Effects of parasites on the Crested Tern Thalasseus bergii

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Abstract

Total white blood cell counts of pre-hatching chicks are very low”supporting the view thattes found in the blood of tern chicks. Granulocytes were highest in newly hatched chicks and attained adult levels at 11“15 days of age; mononuclear cells were lowest in newly hatched chicks and attained adult levels at the same time as granulocytes. This suggests that the immune system of Crested Terns changes from a non-specific (innate) system to a specific (acquired) system within two weeks of hatching”an early development compared to other birds but perhaps more typical of colonial nesting species.The parasites of the Crested Tern were documented at the two colony sites and revealed no evidence of haematoparasites and little evidence of other endoparasites. An examination of 288 adults and chicks revealed significant infection by one species of tick (Seabird Soft Tick Carios capensis) and three species of lice (Austromenopon atrofulvum, Saemundssonia laticaudata and Quadracepts sellatus) with an additional tick species found only occasionally (Kohl's Seabird Tick Ixodes kohlsi). There was little evidence of parasite overlap with other potential hosts (Little Penguin Eudyptula minor, shearwaters Puffinus sp., White's Skink Egernia whitii, Common Garden Skink Lampropholis guichenoti), or even with Silver Gulls Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae which nested within the crèching areas of the Crested Terns. Identification keys were produced for the lice species and extended to include all the Australian larids.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Charles Sturt University
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Raidal, Shane, Co-Supervisor
  • Grillo, Tiggy, Co-Supervisor
  • Klomp, Nick, Co-Supervisor, External person
Award date01 Jan 2002
Place of PublicationAustralia
Publisher
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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