Science.gov

Sample records for feral cat populations

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

    PubMed Central

    Yurchenko, Andrey A.; David, Victor A.; Scott, Rachael; Koepfli, Klaus-Peter; Driscoll, Carlos; O’Brien, Stephen J.; Menotti-Raymond, Marilyn

    2016-01-01

    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. 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).

  3. Analysis of the impact of trap-neuter-return programs on populations of feral cats.

    PubMed

    Foley, Patrick; Foley, Janet E; Levy, Julie K; Paik, Terry

    2005-12-01

    To evaluate 2 county trap-neuter-return (TNR) programs for feral cat population management via mathematical modeling. Theoretical population model. Feral cats assessed from 1992 to 2003 in San Diego County, California (n = 14,452), and from 1998 to 2004 in Alachua County, Florida (11,822). Data were analyzed with a mathematical Ricker model to describe population dynamics of the feral cats and modifications to the dynamics that occurred as a result of the TNR programs. In both counties, results of analyses did not indicate a consistent reduction in per capita growth, the population multiplier, or the proportion of female cats that were pregnant. Success of feral cat management programs that use TNR can be monitored with an easily collected set of data and statistical analyses facilitated by population modeling techniques. Results may be used to suggest possible future monitoring and modification of TNR programs, which could result in greater success controlling and reducing feral cat populations.

  4. 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.

  5. Estimation of effectiveness of three methods of feral cat population control by use of a simulation model.

    PubMed

    McCarthy, Robert J; Levine, Stephen H; Reed, J Michael

    2013-08-15

    To predict effectiveness of 3 interventional methods of population control for feral cat colonies. Population model. Estimates of vital data for feral cats. Data were gathered from the literature regarding the demography and mating behavior of feral cats. An individual-based stochastic simulation model was developed to evaluate the effectiveness of trap-neuter-release (TNR), lethal control, and trap-vasectomy-hysterectomy-release (TVHR) in decreasing the size of feral cat populations. TVHR outperformed both TNR and lethal control at all annual capture probabilities between 10% and 90%. Unless > 57% of cats were captured and neutered annually by TNR or removed by lethal control, there was minimal effect on population size. In contrast, with an annual capture rate of ≥ 35%, TVHR caused population size to decrease. An annual capture rate of 57% eliminated the modeled population in 4,000 days by use of TVHR, whereas > 82% was required for both TNR and lethal control. When the effect of fraction of adult cats neutered on kitten and young juvenile survival rate was included in the analysis, TNR performed progressively worse and could be counterproductive, such that population size increased, compared with no intervention at all. TVHR should be preferred over TNR for management of feral cats if decrease in population size is the goal. This model allowed for many factors related to the trapping program and cats to be varied and should be useful for determining the financial and person-effort commitments required to have a desired effect on a given feral cat population.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Stojanovic, Vladimir; Foley, Peter

    2011-01-01

    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

  9. 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.

  10. Body condition of feral cats and the effect of neutering.

    PubMed

    Scott, Karen C; Levy, Julie K; Gorman, Shawn P; Newell, Susan M

    2002-01-01

    Considerable debate exists regarding the most appropriate methods for controlling feral cat populations, both from humane and logistical points of view. The physical condition of feral cats has not been reported, and it is not known if these cats benefit from neutering. This study investigates the body condition of feral cats by measuring body weight (BW), body condition score (BCS; Burkholder, 2000; Laflamme, Kealy, & Schmidt, 1994), and falciform fat pad. The study includes lateral abdominal radiographs taken at the time of neutering of 105 adult feral cats for measurement of falciform fat pad depth and area. At that time we also assessed BW and BCS. One year later we assessed the effects of neutering on body condition by evaluating a subsample of 14 cats. At the time of surgery, the cats were lean but not emaciated (BW 3.1 +/- 0.9 kg; BCS 4 +/- 1; based on a 1 to 9 scale ranging from 1 [emaciated] to 9 [grossly obese]). Falciform fat pad depth and area averaged 7.1 mm and 197.4 mm2, respectively, indicating a small amount of fat. Fourteen cats, reevaluated 1 year after neutering, increased 260% + 90% in falciform fat pad depth, 420% +/- 390% in fat pad area, 40% +/- 4% in BW, and 1 level in BCS ranking (1 to 9 scale; all differences p <.001). Similar to confined socialized cats, feral cats gained significant weight and body fat after neutering.

  11. 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.

  12. 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. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.

  13. Effective size of two feral domestic cat populations (Felis catus L): effect of the mating system.

    PubMed

    Kaeuffer, R; Pontier, D; Devillard, S; Perrin, N

    2004-02-01

    A variety of behavioural traits have substantial effects on the gene dynamics and genetic structure of local populations. The mating system is a plastic trait that varies with environmental conditions in the domestic cat (Felis catus) allowing an intraspecific comparison of the impact of this feature on genetic characteristics of the population. To assess the potential effect of the heterogenity of males' contribution to the next generation on variance effective size, we applied the ecological approach of Nunney & Elam (1994) based upon a demographic and behavioural study, and the genetic 'temporal methods' of Waples (1989) and Berthier et al. (2002) using microsatellite markers. The two cat populations studied were nearly closed, similar in size and survival parameters, but differed in their mating system. Immigration appeared extremely restricted in both cases due to environmental and social constraints. As expected, the ratio of effective size to census number (Ne/N) was higher in the promiscuous cat population (harmonic mean = 42%) than in the polygynous one (33%), when Ne was calculated from the ecological method. Only the genetic results based on Waples' estimator were consistent with the ecological results, but failed to evidence an effect of the mating system. Results based on the estimation of Berthier et al. (2002) were extremely variable, with Ne sometimes exceeding census size. Such low reliability in the genetic results should retain attention for conservation purposes.

  14. 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.

  15. Hookworms of feral cats in Florida.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Tara Creel; Foster, Garry W; Forrester, Donald J

    2003-07-10

    Thirty feral cats (Felis catus) from Alachua county (northern Florida) and 30 from Palm Beach county (southern Florida) were examined for hookworms. Two species, Ancylostoma tubaeforme and Ancylostoma braziliense, were identified. Forty-five cats (75%) were infected with A. tubaeforme, with a mean intensity of 48 hookworms per cat. Twenty cats (33%) were infected with A. braziliense, with a mean intensity of 28 worms per cat. The prevalence of A. tubaeforme was greater than that of A. braziliense in Alachua (P=0.002) and Palm Beach (P=0.004) counties. The intensity of A. tubaeforme infections was higher in Palm Beach county than Alachua county (P=0.013). The intensities of A. tubaeforme and A. braziliense were positively correlated (increased together) in Palm Beach county (P=0.011). These hookworms have also been identified in bobcats (Felis rufus), gray foxes (Urocyon cinereoargenteus), and red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in Florida. The prevalence of A. tubaeforme was significantly greater in feral cats than those reported in bobcats (P<0.001). The prevalence of A. braziliense was significantly greater in feral cats than in those reported in gray foxes (P=0.008). The hookworm that infects Florida panthers and bobcats, A. pluridentatum, was not found.

  16. 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. © ISFM and AAFP 2014.

  17. Seroprevalences of antibodies against Bartonella henselae and Toxoplasma gondii and fecal shedding of Cryptosporidium spp, Giardia spp, and Toxocara cati in feral and pet domestic cats.

    PubMed

    Nutter, Felicia B; Dubey, J P; Levine, Jay F; Breitschwerdt, Edward B; Ford, Richard B; Stoskopf, Michael K

    2004-11-01

    To compare seroprevalences of antibodies against Bartonella henselae and Toxoplasma gondii and fecal shedding of Cryptosporidium spp, Giardia spp, and Toxocara cati in feral and pet domestic cats. Prospective cross-sectional serologic and coprologic survey. 100 feral cats and 76 pet domestic cats from Randolph County, NC. Blood and fecal samples were collected and tested. Percentages of feral cats seropositive for antibodies against B. henselae and T. gondii (93% and 63%, respectively) were significantly higher than percentages of pet cats (75% and 34%). Percentages of feral and pet cats with Cryptosporidium spp (7% of feral cats; 6% of pet cats), Giardia spp (6% of feral cats; 5% of pet cats), and T. cati ova (21% of feral cats; 18% of pet cats) in their feces were not significantly different between populations. Results of CBCs and serum biochemical analyses were not significantly different between feral and pet cats, except that feral cats had a significantly lower median PCV and significantly higher median neutrophil count. Results suggested that feral and pet cats had similar baseline health status, as reflected by results of hematologic and serum biochemical testing and similar prevalences of infection with Cryptosporidium spp, Giardia spp, and T. cati. Feral cats did have higher seroprevalences of antibodies against B. henselae and T. gondii than did pet cats, but this likely was related to greater exposure to vectors of these organisms.

  18. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii infection in feral cats in Qatar.

    PubMed

    Boughattas, Sonia; Behnke, Jerzy; Sharma, Aarti; Abu-Madi, Marawan

    2017-01-18

    Cats are essential in the life cycle of Toxoplasma gondii as they can shed the environmentally resistant oocysts after acquiring infection. Human populations living in cities with high densities of feral cats are therefore likely to be at risk of infection. The current study is the first to estimate the seroprevalence of T. gondii in the feral cat population in Qatar. We investigated the seroprevalence of T. gondii among 495 adult cats from urban and suburban districts in Qatar. Using results from the Modified Agglutination Test, we fitted statistical models with host sex, area and season as explanatory factors and seropositivity as the outcome. The analysis revealed an overall seroprevalence of 82%. Seroprevalence was significantly higher in the summer season (P = 0.006). No significant difference was detected (P > 0.05) between seroprevalence in female and male cats and in cats from urban and suburban districts of Qatar. Despite the seasonal difference, the observed seroprevalence of T. gondii suggests high environmental contamination throughout the year, with some female cats generating more intense responses compared to males. Both findings merit further investigations.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Prevalence of infectious diseases in feral cats in Northern Florida.

    PubMed

    Luria, Brian J; Levy, Julie K; Lappin, Michael R; Breitschwerdt, Edward B; Legendre, Alfred M; Hernandez, Jorge A; Gorman, Shawn P; Lee, Irene T

    2004-10-01

    Objectives of this study were to determine prevalence of infection in feral cats in Northern Florida with a select group of infectious organisms and to determine risk factors for infection. Blood samples or sera from 553 cats were tested with a panel of antibody, antigen or PCR assays. Male cats were at higher risk for FIV, Mycoplasma haemofelis, and M. haemominutum. Infection with either FeLV or FIV was associated with increased risk for coinfection with the other retrovirus, M. haemofelis, or M. haemominutum. Bartonella henselae had the highest prevalence and was the only organism that did not have any associated risk for coinfection with other organisms. Feral cats in this study had similar or lower prevalence rates of infections than those published for pet cats in the United States. Thus, feral cats assessed in this study appear to be of no greater risk to human beings or other cats than pet cats.

  2. Occupancy of the Invasive Feral Cat Varies with Habitat Complexity

    PubMed Central

    Hohnen, Rosemary; Tuft, Katherine; McGregor, Hugh W.; Legge, Sarah; Radford, Ian J.; Johnson, Christopher N.

    2016-01-01

    The domestic cat (Felis catus) is an invasive exotic in many locations around the world and is thought to be a key factor driving recent mammal declines across northern Australia. Many mammal species native to this region now persist only in areas with high topographic complexity, provided by features such as gorges or escarpments. Do mammals persist in these habitats because cats occupy them less, or despite high cat occupancy? We show that occupancy of feral cats was lower in mammal-rich habitats of high topographic complexity. These results support the idea that predation pressure by feral cats is a factor contributing to the collapse of mammal communities across northern Australia. Managing impacts of feral cats is a global conservation challenge. Conservation actions such as choosing sites for small mammal reintroductions may be more successful if variation in cat occupancy with landscape features is taken into account. PMID:27655024

  3. Occupancy of the Invasive Feral Cat Varies with Habitat Complexity.

    PubMed

    Hohnen, Rosemary; Tuft, Katherine; McGregor, Hugh W; Legge, Sarah; Radford, Ian J; Johnson, Christopher N

    The domestic cat (Felis catus) is an invasive exotic in many locations around the world and is thought to be a key factor driving recent mammal declines across northern Australia. Many mammal species native to this region now persist only in areas with high topographic complexity, provided by features such as gorges or escarpments. Do mammals persist in these habitats because cats occupy them less, or despite high cat occupancy? We show that occupancy of feral cats was lower in mammal-rich habitats of high topographic complexity. These results support the idea that predation pressure by feral cats is a factor contributing to the collapse of mammal communities across northern Australia. Managing impacts of feral cats is a global conservation challenge. Conservation actions such as choosing sites for small mammal reintroductions may be more successful if variation in cat occupancy with landscape features is taken into account.

  4. 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.

  5. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii in free-ranging and feral cats on Amami Oshima Island, Japan.

    PubMed

    Matsuu, Aya; Yokota, Shin-Ichi; Ito, Keiko; Masatani, Tatsunori

    2017-10-01

    On Amami Oshima Island, free-ranging and feral cats are harmful to wildlife populations. In this study, the seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii in these cats was examined using a newly developed Gaussia luciferase immunoprecipitation system assay. Of 1,363 cats, 123 cats (9.0%) was positive for T. gondii. The prevalence was significantly different in different areas; among cats in the rural area, where many wild animals live, including endangered species, T. gondii infection was more prevalent than in the urban area of the island. This finding indicates a possible risk to wildlife of infection from free-ranging and feral cats. Therefore, management of cats is important for wildlife conservation.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hess, Steve C.; Danner, Raymond M.; Timm, R.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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-02

    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.

  14. Implementation of a feral cat management program on a university campus.

    PubMed

    Hughes, Kathy L; Slater, Margaret R

    2002-01-01

    In August 1998, Texas AM University implemented on campus a trap-test-vaccinate-alter-return-monitor (TTVARM) program to manage the feral cat population. TTVARM is an internationally recognized term for trapping and neutering programs aimed at management of feral cat populations. In this article we summarize results of the program for the period August 1998 to July 2000. In surgery laboratories, senior veterinary students examined cats that were humanely trapped once a month and tested them for feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus infections, vaccinated, and surgically neutered them. They euthanized cats testing positive for either infectious disease. Volunteers provided food and observed the cats that were returned to their capture sites on campus and maintained in managed colonies. The program placed kittens and tame cats for adoption; cats totaled 158. Of the majority of 158 captured cats, there were less kittens caught in Year 2 than in Year 1. The proportion of tame cats trapped was significantly greater in Year 2 than in Year 1. The prevalence found for feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus ELISA test positives was 5.8% and 6.5%, respectively. Following surgery, 101 cats returned to campus. The project recaptured, retested, and revaccinated more than one-fourth of the cats due for their annual vaccinations. The program placed 32 kittens, juveniles, and tame adults for adoption. The number of cat complaints received by the university's pest control service decreased from Year 1 to Year 2.

  15. 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...

  16. Prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii infection in household and feral cats in Korea.

    PubMed

    Kim, Sung-Eon; Choi, Ran; Kang, Seung-Won; Hyun, Changbaig

    2017-09-01

    This study was designed to investigate the prevalence rate of Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) infection in household cats in Korea. One hundred household cats and 50 feral cats from nine of the largest cities in Korea were enrolled in this study. The tests performed in this survey was an in-house rapid screen IgG and IgM combo test, faecal PCR test for T. gondii oocysts, and an ELISA immunoassay for IgG antibodies. There were no household cats positive for T. gondii infection detected using the in-house IgG and IgM rapid screen combo test, although 6/50 and 0/50 feral cats were positive in IgG and IgM tests, respectively. This initial finding was confirmed by subsequent ELISA test for IgG antibody and PCR for T. gondii in faeces. Despite the higher prevalence rate of the disease in feral cats in Korea, we did not find any household cats that were either infected or exposed previously to T. gondii in our study population. Our study indicates that there is minimal risk of T. gondii transmission from household cats to human in Korea.

  17. 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.

  18. 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. Copyright © 2011 ISFM and AAFP. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Molecular detection of feline hemoplasmas in feral cats in Korea.

    PubMed

    Yu, Do-Hyeon; Kim, Hyun-Wook; Desai, Atul R; Han, In-Ae; Li, Ying-Hua; Lee, Mi-Jin; Kim, In-Shik; Chae, Joon-Seok; Park, Jinho

    2007-12-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine if Mycoplasma haemofelis, 'Candidatus Mycoplasma haemominutum' exist in Korea. Three hundreds and thirty one feral cats were evaluated by using PCR assay targeting 16S rRNA gene sequence. Fourteen cats (4.2%) were positive for M. haemofelis, 34 cats (10.3%) were positive for 'Candidatus M. haemominutum' and 18 cats (5.4%) were positive for both species. Partial 16S rRNA gene sequences were closely (>98%) related to those from other countries. This is the first molecular detection of feline hemoplasmas in Korea.

  20. Lynxacarus radovskyi mites in feral cats: a study of diagnostic methods, preferential body locations, co-infestations and prevalence.

    PubMed

    Ketzis, Jennifer K; Dundas, James; Shell, Linda G

    2016-10-01

    Lynxacarus radovskyi (fur mites) are ectoparasites found on the hair shafts of cats living in tropical environments. Diagnosis is via microscopic examination of hairs. Various anatomical areas have been reported to harbour these mites. To assess adhesive tape impressions and trichograms for detecting L. radovskyi and co-infestations; to determine host body predilection sites and affected gender; to determine prevalence of L. radovskyi in a feral cat population. 121 feral cats in a trap, neuter and release programme. After cats were premedicated for surgical sterilization, hairs from seven to nine body sites were removed from each cat using adhesive tape impression and trichogram techniques. Samples were examined at 10-100× magnification using compound or stereo microscopes. The prevalence of L. radovskyi was 71% (86 of 121) within the feral cat population. Tape impressions identified 75 cats; trichograms identified 56 cats. There were fewer false negative results with tape impressions. Caudal body sites were more likely to be positive, with the perianal area being the most commonly affected. Males and females were infested equally. Tape impressions identified more Cheyletiella blakei infestations and both methods identified some Felicola felis infestations. Tape impressions were easier to perform and identified more L. radovskyi positive cats and more co-infestations. Hairs from the perianal area and other caudal body sites are most likely to harbour L. radovskyi. Within this feral cat population, L. radovskyi was a common infestation. © 2016 ESVD and ACVD.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Seroprevalence study of feline coronavirus in owned and feral cats in Sydney, Australia.

    PubMed

    Bell, E T; Toribio, J A L M L; White, J D; Malik, R; Norris, J M

    2006-03-01

    i) To establish the seroprevalence of Feline Coronavirus (FCoV) infection in two defined groups of cats in Sydney: owned and feral cats; ii) to identify factors associated with an increased risk of infection with FCoV; and iii) to establish the seroprevalence and FCoV antibody titres of owned cats with immunohistochemically confirmed feline infectious peritonitis (FIP). Prospective multi-institutional cross sectional study. Procedure Serum samples from owned cats presented to three inner city veterinary clinics in Sydney and feral cats from a colony in South Western Sydney over an 11-month period were tested for FCoV antibodies using the Immunocomb test kit. The relationship between serological score and six major factors (breed, age, gender, number of cats per household, living environment and health status) in the owned cat sample population was analysed and compared to cats with FIR RESULTS: The seroprevalence of FCoV infection in the sample population of owned and feral cats was 34% and 0%, respectively. The median Immunocomb scores of DSH, Persian, Siamese and Devon Rex cats were significantly lower than that of Burmese, BSH, Abyssinian, Birman, Ragdoll and Russian Blue. The median lmmunocomb score of pedigree cats less than 2 years-of-age was significantly higher than for pedigree cats greater than 2 years-of-age. This distinction was not evident in DSH cats in these age groups. The number of cats per household at the time of blood collection had a strong positive association with Immunocomb score. The median Immunocomb score of cats with immunohistochemically confirmed FIP was significantly higher than cats in the sample population of owned cats but there was sufficient overlap between these two groups to make definitive diagnosis of FIP by serology impossible. This represents the first seroprevalence study of FCoV in Australia. The major determinants of antibody score of owned cats identified in this study were breed, age and the number of cats per

  4. 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.

  5. High prevalence of helminth parasites in feral cats in Majorca Island (Spain).

    PubMed

    Millán, Javier; Casanova, Joan Carles

    2009-12-01

    Feral cats are widespread in the countryside of Majorca (Balearic Islands, Spain). Since they are not subject of sanitary control, they can act as reservoir of parasites of veterinary and zoonotic interest. The main organs of 58 wild-trapped cats in 16 different areas from Majorca were analyzed by helminths. All the cats were parasitized, and eight species of helminths were retrieved (mean = 3.4 species per cat, with 74% of the cats harboring three or more species). Seven of them presented a prevalence >20%: Joyeuxiella pasqualei (76%), Diplopylidium acanthotetra (60%), Dipylidium carracidoi (33%), Taenia taeniaeformis (22%), Ancylostoma tubaeforme (91%), and Toxocara cati (35%) in the gastrointestinal tract, and Oslerus rostratus (24%) in lungs. The A. tubaeforme prevalence and intensity (mean = 30, up to 396) is the highest recorded for a population of cats. Prevalence and abundance of J. pasqualei and D. acanthotetra were strongly associated, secondary to the use of the same intermediary host (geckos). Other positive associations found are probably related to host susceptibility. Abundance of D. acanthotetra, T. cati, and A. tubaeforme and the number of species per host were negatively correlated with cat body condition (assessed by the kidney fat index). Females were more frequently parasitized by A. tubaeforme than males, and adult females were more heavily infested by J. pasqualei and D. acanthotetra than cats from other groups. These and other findings are discussed in relation with host ecology. Feral cats serve as reservoirs of helminths in the countryside of Majorca and their populations should be controlled.

  6. Gastrointestinal parasites of feral cats from Christmas Island.

    PubMed

    Adams, P J; Elliot, A D; Algar, D; Brazell, R I

    2008-01-01

    To investigate the gastrointestinal parasites present in feral cats on Christmas Island, with particular interest in the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii. Faecal and serum samples were collected from 28 and 25 cats respectively that were trapped as part of an ongoing eradication program being run on Christmas Island by the Department of Environment and Conservation. Faecal samples were screened microscopically for helminth and protozoan parasites. Serum samples were screened for antibodies to T gondii using a commercial indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA) and a latex agglutination test (LAT). The most common helminth parasites detected were Toxocara cati (present in 15 of 28 faecal samples), Strongyloides sp (13/28), Aelurostrongylus abstrusus, (7/28), an unidentified capillarid (6/28) and Ancylostoma sp (4/28). Based on serology, T gondii was the most common parasite detected (protozoan or otherwise) with antibodies detected in 24 serum samples by IFA and 23 serum samples by LAT. Cats on Christmas Island harbour many of the helminth and protozoan parasites reported from feral cats elsewhere in Australia. The high seroprevalence of T gondii in these cats indicates a high level of exposure to the parasite in this environment.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. What is a feral cat?: Variation in definitions may be associated with different management strategies.

    PubMed

    Gosling, Lara; Stavisky, Jenny; Dean, Rachel

    2013-09-01

    The definition of a true feral cat is an area of much contention, with many variations used worldwide. In this study, opinions were gathered from feral cat rescue workers and veterinary surgeons working in the United Kingdom to identify a practical definition of a feral cat, suitable for use in the field, education and research. A mixed methods approach, using questionnaires and focus groups, was used to collect data from feral cat workers and veterinary surgeons. Conflicts in opinion on the implications of taming feral cats exist. The rescue workers typically felt that most cats could be tamed, whereas the veterinary surgeons felt this was generally inappropriate, except in the case of young kittens. A consistent definition of feral cats would enable better communication regarding the welfare and management of these animals, and would be useful for further research and education of the public. PROPOSED DEFINITION: A feral cat is proposed by this study to be a cat that is unapproachable in its free-roaming environment and is capable of surviving with or without direct human intervention, and may additionally show fearful or defensive behaviour on human contact.

  10. 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).

  11. 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

  12. Landscape management of fire and grazing regimes alters the fine-scale habitat utilisation by feral cats.

    PubMed

    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.

  13. 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.

  14. Evaluation of biochemical and haematological parameters and prevalence of selected pathogens in feral cats from urban and rural habitats in South Korea.

    PubMed

    Hwang, Jusun; Gottdenker, Nicole; Min, Mi-Sook; Lee, Hang; Chun, Myung-Sun

    2016-06-01

    In this study, we evaluated the potential association between the habitat types of feral cats and the prevalence of selected infectious pathogens and health status based on a set of blood parameters. We live-trapped 72 feral cats from two different habitat types: an urban area (n = 48) and a rural agricultural area (n = 24). We compared blood values and the prevalence of feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), feline leukaemia virus (FeLV) and haemotropic Mycoplasma infection in feral cats from the two contrasting habitats. Significant differences were observed in several blood values (haematocrit, red blood cells, blood urea nitrogen, creatinine) depending on the habitat type and/or sex of the cat. Two individuals from the urban area were seropositive for FIV (3.0%), and eight (12.1%) were positive for FeLV infection (five from an urban habitat and three from a rural habitat). Haemoplasma infection was more common. Based on molecular analysis, 38 cats (54.3%) were positive for haemoplasma, with a significantly higher infection rate in cats from rural habitats (70.8%) compared with urban cats (47.8%). Our study recorded haematological and serum biochemical values, and prevalence of selected pathogens in feral cat populations from two different habitat types. A subset of important laboratory parameters from rural cats showed values under or above the corresponding reference intervals for healthy domestic cats, suggesting potential differences in the health status of feral cats depending on the habitat type. Our findings provide information about the association between 1) blood values (haematological and serum biochemistry parameters) and 2) prevalence of selected pathogen infections and different habitat types; this may be important for veterinarians who work with feral and/or stray cats and for overall cat welfare management. © ISFM and AAFP 2015.

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    2005-01-01

    Abstract 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. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Response of feral cats to vaccination at the time of neutering.

    PubMed

    Fischer, Sarah M; Quest, Cassie M; Dubovi, Edward J; Davis, Rolan D; Tucker, Sylvia J; Friary, John A; Crawford, P Cynda; Ricke, Teri A; Levy, Julie K

    2007-01-01

    To determine whether administration of inactivated virus or modified-live virus (MLV) vaccines to feral cats at the time of neutering induces protective serum antiviral antibody titers. Prospective study. 61 feral cats included in a trap-neuter-return program in Florida. Each cat received vaccines against feline panleukopenia virus (FPV), feline herpes virus (FHV), feline calicivirus (FCV), FeLV, and rabies virus (RV). Immediately on completion of surgery, vaccines that contained inactivated RV and FeLV antigens and either MLV or inactivated FPV, FHV, and FCV antigens were administered. Titers of antiviral antibodies (except those against FeLV) were assessed in serum samples obtained immediately prior to surgery and approximately 10 weeks later. Prior to vaccination, some of the cats had protective serum antibody titers against FPV (33%), FHV (21%), FCV (64%), and RV (3%). Following vaccination, the overall proportion of cats with protective serum antiviral antibody titers increased (FPV [90%], FHV [56%], FCV [93%], and RV [98%]). With the exception of the FHV vaccine, there were no differences in the proportions of cats protected with inactivated virus versus MLV vaccines. Results suggest that exposure to FPV, FHV, and FCV is common among feral cats and that a high proportion of cats are susceptible to RV infection. Feral cats appeared to have an excellent immune response following vaccination at the time of neutering. Incorporation of vaccination into trap-neuter-return programs is likely to protect the health of individual cats and possibly reduce the disease burden in the community.

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

    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

  2. Use of the anesthetic combination of tiletamine, zolazepam, ketamine, and xylazine for neutering feral cats.

    PubMed

    Williams, Lindsay S; Levy, Julie K; Robertson, Sheilah A; Cistola, Alexis M; Centonze, Lisa A

    2002-05-15

    To evaluate the use of the anesthetic combination tiletamine, zolazepam, ketamine, and xylazine (TKX) for anesthesia of feral cats at large-scale neutering clinics. Original study. 7,502 feral cats. Cats were trapped by their caretakers for a feral cat neutering program from July 1996 to August 2000. The anesthetic combination TKX was injected IM into cats while they remained in their traps. Each milliliter of TKX contained 50 mg of tiletamine, 50 mg of zolazepam, 80 mg of ketamine, and 20 mg of xylazine. Females were spayed by veterinarians, whereas males were castrated by veterinarians or veterinary students. Yohimbine (0.5 mg, IV) was administered at the end of the procedure. Logs were kept of the individual drug doses, signalment of the cats, and any complications encountered. These data were analyzed retrospectively (1996 to 1999) and prospectively (2000). Of the 5,766 cats for which dosing records were complete, 4,584 (79.5%) received a single dose of TKX. The mean initial dose of TKX was 0.24 +/- 0.04 ml/cat, and the total mean dose of TKX was 0.27 +/- 0.09 ml. Overall mortality rate was 0.35% (26/7,502) cats, and the death rate attributable solely to potential anesthetic deaths was 0.23% (17/7,502) cats. The use of TKX for large-scale feral cat neutering clinics has several benefits. The TKX combination is inexpensive, provides predictable results, can be administered quickly and easily in a small volume, and is associated with a low mortality rate in feral cats.

  3. Surveillance of feral cats for influenza A virus in North Central Florida

    PubMed Central

    Gordy, James T.; Jones, Cheryl A.; Rue, Joanne; Crawford, Patti Cynda; Levy, Julie K.; Stallknecht, David E.; Tripp, Ralph A.; Tompkins, Stephen M.

    2011-01-01

    Please cite this paper as: Gordy JT et al. (2012) Surveillance of feral cats for influenza A virus in North Central Florida. Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses 6(5), 341–347. Background  Transmission of highly pathogenic avian influenza and the recent pandemic H1N1 viruses to domestic cats and other felids creates concern because of the morbidity and mortality associated with human infections as well as disease in the infected animals. Experimental infections have demonstrated transmission of influenza viruses in cats. Objectives  An epidemiologic survey of feral cats was conducted to determine their exposure to influenza A virus. Methods  Feral cat sera and oropharyngeal and rectal swabs were collected from November 2008 through July 2010 in Alachua County, FL and were tested for evidence of influenza A virus infection by virus isolation, PCR, and serological assay. Results and conclusions  No virus was isolated from any of 927 cats examined using MDCK cell or embryonated chicken egg culture methods, nor was viral RNA detected by RT‐PCR in 200 samples tested. However, 0.43% of cats tested antibody positive for influenza A by commercial ELISA. These results suggest feral cats in this region are at minimal risk for influenza A virus infection. PMID:22212818

  4. 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

  5. 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

    2014-08-07

    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.

  6. 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.

  7. [Health status and causes of mortality in feral cats in a delimited area of the inner city of Berlin].

    PubMed

    Kalz, B; Scheibe, K M; Wegner, I; Priemer, J

    2000-01-01

    Results of the veterinary examination of feral cats living in a delimited area of Berlin city are presented. Between 1996 and 1999 thirty nine cats were investigated, among them eleven individuals twice. All animals were positive for one or several pathologies, but only seven cats were in bad condition. Most common were periodontal and gingival diseases, followed by conjunctivitis. Five cats were positive for FIV, seven for FeLV, one tomcat for both. Twenty six cats vanished during the study period of 42 months, only one third of cats survived and remained in the study area throughout. Four cats were given to pet lovers, nine cats disappeared without trace, seven animals died in traffic accidents and six cats died of illnesses. Cats less than three years of age vanished more often than expected from their representation in the population. Dirty or large feeding places for cats constitute a source of infections. Feeding sites should be accessible to only few individuals and left-overs that may attract stray cats, rats or birds should not remain at feeding places.

  8. Genetic diversity of Toxoplasma gondii isolates in Egyptian feral cats reveals new genotypes.

    PubMed

    Al-Kappany, Y M; Rajendran, C; Abu-Elwafa, S A; Hilali, M; Su, C; Dubey, J P

    2010-12-01

    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, 115 viable T. gondii isolates from tissues of cats from Egypt were genotyped using 10 PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism markers (SAG1, SAG2, SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, c22-8, c29-2, L358, PK1, and Apico) and DNA from tachyzoites. Seven genotypes were recognized including the clonal Type II, Type III (2 genotypes), and 4 atypical genotypes. Ninety percent (103 of 115) of isolates were clonal, i.e., Type II (n  =  61) and Type III (n  =  42) strains. Of the 61 Type II strains, all had the Type II alleles at all loci, except for 2 strains that had allele I at Apico. Eight isolates were divided into 4 atypical genotypes. One of these genotypes (with 4 isolates) was previously reported in dogs from Sri Lanka and in sand cats from the United Arab Emirates. Four isolates had mixed infections. These results revealed a strong clonal population structure with the dominance of clonal Type II and III lineages of T. gondii in feral cats from Egypt.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Seroprevalence of Coxiella burnetii in domesticated and feral cats in eastern Australia.

    PubMed

    Shapiro, Amanda J; Bosward, Katrina L; Heller, Jane; Norris, Jacqueline M

    2015-05-15

    The seroprevalence of Coxiella burnetii (C. burnetii) in cats in eastern Australia is unknown, and the risk of transmission from cats to humans is undetermined. This study aimed to determine the exposure of cats to C. burnetii in four distinct cat subpopulations. An indirect immunofluoresence assay (IFA) and an Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) used for detection of anti-C. burnetii antibodies in humans were adapted, verified for use on feline serum, and compared. Cat serum samples (n=712) were tested with IFA from four subpopulations [cattery-confined breeding cats, pet cats, feral cats and shelter cats]. The proportions of seropositive cats were; cattery-confined breeding cats (35/376, 9.3%), pets (2/198, 1%), feral cats (0/50), shelter cats (0/88). The significant variables in C. burnetii seropositivity were cattery-confined breeding cat subpopulation and sterilisation status, with infected cats 17.1 (CI 4.2-70.2; P<0.001) times more likely to be cattery-confined breeding cats and 6.00 (CI 2.13-16.89; P<0.001) times more likely to be entire than sterilised. ELISA was used on 143 of 712 sera tested with IFA, and the Cohen's Kappa coefficient of 0.75 indicated 92.2% agreement between the two assays. These results confirm that Australian cats have been exposed to C. burnetii and that a higher seroprevalence of C. burnetii is seen amongst cattery-confined breeding cats. Cat breeders and veterinary personnel involved in feline reproductive procedures may be at higher risk of exposure to C. burnetii.

  12. Leptospira Species in Feral Cats and Black Rats from Western Australia and Christmas Island.

    PubMed

    Dybing, Narelle A; Jacobson, Caroline; Irwin, Peter; Algar, David; Adams, Peter J

    2017-05-01

    Leptospirosis is a neglected, re-emerging bacterial disease with both zoonotic and conservation implications. Rats and livestock are considered the usual sources of human infection, but all mammalian species are capable of carrying Leptospira spp. and transmitting pathogenic leptospires in their urine, and uncertainty remains about the ecology and transmission dynamics of Leptospira in different regions. In light of a recent case of human leptospirosis on tropical Christmas Island, this study aimed to investigate the role of introduced animals (feral cats and black rats) as carriers of pathogenic Leptospira spp. on Christmas Island and to compare this with two different climatic regions of Western Australia (one island and one mainland). Kidney samples were collected from black rats (n = 68) and feral cats (n = 59) from Christmas Island, as well as feral cats from Dirk Hartog Island (n = 23) and southwest Western Australia (n = 59). Molecular (PCR) screening detected pathogenic leptospires in 42.4% (95% confidence interval 29.6-55.9) of cats and 2.9% (0.4-10.2) of rats from Christmas Island. Sequencing of cat- and rat-positive samples from Christmas Island showed 100% similarity for Leptospira interrogans. Pathogenic leptospires were not detected in cats from Dirk Hartog Island or southwest Western Australia. These findings were consistent with previous reports of higher Leptospira spp. prevalence in tropical regions compared with arid and temperate regions. Despite the abundance of black rats on Christmas Island, feral cats appear to be the more important reservoir species for the persistence of pathogenic L. interrogans on the island. This research highlights the importance of disease surveillance and feral animal management to effectively control potential disease transmission.

  13. Surveillance of feral cats for influenza A virus in north central Florida.

    PubMed

    Gordy, James T; Jones, Cheryl A; Rue, Joanne; Crawford, Patti Cynda; Levy, Julie K; Stallknecht, David E; Tripp, Ralph A; Tompkins, Stephen M

    2012-09-01

    Transmission of highly pathogenic avian influenza and the recent pandemic H1N1 viruses to domestic cats and other felids creates concern because of the morbidity and mortality associated with human infections as well as disease in the infected animals. Experimental infections have demonstrated transmission of influenza viruses in cats. An epidemiologic survey of feral cats was conducted to determine their exposure to influenza A virus. Feral cat sera and oropharyngeal and rectal swabs were collected from November 2008 through July 2010 in Alachua County, FL and were tested for evidence of influenza A virus infection by virus isolation, PCR, and serological assay. No virus was isolated from any of 927 cats examined using MDCK cell or embryonated chicken egg culture methods, nor was viral RNA detected by RT-PCR in 200 samples tested. However, 0.43% of cats tested antibody positive for influenza A by commercial ELISA. These results suggest feral cats in this region are at minimal risk for influenza A virus infection. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  14. Zoonotic helminths parasites in the digestive tract of feral dogs and cats in Guangxi, China.

    PubMed

    Fang, Fang; Li, Jian; Huang, Tengfei; Guillot, Jacques; Huang, Weiyi

    2015-08-16

    In Guangxi, a province of southern China, an important number of dogs and cats roam freely in rural settings, and the presence of these animals in proximity of people may represent a risk of parasitic zoonoses. The objective of the present study was to investigate the presence and identify gastrointestinal helminths in feral carnivores in Guangxi province. Therefore, post mortem examination was performed in 40 dogs and in 39 cats. The Gastrointestinal helminths were found in all the necropsied dogs and in 37 out of 39 cats. Fifteen species were identified including 7 trematodes, 3 cestodes and 5 nematodes. Most of them may be responsible for zoonotic infections. Major zoonotic gastrointestinal helminths, including liver and intestinal flukes, Toxocara spp., and Ancylostoma spp., are present in feral dogs and cats in Guangxi, and may represent a significant risk for public health.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Visceral helminth communities of an insular population of feral swine.

    PubMed

    Pence, D B; Warren, R J; Ford, C R

    1988-01-01

    Nine species of helminths, all nematodes, were recovered from the viscera of 48 feral swine (Sus scrofa) from Cumberland Island, Georgia. Both the overdispersed frequency distributions and the abundances of the four common species of helminths (Stephanurus dentatus, Metastrongylus apri, M. pudendotectus and Gongylonema pulchrum) did not vary significantly across the main and interactive effects of host sex and/or seasons. Whether or not the present low population densities of feral swine on Cumberland Island has influenced the pattern of fluctuations in abundances of helminth species across seasons as often observed in helminth communities from other hosts was not resolved. The apparent recent decline in prevalences and abundances, and the loss of certain species from the helminth communities of feral swine on the island may be explained partially by the decreasing transmission potentials of direct life cycle species caused by a recent marked reduction of numbers of individuals in the host population. Conversely, the apparent increased prevalence and abundance of three species of helminths (S. dentatus, M. apri and M. pudendotectus) may be related to their common utilization of earthworms as paratenic or intermediate hosts. Gongylonema pulchrum was the only helminth in which abundances seemed to remain unchanged. This was the only species that was not strictly host specific to feral swine. We found no evidence that helminth infections were responsible for morbidity or mortality in this feral swine population.

  19. 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.

  20. Infection status with helminthes in feral cats purchased from a market in Busan, Republic of Korea.

    PubMed

    Sohn, Woon Mok; Chai, Jong Yil

    2005-09-01

    The present study was performed to investigate the infection status with helminth in a group of feral cats in Korea. More than 29 helminth species including adults or eggs were detected in visceral and fecal samples of the examined cats. Among these were a host of nematodes, including toxocarids, Ancylostoma sp. and the larva of Anisakis simplex; trematodes, including Clonorchis sinensis, Paragonimus westermani, Eurytrema pancreaticum, Pharyngostomum cordatum, Metagonimus spp., Heterophyes nocens, Pygidiopsis summa, Heterophyopsis continua, Stictodora fuscata, Stictodora lari, Acanthotrema felis, Stellantchasmus falcatus, Centrocestus armatus, Procerovum varium, Cryptocotyle sp., Echinostoma revolutum, Echinostoma hortense, Echinochasmus japonicus, Stephanoprora sp., Plagiorchis muris, Neodiplostomum sp. and diplostomulum. We also detected a variety of cestodes, including Spirometra erinacei, Taenia taeniaeformis and unidentified species of tapeworm. We also found examples of the acanthocephalan, Bolbosoma sp. In our assessment of the stools, we detected at least 12 species of helminth eggs. These findings confirmed that feral cats in Korea are infected with a variety of helminth parasite species. Furthermore, among the helminths detected, E. pancreaticum, S. fuscata, S. lari, A. felis, S. falcatus, C. armatus, P. varium, Cryptocotyle sp., E. revolutum, E. japonicus, Stephanoprora sp., P. muris, Neodiplostomum sp. and Bolbosoma sp. represent helminth fauna which have not been reported previously in feral cats in the Republic of Korea.

  1. Infection status with helminthes in feral cats purchased from a market in Busan, Republic of Korea

    PubMed Central

    Chai, Jong-Yil

    2005-01-01

    The present study was performed to investigate the infection status with helminth in a group of feral cats in Korea. More than 29 helminth species including adults or eggs were detected in visceral and fecal samples of the examined cats. Among these were a host of nematodes, including toxocarids, Ancylostoma sp. and the larva of Anisakis simplex; trematodes, including Clonorchis sinensis, Paragonimus westermani, Eurytrema pancreaticum, Pharyngostomum cordatum, Metagonimus spp., Heterophyes nocens, Pygidiopsis summa, Heterophyopsis continua, Stictodora fuscata, Stictodora lari, Acanthotrema felis, Stellantchasmus falcatus, Centrocestus armatus, Procerovum varium, Cryptocotyle sp., Echinostoma revolutum, Echinostoma hortense, Echinochasmus japonicus, Stephanoprora sp., Plagiorchis muris, Neodiplostomum sp. and diplostomulum. We also detected a variety of cestodes, including Spirometra erinacei, Taenia taeniaeformis and unidentified species of tapeworm. We also found examples of the acanthocephalan, Bolbosoma sp. In our assessment of the stools, we detected at least 12 species of helminth eggs. These findings confirmed that feral cats in Korea are infected with a variety of helminth parasite species. Furthermore, among the helminths detected, E. pancreaticum, S. fuscata, S. lari, A. felis, S. falcatus, C. armatus, P. varium, Cryptocotyle sp., E. revolutum, E. japonicus, Stephanoprora sp., P. muris, Neodiplostomum sp. and Bolbosoma sp. represent helminth fauna which have not been reported previously in feral cats in the Republic of Korea. PMID:16192750

  2. Molecular differentiation of commercial varieties and feral populations of oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.)

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background For assessing the risk of escape of transgenes from cultivation, the persistence of feral populations of crop plants is an important aspect. Feral populations of oilseed rape, Brassica napus, are well known, but only scarce information is available on their population dynamics, particularly in Central Europe. To investigate genetic diversity, origin and persistence of feral oilseed rape in Austria, we compared variation at nine polymorphic microsatellite loci in eight feral populations with 19 commercial varieties. Results Overall, commercial varieties and feral populations showed a similar pattern of genetic variation and a similar level of observed heterozygosity. The two groups, however, shared less than 50% of the alleles and no multilocus genotype. A significant among-group (commercial varieties versus feral populations) component of genetic variation was observed (AMOVA: FCT = 0.132). Pairwise comparisons between varieties and feral populations showed moderate to very high genetic differentiation (FST = 0.209 - 0.900). The software STRUCTURE also demonstrated a clear separation between commercial varieties and feral samples: out of 17 identified genetic clusters, only one comprised plants from both a commercial variety and feral sites. Conclusions The results suggest that feral oilseed rape is able to maintain persistent populations. The feral populations may have derived from older cultivars that were not included in our analyses or perhaps have already hybridised with related crops or wild relatives. Feral populations therefore have to be considered in ecological risk assessment and future coexistence measures as a potential hybridisation partner of transgenic oilseed rape. PMID:20193061

  3. 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.

  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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Estimation of the dietary nutrient profile of free-roaming feral cats: possible implications for nutrition of domestic cats.

    PubMed

    Plantinga, Esther A; Bosch, Guido; Hendriks, Wouter H

    2011-10-01

    Cats are strict carnivores and in the wild rely on a diet solely based on animal tissues to meet their specific and unique nutritional requirements. Although the feeding ecology of cats in the wild has been well documented in the literature, there is no information on the precise nutrient profile to which the cat's metabolism has adapted. The present study aimed to derive the dietary nutrient profile of free-living cats. Studies reporting the feeding habits of cats in the wild were reviewed and data on the nutrient composition of the consumed prey items obtained from the literature. Fifty-five studies reported feeding strategy data of cats in the wild. After specific exclusion criteria, twenty-seven studies were used to derive thirty individual dietary nutrient profiles. The results show that feral cats are obligatory carnivores, with their daily energy intake from crude protein being 52 %, from crude fat 46 % and from N-free extract only 2 %. Minerals and trace elements are consumed in relatively high concentrations compared with recommended allowances determined using empirical methods. The calculated nutrient profile may be considered the nutrient intake to which the cat's metabolic system has adapted. The present study provides insight into the nutritive, as well as possible non-nutritive aspects of a natural diet of whole prey for cats and provides novel ways to further improve feline diets to increase health and longevity.

  8. Time and financial costs of programs for live trapping feral cats.

    PubMed

    Nutter, Felicia B; Stoskopf, Michael K; Levine, Jay F

    2004-11-01

    To determine the time and financial costs of programs for live trapping feral cats and determine whether allowing cats to become acclimated to the traps improved trapping effectiveness. Prospective cohort study. 107 feral cats in 9 colonies. 15 traps were set at each colony for 5 consecutive nights, and 5 traps were then set per night until trapping was complete. In 4 colonies, traps were immediately baited and set; in the remaining 5 colonies, traps were left open and cats were fed in the traps for 3 days prior to the initiation of trapping. Costs for bait and labor were calculated, and trapping effort and efficiency were assessed. Mean +/- SD overall trapping effort (ie, number of trap-nights until at least 90% of the cats in the colony had been captured or until no more than 1 cat remained untrapped) was 8.9 +/- 3.9 trap-nights per cat captured. Mean overall trapping efficiency (ie, percentage of cats captured per colony) was 98.0 +/- 4.0%. There were no significant differences in trapping effort or efficiency between colonies that were provided an acclimation period and colonies that were not. Overall trapping costs were significantly higher for colonies provided an acclimation period. Results suggest that these live-trapping protocols were effective. Feeding cats their regular diets in the traps for 3 days prior to the initiation of trapping did not have a significant effect on trapping effort or efficiency in the present study but was associated with significant increases in trapping costs.

  9. Genetic diversity of Toxoplasma gondii isolates from Ethiopian feral cats.

    PubMed

    Dubey, J P; Choudhary, S; Tilahun, G; Tiao, N; Gebreyes, W A; Zou, X; Su, C

    2013-09-01

    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 bioassays in mice from tissues and feces of 27 cats from Ethiopia. Viable T. gondii was isolated from hearts of 26 cats, feces alone of 1 cat, and feces and tissues of 6 cats; in total there were 33 isolates. Genotyping was performed on DNA from cell-cultured derived T. gondii tachyzoites and by using 10 PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism markers (SAG1, SAG2, SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, c22-8, c29-2, L358, PK1, and Apico). Four genotypes were recognized, including ToxoDB #1 (Type II clonal, nine isolates), ToxoDB #2 (Type III, five isolates), Toxo DB #3 (Type II variant, ten isolates), and ToxoDB #20 (nine isolates). Of interest is the isolation of different genotypes from tissues and feces of two cats, suggesting re-infection or mixed strain T. gondii infection. These findings are of epidemiological significance with respect to shedding of oocysts by cats. This is the first report of genotyping of T. gondii from any host in Ethiopia. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  10. Epidemiology of Sarcocystis neurona infections in domestic cats (Felis domesticus) and its association with equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM) case farms and feral cats from a mobile spay and neuter clinic.

    PubMed

    Stanek, J F; Stich, R W; Dubey, J P; Reed, S M; Njoku, C J; Lindsay, D S; Schmall, L M; Johnson, G K; LaFave, B M; Saville, W J A

    2003-11-28

    Equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM) is a serious neurologic disease in the horse most commonly caused by Sarcocystis neurona. The domestic cat (Felis domesticus) is an intermediate host for S. neurona. In the present study, nine farms, known to have prior clinically diagnosed cases of EPM and a resident cat population were identified and sampled accordingly. In addition to the farm cats sampled, samples were also collected from a mobile spay and neuter clinic. Overall, serum samples were collected in 2001 from 310 cats, with samples including barn, feral and inside/outside cats. Of these 310 samples, 35 were from nine horse farms. Horse serum samples were also collected and traps were set for opossums at each of the farms. The S. neurona direct agglutination test (SAT) was used for both the horse and cat serum samples (1:25 dilution). Fourteen of 35 (40%) cats sampled from horse farms had circulating S. neurona agglutinating antibodies. Twenty-seven of the 275 (10%) cats from the spay/neuter clinic also had detectable S. neurona antibodies. Overall, 115 of 123 (93%) horses tested positive for anti-S. neurona antibodies, with each farm having greater than a 75% exposure rate among sampled horses. Twenty-one opossums were trapped on seven of the nine farms. Eleven opossums had Sarcocystis sp. sporocysts, six of them were identified as S. neurona sporocysts based on bioassays in gamma-interferon gene knockout mice with each opossum representing a different farm. Demonstration of S. neurona agglutinating antibodies in domestic and feral cats corroborates previous research demonstrating feral cats to be naturally infected, and also suggests that cats can be frequently infected with S. neurona and serve as one of several natural intermediate hosts for S. neurona.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Diet patterns of island foxes on San Nicolas Island relative to feral cat removal

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cypher, Brian L.; Kelly, Erica C.; Ferrara, Francesca J.; Drost, Charles A.; Westall, Tory L.; Hudgens, Brian

    2017-01-01

    Island foxes (Urocyon littoralis) are a species of conservation concern that occur on six of the Channel Islands off the coast of southern California. We analysed island fox diet on San Nicolas Island during 2006–12 to assess the influence of the removal of feral cats (Felis catus) on the food use by foxes. Our objective was to determine whether fox diet patterns shifted in response to the cat removal conducted during 2009–10, thus indicating that cats were competing with foxes for food items. We also examined the influence of annual precipitation patterns and fox abundance on fox diet. On the basis of an analysis of 1975 fox scats, use of vertebrate prey – deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus), birds, and lizards – increased significantly during and after the complete removal of cats (n = 66) from the island. Deer mouse abundance increased markedly during and after cat removal and use of mice by foxes was significantly related to mouse abundance. The increase in mice and shift in item use by the foxes was consistent with a reduction in exploitative competition associated with the cat removal. However, fox abundance declined markedly coincident with the removal of cats and deer mouse abundance was negatively related to fox numbers. Also, annual precipitation increased markedly during and after cat removal and deer mouse abundance closely tracked precipitation. Thus, our results indicate that other confounding factors, particularly precipitation, may have had a greater influence on fox diet patterns.

  14. 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.

  15. A survey of the methods used in shelter and rescue programs to identify feral and frightened pet cats.

    PubMed

    Slater, Margaret R; Miller, Katherine A; Weiss, Emily; Makolinski, Kathleen V; Weisbrot, Lila A M

    2010-08-01

    Despite the lack of validated methods for differentiating feral from frightened socialized cats upon intake to animal welfare agencies, these organizations must make handling and disposition decisions for millions of cats each year based on their presumed socialization status. We conducted a nationwide survey of feline welfare stakeholders to learn about methods used to evaluate and categorize incoming cats, amount of time cats are held before assessment, disposition options available, and the level of cooperation among welfare agencies to minimize euthanasia of ferals. A wide variety of assessment methods were described and only 15% of 555 respondents had written guidelines. Holding periods of 1-3 days were common, and cats deemed feral were often euthanased. About half the shelters transferred ferals to trap-neuter-return (TNR) programs at least occasionally. Results highlight the need for validated assessment methods to facilitate judicious holding and disposition decisions for unowned cats at time of intake. Copyright 2010 ISFM and AAFP. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  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. © Crown copyright 2016.

  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.

  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. Molecular detection of severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus (SFTSV) in feral cats from Seoul, Korea.

    PubMed

    Hwang, Jusun; Kang, Jun-Gu; Oh, Sung-Suck; Chae, Jeong-Byoung; Cho, Yun-Kyung; Cho, Young-Sun; Lee, Hang; Chae, Joon-Seok

    2017-01-01

    This study tested serum samples of feral cats from a highly urbanized habitat, Seoul, Korea to determine the infection to severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus (SFTSV). From 126 samples tested, SFTSV was detected by RT-PCR in 22 (17.5%) cats from various sites of Seoul. Sequences identified from this study were grouped with clusters from China and Japan. Our result provides data that SFTSV may have been circulating in settings that were suspected to have relatively low risk, such as highly urbanized habitats. Thus it warrants further study to investigate the ecology of SFTSV in urban-dwelling animals including ticks, human and other potential host species. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  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. Virological Survey in free-ranging wildcats (Felis silvestris) and feral domestic cats in Portugal.

    PubMed

    Duarte, A; Fernandes, M; Santos, N; Tavares, L

    2012-08-17

    To determine the presence of viral pathogens in natural areas a survey was conducted on an opportunistic sample of fifty eight wild (Felis silvestris silvestris) and feral cats (F. s. catus). The biological materials included serum, lung tissue extract and stool. Feline leukemia virus p27 antigen was detected in 13/50 serum/lung tissue extract samples (26%), canine distemper virus antibodies were detected in 2/26 serum/lung tissue extract samples (7.7%), feline coronavirus RNA was present in 6/29 stool samples (20.7%) and feline parvovirus DNA in 2/29 stool samples (6.9%). Canine distemper virus RNA was not detected. Feline immunodeficiency virus and feline coronavirus antibodies were not detected. Evidence of exposure to feline leukemia virus, canine distemper virus, feline coronavirus and feline parvovirus was found in wild and feral cats raising the importance of performing a comprehensive survey to correctly evaluate the potential threat of infectious diseases to endangered species, namely to the wildcat and to the Iberian lynx, which is meant to be reintroduced after 2012 in Portugal.

  2. 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.

    PubMed

    Dubey, J P; Moura, L; Majumdar, D; Sundar, N; Velmurugan, G V; Kwok, O C H; Kelly, P; Krecek, R C; Su, C

    2009-05-01

    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. gondii were assayed by the modified agglutination test, and found in 71 of 96 (73.9%) of cats with titres of 1:10 in six, 1: 20 in six,1:40 in seven,1: 80 in three, 1: 160 in 10, 1:320 in 13, 1:640 in nine, and 1:1,280 or higher in 17. Tissues of 10 cats were bio-assayed in mice. Toxoplasma gondii was isolated from tissues of 7 cats; from hearts of 6, from tongue of 5, and brains of 3 cats. All 7 isolates were avirulent for mice. Toxoplasma gondii oocysts were not found in the feces of 51 cats. Genotyping of these 7 T. gondii isolates by 10 multi-locus PCR-RFLP markers, including SAG1, SAG2, SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, c22-8, c29-2, L358, PK1, and an apicoplast marker, Apico, revealed 4 genotypes, including clonal Type II, Type III and 2 unique genotypes. Five of the 7 cats had infection with 2 genotypes, indicating high frequency of mixed infection in the cat population on the St Kitts island.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

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

    PubMed

    Millán, Javier; Cabezón, Oscar; Pabón, Marcela; Dubey, J P; Almería, Sonia

    2009-11-12

    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 traps during authorized predator control campaigns in Majorca, Balearic Islands, Spain. Antibodies to T. gondii assayed by the modified agglutination test (MAT) were found in 50 (84.7%) of 59 cats with MAT titers of 1:25 in one cat, 1:200 in four cats, 1:500 in seven cats, 1:1000 in nine cats, and >or=1:2000 in 29 cats. Seroprevalence (MAT, 1:25 or more) was significantly higher in adults (94.6%) than in juveniles (<6 months old; 40.0%). Seroprevalence to N. caninum, assayed by cELISA (VMRD) and confirmed by an indirect fluorescent antibody test, was low (6.8%, 4 of 59). The prevalence of T. gondii observed in wild cats in Majorca is one of the highest reported worldwide in this species and the highest observed in Europe to date. The results suggest that feral cats in Majorca have a high rate of T. gondii infection with important implications for public health on the island since the seropositive cats are likely to have already shed T. gondii oocysts in the environment.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Platynosomum fastosum-induced chronic intrahepatic cholangitis and Spirometra spp. infections in feral cats from Grand Cayman.

    PubMed

    Headley, S A; Gillen, M A; Sanches, A W D; Satti, M Z

    2012-06-01

    The occurrence of platynosomiasis and intestinal sparganosis is described in feral cats from Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands. Spirometra spp. was observed within the intestine of 18.18% (10/55) of cats; 1.18% (1/55) of cats demonstrated gross and histological manifestation of parasitism by Platynosomum fastosum, but 14.5% (8/55) of cats had the characteristic pathological manifestations of P. fastosum-induced intrahepatic cholangitis without the concomitant presence of the intraductal trematode. Combined parasitism (Spirometra spp. and P. fastosum) was observed in 9.09% (5/55) of feral cats. Significant pathological findings were only associated with the hepatic fluke, P. fastosum, and were grossly characterized by moderate hepatomegaly with enlarged and dilated bile ducts. Examples of cestodes with morphological features characteristic of Spirometra spp. were observed within the small intestine without any associated pathological lesion. The histopathological evaluation of liver fragments revealed chronic intrahepatic cholangitis with and without the associated intraductal trematode, and was characterized by marked periductal fibrosis, adenomatous proliferation of bile duct epithelium, dilation of intrahepatic bile ducts and portal accumulations of inflammatory cells. The occurrence of the cestode in feral cats coupled with factors that are unique to Grand Cayman makes this island the ideal location for sporadic cases of human sparganosis.

  8. 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.

  9. Epidemiology of Feline Foamy Virus and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus Infections in Domestic and Feral Cats: a Seroepidemiological Study

    PubMed Central

    Winkler, I. G.; Löchelt, M.; Flower, R. L. P.

    1999-01-01

    Although foamy viruses (Spumaviruses) have repeatedly been isolated from both healthy and diseased cats, cattle, and primates, the primary mode of transmission of those common viruses remains undefined. A database of the feline foamy virus (FeFV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) antibody status, age, and sex of 389 domestic cats presented to veterinarians was assembled. A similar database for 66 feral (wild) cats was also assembled. That FeFV antibody status reflects infection was validated by PCR. Both FeFV and FIV infection rates were found to gradually increase with age, and over 70% of cats older than 9 years were seropositive for FeFV. In domestic cats, the prevalence of FeFV infection was similar in both sexes. In feral cats, FeFV infection was more prevalent in female cats than in male cats. Although both FeFV and FIV have been reported to be transmitted by biting, the patterns of infection observed are more consistent with an interpretation that transmission of these two retroviruses is not the same. The prevalence of FIV infection is highest in nondesexed male cats, the animals most likely to display aggressive behavior. The gradual increase in the proportion of FeFV-infected animals is consistent with transmission of foamy viruses by intimate social contact between animals and less commonly by aggressive behavior. PMID:10449463

  10. Infection to pathogens with different transmission modes in feral cats from urban and rural areas of Korea.

    PubMed

    Hwang, Jusun; Gottdenker, Nicole; Oh, Dae-Hyun; Lee, Hang; Chun, Myung-Sun

    2017-04-06

    In this study, we examine the prevalence of three infectious pathogens with different transmission modes (Bartonella henselae, hemoplasma and Toxoplasma gondii) in feral cats (Felis catus) from two unique habitat types, urban and rural. We determined the infection status of three pathogens in blood samples (total N=117) through molecular or serological diagnostic methods. Overall prevalence of hemoplasma, T. gondii and B. henselae was 47.9%, 50% and 35.7%, respectively. Only seroprevalence of B. henselae was significantly higher in urban cats. From this result, we discuss how pathogens with distinct transmission modes may show different prevalence between urban and rural habitat types.

  11. COMPANION ANIMALS SYMPOSIUM: Sustainable Ecosystems: Domestic cats and their effect on wildlife populations.

    PubMed

    Kitts-Morgan, S E

    2015-03-01

    Domestic cats are estimated to kill billions of small mammals and birds each year. In certain areas of the world, it is not uncommon for either feral or free-ranging cats to have high population densities, creating concern regarding their level of hunting. Many cats are considered to be subsidized predators, as they receive care and food from humans. Arguments abound regarding the presence of cats in the habitats of native small mammals and birds and whether or not local ecosystems can sustain this predator-prey relationship. The effects of cats on native wildlife can depend on several factors, including cat classification (feral vs. free ranging vs. indoor-outdoor), geographical location (islands vs. mainland), and type of habitat (rural vs. suburban vs. urban). Feral and free-ranging cats may have a greater impact on native species on islands because habitat is severely limited. Continued urbanization and development of rural areas also creates fragmented habitats, and native species may struggle to survive with the added pressure of hunting by domestic cats. Additionally, cats in rural areas are frequently fed by humans, which can support high population densities and intensify pressure on native species. Species targeted by cats may also vary based on prey availability in different areas, but small mammals are generally preferred over birds, reptiles, or invertebrates. Domestic cats certainly have the potential to roam and hunt in very large areas inhabited by native species and loss of biodiversity is a major concern. Therefore, it is possible that ecosystems may not be able to sustain hunting by domestic cats. Because this predator-prey relationship is probably not sustainable, it is necessary to responsibly manage outdoor domestic cats.

  12. Intestinal helminth infections in feral cats and a raccoon dog on Aphaedo Island, Shinan-gun, with a special note on Gymnophalloides seoi infection in cats.

    PubMed

    Shin, Eun-Hee; Park, Jae-Hwan; Guk, Sang-Mee; Kim, Jae-Lip; Chai, Jong-Yil

    2009-06-01

    Four feral cats and a raccoon dog purchased from a local collector on Aphaedo Island, Shinan-gun, where human Gymnophalloides seoi infections are known to be prevalent, were examined for their intestinal helminth parasites. From 2 of 4 cats, a total of 310 adult G. seoi specimens were recovered. Other helminths detected in cats included Heterophyes nocens (1,527 specimens), Pygidiopsis summa (131), Stictodora fuscata (4), Acanthotrema felis (2), Spirometra erinacei (15), toxocarids (4), and a hookworm (1). A raccoon dog was found to be infected with a species of echinostome (55), hookworms (7), toxocarids (3), P. summa (3), and S. erinacei (1). No G. seoi was found in the raccoon dog. The results indicate that feral cats and raccoon dogs on Aphaedo are natural definitive hosts for intestinal trematodes and cestodes, including G. seoi, H. nocens, and S. erinacei. It has been first confirmed that cats, a mammalian species other than humans, play the role of a natural definitive host for G. seoi on Aphaedo Island.

  13. Intestinal Helminth Infections in Feral Cats and a Raccoon Dog on Aphaedo Island, Shinan-gun, with a Special Note on Gymnophalloides seoi Infection in Cats

    PubMed Central

    Shin, Eun-Hee; Park, Jae-Hwan; Guk, Sang-Mee; Kim, Jae-Lip

    2009-01-01

    Four feral cats and a raccoon dog purchased from a local collector on Aphaedo Island, Shinan-gun, where human Gymnophalloides seoi infections are known to be prevalent, were examined for their intestinal helminth parasites. From 2 of 4 cats, a total of 310 adult G. seoi specimens were recovered. Other helminths detected in cats included Heterophyes nocens (1,527 specimens), Pygidiopsis summa (131), Stictodora fuscata (4), Acanthotrema felis (2), Spirometra erinacei (15), toxocarids (4), and a hookworm (1). A raccoon dog was found to be infected with a species of echinostome (55), hookworms (7), toxocarids (3), P. summa (3), and S. erinacei (1). No G. seoi was found in the raccoon dog. The results indicate that feral cats and raccoon dogs on Aphaedo are natural definitive hosts for intestinal trematodes and cestodes, including G. seoi, H. nocens, and S. erinacei. It has been first confirmed that cats, a mammalian species other than humans, play the role of a natural definitive host for G. seoi on Aphaedo Island. PMID:19488429

  14. Spatially structured population dynamics in feral oilseed rape.

    PubMed Central

    Crawley, Michael J.; Brown, Susan L.

    2004-01-01

    We studied the population dynamics of feral oilseed rape (Brassica napus) for 10 years (1993-2002) in 3658 adjacent permanent 100 m quadrats in the verges of the M25 motorway around London, UK. The aim was to determine the relative importance of different factors affecting the observed temporal patterns of population dynamics and their spatial correlations. A wide range of population dynamics was observed (downward or upward trends, cycles, local extinctions and recolonizations), but overall the populations were not self-replacing (lambda < 1). Many quadrats remained unoccupied throughout the study period, but a few were occupied at high densities for all 10 years. Most quadrats showed transient oilseed rape populations, lasting 1-4 years. There were strong spatial patterns in mean population density, associated with soil conditions and the successional age of the plant community dominating the verge, and these large-scale spatial patterns were highly consistent from year to year. The importance of seed spilled from trucks in transit to the processing plant at Erith in Kent was confirmed: rape populations were significantly higher on the 'to Erith' verge than the 'from Erith' verge (overall mean 2.83-fold greater stem density). Quadrats in which lambda > 1 were much more frequent in the 'to Erith' verge, indicating that seed immigration can give the spurious impression of self-replacing population dynamics in time-series analysis. There was little evidence of a pervasive Moran effect, and climatic forcing did not produce widespread large-scale synchrony in population dynamics for the motorway as a whole; just 23% of quadrats had significant rank correlations with the mean time-series. There was, however, significant local spatial synchrony of population dynamics, apparently associated with soil disturbance and seed input. This study draws attention to the possibility that different processes may impose population synchrony at different scales. We hypothesize that

  15. A description of mature Oncicola venezuelensis (Acanthocephala: Oligacanthorhynchidae) from a feral house cat in the U. S. Virgin Islands.

    PubMed

    Fuller, Claire A; Nickol, Brent B

    2011-12-01

    A road-killed feral house cat from the U.S. Virgin Islands was parasitized by 87 acanthocephalans of the species Oncicola venezuelensis Marteau, 1977. The finding allowed for the documentation of a suitable definitive host for the species in the Virgin Islands and permits a more comprehensive description of the species, including the first of fully mature adults and completely formed eggs. Sexually mature males from the cat were 6.5-8.4 (8.0) mm long; gravid females were 13.2-18.3 (15.5) mm long. Fully formed eggs dissected from the trunk of females were 67-72 (69) µm long by 43-50 (47) µm wide. The life cycle of O. venezuelensis in the Virgin Islands is now apparent, i.e., termites serve as intermediate hosts, lizards and birds as paratenic hosts, and domestic cats as definitive hosts. Extra-intestinal infections in mongooses are likely incidental.

  16. 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

  17. 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. © 2013 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  18. Rabies Prevention and Management of Cats in the Context of Trap, Neuter, Vaccinate, Release Programs

    PubMed Central

    Roebling, Allison D.; Johnson, Dana; Blanton, Jesse D.; Levin, Michael; Slate, Dennis; Fenwick, George; Rupprecht, Charles E.

    2016-01-01

    Summary 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) programs 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 postexposure 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 programs 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

  19. Contraceptive vaccines for the humane control of community cat populations.

    PubMed

    Levy, Julie K

    2011-07-01

    Free-roaming unowned stray and feral cats exist throughout the world, creating concerns regarding their welfare as well as their impact on the environment and on public health. Millions of healthy cats are culled each year in an attempt to control their numbers. Surgical sterilization followed by return to the environment is an effective non-lethal population control method but is limited in scope because of expense and logistical impediments. Immunocontraception has the potential to be a more practical and cost-effective method of control. This is a review of current research in immunocontraception in domestic cats. Functional characteristics of an ideal immunocontraceptive for community cats would include a wide margin of safety for target animals and the environment, rapid onset and long duration of activity following a single treatment in males and females of all ages, and sex hormone inhibition. In addition, product characteristics should include stability and ease of use under field conditions, efficient manufacturing process, and low cost to the user. Two reproductive antigens, zona pellucida and GnRH, have been identified as possible targets for fertility control in cats. Zona pellucida, which is used successfully in multiple wildlife species, has achieved little success in cats. In contrast, immunization against GnRH has resulted in long-term contraception in both male and female cats following a single dose. GnRH is an ideal contraceptive target because it regulates pituitary and gonadal hormone responses in both males and females, thus suppressing nuisance behaviors associated with sex hormones in addition to preventing pregnancy. The responsiveness of cats to fertility control via GnRH suppression should encourage researchers and cat control stakeholders to continue efforts to optimize vaccines that induce multiyear contraception following a single dose in a high proportion of treated cats. © 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

  20. Contraceptive vaccines for the humane control of community cat populations

    PubMed Central

    Levy, Julie K.

    2011-01-01

    Problem Free-roaming unowned stray and feral cats exist throughout the world, creating concerns regarding their welfare as well as their impact on the environment on public health. Millions of healthy cats are culled each year in an attempt to control their numbers. Surgical sterilization followed by return to the environment is an effective nonlethal population control method but is limited in scope due to expense and logistical impediments. Immunocontraception has the potential to be a more practical and cost-effective method of control. Method of study This is a review of current research in immunocontraception in domestic cats. Functional characteristics of an ideal immunocontraceptive for community cats would include a wide margin of safety for target animals and the environment, rapid onset and long duration of activity following a single treatment in males and females of all ages, and sex hormone inhibition. In addition, product characteristics should include stability and ease of use under field conditions, efficient manufacturing process, and low cost to the user. Two reproductive antigens, zona pellucida and GnRH, have been identified as possible targets for fertility control in cats. Results Zona pellucida, which is used successfully in multiple wildlife species, has achieved little success in cats. In contrast, immunization against GnRH has resulted in long-term contraception in both male and female cats following a single dose. GnRH is an ideal contraceptive target because it regulates pituitary and gonadal hormone responses in both males and females, thus suppressing nuisance behaviors associated with sex hormones in addition to preventing pregnancy. Conclusion The responsiveness of cats to fertility control via GnRH suppression should encourage researchers and cat control stakeholders to continue efforts to optimize vaccines that induce multi-year contraception following a single dose in a high proportion of treated cats. PMID:21501281

  1. Mesopredator Management: Effects of Red Fox Control on the Abundance, Diet and Use of Space by Feral Cats

    PubMed Central

    Molsher, Robyn; Newsome, Thomas M.; Dickman, Christopher R.

    2017-01-01

    Apex predators are subject to lethal control in many parts of the world to minimize their impacts on human industries and livelihoods. Diverse communities of smaller predators—mesopredators—often remain after apex predator removal. Despite concern that these mesopredators may be 'released' in the absence of the apex predator and exert negative effects on each other and on co-occurring prey, these interactions have been little studied. Here, we investigate the potential effects of competition and intraguild predation between red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and feral cats (Felis catus) in south-eastern Australia where the apex predator, the dingo (Canis dingo), has been extirpated by humans. We predicted that the larger fox would dominate the cat in encounters, and used a fox-removal experiment to assess whether foxes affect cat abundance, diet, home-range and habitat use. Our results provide little indication that intraguild predation occurred or that cats responded numerically to the fox removal, but suggest that the fox affects some aspects of cat resource use. In particular, where foxes were removed cats increased their consumption of invertebrates and carrion, decreased their home range size and foraged more in open habitats. Fox control takes place over large areas of Australia to protect threatened native species and agricultural interests. Our results suggest that fox control programmes could lead to changes in the way that cats interact with co-occurring prey, and that some prey may become more vulnerable to cat predation in open habitats after foxes have been removed. Moreover, with intensive and more sustained fox control it is possible that cats could respond numerically and alter their behaviour in different ways to those documented herein. Such outcomes need to be considered when estimating the indirect impacts of fox control. We conclude that novel approaches are urgently required to control invasive mesopredators at the same time, especially in areas

  2. Mesopredator Management: Effects of Red Fox Control on the Abundance, Diet and Use of Space by Feral Cats.

    PubMed

    Molsher, Robyn; Newsome, Alan E; Newsome, Thomas M; Dickman, Christopher R

    2017-01-01

    Apex predators are subject to lethal control in many parts of the world to minimize their impacts on human industries and livelihoods. Diverse communities of smaller predators-mesopredators-often remain after apex predator removal. Despite concern that these mesopredators may be 'released' in the absence of the apex predator and exert negative effects on each other and on co-occurring prey, these interactions have been little studied. Here, we investigate the potential effects of competition and intraguild predation between red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and feral cats (Felis catus) in south-eastern Australia where the apex predator, the dingo (Canis dingo), has been extirpated by humans. We predicted that the larger fox would dominate the cat in encounters, and used a fox-removal experiment to assess whether foxes affect cat abundance, diet, home-range and habitat use. Our results provide little indication that intraguild predation occurred or that cats responded numerically to the fox removal, but suggest that the fox affects some aspects of cat resource use. In particular, where foxes were removed cats increased their consumption of invertebrates and carrion, decreased their home range size and foraged more in open habitats. Fox control takes place over large areas of Australia to protect threatened native species and agricultural interests. Our results suggest that fox control programmes could lead to changes in the way that cats interact with co-occurring prey, and that some prey may become more vulnerable to cat predation in open habitats after foxes have been removed. Moreover, with intensive and more sustained fox control it is possible that cats could respond numerically and alter their behaviour in different ways to those documented herein. Such outcomes need to be considered when estimating the indirect impacts of fox control. We conclude that novel approaches are urgently required to control invasive mesopredators at the same time, especially in areas where

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Toxoplasmosis in prey species and consequences for prevalence in feral cats: not all prey species are equal.

    PubMed

    Afonso, E; Thulliez, P; Pontier, D; Gilot-Fromont, E

    2007-12-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is largely transmitted to definitive felid hosts through predation. Not all prey species represent identical risks of infection for cats because of differences in prey susceptibility, exposure and/or lifespan. Previously published studies have shown that prevalence in rodent and lagomorph species is positively correlated with body mass. We tested the hypothesis that different prey species have different infection risks by comparing infection dynamics of feral cats at 4 sites in the sub-Antarctic Kerguelen archipelago which differed in prey availability. Cats were trapped from 1994 to 2004 and anti-T. gondii IgG antibodies were detected using the modified agglutination test (> or =1:40). Overall seroprevalence was 51.09%. Antibody prevalence differed between sites, depending on diet and also on sex, after taking into account the effect of age. Males were more often infected than females and the difference between the sexes tended to be more pronounced in the site where more prey species were available. A difference in predation efficiency between male and female cats may explain this result. Overall, our results suggest that the composition of prey items in cat diet influences the risk of T. gondii infection. Prey compositon should therefore be considered important in any understanding of infection dynamics of T. gondii.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Anesthetic and physiologic effects of tiletamine, zolazepam, ketamine, and xylazine combination (TKX) in feral cats undergoing surgical sterilization.

    PubMed

    Cistola, Alexis M; Golder, Francis J; Centonze, Lisa A; McKay, Lindsay W; Levy, Julie K

    2004-10-01

    Tiletamine (12.5 mg), zolazepam (12.5 mg), ketamine (20 mg), and xylazine (5 mg) (TKX; 0.25 ml, IM) combination was evaluated as an anesthetic in 22 male and 67 female adult feral cats undergoing sterilization at high-volume sterilization clinics. Cats were not intubated and breathed room air. Oxygen saturation (SpO(2)), mean blood pressure (MBP), heart rate (HR), respiration rate (RR), and core body temperature were recorded. Yohimbine (0.25 ml, 0.5 mg, IV) was administered at the completion of surgery. TKX produced rapid onset of lateral recumbency (4+/-1 min) and surgical anesthesia of sufficient duration to complete surgical procedures in 92% of cats. SpO(2) measured via a lingual pulse oximeter probe averaged 92+/-3% in male cats and 90+/-4% in females. SpO(2) fell below 90% at least once in most cats. MBP measured by oscillometry averaged 136+/-30 mm Hg in males and 113+/-29 mm Hg in females. MBP increased at the onset of surgical stimulation suggesting incomplete anti-nociceptive properties. HR averaged 156+/-19 bpm, and RR averaged 18+/-8 bpm. Neither parameter varied between males and females or over time. Body temperature decreased significantly over time, declining to 38.0+/-0.8 degrees C at the time of reversal in males and 36.6+/-0.8 degrees C at the time of reversal in females. Time from anesthetic reversal to sternal recumbency was prolonged (72+/-42 min). Seven cats (8%) required an additional dose of TKX to maintain an adequate plane of anesthesia at the onset of surgery, and this was associated with significantly longer recovery times (108+/-24 min).

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Helminth parasitisms among intermingling insular populations of white-tailed deer, feral cattle, and feral swine.

    PubMed

    Prestwood, A K; Kellogg, F E; Pursglove, S R; Hayes, F A

    1975-04-15

    Helminth infections among free-ranging, intermingling populations of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), cattle (Bos taurus), and swine (Sus scrofa) on an island off the Georgia coast were studied. Of 39 species of helminths collected, 19 were found in deer, 17 in cattle, and 13 in swine. Of 28 species of helminths recovered from ruminants, 8, viz, Capillaria bovis, Cooperia punctata, Dictyocaulus viviparus, Gongylonema pulchrum, G verrucosum, Haemonchus contortus, Moniezia benedeni, and Trichostrongylus axei, occurred in both deer and cattle. Common liver flukes (Fasciola hepatica) infected cattle and swine but not deer. Only 1 helminth, G pulchrum, infected deer, cattle, and swine. The findings suggested that helminths harbored by the host species are distinct, with little exchange occurring.

  15. 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.

  16. Opinions from the Front Lines of Cat Colony Management Conflict

    PubMed Central

    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

  17. 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.

  18. Zoonotic and infectious disease surveillance in Central America: Honduran feral cats positive for toxoplasma, trypanosoma, leishmania, rickettsia, and Lyme disease.

    PubMed

    McCown, Michael; Grzeszak, Benjamin

    2010-01-01

    A recent zoonotic and infectious disease field surveillance study in Honduras resulted in the discovery of Toxoplasma, Trypanosoma, Leishmania, Rickettsia, and Lyme disease with statistically high prevalence rates in a group of feral cats. All five diseases--Toxoplasmosis, Trypanosomiasis, Leishmaniasis, Rickettsiosis, and Lyme disease--were confirmed in this group of cats having close contact to local civilians and U.S. personnel. These diseases are infectious to other animals and are known to infect humans as well. In the austere Central and South American sites that Special Operations Forces (SOF) medics are deployed, the living conditions and close quarters are prime environments for the potential spread of infectious and zoonotic disease. This study?s findings, as with previous veterinary disease surveillance studies, emphasize the critical need for continual and aggressive surveillance for zoonotic and infectious disease present within animals in specific areas of operation (AO). The importance to SOF is that a variety of animals may be sentinels, hosts, or direct transmitters of disease to civilians and service members. These studies are value-added tools to the U.S. military, specifically to a deploying or already deployed unit. The SOF medic must ensure that this value-added asset is utilized and that the findings are applied to assure Operational Detachment-Alpha (SFOD-A) health and, on a bigger scale, U.S. military force health protection and local civilian health. © 2010.

  19. Phylogenetic analysis of feline immunodeficiency virus in feral and companion domestic cats of New Zealand.

    PubMed

    Hayward, Jessica J; Taylor, John; Rodrigo, Allen G

    2007-03-01

    Nested PCR was used to amplify envelope V3-V6 gene fragments of feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) from New Zealand cats. Phylogenetic analyses established that subtypes A and C predominate among New Zealand cats, with clear evidence of intersubtype recombination. In addition, 17 sequences were identified that were distinct from all known FIV clades, and we tentatively suggest these belong to a novel subtype.

  20. Mouse-virulent Toxoplasma gondii isolated from feral cats on Mona Island, Puerto Rico.

    PubMed

    Dubey, J P; López-Torres, H Y; Sundar, N; Velmurugan, G V; Ajzenberg, D; Kwok, O C H; Hill, R; Dardé, M L; Su, C

    2007-12-01

    Cats are essential in the life cycle of Toxoplasma gondii because they are the only hosts that can excrete the environmentally resistant oocysts. Samples of serum, feces, and tissues from cats from Mona, a remote island off the coast of Puerto Rico, were examined for T. gondii infection. Antibodies to T. gondii were assayed by the modified agglutination test and found in 16 of 19 (84.2%) of cats, with titers of 1:10 in 2, 1:80 in 1, 1:160 in 4, 1:320 in 3, and 1:1,280 or higher in 6. Tissues of 19 of the 20 cats were bioassayed in mice for T. gondii infection. Toxoplasma gondii was isolated from tissues of 12 cats: from the hearts of 9, skeletal muscle of 10, and brain of 1 cat. All infected mice from 10 of 12 isolates died of acute toxoplasmosis during primary infection. Genotyping of these 12 T. gondii isolates (designated (TgCatPr 1-12) by 10 multilocus PCR-RFLP markers, i.e., SAG1, SAG2, SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, c22-8, c29-2, L358, PK1, and an apicoplast marker Apico, and the 6 multilocus microsatellite markers TUB2, W35, TgM-A, B18, B17, and M33, revealed 7 genotypes; 5 isolates had Type I alleles at all loci except at 1 microsatellite locus, and the remainder were atypical. The latter isolates of T. gondii were different biologically and phenotypically from the feline isolates from the rest of the Americas. One isolate (TgCatPr 12) was a mixed infection with 2 genotypes.

  1. First reports of pseudorabies and winter ticks (Dermacentor albipictus) associated with an emerging feral swine (Sus scrofa) population in New Hampshire.

    PubMed

    Musante, Anthony R; Pedersen, Kerri; Hall, Parker

    2014-01-01

    The expansion of feral swine (Sus scrofa) populations into new geographic regions is of concern not only due to increased range but also because they carry diseases and parasites that pose a threat to humans, livestock, and wildlife into new areas. Recently, emerging feral swine populations have been reported in the northeastern US and due to their adaptive nature will likely continue to spread. During 2009-2012, 49 feral swine were removed from three counties in New Hampshire. Of these, serum samples were submitted from 34 for disease surveillance testing. One of the feral swine was antibody-positive for pseudorabies virus (PRV) making it the first documented infection in feral swine in New Hampshire. Infestations of winter tick (Dermacentor albipictus) were also documented on two of the feral swine which had only been reported previously on feral swine in Texas. Feral swine may not only serve as an important host for an economically important commercial swine pathogen like PRV, but they could also increase host diversity for parasites such as the winter tick, a species that can regionally impact moose (Alces alces) survival. These findings warrant further investigation of expanding and established feral swine populations in New Hampshire as pathogen hosts and support continued effort to reduce numbers or regionally eradicate feral swine.

  2. Aquaculture Enclosures Relate to the Establishment of Feral Populations of Introduced Species

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Xuan; Li, Yiming

    2009-01-01

    Many species introduced by humans for social and economic benefits have invaded new ranges by escaping from captivity. Such invasive species can negatively affect biodiversity and economies. Understanding the factors that relate to the establishment of feral populations of introduced species is therefore of great importance for managing introduced species. The American Bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus) is one species that has escaped from farms, and it is now found in the wild in China. In this study, we examined influences of two types of bullfrog farm (termed simple and elaborate farm enclosures) on the establishment of feral populations of this species in 137 water bodies in 66 plots in four provinces of China. The likelihood of establishment of bullfrog populations in water bodies in plots with simple enclosures (49/89 = 55.1%) was higher than those with elaborate enclosures (3/48 = 6.3%). Based on the Akaike Information Criterion, the minimum adequate model of generalized linear mixed models with a binomial error structure and a logit link function showed that the establishment or failure of bullfrog populations in water bodies was positively correlated with the presence of a simple enclosure, the number of bullfrogs raised and the presence of permanent water in a plot, but negatively correlated with distance from a bullfrog farm and the occurrence of frequent hunting. Results therefore suggest that a simple farm enclosure can increase the establishment of feral bullfrog populations compared with an elaborate enclosure. Our findings are the first to quantify the importance of improving farming enclosures to control and minimize the risk from introduced species. PMID:19593446

  3. Comparison of inferred fractions of n-3 and n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids in feral domestic cat diets with those in commercial feline extruded diets.

    PubMed

    Backus, Robert C; Thomas, David G; Fritsche, Kevin L

    2013-04-01

    To compare presumed fatty acid content in natural diets of feral domestic cats (inferred from body fat polyunsatrated fatty acids content) with polyunsaturated fatty acid content of commercial feline extruded diets. Subcutaneous and intra-abdominal adipose tissue samples (approx 1 g) from previously frozen cadavers of 7 adult feral domestic cats trapped in habitats remote from human activity and triplicate samples (200 g each) of 7 commercial extruded diets representing 68% of market share obtained from retail stores. Lipid, triacylglycerol, and phospholipid fractions in adipose tissue samples and ether extracts of diet samples were determined by gas chromatography of methyl esters. Triacylglycerol and phospholipid fractions in the adipose tissue were isolated by thin-layer chromatography. Diet samples were also analyzed for proximate contents. For the adipose tissue samples, with few exceptions, fatty acids fractions varied only moderately with lipid fraction and site from which tissue samples were obtained. Linoleic, α-linolenic, arachidonic, eicosapentaenoic, and docosahexaenoic acid fractions were 15.0% to 28.2%, 4.5% to 18.7%, 0.9% to 5.0%, < 0.1% to 0.2%, and 0.6% to 1.7%, respectively. As inferred from the adipose findings, dietary fractions of docosahexaenoic and α-linolenic acid were significantly greater than those in the commercial feline diets, but those for linoleic and eicosapentaenoic acids were not significantly different. The fatty acid content of commercial extruded feline diets differed from the inferred content of natural feral cat diets, in which dietary n-3 and possibly n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids were more abundant. The impact of this difference on the health of pet cats is not known.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Reducing the availability of food to control feral pigeons: changes in population size and composition.

    PubMed

    Senar, Juan C; Montalvo, Tomás; Pascual, Jordi; Peracho, Victor

    2017-02-01

    As feeding by humans is one of the main food resources to pigeons (Columba livia), there is general agreement that public education that aims to reduce the food base may be the most feasible way to reduce pigeon abundance. However, except for the classic example of Basel, the method has rarely been tested or implemented. We provide results from a 1 year study in the city of Barcelona where we tested the effect of public education on pigeon population abundance and composition. The quantity of food provided by people to pigeons was significantly reduced during the study. Feral pigeon density was reduced by 40% in the two experimental districts, but no variation was detected in the control district. Detailed analyses in one of the districts showed that the reduction was mainly related to the reduction in food availability but not to culling. Pigeons captured at the end of the experiment were larger than at the start of the study, but body condition was reduced. Results show the effectiveness of public information to manage feral pigeon populations in a large city, and that control operations can exert important selection pressure on the population, leading to changes in population composition. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry.

  7. Recombination in feline immunodeficiency virus from feral and companion domestic cats

    PubMed Central

    Hayward, Jessica J; Rodrigo, Allen G

    2008-01-01

    Background Recombination is a relatively common phenomenon in retroviruses. We investigated recombination in Feline Immunodeficiency Virus from naturally-infected New Zealand domestic cats (Felis catus) by sequencing regions of the gag, pol and env genes. Results The occurrence of intragenic recombination was highest in env, with evidence of recombination in 6.4% (n = 156) of all cats. A further recombinant was identified in each of the gag (n = 48) and pol (n = 91) genes. Comparisons of phylogenetic trees across genes identified cases of incongruence, indicating intergenic recombination. Three (7.7%, n = 39) of these incongruencies were found to be significantly different using the Shimodaira-Hasegawa test. Surprisingly, our phylogenies from the gag and pol genes showed that no New Zealand sequences group with reference subtype C sequences within intrasubtype pairwise distances. Indeed, we find one and two distinct unknown subtype groups in gag and pol, respectively. These observations cause us to speculate that these New Zealand FIV strains have undergone several recombination events between subtype A parent strains and undefined unknown subtype strains, similar to the evolutionary history hypothesised for HIV-1 "subtype E". Endpoint dilution sequencing was used to confirm the consensus sequences of the putative recombinants and unknown subtype groups, providing evidence for the authenticity of these sequences. Endpoint dilution sequencing also resulted in the identification of a dual infection event in the env gene. In addition, an intrahost recombination event between variants of the same subtype in the pol gene was established. This is the first known example of naturally-occurring recombination in a cat with infection of the parent strains. Conclusion Evidence of intragenic recombination in the gag, pol and env regions, and complex intergenic recombination, of FIV from naturally-infected domestic cats in New Zealand was found. Strains of unknown subtype were

  8. Recombination in feline immunodeficiency virus from feral and companion domestic cats.

    PubMed

    Hayward, Jessica J; Rodrigo, Allen G

    2008-06-17

    Recombination is a relatively common phenomenon in retroviruses. We investigated recombination in Feline Immunodeficiency Virus from naturally-infected New Zealand domestic cats (Felis catus) by sequencing regions of the gag, pol and env genes. The occurrence of intragenic recombination was highest in env, with evidence of recombination in 6.4% (n = 156) of all cats. A further recombinant was identified in each of the gag (n = 48) and pol (n = 91) genes. Comparisons of phylogenetic trees across genes identified cases of incongruence, indicating intergenic recombination. Three (7.7%, n = 39) of these incongruencies were found to be significantly different using the Shimodaira-Hasegawa test.Surprisingly, our phylogenies from the gag and pol genes showed that no New Zealand sequences group with reference subtype C sequences within intrasubtype pairwise distances. Indeed, we find one and two distinct unknown subtype groups in gag and pol, respectively. These observations cause us to speculate that these New Zealand FIV strains have undergone several recombination events between subtype A parent strains and undefined unknown subtype strains, similar to the evolutionary history hypothesised for HIV-1 "subtype E".Endpoint dilution sequencing was used to confirm the consensus sequences of the putative recombinants and unknown subtype groups, providing evidence for the authenticity of these sequences. Endpoint dilution sequencing also resulted in the identification of a dual infection event in the env gene. In addition, an intrahost recombination event between variants of the same subtype in the pol gene was established. This is the first known example of naturally-occurring recombination in a cat with infection of the parent strains. Evidence of intragenic recombination in the gag, pol and env regions, and complex intergenic recombination, of FIV from naturally-infected domestic cats in New Zealand was found. Strains of unknown subtype were identified in all three gene

  9. Population dynamics of feral horses (Equus caballus) following above-average rainfall in a semi-arid environment of Australia.

    PubMed

    Kampmann, S; Hampson, B A; Pollitt, C C

    2013-11-01

    Recent record rainfall in much of semi-arid Central Australia is the most likely reason for a feral horse population increase in excess of normal. Uncontrolled numbers of feral horses have habitat degradation and animal welfare implications. The aims of this study were to investigate the social structure of feral horses and assess their population growth rate following unseasonably high rainfall. The study area was 4000 km(2) of unmanaged, semi-arid country in Central Australia (latitude 24.50°S, longitude 132.10°E). Horses were identified by descriptive features from ground searches, movement-activated cameras and 'hides' positioned at key water holes. Wherever possible, sex and age categories were documented. Population growth rate was estimated by the number of foals divided by the number of horses older than 1 year in the observed population. A total of 1424 horses were identified and categorised, of which 335 were foals born within the current year. Only 123 juveniles were identified. Of the adult horses, 53.4% were male and 46.6% were female and this differed from parity (P = 0.04). Of the mares, 71.9% had a foal at foot and the population growth rate was 29.5%. With a sustained population growth rate of 29.5%, this population of feral horses will more than double within 3 years. The high population increase will likely have a detrimental effect on native fauna and flora and the fragile, semi-arid ecosystems of Central Australia. After a period of high rainfall and plentiful resources, 'normal' drought conditions will return and many feral horses will starve and die as they compete for limited resources. © 2013 Australian Veterinary Association.

  10. 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

  11. 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. tshawytscha (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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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).

  15. A Survey of Public Opinion on Cat (Felis catus) Predation and the Future Direction of Cat Management in New Zealand

    PubMed Central

    Walker, Jessica K.; Bruce, Stephanie J.; Dale, Arnja R.

    2017-01-01

    Simple Summary The need to balance the benefits of cat ownership with the prevention of wildlife predation in New Zealand evokes strong and opposing views. This paper evaluates public concern for wildlife predation by four categories of cats; owned cats, managed-stray cats, unmanaged-stray cats, and feral cats. In addition, public support for a National Cat Management Strategy and a range of management techniques are investigated. Although the participants expressed concern regarding wildlife predation by all four categories of cats, the highest levels of concern were predation by feral cats, followed by unmanaged stray cats, then managed stray cats, and finally owned cats. The large majority of participants were found to support the implementation of a National Cat Management Strategy. Management techniques for owned cats that obtained public support included; cat exclusion zones, limits on ownership numbers, microchipping, Council registration, and de-sexing. Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) was the favoured management technique for managed stray cats, while TNR and lethal management techniques were equally favoured for unmanaged stray cats. Lethal control methods were favoured for feral cats. The findings presented in this paper will be useful to consider during the development of legislation relating to cat management and predation in New Zealand. Abstract Cat predation is a prominent issue in New Zealand that provokes strong and opposing views. We explored, via 1011 face-to-face questionnaires, public opinion on (a) support for a National Cat Management Strategy (78% support); (b) concern regarding predation of wildlife by owned and un-owned cats (managed stray, unmanaged stray, and feral cats); (c) the acceptability of management techniques for owned cats; and (d) the acceptability of population management techniques for un-owned cats. The highest concern was expressed regarding the predation of non-native and native wildlife by feral cats (60 and 86% repectively

  16. Temporal pattern of africanization in a feral honeybee population from Texas inferred from mitochondrial DNA.

    PubMed

    Pinto, M Alice; Rubink, William L; Coulson, Robert N; Patton, John C; Johnston, J Spencer

    2004-05-01

    The invasion of Africanized honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) in the Americas provides a window of opportunity to study the dynamics of secondary contact of subspecies of bees that evolved in allopatry in ecologically distinctive habitats of the Old World. We report here the results of an 11-year mitochondrial DNA survey of a feral honeybee population from southern United States (Texas). The mitochondrial haplotype (mitotype) frequencies changed radically during the 11-year study period. Prior to immigration of Africanized honeybees, the resident population was essentially of eastern and western European maternal ancestry. Three years after detection of the first Africanized swarm there was a mitotype turnover in the population from predominantly eastern European to predominantly A. m. scutellata (ancestor of Africanized honeybees). This remarkable change in the mitotype composition coincided with arrival of the parasitic mite Varroa destructor, which was likely responsible for severe losses experienced by colonies of European ancestry. From 1997 onward the population stabilized with most colonies of A. m. scutellata maternal origin.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Broad resistance to acetohydroxyacid-synthase-inhibiting herbicides in feral radish (Raphanus sativus L.) populations from Argentina.

    PubMed

    Pandolfo, Claudio E; Presotto, Alejandro; Moreno, Florencia; Dossou, Ida; Migasso, Juan P; Sakima, Ernesto; Cantamutto, Miguel

    2016-02-01

    Soon after the commercial release of sunflower cultivars resistant to imidazolinone herbicides, several uncontrolled feral radish (Raphanus sativus L.) populations were found in south-eastern Buenos Aires, Argentina. These populations were studied in field, glasshouse and laboratory experiments aiming to characterise their resistance profile and to develop management tools. Three feral radish accessions were highly resistant to ten active ingredients of five families of acetohydroxyacid synthase (AHAS)-inhibiting herbicides. Sequence analysis of the AHAS gene detected a Trp574Leu mutation in all resistant accessions. One accession with an intermediate level of resistance was heterozygous for this mutation, probably owing to gene exchange with a susceptible subpopulation located in the field margin. Herbicide-resistant and herbicide-susceptible radish could be controlled in sunflower by alternative herbicides. This is the first report of feral radish with resistance to herbicides belonging to all the AHAS-inhibiting herbicide families, conferred by Trp574Leu mutation in the AHAS gene. An appropriate herbicide rotation with alternative herbicides such as fluorochloridone or aclonifen and an increase in the diversity of cropping systems are important for minimising the prevalence of these biotypes. © 2015 Society of Chemical Industry.

  1. Gastrointestinal nematode species burdens and host mortality in a feral sheep population.

    PubMed

    Craig, B H; Pilkington, J G; Pemberton, J M

    2006-10-01

    Every few years a large proportion of the feral sheep on Hirta, St Kilda die due to food shortage. The effects of malnutrition are exacerbated by gastrointestinal nematodes. As found in sheep flocks in mainland Britain, Teladorsagia circumcincta has long been considered the predominant and most pathogenic nematode species in all age classes of Soay sheep. Previous research indicated that intensity of this species showed a negative association with host age and comprised 75% of the entire gastrointestinal burden. Here we present new data that show Trichostrongylus axei and Trichostrongylus vitrinus to be the predominant worm pathogens in young Soay sheep. In the present study, Trichostrongylus spp. burdens declined with host age whereas T. circumcincta actually increased in burden over the first few age classes. Also, male hosts had significantly higher burdens of Trichostrongylus spp. than females, with this genus making up a higher proportion of the strongyle egg producing community in male hosts than female hosts. These new findings raise questions concerning our previous interpretation of the main nematode species contributing to strongyle egg count in the population, and the contrasting infection patterns of these nematode species in unmanaged St Kilda Soay sheep compared with domestic sheep in mainland Britain.

  2. A voyage to Terra Australis: human-mediated dispersal of cats.

    PubMed

    Koch, K; Algar, D; Searle, J B; Pfenninger, M; Schwenk, K

    2015-12-04

    Cats have been transported as human commensals worldwide giving rise to many feral populations. In Australia, feral cats have caused decline and extinction of native mammals, but their time of introduction and origin is unclear. Here, we investigate hypotheses of cat arrival pre- or post-European settlement, and the potential for admixture between cats of different invasion events. We analyse the genetic structure and diversity of feral cats from six locations on mainland Australia, seven Australian islands and samples from Southeast Asia and Europe using microsatellite and mitochondrial DNA data. Our results based on phylogeographic model selection are consistent with a European origin of cats in Australia. We find genetic distinctiveness of Australian mainland samples compared with Dirk Hartog Island, Flinders Island, Tasman Island and Cocos (Keeling) Island samples, and genetic similarities between some of the island populations. Historical records suggest that introduction of cats to these islands occurred at the time of European exploration and/or in connection with the pearling, whaling and sealing trades early in the 19th century. On-going influx of domestic cats into the feral cat population is apparently causing the Australian mainland populations to be genetically differentiated from those island populations, which likely are remnants of the historically introduced cat genotypes. A mainly European origin of feral cats in Australia, with possible secondary introductions from Asia following the initial establishment of cats in Australia is reasonable. The islands surrounding Australia may represent founding populations and are of particular interest. The results of the study provide an important timeframe for the impact of feral cats on native species in Australia.

  3. Cat scratch disease

    MedlinePlus

    ... t scratch and bite. Don't allow a cat to lick your skin, eyes, mouth, or open wounds or scratches. Use flea control measures to lower the risk your cat develops the disease. Don't touch feral cats. ...

  4. Distribution and differentiation of wild, feral, and cultivated populations of perennial upland cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) in Mesoamerica and the Caribbean.

    PubMed

    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 genetic

  5. 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

  6. 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 ...

  7. 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 ...

  8. 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.

  9. Vitiligo susceptibility and catalase gene (CAT) polymorphisms in sicilian population.

    PubMed

    Caputo, Valentina; Niceta, Marcello; Fiorella, Santi; La Vecchia, Marco; Bastonini, Emanuela; Bongiorno, Maria R; Pistone, Giuseppe

    2017-02-15

    Catalase gene (CAT) polymorphisms were analyzed as responsible for the deficiency of catalase enzyme activity and concomitant accumulation of excessive hydrogen peroxide in Vitiligo patients. Catalase is a well known oxidative stress regulator that could play an important role in the pathogenesis of Vitiligo. This study was conducted to evaluate three CAT gene polymorphisms (-89A/T, 389C/T, 419C/T) and their association with Vitiligo susceptibility in Sicilian population. 60 out of 73 Sicilian patients with Vitiligo were enrolled and submitted to CAT gene analysis. Contrary to the Northern part of Europe but likewise to the Mediterranean area, the frequency of the CAT genotypes in Sicily is equally distributed. Out of all CAT genotypes, only CAT -89 T/T frequency was found to be significantly higher amongst Vitiligo patients than controls. Despite the involvement of the CAT enzyme in the pathogenesis of Vitiligo, the biological significance of CAT gene polymorphisms is still controversial. With the only exception for CAT variant -89A/T, the other studied CAT gene polymorphisms (389C/T and 419C/T) might not to be associated with Vitiligo in Sicilian population.

  10. 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.

  11. 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. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. 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.

  13. The demography of feral alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) populations occurring in roadside habitats in Southern Manitoba, Canada: implications for novel trait confinement.

    PubMed

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

    2010-09-01

    Feral populations of cultivated crops can act as reservoirs for novel genetically engineered (GE) traits and aid in trait movement at the landscape level. However, little information is available on the potential of cultivated crops to become feral. In this study, we investigated the ferality of alfalfa populations (non-GE version) occurring in roadside habitats. Knowledge on the nature of roadside alfalfa populations would be useful for designing efficient trait confinement protocols and coexistence strategies in alfalfa. We investigated roadside alfalfa populations from 2006 to 2009 in three rural municipalities (Hanover, MacDonald, and Springfield) in Southern Manitoba, Canada. We studied the demography of these populations including seedbank, seedling recruitment, and fecundity and examined the impact of road verge mowing on key life stages of these populations. We also compared the growth and reproductive attributes of roadside and cultivated alfalfa populations. Alfalfa is reproductively successful in roadside habitats and capable of establishing self-perpetuating populations. A substantial portion of the alfalfa seeds we extracted from seedbank samples were viable but not germinable, suggesting some degree of seedbank persistence in roadside habitats. In the roadside habitat, alfalfa seedlings recruited successfully, however, seedling mortality was high when seedlings were in close proximity to well-established alfalfa plants. Mowing dramatically reduced the reproductive success of roadside alfalfa. Generally, the growth and reproduction of roadside alfalfa was comparable to cultivated alfalfa except for total fecundity. Considering the long lifespan (>10 years) of alfalfa and the levels of fecundity, seedbank, and seedling survival we observed, long-term persistence of roadside alfalfa populations seems reasonable. In the context of novel trait confinement, our results suggest that feral alfalfa populations required to be managed if there is a desire

  14. A Survey of Public Opinion on Cat (Felis catus) Predation and the Future Direction of Cat Management in New Zealand.

    PubMed

    Walker, Jessica K; Bruce, Stephanie J; Dale, Arnja R

    2017-07-03

    Cat predation is a prominent issue in New Zealand that provokes strong and opposing views. We explored, via 1011 face-to-face questionnaires, public opinion on (a) support for a National Cat Management Strategy (78% support); (b) concern regarding predation of wildlife by owned and un-owned cats (managed stray, unmanaged stray, and feral cats); (c) the acceptability of management techniques for owned cats; and (d) the acceptability of population management techniques for un-owned cats. The highest concern was expressed regarding the predation of non-native and native wildlife by feral cats (60 and 86% repectively), followed by unmanaged stray cats (59 and 86% respectively), managed stray cats (54 and 82% respectively), and finally owned cats (38 and 69% repectively). Limits to the number of cats owned and cat restriction zones received high levels of support (>65%), and compulsory microchipping, Council registration, and de-sexing were supported by the majority (>58%). Public support of population control methods for unowned cats was explored, and the influence of participant demographic variables on responses is described. These findings provide insight into public opinion regarding the management of cats in New Zealand, which should be considered during the development of legislation in this area.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. A population genetic database of cat breeds developed in coordination with a domestic cat STR multiplex.

    PubMed

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

    2012-05-01

    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 (p(m)) of 6.2E-14, using a conservative θ = 0.05.

  18. 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

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  4. 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 – 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

  5. Saving feral horse populations: does it really matter? A case study of wild horses from Doñana National Park in southern Spain.

    PubMed

    Vega-Pla, J L; Calderón, J; Rodríguez-Gallardo, P P; Martinez, A M; Rico, C

    2006-12-01

    In the 1980s, a conservation programme involving a feral horse population, the Retuertas horses from the Guadalquivir marshes, was started in the Doñana National Park. The analysis of an extensive genetic survey of this population, which now numbers 100 animals, and 10 additional European and North African breeds using DNA polymorphisms from 22 microsatellites is presented. Highly significant fixation indexes were obtained for all pairwise comparisons between the Retuertas population and other breeds. A population neighbour-joining breed phenogram was built using different distance measures, but the Retuertas population failed to cluster with either of the two major clades of European and North African breeds, highlighting its uniqueness. In fact, the Retuertas population was positioned at the base of the trees, which were rooted using donkey samples. Furthermore, assignment tests and the individual Q-matrices obtained with the structure programme isolated the Retuertas breed from the other breeds with only four K groups. Interestingly, some local semi-feral horses, known as Marismeño, also currently living in the Guadalquivir marshes, have some microsatellite genotypes that fall well within the Retuertas cluster. This raises the possibility of incorporating horses from the Marismeño population in a future conservation programme.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Genetic diversity in a feral horse population from Sable Island, Canada.

    PubMed

    Plante, Yves; Vega-Pla, Jose Luis; Lucas, Zoe; Colling, Dave; de March, Brigitte; Buchanan, Fiona

    2007-01-01

    The present-day Sable Island horse population, inhabiting an island off the eastern coast of Canada, is believed to have originated mainly from horses confiscated from the early French settlers in Nova Scotia in the latter half of the 18th century. In 1960, the Sable Island horses were given legal protected status and no human interference has since been allowed. The objective of this study was to characterize the current genetic diversity in Sable Island horses in comparison to 15 other horse breeds commonly found in Canada and 5 Spanish breeds. A total of 145 alleles from 12 microsatellite loci were detected in 1093 horses and 40 donkeys. The average number of alleles per locus ranged from 4.67 in the Sable Island horse population to 8.25 in Appaloosas, whereas the mean observed heterozygosity ranged from 0.626 in the Sable Island population to 0.787 in Asturcons. Various genetic distance estimates and clustering methods did not permit to support that the Sable Island horses originated from shipwrecked Spanish horses, according to a popular anecdote, but closely resemble light draft and multipurpose breeds commonly found in eastern Canada. Based on the Weitzman approach, the loss of the Sable Island horse population to the overall diversity in Canada is comparable or higher than any other horse breed. The Sable Island horse population has diverged enough from other breeds to deserve special attention by conservation interest groups.

  9. Differences between antigenic determinants of pig and cat zona pellucida proteins.

    PubMed

    Jewgenow, K; Rohleder, M; Wegner, I

    2000-05-01

    Despite many efforts, the control of reproduction in feral cat populations is still a problem in urban regions around the world. Immunocontraception is a promising approach; thus the present study examined the suitability of the widely used pig zona pellucida proteins (pZP) for contraception in feral domestic cats. Purified zona pellucida proteins obtained from pig and cat ovaries were used to produce highly specific antisera in rabbits. Antibodies against pZP raised in rabbits or lions were not effective inhibitors of either in vitro sperm binding (cat spermatozoa to cat oocytes) or in vitro fertilization in cats, whereas antibodies against feline zona pellucida proteins (fZP) raised in rabbits showed a dose-dependent inhibition of in vitro fertilization. Immunoelectrophoresis, ELISA and immunohistology of ovaries confirmed these results, showing crossreactivity of anti-fZP sera to fZP and to a lesser extent to pZP, but no interaction of anti-pZP sera with fZP. It is concluded that cat and pig zonae pellucidae express a very small number of shared antigenic determinants, making the use of pZP vaccine in cats questionable. A contraceptive vaccine based on feline zona pellucida determinants will be a better choice for the control of reproduction in feral cats if immunogenity can be achieved.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. ISFM guidelines on population management and welfare of unowned domestic cats (Felis catus).

    PubMed

    Sparkes, Andrew H; Bessant, Claire; Cope, Kevin; Ellis, Sarah L H; Finka, Lauren; Halls, Vicky; Hiestand, Karen; Horsford, Kim; Laurence, Christopher; MacFarlaine, Ian; Neville, Peter F; Stavisky, Jenny; Yeates, James

    2013-09-01

    GUIDELINES RATIONALE: Cats are among the most commonly kept domestic pets, and coexist with humans in a variety of different circumstances. Cats are sentient beings and, as such, humans have a responsibility for cat welfare where humans and cats coexist. Because cats reproduce efficiently, measures to control populations are frequently needed, but these should be based on ethical and humane approaches. These consensus guidelines from the International Society of Feline Medicine's Welfare Advisory Panel provide a framework for the approach to welfare and population control measures, primarily among unowned cats and those going through a homing programme.

  13. Mutant allele frequencies in domestic cat populations in Arkansas and Tennessee.

    PubMed

    Shostell, J M; Staudinger, J; Ruiz-Garcia, M

    2005-01-01

    We conducted surveys of mutant allele frequencies of four cat populations in Arkansas and Tennessee during 2002. Our calculations and analyses support that Southwestern cat populations were relatively more genetically similar to each other than compared to cat populations in other areas of North America. However, the cat population of Fort Smith is slightly different from the other cat populations studied in the Southwestern United States. Although there is a clear significant spatial geographic pattern for many mutant coat allele frequencies in the United States and Canada cat populations (d, l, S, and W), our results revealed that there is not a significant isolation-by-distance model affecting these cat populations. Our data also support the historical migration hypothesis because our calculated allele frequencies were genetically similar to cat populations located in ancestral areas of Europe. Different phenograms, including new European cat genetic profiles, showed that the Southwestern cat populations studied are of a clear British origin. Therefore, migration routes of early Arkansas and Tennessee settlers help explain the similarities of allele frequencies among domestic cat populations.

  14. 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

  15. [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.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Parasite Pressures on Feral Honey Bees (Apis mellifera sp.)

    PubMed Central

    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

  5. 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).

  6. Ectoparasites from feral pigeons affecting humans.

    PubMed

    Haag-Wackernagel, Daniel; Bircher, Andreas J

    2010-01-01

    Feral pigeons pose a considerable health risk to the human population. They are vectors of infectious diseases and source of antigens causing allergic diseases. Breeding and roosting sites of pigeons harbor parasites that may infest humans. In the present article, a concomitant parasitization of a young female with 3 different ectoparasites, the bedbug Cimex lectularius, the pigeon tick Argas reflexus and the red mite Dermanyssus gallinae, is reported. The parasites invaded the apartment from a balcony used as roost by feral pigeons and infested the patient continuously over a period of more than 2 months. To our knowledge this case presents the first record of a coincidental infestation of a single patient with several ectoparasite species deriving from feral pigeons. Additionally we report general symptoms in the patient probably caused by the high number of stings. Dermatologists should be aware of the possibility of an infestation with ectoparasites deriving from feral pigeons. In a review we give an overview on the most important ectoparasites transmitted from feral pigeons to humans and their importance for the dermatologist.

  7. When domestic cat (Felis silvestris catus) population structures interact with their viruses.

    PubMed

    Pontier, Dominique; Fouchet, David; Bahi-Jaber, Narges; Poulet, Hervé; Guiserix, Micheline; Natoli, Eugenia; Sauvage, Frank

    2009-01-01

    Many theoretical studies have proposed different causal mechanisms by which the structure of a host population could have important implications for life history traits of pathogens. However, little information is available from real systems to test these hypotheses. The domestic cat, Felis silvestris catus, whose populations exhibit a great variability in social and spatial structure, represent an ideal case study to assess this question. In the present article, we show how cat population structure may have influenced the evolution of feline viruses and, in return, how these viruses may have modified the genetic structure of cat populations.

  8. Cat admissions to RSPCA shelters in Queensland, Australia: description of cats and risk factors for euthanasia after entry.

    PubMed

    Alberthsen, C; Rand, J S; Bennett, P C; Paterson, M; Lawrie, M; Morton, J M

    2013-01-01

    A lack of information limits understanding of the excess cat problem and development of effective management strategies. This study describes cats entering Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) Queensland shelters and identifies risk factors for euthanasia. Data for cats entering relevant shelters (July 2006-June 2008) were obtained from the RSPCA's electronic database. Univariable and multivariable logistic regression analyses were conducted to identify risk factors for euthanasia. Of 33,736 cats admitted, 46% were adult cats (≥3 months) and 54% were kittens (<3 months). The most common reason for admission was stray (54%), followed by owner surrender (44%). Euthanasia was the most common outcome (65%), followed by adoption (30%). The odds of euthanasia were lower for kittens and for cats that were desexed prior to admission. Of the strays, 8% had been desexed. For cats of similar age, sex, desexed and feral status, stray cats were more likely to be adopted than owner-surrenders. Strategies are needed to reduce numbers of cats admitted and euthanased. Given the high proportion of admissions that were kittens, reducing the incidence of delayed sterilisation of owned cats may be an important strategy for reducing the number of unwanted kittens. Many cats admitted as strays were rehomable, but given the high proportion of admissions that are strays, further research on stray populations is needed. Future studies of cats entering shelters would be enhanced if data collection definitions, categories and methods were standardised. © 2013 The Authors. Australian Veterinary Journal © 2013 Australian Veterinary Association.

  9. Population Structure of Bartonella henselae in Algerian Urban Stray Cats

    PubMed Central

    Azzag, Naouelle; Haddad, Nadia; Durand, Benoit; Petit, Elisabeth; Ammouche, Ali; Chomel, Bruno; Boulouis, Henri-Jean

    2012-01-01

    Whole blood samples from 211 stray cats from Algiers, Algeria, were cultured to detect the presence of Bartonella species and to evaluate the genetic diversity of B. henselae strains by multiple locus VNTR analysis (MLVA). Bartonella henselae was the only species isolated from 36 (17%) of 211 cats. B. henselae genotype I was the predominant genotype (64%). MLVA typing of 259 strains from 30 bacteremic cats revealed 52 different profiles as compared to only 3 profiles using MLST. Of these 52 profiles, 48 (92.3%) were identified for the first time. One-third of the cats harbored one MLVA profile only. As there was a correlation between the age of cats and the number of MLVA profiles, we hypothesized that the single profile in these cats was the profile of the initial infecting strain. Two-third of the cats harbored 2 to 6 MLVA profiles simultaneously. The similarity of MLVA profiles obtained from the same cat, neighbor-joining clustering and structure-neighbor clustering indicate that such a diversity likely results from two different mechanisms occurring either independently or simultaneously: independent infections and genetic drift from a primary strain. PMID:22956995

  10. Population structure of Bartonella henselae in Algerian urban stray cats.

    PubMed

    Azzag, Naouelle; Haddad, Nadia; Durand, Benoit; Petit, Elisabeth; Ammouche, Ali; Chomel, Bruno; Boulouis, Henri-Jean

    2012-01-01

    Whole blood samples from 211 stray cats from Algiers, Algeria, were cultured to detect the presence of Bartonella species and to evaluate the genetic diversity of B. henselae strains by multiple locus VNTR analysis (MLVA). Bartonella henselae was the only species isolated from 36 (17%) of 211 cats. B. henselae genotype I was the predominant genotype (64%). MLVA typing of 259 strains from 30 bacteremic cats revealed 52 different profiles as compared to only 3 profiles using MLST. Of these 52 profiles, 48 (92.3%) were identified for the first time. One-third of the cats harbored one MLVA profile only. As there was a correlation between the age of cats and the number of MLVA profiles, we hypothesized that the single profile in these cats was the profile of the initial infecting strain. Two-third of the cats harbored 2 to 6 MLVA profiles simultaneously. The similarity of MLVA profiles obtained from the same cat, neighbor-joining clustering and structure-neighbor clustering indicate that such a diversity likely results from two different mechanisms occurring either independently or simultaneously: independent infections and genetic drift from a primary strain.

  11. Genetic distinction of wildcat (Felis silvestris) populations in Europe, and hybridization with domestic cats in Hungary.

    PubMed

    Pierpaoli, M; Birò, Z S; Herrmann, M; Hupe, K; Fernandes, M; Ragni, B; Szemethy, L; Randi, E

    2003-10-01

    The genetic integrity and evolutionary persistence of declining wildcat populations are threatened by crossbreeding with widespread free-living domestic cats. Here we use allelic variation at 12 microsatellite loci to describe genetic variation in 336 cats sampled from nine European countries. Cats were identified as European wildcats (Felis silvestris silvestris), Sardinian wildcats (F. s. libyca) and domestic cats (F. s. catus), according to phenotypic traits, geographical locations and independently of any genetic information. Genetic variability was significantly partitioned among taxonomic groups (FST = 0.11; RST = 0.41; P < 0.001) and sampling locations (FST = 0.07; RST = 0.06; P < 0.001), suggesting that wild and domestic cats are subdivided into distinct gene pools in Europe. Multivariate and Bayesian clustering of individual genotypes also showed evidence of distinct cat groups, congruent with current taxonomy, and suggesting geographical population structuring. Admixture analyses identified cryptic hybrids among wildcats in Portugal, Italy and Bulgaria, and evidenced instances of extensive hybridization between wild and domestic cats sampled in Hungary. Cats in Hungary include a composite assemblage of variable phenotypes and genotypes, which, as previously documented in Scotland, might originate from long lasting hybridization and introgression. A number of historical, demographic and ecological conditions can lead to extensive crossbreeding between wild and domestic cats, thus threatening the genetic integrity of wildcat populations in Europe.

  12. Development of Microsatellites for Genetic Analyses and Population Assignment of the Cat Flea (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae)

    PubMed Central

    Husseneder, Claudia; Garner, Susan P.; Foil, Lane D.; MaCaluso, Kevin R.

    2011-01-01

    Cat fleas, Ctenocephalides felis (Bouché) (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae), are common ectoparasites of companion animals that negatively impact their hosts directly by causing dermatitis and blood loss during feeding and indirectly through the potential transmission of disease causing agents. We isolated and characterized seven novel microsatellite loci from a partial genomic library of the cat flea enriched for di-, tri-, and tetranucleotide repeats. We screened these loci in cat fleas from two laboratory colonies and one wild-caught population collected at a temporary animal shelter (Parker coliseum) in Baton Rouge, LA. Six loci were polymorphic, with two to 15 alleles per locus and an average observed heterozygosity of 0.21 across populations. Although the two laboratory cat flea colonies were isolated from each other for many years, they did not significantly differ in their genotypic composition. The cat flea population from Parker coliseum was genetically different from the laboratory colonies, but also showed high degrees of inbreeding. Multilocus genotypes of the polymorphic loci were sufficient to assign over 85% of cat fleas to their population of origin. Genetic markers for flea population identity will allow further studies to examine the origins and movement of cat fleas with important genetic traits such as insecticide resistance or pathogen susceptibility. The use of microsatellites also could determine if there are host-specific strains of cat fleas and add insight into the development of the different subspecies of C. felis. PMID:21175050

  13. Development of microsatellites for genetic analyses and population assignment of the cat flea (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae).

    PubMed

    Husseneder, Claudia; Garner, Susan P; Foil, Lane D; Macaluso, Kevin R

    2010-11-01

    Cat fleas, Ctenocephalidesfelis (Bouché) (Siphonaptera: Pulicidae), are common ectoparasites of companion animals that negatively impact their hosts directly by causing dermatitis and blood loss during feeding and indirectly through the potential transmission of disease causing agents. We isolated and characterized seven novel microsatellite loci from a partial genomic library of the cat flea enriched for di-, tri-, and tetranucleotide repeats. We screened these loci in cat fleas from two laboratory colonies and one wild-caught population collected at a temporary animal shelter (Parker coliseum) in Baton Rouge, LA. Six loci were polymorphic, with two to 15 alleles per locus and an average observed heterozygosity of 0.21 across populations. Although the two laboratory cat flea colonies were isolated from each other for many years, they did not significantly differ in their genotypic composition. The cat flea population from Parker coliseum was genetically different from the laboratory colonies, but also showed high degrees of inbreeding. Multilocus genotypes of the polymorphic loci were sufficient to assign over 85% of cat fleas to their population of origin. Genetic markers for flea population identity will allow further studies to examine the origins and movement of cat fleas with important genetic traits such as insecticide resistance or pathogen susceptibility. The use of microsatellites also could determine if there are host-specific strains of cat fleas and add insight into the development of the different subspecies of C. felis.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Mammary tumor associated Hspb1 mutation and screening of eight cat populations of the world.

    PubMed

    Saif, R; Awan, A R; Lyons, L; Gandolfi, B; Tayyab, M; Ellahi Babar, M; Wasim, M

    2016-01-01

    Current research highlights the Hspb1 based screening of eight cat populations of the world to investigate the association of newly found locus within cat mammary tumors. Total 180 cats were screened on the basis of Hspb1 4 bp deletion locus (1514-1517del4) which was observed in six mammary tumor cases in Siamese cat breed. Case-control association study revealed the non-significance with P=0.201 and an overall mutant allele frequency of 0.30 ranging from 0.20-0.40 was observed in other cat populations. Similarly, HWE was also obeyed in combined population samples with P=0.860 and found non-significant with range of 0.429-0.708 in other non-Pakistani cat populations as well. These results might be helpful to understand the association of this novel locus in a better way with large sample size of cases and may also serve as a potential marker for mammary tumor diagnosis, particularly in cats and generally in all other animal populations in comparative genetics and genomics context.

  19. Mammary tumor associated Hspb1 mutation and screening of eight cat populations of the world

    PubMed Central

    Saif, R.; Awan, A. R.; Lyons, L.; Gandolfi, B.; Tayyab, M.; Ellahi Babar, M.; Wasim, M.

    2016-01-01

    Current research highlights the Hspb1 based screening of eight cat populations of the world to investigate the association of newly found locus within cat mammary tumors. Total 180 cats were screened on the basis of Hspb1 4 bp deletion locus (1514-1517del4) which was observed in six mammary tumor cases in Siamese cat breed. Case-control association study revealed the non-significance with P=0.201 and an overall mutant allele frequency of 0.30 ranging from 0.20-0.40 was observed in other cat populations. Similarly, HWE was also obeyed in combined population samples with P=0.860 and found non-significant with range of 0.429-0.708 in other non-Pakistani cat populations as well. These results might be helpful to understand the association of this novel locus in a better way with large sample size of cases and may also serve as a potential marker for mammary tumor diagnosis, particularly in cats and generally in all other animal populations in comparative genetics and genomics context. PMID:28224005

  20. 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).

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Brucellosis in feral swine.

    PubMed

    Wood, G W; Hendricks, J B; Goodman, D E

    1976-10-01

    Some 255 feral hogs were serologically tested for Brucella titers at a location in the lower coastal plain of South Carolina. Eighteen percent were reactors. The organism was cultured from lymph node tissues in one 3+ years old boar and identified as Brucella suis biotype 1. Prevalence of sero-positive animals increased with age. There were no important differences between sexes.

  4. 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

  5. Methods used to estimate the size of the owned cat and dog population: a systematic review

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background There are a number of different methods that can be used when estimating the size of the owned cat and dog population in a region, leading to varying population estimates. The aim of this study was to conduct a systematic review to evaluate the methods that have been used for estimating the sizes of owned cat and dog populations and to assess the biases associated with those methods. A comprehensive, systematic search of seven electronic bibliographic databases and the Google search engine was carried out using a range of different search terms for cats, dogs and population. The inclusion criteria were that the studies had involved owned or pet domestic dogs and/or cats, provided an estimate of the size of the owned dog or cat population, collected raw data on dog and cat ownership, and analysed primary data. Data relating to study methodology were extracted and assessed for biases. Results Seven papers were included in the final analysis. Collection methods used to select participants in the included studies were: mailed surveys using a commercial list of contacts, door to door surveys, random digit dialled telephone surveys, and randomised telephone surveys using a commercial list of numbers. Analytical and statistical methods used to estimate the pet population size were: mean number of dogs/cats per household multiplied by the number of households in an area, human density multiplied by number of dogs per human, and calculations using predictors of pet ownership. Conclusion The main biases of the studies included selection bias, non-response bias, measurement bias and biases associated with length of sampling time. Careful design and planning of studies is a necessity before executing a study to estimate pet populations. PMID:23777563

  6. Effect of high-impact targeted trap-neuter-return and adoption of community cats on cat intake to a shelter.

    PubMed

    Levy, J K; Isaza, N M; Scott, K C

    2014-09-01

    Approximately 2-3 million cats enter animal shelters annually in the United States. A large proportion of these are unowned community cats that have no one to reclaim them and may be too unsocialized for adoption. More than half of impounded cats are euthanased due to shelter crowding, shelter-acquired disease or feral behavior. Trap-neuter-return (TNR), an alternative to shelter impoundment, improves cat welfare and reduces the size of cat colonies, but has been regarded as too impractical to reduce cat populations on a larger scale or to limit shelter cat intake. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of TNR concentrated in a region of historically high cat impoundments in a Florida community. A 2-year program was implemented to capture and neuter at least 50% of the estimated community cats in a single 11.9 km(2) zip code area, followed by return to the neighborhood or adoption. Trends in shelter cat intake from the target zip code were compared to the rest of the county. A total of 2366 cats, representing approximately 54% of the projected community cat population in the targeted area, were captured for the TNR program over the 2-year study period. After 2 years, per capita shelter intake was 3.5-fold higher and per capita shelter euthanasia was 17.5-fold higher in the non-target area than in the target area. Shelter cat impoundment from the target area where 60 cats/1000 residents were neutered annually decreased by 66% during the 2-year study period, compared to a decrease of 12% in the non-target area, where only 12 cats/1000 residents were neutered annually. High-impact TNR combined with the adoption of socialized cats and nuisance resolution counseling for residents is an effective tool for reducing shelter cat intake.

  7. 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

  8. The feral horse foot. Part B: radiographic, gross visual and histopathological parameters of foot health in 100 Australian feral horses.

    PubMed

    Hampson, B A; de Laat, M A; Mills, P C; Walsh, D M; Pollitt, C C

    2013-01-01

    It has been proposed that the feral horse foot is a benchmark model for foot health in horses. However, the foot health of feral horses has not been formally investigated. To investigate the foot health of Australian feral horses and determine if foot health is affected by environmental factors, such as substrate properties and distance travelled. Twenty adult feral horses from five populations (n = 100) were investigated. Populations were selected on the basis of substrate hardness and the amount of travel typical for the population. Feet were radiographed and photographed, and digital images were surveyed by two experienced assessors blinded to each other's assessment and to the population origin. Lamellar samples from 15 feet from three populations were investigated histologically for evidence of laminitis. There was a total of 377 gross foot abnormalities identified in 100 left forefeet. There were no abnormalities detected in three of the feet surveyed. Each population had a comparable prevalence of foot abnormalities, although the type and severity of abnormality varied among populations. Of the three populations surveyed by histopathology, the prevalence of chronic laminitis ranged between 40% and 93%. Foot health appeared to be affected by the environment inhabited by the horses. The observed chronic laminitis may be attributable to either nutritional or traumatic causes. Given the overwhelming evidence of suboptimal foot health, it may not be appropriate for the feral horse foot to be the benchmark model for equine foot health. © 2013 The Authors. Australian Veterinary Journal © 2013 Australian Veterinary Association.

  9. Gene frequencies in the cat population of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and the possible origin of this population.

    PubMed

    Kajon, A; Centrón García, D; Ruiz-García, M

    1992-01-01

    The phenotypes of 295 stray cats seen in the capital area of Buenos Aires, Argentina, between March and December of 1989 were recorded. The corresponding mutant allele frequencies were as follows: O = 0.28, a = 0.83, Ta = 0.01; tb = 0.31; d = 0.45; I = 0.40; S = 0.28; W = 0.02. The allele frequencies calculated at the O locus were consistent with those expected for a randomly breeding population according to the formula for the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. The analysis of the genetic distances between Buenos Aires and several European cat populations revealed that the Spanish and, especially, those with a proven more ancestral genetic constitution, are the most closely related. When a similar analysis was carried out, including other Latin American cat populations, those of Spanish origin were found to show the highest degree of relatedness. These findings suggest that the Buenos Aires cat population was not genetically structured following the "two-stepping-stone" model and support the hypothesis that differential gene flows play a transcendental role in understanding the genetic composition of domestic cat populations.

  10. Impacts of pollution in feral Mya arenaria populations: the effects of clam bed distance from the shore.

    PubMed

    Gagné, F; Blaise, C; Pellerin, J; Fournier, M; Gagnon, C; Sherry, J; Talbot, A

    2009-11-01

    This study examined the relationships between population characteristics and the expression of physiological biomarkers of stress in an intertidal clam population under pollution at sites differing in thermal history and coastline distance. The clam population metrics were age distribution, growth, condition factor, distance of the clam beds from the shore, and gonad development. Physiological biomarkers comprised biomarkers of defence such as superoxide dismutase, labile IIb metals in tissues, redox status of metallothioneins and glutathione S-transferase, of tissue damage such as lipid peroxidation and DNA strand breaks, of reproduction as determined by vitellogenin-like proteins and gonadosomatic index and immunocompetence such as phagocytosis and hemocyte viability. Age-related pigments were also examined to compare the physiological age of the clams with their chronological age. The results showed that all the above biomarkers were significantly affected at one of the two polluted sites at least. Distance from the shore was significantly correlated with most (81%) of the biomarkers examined. Clams collected at one polluted site were physiologically older than clams from the corresponding reference site. Canonical and adaptive regression (artificial neural networks) analyses found that the biomarkers measured in this study were able to predict the ecologically relevant endpoints. Biomarkers implicated in defense mechanisms, tissue damage and age-related pigments were most closely related to the clam population characteristics. Sensitivity analysis of the learning algorithm found that the following physiological and biochemical markers were the most predictive, in decreasing order, of clam population characteristics: glutathione S-transferase, phagocytosis, age pigments, lipid peroxidation in the gills, labile IIb metals and total MT levels. These biomarkers were affected by the distance of the clam beds from the shore, site quality (pollution) and reproduction

  11. Population Ecology of Free-Roaming Cats and Interference Competition by Coyotes in Urban Parks

    PubMed Central

    Gehrt, Stanley D.; Wilson, Evan C.; Brown, Justin L.; Anchor, Chris

    2013-01-01

    Free-roaming cats are a common element of urban landscapes worldwide, often causing controversy regarding their impacts on ecological systems and public health. We monitored cats within natural habitat fragments in the Chicago metropolitan area to characterize population demographics, disease prevalence, movement patterns and habitat selection, in addition to assessing the possible influence of coyotes on cats. The population was dominated by adults of both sexes, and 24% of adults were in reproductive condition. Annual survival rate was relatively high (S=0.70, SE=0.10), with vehicles and predation the primary causes of death. Size of annual home range varied by sex, but not reproductive status or body weight. We observed partitioning of the landscape by cats and coyotes, with little interspecific overlap between core areas of activity. Coyotes selected for natural habitats whereas cats selected for developed areas such as residences. Free-roaming cats were in better condition than we predicted, but their use of natural habitat fragments, and presumably their ecological impact, appeared to be limited by coyotes through intraguild competition. PMID:24058699

  12. Population ecology of free-roaming cats and interference competition by coyotes in urban parks.

    PubMed

    Gehrt, Stanley D; Wilson, Evan C; Brown, Justin L; Anchor, Chris

    2013-01-01

    Free-roaming cats are a common element of urban landscapes worldwide, often causing controversy regarding their impacts on ecological systems and public health. We monitored cats within natural habitat fragments in the Chicago metropolitan area to characterize population demographics, disease prevalence, movement patterns and habitat selection, in addition to assessing the possible influence of coyotes on cats. The population was dominated by adults of both sexes, and 24% of adults were in reproductive condition. Annual survival rate was relatively high (S=0.70, SE=0.10), with vehicles and predation the primary causes of death. Size of annual home range varied by sex, but not reproductive status or body weight. We observed partitioning of the landscape by cats and coyotes, with little interspecific overlap between core areas of activity. Coyotes selected for natural habitats whereas cats selected for developed areas such as residences. Free-roaming cats were in better condition than we predicted, but their use of natural habitat fragments, and presumably their ecological impact, appeared to be limited by coyotes through intraguild competition.

  13. Can feral weeds evolve from cultivated radish (Raphanus sativus, Brassicaceae)?

    PubMed

    Campbell, Lesley G; Snow, Allison A

    2009-02-01

    Cultivated plants that cannot survive on their own often have maladaptive domestication traits. Unharvested crop seeds may generate feral populations, at times causing serious weed problems, but little is known about the evolution of ferality. We explored the potential for cultivated radish, Raphanus sativus, to become feral, given that closely related taxa (e.g., R. raphanistrum and crop-wild hybrids) are well-documented weeds. First, we measured the population growth of five experimental, cultivated, self-seeding radish populations in Michigan, USA, for three generations. Three late-flowering populations went extinct, and two others apparently hybridized with local R. raphanistrum. A common garden experiment showed that the two surviving populations had earlier flowering, smaller root diameters, and greater individual fecundity than did nonhybridized populations. We also used artificial selection to measure the evolutionary potential for earlier flowering. After two generations of strong selection, two of three lineages flowered earlier and produced more seeds than control lineages, but insufficient genetic variation prevented dramatic evolution of crop phenotypes. In summary, it seems unlikely that radishes could spontaneously become feral in our study area without gene flow from R. raphanistrum. Applying these approaches to other cultivated species may provide a better understanding of mechanisms promoting the evolution of feral weeds.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. When cats' ways of life interact with their viruses: a study in 15 natural populations of owned and unowned cats (Felis silvestris catus).

    PubMed

    Hellard, E; Fouchet, D; Santin-Janin, H; Tarin, B; Badol, V; Coupier, C; Leblanc, G; Poulet, H; Pontier, D

    2011-09-01

    In natural populations, virus circulation is influenced by host behavior and physiological characteristics. Cat populations exhibit a great variability in social and spatial structure, the existence of different ways of life within a same population may also result in different epidemiological patterns. To test this hypothesis, we used a logistic regression to analyze the risk factors of Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), feline herpes virus (FHV), feline calicivirus (FCV), and feline parvovirus (FPV) infection in owned (fed and sheltered) and unowned (neither fed nor sheltered, unsocialized) cats living in a rural environment in the North Eastern part of France. A serological survey was carried out in 492 non-vaccinated and non-sterilized individuals from 15 populations living in the same area. The prevalence of feline leukemia virus (FeLV) was also studied, but too few were infected to analyze the risk factors of this virus. For each virus, the epidemiological pattern was different in owned and unowned cats. Unowned cats were more frequently infected by directly transmitted viruses like FIV, FHV and FCV (21.22%, 67.66%, 86.52% in unowned cats vs 9.55%, 53.88%, 77.18% in owned cats, respectively), a difference that may be explained by a more solitary and more aggressive behavior in unowned adults, and/or possibly by a higher sensitivity related to a more stressful life. On the contrary, owned cats were more frequently infected with FPV (36.41% in owned cats vs 15.61% in unowned cats), possibly as a result of their concentration around human settlements. The present study showed that owned and unowned cats living in a same area have behavioral and physiological characteristics sufficiently different to influence virus circulation. Pooling different types of cats in a single sample without taking it into account could give a wrong picture of the epidemiology of their viruses. The conclusion of this work can be extended to any epidemiological studies led in

  20. Dietary cellulose, fructooligosaccharides, and pectin modify fecal protein catabolites and microbial populations in adult cats.

    PubMed

    Barry, K A; Wojcicki, B J; Middelbos, I S; Vester, B M; Swanson, K S; Fahey, G C

    2010-09-01

    Twelve young adult (1.7 +/- 0.1 yr) male cats were used in a replicated 3 x 3 Latin square design to determine the effects of fiber type on nutrient digestibility, fermentative end products, and fecal microbial populations. Three diets containing 4% cellulose, fructooligosaccharides (FOS), or pectin were evaluated. Feces were scored based on the 5-point system: 1 being hard, dry pellets, and 5 being watery liquid that can be poured. No differences were observed (P > 0.100) in intake of DM, OM, CP, or acid-hydrolyzed fat; DM or OM digestibility; or fecal pH, DM%, output on an as-is or DM basis, or concentrations of histamine or phenylalanine. Crude protein and fat digestibility decreased (P = 0.079 and 0.001, respectively) in response to supplementation with pectin compared with cellulose. Both FOS and pectin supplementation resulted in increased fecal scores (P < 0.001) and concentrations of ammonia (P = 0.003) and 4-methyl phenol (P = 0.003). Fecal indole concentrations increased (P = 0.049) when cats were supplemented with FOS. Fecal acetate (P = 0.030), propionate (P = 0.035), and total short-chain fatty acid (P = 0.016) concentrations increased in pectin-supplemented cats. Fecal butyrate (P = 0.010), isobutyrate (P = 0.011), isovalerate (P = 0.012), valerate (P = 0.026), and total branched-chain fatty acids + valerate (P = 0.008) concentrations increased with supplementation of FOS and pectin. Fecal cadaverine (P < 0.001) and tryptamine (P < 0.001) concentrations increased with supplementation of FOS and pectin. Fecal tyramine concentrations decreased (P = 0.039) in FOS-supplemented cats, whereas spermidine concentrations increased (P < 0.001) in pectin-supplemented cats. Whereas fecal concentrations of putrescine (P < 0.001) and total biogenic amines (P < 0.001) increased with FOS and pectin, the concentrations of these compounds were increased (P < 0.001) in cats supplemented with pectin. Fecal Bifidobacterium spp. concentrations increased (P = 0.006) and

  1. 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. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. The Ascent of Cat Breeds: Genetic Evaluations of Breeds and Worldwide Random Bred Populations

    PubMed Central

    Lipinski, Monika J.; Froenicke, Lutz; Baysac, Kathleen C.; Billings, Nicholas C.; Leutenegger, Christian M.; Levy, Alon M.; Longeri, Maria; Niini, Tirri; Ozpinar, Haydar; Slater, Margaret R.; Pedersen, Niels C.; Lyons, Leslie A.

    2008-01-01

    The diaspora of the modern cat was traced with microsatellite markers from the presumed site of domestication to distant regions of the world. Genetic data were derived from over 1100 individuals, representing seventeen random bred populations from five continents and twenty-two breeds. The Mediterranean was reconfirmed to be the probable site of domestication. Genetic diversity has remained broad throughout the world, with distinct genetic clustering in the Mediterranean basin, Europe/America, Asia and Africa. However, Asian cats appeared to have separated early and expanded in relative isolation. Most breeds were derived from indigenous cats of their purported regions of origin. However, the Persian and Japanese Bobtail were more aligned with European/American than Mediterranean basin or Asian clusters. Three recently derived breeds were not distinct from their parental breeds of origin. Pure breeding was associated with a loss of genetic diversity, however, this loss did not correlate with breed popularity or age. PMID:18060738

  3. The ascent of cat breeds: genetic evaluations of breeds and worldwide random-bred populations.

    PubMed

    Lipinski, Monika J; Froenicke, Lutz; Baysac, Kathleen C; Billings, Nicholas C; Leutenegger, Christian M; Levy, Alon M; Longeri, Maria; Niini, Tirri; Ozpinar, Haydar; Slater, Margaret R; Pedersen, Niels C; Lyons, Leslie A

    2008-01-01

    The diaspora of the modern cat was traced with microsatellite markers from the presumed site of domestication to distant regions of the world. Genetic data were derived from over 1100 individuals, representing 17 random-bred populations from five continents and 22 breeds. The Mediterranean was reconfirmed to be the probable site of domestication. Genetic diversity has remained broad throughout the world, with distinct genetic clustering in the Mediterranean basin, Europe/America, Asia and Africa. However, Asian cats appeared to have separated early and expanded in relative isolation. Most breeds were derived from indigenous cats of their purported regions of origin. However, the Persian and Japanese bobtail were more aligned with European/American than with Mediterranean basin or Asian clusters. Three recently derived breeds were not distinct from their parental breeds of origin. Pure breeding was associated with a loss of genetic diversity; however, this loss did not correlate with breed popularity or age.

  4. Effects of repeated simulated removal activities on feral swine movements and space use

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fischer, Justin W.; McMurtry , Dan; Blass, Chad R.; Walter, William D.; Beringer, Jeff; VerCauterren, Kurt C.

    2016-01-01

    Abundance and distribution of feral swine (Sus scrofa) in the USA have increased dramatically during the last 30 years. Effective measures are needed to control and eradicate feral swine populations without displacing animals over wider areas. Our objective was to investigate effects of repeated simulated removal activities on feral swine movements and space use. We analyzed location data from 21 feral swine that we fitted with Global Positioning System harnesses in southern MO, USA. Various removal activities were applied over time to eight feral swine before lethal removal, including trapped-and-released, chased with dogs, chased with hunter, and chased with helicopter. We found that core space-use areas were reduced following the first removal activity, whereas overall space-use areas and diurnal movement distances increased following the second removal activity. Mean geographic centroid shifts did not differ between pre- and post-periods for either the first or second removal activities. Our information on feral swine movements and space use precipitated by human removal activities, such as hunting, trapping, and chasing with dogs, helps fill a knowledge void and will aid wildlife managers. Strategies to optimize management are needed to reduce feral swine populations while preventing enlarged home ranges and displacing individuals, which could lead to increased disease transmission risk and human-feral swine conflict in adjacent areas.

  5. 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.

  6. Characterization of ectoparasites in an urban cat (Felis catus Linnaeus, 1758) population of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Mendes-de-Almeida, Flavya; Crissiuma, Ana Lucia; Gershony, Liza Crissiuma; Willi, Liliane Maria Valentin; Paiva, Jonimar Pereira; Guerrero, Jorge; Labarthe, Norma

    2011-06-01

    Ectoparasites are capable of transmitting infectious diseases and, therefore, are of zoonotic concern. Cats submitted to a spay/neuter program in the city of Rio de Janeiro were examined to determine the distribution of ectoparasites in cats from a city with a tropical climate. Independent of gender, breed, or age, 292 cats were combed and subjected to otoscopic examination. Ectoparasites were collected, and blood samples were taken to determine packed cell volume. The majority of the 292 cats were female (71%), and most of them were categorized as domestic short hair cats (92%). Different species of ectoparasites that produced both single agent and multi-agent infestations were detected in these cats. Most cats were infested by Ctenocephalides felis (60%); however, other ectoparasites were found to a lesser degree in the sampled population (Felicola subrostratus (5.4%), Rhipicephalus sanguineus (1.4%), Lynxacarus radovskyi (1%), and Otodectes cynotis (6.2%)). Within the infested cats, 16.3% were also anemic, and there was a significant association between the occurrence of anemia and flea infestation. Of all sampled cats, 65% were infested by at least one species of ectoparasites, which suggests both a heavy infestation of the environment and owner negligence. Ectoparasites are not only nuisances to both cats and owners, but they are also significant carriers of disease. Therefore, the implementation of rigorous, safe preventive measures is of great importance.

  7. 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

  8. DEEP, AEGIS, & CATS - Pathfinding Surveys to the Next Generation of Distant Galaxy Stellar Population Research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koo, David C.

    2010-04-01

    DEEP, AEGIS, and CATS are examples of spectroscopic, multiwavelength, and adaptive optics surveys, respectively, that are pushing the frontiers of stellar population studies of distant galaxies. Together, these surveys affirm the unprecedented richness of high quality information that can already be gathered using today's generation of ground and space telescopes. We highlight several results in extracting the stellar and dynamical masses, chemical abundances, ages, and frequency of galactic winds for galaxies at redshifts up to z ~ 1.4.

  9. 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

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  12. 78 FR 27937 - Environmental Impact Statement; Feral Swine Damage Management

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-05-13

    ... the introduction of invasive species, control populations of invasive species, and minimize the... authorized by the Animal Damage Control Act (7 U.S.C. 426) to work with other Federal agencies, Tribes... Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Environmental Impact Statement; Feral Swine Damage Management...

  13. 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

  14. [Fur color gene profiles and length of hair of several cat populations in Cuba, Costa Rica, Colombia, Paraguay, Chile and Argentina, and possible genetic origins of these cat populations].

    PubMed

    Ruiz-Garsia, M; Campos, H A; Alvaréz, D; Kajon, A; Diáz, S

    2002-02-01

    Until the present moment, only a scarce number of Latin American domestic cat populations have been studied from a population genetic standpoint. For this reason, the cat populations of La Havana (Cuba), San José (Costa Rica), Bogota and Ibagué (Colombia), Asuncion (Paraguay), Santiago (Chile) and Buenos Aires (Argentina) were sampled for several coat genes. The results obtained were as follows: (1) there was a strong genetic resemblance between several Hispanic American cat populations (especially, those of Buenos Aires, San José and the two Colombian populations studied) and those from South Western United States (California, Texas and Colorado), which adds support to the suspicion that these populations probably have a common origin; (2) The cat population of Santiago (Chile), contrarily to the other Hispanic American populations studied, showed a strong genetic resemblance with some Anglo North American populations; and (3) The l (long hair) and d (dilution) alleles showed systematic higher frequencies in the Hispanic American populations than those observed in Spain. Although the Hispanic American populations were not identical to the current Spanish populations (with the exception of Asuncion), this historic genetic experiment was very different to that found for the British populations and their overseas colonies.

  15. Local populations and inaccuracies: Determining the relevant mitochondrial haplotype distributions for North West European cats.

    PubMed

    Wesselink, Monique; Desmyter, Stijn; Kuiper, Irene

    2017-09-01

    Typing of different portions of the feline mitochondrial control region has illustrated pronounced differences in haplotype distributions between cats from the Netherlands and other parts of the world. To gain a better understanding of the haplotype distribution of North West Continental Europe, 605bp of mitochondrial DNA was typed from randomly selected cats from the Netherlands (N=146), Belgium (N=64) and South West Germany (N=128). The genetic differences between these randomly sampled European populations correlate to the geographical distances, with the Dutch and the South West German populations furthest apart and the Belgian population as an intermediate (Fst values 0.01-0.03). Comparison of North West European mainland distributions to published feline mitochondrial haplotype distributions illustrated moderate to large genetic differentiation (Fst values 0.01-0.32). In this comparison, the correlation between geographical and genetic distance was absent, leading to founder effects and human impact on cat population structure and dispersion being considered as important parameters. When an accurate estimation of feline haplotype distribution is required in forensics, care should be taken when deciding whether extrapolating the frequency data from a certain source to a larger area (country/continent) is justified or whether additional typing of local populations is necessary. This may differ from case to case as local frequencies can be relevant, but can also be deceitful. To improve the applicability of forensic feline mitochondrial DNA studies, documentation and publishing of sampling strategies is advised, as is the implementation of measures to help eliminate potentially erroneous haplotypes. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Seroprevalence and spatial distribution of Toxoplasma gondii infection in cats, dogs, pigs and equines of the Fernando de Noronha Island, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Magalhães, Fernando J R; Ribeiro-Andrade, Müller; Souza, Fátima M; Lima Filho, Carlos D F; Biondo, Alexander Welker; Vidotto, Odilon; Navarro, Italmar Teodorico; Mota, Rinaldo A

    2017-04-01

    Little is known about toxoplasmosis in animals of the Fernando de Noronha Island, Brazil. Therefore, we investigated the prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii infection in the total population of pet cats (n=348), dogs (n=320), pigs (n=27), equines (n=101), as well as a significant portion of the population of feral cats (n=247) of the Island by Indirect Fluorescent Antibody Test. Anti-T. gondii IgG antibodies were found in 71.26%, 54.74%, 48.75%, 51.85% and 22.7%, of the pet and feral cats, dogs, pigs and equines, respectively, demonstrating a high prevalence of T. gondii infection in the wild and domestic animals of the Island. The Kernel intensity estimator showed a correlation between areas with high prevalence of infection in cats and occurrence of infection in the other studied species. We suggest that the island's health authorities should develop initiatives to reduce the population of cats and alert the island's population about the risk of T. gondii infection. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Demography of the pet dog and cat population on the island of Ireland and human factors influencing pet ownership.

    PubMed

    Downes, Martin; Canty, Mary J; More, Simon J

    2009-11-01

    Published data on aspects of domestic pet demographics are available in many countries. Several of these studies have linked household demographics, such as the presence of children in the household, to pet ownership. There is very little published information about the demography of domestic pets on the island of Ireland (the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland). This study was conducted to describe the demography of the pet dog and cat populations on the island of Ireland and to identify human factors influencing pet ownership. A questionnaire was designed and administered to households to collect data about the demographics of households and their dogs and cats. The questions related to location, building structure, social class, nationality and family structure of the household, and the sex, age and source of each pet dog and/or cat. The survey was administered by a commercial company, using computer-assisted telephone interview techniques to 1250 households selected using random digit dialling and quota controls. In this study, a pet dog was defined as a dog that was been fed by a household and considered a pet by the participant of the study. A pet cat was defined as a cat that was both fed by the household and allowed into the house. The results show that 35.6% of households in Ireland have one or more pet dogs and 10.4% of households have one or more pet cats. In total, 47.3% of pet dogs and 76.1% of pet cats were neutered. Females of both species are more likely to be neutered than males. Factors associated with dog ownership included location, house type, household social class, household composition, the presence of school children in the house, and the presence of a cat in the house. Factors associated with pet cat ownership included the type of house structure, the presence of a dog in the house and the gender and age of the participant. Cats tend to stray into households. This study was the first to provide detailed information about the

  18. Characterizing contrast adaptation in a population of cat primary visual cortical neurons using Fisher information.

    PubMed

    Durant, Szonya; Clifford, Colin W G; Crowder, Nathan A; Price, Nicholas S C; Ibbotson, Michael R

    2007-06-01

    When cat V1/V2 cells are adapted to contrast at their optimal orientation, a reduction in gain and/or a shift in the contrast response function is found. We investigated how these factors combine at the population level to affect the accuracy for detecting variations in contrast. Using the contrast response function parameters from a physiologically measured population, we model the population accuracy (using Fisher information) for contrast discrimination. Adaptation at 16%, 32%, and 100% contrast causes a shift in peak accuracy. Despite an overall drop in firing rate over the whole population, accuracy is enhanced around the adapted contrast and at higher contrasts, leading to greater efficiency of contrast coding at these levels. The estimated contrast discrimination threshold curve becomes elevated and shifted toward higher contrasts after adaptation, as has been found previously in human psychophysical experiments.

  19. 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 the...

  20. 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 the...

  1. 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 the...

  2. 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 the...

  3. 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 the...

  4. 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, goats...

  5. 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, goats...

  6. 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, goats...

  7. 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, goats...

  8. 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, goats...

  9. An insight into population structure and gene flow within pure-bred cats.

    PubMed

    Leroy, G; Vernet, E; Pautet, M B; Rognon, X

    2014-02-01

    Investigation of genetic structure on the basis of pedigree information requires indicators adapted to the specific context of the populations studied. On the basis of pedigree-based estimates of diversity, we analysed genetic diversity, mating practices and gene flow among eight cat populations raised in France, five of them being single breeds and three consisting of breed groups with varieties that may interbreed. When computed on the basis of coancestry rate, effective population sizes ranged from 127 to 1406, while the contribution of founders from other breeds ranged from 0.7 to 16.4%. In the five breeds, FIS ranged between 0.96 and 1.83%, with this result being related to mating practices such as close inbreeding (on average 5% of individuals being inbred within two generations). Within the three groups of varieties studied, FIT ranged from 1.59 to 3%, while FST¯ values were estimated between 0.04 and 0.91%, which was linked to various amounts of gene exchanges between subpopulations at the parental level. The results indicate that cat breeds constitute populations submitted to low selection intensity, contrasting with relatively high individual inbreeding level caused by close inbreeding practices. © 2013 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  10. Characterization of immune cell populations in oral mucosal tissue of healthy adult cats.

    PubMed

    Harley, R; Gruffydd-Jones, T J; Day, M J

    2003-01-01

    The aim of this study was to characterize the leucocyte subsets present in the oral mucosa of healthy cats. Immunohistochemical labelling and computer-assisted morphometric analysis was used to identify expression of MHC class II, CD3, CD79a, IgG, IgM, IgA, and leucocyte antigen L1 (L1) by cells in sections from 19 cats, and expression of CD4 and CD8 by cells in sections from 17 cats. Mast cells were detected by toluidine blue staining. In the epithelial compartment, CD3(+) intraepithelial lymphocytes were detected, and CD8(+) cells were more common than CD4(+) cells. MHC class II labelling revealed intraepithelial and subepithelial cells with a characteristic dendritic morphology. In some sections these dendritic cells were closely associated with subepithelial clusters of CD3(+) T cells containing both CD4(+) and CD8(+) cells. In the lamina propria and submucosal compartments, the cells most commonly identified were mast cells. CD3(+) T-lymphocytes were also observed, and CD4(+) and CD8(+) cells were detected in similar numbers. L1(+) and CD79(+) cells were detected least frequently. The few plasma cells present were generally found to be either IgG(+) or IgA(+). Within the stroma surrounding the salivary glands, CD79a(+) and IgA(+) cells predominated. Slight epithelial labelling for L1 was seen in some sections. The normal feline oral mucosa clearly contains a range of immune cell populations.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Patterns of parasitic infections in faecal samples from stray cat populations in Qatar.

    PubMed

    Abu-Madi, M A; Al-Ahbabi, D A; Al-Mashhadani, M M; Al-Ibrahim, R; Pal, P; Lewis, J W

    2007-09-01

    The parasite fauna of stray cat populations, comprising mainly helminth parasites, is described for the first time from the arid environment of the Qatar peninsula. During the winter and summer months of 2005, 824 faecal samples were examined from six sites in Qatar. Up to seven species of parasites were identified, six of which were nematodes - Strongyloides stercoralis as the most prevalent (18.4%), followed by Aelurostrongylus abstrusus (7.5%), Toxocara cati (6.1%), Ancylostoma tubaeforme (5.9%) and Physaloptera sp. (4.8%) and Toxascaris leonina (0.7%) - and one sporozoan species, Isospora felis (0.5%). Unidentified cestode eggs were also recovered from 10.7% of samples examined. The parasite species were found to be highly overdispersed in faecal samples from all sites, whereas the prevalence and intensity of infections were influenced by site and season. Infection levels tended to be higher during the winter season, especially in the case of A. abstrusus and A. tubaeforme, when conditions of temperature and humidity were more favourable for the development of egg and/or larval stages of parasites compared with the extremely hot and dry summer months. The results are discussed in relation to the distribution of the cat population in the vicinity of Doha and its outskirts and the potential threat of parasite transmission to human communities in Qatar.

  14. Oral supplementation with L-lysine did not prevent upper respiratory infection in a shelter population of cats.

    PubMed

    Rees, Tina M; Lubinski, Janet L

    2008-10-01

    Cats in animal shelters are highly susceptible to infection by feline herpesvirus (FHV) by virtue of their stress and close proximity to other cats. Animal shelters take several different approaches to prevent FHV-related upper respiratory infections (URIs), including empirically treating all cats with L-lysine, a supplement believed to prevent the replication of FHV and, therefore, manifestations of herpesvirus infections. In this study we tested oral supplementation of L-lysine as a means to prevent URIs. One hundred and forty-four cats were treated with L-lysine in a small amount of canned food once daily. A 'no treatment' group of 147 cats received no lysine during the course of the study. The development of conjunctivitis or URI was tracked between the two groups. In all measures, there was no effect between the two groups, suggesting that lysine was not able to prevent URI or conjunctivitis in our shelter situation. Cats entering shelters encounter stressors that may make them more susceptible to FHV reactivation or infection. Infection control and control of fomite transmission are also key to keeping cats healthy in a group housing situation. The finding that lysine did not prevent URI in this animal shelter suggests that shelters may better use their resources by finding ways to decrease stress among their feline population, focusing on proper infection control measures, and limiting fomite transmission of disease.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. The feral horse foot. Part A: observational study of the effect of environment on the morphometrics of the feet of 100 Australian feral horses.

    PubMed

    Hampson, B A; de Laat, M A; Mills, P C; Pollitt, C C

    2013-01-01

    To better understand the morphology of, and the effect of different travel patterns and varying substrate environments on, the feral horse foot to better manage the feet of domestic horses. The left forefeet of 20 adult feral horses from each of five geographically separated populations in Australia (n = 100) were investigated. Populations were selected on the basis of substrate hardness under foot and the amount of travel typical for the population. Feet were radiographed and photographed and 40 morphometric measurements of each foot were obtained. Of the 40 parameters, 37 differed significantly (P < 0.05) among the populations, which suggested that substrate hardness and travel distance have an effect on foot morphology. Harder substrates and longer travel distances were associated with short hoof walls and minimal hoof wall flaring. Softer substrates and moderate travel distances were associated with long flared walls, similar to that of typical untrimmed feet of domestic horses. The morphology of the feral horse foot appeared to be affected by the distance travelled and by the abrasive qualities and mechanical properties of the substrate under foot. There were marked differences in some conformation parameters between the feral horses in the current study and domestic horses in previous studies. Although the conformation of the feral horse foot may have some prescriptive value, concerns regarding abnormal foot anatomy warrant further investigation. © 2012 The Authors. Australian Veterinary Journal © 2012 Australian Veterinary Association.

  18. US Domestic Cats as Sentinels for Perfluoroalkyl Substances ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), such as perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) , are persistent, globally distributed, anthropogenic compounds. The primary source(s) for human exposure are not well understood although within home exposure is likely important since many consumer products have been treated with different PFAS, and people spend much of their lives indoors. Herein, domestic cats were used as sentinels to investigate potential exposure and health linkages. PFAS in serum samples of 72 pet and feral cats, including 11 healthy and 61 with one or more primary disease diagnoses, were quantitated using high-resolution time-of-flight mass spectroscopy. All but one sample had detectable PFAS, with PFOS and perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHxS) ranging from cats were very similar to contemporary NHANES reports of human sera in the U. S. POPULATION: The highest PFAS serum concentrations detected were in indoor cats due to disproportionately elevated PFHxS levels. Ranked by quartile, contingency testing indicated that total PFAS levels were positively associated with living indoors and with higher body weight and body condition scores. Individual PFAS quartile rankings suggested positive associations with respiratory effusion, thyroid, liver, and possibly chronic kidney disease . Domestic cats appear to be useful sentinels for assessing primary

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  20. Evidence of leptospirosis in the kidneys and serum of feral swine (Sus scrofa) in the United States.

    PubMed

    Pedersen, K; Anderson, T D; Bevins, S N; Pabilonia, K L; Whitley, P N; Virchow, D R; Gidlewski, T

    2017-01-01

    Leptospirosis is the most widespread zoonosis in humans worldwide. In the United States, widespread detection of antibodies to leptospirosis have been identified in feral swine (Sus scrofa) with the highest detection of serovars, Bratislava, Icterohaemorrhagiae, and Pomona. Over the past few years, feral swine populations have expanded their geographical range and distribution in the United States with reports in at least 39 of 50 states. Since feral swine serve as reservoirs for serovars that can infect humans, it is important to understand the risk of transmission. In order to learn more about the probability that feral swine shed infectious leptospires, we collected kidneys and paired serum when possible from 677 feral swine in 124 counties of 29 states. These counties had previously been identified as antibody positive for Leptospira interrogans serovars Bratislava, Canicola, Grippotyphosa, Hardjo, Icterohaemorrhagiae or Pomona. Although exposure to these same six serovars of leptospirosis continued to be high (53% overall) in the counties we sampled, we detected leptospiral DNA in only 3·4% of feral swine kidneys tested. Based on these results, it appears that although feral swine can serve as a source of infection to humans, especially in those who are more likely to encounter them directly such as wildlife biologists, veterinarians, and hunters, the risk may be relatively low. However, further studies to examine the relationship between leptospiral shedding in the urine and kidneys in addition to culturing the organism are recommended in order to better understand the risk associated with feral swine.

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Aravena, P; Skewes, O; Gouin, N

    2015-04-28

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2015-01-01

    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

  7. Efficacy of feral pig removals at Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hess, Steven C.; Jeffrey, John J.; Ball, Donna; Babich, Lev

    2006-01-01

    We compiled and analyzed data from 1987–2004 on feral pig (Sus scrofa) management and monitoring activities at Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge, a tropical montane rainforest on the island of Hawai`i. These data included annual surveys of feral pig and cattle (Bos taurus) activity, the number of feral ungulates removed from closed management units, age and reproductive status from necropsies, and vegetation surveys repeated 4 times over a 16 year period. We found an essentially even sex ratio within the feral pig population and within age classes, although males lived to 60 months while females lived to only 48 months. The pregnancy rate was 23.5%, and lactation rate was 8.3%, regardless of season and age, but lactation peaked in April-June. Reproductive rates also increased with age, peaking at 2–4 years in females. We reconstructed the standing population within a closed unit to examine demographic processes. We estimated that annual removal in excess of approximately 41–43% would be necessary to affect a population decline. We examined annual feral pig activity surveys and found a strong and sustained decline in pig sign after 1997 relative to unmanaged areas. We related the standing population to feral pig activity surveys to build a predictive model of feral pig density, and then applied this model to other management units. We evaluated control methods and found snaring to be more efficient than staff or public hunting. Vegetation monitoring revealed a strong temporal increase in cover of native ferns, and marginally non-significant decreases in cover of bryophytes and exposed soil.

  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.

    PubMed

    Ramlachan, Nicole; Anderson, Robin C; Andrews, Kathleen; Harvey, Roger B; Nisbet, David J

    2008-02-01

    Continuous flow cultures of feral (culture FC) and domesticated (culture RPCF) pig gut microflora were established in steady state. Cultures were continuously infused with 25 or 100 microg tylosin/mL and sampled at intervals to assess effects on total culturable anaerobes, Bacteroides and Enterococcus via plating to agar supplemented without or with 100 microg tylosin/mL, the latter to assess bacterial sensitivity to tylosin. Endogenous tylosin-insensitive anaerobes within the cultures, while similar prior to tylosin administration, responded differently during tylosin administration, with concentrations in RPCF cultures becoming enriched more than in FC cultures. Tylosin-insensitive anaerobes in RPCF cultures persisted at increased concentrations after cessation of tylosin administration whereas concentrations in FC cultures decreased slightly. Concentrations of Bacteroides and endogenous Enterococcus recovered on medium without tylosin decreased to near or below detectable levels in FC cultures administered 25 or 100 microg tylosin/mL. Tylosin-insensitive Bacteroides were enriched to >5 log10 CFU/mL in RPCF cultures after 25 microg tylosin/mL but not at 100 microg tylosin/mL. Populations of endogenous tylosin-insensitive Enterococcus were enriched in RPCF but not FC cultures administered 25 or 100 microg tylosin/mL. In cultures administered 100 microg tylosin/mL, an exogenous-sourced E. faecium possessing tylosin resistance maintained itself only in the presence of tylosin. These results indicate that under the conditions of these tests, antibiotic exposure may enrich for antibiotic-insensitive bacteria populations of endogenous or exogenous origin but that the ability of an exogenous tylosin-resistant E. faecium to persist is reduced in the absence of the antibiotic, likely due to exclusion by native flora.

  9. Coexistence of Bartonella henselae and B. clarridgeiae in populations of cats and their fleas in Guatemala.

    PubMed

    Bai, Ying; Rizzo, Maria Fernanda; Alvarez, Danilo; Moran, David; Peruski, Leonard F; Kosoy, Michael

    2015-12-01

    Cats and their fleas collected in Guatemala were investigated for the presence of Bartonella infections. Bartonella bacteria were cultured from 8.2% (13/159) of cats, and all cultures were identified as B. henselae. Molecular analysis allowed detection of Bartonella DNA in 33.8% (48/142) of cats and in 22.4% (34/152) of cat fleas using gltA, nuoG, and 16S-23S internal transcribed spacer targets. Two Bartonella species, B. henselae and B. clarridgeiae, were identified in cats and cat fleas by molecular analysis, with B. henselae being more common than B. clarridgeiae in the cats (68.1%; 32/47 vs 31.9%; 15/47). The nuoG was found to be less sensitive for detecting B. clarridgeiae compared with other molecular targets and could detect only two of the 15 B. clarridgeiae-infected cats. No significant differences were observed for prevalence between male and female cats and between different age groups. No evident association was observed between the presence of Bartonella species in cats and in their fleas.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Lawsonia intracellularis in the feces of wild rodents and stray cats captured around equine farms.

    PubMed

    Hwang, Jeong-Min; Seo, Myung-Ji; Yeh, Jung-Yong

    2017-08-11

    Proliferative enteropathy is a global enteric disease of particular importance in pigs. The causative bacterium, Lawsonia intracellularis, has a wide range of susceptible host species. Recently, L. intracellularis has been recognized as an etiologic agent of an emerging enteric disease in foals called equine proliferative enteropathy (EPE). The presence of L. intracellularis in nonruminant wildlife has raised questions regarding the role of these species in EPE transmission. This study investigated exposure to L. intracellularis in wild rodents and feral cats from eight farms with confirmed EPE. Serum (42) and fecal (40) samples from resident foals and fecal samples (131), intestinal mucosa tissues (14), and mesenteric lymph nodes (14) from wild and feral animals were collected for the evaluation of the farm status and the molecular detection of L. intracellularis following the diagnosis of EPE in index cases. Fresh feces from wild rodents and feral cats were collected from the ground while walking the premises or after trapping the animals using live traps. A total of 3 brown rats, 7 house mice, 1 striped field mouse, 2 grey red-backed voles, and 3 feral cats showed evidence of prior exposure to L. intracellularis. Our data add to increasing evidence demonstrating the potential for L. intracellularis transmission and infection in wild rodents and feral cats and provide possible evidence of interspecies transmission. The exposure of wild rodents and feral cats provides potential evidence for the spillover of L. intracellularis to wildlife species and raises the question of spillback to horses. Additionally, these animals may represent an indicator of environmental exposure or may be actively involved in the transmission of L. intracellularis to foals by acting as potential reservoir/amplifier hosts. This study is the first to demonstrate the magnitude of L. intracellularis shedding in the feces of wild rodents and feral cats and to indicate the significant

  15. 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.

  16. Astronomy CATS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brissenden, Gina; Prather, Edward E.; Impey, Chris

    2012-08-01

    The Center for Astronomy Education's (CAE's) NSF-funded Collaboration of Astronomy Teaching Scholars (CATS) Program is a grassroots multi-institutional effort to increase the capacity for astronomy education research and improve science literacy in the United States.Our primary target population is the 500,000 college students who each year enroll in an introductory general education (a breadth requirement for non-science majors) Earth, Astronomy, and Space Science (EASS) course (Fraknoi 2001, AGI 2006).An equally important population for our efforts is the individuals who are, or will be, teaching these students. In this chapter, we will briefly discuss the goals of CAE and CATS, the varied personnel that make up the CATS collective, the diverse projects we've undertaken, and the many challenges we have had to work through to make CATS a success.

  17. Occurrence of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) populations along roadsides in southern Manitoba, Canada and their potential role in intraspecific gene flow.

    PubMed

    Bagavathiannan, Muthukumar V; Gulden, Robert H; Van Acker, Rene C

    2011-04-01

    Alfalfa is a highly outcrossing perennial species that can be noticed in roadsides as feral populations. There remains little information available on the extent of feral alfalfa populations in western Canadian prairies and their role in gene flow. The main objectives of this study were (a) to document the occurrence of feral alfalfa populations, and (b) to estimate the levels of outcrossing facilitated by feral populations. A roadside survey confirmed widespread occurrence of feral alfalfa populations, particularly in alfalfa growing regions. The feral populations were dynamic and their frequency ranged from 0.2 to 1.7 populations km(-1). In many cases, the nearest feral alfalfa population from alfalfa production field was located within a distance sufficient for outcrossing in alfalfa. The gene flow study confirmed that genes can move back and forth between feral and cultivated alfalfa populations. In this study, the estimated outcrossing levels were 62% (seed fields to feral), 78% (feral to seed fields), 82% (hay fields to feral) and 85% (feral to feral). Overall, the results show that feral alfalfa plants are prevalent in alfalfa producing regions in western Canada and they can serve as bridges for gene flow at landscape level. Management of feral populations should be considered, if gene flow is a concern. Emphasis on preventing seed spill/escapes and intentional roadside planting of alfalfa cultivars will be particularly helpful. Further, realistic and pragmatic threshold levels should be established for markets sensitive to the presence of GE traits.

  18. Feline diabetes mellitus in the UK: the prevalence within an insured cat population and a questionnaire-based putative risk factor analysis.

    PubMed

    McCann, Theresa M; Simpson, Kerry E; Shaw, Darren J; Butt, Jennifer A; Gunn-Moore, Danielle A

    2007-08-01

    Prevalence and risk factors for the development of diabetes mellitus (DM) in cats in the United Kingdom have not previously been reported. The prevalence of DM was evaluated in a large insured population and was found to be 1 in 230 cats. In this insured cat population Burmese cats were 3.7 times more likely to develop DM than non-pedigree cats. A convenience-sampling questionnaire-based study was used in order to identify putative risk factors for the development of DM. The univariate risk factor analysis identified being male, neutered, inactive, weighing >or=5 kg and having a history of corticosteroid treatment as significant risk factors for the development of DM in these cats. In addition, male cats treated with megestrol acetate had a significantly increased risk of developing DM compared to females. In contrast, there was no difference in DM occurrence between male and female Burmese cats. A multivariate classification tree-based model on the questionnaire data looking for interactions between risk factors, identified gender as the most important overall risk factor for the development of DM with low physical activity being the next most important risk factor for female cats and breed the next most important for male cats.

  19. 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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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, ...

  20. 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.

  1. Relating cluster and population responses to natural sounds and tonal stimuli in cat primary auditory cortex.

    PubMed

    Rotman, Y; Bar-Yosef, O; Nelken, I

    2001-02-01

    Most information about neuronal properties in primary auditory cortex (AI) has been gathered using simple artificial sounds such as pure tones and broad-band noise. These sounds are very different from the natural sounds that are processed by the auditory system in real world situations. In an attempt to bridge this gap, simple tonal stimuli and a standard set of six natural sounds were used to create models relating the responses of neuronal clusters in AI of barbiturate-anesthetized cats to the two classes of stimuli. A significant correlation was often found between the response to the separate frequency components of the natural sounds and the response to the natural sound itself. At the population level, this correlation resulted in a rate profile that represented robustly the spectral profiles of the natural sounds. There was however a significant scatter in the responses to the natural sound around the predictions based on the responses to tonal stimuli. Going the other way, in order to understand better the non-linearities in the responses to natural sounds, responses of neuronal clusters were characterized using second order Volterra kernel analysis of their responses to natural sounds. This characterization predicted reasonably well the amplitude of the response to other natural sounds, but could not reproduce the responses to tonal stimuli. Thus, second order non-linear characterizations, at least those using the Volterra kernel model, do not interpolate well between responses to tones and to natural sounds in auditory cortex.

  2. 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. © 2015 The Authors

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Comparative study of aural microflora in healthy cats, allergic cats and cats with systemic disease.

    PubMed

    Pressanti, Charline; Drouet, Clémence; Cadiergues, Marie-Christine

    2014-12-01

    Twenty healthy cats (group 1) with clinically normal ears, 15 cats with systemic disease (group 2) and 15 allergic cats (group 3) were included in a prospective study. The experimental unit was the ear. A clinical score was established for each ear canal after otoscopic examination. Microbial population was assessed on cytological examination of smears performed with the cotton-tipped applicator smear technique. Fungal population was significantly more prominent in allergic cats (P <0.001) and in diseased cats compared with healthy cats (P <0.02). Bacterial population was significantly higher in allergic cats than in healthy cats (P <0.001) and cats suffering from systemic disease (P <0.001). Bacterial overgrowth was also higher in cats with systemic disease than healthy cats. In cats from group 2, only fungal overgrowth was associated with otitis severity. In group 3, only bacterial overgrowth was associated with otitis severity.

  9. Parasites in cultured and feral fish.

    PubMed

    Scholz, T

    1999-08-01

    Parasites, causing little apparent damage in feral fish populations, may become causative agents of diseases of great importance in farmed fish, leading to pathological changes, decrease of fitness or reduction of the market value of fish. Despite considerable progress in fish parasitology in the last decades, major gaps still exist in the knowledge of taxonomy, biology, epizootiology and control of fish parasites, including such 'evergreens' as the ciliate Ichthyophthirius multifiliis, a causative agent of white spot disease, or proliferative kidney disease (PKD), one of the most economically damaging diseases in the rainbow trout industry which causative agent remain enigmatic. Besides long-recognized parasites, other potentially severe pathogens have appeared quite recently such as amphizoic amoebae, causative agents of amoebic gill disease (AGD), the monogenean Gyrodactylus salaris which has destroyed salmon populations in Norway, or sea lice, in particular Lepeophtheirus salmonis that endanger marine salmonids in some areas. Recent spreading of some parasites throughout the world (e.g. the cestode Bothriocephalus acheilognathi) has been facilitated through insufficient veterinary control during import of fish. Control of many important parasitic diseases is still far from being satisfactory and further research is needed. Use of chemotherapy has limitations and new effective, but environmentally safe drugs should be developed. A very promising area of future research seems to be studies on immunity in parasitic infections, use of molecular technology in diagnostics and development of new vaccines against the most pathogenic parasites.

  10. Phenotypes and echocardiographic characteristics of a European population of domestic shorthair cats with idiopathic hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

    PubMed

    Brizard, D; Amberger, C; Hartnack, S; Doherr, M; Lombard, C

    2009-11-01

    111 Domestic Shorthair cats with idiopathic hypertrophic cardiomyopathy were reviewed retrospectively. Two-dimensional echocardiography was used to classify cases in 6 established phenotypes. Hypertrophy was diffuse in 61 % of cats and involved major portions of the ventricular septum and the left ventricular free wall (phenotype D). In the remaining cats, distribution of hypertrophy was more segmental and was identified on the papillary muscles exclusively (phenotype A, 6 %), on the anterior and basal portion of the ventricular septum (phenotype B, 12 %), on the entire septum (phenotype C, 14 %), or on the left ventricular free wall (phenotype E, 7 %). Echocardiographic characteristics and clinical findings were determined for each phenotype to study the correlation between distribution of hypertrophy and clinical implications. 31 cats demonstrated systolic anterior motion of the mitral valve, 75 % of them belonged to phenotype C of hypertrophy. Left ventricular-outflow turbulences were identified more frequently with patterns of hypertrophy involving the ventricular septum (65.5 %), while prevalence of mitral regurgitation was higher when hypertrophy included the papillary muscles (phenotypes A and E, 85 % and 87 %, respectively). Left atrial dilatation occurred more frequently when hypertrophy was diffuse or confined to the left ventricular free wall (61 % of cats with phenotype D or E) rather than to the ventricular septum (31 % of cats with phenotype B or C).

  11. A first estimate of the structure and density of the populations of pet cats and dogs across Great Britain.

    PubMed

    Aegerter, James; Fouracre, David; Smith, Graham C

    2017-01-01

    Policy development, implementation, and effective contingency response rely on a strong evidence base to ensure success and cost-effectiveness. Where this includes preventing the establishment or spread of zoonotic or veterinary diseases infecting companion cats and dogs, descriptions of the structure and density of the populations of these pets are useful. Similarly, such descriptions may help in supporting diverse fields of study such as; evidence-based veterinary practice, veterinary epidemiology, public health and ecology. As well as maps of where pets are, estimates of how many may rarely, or never, be seen by veterinarians and might not be appropriately managed in the event of a disease outbreak are also important. Unfortunately both sources of evidence are absent from the scientific and regulatory literatures. We make this first estimate of the structure and density of pet populations by using the most recent national population estimates of cats and dogs across Great Britain and subdividing these spatially, and categorically across ownership classes. For the spatial model we used the location and size of veterinary practises across GB to predict the local density of pets, using client travel time to define catchments around practises, and combined this with residential address data to estimate the rate of ownership. For the estimates of pets which may provoke problems in managing a veterinary or zoonotic disease we reviewed the literature and defined a comprehensive suite of ownership classes for cats and dogs, collated estimates of the sub-populations for each ownership class as well as their rates of interaction and produced a coherent scaled description of the structure of the national population. The predicted density of pets varied substantially, with the lowest densities in rural areas, and the highest in the centres of large cities where each species could exceed 2500 animals.km-2. Conversely, the number of pets per household showed the opposite

  12. A first estimate of the structure and density of the populations of pet cats and dogs across Great Britain

    PubMed Central

    Fouracre, David; Smith, Graham C.

    2017-01-01

    Policy development, implementation, and effective contingency response rely on a strong evidence base to ensure success and cost-effectiveness. Where this includes preventing the establishment or spread of zoonotic or veterinary diseases infecting companion cats and dogs, descriptions of the structure and density of the populations of these pets are useful. Similarly, such descriptions may help in supporting diverse fields of study such as; evidence-based veterinary practice, veterinary epidemiology, public health and ecology. As well as maps of where pets are, estimates of how many may rarely, or never, be seen by veterinarians and might not be appropriately managed in the event of a disease outbreak are also important. Unfortunately both sources of evidence are absent from the scientific and regulatory literatures. We make this first estimate of the structure and density of pet populations by using the most recent national population estimates of cats and dogs across Great Britain and subdividing these spatially, and categorically across ownership classes. For the spatial model we used the location and size of veterinary practises across GB to predict the local density of pets, using client travel time to define catchments around practises, and combined this with residential address data to estimate the rate of ownership. For the estimates of pets which may provoke problems in managing a veterinary or zoonotic disease we reviewed the literature and defined a comprehensive suite of ownership classes for cats and dogs, collated estimates of the sub-populations for each ownership class as well as their rates of interaction and produced a coherent scaled description of the structure of the national population. The predicted density of pets varied substantially, with the lowest densities in rural areas, and the highest in the centres of large cities where each species could exceed 2500 animals.km-2. Conversely, the number of pets per household showed the opposite

  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. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Population size, breeding biology and on-land threats of Cape Verde petrel (Pterodroma feae) in Fogo Island, Cape Verde

    PubMed Central

    Zango, Laura; Calabuig, Pascual; Stefan, Laura M.; González-Solís, Jacob

    2017-01-01

    Cape Verde petrel (Pterodroma feae) is currently considered near threatened, but little is known about its population size, breeding biology and on land threats, jeopardizing its management and conservation. To improve this situation, we captured, marked and recaptured (CMR) birds using mist-nets over 10 years; measured and sexed them; monitored up to 14 burrows, deployed GPS devices on breeders and analyzed activity data of geolocators retrieved from breeders in Fogo (Cape Verde). We set cat traps over the colony and investigated their domestic/feral origin by marking domestic cats from a nearby village with transponders, by deploying GPS devices on domestic cats and by performing stable isotope analyses of fur of the trapped and domestic cats. The population of Fogo was estimated to be 293 birds, including immatures (95% CI: 233–254, CMR modelling). Based on geolocator activity data and nest monitoring we determined the breeding phenology of this species and we found biometric differences between sexes. While monitoring breeding performance, we verified a still ongoing cat predation and human harvesting. Overall, data gathered from trapped cats without transponder, cats GPS trips and the distinct isotopic values between domestic and trapped cats suggest cats visiting the colony are of feral origin. GPS tracks from breeders showed birds left and returned to the colony using the sector NE of the islands, where high level of public lights should be avoided specially during the fledging period. Main threats for the Cape Verde petrel in the remaining breeding islands are currently unknown but likely to be similar to Fogo, calling for an urgent assessment of population trends and the control of main threats in all Cape Verde Islands and uplisting its conservation status. PMID:28369105

  17. Population size, breeding biology and on-land threats of Cape Verde petrel (Pterodroma feae) in Fogo Island, Cape Verde.

    PubMed

    Militão, Teresa; Dinis, Herculano Andrade; Zango, Laura; Calabuig, Pascual; Stefan, Laura M; González-Solís, Jacob

    2017-01-01

    Cape Verde petrel (Pterodroma feae) is currently considered near threatened, but little is known about its population size, breeding biology and on land threats, jeopardizing its management and conservation. To improve this situation, we captured, marked and recaptured (CMR) birds using mist-nets over 10 years; measured and sexed them; monitored up to 14 burrows, deployed GPS devices on breeders and analyzed activity data of geolocators retrieved from breeders in Fogo (Cape Verde). We set cat traps over the colony and investigated their domestic/feral origin by marking domestic cats from a nearby village with transponders, by deploying GPS devices on domestic cats and by performing stable isotope analyses of fur of the trapped and domestic cats. The population of Fogo was estimated to be 293 birds, including immatures (95% CI: 233-254, CMR modelling). Based on geolocator activity data and nest monitoring we determined the breeding phenology of this species and we found biometric differences between sexes. While monitoring breeding performance, we verified a still ongoing cat predation and human harvesting. Overall, data gathered from trapped cats without transponder, cats GPS trips and the distinct isotopic values between domestic and trapped cats suggest cats visiting the colony are of feral origin. GPS tracks from breeders showed birds left and returned to the colony using the sector NE of the islands, where high level of public lights should be avoided specially during the fledging period. Main threats for the Cape Verde petrel in the remaining breeding islands are currently unknown but likely to be similar to Fogo, calling for an urgent assessment of population trends and the control of main threats in all Cape Verde Islands and uplisting its conservation status.

  18. Dietary protein concentration affects intestinal microbiota of adult cats: a study using DGGE and qPCR to evaluate differences in microbial populations in the feline gastrointestinal tract.

    PubMed

    Lubbs, D C; Vester, B M; Fastinger, N D; Swanson, K S

    2009-02-01

    The objective of this study was to identify qualitative and quantitative differences in microbial populations of adult cats fed diets containing different protein concentrations. Following a 4 week baseline period, eight healthy adult domestic short-hair queens (>1-year-old) were randomly allotted to a moderate-protein (MP; n = 4) or high-protein (HP; n = 4) diet for 8 weeks. Fresh faecal samples were collected after baseline and 8 weeks on treatment and stored at -80 degrees C. Following DNA extraction, samples were analyzed using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis to distinguish qualitative changes between diets. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction was used to measure E. coli, Bifidobacterium, Clostridium perfringens, and Lactobacillus populations. Compared to baseline, cats fed MP had a bacterial similarity index of 66.7% as opposed to 40.6% similarity for those fed HP, exhibiting marked changes in intestinal bacteria of cats fed HP. Bifidobacterium populations were greater (p < 0.05) in cats fed MP versus HP (9.44 vs. 5.63 CFU/g). Clostridium perfringens populations were greater (p < 0.05) in cats fed HP than MP (12.39 vs. 10.83 CFU/g). In this experiment, a high-protein diet resulted in a dramatic shift in microbial populations. Decreased Bifidobacterium population in cats fed HP may justify prebiotic supplementation for such diets.

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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. Genetic diversity of Toxoplama gondii isolates from Ethiopian feral cats

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  1. 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

  2. 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 equally...

  3. 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 equally...

  4. 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 equally...

  5. 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 equally...

  6. 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 equally...

  7. The dog and cat population on Maio Island, Cape Verde: characterisation and prediction based on household survey and remotely sensed imagery.

    PubMed

    Lopes Antunes, Ana Carolina; Ducheyne, Els; Bryssinckx, Ward; Vieira, Sara; Malta, Manuel; Vaz, Yolanda; Nunes, Telmo; Mintiens, Koen

    2015-11-04

    The objective was to estimate and characterise the dog and cat population on Maio Island, Cape Verde. Remotely sensed imagery was used to document the number of houses across the island and a household survey was carried out in six administrative areas recording the location of each animal using a global positioning system instrument. Linear statistical models were applied to predict the dog and cat populations based on the number of houses found and according to various levels of data aggregation. In the surveyed localities, a total of 457 dogs and 306 cats were found. The majority of animals had owners and only a few had free access to outdoor activities. The estimated population size was 531 dogs [95% confidence interval (CI): 453-609] and 354 cats (95% CI: 275-431). Stray animals were not a concern on the island in contrast to the rest of the country.

  8. 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

    2015-03-13

    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.

  9. Impacts of feral horse use on riparian vegetation within the sagebrush steppe

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Feral horses inhabit rangeland ecosystems around the world, but their impacts on riparian ecosystems are poorly understood. We characterized impacts of a free-ranging horse population on the structure and composition of riparian plant communities in the sagebrush steppe ecosystem in the western US....

  10. 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

  11. Contact heterogeneities in feral swine: implications for disease management and future research

    Treesearch

    Kim M. Pepin; Amy J. Davis; James Beasley; Raoul  Boughton; Tyler  Campbell; Susan M. Cooper; Wes Gaston; Steve Hartley; John Kilgo; Samantha M. Wisely; Christy Wyckoff; Kurt C. VerCauteren

    2016-01-01

    Contact rates vary widely among individuals in socially structured wildlife populations. Understanding the interplay of factors responsible for this variation is essential for planning effective disease management. Feral swine (Sus scrofa) are a socially structured species which pose an increasing threat to livestock and human health, and little is known about contact...

  12. 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. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Low genetic variation in the MHC class II DRB gene and MHC-linked microsatellites in endangered island populations of the leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis) in Japan.

    PubMed

    Saka, Toshinori; Nishita, Yoshinori; Masuda, Ryuichi

    2017-07-09

    Isolated populations of the leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis) on Tsushima and Iriomote islands in Japan are classified as subspecies P. b. euptilurus and P. b. iriomotensis, respectively. Because both populations have decreased to roughly 100, an understanding of their genetic diversity is essential for conservation. We genotyped MHC class II DRB exon 2 and MHC-linked microsatellite loci to evaluate the diversity of MHC genes in the Tsushima and Iriomote cat populations. We detected ten and four DRB alleles in these populations, respectively. A phylogenetic analysis showed DRB alleles from both populations to be closely related to those in other felid DRB lineages, indicating trans-species polymorphism. The MHC-linked microsatellites were more polymorphic in the Tsushima than in the Iriomote population. The MHC diversity of both leopard cat populations is much lower than in the domestic cat populations on these islands, probably due to inbreeding associated with founder effects, geographical isolation, or genetic drift. Our results predict low resistance of the two endangered populations to new pathogens introduced to the islands.

  17. Curiosity killed the cat: no evidence of an association between cat ownership and psychotic symptoms at ages 13 and 18 years in a UK general population cohort.

    PubMed

    Solmi, F; Hayes, J F; Lewis, G; Kirkbride, J B

    2017-07-01

    Congenital or early life infection with Toxoplasma gondii has been implicated in schizophrenia aetiology. Childhood cat ownership has been hypothesized as an intermediary marker of T. gondii infection and, by proxy, as a risk factor for later psychosis. Evidence supporting this hypothesis is, however, limited. We used birth cohort data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) to investigate whether cat ownership in pregnancy and childhood (ages 4 and 10 years) was associated with psychotic experiences (PEs) in early (age 13, N = 6705) and late (age 18, N = 4676) adolescence, rated from semi-structured interviews. We used logistic regression to examine associations between cat ownership and PEs, adjusting for several sociodemographic and socioeconomic factors, household characteristics and dog ownership. Missing data were handled via multiple imputation. Cat ownership during pregnancy was not associated with PEs at age 13 years [adjusted odds ratio (OR) 1.15, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.97-1.35] or 18 years (OR 1.08, 95% CI 0.86-1.35). Initial univariable evidence that cat ownership at ages 4 and 10 years was associated with PEs at age 13 years did not persist after multivariable adjustment (4 years: OR 1.18, 95% CI 0.94-1.48; 10 years: OR 1.12, 95% CI 0.92-1.36). There was no evidence that childhood cat ownership was associated with PEs at age 18 years. While pregnant women should continue to avoid handling soiled cat litter, given possible T. gondii exposure, our study strongly indicates that cat ownership in pregnancy or early childhood does not confer an increased risk of later adolescent PEs.

  18. Morphometry and abnormalities of the feet of Kaimanawa feral horses in New Zealand.

    PubMed

    Hampson, B A; Ramsey, G; Macintosh, A M H; Mills, P C; de Laat, M A; Pollitt, C C

    2010-04-01

    The present study investigated the foot health of the Kaimanawa feral horse population and tested the hypotheses that horses would have a large range of foot morphology and that the incidence of foot abnormality would be significantly high. Abnormality was defined as a variation from what the two veterinarian assessors considered as optimal morphology and which was considered to impact negatively on the structure and/or function of the foot. Fifteen morphometric variables were measured on four calibrated photographic views of all four feet of 20 adult Kaimanawa feral horses. Four morphometric variables were measured from the lateromedial radiographs of the left forefoot of each horse. In addition, the study identified the incidence of gross abnormality observed on the photographs and radiographs of all 80 feet. There was a large variation between horses in the morphometric dimensions, indicating an inconsistent foot type. Mean hoof variables were outside the normal range recommended by veterinarians and hoof care providers; 35% of all feet had a long toe conformation and 15% had a mediolateral imbalance. Abnormalities included lateral (85% of horses) and dorsal (90% of horses) wall flares, presence of laminar rings (80% of horses) and bull-nose tip of the distal phalanx (75% of horses). Both hypotheses were therefore accepted. The Kaimanawa feral horse population demonstrated a broad range of foot abnormalities and we propose that one reason for the questionable foot health and conformation is lack of abrasive wearing by the environment. In comparison with other feral horse populations in Australia and America there may be less pressure on the natural selection of the foot of the Kaimanawa horses by the forgiving environment of the Kaimanawa Ranges. Contrary to popular belief, the feral horse foot type should not be used as an ideal model for the domestic horse foot.

  19. Modelling landscape-level numerical responses of predators to prey: the case of cats and rabbits.

    PubMed

    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

  20. 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

  1. Serological survey of Encephalitozoon cuniculi infection in cats in Japan.

    PubMed

    Tsukada, Ryusuke; Osaka, Yuki; Takano, Tomomi; Sasaki, Mizuki; Inose, Mitsuhiro; Ikadai, Hiromi

    2016-11-01

    Antibodies to Encephalitozoon cuniculi (E. cuniculi) were examined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay using E. cuniculi PTP2 recombinant protein from serum samples that had been collected from a total of 295 cats in Japan. Of these samples, 6.1% (18/295) had antibodies against E. cuniculi, which included 6.3% (6/96) of the male cats and 6.0% (12/199) of the female cats. The incidence was slightly higher in feral cats (8.3%, 11/132) compared to domesticated cats (4.3%, 7/163). This suggests the possibility that the cats of our country have become a reservoir of E. cuniculi. This study is the first to demonstrate the prevalence of E. cuniculi infection in cats in Japan.

  2. Serological survey of Encephalitozoon cuniculi infection in cats in Japan

    PubMed Central

    TSUKADA, Ryusuke; OSAKA, Yuki; TAKANO, Tomomi; SASAKI, Mizuki; INOSE, Mitsuhiro; IKADAI, Hiromi

    2016-01-01

    Antibodies to Encephalitozoon cuniculi (E. cuniculi) were examined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay using E. cuniculi PTP2 recombinant protein from serum samples that had been collected from a total of 295 cats in Japan. Of these samples, 6.1% (18/295) had antibodies against E. cuniculi, which included 6.3% (6/96) of the male cats and 6.0% (12/199) of the female cats. The incidence was slightly higher in feral cats (8.3%, 11/132) compared to domesticated cats (4.3%, 7/163). This suggests the possibility that the cats of our country have become a reservoir of E. cuniculi. This study is the first to demonstrate the prevalence of E. cuniculi infection in cats in Japan. PMID:27320966

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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 ...

  4. 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

  5. Prevalence and Diversity of Cryptosporidium and Giardia Identified Among Feral Pigs in Texas.

    PubMed

    Rodriguez-Rivera, Lorraine D; Cummings, Kevin J; McNeely, Isaac; Suchodolski, Jan S; Scorza, Andrea V; Lappin, Michael R; Mesenbrink, Brian T; Leland, Bruce R; Bodenchuk, Michael J

    2016-12-01

    The population size and geographic range of feral pigs in the United States are rapidly expanding. Nevertheless, the role of this invasive species in the ecology and transmission of zoonotic enteric pathogens is poorly understood. Our objectives were to describe the prevalence and diversity of Cryptosporidium and Giardia shedding among feral pigs throughout Texas and to identify risk factors for infection. Fecal samples were collected from feral pigs in Texas from February 2014 through May 2015. Cryptosporidium oocysts and Giardia cysts were detected using a direct immunofluorescence assay, and genotyping of positive samples was performed. The prevalence of Cryptosporidium shedding was 1.6% (6/370), and C. scrofarum and C. suis were identified. The prevalence of Giardia shedding was 4.3% (16/370), and assemblages A and E were identified. Cryptosporidium shedding was significantly more common among juvenile and subadult pigs than among adult pigs, but age group was not associated with Giardia shedding status. Feral pigs may serve as a source of Cryptosporidium and Giardia transmission to humans and livestock.

  6. 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. © 2015 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  7. Final Environmental Assessment for Advanced Littoral Reconnaissance Technologies (ALRT) Project at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-05-28

    visual tracking surveys with the subjectivity of live trapping (FWC, 2006). Current threats to this population include predation by feral cats and loss...that may infect native wildlife. Coyotes, red fox, feral cats , fire ants, and cactus moths are nonnative invasive animal species known to inhabit SRI... Feral Cats Feral cats are a major predator on native wildlife species. Over time, and with the assistance of humans, feral cats have become

  8. Comparison of the COPD Assessment Test (CAT) and the Clinical COPD Questionnaire (CCQ) in a Clinical Population.

    PubMed

    Sundh, Josefin; Ställberg, Björn; Lisspers, Karin; Kämpe, Mary; Janson, Christer; Montgomery, Scott

    2016-01-01

    The COPD Assessment Test (CAT) and the Clinical COPD Questionnaire (CCQ) are both clinically useful health status instruments. The main objective was to compare CAT and CCQ measurement instruments. CAT and CCQ forms were completed by 432 randomly selected primary and secondary care patients with a COPD diagnosis. Correlation and linear regression analyses of CAT and CCQ were performed. Standardised scores were created for the CAT and CCQ scores, and separate multiple linear regression analyses for CAT and CCQ examined associations with sex, age (≤ 60, 61-70 and >70 years), exacerbations (≥ 1 vs 0 in the previous year), body mass index (BMI), heart disease, anxiety/depression and lung function (subgroup with n = 246). CAT and CCQ correlated well (r = 0.88, p < 0.0001), as did CAT ≥ 10 and CCQ ≥ 1 (r = 0.78, p < 0.0001). CCQ 1.0 corresponded to CAT 9.93 and CAT 10 to CCQ 1.29. Both instruments were associated with BMI < 20 (standardised adjusted regression coefficient (95%CI) for CAT 0.56 (0.18 to 0.93) and CCQ 0.56 (0.20 to 0.92)), exacerbations (CAT 0.77 (0.58 to 0.95) and CCQ 0.94 (0.76 to 1.12)), heart disease (CAT 0.38 (0.17 to 0.59) and CCQ 0.23 (0.03 to 0.43)), anxiety/depression (CAT 0.35 (0.15 to 0.56) and CCQ 0.41 (0.21 to 0.60)) and COPD stage (CAT 0.19 (0.05 to 0.34) and CCQ 0.22 (0.07 to 0.36)). CAT and CCQ correlate well with each other. Heart disease, anxiety/depression, underweight, exacerbations, and low lung function are associated with worse health status assessed by both instruments.

  9. 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

    2013-10-02

    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. © 2013.

  10. Proposed Surveillance for Influenza A in Feral Pigs.

    PubMed

    Dalziel, Antonia E; Peck, Heidi A; Hurt, Aeron C; Cooke, Julie; Cassey, Phillip

    2016-06-01

    Pigs carry receptors for both avian- and human-adapted influenza viruses and have previously been proposed as a mixing and amplification vessel for influenza. Until now, there has been no investigation of influenza A viruses within feral pigs in Australia. We collected samples from feral pigs in Ramsar listed wetlands of South Australia and demonstrated positive antibodies to influenza A viruses. We propose feral pigs, and their control programs, as an available resource for future surveillance for influenza A viruses.

  11. Restoring critical habitat for Hawaii's endangered pall la by reducing ungulate populations

    Treesearch

    Paul G. Scowcroft; C. Eugene. Conrad

    1988-01-01

    Drastically reducing populations of feral sheep (Ovis aries), mouflon sheep (Ovis musimon), feral-mouflon hybrids, and feral goats (Capra hircus) on Mauna Kea were key management actions done to promote recovery of critical habitat for palila Loxioides bailleui), an endangered Hawaiian...

  12. Poor horse traders: large mammals trade survival for reproduction during the process of feralization

    PubMed Central

    Grange, Sophie; Duncan, Patrick; Gaillard, Jean-Michel

    2009-01-01

    We investigated density dependence on the demographic parameters of a population of Camargue horses (Equus caballus), individually monitored and unmanaged for eight years. We also analysed the contributions of individual demographic parameters to changes in the population growth rates. The decrease in resources caused a loss of body condition. Adult male survival was not affected, but the survival of foals and adult females decreased with increasing density. Prime-aged females maintained high reproductive performance at high density, and their survival decreased. The higher survival of adult males compared with females at high density presumably results from higher investment in reproduction by mares. The high fecundity in prime-aged females, even when at high density, may result from artificial selection for high reproductive performance, which is known to have occurred in all the major domestic ungulates. Other studies suggest that feral ungulates including cattle and sheep, as these horses, respond differently from wild ungulates to increases in density, by trading adult survival for reproduction. As a consequence, populations of feral animals should oscillate more strongly than their wild counterparts, since they should be both more invasive (as they breed faster), and more sensitive to harsh environmental conditions (as the population growth rate of long-lived species is consistently more sensitive to a given proportional change in adult survival than to the same change in any other vital rate). If this principle proves to be general, it has important implications for management of populations of feral ungulates. PMID:19324787

  13. Poor horse traders: large mammals trade survival for reproduction during the process of feralization.

    PubMed

    Grange, Sophie; Duncan, Patrick; Gaillard, Jean-Michel

    2009-05-22

    We investigated density dependence on the demographic parameters of a population of Camargue horses (Equus caballus), individually monitored and unmanaged for eight years. We also analysed the contributions of individual demographic parameters to changes in the population growth rates. The decrease in resources caused a loss of body condition. Adult male survival was not affected, but the survival of foals and adult females decreased with increasing density. Prime-aged females maintained high reproductive performance at high density, and their survival decreased. The higher survival of adult males compared with females at high density presumably results from higher investment in reproduction by mares. The high fecundity in prime-aged females, even when at high density, may result from artificial selection for high reproductive performance, which is known to have occurred in all the major domestic ungulates. Other studies suggest that feral ungulates including cattle and sheep, as these horses, respond differently from wild ungulates to increases in density, by trading adult survival for reproduction. As a consequence, populations of feral animals should oscillate more strongly than their wild counterparts, since they should be both more invasive (as they breed faster), and more sensitive to harsh environmental conditions (as the population growth rate of long-lived species is consistently more sensitive to a given proportional change in adult survival than to the same change in any other vital rate). If this principle proves to be general, it has important implications for management of populations of feral ungulates.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Phylogenetic relationships of Australian and New Zealand feral pigs assessed by mitochondrial control region sequence and nuclear GPIP genotype.

    PubMed

    Gongora, Jaime; Fleming, Peter; Spencer, Peter B S; Mason, Richard; Garkavenko, Olga; Meyer, Johann-Nikolaus; Droegemueller, Cord; Lee, Jun Heon; Moran, Chris

    2004-11-01

    Pigs were introduced into Australia and New Zealand in the 18th and 19th centuries, with some establishing feral populations. With few records of pig introductions into these two countries, molecular phylogenetic analysis was used to assess their origins. Mitochondrial (mt) control region sequence and nuclear glucosephosphate isomerase pseudogene (GPIP) restriction fragments were used, as distinct European and Asian domestic pig and Wild Boar control region clades and GPIP genotypes can be recognised. Feral pig control region sequences clustered with either European or Asian domestic pig sequences and both Asian and European GPIP alleles were segregating. It was not possible to distinguish direct importation of Asian domestic animals into Australia and New Zealand from indirect introgression of Asian domestic sequences via Europe. However, the clustering of three feral control region sequences of pigs from northern Australia with Asian Wild Boar implies unrecorded introduction of Wild Boar or crossbred animals into Australia. However, two of these feral pigs had European GPIP alleles. In combination, analyses of control region and GPIP markers suggest that both European and Asian pigs have contributed in similar frequencies to the origins of Australian feral pigs.

  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.

  1. 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

  2. Estimate of the size and demographic structure of the owned dog and cat population living in Veneto region (north-eastern Italy).

    PubMed

    Capello, Katia; Bortolotti, Laura; Lanari, Manuela; Baioni, Elisa; Mutinelli, Franco; Vascellari, Marta

    2015-01-01

    The knowledge of the size and demographic structure of animal populations is a necessary prerequisite for any population-based epidemiological study, especially to ascertain and interpret prevalence data, to implement surveillance plans in controlling zoonotic diseases and, moreover, to provide accurate estimates of tumours incidence data obtained by population-based registries. The main purpose of this study was to provide an accurate estimate of the size and structure of the canine population in Veneto region (north-eastern Italy), using the Lincoln-Petersen version of the capture-recapture methodology. The Regional Canine Demographic Registry (BAC) and a sample survey of households of Veneto Region were the capture and recapture sources, respectively. The secondary purpose was to estimate the size and structure of the feline population in the same region, using the same survey applied for dog population. A sample of 2465 randomly selected households was drawn and submitted to a questionnaire using the CATI technique, in order to obtain information about the ownership of dogs and cats. If the dog was declared to be identified, owner's information was used to recapture the dog in the BAC. The study was conducted in Veneto Region during 2011, when the dog population recorded in the BAC was 605,537. Overall, 616 households declared to possess at least one dog (25%), with a total of 805 dogs and an average per household of 1.3. The capture-recapture analysis showed that 574 dogs (71.3%, 95% CI: 68.04-74.40%) had been recaptured in both sources, providing a dog population estimate of 849,229 (95% CI: 814,747-889,394), 40% higher than that registered in the BAC. Concerning cats, 455 of 2465 (18%, 95% CI: 17-20%) households declared to possess at least one cat at the time of the telephone interview, with a total of 816 cats. The mean number of cats per household was equal to 1.8, providing an estimate of the cat population in Veneto region equal to 663,433 (95% CI: 626

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  4. 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

  5. Population genetic structures of Staphylococcus aureus isolates from cats and dogs in Japan.

    PubMed

    Sasaki, Takashi; Tsubakishita, Sae; Tanaka, Yoshikazu; Ohtsuka, Masayuki; Hongo, Isamu; Fukata, Tsuneo; Kabeya, Hidenori; Maruyama, Soichi; Hiramatsu, Keiichi

    2012-06-01

    We determined the population genetic structures of feline and canine Staphylococcus aureus strains in Japan by multilocus sequence typing (MLST). Ecological analyses suggested that multiple feline-related S. aureus clones, including ST133, naturally occur as commensals and can cause endogenous infections in felines. In contrast, S. aureus populations do not likely include any clone that exhibits tropism in domestic dogs. Even if S. aureus infections occur in dogs, the pathologies are likely exogenous infections.

  6. Differential circulating concentrations of adipokines, glucagon and adropin in a clinical population of lean, overweight and diabetic cats.

    PubMed

    Zapata, Rizaldy C; Meachem, Melissa D; Cardoso, Natalia Cavalca; Mehain, Susan O; McMillan, Chantal J; Snead, Elisabeth R; Chelikani, Prasanth K

    2017-04-04

    Dyslipidemia, dysregulated adipokine secretion and alteration in glucagon and adropin concentrations are important obesity-related factors in the pathophysiology of human Type 2 diabetes; however, their roles in the pathophysiology of feline diabetes mellitus are relatively unknown. Here, we determined the concentrations of circulating leptin, adiponectin, pro-inflammatory cytokines, glucagon, adropin, triglycerides, and cholesterol, in non-diabetic lean and overweight cats and newly diagnosed diabetic cats. Client-owned cats were recruited and assigned into 3 study groups: lean, overweight and diabetic. Fasting blood samples were analyzed in lean, overweight and diabetic cats at baseline and 4 weeks after consumption of high protein/low carbohydrate standardized diet. Serum concentrations of triglycerides were greater in diabetics at baseline and were increased in both diabetic and overweight cats at 4 weeks. Plasma leptin concentrations were greater in diabetic and overweight at baseline and 4 weeks, whereas adiponectin was lower in diabetics compared to lean and overweight cats at baseline and 4 weeks. Diabetics had greater baseline plasma glucagon concentrations compared to lean, lower adropin than overweight at 4 weeks, and lower IL-12 concentrations at 4 weeks than baseline. Our results suggest that feline obesity and diabetes mellitus are characterized by hypertriglyceridemia and hyperleptinemia; however, diabetic cats have significantly lower adiponectin and adropin compared to overweight cats. Thus, despite having similar body condition, overweight and diabetic cats have differential circulating concentrations of adiponectin and adropin.

  7. Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Virus Infection in Feral Raccoons, Japan

    PubMed Central

    Maeda, Ken; Murakami, Shin; Kiso, Maki; Iwatsuki-Horimoto, Kiyoko; Sashika, Mariko; Ito, Toshihiro; Suzuki, Kazuo; Yokoyama, Mayumi; Kawaoka, Yoshihiro

    2011-01-01

    Although raccoons (Procyon lotor) are susceptible to influenza viruses, highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (H5N1) infection in these animals has not been reported. We performed a serosurvey of apparently healthy feral raccoons in Japan and found specific antibodies to subtype H5N1 viruses. Feral raccoons may pose a risk to farms and public health. PMID:21470469

  8. Highly pathogenic avian influenza virus infection in feral raccoons, Japan.

    PubMed

    Horimoto, Taisuke; Maeda, Ken; Murakami, Shin; Kiso, Maki; Iwatsuki-Horimoto, Kiyoko; Sashika, Mariko; Ito, Toshihiro; Suzuki, Kazuo; Yokoyama, Mayumi; Kawaoka, Yoshihiro

    2011-04-01

    Although raccoons (Procyon lotor) are susceptible to influenza viruses, highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (H5N1) infection in these animals has not been reported. We performed a serosurvey of apparently healthy feral raccoons in Japan and found specific antibodies to subtype H5N1 viruses. Feral raccoons may pose a risk to farms and public health.

  9. Hypervariable genomic variation to reconstruct the natural history of populations: lessons from the big cats.

    PubMed

    Menotti-Raymond, M; O'Brien, S J

    1995-09-01

    The extent and nature of variation in hypervariable regions DNA have been used in the past as a means to infer the natural histories of populations. We review the interpretation of the extent of genetic diversity for minisatellite DNA in the cheetah to estimate the timing of a population bottleneck in the species and the potential application of a second class of hypervariable DNA, microsatellite DNA, as a molecular tool to examine the natural histories of felid populations. A calibration curve relating the degree of allele fragment sharing in individuals to relatedness in a captive pedigree of cheetahs is presented. This measurement has important applications for management of potential matings in captive management situations.

  10. New approaches to non-surgical sterilization for dogs and cats: Opportunities and challenges.

    PubMed

    Rhodes, Linda

    2017-04-01

    Over the last 40 years, researchers have explored methods to non-surgically suppress fertility in animals. Immunocontraception has been used to control wildlife populations but does not confer long-term immunity. The gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist deslorelin, formulated as an implant to provide 6-month to 1-year suppression of fertility in male dogs, is available commercially in some countries. Neither of these approaches provide permanent sterility. A single-dose, permanent treatment would be a valuable tool in dog and cat population control. The Michelson Prize and Grants (MPG) programme was initiated "to eliminate shelter euthanasia of healthy, adoptable companion animals and reduce populations of feral and free-roaming cats and dogs" offering a $25 million US prize for a non-surgical sterilant that is effective as a single treatment in both male and female dogs and cats. Michelson Prize and Grants programme has offered US $50 million in grant money for research and has attracted scientists worldwide. Approaches under study include gene therapy, small interfering RNA to inhibit reproductive targets and delivery of cytotoxins to pituitary gonadotrophs or GnRH producing neurons in the hypothalamus. Research in implant technology that could deliver compounds over an animal's lifetime is also underway. Details of funded grants and results to date can be found at: http://www.michelsonprizeandgrants.org/michelson-grants/research-findings. The next steps are translating the most promising research into products. The Alliance for Contraception of Cats and Dogs (ACC&D) is helping to research practical methods of marking sterilized animals to avoid costly retreatment and population modelling that will help guide field workers in use of resources for sterilization programmes. © 2016 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  11. Hawaiian Duck's Future Threatened by Feral Mallards

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Uyehara, Kimberly J.; Engilis, Andrew; 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Differential association between circulating testosterone and infection risk by several viruses in natural cat populations: a behavioural-mediated effect?

    PubMed

    Hellard, E; Fouchet, D; Rey, B; Mouchet, A; Poulet, H; Pontier, D

    2013-04-01

    Testosterone is involved in the development and expression of physiological, morphological and behavioural traits. High levels are often associated with high infection risk and/or intensity, suggesting a trade-off between sexual traits and immunity. Classically invoked mechanisms are immunological or behavioural, i.e., testosterone increases susceptibility or resistance to parasites via an impact on immunity or modulates behaviours involved in parasite transmission. However, studies report contrasted patterns. Given its modes of action and the diversity of host-parasite interactions, testosterone should not act similarly on all interactions. To reduce host and context diversity, we studied 3 viruses in the same cat population: the aggressively transmitted Feline Immunodeficiency virus (FIV), and the Feline Calicivirus (FCV) and Herpesvirus (FHV) both transmitted during friendly contacts. Testosterone had a strong effect on the probability of being positive to FIV whereas its effect was significantly weaker on FCV and FHV. These findings demonstrate that testosterone can be differentially associated with parasites of the same type (viruses). The difference we observed was consistent with a behavioural-mediated effect (increased aggressiveness), supporting the idea that the testosterone effect on infection risk is at least partially driven by behavioural mechanisms in our system. Further investigations (e.g., individual immunity measures) are required to confirm this hypothesis.

  15. Use of cefovecin in a UK population of cats attending first-opinion practices as recorded in electronic health records.

    PubMed

    Burke, Sara; Black, Vicki; Sánchez-Vizcaíno, Fernando; Radford, Alan; Hibbert, Angie; Tasker, Séverine

    2017-06-01

    Objectives The objective was to use electronic health records to describe the use of cefovecin (Convenia; Zoetis UK), a third-generation long-acting injectable antimicrobial, in a UK population of cats attending first-opinion practices, and to compare the use of Convenia with the licensed uses described on the UK Convenia datasheet. Methods Data were obtained as an Excel database from the Small Animal Veterinary Surveillance Network for all feline consultations containing the word Convenia and/or cefovecin from 1 September 2012 to 23 September 2013 inclusive. Entries were classified according to body system treated, confirmation or suspicion of an abscess, evidence of microbiological evaluation being performed, any concurrent therapies given and whether any reason was given for use of Convenia over alternative antimicrobials. Data were exported to IBM SPSS Statistics and descriptive analysis performed. Results In total, 1148 entries were analysed. The most common body system treated was skin in 553 (48.2%) entries, then urinary (n = 157; 13.7%) and respiratory (n = 112; 9.8%). Microbiological evaluation was recorded in 193 (16.8%) entries, with visible purulent material most commonly cited (in 147 [12.8%] entries). A reason for prescribing Convenia over alternative antimicrobials was given in 138 (12.0%) entries; the most cited was an inability to orally medicate the cat in 77 (55.8%) of these entries. Excluding 131 entries where no body system or multiple body systems were described, the use of Convenia complied with a licensed use in the UK datasheet in 710 (69.8%) of 1017 entries. Conclusions and relevance Most administrations were licensed uses; however, most entries did not describe any microbiological evaluation, or a reason for prescribing Convenia over alternative antimicrobials. Further education of the public and the veterinary profession is needed to promote antimicrobial stewardship in the UK. Health records provide a valuable tool with which to monitor

  16. Developmental uterine anomalies in cats and dogs undergoing elective ovariohysterectomy.

    PubMed

    McIntyre, Robin L; Levy, Julie K; Roberts, John F; Reep, Roger L

    2010-09-01

    To describe the characteristics and frequency of gross uterine anomalies in cats and dogs undergoing elective ovariohysterectomy. Prospective and retrospective case series. 53,258 cats and 32,660 dogs undergoing elective ovariohysterectomy at 26 clinics in the United States and Canada during 2007. Clinics prospectively reported gross anomalies and submitted tissues from abnormal reproductive tracts identified during surgery. Records from a feral cat spay-neuter clinic were evaluated retrospectively. Suspected congenital anomalies of the uterus were identified in 0.09% (49/53,258) of female cats and 0.05% (15/32,660) of female dogs. Uterine anomalies identified included unicornuate uterus (33 cats and 11 dogs), segmental agenesis of 1 uterine horn (15 cats and 3 dogs), and uterine horn hypoplasia (1 cat and 1 dog). Ipsilateral renal agenesis was present in 29.4% (10/34) of cats and 50.0% (6/12) of dogs with uterine anomalies in which kidneys were evaluated. Mummified ectopic fetuses were identified in 4 cats with uterine anomalies. Both ovaries and both uterine tubes were present in most animals with uterine anomalies. Urogenital anomalies were twice as common in cats as in dogs. Identification of uterine developmental anomalies in dogs and cats should trigger evaluation of both kidneys and both ovaries because ipsilateral renal agenesis is common, but both ovaries are likely to be present and should be removed during ovariohysterectomy.

  17. A novel MC1R allele for black coat colour reveals the Polynesian ancestry and hybridization patterns of Hawaiian feral pigs

    PubMed Central

    Linderholm, Anna; Spencer, Daisy; Battista, Vincent; Frantz, Laurent; Barnett, Ross; Fleischer, Robert C.; James, Helen F.; Duffy, Dave; Sparks, Jed P.; Clements, David R.; Andersson, Leif; Dobney, Keith; Leonard, Jennifer A.

    2016-01-01

    Pigs (Sus scrofa) have played an important cultural role in Hawaii since Polynesians first introduced them in approximately AD 1200. Additional varieties of pigs were introduced following Captain Cook's arrival in Hawaii in 1778 and it has been suggested that the current pig population may descend primarily, or even exclusively, from European pigs. Although populations of feral pigs today are an important source of recreational hunting on all of the major islands, they also negatively impact native plants and animals. As a result, understanding the origins of these feral pig populations has significant ramifications for discussions concerning conservation management, identity and cultural continuity on the islands. Here, we analysed a neutral mitochondrial marker and a functional nuclear coat colour marker in 57 feral Hawaiian pigs. Through the identification of a new mutation in the MC1R gene that results in black coloration, we demonstrate that Hawaiian feral pigs are mostly the descendants of those originally introduced during Polynesian settlement, though there is evidence for some admixture. As such, extant Hawaiian pigs represent a unique historical lineage that is not exclusively descended from feral pigs of European origin. PMID:27703696

  18. A novel MC1R allele for black coat colour reveals the Polynesian ancestry and hybridization patterns of Hawaiian feral pigs.

    PubMed

    Linderholm, Anna; Spencer, Daisy; Battista, Vincent; Frantz, Laurent; Barnett, Ross; Fleischer, Robert C; James, Helen F; Duffy, Dave; Sparks, Jed P; Clements, David R; Andersson, Leif; Dobney, Keith; Leonard, Jennifer A; Larson, Greger

    2016-09-01

    Pigs (Sus scrofa) have played an important cultural role in Hawaii since Polynesians first introduced them in approximately AD 1200. Additional varieties of pigs were introduced following Captain Cook's arrival in Hawaii in 1778 and it has been suggested that the current pig population may descend primarily, or even exclusively, from European pigs. Although populations of feral pigs today are an important source of recreational hunting on all of the major islands, they also negatively impact native plants and animals. As a result, understanding the origins of these feral pig populations has significant ramifications for discussions concerning conservation management, identity and cultural continuity on the islands. Here, we analysed a neutral mitochondrial marker and a functional nuclear coat colour marker in 57 feral Hawaiian pigs. Through the identification of a new mutation in the MC1R gene that results in black coloration, we demonstrate that Hawaiian feral pigs are mostly the descendants of those originally introduced during Polynesian settlement, though there is evidence for some admixture. As such, extant Hawaiian pigs represent a unique historical lineage that is not exclusively descended from feral pigs of European origin.

  19. Prospects for biological control of rodent populations*

    PubMed Central

    Wodzicki, Kazimierz

    1973-01-01

    Pathogens and predatory animals are the main agents used for the biological control of rodents. The pathogens that have been used are of the genus Salmonella; none is rodent-specific and all can cause severe infection in man and domestic animals. Furthermore, rodents frequently develop immunity to, and become carriers of, these organisms, and there is little to commend their use, except in lightly populated areas where control is infrequently applied. The relationships of five predator species with their rodent prey have been examined. The monitor lizard, mongoose, and ferret were for different reasons found to be unsatisfactory, and there is not yet sufficient evidence to warrant further releases of the Japanese weasel. Domestic and feral cats control rodents well in some situations but only after some other agent has removed a large part of the rodent population. PMID:4587482

  20. Cat-scratch disease of the head and neck in a pediatric population: surgical indications and outcomes.

    PubMed

    Munson, Patrick D; Boyce, Thomas G; Salomao, Diva R; Orvidas, Laura J

    2008-09-01

    To identify the presentation of pediatric patients with head and neck manifestations of cat-scratch disease, one of the most common causes of subacute or chronic lymphadenitis in children, and to determine surgical indications and outcomes. Case series. All pediatric patients from infancy to age 19 years who presented with clinical symptoms of cat-scratch disease and had an IgG serological test result of more than 1:128 for Bartonella henselae. Nine patients had cat-scratch disease of the head and neck. Median age at presentation was 4 years; median time from symptom onset to presentation was 20 days. Six (67%) children underwent surgical procedures, and median time from presentation to surgical procedure was 43 days. Despite conservative treatment, a minority of pediatric patients with cat-scratch disease may require surgical drainage of abscess and removal of lymph nodes. Surgical treatment provides tissue for diagnosis, is generally well tolerated, affords improved recovery, and has minimal complications.

  1. Non-surgical sterilisation methods may offer a sustainable solution to feral horse (Equus caballus) overpopulation.

    PubMed

    Hall, Sally Elizabeth; Nixon, Brett; Aitken, R John

    2016-10-05

    Feral horses are a significant pest species in many parts of the world, contributing to land erosion, weed dispersal and the loss of native flora and fauna. There is an urgent need to modify feral horse management strategies to achieve public acceptance and long-term population control. One way to achieve this is by using non-surgical methods of sterilisation, which are suitable in the context of this mobile and long-lived species. In this review we consider the benefits of implementing novel mechanisms designed to elicit a state of permanent sterility (including redox cycling to generate oxidative stress in the gonad, random peptide phage display to target non-renewable germ cells and the generation of autoantibodies against proteins essential for conception via covalent modification) compared with that of traditional immunocontraceptive approaches. The need for a better understanding of mare folliculogenesis and conception factors, including maternal recognition of pregnancy, is also reviewed because they hold considerable potential in providing a non-surgical mechanism for sterilisation. In conclusion, the authors contend that non-surgical measures that are single shot and irreversible may provide a sustainable and effective strategy for feral horse control.

  2. 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.

  3. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii and concurrent Bartonella spp., feline immunodeficiency virus, and feline leukemia virus infections in cats from Grenada, West Indies.

    PubMed

    Dubey, J P; Lappin, M R; Kwok, O C H; Mofya, S; Chikweto, A; Baffa, A; Doherty, D; Shakeri, J; Macpherson, C N L; Sharma, R N

    2009-10-01

    Toxoplasma gondii and Bartonella spp. are zoonotic pathogens of cats. Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and feline leukemia virus (FeLv) are related to human immunodeficiency virus, and human leukemia virus, respectively; all of these viruses are immunosuppressive. In the present study, the prevalence of antibodies to T. gondi, Bartonella spp., FIV, as well as FeLv antigen were determined in sera from 75 domestic and 101 feral cats (Felis catus) from the Caribbean island of Grenada, West Indies. Using a modified agglutination test, antibodies to T. gondii were found in 23 (30.6%) of the 75 pet cats with titers of 1:25 in 1, 1:50 in 3, 1:400 in 4, 1:500 in 12, 1:800 in 2, and 1:1,600 in 1, and 28 (27.7%) of 101 feral cats with titers of 1:25 in 4, 1:50 in 7, 1:200 in 4, 1:400 in 1, 1:500 in 3, 1:800 in 2, 1:1,600 in 3, and 1:3,200 in 4. Overall, in both pet and feral cats, the seroprevalence increased with age. Antibodies to Bartonella spp. were found in 38 (50.6%) of the 75 pet cats and 52.4% of 101 feral cats. Antibodies to FIV were found in 6 domestic and 22 feral cats. None of the 176 cats was positive for FeLv antigen. There was no correlation among T. gondii, Bartonella spp., and FIV seropositivity.

  4. Daily rhythmicity of behavior of nine species of South American feral felids in captivity.

    PubMed

    Antonio, Sciabarrasi Bagilet; Cerutti, Raúl Delmar; Scaglione, María Cristina; Piccione, Giuseppe; Refinetti, Roberto

    2017-10-15

    The authors analyzed the daily activity rhythms of the domestic cat and of eight of the ten feral felid species that are indigenous to South America. All species showed daily rhythmicity of activity in captivity under a natural light-dark cycle. The robustness of the rhythmicity varied from species to species, but the grand mean of 34% was within the range of robustness previously described for mammalian species ranging in size from mice to cattle. There was not a sharp division between diurnal and nocturnal felids. Instead, what was found was a gradient of diurnality going from the predominantly nocturnal margay (72% of activity counts during the night) to the predominantly diurnal jaguarundi (87% of activity counts during the day) with the remaining species lying in between these two extremes. The ecological implications of temporal niche variations are discussed. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Evaluation of Effect CAT -262C/T, SOD + 35A/C, GPx1 Pro197Leu Polymorphisms in Patients with IBD in the Polish Population.

    PubMed

    Mrowicki, Jerzy; Mrowicka, Małgorzata; Majsterek, Ireneusz; Mik, Michał; Dziki, Adam; Dziki, Łukasz

    2016-12-01

    Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are a heterogeneous group of disorders in the course dominated by chronic, recurrent gastrointestinal inflammation. It is believed that the activation of IBD occurs in patients with a genetic predisposition to their development. Chronic inflammation develops as a result of an excessive reaction of the immune system principally under the influence of environmental risk factors. Among them, it has been shown that the mechanism of oxidative stress is associated with the pathophysiology of inflammatory bowel disease, responsible for the commencement and progress of these diseases. The aim of the study was the relationship between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of individual antioxidant enzymes, and the prevalence of inflammatory bowel disease that may be associated with increased levels of oxidative stress. A total of 111 IBD patients, including 65 patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) and 46 with Crohn's disease (CD) and 125 healthy controls recruited from the Polish population, were genotyped for CAT -262C / T (rs1001179), SOD + 35A / C (rs2234694), GPx Pro 197 Leu polymorphisms. Genotyping of CAT, SOD, GPx gene polymorphism was performed by a RFLP-PCR. The performed analysis of genetic polymorphisms of antioxidant enzymes showed that polymorphic variant of the CAT -262 C / T may have protective effects in patients with ulcerative colitis in the range of genotype C / T; OR = 0.49 (0.25-0.99), p = 0.044. Trend protective, but statistically unrelated, it was also observed for genotype T / T and T allele of the same polymorphism and genotypes and alleles + 35A / C SOD1 in UC as well as polymorphic variants CAT -262 C / T, Pro197Leu of GPx1, + 35A / C SOD1 in CD. The results were compared with a control group of potentially healthy individuals without such diseases. It has been shown that the polymorphism of antioxidant enzymes CAT gene -262 C / T may have protective effects in patients who are carriers of a genotype C / T at the

  6. 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.

  7. [The feral pig (Sus scrofa, Suidae) in Cocos Island, Costa Rica: composition of its diet, reproductive state and genetics].

    PubMed

    Sierra, C

    2001-01-01

    Feral pigs (Sus scrofa) cause different kinds of damage specially on oceanic islands. Pigs were introduced at Cocos Island, Costa Rica, during 1793 and bred successfully. I analyzed feral pigs diet, reproductive state, genetics and the effects of predation, in order to gather data on their ecology and impact on certain Cocos Island communities. The diet was studied, during a dry and a wet period, through stomach contents. The genetic variability was determined through PCR analysis on tissue samples which were taken from feral (Cocos Island) and domestic (mainland) pig ear-lobes. Pigs at Cocos were omnivorous, the most important diet category in both seasons was fruits. More pigs consumed fruits during the wet season but the fruits did occupy more somuch volume during the dry season. Feral pigs did not disperse exotic seeds nor prey on animal endemic species. 56% of the hunted pigs were males and 44% were females. From females in reproductive age, 46% were pregnant or suckling, and the average number of fetuses in a litter was 4.4. I confirmed a reproductive peak during January/February but could not demonstrate a reproductive peak during June/July. The low fetuses number per litter could be related with some levels of stress. The genetic variability for all the evaluated parameters within the feral population was low but not as low as expected. I suggest a compensatory mechanism were the inbreeding depression reduces consanguinity and a species susceptible to stocastic, demographic or environmental factors turns to be an adapted species with high resilience.

  8. [Cyclic processes in neuronal populations of the cat somatosensory cortex during extero- and interoceptive activation and in extinction].

    PubMed

    Lavrov, V V

    1991-11-01

    Comparative analysis of the EEG activation responses and multiunit responses in the cortical somatosensory (I) areas revealed a cyclic character of the multiunit discharges in response to light, sound, mechanical and chemical stimuli in alert cats. The fluctuations were reducing to initial values in the course of the stimulation.

  9. Neither human nor natural: ethics and feral animals.

    PubMed

    Singer, P

    1997-01-01

    There are three major ethical approaches to issues affecting nonhuman animals and the natural environment: an anthropocentric ethic, and ethic of concern for all sentient beings, and a biocentric approach. The ethic of concern for all sentient beings is the most defensible basis for resolving conflicts between the interests of humans and wild animals. There is no ethical basis for discounting the suffering of an animal simply because that being is a member of a different species. On the other hand, it is certainly true that human and nonhuman animals differ in their capacities, and this does make a difference to the ethics of what we may do to them, including rendering them infertile. Since ethics is not a matter of adhering to absolute rules, but rather of doing what will have best consequences, given the constraints under which we act, the ethics of using a specific method of fertility control for feral animals will depend on what other methods are being used, or will be used, if the given method is not available. It will also depend on the consequences of not using any method of controlling the population of the animals.

  10. [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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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)

  14. 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)

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  18. Comparison of the Fecal Microbiota in Feral and Domestic Goats

    PubMed Central

    De Jesús-Laboy, Kassandra M.; Godoy-Vitorino, Filipa; Piceno, Yvette M.; Tom, Lauren M.; Pantoja-Feliciano, Ida G.; Rivera-Rivera, Michelle J.; Andersen, Gary L.; Domínguez-Bello, María G.

    2011-01-01

    Animals have co-evolved with mutualistic microbial communities, known as the microbiota, which are essential for organ development and function. We hypothesize that modern animal husbandry practices exert an impact on the intestinal microbiota. In this study, we compared the structure of the fecal microbiota between feral and domestic goats using the G2 PhyloChip and assessed the presence of five tetracycline resistance genes [tet(M), tet(S), tet(O), tet(Q) and tet(W)] by PCR. Feces were collected from 10 goats: 5 domestic from a farm in the main island of Puerto Rico and 5 feral from the remote dry island of Mona. There were 42 bacterial phyla from 153 families detected in the goats’ feces. A total of 84 PhyloChip-OTUs were different in the fecal microbiota of feral and domestic goat. Both feral and domestic goats carried antibiotic resistance genes tet(O) and tet(W), but domestic goats additionally carried tet(Q). Diet, host genetics and antibiotic exposure are likely determinant factors in shaping the intestinal microbiota and may explain the differences observed between feral and domestic goats fecal microbiota. PMID:24704840

  19. 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.

  20. Lungworms of feral swine in Florida.

    PubMed

    Forrester, D J; Porter, J H; Belden, R C; Frankenberger, W B

    1982-12-01

    Metastrongylus apri, M salmi, and M pudendotectus were found in 94%, 76%, and 64%, respectively, of 90 feral swine from a study area in southern Florida. The mean number of worms per infected animal was 155, with a range of 1-1,980 (1 or more species). Metastrongylus apri was found singly or in combination with 1 or both of the other species. Single or concurrent infections of M salmi and M pudendotectus were not found. Male hogs had significantly (P less than 0.05) higher intensities of M apri infection. Juvenile animals were infected with M apri only, but subadults and adults were infected with all 3 species. Hogs examined during October, November, and December had significantly (P less than 0.05) higher intensities of infection of all 3 species, compared with hogs examined at other times of the year. There were significant (P less than 0.05) interactions between host sex, host age, and season for intensities of infection with M pudendotectus.

  1. Movement initiation in groups of feral horses.

    PubMed

    Krueger, Konstanze; Flauger, Birgit; Farmer, Kate; Hemelrijk, Charlotte

    2014-03-01

    Herds of ungulates, flocks of birds, swarms of insects and schools of fish move in coordinated groups. Computer models show that only one or very few animals are needed to initiate and direct movement. To investigate initiation mechanisms further, we studied two ways in which movement can be initiated in feral horses: herding, and departure from the group. We examined traits affecting the likelihood of a horse initiating movement i.e. social rank, affiliative relationships, spatial position, and social network. We also investigated whether group members join a movement in dominance rank order. Our results show that whereas herding is exclusive to alpha males, any group member may initiate movement by departure. Social bonds, the number of animals interacted with, and the spatial position were not significantly associated with movement initiation. We did not find movement initiation by departure to be exclusive to any type of individual. Instead we find evidence for a limited form of distributed leadership, with higher ranking animals being followed more often. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Dust mite, cockroach, cat, and dog allergen concentrations in homes of asthmatic children in the northeastern United States: impact of socioeconomic factors and population density.

    PubMed

    Leaderer, Brian P; Belanger, Kathleen; Triche, Elizabeth; Holford, Theodore; Gold, Diane R; Kim, Young; Jankun, Thomas; Ren, Ping; McSharry Je, Jean-ellen; Platts-Mills, Thomas A E; Chapman, Martin D; Bracken, Michael B

    2002-04-01

    Home exposures to aeroallergens are an important environmental factor in allergic sensitization and in the development and exacerbation of asthma. We assessed variations in home concentrations of dust mite, cockroach, cat, and dog allergens in dust collected in the main living areas of asthmatics' homes by family income, mother's education, dwelling type, population density, household population density, and ethnicity in Connecticut and south-central Massachusetts. Dust samples were collected at the time of home interview in 999 homes as part of an ongoing longitudinal birth cohort study of 1,002 infants and their asthmatic siblings. The analysis employed lower and upper cut points for group 1 dust mite (> or = 2.0 microg/g and > or = 10 microg/g), cockroach (> or = 1.0 U/g and > or = 4.0 U/g), cat (> or = 1.0 microg/g and > or = 8.0 ug/g), and dog (> or = 2.0 microg/g and > or = 10.0 microg/g) allergens. Subject residences were geocoded to assess population density from the U.S. Census, and multiple logistic regression was used to control for confounding. The portion of homes at the lower cut point for dust mite, cockroach, cat, and dog allergens were 46.9%, 24.9%, 42.2%, and 35.6%, respectively; the upper cut point for each of the allergens was reached in 22.4%, 13.4%, 21.0%, and 22.9% of the homes, respectively. In all, 86.0% of the homes had at least one allergen at the lower cut point, and 58.0% had at least one allergen at the upper cut point. Forty-nine percent of the homes had two or more allergens at the lower cut point, and 19.7% had two or more allergens at the upper cut point. Higher education of the mother, higher household income, living in a single-family home in a less densely populated area with fewer people per room, and being a white household were associated with elevated dust mite, cat, and dog allergens and low cockroach allergen. In contrast, low income, living in a multifamily home in a high population density area with a higher occupancy

  3. Predictors of Toxoplasma gondii infection in Czech and Slovak populations: the possible role of cat-related injuries and risky sexual behavior in the parasite transmission.

    PubMed

    Flegr, J

    2017-05-01

    The protozoan Toxoplasma gondii infects about one-third of the world's population. The consumption of raw meat, contact with cats, contact with soil, and ingestion of food or water contaminated with soil are considered to be the most important sources of infection. Still in most women who were infected during pregnancy, no definitive source of infection is found. In 2014-2016, independent sources of T. gondii infection were searched for by gathering epidemiological data from 1865 (519 infected) responders. Touching garden soil (odds ratio (OR) 3·14, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1·3-6·35), sustaining cat-related injuries (OR 2·16, 95% CI 1·25-3·74), and eating improperly washed root vegetables (OR 1·71, 95% CI 1·02-2·87), but not risky sexual behavior (OR 1·22, 95% CI 0·79-1·90), were the predictors of infection. The seroprevalence of T. gondii infection had been increasing up to ages 35-50 in men and ages 50-54 in women. Past those ages, seroprevalence of toxoplasmosis has been decreasing. This suggests that the natural decrease of anamnestic antibodies concentrations over time leads to positivity-to-negativity seroconversion in many subjects. If this is true, then the prevalence of T. gondii infection in a general population and its potential impacts on public health could be much larger than generally believed.

  4. Public awareness in New Zealand of animal welfare legislation relating to cats.

    PubMed

    Farnworth, M J; Campbell, J; Adams, N J

    2010-08-01

    To ascertain the levels of awareness of legislation governing the welfare of cats, and provision of basic care, including vaccination, by cat owners within two locations in New Zealand. To assess the ability of respondents to differentiate between the terms 'stray' and 'feral'. A face-to-face questionnaire, consisting of 12 questions in three sections, was distributed by volunteers within Auckland (n=255) and Kaitaia (n=99) to gather information pertinent to the study's aims. Section 1 covered respondents' personal details; Section 2, ownership and care of cats, including whether or not the cats were vaccinated against feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and feline leukaemia virus (FeLV); and Section 3, awareness of legislation and differences between the terms 'stray' and 'feral'. Overall, fewer than half of respondents were aware of the animal welfare legislation within New Zealand or the semantic differences between the terms 'stray' and 'feral' as they appear in the dictionary. Respondents >or=41 years old, and individuals employed in the animal-related sector, were significantly more likely to be aware of the legislation and make the correct distinction between the terms compared with those aged cat owners (42%) provided care for cats they did not own compared with non-owners (26%). Results also indicated a large majority of cat owners may consider standard annual vaccinations to include vaccination against FIV and FeLV. Dissemination of information about animal welfare legislation is important for the care of cats within New Zealand, and the definitions of the terms 'stray' and 'feral' need to be more clearly stated in order to prevent confusion. This is especially important when cats may be controlled using lethal measures under different legislative precedents that are not necessarily consistent with one another. Veterinary clinics may act as a primary source

  5. Immunocontraception for Managing Feral Cattle in Hong Kong

    PubMed Central

    Massei, Giovanna; Koon, Ka-Kei; Benton, Steven; Brown, Richard; Gomm, Matt; Orahood, Darcy S.; Pietravalle, Stéphane; Eckery, Douglas C.

    2015-01-01

    Conflicts between human interests and feral cattle in Hong Kong derive from growing numbers of free-roaming cattle. Public antipathy towards lethal population control led the local authorities to consider fertility control to reduce cattle numbers. This study assessed the potential side effects of the immunocontraceptive GonaCon on individual female cattle and established the effectiveness of GonaCon to induce infertility. We evaluated GonaCon in 34 captive cattle assigned to four groups: Control administered a sham solution; Webbed (surgically sterilized through removal of the oviducts), administered one dose of GonaCon; Webbed, administered one dose of GonaCon and a booster dose three months later, and Treated, administered one dose of GonaCon. The side effects of GonaCon were assessed by monitoring injection site, body weight, body condition, size of lymph nodes, body temperature, and feeding behaviour 1 week and 1, 3, 6, 9 and 12 months after vaccination and by haematological and biochemical variables at vaccination and three months post-vaccination. The effectiveness of GonaCon to cause infertility was monitored by quantifying anti-GnRH antibody titres and by using kits to detect cycling and pregnancy. GonaCon-treated cattle showed no injection site reaction, limping, or abnormal behaviour. No differences were observed in all physiological and welfare indicators between control and vaccinated cattle. All control cattle and 4 of the 12 cattle in the Treated group became pregnant. Cattle administered a booster dose had higher anti-GnRH antibody titres than cattle that received one dose. We concluded that GonaCon does not compromise the animals’ welfare and is effective in reducing fertility in cattle. A booster dose is likely to increase the duration of infertility. Further studies are required to assess the feasibility and costs of immunocontraception for controlling free-roaming cattle populations. PMID:25856283

  6. Multiplex serology for common viral infections in feral pigs (Sus scrofa) in Hawaii between 2007 and 2010.

    PubMed

    Stephenson, Rachel J; Trible, Benjamin R; Wang, Yu; Kerrigan, Maureen A; Goldstein, Samuel M; Rowland, Raymond R R

    2015-01-01

    Multiplex serology was performed for the detection of total immunoglobulin (Ig) and IgM antibodies against porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2), porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV), and swine influenza virus (SIV) antigens in feral swine (Sus scrofa). Serum samples were collected from the islands of Oahu (292 pigs) and Hawaii (52 pigs) between 2007 and 2010. The highest antibody prevalence was to PCV2 (63%), followed by SIV (7.8%) and PRRSV (5.8%). Antigen-specific IgM was detected at a much lower prevalence. PCR amplification and sequence analysis of PCV2 in three IgM-positive samples identified PCV2b as the only genotype. While the prevalence of PCV2 and PRRSV remained similar between 2007 and 2010, the percentage of SIV-positive samples on Oahu increased from 2% to 19%. Our results demonstrate the utility of multiplex serology for pathogen surveillance in feral pig populations.

  7. Within-Colony Variation in the Immunocompetency of Managed and Feral Honey Bees (Apis mellifera L.) in Different Urban Landscapes

    PubMed Central

    Appler, R. Holden; Frank, Steven D.; Tarpy, David R.

    2015-01-01

    Urbanization has the potential to dramatically affect insect populations worldwide, although its effects on pollinator populations are just beginning to be understood. We compared the immunocompetency of honey bees sampled from feral (wild-living) and managed (beekeeper-owned) honey bee colonies. We sampled foragers from feral and managed colonies in rural, suburban, and urban landscapes in and around Raleigh, NC, USA. We then analyzed adult workers using two standard bioassays for insect immune function (encapsulation response and phenoloxidase activity). We found that there was far more variation within colonies for encapsulation response or phenoloxidase activity than among rural to urban landscapes, and we did not observe any significant difference in immune response between feral and managed bees. These findings suggest that social pollinators, like honey bees, may be sufficiently robust or variable in their immune responses to obscure any subtle effects of urbanization. Additional studies of immune physiology and disease ecology of social and solitary bees in urban, suburban, and natural ecosystems will provide insights into the relative effects of changing urban environments on several important factors that influence pollinator productivity and health. PMID:26529020

  8. Landscape-scale factors affecting feral horse habitat use during summer within the rocky mountain foothills.

    PubMed

    Girard, Tisa L; Bork, Edward W; Nielsen, Scott E; Neilsen, Scott E; Alexander, Mike J

    2013-02-01

    Public lands occupied by feral horses in North America are frequently managed for multiple uses with land use conflict occurring among feral horses, livestock, wildlife, and native grassland conservation. The factors affecting habitat use by horses is critical to understand where conflict may be greatest. We related horse presence and abundance to landscape attributes in a GIS to examine habitat preferences using 98 field plots sampled within a portion of the Rocky Mountain Forest Reserve of SW Alberta, Canada. Horse abundance was greatest in grassland and cut block habitats, and lowest in conifer and mixedwood forest. Resource selection probability functions and count models of faecal abundance indicated that horses preferred areas closer to water, with reduced topographic ruggedness, situated farther from forests, and located farther away from primary roads and trails frequented by recreationalists, but closer to small linear features (i.e. cut lines) that may be used as beneficial travel corridors. Horse presence and abundance were closely related to cattle presence during summer, suggesting that both herbivores utilise the same habitats. Estimates of forage biomass removal (44 %) by mid-July were near maximum acceptable levels. In contrast to horse-cattle associations, horses were negatively associated with wild ungulate abundance, although the mechanism behind this remains unclear and warrants further investigation. Our results indicate that feral horses in SW Alberta exhibit complex habitat selection patterns during spring and summer, including overlap in use with livestock. This finding highlights the need to assess and manage herbivore populations consistent with rangeland carrying capacity and the maintenance of range health.

  9. Landscape-Scale Factors Affecting Feral Horse Habitat Use During Summer Within The Rocky Mountain Foothills

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Girard, Tisa L.; Bork, Edward W.; Neilsen, Scott E.; Alexander, Mike J.

    2013-02-01

    Public lands occupied by feral horses in North America are frequently managed for multiple uses with land use conflict occurring among feral horses, livestock, wildlife, and native grassland conservation. The factors affecting habitat use by horses is critical to understand where conflict may be greatest. We related horse presence and abundance to landscape attributes in a GIS to examine habitat preferences using 98 field plots sampled within a portion of the Rocky Mountain Forest Reserve of SW Alberta, Canada. Horse abundance was greatest in grassland and cut block habitats, and lowest in conifer and mixedwood forest. Resource selection probability functions and count models of faecal abundance indicated that horses preferred areas closer to water, with reduced topographic ruggedness, situated farther from forests, and located farther away from primary roads and trails frequented by recreationalists, but closer to small linear features (i.e. cut lines) that may be used as beneficial travel corridors. Horse presence and abundance were closely related to cattle presence during summer, suggesting that both herbivores utilise the same habitats. Estimates of forage biomass removal (44 %) by mid-July were near maximum acceptable levels. In contrast to horse-cattle associations, horses were negatively associated with wild ungulate abundance, although the mechanism behind this remains unclear and warrants further investigation. Our results indicate that feral horses in SW Alberta exhibit complex habitat selection patterns during spring and summer, including overlap in use with livestock. This finding highlights the need to assess and manage herbivore populations consistent with rangeland carrying capacity and the maintenance of range health.

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

    PubMed

    Jay-Russell, M T; Bates, A; Harden, L; Miller, W G; Mandrell, R E

    2012-08-01

    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 United States. Campylobacter species were cultured from buccal and rectal-anal swabs, colonic faeces and tonsils using a combination of selective enrichment and antibiotic-free membrane filtration methods. Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS, Bruker Daltonics, Inc., Billerica, MA, USA) was used to identify species followed by confirmatory multiplex PCR or 16S rRNA sequencing. Genetic relatedness of Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli strains was determined by multilocus sequence typing (MLST) and porA allele sequencing. Altogether, 12 (40%) of 30 feral swine gastrointestinal and oral cavity specimens were positive, and six species were isolated: Campylobacter coli, Campylobacter fetus, Campylobacter hyointestinalsis, Campylobacter jejuni, Campylobacter lanienae and Campylobacter sputorum. Campylobacter jejuni subtypes were closely related to MLST sequence type 21 (ST-21) and had identical porA sequences. Campylobacter coli subtypes were unrelated to isolates in the pubMLST/porA database. This feral swine population lived in close association with a 'grassfed' beef cattle herd adjacent to spinach and other leafy green row crop fields. The findings underscore the importance of protecting raw vegetable crops from faecal contamination by wild or feral animals. The study also illustrates a potential risk of Campylobacter exposure for hunters during handling and processing of wild swine meat. © 2012 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

  11. Feral and Isolated Children: Historical Review and Analysis.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McNeil, Mary Charles; And Others

    1984-01-01

    An historical review of the documented cases of feral and other environmentally deprived children is presented. Discussion focuses on four groups of atypically reared children: animal-reared children, children isolated in wilderness, children confined in isolation, and children confined with limited human contact. (Author/CL)

  12. Excluding feral swine, javelina, and raccoons from deer bait stations

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    This paper presents a design, list of materials, and construction procedure for a physical and electric barrier fence to prevent feral swine (Sus scrofa), javelina (Pecari tajacu), raccoons (Procyon lotor), and perhaps other non-target animals from accessing or damaging bait stations designed to adm...

  13. Excluding feral swine, javelina and raccoons from deer bait stations

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Here we present a design and construction procedure for a physical and electric barrier fence to prevent feral swine (Sus scrofa), javelina (Pecari tajacu), raccoons (Procyon lotor), and perhaps other non-target animals from accessing or damaging bait stations designed to administer acaricide treatm...

  14. ISOLATION AND GENETIC CHARACTERIZATION OF TOXOPLASMA GONDII FROM RACCOONS (PROCYON LOTOR), CATS (FELIS DOMESTICUS), STRIPED SKUNK (MEPHITIS MEPHITIS), BLACK BEAR (URSUS AMERICANUS), AND COUGAR (PUMA CONCOLOR) FROM CANADA

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Viable Toxoplasma gondii was isolated by bioassay in mice from tissues of 2 feral cats ( Felis domesticus), 2 raccoons (Procyon lotor), a skunk (Mephitis mephitis) trapped in remote locations in Manitoba, Canada, and a black bear (Ursus americanus ) from Kuujjuaq, northern Quebec, Canada. Geno...

  15. Distribution and interspecies contact of feral swine and cattle on rangeland in south Texas: implications for disease transmission.

    PubMed

    Cooper, Susan M; Scott, H Morgan; de la Garza, Guadalupe R; Deck, Aubrey L; Cathey, James C

    2010-01-01

    The last outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in the United States occurred in 1929. Since that time, numbers and distribution of feral swine (Sus scrofa) have increased greatly, especially in the southern states. This creates a potential risk to livestock production because swine are susceptible to, and can be carriers of, several economically harmful diseases of livestock. Most importantly, swine are potent amplifiers of FMD virus. In this study, global positioning system (GPS) collars were placed on rangeland cattle (Bos indicus x taurus) and feral swine to determine shared habitat use by these species on a large ranch in south Texas from 2004 to 2006. The aim was to identify locations and rates of interspecies contact that may result in effective transfer of FMD virus, should an outbreak occur. In shrubland and riparian areas, animals were dispersed, so contacts within and between species were relatively infrequent. Indirect contacts, whereby cattle and feral swine used the same location (within 20 m) within a 360-min period, occurred primarily at water sources, and seasonally in irrigated forage fields and along ranch roads. Direct contacts between species (animals <20 m apart and within 15 min) were rare and occurred primarily at water sources. Changes in ranch management practices are suggested to reduce interspecies contact should an FMD disease outbreak occur. This information can also be used to improve current epidemiologic models to better fit free-ranging animal populations.

  16. Indices using external measurements for assessing fat deposition of adult feral raccoons (Procyon lotor) in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan.

    PubMed

    Kato, Takuya; Uno, Taiki; Fujioka, Yoshiyuki; Hayama, Shin-Ichi

    2012-02-01

    We examined the use of external measurements and relative fat deposition of adult feral raccoons (Procyon lotor) to develop relative indices of body fat deposition in post-growth feral raccoons. From March 2006 to March 2010, 288 adult raccoon carcasses (110 males, 178 females) collected in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, which were determined to be 24 months old, were subjected to external measurements of body weight (BW), girth measurement (GM), and body mass index (BMI). To assess relative body fat deposition, we visually classified abdominal subcutaneous fat into three grades (Visible Fat Index [VFI]: I-III). Significant differences in the means of BW (both sexes:P<0.01), GM (females: P<0.05, males: P<0.01), and BMI (both sexes: P<0.01) were detected between seasons. Notably, the means of BW, GM, and BMI (all, both sexes: P<0.01) differed significantly between VFI grades. However, by discriminant analysis with BW, GM, and BMI as independent variables, we obtained a significant discriminant function (both sexes: P<0.01) for distinguishing VFI I from higher VFI grades, but no significant equation was obtained for distinguishing between VFI II and VFI III. Based on the obtained structure matrix of discriminant analysis, BMI was the most valuable component for the discrimination of VFI grades. Thus, we conclude that BMI is a suitable complementary index for assessing relative body fat deposition of adult feral raccoons in Kanagawa Prefecture and may be generalizable to populations in other areas.

  17. Molecular evidence for the presence of new Babesia species in feral raccoons (Procyon lotor) in Hokkaido, Japan.

    PubMed

    Jinnai, Michio; Kawabuchi-Kurata, Takako; Tsuji, Masayoshi; Nakajima, Rui; Fujisawa, Kohei; Nagata, Shogo; Koide, Hikaru; Matoba, Yohei; Asakawa, Mitsuhiko; Takahashi, Kazuo; Ishihara, Chiaki

    2009-06-10

    We recently reported that feral raccoons (Procyon lotor) with splenomegaly native to Japan were carriers of a Babesia microti-like parasite identical to that found in the United States, which was likely introduced to Japan from North America via raccoons imported as pets. Thus, we attempted extensive molecular survey for piroplasma infections of feral raccoon with normal spleen in Hokkaido, Japan using nested PCR that target broadly to 18S ribosomal RNA gene (SSU-rDNA) of all the parasites in the genus Babesia, Theileria, Cytauxzoon and B. microti group. Of the 348 raccoon samples analyzed, 9 gave positive signals. Cloning and phylogenetic analysis on SSU-rDNA sequences revealed that six of nine positives were found to be infected with Babesia and the remaining three with previously unreported Sarcocystis. Babesia sequences were further separated into two distantly related groups, those that reside in a novel phylogenetic group were consisted solely of four parasites found in this study, while those which included one identical sequence found in the three of our specimens were assembled together with both Babesia parasites of tick's in Japan and of raccoon's in U.S. These results may indicate that not only a B. microti-like parasite but also at least two yet undescribed Babesia species are being established in their new life cycles in the feral raccoon populations in Japan.

  18. Nutritional analysis of gastric contents and body condition score at a single time point in feral horses in Australia.

    PubMed

    Hampson, Brian A; Owens, Elizabeth; Watts, Kathryn A; Mills, Paul C; Pollitt, Christopher C; de Laat, Melody A

    2011-09-01

    To determine the impact of a free-choice diet on nutritional intake and body condition of feral horses. Cadavers of 41 feral horses from 5 Australian locations. Body condition score (BCS) was determined (scale of 1 to 9), and the stomach was removed from horses during postmortem examination. Stomach contents were analyzed for nutritional variables and macroelement and microelement concentrations. Data were compared among the locations and also compared with recommended daily intakes for horses. Mean BCS varied by location; all horses were judged to be moderately thin. The BCS for males was 1 to 3 points higher than that of females. Amount of protein in the stomach contents varied from 4.3% to 14.9% and was significantly associated with BCS. Amounts of water-soluble carbohydrate and ethanol-soluble carbohydrate in stomach contents of feral horses from all 5 locations were higher than those expected for horses eating high-quality forage. Some macroelement and microelement concentrations were grossly excessive, whereas others were grossly deficient. There was no evidence of ill health among the horses. Results suggested that the diet for several populations of feral horses in Australia appeared less than optimal. However, neither low BCS nor trace mineral deficiency appeared to affect survival of the horses. Additional studies on food sources in these regions, including analysis of water-soluble carbohydrate, ethanol-soluble carbohydrate, and mineral concentrations, are warranted to determine the provenance of such rich sources of nutrients. Determination of the optimal diet for horses may need revision.

  19. Prevalence of Bartonella henselae and Bartonella clarridgeiae in cats and dogs in Korea.

    PubMed

    Kim, You-seok; Seo, Kyoung-won; Lee, Jong-hwa; Choi, Eun-wha; Lee, Hee-woo; Hwang, Cheol-yong; Shin, Nam-shik; Youn, Hee-jeong; Youn, Hwa Young

    2009-03-01

    Blood, saliva, and nail samples were collected from 54 dogs and 151 cats and analyzed for the presence of Bartonella henselae with a novel nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method. Bartonella (B.) henselae was detected in feral cat blood (41.8%), saliva (44.1%), and nail (42.7%) samples. B. henselae was also detected in pet cat blood (33.3%), saliva (43.5%), and nail (29.5%) samples and in pet dog blood (16.6%), saliva (18.5%), and nail (29.6%) samples. Nine samples were infected with B. clarridgeiae and 2 were co-infected with B. henselae and B. clarridgeiae of blood samples of dogs. This report is the first to investigate the prevalence of B. henselae and B. clarridgeiae in dogs and cats in Korea, and suggests that dogs and cats may serve as potential Bartonella reservoirs.

  20. Prevalence of Bartonella henselae and Bartonella clarridgeiae in cats and dogs in Korea

    PubMed Central

    Kim, You-seok; Seo, Kyoung-won; Lee, Jong-hwa; Choi, Eun-wha; Lee, Hee-woo; Hwang, Cheol-yong; Shin, Nam-shik

    2009-01-01

    Blood, saliva, and nail samples were collected from 54 dogs and 151 cats and analyzed for the presence of Bartonella henselae with a novel nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method. Bartonella (B.) henselae was detected in feral cat blood (41.8%), saliva (44.1%), and nail (42.7%) samples. B. henselae was also detected in pet cat blood (33.3%), saliva (43.5%), and nail (29.5%) samples and in pet dog blood (16.6%), saliva (18.5%), and nail (29.6%) samples. Nine samples were infected with B. clarridgeiae and 2 were co-infected with B. henselae and B. clarridgeiae of blood samples of dogs. This report is the first to investigate the prevalence of B. henselae and B. clarridgeiae in dogs and cats in Korea, and suggests that dogs and cats may serve as potential Bartonella reservoirs. PMID:19255530

  1. Distances travelled by feral horses in 'outback' Australia.

    PubMed

    Hampson, B A; de Laat, M A; Mills, P C; Pollitt, C C

    2010-11-01

    The distance travelled by Australian feral horses in an unrestricted environment has not previously been determined. It is important to investigate horse movement in wilderness environments to establish baseline data against which the movement of domestically managed horses and wild equids can be compared. To determine the travel dynamics of 2 groups of feral horses in unrestricted but different wilderness environments. Twelve feral horses living in 2 wilderness environments (2000 vs. 20,000 km(2)) in outback Australia were tracked for 6.5 consecutive days using custom designed, collar mounted global positioning systems (GPS). Collars were attached after darting and immobilising the horses. The collars were recovered after a minimum of 6.5 days by re-darting the horses. Average daily distance travelled was calculated. Range use and watering patterns of horses were analysed by viewing GPS tracks overlaid on satellite photographs of the study area. Average distance travelled was 15.9 ± 1.9 km/day (range 8.1-28.3 km/day). Horses were recorded up to 55 km from their watering points and some horses walked for 12 h to water from feeding grounds. Mean watering frequency was 2.67 days (range 1-4 days). Central Australian horses watered less frequently and showed a different range use compared to horses from central Queensland. Central Australian horses walked for long distances in direct lines to patchy food sources whereas central Queensland horses were able to graze close to water sources and moved in a more or less circular pattern around the central water source. The distances travelled by feral horses were far greater than those previously observed for managed domestic horses and other species of equid. Feral horses are able to travel long distances and withstand long periods without water, allowing them to survive in semi-arid conditions. © 2010 EVJ Ltd.

  2. Prioritization of zoonotic viral diseases in feral pigs, domestic pigs and humans interface.

    PubMed

    Benavides-Arias, Diana; Soler-Tovar, Diego

    2015-12-04

    Understanding the ecology of diseases requires the comprehension of pathogens in wild life-livestock interface. Feral pigs (Sus scrofa) are a health problem when countries work to prevent and control zoonotic diseases, as their populations raise environmental and health concerns due to infectious agents transmissible to domestic pigs and other animal species, including humans.  To prioritize zoonotic diseases in the feral pigs, domestic animals and humans interface.  The semi-quantitative prioritization method based on evidence included 27 criteria founded in recent publications. According to viral etiology we classified them in five categories: epidemiology (eight), prevention/control (three), economy/trade (four), public health (nine) and society (three). Each criterion had a coefficient of 0 to 7 according to their impact based on evidence (maximum sum of 189). Evidence on the criteria for the nine viral diseases analyzed came from the review of 81 sources published between 1977 and 2015.  The top three diseases with the highest score and zoonotic potential were swine influenza (133), hepatitis E (123), and hantavirus infection (103), whose highest scores were observed on epidemiology and public health criteria.  The semi-quantitative methods of prioritization impartially contribute to decision-making based on evidence; however, they are seldom used in developing countries due to the lack of data from public health surveillance. Control of shared diseases requires the development of strategies to reduce transmission of pathogens between wildlife and domestic animals and humans.

  3. Contaminant loading in remote Arctic lakes affects cellular stress-related proteins expression in feral charr.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wiseman, Steve; Jorgensen, Even H.; Maule, Alec G.; Vijayan, Mathilakath M.

    2011-01-01

    The remote Arctic lakes on Bjornoya Island, Norway, offer a unique opportunity to study possible affect of lifelong contaminant exposure in wild populations of landlocked Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus). This is because Lake Ellasjoen has persistent organic pollutant (POP) levels that are significantly greater than in the nearby Lake Oyangen. We examined whether this differential contaminant loading was reflected in the expression of protein markers of exposure and effect in the native fish. We assessed the expressions of cellular stress markers, including cytochrome P4501A (Cyp1A), heat shock protein 70 (hsp70), and glucocorticoid receptor (GR) in feral charr from the two lakes. The average polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) load in the charr liver from Ellasjoen was approximately 25-fold higher than in individuals from Oyangen. Liver Cyp1A protein expression was significantly higher in individuals from Ellasjoen compared with Oyangen, confirming differential PCB exposure. There was no significant difference in hsp70 protein expression in charr liver between the two lakes. However, brain hsp70 protein expression was significantly elevated in charr from Ellasjoen compared with Oyangen. Also, liver GR protein expression was significantly higher in the Ellasjoen charr compared with Oyangen charr. Taken together, our results suggest changes to cellular stress-related protein expression as a possible adaptation to chronic-contaminant exposure in feral charr in the Norwegian high-Arctic.

  4. Big cat genomics.

    PubMed

    O'Brien, Stephen J; Johnson, Warren E

    2005-01-01

    Advances in population and quantitative genomics, aided by the computational algorithms that employ genetic theory and practice, are now being applied to biological questions that surround free-ranging species not traditionally suitable for genetic enquiry. Here we review how applications of molecular genetic tools have been used to describe the natural history, present status, and future disposition of wild cat species. Insight into phylogenetic hierarchy, demographic contractions, geographic population substructure, behavioral ecology, and infectious diseases have revealed strategies for survival and adaptation of these fascinating predators. Conservation, stabilization, and management of the big cats are important areas that derive benefit from the genome resources expanded and applied to highly successful species, imperiled by an expanding human population.

  5. Cat scratch disease (image)

    MedlinePlus

    Cat scratch disease is an infectious illness associated with cat scratches, bites, or exposure to cat saliva, causing chronic swelling of the lymph nodes. Cat scratch disease is possibly the most common cause of chronic ...

  6. Convergent Validity of the Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System's (PROMIS) Physical Function Computerized Adaptive Test (PF-CAT) for the Knee and Shoulder Injury Sports Medicine Patient Population

    PubMed Central

    Robins, Richard Judd; Zhang, Yingying; Anderson, Mike B.; Presson, Angela P.; Burks, Robert T.; Greis, Patrick E.

    2015-01-01

    Objectives: The Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Instrument System (PROMIS) Physical Function Computer Adaptive Test (PF-CAT) has been developed by the National Institutes of Health as a means of providing validated outcomes scores. PF-CAT adapts to patient response by applying different validated questions based on prior responses to generate scores using between 4 to 12 questions, and has been validated in a variety of patient populations to assess physical function. The purpose of our study is to compare patient reported outcomes scores in a sports medicine (shoulder and knee injury) patient population by analyzing convergence validity of PF-CAT to IKDC, SST, ASES, and SANE scores. We also wanted to assess and compare time burden placed on patients in completing these outcomes scores. Methods: All patient visits from April through September 2014 presenting with either knee or shoulder complaints were included from a university-based sports medicine clinic, during which both PF-CAT as well as SANE, SST, and ASES legacy outcomes scores for shoulder injury patients, and SANE and IKDC outcomes scores for knee injury patients were obtained via tablet during the initial part of each visit. A total of 415 shoulder and 450 knee clinical evaluations qualified for inclusion in the study. Spearman correlation was used to evaluate pair-wise agreement among outcomes scores. The total scores from each outcome test and the T-scores from the PF-CAT were used in this correlation analysis. For interpretation, results greater than 0.5-0.69 were considered to have fair correlation, while values greater than 0.7 were considered as having good correlation. Significance was assessed at the 0.05 level. Median and interquartile ranges were used to summarize scores. The minimum score (floor effects) and maximum score (ceiling effects) occurrences were tallied and reported as percentages. A Fishers exact test was used to test for a difference in the number of times floor and ceiling

  7. Equine infectious anemia prevalence in feral donkeys from Northeast Brazil.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, Fernanda G; Cook, R Frank; Naves, João H F; Oliveira, Cairo H S; Diniz, Rejane S; Freitas, Francisco J C; Lima, Joseney M; Sakamoto, Sidnei M; Leite, Rômulo C; Issel, Charles J; Reis, Jenner K P

    2017-05-01

    Equine infectious anemia virus (EIAV) is an important cause of morbidity and mortality throughout the world. Although the virus infects all members of the Equidae the vast majority of studies have been conducted in horses (Equus caballus) with comparatively little information available for other equid species. Brazil has one of the most abundant donkey (E. asinus) populations of any nation although the economic importance of these animals is declining as transportation becomes increasingly mechanized. As a result, considerable numbers of donkeys especially in the Northeast of the country have been released and allowed pursue an almost feral existence. Consequently, this large and growing population constitutes a significant risk as a reservoir for the maintenance and transmission of important equine infectious diseases such as glanders and equine arteritis virus in addition to EIAV. This study examines the prevalence of EIA in a semi-wild donkey population from Mossoró city, in Northeast Brazil, using AGID followed by cELISA, rgp90 ELISA and immunoblot (IB). Serum samples were collected from 367 donkeys without obvious EIA clinical signs. Subsequent testing revealed seropositive rates of 1.6% (6/367) in officially approved AGID tests, 3.3% (12/367) in cELISA and 14.4% (53/367) in the rgp90 ELISA. However, 88.7% (47/53) of the rgp90 ELISA positive samples were almost certainly false reactions because they failed to react with two or more antigens in IB. Consequently, the rpg90 ELISA has a similar sensitivity to AGID with donkey serum samples. Such high false positive rates have not been observed previously with serum samples from horses. Another highly significant finding is that 56.9% (33/58) of the donkey serum samples tested in IB had reactivity to EIAV p26 only. Although this could result from recent infection with the virus, it has been found that in some equids p26 only reactivity persists for extensive periods of time suggesting exposure to antigens

  8. In the United States, negligible rates of zoonotic sarcocystosis occur in feral swine that, by contrast, frequently harbour infections with Sarcocystis miescheriana, a related parasite contracted from canids.

    PubMed

    Calero-Bernal, R; Verma, S K; Oliveira, S; Yang, Y; Rosenthal, B M; Dubey, J P

    2015-04-01

    Transmission of pathogens between domestic and wild life animals plays an 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 Sarcocystis infection, the myocardium of 1006 feral pigs (Sus scrofa) trapped or hunted in 29 states during the Comprehensive Feral Swine Disease Surveillance Program of the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services unit during 2012-2014. Sarcocysts were detected in histological sections of 25% (251/1006) of myocardium with an average parasitic load/intensity of infection of 3.03 sarcocysts/section (1.5×0.7 cm), and higher prevalence of myocarditis in severe infections. Microscopic examination of pepsin digests of 147 hearts revealed a higher prevalence of Sarcocystis bradyzoites (49%, 72/147) than when diagnosed by histology. A fragment of Sarcocystis 18S rRNA was amplified and digested with a restriction endonuclease, revealing a pattern consistent with Sarcocystis miescheriana in all 44 selected samples. Sequencing 31 of these 44 isolates confirmed their correspondence to S. miescheriana. Thus, S. miescheriana infection, but not the zoonotic parasite Sarcocystis suihominis, appears to be prevalent and widespread in feral pigs in the USA.

  9. Population viability analysis of American mink (Neovison vison) escaped from Danish mink farms.

    PubMed

    Pertoldi, C; Rødjajn, S; Zalewski, A; Demontis, D; Loeschcke, V; Kjærsgaard, A

    2013-06-01

    The American mink (Neovison vison) was introduced to Danish fur farms in the 1930s. An unknown number of mink have managed to escape these farms over the years. Today feral mink are found in the wild in most parts of Denmark. A population viability analysis (PVA) was performed using VORTEX, a stochastic population simulation software, to 1) predict the viability and potential population expansion from different sizes of founding populations of farm escapees, 2) investigate which parameters mostly affect the viability, 3) assess the effects of continuous escapes on the feral populations and how the feral populations are affected by management programs, and 4) discuss eradication strategies and their efficiency in management of the feral American mink population in Denmark. The simulations showed that juvenile mortality had the greatest effect on population viability followed by fecundity, adult mortality, and initial population size. Populations supplemented yearly by escapees all reached the carrying capacity and gained genetic variability over the years. Harvesting was modeled as the yearly number of mink caught in Denmark. Most of the simulated harvested populations crashed within few years after the first harvesting event. This indicates that the feral number of mink in Denmark is sustained due to supplements from mink farms and no true feral population exists. To manage the number of feral mink in Denmark it is essential to prevent escapees. The eradication effort would be most effective if focused on late summer and autumn when juvenile mink leave the maternal territory.

  10. Foot-and-mouth disease in feral swine: susceptibility and transmission.

    PubMed

    Mohamed, F; Swafford, S; Petrowski, H; Bracht, A; Schmit, B; Fabian, A; Pacheco, J M; Hartwig, E; Berninger, M; Carrillo, C; Mayr, G; Moran, K; Kavanaugh, D; Leibrecht, H; White, W; Metwally, S

    2011-08-01

    Experimental studies of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in feral swine are limited, and data for clinical manifestations and disease transmissibility are lacking. In this report, feral and domestic swine were experimentally infected with FMDV (A24-Cruzeiro), and susceptibility and virus transmission were studied. Feral swine were proved to be highly susceptible to A-24 Cruzeiro FMD virus by intradermal inoculation and by contact with infected domestic and feral swine. Typical clinical signs in feral swine included transient fever, lameness and vesicular lesions in the coronary bands, heel bulbs, tip of the tongue and snout. Domestic swine exhibited clinical signs of the disease within 24 h after contact with feral swine, whereas feral swine did not show clinical signs of FMD until 48 h after contact with infected domestic and feral swine. Clinical scores of feral and domestic swine were comparable. However, feral swine exhibited a higher tolerance for the disease, and their thicker, darker skin made vesicular lesions difficult to detect. Virus titration of oral swabs showed that both feral and domestic swine shed similar amounts of virus, with levels peaking between 2 to 4 dpi/dpc (days post-inoculation/days post-contact). FMDV RNA was intermittently detectable in the oral swabs by real-time RT-PCR of both feral and domestic swine between 1 and 8 dpi/dpc and in some instances until 14 dpi/12 dpc. Both feral and domestic swine seroconverted 6-8 dpi/dpc as measured by 3ABC antibody ELISA and VIAA assays. FMDV RNA levels in animal room air filters were similar in feral and domestic swine animal rooms, and were last detected at 22 dpi, while none were detectable at 28 or 35 dpi. The FMDV RNA persisted in domestic and feral swine tonsils up to 33-36 dpi/dpc, whereas virus isolation was negative. Results from this study will help understand the role feral swine may play in sustaining an FMD outbreak, and may be utilized in guiding surveillance, epidemiologic and economic

  11. Direct transmission of the cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis) between cats exhibiting social behaviour.

    PubMed

    Franc, Michel; Bouhsira, Émilie; Beugnet, Frédéric

    2013-01-01

    A study design was created to assess the potential for fleas to infest cats directly from other cats. In the first experiment, six cats were infested with 100 fleas each and then immediately put in contact with six flea-free cats for 24 h. After removal of all fleas the study was repeated and the contact between cats lasted 48 h. The total numbers of fleas recovered out of the 600 fleas deposited on the 6 donor cats after each infestation were 499 and 486 at 24 h and 48 h respectively. At 1 h post-contact, five fleas were found on the receiver cats, with three cats having one flea and one cat, two fleas. The number of fleas recovered on receiver cats increased towards the end of the study. At 24 h, 20% of the fleas were found on the receiver cats, and at 48 h, 23%. In a second experiment, the six flea-free cats were put in contact with the six donor cats which were each infested by 100 fleas 48 h before. Fewer fleas were found on the receiver cats (n = 15), representing 3.8% of all fleas recovered (n = 403). All the observed fleas had fed. The fleas collected on receiving cats comprised 10 males and 5 females, and 4 of the 5 females were engorged and contained eggs. The fleas collected on donor cats comprised 153 males and 235 females, they were all fed and all females contained eggs. This experiment demonstrated that gravid female fleas have a tendency to become permanently but not exclusively parasitic. Nevertheless, a few can change their cat host in as little as 1 h, which may play a role in the rapid introduction of a new flea population into a cat environment. © M. Franc et al., published by EDP Sciences, 2013.

  12. Direct transmission of the cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis) between cats exhibiting social behaviour

    PubMed Central

    Franc, Michel; Bouhsira, Émilie; Beugnet, Frédéric

    2013-01-01

    A study design was created to assess the potential for fleas to infest cats directly from other cats. In the first experiment, six cats were infested with 100 fleas each and then immediately put in contact with six flea-free cats for 24 h. After removal of all fleas the study was repeated and the contact between cats lasted 48 h. The total numbers of fleas recovered out of the 600 fleas deposited on the 6 donor cats after each infestation were 499 and 486 at 24 h and 48 h respectively. At 1 h post-contact, five fleas were found on the receiver cats, with three cats having one flea and one cat, two fleas. The number of fleas recovered on receiver cats increased towards the end of the study. At 24 h, 20% of the fleas were found on the receiver cats, and at 48 h, 23%. In a second experiment, the six flea-free cats were put in contact with the six donor cats which were each infested by 100 fleas 48 h before. Fewer fleas were found on the receiver cats (n = 15), representing 3.8% of all fleas recovered (n = 403). All the observed fleas had fed. The fleas collected on receiving cats comprised 10 males and 5 females, and 4 of the 5 females were engorged and contained eggs. The fleas collected on donor cats comprised 153 males and 235 females, they were all fed and all females contained eggs. This experiment demonstrated that gravid female fleas have a tendency to become permanently but not exclusively parasitic. Nevertheless, a few can change their cat host in as little as 1 h, which may play a role in the rapid introduction of a new flea population into a cat environment. PMID:24309021

  13. Prevalence study and risk factor analysis of selected bacterial, protozoal and viral, including vector-borne, pathogens in cats from Cyprus.

    PubMed

    Attipa, Charalampos; Papasouliotis, Kostas; Solano-Gallego, Laia; Baneth, Gad; Nachum-Biala, Yaarit; Sarvani, Elpida; Knowles, Toby G; Mengi, Sena; Morris, David; Helps, Chris; Tasker, Séverine

    2017-03-13

    Feline infectious agent studies are lacking in Cyprus. The aims of this study were to determine the prevalence and risk factors for various feline infectious agents, including feline vector-borne pathogens (FVBP), in cats from Cyprus. A cross-sectional, descriptive, multicentre study was performed on 174 feline samples [138 owned and 36 shelter-feral, including both healthy (43) and non-healthy (131), cats] from private veterinary clinics from all six districts of Cyprus. Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) assays were used to detect Mycoplasma haemofelis (Mhf), "Candidatus Mycoplasma haemominutum" (CMhm) and "Candidatus Mycoplasma turicensis" (CMt). The population was tested for four FVBP including Bartonella henselae and Leishmania spp. using qPCR, while conventional PCR assays were used to detect Ehrlichia/Anaplasma spp. and Hepatozoon spp. Serological assays were performed to detect Leishmania infantum antibodies, feline leukaemia virus (FeLV) antigen and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) antibodies. Statistical analysis was performed to test associations and possible risk factors between variables and infectious agents. Ninety-six (55.2%) of the 174 cats were PCR-positive for at least one infectious agent. Forty-six cats (26.4%) were haemoplasma positive, including 13 (7.5%) for Mhf, 36 (20.7%) for CMhm and 12 (6.9%) for CMt. Sixty-six cats (37.9%) were positive for Hepatozoon spp., while 19 (10.9%) were positive for B. henselae, four (2.3%) for Leishmania spp. and one (0.6%) for Ehrlichia/Anaplasma spp. Sequencing revealed the presence of Hepatozoon felis, L. infantum and Anaplasma platys. Of the 164 cats that underwent retroviral serology, 10 (6.1%) were FeLV-positive and 31 (18.9%) were FIV-positive, while L. infantum serology was positive in 7 (4.4%) of the 160 cats tested. Multivariable logistic regression revealed significant associations for various infectious agents including L. infantum with each of Hepatozoon spp. and CMt

  14. Detection probability in aerial surveys of feral horses

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ransom, Jason I.

    2011-01-01

    Observation bias pervades data collected during aerial surveys of large animals, and although some sources can be mitigated with informed planning, others must be addressed using valid sampling techniques that carefully model detection probability. Nonetheless, aerial surveys are frequently employed to count large mammals without applying such methods to account for heterogeneity in visibility of animal groups on the landscape. This often leaves managers and interest groups at odds over decisions that are not adequately informed. I analyzed detection of feral horse (Equus caballus) groups by dual independent observers from 24 fixed-wing and 16 helicopter flights using mixed-effect logistic regression models to investigate potential sources of observation bias. I accounted for observer skill, population location, and aircraft type in the model structure and analyzed the effects of group size, sun effect (position related to observer), vegetation type, topography, cloud cover, percent snow cover, and observer fatigue on detection of horse groups. The most important model-averaged effects for both fixed-wing and helicopter surveys included group size (fixed-wing: odds ratio = 0.891, 95% CI = 0.850–0.935; helicopter: odds ratio = 0.640, 95% CI = 0.587–0.698) and sun effect (fixed-wing: odds ratio = 0.632, 95% CI = 0.350–1.141; helicopter: odds ratio = 0.194, 95% CI = 0.080–0.470). Observer fatigue was also an important effect in the best model for helicopter surveys, with detection probability declining after 3 hr of survey time (odds ratio = 0.278, 95% CI = 0.144–0.537). Biases arising from sun effect and observer fatigue can be mitigated by pre-flight survey design. Other sources of bias, such as those arising from group size, topography, and vegetation can only be addressed by employing valid sampling techniques such as double sampling, mark–resight (batch-marked animals), mark–recapture (uniquely marked and

  15. Examining ecological consequences of feral horse grazing using exclosures.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beever, E.A.; Brussard, P.F.

    2000-01-01

    Although feral horses have inhabited western North America since the end of the 16th century, relatively little synecological research has been conducted to quantitatively characterize how they interact with ecosystem components. Because feral horses exhibit watering behavior markedly different from that of domestic cattle, it is particularly important to evaluate response of ecosystem elements near water sources to horse use. To assess this response, we performed live-trapping of small mammals and 2-tiered vegetative sampling in 2 mountain ranges in central Nevada in the interior Great Basin, USA. At low elevations, plots around horse-excluded springs exhibited notably greater plant species richness, percent cover, and abundance of grasses and shrubs, as well as more small mammal burrow entrances than plots at horse-grazed springs. At high elevations, meadows protected from grazing exhibited maximum vegetation heights 2.8 times greater than vegetation grazed by horses only and 4.5 times greater than vegetation grazed by horses and cattle. Species richness in quadrats was most different between the horse-and-cattle-grazed meadow and its ungrazed counterpart, suggesting the possibility of synergistic effects of horse and cattle grazing in the same location. This study, the first in the Great Basin to investigate quantitatively ecosystem consequences of feral horse use with exclosures, represents a preliminary step in identifying factors that determine the magnitude of horse grazing impacts. 

  16. Urbanization Increases Pathogen Pressure on Feral and Managed Honey Bees

    PubMed Central

    López-Uribe, Margarita M.; Tarpy, David R.; Frank, Steven D.

    2015-01-01

    Given the role of infectious disease in global pollinator decline, there is a need to understand factors that shape pathogen susceptibility and transmission in bees. Here we ask how urbanization affects the immune response and pathogen load of feral and managed colonies of honey bees (Apis mellifera Linnaeus), the predominant economically important pollinator worldwide. Using quantitative real-time PCR, we measured expression of 4 immune genes and relative abundance of 10 honey bee pathogens. We also measured worker survival in a laboratory bioassay. We found that pathogen pressure on honey bees increased with urbanization and management, and the probability of worker survival declined 3-fold along our urbanization gradient. The effect of management on pathogens appears to be mediated by immunity, with feral bees expressing immune genes at nearly twice the levels of managed bees following an immune challenge. The effect of urbanization, however, was not linked with immunity; instead, urbanization may favor viability and transmission of some disease agents. Feral colonies, with lower disease burdens and stronger immune responses, may illuminate ways to improve honey bee management. The previously unexamined effects of urbanization on honey-bee disease are concerning, suggesting that urban areas may favor problematic diseases of pollinators. PMID:26536606

  17. Urbanization Increases Pathogen Pressure on Feral and Managed Honey Bees.

    PubMed

    Youngsteadt, Elsa; Appler, R Holden; López-Uribe, Margarita M; Tarpy, David R; Frank, Steven D

    2015-01-01

    Given the role of infectious disease in global pollinator decline, there is a need to understand factors that shape pathogen susceptibility and transmission in bees. Here we ask how urbanization affects the immune response and pathogen load of feral and managed colonies of honey bees (Apis mellifera Linnaeus), the predominant economically important pollinator worldwide. Using quantitative real-time PCR, we measured expression of 4 immune genes and relative abundance of 10 honey bee pathogens. We also measured worker survival in a laboratory bioassay. We found that pathogen pressure on honey bees increased with urbanization and management, and the probability of worker survival declined 3-fold along our urbanization gradient. The effect of management on pathogens appears to be mediated by immunity, with feral bees expressing immune genes at nearly twice the levels of managed bees following an immune challenge. The effect of urbanization, however, was not linked with immunity; instead, urbanization may favor viability and transmission of some disease agents. Feral colonies, with lower disease burdens and stronger immune responses, may illuminate ways to improve honey bee management. The previously unexamined effects of urbanization on honey-bee disease are concerning, suggesting that urban areas may favor problematic diseases of pollinators.

  18. Bioaccumulation of hydrocarbons in feral and experimental flatfish

    SciTech Connect

    Hellou, J.; Mackay, D.

    1995-12-31

    The uptake of PAC (PAH and PASH) into the muscle of feral and laboratory exposed flatfish is described and modeled using the fugacity approach. Correlation is made between the results obtained from the exposure of winter flounder to a crude oil and the analysis of samples obtained from feral finfish. The feral study involved the collection of American plaice and yellowtail flounder from the Northwest Atlantic during biological surveys. Finfish were pooled according to species, sex, size, season and sampling location. Muscle, liver and gall bladder bile were examined for the presence of saturated and unsaturated hydrocarbons or metabolites. On the other hand after a four month exposure to a crude oil, muscle of winter flounder was analyzed for saturated hydrocarbons and polycyclic aromatic compounds, as well as the gall bladder for bile metabolites. The information obtained in the laboratory experiment allowed a better interpretation of the results observed in the fish sampled from the Northwest Atlantic. The assessment of the fate of hydrocarbons in biota is discussed taking into consideration variables such as: animal size, respiration rate, lipid content of tissue, TOC, K{sub ow} of chemicals and the knowledge of the source and fingerprint of PAH in the Northwest Atlantic environment.

  19. Contact heterogeneities in feral swine: implications for disease management and future research

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pepin, Kim; Davis, Amy J.; Beasley, James; Boughton, Raoul; Campbell, Tyler; Cooper, Susan; Gaston, Wes; Hartley, Stephen B.; Kilgo, John C.; Wisely, Samantha; Wyckoff, Christy; VerCauteren, Kurt

    2016-01-01

    Contact rates vary widely among individuals in socially structured wildlife populations. Understanding the interplay of factors responsible for this variation is essential for planning effective disease management. Feral swine (Sus scrofa) are a socially structured species which pose an increasing threat to livestock and human health, and little is known about contact structure. We analyzed 11 GPS data sets from across the United States to understand the interplay of ecological and demographic factors on variation in co-location rates, a proxy for contact rates. Between-sounder contact rates strongly depended on the distance among home ranges (less contact among sounders separated by >2 km; negligible between sounders separated by >6 km), but other factors causing high clustering between groups of sounders also seemed apparent. Our results provide spatial parameters for targeted management actions, identify data gaps that could lead to improved management and provide insight on experimental design for quantitating contact rates and structure.

  20. Contact heterogeneities in feral swine: implications for disease management and future research

    DOE PAGES

    Pepin, Kim M.; Davis, Amy J.; Beasley, James; ...

    2016-03-17

    Contact rates vary widely among individuals in socially structured wildlife populations. Understanding the interplay of factors responsible for this variation is essential for planning effective disease management. Feral swine (Sus scrofa) are a socially structured species which pose an increasing threat to livestock and human health, and little is known about contact structure. We analyzed 11 GPS data sets from across the United States to understand the interplay of ecological and demographic factors on variation in co-location rates, a proxy for contact rates. Between-sounder contact rates strongly depended on the distance among home ranges (less contact among sounders separated bymore » >2 km; negligible between sounders separated by >6 km), but other factors causing high clustering between groups of sounders also seemed apparent. Our results provide spatial parameters for targeted management actions, identify data gaps that could lead to improved management and provide insight on experimental design for quantitating contact rates and structure.« less

  1. Africanization in the United States: replacement of feral European honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) by an African hybrid swarm.

    PubMed

    Pinto, M Alice; Rubink, William L; Patton, John C; Coulson, Robert N; Johnston, J Spencer

    2005-08-01

    The expansion of Africanized honeybees from South America to the southwestern United States in <50 years is considered one of the most spectacular biological invasions yet documented. In the American tropics, it has been shown that during their expansion Africanized honeybees have low levels of introgressed alleles from resident European populations. In the United States, it has been speculated, but not shown, that Africanized honeybees would hybridize extensively with European honeybees. Here we report a continuous 11-year study investigating temporal changes in the genetic structure of a feral population from the southern United States undergoing Africanization. Our microsatellite data showed that (1) the process of Africanization involved both maternal and paternal bidirectional gene flow between European and Africanized honeybees and (2) the panmitic European population was replaced by panmitic mixtures of A. m. scutellata and European genes within 5 years after Africanization. The post-Africanization gene pool (1998-2001) was composed of a diverse array of recombinant classes with a substantial European genetic contribution (mean 25-37%). Therefore, the resulting feral honeybee population of south Texas was best viewed as a hybrid swarm.

  2. Risk factors for feline infectious peritonitis in Australian cats.

    PubMed

    Worthing, Kate A; Wigney, Denise I; Dhand, Navneet K; Fawcett, Anne; McDonagh, Phillip; Malik, Richard; Norris, Jacqueline M

    2012-06-01

    The objective of this study was to determine whether patient signalment (age, breed, sex and neuter status) is associated with naturally-occurring feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) in cats in Australia. A retrospective comparison of the signalment between cats with confirmed FIP and the general cat population was designed. The patient signalment of 382 FIP confirmed cases were compared with the Companion Animal Register of NSW and the general cat population of Sydney. Younger cats were significantly over-represented among FIP cases. Domestic crossbred, Persian and Himalayan cats were significantly under-represented in the FIP cohort, while several breeds were over-represented, including British Shorthair, Devon Rex and Abyssinian. A significantly higher proportion of male cats had FIP compared with female cats. This study provides further evidence that FIP is a disease primarily of young cats and that significant breed and sex predilections exist in Australia. This opens further avenues to investigate the role of genetic factors in FIP.

  3. Isolation of Tritrichomonas foetus from cats sampled at a cat clinic, cat shows and a humane society in southern Ontario.

    PubMed

    Hosein, Ansarah; Kruth, Stephen A; Pearl, David L; Richardson, Danielle; Maggs, Jocelyn C; Peach, Hillary A; Peregrine, Andrew S

    2013-08-01

    Tritrichomonas foetus is a protozoan parasite that has been associated with chronic diarrhea in cats. This study aimed to determine (i) the prevalence of T foetus shedding in cats from three different populations in southern Ontario, and (ii) associations between the presence of T foetus and potential cat management, health and demographic risk factors. A cross-sectional study was conducted involving 140 cats from a cat clinic in Guelph, 46 cats from a humane society in Guelph and 55 cats from two cat shows. Risk factor information was assessed through a questionnaire. The InPouch TF (feline) culture method was used to determine the presence of T foetus in all samples. Polymerase chain reaction was conducted on all samples positive by the InPouch TF, as well as 132 negative samples. The assays were interpreted in series and the prevalence of T foetus shedding and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated at 0.7% (95% CI: 0.0-3.9%; n = 140) from the cat clinic, 0% (95% CI: 0.0-7.7%; n = 46) from the humane society and 23.6% (95% CI: 13.2-37.0%; n = 55) from the cat shows. 'Attendance at cat shows' was the only variable significant in both the univariable and multivariable analyses (P <0.05). No significant association was found between the presence of T foetus and diarrhea at the time of sampling or having a history of diarrhea in the past 6 months. The prevalence of T foetus was highly variable among populations of cats in southern Ontario, with shedding being most common in show cats.

  4. Modeling feral alfalfa (Medicago sativa subsp. sativa L.) occurrence using topographical and environmental variables

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Because alfalfa is a perennial species cross pollinated by bees and can establish along roadsides and ruderal areas, there is concern that feral plants can serve as reservoirs and conduits for transgenic genes. The objective of this study was to survey feral alfalfa in alfalfa seed production areas ...

  5. Identification of Brucella spp. in feral swine (Sus scrofa) at abattoirs in Texas, USA

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Various tissues, nasal swabs, urine, and blood samples were collected from 376 feral swine at two federally-inspected abattoirs in Texas during six separate sampling periods in 2015. Samples were tested for Brucella spp. by culture and serology. Brucella spp. were cultured from 13.0% of feral swin...

  6. Comparative Studies of Predation Among Feral, Commercially-Purchased, and Laboratory-Reared Predators

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The predatory activities of commercially-purchased Hippodamia convergens Guèrin-Mèneville and two laboratory-reared strains of Geocoris punctipes (Say) were compared with their feral counterparts. In single prey choice feeding tests, commercially-purchased and feral H. convergens were provided copi...

  7. Low mitochondrial DNA diversity of Japanese Polled and Kuchinoshima feral cattle.

    PubMed

    Mannen, Hideyuki; Yonesaka, Riku; Noda, Aoi; Shimogiri, Takeshi; Oshima, Ichiro; Katahira, Kiyomi; Kanemaki, Misao; Kunieda, Tetsuo; Inayoshi, Yousuke; Mukai, Fumio; Sasazaki, Shinji

    2017-05-01

    This study aims to estimate the mitochondrial genetic diversity and structure of Japanese Polled and Kuchinoshima feral cattle, which are maintained in small populations. We determined the mitochondrial DMA (mtDNA) displacement loop (D-loop) sequences for both cattle populations and analyzed these in conjunction with previously published data from Northeast Asian cattle populations. Our findings showed that Japanese native cattle have a predominant, Asian-specific mtDNA haplogroup T4 with high frequencies (0.43-0.81). This excluded Kuchinoshima cattle (32 animals), which had only one mtDNA haplotype belonging to the haplogroup T3. Japanese Polled showed relatively lower mtDNA diversity in the average sequence divergence (0.0020) than other Wagyu breeds (0.0036-0.0047). Japanese Polled have been maintained in a limited area of Yamaguchi, and the population size is now less than 200. Therefore, low mtDNA diversity in the Japanese Polled could be explained by the decreasing population size in the last three decades. We found low mtDNA diversity in both Japanese Polled and Kuchinoshima cattle. The genetic information obtained in this study will be useful for maintaining these populations and for understanding the origin of Japanese native cattle. © 2016 Japanese Society of Animal Science.

  8. Influences of immunocontraception on time budgets, social behavior, and body condition in feral horses

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ransom, J.I.; Cade, B.S.; Hobbs, N.T.

    2010-01-01

    Managers concerned with shrinking habitats and limited resources for wildlife seek effective tools for limiting population growth in some species. Fertility control is one such tool, yet little is known about its impacts on the behavioral ecology of wild, free-roaming animals. We investigated influences of the immunocontraceptive porcine zona pellucida (PZP) on individual and social behavior in bands of feral horses (Equus caballus) in three discrete populations and used 14 hierarchical mixed effect models to gain insight into the influences of PZP treatment on feral horse behavior. A model of body condition was the strongest predictor of feeding, resting, maintenance, and social behaviors, with treated females allocating their time similarly to control females. Time spent feeding declined 11.4% from low condition to high condition females (F1,154 = 26.427, P < 0.001) and was partially reciprocated by a 6.0% increase in resting (F1,154 = 7.629, P = 0.006), 0.9% increase in maintenance (F1,154 = 7.028, P = 0.009), and 1.8% increase in social behavior (F1,154 = 15.064, P < 0.001). There was no difference detected in body condition of treated versus control females (F1,154 = 0.033, P = 0.856), but females with a dependent foal had lower body condition than those without a foal (F1,154 = 4.512, P = 0.038). Herding behavior was best explained by a model of treatment and the interaction of band fidelity and foal presence (AICc weight = 0.660) which estimated no difference in rate of herding behavior directed toward control versus treated females (F1,102 = 0.196, P = 0.659), but resident females without a dependent foal were herded 50.9% more than resident females with a foal (F3,102 = 8.269, P < 0.001). Treated females received 54.5% more reproductive behaviors from stallions than control mares (F1,105 = 5.155, P = 0.025), with the model containing only treatment being the most-supported (AICc weight = 0.530). Treated and control females received harem-tending behaviors

  9. A survey of the views of US veterinary teaching faculty to owned cat housing practices.

    PubMed

    Salo, Allen L; Stone, Elizabeth

    2015-12-01

    According to the American Pet Products Association, in the USA there are an estimated 86.4 million owned cats, and approximately 40% of these are allowed to roam outdoors. Little has been written about the contribution of owned cats to problems attributed to feral cats, including wildlife predation, spread of zoonotic diseases and overpopulation. A recent study found that 64% of cats have visited the veterinarian within the past year, suggesting frequent opportunity for veterinarians to communicate risks and benefits of indoor vs outdoor living. We conducted the following survey to evaluate current views about this role of veterinarians, by surveying veterinary school faculty (n = 158). Our objectives were to assess (i) the degree to which veterinary teaching faculty believe that the issue of clients maintaining owned cats indoors vs outdoors is appropriate for discussion with students within the veterinary school curriculum; (ii) the degree of agreement and understanding there is among the faculty as to the reasons that clients maintain cats either inside or outside the home; and (iii) the degree to which veterinary faculty believe owned cats that are allowed to go outdoors contribute to various identified problems. The results indicated that many participants believed that the discussion of maintaining cats indoors is relevant to the profession, that it belongs in the veterinary school curriculum, that they understand client motivations, that they feel that more practicing veterinarians should discuss cat housing practices with clients and that cat overpopulation continues to be a significant concern for owned cats being outdoors. Additional ways to help maintain the health and wellbeing of cats that are primarily housed indoors is briefly discussed, including through such means as environmental enrichment or by providing cats access to safe areas while outdoors.

  10. Serological and molecular investigation of the prevalence of Aujeszky's disease in feral swine (Sus scrofa) in the subregions of the Pantanal wetland, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Paes, Rita de Cássia da Silva; Fonseca, A A; Monteiro, L A R C; Jardim, G C; Piovezan, U; Herrera, H M; Mauro, R A; Vieira-da-Motta, O

    2013-08-30

    The