Greater Sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) are a species of concern due to shrinking populations associated with habitat fragmentation and loss. Baseline health parameters for this species are limited or lacking, especially with regard to tissue metal concentrations. To obtain a range of tissue metal concentrations, livers were collected from 71 Greater Sage-grouse from Wyoming and Montana. Mean±SE metal concentrations (mg/kg wet weight) in liver were determined for vanadium (V) (0.12±0.01), chromium (Cr) (0.50±0.02), manganese (Mn) (2.68±0.11), iron (Fe) (1,019±103), nickel (Ni) (0.40±0.04), cobalt (Co) (0.08±0.02), copper (Cu) (6.43±0.40), mercury (Hg) (0.30±0.09), selenium (Se) (1.45±0.64), zinc (Zn) (59.2±4.70), molybdenum (Mo) (0.93 ± 0.07), cadmium (Cd) (1.44 ± 0.14), barium (Ba) (0.20 ± 0.03), and lead (Pb) (0.17 ± 0.03). In addition to providing baseline data, metal concentrations were compared between sex, age (juvenile/adult), and West Nile virus (WNv) groups (positive/negative). Adult birds had higher concentrations of Ni and Cd compared to juveniles. In addition, Zn and Cu concentrations were significantly elevated in WNv-positive birds.
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Vol. 44 • No. 2