Island species are particularly vulnerable to environmental disturbances and introduced pathogens. Conducting health assessments of wild populations in the Galápagos improves the ability of wildlife managers and veterinarians to detect deteriorations in health status. Seabirds in particular are useful species to monitor due to their colonial breeding and wide migration range. Nazca boobies (Sula granti) in a breeding colony at Daphne Major (n = 30) were given physical examinations, and blood samples were collected for hematology and biochemistry using an iSTAT Portable Clinical Analyzer. Female boobies had longer wing length than males, as well as lower blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, and white blood cell counts. This could be attributed to sexual dimorphism or differences in foraging and mating strategies between the sexes. The time between capture and blood collection had a significant inverse relationship on plasma sodium, potassium, hemoglobin, anion gaps, and lymphocyte counts, suggesting that blood sampling in Nazca boobies should be done in less than 5 m to avoid the impacts of stress on hematological parameters. This is the first health assessment on the breeding colony of Nazca boobies at Daphne Major, and the results can inform future monitoring in this species as well as other sulids.
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