Scientific Journal of the BirdLife Hungary

A Magyar Madártani és Természetvédelmi Egyesület tudományos folyóirata

Ornis Hungarica. vol.31(2). (2023) p.151-164.

Records of avian deformities in Nepal
Nikeet Pradhan & Mohan Bikram Shrestha

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Avian deformities have been recorded in a variety of bird species all over the world. However, they have not been studied in Nepal, although there are increasing sightings of these deformities. Injuries, genetic mutations, environmental factors, infections, radiation, and other factors can cause deformities. In our study, we collected data from numerous field trips, conversations with bird watchers and experts, and social media posts in Nepal. We reported 24 cases of avian deformities in 16 different bird species across 12 districts in Nepal, suggesting that certain abnormalities persist in a high proportion of previously unstudied birds. We discovered different types of color abnormalities (6 cases of leucism, 3 albinism, 4 partial leucism, 1 brown mutation, 1 melanism, and 3 unidentified color aberration), 5 cases of avian keratin disorder (AKD), and 1 case of both leucism and AKD. The majority of these cases affected corvids and other birds frequently living and nesting near human settlements, indicating that causative agents such as anthropogenic toxicants and environmental degradation could be important contributors. There is a scarcity of research on avian deformities and diseases in Nepal, thus more research on avian abnormalities, such as the pathophysiology of AKD and genetic studies, should be performed.