Galapagos birds’ disease

This video is called BBC footage of the Galapagos Islands. Original music composed and produced by Music Works.

A research team from across the United States and Ecuador has pinpointed 1898 as the year the avipoxvirus, or avian pox, hit the Galapagos Islands and started infecting its birds. This estimation is vital to understanding avian diseases that affect today’s Galapagos birds. The scientists’ paper on the subject, “110 Years of Avipoxvirus on the Galapagos Islands,” will be published on January 13 in PLoS ONE: here.

See also here. And here.

Avian malaria threatens Galapagos bird species: here.

The Galapagos National Park hopes to completely eradicate rats and has succeeded in doing so on several islands by using poisoned bait. This week the work continues, with helicopters releasing rat bait across Rabida Island and others. There are limitations to this method on islands home to the Galapagos hawk (Buteo galapagoensis), however. This native bird currently resides on four of the islands being treated, and counts rats among its prey. If poison entered this endangered species’ food chain, it could be catastrophic. So a new project is under way to take the hawks into temporary captivity while the poisoned bait does its job: here.

Scientists Launch Invasive Rat Eradication Project In Galapagos Islands: here. And here.

The Charles Darwin Foundation for the Galapagos Islands (CDF) and the International Community Foundation received news this week that a $600,000 grant from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust will allow CDF and collaborating institutions to move ahead with research designed to save Galapagos bird species on the brink of extinction: here.

Galapagos bird photos: here.

Galapagos hawks hand down like family heirlooms: here.

Plastic-lined nests keep rivals at bay: Spanish birds protect homes by lining them with shopping bag scraps: here.

2 thoughts on “Galapagos birds’ disease

  1. The most common owls in the world are also in the Galapagos Islands and are considered subspecies that only occur in Galapagos, so one could almost say they are endemic subspecies.

    The Barn Owl subspecies is the Tyto alba punctatissima and can be found on Isabela, Santa Cruz, Fernandida, Santiago, San Cristobal, Pinta, and maybe also in Floreana. On the main Islands of Santa Cruz, San Cristobal, and Isabela it is found near the garbage dumps where food (rodents) is plentiful. Driving at night near the dumps is a good way to find it.

    The Short-eared Owl subspecies is the Asio flammeus galapagoensis and can be found on Isabela, Santa Cruz, Fernandida, , Santiago, San Cristobal, Floreana, Marchena, Española, Pinta, Santa Fe,Pinzon, Tower, and Darwin. I have only seen this bird near wide open “fields of lava” where I suspect it is easier to see their prey.


  2. Pingback: Bird lovers protest BP, Arctic pollution | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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