The intestinal microbiome is known to affect host health through various effects on nutrition and immunity. The oriental honey buzzard (OHB) is a raptor that feeds on bees and wasps. Due to its restricted diet, we reasoned that the OHB may have a unique microbiome. The aim of this study was to characterize the structure of the intestinal flora of oriental honey buzzards and to investigate the difference of intestinal bacterial flora between individuals in the wild and those reared in captivity. We investigated the intestinal microbiome of seven wild buzzards (Wild), one zoo-reared (Zoo), and one individual reared in captivity for one month (Rearing). Average operational taxonomic units in Wild and Rearing were 69.4 and 113, respectively. Diversity indices such as ACE, Chao 1, Shannon, and Alpha were significantly lower in the Wild than in the Rearing samples. These results suggest that the variety of Wild microbiome is remarkably low. At the phylum level, the composition of the microbiome was similar in all three groups, with firmicutes and bacteroidetes predominating. The third most abundant bacterium in Wild was Proteobacteria, whereas it was Actinobacteria in Rearing and unclassified bacteria in Zoo. Thus, microbiome composition is affected even with just one month of human rearing.
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