TREE SWALLOWS (TACHYCINETA BICOLOR) NESTING ONWETLANDS IMPACTED BY OIL SANDS MINING ARE HIGHLYPARASITIZED BY THE BIRD BLOW FLY PROTOCALLIPHORA SPP.

Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) Science Article 3

abstract

Oil sands mining is steadily expanding in Alberta, Canada. Major companies areplanning reclamation strategies for mine tailings, in which wetlands will be used for thebioremediation of water and sediments contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons andnaphthenic acids during the extraction process. A series of experimental wetlands were built oncompanies’ leases to assess the feasibility of this approach, and tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor)were designated as upper trophic biological sentinels. From May to July 2004, prevalence andintensity of infestation with bird blow flies Protocalliphora spp. (Diptera: Calliphoridae) weremeasured in nests on oil sands reclaimed wetlands and compared with those on a reference site.

Marie-Line Gentes et al., Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 43(2), 2007, pp. 167-178

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