Hanna E. Baek; San Francisco State University; 101 Orr Road, Alameda, CA, 94502; (818) 577-6365;; Lisa A. Tell, Ravinder Sehgal
The presence and impact of avian diseases on hummingbirds have been severely understudied despite the strong presence of hummingbirds in California. How is disease impacting hummingbird populations in California? This research is focusing on a viral disease known as avian pox, which is caused by species in the genus Avipoxvirus. Avian pox can be transmitted by mosquitoes and contact with contaminated surfaces. Avian pox can lead to difficulty breathing and eating through the development of wart-like lesions on the skin of infected birds. PCR analysis of blood samples, feather samples, and skin swabs of two species of hummingbird: Anna's hummingbird (Calypte anna) and Allen's hummingbird (Selasphorus sasin) is ongoing. Avian pox has been detected via PCR; however, further testing and analysis must be done. The project's goal is to estimate the prevalence of avian pox in these two species of hummingbird as well as to determine which species of Avipoxvirus are infecting hummingbirds. A secondary goal is to determine if infection can be detected in different types of samples, particularly in feathers.
Ecology and Conservation of Birds I   Student Paper