Helminth parasites of the common eider duck, Somateria mollissima (L.) in Newfoundland and Labrador. Unpublished MSc thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland
- C. A. Bishop
A comparison of commonly occurring metazoan parasites in the digestive tract was made between common eiders, Somateria mollissima, that were contaminated with oil and reference birds confiscated from illegal hunting. There was a greater number of commonly occurring parasites and their abundance in reference than in oiled eiders. Except for an acanthocephalan, Polymorphus botulus, which was embedded in the wall of the intestinal tract, most of the other taxa of parasites, including trematodes, cestodes and nematodes, were probably voided from the birds following ingestion of oil. Reference eiders harboured fewer species and a substantially lower mean abundance of parasites than those studied in Newfoundland and Labrador more than four decades ago; this may be a signal of a changing prey base or an increase in prey availability as winter ice cover continues to decline.