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Environmental Contaminants

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Immune System Changes and Susceptibility to Disease in Birds Exposed to Environmental Contaminants

Disease dynamics in wildlife are commonly related to changes or increases in environmental stressors that are placed upon an animal. Environmental pollutants are known to affect the immune system of wildlife, resulting in impaired resistance to infection and potential increases in disease outbreaks. In collaboration with: Jill Jenkins, Ph.D USGS Wetland and Aquatic Research Center; Julia Lankton...
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Immune System Changes and Susceptibility to Disease in Birds Exposed to Environmental Contaminants

Disease dynamics in wildlife are commonly related to changes or increases in environmental stressors that are placed upon an animal. Environmental pollutants are known to affect the immune system of wildlife, resulting in impaired resistance to infection and potential increases in disease outbreaks. In collaboration with: Jill Jenkins, Ph.D USGS Wetland and Aquatic Research Center; Julia Lankton...
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Effects of Short Chain Chlorinated Paraffins (SCCPs) on developing birds

The Challenge: Short-Chain Chlorinated Paraffins (SCCPs) are complex technical mixtures of polychlorinated n-alkanes used in lubricants and coolants in metalworking, as flame retardants, and in paints, adhesives, sealants, textiles and polymeric materials, plastics and rubber. SCCPs are of concern because they are globally transported, bioaccumulate in wildlife and humans, and are environmentally...
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Effects of Short Chain Chlorinated Paraffins (SCCPs) on developing birds

The Challenge: Short-Chain Chlorinated Paraffins (SCCPs) are complex technical mixtures of polychlorinated n-alkanes used in lubricants and coolants in metalworking, as flame retardants, and in paints, adhesives, sealants, textiles and polymeric materials, plastics and rubber. SCCPs are of concern because they are globally transported, bioaccumulate in wildlife and humans, and are environmentally...
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Do pesticide coatings on agricultural seeds pose a threat to earthworms and to the birds that eat them?

Earthworms are a vital part of a healthy, functioning soil ecosystem and are also an important protein-rich food source for wildlife, including many species of birds and mammals. In an agricultural setting, the presence of earthworms can increase crop yields by 25%, but can also expose earthworms to pesticides. Seed treatment is the principal application method for neonicotinoid insecticides, one...
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Do pesticide coatings on agricultural seeds pose a threat to earthworms and to the birds that eat them?

Earthworms are a vital part of a healthy, functioning soil ecosystem and are also an important protein-rich food source for wildlife, including many species of birds and mammals. In an agricultural setting, the presence of earthworms can increase crop yields by 25%, but can also expose earthworms to pesticides. Seed treatment is the principal application method for neonicotinoid insecticides, one...
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Terrestrial wildlife and legacy oil mining on National Wildlife Refuges

Amphibian surveys are being conducted on select National Wildlife Refuges with active and/or legacy oil mining to determine species relative distribution and their risk to short- and long-term effects from exposure to crude oil and its byproducts.
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Terrestrial wildlife and legacy oil mining on National Wildlife Refuges

Amphibian surveys are being conducted on select National Wildlife Refuges with active and/or legacy oil mining to determine species relative distribution and their risk to short- and long-term effects from exposure to crude oil and its byproducts.
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Produced water from Marcellus Shale and amphibians

Research biologists at the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center (PWRC) are conducting a series of scientific studies on the potential effects of wastewater from hydraulic fracturing activities on terrestrial wildlife. Findings will help in assessing proposals for managing recycling and distribution of large volumes of flowback and produced waters generated by methods of oil and gas extraction...
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Produced water from Marcellus Shale and amphibians

Research biologists at the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center (PWRC) are conducting a series of scientific studies on the potential effects of wastewater from hydraulic fracturing activities on terrestrial wildlife. Findings will help in assessing proposals for managing recycling and distribution of large volumes of flowback and produced waters generated by methods of oil and gas extraction...
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Dysbiosis, immunomodulation, and health effects of agricultural pesticides in wild prairie grouse

Agrochemical pollution poses a severe threat to biodiversity. Agrochemicals can detrimentally affect wildlife growth, development, survival, reproduction, and immune responses, which facilitates emergence and spread of infectious diseases that may cause unusually high mortality. Animal microbiota plays a fundamental role in host’s food detoxification and defense against pathogens, regulates...
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Dysbiosis, immunomodulation, and health effects of agricultural pesticides in wild prairie grouse

Agrochemical pollution poses a severe threat to biodiversity. Agrochemicals can detrimentally affect wildlife growth, development, survival, reproduction, and immune responses, which facilitates emergence and spread of infectious diseases that may cause unusually high mortality. Animal microbiota plays a fundamental role in host’s food detoxification and defense against pathogens, regulates...
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Determining carcass scavenging rates on major rivers for oil spill response and NRDAR

We are conducting avian carcass detection and persistence trials to generate an estimator to correct for the avian injuries that are not found after a oil spill on inland rivers.
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Determining carcass scavenging rates on major rivers for oil spill response and NRDAR

We are conducting avian carcass detection and persistence trials to generate an estimator to correct for the avian injuries that are not found after a oil spill on inland rivers.
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Does tropospheric ozone, resulting from fossil fuel combustion, disrupt bee pollination?

The Challenge: Pollinators such as bees use floral volatiles to guide them to flowers. Tropospheric ozone produced from fossil fuel combustion products can breakdown floral volatiles. Interference with bee pollination threatens habitat quality and biodiversity and the security of the US food supply system.
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Does tropospheric ozone, resulting from fossil fuel combustion, disrupt bee pollination?

The Challenge: Pollinators such as bees use floral volatiles to guide them to flowers. Tropospheric ozone produced from fossil fuel combustion products can breakdown floral volatiles. Interference with bee pollination threatens habitat quality and biodiversity and the security of the US food supply system.
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Contaminant-related Activities in Support of Client Agencies in the Department of the Interior

We undertake many research activities in support of the mission of the Department of the Interior. One such activity is to evaluate the potential hazard and risk of environmental contaminants to natural resources.
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Contaminant-related Activities in Support of Client Agencies in the Department of the Interior

We undertake many research activities in support of the mission of the Department of the Interior. One such activity is to evaluate the potential hazard and risk of environmental contaminants to natural resources.
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Identifying the Genetic Basis of Avian Susceptibility to Mercury

The Challenge: Mercury is a highly toxic element found throughout our environment. Although it occurs naturally in some environments, human industrial pollution has greatly increased the amount of mercury and the range of environments in which mercury is found. Recent studies have confirmed clear differences in the sensitivity of various bird species to methylmercury. Because the causes of these...
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Identifying the Genetic Basis of Avian Susceptibility to Mercury

The Challenge: Mercury is a highly toxic element found throughout our environment. Although it occurs naturally in some environments, human industrial pollution has greatly increased the amount of mercury and the range of environments in which mercury is found. Recent studies have confirmed clear differences in the sensitivity of various bird species to methylmercury. Because the causes of these...
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Characterization of Avian Hazards Following Chlorophacinone Use for Prairie Dog Control

The Challenge: Black-tailed prairie dogs are considered a keystone species for the prairie habitat. Many avian species are associated with black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) in winter. Raptors feed on prairie dogs and non-raptor avian species forage within prairie dog colonies. However prairie dogs are also considered agricultural pests. The first-generation anticoagulant rodenticide...
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Characterization of Avian Hazards Following Chlorophacinone Use for Prairie Dog Control

The Challenge: Black-tailed prairie dogs are considered a keystone species for the prairie habitat. Many avian species are associated with black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) in winter. Raptors feed on prairie dogs and non-raptor avian species forage within prairie dog colonies. However prairie dogs are also considered agricultural pests. The first-generation anticoagulant rodenticide...
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