Interações entre aves de vida livre e o plantel de aves em um zoológico no sudeste do Brasil: risco de transmissão de agentes patogênicos
Sanchioli, Rafaela Guimarães
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Ex-situ conservation has become a common strategy, often used to save threatened species from extinction. However, captive animals are exposed to the risk of pathogenic transmission, both by domestic and wild free-living animals. This study aimed to sample free-lived wild birds found in bird enclosures in a zoo park in southeastern Brazil, assessing the risk of transmission of pathogens. We proceeded focal observations in all bird enclosures to identify the most visited ones and to study the behavior of visitors. We analyzed an interaction network to estimate the interactivity between free-living and captive animals. Next, we settled mist nets near the precincts with the highest frequency of visitation, to capture free-lived birds and collect biological samples. The network of interactions was represented by 14 visitor species and 10 visited enclosures. Passer domesticus and Columbina talpacoti were the most frequent visitors. Foraging on the ground and foraging on feeders were the most-frequent observed behaviors. The network presented low connectivity (26%) and a nested pattern (NODF = 53.39, p = 0). We captured 56 free-living birds from four species and collected 68 biological samples. Escherichia coli was the most frequently isolated agent (63.6%). Although enterobacteria were regularly identified in the collected samples, the impact of this relationship could not be directly measured. However, we have shown a latent risk of pathogen transmission, due to regularity and visit behavior of some free-lived bird species, which frequently host enterobacteria and intestinal parasites.