The kakapo (Strigops habroptilus) is a critically endangered New Zealand parrot. The presence of house sparrows (Passer domesticus) infected with a potentially pathogenic phage type of Salmonella enterica on the 2 islands that contain the remaining kakapo caused concern that this phage type might infect the kakapo and threaten their survival. This study sought to determine the presence or absence of Salmonella and Campylobacter species in the kakapo population of Codfish Island, New Zealand. Fecal and cloacal swab samples from kakapo were collected during an annual health examination and cultured for Salmonella and Campylobacter species. None of the cultures from the 39 birds sampled were positive for either organism. Results of this study suggest that kakapo on Codfish Island are not currently infected with these organisms. However, management changes have been made to reduce the risk of disease transmission from feral birds, and surveillance for these organisms in the kakapo will be continued.
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Vol. 17 • No. 4