Novel ectoparasite infestation on Yuma ridgway's rails (Rallus obsoletus yumanensis)

Wilson Journal of Ornithology
By:  and 



Yuma Ridgway's Rails (Rallus obsoletus yumanensis) are federally endangered birds endemic to wetlands throughout the Lower Colorado River Basin in Nevada, California, Arizona, and Mexico. The U.S. population has declined in recent years for unknown reasons. We documented a novel and severe chigger mite infestation in the Yuma Ridgway's Rails in southwestern Arizona in 2017. Prevalence of the infestation was spatially heterogeneous: 92% (48 of 52) of the Yuma Ridgway's Rails that we captured at Imperial National Wildlife Refuge were infested, whereas only 11% (2 of 18) of the Yuma Ridgway's Rails at Cibola National Wildlife Refuge were chigger infested. We know little about the origin of this infestation or the impacts of the parasites on the behavior and fitness of Yuma Ridgway's Rails. However, ectoparasite infestations in other species have caused population declines and the intensity and novelty of this ectoparasite infestation, combined with population status of this species, warrants immediate attention to this issue and further study of these ectoparasites.

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Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Novel ectoparasite infestation on Yuma ridgway's rails (Rallus obsoletus yumanensis)
Series title Wilson Journal of Ornithology
DOI 10.1676/18-55
Volume 131
Issue 1
Year Published 2019
Language English
Publisher Wilson Ornithological Society
Contributing office(s) Coop Res Unit Seattle
Description 8 p.
First page 139
Last page 146
Country Mexico, United States
State Arizona, California
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