Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract Full Text

Parasitic fauna of the invasive house sparrow (Passer domesticus) from Ñuble region, Chile: an example of co-introduced parasites.

Abstract

Invasive species impact native wildlife in several ways, as they compete for resources and may transmit their specific pathogens. However, the potential consequences of co-introduced parasites are not fully understood. While the house sparrow (Passer domesticus) was introduced in Chile about a century ago, no data are available regarding its parasites. Thus, the aim of the present study was to determine the parasitic fauna of this avian invader and to determine whether there are co-introduced/co-invasive parasites shared with native birds. One hundred and eight birds were collected from three different localities in the Ñuble region of Chile, and a complete parasitic necropsy was performed in the laboratory. Twenty-three (21.3%) were parasitized by six arthropod species and four (3.7%) were parasitized by two helminth species. Four out of eight taxa are reported for the first time in Chile; among them, three arthropod parasites and the tapeworm, Anonchotaenia globate, are considered as co-introduced parasites. Only A. globata is a potential co-invasive parasite given its low degree specificity in terms of its definitive hosts. Future research should examine whether additional co-introduced/co-invasive parasites have been brought by the house sparrow, and what their potential consequences might be on the health of native birds in Chile.