Submitted to: Wildlife Disease Association Annual Meeting
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/12/1995
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: In 1991, a captive propagation program was started for prairie chickens using wild caught Greater Prairie chickens (Tympanuchus cupido pinnatus). Eggs from nests of wild Attwater's Prairie chickens (T. cupido attwateri) were collected in 1993 to create a breeding flock of this subspecies. From 1994 to 1994, three greater prairie chickens have been euthanized or found dead with multiple subcutaneous nodules on the face, legs and feet. Neoplastic masses were found in multiple organs of all birds at necropsy. Histologic sections of these masses revealed pleomorphic lymphoreticular cells suggestive of reticuloendotheliosis. Reticuloendotheliosis virus was demonstrated in one tumor by PCR and viremia was evident in 53 percent of greater and Attwater's prairie chickens in captivity. Management and genetic concerns arising from the presence of this disease that affect the captive breeding of these birds will be discussed.