Two diseased young white-tailed laurel-pigeons (Columba junoniae), an endemic and endangered species of the Canary Islands (Spain), were found in La Palma. They were very depressed and had severe cutaneous yellowish nodular lesions in feathered and un-feathered areas on the bodies of both birds. Necropsy and histopathologic analyses were conducted. The presence of epidermal hypertrophy and hyperplasia in cutaneous lesions, as well as several acidophilic intracytoplasmic inclusions in affected epithelial cells (Bollinger bodies), confirmed avian poxvirus infection. This is the first report of avian pox in white-tailed laurel-pigeons or in any other free-ranging bird in the Canaries, and it might indicate that other threatened birds of the Canarian Archipelago may be affected by this viral disease.
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Vol. 40 • No. 2