Sample records for lagopus lagopus scoticus

  1. Temporal changes in kin structure through a population cycle in a territorial bird, the red grouse Lagopus lagopus scoticus.

    PubMed

    Piertney, Stuart B; Lambin, Xavier; Maccoll, Andrew D C; Lock, Kerry; Bacon, Philip J; Dallas, John F; Leckie, Fiona; Mougeot, Francois; Racey, Paul A; Redpath, Steve; Moss, Robert

    2008-05-01

    Populations of red grouse (Lagopus lagopus scoticus) undergo regular multiannual cycles in abundance. The 'kinship hypothesis' posits that such cycles are caused by changes in kin structure among territorial males producing delayed density-dependent changes in aggressiveness, which in turn influence recruitment and regulate density. The kinship hypothesis makes several specific predictions about the levels of kinship, aggressiveness and recruitment through a population cycle: (i) kin structure will build up during the increase phase of a cycle, but break down prior to peak density; (ii) kin structure influences aggressiveness, such that there will be a negative relationship between kinship and aggressiveness over the years; (iii) as aggressiveness regulates recruitment and density, there will be a negative relationship between aggressiveness in one year and both recruitment and density in the next; (iv) as kin structure influences recruitment via an affect on aggressiveness, there will be a positive relationship between kinship in one year and recruitment the next. Here we test these predictions through the course of an 8-year cycle in a natural population of red grouse in northeast Scotland, using microsatellite DNA markers to resolve changing patterns of kin structure, and supra-orbital comb height of grouse as an index of aggressiveness. Both kin structure and aggressiveness were dynamic through the course of the cycle, and changing patterns were entirely consistent with the expectations of the kinship hypothesis. Results are discussed in relation to potential drivers of population regulation and implications of dynamic kin structure for population genetics. PMID:18430149

  2. Atrophy of a breast muscle with a single fibre type (M. pectoralis) in fasting willow grouse, Lagopus lagopus (L.).

    PubMed

    Grammeltvedt, R

    1978-08-01

    The willow grouse (Lagopus lagopus) are arctic gallinaceous birds with small fat stores and large muscles. In winter, these birds may starve for periods of several days. It was important to know which energy reserves were utlized during periods of starvation. Body composition of female willow grouse and Bantam hens was studied before and after fasting. Grouse have much larger breast muscles than do Bantams, but reproductive organs are larger in hens. The relative amounts of adipose tissue are about equal in grouse and Bantams. When the birds had lost about 20% of their initial body weight due to fasting, Bantams had lost as much weight from their reproductive organs as from the adipose tissue, with little loss from the muscles. Grouse lost more weight from the pectoralis muscles alone than from the adipose tissue. Since the major component of muscle is protein, the grouse obtain a larger proportion of acloric needs during fasting from protein than do the Bantams. Grouse breast muscles are dark red, and the pectoralis consists homogeneously of type IIa (oxidative-glycolytic) fibres, assessed by ATPase and by Sudan Black staining. The supracoracoideus muscle has type II fibres, not resolvable in subtypes. The leg muscle biceps femoris contains the three fibre types I, IIa, and IIb. During fasting, the weight loss of the pectoralis muscle may be accounted for by all fibres losing some material. PMID:681910

  3. Parasites of the arctic fox (Alopex lagopus) in Iceland.

    PubMed

    Skírnisson, K; Eydal, M; Gunnarsson, E; Hersteinsson, P

    1993-07-01

    Forty-four of 50 arctic foxes (Alopex lagopus) in Iceland harbored 15 species of intestinal parasites, including Protozoa: Eimeria sp. or Isospora sp. (in 4%); Trematoda: Cryptocotyle lingua (24%), Plagiorchis elegans (4%), Brachylaemus sp. (12%), Tristriata sp. (10%), and Spelotrema sp. (8%); Cestoda: Mesocestoides canislagopodis (72%), Schistocephalus solidus (2%), and Diphyllobothrium dendriticum (4%); Nematoda: Toxascaris leonina (50%), Toxocara canis (2%), Uncinaria stenocephala (4%), and eggs of the lung worm Capillaria aerophila (6%); and Acanthocephala: Polymorphus meyeri (8%) and Corynosoma hadweni (2%). Only four of the species previously had been recorded in Iceland. Eleven species are new records in Iceland and six appear to be new host records. Two additional nematodes, Stegophorus stercorarii and Syphacia sp., probably were ingested accidentally with the prey. Foxes from coastal habitats harbored 14 parasitic species while only five species were found in foxes from inland habitats. Arctic foxes from coastal habitats generally had higher helminth burdens and harbored more parasitic species per fox than foxes from inland habitats. PMID:8355346

  4. Detecting hybridization between willow grouse ( Lagopus lagopus ) and rock ptarmigan ( L. muta ) in Central Sweden through Bayesian admixture analyses and mtDNA screening

    Microsoft Academic Search

    María Quintela; Carl-Gustaf Thulin; Jacob Höglund

    2010-01-01

    Willow grouse (L. lagopus) and rock ptarmigan (L. muta) are sibling species with similar phenotypic and life histories that coexist sympatrically in wide areas of their distribution\\u000a range. These grouse are amongst the most popular game birds in Scandinavia but contrary to other quarry species, no restocking\\u000a with captive-bred animals has ever been performed. The discovery of two individuals with

  5. 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 ...

  6. An overlooked boreal clubmoss Lycopodium lagopus (Laest. ex Hartm.) Zinserl. ex Kusen. (Lycopodiaceae) in Britain

    Microsoft Academic Search

    F. J. RUMSEY

    Lycopodium lagopus (Laest. ex Hartm.) Zinserl. ex Kusen. (syn. L. clavatum L. subsp. monostachyon (Grev. & Hooker) Selander), a widespread circum- arctic taxon, is reported from Britain for the first time. First collected in the 19th century, it had been dismissed as L. clavatum and its significance not recognised. The appropriate taxonomic rank for this plant has long proved controversial

  7. Relative importance of male and territory quality in pairing success of male rock ptarmigan ( Lagopus mutus )

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Jonathan Bart; Susan L. Earnst

    1999-01-01

    We studied pairing success in male rock ptarmigan (Lagopus mutus) in northern Alaska to learn whether males obtaining more females possessed phenotypic traits that influenced female choice\\u000a directly, whether these traits permitted males to obtain territories favored by females, or whether both processes occurred.\\u000a The number of females per male varied from zero to three. Several male and territory traits

  8. Arctic Fox (Alopex lagopus) Dens in the Disko Bay Area, West Greenland

    Microsoft Academic Search

    SUSSIE M. NIELSEN; VIVI PEDERSEN; BENTE BANG KLITGAARD

    1994-01-01

    Seventeen arctic fox (Alopex lagopus) dens in the Disko Bay area, West Greenland are described regarding location, type, size and vegetation cover. The dens were found in ridges, screes and level ground, mainly in areas of dwarf-scrub heath. The mean number of entrances was 17.8 ± 18.4 SD (range 1-63), with more than half of the dens having fewer than

  9. [Analysis of the selection process in breeding of caging populations of Arctic fox (Alopex lagopus L.)].

    PubMed

    Kashtanov, S N

    1993-10-01

    The purpose of this research is analysis of supporting heterozygosity mechanisms in caging population of Polar fox (Alopex lagopus L.). The polymorphism of the gene, which code the blood serum protein-transferrin, was used as a genetic marker. The level of the heterozygosity was studied in the reproductive and young parts of population. As it turned out, the reproductive part is separated on some subpopulations, moreover, inbreeding lead to the decrease of heterozygosity level in this part of population. On the other hand, selection which is to be held by a number of quantitative and qualitative signs in reproductive part of population promote to increase the number of heterozygous animals. PMID:8307365

  10. Free love in the far north: plural breeding and polyandry of arctic foxes ( Alopex lagopus ) on Bylot Island, Nunavut

    Microsoft Academic Search

    L. E. Carmichael; G. Szor; D. Berteaux; M. A. Giroux; C. Cameron; C. Strobeck

    2007-01-01

    Molecular studies show that canid breeding systems are more complex than field data have sometimes sug- gested. For example, microsatellite DNA fingerprints of offspring and adults within their social group indicate that many canid species thought to form monogamous pairs engage in polygyny, polyandry, and plural breeding. In many areas, arc- tic foxes (Alopex lagopus (L., 1758)) are considered monogamous,

  11. Preliminary Evaluation of Raboral V-RG® Oral Rabies Vaccine in Arctic Foxes (Vulpes lagopus)

    PubMed Central

    Follmann, Erich; Ritter, Don; Swor, Rhonda; Dunbar, Mike; Hueffer, Karsten

    2013-01-01

    We tested the Raboral V-RG® recombinant oral rabies vaccine for its response in Arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus), the reservoir of rabies virus in the circumpolar North. The vaccine, which is currently the only licensed oral rabies vaccine in the United States, induced a strong antibody response and protected foxes against a challenge of 500,000 mouse intracerebral lethal dose 50% of an Arctic rabies virus variant. However, one unvaccinated control fox survived challenge with rabies virus, either indicating a high resistance of Arctic foxes to rabies infection or a previous exposure that induced immunity. This preliminary study suggested that Raboral V-RG vaccine may be efficacious in Arctic foxes. PMID:22102679

  12. Periovulatory endocrinology and oocyte maturation in unmated mature blue fox vixens (Alopex lagopus).

    PubMed

    Farstad, W; Mondain-Monval, M; Hyttel, P; Smith, A J; Markeng, D

    1989-01-01

    Nine of 10 mature blue fox vixens (Alopex lagopus) in spontaneous oestrus ovulated approximately 2 days after the preovulatory increase in luteinizing hormone (LH). Plasma concentrations of follicle-stimulating hormone and progesterone increased simultaneously with the LH peak, whereas oestradiol-17 beta peaked 1 day previously. In the tenth vixen, an LH peak was not observed, and neither visible follicles nor corpora lutea were found in the ovaries 6 days after peak vaginal electrical resistance. Eggs were ovulated as primary oocytes, but oocyte maturation was initiated within the day of ovulation (2 days after the LH peak). Within the next 2 days (3-4 days after the LH peak) the first polar body was extruded, and the cumulus mass was completely dissociated from the zona pellucida. The interval between the preovulatory LH peak and initiation of the final oocyte maturation is thus considerably longer in the blue fox than for example in the cow (48-72 h compared with 9-12 h). This suggests that the relationship between these two events is somewhat different in the blue fox. PMID:2516990

  13. 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

  14. Environmental contaminants in arctic foxes (Alopex lagopus) in Svalbard: relationships with feeding ecology and body condition.

    PubMed

    Fuglei, E; Bustnes, J O; Hop, H; Mørk, T; Björnfoth, H; van Bavel, B

    2007-03-01

    Adipose tissues from 20 arctic foxes (Alopex lagopus) of both sexes from Svalbard were analysed for polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE), polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB), p,p'-dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDE), chlordane, and hexachlorobenzene (HCB) concentrations. Gender (0.43

  15. 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

  16. Concentrations of selected essential and non-essential elements in arctic fox ( Alopex lagopus) and wolverines ( Gulo gulo) from the Canadian Arctic

    Microsoft Academic Search

    P. F. Hoekstra; B. M. Braune; B. Elkin; F. A. J. Armstrong; D. C. G. Muir

    2003-01-01

    Arctic fox (Alopex lagopus) and wolverine (Gulo gulo) tissues were collected in the Canadian Arctic from 1998 to 2001 and analyzed for various essential and non-essential elements. Several elements (Ag, Al, As, B, Ba, Be, Co, Cr, Mo, Ni, Sb, Sn, Sr, Tl, U and V) were near or below the detection limits in >95% arctic fox and wolverine samples.

  17. Levels and congener pattern of PCBs in arctic fox, Alopex lagopus, in Svalbard.

    PubMed

    Wang-Andersen, G; Utne Skaare, J; Prestrud, P; Steinnes, E

    1993-01-01

    Levels and congener pattern of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were determined in samples of subcutaneous fat and liver from 27 polar foxes, Alopex lagopus, caught in Svalbard during the winter 1983-1984. In all the samples analysed the composition of individual PCB congeners was studied by comparison with 12 individual PCB congeners (IUPAC nos. 28, 52, 101, 118, 138, 153, 170, 180, 183, 194, 206 and 209). In addition, the PCB congeners nos. 99, 105, 114, 156 and 157 were determined in the fat samples. In both liver and fat samples the sum PCB was calculated based on the concentrations of seven selected congeners, nos. 138, 153, 170, 180, 194, 206 and 209. These congeners were the same as those used in a corresponding investigation made on arctic fox from Svalbard 10 years earlier. The present study reveals that the PCB levels in arctic fox in Svalbard are high and essentially unchanged in the period from 1973-1974 to 1983-1984. The mean sum PCB levels in fat and liver were 8.3 +/- 11 and 0.4 +/- 0.4 microg g(-1), and the extractable fat was 81.2 +/- 8.4 and 4.5 +/- 1.7% for the two tissues, respectively. In fat, sum PCB ranged from 0.5 to 41.0 microg g(-1). PCB nos. 153 and 180 accounted for approximately 65% of sum PCB. The contributions of PCB nos. 138 and 153 to the sum PCB were found to increase from 1974 to 1984. The PCB congener pattern is similar to that found in polar bears, and is dominated by a few congeners (99, 138, 153, 170, 180 and 194). No significant differences in PCB levels were found between sexes or between age groups. However, significantly higher PCB levels were found in old animals (>/= 3 years) with less than 2 cm of fat on the ramp as compared with young animals (1-2 years) with more than 2 cm of fat on the rump. Effects on vital functions from the observed levels of PCBs cannot be excluded for the most contaminated foxes. PMID:15091776

  18. 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, increased group size had no apparent positive impact on reproductive success. The increased parental investment and enhanced guarding of the cubs in the larger families could be beneficial under conditions of high population density and a saturated biotope to which the island fox population was presumably adapted before the population crash in the late 1970s.

  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. 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 agreement with previous studies. Further, it should be kept in mind when studying bone tissues in Arctic mammals also in order to avoid confounding effects from body condition. PMID:18761108

  1. Effects of season, food deprivation and re-feeding on leptin, ghrelin and growth hormone in arctic foxes (Alopex lagopus) on Svalbard, Norway.

    PubMed

    Fuglei, E; Mustonen, A-M; Nieminen, P

    2004-03-01

    The arctic fox (Alopex lagopus) is a medium-sized predator of the high Arctic experiencing extreme seasonal fluctuations in food availability, photoperiod and temperature. In this study, the plasma leptin, ghrelin and growth hormone (GH) concentrations of male arctic foxes were determined during a food deprivation period of 13 days and the subsequent recovery in November and May. Leptin, ghrelin and GH were present in arctic fox plasma in amounts comparable to other carnivores. The plasma leptin concentrations did not react to food deprivation unlike in humans and rodents. However, the leptin levels increased during re-feeding as an indicator of increasing energy reserves. The relatively high ghrelin-leptin ratio, decrease in the plasma ghrelin concentration, an increase in the circulating GH concentrations and the observed negative correlation between plasma ghrelin and free fatty acid levels during fasting suggest that these hormones take part in the weight-regulation and energy metabolism of this species by increasing fat utilisation during food deprivation. The results strengthen the hypothesis that the actions of these weight-regulatory hormones are species-specific and depend on seasonality and the life history of the animals. PMID:14639485

  2. 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 (?13C) 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 ?-hexachlorocyclohexane (?-HCH). Positive relationships between POP concentrations and ?13C 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, ?-HCH concentrations showed a positive association with sea ice cover. These results in addition to the strong effect of ?13C 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

  3. Genetic and ecological data provide incongruent interpretations of population structure and dispersal in naturally subdivided populations of white-tailed ptarmigan (Lagopus leucura).

    PubMed

    Fedy, B C; Martin, K; Ritland, C; Young, J

    2008-04-01

    The dispersal of individuals among populations affects the demographic and adaptive trajectories of animal populations and is fundamental to understanding population dynamics. White-tailed ptarmigan (Lagopus leucura) are a high elevation grouse species that live year-round in patchily distributed alpine areas in western North America. We investigated the patterns of dispersal and identified barriers to gene flow for a threatened subspecies (L. l. saxatilis) endemic to Vancouver Island, Canada. Connectivity among seven sites was examined using nine microsatellite loci (n = 133 individuals, H(O) = 0.62, mean number of alleles = 10) and direct movement observations using radio-telemetry (n = 118 individuals). Average movement distances of individuals measured by radio-telemetry were 0.63-3.23 km and considerably less than the shortest distance between sampling sites (18 km). Furthermore, despite extensive radio-telemetry data, movement was never observed between any of the seven sampling sites. In contrast, genetic results (STRUCTURE, TESS) showed connectivity among most of the seven sampling sites and suggested that genetic variation is best explained by two clusters of individuals which separated the South sampling site from all other areas of Vancouver Island. Analysis of molecular data also showed a generally consistent pattern of isolation by distance (Mantel test r = 0.11, P < 0.01) with large areas of unsuitable low elevation habitat possibly acting as barriers to gene flow. Despite the naturally subdivided distribution of populations, white-tailed ptarmigan do not fit well into any common definition of a metapopulation. We conclude the incongruities between the genetic and radio-telemetry data are best explained by episodic dispersal patterns. In this study, we demonstrated the importance of combining genetic and ecological data in understanding patterns of dispersal and population structure. PMID:18363666

  4. 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?A/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?A/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?A/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?·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

  5. Tachycardia during egg-hypothermia in incubating ptarmigan (Lagopus lagopus).

    PubMed

    Gabrielsen, G; Steen, J B

    1979-11-01

    Incubating birds regulate the egg temperature by varying their posture and the distance between eggs and brood patch. In the present study, we show that this homeostatic process is further assisted by varying the brood patch blood flow according to the temperature of the eggs. When female ptarmigan resume incubation of cooled eggs (e.g. after a period of foraging), they immediately develop pronounced tachycardia (4 times noraml in wild, 2-3 times in captive birds). Tachycardia is maintained, although at decreasing intensity, until the eggs have obtained normal temperature. The eggs are heated 30 to 50% slower in females where tachycardia is inhibited by a beta-receptor blocking agent. PMID:539457

  6. Influences of vegetation characteristics and invertebrate abundance of Rio Grande wild turkey populations, Edwards Plateau, Texas

    E-print Network

    Randel, Charles Jack

    2005-02-17

    (Perdix perdix; Southwood and Cross 1969, Potts 1970, Green 1984, Itamies et al. 1996, Panek 1997, Bro et al. 2000), willow grouse (Lagopus lagopus; Spidoso 1980), red grouse (L. l. scoticus; Moss 1972, Savory 1977, Park et al. 2001), greater sage grouse...

  7. Supplement 23, Part 2, Parasite-Subject Catalogue, Parasites: Protozoa

    E-print Network

    Zidar, Judith A.; Shaw, Judith H.; Hanfman, Deborah T.; Kirby, Margie D.; Rayburn, Jane D.; Edwards, Shirley J.; Hood, Martha W.

    1982-01-01

    -190 Corvus corone C. frugilegus C. monedula Fringilla coelebs Garrulus glandarius Muscicapa striata Parus caeruleus Sturnus vulgaria Turdus ericetorum T. merula Strix aluco Gall?nula chloropus Columba palumbus Lagopus scoticus all from Britain...

  8. Using Decision Modeling with Stakeholders to Reduce Human-Wildlife Conflict: a Raptor-Grouse Case Study

    Microsoft Academic Search

    S. M. REDPATH; B. E. ARROYO; F. M. LECKIE; P. BACON; N. BAYFIELD; R. J. GUTIERREZ; S. J. THIRGOOD

    2004-01-01

    Abstract: The successful resolution of human-wildlife,conflicts requires the participation,of local communi- ties and other stakeholder groups in formulating management decisions. In the uplands of the United Kingdom, a controversial,conservation,issue concerns,the relationship between,the conservation,of a legally protected raptor, the Hen Harrier (Circus cyaneus) and the management of a gamebird, the Red Grouse (Lagopus lagopus scoticus). We used multicriteria analysis to evaluate

  9. Structural aspects of oocyte maturation in the blue fox (Alopex lagopus).

    PubMed

    Hyttel, P; Farstad, W; Mondain-Monval, M; Bakke Lajord, K; Smith, A J

    1990-01-01

    Blood samples were taken weekly from seventeen mature blue fox vixens (average age five years), from late anoestrus until pro-oestrus, and then taken daily. The vixens were sacrificed at various stages of oestrus, and oocytes were collected from ovarian follicles by aspiration, and/or from oviducts by flushing. The structural features of oocyte maturation were related to the time of the luteinizing hormone (LH) peak. On days 1-2 after the LH peak the oocyte nucleus migrated from a central to a peripheral position in the ooplasm and assumed a flattened appearance. The cumulus investment expanded simultaneously and ovulation took place around day 2. On days 2-3 the oocyte nuclear envelope broke down, the nucleoli disappeared, the metaphase of the first meiotic division was reached, the Golgi complexes decreased in size, the perivitelline space enlarged, and all junctional contact between cumulus cell projections and oocyte was disrupted. On days 3-5 the first polar body was extruded, the metaphase of the second meiotic division was reached, and the cumulus cells degenerated. On day 5 the release of cortical granule content was occasionally seen, and from day 6 the oocytes showed signs of degeneration. In a few animals deviant oocyte maturation was noticed. PMID:2346225

  10. Population cycles in rock ptarmigan Lagopus muta: modelling and parameter estimation

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Kjartan G. Magnússon; Ólafur K. Nielsen

    2004-01-01

    Abstract We have modelled,population,change,of rock ptarmigan,using data from spring censuses and age ratios (spring and late summer),from a study area in north-east Iceland 1981 ? 2004. Modelling of mortality rates has shown,a significant time trend (increasing) for mortality of adult birds (Z,X;W has, however, changed in a cyclic way peaking 2 ? 4 years after the peak in ptarmigan,numbers. The

  11. 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

  12. An Experimental Evaluation of the Arctic Fox (Alopex lagopus) as a Seed Disperser

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Bente J. Graae; Sussie Pagh; Hans Henrik Bruun

    2004-01-01

    Arctic foxes are evaluated as seed dispersal vectors for Greenlandic plant species through a feeding experiment with subsequent scat analysis and germination test. Seeds of 22 common species with different morphology were tested. Passage time ranged between 4 and 48 h. No significant differences were detected in passage time for seeds with different morphology. Cerastium alpinum and Stellaria longipes had

  13. 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.

  14. The level of selected hormones in peripheral blood in female polar foxes (Alopex lagopus L.) in relation to age.

    PubMed

    Szymeczko, Roman; Ma?kowiak, Pawe?; Piotrowska, Anna; Bogus?awska-Tryk, Monika; Burlikowska, Katarzyna; Pruszy?ska-Oszma?ek, Ewa; Sassek, Maciej; Szczepankiewicz, Dawid

    2009-01-01

    The objective of the study was to determine the concentration profile of selected hormones in the blood serum of blue polar fox vixens at various ages during the non-mating period, three months after lactation. The investigation was performed on 50 clinically healthy female polar foxes derived from a domestic reproductive farm. The animals were divided into 5 age groups (n = 10) ranging from the 1 to 5 years of life. In the blood serum the contents of insulin, triiodothyronine (total and free), thyroxin (total and free), leptin and ghrelin (total and active) were determined. No significant, female age-dependent differences were found in the contents of insulin, total and free triiodothyronine and total ghrelin in the blood serum. Significant (P < 0.05) differences were observed in the concentration of total and free thyroxin (the highest in the blood of 4-year old females) as well as leptin and active ghrelin (the lowest and the highest content in 3-year old vixens). However, no distinct, female age-dependent tendencies for change in the content of these hormones in the blood serum were observed. PMID:19777967

  15. Milk intake in blue fox (Alopex lagopus) and silver fox (Vulpes vulpes) cubs in the early suckling period.

    PubMed

    Ahlstrøm, O; Wamberg, S

    2000-10-01

    Milk intake of fox cubs (2-16 days of age; body weight, 96-649 g) in ten blue fox litters and ten silver fox litters were measured by the water isotope dilution (WID) technique following a single intraperitoneal injection of tritiated water (3HHO). Litter size varied from four to 14 in blue foxes and from three to eight in silver foxes. Silver fox cubs had higher birth weights than blue foxes. Inter-species body weights and growth rates were apparently dependent on litter size and the dam's constitution. In both species growth rate increased with age and body weight (7-35 g per day). In the cubs, the biological half-life of body water turnover (BWT) rose from 1.5 days at 2-3 days of age to 2.5 days at 13-16 days of age, although a considerable scatter was seen. The mean daily milk intake of the cubs varied with body weight, from 31 to 193 g per day, whereas daily milk intake per unit of body mass remained stable at 30-35 g per 100 g body weight. The ratio of milk intake to body weight gain varied considerably among cubs, averaging 4.5 g/g during the 3-week experimental period. In suckling fox cubs, the calculated daily intake of metabolically energy (ME) corresponded fairly with the estimated energy requirements for growth and maintenance of the young. Finally, the applicability and the accuracy of the WID technique was evaluated in ten 3-week-old fox cubs, by tube-feeding with a milk replacer for 48 h, which documented that the daily rates of milk intake and water turnover can be accurately measured in suckling fox cubs by the WID technique following a single injection of 3HHO. PMID:11064289

  16. Influence of Dietary Fat Source on the Body Fat Composition of Mink (Mustela vison) and Blue Fox (Alopex lagopus)

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Kirsti Rouvinen; Tuomo Kiiskinen

    1989-01-01

    The influence of dietary fat source on the fatty acid composition of mink and blue fox fat in different parts of the body was studied. In addition, seasonal changes in the fatty acid composition of the skin and subcutaneous fat were determined. The dietary fat sources used in the experiments were beef tallow, mink fat, capelin oil, soybean oil and

  17. Osnabrcker Naturwissenschaftliche Mitteilungen Band 35, S. 201208, 2009

    E-print Network

    Kleyer, Michael

    Brut durch Fressfeinde wie den Eisfuchs (Alopex lagopus) oder die Eismöwe (Larus hyperboreus) gefährdet by predators like polar foxes (Alopex lagopus) or Glacous Gulls (Larus hyperboreus). In this review we compare

  18. Published by the Wilson Ornithological Society VOL. 122, NO. 1 March 2010 PAGES 1206

    E-print Network

    Sandercock, Brett K.

    Ptarmigan (Lagopus leucura) (Braun et al. 1978, Hoffman and Giesen 1983, Clarke and Johnson 1990) and Ruffed population of Evermann's Rock Ptarmigan (Lagopus muta evermanni) in the Near Islands group of the western

  19. Conservation and Management Sandercock_6480004_ch21.indd 281Sandercock_6480004_ch21.indd 281 7/18/11 11:57:26 AM7/18/11 11:57:26 AM

    E-print Network

    Aldridge, Cameron

    of ptarmigan populations. Key Words: climate change, genetics, Lagopus leucura, stable isotopes, temporal S. O'Donnell, and Cameron L. Aldridge Abstract. White-tailed Ptarmigan (Lagopus leu- cura) are well

  20. ORIGINAL ARTICLE Estimates of annual survival, growth, and recruitment

    E-print Network

    Aldridge, Cameron

    population study of white-tailed ptarmigan (Lagopus leucura), a species endemic to alpine habitats in western to determination of vital rates for breeding-age birds. Keywords Alpine Á Colorado Á Demography Á Lagopus leucura Á

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

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Peter Lindberg

    1984-01-01

    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

  2. Reducing Tick Burdens on Chicks by Treating Breeding Female Grouse With Permethrin

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Francois Mougeot; Mark Moseley; Fiona Leckie; Jesus Martinez-Padilla; Allen Miller; Mat Pounds; R. Justin Irvine

    2008-01-01

    Ticks ?1 are important arthropod vectors of diseases of human, livestock, and wildlife hosts. In the United Kingdom, the sheep tick (Ixodes ricinus) is increasingly recognised as a main limiting factor of red grouse (Lagopus lagopus) populations, a game bird of high economic value. We evaluated the effectiveness of a new practical technique that could help managers reduce negative impacts

  3. Spatial Distribution of Echinococcus multilocularis, Svalbard, Norway

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Eva Fuglei; Audun Stien; Nigel G. Yoccoz; Rolf A. Ims; Nina E. Eide; Pål Prestrud; Peter Deplazes; Antti Oksanen

    2008-01-01

    he cestode Echinococcus multilocularis is the causative agent of alveolar echinococcosis, a rare but potentially lethal human disease. In the Arctic, E. multilocularis de- pends on the arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus, formerly Alopex lagopus) or domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris) as its defi nitive hosts, and human infections are caused by inges- tion of infective eggs distributed with the feces

  4. Sensitivity to assumptions in models of generalist predation on a cyclic prey.

    PubMed

    Matthiopoulos, Jason; Graham, Kate; Smout, Sophie; Asseburg, Christian; Redpath, Stephen; Thirgood, Simon; Hudson, Peter; Harwood, John

    2007-10-01

    Ecological theory predicts that generalist predators should damp or suppress long-term periodic fluctuations (cycles) in their prey populations and depress their average densities. However, the magnitude of these impacts is likely to vary depending on the availability of alternative prey species and the nature of ecological mechanisms driving the prey cycles. These multispecies effects can be modeled explicitly if parameterized functions relating prey consumption to prey abundance, and realistic population dynamical models for the prey, are available. These requirements are met by the interaction between the Hen Harrier (Circus cyaneus) and three of its prey species in the United Kingdom, the Meadow Pipit (Anthus pratensis), the field vole (Microtus agrestis), and the Red Grouse (Lagopus lagopus scoticus). We used this system to investigate how the availability of alternative prey and the way in which prey dynamics are modeled might affect the behavior of simple trophic networks. We generated cycles in one of the prey species (Red Grouse) in three different ways: through (1) the interaction between grouse density and macroparasites, (2) the interaction between grouse density and male grouse aggressiveness, and (3) a generic, delayed density-dependent mechanism. Our results confirm that generalist predation can damp or suppress grouse cycles, but only when the densities of alternative prey are low. They also demonstrate that diametrically opposite indirect effects between pairs of prey species can occur together in simple systems. In this case, pipits and grouse are apparent competitors, whereas voles and grouse are apparent facilitators. Finally, we found that the quantitative impacts of the predator on prey density differed among the three models of prey dynamics, and these differences were robust to uncertainty in parameter estimation and environmental stochasticity. PMID:18027760

  5. Habitat loss and raptor predation: disentangling long- and short-term causes of red grouse declines.

    PubMed

    Thirgood, S J; Redpath, S M; Haydon, D T; Rothery, P; Newton, I; Hudson, P J

    2000-04-01

    The number of red grouse (Lagopus lagopus scoticus) shot in the UK has declined by 50% during the 20th century This decline has coincided with reductions in the area of suitable habitat and recoveries in the populations of some avian predators. Here we use long-term records of shooting bags and a large-scale manipulation of raptor density to disentangle the effects of habitat loss and raptor predation on grouse populations. The numbers of grouse harvested on the Eskdale half of Langholm Moor in southern Scotland declined significantly during 1913-1990 and grouse bags from the whole moor from 1950 to 1990 exhibited an almost identical but non-significant trend. Hen harriers (Circus cyaneus) and peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus) were absent or bred at low densities on this moor throughout this period but heather-dominant vegetation declined by 48% between 1948 and 1988. Harrier and peregrine breeding numbers on Langholm Moor increased to high levels following protection in 1990 whilst grouse density and grouse bags declined year after year until shooting was abandoned in 1998. The prediction of a peak in grouse bags on Langholm Moor in 1996 based on the patterns of bags during 1950-1990 was supported by the observed peaks in 1997 on two nearby moors with few raptors which formerly cycled in synchrony with Langholm Moor. This study demonstrates that, whilst long-term declines in grouse bags were most probably due to habitat loss, high levels of raptor predation subsequently limited the grouse population and suppressed a cycle. This study thus offers support to theoretical models which predict that generalist predators may suppress cycles in prey populations. PMID:10821608

  6. Habitat loss and raptor predation: disentangling long- and short-term causes of red grouse declines.

    PubMed Central

    Thirgood, S J; Redpath, S M; Haydon, D T; Rothery, P; Newton, I; Hudson, P J

    2000-01-01

    The number of red grouse (Lagopus lagopus scoticus) shot in the UK has declined by 50% during the 20th century This decline has coincided with reductions in the area of suitable habitat and recoveries in the populations of some avian predators. Here we use long-term records of shooting bags and a large-scale manipulation of raptor density to disentangle the effects of habitat loss and raptor predation on grouse populations. The numbers of grouse harvested on the Eskdale half of Langholm Moor in southern Scotland declined significantly during 1913-1990 and grouse bags from the whole moor from 1950 to 1990 exhibited an almost identical but non-significant trend. Hen harriers (Circus cyaneus) and peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus) were absent or bred at low densities on this moor throughout this period but heather-dominant vegetation declined by 48% between 1948 and 1988. Harrier and peregrine breeding numbers on Langholm Moor increased to high levels following protection in 1990 whilst grouse density and grouse bags declined year after year until shooting was abandoned in 1998. The prediction of a peak in grouse bags on Langholm Moor in 1996 based on the patterns of bags during 1950-1990 was supported by the observed peaks in 1997 on two nearby moors with few raptors which formerly cycled in synchrony with Langholm Moor. This study demonstrates that, whilst long-term declines in grouse bags were most probably due to habitat loss, high levels of raptor predation subsequently limited the grouse population and suppressed a cycle. This study thus offers support to theoretical models which predict that generalist predators may suppress cycles in prey populations. PMID:10821608

  7. vertebradosibericos.org -AVES >> Presentacin del Atlas Virtual >> Mapas de distribucin y listado de especies ATLAS VIRTUAL DE LAS AVES TERRESTRES DE ESPAA

    E-print Network

    Carrascal, Luis M.

    Lanius excubitor Alcaudón Real 24 3 Lanius senator Alcaudón Común 52 2 Loxia curvirostra Piquituerto torquilla Torcecuello 52 3 link Lagopus mutus Lagópodo Alpino 12 + Lanius collurio Alcaudón Dorsirrojo 96 3

  8. vertebradosibericos.org -AVES >> Presentacin del Atlas Virtual >> Mapas de distribucin y listado de especies ATLAS VIRTUAL DE LAS AVES TERRESTRES DE ESPAA

    E-print Network

    Carrascal, Luis M.

    Lanius excubitor Alcaudón Real 4 3 Loxia curvirostra Piquituerto Común 66 Lullula arborea Totovía 45 2 torquilla Torcecuello 25 3 link Lagopus mutus Lagópodo Alpino 54 + Lanius collurio Alcaudón Dorsirrojo 62 3

  9. 75 FR 77475 - Endangered and Threatened Species; Proposed Threatened Status for Subspecies of the Ringed Seal

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-12-10

    ...and Hammill, 1980; Stirling and Smith, 2004). Prematurely exposed pups also are vulnerable to predation by wolves (Canis lupus) and foxes (Alopex lagopus and Vulpes vulpes)--as documented during an early snow melt in the White Sea in 1977...

  10. PROTOCOLS FOR SUCCESSFUL TRANSLOCATION OF PTARMIGAN CLAIT E. BRAUN1

    E-print Network

    Sandercock, Brett K.

    of ptarmigan (Lagopus spp.) based on field work in Colorado and Alaska during the last four decades. Use-tailed Ptarmigan (L. leucura) in four states, and reintroduction of Evermann's Rock Ptarmigan (L. muta) to Agattu

  11. Simulation of host-parasite interactions within a resource management framework: impact of brucellosis on bison population dynamics

    E-print Network

    Peterson, Markus John

    1990-01-01

    population limitation. Duncan et al. (1978) found that the number of tick larvae (Ixodes ricinus) on red grouse (tagopus lagopus) chicks was inversely correlated to adult breeding success (measured by recruitment) and subsequent population density. Yet...

  12. Platinum Group Elements in the Feathers of Raptors and Their Prey

    Microsoft Academic Search

    K. H. Jensen; S. Rauch; G. M. Morrison; P. Lindberg

    2002-01-01

    Platinum (Pt), palladium (Pd), and rhodium (Rh) concentrations were determined in the feathers of three raptor species in\\u000a Sweden, the sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus), the peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus), and the gyrfalcon (Falco rusticolus), as well as the main prey of the sparrowhawk (the house sparrow, Passer domesticus) and the gyrfalcon (the willow grouse, Lagopus lagopus).\\u000a \\u000a \\u000a \\u000a The analysis of feathers from

  13. Willow bud and shoot foraging by ptarmigan in relation to snow level in NW Finnish Lapland

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Helena Hakkarainen; Risto Virtanen; Jani O. Honkanen; Heikki Roininen

    2007-01-01

    Willow buds and twigs compose the main part of the willow ptarmigan’s (Lagopus lagopus) diet during winter. This study evaluated how position of willow ramets in relation to snow level affects the browsing of\\u000a willow ptarmigan in NW Finland. Ramet position in relation to snow level affected the browsing intensity of willow ptarmigan:\\u000a 5% of shoots were cut and more

  14. Breeding habitat selection of sympatric White-tailed, Rock and Willow Ptarmigan in the southern Yukon Territory, Canada

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Scott Wilson; Kathy Martin

    2008-01-01

    We examined breeding habitat selection at two scales for White-tailed (Lagopus leucura), Rock (L. muta), and Willow Ptarmigan (L. lagopus) at an alpine site in the Ruby Range Mountains of the Yukon Territory, Canada. To infer species-specific preferences, we\\u000a used logistic regression and AIC model selection to compare nest habitat of White-tailed (n = 43) and Rock Ptarmigan (n = 58). Only descriptive statistics

  15. The importance of willow thickets for ptarmigan and hares in shrub tundra: the more the better?

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Dorothée Ehrich; John-André Henden; Rolf Anker Ims; Lilyia O. Doronina; Siw Turid Killengren; Nicolas Lecomte; Ivan G. Pokrovsky; Gunnhild Skogstad; Alexander A. Sokolov; Vasily A. Sokolov; Nigel Gilles Yoccoz

    In patchy habitats, the relationship between animal abundance and cover of a preferred habitat may change with the availability\\u000a of that habitat, resulting in a functional response in habitat use. Here, we investigate the relationship of two specialized\\u000a herbivores, willow ptarmigan (Lagopus lagopus) and mountain hare (Lepus timidus), to willows (Salix spp.) in three regions of the shrub tundra zone—northern

  16. Factors affecting unintentional harvesting selectivity in a monomorphic species.

    PubMed

    Bunnefeld, Nils; Baines, David; Newborn, David; Milner-Gulland, E J

    2009-03-01

    1. Changes in the abundance of populations have always perplexed ecologists but long-term studies are revealing new insights into population dynamic processes. Long-term data are often derived from harvest records although many wild populations face high harvesting pressures leading to overharvesting and extinction. Additionally, harvest records used to describe population processes such as fluctuations in abundance and reproductive success often assume a random off-take. 2. Selective harvesting based on phenotypic characteristics occurs in many species (e.g. trophy hunting, fisheries) and has important implications for population dynamics, conservation and management. 3. In species with no marked morphological differences between the age and sex classes, such as the red grouse Lagopus lagopus scoticus during the shooting season, hunters cannot consciously select for a specific sex or age class during the shooting process but harvest records could still give a biased reflection of the population structure because of differences in behaviour between age and sex classes. 4. This study compared age and sex ratios in the bag with those in the population before shooting for red grouse at different points in the shooting season and different densities, which has rarely been tested before. 5. More young than old grouse were shot at large bag sizes and vice versa for small bag sizes than would be expected from the population composition before shooting. The susceptibility of old males to shooting compared to females increased with bag size and was high at the first time the area was shot but decreased with the number of times an area was harvested. 6. These findings stress that the assumption made in many studies that harvest records reflect the age and sex ratio of the population and therefore reflect productivity can be misleading. 7. In this paper, as in the literature, it is also shown that number of grouse shot reflects grouse density and therefore that hunting selectivity might influence population dynamics in a cyclic species. 8. The study is not only relevant for red grouse but applies to systems showing interactions between selective harvesting and wider ecological processes, such as age- and sex-related parasitism and territoriality, which may drive population fluctuations. PMID:19021782

  17. Serosurvey for Toxoplasma gondii in arctic foxes and possible sources of infection in the high Arctic of Svalbard

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Kristin Wear Prestrud; Kjetil Åsbakk; Eva Fuglei; Torill Mørk; Audun Stien; Erik Ropstad; Morten Tryland; Geir Wing Gabrielsen; Christian Lydersen; Kit M. Kovacs; Maarten J. J. E. Loonen; Kjetil Sagerup; Antti Oksanen

    2007-01-01

    Samples (blood or tissue fluid) from 594 arctic foxes (Alopex lagopus), 390 Svalbard reindeer (Rangifer tarandus platyrhynchus), 361 sibling voles (Microtus rossiaemeridionalis), 17 walruses (Odobenus rosmarus), 149 barnacle geese (Branta leucopsis), 58 kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla), and 27 glaucous gulls (Larus hyperboreus) from Svalbard and nearby waters were assayed for antibodies against Toxoplasma gondii using a direct agglutination test. The proportion

  18. Impacts of differential prey dynamics on the potential recovery of endangered arctic fox populations

    Microsoft Academic Search

    John-André Henden; Brd-Jrgen Brdsen; Nigel G. Yoccoz; Rolf A. Ims

    2008-01-01

    Summary 1. The arctic fox Vulpes lagopus in Fennoscandia was heavily decimated in the early 20th century and has failed to recover despite full protection during the last 70 years. On the contrary, since the 1970s the population has declined even further and the species is now on the verge of regional extinction. 2. The most recent population decline of

  19. The role of wild canids and felids in spreading parasites to dogs and cats in Europe. Part I: Protozoa and tick-borne agents

    E-print Network

    Otranto, Domenico; Cantacessi, Cinzia; Pfeffer, Martin; Dantas-Torres, Filipe; Brianti, Emanuele; Deplazes, Peter; Genchi, Claudio; Guberti, Vittorio; Capelli, Gioia

    2015-05-08

    are known to occur in Europe (Sillero-Zubiri, 2009; Sunquist and Sunquist, 2009), i.e. five canids (the wolf, Canis lupus; the golden jackal, Canis aureus; the raccoon dog, Nyctereutes procyonoides; the artic fox, Alopex lagopus, and the red fox, Vulpes...

  20. Fluctuations of observed breeding Rough-legged Hawks and Gyrfalcons: regularity reconsidered

    Microsoft Academic Search

    D. P. Mindell; C. M. White

    1988-01-01

    We recently assessed regularity in fluctuation of annual numbers of breeding pairs observed for several raptor species, and found no indication of reputed regular or cyclic fluctuations in our Colville River, Alaska sample for Gyrfalcons (Falco rusticolus) or Rough-legged Hawks (Buteo lagopus) (Mindell et al. 1987). Discussions with colleagues have prompted us to expand our analysis and clarify key points.

  1. Implications of Canada, snow, and white-fronted geese and Northern bobwhite as disease reservoirs for the Attwater's prairie-chicken

    E-print Network

    Purvis, Jonny Ray

    1995-01-01

    gulf coast waterfowl and has been found in waterfowl on APCNWR (APCNWR, unpubl. data). This disease is known to affect red grouse (Lagopus /agopus) (Jennings 1955) and ruffed grouse (Bonasa umbe/Jus) (Green and Shillinger 1936) and, if present, could...

  2. NESTING DOCUMENTATION FOR THE WHITE-TAILED PTARMIGAN IN THE SANGRE DE CRISTO MOUNTAINS, NEW MEXICO

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Donald H. Wolfe

    The southernmost extent of the range of White-tailed Ptarmigan (Lagopus leucura) reaches into north-central New Mexico. Although known to occur in New Mexico since around 1865, their exact distribution and abundance is not well known. This is primarily because the species is an alpine obligate, which has made efforts to survey difficult. Here I describe the first nest of the

  3. Chronological distribution of Pleistocene cold-adapted large mammal faunas in the Iberian Peninsula

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Diego J. Álvarez-Lao; Nuria García

    2010-01-01

    During the coldest episodes of the Late Pleistocene, the cold-adapted large mammal faunas moved southward, reaching southern regions such as the Iberian Peninsula. Thus, during the Late Pleistocene, remains of Mammuthus primigenius, Coelodonta antiquitatis and Rangifer tarandus were found in Iberia. In addition, four other cold-adapted species (Gulo gulo, Alopex lagopus, Ovibos moschatus and Saiga tatarica) were present, although in

  4. Geographical distribution of Pleistocene cold-adapted large mammal faunas in the Iberian Peninsula

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Diego J. Álvarez-Lao; Nuria García

    2011-01-01

    Cold-adapted large mammal faunas reached the Iberian Peninsula during the coldest periods of the Late Pleistocene. A total of 75 Iberian sites yielded remains of the cold-adapted faunal complex which is composed of the species, Mammuthus primigenius (woolly mammoth), Coelodonta antiquitatis (woolly rhinoceros), Rangifer tarandus (reindeer) and, to a lesser extent, Gulo gulo (wolverine), Alopex lagopus (arctic fox), Ovibos moschatus

  5. Temporal variability in arctic fox diet as reflected in stable-carbon isotopes; the importance of sea ice

    Microsoft Academic Search

    James D. Roth

    2002-01-01

    Consumption of marine foods by terrestrial predators can lead to increased predator densities, potentially impacting their terrestrial resources. For arctic foxes (Alopex lagopus), access to such marine foods in winter depends on sea ice, which is threatened by global climate change. To quantify the importance of marine foods (seal carrion and seal pups) and document temporal variation in arctic fox

  6. 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.

  7. Pulses of movement across the sea ice: population connectivity and temporal genetic structure in the arctic fox

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Karin Norén; Lindsey Carmichael; Eva Fuglei; Nina E. Eide; Pall Hersteinsson; Anders Angerbjörn

    2011-01-01

    Lemmings are involved in several important functions in the Arctic ecosystem. The Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) can be divided into two discrete ecotypes: “lemming foxes” and “coastal foxes”. Crashes in lemming abundance can result\\u000a in pulses of “lemming fox” movement across the Arctic sea ice and immigration into coastal habitats in search for food. These\\u000a pulses can influence the genetic

  8. Finding the right home: distribution of food resources and terrain characteristics influence selection of denning sites and reproductive dens in arctic foxes

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Guillaume Szor; Dominique Berteaux; Gilles Gauthier

    2008-01-01

    We examined 83 arctic fox (Alopex lagopus) dens on Bylot Island (Canada) during the summers of 2003–2005, to determine how arctic foxes select a denning site among\\u000a potential sites, and a breeding den among existing dens. We compared denning sites to random locations in a 425 km2 study area (landscape scale) and to other potential denning sites in a 100 m radius

  9. Selected radionuclides and heavy metals in skeletons of birds of prey from eastern Poland

    Microsoft Academic Search

    A. Komosa; I. Kitowski; S. Chibowski; J. Solecki; J. Orze?; P. Ró?a?ski

    2009-01-01

    Results of determination of 137Cs, 90Sr, 40K, 239+240Pu, and heavy metals: Mn, Zn, Pb, Cd, Ni, Cr, Co, and Cu in skeletons of 15 species of birds of prey from Eastern Poland were\\u000a presented. The greatest amounts of 137Cs and 90Sr (70 Bq\\/kg and 33 Bq\\/kg, respectively) were found in rough-legged buzzards (Buteo lagopus), winter visitors, coming from former soviet nuclear test

  10. FATAL POX INFECTION IN A ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK

    Microsoft Academic Search

    G. L. PEARSON; D. A. PASSI; E. C. BEGGS

    1975-01-01

    Natural pox infection occurred in a free-living rough-legged hawk (Btiieo lagopus) in northeastern North Dakota. Gross, histological and electron micro- scopic findings were typical of pox infection, and characteristic lesions developed in red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis) but not in great horned owls (Bubo s'irgini- anus) following inoculation with case material. Death of the rough-legged hawk was attributed to starvation resulting

  11. Historical biogeography and a mitochondrial DNA phylogeny of grouse and ptarmigan.

    PubMed

    Lucchini, V; Höglund, J; Klaus, S; Swenson, J; Randi, E

    2001-07-01

    We sequenced 2690 nucleotides of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) including the entire control region (CR), partial 12S and 16S ribosomal RNAs, NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2, and cytochrome b genes from representatives of all the 17 living species of grouse and ptarmigan (Aves; Galliformes; subfamily Tetraoninae). Substitution rates and phylogenetic signals were variable among genes, with the CR being more informative than protein-coding and rRNA genes. Phylogenetic trees, computed with the CR or the concatenated sequences, indicate that: (1) genus Bonasa is monophyletic and basal within the subfamily, (2) all the other currently recognized genera of Tetraoninae are monophyletic, except Dendragapus; (3) D. obscurus is related to Centrocercus urophasianus and divergent from former D. canadensis and D. falcipennis, which, accordingly, may be ascribed to the distinct genus Falcipennis; (4) Tympanuchus, Dendragapus, and Centrocercus form a clade comprising taxa distributed exclusively in North America; and (5) the North American species of Bonasa (B. umbellus) and Lagopus (L. leucurus) are basal to their Eurasian and Holarctic congeneric species. These findings, and a dispersal-vicariance analysis, support a North American origin of the subfamily and of all the genera of Tetraoninae, with the possible exception of Tetrao. Present species distributions might have been attained by at least three dispersal events from North America to Eurasia, involving the ancestors to Palearctic Bonasa, the ancestors to circumpolar Lagopus mutus/L. lagopus, and the clade leading to Tetrao/Falcipennis. According to a "standard calibration" of the mtDNA molecular clock (2% sequence divergence per million years), Bonasa split about 5-6 million years ago, the other genera diverged during the upper Pliocene, and most of the congeneric species with North American and Eurasian distributions (Bonasa, Lagopus, and Falcipennis) originated during the lower Pleistocene, well before the last interruption of the Beringian land bridge. PMID:11421655

  12. Life-history and demographic variation in an alpine specialist at the latitudinal extremes of the range

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Scott Wilson; Kathy Martin

    2011-01-01

    Alpine environments are unique systems to examine variation in life-history strategies because temperature and seasonality\\u000a are similar across broad latitudinal gradients. We studied the life-history strategies, demography and population growth of\\u000a white-tailed ptarmigan Lagopus leucura, an alpine specialist, at the latitudinal extremes of the range in the Yukon (YK, studied from 2004 to 2008) and Colorado\\u000a (CO, 1987–1996). The two

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

    Microsoft Academic Search

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

    2010-01-01

    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

  14. Genetic systems of six species of Plantago ( Plantaginaceae )

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Namrata Sharma; Pushpa Koul; A. K. Koul

    1992-01-01

    Investigation of the genetic system of six species ofPlantago has revealed striking differences in their breeding and meiotic systems.Plantago patagonica is an inbreeder on account of preanthesis cleistogamy, whereasP. lanceolata is an obligate outbreeder, as it is self-incompatible.Plantago drummondii, P. lagopus, P. ovata, andP. major show mixed mating but in varying proportions. In terms of their energy budgets, outbreeding species

  15. Appropriate and inappropriate hypothalamic cold thermosensitivity in Willow ptarmigan.

    PubMed

    Mercer, J B; Simon, E

    1987-09-01

    Hypothalamic thermosensitivity has been investigated in conscious Willow Ptarmigan (Lagopus lagopus lagopus) provided with chronically implanted hypothalamic perfusion thermodes. The birds were exposed to either cold (Ta - 10 degrees C) or warm (Ta + 25 degrees C) ambient conditions while hypothalamic temperature (Thy) was clamped for periods of 20 min at different set levels between 28 degrees C and 43 degrees C. The responses of the animals to hypothalamic thermal stimulation were classified by comparing them with those normally found in mammals. At Ta - 10 degrees C hypothalamic heating inhibited ongoing shivering, causing a fall in body-core temperature (Tc) (appropriate mammalian-like response). Strong levels of hypothalamic cooling (Thy less than 34.0 degrees C) also caused a fall in Tc due to inhibition of shivering (inappropriate mammalian-like response). However, weaker levels of hypothalamic cooling (Thy 34-36 degrees C), facilitated ongoing shivering, resulting in small increases in Tc (appropriate mammalian-like response). At Ta + 25 degrees C hypothalamic heating facilitated ongoing panting while weak (Thy 38 degrees C) levels of hypothalamic cooling inhibited ongoing panting (both mammalian-like responses). The observation of a weak mammalian-like cold hypothalamic thermosensitivity in Willow Ptarmigan indicates that these birds possess some specific cold thermosensors in the hypothalamic region. This finding suggests that hypothalamic temperature dependence in birds and mammals is fundamentally similar. PMID:3673613

  16. Pholeter anterouterus Fischthal & Nasir, 1974 (Digenea: Opisthorchiidae) redescribed, together with remarks on the genera Pholeter Odhner, 1914 and Phocitrema Goto & Ozaki, 1930 and their relationship to the centrocestine heterophyids.

    PubMed

    Pearson, J C; Courtney, C H

    1977-06-01

    Photoleter anterouterus Fischthal & Nasir, 1974, from Pelecanus occidentalis Linnaeus and Pelecanus erythrorhynchos Gmelin from Florida, USA and the ventro-genital complexes of Photeleter gastrophilus (Kossack, 1910) from Delphinus delphis Linnaeus from Queensland, Australia and of Phocitrema fusiforme Goto & Ozaki, 1930 from Alopex lagopus (Linnaeus) and Phoca vitulina Linnaeus from Alaska are redescribed. The genus Photoleter Odhner, 1914 is emended and compared with Phocitrema Goto & Ozaki, 1930 and both genera are compared with members of, and as a result transferred from the family Opisthorchiidae Looss, 1899 to, the subfamily Centrocestinae Looss, 1899, family Heterophyidae Odhner, 1914. PMID:876682

  17. Experimental evidence that ptarmigan regulate willow bud production to their own advantage.

    PubMed

    Christie, Katie S; Ruess, R W

    2015-07-01

    In some ecosystems, vertebrate herbivores increase the nutritional quality and biomass of their food source through repeated grazing, thereby manipulating their environment to support higher densities of animals. We tested whether ptarmigan (Lagopus lagopus and L. muta) are capable of regulating the nutritional quality, abundance, and availability of feltleaf willow (Salix alaxensis) buds using a simulated browsing experiment and a feeding preference study with wild birds. Simulated ptarmigan browsing resulted in smaller buds, but greater numbers of buds per shoot. Furthermore, browsing altered the morphology of willow branches such that buds were at higher densities and closer to snow level compared to unbrowsed controls. Browsing increased the number of willows with accessible buds (buds within 50 cm of snow level) from 55 to 89 %, and increased total accessible bud biomass from 113 ± 30 to 129 ± 50 mg/ramet. Browsing did not affect bud nitrogen or carbon concentration and slightly reduced protein precipitation capacity (tannins) in buds the following winter, indicating that ptarmigan browsing does not induce a defensive response in this species. When branches of broomed (previously browsed) and unbroomed willows were placed in the snow at equal heights, ptarmigan showed no preference for either type; however, they obtained more buds from broomed willows. Increased accessibility and density of willow buds caused by browsing has the potential to increase habitat carrying capacity, thereby supporting higher densities of ptarmigan. PMID:25698142

  18. Cospeciation and horizontal transmission of avian sarcoma and leukosis virus gag genes in galliform birds.

    PubMed

    Dimcheff, D E; Drovetski, S V; Krishnan, M; Mindell, D P

    2000-05-01

    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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McIntyre, C.L.; Adams, L.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 (Lagopus 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. OFFICIAL HUNTING PATTERNS, AND TRENDS IN THE PROPORTIONS OF SIKA (CERVUS NIPPON) AND RED DEER (C. ELAPHUS SCOTICUS) IN THE KAWEKA RANGE, NEW ZEALAND, 1958-1988

    Microsoft Academic Search

    M. M. DAVIDSON; K. W. FRASER

    1991-01-01

    Summary: Records of official deer control operations in the Kaweka Range between 1958 and 1988 have been used to describe the pattern of official hunting, to indicate changes in hunting efficiency, and to show trends in the proportions of sika and red deer in sympatric populations. The pattern of hunting largely reflected wild animal control priorities, and to some extent

  3. Trichinella nativa in Iceland: an example of Trichinella dispersion in a frigid zone.

    PubMed

    Skírnisson, K; Marucci, G; Pozio, E

    2010-06-01

    In most Arctic and subarctic regions, Trichinella nativa is a common zoonotic pathogen circulating among wild carnivores. The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) is one of the most important reservoirs for T. nativa in frigid zones. In Iceland, Trichinella infection has never been detected in the local wildlife, despite the presence of one of the host species, the arctic fox (Alopex lagopus). In 2008, one of two polar bears that had swum to Iceland's coast was found to have been infected with Trichinella sp. (8.5 larvae/g in the tongue, 6.8 larvae/g in the masseter and 4.4 larvae/g in the diaphragm); the larvae were identified as T. nativa. This is the second report of Trichinella infection in polar bears that reached the Icelandic coast. In the present work, we describe this case of infection and discuss the epidemiological features that have allowed T. nativa to spread in Arctic regions. PMID:19732473

  4. Sea ice occurrence predicts genetic isolation in the Arctic fox.

    PubMed

    Geffen, Eli; Waidyaratne, Sitara; Dalén, Love; Angerbjörn, Anders; Vila, Carles; Hersteinsson, Pall; Fuglei, Eva; White, Paula A; Goltsman, Michael; Kapel, Christian M O; Wayne, Robert K

    2007-10-01

    Unlike Oceanic islands, the islands of the Arctic Sea are not completely isolated from migration by terrestrial vertebrates. The pack ice connects many Arctic Sea islands to the mainland during winter months. The Arctic fox (Alopex lagopus), which has a circumpolar distribution, populates numerous islands in the Arctic Sea. In this study, we used genetic data from 20 different populations, spanning the entire distribution of the Arctic fox, to identify barriers to dispersal. Specifically, we considered geographical distance, occurrence of sea ice, winter temperature, ecotype, and the presence of red fox and polar bear as nonexclusive factors that influence the dispersal behaviour of individuals. Using distance-based redundancy analysis and the BIOENV procedure, we showed that occurrence of sea ice is the key predictor and explained 40-60% of the genetic distance among populations. In addition, our analysis identified the Commander and Pribilof Islands Arctic populations as genetically unique suggesting they deserve special attention from a conservation perspective. PMID:17868292

  5. Molecular evolution of the leptin exon 3 in some species of the family Canidae

    PubMed Central

    Chmurzynska, Agata; Zajac, Magdalena; Switonski, Marek

    2003-01-01

    The structure of the leptin gene seems to be well conserved. The polymorphism of this gene in four species belonging to the Canidae family (the dog (Canis familiaris) – 16 different breeds, the Chinese racoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides procyonoides), the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) and the arctic fox (Alopex lagopus)) were studied with the use of single strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP), restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) and DNA sequencing techniques. For exon 2, all species presented the same SSCP pattern, while in exon 3 some differences were found. DNA sequencing of exon 3 revealed the presence of six nucleotide substitutions, differentiating the studied species. Three of them cause amino acid substitutions as well. For all dog breeds studied, SSCP patterns were identical. PMID:12939206

  6. Prevalence of Rabies Virus in Foxes Trapped in the Canadian Arctic

    PubMed Central

    Secord, D. C.; Bradley, J. A.; Eaton, R. D.; Mitchell, D.

    1980-01-01

    Brains and salivary glands of 521 trapped arctic foxes (Alopex lagopus) submitted from four different settlement areas in the Northwest Territories were examined for rabies by the standard fluorescent antibody and mouse inoculation tests. Rabies antigen was present in 44 of 201 (21.9%) brains from foxes trapped in the Sachs Harbour area, but submissions from Cambridge Bay (127), Spence Bay (93) and Gjoa Haven (100) were negative. Virus was also present in salivary glands from 43 (97.7%) of these 44 positive foxes. The arctic fox continues to be the main wildlife reservoir of rabies in the Canadian Arctic and foxes in the prodromal stage of the disease pose a particular threat to the trapper. Preexposure vaccination should always be a consideration in this occupational group. PMID:7459793

  7. Understanding sex differences in the cost of terrestrial locomotion

    PubMed Central

    Lees, John J.; Nudds, Robert L.; Folkow, Lars P.; Stokkan, Karl-Arne; Codd, Jonathan R.

    2012-01-01

    Little is known regarding the physiological consequences of the behavioural and morphological differences that result from sexual selection in birds. Male and female Svalbard rock ptarmigans (Lagopus muta hyperborea) exhibit distinctive behavioural differences during the breeding season. In particular, males continuously compete for and defend territories in order to breed successfully, placing large demands on their locomotor system. Here, we demonstrate that male birds have improved locomotor performance compared with females, showing both a lower cost of locomotion (CoL) and a higher top speed. We propose that the observed sex differences in locomotor capability may be due to sexual selection for improved male performance. While the mechanisms underlying these energetic differences are unclear, future studies should be wary when pooling male and female data. PMID:21849317

  8. The occurrence of rabies in the Svalbard Islands of Norway.

    PubMed

    Prestrud, P; Krogsrud, J; Gjertz, I

    1992-01-01

    After the first recorded outbreak of rabies in the Svalbard Islands (Norway) in 1980, brain tissue from 817 trapped arctic foxes (Alopex lagopus) was tested for rabies by a direct fluorescent antibody test. During the same period (1980 to 1990), 29 arctic foxes, 23 polar bears (Ursus maritimus), 19 reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) and five ringed seals (Phoca hispida) were also tested using the same technique. These animals had either been found dead, killed because of abnormal behavior or were apparently healthy when they were collected. Rabies virus antigen was not detected in any of the trapped foxes. Rabies was confirmed in two foxes in 1981, two foxes and one reindeer in 1987, and in one fox in 1990. The presence of rabies in the Svalbard archipelago probably resulted from immigration over the sea ice of an infected host. PMID:1548803

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Platinum group elements in the feathers of raptors and their prey.

    PubMed

    Jensen, K H; Rauch, S; Morrison, G M; Lindberg, P

    2002-04-01

    Platinum (Pt), palladium (Pd), and rhodium (Rh) concentrations were determined in the feathers of three raptor species in Sweden, the sparrowhawk ( Accipiter nisus), the peregrine falcon ( Falco peregrinus), and the gyrfalcon ( Falco rusticolus), as well as the main prey of the sparrowhawk (the house sparrow, Passer domesticus) and the gyrfalcon (the willow grouse, Lagopus lagopus). The analysis of feathers from 1917-1999 revealed a clear temporal trend, with significantly higher Rh concentrations in sparrowhawk and peregrine falcon after 1986. There is evidence for increasing platinum group element (PGE) concentrations from 1917 to 1999 in peregrine falcon and sparrowhawk. This suggests that feathers reflect increased PGE concentrations in the environment over this time period. Mean concentrations of PGE in feathers of raptors after 1986 ranged from 0.3 to 1.8 ng x g(-1) for Pt, 0.6 to 2.1 ng x g(-1) for Pd (indicative values), and 0.1 to 0.6 ng x g(-1) for Rh. House sparrows in urban areas had significantly higher Pt and Pd concentrations than urban sparrowhawks. The higher Pd concentrations in relation to Pt and Rh may indicate the greater mobility of Pd in the environment. Although PGE concentrations are generally higher in birds living in urban areas, no significant spatial trend could be established. This is partly due to the widespread distribution of automobiles and partly because birds forage and integrate PGE exposure over large areas. Laser ablation analysis demonstrates that PGE contamination of feathers is predominantly external, consisting of small particles in the nanometer size range. Other indications of external contamination are that Pt and Pd levels are significantly higher in the vane than in the shaft and that PGE relative ratios (except Pd) reflect urban particles. PMID:11910463

  12. Territory occupancy rate of goshawk and gyrfalcon: no evidence of delayed numerical response to grouse numbers.

    PubMed

    Selås, Vidar; Kålås, John Atle

    2007-09-01

    Two recent studies on territory occupancy rates of goshawk Accipiter gentilis and gyrfalcon Falco rusticolus report a 2-3-year-delayed numerical response to grouse numbers, which is a requirement for a hypothesis of predator-generated grouse cycles. The time lags were assumed to reflect the average age of sexual maturity in the raptor species. In southern Norway, however, subadult (two-year-old) goshawk hens occupied only 18-25% of territories where occupancy was not recorded in the preceding year, and there was no significant relationship between the proportion of subadults among recruits and grouse indices two years earlier. We argue that territory occupancy rates are not appropriate indices of total raptor population levels, but rather reflect the proportion of territorial pairs that attempt to nest. Because this depends on the body condition of the hens, fluctuations in other important winter resident prey species (most important for the goshawk) and winter weather (most important for the gyrfalcon) should also be addressed. During 1988-2006, the annual proportion of goshawk territories with recorded nesting attempts in southern Norway was most closely related to the preceding autumn's population indices of black grouse Tetrao tetrix and mountain hare Lepus timidus, whereas the annual proportion of gyrfalcon territories with observations of falcons or with confirmed breeding attempts in central Norway were best explained by population indices of willow grouse Lagopus lagopus and ptarmigan L. mutus from the previous autumn, and by December temperatures. Hence, our studies do not support the predation hypothesis for grouse cycles. PMID:17549523

  13. 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 changes in nesting bird distribution over time.

  14. Intestinal parasites of the Arctic fox in relation to the abundance and distribution of intermediate hosts.

    PubMed

    Stien, A; Voutilainen, L; Haukisalmi, V; Fuglei, E; Mørk, T; Yoccoz, N G; Ims, R A; Henttonen, H

    2010-01-01

    The intestinal parasite community of Arctic foxes (Vulpes lagopus) on the Svalbard archipelago in the High Arctic was investigated in relation to the abundance and distribution of intermediate hosts. Five species of cestodes (Echinococcus multilocularis, Taenia crassiceps, Taenia polyacantha, Taenia krabbei and Diphyllobothrium sp.), ascaridoid nematodes and one unidentified acanthocephalan species were found. The cestodes E. multilocularis, T. crassiceps and T. polyacantha all showed a decreasing prevalence in the fox population with increasing distance from their spatially restricted intermediate host population of sibling voles (Microtus levis). In addition, the prevalence of E. multilocularis in a sample from the vole population was directly related to the local vole abundance. The cestode T. krabbei uses reindeer as intermediate host, and its prevalence in female foxes was positively related to the density of reindeer (Rangifer tarandus platyrhyncus). Finally, the prevalence of the ascaridoid nematodes also decreased with increasing distance from the vole population, a finding that is consistent with the idea that voles are involved in transmission, most likely as paratenic hosts. The prevalence of the remaining species (Diphyllobothrium sp. and an unidentified acanthocephalan) was very low. We conclude that the distribution and abundance of intermediate host structure the gastrointestinal parasite community of the Arctic fox on the Svalbard archipelago. PMID:19723357

  15. Primary structure of fox (Vulpes vulpes) proinsulin based on sequence studies of pancreatic peptides and cDNA.

    PubMed

    Fiertek, D; Gromowska, M; Andersen, A S; Hansen, P H; Majewski, T; Izdebski, J

    2000-08-01

    Insulin and C-peptide were extracted and purified from fox (Vulpes vulpes) pancreas using gel filtration, ion-exchange chromatography and HPLC. Chromatographic data for the insulin, as well as for its oxidized and carboxymethylated chains proved it to be identical to that of polar fox (Alopex lagopus) and dog. The sequence analysis of a peptide which was assumed to be the corresponding C-peptide revealed that it comprises 23 amino acid residues and is identical to the C-peptide fragment isolated from dog pancreas: it differs from polar fox C-peptide by a single substitution (Asp-->Glu). mRNA was isolated from pancreatic tissue and cDNA was obtained by reverse transcription. A polymerase chain reaction was performed using gene-specific primers to obtain a DNA fragment corresponding to part of fox proinsulin. DNA sequencing revealed 100% identity to dog proinsulin at the protein level, although some amino acids were encoded by different codons. The total sequence of proinsulin was deduced from these results. PMID:10969870

  16. 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

  17. Comparative genomics of 3 farm canids in relation to the dog.

    PubMed

    Switonski, M; Szczerbal, I; Nowacka-Woszuk, J

    2009-01-01

    There are 3 canids besides the dog (Canis familiaris): the red fox (Vulpes vulpes), arctic fox (Alopex lagopus) and Chinese raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides procyonoides), which have been extensively studied with the use of cytogenetic and molecular genetics techniques. These 3 species are considered as farm fur-bearing animals. In addition, they are also useful models in comparative genomic studies of the canids. In this review genome organization, karyotype evolution, comparative marker maps, DNA polymorphism and similarity of selected gene sequences of the 3 farm species are discussed in relation to the dog. Also the nature and variability of the B chromosomes, present in the red fox and the Chinese raccoon dog, were considered. These comparative analyses showed that among the studied canids the Chinese raccoon dog is phylogenetically the closest species to the dog. On the other hand, the most advanced linkage and cytogenetic marker maps of the red fox genome facilitate genome scanning studies with the aim to search for chromosome locations of QTL regions for behavior and production traits. PMID:20016159

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. The influence of fine-scale habitat features on regional variation in population performance of alpine White-tailed Ptarmigan

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fedy, B.; Martin, K.

    2011-01-01

    It is often assumed (explicitly or implicitly) that animals select habitat features to maximize fitness. However, there is often a mismatch between preferred habitats and indices of individual and population measures of performance. We examined the influence of fine-scale habitat selection on the overall population performance of the White-tailed Ptarmigan (Lagopus leucura), an alpine specialist, in two subdivided populations whose habitat patches are configured differently. The central region of Vancouver Island, Canada, has more continuous and larger habitat patches than the southern region. In 2003 and 2004, using paired logistic regression between used (n = 176) and available (n = 324) sites, we identified food availability, distance to standing water, and predator cover as preferred habitat components . We then quantified variation in population performance in the two regions in terms of sex ratio, age structure (n = 182 adults and yearlings), and reproductive success (n = 98 females) on the basis of 8 years of data (1995-1999, 2002-2004). Region strongly influenced females' breeding success, which, unsuccessful hens included, was consistently higher in the central region (n = 77 females) of the island than in the south (n = 21 females, P = 0.01). The central region also had a much higher proportion of successful hens (87%) than did the south (55%, P < 0.001). In light of our findings, we suggest that population performance is influenced by a combination of fine-scale habitat features and coarse-scale habitat configuration. ?? The Cooper Ornithological Society 2011.

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

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Bryan I.; Blanton, Jesse D.; Gilbert, Amy; Castrodale, Louisa; Hueffer, Karsten; Slate, Dennis; Rupprecht, Charles E.

    2013-01-01

    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 modeling, 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 to 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

  3. Serosurvey for Toxoplasma gondii in arctic foxes and possible sources of infection in the high Arctic of Svalbard.

    PubMed

    Prestrud, Kristin Wear; Asbakk, Kjetil; Fuglei, Eva; Mørk, Torill; Stien, Audun; Ropstad, Erik; Tryland, Morten; Gabrielsen, Geir Wing; Lydersen, Christian; Kovacs, Kit M; Loonen, Maarten J J E; Sagerup, Kjetil; Oksanen, Antti

    2007-11-30

    Samples (blood or tissue fluid) from 594 arctic foxes (Alopex lagopus), 390 Svalbard reindeer (Rangifer tarandus platyrhynchus), 361 sibling voles (Microtus rossiaemeridionalis), 17 walruses (Odobenus rosmarus), 149 barnacle geese (Branta leucopsis), 58 kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla), and 27 glaucous gulls (Larus hyperboreus) from Svalbard and nearby waters were assayed for antibodies against Toxoplasma gondii using a direct agglutination test. The proportion of seropositive animals was 43% in arctic foxes, 7% in barnacle geese, and 6% (1 of 17) in walruses. There were no seropositive Svalbard reindeer, sibling voles, glaucous gulls, or kittiwakes. The prevalence in the arctic fox was relatively high compared to previous reports from canid populations. There are no wild felids in Svalbard and domestic cats are prohibited, and the absence of antibodies against T. gondii among the herbivorous Svalbard reindeer and voles indicates that transmission of the parasite by oocysts is not likely to be an important mechanism in the Svalbard ecosystem. Our results suggest that migratory birds, such as the barnacle goose, may be the most important vectors bringing the parasite to Svalbard. In addition to transmission through infected prey and carrion, the age-seroprevalence profile in the fox population suggests that their infection levels are enhanced by vertical transmission. PMID:17950534

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  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 ?13C and ?15N 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. 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.

  9. Profile of persistent chlorinated contaminants, including selected chiral compounds, in wolverine (Gulo gulo) livers from the Canadian Arctic.

    PubMed

    Hoekstra, P F; Braune, B M; Wong, C S; Williamson, M; Elkin, B; Muir, D C G

    2003-11-01

    Wolverines (Gulo gulo) are circumpolar omnivores that live throughout the alpine and arctic tundra ecosystem. Wolverine livers were collected at Kugluktuk (Coppermine), NU (n=12) in the western Canadian Arctic to report, for the first time, the residue patterns of persistent organochlorine contaminants (OCs) in this species. The enantiomer fractions (EFs) of several chiral OCs, including PCB atropisomers, in wolverines were also determined. Results were compared to OC concentrations and EFs of chiral contaminants in arctic fox (Alopex lagopus) from Ulukhaqtuuq (Holman), NT (n=20); a closely related species that scavenges the marine and terrestrial arctic environment. The rank order of hepatic concentrations for sum ( summation operator ) OC groups in wolverines were polychlorinated biphenyls ( summation operator PCB)>chlordane-related components ( summation operator CHLOR)>DDT-related compounds ( summation operator DDT)>hexachlorocyclohexane isomers ( summation operator HCHs). The most abundant OC analytes detected in wolverine liver were PCB-153, PCB-180, and oxychlordane (OXY). Wolverine age and gender did not influence OC concentrations, which were comparable to lipid-normalized values in arctic fox. The EFs of several chiral OCs (alpha-HCH, cis- and trans-chlordane, OXY, heptachlor exo-epoxide) and PCB atropisomers (PCB-136, 149) were nonracemic in arctic fox and wolverine liver and similar to those previously calculated in arctic fox and polar bears from Iceland and the Canadian Arctic. Results suggest that these species have similar ability to biotransform OCs. As well, contaminant profiles suggest that terrestrial mammals do not represent the major source of OC exposure to wolverines and that wolverines are scavenging more contaminated prey items, such as marine mammals. While summation operator PCB did not exceed the concentrations associated with mammalian reproductive impairment, future research is required to properly evaluate the potential affect of other OCs on the overall health of wolverines. PMID:12948539

  10. 2,3-DPG-Hb complex: a hypothesis for an asymmetric binding.

    PubMed

    Pomponi, M; Bertonati, C; Fuglei, E; Wiig, O; Derocher, A E

    2000-05-15

    This study was undertaken to test the symmetry of 2,3-diphosphoglycerate (2,3-DPG) binding site in hemoglobin (Hb). From Arnone's study [A. Arnone, Nature (London) 237 (1972) 146] the 2,3-DPG binding site is located at the top of the cavity, that runs through the center of the deoxy-Hb molecule. However, it is possible that this symmetry reported by Arnone, for crystals of 2,3-DPG-Hb complex, might not be conserved in solution. In this paper, we report the 31P nuclear magnetic resonances of the 2,3-DPG interaction with Hb. The 2,3-DPG chemical shifts of the P2 and P3 resonance are both pH- and hemoglobin-dependent [protein from man, polar bear (Ursus maritimus), Arctic fox (Alopex lagopus) and bovine]. 2,3-DPG binds tightly to deoxyhemoglobin and weakly, nevertheless significantly, to oxyhemoglobin. In particular, our results suggest similar spatial position of the binding site of 2,3-DPG in both forms of Hb in solutions. However, the most unexpected result was the apparent loss of symmetry in the binding site, which might correlate with the ability of the hemoglobin to modulate its functional behavior. The different interactions of the phosphate groups indicate small differences in the quaternary structure of the different deoxy forms of hemoglobin. Given the above structural perturbation an asymmetric binding in the complex could justify, at least in part, different physiological properties of Hb. Regardless, functionally relevant effects of 2,3-DPG seem to be measured and best elucidated through solution studies. PMID:10852312

  11. Trophic relationships in an Arctic food web and implications for trace metal transfer.

    PubMed

    Dehn, Larissa-A; Follmann, Erich H; Thomas, Dana L; Sheffield, Gay G; Rosa, Cheryl; Duffy, Lawrence K; O'Hara, Todd M

    2006-06-01

    Tissues of subsistence-harvested Arctic mammals were analyzed for silver (Ag), cadmium (Cd), and total mercury (THg). Muscle (or total body homogenates of potential fish and invertebrate prey) was analyzed for stable carbon (delta13C) and nitrogen (delta15N) isotopes to establish trophic interactions within the Arctic food chain. Food web magnification factors (FWMFs) and biomagnification factors for selected predator-prey scenarios (BMFs) were calculated to describe pathways of heavy metals in the Alaskan Arctic. FWMFs in this study indicate that magnification of selected heavy metals in the Arctic food web is not significant. Biomagnification of Cd occurs mainly in kidneys; calculated BMFs are higher for hepatic THg than renal THg for all predator-prey scenarios with the exception of polar bears (Ursus maritimus). In bears, the accumulation of renal THg is approximately 6 times higher than in liver. Magnification of hepatic Ag is minimal for all selected predator-prey scenarios. Though polar bears occupy a higher trophic level than belugas (Delphinapterus leucas), based on delta15N, the metal concentrations are either not statistically different between the two species or lower for bears. Similarly, concentrations of renal and hepatic Cd are significantly lower or not statistically different in polar bears compared to ringed (Phoca hispida) and bearded seals (Erignathus barbatus), their primary prey. THg, on the other hand, increased significantly from seal to polar bear tissues. Mean delta15N was lowest in muscle of Arctic fox (Alopex lagopus) and foxes also show the lowest levels of Hg, Cd and Ag in liver and kidney compared to the other species analyzed. These values are in good agreement with a diet dominated by terrestrial prey. Metal deposition in animal tissues is strongly dependent on biological factors such as diet, age, sex, body condition and health, and caution should be taken when interpreting magnification of dynamic and actively regulated trace metals. PMID:16387350

  12. 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-within-transect and park-level effect. Our results suggest that this model can provide insight into the detection process during avian surveys and reduce bias in estimates of relative abundance but is best applied to surveys of species with greater availability (e.g., breeding songbirds).

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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 to another. PMID:18959310

  18. 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 parka??s high elevation alpine and subalpine meadows and willow krummholz. The parka??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 measured variable 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 sue levels precluded 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 other 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 parka??s alpine and subalpine regions.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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 visits in future studies and to consider them as a possible negative bias in estimated nest survival. Future models of the impacts of development within the breeding grounds of king eider should consider the influence of humans in the vicinity of nests.

  2. Exposure and effects assessment of persistent organohalogen contaminants in arctic wildlife and fish.

    PubMed

    Letcher, Robert J; Bustnes, Jan Ove; Dietz, Rune; Jenssen, Bjørn M; Jørgensen, Even H; Sonne, Christian; Verreault, Jonathan; Vijayan, Mathilakath M; Gabrielsen, Geir W

    2010-07-01

    Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) encompass an array of anthropogenic organic and elemental substances and their degradation and metabolic byproducts that have been found in the tissues of exposed animals, especially POPs categorized as organohalogen contaminants (OHCs). OHCs have been of concern in the circumpolar arctic for decades. For example, as a consequence of bioaccumulation and in some cases biomagnification of legacy (e.g., chlorinated PCBs, DDTs and CHLs) and emerging (e.g., brominated flame retardants (BFRs) and in particular polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) including perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanic acid (PFOA) found in Arctic biota and humans. Of high concern are the potential biological effects of these contaminants in exposed Arctic wildlife and fish. As concluded in the last review in 2004 for the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP) on the effects of POPs in Arctic wildlife, prior to 1997, biological effects data were minimal and insufficient at any level of biological organization. The present review summarizes recent studies on biological effects in relation to OHC exposure, and attempts to assess known tissue/body compartment concentration data in the context of possible threshold levels of effects to evaluate the risks. This review concentrates mainly on post-2002, new OHC effects data in Arctic wildlife and fish, and is largely based on recently available effects data for populations of several top trophic level species, including seabirds (e.g., glaucous gull (Larus hyperboreus)), polar bears (Ursus maritimus), polar (Arctic) fox (Vulpes lagopus), and Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus), as well as semi-captive studies on sled dogs (Canis familiaris). Regardless, there remains a dearth of data on true contaminant exposure, cause-effect relationships with respect to these contaminant exposures in Arctic wildlife and fish. Indications of exposure effects are largely based on correlations between biomarker endpoints (e.g., biochemical processes related to the immune and endocrine system, pathological changes in tissues and reproduction and development) and tissue residue levels of OHCs (e.g., PCBs, DDTs, CHLs, PBDEs and in a few cases perfluorinated carboxylic acids (PFCAs) and perfluorinated sulfonates (PFSAs)). Some exceptions include semi-field studies on comparative contaminant effects of control and exposed cohorts of captive Greenland sled dogs, and performance studies mimicking environmentally relevant PCB concentrations in Arctic charr. Recent tissue concentrations in several arctic marine mammal species and populations exceed a general threshold level of concern of 1 part-per-million (ppm), but a clear evidence of a POP/OHC-related stress in these populations remains to be confirmed. There remains minimal evidence that OHCs are having widespread effects on the health of Arctic organisms, with the possible exception of East Greenland and Svalbard polar bears and Svalbard glaucous gulls. However, the true (if any real) effects of POPs in Arctic wildlife have to be put into the context of other environmental, ecological and physiological stressors (both anthropogenic and natural) that render an overall complex picture. For instance, seasonal changes in food intake and corresponding cycles of fattening and emaciation seen in Arctic animals can modify contaminant tissue distribution and toxicokinetics (contaminant deposition, metabolism and depuration). Also, other factors, including impact of climate change (seasonal ice and temperature changes, and connection to food web changes, nutrition, etc. in exposed biota), disease, species invasion and the connection to disease resistance will impact toxicant exposure. Overall, further research and better understanding of POP/OHC impact on animal performance in Arctic biota are recommended. Regardless, it could be argued that Arctic wildlife and fish at the highest potential risk of POP/OHC exposure and mediated effects are East Greenland, Svalbard and (West and South) Hudson Bay

  3. The time and duration of meiosis.

    PubMed

    Bennett, M D

    1977-03-21

    Ever since meiosis was recognized as a process there has been a continuing interest in its temporal aspects. Two main types of meiotic timing experiments have been conducted: first, experiments to estimate the duration of meiosis (and sometimes its stages); second, experiments to locate the sensitive stage(s) when exposure of meiocytes to various treatments can affect meiotic chromosome behaviour (e.g. pairing or recombination). Such experiments have played an important role in increasing our understanding of the meiotic process. The duration of meiosis has been estimated in about 70 organisms, including two prokaryotes (yeast and Chlamydomonas) and the following eukaryotes: 1 Basidiomycete (Coprinus lagopus), 2 Gymnosperms (Larix decidua and Thuja plicata gracilis). at least 39 angiosperms, and at least 26 animal species. The duration of female meiosis has been estimated in far fewer species than male meiosis. However, estimates of the duration of female meiosis are available for 6 angiosperms. Drosophila melanogaster, Xenopus laevis, and several mammals. Comparison of these data shows that the duration of meiosis is one of the most variable aspects of the meiotic process, ranging from less than 6 h in yeast to more than 40 years in the human female. Developmental holds at different stages of meiosis are common in plants and animals, and inevitably prolong the meiotic division. However, even among species without developmental holds, the duration of meiosis is very variable. For instance, in animals it ranges from about 1-2 days in male Drosophila melanogaster to more than 24 days in male Homo sapiens and several Orthopterans. Despite the large variation in the duration of meiosis three generalizations can be made: (i) first prophase is always very long compared with the remaining meiotic stages, (ii) the rate of meiotic development is very slow compared with the rate of development in dividing somatic meristem cells of the same organisms under the same conditions, (iii) the duration of meiosis is characteristic of the genotype and species. Four main factors have been recognized which effect or determine the duration of meiosis, namely (1) environmental factors (e.g. temperature); (2) nuclear DNA content; (3) ploidy level of the organism; and, (4) the genotype. Because nuclear DNA content plays a major role in determining the duration of meiosis, it has been suggested that DNA influences the rate of meiotic development in two ways: first through its informational content (the genotype), and second indirectly by the physical and mechanical effects of its mass independently of its informational content (i.e. the nucleotype). Thus, the observed duration of meiosis is the result of a complex genotype-nucleotype-environment interaction. With the obvious exception of variation caused by developmental holds, changes in the duration of meiosis usually involve proportional changes in the durations of all its stages... PMID:16285

  4. Do Red Deer Stags (Cervus elaphus) Use Roar Fundamental Frequency (F0) to Assess Rivals?

    PubMed Central

    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

  5. 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-specific abundance during the start and end of seasonal activity in temperate regions to facilitate refinement of ruminant movement restrictions thereby reducing the impact of Culicoides-borne arboviruses. PMID:25386940

  6. 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

  7. Towards the PCR-based identification of Palaearctic Culicoides biting midges (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae): results from an international ring trial targeting four species of the subgenus Avaritia

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Biting midges of the genus Culicoides (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) are biological vectors of internationally important arboviruses. To understand the role of Culicoides in the transmission of these viruses, it is essential to correctly identify the species involved. Within the western Palaearctic region, the main suspected vector species, C. obsoletus, C. scoticus, C. dewulfi and C. chiopterus, have similar wing patterns, which makes it difficult to separate and identify them correctly. Methods In this study, designed as an inter-laboratory ring trial with twelve partners from Europe and North Africa, we assess four PCR-based assays which are used routinely to differentiate the four species of Culicoides listed above. The assays based on mitochondrial or ribosomal DNA or microarray hybridisation were tested using aliquots of Culicoides DNA (extracted using commercial kits), crude lysates of ground specimens and whole Culicoides (265 individuals), and non-Culicoides Ceratopogonidae (13 individuals) collected from across Europe. Results A total of 800 molecular assays were implemented. The in-house assays functioned effectively, although specificity and sensitivity varied according to the molecular marker and DNA extraction method used. The Obsoletus group specificity was overall high (95-99%) while the sensitivity varied greatly (59.6-100%). DNA extraction methods impacted the sensitivity of the assays as well as the type of sample used as template for the DNA extraction. Conclusions The results are discussed in terms of current use of species diagnostic assays and the future development of molecular tools for the rapid differentiation of cryptic Culicoides species. PMID:24884950

  8. 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-specific abundance during the start and end of seasonal activity in temperate regions to facilitate refinement of ruminant movement restrictions thereby reducing the impact of Culicoides-borne arboviruses. PMID:25386940

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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, suggesting that this species may have a preference for sheep. Conclusions An insight into the feeding behaviour of local Culicoides species under field conditions in northeast Germany was obtained, with implications for the implementation of control measures and midge-borne disease risk analysis. PMID:24438698

  12. 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, could be realized with high specificity and sensitivity. Conclusion To elucidate the biological characteristics of potential vectors of disease agents, such as ecology, behaviour and vector competence, and the role of these haematophagous arthropods in the epidemiology of the diseases, simple, cost-effective and, most importantly, reliable identification techniques are necessary. The PCR assay presented will help to identify culicoid vector species and therefore add to bluetongue and Schmallenberg disease research including vector control and monitoring. PMID:23013614