Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Specialized Veterinary Sciences, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran.
BACKGROUND: Corvidae is a cosmopolitan family of oscine birds including crows, rooks, magpies, jays, chough, and ravens. These birds are migratory species, especially in the shortage of foods, so they can act like vectors for a wide range of microorganisms. They live generally in temperate climates and in a very close contact with human residential areas as well as poultry farms. There is no available information in the literature concerning the parasitic infections of these three species of corvidae in Mazandaran Province, northern Iran, so this study was conducted to clarify this. METHODS: As there are three species of corvid birds in Mazandaran Province, 106 birds including 79 magpies, 11 rooks, and 16 carrion crows were examined between winter 2007 and spring 2008 at post mortem for gastrointestinal helminths. The helminths were drawn and identified morphologically in the Laboratory of Parasitology, Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Branch, Tehran and also partly in the School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, based on the reference books and identification keys like Soulsby, Khalil et al. and Anderson et al. RESULTS: Four species of nematodes, 2 species of cestodes, 1 species of trematodes and 1 species of acanthocephalans were identified in these three corvid species. CONCLUSION: Five species of the helminths are identified for the first time in Iran, and the acanthocephalan species is new host record for rooks. It is clear that these corvid birds have diverse range of helminths and can act as carriers for infecting the domestic fowls.