We developed and evaluated a surgical procedure for implanting intra-abdominal radiotransmitters with external whip antennas in captive mallards (Anas platyrhynchos). Transmitters were implanted in the abdominal cavity and the antennas exited through the caudal abdominal wall and skin. Birds with implanted transmitters developed mild to moderate localized air sac reactions. These reactions involved adhesions of the right anterior abdominal air sac to the liver with contractions around the transmitters and antenna catheters. The adhesions were reinforced by a proliferation of connective tissue and lined by multinucleated giant cells (foreign body reaction). Casual observation indicated that neither behavior nor activity of the birds was altered by the histological reaction to the transmitter implant. No increase in systemic lesions (particularly liver or kidney) could be correlated with the histological reactions. Our evaluations indicate that the procedure is a reliable method for radiomarking ducks and the technique has been successfully used in 2 field studies.
Additional publication details
Implanting intra-abdominal radiotransmitters with external whip antennas in ducks