Alarming results from toxicology study on the Egyptian vulture in Bulgaria [ 2009-02-12 04:52:52 ]


BSPB made toxicology study on 15 juvenile Egyptian vultures in order to revealing and clarifying of the reasons for the very fast decline of the species in the country. Blood, eye, throat and cloacae samples were taken and analyzed by the Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, Spain. The analysis are very worrying regarding health. There is a high prevalence of pathogens especially pathogens of poultry and pigeons (gumboro disease, salmonella, trichomonas). Several individuals are sufereing the disease as indicated in the serology (antibodies in plasma). There are three birds with antibiotics (oxytetraciclines and amoxiline), and some birds with non-steroidal antiinflamatory drugs (fluiimixin meglumine) and antiparasitics (febendazole) from livestock. There is also a problem with heavy metals (lead and cadmiun; an individual with sublethal levels of lead). The analysis shows that the immune systems is very poor, much poorer that in Spain for individuals without abntibiotics (immunodepressed) which suggest the impact of veterinary drugs, disease and probably low genetic variation. The continuous exposure to antibiotics that are ingested through consumption of treated animals damage the liver and kidney and through acquisition and proliferation of pathogens associated with the depletion of lymphoid organs and could increase the mortality rate.
It is worth mentioning that the above listed threats for the population are detected only among the juveniles and the condition of the adults, which are much more important for the population is unknown, so the full scope of the problem is just starting to be revealed.
The decline rate of the species in Bulgaria is very high and predicts extinction very soon (39% decline from 2003 to 2008, from 57 to 35 pairs). Urgent measures to halt the decline are needed. The continuous lack of governmental support is currently the most significant factor preventing the implementation of National Species Action Plan and the effective large-scale conservation measures.
For more detailed information, please contact Ivailo Angelov