A mottled wood owl (Strix ocellata) was rescued in February 2015 and brought to Critical Care Unit of Society for Wildlife Conservation, Education and Research (Wild-CER). Wild-CER is a Nagpur based conservation organization mainly involved in rescue and rehabilitation of the wild animals in Central India and works in collaboration with Maharashtra State Forest Department. Mottled wood owl (Strix ocellata) is a resident species of peninsular India and prefers open wooded areas around factories, villages and cultivation.
The bird when brought to Wild-CER was emaciated and severely dehydrated. Weight of the bird was recorded as 610 gram. Physical examination of the owl revealed fracture of right wing with bleeding and lots of swelling at the distal end. Radiograph examination confirmed the fracture of both, radius and ulna, at the distal end. The bird was examined for the presence of ectoparasites during our routine physical check-up. A tick from eye region was collected and preserved in 70% alcohol. It was processed and identified as Hyalomma tick based on the morphological characters described by Sen and Fletcher (1962).Hyalomma is genus of hard bodied tick with inornate scutum and are found commonly in Asia, Europe and North Africa.
Tick parasitism poses a direct threat to the health causing thriftiness, restlessness and anaemia that predisposes the animal to the loss of condition, in addition to the transmission of various pathogens. These may cause serious health hazards to the wild animals.
Scarce information is available on the prevalence of ticks in the wild animals and birds from Maharashtra. Hence the present communication deals with the occurrence of tick in mottled wood owl from Nagpur, Maharashtra.