The Galápagos penguin (Spheniscus mendiculus) is an endangered species endemic to the Galápagos Islands, Ecuador. In 2003 and 2004, 195 penguins from 13 colonies on the islands of Isabela and Fernandina in the Galápagos archipelago were examined. Genetic sexing of 157 penguins revealed 62 females and 95 males. Hematology consisted of packed cell volume (n=134), white blood cell differentials (n=83), and hemoparasite blood smear evaluation (n=114). Microfilariae were detected in 22% (25/114) of the blood smears. Female penguins had significantly higher eosinophil counts than males. Serum chemistry on 83 penguins revealed no significant differences between males and females. Birds were seronegative to avian paramyxovirus type 1–3, avian influenza virus, infectious bursal disease virus, Marek's disease virus (herpes), reovirus, avian encephalomyelitis virus, and avian adenovirus type 1 and 2 (n=75), as well as to West Nile virus (n=87), and Venezuelan, western and eastern equine encephalitis viruses (n=26). Seventy-five of 84 (89%) penguins had antibodies to Chlamydophila psittaci but chlamydial DNA was not detected via polymerase chain reaction in samples from 30 birds.
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Vol. 42 • No. 3