The Northern Bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) has been undergoing a range-wide population decline. Potential causes for declines across its historic range have been investigated for decades and include habitat loss and fragmentation and a variety of parasitic and infectious diseases. Although there have been studies on bobwhite ecology in Oklahoma, USA, relatively little is known about parasites and pathogens in the region. We evaluated the health of free-ranging bobwhites from nine sites in western Oklahoma. From 2018 to 2020, 206 bobwhites were evaluated for gross and microscopic lesions and tested for selected pathogens. In general, bobwhites were in good nutritional condition with ample muscle mass and fat stores. No significant gross lesions were observed in any bobwhite and no significant histologic lesions were detected in a subset. There was no evidence of infection with or exposure to reticuloendotheliosis virus, West Nile virus, respiratory Mycoplasmataceae species, Pasteurella multocida, intestinal Eimeria spp., or oral Trichomonas spp. Several pathogens of potential concern were detected, including avian adenovirus (8.6%), Toxoplasma gondii (2.3%), and haemosporidians (a Haemoproteus sp. (1.5%), Leucocytozoon schoutedeni (1.5%), and Plasmodium homopolare haplotype 2 [lineage LAIRI01; 3.6%]). Physaloptera sp. (12%) and Sarcocystis sp. (1%) were detected in the breast muscle. Low intraspecific genetic diversity was noted for Physaloptera sp., and sequences were most similar to Physaloptera sequences from bobwhites and grasshoppers (Orthoptera) in Texas. Low intensities of chewing lice, chiggers, and ticks were observed. A subset of bobwhites had evidence of exposure to selected toxicants and heavy metals; a small number had low levels of iron, manganese, zinc, molybdenum, and copper, which were not considered diagnostically relevant. In general, bobwhites from western Oklahoma appeared to be in good health with a low diversity of pathogens detected, but future work is needed to understand potentially changing disease risks for this population.

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