All parasites are directly affected by the condition of their host population.

Populations of the four Galapagos mockingbird species have declined dramatically since they were first studied by Charles Darwin in 1835.

Particularly threatened are populations of the Floreana mocking bird (Nesomimus trifasciatus), a species which is now extinct on the Floreana island and only survives on two small satellite islets.

New louse genetic data obtained by Museum researchers will provide useful information for planning measures to conserve and reintroduce mockingbird populations.