Date

1-4-2016 12:00 AM

Major

Animal Ecology

Department

Natural Resource Ecology & Management

College

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Project Advisor

Cassandra Nuñez

Project Advisor's Department

Natural Resource Ecology & Management

Description

A better understanding of avian stress behaviors and the consequences of this stress is important for wildlife care clinics, the rehabilitation field, and the behavioral ecology community. The goals of this experiment are to 1) determine whether correlations between the time to patient recovery and the stress experienced during captivity exist, and 2) develop a ranking of patient response to treatment that will inform doctors and staff about the stress levels patients are experiencing. I observed behavioral response to handling and treatment by staff for 3 barred owls admitted to the Wildlife Care Clinic. I collected fecal samples from during periods of lower stress and after handling to determine baseline and stress-induced levels of corticosterone, a reliable indicator of avian stress (Deviche et al., 2014), for all individuals. I will determine corticosterone metabolite concentrations in the samples via enzyme immunoassay (Wasser et al. 1997). Finally, using the length of time to patient release as a proxy for patient recovery, I determined whether there are any correlates between patient response and subsequent corticosterone levels. I predict that the birds exhibiting more energetic behavior during handling will have lower corticosterone levels and therefore have a quicker rehabilitation time (Garamszegi et al. 2012).

File Format

application/pdf

Included in

Ornithology Commons

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Apr 1st, 12:00 AM

Measuring and Comparing Stress Levels and Stress Behaviors to Rehabilitation Time in Avian Patients

A better understanding of avian stress behaviors and the consequences of this stress is important for wildlife care clinics, the rehabilitation field, and the behavioral ecology community. The goals of this experiment are to 1) determine whether correlations between the time to patient recovery and the stress experienced during captivity exist, and 2) develop a ranking of patient response to treatment that will inform doctors and staff about the stress levels patients are experiencing. I observed behavioral response to handling and treatment by staff for 3 barred owls admitted to the Wildlife Care Clinic. I collected fecal samples from during periods of lower stress and after handling to determine baseline and stress-induced levels of corticosterone, a reliable indicator of avian stress (Deviche et al., 2014), for all individuals. I will determine corticosterone metabolite concentrations in the samples via enzyme immunoassay (Wasser et al. 1997). Finally, using the length of time to patient release as a proxy for patient recovery, I determined whether there are any correlates between patient response and subsequent corticosterone levels. I predict that the birds exhibiting more energetic behavior during handling will have lower corticosterone levels and therefore have a quicker rehabilitation time (Garamszegi et al. 2012).