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Tuesday, January 29 • 6:00pm - 9:00pm
(P82) Using a Plasma Lipid Metabolite Index to Evaluate Spring Migration Stopover Habitat for Wild Canvasbacks (Aythya valisineria) in Illinois

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AUTHORS. Andrew F. Bouton, Western Illinois University; Eric J. Smith, Western Illinois University; Heath M. Hagy, US Fish and Wildlife Service; Michael J. Anteau, US Geological Survey; Randy V. Smith, Illinois Department of Natural Resources; Christopher N. Jacques, Western Illinois University,

ABSTRACT. Wetland loss and degradation in stopover areas can lead to declining food resources, which in turn has implications for migratory waterfowl populations.  The spring condition hypothesis states that migratory stopover areas are vital for acquiring nutrients necessary for nesting and egg production.  Lipid metabolite (i.e., triglyceride [TRIG], beta-hydroxybutyrate [BOHB]) concentrations of blood plasma can provide a useful index of daily mass change in wild birds and can be used to assess forage quality of stopover sites.  We evaluated an index of foraging habitat quality by measuring plasma lipid metabolite levels and daily mass change of wild canvasbacks (Aythya valisineria) held in short-term captivity for feeding (n = 30) and fasting trials (n = 30) on 60 individuals.  We collected two blood samples from each bird (i.e., 0 and 24 hr) and measured metabolite concentrations using established assay procedures.  We tube-fed birds selected for the feeding trial every 4 hours for a 24-hour period and provided only water for fasting birds over the same period.  Respectively, TRIG and BOHB were positively and negatively related to mass change (Results not yet finalized).  Our analysis revealed that sex was not an important predictor of daily mass change.  We used our index to predict changes in lipid reserves of birds collected experimentally from across the Upper Mississippi River and the Illinois River Valleys.  Our analyses indicated that canvasbacks gained weight across the Upper Mississippi River and Illinois River Valley, suggesting that these areas had sufficient forage resources to provide nutrients for canvasbacks during spring migration.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Superior Ballroom CD