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Monday, 7 September 2015

What's new for 'birdRS' in PubMed: September Week 1

birdRS-Latest News

This message contains My NCBI what's new results from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) at the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM).

PubMed Results

1. PeerJ. 2015 Aug 11;3:e1177. doi: 10.7717/peerj.1177. eCollection 2015. 

Enigmatic declines in bird numbers in lowland forest of eastern Ecuador may be a consequence of climate change. 
Blake JG(1), Loiselle BA(2). Author information: (1)Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, University of Florida , Gainesville, Florida , USA. (2)Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation and Center for Latin American Studies, University of Florida , Gainesville, Florida , USA. 

Bird populations have declined in many parts of the world but most of those declines can be attributed to effects of human activities (e.g., habitat fragmentation); declines in areas unaffected by human activities are not common. We have been sampling bird populations at an undisturbed site in lowland forest of eastern Ecuador annually since 2001 using a combination of mist nets and direct observations on two 100-ha plots. Bird numbers fluctuated on both plots during the first 8 years but did not show a consistent pattern of change. Since about 2008, numbers of birds on both plots have declined; capture rates in 2014 were ∼40% less than at the start of the study and observation rates were ∼50% less. Both understory and canopy species declined in abundance. Overall, insectivores showed the most pronounced declines but declines varied among trophic groups. The period from 2008 onward also was a period of stronger La Niña events which, at this study site, are associated with increased rainfall. The mechanism for the declines is not known but likely reflects a combination of reduced reproductive success coupled with reduced survival associated with changing climate. PMID: 26339554 [PubMed] 

2. PeerJ. 2015 Aug 4;3:e1152. doi: 10.7717/peerj.1152. eCollection 2015. 

Sixty years of change in avian communities of the Pacific Northwest. 
Curtis JR(1), Robinson WD(1). Author information: (1)Department of Fisheries & Wildlife, Oregon State University , Corvallis, OR , United States. 

Bird communities are influenced by local and regional processes. The degree to which communities are dynamic has implications for projecting responses in community composition as birds track geographic shifts of their habitats. Historic datasets offer a legacy of information that can be used to quantify changes over time in avian community composition. A rare, highly-detailed avian survey of multiple habitat types in the Willamette Valley, Oregon, was conducted in 1952. We resurveyed the same sites in 2013 and evaluated whether observed results agreed with theoretical patterns of community change. We compared alpha, beta, and gamma diversity between survey periods and evaluated shifts in categorical abundances of species. Most patterns of change were consistent with community turnover. Nearly 50% of species were replaced over six decades, with increased species richness and decreased evenness at local and regional spatial extents. Patterns of regional species turnover reflected local turnover. Evidence that local shifts in habitat type drove bird community change were not strongly supported, although historic data on habitats within study plots were limited to macro-level aerial photographs. Thus, regional factors and structural changes likely played important roles determining species composition and abundance. PMID: 26339537 [PubMed] 

3. Anim Sci J. 2015 Sep 4. doi: 10.1111/asj.12436. [Epub ahead of print] 

Basic characterization of avian β-defensin genes in the Japanese quail, Coturnix japonica. 
Ishige T(1), Hara H(2), Hirano T(2), Mannen H(3), Kono T(1,)(4), Hanzawa K(2). Author information: (1)NODAI Genome Research Center, Tokyo University of Agriculture, Tokyo, Japan. (2)Department of Animal Science, Tokyo University of Agriculture, Atsugi, Japan. (3)Graduate School of Agricultural Science, Kobe University, Kobe, Japan. (4)Department of Bioscience, Tokyo University of Agriculture, Tokyo, Japan. 

In this study, we identified a cluster of 14 avian β-defensins (AvBD; approximately 66 kbp) in the Japanese quail, Coturnix japonica. Except for AvBD12 (CjAvBD12) and -13, the CjAvBDs coding sequences exhibited greater than 78.0% similarity to the respective orthologous chicken AvBD genes (GgAvBD). The putative amino acid sequence encoded by each CjAvBD contained six cysteine residues and the GXC (X1-2) motif considered essential for the β-defensin family. Each CjAvBDs also formed a sub-group with the respective orthologous genes of various bird species in a phylogenetic tree analysis. Synteny between the CjAvBD cluster and GgAvBD cluster was confirmed. The CjAvBD cluster was mapped on the long-arm end of chromosome 3 by linkage analysis based on single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of CjAvBD1 and CjAvBD12 (approximately 46kbp), as well as GgAvBD cluster. We also confirmed that CjAvBD1, -4, -5, -9, and -10 are transcribed in 20 tissues, including immune and digestive tissues. However, our experimental data indicated that the CjAvBD cluster lacks the AvBD3 and -7 loci, whereas the CjAvBD101α, -101β, and -101θ loci arose from gene duplication of the AvBD6 orthologous locus in the CjAvBD cluster after differentiation between Coturnix - Gallus. © 2015 Japanese Society of Animal Science. PMID: 26338292 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] 

4. Genome Biol Evol. 2015 Sep 2. pii: evv168. [Epub ahead of print] 

The genome of the 'great speciator' provides insights into bird diversification. 
Cornetti L(1), Valente L(2), Dunning LT(1), Quan X(1), Black RA(3), Hébert O(4), Savolainen V(5). Author information: (1)Imperial College London, Department of Life Sciences, Silwood Park Campus, Ascot, SL5 7PY, UK. (2)Imperial College London, Department of Life Sciences, Silwood Park Campus, Ascot, SL5 7PY, UK Unit of Evolutionary Biology / Systematic Zoology, Institute of Biochemistry and Biology, University of Potsdam, Karl-Liebknecht-Strasse 24-25, Haus 26, D-14476 Potsdam, Germany
 (3)Imperial College London, Department of Life Sciences, Silwood Park Campus, Ascot, SL5 7PY, UK Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, The Lodge, Sandy, Bedfordshire, SG19 2DL. (4)Waco me Wela Association, Tribu de Luecila, BP 498, 98820 We, Lifou, New Caledonia. (5)Imperial College London, Department of Life Sciences, Silwood Park Campus, Ascot, SL5 7PY, UK 

Among birds, white-eyes (genus Zosterops) have diversified so extensively that Jared Diamond and Ernst Mayr referred to them as the "great speciator". The Zosterops lineage exhibits some of the fastest rates of species diversification among vertebrates, and its members are the most prolific passerine island colonisers. We present a high-quality genome assembly for the silvereye (Z. lateralis), a white-eye species consisting of several subspecies distributed across multiple islands. We investigate the genetic basis of rapid diversification in white-eyes by conducting genomic analyses at varying taxonomic levels. Firstly, we compare the silvereye genome to those of birds from different families and searched for genomic features that may be unique to Zosterops. Secondly, we compare the genomes of different species of white-eyes from Lifou island (South Pacific), using whole genome re-sequencing and restriction-site associated DNA. Thirdly, we contrast the genomes of two subspecies of silvereye that differ in plumage colour. In accordance with theory, we show that white-eyes have high rates of substitutions, gene duplication and positive selection relative to other birds. Below genus level, we find that genomic differentiation accumulates rapidly and reveal contrasting demographic histories between sympatric species on Lifou, indicative of past interspecific interactions. Finally, we highlight genes possibly involved in colour polymorphism between the subspecies of silvereye. By providing the first whole-genome sequence resources for white-eyes and by conducting analyses at different taxonomic levels, we provide genomic evidence underpinning this extraordinary bird radiation. © The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. PMID: 26338191 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] 

5. J Med Entomol. 2015 Jul 6. pii: tjv087. [Epub ahead of print] 

Ecology of Culiseta Melanura and Other Mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) from Walton County, FL, During Winter Period 2013-2014. 
Burkett-Cadena ND(1), Bingham AM(2), Hunt B(3), Morse G(3), Unnasch TR(2). Author information: (1)Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory, University of Florida, Vero Beach, FL 32962. (2)Department of Global Health, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33612. (3)North Walton Mosquito Control District, 129 Montgomery Circle, DeFuniak Springs, FL 32435. 

Winter ecology of putative vectors of eastern equine encephalomyelitis virus (EEEV) in northern Florida was investigated at field locations with evidence of historic EEEV winter transmission. Light traps and resting shelters were used to sample the mosquito community in the vicinity of eight sentinel flocks throughout the winter period (November-April) of 2013 and 2014 in Walton County, FL. Overall mosquito activity was relatively low, although mosquitoes were captured during each week of the study period. Mosquito activity was linked to morning temperature, and females were captured when ambient morning temperatures were quite low (1-5°C). Anopheles crucians Wiedemann, Culex erraticus (Dyar and Knab), Culex territans Walker, and Culiseta melanura (Coquillett) were the most commonly collected mosquito species (of 20 total species). Analysis of blood-engorged mosquitoes revealed a number of mosquito species feeding upon chickens, other birds, amphibians, and domestic and wild mammals. Cs. melanura fed primarily upon chickens and songbirds (Passeriformes), suggesting that this mosquito species is the likely winter vector of EEEV to sentinel chickens in northern Florida. Both resident and nonresident songbird species were fed upon, constituting 63.9 and 36.1% of total songbird meals, respectively. Our results suggest important roles for Cs. melanura and songbird hosts for the winter transmission of EEEV in northern Florida. © The Authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: PMID: 26336227 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] 

6. J Med Entomol. 2015 Jul 12. pii: tjv079. [Epub ahead of print] 

Artificial Selection for Different Host Preferences in Culex pipiens pallens (Diptera: Culicidae) Mosquitoes. 
Yu J(1), Li CX(2), Dong YD(3), Xue RD(4), Zhao TY(5). Author information: (1)Department of Vector Biology and Control, State Key Laboratory of Pathogen and Biosecurity, Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology, Beijing 100071, P. R. China. Center for Disease Control and Prevention of Chengdu Military Command, Kunming 650118, China. These authors equally contributed to this study. (2)Department of Vector Biology and Control, State Key Laboratory of Pathogen and Biosecurity, Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology, Beijing 100071, P. R. China. These authors equally contributed to this study. (3)Department of Vector Biology and Control, State Key Laboratory of Pathogen and Biosecurity, Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology, Beijing 100071, P. R. China. (4)Anastasia Mosquito Control District, 500 Old Beach Rd., St. Augustine, FL 32080. (5)Department of Vector Biology and Control, State Key Laboratory of Pathogen and Biosecurity, Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology, Beijing 100071, P. R. China. 

Most mosquito species display host preferences that are a crucial determinant of the transmission rate of mosquito-borne pathogens. Although a transgenic approach, based on driving genes for zoophily into vector populations, has been advocated as a malaria control strategy by the World Health Organization since 1982, the genes involved in mosquito host choice remain poorly understood. Culex pipiens pallens Coquillet mosquitoes were artificially selected for two different host preferences in a specially designed experimental enclosure. Of 3,035 mosquitoes obtained from larvae and pupae collected from the wild (the F0 generation), 27% preferentially fed on pigeons and 16% fed on mice. Following artificial selection for these host preferences over successive generations, the percentage of mosquitoes that preferred to feed on pigeons or mice gradually increased, eventually stabilizing at ∼55 and 34%, respectively, after the sixth generation. Intergenerational differences in host preferences were significant (P < 0.001). Furthermore, differences in host preferences between mosquitoes selected to prefer pigeons and those selected to prefer mice were both significant and consistent over almost six generations. © The Authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: PMID: 26336219 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] 

7. Proc Biol Sci. 2015 Sep 7;282(1814). pii: 20151545. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2015.1545. 

Affinity for natal environments by dispersers impacts reproduction and explains geographical structure of a highly mobile bird. 
Fletcher RJ Jr(1), Robertson EP(2), Wilcox RC(2), Reichert BE(2), Austin JD(2), Kitchens WM(2). Author information: (1)Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA (2)Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA. 

Understanding dispersal and habitat selection behaviours is central to many problems in ecology, evolution and conservation. One factor often hypothesized to influence habitat selection by dispersers is the natal environment experienced by juveniles. Nonetheless, evidence for the effect of natal environment on dispersing, wild vertebrates remains limited. Using 18 years of nesting and mark-resight data across an entire North American geographical range of an endangered bird, the snail kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis), we tested for natal effects on breeding-site selection by dispersers and its consequences for reproductive success and population structure. Dispersing snail kites were more likely to nest in wetlands of the same habitat type (lacustrine or palustrine) as their natal wetland, independent of dispersal distance, but this preference declined with age and if individuals were born during droughts. Importantly, dispersing kites that bred in natal-like habitats had lower nest success and productivity than kites that did not. These behaviours help explain recently described population connectivity and spatial structure across their geographical range and reveal that assortative breeding is occurring, where birds are more likely to breed with individuals born in the same wetland type as their natal habitat. Natal environments can thus have long-term and large-scale effects on populations in nature, even in highly mobile animals. © 2015 The Author(s). PMID: 26336178 [PubMed - in process] 

8. Vet Clin North Am Exot Anim Pract. 2015 Sep;18(3):541-554. doi: 10.1016/j.cvex.2015.05.006. 

Endoscopic Sex Identification in Chelonians and Birds (Psittacines, Passerines, and Raptors). 
Divers SJ(1). Author information: (1)Department of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, 2200 College Station Road, Athens, GA 30602, USA. Electronic address: 

Despite the advent of DNA probes for sex identification of many avian and some reptile species, clinicians involved with zoos, conservation projects, or breeders may still be asked to perform "surgical sexing." This article describes the practical approach to performing endoscopic sex identification in psittacines and chelonians, including patient preparation, anesthesia, and endoscopic procedure. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. PMID: 26336002 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] 

9. J Med Entomol. 2015 Jul;52(4):683-92. doi: 10.1093/jme/tjv040. Epub 2015 Apr 24. 

West Nile Virus Activity in a Winter Roost of American Crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos): Is Bird-To-Bird Transmission Important in Persistence and Amplification? 
Hinton MG(1), Reisen WK(2), Wheeler SS(2), Townsend AK(3). Author information: (1)Department of Wildlife, Fish, & Conservation Biology, University of California, Davis, 1088 Academic Surge, Davis, CA 95616. (2)Department of Pathology, Microbiology, & Immunology, University of California, Davis, Center for Vectorborne Diseases, Old Davis Road, Davis, CA 95616. (3)Department of Wildlife, Fish, & Conservation Biology, University of California, Davis, 1088 Academic Surge, Davis, CA 95616. Department of Biology, Hamilton College, Clinton, NY 13323. 

Since its emergence in North America, West Nile virus (WNV) has had a large impact on equines, humans, and wild bird communities, yet gaps remain in our understanding of how the virus persists at temperate latitudes when winter temperatures preclude virus replication and host-seeking activity by mosquito vectors. Bird-to-bird transmission at large communal American Crow roosts could provide one mechanism for WNV persistence. Herein, we describe seasonal patterns of crow and Culex mosquito abundance, WNV infection rates, and the prevalence of WNV-positive fecal samples at a winter crow roost to test the hypothesis that bird-to-bird transmission allows WNV to persist at winter crow roosts. Samples were collected from large winter crow roosts in the Sacramento Valley of California from January 2013 until August 2014, encompassing two overwintering roost periods. West Nile virus RNA was detected in local crow carcasses in both summer [13/18 (72% WNV positive)] and winter [18/44 (41% WNV positive)] 2013-2014. Winter infections were unlikely to have arisen by recent bites from infected mosquitoes because Culex host-seeking activity was very low in winter and all Culex mosquitoes collected during winter months tested negative for WNV. Opportunities existed for fecal-oral transfer at the overwintering roost: most carcasses that tested positive for WNV had detectable viral RNA in both kidney and cloacal swabs, suggesting that infected crows were shedding virus in their feces, and >50% of crows at the roost were stained with feces by mid-winter. Moreover, 2.3% of fecal samples collected in late summer, when mosquitoes were active, tested positive for WNV RNA. Nevertheless, none of the 1,119 feces collected from three roosts over two winters contained detectable WNV RNA. This study provided evidence of WNV infection in overwintering American crows without mosquito vector activity, but did not elucidate a mechanism of WNV transmission during winter. © The Authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: PMID: 26335475 [PubMed - in process] 

10. J Exp Biol. 2015 Sep;218(Pt 17):2685-93. doi: 10.1242/jeb.123042.  
Negative energy balance in a male songbird, the Abert's towhee, constrains the testicular endocrine response to luteinizing hormone stimulation. 
Davies S(1), Gao S(2), Valle S(2), Bittner S(2), Hutton P(2), Meddle SL(3), Deviche P(2). Author information: (1)School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287, USA (2)School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287, USA. (3)The Roslin Institute, The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, The University of Edinburgh, Easter Bush, Midlothian EH25 9RG, UK. 

Energy deficiency can suppress reproductive function in vertebrates. As the orchestrator of reproductive function, endocrine activity of the hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis is potentially an important mechanism mediating such effects. Previous experiments in wild-caught birds found inconsistent relationships between energy deficiency and seasonal reproductive function, but these experiments focused on baseline HPG axis activity and none have investigated the responsiveness of this axis to endocrine stimulation. Here, we present data from an experiment in Abert's towhees, Melozone aberti, using gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) challenges to investigate whether energy deficiency modulates the plasma testosterone responsiveness of the HPG axis. Wild-caught birds were either ad libitum fed or energetically constrained via chronic food restriction during photoinduced reproductive development. Energy deficiency did not significantly affect the development of reproductive morphology, the baseline endocrine activity of the HPG axis, or the plasma testosterone response to GnRH challenge. Energy deficiency did, however, decrease the plasma testosterone responsiveness to LH challenge. Collectively, these observations suggest that energy deficiency has direct gonadal effects consisting of a decreased responsiveness to LH stimulation. Our study, therefore, reveals a mechanism by which energy deficiency modulates reproductive function in wild birds in the absence of detectable effects on baseline HPG axis activity. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd. PMID: 26333925 [PubMed - in process] 

11. Sci Rep. 2015 Sep 3;5:13636. doi: 10.1038/srep13636. 

Mixed gaits in small avian terrestrial locomotion. 
Andrada E(1,)(2), Haase D(3), Sutedja Y(1), Nyakatura JA(2,)(4), M Kilbourne B(2,)(5), Denzler J(3), Fischer MS(2), Blickhan R(1). Author information: (1)Science of Motion, Friedrich-Schiller University of Jena, Germany. (2)Institut für Spezielle Zoologie und Evolutionsbiologie mit Phyletischem Museum, Friedrich-Schiller University of Jena, Germany. (3)Computer Vision Group, Friedrich-Schiller University of Jena, Germany. (4)AG Morphologie und Formengeschichte, Bild Wissen Gestaltung: ein interdisziplinäres Labor, Institut für Biologie, Humboldt University Berlin, Germany. (5)College for Life Sciences, Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany. 

Scientists have historically categorized gaits discretely (e.g. regular gaits such as walking, running). However, previous results suggest that animals such as birds might mix or regularly or stochastically switch between gaits while maintaining a steady locomotor speed. Here, we combined a novel and completely automated large-scale study (over one million frames) on motions of the center of mass in several bird species (quail, oystercatcher, northern lapwing, pigeon, and avocet) with numerical simulations. The birds studied do not strictly prefer walking mechanics at lower speeds or running mechanics at higher speeds. Moreover, our results clearly display that the birds in our study employ mixed gaits (such as one step walking followed by one step using running mechanics) more often than walking and, surprisingly, maybe as often as grounded running. Using a bio-inspired model based on parameters obtained from real quails, we found two types of stable mixed gaits. In the first, both legs exhibit different gait mechanics, whereas in the second, legs gradually alternate from one gait mechanics into the other. Interestingly, mixed gaits parameters mostly overlap those of grounded running. Thus, perturbations or changes in the state induce a switch from grounded running to mixed gaits or vice versa. PMID: 26333477 [PubMed - in process] 

12. PLoS One. 2015 Sep 2;10(9):e0135350. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0135350. eCollection 2015. 

Conservation Status of North American Birds in the Face of Future Climate Change. 
Langham GM(1), Schuetz JG(2), Distler T(2), Soykan CU(2), Wilsey C(2). Author information: (1)National Audubon Society, Washington, DC, United States of America. (2)National Audubon Society, San Francisco, California, United States of America. 

Human-induced climate change is increasingly recognized as a fundamental driver of biological processes and patterns. Historic climate change is known to have caused shifts in the geographic ranges of many taxa and future climate change is expected to result in even greater redistributions of species. As a result, predicting the impact of climate change on future patterns of biodiversity will greatly aid conservation planning. Using the North American Breeding Bird Survey and Audubon Christmas Bird Count, two of the most comprehensive continental datasets of vertebrates in the world, and correlative distribution modeling, we assessed geographic range shifts for 588 North American bird species during both the breeding and non-breeding seasons under a range of future emission scenarios (SRES A2, A1B, B2) through the end of the century. Here we show that 314 species (53%) are projected to lose more than half of their current geographic range across three scenarios of climate change through the end of the century. For 126 species, loss occurs without concomitant range expansion; whereas for 188 species, loss is coupled with potential to colonize new replacement range. We found no strong associations between projected climate sensitivities and existing conservation prioritizations. Moreover, species responses were not clearly associated with habitat affinities, migration strategies, or climate change scenarios. Our results demonstrate the need to include climate sensitivity into current conservation planning and to develop adaptive management strategies that accommodate shrinking and shifting geographic ranges. The persistence of many North American birds will depend on their ability to colonize climatically suitable areas outside of current ranges and management actions that target climate adaptation. PMID: 26333202 [PubMed - in process] 

13. Conserv Biol. 2015 Sep 2. doi: 10.1111/cobi.12618. [Epub ahead of print] 

China's endemic vertebrates sheltering under the protective umbrella of the giant panda. 
Li BV(1), Pimm SL(2). Author information: (1)Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University, Box 90328, Durham, NC, 27708, USA. (2)Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University, Box 90328, Durham, NC, 27708, USA. 

The giant panda attracts disproportionate conservation resources. How well does this emphasis protect other endemic species? Detailed data on geographical ranges are not available for plants or invertebrates, so we restrict our analyses to three vertebrate taxa: birds, mammals, and amphibians. There are gaps in their protection and we recommend practical actions to fill them. We identified patterns of species richness, then identified which species are endemic to China and then which, like the panda, live in forests. After refining each species' range by its known elevational range and remaining forest habitats as determined from remote sensing, we identified the top 5% richest areas as the centers of endemism. Southern mountains, especially the eastern Hengduan Mountains, were centers for all three taxa. Over 96% of the panda habitat overlapped the endemic centers. Thus, investing in almost any panda habitats will benefit many other endemics. Existing panda national nature reserves cover all but one of the endemic species that overlap with the panda's distribution. For whole China, of particular interest are 14 mammal, 20 bird, and 82 amphibian species that are inadequately protected. Most of these the IUCN currently deems threatened. But 7 mammal, 3 bird, and 20 amphibian species are currently non-threatened, yet their geographical ranges are <20,000 km(2) after accounting for elevational restriction and remaining habitats. These species concentrate mainly in Sichuan, Yunnan, Nan Mountains and Hainan. There is a high concentration in the east Daxiang and Xiaoxiang Mountains of Sichuan where pandas are absent and where there are no national nature reserves. The others concentrate in Yunnan, Nan Mountains and Hainan. Here, 10 prefectures might establish new protected areas or upgrade local nature reserves to national status. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. PMID: 26332026 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] 

14. Integr Zool. 2015 Sep 1. doi: 10.1111/1749-4877.12160. [Epub ahead of print] 

Integrating small mammal community variables into aircraft-wildlife collision management plans at Namibian airports. 
Hauptfleisch ML(1), Avenant NL(2). Author information: (1)Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources Sciences, Polytechnic of Namibia, Windhoek, Namibia. (2)Department of Mammalogy, National Museum, and Centre for Environmental Management, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa. 

Understanding ecosystems within and around airports can help to determine the causes and possible mitigation measures for collisions between aircraft and wildlife. Small mammal communities are an important component of the semi-arid savanna ecosystems of Namibia, its productivity and its ecosystem integrity. They are also a major direct attractant for raptors at airports. This study compared the abundance and diversity of small mammals between Namibia's two main airport properties (Hosea Kutako International Airport and Eros Airport), and between various land uses surrounding the airports. A total of 2150 small mammals (3 orders, 11 species) were captured over four trapping seasons. Small mammal abundance was significantly higher at the end of the growing season than during the non-growing season. The grass mowing regimen in current management plans at the airports resulted in a significant reduction of small mammal abundance at Hosea Kutako during the non-growing season only, thus indicating that annual mowing is effective but insufficient to reduce the overall abundance of mammal prey species for raptors. Small mammal numbers were significantly higher at Hosea Kutako airport compared to the cattle and game farming land surrounding the airport, while no differences in small mammal densities or diversity was found in different land uses at and surrounding Eros. The study suggests that the fence around Hosea Kutako provides a refuge for small mammals, resulting in higher densities. It also indicates that different surrounding land use practices result in altered ecosystem function and productivity, an important consideration when identifying wildlife attractants at airports. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. PMID: 26331534 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] 

15. Poult Sci. 2015 Sep 1. pii: pev248. [Epub ahead of print] 

Effects of in ovo injection of organic zinc, manganese, and copper on the hatchability and bone parameters of broiler hatchlings. 
Oliveira TF(1), Bertechini AG(1), Bricka RM(2), Kim EJ(3), Gerard PD(4), Peebles ED(5). Author information: (1)Department of Animal Science, Federal University of Lavras, Brazil 37200000. (2)Department of Chemical Engineering, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State 39762. (3)Agricultural Research Service (ARS)-USDA, Poultry Research Unit, Mississippi State, MS 39762. (4)Department of Mathematical Sciences, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634. (5)Department of Poultry Science Department of Animal Science, Federal University of Lavras, Brazil 37200000 

Effects of the in ovo injection of commercial diluent containing supplemental microminerals (Zn, Mn, and Cu) on hatchability and hatching chick quality variables in Ross × Ross 708 broilers were examined. On 17 d of incubation (doi) eggs were subjected to 1 of 4 treatments using a commercial multi-egg injector. Treatments included non-injected (treatment 1) and diluent-injected (treatment 2) control groups. Those in treatment 3 received diluent containing 0.181, 0.087, and 0.010 mg/mL of Zn, Mn, and Cu, respectively, and those in treatment 4 received diluent containing 0.544, 0.260, and 0.030 mg/mL of Zn, Mn, and Cu, respectively. A total of 1,872 eggs were distributed among 4 treatment groups on each of 6 replicate tray levels. Hatchability of fertile eggs set (HF) was determined on 20.5 and 21.5 doi. On 21.5 doi, HF and mean hatching chick weight (MHW) were determined. One bird from each treatment replicate group was randomly selected, weighed, and necropsied for the extraction of their livers and tibiae. The tibiae fresh and dry weight, length, width, bone breaking strength (BBS), and percentage of bone ash (PBA) were determined. The dry livers were weighed and ashed. Injection treatment had no significant effect on HF at 20.5 doi. However, there was a significant injection treatment effect on HF at 21.5 doi. The HF of eggs at 21.5 doi in treatment 4 was significantly lower than that of the non-injected control group, with treatment 3 being intermediate. Furthermore, there were no significant treatment effects noted for MHW fresh and dry tibia weights, tibia length and width, tibia length to weight ratio, BBS, liver ash content, or percentage of minerals (Ca, P, Mg, Mn, and Zn) in the tibia ash. However, embryos from eggs that received treatment 4 had a significantly higher PBA in comparison to all other treatments. In conclusion, although treatment 4 negatively affected HF, the injection of diluent containing the high micromineral concentration has the potential to improve bone mineralization. © 2015 Poultry Science Association Inc. PMID: 26330613 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] 

16. J Vet Diagn Invest. 2015 Sep 1. pii: 1040638715603423. [Epub ahead of print] 

Giant axonal neuropathy-like disease in an Alexandrine parrot (Psittacula eupatria). 
Stent A(1), Gosbell M(2), Tatarczuch L(2), Summers BA(2). Author information: (1)Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences, University of Melbourne, Werribee, Victoria, Australia (Stent, Tatarczuch, Summers)Greencross Springvale Animal Hospital, Springvale South, Victoria, Australia (Gosbell). (2)Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences, University of Melbourne, Werribee, Victoria, Australia (Stent, Tatarczuch, Summers)Greencross Springvale Animal Hospital, Springvale South, Victoria, Australia (Gosbell). 

A chronic progressive neurological condition in an Alexandrine parrot (Psittacula eupatria) was manifest as intention tremors, incoordination, and seizure activity. Histology revealed large eosinophilic bodies throughout the central nervous system, and electron microscopy demonstrated that these bodies were greatly expanded axons distended by short filamentous structures that aggregated to form long strands. The presence of periodic acid-Schiff-positive material within the neuronal bodies of Purkinje cells and ganglionic neurons is another distinctive feature of this disease. The histological features of this case display some features consistent with giant axonal neuropathy as reported in humans and dogs. Based on investigation of the lineage in this case, an underlying inherited defect is suspected, but some additional factor appears to have altered the specific disease presentation in this bird. © 2015 The Author(s). PMID: 26330398 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] 

17. Mitochondrial DNA. 2015 Sep 2:1-2. [Epub ahead of print] 

The complete mitochondrial genome of Motacilla cinerea (Passeriformes: Motacillidae). 
Zhang Z(1), Qian L, Wang Y, Zhang B. Author information: (1)a School of Resources and Environment, Anhui Agricultural University , Hefei , PR China . 

Motacilla cinerea is a species of small- and medium-sized songbird in the Family Motacillidae, which is widely distributed. In this study, we determined the complete mitochondrial genome of M. cinerea. The result showed that the total length of the mitogenome was 16 825 bp and contained two ribosomal RNA genes, 22 transfer RNA genes, 13 protein-coding genes, and one control region. All the genes in M. cinerea were distributed on the H-strand, except for the ND6 subunit gene and eight tRNA genes which are encoded on the L-strand. The phylogenetic tree was reconstructed using Bayesian analysis methods, and containing two clades: Motacilla and Anthus. The first lineage is Motacilla including M. cinerea and other nine species. The genus Anthus makes up the second group, which containing 17 species. PMID: 26328907 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] 

18. Sci Total Environ. 2015 Aug 29;538:692-702. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.08.053. [Epub ahead of print] 

Pollutant accumulation patterns in nestlings of an avian top predator: biochemical and metabolic effects. 
Ortiz-Santaliestra ME(1), Resano-Mayor J(2), Hernández-Matías A(2), Rodríguez-Estival J(3), Camarero PR(3), Moleón M(4), Real J(2), Mateo R(3). Author information: (1)Instituto de Investigación en Recursos Cinegéticos (IREC-CSIC-UCLM-JCCM) Ronda de Toledo s/n, 13071 Ciudad Real, Spain. Electronic address: (2)Equip de Biologia de la Conservació, Departament de Biologia Animal, Universitat de Barcelona, Av. Diagonal 645, 08028 Barcelona, Spain. (3)Instituto de Investigación en Recursos Cinegéticos (IREC-CSIC-UCLM-JCCM) Ronda de Toledo s/n, 13071 Ciudad Real, Spain. (4)School of Animal, Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Wits 2050, Johannesburg, South Africa. 

The exposure to persistent pollutants such as organochlorine compounds (OCs) or metals has been associated with declines in top predator populations, which can accumulate high amounts of these pollutants from their prey. However, understanding how variation in OC and metal accumulation in wild species affects their biochemical and physiological responses is a big challenge, especially for endangered predators like the Bonelli's eagle (Aquila fasciata). This bird of prey is an interesting study model because the differences in diet composition among populations and territories can account for important pollutant uptake variations. We compared OC and metal accumulation in blood of Bonelli's eagle nestlings from three populations across Spain as a function of origin, age class (nestlings vs. adults), sex and number of siblings per nest, and related accumulation patterns to responses indicative of body condition, biochemistry and antioxidant status. Nestlings from Catalonia, the most industrialized area, showed the highest concentrations of PCBs and arsenic, and the lowest concentrations of zinc. The two former substances, together with DDTs, exerted an overall influence on nestling's physiology. PCBs and arsenic were associated with reduced retinol levels, pointing to oxidative damage in exposed individuals, which was also consistent with the low zinc levels in individuals from the polluted region. Increased plasma DDT levels were related to reduced body condition and lower levels of triglycerides. Mercury accumulation in Castile and Leon was higher in nestlings that were alone in the nest than in nestlings that shared it with a sibling; this suggests an increased mercury uptake from secondary prey in territories where preferred prey (i.e. rabbits) are scarce, which are also the territories where productivity is reduced. Overall, the results reveal a spatial variation in pollutant accumulation patterns and associated physiological effects, and suggest the major role that territory quality may have in such patterns. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. PMID: 26327637 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher] 

19. PLoS One. 2015 Sep 1;10(9):e0136743. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0136743. eCollection 2015. 

Vector-Host Interactions of Culiseta melanura in a Focus of Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus Activity in Southeastern Virginia. 
Molaei G(1), Armstrong PM(1), Abadam CF(2), Akaratovic KI(2), Kiser JP(2), Andreadis TG(1). Author information: (1)Center for Vector Biology & Zoonotic Diseases, The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, New Haven, Connecticut, United States of America. (2)Suffolk Mosquito Control, Department of Public Works, Suffolk, Virginia, United States of America. 

Eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV) causes a highly pathogenic mosquito-borne zoonosis that is responsible for sporadic outbreaks of severe illness in humans and equines in the eastern USA. Culiseta (Cs.) melanura is the primary vector of EEEV in most geographic regions but its feeding patterns on specific avian and mammalian hosts are largely unknown in the mid-Atlantic region. The objectives of our study were to: 1) identify avian hosts of Cs. melanura and evaluate their potential role in enzootic amplification of EEEV, 2) assess spatial and temporal patterns of virus activity during a season of intense virus transmission, and 3) investigate the potential role of Cs. melanura in epidemic/epizootic transmission of EEEV to humans and equines. Accordingly, we collected mosquitoes at 55 sites in Suffolk, Virginia in 2013, and identified the source of blood meals in engorged mosquitoes by nucleotide sequencing PCR products of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene. We also examined field-collected mosquitoes for evidence of infection with EEEV using Vector Test, cell culture, and PCR. Analysis of 188 engorged Cs. melanura sampled from April through October 2013 indicated that 95.2%, 4.3%, and 0.5% obtained blood meals from avian, mammalian, and reptilian hosts, respectively. American Robin was the most frequently identified host for Cs. melanura (42.6% of blood meals) followed by Northern Cardinal (16.0%), European Starling (11.2%), Carolina Wren (4.3%), and Common Grackle (4.3%). EEEV was detected in 106 mosquito pools of Cs. melanura, and the number of virus positive pools peaked in late July with 22 positive pools and a Maximum Likelihood Estimation (MLE) infection rate of 4.46 per 1,000 mosquitoes. Our findings highlight the importance of Cs. melanura as a regional EEEV vector based on frequent feeding on virus-competent bird species. A small proportion of blood meals acquired from mammalian hosts suggests the possibility that this species may occasionally contribute to epidemic/epizootic transmission of EEEV. PMID: 26327226 [PubMed - in process]

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