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Huitzil

On-line version ISSN 1870-7459

Abstract

ESCOBAR-ANLEU, Bárbara I. et al. Possible incidence of avipoxvirus or other pathogen affecting Guatemalan birds. Huitzil [online]. 2019, vol.20, n.2, e557. ISSN 1870-7459.  http://dx.doi.org/10.28947/hrmo.2019.20.2.402.

During January-February 2019 we made casual observations and documented birds with macroscopic lesions suspicious of avian pox or some type of tumor on their head. The individuals were from eight species (five migratory and three resident) and were observed in three different locations of Guatemala. The migratory species were Painted Bunting (Passerina ciris: Cardinalidae), Swainson’s Thrush (Catharus ustulatus: Turdidae), Tennessee Warbler (Oreothlypis peregrina: Parulidae), Western Tanager (Piranga ludoviciana: Cardinalidae) and Rose-breasted Grossbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus: Cardinalidae), while the resident species were Red-legged Honeycreeper (Cyanerpes cyaneus: Thraupidae), Yellow-crowned Euphonia (Euphonia luteicapilla: Fringillidae) and Blue-gray Tanager (Thraupis episcopus: Thraupidae). Although the lesions look similar to avian pox, none of these individuals were captured, so a definite diagnosis has not been established yet. Currently we are working on a research project to take pathological samples and confirm the diagnosis but we consider that the scientific community should be alert about this situation, as both resident and migratory species are affected and we still don’t know the consequences this could have for the avifauna and the ecosystems in general.

Keywords : avian pox; Central America; Guatemala; migratory birds; resident birds.

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