Congenital neuropathy and dilution of feather melanin in nestlings of urban-breeding northern goshawks (Accipiter gentilis)

C Rutz*, A Zinke, T Bartels, P Wohlsein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A pair of northern goshawks (Accipiter gentilis) breeding in a public park in the city center of Hamburg, Germany, raised 12 healthy and five aberrant offspring between 1996 and 2000. Aberrant nestlings (three males and two females) had pale silver-blue plumage and displayed severe locomotor disorders. Histopathologically, the defects were characterized by adendritic feather melanocytes and mild degeneration of the cerebellar white matter. Epidemiologic results were suggestive of a hereditary autosomal recessive defect, which may have originated from close inbreeding during the foundation of Hamburg's urban population of northern goshawks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-103
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine
Volume35
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2004

Keywords

  • northern goshawk
  • Accipiter gentilis
  • adendritic melanocytes
  • congenital neuropathy
  • hereditary disease
  • inbreeding depression
  • MUTATION

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