A study of parasites of Houbara Bustard in Punjab, Pakistan. - M.S. Nadeem, A. Tanveer, M.S. Akhtar. - Berkut. 13 (1). 2004. - P. 122-126.
Houbara Bustard is trapped (illegally) during their migration to wintering areas. They are smuggled to the Middle Eastern States, where falcons are trained utilizing the Houbara as quarry. The operation being illegal, the Government functionaries confiscate such illegal consignments. The birds, thus caught due to crowded conditions, poor husbandry and insufficient food supply are usually sick and diseased. To rehabilitate such birds Houbara Foundation International Pakistan (HFIP) established a Houbara Research and Rehabilitation Center (HRRC) in 1996. Droppings of healthy, weak and sick birds were collected and studied for parasites. The eggs of different parasitic species were observed in different groups of Houbara. Sixty percent of the freshly arrived birds in 1999 were infested with trematodes, cestodes and nematodes. Birds which, were already in captivity (1997), showed 53 % infestation of cestodes, trematodes and nematodes. Similarly 40 % healthy, 55 % ophthalmic, 47 % weak and 60 % birds arrived from Karachi were found infested with eggs of different parasites in their dropping. Eighty percent birds recovered from different diseases at HRRC were also found harbouring endoparasites. Only 6 Houbara (13.6 %) out of 44 collected from the wild were infested with eggs of endoparasites. [English].
Key words: Houbara Bustard, Chlamydotis undulata macqueenii, Pakistan, parasite.
Address: M.S. Nadeem, Zoology Department, New Campus, Punjab University, Lahore, Pakistan; e-mail: sajidnm@hotmail.com.