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Mosquito vectors and mosquito transmitted pathogens in Bearded Vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) breeding territories

AuthorsGonzalez-Serrano, Pilar; Fernández de Mera, Isabel G.; Delacour, Sarah; Lucientes Curdi, Javier; Blanco, Juan Manuel; Clemente, César; Báguena, G.; Gil, Juan Antonio; Höfle, Ursula
Issue Date2019
CitationEuropean Vulture Conference (2019)
AbstractAmong the most feared effects of global warming is the geographic expansion of the hematophagous insect vectors and the pathogens they are able to transmit. Species living isolated on islands or at high altitudes, like the bearded vulture, are particularly vulnerable to these processes, as their isolation implies also less contact with pathogens and as a consequence less development of specific defences. Recently, cases of West Nile fever and avian malaria have been observed in bearded vultures kept in captivity, showing their susceptibility to both diseases. However exposure and incidence of these pathogens in free living bearded vultures are still unknown. Between May and August 2018 we captured mosquitoes in seven bearded vulture territories in the Pyrenees and Pre-Pyrenees in the Community of Aragon. Sampling took place during the final part of the nesting period of the bearded vultures, using CDC light traps and Bgsentinel traps baited with CO2 situated below the cliff of nesting site of breeding bearded vultures. Captures revealed the presence of sand flies and Culex gender mosquitoes during this period even in territories located at an altitude of over 2000m, but especially and in higher abundance in territories situated at lower altitudes in the Pre-Pyrenees. In one of these territories we were able to detect carriage of Plasmodium (P.) relictum and P. vaughani in Culex gender mosquitoes and particularly in Culex pipiens species. These results suggest the potential exposure of bearded vulture nestlings to P.relictum, the main causal agent of avian malaria at least in the territories situated in Guara mountains, in the Aragonese Pre-Pyrenees.
DescriptionResumen del trabajo presentado a la European Vulture Conference, celebrada en el Algarve (Portugal) del 1 al 4 de octubre de 2019.
Appears in Collections:(IREC) Comunicaciones congresos
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