An introduction to applied field research
and disease sampling techniques

FAO Animal Production
and Health Manual
No. 5

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(3MB - 123 pp.)

The highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 strain has spread from domestic poultry to a large number of species of free-ranging wild birds, including non-migratory birds and migratory birds that can travel thousands of kilometres each year. The regular contact and interaction between poultry and wild birds has increased the urgency of understanding wild bird diseases and the transmission mechanisms that exist between the poultry and wild bird sectors, with a particular emphasis on avian influenza. Monitoring techniques, surveillance, habitat use and migration patterns are all important aspects of wildlife and disease ecology that need to be better understood to gain insights into disease transmission between these sectors. This manual contains chapters on the basic ecology of avian influenza and wild birds, capture and marking techniques (ringing, colour marking and satellite telemetry), disease sampling procedures, and field survey and monitoring procedures.

      Table of contents

      Foreword -

      (PDF, 31 kb - 2 pp.)

      1. Avian influenza and the H5N1 virus -

      (PDF, 720 kb - 11 pp.)

        - Ecology and biochemical properties of avian influenza viruses
        - History of the H5N1 avian influenza virus
        - Surveillance strategies for avian influenza
        - References and information sources

      2. Wild birds and avian influenza -

      (PDF, 974 kb - 20 pp.)

        - Avian influenza in wetland bird species
        - “Bridge” species
        - Migratory birds and spread of the H5N1 virus
        - References and information sources

      3. Wild bird capture techniques -

      (PDF, 524 kb - 18 pp.)

        - Corral traps (round-ups)
        - Baited traps
        - Cannon nets
        - Mist netting
        - Miscellaneous capture methods
        - References and information sources

      4. Bird handling and ringing techniques -

      (PDF, 372 kb - 21 pp.)

        - Bird handling and restraint
        - Physical and chemical restraining aides
        - Bird welfare
        - Ringing (banding)
        - Biometric measurements
        - References and information sources

      5. Disease sampling procedures -

      (PDF, 186 kb - 12 pp.)

        - Tracheal and cloacal swabs
        - Blood sampling
        - Faecal sampling
        - References and information sources

      6. Avian surveys and monitoring -

      (PDF, 105 kb - 10 pp.)

        - Complete censuses
        - Sample plots
        - Strip transects
        - Point counts
        - Distance sampling
        - Capture-mark-recapture
        - References and information sources

      7. Radio telemetry and bird movements -

      (PDF, 245 kb - 17 pp.)

        - Radio telemetry
        - Capture and radio-marking
        - VHF telemetry tracking
        - Data analysis
        - Mark-recapture (resight) studies
        - Stable isotope analysis
        - References and information sources

      Annexes -

      (PDF, 32kb - 1 pp.)

        1. Guidance on taking photographs of birds for identification purposes

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© FAO 2007