Reintroduction is a growing field in the conservation of endangered species. The vinaceous Amazon parrot (Amazona vinacea) is extinct in several areas, and a project to release confiscated individuals to their former range is currently underway. The objective of this study was to evaluate and improve the selection and treatment of individual release candidates by detecting possible pathogen carriers using samples taken before and during release. As part of prerelease health protocols, samples were obtained from 29 parrots on three different occasions while in captivity and once after their release. Samples were screened for paramyxovirus type 1, avian influenza, poxvirus, coronavirus, psittacine herpesvirus 1, Chlamydia psittaci, enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC), Salmonella spp., and endoparasites. The majority of samples returned negative results, with the exception of two individuals that tested positive for C. psittaci in the first sampling and for Ascaridia spp. in the second pooled sampling. Treatments for C. psittaci and endoparasites were administered prior to release, and negative results were obtained in subsequent exams. The number of positive results for E. coli (non-EPEC) decreased during the rehabilitation period. Adequate quarantine procedures and health examinations greatly minimize disease risks. The protocols employed in this study resulted in acceptable health status in accordance with current environmental legislation in Brazil. Additionally, protocols allowed informed decisions to release candidates, minimized risks, and favored the selection of healthy individuals, thereby contributing to the recovery of this species. It is important to determine appropriate minimum health-screening protocols when advanced diagnostics may not be available or high costs make the tests prohibitive in countries where confiscations occur. We hypothesize that a minimum panel of tests of pooled samples can serve as an alternative approach that minimizes costs and overall workload and supports projects intended to restore and promote flagship species and hamper their illegal trade.
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