The endangered California Condor (Gymnogyps californianus) population is exposed to local haemosporidian parasites
Permanent link to this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12613/4232
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Abstract© 2020, The Author(s). The endangered California Condor (Gymnogyps californianus) is the largest New World Vulture in North America. Despite recovery program success in saving the species from extinction, condors remain compromised by lead poisoning and limited genetic diversity. The latter makes this species especially vulnerable to infectious diseases. Thus, taking advantage of the program of blood lead testing in Arizona, condor blood samples from 2008 to 2018 were screened for haemosporidian parasites using a nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) protocol that targets the parasite mitochondrial cytochrome b gene. Plasmodium homopolare (Family Plasmodiidae, Order Haemosporida, Phylum Apicomplexa), was detected in condors captured in 2014 and 2017. This is the first report of a haemosporidian species infecting California Condors, and the first evidence of P. homopolare circulating in the Condor population from Arizona. Although no evidence of pathogenicity of P. homopolare in Condors was found, this study showed that the California Condors from Arizona are exposed to haemosporidian parasites that likely are spilling over from other local bird species. Thus, active surveillance should be an essential part of conservation efforts to mitigate the impact of infectious diseases, an increasingly recognized cause of global wildlife extinctions worldwide, particularly in avian populations considered vulnerable or endangered.
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Has partScientific Reports
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