Four little bustards (Tetrax tetrax) (one adult and three juvenile males), captured with leg nooses and fitted with a backpack radiotag, died after capture. The first bird was found after 16 days with its left foot caught in the harness and died after 1 day. The other birds showed symptoms of capture myopathy after release, such as the difficulty or inability to fly and/or walk. They died after 5, 6, and 8 days, respectively. At necropsy, muscles affected in all cases were those from the legs, and these were diffusely pale and dull, with a soft friable texture. Microscopically these muscles had multiple foci of myofiber fragmentation, loss of striation, and necrosis; a mononuclear cell infiltrate was observed in muscle from two birds. These findings suggest the little bustard is susceptible to capture myopathy and that caution should be exercised during its capture and handling.
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Vol. 42 • No. 4