Date of Award

5-1997

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Environmental Science

First Advisor

Prof. Fazal K. Dar

Second Advisor

Dr. Ahmed Sulaiman Hussain

Third Advisor

Dr. Manfred Heidenreich

Abstract

Sakers Falco cherrug, Gyrfalcons Falco rusticolus, Peregrines Falco peregrilllls, in addition to Hybrids (saker X gyrfalcon, or gyrfalcon X peregrine), were found to be the most popular species of falcons in United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The importance of falcons and falconry in Arabia was highlighted with a brief history of falconry in Arabia.

The study focused on the prevalence of intestinal parasites (coccidia, helminthes and nematodes) and blood parasites (Haemoproteus sp. and Leucocytozoon sp.) as well as ecto-parasites (Ticks and Mites) of these falcons, with discussion on the possible sources of infection in view of the epizootiology of these parasites.

100 falcons, 89 females and 11 males, were studied at random. Of these 100 falcons, 50 falcons were considered as "resident falcons" having spent a period of 1-4 years in the UAE, the rest (50 falcons) with less than 1-year residence were considered "imported falcons".

The falcons were identified, thin blood smears were taken stained with Giemsa, examined for blood parasites and positive smears were identified. Fresh feces were collected for macroscopic examination to recognize adult worms, segments of tapeworms or fly larvae, then fecal materials were prepared (direct and floatation methods) for microscopic examination to detect protozoan cyst and helminthes eggs. Three techniques: feathers inspection, insecticide spray, and shaking the body in full sun light, were used for collecting ecto-parasites.

The results were presented in term of numbers and percentages of non-infected and infected imported and resident falcons in relation to species and sex. 52% (26/50) of imported falcons showed parasitic infections, while 38% (19/50) of resident falcons were found to be infected. The results were compared with those of other researchers. Emphasis was also laid on the pathological aspects of parasitic infection in falcons.

Recommendations that would lead to significant decrease in the infection rates in falcons in the UAE were made.

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