The Effects of Avian Chlamydiosis on Reintroduction Programs in Costa Rica

TitleThe Effects of Avian Chlamydiosis on Reintroduction Programs in Costa Rica
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication1999
AuthorsLowden, Mindy
Academic DepartmentZoology
Thesis AdvisorHouck, Lynne D
DegreeBachelor of Arts in International Studies in Zoology
Number of Pages30
Date Published06/1999
UniversityOregon State University
Thesis TypeUndergraduate
Keywordsavian chlamydiosis, birds, Costa Rica, prevention, Reintroduction programs, Scarlet Macaws, zoology

Reintroduction programs are increasingly important in areas such as Costa Rica where many native species of birds are endangered. Scarlet Macaws are most often the species reintroduced in Costa Rica. I was an intern the summer of 1998 from a reintroduction program in Costa Rica called Amigos de las Aves. The staff at Amigos de las Aves encountered a disease called avian chlamydiosis in January of 1998. If captive-bred birds from this and other organizations are released and potentially have avian chlamydiosis, the wild populations of Scarlet Macaws in Costa Rica could be infected with avian chlamydiosis, caused by the bacteria Chlamydia psittaci. Not only does avian chlamydiosis infect birds, but it can be contracted by humans and many other species of animals. The first part of this paper focuses on basic information about avian chlamydiosis, including how it is contracted, treated, and how to prevent it from entering an aviculturalist’s captive population of birds. The second part of this paper is devoted to reintroduction programs, including the current status of the three organizations reintroduction birds to Costa Rica, the structure of a successful reintroduction, and how avian chlamydiosis affects avian reintroduction programs. The purpose of this paper is to inform all those who are involved with reintroduction about avian chlamydiosis and its potential effect on wild populations. This paper was written to provide critical information to release projects in order to avoid any preventable transfer of avian chlamydiosis and protect Costa Rica beautiful Scarlet Macaws from extinction.