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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. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-03-25

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Effect of neutering on two groups of feral cats.

    PubMed

    Neville, P F; Remfry, J

    1984-05-05

    Two colonies of urban feral cats were subjected to a programme of population control by trapping, neutering and returning to site. The behaviour of individual cats and the stability of the groups was studied before and after the programme, which was then assessed in terms of its humaneness and effectiveness as a means of control. The method was satisfactory on both counts and may be recommended for controlling feral cat colonies where the welfare of the cats can be assured after their return.

  8. Reproduction in a feral cat population and its control with a prolactin inhibitor, cabergoline.

    PubMed

    Jöchle, W; Jöchle, M

    1993-01-01

    A feral cat population (12 females, 13 males) was observed almost daily for 6 years, at a location 40.53 degrees N and 74.29 degrees W. Cats were accustomed to twice-daily feeding. Oestrous behaviour was seasonal and started in early January, irrespective of climatic conditions, with peak levels of oestrous activities in late January and February. Of all 60 heat periods observed, and conceptions recorded, the percentage occurrence was 58 and 49 in the first quarter, and 29 and 33, 12 and 16 and 1 and 2 in the second, third and fourth quarter, respectively. Queens could be reliably identified as being pregnant by 31.5 +/- 5.82 days, and were subjected between days 36 and 57 of gestation to daily oral treatment with 5-15 micrograms cabergoline kg-1 placed on food. Treatments (n = 41) from days 36 +/- 6.17 to 40.8 +/- 6.96 resulted in abortion in all animals on day 40.5 +/- 6.19; if treatment started as late as day 48.5, and lasted 9 or more days, premature parturition occurred. As cabergoline had caused mammary gland regression within 36-48 h, litters could not be nursed and perished quickly. Five repeatedly aborted queens were subsequently allowed to go to term. Pregnancies, gestation length (64.5 days), parturitions, maternal care and lactations were normal. Of the 24 kittens born out of seven pregnancies, 16 were observed from 6 months to 3 years. Pubertal oestrus and first conceptions occurred at 189.9 days (range 150-214 days) and 212.0 days (155-277 days), respectively. Males were seen to achieve reproductive success in their third year only.

  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. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Budke, Christine M; Slater, Margaret R

    2009-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-09-01

    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, dewermed, 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-12-01

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

  5. 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.

  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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  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 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. The effects of implementing a feral cat spay/neuter program in a Florida county animal control service.

    PubMed

    Hughes, Kathy L; Slater, Margaret R; Haller, Linda

    2002-01-01

    In 1995, a county animal control service implemented a feral cat sterilization program with the goal of reducing the number of healthy cats euthanized, complaints, and the county's costs. The service collected data from a 6-year period both before and after the program's implementation. The service totaled the numbers of both cat and dog impoundments, surgeries, adoptions, euthanasias, and complaints for each year; standardized both sets of numbers on a per- 10,000-person basis to compare trends between dogs and cats; and calculated estimated costs for neutering versus impounding and euthanizing the feral cats. Changing from a policy of euthanasia of feral cats to support for trap-neuter-return did not result in an increase in the number of complaints or cat impoundments. The percentage of impounded cats euthanized decreased between the periods before and after the program began, and the percentage adopted increased. The ratio of complaints to impounds decreased between the 2 periods, and the ratio of surgeries to impounds increased. Impoundments of cats were relatively steady in spite of the continually increasing human population. Euthanasias decreased for both cats and dogs since 1997. Since 1996, complaints decreased for both. Surgeries for both cats and dogs increased over the 12 years. Adoptions for cats and dogs increased greatly in fiscal year 1998/1999.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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).

  7. The dental pathology of feral cats on Marion Island, part I: congenital, developmental and traumatic abnormalities.

    PubMed

    Verstraete, F J; van Aarde, R J; Nieuwoudt, B A; Mauer, E; Kass, P H

    1996-10-01

    Skulls (n = 301) of adult feral cats from Marion Island, a sub-Antarctic island, were examined macroscopically. Congenital anomalies, which were rare, included a few supernumerary premolars, located mesially to those normally present. Supernumerary roots, mainly of the maxillary third premolar, were found in just over 10% of cases. The maxillary second premolar was absent in 16.8% of skulls; dichotomous and double-formed roots of this tooth were present in 20.1% and 1.9% of cases, respectively. Enamel hypoplasia, which is most unusual in this species, was noted in 24.6% of cases, and persistent deciduous teeth in 2.0%. Dental abrasion, which was noted in 19.3% of cats, affected only 2.3% of teeth, most commonly the lower fourth and upper third premolars. Dental fractures, mainly complicated crown fractures and root fractures, were noted in 54.8% of cats and 7.0% of teeth. Fractures were found most commonly in the canine and carnassial teeth, as also were periapical lesions, which were often severe. Mandibular fractures in various stages of healing were found in 11 cats (3.7%); such fractures most frequently affected the body of the mandible and resulted in malunion. It was concluded that the high prevalence of dental fractures and associated periapical lesions probably exerted a significant adverse effect on health and survival in this population of feral cats.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. [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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Male reproductive tactics and reproductive success of the group-living feral cat (Felis catus).

    PubMed

    Yamane, A

    1998-06-01

    Male reproductive tactics and reproductive success of the feral cat (Felis catus) were investigated in a group-living cat population on a small island. Two main reproductive tactics depending on body weight were clearly documented. Heavier (dominant) males used the tactics of courting not only the females of their own group, but also the females of a group other than their own. On the other hand, lighter males mainly utilized the tactics of courting only females of their own group. However, the former tactics were expected to be unsuccessful from the observation that extra-group copulations were rare because of their decreased courtship rank during extra-group visits. Results for the paternity of kittens obtained by the analysis of polymorphic microsatellite DNA revealed that more than half of the kittens of grouping females were fathered by extra-group males, suggesting that the tactics were more successful than expected. This discrepancy between the observed copulation and the actual paternity also suggesting the probability that some female choice may be operating upon the mating system of this group-living cat population.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Urban feral cats (Felis catus L.): perspectives for a demographic control respecting the psycho-biological welfare of the species.

    PubMed

    Natoli, E

    1994-01-01

    The presence of feral cats in the urban environment is creating problems of acceptance by human beings especially in relation to health aspects. In accordance with the protectionist spirit of the law 281 of 14/8/91, the new sensitivity to the general welfare of animals, and better knowledge of their natural history, some possible interventions of the Public Veterinary Services for feral cat control in the cities are proposed. These consist mainly in demographic control by means of neutering the cats, with particular attention to the psycho-biological welfare of the species.

  2. Prevalence of Bartonella henselae bacteremia, the causative agent of cat scratch disease, in an Australian cat population.

    PubMed

    Branley, J; Wolfson, C; Waters, P; Gottlieb, T; Bradbury, R

    1996-08-01

    In order to determine the prevalence of Bartonella henselae becteremia in an Australian cat population we examined blood cultures on a group of Sydney cats. Cats referred to the Concord Animal Hospital for euthanasia were selected randomly for blood culture and serum sampling. Blood samples were lysed and centrifuged and then cultured for up to five weeks. Suspicious colonies were identified biochemically as probable B. henselae. Selected isolates were confirmed as B. henselae using the polymerase chain reaction. Of the cats accrued throughout Sydney, 27/77 (35%) were culture positive for B. henselae, of these 24/59 (40%) were feral cats and 3/18 (16%) were domestic. Most cats in the study were younger than one year (mean 9.9 months). Our study demonstrates that bacteremia with B. henselae is common in the metropolitan cat population and suggests that it is particularly prevalent among feral animals. By contrast Cat Scratch Disease (CSD) is a relatively uncommon clinical diagnosis in the Australian population. Explanations for this discrepancy may include poor transmission, low bacterial virulence and underdiagnosis. It is possible that feral animals are a greater potential risk source for this infection than domestic cats.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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).

  14. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1999-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  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. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Prevalence of Bartonella henselae and Bartonella clarridgeiae in an urban Indonesian cat population.

    PubMed

    Marston, E L; Finkel, B; Regnery, R L; Winoto, I L; Graham, R R; Wignal, S; Simanjuntak, G; Olson, J G

    1999-01-01

    We studied evidence of Bartonella henselae and Bartonella clarridgeiae infection in 54 cats living in Jakarta, Indonesia. By using an indirect immunofluorescence assay, we found immunoglobulin G antibody to B. henselae in 40 of 74 cats (54%). The blood of 14 feral cats was cultured on rabbit blood agar plates for 28 days. Bartonella-like colonies were identified as B. henselae or B. clarridgeiae by using restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis and direct sequencing of the PCR amplicons. Of the cats sampled in the study, 6 of 14 (43%; all feral) were culture positive for B. henselae; 3 of 14 (21%; 2 feral and 1 pet) culture positive for B. clarridgeiae. This is the first report that documents B. henselae and B. clarridgeiae infections in Indonesian cats.

  6. 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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2013-01-01

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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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. ...

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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 ...

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-03-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Sanitary conditions of a colony of urban feral cats (Felis catus Linnaeus, 1758) in a zoological garden of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Mendes-de-Almeida, Flavya; Faria, Maria Carolina Ferreira; Branco, Aline Serricella; Serrão, Maria Lucia; Souza, Aline Moreira; Almosny, Nádia; Charme, Márcia; Labarthe, Norma

    2004-01-01

    The colony of urban stray cats living in the Rio de Janeiro zoological garden was studied in order to develop a population and health control program. As many cats as possible were captured during two months (47 animals) and were classified according to gender, age, weight and coat markings. They were submitted to a general health evaluation, examined for the presence of ectoparasites and sent to a surgical neutering program. All animals had a blood sample drawn for CBC, platelet count, heartworm and retroviruses detection. Capillary blood smears were made for hemoparasites detection. Coat marking and colors were tabby (59.7%), followed by solid black (17%); torbie (10.6%); bicolor (10.6%) and harlequin (2.1%). The only ectoparasites found were fleas, which infested 28% of the animals. The hemoparasites found were Haemobartonella felis (38%) and piroplasmas that could not be differentiated between Cytauxzoon spp. and Babesia spp. (47%). No cat was found infected by Dirofilaria immitis or FeLV (Feline Leukemia Virus), although FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus) antibodies could be detected (21%). There was no correlation between hemoparasites and FIV infections. The estimated total cat population (mark-recapture method) was 59; 68% female and 32% male, suggesting that a neutering program is in fact needed.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2012-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Cats

    MedlinePlus

    ... Patients Infants and Young Children Publications & Materials Announcements Cats Recommend on Facebook Tweet Share Compartir Overview Diseases ... hand washing whenever you play or work with cats Wash your hands with soap and running water ...

  17. [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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  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. 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).

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Cats and Toxoplasma: implications for public health.

    PubMed

    Dabritz, H A; Conrad, P A

    2010-02-01

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

  15. 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).

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Munks, M W

    2012-08-01

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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Occurrence of Aelurostrongylus abstrusus (Railliet, 1898) in Danish cats: A modified lung digestion method for isolating adult worms.

    PubMed

    Olsen, Caroline Salling; Willesen, Jakob L; Pipper, Christian B; Mejer, Helena

    2015-05-30

    As Aelurostrongylus abstrusus has not previously received any attention in Denmark, the study investigated the occurrence of A. abstrusus amongst outdoor cats from three regions (Zealand, Møn and Falster). Faeces and lungs were collected from a total of 147 feral (n=125) and domesticated cats (n=22) that were euthanized for reasons outside of this project. Using a modified Baermann technique 13.6% of the cats was found to be positive. A new lung digestion technique was developed to isolate eggs, L1 and adult worms from the lungs and this revealed a prevalence of 15.6% although with regional differences. There was no difference between feral and domesticated cats just as sex and age did not appear to influence prevalence and worm burden. Lungs from 87% of the positive cats had the gross appearance compatible with A. abstrusus and the severity of lung damage was proportional to LPG and number of adult worms. Within the current range of worm burdens (0-22) with a mean intensity of 7 per cat, there was a correlation with faecal excretion levels of L1 that ranged from 0-39,000 with a mean of 3586 per cat. The results did not indicate that the infection levels of the naturally infected cats were substantially affected by acquired immunity, but further studies are needed to determine the importance of host immune responses in regulating parasite populations.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Risk factors for feline immunodeficiency virus antibody test status in Cats Protection adoption centres (2004).

    PubMed

    Murray, Jane K; Roberts, Margaret A; Skillings, Elizabeth; Morrow, Lisa D; Gruffydd-Jones, Timothy J

    2009-06-01

    A study was carried out to determine the prevalence of feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) within a population of cats entering 10 UK adoption centres run by Cats Protection. All cats entering the adoption centres during 2004 were tested for FIV using a rapid enzyme immunoassay antibody test. The overall prevalence of positive test results was 3.1% (95% confidence intervals (CI) 2.7-3.5%), whilst the prevalence at different adoption centres varied from 0.8% (95% CI 0.1-1.5%) to 6.7% (95% CI 4.9-8.5%). Results of the multivariable logistic regression analysis showed that male cats, stray/feral cats and cats in poor health were at a greater risk of testing positive for FIV than female cats, cats that were relinquished by an owner and cats that were in good/fair health, respectively. No evidence was found for an association between neuter status and FIV test results. This study may help to identify cats that are relinquished to rescue centres with an increased risk of FIV for routine FIV testing.

  19. [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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. 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,...

  13. 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...

  14. 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,...

  15. 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,...

  16. 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,...

  17. 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...

  18. 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,...

  19. Population monitoring in support of a rabies vaccination program for skunks in Arizona.

    PubMed

    Engeman, Richard M; Christensen, Kevin L; Pipas, Michael J; Bergman, David L

    2003-07-01

    Three population monitoring methods were evaluated in support of a trap/vaccinate/release program for controlling a bat variant of rabies virus in skunks (Mephitis mephitis) in Flagstaff, Arizona (USA). Skunks were the primary species targeted for population monitoring during the program, but feral cats were also monitored as they represented an abundant secondary vector species capable of rabies transmission. Skunks were vaccinated and released, except for a subset tested for rabies. All captured cats were placed in the local animal shelter. Spotlight surveys essentially did not detect skunks, and were not able to detect reductions in the cat population. Catch-per-unit-effort marginally tracked population trends, but a passive track index adapted for an urban setting was most sensitive for detecting changes in skunk and cat populations. Mark-recapture population estimates could not be validly calculated from the data on captures and recaptures due to multiple violations of analytical assumptions.

  20. 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.

  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. Voyage of discovery? A comment on Koch et al. "A voyage to Terra Australis: human-mediated dispersal of cats".

    PubMed

    Andrew, Rose L; Smith, Deane; Gorrell, Jamieson C; Janes, Jasmine K

    2016-12-07

    The origins of feral cats in Australia may be understood with the help of molecular studies, but it is important that hypotheses be tested with appropriate sampling and methodology. We point out several shortcomings in the analysis by Koch et al. (BMC Evol Biol 15:262, 2015; A voyage to Terra Australis: human-mediated dispersal of cats. Dryad Digital Repository, 2015), present a reanalysis of part of the study and discuss the challenges of elucidating the early history of feral cats.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  8. 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.

  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. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Follow-up of the health conditions of an urban colony of free-roaming cats (Felis catus Linnaeus, 1758) in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Mendes-de-Almeida, Flavya; Labarthe, Norma; Guerrero, Jorge; Faria, Maria Carolina Ferreira; Branco, Aline Serricella; Pereira, Cássia Dias; Barreira, Jairo Dias; Pereira, Maria Julia Salim

    2007-06-20

    Similar to other urban areas where food and shelter are abundant, the zoological garden of Rio de Janeiro has dealt for years with a colony of feral or semi-feral domestic cats. A survey was conducted during 2002-2004 as a follow-up to a previous study in 2001 of the cat colony to identify pathogens circulating among the population and to annually follow the status of the cats to analyze morbidity coefficients and associations among infections and infestations identified in the colony. During the 3 years of the present study, 75 cats were sampled at least once, including 44 that were caught and examined only once, 14 that were examined twice, and 17 that were examined three times. For each cat that was caught, records were kept regarding sex, age, general health, and the presence of ectoparasites. Each year, a blood sample was taken for hematologic testing, platelet count, hemoparasite detection, antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii, and retrovirus detection. Blood counts were within normal range for the majority of cats tested. Feline immunodeficiency virus, fleas, and lice were detected in all years; however, incidence rates for each of these varied significantly throughout the years. Prevalence of Cytauxzoon spp., Mycoplasma spp., T. gondii infections were variable among the 3 years, although differences were not significant. Prevalence of feline leukemia virus increased significantly over the 3 years. Mycoplasma spp. and flea infestations were significantly associated, but no other associations among the pathogens were detected. Over the 3 years, the rate of new cat introductions decreased, and the pathogens showed a tendency to disseminate throughout the colony; however, there was virtually no evidence of clinically detectable disease. Therefore, it seems that stabilizing the population by a judicious control program facilitated the distribution of the pathogens throughout the colony, while the general well-being of the cats was not seriously affected.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  3. 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).

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Cats protecting birds revisited.

    PubMed

    Fan, Meng; Kuang, Yang; Feng, Zhilan

    2005-09-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. A survey of gastrointestinal helminths in cats of the metropolitan region of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Labarthe, Norma; Serrão, Maria Lucia; Ferreira, Ana Maria R; Almeida, Núbia K O; Guerrero, Jorge

    2004-08-13

    The prevalence of gastrointestinal helminth parasites in 135 cats over 1 year of age and inhabiting the metropolitan region of the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil was investigated by necropsy. These animals had two distinct origins: 99 cats (29 males and 70 females) were derived by capture in public areas (feral/stray) and 36 (12 males and 24 females) from shelters. The overall prevalence of gastrointestinal helminth parasites was 89.6%. The following parasites, with their respective prevalence in parenthesis, were found: Dipylidium caninum (52.6%), Ancylostoma braziliense (65.9%), Ancylostoma tubaeforme (8.9%), Toxocara cati (25.2%), Toxascaris leonina (11.9%), Physaloptera praeputialis (9.6%). Concurrent infections with two or more parasites were recorded in 59.5% of the individuals. Of the 121 parasitized cats, 94 were feral/strays and 27 were from shelters. Among feral/stray cats, 80 were infected with A. braziliense (85%) and 17 of the shelter felids were infected with D. caninum (63%). Feral/stray cats had higher worm intensities (6411/94-68.2) than shelter cats (992/27-36.7). The helminth parasites most frequently found in feral/stray cats were Ancylostoma braziliense (47.5%) and D. caninum (47%) while in shelter cats, D. caninum was the predominant species (85.2%). Twenty seven cats (22.3%) had only A. braziliense and 19 (15.7%) were parasitized only with D. caninum. Among those cats harboring mixed infections A. braziliense and D. caninum were the species more frequently found (P < 0.001).

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  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 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  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. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

    Rhodes, Linda

    2016-11-28

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-04-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. [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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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)

  10. 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

  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. [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

  13. 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

    2017-02-10

    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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. A review of feline leukemia virus and feline immunodeficiency virus seroprevalence in cats in Canada.

    PubMed

    Little, Susan

    2011-10-15

    Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) are common and important infectious diseases of cats in Canada. Prevalence data are necessary to define prophylactic, management, and therapeutic measures for stray, feral and owned cats. Recently, comprehensive data on the seroprevalence of retrovirus infections of cats in Canada have become available and are reviewed. Further investigation into geographic variations in retrovirus seroprevalence within Canada is warranted, and may provide information to improve recommendations for testing and prevention. As well, more information is needed on FIV subtypes in Canada to improve diagnostics and vaccines, as well as to provide information on disease outcomes.

  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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  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. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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 ...

  8. Cat and Dog Bites

    MedlinePlus

    ... Prevention and Wellness Staying Healthy Pets and Animals Cat and Dog Bites Cat and Dog Bites Pets and AnimalsPrevention and WellnessStaying Healthy Share Cat and Dog Bites Cat and dog bites are ...

  9. 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.

  10. 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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  13. 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)

  14. 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.

  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. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Ciudad Juarez: A Feral City Threat on our Doorstep?

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-03-01

    a helpless victim of this narco -criminal activity. With 3,000 recorded murders in 20104F5, Ciudad Juarez was labeled the murder capital of the...generation gangs research: the rise of criminal ( narco ) city networks and BlackFor, realizes the possibility of feral cities based on the proliferation of... Chapo " Guzman. Joaquin “El Chapo ” Guzman and The Sinaloa Cartel The hostile takeover of Ciudad Juarez was simply another business acquisition

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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. 

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

    2016-09-28

    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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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 ...

  12. Comparison of the GnRH-stimulation test and a semiquantitative quick test for LH to diagnose presence of ovaries in the female domestic cat.

    PubMed

    Rohlertz, M; Ström Holst, B; Axnér, E

    2012-12-01

    It is generally recommended that female cats not intended for planned breeding are spayed to reduce the population of feral cats and also because spaying is beneficial for the long-term health of the individual. For female cats of unknown origin or with estrous symptoms after spaying there is a need for a reliable method to diagnose or rule out the presence of ovaries to avoid unnecessary surgery. Methods previously recommended include vaginal cytology, evaluation of serum estradiol concentration during suspected estrus, induction of ovulation and subsequent evaluation of progesterone, or explorative laparotomy. These methods have the disadvantages that an accurate diagnosis only can be made during estrus or that an invasive procedure is required. Previously, the use of a GnRH challenge test and a semiquantitative LH test have been reported. Our aim was to compare these two methods. We therefore divided 31 female cats in two groups: (1) intact nonestrous females (N = 16), and (2) previously ovariohysterectomized females (N = 15). A blood sample was collected (Time 0) and 0.4 μg/kg buserelin (Receptal; Intervet, Danderyd, Sweden) was injected im. A new blood sample was collected 120 min after the injection. A drop of serum from the sample collected at Time 0 was placed on the LH test (Witness LH; Synbiotics, Corp., San Diego, CA, USA) and the result was evaluated as negative or positive. The remaining serum was frozen and analyzed for estradiol in one batch. Serum estradiol before buserelin stimulation ranged between 5 and 45 pmol/L (N = 14) in intact nonestrous queens and between 2 and 6 pmol/L (N = 15) in ovariohysterectomized females. Estradiol in samples collected after 120 min ranged between 12 and 51 pmol/L (N = 16) in intact queens and between 1 and 7 pmol/L (N = 15) in spayed cats giving a sensitivity and specificity of 100% for the buserelin stimulation test at a cutoff value of 11 pmol/L. All intact queens were negative in the semiquantitative LH test

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Detection of Vaccinia Virus in Urban Domestic Cats, Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Costa, Galileu Barbosa; Miranda, Júlia Bahia; Almeida, Gregório Guilherme; Silva de Oliveira, Jaqueline; Pinheiro, Mariana Siqueira; Gonçalves, Stefanne Aparecida; Pimenta dos Reis, Jenner Karlisson; Gonçalves, Ricardo; Ferreira, Paulo César Peregrino; Bonjardim, Cláudio Antônio; Abrahão, Jônatas Santos; Kroon, Erna Geessien

    2017-01-01

    We investigated possible vaccinia virus (VACV) in urban house cats in Brazil. Serum samples from 6 cats were positive for VACV by PCR, indicating likely VACV circulation among house cats in urban areas of Brazil. This finding highlights the importance of epidemiologic surveillance to avoid outbreaks among urban human populations. PMID:28098542

  16. Use of group-randomized trials in pet population research.

    PubMed

    Lord, L K; Wittum, T E; Scarlett, J M

    2007-12-14

    Communities invest considerable resources to address the animal welfare and public health concerns resulting from unwanted pet animals. Traditionally, research in this area has enumerated the pet-owning population, described pet population dynamics in individual communities, and estimated national euthanasia figures. Recent research has investigated the human-animal bond and explored the community implications of managed feral cat colonies. These reports have utilized traditional epidemiologic study designs to generate observational data to describe populations and measure associations. However, rigorous scientific evaluations of potential interventions at the group level have been lacking. Group-randomized trials have been used extensively in public health research to evaluate interventions that change a population's behavior, not just the behavior of selected individuals. We briefly describe the strengths and limitations of group-randomized trials as they are used to evaluate interventions that promote social and behavioral changes in the human public health field. We extend these examples to suggest the appropriate application of group-randomized trials for pet population dynamics research.

  17. Determinants of Cat Choice and Outcomes for Adult Cats and Kittens Adopted from an Australian Animal Shelter.

    PubMed

    Zito, Sarah; Paterson, Mandy; Vankan, Dianne; Morton, John; Bennett, Pauleen; Phillips, Clive

    2015-04-29

    The percentage of adult cats euthanized in animal shelters is greater than that of kittens because adult cats are less likely to be adopted. This study aimed to provide evidence to inform the design of strategies to encourage adult cat adoptions. One such strategy is to discount adoption prices, but there are concerns that this may result in poor adoption outcomes. We surveyed 382 cat adopters at the time of adoption, to assess potential determinants of adopters' cat age group choice (adult or kitten) and, for adult cat adopters, the price they are willing to pay. The same respondents were surveyed again 6-12 months after the adoption to compare outcomes between cat age groups and between adult cats in two price categories. Most adopters had benevolent motivations for adopting from the shelter and had put considerable thought into the adoption and requirements for responsible ownership. However, adult cat adopters were more likely to have been influenced by price than kitten adopters. Adoption outcomes were generally positive for both adult cats and kittens and for adult cats adopted at low prices. The latter finding alleviates concerns about the outcomes of "low-cost" adoptions in populations, such as the study population, and lends support for the use of "low-cost" adoptions as an option for attempting to increase adoption rates. In addition, the results provide information that can be used to inform future campaigns aimed at increasing the number of adult cat adoptions, particularly in devising marketing strategies for adult cats.

  18. Diet Overlap and Foraging Activity between Feral Pigs and Native Peccaries in the Pantanal

    PubMed Central

    Galetti, Mauro; Camargo, Hiléia; Siqueira, Tadeu; Keuroghlian, Alexine; Donatti, Camila I.; Jorge, Maria Luisa S. P.; Pedrosa, Felipe; Kanda, Claudia Z.; Ribeiro, Milton C.

    2015-01-01

    Inter-specific competition is considered one of the main selective pressures affecting species distribution and coexistence. Different species vary in the way they forage in order to minimize encounters with their competitors and with their predators. However, it is still poorly known whether and how native species change their foraging behavior in the presence of exotic species, particularly in South America. Here we compare diet overlap of fruits and foraging activity period of two sympatric native ungulates (the white-lipped peccary, Tayassu pecari, and the collared peccary, Pecari tajacu) with the invasive feral pig (Sus scrofa) in the Brazilian Pantanal. We found high diet overlap between white-lipped peccaries and feral pigs, but low overlap between collared peccaries and feral pigs. Furthermore, we found that feral pigs may influence the foraging period of both native peccaries, but in different ways. In the absence of feral pigs, collared peccary activity peaks in the early evening, possibly allowing them to avoid white-lipped peccary activity peaks, which occur in the morning. In the presence of feral pigs, collared peccaries forage mostly in early morning, while white-lipped peccaries forage throughout the day. Our results indicate that collared peccaries may avoid foraging at the same time as white-lipped peccaries. However, they forage during the same periods as feral pigs, with whom they have lower diet overlap. Our study highlights how an exotic species may alter interactions between native species by interfering in their foraging periods. PMID:26536608

  19. Risk analysis of feline immunodeficiency virus infection in Tsushima leopard cats (Prionailurus bengalensis euptilurus) and domestic cats using a geographic information system.

    PubMed

    Hayama, Shin-ichi; Yamamoto, Hanae; Nakanishi, Setsuko; Hiyama, Tomotsugu; Murayama, Akira; Mori, Hiroshi; Sugitani, Atsushi; Fujiwara, Shin-ichi

    2010-09-01

    In this study, based on the data from FIV screening surveys of captive cats conducted by the Kyushu Veterinary Union and collaborators as part of the infection control program for Tsushima leopard cats (Prionailurus bengalensis euptilurus), we elucidated the spatial distribution of FIV-positive individuals among leopard cats and domestic cats using a geographic information system. Data from FIV screening surveys carried out among 86 leopard cats (1996-2006) and 713 captive domestic cats (2001-2006) were used for analysis. The analysis results were then spatially layered with the population density of leopard cats and that of captive domestic cats estimated from the number of households and used for assessment of FIV infection risk in each area. The prevalence rates of FIV were 3% (3/86) in leopard cats in Kami-shima, 13.6% (38/280) in domestic cats in Kami-shima and 10.6% (46/433) in domestic cats in Shimo-shima. The distribution of FIV on Tsushima Island was not uniform; on Kami-shima Island, FIV-positive domestic cats were concentrated in particular areas. We also performed risk analysis based on the population density of leopard cats, the prevalence rate of FIV among domestic cats in each area and the estimated population density of captive domestic cats and identified high FIV infection risk areas. All FIV-positive leopard cats were found in the identified high FIV infection risk areas.

  20. Practical Physical and Behavioral Measures to Assess the Socialization Spectrum of Cats in a Shelter-Like Setting during a Three Day Period

    PubMed Central

    Slater, Margaret; Garrison, Laurie; Miller, Katherine; Weiss, Emily; Makolinski, Kathleen; Drain, Natasha; Mirontshuk, Alex

    2013-01-01

    Simple Summary Animal welfare organizations accept large numbers of cats with no known history. Because shelters are often highly stressful environments for cats, it is likely to be difficult to differentiate a frightened cat that is socialized to humans from a feral cat that is not. However, this distinction can help channel cats into appropriate dispositions. We conducted structured assessments to measure various behaviors and their potential to distinguish socialization levels. Our results show that a specific set of behaviors are only exhibited by more socialized cats. Many cats needed time to adjust to the shelter-type setting to show these socialized behaviors. Abstract Animal welfare organizations routinely accept large numbers of cats with unknown histories, and whose backgrounds vary from well-socialized pets to cats that have had little or no contact with humans. Agencies are challenged with making the determination of socialization level in a highly stressful environment where cats are often too frightened to show typical behaviors. A variety of structured behavioral assessments were conducted in a shelter-like environment, from intake through a three day holding period, on cats from the full range of socialization as reported by their caregivers. Our results show that certain behaviors such as rubbing, playing, chirping, having the tail up or being at the front of the cage were found to be unique to More Socialized cats. While not all more socialized cats showed these behaviors, cats that did were socialized. Assessing the cats throughout the three day period was beneficial in eliciting key behaviors from shyer and more frightened cats. These results will be used in future work to develop an assessment tool to identify the socialization status of cats as a standardized guide for transparent and reliable disposition decisions and higher live release rates for cats in animal shelters. PMID:26479757

  1. Impacts of feral horses on a desert environment

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background Free-ranging horses (Equus caballus) in North America are considered to be feral animals since they are descendents of non-native domestic horses introduced to the continent. We conducted a study in a southern California desert to understand how feral horse movements and horse feces impacted this arid ecosystem. We evaluated five parameters susceptible to horse trampling: soil strength, vegetation cover, percent of nonnative vegetation, plant species diversity, and macroinvertebrate abundance. We also tested whether or not plant cover and species diversity were affected by the presence of horse feces. Results Horse trailing resulted in reduced vegetation cover, compacted soils, and in cases of intermediate intensity disturbance, increased plant species diversity. The presence of horse feces did not affect plant cover, but it did increase native plant diversity. Conclusion Adverse impacts, such as soil compaction and increased erosion potential, were limited to established horse trails. In contrast, increased native plant diversity near trails and feces could be viewed as positive outcomes. Extensive trailing can result in a surprisingly large impact area: we estimate that < 30 horses used > 25 km2 of trails in our study area. PMID:19903355

  2. Determining the persistence of Mycobacterium bovis bacille Calmette-Guerin Danish in select tissues of orally vaccinated feral swine (Sus scrofa ssp.).

    PubMed

    Nol, Pauline; Robbe-Austerman, Suelee; Rhyan, Jack C; McCollum, Matt P; Triantis, Joni M; Beltrán-Beck, Beatriz; Salman, Mo D

    2016-02-01

    Mycobacterium bovis bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) is being considered for vaccination of feral swine (Sus scrofa ssp.). Since BCG is a live bacterium, evaluation of its safety and persistence in tissues is important. Fifteen feral swine received approximately 4.5 × 10(6) colony forming units of BCG Danish via oral bait. Four animals received bait without BCG. At 1, 3, 6, and 9 months post-vaccination, four vaccinates were euthanized. Non-vaccinates were euthanized at 9 months. Clinical signs were not noted in vaccinated pigs at any time. Tissues from all 20 pigs were culture-negative for mycobacteria. Based on our data, BCG is safe and appears not to persist in feral swine tissues after one month post-oral vaccination. However, further work must be performed at higher doses, and on a larger number of animals representing the target population, and further evaluation of persistence in tissues within the first month post-vaccination is needed.

  3. Environmental Aspects of Domestic Cat Care and Management: Implications for Cat Welfare

    PubMed Central

    Stella, Judith L.

    2016-01-01

    Domestic cats (Felis silvestris catus) are the most commonly kept companion animals in the US with large populations of owned (86 million), free-roaming (70 million), research (13,000), and shelter (2-3 million) cats. Vast numbers of cats are maintained in homes and other facilities each year and are reliant on humans for all of their care. Understanding cat behavior and providing the highest quality environments possible, including positive human-cat interactions, based on research could help improve the outcomes of biomedical research, shelter adoptions, and veterinary care, as well as overall cat welfare. Often, however, cats' needs are inadequately met in homes and some aspects may also not be well met in research colonies and shelters, despite the fact that similar problems are likely to be encountered in all of these environments. This paper provides a brief overview of common welfare challenges associated with indoor housing of domestic cats. Essential considerations for cage confinement are reviewed, along with implications of poor cat coping, such as weakening of the human-animal bond and relinquishment to shelters. The important role that environmental management plays in cat behavior and welfare outcomes is explored along with the need for additional research in key areas. PMID:27774506

  4. Cat Scratch Disease

    MedlinePlus

    Cat scratch disease (CSD) is an illness caused by the bacterium Bartonella henselae. Almost half of all cats carry the infection ... symptoms of CSD, call your doctor. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

  5. Cat-Scratch Disease

    MedlinePlus

    ... Patients Infants and Young Children Publications & Materials Announcements Cat-Scratch Disease Recommend on Facebook Tweet Share Compartir ( ... play and learn how to attack prey. How cats and people become infected Kitten playing with a ...

  6. Cat-Scratch Disease

    MedlinePlus

    ... have diabetes or those who have acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).Cat-scratch disease is also called cat-scratch fever. ... You can also get the bacteria in your eyes if you pet a cat that has the bacteria on its fur and ...

  7. CATS Featured Articles

    Atmospheric Science Data Center

    2017-01-31

      CATS Featured Articles       A Slice of Cirrus: Image of ... just hours before by the Cloud-Aerosol Transport System (CATS) onboard the International Space Station. Nighttime View of Raung Volcanic Plume : Natural Hazards  - The CATS instrument slices through darkness to reveal the vertical structure of a ...

  8. Feral biofuel crop effects in constructed wet prairie and oak savannah communities

    EPA Science Inventory

    We examined the potential effects of feral biofuel crop escapes on constructed plant communities growing in outdoor mesocosms. Mesocosms containing wet prairie or oak savannah communities were exposed to two temperature levels (ambient and elevated) and two moisture levels (cont...

  9. Snaring to control feral pigs sus scrofa in a remote Hawaiian rain forest

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anderson, Stephen J.; Stone, Charles P.

    1993-01-01

    Feral pig Sus scrofa control in Kipahulu Valley, a remote rain forest in Haleakala National Park, Maui, Hawaiian Islands, has been achieved with snares over a 45-month period. Initial pig densities in fenced management units of 6·2 km2 and 7·8 km2were estimated at 6 animals/km2 and 14·3 animals/km2 for the two units, based on population reconstruction from animals killed and aged. During the 45 months of the study, 1978 snares were set, and 1·6 million snare nights were logged. Snare density reached 96/km2 and 200/km2 for the two management units by the end of the study. A mean effort of 43 worker hours/pig was used to remove 53 pigs from the upper management unit, and a mean of 7 worker hours/pig to remove 175 animals from the more densely populated lower unit. Pig activity monitoring along transects provided a good measure of control effectiveness until densities of about 1 pig/km2 were achieved, after which transects became less useful than scouting for determining pig activity.

  10. Feral genetically modified herbicide tolerant oilseed rape from seed import spills: are concerns scientifically justified?

    PubMed

    Devos, Yann; Hails, Rosemary S; Messéan, Antoine; Perry, Joe N; Squire, Geoffrey R

    2012-02-01

    One of the concerns surrounding the import (for food and feed uses or processing) of genetically modified herbicide tolerant (GMHT) oilseed rape is that, through seed spillage, the herbicide tolerance (HT) trait will escape into agricultural or semi-natural habitats, causing environmental or economic problems. Based on these concerns, three EU countries have invoked national safeguard clauses to ban the marketing of specific GMHT oilseed rape events on their territory. However, the scientific basis for the environmental and economic concerns posed by feral GMHT oilseed rape resulting from seed import spills is debatable. While oilseed rape has characteristics such as secondary dormancy and small seed size that enable it to persist and be redistributed in the landscape, the presence of ferals is not in itself an environmental or economic problem. Crucially, feral oilseed rape has not become invasive outside cultivated and ruderal habitats, and HT traits are not likely to result in increased invasiveness. Feral GMHT oilseed rape has the potential to introduce HT traits to volunteer weeds in agricultural fields, but would only be amplified if the herbicides to which HT volunteers are tolerant were used routinely in the field. However, this worst-case scenario is most unlikely, as seed import spills are mostly confined to port areas. Economic concerns revolve around the potential for feral GMHT oilseed rape to contribute to GM admixtures in non-GM crops. Since feral plants derived from cultivation (as distinct from import) occur at too low a frequency to affect the coexistence threshold of 0.9% in the EU, it can be concluded that feral GMHT plants resulting from seed import spills will have little relevance as a potential source of pollen or seed for GM admixture. This paper concludes that feral oilseed rape in Europe should not be routinely managed, and certainly not in semi-natural habitats, as the benefits of such action would not outweigh the negative effects of

  11. Audiogenic reflex seizures in cats

    PubMed Central

    Lowrie, Mark; Bessant, Claire; Harvey, Robert J; Sparkes, Andrew; Garosi, Laurent

    2015-01-01

    Objectives This study aimed to characterise feline audiogenic reflex seizures (FARS). Methods An online questionnaire was developed to capture information from owners with cats suffering from FARS. This was collated with the medical records from the primary veterinarian. Ninety-six cats were included. Results Myoclonic seizures were one of the cardinal signs of this syndrome (90/96), frequently occurring prior to generalised tonic–clonic seizures (GTCSs) in this population. Other features include a late onset (median 15 years) and absence seizures (6/96), with most seizures triggered by high-frequency sounds amid occasional spontaneous seizures (up to 20%). Half the population (48/96) had hearing impairment or were deaf. One-third of cats (35/96) had concurrent diseases, most likely reflecting the age distribution. Birmans were strongly represented (30/96). Levetiracetam gave good seizure control. The course of the epilepsy was non-progressive in the majority (68/96), with an improvement over time in some (23/96). Only 33/96 and 11/90 owners, respectively, felt the GTCSs and myoclonic seizures affected their cat’s quality of life (QoL). Despite this, many owners (50/96) reported a slow decline in their cat’s health, becoming less responsive (43/50), not jumping (41/50), becoming uncoordinated or weak in the pelvic limbs (24/50) and exhibiting dramatic weight loss (39/50). These signs were exclusively reported in cats experiencing seizures for >2 years, with 42/50 owners stating these signs affected their cat’s QoL. Conclusions and relevance In gathering data on audiogenic seizures in cats, we have identified a new epilepsy syndrome named FARS with a geriatric onset. Further studies are warranted to investigate potential genetic predispositions to this condition. PMID:25916687

  12. The prevalence and genetic characterization of Chlamydia psittaci from domestic and feral pigeons in Poland and the correlation between infection rate and incidence of pigeon circovirus.

    PubMed

    Stenzel, Tomasz; Pestka, Daria; Choszcz, Dariusz

    2014-12-01

    Chlamydiosis is a zoonotic disease caused by Chlamydia psittaci that occurs in a wide range of bird species. High infection rates with C. psittaci are found in pigeons, which can act as vectors transmitting this bacterium to poultry and humans. Chlamydia shedding by pigeons is intermittent and can be activated by stressors or immunosuppression. The most common immunosuppressive factor for pigeons is a pigeon circovirus (PiCV) infection. The main aim of the study was to evaluate the prevalence of C. psittaci in Polish populations of domestic and feral pigeons (Columba livia) in the context of its correlation with PiCV infections. The second objective was to determine the genetic characteristics of Polish C. psittaci isolates. The study was conducted on 377 pigeon samples (276 domestic and 101 feral pigeons) collected from pigeons from different regions of Poland. The average prevalence of C. psittaci in the Polish pigeon population was determined at 6.8%, and it was higher in domestic than in feral pigeons. This is the first ever study to suggest a potential correlation between C. psittaci and PiCV infections, which could be attributed to the fact that there are 2 to 3 times more pigeons infected with C. psittaci and coinfected with PiCV than pigeons infected with C. psittaci alone. This trend was observed mainly in the population of sick pigeons. As many as 88.2% of isolates were recognized as belonging to genotype B, and the remaining isolates were identified as belonging to genotype E. The isolates analyzed in this study demonstrated low levels of genetic variation (96-100% homology among the isolates and in relation to reference strains). Chlamydia psittaci could be expected to spread across pigeon populations due to the high probability of mutual infections between birds and the increasing number of PiCV infections.

  13. Hepatozoon species infection in domestic cats: a retrospective study.

    PubMed

    Baneth, G; Aroch, I; Tal, N; Harrus, S

    1998-10-01

    Hepatozoon sp. is a protozoan parasite of peripheral blood neutrophils in cats. Feline hepatozoonosis has been reported infrequently and little is known about the pathogenesis of this infection. In order to further clarify clinicopathological characteristics of hepatozoonosis in domestic cats, a retrospecitve study of hepatozoonosis in cats admitted during 1989-1995 to the Hebrew University School of Veterinary Medicine was conducted. The study population comprised all the cats whose medical records included a complete blood count with a microscopical examination of a blood smear during this 7-year period (n=1229). Hepatozoon gametocytes were identified in seven cats (0.57%) ranging from 1 to 6 years of age. Infected cats were mostly males (6/7) of mixed breed (5/7) with a variety of complaints and clinical signs. The clinicopathological findings included increased activities of serum lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) (5/6) and creatine kinase (CK) (5/6). The elevated enzymes detected in cats with hepatozoonosis are suggestive of muscular damage. Sixty-seven percent (4/6) of the cats with hepatozoonosis which were tested for a retroviral disease were found infected either in FIV or FELV. In addition, 2/7 cats were co-infected with Hemobartonella felis. In conclusion, parasitemia with Hepatozoon sp. is a rare finding in cats from Israel. The over-representation of cats with a retroviral disease among the cats with hepatozoonosis indicates a possible association between immunosupression and the development of Hepatozoon infection.

  14. Renal morphology in cats with diabetes mellitus.

    PubMed

    Zini, E; Benali, S; Coppola, L; Guscetti, F; Ackermann, M; Lutz, T A; Reusch, C E; Aresu, L

    2014-11-01

    In humans, diabetes mellitus (DM) is an important cause of renal damage, with glomerular lesions being predominant. In cats, although diabetes is a common endocrinopathy, it is yet unknown whether it leads to renal damage. The aim of the study was to compare renal histologic features and parameters of renal function in diabetic cats against a control population matched for age, gender, breed, and body weight. Thirty-two diabetic and 20 control cats were included. Kidney sections from paraffin-embedded kidney samples were stained and examined with optical microscopy to identify glomerular, tubulointerstitial, and vascular lesions and to assess their frequency and severity. Serum creatinine and urea concentrations were also compared. Glomerular lesions were observed in 29 cats overall, with mesangial matrix increase being more common (19 cats). Tubulointerstitial lesions were observed in 42 cats, including lymphocytic infiltration (29), fibrosis (22), or tubular necrosis (21). Vascular lesions were observed in 5 cases. The frequency and severity of histologic lesions did not differ between diabetic and control cats; however, among diabetics, those that survived longer after diagnosis had more glomerular and vascular lesions. Serum creatinine and urea concentrations were similar between groups; in diabetic cats median creatinine was 109 μmol/l (range, 51-1200) and urea was 12 mmol/l (range, 4-63), and in controls creatinine was 126 μmol/l (range, 50-875) and urea 11 mmol/l (range, 3-80). The results suggest that DM in cats does not lead to microscopically detectable kidney lesions or clinically relevant renal dysfunction. The authors hypothesize that the short life expectancy of diabetic cats may be the main reason for the difference from human diabetics.

  15. Whole Genome Sequencing Identifies a Missense Mutation in HES7 Associated with Short Tails in Asian Domestic Cats

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Xiao; Sun, Xin; Hu, Xue-Song; Zhuang, Yan; Liu, Yue-Chen; Meng, Hao; Miao, Lin; Yu, He; Luo, Shu-Jin

    2016-01-01

    Domestic cats exhibit abundant variations in tail morphology and serve as an excellent model to study the development and evolution of vertebrate tails. Cats with shortened and kinked tails were first recorded in the Malayan archipelago by Charles Darwin in 1868 and remain quite common today in Southeast and East Asia. To elucidate the genetic basis of short tails in Asian cats, we built a pedigree of 13 cats segregating at the trait with a founder from southern China and performed linkage mapping based on whole genome sequencing data from the pedigree. The short-tailed trait was mapped to a 5.6 Mb region of Chr E1, within which the substitution c. 5T > C in the somite segmentation-related gene HES7 was identified as the causal mutation resulting in a missense change (p.V2A). Validation in 245 unrelated cats confirmed the correlation between HES7-c. 5T > C and Chinese short-tailed feral cats as well as the Japanese Bobtail breed, indicating a common genetic basis of the two. In addition, some of our sampled kinked-tailed cats could not be explained by either HES7 or the Manx-related T-box, suggesting at least three independent events in the evolution of domestic cats giving rise to short-tailed traits. PMID:27560986

  16. Whole Genome Sequencing Identifies a Missense Mutation in HES7 Associated with Short Tails in Asian Domestic Cats.

    PubMed

    Xu, Xiao; Sun, Xin; Hu, Xue-Song; Zhuang, Yan; Liu, Yue-Chen; Meng, Hao; Miao, Lin; Yu, He; Luo, Shu-Jin

    2016-08-25

    Domestic cats exhibit abundant variations in tail morphology and serve as an excellent model to study the development and evolution of vertebrate tails. Cats with shortened and kinked tails were first recorded in the Malayan archipelago by Charles Darwin in 1868 and remain quite common today in Southeast and East Asia. To elucidate the genetic basis of short tails in Asian cats, we built a pedigree of 13 cats segregating at the trait with a founder from southern China and performed linkage mapping based on whole genome sequencing data from the pedigree. The short-tailed trait was mapped to a 5.6 Mb region of Chr E1, within which the substitution c. 5T > C in the somite segmentation-related gene HES7 was identified as the causal mutation resulting in a missense change (p.V2A). Validation in 245 unrelated cats confirmed the correlation between HES7-c. 5T > C and Chinese short-tailed feral cats as well as the Japanese Bobtail breed, indicating a common genetic basis of the two. In addition, some of our sampled kinked-tailed cats could not be explained by either HES7 or the Manx-related T-box, suggesting at least three independent events in the evolution of domestic cats giving rise to short-tailed traits.

  17. Gene-gene interaction of GJB2, SOD2, and CAT on occupational noise-induced hearing loss in Chinese Han population.

    PubMed

    Wang, Sheng Li; Yu, Lu Gang; Liu, Ren Ping; Zhu, Wan Zhan; Gao, Wei Min; Xue, Li Ping; Jiang, Xu; Zhang, Ya Han; Yi, Ding; Chen, Dong; Zhang, Yong Hong

    2014-12-01

    The effects of genetic factors on the noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) are still unclear. In the present study, eight single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) included rs1227049 and rs3802711 (CDH23), rs1695 (GSTP1), rs137852540 (GJB2), rs2289274 (PMCA2), rs4880 (SOD2), rs7943316, and rs769214 within CAT that might associated with NIHL were further validated in Chinese workers. The results showed that the carriers of the T allele (AT+TT) of rs7943316 and A allele (GA+AA) of rs769214, were significantly associated with an increased risk of NIHL compared to those with AA genotype (P<0.05) and GG genotype (P<0.05). Moreover, a significant three-locus model (P=0.0107) involving rs2016520, rs9794, and rs1805192 were observed that might associated with NIHL, with 53.95% of testing accuracy. Thus, our present study provided the evidence that GJB2, SOD2, and CAT genes might account for the NIHL development in independently and/or in an interactive manner.

  18. A comparison of cat-related risk perceptions and tolerance for outdoor cats in Florida and Hawaii.

    PubMed

    Wald, Dara M; Lohr, Cheryl A; Lepczyk, Christopher A; Jacobson, Susan K; Cox, Linda J

    2016-12-01

    Risk perceptions and attitudes toward animals often explain tolerance for wildlife and management preferences. However, little is understood about how these relationships vary across different geographic regions and stakeholder groups. To address this gap in knowledge, we compared differences in acceptance capacity, risk perceptions, perceived enjoyment from outdoor cats, and experiences with outdoor cats among 3 groups (general public, conservation community, and animal-welfare community) in Hawaii and Florida, two states with large conservation challenges. We combined independently collected data from Florida and Hawaii, to determine how perception of the risks presented by outdoor cats, group membership, and state of residence influenced people's tolerance for outdoor cats. Florida respondents were significantly more tolerant of outdoor cats and less concerned about cat-related risks than Hawaii respondents (p < 0.05). In both states, animal-welfare group members reported greater enjoyment seeing cats and perceived a smaller increase in the cat population and lower levels of risk than other groups (p < 0.05). All groups exhibited similar relationships between acceptance capacity and enjoyment and the perceived increase in the cat population. Our results suggest public tolerance for cats varied due to the influence of local or geographical concerns, but that strongly held beliefs, risk perceptions, and feelings about cats explained more of the variance in stakeholder tolerance.

  19. Antioxidant system breakdown in brain of feral golden grey mullet (Liza aurata) as an effect of mercury exposure.

    PubMed

    Mieiro, C L; Ahmad, I; Pereira, M E; Duarte, A C; Pacheco, M

    2010-08-01

    Although brain has been recognized as a primary target for mercury toxicity in mammals, the effects of this metal in fish brain are scarcely described. Thus, the main objective of this study was to assess the mercury threat to feral fish (Liza aurata) by estimating the antioxidant defenses and peroxidative damage in brain, keeping in mind the association with mercury accumulation. Sampling was carried out in an estuarine area historically affected by discharges from a chlor-alkali industry-Laranjo Basin (Ria de Aveiro, Portugal). Total mercury (T-Hg) in brain increased towards the contamination source, clearly indicating mercury exposure. An overall antioxidant depletion was verified in brain of fish collected at the mercury-contaminated stations, since total glutathione content and the studied antioxidant enzymes (catalase-CAT, glutathione peroxidase-GPx, glutathione-S-transferase-GST and glutathione reductase-GR) significantly decreased. In addition, this breakdown of the redox-defense system was significantly correlated with the accumulated T-Hg levels. Unexpectedly, fish exhibited unaltered lipid peroxidation levels, pointing out a higher propensity of mercury to inhibit enzymes than to oxidatively damage lipids in the brain. Nevertheless, an increased susceptibility of the fish's brain was identified, leaving the organ more vulnerable to oxidative stress-related challenges. Overall, the current findings provide information to better understand mechanisms of mercury neurotoxicity in fish.

  20. Cytochrome P450IA mRNA expression in feral Hudson River tomcod

    SciTech Connect

    Kreamer, G.L.; Squibb, K.; Gioeli, D.; Garte, S.J.; Wirgin, I. )

    1991-06-01

    The authors sought to determine if levels of cytochrome P450IA gene expression are environmentally induced in feral populations of Hudson River tomcod, a cancer prone fish, and whether laboratory exposure of tomcod to artificially spiked and naturally contaminated Hudson sediments can elicit a significant response. Using Northern blot analysis, they found levels of P450IA mRNA in tomcod collected from two Hudson River sites higher than those in tomcod from a river in Maine. Depuration of environmentally induced Hudson tomcod P450IA mRNA was rapid, with an initial detectable decline in P450 gene expression by 8 hr and basal levels reached by 5 days. Intraperitoneal injection of {beta}-napthoflavone in depurated Hudson tomcod resulted in a 15-fold induction of P450 gene expression within 26 hr. Exposure of depurated Hudson tomcod to natural sediment spiked with two PAHs resulted in a 7-fold induction of P450 gene expression. Exposure of depurated tomcod to sediment from a contaminated Hudson site also resulted in a 7- to 15-fold induction of P450IA mRNA expression. Northern blot analysis revealed a second polymorphic cytochrome P450IA mRNA band in some tomcod which was also detected by Southern blot analysis. Induction of cytochrome P450IA mRNA in Atlantic tomcod may provide a sensitive biomarker of environmentally relevant concentrations of some pollutants in the Hudson and other northeastern tidal rivers.

  1. Reproductive characteristics of feral raccoons (Procyon lotor) captured by the pest control in Kamakura, Japan.

    PubMed

    KATO, Takuya; ICHIDA, Yayoi; TEI, Kazumi; ASANO, Makoto; HAYAMA, Shin-Ichi

    2009-11-01

    In order to examine reproductive characteristics of feral raccoons in Kamakura, 335 raccoons were collected from March 2005 to March 2007. Raccoons were classified into five age classes: Class I, less than 5 months old; Class II, 5-11 months; Class III, 12-17 months; Class IV, 18-23 months; and Class V, over 23 months old. Females were examined for their age specific pregnancy rate and litter size. To determine when raccoon births occur in the region, birth months of fetuses were estimated by the fetal growth rate, and birth months of Class I individuals were examined by tooth eruption. From fetuses of 18 pregnant females and 47 Class I individuals, it was found that the raccoon births occur from February to October. Of 163 females examined, all of Class I-II females were nulliparous. Pregnancy rate was 47.6% in Class III females, which was significantly lower than 75.0% in Class IV and 78.1% in Class V. The litter size of fetuses ranged from 2 to 5, and 3.9 on average; and that of placental scars ranged from 1 to 7, 3.8 on average. Our findings suggest that parturition of raccoons is a bimodal distribution and age at first parturition may occur between 12 and 17 months old. In order to reduce the raccoon population successfully, females of all ages should be captured throughout the year.

  2. Feral Pigeons (Columba livia) Prefer Genetically Similar Mates despite Inbreeding Depression

    PubMed Central

    Jacob, Gwenaël; Prévot, Anne-Caroline; Baudry, Emmanuelle

    2016-01-01

    Avoidance of mating between related individuals is usually considered adaptive because it decreases the probability of inbreeding depression in offspring. However, mating between related partners can be adaptive if outbreeding depression is stronger than inbreeding depression or if females gain inclusive fitness benefits by mating with close kin. In the present study, we used microsatellite data to infer the parentage of juveniles born in a French colony of feral pigeons, which allowed us to deduce parent pairs. Despite detectable inbreeding depression, we found that pairwise relatedness between mates was significantly higher than between nonmates, with a mean coefficient of relatedness between mates of 0.065, approximately half the theoretical value for first cousins. This higher relatedness between mates cannot be explained by spatial genetic structure in this colonial bird; it therefore probably results from an active choice. As inbreeding but not outbreeding depression is observed in the study population, this finding accords with the idea that mating with genetically similar mates can confer a benefit in terms of inclusive fitness. Our results and published evidence suggest that preference for related individuals as mates might be relatively frequent in birds. PMID:27588754

  3. Patterns of molecular genetic variation among cat breeds.

    PubMed

    Menotti-Raymond, Marilyn; David, Victor A; Pflueger, Solveig M; Lindblad-Toh, Kerstin; Wade, Claire M; O'Brien, Stephen J; Johnson, Warren E

    2008-01-01

    Genetic variation in cat breeds was assessed utilizing a panel of short tandem repeat (STR) loci genotyped in 38 cat breeds and 284 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) genotyped in 24 breeds. Population structure in cat breeds generally reflects their recent ancestry and absence of strong breed barriers between some breeds. There is a wide range in the robustness of population definition, from breeds demonstrating high definition to breeds with as little as a third of their genetic variation partitioning into a single population. Utilizing the STRUCTURE algorithm, there was no clear demarcation of the number of population subdivisions; 16 breeds could not be resolved into independent populations, the consequence of outcrossing in established breeds to recently developed breeds with common ancestry. These 16 breeds were divided into 6 populations. Ninety-six percent of cats in a sample set of 1040 were correctly assigned to their classified breed or breed group/population. Average breed STR heterozygosities ranged from moderate (0.53; Havana, Korat) to high (0.85; Norwegian Forest Cat, Manx). Most of the variation in cat breeds was observed within a breed population (83.7%), versus 16.3% of the variation observed between populations. The hierarchical relationships of cat breeds is poorly defined as demonstrated by phylogenetic trees generated from both STR and SNP data, though phylogeographic grouping of breeds derived completely or in part from Southeast Asian ancestors was apparent.

  4. Cat scratch encephalopathy.

    PubMed

    Silver, B E; Bean, C S

    1991-06-01

    Cat scratch disease is usually benign, self-limited and without sequelae. Margileth has established four clinical criteria, three of which must be satisfied to make the diagnosis: 1) a history of animal exposure, usually kitten, with primary skin or ocular lesions; 2) regional chronic adenopathy without other apparent cause; 3) a positive cat scratch disease antigen skin test; and 4) lymph node biopsy demonstrating noncaseating granulomas and germinal center hyperplasia. Central nervous system involvement in cat scratch disease has been previously reported, although it is extremely uncommon. In a several-month period, we encountered two cases of cat scratch disease complicated by encephalopathy. The intents of this paper are twofold: 1) to briefly review the current literature on cat scratch disease, 2) to demonstrate that cat scratch disease complicated by encephalopathy presents acutely with seizures, posturing and coma and resolves rapidly with supportive care.

  5. Computerised Axial Tomography (CAT)

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1990-06-01

    OF COMPUTERISED AXIAL TOMOGRAPHY Paragraph 1.1 ORIGIN, DEVELOPMENT AND MARKET OF CAT Paragraph 1.2 EQUIPMENT Chapter 2 OPERATIONAL PRINCIPLE OF A CT...DEVELOPMENT OF THE COMPUTERISED AXIAL TOMOGRAPHY 1.1 Origin, development and marketing of the CAT The origin of the CAT goes back to 1961 when...count on wide commercial possibilities, in the international market . In particular, EMI entered, very forcefully, the American market , always

  6. Cat-scratch Disease.

    PubMed

    Klotz, Stephen A; Ianas, Voichita; Elliott, Sean P

    2011-01-15

    Cat-scratch disease is a common infection that usually presents as tender lymphadenopathy. It should be included in the differential diagnosis of fever of unknown origin and any lymphadenopathy syndrome. Asymptomatic, bacteremic cats with Bartonella henselae in their saliva serve as vectors by biting and clawing the skin. Cat fleas are responsible for horizontal transmission of the disease from cat to cat, and on occasion, arthropod vectors (fleas or ticks) may transmit the disease to humans. Cat-scratch disease is commonly diagnosed in children, but adults can present with it as well. The causative microorganism, B. henselae, is difficult to culture. Diagnosis is most often arrived at by obtaining a history of exposure to cats and a serologic test with high titers (greater than 1:256) of immunoglobulin G antibody to B. henselae. Most cases of cat-scratch disease are self-limited and do not require antibiotic treatment. If an antibiotic is chosen, azithromycin has been shown in one small study to speed recovery. Infrequently, cat-scratch disease may present in a more disseminated form with hepatosplenomegaly or meningoencephalitis, or with bacillary angiomatosis in patients with AIDS.

  7. Frequency of feline diabetes mellitus and breed predisposition in domestic cats in Australia.

    PubMed

    Lederer, R; Rand, J S; Jonsson, N N; Hughes, I P; Morton, J M

    2009-02-01

    The frequency of diabetes mellitus is described for cats that received veterinary care from two large feline-only clinics in Brisbane, Australia. Frequency was estimated using period prevalences (the proportion of the population at risk that was affected by diabetes at any point during a specified time period). Of the 12,576 study cats, 93 were affected with diabetes during the 5-year study period, resulting in a 5-year period prevalence of 7.4 per 1000 cats. Period prevalence was significantly higher in Burmese cats (22.4 cats per 1000) than domestic short and longhaired cats (7.6 cats per 1000) and the mean age at first diagnosis during the study period was significantly higher amongst Burmese cats (13.6 years) compared to domestic short and longhaired cats (10.9 years). Further investigations into the apparent predisposition of Burmese cats to diabetes mellitus are indicated.

  8. Behavior of feral horses in response to culling and GnRH immunocontraception

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ransom, Jason I.; Powers, Jenny G.; Garbe, Heidi M.; Oehler, Michael W.; Nett, Terry M.; Baker, Dan L.

    2014-01-01

    Wildlife management actions can alter fundamental behaviors of individuals and groups,which may directly impact their life history parameters in unforeseen ways. This is especially true for highly social animals because changes in one individual’s behavior can cascade throughout its social network. When resources to support populations of social animals are limited and populations become locally overabundant, managers are faced with the daunting challenge of decreasing population size without disrupting core behavioral processes. Increasingly, managers are turning to fertility control technologies to supplement culling in efforts to suppress population growth, but little is quantitatively known about how either of these management tools affects behavior. Gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) is a small neuropeptide that performs an obligatory role in mammalian reproduction and has been formulated into the immunocontraceptive GonaCon-BTM. We investigated the influences of this vaccine on behavior of feral horses (Equus caballus) at Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota, USA, for a year preceding and a year following nonlethal culling and GnRH-vaccine treatment. We observed horses during the breeding season and found only minimal differences in time budget behaviors of free-ranging female feral horses treated with GnRH and those treated with saline. The differences observed were consistent with the metabolic demands of pregnancy and lactation. We observed similar social behaviors between treatment groups, reflecting limited reproductive behavior among control females due to high rates of pregnancy and suppressed reproductive behavior among treated females due to GnRH-inhibited ovarian activity. In the treatment year, band stallion age was the only supported factor influencing herding behavior (P < 0.001), harem-tending behavior (P < 0.001), and agonistic behavior (P = 0.02). There was no difference between the mean body condition of control females (4

  9. LIMITED ANTIBODY EVIDENCE OF EXPOSURE TO MYCOBACTERIUM BOVIS IN FERAL SWINE (SUS SCROFA) IN THE USA.

    PubMed

    Pedersen, Kerri; Miller, Ryan S; Anderson, Theodore D; Pabilonia, Kristy L; Lewis, Jonathan R; Mihalco, Rebecca L; Gortázar, Christian; Gidlewski, Thomas

    2017-01-01

    Bovine tuberculosis is a chronic disease of cattle ( Bos taurus ) caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium bovis . Efforts have been made in the US to eradicate the disease in cattle, but spillover into wildlife and subsequent spillback have impeded progress in some states. In particular, infection in white-tailed deer ( Odocoileus virginianus ) has been followed by infection in cattle in some Midwestern states. Infection has also been documented in feral swine ( Sus scrofa ) on the Hawaiian island of Molokai and in various European countries, but no large-scale survey of antibody exposure to the bacteria has been conducted in feral swine in the US. We tested 488 sera from feral swine collected near previously documented outbreaks of bovine tuberculosis in cattle and captive cervids, in addition to 2,237 feral swine sera collected across the US from 1 October 2013 to 30 September 2014. While all but one of the samples were antibody negative, the results are important for establishing baseline negative data since feral swine are capable reservoirs and could be implicated in future outbreaks of the disease.

  10. Chemical physiological and morphological studies of feral baltic salmon (Salmo salar) suffering from abnormal fry mortality

    SciTech Connect

    Norrgren, L. . Dept. of Pathology Swedish Environmental Research Inst., Stockholm ); Andersson, T. . Dept. of Zoophysiology); Bergqvist, P.A. . Inst. of Environmental Chemistry); Bjoerklund, I. )

    1993-11-01

    In 1974, abnormally high mortality was recorded among yolk-sac fry of Baltic salmon (Salmo salar) originating from feral females manually stripped and fertilized with milt from feral males. The cause of this mortality, designated M74, is unknown. The hypothesis is that xenobiotic compounds responsible for reproduction failure in higher vertebrates in the Baltic Sea also interfere with reproduction in Baltic salmon. The significance of M74 should not be underestimated, because the syndrome has caused up to 75% yearly mortality of developing Baltic salmon yolk-sac larvae in a fish hatchery dedicated to production of smolt during the last two decades. The author cannot exclude the possibility that only a relatively low number of naturally spawned eggs develop normally because of M74. No individual pollutant has been shown to be responsible for the development of M74 syndrome. However, a higher total body burden of organochlorine substances may be responsible for the M74 syndrome. The presence of induced hepatic cytochrome P450 enzymes in both yolk-sac fry suffering from M74 and adult feral females producing offspring affected by M74 supports this hypothesis. In addition, the P450 enzyme activity in offspring from feral fish is higher than the activity in yolk-sac fry from hatchery-raised fish, suggesting that feral Baltic salmon are influenced by organic xenobiotics.

  11. U.S. domestic cats as sentinels for perfluoroalkyl substances: Possible linkages with housing, obesity, and disease.

    PubMed

    Bost, Phillip C; Strynar, Mark J; Reiner, Jessica L; Zweigenbaum, Jerry A; Secoura, Patricia L; Lindstrom, Andrew B; Dye, Janice A

    2016-11-01

    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.

  12. Ecological effects of feral biofuel crops in constructed oak ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The effects of elevated temperatures and drought on constructed oak savannahs were studied to determine the interactive effects of potentially invasive feral biofuel species and climate change on native grassland communities. A total of 12 sunlit mesocosm were used. Each mesocosm held three tubs. One had six native plant species; one had five native species with the annual crop Sorghum bicolor and one had five native species along with the weedy perennial Sorghum halepense. The experimental treatments were ambient (control), elevated temperature, drought, or a combination of elevated temperature and drought. Total aboveground biomass of the community was greatest in the control and drought treatments, lowest with elevated temperature + drought, and intermediate in high temperature treatments (P<0.0001). Sorghum species produced significantly less biomass than the native grass species (P< 0.05). S. bicolor seed biomass was greatest under elevated temperature and lowest in the elevated temperature + drought treatment (P=0.0002). Neither of the Sorghum species significantly affected active soil bacterial biomass. Active bacterial biomass was lowest in the drought and elevated temperature and drought treatments (P<0.05). Active soil fungal biomass was highest in the tubs containing S. bicolor. Percent total carbon in the soil increased between 2010 and 2011 (P=0.0054); it was lowest in the elevated temperature and drought mesocosms (P<0.05). Longer term studi

  13. Levels of house dust mite-specific serum immunoglobulin E (IgE) in different cat populations using a monoclonal based anti-IgE enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.

    PubMed

    Bexley, Jennifer; Hogg, Janice E; Hammerberg, Bruce; Halliwell, Richard E W

    2009-10-01

    Levels of serum immunoglobulin E (IgE) specific for the house dust mites (HDMs) Dermatophagoides farinae (DF) and Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (DP) in 58 cats with clinical signs suggestive of atopic dermatitis (allergic dermatitis cats), 52 cats with no history of allergic or immunological disease (nonallergic cats) and 26 specific pathogen-free (SPF) cats were measured using a monoclonal anti-IgE enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Reactivity to both native and reduced HDM allergens was compared. SPF cats had significantly lower levels of HDM-specific serum IgE than cats with allergic dermatitis and nonallergic cats. The difference in levels of HDM-specific IgE in the serum of cats with allergic dermatitis and nonallergic cats was significant for native DF allergen, but not for native DP allergen or reduced HDM allergens. The results suggest that DF in its native form may be a significant allergen in cats with allergic dermatitis. The clinical relevance of these reactions, however, remains to be proven.

  14. The contribution of cat owners' attitudes and behaviours to the free-roaming cat overpopulation in Tel Aviv, Israel.

    PubMed

    Finkler, Hilit; Terkel, Joseph

    2012-04-01

    The attitudes and behaviours of cat owners in regard to treatment of cats may have a cumulative effect on the food availability, reproduction, density and welfare of the free-roaming cat population and thus also on the extent of cat overpopulation. Understanding this is thus a vital step in the a priori planning of cat management programs on any scale, as well as in developing public education programs on this issue. Although recent years have seen an accumulation of knowledge in regard to cat owners' attitudes and behaviours, the findings vary among countries and locations and in Israel this has never been investigated systematically. Using a questionnaire provided to cat owners in veterinary clinics, this study aimed at identifying those attitudes and behaviours that may be contributing to cat overpopulation in Tel Aviv, Israel, and at exploring the socio-economic factors that influence this problem. The findings show that the influential factors can be predicted from the cat owners' socio-economic status, mainly education and income, as well as gender and age. A consistency in those cat owner behaviours that contribute to cat overpopulation was also uncovered, revealing a sub-population of individuals who persist in the undesirable behaviours. Finally, a strong relationship between attitude and consequent behaviour was demonstrated, indicating the importance of education and targeted publicity as a means to influence attitudes and thereby change behaviours in this respect. We propose several measures by which to reduce the current extent of cat owners' contribution to the cat overpopulation: discouraging unwanted owner behaviours such as abandonment of their cats and allowing them to breed; promoting awareness of the neutering option among cat caretakers; and increasing pre-adoption neutering rates in shelters. Regional and national laws promoting responsible pet ownership need to be enacted. By improving the current level of knowledge and awareness among cat

  15. Frequency of antibodies against Sarcocystis neurona and Neospora caninum in domestic cats in the state of Bahia, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Meneses, Iris Daniela Santos de; Andrade, Müller Ribeiro; Uzêda, Rosângela Soares; Bittencourt, Marta Vasconcelos; Lindsay, David Scott; Gondim, Luís Fernando Pita

    2014-01-01

    Sarcocystis neurona is the major agent of equine protozoal myeloencephalitis. It infects several mammalian species in the Americas, where the definitive hosts, marsupials of the genus Didelphis (D. virginiana and D. albiventris) are found. Domestic cats are one of the confirmed intermediate hosts of the parasite; however, antibodies against S. neurona had never before been demonstrated in Brazilian cats. The aim of this study was to determine whether cats in Bahia, Brazil, are exposed to the parasite. A total of 272 feline serum samples (134 from feral and 138 from house cats) were subjected to an indirect fluorescent antibody test using cultured merozoites of S. neurona as antigen. Positivity was detected in 4.0% (11/272) of the tested samples, with titers ranging from 25 to 800. The feline sera were also tested for antibodies against the protozoan Neospora caninum, with an observed antibody frequency of 2.9%. To the author's knowledge, this is the first study to report antibodies against S. neurona in Brazilian cats. We conclude that cats are exposed to the parasite in the region of this study. Further investigations are needed to confirm the role of cats in the transmission cycle of S. neurona in Brazil.

  16. That Fat Cat

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lambert, Phyllis Gilchrist

    2012-01-01

    This activity began with a picture book, Nurit Karlin's "Fat Cat On a Mat" (HarperCollins; 1998). The author and her students started their project with a 5-inch circular template for the head of their cats. They reviewed shapes as they drew the head and then added the ears and nose, which were triangles. Details to the face were added when…

  17. An investigation into the seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii, Bartonella spp., feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), and feline leukaemia virus (FeLV) in cats in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

    PubMed

    Tiao, N; Darrington, C; Molla, B; Saville, W J A; Tilahun, G; Kwok, O C H; Gebreyes, W A; Lappin, M R; Jones, J L; Dubey, J P

    2013-05-01

    Toxoplasma gondii and Bartonella spp. are zoonotic pathogens of cats. Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), and feline leukaemia virus (FeLV) are immunosuppressive viruses of cats that can affect T. gondii oocyst shedding. In this study, the prevalence of antibodies to T. gondii, Bartonella spp., FIV, as well as FeLV antigens were determined in sera from feral cats (Felis catus) from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Using the modified agglutination test, IgG antibodies to T. gondii were found in 41 (85.4%) of the 48 cats with titres of 1:25 in one, 1:50 in one, 1:200 in six, 1:400 in six, 1:800 in six, 1:1600 in eight, and 1:3200 in 13 cats. Toxoplasma gondii IgM antibodies were found in 11/46 cats tested by ELISA, suggesting recent infection. Antibodies to Bartonella spp. were found in five (11%) of 46 cats tested. Antibodies to FIV or FeLV antigen were not detected in any of the 41 cats tested. The results indicate a high prevalence of T. gondii and a low prevalence of Bartonella spp. infection in cats in Ethiopia.

  18. Numbers and Characteristics of Cats Admitted to Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) Shelters in Australia and Reasons for Surrender.

    PubMed

    Alberthsen, Corinne; Rand, Jacquie; Morton, John; Bennett, Pauleen; Paterson, Mandy; Vankan, Dianne

    2016-03-16

    Despite high numbers of cats admitted to animal shelters annually, there is surprisingly little information available about the characteristics of these cats. In this study, we examined 195,387 admissions to 33 Australian RSPCA shelters and six friends of the RSPCA groups from July 2006 to June 2010. The aims of this study were to describe the numbers and characteristics of cats entering Australian RSPCA shelters, and to describe reasons for cat surrender. Data collected included shelter, state, admission source, age, gender, date of arrival, color, breed, reproductive status (sterilized or not prior to admission), feral status and surrender reason (if applicable). Most admissions were presented by members of the general public, as either stray animals or owner-surrenders, and more kittens were admitted than adults. Owner-related reasons were most commonly given for surrendering a cat to a shelter. The most frequently cited owner-related reason was accommodation (i.e., cats were not allowed). Importantly, although the percentage of admissions where the cat was previously sterilized (36%) was the highest of any shelter study reported to date, this was still lower than expected, particularly among owner-surrendered cats (47%). The percentage of admissions where the cat was previously sterilized was low even in jurisdictions that require mandatory sterilization.

  19. State of cat genomics.

    PubMed

    O'Brien, Stephen J; Johnson, Warren; Driscoll, Carlos; Pontius, Joan; Pecon-Slattery, Jill; Menotti-Raymond, Marilyn

    2008-06-01

    Our knowledge of cat family biology was recently expanded to include a genomics perspective with the completion of a draft whole genome sequence of an Abyssinian cat. The utility of the new genome information has been demonstrated by applications ranging from disease gene discovery and comparative genomics to species conservation. Patterns of genomic organization among cats and inbred domestic cat breeds have illuminated our view of domestication, revealing linkage disequilibrium tracks consequent of breed formation, defining chromosome exchanges that punctuated major lineages of mammals and suggesting ancestral continental migration events that led to 37 modern species of Felidae. We review these recent advances here. As the genome resources develop, the cat is poised to make a major contribution to many areas in genetics and biology.

  20. Cyclical processes in neuronal populations of the cat somatosensory cortex during extero- and interoceptive activation and in the course of its extinction.

    PubMed

    Lavrov, V V

    1993-01-01

    The EEG reactions were recorded in chronic experiments in awake cats and the slow periodic changes in the frequency of the multicellular impulse activity were observed at points (standard localization) of the somatosensory (1) zone of the cortex. Results of the analysis of both processes were combined in graphs in a single time scale. The correlation of the expressivity of the activation reaction and degree of modulation of the cyclical fluctuations of the frequency of the impulse activity were followed both during the action of exteroceptive (conditional, light; unconditional, sound) and the interoceptive (mechanical and chemical) stimuli. A particular characteristic of the interoceptive stimulation as compared with the exteroceptive consisted in the inertia of the respondent reaction and the lesser contrast in relation to the background. During the extinction of the responses the decrease in the activation reaction correlated with a decrease in the initial (after the switching on of the stimulus) fluctuation of the frequency of the multicellular impulse activity. The data obtained serves as proof of the unity of the two processes: the regulation of the activation of the brain and the regulation of the periodicity of the neuronal impulse activity.

  1. Seroprevalence of Neospora caninum in feral swine (Sus scrofa) in the United States.

    PubMed

    Cerqueira-Cézar, Camila K; Pedersen, Kerri; Calero-Bernal, Rafael; Kwok, Oliver C; Villena, Isabelle; Dubey, Jitender P

    2016-08-15

    The protozoon Neospora caninum is a major cause of abortion in cattle worldwide. Canids (Canis familiaris, Canis latrans, Canis lupus) are definitive hosts whereas many other animal species, including pigs, are intermediate hosts for the parasite. Between 2012 and 2014, serum samples from 1059 feral swine (Sus scrofa) from 29 states of the USA were tested for N. caninum antibodies, using the N. caninum agglutination test (NAT). Of these, 159 (15.0%) feral pigs from 21 states tested positive, with a range of titers of 1:25 (cut-off) (n=153), 1:200 (1), 1:400 (1), 1:800 (3) and 1:3200 (1). Results indicate widespread exposure of feral swine to N. caninum infection across the USA.

  2. Ecology Driving Genetic Variation: A Comparative Phylogeography of Jungle Cat (Felis chaus) and Leopard Cat (Prionailurus bengalensis) in India

    PubMed Central

    Mukherjee, Shomita; Krishnan, Anand; Tamma, Krishnapriya; Home, Chandrima; R, Navya; Joseph, Sonia; Das, Arundhati; Ramakrishnan, Uma

    2010-01-01

    Background Comparative phylogeography links historical population processes to current/ecological processes through congruent/incongruent patterns of genetic variation among species/lineages. Despite high biodiversity, India lacks a phylogeographic paradigm due to limited comparative studies. We compared the phylogenetic patterns of Indian populations of jungle cat (Felis chaus) and leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis). Given similarities in their distribution within India, evolutionary histories, body size and habits, congruent patterns of genetic variation were expected. Methodology/Principal Findings We collected scats from various biogeographic zones in India and analyzed mtDNA from 55 jungle cats (460 bp NADH5, 141 bp cytochrome b) and 40 leopard cats (362 bp NADH5, 202 bp cytochrome b). Jungle cats revealed high genetic variation, relatively low population structure and demographic expansion around the mid-Pleistocene. In contrast, leopard cats revealed lower genetic variation and high population structure with a FST of 0.86 between North and South Indian populations. Niche-model analyses using two approaches (BIOCLIM and MaxEnt) support absence of leopard cats from Central India, indicating a climate associated barrier. We hypothesize that high summer temperatures limit leopard cat distribution and that a rise in temperature in the peninsular region of India during the LGM caused the split in leopard cat population in India. Conclusions/Significance Our results indicate that ecological variables describing a species range can predict genetic patterns. Our study has also resolved the confusion over the distribution of the leopard cat in India. The reciprocally monophyletic island population in the South mandates conservation attention. PMID:21060831

  3. Cat sensitivity: 7-yr audit in children attending a paediatric allergy clinic in North Italy.

    PubMed

    Pescollderungg, L; Pietrobelli, A; Boner, A L

    2000-11-01

    Sensitivity to cats and exposure to cat allergen is a common cause of asthma exacerbation in children. To date, there is no data on the prevalence of cat sensitivity in children living in North Italy. Therefore, a 7-yr survey was performed in patients attending an allergy clinic for the first time. Skin prick tests (SPT) for perennial allergens and for pollens relevant to the region were performed in 4,957 children attending the outpatient clinic 1992-1998. A questionnaire on present or past cat ownership was presented to all cat-skin prick test positive children. An evaluation of cat ownership on the general population was made by telephone interview on a random sample of 1,268 families living in the same area. With a 3-mm wheal as a positive cut-off 439 (8.85%) children had a positive SPT to cats. Of these 103 (23.4%) had a cat at home and 336 (76.6%) never had a cat in the house. With a greater positive cut-off(a wheal diameter > or =4 mm) 140 (2.8%) showed a positive SPT to cats of these 35 (25%) had a cat at home and 105 (75%) had only an indirect exposure to the pet. Of the telephone interviewed families; 16% stated they had a cat at home. Cat sensitivity is less prevalent in Italy, in this hospital based population, compared with other European countries and this is in agreement with a lower rate of cat ownership. Cat sensitivity was three times more frequent in children who never had a cat at home, than in children living with cats, when the selected positive cut-off was either a wheal diameter of 3 mm or > or =4 mm. Thus in a population with a low prevalence of cat ownership public exposure seems to be more important than domestic exposure for the development of sensitivity.

  4. Determinants of Cat Choice and Outcomes for Adult Cats and Kittens Adopted from an Australian Animal Shelter

    PubMed Central

    Zito, Sarah; Paterson, Mandy; Vankan, Dianne; Morton, John; Bennett, Pauleen; Phillips, Clive

    2015-01-01

    Simple Summary Commonly, more adult cats than kittens are euthanized in animal shelters. We surveyed 382 cat adopters to assess adoption outcomes and potential determinants of adopters’ choice of cat age group and price. Most adopters had benevolent motivations for adopting from the shelter and had put considerable thought into the adoption and responsible ownership requirements. However, adult cat adopters were more likely to have been influenced by price than kitten adopters. Adoption outcomes were generally positive in all age and adoption price groups. This study provides evidence to inform the design of strategies to encourage adult cat adoptions. Abstract The percentage of adult cats euthanized in animal shelters is greater than that of kittens because adult cats are less likely to be adopted. This study aimed to provide evidence to inform the design of strategies to encourage adult cat adoptions. One such strategy is to discount adoption prices, but there are concerns that this may result in poor adoption outcomes. We surveyed 382 cat adopters at the time of adoption, to assess potential determinants of adopters’ cat age group choice (adult or kitten) and, for adult cat adopters, the price they are willing to pay. The same respondents were surveyed again 6–12 months after the adoption to compare outcomes between cat age groups and between adult cats in two price categories. Most adopters had benevolent motivations for adopting from the shelter and had put considerable thought into the adoption and requirements for responsible ownership. However, adult cat adopters were more likely to have been influenced by price than kitten adopters. Adoption outcomes were generally positive for both adult cats and kittens and for adult cats adopted at low prices. The latter finding alleviates concerns about the outcomes of “low-cost” adoptions in populations, such as the study population, and lends support for the use of “low-cost” adoptions as an option for

  5. Prevalence of mucopolysaccharidosis type VI mutations in Siamese cats.

    PubMed

    Crawley, A C; Muntz, F H; Haskins, M E; Jones, B R; Hopwood, J J

    2003-01-01

    Mucopolysaccharidosis type VI (MPS VI), a lysosomal storage disease, is one of the more prevalent inherited diseases in cats and is commonly found in cats with Siamese ancestry. The prevalence of 2 known MPS VI mutations in cats was investigated in 101 clinically normal Siamese cats, in 2 cats with clinical signs of MPS VI, and in 202 cats from 4 research colonies. The mutation L476P which causes a severe clinical phenotype, was present on both alleles in the known MPS VI cats from Italy and North America and was present in all research colonies that originated from North America. However, LA76P was not detected in the Siamese population screened. In contrast, the mutation D520N, which causes a mild clinical phenotype, was identified in 23 of 202 (11.4%) alleles tested in Siamese cats from 3 continents, 2 of which were homozygous for D520N. Thus, the D520N mutation was widespread, and it is likely that cats inheriting both mutations (LA76P/D520N compound heterozygotes) would be in the general Siamese population, particularly in North America. Practitioners should note the high incidence of degenerative joint disease in these animals.

  6. Giardia infection in cats.

    PubMed

    Janeczko, Stephanie; Griffin, Brenda

    2010-08-01

    The protozoon Giardia duodenalis is a common gastrointestinal parasite of cats. While most Giardia-infected cats are asymptomatic, acute small bowel diarrhea, occasionally with concomitant weight loss, may occur. Giardia poses a diagnostic challenge, but newer tests, including a commercially available ELISA kit, have improved clinicians' ability to obtain an accurate diagnosis. Several treatment options have been reported, and although none has been shown to be universally effective, most cases can be successfully managed with drug therapy, supportive measures, and environmental control. Current recommendations suggest that combination therapy with fenbendazole and metronidazole may be the safest, most effective treatment option for symptomatic cats.

  7. Prevalence of echocardiographic evidence of cardiac disease in apparently healthy cats with murmurs.

    PubMed

    Nakamura, Reid K; Rishniw, Mark; King, Megan K; Sammarco, Carl D

    2011-04-01

    The objective of this prospective study was to determine the prevalence of echocardiographic evidence of heart disease in apparently healthy cats with heart murmurs. Thirty-two privately owned domestic cats were examined. All cats were considered healthy on the basis of history and physical examination, except for the finding of a heart murmur on auscultation. Cats on any medications (besides regular flea, tick and heartworm preventative) or that were pregnant or lactating were excluded from this study. The prevalence of echocardiographic evidence of heart disease in this population of cats was 53%. Therefore, identification of a heart murmur on routine physical examination in apparently healthy cats warrants further investigation.

  8. Cat tongue Velcro

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Noel, Alexis; Martinez, Andrea; Jung, Hyewon; Tsai, Ting-Wen; Hu, David

    2016-11-01

    A cat's tongue is covered in an array of spines called papillae. These spines are thought to be used in grooming and rasping meat from bones of prey, although no mechanism has been given. We use high-speed video to film a cat removing cat food deeply wedged into a 3-D printed fur mat. We show that the spines on the tongue act as Velcro for particles. The tongue itself is highly elastic. As the cat presses it against a substrate, the tongue flattens and the spines separate. When the tongue is removed from the substrate the spines come together, wedging particles between them. This elasticity-driven entrapment permits the surface of the tongue to act as a carrier for hard to reach particles, and to increase the efficacy of grooming and feeding.

  9. Cat-scratch disease relapse in a kidney transplant recipient.

    PubMed

    Rheault, Michelle N; van Burik, Jo-Anne; Mauer, Michael; Ingulli, Elizabeth; Ferrieri, Patricia; Jessurun, Jose; Chavers, Blanche M

    2007-02-01

    Cat-scratch disease, an infectious illness infrequently reported in kidney transplant patients, is caused by the organism Bartonella henselae and is transmitted through contact with cats or kittens. It is a self-limited disorder in the general pediatric population. Here we present a case of unsuspected cat-scratch disease in a pediatric kidney transplant patient who presented with fever and lymphadenopathy. Eight months after treatment with a short course of azithromycin, the patient developed a recurrence of cat-scratch disease. We emphasize that the evaluation of a young immunocompromised kidney transplant patient presenting with fever and lymphadenopathy should include unusual infections such as cat-scratch disease. We review the diagnosis and treatment of this uncommon infection in the organ transplant population.

  10. Fatal big cat attacks.

    PubMed

    Cohle, S D; Harlan, C W; Harlan, G

    1990-09-01

    Two cases of fatal attacks by large cats are presented. In the first case, a 30-year-old female zoo worker was attacked by a jaguar that had escaped its cage. In the second case, a 2-year-old girl was fatally injured by her father's pet leopard. The pattern of injuries in these cases is nearly identical to those of these cats' prey in the wild.

  11. Feral rye (Secale cereal) control in winter canola in the Pacific Northwest

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In the Pacific Northwest (PNW) feral rye is a predominant winter annual grass weed in the low-rainfall region where a winter wheat-tillage fallow rotation has been practiced for more than 130 yrs and winter canola has been introduced recently. A 3-yr study was conducted in Washington to determine th...

  12. Abundance and distribution of feral pigs at Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge, 2010-2013

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hess, Steven C.; Leopold, Christina R.; Kendall, Steven J.

    2013-01-01

    The Hakalau Forest Unit of the Big Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex has intensively managed feral pigs (Sus scrofa) and monitored feral pig presence with surveys of all managed areas since 1988. Results of all available data regarding pig management activities through 2004 were compiled and analyzed, but no further analyses had been conducted since then. The objective of this report was to analyze recent feral ungulate surveys at the Hakalau Forest Unit to determine current pig abundance and distribution. Activity indices for feral pigs, consisting of the presence of fresh or intermediate sign at 422 stations, each with approximately 20 sample plots, were compiled for years 2010–2013. A calibrated model based on the number of pigs removed from one management unit and concurrent activity surveys was applied to estimate pig abundance in other management units. Although point estimates appeared to decrease from 489.1 (±105.6) in 2010 to 407.6 (±88.0) in 2013, 95% confidence intervals overlapped, indicating no significant change in pig abundance within all management units. Nonetheless, there were significant declines in pig abundance over the four-year period within management units 1, 6, and 7. Areas where pig abundance remained high include the southern portion of Unit 2. Results of these surveys will be useful for directing management actions towards specific management units.

  13. Toxoplasma gondii in feral american minks at the Maullin river, Chile

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    American mink (Neovison vison) is a widely distributed invasive species in southern Chile. Thirty four feral minks were trapped at two distinct sites (rural and peri-urban), diet analyzed, and Toxoplasma gondii exposure compared using PCR and specific antibodies. Serum samples were evaluated using a...

  14. Of Feral Faculty and Magisterial Mowglis: The Domestication of Junior Faculty

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reddick, Richard J.

    2015-01-01

    This chapter presents an assistant professor's scholarly personal narrative at the precipice of promotion, and reveals how the feral child metaphor might aptly describe many junior professors' experiences as they navigate a path toward tenure. This chronicling of mentorship in sometimes unexpected venues may aid new faculty and those invested in…

  15. Ecological effects of feral biofuel crops in constructed oak savannah communities - June 2012

    EPA Science Inventory

    The effects of elevated temperatures and drought on constructed oak savannahs were studied to determine the interactive effects of potentially invasive feral biofuel species and climate change on native grassland communities. A total of 12 sunlit mesocosm were used. Each mesoco...

  16. Influenza A Subtype H3 Viruses in Feral Swine, United States, 2011–2012

    PubMed Central

    Feng, Zhixin; Baroch, John A.; Long, Li-Ping; Xu, Yifei; Cunningham, Frederick L.; Pedersen, Kerri; Lutman, Mark W.; Schmit, Brandon S.; Bowman, Andrew S.; DeLiberto, Thomas J.

    2014-01-01

    To determine whether, and to what extent, influenza A subtype H3 viruses were present in feral swine in the United States, we conducted serologic and virologic surveillance during October 2011–September 2012. These animals were periodically exposed to and infected with A(H3N2) viruses, suggesting they may threaten human and animal health. PMID:24751326

  17. Brucella suis infection associated with feral swine hunting - three states, 2007-2008.

    PubMed

    2009-06-12

    Historically, brucellosis from Brucella suis infection occurred among workers in swine slaughterhouses. In 1972, the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Brucellosis Eradication Program was expanded to cover swine herds. Subsequent elimination of brucellosis in commercial swine resulted in a decrease in B. suis-associated illness in humans. Currently, swine-associated brucellosis in humans in the United States is predominantly associated with exposure to infected feral swine (i.e., wild boar or wild hogs). In May and July 2008, CDC was contacted by the state health departments in South Carolina and Pennsylvania regarding two cases of brucellosis possibly linked to feral swine hunts. Both state health departments contacted the state health department in Florida, where the hunts took place. The subsequent investigation, conducted jointly by the three state health departments and CDC, determined that the two patients had confirmed brucellosis from B. suis infection and the brother of one patient had probable brucellosis. All three exposures were associated with feral swine hunting, and at least two patients did not have symptoms until 4-6 months after exposure. The findings from this investigation suggest that clinicians treating patients with unexplained febrile illness should consider brucellosis in the differential diagnosis and obtain a thorough history of travel (e.g., to enzootic areas), food consumption, occupation, and recreational activities, including feral swine hunting. Cross-agency collaboration by state health departments and agriculture agencies is needed on brucellosis investigations to reduce the risk for illness through contact with infected animals.

  18. Absence of bovine tuberculosis in feral swine (Sus scrofa) from the Southern Texas border region

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Free-ranging wildlife, like feral swine (Sus scrofa), harbor a variety of diseases that are infectious to livestock and could negatively impact agricultural production. Information is lacking regarding the exposure and infection rates for bovine tuberculosis (Mycobacterium bovis; bTB), and many othe...

  19. Exposure of feral swine (Sus scrofa) in the United States to selected pathogens.

    PubMed

    Baroch, John A; Gagnon, Carl A; Lacouture, Sonia; Gottschalk, Marcelo

    2015-01-01

    Feral swine (Sus scrofa) are widely distributed in the United States. In 2011 and 2012, serum samples and tonsils were recovered from 162 and 37 feral swine, respectively, in the US to evaluate exposure to important swine endemic pathogens. Antibodies against porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) and porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) were found in 2.5% and 25.3% of tested sera, respectively. Positive serological reactions against Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae and Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae have been detected in 19.7% and 69.7% of animals. More than 15% of animals presented antibodies against these 2 pathogens simultaneously. Most animals were also seropositive for Lawsonia intracellularis. Feral swine can also be involved in transmission of zoonotic agents. Almost 50% of animals possessed antibodies against Salmonella. In addition, 94.4% of animals were carriers of Streptococcus suis in their tonsils. In conclusion, feral swine may be considered as a potential reservoir for different endemic diseases in domestic pigs, as well as for important zoonotic agents.

  20. Ecological effects of feral biofuel crops in constructed oak savannah communities

    EPA Science Inventory

    The effects of elevated temperatures and drought on constructed oak savannahs were studied to determine the interactive effects of potentially invasive feral biofuel species and climate change on native grassland communities. A total of 12 sunlit mesocosm were used. Each mesoco...

  1. Visitation to cottonseed storage sites by feral swine and evidence of gossypol exposure

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This report describes observations surrounding a range habitat study of a group of radio-collared and ear-tagged feral pigs in south Texas. A mortality signal from the collar of one animal and reported signs of lethargy in a second animal led to an investigation into the causes of the distress. Lo...

  2. No evidence of interference competition among the invasive feral pig and two native peccary species in a Neotropical wetland

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Oliveira-Santos, Luiz G. R.; Dorazio, Robert M.; Tomas, Walfrido M.; Mourao, Guilherme; Fernandez, Fernando A.S.

    2011-01-01

    In South America, the invasive feral pig (Sus scrofa Linnaeus) has become established in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and in a wide range within Brazil, along the southern half of the Atlantic Forest, in the cerrado (savanna) and in the Pantanal wetland. The geographical ranges of the two most common South American native peccary (Tayassu pecari Link and Pecari tajacu Linnaeus) overlap almost entirely, and the feral pig now co-occurs with them in several areas. Because feral pig, white-lipped and collared peccary are considered ecological equivalents, there has been much speculation about possible competitive interactions among them (Desbiez et al. 2009, Sicuro & Oliveira 2002).

  3. Hearing disorders in cats.

    PubMed

    Strain, George M

    2017-03-01

    Practical relevance: Auditory function is a sense that is central to life for cats - being important in situational awareness of potential predators, pursuit of prey, and for communication with conspecifics, humans and other species. Deafness in cats is most frequently the result of a genetic disorder, strongly associated with white fur and blue eyes, but may also result from acquired causes such as advancing age, ototoxic drugs, infection, environmental noise and physical trauma. Deafness can be sensorineural, where there is loss of cochlear hair cells, or conductive, where sound is muffled on its way to the inner ear. Clinical challenges: Establishing whether a cat is deaf can be difficult as behavioral testing of hearing is subjective and does not reliably detect unilateral deafness. Brainstem auditory evoked response testing is an objective measure but is limited in its availability. Currently, sensorineural deafness is irreversible because no treatments are available to restore lost hair cells. Conductive hearing loss can usually be treated, although full hearing recovery following otitis media may take weeks as the body clears the middle ear of debris. Evidence base: The author draws on the published literature and his extensive research on clinical aspects and molecular genetics of deafness, principally in companion animals, to review types and forms of deafness in cats. He also discusses current diagnostic approaches and provides brief advice for managing cats with hearing loss.

  4. The Feline Mystique: Dispelling the Myth of the Independent Cat.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Soltow, Willow

    1984-01-01

    Describes learning activities about cats for primary and intermediate grades. Primary grade activity subjects include cat behavior, needs, breeds, storybook cats, and celestial cats. Intermediate grade activity subjects include cat history, care, language, literary cats, and cats in art. (BC)

  5. Cross-Sectional Study of Characteristics of Owners and Nonowners Surrendering Cats to Four Australian Animal Shelters.

    PubMed

    Zito, Sarah; Morton, John; Paterson, Mandy; Vankan, Dianne; Bennett, Pauleen C; Rand, Jacquie; Phillips, Clive J C

    2016-01-01

    Unwanted cats surrendered to nonhuman animal shelters are generally categorized as either "owned" or "stray." This classification is misleading because "stray" cats may include many "semiowned" cats, for which people provide care but who are not perceived as being owned. This differentiation is important because effective strategies designed to reduce cat admissions to, and euthanasia rates in, shelters rely on accurate information about cat populations contributing to shelter intake; cat semiowners will likely respond to different strategies than people with no relationship with the cats they surrender. People surrendering cats to four Australian animal shelters were surveyed to identify factors associated with perception of ownership. Many self-classified nonowners had fed the cats they surrendered, often for a considerable period of time. The factor most strongly associated with ownership perception was an increasing association time with the cat. These findings confirm that enduring relationships between surrenderers and cats, consistent with cat semiownership, are common for cats surrendered to Australian animal shelters. This finding should be taken into account when planning education messages and cat population management strategies aimed at reducing cat admissions.

  6. Prevalence of antibodies to Sarcocystis neurona in cats from Virginia and Pennsylvania.

    PubMed

    Hsu, Vasha; Grant, David C; Dubey, J P; Zajac, Anne M; Lindsay, David S

    2010-08-01

    Sarcocystis neurona is best known as the causative agent of equine protozoal myeloencephalitis of horses in the Americas. Domestic cats ( Felis domesticus ) were the first animals described as an intermediate host for S. neurona . However, S. neurona -associated encephalitis has also been reported in naturally infected cats in the United States. Thus, cats can be implicated in the life cycle of S. neurona as natural intermediate hosts. The present study examined the seroprevalence of IgG antibodies to merozoites of S. neurona in populations of domestic cats from Virginia and Pennsylvania. Overall, sera or plasma from 441 cats (Virginia = 232, Pennsylvania = 209) were tested by an indirect immunofluorescent assay at a 1ratio50 dilution. Antibodies to S. neurona were found in 32 (7%) of 441 cats. Of these, 22 (9%) of the 232 cats from Virginia and 10 (5%) of the 209 cats from Pennsylvania were seropositive for S. neurona .

  7. Population.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    King, Pat; Landahl, John

    This pamphlet has been prepared in response to a new problem, a rapidly increasing population, and a new need, population education. It is designed to help teachers provide their students with some basic population concepts with stress placed on the elements of decision making. In the first section of the pamphlet, some of the basic concepts of…

  8. [Population].

    PubMed

    1979-01-01

    Data on the population of Venezuela between 1975 and 1977 are presented in descriptive tables and graphs. Information is included on the employed population according to category, sex, and type of economic activity, and by sex, age, and area on the employment rate and the total, the economically active, and the unemployed population.

  9. Numbers and Characteristics of Cats Admitted to Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) Shelters in Australia and Reasons for Surrender

    PubMed Central

    Alberthsen, Corinne; Rand, Jacquie; Morton, John; Bennett, Pauleen; Paterson, Mandy; Vankan, Dianne

    2016-01-01

    Simple Summary National Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) shelter admission data were utilized to examine cats presented to Australian animal shelters and reasons for surrender. This study reports the most commonly cited reasons for an owner to surrender and found lower than expected sterilized cats. Abstract Despite high numbers of cats admitted to animal shelters annually, there is surprisingly little information available about the characteristics of these cats. In this study, we examined 195,387 admissions to 33 Australian RSPCA shelters and six friends of the RSPCA groups from July 2006 to June 2010. The aims of this study were to describe the numbers and characteristics of cats entering Australian RSPCA shelters, and to describe reasons for cat surrender. Data collected included shelter, state, admission source, age, gender, date of arrival, color, breed, reproductive status (sterilized or not prior to admission), feral status and surrender reason (if applicable). Most admissions were presented by members of the general public, as either stray animals or owner-surrenders, and more kittens were admitted than adults. Owner-related reasons were most commonly given for surrendering a cat to a shelter. The most frequently cited owner-related reason was accommodation (i.e., cats were not allowed). Importantly, although the percentage of admissions where the cat was previously sterilized (36%) was the highest of any shelter study reported to date, this was still lower than expected, particularly among owner-surrendered cats (47%). The percentage of admissions where the cat was previously sterilized was low even in jurisdictions that require mandatory sterilization. PMID:26999223

  10. Role of endogenous cat retrovirus in cell differentiation.

    PubMed Central

    Rasheed, S

    1982-01-01

    Several long-term cultures were established from a spontaneous melanoma of a cat. Cells were rounded or spindle shaped and exhibited black/brown pigmentation in the cytoplasm. No virus was released from these cells spontaneously or after treatment with chemicals. However, exogenous infection of the cat melanoma cells with the endogenous cat virus RD114 resulted in remarkable morphological and functional changes. Most of the RD114 virus-infected cells exhibited multiple neuritic extensions and about 1-2% of the population showed characteristics of neuronal cells. Because human, mouse, and hamster melanoma cultures infected with various mammalian retroviruses, including the RD114 virus, did not display any morphological alteration, it is concluded that the neuronal cell differentiation in the cat melanoma cells is a consequence of its specific interaction with the endogenous cat retrovirus. Images PMID:6961415

  11. Presumptive sialadenosis in a cat.

    PubMed

    Boydell, P; Pike, R; Crossley, D

    2000-12-01

    A cat was presented with signs associated with enlargement of the mandibular salivary glands. Histological findings were normal, consistent with a diagnosis of sialadenosis, and the cat responded to symptomatic treatment with oral phenobarbitone.

  12. The albinism of the feral Asinara white donkeys (Equus asinus) is determined by a missense mutation in a highly conserved position of the tyrosinase (TYR) gene deduced protein.

    PubMed

    Utzeri, V J; Bertolini, F; Ribani, A; Schiavo, G; Dall'Olio, S; Fontanesi, L

    2016-02-01

    A feral donkey population (Equus asinus), living in the Asinara National Park (an island north-west of Sardinia, Italy), includes a unique white albino donkey subpopulation or colour morph that is a major attraction of this park. Disrupting mutations in the tyrosinase (TYR) gene are known to cause recessive albinisms in humans (oculocutaneous albinism Type 1; OCA1) and other species. In this study, we analysed the donkey TYR gene as a strong candidate to identify the causative mutation of the albinism of these donkeys. The TYR gene was sequenced from 13 donkeys (seven Asinara white albino and six coloured animals). Seven single nucleotide polymorphisms were identified. A missense mutation (c.604C>G; p.His202Asp) in a highly conserved amino acid position (even across kingdoms), which disrupts the first copper-binding site (CuA) of functional protein, was identified in the homozygous condition (G/G or D/D) in all Asinara white albino donkeys and in the albino son of a trio (the grey parents had genotype C/G or H/D), supporting the recessive mode of inheritance of this mutation. Genotyping 82 donkeys confirmed that Asinara albino donkeys had genotype G/G whereas all other coloured donkeys had genotype C/C or C/G. Across-population association between the c.604C>G genotypes and the albino coat colour was highly significant (P = 6.17E-18). The identification of the causative mutation of the albinism in the Asinara white donkeys might open new perspectives to study the dynamics of this putative deleterious allele in a feral population and to manage this interesting animal genetic resource.

  13. Cat Scratch Disease (For Parents)

    MedlinePlus

    ... Old Feeding Your 1- to 2-Year-Old Cat Scratch Disease KidsHealth > For Parents > Cat Scratch Disease Print A A A What's in ... Doctor en español Enfermedad por arañazo de gato Cat scratch disease is a bacterial infection that a ...

  14. Vibrational Schroedinger Cats

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kis, Z.; Janszky, J.; Vinogradov, An. V.; Kobayashi, T.

    1996-01-01

    The optical Schroedinger cat states are simple realizations of quantum states having nonclassical features. It is shown that vibrational analogues of such states can be realized in an experiment of double pulse excitation of vibrionic transitions. To track the evolution of the vibrational wave packet we derive a non-unitary time evolution operator so that calculations are made in a quasi Heisenberg picture.

  15. CAT altitude avoidance system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gary, B. L. (Inventor)

    1982-01-01

    A method and apparatus are provided for indicating the altitude of the tropopause or of an inversion layer wherein clear air turbulence (CAT) may occur, and the likely severity of any such CAT, includes directing a passive microwave radiometer on the aircraft at different angles with respect to the horizon. The microwave radiation measured at a frequency of about 55 GHz represents the temperature of the air at an ""average'' range of about 3 kilometers, so that the sine of the angle of the radiometer times 3 kilometers equals the approximate altitude of the air whose temperature is measured. A plot of altitude (with respect to the aircraft) versus temperature of the air at that altitude, can indicate when an inversion layer is present and can indicate the altitude of the tropopause or of such an inversion layer. The plot can also indicate the severity of any CAT in an inversion layer. If CAT has been detected in the general area, then the aircraft can be flown at an altitude to avoid the tropopause or inversion layer.

  16. Multiple invasions of an infectious retrovirus in cat genomes.

    PubMed

    Shimode, Sayumi; Nakagawa, So; Miyazawa, Takayuki

    2015-02-02

    Endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) are remnants of ancient retroviral infections of host germ-line cells. While most ERVs are defective, some are active and express viral proteins. The RD-114 virus is a replication-competent feline ERV, and several feline cell lines produce infectious RD-114 viral particles. All domestic cats are considered to have an ERV locus encoding a replication-competent RD-114 virus in their genomes; however, the locus has not been identified. In this study, we investigated RD-114 virus-related proviral loci in genomes of domestic cats, and found that none were capable of producing infectious viruses. We also found that all domestic cats have an RD-114 virus-related sequence on chromosome C2, termed RDRS C2a, but populations of the other RDRSs are different depending on the regions where cats live or breed. Our results indicate that RDRS C2a, the oldest RD-114-related provirus, entered the host genome before an ancestor of domestic cats started diverging and the other new RDRSs might have integrated into migrating cats in Europe. We also show that infectious RD-114 virus can be resurrected by the recombination between two non-infectious RDRSs. From these data, we conclude that cats do not harbor infectious RD-114 viral loci in their genomes and RD-114-related viruses invaded cat genomes multiple times.

  17. Seroprevalence of West Nile Virus in feral horses on Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge, Nevada, United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Franson, J. Christian; Hofmeister, Erik K.; Collins, Gail H.; Dusek, Robert J.

    2011-01-01

    We screened 1,397 feral horses (Equus caballus) on Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge, Nevada, United States, for IgM and IgG against flavivirus during 2004–2006, 2008, and 2009. Positive serum samples were tested for neutralizing antibodies to West Nile virus (WNV) and St. Louis encephalitis virus (SLEV). One animal was positive for antibody against WNV in 2004, but all others tested in 2004–2006 were negative. In 2008 and 2009, we found evidence of increasing seropositive horses with age, whereas seroprevalence of WNV decreased from 19% in 2008 to 7.2% in 2009. No horses were positive for antibody against SLEV. Being unvaccinated, feral horses can be useful for WNV surveillance.

  18. Seasonal variation of the upper digestive tract yeast flora of feral pigeons

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kocan, R.M.; Hasenclever, H.F.

    1974-01-01

    Feral pigeons were sampled over a 16-month period to determine whether their normal yeast flora varied according to season. Candida albicans and Saccharomyces telluris occurred during the entire sampling period, with C. albicans reaching its highest levels between August and January and S. telluris peaking from March through May. Candida krusei was present for 10 months but exhibited no predictable variation in density. Candida tropicalis, C. guilliermondii and Geotrichum were isolated on several occasions while C. lusitaniae, C. pseudotropicalis and Torulopsis glabrata were each isolated once. The high levels of infection and frequency of occurrence of some yeast species make the feral pigeon highly suspect as a carrier and disseminator of potentially pathogenic yeast.

  19. Seroprevalence of West Nile virus in feral horses on Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge, Nevada, United States.

    PubMed

    Franson, J Christian; Hofmeister, Erik K; Collins, Gail H; Dusek, Robert J

    2011-04-01

    We screened 1,397 feral horses (Equus caballus) on Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge, Nevada, United States, for IgM and IgG against flavivirus during 2004-2006, 2008, and 2009. Positive serum samples were tested for neutralizing antibodies to West Nile virus (WNV) and St. Louis encephalitis virus (SLEV). One animal was positive for antibody against WNV in 2004, but all others tested in 2004-2006 were negative. In 2008 and 2009, we found evidence of increasing seropositive horses with age, whereas seroprevalence of WNV decreased from 19% in 2008 to 7.2% in 2009. No horses were positive for antibody against SLEV. Being unvaccinated, feral horses can be useful for WNV surveillance.

  20. Hypocobalaminaemia is uncommon in cats in the United Kingdom.

    PubMed

    Ibarrola, Patricia; Blackwood, Laura; Graham, Peter A; Evans, Helen; German, Alexander J

    2005-12-01

    Recent work has highlighted the importance of cobalamin deficiency in cats with a range of alimentary tract diseases. The primary aim of our study was to determine the incidence of subnormal cobalamin concentrations in sick cats with and without alimentary system disorders. Firstly, serum cobalamin concentrations were measured in a population of cats, with and without gastrointestinal (GI) disease, evaluated at a referral hospital. In the second part of the study, the incidence of cobalamin deficiency was assessed in samples submitted to a commercial laboratory specifically for cobalamin measurement. For both studies, a validated radioimmunoassay was used to measure serum cobalamin concentrations (reference range: > 150 pg/ml). In the first part of the study, 132 cats were included and none of these cats had subnormal cobalamin concentrations (median=1,172; range: 278 to >2,000). There were no differences in cobalamin concentrations between cats with alimentary system disorders, and those with diseases of other organs. In the second part, 682 samples were submitted for cobalamin assay over a period of 3 years, and only one cat had a result below the reference range (median=794; range: 147 to >2,000). Cobalamin deficiency was rare in the population tested and this may suggest that the incidence of this biochemical abnormality is less common than reported in the USA.

  1. Prostatic carcinoma in two cats.

    PubMed

    Caney, S M; Holt, P E; Day, M J; Rudorf, H; Gruffydd-Jones, T J

    1998-03-01

    Clinical, radiological and pathological features of two cats with prostatic carcinoma are reported. In both cats the presenting history included signs of lower urinary tract disease with haematuria and dysuria. Prostatomegaly was visible radiographically in one cat; an irregular intraprostatic urethra was seen on retrograde contrast urethrography in both cats. In one of the cats, neoplasia was suspected on the basis of a transurethral catheter biopsy. Following a poor response to palliative treatment in both cases, euthanasia was performed with histological confirmation of the diagnosis.

  2. Population.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    International Planned Parenthood Federation, London (England).

    In an effort to help meet the growing interest and concern about the problems created by the rapid growth of population, The International Planned Parenthood Federation has prepared this booklet with the aim of assisting the study of the history and future trends of population growth and its impact on individual and family welfare, national,…

  3. Feral Swine Leptospira Seroprevalence Survey in Hawaii, USA, 2007-2009.

    PubMed

    Buchholz, A E; Katz, A R; Galloway, R; Stoddard, R A; Goldstein, S M

    2016-12-01

    Leptospirosis is considered the most widespread of zoonotic diseases. It was a notifiable disease in the United States until 1995 and was reinstated to the list of nationally notifiable diseases in 2014. During the time of national surveillance, Hawaii consistently led the nation in reported annual incidence rates. Leptospirosis has remained a reportable disease in Hawaii. Significant changes have been documented since the early 1970s in the predominant serogroup infecting humans in Hawaii: infections due to Icterohaemorrhagiae have declined while infections due to Australis have increased. A recent study from Hawaii demonstrated that Australis was an uncommon infecting serogroup for small mammal hosts. Swine have not been previously studied in Hawaii but are well-recognized maintenance hosts for leptospires belonging to the Australis serogroup. This study was undertaken to assess the prevalence of Leptospira antibody in feral swine in Hawaii. From January 2007 through December 2009, blood samples were collected opportunistically from feral swine. Using the microscopic agglutination test, we found antibody titres ≥1 : 100 to leptospires in 272 (33.8%) of 804 feral swine. The most frequently reacting serovars to the swine sera were Icterohaemorrhagiae (Icterohaemorrhagiae serogroup) (41.5%) and Bratislava (Australis serogroup) (33.8%). The high seroprevalence and presumptively infecting serovars suggest a link between swine and human infection.

  4. Genetic testing in domestic cats.

    PubMed

    Lyons, Leslie A

    2012-12-01

    Varieties of genetic tests are currently available for the domestic cat that support veterinary health care, breed management, species identification, and forensic investigations. Approximately thirty-five genes contain over fifty mutations that cause feline health problems or alterations in the cat's appearance. Specific genes, such as sweet and drug receptors, have been knocked-out of Felidae during evolution and can be used along with mtDNA markers for species identification. Both STR and SNP panels differentiate cat race, breed, and individual identity, as well as gender-specific markers to determine sex of an individual. Cat genetic tests are common offerings for commercial laboratories, allowing both the veterinary clinician and the private owner to obtain DNA test results. This article will review the genetic tests for the domestic cat, and their various applications in different fields of science. Highlighted are genetic tests specific to the individual cat, which are a part of the cat's genome.

  5. Non-pruritic granuloma in Norwegian forest cats.

    PubMed

    Leistra, W H G; van Oost, B A; Willemse, T

    2005-04-30

    The eosinophilic granuloma complex is a group of skin disorders common in cats. This paper describes the clinical, haematological and histopathological features of 17 related Norwegian forest cats, six of which had a linear granuloma on the caudal thigh, three of which also had a granuloma on the lower lip, and one of which had a granuloma in combination with an indolent ulcer. The high prevalence of the disease in this population is suggestive of a genetic background.

  6. Nuisances and welfare of free-roaming cats in urban settings and their association with cat reproduction.

    PubMed

    Gunther, I; Raz, T; Berke, O; Klement, E

    2015-05-01

    Free roaming cats (FRC) are highly abundant in cities around the world. Increasing populations of these cats might result in impairment of cat welfare and cause nuisances and public health risks. In order to study the seasonal dynamics of FRC populations and its association with events of cat welfare impairment and nuisances, we analyzed a database of FRC-associated citizens' telephone complaint events, which were registered in five cities in Israel (total human population of 1.42 million residents) during the years 2007-2011. These complaint events were classified to the following six categories: cat's carcasses, kittens, parturition, aggressive behavior toward people, invasion to human facilities, and cat injuries and distress. Overall, 87,764 complaint events associated with these categories were registered in the five cities during the study period (123.2 complaint events per 10,000 citizens per year). Length of daylight was moderately correlated with the rate of complaints on kittens in the same month (r=0.64) and parturition in the previous month (r=0.54) (P<0.001). Both kitten and parturition-related complaints showed a prominent seasonal pattern, peaking in April and May, respectively, and declining gradually until November. 'Kittens' or 'parturition' were explicitly mentioned in 38%, 39% and 19%, respectively, of the complaints regarding cat aggressiveness toward people, cat invasion to human facilities and cat injuries and distress. In most of the cities the rate of citizen complaints regarding carcasses, aggression, invasion and injuries were still significantly correlated with rate of complaints regarding kittens after omission of these joint complaints and remained significant after controlling for seasonality. These findings imply an association of cat welfare impairment and nuisances with FRC reproduction intensity. The current study revealed the high rate of nuisances and potential public health hazards related to FRC, as well as the impairment of

  7. The parasite fauna of stray domestic cats (Felis catus) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

    PubMed

    Schuster, Rolf K; Thomas, Katja; Sivakumar, Saritha; O'Donovan, Declan

    2009-07-01

    Two hundred forty feral domestic cats trapped between 2004 and 2008 in the city centre and the suburb districts of Dubai, as well as in desert biotopes, were subjected to a complete parasitological dissection. The established parasite fauna consisted of Cystoisospora felis (12.9%), Cystoisospora rivolta (9.2%), Toxoplasma/Hammondia (0.8%), Heterophyes heterophyes (2.5%), Heterophyopsis continua (0.4%), Joyeuxiella spp. (65.8%), Diplopylidium noelleri (37.1%), Hydatigera taeniaeformis (16.7%), Taenia hydatigena (0.4%), Ancylostoma ceylanicum (8.8%), Ollulanus tricuspis (0.8%), Toxocara mystax (2.9%), Toxascaris leonina (0.8%), Pterygodermatites affinis (35.0%), Centrorhynchus aluconis (4.6%), Rhipicephalus sanguineus (4.2%), Xenopsylla astia (3.8%) and Synosternus pallidus (4.2%).

  8. Utilization of Sugarcane Habitat by Feral Pig (Sus scrofa) in Northern Tropical Queensland: Evidence from the Stable Isotope Composition of Hair

    PubMed Central

    Wurster, Christopher M.; Robertson, Jack; Westcott, David A.; Dryden, Bart; Zazzo, Antoine; Bird, Michael I.

    2012-01-01

    Feral pigs (Sus scrofa) are an invasive species that disrupt ecosystem functioning throughout their introduced range. In tropical environments, feral pigs are associated with predation and displacement of endangered species, modification of habitat, and act as a vector for the spread of exotic vegetation and disease. Across many parts of their introduced range, the diet of feral pigs is poorly known. Although the remote location and difficult terrain of far north Queensland makes observing feral pig behavior difficult, feral pigs are perceived to seek refuge in World Heritage tropical rainforests and seasonally ‘crop raid’ into lowland sugarcane crops. Thus, identifying how feral pigs are using different components of the landscape is important to the design of management strategies. We used the stable isotope composition of captured feral pigs to determine the extent of rainforest and sugarcane habitat usage. Recently grown hair (basal hair) from feral pigs captured in remote rainforest indicated pigs met their dietary needs solely within this habitat. Stable carbon and nitrogen isotope values of basal hair from feral pigs captured near sugarcane plantations were more variable, with some individuals estimated to consume over 85% of their diet within a sugarcane habitat, while a few consumed as much as 90% of their diet from adjacent forested environments. We estimated whether feral pigs switch habitats by sequentially sampling δ13C and δ15N values of long tail hair from a subset of seven captured animals, and demonstrate that four of these individuals moved between habitats. Our results indicate that feral pigs utilize both sugarcane and forest habitats, and can switch between these resources. PMID:22957029

  9. Efficacy of hand-broadcast application of baits containing 0.005% diphacinone in reducing rat populations in Hawaiian forests

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Foote, David; Lindsey, Gerald D.; Perry, Charlotte F.; Spurr, Eric

    2013-01-01

    Introduced black rats (Rattus rattus), Polynesian rats (R. exulans/i>), and Norway rats (R. norvegicus) impact insular bird, plant, and invertebrate populations worldwide. We investigated the efficacy of hand-broadcast application of Ramik® Green containing 0.005% diphacinone for rodent control in paired 4-ha treatment and non-treatment plots in both wet and mesic forest in Hawaiʽi. Radio telemetry of black rats, the predominant species, indicated 100% mortality in both treatment plots within about one week of bait application. Live trapping and non-toxic census bait block monitoring two to four weeks after each of 12 repeat bait applications in the wet forest, and three repeat bait applications in the mesic forest, indicated rat abundance was reduced on average by 84–88%. However, reinvasion could have occurred within this time. Rat populations in the treatment plots usually recovered to pre-poison levels within two to five months. House mice (Mus musculus), Indian mongooses (Herpestes auropunctatus), and feral cats (Felis catus) also ate bait or other animals that had eaten bait. This study demonstrates the efficacy of ground-based broadcast toxicant baits for the control of rats in Hawaiian montane wet forests.

  10. Cat scratch disease.

    PubMed

    Bozhkov, V; Madjov, R; Plachkov, I; Arnaudov, P; Chernopolsky, P; Krasnaliev, I

    2014-01-01

    Approximately 24,000 people are infected with cat scratch disease (CSD) every year. CSD is caused by the bacteria Bartonella henselae, a gram-negative bacteria most often transmitted to humans through a bite or scratch from an infected cat or kitten. Although CSD is often a benign and self-limiting condition, it can affect any major organ system in the body, manifesting in different ways and sometimes leading to lifelong sequelae. It is a disease that is often overlooked in primary care because of the wide range of symptom presentation and relative rarity of serious complications. It is important for health care providers to recognize patients at risk for CSD, know what laboratory testing and treatments are available, and be aware of complications that may arise from this disease in the future.

  11. Molecular epidemiology of feline immunodeficiency virus in the domestic cat (Felis catus).

    PubMed

    Hayward, Jessica J; Rodrigo, Allen G

    2010-03-15

    Studying the evolutionary mechanisms of feline immunodeficiency virus in the domestic cat (Felis catus), FIV(Fca), provides a good comparison to other lentiviruses, such as HIV and FIV(Pco) in the cougar (Puma concolor). We review the current epidemiological and evolutionary findings of FIV(Fca). In addition to the five accepted FIV(Fca), subtypes, several recent phylogenetic studies have found strains that form separate clades, indicative of novel subtypes. In New Zealand cats, these strains of unknown subtype have been found to be involved in complex patterns of intergenic recombination, and whole genome sequences are required to resolve these. Evidence of recombination events has been documented with the highest levels in the env gene, the region involved in host cell receptor recognition. Several cases of FIV(Fca) multiple infections, both inter- and intra-subtype, have been reported. The findings of both unknown subtypes and relatively high levels of recombination suggest the need for further testing of the current vaccine. Limited studies on the evolutionary rate of FIV(Fca) document a value twice to three times that of FIV in the cougar, a result suggesting the different levels of co-adaptation between the viruses and their respective hosts. We studied the tissue distribution of FIV(Fca) in feral domestic cats, finding the first case of FIV compartmentalisation, a phenomenon well documented in HIV-1 patients.

  12. Prevalence of feline leukaemia virus and antibodies to feline immunodeficiency virus in cats in the United Kingdom.

    PubMed

    Hosie, M J; Robertson, C; Jarrett, O

    1989-09-09

    A representative sample of the pet cat population of the United Kingdom was surveyed. Blood samples from 1204 sick and 1007 healthy cats of known breed, age and sex were tested for antibodies to feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and feline leukaemia virus (FeLV). The prevalence of FIV was 19 per cent in sick cats and 6 per cent in healthy cats, and the prevalence of FeLV was 18 per cent in sick cats and 5 per cent in healthy cats; both infections were more common in domestic cats than in pedigree cats. Feline immunodeficiency virus was more prevalent in older cats but FeLV was more prevalent in younger cats. There was no difference between the prevalence of FeLV in male and female cats but male cats were more likely to be infected with FIV than female cats. No interaction was demonstrated between FIV and FeLV infections. Of the cats which were in contact with FIV in households with more than one cat, 21 per cent had seroconverted. The prevalence of FeLV viraemia in cats in contact with FeLV was 14 per cent. The clinical signs associated with FIV were pyrexia, gingivitis/stomatitis and respiratory signs, and with FeLV, pyrexia and anaemia. It was concluded that both viruses were significant causes of disease, and that the cats most likely to be infected with FIV were older, free-roaming male cats and for FeLV, younger, free-roaming cats.

  13. Mucopolysaccharidosis VI in cats - clarification regarding genetic testing.

    PubMed

    Lyons, Leslie A; Grahn, Robert A; Genova, Francesca; Beccaglia, Michela; Hopwood, John J; Longeri, Maria

    2016-07-02

    The release of new DNA-based diagnostic tools has increased tremendously in companion animals. Over 70 different DNA variants are now known for the cat, including DNA variants in disease-associated genes and genes causing aesthetically interesting traits. The impact genetic tests have on animal breeding and health management is significant because of the ability to control the breeding of domestic cats, especially breed cats. If used properly, genetic testing can prevent the production of diseased animals, causing the reduction of the frequency of the causal variant in the population, and, potentially, the eventual eradication of the disease. However, testing of some identified DNA variants may be unwarranted and cause undo strife within the cat breeding community and unnecessary reduction of gene pools and availability of breeding animals. Testing for mucopolysaccharidosis Type VI (MPS VI) in cats, specifically the genetic testing of the L476P (c.1427T>C) and the D520N (c.1558G>A) variants in arylsulfatase B (ARSB), has come under scrutiny. No health problems are associated with the D520N (c.1558G>A) variant, however, breeders that obtain positive results for this variant are speculating as to possible correlation with health concerns. Birman cats already have a markedly reduced gene pool and have a high frequency of the MPS VI D520N variant. Further reduction of the gene pool by eliminating cats that are heterozygous or homozygous for only the MPS VI D520N variant could lead to more inbreeding depression effects on the breed population. Herein is debated the genetic testing of the MPS VI D520N variant in cats. Surveys from different laboratories suggest the L476P (c.1427T>C) disease-associated variant should be monitored in the cat breed populations, particularly breeds with Siamese derivations and outcrosses. However, the D520N has no evidence of association with disease in cats and testing is not recommended in the absence of L476P genotyping. Selection

  14. Field immobilization of feral 'Judas' donkeys (Equus asinus) by remote injection of medetomidine and ketamine and antagonism with atipamezole.

    PubMed

    Woolnough, Andrew P; Hampton, Jordan O; Campbell, Susan; Lethbridge, Mark R; Boardman, Wayne S J; Sharp, Trudy; Rose, Ken

    2012-04-01

    The Judas technique is a method used for landscape control of feral donkeys (Equus asinus) in northern Australia. Central to the success of any Judas program is the safe, efficient, and humane attachment of the telemetry device. For feral donkeys, this involves the use of field immobilization. We examine the replacement of the current chemical capture agent, succinylcholine, with contemporary immobilization agents to achieve positive animal welfare outcomes. A combination of medetomidine and ketamine delivered by remote injection from a helicopter was used to capture 14 free-ranging feral donkeys for the fitting of telemetry collars in Western Australia in November 2010. Dose rates of 0.14 mg/kg medetomidine and 4.1 mg/kg ketamine were appropriate to immobilize animals in 9 min (± SD = 3). Mean recovery time (total time in recumbency) was 21 min (± 14). All animals recovered uneventfully after being administered atipamezole, a specific antagonist of medetomidine, intramuscularly at 0.35 mg/kg. Physiologic parameters were recorded during recumbency, with environment-related hyperthermia being the only abnormality recognized. No significant complications were encountered, and this drug combination represents an efficient approach to capturing wild donkeys. This new method allows a rapid, safe, cost-effective approach to the immobilization of feral donkeys for use as Judas animals. This drug combination will replace the relatively inhumane succinylcholine for the field immobilization of feral donkeys.

  15. Dirofilaria immitis in cats: anatomy of a disease.

    PubMed

    Nelson, C Thomas

    2008-07-01

    It is now understood that wherever heartworm infection exists in the local canine population, it will also be found in the feline population. However, this does not mean that the parasite and resulting disease behave the same way in both species. For example, heartworms rarely reach the adult stage in cats, but they can cause respiratory sequelae nonetheless.

  16. The Influence of Feral Horse Activity on Water and Shellfish (Gukensia demissa) Quality Along the Western Coast of Assateague Island National Seashore, Maryland

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Feral horses (Equus caballus) inhabit portions of the Western United States and some barrier islands along the East Coast. Approximately 150 feral horses are located on Assateague Island National Seashore (ASIS), Maryland, a barrier island popular with tourists and recreational fishermen. This stu...

  17. Genetic susceptibility to feline infectious peritonitis in Birman cats.

    PubMed

    Golovko, Lyudmila; Lyons, Leslie A; Liu, Hongwei; Sørensen, Anne; Wehnert, Suzanne; Pedersen, Niels C

    2013-07-01

    Genetic factors are presumed to influence the incidence of feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), especially among pedigreed cats. However, proof for the existence of such factors has been limited and mainly anecdotal. Therefore, we sought evidence for genetic susceptibility to FIP using feline high density single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) arrays in a genome-wide association study (GWAS). Birman cats were chosen for GWAS because they are highly inbred and suffer a high incidence of FIP. DNA from 38 Birman cats that died of FIP and 161 healthy cats from breeders in Denmark and USA were selected for genotyping using 63K SNPs distributed across the feline genome. Danish and American Birman cats were closely related and the populations were therefore combined and analyzed in two manners: (1) all cases (FIP) vs. all controls (healthy) regardless of age, and (2) cases 1½ years of age and younger (most susceptible) vs. controls 2 years of age and older (most resistant). GWAS of the second cohort was most productive in identifying significant genome-wide associations between case and control cats. Four peaks of association with FIP susceptibility were identified, with two being identified on both analyses. Five candidate genes ELMO1, RRAGA, TNFSF10, ERAP1 and ERAP2, all relevant to what is known about FIP virus pathogenesis, were identified but no single association was fully concordant with the disease phenotype. Difficulties in doing GWAS in cats and interrogating complex genetic traits were discussed.

  18. High Prevalence of Covert Infection With Gastrointestinal Helminths in Cats.

    PubMed

    Little, Susan; Adolph, Chris; Downie, Kathryn; Snider, Tim; Reichard, Mason

    2015-01-01

    Fecal flotation is routinely used to identify feline helminth infections in clinical practice, but it is known to have limitations of sensitivity, particularly for cestodes. To determine the prevalence of helminths in a contemporary population of cats and evaluate the ability of fecal flotation to detect these infections, helminths were recovered from intestinal tracts removed from 116 adult cats humanely euthanized by an animal control shelter in northeastern Oklahoma. Results were compared to those of fecal flotation performed using both passive and centrifugal techniques. Helminths were identified in 78/116 (67.2%) cats, including Toxocara cati (48/116; 41.4%), Ancylostoma tubaeforme (8/116; 6.9%), Dipylidium caninum (40/116; 34.5%), and Taenia taeniaeformis (30/116; 25.9%). Cats with T. cati were significantly more likely to harbor T. taeniaeformis (P = .001) than cats without ascarids. Centrifugal fecal flotation with sugar solution identified 37/48 (77.1%) T. cati infections, 8/30 (26.7%) T. taeniaeformis infections, and no D. caninum infections. Proglottids were detected on external examination in 19.0% (12/63) of cats with cestodes. Cestodes were present in over half of the cats examined in this study, but the majority of these infections were not evident by the detection of external proglottids or recovery of characteristic stages on fecal flotation.

  19. Prevalence of Haemoplasma Infections in Stray Cats in Northern Italy

    PubMed Central

    Spada, Eva; Proverbio, Daniela; Della Pepa, Alessandra; Perego, Roberta; Ferro, Elisabetta

    2014-01-01

    This study investigated the prevalence of feline haemoplasma infections in a number of stray cat colonies in Milan, Northern Italy. Blood samples from 260 stray cats were evaluated, with conventional PCR, for the presence of DNA associated with Mycoplasma haemofelis (Mhf) and “Candidatus Mycoplasma haemominutum” (CMhm). Odd ratios (OR) were calculated to identify risk factors for haemoplasma infections. PCR was positive in 86 out of 260 subjects (33.1%), with a prevalence of 10.8% (28/260 cats) for Mhf and 22.3% (58/260 cats) for CMhm. No coinfections were registered. There were significant associations between infections and season of sampling, that is, a negative association between winter sampling and a haemoplasma positive status (OR = 0.29, P = 0.001), or CMhm positive status (OR = 0.29, P = 0.01). Haemoplasma infections are common in stray cats in Milan. Thus, domestic cats with outdoor access should be routinely monitored and treated for ectoparasites to minimize risks of disease acquisition. Moreover, as these infections are transmitted via blood, feline blood donors from this area should be screened by PCR and preferably be drawn from a population of indoor cats regularly treated for fleas. PMID:24707436

  20. A microsatellite analysis of five Colonial Spanish horse populations of the southeastern United States.

    PubMed

    Conant, E K; Juras, R; Cothran, E G

    2012-02-01

    The domestic horse (Equus caballus) was re-introduced to the Americas by Spanish explorers. Although horses from other parts of Europe were subsequently introduced, some New World populations maintain characteristics ascribed to their Spanish heritage. The southeastern United States has a history of Spanish invasion and settlement, and this influence on local feral horse populations includes two feral-recaptured breeds: the Florida Cracker and the Marsh Tacky, both of which are classified as Colonial Spanish horses. The feral Banker horses found on islands off the coast of North Carolina, which include, among others, the Shackleford Banks, the Corolla and the Ocracoke, are also Colonial Spanish horses. Herein we analyse 15 microsatellite loci from 532 feral and 2583 domestic horses in order to compare the genetic variation of these five Colonial Spanish Horse populations to 40 modern horse breeds. We find that the Corolla horse has very low heterozygosity and that both the Corolla and Ocracoke populations have a low mean number of alleles. We also find that the Florida Cracker population has a heterozygosity deficit. In addition, we find evidence of similarity of the Shackleford Banks, Marsh Tacky and Florida Cracker populations to New World Iberian horse breeds, while the origins of the other two populations are less clear.

  1. Assessing the dynamics of wild populations

    SciTech Connect

    Eberhardt, L.L.

    1985-01-01

    Lotka's equations summarizing population dynamics can be approximated by functional models of the survivorship and reproductive curves, incorporating three stages of survival and reproduction, respectively. An abbreviated form uses a single reproductive parameter and two survival values. Survivorship and reproductive curves were fitted to data on northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus), domestic and feral sheep, white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), grizzly bears (Ursus arctos), African buffalo (Syncerus caffer), free-ranging horses, and fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus). Data for 10 species suggest a useful relationship between senescence parameters. A bias due to senescence may lead to serious underestimation of survival rates. Observed annual rates of increase of 18-20% for feral horses, 16% for southern fur seals (Arctocephalus gazella), and 60% for white-tailed deer are compatible with observed population parameters. 43 references, 11 figures, 3 tables.

  2. Oral shedding of Bartonella in cats: correlation with bacteremia and seropositivity.

    PubMed

    Namekata, David Y; Kasten, Rickie W; Boman, Dawn A; Straub, Mary H; Siperstein-Cook, Laurie; Couvelaire, Karen; Chomel, Bruno B

    2010-12-15

    Cats are the main reservoirs of zoonotic Bartonella henselae, B. clarridgeiae and B. koehlerae, transmitted among cats by cat fleas. No study has investigated the presence of Bartonella in the saliva of bacteremic and non-bacteremic cats to correlate it to the level of bacteremia and the presence or absence of oral lesions. Shelter cats from northern California (n=130) and Michigan (n=50) were tested for Bartonella bacteremia by blood culture, presence of Bartonella antibodies and Bartonella DNA in oral swabs. Bacteremia was detected in 45 (25%) cats, mainly from northern California (n=40), which were highly flea infested and were 4 times more likely to be bacteremic than the non-flea-infested cats from Michigan. Overall, 69 (38.3%) cats had Bartonella PCR positive oral swabs. Bacteremic cats were almost 3 times (P=0.003) more likely to have PCR positive oral swabs (59%, 26/44) than non-bacteremic cats (32.5%, 44/135). However, there was no correlation between cats being bacteremic and having oral lesions. Antibody prevalences for B. henselae and B. clarridgeiae were 30% and 42.8%. B. henselae and B. clarridgeiae seropositive cats were almost 4 times (P=0.0001) and 3 times (P=0.003) more likely to have oral lesions than seronegative cats. Despite a higher prevalence (odds ratio=1.73; 95% confidence interval=0.88-3.38) of oral lesions in cats with oral swabs testing PCR positive, no statistical association could be demonstrated in this cat population.

  3. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii and concurrent Bartonella spp., feline immunodeficiency virus, feline leukemia virus, and Dirofilaria immitis infections in Egyptian cats.

    PubMed

    Al-Kappany, Y M; Lappin, M R; Kwok, O C H; Abu-Elwafa, S A; Hilali, M; Dubey, J P

    2011-04-01

    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, and these viruses are immunosuppressive. In the present study, the prevalence of antibodies to T. gondii , Bartonella spp., FIV, as well as FeLv and Dirofilaria immitis antigens was determined in sera from feral cats (Felis catus) from Cairo, Egypt. Using a modified agglutination test, antibodies to T. gondii were found in 172 (95.5%) of the 180 cats with titers of 1∶5 in 9, 1∶10 in 9, 1∶20 in 3, 1∶40 in 5, 1∶80 in 5, 1∶160 in 15, 1∶320 in 22, and 1∶640 or higher in 104. Thus, 57.4% had high T. gondii titers. Antibodies to Bartonella spp. were found in 105 (59.6%) of 178, with titers of 1∶64 in 45, 1∶128 in 39, 1∶256 in 13, 1∶512 in 3, 1∶1,024 in 4, and 1∶2,048 in 1 cat. Antibodies to FIV were detected in 59 (33.9%) of 174 cats. Of 174 cats tested, antigens to FeLv, and D. immitis were detected in 8 (4.6%) and 6 (3.4%) cats, respectively. The results indicate a high prevalence of T. gondii, Bartonella spp., and FIV infections in cats from Cairo, Egypt. This is the first report of Bartonella spp., and D. immitis infection in cats in Egypt.

  4. Presence of Bartonella species and Rickettsia species DNA in the blood, oral cavity, skin and claw beds of cats in the United States.

    PubMed

    Lappin, Michael R; Hawley, Jennifer

    2009-10-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of Bartonella species and Rickettsia species DNA in the blood, oral cavity, skin and claw beds of feral cats without evidence of skin disease that were housed in Alabama (n = 24), Florida (n = 27) and Colorado (n = 32). Samples were assessed by use of polymerase chain reaction assays. The Bartonella species IgG prevalence was also determined. While Bartonella species DNA was not amplified from any sample from Colorado cats, it was commonly amplified from blood (56.9%), skin (31.4%), claws (17.6%) and gingiva (17.6%) of the 51 cats housed in Alabama and Florida. All 10 flea groups assessed in this study were infected with a Bartonella species or R. felis. Bartonella species IgG titres did not accurately predict bacteraemia (positive predictive value = 57.1%; negative predictive value = 82.1%). Bartonella species DNA was amplified from blood of cats with and without C. felis. Rickettsia felis DNA was only detected in or on the skin of one cat and the gingiva of an additional cat. It was concluded that cats can be an occupational health risk for veterinarians, particularly in areas with high prevalence of Ctenocephalides felis. Further study is required to determine whether Bartonella species or Rickettsia species infections of cats are associated with dermatological disease. The combination of Bartonella species serological test results with Bartonella species PCR or culture is likely to give the most accurate information concerning the current infection status of individual cats.

  5. A review of over three decades of research on cat-human and human-cat interactions and relationships.

    PubMed

    Turner, Dennis C

    2017-01-22

    This review article covers research conducted over the last three decades on cat-human and human-cat interactions and relationships, especially from an ethological point of view. It includes findings on cat-cat and cat-human communication, cat personalities and cat-owner personalities, the effects of cats on humans, and problems caused by cats.

  6. Raccoonpox in a Canadian cat.

    PubMed

    Yager, Julie A; Hutchison, Lisa; Barrett, John W

    2006-12-01

    Poxvirus infections affecting the skin of cats are extremely rare in North America, in contrast to Europe where cowpox virus is well recognized as an accidental pathogen in cats that hunt small rodents. The virus or viruses responsible for the anecdotal cases in North America have never been characterized. This paper reports a case of raccoonpox infection in a Canadian cat. Biopsy of the initial ulcerative lesion on the forepaw revealed ballooning degeneration of surface and follicular keratinoctyes. Infected cells contained large eosinophilic type A inclusions. Electron microscopic examination revealed virions of an orthopoxvirus, subsequently identified as raccoonpox by polymerase chain reaction and gene sequencing. The cat made a full recovery.

  7. External hydrocephalus in two cats.

    PubMed

    Dewey, Curtis W; Coates, Joan R; Ducoté, Julie M; Stefanacci, Joseph D; Walker, Michael A; Marino, Dominic J

    2003-01-01

    External hydrocephalus describes an accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) between the cerebral hemispheres and the overlying arachnoid membrane, rather than within the lateral ventricles. Two young cats with encephalopathic signs were diagnosed with external hydrocephalus, one via magnetic resonance imaging and one via computed tomography. Both cats had abnormally large, broad heads, with no evidence of open fontanelles. A surgical shunt was placed in each cat to divert the accumulated CSF within the cranial cavity to the peritoneal space. Both cats improved dramatically soon after surgical shunting was performed, and they continue to do well clinically, approximately 42 months and 8 months postoperatively, respectively.

  8. Determining Home Range and Preferred Habitat of Feral Horses on the Nevada National Security Site Using Geographic Information Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Burns, Ashley V.

    2014-05-30

    Feral horses (Equus caballus) are free-roaming descendants of domesticated horses and legally protected by the Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, which mandates how feral horses and burros should be managed and protected on federal lands. Using a geographic information system to determine the home range and suitable habitat of feral horses on the federally managed Nevada National Security Site can enable wildlife biologists in making best management practice recommendations. Home range was estimated at 88.1 square kilometers. Site suitability was calculated for elevation, forage, slope, water presence and horse observations. These variables were combined in successive iterations into one polygon. Suitability rankings established that 85 square kilometers are most suitable habitat, with 2,052 square kilometers of good habitat 1,252 square kilometers of fair habitat and 122 square kilometers of least suitable habitat.

  9. Periodontal health status in a colony of 109 cats.

    PubMed

    Girard, Nicolas; Servet, Eric; Biourge, Vincent; Hennet, Philippe

    2009-01-01

    Periodontal disease has not been well characterized in the cat, and it is not known if feline tooth resorptions (TR) are equivalent to those observed in humans and dogs. The aim of this study was to investigate the different patterns of periodontal inflammation in cats, and to evaluate their prevalence in a standardized healthy population (n = 109). Particular emphasis was placed on the potential associations between TR and periodontal parameters, as well as the influence of potential risk factors (including breed, sex, and age). A single complete periodontal examination was performed, including periodontal probing of each tooth and exploration of the tooth surface using a dental explorer; at least 10 radiographs were taken for each cat. Missing teeth with radiographic evidence of root apices were present in 34.0% of cats. Periodontal disease was common, and 13.0% of cats had aggressive periodontitis. All of the cats had some form of periodontal inflammation, and only 4.0% of cats were free from gingival inflammation. Moderate to severe gingivitis was present in 13.0% of teeth. Dental furcation exposure was present in 18.0% of all multi-rooted teeth. Periodontal bone loss was observed in 31.2% of teeth, with the majority (98.2%) of all cats having some form of periodontal bone loss. Breed effects were identified for some variables. Eight of 14 periodontal variables were statistically correlated with Type 1 TR. Two of 14 variables (and age) were statistically correlated with Type 2 TR. In conclusion, the cats of this colony had a wide range of periodontal inflammation, including aggressive periodontitis. Type 1 TR and Type 2 TR were identified to be two significantly different manifestations of TR, with a strong association between Type 1 TR and periodontal disease.

  10. MACROPHAGE AGGREGATES AS BIOMARKERS OF EXPOSURE: FROM FERAL POPULATIONS TO LABORATORY MODELS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Macrophage aggregates (MAs) are structures within the spleen, kidney and sometimes liver of teleost fishes. They are believed to function much like primitive lymph nodes in that phagocytized material is transported to these areas by macrophages, for destruction, recycling or stor...

  11. Systemic cat scratch disease.

    PubMed

    Liao, Hui-Min; Huang, Fu-Yuan; Chi, Hsin; Wang, Nieu-Lu; Chen, Be-Fong

    2006-08-01

    Systemic cat scratch disease (CSD) is often associated with prolonged fever and microabscesses in the liver and/or spleen. We report a case of systemic CSD with hepatic, splenic and renal involvement in an aboriginal child in Taiwan. A previously healthy 9-year-old girl had an intermittent fever for about 17 days, and complained of abdominal pain, headache and weight loss. Abdominal computed tomography showed multiple tiny hypodense nodular lesions in the spleen and both kidneys. Laparotomy revealed multiple soft, whitish-tan lesions on the surface of the liver and spleen. Histopathologic examination of a biopsy specimen of the spleen showed necrotizing granulomatous inflammation with central necrosis surrounded by epithelioid cells and occasional Langhans' giant cells, strongly suggestive of Bartonella henselae infection. History revealed close contact with a cat. B. henselae DNA was detected by polymerase chain reaction in the tissue specimen, and the single antibody titer against B. henselae was greater than 1:2048. These results confirmed the diagnosis of visceral CSD caused by B. henselae. The patient's symptoms resolved after treatment with rifampin and tetracycline. This case illustrates the need for inclusion of systemic CSD in patients with fever of unknown origin and abdominal pain.

  12. Survey of cat and dog ownership in Champaign County, Illinois, 1976.

    PubMed

    Griffiths, A O; Brenner, A

    1977-06-01

    Age, sex, breeding, cost, source, and reproductive data on dog and cat populations were obtained for Champaign County, Illinois. Of 623 households from which completed interviews were obtained, 37.4% had 1 or more dogs, and 17.8% had 1 or more cats. The estimated population of dogs was 22,118 and of cats, 16,055, with a proportion to human population of 1 dog/7.4 persons and 1 cat/9.9 persons. The mean age of cats (2.98 yr) was about two-thirds of the mean age of dogs (4.64 yr); the median age of cats (1.8 yr) was about one-half the median age of dogs (3.7 yr). The most often mentioned origin of dogs was private pet owners; cats were most often reported as being offspring of currently owned cats. The proportion of households owning dogs and cats was higher in rural than in urban areas.

  13. Feeders of Free-Roaming Cats: Personal Characteristics, Feeding Practices, and Data on Cat Health and Welfare in an Urban Setting of Israel

    PubMed Central

    Gunther, Idit; Raz, Tal; Even Zor, Yehonatan; Bachowski, Yuval; Klement, Eyal

    2016-01-01

    Cat feeders serve as an important source of available food for free-roaming cats (FRCs) and can play a central role in providing data on FRC distribution, welfare, and health. Data on cat feeder personalities as well as a better understanding of their feeding practices offer relevance for decision making concerning FRC population control strategies. The current study surveyed 222 FRC feeders who responded to a municipal trap-neuter-return (TNR) campaign in an Israeli central urban setting. The aim of the study was to describe their personal characteristics, feeding practices, and the FRC populations they feed. Feeders were divided into four groups according to the number of cats they claimed to feed per day (group 1: fed up to 5 cats, group 2: fed 6–10 cats, group 3: fed 11–20 cats, and group 4: fed ≥21 cats). Most feeders were women (81%), with a median age of 58 years (range 18–81). The feeders reported an overall feeding of 3337 cats in 342 different feeding locations. Feeders of group 4 comprised 15.31% (n = 34) of all feeders but fed 56% (n = 1869) of the FRC in 37.42% (n = 128) of the feeding locations. “Heavy” feeders (groups 3 and 4) reported that they traveled significantly longer distances in order to feed the cats. Commercial dry food consisted of 90% of the food they provided, with 66% of them feeding once a day, with less food per cat per day than the other feeder groups. Interestingly, “heavy” feeders were usually singles, had on average fewer siblings, a clear preference for owning cats as pets, and lived in lower income neighborhoods. According to the feeders’ reports on the FRC populations they fed, 69.7% (2325/3337) cats were neutered and 11.8% (395/3337) were kittens. In addition, they reported that 1.6% (54/3337) of the cats were limping, 2% (67/3337) suffered from a systemic disease, 4% (135/3337) had skin lesions, and 3.9% (130/3337) were suffering from a chronic disability. Abundance of kittens and morbidity

  14. Feeders of Free-Roaming Cats: Personal Characteristics, Feeding Practices, and Data on Cat Health and Welfare in an Urban Setting of Israel.

    PubMed

    Gunther, Idit; Raz, Tal; Even Zor, Yehonatan; Bachowski, Yuval; Klement, Eyal

    2016-01-01

    Cat feeders serve as an important source of available food for free-roaming cats (FRCs) and can play a central role in providing data on FRC distribution, welfare, and health. Data on cat feeder personalities as well as a better understanding of their feeding practices offer relevance for decision making concerning FRC population control strategies. The current study surveyed 222 FRC feeders who responded to a municipal trap-neuter-return (TNR) campaign in an Israeli central urban setting. The aim of the study was to describe their personal characteristics, feeding practices, and the FRC populations they feed. Feeders were divided into four groups according to the number of cats they claimed to feed per day