Date of Award
Master of Science
Wildlife and Fisheries Science
Ralph W. Dimmick
Michael R. Pelton, Curtis C. Melton
A total of 146 bobwhite quail (Colinus virqinianus) was collected during the winters of 1972-73 and 1973-74, from three study areas in the southeastern United States. The quail were examined to determine levels of body fat, burden of gastrointestinal helminths, adrenal weights, body weight, and pancreas weight. Fat was extracted using a Soxhlet ether extraction apparatus, and was expressed as a percent of oven-dry weight. Percent body fat differed significantly between all areas. Females were higher in fat than were males. The burden of gastrointestinal helminths varied from area to area and showed fluctuations for 1972-73 to 1973-74. Only one species of nematode, Heterakis bonasae, was common to all three areas. A proventricular worm, Tetrameres pattersoni, was found on two of the areas during the second year only. The rate of cestode infection (19.3 percent) was lower than the rate of nematode infection (88.3 percent), Adult quail had heavier adrenals than did juveniles. Heavier adrenals were associated with decreased fat levels. On one area, parasite load had a significant effect on adrenal weight. Quail from the two northernmost areas were heavier than those from the southernmost area. Quail from the two areas where soybeans (Glycine max) were available had heavier pancreas than did quail from the other area. This size difference has been attributed to the presence of an antitrypsin in raw soybeans. Percent body fat, adrenal weight, and parasite burden in combination may provide a good and valid indicator of condition for a population, once norms, or base values, for that population are established.
Dabney, Joseph M., "An evaluation of physiological condition of bobwhite quail in southeastern United States. " Master's Thesis, University of Tennessee, 1974.