Serum chemistry reference ranges for Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus) pups from Alaska: stock differentiation and comparisons within a North Pacific sentinel species

Michelle E LanderThomas R Loughlin


Blood chemistry and hematologic reference ranges are useful for population health assessment and establishing a baseline for future comparisons in the event of ecosystem changes due to natural or anthropogenic factors. The objectives of this study were to determine if there was any population spatial structure for blood variables of Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus), an established sentinel species, and to report reference ranges for appropriate populations using standardized analyses. In addition to comparing reference ranges between populations with contrasting abundance trends, data were examined for evidence of disease or nutritional stress. From 1998 to 2011, blood samples were collected from 1,231 pups captured on 37 rookeries across their Alaskan range. Reference ranges are reported separately for the western and eastern distinct population segments (DPS) of Steller sea lion after cluster analysis and discriminant function analysis (DFA) supported underlying stock structure. Variables with greater loading scores for the DFA (creatinine, total protein, calcium, albumin, cholesterol, and alkaline phosphatase) also were greater for sea lions from the endangered western DPS, supporting previous studies that indicated pup...Continue Reading


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Related Concepts

Human Geography
Nutritional Status
Sentinel Surveillance
Alkaline Phosphatase
Blood Chemical Analysis

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