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Sample records for glaucous gulls larus

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2004-01-01

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

  3. Plastic consumption and diet of Glaucous-winged Gulls (Larus glaucescens).

    PubMed

    Lindborg, Valerie A; Ledbetter, Julia F; Walat, Jean M; Moffett, Cinamon

    2012-11-01

    We analyzed dietary habits and presence of plastic in 589 boluses of Glaucous-winged Gulls (Larus glaucescens) as one of two studies on the impact of plastics on marine life in the US Salish Sea. Volunteers dissected boluses collected (2007-2010) from Protection Island, Washington. Components were separated into 23 food and non-food categories. Plastic was found in 12.2% of boluses, with plastic film being the most common plastic form. No diet specialization was observed. Vegetation was the most abundant component, found in 91.3% of boluses. No relationship was observed between any dietary items and occurrence or type of plastic found. Load and potential ecological impact in the marine environment can be expected to increase concurrently with increasing plastic use and number and variety of plastic sources. Future studies are necessary to understand the impacts of plastic ingestion on this species. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed Central

    Blight, Louise K.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. Evidence of weak contaminant-related oxidative stress in glaucous gulls (Larus hyperboreus) from the Canadian Arctic.

    PubMed

    Wayland, Mark; Hoffman, David J; Mallory, Mark L; Alisauskas, Ray T; Stebbins, Katherine R

    2010-01-01

    Environmental contaminants are transported over great distances to Arctic ecosystems, where they can accumulate in wildlife. Whether contaminant concentrations in wildlife are sufficient to produce adverse effects remains poorly understood. Exposure to contaminants elevates oxidative stress with possible fitness consequences. The glaucous gull (Larus hyperboreus), an Arctic top predator, was used as a bioindicator for investigating relationships between contaminant levels (organochlorines and polychlorinated biphenyls [OC/PCB], mercury [Hg], and selenium [Se]) and measures of oxidative stress (glutathione [GSH] metabolism and lipid peroxidation) in Canadian Arctic ecosystems. Contaminant levels were low and associations between contaminant exposure and oxidative stress were weak. Nevertheless, glutathione peroxidase activity rose with increasing hepatic Se concentrations, levels of thiols declined as Hg and OC/PCB levels rose, and at one of the two study sites levels of lipid peroxidation were elevated with increasing levels of hepatic Hg. These results suggest the possibility of a deleterious effect of exposure to contaminants on gull physiology even at low contaminant exposures.

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-01-01

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

  8. The Glaucous-Winged Gull (Larus glaucescens) as an Indicator of Chemical Contaminants in the Canadian Pacific Marine Environment: Evidence from Stable Isotopes.

    PubMed

    Davis, M L; Elliott, J E; Williams, T D

    2017-08-01

    The Glaucous-winged gull (Larus glaucescens) has been selected by Environment Canada as a marine indicator species for long-term monitoring of persistent contaminants in the Canadian Pacific. However, the indicator value of this species depends on its trophic level and proportion of marine prey in its diet. Eggs, used as the monitoring medium, are produced entirely from maternal resources and knowledge of adult diet before and during egg production is critical to interpreting contaminant levels. Due to a lack of recent and reliable dietary ecology work, we examined the diet of breeding Glaucous-winged gulls through carbon (δ(13)C) and nitrogen (δ(15)N) stable isotope analysis at three colonies on the Pacific coast. Near-shore marine prey, occupying a high trophic level (δ(15)N), composed a predominant component of all Glaucous-winged gull diet. Adult diet composition from colonies in the Salish Sea was more varied than the west coast of Vancouver Island, reflecting the opportunistic foraging nature of this species in areas where the abundance of marine prey is known to fluctuate. Compared with incubating adults, pre-laying adults had a significantly lower trophic level that may reflect the need to consume marine invertebrates to acquire specific nutrients necessary for egg production. Interannual variation in both trophic level and prey source (δ(13)C) in egg and chick tissues indicates the need to pair ongoing contaminant monitoring with stable isotope analysis. The predominantly marine diet and relatively high trophic level of this gull supports its use as an indicator of marine pollution on the Pacific coast.

  9. Polychlorinated camphenes (toxaphenes), polybrominated diphenylethers and other halogenated organic pollutants in glaucous gull (Larus hyperboreus) from Svalbard and Bjørnøya (Bear Island).

    PubMed

    Herzke, Dorte; Gabrielsen, Geir Wing; Evenset, Anita; Burkow, Ivan C

    2003-01-01

    The levels of polychlorinated camphenes (toxaphenes) were investigated in liver samples from 18 glaucous gulls (Larus hyperboreus) from Bjørnøya (74 degrees N, 19 degrees E) and four individuals from Longyearbyen (78 degrees N, 15 degrees E). Additionally brominated flame retardants (BFRs), PCBs and chlorinated pesticides were investigated in liver and intestinal contents of 15 of the glaucous gulls from Bjørnøya. Of the analysed BFRs only 2,2',4,4'-tetra- and 2,2',4,4',5-pentabrominated diphenylethers (PBDE 47 and 99) could be detected. The concentrations ranged between 2 and 25 ng/g ww. In addition, high resolution measurements with GC/HRMS revealed the existence of several, not quantified, PBDEs and polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs) congeners in the samples. B9-1679 and B8-1413 were the dominating toxaphenes with median concentrations of 8 and 15 ng/g ww. Concentrations of toxaphenes and PBDEs were up to 100-times lower than the concentrations of PCB and some of the pesticides. PCB and p,p/-DDE constituted 90% of the contaminants found.

  10. Enterobacter cloacae with a novel variant of ACT AmpC beta-lactamase originating from glaucous gull (Larus hyperboreus) in Svalbard.

    PubMed

    Literak, Ivan; Manga, Ivan; Wojczulanis-Jakubas, Katarzyna; Chroma, Magdalena; Jamborova, Ivana; Dobiasova, Hana; Sedlakova, Miroslava Htoutou; Cizek, Alois

    2014-07-16

    We aimed at Escherichia coli and Enterobacter cloacae isolates resistant to cephalosporins and fluoroquinolones and Salmonella isolates in wild birds in Arctic Svalbard, Norway. Cloacal swabs of little auks (Alle alle, n=215) and samples of faeces of glaucous gulls (Larus hyperboreus, n=15) were examined. Inducible production of AmpC enzyme was detected in E. cloacae KW218 isolate. Sequence analysis of the 1146 bp PCR product of the ampC gene from this isolate revealed 99% sequence homology with the blaACT-14 and blaACT-5 AmpC beta-lactamase genes. Four, respectively six of the identified single nucleotide polymorphisms generated amino acid substitutions in the amino acid chain. As the ampC sequence polymorphism in the investigated E. cloacae strain was identified as unique, we revealed a novel variant of the ampC beta-lactamase gene blaACT-23.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Powell, Abby N.; Weiser, Emily L.

    2010-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2004-01-01

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

  14. Microsatellites identify depredated waterfowl remains from glaucous gull stomachs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1998-01-01

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

  15. Immune function and organochlorine pollutants in Arctic breeding glaucous gulls.

    PubMed

    Bustnes, J O; Hanssen, S A; Folstad, I; Erikstad, K E; Hasselquist, D; Skaare, J U

    2004-11-01

    Organochlorine contaminants (OCs) are known to affect the immune systems of wildlife, and in this study we assessed the relationship between blood concentration of different OCs and measurements relevant to immune status and function in arctic breeding glaucous gulls (Larus hyperboreus). In 1997 and 2001, we counted white blood cells (heterophils and lymphocytes) from blood smears, and in 2000 and 2001 we injected two novel nonpathogenic antigens (diphtheria and tetanus toxoids) into the pectoral muscle of gulls and measured the primary antibody responses. We then related these measurements to the blood concentrations of three pesticides (hexachlorobenzene [HCB], oxychlordane, and p,p'-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene) and seven different polychlorinated biphenyl congeners (PCB 101, 99, 118, 153, 138, 180, and 170). There were significant or near significant positive relationships (0.1 > p > 0.001) between most persistent OCs and the levels of heterophils in the blood for both sexes in 1997 and for male gulls in 2001. Similarly, levels of all persistent OCs and lymphocytes were positively related (0.1 > p > 0.001) in both sexes in 1997. This suggests that OCs are causing alterations to immune systems, which may decrease their efficiency and make the birds more susceptible to parasites and diseases. In female gulls, the antibody response to the diphtheria toxoid was significant and negative for HCB (p < 0.01) and weaker, but significant, for oxychlordane (p < 0.05), suggesting that OCs were causing an impairment of the humoral immunity. Various OCs have been linked to negative effects in our study population, including decreased survival and reproduction, and this study suggests that such compounds also affect immune status and function.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1998-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-03-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Burger, Joanna; Gochfeld, Michael

    2009-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Burger, Joanna; Gochfeld, Michael

    2014-01-01

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

  3. Dietary changes and poor reproductive performance in Glaucous-winged Gulls

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Murphy, Edward C.; Day, Robert H.; Oakley, Karen L.; Hoover, A. Anne

    1984-01-01

    The breeding phenology of Glaucous-winged Gulls (Larus glaucescens) on Squab Island, Aialik Bay, Alaska in 1979 was identical to that in 1980, but clutch sizes and later reproductive performance differed markedly. In 1979, clutch sizes were small, but chick growth rates and survivorship were high. In contrast, clutch sizes were large in 1980, but chick growth rates were slow, and chick survivorship was extremely low. The different patterns of reproductive success appear to be related primarily to annual differences in foods utilized by adults. When adults fed primarily on blue mussels (Mytilus edulis), reproductive performance suffered, i.e. at the time of egg laying in 1979 and during the chick period in 1980. A switch to mussels from other prey types thus probably indicates a lack of availability of more suitable or preferred foods. Reproductive success at this colony appears to be strongly food limited; the timing of such limitation is not confined to a particular stage of reproduction.

  4. Community structure of lice (Insecta: Phthiraptera) from two sympatric gull species: kelp gull (Larus dominicanus) and Franklin's gull (Larus pipixcan) in Talcahuano, Chile.

    PubMed

    González-Acuña, D; Corvalan, F; Barrientos, C; Doussang, D; Mathieu, C; Nilsson, L; Casanueva, M E; Palma, R L

    2011-01-01

    A total of 1,177 lice of four species were collected from 124 kelp gulls (Larus dominicanus) and 137 lice of the same four species from 60 Franklin's gulls (Larus pipixcan). The louse Saemundssonia lari (O Fabricius) (Phthiraptera: Philopteridae) was the most numerous on both gull species, with infestation rates of 4.9 on kelp gulls and 1.8 on Franklin's gulls. The second most abundant louse was Quadraceps punctatus (Burmeister), with a high infestation rate but low prevalence on kelp gulls; those parameters were much lower among lice from Franklin's gulls. The composition and community structure of the lice were similar on both host species, but not their infestation rates. In addition, the feather mite Zachvatkinia larica Mironov (Acari: Avenzoariidae) is recorded from kelp gulls and Franklin's gulls for the first time, while the gamasid mite Larinyssus sp. is recorded from kelp gulls, also for the first time. The population parameters of all species of ectoparasites are discussed.

  5. Climate variability and temporal trends of persistent organic pollutants in the arctic: a study of glaucous gulls.

    PubMed

    Bustnes, Jan O; Gabrielsen, Geir W; Verreault, Jonathan

    2010-04-15

    The impact of climate variability on temporal trends (1997-2006) of persistent organic pollutants (POPs; polychlorinated biphenyls [PCB], hexachlorobenzene [HCB], and oxychlordane) was assessed in glaucous gulls (Larus hyperboreus) breeding in the Norwegian Arctic (n = 240). The Arctic Oscillation (AO: an index of sea-level pressure variability in the Northern Hemisphere above 20 degrees N) with different time lags was used as a climate proxy. The estimated concentrations of POPs in glaucous gull blood/plasma declined substantially (16-60%) over the time period. Multiple regression analyses showed that the rates of decline for POPs were correlated to climate variation when controlling for potential confounding variables (sex and body condition). More specifically AO in the current winter showed negative associations with POP concentrations, whereas the relationships with AO measurements from the year preceding POP measurements (AO preceding summer and AO preceding winter) were positive. Hence, gulls had relatively higher POP concentrations in breeding seasons following years with high air transport toward the Arctic. Furthermore, the impact of AO appeared to be stronger for HCB, a relatively volatile compound with high transport potential, compared to heavy chlorinated PCB congeners. This study thus suggests that predicted climate change should be considered in assessments of future temporal trends of POPs in Arctic wildlife.

  6. First record of laughing gull (Larus atricilla) in French Polynesia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Vanderwerf, Eric A.; Pierce, Ray J.; Tibbitts, T.L.; Salducci, J.-M.; Gill, V.A.; Wragg, Graham

    2004-01-01

    On 6 March 2003 at 0800 h and again at 1300 h, while preparing for biological surveys in the Tuamotu and Gambier archipelagos of French Polynesia, we observed an immature gull flying in Rikitea harbor on Mangareva in the Gambier Islands. On both occasions we observed the gull for several minutes at distances as close as 20 m while it flew around the waterfront. It was a medium-sized gull, with long, pointed wings. The head was white with dark streaks and smudging on the nape. The bill was dark and of moderate length and thickness. The back and inner secondaries were dark grey, and the outer secondaries and primaries were a mottled dusky grey-brown. There was a complete, broad, dark band across the tip of the tail. These characters, particularly the long, pointed wings and broad tail band, led us to conclude that the bird was a laughing gull (Larus atricilla) in first winter plumage. Franklin’s gull (L. pipixcan) is similar in appearance and has been reported previously in several Pacific island groups (King 1967; Pratt et al. 1987), but can be distinguished from L. atricilla by its slightly smaller size, smaller bill, and narrower, incomplete tail band (Sibley 2000).

  7. Mathematical modeling of appendicular bone growth in glaucous-winged gulls.

    PubMed

    Hayward, James L; Henson, Shandelle M; Banks, John C; Lyn, Sheena L

    2009-01-01

    Development of locomotor activity is crucial in tetrapods. In birds, this development leads to different functions for hindlimbs and forelimbs. The emergence of walking and flying as very different complex behavior patterns only weeks after hatching provides an interesting case study in animal development. We measured the diaphyseal lengths and midshaft diameters of three wing bones (humerus, ulna, and carpometacarpus) and three leg bones (femur, tibiotarsus, and tarsometatarsus) of 79 juvenile (ages 0-42 days) and 13 adult glaucous-winged gulls (Larus glaucescens), a semiprecocial species. From a suite of nine alternative mathematical models, we used information-theoretic criteria to determine the best model(s) for length and diameter of each bone as a function of age; that is, we determined the model(s) that obtained the best tradeoff between the minimized sum of squared residuals and the number of parameters used to fit the model. The Janoschek and Holling III models best described bone growth, with at least one of these models yielding an R(2) > or = 0.94 for every dimension except tarsometatarsus diameter (R(2) = 0.87). We used the best growth models to construct accurate allometric comparisons of the bones. Early maximal absolute growth rates characterize the humerus, femur, and tarsometatarsus, bones that assume adult-type support functions relatively early during juvenile development. Leg bone lengths exhibit more rapid but less sustained relative growth than wing bone lengths. Wing bone diameters are initially smaller than leg bone diameters, although this relationship is reversed by fledging. Wing bones and the femur approach adult length by fledging but continue to increase in diameter past fledging; the tibiotarsus and tarsometatarsus approach both adult length and diameter by fledging. In short, the pattern of bone growth in this semiprecocial species reflects the changing behavioral needs of the developing organism.

  8. 75 FR 71731 - Notice of Availability of the Record of Decision for the Harvest of Glaucous-Winged Gull Eggs by...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-11-24

    ... Gull Eggs by Huna Tlingit in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve Legislative Environmental Impact... for the Harvest of Glaucous-Winged Gull Eggs by Huna Tlingit in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve... Harvest of Glaucous-Winged Gull Eggs by Huna Tlingit in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. The...

  9. Probable epizootic chlamydiosis in wild California (Larus californicus) and ring-billed (Larus delawarensis) gulls in North Dakota

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Franson, J.C.; Pearson, J.E.

    1995-01-01

    During the summer of 1986, more than 400 California gulls (Larus californicus) and ring-billed gulls (Larvus delawarensis), primarily fledglings, died on an island in Lake Sakakawea near New Town, North Dakota (USA). Mortality was attributed largely to chlamydiosis. Necropsy findings in nine carcasses included splenomegaly (n = 9), hepatomegaly (n = 4), and pericarditis (n = 1). Livers from three California gulls and two ring-billed gulls, and spleens from the same five birds plus a third ring-billed gull were positive for Chlamydia psittaci by the direct immunofluorescence test. Chlamydia psittaci was isolated from separate pools of liver and spleen from one California gull and one ring-billed gull. This is believed to be the first record of epizootic chlamydiosis in gulls and the second report of epizootic chlamydial mortality in wild birds in North America.

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

    PubMed

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

    2001-01-01

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

  11. Fidelity and persistence of Ring-billed (Larus delawarensis) and Herring (Larus argentatus) gulls to wintering sites

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2016-01-01

    While the breeding ecology of gulls (Laridae) has been well studied, their movements and spatial organization during the non-breeding season is poorly understood. The seasonal movements, winter-site fidelity, and site persistence of Ring-billed (Larus delawarensis) and Herring (L. argentatus) gulls to wintering areas were studied from 2008–2012. Satellite transmitters were deployed on Ring-billed Gulls (n = 21) and Herring Gulls (n = 14). Ten Ring-billed and six Herring gulls were tracked over multiple winters and > 300 wing-tagged Ring-billed Gulls were followed to determine winter-site fidelity and persistence. Home range overlap for individuals between years ranged between 0–1.0 (95% minimum convex polygon) and 0.31–0.79 (kernel utilization distributions). Ringbilled and Herring gulls remained at local wintering sites during the non-breeding season from 20–167 days and 74–161 days, respectively. The probability of a tagged Ring-billed Gull returning to the same site in subsequent winters was high; conversely, there was a low probability of a Ring-billed Gull returning to a different site. Ring-billed and Herring gulls exhibited high winter-site fidelity, but exhibited variable site persistence during the winter season, leading to a high probability of encountering the same individuals in subsequent winters.

  12. Dechlorane Plus in eggs of two gull species (Larus michahellis and Larus audouinii) from the southwestern Mediterranean Sea.

    PubMed

    Muñoz-Arnanz, Juan; Roscales, Jose Luis; Vicente, Alba; Aguirre, Jose Ignacio; Jiménez, Begoña

    2012-11-01

    Dechlorane Plus (DP) and some of its possible degradation products were measured in eggs from the yellow-legged gull (Larus michahellis) and Audouin's gull (Larus audouinii) from a protected area in the southwestern Mediterranean Sea. Statistically significant differences were found between both gull species, with yellow-legged gull eggs showing the highest average total DP concentration (209 pg/g wet weight). According to stable nitrogen and carbon isotope values, variations in DP concentrations in the gull species studied are explained by foraging behavior and diet rather than by the trophic position. Both DP stereoisomers were quantified in all the samples studied, and a slight enrichment of the anti-DP could have occurred in both species. The quantification of anti-[DP-1Cl] only in ∼58 % of yellow-legged gulls support the hypothesis of a species-dependent factor influencing the bioaccumulation and/or biotransformation of Dechlorane-related compounds. This study reports on the first measurements of Dechlorane-related compounds in biota from the North African continent, contributing to the knowledge about DP environmental fate and distribution. In the light of our results, more research on differences in species-dependent bioaccumulation and biotransformation capabilities as well as ecological effects is encouraged in future Dechlorane-related compound studies.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

  14. 75 FR 29574 - Final Legislative Environmental Impact Statement for the Harvest of Glaucous-Winged Gull Eggs by...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-05-26

    ... Environmental Impact Statement for the Harvest of Glaucous-Winged Gull Eggs by the Huna Tlingit in Glacier Bay... Glacier Bay National Park. SUMMARY: The National Park Service (NPS) announces the availability of a final... Tlingit in Glacier Bay National Park. The document describes and analyzes the environmental impacts of...

  15. Extensive mitochondrial introgression in North American Great Black-backed Gulls (Larus marinus) from the American Herring Gull (Larus smithsonianus) with little nuclear DNA impact.

    PubMed

    Pons, J-M; Sonsthagen, S; Dove, C; Crochet, P-A

    2014-03-01

    Recent genetic studies have shown that introgression rates among loci may greatly vary according to their location in the genome. In particular, several cases of mito-nuclear discordances have been reported for a wide range of organisms. In the present study, we examine the causes of discordance between mitochondrial (mtDNA) and nuclear DNA introgression detected in North American populations of the Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus), a Holarctic species, from the Nearctic North American Herring Gull (Larus smithsonianus). Our results show that extensive unidirectional mtDNA introgression from Larus smithsonianus into Larus marinus in North America cannot be explained by ancestral polymorphism but most likely results from ancient hybridization events occurring when Larus marinus invaded the North America. Conversely, our nuclear DNA results based on 12 microsatellites detected very little introgression from Larus smithsonianus into North American Larus marinus. We discuss these results in the framework of demographic and selective mechanisms that have been postulated to explain mito-nuclear discrepancies. We were unable to demonstrate selection as the main cause of mito-nuclear introgression discordance but cannot dismiss the possible role of selection in the observed pattern. Among demographic explanations, only drift in small populations and bias in mate choice in an invasive context may explain our results. As it is often difficult to demonstrate that selection may be the main factor driving the introgression of mitochondrial DNA in natural populations, we advocate that evaluating alternative demographic neutral hypotheses may help to indirectly support or reject hypotheses invoking selective processes.

  16. Extensive mitochondrial introgression in North American Great Black-backed Gulls (Larus marinus) from the American Herring Gull (Larus smithsonianus) with little nuclear DNA impact

    PubMed Central

    Pons, J-M; Sonsthagen, S; Dove, C; Crochet, P-A

    2014-01-01

    Recent genetic studies have shown that introgression rates among loci may greatly vary according to their location in the genome. In particular, several cases of mito-nuclear discordances have been reported for a wide range of organisms. In the present study, we examine the causes of discordance between mitochondrial (mtDNA) and nuclear DNA introgression detected in North American populations of the Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus), a Holarctic species, from the Nearctic North American Herring Gull (Larus smithsonianus). Our results show that extensive unidirectional mtDNA introgression from Larus smithsonianus into Larus marinus in North America cannot be explained by ancestral polymorphism but most likely results from ancient hybridization events occurring when Larus marinus invaded the North America. Conversely, our nuclear DNA results based on 12 microsatellites detected very little introgression from Larus smithsonianus into North American Larus marinus. We discuss these results in the framework of demographic and selective mechanisms that have been postulated to explain mito-nuclear discrepancies. We were unable to demonstrate selection as the main cause of mito-nuclear introgression discordance but cannot dismiss the possible role of selection in the observed pattern. Among demographic explanations, only drift in small populations and bias in mate choice in an invasive context may explain our results. As it is often difficult to demonstrate that selection may be the main factor driving the introgression of mitochondrial DNA in natural populations, we advocate that evaluating alternative demographic neutral hypotheses may help to indirectly support or reject hypotheses invoking selective processes. PMID:24105440

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

    PubMed

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

    2000-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-08-01

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

  19. Persistent Organic Pollutants in gull eggs of two species (Larus michahellis and Larus audouinii) from the Ebro delta Natural Park.

    PubMed

    Morales, Laura; Martrat, Maria Generosa; Olmos, Jorge; Parera, Jordi; Vicente, Joana; Bertolero, Albert; Abalos, Manuela; Lacorte, Silvia; Santos, Francisco Javier; Abad, Esteban

    2012-09-01

    The aim of this study was to determine the impact of priority and emerging Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in gull eggs from two species, the scavenger Larus michahellis and the protected species, Larus audouinii. These two species share habitat in the Natural Park of the Ebro delta (Catalonia, Spain). Compounds studied are included or under consideration in the Stockholm Convention and comprise polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and furans (PCDD/Fs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), organochlorinated compounds (OCs), perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) and short chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs). Four methods based in selective extraction and gas or liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry were used and quality parameters are provided. OC pesticides and marker PCBs were the most abundant chemical families detected in eggs from the two species, followed by PFCs, PBDEs (especially BDE 209) and SCCPs. Dioxin-like PCBs and PCDD/Fs were also detected in all samples. The overall widespread presence of POPs is discussed in terms of feeding habits, bird ecology and anthropogenic pressures in the protected Ebro delta breeding area. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

    Kim, Jungsoo; Oh, Jon-Min

    2014-10-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2007-01-01

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

  2. Antimicrobial Resistance of Salmonella Serovars and Campylobacter spp. Isolated from an Opportunistic Gull Species, Yellow-legged Gull ( Larus michahellis ).

    PubMed

    Migura-Garcia, Lourdes; Ramos, Raül; Cerdà-Cuéllar, Marta

    2017-01-01

    Wildlife is a natural reservoir of Salmonella and Campylobacter, the most important human foodborne pathogens worldwide. Free-living birds have the potential to transport, over large distances, such zoonotic bacteria that may harbor antimicrobial resistance traits. On the northeastern Iberian coast, we assessed the role of Yellow-legged Gulls ( Larus michahellis ) as reservoirs of antimicrobial resistance in Salmonella and thermophilic Campylobacter isolates recovered from gulls at three colonies, with varying degrees of dependence on refuse dumps as food sources. Of the 39 Salmonella isolates we tested, 17 were multiresistant (resistance to three antimicrobial families), with eight being Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium. Other clinically relevant Salmonella serovars showing multiresistance included Hadar, Bredeney, and Virchow. Relevant Campylobacter antimicrobial resistances were detected among three Campylobacter jejuni isolates, of which all three showed resistance to nalidixic acid, two were resistant to ciprofloxacin, one was resistant to enrofloxacin, and one was resistant to tetracycline. Our results highlight the importance of free-living gulls with opportunistic feeding habits in the dissemination of enteric pathogens resistant to multiple antimicrobial agents of public health concern.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burger, Joanna; Gochfeld, Michael

    1991-02-01

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

  4. Comparisons of host specificity in feather louse genera (Insecta: Phthiraptera: Philopteridae) parasitizing gulls (Aves: Laridae: Larus).

    PubMed

    Yamagishi, Ayaka; Yao, Izumi; Johnson, Kevin P; Yoshizawa, Kazunori

    2014-06-01

    Data from gene sequences and morphological structures were collected for the gull feather lice, Saemundssonia lari, Quadraceps punctatus, and Q. ornatus, parasitizing Larus crassirostris and L. schistisagus. Saemundssonia lari was collected from both gull species, and no detectable morphological and genetic differences were found between lice collected from the two different hosts. In contrast, Q. punctatus was only collected from L. crassirostris, whereas Q. ornatus was only collected from L. schistisagus. The two Quadraceps species were genetically highly divergent, and body-size differences corresponding to the gull's body size (Harrison's rule) were also detected between them. Both Quadraceps species were collected from the interbarb of the remex or rectrix, and a match in body size between the louse and the interbarb space may be important in escape from host preening defenses. In contrast, Saemundssonia is a head louse, inhabiting the finer feathers of the head and neck, which the bird cannot preen. A close match to host body size may be less important for lice in the head microhabitat. The differences in the pattern of host-specificity between Saemundssonia and Quadraceps on the two focal host species of this study were probably due to their different microhabitat preferences. More broadly, comparisons of the gene sequences of S. lari and Q. punctatus to those from other gull hosts showed that genetically almost undifferentiated populations of both species were distributed on wide range of gull species. Frequent interspecific hybridization of gulls is one possible factor that may allow these lice to maintain gene flow across multiple host species.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1983-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Burger, Joanna; Elbin, Susan

    2015-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Elbin, Susan

    2014-01-01

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

  8. Enteric infections by trematodes and nematodes in Olrog's gull, Larus atlanticus.

    PubMed

    La Sala, Luciano F; Smits, Judit E; Martorelli, Sergio R

    2012-12-01

    Trematodes and nematodes can be pathogenic helminths of birds. Every year during the breeding season, there is variable mortality among chicks from the largest Olrog's gull (Larus atlanticus) colony in Argentina. During two consecutive breeding seasons of Olrog's gull, we studied epidemiological and pathological aspects of infections by digeneans (Microphallidae) and nematodes (Acuariidae) in Olrog's gull chicks. Prevalence of nematode infection was 80.3% in 2005 and 89.2% in 2006, and mean intensity was 23.7 in 2005 and 50.8 in 2006. The risk for infection rose 34.3% and the intensity of infection 6.7% for every increase of 1 mm in head-beak length. The nematodes occupied the proventricular glands and caused disruption of their structure and mild inflammatory proventriculitis. Prevalence of digenean infection was 97.0% in 2005 and 97.3% in 2006. In 10-day-old live chicks, prevalence was 98.0% in 2006 and 95.3% in 2007. Infection was associated with severe catarrhal enteritis, lymphocyte/eosinophil-rich inflammatory responses, extensive fibroblast proliferation around the parasites, and disruption of the architecture of the adjacent crypts.

  9. Interseasonal variation in blood concentrations of organochlorines in great black-backed gulls (Larus marinus).

    PubMed

    Bustnes, Jan Ove; Skaare, Janneche Utne; Berg, Vidar; Tveraa, Torkild

    2005-07-01

    In two subsequent breeding seasons (2001 and 2002), we measured 12 organochlorines (OCs), including hexachlorobenzene (HCB), beta-hexachlorocyclohexane (beta-HCH), p,p'-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE), oxychlordane, and eight polychlorinated biphenyl congeners (PCBs), in the blood of the same 25 great black-backed gulls (Larus marinus). The wet-weight concentrations of different OCs in the blood decreased between 45 and 60% from 2001 to 2002. The main reasons for this were lower blood-lipid concentrations and higher body condition in 2002 compared to 2001. The differences in blood lipids and body condition probably resulted from changes in the availability of different prey types between the years. Despite the variation in the blood concentrations of OCs, there was a high predictability of the relative relationship among individuals between the years, especially for the most-persistent compounds (persistent PCBs, oxychlordane, and DDE); that is, individuals with high levels in 2001 still had relatively high levels compared to other individuals in 2002. This suggests that a concentration obtained from a single blood sample is a relatively reliable measurement of OC burdens for individual great black-backed gulls compared to other individuals, independent of changes in mean OC levels within the population. However, by including information about the nutritional status of individuals, more precise interference from samples in different years and locations may be made. Moreover, the great seasonal variation in OC levels within individuals may have implications for how OC monitoring should be conducted in gull populations.

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

    PubMed

    Kim, Jungsoo; Oh, Jong-Min

    2015-05-01

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

  11. Campylobacter volucris sp. nov., isolated from black-headed gulls (Larus ridibundus).

    PubMed

    Debruyne, Lies; Broman, Tina; Bergström, Sven; Olsen, Björn; On, Stephen L W; Vandamme, Peter

    2010-08-01

    During a study of the prevalence of Campylobacter jejuni in black-headed gulls (Larus ridibundus) in Sweden, three isolates, strains LMG 24379, LMG 24380T and LMG 24381, were initially identified as Campylobacter lari. Further characterization by both AFLP and whole-cell protein SDS-PAGE analyses revealed that they formed a distinct group in the genus Campylobacter. This unique position was confirmed by phenotypic characterization, 16S rRNA and hsp60 gene sequence analysis and DNA-DNA hybridizations. The combined data confirm that these isolates represent a novel species within the genus Campylobacter, for which the name Campylobacter volucris sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is LMG 24380T (=CCUG 57498T).

  12. Organochlorines and heavy metals in Herring Gull (Larus argentatus) eggs and chicks from the same clutch

    SciTech Connect

    Becker, P.H. ); Sperveslage, H. )

    1989-05-01

    In an earlier paper the authors investigated the intraclutch variability in levels of toxic pollutants and compared this contamination with that of the female Herring Gull (Larus argentatus) after production of the clutch in question. In the present study, they examine the concentrations of contaminants in chicks as compared with one egg of the same clutch. Such studies are important with regard to the question as to which ontogenetic stage is most endangered by toxic pollutants. Some investigations concerning this problem have already been carried out, but they don't refer to samples taken from the same clutches. Chicks receive contaminants mainly from two sources: from the egg, which reflects directly the contamination of the breeding female as well as from the food. Moreover the concentrations of pollutants in chicks vary with growth-dependent body distribution and with a decline of the lipid content.

  13. Seasonal movements and migration of Pallas's Gulls Larus ichthyaetus from Qinghai Lake, China

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Muzaffar, S.B.; Takekawa, J.Y.; Prosser, D.J.; Douglas, D.C.; Yan, B.; Xing, Z.; Hou, Y.; Palm, E.C.; Newman, S.H.

    2008-01-01

    We studied the seasonal movements and migration often Pallas's Gulls Larus ichthyaetus trom Qinghai Lake to assess migratory routes and stopover areas. Each individual was captured and equipped with an 18 g solar-powered Platform Transmitter Terminal (PIT) to track its movements from September 2007 to May 2008. Six individuals remained near Qinghai Lake until the PTTs stopped transmitting. Three individuals flew 50-330 km from Qinghai Lake to nearby salt lakes. One individual departed on 8 December and flew over 1,700 km south-west to arrive at coastal Bangladesh on 9 January 2008. Two individuals flew in October to the Brahmaputra River in Assam, India, remaining in the area for at least one month until one stopped transmitting. The second individual travelled southwest to coastal Bangladesh. Of the two individuals overwintering in Bangladesh, one remained for 67 days before migrating north. The second bird departed after 96 days, and it returned to Qinghai on 10 May 2008 after 48 days in migration. Both individuals that overwintered in coastal Bangladesh arrived much later than the outbreaks of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HP AI H5N I) in poultry in 2007. This disparity in timing would tentatively suggest that this species was not involved in long-distance movements of the virus. Instead, the converse may be true: previous work demonstrates the potential for virus spill-over trom poultry into gulls and other wild bird species upon arrival into locations with widespread HPAI H5NI outbreaks and environmental contamination.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    We studied the influence of glacial oscillations on the genetic structure of seven species of white-headed gull that breed at high latitudes (Larus argentatus, L. canus, L. glaucescens, L. glaucoides, L. hyperboreus, L. schistisagus, and L. thayeri). We evaluated localities hypothesized as ice-free areas or glacial refugia in other Arctic vertebrates using molecular data from 11 microsatellite loci, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region, and six nuclear introns for 32 populations across the Holarctic. Moderate levels of genetic structure were observed for microsatellites (FST= 0.129), introns (ΦST= 0.185), and mtDNA control region (ΦST= 0.461), with among-group variation maximized when populations were grouped based on subspecific classification. Two haplotype and at least two allele groups were observed across all loci. However, no haplotype/allele group was composed solely of individuals of a single species, a pattern consistent with recent divergence. Furthermore, northernmost populations were not well differentiated and among-group variation was maximized when L. argentatus and L. hyberboreus populations were grouped by locality rather than species, indicating recent hybridization. Four populations are located in putative Pleistocene glacial refugia and had larger τ estimates than the other 28 populations. However, we were unable to substantiate these putative refugia using coalescent theory, as all populations had genetic signatures of stability based on mtDNA. The extent of haplotype and allele sharing among Arctic white-headed gull species is noteworthy. Studies of other Arctic taxa have generally revealed species-specific clusters as well as genetic structure within species, usually correlated with geography. Aspects of white-headed gull behavioral biology, such as colonization ability and propensity to hybridize, as well as their recent evolutionary history, have likely played a large role in the limited genetic structure observed. PMID:22833800

  16. Food availability and nest predation influence life history traits in Audouin's gull, Larus audouinii.

    PubMed

    Oro, Daniel; Pradel, Roger; Lebreton, Jean-Dominique

    1999-03-01

    The effects of food availability and nest predation on several life history traits such as adult survival, dispersal, and reproductive performance were assessed in an Audouin's gull (Larus audouinii) colony during the period 1992-1997. The amounts of fish discarded from trawlers were used as a measure of food availability, and a trawling moratorium which partially overlapped with the breeding season of the gulls was taken into account. The effects of nest predation were assessed in 1994, when a terrestrial predator entered the colony and remained for the whole breeding season preying on both eggs and chicks. Using the moratorium and the predatory event as natural experiments, several hypotheses were tested: (a) food supply would affect breeding performance but not adult survival (independently of age and sex), since gulls are long-lived and adult survival is the most sensitive demographic parameter in their population dynamics; (b) the predator would trigger breeding dispersal (although gulls are mostly philopatric, they are known to abandon their natal colony after breeding failure instigated by events such as this). If breeding dispersal occurs, the rate is expected to be higher in females than in males, and higher in new breeders than in more experienced breeding birds, as is usually recorded in colonial seabirds. Probabilities of resighting and survival were estimated separately, using capture-recapture models. As expected, changes in food availability did not affect adult survival, whereas they influenced egg volume, clutch size, and breeding success. Local adult survival was estimated to be 0.908 (SD = 0.007) for males and females, and it did not change significantly with the age of individuals (range 3-8 years). The predator significantly decreased breeding success, and caused the dispersal of a number of adults probably to breed in another colony; this rate was estimated at an average of 0.10 (SD = 0.02). As expected, inexperienced breeders

  17. Gull eggs--food of high organic pollutant content?

    PubMed

    Pusch, Kerstin; Schlabach, Martin; Prinzinger, Roland; Wing Gabrielsen, Geir

    2005-06-01

    A wide range and occasionally high levels of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are reported in Arctic regions, especially among top predators. Polar bears (Ursus maritimus), arctic foxes (Alopex lagopus) and some gull species (Larus spp.) often have high levels of these fat-soluble pollutants. Gulls deposit significant levels of these contaminants in their eggs. In northern regions, gull eggs are part of the traditional human diet. In the present study we have investigated the levels of POPs in gull eggs in order to determine the tolerable weekly intake (TWI) for humans. Concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs) and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs) were measured in 214 gull eggs collected in the spring of 2001-02. The eggs were collected from four gull species (herring gulls (Larus argentatus), great black-backed gulls (L. marinus), lesser black-backed gulls (L. fuscus) and glaucous gulls (L. hyperboreus)) at 12 different locations in Northern Norway, on the Faroe Islands and on Svalbard. The pollutant levels in gull eggs were found to be 65.5 +/- 26.9 pg toxic equivalent (TE) for dioxin and PCB g(-1) wet weight. Based on these findings and the TWI-value determined by the EU Scientific Committee on Food it is advised that children, young women and pregnant and nursing women should not eat gull eggs. Other people should limit their intake of eggs to an absolute minimum, considering the health risks associated with gull egg intake.

  18. Characterization of AhR agonists reveals antagonistic activity in European herring gull (Larus argentatus) eggs.

    PubMed

    Muusse, Martine; Christensen, Guttorm; Gomes, Tânia; Kočan, Anton; Langford, Katherine; Tollefsen, Knut Erik; Vaňková, Lenka; Thomas, Kevin V

    2015-05-01

    European herring gull (Larus argentatus) eggs from two Norwegian islands, Musvær in the south east and Reiaren in Northern Norway, were screened for dioxins, furans, and dioxin-like and selected non-dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and subjected to non-target analysis to try to identify the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) agonists, responsible for elevated levels measured using the dioxin responsive chemically activated luciferase expression (DR-CALUX) assay. Eggs from Musvær contained chemically calculated toxic equivalent (WHO TEQ) levels of between 109 and 483 pg TEQ/g lw, and between 82 and 337 pg TEQ/g lw was determined in eggs from Reiaren. In particular PCB126 contributed highly to the total TEQ (69-82%). In 19 of the 23 samples the calculated WHO TEQ was higher than the TEQCALUX. Using CALUX specific relative effect potencies (REPs), the levels were lower at between 77 and 292 pg/g lw in eggs from Musvær and between 55 and 223 pg/g lw in eggs from Reiaren, which was higher than the TEQCALUX in 16 of the 23 samples. However, the means of the REP values and the TEQCALUX were not significantly different. This suggests the presence of compounds that can elicit antagonist effects, with a low binding affinity to the AhR. Non-target analysis identified the presence of hexachlorobenzene (HCB) (quantified at 9.6-185 pg/g lw) but neither this compound nor high concentrations of PCB126 and non-dioxin-like PCBs could explain the differences between the calculated TEQ or REP values and the TEQCALUX. Even though, for most AhR agonists, the sensitivity of herring gulls is not known, the reported levels can be considered to represent a risk for biological effects in the developing embryo, compared to LC50 values in chicken embryos. For human consumers of herring gull eggs, these eggs contain TEQ levels up to four times higher than the maximum tolerable weekly intake. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Effects of Invasive European Fire Ants (Myrmica rubra) on Herring Gull (Larus argentatus) Reproduction

    PubMed Central

    DeFisher, Luke E.; Bonter, David N.

    2013-01-01

    Various invasive ant species have negatively affected reproductive success in birds by disrupting nest site selection, incubation patterns, food supply, and by direct predation on nestlings. Impacts can be particularly severe when non-native ants colonize seabird nesting islands where thousands of birds may nest in high densities on the ground or in burrows or crevices. Here we report on the first documented effects of Myrmica rubra, the European fire ant, on the reproduction of birds in its non-native range. We documented herring gulls (Larus argentatus) on Appledore Island, Maine, engaging in more erratic incubation behaviors at nests infested by the ants. Newly-hatched chicks in some nests were swarmed by ants, leading to rapid chick death. Due to high overall rates of chick mortality, survival probabilities did not vary between nests with and without ant activity, however chick growth rates were slower at nests with ants than at ant-free nests. Ant infestation likely leads to longer-term fitness consequences because slower growth rates early in life may ultimately lead to lower post-fledging survival probabilities. PMID:23691168

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

    PubMed

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

    2001-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2001-01-01

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

  2. Seasonal dispersal and longitudinal migration in the Relict Gull Larus relictus across the Inner-Mongolian Plateau.

    PubMed

    Liu, Dongping; Zhang, Guogang; Jiang, Hongxing; Chen, Lixia; Meng, Derong; Lu, Jun

    2017-01-01

    The Relict Gull Larus relictus is a globally vulnerable species and one of the least known birds, so understanding its seasonal movements and migration will facilitate the development of effective conservation plans for its protection. We repeatedly satellite-tracked 11 adult Relict Gulls from the Ordos sub-population in Hongjian Nur, China, over 33 migration seasons and conducted extensive ground surveys. Relict Gulls traveled ∼800 km between Hongjian Nur in northern China to the coast of eastern China in a predominantly longitudinal migration, following a clockwise loop migration pattern. The gulls migrated faster in spring (4 ± 2 d) than in autumn (15 ± 13 d) due to a time-minimization strategy for breeding, and they showed considerable between-individual variation in the timing of the autumn migration, probably due to differences in the timing of breeding. Gulls that made at least two round trips exhibited high flexibility in spring migration timing, suggesting a stronger influence of local environment conditions over endogenous controls. There was also high route flexibility among different years, probably due to variations in meteorological or habitat conditions at stopover sites. Relict Gulls stayed for a remarkably long time (234 ± 17 d) on their major wintering grounds in Bohai Bay and Laizhou Bay, between which there were notable dispersals. Pre-breeding dispersals away from the breeding area were distinct, which seemed to be a strategy to cope with the degradation of breeding habitat at Hongjian Nur. Overwhelming lake shrinkage on the breeding ground and at stopover sites and loss of intertidal flats on the wintering grounds are regarded as the main threats to Relict Gulls. It is crucial to make protection administrations aware of the great significance of key sites along migration routes and to promote the establishment of protected areas in these regions.

  3. Seasonal dispersal and longitudinal migration in the Relict Gull Larus relictus across the Inner-Mongolian Plateau

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Dongping; Jiang, Hongxing; Chen, Lixia; Meng, Derong; Lu, Jun

    2017-01-01

    The Relict Gull Larus relictus is a globally vulnerable species and one of the least known birds, so understanding its seasonal movements and migration will facilitate the development of effective conservation plans for its protection. We repeatedly satellite-tracked 11 adult Relict Gulls from the Ordos sub-population in Hongjian Nur, China, over 33 migration seasons and conducted extensive ground surveys. Relict Gulls traveled ∼800 km between Hongjian Nur in northern China to the coast of eastern China in a predominantly longitudinal migration, following a clockwise loop migration pattern. The gulls migrated faster in spring (4 ± 2 d) than in autumn (15 ± 13 d) due to a time-minimization strategy for breeding, and they showed considerable between-individual variation in the timing of the autumn migration, probably due to differences in the timing of breeding. Gulls that made at least two round trips exhibited high flexibility in spring migration timing, suggesting a stronger influence of local environment conditions over endogenous controls. There was also high route flexibility among different years, probably due to variations in meteorological or habitat conditions at stopover sites. Relict Gulls stayed for a remarkably long time (234 ± 17 d) on their major wintering grounds in Bohai Bay and Laizhou Bay, between which there were notable dispersals. Pre-breeding dispersals away from the breeding area were distinct, which seemed to be a strategy to cope with the degradation of breeding habitat at Hongjian Nur. Overwhelming lake shrinkage on the breeding ground and at stopover sites and loss of intertidal flats on the wintering grounds are regarded as the main threats to Relict Gulls. It is crucial to make protection administrations aware of the great significance of key sites along migration routes and to promote the establishment of protected areas in these regions. PMID:28560115

  4. Perfluorinated, brominated, and chlorinated contaminants in a population of lesser black-backed gulls (Larus fuscus).

    PubMed

    Bustnes, Jan O; Borgå, Katrine; Erikstad, Kjell E; Lorentsen, Svein-Håkon; Herzke, Dorte

    2008-06-01

    Protein-bound perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) and lipid-soluble polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and organochlorines (OCs) were measured in whole blood from a large number (n = 83) of breeding lesser black-backed gulls (Larus fuscus) caught during two distinct sampling periods in a colony on the coast of northern Norway. We analyzed 14 PFCs (seven were detected in more than 75% of samples), 10 PBDEs (only BDE 47 was detected), and 27 OCs, including 12 polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners (14 OCs were detected). Median total PFC concentration was higher than median total OC concentration (43 vs 39 ng/g wet wt). Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) was the dominant PFC (mean relative contribution of PFOS to total contaminant concentration in blood [Sigmatotal contaminants] was 38%), whereas total PCB (26% of Sigmatotal contaminants) and p,p'-DDE (2,2-bis(4-chlorophenyl)-1,1-dichloroethene; 13% of Sigmatotal contaminants) were the dominant OCs. No covariability was found between protein-bound and lipid-soluble compounds; individuals with high concentrations of PFCs did not have high concentrations of OCs or BDE 47. The concentrations of PFCs were lower in birds caught during the late sampling period compared to those of the early period, and females had lower levels of some PFCs compared with males, suggesting that females sequester fluorinated substances into eggs. For lipid-soluble compounds, no significant sex or sampling period differences were found, except that trans-nonachlor, cis-nonachlor, and p,p'-DDE concentrations were lower in birds caught during the late sampling period. The pattern of PFC compounds (relative to PFOS) and lipid-soluble compounds (relative to PCB 153) differed between sampling periods in females but not in males. Finally, PFCs were distributed more uniformly within the population than the lipid-soluble compounds, for which the distributions were strongly negatively skewed.

  5. Hepatic EROD activity is not a useful biomarker of polychlorinated biphenyl exposure in the adult herring gull (Larus argentatus).

    PubMed

    Kennedy, Sean W; Fox, Glen A; Jones, Stephanie P; Trudeau, Suzanne F

    2003-01-01

    Liver concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and chicken embryo hepatocyte (CEH) bioassay-derived 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin equivalents (TCDD-EQs) were measured in livers of adult herring gulls (Larus argentatus) collected from several locations on the Great Lakes and two reference sites. Total PCB concentrations (sum of 42 congeners) and TCDD-EQ concentrations were compared with hepatic ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (EROD) activity, methoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (MROD) activity and immunodetectable cytochrome P4501A (CYP1A) protein concentration. EROD and MROD activity were not significantly correlated with total PCB concentration or TCDD-EQ concentration in liver tissue. CYP1A protein concentration was significantly correlated with total PCB concentration, but the linear relationship had little predictive power. We conclude that EROD is not a useful biomarker of PCB exposure in the adult herring gull.

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Early maternal, genetic and environmental components of antioxidant protection, morphology and immunity of yellow-legged gull (Larus michahellis) chicks.

    PubMed

    Rubolini, D; Romano, M; Bonisoli Alquati, A; Saino, N

    2006-09-01

    Maternal effects mediated by egg quality are important sources of offspring phenotypic variation and can influence the course of evolutionary processes. Mothers allocate to the eggs diverse antioxidants that protect the embryo from oxidative stress. In the yellow-legged gull (Larus michahellis), yolk antioxidant capacity varied markedly among clutches and declined considerably with egg laying date. Analysis of bioptic yolk samples from clutches that were subsequently partially cross-fostered revealed a positive effect of yolk antioxidant capacity on embryonic development and chick growth, but not on immunity and begging behaviour, while controlling for parentage and common environment effects. Chick plasma antioxidant capacity varied according to rearing environment, after statistically partitioning out maternal influences mediated by egg quality. Thus, the results of this study indicate that egg antioxidants are important mediators of maternal effects also in wild bird populations, especially during the critical early post-hatching phase.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Buckley, P.A.; McCarthy, M.

    1994-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Variation in immune parameters and disease prevalence among Lesser Black-backed Gulls (Larus fuscus sp.) with different migratory strategies.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Salmonella in Black-headed gulls ( Larus ridibundus); prevalence, genotypes and influence on Salmonella epidemiology.

    PubMed

    Palmgren, H; Aspán, A; Broman, T; Bengtsson, K; Blomquist, L; Bergström, S; Sellin, M; Wollin, R; Olsen, B

    2006-06-01

    During a period of 3 years, 1998-2000, 1047 faecal swabs from Black-headed gulls were sampled at one location in Southern Sweden. Salmonella spp. was found in 28 individuals (2.7%) and the dominating serotype found was S. Typhimurium (83%). Twenty-five per cent of the Salmonella-infected gulls were later recaptured and re-sampled. We found that Salmonella infection in Black-headed gulls was of short duration, and that infection in this bird species was predominantly expressed as carriage without disease manifestations. All S. Typhimurium isolates were subjected to antibiotic resistance profiling and molecular characterization by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and IS200 polymerase chain reaction. The S. Typhimurium gull isolates were compared to human and domestic animal isolates of the same serotype and phage type. We found genetic relatedness of S. Typhimurium DT195 isolates from gulls, domestic animals and humans, indicating that Black-headed gulls might play a role in the spread of S. Typhimurium in Sweden.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2012-01-01

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

  16. Comparison of Trace Element Concentrations Between Chick and Adult Black-Tailed Gulls (Larus crassirostris).

    PubMed

    Kim, Jungsoo; Oh, Jong-Min

    2015-06-01

    Trace elements were measured in the feathers of black-tailed gull chicks (n = 10) and adults (n = 10) collected at Chilsando Is., Jeollanam-do, Korea, in June 2011. Pb, Mn and Fe were significantly greater in adult (arithmetic mean 2.02, 3.81, 92.1 μg/g dw, respectively) than chick (0.74, 2.14, 68.7 μg/g dw) gulls. In contrast, Zn was greater in chicks (74.9 μg/g dw) than adults (46.5 μg/g dw). Cd, Pb and Cr in all chicks and adults were lower than an approximate threshold level for toxic effects. Cd, Pb and Cr were comparable or lower than reported in other gull studies worldwide. Essential elements including Al, Cu, Mn, Zn and Fe were within the background and normal physiological levels reported earlier in other gull species including black-tailed gulls.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2000-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Reed, Phil

    2015-09-01

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

  19. Head-bobbing and non-bobbing walking of black-headed gulls (Larus ridibundus).

    PubMed

    Fujita, Masaki

    2006-05-01

    Head-bobbing walking (HBW) and non-bobbing walking (NBW) of black-headed gulls were compared from kinematic and behavioral/environmental viewpoints. The birds walked with a longer stride length and lower stride frequency during the HBW than during the NBW. With respect to these two parameters, the HBW of black-headed gulls was similar to that of other head-bobbers, and the NBW was similar to that of other non-bobbers. The stride length and the amplitude of head bobbing were correlated. These results suggest that the head-bobbing and gait parameters are related. From a behavioral viewpoint, HBW was observed during seeking-type foraging by wading, and NBW was observed during waiting-type foraging on a flat substrate. The type of foraging behavior and/or substrate condition probably determines whether the birds walk with or without head bobbing.

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

    PubMed

    Kim, Jungsoo; Oh, Jong-Min

    2014-03-01

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

  1. Effects of contaminant exposure and food restriction on hepatic autophagic lysosomal parameters in Herring Gull (Larus argentatus) chicks.

    PubMed

    Hegseth, Marit Nøst; Gorbi, Stephania; Bocchetti, Raffaella; Camus, Lionel; Gabrielsen, Geir Wing; Regoli, Francesco

    2014-08-01

    Lysosomal autophagic responses, such as lysosomal membrane stability, neutral lipids (NL), lipofuscin (LF), and malondialdehyde (MDA) levels, are valuable measures of cellular early-onset effects induced by environmental stress factors, such as contaminant exposure and fasting. In this study, these parameters were analysed and related to levels of halogenated organic contaminants (HOCs) in 40 Herring Gull (Larus argentatus) chicks. Chicks were experimentally exposed to HOCs through diet and went through a period of nutrient deprivation at the end of the experiment. HOC exposure and fasting were conducted separately and in combination. NL storages were depleted, and lysosomal membranes were destabilised after HOC exposure and nutrient deprivation. These responses were not related specifically to one type of stress or the extent of the treatment. No synergistic or additive effects from the combination of HOC exposure and fasting were observed. LF accumulated, and MDA levels increased as a result of fasting, but were unaffected by HOC exposure. LF accumulation was strongly associated with the percent weight change in the chicks. Large weight loss was associated with high LF levels, and slight weight gain was associated with low LF levels. Hence, food deprivation affected all the measured parameters, and HOC exposure decreased NL levels and lysosomal membrane stability in HG chick liver. Furthermore, autophagic lysosomal parameters have frequently been applied as biomarkers of cellular health status in previous studies of marine and terrestrial invertebrates, and this study suggests that these parameters may be good candidates for biomarkers of cellular health status in seabirds as well.

  2. Trace element concentrations in eggshells and egg contents of black-tailed gull (Larus crassirostris) from Korea.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jungsoo; Oh, Jong-Min

    2014-09-01

    Concentrations of trace elements (cadmium, lead, copper, manganese and zinc) were examined in eggs of black-tailed gulls (Larus crassirostris) from Hongdo Island, Korea to determine the difference and distribution of trace elements in eggshells and egg contents. Cadmium, lead and manganese concentrations were greater in eggshells than in egg contents. In contrast, zinc concentrations were higher in egg contents than in eggshells. Trace element concentrations followed the order: zinc > lead = manganese = copper > cadmium (eggshells) and zinc > copper > manganese > lead > cadmium (egg contents). Cadmium concentrations were relatively low (<1 μg/g dw) in egg contents and eggshells. Concentrations of cadmium, lead and copper were significantly correlated between egg contents and eggshells. This indicates that cadmium, lead and copper levels in the eggshell can reflect their levels in the egg contents. There was also a high ratio (3.2) of eggshell/egg content for lead. These results indicate that the eggshell might be useful as a bio-indicator for monitoring cadmium, lead and copper in the egg content.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1997-08-01

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

  6. Mercury levels and health parameters in the threatened Olrog's Gull (Larus atlanticus) from Argentina.

    PubMed

    La Sala, Luciano Francisco; Petracci, Pablo Fabricio; Smits, Judit Emmy; Botté, Sandra; Furness, Robert W

    2011-10-01

    Mercury (Hg) exposure was investigated through feathers of Olrog's Gull and related to health parameters in adults (hematocrit, total plasma proteins, morphometric measures, sex) and chicks (hematocrit, total plasma proteins, immunoglobulins G and M) from a colony located in estuary of Bahía Blanca, Argentina. Mercury concentrations were 5.50 ± 2.59 μg g⁻¹ (n = 44) in live adults, 1.85 ± 0.45 μg g⁻¹ (n = 45) in live chicks and 1.81 ± 0.41 μg g⁻¹ (n = 41) in dead chicks. Large differences were observed between live adults and live or dead chicks and small differences between live and dead chicks. In the adults, the sex of the birds was the variable that best explained Hg concentrations. Male birds had higher concentrations than females; this suggests that the clutch provides a sink for mercury during egg laying. Hg concentrations in both adults and live chicks were associated with higher hematocrits. This could be associated with upregulated erythropoiesis to compensate for increased rate of destruction of prematurely senescent, Hg-contaminated erythrocytes. Based on our results, on the levels of Hg pollution in the past in the study area, and on the dietary specialization of Olrog's Gull, we must be vigilant about potential negative effects of Hg pollution on this population and recommend continued monitoring on this threatened species.

  7. The complete mitogenome of the Black-tailed gull Larus crassirostris (Charadriiformes: Laridae).

    PubMed

    Kim, Ji Young; Park, Yung Chul

    2016-05-01

    The complete mitogenome (KM507782) of the Black-tailed gull L. crassirostris was 16,746 bp long, with A 30.6% (5128 bp), T 24.3% (4076 bp), C 30.9% (5176 bp), and G 14.1% (2366 bp). Total length of 13 protein-coding genes was 11,396 bp and 12 of them except for ND6 were encoded in heavy strand. The three initiation codons ATG, GTG and ATT were used in the protein-coding genes. The ATG was a common initiation codon which was found in most of the protein-coding genes, whereas GTG was used in COX1 and ND5 and ATT in only ND3, respectively. The total length of 22 tRNA genes was 1550 bp, ranging from 66 bp (tRNA(Ser(AGY))) to 74 bp (tRNA(Leu(UUR)) and tRNA(Ser(UCN))).

  8. Heavy metal contamination and metallothionein mRNA in blood and feathers of Black-tailed gulls (Larus crassirostris) from South Korea.

    PubMed

    Kim, Miran; Park, Kiyun; Park, Jin Young; Kwak, Inn-Sil

    2013-03-01

    The objectives of this study were to determine levels of heavy metal in the feathers and blood of Black-tailed gulls (Larus crassirostris), to evaluate metallothionein (MT) mRNA level in Black-tailed gulls on three independent islets, and to examine the correlation between heavy metal concentrations and MT mRNA expression. Eleven heavy metals (Al, Cd, Mn, Pb, Cr, Fe, Cu, Zn, Se, Hg, and As) were investigated in blood and feathers of 65 chicks from breeding colonies (Seomando, Hongdo, and Dokdo islet) of South Korea in 2010. Heavy metals were assayed by PerkinElmer NexION 300 inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. The mean concentrations of non-essential heavy metals were found to blood containing Cd (0.002 ~ 0.02 ppm), Pb (0.06 ~ 0.18) ppm, Hg (0.03 ~ 0.05) ppm, and As (0.26 ~ 0.48 ppm), and feather containing Cd (0.05 ~ 0.30 ppm), Pb (2.47 ~ 10.80 ppm), Hg (1.18 ~ 1.57 ppm), and As (0.15 ~ 0.44 ppm). Chicks on Seomando islet showed the highest levels of metals (Cd, Pb, Mn, Cr, Cu, and Se in blood; Al, As, Mn, Cr, Fe, Cu, and Se in feathers) among the colonies. Concentrations of Pb and Hg in feathers were the highest on Hongdo, and the levels of Cd and Zn in feathers were the highest on Dokdo islet. MT mRNA in the blood of Black-tailed gulls was relatively higher in gulls from Seomando than in gulls from Hongdo and Dokdo islet. MT mRNA level is thus positively correlated to heavy metal concentrations in Black-tailed gulls.

  9. Capillarity and fibre types in locomotory muscles of wild yellow-legged gulls (Larus cachinnans).

    PubMed

    Torrella, J R; Fouces, V; Palomeque, J; Viscor, G

    1998-01-01

    This study analyzes the capillarity and fibre-type distribution of six locomotory muscles of gulls. The morphological basis and the oxygen supply characteristics of the skeletal muscle of a species with a marked pattern of gliding flight are established, thus contributing to a better understanding of the physiology of a kind of flight with low energetic requirements. The four wing muscles studied (scapulotriceps, pectoralis, scapulohumeralis, and extensor metacarpi) exhibited higher percentages of fast oxidative glycolytic fibres (>70%) and lower percentages of slow oxidative fibres (<16%) than the muscles involved in nonflight locomotion (gastrocnemius and iliotibialis). Capillary densities ranged from 816 to 1,233 capillaries mm(-2), having the highest value in the pectoralis. In this muscle, the fast oxidative glycolytic fibres had moderate staining for succinate dehydrogenase and relatively large fibre sizes, as deduced from the low fibre densities (589-665 fibres mm(-2)). All these findings are seen as an adaptive response for gliding, when the wing is held outstretched by isometric contractions. The leg muscles studied included a considerable population of slow oxidative fibres (>14% in many regions), which suggests that they are adapted to postural activities. Regional variations in the relative distributions of fibre types in muscle gastrocnemius may reflect different functional demands placed on this muscle during terrestrial and aquatic locomotion. The predominance of oxidative fibres and capillary densities under 1,000 capillaries mm(-2) in leg muscles is probably a consequence of an adaptation for slow swimming and maintenance of the posture on land rather than for other locomotory capabilities, such as endurance or sprint activities.

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

    PubMed

    Nordén, Marcus; Berger, Urs; Engwall, Magnus

    2016-06-01

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

  11. Complete genome analysis of an avian paramyxovirus type 1 strain isolated in 1994 from an asymptomatic black-headed gull (Larus ridibundus) in southern Sweden.

    PubMed

    Munir, Muhammad; Linde, Anna-Malin; Zohari, Siamak; Ståhl, Karl; Baule, Claudia; Holm, Kerstin; Engström, Björn; Berg, Mikael

    2010-06-01

    The complete genome sequence of an avian paramyxovirus serotype 1 (APMV-1) isolated from a black-headed gull (Larus ridibundus) in Sweden was determined and compared with other APMV-1 sequences. Sequence analyses showed that this isolate consists of six genes in the order 3'-NP-P-M-F-HN-L-5', is 15,186 nucleotides long, and contains a typical, avirulent fusion protein cleavage site. It was also shown to have a hemagglutinin-neuraminidase protein with a length of 585 amino acids (aa) instead of the expected 616 aa. Phylogenetic analyses showed that the isolate belongs to genotype I, and the relationship with some other, known APMV-1 virus sequences was revealed. Waterfowl have been considered to act as a reservoir for APMV-1 and, therefore, it is important to broaden the knowledge of viruses circulating within this population.

  12. Increased prevalence of antibiotic-resistant E. coli in gulls sampled in Southcentral Alaska is associated with urban environments

    PubMed Central

    Atterby, Clara; Ramey, Andrew M.; Hall, Gabriel Gustafsson; Järhult, Josef; Börjesson, Stefan; Bonnedahl, Jonas

    2016-01-01

    Background Antibiotic-resistant bacteria pose challenges to healthcare delivery systems globally; however, limited information is available regarding the prevalence and spread of such bacteria in the environment. The aim of this study was to compare the prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in large-bodied gulls (Larus spp.) at urban and remote locations in Southcentral Alaska to gain inference into the association between antibiotic resistance in wildlife and anthropogenically influenced habitats. Methods Escherichia coli was cultured (n=115 isolates) from fecal samples of gulls (n=160) collected from a remote location, Middleton Island, and a more urban setting on the Kenai Peninsula. Results Screening of E. coli from fecal samples collected from glaucous-winged gulls (Larus glaucescens) at Middleton Island revealed 8% of isolates were resistant to one or more antibiotics and 2% of the isolates were resistant to three or more antibiotics. In contrast, 55% of E. coli isolates derived from fecal samples collected from large-bodied gulls (i.e. glaucous, herring [Larus argentatus], and potentially hybrid gulls) on the Kenai Peninsula were resistant to one or more antibiotics and 22% were resistant to three or more antibiotics. In addition, total of 16% of the gull samples from locations on the Kenai Peninsula harbored extended-spectrum cephalosporin-resistant E. coli isolates (extended-spectrum beta-lactamases [ESBL] and plasmid-encoded AmpC [pAmpC]), in contrast to Middleton Island where no ESBL- or pAmpC-producing isolates were detected. Conclusion Our findings indicate that increased prevalence of antibiotic resistance is associated with urban environments in Southcentral Alaska and presumably influenced by anthropogenic impacts. Further investigation is warranted to assess how migratory birds may maintain and spread antimicrobial-resistant bacteria of relevance to human and animal health. PMID:27649798

  13. Increased prevalence of antibiotic-resistant E. coli in gulls sampled in southcentral Alaska is associated with urban environments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Atterby, Clara; Ramey, Andrew M.; Gustafsson Hall, Gabriel; Jarhult, Josef; Borjesson, Stefan; Bonnedahl, Jonas

    2016-01-01

    BackgroundAntibiotic-resistant bacteria pose challenges to healthcare delivery systems globally; however, limited information is available regarding the prevalence and spread of such bacteria in the environment. The aim of this study was to compare the prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in large-bodied gulls (Larus spp.) at urban and remote locations in Southcentral Alaska to gain inference into the association between antibiotic resistance in wildlife and anthropogenically influenced habitats.MethodsEscherichia coli was cultured (n=115 isolates) from fecal samples of gulls (n=160) collected from a remote location, Middleton Island, and a more urban setting on the Kenai Peninsula.ResultsScreening of E. coli from fecal samples collected from glaucous-winged gulls (Larus glaucescens) at Middleton Island revealed 8% of isolates were resistant to one or more antibiotics and 2% of the isolates were resistant to three or more antibiotics. In contrast, 55% of E. coli isolates derived from fecal samples collected from large-bodied gulls (i.e. glaucous, herring [Larus argentatus], and potentially hybrid gulls) on the Kenai Peninsula were resistant to one or more antibiotics and 22% were resistant to three or more antibiotics. In addition, total of 16% of the gull samples from locations on the Kenai Peninsula harbored extended-spectrum cephalosporin-resistant E. coli isolates (extended-spectrum beta-lactamases [ESBL] and plasmid-encoded AmpC [pAmpC]), in contrast to Middleton Island where no ESBL- or pAmpC-producing isolates were detected.ConclusionOur findings indicate that increased prevalence of antibiotic resistance is associated with urban environments in Southcentral Alaska and presumably influenced by anthropogenic impacts. Further investigation is warranted to assess how migratory birds may maintain and spread antimicrobial-resistant bacteria of relevance to human and animal health.

  14. Characterization and locus-specific typing of MHC class I genes in the red-billed gull (Larus scopulinus) provides evidence for major, minor, and nonclassical loci.

    PubMed

    Cloutier, Alison; Mills, James A; Baker, Allan J

    2011-06-01

    A major challenge facing studies of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) evolution in birds is the difficulty in genotyping alleles at individual loci, and the consequent inability to investigate sequence variation and selection pressures for each gene. In this study, four MHC class I loci were isolated from the red-billed gull (Larus scopulinus), representing both the first characterized MHCI genes within Charadriiformes (shorebirds, gulls, and allies) and the first full-length MHCI sequences described outside Galloanserae (gamebirds + waterfowl). Complete multilocus genotypes were obtained for 470 individuals using a combination of reference-strand conformation analysis and direct sequencing of gene-specific amplification products, and variation of peptide-binding region (PBR) exons was surveyed for all loci. Each gene is transcribed and has conserved sequence features characteristic of antigen-presenting MHCI molecules. However, higher allelic variation, a more even allele frequency distribution, and evidence of positive selection acting on a larger number of PBR residues suggest that only one locus (Lasc-UAA) functions as a major classical MHCI gene. Lasc-UBA, with more limited variation and PBR motifs that encompass a subset of Lasc-UAA diversity, was assigned a putative minor classical function, whereas the divergent and largely invariant binding-groove motifs of Lasc-UCA and -UDA are suggestive of nonclassical loci with specialized ligand-binding roles.

  15. [Dynamics of physiological parameters in the nestling of black-backed gull Larus marinus experimentally infested by the cestode Microsomacanthus ductilus (Cestoda: Hymenolepididae)].

    PubMed

    Kuklina, M M; Kuklin, V V

    2008-01-01

    The effect of the invasion with the cestode Microsomacanthus ductilus on physiological and biochemical processes in black-backed gull Larus marinus was examined. Experimental invasion of the gull nestling by the cestodes has been performed. Dynamics of the protein, lipid, and carbohydrate metabolism in the time history of the invasion was observed, in comparison with noninfested nestling. Increasing of the content of alpha-globulins and decreasing of the content of protein and albumin in the blood plasma of experimentally infested birds were registered to 4th day after invasion. To 7th day after invasion the level of general lipids and phospholipids decreases, while the content of gamma-globulins and modified form of albumin increases. To 10th day after invasion symptoms of intoxication were observed, but some parameters proved to be reverted to normal condition. So, it can be assumed, that the most intensive reorganization of the metabolism in infested birds takes place in the period between 4th and 7th days after infestation. Possible causes of the observed phenomena are discussed.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  17. Effects of gull predation and weather on survival of emperor goose goslings

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schmutz, Joel A.; Manly, Bryan F.J.; Dau, Christian P.

    2001-01-01

    Numbers of emperor geese (Chen canagica) have remained depressed since the mid-1980s. Despite increases in glaucous gulls (Larus hyperboreus), a primary predator of goslings, little information existed to assess whether recent patterns of gosling survival have been a major factor affecting population dynamics. We used observations of known families of emperor geese to estimate rates of gosling survival during 1993-96 on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, Alaska. Survival of goslings to 30 days of age varied among years from 0.332 during 1994 to 0.708 during 1995. Survival was lowest during 1993-94, which corresponded with the years of highest frequency of disturbance of goose broods by glaucous gulls. Rainfall during early brood rearing was much higher in 1994 than other years, and this corresponded to low survival among goslings ≤5 days of age. Numbers of juveniles in families during fall staging were negatively related to rainfall during early brood rearing (n = 23 yr). Although there are no data to assess whether gosling survival in emperor geese has declined from some previous level, current survival rates of emperor goose goslings are as high as or higher than those observed in other goose species that are rapidly increasing. A proposed reduction of glaucous gull numbers by managers may not be the most effective means for increasing population growth in emperor geese.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  20. Reassortment of American and Eurasian genes in an influenza A virus isolated from a great black-backed gull (Larus marinus), a species demonstrated to move between these regions.

    PubMed

    Wille, Michelle; Robertson, Gregory J; Whitney, Hugh; Ojkic, Davor; Lang, Andrew S

    2011-01-01

    The primary hosts for influenza A viruses are waterfowl, although gulls and shorebirds are also important in global avian influenza dynamics. Avian influenza virus genes are separated phylogenetically into two geographic clades, American and Eurasian, which is caused by the geographic separation of the host species between these two regions. We surveyed a gregarious and cosmopolitan species, the Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus), in Newfoundland, Canada, for the presence of avian influenza viruses. We have isolated and determined the complete genome sequence of an H13N2 virus, A/Great Black-backed Gull/Newfoundland/296/2008(H13N2), from one of these birds. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that this virus contained two genes in the American gull clade (PB1, HA), two genes in the American avian clade (PA, NA), and four genes in the Eurasian gull clade (PB2, NP, M, NS). We analyzed bird band recovery information and found the first evidence of trans-Atlantic migration from Newfoundland to Europe (UK, Spain and Portugal) for this species. Thus, great black-backed gulls could be important for movement of avian influenza viruses across the Atlantic Ocean and within North America.

  1. Isomers of Dechlorane Plus flame retardant in the eggs of herring gulls (Larus argentatus) from the Laurentian Great Lakes of North America: temporal changes and spatial distribution.

    PubMed

    Gauthier, Lewis T; Letcher, Robert J

    2009-03-01

    Dechlorane Plus (DP) is a chlorinated flame retardant (FR) comprised of two major structural isomers, syn and anti. For the Laurentian Great Lakes of North America, reports on DP have been limited to sediment and fish, not known for birds, and regardless temporal trends in Great Lakes wildlife is unknown. In the present study, syn- and anti-DP isomers were detected in egg pools spanning 1982-2006 of a Great Lakes biomonitoring species, the herring gull (Larus argentatus), from seven colonies in the five Laurentian Great Lakes. The sum (Sigma) of syn- and anti-DP concentrations were generally <15 ng g(-1) wet weight (ww) and variable depending on the colonial site and year, although Sigma-DP concentrations were generally higher post mid-1990s for all sites. Syn- and anti-DP concentrations ranged from 3.1 x 10(2) to 1.4 x 10(3)pg g(-1)ww and 1.3 x 10(2) to 4.4 x 10(3)pg g(-1)ww, respectively. There was a weak but significant (r(S)=-0.31, p<0.001) negative relationship between the Sigma-DP concentration and the distance for the only DP production facility in North America at Niagara Falls, New York. However, the fraction of the anti-DP to the Sigma-DP concentration (f(anti)) was 0.69+/-0.08 (for all seven colonies and years, n=101 pools), and there was no significant (r(S)=-0.18, p=0.07) negative relationship of f(anti) with increasing distance from the production facility at Niagara Falls, New York, which indicated that there was no temporal or spatial enrichment of either isomer relative to the commercial DP mixture. Over the past 25 years, it is clear that DP isomers have accumulated in the food web of female herring gulls with subsequent transfer during ovogenesis.

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

    PubMed

    Boncoraglio, Giuseppe; Groothuis, Ton G G

    2013-08-01

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

  3. Description of Sarcocystis lari sp. n. (Apicomplexa: Sarcocystidae) from the great black-backed gull, Larus marinus (Charadriiformes: Laridae), on the basis of cyst morphology and molecular data.

    PubMed

    Prakas, Petras; Kutkiené, Liuda; Butkauskas, Dalius; Sruoga, Aniolas; Zalakevicius, Mecislovas

    2014-02-01

    A morphological type of Sarcocystis cysts found in one of two examined great black-backed gull, Larus marinus (Linnaeus) (Laridae), is considered to represent a new species for which the name Sarcocystis lari sp. n. is proposed and its description is provided. The cysts are ribbon-shaped, very long (the largest fragment found was 6 mm long) and relatively narrow (up to 75 microm). Under a light microscope the cyst wall reaches up to 1 microm and seems to be smooth. Using a computerized image analysis system, knolls, which resemble protrusions on the wall surface, are visible. Lancet-shaped cystozoites measure in average 6.9 x 1.4 microm (range 6.3-7.9 microm x 1.2-1.5 microm) in length. Observed using Transmission electron microscopy (TEM), the cyst wall is wavy and measures up to 1.2 microm in thickness. The parasitophorous vacuolar membrane has regularly arranged small invaginations. Cyst content is divided into large chambers by septa. Sarcocystis lari sp. n. has type-1 tissue cyst wall and is morphologically indistinguishable from other bird Sarcocystis species characterized by the same type of the wall. On the basis of 18S rRNA gene, 28S rRNA gene and ITS-1 region sequences, S. lari is a genetically distinct species, being most closely related to avian Sarcocystis species whose definitive hosts are predatory birds.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

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

  6. [Reduction in variability of individual colonization programs in black-headed gulls (Larus ridibundus) leads to reproductive success diminishing].

    PubMed

    Druzyaka, V

    2015-01-01

    The problem of adaptive significance of territorial antagonism in colonial birds is addressed. Many of these birds are characterized, along with high tolerance to each other and tendency to aggregate, by intensive and variable territorial demonstrations. Here we consider the effects of territorial behavior on the viability of a breeding colony. We observed breeding of black-headed gull in two colonies formed under the impact of a short-term temperature fall in 2008, which resulted in the 7-day shift in timing of egg laying. Compared with the colonies at the same places, one in 2007 and one in 2009, in 2008 the number of nests and their density were rather smaller, whereas the duration of settling, the nest density increase and the average size of breeding territories have not changed. Average body weight of adult birds during incubation was stable through all the years. However, correlations, typical for 2007 and 2009 (negative between female mass and date of.clutch starting, and positive between masses of parents), were absent, suggesting that assortative mating by body mass and territory size was not the case in 2008. Average clutch, egg, and hatchling sizes were smaller in 2008 while mortality due to aerial predators was higher than in normal years. In 2007 and 2009, birds who started egg laying in the first 5 days after the first egg appeared in the colony (settlers) were larger than others (so-called followers) and produced larger offspring. These differences were not observed in 2008. According to our data, after the impact of cold weather, some birds abandoned their nesting sites, others were sick but mostly behaved as settlers and formed underpopulated and sparse colonies. We assume that the formation of a viable colony requires interaction of highly territorial 'pioneers' and a certain number of less competitive individuals. Withdrawal of the latter results into a general reproductive failure of the colony. Thus, the pattern of colony forma- tion as in the

  7. Maternal effects mediated by egg quality in the Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis in relation to laying order and embryo sex

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Maternal effects mediated by egg size and quality may profoundly affect offspring development and performance, and mothers may adjust egg traits according to environmental or social influences. In avian species, context-dependency of maternal effects may result in variation in egg composition, as well as in differential patterns of covariation among selected egg components, according to, for example, position in the laying sequence or offspring sex. We investigated variation in major classes of egg yolk components (carotenoids, vitamins and steroid hormones) in relation to egg size, position in the laying sequence and embryo sex in clutches of the Yellow-legged Gull (Larus michahellis). We also investigated their covariation, to highlight mutual adjustments, maternal constraints or trade-offs in egg allocation. Results Laying sequence-specific patterns of allocation emerged: concentration of carotenoids and vitamin E decreased, while concentrations of androgens increased. Vitamin A, estradiol and corticosterone did not show any change. There was no evidence of sex-specific allocation or covariation of yolk components. Concentrations of carotenoids and vitamins were positively correlated. Egg mass decreased along the laying sequence, and this decrease was negatively correlated with the mean concentrations of carotenoids in clutches, suggesting that nutritionally constrained females lay low quality clutches in terms of carotenoid content. Finally, clutches with smaller decline in antioxidants between first- and last-laid eggs had a larger increase in yolk corticosterone, suggesting that a smaller antioxidant depletion along the laying sequence may entail a cost for laying females in terms of increased stress levels. Conclusions Since some of the analyzed yolk components (e.g. testosterone and lutein) are known to exert sex-specific phenotypic effects on the progeny in this species, the lack of sex-specific egg allocation by mothers may either result from

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1982-01-01

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

  10. Introgressive hybridization and the evolutionary history of the herring gull complex revealed by mitochondrial and nuclear DNA

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Based on extensive mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequence data, we previously showed that the model of speciation among species of herring gull (Larus argentatus) complex was not that of a ring species, but most likely due more complex speciation scenario's. We also found that two species, herring gull and glaucous gull (L. hyperboreus) displayed an unexpected biphyletic distribution of their mtDNA haplotypes. It was evident that mtDNA sequence data alone were far from sufficient to obtain a more accurate and detailed insight into the demographic processes that underlie speciation of this complex, and that extensive autosomal genetic analysis was warranted. Results For this reason, the present study focuses on the reconstruction of the phylogeographic history of a limited number of gull species by means of a combined approach of mtDNA sequence data and 230 autosomal amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) loci. At the species level, the mtDNA and AFLP genetic data were largely congruent. Not only for argentatus and hyperboreus, but also among a third species, great black-backed gull (L. marinus) we observed two distinct groups of mtDNA sequence haplotypes. Based on the AFLP data we were also able to detect distinct genetic subgroups among the various argentatus, hyperboreus, and marinus populations, supporting our initial hypothesis that complex demographic scenario's underlie speciation in the herring gull complex. Conclusions We present evidence that for each of these three biphyletic gull species, extensive mtDNA introgression could have taken place among the various geographically distinct subpopulations, or even among current species. Moreover, based on a large number of autosomal AFLP loci, we found evidence for distinct and complex demographic scenario's for each of the three species we studied. A more refined insight into the exact phylogeographic history within the herring gull complex is still impossible, and requires detailed autosomal

  11. Brain cholinesterase reactivation as a marker of exposure to anticholinesterase pesticides: a case study in a population of yellow-legged gull Larus michahellis (Naumann, 1840) along the northern coast of Portugal.

    PubMed

    Santos, Cátia S A; Monteiro, Marta S; Soares, Amadeu M V M; Loureiro, Susana

    2016-01-01

    Between late 2010 to early 2011, an increased mortality in gulls was observed along the northern coast of Portugal, with individuals exhibiting neurologic disorders consistent with an eventual anticholinesterase pesticide poisoning event. To clarify if this mortality was related to organophosphate (OP) and/or carbamate (CB) poisoning, chemical and spontaneous cholinesterase (ChE) reactivation was tested in the brain of the yellow-legged gull (Larus michahellis). Initial brain ChE activity in L. michahellis was 40.92 ± 5.23 U/mg of protein (average ± SE). Following chemical and spontaneous reactivation, ChE activity increased in average 70.38 ± 48.59% and 131.95 ± 92.64%, respectively. ChE reactivation was found to decrease at increasing concentrations of the oxime pyridine-2-aldoxime methochloride and dilution factor, underscoring the importance of first optimizing the assay conditions prior to its use on bird species. These results suggest that birds analysed could have been exposed to OP and CB pesticide compounds and that in most cases CB exposure appeared to be the main cause of birds poisoning. These results are an important contribution to environmental monitoring as it demonstrates the suitability of L. michaellis as sentinel species of OP and CB pesticides within an urban environment.

  12. Phylogenetic Placement of a Schistosome from an Unusual Marine Snail Host, the False Limpet (Siphonaria lessoni) and Gulls (Larus dominicanus) from Argentina with a Brief Review of Marine Schistosomes from Snails.

    PubMed

    Brant, Sara V; Loker, Eric S; Casalins, Laura; Flores, Veronica

    2017-02-01

    In the blood fluke family Schistosomatidae, marine snails are well known as intermediate hosts. Eight families of marine snails have thus far been reported to host schistosomes across the world, most of which have been implicated in human cercarial dermatitis (HCD) outbreaks. As part of our larger effort to define the species diversity and biology of schistosomes in Argentina, in particular their role in causing HCD, we searched in the marine pulmonate snail (Siphonaria lessoni) for a schistosome species described previously from S. lessoni from southern Argentina. Additionally, gulls (Larus dominicanus) collected from a different project locality (inland) were examined, because they are known to spend time in the intertidal regions. Schistosome sporocysts were found in S. lessoni, and a small worm fragment was retrieved from a gull. Molecular phylogenies for 28S, ITS1-5.8S-ITS2, and cox1 genes revealed that the specimens from the gull and S. lessoni grouped closely together, suggesting they are conspecifics. Also, ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 sequences suggested one of the schistosomes from S. lessoni and a schistosome from a South African penguin were also conspecifics. Further study is needed to verify if these specimens comprise a distinct marine clade within the larger avian schistosome clade that is comprised mostly of species using freshwater snail hosts. Thus far, it appears this group of marine schistosomes may be more likely found in the southern hemisphere. It is unclear if the observed distribution pattern of schistosomes in Siphonaria is a result of sampling bias and/or indicative of a specific bird-snail-schistosome association. It is clear they are sharply differentiated from the basal marine clade of avian schistosomes that includes Austrobilharzia.

  13. High levels of perfluoroalkyl acids in eggs and embryo livers of great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis) and herring gull (Larus argentatus) from Lake Vänern, Sweden.

    PubMed

    Nordén, Marcus; Berger, Urs; Engwall, Magnus

    2013-11-01

    In the eggs and developing chick livers in the two wild bird species, great cormorant and herring gull, the concentrations of a range of 15 perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) were determined. Eggs of the two species were collected from Lake Vänern, Sweden, and analysed either as undeveloped egg (whole egg or separated into yolk and albumen) or incubated until start of the hatching process when the chick liver was removed and analysed. High levels of PFAAs were found in all matrixes except albumen. The predominant PFAA was perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), which was found in the μg/g wet weight (ww) range in some samples of cormorant whole egg, yolk and liver and herring gull egg yolk and liver. The average concentration in yolk was 1,506 ng/g ww in cormorant and 589 ng/g ww in herring gull. The average liver concentrations of PFOS were 583 ng/g ww in cormorant and 508 ng/g ww in herring gull. At these concentrations, biochemical effects in the developing embryo or effects on embryo survival cannot be ruled out. For perfluoroalkyl carboxylates (PFCAs), the liver/egg and liver/yolk concentration ratios increased with PFCA chain length in cormorant but not in herring gull, indicating that chain length could possibly affect egg-to-liver transfer of PFCAs and that species differences may exist.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-03-01

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

  15. Human Hair, Baltic Grey Seal (Halichoerus grypus) Fur and Herring Gull (Larus argentatus) Feathers as Accumulators of Bisphenol A and Alkylphenols.

    PubMed

    Nehring, Iga; Staniszewska, Marta; Falkowska, Lucyna

    2017-05-01

    The purpose of the study was to determine the concentration of bisphenol A (BPA), 4-tert-octylphenol (OP), and 4-nonylphenol (NP), in human hair, the fur of Baltic grey seals and the feathers of herring gulls. Hair was collected from 42 volunteers, while grey seal fur (n = 17) came from the seal centre in Hel (Marine Station of Institute of Oceanography, University of Gdansk) and gull covert feathers (n = 26) were collected from dead herring gulls along the Southern Baltic coast. Assays of phenol derivatives were conducted using the high performance liquid chromatography with fluorescence detection technique. In human hair, the mean BPA concentration amounted to 411.2 ng g(-1) dw, OP 131.2 ng g(-1) dw, NP 4478.4 ng g(-1) dw, in seal fur BPA 67.5 ng g(-1) dw, OP 62.8 ng g(-1) dw, NP 39.1 ng g(-1) dw, and in feathers BPA 145.1 ng g(-1) dw, OP 162.0 ng g(-1) dw, NP 37.7 ng g(-1) dw. The increase of the analysed EDCs in hair was significantly influenced by diet rich in products of marine origin, as well as hair colouring, heating up food in plastic containers, using home cleaning products without protective gloves and wearing newly purchased clothes without washing them first. The concentration of phenol derivatives in seal fur was influenced solely by the uniform diet rich in fish. In birds, the feeding area during molting significantly influenced the concentration of BPA, OP and NP found in covert feathers.

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

    PubMed

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

    1996-11-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2011-01-01

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

  18. Volatile Methylsiloxanes and Organophosphate Esters in the Eggs of European Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) and Congeneric Gull Species from Locations across Canada.

    PubMed

    Lu, Zhe; Martin, Pamela A; Burgess, Neil M; Champoux, Louise; Elliott, John E; Baressi, Enzo; De Silva, Amila O; de Solla, Shane R; Letcher, Robert J

    2017-09-05

    Volatile methylsiloxanes (VMSs) and organophosphate esters (OPEs) are two suites of chemicals that are of environmental concern as organic contaminants, but little is known about the exposure of wildlife to these contaminants, particularly in birds, in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. The present study investigates the spatial distributions of nine cyclic and linear VMSs and 17 OPEs in the eggs of European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) and three congeneric gull species (i.e., herring gull (Larus argentatus), glaucous-winged gull (L. glaucescens), and California gull (L. californicus)) from nesting sites across Canada. ∑VMS concentrations for all bird eggs were dominated by decamethylcyclopentasiloxane (D5), dodecamethylcyclohexasiloxane (D6), and octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane (D4). With European starlings, birds breeding adjacent to landfill sites had eggs containing significantly greater ∑VMS concentrations (median: 178 ng g(-1) wet weight (ww)) compared with those from the urban industrial (20 ng g(-1) ww) and rural sites (1.3 ng g(-1) ww), indicating that the landfills are important sources of VMSs to Canadian terrestrial environments. In gull eggs, the median ∑VMS concentrations were up to 254 ng g(-1) ww and suggested greater detection frequencies and levels of VMSs in aquatic- versus terrestrial-feeding birds in Canada. In contrast, the detection frequency of OPEs in all European starling and gull eggs was lower than 16%. This suggested that low dietary exposure or rapid metabolism of accumulated OPEs occurs in aquatic feeding birds and may warrant further investigation for the elucidation of the reasons for these differences.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

    During the period 1980-2000, the yellow-legged gull population underwent exponential growth due to an increase in the availability of anthropogenic food resources. The aim of this study was to highlight the effect of the gull colonies on the P soil cycle and the associated effects on coastal ecosystems. Samples of soil, water and faecal material were collected in a colony of yellow-legged gulls (Cíes Islands) and in a control area. Four sampling plots were installed in the study areas, and samples were collected in summer and winter in 1997 and 2011. Sample analysis included soil characterization and determination of the total P content (TP), bioavailable-P and fractionated-P forms in the soils and faecal material. The (31)P NMR technique was also used to determine organic P forms. Clear differences between the gull colony soils and the control soil were observed. The TP was 3 times higher in the gull colony soil, and the bioavailable P was 30 times higher than in the control soil. The P forms present at highest concentrations in the faecal material (P-apatite, P-residual and P-humic acid) were also present at high concentrations in the colony soil. The absence of any seasonal or annual differences in P concentration indicates that the P has remained stable in the soil over time, regardless of the changes in the gull population density. The degree of P saturation indicated that soils are saturated with P due to the low concentration of Fe/Al-hydroxides, which is consistent with a high P concentration in the run-off from the colonies. The P output from the colony soils to coastal waters may cause eutrophication of a nearby lagoon and the disappearance of a Zostera marina seagrass meadow. Similarly, the enrichment of P concentration in dune system of Muxieiro may induce irreversible changes in the plant communities. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Roost site selection by ring-billed and herring gulls

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2016-01-01

    Gulls (Larus spp.) commonly roost in large numbers on inland and coastal waters, yet there is little information on how or where gulls choose sites for roosting. Roost site selection can lead to water quality degradation or aviation hazards when roosts are formed on water supply reservoirs or are close to airports. Harassment programs are frequently initiated to move or relocate roosting gulls but often have mixed results because gulls are reluctant to leave or keep returning. As such, knowledge of gull roost site selection and roosting ecology has applied and ecological importance. We used satellite telemetry and an information-theoretic approach to model seasonal roost selection of ring-billed (L. delawarensis) and herring gulls (L. argentatus) in Massachusetts, USA. Our results indicated that ring-billed gulls preferred freshwater roosts and will use a variety of rivers, lakes, and reservoirs. Herring gulls regularly roosted on fresh water but used salt water roosts more often than ring-billed gulls and also roosted on a variety of land habitats. Roost modeling showed that herring and ring-billed gulls selected inland fresh water roosts based on size of the water body and proximity to their last daytime location; they selected the largest roost closest to where they ended the day. Management strategies to reduce or eliminate roosting gulls could identify and try to eliminate other habitat variables (e.g., close-by foraging sites) that are attracting gulls before attempting to relocate or redistribute (e.g., through hazing programs) roosting birds.

  3. Mercury concentrations in Common Tern Sterna hirundo and Slender-billed Gull Larus genei from the Shadegan Marshes of Iran, in north-western corner of the Persian Gulf.

    PubMed

    Zamani-Ahmadmahmoodi, Rasool; Alahverdi, Mostafa; Mirzaei, Roohallah

    2014-06-01

    We examined mercury levels in several tissues of Common Terns and Slender-billed Gulls collected from Shadegan Marshes of south-western Iran. In both species, total mercury content was highest in feathers followed by liver, kidney and muscle tissue. We found a significant correlation between mercury concentrations in kidney and breast feather (r=0.83, p<0.05), breast feather and liver (r=0.81, p<0.05) as well as liver and kidney (r=0.83, p<0.05). The contaminant levels in the feathers (11.53 and 15.32 μg/g in breast feather and tail feather, respectively) of Common Terns from Shadegan Marshes are higher than those reported for other tern species from elsewhere in the world, but feather mercury of Slender-billed Gull (6.61 and 5.35 μg/g in breast feather and tail feather, respectively) was similar to those reported for gull species worldwide. Mean values for mercury in the feather of two seabird species were higher than the levels known to cause adverse effects.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1974-01-01

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

  5. Multiple introduction of Asian H5N1 avian influenza virus in Croatia by wild birds during 2005-2006 and isolation of the virus from apparently healthy black-headed gulls (Larus ridibundus).

    PubMed

    Savić, Vladimir; Labrović, Ankica; Zelenika, Tajana Amsel; Balenović, Mirta; Separović, Sanja; Jurinović, Luka

    2010-11-01

    This study describes the introduction and spread of avian influenza A (H5N1) subtype in Croatia. Seventeen isolates were identified during the period from October 2005 to March 2006, all originating from wild birds. The full-length nucleotide sequence analysis of the hemagglutinin (HA) gene of seven representative isolates revealed that three distinct genetic strains involved in the outbreaks, implicating at least three independent introductions of the virus into Croatia during a relatively short period of time. All three genetic strains belonged to clade 2.2 (Qinghai-like viruses) and each strain displayed significant similarity to concurrent H5N1 viruses from other European countries. The dominant strain of the virus was present in all four affected areas and in all three bird species (mute swan, mallard, and black-headed gull), indicating cross-species transmission of the virus. Two other genetic strains were found, together with the dominant strain, only in a marsh at the Adriatic coast during late February and early March 2006, which could be associated with frozen water surfaces in the continental part of Croatia as well as in Eastern Europe in early 2006 and the movement of birds toward warmer areas. This is also the first isolation of highly pathogenic avian influenza virus of H5N1 subtype from apparently healthy black-headed gulls.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Metal levels in feathers of cormorants, flamingos and gulls from the coast of Namibia in southern Africa.

    PubMed

    Burger, J; Gochfeld, M

    2001-06-01

    Arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, manganese, mercury, selemium, and tin concentrations were measured in the feathers of Cape cormorant (Phalacrocorax capensis), Hartlaub's gull (Larus hartlaubii), kelp gull (Larus dominicanus), and lesser flamingo (Phoeniconaias minor) from the coast of Namibia in southern Africa. Metal concentrations in feathers represent the concentrations in the blood supply at the time of feather formation. Cape Cormorants are piscivores; kelp gulls are primarily piscivores; Hartlaub's gull is an omnivore; and lesser flamingos eat primarily blue-green algae and invertebrates filtered from the water and sediment of hypersaline lagoons. We predicted that metal concentrations would reflect these trophic level differences. There were significant species differences in the concentrations of all metals, with flamingos having the lowest levels, and cormorants having the highest levels of 4 metals but not mercury. The gulls had the highest levels of mercury, perhaps reflecting their more scavenging behavior.

  9. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Laughing gull

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zale, Alexander V.; Mulholland, Rosemarie

    1985-01-01

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

  10. [Paramonostomum antarcticum (Trematoda, Notocotylidae) in Larus dominicanus from South Shetlands (Antarctica)].

    PubMed

    Odening, K

    1982-08-01

    Paramonostomum antarcticum Graefe, 1968 from the rectum of blackbacked gull from King George as Island (South Shetlands, Antarctica) is described. As a result of that Larus dominicanus is presented the new host of this trematode. The morphology is compared with the original description of P. signiense Jones & Williams, 1969. The relations between the two possibly identical Antarctic species are discussed. It is proposed to invalidate the subgenus Paramonostomoides Yamaguti, 1971.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kadlec, J.A.

    1971-01-01

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

  12. Seasonal movements, migration, and range sizes of subadult and adult Bamforth Lake California Gulls

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pugesek, B.H.; Diem, K.L.; Cordes, C.L.

    1999-01-01

    We investigated seasonal migration patterns of three age classes of California Gulls (Larus californicus). Using band recovery data and reported sightings of patagially marked gulls, we constructed location maps for fledglings, one to two-year-old gulls, and breeding-age adult gulls during five time periods: spring migration, breeding season, early and late fall migration, and winter. Using repeated observations, we also produced a location map with directional vector plots. Gulls followed a triangular pattern of movements. At the conclusion of breeding, gulls migrated west and northwest to the Pacific coast, distributing themselves mainly between San Francisco and British Columbia. During winter, gulls moved south along the Pacific coast and by spring were concentrated in southern California and northern Mexico. The range size was largest among fledgings which provided the northernmost and southernmost observations for the population. Few subadult gulls migrated to the breeding colony. During the breeding season, a substantial portion of breeding-aged adults remained on the Pacific coast and throughout the intermountain west but were not observed at other California gull colonies. While fledgings moved directly toward the Pacific coast at the end of the breeding season, many adults lingered near the colony site at aquatic habitats south of the colony. We suggest that adults remain longer in the area to feed and to rejuvenate before attempting migration.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2013-05-25

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Sexing California gulls using morphometrics and discriminant function analysis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Herring, Garth; Ackerman, Joshua T.; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Takekawa, John Y.

    2010-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1994-12-31

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

  17. A survey for avian influenza from gulls on the coasts of the District of Pinamar and the Lagoon Salada Grande, General Madariaga, Argentina.

    PubMed

    Buscaglia, Celina

    2012-12-01

    In the present study, fecal samples obtained from kelp gulls (Larus dominicanus), brown-hooded gulls (Larus maculipennis), and Olrog's gulls (Larus atlanticus) on the coast of the District of Pinamar, and grey-hooded gulls (Larus cirrocephalus) on the coast of the Lagoon Salada Grande and surrounding wetlands, General Madariaga, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina, were tested for evidence of avian influenza virus over a period of 3 yr. This surveillance in free-living wild birds in the Buenos Aires Province started in October 2008. Additional samples, which included cloacal swabs, tracheal swabs, or pooled organs, were obtained from sick or dead gulls that arrived at the Fundaci6n Ecol6gica Pinamar or were provided by the Direcci6n de Seguridad en Playas, Municipalidad de Pinamar. Samples were pooled according to date, species, and area. Pooled samples were inoculated in 9- to 11-day-old eggs, and after 5 days, allantoic fluids were tested for evidence of hemagglutination. None of the samples was positive for avian influenza viruses.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hollmen, T.; Franson, J. Christian; Docherty, Douglas E.; Kilpi, Mikael; Hario, Martti; Creekmore, Lynn H.; Petersen, Margaret R.

    2000-01-01

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

  19. Herring gull eggs indicate stabilizing Great Lakes PCB concentrations

    SciTech Connect

    Stow, C.

    1995-12-31

    The author evaluated the fit of 3 alternative models to herring gull (Larus argentatus) egg PCB concentration data from 1978--1992 to examine whether PCB levels were decreasing or had ceased to decline. The best fit models indicate that, following initial declines, no discernible PCB decreases are occurring in 4 of the 5 lakes. Only Lake Erie indicates a continued PCB decline, though the Erie data may be too noisy to differentiate model fits. These results are consistent with previous analyses indicating stable PCB concentrations in Lake Michigan fishes and suggest that further improvements may be too slow to be of practical importance from a management perspective.

  20. Gulls Are Not "Seagulls"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wheat, Maxwell Corydon, Jr.

    1976-01-01

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

  1. Chewing lice (Phthiraptera: Amblycera, Ischnocera) from Red Sea gulls with new host-parasite records.

    PubMed

    Al-Ahmed, Azzam; Shobrak, Mohammed; Nasser, Mohamed G E-D

    2014-04-23

    Knowledge about chewing lice from marine birds of the Red Sea is minimal. Five species of gulls were examined for chewing lice in three different localities of the Saudi Arabian Red Sea coast. Two gull species were examined for lice for the first time (Larus armenicus Buturlin, 1934 and Larus michahellis Naumann, 1840) and their lice represent new host-louse associations. Four species and two subspecies of lice were identified from 159 specimens collected. Actornithophilus piceus lari (Packard, 1870) and Austromenopon transversum (Denny, 1842) (suborder: Amblycera), and Quadraceps punctatus (Burmeister, 1838) and Saemundssonia lari (O. Fabricius, 1780) (suborder: Ischnocera) were recorded for the first time from Saudi Arabia and Red Sea birds. Taxonomic and ecological notes, type hosts, data on specimens examined, collecting localities, an identification key, and photographs of each species and subspecies are given. 

  2. Slaty-backed Gull in Sullivan Co., NY

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Freer, V.; Haas, J.; Buckley, P.A.

    2002-01-01

    An adult Slaty-backed Gull (Larus schistisagus) was found and photographed at Neversink Reservoir, Sullivan Co., NY on 20 February 2002. A native of northeastern Eurasia and northern Japan, this species is rare along the Bering coast of Alaska, and there are only a handful of scattered records in the lower 48 state since the first in St Louis along the Mississippi River in late 1983. There is one previous New York State occurrence, in the Niagara River Gorge area of NY/ONT, 24 November-29 December 1992. The Sullivan Co. adult is the closest confirmed Slaty-backed Gull to the Atlantic Coast; recent single individuals along the Susquehanna River in MD, and at Cape Hatteras NC remain in dispute.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2004-01-01

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

  4. Hydrogen isotope composition of leaf wax n-alkanes in glaucous and non-glaucous varieties of wheat (Triticum spp.)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pedentchouk, Nikolai; Eley, Yvette; Frizell-Armitage, Amelia; Uauy, Cristobal

    2015-04-01

    The use of the 2H/1H composition of terrestrial plants in climate and ecology studies depends on fundamental understanding of the processes within the plant that control fractionation of these two isotopes. Little is currently known about the extent of 2H/1H fractionation at different steps of biosynthesis, after the initial H uptake following leaf water photolysis. Knowing this effect is particularly important when seeking to interpret the 2H/1H composition of leaf wax biomarkers from plants that differ in the amount and type of individual compound classes in their leaf waxes. The purpose of this study was to investigate the link between the quantity and distribution of n-alkyl lipids in leaf waxes and their isotopic composition. We used a genetic approach to suppress glaucousness in 2 varieties of wheat (Alchemy and Malacca), which resulted in glaucous and non-glaucous phenotypes of both varieties. Both phenotypes were then grown outdoors under identical environmental conditions in central Norfolk, UK. At the end of the growing season, the plants were sampled for soil water, leaf water, and leaf wax isotopic measurements. Comparison of the leaf wax composition of the non-glaucous and glaucous phenotypes revealed that the non-glaucous varieties were characterised by the absence of diketones and a greater concentration of n-alkanes and primary alcohols.. Our results showed very small differences between glaucous and non-glaucous varieties with regard to soil (mean values, <2 per mil) and leaf (<1 per mil) water 2H/1H. Conversely, there was 15-20 and 10-15 per mil 2H-depletion in the C29 and C31 n-alkanes, respectively, from the non-glaucous phenotype. This 2H-depletion in the non-glaucous phenotype demonstrated that the suppression of diketone production and the increase in n-alkane and primary alcohol concentrations are linked with a shift in the 2H/1H composition of n-alkanes. The initial results of this work suggest that plants using the same environmental water

  5. Molecular and epidemiological characterization of avian influenza viruses from gulls and dabbling ducks in Norway

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Wild aquatic birds constitute the natural reservoir for avian influenza viruses (AIVs). Separate Eurasian and American AIV gene pools exist. Here, the prevalence and diversity of AIVs in gulls and dabbling ducks in Norway were described. The influence of host species and temporal changes on AIV prevalence was examined. Five AIVs from Norway, including three from common gull (Larus canus), were analyzed along with 10 available AIV genomes from gulls in Eurasia to search for evidence of intracontinental and intercontinental reassortment of gene segments encoding the internal viral proteins. Methods Swabs collected from 2417 dabbling ducks and gulls in the south-west of Norway during five ordinary hunting seasons (August-December) in the period 2005–2010 were analyzed for presence of AIV. Multivariate linear regression was used to identify associations between AIV prevalence, host species and sampling time. Five AIVs from mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) (H3N8, H9N2) and common gull (H6N8, H13N2, H16N3) were full-length characterized and phylogenetically analyzed together with GenBank reference sequences. Results Low pathogenic AIVs were detected in 15.5% (CI: 14.1–17.0) of the samples. The overall AIV prevalence was lower in December compared to that found in August to November (p = 0.003). AIV was detected in 18.7% (CI: 16.8–20.6) of the dabbling ducks. A high AIV prevalence of 7.8% (CI; 5.9–10.0) was found in gulls. A similar temporal pattern in AIV prevalence was found in both bird groups. Thirteen hemagglutinin and eight neuraminidase subtypes were detected. No evidence of intercontinental reassortment was found. Eurasian avian (non H13 and H16) PB2 or PA genes were identified in five reference Eurasian gull (H13 and H16) AIV genomes from GenBank. The NA gene from the Norwegian H13N2 gull isolate was of Eurasian avian origin. Conclusions The similar temporal pattern in AIV prevalence found in dabbling ducks and gulls, the relatively high virus

  6. Molecular and epidemiological characterization of avian influenza viruses from gulls and dabbling ducks in Norway.

    PubMed

    Tønnessen, Ragnhild; Kristoffersen, Anja B; Jonassen, Christine M; Hjortaas, Monika J; Hansen, Elisabeth F; Rimstad, Espen; Hauge, Anna G

    2013-04-10

    Wild aquatic birds constitute the natural reservoir for avian influenza viruses (AIVs). Separate Eurasian and American AIV gene pools exist. Here, the prevalence and diversity of AIVs in gulls and dabbling ducks in Norway were described. The influence of host species and temporal changes on AIV prevalence was examined. Five AIVs from Norway, including three from common gull (Larus canus), were analyzed along with 10 available AIV genomes from gulls in Eurasia to search for evidence of intracontinental and intercontinental reassortment of gene segments encoding the internal viral proteins. Swabs collected from 2417 dabbling ducks and gulls in the south-west of Norway during five ordinary hunting seasons (August-December) in the period 2005-2010 were analyzed for presence of AIV. Multivariate linear regression was used to identify associations between AIV prevalence, host species and sampling time. Five AIVs from mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) (H3N8, H9N2) and common gull (H6N8, H13N2, H16N3) were full-length characterized and phylogenetically analyzed together with GenBank reference sequences. Low pathogenic AIVs were detected in 15.5% (CI: 14.1-17.0) of the samples. The overall AIV prevalence was lower in December compared to that found in August to November (p = 0.003). AIV was detected in 18.7% (CI: 16.8-20.6) of the dabbling ducks. A high AIV prevalence of 7.8% (CI; 5.9-10.0) was found in gulls. A similar temporal pattern in AIV prevalence was found in both bird groups. Thirteen hemagglutinin and eight neuraminidase subtypes were detected. No evidence of intercontinental reassortment was found. Eurasian avian (non H13 and H16) PB2 or PA genes were identified in five reference Eurasian gull (H13 and H16) AIV genomes from GenBank. The NA gene from the Norwegian H13N2 gull isolate was of Eurasian avian origin. The similar temporal pattern in AIV prevalence found in dabbling ducks and gulls, the relatively high virus prevalence detected in gulls and the evidence of

  7. Timing and location of mortality of fledgling, subadult, and adult California Gulls

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pugesek, B.H.; Diem, K.L.

    2008-01-01

    We investigated patterns of mortality during post-breeding migrations of California Gulls (Larus californicus) nesting near Laramie, Wyoming, USA. We used 151 recoveries and 647 sightings of banded and patagially-marked gulls to compare ratios of mortalities to observations of live birds (1) during four time periods (early and late fall migration, winter, and spring migration), (2) at two locations (Pacific coast and inland), and (3) among three age-classes of gulls (fledglings, 1- and 2-year-olds, and breeding-age adults). Mortality rates were higher in inland areas (35%) than in coastal areas (15%) and were dependent on season within inland areas, but not in coastal areas. Mortality in inland areas during early fall (21%) was comparable with that in coastal areas (13%) but was higher during late fall (68 vs. 13%) and spring migration (46 vs. 17%). Both fledgling (71%) and adult (64%) gulls experienced high mortality rates during late fall migration, possibly because some gulls were too weak to make their way to the Pacific coast and became trapped by poor weather conditions. Adult gulls also experienced high mortality inland during spring migration; few subadults made the costly migration to and from the breeding area. Some adults also skipped breeding and remained in coastal areas during the breeding season.

  8. Identification of human enteric pathogens in gull feces at Southwestern Lake Michigan bathing beaches.

    PubMed

    Kinzelman, Julie; McLellan, Sandra L; Amick, Ashley; Preedit, Justine; Scopel, Caitlin O; Olapade, Ola; Gradus, Steve; Singh, Ajaib; Sedmak, Gerald

    2008-12-01

    Ring-billed (Larus delawarensis Ord, 1815) and herring (Larus argentatus Pontoppidan, 1763) gulls are predominant species of shorebirds in coastal areas. Gulls contribute to the fecal indicator burden in beach sands, which, once transported to bathing waters, may result in water quality failures. The importance of these contamination sources must not be overlooked when considering the impact of poor bathing water quality on human health. This study examined the occurrence of human enteric pathogens in gull populations at Racine, Wisconsin. For 12 weeks in 2004 and 2005, and 7 weeks in 2006, 724 gull fecal samples were examined for pathogen occurrence on traditional selective media (BBL CHROMagar-Salmonella, Remel Campy-BAP, 7% horse blood agar) or through the use of novel isolation techniques (Campylobacter, EC FP5-funded CAMPYCHECK Project), and confirmed using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for pathogens commonly harbored in gulls. An additional 226 gull fecal samples, collected in the same 12-week period in 2004, from a beach in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, were evaluated with standard microbiological methods and PCR. Five isolates of Salmonella (0.7%), 162 (22.7%) isolates of Campylobacter, 3 isolates of Aeromonas hydrophila group 2 (0.4%), and 28 isolates of Plesiomonas shigelloides (3.9%) were noted from the Racine beach. No occurrences of Salmonella and 3 isolates of Campylobacter (0.4%) were found at the Milwaukee beach. A subset of the 2004 samples was also examined for Giardia and Cryptosporidium and was found to be negative. Information as to the occurrence of human pathogens in beach ecosystems is essential to design further studies assessing human health risk and to determine the parameters influencing the fate and transport of pathogens in the nearshore environment.

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-31

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-15

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Herring, Garth; Ackerman, Joshua T.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2002-01-01

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

  19. Current concentrations and spatial and temporal trends in mercury in Great Lakes Herring Gull eggs, 1974-2009.

    PubMed

    Weseloh, D V Chip; Moore, David J; Hebert, Craig E; de Solla, Shane R; Braune, Birgit M; McGoldrick, Daryl J

    2011-10-01

    Current concentrations and spatial and temporal trends of total mercury (Hg) were assessed in eggs of the Herring Gull (Larus argentatus) over the period 1974-2009 at 15 sites in the Great Lakes: 2-3 sites per lake and one site in each of 3 connecting channels. Current (2009) concentrations ranged from 0.064 μg/g (wet weight) at Chantry Island (Lake Huron) to 0.246 μg/g at Middle Island (Lake Erie). There were significant inter-colony differences in mean Hg concentrations (2005-2009). Mercury concentrations at 14 of 15 sites declined from 23 to 86% between when it was first measured (usually 1974) and 2009. Declining temporal trends over the entire period (1974-2009) were significant at 10 of the 15 sites. On the other hand, there were no significant trends in mercury over the last 15 years. In the early years, declines of Hg in Herring Gull eggs tracked those in Rainbow Smelt (Osmerus mordax) in most Great Lakes. More recently, declines in gull eggs were more evident than in smelt and may be partially explained by temporal changes in the gull diet. When gull Hg data were adjusted for temporal changes in the gull diet, as inferred from stable nitrogen isotope values in eggs, significant declines in egg mercury levels were found only at 4 of 15 sites. Overall, Hg concentrations have declined in Great Lakes Herring Gull eggs over the period 1974-2009 but changes in the gull diet may be contributing, in part, to those declines. Examination of contaminant temporal trends in multiple indicator species will ensure accurate inferences regarding contaminant availability in the environment.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  1. Satellite tracking on the flyways of brown-headed gulls and their potential role in the spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 virus.

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  2. Interpreting temporal trends in Great Lakes organochlorine levels: Results from the herring gull surveillance program

    SciTech Connect

    Hebert, C.E.; Shutt, J.L.; Norstrom, R.J.; Weseloh, D.V.

    1995-12-31

    The Canadian Wildlife Service`s herring gull (Larus argentatus) surveillance program has demonstrated the utility of this species as a monitor of spatial and temporal trends in Great Lakes contaminant levels. Organochlorine concentrations in herring gull eggs decreased significantly in the 1970s and early 1980s as a result of control measures. Since the mid-1980s, however, concentrations of many compounds have been relatively constant. In addition, periodic fluctuations in egg contaminant concentrations hamper the ability to interpret more recent temporal trends in organochlorine levels. To evaluate the progress towards achieving the virtual elimination of organochlorines from the Great Lakes the authors must improve their understanding of the factors which regulate organochlorine bioaccumulation. This is particularly important for those species which have been selected as key indicators of ecosystem contamination, such as the herring gull. The goal of this paper is to examine some of the factors which may be responsible for the temporal fluctuations in herring gull egg contaminant concentrations. The regulation of contaminant bioavailability and transfer by changes in weather patterns and food web dynamics will be examined.

  3. Mercury contamination and stable isotopes reveal variability in foraging ecology of generalist California gulls

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Peterson, Sarah; Ackerman, Josh; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.

    2017-01-01

    Environmental contaminants are a concern for animal health, but contaminant exposure can also be used as a tracer of foraging ecology. In particular, mercury (Hg) concentrations are highly variable among aquatic and terrestrial food webs as a result of habitat- and site-specific biogeochemical processes that produce the bioaccumulative form, methylmercury (MeHg). We used stable isotopes and total Hg (THg) concentrations of a generalist consumer, the California gull (Larus californicus), to examine foraging ecology and illustrate the utility of using Hg contamination as an ecological tracer under certain conditions. We identified four main foraging clusters of gulls during pre-breeding and breeding, using a traditional approach based on light stable isotopes. The foraging cluster with the highest δ15N and δ34S values in gulls (cluster 4) had mean blood THg concentrations 614% (pre-breeding) and 250% (breeding) higher than gulls with the lowest isotope values (cluster 1). Using a traditional approach of stable-isotope mixing models, we showed that breeding birds with a higher proportion of garbage in their diet (cluster 2: 63–82% garbage) corresponded to lower THg concentrations and lower δ15N and δ34S values. In contrast, gull clusters with higher THg concentrations, which were more enriched in 15N and 34S isotopes, consumed a higher proportion of more natural, estuarine prey. δ34S values, which change markedly across the terrestrial to marine habitat gradient, were positively correlated with blood THg concentrations in gulls. The linkage we observed between stable isotopes and THg concentrations suggests that Hg contamination can be used as an additional tool for understanding animal foraging across coastal habitat gradients.

  4. Molecular characterization of novel circoviruses from finch and gull.

    PubMed

    Todd, D; Scott, A N J; Fringuelli, E; Shivraprasad, H L; Gavier-Widen, D; Smyth, J A

    2007-02-01

    The purpose of this study was to molecularly characterize circoviruses that infect finches and gulls. Circovirus-specific DNAs were isolated using polymerase chain reaction methods from bursa of Fabricius tissues from a Gouldian finch (Chloebia gouldiae) and a herring gull (Larus argentatus) that were known to be circovirus-infected. Nucleotide sequence determination and analysis of cloned genomic DNAs showed that these circoviruses represented novel members of the genus Circovirus of the family Circoviridae, and have been tentatively named Finch circovirus (FiCV) and Gull Circovirus (GuCV). Both new circoviruses shared genome organizational features with previously characterized circoviruses, such that both contained two major, inversely-arranged open reading frames encoding the putative replication-associated and capsid proteins, and both contained a potential stem-loop and nonanucleotide motif. Phylogenetic analyses based on genome nucleotide sequences and involving the seven additional genus members indicated that FiCV and GuCV were more closely related to canary circovirus, beak and feather disease virus and pigeon circovirus, and that FiCV and canary circovirus were the most closely related avian circoviruses. Pairwise comparisons showed that the capsid proteins of FiCV and GuCV shared highest amino acid identity values with those of canary circovirus (62.0%) and pigeon circovirus (40.6%), respectively. The 5' intergenic region of GuCV was longer (207 nucleotides) and contained more direct and inverse repeated sequences than those of other circoviruses, while the 3' intergenic region of FiCV was notable in being longer (307 nucleotides) than its counterparts in other circoviruses and in containing two long repeats of 77 nucleotides.

  5. Land or sea? Foraging area choice during breeding by an omnivorous gull.

    PubMed

    Isaksson, Natalie; Evans, Thomas J; Shamoun-Baranes, Judy; Åkesson, Susanne

    2016-01-01

    Generalist predators may vary their diet and use of habitat according to both internal state (e.g. breeding stage) and external (e.g. weather) factors. Lesser black-backed gulls Larus fuscus (Linnaeus 1758) are dietary generalists, foraging in both terrestrial and marine habitats during breeding. We investigate what affects the gulls' propensity to forage at sea or on land. We assess the importance of terrestrial foraging to gulls in the Baltic Sea (sub. sp. L. f. fuscus), looking especially at their use of agricultural fields. Through the GPS tracking of 19 individuals across 3 years we tracked 1038 foraging trips and found that 21.2 % of foraging trips were predominantly terrestrial, 9.0 % were a mix of terrestrial and marine, and 68.5 % were exclusively marine. Terrestrial trips were (1) more frequent when departing around sunrise, whereas marine trips occurred throughout the day. Additionally, trips with mostly land-based foraging decreased as the breeding season progressed, suggesting dietary switching coincident with the onset of chick provisioning. (2) During cloudy and cold conditions terrestrial foraging trips were more likely. (3) We found no differences between sexes in their land-based foraging strategy. (4) Gull individuals showed great variation in foraging strategy. Using observations of agricultural fields, carried out for one year, we found that (5) gulls preferentially foraged on fields with short vegetation, and there was a positive association with occurrence of waders and other species of gulls. (6) The availability and use of these preferred fields decreased through the breeding period. This study found high prevalence of terrestrial foraging during early breeding as well as support for dietary switching early in the breeding season. The overall tendency for marine or terrestrial foraging was consistent within individuals, with gull identity accounting for much of the variation observed in foraging trips. Our results suggest that

  6. Reductions in Gull Populations Improve Beachwater Quality.

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  7. Reductions in Gull Populations Improve Beachwater Quality.

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-12-31

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

  9. Anthropogenic debris in the nests of kelp gulls in South Africa.

    PubMed

    Witteveen, Minke; Brown, Mark; Ryan, Peter G

    2017-01-30

    Anthropogenic debris results in detrimental interactions with many marine species. Several seabirds include debris items in their nests, which can lead to entanglement of chicks and adults, resulting in injury or death. Anthropogenic debris was found in 4-67% of kelp gull Larus dominicanus nests in seven colonies in the Western Cape, South Africa. Nests contained two types of litter: items included in the nest structure during construction (mainly ropes and straps), and regurgitated items (mainly bags and food wrappers) that probably accumulate primarily during the chick-rearing period. Debris used in nest construction was more likely to injure gulls, and was found mainly at coastal sites where there was little natural vegetation for construction. Distance to the nearest urban waste landfill significantly affected the occurrence of debris items in nests, especially dietary-derived items. The amount of debris in kelp gull nests highlights the need for improved debris management in South Africa. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Nutrient transfer from sea to land: the case of gulls and cormorants in the Gulf of Maine.

    PubMed

    Ellis, Julie C; Fariña, Jose Miguel; Witman, Jon D

    2006-03-01

    1. The structure of communities is influenced by the transport of resources across ecosystem boundaries. Seabirds are capable of introducing large amounts of marine-derived nutrients to land, thereby modifying resource availability to terrestrial species. 2. In this study we investigated the hypothesis that variation in nesting densities of great black-backed gulls Larus marinus and double-crested cormorants Phalacrocorax auritus would modify the effect of these species on soil nutrients and plant species composition on offshore islands in the Gulf of Maine, USA. 3. Our results showed a significant positive correlation between nest density and concentrations of ammonia and nitrate in soils, but no significant relationship between nest density and phosphate. Ammonia and phosphate concentrations were good predictors of plant species composition; there were more annual forbs than perennial grasses in the abandoned cormorant colony compared with the gull colonies. Extremely high concentrations of ammonia in the highest density colony (active cormorant) may have been the main factor inhibiting plant germination at this site. All of the plant species in gull and cormorant colonies showed enriched delta(15)N signatures, indicating substantial input of marine-derived nitrogen from seabirds. 4. Our study demonstrated that gulls and cormorants are effective vectors for the transport of marine nutrients to terrestrial ecosystems. However, transported nutrients occurred in particularly high concentrations in areas with nesting cormorants. Nesting densities and species-specific variation in resource transport should be considered when predicting the effects of seabirds and other biogenic vectors of allochthonous resources.

  11. Kelp and dolphin gulls cause perineal wounds in South American fur seal pups (Arctocephalus australis) at Guafo Island, Chilean Patagonia.

    PubMed

    Seguel, Mauricio; Muñoz, Francisco; Montalva, Felipe; Perez-Venegas, Diego; Pavés, Héctor; Gottdenker, Nicole

    2017-07-01

    During five reproductive seasons, we documented the presence, extent and origin of perineal wounds in South American fur seal pups (Arctocephalus australis) on Guafo Island, Northern Chilean Patagonia. The seasonal prevalence of perineal wounds ranged from 5 to 9%, and new cases were more common at the end of the breeding season (February), when pups were on average two months old and were actively expelling hookworms (Uncinaria sp). Histologically, wounds corresponded to marked ulcerative lymphoplasmacytic and histiocytic dermatitis with granulation tissue and mixed bacterial colonies. In 2015 and 2017, kelp gulls (Larus dominicanus) and dolphin gulls (Leucophaeus scoresbii) were observed picking and wounding the perineal area of marked pups. This behaviour occurred more frequently after the pups' defecation, when sea gulls engaged in consumption of pups' faeces. The affected pups usually had moderate to marked hookworm infections along with bloody diarrhoea and anaemia. Pups with severe wounds (23% of affected animals) had swollen perineal areas and signs of secondary systemic bacterial infection. We propose that seagulls on Guafo Island have learned to consume remains of blood and parasites in the faeces of pups affected by hookworm infection, causing perineal wounds during this process. We conclude that this perineal wounding is an unintentional, occasional negative effect of an otherwise commensal gull-fur seal relationship.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-11-01

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

  13. Populations and productivity of seabirds at South Marble Island, Glacier Bay, Alaska, during May-July, 1999

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zador, Stephani G.; Piatt, John F.

    1999-01-01

    In the course of directed research on glaucous-winged gulls, we investigated the numbers and activities of all breeding and non-breeding seabirds associated with South Marble Island in Glacier Bay, Alaska, during mid-May to late July, 1999. Most observations were made from the island; additional observations were made during transportation to and from the island. Data were collected on the presence and numbers of all seabirds observed. Detailed information on breeding chronology and productivity were also collected for glaucous-winged gulls (Larus glaucescens), pigeon guillemots (Cepphus columba), black-legged kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla), and black oystercatchers (Haemantopus bachmani).

  14. The early history of glaucoma: the glaucous eye (800 BC to 1050 AD).

    PubMed

    Leffler, Christopher T; Schwartz, Stephen G; Hadi, Tamer M; Salman, Ali; Vasuki, Vivek

    2015-01-01

    To the ancient Greeks, glaukos occasionally described diseased eyes, but more typically described healthy irides, which were glaucous (light blue, gray, or green). During the Hippocratic period, a pathologic glaukos pupil indicated a media opacity that was not dark. Although not emphasized by present-day ophthalmologists, the pupil in acute angle closure may appear somewhat green, as the mid-dilated pupil exposes the cataractous lens. The ancient Greeks would probably have described a (normal) green iris or (diseased) green pupil as glaukos. During the early Common Era, eye pain, a glaucous hue, pupil irregularities, and absence of light perception indicated a poor prognosis with couching. Galen associated the glaucous hue with a large, anterior, or hard crystalline lens. Medieval Arabic authors translated glaukos as zarqaa, which also commonly described light irides. Ibn Sina (otherwise known as Avicenna) wrote that the zarqaa hue could occur due to anterior prominence of the lens and could occur in an acquired manner. The disease defined by the glaucous pupil in antiquity is ultimately indeterminate, as the complete syndrome of acute angle closure was not described. Nonetheless, it is intriguing that the glaucous pupil connoted a poor prognosis, and came to be associated with a large, anterior, or hard crystalline lens.

  15. The early history of glaucoma: the glaucous eye (800 BC to 1050 AD)

    PubMed Central

    Leffler, Christopher T; Schwartz, Stephen G; Hadi, Tamer M; Salman, Ali; Vasuki, Vivek

    2015-01-01

    To the ancient Greeks, glaukos occasionally described diseased eyes, but more typically described healthy irides, which were glaucous (light blue, gray, or green). During the Hippocratic period, a pathologic glaukos pupil indicated a media opacity that was not dark. Although not emphasized by present-day ophthalmologists, the pupil in acute angle closure may appear somewhat green, as the mid-dilated pupil exposes the cataractous lens. The ancient Greeks would probably have described a (normal) green iris or (diseased) green pupil as glaukos. During the early Common Era, eye pain, a glaucous hue, pupil irregularities, and absence of light perception indicated a poor prognosis with couching. Galen associated the glaucous hue with a large, anterior, or hard crystalline lens. Medieval Arabic authors translated glaukos as zarqaa, which also commonly described light irides. Ibn Sina (otherwise known as Avicenna) wrote that the zarqaa hue could occur due to anterior prominence of the lens and could occur in an acquired manner. The disease defined by the glaucous pupil in antiquity is ultimately indeterminate, as the complete syndrome of acute angle closure was not described. Nonetheless, it is intriguing that the glaucous pupil connoted a poor prognosis, and came to be associated with a large, anterior, or hard crystalline lens. PMID:25673972

  16. Begging coordination between siblings in Black-headed Gulls.

    PubMed

    Blanc, Alain; Ogier, Nicolas; Roux, Angélique; Denizeau, Sébastien; Mathevon, Nicolas

    2010-09-01

    Communication behaviours are now considered from a signallers-receivers network perspective. This concept seems well suited to the study of interactions between parents and offspring in birds, so far mainly treated as a dyadic signalling system involving the brood or a single chick as a signaller and the parent as a receiver. Family conflicts over resource allocation drive parent-offspring and sib-sib communication. In the Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus, parents respond to the whole-brood begging intensity and siblings often synchronize their begging signalling thus limiting individual effort. By monitoring five nests of two-chick broods during the whole rearing period in the nest, we show how an intra-brood simultaneity of begging emerges from successive phases of solitary begging of junior and senior nestlings. Although this result remains preliminary due to the sample size, it underlines a dynamical aspect of chicks' behaviour. Because they always favour coordinated begging and because they elevate their response threshold across the rearing period, parents may play a major role in the plasticity of begging behaviour.

  17. Haldane's rule revisited: do hybrid females have a shorter lifespan? Survival of hybrids in a recent contact zone between two large gull species.

    PubMed

    Neubauer, G; Nowicki, P; Zagalska-Neubauer, M

    2014-06-01

    Haldane's rule predicts that particularly high fitness reduction should affect the heterogametic sex of interspecific hybrids. Despite the fact that hybridization is widespread in birds, survival of hybrid individuals is rarely addressed in studies of avian hybrid zones, possibly because of methodological constraints. Here, having applied capture-mark-recapture models to an extensive, 19-year-long data set on individually marked birds, we estimate annual survival rates of hybrid individuals in the hybrid zone between herring (Larus argentatus) and Caspian (Larus cachinnans) gulls. In both parental species, males have a slightly higher survival rate than females (model-weighted mean ± SE: herring gull males 0.88 ± 0.01, females 0.87 ± 0.01, Caspian gull males 0.88 ± 0.01, females 0.87 ± 0.01). Hybrid males do not survive for a shorter time than nonhybrid ones (0.88 ± 0.01), whereas hybrid females have the lowest survival rate among all groups of individuals (0.83 ± 0.03). This translates to a shorter adult (reproductive) lifespan (on average by 1.7-1.8 years, i.e. ca 25%) compared with nonhybrid females. We conclude that, in line with Haldane's rule, the lower survival rate of female hybrids may contribute to selection against hybrids in this hybrid zone.

  18. Flexibility of habitat use in novel environments: insights from a translocation experiment with lesser black-backed gulls

    PubMed Central

    Arriero, Elena; Huttunen, Markku J.; Juvaste, Risto; Müller, Inge; Thorup, Kasper; Wikelski, Martin

    2017-01-01

    Being faced with unknown environments is a concomitant challenge of species' range expansions. Strategies to cope with this challenge include the adaptation to local conditions and a flexibility in resource exploitation. The gulls of the Larus argentatus-fuscus-cachinnans group form a system in which ecological flexibility might have enabled them to expand their range considerably, and to colonize urban environments. However, on a population level both flexibility and local adaptation lead to signatures of differential habitat use in different environments, and these processes are not easily distinguished. Using the lesser black-backed gull (Larus fuscus) as a system, we put both flexibility and local adaptation to a test. We compare habitat use between two spatially separated populations, and use a translocation experiment during which individuals were released into novel environment. The experiment revealed that on a population-level flexibility best explains the differences in habitat use between the two populations. We think that our results suggest that the range expansion and huge success of this species complex could be a result of its broad ecological niche and flexibility in the exploitation of resources. However, this also advises caution when using species distribution models to extrapolate habitat use across space. PMID:28280543

  19. Within clutch co-variation of egg mass and sex in the black-headed gull.

    PubMed

    Müller, W; Groothuis, T G G; Eising, C M; Daan, S; Dijkstra, C

    2005-05-01

    Female birds of several species have control over the production of daughters and sons. However, most studies failed to find a relationship between egg size and sex. This is intriguing as adjustment of egg size would constitute a powerful tool for the female to meet different resource demands of the sexes, particularly in size dimorphic species. Our results show that, within clutches of black-headed gulls (Larus ridibundus) the proportion of males was positively associated with egg mass. This applied for all three laying positions, independently of the absolute egg mass. There was a significant relationship between the distribution of the sexes over the laying sequence and the egg mass change. When egg mass decreased over the sequence, first-laid eggs were male biased and last-laid eggs female biased, and vice versa. The potential adaptive value of this allocation strategy is evaluated with regard to male sensitivity to egg quality and competitive differences between the sexes.

  20. Mercury levels in herring gulls and fish: 42 years of spatio-temporal trends in the Great Lakes.

    PubMed

    Blukacz-Richards, E Agnes; Visha, Ariola; Graham, Matthew L; McGoldrick, Daryl L; de Solla, Shane R; Moore, David J; Arhonditsis, George B

    2017-04-01

    Total mercury levels in aquatic birds and fish communities have been monitored across the Canadian Great Lakes by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) for the past 42 years (1974-2015). These data (22 sites) were used to examine spatio-temporal variability of mercury levels in herring gull (Larus argentatus) eggs, lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush), walleye (Sander vitreus), and rainbow smelt (Osmerus mordax). Trends were quantified with dynamic linear models, which provided time-variant rates of change of mercury concentrations. Lipid content (in both fish and eggs) and length in fish were used as covariates in all models. For the first three decades, mercury levels in gull eggs and fish declined at all stations. In the 2000s, trends for herring gull eggs reversed at two sites in Lake Erie and two sites in Lake Ontario. Similar trend reversals in the 2000s were observed for lake trout in Lake Superior and at a single station in Lake Ontario. Mercury levels in lake trout continued to slowly decline at all of the remaining stations, except for Lake Huron, where the levels remained stable. A post-hoc Bayesian regression analysis suggests strong trophic interactions between herring gulls and rainbow smelt in Lake Superior and Lake Ontario, but also pinpoints the likelihood of a trophic decoupling in Lake Huron and Lake Erie. Continued monitoring of mercury levels in herring gulls and fish is required to consolidate these trophic shifts and further evaluate their broader implications. Crown Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Susceptibility of North American ducks and gulls to H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses.

    PubMed

    Brown, Justin D; Stallknecht, David E; Beck, Joan R; Suarez, David L; Swayne, David E

    2006-11-01

    Since 2002, H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPA1) viruses have been associated with deaths in numerous wild avian species throughout Eurasia. We assessed the clinical response and extent and duration of viral shedding in 5 species of North American ducks and laughing gulls (Larus atricilla) after intranasal challenge with 2 Asian H5N1 HPAI viruses. Birds were challenged at approximately equal to 10 to 16 weeks of age, consistent with temporal peaks in virus prevalence and fall migration. All species were infected, but only wood ducks (Aix sponsa) and laughing gulls exhibited illness or died. Viral titers were higher in oropharyngeal swabs than in cloacal swabs. Duration of viral shedding (1-10 days) increased with severity of clinical disease. Both the hemagglutination-inhibition (HI) and agar gel precipitin (AGP) tests were able to detect postinoculation antibodies in surviving wood ducks and laughing gulls; the HI test was more sensitive than the AGP in the remaining 4 species.

  2. Amino Acid Specific Stable Nitrogen Isotope Values in Avian Tissues: Insights from Captive American Kestrels and Wild Herring Gulls.

    PubMed

    Hebert, C E; Popp, B N; Fernie, K J; Ka'apu-Lyons, C; Rattner, B A; Wallsgrove, N

    2016-12-06

    Through laboratory and field studies, the utility of amino acid compound-specific nitrogen isotope analysis (AA-CSIA) in avian studies is investigated. Captive American kestrels (Falco sparverius) were fed an isotopically characterized diet and patterns in δ(15)N values of amino acids (AAs) were compared to those in their tissues (muscle and red blood cells) and food. Based upon nitrogen isotope discrimination between diet and kestrel tissues, AAs could mostly be categorized as source AAs (retaining baseline δ(15)N values) and trophic AAs (showing (15)N enrichment). Trophic discrimination factors based upon the source (phenylalanine, Phe) and trophic (glutamic acid, Glu) AAs were 4.1 (muscle) and 5.4 (red blood cells), lower than those reported for metazoan invertebrates. In a field study involving omnivorous herring gulls (Larus argentatus smithsonianus), egg AA isotopic patterns largely retained those observed in the laying female's tissues (muscle, red blood cells, and liver). Realistic estimates of gull trophic position were obtained using bird Glu and Phe δ(15)N values combined with β values (difference in Glu and Phe δ(15)N in primary producers) for aquatic and terrestrial food webs. Egg fatty acids were used to weight β values for proportions of aquatic and terrestrial food in gull diets. This novel approach can be applied to generalist species that feed across ecosystem boundaries.

  3. Immune status, carotenoid coloration, and wing feather growth in relation to organochlorine pollutants in great black-backed gulls.

    PubMed

    Bustnes, Jan Ove; Kristiansen, Kai Ove; Helberg, Morten

    2007-07-01

    Previous ecotoxicological studies have documented relationships between residues of various organochlorines (OCs) and immune status, carotenoid colors, and wing feather growth in different bird species. In this study, the density of white blood cells (WBC), carotenoid colors, and length of the same feathers on each wing were measured in breeding great black-backed gulls (Larus marinus) on the coast of northern Norway, and related to the blood residues of five OCs, including HCB (hexachlorobenzene), beta-HCH (beta-hexachlorocyclohexane), p,p'-DDE (p, p'-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene), oxychlordane, and polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB), in addition to SigmaOC. Neither, WBC density nor carotenoid colors were significantly related to blood residues of any of the OCs, suggesting that OC levels may have been too low to significantly affect these outcome parameters. However, in the colony where the OC concentrations were highest, there was a weak but significantly positive relationship between the probability of having different length of feathers on each wing and levels of PCB and SigmaOC, in males. Thus varying length of the wing primaries may reflect adverse impacts of OCs in great black-backed gulls. However, in gulls with moderate levels of OCs, it is probably not a sensitive indicator of progressing ecological impacts of OCs, since such adverse ecological relationships were found in the breeding colonies where there were no relationships between differences in wing feather lengths and OCs.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1999-01-01

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

  6. Seabirds and chronic oil pollution: self-cleaning properties of gulls, Laridae, as revealed from colour-ring sightings.

    PubMed

    Camphuysen, Kees C J

    2011-03-01

    Mystery oil spills off the Dutch coast affected colonial, adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls prior to and within the breeding season. From colour-ringed individuals, it was demonstrated that most oiled birds survived and were clean within a few weeks and often bred successfully. Further evidence of self-cleaning properties of Larus-gulls is provided from a long-term colour-ringing project (1984-2009). In total 46 birds were reported 'oiled', two died, but the majority cleaned itself and survived for up to 20 years after being oiled. From colour-ring data and 30 years of beached bird surveys (1980-2010) it is demonstrated that the effects of chronic oil pollution is larger in winter than in summer; a reflection of seasonal differences in exposure and environmental conditions. The self-cleaning properties of gulls are such that long-term survival is not necessarily jeopardized and even in a breeding season, not all is lost in case of a spill. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Amino acid specific stable nitrogen isotope values in avian tissues: Insights from captive American kestrels and wild herring gulls

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hebert, Craig E.; Popp, B.N.; Fernie, K.J.; Ka'apu-Lyons, C.; Rattner, Barnett A.; Wallsgrove, N.

    2016-01-01

    Through laboratory and field studies, the utility of amino acid compound-specific nitrogen isotope analysis (AA-CSIA) in avian studies is investigated. Captive American kestrels (Falco sparverius) were fed an isotopically characterized diet and patterns in δ15N values of amino acids (AAs) were compared to those in their tissues (muscle and red blood cells) and food. Based upon nitrogen isotope discrimination between diet and kestrel tissues, AAs could mostly be categorized as source AAs (retaining baseline δ15N values) and trophic AAs (showing 15N enrichment). Trophic discrimination factors based upon the source (phenylalanine, Phe) and trophic (glutamic acid, Glu) AAs were 4.1 (muscle) and 5.4 (red blood cells), lower than those reported for metazoan invertebrates. In a field study involving omnivorous herring gulls (Larus argentatus smithsonianus), egg AA isotopic patterns largely retained those observed in the laying female’s tissues (muscle, red blood cells, and liver). Realistic estimates of gull trophic position were obtained using bird Glu and Phe δ15N values combined with β values (difference in Glu and Phe δ15N in primary producers) for aquatic and terrestrial food webs. Egg fatty acids were used to weight β values for proportions of aquatic and terrestrial food in gull diets. This novel approach can be applied to generalist species that feed across ecosystem boundaries.

  8. Kelp and dolphin gulls cause perineal wounds in South American fur seal pups (Arctocephalus australis) at Guafo Island, Chilean Patagonia

    PubMed Central

    Muñoz, Francisco; Montalva, Felipe; Perez-Venegas, Diego; Pavés, Héctor; Gottdenker, Nicole

    2017-01-01

    During five reproductive seasons, we documented the presence, extent and origin of perineal wounds in South American fur seal pups (Arctocephalus australis) on Guafo Island, Northern Chilean Patagonia. The seasonal prevalence of perineal wounds ranged from 5 to 9%, and new cases were more common at the end of the breeding season (February), when pups were on average two months old and were actively expelling hookworms (Uncinaria sp). Histologically, wounds corresponded to marked ulcerative lymphoplasmacytic and histiocytic dermatitis with granulation tissue and mixed bacterial colonies. In 2015 and 2017, kelp gulls (Larus dominicanus) and dolphin gulls (Leucophaeus scoresbii) were observed picking and wounding the perineal area of marked pups. This behaviour occurred more frequently after the pups' defecation, when sea gulls engaged in consumption of pups' faeces. The affected pups usually had moderate to marked hookworm infections along with bloody diarrhoea and anaemia. Pups with severe wounds (23% of affected animals) had swollen perineal areas and signs of secondary systemic bacterial infection. We propose that seagulls on Guafo Island have learned to consume remains of blood and parasites in the faeces of pups affected by hookworm infection, causing perineal wounds during this process. We conclude that this perineal wounding is an unintentional, occasional negative effect of an otherwise commensal gull–fur seal relationship. PMID:28791178

  9. A PELAGIC OUTBREAK OF AVIAN CHOLERA IN NORTH AMERICAN GULLS: SCAVENGING AS A PRIMARY MECHANISM FOR TRANSMISSION?

    PubMed

    Wille, Michelle; McBurney, Scott; Robertson, Gregory J; Wilhelm, Sabina I; Blehert, David S; Soos, Catherine; Dunphy, Ron; Whitney, Hugh

    2016-10-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Prenatal androgen exposure modulates cellular and humoral immune function of black-headed gull chicks.

    PubMed

    Müller, Wendt; Groothuis, Ton G G; Kasprzik, Alice; Dijkstra, Cor; Alatalo, Rauno V; Siitari, Heli

    2005-09-22

    Avian eggs contain considerable amounts of maternal yolk androgens, which have been shown to beneficially influence the physiology and behaviour of the chick. As androgens may suppress immune functions, they may also entail costs for the chick. This is particularly relevant for colonial species, such as the black-headed gull (Larus ridibundus), in which the aggregation of large numbers of birds during the breeding season enhances the risk of infectious diseases for the hatching chick. To test the effect of maternal yolk androgens on the chick's immune function, we experimentally manipulated, in a field study, yolk androgen levels within the physiological range by in ovo injection of either androgens (testosterone and androstenedione) or sesame oil (control) into freshly laid eggs. We determined cell-mediated immunity (CMI) and humoral immunity of the chicks at the beginning of the nestling period to evaluate early modulatory effects of yolk androgens on immune function. Embryonic exposure to elevated levels of androgens negatively affected both CMI and humoral immunity in nestling gull chicks. Consequently, maternal yolk androgens not only entail benefits of enhanced competitiveness and growth as previously shown, but also costs in terms of immunosuppression. The outcome of embryonic yolk androgen exposure thus likely depends on the post-hatching circumstances for the developing offspring such as parasite exposure and degree of sibling competition.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-02

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2010-01-01

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

  18. Twenty years of temporal change in perfluoroalkyl sulfonate and carboxylate contaminants in herring gull eggs from the Laurentian Great Lakes.

    PubMed

    Gebbink, Wouter A; Letcher, Robert J; Hebert, Craig E; Chip Weseloh, D V

    2011-12-01

    In this study, temporal trends and patterns of major C(4) to C(15) chain length PFCAs and PFSAs and some sulfonamide, fluorotelomer acid and alcohol precursors were determined in herring gull (Larus argentatus) egg pools. Samples were analyzed from fifteen collection years including 1990 and all years from 1997 to 2010, and from seven colonies located throughout the Great Lakes, ranging from remote to highly urbanized areas. Other than at the Toronto Harbour colony, the slopes of ∑PFSA concentrations (C(6), C(8), and C(10)) versus time were negative indicating general declines between 1990 and 2010. PFOS was the dominant PFSA regardless of colony or year, ranging from 80 to 99% of ∑PFSA. For ∑PFCA (C(8)-C(15)), slopes of concentrations versus time were generally positive with 4 of 7 colonies showing statistically significant (p < 0.05) increases in levels through time. Individual PFCAs showed similar increasing trends except for PFOA. Regardless of colony, the PFCA pattern was dominated by the C(10) to C(13) PFCAs. Consistent with the PFOS declines, concentrations of the PFOS precursor, PFOSA, declined at most colonies between 1990 and 2006 and post-2006 concentrations were below detection limits. Declining concentrations of the C(8) PFCs, PFOS, PFOA and PFOSA, were consistent with the phase out in 2002 by the 3M Company in North America of all of C(8) PFC-related chemistry products. Increasing production volumes of fluorotelomer based compounds, and degradation of these compounds to PFCAs may explain increasing trends of PFCAs in gull eggs. Dietary changes as measured by carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes, showed minimal relationships to PFC levels in gull eggs, which indicates the complexity of aquatic and terrestrial food of gulls and sources of PFCs.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. Circulation of a Meaban-like virus in yellow-legged gulls and seabird ticks in the western Mediterranean basin.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Dramatic Improvements in Beach Water Quality Following Gull Removal

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  4. Dramatic Improvements in Beach Water Quality Following Gull Removal

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  5. Experience modulates both aromatase activity and the sensitivity of agonistic behaviour to testosterone in black-headed gulls.

    PubMed

    Ros, Albert F H; Franco, Aldina M A; Groothuis, Ton G G

    2009-04-20

    In young black-headed gulls (Larus ridibundus), exposure to testosterone increases the sensitivity of agonistic behaviour to a subsequent exposure to this hormone. The aim of this paper is twofold: to analyze whether social experience, gained during testosterone exposure, mediates this increase in hormonal sensitivity (priming), and whether this in turn is mediated by an increase in central aromatase activity. To this end, we performed three experiments. In the first juvenile gulls were exposed to two consecutive treatments with testosterone (T1 and T2), with more than a week interval in between. During T1, half of the birds were housed in social isolation (Iso) and the other half in groups (Soc). All birds were re-housed in a new social situation during the second treatment. The increase in social behaviour during T2 was significantly more rapid in Soc than Iso birds. In experiment 2 we show that 17beta-estradiol treatment facilitates the behaviour measured in experiment 1. In experiment 3 we used a set-up comparable with that of experiment 1, but birds were sacrificed early in the T2 period. Aromatase activity in the preoptic area and the hypothalamus was measured using the tritiated water releasing method. In some parts of the preoptic area and hypothalamus aromatase activity was higher in Soc birds relative to Iso birds. The results indicate that social experience can modulate the increase of social behaviour to testosterone via modulation of aromatase activity and independently of actual hormone levels.

  6. Aerial estimation of the size of gull breeding colonies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1968-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2007-01-01

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

  8. Linear and branched perfluorooctane sulfonate isomer patterns in herring gull eggs from colonial sites across the Laurentian Great Lakes.

    PubMed

    Gebbink, Wouter A; Letcher, Robert J

    2010-05-15

    Linear and branched (six mono(trifluoromethyl) and four di(trifluoromethyl)) isomers of the bioaccumulative contaminant perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) were analyzed for and the spatial patterns examined in individual herring gull (Larus argentatus) eggs (n = 13 per site) collected (in 2007) from 15 colonies across the Laurentian Great Lakes of North America. Linear PFOS (n-perfluoro-1-octanesulfonate (L-PFOS)) consistently dominated the isomer pattern in all eggs, comprising between 95.0% and 98.3% of the summation sigmaPFOS concentration. L-PFOS was highly enriched in the gull eggs as the summation sigmabranched-PFOS to L-PFOS isomer concentration ratios were very constant (overall average 0.038 +/- 0.001) and much lower compared to technical PFOS (range 0.27-0.54). The highest proportions of L-PFOS were generally observed in the eggs from the lower lakes (Erie and Ontario) colonies. All six mono(trifluoromethyl) branched isomers, or perfluoro-n-methyl-heptanesulfonates where n describes the carbon of the hydrocarbon chain were there is trifluoromethyl substitution relative to the sulfonate terminal group, were detected in the eggs from all the colonies. For example, P1MHpS is perfluoro-1-methyl-heptanesulfonate. Comparable to technical PFOS (T-PFOS), the percentage of the mono(trifluoromethyl) isomer to summation sigmaPFOS concentration decreased as the branch substitution was located closer to the sulfonate group, that is, P6MHpS (0%-2.5%), P5MHpS (0.43%-1.18%), P4MHpS (0.25%-0.69%), and P3MHpS (0.32%-0.74%). Although at even lower fractional composition than the mono(trifluoromethyl) isomers, of the di(trifluoromethyl) isomers, detected in >60% of the individual eggs per site was P35DMHxS and P45DMHxS for Toronto Harbour (Lake Ontario), P35DMHxS for Chantry (Lake Huron) and Fighting Island (Detroit River), and P45DMHxS for Gull Island (Lake Michigan). Relative to T-PFOS, and independent of colonial location, the high and consistent enrichment of L-PFOS in

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2001-12-01

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

  10. Toxicological investigations of pollutant-related effects in Great Lakes gulls

    SciTech Connect

    Peakall, D.B.; Fox, G.A.

    1987-04-01

    Reproductive failure of a number of fish-eating birds was observed on the Great Lakes in the mid-1960s to mid-1970s. The herring gull (Larus argentatus) has been used as the primary monitoring species. The low hatching success observed in this species on Lake Ontario in the mid-1970s was due to loss of eggs and failure of eggs to hatch. Egg exchange experiments demonstrated that this was due both to the incubation behavior of adults and to direct embryotoxic effects. Decrease of nest attentiveness was demonstrated using telemetered eggs, but attempts to reproduce the embryonic effects by injection of pollutant mixtures into eggs were not successful. Reproductive success improved rapidly during the late 1970s and was normal by the end of the decade. Recent studies have focused on cytogenetic and biochemical changes and detailed analytic chemistry of residues. No changes in the rate of sister chromatid exchange over values determined in coastal colonies were observed. Elevation of hepatic aryl hydrocarbon hydroxylase activity, levels of highly carboxylated porphyrins, and changes of thyroid function have been found. The geographic pattern of these changes indicates that they are caused by xenobiotics, but it has been possible to relate the changes to a specific chemical.

  11. Is the bone tissue of ring-billed gulls breeding in a pollution hotspot in the St. Lawrence River, Canada, impacted by halogenated flame retardant exposure?

    PubMed

    Plourde, Stéphanie Pellerin; Moreau, Robert; Letcher, Robert J; Verreault, Jonathan

    2013-11-01

    Bone metabolism is a tightly regulated process that controls bone remodeling and repair in addition to maintaining circulating calcium and phosphate levels. It has been shown that certain organohalogen contaminants may adversely impact bone tissue metabolism and structure in wildlife species. However, exceedingly few studies have addressed the bone-related effects of organohalogen exposure in birds. The objective of the present study was to investigate the associations between markers of bone metabolism and structural integrity, and concentrations of established and current-use halogenated flame retardants (FRs) in ring-billed gulls (Larus delawarensis) nesting in a known FR hotspot area in the St. Lawrence River (Montreal, Canada). Bone metabolism was assessed using plasma calcium and inorganic phosphate levels, and alkaline phophatase activity, while bone (tarsus; trabecular and cortical sections) structure quality was examined using the percentage of bone tissue comprised in the total bone volume (Bv/Tv) and bone mineral density (BMD). Bv/Tv and BMD of the tarsus tended (not significant) to be positively associated with circulating calcium levels in male ring-billed gulls. Moreover, concentrations of FRs in male bird liver (brominated diphenyl ether (BDE)-154, -183, -201, and -209) and plasma (BDE-209) were negatively correlated with trabecular and cortical BMD of the tarsus. These correlative associations may suggest light demineralization of bone tissue associated with FR exposure in male ring-billed gulls. Present findings provide some evidence that bone (tarsus) metabolism and mineral composition may be impacted in high FR-exposed (mainly to PBDEs) ring-billed gulls breeding in the highly urbanized Montreal region.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-15

    We collected eggs of eight marine bird species from several colony sites in the Canadian high Arctic located at approximately 76°N and analyzed them for concentrations of legacy persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and mercury. We provide the first report on concentrations of POPs in eggs of three Arctic species (Thayer's gull Larus thayeri, Sabine's gull Xema sabini, Ross's Gull Rhodostethia rosea), and we found significant differences in each of the POP profiles among the five species with sufficient data for statistical comparisons (Thayer's gull, black guillemot Cepphus grylle, Sabine's gull, Arctic tern Sterna paradisaea and common eider Somateria mollissima borealis). The Ross's Gull had unexpectedly high POP concentrations relative to the other species examined, although this was based on a single egg, while glaucous gull Larus hyperboreus eggs from our sampling location had very low POPs. Sabine's gulls had the lowest Hg of the eggs studied, consistent with their low trophic position, but concentrations of their legacy POPs were higher than expected. We also noted that total hexachlorocyclohexanes were higher than reported elsewhere in the circumpolar Arctic in three species. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1979-01-01

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

  14. Complete mitochondrial genome of Saunders's gull Chroicocephalus saundersi (Charadriiformes, Laridae).

    PubMed

    Ryu, Shi Hyun; Hwang, Ui Wook

    2012-04-01

    Saunders's gull Chroicocephalus saundersi (Aves, Charadriiformes, Laridae) is a small-sized gull having black-colored head. In this study, the entire mitochondrial genome of C. saundersi is sequenced, which is 16,725 bp in length. The detailed characteristics of the mitochondrial genome are described here.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Makinen, E.; Wainwright, J.

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

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

    PubMed

    Técher, Romy; Houde, Magali; Verreault, Jonathan

    2016-03-01

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

  17. Effects of parental age and food availability on the reproductive success of Heermann's gulls in the Gulf of California.

    PubMed

    Vieyra, Leticia; Velarde, Enriqueta; Ezcurra, Exequiel

    2009-04-01

    Parental age, body condition, and food availability have been found to influence breeding parameters in seabirds, such as clutch size, number of chicks hatched and fledged, hatching, fledging, and reproductive success. In this paper we analyze the influence of parental age and body condition estimated by body mass, and food availability estimated from catch per unit effort (CPUE) statistics for Pacific sardine (Sardinops caeruleus) + northern anchovy (Engraulis mordax) by the local fishing fleet, on the breeding parameters of the Heermann's Gull (Larus heermanni; a vulnerable species according to Mexican federal law) nesting in Isla Rasa, Gulf of California, Mexico. Results are based on data from 1123 recaptures of known-age individuals, ranging from 4 to 13 years of age, during seven observation years between 1989 and 1997. Ages of mated male and female gulls were positively correlated. Breeding parameters showed their lowest values in 1992, an El Niño year in which the birds also showed significantly lower individual masses for both males and females, and in which the local CPUE of sardine + anchovies was lowest. All breeding parameters increased significantly with parental age and were highest at 10-12 years. No significant statistical interactions were found between food availability and parental age on the breeding parameters. Through a path analysis we found that there is a strong chained relationship between variables: food availability, which is strongly driven by oceanographic conditions, affects both the survival of eggs into hatchlings and the survival of hatchlings into fledglings. This external factor and parental age, a biological factor intrinsic to each nesting couple, explain 41% of the observed between-nest variation in fledgling success.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-15

    Chemicals of emerging concern (CECs) in the basin of the Laurentian Great Lakes of North America include per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) classified as perfluoroalkyl acids. We investigated several PFASs, and specifically 13 C4-C16 perfluorinated carboxylic acids (PFCAs), 4 (C4, C6, C8 and C10) perfluorinated sulfonates (PFSAs), perfluoro-4-ethylcyclohexane sulfonate (PFEtCHxS) and selected precursors (e.g. perfluorobutane sulfonamide and perfluorooctane sulfonamide) in herring gull (Larus argentatus) eggs collected in 2012-2013 from 19 Canadian and U.S. colony sites across the Great Lakes. C6, C8 and C10 PFSAs, PFEtCHxS, and C7-14 and C16 PFCAs were quantifiable at >97% of the 114 egg samples. PFEtCHxS concentrations ranged from n.d. to 3.1ng/g ww (highest in Lake Michigan eggs). Mean Σ4PFSA (92 to 97% perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS)) and Σ9PFCA concentration ranges were 44 to 740 and 4.8 to 118ng/g ww, respectively. Σ4PFSA showed a clear increasing concentration trend from the northwest to the southeast colonies. Also, Σ4PFCA to Σ9PFSA concentration ratios in gull eggs were greater in eggs from Lake Superior relative to colonies in the other lakes. PFOS concentrations in some egg samples were greater than some of the known lowest observed effect concentrations (LOECs) measured and reported in captive bird model studies. This study showed the increasing complexity of PFAS-CECs, and emphasized the importance of continuing monitoring of bioaccumulative PFAS in Great Lakes herring gulls. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Body distribution of trace elements in black-tailed gulls from Rishiri Island, Japan: age-dependent accumulation and transfer to feathers and eggs.

    PubMed

    Agusa, Tetsuro; Matsumoto, Taro; Ikemoto, Tokutaka; Anan, Yasumi; Kubota, Reiji; Yasunaga, Genta; Kunito, Takashi; Tanabe, Shinsuke; Ogi, Haruo; Shibata, Yasuyuki

    2005-09-01

    Body distribution and maternal transfer of 18 trace elements (V, Cr, Mn, Co, Cu, Zn, Se, Rb, Sr, Mo, Ag, Cd, Sb, Cs, Ba, Hg, Tl, and Pb) to eggs were examined in black-tailed gulls (Larus crassirostris), which were culled in Rishiri Island, Hokkaido Prefecture, Japan. Manganese, Cu, Rb, Mo, and Cd showed the highest levels in liver and kidney, Ag, Sb, and Hg in feather, and V, Sr, and Pb in bone. Maternal transfer rates of trace elements ranged from 0.8% (Cd) to as much as 65% (Tl) of maternal body burden. Large amounts of Sr, Ba, and Tl were transferred to the eggs, though maternal transfer rates of V, Cd, Hg, and Pb were substantially low. It also was observed that Rb, Sr, Cd, Cs, and Ba hardly were excreted into feathers. Concentrations of Co in liver, Ba in liver and kidney, and Mo in liver increased significantly with age, whereas Se in bone and kidney, Hg in kidney, and Cr in feather decreased with age in the known-aged black-tailed gulls (2-20 years old). It also was suggested that feathers might be useful to estimate contamination status of trace elements in birds, especially for Hg on a population basis, although the utility is limited on an individual basis for the black-tailed gulls. To our knowledge, this is the first report on the maternal transfer rate of multielements and also on the usefulness of feathers to estimate contamination status of Hg in birds on a population basis.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-12-31

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1988-09-01

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

  3. Steroids for free? No metabolic costs of elevated maternal androgen levels in the black-headed gull.

    PubMed

    Eising, Corine M; Visser, G Henk; Müller, Wendt; Groothuis, Ton G G

    2003-09-01

    Within- and between-clutch variation in yolk titres of hormones of maternal origin has been found in many avian species. So far, experiments have revealed mainly beneficial effects of maternal androgens. This would also apply to black-headed gulls (Larus ridibundus). Previous experiments have shown that chicks benefit from these higher levels since their competitive abilities are improved and growth and survival probabilities thus enhanced. However, not all females show the same increase in yolk hormones from first to last egg or invest equally high amounts of androgens in their clutches. Possibly, there is a trade-off between the beneficial effects of high androgen levels and potential costs, such as increased metabolic rates. We studied possible metabolic costs of experimentally elevated yolk androgen levels for chicks of several age classes, starting three days prior to hatching until fledging at an age of approximately 30 days. Daily energy expenditure in the field, measured using the doubly labelled water technique, did not differ between treatments or between sexes. Oxygen consumption measured in birds at rest in the lab (RMR) did not vary between chicks hatched from androgen-injected (T) or oil-injected (Oil) control eggs at any age in thermo-neutral or below thermo-neutral conditions. Males showed a lower RMR than females towards the fledging age. We conclude that it is unlikely that the costs of high maternal androgen levels can be found in higher energy expenditure in the chick.

  4. The effect of maternal state on the steroid and macronutrient content of lesser black-backed gull eggs.

    PubMed

    Verboven, Nanette; Monaghan, Pat; Nager, Ruedi G; Evans, Neil P

    2010-01-01

    It has been proposed that female birds can influence the phenotype of their offspring by provisioning eggs with variable amounts of nutrients and maternal hormones. Egg quality is strongly influenced by maternal body reserves and the amount of food available at the time of egg formation. This study investigated the effects of maternal state and food availability on the capacity of female lesser black-backed gulls Larus fuscus to provision their eggs with macronutrients and steroid hormones. Maternal state was reduced by increasing egg-production effort, whereas extra food was provided to reverse this effect. Compared with eggs of first clutches, eggs of experimentally induced replacement clutches exhibited a lower yolk/albumen ratio and contained more yolk testosterone. During one of the three years in which the study was performed, replacement eggs also contained more 17β-estradiol. Food provisioning during the relaying interval did not affect changes in yolk/albumen ratio or steroid concentrations, but fed females produced bigger eggs in their replacement clutch. This study demonstrates significant within-female consistency in egg size, macronutrient content, and yolk steroid concentration, and it shows that these egg characteristics are influenced by maternal state, food availability, and the timing of breeding.

  5. Parathion alters incubation behavior of laughing gulls

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1983-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2007-01-01

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

  7. Prevalence of antibody to Toxoplasma gondii in black-headed gulls (Chroicocephalus ridibundus), Dianchi Lake, China.

    PubMed

    Miao, Qiang; Han, Jiang-qiang; Xiang, Xun; Yuan, Fei-Zhou; Liu, Yong-zhang; Duan, Gang; Zhu, Xing-quan; Zou, Feng-cai

    2014-07-01

    Sera from 659 Black-headed Gulls (Chroicocephalus ridibundus) in Dianchi Lake, China were assayed for Toxoplasma gondii antibodies using the modified agglutination test (MAT). Specific T. gondii antibodies were detected in 131 (19.9%) Black-headed Gulls (MAT titer ≥ 1 ∶ 5). These results indicate that T. gondii infection is common in Black-headed Gulls.

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  9. 77 FR 43805 - Gull Hazard Reduction Program at John F. Kennedy International Airport; Record of Decision

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-07-26

    ...; ] DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Gull Hazard Reduction Program at John F... environmental impact statement for the Gull Hazard Reduction Program at John F. Kennedy International Airport... around the John F. Kennedy International Airport. This action is a supplement to the Gull Hazard...

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Developmental Changes in Composition and Morphology of Cuticular Waxes on Leaves and Spikes of Glossy and Glaucous Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.).

    PubMed

    Wang, Yong; Wang, Jiahuan; Chai, Guaiqiang; Li, Chunlian; Hu, Yingang; Chen, Xinhong; Wang, Zhonghua

    2015-01-01

    The glossy varieties (A14 and Jing 2001) and glaucous varieties (Fanmai 5 and Shanken 99) of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) were selected for evaluation of developmental changes in the composition and morphology of cuticular waxes on leaves and spikes. The results provide us with two different wax development patterns between leaf and spike. The general accumulation trend of the total wax load on leaf and spike surfaces is first to increase and then decrease during the development growth period, but these changes were caused by different compound classes between leaf and spike. Developmental changes of leaf waxes were mainly the result of variations in composition of alcohols and alkanes. In addition, diketones were the third important contributor to the leaf wax changes in the glaucous varieties. Alkanes and diketones were the two major compound classes that caused the developmental changes of spike waxes. For leaf waxes, β- and OH-β-diketones were first detected in flag leaves from 200-day-old plants, and the amounts of β- and OH-β-diketones were significantly higher in glaucous varieties compared with glossy varieties. In spike waxes, β-diketone existed in all varieties, but OH-β-diketone was detectable only in the glaucous varieties. Unexpectedly, the glaucous variety Fanmai 5 yielded large amounts of OH-β-diketone. There was a significant shift in the chain length distribution of alkanes between early stage leaf and flag leaf. Unlike C28 alcohol being the dominant chain length in leaf waxes, the dominant alcohol chain length of spikes was C24 or C26 depending on varieties. Epicuticular wax crystals on wheat leaf and glume were comprised of platelets and tubules, and the crystal morphology changed constantly throughout plant growth, especially the abaxial leaf crystals. Moreover, our results suggested that platelets and tubules on glume surfaces could be formed rapidly within a few days.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-15

    A large spatial dataset of perfluoroalkyl acid (PFAA) concentrations in eggs of herring gulls (Larus argentatus or congeneric species) collected from late April to early June between 2009 and 2014 from 28 colonies across Canada and parts of the Unites States was used to evaluate location-specific patterns in chemical concentrations and to generate hypotheses on the major sources affecting PFAA distributions. The highly bioaccumulative perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) as well as other perfluoroalkyl sulfonic acids (PFSAs) showed the greatest concentrations in eggs from the lower Great Lakes of southern Ontario as well as from the St. Lawrence River. Despite the 2000 to 2002 phase-out of PFOS and related C8 chemistry by the major manufacturer at the time, ongoing losses from consumer products during use and disposal in urban/industrial locations continue to be major sources to the environment and are influencing the spatial trends of PFOS in Canada. In comparison to PFOS, perfluoroalkyl carboxylic acids (PFCAs) were not as concentrated in eggs in close proximity to urbanized/industrialized centers, but had surprisingly elevated levels in relatively remote regions such as Great Slave Lake, NT and East Bay in Hudson Bay, NU. The present results support the hypothesis that atmospheric transport and degradation of precursor chemicals, such as the fluorotelomer alcohols 8:2 FTOH and 10:2 FTOH, are influencing the spatial trends of PFCAs in Canada. A power analysis conducted on a representative urbanized/industrialized colony in the Toronto Harbour, ON, and a relatively remote colony in Lake Superior, emphasized the importance of consistent and long-term data collection in order to detect the anticipated changes in PFAA concentrations in Canadian gull eggs. Crown Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2001-01-01

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

  15. Genetic variability in mitochondrial and nuclear genes of Larus dominicanus (Charadriiformes, Laridae) from the Brazilian coast

    PubMed Central

    de Mendonça Dantas, Gisele Pires; Meyer, Diogo; Godinho, Raquel; Ferrand, Nuno; Morgante, João Stenghel

    2012-01-01

    Several phylogeographic studies of seabirds have documented low genetic diversity that has been attributed to bottleneck events or individual capacity for dispersal. Few studies have been done in seabirds on the Brazilian coast and all have shown low genetic differentiation on a wide geographic scale. The Kelp Gull is a common species with a wide distribution in the Southern Hemisphere. In this study, we used mitochondrial and nuclear markers to examine the genetic variability of Kelp Gull populations on the Brazilian coast and compared this variability with that of sub-Antarctic island populations of this species. Kelp Gulls showed extremely low genetic variability for mitochondrial markers (cytb and ATPase) and high diversity for a nuclear locus (intron 7 of the β-fibrinogen). The intraspecific evolutionary history of Kelp Gulls showed that the variability found in intron 7 of the β-fibrinogen gene was compatible with the variability expected under neutral evolution but suggested an increase in population size during the last 10,000 years. However, none of the markers revealed evidence of a bottleneck population. These findings indicate that the recent origin of Kelp Gulls is the main explanation for their nuclear diversity, although selective pressure on the mtDNA of this species cannot be discarded. PMID:23271950

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  19. Effects of human disturbance on the breeding success of gulls

    Treesearch

    Henry C. Robert; C. John Ralph

    1975-01-01

    A number of factors have been suggested as affecting reproductive success in gulls. In this study we have attempted to isolate the effect of human disturbance on breeding success. We held other factors such as age of birds, terrain, and density of colony as constant as was practicable with a varied colony environment. There have been several previous discussions of the...

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  2. Bathing birds bias beta-diversity: frequent dispersal by gulls homogenizes fauna in a rock-pool metacommunity.

    PubMed

    Simonis, Joseph L; Ellis, Julie C

    2014-06-01

    Metacommunity theory generally predicts that regional dispersal of organisms among local habitat patches should influence spatial patterns of species diversity. In particular, increased dispersal rates are generally expected to increase local (alpha) diversity, yet homogenize local communities across the region (decreasing beta-diversity), resulting in no change in regional (gamma) diversity. Although the effect of dispersal on alpha-diversity has garnered much experimental attention, the influence of dispersal rates on diversity at larger spatial scales (beta and gamma) is poorly understood. Furthermore, these theoretical predictions are not well tested in the field, where other environmental factors (e.g., habitat size, resource density) likely also influence species diversity. Here, we used a system of freshwater rock pools on Appledore Island, Maine, USA, to test the effects of dispersal rate on species diversity in metacommunities. The pools exist in clusters (metacommunities) that experience different levels of dispersal imposed by gulls (Larus spp.), which we show to be frequent passive dispersers of rock-pool invertebrates. Although previous research has suggested that waterbirds may disperse aquatic invertebrates, our study is the first to quantify the rate at which such dispersal occurs and determine its effects on species diversity. In accordance with theory, we found that metacommunities experiencing higher dispersal rates had significantly more homogeneous local communities (reduced beta-diversity) and that gamma-diversity was not influenced by dispersal rate. Contrary to theoretical predictions, however, alpha-diversity in the rock pools was not significantly influenced by dispersal. Rather, local diversity was significantly positively related to local habitat size, and both alpha- and gamma-diversity were influenced by the physicochemical environment of the pools. These results provide an important field test of metacommunity theory, highlighting how

  3. Structure of the New England herring gull population

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1968-01-01

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

  4. Replication of 2 subtypes of low-pathogenicity avian influenza virus of duck and gull origins in experimentally infected Mallard ducks.

    PubMed

    Daoust, P-Y; van de Bildt, M; van Riel, D; van Amerongen, G; Bestebroer, T; Vanderstichel, R; Fouchier, R A M; Kuiken, T

    2013-05-01

    Many subtypes of low-pathogenicity avian influenza (LPAI) virus circulate in wild bird reservoirs, but their prevalence may vary among species. We aimed to compare by real-time reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, virus isolation, histology, and immunohistochemistry the distribution and pathogenicity of 2 such subtypes of markedly different origins in Mallard ducks (Anas platyrhynchos): H2N3 isolated from a Mallard duck and H13N6 isolated from a Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis). Following intratracheal and intraesophageal inoculation, neither virus caused detectable clinical signs, although H2N3 virus infection was associated with a significantly decreased body weight gain during the period of virus shedding. Both viruses replicated in the lungs and air sacs until approximately day 3 after inoculation and were associated with a locally extensive interstitial, exudative, and proliferative pneumonia. Subtype H2N3, but not subtype H13N6, went on to infect the epithelia of the intestinal mucosa and cloacal bursa, where it replicated without causing lesions until approximately day 5 after inoculation. Larger quantities of subtype H2N3 virus were detected in cloacal swabs than in pharyngeal swabs. The possible clinical significance of LPAI virus-associated pulmonary lesions and intestinal tract infection in ducks deserves further evaluation.

  5. W3 Is a New Wax Locus That Is Essential for Biosynthesis of β-Diketone, Development of Glaucousness, and Reduction of Cuticle Permeability in Common Wheat

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Zhengzhi; Wei, Wenjie; Zhu, Huilan; Challa, Ghana S.; Bi, Caili; Trick, Harold N.; Li, Wanlong

    2015-01-01

    The cuticle plays important roles in plant development, growth and defense against biotic and abiotic attacks. Crystallized epicuticular wax, the outermost layer of cuticle, is visible as white-bluish glaucousness. In crops like barley and wheat, glaucousness is trait of adaption to the dry and hot cultivation conditions, and hentriacontane-14,16-dione (β-diketone) and its hydroxy derivatives are the major and unique components of cuticular wax in the upper parts of adult plants. But their biosynthetic pathway and physiological role largely remain unknown. In the present research, we identified a novel wax mutant in wheat cultivar Bobwhite. The mutation is not allelic to the known wax production gene loci W1 and W2, and designated as W3 accordingly. Genetic analysis localized W3 on chromosome arm 2BS. The w3 mutation reduced 99% of β-diketones, which account for 63.3% of the total wax load of the wild-type. W3 is necessary for β-diketone synthesis, but has a different effect on β-diketone hydroxylation because the hydroxy-β-diketones to β-diketone ratio increased 11-fold in the w3 mutant. Loss of β-diketones caused failure to form glaucousness and significant increase of cuticle permeability in terms of water loss and chlorophyll efflux in the w3 mutant. Transcription of 23 cuticle genes from five functional groups was altered in the w3 mutant, 19 down-regulated and four up-regulated, suggesting a possibility that W3 encodes a transcription regulator coordinating expression of cuticle genes. Biosynthesis of β-diketones in wheat and their implications in glaucousness formation and drought and heat tolerance were discussed. Key Message W3 is essential for β-diketone biosynthesis but suppresses its hydroxylation. Loss-of-function mutation w3 significantly increased cuticle permeability in terms of water loss and chlorophyll efflux. PMID:26468648

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

    Gulls were reported as sources of fecal pollution in coastal environments and potential vectors of human infections. Microbial source tracking (MST) methods were rarely tested to identify this pollution origin. This study was conducted to ascertain the source of water fecal contamination in the Berlenga Island, Portugal. A total of 169 Escherichia coli isolates from human sewage, 423 isolates from gull feces and 334 water isolates were analyzed by BOX-PCR. An average correct classification of 79.3% was achieved. When an 85% similarity cutoff was applied 24% of water isolates were present in gull feces against 2.7% detected in sewage. Jackknifing resulted in 29.3% of water isolates classified as gull, and 10.8% classified as human. Results indicate that gulls constitute a major source of water contamination in the Berlenga Island. This study validated a methodology to differentiate human and gull fecal pollution sources in a real case of a contaminated beach. © 2013.

  8. True navigation in migrating gulls requires intact olfactory nerves

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  11. Potential for gulls to transport bacteria from human waste sites to beaches.

    PubMed

    Alm, Elizabeth W; Daniels-Witt, Quri R; Learman, Deric R; Ryu, Hodon; Jordan, Dustin W; Gehring, Thomas M; Santo Domingo, Jorge

    2017-09-28

    Contamination of recreational beaches due to fecal waste from gulls complicates beach monitoring and may pose a risk to public health. Gulls that feed at human waste sites may ingest human fecal microorganisms associated with that waste. If these gulls also visit beaches, they may serve as vectors, transporting fecal microorganisms to the beach where they may subsequently contaminate sand and water. In this study, samples collected from landfills, treated wastewater storage lagoons, and public beaches demonstrated a spatial and temporal overlap of markers for gull and human-associated microorganisms. In addition, markers for gull, fecal indicator bacteria, and the human-associated marker, HF183, were detected in gull feces and cloacae samples. Further, HF183 was detected in cloacae samples from gulls that were documented by radio-telemetry traveling between human waste sites and public beaches. This study highlights the potential for gulls that visit human waste sites to disperse human-associated microorganisms in the beach landscape. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Malignant melanoma in a seagull (Larus fuscus): morphological and immunohistochemical approach.

    PubMed

    Costagliola, Alessandro; Britti, Domenico; Russo, Valeria; Meomartino, Leonardo; Castagna, Fabio; Giordano, Debora; Insabato, Luigi; Paciello, Orlando

    2011-03-01

    A common seagull (Larus fuscus) was found near the southern coast of Italy by the veterinarians of the local wild animal rescue center. Physical examination of the bird revealed an ulcerated mass involving a majority of the oral cavity; the mass did not allow for normal feeding. After the bird died necropsy was performed and the mass was histologically and immunohistochemically examined. The morphology and the immunoreactivity for Melan-A and S-100 antigens led to a diagnosis of malignant melanoma. This is the first case of malignant melanoma described in a seagull, and herein we compare the characteristics of the present case with malignant melanoma already described in domestic animals.

  13. Bacteroidales Diversity in Ring-Billed Gulls (Laurus delawarensis) Residing at Lake Michigan Beaches▿

    PubMed Central

    Jeter, Sonja N.; McDermott, Colleen M.; Bower, Patricia A.; Kinzelman, Julie L.; Bootsma, Melinda J.; Goetz, Giles W.; McLellan, Sandra L.

    2009-01-01

    This study investigated the occurrence and diversity of Bacteroidales fecal bacteria in gulls residing in the Great Lakes region. Members of this bacterial order have been widely employed as human and bovine host-specific markers of fecal pollution; however, few studies have focused on gulls, which can be a major source of fecal indicator bacteria and pathogens at beaches. We found a low but consistent occurrence of Bacteroidales in gulls at five beaches in three different counties spanning the Wisconsin shoreline of Lake Michigan. The percentages of gulls positive for Bacteroidales were 4 to 8% at beaches in the southern part of the state and 8 to 50% at beaches in the north. Sequencing of 931 clones from seven gull Bacteroidales 16S rRNA gene libraries revealed a large amount of diversity in both individual and pooled gull fecal samples. Two libraries constructed from pooled gull fecal samples (n = 5 and n = 6) did not have a greater richness of sequences than individual samples, suggesting that even within a single gull diversity is high and an extensive sequencing effort is needed to characterize the populations. Estimates of the numbers of operational taxonomic units (OTUs) for the libraries obtained using different similarity levels revealed a large amount of microdiveristy with a limited number of OTUs at the 95% similarity level. Gull sequences were clustered by the beach from which they were collected, suggesting that there were geographic effects on the distribution of Bacteriodales. More than 53% of the 16S rRNA gene sequences from gulls at the southern beaches were associated with the family Porphyromonadaceae, primarily the genus Parabacteroides, whereas sequences from gulls at the northern beaches were comprised of Bacteroidaceae and Prevotellaceae sequences. Comparison of gull sequences with sequences from goose, canine, raccoon, and sewage sources revealed distinct clusters of closely related gull sequences; however, these sequences were widely

  14. Bacteroidales diversity in ring-billed gulls (Laurus delawarensis) residing at Lake Michigan beaches.

    PubMed

    Jeter, Sonja N; McDermott, Colleen M; Bower, Patricia A; Kinzelman, Julie L; Bootsma, Melinda J; Goetz, Giles W; McLellan, Sandra L

    2009-03-01

    This study investigated the occurrence and diversity of Bacteroidales fecal bacteria in gulls residing in the Great Lakes region. Members of this bacterial order have been widely employed as human and bovine host-specific markers of fecal pollution; however, few studies have focused on gulls, which can be a major source of fecal indicator bacteria and pathogens at beaches. We found a low but consistent occurrence of Bacteroidales in gulls at five beaches in three different counties spanning the Wisconsin shoreline of Lake Michigan. The percentages of gulls positive for Bacteroidales were 4 to 8% at beaches in the southern part of the state and 8 to 50% at beaches in the north. Sequencing of 931 clones from seven gull Bacteroidales 16S rRNA gene libraries revealed a large amount of diversity in both individual and pooled gull fecal samples. Two libraries constructed from pooled gull fecal samples (n = 5 and n = 6) did not have a greater richness of sequences than individual samples, suggesting that even within a single gull diversity is high and an extensive sequencing effort is needed to characterize the populations. Estimates of the numbers of operational taxonomic units (OTUs) for the libraries obtained using different similarity levels revealed a large amount of microdiveristy with a limited number of OTUs at the 95% similarity level. Gull sequences were clustered by the beach from which they were collected, suggesting that there were geographic effects on the distribution of Bacteriodales. More than 53% of the 16S rRNA gene sequences from gulls at the southern beaches were associated with the family Porphyromonadaceae, primarily the genus Parabacteroides, whereas sequences from gulls at the northern beaches were comprised of Bacteroidaceae and Prevotellaceae sequences. Comparison of gull sequences with sequences from goose, canine, raccoon, and sewage sources revealed distinct clusters of closely related gull sequences; however, these sequences were widely

  15. Opportunistic fungal pathogen Candida glabrata circulates between humans and yellow-legged gulls.

    PubMed

    Al-Yasiri, Mohammed Hashim; Normand, Anne-Cécile; L'Ollivier, Coralie; Lachaud, Laurence; Bourgeois, Nathalie; Rebaudet, Stanislas; Piarroux, Renaud; Mauffrey, Jean-François; Ranque, Stéphane

    2016-10-26

    The opportunistic pathogenic yeast Candida glabrata is a component of the mycobiota of both humans and yellow-legged gulls that is prone to develop fluconazole resistance. Whether gulls are a reservoir of the yeast and facilitate the dissemination of human C. glabrata strains remains an open question. In this study, MLVA genotyping highlighted the lack of genetic structure of 190 C. glabrata strains isolated from either patients in three hospitals or fecal samples collected from gull breeding colonies located in five distinct areas along the French Mediterranean littoral. Fluconazole-resistant isolates were evenly distributed between both gull and human populations. These findings demonstrate that gulls are a reservoir of this species and facilitate the diffusion of C. glabrata and indirect transmission to human or animal hosts via environmental contamination. This eco-epidemiological view, which can be applied to other vertebrate host species, broadens our perspective regarding the reservoirs and dissemination patterns of antifungal-resistant human pathogenic yeast.

  16. Opportunistic fungal pathogen Candida glabrata circulates between humans and yellow-legged gulls

    PubMed Central

    Al-Yasiri, Mohammed Hashim; Normand, Anne-Cécile; L’Ollivier, Coralie; Lachaud, Laurence; Bourgeois, Nathalie; Rebaudet, Stanislas; Piarroux, Renaud; Mauffrey, Jean-François; Ranque, Stéphane

    2016-01-01

    The opportunistic pathogenic yeast Candida glabrata is a component of the mycobiota of both humans and yellow-legged gulls that is prone to develop fluconazole resistance. Whether gulls are a reservoir of the yeast and facilitate the dissemination of human C. glabrata strains remains an open question. In this study, MLVA genotyping highlighted the lack of genetic structure of 190 C. glabrata strains isolated from either patients in three hospitals or fecal samples collected from gull breeding colonies located in five distinct areas along the French Mediterranean littoral. Fluconazole-resistant isolates were evenly distributed between both gull and human populations. These findings demonstrate that gulls are a reservoir of this species and facilitate the diffusion of C. glabrata and indirect transmission to human or animal hosts via environmental contamination. This eco-epidemiological view, which can be applied to other vertebrate host species, broadens our perspective regarding the reservoirs and dissemination patterns of antifungal-resistant human pathogenic yeast. PMID:27782182

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  19. A juvenile-adult population model: climate change, cannibalism, reproductive synchrony, and strong Allee effects.

    PubMed

    Veprauskas, Amy; Cushing, J M

    2017-03-01

    We study a discrete time, structured population dynamic model that is motivated by recent field observations concerning certain life history strategies of colonial-nesting gulls, specifically the glaucous-winged gull (Larus glaucescens). The model focuses on mechanisms hypothesized to play key roles in a population's response to degraded environment resources, namely, increased cannibalism and adjustments in reproductive timing. We explore the dynamic consequences of these mechanics using a juvenile-adult structure model. Mathematically, the model is unusual in that it involves a high co-dimension bifurcation at [Formula: see text] which, in turn, leads to a dynamic dichotomy between equilibrium states and synchronized oscillatory states. We give diagnostic criteria that determine which dynamic is stable. We also explore strong Allee effects caused by positive feedback mechanisms in the model and the possible consequence that a cannibalistic population can survive when a non-cannibalistic population cannot.

  20. Balancing predation and egg harvest in a colonial seabird: A simulation model

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zador, Stephani G.; Piatt, J.F.; Punt, A.E.

    2006-01-01

    We developed an individual-based model to study the effects of different regimes of harvesting eggs and natural predation on reproductive success in a colony of the glaucous-winged gull (Larus glaucescens) in Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska. The model incorporates the sequence of egg laying, relaying, and incubation to hatching for individual nests and calculates hatching success, incubation length, and the total number of eggs laid (as a result of re-nesting and relaying) in all nests in the colony. Stochasticity is incorporated in the distribution of nest lay dates, predation rates, and nests attacked during predation and harvest events. We estimated parameter values by fitting the model to data collected at a small colony during 1999 and 2000 using maximum likelihood. We then simulated harvests and analyzed model predictions. Model outputs indicate that harvesting early, and at one time, provides a predictable take of eggs with the least impact to gulls.

  1. Identification of novel quantitative trait loci for days to ear emergence and flag leaf glaucousness in a bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) population adapted to southern Australian conditions.

    PubMed

    Bennett, Dion; Izanloo, Ali; Edwards, James; Kuchel, Haydn; Chalmers, Ken; Tester, Mark; Reynolds, Matthew; Schnurbusch, Thorsten; Langridge, Peter

    2012-03-01

    In southern Australia, where the climate is predominantly Mediterranean, achieving the correct flowering time in bread wheat minimizes the impact of in-season cyclical and terminal drought. Flag leaf glaucousness has been hypothesized as an important component of drought tolerance but its value and genetic basis in locally adapted germplasm is unknown. From a cross between Kukri and RAC875, a doubled-haploid (DH) population was developed. A genetic linkage map consisting of 456 DArT and SSR markers was used to detect QTL affecting time to ear emergence and Zadoks growth score in seven field experiments. While ear emergence time was similar between the parents, there was significant transgressive segregation in the population. This was the result of segregation for the previously characterized Ppd-D1a and Ppd-B1 photoperiod responsive alleles. QTL of smaller effect were also detected on chromosomes 1A, 4A, 4B, 5A, 5B, 7A and 7B. A novel QTL for flag leaf glaucousness of large, repeatable effect was detected in six field experiments, on chromosome 3A (QW.aww-3A) and accounted for up to 52 percent of genetic variance for this trait. QW.aww-3A was validated under glasshouse conditions in a recombinant inbred line population from the same cross. The genetic basis of time to ear emergence in this population will aid breeders' understanding of phenological adaptation to the local environment. Novel loci identified for flag leaf glaucousness and the wide phenotypic variation within the DH population offers considerable scope to investigate the impact and value of this trait for bread wheat production in southern Australia.

  2. Extensive Geographic Mosaicism in Avian Influenza Viruses from Gulls in the Northern Hemisphere

    PubMed Central

    Wille, Michelle; Robertson, Gregory J.; Whitney, Hugh; Bishop, Mary Anne; Runstadler, Jonathan A.; Lang, Andrew S.

    2011-01-01

    Due to limited interaction of migratory birds between Eurasia and America, two independent avian influenza virus (AIV) gene pools have evolved. There is evidence of low frequency reassortment between these regions, which has major implications in global AIV dynamics. Indeed, all currently circulating lineages of the PB1 and PA segments in North America are of Eurasian origin. Large-scale analyses of intercontinental reassortment have shown that viruses isolated from Charadriiformes (gulls, terns, and shorebirds) are the major contributor of these outsider events. To clarify the role of gulls in AIV dynamics, specifically in movement of genes between geographic regions, we have sequenced six gull AIV isolated in Alaska and analyzed these along with 142 other available gull virus sequences. Basic investigations of host species and the locations and times of isolation reveal biases in the available sequence information. Despite these biases, our analyses reveal a high frequency of geographic reassortment in gull viruses isolated in America. This intercontinental gene mixing is not found in the viruses isolated from gulls in Eurasia. This study demonstrates that gulls are important as vectors for geographically reassorted viruses, particularly in America, and that more surveillance effort should be placed on this group of birds. PMID:21697989

  3. Spatio-temporal structure of hooded gull flocks.

    PubMed

    Yomosa, Makoto; Mizuguchi, Tsuyoshi; Hayakawa, Yoshinori

    2013-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1998-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1998-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Tissue tropism and pathology of natural influenza virus infection in black-headed gulls (Chroicocephalus ridibundus).

    PubMed

    Höfle, Ursula; Van de Bildt, Marco W G; Leijten, Lonneke M; Van Amerongen, Geert; Verhagen, Josanne H; Fouchier, Ron A M; Osterhaus, Albert D M E; Kuiken, Thijs

    2012-12-01

    Black-headed gulls (Chroicocephalus ridibundus) are a suitable host species to study the epidemiology of low-pathogenic avian influenza virus (LPAIV) infection in wild waterbirds because they are a common colony-breeding species in which LPAIV infection is detected frequently, limited mainly to the H13 and H16 subtypes. However, the sites of virus replication and associated lesions are poorly understood. We therefore performed virological and pathological analyses on tissues of black-headed gulls naturally infected with LPAIV. We found that 24 of 111 black-headed gulls collected from breeding colonies were infected with LPAIV (10 birds with H16N3, one bird with H13N8, 13 birds undetermined), based on virus and viral genome detection in pharyngeal and cloacal swabs. Of these 24 gulls, 15 expressed virus antigen in their tissues. Virus antigen expression was limited to epithelial cells of intestine and cloacal bursa. No histological lesions were detected in association with virus antigen expression. Our findings show that LPAIV replication in the intestinal tract of black-headed gulls is mainly a superficial infection in absence of detectable lesions, as determined recently for natural LPAIV infection in free-living mallards (Anas platyrhynchos). These findings imply that LPAIV in black-headed gulls has adapted to minimal pathogenicity to its host and that potentially the primary transmission route is faecal-oral.

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

    PubMed Central

    MacLean, Sarah A.; Bonter, David N.

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. Genetic interactions underlying the biosynthesis and inhibition of β-diketones in wheat and their impact on glaucousness and cuticle permeability.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Zhengzhi; Wang, Wei; Li, Wanlong

    2013-01-01

    Cuticular wax composition greatly impacts plant responses to dehydration. Two parallel pathways exist in Triticeae for manipulating wax composition: the acyl elongation, reduction, and decarbonylation pathway that is active at the vegetative stage and yields primary alcohols and alkanes, and the β-diketone pathway that predominates at the reproductive stage and synthesizes β-diketones. Variation in glaucousness during the reproductive stage of wheat is mainly controlled by the wax production genes, W1 and W2, and wax inhibitor genes, Iw1 and Iw2. Little is known about the metabolic and physiological effects of the genetic interactions among these genes and their roles in shifting wax composition during plant development. We characterized the effect of W1, W2, Iw1, and Iw2 and analyzed their interaction using a set of six near-isogenic lines (NILs) by metabolic, molecular and physiological approaches. Loss of functional alleles of both W genes or the presence of either Iw gene depletes β-diketones and results in the nonglaucous phenotype. Elimination of β-diketones is compensated for by an increase in aldehydes and primary alcohols in the Iw NILs. Accordingly, transcription of CER4-6, which encodes an alcohol-forming fatty acyl-CoA reductase, was elevated 120-fold in iw1Iw2. CER4-6 was transcribed at much higher levels in seedlings than in adult plants, and showed little difference between the glaucous and nonglaucous NILs, suggesting that Iw2 counteracts the developmental repression of CER4-6 at the reproductive stage. While W1 and W2 redundantly function in β-diketone biosynthesis, a combination of both functional alleles led to the β-diketone hydroxylation. Consistent with this, transcription of MAH1-9, which encodes a mid-chain alkane hydroxylase, increased seven-fold only in W1W2. In parallel with the hydroxyl-β-diketone production patterns, glaucousness was intensified and cuticle permeability was reduced significantly in W1W2 compared to the other NILs

  11. Genetic Interactions Underlying the Biosynthesis and Inhibition of β-Diketones in Wheat and Their Impact on Glaucousness and Cuticle Permeability

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Zhengzhi; Wang, Wei; Li, Wanlong

    2013-01-01

    Cuticular wax composition greatly impacts plant responses to dehydration. Two parallel pathways exist in Triticeae for manipulating wax composition: the acyl elongation, reduction, and decarbonylation pathway that is active at the vegetative stage and yields primary alcohols and alkanes, and the β-diketone pathway that predominates at the reproductive stage and synthesizes β-diketones. Variation in glaucousness during the reproductive stage of wheat is mainly controlled by the wax production genes, W1 and W2, and wax inhibitor genes, Iw1 and Iw2. Little is known about the metabolic and physiological effects of the genetic interactions among these genes and their roles in shifting wax composition during plant development. We characterized the effect of W1, W2, Iw1, and Iw2 and analyzed their interaction using a set of six near-isogenic lines (NILs) by metabolic, molecular and physiological approaches. Loss of functional alleles of both W genes or the presence of either Iw gene depletes β-diketones and results in the nonglaucous phenotype. Elimination of β-diketones is compensated for by an increase in aldehydes and primary alcohols in the Iw NILs. Accordingly, transcription of CER4-6, which encodes an alcohol-forming fatty acyl-CoA reductase, was elevated 120-fold in iw1Iw2. CER4-6 was transcribed at much higher levels in seedlings than in adult plants, and showed little difference between the glaucous and nonglaucous NILs, suggesting that Iw2 counteracts the developmental repression of CER4-6 at the reproductive stage. While W1 and W2 redundantly function in β-diketone biosynthesis, a combination of both functional alleles led to the β-diketone hydroxylation. Consistent with this, transcription of MAH1-9, which encodes a mid-chain alkane hydroxylase, increased seven-fold only in W1W2. In parallel with the hydroxyl-β-diketone production patterns, glaucousness was intensified and cuticle permeability was reduced significantly in W1W2 compared to the other NILs

  12. Temporal trends of mercury in eggs of five sympatrically breeding seabird species in the Canadian Arctic.

    PubMed

    Braune, Birgit M; Gaston, Anthony J; Mallory, Mark L

    2016-07-01

    We compared temporal trends of total mercury (Hg) in eggs of five seabird species breeding at Prince Leopold Island in the Canadian high Arctic. As changes in trophic position over time have the potential to influence contaminant temporal trends, Hg concentrations were adjusted for trophic position (measured as δ(15)N). Adjusted Hg concentrations in eggs of thick-billed murres (Uria lomvia) and northern fulmars (Fulmarus glacialis) increased from 1975 to the 1990s, followed by a plateauing of levels from the 1990s to 2014. Trends of adjusted Hg concentrations in eggs of murres, fulmars, black guillemots (Cepphus grylle) and black-legged kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla) had negative slopes between 1993 and 2013. Adjusted Hg concentrations in glaucous gull (Larus hyperboreus) eggs decreased by 50% from 1993 to 2003 before starting to increase again. Glaucous gull eggs had the highest Hg concentrations followed by black guillemot eggs, and black-legged kittiwake eggs had the lowest concentrations consistently in the five years compared between 1993 and 2013. Based on published toxicological thresholds for Hg in eggs, there is little concern for adverse reproductive effects due to Hg exposure in these birds, although the levels in glaucous gull eggs warrant future scrutiny given the increase in Hg concentrations observed in recent years. There is evidence that the Hg trends observed reflect changing anthropogenic Hg emissions. It remains unclear, however, to what extent exposure to Hg on the overwintering grounds influences the Hg trends observed in the seabird eggs at Prince Leopold Island. Future research should focus on determining the extent to which Hg exposure on the breeding grounds versus the overwintering areas contribute to the trends observed in the eggs.

  13. Organotins in marine mammals and seabirds from Norwegian territory.

    PubMed

    Berge, John Arthur; Brevik, Einar M; Bjørge, Arne; Følsvik, Norunn; Gabrielsen, Geir Wing; Wolkers, Hans

    2004-02-01

    An increasing number of studies indicate that marine mammals and some seabirds are exposed to organotins. However, results from northern and Arctic areas are few. Here results from analysis of tributyltin (TBT), dibutyltin (DBT), monobutyltin (MBT), triphenyltin (TPhT), diphenyltin (DPhT) and monophenyltin (MPhT) in harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena), common seal (Phoca vitulina), ringed seal (Phoca hispida) and glaucous gull (Larus hyperboreus) from Norwegian territory are presented. Relatively high concentrations of DBT, TBT and MBT were observed in muscle, kidney and liver from harbour porpoises caught in northern Norway in 1988, just before restrictions on the use of tributyltin (TBT)(mainly on small boats) were introduced in several European countries. The concentrations in harbour porpoise muscle tissue were reduced significantly 11 years later, possibly as a result of the introduced restrictions. Considerably lower concentrations of butyltins were observed in the seals compared to porpoises. The lowest levels of organotins were found in ringed seals from Spitsbergen, where only traces of dibutyltin (DBT) and monobutyltin (MBT) were observed. Traces of DBT and MBT were also found in some individual glaucous gulls from Bear Island. The sum of the degradation products MBT and DBT in liver samples from all analysed species were generally higher than TBT itself. Triphenyltin (TPhT) was observed in all porpoise samples and in livers of common seals. Also the sum of the degradation products MPhT and DPhT in liver samples from porpoise and common seals were higher than TPhT. No traces of phenyltins were found in ringed seals from Spitsbergen or in glaucous gulls from Bear Island. The limited data available indicate low to moderate exposure to organotins in northern areas (Spitsbergen and Bear Island). Marine mammals are however more exposed further south along the Norwegian Coast.

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  17. Watershed Assessment with Beach Microbial Source Tracking and Outcomes of Resulting Gull Management.

    PubMed

    Goodwin, Kelly D; Gruber, Steve; Vondrak, Mary; Crumpacker, Andrea

    2016-09-20

    Total maximum daily load (TMDL) implementation at a southern California beach involved ultraviolet treatment of watershed drainage that provided >97% reduction in fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) concentrations. However, this pollutant control measure did not provide sufficient improvement of beach water quality, prompting further assessment. Investigation included microbial source tracking (MST) for human, gull, and canine fecal sources, monitoring of enterococci and fecal coliform, and measurement of chemical and physical water quality parameters for samples collected from watershed, groundwater, and beach sites, including a beach scour pond and tidal creek. FIB variability remained poorly modeled in regression analysis. However, MST revealed correlations between FIB and gull source tracking markers, leading to recommendations to manage gulls as a pollutant source. Beach conditions were followed for three years after implementation of a best management practice (BMP) to abate gulls using a falconry program for the beach and an upland landfill. The gull abatement BMP was associated with improved beach water quality, and this appears to be the first report of falconry in the context of TMDL implementation. Overall, MST data enabled management action despite an inability to fully model FIB dynamics in the coupled watershed-beach system.

  18. Macroanatomic, light, and electron microscopic examination of pecten oculi in the seagull (Larus canus).

    PubMed

    Ince, Nazan Gezer; Onuk, Burcu; Kabak, Yonca Betil; Alan, Aydin; Kabak, Murat

    2017-07-01

    The present study was conducted to determine macroanatomic characteristic as well as light and electron microscopic examination (SEM) of pecten oculi and totally 20 bulbus oculi belonging to 10 seagulls (Larus canus) were used. Pecten oculi formations consisted of 18 to 21 pleats and their shape looked like a snail. Apical length of the pleats forming pecten oculi were averagely measured as 5.77 ± 0.56 mm, retina-dependent base length was 9.01 ± 1.35 mm and height was measured as 6.4 ± 0.62 mm. In pecten oculi formations which extend up to 1/3 of the bulbus oculi, two different vascular formations were determined according to thickness of the vessel diameter. Among these, vessels with larger diameters which are less than the others in count were classified as afferent and efferent vessels, smaller vessels which are greater in size were classified as capillaries. Furthermore, the granules which were observed intensely in apical side of the pleats of pecten oculi were observed to distribute randomly along the plica. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  1. 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.

  2. Dynamics of storage of organochlorine pollutants in herring gulls

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1976-01-01

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

  3. Conservation genetics of high-arctic Gull species at risk: II. Diversity in the mtDNA control region of Threatened Ross's Gull (Rhodostethia rosea).

    PubMed

    Royston, Stephanie R; Carr, Steven M

    2016-11-01

    Ross's Gull (Rhodostethia rosea) is the rarest of Canadian high-arctic gulls, and is listed as Threatened under Canada's Species-At-Risk Act. The large majority of birds breed in Siberia: the origins and affinities of four extremely small breeding colonies observed since 1978 in the Canadian high arctic are unknown. We compared a 515-bp region of the mtDNA Control Region amplified from material in museum collections taken from non-breeding birds in Canada (n = 8) and Alaska (n = 6), the latter passage migrants from the Siberian populations. The Alaskan birds all have distinct haplotypes that differ by as many as six SNPs: Canadian birds taken in the vicinity of the breeding colonies show only two of these. We hypothesize the origins of the Canadian breeding colonies as recent founder events by small numbers of passage migrants from Siberia via Alaska. Ross's Gull maintains a very tenuous breeding presence in the Canadian high Arctic.

  4. 78 FR 46410 - Requested Administrative Waiver of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel TWO BUOYS ONE GULL...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-07-31

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Maritime Administration Requested Administrative Waiver of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel TWO BUOYS ONE... the applicant the intended service of the vessel TWO BUOYS ONE GULL is: Intended Commercial Use of...

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  6. Epidemiology of influenza A virus among black-headed gulls, the Netherlands, 2006-2010.

    PubMed

    Verhagen, Josanne H; Majoor, Frank; Lexmond, Pascal; Vuong, Oanh; Kasemir, Giny; Lutterop, Date; Osterhaus, Albert D M E; Fouchier, Ron A M; Kuiken, Thijs

    2014-01-01

    We sampled 7,511 black-headed gulls for influenza virus in the Netherlands during 2006-2010 and found that subtypes H13 and H16 caused annual epidemics in fledglings on colony sites. Our findings validate targeted surveillance of wild waterbirds and clarify underlying factors for influenza virus emergence in other species.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1979-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hellweg, John D.; Hellweg, Susan A.

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1999-01-01

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

  10. In vitro biotransformation of decabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-209) and Dechlorane Plus flame retardants: a case study of ring-billed gull breeding in a pollution hotspot in the St. Lawrence River, Canada.

    PubMed

    Chabot-Giguère, Bernice; Letcher, Robert J; Verreault, Jonathan

    2013-05-01

    Decabromodiphenyl ether (deca-BDE) mixture (~97% of BDE-209) is now facing usage restrictions worldwide, which is leading to increased utilization of a series of alternative, replacement flame retardant (FR) products. Among these, Dechlorane Plus (DP) is receiving growing attention as this FR is increasingly being detected in wildlife samples, including birds from North America, Europe and Asia. Recent survey conducted in a known FR hotspot in the St. Lawrence River basin near Montreal (QC, Canada) revealed unexpectedly high detection frequencies and concentrations of BDE-209 and DP isomers (syn- and anti-DP) in the liver of breeding ring-billed gulls (Larus delawarensis) (RBGUs). Despite the global distribution of these current-use FRs, there is to our knowledge no study that has addressed the in vitro biotransformation of BDE-209 and DP isomers in birds. This study aimed at understanding the in vitro metabolism of BDE-209 and syn- and anti-DP using liver microsomes of Montreal-breeding RBGUs. Although BDE-15 (positive assay control) was consistently and positively depleted over the 90-min time frame of the in vitro assay, no depletion was observed for BDE-209 and DP isomers. These results suggest that CYP isoenzyme-mediated reductive dehalogenation of BDE-209 and DP is not likely to be a substantial metabolic pathway in RBGUs. However, investigations on deiodinases (expression, activity) should be considered in future studies as these enzymes have been suggested to be involved in the sequential debromination of BDE-209 in fish and human studies. High levels of BDE-209 determined in liver of RBGUs that strongly correlated with those of known or suggested BDE-209 debromination products (hepta- through nona-BDEs) may thus be indicative of concomitant dietary (e.g., fish consumption) and environmental exposure in the greater Montreal area, combined with poor or lack of metabolic capability toward these FRs.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2003-01-01

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

  14. A century of ecosystem change: human and seabird impacts on plant species extirpation and invasion on islands

    PubMed Central

    Bennett, Joseph R.; Blight, Louise K.; Giesen, Marissa; Janssen, Michael H.; Schaminée, Joop J.H.J.; Arcese, Peter

    2016-01-01

    We used 116 years of floral and faunal records from Mandarte Island, British Columbia, Canada, to estimate the indirect effects of humans on plant communities via their effects on the population size of a surface-nesting, colonial seabird, the Glaucous-winged gull (Larus glaucescens). Comparing current to historical records revealed 18 extirpations of native plant species (32% of species historically present), 31 exotic species introductions, and one case of exotic introduction followed by extirpation. Contemporary surveys indicated that native species cover declined dramatically from 1986 to 2006, coincident with the extirpation of ‘old-growth’ conifers. Because vegetation change co-occurred with an increasing gull population locally and regionally, we tested several predictions from the hypothesis that the presence and activities of seabirds help to explain those changes. Specifically, we predicted that on Mandarte and nearby islands with gull colonies, we should observe higher nutrient loading and exotic plant species richness and cover than on nearby islands without gull colonies, as a consequence of competitive dominance in species adapted to high soil nitrogen and trampling. As predicted, we found that native plant species cover and richness were lower, and exotic species cover and richness higher, on islands with versus without gull colonies. In addition, we found that soil carbon and nitrogen on islands with nesting gulls were positively related to soil depth and exotic species richness and cover across plots and islands. Our results support earlier suggestions that nesting seabirds can drive rapid change in insular plant communities by increasing nutrients and disturbing vegetation, and that human activities that affect seabird abundance may therefore indirectly affect plant community composition on islands with seabird colonies. PMID:27547531

  15. [The systematic position of mites of the genus Larinyssus Strandtmann (Gamasoidea, Rhinonyssidae), parasitizing gulls].

    PubMed

    Butenko, O M

    1975-01-01

    A study was carried out of the variability of mited colledted from 6 species of birds as follows: Larus argentatus Pontopp., L. minutus Pall., Gelochelidon nilotica Gm., Chlidonias leucoptera (Temm.), Ch. nigra (L.) and Sterna hirundo L. Structural peculiarities characteristic of the parasites of the above species have been revealed. The mites from St. hirundo were isolated into a distinct species, Larinyssus substerna sp. n., which is most close to L. sterna Fain, 1972. The new species differs from L. sterna in a smaller size of gnathosoma and chelicerae, lesser number of hypostomal setae and the presence of pigidial shields.

  16. Attractiveness of Shredded Garbage to Gulls and Other Avian Species Potentially Hazardous to Aircraft

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1980-02-01

    attractiveness of shredded garbage as a food source for birds; and (2) to determine what changes have occurred in gull popula- tions and movement...feeders, not all regu- larly use garbage as their main food source . Those species that do feed on refuse, however, are involved in about 40 percent of...species Iarge enough to prov e a significant food source for birds. And, as expected, these were the only insects found in food samples taken from

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Synchronous response of hydrophobic chemicals in herring gull eggs in the Great Lakes

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, D.W.

    1994-12-31

    Short-term changes in hydrophobic organic chemical concentrations in gull eggs are synchronized within and across the Great Lakes. Deviations from long-term trends for PCBs, DDE, dieldrin, mirex, and hexachlorobenzene in Lake Superior gull eggs correlate with deviations of those chemicals in gull eggs from Lake Ontario and, to a lesser extent, the other Great Lakes. This synchrony is inconsistent with the hypothesis that changes in tissue levels are controlled by changes in external loading. Rather, the synchrony implies that some overriding factor -- probably weather -- concurrently affects internal recycling of chemicals across chemicals across the Great Lakes. From 1980 to 1992, deviations from long-term weather patterns correlated significantly with deviations of some hydrophobic chemicals. A weather-driven hypothesis implies that (1) apparent changes in the rate of chemical decline result from uncontrollable changes in internal recycling as opposed to potentially controllable inputs from external sources and (2) the current period of slow contaminant decline is likely to be a short-term phenomenon.

  19. Novel methoxylated polybrominated diphenoxybenzene congeners and possible sources in herring gull eggs from the Laurentian Great Lakes of North America.

    PubMed

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

    2011-11-15

    An increasing number of brominated flame retardants and other brominated substances are being reported in herring gull eggs from the Laurentian Great Lakes basin. Yet, in extracts from gulls' eggs, numerous bromide anion response peaks in electron capture negative ion (ECNI) mass chromatograms remain unidentified. Using archived herring gull egg homogenates, we characterize the structures of three major and three minor, new and unique brominated substances. After extensive cleanup and separation to isolate these substances from the extracts, high-quality ECNI and electron impact (EI) mass spectra revealed fragmentation patterns consistent with congeners of methoxylated polybrominated diphenoxybenzene (MeO-PBDPB), where four congeners contained five bromines and the other two contain four and six bromines, respectively. Optimized, semiquantitative analysis revealed sum concentrations of the MeO-PBDBP congeners ranged from <0.2 to 36.8 ng/g ww in pooled egg homogenates (collected in 2009) from fourteen herring gull colony sites across the Great Lakes, with the highest concentration being for Channel-Shelter Island in Saginaw Bay (Lake Huron). To our knowledge, there are no published reports on the environmental presence and sources of MeO-PBDPBs. We hypothesize that these MeO-PBDPBs are degradation products of the polybrominated diphenoxybenzenes, for example, tetradecabromodiphenoxybenzene (currently marketed as SAYTEX 120) or polybromo 3P2E. MeO-PBDPBs in Great Lakes herring gull eggs indicates their bioaccumulation potential, and raises concerns about their origin, environmental behavior and influences on wildlife and environmental health.

  20. Molecular evidence of the close relatedness of clinical, gull and wastewater isolates of quinolone-resistant Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Varela, Ana Rita; Manageiro, Vera; Ferreira, Eugénia; Guimarães, M Augusta; da Costa, Paulo Martins; Caniça, Manuela; Manaia, Célia M

    2015-12-01

    Escherichia coli with reduced susceptibility to quinolones isolated from different environmental sources (urban wastewater treatment plants, n=61; hospital effluent, n=10; urban streams, n=9; gulls, n=18; birds of prey, n=17) and from hospitalised patients (n=28) were compared based on multilocus sequence typing (MLST) and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). The habitats with the most diversified genotypes of quinolone-resistant E. coli, corresponding to the highest genetic diversity (H'), were wastewater and gulls. In addition, genetically distinct populations were observed in clinical samples and birds of prey, suggesting the influence of the habitat or selective pressures on quinolone-resistant E. coli. The close genetic relatedness between isolates of clinical origin and from gulls and wastewater suggests the existence of potential routes of propagation between these sources. The most common sequence types were ST131 and ST10, with ST131 being highly specific to patients, although distributed in all of the other habitats except birds of prey. The prevalence of antimicrobial resistance was significantly higher in isolates from patients and gulls than from other sources (P<0.01), suggesting that the effect of selective pressures met by isolates subjected to strong human impacts. The evidence presented suggests the potential circulation of bacteria between the environmental and clinical compartments, with gulls being a relevant vector of bacteria and resistance genes. Copyright © 2015 International Society for Chemotherapy of Infection and Cancer. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-15

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Blus, Lawrence J.; Stafford, Charles J.

    1980-01-01

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

  3. Living on the edge of a shrinking habitat: the ivory gull, Pagophila eburnea, an endangered sea-ice specialist.

    PubMed

    Gilg, Olivier; Istomina, Larysa; Heygster, Georg; Strøm, Hallvard; Gavrilo, Maria V; Mallory, Mark L; Gilchrist, Grant; Aebischer, Adrian; Sabard, Brigitte; Huntemann, Marcus; Mosbech, Anders; Yannic, Glenn

    2016-11-01

    The ongoing decline of sea ice threatens many Arctic taxa, including the ivory gull. Understanding how ice-edges and ice concentrations influence the distribution of the endangered ivory gulls is a prerequisite to the implementation of adequate conservation strategies. From 2007 to 2013, we used satellite transmitters to monitor the movements of 104 ivory gulls originating from Canada, Greenland, Svalbard-Norway and Russia. Although half of the positions were within 41 km of the ice-edge (75% within 100 km), approximately 80% were on relatively highly concentrated sea ice. Ivory gulls used more concentrated sea ice in summer, when close to their high-Arctic breeding ground, than in winter. The best model to explain the distance of the birds from the ice-edge included the ice concentration within approximately 10 km, the month and the distance to the colony. Given the strong links between ivory gull, ice-edge and ice concentration, its conservation status is unlikely to improve in the current context of sea-ice decline which, in turn, will allow anthropogenic activities to develop in regions that are particularly important for the species.

  4. Egg oiling to reduce hatch-year ring-billed gull numbers on Chicago's beaches during swim season and water quality test results.

    PubMed

    Engeman, Richard M; Hartmann, John W; Beckerman, Scott F; Seamans, Thomas W; Abu-Absi, Sarah

    2012-06-01

    A burgeoning ring-billed gull population along Chicago's Lake Michigan beaches contributes to degraded water quality through fecal contamination. Egg oiling was conducted at Chicago's gull colonies to reduce production and the influx of hatch-year (HY) gulls using Chicago's beaches, with a second, long-term objective of eventually reducing adult gull numbers through attrition. We also investigated swim season water quality trends through the course of this work. From 2007 to 2009, 52, 80, and 81%, of nests at the two primary nest colonies had their eggs rendered inviable by corn oil application. Counts of HY and after hatch-year (AHY) gulls were analyzed during treatment years for 10 beaches. Water quality data were available from the Chicago Park District during our three treatment years and the prior year (baseline) for 19 beaches. HY counts declined at all 10 surveyed beaches from the initial year (52% nests with oiled eggs) to subsequent years with ~80% of nests oiled. Overall, HY gulls numbers on beaches decreased 86% from 2007 to 2009. Decreases in beach usage by AHY gulls were not detected. Compared to pretreatment, the number of beaches with improved water quality test rates increased each year through the course of the study. The frequency of water quality tests showing bacterial exceedances compared to 2006 declined at 18 of 19 beaches by 2009. Egg oiling resulted in fewer HY gulls using Chicago's beaches and was likely a beneficial factor for reduced frequencies of swim advisories and swim bans.

  5. 76 FR 25149 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Annual Notice of Findings on Resubmitted Petitions...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-05-03

    .... luteirostris. C 8 Tangara peruviana.. Thraupidae......... black-backed Brazil. tanager. C 6 Strepera graculina... predators include the red-billed gull (Larus scopulinus), and southern black-backed gull (L....

  6. Water-quality data for selected sites on Reversed, Rush, and Alger Creeks and Gull and Silver Lakes, Mono County, California, April 1994 to March 1995

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wang, Bronwen; Rockwell, G.L.; Blodgett, J.C.

    1995-01-01

    Water-quality data for selected sites on Reversed, Rush, and Alger Creeks and Gull and Silver Lakes, Mono County, California, were collected from April 1994 to March 1995. Water samples were analyzed for major ions and trace elements, nutrients, methylene blue active substances, and oil and grease. Field measurements were made for discharge, specific conductance, pH, water temperature, barometric pressure, dissolved oxygen, and alkalinity. Additional data collected include vertical water profiles of specific conductance, pH, water temperature, and dissolved oxygen collected at 3.3-foot intervals for Gull and Silver Lakes; chlorophyll-a and -b concentrations and Secchi depth for Gull and Silver Lakes; sediment interstitial- water nutrient concentrations in cores from Gull Lake; and lake surface and volume of Gull and Silver Lakes.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2005-01-01

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

  8. Genetic Markers for Rapid PCR-Based Identification of Gull, Canada Goose, Duck, and Chicken Fecal Contamination in Water

    PubMed Central

    Green, Hyatt C.; Dick, Linda K.; Gilpin, Brent; Samadpour, Mansour

    2012-01-01

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

  9. Toxic effects of orally ingested oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill on laughing gulls.

    PubMed

    Horak, K E; Bursian, S J; Ellis, C K; Dean, K M; Link, J E; Hanson-Dorr, K C; Cunningham, F L; Harr, K E; Pritsos, C A; Pritsos, K L; Healy, K A; Cacela, D; Shriner, S A

    2017-08-16

    The explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig released, millions of gallons of oil into the environment, subsequently exposing wildlife, including numerous bird species. To determine the effects of MC252 oil to species relevant to the Gulf of Mexico, studies were done examining multiple exposure scenarios and doses. In this study, laughing gulls (Leucophaeus atricilla, LAGU) were offered fish injected with MC252 oil at target doses of 5 or 10mL/kg bw per day. Dosing continued for 27 days. Of the adult, mixed-sex LAGUs used in the present study, ten of 20 oil exposed LAGUs survived to the end of the study; a total of 10 of the oil exposed LAGUs died or were euthanized within 20 days of initiation of the study. Endpoints associated with oxidative stress, hepatic total glutathione (tGSH), oxidized glutathione (GSSG) and reduced glutathione (rGSH) significantly increased as mean dose of oil increased, while the rGSH:GSSG ratio showed a non-significant negative trend with oil dose. A significant increase in 3-methyl histidine was found in oil exposed birds when compared to controls indicative of muscle wastage and may have been associated with the gross observation of diminished structural integrity in cardiac tissue. Consistent with previous oil dosing studies in birds, significant changes in liver, spleen, and kidney weight when normalized to body weight were observed. These studies indicate that mortality in response to oil dosing is relatively common and the mortality exhibited by the gulls is consistent with previous studies examining oil toxicity. Whether survival effects in the gull study were associated with weight loss, physiologic effects of oil toxicity, or a behavioral response that led the birds to reject the dosed fish is unknown. Published by Elsevier Inc.

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

    PubMed

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

    1994-02-01

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

  11. Maternal yolk androgens stimulate territorial behaviour in black-headed gull chicks.

    PubMed

    Müller, Wendt; Dijkstra, Cor; Groothuis, Ton G G

    2009-10-23

    Avian eggs contain substantial amounts of maternal androgens. The concentrations of these yolk androgens are affected by the maternal environment, such as the level of social competition, parasite exposure or food conditions. Since yolk androgens have been shown to affect a wide array of offspring traits, they may adjust the chicks to the expected post-hatching environment, but experimental evidence is still scarce. We investigate in colonial breeding black-headed gulls whether high concentrations of yolk androgens, such as those found in environments with high numbers of social interactions, facilitate aggressiveness and territorial behaviour of the chicks. Black-headed gulls are highly suitable for this, as the semi-precocial chicks defend the natal territory and food against intruders. We manipulated yolk androgen concentrations and investigated their role in both within-nest and between-nest aggression. We found that chicks hatching from androgen-treated eggs defended the natal territory more often than their nest mates from control eggs, without increasing sibling aggression. This suggests that variation in yolk androgen concentrations in relation to the social environment of the mother may indeed allow adjustment of the offspring's behaviour to the expected frequency of territorial interactions with conspecifics post-hatching.

  12. Circumpolar contamination in eggs of the high-Arctic ivory gull Pagophila eburnea.

    PubMed

    Lucia, Magali; Verboven, Nanette; Strøm, Hallvard; Miljeteig, Cecilie; Gavrilo, Maria V; Braune, Birgit M; Boertmann, David; Gabrielsen, Geir W

    2015-07-01

    The ivory gull Pagophila eburnea is a high-Arctic species threatened by climate change and contaminants. The objective of the present study was to assess spatial variation of contaminant levels (organochlorines [OCs], brominated flame retardants [BFRs], perfluorinated alkyl substances [PFASs], and mercury [Hg]) in ivory gulls breeding in different areas across the Arctic region as a baseline for potential future changes associated with climate change. Contaminants were already determined in eggs from Canada (Seymour Island; except PFASs), Svalbard in Norway (Svenskøya), and 3 sites in Russia (Nagurskoe, Cape Klyuv, and Domashny). New data from Greenland allowed the investigation of a possible longitudinal gradient of contamination. The most quantitatively abundant OCs were p,p'-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE) and polychlorobiphenyls. Mercury concentrations were higher in Canada compared with other colonies. Eggs from Nagurskoe often were characterized by higher OC and BFR concentrations. Concentrations gradually decreased in colonies situated east of Nagurskoe. In contrast, PFAS concentrations, especially perfluorooctanoate and perfluorononanoate, were higher in Greenland. Some of the contaminants, especially Hg and p,p'-DDE, exceeded published thresholds known to disrupt the reproductive success of avian species. Overall, the levels of OCs, BFRs, and PFASs did not suggest direct lethal exposure to these compounds, but their potential synergetic/additive sublethal effects warrant monitoring.

  13. Development and application of a quantitative PCR assay targeting Catellicoccus marimammalium for assessing gull-associated fecal contamination at Lake Erie beaches.

    PubMed

    Lee, Cheonghoon; Marion, Jason W; Lee, Jiyoung

    2013-06-01

    Gulls represent one of the major fecal contamination sources responsible for the degradation of water quality at Lake Erie beaches. For assessing gull-associated fecal contamination, a real-time quantitative PCR assay (qPCR) targeting 16S rRNA gene sequences from Catellicoccus marimammalium, which are abundant in gull feces, was developed and evaluated by comparing assay results with beach survey data that included gull counting, and quantifying densities of Escherichia coli and human-associated fecal markers at two Lake Erie beaches. In evaluating the specificity and sensitivity of the qPCR assay with animal and wastewater samples, C. marimammalium was detected in most gull fecal samples (80.7%), some chicken fecal samples (24.1%), but was not readily detected from other fecal samples of animals and humans, and wastewater. Among 66 Lake Erie water samples collected in 2010, C. marimammalium was frequently detected from Villa Angela (36.4%) and Headlands beaches (57.6%). C. marimammalium densities were not associated with E. coli densities or sanitary survey data. E. coli counts were likely driven by other sources, such as human, rather than gulls at the study sites. The presumption that human contamination influenced E. coli counts was supported by more frequent detection of the human-specific Bacteroides gyrB marker (gyrB) at Villa Angela (33.3%) than Headlands (6.1%). Since E. coli may not be an effective indicator for assessing gull-related fecal contamination at these beaches, where contamination sources are mixed, our novel qPCR assay can be useful for understanding fecal source contributions from gulls not explained by gull abundance or E. coli densities. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

    Bonnedahl, Jonas; Stedt, Johan; Waldenström, Jonas; Svensson, Lovisa; Drobni, Mirva; Olsen, Björn

    2015-01-01

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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Storage capacity, detention time, and selected sediment deposition characteristics for Gull and Silver Lakes, Mono County, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Blodgett, J.C.

    1996-01-01

    Bathymetric surveys made in September 1994 indicate the maximum storage capacity of Gull and Silver Lakes, California, is about 2,400 and 3,000 acre-feet, respectively. During March through October 1994, the lake level dropped 0.7 feet at both Gull Lake and Silver Lake. The associated change in storage was 60 acre-feet at Gull Lake and 80 acre-feet at Silver Lake. The flow detention time for average annual flow conditions at Gull Lake is about 2.5 years and for Silver Lake, the average detention time is about 19 days. Sediment deposition at the inlet to Silver Lake has been monitored since 1951 using aerial photography. During 1963 through 1994, the area of sediment deposition increased from 0.32 to about 2.4 acres. Analyses of these data indicate that the rate of deposition was lower during 1951-72 than the rate during 1973-94. Sediment deposition at the lake inlet is a continuing phenomenon.

  18. Cultural Resources Investigation of the Reservoir Shorelines: Gull Lake, Leech Lake, Pine River and Lake Pokegama. Volume 2. Site Location Data.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1979-06-01

    affiliation Malmo (Middle Woodland ); Blackduck 4. Location: Sec. 4 Twp. 135N R. 29W Verbal description E NWk north end Upper Gull; just east of bridge over...affiliation Woodland 4. Location: Sec. 25 Twp. 134N R. 30W Verbal description NWk SEk on the southeast arm of the southwest part of Wilson Bay, Gull...mound, village, etc.) mound? burial? 2. Map reference USGS Gull Lake 3. Cultural affiliation Woodland and Historic 4. Location: Sec. 21 Tp. 135N R. 29W

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-09-04

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Botton, M. L.

    1984-02-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1996-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1999-01-01

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

  6. Trace Element Concentrations in Relation to the Trophic Behaviour of Endangered Ivory Gulls (Pagophila eburnea) During Their Stay at a Breeding Site in Svalbard.

    PubMed

    Lucia, Magali; Strøm, Hallvard; Bustamante, Paco; Gabrielsen, Geir W

    2016-11-01

    The ivory gull is a high-Arctic species considered endangered in most parts of its breeding range. Ivory gulls must cope with both the reduction of sea ice cover triggered by climate change and increasing contaminant loads due to changes in global contaminant pathways. The objective of this study was to assess the concentration of 14 essential and nonessential trace elements at four colonies of ivory gulls breeding on Barentsøya, Svalbard, and the relationship between contaminant exposure and the diet of individuals. Contaminants and stable isotopes (δ(15)N, δ(13)C) were determined in blood (red blood cells and whole blood), and feathers of ivory gulls collected over several years. The most quantitatively abundant nonessential trace element found in the ivory gull was mercury (Hg). Selenium (Se) was present in substantial surplus compared with Hg, which would imply relative protection against Hg toxic effects but raises concern about Se potential toxicity. Moreover, other elements were detected, such as silver, arsenic, cadmium, and lead, which would warrant monitoring because of the potential additive/synergetic effects of these compounds. This study demonstrated individual differences in trophic behaviour that triggered discrepancies in Hg concentrations, highlighting the potential biomagnifying ability of this metal in the ivory gull's food web. Results highlighted the mixing of birds coming from different geographical areas on Barentsøya.

  7. Conservation genetics of high-arctic Gull species at risk: I. Diversity in the mtDNA control region of circumpolar populations of the Endangered Ivory Gull (Pagophila eburnea).

    PubMed

    Royston, Stephanie R; Carr, Steven M

    2016-11-01

    The high-arctic Ivory Gull (Pagophila eburnea) has recently undergone a sharp decline in numbers, and in Canada it is listed as "Endangered" under the Species-At-Risk Act. To test for circumpolar genetic distinctiveness, we examined 264 bp of the mtDNA Control Region Domain I from 127 museum specimens collected during the breeding season from northern Canada, Greenland, and Norway, and during the non-breeding season from adjacent overwintering grounds in Canada, Greenland, and a disjunct area in Alaska adjacent to the Bering Sea. Partition of genetic variance according to various phylogeographic and breeding ground models indicates no strong population structure, except that Alaska birds are consistently differentiated from other locations, and there are significant temporal shifts in haplotype frequencies. The evidence suggests that Ivory Gulls in Canada, Greenland, and Norway are a single genetic entity, in contrast to Alaska birds, which may represent a distinctive Siberian population.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. The genome of an influenza virus from a pilot whale: relation to influenza viruses of gulls and marine mammals.

    PubMed

    Groth, Marco; Lange, Jeannette; Kanrai, Pumaree; Pleschka, Stephan; Scholtissek, Christoph; Krumbholz, Andi; Platzer, Matthias; Sauerbrei, Andreas; Zell, Roland

    2014-06-01

    Influenza virus A/whale/Maine/328B/1984 (H13N2) was isolated from a diseased pilot whale. Since only a partial sequence was available, its complete genome was sequenced and compared to the sequences of subtype H13 influenza viruses from shorebirds and various influenza viruses of marine mammals. The data reveal a rare genotype constellation with all gene segments derived of an influenza virus adapted to gulls, terns and waders. In contrast, the phylogenetic trees indicate that the majority of influenza viruses isolated from marine mammals derived from influenza viruses adapted to geese and ducks. We conclude that A/whale/Maine/328B/1984 is the first record of an infection of a marine mammal from a gull-origin influenza virus.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2013-01-01

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

  13. Experimental infection of highly pathogenic avian influenza virus H5N1 in black-headed gulls (Chroicocephalus ridibundus).

    PubMed

    Ramis, Antonio; van Amerongen, Geert; van de Bildt, Marco; Leijten, Loneke; Vanderstichel, Raphael; Osterhaus, Albert; Kuiken, Thijs

    2014-08-19

    Historically, highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses (HPAIV) rarely resulted in infection or clinical disease in wild birds. However, since 2002, disease and mortality from natural HPAIV H5N1 infection have been observed in wild birds including gulls. We performed an experimental HPAIV H5N1 infection of black-headed gulls (Chroicocephalus ridibundus) to determine their susceptibility to infection and disease from this virus, pattern of viral shedding, clinical signs, pathological changes and viral tissue distribution. We inoculated sixteen black-headed gulls with 1 × 10(4) median tissue culture infectious dose HPAIV H5N1 (A/turkey/Turkey/1/2005) intratracheally and intraesophageally. Birds were monitored daily until 12 days post inoculation (dpi). Oropharyngeal and cloacal swabs were collected daily to detect viral shedding. Necropsies from birds were performed at 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 12 dpi. Sampling from selected tissues was done for histopathology, immunohistochemical detection of viral antigen, PCR, and viral isolation. Our study shows that all inoculated birds were productively infected, developed systemic disease, and had a high morbidity and mortality rate. Virus was detected mainly in the respiratory tract on the first days after inoculation, and then concentrated more in pancreas and central nervous system from 4 dpi onwards. Birds shed infectious virus until 7 dpi from the pharynx and 6 dpi from the cloaca. We conclude that black-headed gulls are highly susceptible to disease with a high mortality rate and are thus more likely to act as sentinel species for the presence of the virus than as long-distance carriers of the virus to new geographical areas.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-26

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

  16. The GULLS project: a comparison of vulnerabilities across selected ocean hotspots and implications for adaptation to global change.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cochrane, K.; Hobday, A. J.; Aswani, S.; Byfield, V.; Dutra, L.; Gasalla, M.; Haward, M.; Paytan, A.; Pecl, G.; Plaganyi-Lloyd, E.; Popova, K.; Salim, S. S.; Savage, C.; Sauer, W.; van Putten, I. E.; Visser, N.; Team, T G

    2016-12-01

    The GULLS project, `Global learning for local solutions: Reducing vulnerability of marine-dependent coastal communities' has been underway since October 2014. The project has been investigating six regional `hotspots': marine areas experiencing rapid warming. These are south-east Australia, Brazil, India, Solomon Islands, South Africa, and the Mozambique Channel and Madagascar. Rapid warming could be expected to have social, cultural and economic impacts that could affect these countries in different ways and may already be doing so. GULLS has focused on contributing to assessing and reducing the vulnerability of coastal communities and other stakeholders dependent on marine resources and to facilitate adaptation to climate change and variability through an integrated and trans-disciplinary approach. It includes participants from Australia, Brazil, India, Madagascar, New Zealand, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. The research programme has been divided into six inter-linked components: ocean models, biological and ecological sensitivity analyses, system models, social vulnerability, policy mapping, and communication and education. This presentation will provide a brief overview of each of these components and describe the benefits that have resulted from the collaborative and transdisciplinary approach of GULLS. Following the standard vulnerability elements of exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity, the vulnerabilities of coastal communities and other stakeholders dependent on marine resources in the five hotspots will be compared using a set of indicators derived and populated from results of the research programme. The implications of similarities and differences between the hotspots for adaptation planning and options will be described.

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

    PubMed Central

    Shepard, Emily L. C.

    2016-01-01

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

  18. An evaluation of marine bird population trends following the Exxon Valdez oil spill, Prince William Sound, Alaska.

    PubMed

    Lance, B K; Irons, D B; Kendall, S J; McDonald, L L

    2001-04-01

    We examined post-spill trends (1989-1998) of marine bird populations in Prince William Sound (PWS) following the Exxon Valdez oil spill (EVOS) to evaluate recovery of injured taxa. Two criteria were employed. First, we examined population trends of injured taxa only in the oiled area of PWS using regression models. Second, we examined population trends of injured taxa in the oiled area relative to the unoiled area using homogeneity of the slopes tests. We considered a population recovering if there was a positive trend using either criteria. We considered a population not recovering if there was no trend using either criteria or a negative trend in the oiled area. A significant negative trend in the oiled area relative to the unoiled area was considered a continuing and increasing effect. Most taxa for which injury was previously demonstrated were not recovering and some taxa showed evidence of increasing effects nine years after the oil spill. Four taxa (loons Gavia spp, Harlequin Duck Histrionicus histrionicus, Bufflehead Bucephala spp, and North-western Crow Corvus caurinus) showed weak to very weak evidence of recovery. None of these taxa showed positive trends in both winter and summer. Nine taxa (grebes Podiceps spp, cormorants Phalacrocorax spp, Black Oystercatcher Haematopus bachmani, Mew Gull Larus canus, Glaucous-winged Gull Larus glaucescens, terns Sterna spp, murres Uria spp, Pigeon Guillemot Cepphus columba, and murrelets Brachyramphus spp) showed no evidence of recovery during summer or winter. Four taxa (scoters Melanitta spp, mergansers Mergus spp, goldeneyes Bucephala spp, and Black-legged Kittiwaka Rissa tridactyla) showed evidence of continuing, increasing effects. We showed evidence of slow recovery, lack of recovery, and divergent population trends in many taxa which utilize shoreline and nearshore habitats where oil is likely to persist. Potential lingering spill effects and natural variability appear to be acting in concert in delaying

  19. Biochemical and Transcriptomic Effects of Herring Gull Egg Extracts from Variably Contaminated Colonies of the Laurentian Great Lakes in Chicken Hepatocytes.

    PubMed

    Crump, Doug; Williams, Kim L; Chiu, Suzanne; Letcher, Robert J; Periard, Luke; Kennedy, Sean W

    2015-08-18

    Determining the effects of complex mixtures of environmental contaminants poses many challenges within the field of ecotoxicology. In this study, graded concentrations of herring gull egg extracts, collected from five Great Lakes breeding colonies with variable burdens of organohalogen contaminants (OHCs), were administered to chicken embryonic hepatocytes to determine effects on 7-ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (EROD) activity, porphyrin accumulation, and mRNA expression. EROD activity and porphyrin accumulation permitted the ranking of colonies based on the efficacy of eliciting an aryl hydrocarbon receptor-mediated response. An avian ToxChip polymerase chain reaction (PCR) array provided more exhaustive coverage in terms of potential toxicity pathways being affected, including xenobiotic and lipid metabolism and the thyroid hormone pathway. Herring gull eggs from Channel Shelter Island (CHSH, Lake Huron) and Gull Island (GULL, Lake Michigan) had among the highest OHC burdens, and extracts elicited a biochemical and transcriptomic response greater than that of extracts from the other three, less polluted colonies. For example, EROD EC50 values and porphyrin ECthreshold values were lower for CHSH and GULL extracts than for the other colonies. Extracts from CHSH and GULL altered 15 and 13 of 27 genes on the PCR array compared to no more than eight genes for the less contaminated sites. The combination of a well-established avian in vitro assay, two well-characterized biochemical assays, and the avian ToxChip PCR array permitted the geographical discrimination of variably contaminated herring gull eggs from the Great Lakes. Such high-throughput assays show potential promise as cost-effective tools for determining toxic potencies of complex mixtures in the environment.

  20. Metals and radionuclides in birds and eggs from Amchitka and Kiska Islands in the Bering Sea/Pacific Ocean ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Burger, Joanna; Gochfeld, Michael

    2007-04-01

    Metals and radionuclide levels in marine birds of the Aleutians are of interest because they are part of subsistence diets of the Aleut people, and can also serve as indicators of marine pollution. We examined geographic and species-specific variations in concentrations of radionuclides in birds and their eggs from Amchitka, the site of underground nuclear tests from 1965 to 1971, and Kiska Islands (a reference site) in the Aleutians, and the levels of lead, mercury and cadmium in eggs. In 2004 we collected common eiders (Somateria mollissima), tufted puffins (Fratercula cirrhata), pigeon guillemot (Cepphus columba) and glaucous-winged gulls (Larus glaucescens) from Amchitka and Kiska, and eggs from eiders and gulls from the two island. We also collected one runt bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) chick from both Amchitka and Kiska Islands. For most species, the levels of radionuclide isotopes were below the minimum detectable activity levels (MDA). Out of 74 cesium-137 analyses, only one composite (gulls) was above the MDA, and out of 14 composites tested for plutonium (Pu-239, 240), only one exceeded the MDA (a guillemots). Three composites out of 14 tested had detectable uranium-238. In all cases, the levels were low and close to the MDAs, and were below those reported for other seabirds. There were significant interspecific differences in metal levels in eggs: gulls had significantly higher levels of cadmium and mercury than the eiders, and eiders had higher levels of lead than gulls. There were few significant differences as a function of island, but eiders had significantly higher levels of cadmium in eggs from Kiska, and gulls had significantly higher levels of mercury on Kiska. The levels of cadmium and mercury in eggs of eiders and gulls from this study were above the median for cadmium and mercury from studies in the literature. The levels of mercury in eggs are within the range known to affect avian predators, but seabirds seem less vulnerable to

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2006-01-01

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

  2. Quinolone-resistant Escherichia coli isolated from birds of prey in Portugal are genetically distinct from those isolated from water environments and gulls in Portugal, Spain and Sweden.

    PubMed

    Vredenburg, Jana; Varela, Ana Rita; Hasan, Badrul; Bertilsson, Stefan; Olsen, Björn; Narciso-da-Rocha, Carlos; Bonnedahl, Jonas; Stedt, Johan; Da Costa, Paulo Martins; Manaia, Célia M

    2014-04-01

    The influence of geographic distribution and type of habitat on the molecular epidemiology of ciprofloxacin resistant Escherichia coli was investigated. Ciprofloxacin resistant E. coli from wastewater, urban water with faecal contamination and faeces of gulls, pigeons and birds of prey, from Portugal, Spain and Sweden were compared based on multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) and quinolone resistance genetic determinants. Multi-locus sequence typing allowed the differentiation of E. coli lineages associated with birds of prey from those inhabiting gulls and waters. E. coli lineages of clinical relevance, such as the complex ST131, were detected in wastewater, streams and gulls in Portugal, Spain and Sweden. Quinolone resistance was due to gyrA and parC mutations, although distinct mutations were detected in birds of prey and in wastewater, streams and gulls isolates. These differences were correlated with specific MLST lineages, suggesting resistance inheritance. Among the plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance genes, only aac(6')-ib-cr and qnrS were detected in wastewater, streams and gulls isolates, but not in birds of prey. The horizontal transfer of the gene aac(6')-ib-cr could be inferred from its occurrence in different MLST lineages. © 2013 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  3. The complete mitochondrial genome of the Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus (Charadriiformes: Laridae).

    PubMed

    Dong, Yuanqiu; Zhou, Lizhi; Li, Bo; Zhao, Guanghong

    2016-05-01

    The Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus is a waterbird, which breeds from north-east North America and across much of Europe and Asia. In this study, we determined its complete mitochondrial DNA sequence by PCR-based approach. The complete mtDNA sequence is 16,807 bp in size. The overall-based composition was 30.8% A, 31.1% T, 14.2% C, 24.0% G, with an A + T content (54.8%) rich feature. The mitochondrial genome consists of 13 protein-coding genes, 22 tRNA genes, 2 rRNA genes, and 1 control region. All protein coding genes use the typical intiation codon ATN, except for COI. TAN is the most frequent stop codon, and AGG and T- - are also occurred very common. The tRNA(Ser(AGN)) and tRNA(Lys(CUN)) lacked the dihydrouridine (DHU) arm and formed a simple loop.

  4. Breeding dispersal in black-headed gull: the value of familiarity in a contrasted environment.

    PubMed

    Péron, Guillaume; Lebreton, Jean-Dominique; Crochet, Pierre-André

    2010-03-01

    1. Some species (e.g. migratory species with high movement ability) are unlikely to experience any physical cost when dispersing, at least at the landscape scale. In these species dispersal is nevertheless behaviourally constrained to avoid non-physical costs such as the loss of familiarity with the breeding environment, and these constraints can be maladaptive in a fast-changing environment. 2. We evaluated such constraints using multievent modelling of a 20-year capture-mark-recapture data set from a multisite population of black-headed gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus). The population undertakes seasonal migrations that are very large compared with the size of the study area. 3. Distances between colonies appeared as a strong predictor of breeding adults' dispersal rates, confirming behavioural constraints on dispersal. In addition, birds that had recruited outside their colony of birth (natal dispersers) tended to return to their colony of birth later in life (long-term memory effect). 4. An attraction for larger colonies was also visible in breeding adult dispersal patterns. The fact that distance and memory still constrained dispersal although the largest colony provided higher breeding success indicated departures from the ideal-free distribution, probably linked with the lack of information about distant colonies. Moreover, the regional population apparently functioned as a meta-colony where individuals frequently bred in suboptimal-choice locations before being able to recruit in their preferred colony.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

    With the phase-out and regulation of some flame retardant chemicals, the production and usage of organophosphate triester flame retardants (OPFRs) has increased in recent years. In the present study, 14 OPFRs (either chlorinated, brominated or non-halogenated) were analyzed in egg pools of 10-13 individual herring gull eggs from five colonial nesting sites for 11 years spanning 1990-2010, (for a total of n=55 egg pools) in the Laurentian Great Lakes of North America (Chantry Island, Fighting Island, Agawa Rocks, Toronto Harbour and Gull Island). OPFR profiles varied slightly between colony sites and collection years. For all five sites tris(2-chloroisopropyl) phosphate (TCIPP), tris(2-chloroethyl) phosphate (TCEP) and tris(2-butoxyethyl) phosphate (TBOEP) were detected, while triphenyl phosphate (TPHP) was only quantifiable in eggs from Chantry Island and Gull Island collected in 2008 and 2010. For the 2010 egg pools, the ΣOPFR concentrations were generally low and ranged from 2.02 to 6.69 ng/g wet weight (ww). ΣOPFR concentrations in 2010 were significantly higher (p<0.05) than they were between 1990 and 2004 (4.06 vs. 1.55 ng/g ww, respectively). In a pilot examination of Great Lakes aquatic food webs, 2010-collected alewife and rainbow smelt (major herring gull fish prey) and lake trout from western Lake Erie and Ontario, only contained TBOEP at low to sub ng/g ww concentrations. These results demonstrate that low to sub-ppb concentrations of at least three OPFRs, TCIPP, TCEP and TBOEP, have been persistent in herring gull eggs from the Great Lakes for at least the past 20 years, probably bioaccumulate mainly via the fish diet, and are transferred to the eggs of exposed herring gulls. Crown Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1998-01-01

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

  7. Geographical distribution of contaminants and productivity measures of herring gulls in the Great Lakes: Lake Erie and connecting channels 1978/79.

    PubMed

    Weseloh, D V; Mineau, P; Struger, J

    1990-02-01

    The distribution and size of colonies, residue levels of DDE, DDT, HCB, dieldrin, mirex and PCBs in eggs, productivity and eggshell thickness were determined for herring gulls at 14 sites in Lake Erie and connecting channels. The centre of distribution for breeding herring gulls was the Western Basin where approximately 90% of the 6200 nests in the study area were located. Seven of 22 colonies showed an average annual population increase of 48.3%. Most of the increase in breeding herring gulls on Lake Erie is directly associated with sites that have undergone habitat modification by man. Levels of PCBs and DDE ranged from 35 to 140 ppm (wet weight) and from 2.8 to 9.4 ppm, respectively; all other residues were less than 0.49 ppm. Most organochlorine residue levels were highest in eggs from colonies in or near the Niagara or Detroit Rivers. Mirex residues were greatest in the Niagara River and decreased significantly to the west. PCB residues were greatest in the Detroit River and decreased significantly to the east. The lowest levels generally came from colonies in the Sandusky Basin and near Pelee Island in western Lake Erie. Discriminant function analysis of six organochlorine contaminants correctly classified 90% or more of the eggs from up to four colonies in one or more years. Levels of PCBs and HCB appeared to have the greatest discriminating power. Herring gull productivity at all colonies (1-1.7 young gulls/pair) was normal and showed no significant geographical variation. Eggshell thickness was greatest in colonies in the Sandusky Basin and least in colonies in the Detroit River and extreme west end of the lake; mean eggshell thickness was 0.350 +/- 0.02 mm (6.7% thinning), which was weakly, but significantly correlated to DDE concentration. The variation in contaminants in herring gull eggs on a Basin basis (i.e., Western, Eastern, Sandusky, etc.) paralleled those known for sediments, water and fish. Thus, we suggest that in addition to its role as an

  8. Summer distribution of seabirds in the North-East Water polynya, Greenland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Joiris, Claude R.; Kampp, Kaj; Tahon, Jacques; Kristensen, Reinhardt Møbjerg

    1997-10-01

    The distribution at sea of seabirds was studied in the North-East Water (NEW) polynya, Greenland, during transect counts in the summers of 1991, 1992 and 1993 on board the ice-breaking RVs Polarstern and Polar Sea. Data collected within the polynya 'box' (78-82°N; 5-18°W) concern observations of 8000 birds counted during 1350 half-hour counts. Distribution is presented as density (N/km 2) and calculated daily food intake. Five bird species were selected for discussion, representing more than 95% of the total numbers encountered: Fulmar ( Fulmarus glacialis), Ivory Gull ( Pagophila eburnea), Kittiwake ( Rissa tridactyla), Glaucous Gull ( Larus hyperboreus) and Ross's Gull ( Rhodostethia rosea). For these species, densities are comparable in the NE Greenland polynya and in other European Arctic seas. The main difference is the absence in NEW of the species playing the main role in Arctic seas: Brünnich's Guillemot ( Uria lomvia) and Little Auk ( Alle alle). In the absence of fish-eating birds and of birds consuming zooplankton in the water column, the NEW polynya ecosystem is thus dominated by surface feeders and, closer to the coast, by benthic feeders like eiders, Somateria mollissima and S. spectabilis, and walrus, Odobenus rosmarus. The density and daily food intake for all seabirds are one order of magnitude lower in the polynya than in the Arctic seas. The distribution and abundance of seabirds in the NEW polynya seems to reflect a very low density of pelagic fish and Zooplankton in the water column, while Zooplankton must be present at 'normal' concentrations in the upper layer.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1995-01-01

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

  10. Characterization of a novel influenza A virus hemagglutinin subtype (H16) obtained from black-headed gulls.

    PubMed

    Fouchier, Ron A M; Munster, Vincent; Wallensten, Anders; Bestebroer, Theo M; Herfst, Sander; Smith, Derek; Rimmelzwaan, Guus F; Olsen, Björn; Osterhaus, Albert D M E

    2005-03-01

    In wild aquatic birds and poultry around the world, influenza A viruses carrying 15 antigenic subtypes of hemagglutinin (HA) and 9 antigenic subtypes of neuraminidase (NA) have been described. Here we describe a previously unidentified antigenic subtype of HA (H16), detected in viruses circulating in black-headed gulls in Sweden. In agreement with established criteria for the definition of antigenic subtypes, hemagglutination inhibition assays and immunodiffusion assays failed to detect specific reactivity between H16 and the previously described subtypes H1 to H15. Genetically, H16 HA was found to be distantly related to H13 HA, a subtype also detected exclusively in shorebirds, and the amino acid composition of the putative receptor-binding site of H13 and H16 HAs was found to be distinct from that in HA subtypes circulating in ducks and geese. The H16 viruses contained NA genes that were similar to those of other Eurasian shorebirds but genetically distinct from N3 genes detected in other birds and geographical locations. The European gull viruses were further distinguishable from other influenza A viruses based on their PB2, NP, and NS genes. Gaining information on the full spectrum of avian influenza A viruses and creating reagents for their detection and identification will remain an important task for influenza surveillance, outbreak control, and animal and public health. We propose that sequence analyses of HA and NA genes of influenza A viruses be used for the rapid identification of existing and novel HA and NA subtypes.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Molina, Kathy C.; Ricca, Mark A.; Miles, A. Keith; Schoneman, Christian

    2009-01-01

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

  12. Mass Mortality Attributed to Acanthocephaliasis at a Gull-Billed Tern (Gelochelidon nilotica) Colony in Coastal California.

    PubMed

    Patton, Robert T; Goodenough, Katharine S; De La Cruz, Susan E W; Nevins, Hannahrose; Cole, Rebecca; Bodenstein, Barbara; Shearn-Bochsler, Valerie; Collins, Brian; Beck, Jessie; Sadowski, Matthew; Takekawa, John Y

    2017-07-28

    From 12 May 2013 to 29 May 2013, the Gull-billed Tern (Gelochelidon nilotica) colony at the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge, California, experienced a mass die-off of at least 92 adults, representing 71-92% of the breeding population on the US west coast. Cause of death was determined to be peritonitis due to perforations of the intestine by a large quantity of acanthocephala (Profilicolis [=Polymorphus] altmani). This is a unique report of P. altmani infecting G. nilotica, and a report of a great impact to a tern population in southern California. Mole crabs (Emerita analoga), the intermediate host for P. altmani and a major component of the Gull-billed Tern diet in San Diego, were found in the stomachs of necropsied terns along with cystacanths, and are the presumed source of the parasite infection. The tern's dietary reliance upon mole crabs likely amplified parasite transmission and infection. We suggest additional research to determine factors that influence parasite infection of intermediate and definitive hosts, particularly mole crabs, given that they are a vital resource for migrating birds within the coastal zone.

  13. Mass mortality attributed to acanthocephaliasis at a Gull-billed Tern (Gelochelidon nilotica) colony in coastal California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Patton, Robert T.; Goodenough, Katharine S.; De La Cruz, Susan; Nevins, HannahRose M.; Cole, Rebecca A.; Bodenstein, Barbara; Shearn-Bochsler, Valerie I.; Collins, Brian; Beck, Jessie; Sadowski, Matthew; Takekawa, John Y.

    2017-01-01

    From 12 May 2013 to 29 May 2013, the Gull-billed Tern (Gelochelidon nilotica) colony at the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge, California, experienced a mass die-off of at least 92 adults, representing 71–92% of the breeding population on the US west coast. Cause of death was determined to be peritonitis due to perforations of the intestine by a large quantity of acanthocephala (Profilicolis [=Polymorphus] altmani). This is a unique report of P. altmani infecting G. nilotica, and a report of a great impact to a tern population in southern California. Mole crabs (Emerita analoga), the intermediate host for P. altmani and a major component of the Gull-billed Tern diet in San Diego, were found in the stomachs of necropsied terns along with cystacanths, and are the presumed source of the parasite infection. The tern's dietary reliance upon mole crabs likely amplified parasite transmission and infection. We suggest additional research to determine factors that influence parasite infection of intermediate and definitive hosts, particularly mole crabs, given that they are a vital resource for migrating birds within the coastal zone.

  14. Immunoreactive cortisone in droppings reflect stress levels, diet and growth rate of gull-billed tern chicks.

    PubMed

    Albano, Noelia; Santiago-Quesada, Francisco; Masero, José A; Sánchez-Guzmán, Juan M; Möstl, Erich

    2015-03-01

    Blood levels of corticosterone have been traditionally analyzed to assess stress levels in birds; however, measuring steroid hormone metabolites in feces and droppings has gained much interest as a noninvasive technique successfully used for such purposed in vertebrates. Diet may affect these fecal metabolite levels (e.g., due to nutritional stress), however, this variable has not been taken into account in studies with chicks despite the great dietary flexibility of many avian species. In this study, we addressed for the first time this key issue and validated the technique in wild gull-billed tern chicks (Gelochelidon nilotica). Several enzyme immunoassays were used to determine the most appropriate test to measure the stress response. Subsequently, we performed an experiment in captivity to assess adrenocortical activity in gull-billed tern chicks fed with two diets: piscivorous vs. insectivorous. Finally, the relation between the chicks' growth rate and excreted immunoreactive glucocorticoid metabolites (EGMs) was also evaluated. We found the immunoreactive cortisone metabolites to be a good index of stress (as being an index of adrenocortical reactivity) in chicks of this species. Fish-fed chicks had higher levels of cortisone metabolites when comparing both concentration and total daily excreted metabolites. Within each treatment diet, cortisone metabolite levels and growth rates were negatively correlated. These findings suggest that the diet should be considered when using this technique for comparative purposes and highlight the trade-off between stress levels and chicks growth rates. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1995-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1998-01-01

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

  19. Species-specific time trends and enantiomer fractions of hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) in biota from East Greenland.

    PubMed

    Vorkamp, Katrin; Bester, Kai; Rigét, Frank F

    2012-10-02

    Time trends of hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) isomers were studied for glaucous gull and ringed seal from East Greenland. The ringed seal results extended a previous time trend (1986-2008) to 2010. α-HBCD was the only isomer consistently above quantification limits. For glaucous gull liver, annual median values of α-HBCD (1994-2010) ranged from 22 to 120 ng/g lipid weight (lw) with no significant trend, while HBCD in ringed seal blubber from the same area showed a significant increase from 3.9 to 11 ng/g lw (1986-2010). Reasons for this difference are unknown, but might include different feeding habits and species-specific metabolisation processes. Concentrations of several organochlorine (OC) compounds were determined for glaucous gull and ringed seal samples collected from the same area in 2004. HBCD concentrations in glaucous gull liver appeared relatively low when compared to OC concentrations in the same tissue and to both HBCD and OCs in ringed seal blubber from the same area. Enantiomer fractions (EF) deviated significantly from racemic for all annual mean EFs in glaucous gull suggesting metabolisation processes toward an enrichment of (-)α-HBCD. For ringed seal, this enrichment was less pronounced and only significant for two of the ten years. For neither species, significant changes in EF were found over time.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  1. Characterization of Newcastle disease viruses isolated from cormorant and gull species in the United States in 2010.

    PubMed

    Diel, Diego G; Miller, Patti J; Wolf, Paul C; Mickley, Randall M; Musante, Anthony R; Emanueli, Daniel C; Shively, Kirk J; Pedersen, Kerri; Afonso, Claudio L

    2012-03-01

    Newcastle disease virus (NDV), a member of the genus Avulavirus of the family Paramyxoviridae, is the causative agent of Newcastle disease (ND), a highly contagious disease that affects many species of birds and which frequently causes significant economic losses to the poultry industry worldwide. Virulent NDV (vNDV) is exotic in poultry in the United States; however, the virus has been frequently associated with outbreaks of ND in cormorants, which poses a significant threat to poultry species. Here, we present the characterization of 13 NDV isolates obtained from outbreaks of ND affecting cormorants and gulls in the states of Minnesota, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, and Maryland in 2010. All 2010 isolates are closely related to the viruses that caused the ND outbreaks in Minnesota in 2008, following the new evolutionary trend observed in cormorant NDV isolates since 2005. Similar to the results obtained with the 2008 isolates, the standard United States Department of Agriculture F-gene real-time reverse-transcription PCR (RRT-PCR) assay failed to detect the 2010 cormorant viruses, whereas all viruses were detected by a cormorant-specific F-gene RRT-PCR assay. Notably, NDV-positive gulls were captured on the eastern shore of Maryland, which represents a significant geographic expansion of the virus since its emergence in North America. This is the first report of vNDV originating from cormorants isolated from wild birds in Maryland and, notably, the first time that genotype V vNDV has been isolated from multiple wild bird species in the United States. These findings highlight the need for constant epidemiologic surveillance for NDV in wild bird populations and for consistent biosecurity measures to prevent the introduction of the agent into domestic poultry flocks.

  2. Structure of marine predator and prey communities along environmental gradients in a glaciated fjord

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Renner, Martin; Arimitsu, Mayumi L.; Piatt, John F.

    2012-01-01

    Spatial patterns of marine predator communities are influenced to varying degrees by prey distribution and environmental gradients. We examined physical and biological attributes of an estuarine fjord with strong glacier influence to determine the factors that most influence the structure of predator and prey communities. Our results suggest that some species, such as walleye pollock (Theragra chalcogramma), black-legged kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla), and glaucous-winged gull (Larus glaucescens), were widely distributed across environmental gradients, indicating less specialization, whereas species such as capelin (Mallotus villosus), harbor seal (Phoca vitulina), and Kittlitz's murrelet (Brachyramphus brevirostris) appeared to have more specialized habitat requirements related to glacial influence. We found that upper trophic level communities were well correlated with their mid trophic level prey community, but strong physical gradients in photic depth, temperature, and nutrients played an important role in community structure as well. Mid-trophic level forage fish communities were correlated with the physical gradients more closely than upper trophic levels were, and they showed strong affinity to tidewater glaciers. Silica was closely correlated with the distribution of fish communities, the mechanisms of which deserve further study.

  3. Strategies for nest-site selection by king eiders

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2009-01-01

    Nest site selection is a critical component of reproduction and has presumably evolved in relation to predation, local resources, and microclimate. We investigated nest-site choice by king eiders (Somateria spectabilis) on the coastal plain of northern Alaska, USA, 2003-2005. We hypothesized that nest-site selection is driven by predator avoidance and that a variety of strategies including concealment, seclusion, and conspecific or inter-specific nest defense might lead to improved nesting success. We systematically searched wetland basins for king eider nests and measured habitat and social variables at nests (n = 212) and random locations (n = 493). King eiders made use of both secluded and concealed breeding strategies; logistic regression models revealed that females selected nests close to water, on islands, and in areas with high willow (Salix spp.) cover but did not select sites near conspecific or glaucous gull (Larus hyperboreus) nests. The most effective nest-placement strategy may vary depending on density and types of nest predators; seclusion is likely a mammalian-predator avoidance tactic whereas concealment may provide protection from avian predators. We recommend that managers in northern Alaska attempt to maintain wetland basins with islands and complex shorelines to provide potential nest sites in the vicinity of water. ?? The Wildlife Society.

  4. Predation on seabirds by red foxes at Shaiak Island, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Petersen, M.R.

    1982-01-01

    Two Red Foxes (Vulpes fulva) that invaded Shaiak Island before the 1976 nesting season had a marked impact on the nesting success of five of seven species of seabirds breeding on the island that year. Common Eiders (Somateria mollissima), Glaucous-winged Gulls (Larus glaucescens), and Common Murres (Uria aalge), that nest in areas accessible to foxes, did not raise any young to fledging. Double-crested Cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) were only slightly more successful; 13 (4.3%) of 300 pairs raised one or more young to fledging. Evidence suggested that 21 (35.6%) of 62 pairs of Tufted Puffins (Lunda cirrhata) lost eggs or chicks to foxes, and foxes killed at least 13 (8.3%) of 156 adult puffins on ten sample plots. Conversely, Black-Legged Kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla) and Pelagic Cormorants (Phalacrocorax pelagicus), which nested primarily on cliffs inaccessible to foxes, lost very few nests. There was no apparent change in general nest site selections by seabirds the following year, when foxes were no longer present. Any avoidance by birds of areas vulnerable to fox predation would probably be discernible only after several years of continuous predation.

  5. Whole-Genome Sequencing Analysis of Salmonella enterica Serovar Enteritidis Isolates in Chile Provides Insights into Possible Transmission between Gulls, Poultry, and Humans

    PubMed Central

    Ayers, Sherry; Barreto, Marlen; Allard, Marc; Brown, Eric W.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serotype Enteritidis is a major cause of human salmonellosis worldwide; however, little is known about the genetic relationships between S. Enteritidis clinical strains and S. Enteritidis strains from other sources in Chile. We compared the whole genomes of 30 S. Enteritidis strains isolated from gulls, domestic chicken eggs, and humans in Chile, to investigate their phylogenetic relationships and to establish their relatedness to international strains. Core genome multilocus sequence typing (cgMLST) analysis showed that only 246/4,065 shared loci differed among these Chilean strains, separating them into two clusters (I and II), with cluster II being further divided into five subclusters. One subcluster (subcluster 2) contained strains from all surveyed sources that differed at 1 to 18 loci (of 4,065 loci) with 1 to 18 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), suggesting interspecies transmission of S. Enteritidis in Chile. Moreover, clusters were formed by strains that were distant geographically, which could imply that gulls might be spreading the pathogen throughout the country. Our cgMLST analysis, using other S. Enteritidis genomes available in the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) database, showed that S. Enteritidis strains from Chile and the United States belonged to different lineages, which suggests that S. Enteritidis regional markers might exist and could be used for trace-back investigations. IMPORTANCE This study highlights the importance of gulls in the spread of Salmonella Enteritidis in Chile. We revealed a close genetic relationship between some human and gull S. Enteritidis strains (with as few as 2 of 4,065 genes being different), and we also found that gull strains were present in clusters formed by strains isolated from other sources or distant locations. Together with previously published evidence, this suggests that gulls might be spreading this pathogen between different regions

  6. Whole-Genome Sequencing Analysis of Salmonella enterica Serovar Enteritidis Isolates in Chile Provides Insights into Possible Transmission between Gulls, Poultry, and Humans.

    PubMed

    Toro, Magaly; Retamal, Patricio; Ayers, Sherry; Barreto, Marlen; Allard, Marc; Brown, Eric W; Gonzalez-Escalona, Narjol

    2016-10-15

    Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serotype Enteritidis is a major cause of human salmonellosis worldwide; however, little is known about the genetic relationships between S Enteritidis clinical strains and S Enteritidis strains from other sources in Chile. We compared the whole genomes of 30 S Enteritidis strains isolated from gulls, domestic chicken eggs, and humans in Chile, to investigate their phylogenetic relationships and to establish their relatedness to international strains. Core genome multilocus sequence typing (cgMLST) analysis showed that only 246/4,065 shared loci differed among these Chilean strains, separating them into two clusters (I and II), with cluster II being further divided into five subclusters. One subcluster (subcluster 2) contained strains from all surveyed sources that differed at 1 to 18 loci (of 4,065 loci) with 1 to 18 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), suggesting interspecies transmission of S Enteritidis in Chile. Moreover, clusters were formed by strains that were distant geographically, which could imply that gulls might be spreading the pathogen throughout the country. Our cgMLST analysis, using other S Enteritidis genomes available in the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) database, showed that S Enteritidis strains from Chile and the United States belonged to different lineages, which suggests that S Enteritidis regional markers might exist and could be used for trace-back investigations. This study highlights the importance of gulls in the spread of Salmonella Enteritidis in Chile. We revealed a close genetic relationship between some human and gull S Enteritidis strains (with as few as 2 of 4,065 genes being different), and we also found that gull strains were present in clusters formed by strains isolated from other sources or distant locations. Together with previously published evidence, this suggests that gulls might be spreading this pathogen between different regions in Chile and that some of

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  8. Molecular characterization and genetic diversity of ESBL-producing Escherichia coli colonizing the migratory Franklin's gulls (Leucophaeus pipixcan) in Antofagasta, North of Chile.

    PubMed

    Báez, John; Hernández-García, Marta; Guamparito, Constanza; Díaz, Sofía; Olave, Abdon; Guerrero, Katherine; Cantón, Rafael; Baquero, Fernando; Gahona, Joselyne; Valenzuela, Nicomedes; Del Campo, Rosa; Silva, Juan

    2015-02-01

    The role of wild animals, particularly migratory birds, in the dissemination of antibiotic-resistant bacteria between geographically distant ecosystems is usually underestimated. The aim of this work was to characterize the Escherichia coli population from Franklin's gull feces, focusing on the extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing strains. In the summer of 2011, 124 fecal swabs from seagulls (1 of each) migrating from the United States and Canada to the coast of Antofagasta, north of Chile, were collected. Samples were seeded on MacConkey agar supplemented with 2 μg/ml of cefotaxime and a single colony from each plate was tested for ESBL production by the double-disk ESBL synergy test. Antibiotic susceptibility was determined by the disk diffusion method and blaESBL genes were amplified and sequenced. The genetic diversity of isolates was explored by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE)-XbaI and multilocus sequence typing. A total of 91 E. coli isolates with high rates of antibiotic resistance were identified. Carbapenemase production was not detected, whereas 67 of the 91 (54%) isolates exhibited an ESBL phenotype due to the presence of CTX-M-15 (61.3%), CTX-M-2 (19.3%), CTX-M-22 (16.1%), and CTX-M-3 (1.6%) coding genes. High genetic diversity was observed, with 30 PFGE patterns and 23 sequence types (STs), including ST131 (18%), ST44 (15%), ST617 (9%), and ST10 (9%). Results presented here are complementary to those previously reported by Hernández et al. in the same gull species, but located in the Central Region of Chile. Differences observed between gulls from both areas lead us to hypothesize that gulls from the northern location retain, as gut carriers, those resistant bacteria acquired in the United States and/or Canada.

  9. The gull (Chroicocephalus brunnicephalus) as an environmental bioindicator and reservoir for antibiotic resistance on the coastlines of the Bay of Bengal.

    PubMed

    Hasan, Badrul; Melhus, Åsa; Sandegren, Linus; Alam, Munirul; Olsen, Björn

    2014-10-01

    The presence and frequency of multiresistant bacteria in wild birds act as indicators of the environmental contamination of antibiotic resistance. To explore the rate of contamination mediated by Escherichia coli, 150 fecal samples from the brown-headed gull (Chroicocephalus brunnicephalus) and 8 water samples from the Bay of Bengal area were collected, cultured, and tested for antibiotic susceptibility. Special attention was paid to extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL)-producing isolates, which were further characterized genetically. Antibiotic resistance was found in 42.3% (36/85) of the E. coli isolates and multidrug resistance in 11.8%. Isolates from the area with a higher human activity were more resistant than those from an area with a lower level of activity. Most frequent was resistance to ampicillin (29.4%), followed by trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (24.7%) and quinolones (22.4%). Carriage of ESBL-producing E. coli was relatively high (17.3%) in the gulls, whereas no ESBL producers were found in the water. All ESBL-producing E. coli isolates, but one, carried bla(CTX-M-15) or bla(CTX-M-15)-like genes. A bla(CTX-M-14)-like enzyme was found as an exception. Gulls from two different colonies shared E. coli clones and harbored the clinically relevant sequence types ST10, ST48, and ST131. The high frequency of antibiotic resistance and ESBL production among E. coli isolates from gulls indicates that the environmental contamination of antibiotic resistance has already gone far on the coastlines of the Bay of Bengal. Considering the limited control over the antibiotic consumption and waste from human activities in Bangladesh, there is no easy solution in sight.

  10. Radionuclides in marine fishes and birds from Amchitka and Kiska Islands in the Aleutians: establishing a baseline.

    PubMed

    Burger, Joanna; Gochfeld, Michael; Kosson, David; Powers, Charles W; Friedlander, Barry; Stabin, Michael; Favret, Derek; Jewett, Stephen; Snigaroff, Daniel; Snigaroff, Ronald; Stamm, Tim; Weston, James; Jeitner, Christian; Volz, Conrad

    2007-03-01

    Amchitka Island (51degrees N lat, 179 degrees E long) was the site of three underground nuclear tests from 1965-1971. There have been no substantive studies of radionuclides in marine fishes and birds in the area since the mid-1970's. In this study, levels of 60Co, 52Eu, 90Sr, 99Tc, 129I, 137Cs, and the actinides (241Am, 238Pu, 239,240Pu, 234U, 235U, 236U, and 238U) were studied in ten marine fish species (including Pacific Cod Gadus macrocephalus and Pacific Halibut Hippoglossus stenolepis) and five marine bird species (including Glaucous-winged Gulls Larus glaucescens, Tufted Puffins Fratercula cirrhata, and Common Eider Ducks Somateria mollissima) from Amchitka. The same species were collected at a reference site, Kiska Island (52 degrees N lat; 177 degrees E long), about 130 km west of Amchitka. Each sample was a composite of edible muscle from five or more individual fish or birds of similar size (+/-15%) from the same sampling station. The null hypotheses of no differences among species or between Amchitka and Kiska were tested. Most analytic results were below the minimum detectable activity (MDA), even when 1,000 g sizes and 72 h counting times were used. The only radionuclides detected above the MDA were 137Cs, 241Am, 239,240Pu, 234U, 235U, and 238U. There were significant differences in 137Cs as a function of species, but not location, for top predatory fishes. Of the fishes, eight of ten species had 137Cs values above the MDA for some samples; only one bird, Glaucous-winged Gull, had 137Cs values above the MDA. The highest concentrations of 137Cs were in Dolly Varden [Salvelinus malma, 0.780 (Bq kg(-1) wet weight)] and Pacific Cod (0.602 Bq kg(-1)). In aggregate for any actinides, 73 of 234 (31%) composites for fish were above the MDA, compared to only 3 of 98 (3%) for birds. 234U and 238U, radionuclides that are primarily natural in origin, were routinely detected in these biological samples, but there were no significant differences in mean

  11. Intra-clutch and inter-colony variability in element concentrations in eggshells of the black-headed gull, Chroicocephalus ridibundus, in northern Poland.

    PubMed

    Kitowski, Ignacy; Indykiewicz, Piotr; Wiącek, Dariusz; Jakubas, Dariusz

    2017-04-01

    Eggshells are good bioindicators of environmental contamination, and therefore, the concentrations of 17 trace elements in 87 eggshells of black-headed gulls, Chroicocephalus ridibundus, were determined in five breeding colonies in an area dominated by farmland in northern Poland. The intra-clutch variability in the eggshell concentrations of heavy metals and other elements was also investigated, and the concentrations of the elements showed the following pattern: Ca > Mg > Sr > Fe > Zn > Al > Cr > Se > Mn > Cu > Pb > As > Ni > Mo = V > Sc > Cd. The concentrations of Fe, Al, and Mn decreased with the order in which the eggs were laid, but Sr concentrations increased. In contrast, the concentration of Cu significantly increased with the laying date. The concentrations of all elements significantly differed among the studied colonies; the highest concentration of eight elements was found in the eggshells from the Kusowo colony, which may have resulted from the intensive use of fertilizers, manure, and slurry in the surrounding agricultural region. The concentrations of Mg, Sr, and Zn in the eggshells from Skoki Duże were higher than those of the other studied colonies, which may have occurred because the gulls were nesting in a functioning gravel pit; soil and the parent rock are natural reservoirs of these elements. The observed element levels indicate that the environment where the black-headed gull eggs were formed, i.e., primarily near the breeding colonies, remains in a relatively unpolluted state, which was reflected by the low levels of Cd, Ni, and Pb and the lack of measurable levels of Hg.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  13. Migratory Connectivity at High Latitudes: Sabine's Gulls (Xema sabini) from a Colony in the Canadian High Arctic Migrate to Different Oceans.

    PubMed

    Davis, Shanti E; Maftei, Mark; Mallory, Mark L

    2016-01-01

    The world's Arctic latitudes are some of the most recently colonized by birds, and an understanding of the migratory connectivity of circumpolar species offers insights into the mechanisms of range expansion and speciation. Migratory divides exist for many birds, however for many taxa it is unclear where such boundaries lie, and to what extent these affect the connectivity of species breeding across their ranges. Sabine's gulls (Xema sabini) have a patchy, circumpolar breeding distribution and overwinter in two ecologically similar areas in different ocean basins: the Humboldt Current off the coast of Peru in the Pacific, and the Benguela Current off the coasts of South Africa and Namibia in the Atlantic. We used geolocators to track Sabine's gulls breeding at a colony in the Canadian High Arctic to determine their migratory pathways and wintering sites. Our study provides evidence that birds from this breeding site disperse to both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans during the non-breeding season, which suggests that a migratory divide for this species exists in the Nearctic. Remarkably, members of one mated pair wintered in opposite oceans. Our results ultimately suggest that colonization of favorable breeding habitat may be one of the strongest drivers of range expansion in the High Arctic.

  14. Determination of non-halogenated, chlorinated and brominated organophosphate flame retardants in herring gull eggs based on liquid chromatography-tandem quadrupole mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Chen, Da; Letcher, Robert J; Chu, Shaogang

    2012-01-13

    Numerous triester organophosphate flame retardants (OPFRs) have been used for several decades and continue to be used in a variety of commercial products. We developed a sensitive quantitative method for the analysis of, seven non-halogenated, three chlorinated and two brominated OPFRs of known or possible environmental relevance in herring gull eggs. This method is based on a simple two-step sample extraction followed by liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization(+)-tandem mass spectrometry. Instrumental detection limits and method limits of quantification (MLOQs) among the 12 OPFRs ranged from 0.01 to 0.12 ng/mL and 0.06 to 0.20 ng/g, respectively. The mean OPFR recovery efficiencies of replicate analyses (n=6) were very quantitative and ranged from 89% to 104%, with the two brominated OPFRs being somewhat lower but reproducible, i.e., 67% and 72%, respectively. Essentially negligible matrix effects were indicated by a standard addition approach that revealed mean percent signal recoveries (n=5 replicates) of 89-106% for most OPFRs. In the analysis of n=13 herring gull eggs from the Channel-Shelter Island colony (Lake Huron), tris(2-chloroisopropyl) phosphate (

  15. Migratory Connectivity at High Latitudes: Sabine’s Gulls (Xema sabini) from a Colony in the Canadian High Arctic Migrate to Different Oceans

    PubMed Central

    Davis, Shanti E.; Maftei, Mark; Mallory, Mark L.

    2016-01-01

    The world's Arctic latitudes are some of the most recently colonized by birds, and an understanding of the migratory connectivity of circumpolar species offers insights into the mechanisms of range expansion and speciation. Migratory divides exist for many birds, however for many taxa it is unclear where such boundaries lie, and to what extent these affect the connectivity of species breeding across their ranges. Sabine’s gulls (Xema sabini) have a patchy, circumpolar breeding distribution and overwinter in two ecologically similar areas in different ocean basins: the Humboldt Current off the coast of Peru in the Pacific, and the Benguela Current off the coasts of South Africa and Namibia in the Atlantic. We used geolocators to track Sabine’s gulls breeding at a colony in the Canadian High Arctic to determine their migratory pathways and wintering sites. Our study provides evidence that birds from this breeding site disperse to both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans during the non-breeding season, which suggests that a migratory divide for this species exists in the Nearctic. Remarkably, members of one mated pair wintered in opposite oceans. Our results ultimately suggest that colonization of favorable breeding habitat may be one of the strongest drivers of range expansion in the High Arctic. PMID:27973614

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-29

    Environmentally relevant organophosphate (OP) triester flame retardants are known to degrade to OP diester phosphoric acids. In this study, a quantitatively sensitive method was developed for OP diesters in biological samples of varying complexity, bovine serum, chicken egg homogenate and pork liver. Fortified with 1ng or 10ng each of the six OP diester and six OP triester standards, samples were extracted by accelerated solvent extraction that completely separated OP diesters and triesters. OP diester fractions were cleaned up using weak anion exchange solid phase extraction and eluted with high ionic strength ammonium acetate buffer. Optimal analysis of chlorinated OP diesters was via decamethonium hydroxide dicationic reagent derivatization and by LC-ESI(+)-MS/MS, and for all non-chlorinated OP diesters by non-derivatized LC-ESI(-)-MS/MS. Except for derivatization LC-ESI(+)-MS/MS analysis of liver, at the 10ng spiking level for the three matrices, recovery efficiencies, matrix effects and method limits of quantification (MLOQs) of OP diesters ranged from 55-116%, 92-119%, and 0.02-0.31ng/g wet weight (ww) respectively. Plasma samples of n=6 herring gulls (2010, Chantry Is., Laurentian Great Lakes) contained triphenyl phosphate and tris(1-3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate ranging from 1.3 to 4.0ng/g ww and gulls. Crown Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Indicators of Marine Pollution in the North Pacific Ocean.

    PubMed

    Brown, Tanya M; Takada, Hideshige

    2017-08-01

    The complex nature of ocean pollution underscores the utility in identifying and characterizing a limited number of "indicators" that enables scientists and managers to track trends over space and time. This paper introduces a special issue on indicators of marine pollution in the North Pacific Ocean and builds on a scientific session that was held at the North Pacific Marine Science Organization. The special issue highlights studies using a variety of indicators to provide insight into the identification of legacy and emerging contaminants, the ranking of priority pollutants from various sources, and the effects of contaminants on ecosystem health in the North Pacific Ocean. Examples include the use of mussels to illustrate spatial and temporal trends of a number of contaminants following the 2011 tsunami in Japan, the use of molecular marker (linear alkylbenzenes, hopanes, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) profiles to identify pollution sources, and the use of plastic resin pellets to illustrate spatial trends of petroleum pollution around the world. Stable isotopes were used to strengthen the utility of the Glaucous-winged gull (Larus glaucescens) as an indicator of marine pollution. Examples also demonstrate the development and application of biomarker approaches, including gene transcripts, oxidative stress, estradiol, hatchability, and respiration and swimming behavior abnormalities, as a function of exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls, sulfur-diesel, Pinghu crude oil, galaxolide and antifouling biocides. We provide a brief review of indicators of marine pollution, identify research gaps, and summarize key findings from the articles published within the issue. This special issue represents the first compilation of research pertaining to marine pollution indicators in the North Pacific Ocean and provides guidance to inform mitigation and monitoring efforts of contaminants in the region.

  18. 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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2008-01-01

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

  20. Characterization and Comparison of Extended-Spectrum β-Lactamase (ESBL) Resistance Genotypes and Population Structure of Escherichia coli Isolated from Franklin's Gulls (Leucophaeus pipixcan) and Humans in Chile

    PubMed Central

    Stedt, Johan; Bengtsson, Stina; Porczak, Aleksandra; Granholm, Susanne; González-Acuña, Daniel; Olsen, Björn; Bonnedahl, Jonas; Drobni, Mirva

    2013-01-01

    We investigated the general level of antibiotic resistance with further analysis of extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) prevalence, as well as the population structure of E. coli in fecal flora of humans and Franklin’s gulls (Leucophaeus pipixcan) in central parts of Chile. We found a surprisingly high carriage rate of ESBL-producing E. coli among the gulls 112/372 (30.1%) as compared to the human population 6/49 (12.2%.) Several of the E. coli sequence types (STs) identified in birds have previously been reported as Multi Drug Resistant (MDR) human pathogens including the ability to produce ESBLs. This means that not only commensal flora is shared between birds and humans but also STs with pathogenic potential. Given the migratory behavior of Franklin’s gulls, they and other migratory species, may be a part of ESBL dissemination in the environment and over great geographic distances. Apart from keeping the antibiotic use low, breaking the transmission chains between the environment and humans must be a priority to hinder the dissemination of resistance. PMID:24098774

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  2. Contaminants of emerging concern in Caspian tern compared to herring gull eggs from Michigan colonies in the Great Lakes of North America.

    PubMed

    Su, Guanyong; Letcher, Robert J; Moore, Jeremy N; Williams, Lisa L; Grasman, Keith A

    2017-03-01

    A broad suite of 87 contaminants of emerging concern (CECs), including 26 polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), 23 non-PBDEs halogenated FRs (NPHFRs), 16 organophosphate esters (OPEs), 4 perfluorinated sulfonates (PFSAs), 13 perfluorinated carboxylic acids (PFCAs) and 5 emerging perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) or precursors, were determined in 30 individual Caspian tern (listed as a threatened species in the U.S. State of Michigan) eggs collected in 2013 and 2014 from Michigan nesting sites on Two Tree Island (St, Mary's River), Charity Reef (Saginaw Bay) and Channel-Shelter Island (a Confined Disposal Facility (CDF) in Saginaw Bay). The same CEC suite was determined in 10 herring gull eggs on the Pipe Island Twins in the lower St. Mary's River. In tern eggs, the order of concentrations were ΣPFSA (mean: 793 ng/g wet weight (ww); range: 116-4690 ng/g ww) > ΣPFCAs (131; 30.4-506 ng/g ww) ≈ ΣPBDEs (86.7; 32.4-189 ng/g ww) » ΣNPHFRs (0.67; ND-4.3 ng/g ww) ≈ ΣOPEs (0.46; ND-2.89 ng/g ww). Compared to gull eggs collected from the same area, tern egg exposure contained significantly lower concentrations of ΣPBDE, but with up to 10 times greater mean concentrations of ΣPFSAs and ΣPFCAs. This study highlights the importance of consistent monitoring in eggs of different Great Lakes birds of PBDEs, perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluoro-4-ethylcyclohexane sulfonate (PFEtCHxS) given that: 1) PBDE concentrations in all analyzed avian eggs exceeded or approached a concentration of 29 ng/g ww, which for birds is the current Canadian FEQG (Federal Environmental Quality Guideline); 2) ΣPBDE concentrations were comparable to lowest observed effect concentration (LOEC) values reported in the literature; 3) PFOS concentrations in Caspian tern eggs were extremely high with many eggs across sites exceeding 1 ppm, and with the greatest being up to 4.7 ppm; and 4) PFEtCHxS, a potentially persistent and bioaccumulative substance, showed a detection

  3. White-faced storm-petrels Pelagodroma marina predated by gulls as biological monitors of plastic pollution in the pelagic subtropical Northeast Atlantic.

    PubMed

    Furtado, Ricardo; Menezes, Dilia; Santos, Carolina Jardim; Catry, Paulo

    2016-11-15

    Marine plastic pollution is rapidly growing and is a source of major concern. Seabirds often ingest plastic debris and are increasingly used as biological monitors of plastic pollution. However, virtually no studies have assessed plastics in seabirds in the deep subtropical North Atlantic. We investigated whether remains of white-faced storm-petrels (WFSP) present in gull pellets could be used for biomonitoring. We analysed 263 pellets and 79.0% of these contained plastic debris originating in the digestive tract of WFSP. Pellets with no bird prey did not contain plastics. Most debris were fragments (83.6%) with fewer plastic pellets (8.2%). Light-coloured plastics predominated (71.0%) and the most frequent polymer was HDPE (73.0%). Stable isotopes in toe-nails of WFSP containing many versus no plastics did not differ, indicating no individual specialisation leading to differential plastic ingestion. We suggest WFSP in pellets are highly suitable to monitor the little known pelagic subtropical Northeast Atlantic. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

    Some molecular methods for tracking fecal pollution in environmental waters have both PCR and quantitative PCR (qPCR) assays available for use. To assist managers in deciding whether to implement newer qPCR techniques in routine monitoring programs, we compared detection limits (LODs) and costs of PCR and qPCR assays with identical targets that are relevant to beach water quality assessment. For human-associated assays targeting Bacteroidales HF183 genetic marker, qPCR LODs were 70 times lower and there was no effect of target matrix (artificial freshwater, environmental creek water, and environmental marine water) on PCR or qPCR LODs. The PCR startup and annual costs were the lowest, while the per reaction cost was 62% lower than the Taqman based qPCR and 180% higher than the SYBR based qPCR. For gull-associated assays, there was no significant difference between PCR and qPCR LODs, target matrix did not effect PCR or qPCR LODs, and PCR startup, annual, and per reaction costs were lower. Upgrading to qPCR involves greater startup and annual costs, but this increase may be justified in the case of the human-associated assays with lower detection limits and reduced cost per sample. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1983-06-01

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

  7. Age of first breeding interacts with pre- and post-recruitment experience in shaping breeding phenology in a long-lived gull.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  8. Comprehensive re-analysis of archived herring gull eggs reconstructs historical temporal trends in chlorinated hydrocarbon contamination in Lake Ontario and Green Bay, Lake Michigan, 1971-1982.

    PubMed

    Norstrom, Ross J; Hebert, Craig E

    2006-08-01

    Herring gull egg homogenates collected between 1971 and 1982 from a colony in central Lake Ontario (Scotch Bonnet Island) and from a colony in central Green Bay, Lake Michigan (Big Sister Island) were archived in the Canadian Wildlife Service Specimen Bank. Pooled samples (N = 10) were exhaustively analyzed in 1993 for a wide range of individual chlorinated hydrocarbon contaminant (CHC) compounds: DDT, mirex and chlordane compounds and metabolites, chlorobenzenes (CBzs), dieldrin, chlorostyrenes (CSs), hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs), polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs) and dibenzofurans (PCDFs), and 87 PCB congeners, including the TCDD-like non-ortho and mono-ortho congeners. PCBs and DDTs were the dominant residues in eggs from both Lake Ontario (31-242 mg kg(-1) and 9-64 mg kg(-1)) and Green Bay (34-133 mg kg(-1) and 14-91 mg kg(-1)). SigmaPCBs declined by a factor of 4-5 and DDTs a factor of 4-7 at both colonies between 1971 and 1982. Lake Ontario eggs had significantly higher residues of 2,3,7,8-TCDD (0.2-2.0 microg kg(-1)), HCBz (0.1-4.7 mg kg(-1)), OCS (0.03-0.45 mg kg(-1)), three HpCSs (0.13-0.97 mg kg(-1)), mirex and mirex photodegradation products (2.1-9.2 mg kg(-1)) than Green Bay eggs. HCBz levels in Lake Ontario eggs declined a factor of 40, TCDD and chlorostyrenes a factor of 8-10, and mirex a factor of 4 between 1971-1978. Green Bay eggs had slightly higher levels of chlordane-related compounds, dieldrin and beta-HCH than Lake Ontario eggs. There were no consistent or strong trends in residue levels of these pesticides, PCDDs (except TCDD) and PCDFs in either lake, indicating that rates of input and removal of these CHCs in the lakes were much closer in the early 1970s than was the case for the other compounds.

  9. Organochlorine residues in eggs of Alaskan seabirds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ohlendorf, H.M.; Bartonek, J.C.; Divoky, G.J.; Klass, E.

    1982-01-01

    One egg from each of 440 clutches of eggs of 19 species of Alaskan seabirds collected in 1973-76 was analyzed for organochlorine residues. All eggs contained DDE; 98.9% contained PCB's; 84.3%, oxychlordane; and 82.7%, HCB. Endrin was found in only one egg, but DDD, DDT, dieldrin, heptachlor epoxide, mirex, cis-chlordane (or trans-nonachlor), cis-nonachlor, and toxaphene each occurred in at least 22% of the samples.Concentrations of organochlorines in the samples were generally low. Mean concentrations of eight compounds were highest in eggs of glaucous-winged gulls (Larus glaucescens) from three sites: DDE (5.16 ppm, wet weight), dieldrin (0.214 ppm), oxychlordane (0.251 ppm), and PCB's (3.55 ppm) in eggs from Bogoslof Island; heptachlor epoxide (0.037 ppm), cis-chlordane (0.075 ppm), and HCB (0.188 ppm) in eggs from Buldir Island; and cis-nonachlor (0.026 ppm) in eggs from the Semidi Islands. Highest concentrations of DDD (0.157 ppm), DDT (0.140 ppm), and toxaphene (0.101 ppm) were in eggs of fork-tailed storm-petrel (Oceanodroma furcata) from Buldir Island, and the highest concentration of mirex (0.044 ppm) was in fork-tailed storm-petrel eggs from the Barren Islands.Both frequency of occurrence and concentration of residues in the eggs differed geographically and by species, apparently reflecting non-uniform distribution of organochlorines in the environment, dissimilar feeding habits and migration patterns of the species, or metabolic differences among the species.The overall frequency of residue occurrence was highest in eggs from the Pribilof Islands, but only three species were represented in the samples collected there. Detectable residues also were more frequent in eggs from the Gulf of Alaska colonies than elsewhere, and the lowest frequency was in eggs from nesting colonies on or near the Seward Peninsula. Regionally, concentrations of DDE and PCB's were usually higher than average in eggs from the Gulf of Alaska and lower than average in eggs from the

  10. Environmental Impact Research Program. Techniques to Increase Efficiency and Reduce Effort in Applications of the Habitat Evaluation Procedures (HEP)

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1988-09-01

    Felis rufus Brewer’s sparrow Spizella breweri Brook trout Salvelinus fontinalis Brown shrimp Penaeus aztecus Brown thrasher Toxostoma rufum Brown trout...Brevoortia patronus Hairy woodpecker Picoides villosus Hard clam Mercenaria mercenaria Inland silverside Menidia beryllina Lake trout Salvelinus ... namaycush Largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides Lark bunting Calamospiza melanocorys Laughing gull Larus atricilla Least tern Sterna antillarum Lesser scaup

  11. Foraging success, kleptoparasitism and feeding techniques in scavenging seabirds: does crime pay?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garthe, Stefan; Hüppop, Ommo

    1998-06-01

    Scavenging seabirds in the North Sea exploit discards with different success and by different feeding techniques. Northern gannet ( Sula bassana) had the highest foraging success index, followed by lesser black-backed gull ( Larus fuscus) and black-legged kittiwake ( Rissa tridactyla). Northern fulmar ( Fulmarus glacialis), mew gull ( Larus canus) and black-headed gull ( Larus ridibundus) were the least successful species. Ranking species according to the ratio of fish stolen from vs. lost to other species (=robbery index), northern gannet, great black-backed gull ( Larus marinus) and great skua ( Catharacta skua) were at the top, northern fulmar and black-legged kittiwake at the bottom. Varying compositions of the feeding flocks influenced the foraging success of the species significantly. Both body length and body mass of the birds can well explain species order in the robbery index but not in the foraging success index. Our hypothesis that the most successful species employ particular feeding techniques and/or exhibit the strongest kleptoparasitic abilities could be confirmed to a large extent but not totally. During reduced overall feeding rates, some less successful species and/or species with weaker kleptoparasitic capabilities fared better than during intense feeding rates as predicted, some others did not.

  12. Avian Cholera Causes Marine Bird Mortality in the Bering Sea of Alaska.

    PubMed

    Bodenstein, Barbara; Beckmen, Kimberlee; Sheffield, Gay; Kuletz, Kathy; Van Hemert, Caroline; Berlowski, Brenda; Shearn-Bochsler, Valerie

    2015-10-01

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

  13. Sources of organochlorine contaminants and mercury in seabirds from the Aleutian archipelago of Alaska: inferences from spatial and trophic variation.

    PubMed

    Ricca, Mark A; Keith Miles, A; Anthony, Robert G

    2008-11-15

    Persistent organochlorine compounds and mercury (Hg) have been detected in numerous coastal organisms of the Aleutian archipelago of Alaska, yet sources of these contaminants are unclear. We collected glaucous-winged gulls, northern fulmars, and tufted puffins along a natural longitudinal gradient across the western and central Aleutian Islands (Buldir, Kiska, Amchitka, Adak), and an additional 8 seabird species representing different foraging and migratory guilds from Buldir Island to evaluate: 1) point source input from former military installations, 2) westward increases in contaminant concentrations suggestive of distant source input, and 3) effects of trophic status (delta15N) and carbon source (delta13C) on contaminant accumulation. Concentrations of Sigma polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and most chlorinated pesticides in glaucous-winged gulls consistently exhibited a 'U'-shaped pattern of high levels at Buldir and the east side of Adak and low levels at Kiska and Amchitka. In contrast, concentrations of Sigma PCBs and chlorinated pesticides in northern fulmars and tufted puffins did not differ among islands. Hg concentrations increased westward in glaucous-winged gulls and were highest in northern fulmars from Buldir. Among species collected only at Buldir, Hg was notably elevated in pelagic cormorants, and relatively high Sigma PCBs were detected in black-legged kittiwakes. Concentrations of Sigma PCBs, dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p' DDE), and Hg were positively correlated with delta15N across all seabird species, indicating biomagnification across trophic levels. The east side of Adak Island (a former military installation) was a likely point source of Sigma PCBs and p,p' DDE, particularly in glaucous-winged gulls. In contrast, elevated levels of these contaminants and Hg, along with PCB congener and chlorinated pesticide compositional patterns detected at Buldir Island indicated exposure from distant sources influenced by a combination of

  14. Sources of organochlorine contaminants and mercury in seabirds from the Aleutian archipelago of Alaska: Inferences from spatial and trophic variation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ricca, Mark A.; Miles, A. Keith; Anthony, Robert G.

    2008-01-01

    Persistent organochlorine compounds and mercury (Hg) have been detected in numerous coastal organisms of the Aleutian archipelago of Alaska, yet sources of these contaminants are unclear. We collected glaucous-winged gulls, northern fulmars, and tufted puffins along a natural longitudinal gradient across the western and central Aleutian Islands (Buldir, Kiska, Amchitka, Adak), and an additional 8 seabird species representing different foraging and migratory guilds from Buldir Island to evaluate: 1) point source input from former military installations, 2) westward increases in contaminant concentrations suggestive of distant source input, and 3) effects of trophic status (δ15N) and carbon source (δ13C) on contaminant accumulation. Concentrations of Σ polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and most chlorinated pesticides in glaucous-winged gulls consistently exhibited a ‘U’-shaped pattern of high levels at Buldir and the east side of Adak and low levels at Kiska and Amchitka. In contrast, concentrations of Σ PCBs and chlorinated pesticides in northern fulmars and tufted puffins did not differ among islands. Hg concentrations increased westward in glaucous-winged gulls and were highest in northern fulmars from Buldir. Among species collected only at Buldir, Hg was notably elevated in pelagic cormorants, and relatively high Σ PCBs were detected in black-legged kittiwakes. Concentrations of Σ PCBs, dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p′ DDE), and Hg were positively correlated with δ15N across all seabird species, indicating biomagnification across trophic levels. The east side of Adak Island (a former military installation) was a likely point source of Σ PCBs and p,p′ DDE, particularly in glaucous-winged gulls. In contrast, elevated levels of these contaminants and Hg, along with PCB congener and chlorinated pesticide compositional patterns detected at Buldir Island indicated exposure from distant sources influenced by a combination of atmospheric

  15. How hype and glory gull

    SciTech Connect

    Pinsdorf, M.K. )

    1992-01-01

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

  16. Pacific Continental Shelf Environmental Assessment (PaCSEA): aerial seabird and marine mammal surveys off northern California, Oregon, and Washington, 2011-2012

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Adams, Josh; Felis, Jonathan J.; Mason, John W.; Takekawa, John Y.

    2014-01-01

    counted (19,033) with Common Murres (Uria aalge) representing the majority of individuals counted (70.4% of total). The remaining six most abundant taxa included: Surf/White-winged Scoters (Melanitta perspicillata/M. fusca; 4.8% of total), Herring/Thayer’s Gulls (Larus argentatus/L. thayeri; 3.8% of total), Cassin’s Auklets (Ptychoramphus aleuticus; 3.8% of total), Glaucous-winged Gulls (Larus glaucescens; 3.7% of total), Black-legged Kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla; 2.0% of total), and Western Gulls (Larus occidentalis; 1.9% of total). During summer, five species comprised >95% of the total number of birds counted (17,063) with the majority comprised of Common Murres (54.1% of total) and Sooty Shearwaters (Puffinus griseus; 34.4% of total). The remaining most abundant three taxa included: Fork-tailed Storm-Petrels (Oceanodroma furcata; 3.3% of total), Western Gulls (2.1% of total), and Leach’s Storm-Petrels (Oceanodroma leucorhoa; 1.1% of total). During fall, nine species comprised >85% of the total number of birds counted (23,376) with the majority comprised of Common Murres (50.0% of total) and Sooty Shearwaters (10.5% of total). The remaining seven taxa included Cassin’s Auklets (5.2% of total), Surf/White-winged Scoters (5.1% of total), Fork-tailed Storm-Petrels (3.8% of total), Red/Red-necked Phalaropes (Phalaropus fulicarius/P. lobatus; 3.2% of total), California Gulls (Larus californicus; 3.1% of total), Northern Fulmars (Fulmarus glacialis; 2.7% of total), and Sabine’s Gulls (Xema sabini; 2.2% of total). Throughout the entire PaCSEA survey area, average densities (± SE) at sea for all marine birds combined were similar between fall (23.7 ± 1.9 birds km-2) and winter (24.0 ± 1.9 birds km-2) and least during summer (16.3 ± 2.2 birds km-2). Marine bird densities at sea varied according to bathymetric domain and season. Throughout the entire PaCSEA study area average densities (± SE) for all marine birds combined were greatest over the inner-shelf domain

  17. Research, Monitoring, and Evaluation of Avian Predation on Salmonid Smolts in the Lower and Mid-Columbia River, 2006 Final Season Summary.

    SciTech Connect

    Roby, Daniel D.; Collis, Ken; Lyons, Donald E.

    2009-06-18

    This study investigates predation by piscivorous waterbirds on juvenile salmonids (Oncorhynchus spp.) from throughout the Columbia River Basin. During 2006, study objectives in the Columbia River estuary, work funded by the Bonneville Power Administration, were to (1) monitor and evaluate previous management initiatives to reduce Caspian tern (Hydroprogne caspia) predation on juvenile salmonids (smolts); (2) measure the impact of double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) predation on smolt survival, and assess potential management options to reduce cormorant predation; and (3) monitor large colonies of other piscivorous waterbirds in the estuary (i.e., glaucous-winged/western gulls [Larus glaucescens/occidentalis]) to determine the potential impacts on smolt survival. Study objectives on the mid-Columbia River, work funded by the Walla Walla District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, were to (1) measure the impact of predation by Caspian terns and double-crested cormorants on smolt survival; and (2) monitor large nesting colonies of other piscivorous waterbirds (i.e., California gulls [L. californicus], ring-billed gulls [L. delawarensis], American white pelicans [Pelecanus erythrorhynchos]) on the mid-Columbia River to determine the potential for significant impacts on smolt survival. Our efforts to evaluate system-wide losses of juvenile salmonids to avian predation indicated that Caspian terns and double-crested cormorants were responsible for the vast majority of smolt losses to avian predators in the Columbia Basin, with most losses occurring in the Columbia River estuary. In 2006, East Sand Island in the Columbia River estuary supported the largest known breeding colonies of Caspian terns and double-crested cormorants in the world. The Caspian tern colony on East Sand Island consisted of about 9,200 breeding pairs in 2006, up slightly (but not significantly so) from the estimate of colony size in 2005 (8,820 pairs). There has not been a

  18. [Epidemiological studies on salmonella in a particular area ("Walcheren Project"). III. The incidence of salmonella in man, insects, gulls as well as foods scrapings from butcher's blocks, effluents of sewage treatment plants and drains from butcher's shops (author's transl)].

    PubMed

    Edel, W; Van Schothorst, M; Van Leusden, F M; Kampelmacher, E H

    1977-03-15

    In continuation of previous studies, various materials (meat and meat products, insects, gull droppings, scrapings from butcher's blocks, effluents of sewage treatment plants, drains from butcher's shops and faeces of patients) were examined again at the same time for the presence of Salmonella in a relatively small are (Walcheren) over a period of three months. As was also the case in previous studies, S. typhi murium (27.5 per cent), S. panama (22.2 per cent) and S. brandenburg (9.2 per cent) were the three serotypes most frequently isolated. The three most frequently isolated phage types of S. typhi murium were II 505 (62.1 per cent), II 502 (5.3 per cent) and I 650 (4.2 per cent). The serotypes and phage types were present in nearly all the materials studied which again emphasizes the fact that there are contamination cycles of Salmonella. These studies showed that the route of contamination divides in the butcher's shop. Salmonella ogranisms carried with the meat frome the slaughter-house find their way into the drains on the one hand, and, by meat and meat products, to consumers on the other. Moreover, the high degree of contamination of effluents is not in accordance with the small number of cases of salmonellosis.

  19. Oil pollution increases plasma antioxidants but reduces coloration in a seabird.

    PubMed

    Pérez, Cristóbal; Lores, Marta; Velando, Alberto

    2010-08-01

    It has been suggested that condition-dependent signals may be a useful measure of environmental quality. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that oil pollution enhances oxidative stress and impairs expression of a carotenoid-based signal in a wild population of the yellow-legged gull (Larus michahellis). During the courtship period, a group of gulls were fed a supplementary diet containing heavy fuel oil from the Prestige oil spill and were compared with control gulls fed a similar supplementary diet without fuel oil. Blood levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, the most toxic components of crude oils, were higher (30%) in the Prestige oil-fed gulls than in the control gulls. Plasma concentrations of vitamin E and carotenoids were also significantly higher in the Prestige oil-fed gulls (31 and 27%, respectively). Although, the plasma levels of lipid peroxidation markers were higher (13%) in gulls fed with Prestige oil than in the control gulls, these differences were not significant, possibly because of the small number of gulls analyzed. The red bill spot was significantly smaller (16%) in the oil-fed gulls than in the control individuals. This study provides the first experimental evidence that a carotenoid-based signal in a free-living seabird is affected by exposure to oil pollution and is hence indicative of environmental quality. Since the yellow-legged gull belongs to a complex of species widely distributed throughout the northern hemisphere, the method described may constitute a useful tool for evaluating sub-lethal effects of oil spills in seabirds.

  20. Seabird eggs as bioindicators of chemical contamination in Chile.

    PubMed

    Cifuentes, Jacqueline Muñoz; Becker, Peter H; Sommer, Ute; Pacheco, Patricia; Schlatter, Roberto

    2003-01-01

    Seabird eggs were used as bioindicators of chemical contamination in Chile. Brown-hooded Gull (Larus maculipennis), Kelp Gull (Larus dominicanus), Trudeau's Tern (Sterna trudeaui), Neotropic Cormorant (Phalacrocorax brasilianus), and Pink-footed Shearwater (Puffinus creatopus) eggs were sampled at different breeding sites during the 1990s. Mercury and organochlorines (PCBs, DDT, HCB, HCH, and PCP) were quantified to reveal the interspecific differences, spatial and temporal trends in contamination levels. Trudeau's Tern displayed the highest levels of mercury (486 ng g(-1) wet weight). The highest sumDDT concentrations were measured in Brown-hooded Gulls (726 ng g(-1)). PCB levels were similar among the species (102-236 ng g(-1)), but the composition of the PCB mixture was different in Pink-footed Shearwaters. With the exception of the Brown-hooded Gull, all species studied presented similar and low levels of organochlorines (sumOHa). Residues of PCB and related compounds were not detected in any of the seabird eggs analyzed in Chile. Geographical variation was low, although levels of industrial chemicals were slightly higher in eggs from Concepción Bay, and agricultural chemicals in eggs from Valdivia. Also interannual variation was low, but some evidence was found of decreasing levels in gull eggs throughout the time of the study. The causes of the low levels and small variability in space and time of environmental chemicals in Chilean seabirds are discussed. We propose the use of seabirds in future monitoring of the development of chemical contamination in Chile.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1983-01-01

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

  2. [Characteristics of the plasmid profile of inositol- and rhamnose- negative strains of Salmonella typhimurium].

    PubMed

    Cízek, A; Mikula, I; Kovaríková, V

    1995-01-01

    S. typhimurium isolates obtained during a large outbreak of human salmonellosis associated with smoked mackerels in the Czech Republic as well as strains of S. typhimurium isolated from black headed gull (Larus ridibundus) were examined following biotyping, phage typing, plasmid profiling and restriction endonuclease analysis (Eco RI, Hind III and Bam HI) of plasmid DNA. The epidemic strain of S. typhimurium and two isolates from environment of nesting colony black-headed gull were meso-inositol and L-rhamnose negative, phage type 141. The isolates from human and environment of nesting colony were found to share the same plasmid profile and REA.

  3. Seabird-oil spill behavior study. Volume 2. Technical report. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Varoujean, D.H.; Baltz, D.M.; Allen, B.; Power, D.; Schroeder, D.A.

    1983-04-01

    This volume provides a technical discussion of a two year (1980-1982) study on the behavior of seabirds encountering oil-contaminated water. An information survey, undertaken in this study, indicated that out of nearly 300 references to seabird/oil research only 12 articles addressed the topic of seabird behavior in the presence of oil. Available evidence does, however, indicate that seabirds avoid or try to avoid making contract with petroleum oil. Field observations and experiments conducted in the study areas of natural oil seeps in the Santa Barbara Channel, California, revealed that (1) abundance of seabirds in the study area was relatively low when compared to that in oil-free areas of the Channel; (2) the age and/or the residency status of Brown Pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis), Western Gulls (Larus occidentalis) and Heerman's Gulls (Larus heermanni) were related to the frequency of interaction of these birds with oil.

  4. Seabird-oil spill behavior study. Volume 1. Executive summary. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Varoujean, D.H.; Baltz, D.M.; Allen, B.; Power, D.; Schroeder, D.A.

    1983-04-01

    This volume contains a summary of findings of a two year (1980-1982) study on the behavior of seabirds encountering oil-contaminated water. An information survey, undertaken in the study, indicated that out of nearly 300 references to seabird/oil research only 12 articles addressed the topic of seabird behavior in the presence of oil. Available evidence does, however, indicate that seabirds avoid or try to avoid making contact with petroleum oil. Field observations and experiments conducted in the study areas of natural oil seeps in the Santa Barbara Channel California, revealed that: (1) abundance of seabirds in the study area was relatively low when compared to that in oil-free areas of the Channel; (2) the age and/or the residency status of Brown Pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis), Western Gulls (Larus occidentalis) and Heermann's Gulls (Larus heermanni) were related to the frequency of interaction of these birds with oil.

  5. A stable isotope ( δ13C, δ15N) model for the North Water food web: implications for evaluating trophodynamics and the flow of energy and contaminants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hobson, Keith A.; Fisk, Aaron; Karnovsky, Nina; Holst, Meike; Gagnon, Jean-Marc; Fortier, Martin

    The North Water Polynya is an area of high biological activity that supports large numbers of higher trophic-level organisms such as seabirds and marine mammals. An overall objective of the Upper Trophic-Level Group of the International North Water Polynya Study (NOW) was to evaluate carbon and contaminant flux through these high trophic-level (TL) consumers. Crucial to an evaluation of the role of such consumers, however, was the establishment of primary trophic linkages within the North Water food web. We used δ15N values of food web components from particulate organic matter (POM) through polar bears ( Ursus maritimus) to create a trophic-level model based on the assumptions that Calanus hyperboreus occupies TL 2.0 and there is a 2.4‰ trophic enrichment in 15N between birds and their diets, and a 3.8‰ trophic enrichment for all other components. This model placed the planktivorous dovekie ( Alle alle) at TL 3.3, ringed seal ( Phoca hispida) at TL 4.5, and polar bear at TL 5.5. The copepods C. hyperboreus, Chiridius glacialis and Euchaeta glacialis formed a trophic continuum (TL 2.0-3.0) from primary herbivore through omnivore to primary carnivore. Invertebrates were generally sorted according to planktonic, benthic and epibenthic feeding groups. Seabirds formed three trophic groups, with dovekie occupying the lowest, black-legged kittiwake ( Rissa tridactyla), northern fulmar ( Fulmarus glacialis), thick-billed murre ( Uria aalge), and ivory gull ( Pagophilia eburnea) intermediate (TL 3.9-4.0), and glaucous gull ( Larus hyperboreus) the highest (TL 4.6) trophic positions. Among marine mammals, walrus ( Odobenus rosmarus) occupied the lowest (TL 3.2) and bearded seal ( Erignathus barbatus), ringed seal, beluga whale ( Delphinapterus leucas), and narwhal ( Monodon monoceros) intermediate positions (TL 4.1-4.6). In addition to arctic cod ( Boreogadus saida), we suggest that lower trophic-level prey, in particular the amphipod Themisto libellula, contribute

  6. Essaouira and Kala iris: two new orbiviruses of the Kemerovo serogroup, Chenuda complex, isolated from Ornithodoros (Alectorobius) maritimus ticks in Morocco.

    PubMed

    Chastel, C; Main, A J; Bailly-Choumara, H; Le Goff, F; Le Lay, G

    1993-12-01

    Essaouira and Kala Iris viruses were isolated from Ornithodoros (Alectorobius) maritimus ticks parasitizing yellow-legged gulls (Larus cachinnans) on the coast of Morocco in 1979 and 1981, respectively. Serological evidence indicates that these two viruses are new members of the Chenuda complex within the Kemerovo serogroup of the genus Orbivirus. Ecological, pathological, morphological, and physicochemical properties are compatible with these findings. The infectivity of these viruses for man and animals, including seabirds, remains unknown.

  7. Implementing Avian Inventory and Monitoring Efforts on Corps of Engineers Project Lands

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-06-01

    species (e.g., Eastern Screech Owl [Otus asio]) often respond well to calls and songs broadcast from a tape or CD player; therefore, incorporating a tape...Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum), Lark Sparrow (Chondestes grammacus), and Eastern Meadowlark (Sternella magna)) (Askins 1993, Herkert 1994...species include many gull (Larus spp.) and tern (Sterna spp.) species, and many owl (e.g., Great-horned Owl [Bubo virgini- anus]) or nightjars

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-06-01

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

  10. 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

  11. Ecotoxicological risk assessment of environmental pollutants in the Arctic.

    PubMed

    Brunström, B; Halldin, K

    2000-03-15

    Concentrations of such persistent organic pollutants (POPs) as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are high in certain Arctic animal species. The polar bear, Arctic fox, and glaucous gull may be exposed to PCB levels above lowest-observed-adverse-effect-level (LOAEL) values for adverse effects on reproduction in mammals and birds. However, the dioxin-like congeners seem to be major contributors to the reproductive effects of PCBs and the relative concentrations of these congeners are low in polar bears. Temporal trends for POPs in Arctic wildlife and the sensitivities of Arctic species to these compounds determine the risk for future adverse health effects.

  12. Newcastle disease in wild water birds in western Canada, 1990

    PubMed Central

    Wobeser, Gary; Leighton, Frederick A.; Norman, Robert; Myers, Davis J.; Onderka, Detlef; Pybus, Marjo J.; Neufeld, James L.; Fox, Glen A.; Alexander, Dennis J.

    1993-01-01

    This report describes the investigation of mortality of double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus), white pelicans (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos), and gulls (Larus spp.) in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba during late summer 1990. Techniques used varied among areas, but virological and histopathological examination of birds was done in each area. The major clinical sign in cormorants was inability to fly, often with unilateral wing or leg paralysis. Focal nonsuppurative inflammation was present in the brain and spinal cord of cormorants and pelicans. Newcastle disease virus (NDV) was isolated from cormorants, a pelican, and a ring-billed gull (Larus delawarensls) from Saskatchewan. Cormorants from Alberta were positive for NDV in an immunofluorescent test. Most of the viruses were classed as velogenic and all had a similar monoclonal antibody profile to viruses from the 1970 to 1974 panzootic. Approximately half of cormorant, pelican, and gull eggs collected from affected colonies in the spring of 1991 had antibody to NDV. Antibody was also present in cormorant eggs from the Great Lakes. No unusual mortality was detected at any colony in 1991. Fledgling cormorants and gulls from colonies where mortality occurred in 1990 did not have antibody to NDV in June-July 1991. The overall extent of mortality among water birds and the source of the virus were not determined. ImagesFigure 2. PMID:17424240

  13. Huna Tlingit Traditional Gull Egg Use Act

    THOMAS, 113th Congress

    Sen. Murkowski, Lisa [R-AK

    2013-01-28

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

  14. Huna Tlingit Traditional Gull Egg Use Act

    THOMAS, 113th Congress

    Sen. Murkowski, Lisa [R-AK

    2013-01-28

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

  15. The Gull Sees Farthest Who Flies Highest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pirri, Anthony N.

    2005-04-01

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

  16. Huna Tlingit Traditional Gull Egg Use Act

    THOMAS, 113th Congress

    Sen. Murkowski, Lisa [R-AK

    2013-01-28

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

  17. Effects of egg oiling on larid productivity and population dynamics

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lewis, S.J.; Malecki, R.A.

    1984-01-01

    In this study, oil was applied to naturally incubated great black-backed gull (Larus marinus) and herring gull (L. argentatus) eggs, and its effects on reproductive success were assessed. Embryo survival was inversely proportional to the quantity of petroleum applied to eggshell surfaces. Dose responses, however, were dependent on embryonic age at the time of treatment. Eggs of either species, treated with 10-20 mu l of No. 2 fuel oil 4-8 days after laying, experienced significant reductions in hatching success. Embryos oiled past the midpoint of the 28-day incubation period were insensitive to as much as 100 mu l of petroleum. Fuel oil weathered outdoors for several weeks was as toxic as fresh oil to larid embryos. Only under severe conditions (e.g., large doses of petroleum contaminating young embryos) could egg oiling have a significant impact upon populations of the herring gull and species with similar life-history characteristics.

  18. METAL LEVELS IN EGGS OF WATERBIRDS IN THE NEW YORK HARBOR (USA): TROPHIC RELATIONSHIPS AND POSSIBLE RISK TO HUMAN CONSUMERS

    PubMed Central

    Burger, Joanna; Elbin, Susan

    2015-01-01

    Health professionals are interested in evaluating the risks that heavy metals pose to eco-receptors and humans. The objective of this study was to examine levels of mercury (Hg), lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), and other contaminants in waterbirds nesting in the New York harbor in 2012 to determine (1) whether there were species and locational differences, and (2) whether consumption of eggs posed a health risk to predators or humans. For arsenic (As), Pb, Hg, and selenium (Se), species contributed more to variations in levels than location; for Cd and chromium (Cr), location was more significant. Mean metal levels differed among species for all metals, except Cd. Highest levels were As (great black-backed gulls, Larus marinus), Cr (great egret, Ardea alba), Pb (Canada goose, Branta canadensis), and Hg and Se (black-crowned night heron, Nycticorax nycticorax). There were significant locational differences only for herring gulls (Larus argentatus); significant differences were found for all metals. Levels of Hg and Pb may be sufficiently high in eggs of some species to produce adverse effects in predators that eat them. The proportion of samples above 0.3 ppm Hg (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency [EPA] freshwater criteria for freshwater fish), the contaminant of health concern, ranged from 0% (Canada goose, great egret), to 14 and 27% in gulls, to 50% (black-crowned night heron). Some herring gull, great black-backed gull, and black-crowned night heron eggs had 0.5 ppm or higher Hg. Thus, human consumption of eggs may pose a risk to fetuses and young children. PMID:25424617

  19. Metal levels in eggs of waterbirds in the New York Harbor (USA): trophic relationships and possible risk to human consumers.

    PubMed

    Burger, Joanna; Elbin, Susan

    2015-01-01

    Health professionals are interested in evaluating the risks that heavy metals pose to eco-receptors and humans. The objective of this study was to examine levels of mercury (Hg), lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), and other contaminants in waterbirds nesting in the New York harbor in 2012 to determine (1) whether there were species and locational differences, and (2) whether consumption of eggs posed a health risk to predators or humans. For arsenic (As), Pb, Hg, and selenium (Se), species contributed more to variations in levels than location; for Cd and chromium (Cr), location was more significant. Mean metal levels differed among species for all metals, except Cd. Highest levels were As (great black-backed gulls, Larus marinus), Cr (great egret, Ardea alba), Pb (Canada goose, Branta canadensis), and Hg and Se (black-crowned night heron, Nycticorax nycticorax). There were significant locational differences only for herring gulls (Larus argentatus); significant differences were found for all metals. Levels of Hg and Pb may be sufficiently high in eggs of some species to produce adverse effects in predators that eat them. The proportion of samples above 0.3 ppm Hg (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency [EPA] freshwater criteria for freshwater fish), the contaminant of health concern, ranged from 0% (Canada goose, great egret), to 14 and 27% in gulls, to 50% (black-crowned night heron). Some herring gull, great black-backed gull, and black-crowned night heron eggs had 0.5 ppm or higher Hg. Thus, human consumption of eggs may pose a risk to fetuses and young children.

  20. Differential Annual Movement Patterns in a Migratory Species: Effects of Experience and Sexual Maturation

    PubMed Central

    Jorge, Paulo E.; Sowter, David; Marques, Paulo A. M.

    2011-01-01

    Some animals migrate long distances to exploit important seasonal food resources in the northern regions of the northern hemisphere, whilst avoiding winter starvation. Changes in the individual's age and navigational skills are likely to affect migration, which in turn influences the geographic distribution of individuals. Processes such as sexual maturation and navigational abilities are affected by age, and age is thus a key factor in understanding migration patterns and differences in distribution ranges. In the present study, we investigated the effects of age on the geographic distribution of a population of Lesser Black-backed Gulls Larus fuscus throughout its annual cycle, by analyzing a dataset of 19,096 records from 10,000 color-ringed gulls. In contrast to previous assumptions, the results showed that gulls were geographically segregated by age throughout the entire annual cycle, rather than showing a geographic age-related cline only in the wintering areas. This asymmetric distribution results from a reduction in the annual range of sexually mature gulls, and the differential distribution of mature and immature individuals (mature birds remained in more northern areas, compared to immature birds, throughout the annual cycle). Furthermore, although immature gulls travelled longer distances than adults, they initiated their fall migration with short movements, in contrast to adults that migrated using longer movements. The effects identified in this study explain the non-homogenous distribution of populations throughout the annual cycle, with wide implications for the development of effective human health policies and/or wildlife management strategies. PMID:21799853

  1. Differential annual movement patterns in a migratory species: effects of experience and sexual maturation.

    PubMed

    Jorge, Paulo E; Sowter, David; Marques, Paulo A M

    2011-01-01

    Some animals migrate long distances to exploit important seasonal food resources in the northern regions of the northern hemisphere, whilst avoiding winter starvation. Changes in the individual's age and navigational skills are likely to affect migration, which in turn influences the geographic distribution of individuals. Processes such as sexual maturation and navigational abilities are affected by age, and age is thus a key factor in understanding migration patterns and differences in distribution ranges. In the present study, we investigated the effects of age on the geographic distribution of a population of Lesser Black-backed Gulls Larus fuscus throughout its annual cycle, by analyzing a dataset of 19,096 records from 10,000 color-ringed gulls. In contrast to previous assumptions, the results showed that gulls were geographically segregated by age throughout the entire annual cycle, rather than showing a geographic age-related cline only in the wintering areas. This asymmetric distribution results from a reduction in the annual range of sexually mature gulls, and the differential distribution of mature and immature individuals (mature birds remained in more northern areas, compared to immature birds, throughout the annual cycle). Furthermore, although immature gulls travelled longer distances than adults, they initiated their fall migration with short movements, in contrast to adults that migrated using longer movements. The effects identified in this study explain the non-homogenous distribution of populations throughout the annual cycle, with wide implications for the development of effective human health policies and/or wildlife management strategies.

  2. Monitoring polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon pollution in the marine environment after the Prestige oil spill by means of seabird blood analysis.

    PubMed

    Pérez, Cristóbal; Velando, Alberto; Munilla, Ignacio; López-Alonso, Marta; Oro, Daniel

    2008-02-01

    In this study we tested the use of seabird blood as a bioindicator of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) pollution in the marine environment. Blood cells of breeding yellow-legged gulls (Larus michahellis) were able to track spatial and temporal changes consistent with the massive oil pollution pulse that resulted from the Prestige oil spill. Thus, in 2004, blood samples from yellow-legged gulls breeding in colonies that were in the trajectory of the spill doubled in theirtotal PAH concentrations when compared to samples from unoiled colonies. Furthermore, PAH levels in gulls from an oiled colony decreased by nearly a third in two consecutive breeding seasons (2004 and 2005). Experimental evidence was gathered by means of an oil-ingestion field experiment. The total concentration of PAHs in the blood of gulls given oil supplements was 30% higher compared to controls. This strongly suggested that measures of PAHs in the blood of gulls are sensitive to the ingestion of small quantities of oil. Our study provides evidence that seabirds were exposed to residual Prestige oil 17 months after the spill commenced and gives support to the nondestructive use of seabirds as biomonitors of oil pollution in marine environments.

  3. The importance of survey timing in monitoring breeding seabird numbers

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, C.M.; Krohn, W.B.

    2001-01-01

    We conducted weekly aerial surveys of islands along the central Maine coast from April-June of 1993-1997 and used aerial photographs to determine peak nest count dates for Double-crested Cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus), Herring Gulls (Larus argentatus) and Great Black-Backed Gulls (Larus marinus). These data also were used to determine the potential effect of survey timing on the ability to detect long-term trends in the abundance of these species. The number of cormorant nests in the study area peaked in mid-June, while Great Black-backed and Herring gulls peaked in late May and early June, respectively. Peak nesting dates generally were consistent for each island across years, but varied by up to a month between islands during a given year. A 10-year monitoring program using annual surveys conducted between 23 May and 23 June, or biennial surveys conducted from 2-17 June, would have an 80% probability of detecting annual changes of ??5% for all three species in this region. Received 1 November 2000, accepted 4 December 2000.

  4. Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) in seven different marine bird species from Iceland.

    PubMed

    Jörundsdóttir, Hrönn; Löfstrand, Karin; Svavarsson, Jörundur; Bignert, Anders; Bergman, Åke

    2013-11-01

    Data on distribution, concentration and trends of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and hexabromocyclododecanes (HBCDs) is scarce in biota from the sub-Arctic region of the Atlantic. The present study is an investigation on PBDE and HBCD concentrations in eggs from seven marine bird species from Iceland, i.e. common eider (Somateria mollissima), arctic tern (Sterna paradisaea), guillemot (Uria aalge), fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis), lesser black-backed gull (Larus fuscus), great black-backed gull (Larus marinus) and great skua (Stercorarius skua). Concentrations of sum PBDEs ranged from 44 ng g(-1)fat in eider eggs to 2400 ng g(-1)fat in great skua eggs. The contribution of different PBDE congeners to the sum concentration differed between species. Concentration of HBCDs (sum of α-,β(-) and γ-HBCD) ranged from 1.3 ng g(-1)fat in arctic tern eggs to 41 ng g(-1)fat in great black-backed gull. PCA on PBDE and HBCD shows different trends between the two BFR groups, further indicating different sources/usage. Investigations on any potential health or population effects of environmental pollutants on the great skua are advised since both the PBDE and HBCD concentrations are high.

  5. Local and interannual variations in mercury and cadmium in eggs of eight seabird species of the Sinaloa coast, México.

    PubMed

    Ceyca, Juan P; Castillo-Guerrero, J Alfredo; García-Hernández, Jaqueline; Fernández, Guillermo; Betancourt-Lozano, Miguel

    2016-09-01

    Mercury (Hg) and cadmium (Cd) concentrations in eggs of 8 seabird species inhabiting 5 coastal ecosystems in Sinaloa, México were determined during 2 breeding seasons (2012 and 2013): blue-footed booby (Sula nebouxii), brown booby (Sula leucogaster), double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus), magnificent frigatebird (Fregata magnificens), brown pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis), royal tern (Thalasseus maximus), laughing gull (Leucophaeus atricilla), and Heermann's gull (Larus heermanni). The interspecific differences found in the concentrations of both metals were attributed to the diet and foraging ecology of the species. The highest Hg concentrations were detected in piscivorous species (brown pelican, 0.42 µg/g; brown booby, 0.31 µg/g; blue-footed booby, 0.26 µg/g; and double-crested cormorant, 0.23 µg/g); whereas species with more varied diets presented the highest Cd concentrations (Heermann's gull, 0.31 µg/g; laughing gull, 0.27 µg/g; and magnificent frigatebird, 0.27 µg/g). Cadmium concentrations were significantly greater in 2013 than 2012 for most species, and brown pelican and laughing gull also had higher Hg concentrations in 2013 in Santa María Bay, suggesting a relationship as a result of the changes either in oceanographic conditions or in continental runoff. Mercury concentrations in brown pelican and Cd concentrations in Heermann's gull and laughing gull were above threshold levels for adverse effects on reproduction and survival. Environ Toxicol Chem 2016;35:2330-2338. © 2016 SETAC. © 2016 SETAC.

  6. Balancing Energy Budget in a Central-Place Forager: Which Habitat to Select in a Heterogeneous Environment?

    PubMed Central

    Patenaude-Monette, Martin; Bélisle, Marc; Giroux, Jean-François

    2014-01-01

    Foraging animals are influenced by the distribution of food resources and predation risk that both vary in space and time. These constraints likely shape trade-offs involving time, energy, nutrition, and predator avoidance leading to a sequence of locations visited by individuals. According to the marginal-value theorem (MVT), a central-place forager must either increase load size or energy content when foraging farther from their central place. Although such a decision rule has the potential to shape movement and habitat selection patterns, few studies have addressed the mechanisms underlying habitat use at the landscape scale. Our objective was therefore to determine how Ring-billed gulls (Larus delawarensis) select their foraging habitats while nesting in a colony located in a heterogeneous landscape. Based on locations obtained by fine-scale GPS tracking, we used resource selection functions (RSFs) and residence time analyses to identify habitats selected by gulls for foraging during the incubation and brood rearing periods. We then combined this information to gull survey data, feeding rates, stomach contents, and calorimetric analyses to assess potential trade-offs. Throughout the breeding season, gulls selected landfills and transhipment sites that provided higher mean energy intake than agricultural lands or riparian habitats. They used landfills located farther from the colony where no deterrence program had been implemented but avoided those located closer where deterrence measures took place. On the other hand, gulls selected intensively cultured lands located relatively close to the colony during incubation. The number of gulls was then greater in fields covered by bare soil and peaked during soil preparation and seed sowing, which greatly increase food availability. Breeding Ring-billed gulls thus select habitats according to both their foraging profitability and distance from their nest while accounting for predation risk. This supports the

  7. Diets of aquatic birds reflect changes in the Lake Huron ecosystem

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hebert, Craig E.; Weseloh, D.V. Chip; Idrissi, Abode; Arts, Michael T.; Roseman, Edward F.

    2009-01-01

    Human activities have affected the Lake Huron ecosystem, in part, through alterations in the structure and function of its food webs. Insights into the nature of food web change and its ecological ramifications can be obtained through the monitoring of high trophic level predators such as aquatic birds. Often, food web change involves alterations in the relative abundance of constituent species and/or the introduction of new species (exotic invaders). Diet composition of aquatic birds is influenced, in part, by relative prey availability and therefore is a sensitive measure of food web structure. Using bird diet data to make inferences regarding food web change requires consistent measures of diet composition through time. This can be accomplished by measuring stable chemical and/or biochemical “ecological tracers” in archived avian samples. Such tracers provide insights into pathways of energy and nutrient transfer. In this study, we examine the utility of two groups of naturally-occurring intrinsic tracers (stable isotopes and fatty acids) to provide such information in a predatory seabird, the herring gull (Larus argentatus). Retrospective stable nitrogen and carbon isotope analysis of archived herring gull eggs identified declines in gull trophic position and shifts in food sources in Lake Huron over the last 25 years and changes in gull diet composition were inferred from egg fatty acid patterns. These independent groups of ecological tracers provided corroborating evidence of dietary change in this high trophic level predator. Gull dietary shifts were related to declines in prey fish abundance which suggests large-scale alterations to the Lake Huron ecosystem. Dietary shifts in herring gulls may be contributing to reductions in resources available for egg formation. Further research is required to evaluate how changes in resource availability may affect population sustainability in herring gulls and other waterbird species. Long-term biological monitoring

  8. Prolonged incubation behavior by a marbled godwit

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Higgins, K.F.

    1974-01-01

    On 9 May 1972 I flushed a Marbled Godwit (Limosa fedoa) from a nest containing four eggs in a large field of mulched wheat stubble in northwestern Stutsman County, North Dakota. I revisited the nest on 31 May and on 7, 9, 12, 15, 16, 20, and 21 June, and found an incubating adult on the nest during all visits except 21 June. Another adult was seen near the nest site only on 9 May. On 12 June the eggs looked rotten, and the incubating bird seemed to have a crippled leg. On 21 June Ring-billed Gulls (Larus delawarensis) destroyed the eggs.

  9. Bird blood as bioindicator for mercury in the environment.

    PubMed

    Kahle, S; Becker, P H

    1999-12-01

    Mercury concentrations were studied in blood, down and feathers of Common Gull (Larus canus L.) to investigate the suitability of bird blood as a matrix for biomonitoring of mercury in the marine environment. Chicks were collected in 1996 on the Elbe river and the Jade Bay. Like the side feathers, blood indicated site differences in mercury contamination. Correlational analyses showed that mercury concentrations in blood are significantly related to levels in side feathers (p < 0.001; Pearson), but not to those in down (p > 0.05; Pearson). Therefore, blood can be considered as a suitable matrix to indicate the current mercury burden in wild birds.

  10. Salmonella in California wildlife species: prevalence in rehabilitation centers and characterization of isolates.

    PubMed

    Smith, Woutrina A; Mazet, Jonna A K; Hirsh, Dwight C

    2002-09-01

    Fecal samples from 212 selected marine mammals, marine birds, and raptors were cultured for Salmonella spp. on arrival at rehabilitation centers in California from May 1999 through July 2000. Salmonella spp. were cultured from nine (4%) animals, and seven serotypes were isolated: Johannesberg, Montevideo, Newport, Ohio, Saint Paul, Enteritidis Group D, and 4,5,12:1 Monophasic. One western gull (Larus occidentalis) had two serotypes. Antibiotic susceptibilities and chromosomal fingerprints were evaluated for Salmonella isolates. Some isolates were resistant to gentamicin, amoxicillin-clavulanic acid, and ampicillin. Chromosomal fingerprints with XbaI and XhoI restriction enzymes differed between serotypes but not between individuals carrying the same serotype of Salmonella.

  11. Ornithodoros (Alectorobius) capensis Neumann (Acari: Ixodoidea: Argasidae), a parasite of seabirds, established along the southeastern seacoast of the United States.

    PubMed

    Keirans, J E; Hutcheson, H J; Oliver, J H

    1992-03-01

    Ornithodoros (Alectorobius) capensis Neumann, an ectoparasite of seabirds found circumglobally in the tropics and subtropics, has become established along the southeastern seacoast of the United States. The tick has been found feeding primarily on brown pelicans, Pelecanus occidentalis, but also has been found on the laughing gull, Larus atricilla, and the American oystercatcher, Haematopus palliatus. We report here the presence of O. (A.) capensis from New Hanover and Brunswick counties (near the mouth of the Cape Fear River) in North Carolina, to the Charleston Harbor area of South Carolina and thence south to Cumberland Island (a barrier island) in Camden County, Georgia, just north of the Florida state line.

  12. Managing birds and controlling aircraft in the Kennedy Airport-Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge complex: the need for hard data and soft opinions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brown, K.M.; Erwin, R.M.; Richmond, M.E.; Buckley, P.A.; Tanacredi, J.T.; Avrin, D.

    2001-01-01

    During the 1980s, the exponential growth of laughing gull (Larus atrfcilla) colonies, from 15 to about 7600 nests in 1990, in the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge and a correlated increase in the bird-strike rate at nearby John F. Kennedy International Airport (New York City) led to a controversy between wildlife and airport managers over the elimination of the colonies. In this paper, we review data to evaluate if: (1) the colonies have increased the level of risk to the flying public; (2) on-colony population control would reduce the presence of gulls, and subsequently bird strikes, at the airport; and (3) all on-airport management alternatives have been adequately implemented. Since 1979, most (2987, 87%) of the 3444 bird strikes (number of aircraft struck) were actually bird carcasses found near runways (cause of death unknown but assumed to be bird strikes by definition). Of the 457 pilot-reported strikes (mean = 23 + 6 aircraft/yr, N = 20 years), 78 (17%) involved laughing gulls. Since a gull-shooting program was initiated on airport property in 1991, over 50,000 adult laughing gulls have been killed and the number of reported bird strikes involving laughing gulls has declined from 6.9 + 2.9 (1983-1990) to 2.8 + 1.3 (1991-1998) aircraft/yr; nongull reported bird strikes, however, have more than doubled (6.4 + 2.6, 1983-1990; 14.9 + 5.1, 1991-1998). We found no evidence to indicate that on-colony management would yield a reduction of bird strikes at Kennedy Airport. Dietary and mark-recapture studies suggest that 60%-90% of the laughing gulls collected on-airport were either failed breeders and/or nonbreeding birds. We argue that the Jamaica Bay laughing gull colonies, the only ones in New York State, should not be managed at least until all on-airport management alternatives have been properly implemented and demonstrated to be ineffective at reducing bird strikes, including habitat alterations and increasing the capability of the bird control unit to eliminate

  13. Functional, biochemical, and histological biomarkers for immunocompetence in fish-eating birds of the Great Lakes

    SciTech Connect

    Grasman, K.A.; Scanlon, P.F.; Fox, G.A.

    1995-12-31

    The authors studied the effects of environmental contaminants on immune function and related biochemical and histological biomarkers in herring gulls (Larus argentatus) and Caspian terns (Sterna caspia) from the Great Lakes. An epidemiological analysis strongly supported the hypothesis that suppression of T-cell-mediated immunity was associated with high perinatal exposure to persistent organochlorines (primarily PCBs). Suppression of T cell function (measured by the phytohemagglutinin skin test) was most severe in colonies in Lake Ontario and Saginaw Bay for both species and in western Lake Erie (1992) for herring gulls. In herring gull chicks, the mass of the thymus decreased as liver EROD increased. Both species exhibited biologically significant differences among sites in anti-SRBC antibody titers, but there were few associations with organochlorines. In Caspian terns and, to a lesser degree, in herring gulls, plasma retinol decreased as organochlorines increased. In both species, plasma thyroxine concentrations differed significantly among sites, but there were no apparent associations with contaminants. Although thyroxine and retinol often are associated with immune function in laboratory studies, there were few consistent relationships between these variables and T-cell- and antibody-mediated immunity in this field study. These biochemical variables may be poor surrogate biomarkers for immune function in wild birds, although they are important indicators for other physiological systems. The histology of the thymus, bursa of Fabricius, and spleen were examined for developmental and functional abnormalities and the presence of infections.

  14. Organochlorine-induced immunosuppression in fish-eating birds of the Great Lakes

    SciTech Connect

    Grasman, K.A.; Scanlon, P.F.; Fox, G.A.

    1995-12-31

    This investigation studied the effects of environmental contaminants on immune function in fish-eating birds of the Great Lakes and evaluated the use of immunological tests as biomarkers for contaminant exposure in wild birds. During 1991--1994, specific immune functions and general hematological parameters were measured in herring gull (Larus argentatus) and Caspian tern (Stema caspia) chicks. Study sites were chosen across a wide range of organochlorine contamination caused primarily by PCBs. In herring gull adults, the heterophil to lymphocyte ratio decreased as liver EROD, an index of contaminant exposure, increased, In herring gull chicks, thymus mass decreased as EROD increased. At highly contaminated sites, gull and tern chicks showed a marked reduction in T cell-mediated immunity as measured by the phytohemagglutinin skin test. The thymic atrophy and T cell suppression were consistent with documented effects of PCBs in laboratory animals during development and growth. In both species, chicks exhibited biologically significant differences in antibody production among sites, but any relationships to contaminants or other factors remain unclear. In laboratory animals, PCBs exhibit variable effects on antibody production. Structural and functional parameters related to the immune system are useful biomarkers for assessing the effects of contaminants on wild birds.

  15. Distribution of marine birds on the mid- and North-Atlantic US outer continental shelf. Technical progress report, January 1978-July 1980

    SciTech Connect

    Powers, K.D.; Pittman, G.L.; Fitch, S.J.

    1980-09-01

    The species composition, distribution, and abundance of marine birds on continental shelf waters from Cape Hatteras to the Bay of Fundy were examined using ships-of-opportunity. Northern Fulmar, Cory's Shearwater, Greater Shearwater, Sooty Shearwater, Wilson's Storm-Petrel, Gannet, Red Phalarope, Great Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, and Black-legged Kittiwake were the most abundant and common species. These species were ecologically dominant within the bird community in numbers and biomass. Georges Bank and Gulf of Marine regions generally had greatest estimates of standing stock and biomass; whereas, in the Middle Atlantic region these estimates were consistently lowest. Species diversity throughout the study area was greatest in spring and least in fall. Oceanic fronts at the continental shelf break and at Nantucket Shoals influenced the distribution of Wilson's Storm-Petrels and Red Phalaropes. Fishing activities were particularly important to Larus gull distribution. Fishes, squids, and crustaceans were the most important groups of prey items in diets of nine bird species. An oiled bird or pollution index was developed. According to the index, frequency of oiled birds was greatest in winter and spring, and gulls made up the majority of species with oiled plumages.

  16. Species density of waterbirds in offshore habitats in western Lake Erie

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stapanian, M.A.; Waite, Thomas A.

    2003-01-01

    Offshore censuses of birds are lacking for inland seas, such as the Laurentian Great Lakes, but may provide valuable information for managing species that are in conflict with human interests. Birds were counted along 31 established transects in four habitats in western Lake Erie: offshore of waterbird refuges, offshore of beaches with human development, on reefs and shoals, and in open water. A total of 161 10-min counts were conducted between 24 April and 1 September 2000. The mean number of aquatic bird species/kmA? (species density) was greater offshore of refuges than on open water. For all habitats combined, species density increased over time. This was mainly due to the arrival of Bonaparte's Gulls (Larus philadelphia) and Great Black-backed Gulls (L. marinus), two fall and winter residents that do not breed in the study area, and increased use of open water and reefs and shoals by Herring Gulls (L argentatus) and Ring-billed Gulls (L delawarensis) after the nesting season. Species density was not strongly spatially autocorrelated, either for all species or for only those species that were floating on the water when recorded. Neither Double-crested Cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) nor Herring Gulls exhibited spatial autocorrelation. In contrast, Bonaparte's and Ring-billed gulls exhibited positive spatial autocorrelations. Unlike marine studies, species density was only weakly associated with water depth. This result was due mainly to Double-crested Cormorants, the only diving bird species that lived year-round in the area, which preferred reefs and shoals (depth 3-6 m) over open water (10 m). The results suggest that offshore habitat influences species density in this area during the breeding and immediate post-breeding seasons.

  17. Terrestrial and Marine Foraging Strategies of an Opportunistic Seabird Species Breeding in the Wadden Sea.

    PubMed

    Garthe, Stefan; Schwemmer, Philipp; Paiva, Vitor H; Corman, Anna-Marie; Fock, Heino O; Voigt, Christian C; Adler, Sven

    2016-01-01

    Lesser black-backed gulls Larus fuscus are considered to be mainly pelagic. We assessed the importance of different landscape elements (open sea, tidal flats and inland) by comparing marine and terrestrial foraging behaviours in lesser black-backed gulls breeding along the coast of the southern North Sea. We attached GPS data loggers to eight incubating birds and collected information on diet and habitat use. The loggers recorded data for 10-19 days to allow flight-path reconstruction. Lesser black-backed gulls foraged in both offshore and inland areas, but rarely on tidal flats. Targets and directions were similar among all eight individuals. Foraging trips (n = 108) lasted 0.5-26.4 h (mean 8.7 h), and ranges varied from 3.0-79.9 km (mean 30.9 km). The total distance travelled per foraging trip ranged from 7.5-333.6 km (mean 97.9 km). Trips out to sea were significantly more variable in all parameters than inland trips. Presence in inland areas was closely associated with daylight, whereas trips to sea occurred at day and night, but mostly at night. The most common items in pellets were grass (48%), insects (38%), fish (28%), litter (26%) and earthworms (20%). There was a significant relationship between the carbon and nitrogen isotope signals in blood and the proportional time each individual spent foraging at sea/land. On land, gulls preferentially foraged on bare ground, with significantly higher use of potato fields and significantly less use of grassland. The flight patterns of lesser black-backed gulls at sea overlapped with fishing-vessel distribution, including small beam trawlers fishing for shrimps in coastal waters close to the colony and large beam-trawlers fishing for flatfish at greater distances. Our data show that individuals made intensive use of the anthropogenic landscape and seascape, indicating that lesser black-backed gulls are not a predominantly marine species during the incubation period.

  18. Plastic ingestion in marine-associated bird species from the eastern North Pacific.

    PubMed

    Avery-Gomm, S; Provencher, J F; Morgan, K H; Bertram, D F

    2013-07-15

    In addition to monitoring trends in plastic pollution, multi-species surveys are needed to fully understand the pervasiveness of plastic ingestion. We examined the stomach contents of 20 bird species collected from the coastal waters of the eastern North Pacific, a region known to have high levels of plastic pollution. We observed no evidence of plastic ingestion in Rhinoceros Auklet, Marbled Murrelet, Ancient Murrelet or Pigeon Guillemot, and low levels in Common Murre (2.7% incidence rate). Small sample sizes limit our ability to draw conclusions about population level trends for the remaining fifteen species, though evidence of plastic ingestion was found in Glaucous-Winged Gull and Sooty Shearwater. Documenting levels of plastic ingestion in a wide array of species is necessary to gain a comprehensive understanding about the impacts of plastic pollution. We propose that those working with bird carcasses follow standard protocols to assess the levels of plastic ingestion whenever possible.

  19. Tracing waterbird exposure to total mercury and selenium: a case study at the solar saltworks of Thyna (sfax, Tunisia).

    PubMed

    Ramírez, Francisco; Abdennadher, Aida; Sanpera, Carola; Jover, Lluís; Hobson, Keith A; Wassenaar, Leonard I

    2011-06-15

    Saltworks have emerged as important alternative/complementary feeding habitats for avifauna. However, the consequences of such habitat shifts in terms of changes in exposure to contaminants are poorly understood. We evaluated the exposure of the waterbird community breeding at the saltworks of Thyna (Tunisia) to total Hg (THg) and Se according to their differential use of saltworks dietary resources, as revealed by δ¹³C and δ¹⁵N values in their eggs (included species [n] -sorted according to increasing reliance on saltworks resources: Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis [12], Common Tern Sterna hirundo [12], Slender-billed Gull Larus genei [15], Little Egret Egretta garzetta [20], and Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta [22]). Concentrations of THg and Se were under the threshold points for deleterious effects. Egg THg concentrations significantly decreased as the dietary contribution of saltworks resources increased (mean: 3.23, 1.66, 0.76, 0.4, and 0.27 μg/g dw, respectively). Conversely, egg Se concentrations did not vary according to foraging habitats (2.49, 2.96, 2.61, 3.27, and 1.5 μg/g dw, respectively). Tracing waterbird exposure to THg and Se at saltworks was feasible through the use stable isotopic assays of eggs. Birds using saltworks are not exposed to higher concentrations of THg and Se than in adjacent marine habitats.

  20. The importance of tidewater glaciers for marine mammals and seabirds in Svalbard, Norway

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lydersen, Christian; Assmy, Philipp; Falk-Petersen, Stig; Kohler, Jack; Kovacs, Kit M.; Reigstad, Marit; Steen, Harald; Strøm, Hallvard; Sundfjord, Arild; Varpe, Øystein; Walczowski, Waldek; Weslawski, Jan Marcin; Zajaczkowski, Marek

    2014-01-01

    Approximately 60% of Svalbard's land areas are glaciated at the present time. The Archipelago has more than 1100 glaciers (> 1 km2) and 163 of these are “tidewater glaciers” - that is glaciers that terminate (with their calving front) at the sea. It has been known for a long time that these glacier front areas are important feeding areas for seabirds and marine mammals. Herein, we review current knowledge regarding the importance of these areas for these animals and reflect upon the processes that create these apparent “hotspots”. Kittiwakes Rissa tridactyla, routinely dominate avian assemblages in front of glaciers in Svalbard, but fulmars Fulmarus glacialis, ivory gulls Pagophila eburnea and glaucous gulls Larus hyperboreus also contribute to aggregations, which can sometimes comprise many thousands of individuals. The birds are often found in the so-called “brown zone”, which is an area in front of tidewater glaciers that is ice-free due to currents and muddy due to suspended sediments. Animals at these sites typically have their stomachs full of large zooplankton or fish. These brown zones are also foraging hotspots for Svalbard's ringed seals (Pusa hispida) and white whales (Delphinapterus leucas). Prime breeding habitat for ringed seals in Svalbard occurs deep in the fjords where ice pieces calved from the glacier fronts become frozen into land-fast sea-ice, promoting the accumulation of snow to a depth suitable for ringed seal females to dig out birth lairs above breathing holes in the ice. These pupping areas are important hunting areas for polar bears (Ursus maritimus) in spring, especially female bears with cubs of the year during the period following emergence from the winter/birthing den. Glacier-ice pieces floating in coastal areas are also important for all seal species in the region as dry platforms during moulting and also as general resting platforms for both birds and seals. During the last decade there have been several years with a

  1. Huna Tlingit Traditional Gull Egg Use Act of 2011

    THOMAS, 112th Congress

    Sen. Murkowski, Lisa [R-AK

    2011-05-25

    07/28/2011 Committee on Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks. Hearings held. With printed Hearing: S.Hrg. 112-214. (All Actions) Tracker: This bill has the status IntroducedHere are the steps for Status of Legislation:

  2. Parathion causes secondary poisoning in a laughing gull breeding colony

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    White, D.H.; King, K.A.; Mitchell, C.A.; Hill, E.F.; Lamont, T.G.

    1979-01-01

    Use of organophosphate insecticides as replacements for the more persistent organochlorine compounds has increased dramatically in recent years. Organophosphates are desirable for field application because they break down rapidly in the environment and do not persist in animal tissues (Stickel 1974). Nevertheless, certain organophosphates are extremely toxic to wildlife for short periods after application and have caused widespread mortality among exposed animals (Mills 1973, Stickel 1974, 1975, Mendelssohn 1977, and Zinkl et al. 1978).

  3. Huna Tlingit Traditional Gull Egg Use Act of 2011

    THOMAS, 112th Congress

    Sen. Murkowski, Lisa [R-AK

    2011-05-25

    07/28/2011 Committee on Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks. Hearings held. With printed Hearing: S.Hrg. 112-214. (All Actions) Tracker: This bill has the status IntroducedHere are the steps for Status of Legislation:

  4. Huna Tlingit Traditional Gull Egg Use Act of 2011

    THOMAS, 112th Congress

    Sen. Murkowski, Lisa [R-AK

    2011-05-25

    Senate - 07/28/2011 Committee on Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks. Hearings held. With printed Hearing: S.Hrg. 112-214. (All Actions) Tracker: This bill has the status IntroducedHere are the steps for Status of Legislation:

  5. Fishing gear-related injury in California marine wildlife.

    PubMed

    Dau, Brynie Kaplan; Gilardi, Kirsten V K; Gulland, Frances M; Higgins, Ali; Holcomb, Jay B; Leger, Judy St; Ziccardi, Michael H

    2009-04-01

    We reviewed medical records from select wildlife rehabilitation facilities in California to determine the prevalence of injury in California Brown Pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis), gulls (Larus spp.), and pinniped species (Zalophus californianus, Mirounga angustirostris, and Phoca vitulina) due to fishing gear entanglement and ingestion from 2001 to 2006. Of 9,668 Brown Pelican, gull, and pinniped cases described during the 6-yr study period (2001-06), 1,090 (11.3%) were fishing gear-related. Pelican injuries caused by fishing gear were most common in the Monterey Bay region, where 59.6% of the pelicans rescued in this area and admitted to a rehabilitation center were injured by fishing gear over the 6-yr period. The highest prevalence of fishing gear-related injury in gulls was documented in the Los Angeles/Orange County region (16.1%), whereas the highest prevalences in pinnipeds were seen in the San Diego region (3.7%). Despite these higher prevalences of gull and pinniped fishing gear-related injuries in these specific regions, there was no statistical significance in these trends. Juvenile gulls and pinnipeds were more commonly injured by fishing gear than adults (gulls: P = 0.03, odds ratio = 1.29; pinnipeds: P = 0.01, odds ratio = 2.07). Male pinnipeds were twice as likely to be injured by fishing gear as females (P < 0.01, odds ratio = 2.19). The proportion of fishing gear-related injury cases that were successfully rehabilitated and released (percentage of cases successfully rehabilitated to the point of release out of the total number of fishing gear-related injury cases) was high in all three species groups (pelicans: 63%; gulls: 54%; pinnipeds: 70%). Fishing gear-related injuries in Brown Pelicans and gulls were highest in the fall, but there was only a significant difference between seasons for fishing gear-related injuries in pelicans. Fishing gear-related injuries in pinnipeds most commonly occurred in summer; however, a statistical difference was

  6. Effects of acute exposure to heavy fuel oil from the Prestige spill on a seabird.

    PubMed

    Alonso-Alvarez, Carlos; Pérez, Cristobal; Velando, Alberto

    2007-08-15

    Large quantities of petroleum products are released into the marine environment as result of tanker wrecks. Such catastrophic events have a dramatic impact on marine ecosystems, affecting a broad range of species. Seabirds are placed at the uppermost trophic level of the marine food chain. Therefore, important toxic effects are expected in these organisms. The recent Prestige oil spill gave the opportunity to test this. A previous study reported that yellow-legged gulls (Larus michahellis) breeding in the oiled area (17 months after the spill) showed differences both in plasma biochemistry and in the total circulating levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (TPAHs) in blood regard to gulls sampled in clean areas. In the present study, wild yellow-legged gulls were fed with heavy fuel oil from the Prestige oil spill (P-gulls) and compared with control gulls (C-gulls) fed only with the vehicle (vegetable oil). Consistent with the cited previous findings, gulls fed with fuel oil showed reduced glucose and inorganic phosphorus levels in plasma, as well as a trend to significantly reduced creatinine values. In addition, glucose concentration was negatively related to TPAH levels. Males but not females fed with fuel oil showed higher plasma activity of asparatate aminotransferase (AST) than controls. With regard to plasma activity of gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT), the results were opposite to the previous study. The GGT activity increased in C-females, apparently to meet with increased liver metabolism due to egg laying demands, but not in P-females. Differences to the previous study possibly reflect different adaptive responses of these enzymes to an acute short-term exposure to heavy fuel oil. Since the yellow-legged gull belongs to a complex of species widely distributed throughout the Northern hemisphere, the results as a whole might provide a tool for future evaluations of short- and long-term effects of oil spills on seabirds. Decreased glucose and inorganic

  7. Nest survival is influenced by parental behaviour and heterospecifics in a mixed-species colony

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brussee, Brianne E.; Coates, Peter S.; Hothem, Roger L.; Howe, Kristy; Casazza, Michael L.; Eadie, John M.

    2016-01-01

    Studies of avian nest success often focus on examining influences of variation in environmental and seasonal factors. However, in-depth evaluations can also incorporate variation in individual incubation behaviour to further advance our understanding of avian reproductive ecology. We examined these relationships in colonially nesting Black-crowned Night-Herons Nycticorax nycticorax using intensive video-monitoring methods to quantify incubation behaviours. We modelled nest survival as a function of both extrinsic factors and incubation behaviours over a 3-year period (2010–12) on Alcatraz Island, USA. Model-averaged parameter estimates indicated that nest survival increased as a function of greater incubation constancy (% of time spent incubating eggs within a 24-h period), and average daily precipitation throughout the nesting stage. Common Ravens Corvus corax are the only known nest predator of Night-Herons on Alcatraz Island, as on many other coastal Pacific islands. We also investigated the effects of heterospecific nesting of California Gulls Larus californicus and Western Gulls Larus occidentalis in a mixed-species colony with Night-Herons, based on nesting proximity data collected over a 2-year period (2011–12). This second analysis indicated that, in addition to incubation behaviours, nesting heterospecifics are an important factor for explaining variation in Night-Heron nest survival. However, contrary to our original expectation, we found that Night-Herons experienced increased nest survival with increasing distance from gull colony boundaries. These results may apply to other areas with multiple colonial nesting species and similar predator communities and climatic patterns.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-09-01

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

  9. Chlamydiaceae in North Atlantic Seabirds Admitted to a Wildlife Rescue Center in Western France

    PubMed Central

    Aaziz, R.; Gourlay, P.; Vorimore, F.; Sachse, K.; Siarkou, V. I.

    2015-01-01

    Birds are the primary hosts of Chlamydia psittaci, a bacterium that can cause avian chlamydiosis in birds and psittacosis in humans. Wild seabirds are frequently admitted to wildlife rescue centers (WRC) at European Atlantic coasts, for example, in connection with oil spills. To investigate the extent of chlamydial shedding by these birds and the resulting risk for animals in care and the medical staff, seabirds from a French WRC were sampled from May 2011 to January 2014. By use of a quantitative PCR (qPCR), 195 seabirds belonging to 4 orders, 5 families and 13 species were examined, of which 18.5% proved to be Chlamydiaceae positive. The highest prevalence of shedders was found in northern gannets (Morus bassanus) (41%), followed by European herring gulls (Larus argentatus) (14%) and common murres (Uria aalge) (7%). Molecular characterization and phylogenetic analysis of qPCR-positive northern gannet samples revealed two variants of a strain closely related to C. psittaci. In European herring gulls and in one common murre, strains showing high sequence similarity to the atypical Chlamydiaceae-like C122 previously found in gulls were detected. Our study shows that seabirds from the northeastern Atlantic Ocean carry several chlamydial organisms, including C. psittaci-related strains. The staff in WRCs should take protective measures, particularly in the case of mass admissions of seabirds. PMID:25934619

  10. Changes in the nesting populations of colonial waterbirds in Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, New York, 1974-1998

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brown, K.M.; Tims, J.L.; Erwin, R.M.; Richmond, M.E.

    2001-01-01

    The Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge (JBWR) represents the largest protected area for over 300 species of migratory and resident birds on Long Island (LI), New York, and occupies a key position along the Atlantic flyway. We identified changes in nesting populations for 18 species of colonial waterbirds in JBWR and on LI, during 1974 - 1998, to provide a basis for future wildlife management decisions in JBWR and also at nearby John F. Kennedy International Airport. None of the populations was stable over the past 25 years in JBWR or on LI. Some populations in JBWR increased (Laughing Gull L. atricilla Linnaeus, Great Black-backed Gull L. marinus Linnaeus, Forster's Tern Sterna forsteri Nuttall) while others decreased (Herring Gull Larus argentatus Coues, Snowy Egret Egretta thula Molina), but only Cattle Egrets (Bubulcus ibis Linnaeus) have disappeared from the refuge. Common Tern (S. hitundo Linnaeus), Least Tern (S. antillarum Lesson), Roseate Tern (S. dougallii Montagu), Black Skimmer (Rynchops niger Linnaeus), Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax Linnaeus) and Great Egret (Ardea alba Linnaeus) populations all increased on LI over the sampling period although the Common Tern colonies in JBWR have been declining since 1986. The continued protection of the colony sites, particularly saltmarsh islands, in JBWR will be important to the conservation efforts of many colonial waterbird populations on Long Island. The JBWR colonies may serve as a source of emigrants to other Long Island colonies, and in some cases, act as a 'sink' for birds immigrating from New Jersey and elsewhere.

  11. Effects of egg oiling on larid productivity and population dynamics

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lewis, S.J.; Malecki, R.A.

    1984-01-01

    Small quantities of petroleum may adhere to the plumage, feet, or nest materials of breeding birds and be transferred to their eggs during incubation. In this study, oil was applied to naturally incubated Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus) and Herring Gull (L. argentatus) eggs, and its effects on reproductive success were assessed. Embryo survival was inversely proportional to the quantity of petroleum applied to eggshell surfaces. Dose responses, however, were dependent on embryonic age at the time of treatment. Eggs of either species, treated with 10-20 μl of No. 2 fuel oil 4-8 days after laying, experienced significant reductions in hatching success. Embryos oiled past the midpoint of the 28-day incubation period were insensitive to as much as 100 μl of petroleum. Fuel oil weathered outdoors for several weeks was as toxic as fresh oil to larid embryos. Productivity estimates obtained following various oil treatments indicated that only under severe conditions (e.g. large doses of petroleum contaminating young embryos) could egg oiling have a significant impact upon populations of the Herring Gull and species with similar life-history characteristics. Species that are more sensitive to oil, however, those having lower reproductive potentials and higher postfledging mortality rates or those subject to other stresses, may be more adversely affected by oil pollution.

  12. Lead and cadmium accumulation in eggs and fledgling seabirds in the New York Bight

    SciTech Connect

    Burger, J. ); Gochfeld, M. )

    1993-02-01

    The authors measured lead and cadmium concentrations in eggs and in the breast feathers of fledglings of common tern (Sterna hirundo), roseate tern (S. dougallii), Forster's tern (S. forsteri), black skimmer (Rynchops niger), and herring gull (Larus argentatus) nesting in mixed-species colonies in the New York Bight in 1989. Metal concentrations in fledgling feathers represent in part metals sequestered in the egg by females and accumulation from food brought back to chicks by parents, and thus may be a measure of local metal acquisition. There were significant interspecific differences in lead in eggs, and lead and cadmium in fledgling feathers. Herring gulls had the most lead in eggs, whereas the terns had the least. Cadmium concentrations were generally low in all examined eggs. Lead concentrations were high in fledgling feathers in some populations of all species. Cadmium was highest in fledgling terns, the roseate tern had the highest concentrations. For all species except herring gull, the feathers of fledglings had higher levels of metals than did eggs.

  13. Interspecific differences in concentrations and congener profiles of chlorinated and brominated organic pollutants in three insectivorous bird species.

    PubMed

    Dauwe, Tom; Van den Steen, Evi; Jaspers, Veerle L B; Maes, Koen; Covaci, Adrian; Eens, Marcel

    2009-02-01

    We investigated the accumulation of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) in eggs of three insectivorous bird species, the great tit (Parus major), the Northern lapwing (Vanellus vanellus) and the Mediterranean gull (Larus melanocephalus), near the harbour of Antwerp (Belgium). Our results show that lapwing eggs had the highest median concentrations of PCBs (4358 ng/g lw) and PBDEs (109 ng/g lw). Mediterranean gulls feed during breeding on ground-dwelling invertebrates on agricultural fields, which is reflected in higher OCP concentrations in eggs (1235 ng/g lw). Apart from differences in accumulation, also interspecific differences in contaminant profiles were investigated. Significant differences among species were found in the profile of PCBs, PBDEs and OCPs. These differences could be attributed to differences in diet, behaviour and metabolic capacity. Interestingly, the OCP profile in lapwing eggs deviated extremely from the two other species. In both great tit and Mediterranean gull eggs p,p'-DDE was by far the most important compound, whereas in lapwing eggs hexachlorobenzene, oxychlordane, trans-nonachlor and even p,p'-DDT were relatively more abundant than p,p'-DDE. The high p,p'-DDT/p,p'-DDE ratio has previously been described in lapwings, which suggests that low p,p'-DDE accumulation in eggs might be inherent for this species.

  14. Prevalence and characterization of Salmonella spp. among marine animals in the Channel Islands, California.

    PubMed

    Stoddard, R A; DeLong, R L; Byrne, B A; Jang, S; Gulland, Frances M D

    2008-08-19

    Salmonella enterica is a zoonotic pathogen that has been isolated from free-ranging marine mammals throughout the world, with animals in the Channel Islands of California (USA) showing the highest prevalence. The goal of this study was to determine prevalence, antimicrobial sensitivity and genetic similarity using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) of Salmonella in several non-domestic animal species on San Miguel and San Nicolas Islands. Fecal samples were collected from 90 California sea lion Zalophus californianus pups, 30 northern elephant seal Mirounga angustirostris pups and 87 western gulls Larus occidentalis in the Channel Islands and 59 adult male sea lions in Puget Sound, WA (USA). Salmonella were isolated, identified and serotyped, followed by antimicrobial susceptibility testing and PFGE. Of the California sea lion pups that were sampled on the islands, 21% (n = 19) were positive for Salmonella, whereas no adults males in Puget Sound were positive. Of the northern elephant seal pups sampled, 87% (n = 26) were harboring Salmonella. Only 9% (n = 8) of western gulls were shedding Salmonella, with one of these gulls harboring the only antimicrobial resistant isolate. The serotypes found in these animals were Enteritidis, Montevideo, Newport, Reading, and Saint Paul. The only serotype that showed variation on PFGE was Newport. The pinnipeds of the Channel Islands harbor Salmonella at a higher prevalence than pinnipeds from other geographic areas observed in previous studies. Researchers and veterinarians should exercise increased caution when working with these animals due to the zoonotic potential of Salmonella.

  15. Chlamydiaceae in North Atlantic Seabirds Admitted to a Wildlife Rescue Center in Western France.

    PubMed

    Aaziz, R; Gourlay, P; Vorimore, F; Sachse, K; Siarkou, V I; Laroucau, K

    2015-07-01

    Birds are the primary hosts of Chlamydia psittaci, a bacterium that can cause avian chlamydiosis in birds and psittacosis in humans. Wild seabirds are frequently admitted to wildlife rescue centers (WRC) at European Atlantic coasts, for example, in connection with oil spills. To investigate the extent of chlamydial shedding by these birds and the resulting risk for animals in care and the medical staff, seabirds from a French WRC were sampled from May 2011 to January 2014. By use of a quantitative PCR (qPCR), 195 seabirds belonging to 4 orders, 5 families and 13 species were examined, of which 18.5% proved to be Chlamydiaceae positive. The highest prevalence of shedders was found in northern gannets (Morus bassanus) (41%), followed by European herring gulls (Larus argentatus) (14%) and common murres (Uria aalge) (7%). Molecular characterization and phylogenetic analysis of qPCR-positive northern gannet samples revealed two variants of a strain closely related to C. psittaci. In European herring gulls and in one common murre, strains showing high sequence similarity to the atypical Chlamydiaceae-like C122 previously found in gulls were detected. Our study shows that seabirds from the northeastern Atlantic Ocean carry several chlamydial organisms, including C. psittaci-related strains. The staff in WRCs should take protective measures, particularly in the case of mass admissions of seabirds. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  16. Regulation of intertidal food webs by avian predators on New England rocky shores.

    PubMed

    Ellis, Julie C; Shulman, Myra J; Wood, Megan; Witman, Jon D; Lozyniak, Sara

    2007-04-01

    Although there is a large body of research on food webs in rocky intertidal communities, most of the emphasis has been on the marine benthic components. Effects of avian predation on highly mobile predators such as crabs, remains practically unstudied in rocky shore ecosystems. The crab, Cancer borealis, is an important component of the diet of gulls (Larus marinus, L. argentatus) at the Isles of Shoals, Maine, USA. C. borealis prey include the predatory gastropod Nucella lapillus L., the herbivore Littorina littorea, and mussels Mytilus edulis L. We hypothesized that gulls reduce abundance of C. borealis in the low intertidal and shallow subtidal, thereby allowing C. borealis prey to persist in high numbers. A study of crab tidal migration showed that C. borealis density nearly doubled at high tide compared to low tide; thus, crabs from a large subtidal source population migrate into the intertidal zone during high tides and either emigrate or are removed by gulls during low tides. Results from a small-scale (1 m2) predator caging experiment in the low intertidal zone indicated that enclosed crabs significantly reduced L. littorea abundance when protected from gull predation. In a much larger-scale gull exclusion experiment, densities of C. borealis increased significantly during low and high tides in exclosures relative to the controls. C. borealis density was inversely correlated with changes in the abundance of two mesopredators Carcinus maenas and Nucella lapillus, and with the space-occupier M. edulis. There was a similar negative correlation between abundance of C. borealis and the change in abundance of the herbivore L. littorea, but the trend was not significant. Mortality of tethered L. littorea was associated with C. borealis density across sites. However, preferred algae did not change in response to L. littorea density during the experiment. Thus, we found suggestive, but not conclusive, evidence for a three-level cascade involving gulls, crabs, and L

  17. Premature feather loss among common tern chicks in Ontario: the return of an enigmatic developmental anomaly.

    PubMed

    Arnold, Jennifer M; Tyerman, Donald J; Crump, Doug; Williams, Kim L; Oswald, Stephen A

    2016-01-01

    In July 2014, we observed premature feather loss (PFL) among non-sibling, common tern Sterna hirundo chicks between two and four weeks of age