Pigeons spread deadly disease to Europe's finches

09/22/2011 | BBC

Trichomonas gallinae, a deadly parasite of pigeons and doves, has killed finches in the U.K. since 2005 and has spread across Europe, according to a recently published paper. Greenfinch populations in Britain have dropped 35%, and chaffinch numbers are down 7% since trichomonosis was discovered there. "Trichomonosis has emerged as a very serious threat to these birds, so it is very important that vets and ornithologists collaborate to determine whether we might see further spread and to monitor the impact of the parasite on wild bird populations across Europe," said veterinarian Becki Lawson, who wrote the paper.

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