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Tuesday, February 7 • 8:40am - 9:00am
Technical Session. Developing Plasma-Lipid Indices and Evaluating Triglyceride Catabolism Rates in Lesser Scaup (Aythya affinis)

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AUTHORS: Eric Smith, Western Illinois University; Chris Jacques, Western Illinois University; Mike Anteau, USGS Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center; Heath Hagy, Forbes Biological Station/Frank C. Bellrose Waterfowl Research Center

ABSTRACT: The continental breeding population of lesser scaup (Aythya affinis) has declined markedly over the past 30-40 years. Multiple factors have likely contributed to the long-term decline in the continental scaup population including reductions in recruitment, a decline in survival of female scaup relative to males, and decreases in forage quality and the amount of forage consumed by scaup throughout the Midwest. Decreases in aquatic vegetation and invertebrates as food sources have direct impacts on migrating lesser scaup and other wetland-obligate species. Nutrient acquisition and storage during migration are important for survival and reproduction; specifically, lipids have been identified as an important nutrient for endurance flights and egg production. Plasma-lipid metabolites (Triglyceride and β-hydroxybutyrate) have been used for estimating rates of lipid accumulation or catabolism in wild birds which can be useful in assessing the relative quality of habitat during migration. However, further development and refining of plasma-lipid indices is needed to understand the effects of wetland degradation on migratory waterfowl. Further, a paucity of information exists about the rate at which triglycerides are catabolized and what effect diet has on metabolite concentrations. Using wild birds held in short-term captivity to create such an index allows for control in the amount and type of ingesta and feeding rates that could be a potential source of bias in the plasma-lipid metabolite index. We held wild lesser scaup in short-term captivity to develop an index for examining whether individuals are accumulating or catabolizing lipids by regressing known mass changes with plasma-lipid metabolite concentrations. Triglyceride and β-hydroxybutyrate predicted 56% of the variation in one-day mass changes (F = 24.20, df = 2 and 37, P < 0.001). We are currently analyzing finer scale mass changes (< 24 hrs.) and rates of triglyceride catabolism which will be available for the presentation.

Tuesday February 7, 2017 8:40am - 9:00am
Grand Ballroom D

Attendees (4)