WI - Cormorant Research Group Scientific Literature Double-crested cormorant

Author/s: Kuiken T., Fox G.A. & Danesik K.L. 1999.

Title: Bill malformations in double-crested cormorants with low exposure to organochlorines.


Abstract: Eight of 20 newly hatched double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus) , captured at Dore Lake (Saskatchewan, Canada) and raised in captivity, developed malformed bills when they were 2 to 3 weeks old. Malformation was characterized by abnormal flexure and rotation of the maxilla and mandible, resulting in a crossed bill. By radiography, the premaxillary and dental bones were misshapen. Morphologically similar malformed bills in free-living cormorants have been attributed to exposure to polyhalogenated aromatic hydrocarbons. However, the concentrations of total PCBs in the livers of these captive cormorants with malformed bills and in their diet were lower than have been previously associated with such malformations and were considered too low to have been the cause. The bill malformations may have been caused by deficiency of vitamin D-3, because the cormorants were kept indoors without exposure to ultraviolet light and were fed frozen fish that may have been deficient in this vitamin.

Address: Kuiken T., Univ Saskatchewan, Western Coll Vet Med, Dept Vet Pathol, Canadian Cooperat Wildlife Hlth Ctr, 52 Campus Dr, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5B4, Canada Univ Saskatchewan 52 Campus Dr Saskatoon SK Canada S7N 5B4 Canada

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