Blood-borne parasites in the Black Vulture Coragyps atratus in northwestern Costa Rica

  • Marian Wahl


Blood parasites of 17 Black Vultures (Coragyps atratus) were surveyed. The birds were captured from two sites- a garbage dump in Miramar, Puntarenas and a beach in Cuajiniquil, Guanacaste, of Costa Rica. Two blood smears were made per bird, stained, and examined for Haemoproteus, Leucocytozoon, Trypanosoma, Plasmodium and microfilaria presence. Both Plasmodium and microfilaria were found, with an overall prevalence of blood parasites of 70.6% (76.92% in Puntarenas, 50% in Guanacaste). The overall prevalence of Plasmodium was 46.2% and of microfilaria 58.8%. Chi-squared tests revealed capture location had no effect on presence of Plasmodium, while microfilariae were significantly more common at the Puntarenas site. No Haemoproteus, Leucocytozoon, or Trypanosoma were observed at either site


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eISSN: 1606-7479