Category Archives: Publications

Surveillance with Stable Isotopes

ABSTRACT

Stocking pen-raised northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) into habitats inhabited by wild bobwhite is a widespread practice, yet no technique other than marking exists to distinguish between these birds when they are harvested or recaptured. We assessed the potential of stable isotope analysis of primary feather tissue to distinguish between wild and pen-raised bobwhite. We obtained 104 feather samples from 3 game farms and 3 hunters in New Jersey, USA, collected between 1998 and 2006. We analyzed all samples for isotopes of carbon13C/12C, nitrogen15N/14N, sulfur34S/32S, and a preliminary sample for hydrogen2H/1H. Combinations of isotopic ratios of carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur yielded unique patterns for the 2 groups, enabling us to form a significant function that discriminated between these groups 100% of the time. The function was influenced most by the isotopic ratios of nitrogen and carbon. We were unable to discriminate between age classes or sex within groups, but could discriminate among farms and between years for the one farm where we had 2 years of samples. In our pilot study, stable isotope analysis of primary feather tissue was a reliable technique for distinguishing wild and pen-raised bobwhite for 12–14 months following postjuvenal or postnuptial feather molt. Summer stocking, feeding stations, or long-term survival of pen-raised birds would reduce the efficacy of this technique, depending upon the definition of a wild population. © 2017 The Wildlife Society.

Castelli P and L Reed 2017 Use of stable isotopes to distinguish wild from pen-raised Northern Bobwhite. Wildlife Society Bulletin. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/wsb.746/full

More News from the Center

  • CVB has just received approval to initiate a search for the long desired microbiology position. More to follow.
  • The Faraji and Gaugler paper “Experimental host preference of diapause and non-diapause induced Culex pipiens pipiens” published this year in Parasites & Vectors is designated as “highly accessed” by the journal.
    • From the abstract and conclusions: “To determine the effect of diapause on the innate host preference of Cx. p. pipiens emerging from winter hibernation, we conducted host-choice experiments using bird and mammal hosts….We provide new information about the innate host preference of Cx. p. pipiens emerging from diapause in temperate habitats where winter survival is crucial for disease transmission cycles. Although we showed that Cx. p. pipiens prefers an avian to a mammalian host, nearly 20 % of emerging mosquitoes in the spring could feed on mammals. Changes in host preferences may also contain valuable clues about transmission dynamics and subsequent timely interventions by vector control and public health practitioners.”
  • CVB members Isik Unlu (Mercer Co.) and Greg Williams (Hudson Co.) were granted adjunct professor status by the Rutgers Department of Entomology.
Isik

Isik Unlu from Mercer County Mosquito Control

Greg Williams from Hudson County Mosquito Control

Greg Williams from Hudson County Mosquito Control