PREVALENCE OF ENDOPARASITES AND ECTOPARASITES IN PETBUDGERIGARS (MELOPSITTACUS UNDULATUS) OF GUJARAT,INDIAV.A. Patel, C.M. Bhadesiya, P.J. Gajjar, M.J. Anikar, A.I. Dadawala,P.P. Makwana and S.R.Lende
Disease investigations in free-living and captive birds play crucial role in strategic planning for theirconservation by generating database on existing prevalence and spread of diseases. Most of the nativeIndian birds are not allowed to be kept as pets due to the legal protection which has been provided to themunder different legislations. This step has diverted bird-lovers to keep different types of exotic (i.e., non-native)birds as in-house pets. Out of all exotic birds, Budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus) is one of the mostcommon pet birds which are kept as in-house companions in urban as well as rural areas of India. Thesebirds have close proximity to humans (keepers, zoo-keepers, sellers, owners and veterinary practitionerswhile handling); however, the details pertaining to existing status of diseases (e.g., infectious, non-infectiousand zoonotic diseases) of Budgerigar population in India are sparse. Therefore, a study was undertaken todetermine prevalence of endoparasites and ectoparasites in Budgerigars kept by owners and sellers atdifferent places in Gujarat (India). Ascaridia spp., Capillariaspp., Strongyle spp., Eimeria spp. and OtherCoccidia were identified as common endoparasites/protozoa while Knemidocoptes spp. (mite), Sideroferuslunula (feather mite) and Heteromenopon spp. (lice) were identified as common ectoparasites in the screenedpopulation of Budgerigars. The prevalence rates varied among birds kept by owners and sellers whichwere correlated with various managemental aspects. The data generated through the study will provideinformation on existing endo- and ectoparasites of Budgerigars which will be beneficial to understandepidemiological aspects. Similar investigations involving wider geographic locations can be encouraged togenerate strategies for disease prevention and treatment.