Little is known about the impact of infectious diseases on large carnivores. We investigated factors structuring the helminth and protozoan infections of wolves (Canis lupus) by using coprological analyses. Faecal samples (n = 342) were analysed from 11 wolf packs belonging to three different geographical and ecological settings in Italy (Abruzzo, Lazio e Molise National Park, PNALM: 4 packs, 88 samples), in France (Mercantour National Park, PNM: 4 packs, 68 samples) and in the U.S.A. (Yellowstone National Park, YNP: 3 packs, 186 samples). Parasites were found in 29.4%–88.6% of the samples and parasite taxa ranged from four to ten in each study area. Taeniidae (Taenia/Echinococcus), Sarcocystis spp. and Toxascaris leonina were most common in faecal samples from YNP, whereas Capillaria spp., Taeniidae and Uncinaria stenocephala were predominant in PNALM. We used generalised linear mixed models to assess the relationship between parasite infection or the number of parasite taxa and selected ecological drivers across study areas. Significant effects illustrated the importance of the ecological factors such as occurrence of free-ranging dogs, diet composition and wolf density, as well as the ancestry of the wolf populations, in shaping parasite-wolf communities. Additional investigations are needed to elucidate the impact of parasitic infections on wolf populations, as well as the role of anthropogenic factors in facilitating parasitic diffusion to apex predators.
Correlates of parasites and pseudoparasites in wolves (Canis lupus) across continents: A comparison among Yellowstone (USA), Abruzzo (IT) and Mercantour (FR) national parks / Molnar, B.; Ciucci, P.; Mastrantonio, G.; Betschart, B.. - 10(2019), pp. 196-206. [10.1016/j.ijppaw.2019.09.002]
|Titolo:||Correlates of parasites and pseudoparasites in wolves (Canis lupus) across continents: A comparison among Yellowstone (USA), Abruzzo (IT) and Mercantour (FR) national parks|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2019|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijppaw.2019.09.002|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|
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