PRESS-NEWS.org - Press Release Distribution
PRESS RELEASES DISTRIBUTION

Study finds potential climate change side effect: More parasites on South American birds

Study finds higher temperatures, precipitation levels mean greater harm by parasites to developing chicks

Study finds potential climate change side effect: More parasites on South American birds
2010-09-29
(Press-News.org) A Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) study on nesting birds in Argentina finds that increasing temperatures and rainfall—both side effects of climate change in some parts of the world—could be bad for birds of South America, but great for some of their parasites which thrive in warmer and wetter conditions.

The study, which looked at nesting forest birds in Santa Fe, Argentina, found that increases in temperature and precipitation produce a bumper crop of parasitic fly larvae of the species Philornis torquans, parasites that burrow into the skin of baby birds to feed. The researchers also found that these greater parasite burdens result in higher probability of mortality and impaired growth for the parasitized chicks.

The study now appears in the online edition of the Journal of Zoology—published by the Zoological Society of London. The authors of the study are: Pablo Beldomenico of the Wildlife Conservation Society's Global Health Program; and Leandro Antoniazzi, Darío Manzoli, David Rohrmann, María José Saravia, Leonardo Silvestri of Universidad Nacional de Litoral in Argentina.

"Although ours is a short-term study looking at within-year variability, we clearly show that higher temperature and precipitation result in greater parasitic fly loads. This is a striking example of the kind of negative effects on wildlife that can arise as a result of climate change," said Dr. Pablo Beldomenico of the Wildlife Conservation Society's Global Health Program. "The greater precipitation and warmer weather predicted for some areas of South America could have a significant impact on native birds because of a large increase in parasites like these."

Carried out by field veterinarians and biologists between September and March of 2006-7 and 2007-8, the study focused on both the prevalence and abundance of parasitic larvae in the study area's bird community and the impact of parasites on the growth and survival of bird nestlings.

The researchers also examined the influence of environmental factors on parasite prevalence and abundance, noting a positive correlation between variations in climatic variables (temperature and precipitation levels) and parasite loads on nestlings. They found that increases in temperature and rainfall resulted in more parasites.

During the course of the study, researchers examined the nests of 41 bird species (715 chicks) within a 30-hectare area (74 acres) of forest, gathering data on nest height, brood size, body mass of chicks, and the number of parasites on each bird. The fly larvae—large in relation to the size of the chick—were easily identified by the bulges on the heads, bodies and wings of the baby birds. The parasites were found on half (20) of the bird species studied, with the majority found on only four passerine species: the great kiskadee, the greater thornbird, the little thornbird, and the freckle-breasted thornbird. These species were monitored every three days for data on the impact of parasites on survival and growth.

Predictably, researchers found that the more larvae the baby birds carried, the higher the chance of mortality; chicks with 10 larvae were twice as likely to die as chicks without parasites. One chick had as many as 47 larvae on its body. The fly larvae also impacted the growth rates of the baby birds; in five days, chicks that hosted 10 larvae grew 1.85 fewer grams than chicks that were parasite-free.

"Understanding how environmental factors influence the health of wildlife populations, and how this is changing in response to climate change, will help inform strategies to mitigate its deleterious effects," said Dr. Paul Calle, Director of Zoological Health for the Wildlife Conservation Society's Global Health Program.

Ongoing studies funded by Morris Animal Foundation will shed new light on the ecology of Philornis and their impact on chicks in the realm of climate change.



INFORMATION:


[Attachments] See images for this press release:
Study finds potential climate change side effect: More parasites on South American birds

ELSE PRESS RELEASES FROM THIS DATE:

Why we fight: Men check out in stressful situations

2010-09-29
A new study by USC researchers reveals that stressed men looking at angry faces had diminished activity in the brain regions responsible for understanding others' feelings. Turns out the silent and stoic response to stress might be a guy thing after all. "These are the first findings to indicate that sex differences in the effects of stress on social behavior extend to one of the most basic social transactions — processing someone else's facial expression," said Mara Mather, director of the Emotion and Cognition Lab at USC. In an article appearing the October 6 issue ...

Assessment of US doctoral programs released, offers data on more than 5,000 programs nationwide

2010-09-29
Sept. 28, 2010 — The National Research Council today released its assessment of U.S. doctoral programs, which includes data on over 5,000 programs in 62 fields at 212 universities nationwide. The assessment is designed to help universities evaluate and improve the quality of their programs and to provide prospective students with information on the nation's doctoral programs. (See Full Report) "This report and its large collection of quantitative data will become in our view an important and transparent instrument for strengthening doctoral education in the United States," ...

Pet allergies worsen hay fever symptoms, Queen's study finds

2010-09-29
Being allergic to dogs or cats may worsen your ragweed allergies, according to a study from Queen's University. Researchers found that people with pet allergies often develop ragweed allergy symptoms more quickly than others. But the study also suggests that once allergy season is in full swing, those symptom differences subside. The team, led by Anne Ellis, an assistant professor in the departments of medicine and microbiology & immunology, exposed 123 participants to ragweed, and noted that pet allergy sufferers reported symptoms differently than their non-animal ...

African-American seniors at twice the risk for mental abuse, 5 times for financial exploitation

2010-09-29
PITTSBURGH—In the first population-based survey to indicate a racial disparity in the psychological abuse of senior citizens, University of Pittsburgh researchers found that African American seniors could be twice as likely to be mistreated than elders of other races. The survey also revealed that African American elders could be up to five times more susceptible to being swindled. Reporting the survey results in The Gerontologist, the researchers urged that health care and social service workers be especially vigilant for the possible mistreatment of African American seniors. Lead ...

Model aims to reduce disaster toll on city's social, economic fabric

Model aims to reduce disaster toll on citys social, economic fabric
2010-09-29
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Researchers have created a computer model that predicts how a disaster's impact on critical infrastructure would affect a city's social and economic fabric, a potential tool to help reduce the severity of impacts, manage the aftermath of catastrophe and fortify infrastructure against future disasters. "The model works for any type of disaster that influences the infrastructure," said Makarand Hastak, head of construction engineering and management and a professor of civil engineering at Purdue University. "If we can identify in advance the most ...

John P. Holdren addresses climate change, stressing need for international cooperation

2010-09-29
In a recent keynote address before the Kavli Science Forum: 2010 in Oslo, Dr. John P. Holdren -- science advisor to U.S. President Barack Obama -- provided insight into why climate change is a priority to the Obama administration, and pressed the need for an international effort to mitigate, and adapt to, what he termed the effects of "global climate disruption." "We cannot solve the great problems of our time alone - any of us - as individual nations," he stated. "We need to solve them together, and science and technology pursued together are going to be immensely important ...

International scientific forum on alcohol research

2010-09-29
In a very large cohort of African-American women in the US, the association between the consumption of alcohol, tea, and coffee and the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus (late onset diabetes) was studied for 12 years. Tea and decaffeinated coffee showed no relation with diabetes, but the regular moderate intake of both caffeinated coffee and alcohol appeared to reduce the risk of contracting late onset diabetes significantly. This paper is particularly important because some previous studies have not shown a strong association between alcohol and the risk of ...

Study finds language barriers may play role in health care disparities

2010-09-29
(Boston) - Researchers from Boston Medical Center (BMC) and Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) have found that individuals who do not speak English at home are less likely to receive colorectal cancer screenings (CRC) as compared to those who do speak English at home. The findings, which currently appear on-line in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, suggest that patient-provider language barriers play a role in health-care disparities, and that providers should promote the importance of CRC screening to non-English speaking patients. The United States ...

Predicting divorce: U-M study shows how fight styles affect marriage

2010-09-29
AUDIO: A new University of Michigan study shows how fight styles affect marriage. Click here for more information. ANN ARBOR, Mich.---It's common knowledge that newlyweds who yell or call each other names have a higher chance of getting divorced. But a new University of Michigan study shows that other conflict patterns also predict divorce. A particularly toxic pattern is when one spouse deals with conflict constructively, by calmly discussing the situation, listening to their ...

Leading practitioners recommend global PTSD treatment guidelines

2010-09-29
Melbourne, Australia—September 28, 2010— In recent years, several guidelines in the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder have been put into practice globally. Practice guidelines across the health sphere are very important in guiding the care people receive. Although there is a high level of consensus on these guidelines among practitioners, there are also differences that can lead to confusion among providers, patients, and purchasers of mental health services for people affected by trauma. A new article in the Journal of Traumatic Stress written by the international ...

LAST 30 PRESS RELEASES:

The research was wrong: study shows moderate drinking won’t lengthen your life

Save your data on printable magnetic devices? New laser technique’s twist might make this reality

Early onset dementia more common than previously reported – the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease seems to be on the rise

Pesticides potentially as bad as smoking for increased risk in certain cancers

NUS researchers develop new battery-free technology to power electronic devices using ambient radiofrequency signals

New protein discovery may influence future cancer treatment

Timing matters: Scripps Research study shows ways to improve health alerts

New gene therapy approach shows promise for Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Chemical analyses find hidden elements from renaissance astronomer Tycho Brahe’s alchemy laboratory

Pacific Northwest launches clean hydrogen energy hub

Tiny deletion in heart muscle protein briefly affects embryonic ventricles but has long-term effects on adult atrial fibrillation

Harms of prescribing NSAIDs to high risk groups estimated to cost NHS £31m over 10 years

Wearing a face mask in public spaces cuts risk of common respiratory symptoms, suggests Norway study

Some private biobanks overinflating the value of umbilical cord blood banking in marketing to expectant parents

New research in fatty liver disease aims to help with early intervention

Genetics reveal ancient trade routes and path to domestication of the Four Corners potato

SNIS 2024: New study shows critical improvements in treating rare eye cancer in children

Wearable devices can increase health anxiety. Could they adversely affect health?

Addressing wounds of war

Rice researchers develop innovative battery recycling method

It’s got praying mantis eyes

Stroke recovery: It’s in the genes

Foam fluidics showcase Rice lab’s creative approach to circuit design

Montana State scientists publish evidence for new groups of methane-producing organisms

Daily rhythms depend on receptor density in biological clock

New England Journal of Medicine publishes outcomes from practice-changing E1910 trial for patients with BCR::ABL1-negative B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Older adults want to cut back on medication, but study shows need for caution

Nationwide flood models poorly capture risks to households and properties

Does your body composition affect your risk of dementia or Parkinson’s?

Researchers discover faster, more energy-efficient way to manufacture an industrially important chemical

[Press-News.org] Study finds potential climate change side effect: More parasites on South American birds
Study finds higher temperatures, precipitation levels mean greater harm by parasites to developing chicks