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Sample records for feral cat populations

  1. The Population Origins and Expansion of Feral Cats in Australia.

    PubMed

    Spencer, Peter B S; Yurchenko, Andrey A; David, Victor A; Scott, Rachael; Koepfli, Klaus-Peter; Driscoll, Carlos; O'Brien, Stephen J; Menotti-Raymond, Marilyn

    2016-03-01

    The historical literature suggests that in Australia, the domestic cat (Felis catus) had a European origin [~200 years before present (ybp)], but it is unclear if cats arrived from across the Asian land bridge contemporaneously with the dingo (4000 ybp), or perhaps immigrated ~40000 ybp in association with Aboriginal settlement from Asia. The origin of cats in Australia is important because the continent has a complex and ancient faunal assemblage that is dominated by endemic rodents and marsupials and lacks the large placental carnivores found on other large continents. Cats are now ubiquitous across the entire Australian continent and have been implicit in the range contraction or extinction of its small to medium sized (<3.5kg) mammals. We analyzed the population structure of 830 cats using 15 short tandem repeat (STR) genomic markers. Their origin appears to come exclusively from European founders. Feral cats in continental Australia exhibit high genetic diversity in comparison with the low diversity found in populations of feral cats living on islands. The genetic structure is consistent with a rapid westerly expansion from eastern Australia and a limited expansion in coastal Western Australia. Australian cats show modest if any population structure and a close genetic alignment with European feral cats as compared to cats from Asia, the Christmas and Cocos (Keeling) Islands (Indian Ocean), and European wildcats (F. silvestris silvestris). PMID:26647063

  2. A review of feral cat control.

    PubMed

    Robertson, Sheilah A

    2008-08-01

    Animal overpopulation including feral cats is an important global problem. There are many stakeholders involved in the feral cat debate over 'what to do about the problem', including those who consider them a nuisance, the public at risk from zoonotic disease, people who are concerned about the welfare of feral cats, those concerned with wildlife impacts, and the cats themselves. How best to control this population is controversial and has ranged from culling, relocation, and more recently 'trap neuter return' (TNR) methods. Data support the success of TNR in reducing cat populations, but to have a large impact it will have to be adopted on a far greater scale than it is currently practised. Non-surgical contraception is a realistic future goal. Because the feral cat problem was created by humans, concerted educational efforts on responsible pet ownership and the intrinsic value of animals is an integral part of a solution. PMID:17913531

  3. Intestinal helminths of feral cat populations from urban and suburban districts of Qatar.

    PubMed

    Abu-Madi, Marawan A; Behnke, Jerzy M; Prabhaker, K S; Al-Ibrahim, Roda; Lewis, John W

    2010-03-25

    A survey of the helminths of 658 adult cats from feral urban and suburban populations in Qatar was conducted across all months in 2006 and 2007. Six species of helminths were identified, comprising two cestodes (Taenia taeniaeformis [73.6%] and Diplopylidium acanthotetra [47.1%]) and four nematodes (Ancylostoma tubaeforme [14.7%], Physaloptera praeputialis [5.2%], Toxocara cati [0.8%] and Toxascaris leonina [0.2%]), and 83% of cats were infected with at least one of these. The average number of species harboured was 1.4 and the average worm burden was 55.8 worms/cat. The vast majority of worms (97.6%) were cestodes, nematodes being relatively rare. Prevalence and abundance of infections were analyzed, taking into consideration four factors: year (2006 and 2007), site (urban and suburban), season (winter and summer) and sex of the host. Analyses revealed marked year effects, female host bias in some species and interactions involving combination of factors, but especially sex and season of the year. The results indicate that whilst the majority of adult feral cats in Qatar carry helminth infections, infections are variable between years and subject to annual changes that may reflect climatic and other environmental changes in the rapidly developing city of Doha and its suburban surroundings. Only two species have the potential to infect humans and both were rare among the sampled cats (A. tubaeforme and T. cati). PMID:20031329

  4. Population characteristics of feral cats admitted to seven trap-neuter-return programs in the United States.

    PubMed

    Wallace, Jennifer L; Levy, Julie K

    2006-08-01

    Internationally, large populations of feral cats constitute an important and controversial issue due to their impact on cat overpopulation, animal welfare, public health, and the environment, and to disagreement about what are the best methods for their control. Trap-neuter-return (TNR) programs are an increasingly popular alternative to mass euthanasia. The objective of this study was to determine the population characteristics of feral cats admitted to large-scale TNR programs from geographically diverse locations in the United States. Data from 103,643 feral cats admitted to TNR programs from 1993 to 2004 were evaluated. All groups reported more intact females (53.4%) than intact males (44.3%); only 2.3% of the cats were found to be previously sterilized. Overall, 15.9% of female cats were pregnant at the time of surgery. Pregnancy was highly seasonal and peaked between March and April for all of the groups. The average prenatal litter size was 4.1+/-0.1 fetuses per litter. Cryptorchidism was observed in 1.3% of male cats admitted for sterilization. A total of 0.4% of cats was euthanased because of the presence of debilitating conditions, and 0.4% died during the TNR clinics. Remarkably similar populations of cats with comparable seasonal variability were seen at each program, despite their wide geographical distribution. These results suggest that it is feasible to safely sterilize large numbers of feral cats and that the experiences of existing programs are a consistent source of information upon which to model new TNR programs. PMID:16603400

  5. Prevalence of ectoparasites in a population of feral cats from north central Florida during the summer.

    PubMed

    Akucewich, Lisa H; Philman, Kendra; Clark, Abby; Gillespie, Jeromey; Kunkle, Gail; Nicklin, Constance F; Greiner, Ellis C

    2002-10-16

    Ectoparasites are a common and important cause of skin disorders in cats. Ectoparasites are capable of disease transmission and can cause life-threatening anemia in young or debilitated animals. The objective of this study was to determine the potential feline ectoparasites in domestic cats by using a cohort of feral cats from north central Florida that have not received veterinary care and have no known exposure to insecticide application. A total of 200 feral cats were randomly selected for this study. Four monthly sessions were scheduled for feral cat ectoparasite examination and sample collection. Five minutes flea combing revealed that 185/200 (92.5%) of the cats were infested with fleas. The cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis was the most common flea infesting 92.5% feral cats (mean = 13.6; standard deviation +/- 16.4 fleas per cat). Pulex simulans was identified on 9/200 (4.5%) (mean = 1 +/- 0.50 fleas per cat). Echidnophaga gallinacea was found on 11/200 (5.5%) of cats (mean = 14.8 +/- 9.63 fleas per cat). There was a significant difference (P = 0.0005) in the average number of C. felis counted per cat between months. Mean counts in June (18.3 +/- 2.4) and July (16.6 +/- 2.1) were significantly (P < 0.01) higher than in August (8.4 +/- 2.5) and September (7.7 +/- 2.0). Only 15/200 cats had skin disease. Flea infestation may potentially be the underlying cause in 10/15. Otoscopic examination of both ears revealed mite movement and black ceruminous exudate typically indicative of the presence of Otodectes cynotis in 45/200 (22.5%) cats. Examination of a swab specimen from both ear canals of all cats revealed O. cynotis in 74/200 (37%) cats. Of 74 cats positive on ear swab, 8 (10.8%) showed a normal ear canal appearance (no or mild ceruminous exudate) in both ears upon otoscopic examination. A total of nine ticks were recovered from five cats. The number and species of ticks recovered were: one adult female Rhipicephalus sanguineus; one adult female Amblyomma

  6. Infectious disease prevalence in a feral cat population on Prince Edward Island, Canada.

    PubMed

    Stojanovic, Vladimir; Foley, Peter

    2011-09-01

    Ninety-six feral cats from Prince Edward Island were used to determine the prevalence of selected infectious agents. The prevalence rates were 5.2% for feline immunodeficiency virus, 3.1% for feline leukemia virus, 3.1% for Mycoplasma haemofelis, 8.4% for Candidatus Mycoplasma haemominutum, 2.1% for Bartonella spp. and 29.8% for exposure to Toxoplasma gondii. Oocysts of T. gondii were detected in 1.3% of the fecal samples that were collected. Gender and retroviral status of the cats were significantly correlated with hemoplasma infections. Use of a flea comb showed that 9.6% of the cats had fleas; however, flea infestation was not associated with any of the infectious agents. PMID:22379197

  7. Using population genetic tools to develop a control strategy for feral cats (Felis catus) in Hawai'i

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hansen, H.; Hess, S.C.; Cole, D.; Banko, P.C.

    2007-01-01

    Population genetics can provide information about the demographics and dynamics of invasive species that is beneficial for developing effective control strategies. We studied the population genetics of feral cats on Hawai'i Island by microsatellite analysis to evaluate genetic diversity and population structure, assess gene flow and connectivity among three populations, identify potential source populations, characterise population dynamics, and evaluate sex-biased dispersal. High genetic diversity, low structure, and high number of migrants per generation supported high gene flow that was not limited spatially. Migration rates revealed that most migration occurred out of West Mauna Kea. Effective population size estimates indicated increasing cat populations despite control efforts. Despite high gene flow, relatedness estimates declined significantly with increased geographic distance and Bayesian assignment tests revealed the presence of three population clusters. Genetic structure and relatedness estimates indicated male-biased dispersal, primarily from Mauna Kea, suggesting that this population should be targeted for control. However, recolonisation seems likely, given the great dispersal ability that may not be inhibited by barriers such as lava flows. Genetic monitoring will be necessary to assess the effectiveness of future control efforts. Management of other invasive species may benefit by employing these population genetic tools. ?? CSIRO 2007.

  8. Desires and management preferences of stakeholders regarding feral cats in the Hawaiian islands.

    PubMed

    Lohr, Cheryl A; Lepczyk, Christopher A

    2014-04-01

    Feral cats are abundant in many parts of the world and a source of conservation conflict. Our goal was to clarify the beliefs and desires held by stakeholders regarding feral cat abundance and management. We measured people's desired abundance of feral cats in the Hawaiian Islands and identified an order of preference for 7 feral cat management techniques. In 2011 we disseminated a survey to 5407 Hawaii residents. Approximately 46% of preidentified stakeholders and 20% of random residents responded to the survey (1510 surveys returned). Results from the potential for conflict index revealed a high level of consensus (86.9% of respondents) that feral cat abundance should be decreased. The 3 most common explanatory variables for respondents' stated desires were enjoyment from seeing feral cats (84%), intrinsic value of feral cats (12%), and threat to native fauna (73%). The frequency with which respondents saw cats and change in the perceived abundance of cats also affected respondent's desired abundance of cats; 41.3% of respondents stated that they saw feral cats daily and 44.7% stated that the cat population had increased in recent years. Other potential environmental impacts of feral cats had little affect on desired abundance. The majority of respondents (78%) supported removing feral cats from the natural environment permanently. Consensus convergence models with data from 1388 respondents who completed the relevant questions showed live capture and lethal injection was the most preferred technique and trap-neuter-release was the least preferred technique for managing feral cats. However, the acceptability of each technique varied among stakeholders. Our results suggest that the majority of Hawaii's residents would like to see effective management that reduces the abundance of feral or free-roaming cats. PMID:24372971

  9. Utilization of matrix population models to assess a 3-year single treatment nonsurgical contraception program versus surgical sterilization in feral cat populations.

    PubMed

    Budke, Christine M; Slater, Margaret R

    2009-01-01

    This study constructed matrix population models to explore feral cat population growth for a hypothetical population (a) in the absence of intervention; (b) with a traditional surgical sterilization-based trap, neuter, and return program; and (c) with a single treatment 3-year nonsurgical contraception program. Model outcomes indicated that cessation of population growth would require surgical sterilization for greater than 51% of adult and 51% of juvenile (<1 year) intact female cats annually, assuming an approximate 3-year mean life span. After the population stabilizes, this would equate to sterilizing approximately 14% of the total female population per year or having approximately 71% of the total female and 81% of the adult female population sterilized at all times. In the absence of juvenile sterilization, 91% of adult intact females would need to be sterilized annually to halt population growth. In comparison, with a 3-year nonsurgical contraception program, an annual contraception rate of 60% of female juvenile and adult intact cats would be required to halt population growth, assuming that treated cats were retrapped at the same rate after 3 years. PMID:20183481

  10. Reduction of feral cat (Felis catus Linnaeus 1758) colony size following hysterectomy of adult female cats.

    PubMed

    Mendes-de-Almeida, Flavya; Remy, Gabriella L; Gershony, Liza C; Rodrigues, Daniela P; Chame, Marcia; Labarthe, Norma V

    2011-06-01

    The size of urban cat colonies is limited only by the availability of food and shelter; therefore, their population growth challenges all known population control programs. To test a new population control method, a free-roaming feral cat colony at the Zoological Park in the city of Rio de Janeiro was studied, beginning in 2001. The novel method consisted of performing a hysterectomy on all captured female cats over 6 months of age. To estimate the size of the colony and compare population from year to year, a method of capture-mark-release-recapture was used. The aim was to capture as many individuals as possible, including cats of all ages and gender to estimate numbers of cats in all population categories. Results indicated that the feral cat population remained constant from 2001 to 2004. From 2004 to 2008, the hysterectomy program and population estimates were performed every other year (2006 and 2008). The population was estimated to be 40 cats in 2004, 26 in 2006, and 17 cats in 2008. Although pathogens tend to infect more individuals as the population grows older and maintains natural behavior, these results show that free-roaming feral cat colonies could have their population controlled by a biannual program that focuses on hysterectomy of sexually active female cats. PMID:21440475

  11. Dermatophilus congolensis in a feral cat.

    PubMed

    Barger, Anne M; Weedon, G Robert; Maddox, Carol W; Galloway, Kimberly A

    2014-10-01

    A young adult feral cat presented to the Champaign County Humane Society with a subcutaneous mass near the stifle. The mass was aspirated. Chains of paired cocci organisms were identified, consistent with Dermatophilus congolensis. The identity of these organisms was confirmed by culture and polymerase chain reaction. PMID:24496323

  12. A trap, neuter, and release program for feral cats on Prince Edward Island

    PubMed Central

    Gibson, Karen L.; Keizer, Karen; Golding, Christine

    2002-01-01

    A new program to address the feral cat population on Prince Edward Island was undertaken during the spring and summer of 2001. Feral cats from specific geographic areas were trapped, sedated, and tested for feline leukemia virus and feline immunodeficiency virus. Healthy cats were neutered, dewormed, vaccinated, tattooed, and released to their area of origin. A total of 185 cats and kittens were trapped and tested during a 14-week period; 158 cats and kittens as young as 6 weeks of age were neutered and released. Twenty-three adult cats were positive for feline leukemia virus, feline immunodeficiency virus, or both, and were euthanized. PMID:12240526

  13. A serological study of Dirofilaria immitis in feral cats in Grenada, West Indies.

    PubMed

    Fernandez, C; Chikweto, A; Mofya, S; Lanum, L; Flynn, P; Burnett, J P; Doherty, D; Sharma, R N

    2010-12-01

    A study to determine the seroprevalence of Dirofilaria immitis was carried out in feral cats in Grenada. Of the 137 feral cats tested for circulating antibodies (IgG; lateral-flow immunoassay) and circulating antigens (Ag; enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay), 8% (95% confidence interval (CI) 3.5-12.5%) were antibody positive and 5.1% (95% CI 1.4-8.8%) were antigen positive. No significant difference between cats aged>1 to 4 years and cats less than 1 year of age was found (P>0.05, χ²). There was also no significant difference (P>0.05, χ²) between male and female cats. Dirofilaria immitis prevalence is relatively high in the feral cat population of Grenada. Evidence of D. immitis infection in feral cats coupled with the endemic nature of heartworm disease in dogs in Grenada leads us to suggest the introduction of heartworm prophylaxis in cats. To the authors' knowledge, this serological evidence of heartworm infection in feral cats in Grenada is the first report from the Caribbean region. PMID:20144260

  14. Linking genetic diversity and temporal fluctuations in population abundance of the introduced feral cat (Felis silvestris catus) on the Kerguelen archipelago.

    PubMed

    Devillard, S; Santin-Janin, H; Say, L; Pontier, D

    2011-12-01

    Linking temporal variations of genetic diversity, including allelic richness and heterozygosity, and spatio-temporal fluctuations in population abundance has emerged as an important tool for understanding demographic and evolutionary processes in natural populations. This so-called genetic monitoring was conducted across 12 consecutive years (1996-2007) at three sites for the feral cat, introduced onto the Kerguelen archipelago fifty years ago. Temporal changes in allelic richness and heterozygosity at 18 microsatellite DNA loci were compared with temporal changes in the adult population abundance index, obtained by typical demographic monitoring. No association was found at the island spatial scale, but we observed an association between genetic diversity and adult population indices from year to year within each study site. More particularly, the magnitude of successive increases or decreases in the adult population abundance index appeared to be the major factor linking the trajectories of genetic diversity and adult population abundance indices. Natal dispersal and/or local recruitment, both facilitated by high juvenile survival when the adult population size is small, is proposed as the major demographic processes contributing to such an observed pattern. Finally, we suggested avoiding the use of the harmonic mean as an estimator of long-term population size to study the relationships between demographic fluctuations and heterozygosity in populations characterized by strong multiannual density fluctuations. PMID:22098605

  15. Managing feral cats on a university's campuses: how many are there and is sterilization having an effect?

    PubMed

    Jones, Amanda L; Downs, Colleen T

    2011-01-01

    Worldwide domestic and feral cat (Felis catus) numbers have increased. Concerns regarding high populations of feral cats in urban areas include wildlife predation, public nuisance, and disease. This study aimed to estimate the size of the feral cat population on 5 campuses of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, to determine whether sterilization has an effect and to make management recommendations. The study used both the total count and mark-recapture methods to estimate the feral cat population on each campus. The study chose a noninvasive method of taking photographs to "mark" individuals and record those who were sterilized. The study estimated a total of 186 cats on all campuses and density at 161 cats km(-2). There was a negative relationship between sterilization and numbers. Sites with higher sterilization showed a lower proportion of younger cats. At the average sterilization of 55%, the population, according to predictions, would remain stable at fecundity, survival, and immigration rates reported by cat caretakers. However, caretakers underestimated cat abundance by 7 ± 37 SD%. Caretakers' feral cat sterilization and feeding programs appear to provide a service to the university community. Key management recommendations were to increase sterilization to 90% to reduce the population over the long term and to raise funds to support the costs incurred by voluntary cat caretakers. PMID:21932945

  16. Videographic evidence of endangered species depredation by feral cat

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Judge, Seth; Lippert, Jill S.; Misajon, Kathleen; Hu, Darcy; Hess, Steven C.

    2012-01-01

    Feral cats (Felis cafus) have long been implicated as nest predators of endangered 'Ua'u (Hawaiian Petrel; Pterodroma sandwichensis) on Hawaii Island, but until recently, visual confirmation has been limited by available technology. 'Ua'u nest out of view, deep inside small cavities, on alpine lava flows. During the breeding seasons of 2007 and 2008, we monitored known burrows within Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. Digital infrared video cameras assisted in determining the breeding behaviour and nesting success at the most isolated of burrows. With 7 cameras, we collected a total of 819 videos and 89 still photographs of adult and nestling 'Ua'u at 14 burrows. Videos also confirmed the presence of rats (Rattus spp.) at 2 burrows, 'Ōmao (Myadestes obscurus) at 8 burrows, and feral cats at 6 burrows. A sequence of videos showed a feral cat taking a downy 'Ua'u chick from its burrow, representing the first direct evidence of 'Ua'u depredation by feral cat in Hawai'i. This technique provides greater understanding of feral cat behaviour in 'Ua'u colonies, which may assist in the development of more targeted management strategies to reduce nest predation on endangered insular bird species.

  17. Feral Cat Globetrotters: genetic traces of historical human-mediated dispersal.

    PubMed

    Koch, Katrin; Algar, Dave; Schwenk, Klaus

    2016-08-01

    Endemic species on islands are highly susceptible to local extinction, in particular if they are exposed to invasive species. Invasive predators, such as feral cats, have been introduced to islands around the world, causing major losses in local biodiversity. In order to control and manage invasive species successfully, information about source populations and level of gene flow is essential. Here, we investigate the origin of feral cats of Hawaiian and Australian islands to verify their European ancestry and a potential pattern of isolation by distance. We analyzed the genetic structure and diversity of feral cats from eleven islands as well as samples from Malaysia and Europe using mitochondrial DNA (ND5 and ND6 regions) and microsatellite DNA data. Our results suggest an overall European origin of Hawaiian cats with no pattern of isolation by distance between Australian, Malaysian, and Hawaiian populations. Instead, we found low levels of genetic differentiation between samples from Tasman Island, Lana'i, Kaho'olawe, Cocos (Keeling) Island, and Asia. As these populations are separated by up to 10,000 kilometers, we assume an extensive passive dispersal event along global maritime trade routes in the beginning of the 19th century, connecting Australian, Asian, and Hawaiian islands. Thus, islands populations, which are characterized by low levels of current gene flow, represent valuable sources of information on historical, human-mediated global dispersal patterns of feral cats. PMID:27551385

  18. Differences between vocalization evoked by social stimuli in feral cats and house cats.

    PubMed

    Yeon, Seong C; Kim, Young K; Park, Se J; Lee, Scott S; Lee, Seung Y; Suh, Euy H; Houpt, Katherine A; Chang, Hong H; Lee, Hee C; Yang, Byung G; Lee, Hyo J

    2011-06-01

    To investigate how socialization can affect the types and characteristics of vocalization produced by cats, feral cats (n=25) and house cats (n=13) were used as subjects, allowing a comparison between cats socialized to people and non-socialized cats. To record vocalization and assess the cats' responses to behavioural stimuli, five test situations were used: approach by a familiar caretaker, by a threatening stranger, by a large doll, by a stranger with a dog and by a stranger with a cat. Feral cats showed extremely aggressive and defensive behaviour in most test situations, and produced higher call rates than those of house cats in the test situations, which could be attributed to less socialization to other animals and to more sensitivity to fearful situations. Differences were observed in the acoustic parameters of feral cats in comparison to those of house cats. The feral cat produced significantly higher frequency in fundamental frequency, peak frequency, 1st quartile frequency, 3rd quartile frequency of growls and hisses in agonistic test situations. In contrast to the growls and hisses, in meow, all acoustic parameters like fundamental frequency, first formant, peak frequency, 1st quartile frequency, and 3rd quartile frequency of house cats were of significantly higher frequency than those of feral cats. Also, house cats produced calls of significantly shorter in duration than feral cats in agonistic test situations. These results support the conclusion that a lack of socialization may affect usage of types of vocalizations, and the vocal characteristics, so that the proper socialization of cat may be essential to be a suitable companion house cat. PMID:21443933

  19. Prevalence of feline immunodeficiency virus infection in domesticated and feral cats in eastern Australia.

    PubMed

    Norris, Jacqueline M; Bell, Erin T; Hales, Louise; Toribio, Jenny-Ann L M L; White, Joanna D; Wigney, Denise I; Baral, Randolph M; Malik, Richard

    2007-08-01

    Serum samples from 340 pet cats presented to three inner city clinics in Sydney Australia, 68 feral cats from two separate colonies in Sydney, and 329 cattery-confined pedigree and domestic cats in eastern Australia, were collected over a 2-year period and tested for antibodies directed against feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) using immunomigration (Agen FIV Rapid Immunomigration test) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay methods (Snap Combo feline leukaemia virus antigen/FIV antibody test kit, IDEXX Laboratories). Western blot analysis was performed on samples in which there was discrepancy between the results. Information regarding breed, age, gender, housing arrangement and health status were recorded for all pet and cattery-confined cats, while the estimated age and current physical condition were recorded for feral cats. The FIV prevalence in the two feral cat populations was 21% and 25%. The majority of FIV-positive cats were male (60-80%). The FIV prevalence in cattery-confined cats was nil. The prevalence of FIV in the pet cat sample population was 8% (27/340) with almost equal prevalence in 'healthy' (13/170) and 'systemically unwell' (14/170) cats. The age of FIV-positive pet cats ranged from 3 to 19 years; all FIV-positive cats were domestic shorthairs with outside access. The median age of FIV-positive pet cats (11 years) was significantly greater than the median age of FIV-negative pet cats (7.5 years: P<0.05). The prevalence of FIV infection in male pet cats (21/172; 12%) was three times that in female pet cats (6/168; 4%; P<0.05). With over 80% of this pet cat population given outside access and continued FIV infection present in the feral population, this study highlights the need to develop rapid, accurate and cost-effective diagnostic methods that are not subject to false positives created by concurrent vaccination against FIV. This is especially important in re-homing stray cats within animal shelters and monitoring the efficacy of the new

  20. The effects of feral cats on insular wildlife: the Club-Med syndrome

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hess, Steve C.; Danner, Raymond M.

    2012-01-01

    Domestic cats have been introduced to many of the world‘s islands where they have been particularly devastating to insular wildlife which, in most cases, evolved in the absence of terrestrial predatory mammals and feline diseases. We review the effects of predation, feline diseases, and the life history characteristics of feral cats and their prey that have contributed to the extirpation and extinction of many insular vertebrate species. The protozoan Toxoplasma gondii is a persistent land-based zoonotic pathogen hosted by cats that is known to cause mortality in several insular bird species. It also enters marine environments in cat feces where it can cause the mortality of marine mammals. Feral cats remain widespread on islands throughout the world and are frequently subsidized in colonies which caretakers often assert have little negative effect on native wildlife. However, population genetics, home range, and movement studies all suggest that there are no locations on smaller islands where these cats cannot penetrate within two generations. While the details of past vertebrate extinctions were rarely documented during contemporary time, a strong line of evidence is emerging that the removal of feral cats from islands can rapidly facilitate the recolonization of extirpated species, particularly seabirds. Islands offer unique, mostly self-contained ecosystems in which to conduct controlled studies of the effects of feral cats on wildlife, having implications for continental systems. The response of terrestrial wildlife such as passerine birds, small mammals, and herptiles still needs more thorough long-term monitoring and documentation after the removal of feral cats.

  1. Extraterritorial hunting expeditions to intense fire scars by feral cats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McGregor, Hugh W.; Legge, Sarah; Jones, Menna E.; Johnson, Christopher N.

    2016-03-01

    Feral cats are normally territorial in Australia’s tropical savannahs, and hunt intensively with home-ranges only two to three kilometres across. Here we report that they also undertake expeditions of up to 12.5 km from their home ranges to hunt for short periods over recently burned areas. Cats are especially likely to travel to areas burned at high intensity, probably in response to vulnerability of prey soon after such fires. The movements of journeying cats are highly directed to specific destinations. We argue that the effect of this behaviour is to increase the aggregate impact of cats on vulnerable prey. This has profound implications for conservation, considering the ubiquity of feral cats and global trends of intensified fire regimes.

  2. Extraterritorial hunting expeditions to intense fire scars by feral cats.

    PubMed

    McGregor, Hugh W; Legge, Sarah; Jones, Menna E; Johnson, Christopher N

    2016-01-01

    Feral cats are normally territorial in Australia's tropical savannahs, and hunt intensively with home-ranges only two to three kilometres across. Here we report that they also undertake expeditions of up to 12.5 km from their home ranges to hunt for short periods over recently burned areas. Cats are especially likely to travel to areas burned at high intensity, probably in response to vulnerability of prey soon after such fires. The movements of journeying cats are highly directed to specific destinations. We argue that the effect of this behaviour is to increase the aggregate impact of cats on vulnerable prey. This has profound implications for conservation, considering the ubiquity of feral cats and global trends of intensified fire regimes. PMID:26932268

  3. Extraterritorial hunting expeditions to intense fire scars by feral cats

    PubMed Central

    McGregor, Hugh W.; Legge, Sarah; Jones, Menna E.; Johnson, Christopher N.

    2016-01-01

    Feral cats are normally territorial in Australia’s tropical savannahs, and hunt intensively with home-ranges only two to three kilometres across. Here we report that they also undertake expeditions of up to 12.5 km from their home ranges to hunt for short periods over recently burned areas. Cats are especially likely to travel to areas burned at high intensity, probably in response to vulnerability of prey soon after such fires. The movements of journeying cats are highly directed to specific destinations. We argue that the effect of this behaviour is to increase the aggregate impact of cats on vulnerable prey. This has profound implications for conservation, considering the ubiquity of feral cats and global trends of intensified fire regimes. PMID:26932268

  4. Feral Cats: Too Long a Threat to Hawaiian Wildlife

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hess, Steven C.; Banko, Paul C.

    2006-01-01

    BACKGROUND Domestic cats (Felis catus) were first brought to Hawai`i aboard sailing ships of European explorers and colonists. The job of these predators was to control mice and rats on the ships during the long voyages. As in other places, cats were taken in and adopted by the families of Hawai`i and soon became household pets known as popoki. But cats have always been very well equipped to live and hunt on their own. On tropical archipelagos like the Hawaiian Islands where no other predatory mammals of comparable size existed, abundant and naive prey were particularly easy game, and cats soon thrived in the wild. Although the details of when cats first came to live in the wild remain little known, adventurers, writers, and naturalists of the day recorded some important observations. Feral cats were observed in remote wilderness around K?ilauea volcano on Hawai`i Island as early as 1840 by explorer William Brackenridge. Mark Twain was so impressed by the great abundance of cats when he visited Honolulu in 1866 that he reported his observations in the Sacramento Union newspaper, which were later reprinted in his book Roughing It: I saw... tame cats, wild cats, singed cats, individual cats, groups of cats, platoons of cats, companies of cats, regiments of cats, armies of cats, multitudes of cats, millions of cats...

  5. Prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii infection in feral cats in Seoul, Korea.

    PubMed

    Lee, Sang-Eun; Kim, Neung-Hee; Chae, Hee-Sun; Cho, Shin-Hyeong; Nam, Ho-Woo; Lee, Won-Ja; Kim, Sun-Heung; Lee, Jung-Hark

    2011-02-01

    The present study assessed the prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii infection in feral cat populations in Seoul using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR). A total of 456 feral cats from 17 wards in Seoul was surveyed. The overall prevalence of T. gondii infection was 15.8% (69/456) by ELISA and 17.5% (80/456) by PCR; by gender, 17% (44/259) by ELISA and 16.2% (42/259) by PCR in males and 14.3% (28/196) by ELISA and 19.4% (38/196) by PCR in females. On a baseline of the Han River, prevalence was 15.1% (29/192) by ELISA and 15.6% (30/192) by PCR in the upper region and 16.4% (43/264) by ELISA and 18.9% (50/264) by PCR in the lower area. This suggested that toxoplasmosis is widespread throughout Seoul's feral cat population and it is critical that the city institute policies for the control of the feral cat population to reduce the risk of toxoplasmosis transmission to animals, including humans. PMID:21348626

  6. Evaluation of medetomidine, ketamine and buprenorphine for neutering feral cats.

    PubMed

    Harrison, Kelly A; Robertson, Sheilah A; Levy, Julie K; Isaza, Natalie M

    2011-12-01

    A combination of medetomidine (M, 100 μg/kg), ketamine (K, 10 mg/kg) and buprenorphine (B, 10 μg/kg), administered by intramuscular injection, was evaluated for spaying and castration (neutering) of feral cats (n = 101). Eleven animals (11%) required supplemental anesthesia (isoflurane by mask) to maintain an adequate plane of surgical anesthesia. Atipamezole (A, 125 μg/kg) was administered subcutaneously at the completion of surgery. All cats recovered from surgery and were released the following day. A hemoglobin saturation (SpO(2)) value of < 95% was recorded at least once during anesthesia in all cats. This MKB combination can be used in a feral cat sterilization clinic, but isoflurane supplementation may be necessary. Further research is indicated to determine the clinical significance of the low SpO(2) values associated with this anesthetic regimen. PMID:21885310

  7. Serological survey of vector-borne zoonotic pathogens in pet cats and cats from animal shelters and feral colonies.

    PubMed

    Case, Joseph Brad; Chomel, Bruno; Nicholson, William; Foley, Janet E

    2006-04-01

    Although cats and their arthropod parasites can sometimes be important sources of zoonotic diseases in humans, the extent of exposure among various cat populations to many potential zoonotic agents remains incompletely described. In this study, 170 domestic cats living in private homes, feral cat colonies, and animal shelters from California and Wisconsin were evaluated by serology to determine the levels of exposure to a group of zoonotic vector-borne pathogens. Serological positive test results were observed in 17.2% of cats for Rickettsia rickettsii, 14.9% for R akari, 4.9% for R typhi, 11.1% for R felis, and 14.7% for Bartonella henselae. Although vector-borne disease exposure has been documented previously in cats, the evaluation of multiple pathogens and diverse cat populations simultaneously performed here contributes to our understanding of feline exposure to these zoonotic pathogens. PMID:16434226

  8. Survival of feral cats, Felis catus (Carnivora: Felidae), on Mauna Kea, Hawai'i, based on tooth cementum lines

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Danner, Raymond M.; Farmer, Chris; Hess, Steven C.; Stephens, Robert M.; Banko, Paul C.

    2010-01-01

    Feral cats (Felis catus) have spread throughout anthropogenic and insular environments of the world. They now threaten many species of native wildlife with chronic depredation. Knowledge of feral cat population dynamics is necessary to understand their ecological effects and to develop effective control strategies. However, there are few studies worldwide regarding annual or lifetime survival rates in remote systems, and none on Pacific islands. We constructed the age distribution and estimated survival of feral cats in a remote area of Hawai'i Island using cementum lines present in lower canine teeth. Our data suggest annual cementum line formation. A log-linear model estimated annual survival ≥ 1 yr of age to be 0.647. Relatively high survival coupled with high reproductive output allows individual cats to affect native wildlife for many years and cat populations to rebound quickly after control efforts.

  9. Strength of evidence for the effects of feral cats on insular wildlife: The Club Med Syndrome Part II

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hess, Steve

    2014-01-01

    Various types of evidence have been promulgated as proof for the effects of feral cats on wildlife, typically including numerous studies on predation inferred from diet, mortality attributed to pathogens, and photographic or videographic documentation. The strength of these types of evidence is often short of conclusive. For example, studies of predation inferred from diet provide weak evidence for two reasons: 1) they cannot differentiate depredation from scavenging by feral cats, and 2) they cannot address population-level effects on wildlife because it is rarely understood if mortality acts in compensatory or additive manner. Likewise, pathogens may cause mortality of individuals, but population-level effects of pathogens are rarely known. Photographic or videographic documentation provides direct ‘smoking gun’ evidence that may be useful for positive identification of depredation by cats, or identification of prey designated as threatened or endangered species. However, the most direct and compelling evidence comes from examples where feral cats have been entirely removed from islands. In many cases, several species of seabirds as well as other wildlife have recovered after the complete removal of cats. Where possible, the experimental removal of cats would provide the most conclusive proof of effects on wildlife populations. In other cases where cat removal is not feasible, modeling based on predation rates and life history parameters of species may be the only means of assessing population-level effects on wildlife. Understanding population-level effects of feral cats on wildlife will ultimately be necessary to resolve long-standing wildlife management issues.

  10. A cross-sectional study of Tritrichomonas foetus infection in feral and shelter cats in Prince Edward Island, Canada

    PubMed Central

    Raab, Oriana; Greenwood, Spencer; Vanderstichel, Raphael; Gelens, Hans

    2016-01-01

    A cross-sectional study examined the occurrence of Tritrichomonas foetus, and other intestinal parasites, in feral and shelter cats in Prince Edward Island (PEI). Fecal samples were collected from 100 feral cats, 100 cats from the PEI Humane Society, and 5 cats from a private residence. The occurrence of T. foetus, based on fecal culture, was 0% in feral and shelter cats. A single positive sample was obtained from an owned Abyssinian cat that was imported to PEI. Intestinal parasites were identified via fecal flotation in 76% of feral cats and 39% of cats from the humane society. Feral cats had a higher incidence of Toxocara cati than cats from the humane society (P < 0.001), conversely, shelter cats had a higher incidence of Cystoisospora spp. (P < 0.001). These results suggest that while T. foetus is not of importance in feral and shelter cats in PEI, imported cats could serve as reservoirs. PMID:26933262

  11. A cross-sectional study of Tritrichomonas foetus infection in feral and shelter cats in Prince Edward Island, Canada.

    PubMed

    Raab, Oriana; Greenwood, Spencer; Vanderstichel, Raphael; Gelens, Hans

    2016-03-01

    A cross-sectional study examined the occurrence of Tritrichomonas foetus, and other intestinal parasites, in feral and shelter cats in Prince Edward Island (PEI). Fecal samples were collected from 100 feral cats, 100 cats from the PEI Humane Society, and 5 cats from a private residence. The occurrence of T. foetus, based on fecal culture, was 0% in feral and shelter cats. A single positive sample was obtained from an owned Abyssinian cat that was imported to PEI. Intestinal parasites were identified via fecal flotation in 76% of feral cats and 39% of cats from the humane society. Feral cats had a higher incidence of Toxocara cati than cats from the humane society (P < 0.001), conversely, shelter cats had a higher incidence of Cystoisospora spp. (P < 0.001). These results suggest that while T. foetus is not of importance in feral and shelter cats in PEI, imported cats could serve as reservoirs. PMID:26933262

  12. Home range and diet of feral cats in Hawaii forests

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Smucker, T.D.; Lindsey, G.D.; Mosher, S.M.

    2000-01-01

    Feral cat Felis catus home range in a Hawaiian montane wet forest and their diet in three habitats - montane wet forest, subalpine dry forest, and lowland dry forest - were determined to provide baseline ecological data and to assess potential impacts to native terrestrial fauna. Seven cats (three males and four females) were captured in 624 trap nights. Mean weight of adult cats was 2.85 ?? 0.27 (SE) Kg for males and 1.87 ?? 0.03 kg for females. Mean diumal home range using the adaptive kernel method was 5.74 ?? 2.73 km2 for three males and 2.23 ?? 0.44 km2 for two females. Daytime locations were always within the montane wet forest with the borders on one or more sides of the home ranges of all cats defined by open grassland pastures. Rodents comprised the majority of the cat diets in all three habitats, with the frequencies of occurence between 0.88 and 0.91. Bird remains were a regular component of the diet of cats, with montane wet forest having the highest frequency of occurence (0.68), followed by subalpine dry forest (0.53), and lowland dry forest (0.21).

  13. Landscape Management of Fire and Grazing Regimes Alters the Fine-Scale Habitat Utilisation by Feral Cats

    PubMed Central

    McGregor, Hugh W.; Legge, Sarah; Jones, Menna E.; Johnson, Christopher N.

    2014-01-01

    Intensification of fires and grazing by large herbivores has caused population declines in small vertebrates in many ecosystems worldwide. Impacts are rarely direct, and usually appear driven via indirect pathways, such as changes to predator-prey dynamics. Fire events and grazing may improve habitat and/or hunting success for the predators of small mammals, however, such impacts have not been documented. To test for such an interaction, we investigated fine-scale habitat selection by feral cats in relation to fire, grazing and small-mammal abundance. Our study was conducted in north-western Australia, where small mammal populations are sensitive to changes in fire and grazing management. We deployed GPS collars on 32 cats in landscapes with contrasting fire and grazing treatments. Fine-scale habitat selection was determined using discrete choice modelling of cat movements. We found that cats selected areas with open grass cover, including heavily-grazed areas. They strongly selected for areas recently burnt by intense fires, but only in habitats that typically support high abundance of small mammals. Intense fires and grazing by introduced herbivores created conditions that are favoured by cats, probably because their hunting success is improved. This mechanism could explain why, in northern Australia, impacts of feral cats on small mammals might have increased. Our results suggest the impact of feral cats could be reduced in most ecosystems by maximising grass cover, minimising the incidence of intense fires, and reducing grazing by large herbivores. PMID:25329902

  14. Critical assessment of claims regarding management of feral cats by trap-neuter-return.

    PubMed

    Longcore, Travis; Rich, Catherine; Sullivan, Lauren M

    2009-08-01

    Many jurisdictions have adopted programs to manage feral cats by trap-neuter-return (TNR), in which cats are trapped and sterilized, then returned to the environment to be fed and cared for by volunteer caretakers. Most conservation biologists probably do not realize the extent and growth of this practice and that the goal of some leading TNR advocates is that cats ultimately be recognized and treated as "protected wildlife." We compared the arguments put forth in support of TNR by many feral cat advocates with the scientific literature. Advocates promoting TNR often claim that feral cats harm wildlife only on islands and not on continents; fill a natural or realized niche; do not contribute to the decline of native species; and are insignificant vectors or reservoirs of disease. Advocates also frequently make claims about the effectiveness of TNR, including claims that colonies of feral cats are eventually eliminated by TNR and that managed colonies resist invasion by other cats. The scientific literature contradicts each of these claims. TNR of feral cats is primarily viewed and regulated as an animal welfare issue, but it should be seen as an environmental issue, and decisions to implement it should receive formal environmental assessment. Conservation scientists have a role to play by conducting additional research on the effects of feral cats on wildlife and by communicating sound scientific information about this problem to policy makers. PMID:19245489

  15. Devil declines and catastrophic cascades: is mesopredator release of feral cats inhibiting recovery of the eastern quoll?

    PubMed

    Fancourt, Bronwyn A; Hawkins, Clare E; Cameron, Elissa Z; Jones, Menna E; Nicol, Stewart C

    2015-01-01

    The eastern quoll (Dasyurus viverrinus) is a medium-sized Australian marsupial carnivore that has recently undergone a rapid and severe population decline over the 10 years to 2009, with no sign of recovery. This decline has been linked to a period of unfavourable weather, but subsequent improved weather conditions have not been matched by quoll recovery. A recent study suggested another mechanism: that declines in Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) populations, due to the spread of the fatal Devil Facial Tumour Disease, have released feral cats (Felis catus) from competitive suppression, with eastern quoll declines linked to a subsequent increase in cat sightings. Yet current evidence of intraguild suppression among devils, cats and quolls is scant and equivocal. We therefore assessed the influences of top-down effects on abundance and activity patterns among devils, feral cats and eastern quolls. Between 2011 and 2013, we monitored four carnivore populations using longitudinal trapping and camera surveys, and performed camera surveys at 12 additional sites throughout the eastern quoll's range. We did not find evidence of a negative relationship between devil and cat abundance, nor of higher cat abundance in areas where devil populations had declined the longest. Cats did not appear to avoid devils spatially; however, there was evidence of temporal separation of cat and devil activity, with reduced separation and increasing nocturnal activity observed in areas where devils had declined the longest. Cats and quolls used the same areas, and there was no evidence that cat and quoll abundances were negatively related. Temporal overlap in observed cat and quoll activity was higher in summer than in winter, but this seasonal difference was unrelated to devil declines. We suggest that cats did not cause the recent quoll decline, but that predation of juvenile quolls by cats could be inhibiting low density quoll populations from recovering their former abundance

  16. Feline immunodeficiency virus testing in stray, feral, and client-owned cats of Ottawa.

    PubMed

    Little, Susan E

    2005-10-01

    Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) seroprevalence is evaluated in 3 groups of cats. Seventy-four unowned urban strays were tested, as well as 20 cats from a small feral cat colony, and 152 client-owned cats. Of the 246 cats tested, 161 (65%) were male and 85 (35%) were female. Seroprevalence for FIV was 23% in the urban strays, 5% in the feral cat colony, and 5.9% in the client-owned cats. Ten cats (4%) were also positive for Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) antigen, including 2 cats coinfected with FeLV and FIV. Seroprevalence for FIV in cats from Ottawa is similar to that found in other nonrandom studies of cats in North America. PMID:16454381

  17. Diet of feral cats in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hess, S.C.; Hansen, H.; Nelson, D.; Swift, R.; Banko, P.C.

    2007-01-01

    We documented the diet of feral cats by analysing the contents of 42 digestive tracts from Kilauea and Mauna Loa in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. Small mammals, invertebrates, and birds were the most common prey types consumed by feral cats. Birds occurred in 27.8-29.2% of digestive tracts. The total number of bird, small mammal, and invertebrate prey differed between Kilauea and Mauna Loa. On Mauna Loa, significantly more (89%) feral cats consumed small mammals, primarily rodents, than on Kilauea Volcano (50%). Mice (Mus musculus) were the major component of the feral cat diet on Mauna Loa, whereas Orthoptera were the major component of the diet on Kilauea. We recovered a mandible set, feathers, and bones of an endangered Hawaiian Petrel (Pterodroma sandwichensis) from a digestive tract from Mauna Loa. This specimen represents the first well-documented endangered seabird to be recovered from the digestive tract of a feral cat in Hawai'i and suggests that feral cats prey on this species.

  18. Survey of Helicobacter infection in domestic and feral cats in Korea.

    PubMed

    Ghil, Heh-Myung; Yoo, Jong-Hyeon; Jung, Woo-Sung; Chung, Tae-Ho; Youn, Hwa-Young; Hwang, Cheol-Yong

    2009-03-01

    Discovery of Helicobacter (H.) pylori has led to a fundamental change in our understanding of gastric diseases in humans. Previous studies have found various Helicobacter spp. in dogs and cats, and pets have been questioned as a zoonotic carrier. The present study surveyed the Helicobacter infections and investigated the presence of H. felis and H. pylori infections in domestic and feral cats in Korea. Sixty-four domestic cats and 101 feral cats were selected from an animal shelter. Saliva and feces were evaluated by Helicobacter genus-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Genus-specific PCR positive samples were further evaluated for H. felis and H. pylori using specific primer pairs. Thirty-six of 64 (56.3%) samples from domestic cats and 92 of 101 (91.1%) samples from feral cats were PCR positive; the positive rate of feces samples was higher than that of saliva samples in both groups. H. felis and H. pylori species-specific PCR was uniformly negative. The prevalence of Helicobacter spp. in feral cats was approximately two-fold higher than that of domestic cats. The fecal-oral route may be more a common transmission route not only between cats but also in humans. PMID:19255526

  19. Effects of feral cats on the evolution of anti-predator behaviours in island reptiles: insights from an ancient introduction.

    PubMed

    Li, Binbin; Belasen, Anat; Pafilis, Panayiotis; Bednekoff, Peter; Foufopoulos, Johannes

    2014-08-01

    Exotic predators have driven the extinction of many island species. We examined impacts of feral cats on the abundance and anti-predator behaviours of Aegean wall lizards in the Cyclades (Greece), where cats were introduced thousands of years ago. We compared populations with high and low cat density on Naxos Island and populations on surrounding islets with no cats. Cats reduced wall lizard populations by half. Lizards facing greater risk from cats stayed closer to refuges, were more likely to shed their tails in a standardized assay, and fled at greater distances when approached by either a person in the field or a mounted cat decoy in the laboratory. All populations showed phenotypic plasticity in flight initiation distance, suggesting that this feature is ancient and could have helped wall lizards survive the initial introduction of cats to the region. Lizards from islets sought shelter less frequently and often initially approached the cat decoy. These differences reflect changes since islet isolation and could render islet lizards strongly susceptible to cat predation. PMID:24943365

  20. Effects of feral cats on the evolution of anti-predator behaviours in island reptiles: insights from an ancient introduction

    PubMed Central

    Li, Binbin; Belasen, Anat; Pafilis, Panayiotis; Bednekoff, Peter; Foufopoulos, Johannes

    2014-01-01

    Exotic predators have driven the extinction of many island species. We examined impacts of feral cats on the abundance and anti-predator behaviours of Aegean wall lizards in the Cyclades (Greece), where cats were introduced thousands of years ago. We compared populations with high and low cat density on Naxos Island and populations on surrounding islets with no cats. Cats reduced wall lizard populations by half. Lizards facing greater risk from cats stayed closer to refuges, were more likely to shed their tails in a standardized assay, and fled at greater distances when approached by either a person in the field or a mounted cat decoy in the laboratory. All populations showed phenotypic plasticity in flight initiation distance, suggesting that this feature is ancient and could have helped wall lizards survive the initial introduction of cats to the region. Lizards from islets sought shelter less frequently and often initially approached the cat decoy. These differences reflect changes since islet isolation and could render islet lizards strongly susceptible to cat predation. PMID:24943365

  1. Parasite richness and abundance in insular and mainland feral cats: insularity or density?

    PubMed

    Fromont, E; Morvilliers, L; Artois, M; Pontier, D

    2001-08-01

    Hosts living on islands carry few parasite species, and the prevalence and intensity of directly transmitted parasites are often higher in insular than in mainland populations. However, it is unclear whether density or other features of insular populations can be responsible for the pattern observed. We compared the parasite richness, prevalence and intensity of parasites between 2 feral populations of cats living either at low density on an island (Kerguelen) or at high density on the mainland (Lyon). Parasite richness was higher in Lyon than in Kerguelen, where only Toxocara cati was found. T. cati egg prevalence was higher in Kerguelen (71.1%) than in Lyon (58.0%). Because cat density cannot explain this pattern, we propose that the low number of parasite species, the diet and/or immunity of cats act to increase prevalence in Kerguelen. Moreover, prevalence, intensity and variance-to-mean ratio increased with age and body mass in Kerguelen whereas, in Lyon, prevalence decreased with age and body mass. We hypothesize that the pattern of exposure differs between populations, and that density-dependent parasite mortality is lower in Kerguelen than in Lyon. We discuss the consequences concerning the influence of parasites on insular host populations. PMID:11510679

  2. Cross transmission of gastrointestinal nematodes between captive neotropical felids and feral cats.

    PubMed

    Rendón-Franco, Emilio; Romero-Callejas, Evangelina; Villanueva-García, Claudia; Osorio-Sarabia, David; Muñoz-García, Claudia I

    2013-12-01

    Pathogen cross transmission between wildlife and domestic animals represents an extinction risk for wildlife; however, reliable verification is difficult to perform, and in some cases, it is even considered unlikely to be conducted. The aim of this work was to identify cross transmission of helminths between feral cats and captive wild felids at a zoological park in southeastern Mexico. Feces were collected from jaguars (Panthera onca), cougars (Puma concolor), ocelots (Leopardus pardalis), margays (Leopardus wiedii), and jaguarundis (Puma yagouaroundi). A flotation technique and macroscopic sieving were performed on the feces. Additionally, as part of the noxious fauna control program of the park, feral cats were captured and euthanized. To perform parasitologic studies, helminths from these animals were recovered. Toxocara cati and Trichuris campanula were shared by jaguarundis and feral cats. Ancylostoma sp. was found in jaguar and ocelot and Ancylostoma tubaeforme in feral cats. Additionally, during this study, a couple of jaguarundis died with clinical signs of trichuriasis. This is the first report of T. campanula in jaguarundi. Because feral cats roam freely in the park, transmission could occur from these vertebrates to wild felids. This study shows the risk that parasites represent to wild felids; a similar situation could be found in free-living species, especially in fragmented habitats that favor contact with domestic animals. PMID:24450052

  3. Feline patent Toxoplasma-like coccidiosis among feral cats (Felis catus) in Doha city, Qatar and its immediate surroundings.

    PubMed

    Abu-Madi, Marawan A; Behnke, Jerzy M

    2014-09-01

    Doha city has a high feral cat population and studies of hospital records in Doha have shown that human toxoplasmosis also occurs. Clearly, there is a need to understand the role of cats as vectors of human toxoplasmosis in the city and as a first step we assessed the extent of patent Toxoplasma-like coccidial infections among feral cats. Oocysts in cat faeces were detected between June 2008 and April 2010, from a range of locations radiating out of the city centre in concentric semi circular/elliptic rings and by north, west and south divisions within each of the rings. In total 4,652 cats were sampled and overall prevalence of oocysts was 9.1%. Prevalence was 10.1% in the first summer, and then dropped to 8.4% in the following winter and further to 6.8% in the next summer before rising to 10.6% in the final winter of the study; this interaction between annual period and season was significant. There were also significant changes in prevalence across each of the consecutive months of the study, but no clear pattern was evident. Prevalence did not vary significantly by city sector and there was no difference in prevalence between the host sexes. We conclude therefore, that despite minor and significant perturbations, the prevalence of patent Toxoplasma-like coccidial infections among cats in Doha is remarkably stable throughout the year, across years and spatially within the city's districts. PMID:25119351

  4. Atypical Toxoplasma gondii genotype in feral cats from the Fernando de Noronha Island, northeastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Melo, R P B; Almeida, J C; Lima, D C V; Pedrosa, C M; Magalhães, F J R; Alcântara, A M; Barros, L D; Vieira, R F C; Garcia, J L; Mota, R A

    2016-07-15

    Toxoplasma gondii isolates from Brazil have a different phenotypic and genotypic pattern, with predominance of virulent isolates and recombinant genotypes, compared to the North Hemisphere. Considering that a new T. gondii genotype, non-pathogenic to mice, was previously identified from free-range chickens from the Fernando de Noronha Island, Brazil, this study aimed to identify genotypes of this parasite in tissue samples of feral cats (Felis catus) from this Brazilian Island. Anti-T. gondii IgG antibodies were detected in 18/31 (58%) feral cats. Two non-virulent T. gondii isolates were obtained by mouse bioassay. Genotyping was performed by PCR-RFLP using 10 genetic markers (SAG1, SAG2, SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, c22-8, c29-2, PK1, L358 and Apico) and an atypical strain of T. gondii (ToxoDB #146) was identified. This is the first report of this genotype in feral cats. PMID:27270396

  5. Devil Declines and Catastrophic Cascades: Is Mesopredator Release of Feral Cats Inhibiting Recovery of the Eastern Quoll?

    PubMed Central

    Fancourt, Bronwyn A.; Hawkins, Clare E.; Cameron, Elissa Z.; Jones, Menna E.; Nicol, Stewart C.

    2015-01-01

    The eastern quoll (Dasyurus viverrinus) is a medium-sized Australian marsupial carnivore that has recently undergone a rapid and severe population decline over the 10 years to 2009, with no sign of recovery. This decline has been linked to a period of unfavourable weather, but subsequent improved weather conditions have not been matched by quoll recovery. A recent study suggested another mechanism: that declines in Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) populations, due to the spread of the fatal Devil Facial Tumour Disease, have released feral cats (Felis catus) from competitive suppression, with eastern quoll declines linked to a subsequent increase in cat sightings. Yet current evidence of intraguild suppression among devils, cats and quolls is scant and equivocal. We therefore assessed the influences of top-down effects on abundance and activity patterns among devils, feral cats and eastern quolls. Between 2011 and 2013, we monitored four carnivore populations using longitudinal trapping and camera surveys, and performed camera surveys at 12 additional sites throughout the eastern quoll’s range. We did not find evidence of a negative relationship between devil and cat abundance, nor of higher cat abundance in areas where devil populations had declined the longest. Cats did not appear to avoid devils spatially; however, there was evidence of temporal separation of cat and devil activity, with reduced separation and increasing nocturnal activity observed in areas where devils had declined the longest. Cats and quolls used the same areas, and there was no evidence that cat and quoll abundances were negatively related. Temporal overlap in observed cat and quoll activity was higher in summer than in winter, but this seasonal difference was unrelated to devil declines. We suggest that cats did not cause the recent quoll decline, but that predation of juvenile quolls by cats could be inhibiting low density quoll populations from recovering their former abundance

  6. Feral Cats Are Better Killers in Open Habitats, Revealed by Animal-Borne Video

    PubMed Central

    McGregor, Hugh; Legge, Sarah; Jones, Menna E.; Johnson, Christopher N.

    2015-01-01

    One of the key gaps in understanding the impacts of predation by small mammalian predators on prey is how habitat structure affects the hunting success of small predators, such as feral cats. These effects are poorly understood due to the difficulty of observing actual hunting behaviours. We attached collar-mounted video cameras to feral cats living in a tropical savanna environment in northern Australia, and measured variation in hunting success among different microhabitats (open areas, dense grass and complex rocks). From 89 hours of footage, we recorded 101 hunting events, of which 32 were successful. Of these kills, 28% were not eaten. Hunting success was highly dependent on microhabitat structure surrounding prey, increasing from 17% in habitats with dense grass or complex rocks to 70% in open areas. This research shows that habitat structure has a profound influence on the impacts of small predators on their prey. This has broad implications for management of vegetation and disturbance processes (like fire and grazing) in areas where feral cats threaten native fauna. Maintaining complex vegetation cover can reduce predation rates of small prey species from feral cat predation. PMID:26288224

  7. Feral Cats Are Better Killers in Open Habitats, Revealed by Animal-Borne Video.

    PubMed

    McGregor, Hugh; Legge, Sarah; Jones, Menna E; Johnson, Christopher N

    2015-01-01

    One of the key gaps in understanding the impacts of predation by small mammalian predators on prey is how habitat structure affects the hunting success of small predators, such as feral cats. These effects are poorly understood due to the difficulty of observing actual hunting behaviours. We attached collar-mounted video cameras to feral cats living in a tropical savanna environment in northern Australia, and measured variation in hunting success among different microhabitats (open areas, dense grass and complex rocks). From 89 hours of footage, we recorded 101 hunting events, of which 32 were successful. Of these kills, 28% were not eaten. Hunting success was highly dependent on microhabitat structure surrounding prey, increasing from 17% in habitats with dense grass or complex rocks to 70% in open areas. This research shows that habitat structure has a profound influence on the impacts of small predators on their prey. This has broad implications for management of vegetation and disturbance processes (like fire and grazing) in areas where feral cats threaten native fauna. Maintaining complex vegetation cover can reduce predation rates of small prey species from feral cat predation. PMID:26288224

  8. Management of feral domestic cats in the urban environment of Rome (Italy).

    PubMed

    Natoli, Eugenia; Maragliano, Laura; Cariola, Giuseppe; Faini, Anna; Bonanni, Roberto; Cafazzo, Simona; Fantini, Claudio

    2006-12-18

    In Italy, which is rabies-free, the national Law No. 281 [Legge Nazionale 14 agosto 1991. No. 281: Legge Quadro in materia di animali di affezione e prevenzione del randagismo. Gazz. Uff. Rep. Ital. no 203 del 30 agosto 1991: p. 3] on the management of pets and on the control of feral cats has introduced the no-kill policy for this species. Thus, "trap-neuter-release" (TNR) programs have been carried out for >10 years. In this paper we present data on registered colonies and censused cats in Rome from 1991 to 2000; the results of the neutering campaign from 1991 to 2000; and a survey, on 103 cat colonies, on the effects of demographic control of urban feral-cat colonies in the city of Rome, carried out by the local Veterinary Public Services (VPS) in collaboration with the associations of cat care-takers. In 10 years almost 8000 were neutered and reintroduced in their original colony. The spay/neuter campaigns brought about a general decrease in cat number but the percentage of cat immigration (due to abandonment and spontaneous arrival) is around 21%. This suggests that all these efforts without an effective education of people to control the reproduction of house cats (as a prevention for abandonment) are a waste of money, time and energy. PMID:17034887

  9. What's in a name? Perceptions of stray and feral cat welfare and control in Aotearoa, New Zealand.

    PubMed

    Farnworth, Mark J; Campbell, Joanna; Adams, Nigel J

    2011-01-01

    New Zealanders (n = 354) rated the acceptability of lethal and nonlethal cat control methods and the importance of conservation and welfare. Lethal control was more acceptable for feral cats than strays; for nonlethal control, the inverse was true. More than concern for the welfare of cats subjected to control, perceived conservation benefits, risk of disease transfer, and companion cat welfare dictated the acceptability of control measures. Similarly, the welfare consideration for groups of cats differed, transitioning from companion (highest) to feral (lowest). Differences in attitudes toward acceptability of control methods were evident. In particular, nonhuman animal professionals ranked lethal control as more acceptable than did nonanimal professionals. Cat caregivers (owners) considered both conservation and welfare issues of greater importance than did nonowners. Owners ranked the acceptability of nonlethal control methods higher for stray cats, but not feral, than did nonowners. This research indicates that the use of the terms stray and feral may have significant impact on cats in New Zealand. There is also a greater consideration of conservation values than of welfare in stray and feral cat control. PMID:21191848

  10. Epidemiological survey of zoonotic helminths in feral cats in Gran Canaria island (Macaronesian archipelago-Spain).

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Ponce, Eligia; González, Jorge F; Conde de Felipe, Magnolia; Hernández, Julia N; Raduan Jaber, J

    2016-09-01

    The presence of zoonotic parasites in feral cats have been widely considered all over the world. In Gran Canaria (Macaronesian archipelago, Canary Islands, Spain) the number of feral cats has grown out of control in urban and rural areas. 48 of Felis catus captured in different Gran Canaria areas were studied. Animals were necropsied and several organs were systematically examined in order to collect and identify macroscopic parasites. In addition, coprological tests were done in 28 cats. There were no statistically significant differences in the prevalence rate among sex, age or capture area, showing an overall prevalence of helminths of 77.1%. The most common tapeworms were Dipylidium caninum (64.6%) and Taenia taeniaeformis (31.3%), followed by the nematodes Toxocara cati (20.8%), Ancylostoma tubaeforme (18.8%), Aelurostrongylusabstrusus (10.4%) and Trichuris vulpis (2.08%). We also find several eggs of Alaria alata in the small intestine of one cat (2.08%), being the first description of this trematode in cats in the Canary Islands. Aproximatelly, 40% of the studied cats harboured more than one parasite. High rates of zoonotic species found in these animals suggest the need of controling parasitic infections and preventive measures against them. PMID:27447205

  11. Influenza exposure in United States feral swine populations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hall, J.S.; Minnis, R.B.; Campbell, T.A.; Barras, S.; DeYoung, R.W.; Pabilonia, K.; Avery, M.L.; Sullivan, H.; Clark, L.; McLean, R.G.

    2008-01-01

    Swine play an important role in the disease ecology of influenza. Having cellular receptors in common with birds and humans, swine provide opportunities for mixed infections and potential for genetic reassortment between avian, human, and porcine influenza. Feral swine populations are rapidly expanding in both numbers and range and are increasingly coming into contact with waterfowl, humans, and agricultural operations. In this study, over 875 feral swine were sampled from six states across the United States for serologic evidence of exposure to influenza. In Oklahoma, Florida, and Missouri, USA, no seropositive feral swine were detected. Seropositive swine were detected in California, Mississippi, and Texas, USA. Antibody prevalences in these states were 1% in Mississippi, 5% in California, and 14.4% in Texas. All seropositive swine were exposed to H3N2 subtype, the predominant subtype currently circulating in domestic swine. The only exceptions were in San Saba County, Texas, where of the 15 seropositive samples, four were positive for H1N1 and seven for both H1N1 and H3N2. In Texas, there was large geographical and temporal variation in antibody prevalence and no obvious connection to domestic swine operations. No evidence of exposure to avian influenza in feral swine was uncovered. From these results it is apparent that influenza in feral swine poses a risk primarily to swine production operations. However, because feral swine share habitat with waterfowl, prey on and scavenge dead and dying birds, are highly mobile, and are increasingly coming into contact with humans, the potential for these animals to become infected with avian or human influenza in addition to swine influenza is a distinct possibility. ?? Wildlife Disease Association 2008.

  12. Feral burro populations: Distribution and damage assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Tiller, B.L.

    1997-12-01

    This report was prepared to document (1) regional use of the National Training Center (NTC), Fort Irwin, CA, by burros, (2)influence of available water sources for burro use, (3) burro-related damage at several NTC sensitive habitat areas, and (4) management recommendations. All work described in this report was conducted in 1996 and 1997. Roadside transects were conducted and mapped using Geographical Positioning Systems/Geographical Information Systems (GPS/GIS) to indirectly measure relative abundance of feral burros (scat per mile) and to examine the spatial relationship of burro use to permanent or semi-permanent water sources that exist on the NTC. The authors also surveyed several permanent springs for burro-related damage and mapped the impact areas using GPS/GIS to quantify the extent of damage and to provide guidance on size and extent of burro exclosures in those areas. Photographs of the spring sites were also archived and permanent photo points were established for long-term monitoring of feral burro damage areas. In addition, aquatic invertebrate data collected during another spring site study were summarized and discussed in relation to burro-related impacts on the NTC`s sensitive habitats. Several water-quality parameters were also obtained from each spring, including temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, and total dissolved solids.

  13. Molecular identity and prevalence of Cryptococcus spp. nasal carriage in asymptomatic feral cats in Italy.

    PubMed

    Danesi, Patrizia; Furnari, Carmelo; Granato, Anna; Schivo, Alice; Otranto, Domenico; Capelli, Gioia; Cafarchia, Claudia

    2014-10-01

    Cryptococcosis is a life-threatening fungal disease that infects humans and animals worldwide. Inhalation of fungal particles from an environmental source can cause primary infection of the respiratory system. As animals can be considered a sentinel for human diseases, the aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and molecular identity of Cryptococcus spp. in the nasal cavity of feral cats. Cats from 162 urban and rural feral cat colonies were sampled over 3 years. Of 766 cats from which nasal swabs were obtained, Cryptococcus spp. were recovered from 95 (12.6%), including 37 C. magnus (4.8%), 16 C. albidus (2.0%), 15 C. carnescens (1.9%), 12 C. neoformans (1.6%), as well as C. oeirensis (n = 3), C. victoriae (n = 3), C. albidosimilis (n = 2), Filobasidium globisporum (n = 2), C. adeliensis (n = 1), C. flavescens (n = 1), C. dimnae (n = 1), C. saitoi (n = 1), and C. wieringae (n = 1) with prevalence <1%. Thirteen Cryptococcus species were identified by polymerase chain reaction and sequencing of internal transcribed spacer amplicons. Statistical analysis did not identify any predisposing factors that contributed to nasal colonization (eg, sex, age, season, or habitat). Results suggest that asymptomatic feral cats may carry C. neoformans and other Cryptococcus species in their sinonasal cavity. Genotyping of the specific cryptococcal isolates provides a better understanding of the epidemiology of these yeasts. PMID:25082953

  14. An adaptive strategy for reducing Feral Cat predation on endangered hawaiian birds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hess, S.C.; Banko, P.C.; Hansen, H.

    2009-01-01

    Despite the long history of Feral Cats Felis catus in Hawai'i, there has been little research to provide strategies to improve control programmes and reduce depredation on endangered species. Our objective Was to develop a predictive model to determine how landscape features on Mauna Kea, such as habitat, elevation, and proximity to roads, may affect the number of Feral Cats captured at each trap. We used log-link generalized linear models and QAIC c model ranking criteria to determine the effect of these factors. We found that The number of cats captured per trap Was related to effort, habitat type, and Whether traps Were located on The West or North Slope of Mauna Kea. We recommend an adaptive management strategy to minimize trapping interference by non-target Small Indian Mongoose Herpestes auropunctatus with toxicants, to focus trapping efforts in M??mane Sophora chrysophylla habitat on the West slope of Mauna Kea, and to cluster traps near others that have previously captured multiple cats.

  15. The legal status of cats in New Zealand: a perspective on the welfare of companion, stray, and feral domestic cats (Felis catus).

    PubMed

    Farnworth, Mark J; Dye, Nicholson G; Keown, Natasha

    2010-01-01

    Pinpointing and safeguarding the welfare status of domestic cats is problematic, especially in New Zealand where cats are introduced predators with significant impact on indigenous fauna. Usually the identification of welfare status depends on conservational, legal, and public attitudes that are often contrasting. Cats may rapidly transgress definitions placed on them, confounding attempts to categorize them. In 1 generation, cats can move from a human-dependent state ("stray" or "companion") to wild ("feral"). Often this categorization uses arbitrary behavioral and or situational parameters; consequent treatment and welfare protection for these cats are similarly affected. Terminology used to describe cats is not equitable across research. However, the New Zealand Animal Welfare (Companion Cats) Code of Welfare 2007 seeks to create a new definition of the terms companion, stray, and feral. It distinguishes between cats who live within and without human social constructs. This legislation mandates that cats in human environments or indirectly dependent on humans cannot be classified as feral. Such definitions may prove vital when safeguarding the welfare of free-living domestic cats and cat colonies. PMID:20349383

  16. Labeling Feral Spruce Budworm (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) Populations With Rubidium.

    PubMed

    MacKinnon, Wayne; Eveleigh, Eldon; Silk, Peter; Forbes, Glen

    2016-04-01

    Rubidium (Rb) is a trace element that occurs naturally in low concentrations and is easily absorbed by plants, making it a useful tool for labeling insect defoliators, such as spruce budworm (Choristoneura fumiferana Clemens). Balsam fir trees (Abies balsamea (L.) Miller) injected with either 8 or 16 g per tree of rubidium chloride (RbCl) showed quick uptake and distribution throughout the crown, with no negative effects on tree shoot growth or spruce budworm survival and development. Adult spruce budworm that fed as larvae on trees injected with RbCl were clearly labeled, with significantly higher Rb concentrations than the background levels found in adults that fed as larvae on control trees. Rb concentrations in feral spruce budworm adults for both the 8 g (9 µg/g) and 16 g (25 µg/g) per tree treatments were at least five times lower than those in laboratory-reared adults on 1,000 µg/g RbCl diet (125 µg/g); survival, development, pupal weight, sex ratio, and mating status of spruce budworm were not adversely affected by Rb treatment. Egg masses laid by feral females that fed as larvae on Rb-labeled trees were also labeled with Rb. Injecting trees with RbCl is a viable technique for labeling feral spruce budworm populations to help distinguish local populations from immigrants to better evaluate the success of early intervention strategies such as mating disruption. PMID:26920559

  17. Evidence of feline immunodeficiency virus, feline leukemia virus, and Toxoplasma gondii in feral cats on Mauna Kea, Hawaii.

    PubMed

    Danner, Raymond M; Goltz, Daniel M; Hess, Steven C; Banko, Paul C

    2007-04-01

    We determined prevalence to feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) antibodies, feline leukemia virus (FeLV) antigen, and Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in feral cats (Felis catus) on Mauna Kea Hawaii from April 2002 to May 2004. Six of 68 (8.8%) and 11 of 68 (16.2%) cats were antibody positive to FIV and antigen positive for FeLV, respectively; 25 of 67 (37.3%) cats were seropositive to T. gondii. Antibodies to FeLV and T. gondii occurred in all age and sex classes, but FIV occurred only in adult males. Evidence of current or previous infections with two of these infectious agents was detected in eight of 64 cats (12.5%). Despite exposure to these infectious agents, feral cats remain abundant throughout the Hawaiian Islands. PMID:17495320

  18. Evidence of feline immunodeficiency virus, feline leukemia virus, and Toxoplasma gondii in feral cats on Mauna Kea, Hawaii

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Danner, R.M.; Goltz, Dan M.; Hess, S.C.; Banko, P.C.

    2007-01-01

    We determined prevalence to feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) antibodies, feline leukemia virus (FeLV) antigen, and Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in feral cats (Felis catus) on Mauna Kea Hawaii from April 2002 to May 2004. Six of 68 (8.8%) and 11 of 68 (16.2%) cats were antibody positive to FIV and antigen positive for FeLV, respectively; 25 of 67 (37.3%) cats were seropositive to T. gondii. Antibodies to FeLV and T. gondii occurred in all age and sex classes, but FIV occurred only in adult males. Evidence of current or previous infections with two of these infectious agents was detected in eight of 64 cats (12.5%). Despite exposure to these infectious agents, feral cats remain abundant throughout the Hawaiian Islands. ?? Wildlife Disease Association 2007.

  19. Modelling the Dynamics of Feral Alfalfa Populations and Its Management Implications

    PubMed Central

    Bagavathiannan, Muthukumar V.; Begg, Graham S.; Gulden, Robert H.; Van Acker, Rene C.

    2012-01-01

    Background Feral populations of cultivated crops can pose challenges to novel trait confinement within agricultural landscapes. Simulation models can be helpful in investigating the underlying dynamics of feral populations and determining suitable management options. Methodology/Principal Findings We developed a stage-structured matrix population model for roadside feral alfalfa populations occurring in southern Manitoba, Canada. The model accounted for the existence of density-dependence and recruitment subsidy in feral populations. We used the model to investigate the long-term dynamics of feral alfalfa populations, and to evaluate the effectiveness of simulated management strategies such as herbicide application and mowing in controlling feral alfalfa. Results suggest that alfalfa populations occurring in roadside habitats can be persistent and less likely to go extinct under current roadverge management scenarios. Management attempts focused on controlling adult plants alone can be counterproductive due to the presence of density-dependent effects. Targeted herbicide application, which can achieve complete control of seedlings, rosettes and established plants, will be an effective strategy, but the seedbank population may contribute to new recruits. In regions where roadside mowing is regularly practiced, devising a timely mowing strategy (early- to mid-August for southern Manitoba), one that can totally prevent seed production, will be a feasible option for managing feral alfalfa populations. Conclusions/Significance Feral alfalfa populations can be persistent in roadside habitats. Timely mowing or regular targeted herbicide application will be effective in managing feral alfalfa populations and limit feral-population-mediated gene flow in alfalfa. However, in the context of novel trait confinement, the extent to which feral alfalfa populations need to be managed will be dictated by the tolerance levels established by specific production systems for specific

  20. Home range and movements of Feral cats on Mauna Kea, Hawai'i

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Goltz, Dan M.; Hess, S.C.; Brinck, K.W.; Banko, P.C.; Danner, R.M.

    2008-01-01

    Feral cats Felis catus in dry subalpine woodland of Mauna Kea, Hawai'i, live in low density and exhibit some of the largest reported home ranges in the literature. While 95% fixed kemel home range estimates for three females averaged 772 ha, four males averaged 1 418 ha, and one male maintained a home range of 2 050 ha. Mean daily movement rates between sexes overlapped widely and did not differ significantly (P = 0.083). Log-transformed 95% kernel home ranges for males were significantly larger than those of females (P = 0.024), but 25% kernel home ranges for females were larger than those of males (P = 0.017). Moreover, log-transformed home ranges of males were also significantly larger than those of females in this and seven other studies from the Pacific region (P = 0.044). Feral cats present a major threat to endangered Hawaiian birds, but knowledge of their ecology can be used for management by optimizing trap spacing and creating buffer zones around conservation areas.

  1. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii and Neospora caninum in feral cats (Felis silvestris catus) in Majorca, Balearic Islands, Spain

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Felids are important in the epidemiology of Toxoplasma gondii infection because they are the only hosts that can excrete environmentally-resistant oocysts. Antibodies to T. gondii and Neospora caninum were determined in serum samples from 59 feral cats (Felis silvestris catus) captured in baited tra...

  2. Assessing risks to non-target species during poison baiting programs for feral cats.

    PubMed

    Buckmaster, Tony; Dickman, Christopher R; Johnston, Michael J

    2014-01-01

    Poison baiting is used frequently to reduce the impacts of pest species of mammals on agricultural and biodiversity interests. However, baiting may not be appropriate if non-target species are at risk of poisoning. Here we use a desktop decision tree approach to assess the risks to non-target vertebrate species in Australia that arise from using poison baits developed to control feral house cats (Felis catus). These baits are presented in the form of sausages with toxicant implanted in the bait medium within an acid-soluble polymer capsule (hard shell delivery vehicle, or HSDV) that disintegrates after ingestion. Using criteria based on body size, diet and feeding behaviour, we assessed 221 of Australia's 3,769 native vertebrate species as likely to consume cat-baits, with 47 of these likely to ingest implanted HSDVs too. Carnivorous marsupials were judged most likely to consume both the baits and HSDVs, with some large-bodied and ground-active birds and reptiles also consuming them. If criteria were relaxed, a further 269 species were assessed as possibly able to consume baits and 343 as possibly able to consume HSDVs; most of these consumers were birds. One threatened species, the Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) was judged as definitely able to consume baits with implanted HSDVs, whereas five threatened species of birds and 21 species of threatened mammals were rated as possible consumers. Amphibia were not considered to be at risk. We conclude that most species of native Australian vertebrates would not consume surface-laid baits during feral cat control programs, and that significantly fewer would be exposed to poisoning if HSDVs were employed. However, risks to susceptible species should be quantified in field or pen trials prior to the implementation of a control program, and minimized further by applying baits at times and in places where non-target species have little access. PMID:25229348

  3. Assessing Risks to Non-Target Species during Poison Baiting Programs for Feral Cats

    PubMed Central

    Buckmaster, Tony; Dickman, Christopher R.; Johnston, Michael J.

    2014-01-01

    Poison baiting is used frequently to reduce the impacts of pest species of mammals on agricultural and biodiversity interests. However, baiting may not be appropriate if non-target species are at risk of poisoning. Here we use a desktop decision tree approach to assess the risks to non-target vertebrate species in Australia that arise from using poison baits developed to control feral house cats (Felis catus). These baits are presented in the form of sausages with toxicant implanted in the bait medium within an acid-soluble polymer capsule (hard shell delivery vehicle, or HSDV) that disintegrates after ingestion. Using criteria based on body size, diet and feeding behaviour, we assessed 221 of Australia's 3,769 native vertebrate species as likely to consume cat-baits, with 47 of these likely to ingest implanted HSDVs too. Carnivorous marsupials were judged most likely to consume both the baits and HSDVs, with some large-bodied and ground-active birds and reptiles also consuming them. If criteria were relaxed, a further 269 species were assessed as possibly able to consume baits and 343 as possibly able to consume HSDVs; most of these consumers were birds. One threatened species, the Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) was judged as definitely able to consume baits with implanted HSDVs, whereas five threatened species of birds and 21 species of threatened mammals were rated as possible consumers. Amphibia were not considered to be at risk. We conclude that most species of native Australian vertebrates would not consume surface-laid baits during feral cat control programs, and that significantly fewer would be exposed to poisoning if HSDVs were employed. However, risks to susceptible species should be quantified in field or pen trials prior to the implementation of a control program, and minimized further by applying baits at times and in places where non-target species have little access. PMID:25229348

  4. Isolation of Mycobacterium avium subsp paratuberculosis (Map) from feral cats on a dairy farm with Map-infected cattle.

    PubMed

    Palmer, Mitchell V; Stoffregen, William C; Carpenter, Jeremy G; Stabel, Judith R

    2005-07-01

    Paratuberculosis is an economically important disease of dairy cattle caused by Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (Map). The role of nonruminant, nondomestic animals in the epidemiology of paratuberculosis in cattle is unclear. To examine nonruminant, nondomestic animals for the presence of Map, 25 feral cats, nine mice (species unknown), eight rabbits (Sylvilagus floridanus), six raccoons (Procyon lotor), and three opossums (Didelphis virginiana) were collected from a mid-western dairy with known Map-infected cattle. Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis was isolated from the mesenteric lymph node from seven of 25 (28%) feral cats. Ileum was culture-positive for three of these seven cats, and an isolation of Map was also made from the ileum of one of nine (11%) mice. Tissue samples from other species were negative as determined by Map culture; microscopic lesions consistent with paratuberculosis were not seen in any animal. Restriction fragment polymorphism analysis of isolates from cats and dairy cattle suggest interspecies transmission. The means by which interspecies transmission occurred may be through ingestion of Map-contaminated feces or waste milk or through ingestion of Map-infected prey. Shedding of Map from infected cats was not evaluated. The epidemiologic role of Map-infected feral cats on dairy farms requires further investigation. PMID:16244077

  5. Assessment of the histopathological lesions and chemical analysis of feral cats to the smoke from the Kuwait oil fires.

    PubMed

    Moeller, R B; Kalasinsky, V F; Razzaque, M; Centeno, J A; Dick, E J; Abdal, M; Petrov, I I; DeWitt, T W; al-Attar, M; Pletcher, J M

    1994-01-01

    Twenty-six adult or subadult feral cats were collected from Kuwait approximately 8 months after the ignition of the Kuwait oil wells. These animals were obtained from two sources: 12 animals from Kuwait City, a relatively smoke-free area, and 14 from the city of Ahmadi, an area with heavy smoke. Animals were euthanized and a complete set of tissues consisting of all major organs was taken for histopathology. Samples of lung, liver, kidney, urine, and blood were also taken for toxicology. Histopathological lesions observed in the lung were mild accumulations of anthracotic pigment in the lungs of 17 cats. Hyperplasia of the bronchial and bronchiolar gland in 8 cats, and smooth muscle hyperplasia of bronchioles in 14 cats. Tracheal gland hyperplasia was observed in 7 cats, and minimal squamous metaplasia of the tracheal mucosa in 17 cats, Laryngeal lesions consisted of submucosal gland hyperplasia in 2 cats and squamous metaplasia of the mucosa in 5 cats. Hyperplasia of the nasal submucosal glands was observed in 6 animals. The pharyngeal mucosa as well as other organs and organ systems were normal in all cats. Atomic absorption analysis for 11 metals was performed; vanadium and nickel levels (two metals that were present in the smoke from the oil fires) are not indicative of substantial exposure to the oil fires. Based on the histopathological findings and toxicological analysis, it is felt that inhalation of air contaminated with smoke from the oil fires had little or no long-term effect on the animals examined. PMID:7884645

  6. Isolation and characterization of viable Toxoplasma gondii isolates revealed possible high frequency of mixed infection in feral cats (felis domesticus) from St. Kitts, West Indies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cats are essential in the epidemiology of Toxoplasma gondii because they are the only hosts that can excrete the environmentally resistant oocysts in nature. Samples of serum, feces, and tissues from feral cats from St. Kitts, West Indies were examined for T. gondii infection. Antibodies to T. gon...

  7. Rabies prevention and management of cats in the context of trap-neuter-vaccinate-release programmes.

    PubMed

    Roebling, A D; Johnson, D; Blanton, J D; Levin, M; Slate, D; Fenwick, G; Rupprecht, C E

    2014-06-01

    Domestic cats are an important part of many Americans' lives, but effective control of the 60-100 million feral cats living throughout the country remains problematic. Although trap-neuter-vaccinate-return (TNVR) programmes are growing in popularity as alternatives to euthanizing feral cats, their ability to adequately address disease threats and population growth within managed cat colonies is dubious. Rabies transmission via feral cats is a particular concern as demonstrated by the significant proportion of rabies post-exposure prophylaxis associated with exposures involving cats. Moreover, TNVR has not been shown to reliably reduce feral cat colony populations because of low implementation rates, inconsistent maintenance and immigration of unsterilized cats into colonies. For these reasons, TNVR programmes are not effective methods for reducing public health concerns or for controlling feral cat populations. Instead, responsible pet ownership, universal rabies vaccination of pets and removal of strays remain integral components to control rabies and other diseases. PMID:23859607

  8. Temporal overlaps of feral cats with prey and competitors in primary and human-altered habitats on Bohol Island, Philippines.

    PubMed

    Bogdan, Vlastimil; Jůnek, Tomáš; Jůnková Vymyslická, Pavla

    2016-01-01

    The vertebrate fauna of the Philippines, known for its diversity and high proportion of endemic species, comprises mainly small- to medium-sized forms with a few large exceptions. As with other tropical ecosystems, the major threats to wildlife are habitat loss, hunting and invasive species, of which the feral cat (Felis catus) is considered the most damaging. Our camera-trapping study focused on a terrestrial vertebrate species inventory on Bohol Island and tempo-spatial co-occurrences of feral cats with their prey and competitors. The survey took place in the Rajah Sikatuna Protected Landscape, and we examined the primary rainforest, its border with agricultural land, and rural areas in the vicinity of villages. Altogether, over 2,885 trap days we captured 30 species of vertebrates-10 mammals (including Sus philippensis), 19 birds and one reptile, Varanus cumingi. We trapped 81.8% of expected vertebrates. Based on the number of events, the most frequent native species was the barred rail (Gallirallus torquatus). The highest overlap in diel activity between cats and potential prey was recorded with rodents in rural areas (Δ = 0.62); the lowest was in the same habitat with ground-dwelling birds (Δ = 0.40). Cat activity was not recorded inside the rainforest; in other habitats their diel activity pattern differed. The cats' activity declined in daylight in the proximity of humans, while it peaked at the transition zone between rainforest and fields. Both rodents and ground-dwelling birds exhibited a shift in activity levels between sites where cats were present or absent. Rodents tend to become active by day in cat-free habitats. No cats' temporal response to co-occurrences of civets (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus and Viverra tangalunga) was found but cats in diel activity avoided domestic dogs (Canis lupus familiaris). Our first insight into the ecology of this invasive predator in the Philippines revealed an avoidance of homogeneous primary rainforest and a

  9. Assessment of the histopathological lesions and chemical analysis of feral cats to the smoke from the Kuwait oil fires

    SciTech Connect

    Moeller, R.B. Jr.; Dick, E.J.; Pletcher, J.M.

    1994-12-31

    Twenty-six adult or subadult feral cats were collected from Kuwait approximately 8 months after the ignition of the Kuwait oil wells. These animals were obtained from two sources: 12 animals from Kuwait City, a relatively smoke-free area, and 14 from the city of Ahmadi, an area with heavy smoke. Animals were euthanized and a complete set of tissues consisting of all major organs was taken for histopathology. Samples of lung, liver, kidney, urine, and blood were also taken for toxicology. Histopathological lesions observed in the lung were mild accumulations of anthracotic pigment in the lungs of 17 cats. Hyperplasia of the bronchial and bronchiolar gland in 8 cats, and smooth muscle hyperplasia of bronchioles in 14 cats. Tracheal gland hyperplasia was observed in 7 cats, and minimal squamous metaplasia of the tracheal mucosa in 17 cats, Laryngeal lesions consisted of submucosal gland hyperplasia in 2 cats and squamous metaplasia of the mucosa in 5 cats. Hyperplasia of the nasal submucosal glands was observed in 6 animals. The pharyngeal mucosa as well as other organs and organ systems were normal in all cats. Atomic absorption analysis for 11 metals was performed; vanadium and nickel levels (two metals that were present in the smoke from the oil fires) are not indicative of substantial exposure to the oil fires. Based on the histopathological findings and toxicological analysis, it is felt that inhalation of air contaminated with smoke from the oil fires had little or no long-term effect on the animals examined. 36 refs., 3 figs., 7 tabs.

  10. Assessment of the histopathological lesions and chemical analysis of feral cats to the smoke from Kuwait oil fires

    SciTech Connect

    Moeller, R.B.; Kalasinsky, V.F.; Razzaque, M.; Centeno, J.A.; Dick, E.J.

    1994-12-31

    Twenty-six adult or subadult feral cats were collected from Kuwait approximately 8 months after the ignition of the Kuwait oil wells. These animals were obtained from two sources: 12 animals from Kuwait City, a relatively Co smoke-free area, and 14 from the city of Alimadi, an area with heavy smoke. Animals were euthanized and a complete set of tissues consisting of all 0 major organs was taken for histopathology. Samples of lung, liver, kidney, urine, and blood were also taken for toxicology. Histopathological lesions observed in the lung were mild accumulations of anthracotic pigment in the lungs of 17 cats. Hyperplasia of the bronchial and bronchiolar gland in 8 cats, and smooth muscle hyperplasia of bronchioles in 14 cats. Iracheal gland hyperplasia was observed in 7 cats, and minimal squamous metaplasia of the tracheal mucosa in 17 cats, Laryngeal lesions consisted of submucosal gland hyperplasia in 2 cats and squamous metaplasia of the mucosa in 5 cats. Hyperplasia of the nasal submucosal glands was observed in 6 animals. The pharyngeal mucosa as well as other organs and organ systems (a) were normal in all cats. Atomic absorption analysis for 11 metals was performed; vanadium and nickel levels (two metals that were present in the smoke from the oil fires) are not indicative of substantial exposure to the oil fires. Based on the histopathological findings and toxicological analysis, it is felt that inhalation of air contaminated with smoke from the oil fires had little or no long-term effect on the animals examined.

  11. Endoscopic Vasectomy of Male Feral Pigeons (Columba livia) as a Possible Method of Population Control.

    PubMed

    Heiderich, Elisabeth; Schildger, Bernd; Lierz, Michael

    2015-03-01

    To evaluate whether single-entry endoscopic vasectomy of male feral pigeons (Columba livia) significantly reduced fertility and would potentially be valuable for control of feral pigeon populations, 252 male feral pigeons were caught in the city of Berne and endoscopically vasectomized. In this procedure, approximately 1 cm of the deferent duct was removed bilaterally. Rapid, uneventful recoveries occurred in 94% (237/252) of the pigeons, whereas 6% (15/252) died because of complications associated with the procedure, consisting of perforation of the ureter (9/15), major hemorrhage (5/15), and respiratory arrest (1/15). Mean anesthesia time was 23±6 minutes. The vasectomized males were habituated to 2 pigeon houses together with fertile females. Another pigeon house with fertile pairs acted as control. All eggs laid were candled weekly to assess fertility. In the 2 pigeon houses with vasectomized males, the mean fertilization rate was 0.9% (5/563), while in the control pigeon house, the rate was 100% (39/39). The results indicate that endoscopic vasectomy of male feral pigeons may be a promising tool for field control of feral pigeon populations, especially in combination with other methods such as pigeon houses. PMID:25867661

  12. Temporal overlaps of feral cats with prey and competitors in primary and human-altered habitats on Bohol Island, Philippines

    PubMed Central

    Bogdan, Vlastimil; Jůnková Vymyslická, Pavla

    2016-01-01

    The vertebrate fauna of the Philippines, known for its diversity and high proportion of endemic species, comprises mainly small- to medium-sized forms with a few large exceptions. As with other tropical ecosystems, the major threats to wildlife are habitat loss, hunting and invasive species, of which the feral cat (Felis catus) is considered the most damaging. Our camera-trapping study focused on a terrestrial vertebrate species inventory on Bohol Island and tempo-spatial co-occurrences of feral cats with their prey and competitors. The survey took place in the Rajah Sikatuna Protected Landscape, and we examined the primary rainforest, its border with agricultural land, and rural areas in the vicinity of villages. Altogether, over 2,885 trap days we captured 30 species of vertebrates–10 mammals (including Sus philippensis), 19 birds and one reptile, Varanus cumingi. We trapped 81.8% of expected vertebrates. Based on the number of events, the most frequent native species was the barred rail (Gallirallus torquatus). The highest overlap in diel activity between cats and potential prey was recorded with rodents in rural areas (Δ = 0.62); the lowest was in the same habitat with ground-dwelling birds (Δ = 0.40). Cat activity was not recorded inside the rainforest; in other habitats their diel activity pattern differed. The cats’ activity declined in daylight in the proximity of humans, while it peaked at the transition zone between rainforest and fields. Both rodents and ground-dwelling birds exhibited a shift in activity levels between sites where cats were present or absent. Rodents tend to become active by day in cat-free habitats. No cats’ temporal response to co-occurrences of civets (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus and Viverra tangalunga) was found but cats in diel activity avoided domestic dogs (Canis lupus familiaris). Our first insight into the ecology of this invasive predator in the Philippines revealed an avoidance of homogeneous primary rainforest and a

  13. Isolation and Genetic Characterization of Toxoplasma gondii from Black Bears (Ursus americanus), Bobcats (Lynx rufus), and Feral Cats (Felis catus) from Pennsylvania.

    PubMed

    Dubey, Jitender P; Verma, Shiv K; Calero-Bernal, Rafael; Cassinelli, Ana B; Kwok, Oliver C H; Van Why, Kyle; Su, Chunlei; Humphreys, Jan G

    2015-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii infects virtually all warm-blooded hosts worldwide. Recently, attention has been focused on the genetic diversity of the parasite to explain its pathogenicity in different hosts. It has been hypothesized that interaction between feral and domestic cycles of T. gondii may increase unusual genotypes in domestic cats and facilitate transmission of potentially more pathogenic genotypes to humans, domestic animals, and wildlife. In the present study, we tested black bear (Ursus americanus), bobcat (Lynx rufus), and feral cat (Felis catus) from the state of Pennsylvania for T. gondii infection. Antibodies to T. gondii were found in 32 (84.2%) of 38 bears, both bobcats, and 2 of 3 feral cats tested by the modified agglutination test (cut off titer 1:25). Hearts from seropositive animals were bioassayed in mice, and viable T. gondii was isolated from 3 of 32 bears, 2 of 2 bobcats, and 2 of 3 feral cats. DNA isolated from culture-derived tachyzoites of these isolates was characterized using multilocus PCR-RFLP markers. Three genotypes were revealed, including ToxoDB PCR-RFLP genotype #1 or #3 (Type II, 1 isolate), #5 (Type 12, 3 isolates), and #216 (3 isolates), adding to the evidence of genetic diversity of T. gondii in wildlife in Pennsylvania. Pathogenicity of 3 T. gondii isolates (all #216, 1 from bear, and 2 from feral cat) was determined in outbred Swiss Webster mice; all three were virulent causing 100% mortality. Results indicated that highly mouse pathogenic strains of T. gondii are circulating in wildlife, and these strains may pose risk to infect human through consuming of game meat. PMID:25393429

  14. Territoriality of feral pigs in a highly persecuted population on Fort Benning, Georgia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sparklin, B.D.; Mitchell, M.S.; Hanson, L.B.; Jolley, D.B.; Ditchkoff, S.S.

    2009-01-01

    We examined home range behavior of female feral pigs (Sus scrofa) in a heavily hunted population on Fort Benning Military Reservation in west-central Georgia, USA. We used Global Positioning System location data from 24 individuals representing 18 sounders (i.e., F social groups) combined with markrecapture and camera-trap data to evaluate evidence of territorial behavior at the individual and sounder levels. Through a manipulative experiment, we examined evidence for an inverse relationship between population density and home range size that would be expected for territorial animals. Pigs from the same sounder had extensive home range overlap and did not have exclusive core areas. Sounders had nearly exclusive home ranges and had completely exclusive core areas, suggesting that female feral pigs on Fort Benning were territorial at the sounder level but not at the individual level. Lethal removal maintained stable densities of pigs in our treatment area, whereas density increased in our control area; territory size in the 2 areas was weakly and inversely related to density of pigs. Territorial behavior in feral pigs could influence population density by limiting access to reproductive space. Removal strategies that 1) match distribution of removal efforts to distribution of territories, 2) remove entire sounders instead of individuals, and 3) focus efforts where high-quality food resources strongly influence territorial behaviors may be best for long-term control of feral pigs.

  15. Health status of a recently discovered population of feral swine in Kansas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gipson, P.S.; Veatch, J.K.; Matlack, R.S.; Jones, D.P.

    1999-01-01

    Twenty feral hogs (Sus scrofa) from a newly discovered population on Fort Riley Army Base (Kansas, USA) were shot and examined from November 1993 through February 1994 to assess the health of the population. The hogs were generally healthy, although serologic evidence indicated that some individuals had been exposed to parvovirus, enterovirus, and swine influenza. We found no indications of brucellosis, pseudorabies, or porcine respiratory and reproductive syndrome. Lung worms (Metastrongylus spp.), round worms (Ascaris suum), and whipworms (Trichuris suis) were found in nine, four and two of the hogs, respectively. Seven hogs had infestations of lice (Haematopinus suis). Fence-line contacts were documented between four wild boars and domestic sows, and in three cases wild boars entered pens containing domestic sows. We recommend that hogs be examined periodically from this and other wild populations to monitor health status since new animals may enter populations through deliberate translocation, escape from shooting preserves or domestic swine producers, or dispersal from other feral populations.

  16. Population genetic structure in farm and feral American mink (Neovison vison) inferred from RAD sequencing-generated single nucleotide polymorphisms.

    PubMed

    Thirstrup, J P; Ruiz-Gonzalez, A; Pujolar, J M; Larsen, P F; Jensen, J; Randi, E; Zalewski, A; Pertoldi, C

    2015-08-01

    Feral American mink populations (), derived from mink farms, are widespread in Europe. In this study we investigated genetic diversity and genetic differentiation between feral and farm mink using a panel of genetic markers (194 SNP) generated from RAD sequencing data. Sampling included a total of 211 individuals from 14 populations, 4 feral and 10 from farms, the latter including a total of 7 color types (Brown, Black, Mahogany, Sapphire, White, Pearl, and Silver). Our study revealed similar low levels of genetic diversity in both farm and feral mink. Results are consistent with small effective population size as a consequence of line selection in the farms and founder effects of a few escapees from the farms in feral populations. Moderately high genetic differentiation was found between farm and feral animals, suggesting a scenario in which wild populations were founded from farm escapes a few decades ago. Currently, escapes and gene flow are probably limited. Genetic differentiation was higher among farm color types than among farms, consistent with line selection using few individuals to create the lines. Finally, no indications of inbreeding were found in either farm or feral samples, with significant negative values found in most farm samples, showing farms are successful in avoiding inbreeding. PMID:26440156

  17. Neospora caninum exposure in overlapping populations of coyotes (Canis latrans) and feral swine (Sus scrofa).

    PubMed

    Bevins, Sarah; Blizzard, Emily; Bazan, Luis; Whitley, Pat

    2013-10-01

    Limited information exists on Neospora caninum transmission dynamics in wildlife. This coccidian parasite, whose presence can lead to substantial economic losses in cattle operations, requires a canid definitive host for reproduction. We examined exposure in a definitive host, coyotes (Canis latrans), and in overlapping populations of feral swine (Sus scrofa) to determine if spatial proximity between a definitive and incidental host influences the likelihood of parasite exposure. Eighteen percent of coyotes (95% confidence interval [CI] = 14.2-21.8) and 15.8% of feral swine (95% CI = 12.5-19.2) had been exposed to N. caninum, and this is the first report of exposure in US feral swine populations. Analyses suggest that the parasite is present throughout the environment and that exposure is not temporally or spatially linked to antibody-positive coyotes. Antibody-positive feral swine were found in an area where the only definitive host is domestic dogs (Canis familiaris), indicating that wild canids are not required to maintain the parasite in the environment. PMID:24502735

  18. Disease spread models in wild and feral animal populations: application of artificial life models.

    PubMed

    Ward, M P; Laffan, S W; Highfield, L D

    2011-08-01

    The role that wild and feral animal populations might play in the incursion and spread of important transboundary animal diseases, such as foot and mouth disease (FMD), has received less attention than is warranted by the potential impacts. An artificial life model (Sirca) has been used to investigate this issue in studies based on spatially referenced data sets from southern Texas. An incursion of FMD in which either feral pig or deer populations were infected could result in between 698 and 1557 infected cattle and affect an area of between 166 km2 and 455 km2 after a 100-day period. Although outbreak size in deer populations can be predicted bythe size of the local deer population initially infected, the resulting outbreaks in feral pig populations are less predictable. Also, in the case of deer, the size of potential outbreaks might depend on the season when the incursion occurs. The impact of various mitigation strategies on disease spread has also been investigated. The approach used in the studies reviewed here explicitly incorporates the spatial distribution and relationships between animal populations, providing a new framework to explore potential impacts, costs, and control strategies. PMID:21961216

  19. Opinions from the front lines of cat colony management conflict.

    PubMed

    Peterson, M Nils; Hartis, Brett; Rodriguez, Shari; Green, Matthew; Lepczyk, Christopher A

    2012-01-01

    Outdoor cats represent a global threat to terrestrial vertebrate conservation, but management has been rife with conflict due to differences in views of the problem and appropriate responses to it. To evaluate these differences we conducted a survey of opinions about outdoor cats and their management with two contrasting stakeholder groups, cat colony caretakers (CCCs) and bird conservation professionals (BCPs) across the United States. Group opinions were polarized, for both normative statements (CCCs supported treating feral cats as protected wildlife and using trap neuter and release [TNR] and BCPs supported treating feral cats as pests and using euthanasia) and empirical statements. Opinions also were related to gender, age, and education, with females and older respondents being less likely than their counterparts to support treating feral cats as pests, and females being less likely than males to support euthanasia. Most CCCs held false beliefs about the impacts of feral cats on wildlife and the impacts of TNR (e.g., 9% believed feral cats harmed bird populations, 70% believed TNR eliminates cat colonies, and 18% disagreed with the statement that feral cats filled the role of native predators). Only 6% of CCCs believed feral cats carried diseases. To the extent the beliefs held by CCCs are rooted in lack of knowledge and mistrust, rather than denial of directly observable phenomenon, the conservation community can manage these conflicts more productively by bringing CCCs into the process of defining data collection methods, defining study/management locations, and identifying common goals related to caring for animals. PMID:22970269

  20. Health status of a recently discovered population of feral swine in Kansas.

    PubMed

    Gipson, P S; Veatch, J K; Matlack, R S; Jones, D P

    1999-07-01

    Twenty feral hogs (Sus scrofa) from a newly discovered population on Fort Riley Army Base (Kansas, USA) were shot and examined from November 1993 through February 1994 to assess the health of the population. The hogs were generally healthy, although serologic evidence indicated that some individuals had been exposed to parvovirus, enterovirus, and swine influenza. We found no indications of brucellosis, pseudorabies, or porcine respiratory and reproductive syndrome. Lung worms (Metastrongylus spp.), round worms (Ascaris suum), and whipworms (Trichuris suis) were found in nine, four and two of the hogs, respectively. Seven hogs had infestations of lice (Haematopinus suis). Fence-line contacts were documented between four wild boars and domestic sows, and in three cases wild boars entered pens containing domestic sows. We recommend that hogs be examined periodically from this and other wild populations to monitor health status since new animals may enter populations through deliberate translocation, escape from shooting preserves or domestic swine producers, or dispersal from other feral populations. PMID:10479106

  1. Mating Frequencies of Honey Bee Queens (Apis mellifera L.) in a Population of Feral Colonies in the Northeastern United States

    PubMed Central

    Tarpy, David R.; Delaney, Deborah A.; Seeley, Thomas D.

    2015-01-01

    Across their introduced range in North America, populations of feral honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) colonies have supposedly declined in recent decades as a result of exotic parasites, most notably the ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor. Nonetheless, recent studies have documented several wild populations of colonies that have persisted. The extreme polyandry of honey bee queens—and the increased intracolony genetic diversity it confers—has been attributed, in part, to improved disease resistance and may be a factor in the survival of these populations of feral colonies. We estimated the mating frequencies of queens in feral colonies in the Arnot Forest in New York State to determine if the level of polyandry of these queens is especially high and so might contribute to their survival success. We genotyped the worker offspring from 10 feral colonies in the Arnot Forest of upstate New York, as well as those from 20 managed colonies closest to this forest. We found no significant differences in mean mating frequency between the feral and managed queens, suggesting that queens in the remote, low-density population of colonies in the Arnot Forest are neither mate-limited nor adapted to mate at an especially high frequency. These findings support the hypothesis that the hyperpolyandry of honey bees has been shaped on an evolutionary timescale rather than on an ecological one. PMID:25775410

  2. Mating frequencies of honey bee queens (Apis mellifera L.) in a population of feral colonies in the Northeastern United States.

    PubMed

    Tarpy, David R; Delaney, Deborah A; Seeley, Thomas D

    2015-01-01

    Across their introduced range in North America, populations of feral honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) colonies have supposedly declined in recent decades as a result of exotic parasites, most notably the ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor. Nonetheless, recent studies have documented several wild populations of colonies that have persisted. The extreme polyandry of honey bee queens-and the increased intracolony genetic diversity it confers-has been attributed, in part, to improved disease resistance and may be a factor in the survival of these populations of feral colonies. We estimated the mating frequencies of queens in feral colonies in the Arnot Forest in New York State to determine if the level of polyandry of these queens is especially high and so might contribute to their survival success. We genotyped the worker offspring from 10 feral colonies in the Arnot Forest of upstate New York, as well as those from 20 managed colonies closest to this forest. We found no significant differences in mean mating frequency between the feral and managed queens, suggesting that queens in the remote, low-density population of colonies in the Arnot Forest are neither mate-limited nor adapted to mate at an especially high frequency. These findings support the hypothesis that the hyperpolyandry of honey bees has been shaped on an evolutionary timescale rather than on an ecological one. PMID:25775410

  3. Impacts from control operations on a recreationally hunted feral swine population at a large military installation in Florida.

    PubMed

    Engeman, Richard; Hershberger, Troy; Orzell, Steve; Felix, Rodney; Killian, Gary; Woolard, John; Cornman, Jon; Romano, David; Huddleston, Chet; Zimmerman, Pat; Barre, Chris; Tillman, Eric; Avery, Michael

    2014-06-01

    Feral swine were targeted for control at Avon Park Air Force Range in south-central Florida to avert damage to sensitive wetland habitats on the 40,000-ha base. We conducted a 5-year study to assess impacts from control to this population that had been recreationally hunted for many years. Control was initiated in early 2009. The feral swine population was monitored from 2008 to 2012 using a passive tracking index (PTI) during the dry and wet seasons and using recreational hunter take rates from the dry season. All three indices showed substantial feral swine declines after implementing control, with indices leveling for the final two study years. Military missions and recreational hunting seasons impacted temporal and spatial consistency of control application, thereby limiting further impacts of control efforts on the feral swine population. The PTI was also able to monitor coyotes, another invasive species on the base, and detect Florida black bear and Florida panther, species of particular concern. PMID:24622991

  4. Population ecology of feral horses in an era of fertility control management

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ransom, J.I.

    2012-01-01

    Management of wildlife often requires intervention to regulate growth of populations that would otherwise become overabundant. Controlling fecundity using contraceptives has become an increasingly popular tool for attempting to manage locally overabundant wildlife species, but the population-level effects of such applications are largely unknown. Contraceptive treatments can produce unexpected feedbacks that act on births, survival, immigration, and emigration. Such feedbacks may considerably influence our ability to regulate populations using fertility control. I followed feral horses (Equus caballus) in three intensively managed populations to assess longitudinal treatment effects on demography. The transient contraceptive porcine zona pellucida (PZP) produced longer duration of infertility than intended. Repeated PZP vaccinations of females extended the duration of infertility far beyond the targeted management period, with time to first post-treatment parturition increasing 411days for every annual inoculation received. When these animals did conceive and give birth, parturition was later in the year and temporally asynchronous with forage abundance. An average of 30% (range=11–77%) of females were contracepted annually during the treatment period in all three populations and apparent annual population growth rate was 4–9% lower in the post-treatment years as compared to pretreatment years. Population growth was positive, however, and increased steadily every year that a management removal did not occur. The observed number of births was 33% fewer than the expected number of births, based on number of treated females, individual efficacy of treatment, and number of untreated females and their age-specific fecundity rates. Only half of this difference was explained by the apparent residual effect of treatment. Birth rate in the youngest untreated females (age 2–5 years old) was reduced in years when their conspecifics were treated, enhancing the effects of

  5. How Does a Carnivore Guild Utilise a Substantial but Unpredictable Anthropogenic Food Source? Scavenging on Hunter-Shot Ungulate Carcasses by Wild Dogs/Dingoes, Red Foxes and Feral Cats in South-Eastern Australia Revealed by Camera Traps

    PubMed Central

    Forsyth, David M.; Woodford, Luke; Moloney, Paul D.; Hampton, Jordan O.; Woolnough, Andrew P.; Tucker, Mark

    2014-01-01

    There is much interest in understanding how anthropogenic food resources subsidise carnivore populations. Carcasses of hunter-shot ungulates are a potentially substantial food source for mammalian carnivores. The sambar deer (Rusa unicolor) is a large (≥150 kg) exotic ungulate that can be hunted throughout the year in south-eastern Australia, and hunters are not required to remove or bury carcasses. We investigated how wild dogs/dingoes and their hybrids (Canis lupus familiaris/dingo), red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and feral cats (Felis catus) utilised sambar deer carcasses during the peak hunting seasons (i.e. winter and spring). We placed carcasses at 1-km intervals along each of six transects that extended 4-km into forest from farm boundaries. Visits to carcasses were monitored using camera traps, and the rate of change in edible biomass estimated at ∼14-day intervals. Wild dogs and foxes fed on 70% and 60% of 30 carcasses, respectively, but feral cats seldom (10%) fed on carcasses. Spatial and temporal patterns of visits to carcasses were consistent with the hypothesis that foxes avoid wild dogs. Wild dog activity peaked at carcasses 2 and 3 km from farms, a likely legacy of wild dog control, whereas fox activity peaked at carcasses 0 and 4 km from farms. Wild dog activity peaked at dawn and dusk, whereas nearly all fox activity occurred after dusk and before dawn. Neither wild dogs nor foxes remained at carcasses for long periods and the amount of feeding activity by either species was a less important predictor of the loss of edible biomass than season. Reasons for the low impacts of wild dogs and foxes on sambar deer carcass biomass include the spatially and temporally unpredictable distribution of carcasses in the landscape, the rapid rate of edible biomass decomposition in warm periods, low wild dog densities and the availability of alternative food resources. PMID:24918425

  6. How does a carnivore guild utilise a substantial but unpredictable anthropogenic food source? Scavenging on hunter-shot ungulate carcasses by wild dogs/dingoes, red foxes and feral cats in south-eastern Australia revealed by camera traps.

    PubMed

    Forsyth, David M; Woodford, Luke; Moloney, Paul D; Hampton, Jordan O; Woolnough, Andrew P; Tucker, Mark

    2014-01-01

    There is much interest in understanding how anthropogenic food resources subsidise carnivore populations. Carcasses of hunter-shot ungulates are a potentially substantial food source for mammalian carnivores. The sambar deer (Rusa unicolor) is a large (≥ 150 kg) exotic ungulate that can be hunted throughout the year in south-eastern Australia, and hunters are not required to remove or bury carcasses. We investigated how wild dogs/dingoes and their hybrids (Canis lupus familiaris/dingo), red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and feral cats (Felis catus) utilised sambar deer carcasses during the peak hunting seasons (i.e. winter and spring). We placed carcasses at 1-km intervals along each of six transects that extended 4-km into forest from farm boundaries. Visits to carcasses were monitored using camera traps, and the rate of change in edible biomass estimated at ∼ 14-day intervals. Wild dogs and foxes fed on 70% and 60% of 30 carcasses, respectively, but feral cats seldom (10%) fed on carcasses. Spatial and temporal patterns of visits to carcasses were consistent with the hypothesis that foxes avoid wild dogs. Wild dog activity peaked at carcasses 2 and 3 km from farms, a likely legacy of wild dog control, whereas fox activity peaked at carcasses 0 and 4 km from farms. Wild dog activity peaked at dawn and dusk, whereas nearly all fox activity occurred after dusk and before dawn. Neither wild dogs nor foxes remained at carcasses for long periods and the amount of feeding activity by either species was a less important predictor of the loss of edible biomass than season. Reasons for the low impacts of wild dogs and foxes on sambar deer carcass biomass include the spatially and temporally unpredictable distribution of carcasses in the landscape, the rapid rate of edible biomass decomposition in warm periods, low wild dog densities and the availability of alternative food resources. PMID:24918425

  7. Selective predation by feral cats on a native skink on Guam

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lardner, Björn; Reed, Robert N.; Adams, Amy A. Yackel; Mazurek, M.J.; Hinkle, Thomas J.; Levasseur, Patricia M.; Palmer, Meredith S.; Savidge, Julie A.

    2013-01-01

    Two species of skinks (Fig. 1) occur in a 5-ha plot on Guam where we have been conducting intensive research on Brown Treesnake (Boiga irregularis) population biology for nearly a decade (Rodda et al. 2007). The Pacific Blue-tailed Skink (Emoia caeruleocauda [de Vis 1892]) is native to Guam, whereas the Curious Skink (Carlia ailanpalai Zug 2004) is invasive. On the evening of 27 November 2012, PML and MSP discovered a pile of vomited skinks (Fig. 2) inside the plot (UTM 55P: 269125 m E, 1508930 m N).

  8. Titre distribution patterns of infectious haematopoietic necrosis virus in ovarian fluids of hatchery and feral salmon populations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mulcahy, D.; Pascho, R.J.; Jenes, C.K.

    1983-01-01

    Infectious haematopoietic mecrosis virus (IHNV) is enzootic in virtually all populations of sockeye salmon, Oncorhynchus nerka (Walbaum), and in populations of chinook salmon, O. 1shawytscha (Walbaum), of the Sacramento River drainage in California. This disease is an obstacle in hatcheries using brood stocks from these populations. However, naturally spawning sockeye salmon are highly successful and are the most important commercially fished salmon species in the United States. Most of the commercial landings of sockeye salmon are of feral fish originating in Alaska. The success of natural populations of salmon in which IHNV is enzootic, and the recurrent outbreaks of the disease in hatchery fish, led us to compare IHNW prevalence rates in hatchery and feral salmon populations.

  9. Divergence, convergence, and the ancestry of feral populations in the domestic rock pigeon.

    PubMed

    Stringham, Sydney A; Mulroy, Elisabeth E; Xing, Jinchuan; Record, David; Guernsey, Michael W; Aldenhoven, Jaclyn T; Osborne, Edward J; Shapiro, Michael D

    2012-02-21

    Domestic pigeons are spectacularly diverse and exhibit variation in more traits than any other bird species [1]. In The Origin of Species, Charles Darwin repeatedly calls attention to the striking variation among domestic pigeon breeds-generated by thousands of years of artificial selection on a single species by human breeders-as a model for the process of natural divergence among wild populations and species [2]. Darwin proposed a morphology-based classification of domestic pigeon breeds [3], but the relationships among major groups of breeds and their geographic origins remain poorly understood [4, 5]. We used a large, geographically diverse sample of 361 individuals from 70 domestic pigeon breeds and two free-living populations to determine genetic relationships within this species. We found unexpected relationships among phenotypically divergent breeds as well as convergent evolution of derived traits among several breed groups. Our findings also illuminate the geographic origins of breed groups in India and the Middle East and suggest that racing breeds have made substantial contributions to feral pigeon populations. PMID:22264611

  10. Genetic Diversity of Oilseed Rape Fields and Feral Populations in the Context of Coexistence with GM Crops.

    PubMed

    Bailleul, Diane; Ollier, Sébastien; Lecomte, Jane

    2016-01-01

    Despite growing concern about transgenes escaping from fields, few studies have analysed the genetic diversity of crops in an agroecosystem over several years. Accurate information about the dynamics and relationship of the genetic diversity of crops in an agroecosystem is essential for risk assessment and policies concerning the containment of genetically modified crops and their coexistence with crops grown by conventional practices. Here, we analysed the genetic diversity of oilseed rape plants from fields and feral populations over 4 years in an agricultural landscape of 41 km2. We used exact compatibility and maximum likelihood assignment methods to assign these plants to cultivars. Even pure lines and hybrid cultivar seed lots contained several genotypes. The cultivar diversity in fields reflected the conventional view of agroecosystems quite well: that is, there was a succession of cultivars, some grown for longer than others because of their good performance, some used for one year and then abandoned, and others gradually adopted. Three types of field emerged: fields sown with a single cultivar, fields sown with two cultivars, and unassigned fields (too many cultivars or unassigned plants to reliably assign the field). Field plant diversity was higher than expected, indicating the persistence of cultivars that were grown for only one year. The cultivar composition of feral populations was similar to that of field plants, with an increasing number of cultivars each year. By using genetic tools, we found a link between the cultivars of field plants in a particular year and the cultivars of feral population plants in the following year. Feral populations on road verges were more diverse than those on path verges. All of these findings are discussed in terms of their consequences in the context of coexistence with genetically modified crops. PMID:27359342

  11. Genetic Diversity of Oilseed Rape Fields and Feral Populations in the Context of Coexistence with GM Crops

    PubMed Central

    Bailleul, Diane; Ollier, Sébastien; Lecomte, Jane

    2016-01-01

    Despite growing concern about transgenes escaping from fields, few studies have analysed the genetic diversity of crops in an agroecosystem over several years. Accurate information about the dynamics and relationship of the genetic diversity of crops in an agroecosystem is essential for risk assessment and policies concerning the containment of genetically modified crops and their coexistence with crops grown by conventional practices. Here, we analysed the genetic diversity of oilseed rape plants from fields and feral populations over 4 years in an agricultural landscape of 41 km2. We used exact compatibility and maximum likelihood assignment methods to assign these plants to cultivars. Even pure lines and hybrid cultivar seed lots contained several genotypes. The cultivar diversity in fields reflected the conventional view of agroecosystems quite well: that is, there was a succession of cultivars, some grown for longer than others because of their good performance, some used for one year and then abandoned, and others gradually adopted. Three types of field emerged: fields sown with a single cultivar, fields sown with two cultivars, and unassigned fields (too many cultivars or unassigned plants to reliably assign the field). Field plant diversity was higher than expected, indicating the persistence of cultivars that were grown for only one year. The cultivar composition of feral populations was similar to that of field plants, with an increasing number of cultivars each year. By using genetic tools, we found a link between the cultivars of field plants in a particular year and the cultivars of feral population plants in the following year. Feral populations on road verges were more diverse than those on path verges. All of these findings are discussed in terms of their consequences in the context of coexistence with genetically modified crops. PMID:27359342

  12. Reduced spillover transmission of Mycobacterium bovis to feral pigs (Sus scofa) following population control of brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula).

    PubMed

    Nugent, G; Whitford, J; Yockney, I J; Cross, M L

    2012-06-01

    In New Zealand, bovine tuberculosis (bTB) is present in domestic cattle and deer herds primarily as the result of on-going disease transmission from the primary wildlife host, the brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula). However, bTB is also present in other introduced free-ranging mammalian species. Between 1996 and 2007, we conducted a series of studies to determine whether poison control of possum populations would have any effect on the prevalence of Mycobacterium bovis infection in sympatric feral pigs (Sus scrofa). We compared trends in the prevalence of bTB infection in feral pigs in six study areas: possum numbers were reduced in three areas, but not in the other three, effectively providing a thrice-replicated before-after-control-intervention design. Before possum control, the overall prevalence of culture-confirmed M. bovis infection in feral pigs was 16.7-94.4%, depending on area. Infection prevalence varied little between genders but did vary with age, increasing during the first 2-3 years of life but then declining in older pigs. In the areas in which possum control was applied, M. bovis prevalence in feral pigs fell to near zero within 2-3 years, provided control was applied successfully at the whole-landscape scale. In contrast, prevalence changed much less or not at all in the areas with no possum control. We conclude that feral pigs in New Zealand acquire M. bovis infection mainly by inter-species transmission from possums, but then rarely pass the disease on to other pigs and are end hosts. This is in contrast to the purported role of pigs as bTB maintenance hosts in other countries, and we suggest the difference in host status may reflect differences in the relative importance of the oral route of infection in different environments. Despite harbouring M. bovis infection for a number of years, pigs in New Zealand do not sustain bTB independently, but are good sentinels for disease prevalence in possum populations. PMID:21849098

  13. Distribution and Differentiation of Wild, Feral, and Cultivated Populations of Perennial Upland Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) in Mesoamerica and the Caribbean

    PubMed Central

    Coppens d'Eeckenbrugge, Geo; Lacape, Jean-Marc

    2014-01-01

    Perennial forms of Gossypium hirsutum are classified under seven races. Five Mesoamerican races would have been derived from the wild race ‘yucatanense’ from northern Yucatán. ‘Marie-Galante’, the main race in the Caribbean, would have developed from introgression with G. barbadense. The racial status of coastal populations from the Caribbean has not been clearly defined. We combined Ecological Niche Modeling with an analysis of SSR marker diversity, to elucidate the relationships among cultivated, feral and wild populations of perennial cottons. Out of 954 records of occurrence in Mesoamerica and the Caribbean, 630 were classified into four categories cultivated, feral (disturbed and secondary habitats), wild/feral (protected habitats), and truly wild cotton (TWC) populations. The widely distributed three first categories cannot be differentiated on ecological grounds, indicating they mostly belong to the domesticated pool. In contrast, TWC are restricted to the driest and hottest littoral habitats, in northern Yucatán and in the Caribbean (from Venezuela to Florida), as confirmed by their climatic envelope in the factorial analysis. Extrapolating this TWC climatic model to South America and the Pacific Ocean points towards places where other wild representatives of tetraploid Gossypium species have been encountered. The genetic analysis sample comprised 42 TWC accessions from 12 sites and 68 feral accessions from 18 sites; at nine sites, wild and feral accessions were collected in close vicinity. Principal coordinate analysis, neighbor joining, and STRUCTURE consistently showed a primary divergence between TWC and feral cottons, and a secondary divergence separating ‘Marie-Galante’ from all other feral accessions. This strong genetic structure contrasts strikingly with the absence of geographic differentiation. Our results show that TWC populations of Mesoamerica and the Caribbean constitute a homogenous gene pool. Furthermore, the relatively low

  14. HISTOPATHOLOGIC BIOMARKERS IN FERAL FRESHWATER FISH POPULATIONS EXPOSED TO DIFFERENT TYPES OF CONTAMINANT STRESS. (R825433)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Histopathologic alterations of gill, liver, and spleen were studied in feral fish from three freshwater ecosystems that experience different types of contaminant stress. East Fork Poplar Creek (EFPC), a third-order stream in East Tennessee, receives point source discharges of ...

  15. Respiratory nematodes in cat populations of Italy.

    PubMed

    Di Cesare, Angela; Veronesi, Fabrizia; Grillotti, Eleonora; Manzocchi, Simone; Perrucci, Stefania; Beraldo, Paola; Cazzin, Stefania; De Liberato, Claudio; Barros, Luciano A; Simonato, Giulia; Traversa, Donato

    2015-12-01

    The occurrence of common respiratory parasites of domestic cats (the metastrongyloid "cat lungworm" Aelurostrongylus abstrusus and the trichuroid Capillaria aerophila) and of neglected respiratory nematodes of felids (Troglostrongylus brevior, Angiostrongylus chabaudi and Oslerus rostratus) was here evaluated in two and three geographical sites of Northern and Central Italy, respectively. In 2014-2015, individual fecal samples of 868 domestic cats were examined microscopically and genetically, and epidemiological data related to parasitic infections were evaluated as possible risk factors by binary logistic regression models. The most common parasite was A. abstrusus in both mono- and poli-specific infections, followed by T. brevior and C. aerophila, while cats scored negative for other parasites. Cats positive for A. abstrusus (1.9-17 % infection rate) and C. aerophila (0.9-4.8 % infection rate) were found in all examined sites, while cats scored positive for T. brevior (1-14.3 % infection rate) in four sites. Also, T. brevior was here found for the first time in a domestic cat from a mountainous area of Northern Italy. The occurrence of lungworms was statistically related to the presence of respiratory signs and more significant in cats with mixed infection by other lungworms and/or intestinal parasites. Cats living in site C of Central Italy resulted statistically more at risk of infection for lungworms than cats living in the other study sites, while animals ageing less than 1 year were at more risk for troglostrongylosis. Finally, the presence of lungworms was more significant in cats with mixed infection by other lungworms and/or intestinal parasites. These results are discussed under epidemiological and clinical points of views. PMID:26319524

  16. Africanization of a feral honey bee (Apis mellifera) population in South Texas: does a decade make a difference?

    PubMed

    Rangel, Juliana; Giresi, Melissa; Pinto, Maria Alice; Baum, Kristen A; Rubink, William L; Coulson, Robert N; Johnston, John Spencer

    2016-04-01

    The arrival to the United States of the Africanized honey bee, a hybrid between European subspecies and the African subspecies Apis mellifera scutellata, is a remarkable model for the study of biological invasions. This immigration has created an opportunity to study the dynamics of secondary contact of honey bee subspecies from African and European lineages in a feral population in South Texas. An 11-year survey of this population (1991-2001) showed that mitochondrial haplotype frequencies changed drastically over time from a resident population of eastern and western European maternal ancestry, to a population dominated by the African haplotype. A subsequent study of the nuclear genome showed that the Africanization process included bidirectional gene flow between European and Africanized honey bees, giving rise to a new panmictic mixture of A. m. scutellata- and European-derived genes. In this study, we examined gene flow patterns in the same population 23 years after the first hybridization event occurred. We found 28 active colonies inhabiting 92 tree cavities surveyed in a 5.14 km(2) area, resulting in a colony density of 5.4 colonies/km(2). Of these 28 colonies, 25 were of A. m. scutellata maternal ancestry, and three were of western European maternal ancestry. No colonies of eastern European maternal ancestry were detected, although they were present in the earlier samples. Nuclear DNA revealed little change in the introgression of A. m. scutellata-derived genes into the population compared to previous surveys. Our results suggest this feral population remains an admixed swarm with continued low levels of European ancestry and a greater presence of African-derived mitochondrial genetic composition. PMID:27069571

  17. Inbreeding rate and genetic structure of cat populations in Poland.

    PubMed

    Mucha, S; Wolc, A; Gradowska, A; Szwaczkowski, T

    2011-02-01

    The objective of the study was to analyze effective population size and inbreeding level in populations of cat breeds registered in the Polish Studbook. The Association of Purebred Cat Breeders in Poland provided access to pedigrees of 26725 cats from seven breeds. The most frequent breed was Persian, however increasing tendency in numbers of registered animals from other breeds was recorded in later years. Although the percentage of inbred individuals was increasing over time, mating of close relatives was avoided by most of the breeders, and the average inbreeding coefficient exceeded 5% only for Siberian and Russian breeds. Current analysis suggests that the Polish pedigree cat populations are not threatened by negative effects of inbreeding. PMID:21128045

  18. Aerobic bacteria from mucous membranes, ear canals, and skin wounds of feral cats in Grenada, and the antimicrobial drug susceptibility of major isolates.

    PubMed

    Hariharan, Harry; Matthew, Vanessa; Fountain, Jacqueline; Snell, Alicia; Doherty, Devin; King, Brittany; Shemer, Eran; Oliveira, Simone; Sharma, Ravindra N

    2011-03-01

    In a 2-year period 54 feral cats were captured in Grenada, West Indies, and a total of 383 samples consisting of swabs from rectum, vagina, ears, eyes, mouth, nose and wounds/abscesses, were cultured for aerobic bacteria and campylobacters. A total of 251 bacterial isolates were obtained, of which 205 were identified to species level and 46 to genus level. A commercial bacterial identification system (API/Biomerieux), was used for this purpose. The most common species was Escherichia coli (N=60), followed by Staphylococcus felis/simulans (40), S. hominis (16), S. haemolyticus (12), Streptococcus canis (9), Proteus mirabilis (8), Pasteurella multocida (7), Streptococcus mitis (7), Staphylococcus xylosus (7), S. capitis (6), S. chromogenes (4), S. sciuri (3), S. auricularis (2), S. lentus (2), S. hyicus (2), Streptococcus suis (2) and Pseudomonas argentinensis (2). Sixteen other isolates were identified to species level. A molecular method using 16S rRNA sequencing was used to confirm/identify 22 isolates. Salmonella or campylobacters were not isolated from rectal swabs. E. coli and S. felis/simulans together constituted 50% of isolates from vagina. S. felis/simulans was the most common species from culture positive ear and eye samples. P. multocida was isolated from 15% of mouth samples. Coagulase-negative staphylococci were the most common isolates from nose and wound swabs. Staphylococcus aureus, or S. intemedius/S. pseudintermedius were not isolated from any sample. Antimicrobial drug resistance was minimal, most isolates being susceptible to all drugs tested against, including tetracycline. PMID:20627391

  19. A Population Genetic Database of Cat Breeds Developed in Coordination with a Domestic Cat STR Multiplex*

    PubMed Central

    Menotti-Raymond, Marilyn; David, Victor A.; Weir, Bruce S.; O’Brien, Stephen J.

    2015-01-01

    A simple tandem repeat (STR) PCR-based typing system developed for the genetic individualization of domestic cat samples has been used to generate a population genetic database of domestic cat breeds. A panel of 10 tetranucleotide STR loci and a gender-identifying sequence tagged site (STS) were co-amplified in genomic DNA of 1043 individuals representing 38 cat breeds. The STR panel exhibits relatively high heterozygosity in cat breeds, with an average 10-locus heterozygosity of 0.71, which represents an average of 38 breed-specific heterozygosities for the 10-member panel. When the entire set of breed individuals was analyzed as a single population, a heterozygosity of 0.87 was observed. Heterozygosities obtained for the 10 loci range from 0.72 to 0.96. The power for genetic individualization of domestic cat samples of the multiplex is high, with a probability of match (pm) of 6.2E-14, using a conservative θ = 0.05. PMID:22268511

  20. Preferential sexual transmission of pseudorabies virus in feral swine populations may not account for observed seroprevalence in the USA

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Gary

    2013-01-01

    This paper compares the behavior of two competing models for the transmission of pseudorabies virus in feral swine in the USA. In first model, horizontal (non-sexual) density dependent transmission is the only transmission modality. In the second model, the only transmission modality is sexual transmission between mature males and females. The comparison of model behavior was carried out to test the hypothesis that preferential sexual transmission of PRV in feral swine can account for the seroprevalence observed in the field. The observed range of seroprevalence of PRV in mature feral swine in the USA is consistent with a preferential sexual transmission only if the feral swine mating system is a random mating system or a polygynous system in which there is a relatively large rate of acquisition of new mates. The observed range of seroprevalence of PRV in mature feral swine in the USA is not consistent with a preferential sexual transmission if there is mate guarding. This is important because the National Pseudorabies Surveillance Plan deems monitoring the risk of PRV introduction from feral swine to be a “minor objective” both in terms of the scope of the plan and with respect to the resources allocated. The rationale for this statement was derived from experimental studies, which suggested that the PRV indigenous to feral swine in the USA is preferentially sexually transmitted. PMID:21962753

  1. Crossing the divide: gene flow produces intergeneric hybrid in feral transgenic creeping bentgrass population.

    PubMed

    Zapiola, María L; Mallory-Smith, Carol A

    2012-10-01

    Gene flow is the most frequently expressed public concern related to the deregulation of transgenic events (Snow 2002; Ellstrand 2003). However, assessing the potential for transgene escape is complex because it depends on the opportunities for unintended gene flow, and establishment and persistence of the transgene in the environment (Warwick et al. 2008). Creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera L.), a turfgrass species widely used on golf courses, has been genetically engineered to be resistant to glyphosate, a nonselective herbicide. Outcrossing species, such as creeping bentgrass (CB), which have several compatible species, have greater chances for gene escape and spontaneous hybridization (i.e. natural, unassisted sexual reproduction between taxa in the field), which challenges transgene containment. Several authors have emphasized the need for evidence of spontaneous hybridization to infer the potential for gene flow (Armstrong et al. 2005). Here we report that a transgenic intergeneric hybrid has been produced as result of spontaneous hybridization of a feral-regulated transgenic pollen receptor (CB) and a nontransgenic pollen donor (rabbitfoot grass, RF, Polypogon monspeliensis (L.) Desf.). We identified an off-type transgenic seedling and confirmed it to be CB × RF intergeneric hybrid. This first report of a transgenic intergeneric hybrid produced in situ with a regulated transgenic event demonstrates the importance of considering all possible avenues for transgene spread at the landscape level before planting a regulated transgenic crop in the field. Spontaneous hybridization adds a level of complexity to transgene monitoring, containment, mitigation and remediation programmes. PMID:22625177

  2. Genetic and morphometric evidence on a Galápagos Island exposes founder effects and diversification in the first-known (truly) feral western dog population.

    PubMed

    Reponen, Sini E M; Brown, Sarah K; Barnett, Bruce D; Sacks, Benjamin N

    2014-02-01

    Domesticated animals that revert to a wild state can become invasive and significantly impact native biodiversity. Although dogs can be problematic locally, only the Australasian dingo is known to occur in isolation from humans. Western dogs have experienced more intense artificial selection, which potentially limits their invasiveness. However, feral dogs eradicated from Isabela Island, Galápagos in the 1980s could be the first-known exception. We used DNA and morphometric data from 92 of these dogs to test the hypotheses that (i) these dogs persisted independently of humans for up to a century and a half since descending from a handful of dogs introduced in the early 1800s, vs. (ii) similarly to other western feral dog populations, they reflected continuous recruitment of strays from human settlements on a portion of the Island. We detected one dominant maternal lineage and one dominant paternal lineage shared by the three subpopulations, along with low autosomal genetic diversity, consistent with the hypothesized common origins from a small founder population. Genetic diversity patterns among the three island subpopulations were consistent with stepping-stone founder effects, while morphometric differentiation suggested rapid phenotypic divergence, possibly due to drift and reinforced by selection corresponding to distinct microclimates and habitats on Isabela. Despite the continued presence of free-ranging dogs in the vicinity of settlements on Isabela and other Galápagos Islands, feral populations have not reestablished in remote areas since the 1980s, emphasizing the rarity of conditions necessary for feralization of modern western dogs. PMID:24261528

  3. Three pathogens in sympatric populations of pumas, bobcats, and domestic cats: implications for infections disease transmission

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bevins, Sarah N.; Carver, Scott; Boydston, Erin E.; Lyren, Lisa M.; Alldredge, Mat; Logan, Kenneth A.; Riley, Seth P.D.; Fisher, Robert N.; Vickers, T. Winston; Boyce, Walter; Salman, Mo; Lappin, Michael R.; Crooks, Kevin R.; VandeWoude, Sue

    2012-01-01

    Anthropogenic landscape change can lead to increased opportunities for pathogen transmission between domestic and non-domestic animals. Pumas, bobcats, and domestic cats are sympatric in many areas of North America and share many of the same pathogens, some of which are zoonotic. We analyzed bobcat, puma, and feral domestic cat samples collected from targeted geographic areas. We examined exposure to three pathogens that are taxonomically diverse (bacterial, protozoal, viral), that incorporate multiple transmission strategies (vector-borne, environmental exposure/ingestion, and direct contact), and that vary in species-specificity. Bartonella spp., Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), and Toxoplasma gondii IgG were detected in all three species with mean respective prevalence as follows: puma 16%, 41% and 75%; bobcat 31%, 22% and 43%; domestic cat 45%, 10% and 1%. Bartonella spp. were highly prevalent among domestic cats in Southern California compared to other cohort groups. Feline Immunodeficiency Virus exposure was primarily associated with species and age, and was not influenced by geographic location. Pumas were more likely to be infected with FIV than bobcats, with domestic cats having the lowest infection rate. Toxoplasma gondii seroprevalence was high in both pumas and bobcats across all sites; in contrast, few domestic cats were seropositive, despite the fact that feral, free ranging domestic cats were targeted in this study. Interestingly, a directly transmitted species-specific disease (FIV) was not associated with geographic location, while exposure to indirectly transmitted diseases - vectorborne for Bartonella spp. and ingestion of oocysts via infected prey or environmental exposure for T. gondii - varied significantly by site. Pathogens transmitted by direct contact may be more dependent upon individual behaviors and intra-specific encounters. Future studies will integrate host density, as well as landscape features, to better understand the

  4. Three pathogens in sympatric populations of pumas, bobcats, and domestic cats: Implications for infectious disease transmission

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bevins, S.N.; Carver, S.; Boydston, E.E.; Lyren, L.M.; Alldredge, M.; Logan, K.A.; Riley, S.P.D.; Fisher, R.N.; Vickers, T.W.; Boyce, W.; Salman, M.; Lappin, M.R.; Crooks, K.R.; VandeWoude, S.

    2012-01-01

    Anthropogenic landscape change can lead to increased opportunities for pathogen transmission between domestic and non-domestic animals. Pumas, bobcats, and domestic cats are sympatric in many areas of North America and share many of the same pathogens, some of which are zoonotic. We analyzed bobcat, puma, and feral domestic cat samples collected from targeted geographic areas. We examined exposure to three pathogens that are taxonomically diverse (bacterial, protozoal, viral), that incorporate multiple transmission strategies (vector-borne, environmental exposure/ingestion, and direct contact), and that vary in species-specificity. Bartonella spp., Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), and Toxoplasma gondii IgG were detected in all three species with mean respective prevalence as follows: puma 16%, 41% and 75%; bobcat 31%, 22% and 43%; domestic cat 45%, 10% and 1%. Bartonella spp. were highly prevalent among domestic cats in Southern California compared to other cohort groups. Feline Immunodeficiency Virus exposure was primarily associated with species and age, and was not influenced by geographic location. Pumas were more likely to be infected with FIV than bobcats, with domestic cats having the lowest infection rate. Toxoplasma gondii seroprevalence was high in both pumas and bobcats across all sites; in contrast, few domestic cats were seropositive, despite the fact that feral, free ranging domestic cats were targeted in this study. Interestingly, a directly transmitted species-specific disease (FIV) was not associated with geographic location, while exposure to indirectly transmitted diseases - vector-borne for Bartonella spp. and ingestion of oocysts via infected prey or environmental exposure for T. gondii - varied significantly by site. Pathogens transmitted by direct contact may be more dependent upon individual behaviors and intra-specific encounters. Future studies will integrate host density, as well as landscape features, to better understand the

  5. Three Pathogens in Sympatric Populations of Pumas, Bobcats, and Domestic Cats: Implications for Infectious Disease Transmission

    PubMed Central

    Bevins, Sarah N.; Carver, Scott; Boydston, Erin E.; Lyren, Lisa M.; Alldredge, Mat; Logan, Kenneth A.; Riley, Seth P. D.; Fisher, Robert N.; Vickers, T. Winston; Boyce, Walter; Salman, Mo; Lappin, Michael R.; Crooks, Kevin R.; VandeWoude, Sue

    2012-01-01

    Anthropogenic landscape change can lead to increased opportunities for pathogen transmission between domestic and non-domestic animals. Pumas, bobcats, and domestic cats are sympatric in many areas of North America and share many of the same pathogens, some of which are zoonotic. We analyzed bobcat, puma, and feral domestic cat samples collected from targeted geographic areas. We examined exposure to three pathogens that are taxonomically diverse (bacterial, protozoal, viral), that incorporate multiple transmission strategies (vector-borne, environmental exposure/ingestion, and direct contact), and that vary in species-specificity. Bartonella spp., Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), and Toxoplasma gondii IgG were detected in all three species with mean respective prevalence as follows: puma 16%, 41% and 75%; bobcat 31%, 22% and 43%; domestic cat 45%, 10% and 1%. Bartonella spp. were highly prevalent among domestic cats in Southern California compared to other cohort groups. Feline Immunodeficiency Virus exposure was primarily associated with species and age, and was not influenced by geographic location. Pumas were more likely to be infected with FIV than bobcats, with domestic cats having the lowest infection rate. Toxoplasma gondii seroprevalence was high in both pumas and bobcats across all sites; in contrast, few domestic cats were seropositive, despite the fact that feral, free ranging domestic cats were targeted in this study. Interestingly, a directly transmitted species-specific disease (FIV) was not associated with geographic location, while exposure to indirectly transmitted diseases – vector-borne for Bartonella spp. and ingestion of oocysts via infected prey or environmental exposure for T. gondii – varied significantly by site. Pathogens transmitted by direct contact may be more dependent upon individual behaviors and intra-specific encounters. Future studies will integrate host density, as well as landscape features, to better understand the

  6. Isolation and genetic characterization of Toxoplasma gondii from black bears (Ursus americanus), bobcats (Felis rufus), and feral cats (Felis catus) from Pennsylvania

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Toxoplasma gondii infects virtually all warm-blooded hosts worldwide. Recently, attention has been focused on the genetic diversity of the parasite to explain its pathogenicity in different hosts. It has been hypothesized that interaction between feral and domestic cycles of T. gondii may increase u...

  7. Parasite communities in stray cat populations from Lisbon, Portugal.

    PubMed

    Waap, H; Gomes, J; Nunes, T

    2014-12-01

    Stray cats live in high-density colonies in urban areas and pose a health hazard to household cats and humans. In Portugal, information on the parasitic fauna of stray cats is limited and relies mostly on results from faecal analysis. The present survey aimed to determine the prevalence, diversity and intensity of parasites in stray cats from the urban area of Lisbon by means of parasitological necropsy. Internal organs were collected from 162 cats captured in different areas of the city and systematically subjected to parasitological dissection. Helminths were identified by macro- and microscopic examination and protozoa by faecal floatation and sedimentation techniques. The overall prevalence of parasites was 90.7% (95% confidence interval (CI): 85.3-94.6%). A total of 12 parasite species was recorded: Cystoisospora felis (14.2%), Cystoisospora rivolta (46.3%), Sarcocystis sp. (1.2%), Ancylostoma tubaeforme (19.1%), Toxocara cati (38.3%), Ollulanus tricuspis (30.9%), Aelurostrongylus abstrusus (12.4%), Eucoleus aerophilus (0.6%), Taenia taeniaeformis (3.1%), Dipylidium caninum (53.1%), Joyeuxiella pasqualei (15.4%) and Diplopylidium nölleri (3.7%). Overall mean species richness was 2.36 ±  1.52. Helminth mean intensity was highest for O. tricuspis (285.8), followed by D. caninum (42.4), J. pasqualei (14.4), A. tubaeforme (8.1) and T. cati (5.9). The prevalence and variety of parasites found in our sampling are substantially higher than the numbers previously reported in Portugal. Some of the parasites, including T. cati and A. tubaeforme, are zoonotic, which emphasizes the need for parasite control strategies based on demographic containment of stray cat populations in urban areas to promote public health protection. PMID:23719370

  8. The role of feral mammals on wildlife infectious disease prevalence in two nature reserves within Mexico City limits.

    PubMed

    Suzán, Gerardo; Ceballos, Gerardo

    2005-09-01

    Wild and feral medium-sized mammals were live trapped at two natural protected areas within the Mexico City limits to determine antibody prevalence for the most common infectious diseases (rabies, toxoplasmosis, and canine parvovirus) in dogs and cats. Mammals were trapped during the dry (March-April) and rainy seasons (July-August) of 1996 and 1997. A total of 68 individuals were captured, representing 8 species: opossums (Didelphis virginiana), ringtails (Bassariscus astutus), spotted skunks (Spilogale gracilis), weasels (Mustela frenata), rock squirrels (Spermophilus variegatus), Mexican gray squirrels (Sciurus aureogaster), feral cats (Felis catus), and feral dogs (Canis familiaris). There was marked seroprevalence for parvovirus (86.6%) and lower seroprevalences for both toxoplasma (23.9%) and rabies (17.9%). There were no significant prevalence differences among mammals in both protected areas, which were of contrasting size and isolation (i.e., small and isolated versus large and nonisolated). We suggest that high seroprevalence of these three infectious agents in wild mammals is a result of the high densities of feral dogs and cats in the two areas sampled. Feral dogs are able to maintain the infectious agents in these localities regardless of the protected area size and isolation. However, the native mammals of the small and isolated reserve are more vulnerable to infectious diseases because of small population size and genetic bottlenecks. Our results indicate that natural areas in and around Mexico City are a refugium for latent infectious agents, several of which are zoonotic. These findings suggest that conservation measures, such as eradication of feral mammals and vaccination programs, in the protected areas and surrounding areas could be beneficial. PMID:17312768

  9. Genetic divergence between populations of feral and domestic forms of a mosquito disease vector assessed by transcriptomics

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Culex pipiens, an invasive mosquito and vector of West Nile virus in the US, has two morphologically indistinguishable forms that differ dramatically in behavior and physiology. Cx. pipiens form pipiens is primarily a bird-feeding temperate mosquito, while the sub-tropical Cx. pipiens form molestus thrives in sewers and feeds on mammals. Because the feral form can diapause during the cold winters but the domestic form cannot, the two Cx. pipiens forms are allopatric in northern Europe and, although viable, hybrids are rare. Cx. pipiens form molestus has spread across all inhabited continents and hybrids of the two forms are common in the US. Here we elucidate the genes and gene families with the greatest divergence rates between these phenotypically diverged mosquito populations, and discuss them in light of their potential biological and ecological effects. After generating and assembling novel transcriptome data for each population, we performed pairwise tests for nonsynonymous divergence (Ka) of homologous coding sequences and examined gene ontology terms that were statistically over-represented in those sequences with the greatest divergence rates. We identified genes involved in digestion (serine endopeptidases), innate immunity (fibrinogens and α-macroglobulins), hemostasis (D7 salivary proteins), olfaction (odorant binding proteins) and chitin binding (peritrophic matrix proteins). By examining molecular divergence between closely related yet phenotypically divergent forms of the same species, our results provide insights into the identity of rapidly-evolving genes between incipient species. Additionally, we found that families of signal transducers, ATP synthases and transcription regulators remained identical at the amino acid level, thus constituting conserved components of the Cx. pipiens proteome. We provide a reference with which to gauge the divergence reported in this analysis by performing a comparison of transcriptome sequences from conspecific

  10. Genetic divergence between populations of feral and domestic forms of a mosquito disease vector assessed by transcriptomics.

    PubMed

    Price, Dana C; Fonseca, Dina M

    2015-01-01

    Culex pipiens, an invasive mosquito and vector of West Nile virus in the US, has two morphologically indistinguishable forms that differ dramatically in behavior and physiology. Cx. pipiens form pipiens is primarily a bird-feeding temperate mosquito, while the sub-tropical Cx. pipiens form molestus thrives in sewers and feeds on mammals. Because the feral form can diapause during the cold winters but the domestic form cannot, the two Cx. pipiens forms are allopatric in northern Europe and, although viable, hybrids are rare. Cx. pipiens form molestus has spread across all inhabited continents and hybrids of the two forms are common in the US. Here we elucidate the genes and gene families with the greatest divergence rates between these phenotypically diverged mosquito populations, and discuss them in light of their potential biological and ecological effects. After generating and assembling novel transcriptome data for each population, we performed pairwise tests for nonsynonymous divergence (Ka) of homologous coding sequences and examined gene ontology terms that were statistically over-represented in those sequences with the greatest divergence rates. We identified genes involved in digestion (serine endopeptidases), innate immunity (fibrinogens and α-macroglobulins), hemostasis (D7 salivary proteins), olfaction (odorant binding proteins) and chitin binding (peritrophic matrix proteins). By examining molecular divergence between closely related yet phenotypically divergent forms of the same species, our results provide insights into the identity of rapidly-evolving genes between incipient species. Additionally, we found that families of signal transducers, ATP synthases and transcription regulators remained identical at the amino acid level, thus constituting conserved components of the Cx. pipiens proteome. We provide a reference with which to gauge the divergence reported in this analysis by performing a comparison of transcriptome sequences from conspecific

  11. The chimerical genome of Isla del Coco feral pigs (Costa Rica), an isolated population since 1793 but with remarkable levels of diversity.

    PubMed

    Bianco, E; Soto, H W; Vargas, L; Pérez-Enciso, M

    2015-05-01

    The history of domestic species and of their wild ancestors is not a simple one, and feral processes can clarify key aspects of this history, including the adaptive processes triggered by new environments. Here, we provide a comprehensive genomic study of Isla del Coco (Costa Rica) feral pigs, a unique population that was allegedly founded by two individuals and has remained isolated since 1793. Using SNP arrays and genome sequencing, we show that Cocos pigs are hybrids between Asian and European pigs, as are modern international pig breeds. This conclusively shows that, as early as the 18th century, British vessels were loading crossbred pigs in Great Britain and transporting them overseas. We find that the Y chromosome has Asian origin, which has not been reported in any international pig breed. Chinese haplotypes seem to have been transmitted independently between Cocos and other pig breeds, suggesting independent introgression events and a complex pattern of admixing. Although data are compatible with a founder population of N = 2, variability levels are as high in Cocos pigs as in international pig breeds (~1.9 SNPs/kb) and higher than in European wild boars or local breeds (~1.7 SNPs/kb). Nevertheless, we also report a 10-Mb region with a marked decrease in variability across all samples that contains four genes (CPE, H3F3C, SC4MOL and KHL2) previously identified as highly differentiated between wild and domestic pigs. This work therefore illustrates how feral population genomic studies can help to resolve the history of domestic species and associated admixture events. PMID:25827466

  12. Negative covariance between parasite load and body condition in a population of feral horses.

    PubMed

    Debeffe, Lucie; McLoughlin, Philip D; Medill, Sarah A; Stewart, Kathrine; Andres, Daniel; Shury, Todd; Wagner, Brent; Jenkins, Emily; Gilleard, John S; Poissant, Jocelyn

    2016-07-01

    In wild and domestic animals, gastrointestinal parasites can have significant impacts on host development, condition, health, reproduction and longevity. Improving our understanding of the causes and consequences of individual-level variation in parasite load is therefore of prime interest. Here we investigated the relationship between strongyle fecal egg count (FEC) and body condition in a unique, naturalized population of horses that has never been exposed to anthelmintic drugs (Sable Island, Nova Scotia, Canada). We first quantified variation in FEC and condition for 447 individuals according to intrinsic (sex, age, reproductive status, social status) and extrinsic (group size, location, local density) variables. We then quantified the repeatability of measurements obtained over a field season and tested for covariance between FEC and condition. FECs were high relative to other horse populations (mean eggs per gram ± SD = 1543·28 ± 209·94). FECs generally decreased with age, were higher in lactating vs non-lactating females, and unexpectedly lower in males in some part of the island. FECs and condition were both spatially structured, with patterns depending on age, sex and reproductive status. FECs and condition were both repeatable. Most notably, FECs and condition were negatively correlated, especially in adult females. PMID:27046508

  13. Examining the link between personality and laterality in a feral guppy Poecilia reticulata population.

    PubMed

    Irving, E; Brown, C

    2013-08-01

    This study examined whether variation in the strength and direction of lateralization in a detour task was linked with variation in three common personality measurements: boldness, activity and sociability, in a population of wild guppies Poecilia reticulata. Additionally, the aim was to determine whether any consistent correlations between these behavioural traits, known as behavioural syndromes, were present in the study population. The results revealed that all three personality traits were highly repeatable over time in both sexes. Evidence of a complex syndrome in the form of a correlation between boldness, sociability and activity was found; however, this relationship was only present in males. Males that were more active in a familiar environment emerged more quickly from shelter into a novel environment and were more social. In general, male P. reticulata were bold, active and antisocial compared to females, with these differences probably a reflection of opposing life-history strategies. Only a weak link between the strength of cerebral lateralisation and personality was discovered and this was mediated by sex. PMID:23902308

  14. [Characteristics of pedigree cat breeding in the Netherlands: breeds, population increase and litter size].

    PubMed

    Gerrits, P O; Huisman, T; Knol, B W

    1999-03-01

    A survey of the Dutch Cat Fancy was carried out to determine reproductive, patterns of pedigree cats. The data of the present study were obtained by questioning the pedigree registers of the cat clubs participating in the foundation 'Overleg Platform van de Nederlandse Cat Fancy'. The Dutch Cat Fancy registers 34 different cat breeds. From 1992 up to 1996 a total of 25.985 litters were registered. Over this period the number of litters increased from 4989 to 5313. Litters from Longhair and Exotic Shorthair cats comprised the biggest group and accounted for 55% of the total number of litters. However, over this period, the number of Longhair and Exotic Shorthair litters decreased by 9%. Litters from British Shorthair, Birman, Maine Coon and Norwegian Forrest Cat increased in number as did litters from small breeds such as Ragdoll, Bengal and Sphynx. Litters from Abyssinian, Siamese, Oriental Shorthair cats remained relatively the same. The average litter size of the total cat population, based on pedigree certificates, was calculated at 3.3 kittens per litter. For different breeds litter size varied from 2.7 (Longhair and Exotic Shorthair) to 4.3 (Burmese and Maine Coon). Taking into account an average age of 14 years, the total Dutch pedigree cat population was estimated at 240,000 viz. about 10% of the total cat population. PMID:10084198

  15. Cats

    MedlinePlus

    ... found on the skin of people and animals. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is the same bacterium that has become resistant to some antibiotics. Cats and other animals often can carry MRSA ...

  16. Analyzing the proximity to cover in a landscape of fear: a new approach applied to fine-scale habitat use by rabbits facing feral cat predation on Kerguelen archipelago.

    PubMed

    Blanchard, Pierrick; Lauzeral, Christine; Chamaillé-Jammes, Simon; Yoccoz, Nigel G; Pontier, Dominique

    2016-01-01

    Although proximity to cover has been routinely considered as an explanatory variable in studies investigating prey behavioral adjustments to predation pressure, the way it shapes risk perception still remains equivocal. This paradox arises from both the ambivalent nature of cover as potentially both obstructive and protective, making its impact on risk perception complex and context-dependent, and from the choice of the proxy used to measure proximity to cover in the field, which leads to an incomplete picture of the landscape of fear experienced by the prey. Here, we study a simple predator-prey-habitat system, i.e., rabbits Oryctolagus cuniculus facing feral cat Felis catus predation on Kerguelen archipelago. We assess how cover shapes risk perception in prey and develop an easily implementable field method to improve the estimation of proximity to cover. In contrast to protocols considering the "distance to nearest cover", we focus on the overall "area to cover". We show that fine-scale habitat use by rabbits is clearly related to our measure, in accordance with our hypothesis of higher risk in patches with smaller area to cover in this predator-prey-habitat system. In contrast, classical measures of proximity to cover are not retained in the best predictive models of habitat use. The use of this new approach, together with a more in-depth consideration of contrasting properties of cover, could help to better understand the role of this complex yet decisive parameter for predator-prey ecology. PMID:26989615

  17. Analyzing the proximity to cover in a landscape of fear: a new approach applied to fine-scale habitat use by rabbits facing feral cat predation on Kerguelen archipelago

    PubMed Central

    Lauzeral, Christine; Chamaillé-Jammes, Simon; Yoccoz, Nigel G.; Pontier, Dominique

    2016-01-01

    Although proximity to cover has been routinely considered as an explanatory variable in studies investigating prey behavioral adjustments to predation pressure, the way it shapes risk perception still remains equivocal. This paradox arises from both the ambivalent nature of cover as potentially both obstructive and protective, making its impact on risk perception complex and context-dependent, and from the choice of the proxy used to measure proximity to cover in the field, which leads to an incomplete picture of the landscape of fear experienced by the prey. Here, we study a simple predator-prey-habitat system, i.e., rabbits Oryctolagus cuniculus facing feral cat Felis catus predation on Kerguelen archipelago. We assess how cover shapes risk perception in prey and develop an easily implementable field method to improve the estimation of proximity to cover. In contrast to protocols considering the “distance to nearest cover”, we focus on the overall “area to cover”. We show that fine-scale habitat use by rabbits is clearly related to our measure, in accordance with our hypothesis of higher risk in patches with smaller area to cover in this predator-prey-habitat system. In contrast, classical measures of proximity to cover are not retained in the best predictive models of habitat use. The use of this new approach, together with a more in-depth consideration of contrasting properties of cover, could help to better understand the role of this complex yet decisive parameter for predator-prey ecology. PMID:26989615

  18. Acquired antimicrobial resistance in the intestinal microbiota of diverse cat populations.

    PubMed

    Moyaert, H; De Graef, E M; Haesebrouck, F; Decostere, A

    2006-08-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of acquired antimicrobial resistance in the resident intestinal microbiota of cats and to identify significant differences between various cat populations. Escherichia coli, Enterococcus faecalis, E. faecium and Streptococcus canis were isolated as faecal indicator bacteria from rectal swabs of 47 individually owned cats, 47 cattery cats and 18 hospitalised cats, and submitted through antimicrobial sensitivity tests. The results revealed that bacteria isolated from hospitalised and/or cattery cats were more frequently resistant than those from individually owned cats. E. coli isolates from hospitalised cats were particularly resistant to ampicillin, tetracycline and sulfonamide. Both enterococci and streptococci showed high resistance to tetracycline and in somewhat lesser extent to erythromycin and tylosin. Most E. faecium isolates were resistant to lincomycin and penicillin. One E. faecalis as well as one E. faecium isolate from hospitalised cats showed 'high-level resistance' (MIC > 500 microg/ml) against gentamicin, a commonly used antimicrobial agent in case of human enterococcal infections. The results of this research demonstrate that the extent of acquired antimicrobial resistance in the intestinal microbiota of cats depends on the social environment of the investigated population. It is obvious that the flora of healthy cats may act as a reservoir of resistance genes. PMID:16330058

  19. Experimental transmission of Sarcocystis muris (Apicomplexa: Sarcocystidae) from the feces of a naturally infected feral cat (Felis catus) to immunocompetent and immunocompromised mice

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cats serve as definitive hosts for zoonotic toxoplasmosis, a prevalent infection that threatens human reproductive health, but they also excrete sporocysts of related parasites that pose no known human health risk. Here, we provide the first definitive evidence for natural infection with Sarcocystis...

  20. Growth and fat-body cycles in feral populations of the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis (Pipidae), in California with comments on reproduction

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McCoid, Michael J.; Fritts, Thomas H.

    1989-01-01

    Feral populations of the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) exist in several areas of southern California. By following the first cohort of progeny produced by African clawed frogs at a recently colonized site, data on the growth rates and age at first maturity were obtained in field conditions. Females reached maturity at an earlier age than males, grew faster than males, and attained body lengths up to 25% larger than males. Larger females were capable of producing larger numbers of eggs than small females and, therefore, had greater reproductive potential. The relatively stable ambient temperatures of southern California contributed to the possibility of reproduction of clawed frogs during all but the coolest periods of the year. Cycles detected in the mass of fatbodies suggested that nutrients were mobilized from fat prior to and during ovulation. The amount of fat in females varies widely, but fat in males tended to accumulate as the males grew during the study period.

  1. Growth and fatbody cycles in feral populations of the African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis (Pipidae), in California with comments on reproduction

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McCoid, M.J.; Fritts, T.H.

    1989-01-01

    Feral populations of the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) exist in several areas of southern California. By following the first cohort of progeny produced by African clawed frogs at a recently colonized site, data on the growth rates and age at first maturity were obtained in field conditions. Females reached maturity at an earlier age than males, grew faster than males, and attained body lengths up to 25% larger than males. Larger females were capable of producing larger numbers of eggs than small females and, therefore, had greater reproductive potential. The relatively stable ambient temperatures of southern California contributed to the possibility of reproduction of clawed frogs during all but the coolest periods of the year. Cycles detected in the mass of fatbodies suggested that nutrients were mobilized from fat prior to and during ovulation. The amount of fat in females varied widely, but fat in males tended to accumulate as the males grew during the study period.

  2. Assessing changes in the UK pet cat and dog populations: numbers and household ownership.

    PubMed

    Murray, J K; Gruffydd-Jones, T J; Roberts, M A; Browne, W J

    2015-09-12

    The main aim of this study was to replicate methodology used to estimate the size of the UK pet cat and dog populations in 2006 and the proportion of households owning cats/dogs in 2007, to produce updated data to compare trends in ownership and population sizes. A cross-sectional study design was used to collect telephone interview data from 3155 households in the UK. 2011 UK human census data were used to predict the size of the cat and dog populations owned by households in the UK in 2011. Of the households, 23 per cent (714/3155) owned one or more cats and 30 per cent (940/3155) owned one or more dogs. There was some overlap in pet ownership with 7 per cent (210/3155) of households owning both one or more cats and one or more dogs. There was a small but significant decrease in the proportion of households that owned one or more cats in 2011 compared with 2007, with no change in the proportion owning dogs. However, overall, the total number of cats and dogs that were estimated to be owned by UK households did not change significantly between 2006 and 2011. The estimated size (and 95% CIs) of the pet cat and dog populations in the UK in 2011 was 10,114,764 cats (9,138,603-11,090,924) and 11,599,824 dogs (10,708,070-12,491,578). PMID:26350589

  3. Long-term fertility control in female cats with GonaCon™, a GnRH immunocontraceptive.

    PubMed

    Levy, Julie K; Friary, John A; Miller, Lowell A; Tucker, Sylvia J; Fagerstone, Kathleen A

    2011-11-01

    The uncontrolled reproduction of free-roaming feral cats contributes to overpopulation and associated concerns regarding their welfare and impact on public health and the environment. Nonsurgical fertility control that could be administered to feral cats in the field would be a powerful tool for cat population control. The objective was to test the efficacy and duration of activity of a single-dose GnRH immunocontraceptive vaccine (GonaCon™) on the fertility of adult female laboratory cats. Vaccinated cats (n = 15) received a single injection of vaccine containing a GnRH-KLH conjugate (200 μg) emulsified in a mycobacterial and oil adjuvant on study Day 0. Sham-treated cats (n = 5) received a single injection containing all vaccine components except the GnRH-KLH conjugate. A breeding trial started on study Day 120. Vaccinated cats had a longer time to conception (median 39.7 mo) compared to sham-treated cats (4.4 mo; P < 0.001). A total of 93% of vaccinated cats remained infertile for the first year following vaccination, whereas 73, 53, and 40% were infertile for 2, 3, and 4 y, respectively. At study termination (5 y after a single GnRH vaccine was administered), four cats (27%) remained infertile. The GnRH antibody titers declined more rapidly in short-term responding cats with < 2 y of infertility (n = 4), compared to long-term responding cats that experienced fertility control for >2 y (n = 11) (P < 0.05). Non-painful but persistent late-onset granulomatous injection site masses appeared 2 y after initial vaccination in five cats. We concluded that GnRH immunocontraception is an ideal candidate for further development for feral cat control. PMID:21835455

  4. Effectiveness of Gel Repellents on Feral Pigeons

    PubMed Central

    Stock, Birte; Haag-Wackernagel, Daniel

    2013-01-01

    Simple Summary Feral pigeons live in close association in urban areas. They constitute serious health risks to humans and also lead to high economic loss due to costly damage to buildings, historic monuments, statues and even vegetation. While numerous avian repellent systems are regularly introduced onto the market, scientific proof of efficacy and their use from the point of view of animal welfare is lacking. Therefore, two avian gel repellents were studied on free-living feral pigeons in this study. The focus was set on repellent efficacy and animal welfare concerns. This study’s aim is to contribute to a better understanding of feral pigeon management in our cities. Abstract Millions of feral pigeons (Columba livia) live in close association with the human population in our cities. They pose serious health risks to humans and lead to high economic loss due to damage caused to buildings. Consequently, house owners and city authorities are not willing to allow pigeons on their buildings. While various avian repellents are regularly introduced onto the market, scientific proof of efficacy is lacking. This study aimed at testing the effectiveness of two avian gel repellents and additionally examined their application from animal welfare standpoint. The gels used an alleged tactile or visual aversion of the birds, reinforced by additional sensory cues. We mounted experimental shelves with the installed repellents in a pigeon loft and observed the behavior of free-living feral pigeons towards the systems. Both gels showed a restricted, transient repellent effect, but failed to prove the claimed complete effectiveness. Additionally, the gels’ adhesive effect remains doubtful in view of animal welfare because gluing of plumage presents a risk to feral pigeons and also to other non-target birds. This study infers that both gels lack the promised complete efficacy, conflict with animal welfare concerns and are therefore not suitable for feral pigeon management in

  5. Variation of Cats under Domestication: Genetic Assignment of Domestic Cats to Breeds and Worldwide Random Bred Populations

    PubMed Central

    Kurushima, J. D.; Lipinski, M. J.; Gandolfi, B.; Froenicke, L.; Grahn, J. C.; Grahn, R. A.; Lyons, L. A.

    2012-01-01

    Summary Both cat breeders and the lay public have interests in the origins of their pets, not only in the genetic identity of the purebred individuals, but also the historical origins of common household cats. The cat fancy is a relatively new institution with over 85% of its 40–50 breeds arising only in the past 75 years, primarily through selection on single-gene aesthetic traits. The short, yet intense cat breed history poses a significant challenge to the development of a genetic marker-based breed identification strategy. Using different breed assignment strategies and methods, 477 cats representing 29 fancy breeds were analysed with 38 short tandem repeats, 148 intergenic and five phenotypic single nucleotide polymorphisms. Results suggest the frequentist method of Paetkau (accuracy single nucleotide polymorphisms = 0.78, short tandem repeats = 0.88) surpasses the Bayesian method of Rannala and Mountain (single nucleotide polymorphisms = 0.56, short tandem repeats = 0.83) for accurate assignment of individuals to the correct breed. Additionally, a post-assignment verification step with the five phenotypic single nucleotide polymorphisms accurately identified between 0.31 and 0.58 of the mis-assigned individuals raising the sensitivity of assignment with the frequentist method to 0.89 and 0.92 single nucleotide polymorphisms and short tandem repeats respectively. This study provides a novel multi-step assignment strategy and suggests that, despite their short breed history and breed family groupings, a majority of cats can be assigned to their proper breed or population of origin, i.e. race. PMID:23171373

  6. Variation of cats under domestication: genetic assignment of domestic cats to breeds and worldwide random-bred populations.

    PubMed

    Kurushima, J D; Lipinski, M J; Gandolfi, B; Froenicke, L; Grahn, J C; Grahn, R A; Lyons, L A

    2013-06-01

    Both cat breeders and the lay public have interests in the origins of their pets, not only in the genetic identity of the purebred individuals, but also in the historical origins of common household cats. The cat fancy is a relatively new institution with over 85% of its 40-50 breeds arising only in the past 75 years, primarily through selection on single-gene aesthetic traits. The short, yet intense cat breed history poses a significant challenge to the development of a genetic marker-based breed identification strategy. Using different breed assignment strategies and methods, 477 cats representing 29 fancy breeds were analysed with 38 short tandem repeats, 148 intergenic and five phenotypic single nucleotide polymorphisms. Results suggest the frequentist method of Paetkau (single nucleotide polymorphisms = 0.78, short tandem repeats = 0.88) surpasses the Bayesian method of Rannala and Mountain (single nucleotide polymorphisms = 0.56, short tandem repeats = 0.83) for accurate assignment of individuals to the correct breed. Additionally, a post-assignment verification step with the five phenotypic single nucleotide polymorphisms accurately identified between 0.31 and 0.58 of the misassigned individuals raising the sensitivity of assignment with the frequentist method to 0.89 and 0.92 for single nucleotide polymorphisms and short tandem repeats respectively. This study provides a novel multistep assignment strategy and suggests that, despite their short breed history and breed family groupings, a majority of cats can be assigned to their proper breed or population of origin, that is, race. PMID:23171373

  7. Parasite pressures on feral honey bees (Apis mellifera sp.).

    PubMed

    Thompson, Catherine E; Biesmeijer, Jacobus C; Allnutt, Theodore R; Pietravalle, Stéphane; Budge, Giles E

    2014-01-01

    Feral honey bee populations have been reported to be in decline due to the spread of Varroa destructor, an ectoparasitic mite that when left uncontrolled leads to virus build-up and colony death. While pests and diseases are known causes of large-scale managed honey bee colony losses, no studies to date have considered the wider pathogen burden in feral colonies, primarily due to the difficulty in locating and sampling colonies, which often nest in inaccessible locations such as church spires and tree tops. In addition, little is known about the provenance of feral colonies and whether they represent a reservoir of Varroa tolerant material that could be used in apiculture. Samples of forager bees were collected from paired feral and managed honey bee colonies and screened for the presence of ten honey bee pathogens and pests using qPCR. Prevalence and quantity was similar between the two groups for the majority of pathogens, however feral honey bees contained a significantly higher level of deformed wing virus than managed honey bee colonies. An assessment of the honey bee race was completed for each colony using three measures of wing venation. There were no apparent differences in wing morphometry between feral and managed colonies, suggesting feral colonies could simply be escapees from the managed population. Interestingly, managed honey bee colonies not treated for Varroa showed similar, potentially lethal levels of deformed wing virus to that of feral colonies. The potential for such findings to explain the large fall in the feral population and the wider context of the importance of feral colonies as potential pathogen reservoirs is discussed. PMID:25126840

  8. Cats and Toxoplasma: implications for public health.

    PubMed

    Dabritz, H A; Conrad, P A

    2010-02-01

    Cats are popular as pets worldwide because they are easy to care for and provide companionship that enriches the lives of human beings. Little attention has been focused on their potential to contaminate the environment with zoonotic pathogens. One such pathogen, the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii, rarely causes clinical manifestations in cats or immunocompetent humans; however, it can have serious adverse effects on human foetuses and immunocompromised patients. Many human infections are believed to be acquired from eating undercooked or raw meat, such as pork and lamb (Tenter et al. Int. J. Parasitol., 30, 2000, 1217; Dubey et al. J. Parasitol. 91, 2005, 1082). However, the prevalence of T. gondii infection in human populations that do not consume meat or eat it well-cooked suggests that the acquisition of infection from the environment, via oocysts in soil, water or on uncooked vegetables, is also important (Rawal. Trans. Royal Soc. Trop. Med. Hyg., 53, 1959, 61; Roghmann et al. Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg., 60, 1999, 790; Chacin-Bonilla et al. Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg., 65, 2001, 131). In the past 20 years, two changes occurred that significantly increased the size of the cat population in the USA. Pet cat ownership grew from 50 million to 90 million animals, and animal welfare activists created feeding stations for abandoned and free-roaming cats. As many cat owners allow their cats to deposit faeces outside and cats maintained in colonies always defecate outside, ample opportunity exists for T. gondii oocysts to enter the environment and be transmitted to humans. Prevention efforts should focus on educating cat owners about the importance of collecting cat faeces in litter boxes, spaying owned cats to reduce overpopulation, reducing the numbers of feral cats and promoting rigorous hand hygiene after gardening or soil contact. PMID:19744306

  9. Practical Bias Correction in Aerial Surveys of Large Mammals: Validation of Hybrid Double-Observer with Sightability Method against Known Abundance of Feral Horse (Equus caballus) Populations

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Reliably estimating wildlife abundance is fundamental to effective management. Aerial surveys are one of the only spatially robust tools for estimating large mammal populations, but statistical sampling methods are required to address detection biases that affect accuracy and precision of the estimates. Although various methods for correcting aerial survey bias are employed on large mammal species around the world, these have rarely been rigorously validated. Several populations of feral horses (Equus caballus) in the western United States have been intensively studied, resulting in identification of all unique individuals. This provided a rare opportunity to test aerial survey bias correction on populations of known abundance. We hypothesized that a hybrid method combining simultaneous double-observer and sightability bias correction techniques would accurately estimate abundance. We validated this integrated technique on populations of known size and also on a pair of surveys before and after a known number was removed. Our analysis identified several covariates across the surveys that explained and corrected biases in the estimates. All six tests on known populations produced estimates with deviations from the known value ranging from -8.5% to +13.7% and <0.7 standard errors. Precision varied widely, from 6.1% CV to 25.0% CV. In contrast, the pair of surveys conducted around a known management removal produced an estimated change in population between the surveys that was significantly larger than the known reduction. Although the deviation between was only 9.1%, the precision estimate (CV = 1.6%) may have been artificially low. It was apparent that use of a helicopter in those surveys perturbed the horses, introducing detection error and heterogeneity in a manner that could not be corrected by our statistical models. Our results validate the hybrid method, highlight its potentially broad applicability, identify some limitations, and provide insight and guidance

  10. Practical Bias Correction in Aerial Surveys of Large Mammals: Validation of Hybrid Double-Observer with Sightability Method against Known Abundance of Feral Horse (Equus caballus) Populations.

    PubMed

    Lubow, Bruce C; Ransom, Jason I

    2016-01-01

    Reliably estimating wildlife abundance is fundamental to effective management. Aerial surveys are one of the only spatially robust tools for estimating large mammal populations, but statistical sampling methods are required to address detection biases that affect accuracy and precision of the estimates. Although various methods for correcting aerial survey bias are employed on large mammal species around the world, these have rarely been rigorously validated. Several populations of feral horses (Equus caballus) in the western United States have been intensively studied, resulting in identification of all unique individuals. This provided a rare opportunity to test aerial survey bias correction on populations of known abundance. We hypothesized that a hybrid method combining simultaneous double-observer and sightability bias correction techniques would accurately estimate abundance. We validated this integrated technique on populations of known size and also on a pair of surveys before and after a known number was removed. Our analysis identified several covariates across the surveys that explained and corrected biases in the estimates. All six tests on known populations produced estimates with deviations from the known value ranging from -8.5% to +13.7% and <0.7 standard errors. Precision varied widely, from 6.1% CV to 25.0% CV. In contrast, the pair of surveys conducted around a known management removal produced an estimated change in population between the surveys that was significantly larger than the known reduction. Although the deviation between was only 9.1%, the precision estimate (CV = 1.6%) may have been artificially low. It was apparent that use of a helicopter in those surveys perturbed the horses, introducing detection error and heterogeneity in a manner that could not be corrected by our statistical models. Our results validate the hybrid method, highlight its potentially broad applicability, identify some limitations, and provide insight and guidance

  11. [New data on coat color gene frequencies in cats: 1. the Armavir population].

    PubMed

    Golubeva, N A; Zhigachev, A I

    2007-08-01

    The population of domestic cats from the city of Armavir has been examined. A high frequency of gene O was revealed in the population. Differences among three subpopulations estimated using two genetic distances showed heterogeneity of the Armavir cat population. The extreme samples showed highly significant differences (P < 0.01; chi2[6] = 24.67), likely explained by the structural features of the synantropous population and human-driven frequency- dependent selection operating in it. The feline population of Armavir underwent significant changes during the past two decades. The d(ij) coefficient in it was 0.093; D(p) = 0.05. The frequencies of genes orange and Long-hair have increased in the general population. The frequency of gene dilution has decreased. These changes may have occurred because of genetic exchange with purebred domestic cats that have become more popular as pets in the recent years. PMID:17958308

  12. Strong spatial segregation between wildcats and domestic cats may explain low hybridization rates on the Iberian Peninsula.

    PubMed

    Gil-Sánchez, J M; Jaramillo, J; Barea-Azcón, J M

    2015-12-01

    The European wildcat (Felis silvestris silvestris) is an endangered felid impacted by genetic introgression with the domestic cat (Felis silvestris catus). The problem of hybridization has had different effects in different areas. In non-Mediterranean regions pure forms of wildcats became almost extinct, while in Mediterranean regions genetic introgression is a rare phenomenon. The study of the potential factors that prevent the gene flow in areas of lower hybridization may be key to wildcat conservation. We studied the population size and spatial segregation of wildcats and domestic cats in a typical Mediterranean area of ancient sympatry, where no evidence of hybridization had been detected by genetic studies. Camera trapping of wild-living cats and walking surveys of stray cats in villages were used for capture-recapture estimations of abundance and spatial segregation. Results showed (i) a low density of wildcats and no apparent presence of putative hybrids; (ii) a very low abundance of feral cats in spite of the widespread and large population sources of domestic cats inhabiting villages; (iii) strong spatial segregation between wildcats and domestic/feral cats; and (iv) no relationship between the size of the potential population sources and the abundance of feral cats. Hence, domestic cats were limited in their ability to become integrated into the local habitat of wildcats. Ecological barriers (habitat preferences, food limitations, intra-specific and intra-guild competition, predation) may explain the severe divergences of hybridization impact observed at a biogeographic level. This has a direct effect on key conservation strategies for wildcats (i.e., control of domestic cats). PMID:26358989

  13. Understanding public perceptions of risk regarding outdoor pet cats to inform conservation action.

    PubMed

    Gramza, Ashley; Teel, Tara; VandeWoude, Susan; Crooks, Kevin

    2016-04-01

    Free-ranging domestic cats (Felis catus) incur and impose risks on ecosystems and represent a complex issue of critical importance to biodiversity conservation and cat and human health globally. Prior social science research on this topic is limited and has emphasized feral cats even though owned cats often comprise a large proportion of the outdoor cat population, particularly in urban areas. To address this gap, we examined public risk perceptions and attitudes toward outdoor pet cats across varying levels of urbanization, including along the wildland-urban interface, in Colorado (U.S.A.), through a mail survey of 1397 residents. Residents did not view all types of risks uniformly. They viewed risks of cat predation on wildlife and carnivore predation on cats as more likely than disease-related risks. Additionally, risk perceptions were related to attitudes, prior experiences with cats and cat-wildlife interactions, and cat-owner behavior. Our findings suggest that changes in risk perceptions may result in behavior change. Therefore, knowledge of cat-related risk perceptions and attitudes could be used to develop communication programs aimed at promoting risk-aversive behaviors among cat owners and cat-management strategies that are acceptable to the public and that directly advance the conservation of native species. PMID:26379227

  14. Modeling Interventions in the Owned Cat Population to Decrease Numbers, Knox County, TN.

    PubMed

    Lancaster, Evan P; Lenhart, Suzanne; Ojogbo, Ejebagom J; Rekant, Steven I; Scott, Janelle R; Weimer, Heidi; New, John C

    2016-01-01

    To find management strategies for controlling the owned cat population in Knox County, TN, the authors formulated a mathematical model using biological properties of such nonhuman animals and spay actions on certain age classes. They constructed this discrete-time model to predict the future owned cat population in this county and to evaluate intervention strategies to surgically sterilize some proportion of the population. Using the predicted population size and the number of surgeries for specific scenarios, they showed that focusing on specific age classes can be an effective feature in spay programs. PMID:27152694

  15. Dietary format alters fecal bacterial populations in the domestic cat (Felis catus)

    PubMed Central

    Bermingham, Emma N; Young, Wayne; Kittelmann, Sandra; Kerr, Katherine R; Swanson, Kelly S; Roy, Nicole C; Thomas, David G

    2013-01-01

    The effects of short-term (5-week) exposure to wet or dry diets on fecal bacterial populations in the cat were investigated. Sixteen mixed-sex, neutered, domestic short-haired cats (mean age = 6 years; mean bodyweight = 3.4 kg) were randomly allocated to wet or dry diets in a crossover design. Fecal bacterial DNA was isolated and bacterial 16S rRNA gene amplicons generated and analyzed by 454 Titanium pyrosequencing. Cats fed dry diets had higher abundances (P < 0.05) of Actinobacteria (16.5% vs. 0.1%) and lower abundances of Fusobacteria (0.3% vs. 23.1%) and Proteobacteria (0.4% vs. 1.1%) compared with cats fed the wet diet. Of the 46 genera identified, 30 were affected (P < 0.05) by diet, with higher abundances of Lactobacillus (31.8% vs. 0.1%), Megasphaera (23.0% vs. 0.0%), and Olsenella (16.4% vs. 0.0%), and lower abundances of Bacteroides (0.6% vs. 5.7%) and Blautia (0.3% vs. 2.3%) in cats fed the dry diet compared with cats fed the wet diet. These results demonstrate that short-term dietary exposure to diet leads to large shifts in fecal bacterial populations that have the potential to affect the ability of the cat to process macronutrients in the diet. PMID:23297252

  16. Governmental provisions to manage and eradicate feral swine in areas of the United States.

    PubMed

    Centner, Terence J; Shuman, Rebecca M

    2015-03-01

    Feral swine (wild hogs) are one of the most widely distributed free-ranging mammals in the world. In the United States, feral swine serve as game animals for the sport of hunting in some areas, while they are nuisance species at other locations. Increasing feral swine populations creates negative impacts to growing crops, native plant communities, and wildlife. Feral swine can also serve as reservoirs for a number of bacterial and viral diseases that can infect wild animals, livestock, and humans. The US state governments are adopting statutes and regulations to reduce the growth and dispersal of feral swine populations. An analysis of these provisions suggests that while they seek to control feral swine populations, they are unlikely to provide any significant relief from damages to crops and native ecosystems. More localized reduction plans and a national disease control program are suggested to assuage damages being wrought by these invasive animals. PMID:24845195

  17. Progress in development of immunocontraceptive vaccines for permanent non-surgical sterilization of cats and dogs.

    PubMed

    Munks, M W

    2012-08-01

    Each year, millions of cats and dogs are euthanized worldwide. There are insufficient resources to control shelter animals in developed countries, as well as feral cat and wild dog population levels, with current surgical sterilization techniques. Thus, population control of these animals will likely depend on the development of new non-surgical methods for cat and dog sterilization. One promising area of research is the development of contraceptive vaccines, or immunocontraceptives. In this article, previous approaches aimed at developing contraceptive vaccines will be reviewed, with a focus on those most related to sterilization of cats and dogs. There are a number of steps in reproduction that have been, or could be, targeted by the immune system, and the advantages and obstacles for inducing immunity to each of these will be discussed. Our current understanding of how these vaccines cause sterility, and our current ability to dissect these mechanisms in cats and dogs, also will be discussed. PMID:22827374

  18. Simulating free-roaming cat population management options in open demographic environments.

    PubMed

    Miller, Philip S; Boone, John D; Briggs, Joyce R; Lawler, Dennis F; Levy, Julie K; Nutter, Felicia B; Slater, Margaret; Zawistowski, Stephen

    2014-01-01

    Large populations of free-roaming cats (FRCs) generate ongoing concerns for welfare of both individual animals and populations, for human public health, for viability of native wildlife populations, and for local ecological damage. Managing FRC populations is a complex task, without universal agreement on best practices. Previous analyses that use simulation modeling tools to evaluate alternative management methods have focused on relative efficacy of removal (or trap-return, TR), typically involving euthanasia, and sterilization (or trap-neuter-return, TNR) in demographically isolated populations. We used a stochastic demographic simulation approach to evaluate removal, permanent sterilization, and two postulated methods of temporary contraception for FRC population management. Our models include demographic connectivity to neighboring untreated cat populations through natural dispersal in a metapopulation context across urban and rural landscapes, and also feature abandonment of owned animals. Within population type, a given implementation rate of the TR strategy results in the most rapid rate of population decline and (when populations are isolated) the highest probability of population elimination, followed in order of decreasing efficacy by equivalent rates of implementation of TNR and temporary contraception. Even low levels of demographic connectivity significantly reduce the effectiveness of any management intervention, and continued abandonment is similarly problematic. This is the first demographic simulation analysis to consider the use of temporary contraception and account for the realities of FRC dispersal and owned cat abandonment. PMID:25426960

  19. Simulating Free-Roaming Cat Population Management Options in Open Demographic Environments

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Philip S.; Boone, John D.; Briggs, Joyce R.; Lawler, Dennis F.; Levy, Julie K.; Nutter, Felicia B.; Slater, Margaret; Zawistowski, Stephen

    2014-01-01

    Large populations of free-roaming cats (FRCs) generate ongoing concerns for welfare of both individual animals and populations, for human public health, for viability of native wildlife populations, and for local ecological damage. Managing FRC populations is a complex task, without universal agreement on best practices. Previous analyses that use simulation modeling tools to evaluate alternative management methods have focused on relative efficacy of removal (or trap-return, TR), typically involving euthanasia, and sterilization (or trap-neuter-return, TNR) in demographically isolated populations. We used a stochastic demographic simulation approach to evaluate removal, permanent sterilization, and two postulated methods of temporary contraception for FRC population management. Our models include demographic connectivity to neighboring untreated cat populations through natural dispersal in a metapopulation context across urban and rural landscapes, and also feature abandonment of owned animals. Within population type, a given implementation rate of the TR strategy results in the most rapid rate of population decline and (when populations are isolated) the highest probability of population elimination, followed in order of decreasing efficacy by equivalent rates of implementation of TNR and temporary contraception. Even low levels of demographic connectivity significantly reduce the effectiveness of any management intervention, and continued abandonment is similarly problematic. This is the first demographic simulation analysis to consider the use of temporary contraception and account for the realities of FRC dispersal and owned cat abandonment. PMID:25426960

  20. Using Dynamic Stochastic Modelling to Estimate Population Risk Factors in Infectious Disease: The Example of FIV in 15 Cat Populations

    PubMed Central

    Fouchet, David; Leblanc, Guillaume; Sauvage, Frank; Guiserix, Micheline; Poulet, Hervé; Pontier, Dominique

    2009-01-01

    Background In natural cat populations, Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) is transmitted through bites between individuals. Factors such as the density of cats within the population or the sex-ratio can have potentially strong effects on the frequency of fight between individuals and hence appear as important population risk factors for FIV. Methodology/Principal Findings To study such population risk factors, we present data on FIV prevalence in 15 cat populations in northeastern France. We investigate five key social factors of cat populations; the density of cats, the sex-ratio, the number of males and the mean age of males and females within the population. We overcome the problem of dependence in the infective status data using sexually-structured dynamic stochastic models. Only the age of males and females had an effect (p = 0.043 and p = 0.02, respectively) on the male-to-female transmission rate. Due to multiple tests, it is even likely that these effects are, in reality, not significant. Finally we show that, in our study area, the data can be explained by a very simple model that does not invoke any risk factor. Conclusion Our conclusion is that, in host-parasite systems in general, fluctuations due to stochasticity in the transmission process are naturally very large and may alone explain a larger part of the variability in observed disease prevalence between populations than previously expected. Finally, we determined confidence intervals for the simple model parameters that can be used to further aid in management of the disease. PMID:19888418

  1. Long-term monitoring of feral genetically modified herbicide-tolerant Brassica napus populations around unloading Japanese ports

    PubMed Central

    Katsuta, Kensuke; Matsuo, Kazuhito; Yoshimura, Yasuyuki; Ohsawa, Ryo

    2015-01-01

    Genetically modified, herbicide-tolerant (GMHT) Brassica napus plants originating from seed spill have recently been found along roadsides leading from Japanese ports that unload oilseed rape. Such introductions have potential biodiversity effects (as defined by the Cartagena Protocol): these include replacement of native elements in the biota through competitive suppression or hybridization. We conducted surveys in the period 2006–2011 to assess such threats. We examined shifts in the population distribution and occurrence of GMHT plants in 1,029 volunteer introduced assemblages of B. napus, 1,169 of B. juncea, and 184 of B. rapa around 12 ports. GMHT B. napus was found around 10 of 12 ports, but its proportion in the populations varied greatly by year and location. Over the survey period, the distributions of a pure non-GMHT population around Tobata and a pure GMHT population around Hakata increased significantly. However, there was no common trend of population expansion or contraction around the 12 ports. Furthermore, we found no herbicide tolerant B. juncea and B. rapa plants derived from crosses with GMHT B. napus. Therefore, GMHT B. napus is not invading native vegetation surrounding its populations and not likely to cross with congeners in Japanese environment. PMID:26175624

  2. Long-term monitoring of feral genetically modified herbicide-tolerant Brassica napus populations around unloading Japanese ports.

    PubMed

    Katsuta, Kensuke; Matsuo, Kazuhito; Yoshimura, Yasuyuki; Ohsawa, Ryo

    2015-06-01

    Genetically modified, herbicide-tolerant (GMHT) Brassica napus plants originating from seed spill have recently been found along roadsides leading from Japanese ports that unload oilseed rape. Such introductions have potential biodiversity effects (as defined by the Cartagena Protocol): these include replacement of native elements in the biota through competitive suppression or hybridization. We conducted surveys in the period 2006-2011 to assess such threats. We examined shifts in the population distribution and occurrence of GMHT plants in 1,029 volunteer introduced assemblages of B. napus, 1,169 of B. juncea, and 184 of B. rapa around 12 ports. GMHT B. napus was found around 10 of 12 ports, but its proportion in the populations varied greatly by year and location. Over the survey period, the distributions of a pure non-GMHT population around Tobata and a pure GMHT population around Hakata increased significantly. However, there was no common trend of population expansion or contraction around the 12 ports. Furthermore, we found no herbicide tolerant B. juncea and B. rapa plants derived from crosses with GMHT B. napus. Therefore, GMHT B. napus is not invading native vegetation surrounding its populations and not likely to cross with congeners in Japanese environment. PMID:26175624

  3. Costs and benefits of trap-neuter-release and euthanasia for removal of urban cats in Oahu, Hawaii.

    PubMed

    Lohr, Cheryl A; Cox, Linda J; Lepczyk, Christopher A

    2013-02-01

    Our goal was to determine whether it is more cost-effective to control feral cat abundance with trap-neuter-release programs or trap and euthanize programs. Using STELLA 7, systems modeling software, we modeled changes over 30 years in abundance of cats in a feral colony in response to each management method and the costs and benefits associated with each method . We included costs associated with providing food, veterinary care, and microchips to the colony cats and the cost of euthanasia, wages, and trapping equipment in the model. Due to a lack of data on predation rates and disease transmission by feral cats the only benefits incorporated into the analyses were reduced predation on Wedge-tailed Shearwaters (Puffinus pacificus). When no additional domestic cats were abandoned by owners and the trap and euthanize program removed 30,000 cats in the first year, the colony was extirpated in at least 75% of model simulations within the second year. It took 30 years for trap-neuter-release to extirpate the colony. When the cat population was supplemented with 10% of the initial population size per year, the colony returned to carrying capacity within 6 years and the trap and euthanize program had to be repeated, whereas trap-neuter-release never reduced the number of cats to near zero within the 30-year time frame of the model. The abandonment of domestic cats reduced the cost effectiveness of both trap-neuter-release and trap and euthanize. Trap-neuter-release was approximately twice as expensive to implement as a trap and euthanize program. Results of sensitivity analyses suggested trap-neuter-release programs that employ volunteers are still less cost-effective than trap and euthanize programs that employ paid professionals and that trap-neuter-release was only effective when the total number of colony cats in an area was below 1000. Reducing the rate of abandonment of domestic cats appears to be a more effective solution for reducing the abundance of feral cats

  4. Change-in-ratio density estimator for feral pigs is less biased than closed mark-recapture estimates

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hanson, L.B.; Grand, J.B.; Mitchell, M.S.; Jolley, D.B.; Sparklin, B.D.; Ditchkoff, S.S.

    2008-01-01

    Closed-population capture-mark-recapture (CMR) methods can produce biased density estimates for species with low or heterogeneous detection probabilities. In an attempt to address such biases, we developed a density-estimation method based on the change in ratio (CIR) of survival between two populations where survival, calculated using an open-population CMR model, is known to differ. We used our method to estimate density for a feral pig (Sus scrofa) population on Fort Benning, Georgia, USA. To assess its validity, we compared it to an estimate of the minimum density of pigs known to be alive and two estimates based on closed-population CMR models. Comparison of the density estimates revealed that the CIR estimator produced a density estimate with low precision that was reasonable with respect to minimum known density. By contrast, density point estimates using the closed-population CMR models were less than the minimum known density, consistent with biases created by low and heterogeneous capture probabilities for species like feral pigs that may occur in low density or are difficult to capture. Our CIR density estimator may be useful for tracking broad-scale, long-term changes in species, such as large cats, for which closed CMR models are unlikely to work. ?? CSIRO 2008.

  5. Dog and cat management through sterilization: Implications for population dynamics and veterinary public policies.

    PubMed

    Dias, Ricardo Augusto; Baquero, Oswaldo Santos; Guilloux, Aline Gil Alves; Moretti, Caio Figueiredo; de Lucca, Tosca; Rodrigues, Ricardo Conde Alves; Castagna, Cláudio Luiz; Presotto, Douglas; Kronitzky, Yury Cezar; Grisi-Filho, José Henrique Hildebrand; Ferreira, Fernando; Amaku, Marcos

    2015-11-01

    The present study aimed to compare different sterilization scenarios allowing the adoption of the most adequate strategy to control owned dog and cat population sizes as the official veterinary public policy for animal control in an urban area of Campinas municipality, Brazil. To achieve this goal, the vital parameters of the owned pet population were measured in a neighborhood of Campinas called Jardim Vila Olimpia through questionnaires used in two census studies performed in February 2012 and June 2013. Different hypothetical sterilization scenarios were compared with the scenario of a single sterilization campaign performed in the study area between the census studies. Using a deterministic mathematical model, population dynamics were simulated for these different scenarios. We have observed that for both owned dogs and cats, the impact on the population size achieved by a single sterilization campaign would be diluted over the years, equating to the impact achieved by the usual sterilization rate practiced before the sterilization campaign yearly. Moreover, using local and global sensitivity analyses, we assessed the relative influence on animal population evolution of each vital parameter used in the mathematical models. The more influential parameters for both species were the carrying capacity of the environment and sterilization rates of males and females (for both species). We observed that even with sterilizing 100% of the intact animals annually, it would not be possible to obtain proportions greater than 86% and 88% of sterilized dogs and cats, respectively, after 20 years due to the high introduction of new intact animals. There is no public dog and cat sterilization service in place in the city, and sporadic and local sterilization campaigns are performed with a prior communication to the owners to bring their animals to be sterilized in a selected veterinary facility. If a sterilization campaign was performed annually in the study area, it would

  6. Macroparasite communities in stray cat populations from urban cities in Peninsular Malaysia.

    PubMed

    Mohd Zain, Siti Nursheena; Sahimin, Norhidayu; Pal, Paul; Lewis, John W

    2013-09-23

    The occurrence of macroparasites was studied from 543 stray cats in four urban cities from the west (Kuala Lumpur), east (Kuantan), north (Georgetown) and south (Malacca) of Peninsular Malaysia from May 2007 to August 2010. Five ectoparasites species were recovered namely, Ctenocephalides felis, Felicola subrostratus, Haemaphysalis bispinosa, Heterodoxus spiniger and Lynxacarus radovskyi. Two cats from Georgetown were infested with the dog louse, H. spiniger and this represented the first host record for this species in Malaysia. Up to nine species of helminths were recovered with overall high prevalences of infection of 83% in Kuantan, followed by 75.1% in Kuala Lumpur, 71.6% in Georgetown and 68% in Malacca. The helminth species comprised five nematodes, Toxocara malaysiensis, Toxocara cati, Ancylostoma braziliensis, Ancylostoma ceylanicum, Physaloptera praeputialis, two cestodes Taenia taeniaeformis, Dipylidium caninum and one trematode, Playtnosomum fastosum. The majority of helminths were present in the four study sites except for the absence of P. praeputialis in Kuala Lumpur. The prevalence and abundance of infections were analysed taking intrinsic (host age and sex) and extrinsic (season) factors into consideration. Levels of infection and infestation were mainly influenced by host age and to a lesser extent sex and season, whereas four nematode species exhibited significant interactions within the intestine of the cat host. The potential for transmission of some macroparasite species from stray cats to the human population in urban areas is discussed. PMID:23664711

  7. A Cross-Sectional Survey to Estimate the Cat Population and Ownership Profiles in a Semirural Area of Central Italy

    PubMed Central

    Iacoponi, Francesca; Scaramozzino, Paola

    2016-01-01

    Understanding animal population size and its demographic features is essential to address Public Health policies as well as to provide valuable information to pet industries and veterinary practitioners. Nevertheless, official data on feline population are not available worldwide. In the present study, the owned cat population size, its demographic attributes, and the ownership profiles have been investigated through a face-to-face questionnaire in a semirural area of Central Italy. The human : cat ratio was equal to 6.8 (95% CI: 5.7–7.5); 29.3% of households own at least one cat. The majority of cats were living in a rural area (67.8%) and outdoors, were neutered (70.5%), and were fed with commercial food (54.8%) and they visited a veterinarian 1-2 times a year (43.3%). The cat ownership was strongly associated with people living in a rural area and owning another pet. As the cat owned population was mainly kept outdoors in rural areas, the possible relation between the owned and the stray animals is worthy to be monitored in future researches. Our study revealed that the feline owned population was larger than expected and that social and economic human factors do not influence the cat ownership. Health Authorities and veterinary practitioners should promote responsible ownership to increase the veterinary care, to intensify the official identification, and to properly manage the outdoor lifestyle. PMID:27610373

  8. A Cross-Sectional Survey to Estimate the Cat Population and Ownership Profiles in a Semirural Area of Central Italy.

    PubMed

    Carvelli, Andrea; Iacoponi, Francesca; Scaramozzino, Paola

    2016-01-01

    Understanding animal population size and its demographic features is essential to address Public Health policies as well as to provide valuable information to pet industries and veterinary practitioners. Nevertheless, official data on feline population are not available worldwide. In the present study, the owned cat population size, its demographic attributes, and the ownership profiles have been investigated through a face-to-face questionnaire in a semirural area of Central Italy. The human : cat ratio was equal to 6.8 (95% CI: 5.7-7.5); 29.3% of households own at least one cat. The majority of cats were living in a rural area (67.8%) and outdoors, were neutered (70.5%), and were fed with commercial food (54.8%) and they visited a veterinarian 1-2 times a year (43.3%). The cat ownership was strongly associated with people living in a rural area and owning another pet. As the cat owned population was mainly kept outdoors in rural areas, the possible relation between the owned and the stray animals is worthy to be monitored in future researches. Our study revealed that the feline owned population was larger than expected and that social and economic human factors do not influence the cat ownership. Health Authorities and veterinary practitioners should promote responsible ownership to increase the veterinary care, to intensify the official identification, and to properly manage the outdoor lifestyle. PMID:27610373

  9. Feral swine brucellosis in the United States and prospective genomic techniques for disease epidemiology.

    PubMed

    Leiser, Owen P; Corn, Joseph L; Schmit, Brandon S; Keim, Paul S; Foster, Jeffrey T

    2013-09-27

    Brucellosis is a common infection of feral swine throughout the United States. With the recent expansion of feral swine populations across the country, this disease poses an increasing threat to agriculture and hunters. The standard approach to Brucella surveillance in feral swine has been serological testing, which gives an indication of past exposure and is a rapid method of determining populations where Brucella is present. More in-depth analyses require bacterial isolation to determine the Brucella species and biovar involved. Ultimately, for a comprehensive understanding of Brucella epizootiology in feral swine, incorporation of genotyping assays has become essential. Fortunately, the past decade has given rise to an array of genetic tools for assessing Brucella transmission and dispersal. This review aims to synthesize what is known about brucellosis in feral swine and will cover prospective genomic techniques that may be utilized to develop more complete understanding of the disease and its transmission history. PMID:23548760

  10. Gastrointestinal parasites of cats in Denmark assessed by necropsy and concentration McMaster technique.

    PubMed

    Takeuchi-Storm, N; Mejer, H; Al-Sabi, M N S; Olsen, C S; Thamsborg, S M; Enemark, H L

    2015-12-15

    The large population of feral cats in Denmark may potentially transmit pathogens to household cats and zoonotic parasites to humans. A total of 99 euthanized cats; feral cats (n=92) and household cats with outdoor access (n=7), were collected from March to May 2014 from the Zealand region, Denmark. The sedimentation and counting technique (SCT) was used to isolate helminths and coproscopy was done by concentration McMaster technique (c-McMaster). Overall, 90.1% of the cats were infected and a total of 10 species were recorded by SCT: 5 nematode species: Toxocara cati (84.8%), Ollulanus tricuspis (13.1%), Aonchotheca putorii (7.1%), Paersonema spp. (3.0%), Strongyloides spp. (1.0%); 3 cestodes: Hydatigera taeniaeformis (36.4%), Mesocestoides sp. (3.0%), Dipylidium caninum (1.0%); and 2 trematodes: Cryptocotyle spp. (5.1%) and Pseudamphistomum truncatum (1.0%). O. tricuspis was the second most common gastrointestinal nematode of cats but had the highest intensity of infection. For T. cati, prevalence and worm burden were significantly higher in feral than household cats. No juvenile cats were infected with H. taeniaeformis, and age thus had a significant effect on prevalence and worm burdens of this species. Rural cats had a higher prevalence and worm burden of A. putorii than urban cats. By c-McMaster, ascarid, capillarid, strongylid or taeniid type eggs were found in 77.9% of the cats while Cystoisospora felis was found in 2.1%. The sensitivity of the c-McMaster was 82.5% for T. cati but 26.5% for taeniid eggs, using the SCT as gold standard. A positive correlation between faecal egg counts and worm burdens was seen for T. cati, but not for taeniid eggs (assumed to be H. taeniaeformis). Coprological examination also detected the eggs of extraintestinal Capillariidae species including Eucoleus aerophilus and Eucoleus boehmi, but further necropsy studies are needed to confirm these findings. PMID:26169220

  11. Serosurvey of leptospirosis in feral hogs (Sus scrofa) in Florida.

    PubMed

    Chatfield, Jenifer; Milleson, Michael; Stoddard, Robyn; Bui, Duy M; Galloway, Renee

    2013-06-01

    Leptospira is a global pathogen of emerging public health importance in both developing and industrialized nations and can infect almost all mammalian species, including humans. As suburbanization and the popularity of outdoor recreational activities increases, so do human-wildlife and companion animal-wildlife interfaces. Florida offers a tropical climate favorable for outdoor activities and a semirural landscape that sustains an abundant feral hog population. Because no survey ofleptospirosis in feral hogs (Sus scrofa) in Florida has been published to our knowledge, we sought to establish preliminary seroprevalence ofleptospirosis exposure in feral hogs in Florida. Blood samples were collected opportunistically from 158 male and 166 female feral hogs taken at managed hunts and by permitted trappers in the northern, central, and southern regions of Florida. Samples were then analyzed using the microscopic agglutination test (MAT) for antibody titers to 20 Leptospira serovars representing 17 serogroups. A titer of > 1:100 was considered positive; 33% (107/324 total samples) were positive to at least one serovar, and 46% of those were positive to multiple serovars. Antibodies to L. interrogans serovar Bratislava strain Jez Bratislava (serogroup Australis) was the most common, with 18% (58/324) testing positive for antibodies. These initial data indicate that there is a significant possibility of feral hogs having a larger role in the complex etiology of leptospirosis in Florida than historically estimated and that further investigation is warranted. PMID:23805559

  12. Efficacy of nicarbazin (Ovistop®) in the containment and reduction of the populations of feral pigeons (Columba livia var. domestica) in the city of Genoa, Italy: a retrospective evaluation.

    PubMed

    Albonetti, Paolo; Marletta, Antonio; Repetto, Ivano; Sasso, Emanuela Assunta

    2015-01-01

    This study describes the results of a retrospective evaluation (8 years: 2005-2012) of the efficacy of the anti-fertility drug, Ovistop® nicarbazin (800 ppm) added to corn kernels used to feed non-migratory feral pigeon colonies, Columba livia var. domestica, in the city of Genoa, Italy. The observation interested 4 non-migratory feral pigeon colonies located into well‑defined areas of the city of Genoa, Italy. Three of these colonies were treated for 12 months, with 10 g of drug (Ovistop®) provided per bird per day for 5 days each week; the other colony was treated in the same way but with a placebo (control station). Each colony and the relative area where the colony was located were both monitored with the same daily examination. Statistical analysis techniques were applied to the findings recorded - both descriptive (indices of central and dispersion trends) and comparative (one-way variance analysis). In the colonies treated with the drug, following an initial increase in the population ('magnet effect'), a reduction was observed over the following 4 years (-35% >x> -45%) and a further decrease (-65% >x> -70%) was observed over the subsequent 4 years (statistically significant one-way ANOVA p<0.01). This phenomenon was recorded across the board in the 3 treated stations, compared to the overall unstable trend observed for the control station. As no external or exceptional anthropic or natural factors were observed, it can be stated that, given the results observed, the drug seemed effective in reducing the treated bird populations. PMID:25842215

  13. Occurrence of Transgenic Feral Alfalfa (Medicago sativa subsp. sativa L.) in Alfalfa Seed Production Areas in the United States

    PubMed Central

    Greene, Stephanie L.; Kesoju, Sandya R.; Martin, Ruth C.; Kramer, Matthew

    2015-01-01

    The potential environmental risks of transgene exposure are not clear for alfalfa (Medicago sativa subsp. sativa), a perennial crop that is cross-pollinated by insects. We gathered data on feral alfalfa in major alfalfa seed-production areas in the western United States to (1) evaluate evidence that feral transgenic plants spread transgenes and (2) determine environmental and agricultural production factors influencing the location of feral alfalfa, especially transgenic plants. Road verges in Fresno, California; Canyon, Idaho; and Walla Walla, Washington were surveyed in 2011 and 2012 for feral plants, and samples were tested for the CP4 EPSPS protein that conveys resistance to glyphosate. Of 4580 sites surveyed, feral plants were observed at 404 sites. Twenty-seven percent of these sites had transgenic plants. The frequency of sites having transgenic feral plants varied among our study areas. Transgenic plants were found in 32.7%, 21.4.7% and 8.3% of feral plant sites in Fresno, Canyon and Walla Walla, respectively. Spatial analysis suggested that feral populations started independently and tended to cluster in seed and hay production areas, places where seed tended to drop. Significant but low spatial auto correlation suggested that in some instances, plants colonized nearby locations. Neighboring feral plants were frequently within pollinator foraging range; however, further research is needed to confirm transgene flow. Locations of feral plant clusters were not well predicted by environmental and production variables. However, the likelihood of seed spillage during production and transport had predictive value in explaining the occurrence of transgenic feral populations. Our study confirms that genetically engineered alfalfa has dispersed into the environment, and suggests that minimizing seed spillage and eradicating feral alfalfa along road sides would be effective strategies to minimize transgene dispersal. PMID:26699337

  14. Bait Preference of Free-Ranging Feral Swine for Delivery of a Novel Toxicant.

    PubMed

    Snow, Nathan P; Halseth, Joseph M; Lavelle, Michael J; Hanson, Thomas E; Blass, Chad R; Foster, Justin A; Humphrys, Simon T; Staples, Linton D; Hewitt, David G; VerCauteren, Kurt C

    2016-01-01

    Invasive feral swine (Sus scrofa) cause extensive damage to agricultural and wildlife resources throughout the United States. Development of sodium nitrite as a new, orally delivered toxicant is underway to provide an additional tool to curtail growth and expansion of feral swine populations. A micro-encapsulation coating around sodium nitrite is used to minimize detection by feral swine and maximize stability for the reactive molecule. To maximize uptake of this toxicant by feral swine, development a bait matrix is needed to 1) protect the micro-encapsulation coating so that sodium nitrite remains undetectable to feral swine, 2) achieve a high degree of acceptance by feral swine, and 3) be minimally appealing to non-target species. With these purposes, a field evaluation at 88 sites in south-central Texas was conducted using remote cameras to evaluate preferences by feral swine for several oil-based bait matrices including uncolored peanut paste, black-colored peanut paste, and peanut-based slurry mixed onto whole-kernel corn. These placebo baits were compared to a reference food, whole-kernel corn, known to be readily taken by feral swine (i.e., control). The amount of bait consumed by feral swine was also estimated using remote cameras and grid boards at 5 additional sites. On initial exposure, feral swine showed reduced visitations to the uncolored peanut paste and peanut slurry treatments. This reduced visitation subsided by the end of the treatment period, suggesting that feral swine needed time to accept these bait types. The black-colored peanut paste was visited equally to the control throughout the study, and enough of this matrix was consumed to deliver lethal doses of micro-encapsulated sodium nitrite to most feral swine during 1-2 feeding events. None of the treatment matrices reduced visitations by nontarget species, but feral swine dominated visitations for all matrices. It was concluded that black-colored peanut paste achieved satisfactory

  15. Bait Preference of Free-Ranging Feral Swine for Delivery of a Novel Toxicant

    PubMed Central

    Snow, Nathan P.; Halseth, Joseph M.; Lavelle, Michael J.; Hanson, Thomas E.; Blass, Chad R.; Foster, Justin A.; Humphrys, Simon T.; Staples, Linton D.; Hewitt, David G.; VerCauteren, Kurt C.

    2016-01-01

    Invasive feral swine (Sus scrofa) cause extensive damage to agricultural and wildlife resources throughout the United States. Development of sodium nitrite as a new, orally delivered toxicant is underway to provide an additional tool to curtail growth and expansion of feral swine populations. A micro-encapsulation coating around sodium nitrite is used to minimize detection by feral swine and maximize stability for the reactive molecule. To maximize uptake of this toxicant by feral swine, development a bait matrix is needed to 1) protect the micro-encapsulation coating so that sodium nitrite remains undetectable to feral swine, 2) achieve a high degree of acceptance by feral swine, and 3) be minimally appealing to non-target species. With these purposes, a field evaluation at 88 sites in south-central Texas was conducted using remote cameras to evaluate preferences by feral swine for several oil-based bait matrices including uncolored peanut paste, black-colored peanut paste, and peanut-based slurry mixed onto whole-kernel corn. These placebo baits were compared to a reference food, whole-kernel corn, known to be readily taken by feral swine (i.e., control). The amount of bait consumed by feral swine was also estimated using remote cameras and grid boards at 5 additional sites. On initial exposure, feral swine showed reduced visitations to the uncolored peanut paste and peanut slurry treatments. This reduced visitation subsided by the end of the treatment period, suggesting that feral swine needed time to accept these bait types. The black-colored peanut paste was visited equally to the control throughout the study, and enough of this matrix was consumed to deliver lethal doses of micro-encapsulated sodium nitrite to most feral swine during 1–2 feeding events. None of the treatment matrices reduced visitations by nontarget species, but feral swine dominated visitations for all matrices. It was concluded that black-colored peanut paste achieved satisfactory

  16. 50 CFR 30.12 - Disposition of feral animals.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 9 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Disposition of feral animals. 30.12... (CONTINUED) THE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE SYSTEM RANGE AND FERAL ANIMAL MANAGEMENT Feral Animals § 30.12 Disposition of feral animals. Feral animals taken on wildlife refuge areas may be disposed of by sale on...

  17. 50 CFR 30.12 - Disposition of feral animals.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 9 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Disposition of feral animals. 30.12... (CONTINUED) THE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE SYSTEM RANGE AND FERAL ANIMAL MANAGEMENT Feral Animals § 30.12 Disposition of feral animals. Feral animals taken on wildlife refuge areas may be disposed of by sale on...

  18. 50 CFR 30.11 - Control of feral animals.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 9 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Control of feral animals. 30.11 Section 30... (CONTINUED) THE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE SYSTEM RANGE AND FERAL ANIMAL MANAGEMENT Feral Animals § 30.11 Control of feral animals. (a) Feral animals, including horses, burros, cattle, swine, sheep,...

  19. 50 CFR 30.12 - Disposition of feral animals.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 9 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Disposition of feral animals. 30.12... (CONTINUED) THE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE SYSTEM RANGE AND FERAL ANIMAL MANAGEMENT Feral Animals § 30.12 Disposition of feral animals. Feral animals taken on wildlife refuge areas may be disposed of by sale on...

  20. 50 CFR 30.11 - Control of feral animals.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 9 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Control of feral animals. 30.11 Section 30... (CONTINUED) THE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE SYSTEM RANGE AND FERAL ANIMAL MANAGEMENT Feral Animals § 30.11 Control of feral animals. (a) Feral animals, including horses, burros, cattle, swine, sheep,...

  1. 50 CFR 30.11 - Control of feral animals.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 9 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Control of feral animals. 30.11 Section 30... (CONTINUED) THE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE SYSTEM RANGE AND FERAL ANIMAL MANAGEMENT Feral Animals § 30.11 Control of feral animals. (a) Feral animals, including horses, burros, cattle, swine, sheep,...

  2. 50 CFR 30.11 - Control of feral animals.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 6 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Control of feral animals. 30.11 Section 30... (CONTINUED) THE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE SYSTEM RANGE AND FERAL ANIMAL MANAGEMENT Feral Animals § 30.11 Control of feral animals. (a) Feral animals, including horses, burros, cattle, swine, sheep,...

  3. 50 CFR 30.12 - Disposition of feral animals.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 6 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Disposition of feral animals. 30.12... (CONTINUED) THE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE SYSTEM RANGE AND FERAL ANIMAL MANAGEMENT Feral Animals § 30.12 Disposition of feral animals. Feral animals taken on wildlife refuge areas may be disposed of by sale on...

  4. 50 CFR 30.11 - Control of feral animals.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 8 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Control of feral animals. 30.11 Section 30... (CONTINUED) THE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE SYSTEM RANGE AND FERAL ANIMAL MANAGEMENT Feral Animals § 30.11 Control of feral animals. (a) Feral animals, including horses, burros, cattle, swine, sheep,...

  5. 50 CFR 30.12 - Disposition of feral animals.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 8 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Disposition of feral animals. 30.12... (CONTINUED) THE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE SYSTEM RANGE AND FERAL ANIMAL MANAGEMENT Feral Animals § 30.12 Disposition of feral animals. Feral animals taken on wildlife refuge areas may be disposed of by sale on...

  6. Screening of Feral Pigeon (Colomba livia), Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) and Graylag Goose (Anser anser) Populations for Campylobacter spp., Salmonella spp., Avian Influenza Virus and Avian Paramyxovirus

    PubMed Central

    Lillehaug, A; Jonassen, C Monceyron; Bergsjø, B; Hofshagen, M; Tharaldsen, J; Nesse, LL; Handeland, K

    2005-01-01

    A total of 119 fresh faecal samples were collected from graylag geese migrating northwards in April. Also, cloacal swabs were taken from 100 carcasses of graylag geese shot during the hunting season in August. In addition, samples were taken from 200 feral pigeons and five mallards. The cultivation of bacteria detected Campylobacter jejuni jejuni in six of the pigeons, and in one of the mallards. Salmonella diarizona 14:k:z53 was detected in one graylag goose, while all pigeons and mallards were negative for salmonellae. No avian paramyxovirus was found in any of the samples tested. One mallard, from an Oslo river, was influenza A virus positive, confirmed by RT-PCR and by inoculation of embryonated eggs. The isolate termed A/Duck/Norway/1/03 was found to be of H3N8 type based on sequence analyses of the hemagglutinin and neuraminidase segments, and serological tests. This is the first time an avian influenza virus has been isolated in Norway. The study demonstrates that the wild bird species examined may constitute a reservoir for important bird pathogens and zoonotic agents in Norway. PMID:16398331

  7. Study of the effect on shelter cat intakes and euthanasia from a shelter neuter return project of 10,080 cats from March 2010 to June 2014.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Karen L; Cicirelli, Jon

    2014-01-01

    Cat impoundments were increasing at the municipal San Jose animal shelter in 2009, despite long-term successful low cost sterilization programs and attempts to lower the euthanasia rate of treatable-rehabilitatable impounds beginning in 2008. San Jose Animal Care and Services implemented a new strategy designed to control overall feral cat reproduction by altering and returning feral cats entering the shelter system, rather than euthanizing the cats. The purpose of this case study was to determine how the program affected the shelter cat intakes over time. In just over four years, 10,080 individual healthy adult feral cats, out of 11,423 impounded at the shelter during this time frame, were altered and returned to their site of capture. Included in the 11,423 cats were 862 cats impounded from one to four additional times for a total of 958 (9.5%) recaptures of the previously altered 10,080 cats. The remaining 385 healthy feral cats were euthanized at the shelter from March 2010 to June 2014. Four years into the program, researchers observed cat and kitten impounds decreased 29.1%; euthanasia decreased from over 70% of intakes in 2009, to 23% in 2014. Euthanasia in the shelter for Upper Respiratory Disease decreased 99%; dead cat pick up off the streets declined 20%. Dog impounds did not similarly decline over the four years. No other laws or program changes were implemented since the beginning of the program. PMID:25374785

  8. Study of the effect on shelter cat intakes and euthanasia from a shelter neuter return project of 10,080 cats from March 2010 to June 2014

    PubMed Central

    Cicirelli, Jon

    2014-01-01

    Cat impoundments were increasing at the municipal San Jose animal shelter in 2009, despite long-term successful low cost sterilization programs and attempts to lower the euthanasia rate of treatable-rehabilitatable impounds beginning in 2008. San Jose Animal Care and Services implemented a new strategy designed to control overall feral cat reproduction by altering and returning feral cats entering the shelter system, rather than euthanizing the cats. The purpose of this case study was to determine how the program affected the shelter cat intakes over time. In just over four years, 10,080 individual healthy adult feral cats, out of 11,423 impounded at the shelter during this time frame, were altered and returned to their site of capture. Included in the 11,423 cats were 862 cats impounded from one to four additional times for a total of 958 (9.5%) recaptures of the previously altered 10,080 cats. The remaining 385 healthy feral cats were euthanized at the shelter from March 2010 to June 2014. Four years into the program, researchers observed cat and kitten impounds decreased 29.1%; euthanasia decreased from over 70% of intakes in 2009, to 23% in 2014. Euthanasia in the shelter for Upper Respiratory Disease decreased 99%; dead cat pick up off the streets declined 20%. Dog impounds did not similarly decline over the four years. No other laws or program changes were implemented since the beginning of the program. PMID:25374785

  9. Application of assisted reproduction for population management in felids: the potential and reality for conservation of small cats.

    PubMed

    Swanson, William F

    2006-07-01

    Assisted reproductive technology (ART), using the primary applied tools of AI, ET, and sperm and embryo cryopreservation, has been promoted over the past decades for its potential to conserve endangered wildlife, including felids. However, if the goal is efficient, consistent production of viable offspring for population management, then the 'potential' of ART has yet to become 'reality' for any non-domestic cat species. For the five small-sized felids (i.e., Brazilian ocelot, fishing cat, Pallas' cat, Arabian sand cat, black-footed cat) managed by Species Survival Plans (SSPs) in North American zoos, achieving this potential may be an absolute necessity if genetically viable captive populations are to be maintained into the next century. Modeling programs suggest that current SSP populations are not sustainable without periodic introduction of new founders and improved demographic parameters, including longer generation intervals and larger population sizes. ART provides the means to address each of these management challenges. In each small cat SSP species, fecal hormone metabolite assays and seminal analysis have proven useful for characterizing basal reproductive parameters, a necessary prerequisite to developing ART. Of the five SSP species, ART has been used to produce living offspring only in the ocelot, including after AI with frozen-thawed spermatozoa and following transfer of frozen-thawed IVF embryos. The true efficacy of these techniques, however, is still unknown. To improve the applicability of ART for population management, priorities for immediate research include further investigation of ovarian stimulation protocols, sperm and embryo cryopreservation methods, embryo culture systems, and fetal and neonatal viability following ART. PMID:16650889

  10. Folliculogenesis in the domestic cat (Felis catus).

    PubMed

    Bristol-Gould, Sarah; Woodruff, Teresa K

    2006-07-01

    The dynamic regulation of mammalian folliculogenesis is a key component of the reproductive process. Traditionally, the rodent had been used as a model to study ovarian function and reproductive physiology due to the availability of animals, their relatively short cycle length, high rate of fecundity and short generation interval. We maintain that much basic information can be determined using domestic cat ovaries retrieved from local veterinary clinics following routine spaying, without having the expense of maintaining a colony of laboratory cats. Studies of normal feline reproductive physiology and advances in reproductive technology may be extrapolated for use in endangered non-domestic felids. Increased understanding of feline reproduction will be beneficial to veterinary medicine, and to groups working to control feral cat populations. It is important to examine reproductive mechanisms in alternative animal models as there are a vast number of threatened and endangered species in which we lack the critical reproductive information needed to assist in preserving their long-term survival. PMID:16620931

  11. Feral Hogs Management at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge: Analysis of Current Management Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosenfeld, Arie; Hinkle, C. Ross; Epstein, Marc

    2002-01-01

    This ST1 Technical Memorandum (TM) summarizes a two-month project on feral hog management in Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge (MINWR). For this project, feral hogs were marked and recaptured, with the help of local trappers, to estimate population size and habitat preferences. Habitat covers included vegetation cover and Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) data for MINWR. In addition, an analysis was done of hunting records compiled by the Refuge and hog-car accidents compiled by KSC Security.

  12. The First Estimates of Marbled Cat Pardofelis marmorata Population Density from Bornean Primary and Selectively Logged Forest.

    PubMed

    Hearn, Andrew J; Ross, Joanna; Bernard, Henry; Bakar, Soffian Abu; Hunter, Luke T B; Macdonald, David W

    2016-01-01

    The marbled cat Pardofelis marmorata is a poorly known wild cat that has a broad distribution across much of the Indomalayan ecorealm. This felid is thought to exist at low population densities throughout its range, yet no estimates of its abundance exist, hampering assessment of its conservation status. To investigate the distribution and abundance of marbled cats we conducted intensive, felid-focused camera trap surveys of eight forest areas and two oil palm plantations in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. Study sites were broadly representative of the range of habitat types and the gradient of anthropogenic disturbance and fragmentation present in contemporary Sabah. We recorded marbled cats from all forest study areas apart from a small, relatively isolated forest patch, although photographic detection frequency varied greatly between areas. No marbled cats were recorded within the plantations, but a single individual was recorded walking along the forest/plantation boundary. We collected sufficient numbers of marbled cat photographic captures at three study areas to permit density estimation based on spatially explicit capture-recapture analyses. Estimates of population density from the primary, lowland Danum Valley Conservation Area and primary upland, Tawau Hills Park, were 19.57 (SD: 8.36) and 7.10 (SD: 1.90) individuals per 100 km2, respectively, and the selectively logged, lowland Tabin Wildlife Reserve yielded an estimated density of 10.45 (SD: 3.38) individuals per 100 km2. The low detection frequencies recorded in our other survey sites and from published studies elsewhere in its range, and the absence of previous density estimates for this felid suggest that our density estimates may be from the higher end of their abundance spectrum. We provide recommendations for future marbled cat survey approaches. PMID:27007219

  13. The First Estimates of Marbled Cat Pardofelis marmorata Population Density from Bornean Primary and Selectively Logged Forest

    PubMed Central

    Hearn, Andrew J.; Ross, Joanna; Bernard, Henry; Bakar, Soffian Abu; Hunter, Luke T. B.; Macdonald, David W.

    2016-01-01

    The marbled cat Pardofelis marmorata is a poorly known wild cat that has a broad distribution across much of the Indomalayan ecorealm. This felid is thought to exist at low population densities throughout its range, yet no estimates of its abundance exist, hampering assessment of its conservation status. To investigate the distribution and abundance of marbled cats we conducted intensive, felid-focused camera trap surveys of eight forest areas and two oil palm plantations in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. Study sites were broadly representative of the range of habitat types and the gradient of anthropogenic disturbance and fragmentation present in contemporary Sabah. We recorded marbled cats from all forest study areas apart from a small, relatively isolated forest patch, although photographic detection frequency varied greatly between areas. No marbled cats were recorded within the plantations, but a single individual was recorded walking along the forest/plantation boundary. We collected sufficient numbers of marbled cat photographic captures at three study areas to permit density estimation based on spatially explicit capture-recapture analyses. Estimates of population density from the primary, lowland Danum Valley Conservation Area and primary upland, Tawau Hills Park, were 19.57 (SD: 8.36) and 7.10 (SD: 1.90) individuals per 100 km2, respectively, and the selectively logged, lowland Tabin Wildlife Reserve yielded an estimated density of 10.45 (SD: 3.38) individuals per 100 km2. The low detection frequencies recorded in our other survey sites and from published studies elsewhere in its range, and the absence of previous density estimates for this felid suggest that our density estimates may be from the higher end of their abundance spectrum. We provide recommendations for future marbled cat survey approaches. PMID:27007219

  14. Population spatiotemporal dynamics of spinal intermediate zone interneurons during air-stepping in adult spinal cats

    PubMed Central

    AuYong, Nicholas; Ollivier-Lanvin, Karen

    2011-01-01

    The lumbar spinal cord circuitry can autonomously generate locomotion, but it remains to be determined which types of neurons constitute the locomotor generator and how their population activity is organized spatially in the mammalian spinal cord. In this study, we investigated the spatiotemporal dynamics of the spinal interneuronal population activity in the intermediate zone of the adult mammalian cord. Segmental interneuronal population activity was examined via multiunit activity (MUA) during air-stepping initiated by perineal stimulation in subchronic spinal cats. In contrast to single-unit activity, MUA provides a continuous measure of neuronal activity within a ∼100-μm volume around the recording electrode. MUA was recorded during air-stepping, along with hindlimb muscle activity, from segments L3 to L7 with two multichannel electrode arrays placed into the left and right hemicord intermediate zones (lamina V–VII). The phasic modulation and spatial organization of MUA dynamics were examined in relation to the locomotor cycle. Our results show that segmental population activity is modulated with respect to the ipsilateral step cycle during air-stepping, with maximal activity occurring near the ipsilateral swing to stance transition period. The phase difference between the population activity within the left and right hemicords was also found to correlate to the left-right alternation of the step cycle. Furthermore, examination of MUA throughout the rostrocaudal extent showed no differences in population dynamics between segmental levels, suggesting that the spinal interneurons targeted in this study may operate as part of a distributed “clock” mechanism rather than a rostrocaudal oscillation as seen with motoneuronal activity. PMID:21775722

  15. Pathogen presence in feral pigs and their movement around two commercial piggeries in Queensland, Australia.

    PubMed

    Pearson, H E; Toribio, J-A L M L; Hernandez-Jover, M; Marshall, D; Lapidge, S J

    2014-03-29

    Feral pigs are wild animal reservoirs of infectious pathogens transmissible to other species, all of which are transmissible to domestic pigs. The objective of this study was to detect the presence of harmful production-limiting pathogens; Brucella suis, Leptospira species, Lawsonia intracellularis, Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae and Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae in a feral pig population within a 10 km radius of two large-scale commercial piggeries in Southern Queensland, Australia. The movement pattern of six pigs within the feral population was also investigated using geographic positioning system collars. All pathogens were present in the feral pig population except for A pleuropneumoniae. The true seroprevalence (TP) from 83 serum samples was 10.5 per cent for B suis, 48.6 per cent for Leptospira species, 100 per cent for L intracellularis and 42.1 per cent for M hyopneumoniae. Of 72 lung samples, 27.6 per cent were positive for M hyopneumoniae. Serum samples from 86 domestic sows within the study region were positive for Leptospira species (TP 2.1 per cent), L intracellularis (TP 100 per cent) and M hyopneumoniae (TP 100 per cent). The majority of feral pig movement was within 5 km of the piggeries, with one approaching to 100 m of the free-range piggery. The presence of pathogens in feral pigs in such close proximity to commercial piggeries could pose a biosecurity risk. PMID:24572722

  16. Isolation of Campylobacter from feral swine (Sus scrofa) on the ranch associated with the 2006 Escherichia coli O157:H7 spinach outbreak investigation in California

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We report the isolation of Campylobacter species from the same population of feral swine that was investigated in San Benito County, California during the 2006 spinach-related Escherichia coli O157:H7 outbreak. This is the first survey of Campylobacter in a free-ranging feral swine population in the...

  17. A Glance at Recombination Hotspots in the Domestic Cat.

    PubMed

    Alhaddad, Hasan; Zhang, Chi; Rannala, Bruce; Lyons, Leslie A

    2016-01-01

    Recombination has essential roles in increasing genetic variability within a population and in ensuring successful meiotic events. The objective of this study is to (i) infer the population-scaled recombination rate (ρ), and (ii) identify and characterize regions of increased recombination rate for the domestic cat, Felis silvestris catus. SNPs (n = 701) were genotyped in twenty-two East Asian feral cats (random bred). The SNPs covered ten different chromosomal regions (A1, A2, B3, C2, D1, D2, D4, E2, F2, X) with an average region size of 850 Kb and an average SNP density of 70 SNPs/region. The Bayesian method in the program inferRho was used to infer regional population recombination rates and hotspots localities. The regions exhibited variable population recombination rates and four decisive recombination hotspots were identified on cat chromosome A2, D1, and E2 regions. As a description of the identified hotspots, no correlation was detected between the GC content and the locality of recombination spots, and the hotspots enclosed L2 LINE elements and MIR and tRNA-Lys SINE elements. PMID:26859385

  18. A Glance at Recombination Hotspots in the Domestic Cat

    PubMed Central

    Alhaddad, Hasan; Zhang, Chi; Rannala, Bruce; Lyons, Leslie A.

    2016-01-01

    Recombination has essential roles in increasing genetic variability within a population and in ensuring successful meiotic events. The objective of this study is to (i) infer the population-scaled recombination rate (ρ), and (ii) identify and characterize regions of increased recombination rate for the domestic cat, Felis silvestris catus. SNPs (n = 701) were genotyped in twenty-two East Asian feral cats (random bred). The SNPs covered ten different chromosomal regions (A1, A2, B3, C2, D1, D2, D4, E2, F2, X) with an average region size of 850 Kb and an average SNP density of 70 SNPs/region. The Bayesian method in the program inferRho was used to infer regional population recombination rates and hotspots localities. The regions exhibited variable population recombination rates and four decisive recombination hotspots were identified on cat chromosome A2, D1, and E2 regions. As a description of the identified hotspots, no correlation was detected between the GC content and the locality of recombination spots, and the hotspots enclosed L2 LINE elements and MIR and tRNA-Lys SINE elements. PMID:26859385

  19. Mitochondrial DNA diversity of feral pigs from Karukinka Natural Park, Tierra del Fuego Island, Chile.

    PubMed

    Aravena, P; Skewes, O; Gouin, N

    2015-01-01

    Control or eradication of exotic species is one of the greatest challenges facing biodiversity and ecosystem conservation. Domestic pigs (Sus scrofa domestica) were released and became feral in the southern region of Chilean Tierra del Fuego Island in the 1900s. Currently, they inhabit part of Karukinka Natural Park, an area of global conservation concern. To gain insight into the control of this invasive species, we analyzed genetic variation in the mitochondrial DNA control region to determine the origin and population subdivision of feral pigs in Tierra del Fuego. Sequences from a sample of 42 feral pigs, 10 domestic pigs from local farms, and references from other countries and commercial breeds revealed 2 highly differentiated populations, 1 in the western and the other in the eastern area of the park, each harboring a different haplotype, suggesting no connectivity between populations. Comparison of these haplotypes with reference sequences from other countries and commercial breeds indicated that feral pigs from Chilean Tierra del Fuego are of European origin, very likely from 2 separate introduction events. The haplotype found in the western feral population was also identified in domestic pigs from a farm. This raises concerns regarding the possible connectivity between stocks from local farms and the wild population. Based on these results, we recommend the development of strategies for controlling the population of this invasive species in Karukinka Natural Park. PMID:25966196

  20. Bartonella and Toxoplasma Infections in Stray Cats from Iraq

    PubMed Central

    Switzer, Alexandra D.; McMillan-Cole, Audrey C.; Kasten, Rickie W.; Stuckey, Matthew J.; Kass, Philip H.; Chomel, Bruno B.

    2013-01-01

    Because of overpopulation, stray/feral cats were captured on military bases in Iraq as part of the US Army Zoonotic Disease Surveillance Program. Blood samples were collected from 207 cats, mainly in Baghdad but also in North and West Iraq, to determine the prevalence of Bartonella and Toxoplasma infections. Nine (4.3%) cats, all from Baghdad, were bacteremic with B. henselae type I. Seroprevalence was 30.4% for T. gondii, 15% for B. henselae, and 12.6% for B. clarridgeiae. Differences in Bartonella prevalence by location were statistically significant, because most of the seropositive cats were from Baghdad. There was no association between T. gondii seropositivity and either of the two Bartonella species surveyed. This report is the first report on the prevalence of Bartonella and T. gondii among stray cats in Iraq, which allows for better evaluation of the zoonotic risk potential to the Iraqi people and deployed military personnel by feral cat colonies. PMID:24062480

  1. Bartonella and Toxoplasma infections in stray cats from Iraq.

    PubMed

    Switzer, Alexandra D; McMillan-Cole, Audrey C; Kasten, Rickie W; Stuckey, Matthew J; Kass, Philip H; Chomel, Bruno B

    2013-12-01

    Because of overpopulation, stray/feral cats were captured on military bases in Iraq as part of the US Army Zoonotic Disease Surveillance Program. Blood samples were collected from 207 cats, mainly in Baghdad but also in North and West Iraq, to determine the prevalence of Bartonella and Toxoplasma infections. Nine (4.3%) cats, all from Baghdad, were bacteremic with B. henselae type I. Seroprevalence was 30.4% for T. gondii, 15% for B. henselae, and 12.6% for B. clarridgeiae. Differences in Bartonella prevalence by location were statistically significant, because most of the seropositive cats were from Baghdad. There was no association between T. gondii seropositivity and either of the two Bartonella species surveyed. This report is the first report on the prevalence of Bartonella and T. gondii among stray cats in Iraq, which allows for better evaluation of the zoonotic risk potential to the Iraqi people and deployed military personnel by feral cat colonies. PMID:24062480

  2. Apparent rates of increase for two feral horse herds

    SciTech Connect

    Eberhardt, L.L.; Majorowicz, A.K.; Wilcox, J.A.

    1982-01-01

    Rates of increase for 2 Oregon feral horse (Equus caballus) herds were estimated from direct aerial counts to be about 20% per year. These rates can be achieved only if survival rates are high, and reproduction exceeds that normally expected from horses. A population dynamics model suggests adult survival to be the key parameter in determining rates of increase, and there is some direct evidence of high adult survival rates. Management implications are discussed.

  3. Dynamics of virus shedding and antibody responses in influenza A virus-infected feral swine.

    PubMed

    Sun, Hailiang; Cunningham, Fred L; Harris, Jillian; Xu, Yifei; Long, Li-Ping; Hanson-Dorr, Katie; Baroch, John A; Fioranelli, Paul; Lutman, Mark W; Li, Tao; Pedersen, Kerri; Schmit, Brandon S; Cooley, Jim; Lin, Xiaoxu; Jarman, Richard G; DeLiberto, Thomas J; Wan, Xiu-Feng

    2015-09-01

    Given their free-ranging habits, feral swine could serve as reservoirs or spatially dynamic 'mixing vessels' for influenza A virus (IAV). To better understand virus shedding patterns and antibody response dynamics in the context of IAV surveillance amongst feral swine, we used IAV of feral swine origin to perform infection experiments. The virus was highly infectious and transmissible in feral swine, and virus shedding patterns and antibody response dynamics were similar to those in domestic swine. In the virus-inoculated and sentinel groups, virus shedding lasted ≤ 6 and ≤ 9 days, respectively. Antibody titres in inoculated swine peaked at 1 : 840 on day 11 post-inoculation (p.i.), remained there until 21 days p.i. and dropped to < 1 : 220 at 42 days p.i. Genomic sequencing identified changes in wildtype (WT) viruses and isolates from sentinel swine, most notably an amino acid divergence in nucleoprotein position 473. Using data from cell culture as a benchmark, sensitivity and specificity of a matrix gene-based quantitative reverse transcription-PCR method using nasal swab samples for detection of IAV in feral swine were 78.9 and 78.1 %, respectively. Using data from haemagglutination inhibition assays as a benchmark, sensitivity and specificity of an ELISA for detection of IAV-specific antibody were 95.4 and 95.0 %, respectively. Serological surveillance from 2009 to 2014 showed that ∼7.58 % of feral swine in the USA were positive for IAV. Our findings confirm the susceptibility of IAV infection and the high transmission ability of IAV amongst feral swine, and also suggest the need for continued surveillance of IAVs in feral swine populations. PMID:26297148

  4. Touchdown polymerase chain reaction detection of polycystic kidney disease and laboratory findings in different cat populations.

    PubMed

    Scalon, Marcela C; da Silva, Thamiris F; Aquino, Larissa C; Carneiro, Filipe T; Lima, Maíra G da M; Lemos, Marcelle Dos S; Paludo, Giane R

    2014-06-10

    Autosomal-dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is the most prevalent inherited genetic disease of cats, predominantly affecting Persian and Persian-related cats. A point mutation (C→A transversion) in exon 29 of the PKD1 gene causes ADPKD, and is the specific molecular target for genetic diagnosis in cats. The current study describes a newly developed touchdown polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to detect this single point mutation, using 2 primers specific for the mutant allele, adapted from an existing multiplex amplification refractory mutation system (ARMS PCR). Furthermore, correlations between the clinical outcomes of tested animals and the results of the genetic test were investigated. A total of 334 cats were tested, 188 from the Veterinary Hospital of Small Animals at the University of Brasilia, and 146 from an anti-rabies vaccine campaign of the Federal District. A total prevalence of 9% was evident among the samples, with 33% of the Persian cats testing positive, and 7% of the Brazilian long- and shorthaired cats testing positive. Prevalence was not correlated with gender or hemogram. Positive animals exhibited hyperglobulinemia (P = 0.02). This research demonstrated that the mutation does not only occur in Persian and Persian-related cats, and that a touchdown PCR can be used to diagnose ADPKD. PMID:24916445

  5. Quantifying Equid Behavior - A Research Ethogram for Free-Roaming Feral Horses

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ransom, Jason I.; Cade, Brian S.

    2009-01-01

    Feral horses (Equus caballus) are globally distributed in free-roaming populations on all continents except Antarctica and occupy a wide range of habitats including forest, grassland, desert, and montane environments. The largest populations occur in Australia and North America and have been the subject of scientific study for decades, yet guidelines and ethograms for feral horse behavioral research are largely absent in the scientific literature. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Fort Collins Science Center conducted research on the influences of the immunocontraceptive porcine zona pellucida (PZP) on feral horse behavior from 2003-2006 in three discrete populations in the American west. These populations were the Little Book Cliffs Wild Horse Range in Colorado, McCullough Peaks Herd Management Area in Wyoming, and Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range in Montana; the research effort included over 1,800 hours of behavioral observations of 317 adult free-roaming feral horses. An ethogram was developed during the course of this study to facilitate accurate scientific data collection on feral horse behavior, which is often challenging to quantify. By developing this set of discrete behavioral definitions and a set of strict research protocols, scientists were better able to address both applied questions, such as behavioral changes related to fertility control, and theoretical questions, such as understanding networks and dominance hierarchies within social groups of equids.

  6. Cats protecting birds revisited.

    PubMed

    Fan, Meng; Kuang, Yang; Feng, Zhilan

    2005-09-01

    In this paper, we revisit the dynamical interaction among prey (bird), mesopredator (rat), and superpredator (cat) discussed in [Courchamp, F., Langlais, M., Sugihara, G., 1999. Cats protecting birds: modelling the mesopredator release effect. Journal of Animal Ecology 68, 282-292]. First, we develop a prey-mesopredator-superpredator (i.e., bird-rat-cat, briefly, BRC) model, where the predator's functional responses are derived based on the classical Holling's time budget arguments. Our BRC model overcomes several model construction problems in Courchamp et al. (1999), and admits richer, reasonable and realistic dynamics. We explore the possible control strategies to save or restore the bird by controlling or eliminating the rat or the cat when the bird is endangered. We establish the existence of two types of mesopredator release phenomena: severe mesopredator release, where once superpredators are suppressed, a burst of mesopredators follows which leads their shared prey to extinction; and mild mesopredator release, where the mesopredator release could assert more negative impact on the endemic prey but does not lead the endemic prey to extinction. A sharp sufficient criterion is established for the occurrence of severe mesopredator release. We also show that, in a prey-mesopredator-superpredator trophic food web, eradication of introduced superpredators such as feral domestic cats in the BRC model, is not always the best solution to protect endemic insular prey. The presence of a superpredator may have a beneficial effect in such systems. PMID:15998496

  7. Treatment with Suprelorin in a pregnant cat.

    PubMed

    Goericke-Pesch, Sandra; Georgiev, Plamen; Atanasov, Anatoli; Wehrend, Axel

    2013-04-01

    Suppression of oestrus is of major interest in feral cat populations, but also in breeding queens temporarily not intended for breeding. Slow release gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist implants are a new off-label approach for reproduction control in cats. However, initially, oestrus induction may occur and no data exist regarding what happens if previously mated queens are treated. This case report presents a queen mismated 9 and 8 days before treatment with a 4.7 mg deslorelin implant. The queen delivered four healthy kittens 66 days after mismating, but showed no interest in the kittens and lactation was not adequate. Progesterone and oestradiol concentrations were monitored and the queen was followed until the return of oestrus and subsequent breeding. The next oestrus was observed 498 days after treatment and the queen was mated in the second oestrus afterwards, became pregnant and delivered two healthy kittens, both of which were raised successfully by the queen. This case report clearly shows that pregnancy following a GnRH-agonist implant may go to term, but maternal care might be influenced owing to hormonal changes induced by treatment. In addition, this is the first report demonstrating reversibility of effects induced by long-term treatment with a deslorelin implant (return to oestrus, fertility and normal maternal care). PMID:23186637

  8. A comparative study on the effects of tylosin on select bacteria during continuous-flow culture of mixed populations of gut microflora derived from a feral and a domestic pig

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Continuous flow cultures of feral (culture FC) and domesticated (culture RPCF) pig gut microflora were established in steady state. Cultures, in duplicate, were continuously infused subtherapeutic (25 ug/ml) levels of tylosin and sampled at intervals to assess effects on total culturable anaerobes, ...

  9. Feral livestock threatens landscapes dominated by columnar cacti

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malo, J. E.; Acebes, P.; Giannoni, S. M.; Traba, J.

    2011-05-01

    The introduction and naturalization of alien species represents a serious threat to many natural protected areas. One such case of worldwide concern is the impact of feral livestock on arid ecosystems. Damage suffered by Echinopsis (= Trichocereus) terscheckii dominating the landscape of rocky slopes was surveyed in seven locations within the Ischigualasto-Talampaya World Heritage Site (Argentina) by measuring the frequency, position on the plant and extent of damage. At the same time we employed transects to estimate the abundance of autochtonous and feral large herbivores ( Lama guanicoe, Bos taurus, Equus asinus) from their dung. Our results show relatively high damage levels (40-77% of individuals damaged, more than 5 dm 3 removed by plant in some sites), particularly within 0.50-1.75 m above the ground, showing herbivores to be the main responsible for them. We also found significant differences between sites in variables measuring damage level and in the intensity of use by the two feral livestock species but not by guanacos. The frequency of damaged cacti below 1.75 m (but not above) was significantly positively correlated among locations with the frequencies of cattle and donkey dung, and the damage suffered by individual cacti was also correlated with donkey and cattle dung in their surroundings after correcting for spatial effects. However, all correlations were non-significant in the case of guanacos. We conclude that the continued presence of feral livestock, particularly donkeys, leads to damages to columnar cacti with potential effects on their populations and the physiognomy of this protected landscape.

  10. Chlortetracycline - resistant intestinal bacteria in organically-raised and feral swine

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Organically-raised swine had high fecal populations of chlortetracycline (CTC)-resistant (growing at 64 micro g CTC/ml) Escherichia coli, Megasphaera elsdenii and anaerobe populations. By comparison, predominant CTC-resistant bacteria in feral swine feces were over 1000-fold fewer and exhibited lo...

  11. Effect of experimental manipulation on survival and recruitment of feral pigs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hanson, L.B.; Mitchell, M.S.; Grand, J.B.; Jolley, D.B.; Sparklin, B.D.; Ditchkoff, S.S.

    2009-01-01

    Lethal removal is commonly used to reduce the density of invasive-species populations, presuming it reduces population growth rate; the actual effect of lethal removal on the vital rates contributing to population growth, however, is rarely tested. We implemented a manipulative experiment of feral pig (Sus scrofa) populations at Fort Benning, Georgia, USA, to assess the demographic effects of harvest intensity. Using markrecapture data, we estimated annual survival, recruitment, and population growth rates of populations in a moderately harvested area and a heavily harvested area for 200406. Population growth rates did not differ between the populations. The top-ranked model for survival included a harvest intensity effect; model-averaged survival was lower for the heavily harvested population than for the moderately harvested population. Increased immigration and reproduction likely compensated for the increased mortality in the heavily harvested population. We conclude that compensatory responses in feral pig recruitment can limit the success of lethal control efforts. ?? 2009 CSIRO.

  12. Beyond the disease: Is Toxoplasma gondii infection causing population declines in the eastern quoll (Dasyurus viverrinus)?

    PubMed

    Fancourt, Bronwyn A; Nicol, Stewart C; Hawkins, Clare E; Jones, Menna E; Johnson, Chris N

    2014-08-01

    Disease is often considered a key threat to species of conservation significance. For some, it has resulted in localised extinctions and declines in range and abundance. However, for some species, the assertion that a disease poses a significant threat of extinction is based solely on correlative or anecdotal evidence, often inferred from individual clinical case reports. While a species' susceptibility to a disease may be demonstrated in a number of individuals, investigations rarely extend to measuring the impact of disease at the population level and its contribution, if any, to population declines. The eastern quoll (Dasyurus viverrinus) is a medium-sized Australian marsupial carnivore that is undergoing severe and rapid decline in Tasmania, its last refuge. Reasons for the decline are currently not understood. Feral cats (Felis catus) may be undergoing competitive release following the ongoing decline of the Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii), with cats suppressing eastern quolls through increased predation, competition, exclusion or exposure to diseases such as toxoplasmosis. To investigate the effects of Toxoplasma gondii infection, eastern quoll populations at four sites were regularly screened for the seroprevalence of T. gondii-specific IgG antibodies. Seroprevalence was approximately five times higher at sites with declining quoll populations, and there was a negative association between seroprevalence and quoll abundance. However, T. gondii infection did not reduce quoll survival or reproduction. Despite a high susceptibility to T. gondii infection, eastern quoll populations do not appear to be limited by the parasite or its resultant disease. Significantly higher seroprevalence is a signal of greater exposure to feral cats at sites where eastern quolls are declining, suggesting that increased predation, competition or exclusion by feral cats may be precipitating population declines. PMID:25161908

  13. Beyond the disease: Is Toxoplasma gondii infection causing population declines in the eastern quoll (Dasyurus viverrinus)?

    PubMed Central

    Fancourt, Bronwyn A.; Nicol, Stewart C.; Hawkins, Clare E.; Jones, Menna E.; Johnson, Chris N.

    2014-01-01

    Disease is often considered a key threat to species of conservation significance. For some, it has resulted in localised extinctions and declines in range and abundance. However, for some species, the assertion that a disease poses a significant threat of extinction is based solely on correlative or anecdotal evidence, often inferred from individual clinical case reports. While a species’ susceptibility to a disease may be demonstrated in a number of individuals, investigations rarely extend to measuring the impact of disease at the population level and its contribution, if any, to population declines. The eastern quoll (Dasyurus viverrinus) is a medium-sized Australian marsupial carnivore that is undergoing severe and rapid decline in Tasmania, its last refuge. Reasons for the decline are currently not understood. Feral cats (Felis catus) may be undergoing competitive release following the ongoing decline of the Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii), with cats suppressing eastern quolls through increased predation, competition, exclusion or exposure to diseases such as toxoplasmosis. To investigate the effects of Toxoplasma gondii infection, eastern quoll populations at four sites were regularly screened for the seroprevalence of T. gondii-specific IgG antibodies. Seroprevalence was approximately five times higher at sites with declining quoll populations, and there was a negative association between seroprevalence and quoll abundance. However, T. gondii infection did not reduce quoll survival or reproduction. Despite a high susceptibility to T. gondii infection, eastern quoll populations do not appear to be limited by the parasite or its resultant disease. Significantly higher seroprevalence is a signal of greater exposure to feral cats at sites where eastern quolls are declining, suggesting that increased predation, competition or exclusion by feral cats may be precipitating population declines. PMID:25161908

  14. Selecting representative microsatellite loci for genetic monitoring and analyzing genetic structure of an outbred population of orange tabby cats in China.

    PubMed

    Du, X Y; Yi, S; Huo, X Y; Wang, C; Liu, D F; Ren, W Z; Chen, Z W

    2015-01-01

    We optimized a panel of microsatellite markers from cat and tiger genetic data for efficient genetic monitoring and used it to analyze the genetic structure of an outbred cat stock in China. We selected a set of rich polymorphic microsatellite loci from 131 cat microsatellite loci and 3 Sumatran tiger microsatellite loci using agarose gel electrophoresis. Next, the set of optimized genetic markers was used to analyze the genetic variation in an outbred population of orange tabby cats in China by simple-tandem repeat scanning. Thirty-one loci rich in polymorphisms were selected and the highest allele number in a single locus was 8. Analysis of the orange tabby cat population illustrated that the average observed number of alleles, mean effective allele number, mean Shannon's information index, mean expected heterozygosity, and observed heterozygosity were 3.8387, 2.4027, 0.9787, 0.5565, and 0.5528, respectively. The 31 microsatellite markers used were polymorphic and suitable for analyzing the genetic structure of cats. The population of orange tabby cats was confirmed to be a well-outbred stock. PMID:25867323

  15. Mixed ancestry and admixture in Kauai's feral chickens: invasion of domestic genes into ancient Red Junglefowl reservoirs.

    PubMed

    Gering, E; Johnsson, M; Willis, P; Getty, T; Wright, D

    2015-05-01

    A major goal of invasion genetics is to determine how establishment histories shape non-native organisms' genotypes and phenotypes. While domesticated species commonly escape cultivation to invade feral habitats, few studies have examined how this process shapes feral gene pools and traits. We collected genomic and phenotypic data from feral chickens (Gallus gallus) on the Hawaiian island of Kauai to (i) ascertain their origins and (ii) measure standing variation in feral genomes, morphology and behaviour. Mitochondrial phylogenies (D-loop & whole Mt genome) revealed two divergent clades within our samples. The rare clade also contains sequences from Red Junglefowl (the domestic chicken's progenitor) and ancient DNA sequences from Kauai that predate European contact. This lineage appears to have been dispersed into the east Pacific by ancient Polynesian colonists. The more prevalent MtDNA clade occurs worldwide and includes domesticated breeds developed recently in Europe that are farmed within Hawaii. We hypothesize this lineage originates from recently feralized livestock and found supporting evidence for increased G. gallus density on Kauai within the last few decades. SNPs obtained from whole-genome sequencing were consistent with historic admixture between Kauai's divergent (G. gallus) lineages. Additionally, analyses of plumage, skin colour and vocalizations revealed that Kauai birds' behaviours and morphologies overlap with those of domestic chickens and Red Junglefowl, suggesting hybrid origins. Together, our data support the hypotheses that (i) Kauai's feral G. gallus descend from recent invasion(s) of domestic chickens into an ancient Red Junglefowl reservoir and (ii) feral chickens exhibit greater phenotypic diversity than candidate source populations. These findings complicate management objectives for Pacific feral chickens, while highlighting the potential of this and other feral systems for evolutionary studies of invasions. PMID:25655399

  16. Modeling ecological traps for the control of feral pigs.

    PubMed

    Dexter, Nick; McLeod, Steven R

    2015-05-01

    Ecological traps are habitat sinks that are preferred by dispersing animals but have higher mortality or reduced fecundity compared to source habitats. Theory suggests that if mortality rates are sufficiently high, then ecological traps can result in extinction. An ecological trap may be created when pest animals are controlled in one area, but not in another area of equal habitat quality, and when there is density-dependent immigration from the high-density uncontrolled area to the low-density controlled area. We used a logistic population model to explore how varying the proportion of habitat controlled, control mortality rate, and strength of density-dependent immigration for feral pigs could affect the long-term population abundance and time to extinction. Increasing control mortality, the proportion of habitat controlled and the strength of density-dependent immigration decreased abundance both within and outside the area controlled. At higher levels of these parameters, extinction was achieved for feral pigs. We extended the analysis with a more complex stochastic, interactive model of feral pig dynamics in the Australian rangelands to examine how the same variables as the logistic model affected long-term abundance in the controlled and uncontrolled area and time to extinction. Compared to the logistic model of feral pig dynamics, the stochastic interactive model predicted lower abundances and extinction at lower control mortalities and proportions of habitat controlled. To improve the realism of the stochastic interactive model, we substituted fixed mortality rates with a density-dependent control mortality function, empirically derived from helicopter shooting exercises in Australia. Compared to the stochastic interactive model with fixed mortality rates, the model with the density-dependent control mortality function did not predict as substantial decline in abundance in controlled or uncontrolled areas or extinction for any combination of variables

  17. Modeling ecological traps for the control of feral pigs

    PubMed Central

    Dexter, Nick; McLeod, Steven R

    2015-01-01

    Ecological traps are habitat sinks that are preferred by dispersing animals but have higher mortality or reduced fecundity compared to source habitats. Theory suggests that if mortality rates are sufficiently high, then ecological traps can result in extinction. An ecological trap may be created when pest animals are controlled in one area, but not in another area of equal habitat quality, and when there is density-dependent immigration from the high-density uncontrolled area to the low-density controlled area. We used a logistic population model to explore how varying the proportion of habitat controlled, control mortality rate, and strength of density-dependent immigration for feral pigs could affect the long-term population abundance and time to extinction. Increasing control mortality, the proportion of habitat controlled and the strength of density-dependent immigration decreased abundance both within and outside the area controlled. At higher levels of these parameters, extinction was achieved for feral pigs. We extended the analysis with a more complex stochastic, interactive model of feral pig dynamics in the Australian rangelands to examine how the same variables as the logistic model affected long-term abundance in the controlled and uncontrolled area and time to extinction. Compared to the logistic model of feral pig dynamics, the stochastic interactive model predicted lower abundances and extinction at lower control mortalities and proportions of habitat controlled. To improve the realism of the stochastic interactive model, we substituted fixed mortality rates with a density-dependent control mortality function, empirically derived from helicopter shooting exercises in Australia. Compared to the stochastic interactive model with fixed mortality rates, the model with the density-dependent control mortality function did not predict as substantial decline in abundance in controlled or uncontrolled areas or extinction for any combination of variables

  18. Antiviral treatment of feline immunodeficiency virus-infected cats with (R)-9-(2-phosphonylmethoxypropyl)-2,6-diaminopurine.

    PubMed

    Taffin, Elien; Paepe, Dominique; Goris, Nesya; Auwerx, Joeri; Debille, Mariella; Neyts, Johan; Van de Maele, Isabel; Daminet, Sylvie

    2015-02-01

    Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), the causative agent of an acquired immunodeficiency syndrome in cats (feline AIDS), is a ubiquitous health threat to the domestic and feral cat population, also triggering disease in wild animals. No registered antiviral compounds are currently available to treat FIV-infected cats. Several human antiviral drugs have been used experimentally in cats, but not without the development of serious adverse effects. Here we report on the treatment of six naturally FIV-infected cats, suffering from moderate to severe disease, with the antiretroviral compound (R)-9-(2-phosphonylmethoxypropyl)-2,6-diaminopurine ([R]-PMPDAP), a close analogue of tenofovir, a widely prescribed anti-HIV drug in human medicine. An improvement in the average Karnofsky score (pretreatment 33.2 ± 9.4%, post-treatment 65±12.3%), some laboratory parameters (ie, serum amyloid A and gammaglobulins) and a decrease of FIV viral load in plasma were noted in most cats. The role of concurrent medication in ameliorating the Karnofsky score, as well as the possible development of haematological side effects, are discussed. Side effects, when noted, appeared mild and reversible upon cessation of treatment. Although strong conclusions cannot be drawn owing to the small number of patients and lack of a placebo-treated control group, the activity of (R)-PMPDAP, as observed here, warrants further investigation. PMID:24782459

  19. Isolation of Viable Toxoplasma gondii from Tissues and Feces of Cats from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cats are important in the epidemiology of Toxoplasma gondii because they are the only hosts that excrete environmentally resistant oocysts in feces. In the present study, hearts, serum, and feces from 36 feral cats from Addis Ababa area, Ethiopia were examined for T. gondii infection. Antibodies to ...

  20. The Swedish breeding cat: population description, infectious diseases and reproductive performance evaluated by a questionnaire.

    PubMed

    Ström Holst, Bodil; Frössling, Jenny

    2009-10-01

    The questionnaire based study gives a combined description of management, infectious diseases and reproductive performance in breeding catteries during 1 year. The mean number of cats per cattery was 6.1, and 25% of the breeders let some of their cats have free access to outdoors. Breeders reported that infection with feline panleukopenia virus, feline immunodeficiency virus or feline leukaemia virus was uncommon, but 8% of the breeders had sold or had themselves owned a cat that died of feline infectious peritonitis. Presence of conjunctivitis was reported by 33.3% of the breeders. Mean litter size was 3.7+/-1.5, with 9.7% stillbirths and 8.3% kitten mortality week 1-12. The percentage of stillborn kittens increased with the age of the queen and litter size, and also differed among breeds. Kitten mortality differed among breeds, but did not increase with age of the queen. Seven percent of the litters were delivered by caesarean section, significantly more during winter and positively associated with presence of stillborn kittens. PMID:19254857

  1. Biology and impacts of Pacific island invasive species 9. Capra hircus, the feral goat, (Mammalia: Bovidae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chynoweth, Mark W.; Litton, Creighton M.; Lepczyk, Christopher A.; Hess, Steve A.; Cordell, Susan

    2013-01-01

    Domestic goats, Capra hircus, were intentionally introduced to numerous oceanic islands beginning in the sixteenth century. The remarkable ability of C. hircus to survive in a variety of conditions has enabled this animal to become feral and impact native ecosystems on islands throughout the world. Direct ecological impacts include consumption and trampling of native plants, leading to plant community modification and transformation of ecosystem structure. While the negative impacts of feral goats are well-known and effective management strategies have been developed to control this invasive species, large populations persist on many islands. This review summarizes the impacts of feral goats on Pacific island ecosystems, and the management strategies available to control this invasive species.

  2. Genetic diversity of Toxoplama gondii isolates from Ethiopian feral cats

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Recent studies indicate greater genetic variability among isolates of Toxoplasma gondii worldwide than previously thought. However, there is no information on genetic diversity of T. gondii from any host in Ethiopia. In the present study, genotyping was performed on viable T. gondii isolates by bioa...

  3. Chlortetracycline-Resistant Intestinal Bacteria in Organically Raised and Feral Swine ▿

    PubMed Central

    Stanton, Thad B.; Humphrey, Samuel B.; Stoffregen, William C.

    2011-01-01

    Organically raised swine had high fecal populations of chlortetracycline (CTC)-resistant (growing at 64 μg CTC/ml) Escherichia coli, Megasphaera elsdenii, and anaerobic bacteria. By comparison, CTC-resistant bacteria in feral swine feces were over 1,000-fold fewer and exhibited lower taxonomic diversity. PMID:21821750

  4. Satellite tracking and geospatial analysis of feral swine and their habitat use in Louisiana and Mississippi

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hartley, Stephen B.; Spear, Kathryn A.; Goatcher, Buddy L.

    2012-01-01

    Feral swine (Sus scrofa) is an invasive species that was first introduced to the continental United States in the 1500s by European explorers. Also known as feral hogs or feral pigs, the animals typically weigh about 200 pounds (up to 400 pounds), have characteristic tusks up to 3 inches long, are territorial, and live in groups, except for the boars, who are solitary and typically interact with sows only to breed. They have an average litter size of 5-6 piglets and occasionally two litters per year, and because they have few natural predators, survival of their young can be nearly 100 percent. Because of the detrimental impacts of this invasive species---including rooting, damaging agricultural lands, competing for food with and destroying the habitats of native animals, and spreading diseases and parasites---many public lands implement feral swine control programs on an annual basis. This activity is not enough to control or prevent an increase in swine populations, however, because of their distribution beyond the boundaries of public lands. Currently, little is known about feral swine populations, their habitat use and movement patterns, and the resulting habitat destruction in Louisiana and Mississippi. To abate this lack of knowledge, researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey National Wetlands Research Center (NWRC)---in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, and several large landholding companies---are using collars equipped with Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers to track feral swine in Louisiana and Mississippi to examine population movement patterns, document destruction of habitat and wildlife, and help increase and facilitate removal. The NWRC researchers are using the "Judas pig" system of attaching GPS-satellite telemetry collars to select feral swine to (1) track movement patterns on the landscape, (2) document habitat destruction and effects on native wildlife, and (3) improve

  5. Further investigation of exposure to Lawsonia intracellularis in wild and feral animals captured on horse properties with equine proliferative enteropathy.

    PubMed

    Pusterla, Nicola; Mapes, Samantha; Gebhart, Connie

    2012-11-01

    This study investigated the exposure to Lawsonia intracellularis in wild birds, mice, rabbits, raccoons, coyotes and squirrels, and feral cats and pigs on 10 farms with confirmed equine proliferative enteropathy (EPE). Serum samples from all resident foals (417 samples) as well as fecal (461) and serum (106) samples from wild and feral animals were collected for serological and molecular detection of L. intracellularis following the diagnosis of EPE in index cases. A total of three cats from two farms, three mice from two farms and eight cottontail rabbits from one farm had evidence of prior exposure to L. intracellularis. These animals may be an indicator of environmental exposure or may be actively involved in the transmission of L. intracellularis to foals by acting as a potential reservoir/amplifier host. PMID:22627048

  6. 50 CFR 70.8 - Range and feral animal management.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 9 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Range and feral animal management. 70.8... (CONTINUED) MANAGEMENT OF FISHERIES CONSERVATION AREAS NATIONAL FISH HATCHERIES § 70.8 Range and feral animal management. The range and feral animal management provisions set forth in part 30 of this chapter are...

  7. 50 CFR 70.8 - Range and feral animal management.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 6 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Range and feral animal management. 70.8... (CONTINUED) MANAGEMENT OF FISHERIES CONSERVATION AREAS NATIONAL FISH HATCHERIES § 70.8 Range and feral animal management. The range and feral animal management provisions set forth in part 30 of this chapter are...

  8. 50 CFR 70.8 - Range and feral animal management.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 9 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Range and feral animal management. 70.8... (CONTINUED) MANAGEMENT OF FISHERIES CONSERVATION AREAS NATIONAL FISH HATCHERIES § 70.8 Range and feral animal management. The range and feral animal management provisions set forth in part 30 of this chapter are...

  9. 50 CFR 70.8 - Range and feral animal management.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 8 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Range and feral animal management. 70.8... (CONTINUED) MANAGEMENT OF FISHERIES CONSERVATION AREAS NATIONAL FISH HATCHERIES § 70.8 Range and feral animal management. The range and feral animal management provisions set forth in part 30 of this chapter are...

  10. 50 CFR 70.8 - Range and feral animal management.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 9 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Range and feral animal management. 70.8... (CONTINUED) MANAGEMENT OF FISHERIES CONSERVATION AREAS NATIONAL FISH HATCHERIES § 70.8 Range and feral animal management. The range and feral animal management provisions set forth in part 30 of this chapter are...

  11. Brain acetylcholinesterase activity recovery following acute methyl parathion intoxication in two feral rodent species: comparison to laboratory rodents

    SciTech Connect

    Roberts, D.K.; Silvey, N.J.; Bailey, E.M. Jr.

    1988-07-01

    Widespread use of organophosphorus insecticides (OPs) has produced both acute and chronic intoxication among nontarget organisms. Most such studies have included fish and birds as opposed to mammals. However, numerous OP toxicity studies have been conducted on laboratory rodents creating a temptation to apply this data to feral rodents. Chronic OP exposure has been reported to produce cholinergic adaptation which in turn lowers mortality rates following a subsequent acute anticholinesterase exposure. The relevance that these laboratory rodent studies have on feral rodents is subject to debate. Field studies involving OP exposure among nontarget feral mammals have produced contradictory results. Increased mortality as a result of repeated OP application has been reported. This observation may be of considerable importance to nontarget feral rodent populations due to the repetitive nature of OP application protocols. The ability of feral rodents to recover brain AChE activity (BAA) between OP application intervals undoubtedly promotes their survival. This study investigated and compared BAA recovery following acute oral methyl parathion intoxication among 2 feral rodent species and among 2 common laboratory rodent species.

  12. At-risk individuals in Feline Immunodeficiency Virus epidemiology: evidence from a multivariate approach in a natural population of domestic cats (Felis catus).

    PubMed Central

    Courchamp, F.; Yoccoz, N. G.; Artois, M.; Pontier, D.

    1998-01-01

    Prevalence of Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) infection was measured during 6 consecutive years in a natural rural population of domestic cats. Sex, age, weight, origin, group size and presence of antibodies to FIV were recorded for each sampled cat. Logistic regressions were used to estimate the influence of the recorded parameters on infection. FIV prevalence rates are as high as 19.6% in the total population, and do not statistically change between years, after controlling for changes in samples' age structure. FIV infection is characterized by risk factors linked to aggressive behaviour: old mature male adults having dispersed are more likely to be infected. A study of the cats group size and of the spatial distribution of infected individuals indicates the absence of infection clusters in males, and suggests the importance of roaming in the spreading of FIV. In conclusion, FIV infection spreads, with low contagiousness, mainly between particularly aggressive individuals, and the virus is endemic in this population. PMID:9747777

  13. Population response characteristics of intrinsic signals in the cat somatosensory cortex following canine mechanical stimulation.

    PubMed

    Tao, Jianxiang; Wang, Jian; Li, Zhong; Meng, Jianjun; Yu, Hongbo

    2016-08-01

    Intrinsic signal optical imaging has been widely used to measure functional maps in various sensory cortices due to better spatial resolution and sensitivity for detecting cortical neuroplasticity. However, application of this technique in dentistry has not been reported. In this study, intrinsic signal optical imaging was used to investigate mechanically driven responses in the cat somatosensory cortex, when punctate mechanical stimuli were applied to maxillary canines. The global signal and its spatial organization pattern were obtained. Global signal strength gradually increased with stimulus strength. There was no significant difference in response strength between contralateral and ipsilateral mechanical stimulation. A slightly greater response was recorded in the sigmoidal gyrus than in the coronal gyrus. The cat somatosensory cortex activated by sensory inputs from mechanical stimulation of canines lacks both topographical and functional organization. It is not organized into columns that represent sensory input from each tooth or direction of stimulation. These results demonstrate that intrinsic signal optical imaging is a valid tool for investigating neural responses and neuroplasticity in the somatosensory cortex that represents teeth. PMID:27163378

  14. Contraceptive potential of porcine and feline zona pellucida A, B and C subunits in domestic cats.

    PubMed

    Eade, Joyce A; Roberston, Ian D; James, Cassandra M

    2009-06-01

    Feral cat populations are a major problem in many urban regions throughout the world, threatening biodiversity. Immunocontraception is considered as an alternative and a more humane means to control overpopulation of pest animals than current methods including trapping, poisoning and shooting. In this study, we evaluate porcine zona pellucida (ZP) polypeptide (55 kDa) and feline ZP A, B and C subunits expressed by plasmid vectors as candidate vaccines against fertility in the female domestic cat. Cats were injected subcutaneously with three doses of the ZP vaccines. Vaccinated cats were compared with naïve cats for ZP-antibody response, ovarian histology and fertility after mating. Vaccination with native porcine ZP 55 kDa polypeptide induced anti-porcine ZP antibodies detected by ELISA. However, these antibodies did not cross-react with feline ZP as assessed by immunohistochemistry and no effect on fertility in vivo was observed after mating. However, vaccination of cats with feline ZPA or feline ZPB+C DNA vectors elicited circulating antibodies specific for feline ZP as assessed by ELISA, with reactivity to native feline ZP in ovarian follicles in situ. Vaccination with feline ZPA and ZPB+C DNA did not elicit changes in ovarian histology. Although sample sizes were small, conception rates in mated females were 25 and 20% in the ZPA and ZPB+C vaccinated groups respectively, compared with 83% in the control group. We conclude that feline ZPA and ZPB+C subunits are potential candidate antigens for immunocontraceptive vaccines in the domestic cat. PMID:19279201

  15. Modelling Landscape-Level Numerical Responses of Predators to Prey: The Case of Cats and Rabbits

    PubMed Central

    Cruz, Jennyffer; Glen, Alistair S.; Pech, Roger P.

    2013-01-01

    Predator-prey systems can extend over large geographical areas but empirical modelling of predator-prey dynamics has been largely limited to localised scales. This is due partly to difficulties in estimating predator and prey abundances over large areas. Collection of data at suitably large scales has been a major problem in previous studies of European rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) and their predators. This applies in Western Europe, where conserving rabbits and predators such as Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus) is important, and in other parts of the world where rabbits are an invasive species supporting populations of introduced, and sometimes native, predators. In pastoral regions of New Zealand, rabbits are the primary prey of feral cats (Felis catus) that threaten native fauna. We estimate the seasonal numerical response of cats to fluctuations in rabbit numbers in grassland–shrubland habitat across the Otago and Mackenzie regions of the South Island of New Zealand. We use spotlight counts over 1645 km of transects to estimate rabbit and cat abundances with a novel modelling approach that accounts simultaneously for environmental stochasticity, density dependence and varying detection probability. Our model suggests that cat abundance is related consistently to rabbit abundance in spring and summer, possibly through increased rabbit numbers improving the fecundity and juvenile survival of cats. Maintaining rabbits at low abundance should therefore suppress cat numbers, relieving predation pressure on native prey. Our approach provided estimates of the abundance of cats and rabbits over a large geographical area. This was made possible by repeated sampling within each season, which allows estimation of detection probabilities. A similar approach could be applied to predator-prey systems elsewhere, and could be adapted to any method of direct observation in which there is no double-counting of individuals. Reliable estimates of numerical responses are essential

  16. Feral Hypertext: When Hypertext Literature Escapes Control

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rettberg, Jill Walker

    This article explores the historical development of hypertext, arguing that we have seen a transition from early visions and implementations of hypertext that primarily dealt with using hypertext to gain greater control over knowledge and ideas, to today's messy web. Pre-web hypertext can be seen as a domesticated species bred in captivity. On the web, however, some breeds of hypertext have gone feral. Feral hypertext is no longer tame and domesticated, but is fundamentally out of our control. In order to understand and work with feral hypertext, we need to accept this and think more as hunter-gatherers than as the farmers we were for domesticated hypertext. The article discusses hypertext in general with an emphasis on literary and creative hypertext practice.

  17. Australian and Pacific contributions to the genetic diversity of Norfolk Island feral chickens

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Norfolk Island has a population of feral chickens which could be the result of domestic stock introduced onto the island by British settlers in 1788. However, there is ongoing debate about their origins because multiple human arrivals to the island may have brought chickens with them. Here we investigate the genetic origins of these feral chickens by sequencing their mitochondrial control region. We infer their phylogenetic relationships using a large dataset of novel sequences from Australian mainland domestic chickens and published sequences from around the world. Results Eleven control region haplotypes were found among the Norfolk Island feral and Australian mainland domestic chickens. Six of the Norfolk Island haplotypes fall within haplogroup E, but given the worldwide distribution of this haplogroup, the putative European origin of these chickens requires further investigation. One haplotype common among Norfolk Island and Australian samples belonged to a subgroup of haplogroup D, which appears to be restricted to chickens from Indonesia, Vanuatu and Guam. Conclusions Our data show that at least two mitochondrial DNA haplogroups (D and E) have contributed to the genetic make-up of Norfolk Island feral chickens. In addition, we have provided insights into the discrete geographical distribution and diversity of the chicken haplogroup D. In view of the worldwide interest in the characterisation of poultry resources, further assessment of chicken populations of Island Southeast Asia and the Pacific region is warranted. PMID:24063717

  18. High prevalence of toxoplasmosis in cats from Egypt: isolation of viable Toxoplasma Gondii, tissue distribution, and isolate designation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cats are important in the epidemiology of Toxoplasma gondii because they are the only hosts that excrete environmentally resistant oocysts in feces. In the present study, 158 feral cats from Giza, Egypt were examined for T. gondii infection. Antibodies to T. gondii were found in 97.4% with modified ...

  19. The Genetic Integrity of the Ex Situ Population of the European Wildcat (Felis silvestris silvestris) Is Seriously Threatened by Introgression from Domestic Cats (Felis silvestris catus)

    PubMed Central

    Witzenberger, Kathrin A.; Hochkirch, Axel

    2014-01-01

    Studies on the genetic diversity and relatedness of zoo populations are crucial for implementing successful breeding programmes. The European wildcat, Felis s. silvestris, is subject to intensive conservation measures, including captive breeding and reintroduction. We here present the first systematic genetic analysis of the captive population of Felis s. silvestris in comparison with a natural wild population. We used microsatellites and mtDNA sequencing to assess genetic diversity, structure and integrity of the ex situ population. Our results show that the ex situ population of the European wildcat is highly structured and that it has a higher genetic diversity than the studied wild population. Some genetic clusters matched the breeding lines of certain zoos or groups of zoos that often exchanged individuals. Two mitochondrial haplotype groups were detected in the in situ populations, one of which was closely related to the most common haplotype found in domestic cats, suggesting past introgression in the wild. Although native haplotypes were also found in the captive population, the majority (68%) of captive individuals shared a common mtDNA haplotype with the domestic cat (Felis s. catus). Only six captive individuals (7.7%) were assigned as wildcats in the STRUCTURE analysis (at K = 2), two of which had domestic cat mtDNA haplotypes and only two captive individuals were assigned as purebred wildcats by NewHybrids. These results suggest that the high genetic diversity of the captive population has been caused by admixture with domestic cats. Therefore, the captive population cannot be recommended for further breeding and reintroduction. PMID:25162450

  20. The genetic integrity of the ex situ population of the European wildcat (Felis silvestris silvestris) is seriously threatened by introgression from domestic cats (Felis silvestris catus).

    PubMed

    Witzenberger, Kathrin A; Hochkirch, Axel

    2014-01-01

    Studies on the genetic diversity and relatedness of zoo populations are crucial for implementing successful breeding programmes. The European wildcat, Felis s. silvestris, is subject to intensive conservation measures, including captive breeding and reintroduction. We here present the first systematic genetic analysis of the captive population of Felis s. silvestris in comparison with a natural wild population. We used microsatellites and mtDNA sequencing to assess genetic diversity, structure and integrity of the ex situ population. Our results show that the ex situ population of the European wildcat is highly structured and that it has a higher genetic diversity than the studied wild population. Some genetic clusters matched the breeding lines of certain zoos or groups of zoos that often exchanged individuals. Two mitochondrial haplotype groups were detected in the in situ populations, one of which was closely related to the most common haplotype found in domestic cats, suggesting past introgression in the wild. Although native haplotypes were also found in the captive population, the majority (68%) of captive individuals shared a common mtDNA haplotype with the domestic cat (Felis s. catus). Only six captive individuals (7.7%) were assigned as wildcats in the STRUCTURE analysis (at K = 2), two of which had domestic cat mtDNA haplotypes and only two captive individuals were assigned as purebred wildcats by NewHybrids. These results suggest that the high genetic diversity of the captive population has been caused by admixture with domestic cats. Therefore, the captive population cannot be recommended for further breeding and reintroduction. PMID:25162450

  1. Are cats (Felis catus) from multi-cat households more stressed? Evidence from assessment of fecal glucocorticoid metabolite analysis.

    PubMed

    Ramos, D; Reche-Junior, A; Fragoso, P L; Palme, R; Yanasse, N K; Gouvêa, V R; Beck, A; Mills, D S

    2013-10-01

    Given the social and territorial features described in feral cats, it is commonly assumed that life in multi-cat households is stressful for domestic cats and suggested that cats kept as single pets are likely to have better welfare. On the other hand, it has been hypothesized that under high densities cats can organize themselves socially thus preventing stress when spatial dispersion is unavailable. This study was aimed at comparing the general arousal underpinning emotional distress in single housed cats and in cats from multi-cat households (2 and 3-4 cats) on the basis of fecal glucocorticoid metabolites (GCM) measured via enzyme immunoassay (EIA). GCM did not significantly vary as a function of living style (single, double or group-housing); highly stressed individuals were equally likely in the three groups. Young cats in multi-cat households had lower GCM, and overall cats that tolerate (as opposed to dislike) petting by the owners tended to have higher GCM levels. Other environmental aspects within cat houses (e.g. relationship with humans, resource availability) may play a more important role in day to day feline arousal levels than the number of cats per se. PMID:24021924

  2. A cat's tale: the impact of genetic restoration on Florida panther population dynamics and persistence.

    PubMed

    Hostetler, Jeffrey A; Onorato, David P; Jansen, Deborah; Oli, Madan K

    2013-05-01

    1. Genetic restoration has been suggested as a management tool for mitigating detrimental effects of inbreeding depression in small, inbred populations, but the demographic mechanisms underlying population-level responses to genetic restoration remain poorly understood. 2. We studied the dynamics and persistence of the endangered Florida panther Puma concolor coryi population and evaluated the potential influence of genetic restoration on population growth and persistence parameters. As part of the genetic restoration programme, eight female Texas pumas P. c. stanleyana were released into Florida panther habitat in southern Florida in 1995. 3. The overall asymptotic population growth rate (λ) was 1.04 (5th and 95th percentiles: 0.95-1.14), suggesting an increase in the panther population of approximately 4% per year. Considering the effects of environmental and demographic stochasticities and density-dependence, the probability that the population will fall below 10 panthers within 100 years was 0.072 (0-0.606). 4. Our results suggest that the population would have declined at 5% per year (λ = 0.95; 0.83-1.08) in the absence of genetic restoration. Retrospective life table response experiment analysis revealed that the positive effect of genetic restoration on survival of kittens was primarily responsible for the substantial growth of the panther population that would otherwise have been declining. 5. For comparative purposes, we also estimated probability of quasi-extinction under two scenarios - implementation of genetic restoration and no genetic restoration initiative - using the estimated abundance of panthers in 1995, the year genetic restoration was initiated. Assuming no density-dependence, the probability that the panther population would fall below 10 panthers by 2010 was 0.098 (0.002-0.332) for the restoration scenario and 0.445 (0.032-0.944) for the no restoration scenario, providing further evidence that the panther population would have faced a

  3. Prevalence and Characterization of Salmonella Isolated from Feral Pigs Throughout Texas.

    PubMed

    Cummings, K J; Rodriguez-Rivera, L D; Grigar, M K; Rankin, S C; Mesenbrink, B T; Leland, B R; Bodenchuk, M J

    2016-09-01

    Feral pigs are one of the most abundant free-roaming ungulates in the United States, yet their role in the ecology and transmission of foodborne pathogens is poorly understood. Our objectives were to estimate the prevalence of Salmonella shedding among feral pigs throughout Texas, to identify risk factors for infection, and to characterize the isolates. Faecal samples were collected from feral pigs in Texas from June 2013 through May 2015. Standard bacteriologic culture methods were used to isolate Salmonella from samples, and isolates were characterized via serotyping and anti-microbial susceptibility testing. The prevalence of faecal Salmonella shedding among sampled pigs was 43.9% (194/442), with positive pigs originating from 50 counties. Pigs sampled during fall and summer were significantly more likely to be shedding Salmonella than pigs sampled during winter. High serovar diversity was evident among the isolates, and many of the detected serovars are leading causes of human salmonellosis. The most common serovars were Montevideo (10.0%), Newport (9.1%), and Give (8.2%). Resistance to anti-microbial agents was rare. The burgeoning feral pig population in the United States may represent an emerging threat to food safety. PMID:26614102

  4. Trichinella spiralis in an agricultural ecosystem. III. Epidemiological investigations of Trichinella spiralis in resident wild and feral animals.

    PubMed

    Leiby, D A; Schad, G A; Duffy, C H; Murrell, K D

    1988-10-01

    As part of a larger epidemiological study examining the transmission of Trichinella spiralis in an agricultural ecosystem, resident wild and feral animals were trapped to determine the extent of their involvement in the natural, on-farm cycling of the parasite among swine. During a 21-mo-study, seven of 15 skunks (Mephitis mephitis), one of three opossums (Didelphis virginiana), two of two feral domestic cats and a raccoon (Procyon lotor) were found to be infected, while five shrews (Blarina brevicauda) and 18 deer mice (Peromyscus spp.) were uninfected. Most of the former hosts probably became infected by scavenging dead infected swine or rats (Rattus norvegicus). However, infections obtained through predation of living rats, particularly with regard to the cats, cannot be excluded. Our observations do not suggest that there was transmission of T. spiralis from the wild animals to swine. Therefore, transmission of T. spiralis appeared to occur only from the farm's swine and rats to the associated wild and feral animals. PMID:3193554

  5. Home range use and movement patterns of non-native feral goats in a tropical island montane dry landscape.

    PubMed

    Chynoweth, Mark W; Lepczyk, Christopher A; Litton, Creighton M; Hess, Steven C; Kellner, James R; Cordell, Susan

    2015-01-01

    Advances in wildlife telemetry and remote sensing technology facilitate studies of broad-scale movements of ungulates in relation to phenological shifts in vegetation. In tropical island dry landscapes, home range use and movements of non-native feral goats (Capra hircus) are largely unknown, yet this information is important to help guide the conservation and restoration of some of the world's most critically endangered ecosystems. We hypothesized that feral goats would respond to resource pulses in vegetation by traveling to areas of recent green-up. To address this hypothesis, we fitted six male and seven female feral goats with Global Positioning System (GPS) collars equipped with an Argos satellite upload link to examine goat movements in relation to the plant phenology using the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). Movement patterns of 50% of males and 40% of females suggested conditional movement between non-overlapping home ranges throughout the year. A shift in NDVI values corresponded with movement between primary and secondary ranges of goats that exhibited long-distance movement, suggesting that vegetation phenology as captured by NDVI is a good indicator of the habitat and movement patterns of feral goats in tropical island dry landscapes. In the context of conservation and restoration of tropical island landscapes, the results of our study identify how non-native feral goats use resources across a broad landscape to sustain their populations and facilitate invasion of native plant communities. PMID:25807275

  6. Home Range Use and Movement Patterns of Non-Native Feral Goats in a Tropical Island Montane Dry Landscape

    PubMed Central

    Chynoweth, Mark W.; Lepczyk, Christopher A.; Litton, Creighton M.; Hess, Steven C.; Kellner, James R.; Cordell, Susan

    2015-01-01

    Advances in wildlife telemetry and remote sensing technology facilitate studies of broad-scale movements of ungulates in relation to phenological shifts in vegetation. In tropical island dry landscapes, home range use and movements of non-native feral goats (Capra hircus) are largely unknown, yet this information is important to help guide the conservation and restoration of some of the world’s most critically endangered ecosystems. We hypothesized that feral goats would respond to resource pulses in vegetation by traveling to areas of recent green-up. To address this hypothesis, we fitted six male and seven female feral goats with Global Positioning System (GPS) collars equipped with an Argos satellite upload link to examine goat movements in relation to the plant phenology using the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). Movement patterns of 50% of males and 40% of females suggested conditional movement between non-overlapping home ranges throughout the year. A shift in NDVI values corresponded with movement between primary and secondary ranges of goats that exhibited long-distance movement, suggesting that vegetation phenology as captured by NDVI is a good indicator of the habitat and movement patterns of feral goats in tropical island dry landscapes. In the context of conservation and restoration of tropical island landscapes, the results of our study identify how non-native feral goats use resources across a broad landscape to sustain their populations and facilitate invasion of native plant communities. PMID:25807275

  7. Survey of Feral Swine ( Sus scrofa ) Infection with the Agent of Chagas Disease ( Trypanosoma cruzi ) in Texas, 2013-14.

    PubMed

    Comeaux, Juliette M; Curtis-Robles, Rachel; Lewis, Barbara C; Cummings, Kevin J; Mesenbrink, Brian T; Leland, Bruce R; Bodenchuk, Michael J; Hamer, Sarah A

    2016-07-01

    : Feral swine ( Sus scrofa ) are an invasive species and reservoir of numerous zoonotic pathogens in the US, and Texas leads the nation in the estimated population size of feral hogs. Texas also harbors enzootic transmission cycles of the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi , agent of Chagas disease. Given previous evidence that swine can serve as reservoirs of T. cruzi in Latin America and new evidence of triatomines (kissing bugs) feeding on swine in Texas, we measured the prevalence of T. cruzi infection in feral swine in Texas. From 2013 to 2014, we sampled blood and/or cardiac tissue from 78 feral swine across 14 Texas counties (seven with and seven without prior documentation of kissing bug occurrence) and used PCR and histopathology to detect T. cruzi infection. We determined an overall infection prevalence of 6% (3 of 54) based on PCR evaluation of cardiac tissue, and no blood samples were positive (n=72). All three positive pigs were from counties where kissing bugs are documented. No T. cruzi amastigotes were noted on histopathology (n=54). Sarcocysts were observed in 10 (18%) of the samples, five of which also had mild focal areas of degeneration and inflammatory cell infiltration. Eco-epidemiologic investigations can provide an assessment of contributions of feral hogs to maintenance of T. cruzi across a landscape to help protect human and animal health. PMID:27224214

  8. Home range use and movement patterns of non-native feral goats in a tropical island montane dry landscape

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chynoweth, Mark W.; Lepczyk, Christopher A.; Litton, Creighton M.; Hess, Steve; Kellner, James; Cordell, Susan

    2015-01-01

    Advances in wildlife telemetry and remote sensing technology facilitate studies of broad-scale movements of ungulates in relation to phenological shifts in vegetation. In tropical island dry landscapes, home range use and movements of non-native feral goats (Capra hircus) are largely unknown, yet this information is important to help guide the conservation and restoration of some of the world’s most critically endangered ecosystems. We hypothesized that feral goats would respond to resource pulses in vegetation by traveling to areas of recent green-up. To address this hypothesis, we fitted six male and seven female feral goats with Global Positioning System (GPS) collars equipped with an Argos satellite upload link to examine goat movements in relation to the plant phenology using the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). Movement patterns of 50% of males and 40% of females suggested conditional movement between non-overlapping home ranges throughout the year. A shift in NDVI values corresponded with movement between primary and secondary ranges of goats that exhibited long-distance movement, suggesting that vegetation phenology as captured by NDVI is a good indicator of the habitat and movement patterns of feral goats in tropical island dry landscapes. In the context of conservation and restoration of tropical island landscapes, the results of our study identify how non-native feral goats use resources across a broad landscape to sustain their populations and facilitate invasion of native plant communities.

  9. Counting Cats: Spatially Explicit Population Estimates of Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) Using Unstructured Sampling Data

    PubMed Central

    Broekhuis, Femke; Gopalaswamy, Arjun M.

    2016-01-01

    Many ecological theories and species conservation programmes rely on accurate estimates of population density. Accurate density estimation, especially for species facing rapid declines, requires the application of rigorous field and analytical methods. However, obtaining accurate density estimates of carnivores can be challenging as carnivores naturally exist at relatively low densities and are often elusive and wide-ranging. In this study, we employ an unstructured spatial sampling field design along with a Bayesian sex-specific spatially explicit capture-recapture (SECR) analysis, to provide the first rigorous population density estimates of cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) in the Maasai Mara, Kenya. We estimate adult cheetah density to be between 1.28 ± 0.315 and 1.34 ± 0.337 individuals/100km2 across four candidate models specified in our analysis. Our spatially explicit approach revealed ‘hotspots’ of cheetah density, highlighting that cheetah are distributed heterogeneously across the landscape. The SECR models incorporated a movement range parameter which indicated that male cheetah moved four times as much as females, possibly because female movement was restricted by their reproductive status and/or the spatial distribution of prey. We show that SECR can be used for spatially unstructured data to successfully characterise the spatial distribution of a low density species and also estimate population density when sample size is small. Our sampling and modelling framework will help determine spatial and temporal variation in cheetah densities, providing a foundation for their conservation and management. Based on our results we encourage other researchers to adopt a similar approach in estimating densities of individually recognisable species. PMID:27135614

  10. Counting Cats: Spatially Explicit Population Estimates of Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) Using Unstructured Sampling Data.

    PubMed

    Broekhuis, Femke; Gopalaswamy, Arjun M

    2016-01-01

    Many ecological theories and species conservation programmes rely on accurate estimates of population density. Accurate density estimation, especially for species facing rapid declines, requires the application of rigorous field and analytical methods. However, obtaining accurate density estimates of carnivores can be challenging as carnivores naturally exist at relatively low densities and are often elusive and wide-ranging. In this study, we employ an unstructured spatial sampling field design along with a Bayesian sex-specific spatially explicit capture-recapture (SECR) analysis, to provide the first rigorous population density estimates of cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) in the Maasai Mara, Kenya. We estimate adult cheetah density to be between 1.28 ± 0.315 and 1.34 ± 0.337 individuals/100km2 across four candidate models specified in our analysis. Our spatially explicit approach revealed 'hotspots' of cheetah density, highlighting that cheetah are distributed heterogeneously across the landscape. The SECR models incorporated a movement range parameter which indicated that male cheetah moved four times as much as females, possibly because female movement was restricted by their reproductive status and/or the spatial distribution of prey. We show that SECR can be used for spatially unstructured data to successfully characterise the spatial distribution of a low density species and also estimate population density when sample size is small. Our sampling and modelling framework will help determine spatial and temporal variation in cheetah densities, providing a foundation for their conservation and management. Based on our results we encourage other researchers to adopt a similar approach in estimating densities of individually recognisable species. PMID:27135614

  11. Increased risk for lymphoma and glomerulonephritis in a closed population of cats exposed to feline leukemia virus.

    PubMed

    Francis, D P; Essex, M; Jakowski, R M; Cotter, S M; Lerer, T J; Hardy, W D

    1980-03-01

    Feline leukemia virus (FeLV)-associated diseases were observed in a household in eastern Connecticut having 134 cats over a period of five and a half years. FeLV-positive cats had a much higher mortality rate (34.6 deaths per 1000 cat-months of follow-up) than did FeLV-negative cats (8.9 deaths per 1000 cat-months of follow-up). The leading cause of death was glomerulonephritis followed by lymphoma. The relative risk for virus-positive cats as compared to virus-negative cats for the two diseases was 9.9 and 9.6, respectively. The major risk factors for the development of lymphoma were virus positivity and low antibody titer to the feline oncornavirus-associated cell membrane antigen (FOCMA). No significant differences in cancer incidence were seen between the two major breeds (Abyssinian and Burmese) in the household. An older age at arrival in the house decreased death rates for all causes in the household, but it did not significantly affect death rates from lymphoma, although there was a positive trend. PMID:6244730

  12. Cross-sectional survey of Toxoplasma gondii infection in colony cats from urban Florence (Italy).

    PubMed

    Mancianti, Francesca; Nardoni, Simona; Ariti, Gaetano; Parlanti, Dario; Giuliani, Giovanna; Papini, Roberto A

    2010-04-01

    Cats are the key species in the epidemiology of Toxoplasma gondii infection, even if the proportion of subjects excreting oocysts is low. The aim of the present paper was to obtain information about seroprevalence, oocyst shedding rate and presence of T gondii DNA in faeces collected from an urban population of colony cats in Florence (Tuscany). Fifty European shorthair feral cats were examined for anti-T gondii specific antibodies by a modified agglutination test (MAT), and for oocysts by microscopic examination and for faecal protozoal DNA, by means of a nested polymerase chain reaction (n-PCR) protocol. Twenty-two out of 50 serum samples (44%) were MAT positive. T gondii oocysts were not detected in any of the examined faecal samples. Eight out of 50 faecal specimens (16%) were n-PCR positive and sequencing of the bands was specific for T gondii. Detection by combination of the two methods was higher than single techniques and enhanced the detection of T gondii up to 48%. Our results suggest that the use of MAT plus PCR in faeces may be the best choice for diagnosis of feline toxoplasmosis. Further studies to ascertain the real infectivity of the copro-PCR positive subjects are required. PMID:19811938

  13. Transfer of tylosin resistance between Enterococcus spp. during continuous-flow culture of feral or domestic porcine gut microbes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Mixed populations of domesticated and feral pig gut microbes (RPCF and FC, respectively) were grown in continuous culture to investigate the effects of tylosin on antimicrobial resistance. Cultures established in steady state were inoculated with 9.7 log10 colony forming units (CFU) of a tylosin-re...

  14. Host-Parasite Relationship of Ticks (Acari: Ixodidae and Argasidae) and Feral Pigs (Sus scrofa) in the Nhecolândia Region of the Pantanal Wetlands in Mato Grosso do Sul

    PubMed Central

    Cançado, P. H. D.; Faccini, J. L. H.; Herrera, H. M.; Tavares, L. E. R.; Mourão, G. M.; Piranda, E. M.; Paes, R. C. S.; Ribeiro, C. C. D. U.; Borghesan, T. C.; Piacenti, A. K.; Kinas, M. A.; Santos, C. C.; Ono, T. M.; Paiva, F.

    2013-01-01

    Feral pigs (S. scrofa) were introduced to the Pantanal region around 200 years ago and the population appears to be in expansion. Its eradication is considered to be impossible. The population of feral pigs in the Pantanal wetlands is currently estimated at one million. Two scientific excursions were organized. The first was conducted during the dry season, when 21 feral pigs were captured and the second was during the wet season, when 23 feral pigs were captured. Ticks were collected and the oviposition and hatching process were studied to confirm the biological success of each tick species. Three tick species were found to be feeding on feral pigs: Amblyomma cajennense, A. parvum, and Ornithodoros rostratus. During the dry season, 178 adult A. cajennense were collected, contrasting with 127 A. cajennense specimens in the wet season. This suggests that the seasonality of these ticks in the Brazilian Pantanal wetlands could be different from other regions. The results indicate that A. parvum and A. cajennense are biologically successful parasites in relation to feral pigs. A. cajennense appears to have adapted to this tick-host relationship, as well as the areas where feral pigs are abundant, and could play a role in the amplification of this tick population. PMID:27335855

  15. Molecular detection of tick-borne protozoan parasites in a population of domestic cats in midwestern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Braga, Ísis Assis; de Souza Ramos, Dirceu Guilherme; Marcili, Arlei; Melo, Andréia Lima Tomé; Taques, Isis Indaiara Gonçalves Granjeiro; Amude, Alexandre Mendes; Chitarra, Cristiane Silva; Nakazato, Luciano; Dutra, Valéria; de Campos Pacheco, Richard; Aguiar, Daniel Moura

    2016-07-01

    Some tick-borne pathogens that infect domestic cats have been considered emergent in veterinary medicine. Occurrences of Hepatozoon spp., Babesia spp. and Cytauxzoon spp. have been described in several regions of Brazil. This paper offers a comprehensive analysis of the 18S rRNA gene of a Hepatozoon sp. strain detected in domestic cats in the metropolitan area of Cuiabá, in Midwestern Brazil. Based on a molecular analysis, we detected the presence of Hepatozoon species circulating among cats in this region. The aforementioned strain is closely related to other isolates of H. felis detected in wild felids. Moreover, a phylogenetic analysis indicates that this genotype is grouped into a clade of 18S rRNA sequences previously described for the genus Hepatozoon in wild felids around the world. Hepatozoon felis strains detected in cats from Spain and Israel showed, respectively, 98% and 97% identity to our sequence and are clustered on a separate branch of the phylogenetic tree. This finding suggests a high diversity of Hepatozoon genotypes occurring in cats in Europe and South America. None of the analyzed cats were positive for Babesia spp. or Cytauxzoon spp. by PCR analysis. PMID:27260253

  16. Impacts of feral horse use on rangelands and riparian areas

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Feral (wild) horse impacts on rangelands and riparian areas are largely unknown. The impacts of feral horses are often indistinguishable from domestic livestock impacts because livestock grazing occurs across most horse herd management areas. However, the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge has a lar...

  17. Impacts of feral horse use on rangelands and riparian areas

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Feral (wild) horse impacts on rangelands and riparian areas are largely unknown. The impacts of feral horses are often indistinguishable from domestic livestock impacts because livestock grazing occurs across most horse herd management areas. However, the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge has a large...

  18. Hawaiian Duck's Future Threatened by Feral Mallards

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Uyehara, Kimberly J.; Engilis, Andrew, Jr.; Reynolds, Michelle

    2007-01-01

    Nearly 70 percent of Hawaii's native bird species are found nowhere else on Earth, and many of these species are declining or in danger of extinction. Although the Hawaiian Islands were once home to a remarkable diversity of waterfowl, only three species remain-the Hawaiian Goose (Nene), Laysan Duck, and Hawaiian Duck (Koloa maoli)-all Federally endangered. The Koloa maoli is the only Hawaiian bird threatened by 'genetic extinction' from hybridization with an invasive species-feral Mallard ducks. U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) biologists in Hawaii are working to find the causes of bird endangerment and ways to prevent extinction of the Koloa maoli and other threatened birds.

  19. Reproductive characteristics of the feral raccoon (Procyon lotor) in Hokkaido, Japan.

    PubMed

    Asano, Makoto; Matoba, Yohei; Ikeda, Toru; Suzuki, Masatsugu; Asakawa, Mitsuhiko; Ohtaishi, Noriyuki

    2003-03-01

    Reproduction of feral raccoons (Procyon lotor) in Hokkaido, Japan, was examined during a 2-year period by analysis of placental scars or fetuses in the uterus. Of 242 collected females, 69 (29%) were juveniles, 71 (29%) yearlings, and 102 (42%) adults. The pregnancy rate averaged 66% in yearlings and was significantly lower than the 96% average observed in adults (p<0.01). Litter size ranged from 1 to 7 offspring per female, and averaged 3.6 in yearlings and 3.9 in adults. There was no significant difference in mean litter size between yearlings and adults. In Hokkaido, the raccoon mating season peaked in February and the majority of litters were born between March and May, similar to patterns described in North America, but some females mated in summer. The reproductive potential of feral raccoons in Hokkaido was similar to that reported in North America. The recent increase in raccoon numbers can be explained by their high productivity. Harvest data suggest that hunting pressure on juveniles is lower than that for older age classes when using box traps in summer. In order to reduce the feral raccoon population, alternative hunting methods that increase juvenile mortality rates are needed. PMID:12679568

  20. The complete mitochondrial genome of the Feral Rock Pigeon (Columba livia breed feral).

    PubMed

    Li, Chun-Hong; Liu, Fang; Wang, Li

    2014-10-01

    Abstract In the present work, we report the complete mitochondrial genome sequence of feral rock pigeon for the first time. The total length of the mitogenome was 17,239 bp with the base composition of 30.3% for A, 24.0% for T, 31.9% for C, and 13.8% for G and an A-T (54.3 %)-rich feature was detected. It harbored 13 protein-coding genes, 2 ribosomal RNA genes, 22 transfer RNA genes and 1 non-coding control region (D-loop region). The arrangement of all genes was identical to the typical mitochondrial genomes of pigeon. The complete mitochondrial genome sequence of feral rock pigeon would serve as an important data set of the germplasm resources for further study. PMID:24438239

  1. Cat Batiks.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Buban, Marcia H.

    1998-01-01

    Discusses an art activity where fourth-grade students created backgrounds using melted paraffin and a variety of paints for their cat batik/collage. Explains that after the students created their backgrounds, they assembled their paper cats for the collage using smaller shapes glued together and wax to add texture for fur. (CMK)

  2. No virus replication in domestic cats fed with RHDV-infected rabbit livers.

    PubMed

    Zheng, T; Lu, G; Napier, A M; Lockyer, S J

    2003-08-29

    Previous studies have shown that feral cats (Felis catus) from rabbit haemorrhagic disease (RHD) epidemic areas in New Zealand had antibodies against RHD Virus (RHDV) and RHDV RNA was identified by nested RT-PCR from one seropositive feral cat liver. To assess whether RHDV replicates and produces clinical consequences in cats following the consumption of RHDV-infected rabbit, a challenge trial was conducted by feeding cats RHDV-infected rabbit livers. Antibodies against RHDV were detected by immunoassay from sera of cats collected 10 days after the consumption of RHDV-infected livers. Animals fed four times with RHDV-infected livers, had higher antibody titres than animals fed only once. RHDV RNA was detected by nested RT-PCR from mesenteric lymph nodes, tonsil, spleen and liver of cats fed with RHDV-infected livers. RHDV anti-genomic RNA was also detected by nested RT-PCR from mesenteric lymph nodes collected from one animal 2 days after the fourth feed. RHDV was detected by antigen ELISA from cat faeces 1-2 days after the consumption of RHDV-infected livers. Even though a large amount of RHDV has been used, cats did not show any signs of disease. Although abortive RHDV replication could not be ruled out, active RHDV replication was not demonstrated. PMID:12860077

  3. Ixodid ticks associated with feral swine in Texas.

    PubMed

    Sanders, David M; Schuster, Anthony L; McCardle, P Wesley; Strey, Otto F; Blankenship, Terry L; Teel, Pete D

    2013-12-01

    Ixodid ticks were collected from feral swine in eight Texas ecoregions from 2008-2011. Sixty-two percent of 806 feral swine were infested with one or more of the following species: Amblyomma americanum, A. cajennense, A. maculatum, Dermacentor albipictus, D. halli, D. variabilis, and Ixodes scapularis. Juvenile and adult feral swine of both sexes were found to serve as host to ixodid ticks. Longitudinal surveys of feral swine at four geographic locations show persistent year-round tick infestations of all gender-age classes for tick species common to their respective geographic locations and ecoregions. Amblyomma americanum, A. cajennense, A. maculatum and D. variabilis were collected from 66% of feral swine harvested through an abatement program in seven ecoregions from March to October in 2009. These results indicate westward geographic expansion of D. variabilis. Summary results show feral swine are competent hosts for ixodid species responsible for the transmission of pathogens and diminished well-being in livestock, wildlife, and humans. PMID:24581367

  4. [Effects of the environment on health of feral pigeons (Columba livia)].

    PubMed

    Schreiber, Tim; Kamphausen, Ludger; Haag-Wackernagel, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    We examined 80 feral pigeons and their fecal samples from two feral pigeon lofts of the "Pigeon Action of Basel" (Switzerland) for different pathogens. The tested material harbored four pathogenic agents transmissible to humans (Chlamydia spp., Salmonella spec., Campylobacter jejuni, Cryptococcus neoformans) In addition several pathogens were found which are no zoonotic agents but potentially pathogenic for the pigeons themselves, such as Trichomonas gallinae, coccidia, helminths, ectoparasites and fungi. The number of pathogens and parasites detected in the fecal samples varied significantly between the two localities. The pigeons of the two investigated breeding flocks differed in nutritional status and the incidence of two species of feather lice, Columbicola columbae and Campanulotes bidentatus compar. The prevalence of Trichomonas gallinae between juveniles and adults was not significantly different but juveniles exhibited significantly heavier infestation if infected. Individuals with a good nutritional status tend to show heavier infestation with Trichomonas gallinae compared to birds with moderate or poor nutritional status. Birds with a poor nutritional status tend to suffer from a heavier infestation with the feather louse C. columbae, and birds with a good nutritional status show significant heavier infestation with C. bidentatus compar. It was remarkable that one of the two investigated breeding populations almost gave up its breeding activity for two years because of the loss of its familiar food source. Nevertheless, this population showed a better nutritional status than the population without restrictions in the acquisition of food. This fact could be interpreted by the existence of a biological control mechanism for suppression of the reproduction in degraded environmental conditions to ensure the survival of the adults. If this assumption is correct, the feeding of feral pigeons by animal lovers possibly causes impairment of pigeon's health in

  5. Foaling rates in feral horses treated with the immunocontraceptive porcine zona pellucida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ransom, J.I.; Roelle, J.E.; Cade, B.S.; Coates-Markle, L.; Kane, A.J.

    2011-01-01

    Locally abundant feral horses (Equus caballus) can rapidly deplete available resources. Fertility control agents present promising nonlethal tools for reducing their population growth rates. We tested the effect of 2 forms of the immunocontraceptive porcine zona pellucida (PZP) on foaling rates in 3 populations of feral horses in the western United States. A liquid form requiring annual boosters was administered at Little Book Cliffs Wild Horse Range, Mesa County (CO), and Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range, Bighorn County (WY) and Carbon County (MT), and a time-release pellet form designed to produce 2 yr of infertility was administered at McCullough Peaks Herd Management Area, Park County (WY). Average foaling rates (foals born/mare-yr) from direct observation of untreated and treated female horses (mares), 2004-2008, were 60.1% (n = 153 mare-yr) versus 6.6% (n = 91 mare-yr) at Little Book Cliffs, and 62.8% (n = 129 mare-yr) versus 17.7% (n = 79 mare-yr) at Pryor Mountain, respectively. At McCullough Peaks, mean annual foaling rates from 2006 to 2008 were 75.0% (n = 48 mare-yr) for untreated mares and 31.7% (n = 101 mare-yr) for treated mares. Controlling for age of mares and pretreatment differences in fertility, PZP reduced foaling rates in all 3 herds. The pellets used at McCullough Peaks (produced by cold evaporation) were less effective than pellets used in a previous trial and produced by heat extrusion. Immunocontraception with PZP may be a useful tool in reducing fertility rates in some western United States feral horse herds, but population growth reduction will depend on timely access to mares for inoculation and the proportion of mares that can be successfully treated. ?? 2011 The Wildlife Society.

  6. How much land is needed for feral pig hunting in Hawai'i?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hess, Steven C.; Jacobi, James D.

    2014-01-01

    Hunting is often considered to be incompatible with conservation of native biota and watershed functions in Hawai'i. Management actions for conservation generally exclude large non-native mammals from natural areas, thereby reducing the amount of land area available for hunting activities and the maintenance of sustainable game populations. An approach which may be useful in addressing the necessary minimum amount of land area allocated for hunting in Hawai'i is to determine the amount of land area necessary for sustaining populations of hunted animals to meet current levels harvested by the public. We ask: What is the total amount of land necessary to provide sustained-yield hunting of game meat for food at the current harvest level on Hawai'i Island if only feral pigs (Sus scrofa) were to be harvested? We used a simplistic analysis to estimate that 1 317.6 km2-1 651.4 km2 would be necessary to produce 187 333.6 kg of feral pig meat annually based on the range of dressed weight per whole pig, the proportion of a pig population that can be sustainably removed annually, and the density of pig populations in the wild. This amount of area comprises 12.6-15.8% of the total land area of Hawai'i Island, but more likely represents 27.6-43.5% of areas that may be compatible with sustained-yield hunting.

  7. Behavioural responses of feral and domestic guppies (Poecilia reticulata) to predators and their cues.

    PubMed

    Swaney, William T; Cabrera-Álvarez, María J; Reader, Simon M

    2015-09-01

    Predation is an important factor during adaptation to novel environments, and the feralisation of introduced domestic species often involves responding appropriately to allopatric predators despite a background of domestication and inbreeding. Twenty years ago, domestic guppies were introduced to a semi-natural environment at Burgers' Zoo in the Netherlands, where they have since been exposed to avian predation. We compared predation-linked behaviours in this feral population and in domestic guppies akin to the original founders. We found that both populations responded to a novel predator and to conspecific alarm cues. However, shoaling, an important anti-predator behaviour, was higher among feral guppies both at baseline and when exposed to the novel predator. We did not observe a linked suite of anti-predator behaviours across shoaling, predator inspection, alarm substance sensitivity and boldness, suggesting that these responses may be decoupled from one another depending on local predation regimes. As we compared two populations, we cannot identify the causal factors determining population differences, however, our results do suggest that shoaling is either a particularly consequential anti-predator adaptation or the most labile of the behaviours we tested. Finally, the behavioural adaptability of domestic guppies may help to explain their success as an invasive species. PMID:26003138

  8. Feral Pigs, Introduced Mosquitoes, and the Decline of Hawai'i's Native Birds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    LaPointe, Dennis A.

    2006-01-01

    The introduction of mosquitoes, avian pox, and avian malaria to the Hawaiian Islands has had a profound effect on the geographical distribution and population number of highly susceptible Hawaiian honeycreepers, and likely contributed to the extinction of several species. While the mosquito vector (disease-carrier) is most closely associated with human activity, in remote Hawaiian rain forests, feral pigs may be pivotally important to the disease system. Since 1991, USGS scientists have taken a leadership position in identifying the role these diseases continue to play in the decline and extinction of native Hawaiian forest birds and in finding ways to mitigate their impacts.

  9. In the United States, negligible rates of zoonotic sarcocystosis occur in feral swine that, by contrast, frequently harbor infections with Sarcocystis meischeriana, a related parasite contracted from dogs

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Transmission of pathogens between domestic and wild life animals plays important role in epidemiology. Feral pig populations are increasing and expanding in the USA, and may constitute a risk to non-biosecure domestic pig facilities by serving as reservoirs for pathogens. We surveyed, for Sarcocysti...

  10. Low habitat overlap at landscape scale between wild camelids and feral donkeys in the Chilean desert

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malo, Juan E.; González, Benito A.; Mata, Cristina; Vielma, André; Donoso, Denise S.; Fuentes, Nicolás; Estades, Cristián F.

    2016-01-01

    Feral domestic ungulates may compete with the populations of wild herbivores with which they coexist, particularly so in arid regions. The potential competition between wild camelids and feral donkeys at the eastern sector of the Atacama Desert is evaluated in terms of their coincidence or segregation in habitat use and complemented with a comparison of reproductive output (yearling/adult ratio) of vicuña family groups in the proximity vs. distant from donkey observations. Habitat use of wild camelids and donkeys was sampled driving some 1250 km of roads and tracks at the dry and wet seasons. There were 221 vicuñas (Vicugna vicugna) sightings, 77 for donkeys (Equus asinus), 25 for guanacos (Lama guanicoe) and 8 for hybrids between guanacos and domestic llamas (Lama glama), as well as 174 randomly selected control locations. By means of Generalised Discriminant Analysis and Analysis of Variance we show that all ungulates actively select their habitat, with significant differences between use and availability in the area. Donkeys are relatively abundant in comparison with camelids and coincide broadly with both of them across the altitudinal gradient, but they fall between them in local scale habitat selection and do not seem to force their displacement from their preferred habitats. Thus donkeys occur preferentially on slopes with a high cover of tall shrubs, whereas vicuñas use valley bottoms with grass and guanacos the upper slope zones with grass. The potential for competition between donkeys and wild camelids is thus limited and it does not affect the reproductive output of vicuña in this region. Therefore, with the present knowledge we suggest that population control is not currently merited for feral donkeys.