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The ecosystem response to the 1989 spill of oil from the Exxon Valdez into Prince William Sound, Alaska, shows that current practices for assessing ecological risks of oil in the oceans and, by extension, other toxic sources should be changed. Previously, it was assumed that impacts to populations derive almost exclusively from acute mortality. However, in(More)
We characterized dynamics of the plasma yolk precursors vitellogenin (VTG), very-low-density lipoprotein (total VLDL-TG), and VLDL particle size distribution during egg production by female greater scaup (order: Anseriformes, Aythya marila). We also evaluated VTG and total VLDL-TG as physiological indices of reproductive state. Mean (+/-1 SE) plasma(More)
We studied the nocturnal foraging behavior of Surf Scoters (Melanitta perspicillata) and White-winged Scoters (Melanitta fusca) during winter in coastal British Columbia, Canada. Using radio telemetry, we collected nocturnal and diurnal data documenting the frequency of foraging dives and the location of scoters in relation to their intertidal foraging(More)
We compared density and morphology of wild mussels Mytilus trossulus growing naturally on shellfish farming structures to that of mussels from nearby intertidal areas, and considered the relevance to molluscivorous sea ducks. Mussel density on aquaculture structures greatly exceeded that of intertidal areas and farm mussels were larger, had lower shell(More)
Little is known about baseline concentrations of adrenal hormones and hormonal responses to stress in sea ducks, although significant population declines documented in several species suggest that sea ducks are exposed to increased levels of environmental stress. Such declines have been observed in geographically distinct harlequin duck populations. We(More)
—Quantifying variation in diet over time and space is important for understanding patterns of habitat use in marine birds. Diet composition of adult male White-winged Scoters (Melanitta fusca) was quantified at five study sites in coastal British Columbia and Washington during mid-winter (December) and late winter (FebruaryMarch). At four sites where(More)
Previous studies have related levels of plasma corticosterone (CORT) of seabirds to variation in foraging conditions during the breeding period, but it is unclear whether similar relationships between foraging conditions and baseline CORT exist during other life stages. We validated methods for identifying baseline CORT of lethally sampled birds and(More)
Understanding the degree of demographic connectivity among population segments is increasingly recognized as central to the fields of population ecology and conservation biology. However, delineating discrete population units has proven challenging, particularly for migratory birds as they move through their annual cycle. In this study, radio telemetry was(More)
Recent studies have documented strong, top-down predation effects of sea ducks on mussel populations in rocky intertidal communities. However, the impact of these gregarious predators in soft-bottom communities has been largely unexplored. We evaluated effects of predation by wintering surf scoters Melanitta perspicillata and white-winged scoters M. fusca(More)
Twenty-eight Harlequin Ducks (Histrionicus histrionicus) and 26 Barrow's Goldeneyes (Bucephala islandica) were captured in Prince William Sound, Alaska, between 1 and 15 March 2005. Blood was collected for quantification of element concentrations, prevalence of antibodies to several viruses, and hemoparasite prevalence and identification. Although we found(More)