We studied the effects of chronic avian malaria (Plasmodium relictum) infections on the reproductive success of a native Hawaiian honeycreeper, Hawaii Amakihi (Hemignathus virens). Chronic malaria infections in male and female parents did not significantly reduce reproductive success as measured by clutch size, hatching success, fledging mass, number of nestlings fledged, nesting success (daily survival rate), and minimum fledgling survival. In fact, nesting success of pairs with chronically infected males was significantly higher than those with uninfected males (76% vs. 38%), and offspring that had at least one parent that had survived the acute phase of malaria infection had a significantly greater chance of being resighted the following year (25% vs. 10%). The reproduction and survival of infected birds were sufficient for a per-capita population growth rate >1, which suggests that chronically infected Hawaii Amakihi could support a growing population. ?? The American Ornithologists' Union, 2006.
Additional Publication Details
Effects of chronic avian malaria (Plasmodium relictum) infection on reproductive success of Hawaii Amakihi (Hemignathus virens)