Document Type



Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor's Name

Alessandro Catenazzi

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee chair

Second Advisor's Name

DeEtta Mills

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Third Advisor's Name

Paul Reillo

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member


Florida Grasshopper Sparrow, Coccidia, Infectious Disease, Conservation Biology

Date of Defense



A novel and potentially fatal isosporoid parasite was discovered within a captive population of Florida Grasshopper Sparrows, kept at the Rare Species Conservatory in Loxahatchee, Florida. The purpose of this thesis was to (1) to ascertain the prevalence of the Isospora sp. in the captive population of FGSPs; (2) to show that the pathogen can cause both morbidity and mortality in the FGSP; (3) to use population modeling as a management tool to show the potential effects of the disease on the wild population; and (4) recommend mitigation and management strategies informed by our research. Overall, histopathology and necropsy reports reveal the Isospora sp. has the ability to cause and/or contribute to morbidity and mortality in FGSP. Projection models demonstrate any level of impact of Isospora sp. would have severe negative impacts on the estimated growth rate of the wild population. This study considers Isospora sp. to be a pathogen of significance and recommends that the organism should be considered in all current and future management approaches for the recovery of the FGSP.



Included in

Biology Commons



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