Forsøksdyr: Metabolic consequences of maternal contaminants transfer in an Arctic seabird

Godkjenningsdato 01.06.2020

Godkjenningsperiode 02.06.2020-31.08.2021

1 Purpose
This is a follow up study of FOTS ID 19970 and our studies on Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), endocrinology, reproduction and migration in this study system (kittiwakes, Kongsfjorden, Svalbard). We know from last year that females kittiwakes transfer significant amount of several PFAS into the yolk of their eggs. And, the amount of PFAS in the first-laid egg is highly correlated to the amount of PFAS transferred to the second egg. Our previous investigations have shown that PFAS upregulate thyroids hormones and metabolic rate. The first objective of the 2020 study is thus to relate the consequences of PFAS transfer on the developing embryo by measuring heart rate of the developing embryo (as a proxy of metabolic rate) from the first egg (which will be incubated in an incubator), in relation to the amount of PFAS measured in the second egg (as amount of PFAS from second egg predicts amount of PFAS present in the first egg). This will be done in 14 nests (thus 28 collected eggs in total). The second objective of the 2020 season is to study the consequences of reproductive investment on subsequent migratory movements (via GLS tracking). To do so, we will take advantage of the clutch removal made in the 14 nests to record the post breeding migratory behavior of adults (14 males, 14 females) and compare it to control nests (14 males, 14 females).
2 Distress
Catching and handling (gls-logger deployment-) is gentle/efficient and lasts a maximum of 10-15 mins. The gls-logger (2 gram) will be carried on a leg ring for one year. We regard distress to be low to moderate.
3 Expected benefit
It is a critical task to study the pollutants that are long-range transported and deposited in Polar Regions and the potential effect on Arctic wildlife, especially the marine top-predators. A benefit to the society is that our study can provide important information to international processes and conventions, as a few of the fluorinated substances are regulated by international conventions while the vast majority is not. The study is scientific novel and will provide new knowledge about i) the consequences of maternal PFASs transfer in kittiwake eggs and ii) reproductive investment on subsequent migration/carry over effects.
4 Number of animals, and what kind
In this study we will deploy 56 adult kittiwakes.
5 How to adhere to 3R
This is a minimum number of animals to answer the research questions. Last year (FOTS ID 19970) we conducted a similar study, but the very poor 2019 breeding season resulted in almost all control nests being predated by glaucous gulls. We are studying how arctic seabirds are affected by persistent organic pollutants which are long-range transported to the Polar Regions. Therefore, laboratory studies or non-animal models cannot be used to answer the questions in this project. We have long experience in the field methods which we have practiced and refined over 25 years. The miniaturized gls-logger, easily carried on a leg ring, is also example of ‘refinement'..