We report the first case of mycoplasmosis in the western range of the House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus). This disease originated in the eastern United States and has been previously documented only in eastern introduced House Finch populations where it reached epizootic proportions causing extensive and widespread mortality. Documentation of this dis-ease in western Montana suggests that previously disjunct eastern and western populations of House Finches are now mixing in the northern part of their range. More importantly, as native House Finches are highly susceptible to this novel pathogen, western populations may now be at risk of high mortality, similar to that experienced by non-native eastern populations. Close monitoring of this disease in the western part of the House Finch range will provide important insight into the dynamics of the emerging disease and evolution of resistance to the pathogen.
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Vol. 120 • No. 2