Photo: Jacob G. Salinas
The red-billed tropicbird, Phaethon aethereus, is a species of seabird native to the Galápagos archipelago, and widely distributed across the neotropics. General health, blood chemistry, and haematology parameters have not been published for this species. Blood analyses were performed on samples drawn from 51 clinically healthy red-billed tropicbirds captured from their burrows at Islote Pitt on San Cristóbal Island in July, 2016 (21) and Daphne Major Island in June, 2017 (30). In the field, a point of care blood analyser (iSTAT) was used to obtain results for HCO3-, pH, pCO2, pO2, TCO2, iCa, Na, K, Cl, Hb, HCT, anion gap, creatinine, glucose and urea nitrogen. Additionally, a portable Lactate PlusTM analyser was used to measure blood lactate, and blood smears were also created in situ. The blood slides were used to estimate leukocyte counts and 100-cell differentials. Alongside these biochemistry and haematology parameters, average heart rate, respiratory rate, body temperature and scaled mass index (calculated from weight and a body measurement) were compared to determine the standard measurements for a healthy individual. The baseline data, and reference intervals reported in this paper are essential to detecting changes in the health of red-billed tropicbirds in the future.
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