Mallophaga Species on Long-billed Vultures (Gyps indicus) in Bundelkhand Region of India and Remarkable Defence Mechanisms of Vultures Against Them

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2015
Authors:Kushwaha, S
Journal:Journal of Wildlife Research
Date Published:Dec 2015
Keywords:Defence mechanism., Mallophaga, Vultures

Scavenging avian species play an important ecological role in many regions and it is important to understand the adverse effect of ecto and endo parasites for conservational purposes of the endangered bird species. During the study duration (2007-2011) in Bundelkhand Region, total 9 vultures (8 dead and one live) were examined for ectoparasites. Only two vultures i.e. one dead adult (VA4) and one live juvenile (VJ) were found to have ectoparasites. The 3 Mallophaga collected from vulture adult 4 (VA4) were identified through various identifying key and scientific grey literature as female of Laemobothrion maximum belonging to the family Laemobothriidae. The 2 Mallophaga collected from Vulture Juvenile (VJ) were identified as male of Colpocephalum polonum belonging to family Menoponidae. The infestation was very low and insignificant to cause any adverse effect on vulture health. By observing the remarkable behaviour and morphological features of vultures it was concluded that vultures had a number of defence mechanisms. The behaviour such as preening, sunning and adding green material to nests, along with morphological features like melanin in feathers and beak overhang clearly shows that good management by the vultures has significant positive impact in controlling detrimental effects of ectoparasites.

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