Endoparasites in a Norwegian moose (Alces alces) population – Faunal diversity, abundance and body condition
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionDavidson, R. K., Ličina, T., Gorini, L., & Milner, J. M. (2015). Endoparasites in a Norwegian moose (Alces alces) population – Faunal diversity, abundance and body condition. International Journal for Parasitology: Parasites and Wildlife, 4(1), 29-36. doi: 10.1016/j.ijppaw.2014.12.005
Many health surveillance programs for wild cervids do not include routine parasite screening despite evidence that gastrointestinal parasites can affect wildlife population dynamics by influencing host fecundity and survival. Slaughter weights of moose in some regions of Norway have been decreasing over recent decades but any role of parasites has not yet been considered. We investigated parasite faunal diversity of moose in Hedmark, SE Norway, by faecal analysis and identification of adult abomasal and caecal nematodes during the autumn hunting season. We related parasite prevalence and abundance to estimates of body condition, gender and age. We identified 11 parasite groups. Moose had high abomasal gastrointestinal nematode (GIN) burdens and all individuals were infected. Ostertagia antipini and Spiculopteragia alcis were the most prevalent abomasal GINs identified. O. leptospicularis and Telodorsagia circumcincta were also identified in the abomasa while a range of other GIN and Moniezia sp. eggs, and coccidia, Dictyocaulus sp. and Protostrongylid larvae were found in faeces.