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Could introducing confiscated parrots to zoological collections jeopardise conservation breeding programmes?


Confiscated parrots are frequently introduced to captive populations in zoological institutions, regularly with insufficient health screening. This short communication describes a case where 25 confiscated parrots, from four different locations, were brought to the same zoological institution within two years, where they were kept under quarantine conditions. A year after the last birds arrived, several birds died due to either proventricular dilatation disease or herpesvirus infection. As all individuals belonged to rare species, the surviving birds were transferred to the Justus-Liebig-University in Giessen, Germany, for thorough diagnostics including parrot bornavirus, psittacine herpesvirus 1, adenovirus, polyomavirus, circovirus, Chlamydia psittaci, and mycobacteria. Birds that tested negative for all pathogens were transferred to captive breeding programmes, whereas pathogen carriers were paired up in collections of a similar pathogen status. This case report highlights the dangers of latent infections with different pathogens and the importance of managed screening programmes if such populations are to be considered for conservation.

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Bird Conservation International
  • ISSN: 0959-2709
  • EISSN: 1474-0001
  • URL: /core/journals/bird-conservation-international
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