Forsøksdyr: Toxicology of Svalbard Atlantic Puffin Colony

Godkjenningsdato 28.05.2018

The arctic is a sink for environmental contaminants as the planet’s circulation of atmospheric and sea currents deposit pollutants from around the globe at the poles. Many of these pollutants have been recorded in other seabird species on Svalbard, with detrimental effects on their endocrine system, breeding, and survival. While studies have been done on the Northern Norway Atlantic puffin populations for decades, as well as other seabird populations, no in-depth studies have been performed on the Svalbard puffin populations due to their low numbers and inaccessible nest locations. In order to predict how these populations will react to climate change and other anthropogenic influences, a baseline of their ecology is needed. Information on what resources they use, where they go, and how they are already being affected by pollutants is necessary to protect their populations in the future.
We aim to determine what pollutants are present in the blood of the Svalbard puffins as well as use observation to record their diet, chick growth, and colony behavior. External light loggers will also be deployed to identify Svalbard puffin migration routes and wintering areas. 50 adult puffins and 20 chicks will be the required sample sizes to address these shortfalls. The 3Rs will be addressed by using the minimum sample size of wild birds for statistical analysis, using distance observation when possible to minimize handling, ensuring that their handling is kept under 10 minutes to avoid stress, and the minimum is taken for blood sampling.