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Deadly parrot virus rife in Aussie birds

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Peer-reviewed: This work was reviewed and scrutinised by relevant independent experts.

Aussie researchers have found wild Australian parrots - including Crimson Rosellas, Eastern Rosellas, Galahs, Sulphur-crested Cockatoos, Blue-winged Parrots, Rainbow Lorikeets and Red-rumped Parrots - to be rife with a dangerous virus called Beak and feather disease virus (BFDV). The virus causes our feathered friends to develop malformations in their claws and beaks, as well as stopping them from growing any feathers. Of the four most caught species, the team found the virus in 41.8 per cent of Crimson Rosellas, 20 per cent of the Cockys, 11.8 per cent of the Blue-Winged Parrots, and 8.8 per cent of the Galahs. As the disease is shed through the feathers, the team warns that BFDV is endemic in south-eastern Australia, and we need to make moves to protect our native flappy-friends.

Journal/conference: PLOS ONE

Link to research (DOI): 10.1371/journal.pone.0235406

Organisation/s: Charles Sturt University, Victorian Government, Deakin University

Funder: This study was funded by: - Australian Research Council (LP140100691, awarded to ATD Bennett, ML Berg, S Raidal, M Magrath, K Walder), https://www.arc.gov.au/grants/linkage-program/linkage-projects - Australian Research Council (DP180103494), awarded to ATD Bennett, ML Berg), https://www.arc.gov.au/grants/discoveryprogram/discovery-projects - Deakin University with scholarships (awarded to JM Martens, HS Stokes), www.deakin.edu.au - Centre of Integrative Ecology with HDR research funding (awarded to JM Martens, HS Stokes), www.cie-deakin.com -BirdLife Australia with the Prof Allen Keast Award (awarded to JM Martens), https://www.birdlife.org. au/who-we-are/our-organisation/awardsscholarships/prof-allen-keast-research-award -Ecological Society of Australia with the Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment (awarded to JM Martens, HS Stokes), https://www.ecolsoc.org.au/awards-and-prizes/holsworth-wildlife-researchendowment. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

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