Prevalence and distribution of pox-like lesions, avian malaria, and mosquito vectors in Kipahulu valley, Haleakala National Park, Hawai'i, USA
We determined prevalence and altitudinal distribution of introduced avian malarial infections (Plasmodium relictum) and pox-like lesions (Avipoxvirus) in forest birds from Kīpahulu Valley, Haleakalā National Park, on the island of Maui, and we identified primary larval habitat for the mosquito vector of this disease. This intensively managed wilderness area and scientific reserve is one of the most pristine areas of native forest remaining in the state of Hawai‘i, and it will become increasingly important as a site for restoration and recovery of endangered forest birds. Overall prevalence of malarial infections in the valley was 8% (11/133) in native species and 4% (4/101) in nonnative passerines; prevalence was lower than reported for comparable elevations and habitats elsewhere in the state. Infections occurred primarily in ‘Apapane (Himatione sanguinea) and Hawai‘i ‘Amakihi (Hemignathus virens) at elevations below 1,400 m. Pox-like lesions were detected in only two Hawai‘i ‘Amakihi (2%; 2/94) at elevations below 950 m. We did not detect malaria or pox in birds caught at 1,400 m in upper reaches of the valley. Adult mosquitoes (Culex quinquefasciatus) were captured at four sites at elevations of 640, 760, 915, and 975 m, respectively. Culex quinquefasciatus larvae were found only in rock holes along intermittent tributaries of the two largest streams in the valley, but not in standing surface water, pig wallows, ground pools, tree cavities, and tree fern cavities. Mosquito populations in the valley are low, and they are probably influenced by periods of high rainfall that flush stream systems.
|Prevalence and distribution of pox-like lesions, avian malaria, and mosquito vectors in Kipahulu valley, Haleakala National Park, Hawai'i, USA
|Journal of Wildlife Diseases
|Wildlife Disease Association
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