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1 December 2010 Health and Nutritional Status of Wild Australian Psittacine Birds: An Evaluation of Plasma and Hepatic Mineral Levels, Plasma Biochemical Values, and Fecal Microflora
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Abstract

To evaluate the health and nutritional status of 3 wild Australian psittacine species, plasma and hepatic mineral concentrations and plasma biochemical values were measured in wild-caught galahs (Eolophus roseicapilla), long-billed corellas (Cacatua tenuirostris), and sulphur-crested cockatoos (Cacatua galerita). No correlations were found between hepatic and plasma mineral levels. Mean plasma calcium (1.79 mmol/L [7.16 mg/dL]) and sodium (103 mmol/L [103 mEq/L]) concentrations were lower, whereas mean total phosphorus (6.53 mmol/L [20.22 mg/dL]) and potassium (8.87 mmol/L [8.87 mEq/L]) concentrations were higher than values for captive counterparts. Plasma iron levels were higher than those reported for captive counterparts, with evidence of interspecific (sulphur-crested cockatoos, 109 µmol/L [609 µg/dL]; corellas, 57 µmol/L [318 µg/dL]; galahs, 90 µmol/L [503 µg/dL]) and temporal variation (galahs: May, 107 µmol/L [598 µg/dL]; July, 59 µmol/L [330 µg/dL]). Hepatic iron concentrations were as high as 1030 mg/kg. Interspecific variation was minimal in mean plasma selenium (11.8 µmol/L [929 µg/L]) and zinc (31.2 µmol/L [204 µg/dL]) concentrations. Plasma biochemical values varied significantly from reported reference ranges. Ranges for total protein, albumin, and bile acid concentrations were lower, whereas uric acid, glutamate dehydrogenase, amylase, and cholesterol concentrations were higher than those previously reported for these species, and interspecific variation was evident. Variation in measures of mineral status or plasma biochemical values between males and females were negligible. An evaluation of fecal microflora showed a distinct absence of gram-negative bacteria or budding yeast. Results of this study show that analyte values used to determine health and nutritional status of wild birds differ from those published for captive counterparts. Although analyte values appear to vary minimally by sex, distinct taxonomic and some temporal differences exist in values from wild birds of these 3 species.

Debra L. McDonald, Susan Jaensch, Greg J. Harrison, Stacey Gelis, David Brennan, Phil Sacks, and Domenico Bernardo "Health and Nutritional Status of Wild Australian Psittacine Birds: An Evaluation of Plasma and Hepatic Mineral Levels, Plasma Biochemical Values, and Fecal Microflora," Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery 24(4), 288-298, (1 December 2010). https://doi.org/10.1647/2004-025.1
Published: 1 December 2010
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