The yellow cardinal (Gubernatrix cristata) is a passerine found in southern Brazil, especially along the border with Uruguay and Argentina. It is an endangered species and its population is decreasing. Among the parasites that affect passerines, the genus Isospora is the most easily found in both captive and free-living birds. This parasite commonly causes injury to the intestinal tissue and could occasionally affect other organs. In this work we examined the occurrence of coccidiosis in captive yellow cardinals and its association with factors such as sex, use of parasiticides, type of enclosure, contact with feces, type of food and cleaning frequency. We collected fecal samples of 45 yellow cardinals, healthy and kept in captivity, in late afternoon at the end of the reproductive period. The examination showed parasitic infection by Isospora bocamontensis in 44.5% of the birds. This infection is not influenced by the sex of birds, but is significantly affected by the type of enclosure, contact with the feces, use of parasiticides, type of food and cleaning frequency. The results indicate that to keep yellow cardinals captive, these factors must be observed.
Isospora bocamontensis; Apicomplexa; yellow cardinal; Gubernatrix cristata; Emberezidae; protozoa; extinction; passerine; captivity