|Session V: Bird Studies
||Abstract #: 97501
SERUM CHEMISTRY ANALYSIS OF BALD EAGLE AND OSPREY NESTLINGS IN FLORIDA BAY, EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK
Brian K. Mealey, G.M. Parks, C.Pages and G.Bossart
Falcon Batchelor Bird of Prey Center, Miami Museum of Science, 3280 S.Miami Ave., Miami, FL 33129
The objective of this cooperative study is to determine selected clinicopathological parameters from free-ranging naturally raised young eagles and ospreys. Since knowledge of the basic physiology of wild raptors is limited, this project will contribute towards the establishment of "normal" baseline values for their blood chemistry. Blood analysis was conducted on 72 bald eagle and 66 osprey nestlings between 1992 and 1996. Nestlings were sampled between the ages of 35 and 45 days old. Five eaglets resulted in depressed levels, <0.9 = µ/ml, of cholinesterase suggesting exposure to an organophosphate toxin. Total protein values, related to prey consumption, were 2.96 g/dl for the ospreys and 3.24 g/dl for the eaglets. Mercury values for 1993 were 0.29 ppm (eagles) and 0.81 ppm (ospreys) and for 1995 were 0.32 ppm (eagles) and 0.19 ppm (ospreys). Serum values when used in conjunction with other good ecological data offer wildlife agencies an alternative way of assessing the health of an ecosystem.