Bolivia has a total of 47 species of Psittacidae, seven of which have been identified in our study site, the semiarid Gran Chaco of the Isoso. One species, the blue-fronted parrot (Amazona aestiva), is frequently captured by local Isoseño Guaraní Indians for exploitation on the national and international market. These birds are often temporarily housed in small villages under unhygienic conditions with poultry and other domestic species. On occasion, these parrots escape back to the wild. Additionally, many of these birds are kept as pets or are used to lure wild parrots within slingshot range for subsequent capture. In this study, we evaluated the health status, including the level of exposure to selected infectious agents, in the wild-caught captive birds and free-ranging birds. Physical examinations were performed, and blood was collected, from 54 live birds (20 captive and 34 free-ranging). Feces were collected from 15 birds (seven captive and eight free-ranging). Necropsies were also performed on four recently dead wild-caught birds. On serologic testing, no birds were found to have antibodies to avian influenza virus, Chlamydophila psittaci, infectious bronchitis virus, infectious bursal disease virus, infectious laryngotracheitis virus, Marek's disease virus, paramyxovirus-1, paramyxovirus-2, paramyxovirus-3, polyomavirus, eastern equine encephalitis virus, western equine encephalitis virus, or Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus. Positive antibody titers were found for psittacine herpesvirus (8/44, 18.2%), Aspergillus spp. (3/51, 5.9%), and Salmonella pullorum (33/49, 67.3%). All three of the birds that tested antibody positive for Aspergillus spp. were captive, whereas six of the eight and 15 of the 33 birds that tested positive for psittacine herpesvirus and S. pullorum, respectively, were wild.
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Vol. 36 • No. 4