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Catalog Record: Epidemic of Beak Deformities (Avian Keratin Disorder) among Wild Bird Populations
Filename: imported_locations

Organizations

USGS
Primary
USFWS
UAF
NSF

Epidemic of Beak Deformities (Avian Keratin Disorder) among Wild Bird Populations

Documenting species affected by beak deformities, tracking the prevalence of beak deformities and their effect on survival and reproduction, and testing for various factors that could be contributing to beak deformities such as contaminants, disease, parasites and nutritional imbalances.

Since January 1998, about 2000 birds of 30 different species have been reported in Alaska with grossly deformed beaks. Most sightings have been concentrated in south-central Alaska but recently a smaller cluster of observations has been reported from the Pacific Northwest (notably Puget Sound area). Outside of Alaska, we have received about 300 reports of individuals of over 80 species of wild birds with similarly deformed beaks scattered across North America. In Alaska, prevalence of these abnormalities appears to be highest among black-capped chickadees and various corvid species, including northwestern crows, Stellar’s jays and black-billed magpies. The geographic distribution of deformities and high prevalence among resident birds suggest an acute, ecosystem-wide problem, but the cause and geographic origin of deformities are still unknown.

In this research project we are tracking the spatial and temporal distribution of the deformities across North America, documenting the species affected, determining effects of the deformities on reproduction and survival, and testing for contaminants, disease, parasites, nutritional imbalances, and other factors as potential causes.

Ongoing
2005-10-01
2017-09-30

Data and Resources

  • View website

    Website :: Program Description

    http://alaska.usgs.gov/science/biology/landbirds/beak_deformity/index.html

  • View website

    Website :: Project Description

    http://alaska.usgs.gov/portal/project.php?project_id=107

Status: Ongoing
Start Date: 2005/10/01
Type: Project
End Date: 2017/09/30
Primary Contacts
Name: Colleen Handel
Email: cmhandel@usgs.gov
Primary Organizations
Type
US Geological Survey
Federal

Other Organizations
US Fish and Wildlife Service, University of Alaska Fairbanks, National Science Foundation

Regions
Alaska

Direct Record Link
http://catalog.northslopescience.org/catalog/entries/3104-epidemic-of-beak-deformities-avian-keratin-dis
Direct Full Map Link
http://catalog.northslopescience.org/catalog/entries/3104-epidemic-of-beak-deformities-avian-keratin-dis/map