GOALS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS AS OF January 2021:
ongoing collection of contact data for local, regional and other veterinarians working with wild psittacines;
Literature review of diseases in wild psittacines, with a narrow focus on studies of wild, confiscated or-in-rehabilitation populations ONLY;
Developing standardized and economically feasible screening and biosecurity protocols for confiscated and rescued psittacines being prepared for release;
Available in the PRG library and as hard- or electronic copies: Wild Psittacine Rehabilitation; Veterinary Aspects of Wild Urban Psittacines; Wildlife Rehabilitation of Confiscated Psittacines (click here for more information). The authors anticipate that the first release is in reality an invitation to an expanded second edition with diverse contributors;
Protocols for biosecurity/quarantine upon request. This is an evolving work in progress, especially as disasters and pandemics complicate the picture;
Finding solutions for the prohibitive costs of testing for disease:
Opportunities for portable PCR machines for field work. It is an evolving field and may eventually be a valuable adjunct to field work. The Vet Section has discussed the constraints of cost, invasive procedures, practicalities of disease testing, and indeed they present formidable challenges. Yet wild psittacine disease is a neglected field and needs to be seriously investigated for sound biodiversity, rehabilitation, confiscation and policy-making decisions.
We had a generous offer for the donation of 2 portable PCR for a "lending library" type situation, Upon further investigation, although the machines are small, generally efficient and fairly fast, reagents for field use are inexpensive and do not require refrigeration and work on batteries with mobile devices, the main costs for development of reagents and primers are prohibitive. Especially in the light of such little data available as to what pathogens are actually important to wild populations. My hope is that following the CoVID outbreak, many of the small PCR machines now being used for point-of-service CoVid testing may become available as surplus and inexpensive to acquire, and although not portable, they could be a potential inexpensive entry to disease screening. Import/export of materials and reagents is a serious inhibition to testing. We are promoting local development but money, personnel and time constraints are challenging. Contributions and suggestions are more than welcome. Collaborations are welcome.
Developing veterinary/husbandry/basic care disaster planning and response for in-situ facilities and field stations working with wild psittacines;
Several collaborators are working with a large disaster-related organization and a disaster guide is on the horizon.
Developing wildlife diseases surveillance platform for wild psittacines,
Collaboration, communications, consultation, training and open relations with all sections (ongoing)
In addition, collaboration, communications, consultation, training and open relations with other organizations.
Development of a Compendium of Wild Psittacine Health and Disease as related to natural history/biological/ecological/conservation/evolution topics,
training and awareness with global wildlife rehabilitators and wild psittacines.