The western arctic population of King Eiders (Somateria spectabilis) has declined by >50% in recent years. A health assessment was conducted for adult King Eiders breeding on the north slope of Alaska, USA, to evaluate body condition (n=90, 2002–2006) and baseline biochemical and hematologic values (n=20–30, 2005–2006). Body condition for males and females was excellent. Total protein, calcium, alkaline phosphatase, amylase, and globulin were significantly higher in females than in males, likely because of differences in reproductive physiology. These baseline health data can be used to promote conservation of King Eiders and other closely related species of concern.
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Vol. 46 • No. 4