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Sample records for griffon vulture gyps

  1. Examination of Eurasian griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus fulvus) in Israel for exposure to environmental toxicants using dried blood spots.

    PubMed

    Shlosberg, Alan; Wu, Qian; Rumbeiha, Wilson K; Lehner, Andreas; Cuneah, Olga; King, Roni; Hatzofe, Ohad; Kannan, Kurunthachalam; Johnson, Margaret

    2012-04-01

    The griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus) is one of seven species of Old World Gyps vultures found over a wide range from the Iberian peninsula in the west through the Balkans, Turkey, and the Middle East to India in the east. The population of the griffon vultures in Israel has suffered a dramatic decrease, and in recent years productivity has been severely reduced. In this study, whole-blood samples taken from 25 apparently healthy griffon vultures at various stages of maturity were examined to investigate whether the vultures are being excessively exposed to environmental contaminants that might deleteriously affect their reproduction. Five groups of environmental contaminants, comprising toxic elements, organochlorine pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls, polybrominated diphenyl ethers, and perfluorinated compounds, were monitored in dried blood spots. Results of the analyses showed low levels of exposure of griffon vultures to environmental contaminants compared with the sparse data available on griffon vultures and other diurnal raptors in other countries.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

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

  4. High levels of blood lead in griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus) from Cazorla Natural Park (southern Spain).

    PubMed

    Garcia-Fernandez, A J; Martinez-Lopez, E; Romero, D; Maria-Mojica, P; Godino, A; Jimenez, P

    2005-08-01

    The blood lead of 23 griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus) trapped in 2003 was analyzed in order to evaluate exposure to lead in the vulture population of Cazorla Natural Park (in southern Spain). In 2001 the use of leaded gasoline in vehicles was banned in the European Union; however, lead ammunition is still used in Spain in big-game hunting for red deer, fallow deer, mouflon, and wild boar, which are ingested by vultures from September to March. The mean concentration of lead in blood was 43.07 +/- 31.96 microg/dL with a range of 17.39-144.80 microg/dL. Only two vultures had lead levels below 20 microg/dL, and two others had blood lead concentrations close to 150 microg/dL. In view of the results, we think the population of vultures from Cazorla Natural Park is suffering subclinical exposure to lead, with some individuals exposed to high toxicity risk. We concluded that ingestion of lead in the metallic form alone is sufficient to produce these blood lead concentrations, and we recommend the prohibition of lead ammunition for big-game hunting in order to preserve the vulture population.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-24

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

    Due to the possible toxicological impact, the accumulation of pharmaceuticals in wildlife as a consequence of human practices is of growing concern. The consumption of carrion at feeding stations - the so-called 'vulture restaurants' - with no management of the veterinary drugs it contains may expose scavengers to pharmaceuticals. To demonstrate this, we analyzed plasma from Eurasian griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus) originating from two different areas of Spain for antibiotics such as enrofloxacin and ciprofloxacin, its primary metabolite. Quinolone residues were detected in about 65% (n=106) of birds, of which 15.1% (16/106) had quantifiable amounts of enrofloxacin (0.049±0.102μg/mL) and 5.7% (6/106) of ciprofloxacin (0.009±0.007μg/mL). The differences in exposure between the two sampled areas are attributable to different types of carrion management: the vultures that fed in areas with a high density of dead livestock (supplied directly to feeding stations) were more prone to exposure than those that sought food in areas where carcass availability is more unpredictable. Our findings are evidence that vultures have access to medicated livestock and that there are quantifiable levels of livestock antibiotics in vulture plasma. However, the vultures analyzed in this study had maximum antibiotic concentrations of only 0.4μg/mL, much less than the concentrations used in the clinical treatment of scavengers and a level that is probably too small to cause intoxication. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. Lead Poisoning Due to Lead-Pellet Ingestion in Griffon Vultures ( Gyps fulvus ) From the Iberian Peninsula.

    PubMed

    Dvm, Manuela A Carneiro; Oliveira, Paula A; Brandão, Ricardo; Francisco, Olga Nicolas; Velarde, Roser; Lavín, Santiago; Colaço, Bruno

    2016-09-01

    Avian scavengers that typically include game birds and mammals in their diets are at risk of lead poisoning from ingestion of carcasses with fragmented or residual lead ammunition that is used in hunting. Thus, lead may be one of the threats that the griffon vulture ( Gyps fulvus ) faces in the Iberian Peninsula and particularly in Portugal, where their conservation status is considered to be near-threatened. This is the first report that details 3 cases of lead poisoning, associated with the ingestion of lead shot, in adult female griffon vultures found in the Iberian Peninsula. The birds were found prostrate and immediately transferred to a wildlife rehabilitation center, where they died within 24 hours after supportive treatment. Necropsy and histopathologic examinations were done in 2 birds and metal analyses were done in all birds to determine the birds' causes of death. In one vulture, 9 uneroded lead pellets were recovered from the stomach, and moderate to severe hemosiderosis was seen histologically in the liver, lungs, and kidneys. Diagnosis of lead poisoning was confirmed by results of metal analyses, which revealed extremely high lead concentrations in blood (969-1384 μg/dL), liver (309-1077 μg/g dry weight), and kidneys (36-100 μg/g dry weight) for all 3 vultures. To prevent lead poisoning in vultures and preserve their populations in the Iberian Peninsula, more resources are needed for diagnosis and treatment of wildlife in rehabilitation centers, new regulations enabling the abandonment of fallen stock in the field must be approved, and lead ammunition must be prohibited in big-game hunting.

  14. Evaluation of bacteriocinogenic activity, safety traits and biotechnological potential of fecal lactic acid bacteria (LAB), isolated from Griffon Vultures (Gyps fulvus subsp. fulvus).

    PubMed

    Arbulu, Sara; Jiménez, Juan J; Gútiez, Loreto; Campanero, Cristina; Del Campo, Rosa; Cintas, Luis M; Herranz, Carmen; Hernández, Pablo E

    2016-09-29

    Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are part of the gut microbiota and produce ribosomally synthesized antimicrobial peptides or bacteriocins with interest as natural food preservatives and therapeutic agents. Bacteriocin-producing LAB are also attractive as probiotics. Griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus subspecies fulvus) are scavenger birds that feed almost exclusively on carrion without suffering apparent ill effects. Therefore, griffon vultures might be considered a reservoir of bacteriocin-producing lactic acid bacteria (LAB) with potential biotechnological applications. Griffon vulture feces were screened for LAB with antimicrobial activity, genes encoding bacteriocins, potential virulence determinants, susceptibility to antibiotics, genotyping and characterization of bacteriocins. In this study, from 924 LAB evaluated 332 isolates (36 %) showed direct antimicrobial activity against Gram-positive bacteria only. The molecular identification of the most antagonistic 95 isolates showed that enterococci was the largest LAB group with antimicrobial activity (91 %) and E. faecium (40 %) the most identified antagonistic species. The evaluation of the presence of bacteriocin structural genes in 28 LAB isolates with the highest bacteriocinogenic activity in their supernatants determined that most enterococcal isolates (75 %) encoded multiple bacteriocins, being enterocin A (EntA) the largest identified (46 %) bacteriocin. Most enterococci (88 %) were resistant to multiple antibiotics. ERIC-PCR and MLST techniques permitted genotyping and recognition of the potential safety of the bacteriocinogenic enterococci. A multiple-step chromatographic procedure, determination of the N-terminal amino acid sequence of purified bacteriocins by Edman degradation and a MALDI TOF/TOF tandem MS procedure permitted characterization of bacteriocins present in supernatants of producer cells. Enterococci was the largest LAB group with bacteriocinogenic activity isolated from griffon vulture feces

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  16. Toxicity of diclofenac to Gyps vultures

    PubMed Central

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

    2006-01-01

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

  17. Organochlorine residues in blood of cinereous vultures and Eurasian griffon vultures in a northeastern Mediterranean area of nature conservation.

    PubMed

    Goutner, Vassilis; Skartsi, Theodora; Konstantinou, Ioannis K; Sakellarides, Theophanes M; Albanis, Triantafyllos A; Vasilakis, Dimitrios; Elorriaga, Javier; Poirazidis, Kostas

    2011-12-01

    In the National Park of Dadia-Lefkimi-Soufli Forest (Dadia NP, Greece), seven "target" PCBs and 16 organochlorine pesticides (OCs) were analysed in blood samples of cinereous vultures (Aegypius monachus) and Eurasian griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus). PCB congeners 138, 153 and 180 predominated in both species' blood samples. In both species, no differences were detected in congener levels between successive age classes, but in cinereous vulture, there were significant differences between adult and nestling in levels of PCB 28, 52, 101, 118 and between nestling and immature in levels of PCB 101. Regarding pesticides, p,p'-DDE dominated in both vultures followed by β-HCH, lindane and endosulfan sulphate, but ∑OCs were higher in griffon vulture. Significant differences were detected only between nestling and sub-adult cinereous vultures in heptachlor levels and between nestling and adult in p,p'-DDT. The origin of pollutants differs between the two vulture species and pollution patterns may not reflect those at Dadia NP.

  18. Status, ecology, and conservation of the Himalayan griffon Gyps himalayensis (Aves, Accipitridae) in the Tibetan plateau.

    PubMed

    Lu, Xin; Ke, Dianhua; Zeng, Xianhai; Gong, Guohong; Ci, Ren

    2009-05-01

    The dramatic population crashes of 3 species of Gyps vulture have raised concerns about the status of their lesser-known congeners. Among these is the Himalayan griffon, G. himalayensis, an iconic vulture of the Tibetan plateau. The continued existence of this scavenger has not only ecological but also cultural implications because of their unique role in the centuries-old sky burial tradition that is followed by nearly 5 million Tibetan people. A lack of baseline information of the Himalayan griffon limits our ability to take conservation measures. The presented data, which were collected during 1996 and 2004 to 2007, indicate that this species is still widespread throughout the plateau and has not experienced a major population decline, likely as a result of protection by Tibetan Buddhism and limited disturbances from human activities largely due to the remoteness of the plateau. Both site and road counts showed that open meadow habitats had the highest griffon abundance, followed by alpine shrub and forest habitats. Estimates based on road transect counts showed that 229,339 Himalayan griffons (+/- 40,447) occupy the 2.5 million km2 Tibetan plateau. In contrast, the maximum carrying capacity of the plateau, on the basis of the total biomass of potential food resources, is 507,996 griffons, with meadow habitats accounting for about 76% of the total population. Griffons depend largely on livestock carcasses for food and forage in groups averaging 5.5 (range 1-100) individuals. Domestic yaks provide about 64% of the griffons' diet, while wild ungulates and human corpses provide 1% and 2%, respectively. Compared with its lowland congeners, this, the only high-elevation Gyps species, had both low population density and small group size, a likely response to the harsh environmental conditions. Although griffon abundance appears relatively stable in their fairly pristine environment, precautionary measures, including investigation of threats, monitoring of population

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-16

    A cross-sectional Toxoplasma gondii seroprevalence study was performed on free ranging crows (Corvus cornis, Corvus monedula, Corvus splendens) and Griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus) from Israel in order to assess exposure to this pathogen in scavenger birds that feed on animal carcasses and their possible role in the epidemiology of toxoplasmosis. Using the modified agglutination test (MAT) with a cutoff titer of 1:25, 52 of 122 crows (42.6%) and 40 of 101 Griffon vultures (39.6%) were found to be T. gondii seropositive. Crow T. gondii seroprevalence was significantly higher in northern areas of Israel (p=0.007) where annual precipitation is higher and annual summer maximum temperatures are lower than in the drier and warmer south. Seroprevalence in crows was positively associated with higher human population densities possibly related to the increased cat population in these areas. PCR analysis of brain extracts from crows resulted in the detection of T. gondii DNA in 1 seropositive crow from northern Israel. Genetic analysis of DNA from the positive crow brain confirmed infection with T. gondii type 2 using a multiplex multilocus nested PCR-RFLP (Mn-PCR-RFLP) of the SAG1, 5-3' SAG2, alt.SAG2, SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, C22-8, c29-2, L358, PK1 and Apico loci. The high T. gondii seroprevalence in these bird species suggests that infected carrion may be responsible for widespread infection of carcass scavenger birds which may further transmit infection to other carnivorous intermediate hosts or feline definitive hosts when consumed post-mortally. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Levels of blood lead in Griffon vultures from a Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Spain.

    PubMed

    González, Fernando; López, Irene; Suarez, Laura; Moraleda, Virginia; Rodríguez, Casilda

    2017-09-01

    Lead is considered a highly toxic contaminant with important impacts to bird wildlife. Griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus) are a sensitive indicator of the level of environmental contamination due to their position at the top of the food chain and their dependence on human activities. The aim of this study was to assess susceptibility to lead intoxication in Griffon vultures admitted to Wildlife Rehabilitation Centers (WRC), measuring blood lead levels and determining if blood lead concentrations are related to clinical signs, hematological, biochemical or radiographic findings. Also, the influence of age, gender, body condition, season and primary cause of admission were evaluated. This study was realized in all Griffon vultures admitted during a period of one year in the Rehabilitation Center GREFA. Blood lead levels are measured by using anodic stripping voltammetry. In Griffon vultures, we observed that 26% of the analyzed birds presented lead levels above 20µg/dL with 74% below 20µg/dL ([Pb]<20 =9.34±5.60µg/dL). In our study, statistically significant differences were found for lead according to sex, season of admission to the center and body condition. A negative correlation was found between levels of metal and hematocrit. No association was found between clinical signs and blood lead levels in Griffon vultures, except for digestive signs as stasis and weight loss. On numerous occasions, the intoxication in this specie is related to ingestion of lead ammunition; however, we have not detected radiographic lead in our vultures. Compared with other studies, we generally found low levels of lead in blood of Griffon vultures but the blood of all birds admitted to WRC presented detectable lead concentrations. This species apparently presents a higher sensibility to the toxic effects of this metal than that described by other authors. It have been observed that there is some evidence that suggests that subclinical levels of lead could be related with a

  1. Identification and characterization of novel Mycoplasma spp. belonging to the hominis group from griffon vultures.

    PubMed

    Lecis, R; Chessa, B; Cacciotto, C; Addis, M F; Coradduzza, E; Berlinguer, F; Muzzeddu, M; Lierz, M; Carcangiu, L; Pittau, M; Alberti, A

    2010-08-01

    Mycoplasmas are commensals and pathogens of various avian species, and are also regularly found in birds of prey, although their significance to birds' health remains unclear. Here we describe two novel Mycoplasma isolated from the upper respiratory tract of four Eurasian griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus) housed in a wildlife recovery centre in Sardinia (Italy). By sequencing the 16S rRNA gene and the entire 16S/23S intergenic spacer region, the new strains were classified within the Mycoplasma taxonomy at the group and cluster levels, showing that the two isolates fall into the Mycoplasma synoviae and Mycoplasma hominis clusters of the hominis group, respectively. We combined molecular tools and immunoblotting methods in order to further characterize these isolates, and antigenic analyses overall confirmed the molecular findings. Different levels of pathogenicity and prevalence of these strains might have different implications for the conservation and reintroduction of vultures. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

    Bertran, Joan; Macià, Francesc Xavier; Margalida, Antoni

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Bertran, Joan; Macià, Francesc Xavier

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-06-23

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  6. Using wind tunnels to predict bird mortality in wind farms: the case of griffon vultures.

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  7. The Evolutionary Pathway to Obligate Scavenging in Gyps Vultures

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

  9. Isolation and characterization of unusual Mycoplasma spp. from captive Eurasian Griffon (Gyps fulvus) in Sicily.

    PubMed

    Loria, G R; Ferrantelli, E; Giardina, G; Li Vecchi, L; Sparacino, L; Oliveri, F; McAuliffe, L; Nicholas, R A J

    2008-01-01

    Mycoplasmas have been isolated from birds of prey during clinical examinations, but their significance to the health of raptors is unclear. We report the isolation and characterization of four mycoplasmas found in the upper respiratory tract of four sick Eurasian Griffon (Gyps fulvus) that were housed in a Sicilian rehabilitation center at Ficuzza, near Palermo in Sicily, before reintroduction into the wild. These included Mycoplasma gallinarum, an unidentified mycoplasma highly similar to Mycoplasma glycophilum, and two unidentified mycoplasmas with similarities to Mycoplasma falconis and Mycoplasma gateae.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-04-01

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

  13. Diclofenac disposition in Indian cow and goat with reference to Gyps vulture population declines.

    PubMed

    Taggart, M A; Cuthbert, R; Das, D; Sashikumar, C; Pain, D J; Green, R E; Feltrer, Y; Shultz, S; Cunningham, A A; Meharg, A A

    2007-05-01

    Gyps vultures across India are declining rapidly and the NSAID diclofenac has been shown to be the major cause. Vultures scavenge livestock carcasses that have been treated with diclofenac within the days preceding death. We present data on diclofenac disposition in Indian cow and goat, and field data on the prevalence of diclofenac in carcases in the environment. In the disposition experiment, animals were treated with a single intramuscular injection of diclofenac at 1000 microg kg-1 bw. In cow, diclofenac was detectable in liver, kidney and intestine up to 71 h post-treatment; in plasma, half-life was 12.2 h. In goat, tissue residues were undetectable after 26 h. Prevalence of diclofenac in liver from 36 dead livestock collected in the field was 13.9%. Data suggest that diclofenac residues in Indian cow and goat are short-lived, but diclofenac prevalence in carcasses available to vultures may still be very high.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-03-15

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  18. The digestive tract of the whiteback griffon vulture and its role in disease transmission among wild ungulates.

    PubMed

    Houston, D C; Cooper, J E

    1975-07-01

    The digestive tract of the whiteback vulture (Gyps africanus) is described. Some disease organisms were fed to a captive bird to discover if they could survive passage through the tract, and the role of these scavenging birds in the spread of diseases among wild ungulates is discussed.

  19. Semen characteristics of the captive Indian white-backed vulture (Gyps bengalensis).

    PubMed

    Umapathy, Govindhaswamy; Sontakke, Sadanand; Reddy, Anuradha; Ahmed, Shakeel; Shivaji, S

    2005-11-01

    The present paper describes, to our knowledge for the first time, the successful collection and evaluation of semen from the Indian white-backed vulture (Gyps bengalensis), a critically endangered bird. Over a period of 2 yr, semen was collected using the manual massage method and evaluated for semen volume, semen pH, sperm concentration, percentage normal/abnormal spermatozoa, and percentage motile spermatozoa. It appears that the concentration of spermatozoa and percentage motile spermatozoa in the Indian white-backed vultures are low compared to those in other birds. Tyrode medium supplemented with albumin, lactate, and pyruvate (TALP) proved to be the best semen extender compared to two others (Beltsville Poultry Semen Extender and Lake diluent). Furthermore, TALP with 20% egg yolk and supplemented with 8% dimethyl sulfoxide maintained 50% of the initial percentage of motile spermatozoa following cryopreservation and thawing. A computer-aided semen analysis indicated that the spermatozoa of the Indian white-backed vulture are extremely active and swim in linear trajectories for up to 5 h following dilution in TALP. The trajectories were linear with time, but we noticed a decrease in the velocity parameters (average path velocity, curvilinear velocity, and progressive velocity). Thus, the present study provides baseline data on semen characteristics of the highly endangered Indian white-backed vulture, and these data could be of immense importance to reproductive and conservation biologists attempting to breed these animals in captivity, which to date has not been achieved.

  20. The population decline of Gyps vultures in India and Nepal has slowed since veterinary use of diclofenac was banned.

    PubMed

    Prakash, Vibhu; Bishwakarma, Mohan Chandra; Chaudhary, Anand; Cuthbert, Richard; Dave, Ruchi; Kulkarni, Mandar; Kumar, Sashi; Paudel, Khadananda; Ranade, Sachin; Shringarpure, Rohan; Green, Rhys E

    2012-01-01

    Populations of oriental white-backed vulture (Gyps bengalensis), long-billed vulture (Gyps indicus) and slender-billed vulture (Gyps tenuirostris) crashed during the mid-1990s throughout the Indian subcontinent. Surveys in India, initially conducted in 1991-1993 and repeated in 2000, 2002, 2003 and 2007, revealed that the population of Gyps bengalensis had fallen by 2007 to 0.1% of its numbers in the early 1990s, with the population of Gyps indicus and G. tenuirostris combined having fallen to 3.2% of its earlier level. A survey of G. bengalensis in western Nepal indicated that the size of the population in 2009 was 25% of that in 2002. In this paper, repeat surveys conducted in 2011 were analysed to estimate recent population trends. Populations of all three species of vulture remained at a low level, but the decline had slowed and may even have reversed for G. bengalensis, both in India and Nepal. However, estimates of the most recent population trends are imprecise, so it is possible that declines may be continuing, though at a significantly slower rate. The degree to which the decline of G. bengalensis in India has slowed is consistent with the expected effects on population trend of a measured change in the level of contamination of ungulate carcasses with the drug diclofenac, which is toxic to vultures, following a ban on its veterinary use in 2006. The most recent available information indicates that the elimination of diclofenac from the vultures' food supply is incomplete, so further efforts are required to fully implement the ban.

  1. The Population Decline of Gyps Vultures in India and Nepal Has Slowed since Veterinary Use of Diclofenac was Banned

    PubMed Central

    Prakash, Vibhu; Bishwakarma, Mohan Chandra; Chaudhary, Anand; Cuthbert, Richard; Dave, Ruchi; Kulkarni, Mandar; Kumar, Sashi; Paudel, Khadananda; Ranade, Sachin; Shringarpure, Rohan; Green, Rhys E.

    2012-01-01

    Populations of oriental white-backed vulture (Gyps bengalensis), long-billed vulture (Gyps indicus) and slender-billed vulture (Gyps tenuirostris) crashed during the mid-1990s throughout the Indian subcontinent. Surveys in India, initially conducted in 1991–1993 and repeated in 2000, 2002, 2003 and 2007, revealed that the population of Gyps bengalensis had fallen by 2007 to 0.1% of its numbers in the early 1990s, with the population of Gyps indicus and G. tenuirostris combined having fallen to 3.2% of its earlier level. A survey of G. bengalensis in western Nepal indicated that the size of the population in 2009 was 25% of that in 2002. In this paper, repeat surveys conducted in 2011 were analysed to estimate recent population trends. Populations of all three species of vulture remained at a low level, but the decline had slowed and may even have reversed for G. bengalensis, both in India and Nepal. However, estimates of the most recent population trends are imprecise, so it is possible that declines may be continuing, though at a significantly slower rate. The degree to which the decline of G. bengalensis in India has slowed is consistent with the expected effects on population trend of a measured change in the level of contamination of ungulate carcasses with the drug diclofenac, which is toxic to vultures, following a ban on its veterinary use in 2006. The most recent available information indicates that the elimination of diclofenac from the vultures’ food supply is incomplete, so further efforts are required to fully implement the ban. PMID:23145090

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-02-19

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

  6. Effectiveness of action in India to reduce exposure of Gyps vultures to the toxic veterinary drug diclofenac.

    PubMed

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

    2011-05-11

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  8. Diclofenac toxicity in Gyps vulture is associated with decreased uric acid excretion and not renal portal vasoconstriction.

    PubMed

    Naidoo, V; Swan, G E

    2009-04-01

    Diclofenac (DF), a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), is largely regarded as one of the most devastating environmental toxicant in recent times, after accidental exposure via their food-chain lead to massive mortalities in three vulture species on the Asian subcontinent. Although the use of diclofenac was recently banned on the Indian subcontinent, following the favourable safety profile of meloxicam, its mechanism of toxicity remains unknown. In an attempt to establish this mechanism, we test three hypotheses using models established from either the domestic chicken (Gallus domesticus) or the African White-backed vulture (Gyps africanus). We demonstrate that both DF and meloxicam are toxic to renal tubular epithelial (RTE) cells following 12 h of exposure, due to an increase in production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which could be temporarily ameliorated by pre-incubation with uric acid (UA). When cultures were incubated with either drug for only 2 h, meloxicam showed no toxicity in contrast to diclofenac. In both cases no increase in ROS production was evident. In addition, diclofenac decreased the transport of uric acid, by interfering with the p-amino-hippuric acid (PAH) channel. We conclude that vulture susceptibility to diclofenac results from a combination of an increased ROS, interference with UA transport and the duration of exposure.

  9. The pharmacokinetics of meloxicam in vultures.

    PubMed

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

    2008-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Margalida, Antoni; Colomer, M.A. Àngels

    2012-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Margalida, Antoni; Colomer, Ma Àngels

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2001-05-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Meteyer, Carol Uphoff; Rideout, Bruce A; Gilbert, Martin; Shivaprasad, H L; Oaks, J Lindsay

    2005-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-07-01

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

  18. Anticipating knowledge to inform species management: predicting spatially explicit habitat suitability of a colonial vulture spreading its range.

    PubMed

    Mateo-Tomás, Patricia; Olea, Pedro P

    2010-08-25

    The knowledge of both potential distribution and habitat suitability is fundamental in spreading species to inform in advance management and conservation planning. After a severe decline in the past decades, the griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus) is now spreading its breeding range towards the northwest in Spain and Europe. Because of its key ecological function, anticipated spatial knowledge is required to inform appropriately both vulture and ecosystem management. Here we used maximum entropy (Maxent) models to determine the habitat suitability of potential and current breeding distribution of the griffon vulture using presence-only data (N = 124 colonies) in north-western Spain. The most relevant ecological factors shaping this habitat suitability were also identified. The resulting model had a high predictive performance and was able to predict species' historical distribution. 7.5% (approximately 1,850 km(2)) of the study area resulted to be suitable breeding habitat, most of which (approximately 70%) is already occupied by the species. Cliff availability and livestock density, especially of sheep and goats, around 10 km of the colonies were the fundamental factors determining breeding habitat suitability for this species. Griffon vultures could still spread 50-60 km towards the west, increasing their breeding range in 1,782 km(2). According to our results, 7.22% of the area suitable for griffon vulture will be affected by wind farms, so our results could help to better plan wind farm locations. The approach here developed could be useful to inform management of reintroductions and recovery programmes currently being implemented for both the griffon vulture and other threatened vulture species.

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

    PubMed Central

    Mateo-Tomás, Patricia; Olea, Pedro P.

    2010-01-01

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

  20. Diclofenac residues in blood plasma and tissues of vultures collected from Ahmedabad, India.

    PubMed

    Muralidharan, S; Dhananjayan, V

    2010-10-01

    The study reports residues of diclofenac, a non-steroidal anti inflammatory drug, in tissues of 11 White-backed Vulture, Gyps bengalensis collected between 2005 and 2007 and blood plasma of 12 White-backed Vulture, four Egyptian Vulture, Neophron percnopterus and two Griffon Vulture, Gyps fulvus collected during 2005. Samples were analysed using High Performance Liquid Chromatograhy (HPLC) equipped with UV detector. One of the White-backed Vultures collected during 2005 had substantial urate deposits on its viscera and diclofenac was detected in its liver (1.42 ppm wet weight) and kidney (1.18 ppm wet weight), which is suggestive of diclofenac exposure and intoxication. Although uric acid crystals were not observed in the remaining birds received during 2005, the residues of diclofenac detected were at levels higher than the toxic limits (0.25-1 ppm). No residues were detected in any of the tissues of birds collected during 2006 and 2007 (6 birds). About 89% (16 of 18) of plasma samples collected during 2005 had diclofenac residues (White-backed vulture: BDL to 0.17 ppm; Egyptian vulture: BDL to 0.09 ppm; Griffon vulture: 0.07-0.14 ppm). However, plasma diclofenac concentrations were less than the concentrations reported to be toxic. Although use of diclofenac for treating cattle has been banned in India, regular monitoring is recommended to assess the effectiveness of the ban on the drug in support of the conservation of these species.

  1. Scavenging efficiency and red fox abundance in Mediterranean mountains with and without vultures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morales-Reyes, Zebensui; Sánchez-Zapata, José A.; Sebastián-González, Esther; Botella, Francisco; Carrete, Martina; Moleón, Marcos

    2017-02-01

    Vertebrate scavenging assemblages include two major functional groups: obligate scavengers (i.e., vultures), which depend totally on carrion and are undergoing severe declines around the globe, and facultative scavengers, which exploit carrion opportunistically and are generally ubiquitous. Our goal was to investigate the hypothesis that vultures can indirectly regulate the abundance of mesopredators (i.e., facultative scavengers) through modulating their access to carrion resources. We studied scavenging efficiency and red fox (Vulpes vulpes) abundance in two neighbouring areas of South-eastern Spain where vultures (mainly griffon vultures Gyps fulvus) are present (Cazorla) and absent (Espuña). To do so, we monitored ungulate carcasses consumption during winter and summer, and counted red fox scats along walking transects as a proxy of fox density. Our results confirmed that scavenging efficiency was higher in Cazorla and in carcasses visited by vultures. This resulted in increasing scavenging opportunities for facultative scavengers where vultures were absent. Accordingly, mean red fox abundance was higher in Espuña. These results suggest the existence of a vulture-mediated mesopredator release (i.e., an increase of mesopredator numbers following vulture loss), which could trigger important indirect ecological effects. Also, our study demonstrates that facultative scavengers are hardly able to functionally replace vultures, mainly because the former exploit carrion on a slower time scale.

  2. Carbofuran and its toxic metabolites provide forensic evidence for furadan exposure in vultures (Gyps africanus) in Kenya.

    PubMed

    Otieno, Peter O; Lalah, Joseph O; Virani, Munir; Jondiko, Isaac O; Schramm, Karl-Werner

    2010-05-01

    Forensic analysis of carbofuran residues in weathered tissue samples for evidence of Furadan exposure in vultures (Gps africanus) by HPLC gave concentration (mg/Kg dry tissue weight) ranges of bdl - 0.07 (carbofuran), bdl - 0.499 (3-ketocarbofuran) and 0.013-0.147 (3-hydroxycarbofuran) in beaks, bdl-0.65 (carbofuran), 0.024-0.190 (3-ketocarbofuran) and 0.017-0.098 (3-hydroxycarbofuran) in feet, 0.179-0.219 (3-ketocarbofuran) and 0.081-0.093 (3-hydroxycarbofuran) in crop content, 0.078-0.082 (3-ketocarbofuran) and 0.091-0.101 (3-hydroxycarbofuran) in muscle of a laced carcass and 0.006-0.014 (carbofuran), 0.590-1.010 (3-ketocarbofuran) and 0.095-0.135 (3-hydroxycarbofuran) in soil sampled from a poisoning site. These compounds were confirmed by GC-MS. The results showed that HPLC combined with GC-MS is suitable for forensic analysis of carbofuran residues in bird tissue samples and that forensic investigation should include its two toxic metabolites, 3-hydroxycarbofuran and 3-ketocarbofuran.

  3. Distribution of persistent organochlorine chemical residues in blood plasma of three species of vultures from India.

    PubMed

    Dhananjayan, Venugopal; Muralidharan, Subramanian; Jayanthi, Palanisamy

    2011-02-01

    The presence of persistent organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were determined in blood plasma of white-backed vulture Gyps bengalensis, Egyptian vulture Neophron percnopterus, and griffon vulture Gyps fulvus collected from Ahmedabad, India. All the samples had varying levels of organochlorine pesticides and PCBs. Statistically significant (P<0.05) differences among species were detected for beta-hexachlorocyclohexane (β-HCH), ∑HCH, and dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane (DDT). The mean concentration of ∑HCH, ∑DDT, and ∑PCBs among plasma ranged from 43.7 to 136, 8.8 to 64.8, and 226 to 585 ng/ml, respectively. Among the various OCPs analyzed, 1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethylene (p,p'-DDE) was detected most frequently. The concentrations of cyclodiene insecticides detected were lower than the other organochlorine residues. The levels of pesticides measured in plasma samples of three species of vulture were comparable to the results documented for a number of avian species and were lower than those reported to have deleterious effects on survival or reproduction of birds. Although no threat is posed by any of the organochlorine pesticides detected, continuous monitoring of breeding colonies is recommended. This study is also the first account of a comprehensive analysis of toxicants present in blood plasma of vulture species in India. The values reported in this study can serve as guidelines for future research in general as well as control values during the analysis of samples obtained from birds in the event of suspected organochlorine poisoning.

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

    PubMed

    Harel, Roi; Horvitz, Nir; Nathan, Ran

    2016-06-13

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

  5. Cellular and humoral immunodepression in vultures feeding upon medicated livestock carrion.

    PubMed

    Lemus, Jesús A; Blanco, Guillermo

    2009-06-22

    Veterinary pharmaceuticals contained in dead livestock may be ingested by avian scavengers and negatively affect their health and consequently their population dynamics and conservation. We evaluated the potential role of antibiotics as immunodepressors using multiple parameters measuring the condition of the cellular and humoral immune system in griffon (Gyps fulvus), cinereous (Aegypius monachus) and Egyptian vultures (Neophron percnopterus). We confirmed the presence of circulating antimicrobial residues, especially quinolones, in nestlings of the three vulture species breeding in central Spain. Individuals ingesting antibiotics showed clearly depressed cellular and humoral immune systems compared with nestlings from the control areas, which did not ingest antibiotics. Within central Spain, we found that individuals with circulating antibiotics showed depressed cellular (especially CD4(+)and CD8(+)T-lymphocyte subsets) and humoral (especially acellular APV complement and IL8-like) immune systems compared with nestlings without circulating antibiotics. This suggests that ingestion of antibiotics together with food may depress the immune system of developing nestlings, temporarily reducing their resistance to opportunistic pathogens, which require experimental confirmation. Medicated livestock carrion should be considered inadequate food for vultures due to their detrimental consequences on health derived from the ingestion and potential effects of the veterinary drugs contained in them and for this reason rejected as a management tool in conservation programmes.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Cellular and humoral immunodepression in vultures feeding upon medicated livestock carrion

    PubMed Central

    Lemus, Jesús A.; Blanco, Guillermo

    2009-01-01

    Veterinary pharmaceuticals contained in dead livestock may be ingested by avian scavengers and negatively affect their health and consequently their population dynamics and conservation. We evaluated the potential role of antibiotics as immunodepressors using multiple parameters measuring the condition of the cellular and humoral immune system in griffon (Gyps fulvus), cinereous (Aegypius monachus) and Egyptian vultures (Neophron percnopterus). We confirmed the presence of circulating antimicrobial residues, especially quinolones, in nestlings of the three vulture species breeding in central Spain. Individuals ingesting antibiotics showed clearly depressed cellular and humoral immune systems compared with nestlings from the control areas, which did not ingest antibiotics. Within central Spain, we found that individuals with circulating antibiotics showed depressed cellular (especially CD4+and CD8+T-lymphocyte subsets) and humoral (especially acellular APV complement and IL8-like) immune systems compared with nestlings without circulating antibiotics. This suggests that ingestion of antibiotics together with food may depress the immune system of developing nestlings, temporarily reducing their resistance to opportunistic pathogens, which require experimental confirmation. Medicated livestock carrion should be considered inadequate food for vultures due to their detrimental consequences on health derived from the ingestion and potential effects of the veterinary drugs contained in them and for this reason rejected as a management tool in conservation programmes. PMID:19324751

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Social foraging and individual consistency in following behaviour: testing the information centre hypothesis in free-ranging vultures.

    PubMed

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

    2017-04-12

    Uncertainties regarding food location and quality are among the greatest challenges faced by foragers and communal roosting may facilitate success through social foraging. The information centre hypothesis (ICH) suggests that uninformed individuals at shared roosts benefit from following informed individuals to previously visited resources. We tested several key prerequisites of the ICH in a social obligate scavenger, the Eurasian griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus), by tracking movements and behaviour of sympatric individuals over extended periods and across relatively large spatial scales, thereby precluding alternative explanations such as local enhancement. In agreement with the ICH, we found that 'informed' individuals returning to previously visited carcasses were followed by 'uninformed' vultures that consequently got access to these resources. When a dyad (two individuals that depart from the same roost within 2 min of each other) included an informed individual, they spent a higher proportion of the flight time close to each other at a shorter distance between them than otherwise. Although all individuals occasionally profited from following others, they differed in their tendencies to be informed or uninformed. This study provides evidence for 'following behaviour' in natural conditions and demonstrates differential roles and information states among foragers within a population. Moreover, demonstrating the possible reliance of vultures on following behaviour emphasizes that individuals in declining populations may suffer from reduced foraging efficiency. © 2017 The Author(s).

  10. Adult vultures outperform juveniles in challenging thermal soaring conditions

    PubMed Central

    Harel, Roi; Horvitz, Nir; Nathan, Ran

    2016-01-01

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

  11. Bio-logging, new technologies to study conservation physiology on the move: a case study on annual survival of Himalayan vultures.

    PubMed

    Sherub, Sherub; Fiedler, Wolfgang; Duriez, Olivier; Wikelski, Martin

    2017-07-01

    Bio-logging, the on-animal deployment of miniaturised electronic data recorders, allows for the study of location, body position, and physiology of individuals throughout their ontogeny. For terrestrial animals, 1 Hz GPS-position, 3D-body acceleration, and ambient temperature provide standard data to link to the physiology of life histories. Environmental context is added at ever finer scales using remote sensing earth observation data. Here we showcase the use of such bio-logging approaches in a conservation physiology study on endangered Himalayan vultures (Gyps himalayensis). We determine environmental, behavioural, and physiological causes of survival in immature birds that roam from wintering sites in India, Bhutan, and Nepal towards summer areas in Tibet and Mongolia. Five of 18 immature griffons died during one year. Individuals that died had failed to migrate sufficiently far northward (>1500 km) in spring. Individuals likely died if they flew against headwinds from the north or were less able to find thermal updrafts. Surviving individuals migrated to cold and dry areas with low population density. We highlight flight experience, long distance movements, and remote places with low human population as factors critical for the survival of Himalayan vultures. High-resolution bio-logging studies can advance conservation management by pinpointing where and why migratory animals have problems and die.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-03-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Meteyer, Carol U.; Gilbert, Martin

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-02-01

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

  16. The effect of social facilitation on foraging success in vultures: a modelling study.

    PubMed

    Jackson, Andrew L; Ruxton, Graeme D; Houston, David C

    2008-06-23

    The status of many Gyps vulture populations are of acute conservation concern as several show marked and rapid decline. Vultures rely heavily on cues from conspecifics to locate carcasses via local enhancement. A simulation model is developed to explore the roles vulture and carcass densities play in this system, where information transfer plays a key role in locating food. We find a sigmoid relationship describing the probability of vultures finding food as a function of vulture density in the habitat. This relationship suggests a threshold density below which the foraging efficiency of the vulture population will drop rapidly towards zero. Management strategies should closely study this foraging system in order to maintain effective foraging densities.

  17. Diclofenac residues in carcasses of domestic ungulates available to vultures in India.

    PubMed

    Taggart, M A; Senacha, K R; Green, R E; Jhala, Y V; Raghavan, B; Rahmani, A R; Cuthbert, R; Pain, D J; Meharg, A A

    2007-08-01

    Gyps vulture populations across the Indian subcontinent are declining rapidly and evidence indicates that veterinary use of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) diclofenac is the major cause. Exposure of vultures to diclofenac is likely to arise from the consumption of livestock carcasses that have been treated shortly before death, however, detailed information regarding the prevalence and residual levels of diclofenac in carcasses available to vultures in India remains unreported. Here, we present data on diclofenac residues in 1848 liver samples taken from carcasses of dead livestock sampled at 67 sites in 12 states within India, between May 2004 and July 2005. Diclofenac residues were detected in carcasses in all states except Orisa, where only one site was sampled. The overall prevalence of detectable diclofenac (>10 microg kg(-1)) across all states was 10.1% and varied significantly among states, with up to 22.3% prevalence determined in Bihar. The geometric mean concentration of diclofenac found in samples in which the drug was detected was 352 microg kg(-1). The prevalence of carcasses containing diclofenac is similar to that previously proposed to be required to have caused the observed Gyps vulture declines in India. On the 11th of May 2006, the Drug Controller General (India) ordered the withdrawal of all licenses granted for the manufacture of diclofenac for veterinary use within India. However, if Gyps vultures are to be protected, potentially substantial existing stocks now need to be quickly and effectively removed from the Indian veterinary market.

  18. NSAIDs and scavenging birds: potential impacts beyond Asia's critically endangered vultures.

    PubMed

    Cuthbert, Richard; Parry-Jones, Jemima; Green, Rhys E; Pain, Deborah J

    2007-02-22

    Veterinary treatment of livestock with diclofenac, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), has caused catastrophic declines of Gyps vultures in Asia. This has highlighted a lack of knowledge on the potential impacts of NSAIDs on scavenging birds. Surveys of veterinarians and zoos document the outcomes of the treatment of over 870 scavenging birds from 79 species. As well as diclofenac, carprofen and flunixin were associated with mortality, with deaths observed in 13 and 30% of cases, respectively. Mortality was also found following treatment with ibuprofen and phenylbutazone. NSAID toxicity was reported for raptors, storks, cranes and owls, suggesting that the potential conservation impact of NSAIDs may extend beyond Gyps vultures and could be significant for New World vultures. In contrast, there were no reported mortalities for the NSAID meloxicam, which was administered to over 700 birds from 60 species. The relative safety of meloxicam supports other studies indicating the suitability of this NSAID to replace diclofenac in Asia.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Oaks, J Lindsay; Gilbert, Martin; Virani, Munir Z; Watson, Richard T; Meteyer, Carol U; Rideout, Bruce A; Shivaprasad, H L; Ahmed, Shakeel; Chaudhry, Muhammad Jamshed Iqbal; Arshad, Muhammad; Mahmood, Shahid; Ali, Ahmad; Khan, Aleem Ahmed

    2004-02-12

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2004-01-01

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

  3. Diclofenac poisoning is widespread in declining vulture populations across the Indian subcontinent.

    PubMed Central

    Shultz, Susanne; Baral, Hem Sagar; Charman, Sheonaidh; Cunningham, Andrew A; Das, Devojit; Ghalsasi, G R; Goudar, Mallikarjun S; Green, Rhys E; Jones, Ainsley; Nighot, Prashant; Pain, Deborah J; Prakash, Vibhu

    2004-01-01

    Recent declines in the populations of three species of vultures in the Indian subcontinent are among the most rapid ever recorded in any bird species. Evidence from a previous study of one of these species, Gyps bengalensis, in the Punjab province of Pakistan, strongly implicates mortality caused by ingestion of residues of the veterinary non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac as the major cause of the decline. We show that a high proportion of Gyps bengalensis and G. indicus found dead or dying in a much larger area of India and Nepal also have residues of diclofenac and visceral gout, a post-mortem finding that is strongly associated with diclofenac contamination in both species. Hence, veterinary use of diclofenac is likely to have been the major cause of the rapid vulture population declines across the subcontinent. PMID:15801603

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

    PubMed

    Rattner, Barnett A; Whitehead, Maria A; Gasper, Grace; Meteyer, Carol U; Link, William A; Taggart, Mark A; Meharg, Andrew A; Pattee, Oliver H; Pain, Deborah J

    2008-11-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

    The nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) diclofenac is highly toxic to Gyps vultures, and its recent widespread use in South Asia caused catastrophic declines in at least 3 scavenging raptors. The manufacture of veterinary formulations of diclofenac has since been banned across the region with mixed success. However, at least 12 other NSAIDs are available for veterinary use in South Asia. Aceclofenac is one of these compounds, and it is known to metabolize into diclofenac in some mammal species. The metabolic pathway of aceclofenac in cattle, the primary food of vultures in South Asia, is unknown. We gave 6 cattle the recommended dose of aceclofenac (2 mg/kg), collected blood thereafter at intervals for up to 12 h, and used liquid chromatography with mass spectrometry in a pharmacokinetic analysis of aceclofenac and diclofenac in the plasma. Nearly all the aceclofenac administered to the cattle was very rapidly metabolized into diclofenac. At 2 h, half the aceclofenac had been converted into diclofenac, and at 12 h four-fifths of the aceclofenac had been converted into diclofenac. Therefore, administering aceclofenac to livestock poses the same risk to vultures as administering diclofenac to livestock. This, coupled with the risk that aceclofenac may replace diclofenac in the veterinary market, points to the need for an immediate ban on all aceclofenac formulations that can be used to treat livestock. Without such a ban, the recovery of vultures across South Asia will not be successful. © 2016 Society for Conservation Biology.

  7. The use of toxicokinetics and exposure studies to show that carprofen in cattle tissue could lead to secondary toxicity and death in wild vultures.

    PubMed

    Naidoo, V; Taggart, M A; Duncan, N; Wolter, K; Chipangura, J; Green, R E; Galligan, T H

    2017-09-14

    Veterinary medicines can be extremely damaging to the environment, as seen with the catastrophic declines in Gyps vulture in South Asia due to their secondary exposure to diclofenac in their primary food source. Not surprisingly, concern has been raised over other similar drugs. In this study, we evaluate the toxicity of carprofen to the Gyps vulture clade through plasma pharmacokinetics evaluations in Bos taurus cattle (their food source) and Gyps africanus (a validated model species); tissue residues in cattle; and the effect of carprofen as a secondary toxicant as both tissue-bound residue or pure drug at levels expected in cattle tissues. Carprofen residues were highest in cattle kidney (7.72 ± 2.38 mg/kg) and injection site muscle (289.05 ± 98.96 mg/kg of dimension of 5 × 5 × 5 cm). Vultures exposed to carprofen as residues in the kidney tissue or pure drug equivalents showed no toxic signs. When exposed to average injection site concentrations (64 mg/kg) one of two birds died with evidence of severe renal and liver damage. Toxicokinetic analysis revealed a prolonged drug half-life of 37.75 h in the dead bird as opposed to 13.99 ± 5.61 h from healthy birds dosed intravenously at 5 mg/kg. While carprofen may generally be harmless to Gyps vultures, its high levels at the injection site in treated cattle can result in lethal exposure in foraging vultures, due to relative small area of tissue it is found therein. We thus suggest that carprofen not be used in domesticated ungulates in areas where carcasses are accessible or provided to vultures at supplementary feeding sites. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Turkey vulture surveys in Cuba

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wotzkow, C.; Wiley, J.W.

    1988-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-05-01

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

  10. Extensive gross genomic rearrangements between chicken and Old World vultures (Falconiformes: Accipitridae).

    PubMed

    Nanda, I; Karl, E; Volobouev, V; Griffin, D K; Schartl, M; Schmid, M

    2006-01-01

    The karyotypes of most birds consist of a small number of macrochromosomes and numerous microchromosomes. Intriguingly, most accipitrids which include hawks, eagles, kites, and Old World vultures (Falconiformes) show a sharp contrast to this basic avian karyotype. They exhibit strikingly few microchromosomes and appear to have been drastically restructured during evolution. Chromosome paints specific to the chicken (GGA) macrochromosomes 1-10 were hybridized to metaphase spreads of three species of Old World vultures (Gyps rueppelli, Gyps fulvus, Gypaetus barbatus). Paints of GGA chromosomes 6-10 hybridize only to single chromosomes or large chromosome segments, illustrating the existence of high chromosome homology. In contrast, paints of the large macrochromosomes 1-5 show split hybridization signals on the chromosomes of the accipitrids, disclosing excessive chromosome rearrangements which is in clear contrast to the high degree of chromosome conservation substantiated from comparative chromosome painting in other birds. Furthermore, the GGA chromosome paint hybridization patterns reveal remarkable interchromosomal conservation among the two species of the genus Gyps.

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

    PubMed

    Olea, Pedro P; Mateo-Tomás, Patricia

    2013-01-01

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

  12. Nature Photography - Vultures

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-01-30

    A vulture watches from a perch on sandy dunes at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The center shares a border with the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. The bird is one of more than 330 native and migratory bird species, 25 mammals, 117 fishes and 65 amphibians and reptiles that call Kennedy and the wildlife refuge home.

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

    PubMed Central

    Olea, Pedro P.; Mateo-Tomás, Patricia

    2013-01-01

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

  14. Analysis of nine NSAIDs in ungulate tissues available to critically endangered vultures in India.

    PubMed

    Taggart, Mark A; Senacha, Kalu R; Green, Rhys E; Cuthbert, Richard; Jhala, Yadvendradev V; Meharg, Andrew A; Mateo, Rafael; Pain, Deborah J

    2009-06-15

    In 2006, India, Pakistan, and Nepal banned the manufacture of veterinary formulations of the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) diclofenac. This action was taken to halt the unprecedented decline of three Gyps vulture species that were being poisoned by diclofenac residues commonly present in carcasses of domestic livestock upon which they scavenged. To assess the affect of this ban and evaluate residue prevelances of other NSAIDs, we present a method to detect diclofenac and eight more NSAIDs by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry and apply this to 1488 liver samples from carcasses of livestock taken across seven Indian states. Diclofenac was present in 11.1% of samples taken between April and December 2006, and meloxicam (4%), ibuprofen (0.6%), and ketoprofen (0.5%) were also detected. Although meloxicam is safe for a range of avian scavengers, including Gypsvultures, data regarding the safety of other NSAIDs is currently limited. If wild Gyps on the Indian subcontinent are to survive, diclofenac bans must be completely effective, and NSAIDs that replace it within the veterinary drug market must be of low toxicity toward Gyps and other scavenging birds.

  15. Exhumation of food by turkey vulture

    Treesearch

    Harvey R. Smith; Richard M. DeGraaf; Richard S. Miller

    2002-01-01

    The success of Turkey Vultures (Cathartes aura) as forest scavengers is largely due to their highly developed sense of smell (Owre and Nothington 1961). Stager (1964) conducted a set of experiments with ethyl mercaptan which confirmed the ability of Turkey Vultures to locate odors when no visible object was associated with them. Turkey Vultures fly...

  16. Lead ingestion as a potential contributing factor to the decline in vulture populations in southern Africa.

    PubMed

    Naidoo, V; Wolter, K; Botha, C J

    2017-01-01

    Vulture populations in southern Africa have been on the decline for years, which unlike the Asian vulture crisis, has no one specific cause. Reasons attributable are deliberate and secondary poisonings, drowning, power line injuries, electrocutions, traditional medicine ("muti" trade) and calcium deficiencies. However, lead toxicity as a potential causal factor is hardly mentioned. The potential for lead toxicity needs to be considered as substantial game hunting occurs in the region with little regulatory control on bullet types. In this study, we determined the whole blood lead concentrations of captive and wild vulture populations in South Africa and Namibia (n=185). Results were compared to previous published ranges indicative of background exposure (<10μg/dL), non-toxic point exposure based upon the range established from captive birds and subclinical exposure. In general, whole blood lead concentrations were higher for wild African White-backed vultures (Gyps africanus)(AWBV) than Cape vultures (G. coprotheres)(CGV) at 15.54±12.63μg/dL vs 12.53±8.88μg/dL (non-significantly different), while in the Bearded vultures (Gypaetus barbatus) no indication of exposure was evident. Very similar exposures resulted irrespective of the birds being in captivity or under wild, free-roaming conditions. A proportion of wild birds did, however, appear to be exposed to another source of lead than purely environmental (±12% and 30.6% for AWBV and CGV respectively). One bird, which had a whole blood concentration of 100μg/dL, died soon after capture. To find the relationship between whole blood lead concentration and likely exposure factors, birds were compared by their rural/urban location, vicinity to mines and surrounding soil lead concentrations. With no relationship being present for the latter factors, we believe that this is evidence that the portion of southern African vultures being exposed to unknown source of lead, which we suggest arises from leaded ammunition

  17. The microbiome of New World vultures.

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-25

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

  18. Results of NVG-Induced Neck Strain Questionnaire Study in CH-146 Griffon Aircrew

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2004-11-01

    counterweight have been suggested as a cause factor in recent reports of neck strain within the CH - 146 Griffon helicopter fleet. The present study...within the CH - 146 Griffon helicopter fleet. The present study sought to determine the rate of incidence and severity of NVG-induced neck strain...None of the airframes involved in the study were tactical helicopters (as is the CH - 146 Griffon ) although the H-3 Sea King shares it’s lineage with

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

    PubMed Central

    Dhananjayan, V.; Muralidharan, S.

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rogers, Sarah Alicia

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

  1. Spatial patterning of vulture scavenged human remains.

    PubMed

    Spradley, M Katherine; Hamilton, Michelle D; Giordano, Alberto

    2012-06-10

    This article presents the results of a pilot study on the effects of vulture modification to human remains. A donated body from the Willed Body Donation Program was placed at the Forensic Anthropology Research Facility (FARF), an outdoor human decomposition laboratory located at Texas State University-San Marcos. The effects of vulture scavenging on the timing and sequence, and the rate of skeletonization, disarticulation, and dispersal were observed via a motion sensing camera and direct observation. Using GIS (Geographic Information Systems) and GPS (Global Positioning System) technologies and spatial analytical methods, the transport of skeletal elements was mapped in order to analyze dispersal and terrain-influenced patterns of active vulture scavenging. Results showed that the initial scavenging took place 37 days after placement at FARF. This delay in scavenging differs from previous research. After the initial appearance of the vultures, the body was reduced from a fully-fleshed individual to a skeleton within only 5h. This underscores the potential for errors in postmortem interval estimations made at vulture scavenged scenes. Additionally, spatial analysis showed that skeletal elements were dispersed by vultures to lower elevations, and that the disarticulation and dispersal of the skeletal elements occurs early in the scavenging sequence.

  2. Turkey vulture and California condor

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pattee, O.H.; Wilbur, S.R.; Pendleton, Beth Giron

    1989-01-01

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

  3. Movement ecology of migration in turkey vultures

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  4. Movement ecology of migration in turkey vultures.

    PubMed

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

    2008-12-09

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

  7. HEMATOLOGIC AND PLASMA BIOCHEMICAL VALUES OF CINEREOUS VULTURE (AEGYPIUS MONACHUS).

    PubMed

    Seok, Seong H; Jeong, Dong H; Park, Se J; Lee, Seung Y; Lee, Hee C; Yeon, Seong C

    2017-06-01

    The aim of this study was to establish hematologic and plasma biochemical reference intervals for clinically healthy cinereous vultures ( Aegypius monachus ) in a rehabilitation setting before release. Animals used in this study were cinereous vultures hospitalized in a wildlife center located in the province of Gyeongsangnam-do, the Republic of Korea. Blood samples were collected from 31 cinereous vultures before their release between 2011 and 2014 at the Gyeongnam Wildlife Center. Complete blood count and plasma biochemical analyses were performed within 2 hr of the blood sampling. Reference intervals were calculated from the 10th to the 90th percentile, together with the mean, SD, and lowest and highest observed values. The results of this study may be useful in evaluating the physical condition and clinical monitoring of cinereous vultures in captivity before release and contribute to the determination of reference ranges for healthy cinereous vultures.

  8. Experimental lead poisoning in turkey vultures (Cathartes aura).

    PubMed

    Carpenter, James W; Pattee, Oliver H; Fritts, Steven H; Rattner, Barnett A; Wiemeyer, Stanley N; Royle, J Andrew; Smith, Milton R

    2003-01-01

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

  9. Experimental lead poisoning in Turkey Vultures, Cathartes aura

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2003-01-01

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

  10. Metataxonomics reveal vultures as a reservoir for Clostridium perfringens

    PubMed Central

    Meng, Xiangli; Lu, Shan; Yang, Jing; Jin, Dong; Wang, Xiaohong; Bai, Xiangning; Wen, Yumeng; Wang, Yiting; Niu, Lina; Ye, Changyun; Rosselló-Móra, Ramon; Xu, Jianguo

    2017-01-01

    The Old World vulture may carry and spread pathogens for emerging infections since they feed on the carcasses of dead animals and participate in the sky burials of humans, some of whom have died from communicable diseases. Therefore, we studied the precise fecal microbiome of the Old World vulture with metataxonomics, integrating the high-throughput sequencing of almost full-length small subunit ribosomal RNA (16S rRNA) gene amplicons in tandem with the operational phylogenetic unit (OPU) analysis strategy. Nine vultures of three species were sampled using rectal swabs on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, China. Using the Pacific Biosciences sequencing platform, we obtained 54 135 high-quality reads of 16S rRNA amplicons with an average of 1442±6.9 bp in length and 6015±1058 reads per vulture. Those sequences were classified into 314 OPUs, including 102 known species, 50 yet to be described species and 161 unknown new lineages of uncultured representatives. Forty-five species have been reported to be responsible for human outbreaks or infections, and 23 yet to be described species belong to genera that include pathogenic species. Only six species were common to all vultures. Clostridium perfringens was the most abundant and present in all vultures, accounting for 30.8% of the total reads. Therefore, using the new technology, we found that vultures are an important reservoir for C. perfringens as evidenced by the isolation of 107 strains encoding for virulence genes, representing 45 sequence types. Our study suggests that the soil-related C. perfringens and other pathogens could have a reservoir in vultures and other animals. PMID:28223683

  11. Metataxonomics reveal vultures as a reservoir for Clostridium perfringens.

    PubMed

    Meng, Xiangli; Lu, Shan; Yang, Jing; Jin, Dong; Wang, Xiaohong; Bai, Xiangning; Wen, Yumeng; Wang, Yiting; Niu, Lina; Ye, Changyun; Rosselló-Móra, Ramon; Xu, Jianguo

    2017-02-22

    The Old World vulture may carry and spread pathogens for emerging infections since they feed on the carcasses of dead animals and participate in the sky burials of humans, some of whom have died from communicable diseases. Therefore, we studied the precise fecal microbiome of the Old World vulture with metataxonomics, integrating the high-throughput sequencing of almost full-length small subunit ribosomal RNA (16S rRNA) gene amplicons in tandem with the operational phylogenetic unit (OPU) analysis strategy. Nine vultures of three species were sampled using rectal swabs on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, China. Using the Pacific Biosciences sequencing platform, we obtained 54 135 high-quality reads of 16S rRNA amplicons with an average of 1442±6.9 bp in length and 6015±1058 reads per vulture. Those sequences were classified into 314 OPUs, including 102 known species, 50 yet to be described species and 161 unknown new lineages of uncultured representatives. Forty-five species have been reported to be responsible for human outbreaks or infections, and 23 yet to be described species belong to genera that include pathogenic species. Only six species were common to all vultures. Clostridium perfringens was the most abundant and present in all vultures, accounting for 30.8% of the total reads. Therefore, using the new technology, we found that vultures are an important reservoir for C. perfringens as evidenced by the isolation of 107 strains encoding for virulence genes, representing 45 sequence types. Our study suggests that the soil-related C. perfringens and other pathogens could have a reservoir in vultures and other animals.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-22

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

  13. Vultures acquire information on carcass location from scavenging eagles

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  14. Fine-scale assessment of home ranges and activity patterns for resident black vultures (Coragyps atratus) and turkey vultures (Cathartes aura).

    PubMed

    Holland, Amanda E; Byrne, Michael E; Bryan, A Lawrence; DeVault, Travis L; Rhodes, Olin E; Beasley, James C

    2017-01-01

    Knowledge of black vulture (Coragyps atratus) and turkey vulture (Cathartes aura) spatial ecology is surprisingly limited despite their vital ecological roles. Fine-scale assessments of space use patterns and resource selection are particularly lacking, although development of tracking technologies has allowed data collection at finer temporal and spatial resolution. Objectives of this study were to conduct the first assessment of monthly home range and core area sizes of resident black and turkey vultures with consideration to sex, as well as elucidate differences in monthly, seasonal, and annual activity patterns based on fine-scale movement data analyses. We collected 2.8-million locations for 9 black and 9 turkey vultures from June 2013 -August 2015 using solar-powered GSM/GPS transmitters. We quantified home ranges and core areas using the dynamic Brownian bridge movement model and evaluated differences as a function of species, sex, and month. Mean monthly home ranges for turkey vultures were ~50% larger than those of black vultures, although mean core area sizes did not differ between species. Turkey vulture home ranges varied little across months, with exception to a notable reduction in space-use in May, which corresponds with timing of chick-rearing activities. Black vulture home ranges and core areas as well as turkey vulture core areas were larger in breeding season months (January-April). Comparison of space use between male and female vultures was only possible for black vultures, and space use was only slightly larger for females during breeding months (February-May). Analysis of activity patterns revealed turkey vultures spend more time in flight and switch motion states (between flight and stationary) more frequently than black vultures across temporal scales. This study reveals substantive variability in space use and activity rates between sympatric black and turkey vultures, providing insights into potential behavioral mechanisms contributing to

  15. Fine-scale assessment of home ranges and activity patterns for resident black vultures (Coragyps atratus) and turkey vultures (Cathartes aura)

    PubMed Central

    DeVault, Travis L.; Rhodes, Olin E.; Beasley, James C.

    2017-01-01

    Knowledge of black vulture (Coragyps atratus) and turkey vulture (Cathartes aura) spatial ecology is surprisingly limited despite their vital ecological roles. Fine-scale assessments of space use patterns and resource selection are particularly lacking, although development of tracking technologies has allowed data collection at finer temporal and spatial resolution. Objectives of this study were to conduct the first assessment of monthly home range and core area sizes of resident black and turkey vultures with consideration to sex, as well as elucidate differences in monthly, seasonal, and annual activity patterns based on fine-scale movement data analyses. We collected 2.8-million locations for 9 black and 9 turkey vultures from June 2013 –August 2015 using solar-powered GSM/GPS transmitters. We quantified home ranges and core areas using the dynamic Brownian bridge movement model and evaluated differences as a function of species, sex, and month. Mean monthly home ranges for turkey vultures were ~50% larger than those of black vultures, although mean core area sizes did not differ between species. Turkey vulture home ranges varied little across months, with exception to a notable reduction in space-use in May, which corresponds with timing of chick-rearing activities. Black vulture home ranges and core areas as well as turkey vulture core areas were larger in breeding season months (January–April). Comparison of space use between male and female vultures was only possible for black vultures, and space use was only slightly larger for females during breeding months (February–May). Analysis of activity patterns revealed turkey vultures spend more time in flight and switch motion states (between flight and stationary) more frequently than black vultures across temporal scales. This study reveals substantive variability in space use and activity rates between sympatric black and turkey vultures, providing insights into potential behavioral mechanisms

  16. The treatment implementation advisor: a component of the GypsES project

    Treesearch

    Michael C. Saunders; Michael A. Foster

    1991-01-01

    The treatment implementation advisor is one of the knowledge based advisory modules of GypsES, a knowledge system environment for decision support in gypsy moth management. Its function is to provide detailed advice on intervention tactics for gypsy moth: e.g. aerial and ground application of insecticides and microbials, inundative or augmentative releases of...

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Oak tree selection by nesting turkey vultures (Cathartes aura)

    Treesearch

    Gregory A. Giusti; R.J. Keiffer; Shane Feirer; R.F. Keiffer

    2015-01-01

    Turkey vultures (Cathartes aura) are a ubiquitous component of California’s oak woodland faunal assemblage. Though obvious, they are one of the least studied vertebrates found in our hardwood forests. This study attempts to define the role of oak trees as nesting sites for this large avian species. Verified nest trees are evaluated to determine...

  19. A systematic analysis of the in vitro and in vivo functions of the HD-GYP domain proteins of Vibrio cholerae.

    PubMed

    McKee, Robert W; Kariisa, Ankunda; Mudrak, Benjamin; Whitaker, Courtney; Tamayo, Rita

    2014-10-25

    The second messenger cyclic diguanylate (c-di-GMP) plays a central role in bacterial adaptation to extracellular stimuli, controlling processes such as motility, biofilm development, cell development and, in some pathogens, virulence. The intracellular level of c-di-GMP is controlled by the complementary activities of diguanylate cyclases containing a GGDEF domain and two classes of c-di-GMP phosphodiesterases containing an EAL or HD-GYP hydrolytic domain. Compared to the GGDEF and EAL domains, the functions of HD-GYP domain family proteins are poorly characterized. The human diarrheal pathogen Vibrio cholerae encodes nine putative HD-GYP domain proteins. To determine the contributions of HD-GYP domain proteins to c-di-GMP signaling in V. cholerae, we systematically analyzed the enzymatic functionality of each protein and their involvement in processes known to be regulated by c-di-GMP: motility, biofilm development and virulence. Complementary in vitro and in vivo experiments showed that four HD-GYP domain proteins are active c-di-GMP phosphodiesterases: VC1295, VC1348, VCA0210 and VCA0681. Mutation of individual HD-GYP domain genes, as well as combinatorial mutations of multiple HD-GYP domain genes, had no effect on motility or biofilm formation of V. cholerae under the conditions tested. Furthermore, no single HD-GYP domain gene affected intestinal colonization by V. cholerae in an infant mouse model. However, inactivation of multiple HD-GYP domain genes, including the four encoding functional phosphodiesterases, significantly attenuated colonization. These results indicate that the HD-GYP family of c-di-GMP phosphodiesterases impacts signaling by this second messenger during infection. Altogether, this work greatly furthers the understanding of this important family of c-di-GMP metabolic enzymes and demonstrates a role for HD-GYP domain proteins in the virulence of V. cholerae.

  20. Repeated use of an abandoned vehicle by nesting Turkey vultures (Cathartes aura)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Igl, L.D.; Peterson, S.L.

    2010-01-01

    Turkey Vultures (Cathartes aura) lay their eggs on an existing substrate in the dark recesses of a variety of natural sites (Kirk and Mossman 1998). Although an important requirement of Turkey Vulture nest-site selection is isolation from human disturbances (Kirk and Mossman 1998), their nests have been reported in abandoned buildings since at least the early 1800s (Nuttall 1832). Depopulation of rural areas in North America in recent decades has resulted in many abandoned buildings within the Turkey Vulture's breeding range (Peck 2003). Increased use of abandoned buildings by nesting Turkey Vultures has been implicated in the species' recent northward range expansion (Peck 2003, Nelson et al. 2005, Houston et al. 2007). Although abandoned or inoperative vehicles also are widespread in rural areas, we found no published literature documenting Turkey Vultures' use of these potential nest sites. Herein, we summarize the first documented incidence of a Turkey Vulture nesting in an abandoned vehicle.

  1. Oral mycoses in avian scavengers exposed to antibiotics from livestock farming.

    PubMed

    Pitarch, Aida; Gil, Concha; Blanco, Guillermo

    2017-12-15

    The exposure to antimicrobial pharmaceuticals as environmental contaminants can exert direct and indirect detrimental effects on health of wildlife. Fungal infections pose a major threat to domestic, captive-housed wild and free-ranging wild animals worldwide. However, little is known about their role in disease in birds in the wild. Here, we evaluated the incidence of thrush-like lesions in the oral cavity of wild nestling cinereous vultures (Aegypius monachus), griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus), Egyptian vultures (Neophron percnopterus) and golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) exposed to veterinary antibiotics via the consumption of medicated livestock carcasses. Lesions, which varied in number, size and location, were more frequent in the cinereous (77.8%, n=9) and griffon vultures (66.7%, n=48) than in the Egyptian vultures (28.6%, n=21) and golden eagles (28.6%, n=7). In all individuals (100%, n=24) of a subsample of the affected nestlings, yeast species were isolated from thrush-like oral lesions and identified using a well-established system based on their carbohydrate assimilation profiles and other complementary tests. Fourteen yeast species from seven genera (Candida, Meyerozyma, Pichia, Yarrowia, Cryptococcus, Rhodotorula and Trichosporon) were isolated from the lesions of the four host species. We found differential infections and effects depending on host age-related exposure or susceptibility to different yeast species across the development of nestling griffon vultures. This unprecedented outbreak of oral mycoses is alarming because of the delicate conservation status of several of the affected species. The role of livestock antibiotics in the transition of yeast species from commensal to opportunistic pathogens should be evaluated in an attempt to avoid the detrimental effects of contamination and disease on host health, as well as on the transmission of fungal emerging pathogens among wildlife populations and species, and their dissemination across

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

    PubMed

    Mlíkovský, Jiří

    2015-02-13

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

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

    PubMed

    Miner, Kyle D; Kurtz, Donald M

    2016-02-16

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1988-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-27

    Effective mitigation of the risks posed by environmental contaminants for ecosystem integrity and human health requires knowing their sources and spatio-temporal distribution. We analysed the exposure to lead (Pb) in griffon vulture Gyps fulvus-an apex species valuable as biomonitoring sentinel. We determined vultures' lead exposure and its main sources by combining isotope signatures and modelling analyses of 691 bird blood samples collected over 5 years. We made yearlong spatially explicit predictions of the species risk of lead exposure. Our results highlight elevated lead exposure of griffon vultures (i.e. 44.9% of the studied population, approximately 15% of the European, showed lead blood levels more than 200 ng ml(-1)) partly owing to environmental lead (e.g. geological sources). These exposures to environmental lead of geological sources increased in those vultures exposed to point sources (e.g. lead-based ammunition). These spatial models and pollutant risk maps are powerful tools that identify areas of wildlife exposure to potentially harmful sources of lead that could affect ecosystem and human health. © 2016 The Author(s).

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-04-01

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

  8. Occurrence of antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii in the scavenging black vultures (Coragyps atratus) from Brazil

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    This is the first report of Toxoplasma gondii infection in black vultures (Coragyps atratus) that are are obligate scavenging birds found throughout the American continent. Serum samples from 121 wild black vultures captured in urban areas of the city of São Paulo, SP, Brazil, were tested for the pr...

  9. Effects of vulture declines on facultative scavengers and potential implications for mammalian disease transmission.

    PubMed

    Ogada, D L; Torchin, M E; Kinnaird, M F; Ezenwa, V O

    2012-06-01

    Vultures (Accipitridae and Cathartidae) are the only known obligate scavengers. They feed on rotting carcasses and are the most threatened avian functional group in the world. Possible effects of vulture declines include longer persistence of carcasses and increasing abundance of and contact between facultative scavengers at these carcasses. These changes could increase rates of transmission of infectious diseases, with carcasses serving as hubs of infection. To evaluate these possibilities, we conducted a series of observations and experimental tests of the effects of vulture extirpation on decomposition rates of livestock carcasses and mammalian scavengers in Kenya. We examined whether the absence of vultures changed carcass decomposition time, number of mammalian scavengers visiting carcasses, time spent by mammals at carcasses, and potential for disease transmission at carcasses (measured by changes in intraspecific contact rates). In the absence of vultures, mean carcass decomposition rates nearly tripled. Furthermore, the mean number of mammals at carcasses increased 3-fold (from 1.5 to 4.4 individuals/carcass), and the average time spent by mammals at carcasses increased almost 3-fold (from 55 min to 143 min). There was a nearly 3-fold increase in the mean number of contacts between mammalian scavengers at carcasses without vultures. These results highlight the role of vultures in carcass decomposition and level of contact among mammalian scavengers. In combination, our findings lead us to hypothesize that changes in vulture abundance may affect patterns of disease transmission among mammalian carnivores. ©2012 Society for Conservation Biology.

  10. Hematologic reference intervals for wild Black vultures (Coragyps atratus).

    PubMed

    Barbara, Jean C A; Ferreira, Vivian L; Guida, Fernanda J V; Prioste, Fabíola E S; Matushima, Eliana R; Raso, Tânia F

    2017-08-31

    The Black vulture (Coragyps atratus) is the most common species of vulture and is widespread in all America. The species feeds on rotting carcasses, and large groups are frequently seen in urban areas, concentrating especially on rubbish dumps. Although C atratus is a very common species in some areas, little is known about its health in the wild. The aim of this study was to determine hematologic RIs of wild adult Black vultures. Blood samples were obtained from 70 wild Black vultures captured in São Paulo, Brazil. Hematologic values were determined using conventional techniques applicable to birds. Reference intervals were determined using an Excel program with Reference Value Adviser (version 2.0). After statistical analysis, the following RIs were determined: HGB 8.5-12.5 g/dL, PCV 42.3-54.5%, MCV 203.2-402.6 fL, MCHC 17.4-26.2 g/dL, total solids 2.4-4.8 g/dL, RBC count 1.16-2.48 × 10(6) /μL, WBC count 5.93-27.14 × 10(3) /μL, heterophils 3.40-21.58 × 10(3) /μL, lymphocytes 0.19-5.16 × 10(3) /μL, eosinophils 0.0-3.07 × 10(3) /μL, monocytes 0.0-1.49 × 10(3) /μL, basophils 0.0-0.25 × 10(3) /μL, and heterophil:lymphocyte ratio 1.3-36.9. Thrombocyte mean was 14.14 × 10(3) /μL. Baseline hematologic data obtained in this study provide RIs that will be useful given that few studies have been carried out on the health of New World vultures. © 2017 American Society for Veterinary Clinical Pathology.

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

    PubMed

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

    1996-02-01

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

  12. Exposure of Threatened Accipitridae to Mycobacterium bovis Calls for Active Surveillance.

    PubMed

    Cunha, Mónica V; Azorín, Beatriz; Peñuela, Rocío G; Albuquerque, Teresa; Botelho, Ana

    2017-03-03

    Anthropogenic activities have cumulatively led to the dramatic decline of world populations of vultures that currently face serious survival challenges in several regions of the world. In Portugal, the three resident species qualify as endangered and are under conservation efforts, mainly in the central east and south-east regions, where habitat protection and artificial feeding stations were implemented. Concurrently, the areas under protection are highly affected by tuberculosis (TB) in cattle and wild ungulates, whose potentially infected carcasses may naturally or artificially be used as feed by local vultures. In this work, we opportunistically surveyed populations of Eurasian griffon (Gyps fulvus) and Eurasian black vulture (Aegypius monachus) for the presence of Mycobacterium bovis. Nine pathogenic mycobacteria, including one M. bovis isolate, were cultured from the oropharynx of nine of the surveyed vultures (n = 55), sampled in recovery centres or in artificial feeding stations. Genotyping of the M. bovis strain indicated spoligotype SB0121, the most frequent type in Portugal, and a unique MIRU-VNTR profile that differed in two loci from the profiles of SB0121 bovine and deer strains from the same geographical area. The M. bovis-positive griffon exhibited poor clinical condition when admitted to the recovery centre; however, clinical evidence of TB was not present. Although the significance of M. bovis isolation in this vulture specimen could not be ascertained and despite the accepted notion that vultures are naturally resistant to microbial pathogens, the sanitary follow-up of Accipitridae vulture populations in TB-hotspot areas is essential to safeguard ongoing conservation efforts and also to evaluate the suitability of standing legislation on deliberate supplementary feeding schemes for menaced birds of prey.

  13. Knowledge-based geographic information systems on the Macintosh computer: a component of the GypsES project

    Treesearch

    Gregory Elmes; Thomas Millette; Charles B. Yuill

    1991-01-01

    GypsES, a decision-support and expert system for the management of Gypsy Moth addresses five related research problems in a modular, computer-based project. The modules are hazard rating, monitoring, prediction, treatment decision and treatment implementation. One common component is a geographic information system designed to function intelligently. We refer to this...

  14. Organization and variation of the mitochondrial control region in two vulture species, Gypaetus barbatus and Neophron percnopterus.

    PubMed

    Roques, S; Godoy, J A; Negro, J J; Hiraldo, F

    2004-01-01

    We report the first entire mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region sequences in two endangered vulture species, the bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) and the Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus). Results showed that the general organization of vulture control regions was very similar to other birds, with three distinct domains: a left variable domain (DI), a central conserved one (DII) including the F, E, D, and C boxes, and a right domain (DIII) containing the CSB1 sequence. However, due to the presence of long tandem repeats, vulture control regions differed from other avian control regions both in size and nucleotide composition. The Egyptian vulture control region was found to be the largest sequenced so far (2031 bp), due to the simultaneous presence of repeats in both DI (80 bp) and DIII (77 bp). Low variation was found in vulture control regions, particularly in G. barbatus, as the probable result of populations declines in the last few centuries.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-01

    Vultures are highly reliant on their sensory systems for the rapid detection and localization of carrion before other scavengers can exploit the resource. In this study, we compared eye morphology and retinal topography in two species of New World vultures (Cathartidae), turkey vultures (Cathartes aura), with a highly developed olfactory sense, and black vultures (Coragyps atratus), with a less developed sense of olfaction. We found that eye size relative to body mass was the same in both species, but that black vultures have larger corneas relative to eye size than turkey vultures. However, the overall retinal topography, the total number of cells in the retinal ganglion cell layer, peak and average cell densities, cell soma area frequency distributions, and the theoretical peak anatomical spatial resolving power were the same in both species. This suggests that the visual systems of these two species are similar and that vision plays an equally important role in the biology of both species, despite the apparently greater reliance on olfaction for finding carrion in turkey vultures. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. The first whole genome and transcriptome of the cinereous vulture reveals adaptation in the gastric and immune defense systems and possible convergent evolution between the Old and New World vultures.

    PubMed

    Chung, Oksung; Jin, Seondeok; Cho, Yun Sung; Lim, Jeongheui; Kim, Hyunho; Jho, Sungwoong; Kim, Hak-Min; Jun, JeHoon; Lee, HyeJin; Chon, Alvin; Ko, Junsu; Edwards, Jeremy; Weber, Jessica A; Han, Kyudong; O'Brien, Stephen J; Manica, Andrea; Bhak, Jong; Paek, Woon Kee

    2015-10-21

    The cinereous vulture, Aegypius monachus, is the largest bird of prey and plays a key role in the ecosystem by removing carcasses, thus preventing the spread of diseases. Its feeding habits force it to cope with constant exposure to pathogens, making this species an interesting target for discovering functionally selected genetic variants. Furthermore, the presence of two independently evolved vulture groups, Old World and New World vultures, provides a natural experiment in which to investigate convergent evolution due to obligate scavenging. We sequenced the genome of a cinereous vulture, and mapped it to the bald eagle reference genome, a close relative with a divergence time of 18 million years. By comparing the cinereous vulture to other avian genomes, we find positively selected genetic variations in this species associated with respiration, likely linked to their ability of immune defense responses and gastric acid secretion, consistent with their ability to digest carcasses. Comparisons between the Old World and New World vulture groups suggest convergent gene evolution. We assemble the cinereous vulture blood transcriptome from a second individual, and annotate genes. Finally, we infer the demographic history of the cinereous vulture which shows marked fluctuations in effective population size during the late Pleistocene. We present the first genome and transcriptome analyses of the cinereous vulture compared to other avian genomes and transcriptomes, revealing genetic signatures of dietary and environmental adaptations accompanied by possible convergent evolution between the Old World and New World vultures.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Pattee, Oliver H; Carpenter, James W; Fritts, Steven H; Rattner, Barnett A; Wiemeyer, Stanley N; Royle, J Andrew; Smith, Milton R

    2006-10-01

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

  20. Multi-locus phylogenetic inference among New World Vultures (Aves: Cathartidae).

    PubMed

    Johnson, Jeff A; Brown, Joseph W; Fuchs, Jérôme; Mindell, David P

    2016-12-01

    New World Vultures are large-bodied carrion feeding birds in the family Cathartidae, currently consisting of seven species from five genera with geographic distributions in North and South America. No study to date has included all cathartid species in a single phylogenetic analysis. In this study, we investigated the phylogenetic relationships among all cathartid species using five nuclear (nuc; 4060bp) and two mitochondrial (mt; 2165bp) DNA loci with fossil calibrated gene tree (27 outgroup taxa) and coalescent-based species tree (2 outgroup taxa) analyses. We also included an additional four nuclear loci (2578bp) for the species tree analysis to explore changes in nodal support values. Although the stem lineage is inferred to have originated ∼69 million years ago (Ma; 74.5-64.9 credible interval), a more recent basal split within Cathartidae was recovered at ∼14Ma (17.1-11.1 credible interval). Two primary clades were identified: (1) Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus) together with the three Cathartes species (Lesser C. burrovianus and Greater C. melambrotus Yellow-headed Vultures, and Turkey Vulture C. aura), and (2) King Vulture (Sarcoramphus papa), California (Gymnogyps californianus) and Andean (Vultur gryphus) Condors. Support for taxon relationships within the two basal clades were inconsistent between analyses with the exception of Black Vulture sister to a monophyletic Cathartes clade. Increased support for a yellow-headed vulture clade was recovered in the species tree analysis using the four additional nuclear loci. Overall, these results are in agreement with cathartid life history (e.g. olfaction ability and behavior) and contrasting habitat affinities among sister taxa with overlapping geographic distributions. More research is needed using additional molecular loci to further resolve the phylogenetic relationships within the two basal cathartid clades, as speciation appeared to have occurred in a relatively short period of time. Copyright © 2016

  1. The structure of an unconventional HD-GYP protein from Bdellovibrio reveals the roles of conserved residues in this class of cyclic-di-GMP phosphodiesterases.

    PubMed

    Lovering, Andrew L; Capeness, Michael J; Lambert, Carey; Hobley, Laura; Sockett, R Elizabeth

    2011-01-01

    Cyclic-di-GMP is a near-ubiquitous bacterial second messenger that is important in localized signal transmission during the control of various processes, including virulence and switching between planktonic and biofilm-based lifestyles. Cyclic-di-GMP is synthesized by GGDEF diguanylate cyclases and hydrolyzed by EAL or HD-GYP phosphodiesterases, with each functional domain often appended to distinct sensory modules. HD-GYP domain proteins have resisted structural analysis, but here we present the first structural representative of this family (1.28 Å), obtained using the unusual Bd1817 HD-GYP protein from the predatory bacterium Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus. Bd1817 lacks the active-site tyrosine present in most HD-GYP family members yet remains an excellent model of their features, sharing 48% sequence similarity with the archetype RpfG. The protein structure is highly modular and thus provides a basis for delineating domain boundaries in other stimulus-dependent homologues. Conserved residues in the HD-GYP family cluster around a binuclear metal center, which is observed complexed to a molecule of phosphate, providing information on the mode of hydroxide ion attack on substrate. The fold and active site of the HD-GYP domain are different from those of EAL proteins, and restricted access to the active-site cleft is indicative of a different mode of activity regulation. The region encompassing the GYP motif has a novel conformation and is surface exposed and available for complexation with binding partners, including GGDEF proteins. It is becoming apparent that many bacteria use the signaling molecule cyclic-di-GMP to regulate a variety of processes, most notably, transitions between motility and sessility. Importantly, this regulation is central to several traits implicated in chronic disease (adhesion, biofilm formation, and virulence gene expression). The mechanisms of cyclic-di-GMP synthesis via GGDEF enzymes and hydrolysis via EAL enzymes have been suggested by

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  12. Gram-negative, aerobic, enteric pathogens among intestinal microflora of wild turkey vultures (Cathartes aura) in west central Texas.

    PubMed Central

    Winsor, D K; Bloebaum, A P; Mathewson, J J

    1981-01-01

    The prevalence of gram-negative bacterial species in the intestines of 20 apparently healthy turkey vultures (Cathartes aura) was determined. Edwardsiella tarda, Plesiomonas shigelloides, Salmonella, and Arizona hinshawii (Salmonella arizonae) were each recovered from 15% of these birds. Turkey vultures may be important reservoirs of these bacterial pathogens. PMID:7032423

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  14. Griffon Helicopter Neck Strain Project: Part 1: Mission Function Task Analysis and Physical Demands Analysis Report. Part 2: Physical Demands Analysis Library

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-10-01

    Griffon Helicopter Neck Strain Project: Part 1: Mission Function Task Analysis and Physical Demands Analysis Report. Part 2: Physical Demands... Analysis Library Prepared by: David W. Tack, Jordan Bray-Miners, Edward T. Nakaza, Alex Osborne, and Brian Mangan HumanSystems® Incorporated 111... ANALYSIS AND PHYSICAL DEMANDS ANALYSIS REPORT by: David W. Tack, Jordan Bray-Miners, Edward T. Nakaza, Alex Osborne, Brian Mangan HumanSystems

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

  18. How Predictability of Feeding Patches Affects Home Range and Foraging Habitat Selection in Avian Social Scavengers?

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Feeding stations are commonly used to sustain conservation programs of scavengers but their impact on behaviour is still debated. They increase the temporal and spatial predictability of food resources while scavengers have supposedly evolved to search for unpredictable resources. In the Grands Causses (France), a reintroduced population of Griffon vultures Gyps fulvus can find carcasses at three types of sites: 1. “light feeding stations”, where farmers can drop carcasses at their farm (spatially predictable), 2. “heavy feeding stations”, where carcasses from nearby farms are concentrated (spatially and temporally predictable) and 3. open grasslands, where resources are randomly distributed (unpredictable). The impact of feeding stations on vulture’s foraging behaviour was investigated using 28 GPS-tracked vultures. The average home range size was maximal in spring (1272±752 km2) and minimal in winter (473±237 km2) and was highly variable among individuals. Analyses of home range characteristics and feeding habitat selection via compositional analysis showed that feeding stations were always preferred compared to the rest of the habitat where vultures can find unpredictable resources. Feeding stations were particularly used when resources were scarce (summer) or when flight conditions were poor (winter), limiting long-ranging movements. However, when flight conditions were optimal, home ranges also encompassed large areas of grassland where vultures could find unpredictable resources, suggesting that vultures did not lose their natural ability to forage on unpredictable resources, even when feeding stations were available. However during seasons when food abundance and flight conditions were not limited, vultures seemed to favour light over heavy feeding stations, probably because of the reduced intraspecific competition and a pattern closer to the natural dispersion of resources in the landscape. Light feeding stations are interesting tools for

  19. The presence of black vultures at the calving sites and its effects on cows' and calves' behaviour immediately following parturition.

    PubMed

    Toledo, L M; Paranhos da Costa, M J R; Schmidek, A; Jung, J; Ciryllo, J N S G; Cromberg, V U

    2013-03-01

    Black vultures (Coragyps atratus) are often present near calving sites, and under this situation they may play a positive role by removing animal carcasses and afterbirth or a negative role by attacking neonate calves or disturbing cow-calf behaviours following parturition. Cow-calf behaviour was recorded over a 4-year study period from a total of 300 births involving 200 Nellore, 54 Guzerat, 20 Gyr and 26 Caracu cows. The calving site in relation to the location of the herd, considering cow-calf pairs within, close or distant to the herd, the presence of vultures and the behaviour of cows and calves were recorded instantaneously, at 5-min interval. On average, vultures were present at 80% of the calving sites. The frequency of vultures present at calving sites was dependent on the years for the Nellore herd, increasing from 1998 to 2003. When vultures were present, the time that the cow was in contact with its calf decreased, and the percentage of time that the cow was standing still increased. Vultures were observed pecking cows and their neonates during 34.1% of all recordings. However, in only two cases pecking injuries were actually observed on calves that were noted to be very weak. The preliminary results suggest that although black vultures cannot be characterized as a predator of neonate calves, they sometimes attack neonate calves and their presence near the calving sites alter the behaviours of cows and calves.

  20. Dynamic complex formation between HD-GYP, GGDEF and PilZ domain proteins regulates motility in Xanthomonas campestris.

    PubMed

    Ryan, Robert P; McCarthy, Yvonne; Kiely, Patrick A; O'Connor, Rosemary; Farah, Chuck S; Armitage, Judith P; Dow, J Maxwell

    2012-11-01

    RpfG is a member of a class of wide spread bacterial two-component regulators with an HD-GYP cyclic di-GMP phosphodiesterase domain. In the plant pathogen Xanthomonas campestris, RpfG together with the sensor kinase RpfC regulates multiple factors as a response to the cell-to-cell Diffusible Signalling Factor (DSF). A dynamic physical interaction of RpfG with two diguanylate cyclase (GGDEF) domain proteins controls motility. Here we show that, contrary to expectation, regulation of motility by the GGDEF domain proteins does not depend upon their cyclic di-GMP synthetic activity. Furthermore we show that the complex of RpfG and GGDEF domain proteins recruits a specific PilZ domain 'adaptor' protein, and this complex then interacts with the pilus motor proteins PilU and PiIT. The results support a model in which DSF signalling influences motility through the highly regulated dynamic interaction of proteins that affect pilus action. A specific motif that we identify to be required for HD-GYP domain interaction is conserved in a number of GGDEF domain proteins, suggesting that regulation via interdomain interactions is of broad relevance.

  1. Abnormal lead exposure in globally threatened Cinereous vultures (Aegypius monachus) wintering in South Korea.

    PubMed

    Nam, Dong-Ha; Lee, Doo-Pyo

    2009-02-01

    Globally threatened Cinereous vultures (Aegypius monachus) regularly over-winter in South Korea, and they have frequently been found dead in their natural habitats. As one possible factor for their mortality, we investigated tissues for heavy metal contaminants along with necropsies on 20 dead Cinereous vultures. Severe emaciation was found in the survey, being associated with 19 of the deaths. Two of the 19 showed lesions suggestive of lead poisoning in the tissues; there was no indication of trauma, embedded shot, lead bullets in the stomach, or signs of electrocution in the specimens. Of 20 vultures, two showed lesions compatible with death from lead poisoning with 19.7 ppm dry weight (6.9 ppm wet weight) and 34.1 ppm dry weight (11.1 ppm wet weight), and 14 individuals had a potentially toxic level of lead with >6 ppm dry weight (about 2 ppm wet weight) in liver or kidney. The ingestion of lead-contaminated carcasses probably occurs along their migratory route. The possibility of lead exposure from the breeding site (Mongolia) or stopover area (China) should also be considered because some individuals are likely to die at or upon arrival. Our results suggest that most of the dead Cinereous vultures may be suffering from abnormally high lead exposure, indicating a potentially important cause of mortality in this endangered species.

  2. The present Pyrenean population of bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus): its genetic characteristics.

    PubMed

    García, C B; Gil, J A; Alcántara, M; González, J; Cortés, M R; Bonafonte, J I; Arruga, M V

    2012-09-01

    The Pyrenean population of the endangered bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) is the largest natural population in Europe. In this study, its current genetic variability was assessed using 110 animals of the recent population in order to know what the present situation. Sex identification by DNA methodology in the 110 bearded vultures, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and eight microsatellite markers in 87 bearded vultures have been analysed. Our results for sex identification present a number of 49 males and 61 females; no significant differences for number of males and females in this population have been observed. mtDNA studies indicate that nucleotide and haplotype diversities and number of variable sites were low. Tajima's D test and Fu and Li's D* and F* tests suggest that mutations are selectively neutral and the population is expanding. A mean number of alleles per locus and a mean observed heterozygosity have been obtained by microsatellite analysis. FIS is not high, and inbreeding depression could be discarded in the near future. The results suggest that the Pyrenean population of bearded vultures have to be controlled in order to avoid the loss of genetic variability. This data should be taken into account when considering conservation plans for the species.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1994-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Pikula, Jiri; Hajkova, Pavlina; Bandouchova, Hana; Bednarova, Ivana; Adam, Vojtech; Beklova, Miroslava; Kral, Jiri; Ondracek, Karel; Osickova, Jitka; Pohanka, Miroslav; Sedlackova, Jana; Skochova, Hana; Sobotka, Jakub; Treml, Frantisek; Kizek, Rene

    2013-01-16

    Lead, a serious threat for raptors, can hamper the success of their conservation. This study reports on experience with accidental lead intoxication and responses to chelation therapy in captive Cinereous (Aegypius monachus) and Egyptian (Neophron percnopterus) Vultures. Soil contamination by lead-based paint sanded off the steel aviary resulted in poisoning of eight Cinereous and two Egyptian Vultures. A male Egyptian Vulture developed signs of apathy, polydipsia, polyuria, regurgitation, and stupor, and died on the next day. Liver, kidney and blood lead concentrations were 12.2, 8.16 and 2.66 μg/g, respectively. Laboratory analyses confirmed severe liver and kidney damage and anaemia. Blood Pb levels of Pb-exposed Cinereous Vultures were 1.571 ± 0.510 μg/g shortly after intoxication, decreased to 0.530 ± 0.165 μg/g without any therapy in a month and to 0.254 ± 0.097 μg/g one month after CaNa(2)EDTA administration. Eight months later, blood lead levels decreased to close to the background of the control group. Blood parameters of healthy Pb-non-exposed Cinereous Vultures were compared with those of the exposed group prior to and after chelation therapy. Iron levels in the lead-exposed pre-treatment birds significantly decreased after chelation. Haematocrit levels in Pb-exposed birds were significantly lower than those of the controls and improved one month after chelation. Creatine kinase was higher in pre-treatment birds than in the controls but normalised after therapy. Alkaline phosphatase increased after chelation. A marked increase in the level of lipid peroxidation measured as thiobarbituric acid reactive species was demonstrated in birds both prior to and after chelation. The ferric reducing antioxidant power was significantly lower in pre-treatment vultures and returned to normal following chelation therapy. Blood metallothionein levels in lead-exposed birds were higher than in controls. Reduced glutathione dropped after CaNa(2)EDTA therapy, while

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  7. Chlorinated hydrocarbon contaminants in blood of black and turkey vultures from Savannah River Site, South Carolina, USA.

    PubMed

    Senthil Kumar, Kurunthachalam; Bowerman, William W; DeVault, Travis L; Takasuga, Takumi; Rhodes, Olin E; Lehr Brisbin, I; Masunaga, Shigeki

    2003-10-01

    Blood of adult and juvenile black and turkey vultures in the Savannah River Site of South Carolina, USA was analyzed for the presence of 2,3,7,8-chlorine substituted polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (2,3,7,8-PCDDs), dibenzofurans (2,3,7,8-PCDFs), -dioxin-like and -di-ortho polychlorinated biphenyls. Concentration ranges of 2,3,7,8-PCDD/DFs in blood of black and turkey vultures were 14.2-34.6 and 8.7-56.2 pg/ml wet wt., respectively. Dioxin-like PCBs were in the ranges of 815-4627 and 753-3611 pg/ml wet wt. respectively, in black and turkey vultures. Considerable concentrations of two congeners of di-ortho PCBs were noticed in the ranges of 1415-10325 and 663-7500 pg/ml respectively, in black and turkey vultures. Comparatively, greater toxic equivalency (TEQ) were observed in blood of turkey vultures with the ranges of 3.2-20, whereas black vulture contained 1.8-8.4 pgTEQ/ml wet wt. basis. The species-specific accumulation profiles of PCDD/DFs and dioxin-like PCBs may reflect the different feeding habits, ecology, metabolic capacity and migratory movements of these two scavenging species.

  8. A randomized nearest-neighbor approach for assessment of character displacement: the vulture guild as a model

    PubMed

    Hertel; Lehman

    1998-01-07

    Character displacement has been analysed in the past but not with an approach that considers nearest-neighbor distances between members of a guild. Vultures provide a model system in which to test a new analytical approach presented here to assess character displacement. Vultures are represented by two geographically isolated and taxonomically distinct groups: the Old World accipitrids and New World vultures. These two groups provide an excellent case of convergent evolution in which functional similarities can be compared among obligate carrion-feeding birds. The vulture guild was analysed from several geographic regions where species occur in a high diversity: East Africa, South Africa, the Indian subcontinent, Amazonia, and the pleistocene deposits from Rancho La Brea, California. A three-dimensional morphospace was constructed derived from features of the skull, beak, and mandible to assess feeding capabilities. Species packing and their distribution within the morphospace were compared using a nearest-neighbor approach through Monte Carlo simulations. Vultures seem to exhibit a similar array of ecomorphological types wherever they occur in a high diversity, even though there are phylogenetic differences among some regions. Phylogenetic effects appear to have little influence on the distribution of functional types in each region and evidence for character displacement was found only at Rancho La Brea where both Old and New World vultures were present.Copyright 1998 Academic Press Limited Copyright 1998 Academic Press Limited

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. Livestock drugs and disease: the fatal combination behind breeding failure in endangered bearded vultures.

    PubMed

    Blanco, Guillermo; Lemus, Jesús A

    2010-11-30

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

  11. Sudden death of a bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) possibly caused by Newcastle disease virus.

    PubMed

    Lublin, A; Mechani, S; Siman-Tov, Y; Weisman, Y; Horowitz, H I; Hatzofe, O

    2001-01-01

    An adult female bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) in the Tel Aviv University Research Zoo was found dead without previous clinical signs. The predominant pathologic changes were considerable bloody content in the intestines and enlargement of the liver, which had a rubbery consistency with color changes. Microscopic lesions consisted of multifocal histiocytic infiltration in the liver. Newcastle disease virus (NDV) was isolated from a cloacal swab and from the lungs and liver. Intracerebral pathogenicity index of the virus, as estimated in 1-day-old chicks, was repeated three times and had an average value of 1.68, indicating a velogenic strain. Numerous Clostridium septicum bacteria were found on the intestinal surface, but bioassays in which they were orally administered into chickens and mice revealed that, even though they were heavily multiplied in the intestines, they were nonpathogenic. It seems that NDV, documented for the first time in a bearded vulture in Israel, was the likely cause of sudden death.

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

    PubMed Central

    Blanco, Guillermo; Lemus, Jesús A.

    2010-01-01

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

  13. Cell-cell signal-dependent dynamic interactions between HD-GYP and GGDEF domain proteins mediate virulence in Xanthomonas campestris.

    PubMed

    Ryan, Robert P; McCarthy, Yvonne; Andrade, Maxuel; Farah, Chuck S; Armitage, Judith P; Dow, J Maxwell

    2010-03-30

    RpfG is a paradigm for a class of widespread bacterial two-component regulators with a CheY-like receiver domain attached to a histidine-aspartic acid-glycine-tyrosine-proline (HD-GYP) cyclic di-GMP phosphodiesterase domain. In the plant pathogen Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris (Xcc), a two-component system comprising RpfG and the complex sensor kinase RpfC is implicated in sensing and responding to the diffusible signaling factor (DSF), which is essential for cell-cell signaling. RpfF is involved in synthesizing DSF, and mutations of rpfF, rpfG, or rpfC lead to a coordinate reduction in the synthesis of virulence factors such as extracellular enzymes, biofilm structure, and motility. Using yeast two-hybrid analysis and fluorescence resonance energy transfer experiments in Xcc, we show that the physical interaction of RpfG with two proteins with diguanylate cyclase (GGDEF) domains controls a subset of RpfG-regulated virulence functions. RpfG interactions were abolished by alanine substitutions of the three residues of the conserved GYP motif in the HD-GYP domain. Changing the GYP motif or deletion of the two GGDEF-domain proteins reduced Xcc motility but not the synthesis of extracellular enzymes or biofilm formation. RpfG-GGDEF interactions are dynamic and depend on DSF signaling, being reduced in the rpfF mutant but restored by DSF addition. The results are consistent with a model in which DSF signal transduction controlling motility depends on a highly regulated, dynamic interaction of proteins that influence the localized expression of cyclic di-GMP.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

    Between 2004 and 2013, 486 suspected scavenger poisoning cases, including 24 bearded vultures (Gypaetus barbatus), were investigated in the Pyrenees and surrounding areas in Spain as part of a monitoring programme regarding accidental and intentional poisoning of wildlife. Poisoning was confirmed in 36% of all analysed cases where scavenger species were found dead within the distribution range of bearded vultures. Organophosphates and carbamates were the most frequently detected poisons. Four of the bearded vulture cases were positive for the presence of topical antiparasitics (3 with diazinon and 1 with permethrin). These likely represented accidental exposure due to the legal use of these veterinary pharmaceuticals. In order to confirm the risk of exposure to topical antiparasitics in bearded vultures, pig feet (n=24) and lamb feet (n=24) were analysed as these are one of the main food resources provided to bearded vultures at supplementary feeding stations. Pig feet had no detectable residues of topical antiparasitics. In contrast, 71.4% of lamb feet showed residues of antiparasitics including diazinon (64.3%), pirimiphos-methyl (25.4%), chlorpyrifos (7.1%), fenthion (1.6%), permethrin (0.8%) and cypermethrin (27.8%). Washing the feet with water significantly reduced levels of these topical antiparasitics, as such, this should be a recommended practice for lamb feet supplied at feeding stations for bearded vultures. Although the detected levels of antiparasitics were relatively low (≤1 μg/g), a risk assessment suggests that observed diazinon levels may affect brain acetylcholinesterase and thermoregulation in bearded vultures subject to chronic exposure. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed Central

    Kelly, Terra R.; Johnson, Christine K.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

    There is much recent interest in the presence and impact of veterinary pharmaceuticals in wildlife. Livestock carcasses are often disposed of in supplementary feeding stations for avian scavengers, as a management and conservation tool for these species worldwide. In feeding stations, vultures and other scavengers can consume carcasses almost immediately after disposal, which implies the potential ingestion of veterinary pharmaceuticals as a non-target consequence of supplementary feeding. Using UPLC-MS/MS and HPLC-TOF, we evaluated the presence and concentration of fluoroquinolone residues in plasma of nestling vultures feeding on domestic livestock carrion. Three different fluoroquinolones (marbofloxacin, enrofloxacin and its metabolite ciprofloxacin) and a non-targeted β-lactam (nafcillin) were detected in vulture plasma. The high proportion of individuals (92%) with fluoroquinolone residues at variable concentrations (up to ∼20 μg L(-1) of enrofloxacin and ∼150 μg L(-1) of marbofloxacin) sampled in several geographically distant colonies and on different dates suggests that these and other drugs were potentially ingested throughout nestling development. Contamination with veterinary fluoroquinolones and other pharmaceuticals should be considered as an unintended but alarming consequence of food management in threatened wildlife. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Lead exposure in free-flying turkey vultures is associated with big game hunting in California.

    PubMed

    Kelly, Terra R; Johnson, Christine K

    2011-04-06

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

  18. Minimum anesthetic concentration and cardiovascular dose-response relationship of isoflurane in cinereous vultures (Aegypius monachus).

    PubMed

    Kim, Young K; Lee, Scott S; Suh, Euy H; Lee, Lyon; Lee, Hee C; Lee, Hyo J; Yeon, Seong C

    2011-09-01

    This study aimed to determine the minimum anesthetic concentration (MAC) and dose-related cardiovascular effects of isoflurane during controlled ventilation in cinereous vultures (Aegypius monachus). The MAC was determined for 10 cinereous vultures as the midpoint between the end-tidal isoflurane concentration that allows gross purposeful movement and that which prevents the movement in response to clamping a pedal digit. Immediately after the MAC was determined, the cardiovascular effects of isoflurane at 1.0, 1.5, and 2.0 times the MAC were investigated in seven of the 10 birds. The MAC of isoflurane for 10 cinereous vultures during controlled ventilation was 1.06 +/- 0.07% (mean +/- SD). When the isoflurane concentration was increased to 1.5 and 2.0 times the MAC, there was significant dose-dependent decrease in the arterial blood pressure. However, the heart rate did not change over a range of 1.0 to 2.0 times the MAC.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mateo-Tomás, Patricia; Olea, Pedro P.

    2009-07-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Tributsch, Helmut

    2016-01-15

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

  2. Hematology and blood chemistry reference values and age-related changes in wild Bearded Vultures (Gypaetus barbatus).

    PubMed

    Hernández, M; Margalida, A

    2010-04-01

    Normal hematologic and blood chemistry values for clinical use and age-related changes are reported as reference values for the endangered Bearded Vulture (Gypaetus barbatus). Blood samples were obtained from 21 nestlings and 26 free-living subadults and adults. No significant differences were found between subadults and adults or between sexes for any of the studied parameters. Reference ranges have been established for Bearded Vulture nestlings (less than 3 mo of age) and for free-living Bearded Vultures, with subadult and adult data combined without affecting clinical interpretation. Some reference values for the parameters reported in this study are similar to those previously described for vultures and other raptor species, although creatine phosphokinase and lactate dehydrogenase activities were higher than those reported for birds of prey. Significant age-related differences were identified in urea, uric acid, triglycerides, total serum protein, inorganic phosphorus, and magnesium concentrations, as well as aspartate aminotransferase, creatine phosphokinase, lactate dehydrogenase, alkaline phosphatase, amylase, and lipase activities (P<0.05). Additionally, significant age-related differences were noted in red and white blood cell counts, packed cell volume, hemoglobin concentration, mean corpuscular volume, mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration, fibrinogen level, and heterophils, lymphocytes, and eosinophils (P<0.005). The results obtained from this study provide reference ranges that will be useful for evaluating the pathologic conditions and general health of Bearded Vulture populations and reveal the existence of important age-related differences in the species.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yosef, Reuven; Kabesa, Shai; Yosef, Nufar

    2011-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-23

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. The prevalence of the electrocardiographic J wave in the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen compared to 10 different dog breeds.

    PubMed

    Rudling, E H; Schlamowitz, S; Pipper, C B; Nilsson, E; Höllmer, M; Willesen, J L; Berendt, M; Fredholm, M; Gulløv, C H; Christiansen, M; Koch, J

    2016-03-01

    To investigate the prevalence and amplitudes of the electrocardiographic J wave in the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen compared to 10 other dog breeds. Electrocardiograms from 206 healthy dogs representing 11 dog breeds were included in the study. Besides Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen (PBGV; n = 23) 10 other dog breeds were included. An electrocardiogram ruler was used for measuring the amplitudes of the J waves. The definition of a J wave was a positive deflection at the J point of ≥0.1 mV in more than 1 lead of the bipolar standard limb leads (I, II, III) or the unipolar standard limb leads (aVL and aVF). The prevalence of J waves in the PBGV (n = 23) was 91% (n = 21, standard error (SE) = 5.9%), which was significantly higher compared to seven other dog breeds (p < 0.05). The overall prevalence of J waves in all 11 dog breeds (n = 206) was 43% (n = 89, robust SE = 7.8%). There was no significant difference in the prevalence between male and female dogs (p = 0.79). Neither did age (p = 0.22) nor heart rate (p = 0.25) significantly affect the prevalence of J wave. The PBGV had the highest prevalence of J waves and the highest amplitudes compared to 10 other dog breeds. However J waves were also seen in other breeds. Therefore, J waves may be considered a normal variant on the canine electrocardiogram and should not be interpreted as cardiac disease. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Testing the goodness of supplementary feeding to enhance population viability in an endangered vulture.

    PubMed

    Oro, Daniel; Margalida, Antoni; Carrete, Martina; Heredia, Rafael; Donázar, José Antonio

    2008-01-01

    Human-predator conflicts are directly or indirectly threatening many species with extinction. Thus, biologists are urged to find simple solutions to complex situations while avoiding unforeseen conservation outcomes. The provision of supplementary food at artificial feeding sites (AFS) is frequently used in the conservation of scavenger bird populations currently suffering from indirect poisoning, although no scientific studies on its effectiveness have been conducted. We used a long-term data set of 95 individually marked birds from the largest European core of the endangered bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) to test the long-term effects of specific AFS for bearded vultures on their survival rates (by CMR models) and population dynamics (by Monte Carlo simulations) in an area where fatalities derived from illegal poisoning and the use of other toxics like veterinary drugs have increased over the last several years. Our data support the positive relationship between the use of AFS and survival. However, contrary to theoretical predictions (e.g. high and more stable adult survival among long-lived species), the use of AFS increased only survival of pre-adults. Moreover, AFS buffered the effects of illegal poisoning on this age-class, while adult survival decreased over years. Our simulations predicted a maximum value of extinction probability over a time horizon of 50 years. Population projections run with survival rates expected in scenarios without poisoning predicted the situation of least conservation concern, while including only AFS can maintain a large floater surplus that may delay population decline but fails to reduce poisoning risk among adults. Although AFS are not effective to save bearded vultures from an expected population decline, they delay population extinction and can be a useful tool for prolonging population viability while combating illegal and indirect poisoning. The eradication of different sources of poisoning is of top priority to

  11. Testing the Goodness of Supplementary Feeding to Enhance Population Viability in an Endangered Vulture

    PubMed Central

    Oro, Daniel; Margalida, Antoni; Carrete, Martina; Heredia, Rafael; Donázar, José Antonio

    2008-01-01

    Background Human-predator conflicts are directly or indirectly threatening many species with extinction. Thus, biologists are urged to find simple solutions to complex situations while avoiding unforeseen conservation outcomes. The provision of supplementary food at artificial feeding sites (AFS) is frequently used in the conservation of scavenger bird populations currently suffering from indirect poisoning, although no scientific studies on its effectiveness have been conducted. Methodology/Principal Findings We used a long-term data set of 95 individually marked birds from the largest European core of the endangered bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) to test the long-term effects of specific AFS for bearded vultures on their survival rates (by CMR models) and population dynamics (by Monte Carlo simulations) in an area where fatalities derived from illegal poisoning and the use of other toxics like veterinary drugs have increased over the last several years. Our data support the positive relationship between the use of AFS and survival. However, contrary to theoretical predictions (e.g. high and more stable adult survival among long-lived species), the use of AFS increased only survival of pre-adults. Moreover, AFS buffered the effects of illegal poisoning on this age-class, while adult survival decreased over years. Our simulations predicted a maximum value of extinction probability over a time horizon of 50 years. Population projections run with survival rates expected in scenarios without poisoning predicted the situation of least conservation concern, while including only AFS can maintain a large floater surplus that may delay population decline but fails to reduce poisoning risk among adults. Conclusions/Significance Although AFS are not effective to save bearded vultures from an expected population decline, they delay population extinction and can be a useful tool for prolonging population viability while combating illegal and indirect poisoning. The

  12. Rate of decline of the Oriental white-backed vulture population in India estimated from a survey of diclofenac residues in carcasses of ungulates.

    PubMed

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

    2007-08-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

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

  14. Retraction statement: Dynamic complex formation between HD-GYP, GGDEF and PilZ domain proteins regulates motility in Xanthomonas campestris.

    PubMed

    2017-05-01

    The following article from Molecular Microbiology (2012) 86(3), 557-567, 'Dynamic complex formation between HD-GYP, GGDEF and PilZ domain proteins regulates motility in Xanthomonas campestris' by Robert P. Ryan, Yvonne McCarthy, Patrick A. Kiely, Rosemary O'Connor, Chuck S. Farah, Judith P. Armitage and J. Maxwell Dow published online in Wiley Online Library (wileyonlinelibrary.com), has been retracted by agreement between the authors, the journal Editor-in-Chief, John D Helmann, and John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Since publication of the above article, it has been brought to our attention that there are several image duplications across Figures 3, 5 and 6 including duplication with another article in PNAS: 'Cell-cell signal-dependent dynamic interactions between HD-GYP and GGDEF domain proteins mediate virulence in Xanthomonas campestris', by Robert P. Ryan, Yvonne McCarthy, Maxuel Andrade, Chuck S. Farah, Judith P. Armitage, and J. Maxwell Dow; PNAS (2010) 107(13), 5989-5994. The authors apologise for the errors that arose due to poor labelling of the electronic images used in the construction of the figures and for not spotting the duplication during review, and, with agreement of all parties, the decision has been made to retract this article. We apologise for any inconvenience the publication of this work may have caused our readers. Ryan, R.P., McCarthy, Y., Andrade, M., Farah, C.S., Armitage, J.P., and Dow, J.M. (2010) Cell-cell signal-dependent dynamic interactions between HD-GYP and GGDEF domain proteins mediate virulence in Xanthomonas campestris. PNAS 107: 5989-5994. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0912839107. Ryan, R.P., McCarthy, Y., Kiely, P.A., O'connor, R., Farah, C.S., Armitage, J.P., and Dow, J.M. (2012) Dynamic complex formation between HD-GYP, GGDEF and PilZ domain proteins regulates motility in Xanthomonas campestris. Mol Microbiol 86: 557-567. DOI: 10.1111/mmi.12000. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  16. The importance of the nutritive value of old bones in the diet of Bearded vultures Gypaetus barbatus.

    PubMed

    Margalida, Antoni; Villalba, Daniel

    2017-08-14

    Vultures are central-place foragers and need to optimize their foraging behaviour to offset travel costs by increasing their energy gain. This process is more obvious in certain vulture species that do not feed their young by regurgitation and so must carry food items back to the nest. The Bearded Vulture Gypaetus barbatus is the only species with a bone-diet based. We analysed the chemical composition of bones and the age-related changes in their nutritive value to assess the differences in energy content between bones of differing age, body part and species. We found differences between specific anatomical parts, species and the age of the bones. Fresh bones contain 108% as much energy as fresh meat and, interestingly, dry bones retain 90% of the protein found in fresh bones. Dry femurs weighing 140 g retain enough protein to be comparable to 111 g of fresh meat, in energy terms. Compared to meat-eating species, the specialized osteophagous diet of the Bearded Vulture seems to have certain advantages. A better understanding of nutrient levels in food remains could help to improve theoretical foraging models, assist in conservation management, and even improve our understanding of the use of bones by early hominids.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Cardiorespiratory dose-response relationship of isoflurane in Cinereous vulture (Aegypius monachus) during spontaneous ventilation

    PubMed Central

    SEOK, Seong-Hoon; JEONG, Dong-Hyuk; HONG, Il-Hwa; LEE, Hee-Chun; YEON, Seong-Chan

    2016-01-01

    Anesthesia is an inevitably important component of diagnosis and treatments examining the health condition of wild animals. Not only does anesthesia become an essential tool in minimizing stress of the patients and providing an opportunity to deliver accurate and safe procedures, but it also ensures the safety of the medical crew members. This study was conducted to investigate the dose-response cardiorespiratory effects of isoflurane during spontaneous ventilation in ten cinereous vultures. Each bird was administered isoflurane at initial concentration of 1.0, 1.5, 2.0, 2.5 and 3.0 and then an end-tidal isoflurane concentrations (ETiso) of 1.0% for an equilibration period of 15 min in the given order. At the end of the equilibration period, the direct blood pressure (BP), heart rate (HR), respiratory rate (RR) and end tidal CO2 partial pressure (PETCO2) were recorded, and blood gas analysis was performed. Increasing isoflurane concentrations during spontaneous ventilation led to dose-dependent increases in HR and PETCO2, with minimal changes in RR, decreased arterial BP and respiratory acidosis. Overall, isoflurane for anesthesia of spontaneously breathing cinereous vultures is a suitable choice for diagnostic or surgical procedures. PMID:27725351

  19. Spatial and temporal movements in Pyrenean bearded vultures (Gypaetus barbatus): Integrating movement ecology into conservation practice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Margalida, Antoni; Pérez-García, Juan Manuel; Afonso, Ivan; Moreno-Opo, Rubén

    2016-10-01

    Understanding the movement of threatened species is important if we are to optimize management and conservation actions. Here, we describe the age and sex specific spatial and temporal ranging patterns of 19 bearded vultures Gypaetus barbatus tracked with GPS technology. Our findings suggest that spatial asymmetries are a consequence of breeding status and age-classes. Territorial individuals exploited home ranges of about 50 km2, while non-territorial birds used areas of around 10 000 km2 (with no seasonal differences). Mean daily movements differed between territorial (23.8 km) and non-territorial birds (46.1 km), and differences were also found between sexes in non-territorial birds. Daily maximum distances travelled per day also differed between territorial (8.2 km) and non-territorial individuals (26.5 km). Territorial females moved greater distances (12 km) than males (6.6 km). Taking into account high-use core areas (K20), Supplementary Feeding Sites (SFS) do not seem to play an important role in the use of space by bearded vultures. For non-territorial and territorial individuals, 54% and 46% of their home ranges (K90), respectively, were outside protected areas. Our findings will help develop guidelines for establishing priority areas based on spatial use, and also optimize management and conservation actions for this threatened species.

  20. Spatial and temporal movements in Pyrenean bearded vultures (Gypaetus barbatus): Integrating movement ecology into conservation practice

    PubMed Central

    Margalida, Antoni; Pérez-García, Juan Manuel; Afonso, Ivan; Moreno-Opo, Rubén

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the movement of threatened species is important if we are to optimize management and conservation actions. Here, we describe the age and sex specific spatial and temporal ranging patterns of 19 bearded vultures Gypaetus barbatus tracked with GPS technology. Our findings suggest that spatial asymmetries are a consequence of breeding status and age-classes. Territorial individuals exploited home ranges of about 50 km2, while non-territorial birds used areas of around 10 000 km2 (with no seasonal differences). Mean daily movements differed between territorial (23.8 km) and non-territorial birds (46.1 km), and differences were also found between sexes in non-territorial birds. Daily maximum distances travelled per day also differed between territorial (8.2 km) and non-territorial individuals (26.5 km). Territorial females moved greater distances (12 km) than males (6.6 km). Taking into account high-use core areas (K20), Supplementary Feeding Sites (SFS) do not seem to play an important role in the use of space by bearded vultures. For non-territorial and territorial individuals, 54% and 46% of their home ranges (K90), respectively, were outside protected areas. Our findings will help develop guidelines for establishing priority areas based on spatial use, and also optimize management and conservation actions for this threatened species. PMID:27779179

  1. Spatial and temporal movements in Pyrenean bearded vultures (Gypaetus barbatus): Integrating movement ecology into conservation practice.

    PubMed

    Margalida, Antoni; Pérez-García, Juan Manuel; Afonso, Ivan; Moreno-Opo, Rubén

    2016-10-25

    Understanding the movement of threatened species is important if we are to optimize management and conservation actions. Here, we describe the age and sex specific spatial and temporal ranging patterns of 19 bearded vultures Gypaetus barbatus tracked with GPS technology. Our findings suggest that spatial asymmetries are a consequence of breeding status and age-classes. Territorial individuals exploited home ranges of about 50 km(2), while non-territorial birds used areas of around 10 000 km(2) (with no seasonal differences). Mean daily movements differed between territorial (23.8 km) and non-territorial birds (46.1 km), and differences were also found between sexes in non-territorial birds. Daily maximum distances travelled per day also differed between territorial (8.2 km) and non-territorial individuals (26.5 km). Territorial females moved greater distances (12 km) than males (6.6 km). Taking into account high-use core areas (K20), Supplementary Feeding Sites (SFS) do not seem to play an important role in the use of space by bearded vultures. For non-territorial and territorial individuals, 54% and 46% of their home ranges (K90), respectively, were outside protected areas. Our findings will help develop guidelines for establishing priority areas based on spatial use, and also optimize management and conservation actions for this threatened species.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosatelli, Gianluigi; Wall, Frances; Stoppa, Francesco

    2007-12-01

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

  3. Density-dependent productivity depression in Pyrenean Bearded Vultures: implications for conservation.

    PubMed

    Carrete, Martina; Donázar, José A; Margalida, Antoni

    2006-10-01

    The main objective of many conservation programs is to increase population size by improving a species' survival and reproduction. However, density dependence of demographic parameters may confound this approach. In this study we used a 25-year data set on Bearded Vultures (Gypaetus barbatus) in Spain to evaluate the consequences of population growth on reproductive performance. Unlike its coefficient of variation (cv), mean annual productivity decreased with increasing population size. After controlling for territorial heterogeneity, productivity also was negatively related to the distance to the nearest conspecific breeding pair and to supplementary feeding points where floaters congregate. These results suggest that vulture populations are regulated as posited by the site-dependency hypothesis: as the population increases, average productivity decreases because progressively poorer territories are used. The combined effects of the shrinkage of territories and the presence of floaters around supplementary feeding points seem to be the main causes of productivity decline and are therefore the main determinants of territory quality. This has conservation implications, especially concerning the role of supplementary feeding points. Supplementary feeding should be reviewed given that its usefulness in reducing preadult mortality has not yet been proved and its effect on productivity, as our results suggest, is negative.

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

    PubMed Central

    Tributsch, Helmut

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Gaengler, Hannah; Clum, Nancy

    2015-01-01

    Naturalistic feeding methods, such as the provision of whole carcasses to zoo animals, are potentially controversial because zoo visitors might not approve of them. However, since several species of zoo animals feed from large carcasses in the wild, this food type could benefit their welfare in captivity compared to other less-natural food types. Scavengers in particular almost exclusively live on carcasses in nature; therefore, their welfare in captivity could significantly depend on the opportunity to express behaviors related to carcass feeding. In this study, we assessed the frequency of carcass feeding for vultures in North American zoos and investigated the effect of different food types on the behavior of zoo-housed Andean condors (Vultur gryphus). We also evaluated the opinion of North American zoo visitors about carcass feeding. Our results show that small whole carcasses (rats, rabbits) are part of the diet of vultures in most North American zoos, but large whole carcasses (ungulates) are rarely fed. Our behavioral study indicated that Andean condors appear to be more motivated to feed on more natural food types, which also seem to physically engage the birds more and occupy them longer. Most zoo visitors approved of carcass feeding for captive vultures over a range of prey animals, and the majority would also like to observe the vultures eat. Collectively, our results demonstrate that carcass feeding, particularly with larger prey, potentially enriches both zoo-housed vultures as well as the visitor experience. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  7. Effective number of breeders and maintenance of genetic diversity in the captive bearded vulture population.

    PubMed

    Gautschi, B; Müller, J P; Schmid, B; Shykoff, J A

    2003-07-01

    We combined pedigree data with data derived from 14 microsatellite loci to investigate genetic diversity and its maintenance in the captive source population for the reintroduction of the bearded vulture into the Alps. We found the captive population to be genetically more variable than the largest natural population in Europe, both in terms of mean number of alleles per locus and mean observed and expected heterozygosity. Allelic diversity of the captive population was higher than, and mean heterozygosity measurements were comparable with the ones found in two large, extinct populations from Sardinia and the Alps represented by museum specimens. The amount of genetic variability recruited with the founders was still present in the captive population of the year 2000, mainly because the carriers of rare alleles were still alive. However, the decline in expected heterozygosity and the loss of alleles over generations in captivity was significant. Point estimates of effective population size, N(e), based on pedigree data and estimates of effective number of breeders, N(b), based on allele frequency changes, ranged from 20 to 30 and were significantly smaller than the census size. The results demonstrate that the amount of genetic variability in the captive bearded vulture population is comparable or even larger than the amount present in natural populations. However, the population is in danger to lose genetic variability over time because of genetic drift. Management strategies should therefore aim at preserving genetic variability by minimising kinship, and at increasing N(e) by recruiting additional founders and enhancing gene flow between the released, the captive and natural populations.

  8. Estimating updraft velocity components over large spatial scales: contrasting migration strategies of golden eagles and turkey vultures.

    PubMed

    Bohrer, Gil; Brandes, David; Mandel, James T; Bildstein, Keith L; Miller, Tricia A; Lanzone, Michael; Katzner, Todd; Maisonneuve, Charles; Tremblay, Junior A

    2012-02-01

    Soaring birds migrate in massive numbers worldwide. These migrations are complex and dynamic phenomena, strongly influenced by meteorological conditions that produce thermal and orographic uplift as the birds traverse the landscape. Herein we report on how methods were developed to estimate the strength of thermal and orographic uplift using publicly available digital weather and topography datasets at continental scale. We apply these methods to contrast flight strategies of two morphologically similar but behaviourally different species: golden eagle, Aquila chrysaetos, and turkey vulture, Cathartes aura, during autumn migration across eastern North America tracked using GPS tags. We show that turkey vultures nearly exclusively used thermal lift, whereas golden eagles primarily use orographic lift during migration. It has not been shown previously that migration tracks are affected by species-specific specialisation to a particular uplift mode. The methods introduced herein to estimate uplift components and test for differences in weather use can be applied to study movement of any soaring species.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  10. Impact of the California lead ammunition ban on reducing lead exposure in golden eagles and turkey vultures.

    PubMed

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

    2011-04-06

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

  11. Aspergillus fumigatus infection in two wild Eurasian black vultures (Aegypius monachus Linnaeus) with carbofuran insecticide poisoning: a case report.

    PubMed

    Jung, Kwonil; Kim, Youngjun; Lee, Hang; Kim, Jong-Taek

    2009-02-01

    Aspergillus spp. are opportunistic pathogens which cause pulmonary aspergillosis in animals and humans with compromised immune systems. Two Eurasian black vultures (Aegypius monachus Linnaeus) were found dead or clinically ill from carbofuran insecticide during the winter of 2004. Carbofuran was detected in the stomach contents by gas chromatograph-mass spectrometry. Gross lesions showed severe granulomatous pneumonia and serofibrinous pleuropneumonia in both birds, with most lesions restricted to the pulmonary system. Histological lesions included pyogranulomatous pneumonia and suppurative parabronchiolitis/pleuritis/air sacculitis with a number of septated fungal hyphae, suggesting severe pulmonary aspergillosis. Fungal isolates from each vulture were identified as Aspergillus fumigatus by both lactophenol cotton blue staining and genetic analysis. This is the first report of pulmonary aspergillosis caused by A. fumigatus in wild Eurasian black vultures and suggests that Aspergillus infection could be an important cause of death in these birds which migrate from Mongolia to Korea during the winter. The incidence of the disease may be related to impaired immunity caused directly or indirectly by carbofuran poisoning.

  12. Analysis of the HD-GYP domain cyclic dimeric GMP phosphodiesterase reveals a role in motility and the enzootic life cycle of Borrelia burgdorferi.

    PubMed

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

    2011-08-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  15. The HD-GYP domain protein RpfG of Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzicola regulates synthesis of extracellular polysaccharides that contribute to biofilm formation and virulence on rice.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  16. Food safety in scavenger conservation: Diet-associated exposure to livestock pharmaceuticals and opportunist mycoses in threatened Cinereous and Egyptian vultures.

    PubMed

    Blanco, Guillermo; Junza, Alexandra; Barrón, Dolores

    2017-01-01

    Pharmaceuticals from veterinary treatments may enter terrestrial food webs when medicated livestock are available to wildlife in supplementary feeding stations aimed at the conservation of endangered scavengers. Here, we hypothesized that the exposure risk to livestock fluoroquinolones, as indicators of pharmaceutical burden in food, is related to the variable reliance of scavengers on domestic versus wild animal carcasses. Since the misuse of broad-spectrum antibiotics is a major predisposing factor for opportunistic mycoses, we evaluated disease signs potentially associated with diet-dependent drug exposure in nestlings of two threatened vultures. A greater occurrence (100%, n=14) and concentration of fluoroquinolones (mean±SD=73.0±27.5µgL(-1), range=33.2-132.7), mostly enrofloxacin, were found in Cinereous vultures, Aegypius monachus, due to their greater dependence on livestock carcasses than Egyptian vultures, Neophron percnopterus (fluoroquinolones occurrence: 44%, n=16, concentration: 37.9±16.6µgL(-1), range=11.5-55.9), which rely much more on carcasses of wild animals (42% of remains vs. 23% in the cinereous vulture). The chaotic, chronic and pulsed ingestion of these drugs throughout nestling development is proposed as one of the most plausible explanations for the high occurrence and intensity of oral Candida-like lesions in nestling vultures. The high occurrence of fluoroquinolone residues and disease hindered the probing of a cause-effect relationship between both factors in individual vultures. This relationship could be evaluated through a population-based approach by sampling vultures not exposed to these drugs. The high dependence of vultures on domestic animals today compared to past decades and the growing intensification of livestock farming, imply an expected increase in the impact of pharmaceuticals on scavenger populations. This requires further evaluation due to potential consequences in biodiversity conservation and environmental health

  17. Characterization of an avianpox virus isolated from an Andean condor (Vultur gryphus).

    PubMed

    Kim, Tae-Joong; Schnitzlein, William M; McAloose, Denise; Pessier, Allan P; Tripathy, Deoki N

    2003-10-30

    A novel pox virus, condorpox virus (CPV) isolated from the spleen of an Andean condor (Vultur gryphus) by inoculation of chorioallantoic membranes (CAM) of specific pathogen free (SPF) chicken embryos was compared biologically, antigenically and genetically with fowlpox virus (FPV), the type species of the genus Avipoxvirus. Susceptible chickens inoculated with CPV developed only mild localized lesions but were not protected against subsequent challenge with FPV. Based on Western blotting, in addition to the presence of cross-reacting antigens, distinct differences in antigenic profiles of CPV and FPV were observed. Sequence analysis of a 4.5 kb HindIII fragment of CPV genomic DNA revealed the presence of eight co-linear genes corresponding to FPV open reading frame (ORF)193-198, 201 and 203. Interestingly, reticuloendotheliosis virus (REV) sequences present in the genome of all FPV were absent in CPV. Although, the results of a phylogenic analysis suggested that CPV is a member of the genus Avipoxvirus, its unique antigenic, biologic and genetic characteristics distinguish it from FPV to be considered as a new member of this genus.

  18. Long-term effects of lead poisoning on bone mineralization in vultures exposed to ammunition sources.

    PubMed

    Gangoso, Laura; Alvarez-Lloret, Pedro; Rodríguez-Navarro, Alejandro A B; Mateo, Rafael; Hiraldo, Fernando; Donázar, José Antonio

    2009-02-01

    Long-lived species are particularly susceptible to bioaccumulation of lead in bone tissues. In this paper we gain insights into the sublethal effects of lead contamination on Egyptian vultures (Neophron percnopterus). Our approach was done on the comparison of two populations (Canary Islands and Iberian Peninsula) differing in exposures to the ingestion of lead ammunition. Blood lead levels were higher in the island population (Canary Islands range: 5.10-1780 microg L(-1) n=137; Iberian Peninsula range: 5.60-217.30 microg L(-1) n=32) showing clear seasonal trends, peaking during the hunting season. Moreover, males were more susceptible to lead accumulation than females. Bone lead concentration increased with age, reflecting a bioaccumulation effect. The bone composition was significatively altered by this contaminant: the mineralization degree decreased as lead concentration levels increased. These results demonstrate the existence of long-term effects of lead poisoning, which may be of importance in the declines of threatened populations of long-lived species exposed to this contaminant.

  19. Melanin-based color variation in the Bearded Vulture suggests a thermoregulatory function.

    PubMed

    Margalida, Antoni; Negro, Juan José; Galván, Ismael

    2008-01-01

    We document a case of intraspecific variation in plumage colouration in Bearded Vultures that may have arisen as a functional response to climate conditions. Two subspecies, Gypaetus barbatus barbatus (Eurasia and North Africa populations) and Gypaetus barbatus meridionalis (Eastern and Southern Africa), have been described on the basis of plumage colour differences. The plumage of G. b. barbatus tends to be darker in comparison with that of G. b. meridionalis. The plumage of the two subspecies differ in the feathering of the tarsi (more abundant in G. b. barbatus) and presence/absence of dark ear tufts (only present in G. b. barbatus, and this being the most useful character to distinguish adult specimens of both subspecies). When exposing skins under the sun or to electric bulbs in a cold room, temperature increases were significantly higher in the black ear tufts than in the frontal region of the head, suggesting that the melanized ear patch of G. b. barbatus serves, at least, to heat up the air entering the ear channel and perhaps also the underlying skin. In addition, G. b. barbatus, which inhabits mountainous regions with harsh and long winters, would benefit more from feathered tarsi to prevent heat loss through the legs.

  20. Clostridium vulturis sp. nov., isolated from the intestine of the cinereous vulture (Aegypius monachus).

    PubMed

    Paek, Jayoung; Lee, Mi-Hwa; Kim, Byung-Chun; Sang, Byoung-In; Paek, Woon Kee; Jin, Tae-Eun; Shin, Yeseul; Park, In-Soon; Chang, Young-Hyo

    2014-09-01

    A Gram-stain positive, strict anaerobe, spore-forming, motile rod-shaped bacterial strain with peritrichous flagella, designated YMB-57(T), was isolated from the intestine of a cinereous vulture (Aegypius monachus) in Korea. Strain YMB-57(T) was found to show optimal growth at 37 °C, pH 7.5 and 1.0 % (w/v) NaCl. Phylogenetic analysis based on the 16S rRNA gene sequence showed that strain YMB-57(T) belongs to the genus Clostridium and is most closely related to the type strains of Clostridium subterminale (96.9 % sequence similarity), Clostridium thiosulfatireducens (96.7 %) and Clostridium sulfidigenes (96.6 %). The main fermentation end-products identified following growth in PYG medium were acetate, butyrate, ethanol, propanol, carbon dioxide and hydrogen. Peptone was converted to ethanol, and butanol, whereas glucose was fermented to ethanol. The major cellular fatty acids were identified as C16:0, C18:1 ω9c, and C18:1 ω9c DMA and the DNA G+C content was determined to be 34.0 mol%. Phenotypic and phylogenetic differences indicate that strain YMB-57(T) is distinct from other Clostridium species. It is proposed that strain YMB-57(T) be classified as the type strain of a novel species of the genus Clostridium, with the name Clostridium vulturis sp. nov. The type strain is YMB-57(T) (=KCTC 15114(T) = JCM 17998(T)).

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  3. Assessing the risk of lead exposure for the conservation of the endangered Pyrenean bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) population.

    PubMed

    Hernández, Mauro; Margalida, Antoni

    2009-10-01

    Acute and chronic lead (Pb) poisoning have been recognized as some of the most important causes of mortality for raptors worldwide. We simultaneously examined the recent, medium-term and long-term lead exposure of the endangered bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) from the Pyrenees (northern Spain and southern France). One hundred and one blood samples from 87 captured individuals and tissue samples (liver and bone) from a further 43 dead individuals were analyzed for lead residues. The majority of individuals examined had very low lead concentrations in blood, liver and bone. However, two individuals showed elevated blood Pb levels, two individuals showed liver lead concentrations indicative of excessive lead exposure and one individual showed bone lead levels indicative of chronic lead poisoning, suggesting that the Pyrenean population is not free from the risk of poisoning. We found that Pb exposure was significantly higher in adult individuals as well as in the northern (France) and eastern (Catalonia) range of their distribution. These differences could be related to different feeding habits between age classes (pre-adults are more linked to supplementary feeding sites) and differences in hunting practices between regions (in some regions, carcasses and offal of game animals are not retrieved). Blood, liver and bone lead levels found were slightly higher during the hunting season than outside of the hunting season. Lead presents an unnecessary threat to adult birds and the only way to remove this risk is to ban all hunting with lead within the range of distribution of the endangered bearded vulture. Acute and chronic lead poisoning should be considered in differential diagnosis in any diseased or injured wild bearded vulture, especially subadult and adult individuals, and the potential risk of Pb poisoning should be considered in future reintroduction programs.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Krüger, Sonja; Reid, Timothy; Amar, Arjun

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Electrocardiography in conscious releasable Andean condors (Vultur gryphus): reference panel and unusual findings.

    PubMed

    Wiemeyer, Guillermo M; Lambertucci, Sergio A; Bianchini, Laura Torres; Belerenian, Guillermo

    2013-01-01

    Electrocardiography is a useful tool when included in healthcare protocols and is increasingly utilized for monitoring wild birds. However, the lack of reference data for many species is limiting the clinical value of this technique. In this study 26 Andean condors (Vultur gryphus) coming from rehabilitation and captive breeding programs were examined to determine electrocardiographic references prior to being released. Standard bipolar (I, II, and III) and augmented unipolar limb (aVR, aVL, and aVF) leads were recorded with birds under physical restraint. Five beats were analyzed on Lead II at 50 mm/sec and 1 cm = 1 mV to determine QRS complex morphology, cardiac rhythm, heart rate, P, PR, R, S, QRS, T, QT, and ST amplitude and/or duration. P and T wave configuration was determined for all leads, and Mean Electrical Axis (MEA) in the frontal plane was determined using leads I and III. Cardiac rhythm corresponded to regular sinus rhythm in 42% of the birds, with a relevant rate of sinus arrhythmia in 58%, and rS as the most common pattern (42%) for QRS complex in lead II. We found an influence of age and heart rate but not of sex on several ECG waves and intervals. Relevant ECG findings for studied Andean condors include a high rate of T(a), R', and U wave detection. Waves T(a) and R' were considered non-pathological, while the significance of U waves remains unclear. Our results provide a useful reference to improve clinical interpretation of full electrocardiographic examination in Andean condors. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    PubMed

    Krüger, Sonja; Reid, Timothy; Amar, Arjun

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Mycoplasma neophronis sp. nov., isolated from the upper respiratory tract of Canarian Egyptian vultures (Neophron percnopterus majorensis).

    PubMed

    Suárez-Pérez, A; Ramírez, A S; Rosales, R S; Calabuig, P; Poveda, C; Rosselló-Móra, R; Nicholas, R A J; Poveda, J B

    2012-06-01

    Six strains with the typical characteristics of mycoplasmas were isolated from the tracheae of six Canarian Egyptian vultures (Neophron percnopterus majorensis). The results of biochemical, serological and molecular genetic studies showed that the isolates were nearly identical and that they could be considered as representing a novel species of the genus Mycoplasma. Colonies possessed the typical fried-egg appearance and electron micrographs revealed a pleomorphic cellular morphology with the lack of a cell wall. The isolates hydrolysed arginine and required sterol for growth but did not ferment glucose or hydrolyse urea. We propose that the isolates be assigned to a novel species,Mycoplasma neophronis sp. nov. The type strain is G.A.(T) ( = DSM 24097(T) = ATCC BAA-2157(T)). The antiserum of strain G.A.(T) has been deposited in the Mollicutes collection at Purdue University (Indiana, USA).

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  13. Pathologic bone tissues in a Turkey vulture and a nonavian dinosaur: implications for interpreting endosteal bone and radial fibrolamellar bone in fossil dinosaurs.

    PubMed

    Chinsamy, Anusuya; Tumarkin-Deratzian, Allison

    2009-09-01

    We report on similar pathological bone microstructure in an extant turkey vulture (Cathartes aura) and a nonavian dinosaur from Transylvania. Both these individuals exhibit distinctive periosteal reactive bone deposition accompanied by endosteal bone deposits in the medullary cavity. Our findings have direct implications on the two novel bone tissues recently described among nonavian dinosaurs, radial fibrolamellar bone tissue and medullary bone tissue. On the basis of the observed morphology of the periosteal reactive bone in the turkey vulture and the Transylvanian dinosaur, we propose that the radial fibrolamellar bone tissues observed in mature dinosaurs may have had a pathological origin. Our analysis also shows that on the basis of origin, location, and morphology, pathologically derived endosteal bone tissue can be similar to medullary bone tissues described in nonavian dinosaurs. As such, we caution the interpretation of all endosteally derived bone tissue as homologous to avian medullary bone.

  14. A balanced solution to the cumulative threat of industrialized wind farm development on cinereous vultures (Aegypius monachus) in south-eastern Europe

    PubMed Central

    Whitfield, D. Philip; Kati, Vassiliki

    2017-01-01

    Wind farm development can combat climate change but may also threaten bird populations’ persistence through collision with wind turbine blades if such development is improperly planned strategically and cumulatively. Such improper planning may often occur. Numerous wind farms are planned in a region hosting the only cinereous vulture population in south-eastern Europe. We combined range use modelling and a Collision Risk Model (CRM) to predict the cumulative collision mortality for cinereous vulture under all operating and proposed wind farms. Four different vulture avoidance rates were considered in the CRM. Cumulative collision mortality was expected to be eight to ten times greater in the future (proposed and operating wind farms) than currently (operating wind farms), equivalent to 44% of the current population (103 individuals) if all proposals are authorized (2744 MW). Even under the most optimistic scenario whereby authorized proposals will not collectively exceed the national target for wind harnessing in the study area (960 MW), cumulative collision mortality would still be high (17% of current population) and likely lead to population extinction. Under any wind farm proposal scenario, over 92% of expected deaths would occur in the core area of the population, further implying inadequate spatial planning and implementation of relevant European legislation with scant regard for governmental obligations to protect key species. On the basis of a sensitivity map we derive a spatially explicit solution that could meet the national target of wind harnessing with a minimum conservation cost of less than 1% population loss providing that the population mortality (5.2%) caused by the operating wind farms in the core area would be totally mitigated. Under other scenarios, the vulture population would probably be at serious risk of extinction. Our ‘win-win’ approach is appropriate to other potential conflicts where wind farms may cumulatively threaten wildlife

  15. A balanced solution to the cumulative threat of industrialized wind farm development on cinereous vultures (Aegypius monachus) in south-eastern Europe.

    PubMed

    Vasilakis, Dimitris P; Whitfield, D Philip; Kati, Vassiliki

    2017-01-01

    Wind farm development can combat climate change but may also threaten bird populations' persistence through collision with wind turbine blades if such development is improperly planned strategically and cumulatively. Such improper planning may often occur. Numerous wind farms are planned in a region hosting the only cinereous vulture population in south-eastern Europe. We combined range use modelling and a Collision Risk Model (CRM) to predict the cumulative collision mortality for cinereous vulture under all operating and proposed wind farms. Four different vulture avoidance rates were considered in the CRM. Cumulative collision mortality was expected to be eight to ten times greater in the future (proposed and operating wind farms) than currently (operating wind farms), equivalent to 44% of the current population (103 individuals) if all proposals are authorized (2744 MW). Even under the most optimistic scenario whereby authorized proposals will not collectively exceed the national target for wind harnessing in the study area (960 MW), cumulative collision mortality would still be high (17% of current population) and likely lead to population extinction. Under any wind farm proposal scenario, over 92% of expected deaths would occur in the core area of the population, further implying inadequate spatial planning and implementation of relevant European legislation with scant regard for governmental obligations to protect key species. On the basis of a sensitivity map we derive a spatially explicit solution that could meet the national target of wind harnessing with a minimum conservation cost of less than 1% population loss providing that the population mortality (5.2%) caused by the operating wind farms in the core area would be totally mitigated. Under other scenarios, the vulture population would probably be at serious risk of extinction. Our 'win-win' approach is appropriate to other potential conflicts where wind farms may cumulatively threaten wildlife

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  17. Active adaptive management for reintroduction of an animal population

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Runge, Michael C.

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-26

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Fluhr, Julie; Horvitz, Nir; Sarrazin, François; Hatzofe, Ohad

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Sex determination in the wild: a field application of loop-mediated isothermal amplification successfully determines sex across three raptor species.

    PubMed

    Centeno-Cuadros, A; Abbasi, I; Nathan, R

    2017-03-01

    PCR-based methods are the most common technique for sex determination of birds. Although these methods are fast, easy and accurate, they still require special facilities that preclude their application outdoors. Consequently, there is a time lag between sampling and obtaining results that impedes researchers to take decisions in situ and in real time considering individuals' sex. We present an outdoor technique for sex determination of birds based on the amplification of the duplicated sex-chromosome-specific gene Chromo-Helicase-DNA binding protein using a loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP). We tested our method on Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus), Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus) and Black Kite (Milvus migrans) (family Accipitridae). We introduce the first fieldwork procedure for sex determination of animals in the wild, successfully applied to raptor species of three different subfamilies using the same specific LAMP primers. This molecular technique can be deployed directly in sampling areas because it only needs a voltage inverter to adapt a thermo-block to a car lighter and results can be obtained by the unaided eye based on colour change within the reaction tubes. Primers and reagents are prepared in advance to facilitate their storage at room temperature. We provide detailed guidelines how to implement this procedure, which is simpler (no electrophoresis required), cheaper and faster (results in c. 90 min) than PCR-based laboratory methods. Our successful cross-species application across three different raptor subfamilies posits our set of markers as a promising tool for molecular sexing of other raptor families and our field protocol extensible to all bird species.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

  5. Wild Birds, Frequent Carriers of Extended-Spectrum β-Lactamase (ESBL) Producing Escherichia coli of CTX-M and SHV-12 Types.

    PubMed

    Alcalá, Leticia; Alonso, Carla Andrea; Simón, Carmen; González-Esteban, Chabier; Orós, Jesús; Rezusta, Antonio; Ortega, Carmelo; Torres, Carmen

    2016-11-01

    To get a better insight into the role of birds as reservoirs of extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) and plasmidic AmpC β-lactamase (pAmpC) Escherichia coli producers, 100 fecal samples belonging to 15 different wild avian species from Northern Spain were analyzed. Cefotaxime-resistant (CTX(R)) E. coli isolates were identified in 16 of the 100 tested birds, which corresponded to 9 animal species (Gyps fulvus-griffon vulture, Larus michahellis-yellow-legged gull, Milvus migrans-black kite, Milvus milvus-red kite, Ciconia ciconia-white stork, Sturnus unicolor-spotless starling, Aquila chrysaetos-golden eagle, Cuculus canorus-common cuckoo, Tyto alba-barn owl). Fifteen isolates harbored ESBL or pAmpC-encoding genes (number of isolates): bla SHV-12 (9), bla CTX-M-1 (3), bla CTX-M-14 (2), and bla CMY-2 (1). The last CTX(R) isolate presented a -42-point-mutation in the chromosomal ampC promoter. Eleven out of 15 ESBL/pAmpC E. coli isolates were multiresistant (most common resistance phenotype: β-lactams-quinolones-tetracycline-sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim). A plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance determinant (qnrS1) was identified in one E. coli from a barn owl. High genetic diversity was observed among ESBL/pAmpC E. coli isolates, with 12 different sequence types (STs), including several strains of STs frequently detected among human clinical isolates (ST38/D, ST131/B2, ST155/B1, ST10/A). The ST131 isolate belonged to the emergent ciprofloxacin-resistant H30R subclone. This study reveals a high percentage of bird as carriers of ESBL/pAmpC E. coli isolates in Spain, highlighting the elevated rate among storks, kites, and vultures. Wild birds can contribute to the global spread of ESBL/pAmpC-producing E. coli in natural ecosystems.

  6. The HD-GYP domain of RpfG mediates a direct linkage between the Rpf quorum-sensing pathway and a subset of diguanylate cyclase proteins in the phytopathogen Xanthomonas axonopodis pv citri.

    PubMed

    Andrade, Maxuel O; Alegria, Marcos Castanheira; Guzzo, Cristiane R; Docena, Cassia; Rosa, Maria Claudia Pareda; Ramos, Carlos H I; Farah, Chuck S

    2006-10-01

    Bacteria use extracellular levels of small diffusible autoinducers to estimate local cell-density (quorum-sensing) and to regulate complex physiological processes. The quorum-sensing signal transduction pathway of Xanthomonas spp. phytopathogens has special features that distinguish it from that of other pathogens. This pathway consists of RpfF, necessary for the production of the unique autoinducer 'diffusible signalling factor' (DSF), and RpfC and RpfG, a two-component system necessary for the DSF-dependent production of extracellular pathogenicity factors and cellular dispersion. Yeast two-hybrid and direct in vitro assays were used to identify interactions involving the Rpf group of proteins. We show that RpfC, a protein consisting of N-terminal transmembrane, histidine kinase, response-regulator and C-terminal histidine phosphotransfer domains interacts with both RpfG, a protein consisting of an N-terminal response regulator domain and a C-terminal HD-GYP domain, and with RpfF. We also show that RpfC interacts with the only known homologue of 'conditioned medium factor', which is involved in quorum-sensing in Dictyostelium discoideum under conditions of nutritional stress. Furthermore, RpfCG is shown to interact with a second two-component system made up of NtrB and NtrC homologues. Finally we show that the recently characterized HD-GYP phosphodiesterase domain of RpfG interacts directly with diguanylate cyclase GGDEF domain-containing proteins coded by the Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. citri genome, which in other bacteria produce cyclic diGMP, an important second messenger involved in the regulation of complex bacterial processes including biofilm production, virulence and motility. These results demonstrate a direct physical linkage between quorum-sensing and cyclic diGMP signalling pathways in bacteria.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  8. Misleading population estimates: biases and consistency of visual surveys and matrix modelling in the endangered bearded vulture.

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

  9. Vultures of the Seas: Hyperacidic Stomachs in Wandering Albatrosses as an Adaptation to Dispersed Food Resources, including Fishery Wastes

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  13. Major histocompatibility complex variation in insular populations of the Egyptian vulture: inferences about the roles of genetic drift and selection.

    PubMed

    Agudo, Rosa; Alcaide, Miguel; Rico, Ciro; Lemus, Jesus A; Blanco, Guillermo; Hiraldo, Fernando; Donázar, Jose A

    2011-06-01

    Insular populations have attracted the attention of evolutionary biologists because of their morphological and ecological peculiarities with respect to their mainland counterparts. Founder effects and genetic drift are known to distribute neutral genetic variability in these demes. However, elucidating whether these evolutionary forces have also shaped adaptive variation is crucial to evaluate the real impact of reduced genetic variation in small populations. Genes of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) are classical examples of evolutionarily relevant loci because of their well-known role in pathogen confrontation and clearance. In this study, we aim to disentangle the partial roles of genetic drift and natural selection in the spatial distribution of MHC variation in insular populations. To this end, we integrate the study of neutral (22 microsatellites and one mtDNA locus) and MHC class II variation in one mainland (Iberia) and two insular populations (Fuerteventura and Menorca) of the endangered Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus). Overall, the distribution of the frequencies of individual MHC alleles (n=17 alleles from two class II B loci) does not significantly depart from neutral expectations, which indicates a prominent role for genetic drift over selection. However, our results point towards an interesting co-evolution of gene duplicates that maintains different pairs of divergent alleles in strong linkage disequilibrium on islands. We hypothesize that the co-evolution of genes may counteract the loss of genetic diversity in insular demes, maximize antigen recognition capabilities when gene diversity is reduced, and promote the co-segregation of the most efficient allele combinations to cope with local pathogen communities.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-02-01

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

  15. Phylogeography, genetic structure and diversity in the endangered bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus, L) as revealed by mitochondrial DNA.

    PubMed

    Godoy, José A; Negro, Juan J; Hiraldo, Fernando; Donázar, José A

    2004-02-01

    Bearded vulture populations in the Western Palearctic have experienced a severe decline during the last two centuries that has led to the near extinction of the species in Europe. In this study we analyse the sequence variation at the mitochondrial control region throughout the species range to infer its recent evolutionary history and to evaluate the current genetic status of the species. This study became possible through the extensive use of museum specimens to study populations now extinct. Phylogenetic analysis revealed the existence of two divergent mitochondrial lineages, lineage A occurring mainly in Western European populations and lineage B in African, Eastern European and Central Asian populations. The relative frequencies of haplotypes belonging to each lineage in the different populations show a steep East-West clinal distribution with maximal mixture of the two lineages in the Alps and Greece populations. A genealogical signature for population growth was found for lineage B, but not for lineage A; futhermore the Clade B haplotypes in western populations and clade A haplo-types in eastern populations are recently derived, as revealed by their peripheral location in median-joining haplotype networks. This phylogeographical pattern suggests allopatric differentiation of the two lineages in separate Mediterranean and African or Asian glacial refugia, followed by range expansion from the latter leading to two secondary contact suture zones in Central Europe and North Africa. High levels of among-population differentiation were observed, although these were not correlated with geographical distance. Due to the marked genetic structure, extinction of Central European populations in the last century re-sulted in the loss of a major portion of the genetic diversity of the species. We also found direct evidence for the effect of drift altering the genetic composition of the remnant Pyrenean population after the demographic bottleneck of the last century. Our

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

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

  17. Serum chemistry and antibody status to some avian pathogens of free-living and captive condors (Vultur gryphus) of central Chile.

    PubMed

    Toro, H; Pavez, E F; Gough, R E; Montes, G; Kaleta, E F

    1997-01-01

    This study provides information on serology and serum chemistry of the Andean condor (Vultur gryphus). Twenty condors living under natural conditions were captured, blood sampled, measured, and released. In addition, 12 captive condors maintained at the Metropolitan Zoo of Santiago, Chile, were included as a comparison with free-living birds. All sera were negative to antibodies against reference strains of avian paramyxoviruses of serotypes 1 to 9, avian influenza and avian pox virus. Free-living condors had total protein, albumin, globulin and Mg values significantly (P< 0.05) lower than those of captive birds. The haematological values obtained in free-living condors are of particular interest since they may correspond to the optimum values of the species.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  20. Resource unpredictability promotes species diversity and coexistence in an avian scavenger guild: a field experiment.

    PubMed

    Cortés-Avizanda, A; Jovani, R; Carrete, M; Donázar, J A

    2012-12-01

    Chance per se plays a key role in ecology and evolution, e.g., genetic mutation, resource spatiotemporal unpredictability. In community ecology, chance is recognized as a key factor in community assemblage, but less is known about its role in intraguild processes leading to species coexistence. Here we study the relevance of resource unpredictability per se as a promoter of intraguild positive interspecific interactions and as a biodiversity enhancer in an Old World avian scavenger guild, which has evolved to feed upon spatially and temporally unpredictable resources, i.e., carcasses. We performed a large-scale field experiment in which 58 carcasses were disposed of and observed until complete consumption, either in continuously active supplementary feeding stations (predictable carcasses) or disposed of at random in the field (unpredictable carcasses). Richness of scavenger species was similar at unpredictable and predictable carcasses, but their relative abundances were highly uneven at predictable carcasses leading to higher scavenger diversity (Shannon index) at unpredictable carcasses. Facilitatory interspecific processes only occurred at unpredictable resources but were disrupted in predictable conditions because the dominant specialist species (in our case, the Griffon Vulture Gyps fulvus) arrived earlier and in larger numbers, monopolizing the resource. Small, endangered scavengers congregated at supplementary feeding stations but profited less compared to unpredictable carcasses, suggesting that they could constitute an ecological trap. Our findings offer new insights into the relevance of unpredictability of trophic resources in promoting both positive facilitatory interspecific interactions and species diversity and thus maintaining the function of guilds. Finally, the preservation of randomness in resource availability and the processes associated with its exploitation should be a major goal of conservation strategies aimed to preserve scavenger guilds

  1. [The hemoglobin of adult Andean condors (Vultur gryphus, Cathartiformes). The amino acid sequence of the major (HbA) and minor component (HbD)].

    PubMed

    Bauer, H; Braunitzer, G; Oberthür, W; Kösters, J; Grimm, F

    1985-12-01

    The complete amino-acid sequence of the alpha A- and the beta-chains of the major component (HbA) and the alpha D- and the beta-chains of the minor component (HbD) of Andean Condor (Vultur gryphus) is presented. The minor component with the alpha D-chains is present in smaller amounts (17%) than in other birds (25%). The comparison with the corresponding chains of Greylag Goose (Anser anser) shows 17 different amino acids (17 nucleotides, only one-point mutations) in the alpha A-chains and 8 (8 nucleotides) in the beta-chains. The alpha D-chains differ from those of the pheasant (Phasanius cholchicus cholchicus) in 24 amino acids (27 nucl., 3 two-point mutations). Seven alpha 1 beta 1-, one alpha 1 beta 2-, three alpha 1 alpha 1-contacts and one beta 1 beta 1-contact are exchanged. The systematy of Cathartiformes, Ciconiiformes and Phoenicopteriformes is discussed, based on the amino-acid exchanges of all known adult hemoglobins of birds.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-05-01

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

  5. Phenology prediction component of GypsES

    Treesearch

    Jesse A. Logan; Lukas P. Schaub; F. William Ravlin

    1991-01-01

    Prediction of phenology is an important component of most pest management programs, and considerable research effort has been expended toward development of predictive tools for gypsy moth phenology. Although phenological prediction is potentially valuable for timing of spray applications (e.g. Bt, or Gypcheck) and other management activities (e.g. placement and...

  6. Monitoring components of GypsES

    Treesearch

    Lukas P. Schaub; F. William Ravlin; Jesse A. Logan; Shelby J. Fleischer

    1991-01-01

    The manager needs tools for assistance in planning and interpreting monitoring systems. We are building a system that designs sampling programs by interpreting data about Gypsy Moth, stand condition and management objectives. The system prioritizes areas within the management unit within budgetary constraints and defines the areas to be monitored. The system proposes...

  7. Avian scavengers and the threat from veterinary pharmaceuticals

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  8. Avian scavengers and the threat from veterinary pharmaceuticals.

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-19

    Veterinary use of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac on domesticated ungulates caused populations of resident Gyps vultures in the Indian sub-continent to collapse. The birds died when they fed on carrion from treated animals. Veterinary diclofenac was banned in 2006 and meloxicam was advocated as a 'vulture-safe' alternative. We examine the effectiveness of the 2006 ban, whether meloxicam has replaced diclofenac, and the impact of these changes on vultures. Drug residue data from liver samples collected from ungulate carcasses in India since 2004 demonstrate that the prevalence of diclofenac in carcasses in 2009 was half of that before the ban and meloxicam prevalence increased by 44%. The expected vulture death rate from diclofenac per meal in 2009 was one-third of that before the ban. Surveys at veterinary clinics show that diclofenac use in India began in 1994, coinciding with the onset of rapid Gyps declines ascertained from measured rates of declines. Our study shows that one pharmaceutical product has had a devastating impact on Asia's vultures. Large-scale research and survey were needed to detect, diagnose and quantify the problem and measure the response to remedial actions. Given these difficulties, other effects of pharmaceuticals in the environment may remain undetected. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-01-01

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

  10. Behavioural adaptations to flight into thin air.

    PubMed

    Sherub, Sherub; Bohrer, Gil; Wikelski, Martin; Weinzierl, Rolf

    2016-10-01

    Soaring raptors can fly at high altitudes of up to 9000 m. The behavioural adjustments to high-altitude flights are largely unknown. We studied thermalling flights of Himalayan vultures (Gyps himalayensis) from 50 to 6500 m above sea level, a twofold range of air densities. To create the necessary lift to support the same weight and maintain soaring flight in thin air birds might modify lift coefficient by biophysical changes, such as wing posture and increasing the power expenditure. Alternatively, they can change their flight characteristics. We show that vultures use the latter and increase circle radius by 35% and airspeed by 21% over their flight altitude range. These simple behavioural adjustments enable vultures to move seamlessly during their annual migrations over the Himalaya without increasing energy output for flight at high elevations.

  11. Behavioural adaptations to flight into thin air

    PubMed Central

    Weinzierl, Rolf

    2016-01-01

    Soaring raptors can fly at high altitudes of up to 9000 m. The behavioural adjustments to high-altitude flights are largely unknown. We studied thermalling flights of Himalayan vultures (Gyps himalayensis) from 50 to 6500 m above sea level, a twofold range of air densities. To create the necessary lift to support the same weight and maintain soaring flight in thin air birds might modify lift coefficient by biophysical changes, such as wing posture and increasing the power expenditure. Alternatively, they can change their flight characteristics. We show that vultures use the latter and increase circle radius by 35% and airspeed by 21% over their flight altitude range. These simple behavioural adjustments enable vultures to move seamlessly during their annual migrations over the Himalaya without increasing energy output for flight at high elevations. PMID:28120805

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

  13. The Cattle-Wolf Dilemma: Interactions among Three Protected Species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becker, Nir; Farja, Yanay

    2017-02-01

    This paper utilizes economic valuation to offer a new perspective on livestock rancher—predator conflicts. While most studies have considered losses to the species directly involved, i.e., cattle and wolves ( Canis lupus), we take into account other species that are threatened by efforts to protect livestock. In this case, vultures ( Gyps fulvus) and gazelles ( Gazella gazella), both endangered species, are either poisoned (vultures) or suffer from habitat fragmentation (gazelles) in the Upper Galilee region in Israel. Since the ecological value of these species is unobserved in the marketplace, we use the contingent valuation method to quantify the loss incurred from damage to protected species: wolves, vultures and gazelles. This method uses surveys of a representative sample from the population to generate estimates for use and non-use values of animals and other components of the natural environment. These value estimates are then used to compare between different measures that address the problem: either protect cattle herds by building anti-wolf fences and taking other protective measures, or compensating ranchers for their losses from wolf depredations. Our analysis suggests that while it is optimal from the ranchers' point of view to invest in protective measures such as fences, dogs and guards against wolves, it is not in society's best interest. A cost-benefit analysis taking into account all the ecological values finds a higher net benefit to society from a relatively small amount of protection, coupled with compensation to the farmers for depredations.

  14. Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs in Raptors

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Oaks, J. Lindsay; Meteyer, Carol U.; Miller, R. Eric; Fowler, Murray E.

    2012-01-01

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

  15. The Cattle-Wolf Dilemma: Interactions among Three Protected Species.

    PubMed

    Becker, Nir; Farja, Yanay

    2017-02-01

    This paper utilizes economic valuation to offer a new perspective on livestock rancher-predator conflicts. While most studies have considered losses to the species directly involved, i.e., cattle and wolves (Canis lupus), we take into account other species that are threatened by efforts to protect livestock. In this case, vultures (Gyps fulvus) and gazelles (Gazella gazella), both endangered species, are either poisoned (vultures) or suffer from habitat fragmentation (gazelles) in the Upper Galilee region in Israel. Since the ecological value of these species is unobserved in the marketplace, we use the contingent valuation method to quantify the loss incurred from damage to protected species: wolves, vultures and gazelles. This method uses surveys of a representative sample from the population to generate estimates for use and non-use values of animals and other components of the natural environment. These value estimates are then used to compare between different measures that address the problem: either protect cattle herds by building anti-wolf fences and taking other protective measures, or compensating ranchers for their losses from wolf depredations. Our analysis suggests that while it is optimal from the ranchers' point of view to invest in protective measures such as fences, dogs and guards against wolves, it is not in society's best interest. A cost-benefit analysis taking into account all the ecological values finds a higher net benefit to society from a relatively small amount of protection, coupled with compensation to the farmers for depredations.

  16. A Business Case Analysis for the Vulture Program

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-12-01

    13 3. High Altitude Airships .......................................................................15 C. HARNESSING SOLAR POWER FOR UNMANNED...HAA – High Altitude Airship HALE – High Altitude Long Endurance ISR – Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance LCC – Life Cycle Cost LH2...persistent ISR and augmenting communications. Third, emerging technologies in high altitude airships are presented in the same light. Fourth, the

  17. Carriage of Staphylococcus aureus by free-living wild animals in Spain.

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

    The presence of methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) was analyzed in different free-living wild animals to assess the genetic diversity and predominant genotypes on each animal species. Samples were taken from the skin and/or nares, and isolates were characterized by spa typing, multilocus sequence typing (MLST) and antimicrobial susceptibility testing. The proportion of MSSA carriers were 5.00, 22.93, 19.78, and 17.67% in Eurasian griffon vulture, Iberian ibex, red deer, and wild boar, respectively (P = 0.057). A higher proportion of isolates (P = 0.000) were recovered from nasal samples (78.51%) than skin samples (21.49%), but the 9.26% of red deer and 18.25% of wild boar would have been undetected if only nasal samples had been tested. Sixty-three different spa types were identified, including 25 new spa types. The most common were t528 (43.59%) in Iberian ibex, t548 and t11212 (15.79% and 14.04%) in red deer, and t3750 (36.11%) in wild boar. By MLST, 27 STs were detected, of which 12 had not been described previously. The most frequent were ST581 for Iberian ibex (48.72%), ST425 for red deer (29.82%), and ST2328 for wild boar (42.36%). Isolates from Eurasian griffon vulture belong to ST133. Host specificity has been observed for the most frequent spa types and STs (P = 0.000). The highest resistance percentage was found against benzylpenicillin (average, 22.2%), although most of the S. aureus isolates were susceptible to all antimicrobial tested. Basically, MSSA isolates were different from those MRSA isolates previously detected in the same animal species. Copyright © 2014, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. First detection of an NSAID, flunixin, in sheep's wool using GC-MS.

    PubMed

    Richards, Ngaio; Hall, Sarah; Scott, Karen; Harrison, Nancy

    2011-05-01

    Exposure to the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) diclofenac resulted in the near extinction of three species of Gyps vultures on the Indian subcontinent. Other NSAIDs present in the environment, including flunixin, may pose a similar risk. In the course of a study to determine the feasibility of detecting NSAIDs in keratinous matrices (i.e., hair, nails and feathers) using GC-MS, wool opportunistically collected from a sheep treated with flunixin was analysed for residues. Flunixin was detected qualitatively in external wool wash and extract samples. While residues of veterinary agents and pesticides have previously been found in sheep's wool, our preliminary investigation provides the first instance of an NSAID being detected in this matrix. Here we provide the sample preparation methods and GC-MS parameters used to enable further refinement as part of ongoing conservation and consumer quality control measures.

  20. Influence of culture media and environmental factors on mycelial growth and sporulation of Lasiodiplodia theobromae (Pat.) Griffon and Maubl.

    PubMed

    Saha, A; Mandal, P; Dasgupta, S; Saha, D

    2008-05-01

    Lasiodiplodia theobromae, a common tea (Camellia sinensis) pathogen, usually does not sporulate or sporulates poorly in common media, which makes spore production difficult. In this study the effects of culture media, carbon source, nitrogen source, temperature, pH and light on mycelial growth and sporulation were evaluated. Among several carbon sources tested, glucose and sucrose were found superior for growth. Potassium nitrate supplemented media showed maximum growth amongst the tested inorganic nitrogen sources while peptone produced maximum growth among the tested organic nitrogen sources. Tea root extract supplemented potato dextrose agar medium was found to be the most suitable for mycelial growth and sporulation of L. theobromae. The fungus grow at temperatures ranging from 40 to 36 degrees C, with optimum growth at 28 degrees C and no growth was noted at 40 degrees C. There was no significant effect of different light period on growth of L. theobromae, but light enhanced sporulation. The fungus grow at pH 3.0-8.0 and optimum growth was observed at pH 6.0. Tea root extract supplemented potato dextrose agar medium with pH 6.0 was the most suitable for production of conidia of L. theobromae at 28 degrees C. Hence this media may be recommended for inoculum production for further studies.

  1. Collaborative Opportunities in DMSMS

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2001-04-01

    CH - 146 Griffon helicopter (separate trip report). 5. DND is developing a new supply information... Griffon helicopter Contractor Logistics Support Program. CH - 146 Griffon Contractor Logistics Support Program This Major Crown Project was established to...acquire 100 Bell-412 helicopters . Designated as the CH - 146 , Griffon , CFUTTH helicopter replaced the CH -118 Iroquois, the CH -135 Twin Huey and the CH

  2. Hazard rating for gypsy moth on a Macintosh computer: a component of the GypsES system

    Treesearch

    Mark J. Twery; Gregory A. Elmes

    1991-01-01

    As gypsy moth expands into a new region, the threat of damage from its infestation is increasing greatly. The potential economic damage from the pest is extensive, considerably compounding the already substantial aesthetic damage and urban nuisance problems. One way to help forest managers deal with this threat is by providing them with a computer program which can...

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. The Vulture Survey: Analyzing the Evolution of MgII and CIV Absorbers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mathes, Nigel; Churchill, Christopher W.; Murphy, Michael

    2017-01-01

    We present the results of an archival VLT/UVES and Keck/HIRES quasar absorption line survey. We examine over 600 quasar lines of sight in order to inventory the cosmic properties of MgII and CIV absorbers. We employ an accurate, automated approach to line detection which consistently detects absorption lines with rest-frame equivalent widths less than 0.02 Å in S/N > 40 spectra. We determine redshift path densities, equivalent width and column density distributions, and cosmic mass densities as a function of redshift. We find that the evolution in the universal distribution of this metal absorbing gas correlates strongly with the cosmic star formation history of galaxies. We measure a significant enhancement in the comoving opacity of strong MgII and CIV absorbers around z=2. We also measure the pixel two-point velocity correlation function and find broader, higher velocity signatures around z=2. We examine possible causes for these trends, and determine that at z=2 galaxies transport significantly higher quantities of metal enriched gas into and out of their halos through star formation than at other times.

  5. Linking ecology, behaviour and conservation: does habitat saturation change the mating system of bearded vultures?

    PubMed

    Carrete, Martina; Donázar, José A; Margalida, Antoni; Bertran, Joan

    2006-12-22

    The social organization of a population is the consequence of the decisions made by individuals to maximize their fitness, so differences in social systems may arise from differences in ecological conditions. Here, we show how a long-lived species that used to breed monogamously, and at low densities, can change its mating system in response to habitat saturation. We found that a significant proportion of unpaired birds become potential breeders by entering high-quality territories, or by forming polyandrous trios as a strategy to increase their individual performance. However, productivity of territories was reduced when those occupied by breeding pairs changed to trios, suggesting that the third individual was costly. The decision of some individuals to enter into breeding trios as subordinates also had clear negative consequences to population demography. This unusual mating behaviour is thus compromising the conservation effort directed to this endangered species; management to encourage floaters to settle in other suitable but unoccupied areas may be beneficial.

  6. Linking ecology, behaviour and conservation: does habitat saturation change the mating system of bearded vultures?

    PubMed Central

    Carrete, Martina; Donázar, José A; Margalida, Antoni; Bertran, Joan

    2006-01-01

    The social organization of a population is the consequence of the decisions made by individuals to maximize their fitness, so differences in social systems may arise from differences in ecological conditions. Here, we show how a long-lived species that used to breed monogamously, and at low densities, can change its mating system in response to habitat saturation. We found that a significant proportion of unpaired birds become potential breeders by entering high-quality territories, or by forming polyandrous trios as a strategy to increase their individual performance. However, productivity of territories was reduced when those occupied by breeding pairs changed to trios, suggesting that the third individual was costly. The decision of some individuals to enter into breeding trios as subordinates also had clear negative consequences to population demography. This unusual mating behaviour is thus compromising the conservation effort directed to this endangered species; management to encourage floaters to settle in other suitable but unoccupied areas may be beneficial. PMID:17148305

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  8. Biological effects of aqueous extract from Turkey vulture Cathartes aura (Cathartidae) meat.

    PubMed

    Jacobo-Salcedo, Maria del Rosario; Juárez-Vázquez, Maria del Carmen; González-Espíndola, Luis Ángel; Maciel-Torres, Sandra Patricia; García-Carrancá, Alejandro; Alonso-Castro, Angel Josabad

    2013-01-30

    Cathartes aura is a bird used in the Mexican traditional medicine for the empirical treatment of cancer, injuries, infections and burns. The in vitro immunomodulatory effects of Cathartes aura extract (CAE) were evaluated estimating its effects on proliferation of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells and murine splenocytes. The effects of CAE (1-200 μg/ml) on NO production, pinocytosis and lysosomal enzyme activity were assayed in murine macrophages RAW 264.7. The cytotoxic effects of CAE (1-500 μg/ml) on tumorigenic and non tumorigenic cells were evaluated using the MTT assay. In the absence of LPS, CAE induced the proliferation of murine splenocytes (119%), enhanced the pinocytosis (113%) and lysosomal enzyme activity (141%) in murine macrophages with a similar potency than lypopolisaccharides 1 μg/ml. In addition, CAE exerted cytotoxic effects mainly on human cervical cancer cells (IC(50)=117 μg/ml) but lacked toxic effects on non tumorigenic cells (IC(50)>500 μg/ml). Cathartes aura exerts immunostimulatory and cytotoxic activities. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-22

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

  10. Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) carriage in different free-living wild animal species in Spain.

    PubMed

    Porrero, M Concepción; Mentaberre, Gregorio; Sánchez, Sergio; Fernández-Llario, Pedro; Gómez-Barrero, Susana; Navarro-Gonzalez, Nora; Serrano, Emmanuel; Casas-Díaz, Encarna; Marco, Ignasi; Fernández-Garayzabal, José-Francisco; Mateos, Ana; Vidal, Dolors; Lavín, Santiago; Domínguez, Lucas

    2013-10-01

    Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a life-threatening pathogen in humans and its presence in animals is a public health concern. The aim of this study was to measure the prevalence of MRSA in free-living wild animals. Samples from red deer (n=273), Iberian ibex (n=212), Eurasian Griffon vulture (n=40) and wild boar (n=817) taken from different areas in Spain between June 2008 and November 2011 were analyzed. Characterization of the isolates was performed by spa typing, multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) and antimicrobial susceptibility testing. A low prevalence of MRSA was found with 13 isolates obtained from 12 animals (0.89%; 95% CI: 0.46-1.56). All MRSA sequence types belonged to ST398 (t011 and t1451) and ST1 (t127). Genotypes and antimicrobial susceptibility patterns (tetracycline resistance in ST398 and clindamycin-erythromycin-tetracycline resistance in ST1) suggest that the MRSA found probably originated in livestock (ST398) or humans (ST1). This is the first report of MRSA carriers in free-living wild animals in Europe. Although our data showed that MRSA prevalence is currently low, free-living wild animals might act as reservoir and represent a potential risk for human health.

  11. The normal electrocardiogram of four species of conscious raptors.

    PubMed

    Talavera, J; Guzmán, M J; del Palacio, M J Fernández; Albert, A P; Bayón, A

    2008-02-01

    The aim of this study was to describe normal ECG patterns and values in four species of conscious raptors (Eurasian kestrel, Griffon vulture, Little owl, and Eurasian Eagle owl). Electrocardiograms were carried out in 75 conscious birds belonging to four species of raptors. Lead II waveforms were analysed to determine amplitudes and durations of waves and intervals. Morphologic patterns of P-QRS-T deflections were analysed in the six limb leads. Rhythm, heart rate, mean electrical axis, presence of Ta wave, ST slurring, and P-on-T phenomenon were also studied. The influence of species, body weight and heart rate in electrocardiographic variables were statistically analysed (P < 0.05). Sinus rhythm was present in all tracings, showing sinus arrhythmia in four cases. Ta wave was present in six tracings and P-on-T phenomenon in four. ST segment could be identified in all tracings, being mainly high above baseline. Significant differences between species were found for all the electrocardiographic parameters. The heart rate and body weight were also found to be a significant influence in most parameters. This study provides electrocardiographic data for four species of raptors that can be used to establish comparisons for clinical purposes.

  12. Multimodal Interfaces: Literature Review of Ecological Interface Design, Multimodal Perception and Attention, and Intelligent Adaptive Multimodal Interfaces

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-05-01

    conducted an investigation of the perceived level of urgency of auditory alarms in the CF CH - 146 Griffon helicopter for trained CH - 146 Griffon pilots...and non- pilots. Arrabito et al. (2004) found that even with trained CH - 146 Griffon pilots, the perceived level of urgency, as rated by the...that the auditory alarms used within the Griffon helicopter were not adequately designed for their intended purposes. The concept of perceived

  13. JSMARTS Initiative: Advanced Distributed Simulation Across the Government of Canada, Academia and Industry - Technical Description

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-07-01

    CH 146 Griffon helicopter human-in-the-loop simulator. DAR (Director Aerospace...provided an NTS (Networked Tactical Simulator) CH 146 Griffon Helicopter human-in-the-loop simulator - DAR (Director Aerospace Requirements... Griffon Helicopter operating on its own – Scenario 2: A CH - 146 and a UAV operating with a third party comms link. – Scenario 3: A CH 146 and a

  14. Lead and cadmium in wild birds in southeastern Spain

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

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

  16. Tactical Aviation Mission System Simulation Situational Awareness Project

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2004-04-01

    CH - 146 Griffon helicopter flown by the Department of National Defence (DND). The Carleton...the CH - 146 Griffon . HELISIM accepts inputs from the collective, cyclic and pedals of the simulator and using the defined flight model , updates... helicopters , (d) one wrecked CH149, (e) two CH149s flying in small loop formations, (f) two hovering CH - 146 Griffon helicopters , (g) one formation of

  17. Molecular evidence of anti-leukemia activity of gypenosides on human myeloid leukemia HL-60 cells in vitro and in vivo using a HL-60 cells murine xenograft model.

    PubMed

    Lin, Jen-Jyh; Hsu, Hui-Ying; Yang, Jai-Sing; Lu, Kung-Wen; Wu, Rick Sai-Chuen; Wu, King-Chuen; Lai, Tung-Yuan; Chen, Po-Yuan; Ma, Chia-Yu; Wood, W Gibson; Chung, Jing-Gung

    2011-09-15

    We have shown that gypenosides (Gyp) induced cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in many human cancer cell lines. However, there are no reports showing that show Gyp acts on human leukemia HL-60 cells in vitro and in a murine xenograft model in vivo. In the present study effects of Gyp on cell morphological changes and viability, cell cycle arrest and induction of apoptosis in vitro and effects on Gyp in an in vivo murine xenograft model. Results indicated that Gyp induced morphological changes, decreased cell viability, induced G0/G1 arrest, DNA fragmentation and apoptosis (sub-G1 phase) in HL-60 cells. Gyp increased reactive oxygen species production and Ca(2+) levels but reduced mitochondrial membrane potential in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Gyp also changed one of the primary indicators of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress due to the promotion of ATF6-α and ATF4-α associated with Ca(2+) release. Gyp reduced the ratio of Bcl-2 to Bax due to an increase in the pro-apoptotic protein Bax and inhibited levels of the anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2. Oral consumption of Gyp reduced tumor size of HL-60 cell xenograft mode mice in vivo. These results provide new information on understanding mechanisms by which Gyp induces cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in vitro and in vivo. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  18. Eggshell thickness and DDE residue levels in vlulture eggs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kiff, L.F.; Peakall, David B.; Morrison, M.L.; Wilbur, S.R.; Wilbur, Sanford R.; Jackson, Jerome A.

    1983-01-01

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

  19. Cultural Resources Investigations of Larose to Golden Meadow Hurricane Protection Project Levee Section D-North (Compromise Alignment), Lafourche Parish, Louisiana

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1992-03-01

    brachyrhynchos), common night hawk (Chordeiles minor), screech owl (Otus asia), black vulture (Coragyps atratus), turkey vulture (Cathartes aura), and many...deer pea (Vigna luteola), seashore paspalum (Paspalum vaginatum), switch grass (Panicum virgatum), bearded spangletop (Leptochloa frascicularis

  20. Gypenosides causes DNA damage and inhibits expression of DNA repair genes of human oral cancer SAS cells.

    PubMed

    Lu, Kung-Wen; Chen, Jung-Chou; Lai, Tung-Yuan; Yang, Jai-Sing; Weng, Shu-Wen; Ma, Yi-Shih; Tang, Nou-Ying; Lu, Pei-Jung; Weng, Jing-Ru; Chung, Jing-Gung

    2010-01-01

    Gypenosides (Gyp) are the major components of Gynostemma pentaphyllum Makino, a Chinese medical plant. Recently, Gyp has been shown to induce cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in many human cancer cell lines. However, there is no available information to address the effects of Gyp on DNA damage and DNA repair-associated gene expression in human oral cancer cells. Therefore, we investigated whether Gyp induced DNA damage and DNA repair gene expression in human oral cancer SAS cells. The results from flow cytometric assay indicated that Gyp-induced cytotoxic effects led to a decrease in the percentage of viable SAS cells. The results from comet assay revealed that the incubation of SAS cells with Gyp led to a longer DNA migration smear (comet tail) when compared with control and this effect was dose-dependent. The results from real-time PCR analysis indicated that treatment of SAS cells with 180 mug/ml of Gyp for 24 h led to a decrease in 14-3-3sigma, DNA-dependent serine/threonine protein kinase (DNAPK), p53, ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM), ataxia-telangiectasia and Rad3-related (ATR) and breast cancer gene 1 (BRCA1) mRNA expression. These observations may explain the cell death caused by Gyp in SAS cells. Taken together, Gyp induced DNA damage and inhibited DNA repair-associated gene expressions in human oral cancer SAS cells in vitro.

  1. Process for Refining and Validating a Finite Element Model of an Experimental High-Altitude, Long-Endurance (HALE) Aircraft

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-06-01

    6 DARPA Vulture Program...2003) 10 Figure 7. Boeing’s Phantom Eye UAV [2] Figure 8. RQ-4 Global Hawk [3] 11 DARPA Vulture Program The Defense...Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) Vulture Program aims to push the goals of these previous efforts even further. DARPA set a goal of

  2. Examination of mercury concentration in the feathers of 18 species of birds in southwest Iran.

    PubMed

    Zolfaghari, Ghasem; Esmaili-Sari, Abbas; Ghasempouri, Seyed Mahmoud; Kiabi, Bahram Hassanzade

    2007-06-01

    This paper presents the levels of mercury (Hg) in tail feathers from different species of birds, in southwest Iran (Khuzestan to Persian Gulf). Between April and October 2005, we collected tail feathers from 77 birds belonging to 18 species, mostly raptor birds. The birds were collected for the Museum Natural History, Faculty of Natural Resources and Marine Sciences of Tarbiat Modares University. Hg concentrations were evaluated in relation to taxonomic affiliation and trophic level. Feather Hg concentrations ranged from 0.09 to 2.01 mg/kg dry wt. We found a significant difference in feather Hg concentrations across taxonomic groups (p<0.001) with highest concentrations in common kestrel and saker falcon (Falconidae) (1.87 mg/kg) followed by greater spotted eagle, sparrowhawk, goshawk, griffon vulture, buzzards, marsh harrier (Accipiteridae) and owls (Strigidae). Blue-cheeked bee-eater (Meropidae) had intermediate values, followed by European roller (Coraciidae), and lapwing (Charadiidae), whereas black francolin, see-see patridge and chukar (Phasianidae) (0.18 mg/kg) contained the least amount of Hg. There was a significant difference in feather Hg concentrations in relation to trophic levels, at confidence level of 99% (p<0.001). There was an increased pattern in the amount of mercury from herbivorous birds up to vertebrate predators, so that the amount of mercury in vertebrate predators (1.30 mg/kg) was more than 1.5 times as much of the invertebrate predators (0.7 mg/kg) and more than 6 times as much of the herbivorous birds (0.18 mg/kg). We also measured Hg levels in secondary feathers of raptor birds. Paired samples t-test showed that the concentrations of mercury were significantly higher (p<0.001) in the tail feathers (1.2mg/kg) than secondary (0.71 mg/kg). However, Hg levels are below the range found by other authors to cause behavioral change or reduce reproduction (5mg/kg). It seems that exposure of some birds with mercury for a long time causes their

  3. An amino acid at position 512 in β-glucosidase from Clavibacter michiganensis determines the regioselectivity for hydrolyzing gypenoside XVII.

    PubMed

    Shin, Kyung-Chul; Hong, Seung-Hye; Seo, Min-Ju; Oh, Deok-Kun

    2015-10-01

    A recombinant β-glucosidase from Clavibacter michiganensis specifically hydrolyzed the outer and inner glucose linked to the C-3 position in protopanaxadiol (PPD)-type ginsenosides and the C-6 position in protopanaxatriol (PPT)-type ginsenosides except for the hydrolysis of gypenoside LXXV (GypLXXV). The enzyme converted gypenoside XVII (GypXVII) to GypLXXV by hydrolyzing the inner glucose linked to the C-3 position. The substrate-binding residues obtained from the GypXVII-docked homology models of β-glucosidase from C. michiganensis were replaced with alanine, and the amino acid residue at position 512 was selected because of the changed regioselectivity of W512A. Site-directed mutagenesis for the amino acid residue at position 512 was performed. W512A and W512K hydrolyzed the inner glucose linked to the C-3 position and the outer glucose linked to the C-20 position of GypXVII to produce GypLXXV and F2. W512R hydrolyzed only the outer glucose linked to the C-20 position of GypXVII to produce F2. However, W512E and W512D exhibited no activity for GypXVII. Thus, the amino acid at position 512 is a critical residue to determine the regioselectivity for the hydrolysis of GypXVII. These wild-type and variant enzymes produced diverse ginsenosides, including GypXVII, GypLXXV, F2, and compound K, from ginsenoside Rb1. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of the alteration of regioselectivity on ginsenoside hydrolysis by protein engineering.

  4. Physical properties and cytotoxicity comparison of experimental gypsum-based biomaterials with two current dental cement materials on L929 fibroblast cells

    PubMed Central

    Mahshim, Nafsiyah; Reza, Fazal; Omar, Nor Shamsuria

    2013-01-01

    Aim: To evaluate physical properties and cytotoxicity of pure gypsum-based (pure-GYP) and experimental gypsum-based biomaterials mixed with polyacrylic acid (Gyp-PA). The results were compared with calcium hydroxide (CH) and glass ionomer cement (GIC) for application as base/liner materials. Materials and Methods: Vicat's needle was used to measure the setting time and solubility (%) was determined by percentage of weight loss of the materials following immersion in distilled water. For cytotoxicity test, eluates of different concentrations of materials were obtained and pipetted onto L-929 mouse fibroblast cultures and incubated for 3 days. Cellular viability was assessed using Dimethylthiazol diphenyltetrazolium bromide test to determine the cytotoxicity level. Statistical significance was determined by one-way analysis of variance followed by post hoc test (P < 0.05). Results: Setting time was significantly higher for pure-GYP and Gyp-PA; solubility test showed a similar tendency (pure-Gyp > Gyp-PA > CH = GIC). The pure-Gyp was found as the least cytotoxic materials at different concentrations. At 100 mg/mL dilutions of materials in growth medium highest cytotoxicity was observed with CH group. Conclusion: Cytotoxic effect was not observed with pure-Gyp; application of this novel biomaterial on deeper dentin/an exposed pulp and possibility of gradual replacement of this biodegradable material by dentin like structure would be highly promising. PMID:23956536

  5. Gypenosides inhibits migration and invasion of human oral cancer SAS cells through the inhibition of matrix metalloproteinase-2 -9 and urokinase-plasminogen by ERK1/2 and NF-kappa B signaling pathways.

    PubMed

    Lu, Kung-Wen; Chen, Jung-Chou; Lai, Tung-Yuan; Yang, Jai-Sing; Weng, Shu-Wen; Ma, Yi-Shih; Lu, Pei-Jung; Weng, Jing-Ru; Chueh, Fu-Shin; Wood, W Gibson; Chung, Jing-Gung

    2011-05-01

    Gypenosides (Gyp), found in Gynostemma pentaphyllum Makino, has been used as a folk medicine in the Chinese population for centuries and is known to have diverse pharmacologic effects, including anti-proliferative and anti-cancer actions. However, the effects of Gyp on prevention from invasion and migration of oral cancer cells are still unsatisfactory. The purpose of this study was to investigate effects of Gyp treatment on migration and invasion of SAS human oral cancer cells. SAS cells were cultured in the presence of 90 and 180 μg/mL Gyp for 24 and 48 hours. Gyp induced cytotoxic effects and inhibited SAS cells migration and invasion in dose- and time-dependent response. Wound-healing assay and boyden chamber assay were carried out to investigate Gyp-inhibited migration and invasion of SAS cells. Gyp decreased the abundance of several proteins, including nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/ 2), matrix metalloproteinase-9, -2 (MMP-9, -2), sevenless homolog (SOS), Ras, urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA), focal adhesion kinase (FAK) and RAC-alpha serine/threonine-protein kinase (Akt), in a time-dependent manner. In addition, Gyp decreased mRNA levels of MMP-2, MMP-7, MMP-9 but did not affect FAK and Rho A mRNA levels in SAS cells. These results provide evidences for the role of Gyp as a potent anti-metastatic agent, which can markedly inhibit the metastatic and invasive capacity of oral cancer cells. The inhibition of NF-κB and MMP-2, -7 and -9 signaling may be one of the mechanisms that is present in Gyp-inhibited cancer cell invasion and migration.

  6. Gypenosides induce apoptosis by ca2+ overload mediated by endoplasmic-reticulum and store-operated ca2+ channels in human hepatoma cells.

    PubMed

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

    2013-05-01

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

  7. Gypsum-based biomaterials: Evaluation of physical and mechanical properties, cellular effects and its potential as a pulp liner.

    PubMed

    Low, Amy; Mohd Yusof, Hamidah; Reza, Fazal; Abdullah Nurul, Asma; Sritharan, Shaminea; Haania Zain Ali, Niswathul; Subhi Azeez, Hasan; Husein, Adam

    2015-01-01

    This in vitro study aimed to evaluate setting time and compressive strength of gypsum-based chitosan biomaterials and its effect on proliferation of stem cells from human exfoliated deciduous teeth (SHED) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity. Pure-GYP was mixed with water (2.5 g: 1.9 mL); Gyp-CHT was prepared with gypsum, chitosan, and water (2.5 g: 0.285 g: 1.9 mL). Cell viability and ALP activity were assessed at different periods. Data were analyzed using SPSS (p<0.05). The setting times were 2.7 min and 2.8 min for pure-GYP and Gyp-CHT, respectively. Significantly higher compressive strength was observed with Gyp-CHT. SHED treatments with both materials were not cytotoxic. ALP was consistently higher in the treated groups compared with the control. Cellular attachments were evident with SEM. Excellent cellular viability with pure-GYP and Gyp-CHT, as well as increased ALP activities, suggested the possibility of tertiary dentin formation. Further studies are necessary to evaluate the biomaterials for its pulp protective potentialities.

  8. Gypenosides induced G0/G1 arrest via CHk2 and apoptosis through endoplasmic reticulum stress and mitochondria-dependent pathways in human tongue cancer SCC-4 cells.

    PubMed

    Chen, Jung-Chou; Lu, Kung-Wen; Tsai, Ming-Li; Hsu, Shu-Chun; Kuo, Chao-Lin; Yang, Jai-Sing; Hsia, Te-Chun; Yu, Chun-Shu; Chou, Su-Tze; Kao, Ming-Ching; Chung, Jing-Gung; Wood, W Gibson

    2009-03-01

    Gypenosides (Gyp), a component of Gynostemma pentaphyllum Makino, was selected for examining the effects on the cell viability, cell cycle and induction of apoptosis in human tongue cancer SCC-4 cells. Gyp induced cytotoxicity (decreased the percentage of viable cells) in SCC-4 cells appeared to be associated with induction of cell cycle arrest (G0/G1 arrest), apoptotic cell death based on Gyp induced morphological changes and DNA fragmentation and increased the sub-G1 group in examined SCC-4 cells. The production of reactive oxygen species and Ca(2+) and the depolarization of mitochondrial membrane potential were observed, dose- and time-dependently, after treatment of SCC-4 cells with various concentrations of Gyp. Gyp inhibited the levels of the anti-apoptotic proteins Bcl-2 and Bcl-xl, but promoted the levels of the pro-apoptotic protein Bax. Western blotting showed the releases of cytochrome c and Endo G and both were also confirmed by confocal laser microscopic systems. The GADD153 moved to nuclei (nuclear translocation). In conclusion, Gyp induced ER stress and production of reactive oxygen species and Ca(2+), change the ratio of Bcl-2 and Bax, followed by the dysfunction of mitochondria, caused cytochrome c release, activation of caspase-3 before leading to apoptosis. These results provide information towards an understanding of the mechanisms by which Gyp induces cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in human tongue cancer cells.

  9. Gypenosides suppress growth of human oral cancer SAS cells in vitro and in a murine xenograft model: the role of apoptosis mediated by caspase-dependent and caspase-independent pathways.

    PubMed

    Lu, Kung-Wen; Chen, Jung-Chou; Lai, Tung-Yuan; Yang, Jai-Sing; Weng, Shu-Wen; Ma, Yi-Shih; Lin, Hui-Yi; Wu, Rick Sai-Chuan; Wu, King-Chuen; Wood, W Gibson; Chung, Jing-Gung

    2012-06-01

    Gypenosides (Gyp) are the major components of Gynostemma pentaphyllum Makino. The authors investigated the effects of Gyp on cell morphology, viability, cell cycle distribution, and induction of apoptosis in human oral cancer SAS cells and the determination of murine SAS xenograft model in vivo. Flow cytometry was used to quantify the percentage of viable cells; cell cycle distribution; sub-G1 phase (apoptosis); caspase-3, -8, and -9 activity; reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, intracellular Ca(2+) determination; and the level of mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨ(m)). Western blotting was used to examine levels of apoptosis-associated proteins, and confocal laser microscopy was used to examine the translocation of proteins in cells. Gyp induced morphological changes, decreased the percentage of viable cells, caused G0/G1 phase arrest, and triggered apoptotic cell death in SAS cells. Cell cycle arrest induced by Gyp was associated with apoptosis. The production of ROS, increased intracellular Ca(2+) levels, and the depolarization of ΔΨ(m) were observed. Gyp increased levels of the proapoptotic protein Bax but inhibited the levels of the antiapoptotic proteins Bcl-2 and Bcl-xl. Gyp also stimulated the release of cytochrome c and Endo G. Translocation of GADD153 to the nucleus was stimulated by Gyp. Gyp in vivo attenuated the size and volume of solid tumors in a murine xenograft model of oral cancer. Gyp-induced cell death occurs through caspase-dependent and caspase-independent apoptotic signaling pathways, and the compound reduced tumor size in a xenograft nu/nu mouse model of oral cancer.

  10. Coprophagy: an unusual source of essential carotenoids.

    PubMed

    Negro, J J; Grande, J M; Tella, J L; Garrido, J; Hornero, D; Donázar, J A; Sanchez-Zapata, J A; BenItez, J R; Barcell, M

    2002-04-25

    The rare Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus) stands out among the Old World vultures (Family Accipitridae) because of its brightly ornamented head, which is coloured yellow by carotenoid pigments, and its practice of feeding on faeces. Here we show that Egyptian vultures obtain these pigments from the excrement of ungulates. To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration that faeces can be used as a source of carotenoids by a vertebrate.

  11. Aliikangiella marina gen. nov., sp. nov., a marine bacterium from the culture broth of Picochlorum sp. 122, and proposal of Kangiellaceae fam. nov. in the order Oceanospirillales.

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

    A Gram-stain-negative, non-motile, non-spore-forming, long rod-shaped bacterium, designated strain GYP-15T, was isolated from the culture broth of a marine microalga, Picochloruma sp. 122. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that strain GYP-15T shared 90.6 % 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity with its closest relative, Kangiella aquimarina KCTC 12183T, and represents a distinct phylogenetic lineage in a robust clade consisting of GYP-15T and members of the genera Kangiella and Pleionea in the order Oceanospirillales. Chemotaxonomic and physiological characteristics, including major cellular fatty acids, NaCl tolerance and pattern of carbon source utilization, could also readily distinguish strain GYP-15T from all established genera and species. Thus, it is concluded that strain GYP-15T represents a novel species of a new genus, for which the name Aliikangiella marina gen. nov., sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain of Aliikangiella marina is GYP-15T ( = MCCC 1K01163T = KCTC 42667T). Based on phylogenetic results, 16S rRNA gene signature nucleotide pattern and some physiological characteristics, the three genera Kangiella, Pleionea and Aliikangiella are proposed to make up a novel family, Kangiellaceae fam. nov., in the order Oceanospirillales.

  12. Gypenoside L inhibits autophagic flux and induces cell death in human esophageal cancer cells through endoplasm reticulum stress-mediated Ca2+ release

    PubMed Central

    Li, Yan; Xu, Hong; Kang, Qiangrong; Fan, Long; Hu, Xiaopeng; Jin, Zhe; Zeng, Yong; Kong, Xiaoli; Zhang, Jian; Wu, Xuli; Wu, Haiqiang; Liu, Lizhong; Xiao, Xiaohua; Wang, Yifei; He, Zhendan

    2016-01-01

    Esophageal cancer is one of the leading cause of cancer mortality in the world. Due to the increased drug and radiation tolerance, it is urgent to develop novel anticancer agent that triggers nonapoptotic cell death to compensate for apoptosis resistance. In this study, we show that treatment with gypenoside L (Gyp-L), a saponin isolated from Gynostemma pentaphyllum, induced nonapoptotic, lysosome-associated cell death in human esophageal cancer cells. Gyp-L-induced cell death was associated with lysosomal swelling and autophagic flux inhibition. Mechanistic investigations revealed that through increasing the levels of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS), Gyp-L triggered protein ubiquitination and endoplasm reticulum (ER) stress response, leading to Ca2+ release from ER inositol trisphosphate receptor (IP3R)-operated stores and finally cell death. Interestingly, there existed a reciprocal positive-regulatory loop between Ca2+ release and ER stress in response to Gyp-L. In addition, protein synthesis was critical for Gyp-L-mediated ER stress and cell death. Taken together, this work suggested a novel therapeutic option by Gyp-L through the induction of an unconventional ROS-ER-Ca2+-mediated cell death in human esophageal cancer. PMID:27329722

  13. Development of microsatellite markers and a restriction endonuclease digest assay for non-invasive sampling of endangered white-rumped, slender-billed and red-headed vultues

    Treesearch

    Y.A. Kapetanakos; I.J. Lovette; T.E. Katzner

    2014-01-01

    Southeast Asian vultures have been greatly reduced in range and population numbers, but it is challenging to use traditional tagging and monitoring techniques to track changes in their populations. Genotypes derived from non-invasively collected feather samples provide an alternative and effective means to 'capture' individual vultures for mark-recapture...

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1986-01-01

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

  15. Assessing multi-tissue lead burdens in free-flying obligate scavengers in eastern North America.

    PubMed

    Behmke, Shannon; Mazik, Patricia; Katzner, Todd

    2017-04-01

    Avian scavengers are regularly exposed to anthropogenic lead. Although many studies evaluate lead concentrations of either blood or tissues of lead-poisoned birds, there is comparatively less research on lead burdens of free-flying, apparently healthy individuals and populations. Here, we address this lack of information by assessing lead levels of multiple tissues (femur, liver, kidney, breast muscle, thigh muscle) in free-flying black vultures (n = 98) and turkey vultures (n = 10) collected outside the hunting season. We found only one individual had a soft tissue lead concentration indicative of acute exposure (6.17 mg/kg wet weight in the liver), while the other 107 vultures showed consistent low-level lead exposure throughout the soft tissues. All vultures, however, had femur lead concentrations indicative of chronic lead exposure (black vultures [Formula: see text]31.80 ± 20.42 mg/kg (±SD); turkey vultures 23.21 ± 18.77 mg/kg). Lead levels were similar in all tissues in both vulture species (in each case, p > 0.05) and were generally highest in the femur, intermediate in the kidney and liver, and lowest in the breast and thigh muscle. Despite the consistency of these patterns, there were few strong correlations between lead levels in different tissues within each species, and those correlations that did exist were not consistent between species. Because these vultures were free flying and apparently healthy, the organism-wide lead distributions and between-species trends we report here provide important insight into the sublethal lead burdens that black vultures and turkey vultures commonly carry. Furthermore, these data offer a framework to better interpret and contextualize lead exposure data collected from these and other species.

  16. Assessing multi-tissue lead burdens in free-flying obligate scavengers in eastern North America

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Behmke, Shannon; Mazik, Patricia; Katzner, Todd

    2017-01-01

    Avian scavengers are regularly exposed to anthropogenic lead. Although many studies evaluate lead concentrations of either blood or tissues of lead-poisoned birds, there is comparatively less research on lead burdens of free-flying, apparently healthy individuals and populations. Here, we address this lack of information by assessing lead levels of multiple tissues (femur, liver, kidney, breast muscle, thigh muscle) in free-flying black vultures (n = 98) and turkey vultures (n = 10) collected outside the hunting season. We found only one individual had a soft tissue lead concentration indicative of acute exposure (6.17 mg/kg wet weight in the liver), while the other 107 vultures showed consistent low-level lead exposure throughout the soft tissues. All vultures, however, had femur lead concentrations indicative of chronic lead exposure (black vultures x¯¯¯=x¯= 31.80 ± 20.42 mg/kg (±SD); turkey vultures 23.21 ± 18.77 mg/kg). Lead levels were similar in all tissues in both vulture species (in each case, p > 0.05) and were generally highest in the femur, intermediate in the kidney and liver, and lowest in the breast and thigh muscle. Despite the consistency of these patterns, there were few strong correlations between lead levels in different tissues within each species, and those correlations that did exist were not consistent between species. Because these vultures were free flying and apparently healthy, the organism-wide lead distributions and between-species trends we report here provide important insight into the sublethal lead burdens that black vultures and turkey vultures commonly carry. Furthermore, these data offer a framework to better interpret and contextualize lead exposure data collected from these and other species.

  17. Modeling and Simulation of Military Tactical Logistics Distribution

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-12-01

    helicopters : CH -147D Chinook and CH - 146 Griffon , and three classes of trucks: LSVW (Light Support Vehicle Wheeled), MLVW (Medium...Sp ee d (k m /h ) C os t pe r ho ur ($ ) C om m od iti es CH -147D Chinook 12.2 8 800 220 8000 K1,K2,K3 CH - 146 Griffon 1.9 1 550 200 5000 K2 T ru ck s...transportation assets, e.g., Heavy Logistics Vehicle Wheeled (HLVW) cargo trucks, CH -147D Chinook helicopters , indexed by v, K set of

  18. Gelatiniphilus marinus gen. nov., sp. nov., a bacterium from the culture broth of a microalga, Picochlorum sp. 122, and emended description of the genus Hwangdonia.

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

    A Gram-stain-negative, non-motile, non-spore-forming, rod-shaped bacterium, designated strain GYP-24T, was isolated from the culture broth of a marine microalga, Picochlorum sp. 122. Phylogenetic analyses based on 16S rRNA gene sequences indicated that strain GYP-24T forms a robust cluster with H.wangdoniaseohaensis KCTC 32177T (95.8 % sequence similarity) in the family Flavobacteriaceae. Growth of strain GYP-24T was observed at 15, 22, 28, 30, 33 and 37 °C (optimal 30-33 °C), pH 6.0-10.0 (optimal pH 7.0-8.0) and in the presence of 0.5-4 % (w/v) NaCl (optimal 2-3 %). The only menaquinone of strain GYP-24T was MK-6, and the G+C content of the genomic DNA was 36.9 mol%. The major fatty acid profile comprised iso-C17 : 0 3-OH, summed feature 3 (C16 : 1 ω7c/ω6c), iso-C15 : 1 G and iso-C15 : 0. The major polar lipids of strain GYP-24T were phosphatidylethanolamine, one unidentified phospholipid, three unidentified aminolipids and three unidentified lipids. Comprehensive analyses based on polyphasic characterization of GYP-24T indicated that it represents a novel species of a new genus, for which the name Gelatiniphilus marinus gen. nov., sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is GYP-24T (=KCTC 42903T=MCCC 1K01730T). An emended description of the genus Hwangdonia is also given.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2007-01-01

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

  20. The 20TH Annual Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition: Building a Generation of Robotists

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-11-26

    the obstacle must have at least six feet of driving space for the vehicles. Figure 5: Lawrence Technological University - vuLTUre 2.0, on the...3 Hosei Active 2012 865 9:28 4 Embry Riddle Aeronautical University Reagle V 765 6:56 5 Lawrence Technological University vuLTUre 2.0 6...Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay IIT Bombay 1044.00 7 U.S. Naval Academy Robo-Goat 1041.67 8 Lawrence Technological University vuLTUre 2 1033.67

  1. Probabilistic Deviation Detection and Optimal Thresholds

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-01-01

    A basic tank unit with the ability to inflict high damage Vulture A basic mobile ground unit Wraith An aerial attack unit with the power of...Ratio elicitation Marine Zergling Vulture Hydralisk 5,000 1x lowerbound -0.5 -1.0 -0.5 -1.0 5x lowerbound -0.2 -0.25 -0.3 -0.2 5x upperbound...for Terran Marines, Zerg Zerglings, Terran Vultures and Zerg Hydralisks. While a useful exploration would be to determine which set of features

  2. Hospital Ship Replacement

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-08-01

    22 Figure 17: Griffon 2400TD hovercraft ...amphibious support based on beach slope, ship draft, vessel speed and patient capacity. Hovercrafts were determined to be the preferred mode of... hovercrafts provide a sufficiently large patient transfer, quick transfer times for loading and unloading of passengers, and good seakeeping in rough

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    S Park; W Jin; S Shoelson

    2011-12-31

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. The California condor

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ogden, John C.; Di Silvestro, Roger L.

    1985-01-01

    The California condor (Gymnogyps californicus), with a weight of 18 to 22 pounds and a wingspan of approximately nine feet, is one of the largest land birds in the Western Hemisphere. It is one of seven species of New World vultures in the family Cathartidae, which includes the more familiar and much smaller North American species, the turkey vulture (Cathartes aura).1

  8. KSC-2010-5869

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2010-12-17

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Black vultures gather at dawn at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. NASA's Environmental Management Branch monitors the movement and activity of about 250 black and turkey vultures using satellite trackers and radio transmitters. Kennedy coexists with the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, habitat to more than 310 species of birds, 25 mammals, 117 fish and 65 amphibians and reptiles. Photo credit: NASA/Frank Michaux

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

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

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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

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

  12. Laboratory Testing of a Fluidized-Bed Dry-Scrubbing Process for the Removal of Acidic Gases from a Simulated Incinerator Flue Gas

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1989-04-01

    Kuni and Levenspiel ) W0 Gildart clo,,itiat ion" Group ItI l rotI ed r desc r i bed in ASTM St arda rd C 110-87. 22 REFERENCES 1. W. M. Bradshaw...Cement; Lime; Gyp- sum, American Society for Testing and Materials, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1988. 3. D. Kuni and 0. Levenspiel , Fluidization

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

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Gastric yield pressure and gastric yield volume to assess anti-reflux barrier in a porcine model.

    PubMed

    Duarte, Marcos E S; Freitag, Carmen P F; Fornari, Fernando; Kruel, Cleber R P; Sanches, Paulo R S; Thomé, Paulo R O; Callegari-Jacques, Sidia M; Möllerke, Roseli O; Vicente, Yvone A M V A; Goldani, Helena A S; Barros, Sérgio G S

    2013-04-01

    Anti-reflux barrier (ARB) resistance may be useful to test new treatments for gastroesophageal reflux (GER). The ARB has been estimated by increasing gastric yield pressure (GYP) and gastric yield volume (GYV) in animal models but has not been validated. This study aimed to develop an experimental model suitable for assessing the ARB resistance to increasing intragastric pressure and volume and its reproducibility in a seven-day interval. Ten two-month-old female Large-White swine were studied. Intragastric pressure and volume were recorded using a digital system connected to a Foley catheter inserted through gastrostomy into the stomach. GYP and GYV were defined as the gastric pressure and volume able to yield gastric contents into the esophagus detected by esophageal pH. A sudden pH drop below 3 sustained during 5 min was considered diagnostic for gastric yield. Animals were studied again after seven days. On days 0 and 7, there were no significant differences for GYP (mean ± SD = 7.66 ± 3.02 mmHg vs. 7.07 ± 3.54 mmHg, p = .686) and GYV (636.70 ± 216.74 ml vs. 608.30 ± 276.66 ml; p = .299), respectively. Concordance correlation coefficient (ρc) was significant for GYP (ρc = 0.634, 95% CI = 0.141-0.829, p = .006), but not for GYV (ρc = 0.291, 95% CI = -0.118 to 0.774, p = .196). This study demonstrated an experimental model, assessing the ARB resistance. GYP seems to be a more reliable parameter than GYV for assessment of ARB resistance.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

  16. Organochlorine pesticide residues in some Indian wild birds.

    PubMed

    Kaphalia, B S; Husain, M M; Seth, T D; Kumar, A; Murti, C R

    1981-06-01

    Residues of BHC and DDT were estimated by gas-liquid chromatographic analysis of the internal body organs, depot fat, and blood plasma of a few species of Indian wild birds, captured in and around the urban area of Lucknow. Total BHC and gamma-BHC (lindane) levels were high in breast muscle, liver, heart, and lung tissues of pigeon, crow, and vulture, compared with the respective tissues of chicken, cattle egret, and kite. More lindane and total BHC was found in tissues of vulture compared with other species. The major part of BHC isomers in the brain of birds examined was accounted for by alpha-BHC. Total BHC detected in depot fat of crows was 29.7 ppm; lesser amounts were found in vulture, kite, and cattle egret, respectively. Total DDT levels were comparable in the blood plasma of chicken, pigeon, crow, and cattle egret, although residues generally showed the following order in the tissues examined: chicken less than pigeon less than cattle egret less than crow less than kite less than vulture. High levels of DDT were detected in depot fat of crow, kite, and vulture (50.8, 67.0 and 95.3 ppm, respectively). Avian species thus reflect biological magnification of BHC and DDT residues, presumably due to their food habits.

  17. Is There a Place for Elite Forces in the Canadian Army?

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-11-02

    support of a mountain capability (forty-eight CH 146 Griffons are available from the three medium- weight brigades). Although the first two types of...which are significantly different from the ordinary army. He does, however, caveat this by suggesting these categories are a model and not a...Actual full-time amphibious troops, modeled on the British Royal Marines or United States Marine Corps, are not mentioned, but reference to

  18. MSIAC Journal. Volume 3, Issue 1, March 2008

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-03-01

    there were also two Sim Radio machines to emulate the communications networks. In total there were six CH - 146 Griffon , two Chinook and two AH-64...TASK NUMBER 5f. WORK UNIT NUMBER 7. PERFORMING ORGANIZATION NAME(S) AND ADDRESS(ES) Modeling and Simulation Information Analysis Center (MSIAC...unclassified Standard Form 298 (Rev. 8-98) Prescribed by ANSI Std Z39-18 http://www.dod-msiac.org/ 2MSIAC Journal Volume 3, Issue 1 The Modeling and

  19. SAREX 2007 Search Event Data Analysis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-02-01

    Gander CH -149 (Cormorant) SAREX 3 417 – 439 – 444 Goose Bay – Bagotville – Cold Lake CH - 146 ( Griffon ) SAREX4 442 Comox CC-130 (Hercules) SAREX...than a real fuselage but will have the same coating as a real one; target has to be small since it is carried by helicopter ). • TARGET 3: Fuselage...Identifiers, such as equipment model designation, trade name, military project code name, geographic location may also be included. If possible

  20. Combined Task and Physical Demands Analyses towards a Comprehensive Human Work Model

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-09-01

    the task hierarchy) that exert forces and moments on neck joints along with any head -borne mass. These low level tasks clearly overlap with the...and whole missions. The result is a comprehensive model of tasks and associated physical demands from which one can estimate the accumulative neck ...Griffon Helicopter aircrew (Pilots and Flight Engineers) reported neck pain particularly when wearing Night Vision Goggles (NVGs) (Forde et al. , 2011

  1. Spring-Based Helmet System Support Prototype to Address Aircrew Neck Strain

    DTIC Science & Technology

    The Royal Canadian Air Force Griffon helicopter aircrew are known to have extremely high incidence of chronic, debilitating neck pain. Fischer et al...2013) identified that unbalanced moments due to head-borne equipment (i.e. helmet with NVG ) were a particular concern since the current solution was...to add more weight (battery pack and counterweight (CW)) as a counterbalancing force. Three concepts were proposed to improve the helmet- NVG system

  2. Canadian Forces Project Land Force ISTAR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance)

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-11-02

    within TCCCS • Conduct experiments to link with ERSTA Griffon, CP-140 Aurora, UAV • Confirmation of STANAG 7085 requirement Tactical UAV Sensors $2.5...Deliverables • Schedule • STANAG 4586 and the Canadian effort • EX ROBUST RAM, ISTAR and the Pointer UAV lessons learned Common Operating Picture (CFCS) CFISR...requirements • Continue validation of STANAG 4586 $4.5 M Acquire Risk Reduction Units • Conduct integration tests in conjunction with Command Support Pilot

  3. KSC-2009-2490

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2009-04-01

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Black vultures gather near woods in NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. They are accompanied by a young white ibis. Ranging across the south and southeast, black vultures scavenge for both carrion and weak, sick or unprotected prey. They differ from turkey vultures in that they depend on vision to find food. They can be found all around Kennedy, on the ground or any higher landing spot, from buildings to utility poles. The center shares a boundary with the Merritt Island Wildlife Nature Refuge, which is a habitat for more than 310 species of birds, 25 mammals, 117 fishes and 65 amphibians and reptiles. Photo credit: NASA/Ben Smegelsky

  4. Soaring flight in Guinea

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Idrac, P

    1920-01-01

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

  5. Comprehensive overexpression analysis of cyclic-di-GMP signalling proteins in the phytopathogen Pectobacterium atrosepticum reveals diverse effects on motility and virulence phenotypes.

    PubMed

    Tan, H; West, J A; Ramsay, J P; Monson, R E; Griffin, J L; Toth, I K; Salmond, G P C

    2014-07-01

    Bis-(3'-5')-cyclic dimeric guanosine monophosphate (c-di-GMP) is a ubiquitous bacterial signalling molecule produced by diguanylate cyclases of the GGDEF-domain family. Elevated c-di-GMP levels or increased GGDEF protein expression is frequently associated with the onset of sessility and biofilm formation in numerous bacterial species. Conversely, phosphodiesterase-dependent diminution of c-di-GMP levels by EAL- and HD-GYP-domain proteins is often accompanied by increased motility and virulence. In this study, we individually overexpressed 23 predicted GGDEF, EAL or HD-GYP-domain proteins encoded by the phytopathogen Pectobacterium atrosepticum strain SCRI1043. MS-based detection of c-di-GMP and 5'-phosphoguanylyl-(3'-5')-guanosine in these strains revealed that overexpression of most genes promoted modest 1-10-fold changes in cellular levels of c-di-GMP, with the exception of the GGDEF-domain proteins ECA0659 and ECA3374, which induced 1290- and 7660-fold increases, respectively. Overexpression of most EAL domain proteins increased motility, while overexpression of most GGDEF domain proteins reduced motility and increased poly-β-1,6-N-acetyl-glucosamine-dependent flocculation. In contrast to domain-based predictions, overexpression of the EAL protein ECA3549 or the HD-GYP protein ECA3548 increased c-di-GMP concentrations and reduced motility. Most overexpression constructs altered the levels of secreted cellulases, pectinases and proteases, confirming c-di-GMP regulation of virulence in Pe. atrosepticum. However, there was no apparent correlation between virulence-factor induction and the domain class expressed or cellular c-di-GMP levels, suggesting that regulation was in response to specific effectors within the network, rather than total c-di-GMP concentration. Finally, we demonstrated that the cellular localization patterns vary considerably for GGDEF/EAL/HD-GYP proteins, indicating it is a likely factor restricting specific interactions within the c

  6. The MNS glycophorin variant GP.Mur affects differential erythroid expression of Rh/RhAG transcripts.

    PubMed

    Hsu, K; Kuo, M-S; Yao, C-C; Cheng, H-C; Lin, H-J; Chan, Y-S; Lin, M

    2017-08-24

    The band 3 macrocomplex (also known as the ankyrin-associated complex) on the red cell membrane comprises two interacting subcomplexes: a band 3/glycophorin A subcomplex, and a Rh/RhAG subcomplex. Glycophorin B (GPB) is a component of the Rh/RhAG subcomplex that is also structurally associated with glycophorin A (GPA). Expression of glycophorin B-A-B hybrid GP.Mur enhances band 3 expression and is associated with lower levels of Rh-associated glycoprotein (RhAG) and Rh polypeptides. The goal of this study was to determine whether GP.Mur influenced erythroid Rh/RhAG expression at the transcript level. GP.Mur was serologically determined in healthy participants from Taitung County, Taiwan. RNA was extracted from the reticulocyte-enriched fraction of peripheral blood, followed by reverse transcription and quantitative PCR for RhAG, RhD and RhCcEe. Quantification by real-time PCR revealed significantly fewer RhAG and RhCcEe transcripts in the reticulocytes from subjects with homozygous GYP*Mur. Independent from GYP.Mur, both RhAG and RhD transcript levels were threefold or higher than that of RhCcEe. Also, in GYP.Mur and the control samples alike, direct quantitative associations were observed between the transcript levels of RhAG and RhD, but not between that of RhAG and RhCcEe. Erythroid RhD and RhCcEe were differentially expressed at the transcript levels, which could be related to their different degrees of interaction or sensitivity to RhAG. Further, the reduction or absence of glycophorin B in GYP.Mur erythroid cells affected transcript expressions of RhAG and RhCcEe. Thus, GPB and GP.Mur differentially influenced Rh/RhAG expressions prior to protein translation. © 2017 International Society of Blood Transfusion.

  7. [Index screening and comprehensive evaluation of phenotypic traits of low nitrogen tolerance using BILs population derived from Dongxiang wild rice (Oryza rufipogon Griff)].

    PubMed

    Hu, Biao-lin; Li, Xia; Wan, Yong; Qiu, Zai-hui; Nie, Yuan-yuan; Xie, Jian-kun

    2015-08-01

    To identify the low nitrogen tolerance of Dongxiang wild rice (DXWR) and its progenies, ten phenotypic traits including plant height (PH), heading day (HD), panicle length (PL), number of effective tillers per plant (NETP), number of filled grains per panicle (NFGP), number of grains per panicle (NGP), grain density (GD), spikelet fertility (SF), 1000-grain mass (TGM) and grain yield per plant (GYP) were studied under normal and low nitrogen treatments, using backcross inbred lines (BILs) of Xieqingzao B//DXWR/Xieqingzao B in BC1 F12. Comprehensive evaluation on the low nitrogen tolerance of the BILs population was conducted using principal component analysis and the subordinate function. The evaluation results indicated that the low nitrogen tolerance of the line 116, 143 and 157 was the strongest, which could be served as the intermediate materials for genetic studies on the low nitrogen tolerance of DXWR and breeding for the low nitrogen tolerance in rice. The optimal regression equation of the low nitrogen tolerance in rice was established using stepwise regression analysis. The relative values of five traits including PH, NGP, SF, TGM and GYP were screened out and could be used as comprehensive evaluation indices for the low nitrogen tolerance in the whole growth stage. Therefore, more attention should be paid to the relative values of these five traits, especially for NGP and GYP, in the genetic improvement of the low nitrogen tolerance in rice.

  8. Gypsy, RTE and Mariner transposable elements populate Eyprepocnemis plorans genome.

    PubMed

    Montiel, Eugenia E; Cabrero, Josefa; Camacho, Juan Pedro M; López-León, M Dolores

    2012-09-01

    We analyze here the presence and abundance of three types of transposable elements (TEs), i.e. Gypsy, RTE and Mariner, in the genome of the grasshopper Eyprepocnemis plorans. PCR experiments allowed amplification, cloning and sequencing of these elements (EploGypI, EploRTE5, EploMar20) from the E. plorans genome. Fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) showed that all three elements are restricted to euchromatic regions, thus being absent from the pericentromeric region of all A chromosomes, which contain a satellite DNA (satDNA) and ribosomal DNA (rDNA), and being very scarce in B chromosomes mostly made up of these two types of repetitive DNA. FISH suggested that EploGypI is the most abundant and EploMar20 is the least abundant, with EploRTE5 showing intermediate abundance. An estimation of copy number, by means of quantitative PCR, showed that EploGypI is, by far, the most abundant element, followed by EploRTE5 and EploMar20, in consistency with FISH results. RNA isolation and PCR experiments on complementary DNA (cDNA) showed the presence of transcripts for the three TE elements. The implications of the preferential location of these TE elements into euchromatin, the significance of TE abundance in the giant genome of this species, and a possible relationship between TEs and B chromosome mutability, are discussed.

  9. Zone-tailed Hawk (Buteo albonotatus)

    Treesearch

    Scott H. Stoleson; Giancarlo Sadoti

    2010-01-01

    The Zone-tailed Hawk (Buteo albonotatus) might well be dubbed "the Great Pretender" because it so closely resembles the ubiquitous Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura) in appearance and behavior as to be frequently mistaken for it. In the border regions where it lives, it may be confused as well with another "Mexican" raptor, the Common Black-Hawk (...

  10. Predatory bird populations in the east Mojave Desert, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Knight, R.L.; Camp, R.J.; Boarman, W.I.; Knight, H.A.L.

    1999-01-01

    We surveyed 7 species of predatory birds weekly during a 12-month period (December 1992 through November 1993) in the east Mojave Desert, California. The Common Raven (Corvus corax) was the most frequently observed species with an average of 6.9 sightings per 100 km. Turkey Vultures (Cathartes aura), Red-tailed Hawks (Buteo jamaicensis), Loggerhead Shrikes (Lanius ludovicianus), American Kestrels (Falco sparverius), Golden Eagles (Aquila chrysaetos), and Prairie Falcons (Falco mexicanus) were seen in decreasing order of frequency of observation through the study period. Ravens, Red-tailed Hawks, Loggerhead Shrikes, American Kestrels, and Prairie Falcons were seen throughout the year. Turkey Vultures were not present during winter months, while Golden Eagles were seen only during November and December. Turkey Vultures, Red-tailed Hawks, and ravens were most numerous on agricultural lands, while Loggerhead Shrikes were most Common at urban areas. Raven numbers increased with increasing number of linear rights-of-way parallel to the survey route. Perching was the most common behavior type, although Turkey Vultures and ravens were often observed soaring, flying, or standing on the ground near highways. Transmission powerline towers and telephone poles were used as perch sites disproportionately to availability.

  11. Acute oral toxicity of sodium cyanide in birds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1986-01-01

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

  12. Acute oral toxicity of sodium cyanide in birds.

    PubMed

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

    1986-10-01

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

  13. Genie Inference Engine Rule Writer’s Guide.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1987-08-01

    that Genie would not confuse a zebra with a tarantula . Likewise, not all flying, egg-laying animals are birds. In the sample rules all the antecedents...animal is scavenger) THEN (animal is vulture)) determine specific fishes (IF (animal is fish) (animal is bought at pet stores) THEN (animal is goldfish

  14. 78 FR 23286 - Endangered Species; Marine Mammals; Receipt of Applications for Permit

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-04-18

    ...) African wild dog (Lycaon pictus) Rothschild's starling (Leucopsar rothschildi) Radiated tortoise... registration under 50 CFR 17.21(g) to include the following black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) and Indian...) Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) African wild dog (Lycaon pictus) Andean condor (Vultur gryphus)...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-08-01

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

  16. Organ procurement: let's presume consent

    PubMed Central

    Moustarah, F

    1998-01-01

    IN WINNING FIRST PRIZE in the Logie Medical Ethics Essay Contest in 1997, Dr. Fady Moustarah made a strong and compelling argument in favour of presumed consent in the procurement of donor organs. He stressed that a major education campaign will be needed when such a policy is adopted lest some people begin to regard physicians as "organ vultures." PMID:9469147

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dickler, Paul

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Holdridge, D. J.

    2002-10-02

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

  19. Wrong but seminal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seeman, Jeffrey I.; Cantrill, Stuart

    2016-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

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

  1. Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for Airborne Laser Program at Kirtland Air Force Base (AFB) and White Sands Missile Range/Holloman AFB, NM, and Edwards AFB and Vandenberg AFB, CA

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2003-06-01

    birds include the turkey vulture (Cathartes aura), common raven (Corvus corax), sage sparrow (Amphispiza bell!). and western meadowlark. Common... beard tongue (Penstemon alamosensis) Desert night-blooming cereus (Cereus greggii var. greggii) Mescalero milkwort (Polygala rimulicola var...Mountains blue butterfly (Icaricia icarioides) new subspecies Alamo beard tongue (Penstemon alamosensis) 4 Desert night-blooming cereus (Cereus

  2. American River Watershed Investigation, California. Reconnaisance Report

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1988-01-01

    pastures in the Natomas area provide habitat for grassland animals such as turkey vultures , red-tailed hawks, black-shouldered kites, C-24 northern...Lewisia serrata (2) Stebbins’ phacelia, Phacelia stebbinsii (2) bearded allocarya, Plagiobothrys hystriculus (2)valley sagittaria, Sagittaria san

  3. Willpower: A Historical Study of an Influential Leadership Attribute

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2003-01-01

    would not be left lying on the ground for the vultures , insects, and weather, but would be brought back to their families for burial.27 The author...five months later was widowed and pregnant.7 The second great influence on the future fleet admiral’s life was his “wonderful white- bearded ” paternal

  4. Role of Stat3 and ErbB2 in Breast Cancer

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-10-01

    Reportable Outcomes Papers published 1.--Geletu, M., Chaize, C., Arulanandam, R., Vultur, A., Kowolik, C., Anagnostopoulou, A., Jove , R. and Raptis...1. Yu,H., Pardoll,D., & Jove ,R. STATs in cancer inflammation and immunity: a leading role for STAT3. Nat. Rev. Cancer 9, 798-809 (2009). 2

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Assessment of Helmet Mounted HUD Symbology Referencing Systems

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2000-03-30

    model utilized in the experiment was based on performance data for a Bell412 helicopter . A Stability Augmentation System (SAS...Instructor Pilot 3yrs. • CH 136 Kiowa FSI • CH -135 NVG IP 5yrs. • CH 139 Jet Ranger • CT 114 Tutor • CH - 146 NVG SPEC 2yrs • CH 135 Twin Huey • CH 146 ... Griffon 6 • CT 134 Musketeer • 3300 Overall • C 90KmgAir 2 No • CT 114 Tutor • CH 139 Jet Ranger • UTIAS/DCIEM Sea • CH 139 Jet Ranger • CH 135

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

    PubMed

    Redig, Patrick T; Goyal, Sagar M

    2012-06-01

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

  8. Raptor road surveys in South America

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ellis, D.H.; Glinski, R.L.; Smith, D.G.

    1990-01-01

    Twenty-six (23 traveling and three point) raptor roadside surveys were conducted during a 29,000 km expedition through nine nations of South America. During roadside surveys, we tallied 41 of the 87 (47%) diurnal raptor species (including vultures) that occur in South America. The number of species observed per route varied from 17 in the wet savanna of Venezuela to only two species recorded in the harsh Atacama Desert and the dry montane grasslands of Chile and Peru. Raptor density (non-vultures) varied from 1 per 67 km in the Atacama Desert to more than 1 per km in agricultural areas where caracaras and other species that utilize disturbed habitats were common. Responses of raptor communities to deforestation and other habitat disturbances are discussed. While certain habitat modifications potentially increase raptor abundance and diversity, the alteration of primary forest has the opposite effect, at least on diversity.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1985-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1985-01-01

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

  11. KSC-06pd1334

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2006-06-23

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - Radar technicians adjust two bird detection radars near Launch Pad 39B before the July 1 launch of Space Shuttle Discovery on mission STS-121. When birds, especially vultures, are near the shuttle during a launch, impact on a critical area is possible and could cause catastrophic damage to the vehicle. Already proven affective for aviation where threats posed by bird strikes have been a problem, the avian radar, known as Aircraft Birdstrike Avoidance Radar, provides horizontal and vertical scanning and can monitor either launch pad for movement of vultures around them. If data relayed from the avian radar indicates large birds are dangerously close to the vehicle, controllers could hold the countdown. Photo credit: NASA/Dimitri Gerondidakis

  12. KSC-06pd1339

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2006-06-27

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - This radar image shows the presence of large birds around Launch Pad 39B. The data is being relayed from the avian radars recently set up on the pad. The computer is one of two set up in Firing Room 4 of the Launch Control Center. When birds, especially vultures, are near the shuttle during a launch, impact on a critical area is possible and could cause catastrophic damage to the vehicle. Already proven affective for aviation where threats posed by bird strikes have been a problem, the avian radar, known as Aircraft Birdstrike Avoidance Radar, provides horizontal and vertical scanning and can monitor either launch pad for movement of vultures around them. If data relayed from the avian radar indicates large birds are dangerously close to the vehicle, controllers could hold the countdown. Photo credit: NASA/George Shelton

  13. KSC-06pd1333

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2006-06-22

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - Radar technicians set up bird detection radar near Launch Pad 39B before the July 1 launch of Space Shuttle Discovery on mission STS-121. When birds, especially vultures, are near the shuttle during a launch, impact on a critical area is possible and could cause catastrophic damage to the vehicle. Already proven affective for aviation where threats posed by bird strikes have been a problem, the avian radar, known as Aircraft Birdstrike Avoidance Radar, provides horizontal and vertical scanning and can monitor either launch pad for movement of vultures around them. If data relayed from the avian radar indicates large birds are dangerously close to the vehicle, controllers could hold the countdown. Photo credit: NASA/Gianni Woods

  14. KSC-06pd1336

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2006-06-23

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - Radar technicians adjust two bird detection radars near Launch Pad 39B before the July 1 launch of Space Shuttle Discovery on mission STS-121. When birds, especially vultures, are near the shuttle during a launch, impact on a critical area is possible and could cause catastrophic damage to the vehicle. Already proven affective for aviation where threats posed by bird strikes have been a problem, the avian radar, known as Aircraft Birdstrike Avoidance Radar, provides horizontal and vertical scanning and can monitor either launch pad for movement of vultures around them. If data relayed from the avian radar indicates large birds are dangerously close to the vehicle, controllers could hold the countdown. Photo credit: NASA/Dimitri Gerondidakis

  15. KSC-06pd1332

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2006-06-22

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - Bird detection radar is set up near Launch Pad 39B before the July 1 launch of Space Shuttle Discovery on mission STS-121. When birds, especially vultures, are near the shuttle during a launch, impact on a critical area is possible and could cause catastrophic damage to the vehicle. Already proven affective for aviation where threats posed by bird strikes have been a problem, the avian radar, known as Aircraft Birdstrike Avoidance Radar, provides horizontal and vertical scanning and can monitor either launch pad for movement of vultures around them. If data relayed from the avian radar indicates large birds are dangerously close to the vehicle, controllers could hold the countdown. Photo credit: NASA/Gianni Woods

  16. KSC-06pd1338

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2006-06-27

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - In Firing Room 4 of the Launch Control Center, NASA Test Director Steve Payne points to laptop computers that will display data relayed from the avian radars recently set up on Launch Pad 39B. When birds, especially vultures, are near the shuttle during a launch, impact on a critical area is possible and could cause catastrophic damage to the vehicle. Already proven affective for aviation where threats posed by bird strikes have been a problem, the avian radar, known as Aircraft Birdstrike Avoidance Radar, provides horizontal and vertical scanning and can monitor either launch pad for movement of vultures around them. If data relayed from the avian radar indicates large birds are dangerously close to the vehicle, controllers could hold the countdown. Photo credit: NASA/George Shelton

  17. KSC-06pd1331

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2006-06-22

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - Bird detection radar is delivered near Launch Pad 39B before the July 1 launch of Space Shuttle Discovery on mission STS-121. When birds, especially vultures, are near the shuttle during a launch, impact on a critical area is possible and could cause catastrophic damage to the vehicle. Already proven affective for aviation where threats posed by bird strikes have been a problem, the avian radar, known as Aircraft Birdstrike Avoidance Radar, provides horizontal and vertical scanning and can monitor either launch pad for movement of vultures around them. If data relayed from the avian radar indicates large birds are dangerously close to the vehicle, controllers could hold the countdown. Photo credit: NASA/Gianni Woods

  18. KSC-06pd1341

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2006-06-27

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - These laptop computers in Firing Room 4 of the Launch Control Center reveal data being relayed from the avian radars recently set up on Launch Pad 39B. On the left is an associated camera image. On the right is the radar image. When birds, especially vultures, are near the shuttle during a launch, impact on a critical area is possible and could cause catastrophic damage to the vehicle. Already proven affective for aviation where threats posed by bird strikes have been a problem, the avian radar, known as Aircraft Birdstrike Avoidance Radar, provides horizontal and vertical scanning and can monitor either launch pad for movement of vultures around them. If data relayed from the avian radar indicates large birds are dangerously close to the vehicle, controllers could hold the countdown. Photo credit: NASA/George Shelton

  19. KSC-06pd1340

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2006-06-27

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - This associated computer image shows data being relayed from the avian radars recently set up on Launch Pad 39B. The computer is one of two in Firing Room 4 of the Launch Control Center. When birds, especially vultures, are near the shuttle during a launch, impact on a critical area is possible and could cause catastrophic damage to the vehicle. Already proven affective for aviation where threats posed by bird strikes have been a problem, the avian radar, known as Aircraft Birdstrike Avoidance Radar, provides horizontal and vertical scanning and can monitor either launch pad for movement of vultures around them. If data relayed from the avian radar indicates large birds are dangerously close to the vehicle, controllers could hold the countdown. Photo credit: NASA/George Shelton

  20. KSC-06pd1335

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2006-06-23

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - Radar technicians adjust two bird detection radars near Launch Pad 39B before the July 1 launch of Space Shuttle Discovery on mission STS-121. When birds, especially vultures, are near the shuttle during a launch, impact on a critical area is possible and could cause catastrophic damage to the vehicle. Already proven affective for aviation where threats posed by bird strikes have been a problem, the avian radar, known as Aircraft Birdstrike Avoidance Radar, provides horizontal and vertical scanning and can monitor either launch pad for movement of vultures around them. If data relayed from the avian radar indicates large birds are dangerously close to the vehicle, controllers could hold the countdown. Photo credit: NASA/Dimitri Gerondidakis

  1. KSC-06pd1337

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2006-06-23

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - Two bird detection radars have been set up near Launch Pad 39B to get ready for the July 1 launch of Space Shuttle Discovery on mission STS-121. When birds, especially vultures, are near the shuttle during a launch, impact on a critical area is possible and could cause catastrophic damage to the vehicle. Already proven affective for aviation where threats posed by bird strikes have been a problem, the avian radar, known as Aircraft Birdstrike Avoidance Radar, provides horizontal and vertical scanning and can monitor either launch pad for movement of vultures around them. If data relayed from the avian radar indicates large birds are dangerously close to the vehicle, controllers could hold the countdown. Photo credit: NASA/Dimitri Gerondidakis

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

    PubMed

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

    2000-12-01

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

  3. Argentina’s Defaulted Sovereign Debt: Dealing with the Holdouts

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-02-17

    solution that it felt was commensurate with its deeply diminished economic and social reality. Facing a huge debt burden, Argentina adopted a hard line...34Vulture Funds Lobby Against Argentina," America Latina en Movimiento , August 6, 2009. http://alainet.org/index.phtml Argentina’s Defaulted Sovereign...Service 12 responsibility can have dramatic long-term economic, social , and political consequences. At the financial level, the costs to Argentina have

  4. Geographical variation in cloacal microflora and bacterial antibiotic resistance in a threatened avian scavenger in relation to diet and livestock farming practices.

    PubMed

    Blanco, Guillermo; Lemus, Jesús A; Grande, Javier; Gangoso, Laura; Grande, Juan M; Donázar, José A; Arroyo, Bernardo; Frías, Oscar; Hiraldo, Fernando

    2007-07-01

    The impact on wildlife health of the increase in the use of antimicrobial agents with the intensification of livestock production remains unknown. The composition, richness and prevalence of cloacal microflora as well as bacterial resistance to antibiotics in nestlings and full-grown Egyptian vultures Neophron percnopterus were assessed in four areas of Spain in which the degree of farming intensification differs. Differences in diet composition, especially the role of stabled livestock carrion, appear to govern the similarities of bacterial flora composition among continental populations, while the insular vulture population (Fuerteventura, Canary Islands) showed differences attributed to isolation. Evidence of a positive relationship between the consumption of stabled livestock carrion and bacterial resistance to multiple antibiotics was found. Bacterial resistance was high for semisynthetic penicillins and enrofloxacin, especially in the area with the most intensive stabled livestock production. The pattern of antibiotic resistance was similar for the different bacterial species within each area. Bacterial resistance to antibiotics may be determined by resistance of bacteria present in the livestock meat remains that constituted the food of this species, as indicated by the fact that resistance to each antibiotic was correlated in Escherichia coli isolated from swine carrion and Egyptian vulture nestlings. In addition, resistance in normal faecal bacteria (present in the microflora of both livestock and vultures) was higher than in Staphylococcus epidermidis, a species indicator of the transient flora acquired presumably through the consumption of wild rabbits. Potential negative effects of the use of antimicrobials in livestock farming included the direct ingestion of these drug residues and the effects of bacterial antibiotic resistance on the health of scavengers.

  5. Serosurvey of West Nile virus and other flaviviruses of the Japanese encephalitis antigenic complex in birds from Andalusia, southern Spain.

    PubMed

    García-Bocanegra, Ignacio; Busquets, Núria; Napp, Sebastián; Alba, Ana; Zorrilla, Irene; Villalba, Rubén; Arenas, Antonio

    2011-08-01

    Flaviviruses of the Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) antigenic complex, including West Nile virus (WNV), are recognized as emerging and reemerging pathogens. Circulation of flaviviruses has been recently detected in different mosquito and vertebrate species in several European countries. A serosurvey study was carried out to evaluate the circulation of WNV and other flaviviruses of the JEV antigenic complex in different wild bird species in Spain between 2006 and 2009. Seropositiviy against JEV using a competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was found in common coot, Montagu's Harrier, black kite, black vulture, Bonelli's eagle, Spanish imperial eagle, Egyptian vulture, and Eurasian spoonbill. Seropositivity to JEV antigenic complex viruses was significantly higher in samples collected during autumn compared with animals sampled during summer. Significantly higher seroprevalence was also observed in 2007 compared with 2009, whereas there were no significant differences in seropositivity among taxonomic levels, migratory versus resident behavior, body size (large vs. medium), or habitats (free-ranging vs. captivity). Neutralizing antibodies against WNV were detected in common coot and Spanish imperial eagle using a virus-neutralization test. Oral shedding of WNV was not detected in any of the Spanish imperial eagles, Egyptian vultures, Eurasian Spoonbills, Lammergeiers, and the Black vultures analyzed by means of real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. The results indicate that WNV and others flaviviruses of the JEV antigenic group circulated in migratory and resident wild bird species in Spain between 2007 and 2008. Further studies are necessary to determine the precise role that each of these wild bird species, some of them cataloged as "near threatened," "vulnerable," or "endangered," play in the epidemiology of those viruses.

  6. Lyra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

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

  7. An ever-changing ecological battlefield: marijuana cultivation and toxicant use in western forests

    Treesearch

    Craig M. Thompson; Mourad W  Gabriel; Kathryn L. Purcell

    2017-01-01

    Frozen in the act of scavenging dinner, the vulture’s head lay on the fox’s abdomen, covering the hole it had been attempting to enlarge. When biologists pulled the bird away, they found not only a healthy looking, though dead, fox underneath, but also scores of insects scattered around. Less than a mile away the scene was repeated. This time the dead animal...

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

    PubMed

    Kim, Jungsoo; Oh, Jong-Min

    2016-07-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1997-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

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

  11. In-flight turbulence benefits soaring birds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mallon, Julie M; Bildstein, Keith L.; Katzner, Todd E.

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Topography and morphology of retinal ganglion cells in Falconiforms: a study on predatory and carrion-eating birds.

    PubMed

    Inzunza, O; Bravo, H; Smith, R L; Angel, M

    1991-02-01

    The topographic distribution of retinal ganglion cells and their cell body size have been studied in five Falconiform species, including predatory (chilean eagle Buteo fuscenses australis, and sparrow hawk Falco sparverius) and carrion-eating (chimango caracara Milvago chimango; condor Vultur gryphus, and black vulture Coragyps atratus) birds. All these species had a well defined nasal fovea and a horizontal streak. Instead of a temporal fovea as in eagles and hawks, an afoveate temporal area is present in chimango, condor, and vulture. The highest ganglion cell density was found in the nasal fovea of Falco and Buteo with 65,000 and 62,000 cells/mm2, respectively. A negative correlation between ganglion cell density and cell body size was found in all the species studied. The specializations of the temporal retina showed a rather homogenous population of medium sized neurons, while the nasal foveas showed a homogeneous population of smaller ganglion cells. Finally, the peripheral retina showed a heterogeneous population of large, medium, and small ganglion cells. Predatory behavior appears to be closely related to foveal specializations, and is best exemplified in the eagle and hawk and to a lesser extent in the chimango.

  13. Lead in the tissues of terrestrial raptors in southern Ontario, Canada, 1995-2001.

    PubMed

    Martin, Pamela A; Campbell, Douglas; Hughes, Kimberley; McDaniel, Tana

    2008-02-25

    Terrestrial raptors which feed on upland hunted game species may increase their risk to lead exposure and lead poisoning by ingesting lead shot found in the tissues of prey. Lead exposure in 225 individuals of nineteen species of terrestrial raptors, collected as carcasses in southern Ontario from 1995-2001, was examined through the analysis of bone, liver and kidney tissues. In this study, one red-tailed hawk contained liver lead concentrations and exhibited signs consistent with lead poisoning. Liver and kidney concentrations of one turkey vulture were also significantly higher than that associated with subclinical effects. This same bird, plus another turkey vulture and a northern harrier, had elevated bone lead concentrations (>10 microg/g dw) associated with possible toxicity. Turkey vultures had the highest mean concentrations of lead in bone and kidney compared to other raptor species. While it appeared only a single bird suffered acute lead poisoning, lead levels exceeded threshold concentrations associated with subclinical or acute toxicity in 4 of 225, almost 2%, of terrestrial raptors assessed. Given the association between lead exposure in raptors and hunting of game species reported in other studies, the continued use of lead shot for upland hunting in Ontario likely remains as one of the primary sources of lead and a continued risk to these birds of prey.

  14. Progress in Understanding the Molecular Basis Underlying Functional Diversification of Cyclic Dinucleotide Turnover Proteins.

    PubMed

    Römling, Ute; Liang, Zhao-Xun; Dow, J Maxwell

    2017-03-01

    Cyclic di-GMP was the first cyclic dinucleotide second messenger described, presaging the discovery of additional cyclic dinucleotide messengers in bacteria and eukaryotes. The GGDEF diguanylate cyclase (DGC) and EAL and HD-GYP phosphodiesterase (PDE) domains conduct the turnover of cyclic di-GMP. These three unrelated domains belong to superfamilies that exhibit significant variations in function, and they include both enzymatically active and inactive members, with a subset involved in synthesis and degradation of other cyclic dinucleotides. Here, we summarize current knowledge of sequence and structural variations that underpin the functional diversification of cyclic di-GMP turnover proteins. Moreover, we highlight that superfamily diversification is not restricted to cyclic di-GMP signaling domains, as particular DHH/DHHA1 domain and HD domain proteins have been shown to act as cyclic di-AMP phosphodiesterases. We conclude with a consideration of the current limitations that such diversity of action places on bioinformatic prediction of the roles of GGDEF, EAL, and HD-GYP domain proteins.

  15. High-throughput gender identification of Accipitridae eagles with real-time PCR using TaqMan probes.

    PubMed

    Chang, H-W; Gu, D-L; Su, S-H; Chang, C-C; Cheng, C-A; Huang, H-W; Yao, C-T; Chou, T-C; Chuang, L-Y; Cheng, C-C

    2008-07-01

    The objective was to develop high-throughput gender identification of eagles. Based on BLAST and alignment analyses, the CHD-Z and CHD-W sequences of nine species of eagles were highly homologous with Spilornis cheela hoya (S. c. hoya); therefore, TaqMan probes were designed to target their CHD-ZW-common and CHD-W-specific regions. In S. c. hoya, genders were identified using TaqMan-based, real-time PCR (amplified by P2/P8 primers); this method was validated with anatomically confirmed controls (one of each gender). Both genders had high intensities of the HEX-labeled (CHD-ZW-common) probe, whereas only females had high intensity of the FAM-labeled (CHD-W-specific) probe. The sequence of the CHD-W-specific probe designed for S. c. hoya was completely homologous with the CHD-W-specific region in Circaetus gallicus, Gyps indicus, and Gyps bengalensis, and was only one nucleotide different from those of Accipiter nisus, Spizaetus nipalensis, Aquila chrysaetos, Circus spilonotus, and Milvus migrans. For the CHD-ZW-common probe, all species listed were completely conserved. Using real-time PCR software, we established auto-calling of the genders of 15 individuals of S. c. hoya. In conclusion, this method provided accurate, high-throughput gender identification for S. c. hoya, and has considerable potential for identifying the gender of several related species of eagles.

  16. First report of oral colonization by Debaryomyces nepalensis in a dog.

    PubMed

    Moretti, Annabella; Fukushima, Kazutaka; Takizawa, Kayoko; Suzuki, Motofuni; Vidotto, Valerio; Cannizzo, Francesca T; Boncio, Luisa; Bollo, Enrico

    2007-10-01

    A stray, young male, wire-haired pointing griffon dog, found in a street of Perugia (Italy), was examined in order to check his health status. Two oropharyngeal swabs were collected in 24 h and streaked onto Sabouraud agar and after 6 days the yeasts colonies were transferred onto Malt agar. Ascospores were observed on Potato Dextrose Agar medium. The major ubiquinone of an isolated yeast was identified as ubiquinone-9 (Q-9), and genetical analyses were performed together with the type strains of Debaryomyces hansenii (var. hansenii and var. fabry), C. psychrophila and D. nepalensis type strain. The base sequences of ITS1 and ITS2, and D1/D2 domains of LSU rDNA completely coincided with those of D. nepalensis. From these results, the isolated yeast was identified as D. nepalensis. RAPD patterns between the two strains were found to be identical. The results indicate the first colonization of D. nepalensis in a dog.

  17. Simulator Study of Helmet-Mounted Symbology System Concepts in Degraded Visual Environments.

    PubMed

    Cheung, Bob; McKinley, Richard A; Steels, Brad; Sceviour, Robert; Cosman, Vaughn; Holst, Peter

    2015-07-01

    A sudden loss of external visual cues during critical phases of flight results in spatial disorientation. This is due to undetected horizontal and vertical drift when there is little tolerance for error and correction delay as the helicopter is close to the ground. Three helmet-mounted symbology system concepts were investigated in the simulator as potential solutions for the legacy Griffon helicopters. Thirteen Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) Griffon pilots were exposed to the Helmet Display Tracking System for Degraded Visual Environments (HDTS), the BrownOut Symbology System (BOSS), and the current RCAF AVS7 symbology system. For each symbology system, the pilot performed a two-stage departure and a single-stage approach. The presentation order of the symbology systems was randomized. Objective performance metrics included aircraft speed, altitude, attitude, and distance from the landing point. Subjective measurements included situation awareness, mental effort, perceived performance, perceptual cue rating, and NASA Task Load Index. Repeated measures analysis of variance and subsequent planned comparison for all the objective and subjective measurements were performed between the AVS7, HDTS, and BOSS. Our results demonstrated that HDTS and BOSS showed general improvement over AVS7 in two-stage departure. However, only HDTS performed significantly better in heading error than AVS7. During the single-stage approach, BOSS performed worse than AVS7 in heading root mean square error, and only HDTS performed significantly better in distance to landing point and approach heading than the others. Both the HDTS and BOSS possess their own limitations; however, HDTS is the pilots' preferred flight display.

  18. Assessing allowable take of migratory birds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  20. Assessing allowable take of migratory birds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2009-01-01

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

  1. KSC-06pd0999

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2006-06-05

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - A turkey vulture appears to hide from the camera at a site near the NASA News Center at Kennedy Space Center. A wide-ranging bird, it is seen throughout Florida and the Space Coast. It is a common site around KSC. The Center, which shares a boundary with the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, is a habitat for more than 310 species of birds, 25 mammals, 117 fishes and 65 amphibians and reptiles. In addition, the Refuge supports 19 endangered or threatened wildlife species on Federal or State lists, more than any other single refuge in the U.S. Photo credit: NASA/Ken Thornsley

  2. Korean Affairs Report.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-11-02

    Indonesia, Malaysia , Somalia, Nepal, Mexico and Pakistan. In an article headlined "U.S. ’White Dove’ and ’Vulture’" the paper exposes the crafty double...could be used to take these foods out of the bowls if necessary. And the scales were medically clean. As many times as I passed the store, the contents...many people run their eyes over the local news. And this, to be sure, is very apropos: indeed, there are no newspaper kiosks in the city

  3. Shortfalls using second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides.

    PubMed

    Borst, G H A; Counotte, G H M

    2002-03-01

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

  4. Exploring bird aerodynamics using radio-controlled models.

    PubMed

    Hoey, Robert G

    2010-12-01

    A series of radio-controlled glider models was constructed by duplicating the aerodynamic shape of soaring birds (raven, turkey vulture, seagull and pelican). Controlled tests were conducted to determine the level of longitudinal and lateral-directional static stability, and to identify the characteristics that allowed flight without a vertical tail. The use of tail-tilt for controlling small bank-angle changes, as observed in soaring birds, was verified. Subsequent tests, using wing-tip ailerons, inferred that birds use a three-dimensional flow pattern around the wing tip (wing tip vortices) to control adverse yaw and to create a small amount of forward thrust in gliding flight.

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

    PubMed

    Varland, Daniel E

    2015-09-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1990-10-01

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

  7. Polonium pollution

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1982-06-01

    In January of 1982, polonium-210 was discovered in drinking water supplies in two southwest Florida counties. Since then, the radioisotope has been found in two more counties. Samples were taken from 20-25 ft. wells, and Po-210 concentrations ranged from 50-7000 pCi/liter. Federal standards of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission limit concentrations in water supplies to 700 pCi/liter. Although Florida's phosphate rocks are rich sources of uranium, no geographical pattern has been found which would suggest an association of the contamination with phosphate mining operations. However, the ''gyp-stacks'', huge piles of waste calcium sulfate are considered by some to be a potential health hazard because they contain high levels of radium sulfate which, through decay, could eventually form polonium. (JMT)

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Distinct sensory pathways in Vibrio cholerae El Tor and classical biotypes modulate cyclic dimeric GMP levels to control biofilm formation.

    PubMed

    Hammer, Brian K; Bassler, Bonnie L

    2009-01-01

    Quorum sensing (QS), or cell-cell communication in bacteria, is achieved through the production and subsequent response to the accumulation of extracellular signal molecules called autoinducers (AIs). To identify AI-regulated target genes in Vibrio cholerae El Tor (V. cholerae(El)), the strain responsible for the current cholera pandemic, luciferase expression was assayed in an AI(-) strain carrying a random lux transcriptional reporter library in the presence and absence of exogenously added AIs. Twenty-three genes were identified and shown to require the QS transcription factor, HapR, for their regulation. Several of the QS-dependent target genes, annotated as encoding hypothetical proteins, in fact encode HD-GYP proteins, phosphodiesterases that degrade the intracellular second messenger cyclic dimeric GMP (c-di-GMP), which is important for controlling biofilm formation. Indeed, overexpression of a representative QS-activated HD-GYP protein in V. cholerae(El) reduced the intracellular concentration of c-di-GMP, which in turn decreased exopolysaccharide production and biofilm formation. The V. cholerae classical biotype (V. cholerae(Cl)), which caused previous cholera pandemics and is HapR(-), controls c-di-GMP levels and biofilm formation by the VieA signaling pathway. We show that the VieA pathway is dispensable for biofilm formation in V. cholerae(El) but that restoring HapR in V. cholerae(Cl) reestablishes QS-dependent repression of exopolysaccharide production. Thus, different pandemic strains of V. cholerae modulate c-di-GMP levels and control biofilm formation in response to distinct sensory pathways.

  10. Phosphorylation of the effector complex HOPS by the vacuolar kinase Yck3p confers Rab nucleotide specificity for vacuole docking and fusion

    PubMed Central

    Zick, Michael; Wickner, William

    2012-01-01

    The homotypic fusion of yeast vacuoles requires the Rab-family GTPase Ypt7p and its effector complex, homotypic fusion and vacuole protein sorting complex (HOPS). Although the vacuolar kinase Yck3p is required for the sensitivity of vacuole fusion to proteins that regulate the Rab GTPase cycle—Gdi1p (GDP-dissociation inhibitor [GDI]) or Gyp1p/Gyp7p (GTPase-activating protein)—this kinase phosphorylates HOPS rather than Ypt7p. We addressed this puzzle in reconstituted proteoliposome fusion reactions with all-purified components. In the presence of HOPS and Sec17p/Sec18p, there is comparable fusion of 4-SNARE (soluble N-ethylmaleimide–sensitive factor attachment protein receptor) proteoliposomes when they have Ypt7p bearing either GDP or GTP, a striking exception to the rule that only GTP-bound forms of Ras-superfamily GTPases have active conformations. However, the phosphorylation of HOPS by recombinant Yck3p confers a strict requirement for GTP-bound Ypt7p for binding phosphorylated HOPS, for optimal membrane tethering, and for proteoliposome fusion. Added GTPase-activating protein promotes GTP hydrolysis by Ypt7p, and added GDI captures Ypt7p in its GDP-bound state during nucleotide cycling. In either case, the net conversion of Ypt7:GTP to Ypt7:GDP has no effect on HOPS binding or activity but blocks fusion mediated by phosphorylated HOPS. Thus guanine nucleotide specificity of the vacuolar fusion Rab Ypt7p is conferred through downstream posttranslational modification of its effector complex. PMID:22787280

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-11-10

    A new β-glucosidase gene (bglSp) was cloned from the ginsenoside converting Sphingomonas sp. strain 2F2 isolated from the ginseng cultivating filed. The bglSp consisted of 1344 bp (447 amino acid residues) with a predicted molecular mass of 49,399 Da. A BLAST search using the bglSp sequence revealed significant homology to that of glycoside hydrolase superfamily 1. This enzyme was overexpressed in Escherichia coli BL21 (DE3) using a pET21-MBP (TEV) vector system. Overexpressed recombinant enzymes which could convert the ginsenosides Rb(1), Rb(2), Rc and Rd to the more pharmacological active rare ginsenosides gypenoside XVII, ginsenoside C-O, ginsenoside C-Mc(1) and ginsenoside F(2), respectively, were purified by two steps with Amylose-affinity and DEAE-Cellulose chromatography and characterized. The kinetic parameters for β-glucosidase showed the apparent K(m) and V(max) values of 2.9±0.3 mM and 515.4±38.3 μmol min(-1)mg of protein(-1) against p-nitrophenyl-β-d-glucopyranoside. The enzyme could hydrolyze the outer C3 glucose moieties of ginsenosides Rb(1), Rb(2), Rc and Rd into the rare ginsenosides Gyp XVII, C-O, C-Mc(1) and F(2) quickly at optimal conditions of pH 5.0 and 37°C. A little ginsenoside F(2) production from ginsenosides Gyp XVII, C-O, and C-Mc(1) was observed for the lengthy enzyme reaction caused by the side ability of the enzyme. Crown Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed

    Ogada, Darcy L

    2014-08-01

    Poisons have long been used to kill wildlife throughout the world. An evolution has occurred from the use of plant- and animal-based toxins to synthetic pesticides to kill wildlife, a method that is silent, cheap, easy, and effective. The use of pesticides to poison wildlife began in southern Africa, and predator populations were widely targeted and eliminated. A steep increase has recently been observed in the intensity of wildlife poisonings, with corresponding population declines. However, the majority of poisonings go unreported. Under national laws, it is illegal to hunt wildlife using poisons in 83% of African countries. Pesticide regulations are inadequate, and enforcement of existing legislation is poor. Few countries have forensic field protocols, and most lack storage and testing facilities. Methods used to poison wildlife include baiting carcasses, soaking grains in pesticide solution, mixing pesticides to form salt licks, and tainting waterholes. Carbofuran is the most widely abused pesticide in Africa. Common reasons for poisoning are control of damage-causing animals, harvesting fish and bushmeat, harvesting animals for traditional medicine, poaching for wildlife products, and killing wildlife sentinels (e.g., vultures because their aerial circling alerts authorities to poachers' activities). Populations of scavengers, particularly vultures, have been decimated by poisoning. Recommendations include banning pesticides, improving pesticide regulations and controlling distribution, better enforcement and stiffer penalties for offenders, increasing international support and awareness, and developing regional pesticide centers. © 2014 New York Academy of Sciences.

  13. AcceleRater: a web application for supervised learning of behavioral modes from acceleration measurements.

    PubMed

    Resheff, Yehezkel S; Rotics, Shay; Harel, Roi; Spiegel, Orr; Nathan, Ran

    2014-01-01

    The study of animal movement is experiencing rapid progress in recent years, forcefully driven by technological advancement. Biologgers with Acceleration (ACC) recordings are becoming increasingly popular in the fields of animal behavior and movement ecology, for estimating energy expenditure and identifying behavior, with prospects for other potential uses as well. Supervised learning of behavioral modes from acceleration data has shown promising results in many species, and for a diverse range of behaviors. However, broad implementation of this technique in movement ecology research has been limited due to technical difficulties and complicated analysis, deterring many practitioners from applying this approach. This highlights the need to develop a broadly applicable tool for classifying behavior from acceleration data. Here we present a free-access python-based web application called AcceleRater, for rapidly training, visualizing and using models for supervised learning of behavioral modes from ACC measurements. We introduce AcceleRater, and illustrate its successful application for classifying vulture behavioral modes from acceleration data obtained from free-ranging vultures. The seven models offered in the AcceleRater application achieved overall accuracy of between 77.68% (Decision Tree) and 84.84% (Artificial Neural Network), with a mean overall accuracy of 81.51% and standard deviation of 3.95%. Notably, variation in performance was larger between behavioral modes than between models. AcceleRater provides the means to identify animal behavior, offering a user-friendly tool for ACC-based behavioral annotation, which will be dynamically upgraded and maintained.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lindemann-Matthies, Petra; Kamer, Tobias

    2006-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

    We describe conservation built on local expertise such that it constitutes a hybrid form of traditional and bureaucratic knowledge. Researchers regularly ask how local knowledge might be applied to programs linked to protected areas. By examining the production of conservation knowledge in southern Mexico, we assert local expertise is already central to conservation. However, bureaucratic norms and social identity differences between lay experts and conservation practitioners prevent the public valuing of traditional knowledge. We make this point by contrasting 2 examples. The first is a master's thesis survey of local experts regarding the biology of the King Vulture (Sarcoramphus papa) in which data collection took place in communities adjacent to the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve. The second is a workshop sponsored by the same reserve that instructed farmers on how to monitor endangered species, including the King Vulture. In both examples, conservation knowledge would not have existed without traditional knowledge. In both examples, this traditional knowledge is absent from scientific reporting. On the basis of these findings, we suggest conservation outcomes may be improved by recognizing the knowledge contributions local experts already make to conservation programming. © 2014 Society for Conservation Biology.

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

    PubMed

    Hirzel, Alexandre H; Arlettaz, Raphaël

    2003-11-01

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

  19. Spatiotemporal patterns and risk factors for lead exposure in endangered California condors during 15 years of reintroduction.

    PubMed

    Kelly, Terra R; Grantham, Jesse; George, Daniel; Welch, Alacia; Brandt, Joseph; Burnett, L Joseph; Sorenson, Kelly J; Johnson, Matthew; Poppenga, Robert; Moen, David; Rasico, James; Rivers, James W; Battistone, Carie; Johnson, Christine K

    2014-12-01

    Large-scale poisoning events are common to scavenging bird species that forage communally, many of which are in decline. To reduce the threat of poisoning and compensate for other persistent threats, management, including supplemental feeding, is ongoing for many reintroduced and endangered vulture populations. Through a longitudinal study of lead exposure in California condors (Gymnogyps californianus), we illustrate the conservation challenges inherent in reintroduction of an endangered species to the wild when pervasive threats have not been eliminated. We evaluated population-wide patterns in blood lead levels from 1997 to 2011 and assessed a broad range of putative demographic, behavioral, and environmental risk factors for elevated lead exposure among reintroduced California condors in California (United States). We also assessed the effectiveness of lead ammunition regulations within the condor's range in California by comparing condor blood lead levels before and after implementation of the regulations. Lead exposure was a pervasive threat to California condors despite recent regulations limiting lead ammunition use. In addition, condor lead levels significantly increased as age and independence from intensive management increased, including increasing time spent away from managed release sites, and decreasing reliance on food provisions. Greater independence among an increasing number of reintroduced condors has therefore elevated the population's risk of lead exposure and limited the effectiveness of lead reduction efforts to date. Our findings highlight the challenges of restoring endangered vulture populations as they mature and become less reliant on management actions necessary to compensate for persistent threats. © 2014 Society for Conservation Biology.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-08-01

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

  1. Occurrence of veterinary pharmaceuticals in golden eagle nestlings: Unnoticed scavenging on livestock carcasses and other potential exposure routes.

    PubMed

    Blanco, Guillermo; Junza, Alexandra; Barrón, Dolores

    2017-02-07

    Wildlife exposure to pharmaceuticals can occur through contaminated water, and through the excreta and carcasses of medicated livestock, with potential for bioaccumulation and transfer through food webs. We evaluated whether nestling exposure to pharmaceuticals can occur from food delivered to nests in the golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), a top predator and facultative scavenger. Despite the fact that diet analysis suggests an apparently low dependence on livestock carcasses reduced to two piglets remains (1.5% of food remains, n=134), a high proportion of nestlings (71%, n=7) showed fluoroquinolone residues in plasma, mostly enrofloxacin, which is exclusively used in veterinary treatments. The occurrence and concentration (54.5±6.6μg·L(-1)) of fluoroquinolones in plasma was similar to those found in the nestlings of three vulture species largely dependent on livestock carcasses obtained at supplementary feeding stations, which are managed for the conservation of their populations. Although the number of analysed eaglets is comparatively small, the fact that enrofloxacin was found in all nests sampled in three breeding seasons suggest an exposure to the drugs similar to that of vultures. An underestimation of the role of carrion, especially from small piglets whose consumption may have gone unnoticed, and the predation of semi-domestic prey and generalist prey exploiting carcasses of medicated livestock, can contribute to explaining the unexpectedly high occurrence of these drugs in eaglets.

  2. Shared epitopes of avian immunoglobulin light chains.

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-15

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hall, J. K.; Kristoffersen, Y.

    2013-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blackwell, Susanna B.; Greene, Charles R.

    2005-12-01

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

  7. KSC-04pd1298

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2004-06-11

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Getz, Wayne M.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-07-24

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, H.; Choi, H.

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

  11. Anatomy and histochemistry of spread-wing posture inbirds. 4. Eagles soar with fast, not slow muscle fibres

    PubMed Central

    Meyers, Ron A.; McFarland, Joshua C.

    2015-01-01

    Slow fibers are typically characterized as functioning in avian postural behaviors such as soaring flight, and are described for a number of elite soarers such as vultures, pelicans and albatrosses. Golden Eagles and Bald Eagles also display soaring behavior and we examined their flight muscles for the presence of slow fibers. Surprisingly, eagles lack a deep layer to the pectoralis found in other soaring species. Additionally, the pectoralis as well as other shoulder muscles had few to no slow muscle fibers. The lack of functionally meaningful numbers of slow muscle fibers in eagle flight muscles indicates that they must rely on fast fibers for posture; these can function in that role due to their high aerobic capacity and also perhaps a “tuning” of muscle contraction frequency to function more efficiently at isometric contractions. PMID:27616780

  12. Anatomy and histochemistry of spread-wing posture inbirds. 4. Eagles soar with fast, not slow muscle fibres.

    PubMed

    Meyers, Ron A; McFarland, Joshua C

    2016-07-01

    Slow fibers are typically characterized as functioning in avian postural behaviors such as soaring flight, and are described for a number of elite soarers such as vultures, pelicans and albatrosses. Golden Eagles and Bald Eagles also display soaring behavior and we examined their flight muscles for the presence of slow fibers. Surprisingly, eagles lack a deep layer to the pectoralis found in other soaring species. Additionally, the pectoralis as well as other shoulder muscles had few to no slow muscle fibers. The lack of functionally meaningful numbers of slow muscle fibers in eagle flight muscles indicates that they must rely on fast fibers for posture; these can function in that role due to their high aerobic capacity and also perhaps a "tuning" of muscle contraction frequency to function more efficiently at isometric contractions.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-01

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

  15. Live trapping of hawks and owls

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1945-01-01

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

  16. Risk Considerations of Bird Strikes to Space Launch Vehicles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hales, Christy; Ring, Robert

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

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

  19. Interpreting magnetic data by integral moments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-09-01

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

  20. KSC-04PD-1298

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fedi, Maurizio

    2003-08-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brooks, W.E.

    1986-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Noriega, Jorge I.; Areta, Juan I.

    2005-10-01

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

  5. Integrated biological treatment and biogas production in a small-scale slaughterhouse in rural Ghana.

    PubMed

    Aklaku, E D; Jones, K; Obiri-Danso, K

    2006-11-01

    A small-scale anaerobic slaughter waste treatment plant in rural Ghana was tested for the production of energy and a microbiologically clean effluent suitable for use in irrigation. A typical day's slaughter, comprising 4 cattle, 12 sheep, and 12 goats, produced 8.5 m3 of biogas. Annually, this is equivalent to the energy from 17 metric tons of fuel wood, which is the annual productivity of 2 ha of savanna vegetation. Fecal indicator bacteria were reduced by 2 to 3 logs, nitrates by 86 to 90%, phosphates by 23%, biochemical oxygen demand by 42 to 92%, and suspended solids and dissolved solids by 73 to 86% and 19 to 37%, respectively. The effluent is used for irrigation, and the organic biomass from the digester is used as a biofertilizer. Besides energy and a cleaner effluent, the community benefited from a lessening dependency on fuel wood and reductions in unpleasant smells and nuisance animals, such as flies, dogs, and vultures.

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

    PubMed

    Palmieri, C; Shivaprasad, H L

    2014-12-01

    The cytoarchitecture of the endocrine pancreas of 10 raptors (golden eagles, peregrine falcons, Saker falcon, turkey vultures, red-tailed hawk and unspecified falcon) was examined by immunohistochemistry. Three islet types were identified: type A mixed islets composed mainly by glucagon (A)-secreting cells, type B mixed islets with predominantly insulin (B)-secreting cell component and type M mixed islets (type M) consisting of variable number of glucagon-, insulin- and somatostatin (D)-secreting cells. The latter were further characterized into Type I, II or III according to the cell distribution of the three cell types. A and D cells were also randomly scattered within the exocrine pancreas. The results of this study suggest that the classical concept in birds of a segregation of A and B cells in well-defined and distinct islets is not applicable in raptors, reflecting an evolutionary adaptation to different dietary habits and variation in developmental mechanisms. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Using areas of known occupancy to identify sources of variation in detection probability of raptors: taking time lowers replication effort for surveys.

    PubMed

    Murn, Campbell; Holloway, Graham J

    2016-10-01

    Species occurring at low density can be difficult to detect and if not properly accounted for, imperfect detection will lead to inaccurate estimates of occupancy. Understanding sources of variation in detection probability and how they can be managed is a key part of monitoring. We used sightings data of a low-density and elusive raptor (white-headed vulture Trigonoceps occipitalis) in areas of known occupancy (breeding territories) in a likelihood-based modelling approach to calculate detection probability and the factors affecting it. Because occupancy was known a priori to be 100%, we fixed the model occupancy parameter to 1.0 and focused on identifying sources of variation in detection probability. Using detection histories from 359 territory visits, we assessed nine covariates in 29 candidate models. The model with the highest support indicated that observer speed during a survey, combined with temporal covariates such as time of year and length of time within a territory, had the highest influence on the detection probability. Averaged detection probability was 0.207 (s.e. 0.033) and based on this the mean number of visits required to determine within 95% confidence that white-headed vultures are absent from a breeding area is 13 (95% CI: 9-20). Topographical and habitat covariates contributed little to the best models and had little effect on detection probability. We highlight that low detection probabilities of some species means that emphasizing habitat covariates could lead to spurious results in occupancy models that do not also incorporate temporal components. While variation in detection probability is complex and influenced by effects at both temporal and spatial scales, temporal covariates can and should be controlled as part of robust survey methods. Our results emphasize the importance of accounting for detection probability in occupancy studies, particularly during presence/absence studies for species such as raptors that are widespread and

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  9. Using areas of known occupancy to identify sources of variation in detection probability of raptors: taking time lowers replication effort for surveys

    PubMed Central

    Holloway, Graham J.

    2016-01-01

    Species occurring at low density can be difficult to detect and if not properly accounted for, imperfect detection will lead to inaccurate estimates of occupancy. Understanding sources of variation in detection probability and how they can be managed is a key part of monitoring. We used sightings data of a low-density and elusive raptor (white-headed vulture Trigonoceps occipitalis) in areas of known occupancy (breeding territories) in a likelihood-based modelling approach to calculate detection probability and the factors affecting it. Because occupancy was known a priori to be 100%, we fixed the model occupancy parameter to 1.0 and focused on identifying sources of variation in detection probability. Using detection histories from 359 territory visits, we assessed nine covariates in 29 candidate models. The model with the highest support indicated that observer speed during a survey, combined with temporal covariates such as time of year and length of time within a territory, had the highest influence on the detection probability. Averaged detection probability was 0.207 (s.e. 0.033) and based on this the mean number of visits required to determine within 95% confidence that white-headed vultures are absent from a breeding area is 13 (95% CI: 9–20). Topographical and habitat covariates contributed little to the best models and had little effect on detection probability. We highlight that low detection probabilities of some species means that emphasizing habitat covariates could lead to spurious results in occupancy models that do not also incorporate temporal components. While variation in detection probability is complex and influenced by effects at both temporal and spatial scales, temporal covariates can and should be controlled as part of robust survey methods. Our results emphasize the importance of accounting for detection probability in occupancy studies, particularly during presence/absence studies for species such as raptors that are widespread and

  10. Can wild ungulate carcasses provide enough biomass to maintain avian scavenger populations? An empirical assessment using a bio-inspired computational model.

    PubMed

    Margalida, Antoni; Colomer, Maria Àngels; Sanuy, Delfí

    2011-01-01

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

  11. Scavengers on the move: behavioural changes in foraging search patterns during the annual cycle.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  12. Towards the establishment of a general rate law for gypsum nucleation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reznik, Itay J.; Ganor, Jiwchar; Gruber, Chen; Gavrieli, Ittai

    2012-05-01

    Gypsum nucleation kinetics from a wide range of chemical compositions (1.45 < Ca2+/SO42- < 115), ionic strengths (I = 2.5-10 m) and saturation state with respect to gypsum (Ωgyp = 1.07-8.4) were examined in batch experiments containing mixtures of Ca2+-rich Dead Sea brine and SO42-rich seawater with or without addition of extra Na2SO4 and CaCl2·2H2O. The induction times attained in the present study were compiled together with literature values from experiments carried out under significantly different conditions (synthetic NaCl solutions; I = 0.09-6.3 m; Ca2+/SO42- = 1; Ωgyp:1.59-7.76). Despite the variability in the experimental solutions, a single rate law based on classic nucleation theory was formulated to describe the induction times from more than 80 experiments: logT=log{1}/{3.17·Cs·exp{-}7.08ln2Ω}+0.072·Cs·exp-{1.426}/{ln2Ω} where Tind is the induction time, Cs is the solubility of gypsum and Ω is the saturation state with respect to gypsum. The rate law provides Tind for gypsum precipitation from aqueous solutions at 25 °C, containing no synthetic antiscalants or catalysts, within a 95% confidence interval within a factor of 5. Based on this rate law, we show that at present most of the precipitation of gypsum from the Dead Sea brine occurs following significant evaporation in the industrial evaporation ponds and not in the Dead Sea itself. Whereas Tind in Dead Sea brines is very long (on the order of 3 years), the evaporation of brine in the industrial ponds leads to increased Ω values, and thus to short Tind in the order of a few days. However, if seawater or reject brine from seawater desalinization will be introduced to the Dead Sea to restore its declining level, Tind will be significantly reduced and gypsum nucleation and precipitation will occur. For evaporated seawater, the proposed rate law predicts that even though saturation is obtained when seawater is evaporated by a factor of 2.8, gypsum will nucleate at reasonable times (few

  13. Involvement of complex sphingolipids and phosphatidylserine in endosomal trafficking in yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    PubMed

    Tani, Motohiro; Kuge, Osamu

    2012-12-01

    Sphingolipids play critical roles in many physiologically important events in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. In this study, we found that csg2Δ mutant cells defective in the synthesis of mannosylinositol phosphorylceramide exhibited abnormal intracellular accumulation of an exocytic v-SNARE, Snc1, under phosphatidylserine synthase gene (PSS1)-repressive conditions, although in wild-type cells, Snc1 was known to cycle between plasma membranes and the late Golgi via post-Golgi endosomes. The mislocalized Snc1 was co-localized with an endocytic marker dye, FM4-64, upon labelling for a short time. The abnormal distribution of Snc1 was suppressed by deletion of GYP2 encoding a GTPase-activating protein that negatively regulates endosomal vesicular trafficking, or expression of GTP-restricted form of Ypt32 GTPase. Furthermore, an endocytosis-deficient mutant of Snc1 was localized to plasma membranes in PSS1-repressed csg2Δ mutant cells as well as wild-type cells. Thus, the PSS1-repressed csg2Δ mutant cells were indicated to be defective in the trafficking of Snc1 from post-Golgi endosomes to the late Golgi. In contrast, the vesicular trafficking pathways via pre-vacuolar endosomes in the PSS1-repressed csg2Δ mutant cells seemed to be normal. These results suggested that specific complex sphingolipids and phosphatidylserine are co-ordinately involved in specific vesicular trafficking pathway. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  14. Identification and characterization of a phosphodiesterase that inversely regulates motility and biofilm formation in Vibrio cholerae.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xianxian; Beyhan, Sinem; Lim, Bentley; Linington, Roger G; Yildiz, Fitnat H

    2010-09-01

    Vibrio cholerae switches between free-living motile and surface-attached sessile lifestyles. Cyclic diguanylate (c-di-GMP) is a signaling molecule controlling such lifestyle changes. C-di-GMP is synthesized by diguanylate cyclases (DGCs) that contain a GGDEF domain and is degraded by phosphodiesterases (PDEs) that contain an EAL or HD-GYP domain. We constructed in-frame deletions of all V. cholerae genes encoding proteins with GGDEF and/or EAL domains and screened mutants for altered motility phenotypes. Of 52 mutants tested, four mutants exhibited an increase in motility, while three mutants exhibited a decrease in motility. We further characterized one mutant lacking VC0137 (cdgJ), which encodes an EAL domain protein. Cellular c-di-GMP quantifications and in vitro enzymatic activity assays revealed that CdgJ functions as a PDE. The cdgJ mutant had reduced motility and exhibited a small decrease in flaA expression; however, it was able to produce a flagellum. This mutant had enhanced biofilm formation and vps gene expression compared to that of the wild type, indicating that CdgJ inversely regulates motility and biofilm formation. Genetic interaction analysis revealed that at least four DGCs, together with CdgJ, control motility in V. cholerae.

  15. MNSs genotyping by MALDI-TOF MS shows high concordance with serology, allows gene copy number testing and reveals new St(a) alleles.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Stefan; Vollmert, Caren; Trost, Nadine; Sigurdardottir, Sonja; Portmann, Claudia; Gottschalk, Jochen; Ries, Judith; Markovic, Alexander; Infanti, Laura; Buser, Andreas; Amar El Dusouqui, Soraya; Rigal, Emmanuel; Castelli, Damiano; Weingand, Bettina; Maier, Andreas; Mauvais, Simon M; Sarraj, Amira; Braisch, Monica C; Thierbach, Jutta; Hustinx, Hein; Frey, Beat M; Gassner, Christoph

    2016-08-01

    Results of genotyping with true high-throughput capability for MNSs antigens are underrepresented, probably because of technical issues, due to the high level of nucleotide sequence homology of the paralogous genes GYPA, GYPB and GYPE. Eight MNSs-specific single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) were detected using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization, time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) in 5800 serologically M/N and S/s pre-typed Swiss blood donors and 50 individuals of known or presumptive black African ethnicity. Comparison of serotype with genotype delivered concordance rates of 99·70% and 99·90% and accuracy of genotyping alone of 99·88% and 99·95%, for M/N and S/s, respectively. The area under the curve of peak signals was measured in intron 1 of the two highly homologous genes GYPB and GYPE and allowed for gene copy number variation estimates in all individuals investigated. Elevated GYPB:GYPE ratios accumulated in several carriers of two newly observed GYP*401 variants, termed type G and H, both encoding for the low incidence antigen St(a). In black Africans, reduced GYPB gene contents were proven in pre-typed S-s-U- phenotypes and could be reproduced in unknown specimens. Quantitative gene copy number estimates represented a highly attractive supplement to conventional genotyping, solely based on MNSs SNPs. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  16. Sodium acetate enhances hydrogen peroxide production in Weissella cibaria.

    PubMed

    Endo, A; Futagawa-Endo, Y; Kawasaki, S; Dicks, L M T; Niimura, Y; Okada, S

    2009-07-01

    To investigate hydrogen peroxide production by lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and to determine the key factors involved. Six strains of Weissella cibaria produced large amounts (2.2-3.2 mmol l(-1)) of hydrogen peroxide in GYP broth supplemented with sodium acetate, but very low accumulations in glucose yeast peptone broth without sodium acetate. Increased production of hydrogen peroxide was also recorded when strains of W. cibaria were cultured in the presence of potassium acetate, sodium isocitrate and sodium citrate. Oxidases and peroxidases were not detected, or were present at low levels in W. cibaria. However, strong nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) oxidase activity was recorded, suggesting that the enzyme plays a key role in production of hydrogen peroxide by W. cibaria. Weissella cibaria produces large quantities of hydrogen peroxide in aerated cultures, in a process that is dependent on the presence of acetate in the culture medium. NADH oxidase is likely the key enzyme in this process. This is the first study showing that sodium acetate, normally present in culture media of LAB, is a key factor for hydrogen peroxide production by W. cibaria. The exact mechanisms involved are not known.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  19. The morphogenesis-related NDR kinase pathway of Colletotrichum orbiculare is required for translating plant surface signals into infection-related morphogenesis and pathogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Kodama, Sayo; Ishizuka, Junya; Miyashita, Ito; Ishii, Takaaki; Miyoshi, Hideto

    2017-01-01

    Plant infection by pathogenic fungi involves the differentiation of appressoria, specialized infection structures, initiated by fungal sensing and responding to plant surface signals. How plant fungal pathogens control infection-related morphogenesis in response to plant-derived signals has been unclear. Here we showed that the morphogenesis-related NDR kinase pathway (MOR) of the cucumber anthracnose fungus Colletotrichum orbiculare is crucial for appressorium development following perception of plant-derived signals. By screening of random insertional mutants, we identified that the MOR element CoPag1 (Perish-in-the-absence-of-GYP1) is a key component of the plant-derived signaling pathway involved in appressorium morphogenesis. Constitutive activation of the NDR kinase CoCbk1 (Cell-wall-biosynthesis-kinase-1) complemented copag1 defects. Furthermore, copag1 deletion impaired CoCbk1 phosphorylation, suggesting that CoPag1 functions via CoCbk1 activation. Searching for the plant signals that contribute to appressorium induction via MOR, we found that the cutin monomer n-octadecanal, degraded from the host cuticle by conidial esterases, functions as a signal molecule for appressorium development. Genome-wide transcriptional profiling during appressorium development revealed that MOR is responsible for the expression of a subset of the plant-signal-induced genes with potential roles in pathogenicity. Thus, MOR of C. orbiculare has crucial roles in regulating appressorium development and pathogenesis by communicating with plant-derived signals. PMID:28146587

  20. Phenotype Overlap in Xylella fastidiosa Is Controlled by the Cyclic Di-GMP Phosphodiesterase Eal in Response to Antibiotic Exposure and Diffusible Signal Factor-Mediated Cell-Cell Signaling

    PubMed Central

    de Souza, Alessandra A.; Ionescu, Michael; Baccari, Clelia; da Silva, Aline M.

    2013-01-01

    Eal is an EAL domain protein in Xylella fastidiosa homologous to one involved in resistance to tobramycin in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. EAL and HD-GYP domain proteins are implicated in the hydrolysis of the secondary messenger bis-(3′-5′)-cyclic dimeric GMP (cyclic di-GMP). Cell density-dependent communication mediated by a Diffusible Signal Factor (DSF) also modulates cyclic di-GMP levels in X. fastidiosa, thereby controlling the expression of virulence genes and genes involved in insect transmission. The possible linkage of Eal to both extrinsic factors such as antibiotics and intrinsic factors such as quorum sensing, and whether both affect virulence, was thus addressed. Expression of eal was induced by subinhibitory concentrations of tobramycin, and an eal deletion mutant was more susceptible to this antibiotic than the wild-type strain and exhibited phenotypes similar to those of an rpfF deletion mutant blocked in DSF production, such as hypermotility, reduced biofilm formation, and hypervirulence to grape. Consistent with that, the rpfF mutant was more susceptible than the wild-type strain to tobramycin. Therefore, we propose that cell-cell communication and antibiotic stress can apparently lead to similar modulations of cyclic di-GMP in X. fastidiosa, resulting in similar phenotypes. However, the effect of cell density is dominant compared to that of antibiotic stress, since eal is suppressed by RpfF, which may prevent inappropriate behavioral changes in response to antibiotic stress when DSF accumulates. PMID:23542613

  1. A systematic analysis of the role of GGDEF-EAL domain proteins in virulence and motility in Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzicola

    PubMed Central

    Wei, Chao; Jiang, Wendi; Zhao, Mengran; Ling, Junjie; Zeng, Xin; Deng, Jun; Jin, Dongli; Dow, John Maxwell; Sun, Wenxian

    2016-01-01

    The second messenger c-di-GMP is implicated in regulation of various aspects of the lifestyles and virulence of Gram-negative bacteria. Cyclic di-GMP is formed by diguanylate cyclases with a GGDEF domain and degraded by phosphodiesterases with either an EAL or HD-GYP domain. Proteins with tandem GGDEF-EAL domains occur in many bacteria, where they may be involved in c-di-GMP turnover or act as enzymatically-inactive c-di-GMP effectors. Here, we report a systematic study of the regulatory action of the eleven GGDEF-EAL proteins in Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzicola, an important rice pathogen causing bacterial leaf streak. Mutational analysis revealed that XOC_2335 and XOC_2393 positively regulate bacterial swimming motility, while XOC_2102, XOC_2393 and XOC_4190 negatively control sliding motility. The ΔXOC_2335/XOC_2393 mutant that had a higher intracellular c-di-GMP level than the wild type and the ΔXOC_4190 mutant exhibited reduced virulence to rice after pressure inoculation. In vitro purified XOC_4190 and XOC_2102 have little or no diguanylate cyclase or phosphodiesterase activity, which is consistent with unaltered c-di-GMP concentration in ΔXOC_4190. Nevertheless, both proteins can bind to c-di-GMP with high affinity, indicating a potential role as c-di-GMP effectors. Overall our findings advance understanding of c-di-GMP signaling and its links to virulence in an important rice pathogen. PMID:27053282

  2. Two-Dimensional Polymer-Based Cultures Expand Cord Blood-Derived Hematopoietic Stem Cells and Support Engraftment of NSG Mice

    PubMed Central

    Schneider, Rebekka Kramann; Wagner, Wolfgang; Jahnen-Dechent, Willi; Labude, Norina; Bovi, Manfred; Piroth, Daniela; Knüchel, Ruth; Hieronymus, Thomas; Müller, Albrecht M.; Zenke, Martin; Neuss, Sabine

    2013-01-01

    Currently, ex vivo expansion of hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) is still insufficient. Traditional approaches for HSC expansion include the use of stromal cultures, growth factors, and/or bioreactors. Biomaterial-based strategies provide new perspectives. We focus on identifying promising two-dimensional (2D) polymer candidates for HSC expansion. After a 7-day culture period with cytokine supplementation, 2D fibrin, poly(D,L-lactic-co-glycolic acid; Resomer® RG503), and Poly(ɛ-caprolactone; PCL) substrates supported expansion of cord blood (CB)-derived CD34+ cells ex vivo. Fibrin cultures achieved the highest proliferation rates (>8700-fold increase of total nuclear cells, p<0.001), high total colony-forming units (3.6-fold increase, p<0.001), and highest engraftment in NSG mice (7.69-fold more donor cells compared with tissue culture polysterene, p<0.001). In addition, the presence of multiple human hematopoietic lineages such as myeloid (CD13+), erythroid (GypC+), and lymphoid (CD20+/CD56+) in murine transplant recipients confirmed the multilineage engraftment potential of fibrin-based cultures. Filopodia development in fibrin-expanded cells was a further indicator for superior cell adhesion capacities. We propose application of fibrin, Resomer® RG503, and PCL for future strategies of CB-CD34+ cell expansion. Suitable polymers for HSC expansion might also be appropriate for future drug discovery applications or for studies aimed to develop hematological therapies. PMID:22712684

  3. Trigger phosphodiesterases as a novel class of c-di-GMP effector proteins

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    The bacterial second messenger c-di-GMP controls bacterial biofilm formation, motility, cell cycle progression, development and virulence. It is synthesized by diguanylate cyclases (with GGDEF domains), degraded by specific phosphodiesterases (PDEs, with EAL of HD-GYP domains) and sensed by a wide variety of c-di-GMP-binding effectors that control diverse targets. c-di-GMP-binding effectors can be riboswitches as well as proteins with highly diverse structures and functions. The latter include ‘degenerate’ GGDEF/EAL domain proteins that are enzymatically inactive but still able to bind c-di-GMP. Surprisingly, two enzymatically active ‘trigger PDEs’, the Escherichia coli proteins PdeR and PdeL, have recently been added to this list of c-di-GMP-sensing effectors. Mechanistically, trigger PDEs are multifunctional. They directly and specifically interact with a macromolecular target (e.g. with a transcription factor or directly with a promoter region), whose activity they control by their binding and degradation of c-di-GMP—their PDE activity thus represents the c-di-GMP sensor or effector function. In this process, c-di-GMP serves as a regulatory ligand, but in contrast to classical allosteric control, this ligand is also degraded. The resulting kinetics and circuitry of control are ideally suited for trigger PDEs to serve as key components in regulatory switches. This article is part of the themed issue ‘The new bacteriology’. PMID:27672149

  4. Active Interaction Mapping Reveals the Hierarchical Organization of Autophagy.

    PubMed

    Kramer, Michael H; Farré, Jean-Claude; Mitra, Koyel; Yu, Michael Ku; Ono, Keiichiro; Demchak, Barry; Licon, Katherine; Flagg, Mitchell; Balakrishnan, Rama; Cherry, J Michael; Subramani, Suresh; Ideker, Trey

    2017-02-16

    We have developed a general progressive procedure, Active Interaction Mapping, to guide assembly of the hierarchy of functions encoding any biological system. Using this process, we assemble an ontology of functions comprising autophagy, a central recycling process implicated in numerous diseases. A first-generation model, built from existing gene networks in Saccharomyces, captures most known autophagy components in broad relation to vesicle transport, cell cycle, and stress response. Systematic analysis identifies synthetic-lethal interactions as most informative for further experiments; consequently, we saturate the model with 156,364 such measurements across autophagy-activating conditions. These targeted interactions provide more information about autophagy than all previous datasets, producing a second-generation ontology of 220 functions. Approximately half are previously unknown; we confirm roles for Gyp1 at the phagophore-assembly site, Atg24 in cargo engulfment, Atg26 in cytoplasm-to-vacuole targeting, and Ssd1, Did4, and others in selective and non-selective autophagy. The procedure and autophagy hierarchy are at http://atgo.ucsd.edu/.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Enhancing As(V) adsorption and passivation using biologically formed nano-sized FeS coatings on limestone: Implications for acid mine drainage treatment and neutralization.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jing; Zhou, Lei; Dong, Faqin; Hudson-Edwards, Karen A

    2017-02-01

    The iron-reducing bacterium Acidiphilium cryputum JF-5 and a sulfate reducing bacterium (SRB) collected and purified from the mine drainage of a copper mine in the northwest of Sichuan Province, China, were used to biologically synthesize nano-sized FeS-coated limestone to remove As(V) from solution. The adsorption efficiency of As(V) is improved from 6.64 μg/g with limestone alone to 187 μg/g with the FeS coated limestone in both batch and column experiments. The hydraulic conductivity of the columns are also improved by the presence of the nano-sized FeS coatings, but the solution neutralization performance of the limestone can be reduced by passivation by gypsum and Fe(III) precipitates. Calculations for FeS-coated limestone dissolution experiments show that the process can be described as nCa.sol = At(1/2) - nCa,gyp. The results suggest that FeS-coated limestone may be an effective medium for remediating As(V)-bearing solutions such as acid mine drainage in systems such as Permeable Reactive Barriers. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Use of a simplified generalized standard additions method for the analysis of cement, gypsum and basic slag by slurry nebulization ICP-OES.

    PubMed

    Marjanovic, Ljiljana; McCrindle, Robert I; Botha, Barend M; Potgieter, Herman J

    2004-05-01

    The simplified generalized standard additions method (GSAM) was investigated as an alternative method for the ICP-OES analysis of solid materials, introduced into the plasma in the form of slurries. The method is an expansion of the conventional standard additions method. It is based on the principle of varying both the sample mass and the amount of standard solution added. The relationship between the sample mass, standard solution added and signal intensity is assumed to be linear. Concentration of the analyte can be found either geometrically from the slope of the two-dimensional response plane in a three-dimensional space or mathematically from the ratio of the parameters estimated by multiple linear regression. The analysis of a series of certified reference materials (CRMs) (cement CRM-BCS No 353, gypsum CRM-Gyp A and basic slag CRM No 382/I) introduced into the plasma in the form of slurry is described. The slurries contained glycerol and hydrochloric acid and were placed in an ultrasonic bath to ensure good dispersion. "Table curve 3D" software was used to fit the data. Results obtained showed that the method could be successfully applied to the analysis of cement, gypsum and slag samples, without the need to dissolve them. In this way, we could avoid the use of hazardous chemicals (concentrated acids), incomplete dissolution and loss of some volatiles. The application of the simplified GSAM for the analysis did not require a CRM with similar chemical and mineralogical properties for the calibration of the instrument.

  8. Physiology-Oriented Engineering Strategy to Improve Gamma-Aminobutyrate Production in Lactobacillus brevis.

    PubMed

    Lyu, Chang-Jiang; Zhao, Wei-Rui; Hu, Sheng; Huang, Jun; Lu, Tao; Jin, Zhi-Hua; Mei, Le-He; Yao, Shan-Jing

    2017-02-01

    Gamma-aminobutyrate (GABA) is an important chemical in the pharmaceutical field. GABA-producing lactic acid bacteria (LAB) offer the opportunity of developing this health-oriented product. In this study, the gadA, gadB, gadC, gadCB, and gadCA gene segments of Lactobacillus brevis were cloned into pMG36e, and strain Lb. brevis/pMG36e-gadA was selected for thorough characterization in terms of GABA production after analysis of GAD activities. Subsequently, a physiology-oriented engineering strategy was adopted to construct an FoF1-ATPase deficient strain NRA6 with higher GAD activity. As expected, strain NRA6 could produce GABA at a concentration of 43.65 g/L with a 98.42% GABA conversion rate in GYP fermentation medium, which is 1.22-fold higher than that obtained by the wild-type strain in the same condition. This work demonstrates how the acid stress response mechanisms of LAB can be employed to develop cell factories with improved production efficiency and contributes to research into the development of the physiology-oriented engineering.

  9. Crystal structure of TBC1D15 GTPase-activating protein (GAP) domain and its activity on Rab GTPases.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yan-Na; Gu, Xin; Zhou, X Edward; Wang, Weidong; Cheng, Dandan; Ge, Yinghua; Ye, Fei; Xu, H Eric; Lv, Zhengbing

    2017-04-01

    TBC1D15 belongs to the TBC (Tre-2/Bub2/Cdc16) domain family and functions as a GTPase-activating protein (GAP) for Rab GTPases. So far, the structure of TBC1D15 or the TBC1D15·Rab complex has not been determined, thus, its catalytic mechanism on Rab GTPases is still unclear. In this study, we solved the crystal structures of the Shark and Sus TBC1D15 GAP domains, to 2.8 Å and 2.5 Å resolution, respectively. Shark-TBC1D15 and Sus-TBC1D15 belong to the same subfamily of TBC domain-containing proteins, and their GAP-domain structures are highly similar. This demonstrates the evolutionary conservation of the TBC1D15 protein family. Meanwhile, the newly determined crystal structures display new variations compared to the structures of yeast Gyp1p Rab GAP domain and TBC1D1. GAP assays show that Shark and Sus GAPs both have higher catalytic activity on Rab11a·GTP than Rab7a·GTP, which differs from the previous study. We also demonstrated the importance of arginine and glutamine on the catalytic sites of Shark GAP and Sus GAP. When arginine and glutamine are changed to alanine or lysine, the activities of Shark GAP and Sus GAP are lost.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

    Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri (Xcc) is the causal agent of citrus canker. Biofilm formation on citrus leaves plays an important role in epiphytic survival of Xcc. Biofilm formation is affected by transposon insertion in XAC3733, which encodes a transcriptional activator of the NtrC family, not linked to a gene encoding a sensor protein, thus could be considered as an 'orphan' regulator whose function is poorly understood in Xanthomonas spp. Here we show that mutation of XAC3733 (named xbmR) resulted in impaired structural development of the Xcc biofilm, loss of chemotaxis and reduced virulence in grapefruit plants. All defective phenotypes were restored to wild-type levels by the introduction of PA2567 from Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which encodes a phosphodiesterase active in the degradation of cyclic diguanosine monophosphate (c-di-GMP). A knockout of xbmR led to a substantial downregulation of fliA that encodes a σ(28) transcription factor, as well as fliC and XAC0350 which are potential member of the σ(28) regulon. XAC0350 encodes an HD-GYP domain c-di-GMP phosphodiesterase. These findings suggest that XbmR is a key regulator of flagellar-dependent motility and chemotaxis exerting its action through a regulatory pathway that involves FliA and c-di-GMP. © 2014 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. Phenotype overlap in Xylella fastidiosa is controlled by the cyclic di-GMP phosphodiesterase Eal in response to antibiotic exposure and diffusible signal factor-mediated cell-cell signaling.

    PubMed

    de Souza, Alessandra A; Ionescu, Michael; Baccari, Clelia; da Silva, Aline M; Lindow, Steven E

    2013-06-01

    Eal is an EAL domain protein in Xylella fastidiosa homologous to one involved in resistance to tobramycin in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. EAL and HD-GYP domain proteins are implicated in the hydrolysis of the secondary messenger bis-(3'-5')-cyclic dimeric GMP (cyclic di-GMP). Cell density-dependent communication mediated by a Diffusible Signal Factor (DSF) also modulates cyclic di-GMP levels in X. fastidiosa, thereby controlling the expression of virulence genes and genes involved in insect transmission. The possible linkage of Eal to both extrinsic factors such as antibiotics and intrinsic factors such as quorum sensing, and whether both affect virulence, was thus addressed. Expression of eal was induced by subinhibitory concentrations of tobramycin, and an eal deletion mutant was more susceptible to this antibiotic than the wild-type strain and exhibited phenotypes similar to those of an rpfF deletion mutant blocked in DSF production, such as hypermotility, reduced biofilm formation, and hypervirulence to grape. Consistent with that, the rpfF mutant was more susceptible than the wild-type strain to tobramycin. Therefore, we propose that cell-cell communication and antibiotic stress can apparently lead to similar modulations of cyclic di-GMP in X. fastidiosa, resulting in similar phenotypes. However, the effect of cell density is dominant compared to that of antibiotic stress, since eal is suppressed by RpfF, which may prevent inappropriate behavioral changes in response to antibiotic stress when DSF accumulates.

  12. Necrotizing meningoencephalitis in atypical dog breeds: a case series and literature review.

    PubMed

    Cooper, J J; Schatzberg, S J; Vernau, K M; Summers, B A; Porter, B F; Siso, S; Young, B D; Levine, J M

    2014-01-01

    Canine necrotizing meningoencephalitis (NME) is a fatal, noninfectious inflammatory disease of unknown etiology. NME has been reported only in a small number of dog breeds, which has led to the presumption that it is a breed-restricted disorder. Our objective was to describe histopathologically confirmed NME in dog breeds in which the condition has not been reported previously and to provide preliminary evidence that NME affects a wider spectrum of dog breeds than previously reported. Four dogs with NME. Archives from 3 institutions and from 1 author's (BS) collection were reviewed to identify histopathologically confirmed cases of NME in breeds in which the disease has not been reported previously. Age, sex, breed, survival from onset of clinical signs, and histopathologic findings were evaluated. Necrotizing meningoencephalitis was identified in 4 small dog breeds (Papillon, Shih Tzu, Coton de Tulear, and Brussels Griffon). Median age at clinical evaluation was 2.5 years. Histopathologic abnormalities included 2 or more of the following: lymphoplasmacytic or histiocytic meningoencephalitis or encephalitis, moderate-to-severe cerebrocortical necrosis, variable involvement of other anatomic locations within the brain (cerebellum, brainstem), and absence of detectable infectious agents. Until now, NME has only been described in 5 small dog breeds. We document an additional 4 small breeds previously not shown to develop NME. Our cases further illustrate that NME is not a breed-restricted disorder and should be considered in the differential diagnosis for dogs with signalment and clinical signs consistent with inflammatory brain disease. Copyright © 2013 by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.

  13. Intracerebroventricular administration of the (1→6)-β-d-glucan (lasiodiplodan) in male rats prevents d-penicillamine-induced behavioral alterations and lipoperoxidation in the cortex.

    PubMed

    Malfatti, Carlos Ricardo Maneck; Dos Santos, Fabio Seidel; Wouk, Jéssica; da Silva, Luiz Augusto; Michel, Renan Garcia; Snak, André Luiz; Czervinski, Tiago; da Cunha, Mário A Alves; Barbosa, Aneli M; Dekker, Robert F H

    2017-12-01

    Lasiodiplodan, an exocellular (1→6)-β-d-glucan of molecular weight >1.4 × 10(6) Da produced by MMPI strain of Lasiodiplodia theobromae (Pat.) Griffon & Maubl. (Brotyosphaeriaceae) is known to exhi