Wildlife Conservation Society

Oct 21, 2019

1 min read

3-Sentence Science

The Inside Story of Shorebird Guts

October 4, 2019

CREDIT: ZAK POHLEN

ach year, Wildlife Conservation Society scientists publish more than 300 peer-reviewed studies and papers. “WCS 3-Sentence Science” is a regular tip-sheet — in bite sized helpings — of some of this published work.

Here we present work by WCS Beringia’s Rebecca McGuire on gut bacteria in shorebird species.

  1. Researchers looked at gut microbiota — which can have important effects of host health — of eight shorebird species at breeding sites in the Arctic and Subarctic of North America.
  2. They found that breeding location was the main driver of variation in gut microbiota of breeding shorebirds, followed by shorebird host species, and sampling year; but most variation remained unexplained.
  3. The study is the first to highlight the potential importance of local environment as a driver of gut microbiota composition in wild, migratory birds under natural conditions.

Study and Journal: “Composition and drivers of gut microbial communities in Arctic-breeding shorebirds” from Frontiers in Microbiology
WCS Co-Author(s): Rebecca McGuire, WCS Beringia Program

For more information, contact: Stephen Sautner, 718–220–3682, ssautner@wcs.org.