Avian Toxicology Field Studies



Smithers Viscient presents the experience and capability to conduct field studies for measuring environmental behavior, fate, and effects to non-target organisms of specific compounds. Field studies generally involve monitoring of various environmental matrices as well as individual animals and/or local populations prior to, during, and after the application of a test substance. Studies may involve observation and census of individuals of one or more species within the treated area and surroundings, as well as recording the behavior, activities and viability of the species of interest. Individual organisms may be captured for direct observation, blood chemistry analysis or residue determination. Studies may involve monitoring any number of avian, mammalian, reptilian, invertebrate, aquatic, or plant species.

Smithers Viscient has garnered a reputation for developing unique, study designs tailors to our client’s specific research needs. Just a few examples of the breadth of method and scope that Smithers Viscient has addressed with our tailored field study designs include:

  • Utilizing hand-held and/or automated radio-telemetry to track species’ exposure effects and survival.
  • Deploying remote time-lapse, infrared micro-videography to monitor avian nesting success without disturbing the natural behavior of the species of interest.
  • Establishing remote videography stations to monitor honey bee use patterns of flowers within treated and control crops.
  • Combining videography with automated fecal-urate collection systems to compare hormonal activity with feeding and breeding behavior of captive passerines, wild passerines, and wild gallinaceous birds.
  • Correlating passerine activity levels with those of environmental conditions by means of subqutaneously implanted RFID (Radio Frequency Identification tags), marker signal collection at discreet automated monitoring stations.
  • Constructing in-ground invertebrate enclosures and above-ground flying invertebrate traps to collect and measure chemical residues of potential avian food items.
  • Chemical measurement in soil and water run-off (mass balace) and non-target plant effects evaluation.
  • Monitoring of wild or captive animals penned within the study field or test plot.

The Snow Camp, North Carolina Research Center resides on a unique 50-acre parcel of land. At the site we have constructed above-ground enclosures used as either microcosm test ponds capable of supporting aquatic plant and invertebrate species, or as enclosures for terrestrial plants and invertebrates. We have also constructed an aviary measuring 300 ft by 150 feed and divided into six replicate pens each measuring 150 ft. by 50 ft. Each pen has fresh water plumbing and electrical service and each contains a fresh-water pond. Pens are maintained with mowed turf ground cover that can be used as is or converted to agricultural crop for real-world pesticide applications. Both types of outdoor test structures were developed for studies requiring detailed measurements of the test systems contained there-in. Smithers Viscient’s Research Center offers a highly diverse complement of field studies for product development, registration or defense, and data gap needs. Smithers Viscient welcomes the challenge to help clients address even the most perplexing of research needs.

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