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Evaluating the Nutritional Status in Captive Saddle-billed Storks

Dallas Zoo
Dallas, Texas
DOI: 10.18258/8109
Grant: Zoos
Raised of $5,000 Goal
Funded on 12/18/16
Successfully Funded
  • $5,146
  • 102%
  • Funded
    on 12/18/16



All North American Saddle-billed Stork holding institutions will be requested to collect blood samples for a Vitamin Profile (Vitamins A, E and beta-carotene), a Primary Trace Nutrient Panel (Cobalt, Copper, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Selenium, Zinc), and a Vitamin D Profile (PTH, Ionized Calcium, 25-hydroxyvitamin D).  This request can be accomplished via manual restraint and with minimal stress to the individual bird.

Additionally, a diet and health/pathology survey (attached) will be sent to holding institutions to document dietary nutrient composition of breeding pairs and elucidate any hatchability/viability concerns in eggs laid by these pairs.


It's always difficult performing a study that requires input from multiple institutions.  Trying to coordinate sample submissions and communication can be very challenging.  Happily I feel that all Saddlebilled Stork holding institutions are committed to this project and should all work together for a positive outcome.

Pre Analysis Plan

GOAL: Examine circulating vitamins A, E, D, carotenoids and mineral levels as well as vitamin D/calcium indicators across the managed U.S. population regardless of age or gender. This will provide a broad picture of ‘normal’ circulating levels and allow breeding status, age and gender to be examined.  A diet survey and a health /pathology survey will be sent to all institutions. 


OBJECTIVES: 1) Diet analysis and comparison with nutrients of concern noted and conveyed back to the original institutions.  2) Embryo/chick pathology will be compared as well as examined for dietary correlations. 3) Examine differences in circulating levels of the above-mentioned nutrients in birds that have successfully hatched chicks versus pairs where chicks have died prior to hatch.