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One thing seems to stand out in the overall knowledge we have of the blood parasites of waterfowl, as previously noted by Herman and Wehr, (1954): the greatest potential of losses is in the younger age groups, usually those birds 5-10 weeks old. In Leucocytozoon infections, death occurs as early as the first or second week of the bird's life. As a conclusion to this presentation, I wish to emphasize that there are many gaps in our knowledge of these parasites and that the answers are to be obtained by further studies in the young birds. Data obtained from studies of birds shot by hunters or from specimens taken during fall or winter banding operations can be expected to be far less rewarding and significanf than studies of goslings and ducklings. We need much more knowledge of these parasites and their vectors and other relationships before we can develop management procedures to combat or contain them. It will require many more studies in depth to achieve this goal, but the facts are there waiting to be uncovered. These parasites will have to be regulated along with breeding habitat, hunter take, and other factors that all add up to maintenance and management of waterfowl.
Additional Publication Details
Blood parasites in North American waterfowl
Transactions of the North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference