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2024-6-23 12:58:24

Giulia Graziosi, Caterina Lupini, Francesco Dalla. Characterizing the domestic-wild bird interface through camera traps in an area at risk for avian influenza introduction in Northern Italy. Poultry ScienceAvailable online 23 May 2024
submited by kickingbird at May, 24, 2024 8:26 AM from Poultry ScienceAvailable online 23 May 2024

Direct or indirect interactions between sympatric wildlife and poultry can lead to interspecies disease transmission. Particularly, avian influenza (AI) is a viral epidemic disease for which the poultry-wild bird interface shapes the risks of new viral introductions into poultry holdings. Given this background, the study hereby presented aimed to identify wild bird species in poultry house surroundings and characterize the spatiotemporal patterns of these visits. Eight camera traps were deployed for a year (January to December 2021) in three commercial chicken layer farms, including free-range and barn-type setups, located in a densely populated poultry area in Northern Italy at high risk for AI introduction via wild birds. Camera traps’ positions were chosen based on wildlife signs identified during preliminary visits to the establishments studied. Various methods, including time series analysis, correspondence analysis, and generalized linear models, were employed to analyze the daily wild bird visits. A total of 1,958 camera trap days yielded 5,978 videos of wild birds from 27 different species and 16 taxonomic families. The animals were predominantly engaged in foraging activities nearby poultry houses. Eurasian magpies (Pica pica), ring-necked pheasants (Phasianus colchicus) and Eurasian collared doves (Streptopelia decaocto) were the most frequent visitors. Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos), an AI reservoir species, were observed only in a farm located next to a fishing sport lake. Time series analysis indicated that wild bird visits increased during spring and winter. Farm and camera trap location also influenced visit frequencies. Overall, the results highlighted specific species that could be prioritized for future AI epidemiological surveys. However, further research is required to assess their susceptibility and infectivity to currently circulating AI viruses, essential for identifying novel bridge hosts.

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