Survival of captive and free-ranging Harlequin Ducks (Histrionicus histrionicus) following surgical liver biopsy

Journal of Wildlife Diseases
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Abstract

We measured intra- and postoperative mortality rates of captive and free-ranging Harlequin Ducks (Histrionicus histrionicus) undergoing surgical liver biopsy sampling for determination of the induction of cytochrome P4501A, a biomarker of oil exposure. Liver biopsies were taken from and radio transmitters were implanted into 157 free-ranging Harlequin Ducks over three winters (55 in 2000, 55 in 2001, and 47 in 2002). No birds died during surgery, but seven (4.5%) died during recovery from anesthesia (three in 2001 and four in 2002). None of the deaths could be attributed directly to the liver biopsy. Four of the 150 (2.7%) birds that were released died in the 2 wk period after surgery. All post-release deaths occurred in 2001; no birds died after release in 2000 or 2002. No mortalities of 36 captive birds occurred during surgery or recovery or in the 2 wk period following surgery. Hemorrhage was a minor problem with one captive bird. Surgical liver biopsies appear to be a safe procedure, but anesthetic complications may occur with overwintering ducks.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Survival of captive and free-ranging Harlequin Ducks (Histrionicus histrionicus) following surgical liver biopsy
Series title Journal of Wildlife Diseases
DOI 10.7589/0090-3558-46.4.1325
Volume 46
Issue 4
Year Published 2010
Language English
Publisher Wildlife Disease Association
Contributing office(s) Alaska Science Center Biology MFEB
Description 5 p.
First page 1325
Last page 1329
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N