Wild animal populations face threats from pathogens from both intentionally released captive animals and domestic animals that accompany human settlements. From December 2004 through August 2005, we studied free living macaws and parrots in the Tambopata National Reserve in the Peruvian Amazon and semicaptive domestic fowl in human settlements adjacent to the reserve. In 1992–1993, large macaws (Aras spp.) that were serologically positive for Salmonella Pullorum were released into this reserve, which hosts dense populations of free-living parrots and macaws. We collected cloacal swabs from 64 birds and cultured for Salmonella spp. via standard laboratory methods. All 35 psittacines tested were culture negative for Salmonella spp., while 31% of 29 domestic fowl were culture positive. Our findings suggest that the domestic fowl that accompany human settlement in this region carry and shed Salmonella spp. that could threaten wild bird populations in and around the reserve.
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Vol. 46 • No. 3