Ecophysiology and conservation studies often require the prior establishment of baseline physiologic metrics. For instance, expected reference intervals for health metrics are valuable tools for veterinarians and conservationists who monitor the health status of endangered populations and species. This study establishes reference intervals for hematologic metrics in free-ranging Olrog's gull (Larus atlanticus) during the nonbreeding season. Fifty-six gulls (immature and adults) were captured and studied in Mar del Plata and neighboring coastal areas (Buenos Aires, Argentina) during the winter of 2018 (n = 22) and 2019 (n = 34). Hematocrit, red blood cells (erythrocytes), hemoglobin, mean cell volume, mean cell hemoglobin (MCH), MCH concentration, white blood cells (WBC; leukocytes), heterophils, lymphocytes, eosinophils, monocytes, and basophils were analyzed. Additionally, the variability of hematologic metrics according to body weight, sex, age, and calendar year was examined. Hematologic metrics were in line with those reported in other seabird species. Males had greater body weight and MCH than females. The heterophil to lymphocyte ratio and lymphocyte levels were higher in adults than in immatures. Hematocrit, WBC, heterophils, and basophils also varied significantly between calendar years. The results highlight the importance of appropriate metrics and reference intervals for monitoring the health status of this threatened species, and it is recommended to implement such comparative assessments among populations.
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