrants continued measurement of these transects. Lack of good data on elk density, distribution, or use levels precludes correlating changes in plant species cover, frequency, or heights with elk population trends. I recommend development of a more rigorously designed monitoring program that includes these transects as well as others chosen on a random or stratified design and consistent measurement protocol and sampling intervals. Some method of quantifying elk use, either through measurement of plant utilization, pellet counts, or census-type surveys, would allow correlation of changes in plant species over time with changes in elk distribution and density on the park’s alpine and subalpine regions.

  8. Estimates of annual survival, growth, and recruitment of a white-tailed ptarmigan population in Colorado over 43 years

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wann, Greg; Aldridge, Cameron L.; Braun, Clait E.

    2014-01-01

    Long-term datasets for high-elevation species are rare, and considerable uncertainty exists in understanding how high-elevation populations have responded to recent climate warming. We present estimates of demographic vital rates from a 43-year population study of white-tailed ptarmigan (Lagopus leucura), a species endemic to alpine habitats in western North America. We used capture-recapture models to estimate annual rates of apparent survival, population growth, and recruitment for breeding-age ptarmigan, and we fit winter weather covariates to models in an attempt to explain annual variation. There were no trends in survival over the study period but there was strong support for age and sex effects. The average rate of annual growth suggests a relatively stable breeding-age population ( λ ¯ = 1.036), but there was considerable variation between years for both population growth and recruitment rates. Winter weather covariates only explained a small amount of variation in female survival and were not an important predictor of male survival. Cumulative winter precipitation was found to have a quadratic effect on female survival, with survival being highest during years of average precipitation. Cumulative winter precipitation was positively correlated with population growth and recruitment rates, although this covariate only explained a small amount of annual variation in these rates and there was considerable uncertainty among the models tested. Our results provide evidence for an alpine-endemic population that has not experienced extirpation or drastic declines. However, more information is needed to understand risks and vulnerabilities of warming effects on juveniles as our analysis was confined to determination of vital rates for breeding-age birds.

  9. Falcon versus grouse: flight adaptations of a predator and its prey

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pennycuick, C.J.; Fuller, M.R.; Oar, J.J.; Kirkpatrick, S.J.

    1994-01-01

    Several falcons were trained to fly along a 500 m course to a lure. The air speeds of the more consistent performers averaged about 1.5 times their calculated minimum power speeds, and occasionally reached 2.1 times the minimum power speed. Wing beat frequencies of all the falcons were above those estimated from earlier field observations, and the same was true of wild Sage Grouse Centrocercus urophasianus, a regular falconer's quarry in the study area. Measurements of grouse killed by falcons showed that their wings were short, with broad slotted tips, whereas the falcons' wings were longer in relation to their body mass, and tapered. The short wings of grouse result in fast flight, high power requirements, and reduced capacity for aerobic flight. Calculations indicated that the grouse should fly faster than the falcons, and had the large amount of flight muscle needed to do so, but that the falcons would be capable of prolonged aerobic flight, whereas the grouse probably would not. We surmise that Sage Grouse cannot fly continuously without incurring an oxygen debt, and are therefore not long-distance migrants, although this limitation is partly due to their large size, and would not apply to smaller galliform birds such as ptarmigan Lagopus spp. The wing action seen in video recordings of the falcons was not consistent with the maintenance of constant circulation. We call it 'chase mode' because it appears to be associated with a high level of muscular exertion, without special regard to fuel economy. It shows features in common with the 'bounding' flight of passerines.

  10. The pattern of phylogenomic evolution of the Canidae.

    PubMed

    Nash, W G; Menninger, J C; Wienberg, J; Padilla-Nash, H M; O'Brien, S J

    2001-01-01

    Canidae species fall into two categories with respect to their chromosome composition: those with high numbered largely acrocentric karyotypes and others with a low numbered principally metacentric karyotype. Those species with low numbered metacentric karyotypes are derived from multiple independent fusions of chromosome segments found as acrocentric chromosomes in the high numbered species. Extensive chromosome homology is apparent among acrocentric chromosome arms within Canidae species; however, little chromosome arm homology exists between Canidae species and those from other Carnivore families. Here we use Zoo-FISH (fluorescent in situ hybridization, also called chromosomal painting) probes from flow-sorted chromosomes of the Japanese raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides) to examine two phylogenetically divergent canids, the arctic fox (Alopex lagopus) and the crab-eating fox (Cerdocyon thous). The results affirm intra-canid chromosome homologies, also implicated by G-banding. In addition, painting probes from domestic cat (Felis catus), representative of the ancestral carnivore karyotype (ACK), and giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) were used to define primitive homologous segments apparent between canids and other carnivore families. Canid chromosomes seem unique among carnivores in that many canid chromosome arms are mosaics of two to four homology segments of the ACK chromosome arms. The mosaic pattern apparently preceded the divergence of modern canid species since conserved homology segments among different canid species are common, even though those segments are rearranged relative to the ancestral carnivore genome arrangement. The results indicate an ancestral episode of extensive centric fission leading to an ancestral canid genome organization that was subsequently reorganized by multiple chromosome fusion events in some but not all Canidae lineages. PMID:12063402

  11. Effects of Climate Change on Habitat Availability and Configuration for an Endemic Coastal Alpine Bird.

    PubMed

    Jackson, Michelle M; Gergel, Sarah E; Martin, Kathy

    2015-01-01

    North America's coastal mountains are particularly vulnerable to climate change, yet harbour a number of endemic species. With little room "at the top" to track shifting climate envelopes, alpine species may be especially negatively affected by climate-induced habitat fragmentation. We ask how climate change will affect the total amount, mean patch size, and number of patches of suitable habitat for Vancouver Island White-tailed Ptarmigan (Lagopus leucura saxatilis; VIWTP), a threatened, endemic alpine bird. Using a Random Forest model and a unique dataset consisting of citizen science observations combined with field surveys, we predict the distribution and configuration of potential suitable summer habitat for VIWTP under baseline and future (2020s, 2050s, and 2080s) climates using three general circulation models and two greenhouse gas scenarios. VIWTP summer habitat is predicted to decline by an average of 25%, 44%, and 56% by the 2020s, 2050s, and 2080s, respectively, under the low greenhouse gas scenario and 27%, 59%, and 74% under the high scenario. Habitat patches are predicted to become fragmented, with a 52-79% reduction in mean patch size. The average elevation of suitable habitat patches is expected to increase, reflecting a loss of patches at lower elevations. Thus ptarmigan are in danger of being "squeezed off the mountain", as their remaining suitable habitat will be increasingly confined to mountaintops in the center of the island. The extent to which ptarmigan will be able to persist in increasingly fragmented habitat is unclear. Much will depend on their ability to move throughout a more heterogeneous landscape, utilize smaller breeding areas, and survive increasingly variable climate extremes. Our results emphasize the importance of continued monitoring and protection for high elevation specialist species, and suggest that White-tailed Ptarmigan should be considered an indicator species for alpine ecosystems in the face of climate change. PMID

  12. Genetic characterisation of Toxoplasma gondii in wildlife from North America revealed widespread and high prevalence of the fourth clonal type

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dubey, J.P.; Velmurugan, G.V.; Ragendran, C.; Yabsley, M.J.; Thomas, N.J.; Beckmen, K.B.; Sinnett, D.; Ruid, D.; Hart, J.; Fair, P.A.; McFee, W.E.; Shearn-Bochsler, V.; Kwok, O.C.H.; Ferreira, L.R.; Choudhary, S.; Faria, E.B.; Zhou, H.; Felix, T.A.; Su, C.

    2011-01-01

    Little is known of the genetic diversity of Toxoplasma gondii circulating in wildlife. In the present study wild animals, from the USA were examined for T. gondii infection. Tissues of naturally exposed animals were bioassayed in mice for isolation of viable parasites. Viable T. gondii was isolated from 31 animals including, to our knowledge for the first time, from a bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), five gray wolves (Canis lupus), a woodrat (Neotoma micropus), and five Arctic foxes (Alopex lagopus). Additionally, 66 T. gondii isolates obtained previously, but not genetically characterised, were revived in mice. Toxoplasma gondii DNA isolated from these 97 samples (31+66) was characterised using 11 PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) markers (SAG1, 5'- and 3'-SAG2, alt.SAG2, SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, c22-8, c29-2, L358, PK1 and Apico). A total of 95 isolates were successfully genotyped. In addition to clonal Types II, and III, 12 different genotypes were found. These genotype data were combined with 74 T. gondii isolates previously characterised from wildlife from North America and a composite data set of 169 isolates comprised 22 genotypes, including clonal Types II, III and 20 atypical genotypes. Phylogenetic network analysis showed limited diversity with dominance of a recently designated fourth clonal type (Type 12) in North America, followed by the Type II and III lineages. These three major lineages together accounted for 85% of strains in North America. The Type 12 lineage includes previously identified Type A and X strains from sea otters. This study revealed that the Type 12 lineage accounts for 46.7% (79/169) of isolates and is dominant in wildlife of North America. No clonal Type I strain was identified among these wildlife isolates. These results suggest that T. gondii strains in wildlife from North America have limited diversity, with the occurrence of only a few major clonal types.

  13. Sarcocystis arctica (Apicomplexa: Sarcocystidae): ultrastructural description and its new host record, the Alaskan wolf (Canis lupus).

    PubMed

    Calero-Bernal, Rafael; Cerqueira-Cézar, Camila K; Verma, Shiv Kumar; Mowery, Joseph; Carmena, David; Beckmen, Kimberlee; Dubey, Jitender P

    2016-07-01

    Sarcocystis sarcocysts are common in muscles of herbivores but are rare in muscles of carnivores. Here, we report sarcocysts in the muscles of a gray wolf (Canis lupus) from Alaska, USA, for the first time. Sarcocysts extracted from the tongue of the wolf were up to 900 μm long and slender and appeared to have a relatively thin wall by light microscope. By transmission electron microscopy, the sarcocyst wall most closely resembled "type 9c," and had a wavy parasitophorous vacuolar membrane folded as pleomorphic villar protrusions (vp), with anastomoses of tips. The vp and the ground substance (gs) layer were smooth without tubules or granules. The gs was up to 2.0 μm thick. The total width of the wall including vp and the gs was 3.5 μm. The vp were up to 1.5 μm long. Mature sarcocysts contained numerous bradyzoites and few metrocytes. The bradyzoites were 9.5 μm long and 1.5 μm wide, and contained all organelles found in Sarcocystis bradyzoites with at least two rhoptries. Molecular characterization showed the highest identity for 18S rRNA, 28S rRNA, ITS-1, and cox1 sequences of Sarcocystis arctica of the Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) from Norway. The ultrastructure of S. arctica from the fox is unknown. Here, we provide ultrastructure of S. arctica from the Alaskan wolf for the first time. The definitive host of S. arctica remains unknown. PMID:27112760

  14. Characterization and Physical Mapping of Ribosomal RNA Gene Families in Plantago

    PubMed Central

    DHAR, MANOJ K.; FRIEBE, BERND; KAUL, SANJANA; GILL, BIKRAM S.

    2006-01-01

    • Background and Aims The organization of rRNA genes in cultivated Plantago ovata Forsk. and several of its wild allies was analysed to gain insight into the phylogenetic relationships of these species in the genus which includes some 200 species. • Methods Specific primers were designed to amplify the internal transcribed spacer (ITS1 and ITS2) regions from seven Plantago species and the resulting fragments were cloned and sequenced. Similarly, using specific primers, the 5S rRNA genes from these species were amplified and subsequently cloned. Fluorescence in-situ hybridization (FISH) was used for physical mapping of 5S and 45S ribosomal RNA genes. • Results The ITS1 region is 19–29 bp longer than the ITS2 in different Plantago species. The 5S rRNA gene-repeating unit varies in length from 289 to 581 bp. Coding regions are highly conserved across species, but the non-transcribed spacers (NTS) do not match any database sequences. The clone from the cultivated species P. ovata was used for physical mapping of these genes by FISH. Four species have one FISH site while three have two FISH sites. In P. lanceolata and P. rhodosperma, the 5S and 45S (18S-5·8S-25S) sites are coupled. • Conclusions Characterization of 5S and 45S rRNA genes has indicated a possible origin of P. ovata, the only cultivated species of the genus and also the only species with x = 4, from a species belonging to subgenus Psyllium. Based on the studies reported here, P. ovata is closest to P. arenaria, although on the basis of other data the two species have been placed in different subgenera. FISH mapping can be used as an efficient tool to help determine phylogenetic relationships in the genus Plantago and show the interrelationship between P. lanceolata and P. lagopus. PMID:16481363

  15. Effects of Seasonal Weather on Breeding Phenology and Reproductive Success of Alpine Ptarmigan in Colorado.

    PubMed

    Wann, Gregory T; Aldridge, Cameron L; Braun, Clait E

    2016-01-01

    Animal populations occurring at high elevations are often assumed to be in peril of extinctions or local extirpations due to elevational-dispersal limitations and thermoregulatory constraints as habitats change and warm. However, long-term monitoring of high-elevation populations is uncommon relative to those occurring at lower elevations, and evidence supporting this assumption is limited. We analyzed 45 years of reproductive data for two Colorado populations of white-tailed ptarmigan (Lagopus leucura), an alpine-endemic species with restricted distribution in western North America. Seasonal temperatures measured by the number of growing degree days warmed significantly at our study sites for pre-nesting, nesting, and brood-rearing seasonal periods (mean advance of 8 growing degree days per decade), and both populations advanced their reproductive phenology over the study period based on median hatch dates (median advance of 3.7 and 1.9 days per decade for the northern and southern sites, respectively). Reproductive performance measured by the number of chicks per hen declined significantly at one study site but not the other, and differences between sites may have been due to habitat degradation at one study area. Annual variability in chicks per hen was large at both sites but only weakly related to seasonal weather. An index of precipitation and temperature during the brood-rearing period was the best predictor for reproductive success with warm and dry conditions relating positively to number of chicks per hen. Our results provide evidence for two alpine ptarmigan populations that are remarkably invariant to fluctuations in seasonal weather with respect to reproductive success as measured by number of chicks per hen in the breeding population. These results are surprising given the general perception of alpine animal populations as being highly sensitive to warming temperatures. PMID:27420478

  16. Bald eagles and sea otters in the Aleutian Archipelago: indirect effects of trophic cascades.

    PubMed

    Anthony, Robert G; Estes, James A; Ricca, Mark A; Miles, A Keith; Forsman, Eric D

    2008-10-01

    Because sea otters (Enhydra lutris) exert a wide array of direct and indirect effects on coastal marine ecosystems throughout their geographic range, we investigated the potential influence of sea otters on the ecology of Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska, USA. We studied the diets, productivity, and density of breeding Bald Eagles on four islands during 1993-1994 and 2000-2002, when sea otters were abundant and scarce, respectively. Bald Eagles depend on nearshore marine communities for most of their prey in this ecosystem, so we predicted that the recent decline in otter populations would have an indirect negative effect on diets and demography of Bald Eagles. Contrary to our predictions, we found no effects on density of breeding pairs on four islands from 1993-1994 to 2000-2002. In contrast, diets and diet diversity of Bald Eagles changed considerably between the two time periods, likely reflecting a change in prey availability resulting from the increase and subsequent decline in sea otter populations. The frequency of sea otter pups, rock greenling (Hexagammus lagocephalus), and smooth lumpsuckers (Aptocyclus ventricosus) in the eagle's diet declined with corresponding increases in Rock Ptarmigan (Lagopus mutus), Glaucous-winged Gulls (Larus glaucescens), Atka mackerel (Pleurogrammus monopterygius), and various species of seabirds during the period of the recent otter population decline. Breeding success and productivity of Bald Eagles also increased during this time period, which may be due to the higher nutritional quality of avian prey consumed in later years. Our results provide further evidence of the wide-ranging indirect effects of sea otter predation on nearshore marine communities and another apex predator, the Bald Eagle. Although the indirect effects of sea otters are widely known, this example is unique because the food-web pathway transcended five species and several trophic levels in linking one apex predator

  17. Genetic characterisation of Toxoplasma gondii in wildlife from North America revealed widespread and high prevalence of the fourth clonal type.

    PubMed

    Dubey, J P; Velmurugan, G V; Rajendran, C; Yabsley, M J; Thomas, N J; Beckmen, K B; Sinnett, D; Ruid, D; Hart, J; Fair, P A; McFee, W E; Shearn-Bochsler, V; Kwok, O C H; Ferreira, L R; Choudhary, S; Faria, E B; Zhou, H; Felix, T A; Su, C

    2011-09-01

    Little is known of the genetic diversity of Toxoplasma gondii circulating in wildlife. In the present study wild animals, from the USA were examined for T. gondii infection. Tissues of naturally exposed animals were bioassayed in mice for isolation of viable parasites. Viable T. gondii was isolated from 31 animals including, to our knowledge for the first time, from a bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), five gray wolves (Canis lupus), a woodrat (Neotoma micropus), and five Arctic foxes (Alopex lagopus). Additionally, 66 T. gondii isolates obtained previously, but not genetically characterised, were revived in mice. Toxoplasma gondii DNA isolated from these 97 samples (31+66) was characterised using 11 PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) markers (SAG1, 5'- and 3'-SAG2, alt.SAG2, SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, c22-8, c29-2, L358, PK1 and Apico). A total of 95 isolates were successfully genotyped. In addition to clonal Types II, and III, 12 different genotypes were found. These genotype data were combined with 74 T. gondii isolates previously characterised from wildlife from North America and a composite data set of 169 isolates comprised 22 genotypes, including clonal Types II, III and 20 atypical genotypes. Phylogenetic network analysis showed limited diversity with dominance of a recently designated fourth clonal type (Type 12) in North America, followed by the Type II and III lineages. These three major lineages together accounted for 85% of strains in North America. The Type 12 lineage includes previously identified Type A and X strains from sea otters. This study revealed that the Type 12 lineage accounts for 46.7% (79/169) of isolates and is dominant in wildlife of North America. No clonal Type I strain was identified among these wildlife isolates. These results suggest that T. gondii strains in wildlife from North America have limited diversity, with the occurrence of only a few major clonal types. PMID:21802422

  18. Bald eagles and sea otters in the Aleutian Archipelago: indirect effects of trophic cascades.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anthony, R.G.; Estes, J.A.; Ricca, M.A.; Miles, A.K.; Forsman, E.D.

    2008-01-01

    Because sea otters (Enhydra lutris) exert a wide array of direct and indirect effects on coastal marine ecosystems throughout their geographic range, we investigated the potential influence of sea otters on the ecology of Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska, USA. We studied the diets, productivity, and density of breeding Bald Eagles on four islands during 1993-1994 and 2000-2002, when sea otters were abundant and scarce, respectively. Bald Eagles depend on nearshore marine communities for most of their prey in this ecosystem, so we predicted that the recent decline in otter populations would have an indirect negative effect on diets and demography of Bald Eagles. Contrary to our predictions, we found no effects on density of breeding pairs on four islands from 1993-1994 to 2000-2002. In contrast, diets and diet diversity of Bald Eagles changed considerably between the two time periods, likely reflecting a change in prey availability resulting from the increase and subsequent decline in sea otter populations. The frequency of sea otter pups, rock greenling (Hexagammus lagocephalus), and smooth lumpsuckers (Aptocyclus ventricosus) in the eagle's diet declined with corresponding increases in Rock Ptarmigan (Lagopus mutus), Glaucous-winged Gulls (Larus glaucescens), Atka mackerel (Pleurogrammus monopterygius), and various species of seabirds during the period of the recent otter population decline. Breeding success and productivity of Bald Eagles also increased during this time period, which may be due to the higher nutritional quality of avian prey consumed in later years. Our results provide further evidence of the wide-ranging indirect effects of sea otter predation on nearshore marine communities and another apex predator, the Bald Eagle. Although the indirect effects of sea otters are widely known, this example is unique because the food-web pathway transcended five species and several trophic levels in linking one apex predator

  19. Impact of transient climate change upon Grouse population dynamics in the Italian Alps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pirovano, Andrea; Bocchiola, Daniele

    2010-05-01

    Understanding the effect of short to medium term weather condition, and of transient global warming upon wildlife species life history is essential to predict the demographic consequences therein, and possibly develop adaptation strategies, especially in game species, where hunting mortality may play an important role in population dynamics. We carried out a preliminary investigation of observed impact of weather variables upon population dynamics indexes of three alpine Grouse species (i.e. Rock Ptarmigan, Lagopus Mutus, Black Grouse, Tetrao Tetrix, Rock Partridge, Alectoris Graeca), nested within central Italian Alps, based upon 15 years (1995-2009) of available censuses data, provided by the Sondrio Province authority. We used a set of climate variables already highlighted within recent literature for carrying considerable bearing on Grouse population dynamics, including e.g. temperature at hatching time and during winter, snow cover at nesting, and precipitation during nursing period. We then developed models of Grouses' population dynamics by explicitly driving population change according to their dependence upon the significant weather variables and population density and we evaluated objective indexes to assess the so obtained predictive power. Eventually, we develop projection of future local climate, based upon locally derived trends, and upon projections from GCMs (A2 IPCC storyline) already validated for the area, to project forward in time (until 2100 or so) the significant climatic variables, which we then use to force population dynamics models of the target species. The projected patterns obtained through this exercise are discussed and compared against those expected under stationary climate conditions at present, and preliminary conclusions are drawn.

  20. Interference in the tundra predator guild studied using local ecological knowledge.

    PubMed

    Ehrich, Dorothee; Strømeng, Marita A; Killengreen, Siw T

    2016-04-01

    The decline or recolonization of apex predators such as wolves and lynx, often driven by management decisions, and the expansion of smaller generalist predators such as red foxes, can have important ecosystem impacts. The mesopredator release hypothesis proposes that apex predators control medium-sized predator populations through competition and/or intraguild predation. The decline of apex predators thus leads to an increase in mesopredators, possibly with a negative impact on prey populations. Information about the abundance of mammalian tundra predators, wolf (Canis lupus), wolverine (Gulo gulo), lynx (Lynx lynx), red fox (Vulpes vulpes) and arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) was collected from local active outdoors people during semi-structured interviews in 14 low arctic or sub-arctic settlements in western Eurasia. The perceived abundance of red fox decreased with higher wolf abundance and in more arctic areas, but the negative effect of wolves decreased in more arctic and therefore less productive ecosystems. The perceived abundance of arctic fox increased towards the arctic and in areas with colder winters. Although there was a negative correlation between the two fox species, red fox was not included in the model for perceived arctic fox abundance, which received most support. Our results support the mesopredator release hypothesis regarding the expansion of red foxes in subarctic areas and indicate that top-down control by apex predators is weaker in less productive and more arctic ecosystems. We showed that local ecological knowledge is a valuable source of information about large-scale processes, which are difficult to study through direct biological investigations. PMID:26686344

  1. High exposure rates of anticoagulant rodenticides in predatory bird species in intensively managed landscapes in Denmark.

    PubMed

    Christensen, Thomas Kjær; Lassen, Pia; Elmeros, Morten

    2012-10-01

    The extensive use of anticoagulant rodenticides (ARs) for rodent control has led to widespread secondary exposure in nontarget predatory wildlife species. We investigated exposure rates and concentrations of five ARs in liver samples from five raptors and six owls from Denmark. A total of 430 birds were analysed. ARs were detected in 84-100 % of individual birds within each species. Multiple AR exposure was detected in 73 % of all birds. Average number of substances detected in individual birds was 2.2 with no differences between owls and raptors. Difenacoum, bromadiolone, and brodifacoum were the most prevalent substances and occurred in the highest concentrations. Second-generation ARs made up 96 % of the summed AR burden. Among the six core species (sample size >30), summed AR concentrations were lower in rough-legged buzzard (Buteo lagopus) and long-eared owl (Asio otus) than in barn owl (Tyto alba), buzzard (B. buteo), kestrel (Falco tinnunculus), and tawny owl (Strix aluco). There was a strong tendency for seasonal variations in the summed AR concentration with levels being lowest during autumn, which is probably related to an influx of less-exposed migrating birds from northern Scandinavia during autumn. High hepatic AR residue concentrations (>100 ng/g wet weight), which have been associated with symptoms of rodenticide poisoning and increased mortality, were recorded high frequencies (12.9-37.4 %) in five of the six core species. The results suggest that the present use of ARs in Denmark, at least locally, may have adverse effects on reproduction and, ultimately, population status in some raptors and owls. PMID:22588365

  2. Biogeochemistry and nitrogen cycling in an Arctic, volcanic ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fogel, M. L.; Benning, L.; Conrad, P. G.; Eigenbrode, J.; Starke, V.

    2007-12-01

    As part of a study on Mars Analogue environments, the biogeochemistry of Sverrefjellet Volcano, Bocfjorden, Svalbard, was conducted and compared to surrounding glacial, thermal spring, and sedimentary environments. An understanding of how nitrogen might be distributed in a landscape that had extinct or very cold adapted, slow- growing extant organisms should be useful for detecting unknown life forms. From high elevations (900 m) to the base of the volcano (sea level), soil and rock ammonium concentrations were uniformly low, typically less than 1- 3 micrograms per gm of rock or soil. In weathered volcanic soils, reduced nitrogen concentrations were higher, and oxidized nitrogen concentrations lower. The opposite was found in a weathered Devonian sedimentary soil. Plants and lichens growing on volcanic soils have an unusually wide range in N isotopic compositions from -5 to +12‰, a range rarely measured in temperate ecosystems. Nitrogen contents and isotopic compositions of volcanic soils and rocks were strongly influenced by the presence or absence of terrestrial herbivores or marine avifauna with higher concentrations of N and elevated N isotopic compositions occurring as patches in areas immediately influenced by reindeer, Arctic fox ( Alopex lagopus), and marine birds. Because of the extreme conditions in this area, ephemeral deposition of herbivore feces results in a direct and immediate N pulses into the ecosystem. The lateral extent and distribution of marine- derived nitrogen was measured on a landscape scale surrounding an active fox den. Nitrogen was tracked from the bones of marine birds to soil to vegetation. Because of extreme cold, slow biological rates and nitrogen cycling, a mosaic of N patterns develops on the landscape scale.

  3. Oral rabies vaccination in north america: opportunities, complexities, and challenges.

    PubMed

    Slate, Dennis; Algeo, Timothy P; Nelson, Kathleen M; Chipman, Richard B; Donovan, Dennis; Blanton, Jesse D; Niezgoda, Michael; Rupprecht, Charles E

    2009-01-01

    Steps to facilitate inter-jurisdictional collaboration nationally and continentally have been critical for implementing and conducting coordinated wildlife rabies management programs that rely heavily on oral rabies vaccination (ORV). Formation of a national rabies management team has been pivotal for coordinated ORV programs in the United States of America. The signing of the North American Rabies Management Plan extended a collaborative framework for coordination of surveillance, control, and research in border areas among Canada, Mexico, and the US. Advances in enhanced surveillance have facilitated sampling of greater scope and intensity near ORV zones for improved rabies management decision-making in real time. The value of enhanced surveillance as a complement to public health surveillance was best illustrated in Ohio during 2007, where 19 rabies cases were detected that were critical for the formulation of focused contingency actions for controlling rabies in this strategically key area. Diverse complexities and challenges are commonplace when applying ORV to control rabies in wild meso-carnivores. Nevertheless, intervention has resulted in notable successes, including the elimination of an arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) rabies virus variant in most of southern Ontario, Canada, with ancillary benefits of elimination extending into Quebec and the northeastern US. Progress continues with ORV toward preventing the spread and working toward elimination of a unique variant of gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) rabies in west central Texas. Elimination of rabies in coyotes (Canis latrans) through ORV contributed to the US being declared free of canine rabies in 2007. Raccoon (Procyon lotor) rabies control continues to present the greatest challenges among meso-carnivore rabies reservoirs, yet to date intervention has prevented this variant from gaining a broad geographic foothold beyond ORV zones designed to prevent its spread from the eastern US. Progress continues

  4. Genetic structure of the Common Eider in the western Aleutian Islands prior to fox eradication

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sonsthagen, Sarah A.; Talbot, Sandra L.; Wilson, Robert E.; Petersen, Margaret R.; Williams, Jeffrey C.; Byrd, G. Vernon; McCracken, Kevin G.

    2013-01-01

    Since the late 18th century bird populations residing in the Aleutian Archipelago have been greatly reduced by introduced arctic foxes (Alopex lagopus). We analyzed data from microsatellite, nuclear intron, and mitochondrial (mtDNA) loci to examine the spatial genetic structure, demography, and gene flow among four Aleutian Island populations of the Common Eider (Somateria mollissima) much reduced by introduced foxes. In mtDNA, we found high levels of genetic structure within and between island groups (ΦST = 0.643), but we found no population subdivision in microsatellites or nuclear introns. Differences in genetic structure between the mitochondrial and nuclear genomes are consistent with the Common Eider's breeding and winter biology, as females are highly philopatric and males disperse. Nevertheless, significant differences between islands in the mtDNA of males and marginal significance (P =0.07) in the Z-linked locus Smo 1 suggest that males may also have some level of fidelity to island groups. Severe reduction of populations by the fox, coupled with females' high philopatry, may have left the genetic signature of a bottleneck effect, resulting in the high levels of genetic differentiation observed in mtDNA (ΦST = 0.460–0.807) between islands only 440 km apart. Reestablishment of the Common Eider following the fox's eradication was likely through recruitment from within the islands and bolstered by dispersal from neighboring islands, as suggested by the lack of genetic structure and asymmetry in gene flow between Attu and the other Near Islands.

  5. Trichinella pseudospiralis foci in Sweden.

    PubMed

    Pozio, E; Christensson, D; Stéen, M; Marucci, G; La Rosa, G; Bröjer, C; Mörner, T; Uhlhorn, H; Agren, E; Hall, M

    2004-11-10

    In Sweden, the prevalence of Trichinella infection in domestic pigs has greatly decreased since the 1970s, with no reports in the past 4 years. However, infected wild animals continue to be found. The objective of the present study was to identify the species of Trichinella present in animals of Sweden, so as to contribute to the knowledge on the distribution area and hosts useful for the prevention and control of this zoonosis. In the period 1985-2003, Trichinella larvae were detected in the muscles of 81/1800 (4.5%) red foxes (Vulpes vulpes), 1/6 (16.7%) arctic fox (Alopex lagopus), 1/7 (14.3%) wolf (Canis lupus), 10/200 (5.0%) lynxes (Lynx lynx), 4/8000 (0.05%) wild boars (Sus scrofa), and 27/66 x 10(6) (0.000041%) domestic pigs. All four Trichinella species previously found in Europe were detected (Trichinella spiralis, T. nativa, T. britovi and T. pseudospiralis). The non-encapsulated species T. pseudospiralis was detected in three wild boars from Holo (Stockholm area) and in one lynx from Froso (Ostersund area), suggesting that this species is widespread in Sweden. These findings are consistent with those of a study from Finland, both for the unexpected presence of T. pseudospiralis infection and the presence of the same four Trichinella species, suggesting that this epidemiological situation is present in the entire Scandinavian region. The widespread diffusion of T. pseudospiralis in the Scandinavian region is also important in terms of it potential impact on public health, given that human infection can occur and the difficulties to detect it by the trichinelloscopic examination. PMID:15482889

  6. Sorting out relationships among the grouse and ptarmigan using intron, mitochondrial, and ultra-conserved element sequences.

    PubMed

    Persons, Nicholas W; Hosner, Peter A; Meiklejohn, Kelly A; Braun, Edward L; Kimball, Rebecca T

    2016-05-01

    The Holarctic phasianid clade of the grouse and ptarmigan has received substantial attention in areas such as evolution of mating systems, display behavior, and population ecology related to their conservation and management as wild game species. There are multiple molecular phylogenetic studies that focus on grouse and ptarmigan. In spite of this, there is little consensus regarding historical relationships, particularly among genera, which has led to unstable and partial taxonomic revisions. We estimated the phylogeny of all currently recognized species using a combination of novel data from seven nuclear loci (largely intron sequences) and published data from one additional autosomal locus, two W-linked loci, and four mitochondrial regions. To explore relationships among genera and assess paraphyly of one genus more rigorously, we then added over 3000 ultra-conserved element (UCE) loci (over 1.7million bp) gathered using Illumina sequencing. The UCE topology agreed with that of the combined nuclear intron and previously published sequence data with 100% bootstrap support for all relationships. These data strongly support previous studies separating Bonasa from Tetrastes and Dendragapus from Falcipennis. However, the placement of Lagopus differed from previous studies, and we found no support for Falcipennis monophyly. Biogeographic analysis suggests that the ancestors of grouse and ptarmigan were distributed in the New World and subsequently underwent at least four dispersal events between the Old and New Worlds. Divergence time estimates from maternally-inherited and autosomal markers show stark differences across this clade, with divergence time estimates from maternally-inherited markers being nearly half that of the autosomal markers at some nodes, and nearly twice that at other nodes. PMID:26879712

  7. Importance of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska for aquatic birds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bart, Jonathan; Platte, Robert M.; Andres, Brad; Brown, Stephen; Johnson, James A.; Larned, William

    2013-01-01

    We used data from aerial surveys (1992–2010) of >100,000 km2 and ground surveys (1998–2004) of >150 km2 to estimate the density and abundance of birds on the North Slope of Alaska (U.S.A.). In the ground surveys, we used double sampling to estimate detection ratios. We used the aerial survey data to compare densities of birds and Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus), the major nest predator of birds, on the North Slope, in Prudhoe Bay, and in nearby areas. We partitioned the Prudhoe Bay oil field into 2 × 2 km plots and determined the relation between density of aquatic birds and density of roads, buildings, and other infrastructure in these plots. Abundance and density (birds per square kilometer) of 3 groups of aquatic birds—waterfowl, loons, and grebes; shorebirds; and gulls, terns, and jaegers—were highest in the National Petroleum Reserve–Alaska (NPRA) and lowest in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Six other major wetlands occur in the Arctic regions of Canada and Russia, but the largest population of aquatic birds was in the NPRA. Aquatic birds were concentrated in the northern part of the NPRA. For example, an area that covered 18% of the NPRA included 53% of its aquatic birds. The aerial surveys showed that bird density was not lower and fox density was not higher in Prudhoe Bay than in surrounding areas. Density of infrastructure did not significantly affect bird density for any group of species. Our results establish that the NPRA is one of the most important areas for aquatic birds in the Arctic. Our results and those of others also indicate that oil production, as practiced in Prudhoe Bay, does not necessarily lead to substantial declines in bird density or productivity in or near the developed areas.

  8. Microbial, chemical and physical aspects of citrus waste composting.

    PubMed

    van Heerden, I; Cronjé, C; Swart, S H; Kotzé, J M

    2002-01-01

    Citrus waste supplemented with calcium hydroxide and with a C/N ratio of 24:1, pH of 6.3 and moisture content of 60% was composted by piling under shelter. With regular turning over of the pile and replenishment of moisture, the thermic phase lasted for 65-70 days and composting was completed after 3 months. Compost thus prepared had an air-filled porosity of 14%, water-holding capacity of 590 ml l(-1), bulk density of 1.05 g cm(-3) and conductivity of 480 mS m(-1). Phosphorus content (in mg l(-1)) was 15, potassium 1,170, calcium 362, magnesium 121, sodium 32, chloride 143, boron 0.31, and water-soluble nitrogen and organic matter 126 and 4788, respectively. Total carbon amounted to 8.85% and total nitrogen to 1.26% of the dry weight, giving a C/N ratio of 7. Mature compost showed some, but acceptable, levels of phytotoxicity. Raw citrus waste was predominantly colonised by mesophilic yeasts. Thermophilous microorganisms present during the thermic phase mainly comprised the bacterial species Bacillus licheniformis, B. macerans and B. stearothermophilus and, to a lesser extent, fungi such as Absidia corymbifera, Aspergillus fumigatus, Emericella nidulans, Penicillium diversum, Paecilomyces variotii, Rhizomucor pusillus, Talaromyces thermophilus and Thermomyces lanuginosus. Bacteria prevalent in the final product included B. licheniformis, B. macerans, Proteus vulgaris, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, P. fluorescens, P. luteola and Serratia marcescens, whereas fungi isolated most frequently comprised Aspergillus puniceus, A. ustus, E. nidulans. Paecilomyces lilacinus, T lanuginosus, yeasts and a basidiomycetous species, probably Coprinus lagopus. PMID:11708757

  9. Effects of Seasonal Weather on Breeding Phenology and Reproductive Success of Alpine Ptarmigan in Colorado

    PubMed Central

    Wann, Gregory T.; Aldridge, Cameron L.; Braun, Clait E.

    2016-01-01

    Animal populations occurring at high elevations are often assumed to be in peril of extinctions or local extirpations due to elevational-dispersal limitations and thermoregulatory constraints as habitats change and warm. However, long-term monitoring of high-elevation populations is uncommon relative to those occurring at lower elevations, and evidence supporting this assumption is limited. We analyzed 45 years of reproductive data for two Colorado populations of white-tailed ptarmigan (Lagopus leucura), an alpine-endemic species with restricted distribution in western North America. Seasonal temperatures measured by the number of growing degree days warmed significantly at our study sites for pre-nesting, nesting, and brood-rearing seasonal periods (mean advance of 8 growing degree days per decade), and both populations advanced their reproductive phenology over the study period based on median hatch dates (median advance of 3.7 and 1.9 days per decade for the northern and southern sites, respectively). Reproductive performance measured by the number of chicks per hen declined significantly at one study site but not the other, and differences between sites may have been due to habitat degradation at one study area. Annual variability in chicks per hen was large at both sites but only weakly related to seasonal weather. An index of precipitation and temperature during the brood-rearing period was the best predictor for reproductive success with warm and dry conditions relating positively to number of chicks per hen. Our results provide evidence for two alpine ptarmigan populations that are remarkably invariant to fluctuations in seasonal weather with respect to reproductive success as measured by number of chicks per hen in the breeding population. These results are surprising given the general perception of alpine animal populations as being highly sensitive to warming temperatures. PMID:27420478

  10. A hierarchical model combining distance sampling and time removal to estimate detection probability during avian point counts

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Amundson, Courtney L.; Royle, J. Andrew; Handel, Colleen M.

    2014-01-01

    Imperfect detection during animal surveys biases estimates of abundance and can lead to improper conclusions regarding distribution and population trends. Farnsworth et al. (2005) developed a combined distance-sampling and time-removal model for point-transect surveys that addresses both availability (the probability that an animal is available for detection; e.g., that a bird sings) and perceptibility (the probability that an observer detects an animal, given that it is available for detection). We developed a hierarchical extension of the combined model that provides an integrated analysis framework for a collection of survey points at which both distance from the observer and time of initial detection are recorded. Implemented in a Bayesian framework, this extension facilitates evaluating covariates on abundance and detection probability, incorporating excess zero counts (i.e. zero-inflation), accounting for spatial autocorrelation, and estimating population density. Species-specific characteristics, such as behavioral displays and territorial dispersion, may lead to different patterns of availability and perceptibility, which may, in turn, influence the performance of such hierarchical models. Therefore, we first test our proposed model using simulated data under different scenarios of availability and perceptibility. We then illustrate its performance with empirical point-transect data for a songbird that consistently produces loud, frequent, primarily auditory signals, the Golden-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia atricapilla); and for 2 ptarmigan species (Lagopus spp.) that produce more intermittent, subtle, and primarily visual cues. Data were collected by multiple observers along point transects across a broad landscape in southwest Alaska, so we evaluated point-level covariates on perceptibility (observer and habitat), availability (date within season and time of day), and abundance (habitat, elevation, and slope), and included a nested point

  11. Immunogenic and antigenic activity of an experimental oral rabies vaccine prepared from the strain Vnukovo-32/107.

    PubMed

    Svrcek, S; Durove, A; Ondrejka, R; Závadová, J; Süliová, J; Benísek, Z; Vrtiak, O J; Feketeová, J; Mad'ar, M

    1995-03-01

    The immunogenic and antigenic activity of an experimental live oral rabies vaccine prepared from the strain Vnukovo-32/107 was evaluated on the basis of results obtained in 3 sets of experiments. These were carried out as model experiments on white mice, then on target animals--red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and a related species--farm-bred polar foxes (Alopex lagopus). For quantitative determination of the immunogenic activity of the orally or subcutaneously administered rabies vaccines in model experiments on mice a method was used that had been developed in our laboratory. Antibodies were detected and quantified by an ELISA kit that had also been developed in our lab. Tenacity of the experimental vaccine (infectious tissue culture medium after yolk addition) was verified at different temperatures; the effects of storage temperature upon virus titre and immunogenic activity were investigated. An important part of the experiments--evaluation of the antigenic and immunogenic activity of the live vaccine at oral vaccination (vaccination baits, conditions simulating field vaccination) was carried out in foxes. The immunogenic activity (challenge experiments with a street virus on day 180 and 360 after vaccination) was evaluated in common foxes (Vulpes vulpes). The results document a high immunogenic and antigenic activity of the experimental live oral rabies vaccine. The strain Vnukovo-32/107 is suitable for the industrial manufacturing of vaccination baits. In the target species--common foxes challenged on day 180 after primovaccination an 83% protection was observed. Challenge on day 180 after revaccination (or day 360 after primovaccination), the orally immunized foxes proved to be 100% protected. For parallel evaluation of the immunogenic activity of an oral vaccine and for antibody titration it is recommended to employ the quantitative mice test and an ELISA technique, respectively. PMID:7762124

  12. Importance of the national petroleum reserve-alaska for aquatic birds.

    PubMed

    Bart, Jonathan; Platte, Robert M; Andres, Brad; Brown, Stephen; Johnson, James A; Larned, William

    2013-12-01

    We used data from aerial surveys (1992-2010) of >100,000 km(2) and ground surveys (1998-2004) of >150 km(2) to estimate the density and abundance of birds on the North Slope of Alaska (U.S.A.). In the ground surveys, we used double sampling to estimate detection ratios. We used the aerial survey data to compare densities of birds and Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus), the major nest predator of birds, on the North Slope, in Prudhoe Bay, and in nearby areas. We partitioned the Prudhoe Bay oil field into 2 × 2 km plots and determined the relation between density of aquatic birds and density of roads, buildings, and other infrastructure in these plots. Abundance and density (birds per square kilometer) of 3 groups of aquatic birds-waterfowl, loons, and grebes; shorebirds; and gulls, terns, and jaegers-were highest in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPRA) and lowest in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Six other major wetlands occur in the Arctic regions of Canada and Russia, but the largest population of aquatic birds was in the NPRA. Aquatic birds were concentrated in the northern part of the NPRA. For example, an area that covered 18% of the NPRA included 53% of its aquatic birds. The aerial surveys showed that bird density was not lower and fox density was not higher in Prudhoe Bay than in surrounding areas. Density of infrastructure did not significantly affect bird density for any group of species. Our results establish that the NPRA is one of the most important areas for aquatic birds in the Arctic. Our results and those of others also indicate that oil production, as practiced in Prudhoe Bay, does not necessarily lead to substantial declines in bird density or productivity in or near the developed areas. Prioridades para la Conservación de Aves en el Norte de Alaska. PMID:23937114

  13. Detection probability of cliff-nesting raptors during helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft surveys in western Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Booms, T.L.; Schempf, P.F.; McCaffery, B.J.; Lindberg, M.S.; Fuller, M.R.

    2010-01-01

    We conducted repeated aerial surveys for breeding cliff-nesting raptors on the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge (YDNWR) in western Alaska to estimate detection probabilities of Gyrfalcons (Falco rusticolus), Golden Eagles (Aquila chrysaetos), Rough-legged Hawks (Buteo lagopus), and also Common Ravens (Corvus corax). Using the program PRESENCE, we modeled detection histories of each species based on single species occupancy modeling. We used different observers during four helicopter replicate surveys in the Kilbuck Mountains and five fixed-wing replicate surveys in the Ingakslugwat Hills near Bethel, AK. During helicopter surveys, Gyrfalcons had the highest detection probability estimate (p^;p^ 0.79; SE 0.05), followed by Golden Eagles (p^=0.68; SE 0.05), Common Ravens (p^=0.45; SE 0.17), and Rough-legged Hawks (p^=0.10; SE 0.11). Detection probabilities from fixed-wing aircraft in the Ingakslugwat Hills were similar to those from the helicopter in the Kilbuck Mountains for Gyrfalcons and Golden Eagles, but were higher for Common Ravens (p^=0.85; SE 0.06) and Rough-legged Hawks (p^=0.42; SE 0.07). Fixed-wing aircraft provided detection probability estimates and SEs in the Ingakslugwat Hills similar to or better than those from helicopter surveys in the Kilbucks and should be considered for future cliff-nesting raptor surveys where safe, low-altitude flight is possible. Overall, detection probability varied by observer experience and in some cases, by study area/aircraft type.

  14. Effects of Climate Change on Habitat Availability and Configuration for an Endemic Coastal Alpine Bird

    PubMed Central

    Jackson, Michelle M.; Gergel, Sarah E.; Martin, Kathy

    2015-01-01

    North America’s coastal mountains are particularly vulnerable to climate change, yet harbour a number of endemic species. With little room “at the top” to track shifting climate envelopes, alpine species may be especially negatively affected by climate-induced habitat fragmentation. We ask how climate change will affect the total amount, mean patch size, and number of patches of suitable habitat for Vancouver Island White-tailed Ptarmigan (Lagopus leucura saxatilis; VIWTP), a threatened, endemic alpine bird. Using a Random Forest model and a unique dataset consisting of citizen science observations combined with field surveys, we predict the distribution and configuration of potential suitable summer habitat for VIWTP under baseline and future (2020s, 2050s, and 2080s) climates using three general circulation models and two greenhouse gas scenarios. VIWTP summer habitat is predicted to decline by an average of 25%, 44%, and 56% by the 2020s, 2050s, and 2080s, respectively, under the low greenhouse gas scenario and 27%, 59%, and 74% under the high scenario. Habitat patches are predicted to become fragmented, with a 52–79% reduction in mean patch size. The average elevation of suitable habitat patches is expected to increase, reflecting a loss of patches at lower elevations. Thus ptarmigan are in danger of being “squeezed off the mountain”, as their remaining suitable habitat will be increasingly confined to mountaintops in the center of the island. The extent to which ptarmigan will be able to persist in increasingly fragmented habitat is unclear. Much will depend on their ability to move throughout a more heterogeneous landscape, utilize smaller breeding areas, and survive increasingly variable climate extremes. Our results emphasize the importance of continued monitoring and protection for high elevation specialist species, and suggest that White-tailed Ptarmigan should be considered an indicator species for alpine ecosystems in the face of climate

  15. Regional Distribution Shifts Help Explain Local Changes in Wintering Raptor Abundance: Implications for Interpreting Population Trends

    PubMed Central

    Paprocki, Neil; Heath, Julie A.; Novak, Stephen J.

    2014-01-01

    Studies of multiple taxa across broad-scales suggest that species distributions are shifting poleward in response to global climate change. Recognizing the influence of distribution shifts on population indices will be an important part of interpreting trends within management units because current practice often assumes that changes in local populations reflect local habitat conditions. However, the individual- and population-level processes that drive distribution shifts may occur across a large, regional scale and have little to do with the habitats within the management unit. We examined the latitudinal center of abundance for the winter distributions of six western North America raptor species using Christmas Bird Counts from 1975–2011. Also, we considered whether population indices within western North America Bird Conservation Regions (BCRs) were explained by distribution shifts. All six raptors had significant poleward shifts in their wintering distributions over time. Rough-legged Hawks (Buteo lagopus) and Golden Eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) showed the fastest rate of change, with 8.41 km yr−1 and 7.74 km yr−1 shifts, respectively. Raptors may be particularly responsive to warming winters because of variable migration tendencies, intraspecific competition for nesting sites that drives males to winter farther north, or both. Overall, 40% of BCR population trend models were improved by incorporating information about wintering distributions; however, support for the effect of distribution on BCR indices varied by species with Rough-legged Hawks showing the most evidence. These results emphasize the importance of understanding how regional distribution shifts influence local-scale population indices. If global climate change is altering distribution patterns, then trends within some management units may not reflect changes in local habitat conditions. The methods used to monitor and manage bird populations within local BCRs will fundamentally change as

  16. Sarcocystis caninum and Sarcocystis svanai n. spp. (Apicomplexa: Sarcocystidae) Associated with Severe Myositis and Hepatitis in the Domestic Dog (Canis familiaris)

    PubMed Central

    Dubey, J. P.; Sykes, J. E.; Shelton, G. D.; Sharp, N.; Verma, S. K.; Calero-Bernal, R.; Viviano, J.; Sundar, N.; Khan, A.; Grigg, M. E.

    2014-01-01

    , a parasite known to infect Arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus). PMID:25256157

  17. Factors influencing nesting success of king eiders on northern Alaska's Coastal Plain

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bentzen, R.L.; Powell, A.N.; Suydam, R.S.

    2008-01-01

    King eider (Somateria spectabilis) populations have declined markedly in recent decades for unknown reasons. Nest survival is one component of recruitment, and a female's chance of reproductive success increases with her ability to choose an appropriate nesting strategy. We estimated variation in daily nest survival of king eiders at 2 sites, Teshekpuk and Kuparuk, Alaska, USA, 2002-2005. We evaluated both a priori and exploratory competing models of nest survival that considered importance of nest concealment, seclusion, and incubation constancy as strategies to avoid 2 primary egg predators, avian (Larus spp., Stercorarius spp., and Corvus corax) and fox (Alopex lagopus). We used generalized nonlinear techniques to examine factors affecting nest survival rates and information-theoretic approaches to select among competing models. Estimated nest survival, accounting for a nest visitation effect, varied considerably across sites and years (0.21-0.57); however, given our small sample size, much of this variation maybe attributable to sampling variation (??process = 0.007, 95% CI: 0.003-0.070). Nest survival was higher at Kuparuk than Teshekpuk in all years; however, due to the correlative nature of our data, we cannot determine the underlying causes with any certainty. We found mixed support for the concealed breeding strategy, females derived no benefit from nesting in areas with more willow (Salix spp.; measure of concealment) except that the observer effect diminished as willow cover increased. We suggest these patterns are due to conflicting predation pressures. Nest survival was not higher on islands (measure of seclusion) or with increased incubation constancy but was higher post-fox removal, indicating that predator control on breeding grounds could be a viable management option. Nest survival was negatively affected by our nest visitations, most likely by exposing the nest to avian scavengers. We recommend precautions be taken to limit the effects of nest

  18. Sarcocystis caninum and Sarcocystis svanai n. spp. (Apicomplexa: Sarcocystidae) Associated with Severe Myositis and Hepatitis in the Domestic Dog (Canis familiaris).

    PubMed

    Dubey, Jitender P; Sykes, Jane E; Shelton, G Diane; Sharp, Nick; Verma, Shiv K; Calero-Bernal, Rafael; Viviano, Jenifer; Sundar, Natarajan; Khan, Asis; Grigg, Michael E

    2015-01-01

    parasite known to infect Arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus). PMID:25256157

  19. Some autecological characteristics of early to late successional tree species in Venezuela

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kammesheidt, Ludwig

    2000-01-01

    The breadth of the continuum concept of strategy with respect to succession was tested on 21 tree and shrub species common in either unlogged or logged stands, respectively, in the Forest Reserve of Caparo, Venezuela, by examining morphological, physiological and population characteristics. Based on a preliminary abundance analysis, `early', `mid' and `late' successional species as well as `generalists' were distinguished. Early successional species, i.e. Ochroma lagopus, Heliocarpus popayanensis and Cecropia peltata were similar in many autecological aspects, e.g. monolayered leaf arrangement, orthotropic architectural models, no adaptive reiteration, clumped distribution, but differed in gap association and distribution along a drainage gradient. Mid-successional species established themselves both in large and small gaps (> 300 m[sup2 ]; 80-300 m[sup2 ]) and showed a clumped to regular distribution pattern in logged areas; they exhibited more diverse crown and leaf characteristics than early successional species. Late successional species established themselves only in small gaps and understorey, and showed a regular spatial pattern in undisturbed areas. All late successional species displayed architectural models with plagiotropic lateral axes and showed a multilayered leaf arrangement. Adaptive reiteration was a common feature of late successional species which could be further subdivided into large, medium-sized and small trees, indicating different light requirements at maturity. Generalists were common treelet and shrub species in both disturbed and undisturbed sites where they are also capable of completing their life cycle. The light compensation point (LCP) of an individual plant was strongly influenced by its crown illuminance. Large late successional species showed the widest range of LCP values, reflecting the increasing light availability with increasing height in mature forest. On the basis of many autecological characteristics, it was found (i

  20. Intrapopulation Variability Shaping Isotope Discrimination and Turnover: Experimental Evidence in Arctic Foxes

    PubMed Central

    Lecomte, Nicolas; Ahlstrøm, Øystein; Ehrich, Dorothée; Fuglei, Eva; Ims, Rolf A.; Yoccoz, Nigel G.

    2011-01-01

    Background Tissue-specific stable isotope signatures can provide insights into the trophic ecology of consumers and their roles in food webs. Two parameters are central for making valid inferences based on stable isotopes, isotopic discrimination (difference in isotopic ratio between consumer and its diet) and turnover time (renewal process of molecules in a given tissue usually measured when half of the tissue composition has changed). We investigated simultaneously the effects of age, sex, and diet types on the variation of discrimination and half-life in nitrogen and carbon stable isotopes (δ15N and δ13C, respectively) in five tissues (blood cells, plasma, muscle, liver, nail, and hair) of a top predator, the arctic fox Vulpes lagopus. Methodology/Principal Findings We fed 40 farmed foxes (equal numbers of adults and yearlings of both sexes) with diet capturing the range of resources used by their wild counterparts. We found that, for a single species, six tissues, and three diet types, the range of discrimination values can be almost as large as what is known at the scale of the whole mammalian or avian class. Discrimination varied depending on sex, age, tissue, and diet types, ranging from 0.3‰ to 5.3‰ (mean  = 2.6‰) for δ15N and from 0.2‰ to 2.9‰ (mean  = 0.9‰) for δ13C. We also found an impact of population structure on δ15N half-life in blood cells. Varying across individuals, δ15N half-life in plasma (6 to 10 days) was also shorter than for δ13C (14 to 22 days), though δ15N and δ13C half-lives are usually considered as equal. Conclusion/Significance Overall, our multi-factorial experiment revealed that at least six levels of isotopic variations could co-occur in the same population. Our experimental analysis provides a framework for quantifying multiple sources of variation in isotopic discrimination and half-life that needs to be taken into account when designing and analysing ecological field studies. PMID:21731715

  1. Health effects from long-range transported contaminants in Arctic top predators: An integrated review based on studies of polar bears and relevant model species.

    PubMed

    Sonne, Christian

    2010-07-01

    The aim of this review is to provide a thorough overview of the health effects from the complexed biomagnified mixture of long-range transported industrial organochlorines (OCs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) and mercury (Hg) on polar bear (Ursus maritimus) health. Multiple scientific studies of polar bears indicate negative relationships between exposure to these contaminants and health parameters; however, these are all of a correlative nature and do not represent true cause-and-effects. Therefore, information from controlled studies of farmed Norwegian Arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus) and housed East and West Greenland sledge dogs (Canis familiaris) were included as supportive weight of evidence in the clarification of contaminant exposure and health effects in polar bears. The review showed that hormone and vitamin concentrations, liver, kidney and thyroid gland morphology as well as reproductive and immune systems of polar bears are likely to be influenced by contaminant exposure. Furthermore, exclusively based on polar bear contaminant studies, bone density reduction and neurochemical disruption and DNA hypomethylation of the brain stem seemed to occur. The range of tissue concentration, at which these alterations were observed in polar bears, were ca. 1-70,000 ng/g lw for OCs (blood plasma concentrations of some PCB metabolites even higher), ca. 1-1000 ng/g lw for PBDEs and for PFCs and Hg 114-3052 ng/g ww and 0.1-50 microg/g ww, respectively. Similar concentrations were found in farmed foxes and housed sledge dogs while the lack of dose response designs did not allow an estimation of threshold levels for oral exposure and accumulated tissue concentrations. Nor was it possible to pinpoint a specific group of contaminants being more important than others nor analyze their interactions. For East Greenland polar bears the corresponding daily SigmaOC and SigmaPBDE oral exposure was estimated to be 35 and 0.34 microg/kg body

  2. Detection probability of gyrfalcons and other cliff-nesting raptors during aerial surveys in Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Booms, Travis L.; Fuller, Mark R.; Schempf, Philip F.; McCaffery, Brian J.; Lindberg, Mark S.

    2011-01-01

    Assessing the status of Gyrfalcons (Falco rusticolus) and other cliffnesting raptors as the Arctic climate changes often requires aerial surveys of their breeding habitats. Because traditional, count-based surveys that do not adjust for differing detection probabilities can provide faulty inference about population status (Link and Sauer 1998, Thompson 2002), it will be important to incorporate measures of detection probability into survey methods whenever possible. To evaluate the feasibility of this, we conducted repeated aerial surveys for breeding cliff-nesting raptors on the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge (YDNWR) in western Alaska to estimate detection probabilities of Gyrfalcons, Golden Eagles (Aquila chrysaetos), Rough-legged Hawks (Buteo lagopus), and also Common Ravens (Corvus corax). Using the program PRESENCE, we modeled detection histories of each species based on single species occupancy modeling following MacKenzie et al. (2002, 2006). We used different observers during four helicopter replicate surveys in the Kilbuck Mountains and five fixed-wing replicate surveys in the Ingakslugwat Hills (hereafter called Volcanoes) near Bethel, Alaska. We used the following terms and definitions throughout: Survey Site: site of a nest used previously by a raptor and marked with a GPS-obtained latitude and longitude accurate to within 20 m. All GPS locations were obtained in prior years from a helicopter hovering approximately 10?20 m from a nest. The site was considered occupied if a bird or an egg was detected within approximately 500 m of the nest and this area served as our sampling unit. When multiple historical nests were located on a single cliff, we used only one GPS location to locate the survey site. Detection probability (p): the probability of a species being detected at a site given the site is occupied. Occupancy (?): the probability that the species of interest is present at a site during the survey period. A site was considered occupied if the

  3. Distribution of Culicoides in Greece.

    PubMed

    Patakakis, Michael J; Papazahariadou, Margarita; Wilson, Anthony; Mellor, Philip S; Frydas, Stavros; Papadopoulos, Orestis

    2009-12-01

    Culicoides biting midges (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) were trapped between 1999 and 2004 at 122 locations in mainland Greece and on most of the larger Aegean and Ionian islands, using OVI light traps, in order to determine the distribution and seasonal activity of bluetongue virus vectors and other Culicoides species. Thirty-nine Culicoides species were identified, six of which (C. furcillatus, C. impunctatus, C. paolae, C. pictipennis, C. riethi, and C. scoticus) were identified for the first time in Greece. Two of these (C. impunctatus and C. scoticus) may be of veterinary importance due to their role as vectors of bluetongue virus and related orbiviruses. In addition, C. imicola was detected for the first time in mainland Greece. PMID:20836829

  4. A survey of Culicoides developmental sites on a farm in northern Spain, with a brief review of immature habitats of European species.

    PubMed

    González, Mikel; López, Sergio; Mullens, Bradley A; Baldet, Thierry; Goldarazena, Arturo

    2013-01-16

    Culicoides species (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) belonging to the Obsoletus and Pulicaris groups are considered to be the main vectors of bluetongue virus (BTV) in non Mediterranean Europe. Selected terrestrial microhabitats (n=17) on a farm in northern Spain were sampled repeatedly over a year-long period and characterized for use by Culicoides species for immature development. Concurrent use of CDC light traps showed the presence of 37 species and 66,575 specimens of adult Culicoides. A total of 28 species and 11,396 individuals emerged from laboratory-maintained soil samples. Culicoides obsoletus and Culicoides scoticus (pooled as Obsoletus complex) were particularly abundant (comprising 58.6% and 74.5% of the total collections in light traps and emergence traps respectively). Potential key vectors of animal viruses (such as BTV) were found in two main terrestrial types of microhabitats. In the case of C. obsoletus, different types of manure (old and composted manure, manure mixed with organic matter, and fresh manure) produced most of the specimens. In contrast, larvae of C. scoticus and Culicoides lupicaris were associated with soil substantially comprised of rotting leaf litter that included the parasitic plant Lathraea clandestina. Several species, Culicoides festivipennis, Culicoides punctatus and Culicoides brunnicans, were very common in mud at pond margins. Indeed, pond microhabitats and runoff below barn rooflines supported the greatest species richness. In the pond habitat, 49.4% of Culicoides specimens emerged from mud at the water edge, as opposed to 50 cm above (32.4%) and 1 meter above waterline (18%). Similar species richness, but statistically significant differences in abundance, were observed among the four pond microhabitats. Overall, the majority of the specimens were found in the upper layer (0-3 cm), except in manure, where they preferred deeper layers (>6 cm). Maximum peaks of abundance occurred in both light traps and soil samples in summer

  5. Quantifying the spatial dependence of Culicoides midge samples collected by Onderstepoort-type blacklight traps: an experimental approach to infer the range of attraction of light traps.

    PubMed

    Rigot, T; Gilbert, M

    2012-06-01

    The emergence of bluetongue disease in Europe has led several countries to rapidly establish large-scale entomological surveys of its vectors, which are midges belonging to the genus Culicoides Latreille, 1809 (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae). These surveys have largely been based on the use of Onderstepoort-type blacklight traps. However, the range of attraction of the traps and the spatial dependence of the samples they provide are unknown, which somewhat complicates subsequent analyses. This paper investigates spatial interaction between Onderstepoort-type blacklight traps based on catches at a central trap placed close to two traps set in consecutive on/off modes. The spatial interaction is inferred from the drop in the number of midges collected in the central trap when nearby traps positioned at 50 m, 100 m or 200 m are turned on. The results showed a significant spatial interaction between traps separated by 50 m for female Culicoides obsoletus/Culicoides scoticus and Culicoides dewulfi. No significant interaction was found for female Culicoides of other species, for male Culicoides, or for traps spaced at ≥100 m. Based on the experimental design geometry and on simple assumptions on the distribution of Culicoides midges in the neighbourhood of the traps, the paper also presents a method to infer the range of attraction of the traps. PMID:22098421

  6. Does covering of farm-associated Culicoides larval habitat reduce adult populations in the United Kingdom?☆

    PubMed Central

    Harrup, L.E.; Gubbins, S.; Barber, J.; Denison, E.; Mellor, P.S.; Purse, B.V.; Carpenter, S.

    2014-01-01

    Culicoides biting midges (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) are the biological vectors of a range of internationally important arboviruses of livestock, including bluetongue virus (BTV) and the recently emerging Schmallenberg virus (SBV). Culicoides species in the subgenus Avaritia (in the UK: Culicoides obsoletus Meigen, Culicoides scoticus Downes & Kettle, Culicoides dewulfi Goetghebuer and Culicoides chiopterus Meigen) have been implicated in BTV transmission in northern Europe and to a varying degree utilise cattle dung as a larval development substrate. The collection of cattle dung into heaps on farms provides a localised source of Culicoides emergence in close proximity to livestock. This study assesses the impact of covering dung heaps prior to the onset of adult Culicoides activity with the aim of reducing recruitment to the local adult populations at four livestock farms in England. Light suction trap catches of adult Culicoides from these farms were compared with those from four untreated control farms from a wide geographic range across the UK. It was demonstrated that implementing control of emergence from dung heaps did not have a significant impact upon the local adult subgenus Avaritia abundance at the treated farm holdings and that the onset of Culicoides activity was similarly unaffected. Use of this method in isolation is unlikely to have an effect in reducing the risk of BTV and SBV transmission. The implications of these results for control of farm-associated Culicoides in Europe are discussed. PMID:24472769

  7. Do red deer stags (Cervus elaphus) use roar fundamental frequency (F0) to assess rivals?

    PubMed

    Garcia, Maxime; Charlton, Benjamin D; Wyman, Megan T; Fitch, W Tecumseh; Reby, David

    2013-01-01

    It is well established that in humans, male voices are disproportionately lower pitched than female voices, and recent studies suggest that this dimorphism in fundamental frequency (F0) results from both intrasexual (male competition) and intersexual (female mate choice) selection for lower pitched voices in men. However, comparative investigations indicate that sexual dimorphism in F0 is not universal in terrestrial mammals. In the highly polygynous and sexually dimorphic Scottish red deer Cervus elaphus scoticus, more successful males give sexually-selected calls (roars) with higher minimum F0s, suggesting that high, rather than low F0s advertise quality in this subspecies. While playback experiments demonstrated that oestrous females prefer higher pitched roars, the potential role of roar F0 in male competition remains untested. Here we examined the response of rutting red deer stags to playbacks of re-synthesized male roars with different median F0s. Our results show that stags' responses (latencies and durations of attention, vocal and approach responses) were not affected by the F0 of the roar. This suggests that intrasexual selection is unlikely to strongly influence the evolution of roar F0 in Scottish red deer stags, and illustrates how the F0 of terrestrial mammal vocal sexual signals may be subject to different selection pressures across species. Further investigations on species characterized by different F0 profiles are needed to provide a comparative background for evolutionary interpretations of sex differences in mammalian vocalizations. PMID:24386312

  8. Importance and mitigation of the risk of spillback transmission of Mycobacterium bovis infection for eradication of bovine tuberculosis from wildlife in New Zealand.

    PubMed

    Barron, M C; Nugent, G; Cross, M L

    2013-07-01

    Introduced brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) are wildlife maintenance hosts for Mycobacterium bovis in New Zealand, often living sympatrically with other potential hosts, including wild red deer (Cervus elaphus scoticus). Population control of possums has been predicted to eradicate tuberculosis (TB) from New Zealand wildlife ; however, there is concern that long-lived M. bovis-infected deer could represent a ‘ spillback’ risk for TB re-establishment (particularly when possum populations recover after cessation of intensive control). We constructed a time-, age- and sex-structured, deer/TB population generic model and simulated the outcomes of deer control on this potential spillback risk. Maintaining intensive possum control on a 5-year cycle, the predicted spillback risk period after TB eradication from possums is ~7 years, while the probability of TB re-establishing in possums over that period is ~6%. Additional targeted control of deer would reduce the risk period and probability of spillback; however, even with high population reductions (up to 80%) only modest decreases in risk and risk period would be achieved. We conclude that possum control alone remains the best strategy for achieving TB eradication from New Zealand habitats in which possums and wild deer are the main M. bovis hosts. PMID:23211646

  9. Comparison of different light sources for trapping Culicoides biting midges, mosquitoes and other dipterans.

    PubMed

    González, Mikel; Alarcón-Elbal, Pedro María; Valle-Mora, Javier; Goldarazena, Arturo

    2016-08-15

    The response of Culicoides biting midges, mosquitoes and other dipterans to different wavelengths was evaluated in a farm meadow in northern Spain. A total of 9449 specimens of 23 species of Culicoides, 5495 other ceratopogonids (non-biting midges), 602 culicids and 12428 other mixed dipterans were captured. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suction light traps fitted with five light emitting diodes (LEDs) (white, green, red, blue, ultraviolet) were run for 15 consecutive nights. Significantly more Culicoides were collected in those traps fitted with green, blue or ultraviolet (UV) lights than in red and white-baited LED traps for the most abundant species captured: C. punctatus (37.5%), C. cataneii (26.5%) and C. obsoletus/C. scoticus (20.4%). Similar results were obtained for non-Culicoides ceratopogonids, mosquitoes and other mixed dipterans. Wavelengths in green (570nm) resulted effective for targeting some Culicoides species, culicids and other midges. In a second trial, the effectiveness of 4-W white and UV tubes was compared to traps fitted with UV LED and a standard incandescent light bulb. More specimens of all taxa were collected with fluorescent black light (UV) traps than with the other light sources, except culicids, which were recovered in high numbers from fluorescent white light traps. PMID:27514882

  10. Repellent effect of topical deltamethrin on blood feeding by Culicoides on horses.

    PubMed

    Robin, M; Archer, D; McGowan, C; Garros, C; Gardès, L; Baylis, M

    2015-05-30

    African horse sickness (AHS) is a vectorborne disease spread by Culicoides biting midges. The UK's Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs currently suggests using topical deltamethrin for AHS control; however, no data are available regarding its efficacy in the horse. The aims of this study were to investigate the effect of topical deltamethrin on blood feeding by Culicoides on horses and to investigate which Culicoides species blood fed on horses. Three pairs of horses were placed in partially enclosed cages that allowed samples representing the Culicoides interacting with individual horses to be sampled. Four data collection sessions were completed before one horse from each pair was topically treated with 10 ml of 1 per cent deltamethrin solution and another four sessions were then carried out. Collected Culicoides were identified and each biting midge examined to see if it had blood fed. The most abundant species collected were C. chiopterus, C. dewulfi, C. obsoletus and C. scoticus (44.3 per cent) and either C. pulicaris or C. punctatus (34.7 per cent). These species were also more likely to have blood fed than other species, supporting their potential role as AHS vectors if the virus were to reach the UK. There was no significant effect of treatment on blood feeding by Culicoides. The results do not support the use of topical deltamethrin to prevent blood feeding by Culicoides on individual horses; however, the study does not investigate the effect that the widespread use of topical deltamethrin might have on vector numbers or disease transmission from viraemic individuals during an outbreak of AHS. PMID:25948630

  11. Roaring High and Low: Composition and Possible Functions of the Iberian Stag's Vocal Repertoire

    PubMed Central

    Carranza, Juan; Apollonio, Marco

    2013-01-01

    We provide a detailed description of the rutting vocalisations of free-ranging male Iberian deer (Cervus elaphus hispanicus, Hilzheimer 1909), a geographically isolated and morphologically differentiated subspecies of red deer Cervus elaphus. We combine spectrographic examinations, spectral analyses and automated classifications to identify different call types, and compare the composition of the vocal repertoire with that of other red deer subspecies. Iberian stags give bouts of roars (and more rarely, short series of barks) that are typically composed of two different types of calls. Long Common Roars are mostly given at the beginning or at the end of the bout, and are characterised by a high fundamental frequency (F0) resulting in poorly defined formant frequencies but a relatively high amplitude. In contrast, Short Common Roars are typically given in the middle or at the end of the bout, and are characterised by a lower F0 resulting in relatively well defined vocal tract resonances, but low amplitude. While we did not identify entirely Harsh Roars (as described in the Scottish red deer subspecies (Cervus elaphus scoticus)), a small percentage of Long Common Roars contained segments of deterministic chaos. We suggest that the evolution of two clearly distinct types of Common Roars may reflect divergent selection pressures favouring either vocal efficiency in high pitched roars or the communication of body size in low-pitched, high spectral density roars highlighting vocal tract resonances. The clear divergence of the Iberian red deer vocal repertoire from those of other documented European red deer populations reinforces the status of this geographical variant as a distinct subspecies. PMID:23667678

  12. Environmental Drivers of Culicoides Phenology: How Important Is Species-Specific Variation When Determining Disease Policy?

    PubMed Central

    Searle, Kate R.; Barber, James; Stubbins, Francesca; Labuschagne, Karien; Carpenter, Simon; Butler, Adam; Denison, Eric; Sanders, Christopher; Mellor, Philip S.; Wilson, Anthony; Nelson, Noel; Gubbins, Simon; Purse, Bethan V.

    2014-01-01

    Since 2006, arboviruses transmitted by Culicoides biting midges (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) have caused significant disruption to ruminant production in northern Europe. The most serious incursions involved strains of bluetongue virus (BTV), which cause bluetongue (BT) disease. To control spread of BTV, movement of susceptible livestock is restricted with economic and animal welfare impacts. The timing of BTV transmission in temperate regions is partly determined by the seasonal presence of adult Culicoides females. Legislative measures therefore allow for the relaxation of ruminant movement restrictions during winter, when nightly light-suction trap catches of Culicoides fall below a threshold (the ‘seasonally vector free period’: SVFP). We analysed five years of time-series surveillance data from light-suction trapping in the UK to investigate whether significant inter-specific and yearly variation in adult phenology exists, and whether the SVFP is predictable from environmental factors. Because female vector Culicoides are not easily morphologically separated, inter-specific comparisons in phenology were drawn from male populations. We demonstrate significant inter-specific differences in Culicoides adult phenology with the season of Culicoides scoticus approximately eight weeks shorter than Culicoides obsoletus. Species-specific differences in the length of the SVFP were related to host density and local variation in landscape habitat. When the Avaritia Culicoides females were modelled as a group (as utilised in the SFVP), we were unable to detect links between environmental drivers and phenological metrics. We conclude that the current treatment of Avaritia Culicoides as a single group inhibits understanding of environmentally-driven spatial variation in species phenology and hinders the development of models for predicting the SVFP from environmental factors. Culicoides surveillance methods should be adapted to focus on concentrated assessments of species

  13. Environmental drivers of Culicoides phenology: how important is species-specific variation when determining disease policy?

    PubMed

    Searle, Kate R; Barber, James; Stubbins, Francesca; Labuschagne, Karien; Carpenter, Simon; Butler, Adam; Denison, Eric; Sanders, Christopher; Mellor, Philip S; Wilson, Anthony; Nelson, Noel; Gubbins, Simon; Purse, Bethan V

    2014-01-01

    Since 2006, arboviruses transmitted by Culicoides biting midges (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) have caused significant disruption to ruminant production in northern Europe. The most serious incursions involved strains of bluetongue virus (BTV), which cause bluetongue (BT) disease. To control spread of BTV, movement of susceptible livestock is restricted with economic and animal welfare impacts. The timing of BTV transmission in temperate regions is partly determined by the seasonal presence of adult Culicoides females. Legislative measures therefore allow for the relaxation of ruminant movement restrictions during winter, when nightly light-suction trap catches of Culicoides fall below a threshold (the 'seasonally vector free period': SVFP). We analysed five years of time-series surveillance data from light-suction trapping in the UK to investigate whether significant inter-specific and yearly variation in adult phenology exists, and whether the SVFP is predictable from environmental factors. Because female vector Culicoides are not easily morphologically separated, inter-specific comparisons in phenology were drawn from male populations. We demonstrate significant inter-specific differences in Culicoides adult phenology with the season of Culicoides scoticus approximately eight weeks shorter than Culicoides obsoletus. Species-specific differences in the length of the SVFP were related to host density and local variation in landscape habitat. When the Avaritia Culicoides females were modelled as a group (as utilised in the SFVP), we were unable to detect links between environmental drivers and phenological metrics. We conclude that the current treatment of Avaritia Culicoides as a single group inhibits understanding of environmentally-driven spatial variation in species phenology and hinders the development of models for predicting the SVFP from environmental factors. Culicoides surveillance methods should be adapted to focus on concentrated assessments of species

  14. Solar Radiation Determines Site Occupancy of Coexisting Tropical and Temperate Deer Species Introduced to New Zealand Forests.

    PubMed

    Allen, Robert B; Forsyth, David M; Allen, Roy K J; Affeld, Kathrin; MacKenzie, Darryl I

    2015-01-01

    Assemblages of introduced taxa provide an opportunity to understand how abiotic and biotic factors shape habitat use by coexisting species. We tested hypotheses about habitat selection by two deer species recently introduced to New Zealand's temperate rainforests. We hypothesised that, due to different thermoregulatory abilities, rusa deer (Cervus timorensis; a tropical species) would prefer warmer locations in winter than red deer (Cervus elaphus scoticus; a temperate species). Since adult male rusa deer are aggressive in winter (the rut), we also hypothesised that rusa deer and red deer would not use the same winter locations. Finally, we hypothesised that in summer both species would prefer locations with fertile soils that supported more plant species preferred as food. We used a 250 × 250 m grid of 25 remote cameras to collect images in a 100-ha montane study area over two winters and summers. Plant composition, solar radiation, and soil fertility were also determined for each camera location. Multiseason occupancy models revealed that direct solar radiation was the best predictor of occupancy and detection probabilities for rusa deer in winter. Multistate, multiseason occupancy models provided strong evidence that the detection probability of adult male rusa deer was greater in winter and when other rusa deer were present at a location. Red deer mostly vacated the study area in winter. For the one season that had sufficient camera images of both species (summer 2011) to allow two-species occupancy models to be fitted, the detection probability of rusa deer also increased with solar radiation. Detection probability also varied with plant composition for both deer species. We conclude that habitat use by coexisting tropical and temperate deer species in New Zealand likely depends on the interplay between the thermoregulatory and behavioural traits of the deer and the abiotic and biotic features of the habitat. PMID:26061426

  15. Solar Radiation Determines Site Occupancy of Coexisting Tropical and Temperate Deer Species Introduced to New Zealand Forests

    PubMed Central

    Allen, Robert B.; Forsyth, David M.; Allen, Roy K. J.; Affeld, Kathrin; MacKenzie, Darryl I.

    2015-01-01

    Assemblages of introduced taxa provide an opportunity to understand how abiotic and biotic factors shape habitat use by coexisting species. We tested hypotheses about habitat selection by two deer species recently introduced to New Zealand’s temperate rainforests. We hypothesised that, due to different thermoregulatory abilities, rusa deer (Cervus timorensis; a tropical species) would prefer warmer locations in winter than red deer (Cervus elaphus scoticus; a temperate species). Since adult male rusa deer are aggressive in winter (the rut), we also hypothesised that rusa deer and red deer would not use the same winter locations. Finally, we hypothesised that in summer both species would prefer locations with fertile soils that supported more plant species preferred as food. We used a 250 × 250 m grid of 25 remote cameras to collect images in a 100-ha montane study area over two winters and summers. Plant composition, solar radiation, and soil fertility were also determined for each camera location. Multiseason occupancy models revealed that direct solar radiation was the best predictor of occupancy and detection probabilities for rusa deer in winter. Multistate, multiseason occupancy models provided strong evidence that the detection probability of adult male rusa deer was greater in winter and when other rusa deer were present at a location. Red deer mostly vacated the study area in winter. For the one season that had sufficient camera images of both species (summer 2011) to allow two-species occupancy models to be fitted, the detection probability of rusa deer also increased with solar radiation. Detection probability also varied with plant composition for both deer species. We conclude that habitat use by coexisting tropical and temperate deer species in New Zealand likely depends on the interplay between the thermoregulatory and behavioural traits of the deer and the abiotic and biotic features of the habitat. PMID:26061426

  16. Biting rates of Culicoides midges (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) on sheep in northeastern Spain in relation to midge capture using UV light and carbon dioxide-baited traps.

    PubMed

    Gerry, Alec C; Sarto i Monteys, V; Moreno Vidal, J O; Francino, O; Mullens, Bradley A

    2009-05-01

    Biting midges in the genus Culicoides (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) were collected near sunset by direct aspiration from sheep in northeastern Spain to determine species-specific biting rates and crepuscular activity. Midges were also collected by UV-baited light traps and CO2-baited traps over the same period to compare species diversity and abundance using these common surveillance methods to actual sheep attack rates. Culicoides aspirated from sheep included C. obsoletus, C. parroti, C. scoticus, C. punctatus, and C. imicola. Peak host-seeking activity during the time period examined for the two most commonly collected species (C. obsoletus and C. parroti) occurred just before sunset and activity ceased within 1 h after sunset. Host attack rates near sunset averaged 0.9 midges/min for both species with maximum attack rates of 3/min for C. obsoletus and 4/min for C. parroti. For both species, approximately 35% of midges collected from the sheep were engorged, giving a maximum biting rate of 1.1/min for C. obsoletus and 1.5/min for C. parroti. Traps baited with CO2 collected fewer midges of each species relative to other collection methods. Traps baited with UV light provided a good indication of species richness but significantly underestimated the host attack rate of C. obsoletus and C. parroti while overestimating the host attack rate of C. imicola. Animal-baited collecting is critical to interpret the epidemiological significance of light trap collections used for surveillance of the midge vectors of bluetongue virus and African horse sickness virus. PMID:19496435

  17. Comparison of Vertebrate Cytochrome b and Prepronociceptin for Blood Meal Analyses in Culicoides

    PubMed Central

    Hadj-Henni, Leila; De Meulemeester, Thibaut; Depaquit, Jérôme; Noël, Philippe; Germain, Adeline; Helder, Remi; Augot, Denis

    2015-01-01

    To date, studies on host preferences and blood meal identification have been conducted for Culicoides species using molecular-based methods such as PCR techniques to amplify only a fragment from universal vertebrate mitochondrial genes such as cytochrome c oxidase subunit I or cytochrome b (Cyt b). The vertebrate prepronociceptin gene (PNOC) was also tested in this field. However, the choice of molecular marker to identify blood meal is critical. The objective of our study is to compare the ability of Cyt b and PNOC as molecular markers for blood meal identification depending on the stage of blood meal digestion. In order to determine whether these Cyt b and PNOC could provide a positive result, 565 blood-fed females of Culicoides spp were collected and morphologically identified. The samples were collected between 2012 and 2014, in two localities in France. The collection localities were near either livestock or a forest. To catch the specimens, we used UV CDC miniature light traps. PNOC sequence of donkeys (Equus asinus) was sequenced and submitted because it was missing in GenBank. Our findings emphasize that the PNOC marker is not suitable to separate closely related Equid species such as horses and donkeys. The Cyt b marker was able to identify 204 more samples when compared to PNOC (99.55% of specimens). Cyt b appears to be better able to detect the origin of blood meals from females with digested blood in their abdomens. We conclude that Cyt b is a good marker as it increases the accuracy of blood meal identification of engorged females containing digested blood in their abdomens. The host opportunist behavior of Culicoides, especially that of C. obsoletus and C. scoticus, the main vectors of BTV in Europe was also highlighted. PMID:26664944

  18. PCR identification of culicoid biting midges (Diptera, Ceratopogonidae) of the Obsoletus complex including putative vectors of bluetongue and Schmallenberg viruses

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Biting midges of the Obsoletus species complex of the ceratopogonid genus Culicoides were assumed to be the major vectors of bluetongue virus (BTV) in northern and central Europe during the 2006 outbreak of bluetongue disease (BT). Most recently, field specimens of the same group of species have also been shown to be infected with the newly emerged Schmallenberg virus (SBV) in Europe. A reliable identification of the cryptic species of this group is fundamental for both understanding the epidemiology of the diseases and for targeted vector control. In the absence of classical morphological characters unambiguously identifying the species, DNA sequence-based tests have been established for the distinction of selected species in some parts of Europe. Since specificity and sensitivity of these tests have been shown to be in need of improvement, an alternative PCR assay targeting the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) gene was developed for the identification of the three Obsoletus complex species endemic to Germany (C. obsoletus, C. scoticus, C. chiopterus) plus the isomorphic species C. dewulfi. Methods Biting midges of the genus Culicoides caught by UV light traps all over Germany were morphologically pre-identified to species or complex level. The COI region was amplified from their extracted DNA and sequenced. Final species assignment was done by sequence comparison to GenBank entries and to morphologically identified males. Species-specific consensus sequences were aligned and polymorphisms were utilized to design species-specific primers to PCR-identify specimens when combined with a universal primer. Results The newly developed multiplex PCR assay was successfully tested on genetically defined Obsoletus complex material as well as on morphologically pre-identified field material. The intended major advantage of the assay as compared to other PCR approaches, namely the production of only one single characteristic band for each species

  19. Feeding behaviour of Culicoides spp. (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) on cattle and sheep in northeast Germany

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Culicoides spp. play an important role in the transmission of several vector-borne pathogens such as Bluetongue and Schmallenberg virus in Europe. To better understand the biology of local Culicoides species, a study divided into three parts was performed in northeast Germany to elucidate the feeding activity patterns (study A), preferential landing and feeding sites (study B) and host feeding preferences (study C) of Culicoides spp. using cattle and sheep as baits. Methods In study A, the activity of Culicoides spp. was monitored over a 72 h period by collecting insects at regular intervals from the interior of drop traps with cattle or sheep standing inside. In study B, Culicoides spp. were directly aspirated from the coat and fleece of cattle and sheep during the peak activity period of Culicoides. In study C, Culicoides spp. were collected using drop traps with either cattle or sheep standing inside and located 10 m apart. Results In study A, 3,545 Culicoides midges belonging to 13 species were collected, peak activity was observed at sunset. In study B, 2,024 Culicoides midges were collected. A significantly higher number of midges was collected from the belly and flank of cattle in comparison to their head region. In study C, 3,710 Culicoides midges were collected; 3,077 (83%) originated from cattle and 633 (17%) from sheep. Nearly half (46.7%) of the midges collected from cattle were engorged, significantly more than the number of engorged midges collected from sheep (7.5%). Culicoides from the Obsoletus complex (C. obsoletus and C. scoticus) were the most common Culicoides species encountered, followed by C. punctatus. Other species identified were C. dewulfi, C. chiopterus, C. pulicaris, C. lupicaris, C. pallidicornis, C. subfascipennis, C. achrayi, C. stigma, C. griseidorsum and C. subfagineus, the last two species are reported for the first time in Germany. Engorged C. chiopterus were collected in relatively high numbers from sheep

  20. Wear Fast, Die Young: More Worn Teeth and Shorter Lives in Iberian Compared to Scottish Red Deer.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Barbería, F J; Carranza, J; Sánchez-Prieto, C

    2015-01-01

    Teeth in Cervidae are permanent structures that are not replaceable or repairable; consequently their rate of wear, due to the grinding effect of food and dental attrition, affects their duration and can determine an animal's lifespan. Tooth wear is also a useful indicator of accumulative life energy investment in intake and mastication and their interactions with diet. Little is known regarding how natural and sexual selection operate on dental structures within a species in contrasting environments and how these relate to life history traits to explain differences in population rates of tooth wear and longevity. We hypothesised that populations under harsh environmental conditions should be selected for more hypsodont teeth while sexual selection may maintain similar sex differences within different populations. We investigated the patterns of tooth wear in males and females of Iberian red deer (Cervus elaphus hispanicus) in Southern Spain and Scottish red deer (C. e. scoticus) across Scotland, that occur in very different environments, using 10343 samples from legal hunting activities. We found higher rates of both incisor and molar wear in the Spanish compared to Scottish populations. However, Scottish red deer had larger incisors at emergence than Iberian red deer, whilst molars emerged at a similar size in both populations and sexes. Iberian and Scottish males had earlier tooth depletion than females, in support of a similar sexual selection process in both populations. However, whilst average lifespan for Iberian males was 4 years shorter than that for Iberian females and Scottish males, Scottish males only showed a reduction of 1 year in average lifespan with respect to Scottish females. More worn molars were associated with larger mandibles in both populations, suggesting that higher intake and/or greater investment in food comminution may have favoured increased body growth, before later loss of tooth efficiency due to severe wear. These results

  1. Wear Fast, Die Young: More Worn Teeth and Shorter Lives in Iberian Compared to Scottish Red Deer

    PubMed Central

    Pérez-Barbería, F. J.; Carranza, J.; Sánchez-Prieto, C.

    2015-01-01

    Teeth in Cervidae are permanent structures that are not replaceable or repairable; consequently their rate of wear, due to the grinding effect of food and dental attrition, affects their duration and can determine an animal's lifespan. Tooth wear is also a useful indicator of accumulative life energy investment in intake and mastication and their interactions with diet. Little is known regarding how natural and sexual selection operate on dental structures within a species in contrasting environments and how these relate to life history traits to explain differences in population rates of tooth wear and longevity. We hypothesised that populations under harsh environmental conditions should be selected for more hypsodont teeth while sexual selection may maintain similar sex differences within different populations. We investigated the patterns of tooth wear in males and females of Iberian red deer (Cervus elaphus hispanicus) in Southern Spain and Scottish red deer (C. e. scoticus) across Scotland, that occur in very different environments, using 10343 samples from legal hunting activities. We found higher rates of both incisor and molar wear in the Spanish compared to Scottish populations. However, Scottish red deer had larger incisors at emergence than Iberian red deer, whilst molars emerged at a similar size in both populations and sexes. Iberian and Scottish males had earlier tooth depletion than females, in support of a similar sexual selection process in both populations. However, whilst average lifespan for Iberian males was 4 years shorter than that for Iberian females and Scottish males, Scottish males only showed a reduction of 1 year in average lifespan with respect to Scottish females. More worn molars were associated with larger mandibles in both populations, suggesting that higher intake and/or greater investment in food comminution may have favoured increased body growth, before later loss of tooth efficiency due to severe wear. These results